WikiLeaks has released the secret draft text for the entire Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) Environment Chapter and the corresponding Chairs' Report. Read more about WikiLeaks: TPP Waters Down Environmental Protections
Today marks the one year anniversary of the death of Aaron Swartz, the computer coder and Internet freedom activist, who committed suicide while facing prosecution on federal hacking charges. So, today, in Aaron's memory and for the causes he believed in, Harvard University Professor Lawrence Lessig is walking across New Hampshire Read more about A Walk Across New Hampshire For Aaron
Some prefer to treat political reality as a large and fixed quantity, but that ignores what can happen at a smaller scale.
Cross posted from Pruning Shears. Read more about 18th century political thinking in the 21st
The Bumper Sticker Platform is Medicare for all, tax the rich, a living wage. Here are some additional proposals for those who want a more detailed platform.
Cross posted from Pruning Shears. Read more about Additional planks for the platform
An attempt to create a short, memorable, popular and substantive platform for citizens to call for - and candidates to run on.
Cross posted from Pruning Shears. Read more about Bumper Sticker Platform, 2013 edition
Maybe it's me, but last night's convention/sideshow convinced me that this whole process of electing a president is nothing but a sham, something for the rubes to chatter about while the real action is going on in an entirely different tent.
I know this isn't an original thought by any stretch, but the R convention really drove it home. It just seems like the decision about who is going to sit in the oval office has already been made. But to continue the illusion of democracy, they've got all three rings going full tilt. Read more about Anyone else feeling like the fix is in?
"Not long after the start of the 21st Century, we like to tell ourselves an uplifting story in which freedom expands whenever tyranny is overthrown.
We believe that freedom and democracy are inseparable, so that when a dictator is toppled the result is not only a more accountable type of government but also greater liberty throughout society. "
Obviously, such a point of view is fallacious as can be easily evidenced just by looking at the results of such a perspective in the actions of nations. And what's sad is that the meme is NOT one that those in positions of power actually believe. Read more about Freedom does not equate to democracy
Sometimes people object to the idea of the President ordering minting a $1 Trillion proof platinum coin on political grounds, even though they believe it's: legal to mint such a coin, won't be inflationary, and will allow the President to avoid the debt ceiling crisis. Robert Rice offered the following as part of a longer comment on a post of Beowulf's: Read more about Election Politics and the Trillion Dollar Coin
The New York Times report on president Obama's kill list put into stark relief something that has been easy to overlook at times over the past few years: the differences between those who prefer a personality-based political environment and those who emphasize policy.1 Those tensions really came to a boil after Chris Hayes discussed the drone program on his show last week. Kevin Gosztola posted on the reaction; in it and a companion piece several exchanges involving Tbogg showed the division very clearly.2 Read more about Policy vs. personality in politics
This video points out that fewer and fewer Americans attend church regularly. It takes the view that this is a problem that needs to be corrected, I suspect readers of this blog will take a different view.
But it shows that the conventional wisdom of politicians wearing their religion on their sleeve may no longer be required or even acceptable. People no longer need religion to explain the natural world and many do not feel a spiritual need for church.
Politicians who openly oppose the religious right on issues such as science, women's rights, stem cell research, and other hot button issues should do very well if they stick to their guns and have good field operations. Read more about America is becoming a secular nation
Salon.com's news editor, Steve Kornacki, lamented yesterday that "Obama won’t face a credible primary challenge", going on about how the closest thing to a liberal challenge he has comes from Republican candidate Buddy Roemer. While it is true that many liberals aren't seeing any "viable" candidates materialize on the left, Kornacki isn't telling us why that is: the failure of supposedly liberal pundits to report on candidates who are actually running. Read more about The Obama Primary Challenge That Is
Sometimes I think I may have something to contribute to #OccupyWallStreet. Sometimes I don't know. The only people who would know are you, if you've seen what I'm talking about. So, well, here goes. Sorry that I'm talking about my own stuff. I don't know any other way to let you know about it, and it may be worth your time.
I'm not trying to answer the question about "What's the message?" The message is "A fair deal for the 99%!" Obviously. Read more about An open letter to #OccupyWallStreet