Third Party & Independents

A Reasonable Dosage of Rigor

Posted by AllardK on March 2, 2015 at 8:34 PM

The fact that House Republicans had to call recess on their education bill is yet another reminder of how thorny an issue education has become. The House's attempt to update George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind ran into conservative opposition over issues of state and local control over education. But the issue goes far beyond that. The role of public education, especially since Common Core appeared on the scene, is now a big question mark and one that elicits a multitude of responses. Progressives and Liberals want more money with more regulatory strings attached - all of it going through the federal government before actually reaching the states - to ensure that gaps in education results are filled. Conservatives want the freedom to choose flexible solutions, including charter schools, to try and improve student performances, both within America and in comparison to other developed countries. And some raging moms want to bury their heads in the sand and pretend that their children do not face a far different world, a more demanding one that requires more skills in everything from language to science and math and computing, than they ever did.

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Net Neutrality, Yaahhhoooo

Posted by Roy Ellis on February 26, 2015 at 8:39 PM

Passage of Net Neutrality into law is about the greatest thing since canned beer, IMO. Being a good 'centrist' I see this law as the best way to police/regulate the Internet providers.

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Oscar Speech Propaganda

Posted by MichaelMears on February 25, 2015 at 4:35 PM

You can't knock JK Simmons for reminding us to call our moms and dads, if we're so fortunate to do so. However, there were other Oscar speeches that were filled with pleas for wage equality, suicide prevention, and Alzheimer's awareness, which all have their own importance. However, it's hard to process John Legend's comments about slavery and black incarceration, while millions of people watched and most people would just believe every word he said.

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When Jeb's Bandwagon Catches Fire

Posted by AllardK on February 20, 2015 at 5:35 PM

Jeb Bush wants to be president, and the details of what type of president he will be can be worked out later. At least that seems to be the attitude of a significant part of the GOP. Just look at the polls and decide who would do best against Hillary is the approach. The numbers and how to improve them seem to dominate, at least for those donors and former Bush padre and Dubya advisors who are lining up to help fund or to be part of Jeb's team. What that says about any policy platform that his team is cobbling together from ideas long past due is not encouraging. Catchphrases like Liberty and Strength have been heard before in very different times. To base foreign policy on pillars like Liberty and Strength is commendable, of course. But what that may mean in practice, on issues like immigration, terrorism, trade with Asia and Latin America, as well as education at home, remains very much to be seen.

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The President Hits a Homer

Posted by Roy Ellis on February 18, 2015 at 5:17 PM

Watched the President's presentation on how we should deal with the Muslim extremist problem. I believe this is the best presentation he has given. He nailed it good as to how citizens of the world should react to terrorism. He covered the good, bad and ugly as it relates to the world community, noting that in order to win the day there must be a broad range of policies/actions covering political, law enforcement, human resources, economic opportunity/assistance, and so on - - -

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Fakeahontas and the Real Hiawatha

Posted by AllardK on February 16, 2015 at 8:15 PM

While a slight fuss has been raised, and understandably so, over the location of the Run Warren Run office in the Cedar Rapid's suburb of Hiawatha, it may have unintended ironies for those who make fun of its location. The fact that Warren desperately invoked a dubious Native American Heritage to help her gain Ivy League employment is now part of her record, as it should be for anyone who may soon be seeking the Presidency. The fact that Hiawatha was mistakenly used by Longfellow, however, to refer to an Ojibwa trickster rather than the historical, if mythical, unifying figure that helped shape the Iroquois Confederacy is the unintended irony of those who have pointed out the Native American fake connection. That's because the essence of Warren does not really encompass her silly little stumbling dance back when with identity politics - while Hillary is locked in a death waltz with identity politics whose embrace she can't or won't break - but rather the serious substance of her radical views on political economy.

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ISIS Is not Like Purse Snatchers in the Subway

Posted by AllardK on February 9, 2015 at 7:51 PM

Trust President Obama to think he has a policy fix for everything, as in the right policy mix brewed up by federal bureaucrats will fix most anything. For example, the wave of truly barbaric terror unleashed by ISIS upon Middle Easterners, Westerners, and anyone else unlucky enough to be caught in their frenzied claws, as Japan discovered. Why it's just like lowering the crime rate in, say, New York. The right mix of growth and subsidies and policy incentives and you'll have Syria and its neighbors as good as Israel. As long as the media behaves itself and doesn't sensationalize things too much. The uncomfortable truth about Mayor Guilliani's moral anger and dedication to changing New Yorkers acceptance of street crime, graffiti, and urban grit as natural - the broken windows theory that turned out to be right - was a sea change that policy wonks could never have achieved. Yes, the growth of the economy in the 90's and New York's unquestioned role as the world's financial capital helped but it was the policing on the ground and the civic attitude supporting them that did the heavy lifting as well.

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Re-Balancing Obama's White House

Posted by AllardK on February 4, 2015 at 8:02 PM

By January 1980 when small business representatives gathered in Washington for the first White House Conference on Small Business, there were 90 agencies issuing thousands of new rules every year. One fears even hazarding a guess as to the state of regulatory burden in 2015, but it is safe to say that the Regulatory Flexibility Act that was born in 1980 was meant, and is meant, to give small business a break from the overwhelming burden of agency rule-making. It essentially puts a pause in the process so that the costs and impact of any new rule can be assessed by those affected. Trust Obama's team to have found a way to pivot around this constraint and deem significant new rule-making as being mere change in interpretation of said rules rather than actually being new rules.

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DemReps a.k.a Corpocracy

Posted by Roy Ellis on February 1, 2015 at 6:26 PM

I can't get too excited about the nebularies tween the dem/reps. None, as I can tell, would do much to change the status quo, i.e. gov't by corpocracy. IMO, Huckabee would make a good centrist president but alas, will never get the nod.

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Imagining Jeb Versus Hillary

Posted by AllardK on January 30, 2015 at 4:01 PM

Mitt better put on his gloves and step into the ring because there's already a Bush in the hottest hubs south of DC, in Florida and Texas. Sentences like this are what you get when the two leading GOP contenders - one who is definitely putting together or has already put together a top-notch team of donors and operatives, the other who is still deciding whether to go to bat a third time - are well-known establishment Republicans. Maybe Romney supporters would protest Mitt's characterization as an establishment GOP but when you're in line for a third try for the Oval Office, it's a tag that must be anticipated and put up with. What the Jeb camp seems to want is lots of discussion over election tactics and strategy: how their team will win with or without Romney in the ring. How they have deep pockets and lots and lots of experienced players well versed in campaign trail decision-making and beltway political manouverings. And once they clean up the nomination - maybe not in a straight sweep but certainly in a fairly easy jog - then they can focus on winning the series in a tough but winnable battle against Hillary. Why nominate anyone else?

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From August 2, 1790 to Mark Zuckerberg

Posted by AllardK on January 26, 2015 at 8:08 PM

The Center for Democracy and Technology cares about your privacy and the fact that Google and Facebook have contributed a few million to the center makes no difference. According to Justin Brookman, Director of Consumer Privacy at CDT and co-chair of it's "Do Not Track" working group, "Facebook and Google can't monitor what you do on third party sites." Plus the industry standard on privacy and things like 3rd party cookies is voluntary. So there. But should people be furious that Google or Facebook or other large internet firms may be tracking your web behavior on 3rd party sites? How sacred a right is privacy in the 21st century, especially online?

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Endangering the World With Their Ingenuous Tactics

Posted by AllardK on January 21, 2015 at 9:57 PM

It is understandable that President Obama tried to do an end run around foreign policy and focus on so-called domestic issues in his State of the Union address last Tuesday. America has not been blessed with firm and decisive leadership from the Obama White House when it comes to international policy issues, to say the least. The no-show in Paris was just the latest in a long line of confused stances. But the President did take a moment to mention the Iran sanctions. "I will veto any new sanctions bill that threatens to undo this progress." The progress he was referring to is the continually stalled negotiations with the terror-sponsoring Islamic Republic of Iran over it's nuclear program which is clearly aimed at achieving weapons capability. Several extensions and a sanctions relief that is providing about $700 million a month to Iran means they have that much more time to continue their nuclear research program.

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Civil War OnLine (CWOL) VIII starts in February 2015.

Posted by Weary_Willie on January 20, 2015 at 5:53 PM

Historical Online Learning Foundation
The Distance-Simulations Group
Announces Civil War OnLine (CWOL) VIII

All individuals interested in playing are directed to the registration link below.

CWOL VIII registration

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A Little More Sweat on the Hill Please

Posted by AllardK on January 19, 2015 at 3:54 PM

How committed is the current Congress to limited government? In other words, how committed is Mitch McConnel? And how committed is the GOP with a majority not seen since the early 20's? Senators Thune, R-S.D. and Corker, R. Tenn. are already suggesting boosting gas taxes. And increased sales taxes at the state level is being bandied about. Mac Thronberry, R-Texas wants tax increases to protect defense spending from sequester cuts. There is always a pet project, some worthwhile some outrageous pork barrel spending, that a congressman or congresswoman wants to cuddle and feed. And fiscal conservatism, which seems to hover like a ghost in the background rather than take center stage, warns of worsening deficits if the starve-the-beast method of reducing government is attempted.

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Obama Is More Than Tone Deaf

Posted by AllardK on January 14, 2015 at 9:38 PM

There are moments when the President of the United States cannot be too busy not to attend something like last Sunday's march in Paris. It was more than the 50 world leaders - and that included both Palestine and of course Israel - who marched with linked arms down the winter boulevards of that great city. It was the millions of French citizens who have had enough of islamic terrorism and it's latest deadly attempts to impose blasphemy laws in a Western, democratic society. President Hollande's embrace of columnist Patrick Pelloux was visceral, moving and untheatrical. This was not something staged, even if it was planned. This was real down to the very marrow of all those who marched and all those who watched in silent support around the world. Where were America's leaders? There may have been moments when France may have quietly asked the big bad old USA not to attend, as infuriating as that may have been. This was clearly not the case.

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