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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 7,465

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Hey, I was a Republican in another life

The Republican party today is not the same as what it was when I was in my 20s and 30s. I have always been interested in government and politics, and when it came time to decide which party to register with, I actually read the platforms. I chose the Republican party because it had limited goals (basically 3 things): the government should provide for the common defense, especially protecting the borders, collect revenue to run the country, and to stay out of people's personal lives. I am a private person, and I really, really liked that last part.

But by the time the 90s rolled around, I became ashamed and embarrassed to be connected to the Republican party. So I moved on over and became a Dem. Once I made this move, I realized this is where I should have always been. I kept moving left to help offset those on the right chronically moving more to the right. I was hoping more and more Dems would do this and turned out, they did. So when Liberal became a dirty word, I started telling people I was a liberal.

I have always admired Sanders. He used to appear on Keith Olbermann's show quite a bit. I started thinking I wished he would run for President, but he probably never would consider it because it would be too grueling at his age to make it through a campaign, grinding as they are. When he announced he was running, I started telling people I had decided to become a socialist. I was just preparing myself for the onslaught of harassment wearing that label was going to be thrown at me.

Bernie Sanders is the only hope this Country has for making a U turn into the correct direction it should be moving.

I already knew the answer to your question before you posted that last sentence in your thread. I had to ask myself that same question. Elections in this Country are totally unpredictable. Beyond that, people's attitudes are quickly changing. Their minds are clearing and their eyes are opening. Many see that the only chance we have of correcting the great deficiencies we deal with everyday is to make a dramatic change in who we elect.

So I think you should not go with your head because of the volatility now in place. No rational experienced political expert can tell you what is going to happen (they can pretend but truthfully, it is a charade). So take a deep breath and vote with your gut.

Just thought I would toss this out to you because I have been where you are now.


This man is a Republican and was the same SC judge who wrote that seething dissent in Bush v. Gore

He is in my top five most respected people I have known in my lifetime. That dissent was a barn-burner. And this suggestion would clarify the original intent of the Second Amendment.

Not only is he brilliant, he is indeed a man of integrity.


Postscript: excerpt from Bush v. Gore dissenting opinion


It is confidence in the men and women who administer the judicial system that is the true backbone of the rule of law. Time will one day heal the wound to that confidence that will be inflicted by todayís decision. One thing, however, is certain. Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this yearís Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nationís confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law.

I respectfully dissent.

Even if Sanders does lose the primary (GAWD help us)

he wins. There are many things he will leave behind to bookmark his candidacy. Not the least of these is that remarkable speech he gave at Liberty University. The words in that speech will forever endure as a model We the People should practice to give us impetus to stand with those of opposing religious viewpoints on issues that are important for the common good.

Put for instance our personal religious convictions aside to join in the We the People church for reformation of how this Country treats its poor, its homeless, its sick, its hungry, its education for the younger people coming up behind us, our moral standards as a Country, our ethical obligations to preserve our objections to torture, our dedication to repairing climate damage to the extent we can and to simultaneously cut the harm we continue to do for the benefit of not only humans but animals, plant life, oceans and the air we breathe as well.

Embrace our immigrants. As Sanders said (loosely paraphrasing) if your parents were not Native Americans, you too were born of immigrants.

Support our same-sex community since our Declaration of Independence specifically declared the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as guarantees Americans would naturally have bestowed upon them. We cannot surrender these rights, and no one can take them away. These rights are "inalienable" for all of us.

Stand up and speak out when we see people being discriminated against for the color of their skin. Just as the passengers took down that plane on 9/11 in Pennsylvania when terrorists sought to commandeer it to crash into the Capitol, fight the civil terrorism that exists in this Country against people of color who too have inalienable rights.

Help the poor, feed the hungry and feel happy that you have the capacity to help one less fortunate.

We have moral obligations that We the People should concentrate on meeting as opposed to allowing ourselves to be chronically distracted by provocative crude remarks made by political players seeking to keep us from doing that which must be done to take back our Country from their wealthy sponsors.

Sanders is already a winner, but of course we cannot stop now in doing all that we can do to make sure he makes it all the way home to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. From there, he will make all of us winners indeed -- winners in the ways that truly matter.

Only when we can reestablish our pride in our Country and how it treats We the People can we regain not only our own self-respect but the respect of the rest of the world as well.


2016 Dem contenders: Bernie is the Bomb, Biden is the spitball warrior, Hillary is opaque

I really like Joe Biden but I think rather than his heart speaking, others are quietly trying to nudge him into the race whether he is emotionally ready or not. They might be the same people who spread the Gore rumors because they assumed someone like Biden or Gore could steal Bernie's thunder. I truly believe the institutional Dems are pawing the political earth to find ANYONE acceptable to THEM to derail Sanders because he is an anathema to the Third Way crowd. His policies are definitely not their policies nor are they the positions promoted by their financial "sponsors."

A short aside note: Things do not really go better with Koch....

Additionally, some corporate financial type came out and said either Jeb Bush or Hillary would be acceptable to them. Really? Speaking only for myself and as the liberal I am, that was a nail in Hillary's political coffin. I do not dislike Hillary, and at times over the years I have even admired her, but her positions on issues are not my positions, and to me above all else this is the year to vote on issues, not personalities or gender.

Bernie is the Bomb in this "revolution." Biden would be the spitball candidate. Hillary is opaque. Webb is a pollitical ghost, and Lincoln Chafee is the amorphous one.

So you will not hear me "bashing" either Hillary or Biden on this site. I will instead continue to support Sanders. I use to wish some time ago when I would see Olbermann interviewing him that Bernie would run for President. I thought he would never consider it because of his age. It does appear as is often said "age is just a frame of mind" for Bernie and he has got what it takes to make a big difference in the middle class and the impoverished lives of many Americans. I think he is our last chance to turn things around.

Additionally, Biden said recently he is no populist, and he thinks Sanders is doing a hell of a job gathering support. I do think the noises we have been hearing about Biden's running come not from Biden's surety of purpose at this difficult time but from the bellies of Dems who think Bernie is just too far to the left.

It would be extremely important for Bernie should he win the Democratic primary to single out someone who is like-minded who would continue down the same political road on which Bernie is traveling should something happen to Senator Sanders. If Elizabeth Warren is not interested, I hope Martin O'Malley is chosen to be Bernie's second. Former Senator Russ Feingold would also be not only a stellar second, but the choice alone would be a thumb in the eye of Scott Walker. Could not happen to a better deserving Republican....

Just my two cents, and I am throwing them into Bernie's campaign pot.


Where is the line drawn how far one's right to religious freedom reaches?

It reaches to the point where it threatens another person's civil liberties, and from there no farther.


In 2003, when George W. Bush* pushed for privatization of Social Security

the transition expenses alone were estimated to cost 3 Trillion Dollars. It was said Uncle Sam would not be willing to pay this transition cost, and neither would the recipient of the program. The only way this obligation could be met would be to cut benefits of participants, which cuts were projected to be very hefty.

During the 2008 market crash, I asked the question if Social Security had been privatized, how much would have been lost. It was an open question asked here on this forum. Two days later, Paul Begala in a cable appearance brought the subject up and said if Social Security had been privatized, 40 percent of the Trust Fund would have evaporated.

Imagine coupling these two events together (a double whammy) and try to think what the consequences on that program would be. In my opinion, Social Security participants would be sweeping the crumbs up off the floor ... if they could find any. But of course that would make Pete Peterson very, very happy -- and that is all that matters in these times.


Social Security is NOT in crisis -- but Uncle Sam is for borrowing against the Trust Fund

Let's keep this picture clearly in focus. Uncle Sam borrowed against the Trust Fund Baby Boomers built up. This Trust Fund accrued as a result of the agreement reached in the early 80s (perhaps 1983) to buttress the Plan against the onslaught of the huge number of people retiring as the Boomers reached retirement age. Part of that agreement was to double the FICA withholding. As a result, Boomers became the first generation to pay for not only the retirement of those who retired before them as well as financing their own future retirement. That agreement also raised the retirement age.

And so we were set -- until Uncle Sam started borrowing against our Fund, as well as the retirement funds of Federal Government employees. Uncle Sam backed its debt by issuing Treasury Notes. When the time arrived that Uncle Sam needed to withdraw monies from the Fund for the Boomers' retirement, the Federal Government had to sell a like amount of the withdrawal of Treasury Notes. As Geitner himself publicly explained, "in this economy that is not easy to do." (loosely quoting from memory). So the Federal Government has to pay Social Security benefits to Boomers out of the general fund. This prompts politicians to go around saying, "Social Security is broke. It is nothing but a Ponzi scheme!" They want the debt forgiven at the expense of current and future recipients!

And then there are those billionaires who want to abolish Social Security because they do not think the Federal Government should be involved in programs such as this (the nanny state), as well as the corporations who want it abolished because they do not like having to pay that matching FICA tax for each employee. The sum total of those matching taxes adversely impact their bottom profit line. Get rid of it!

So I say raise the cap and fix the problem. Quit lying to the general public about the cause of this problem.


The only way to change the Constitution is through an amendment

So obviously, the 14th Amendment does just that. Any change to that wording would have to be made through the passage of another Amendment, which would have to be approved by two-thirds of both Houses of Congress and subsequently ratified by three-fourths of the states.

But read the text of Article 5 of the Constitution:

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.


It appears that the Constitution can be amended by in the first instance state legislatures ratifying the proposed new amendment, but in the second instance by state conventions, with the same three-fourths needed for passage.

Either of these methods require a super-majority of the states (3/4's) approving the language so if Trump is planning on changing the 14th, he would have to bring along 38 states to his side.

Of course there is also that remote possibility that 5 Supreme Court judges could step in with some wild hair interpretation of a couple of obsolete laws such as was done with the Safe Harbor provision in the Bush v. Gore decision and assert that we have interpreted the 14th Amendment all wrong all these years....


Are you suffering from Ed Schultz withdrawal?

Here is the antidote:


I think I will make it a habit to listen everyday at 5:00, which unfortunately means I will have to miss Chuck Todd on MSNBC at that time.


The slate of electors chosen as a result of such an act by the Florida legislature

would have been challenged as a violation of the Constitution. In that light, the Electoral College would have been absolutely correct to discard that slate and not count those electoral votes in the final tally.

Absolutely no state can change its election laws within such close proximity to the actual election to overthrow the outcome. The Constitution delegates the right to conduct Presidential elections to the states, but each must have the rules outlined in their respective state constitutions prior to the vote. Any changes voted by the Florida Legislature during this controversy could not legally have any impact until the next election.

Had the recount of the entire state allowed to be resumed and Gore had won the popular vote, a Democratic slate would have had to be been sent to the Elector College. Had the Florida Legislature carried through with its threat to send a Republican slate regardless of the outcome, the votes of that delegation could have been protested if by no one else members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

During Election 2000, there were many, many maneuvers as well as threats the Republicans publicly aired, but their strategists in some cases did not know the law -- in other cases they just figured they could threaten anything and people would not know the threats could not be legally executed.

Chief Justice John Roberts at that time was a Constitutional lawyer from DC who traveled to Florida to give advice to Jeb Bush during the recount. It is very difficult for me to assume he did not know this very maneuver was unconstitutional....

In the matter of had the recount resumed, who would have won, all one has to do is remember the 6,000 votes that went to Pat Buchanan which were intended to be Gore votes. Many of the voters in that community were Jewish, and their horror was publicly palpable when they realized their votes had gone to Buchanan rather than Gore. No question Gore would have recaptured those votes in a statewide recount....


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