When the original 13 colonies declared their independence from England the Continental Congress decided it needed a document of governance. So in 1777, they approved our first constitution, the Articles of Confederation After several years of debate the Articles were ratified and became the law of the land on March 1, 1781.
The new nation was called the United States of America but there wasn’t much united about it. The national government has almost zero power because the individual states reserved power for themselves. What America really was was a very loose association of independent nation-states. If you remember anything from government or civics you may recall that each state coined its own money, formed its own militia, and discounted the problems of other states unless those problems threatened them somehow.
Ultimately there were thirty-nine white, mostly educated, mostly wealthy, and mostly propertied men who signed the US Constitution in 1787. In spite of this commonality they differed in many ways, one of which was how much power the typical American citizen should have.
How trustworthy was the common man when it came to making correct political choices for the nation? Should each man’s vote count the same as another man’s vote? The answer to this question is what gave us this thing we call the Electoral College.
There is no arguing that the far-right wing of the Republican Party has kidnapped that party as well as any respect for the “rule of law” in the US Supreme Court. Under the leadership of radical Senate Republicans such as Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham, today’s 5-4 Court majority is as ideologically out of step with Constitutional norms and precedent as with any time in my life.
Obviously I’m not the only one who feels this. Just this past week a long time member of the Supreme Court Bar, Judge James Dannenberg, submitted his resignation along with a strongly worded letter of condemnation of Chief Justice John Roberts and the conservative majority.
Dannenberg’s letter is a document that should be read and understood by every American adult. For the complete text, CLICK HERE.
I woke up this morning and turned on the TV. As usual Morning Joe was on and the speculation meter was running at 98%. I listened for a little news and learned the conversation was dominated by two things, the virus, and the plunging Dow Jones.
Apparently, the viral threat continues to grow and there is talk of closing down Congress to help protect the mostly old white men who comprise its membership, Ted Cruz and some dude from Arizona are going into self-isolation to help keep their constituents back home from catching the bug. I’m guessing the real reason is to help keep their asses at least six feet away from anyone they may need to bump elbows with.
I’ve started this blog several times. My goal each time was to provide a simple definition and explanation of America’s mixed economic system and where socialism has always played a part. My motivation came from a meme that a friend posted on Facebook and that a friend of theirs took to task.
Every time I began writing, however, I ended up with something the size of War and Peace and may be as confusing as Frank Herbert’s, Dune.
I never watch any of the political commentary shows unless they’ve been pre-recorded. I have to have the option to fast forward through the speculative bullshit. I especially have to have Rachel Maddow on fast forward when she gets into one of her tell the same story five-times phases.
Last evening, however, I watched the entire first half of Rachel without hitting the FF button once. She did an excellent job of summarizing the money trail left behind by Trump as he’s worked his way into power and the presidency.
The Ohio presidential primary is about a month away and I’ve begun the process of trying to decide which candidate will get my vote. Since most Americans claim that healthcare is the most important issue for them, that’s where I began my study.
Healthcare is not an easy thing to understand for someone like me. I don’t consider myself a bean counter and I’m driven more by idealism than reality. For example, in my heart of hearts, I want a single-payer, universal system where healthcare is a human right and not a single American has to live without it. You have a sore toe and think it needs professional attention, you go to the doc, get it looked at, and it doesn’t cost you a penny.
Trump raves about his economy and his die-hard consumers of sugary artificially flavored fruit beverage followers joyfully accept his ravings. Yes, unemployment rates are low and the stock market is high. But if one really stares at the emperor’s new suit one might see that the claimed stable genius in the White House is actually naked. That over the long-haul, things really aren’t that good for an awful lot of Americans. Just study this simple graphic below and give some thought as to where you really stand.
For months now we’ve been hearing all about the Iowa caucus and how important it was. Well, this caucus thing that most of us don’t understand took place yesterday and before it ended it turned into a huge clusterf@ck!
I’m not going to try and explain caucuses other than saying they are claimed to be more democratic than the primary system used by Ohio and most states. On the face, it sounds like good old direct democracy where the citizens gather in a room and make their own laws rather than relying on elected representatives.
Alan Dershowitz is a well-known attorney who is currently representing Trump in his Senate impeachment trial. Though he is now trying to walk back one of his arguments, he and other Trump attornies have put forward the argument that the president can do anything he wishes and cannot be held accountable for it because he’s the president and doesn’t have time to deal with doing bad things. In fact, they have an appeal of their argument waiting for a decision by the SCOTUS.
For an earlier blog, I was researching voting and voter information for Highland County and came across these graphs. It’s clear that the majority of registered voters in Highland County, OH are not members of either of the major political parties and neither party will decide the coming 2020 election. It is the independent voters who are the largest group and whichever party wins them over will win the brass ring.
The reality is, however, that in Highland County the independent vote is mostly conservative and will go for conservative candidates; as in Republicans. If Democrats hope to ever win big in counties like Highland they have to make great inroads into winning over the independent voter.
One other fact to consider. In most of our election history the independents, Democrats, and Republicans have been outnumbered by one other group, those who choose to not vote at all. America is a democracy and a basic principle of democracy is majority rules. Well, if the majority never votes we, in reality, have rule by the minority.
Check out these graphs:
Greenfield apparently has but two precincts and both vote at the same location. Like the rest of the county, the independents outnumber the party members but the Rs outnumber the Ds.
Several days ago I posted some voting deadlines on Facebook and others added to it. One of the links provided was to a site at which one could verify if they were currently registered to vote. I checked my family’s status and discovered that four of us, contrary to belief, appeared to not be registered.
This morning I called the Highland County Board of Elections and discovered that in spite of what the verification link said, we’re okay.
Everyone should know that the costs of pharmaceutical medicines in America are out of control. I’ve used this example several times and it is nothing special, just what millions of Americans experience every time they go to the drug store. A friend found himself suddenly facing a needed life-altering drug that runs him over $1,900 a month.
While I don’t know any of the manufacturer’s arguments for that drug costing so much I can easily assume, and likely be correct, that a degree of excessive profiteering is somewhere in the formula.
The population of the US Territory of Puerto Rico is 3.195 million US citizens. In 2017 the island was struck by two major hurricanes that inflicted horrible and long-lasting damage. Congress authorized $20 billion in relief aid but so far only $1.5 billion has been released; the balance being held back by Trump’s Department of Housing and Urban Development headed up by the always insensitive and incompetent, Ben Carson.