Archive for Congress

Hillary, Know When to Shut Up

With relief, most of us look to Hillary Clinton’s victory next month, and fending off Donald Trump’s approach to the White House. What about the next go?

Already, people are talk king about running for the Prez. Republicans like Paul Ryan sene her campaign weaknesses. Democrats are certain to have the we-can-do-better free-lances arming.

One huge factor of the 2020 race would be what we have seen more in the debates than her stump speeches. She lets her intellectual pretense and lawyer training block her pitches. She makes a policy point or answers a pointed or nasty challenge, only to run on and on.

She can be Dem Party head also for the 2018 and 2020 House races as well as state elections.

I’ll talk about the greatest ad salesman I knew and what his lessons were. That Trump guy boasts of his sales and negotiating prowess. His business record is not so supportive of those claims and his flaccid swats during campaigning contradict it. Hillary can outdo him and future contenders, not by changing her messages, rather her delivery.

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Divert Political Anger With All-Dem DC

Independents and self-described Conservatives are pissed. Number one is Congress does nothing. That’s hard to argue with but easy to fix.

Let’s consider for a moment the odious Donald Trump’s “What do you have to lose?” That’s jive from the con artist. Yet that question haunts.

If all the angry voters, or even most of them, get real on November 8th, the fix is before them. Elect a Democratic House, a Democratic Senate, and a Democratic Senate. Then watch and wonder. The obstructionism we all despise will vanish. The do-nothing Congress will become a do-it-all legislature.

Four or eight years of a healthier, richer, more righteous America await.

Each and all of us tend to love our memes and clichés, even the most irrational and unsupported ones. Beware those who orate and proclaim of their statements, “It’s only common sense.” Nearly always that means, “I got nothing here. Just don’t question or challenge me.”

I grew up hearing what I still do about U.S. civics. A recurring theme is that you need to divide government to keep it in check. At its worst, as i the past eight years, we have seen check become checkmate. The do-nothing Congress, both GOP-led houses, dragged our economic recovery, stymied expanded health care and on and on.

The “common sense” types pretend that Dems are monolithic and wildly leftists, instead of the wishy-washy moderates nearly all are. The likes of Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are two lighthouses in an unmoving sea of blah.

Electing a Dec-controlled Senate and ideally matching it was a Dem House could mean only what they right wingers and angry voters of all stripe have screamed for — a Congress that accomplishes the necessary, passes legislation and moves America forward.

Liberal/Conservative SCOTUS leanings and votes here.

One of many economists’ papers showing how much better the U.S. economy does with a Democratic POTUS. Reasons are debatable; results are not.

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Mass Murder Tipping Points

About a third the way in, a caller interrupted my gun portion of the rant. He was a a registered firearms dealer, and coincidentally Black. He opposes any additional gun laws or regulations. He was of the it’s-not-the-specific-gun side. We each got out our views. I’m glad he called.

Otherwise, I asked whether the Dallas deaths of five police officers by sniper would be a tipping point. Sandy Hook, to many of our surprise, was not. Will Dallas be? Will the many deaths of young Black men this year and last be?

I hold that we need both legal and cultural shifts. Obviously to me the cultural part is much harder. Take policing. Cops are no better than other professionals at prosecuting or judging their peers’ actions. No matter how plain the audio, video and witness testimony, cops almost invariably skate away from what the rest of the world sees as murder.

Likewise, with guns, they should be tools not toys. No what politicians now term common-sense restrictions should be a problem, but they are. Will the assassination of five officers in Dallas be a tipping point for legislation?

 

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It’s a Bloody World After All,

With this weekend’s Orlando horrors, let’s transcend fantasy. While that city is the nation’s dream kingdom, we have to get real.

I had to rant and am beyond impatient. Gun-rights crazies are quick to call for arming everyone with the most powerful weapons. Lefties beg Congress, please, oh pretty please, give us minimal background check laws. All is jive.

What doesn’t work are calls fantasies that because foreign armies haven’t landed here, we are safe. What doesn’t work is pretending that “the other” and “outsiders” are the threats (in reality only 9-11 and a tiny subset of mass murders here were by non-native citizens). What doesn’t work are having guards everywhere and surrendering the liberties that define our nation.

I went into a splash of the mass murders here from 1622, many by government agents and mobs. We are delusional in thinking we are unique and protected. It is our neighbor who is likely to attack us.

I propose some legislation but more mind shifts and social action. We see that gun buy-backs don’t work, that more guards don’t work, that surrendering liberties that define us won’t work. That nativism and isolationism don’t work.

Sure, we need to do the 1934 anti-Tommy gun laws for “assault rifle” weapons and such. We also need to loudly let members of Congress know that the wee donations from gun makers can no longer carry weight — calling out Senators and Reps who accept these bribes. Let’s not tremble from the slippery-slope argument and start immediately to remove semi-automatic rifles from this nation.

I’m not ready to give up my liberties to a Big Brother nor can I accept letting fellow citizens arm to kill me at whim.

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Demon vs. Raptor…on to November

Let’s interrupt the political theater for a brief moment of reality. My guy, Bernie Sanders, has almost surely lost the Dem nomination for President. On the other side, there’s an even chance Donald Trump will come into the GOP convention with a majority of Delegates.

Clinton vs. Trump in November. The war hawk vs. the hate monger.

I talked about the mundanities, such as number of delegated needed and already bagged for the nominations. I spoke of the likelihood that each will arrive at the July convention with a majority and the nomination.

I also stuck my neck out with a prediction that Trump will have his 35% or so of the electorate that responds to emotion and bluster. Yet we see that every for years. There is always at least that much or even up to 48% who will vote for any bozo who honks his clown nose to the proper tune.

This was just a rant. At least my Boston precinct voted for Bernie yesterday.

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Kill the Filibuster Podcast

We can hardly wait for the new Congress, specifically the more liberal and sensible Senate with several new Progressive Dems. In particular, MA’s Elizabeth Warren, WI’s Tammy Baldwin (both Dem) and ME’s Angus King (an independent who’ll caucus Dem) don’t want a stagnant body dragged along by the House. Warren and King have already said they are gunning to reform the filibuster.

Listen in as we bring in a little background and get excited about the possibilities for moving both bills and appointments along.

We figure GOP Senators are chastened by the last election. We also figure that if they actually have to stand and talk, not just threaten to do so, they will be shamed at their reasoning and motivation. This would be, in Martha Stewart speak, a good thing.

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Joy, Not Despair, 2012

Without gloating, or with only a little, we held forth on yesterday’s elections.

Even the almost invariably optimistic Ryan did not see most Republicans rethinking their obstructionism. Mike predicted a deal on the auto-sequester at year’s end, only because that would be political suicide for Congressional Republicans in both houses if they didn’t show a bit of wit.

We talked about the role new Sen. Elizabeth Warren might play, the likelihood of Sen. John Kerry moving to Secretary of State, and other impacts of left-leaning victories in Congress. Mike started with a joyous recap of the four marriage-equality state-level victories.

Both of us were disappointed but not surprised at the vitriolic and graceless post-elections comments from GOP candidates and winger media types. That likely foreshadows their uncooperative futures, willing to hurt all of us for their political shading.

Listen in as we predict what might happen with the re-upped Obama and maybe even filibuster reform.

icon for podpress  Joy or Despair 2012 [35:08m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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View a Week Out

Maybe Mitt Romney could use another four years to prep, but everyone else seems ready for the elections to be done. We bring in two guests to talk to the races for POTUS and the US Senate from MA. Mat Helman from ProgressMass and Jason Stephany of MassUniting give us their views — and predictions — on both. We remain flabergasted that either race could be at all close, but they sure as heck seem to be.

If you can join us live, click here Tuesday, 10/30, at 2:30 PM Eastern. Afterward the show will be available at that URL, back here at Left Ahead, and on our iTunes page.

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Nervous, Optimistic Elections Podcast

John L. Galligan, the blogger at Chimes at Midnight, joined us again. A keen and witty political observer — and a bit of an historian — he gave some perspective on races. We covered the POTUS, the US Senate from MA, and even ended up with his local state house races in Arlington/Belmont.

Listen in as we kick around why folk might go for Romney or Brown or such, why MA has never, ever sent a woman to the U.S. Senate, and what some past elections demonstrated about the American public.

All three of us agreed that the big races will be very tight, irrationally so. We’re, as the squishy expression goes, cautiously optimistic. Click the show in the player below for our reasoning.

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Debates Week Podcast

Solo punditry today as Mike went on about the U.S. Senate and POTUS debates in the past week. He offered maybe all too obvious suggestions for the Dem candidates.

Elizabeth Warren, challenger to Sen. Scott Warren, held her own in Lowell, but Barack Obama seemed to doze through his Denver show with Mitt Romney. Mike was up at UMASS/Lowell and offered his color commentary.

The short of it that Warren must press Brown on his awful votes. He’s evaded two years of them that are against the interests of MA residents and of all women. He hides behind claiming without any evidence that she got special advancement privileges in hiring, tenure and more by noting her putative Native American fractional heritage. That’s been a smoke screen to avoid his performance. Warren simply has to insist that he cut the crap.

Likewise, the POTUS did not call Romney on one huge honking lie after another. On the campaign trail afterward, the POTUS has hit on these. He simply needs to bring that face to face in the next two goes.

Click below for a one-man rant.

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