Oakland Police Announce They Will Not Respond To Burglary, Grand Theft, and Other Crimes

Oakland’s police chief Anthony Batts has announced that Oakland Police will not responded to 44 different crimes if planned layoffs occur at midnight. It was useful for Batts to announce the categories in advance for criminals to chose from a criminal dim sum list of free crimes including grand theft, burglary, vehicle collision, identity theft and vandalism.

If you are the victim of burglary, you will be told to make a report online and not to expect police to respond.

Here the list of free crimes in Oakland:

burglary
theft
embezzlement
grand theft
grand theft:dog
identity theft
false information to peace officer
required to register as sex or arson offender
dump waste or offensive matter
discard appliance with lock
loud music
possess forged notes
pass fictitious check
obtain money by false voucher
fraudulent use of access cards
stolen license plate
embezzlement by an employee (over $ 400)
extortion
attempted extortion
false personification of other
injure telephone/ power line
interfere with power line
unauthorized cable tv connection
vandalism
administer/expose poison to another’s

That allows ample room for most criminals to plan a life of crime without the risk of police interference.

This is the response to the planned layoff of 80 officers. That is roughly one-tenth of the force. As we continue to gush billions in Afghanistan and Iraq, our cities are returning to a state of nature. According to the city of Oakland, each of the 776 police officers currently employed at OPD costs around $188,000 per year. The city council asked OPD officers to pay nine percent of their salary toward their pensions. However, the union would only agree if the city promised no layoffs. The city refused.

Source: NBC.

283 thoughts on “Oakland Police Announce They Will Not Respond To Burglary, Grand Theft, and Other Crimes

  1. I hate to get all liberal and keynsian, but part of the stimulus package was to give money to the states to prevent just this sort of thing. But the original stimulus was a half-measuere, and at this point the Dems can’t even get the Republicans to keep unemplyment checks going out.

    There are two choices now: government creates demand to avoid a downward cycle of deflation and further economic collapse, or the feds legislate “austerity measures” and speeds the collapse and its hello great depression.

  2. What’s the difference? They already don’t. Took them three hours to respond when my brother got mugged and beaten so badly that he had to be hospitalized.

  3. The Oakland police force did announce, however, that the police brutality against the citizenry would continue unabated.

  4. Yissil, you are spot on. This is absolutely the worst time to be considering ridiculous “austerity” measures. I just wish that the President had pushed for a much larger stimulus at the outset because I believe that recovery would have been farther along by this point.

  5. Good post Yissil. Paul Krugman said in his blog today, “the Keynesians won”. Obama wasted too much time trying to garner republican support for his programs.

  6. I agree with Yissil as well. There is something else to consider. The govt. isn’t really interested in deficits otherwise our “defense”/homeland security” budget would look drastically different than it does now. Everyday policing is being slashed and burned. This is true of other essential services such as fire and education (to name two). In the meantime, other parts of unlaw enforcement garner more money to uparmor and increase surveillance on our population. That money is hidden under various budgets, including the “defense” budget. It’s clear that the govt. is deliberately targeting the middle, working class and the poor while redistributing vast sums of public money to the top tier of our society. This is both despicable and terrifying.

    You may also like to know that while the gulf is burning and poisoned our govt. just sent 46 warships, 7000 Marines and 200 helicopters to Costa Rica for “drug interdiction”.

    Choices are being made here, ones with truly dire consequences. There is nothing benign about what is happening. The govt. is making purposeful choices which do great harm to most people and the environment.

  7. If they won’t do their jobs, then its time to get people that will.

    Just ask the air traffic controllers, they weren’t allowed to strike either, and were ALL replaced.

    I don’t care for union busting, but if they aren’t going to do their jobs, it looks like they are walking off the job.

  8. Did Congress order our troops to Costa Rica, Afghanistan, and increase the numbers of contractors in Iraq? I think that was the work of the president, a Democrat. Also, if you look carefully at what happened/is happening with unemployment insurance, you will see this was/is not simply the work of Republicans. This is a time where relentless partisanship needs real reconsideration. We are facing an economic and environmental crisis such as our nation has never faced before. Therefore, it becomes essential to understand what is actually happening in our govt. If we keep our partisan blinders on, we will fail to understand the situation and be unable to take effective action to remedy the situation. If you would like me to bash Republicans on unemployment insurance, please let me do so. Here is what I just wrote my lousy, no good, stinking ass hole Republican Senator: “The Toledo Foodbank has had a 54% increase in requests for aid this year and has gotten more requests since unemployment insurance was cut off.

    This is a desperate emergency and we have a moral obligation to help the people of our state. That moral obligation is not to be abrogated. If you want to cut the budget, end the wars.”

  9. The partisan facts remain. The maximum amount of republican votes you can put together for anything remotely progressive in the Senate is 3. Collins,Snowe and Brown voted for fin reg. I do not think one republican would vote for unemployment extension. Mitch McConnell is holding his caucus together. Obama has wasted time trying to reach across the aisle because come next January there will be many more republicans.

  10. Isn’t it ILLEGAL for the police to hold us hostage like this? Isn’t this just Blackmail? This police chief is committing a crime, he should at least be fired from his job. He works for the people and the people should decide what is most important to investigate.

    I’ve run businesses, and we also never have enough money to do what we want or enough people. So we prioritize, we do the best we can with the budget we’ve got and try to get the most bang for the buck, whether the bucks are going to salaries, marketing, supplies or floor space. If they have less money they should be doing the same thing, not threatening people with burglary.

    They should not have said anything; if they DID say anything it should be a press release like this:

    “We prioritize our responses by the severity of the crimes committed or investigations and situations where our officers are deployed, and with fewer officers it is likely that on some days the lesser functions will, of necessity, get little or no attention, or much delayed attention. We hope our citizens understand that we are striving to provide the maximum safety and law enforcement we can with the resources they choose to provide us.”

    As for union and pension negotiations, they should only say, “Our officers choose to risk their lives to serve their community, and it takes a certain amount of pay, health and insurance benefits and financial security to offset that risk. Without those assurances, their inclination to serve can be overwhelmed by the risks they would be taking with the financial security of their families, spouses and children. It is one thing to ask a brave officer to risk their life, it is another to ask them to risk the financial future of their loved ones in the bargain. Less financial security for cops means fewer cops and less security for the community.”

  11. He wasn’t wasting time at all. They work for the same team. Look at the policies and the people Obama’s put in place in the financial and war industries. Most of them were Bush’s people. If you truly wanted to make change would you keep the same team who’d fucked up that badly in place? No you wouldn’t. If you’re playing for the same team, you would do just that. Obama isn’t called a cult brand for no reason. The amount of propaganda and techniques for keeping the Democratic base from seeing the truth are mind boggling in number. They have been extremely effective. It’s part of the reason that people excuse anything Obama does, even when they objected to these same actions when Bush did them. It is a type of brainwashing and we have to break out of it.

  12. John: it’s not the union or the cops on the beat, it’s the police chief saying he doesn’t have enough money. The problem is that they can’t afford to pay the 80 officers, not that they are on stike. If they could afford to replace them they wouldn’t have to replace them.

    Or something like that.

  13. He is basically announcing the “rationing” of police work that will happen and to some extent is already happening. I appreciate that he is being upfront about it in advance, so those with the power to make decisions can judge the impact in advance. Its the same with health care (my field). Without the resources, care is rationed and people go without the basics.

  14. This country became much more partisan in 1994 when the republicans took the house in the Gingrich revolution. If they work for the same team why are politics so brutal now? Do they just do it for the show? No they do it for the advantage.

  15. I certainly agree with Yissil’s first post and I agree with Jill’s posts.

    I am a strong union advocate but I do not support the stated plans of the Oakland Police Dept. and believe that firing them all and starting over would be best. Union busting happens when workers go on strike, refusing to do a job and giving up the pay … The Oakland Police Dept. is refusing to do the job but still expects to get a pay check … if the Chief is not speaking for the department then he should be fired and the officers should resume their full duties. If the officers are going to follow his orders in refusing to do their jobs fully, while still expecting a pay check, then they are all gone. It’s not complicated. Bye, bye pensions.

  16. One thing I know first hand is that my friend Tarryl Clark who is running against Bachmann in Mn 06 is not on the same team as Michelle.

  17. So if someone breaks into your house, just tell them someone has broken into your house and has lit up a joint. Possession of marijuana isn’t on the list.

  18. That’s great that your friend is running. If you refer back to what I wrote earlier I said Obama and the Republicans play for the same team. By way of backing up this claim I pointed out the Obama has adopted (or exceeded) most of Bush’s economic and war policies and that he has further appointed the same people who committed financial and war crimes during the last administration, to run his own depts. These are people who should be indicted, not running our economic and war policies.

    Dropping the partisan blinders allows us to see who is a real ally and who is not. One of the best ways to control people is to give them an “enemy”. The trick is, this “enemy” must distract people from seeing the truth concerning their “own” side. Enemies are invented by the powerful all the time. Have you noticed how the tea party movement appears and disappears at strategic times in the political cycle? The tea party is a group of sincere people led by a group of insincere, powerful people. Like most Americans, as is our birthright, they are completely fucked up about class issues. They serve the ruling elite well. First, they make certain the Democratic base isn’t paying attention to what their own leadership is doing in the class war. If the Democratic base was paying attention they might vote third party or use primaries to elect people who do represent their class interests. That is the last thing the ruling elite wants.

    The tea party also keeps the Republican base in line. OHHHHHH…Obama is a socialist, we must oppose him. If Republicans were paying attention, they would realize they should vote for Obama, that is, unless they really didn’t like Bush. If they didn’t like Bush, they should vote for a Republican who is an actual conservative.

    A Republican who votes for a real conservative is as much a danger to the ruling elites as a Democrat who votes for an actual liberal or progressive candidate. Yes, there’s a lot of show and manipulation going on.

  19. I disagree that the “tea party is a group of sincere people” unless sincerely racist is all that is considered. Is not Obama because of the color of his skin an anathama to these people and they want him removed?

  20. Well considering a good deal of money didnt go to actual projects, I dont know how anyone can say the stimulus worked or didnt work.

    And the economy isnt that great right now although I am noticing an increase in public works projects.

    I am reminded of the story of the broken window: A boy breaks a window of the baker and the baker now has to buy a new window which costs $100. The baker had wanted to buy a new suit which was to cost a $100. The baker cannot now buy the suit and so the tailor is out a $100 which he was going to use to buy a new sewing machine.

    The glazier is $100 richer and so the broken window helps him, but it does not help the baker or the tailor. If stimulus would work then breaking every window in the town should ensure prosperity but it wont and neither will a stimulus and for the same reason. Keynes was wrong and Krugman is a poor economist.

  21. I know people in the tea party movement and they aren’t all racist and they are quite sincere. The actual origin of the movement goes back to long before Obama became a public figure so the belief that it started to get rid of a black president is contrary to facts. (It’s great propaganda from the administration though.)

    One of the best thought stoppers Obama supporters use is, if you oppose Obama, you are a racist. In some cases this is true. That truth is then used to discredit any legitimate criticism of Obama. But there is a way around that thought stopper. We can examine if the person actually is a racist or not. They will show this in all areas of their life. Therefore, we owe people an honest assessment as to whether they are racists, including people in the tea party movement. It’s much easier and more comforting to believe people who criticize Obama have illegitimate, evil motives. It takes honesty to see that isn’t the case. It also requires people to examine their own support for actions they vehemently disavowed when done by Bush.

  22. Our economy isn’t going to get much better until we start manufacturing goods again in this country. Instead, we give tax breaks to corporations that build factories in other countries where the wages are much, much lower. Eventually, there will be many more millions of Americans who can’t find well-paying jobs–no matter how long they look. We’ll have an ever-growing segment of our population who have jobs that pay so little that the workers won’t be able to maintain a quality standard of living. We are on the road to becoming a third world country.

  23. Jill–

    “The actual origin of the movement goes back to long before Obama became a public figure so the belief that it started to get rid of a black president is contrary to facts.”

    **********

    When did the movement originate–and who are the founders and financial supporters of it?

  24. Elaine,

    In the mid 90’s, I believe. I’ll get the info for you but have to go now. The current financial supporters appear to me to be some from real people, but a lot (most) from shadowy groups up to no good from the Republican establishment. This group appears to want to co-opt the movement for their own purposes and there is a struggle happening about that within the movement itself. It’s not in the elite’s interest for a grass roots movement to start questioning mainstream Republican “leaders”.

  25. Swarthmore mom:

    I don’t like him because of his political and economic philosophy pure and simple. I love Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams and would vote for either one of them in a second if they were running for any office. I am not a member of the Tea Party but I am pretty sure Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell would be treated like Rock Stars at a Tea Party gathering.

    The left doesn’t understand that people actually do like capitalism and individual liberty and so they dismiss those who do as racist. It is easier for the left to believe racism is the cause of opposition to Obama’s policies rather than a fundamental philosophical rejection of progressive/socialist policies. The left has been lead to believe that socialism is the only possible form of economic and political theory that has any merit. And those that don’t believe as they do are ignorant, racist or worse.

  26. Jill–

    I was under the impression the movement originated in 2009. I know Dick Armey’s group is one of the big supporters of the Tea Party “grass roots” movement.

    I’m not sure who you are referring to as elites. Folks like me who live in the Northeast, who are educated, and who have liberal viewpoints are sometimes called elites–which is so far from the truth. Many of us “so-called elites” are really egalitarians.

  27. Jill:

    there are a couple of groups trying to set the agenda for the Tea Party, I am of the opinion the absolute worst thing would be for the Republican Party to co-opt it. They [republican party] are a very bad bunch and have made enough mischief on this country. But then so are/have the democrats.

  28. Byron,

    There are a lot of tea party members who’d agree with that!

    Elaine,

    Here is a program on NPR, Diane Rehm yesterday:

    “Diane hosts a conversation about the evolution of the Tea Party movement. We discuss it’s goals, who belongs and how it’s shaking up the political establishment.
    Guests
    Kate Zernike
    a national correspondent for The New York Times and member of the team that shared the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting. Her book, “Boiling Mad -Inside Tea Party America” will be published in September.

    Matt Kibbe

    president and CEO of FreedomWorks and co-author with Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey of the forthcoming book, “Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto”
    Diana Reimer

    an organizer with Philadelphia Tea Party Patriots
    Ryan Hecker

    an attorney, a Houston Tea Party Society activist and an organizer of the Contract From America Project.”

    http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2010-07-12/tea-party

    You’re going to hear the two distinct strands in this piece, the actual people who believe in what they’re doing and the Dick Army/operative-type people.

    While correct that the movement heated up in 2009, it started in the mid 1990s. I’m looking for the interview Rachel Maddow (I think it was her) did with one founder in the movement.

    As to ruling elites, being wealthy and/or educated wouldn’t get you in. I mean the interlocking directorate between the govt., the defense and financial industries. It’s a small group of the same people with their hands on just about everything!

    Swarthmore Mom, I agree, there is a lot of racism in the tea party movement. Here’s is why I thought you believed everyone in the movement was a racist– you wrote: “I disagree that the “tea party is a group of sincere people” unless sincerely racist is all that is considered. Is not Obama because of the color of his skin an anathama to these people and they want him removed?” That paragraph seems like you think every tea party memeber is racist and that the are against Obama because he is black. It also seems like you do not believe anyone can have another reason than racism to oppose Obama. I can’t agree with that, even in the tea party movement.

  29. (Elaine, this speaks to the phony and real parts of the movement)

    Byron,

    I found this, you’ll llke it!: “We told you yesterday about the fears among Tea Party activists that a planned national convention, at which Sarah Palin will speak, is too expensive for regular folks to attend — and may be a bid by corporate or political interests to co-opt the movement. (TPMmuckraker — or half of it — talked about the issue with Rachel Maddow last night.)

    And it sounds like at least one influential conservative voice agrees.

    “I think this national tea party convention smells scammy,” RedState founder Erick Erickson wrote yesterday.

    He went on: http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/01/redstate_founder_tea_party_convention_smells_scamm.php

    Let me be blunt: charging people $500.00 plus the costs of travel and lodging to go to a “National Tea Party Convention” run by a for profit group no one has ever heard of sounds as credible as an email from Nigeria promising me a million bucks if I fork over my bank account number.”

  30. Elaine,

    I think you are missing my point. I am not in agreement with any member of the Tea Party Movement. My quote from Erick was put there to help you understand that the movement is composed of actual citizens, some of whom are racist or otherwise bad people and some of whom are are not racist, hate mongers or bad people. Then there are the operatives. The most important reason I point this out is to show how genuine sentiment on the right or the left is a danger to the power of the ruling elites. This is true of tea party members and it is true of progressives.

    The tea party movement as used by operatives serves an important role in enabling the powerful to stay in power. First, keeping the Democratic base occupied with an “enemy” so they won’t look at their own party’s leadership and start having those embarrassing questions and 2. keeping genuine dissent from entering the Republican party. Check it out. The tea party movement appears and disappears just like the yellow, orange and red alerts did under Bush. Underneath the manipulation is a genuine movement, one I do not agree with even when people aren’t being racists, but I see why the govt. fears it and is trying desperately to co-opt it to their own use.

  31. Jill–

    I understnad your point. I’m just really wary of folks like Erickson. There are too many people in the media like him, Limbaugh, Beck, Savage, and others who do their best to rile up the right wing.

    In addition, I don’t think we would have seen all these folks involved in Tea Party protests if Obama had been white. I do believe–at least as far as some of these Tea Party folks are concerned–that there is an element of racism involved.

  32. The “tea party” voted to stay in the republican party. It is not independent of it. In politics as elsewhere you are known by the company you keep. If you line up with people that are spitting on black congressman and calling gays members homophobic names then you are part of the problem.

  33. Byron, Krugman might be the most just and reasonable economist in the world. You and that post are the joke. Maybe time to get back to third grade.

  34. I’m with Tony C and Blouise on this one, blackmail pure and simple. The math doesn’t seem right here, a 10% reduction in staff and all but the most violent and heinous classes of crime will not be pursued? Just how much murder, robbery and rape goes on in Oakland that a 10% reduction in staff robs so many other crimes of pursuit? This doesn’t pass the smell test and is a pretty typical political move on the part of the Oakland chief to ramp up fear and activism (for his own benefit) among the populous. Start by laying him off.

  35. jericho:

    How do you know he is a good economist? Instead of telling me to go back to 3rd grade why don’t you tell me why I am wrong.

    It is easy to tell someone to go back to 3rd grade, maybe a little harder to defend your position?

  36. Elaine:

    “Our economy isn’t going to get much better until we start manufacturing goods again in this country.”

    Good point but how do you attract companies back to the US?

  37. I see the Tea Party tactic has worked its intended magic. No matter how much evidence that’s presented showing the movement is not monolithic, here we have the argument that it is, just as a matter of belief. No matter what the govt. is doing, it’s as if the tea party were in power and thus one should ignore the actual government’s actions. Honestly, it’s really spooky. Please do criticize the Tea Party. What I find dishonest is the lack of criticism of the president and the Democratic party. If people shouldn’t associate with others who do bad things, why do so many people support a person who imprisons the innocent, kills civilians and has taken for himself the right to kill American citizens? Again I feel compelled to say that the time for partisanship is long over. We are in an emergency with regards to the rule of law, wars of empire, the economy and the environment. These are team projects of the both Republicans and Democrats. If we cannot sort through partisanship to reality we are sunk.

    Elaine,

    I guess I’m a little frustrated. I’m hoping you’ll point out where I said the Tea Party movement didn’t have any racists in it because I said the opposite several times.

  38. Okay, okay, okay. When it comes to the Tea Baggers, the DNC and the GOP? You are arguing over the bark of the tree and aren’t considering it within the context of the political forest.

    1) The GOP and DNC are just as vile as one another and just as on the graft train as one another. The only reason the rule of law hasn’t been restored is that members of BOTH scumbag parties would end up hanging from the yardarm next to the traitors Bush and Cheney.

    2) The Tea Baggers are astroturf foremost and above all. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astroturfing Any organic roots they once may have had have been co-opted by this Neocon schlep – Andrew Breitbart. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Breitbart

    They are a tool serving their intended purpose – to demonize and disrupt any credible third party competition from arising for either the GOP or DNC since it has become patently apparent to much of the public that

    a) the GOP Bush Administration are criminals and
    b) that the DNC Obama Administration are aiders and abettors after the fact.

    Jill is correct – they are not monolithic nor need they be for their intended purposes. They merely need to showcase enough lunatics to frighten reasonable people into staying with either of our no choice “two choices” yet remain just credible enough to dilute the base for an actual third party from forming by attracting “stragglers” – those dissatisfied with the status quo but lacking to political savvy to realize joining the Tea Baggers is the partisan equivalent of neutering yourself by associating with the visible loons like Avery. Should any Tea Bagger get into office, rest assured the GOP has a plan to co-opt them to their ends either as puppet or scapegoat.

    It’s a plan Machiavelli would have been proud of, but then again that rat bastard sociopath is exactly what’s wrong with politics to begin with. Except for one thing. Their use by the Washington establishment simply plays not into change for the better, but the civil unrest that they – the Neocons and their Perpetual War Machine – require to eventually implement martial law if they feel threatened with removal from the campaign finance graft trough . . . or simply if they feel like cracking down on We the People at their corporatist master’s behest if we get to uppity about defending our Constitutional rights they are pissing on every day Cheney stays out of prison orange and the Patriot Act isn’t repealed.

    Cynical? Perhaps.

    But it doesn’t mean I’m wrong.

  39. It’s time we all stopped supporting the Republican or Democratic parties in this country…neither is moving us in the right direction..all are focused on self interest and protecting their power and influence. This fear of the Tea Party is just a ruse that works to the benefit of both. The Tea Party is simply a manifestation of that frustration by fiscal conservatives and a wide range of others (making it a diverse group of people with a wide range of views – some racist and csme not). I’m suprised there isn’t a similar movement on the left away from the Democratic party. It’s time to all come together and say…,If their “IN” they are “OUT” in the next election. Time to hold both parties accountable for the mess we’re in.

  40. Disagree. Over and Out. It is not that simple. Some on the democratic side are moving in a good direction. Do you think Kucinich , Feingold and Franken should be voted out and replaced by random teabaggers? I guess so. The left on the democratic side is so scared of the tea party that they probably won’t mount any opposition to Obama.

  41. The tea party candidates are running on the republican ticket and platform. They are not running as an independents.

  42. But thus proving my point, Smom.

    There are a few good guys in Washington. Very few. They aren’t the ones behind the Tea Baggers. And you’ll notice that the established players have done everything they can to marginalize people like Kucinich, Franken and Feingold. This is about the corrupt protecting the corrupt. Party affiliation has little or nothing to do with it as both parties participated in the ongoing crime of the Bush Administration. With 535 total Congressmen (100 Senators and a maximum of 435 Representatives), do the math. It’s 532 vs. 3 by your (probably correct) reckoning of the good guys.

  43. The bottom line on the DNC is they are both too greedy and too spineless to burn some of their own – which would be required – to restore the rule of law like their candidate promised.

  44. I know a lot of decent teabaggers … some are left over from the original Ron Paul group … some trace their linage back to Ross Perot … not all are racist but the movement, in its present form, gives racists an excellent cover. Originally, in my opinion, the teabaggers were a big threat to both major parties and I believe that both, with ample help from the media, worked to minimize that threat in a very well orchestrated manner. It’s about saving some political jobs, yes, but mainly it’s about money. A whole lot of contributors funneling their contributions to the teabaggers and away from the DNC and RNC had to be stopped.

    I have carefully read every point made on this thread concerning the teabaggers and, interestingly enough, I find myself agreeing with everybody at one point or another.

    Yet one paragraph stands out and I believe sums it all up … at least for me:

    “They are a tool serving their intended purpose – to demonize and disrupt any credible third party competition from arising for either the GOP or DNC … It’s a plan Machiavelli would have been proud of …” (Buddha) (emphasis added is mine)

    It is time to ignore this whole thing and get busy organizing a third party around some straightforward principles and not around any personality … if we build it, they will come.

  45. With principles founded in the Declaration and the true secular interpretation of the Constitution.

  46. Buddha Is Laughing

    Blouise,

    I propose we call it the Constitutional Populist Party.

    With principles founded in the Declaration and the true secular interpretation of the Constitution.

    ==============================================================

    Sign me up … we’ll need an education/reeducation division

  47. As luck would have it, I am available. Slarti and I have been talking offline about doing something to take on BP. Maybe we can sign him up too.

  48. I am quite serious … in my opinion recent, “third parties” have been constructed around an individual. We need a few meetings similar to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, if you get my drift, followed by a series of “publicity papers” explaining the precepts of the party similar to the Federalist papers and then a formal “coming out” convention.

  49. Buddah I could name many more. I was heading out for a bike ride so i just picked three off the top my head. There is one issue that constantly divides republicans from democrats. It is the issue of reproductive freedom. For this reason a majority of women stick with the democrats. Also until a third party can be something other than white protestant it will not succeed.

  50. Immigrants love the Constitution and many of them understand it far better than those whose roots have been planted in this soil for generations.

    A “true secular interpretation of the Constitution” is just that.

    If all one wants is to be represented as a “white protestant” then the RNC is the party to which one should belong.

  51. Awww. That’s the nicest thing anyone has said to me in a long time. I guess I need to get to work then.

  52. Swarthmore mom–

    “There is one issue that constantly divides republicans from democrats. It is the issue of reproductive freedom. ”

    And how about tax cuts for the rich?

    **********

    Jill–

    I may not have been following this thread as carefully as I should have.

    You said: “I guess I’m a little frustrated. I’m hoping you’ll point out where I said the Tea Party movement didn’t have any racists in it because I said the opposite several times.”

    You didn’t say that it didn’t have racists in it.

    You also said: “The actual origin of the movement goes back to long before Obama became a public figure so the belief that it started to get rid of a black president is contrary to facts. (It’s great propaganda from the administration though.)”

    I was attempting to make the point that many of the folks in the tea party movement wouldn’t be up in arms if someone like Bush–or another white man–was president. It’s not propaganda I’m listening to. I came to that conclusion on my own after listening to some of the protesters being questioned by reporters…after reading some of their protest signs…after seeing birthers at the protests.

    **********
    I would beg to differ with this statement though: “The tea party is a group of sincere people led by a group of insincere, powerful people.”

    I DO believe–like you–that they are being used by folks like Dick Armey. The powerful people understand the mentality/mindset of many of the people involved with the tea party. The powerful folks didn’t create the mindset though–they’re just feeding and leading the beast.

    On another subject: Many of Obama’s financial advisors are folks from the Clinton administration. Summers, Geithner, and Rubin are three that come to mind. I’d hazard a guess they’re just as bad as those from the Bush administartion though.

  53. I find myself unable to sleep.

    I have been thinking of the kind words directed at me by my fine companions in this truly wondrous salon of ideas. They are most kind and most appreciated. I am truly fortunate to have found such a congregation of minds so abundant in riches and generous in spirit. I hope it is not me that generates those words but rather the ideals and ideas to which I offer in the spirit of making America a better country for all people. This being said, I feel compelled to make this clear at the onset.

    I personally have no interest in holding a public office. Like Jefferson, I find the idea of holding public office an onerous duty. I have no issue with formulating policy platforms and working on organization – helping draft statements to shape the legal and philosophical basis of a political movement, but I do not wish to be political creature of that public nature that is a candidate or office holder. I am a private person by nature and seek no personal public glory for this endeavor. Anything I do to these ends I do out of a duty to the principles upon which this country was founded, the sacrifices of the Founding Fathers and the many brave and courageous men and women from all walks of life and from all races, religious traditions and cultures who have fought and died for the ideals that are often summarized with the shorthand term “the American Dream”.

    For even in the limited role of writer, advisor or organizer, I am standing upon their shoulders and their sacrifices. Sacrifices that people of like minded dissatisfaction at the current distorted status quo of American politics should keep in their hearts and minds if we are to rise together and reclaim our common interests in liberty, freedom and the rule of law from the monied special interests who have co-opted the American Dream to their personal ends of greed, high crimes, ego worship and death.

    If anything is to come of this, we must band together with other like minded peoples and seek out candidates that will be uncompromising in promoting the ideals and interests of the natural human citizens as We the People define them based upon the Declaration of Independence and the idea of a secular government for all found in the Constitution under the banner of a Constitutional Populist Party. We the People should seek to restore not just the rule of law, but the unprecedented dream of a just, equitable and free society that drove men like Jefferson, Hamilton and Adams to put pen to paper in the first place and throw off the tyranny of King George and the British Monarchy. To be free of the tyranny of corporatism which besets our country now, a danger which Jefferson was acutely aware of, we must rise together. To correct the mistakes of those who put their personal interests above our common interest, we must take concrete steps required to move us away from the abyss at which We stand. Away from the precipice of fascism and authoritarianism and toward the aspiration that is the American Dream – a dream so deftly defined by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence. Then as it is now, we should expect resistance as tyrants do not surrender easily or fight fairly. This will be no easy task and I will require all of your assistance and then some if we are to stand a chance a reaching the ideals of the American Dream. This is an ensemble piece, not a solo performance.

    I often say that one lives to be of service but I do not mean the self-service of greed or self-aggrandizement. I do not seek the title of Senator or Representative or any title more grand than simply an American. An American which perhaps Jefferson or my grandfather would have been pleased to call brother. One who defends the ideal before gratifying the self. Illusions about the value of self that are destructive and trample upon the value of us all. A crime in itself as we are all truly created equal.

    We’ve seen the path which that self-service leads to and it is dark and treacherous and inhumane and inequitable. I submit that those who think it is better to be feared than to be loved do not understand the true nature of what engenders respect. Respect which is the true foundation of just governance. Respect is not fear. Fear only creates fear and fear makes people do stupid things. It is a tool which evil men will use to make people act against their best interests and the best interests of our shared country. We should instead seek to create the best ideas, the most just and equitable society, the very portrait of a free and liberated people who put ideals above worshiping any individual.

    To that end, I will never seek public office. Already I am stand upon enough shoulders. I willingly offer mine upon which others can stand if they are up to the challenge of reclaiming our country, but I do not seek to be elevated myself beyond the role of perhaps a voice of conscience, a purveyor of ideas and ideals. If dreaming is required, please, let me welcome you to my dream – an American Dream of the American Dream. I offer it freely for all to share. Let this define my role in serving ideals of our Founding Fathers, the American people and the Constitutional Populist Party if anything is to become of this once and future great experiment, this land that is supposed to be of liberty and justice for all.

    As ever, one lives to be of service.

  54. Most certainly agreed, Blouise. I just wanted to make clear I have no interest in being a personality.

  55. FYI:For drivers with lead feet.

    Do you know the speedtraps in your hometown?

    This is for real…..in much detail. Even to the description of the unmarked cars used for lasering and ticketing in all states.

    Click on what ever state you want. It will have a list of the available cities and towns. Click on the one you want.

    You can see cities in the U.S. and Canada.

    SPEED TRAPS – NO JOKE…CHECK IT OUT!

    I had no idea this was available to everyone.

    http://www.speedtrap.org/speedtraps/stetlist.asp

  56. I think that it was a brilliant move of Police Chief Butts to go on the offensive in this way. By enumerating the list of offenses that will no longer be investigated, he is bravely trying to telegraph that we’re not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy; that if we stop feeding Toto, Toto is going to go underground.

    Of course, this story pretty much mirrors the one in Colorado (can’t remember which city).

    Because police protection and investigation of crimes such as the ones listed are absolutely the foundation of what we think of in terms of “government services,” it is quite obvious that we, as a country, are circling the drain big time. I say, close some of the 630-plus overseas military bases, and retread that wealth back into our country in order to ensure proper enforcement of laws and to fund economic revitalization projects, such as infrastructure improvements.

  57. Buddha–

    But green’s the color of Spring
    And green can be cool and friendly-like
    And green can be big like an ocean, or important
    Like a mountain, or tall like a tree

    When green is all there is to be
    It could make you wonder why, but why wonder why
    Wonder, I am green and it’ll do fine, it’s beautiful
    And I think it’s what I want to be

  58. Whats good for the country is more deficit, more and more. The banks will then own the country lock stock and barrel for a bargain basement price.

  59. the good thing about owing all that money to China is that they will bring good high paying wages to Americans [hopefully] when they exploit our mineral reserves and natural resources that environmentalists wouldn’t let us harness as payment for the money we owe them.

  60. Blouise, CCD and anyone else that wants to play along,

    I’m still working on a principle’s draft, but here is a condensed list of platform planks with a few sub-groupings. If you have suggestions, I’d be glad to hear them. As always, if you don’t have my direct e-mail, I can be contacted at buddha.is.laughing.ril@gmail.com. Keep in mind this is a condensed list as to sub-groupings but all of the primary planks.
    ____

    CPP Platform (draft)

    1 – Restore the Rule of Law (Repeal of Patriot Act, Constraint of the Executive in line with the Separation of Powers Doctrine, closure of black ops prisons, prosecution of the Bush/Cheney Administration, restoration of habeas corpus).

    2 – End Corporate Participation In Governance By Lobby Reform (Constitutional Amendment nullifying the Citizens United ruling, Ending the Lobby/Congress Revolving Door, the end of “Too Big to Fail” for any industry)

    3 – Universal Health Care (Single Payer Not For Profit National Health Care Trust, limitations on service providers, tort and medical malpractice insurance reform, stronger patient rights)

    4 – Rebuilding Critical Infrastructure (Power, Transportation, Education, Food and Water Safety, Telecommunications reform)

    5 – Rebuilding the Economic Base – (Promotion of manufacturing, skilled trades, basic sciences, green power and manufacturing processes, wage reform and reformation of governmental contracting practices with punishment for off-shoring and the use of illegal immigrant workers)

    6 – Immigration Reform (streamlining immigration processes, strict deportation rules, stronger Federal Border Patrol Services)

    7 – Banking and Tax Reform (Closing corporate tax loopholes, elimination of the civilian tax code and implementation of a sliding scale flat-tax without exemptions, separation of consumer and commercial banking and limitations on fees)

    8 – Open Ballot Initiative (standardizing voting practices with mandatory paper trails for audits, open primaries, make it easier for alternate parties to register and get parties on ballots, mandated air time for all candidates on a given ballot, party sponsorship reform)

    9 – Constitutional Amendment for Recall Elections and Votes of No Confidence

    10 – Withdrawal from Afghanistan/Reprioritization and Redeployment of Military Resources
    _____

    I welcome and await your input.

  61. Buddha,

    I mostly agree, but I’d need to see specifics before I could get behind #9 and I think that an immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan is probably a bad idea (after having made so many mistakes, it’s hard to see what the right way forward is, though). I’ll give you a more thorough critique later, I just wanted to subscribe to this thread.

  62. Slarti,

    This is why I am soliciting early input.

    As to Afghanistan, I said nothing about timing. Personally I think the time for a quick withdrawal passed within the first few months of the “war”. We should have left right after we destroyed every terrorist training camp and simply left them alone with this message: “Do it again? We’ll either turn you to glass or fill your skies with drones 24/7 until the end of time.” But then again, we should have attacked Saudi Arabia in conjunction with attacking Afghanistan instead of invading Iraq.

    On the No Confidence vote/Recall election schema, look into the Parliamentary system and you’ll get an idea of what I’m talking about. If we’d had this Constitutional mechanism, Bush wouldn’t have made it 8 years before getting the boot.

  63. Buddha,

    Studying in between care-giving times with my 2 year old grandchild … will have more time tonight

    This shaping up to be a blog convention … modern times!

  64. Buddha, I’d sign on to that platform right now (although I don’t really understand how #9 works).

  65. Buddha,

    I share Mike A’s confusion. How would the recall/no-confidence would work and why do you think it is necessary?

  66. Mike,

    Thanks. Here’s the short Wiki summary of how No Confidence votes work. We’d need a more specific proposal to make minor structural alignments as to not interfere with operation of the Constitution in general, but it could be made to work.

    “Typically, when parliament votes non-confidence, or where it fails to vote confidence, a government must respond in one of two ways:

    * resign
    * seek a parliamentary dissolution and request a general election

    This procedure is either formalised through constitutional convention, as is the case in Westminster style parliaments such as the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, or explicitly stated in a written constitution, as is the case with Germany and Spain.

    Where a government has lost the confidence of the responsible house (i.e., the directly elected lower chamber which can select and dismiss it; in some states both houses of parliament are responsible), a head of state may have the constitutional right to refuse a request for a parliamentary dissolution, so forcing an immediate resignation.

    Often, important bills serve as motions of confidence, when so declared by the government. This may be used to prevent dissident members of parliament from voting against it. Sometimes a government may lose a vote because the opposition ends debate prematurely when too many government members are away.

    In the Westminster system, the defeat of a supply bill (one that concerns the spending of money) automatically requires (by convention) the resignation of the government or dissolution of Parliament, much like a non-confidence vote, since a government that cannot spend money is hamstrung. This is called loss of supply.

    Where the Upper House of a Westminster system country has the right to refuse supply, such as in Australia during the events of 1975, the convention becomes a grey area as Westminster governments are not normally expected to maintain the confidence of the Upper House.”

  67. Slarti,

    I think it’s necessary because it gives a mechanism for disposing of either a malfunctioning Executive or Congress before the end of term. As a practical matter, I’m not so much for the mechanism precisely as described for Congress. As a practical matter, the right to a no confidence vote could be cascading as follows:

    The House – Each Representative can be voted on No Confidence and recalled by their state legislature forcing an interim election.

    The Senate – The House (or a State Legislature) can vote for No Confidence in the Senate and force a recall election and/or dissolution (in the case of a House vote).

    The President – The Senate (or alternatively the House and Senate) can vote for No Confidence in the Executive and force a recall election and resignation.

    Kind of Impeachment Light with a replacement plan.

  68. Sorry about that – hit return on the wrong keyboard.

    My concern would be that politicians would become even more tied to polls for fear of casting an unpopular vote and being recalled.

  69. Slarti,

    I’ll admit I mulled it over quite a bit and that’s a valid concern. That’s one of the reasons I’m floating it early. This is #10 for the very reason it’s easily the most controversial plank. Easier to amend the platform now than when we’ve got a candidate at risk.

  70. Buddha:

    those are pretty good especially 1 & 2. #9, I think, would lead to chaos. But the problem I see is that we have been legislating this stuff for years, making laws and trying to control the populace by various means. And we find ourselves in a bad predicament nonetheless.

    What makes you think you can do any better? (I don’t mean that in a mean way at all). Your proposals for the most part are going to require legislation to implement them, we are then back to square one with command and control from the top. It always fails.

    “Life, faculties, production—in other words individuality, liberty, property—that is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it.”

    Frederic Bastiat, The Law

    “Mankind’s history is one of systematic, arbitrary
    abuse and control by the elite acting privately, through the
    church, but mostly through government.”

    Walter Williams

    Instead of a platform why not just simply restore the Constitution to it’s once prominent place in our society and let nature do the rest?

    All you will accomplish is to become “them” which is to say trading one master for another. A pack mule doesn’t really care if the burden is 100 pounds or 75 pounds.

  71. I like #9 very much as I have always thought the lack of a no-confidence clause was a weakness in our system.

    Each of the items is vital but #8 is as necessary as #9. I can’t tell you how pleased I was to see both on the list.

    As long as Freedom of Choice is addressed in the Principle Statement, I am very pleased.

    “The House – Each Representative can be voted on No Confidence and recalled by their state legislature forcing an interim election.

    The Senate – The House (or a State Legislature) can vote for No Confidence in the Senate and force a recall election and/or dissolution (in the case of a House vote).

    The President – The Senate (or alternatively the House and Senate) can vote for No Confidence in the Executive and force a recall election and resignation.”

    These are all very much in keeping with our Republic form of government … in my opinion

  72. Byron,

    Because our candidates would have a simple choice. Seek to enact out platform or cease to get party support. Just like the DNC and GOP do now to keep their party members in line.

    Nature doesn’t make the Constitution work, B.

    We the People do. But Our Collective Voice has been replaced in Washington by lobbyists and CEO’s. Screw ’em. They’re destroying the country and We want it back.

    When we cease to be the voices elected officials listen to, then We need to elect officials that listen to Us. You say you are a fan of democracy? This is a democratic movement in the purest sense of the term.

  73. Buddha,

    Personally, I think that 4 year contract with a year 2 performance review of sorts for the presidency is a strength of our system. I don’t think that any presidency can be fairly judged any sooner (absent an impeachable offense which is already provided for). With representatives and senators I might be convinced that no-confidence/recall was a good idea, but I doubt you can convince me that it would be a good idea for the president.

  74. Slarti,

    How about Presidential recall possible only after 18 mos.?

    Surely that’s enough time to evaluate if they are doing as they promised (or at least trying).

  75. And any Presidential recall within 12 mos. before end of term uses rules of succession in place of special election.

  76. Buddha,

    There are three kinds of mathematicians – those that can count and the other kind.

    (Alternately, there are 10 kinds of mathematicians – those that can count and the other kind.)

  77. I admit, I like the idea of No Confidence but it is problematic.

    I wonder if it would be unnecessary for the President for another reason though.

    With the No Confidence ax hanging over the Congress, they’d probably be quicker to impeach some jackwad criminal like Bush than risk their own office at the hands of angry voters.

    Maybe?

  78. Buddha:

    I agree that politicians should listen to us but isn’t pure democracy bad to? The Constitution seems to me like a pretty good protector of our freedoms when used properly, couldn’t pure democracy just vote it out of existence altogether?

    I am a fan of democracy as long as there is some standard that it adheres to. I don’t want people voting themselves 6 month vacations and steak every night at the expense of someone else and I don’t want someone else voting for 80 hour weeks and salaries of $5/day at the expense of the people.

  79. Buddha said:

    “How about Presidential recall possible only after 18 mos.? Surely that’s enough time to evaluate if they are doing as they promised (or at least trying).”

    Possible recall after 2 years (it makes more sense to have this be an option in the midterm election = especially if the referendum were decided along electoral college lines).

  80. Buddha,

    I agree with Byron that a republic is preferable to a democracy (and I also think that any party with ‘Constitutional’ in its name is implicitly saying the same thing).

  81. Byron,

    Purest sense of the term is still not pure democracy as you describe. You’re binary thinking again. :D It’d be a party driven, representative democracy, but it wouldn’t be two party bound. As we’ve discussed many times, two choice between corrupt (DNC) and more corrupt (GOP) is not really a choice – hence platform item #8. We don’t just want to be “the competition”. We want there to be LOTS of competition. Item 8 is even a plank we could work in concert by forming coalitions with independents and members of say The Green Party. It would be a boon to all three groups.

    The statement of principles will be very clear on one point I can assure you: no corporate funding – ever, only individuals and every party voter gets an equal say to criticize or make proposals to the platform committee, but only the majority agreed upon best ideas will become part of the official platform. That’s one of the reasons for early floating of these ideas is to get feedback on what’s the best ideas. And as far as the candidates that we can back and get elected? The CPP would only expect that they uphold the platform, the spirit of the Declaration and the letter of the Constitution. Any other votes that come before them we’d leave to their conscience and their local constituents at election/re-election time.

  82. “Isn’t it ILLEGAL for the police to hold us hostage like this? Isn’t this just Blackmail? This police chief is committing a crime, he should at least be fired from his job. He works for the people and the people should decide what is most important to investigate.”

    I don’t think things have been ‘legal’ for a long time.

    What do you suggest we do? stop paying them? Looks to me like we did that….hence the layoffs. ‘The people’ speak through their elected officials….looks to me like ‘the people’ gave these cops the finger in a big way…they now get to do twice the work, taking on twice(or more) of the risk, for less pay, less benefits and no say. I would return the bird to the people too.

    as for hostage taking terrorists…follow the money. This Country is being held hostage by corrupt corporate creeps, not cops.

  83. Buddha:

    “The CPP would only expect that they uphold the platform, the spirit of the Declaration and the letter of the Constitution.”

    that is certainly something most thinking people can get behind.
    I also like no corporate funding. Can we include a point of no corporate welfare as well and no subsidies to farmers to not plant crops or to plant crops? And how about getting rid of funding for the arts and sciences, way too political in my mind.

    How about just a simple flat tax of 17% with no deductions and if you make under say $35,000 per year you pay no taxes at all? This would save a great deal of money on enforcement and compliance. The IRS could almost be eliminated and the savings could go into the social security fund.

    How about actually putting Social Security in a real lock box and letting people inherit grandpas residual if he dies before it is expended?

    Give people back some of the freedom that has been taken away by the GOP and DNC.

  84. Slartibartfast

    Buddha said:

    “How about Presidential recall possible only after 18 mos.? Surely that’s enough time to evaluate if they are doing as they promised (or at least trying).”

    Possible recall after 2 years (it makes more sense to have this be an option in the midterm election = especially if the referendum were decided along electoral college lines).

    =================================================================

    Buddha,

    I think Slarti makes a valid point as it pertains to midterm elections etc.

  85. Byron,

    Actually an end to corporate welfare is one of the omitted sub-groupings. The details (so far) call for an end to subsidies but not an end to tax advantages/penalties for issues like off-shoring. Also on the omitted sub-groupings is “Operational Efficiencies and Savings by Tax Code Elimination and Simplification”. It would effectively reduce the role of the IRS to that of a clearing house. SS? I hadn’t really though much about it other than perhaps adding an agenda item under the Corporate issues about passing legislation making it illegal to privatize it or any other public trust (speaking of which, would automatically put us at odds with the Chamber of Commerce – they announced how they intend to spend their cash in the wake of Citizens United and privatization of SS was right up there . . . venal bastards). I’m certainly open to suggestions.

    The above list is a very brief thumbnail sketch.

    Smom,

    To keep them honest. It’s still impeachment light. If their state House and Senate feels they in Washington are not doing their job, they should be able to fire them at any time with a lower threshold than an impeachable offense. The short term makes recall elections problematic but it’s not like Governors don’t appoint Representatives to fulfill terms when a Representative dies in office already. If the State officials did so in contravention of their constituents, well then they would have to face the voters come time for their re-election.

  86. Okay.

    Since the problems of Amending for No Confidence processes is so problematic, how about replacing that plank with one that I recently read many Americans would favor: an Amendment limiting terms for SCOTUS (a proposition I’ve been in favor of since Rehnquist) and/or making them elected officials (a proposition I was once totally against, but the Roberts era has opened my mind to the possibilities if we could do so in a post-lobby campaign financed/graft bound electoral system)?

  87. Swarthmore mom

    House members are up for election every two years. Why would you need a recall for them?

    ================================================================

    A house member can do a great deal of damage in two years … many of them cast those questionable votes in the first few months of the term so that their constituents will have “forgotten” by the time the next election rolls around.

  88. And as far as electoral reform goes, how do you all feel about equalizing the electoral college? It’s an outmoded institution and the imbalances clearly give some states far more sway in Presidential elections than is equitable.

  89. The No Confidence plank is not tabled, I’m just thinking out loud. :D We can have more items, but I have reasons (psychological) for keeping the broad plank number 10 or less (easier for people to digest information in smaller doses and 10 is a psychologically satisfying number as we are base-10 thinkers by nature).

  90. Many state legislatures meet only a few months a year. Most are not full time. Special sessions are expensive and not popular with the voters.

  91. Wait … are you going to eliminate #9? Wait to hear from some others and add SCOTUS as #11.

    Mespo hasn’t even been on the site these last two days … I’m sure he wants to imput.

  92. Blouise,

    I think we are victims of lag. :D It’s not tabled, I’m just talking alternative issues.

  93. And as they used to say on Laugh-In, “you bet your bippie” I want to hear what mespo has to say.

  94. Okay .. okay … I think I’ve caught up now … good about #9 ’cause I really like it and yes, something has to be done about electoral college … outmoded is a kind way of putting it.

  95. “Most certainly agreed, Blouise. I just wanted to make clear I have no interest in being a personality.”

    it usually is the ones who are most qualified and have the sharpest and most apt vision of a position who are the least likely to have a desire to do that which needs to be done….

  96. Blouise,

    Yes.

    W=c

    Aww, shucks, ma’am. (kicks boot into dirt and blushes)

    I don’t have any insurmountable skeletons in my closet although my brief marriage to Satan caused me both a few minor legal and work problems – in addition to complicating a health problem which the stress and crazed schedule of public office would be no good for either. I’m not a felon or a Priest or anything truly damning. But let’s just say I have a lifelong aversion to being on television. I’m not hideously ugly or anything (I’ve been called handsome by attractive women before), but I don’t even like having my picture taken. Never have. And I like being able to become invisible in public. Like all superheroes, I’m loathe to loose a superpower and would like to retain my secret identity. :D lol But I think I’ll make a fine party policy wonk. Vision can guide from behind as surely as it can lead from the front. Arthur had his Merlin you know.

  97. Forget this “public interest story” news channel diversion bullcrap. The front page of every daily paper had ought to give a count of how many of our boys and girls are overseas, and where, and how many casualties each day. Perhaps if we drilled it into the brains of the American public that we are sending our kids to die every day, people would start supporting Obama’s plan to pull back in July 2011. This is Bush Sr’s war, inherited by Obama. Don’t blame him or the rest of the American populous for wanting to withdraw.

    On that note, please vote to put the money back into US governing, not into the war. The best thing you can do to support Oakland is vote Dem, as those are the ones in Washington who want to pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan so we can focus our budget on economic reform.

    And no to those of you who are questioning, I am not a bleeding heart liberal. My best friend’s boy, who is only 19, has enlisted. We are all proud of him but we are all terrified for him as well.

  98. Swarthmore mom,

    Yesterday you said you’d like some ideas for change. Let me put some out. First of all, think long and hard before you turn on your fellow citizen. Remember, the govt. needs you to hate your neighbor so you won’t be looking at what they’re doing, even when the govt. itself acts in horribly racist ways.

    Think about talking to the “enemy”. Not to convince them, just to humanize them to you and you to them.

    Learn first aid and ham radio. That way if there is an emergency in your neighborhood or city, you can help others out.

    Take the money and use the time you might spend on a campaign for a less than ideal candidate and use both on a local project that benefits people locally. Support candidates that you know to be of a good will towards the people, like your friend.

  99. I disagree with your premise that “the government needs me to hate my neighbor”. I am very wary of this tea party movement and will continue to be.

  100. Jill,

    I’m going to take you to task on the semantics of that as well.

    Segments of the Neocon led GOP (including their puppets the Tea Baggers) and DNC needs We the People to start hating our neighbor, but the government itself is merely the culture and framework in which those bad actors operate. In itself, the government is tasked to seek domestic tranquility.

  101. Swarthmore mom,

    I agree that you should be wary of the tea bag movement. But there’s no harm in actually going to meet people in the movement to humanize them to you and you to them. I believe you are a Christian and Jesus asked the question, who is your neighbor?

    Buddha,

    There is a governmental framework and then there’s the people who run the govt. into the ground. If you want to take me to task, go for it, this isn’t an important issue to me.

  102. Jill I don’t need you to preach to me. You don’t know whether or not I am a christian. The only thing I have said about my religious views on this blog is that I was raised catholic.

  103. Easy there, Jill. I realize the whole situation with the venal pigs leading this country to destruction from within has you upset. Hell, it makes me downright angry. I don’t think any of the regulars here are happy about the people you are taking on and that’s part of what keeps them regulars – dissatisfaction and concern over where this country is and is heading and a desire to hold those responsible responsible. But there is no need to get so defensive over a simple clarification. History shows that if I had a reason or a need to “go for it”, I’m not shy in the slightest.

  104. Byron,

    I’ll give you the broken window example, if you’ll answer one question.

    What’s the broken window analogous to?

    See the whole example is based on the fact that the window was in fact, broken.

    If the guy just decided to replace the window, or constantly needed a supply of new windows as an operating cost of his business, then the whole thing falls apart right? Heck I mean, the whole thing falls sort of falls apart if the new window is in any way better than the old one being as the person buying the window see some sort of benefit from their money. Hmmm, and The story assumes that the baker A) would never need to replace the window, and B) will never have another $100 to buy a suit. Neither of which is likely to be true in real life (you’d actually be better leaving the part about the tailor off).

    So, how does the stimulus represent money that:
    a) is spending that wouldn’t have been ever needed
    b)comes from an nonrenewable source
    c) gives no benefit to the people paying the cost (let’s call them the tax payers).

    By the way, here’s a break down of spending (with a link on the page to the tax cuts)
    http://www.propublica.org/special/the-stimulus-plan-a-detailed-list-of-spending

    The biggest category is “transportation and infrastructure.” Which if I remember the reports from after that bridge collapse a few years ago, we’re a decade or two behind in BASIC maintenance (let alone improvement). I don’t think there’s a singe person that doesn’t benefit from infrastructure improvement.

  105. Swarthmore mom,

    Sorry I thought you were a christian. I was raised first in a cult and then in a very social justice oriented christian church (for which I am grateful to have been a part of). I wasn’t trying to preach but can see how it came off that way. There are some parts of progressive, social justice orientations in the christian church that I like and I was speaking from that. That particular quote attributed to Jesus has always stuck with me. It has given me pause many times in my life.

  106. Gyges:

    where does the money come from? And what would the person do with the money if it didn’t get diverted to something else?
    How often do you replace windows in your house or even in your place of business? The point being is if I told you by breaking the window in every house in the country I could “stimulate” the economy you would tell me I was out of my mind.

    So what is the difference between buying everyone new windows or building roads and bridges? Which aren’t being built, from my understanding it is mostly going to teachers, police, fire fighters and government workers salaries. These are not jobs that produce anything, there is no surplus value to add to the economy. Although you could make the case that they protect property at least in the case of police and ff but government workers and teachers are pure admin.

    So back to roads, roads and bridges don’t produce surplus value, granted they allow goods to be shipped but then trucking companies pay a gas tax and other fees to use the roads so where is any value gained? The money may get recirculated but at some point is has to come from somewhere which is taxes. It is as if you have a dry well and you fill it full of water, it works for awhile but if there is no aquifer to recharge it eventually the water runs out and all you have done is taken a finite amount of water and spread it around without trying to tap the actual spring. The water is gone and you are left with a dry well that isn’t going to produce.

    Infrastructure is a necessary “evil” which I would like to see privatized but know that is probably not going to happen.

    Infrastructure benefits those who design and build the roads and bridges. There are so many alternative forms of travel and shipping that I don’t know how much I personally benefit from a public interstate highway. Honestly, I would be better off paying $25, $50 even $100 every time I used an interstate road than paying a gas tax.

    Our system, as set up currently, is one big wealth transfer mechanism from the middle class to the poor and to major corporations. By poor I mean the ones who can work but dont and are unwilling to contribute but who dont mind taking. People who cant work should be helped.

  107. The peace and social justice movement in the Catholic church was attractive as was liberation theology. Ratzinger has made it very difficult to remain a catholic. Thank you for the apology.

  108. Jill:

    What exactly is social justice? I know what I think it is but then I am on the opposite end of the political spectrum from you on most, though not all, issues.

    Would you be willing to explain it to me from your political viewpoint? I don’t want to argue about it, I just want an explanation. If I have some questions would you be willing to answer them? I actually just want to understand the concept from a different perspective.

  109. 10/4 on both accounts. My friend is a nun of a liberal Catholic order and no one wants to sign up because they’re too liberal. These nuns have really been hassled by the hierarchy.

    Buddha,

    I really wish you would use less incendiary language with me. How about just saying you disagree with me and say why? You sound like a scold when you say you’re going to take me to task. Also, good job on your party principles. They make a lot of sense!

  110. Byron,

    You didn’t answer my questions, what’s the broken window? Remember it has to meet those assumptions or your analogy’s no good. If you’re going to use a well known analogy then you’d better be able to explain why it’s applicable, otherwise you’re just being lazy and cribbing someone else’s notes.

  111. Byron,

    Also, No personal benefit from the interstate system? Really? So you don’t think all those goods that get shipped in from out of town would cost more if the trip took longer?

  112. Jill,

    We just disagree on the incendiary value of the phrase “take to task”. :D You should know by now, having seen me eat enough trolls and win enough arguments, that when I go incendiary I usually go full on flame thrower if not tactical nuclear. No scold was meant and I’m sorry if you took it that way.

    And thanks. I’ll tell you this too: working on this project and using the Declaration of Independence as the basis for principles behind selecting the platform items has made me truly re-evaluate and appreciate what an intelligent guy Jefferson was.

  113. Byron–

    I wrote: Our economy isn’t going to get much better until we start manufacturing goods again in this country. Instead, we give tax breaks to corporations that build factories in other countries where the wages are much, much lower.

    You asked: Good point but how do you attract companies back to the US?

    **********
    How about not giving the corporations that build plants in foreign countries tax breaks for starters? Why not give tax breaks to companies that build manufacturing plants in the US and provide jobs for out-of-work Americans?

  114. Swarthmore mom–

    I left the Catholic Church a loooonnnng before Ratzinger became pope.

    This one’s for you!

    Vatican: Ordination Of Women A ‘Grave Crime’ (Huffington Post, 7/15/2010)
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/15/vatican-ordination-of-wom_n_647296.html

    Excerpt: VATICAN CITY — The Vatican issued a revised set of in-house rules Thursday to respond to clerical sex abuse, targeting priests who molest the mentally disabled as well as children and priests who use child pornography, but making few substantive changes to existing practice.

    The new rules make no mention of the need for bishops to report clerical sex abuse to police, provide no canonical sanctions for bishops who cover up for abusers and do not include any “one-strike and you’re out” policy for pedophile priests as demanded by some victims.

    As a result, they failed to satisfy victims’ advocates, who said the revised rules amounted to little more than “administrative housekeeping” of existing practice when what was needed were bold new rules threatening bishops who fail to report molester priests.

    The rules cover the canonical penalties and procedures used for the most grave crimes in the church, both sacramental and moral, and double the statute of limitations applied to them. One new element included lists the attempted ordination of women as a “grave crime” subject to the same set of procedures and punishments meted out for sex abuse.

  115. Byron said:

    “And how about getting rid of funding for the arts and sciences, way too political in my mind.”

    Were you trying to get my goat? I’ll leave the question of public funding the of arts (which I approve of) to someone else and tackle the question that I know more about: science. Do you really want to create a depression amongst PhDs, cripple the university system and ensure the end of America’s leadership in discovery? The private sector would be horrible at funding basic research (look at pharma – most of their research money is spent on figuring out new uses of the drugs they have rather than creating new drugs these days). Most of the benefits of research (and they are many) don’t come from specific inquiry into achieving that benefit (we didn’t go to the moon in order to find velcro, for instance). If science is too political, the answer is to get politics out of scientific funding as much as possible and out of scientific research entirely, not to end the public funding of science. I think you would be really unhappy with the boatload of unintended consequences that would come with cutting off public funding of scientists (unless you’re secretly working for China ;-)).

  116. Slart,

    I’ll argue much more strongly for federally funded science than I will art. For the reason that the vast majority of art can be effectively funded by groups other than the federal government(local governments have a vested interest in maintaining the cultural base of their city, private collectors, etc.).

  117. Elaine. It is terrible. Fortunately the only punishment they have to give out is ex-communication. People do not care that much anymore. They will receive communion if they want. Many American catholics no longer pay attention to Rome. Look what just happened in Argentina which is a country largely comprised of catholics. They ignored the church and made gay marriage equal.

  118. Gyges:

    I thought I had answered your question. Wasn’t the well analogy acceptable? (I even thought that one up all on my lonesome :) )
    That analogy was used by one of the top economists (Walter Williams) in the country to demonstrate the effect of stimulus money in an economy. It is the lost opportunity of money. And please tell me why it would create prosperity to buy windows for everyone rather than suits of clothes or new ovens or new sewing machines?

    How do you know I actually benefit from the interstate system? How do you know a private system of toll roads wouldn’t reduce the price of my goods and put more money in my pocket because I am paying less in taxes both to the federal government and at the pump.

  119. Elaine:

    Good idea, I like it. But is that enough? I would also reduce some of the more hobbling regulations that don’t do much but cost large sums of money to both enforce and comply with.

  120. Slarti:

    Velcro was discovered in 1941 by some guy walking in the woods.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velcro

    teflon 1938

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polytetrafluoroethylene

    transistor 1925

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transistor

    and I might add all by individuals or companies for profit. The moon shot would not have been possible without the private sector and the discoveries made by people looking to benefit themselves. I also might add that Werner Von Braun should have been shot or hanged but was needed by the US. From here I could rant about science in service/subservience to the state but I wont, I think you probably get the idea I have in mind.

  121. Slarti:

    Velcro was discovered in 1941 by some guy walking in the woods.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velcro

    teflon 1938

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polytetrafluoroethylene

    and I might add all by individuals or companies for profit. The moon shot would not have been possible without the private sector and the discoveries made by people looking to benefit themselves. I also might add that Werner Von Braun should have been shot or hanged but was needed by the US. From here I could rant about science in service/subservience to the state but I wont, I think you probably get the idea I have in mind.

  122. Byron said:

    “please keep that our secret.”

    Sorry, my bad.

    Byron said:

    “Velcro was discovered in 1941 by some guy walking in the woods.”

    Great, one of my favorite factoids is apocryphal. Thanks a lot. Pppttthhhpt! It did become popular (and hence profitable) because of its extensive use by NASA, so my example still has some validity. The private sector certainly has a role in scientific research, but it would not and could not do the job alone.

    In re your conversation with Gyges, if were going to consider the opportunity cost of the money spent on stimulus, what about the stimulative effect of different kinds of spending (i.e. tax cuts generate $1.03 of economic activity per dollar spent, unemployment benefits generate $1.63 – I believe food stamps are the best form of stimulus known). I can see extending unemployment benefits as being worth the opportunity costs, but tax cuts clearly aren’t. ;-)

  123. “tax cuts generate $1.03 of economic activity per dollar spent, unemployment benefits generate $1.63 – I believe food stamps are the best form of stimulus known”

    Tax cuts generate $1.03 for every dollar spent? Who spends that dollar? I can tell you who spends that dollar when it is for unemployment benefits, and food stamps.

    Tax cuts are not money spent by the government. Unfortunately, there is no way to have tax cuts when the government thinks that spending is the way to go.

  124. Slarti:

    I wouldnt want that guy mad at me, very biting satire and to my point. How did you happen on him?

  125. Byron,

    You’ve never heard Tom Leher before? I’ve known of him since early childhood (as my high school calculus teacher would say). Here are a couple more of my favorites:

    (I put another one into an email that I’m writing you…)

  126. Slarti:

    I got on you-tube and just listened to a bunch, very funny stuff. As one blogger said a “demented Cole Porter”. He is great fun.

    Does he do anything else?

  127. Byron,

    I’m asking a very simple question here: Why is spending money on a stimulus like having to buy a window to replace one that’s broken?

    I mean, I get that it’s an analogy, and hugely simplified, but you at least have to have SOMETHING that’s like a broken window.

    A great place for the analogy would be arguing against someone saying: “BP is helping the economy in the Gulf because of all the people needed to do the clean up work,” or “We should just pay people to dig holes and then fill them in,” or “seizing this shopping center for eminent domain to build a hotel will provide jobs for hotel workers.”

    Those are whole different things than “hiring office workers doesn’t help anything.” So I’m asking, why do YOU think that this story fit for THIS type of government spending.

    As to the roads thing, true free market roads are impossible in practice. Thanks to topographical, private property, and population considerations, a road is a natural monopoly, and by their very nature any such enterprise has to rely on government support. Thus no free market. See: The railroads.

  128. Hogwarts student,

    Tax cuts are a decrease in government revenue, therefore they impact the deficit in exactly the same way as spending increases. When we’re talking about the stimulus, we’re talking about the benefit of raising the deficit by $1 (the money that will not be available for other purposes).

    Byron,

    He slices, he dices, he juliennes… Um. No, he doesn’t do anything else, as it were.

  129. Byron–

    You said: “Good idea, I like it. But is that enough? I would also reduce some of the more hobbling regulations that don’t do much but cost large sums of money to both enforce and comply with.”

    I happen to be of the opinion that companies need regulations to keep their workers safe. I’m not so naive as to believe that companies will always “do the right thing.” If we could trust them–we wouldn’t need costly regulations. Look at what BP! And MMS was asleep at the wheel.

    **********

    Have you heard about this following story?:

    Massey Energy Turned off Methane Detector at Doomed Mine
    By: Michael Whitney Thursday July 15, 2010 10:24 am

    http://workinprogress.firedoglake.com/2010/07/15/massey-energy-turned-off-methane-detector-at-doomed-mine/

    Excerpt:
    On February 13, 2010, the management at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch Mine ordered an electrician to disable a methane alarm that kept going off, according to NPR. On April 6, a methane explosion ripped through the mine, killing 29 West Virginia coal miners in the worst mine disaster in decades.

    Why did Massey management want the alarm turned off? Because the alarm was detecting dangerous levels of methane, and when the alarm sounds, mining must stop until methane returns to acceptable levels. So instead of fixing the problem of dangerous levels of methane, Massey decided to turn off the alarm and ignore the methane.

  130. Slart,

    Do you happen to have a link to that study about effective uses of tax dollars, I think it might be germane to the discussion of “lost opportunity of money.”

  131. Byron, I agree with you that regulations are hobbling. But that is their purpose. And the greater the risk a particular business enterprise poses to the public, the greater the degree of hobbling that is required. I think you will agree that we have seen over the past few years more than enough evidence of the adverse effects of deregulation and of the haphazard enforcement of existing regulations, which is the same thing. That is one of the reasons that the new wish list of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, soon to be adopted as the Republican Party platform, is patently absurd.

  132. Elaine/Mike:

    If they did that they should be in jail for murder.

    What government agency oversaw their operation? We have all of these regulations and there seems to be no enforcement. In the construction industry lost time accidents were reduced when insurance companies gave rebates to construction companies for safe job sites. OSHA really didn’t do much to make construction sites safer but they do have some manuals on design of safe trenching excavations that I don’t use because I don’t think they are safe enough to follow to put men in a hole in the earth and so I do my own designs for earth support.

    Who is watching the “watchers”? If the proposition is that men are morally corrupt and need to be controlled in order for them to do good, then all are in the same way in need of oversight. Which has been pretty much proven over the past few months with Massey Energy, BP, Bernie Madoff and others. There has been a massive failure of government oversight, what makes you think it will change?

    Why not just provide for more access to the court system and let injured parties sue the hell out of companies like Massey Energy and have prohibitions against bankruptcy and compensation caps and make the owners and management responsible for criminal activities on the part of the company? What does a fine do? It doesn’t make the injured party or their family whole.

  133. B,

    “There has been a massive failure of government oversight, what makes you think it will change?”

    Removing the graft from the system would improve oversight efficiency enormously.

  134. Byron–

    “What does a fine do?”

    The fines were in no way near stiff enough. The Massey mine company was cited hundreds of times. The fines were a nuisance…no more. The government should have made them pay through the teeth for each violation. Then maybe the company would have done the right thing–for monetary reasons.

  135. Elaine:

    I tend to agree but how about putting the money gathered from fines into a widow and orphans type fund and set it aside for people who lose their lives rather than putting it on the general ledger?

  136. Byron,

    If the fines are sufficient to punish a corporation as large as Massey or BP, there would be plenty of cash to do both.

  137. Byron, you raise some very good points regarding regulatory enforcement and private remedies for injured consumers. I have some things to do, but will follow up on your comments later.

  138. Byron said:

    “Who is watching the “watchers”? If the proposition is that men are morally corrupt and need to be controlled in order for them to do good, then all are in the same way in need of oversight. Which has been pretty much proven over the past few months with Massey Energy, BP, Bernie Madoff and others. There has been a massive failure of government oversight, what makes you think it will change?”

    That we are seeing failures of regulation after 8 years of the Bush administration doing as much damage to regulatory agencies as possible is unsurprising. Eight years of the systematic destruction of regulatory systems developed over decades doesn’t immediately change with a new administration and things like Bernie Madoff, the collapse of the housing bubble, the upper big branch mine, and the Deepwater Horizon spill are the foreseeable results.

  139. In re Tom Lehrer: I’m a long time fan of that smart and silly man. I blame Dr. Demento.

    In re Regulation: What Mike A. said.

    In re CPP Platform items: I need a break from working on the Statement of Principles, so I am most certainly open for discussion of #9 or any other plank or proposed plank.

  140. Elaine posted:

    Byron–

    “What does a fine do?”

    The fines were in no way near stiff enough. The Massey mine company was cited hundreds of times. The fines were a nuisance…no more. The government should have made them pay through the teeth for each violation. Then maybe the company would have done the right thing–for monetary reasons.

    Byron,

    What Elaine said. Its all about making the desired behavior (in this case proper safety measures) the most behavior by which the company will make the most money. Companies (their executives, in particular) should know that if they screw up it will cost them their profits, their jobs and their shareholder’s value. The system should be such that any bean counter will tell you that the cost of reasonable safety precautions is far cheaper than the expected cost of fines, damage and liability resulting from an accident. There should be someone at BP who says: “Well save $x per well by taking these safety shortcuts but there’s a y% chance that we’ll lose half of our shareholder’s value (and lose our jobs and possibly be sent to jail) so these shortcuts probably aren’t a good idea.

    Byron said,

    “Elaine:

    I tend to agree but how about putting the money gathered from fines into a widow and orphans type fund and set it aside for people who lose their lives rather than putting it on the general ledger?”

    The money should go to deficit reduction – any increase in revenue should go to lowering the deficit (or the debt) until the debt is down to an acceptable level of GDP. As far as widows and orphans go, any company who’s employee dies on the job should be required to pay that person’s estate, say, twice their expected lifetime wages (an amount that is both putative to the company and sufficient to provide for the heirs). Every single company should be aware that a workers death is an unacceptable cost (financially as well as morally).

  141. “The money should go to deficit reduction – any increase in revenue should go to lowering the deficit (or the debt) until the debt is down to an acceptable level of GDP. As far as widows and orphans go, any company who’s employee dies on the job should be required to pay that person’s estate, say, twice their expected lifetime wages (an amount that is both putative to the company and sufficient to provide for the heirs). Every single company should be aware that a workers death is an unacceptable cost (financially as well as morally).”

    That’s quite equitable.

  142. Buddha,

    in re #9:

    I’m coming to the opinion that plank #9 is an ad hoc fix of problems that are more properly and effectively addressed by campaign finance reform. A friend of mine (who has a PhD in political science would argue that elections are effectively term limits (I agree with this once the overwhelming incumbency advantage is neutralized via campaign finance reform) and I think that elections are similarly the appropriate recall/no confidence mechanism. It is the civic obligation of the people to choose the person who will represent them for the next 4 years (or whatever term of office). If your electoral system is working then you don’t need anything beyond the methods of removal already in place and if it isn’t I think this would just make things worse.

    in re regulation:

    I agree with Mike A, too.

    in re Tom Leher (from Wikipedia):

    Lehrer has said of his musical career, “If, after hearing my songs, just one human being is inspired to say something nasty to a friend, or perhaps to strike a loved one, it will all have been worth the while.”[19]

  143. Slarti,

    In re #9: Duly noted. I want to sleep on that redundancy argument a bit. You may have sold it.

    In re Lehrer: That’s just plain funny. I think I’m going to make his day and say something nasty to one of my cats.

  144. Woosty es todavía un gato,

    I do like the Capital Steps and watched that very song earlier. ;-)

  145. Slarti:

    “The money should go to deficit reduction – any increase in revenue should go to lowering the deficit (or the debt) until the debt is down to an acceptable level of GDP.”

    Why? Individuals are the ones harmed not the country as a whole.

  146. Buddha:

    #9 has got to go, it would lead to chaos. Political payback would be the order of the day. You recalled my candidate, I am going to recall yours. It would be a never ending cycle of revenge. Decent people would not want to run for office, although I guess they don’t want to now.

    There would be no stability.

  147. Byron,

    There is a concept in law called unjust enrichment. While it usually applies to contracts, it’s not a stretch to extend it to damage awards as it has been historically applied to restitutions other than remunerative elements of contracts, i.e. said types of tort damages. Making the families whole is one thing, but the excess cash from the penalties above and beyond that equitable distribution should rightly go to deficit reduction/general surplus (like we’ll ever see another surplus now the fascists are running things).

  148. I agree with Byron on this one. The state legislatures for the most part are highly partisan and contentious. Look what they do with re-districting. I know I used to work in one.

  149. Byron,

    I don’t buy that. Part of the problem now is it’s too difficult to remove entrenched bad actors. That’s the precise reason I included it in the first place. I’m closer to buying Slarti’s redundancy in light of campaign finance reform than I am the payback issue.

    Why?

    Voters. They’d 1) have a say and 2) likely take out any pols opting for No Confidence on a publicly favored politician.

  150. Smom,

    Not all states engage in the gerrymandering nonsense Texas does. And a No Confidence vote would need to be based on an arguably valid assertion or cause, not simply “we in the X party don’t like them because they are in Y party”.

  151. If it’s any consolation, I’m leaning toward replacing #9 with an amendment to limit SCOTUS terms from life to 20 or 25 years and/or making them elected in a post-campaign finance reform scenario. We need to address not just bad actors in elected office, but we need to be able to limit the kind of damage fascist jackasses like Scalia and Roberts can do.

  152. I did not work in a state legislature in Texas. I worked in a state where Michele Bachmann was a state senator. There are so many crazies in those state legislatures I would continue to oppose number 9.

  153. Byron,

    That won’t work as a practical matter. I was in fact addressing that very issue in the Statement of Principles before I checked back in here. We have to have a mechanism for the party members to contribute to platform definition. Right now? That’s what we are in effect doing on an ad hoc basis, but as the party grows we’ll need a caucus like structure so party members can submit platform proposals to the CPP for debate and democratic review by party members before including said items in the platform as it evolves.

  154. Buddha,

    A few thoughts:

    1. This is the simplest part in theory and trickiest part in practice. How do you decide which laws are Law and which aren’t?

    2. Amen

    3. Preach it Brother

    4. This and Number 5 are necessarily paired together (Byron’s dislike of public roads and teachers not withstanding), rebuilding the the roads is MUCH more effective if all the money spent on equipment and materials stays in country. I’d say you could even combine the two into: Number 4, using as much American parts as possible, and only labor in the country legally. I see restoring our manufacturing base as part of restoring our infrastructure.

    5. See 4

    6. Any stricter immigration reform has to deal with enforcing the ban on hiring. (which I believe you stick in 5).

    7. Sign me up (even though I loose my successful on an evolutionary level credit)

    8. Assuming that the Fed. supplies a subsidy to help poorer rural districts afford compliance.

    9. I think this is actually the most systematic change. While we’re at it I’d like to see us go back to a “Vice president is the guy who comes in 2nd method. I think that would be a BIG step in encouraging third parties and discouraging the sort of “anything to oppose the OTHER side” feedback loop the minority party seems to sink into lately.

    10. Number one covers this, being as we haven’t really ‘declared war’ on anyone in several decades. I think that the best way to go about preventing ‘military actions’ is to put a time\troop limit on any action not approved by Congress. You’d probably need to make a separate category for some small to medium sized operations (both in troop and time limitations) that allows them to be voted on by a smaller subset of the Congress (National Security and Defense committees?) for clearance reasons, but the votes and actions should be a matter of public record as SOON as the action is complete. I’d also go for a limit on the size of the standing army (on a scale relative to the rest of the world say something like 2/3rds of the worlds’ largest army).

  155. And yes I did mean “Worlds'” I’m counting on first contact within 25 years or so.

    The question is how exactly do we determine the army size of a species who function as individuals until the numbers gathered together reaches critical mass, and then they function as a hive mind?

    Where’s Lem when you need him?

  156. Gyges:

    why only American goods? I want free trade with no tariffs or other restrictions. To hell with the rest of the world, if they want to limit their economies then let them.

    I am not against teachers, I married one and roads are good as well. I am just saying there are other ways of doing things. We need to change how we conduct and think about how we do business as a country. Buddha’s idea about getting rid of K St. is a very good start and an elimination of corporate welfare is good as well.

  157. Byron,

    Free trade doesn’t work simply because most of the world doesn’t engage in it. It’s a lovely idea that has largely failed in practice. We are headed back to the age of trade wars, one way or another, so I say we should benefit American based companies just like the Chinese and Russians do for their domestic companies.

    Gyges,

    I’ll get to your points later. My stomach is threatening to consume my liver so I’m going out for lunch.

  158. Byron,

    Since the Government isn’t looking to turn a monetary profit, the cost\benefit analysis involves different considerations. Encouraging return of manufacturing to the U.S. has several benefits that seeking a cheaper source would not. Jobs, reducing the out flow of capital from the U.S., self sufficiency in times of war, etc. That’s not to say that all work EVER should only use American parts, that’s just to say that all work done with government funds should try and provide the most benefit to the source of the funds (the tax payers), and using as many American goods helps goose the benefits of a project.

    The language of the requirement would be something like ‘the company can apply for an exemption, if they are able to show that: the cost of American goods is too high, the quality is too low, or are unavailable.’ That assumes a review process that would be subject to corruption, but that’s why we have the office of Inspector General. Also, if science can do Double Blind studies, why can’t bureaucracies be set up in a similar fashion?

  159. Workers demand higher wages in China
    By ELAINE KURTENBACH | THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Published: July 10, 2010
    http://www2.timesdispatch.com/business/business/2010/jul/10/b-chin10-ar-287158/

    Excerpt:
    SHANGHAI —
    Factory workers demanding better wages and working conditions are hastening the eventual end of an era of cheap costs that helped make southern coastal China the world’s factory floor.

    A series of strikes over the past two months has been a rude wakeup call for the many foreign companies that depend on China’s low costs to compete overseas, from makers of Christmas trees to manufacturers of gadgets like the iPad.

    Where once low-tech factories and scant wages were welcomed in a China eager to escape isolation and poverty, workers are now demanding a bigger share of the profits. The government, meanwhile, is pushing foreign companies to make investments in areas it believes will create greater wealth for China, like high technology.

    Many companies are striving to stay profitable by shifting factories to cheaper areas farther inland or to other developing countries, and a few are even resuming production in the West.
    “China is going to go through a very dramatic period. The big companies are starting to exit,” said Rick Goodwin, a China trade veteran of 22 years whose company links foreign buyers with Chinese suppliers. “We all see the writing on the wall.”

  160. Byron,

    To be clear, I’m talking about a specific restriction for new purchases for Federally funded government contracts, NOT a restriction on private enterprises, or even state and local governments. In this case: Construction company A needs to buy a steam roller to complete the job for the government, it needs to either buy an American built steam roller, show that one is prohibitively expensive, demonstrably inferior, or simply nonexistent, before it can use government funds to buy a foreign built steam roller.

    Ideally the steam roller should be made from American parts, but that level of investigation and documentation would be prohibitive, so I’m just suggesting that Construction Company A needs one that was assembled in the U.S.

    Since the Government is acting as one party of a contract in this scenario, it is free to ask for whatever it wants from the other party, who is free to say “yes\no\this is going to raise the cost X.”

    This all assumes a bidding process for contracts, so that “Raise the cost by X” is based on reality rather than some company seeking to jack up their profit. Will this raise prices? Probably initially, but I think the benefits to the American Tax payer as a whole would be enough to justify the increase.

  161. edit:

    “Construction company A needs to buy a steam roller to complete the job for the government, it needs to either buy an American built steam roller, or show that one is prohibitively expensive, demonstrably inferior, or simply nonexistent.”

  162. Michelle “Batshit Crazy” Bachmann is in the news again!

    Michele Bachmann Plans To Form Tea Party Caucus In Congress (Huffington Post, 7/16/2010)
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/16/tea-party-caucus-michele_n_648817.html

    Excerpt:
    Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has plans in the works to create a Tea Party Caucus in the United States House of Representatives.
    Bachmann on Thursday filed paperwork to establish the House affinity group, which the conservative congresswoman says will call for “fiscal responsibility, adherence to the Constitution, and limited government.”

    “This caucus will espouse the timeless principles of our founding, principles that all Members of Congress have sworn to uphold,” Bachmann said in a statement. “The American people are doing their part and making their voices heard and this caucus will prove that there are some here in Washington willing to listen.”

    Bachmann took to Twitter to credit Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul with inspiring her to start the new caucus. “I applaud Rand Paul and look forward to bringing the Tea Party to the House!” she wrote.

    Earlier this week, Paul raised the idea of founding a “tea-party caucus” in the Senate in an interview with the National Review.

  163. Submitted for your consideration, the introduction and first (of six) statements of CPP Principles (draft).
    ______
    Statement of Principles for the Constitutional Populist Party (draft)

    The roots of the American Dream – the ideals and vision that made this country a bright and shinning beacon for seekers of liberty and freedom around the world for decade upon decade – are firmly set in The Declaration of Independence. As such, the Principles of the Constitutional Populist Party (CPP) use this invaluable work of Thomas Jefferson as a primary touchstone in defining both the vision of the party and our shared vision for the future of America. Along with the Constitution, the Declaration provides both the tools and lights the way to put America back on the path to being this beacon again. To explain the Principles of the CPP, let’s start with the source itself, the Declaration of Independence.
    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.”
    We will address these founding party principles in the order which Jefferson first presented them and place them within context of the Constitutional framework.

    1.“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal”

    The CPP is dedicated to the proposition that all men, in the generic sense of “mankind”, are indeed created equal. We are committed to the ideal that ones wealth, skin color, cultural heritage, gender and sexual orientation make no difference in one’s treatment by the laws of this land. That the rights of all Americans to seek the American Dream and receive just and equitable treatment from their government is a guarantee – a vital part of the social contract between citizens and the government that serves “We the People”.
    These guarantees and the others contained in the Constitution apply – indeed were meant to apply by our Founding Fathers – only to natural human beings holding U.S. citizenship and not to constructs like the legal fiction of a corporation. The CPP will always promote policies of equality and non-discrimination based on wealth, skin color, cultural heritage, gender and sexual orientation.
    To that end, the CPP operates under the principle that marriage is a religious insitution but that human pair bonding and the choice of sexual self-determination are inalienable human rights. Sexual determination as an inalienable human right does not extend to the psycholigically diagnosed deviant behavior of pedophilia. This is rightfully considered criminal behavior and should contiue to be considered undesriable illegal behavior as long as people of good conscience draw breath. Children are the weakest members of society and ergo deserve protections from sexual preadators.
    Marriage, while rooted in various religious traditions, has long been recognized to contain a contractual component. In order to promote equity, the CPP endorses same sex civil unions with rights and responsibilities equal to those attached to traditional religiously sanctioned marriages. To whit, insurance and tax benefits for partners, access to civil divorce proceedings, the right to visit ill partners in hospital and be legally recognized as next of kin if still participating in a civil union. If a religious insitutions should choose not to recognize same sex unions within the confines of their organization, that is their right under the Constitution, but as a matter of law and equity, the law must be made to recognize all human pair bonding as equal before the law and afford them the legal protections and rights enjoyed by heterosexual couples.
    Given that sexual determination is an inalienable human right, the CPP also considers that a woman’s freedom of choice in choosing to have an abortion in line with the ruling of ROE v. WADE, 410 U.S. 113 (1973) is also an inalienable right that travels soley with the pregnant woman. There are many reasons to disallow religious beleifs to influence the law in this matter and guarantee it as a civil right. Chiefly among these is the inability to care for a child either emotionally or finanacially creates an added burdon not just to the prospective mother – who may or may not have a present biological father to contribute to the raising of children – but to society as a whole in the form of costs associated to welfare programs and the abadndonment and/or abuse of undesired children. Brining children into the world and raising them to be healthy responsible adults is a serious business that should not be forced upon those unable and/or unwilling to do what is required.
    These principles are in line with both equality and the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness.

  164. I have more than that done, but that’s what I feel comfortable in submitting for review at this time.

  165. BIL,

    In order to keep the Blog more or less on track, may I suggest we reconvene in someone else house? WordPress blogs are easy to set up and you could post a link. Alternatly, WIX.com has an idiot proof web designer, and free page hosting (but they do run off of flash, which has (at least for me) been temperamental lately (I blame Farmville).

    Of course JT doesn’t seem to mind these sorts of distractions all that much, but sometimes discretion is the better part of manners.

  166. Gyges,

    “1. This is the simplest part in theory and trickiest part in practice. How do you decide which laws are Law and which aren’t?”
    Basically I’m using the razor that if it abridges a Constitutional right or duty or a basic human right, then it’s illegal and must be disposed of to restore the rule of law.
    “4. This and Number 5 are necessarily paired together (Byron’s dislike of public roads and teachers not withstanding), rebuilding the the roads is MUCH more effective if all the money spent on equipment and materials stays in country. I’d say you could even combine the two into: Number 4, using as much American parts as possible, and only labor in the country legally. I see restoring our manufacturing base as part of restoring our infrastructure.
    5. See 4”
    I do not disagree with this assessment and will take into consideration combining manufacturing capacity under the heading of infrastructure.
    “6. Any stricter immigration reform has to deal with enforcing the ban on hiring. (which I believe you stick in 5).”
    I propose not just a ban on hiring illegals, but harsh punishment on employers for doing so.
    “8. Assuming that the Fed. supplies a subsidy to help poorer rural districts afford compliance.”
    This is a resonable component of campaign finance and I will clarify and expand the language in the fuller version of the platform to address this.
    “9. I think this is actually the most systematic change. While we’re at it I’d like to see us go back to a “Vice president is the guy who comes in 2nd method. I think that would be a BIG step in encouraging third parties and discouraging the sort of “anything to oppose the OTHER side” feedback loop the minority party seems to sink into lately.”
    Oooo. I like the VP is 2nd runner up proposition as an alternative to the (already proving to be contenteous) No Confidence measures. It would certainly force a more intra-party co-operatve stance on the Hill especially when combined with opening the system to more parties (which in itself will foster coalition building).
    Anyone else have thoughts on Gyges proposal?
    “10. Number one covers this, being as we haven’t really ‘declared war’ on anyone in several decades. I think that the best way to go about preventing ‘military actions’ is to put a time\troop limit on any action not approved by Congress. You’d probably need to make a separate category for some small to medium sized operations (both in troop and time limitations) that allows them to be voted on by a smaller subset of the Congress (National Security and Defense committees?) for clearance reasons, but the votes and actions should be a matter of public record as SOON as the action is complete. I’d also go for a limit on the size of the standing army (on a scale relative to the rest of the world say something like 2/3rds of the worlds’ largest army).”
    I agree that limiting standing army size to what is adequate for self-defense during peacetime is something to consider in re-evaluation of military resources and deployment. Jefferson was so right about the danger of a standing army but I’m certain his apprehension and fear of their abuse by aggressors was a logoritmic progression in relation to size. I also want to do away with contracted private military. Mercenaries are a bad idea all the way around and even that sociopath Machivelli thought so. If this means we have to reinstitute the draft to go to war in a foreign land? I think that’s a fine idea as long as there are no exemptions for “Politicians Son’s”, gender or sexual orientation but only allow exemptions based on filling a critical support need at home, for health reasons and/or for single parents of underage children. This is a much broader plank then the narrow piece of wood I posted suggests and I know it will expand over time.

    In re: relocation. I’m ahead of you there and I am most grateful (once again) for the Professor’s indulgence(s). He is truly a kind and munificent host. I’m working on that already and time permitting will have something set up over the w/e or early next week. I’m probably going to use WordPress but I have a couple of other alternatives I want to check out too. And for the record, I try to avoid proprietary formats like Flash in favor of OS alternatives :D.

  167. Gyges:
    May I suggest we reconvene in someone else house? WordPress blogs are easy to set up and you could post a link.

    BIL:
    I’m probably going to use WordPress but I have a couple of other alternatives I want to check out too.

    Terrific!

  168. Everyone,

    Anyone wanting to be on the CPP mailing list, please send an e-mail with “CPP Info Add” as the title to the following address:

    CPP.America@gmail.com

    This will get you updates on the status of the project.

    To be removed from the mailing list, please send an e-mail with “CPP Info Remove” as the title to the same address.

  169. I will join the mailing list. I like most of the ideas presented but don’t like the use of “men”. It needs to be men and women. You don’t want this to be a party limited to white men. Ron Paul will capture those folks in any case if he runs. If it is Obama verus Palin, there is no way I will vote for a third party.

  170. Gyges:
    May I suggest we reconvene in someone else house? WordPress blogs are easy to set up and you could post a link.

    BIL:
    I’m probably going to use WordPress but I have a couple of other alternatives I want to check out too.

    CCD
    Terrific!
    =============================================================

    I’m signed up for email updates and await new address for meetings

  171. Smom,

    I only used “men” where it was used in the original Declaration. If you’ll notice, I use the terms human elsewhere (except where discussing abortion rights) after the caveat about the use of the word “men”. I did this as a transition from the source material to the new material, but I will amend the sentence to read as follows:

    The CPP is dedicated to the proposition that all men, in the generic sense of “mankind”, and women are indeed created equal.

    As to the practicalities of when you’ll see a CPP endorsed candidate? This kind of thing take a bit of time. We might be looking at election cycles further out than whatever disastrous non-choices we’re going to have next Presidential elections. In addition, we are going to have to recognize the reality that we are likely to be starting out fielding candidates at local and state levels first. As they say, Rome was not built in a day. Nor will the reclamation of America for We the People.

  172. Buddha,

    I agree with a long-term view of this project. Might I suggest that in the short term campaign finance reform is the most important goal – successful CFR is the key to achieving real change in our system, in my opinion.

  173. Buddha, I’ve just signed on to this worthy endeavor. I’m just glad that you’re doing the heavy lifting.

  174. Wow.

    I’d like to thank everyone for the quick show of interest.

    Mike,

    We’ll see how much I can carry! lol

  175. Slarti,

    I agree that CFR needs be priority one or two (right behind prosecution of Bush and Cheney). Way up on the list regardless of final numeric position.

  176. Buddha,

    I have not have time to peruse this thread, but so far, kudos. (I had 115 degrees F yesterday—a cold front brought me 111 degree cold spell today so I could do this.)

  177. BIL, It’s refreshing to see a forthrightly pro-choice statement in your draft. Missouri just made it harder to get an abortion and that on to of adopting Stupak’s language to the growing morass of hoops women in MO. have to jump through, ‘scuse me, that should be ‘laws and proscriptions women in Mo. have to obey’. I’ve been fuming about it for a couple of days and then received this from the ACLU today:

    ___

    “From: aclu@aclu.org
    Subject: Abortion coverage ban from White House
    Date: July 16, 2010 5:07:28 PM CDT
    To:
    Reply-To: aclu@aclu.org

    Dear Friend,

    We need you to act immediately to undo a disturbing decision from the Obama administration. Remember all the hard work you and other ACLU activists did to defeat Rep. Stupak’s draconian abortion coverage ban during the health care debate?

    Well now, the White House has decided to voluntarily impose the ban for all women in the newly-created high risk insurance pools. What is disappointing is that there is nothing in the law that requires the Obama administration to impose this broad and highly restrictive abortion ban. It doesn’t allow states to choose to cover abortion and it doesn’t even give women the option to buy abortion coverage using their own money.

    Ask President Obama WHY his administration is restricting coverage for vulnerable women.

    Unless the Administration reverses this decision, some of America’s most vulnerable women—those with pre-existing conditions who have been denied health care coverage on the individual market—won’t be able to purchase abortion coverage except in the case of rape or incest or to save the pregnant woman’s life.

    You and I know that every woman should be able to decide what is best for her health and her family. A pro-choice administration should know that too.

    It’s especially discouraging to impose a ban on women participating in a high-risk insurance pool who are particularly vulnerable and may have a special need for abortion. For example, because of the restriction, a woman with heart disease or diabetes might be compelled to carry a pregnancy to term despite its potentially damaging effect on her future health.

    Ask President Obama not to stand in the way of vulnerable women’s health care choices.

    It’s urgent that you send your message to President Obama right now. When you do, we’ll also forward a copy to Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, whose department is putting this unnecessary and harmful restriction into effect.

    Thank you for acting on this urgent matter.

    Sincerely,

    Laura W. Murphy
    Director, Washington Legislative Office”
    ___

    We definitely need a new, viable third, fourth, fifth etc. political party in this country.

    A further, detailed rundown:
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-07-16/obama-ban-on-abortion-coverage-sparks-feminist-outrage/

  178. Lawyers et alia;

    are we engaging in… >
    ‘Sedition is a term of law which refers to overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that is deemed by the legal authority as tending toward insurrection against the established order. Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent (or resistance) to lawful authority. Sedition may include any commotion, though not aimed at direct and open violence against the laws. Seditious words in writing are seditious libel. A seditionist is one who engages in or promotes the interests of sedition.’?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedition

  179. Slartibartfast 1, July 16, 2010 at 5:45 am

    Woosty es todavía un gato,’

    Slartibartfast, lugha gani hii? ni Kihispania t ?

  180. Woosty,

    Not a lawyer, but I’d say no more than any reform party. We’re not actually speaking of a rebellion, or even a nonviolent resistance. If I catch the intentions correctly, we’re organizing an agenda for politicians to follow, some of which involve the overturning of current law.

    If that’s Sedition then Newt should have been arrested.

  181. Gyges Our family used to go to Crested Butte every summer. Now I go to Boulder and Snowmass because my son works for a non-profit that is located in both of those towns.

  182. W=c,

    No sedition here.

    Simply looking for an alternative to the entrenched and malfunction two parties that have dominated Washington for far too long and done so much damage to our country in the process or the seriously unhinged Neocon Puppet Party, er, Tea Party.

    These political parties – like the one we are proposing – are simply organizations designed to promote candidates and agendas. The GOP and DNC, and most certainly not the thinly veiled racism and theocratic leanings of the Tea Party and the lunatic fringe they attract, are not enshrined or given special protection by the Constitution to be the only choices Americans can – or indeed should – have. America is not just meant to be a religiously and culturally pluralistic society, but a politically pluralistic society as well. If the GOP and DNC don’t like competition? Screw ’em. They should have done a better job protecting our collective interests instead of lining their pockets and destroying our rights.

    If we were encouraging something like dissolving or destroying one of the three branches of government (which we are not – we seek reform and reform is not equivalent to overthrow), then that would be sedition. Proposing changes to any of those branches via Constitutional Amendment is a right and a process defined in the Constitution proper as are the processes of legislation.

    To form a new political party, its goals and operating principles must be defined. This is in accordance with not only American history but with the Rights of Free Speech and Free Association.

    The Statement of Principles (still in progress) contains very specific language against the use of political violence and clearly states that any party member or party endorsed candidate engaging in such behavior does so without any authority or prompting from the CPP and will face immediate expulsion and/or withdrawal of endorsement for doing so. I’m still working on language appropriate that recognizes their rights as citizens in re legal forms of protest and would not disqualify them from either party membership or endorsement.

    If anything, the CPP is presented as a rational and sane option to reform the Government in an attempt to avoid violence. Violence that the current path our Government is on has historically resulted in as evidenced by past inequitable regimes and their downfall such as the French Monarchy and the Roman Empire where permanent “underclasses” were created and exploited/abused. Tyranny and authoritarianism have a proven track record of ending badly for the societies that follow those paths. You can only kick people so long before they start kicking back. The CPP would like to avoid the kicking altogether – although it’s a given the corrupt and entrenched will do plenty of kicking and screaming themselves rather than see power returned to We the People. Power rightfully in our collective hands by the terms of the Constitution that has been steadily eroded and stolen by monied special interests. As long as they can control their own impulses to bad acts, there should be no issue for our stated purpose is reform to avoid and remedy oppression by legal means protected by the Constitution. Methods and tools exactly like the ones they’ve used to get us all into this mess in the first place, but like any tool, the result is only as good as the tool user.

    Overthrow the government? No, not at all. We’d like to save it and restore and preserve the undistorted vision of our Founding Fathers using the very mechanisms they designed for correcting government should it go astray – political organization and legislation.

  183. FFELO,

    Thank you. As one of our most prominent and respected conservative traditional Republican voices, your praise is a good indication that I must be on the right track. No pun intended.

  184. Woosty ist noch eine Katze sagte:

    “Slartibartfast, lugha gani hii? ni Kihispania t ?”

    Sorry, I’m not a person who can translate things from foreign, I just play one on the internet… ;-)

  185. Who gives a rats ass what the pigs do since they do actually jack now unless it benefits their ass such as seizures and duis or drug possesion something they can resell and believe me they do. If you really want to save some money fire all of their lazy slack asses since if they dont want to do their job they shouldnt get paid for doing nothing. Screw a damn pig we would all be better off without them anyway, Grab your guns and defend yourself. I plan to and that includes against the pigs.

  186. ‘If that’s Sedition then Newt should have been arrested’

    ‘If we were encouraging something like dissolving or destroying one of the three branches of government (which we are not – we seek reform and reform is not equivalent to overthrow), then that would be sedition. Proposing changes to any of those branches via Constitutional Amendment is a right and a process defined in the Constitution proper as are the processes of legislation.”.’
    Thank you for the explanations…I think it is an excellent idea and well overdue…
    I’m still in :)

  187. Slartibartfast λέει Συγγνώμη , δεν είμαι ένα πρόσωπο που μπορεί να μεταφράσει τα πράγματα από ξένους , που παίζω μόνο ένα στο διαδίκτυο …

    κι εγώ το ίδιο !

  188. Woosty(t) = Cat for b < t < now (where b is the time of Woosty's birth posted:

    "Slartibartfast λέει Συγγνώμη , δεν είμαι ένα πρόσωπο που μπορεί να μεταφράσει τα πράγματα από ξένους , που παίζω μόνο ένα στο διαδίκτυο …

    κι εγώ το ίδιο !"

    That's all Greek to me. ;-)

    By the way, it's spelled 'Σλαρτιβαρτφαστ'.

  189. Buddha Is Laughing
    1, July 17, 2010 at 1:33 pm
    W=c,

    No sedition here. …

    ===============================================================
    Buddha,

    My sincere admiration for you grows with each new post

  190. Blouise,

    Thank you very much. It is nice to know others besides my cats appreciate me as they have a vested food interest in me for he who controls the thumbs opens the tuna.

    As ever, one lives to be of service.

  191. BIL

    I’m very excited about your proposals and will follow along enthusiastically.

    My two hobby horses are Election Funds reform (my solution is NO TV ADS as one way to get the need for money out of the system) and Banking reform. Like Elaine, I’d just reinstate Glass-Stegal to start with, then hit the tax loopholes, corporate and individual.

    None of us will probably live long enough to see all these reforms take place, but we can at least start them.

    I looked at the Pres. VP from different parties and the only time it was done (Adams/Jefferson) it worked so poorly they never tried it again. It’s probably one of those ideas that are really good, but impossible for mere mortals to use successfully.

  192. Buckeye,

    No TV ads seems an unreasonable position – instead broadcast and cable networks should be required to provide a certain amount of airtime to any qualified candidate as a cost of their doing business. In order to get the corrupting money out of political campaigning, there needs to be some sort of level playing field.

    Buddha,

    I agree with Buckeye that the ‘runner-up is VP’ rule is not a good idea today. I don’t see the benefit of something that would require a Constitutional amendment to re-enact. And I certainly wouldn’t want the wingnuts (for instance) thinking about John McCain becoming president (and appointing Sarah Palin as his VP?) in the event…

  193. Slart

    Public funds should be available, of course, but that won’t stop TV ads, which is where the money is needed/spent. Other countries ban TV advertising in their elections and we really didn’t have any for the first 200 years and seemed to get along OK.

    The Pres./VP scenario can reach all kinds of nightmare heights. Palin/Lieberman, Edwards/Bachmann, etc.

    Maybe we should have a contest for the worst combination?

  194. Buckeye,

    I was suggesting that networks be required to provide a certain amount of airtime to qualified candidates (for free – this should be part of the cost of having a TV network in the US) and that candidates should not be allowed to buy any more.

    As far as nightmare scenarios, anything with ‘Palin’ in it is at the top, but the worst one (in my opinion) could only come from the current system: Palin/Bachmann.

  195. Slart

    Public funding of adverisements might work, but I’d still rather see only debates and/or position papers on free TV and no ads at all. Not sure I’d want my taxes paying for Joe Blow’s offal.

    Maybe a lawsuit about invasion of privacy or disruption of domestic tranquility could stop them? I’d include bannning robo calls also.

    The whole Pres./VP openess idea is to get each from a different party. But the idea of Palin or Bachmann on any ticket in any combination is the scariest, I agree.

  196. “Public funding of adverisements might work, but I’d still rather see only debates and/or position papers on free TV and no ads at all….”

    me too, it is a function of government, not a football game…and the ‘airwaves’ and boob tube are not strangers to having meet minor legislations to keep them from being total pirates.

    And while we are at it…the freakishly poor ‘debates’ the public has had to endure should be given back to the League of Women Voters who always added to the integrity of the proceedings.

  197. Woosty’s still a Cat

    … And while we are at it…the freakishly poor ‘debates’ the public has had to endure should be given back to the League of Women Voters who always added to the integrity of the proceedings.

    ==================================================================
    As a past president of a League of Women Voters’ chapter … I thank you for those kind and accurate words.

    The League takes candidate debates very seriously and there are several rules regarding such programs that ensure the programs fairness and integrity.

  198. Blouise,

    We should all take debates very seriously – it would greatly help if they were controlled by someone who could add to the integrity and substance of the proceedings. I am so sick of only things that can be expressed in a 30 second sound bite mattering in politics – I would like to see the return substance and nuance into our national political debate (and candidate debates as well).

  199. Blouise,

    That is really cool. Maybe not as big as being the Exalted Ruler of the Elks club, but pretty darn great! Yes, the League should get the gig!

  200. Slartibartfast–

    I’m with you!

    **********

    My opinion of presidential and vice presidential debates…as I know them from recent presidential campaigns:

    1) They aren’t true deabtes. They are more like Q&A sessions with candidates.

    2) Moderators ask some of the most inane questions.

    3) Not all candidates are invited to participate. Remember when Kucinich was excluded from a debate?

    Think how often Caribou Barbie winked during her debate with Joe Biden. Let’s get serious about presidential campaigns. The media deserves blame for the way they cover candidates…for looking for “sound bites” and not digging for real news. Let’s forget about lipstick on pigs–and address real issues.

    In addition, the campaigns begin way too early–and last way too long.

  201. Jill

    Blouise,

    That is really cool. Maybe not as big as being the Exalted Ruler of the Elks club, but pretty darn great! Yes, the League should get the gig!

    ===============================================================

    Yeah but did the Exalted Ruler ever get to kick a whole busload of followers out of the venue because they all wore t-shirts sporting their candidate’s name and picture … I bet not! They also had to move their bus which had pictures and the candidate’s name on the sides and there is no… and I mean no … advertisement of any kind allowed for any candidate within the venue or within a certain number of feet of said venue … can’t remember the exact number right now but they had to move their bus quite a distance.

    The candidate, running for an LEO office, tried to shout me down, intimidate me with threats … all manner of despicable behaviors .. at one point I was completely surrounded by screaming, red-faced busriders … but he had signed the agreement when he accepted the invitation to join the debate and that was that. Either his supporters removed their shirts and buttons and moved their vehicle or he left the platform.

    All shirts and buttons were either removed or covered, the bus was moved, and the candidate joined the debate. I later got a letter of apology from him.

  202. I’ve been mulling over the VP issue today and given the nature of both major parties today, I’ve decided it’s not viable.

    As to campaign finance reform I think we should consider as many permutations of a publicly financed option with restrictions on advertising.

  203. Byron–

    I wasn’t responding to anything you wrote. I was agreeing with Slarti when he wrote the following:

    “We should all take debates very seriously – it would greatly help if they were controlled by someone who could add to the integrity and substance of the proceedings. I am so sick of only things that can be expressed in a 30 second sound bite mattering in politics – I would like to see the return substance and nuance into our national political debate (and candidate debates as well).”

  204. The CPP Blog is going to take more time than I thought to get going because I’ve had a massive hardware failure here. I’m looking in to virtual hosting options and/or new computer options.

    It just figures that the machine (from my last business) I decided to keep would be the one to die first!

    But then it’s like Mr. G said: “To err is human, to really screw something up you need a computer.”

  205. Thanks, mespo. I’ve been wrestling with that a bit. I’ve put in so much console time this weekend, I’m a little crispy around the edges and couldn’t decide if I liked it once I finished it. :D

  206. Okay I’m agitated … Look the Tea Party is a Part of the Republican Party … But I’m sick and Tired of everybody saying they disagree because Obama is Black …. I have been Called Racist and So on … Although I hold no Political Parties Passport I am a Conservative. and I don’t disagree with Obama Because he is Black I disagree because his Policies go against what I stand for ….. Although I disagree with two people of the same sex having sex … I agree that what they do in there own Bedroom is there business also they have the right to Life Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness and I agree it is upto The Indavidual to decide what that means not the Political Parties …. But stop with this BS of if you disagree with Obama your Racist ….. Jimmy Carter is White and he was classified as a Terrible President ….. The Disagreed with Clinton he was White ….. sooooooo …. what does that mean than!!?? Come on

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