Day: January 25, 2010

Progressive Era Reforms Under Assault By Supreme Court!

During the Progressive Era (1900-1920), reforms were initiated to restore government back to the people.

The Gilded Age (1868-1896) had seen the growth in power of corporations who had used the Supreme Court promotion of monopoly capitalism to corrupt local and state governments, and particularly the US Senate. So we saw legislation pass in the time of Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson to limit corporate power over campaign spending; we had municipal and state reform; we had muckraker exposure of corporate giants; and we witnessed the need for a constitutional amendment to democratize the United States Senate and take away the ability of corporations to “own” Senators, causing the accomplishment of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, giving the people direct popular vote for the upper chamber.

Now a lot of that progress is subject to threat by the Supreme Court decision to allow unlimited spending by corporations on political campaigns under the guise that corporations are “people”. So we could have Wall Street senators, Oil industry senators, Banking senators, Health Insurance senators, Computer industry senators, Walmart senators, etc.

Is this what we want, that our Senate, our House of Representatives, and our state legislatures and city councils are “owned” by corporate interests instead of the American people? 🙁 The answer is a resounding “NO!”

There is urgency to do something legislatively to fight this outrageous Supreme Court decision, so that it does not distort the whole political system in 2010 and 2012 This is, in fact, a priority, or else we may lose the country totally to the “special interests”! 🙁

Surprise In Delaware: Joe Biden’s Son Not Running For Senate

A big surprise emerged today when Beau Biden, Attorney General of Delaware and son of Vice President Joe Biden, announced he would not run for his father’s Senate seat.

It is believed possible that the loss of the Massachusetts Senate seat to Republican Scott Brown may have affected the younger Biden’s decision. It was seen as easier for him to keep his position as Attorney General, than to challenge Mike Castle, the present Delaware Congressman, who has had a long career in that chamber and is now running as the GOP candidate for the Senate.

The problem with this decision, however, is the message it sends, that the Democrats are basically giving up the seat that was Joe Biden’s for 36 years. Interim Senator Ted Kaufman, the former aide to Joe Biden, has made clear he will just finish out the two year term to the end of the year, rather than run for a full term.

The whole situation seems to make no sense, and it is a shame that the Democrats are ready to just concede the seat. At this rate, the Democrats could lose more seats than one once thought.

The Cook Political Report projects that the GOP will gain 5-7 seats in the Senate this year as things now stand. If that is the case, then the Democrats had better get moving now to get some of their agenda accomplished, including health care in some form, because if the Senate is something like only 52 to 54 seats for the Democrats in 2011-2012, it will be a major battle to get anything done before the Presidential election. And as stated earlier, it will make replacements of aging Supreme Court Justices Stevens and Ginsberg all the more complex and difficult!

Another Embarrassment For South Carolina! Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer!

As if South Carolina did not have enough government officials who are an embarrassment to the Palmetto State, now another person can be added to the list!

We already knew about Governor Mark Sanford, who went off to Argentina without telling his wife or family or even his staff, to pursue an affair outside his marriage. This has led to unsuccessful impeachment moves by the state legislature, and a recent move to censure him, but allow him to finish his term.

His lieutenant governor, Andre Bauer, who would be the successor if he were to leave office before the end of the year 2010, now has managed to get himself into trouble with his comments! Bauer showed lack of sensitivity and pure stupidity this week when he made a public statement in a speech comparing poor children to stray animals! He said that feeding stray animals or poor children both lead only to more reproduction, because you are giving them encouragement! He then apologized to animal lovers for comparing stray animals to poor children, but did not apologize to poor children and poor people in general for comparing them to stray animals! He criticized the giving of free lunches to poor children in school.  Is there anything more despicable than this?  🙁

Can you imagine if this jerk, this disgrace of a public official, were to become Governor of South Carolina? Can you actually realize that his accession to the Governorship would be worse than keeping Mark Sanford in office? What is it with South Carolina that they can elect such morons to high positions in state government? And to top it off, Andre Bauer obviously wants to be Governor, and might very well be elected if his state’s population is insensitive enough to do so this November! 🙁

So South Carolina has Mark Sanford and Andre Bauer as their two top state officials! And add to this the embarrassment of Congressman Joe Wilson who yelled “No” at President Obama last fall, and Senator Jim DeMint, considered the most right wing member of the Senate, and who became infamous for pushing the idea of stopping President Obama’s health care plan, in order to create Obama’s “Waterloo”!

One wonders why South Carolina seems incapable of electing mainstream, reasonable, decent political leaders. They seem never to have recovered from John C. Calhoun, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and Strom Thurmond! LOL