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Posts Tagged ‘U.S. House of Representatives’

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Source: Bob Daugherty 

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

Looking back at it The Hollywood Blacklist and The Hollywood 10 and the so-called House Un-American Activities Committee which was as Un-American as anything they were investigating and perhaps the most Un-American committee we’ve ever seen in Congress, looking back at The Hollywood Blacklist and The Hollywood 10 and the investigations that they were under simply for their ideological beliefs.

Because they were not just Socialists and some of them were simply Socialists and not Communists, but there were also Communists in this community. But they weren’t being investigated for being American traitors working for Communist Russia. They were investigated for being Communists, for having communist beliefs. This was the most extreme form of political correctness that we’ve seen in this country, at least in the 20th Century, because this wasn’t just people getting shouted down because they have what might be extreme political views, or just having political views that offend some political activist community that actually might not be extreme.

Which is today’s version of political correctness that the Far-Left (talk about Communists and Socialists) uses to try to shut up and censor right-wingers who they disagree with. But this is government-sponsored state-run political correctness. That says your (meaning Communists and Socialists) First Amendment rights aren’t as strong as people on the Right and Far-Right, simply because you’re Communists and Socialists.

If they were the KKK, Neo-Nazis, fundamentalist theocratic Christians who believe women’s place is in the home and it should even be illegal for them to work, or gays should be in jail and prison simply for being homosexual, well the argument from the fascist Far-Right would be there that they’re just expressing their First Amendment rights to free speech.

But if you’re a Socialist or Communist who believes in state-run health care and health insurance, having a state-run banking and even energy, but aren’t active politically in the sense that you’re running for office, or even campaigning for any Far-Left political candidates or politicians, or have any affiliations with Communists states, well you’re Un-American according to the fascist Far-Right. Who had this Leave it to Beaver 1940s and 1950s view of what it means to be a real American. Sort of the like 1940s version of the modern Tea Party today.

To put it plainly, political correctness really sucks. The only thing that was Un-American during these supposed investigations of Socialists and Communists in Hollywood, was the House Un-American Activities Committee itself. We have guaranteed free speech rights in America which means you can be on the Far-Left and believe in democratic socialism or even communism and believe that right-wing and perhaps even Center-Left political parties shouldn’t even have the right to exist.

Or you can be on the Far-Right and be a Far-Right Nationalist-Tribalist who believes your culture and faction in the country including ethnicity and race are the true Americans and the only people who will standup for America. And see everyone else as threats to your state and therefor aren’t deserving of the same constitutional rights as your culture and political faction. Or you can be religious theocrat who puts your religious beliefs over everything else including the U.S. Constitution and are so fundamentalist and have so much faith in your religious beliefs that you believe everything else should not only live under your cultural values, but be forced to live under them in some religious theocracy.

Just as long as the Far-Left and Far-Right aren’t violently acting on their beliefs even in an attempt to defeat or eliminate the opposition in order to accomplish their political beliefs. We have a right to free speech and belief, but not a constitutional right to violence short of self-defense. Americans have a constitutional right under the First Amendment to be stupid and even be assholes. Just as long as we’re not violent assholes and physically trying to hurt people simply because we disagree with them or even hate them. Our guaranteed right to free speech and beliefs the ability for every American to think for themselves is as American as anything we’ve ever had in this country and still have.

What’s Un-American are not political beliefs whatever they are, but trying to censor those views simply because you disapprove of them or are even offended by them. If Socialists and Communists want to hold political rallies attacking America with their rhetoric and call America the real evil empire in the world and argue that we’re some materialistic racist corporate state, because we allow wealth and don’t expect government to manage our daily lives for us, they have the guaranteed right to make those arguments and even publish articles, book, produce documentaries. Even if their nothing but great fiction, at best.

If the KKK, Neo-Nazis, want to argue that America is going to hell because of our non-European immigration in the country and that non-European-Americans are Un-American, they have can hold peaceful political rallies, publish articles and books, produce documentaries, making those arguments. And be treated by the public with the public’s free speech rights as the complete assholes that they are.

There’s nothing dangerous about free speech short of people telling others that certain people should be physically harmed, or have their property attacked, be falsely libeled and accused. What’s dangerous is trying to eliminate speech and thought in America simply because you disapprove of what the speaker is thinking and saying. Because the same thing can happen to you by the opposition when they don’t like your politics. The American way to confront speech and politics that you disagree with is to peacefully speak out and organize against it. Make the case as far as why the opposition is wrong. Publish articles, books, produce videos, documentaries, with the best available information that you can get about why the opposition is wrong. Which is as American our great diversity and melting pot that represents the entire world that we all call America.

Bob Daugherty: Mysteries & Scandals- The Blacklist & The Hollywood 10

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Source: Fix The Debt

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

“The Fix the Debt Campaign is bringing together Americans from all walks of life and from across the country to get the national debt under control. Learn more and join us.”

What Fix The Debt really only offers here are goals that they would like to see accomplished in the next Federal budget that Congress passes and the President signs. Which may happen as soon as 2050 since Congress no longer passes budgets The the last budget that Congress passed was in 2006. What they do instead is pass some appropriations bills and generally its real just the House that passes any appropriations bills. And September comes along which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone since September is an annual event in America and Congress realizes that the Federal Government funding is about to run out and decides to pass a short-term spending bill keeping the entire government running until the end of the year generally.

It use to be better than this when Congress would pass an omnibus bill generally in December that would fund the entire government until the following September. Omnibus bills are one appropriation bill passed by Congress instead of all 13 bills and passed instead of a budget. They’re not as good as a budget that comes with appropriations bills later on, but are certainly better than running a Federal Government with a four-trillion-dollar budget and without around five-million employees three or four months at a time. Better for the workers and better for the economy, because investors don’t have to worry about government shutdowns as much and the negative impact they have on the economy.

The only real solution that Fix The Debt offers here and I doubt the author of this article is actually named Fix The Debt, I mean that is no name for a real human being, but no name for the author is given here, but all they talk about is Congress should pass a budget. Pass a budget that puts us on path to reducing the national deb. And then they offer only one real solution in their article which is called PAYGO. Which is a wonky eggheaded term that in American English means pay as you go.

Makes sense right, is you’re going to purchase something pay for it instead of running up big credit card bills that you can’t pay back or writing checks that bounce like fully pumped basketballs that are slammed on a highway. But Congress doesn’t operate in the real world. They operate in the world of political bases and political contributions. And tend to see their number one job is to get reelected. Especially if they’re in the leadership of the major party in the House and Senate and don’t want to lose their majority during the next election. Or if they’re in the leadership in the minority party they tend to see their number one job is to not only get reelected but add to their membership and win back the House or Senate.

So as long as Congress functions on short-term spending bills and the only real deadline they care about are their primary elections and election days, we’ll never see any real solutions to addressing the big deficit of six-hundred-billion dollars and the national debt of twenty-trillion-dollars. Because addressing these issues will cost political capital and support. Because it will mean addressing entitlements, the defense budget, the tax code, emergency spending like disaster relief, and our public assistance anti-poverty programs so we have fewer Americans living and working in poverty and more Americans working and paying payroll and Federal income taxes.

But if you’re looking for real solutions that might happen at some point in the future, or more realistically could happen in the short-term, I believe PAYGO and disaster relief reform might be the only things that could pass both the House and Senate and get signed by President Trump. Applying PAYGO to disaster relief and the defense budget. No more waiting until the hurricane season in the late summer to realize that we may need a lot of money to pay for that cleanup and help people be able to get back to their lives. With Congress passing a disaster relief package of somewhere around 50-100 billion dollars that of course is put on the national credit card. (Another way of saying national debt)

But instead showing some common sense (almost as rare as July snow in Los Angeles, in Congress) and knowing that August and September are annual events in America and are hurricane season in the Southeast, as well as the Southwest in Texas with all the heat and humidity and that this is a region that will probably get hit by at least one storm and that it could be a major storm and that this region is probably going to need a lost of assistance to handle any recovery that might be needed. And again, to go back to the need for the Federal budget that the Administration and Congress should plan for these events upfront and pay for them upfront.

We need a natural disaster fund in America that should be paid for by the people who receive that assistance when their property is hit by one of these major storms and need financial assistance in order to recover from it. People who live in higher risk areas should pay more for this insurance because they’ll get more assistance when they are hit by a storm or some other natural disaster. This would save the Federal Government 20, 50, perhaps even 100 billion dollars or more each year, as well as taxpayers because the Feds would no longer have to borrow to pay for disaster relief and taxpayers would have less interest to pay back on the national debt when they make purchases.

A fully functioning PAYGO that is tied to the entire Federal budget whether its disaster relief, as well as the defense budget and increases to all parts of the Federal budget including invasions, humanitarian relief efforts that are Defense Department are involved in, repairing and building new bases, alone won’t fix the deficit and the national debt. We really need a comprehensive approach here that deals with the tax code, entitlements, poverty assistance, as well as defense and disaster relief. But it would be a good step forward and tell the markets and Wall Street that the U.S. Government is finally serious about the national debt and sees it as a national priority and at the very least will stop asking to the problem that it created.

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Source: Crash Course 

Crash Course: Adrienne Hill & Jacob Clifford- Deficits a& Debt

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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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This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

I believe President Obama did what he needed to do in this conference. Which was to graduate incoming Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans for winning back the Senate for the first time since 2004. And House Speaker John Boehner and House Republicans for adding to their majority. As well to layout where he will be willing and believes he can work with Congressional Republicans in the next Congress that will have a Republican House and a Republican Senate.

I’m not one of these doom and gloom utopian the perfect and compromise is the enemy of the good Democrats. I live in the real world and know that President will have to work with Congressional Republicans as well as Congressional Democrats especially in the Senate if he wants to get anything that is substantial done in the next Congress. So I’m not expecting the President to cave on any of his or the Democratic Party’s key agenda items in the next Congress. He said he won’t do anything that weakens the Affordable Care Act and I believe him.

But here’s where I believe they can work together. The Keystone Pipeline will be one of the first big items that House Republicans will pass in the next Congress. Perhaps within the first month and that will pass with a bipartisan majority. And will be sent to the Republican Senate where it will have bipartisan support and I don’t expect Senate Democrats doing much to try to block the bill. As long as they are involved in it and are allowed votes on their amendments.

As far as infrastructure and other energy policies and issues like immigration and tax reform. If anything is done on those issues, it will have to come from Congress first and probably starting in the Senate. Where traditionally it is much easier to get bipartisan bills passed over there than the House. Trade agreements I believe will be big in the next Congress and where President Obama will have bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.

Whatever happens in the next Congress will probably happen in the first seven months or so because the August recess. As far as major legislation and after that Congress will be back in town, except presidential candidates in Congress. And then Washington politics will switch to presidential politics and the major presidential candidates will drive what happens or doesn’t happen in Washington. So how productive the next Congress will be will depend on House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and what they want to get passed out of Congress and signed by President Obama.
White House

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Washington Gridlock

Washington Gridlock


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Crooks and Liars: Opinion: Heather Digby: Sunday’s Theme of The Week: Both Sides!

You want to know why a lot of Americans and if I had to guess hate politics and politicians and why our voter turnout is so low at least compared with the rest of the developed world, it is because yes both sides and I’m a Democrat, but both sides spend so much time and what I percentage of that I don’t know, no one does, but they spend so much time blaming the other side and raising money to defeat the other side. And very little time perhaps especially with a divided Congress and divided government, which I believe won’t change much after tomorrow, governing and presenting a positive message for the country.

That is what you saw if you bothered to watch the Sunday morning news programs yesterday. Commentators representing how the country feels about American politicians and politics. Which changes nothing because the partisans on both sides who have enough power to at least keep gridlock going will take that as “look the mainstream media blaming both sides equally again. Just means we need to hit the other side harder so we don’t look as bad”. The whole negative argument of “you may hate us, but you’ll hate the other side more if they come to power”.

Look I’m both a Liberal and a Democrat and proud of both labels. I’m not saying either side is equally at fault otherwise I wouldn’t be a Democrat and probably a Liberal Independent instead. Just saying that neither side is innocent here and that both party’s negatives are so high right now, that they feel they can’t win on just being positive or being very positive, that they have to make the other side look worst. So they don’t lose more political power especially coming after a big loss.
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U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer, D, Oregon

U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer, D, Oregon

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat

This video is the perfect example of why the U.S. Government whoever is in charge since the creation of the so-called War on Drugs, why they have lost credibility. And no longer have much credibility on the War on Drugs. Especially with young adults let’s say early fifties and younger, but adolescents as well. When the Deputy Director of National Drug Policy Michael Botticeli can’t or won’t answer a simple basic question of whether or not marijuana is as dangerous as cocaine, heroine or meth.

Representative Earl Blumenauer Democrat from Oregon who I like and respect, but do not agree with him on everything. Asked National Drug Policy Deputy Director Michael Botticeli who probably has all the information about the dangers of these illegal drugs as well as legal drugs and may even know this information by heart. Because it is a big part of his job. Was asked point-blank by Representative Blumenauer, “is marijuana as dangerous as meth or cocaine or heroin.” And Mr. Botticeli dodged the question, can only speculate why not being a mind-reader. But he must know the answer, but refused to share that information.

Representative Bluemenauer also made another great point that we’ve reduced the use of tobacco in this country. Not by locking people up, but by educating Americans about the dangers of tobacco. And then people seeing and knowing that and if they aren’t currently smoking, not getting into tobacco. And if they are current tobacco smokers getting off of tobacco or getting help for it. Which is exactly what we should be doing as far as how we deal with marijuana in this country.

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This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

This sounds more like an agenda for a third-party, an American Independence Party. A new center-right fiscally conservative socially moderate or federalist party. Where Jon Huntsman would make a great nominee for president. Instead of an agenda for this divided Congress with a Republican House and a Democratic Senate. Where both chambers are so divided on basically everything. They just passed a budget, but that is part of their job and shouldn’t be congratulated for that.

I like the goals and what No Labels is trying to accomplish here. Of trying to bring pragmatists together to solve the problems of the country from both parties. The problem is right now they only have goals without any real solutions. You want to reform Washington, you have to reform Congress to the point where the majority and minority parties in both chambers are allowed to offer relevant substitutes and amendments to bills that the majority brings up. So both sides in the House and Senate at least have their say and can at least have their ideas voted on to what the House and Senate are debating. To turn Congress into a competition of ideas and not partisan attacks.

The other way you fix Washington in this current ultra partisan political environment is for the American people to step up and give one party enough power to govern and put their agenda through. Then at least we would have a real governing party in this country with the power to govern. Because right now it is just too partisan and we are too divided as a country for Democrats and Republicans to do much work together.
Joe Manchin

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