Democracy Gone Astray

Democracy, being a human construct, needs to be thought of as directionality rather than an object. As such, to understand it requires not so much a description of existing structures and/or other related phenomena but a declaration of intentionality.
This blog aims at creating labeled lists of published infringements of such intentionality, of points in time where democracy strays from its intended directionality. In addition to outright infringements, this blog also collects important contemporary information and/or discussions that impact our socio-political landscape.

All the posts here were published in the electronic media – main-stream as well as fringe, and maintain links to the original texts.

[NOTE: Due to changes I haven't caught on time in the blogging software, all of the 'Original Article' links were nullified between September 11, 2012 and December 11, 2012. My apologies.]

Friday, May 27, 2016

Donald Trump is apparently considering Sarah Palin for VP — and it’s even scarier than you think

Back in 2008, when she was John McCain’s game-changing nominee for vice president, Sarah Palin sat for an interview with Fox News Channel’s Carl Cameron who gently pressed the Alaska governor for clarification on an answer she had given during her first and only debate against Joe Biden the night before. See, Palin had almost entirely flummoxed a simple question about the constitutional role of the vice president. Here was Palin’s response during the debate:

    “Well, our founding fathers were very wise there in allowing through the Constitution much flexibility there in the office of the vice president. And we will do what is best for the American people in tapping into that position and ushering in an agenda that is supportive and cooperative with the president’s agenda in that position. Yeah, so I do agree with him that we have a lot of flexibility in there, and we’ll do what we have to do to administer very appropriately the plans that are needed for this nation.”

The “Madman Theory” of Donald Trump: What’s the GOP supposed to do about a lying, authoritarian demagogue?

Back in the day, liberals used to always wonder why Warren Beatty didn’t run for president. Nowadays, you’ll hear the same thing about George Clooney. After all, these are people with 100 percent name recognition, fabulous good looks, brains, charisma, money and political contacts. They have an obvious knowledge and interest in government and achieved the very highest pinnacle of success as actors, directors and producers.

Hypocrisy, thy name is Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

Clarence Thomas, the Supreme Court Justice seemingly incapable of speaking when his job requires it, gave a commencement speech at Hillsdale College over the weekend in which he provided ironic insight into his infamous silence, urging the graduates “not [to] hide your faith and your beliefs under a bushel basket…in this world that seems to have gone mad with political correctness.”

As a sitting judge on the highest court in the land, it would seem commonsensical for someone of his stature to deliver such advice — or would, if Justice Thomas ever demonstrated that he himself abided by it.

Here are some of the insane things our do-nothing Congress is wasting taxpayer money on

Perhaps it is ungenerous to keep noting — over and over and over again — that our current Republican-led Congress is too dysfunctional and lazy to work on solutions to pressing problems like the potential public health threat from the Zika virus or the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. Turns out, when you take a look, you find congressional committees are hard at work on all sorts of pressing issues they can talk about when they are campaigning through the charred remains of districts and states mauled by capitalism and their own inattention this fall. Let’s read about a couple of them!

Welcome to 1984

The artifice of corporate totalitarianism has been exposed. The citizens, disgusted by the lies and manipulation, have turned on the political establishment. But the game is not over. Corporate power has within its arsenal potent forms of control. It will use them. As the pretense of democracy is unmasked, the naked fist of state repression takes its place. America is about—unless we act quickly—to get ugly.

“Our political system is decaying,” said Ralph Nader when I reached him by phone in Washington, D.C. “It’s on the way to gangrene. It’s reaching a critical mass of citizen revolt.”

Thomas Frank: Bill Clinton's Five Major Achievements Were Longstanding GOP Objectives

Thomas Frank, author of Listen, Liberal, discusses the Hillary Doctrine's basis in neoliberalism, how the Democratic Party stopped governing on behalf of the working class and how President Bill Clinton's major achievements actually enacted conservative goals, and ultimately hurt working people.

Mark Karlin: The innovation class, the creative class, the wealthy class, the professional class with Ivy League degrees: How did President Obama become the avatar for believing these groups should be the decision makers in government?

Justin Trudeau And The Great Pot Hypocrisy

Back in January 2012 I interviewed a moustache-sporting, longhaired Justin Trudeau at the Liberal Party of Canada's convention in Ottawa. Back in my hotel room where I was staying with 5 members of my team (we were hired by the outgoing Liberal president to create live content for the live stream broadcast), we had between us maybe a half-ounce of marijuana. For us -- writers, designers and technical support people -- it was pretty much the same thing as having a case of beer.

Liberals Mull Veto Power That Could Hurt Access To Information

OTTAWA — The Liberal government is floating the idea of a ministerial veto over planned new powers for the information commissioner — a move that would give cabinet the power to block release of documents.

During the election campaign, the Liberals promised reforms to Canada's Access to Information regime, including new authority for the information commissioner to issue "binding orders'' for disclosure of documents.

Liberals Talk Up Unusual Funding Model For Infrastructure

OTTAWA — The Trudeau government's newfound enthusiasm about a big Montreal transit proposal has given Canadians a glimpse at one way Ottawa could fund billions in public infrastructure, like roads, bridges and rail, over the long haul.

In recent days, senior Liberals have been talking up an unusual funding model for the $5.5-billion light-rail plan for Montreal, calling for a partnership that includes Ottawa and a public pension fund.