Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Individual Freedom For Everyone

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Big Picture: Video: Thom Hartmann: Time For Congress to Regulate The Supreme Court Clan!

The Big Picture: Video: Thom Hartmann: Time For Congress to Regulate The Supreme Court Clan!

This is why I have a hard time respecting a lot of the arguments of todays so-called Progressives, that I call Social Democrats. Because they are so short-sided and go off when they see something they disagree with. And say, “because of this, we must blow up the system and do something different and completely change the ways we do things.” Where was this editorial three weeks ago, or a month ago and why does Thom Hartmann wait until a ruling on the Voting Rights Act from this week, to go off on the Supreme Court? There are short-sightedness on both the lets say further Left and further Right and not saying this only belongs on the Left. But judicial activism as Senator Lindsay Graham whose obviously not a Liberal, but as the Senator said at both Elena Kagan’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing as well as the Sonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court hearing, to quote Senator Graham, “judicial activism are decisions made by courts that someone, or some people disagree with.”

The way our branches of government are supposed to work is that the legislative branch made up of our bicameral Congress of a Senate and House of Representatives, is supposed to do the legislating and oversight over the executive branch. Meaning the administration that the President leads and the judicial branch, our court system where the Supreme Court is our highest court, the executive branch is supposed to enforce the laws that the President and Congress agree to. Both the House and Senate working with the President. And the judicial branch is supposed to interpret the laws what they mean and are they constitutional, or not and. Can overturn laws not based on whether they agree with them, or not, but whether they are constitutional, or not. So in Chief Justice Roberts case who personally disagreed with the 2010 Affordable Care Act, but ruled in favor of it, because he believed it was constitutional. Not that he agreed with the law which is a different thing.

The Supreme Court didn’t throw out the entire Voting Rights Act and rule that as unconstitutional. Which I believe would’ve been judicial activism. Because whether you agree with the law, or not it’s clearly constitutional under the Equal Protection Clause. But what they did was throw out a section of it. That had to do with how the Federal Government regulates state voting laws. And gave Congress the option of rewriting it to fix that law. I disagree with that decision, but it’s not an overreach even though with the makeup of todays Congress. It looks that way with the Republican House probably not bothering to take that up.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

RT America: Texas Senator Wendy Davis Stops Anti-Abortion bill With 13-Hour Filibuster: Speaking up For The Right to Choose

Texas Senator Wendy Davis-
This piece was originally posted at FRS FreeStates on WordPress: RT America: Texas Senator Wendy Davis Stops Anti-Abortion bill With 13-Hour Filibuster: Speaking up For The Right to Choose

If you were able to stay awake along enough to read my posts about how to reform the U.S. Senate, you know I’m not against the filibuster in the sense I would limit the minority Democratic or Republican, with the ability to make their case and offer their own alternatives to bills offered by the majority. I would replace the U.S. Senate filibuster with something else that would still require the majority to come up with sixty votes. To pass their partisan legislation.

So it’s not as if I want to shut off Republican minorities. While always protecting Democratic minorities. So I’m not here saying that I’m in favor of the filibuster when it’s used against things I’m against. Whether its Senator Rand Paul filibustering against the War on Terror back in March. Something I agree with Senator Paul on or when Texas State Senator Wendy Davis filibustered the Texas anti-abortion law.

It’s not as if I’m for the filibuster when it’s used by Senators I agree with, but I’m against it when the filibuster is used to defeat legislation that I’m in favor of. Like with U.S. Senate Republicans led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell defeating a lot of legislation from Senate Democrats with the filibuster. I do not have any contradictions here. I’m not against the filibuster as long as it’s a real filibuster.

As far as what states do even though I would reform it in the U.S. Senate and what we saw with Senator Davis last night was a real filibuster similar to Senator Paul back in March. She held the floor the whole time and perhaps yield it to her colleagues who agreed with her. But it wasn’t one of those things that we saw in previous Congress’s when Leader Harry Reid would move to bring up a bill and Senate Republicans would block him with forty-one votes. Rather than talking the Leader’s motion to death.

What we saw with Senator Davis last night was a speech against big government from a Democrat. In a state like Texas where big government is supposed to be unpopular. And what she was doing in a real filibuster was standing up for women’s rights to make their own healthcare. Decisions rather than government attempting to do that for them and I congratulate her on a job well-done. And if Texas Senate Republicans bring that bill up again, I hope other Texas Democratic Senators will join her and hopefully Republicans as well to defeat those bills.

My position of abortion is the same as all other personal choice and personal freedom issues. It’s for the individual to decide on their own and then hold them accountable for their decision. So if you want an abortion, you have to find a doctor whose qualified to perform the abortion and will do it for you. As well as the funds to pay for it. Either through your insurance or out of your own pocket. But this is not something that taxpayers should be forced to finance except in case of the life or health of the mother. Because we’re talking about ending potential life. And that should only be done in extreme circumstances.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

TIME: Josh Sanburn- California Corrections: How a State Picks Thousands of Inmates to Take Out of Prison

This piece was originally posted at FRS FreeStates on WordPress: TIME: Josh Sanburn- California Corrections: How a State Picks Thousands of Inmates to Take Out of Prison

This is how to deal with prison overcrowding in California and the rest of the United States as well. And now to prevent future prison overcrowding by stop treating every offender as someone who has to be in prison for their crimes. And start taking advantage of the other services that we have for now-violent offenders. And start with the War on Drugs like ending it would be a great start. Meaning we would no longer send people to prison who are convicted of using illegal narcotics or possessing those drugs.

But instead decriminalize illegal narcotics and have people who are caught in possession of those drugs pay fines instead. Based on how much they posses and if they can’t pay off the fine right way, have them pay it down the line or put them to work for the state until the fine is paid off. Get drug addicts into drug rehab at their expense where they would stay until their doctors feel they no longer want, or feel the need for illegal narcotics. But we also need to change how we deal with other non-violent offenders as well that aren’t involved in illegal narcotics.

California, just doesn’t have overcrowded prisons, because of the War on Drugs. Which is definitely a big factor for California, but other big states like Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois and others. But they also have other non-violent offenders. Like shop-lifters, carjackers, certain white-collar offenders who aren’t suitable for prison. In the fact they aren’t career criminals and not cut out to survive in that type of environment.

Unlike career criminals and violent offenders who are exactly where they should be who also deserve a shot at building a productive life for themselves as long as it starts in prison. And when we have halfway houses and drug rehab things and other community services that do not have to be financed by taxpayers at all. And can be financed by the people who stay at these places by working there. This is exactly what we should be doing for offenders who do not pose a physical threat to society.

California has taken the right steps today, of course under a gun from the Supreme Court. No not literally you can relax, but it’s a step and something they should build on and serve as a role model for other states that are also dealing with prison overcrowding as well. Especially when there are better and even more cost-effective ways in how we deal with non-violent offenders in the United States.

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Film Archives: C-SPAN: Conservatism vs. Liberalism- William F. Buckley, Jr. vs. George McGovern, From 1997

The Film Archives: C-SPAN: Conservatism vs. Liberalism- William F. Buckley, Jr. vs. George McGovern, From 1997

This is the perfect debate to have when it comes to American politics, not necessarily the two perfect people for this debate. Even though I doubt the Right can produce anyone better than Bill Buckley, but this is the perfect debate to have. Because that’s what American politics tends to be about, Liberal vs Conservative not that they aren’t the only political philosophies in the United States.

Because of course they aren’t and I’ve blogged about other political philosophies on this blog as a Liberal. But these are the two mainstream political philosophies unless you want to consider FDR/LBJ progressivism as well. Which is different from liberalism, but even todays so-called Progressives have moved away from that progressivism. But depending on how you define liberalism and conservatism, these two political philosophies represent around sixty percent of the American public. With Socialists, Libertarians and whoever else in America representing everyone else.

I’m a Liberal because I believe in individual freedom and that it’s government number one and only job to protect the individual freedom of all Americans. So they have that opportunity to live in freedom as well. I’m not a Libertarian, or a Socialist, I’m not anti-government, or believe in the state to do most if not everything for me. And I mention that because if you say you are a Liberal today and you believe in individual freedom, people automatically assume you’re a Libertarian.

A lot of people will say, “oh you must be a Libertarian instead because you believe in individual freedom.” Or if you say you are a Liberal many times people will assume you believe in the welfare state. And you want high taxes and all sort’s of government programs to take care of us. But neither one is liberalism. The first thing I mention about liberalism is the first thing. The belief in individual freedom and that all Americans should have the opportunity to live in freedom. Rather than just a special few because of who their parents are and the type of money they can expect to inherit. Or the access to great schools and so-forth, or working for their father’s company or whatever the case is.

And if you are a Conservative you believe in individual freedom as well and that all Americans should have that freedom. You differ with Liberals on how best for people to achieve that freedom, but you have similar goals. Rather than liberalism vs conservatism being about which side can give you a better big government. The one coming from the Left that would seriously restrict economic freedom. And one from the Right that would seriously restrict personal freedom. Which is why I’ve argued that Liberals and Conservatives have plenty in common. But what makes us different is the role we have for government to protect our freedom and expand to others.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Nation: Opinion: Katrina Vanden Heuvel: An Oregon Trail to End Student Debt

The Nation: Opinion: Katrina Vanden Heuvel: An Oregon Trail to End Student Debt

Under the Oregon college affordability plan at least according to Katrina Vanden Heuvel, students in Oregon do not pay for any of their college education while in college. But pay three percent of their working income for the next twenty years after they graduate from college. So lets say someone averages seventy-thousand dollars more for the less for the first twenty years, after leaving college, which is not unrealistic, in other words one million four thousand dollars over a twenty year period, that comes out to them paying forty-two thousand dollars. The average cost of a college education right now is over hundred-thousand dollars. So that would leave colleges with a sixty-thousand dollar hole per college graduate. They simply can’t afford that. What we need to do instead is find a way to pay for that entire college education in an affordable way that makes higher education universal for all Americans.

What I’m in favor of is creating Universal College Savings Accounts or UCSA. Something I’ve already proposed on this blog. Which is for each kid that is born their parents would be able to set up an account for each student tax-free. That would be matched by their employer and perhaps even the Federal Government, or we could allow the states to set up their own systems and parents would have eighteen years to come up with the hundred-thousand dollars they would need to send each kid to college. Low-income parents, would get their contributions tax-free, but also would get that money back in a tax credit.

As well as expanding the Federal Government college academies like with the Armed Forces. And have an academy that covers Justice, Homeland Security, Foreign Affairs to use as examples. That graduates of these academies would have to serve in these services after graduating like with the military. The fact is and I know Social Democrats hate hearing this, but there’s no such thing as a free education anywhere in the world. And not even in the most socialist of countries. We have to pay for our education one way or the other and have to do it in a way that is fiscally responsible. In a way that those bills get paid, but also so everyone has access to higher education. Like we have access to K-12.