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Pages tagged "US Democrats"


US 2012 – The Ryan Choice

by Robert Reich

Paul Ryan is the reverse of Sarah Palin. She was all right-wing flash without much substance. He’s all right-wing substance without much flash.

Ryan is not a firebrand. He’s not smarmy. He doesn’t ooze contempt for opponents or ridicule those who disagree with him. In style and tone, he doesn’t even sound like an ideologue – until you listen to what he has to say.

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Political Corruption in New York: Low Comedy and High Cost

by Dan Collins

It's possible, what with the rush of the holiday season, that you have neglected to pay close attention to the city's latest political corruption trials. I must admit my own attention was wandering until this week, when a Brooklyn Assemblyman was indicted for attempting to solicit bribes so he could pay lawyers to defend from charges of taking bribes in a previous corruption trial.

The star of that saga is William Boyland Jr., who exemplifies all the reasons the words "state legislature" make New Yorkers want to beat their heads against the nearest flat surface.

He has a completely safe seat, which he inherited from his father, William Boyland Sr., who inherited it from his brother. Junior has had a totally undistinguished career in Albany, starring only in the narrow but competitive area of filling out expense forms. But back home he's apparently been very active in a business loosely described as consulting.

In Albany, consulting is generally a euphemism for being paid to get somebody state money.

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One Year to Go: President Barack Obama’s Uphill Battle for Reelection in 2012

by  Bill Galston

Despite recent signs of a modest upturn in President Barack Obama’s political fortunes, the 2012 election is likely to be close and hard-fought. More than in any contest since 1992, the economy will be the overwhelming focus. But fundamental clashes about the role of government will also be in play against a backdrop of record low public confidence in our governing institutions. And contests involving incumbents tend to be referenda on their records more than choices between candidates. If the election pitting Obama against the strongest potential Republican nominee, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, were held tomorrow, the president would probably lose.

But a year is a very long time in American politics, and three factors could change the odds in Obama’s favor.  Economic growth could exceed expectations, and the unemployment rate—long stuck at 9 percent—could come down fast enough to restore a modicum of Americans’ shattered hopes for the future.  The Republicans could commit creedal suicide by nominating a presidential candidate outside the mainstream or unqualified for the office.  And the Obama campaign could make a wise decision to focus first and foremost on the states—principally in the Midwest—that have decided presidential elections in the past half century and are poised to do so again next year.  If the president tries to rerun his 2008 campaign under very different circumstances, he could end up turning potential victory into defeat.

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Wisconsin’s recall election: Voters react to anti-union Republicans

by Dr Scott Denton

For Republicans, Wisconsin is steeped with tradition. A little white school house in Ripon, Wisconsin, is the equivalent of the Australian Labor Party’s ghost gumtree in Barcaldine, Queensland: they are both foundational images of the Party’s past. It was in Ripon where the Republican Party was founded in 1854. While notionally over time a ‘red’ state, Obama won there in 2008 with 56 per cent of the vote and Bush only just lost there in 2004 (only by 11 000 out of almost three million voters). In November 2010 voters elected Republican Scott Walker as Governor of Wisconsin.

In July and August, voters in Wisconsin again went to the polls in recall elections that will determine the fate of Walker and his fellow Republican Senators. Walker has been a controversial figure in Wisconsin politics since he was elected and this recall election, pushed by the Democrats, aimed to see them defeated in the state senate. Prior to the recall election, the Senate was held by the Republicans by a margin of 19 to 14. With six Republican Senators facing recall elections, Democrats hope to regain control of the chamber by winning three Senate districts.

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A financial storm gathers: one we can weather

by James Dunn

Recently it has seemed as if a grey cloud has swept across the world economy with the major players battling crises in Europe and North America, with worrying implications for the rest of us.

As a relatively small player it seems we, Australia, are watching helplessly. But times have been particularly difficult for Barak Obama lately, who struggled to end the impasse with the fiery Republican opposition in Congress; achieving an outcome that impressed few.

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Immigration reform Obama style

by Jo Coghlan

America has more than 11 million (and as possibly as high as 20 million) people living inside its borders who do not have legal status. They account for 3.7% of America’s population. For American President Barrack Obama, immigration is the political elephant in the room particularly as he faces re-election next year. Recently Obama has significant speeches on immigration ‘reform’ but it is domestic politics that is driving his policies.

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The Five Smartest US Congressional Bills You've Never Heard Of

by Ryan Rafaty

During any given Congressional term, literally thousands of proposals never make it past the committee stage of the legislative process. In recent years, less than 5 percent of all bills introduced ultimately became law. The scope of proposals in Congress garnering considerable media attention is similarly narrow. The pieces of legislation that attract the most publicity from the beltway media—like Paul Ryan’s radically unpopular plan to scrap Medicare—tend to drown out more sensible ideas that hardly stand any chance of enactment without public pressure on lawmakers to move the agenda forward.

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Adapting Social Democratic Parties to the Facebook Age

By Neal Lawson

 

 

Form follows function. What are social democratic party’s for and therefore how should they be structured? In the era of what we could call social democracy 1.0 when unions were big, production was bigger and the state and power heavily centralized the goal was the administration of power from the top down. War socialism meant an elite and hierarchical form.

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The Palinization of America

by Jim Worth, huffingtonpost.com

For many years America has been sliding into a dark abyss...

... succumbing to the lowest common-denominator -- spurning intelligence for 'cool.'

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A Better Way to Fix Lobbying

by Lee Drutman, Adjunct Professor, the University of California’s Washington Semester Program, The Brookings Institution.

That Washington is corrupted by special interests is perhaps the most common critique of the federal government. Poll after poll reveal a public convinced that lobbyists are a destructive influence, and most lobbying reform ideas accordingly take a distinctly moralizing tone. 

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