Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Film Archives: The Washington Journal With Brian Lamb- Camille Paglia & Bay Buchanan: On College Students, Education, Government, Women in Politics

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

I like and respect Camille Paglia a lot, at least when I’m quick enough to understand what she’s saying, or at the very least catch every word that she says. She talks the way kitty cats run and Nascar cars race. You can write a book with her mouth in a few minutes. But when I am able to follow along she makes a lot of sense. Her politics at least up to ten years ago would put on the liberal-libertarian or classical liberal wing of the American political spectrum. ( The real Liberals )

She calls herself a feminist but I would put her on the classical side of that as well. That women shouldn’t be discriminated against based on gender, but that women shouldn’t be rewarded based on their gender. Unlike a lot of these so-called radical feminists today on the New-Left ( or Far-Left ) who think America should just be made up of women and gay men and that masculinity ( unless it comes from women ) is somehow a bad thing. That straight men at least Caucasian straight men, are inherently bad people and that straight men are ruining America.

Camille’s politics when it comes to liberalism and feminism, seems to be about choice. That women should be able to make their own choices in life and be able to think for themselves. That if they want to work, than that should be their choice. But if they decide to stay home and raise their kids which is also a job and a paying job at that, then that is what should be able to do. That women should be able to think for themselves and not be feel the need to look down at straight men and see them as evil. But if they want to believe that straight men are bad, then that would be their choice as a radical feminist.

That women shouldn’t be forced to be big government Socialists, who believe big centralized government has all the answers in life. Or they can be Conservative-Libertarians who don’t believe big government has many if any answers at all to solving problems in society. But that they should be able to think for themselves without radical feminists viewing them as sellouts to the feminist cause or a traitors who are in the laps and beds of straight men.

If there was a free market for women, it would’ve been created by the Camille Paglia liberal wing of feminism. That there should be choice across the board and not just when it comes to abortion and sexuality but in life in general. When and if they work, sexuality in general, how they should think, what their politics should be. Instead of being told by radical feminists and the Socialist-Left or the Christian-Right on what it means to be a real woman in America and how all women should be forced to live.

The Film Archives: The Washington Journal With Brian Lamb- Camille Paglia & Bay Buchanan: On College Students, Education & Women in Politics- In 1997

Advertisements

Book TV: Afterwords- U.S. Senator Tom Daschle Interviewing Ira Shapiro: Broken

99e3ccbe-3ecd-48ab-8840-bb2488cabaf8

Source: Book TV– Ira Shapiro

Source: Book TV: Afterwords- U.S. Senator Tom Daschle Interviewing Ira Shapiro: Broken

Warning! This post is for all of you not just political junkies, but Congressional junkie. Which are people with a special type of mental disorder that is worst than simply just being a political junkie. But for people who watch at least one hour of C-SPAN a day and at least one Congressional hearing or part of a hearing each week. You’ll get no news about what rehab the latest hot celebrity is going to and for what for. Or what shoes that person wore when they stopped for coffee in Malibu.

In all seriousness or as serious as I’ll be for this post, the U.S. Senate is broken and needs to be reformed. So does the U.S. House of Representatives by the way ( the lower chamber of Congress ) and I’ll get into a little bit of that with this post as well. But this is really about the Senate ( the upper chamber of Congress ) because it’s so important as an institution because like the court system and the U.S. Justice Department, they’re the only institutions that can hold the President and Executive accountable regardless of which party is in the White House or what the makeup in Congress is both in the House and Senate. And when the Senate doesn’t operate properly because of either hyper-partisanship or one party in the Senate is simply too divided to act, the country suffers and has to live with the gridlock.

Why is Congress both the House and Senate broken? Part of that has to do with the addiction to absolute power that both the Democratic Party and Republican Party has. This consumption to not just control the White House and Congress, but to have such large majorities in both chambers that they wouldn’t have to work with the minority party, especially the minority leadership on anything. I don’t believe it’s so much the leadership’s in both parties that are driving the hyper-partisanship but the hyper-partisan fringe bases that literally see any type of compromise with the other party as treason and an offense that deserves a primary for that member of Congress or the leader, who decided to work with the other party even on need to pass legislation and when the margins in Congress are close.

Another part has to do with gerrymandering both from the Republican Party, but the Democratic Party as well. Not just in Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina, where the Republican Party has successfully if not unconstitutionally gerrymandered all of the House districts in those states. But the Democratic Party has done this as well in California, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland. It’s just that the Republican Party currently controls 34-50 statehouses with a solid majority of individual legislatures all over the country and has been more successful at this what I would I call at least an unconstitutional hyper-partisan policy.

Another contributor to this hyper-partisanship in America has to do with dark money. Where outside groups can give a Senator or Representative, financial contributions to their political campaigns without anyone else knowing about that. Not even their constituents would know where the members of Congress are getting their political money. As well as third-party hyper-partisan groups in both parties who run adds in a state or district  in an attempt to push the incumbent or candidate to vote a certain way when their issue is addressed in Congress. Or run ads to make a particular incumbent  or candidate look bad and to support their opponent without actually naming the candidate. And these groups don’t have to reveal how they’re funding their political operations and neither do members of Congress.

So what would I do about it? Well like any good responsible doctor ( and I’m not ) before they recommend a prescriptions for their patients physical issues, they first look to see what the problems are and then look to see what can be done about those issues. What I’m doing here is a political diagnosis of Congress, especially the Senate which traditionally has operated and been run through bipartisanship. Where the Minority Leader was almost as important and powerful as the Leader of the Senate.

There are several things that can be done to fix Congress. And trying to make the Senate look like House where the minority party is simply just there to vote against the majority party, like in the House for the most part, which seems to be the goals of current Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, or to try to make the House look like the Senate where you basically need a super majority to pass the most basic pieces of legislation except for reconciliation, wouldn’t work.

The House needs to continue to be the House, otherwise Congressional gridlock will just get even worst. But the House should be more like the Senate at least in this sense. Allow for the minority party under the leadership of the Minority Leader, to offer relevant amendments and alternatives to all legislation in the House. Both in committee and on the floor. The majority party would still not have to work with the minority party, but at least the minority would be able to debate, offer amendments and alternatives, and get votes on those proposals.

Reform if not eliminate the Senate filibuster. Right now even amendments to bills can be filibustered and blocked in the Senate. If you keep the filibuster, only limit it to the final passage of bills after debate and voting on amendments have been completed.

Allow the minority party under the leadership of the Minority Leader, to offer amendments to all bills that come to committee and make it to the floor for debate and consideration. Eliminate the filibuster, but replace it with a tabling motion that could only be made by the Leader and Minority Leader, that could only be offered at the end of debate on legislation. Which would take 60 votes to overrule the tabling motion. Which means the Senate along with the judiciary and the U.S. Justice Department, will continue to serve as checks on executive power regardless of which party is in power and if they have complete power with Control over Congress as well. But the Senate and House as well, would be able to get back to debating and legislating. Offering other ideas and alternatives as well.

Amendments and alternatives to bills, could no longer be filibustered or even tabled with this new set of Senate rules. But either floor manager ( the Chairman or Ranking Member of the committee ) could mark amendments that don’t have bipartisan co-sponsors as controversial. Amendments that are simply design to weaken or defeat bills. And the member with the controversial amendment could appeal to the chair and their amendment would then need 60 votes to pass, instead of 51. But they would still get their amendment voted on.

Eliminate gerrymandering of all U.S. House districts, as well as all state legislative districts in the country. Which will vote out the hyper-partisans on the Far-Right and Far-Left in America. Those people would be replaced by center-right Republicans and Center-Left Democrats. And these Representative’s would then have political incentive to work with members of the other party and even vote with them from time to time.

Pass a Federal complete disclosure act of all political contributions to all Federal campaigns. For all Federal incumbents and candidates, but all third-party groups would also have to disclose under Federal law how they’re paying for their political operations. Where they’re getting their money and have no loopholes in this disclosure act. American voters would then be able to see where their members of Congress, as well as their President, is getting their political money. When they see a third-party political ad on TV, they’ll see where that group is getting their money.

Don’t see commonsense bipartisan proposals and plans ever passing in Congress and don’t expect an approach to how Congress operates like this anytime soon. Not until the U.S. Supreme Court outlaws gerrymandering at least. Unless Americans voters make this an import issue and you start seeing rallies around the country calling for the end of hyper-partisanship in Congress. But if you want to fix Congress, especially the Senate, but the House as well, this would be an approach that could accomplish that.

CBS News: Face The Nation- George Romney: Addresses 1964 Republican National Convention

89bfb75c-4de9-46c6-8136-15c8efcd9c9d

Source:  CBS News

Source: CBS News: Face The Nation- Governor George Romney: Addresses 1964 Republican National Convention

What I get from this short five minute vision of Michigan Governor George Romney speaking at the 1964 Republican National Convention, is that he wasn’t necessarily against Senator Barry Goldwater and his presidential campaign. But he was worried about the Republican Party moving right and even Far-Right.

From 1964-68, the GOP was moving in transition from a center-right moderate conservative party with a solid progressive Northeastern base that Governor Romney was part of, to expanding the base of the party and moving south as well as west. Bringing in Christian-Conservatives from the South and Conservative-Libertarians from the West. Barry Goldwater was one of those Western Conservative-Libertarians.

Governor Romney and Governor Nelson Rockefeller and other Progressive Republicans, were worried that America wasn’t ready for this hardcore what was called back then conservative message,  but what today would be a conservative-libertarian message as far as Goldwater that was about individual freedom both economic and personal, as well as limited government and personal responsibility, as well as federalist when it came to government. And as a result the GOP would get wiped out in the 1964 general elections which was exactly what happened. And they were worried that the GOP couldn’t compete with just a small percentage of the electorate.

What Rockefeller and Romney got wrong, was that they were only correct in the short-term. Millions of Southern Democrats who voted for President Lyndon Johnson in 1964, voted for Richard Nixon for President in 1968. Congressional Republicans had a big comeback in 1966 by winning in the South in the House and Senate and winning out west. Richard Nixon was part of the Progressive Republican base in California and New York, but being the great politician that he was, was also able to communicate with Goldwater Conservatives and Christian-Conservatives in the South, while retaining his Northeastern Republican Progressive base, to win the presidency in 1968 and win going way reelection in 1972. But the remaking and renovation of the modern GOP that we see today started in 1964. Romney and Rockefeller, were wrong about the long-term affects that moving right would have on the GOP.

CBS News: Face The Nation- Flashback: U.S. Senator Frank Cannon- Governor Nelson Rockefeller & Conflicts of Interest- In 1974

2320e326-de5b-4870-ae54-d4a57eda2672

Source: CBS News

Source: CBS News: Face The Nation- U.S. Senator Frank Cannon: Governor Nelson Rockefeller & Conflicts of Interest- In 1974

President Richard Nixon resigns the presidency in August of 1974 because of Watergate and his involvement in covering up that scandal coming to light because of his tapes. The House Judiciary Committee votes to impeach President Nixon that month as well with House Democrats clearly having the votes to impeach President Nixon by the full house. The Senate Republican Leadership led by Minority Leader Hugh Scott, with other GOP Senators like Senator Barry Goldwater, goes to the White House to meet President Nixon and tell him that he’ll be impeached by the House and then convicted in the Senate. There were Senate GOP whip counts back then with only 20 votes or so in the Senate to vote for President Nixon’s acquittal. So this is a little background for why Governor Nelson Rockefeller from New York, was up for appointment by President Gerald Ford to be Vice President in the first place.

After the Congressional elections of 1974 where House Democrats add to the majority and pick up around 40 seats and Senate Democrats add 6 seats to their majority, President Gerald Ford appoints Governor Rockefeller to replace him as Vice President. If you’re familiar with this era or lived though it you know that Gerry Ford was President Nixon’s last Vice President and was appointed to that office in the fall of 1973. But Nelson Rockefeller wasn’t your ordinary Governor. He’s part of the Rockefeller family dynasty and was worth what would probably be in today’s dollars in the hundreds of millions of dollars. He had a lot of business interests and at least potential conflicts of interest. When a new Vice President is needed and appointed before a presidential election, that person has to be confirmed by the entire Congress, not just the Senate. Which means the House gets to vote on the Vice Presidential nominee as well.

So that is what this Face The Nation interview was about in 1974 and while they were interviewing Senator Howard Cannon who was Chairman of the Rules Committee with his committee having jurisdiction over the Vice Presidency and vice presidential appointment. And what the reporters on Face The Nation including a very young, beautiful, and adorable, Connie Chung from CBS News ( I must say ) interviewing Senator Cannon about Governor Rockefeller and his potential conflicts of interest because Rockefeller was such a wealthy man and had money and investments all over the country. They were asking Senator Cannon what he believed his committee would do as far as looking into those potential conflicts.

The Film Archives: Joe Nocera & Diana Henriques- The Worst Day in Wall Street History: The Stock Market Crash of 1987

Attachment-1-1768

Source: The Film Archives– Actor Michael Douglas 

Source: The Film Archives: Joe Nocera & Diana Henriques- The Worst Day in Wall Street History: The Stock Market Crash of 1987

Similar to what happened with the Stock Market last Friday and this Monday, is that we had a major downturn of the market or in 1987’s case a crash when the basic fundamentals of the economy were strong. Not counting the high budget deficit and national debt. But with solid economic and job growth, low unemployment, and even seeing wages ramong middle class Americans going up. Before the 1929 Wall Street crash the economy was fairly strong as well and then the crash happened and shortly after that we’re not only in a recession but the Greatest Depression and the economy hasn’t been worst since even with the Great Recession.

I believe as an non-economist that 1987 is where we see the negative consequences of what’s called Reaganomics. The theory being that you can cut taxes deeply and increase government spending dramatically and that somehow the new economic growth will pay for those new priorities. But the opposite actually happened. When President Ronald Reagan comes to office in 1981 he inherited a budget deficit of about 40 billion dollars, which even in the early 1980s was a fairly small deficit. By the time President Reagan leaves office in 1989, we had a budget deficit of around 2 hundred-billion-dollars, which in the late 1980s was a large budget deficit. Today that would be over 400 billion dollars. The economy bounces back in 1988, but struggles in 1989 and we’re in a recession by 1990 that lasted about two years and costing President George H.W. Bush reelection.

If you look at recession of 1990-91, you had high interest rates, combined with inflation, with the high budget deficit contributing to the high interest rates. Because you had the Federal Government competing with the private sector to borrow money just to pay for it’s government operations. America is now due for another recession simply because we’ve been growing as an economy coming up on nine straight years now and have growing since the Great Recession broke in the summer of 2009. The longest economic expansion at least in modern history. Rarely do you see a decade pass in America without at least one recession even if that recession is mild.

Assuming the Trump Administration continues to borrow money in huge chunks, if inflation and interest rates were come onto the scene again especially with the Federal Reserve feeling the need to raise interest rates to combat inflation because of higher consumer spending because of wages being increased, we may be in another situation like we were in the early 1990s. A recession to go with high budget deficits and a national debt. That will have to be addressed with major coming for people to prevent the economy from getting even worst.

 

 

C-SPAN: Q&A With Brian Lamb- A. Scott Berg: Woodrow Wilson

Attachment-1-1750

Source: C-SPAN

Source: C-SPAN: Q&A With Brian Lamb- A. Scott Berg: Woodrow Wilson

I agree with Scott Berg as far as how consequential President Woodrow Wilson was. “We must create a world safe for democracy”, is the most famous and important quote of the Wilson Presidency. That is the foreign policy in one way or another that America has used and been a part of since his presidency, except for again perhaps Donald Trump who is more of a Nationalist and not so much interested in working with our allies when it comes to foreign policy. And when America does act in foreign affairs and national security, President Trump and his Administration tends to do it alone.

Almost every President since Woodrow Wilson has had their own version of this liberal internationalist policy that is about promoting, protecting, and defending, democracy around the world.

President Franklin Roosevelt and then later President Harry Truman, were our strongest liberal internationalist hawks. World War II being the perfect example of that where America conquered Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, Imperial Japan, and knocked out those authoritarian regimes that were replaced with democratic government’s and democratic constitution’s.

President Dwight Eisenhower was perhaps our most cautious liberal internationalist President and believed in limited usage of our military power. And understood the importance of having a strong military like our other President’s, but understood perhaps the limits of American power and that we couldn’t do everything ourselves as a military power. Probably the most anti-Neoconservative President that we’ve had.

John F. Kennedy perhaps being the strongest anti-Communist President that we’ve had and strongest cold warrior that we’ve had as President as a liberal internationalist.

President Lyndon Johnson tried to literally wipeout communism in all of Vietnam and using almost exclusively American power to do that.

President Richard Nixon was  a strong anti-Communist himself but was the great negotiator and believed the best way to defeat communism and authoritarianism in general, was to open authoritarian regimes up to Western culture and freedom.

President Jimmy Carter was a strong liberal internationalist and anti-Communist himself as President, as well as a World War II Naval veteran, believed that communism wasn’t the only threat to freedom and human rights. And gave his best speech as President in 1977 about the importance and need for human rights and freedom and that communism wasn’t the only opponent of those things.

President Ronald Reagan, believed that America should no longer try to live with the Cold War, but win it by ending it. President Reagan, obviously didn’t win the Cold War and defeat the Soviet Union by himself with all the President’s I just mentioned going back to Harry Truman, all having a major role there. But President Reagan hated communism so much and the system that Russia had that it had to be defeated and eliminated and replaced with a more responsible governmental system.

President George H.W. Bush, saw a world post-Cold War where America would be able to trade and work with all of our new European allies and even ben able to work with Russia to keep the peace in Europe and protect democracy there, but also protect and defend democracy in other parts of the world. Like in Asia and Africa. The 1991 Gulf War wasn’t America against Iraq, but America, Europe, and even Arabian countries, against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

It took President Bill Clinton at least two years to develop his own foreign policy as President, but the Balkans in Southern Europe and the wars going on there is where you finally see the Bill Clinton Doctrine as President. That America wouldn’t stand by and watch authoritarian regimes try to wipeout ethnic groups and ethnic minorities in their own countries. And because of this foreign policy the Communist ethno-Seriban State of Yugoslavia, is no longer in existence. And we now see democratic peaceful countries in the Balkans. And President Clinton worked with Europe and this was a American/European campaign against Yugoslavia. First during the Bosnian/Serbian conflict in Yugoslavia and then later in Albanian Kosovo.

President George W. Bush is where you see a break from America’s liberal internationalist foreign policy doctrine. He was a Neoconservative as President with the 9/11 attacks being the ignitor to this new right-wing authoritarian unilateral foreign and national security policy. The 2003 Iraq War as basically America and Britain, against Iraq because America didn’t like Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq. Saddam was brutal to his people as President of Iraq, but never before had we eliminated another dictatorial regime simply because we didn’t like them.

President Barack Obama, gets I believe most of his best marks as President in foreign affairs especially in his first term. You can say what you want about Libya today but America and Europe working together, with both France and Italy, having major roles there, stepped in to that civil war and crude the Quadafi Regime in Libya. Not just because we didn’t like the regime there but because the Libyan Military was about to crush 100,000 people in Benghazi and we not stepped in the Libyan Military would have massacred 100,000 of their own people simply to protect the Quadafi Regime.

Woodrow Wilson was obviously a flawed President and was a racist as President who believed that European-Americans were superior to African-Americans, simply because of their race. And was a s supporter of the Jim Crow segregationist laws of the South and these are horrible aspects of the Woodrow Wilson Administration. But you’ll have a real hard time finding a President who had more of  an impact on America as they relate both to our economy with the Federal Reserve, the progressive income tax, and and support for workers rights, as well as foreign policy and national security, than President Woodrow Wilson. I don’t believe we become the world superpower without President Wilson, at least not as soon as we did without him. And he deserves a lot of credit for these policies.

 

The Film Archives: Nicholas Patler- Jim Crow and The Wilson Administration: A Tragic Enduring Legacy

Source: The Film Archives: Nicholas Patler- Jim Crow and The Wilson Administration: A Tragic, Enduring Legacy

Woodrow Wilson is a mix bag to me, because he is the father of American liberal internationalism. This idea that America should always be strong and fight authoritarianism around the world ( even if we promote it at home ) and work with our allies around the world to defend liberal democracy and fight against authoritarianism. Whether its communism, or religious theocracy, monarchy, nationalism, whatever the authoritarian philosophy might be. Which has been the governing foreign policy inside the Democratic Party going all the way though the Barack Obama Administration. George McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign might be the only exception to this. So on this score I give President Woodrow Wilson very high marks.

President Woodrow Wilson was also an economic Progressive. He believed in things like a public safety net things like Unemployment Insurance for people who are unemployed. That every America ( at least European-Americans ) should have an opportunity to succeed in America. He believed in a regulatory state not to run private industry, but to protect employees and consumers from predators in the economy. Perhaps not as progressive as Theodore Roosevelt ( but most American politicians weren’t back then ) but an economic Progressive. Even though he was very regressive when it came to race relations and promoted segregation and separating African-Americans from European-Americans.

But if you want to know why we had segregation and Jim Crow laws in the 1920s and going all the way up to the mid-1960s, look no further than President Woodrow Wilson and his administration of the 19 teens. Where President Wilson even segregated the races in the Federal Government. And not allowing African-Americans to get good Federal jobs simply because of their race. Which gave life to Dixiecrats and Dixiecrat governors in the South, as well as local government’s own there to pass their own segregation laws.

Southern predominately Anglo-Saxon European-Americans, knew they lost the Civil War and that slavery would no longer be tolerated. But there’s that old saying that the Confederates lost the Civil War but won the battles and the reconstruction. Jim Crow laws were Confederates chance at revenge. Acknowledging that slavery was history but that since Africans would no longer be slaves for anyone in America, that instead they would be treated like second-class citizens in America and in some cases not even be treated like American citizens at all. Be treated like criminals, terrorists, and even animals, by Southern racists. And Jim Crow laws and segregation, is obviously a huge part of the negative legacy of President Woodrow Wilson. Just like Watergate is a big part of President Richard Nixon’s negative legacy.