Monday, December 18, 2017
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Not Taking Our Blessings for Granted (What These Times Have Taught...

This piece is appearing this Thanksgiving week in newspapers in my (rather red) congressional district (VA-06). ********************* It is natural to take for granted those good...

As Democracy Unravels, Are Republicans Like Bob Goodlatte Patriots or Not?

A few cheery questions for this morning: 1) are there any Congressional Republicans, or for that matter ANY Republicans left who are true patriots,...

A Global Counter to the Global Rise of Fascism

As America enters the Age of Trump, it is important to recognize that what’s happening is not just about Trump, and not just about...

A Time to Lead: Here’s a Quick Blueprint Forward

by Josh Chernila The election of Donald Trump is the end of what we know as America and everything that made the 20th century America's...

Dousing Trump’s Insurrectionary Fire

This piece is running in newspapers in my conservative congressional district (VA-06). *********** This ugly presidential campaign will soon be over, but ugliness threatens to continue...

Two New Novels Look at the Hacking of American Democracy by...

In Al Gore's 2013 book, "The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change," Gore correctly declares that "American democracy has been hacked," that Congress is...

Democracy Awakening: Join the Mass Movement Going to Washington, D.C.

by Karilyn Gower of Democracy Awakening Where will you be on April 16-18? You could be joining fellow Virginians and thousands of everyday Americans who...

Citizens United: A Defining Struggle for Our Time

No one ever said democracy would be easy, especially in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United. In this milestone decision, the U.S. government is prohibited from placing limits on independent spending by corporations and unions for political purposes. With the infusion of countless money into the political process, many opponents of Citizens United have argued that the spirit and the letter or our democracy has been undermined by the wealthiest U.S. citizens and private entities. It's difficult to argue against this viewpoint.

In our democracy, most citizens are informed politically by friends, family, and the news. Excepting for a minority population of "policy entrepreneurs" who actively seek out political information from a variety of information mediums, most friends and family members get their political information from the news media as well. And this is where the problem lies. If most U.S. citizens receive their political information from the news media and the news media is increasingly being flooded with vast amounts of political propaganda stemming from "Super PACs" allowed under the Citizens United decision, how will this shape public opinion and ultimately, our democratic process?  

Send in the Clowns: Iowa Caucuses are a Sick Joke (and...

I have no predictions about the Iowa Caucuses because they do not matter, not to me, and not to the matter of who will win the GOP nomination.  Tradition notwithstanding, the Iowa Caucuses are one of the biggest bad jokes ever foisted upon Americans.  An atypical electorate (Iowa Caucus goers are considerably more conservative than the population as a whole, even in Iowa) is so unrepresentative of Americans that it almost unAmerican to vest Iowa with so much clout in our electoral process. But here we are again, with the supposed Republican "presidentials" giving Iowans far more attention than nearly any other state gets. And nowhere else, but Iowa and New Hampshire do the candidates go door-to-door, routinely drop by diners in towns of any minor consequence and give voters such access. They give that kind of attention to voters who would turn on a dime.  It would be laughable, as this article suggests, if it weren't so undemocratic.  Send in the clowns (again).

If the Iowa caucuses have ever gotten it "right" (defined by voting for the one who actually got elected), prior to 2008, you had to go all the way back to 1976 to find Iowa predictive, in a Democratic caucus, not a GOP one. So bereft of any thinking capacity or any real conviction, person-on-the-street interviewees (and opinion poll responders) cannot make up their minds.  They claim to be values voters and yet have so little conviction they keep moving their support with each new gust of political wind. As just one example, read the rationale in the article I link above.  Yeh, I know, a single case does not an electorate make.  But polling shows how very malleable are the Iowa voters who warm up to one and then another and then another candidate in a manner only ditzes would.  Anyone can change his or her mind and do so reasonably--no question about that.  BUT, this year Iowa has brought new meaning to the word "indecision."  They are indecision on steroids.  When that happens, voters no longer shape their own vote.

Essentially, the media are in charge and Iowa caucus goers are only too happy to dumb it up for them and allow the so-called mainstream media to influence them.  Of course, they are then more susceptible to negative ads as well.

We are a union household

Why?  Because we believe in fairness.

Not only for ourselves, but for all who work.

Because we believe in the dignity of work.

Because we both understand something about history, including economic history.

She is Harvard, Junior Phi Beta Kappa, Marshall Scholar, M. Litt. from Oxford, Ph.D. from George Washington.

I am BA from Haverford, two masters degrees, ABD in Educational Administration and Policy Studies.

We both work with our minds.

She is on her local's negotiating team.

I am my building's union representative.

Had we any doubt, two pieces in today's Washington Post might help convince us.