Day: May 25, 2010

BP And Government: The Gulf Crisis Reveals The Need For True Progressivism!

The continuing crisis over the British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is making it very obvious what must be done, not just involving BP, but really all corporations, whether in energy, banking, automobiles, insurance, as well as all other industries and areas of the economy!

The answer is that the “sweetheart” deal between politicians and the capitalist business world MUST stop! If this is not a clear indication that we have allowed the aura of “capitalism” to dominate our political system, and allowed the glorification of unregulated business and industry to destroy our country, then what will finally convince us that the answer is NOT the Tea Party Movement that is anti government, but rather a “Government of the People, By the People, and For the People”!

We need a “progressive” government that will never again allow the kinds of abuses in all fields of capitalistic business and industry that led to the Great Depression of 1929-39, and again has led to the Great Recession of 2007 to who knows what year we will finally recover!

Tens of millions of Americans have become victims of unbridled capitalism and poor regulation! There is a place for private capitalism, but under strict regulation and oversight, with no corruption by government bureaucrats!

This is not calling for socialism or loss of economic freedom, but instead for economic and social responsibility of all fields of business and industry to the American people! We need to demand a responsive government, as well as a responsible capitalistic system that pursues the profit motive, but with a sense of ethics and morality, and the effects of what they do upon average Americans, who just want a fair shake and a chance to be part of the American dream!

Right now, in 2010, millions of Americans are being cheated, and being denied that opportunity, and that is a crime of massive proportions!

As the Progressives of the early 20th century advocated and pursued, we want a country with economic opportunity, social justice, and political democracy!

A Georgia History Teacher And Teaching Racism: Horrible Judgment!

A high school history teacher in Georgia, Catherine Ariemma, used absolutely horrible judgment by having her students dress up as the Ku Klux Klan in order to teach her students about racism!

This was done without notice to administrators, parents, or other students, and the “Klan” students walked into the cafeteria as African American students were eating lunch, and this display obviously shocked them!

This teacher had to be totally stupid to believe that this is the only way to teach a concept such as racism! 🙁 What about showing a film about racism? What about reading documents about racism?

For a teacher to do this without authorization, and displaying such poor judgment, she should, at the least, be suspended and fined, but realistically, one has to wonder about her ability to teach! It is arguable that she should be fired, and told to find another profession! 🙁 This is totally inexcusable behavior that can have a deleterious effect, not only on the African American students who were the victims, but also the white students who were involved in the display of Ku Klux Klan clothing and behaviors! 🙁

States Rights Vs. The Federal Constitution: Senator Robert Menendez, The Tea Party Movement And Recall

The Tea Party Movement is at it again, now challenging New Jersey Democratic Senator Robert Menendez by pursuing a recall campaign in the New Jersey State Supreme Court.

More than a decade ago, New Jersey passed a change in its state constitution, allowing for recall of members of Congress in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, and it has not been challenged in court since its inception.

There is no debate over the fact that the recall concept can be utilized in any state, if put into its constitution, against STATE officials, such as the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General and other office holders. While rarely used, it certainly received great attention due to the California recall against Governor Gray Davis in 2003. Also, Mayor Dennis Kucinich of Cleveland, Ohio, faced a recall vote in 1979, which he won, and today he is a Congressman from Cleveland who has run for President twice!

But NEVER in American history has a sitting member of either house of Congress been subject to recall, as they are FEDERAL officials, not state officeholders, and only their own legislative bodies may judge their fitness for office, and whether they should be seated, censured, or expelled!

The Tea Party Movement claims that the Tenth Amendment comes into play here, but they are totally off base, and IF the state supreme court were to rule in their favor, the case would have to go to the US Supreme Court, which it is hard to imagine would rule in their favor. Such a scenario would lead to true chaos in the halls of Congress, as one must realize that the true constitutional manner to register disillusionment with a member of either house of Congress is to vote them out when House members come up for election every two years, and when Senators come up for election every six years!

Just the fact of unhappiness with a series of votes should NOT be the basis for a recall vote! It is a victory of chaos and anarchy, and TOTALLY unconstitutional!

This is just further evidence of how reactionary and loony and anarchistic the right wing populism of the Tea Party Movement is becoming, something that the Republican party should reflect upon as more of a curse, than a blessing to them, and the whole political system!

The Problems For Republicans In The Upcoming Midterm Elections

The Republican party is expected to gain seats in both houses of Congress in the midterm elections of 2010, as it is traditional and normal for the party out of the White House to gain seats at the midpoint of the Presidential term.

But the GOP lost seven special elections for the House of Representatives since the election in 2008, including the seat held by the late John Murtha in Pennsylvania, where an aide to Murtha kept the seat in Democratic hands by a hefty margin! While they finally won the special election in Hawaii, in the district where President Obama was born, they only won 40 percent of the vote, with two Democrats in an open election dividing the other 60 percent, so it is expected that one of these Democrats in November will reclaim the traditional House Democratic seat for the next Congress.

Also, the Tea Party Movement is a true burden, as it can distort the GOP record and its stands on issues, as most Republicans are NOT libertarian or anarchistic! For instance, the nomination of Rand Paul for the Senate seat in Kentucky is causing private grief and discomfort for Mitch McConnell and main stream Republicans across the country, who don’t know quite how to react to Paul!

Other Tea Party favorites across the country also are expected to cause headaches for the Republicans, including Sue Lowden in Nevada, who is thought to be a “loose cannon”, who makes the likelihood of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid keeping his seat more of a likely scenario than thought just a few months ago!

Will the Republicans be able to gain the support of moderates and independents as conditions likely improve economically over the next five months, and with Barack Obama still keeping his personal popularity?

But on the other hand, when one considers that many people, who Obama campaigned for, have lost their gubernatorial races (Virginia, New Jersey) and Senate races (Massachusetts, Pennsylvania), one has to also wonder does Barack Obama have coattails?

Obviously, there is a lot to think about and analyze and observe about the American political system over the next five months! 🙂