Liberal Democracy

Liberal Democracy
The Free State

Thursday, September 13, 2018

ABC: Barbara Walters Special- Burt Reynolds: 12/02/1980

Source: ABC- Actor/comedian Burt Reynolds 
Source: The Daily Review

Burt Reynolds, sharing a great story about fame and what the movie executive he was talking to about the kind of money that he could make for his movies. And this meeting must have happened in the 1970s perhaps even before Smokey and The Bandit which came out in 1977. With the movie executive telling Burt that he could make a million dollars for each movie that he does.

Source: ABC- ABC News anchor and correspondent Barbara Walters 
If you go back to 1970 and what million dollars was then it would be 6.5 million dollars today. Today a million dollars for a movie would be a great living for most people who aren't shopaholics, or alcoholics, addicted to illegal narcotics, don't have multiple wives and families, aren't gambling or adrenaline junkies, and are fairly responsible with their income. But back then that would be an insane amount of money. It would mean you would only have to do one movie a year and not even have to do any work for the rest of the year and maybe just appear on TV shows and do interviews with the rest of your time.

And this guy telling Burt that he could make all of this money simply for acting in movies and Burt reacting like he just won a 100 million dollar lottery or something, perhaps without even playing the lottery and has all of this money that's now coming to him and he simply can't believe it and doesn't know how to respond to it. So he does what any other normal person would or perhaps just Burt Reynolds and he hyperventilates over it. As crazy as this may sound, actors are also humans and not everything they do is acting. They have the same emotions and reactions that everyone else does and perhaps they just hide them better or in Burt Reynolds case perhaps not as well. Telling someone who came from a humble beginning that Burt came from and that they could make so much money simply from acting, would catch a lot of people off guard even the best actors like Burt Reynolds.
ABC: Barbara Walters Special- Burt Reynolds: 12/02/1980


Thursday, September 6, 2018

Rowan and Martin's Laugh In: Martha Mitchell- Isn't Overstepping Cocktail Party

Source: Rowan and Martin's Laugh In- Actress portrayal of Martha Mitchell on LaughIn 
Source: The New Democrat

I said this on my Google+ and Twitter pages last night, but could you imagine Martha Mitchell with a Twitter page back during Watergate? She was like a gossip columnist with inside accounts of what was going on during Watergate simply because she was married to the Attorney General of the United States John Mitchell. Not that I believed he was filling in her chatty wife who was basically the motormouth of Washington during the early and mid 1970s. Who would share any little dirty secret that she could come up with regardless of who it might help or hurt.

Source: World News- Watergate motormouth Martha Mitchell 
The best gossip columnists are the gossip columnists not just with inside sources, but credible inside sources so what they write and say in public doesn't sound like fiction or a like a good soap opera, but there's real truth to what they're revealing about someone or some people, or some situation. Hollywood actress Shelley Winters, was a gossip columnist, as well as an author, with a great sense of humor who was very bright in general, but with her humor as well in-between acting parts. Martha Mitchell who just happened to be the wife of the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the United States in Attorney General John Mitchell, fit that bill as well.
Rowan and Martin's Laugh In: Martha Mitchell- Isn't Overstepping Cocktail Party

Thursday, August 30, 2018

The New Democrat: John McCain- An American Hero Who Defined Heroism

Source: CBS News- Senator Lindsay Graham and Senator John McCain on Capitol Hill 
Source: The New Democrat

Source: CBS News: John McCain- Had A Wicked Wit That Was Often Aimed At Himself

There are a lot of great things about Senator John McCain that we can respect and love about him, that I respect and love about him. His service in the Vietnam War where after he gets captured after his plane gets shot down he refuses to go home early, so his fellow Navy officers don't have to stay there as POW's and go through additional punishment and torture.

His straight forth honesty and candor, which for a politician especially a long time member of Congress where John McCain first gets elected to the House in 1982 and then the Senate in 1986 where he would remain a Senator until his death last Saturday, honest politicians especially honest members of Congress is about as common in Washington as blizzards and hurricanes in Arizona in August.

Members of Congress the most honest of them, tend to tell people and the media what they're thinking with spin. They won't tell you directly what they're about to do and thinking by just saying it, but instead will use spin to say exactly what they're thinking and about to do. Senator McCain, wasn't like that. If he didn't like you or respect you, he would just flat say that as Donald Trump has found out over and over. John McCain, had this ability and political skill to do what he wanted and take any position he wanted regardless of the political consequences and get away with it, because he had this AAA credit rating with his voters who told them that they might not agree with him on everything, but they respect him and the positions that he takes and why takes them, because he would make the case to them.

But the one thing that I'll remember most about John McCain, will always be his sense of humor, especially as someone who also writes political satire and humor on occasion. When you live the life of a John McCain and not only fight in the Vietnam War, but get shot down in it and if that's not bad enough you get captured by the other team and held in captivity and tortured for the next five years and manage to survive all of that and make a great life for yourself after that, you almost have to have a great sense of humor and be able to laugh about life especially yourself just to keep a positive face and perspective about yourself and life in general.

There are several lines about Senator McCain that I'll always remember and they're all about politics and his time in Congress and one of them having to do with the Congressional spending bills that the House and Senate have to deal with every year to fund the government. And if you're familiar with Senator McCain, you know he was a rock solid Conservative especially as it related to fiscal policy and wasn't just a fiscal Conservative, but somewhat maverick if not fanatic about it.

Congress is famous for a lot of bad things especially, but one of those things are known as porkbarrel projects. Money that a Representative to Senator manages to get attached to some spending bill that is directly related to their district or state that everyone else has to pay for that only benefits this district or a part of this state or that state. Senator McCain, would always say about these porkbarrel spending bills that Congress doesn't spend money like drunken sailors, but that Congress gives drunken sailors a bad name when it comes to spending. He was always making fun and attacking the waste in the Federal budget and all of the additional waste that Congress would try to attach.

Senator McCain, represents not the golden age of American politics or even Congress, but a time when Democrats were Democrats and Republicans were Republicans, but that they were competitors and not too countries looking to destroy each other. A time when Congress wasn't like the Vietnam War, but more like a playoff football game where both teams wanted to win, but also recognized the other team's right to exist and respected eacb other. A time when governing and campaigning weren't separate from each other because politics and government have and will always go together, but a time when politics didn't replace governing.

Where the two parties could work together to do the things that needed to be done and should've been done. The speech that he gave when he came back to Capitol Hill last summer right before the Senate was going to vote on an ObamaCare repeal bill and him talking about the need for Democrats and Republicans to work together, is a perfect example of that. And is someone that won't just be missed, but someone who won't be replaced either. There is is no one else in Washington especially in Congress that is worth risking their political careers to do the right thing anymore, now that Senator John McCain has passed and is what will be missed about him the most in Washington.

Source: CNN: Barack Obama and John McCain- At The 2008 Al Smith Dinner - Senator John McCain, at the 2008 Al Smith Dinner 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Keith Hughes: McCarthyism Explained- US History Review

Source: Keith Hughes- Senator Joe McCarthyism Explained 
Source: The New Democrat

To talk about McCarthyism I think you have to talk about Senator Joe McCarthy who in the early and mid 1950s was the ranking Republican on the Senate Investigations Committee first as Ranking Member and then as Chairman. And when Republicans won back Congress in 1952, Senator McCarthy becomes Chairman of the Senate Investigations Committee thanks to the Dwight Eisenhower sweep where the Republican win back the White House, House, and Senate all in the same election.

Source: Professor Girard- The Joe McCarthy Era 
Because of the landslide Republican victory in 1952 Senator McCarthy is now one of the most powerful members not just of the Senate, but the entire Congress as well. And with that now has the power to launch his investigation into supposed Communists in the U.S. Government. That is how we get what became McCarthyism and this hyper partisan, tribalist, guilt by association, nationalistic Far-Right movement in America, that came right after the House Un-American Activities Committee that was supposed to investigate Communists in Hollywood.

To talk about Senator McCarthy, you also have to talk about what McCarthy and his movement represented in America back then and still represents today. This us against them tribalistic-nationalist mentality that they're supposed to be the real Americans and anyone who disagrees with them must hate America and therefore should be under investigation because they're working for the other side and not deserving of the same constitutional rights as the so-called real Americans the McCarthyite's who want to stamp out communism and Communists in America at all costs even if that means violating Americans constitutional rights like the First Amendment and Fourth Amendments.

And to talk about Joe McCarthy, you also have to talk about not just how he became so powerful in the Senate with the position that he obtained, but how that movement was allowed to get started in the first place. The Cold War and the start of America's long battle with communism with Soviet Russia and other communist and authoritarian states around the world and this hysteria that the Communists are coming and are going to take our country away from us and take away everything that we believe in and Senator McCarthy being a smart enough politician to see how he could play that and use it to his political advantage and his political skills the speeches, as well as radio and TV appearances that he gave back in the early and mid 1950s is how his movement was able to come about at all.
Keith Hughes: McCarthyism Explained- US History Review

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Tim Gracyk: President Richard Nixon's- Emotional, Historic, Powerful Farewell Speech: August, 9th 1974

Source: Tim Gracyk- President Nixon's 1974 farewell address 
Source: The New Democrat

Just on a personal note first and then I'll get into President Nixon's farewell speech here. I was I guess bored last night and trying to take a break from the news even as a news and political junky and it suddenly occurred to me that I have YouTube on my TV ( thank you, FIOS ) I went to that on my TV and first saw Dick Cavett's PBS documentary about Watergate which came I out originally I believe in 1979 and they did a 35th anniversary special about that documentary in 2014. So I watched that first which was very good which then lead me to the network news coverage of President Nixon's farewell speech from 1974 and saw about two hours of CBS News's coverage with Walter Cronkite. That is and probably the only reason why I'm writing this post about Richard Nixon today, because I've had this keen interest on Watergate the last few days and have YouTube on my TV.

Source: Fams Sound- President Richard Nixon's mountaintop 
Richard Nixon, gave several great speeches in his long and I would at least argue great political career even with all his criminal baggage from Watergate and his little criminal intelligence operation in the The White House. His 1968 RNC acceptance speech, was a great speech. His 1969 presidential inaugural was a great speech. His so-called silent majority speech from 1969, as well as his Vietnam War speech from that same year were also great speech. His 1972 inaugural speech was a great speech. His 1974 resignation speech was a very good speech. We're talking about a man who as brilliant at he was and I believe the smartest and most knowledgeable President we've ever had ( not the best, which is different ) and yet somehow he was underrated as a speech giver. Maybe it was his voice, presence, who knows, but the man was very good at communicating what he believed and making a great case for it and yet was able to do it in a way that most Americans should understand.

Source: IZ Quotes- One of President Richard Nixon's best quotes 
If I had to rank President Nixon's speeches or just Richard Nixon the man, I would have to go with his 1968 RNC nomination speech where he gets renominated by the Republican Party to be President in Miami. His 69 silent majority speech as President. And his farewell speech as President in 1974 and I'm not sure which of these speeches are his best. I'm not a fan of President Nixon in the sense that I believe he's one of our best President's and got a raw deal as President and should've never been forced to resign by his own party, which is exactly what would've happened at he not had resigned with the House and Senate Republican Leadership's telling him that he needs to resign or will be impeached in the House and convicted in the Senate, which means Congress would remove him from office. He was as Carl Bernstein has said a criminal President who ran a criminal organization inside The White House and had to be removed either voluntarily or through force.

I'm not a fan of Richard Nixon and I believed he did a lot of bad things, but I'm a fan of a Redskins ( even though Dan Snyder tests that everyday ) and I'm not a fan of the Dallas Cowboys or New York Giants, but I respect talent when I see it and I respect Richard Nixon's abilities, talents as a politician and leader, his knowledge, intelligence, and foresight. The man was a big fan of President Theodore Roosevelt and regularly referred to him as TR and quoted Teddy Roosevelt on a regular basis. And you see that all through his farewell speech here. It was a very ironic speech and with that old saying that irony can come back and bite you in the ass fits perfectly here.

President Nixon saying and I believe this is his best line here in a speech that he personally wrote himself that, "only if you have been in the deepest valley, can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain." Translation: that you can only know what it's like to achieve the highest level of success when you've first started at the bottom and struggled, work hard to, started in the valley and worked your way to the top. If Nixon didn't start life in poverty in rural Southern California, you could certainly see poverty from where he grew up. He had a very modest upbringing and joined the Navy to get way from that and to get himself a college education, he was a World War II veteran in the Pacific and rose to Lieutenant Commander. We're not talking about a unaccomplished bum, but someone who achieved real success in life after starting out with almost nothing.

And then President Nixon's other great quote being, "Remember, always give your best. Never get discouraged. Never be petty. Always remember, others may hate you. But those who hate you don't win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself." Translation: meaning that when you let people who don't like you and even hate you, but I would add are not even worth your time and effort even thinking about them let alone your respect that is when they win because that is what they want. Which is a negative reaction from you and to know that you don't like them either and they know that you know they don't like or hate you. I would add to that, that people should spend more focus on what they already have and achieved instead of focusing on what they don't have and probably will never have or what they've lost. Which I realize is a lot harder than it sounds especially when you're talking about losing loved ones, but life will be much better for you if you do that.

The irony of President Nixon's speech is that he spoke from personal experience in both parts here. He was a man that came from practically nothing and achieved great things in life. That is the Richard Nixon speaking from positive personal experience. His negative experience that he personally spoke from was about pettiness and hate. You won't find a politician who was more hateful of the people who opposed him than Richard Nixon even though Donald Trump I believe is probably at this point a damn close second. And it's President Nixon's pettiness and hate, lust for power that destroyed his presidency and administration and why he gave a resignation speech and a farewell speech two and a half years before his second term was up.
Tim Gracyk: President Richard Nixon's- Powerful, Historic, Emotional Farewell Address: August 9th 1974

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Commentary Magazine: Yuval Levin- 'Congress is Weak Because Its Members Want it To Be'

Source: Commentary Magazine- Our do nothing U.S. Congress 
Source: The New Democrat

"Congress is weak because its member want it to be": I completely agree with Yuval Levin on this, but I would put it and phrase it differently.

The last 10-20 years perhaps longer Congress's ( both House and Senate ) approval rating has been somewhere around 10-20%. ( Depending on what poll you look at )

And the people who tend to approve of the job of Congress tend to either be Anarchists who don't want government do to anything.

Alcoholics who don't know what they want and believe and perhaps aren't even sober enough to understand the question do you approve or disapprove of Congress.

Or mental patients who believe they're being chased by flying Martians.

The rest of the country tends to be sane, sober, and in some cases even somewhat intelligent so of course they don't approve of the job of Congress, because Congress doesn't do a damn thing every year.

I mean, if Congress avoids a government shutdowns, that's considered an incredible accomplishment.

If Congress passes a budget even though according to the U.S. Constitution that both Democrats and Republicans now just view as an advisory documental and suggestions for how Congress should behave and what they should do, Congress passing a budget now is considered extraordinary.

Passing all 12 appropriations are now considered to be a miracle if Congress ever does that. Even though again under law and under the Constitution, Congress is required to pass an annual budget and all 12 appropriations bills.

Imagine being a public school teacher and your department head or principal told you that if your students do their work and learn the subject matter and pass your course, that would be considered a positive thing, but it's optional and you don't have to teach them anything, just give it your best shot. Wait, bad example because public school teachers in many cases aren't expected to teach their students and their students aren't expect to learn, but give it their best effort and show up.

But imagine running a grocery store or some other business that you don't own and your boss tells you that you're not expected to sell the products there and make a profit, but those things would be great if you did. What kind of business manager would that person be if they knew they would have a job in the future regardless of the job that they're doing and the success of their business. Well, that's how Congress operates and is judged. Americans are so fed up ( to be too kind ) with Congress now and politicians in general that they don't expect Congress to do their jobs. They just want their Representative and two Senators to repent their values and what they believe in and tell them what they want to hear. They do those things and stay out of legal trouble and avoid scandal, they'll probably get reelected over and over again.

What other job and profession in the world outside of politics and in Congress can you get paid and be guaranteed a job just for showing up. Again, public school teachers unfortunately and there are some good public school teachers, but too many bad ones and of course the largest verbal and physical punching bag in the world our U.S. Congress that houses the House of Representatives and Senate. Where a non-leadership member and not even a committee leader makes 150,000 dollars a year plus a generous benefits and retirement package. Which would be a good compensation package for an associate at a good law firm where people there are expected to actually work and represent clients well and win cases or at the very least give their clients the best legal representation possible.

Congress is weak, because there members are weak. They're in Washington about half a year on a good year, they're not expected to actually pass bills and in many cases are just there working to get reelected. And working to get reelected and governing are too different things. Working to get reelected now is about raising a lot of money and having your base behind you so you don't have to worry about getting primaried. Governing is about working with your colleagues in both parties at least when the margins are tight in both chambers ( especially in the Senate ) to pass needed legislation. And members of Congress are weak because that's what their voters want or expect and are tired of complaining about it and campaigning and voting for people who'll actually go to Washington to represent their state or district and work to pass good legislation.
Source: Crash Course: Craig Benzine- The Bicameral Congress - A look at our do nothing Congress 

Thursday, August 2, 2018

The National Review: Opinion- Kevin D. Williamson: 'FDR's Nationalism Presaged Donald Trump's'

Source: The National Review- Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd POTUS, Progressive Democrat 
Source: The New Democrat

I don't want to sound like I'm trying to offend, but Kevin Williamson's who I tend to respect at least politically, has nationalism and progressivism, mixed up with a what I call unitarianism and not the religion, but in governmental sense.

Source: Wall Street Journal- Donald J. Trump first Nationalist POTUS 
The United States unlike the United Kingdom and like the Federal Republic of Germany is a federal republic. We have decentralization of governmental power in America. We have checks and balances, as well as branches of government. National, state, and local, and in many cases Americans tend to live under two local government's. County and city and if you live in the City of Los Angeles, or in Chicago, to use as examples you know exactly what's that life. Since the City of Los Angeles is part of Los Angeles County and Chicago is part of Cook County.

Source: IZ Quotes- Truer words have never been said than what Sydney J. Harris said here
In a country that has a unitarian government or is a unitarian state like Britain, most of the governmental power, but not all is centralized with the national government in London. The U.K. Government runs the education system for Britain, as well as health care and health insurance for the entire country. Whereas in America each state even city, county has their own public education system and make their own governmental decisions for all other local matters that go on in their local jurisdiction and state.

President Franklin Roosevelt, was neither a Nationalist or a Unitarian when it came to government policy. The man led us along with our allies through World War II and saved the European Jews from ethnic destruction from the German Nazis. If he was a Nationalist, we would've stayed out of Europe and perhaps Japan as well, especially if he were truly a Democratic Socialist who didn't believe in government force and a strong military during World War II.

According to Wikipedia

"Nationalism is a political, social and economic system characterized by the promotion of the interests of a particular nation, especially with the aim of gaining and maintaining sovereignty (self-governance) over the homeland. The political ideology of nationalism holds that a nation should govern themselves, free from outside interference and is linked to the concept of self-determination. Nationalism is further oriented towards developing and maintaining a national identity based on shared, social characteristics, such as culture and language, religion and politics, and a belief in a common ancestry.[1][2] Nationalism, therefore, seeks to preserve a nation's culture, by way of pride in national achievements, and is closely linked to patriotism, which, in some cases, includes the belief that the nation should control the country's government and the means of production."

President Franklin Roosevelt, was a Progressive in the true sense of the term. Someone who believed in progress and that progress could obtained through government action. That government could be used to promote and achieve progress in the country. He inherited the Great Depression and believed government should be used to help Americans through the Great Depression with things like Unemployment Insurance and Social Security, but that government could also be used to help us get out of the Great Depression and back to strong economy health. Pre-New Deal, there was no public safety net or a national infrastructure system of any kind and with President Roosevelt we saw the Federal Government pay for the financing of American roads and other infrastructure projects in America.

If FDR was a Unitarian or Socialist, he would've nationalized the public education system in and all public welfare policy would be complete run by the Federal Government. No more local public hospitals, because now the Feds would be running those hospitals, as well as public housing, no more private health insurance.

Under FDR the Federal Government got a lot bigger and spent more money than it did before especially as it related to the economy, but our National Security State was also created under FDR and we became a world economic, military, and diplomatic power under FDR. Because he was a liberal internationalist who believed in a strong America both at home and abroad. Unlike Democratic Socialists, who tend to be very dovish on foreign policy and national security. FDR, was a Progressive Democrat in the truest and best sense of the word, he did put limits on what government should do and try to do and who also believed in individual success in America.
Source: Heck of Job: FDR- 'I Welcome Their Hatred'- President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Progressive Democrat