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"The First Amendment is first for a reason. If the Obama Administration is going after reporters’ phone records, they better have a damned good explanation."

Boehner

My explanation? 2001-2008 set the stage for an ultra paranoid security state, where spying is the norm. Stop complaining, Boehner - you’re just reaping the seeds your party’s previous administration sowed. If you want to fix it, fix it. You are, after all, the legislature. But you don’t want to fix it; you want to stymy any attempt at fixing anything (unless ‘fixing’ is codeword for ‘winning,’ no matter the cost to the American public).

I would say that this would be the chance for Republicans to stand up and demand actual smaller government by dismantling the unknown-cost-domestic-spying-apparatus, but we all know they don’t have the balls to.

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"There are two things that are important in politics. The first is money, and I can’t remember what the second one is."

— Mark Hanna, circa 1895

(Source: news.ycombinator.com)

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"For members of Congress and candidates for Congress spend anywhere between 30% and 70% of their time raising money from this tiny, tiny slice of us. Think of a rat in a Skinner box, learning which buttons to push to get pellets of food, and you have a pretty good sense of the life of a congressman: a constant attention to what must be done to raise money, and to raise money not from all of us, but from the tiniest slice of the 1% of us. And so what issues might that tiny, tiny slice of the 1% care about? Unemployment? Out-of-control health care costs? Actually reforming Wall Street? Obviously not. The issues that matter to this tiny fraction of the 1% are not the issues that matter to America. This is the corruption of USA-land. And it will only ever change if we change the way we fund elections."

Lawrence Lessig (via azspot)

(via azspot)

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imageoscillite:

Former Republican lawmaker tearfully expresses regret for casting what she calls a “politically expedient vote in favor of DOMA”. 

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Senator Elizabeth Warren asking some tough questions of bank regulators. I’m so glad this woman was elected.

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The founding fathers were, by and large, Deists. Which was a popular philosophy during the Age of Reason.

The founding fathers were, by and large, Deists. Which was a popular philosophy during the Age of Reason.

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azspot:

Tom Toles
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quickhits:

Remember those financial geniuses that blew 40% of American’s wealth? Yeah, they like Romney.

Politico:
For three years, Wall Street’s been telling the world how much it can’t stand President Barack Obama.
Now, thanks to campaign finance filings, it’s possible to put a price tag on just how much: Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign and the super PAC supporting it are outraising Obama among financial-sector donors $37.1 million to $4.8 million.
Near the front of the pack are 19 Obama donors from 2008 who are giving big to Romney.
The 19 have already given $4.8 million to Romney’s presidential campaign and the super PAC supporting it through the end of April, according to a POLITICO analysis of Federal Election Commission filings. Four years ago, they gave Obama $213,700.
None of them has given a penny to the president’s reelection campaign or the super PAC supporting it.

These are the same morons who cost you 40% of your wealth. Literally:

JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Bank of America — Romney’s top donors are a veritable rogues’ gallery of Wall Street crooks. If you’re not a billionaire and you’re planning on voting for Romney, you’re a chump.

quickhits:

Remember those financial geniuses that blew 40% of American’s wealth? Yeah, they like Romney.

Politico:

For three years, Wall Street’s been telling the world how much it can’t stand President Barack Obama.

Now, thanks to campaign finance filings, it’s possible to put a price tag on just how much: Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign and the super PAC supporting it are outraising Obama among financial-sector donors $37.1 million to $4.8 million.

Near the front of the pack are 19 Obama donors from 2008 who are giving big to Romney.

The 19 have already given $4.8 million to Romney’s presidential campaign and the super PAC supporting it through the end of April, according to a POLITICO analysis of Federal Election Commission filings. Four years ago, they gave Obama $213,700.

None of them has given a penny to the president’s reelection campaign or the super PAC supporting it.

These are the same morons who cost you 40% of your wealth. Literally:

JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Bank of America — Romney’s top donors are a veritable rogues’ gallery of Wall Street crooks. If you’re not a billionaire and you’re planning on voting for Romney, you’re a chump.

(via other-stuff)

Tags: politics
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Public discontent with Congress has reached record levels, and the implications for incumbents in next year’s elections could be stark. Two-in-three voters say most members of Congress should be voted out of office in 2012 – the highest on record. And the number who say their own member should be replaced matches the all-time high recorded in 2010, when fully 58 members of Congress lost reelection bids – the most in any election since 1948.

Frustration with Congress Could Hurt Republican Incumbents

Public discontent with Congress has reached record levels, and the implications for incumbents in next year’s elections could be stark. Two-in-three voters say most members of Congress should be voted out of office in 2012 – the highest on record. And the number who say their own member should be replaced matches the all-time high recorded in 2010, when fully 58 members of Congress lost reelection bids – the most in any election since 1948.

Frustration with Congress Could Hurt Republican Incumbents

Tags: politics news
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The ridiculousness of the GOP candidates.

This circus is the decline of the GOP. It has met, shaken hands with, and surpassed Poe’s Law.

The media continuing to report on it is a travesty, but best left for another post.

The GOP has terrible approval ratings - 77% disapprove, +/- 3 points.

Americans Elect is attempting to step up and provide an alternative - but with little media coverage, I don’t know how successful it will be.

Each of the major shifts of political parties in American history corresponds to major historical events:

  • The first party system (Federalists, Democratic-Republicans) came about after the initial rocky road of politics. 
  • The second party system (Jacksonian Democrats, Whigs) came about due primarily to fall of the Federalists after the War of 1812. 
  • The third party system saw the rise of the staunchly anti-slavery Republicans (who absorbed many of the economic policies of the Whigs), the Civil War and the Reconstruction.
  • The fourth party system rose from the ashes of the panic of 1893, dominated by the Republican party. It was characterized, at the beginning, with reform. Then WW1 and the Great Depression happened, leading to…
  • The fifth party system, beginning with the Democrats rise to power and the New Deal.

Some say the fifth party system ended in the 60s, when Republicans regained control over the presidency. Others say it ended with the Moral Majority in the early 1980s, realigning the Republicans into the neo-conservative face we see today. There’s no doubt that positions have shifted and realigned over the past 30 years.

But the rise of Republicans to power preceded and presided over the expansion of top-end wealth and the reduction of middle-and-bottom end wealth, as a share of the economy. It’s crumbling, now. The evidence is clear, with the idiotic corporatist shills put up for candidacy against the well-spoken Democrat financial shill we have in office.

It may not happen this election cycle. But it’s in the cards: either the GOP must completely realign their interests and coalitions, or face a slow and painful fade into obscurity. “The People” are too smart to, as a whole, buy into the manure the GOP candidates are shoveling. Yet they are also tired of the endless gifts our Banker-In-Chief hands to the banks and investment firms; they are tired of his half-assed proposals copied wholesale from the Republican agenda of two decades ago. The Democrats have shifted too far to the right.

Nixon used the ‘Silent Majority’ argument to rise to power. I’ll believe a viable third-party candidate when I see one, but I can’t see a viable opposition to Obama at this point. 

Which is disheartening. I don’t want another four years of lip-service to decades old Republican agendas that Republicans shoot down simply to be partisan. Neither do I want a moron who does not understand economics and foreign policy to rise to the office of POTUS.

Of course, this is focusing on the Presidency. Because that’s what everyone pays attention to. But no President can get anything done, policy-wise, without a strong influence with congress. For a true third party - and replacement for either the fracturing Republican party, or a newcomer to the left of the now-right-wing Democratic party - to take hold over a presidency, they must have a showing within congress.

So, examine the third party candidates this coming election season. But not for the presidency.

Examine them for your House Representative. Examine them for your Senator. But enough is enough: kick the old parties out. Time for some new ones.