The Atlantic: Opinion: Megan Garber: MSNBC’s Move Away From Leftist Partisanship & The Unbundling of TV

MSNBC
The Atlantic: Opinion: Megan Garber: MSNBC’s Move Away From Leftist Partisanship And The Unbundling of TV

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

First of all, I’m not surprised that MSNBC or NBC News that runs the cable network wouldn’t of looked into revamping MSNBC several years ago. Because it is a business losing operation as far as viewers and advertising revenue. They not only trail Fox News Channel, but CNN as well. And if it wasn’t for MSNBC their talk show hosts would probably be over on RT and Democracy Now where Thom Hartmann, an admitted Democratic Socialist works. Because none of the big networks would pick them up. Rachel Maddow couldn’t get on Meet The Press as a weekly commentator because of how far-left she is.

MSNBC doesn’t speak for the Democratic Party and they sure as hell don’t represent Liberals either. They represent the Green Party, or the Green Party wing of the Democratic Party. Their talk lineup except for Chris Matthews and Ed Schultz who are basically FDR Progressives, speak for the Bernie Sanders Democratic Socialist wing of the Democratic Party, especially in Congress and their supporters around the country. And even though socialism is a growing movement in America, they are nowhere near as large as the Tea Party movement. Or the Center-Left New Democrats that came on to the scene in the Democratic Party in the mid and late 1980s.

I can’t watch MSNBC now other than their documentaries which are pretty good and not just Lockup. Because it is like watching FNC except its coming from the Far-Left. Nothing but Occupy Wall Street and Far-Left talk radio talking points about how evil Republicans are. And how corporate America and American capitalism are destroying America. And the problem that MSNBC is that is how a large majority of Americans feel about hyper-partisanship whether it comes from the Far-Left or Far-Right. And even the fringes in America have free speech rights even if they believe that people they are against don’t. And I do read their blogs and publication, but their TV shows have become unwatchable for me.

Long-term if MSNBC wants to be a strong player on the cable talk market, they need to dump most if not all of their current talk lineup. And put shows together that about information and facts that educate their viewers. And not just some facts that are negative about the other side and try to make them look as bad as you possibly can. But real hard information about the issues that they cover. More Andrea Mitchell and programs like her’s with intelligent Center-Left analysts who have a better grasp of reality and is really going on. And not just there to make something look bad or good as they can get away with.

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Liberty Pen: Video: George Will: A Conflict of Visions

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This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Pre-1930s there was much if any public social safety net or social insurance in America at least at the federal level. The 1930s with the Great Depression and the New Deal obviously changed that. But Americans were still expected to work and produce, be responsible and productive and if they lost their job, or couldn’t get a good enough job to take care of themselves there would be a safety net to help them out. Of course the Great Society comes around in the 1960s, but even that we were supposed to be productive and responsible with our own lives. With the safety net there for people who fall through the cracks of the private enterprise system. And I’m sure there are some Conservatives and Libertarians who disagree with this, but that’s fine.

The late 1960s really changed America politically especially with the Left and that is the whole Left and the Democratic Party. For one the Green Party was created because Greens Social Democrats who are socialist on economic policy and dovish and foreign policy and national security, didn’t believe Democrats the party of FDR, Truman, JFK and LBJ were progressive enough. No now you have this more socialist more leftist Left in and outside of the Democratic Party who don’t believe government in America is big enough and that we are too individualistic as a society. And that we need to go way beyond the social safety net concept in America to create a welfare state big enough to take care of everyone. Where no one falls behind or gets too far ahead.

Thanks to the New Left, the Democratic Party from 1968-88 loses 5-6 presidential elections and four of them being landslides. Loses the U.S. Senate in 1980, fails to win it back in 82 and 84 because the Center-Left and Far-Left inside of the Democratic Party can’t agree on what kind of party that they should be. Should they be a liberal and progressive party especially with Dixiecrats moving on to the Republican Party, or should they become the social democratic Green Party. That complains about what type of country America is and bashes our system, form of government and most of the things that we stand for. And tries to transform the American liberal democratic state and become more of a social democratic collectivist society.

What George Will was talking about in his speech was social democracy and the welfare state and what he sees as failures in that type of system. But that is not the type of country that America is yet at least and we are still a long way of becoming that big centralized unitarian social democratic state that you see in Britain and Scandinavia. At least as far as how big the central government is and the amount of that the central government spends and taxes on behalf of its people. But that is what the debate on the American Left. Do we want to remain that liberal democratic state that empowers people to be able to manage their own lives for themselves. Or become a social democracy where the central government takes responsibility to seeing that everyone’s welfare needs are met.

The New Left

The New Left

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The Week: Opinion: Ryan Cooper: Why Self-Respecting Atheists Should Ditch The New Atheists

Atheist
The Week: Opinion: Ryan Cooper: Why Self-Respecting Atheists Should Ditch The New Atheists

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

There two groups of people in people in lets say American political culture that probably annoy me the most. Even though I would die to defend their right to express their obnoxious ignorant opinions. Which is what Freedom of Speech is about, right. The right to offend and annoy and all of that short of harassment and libel.

One of these two groups of people are people who I call religious fundamentalists regardless of their religion. Who believe that you have to not only be religious to be moral, but a believer in their religion. We see this both with the Christian-Right in America and the Muslim-Right in the Middle East. People who want to impose their moral values and way of life on everyone else.

The other group of people who Ryan Cooper calls New Atheists, people who I would militant Atheists, or even fundamentalist Atheists. People who believe that anyone who is religious is either stupid, crazy or a bad person who will or has murdered a lot of people. Its worst on the Far-Left in America because they believe anyone who is a fundamentalist Christian or perhaps just a Christian is a bigot especially if they are of Caucasian background. And anyone who critiques Islam and other non-Christian religions except for Judaism are bigots or racists or both. Even if their critique is correct.

This might be the main reason why I’m not religious or a non-believer other than being an Agnostic, because I simply don’t know if there is a God or not. Which I believe is the most honest and accurate answer about whether there is a God or not, because none of us actually know. But the other reason being I don’t want to be lumped in with people who want to force their moral and religious values on me. And I don’t want to be lumped in with people who look at believers good religious folk who aren’t bigots of any sort as stupid, crazy, immoral, or all of those things. Which is why I believe Agnosticism is growing in America.

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The Week: Opinion: Jeff Spross: “Why Reform Conservatives Should Join The Democratic Party”: Not So Fast

Reform Conservatives
The Week: Opinion: Jeff Spross: Why Reform Conservatives Should Join The Democratic Party

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I wonder 20-25 years ago when the New Democrats started emerging in the Democratic Party did someone from lets say The Nation on the Far-Left or National Review on the Center-Right write a piece with the title something to the effect, “Why New Democrats Should Join The Republican Party”. Maybe I’ll look that up later and of course the New Democrats were the Center-Left Democrats who saved the Democratic Party from frankly McGovernism. The Far-Left or New-Left that took over the Democratic Party in 1968 and ran that party up until 1988 or so. When New Democrat Governor Mike Dukakis won the Democratic nomination for president.

The New Democrats weren’t about and still aren’t about making the Democratic Party a centrist party with no hard left or right. But making the Democratic Party a center-left party with Liberals and Progressives as the main faces and leaders of the party. That still believes in using government to achieve great things. But that government can’t do everything for everybody all the time. And we can’t tax our way to prosperity and take so much money from people that they don’t have freedom over their own lives. And that government should be used to empower people. Not make people dependent on government.

The Reform Conservatives at least to me look like the New Democrats of the Republican Party. Conservatives who want to bring the GOP back from its hard-right if not far-right image and make it a party that can appeal to working class and minority Americans. So it’s not just a party of Southern a rural Anglo-Saxon Protestant men. And rich Anglo-Saxon Northeastern men. But a party that can compete and win in the Northeast and Midwest at the national level, win back Florida and even be competitive if not win California. The Republican Party did all of these things very well up until 1992 when again they lost to New Democrat Bill Clinton in the presidential election.

Welfare to Work is a Reform Conservative/New Democrat anti-poverty program that was passed in 1996. Reform conservatism is about using conservative policies to appeal to a broader base of American voters. Who like things like smarter and limited regulations, lower taxes, economic freedom. But don’t want government trying to run their personal lives for them including if they can join a union or not. And are people who aren’t just Anglo-Saxon as far as ethnicity and not just Protestant when it comes to their religion. Don’t just live in the Bible Belt and aren’t just men.

The Republican Party as a conservative has a history of appealing to a broad base of Americans. That was gone by 1996 or so when they became the party of the South and rural Midwest and West. And what Reform Conservatives are saying is that the Republican Party needs a conservative message and policies that appeals to more than just their traditional Bible Belt/country club base. They have to find ways to connect with working class voters. As well as Latinos and Asians and women of all races. And even Jewish and African-Americans if that is still possible for them at this point. To become governing party in the near-future.

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Roll Call: Congress: Tamar Hallerman & Niels Lesniewski: Senate Democrats Show Limits of GOP Control

110th U.S. Congress Is Sworn In
Roll Call: Congress: Tamar Hallerman & Niels Lesniewski: Senate Democrats Show Limits of GOP Control

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

For all of you non-political junkies, first of all I’m wondering why you’re reading this at all, but secondly this piece is for the average political junkie who probably does at least look at C-SPAN everyday. So you might be better off watching Fashion Police, Project Runway or Access Hollywood or something to find out which latest hot celebrity is in trouble or whatever. Because this piece is about the U.S. Congress which is by far other than the presidency itself the most interesting part and important part of government anywhere else in the world.

First of all I think the Senate Democratic Leadership made a policy mistake by using the cloture rule to block any consideration of the House Republican passed Homeland Security funding bill that defunds President Obama’s immigration order. What the House Republicans did was stupid and is why we are we are with Homeland Security employees wondering if they are going to get paid next week. But at least allow that bill come to the floor to be debated and try to amend the bill and strict that portion of the bill out with the amendment process. That Leader McConnell has put back in. If that amendment passes now you have what you wanted in the first place which was clean funding bill. If the amendment fails then you can still block the bill from final passage.

Now politically what Senate Democrats are doing is working very well for them. Congressional Republicans are still getting blamed for the new-made up crisis by House Republicans and with Senate Republicans unable or unwilling to bring up a clean funding bill for Homeland Security. But the good guys (meaning Senate Democrats) still have an opportunity to save the day at the end of the day. By telling Speaker Boehner and Leader McConnell that if they give Senate Democrats a clean funding bill and bring it up for final passage and it passes, Senate Democrats wouldn’t block consideration of a repeal of President Obama’s immigration order, but as part of separate legislation. Pass Homeland Security and then debate and work on a bill to repeal the immigration order and pass immigration reform after Homeland Security is funded.

I know this as a Democrat that when Democrats took control of Congress in 2007 after being in the minority in the House for twelve years and the Senate for four years, that just because you control both chambers of Congress, doesn’t mean you get your way all the time. The House can pass anything they want to on their own with just the majority party if they are united. The Senate is a place where minority rights is real and where the Minority Leader is almost as powerful as the Majority Leader. They almost have to work together to get anything done. Congressional Republicans need to learn that quickly, because 2015 will be the only year they’ll have in this Congress to pass major legislation. And find ways to work with Congressional Democrats especially in the Senate to pass the legislation that they have to. Like appropriations and later on hopefully a budget.

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The Week: Opinion: William Falk: Vladimir Putin Raises The Stakes

Vladimir Putin
The Week: Opinion: William Falk: Vladimir Putin Raises The Stakes

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I have a hard time seeing even Vladimir Putin attempting to invade any of the Baltic States for one reason only which is NATO. If Russia attacks the Baltic States, that brings in NATO and then Europe and America would respond to what Russia is doing and would send in ships, planes, personal to defend those countries. And then Russia would have a big decision to make. Do they really want to take on NATO that is so heavily backed by America. Russia could sort of get away with what they did in Ukraine even though they are now paying a heavy price for it financially and economically because Ukraine is not under protection of NATO.

I’m sure Vlad Putin as dreams if not fantasies of reuniting the old Russian Empire and perhaps go back to the Soviet Union days, but with more of a private enterprise economy and a more developed country perhaps. But he doesn’t have the resources and the manpower to do that. The Russian Federation military is not the Soviet Union military obviously, as far as numbers and resources and manpower even. And they are very limited to what they can do especially their economy and economic growth is so linked with their state-owned energy industry that is struggling right now because of all falling oil prices and economic sanctions.

The Putin Administration needs to pay a heavy price for invading Ukraine. They need to continue to pay that heavy price since they brought that on themselves. And if that is short of physically being eliminated from Ukraine, then the economic price should be so severe that people in the Russian Government think to themselves, “how long are going to put up with this dictator and how much damage are we going to allow him to do to our country before we look at replacing him?”. And could come fairly soon as people inside of the Russian Federation are already very aware of the damage that their President has done to their economy.

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Valhalla Cinema: Video: Anatomy of a Murder 1959, A Rapist Gets What’s Coming to Him

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This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I saw Anatomy of a Murder last week on TCM and Robert Osborne described the movie as a very serious, or deeply serious, or something to that effect. But if you are familiar with Jimmy Stewart and a lot of his movies, his movies tend not to be that serious. Similar to Cary Grant because of how spontaneously funny they both were especially with improvisation. Sure Anatomy is about a very serious topic which of course is about a man accused of murdering a man who just raped his wife. An Army Lieutenant at that and very important person in his community. But there’s a lot of humor with funny people all throughout the movie.

And I think that is what I love most about this movie. They deal with very serious subjects which are murder and rape of course. But sex in the late 1950s when the country was about to change dramatically culturally and you could already see signs of that change by 1959 with the Rock and Roll Generation. And that is what this movie deals with which are very serious subjects, but they take a very humorous look at them with a lot of sarcasm and wisecracks. Including with the judge played by Joe Welch and the two lead attorney’s played by George Scott the lead prosecutor and Jimmy Stewart the lead defense lawyer.

Anatomy of a Murder at least a first is about a rape. But they don’t show that part. A women played by Lee Remick having a good time at a bar and ends up walking home and offered a ride by the owner of the bar and he ends up raping her. Her husband finds out about it later that night and goes to the bar to confront the man about it. And ends up shooting and killing him for it. Under most circumstances that would be a clear case of first degree murder, or at least second degree murder. But Paul Biegler played by Stewart goes with a temporary insanity plea and that becomes his main defense.

I first saw this movie about a year ago and it is already one of my favorite movies of all-time. Seen it three or four times since because of the versatility of the movie. Dealing with very serious subjects in the movie and yet everyone plays a comedian at least at some point in the movie. Which is typical for a Jimmy Stewart movie and this movie has a great cast as well. With George Scott, Ben Gazzara, Lee Remick, Arthur O’Connell and many others. And this movie gives its viewers a very good lock at the court system and what it is like to be on trial. And try such a big legal case.
Anatomy of a Murder

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