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This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

As far as cameras for police officers, I think it is commonsense. And would be a great way and perhaps the only way to separate the abusive and bad cops who go too far and as a result innocent people die, even if it is by accident, from the good police officers. Who do their jobs very well regardless of where they’re working and the community they work with. Because they know they’re being watched and can’t afford big obvious mistakes. And as far as cameras being too intrusive, that is part of being a law enforcement officer. They’re public servants and deserve to be held accountable like everyone else.

As far as Hillary Clinton for president, still early in 2015 and I’m already tired of talking about it. And I’m a Democrat, but I agree with David Brooks that there’s a market for a Center-Left, perhaps not Far-Left, but certainly a Center-Left Democrat to emerge and become Hillary’s alternative. To at the very least bring Hillary out of her closet and force her to run a real campaign. And let Democrats and other voters in to what a Hillary Clinton presidency and administration would look like and where she is on the issues. And can she bring in enough of the Far-Left of the party to win the general election. While still holding Center-Left Democrats and Independents.
Brooks & Marcus

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Shields and BrooksSource: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

As far as the nuclear deal with Iran, what is the alternative? Invading a large country that is physically the size of Saudi Arabia, but with seventy-five-million people, where the people there tend to be somewhat pro-American, at least the young people. I mean look at Iraq, anyone want to call that a success? Iran is three times the size of Iraq with three times as many people. You want to take their nuclear program out through the air? You have to find it first. Again large country with a lot of people. There’s nothing to lose here for America and everything to gain. If Iran behaves, they won’t get nuclear weapons, they misbehave and will continue to pay the economical price for their bad behavior. Their people want to end the economic sanctions and it looks like so does their government. If you can negotiate with a giant the size of the Soviet Union back in the day that already had nuclear weapons and around four-hundred-million people, you can negotiate with a country that is not nearly as powerful or as large.

PBS: NewsHour- Shields and Brooks on Making a Deal With Iran

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John Boehner
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

As far as CPAC, the one thing I respect about that group is that they do actually bring in lets say Classical Conservatives or Conservative Libertarians and actual Libertarians. It’s not just about mushy-middle establishment Republicans who always play it safe and the Christian-Right and the broader Far-Right of the Republican Party. So with this event you really get to see the state of the Republican Party and what they are thinking. And right now the Conservative Libertarian wing of the party that Senator Rand Paul seems to lead, seems to have the strongest voice.

As far as the Homeland Security shutdown in Congress, thank God for gerrymandering if I’m a Republican and water is dry and fire is cold! Otherwise they would never be in charge of anything with the current state of the party and their inability to govern and work with people who don’t agree with them on everything. I would say how do Democrats keep losing to people who believe the Earth is flat and climate change is a hoax and gays are responsible for 9/11 and America is being invaded by Latinos and every other conspiracy theory that they have. But I know about gerrymandering.

If the Republican Party actually had leadership in the House instead of a punching bag or puppet in John Boehner, someone would’ve told and convinced that caucus that you don’t attach riders to bills that have to be passed in order for the government to run. You do those things separately. The first rule of government is do no harm. And that means performing the basic functions of government like funding the basics like homeland security and law enforcement. And issues where you disagree with the President, you debate those things separately and through other bills that don’t have to pass. So you can make your point and case, but still do your job at the same time.

PBS: NewsHour- Shields and Brooks on CPAC & Homeland Security Shutdown

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Mondale-Ferraro

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

1984 was almost unfair to the Democrats because they had no one who can beat Ronald Reagan and they probably knew that going in. If you look at where the country was in 1980 and where it was in 1984, it certainly wasn’t good, but the country was feeling much better than it was in 1984 than in 1980. Imagine waking up with a head cold or the flu and then waking up the next morning with a cold. You aren’t feeling great, the next morning with the cold and perhaps a stuffed nose and cough. But at least the headache is gone and you’re no longer vomiting every hour were able to sleep the whole night. Well that is how the country felt in 1984 with Ron Reagan compared with 1980 with Jimmy Carter.

1984 was what the what the hell year for Democrats. “Hey I can’t win so I might as well run for president, because what do I have to lose”. Which I believe was one of Walter Mondale’s campaign themes that year. “Vote for me, what do you have to lose?” 1984 was for Democrats what 1964 and 96 was for Republicans. The country not feeling great, but much b
etter off than it did four years earlier. And when that is the case the party in power tends to get reelected. And if that party holds at least one chamber of Congress as well, they not only hold their majority in the House or Senate, but tend to add to it as well. Which is what Senate Republicans did in 84.

It is too bad for Democrats in 84 because they had at least two good candidates. And if Gary Hart was just able to communicate what he believed in 84, the Mondale line of “where’s the beef” doesn’t play as well or is even used. Because Democrats tended to like Gary Hart and did other Americans, but with Mondale they knew him and knew where he was on the issues. He was the safe choice especially considering they knew he wasn’t going to win anyway, but at least Fritz wasn’t going to embarrass them. Ron Reagan was something special as a politician and when things were going well under his leadership or at least perceived that way, he was almost impossible to beat. Which is what Democrats found out in 1984.

Mark Russell PBS: Mark Russell Looks Back at Campaign 84

 

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This post was originally posted at FRS Daily Times on Blogger

You might not be aware of this, but Richard Nixon is Jimmy Carter’s hero and best friend. President Carter sends President Nixon, literally one President to another a birthday and Christmas card very year. As well as pound cake every year, well at least up until 1994 when President Nixon died. Actually President Carter still sends President Nixon those gifts in heaven or hell, you know wherever President Nixon is currently residing. You’re probably wondering why in the name of Judas would a Liberal Democrat be sending a Republican these gifts.

Well I’ll tell you if you must really know. Without Richard Nixon throwing the next presidential election away to the Democratic Party back in 1973-74 or whenever President Nixon got involved in the Watergate Scandal, that Democrats would’ve thrown the 1976 presidential election back to President Ford. Like two bad quarterbacks opposing each other and throwing interceptions. Unless Jimmy Carter was the Democratic nominee, Jimmy Carter would’ve never been President of the United States. Or someone like him at least up until today, we would’ve never had a President that was just like the American people.

Which is what Jimmy Carter was in many ways, which would’ve been a very good thing. Because we have a lot of ignorant people in America and we need a President that’s much better than that in order to govern the country. This is America, it aint Haiti this is the major leagues of the world. And we probably could’ve avoided or handled a lot of the problems we faced as a country with someone better as President. I’m a Liberal Democrat, but looking back now and it should’ve been obvious back in 1975-76. The wrong guy won in 1976.

Gerry Ford was much more qualified, prepared and up to the job of being President of the United States than Jimmy Carter could’ve ever been.Aand is one reason why President Carter the incumbent President lost in a landslide to Ron Reagan in 1980. Again two reasons how Jimmy Carter was elected President of the United States in 1976. Watergate, the Republican Party holding the White House for eight years. And a lot of the problems we were facing as a country happening under their watch. Whether it was Nixon-Ford’s fault or not and some of them were.

A sitting President who has been on the federal payroll since 1947. Serving as a US. Rep., House Minority Leader, Vice President of the United States and of course President of the United States, is another way of saying sitting duck when it comes to politics. But of course you have the Democratic Party that did almost everything they could to throw the election. Again like a bad QB, hopefully unintentionally, but who knows. Like their presidential nominee giving away details to Playboy Magazine of all publications, like how he felt about women to use as an example. That no one in their right mind would say while they are sober. His daughter saying some strange things as well.

Jimmy Carter won the Democratic nomination basically by default because of his lack of competition, like with Hubert Humphrey. Where the term filibuster was created for who had a speech off the top of his head about anything. The man could spend an hour straight greeting someone, who seem to have an interest in everything. Including things that he never heard of. George Wallace, of course not electable nationally. Jimmy Carter was basically the right candidate at the right time and won by default. Because America was looking for an outsider someone as good or as mediocre as them to be their President.
Electoral Map

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img_0424Source: This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Times

1987 a year that I was eleven years old for the most of it, there you have it my age, now see if you can add 24 years to that and come up with the right answer on your own. I finished fifth grade in 1987 and started 6th grade. But enough about me, this blog is not my autobiography, not enough time and I would like you to read the whole blog before you fall asleep.

1987 was a fascinating year politically and I actually remember some of those stories as a eleven year old. Democrats took over the Senate, I don’t remember hearing about that, but I knew we had a Republican President and a Democratic Congress that year. Which was a very common arrangement in the 1970s and 80s, like an unhappy marriage. That stayed together for the sake of the kids.

I remember hearing about Iran Contra and even having some idea about what that was. I remember hearing the names Col. Oliver North, Admiral John Poindexter, Bud Macfarline who was President Reagan’s Director of National Security. I remember even seeing parts of the Iran Contra hearings that were held I believe both in the House and Senate on TV. I remember hearing that Vice President George Bush was going to run for President.

I remember hearing names like Dick Gephardt, Al Gore, Joe Biden, Gary Hart, Paul Simon all Democratic members of Congress who were going to run for President. I remember hearing the name Bob Dole and knew he was the Senate Minority Leader. And what that job was and knew he was going to run for President as well. I obviously wasn’t a political junky yet, but my parents were and got to here these stories.

1987 wasn’t a fascinating year because of these things that were happening and the people who were involved. But what was going in these people and their lives. You have two major Democratic presidential candidates, both strong liberal voices in the party, having to drop out because of personal scandals. Gary Hart a former two-term Senator Who did not run for reelection in 1986 because he wanted to run for President full-time in 1988.

Gary Hart came close to winning the Democratic nomination in 1984 and was probably going to be the frontrunner in 1988. But then dares the media to follow him around. Because as he said he had nothing to hide. Well if he had nothing to hide, he must of had an open marriage. Because he was caught having an affair with Donna Rice who was a federal employee at one point. Their love affair could probably make a good porno movie on Cinemax, or well MSNBC.

You have Joe Biden a three-term Senator and Chairman of the Judiciary Committee who presided over the Bob Bork’ Supreme Court nomination, that’s a story by itself, have to quit his campaign because of a plagiarism scandal. No wonder Joe Biden talks so much, he has so much material to use from other people. Way to go Joe! I could get to the rest of 1987, but I already here some snoring so I’ll spare you for now. Perhaps in a future blog.

In 1987 you had great political stories inside and outside of Washington relating to the Federal Government. The Administration with Congress and of course presidential politics outside of Washington with Dick Gephardt doing well enough with his 1988 presidential campaign, that he gets elected Leader of the House for the next Congress, the 101st Congress.

And this is four years before 1992 with Bill Clinton, Ross Perot and the rest of the gang. Where you have a President go from a 90% approval rating to losing reelection in 1992 with just 37% of the Popular Vote. How time flies when your approval rating is dropping like an asteroid being dropped from a bridge. But that is American politics for you with our ups and downs. We love you until we don’t.

Mark Russell PBS: Mark Russell Special- 1987

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This post was originally posted at FRS Daily Times on Blogger

The 1980 Presidential Election wasn’t interesting because of how close it was, because that presidential election was decided over the weekend. Actually it was decided by 8 PM on election night. The Carter Campaign just didn’t know that yet and you can make a case that presidential campaign was over after the debates. Where the American people were clearly in the mood for a change. The economy was in the toilet with high unemployment, interests and inflation rates. With of course another recession in 1980.

America being embarrassed by third world Islamic terrorists in Iran. And with Russia on the march in the Middle East. And the only outstanding question and it wasn’t an outstanding question because of how intelligent a question it was, but because it was the only question that was left on the table and to put to finally sum up a long question, that might feel like a story now, was Ronald Reagan competent, sane and still alive.

Ronny answered all those questions in the affirmative in the debates, which is why he won something like 56% of the popular vote and forty States. The 1980 Presidential Election wasn’t interesting because of the end result, but because of everything that led up to it. All of the background that led up to the 1980 presidential election. All of the backstories that were behind the 1980 presidential election. From both parties that made the 1980 general elections one of the most fascinating general elections America has ever had.

On the Democratic side you had a President in Jimmy Carter, whose approval rating was lower than a baby dwarf. And because of that was facing a primary challenge from a very popular politician in the Democratic Party. Who was probably the most popular Democrat in America when Senator Ted Kennedy. But if you want to know how not to run a presidential campaign, look at the 1980 Kennedy Campaign for President. Ted Kennedy is the author of the book, How Not to Run For President. He wrote the bestselling book while campaigning for president.

I mean look at their theme, “vote for Ted Kennedy because I’m a Kennedy”. Which is basically like saying “vote for me because I’m Jesus Christ”. Actually that wasn’t the Kennedy Campaign theme, they didn’t have one. Senator Kennedy didn’t even know why he was running for President. So he settled on, “vote for me because I’m a Kennedy! My brothers were Jack and Bobby, what else do you need!”

And on the Republican side you had an actor playing the role as the frontrunner! His best role and movie ever that people actually went to see and enjoyed. But the difference being that Ron Reagan didn’t make a dime from this movie, it all went to his campaign. Running against George H.W. Bush, the Manager in Chief. “Vote for George Bush because I have a great resume. I know how to run things.” George Bush had a hard time inspiring QBs to throw the ball. Or getting dogs to bark, but he did have a hell of a résumé.

2008 was a great Presidential Election, but mostly because of everything that led into the general election. Because after the economy crashed in September and Barack Obama passed the tests in the debates, most of the country that wasn’t living in a mental institution and was alive, knew that Senator Obama was going to be the next President of the United States.

Again because America still saw Ron Reagan as a bit of a risk, wasn’t sure if Reagan was ready for the greatest role of his life. A movie that people would actually see, it wasn’t until late October that we knew he was going to be the President. And after he passed those tests the competitive part of Election Day 1980 as far as the presidential election was over around 5PM Pacific Coast Time. One of the biggest blowouts in American political history.

Perhaps Not the Mark Russell You Were Thinking of

Perhaps Not the Mark Russell You Were Thinking of

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