Third Party & Independents

Corpocracy alive and well

Posted by Roy Ellis on August 31, 2015 at 7:47 PM

A recent WP article on Solyndra and Lockheed leads one to perceive that corpocracy is alive and well.

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Challenging Birthright Citizenship

Posted by AllardK on August 26, 2015 at 7:46 PM

Changing the law on birthright citizenship isn't just a "a long and arduous path," as Senator Cruz stated; it's ages-old road that has had its turns and twists. So a little Latin is in order perhaps, and yes the Romans has a lot to do with that. Jus sanguinis - the right of blood literally - means you have to have one or more parent as a citizen of the state whose citizenship you are then entitled to. It's still the way a majority of nations in the world operate today. The Americas are the great exception having put in place jus soli - right of soil - in response to the waves of migration in the previous two centuries. But there is also Lex soli: the law of the state that conditions who can claim jus soli - or birthright citizenship - and under what conditions they may do so. Europe is a case of Lex Soli, which means your parents have to meet certain legal standards for you to become a citizen of the state you were born in.

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Slow Motion Dance Towards Armageddon

Posted by AllardK on August 25, 2015 at 7:35 PM

Is the media fuss over the AP story that Iran will self-inspect a fraud? That seems an exaggeration at best, but the edits to the original story, which essentially took out some granularity and replaced it with a sort of cover statement that it wasn't clear "how" these inspections would proceed, have caused a lot of crossed tweets between critics and AP journalists. The IAEA has stated that the story is "misleading" but as the debate goes back and forth over whether AP reporters were somehow duped, the details that do remain show how carefully the IAEA have to tip toe around the Iranian regime to be able to hopefully perform inspections on sites that could have weapon capability within a few years. The fact that we have even reached this stage is disturbing and the fear is that - rather than send false info to reporters in America as some have suggested - Israel will have to take matters into its own hands. Like in Iraq over 30 years ago.

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The Washington Consensus on Immigration

Posted by AllardK on August 18, 2015 at 7:29 PM

Guess what: the not-very-Tumpista Fox news poll is showing Trump at 25%. In second place, it's Ben Carson with almost identical numbers, (12% a little less than half of Trump's numbers), to his PPP poll numbers from last week. And Ted Cruz is in third with 10% having had, one suspects, a very nice bump as well from his polished fury at the debates in Cleveland. Yes Jeb Bush is next at 9%, but what strikes one is where Marco Rubio sits: in 9th place with just 4% and barely ahead of Chris Christie and Rand Paul. And clearly, immigration is an important issue as far as voters' view of the GOP candidates. That might explain Rubio's fall after his apparently polished performance in the GOP debate.

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Marco and Ben and Black Lives Matter

Posted by AllardK on August 14, 2015 at 2:57 PM

Speaking on Fox, Senator Rubio talked about Black Lives Matter - who are making a habit of disrupting campaign events for Republicans and Democrats alike - and what to do about the protests. Everyone seems to have a handy statistic on young black men and their likelihood to end up in jail or die a violent death, often at the hands of other young black males. Senator Marco, for example, stated that they are much more likely to end up in jail than go to college or university. And he mentioned the case of a friend who is a professional and black, and who in the last 18 months has been stopped 8 times while driving without being charged.

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A Re-Think for Donald and for Jeb

Posted by AllardK on August 11, 2015 at 9:21 AM

The debate really was great. It's good to keep that in mind when digesting the latest reality-show-snipes between candidates. And as usual, Trump is involved. And as usual, it's because Donald Trump does not take kindly to criticism. So this time, it's Carly Fiorina - who has justifiably surged to 4th in the latest polls on the back of her tough, smart, and fluid performance in the kids table debate. Carly was also justifiably offended by Trump's ripping into Fox moderator Megyn Kelly, or rather by the way he did it. Trump is downright mean when cornered and while that might work in a tough negotiation behind closed doors, it's his likely achilles heel in the campaign. He might have issued an apology while also defending his "I don't have time for political correctness" reply, but he's still leading and apologizing doesn't seem to be part of his hard-wiring or even his values. Which is fine by some of his supporters.

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Carly Was Sharp As a Weapon but Do You Trust Her?

Posted by AllardK on August 7, 2015 at 5:05 PM

In the pre-debate debate among the seven not in the top ten, Carly Fiorina was as sharp and precise as laser guided munition. In a very short amount of time she packed a perfect punch when outlining her view on the issues, and she had no problem taking on Hillary, as was to be expected. So why isn't she higher in the polls? Are her answers a little too rapid-fire perfect? Like a Wall Street fund manager talking up her losing portfolio, or a CEO boasting of her achievements with a stock price that's half what it used to be? She's tough and smart and an outsider who does actually seem to have genuine passion rather than just a need for power. But does she come off as trustworthy?

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Fox Major League GOP Baseball

Posted by AllardK on August 6, 2015 at 2:04 PM

We have a NASCAR metaphor now circulating to help us when thinking of Marco Rubio and his former mentor, Jeb Bush. The only way Rubio will be able to re-establish himself in the top 5 or 3 GOP contenders - so the story goes - is if Jeb's car hits a wall and Rubio can shift from drafting off of Jeb to scrapping for a place among the leaders. Maybe with a little aggressive banking he can move back into third, having used a lot of Jeb's drafts. It's really nice the way fundraising language and NASCAR terms flow aerodynamically from one to the other. Because fundamentally, Rubio has a lot of virtues. He just lacks Jeb's wealth of experience. Or perhaps Jeb's wealth, and experience. And one suspects, that Rubio should even take a few Spanish lessons from the governor, who can be quite the firebrand "en español."

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Russell Brand, John Walker Lindh, and Military Psychologists

Posted by AllardK on August 3, 2015 at 6:12 PM

You'll be glad to know that John Walker Lindh has kept the faith. So much so that his forehead was bruised when he was tackled by a fellow inmate while praying a few years ago. It would seem likely that he was not reading the Gospel when his forehead came into sharper contact with the floor than is normally the case in Islamic prayer. And you'll be glad to know that the American Justice system has ensured that he continues to have the right to pray, at another facility in Indiana, not the one where he was tackled. His suing for group prayer on the part of Muslim inmates was successful, with a favorable ruling having been handed down by a federal judge in early 2013.

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Is Hillary Happy Running for President?

Posted by AllardK on July 30, 2015 at 6:44 PM

Mark Steyn is absolutely right: Hillary is wooden and dull and Democrats need a romance. They can forgive scandals - whether financial or sexual - as long as they have a crush on their candidate. Look at Bill and Barak. So while the email scandals may energize the Republican base and erode Hillary at the margins, she's doing a pretty good job herself with a campaign that makes Jeb Bush look like as exciting as Trump. And that means that Bernie Sanders may actually achieve critical mass and start to threaten Hillary's campaign. If he hasn't already. Would Hillary debate Sanders? Perhaps not, but who is she competing with for the left-and-merely-liberal vote?

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The Spotlight Is on Majority Leader McConnell

Posted by AllardK on July 28, 2015 at 8:23 PM

Since Harry Reid began filling up the amendment tree on a regular basis - a procedural tactic that converts the Senate Majority leader into the near-absolute gate keeper of amendments and thus debate in the upper chamber - the Senate has been transformed from a forum for open debate to a less democratic institution with emphasis on party discipline. The Senators' two traditional freedoms: unlimited debate, and unlimited opportunity to offer amendments, are now carefully controlled by the majority leader. Now, because current majority leader McConnell has recently engaged in similar tactics, until he opened up the process this past weekend. A promise to open up the Senate again and return it to its traditional constitutional role has not been fulfilled as much as hoped for. Will that now change for the better?

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Bring Back Kasich's Root-Canal Fiscal Policy

Posted by AllardK on July 23, 2015 at 12:29 PM

Does anyone remember when Kasich - House Budget Committee Chairman at that time - threatened to eliminate the Commerce Department back in the 90's? Live on TV? In the heat of the budget battles that the new crop of GOP House members had with Clinton's White House, Kasich suggested the nation could get by fine without the services of the Commerce Department. Right next to him was Pete Domenici, at that point already one of the longest serving senators from New Mexico. And Domenici tried to rein in the - then - feisty young fellow Republican before some serious budget cuts actually did away with a stalwart of beltway bureaucracy.

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You want to ban this flag?

Posted by Weary_Willie on July 21, 2015 at 11:41 PM

They lost, sure, ban it.

Then you must accept the consequences.

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Thanks to the Iran Deal, the Middle East Is Now M.a.D.

Posted by AllardK on July 15, 2015 at 7:22 PM

Israel's nuclear ambiguity is no longer a sustainable policy, thanks to the Iran deal. The so-called "bomb in the basement" needs to be brought above ground, both metaphorically and literally, and Iran has to know the consequences of any action it may take at some point in the future against the state of Israel. That's where Israel, it's leaders, and it's people now find themselves thanks to the Obama administration and it's partners in the recently announced deal to ease sanctions and provide some sort of control over Iran's nuclear program. The Middle East is now entering a period of Mutually Assured Destruction, and the cold-war nuclear strategists can dust off their resumes and text books and find a whole new career advising Israel how to ensure it's presumably newly visible nuclear arsenal will provide ex-ante rather than ex-post deterrence. As, for example, Professor Beres and Admiral Edney (both retired) have done in an article in US News.

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We the Sheeple of the U.S. of A.

Posted by MichaelMears on July 10, 2015 at 9:59 PM

... need to start forming our own opinions and making decisions based on our own beliefs and values. This Donald Trump nonsense has gone way too far and a majority of people don't have a clue how it started. To be totally honest, I read what he said shortly after it happened and I kind of laughed to myself because I understood the point he was making and the cause, but was it politically incorrect? Yes.

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