Third Party & Independents Archives

Third Party Ingredients

From a previous debate on third party viability we discussed party structure as it relates to instilling trust and confidence in the voting public. A general consensus was reached on the need to invoke accountability and reform of government in the party structure. For political parties to have a chance at success they must be stood up under the mantle of accountability, responsibility and integrity. The parties must accept responsibility for holding their members accountable, ethically and in the political sense. Failure to do so is evident in that many third parties that have reached some level of maturation are floundering in stagnation. It’s no different for the two major parties.

Accountability can be worked into the political equation by establishing certain rules of the road for party members.

Another important ingredient is the party’s agenda. Most would agree that targeting the agenda at the middle of the political spectrum, as opposed to the left or right, would find favor with the majority of voters. If the goal is to reform government, and I believe it is, the agenda should target government reform and minimize social issues such as gays in the military and abortion rights.

Working in the first ingredient, accountability, is a little difficult. We need to implement some level of accountability across a range of government related positions such as those who hold elected office and those appointed to high level positions such as Ambassador, Czar, political appointee and agency head. Currently, Congress enforces it’s version of ethics rules and rules of the road for legislators. Political parties should not attempt to interfere with government. However, the parties can establish their own rules as they relate to the conduct of their party members just as the Lion’s Club or a similar organization would do. One scenario is to found the party with rules that provide for the membership to serve as oversight for elected officials and others.

Enforcement would be carried out through membership vote and implemented via the Internet. If a certain number of complaints are received by the membership regarding an errant elected official then the effected membership, state or federal, would be mandated to vote the elected official up or down. If the official receives less than 66% favorable vote then he/she is automatically rejected from the party. The official would continue to serve out the remainder of his/her term but would no longer be supported for any further political endeavor. Membership oversight would be directed towards ethics violations and failure to support the party’s agenda. In this way the Party can hold their elected officials and others accountable while not interfering with government interests.

This scenario relies heavily on the power of the Internet to provide the dynamic level of communications that would be required. Post reform, elected officials are going to want to stay connected to their constituents. The office holder will no longer need to spend 3/4ths of their time dialing for money. And, they would want to keep constituents abreast of their plans, what bills are coming to the table, or why they might want to take a position on an issue that is incongruent with the party agenda. The website(s) would carry audio/video expressing the viewpoints of candidates, incumbents, officeholders, and others. Mini cspans if you will.

Surveys and polls regarding issues and candidates, etc. Grassroots organizing to include email, conference chats, and powerful database capability. An ‘all news (political) all the time’ channel. And, yes, the enforcement arm, a mandatory vote when it becomes necessary. You would need volunteers from each state whose job is to monitor the political landscape for errant politicians. A reporting capability would be needed for these volunteers and the membership. Hopefully, that’s sufficient to give you a sense of the level and scope of activity that would be necessary on a 21st century political website.

In striving to reform government a party should adopt an agenda that is strictly targeted at reform and void of social and hot button issues such as abortion. People should be asked to understand that little could be accomplished through legislation as long as the Corpocracy has its tentacles around our government. And, that it’s in our best interest as a nation to push through reform of government, divest government of the money influence and then begin legislation on social issues.

Let’s hold specific reform issues for a later thread and discuss the structure of a party relative to providing for accountability and reform of government.

Posted by Roy Ellis at August 26, 2009 2:15 PM
Comments
Comment #286933

Roy:

As a Republican I would be very interested in a Moderate third party. My own definition would be things that work. For instance instead of decisions based so steeply in ideology, I would rather see research that something has a positive good on society.

Take tax cuts for instance. You will hear they are terrible on the left, and thee answer on the right. Tax cuts are simply a tool. When does research say they are helpful?

On the other hand, what about social spending? Is government evil? Or is government the answer? It is of course neither. I have always like the head start program. Why? because of some research I read that showed the great impact it had on disadvangaged youth. It improved the lives of children. It is a provable good. Am I a “liberal” then because I can support a liberal program? I am actually a moderate and do not accept the left or right boxing me in.

In the current health care debate. Morally I support Universal health care. I don’t support Obama’s plan. I don’t see the research that shows how this plan moves America from heading toward insolvancy. Actually it’s not radical enough. Raise taxes, now isn’t that creative.

There has to be a tougher answer. When as David pointed out there is so much waste in the sytem, we should be able to pay for universal coverage and bend the curve at the same time. We should be able to recreate the system so that our children can inherite a country that is fiscally sound AND take care of the weakest among us.
It is the left and the right, in their ideology that keeps reform from happening and keeps the costs so high.

The left are not going to touch tort reform, and the right are not going to touch the insurance companies.

So we certainly need a new approach

Posted by: Craig Holmes at August 26, 2009 5:57 PM
Comment #286934

Craig said: “Actually it’s not radical enough. Raise taxes, now isn’t that creative.”

Your comment fails to observe what Obama has actually said and proposed. It therefore pushes the GOP misinformation campaign either deliberately or inadvertently. Raising taxes is the smallest part of how Obama’s proposal pays for UHC insurance.

The problem with partisan moderates, is that they remain partisan, nonetheless; taking their sources from the left or right party as their basis for issue decision making. A very different animal than an independent who takes in the research and evidence presented from all sides of an issue, regardless of partisan affiliation, and weighs them as objectively and independently as time permits.

Your statement quoted above indicates either, 1) a partisan based source of information like that of GOPUSA saying raising everyone’s taxes is how Obama will pay for health care (an entirely incomplete representation of fact), or 2) a refusal on a partisan basis to actually take in to account what Obama’s proposals have been to pay for it, or, 3) an inadvertent assertion of brevity for the sake of example, which conveys an unintended interpretation of the statement.

I don’t know which of the 3 is true. I would hope it was the third option. But, that is for you to say if it is to be said.

And moderate middle of the road answers are no guarantee of a good policy or successful one. One example: war fought moderately on compromised funding or deployments, does NOT make for good policy or successful outcomes.

A compromised health insurance plan that does NOT cover everyone, is not Universal Health Care insurance. It is an entirely different animal, by definition. Those who argue for such compromises, in fact, by definition, oppose universal health insurance coverage.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 26, 2009 6:21 PM
Comment #286938

A good post Craig Holmes. I am confident your frustrations with government is way big felt by the majority. The Corpocracy leads from the left and the right, giving us the status quo on issues that are important to the moderate majority. You’d like some metrics on things such as cap and trade, healthcare? Join the crowd! If we sit back and do nothing while these trillion dollar programs are rushed through then we have only to wait and see what the outcomes are downstream before we can complain or lobby for change. Smart politics, maybe. But rewards the duopoly with some very low grades.
I think all of us are torn as to the role government should play relative to social issues. I believe the Constituion calls for the government to provide authority and oversight for large programs effecting the entire population. However, the President should not be selling cars and appliances using our tax dollars. And, the federal government has stomped all over states rights on many issues. The federal government is way, way too large in every way. We can all agree that, in many cases, it is much easier for the federal government to manage programs rather than having the states working to reach an agreement to accomplish the same thing. However, that is the price we should want to pay for good government and in adhering to the Constitution, IMO. Indeed, we frequently have the federal government threatening the states to force them to act as the federals want. I would prefer the federal government divest itself of the TVA, REA, and many similar programs. But, I’m not so sure I would want that to happen until reform of government is achieved, removing much of the influence of the Corpocracy from government.
Something that needs watching is the administration’s plan to implement something similar to the fairness doctrine. Seems the Corpocracy is hell bent to gain some control of free speech as it relates to talk radio and the Internet. Also, a water rights bill is floating around somewhere. The federal government is looking to control all the waters in the US, right down to mudpuddles. This is a great venue for the government to be able to pump water from the Great Lakes to the Southwest without having to argue with the states. Chipping away, chipping away. The federal government is making a historic grab for power and control. Craig, let’s throw in and build a third party that can stymie such efforts. A moderate party that can put accountability into the political equation, press for reform of government, achieve reform, and KEEP IT THAT WAY!

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve!

Posted by: Roy Ellis at August 26, 2009 7:02 PM
Comment #286939

As much as I am for “another option” would it really do anything? Isn’t one of the biggest problems we face right now the very existence of political parties? Wouldn’t a third just represent one more competing business interest? In reality, aren’t political parties just a way for lazy voters to avoid critical thinking on important issues?

I will always believe that “belonging” to a political party is a crutch is absurd, at least for the non-politician, because all it means is that you’re identifying with people who “say” they believe what you believe, and at the same time couldn’t care less about you. A non-politician “party member” serves no function other than fractionating the country. People who vote for politicians based on their party alignment is what leads us into these problems in the first place.

Politicians identify with a popular position in order to get as many votes as possible, not to solve a problem or help anybody. Politicians then group together to form a more powerful force to get even more votes. Politics is about vote-getting. Political parties are just brands vying for consumers.

A third party would just be the RC cola of politics.

Posted by: Mike Falino at August 26, 2009 8:14 PM
Comment #286940

Mike said: “A third party would just be the RC cola of politics.”

Unless, and until, it takes off.

I am favoring the NAIP these days, New American Independent Party. From Wikipedia:

The New American Independent Party (NAIP) is a political party in the United States, founded by Michael Thompson in Wayne, Pennsylvania in 2004. The first official NAIP meeting took place in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania on the day of the general election in 2004.

The New American Independent Party claims to seek a more sustainable, self-reliant America through a platform of both liberal and conservative views. The New American Independent Party focuses heavily on middle class issues and government reform. The New American Independent party notified the Texas Secretary of State that they would try to qualify for the 2008 ballot[1] in Texas.

What would be fantastick is a party that cultivates and nurtures its follower’s critical analysis of the Party and its candidates. Not sure, but this NAIP may have that potential, as the thinking person’s Independent Party.

Your point about parties being a substitute for becoming informed and thinking through issues, is very well made, Mike, and not to be forgot, as the paradigm of American political parties. But, a new Party has the potential for breaking that mold.

The NAIP has a short and to the point About Page worth a 1 minute read.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 26, 2009 8:24 PM
Comment #286941

Agree with much of what you post Mike. A new third party is just like any other. It may start with good intentions but within a couple of years would come under the grasp of the Corpocracy. People have lost trust in government to do the right thing. However, if there were no political parties I think, within a short period of time, we would come around to starting some, for the same reason Hamilton and Jefferson chose to start parties early on. They has to be some organizaed effort to focus the majority opinion on issues. Otherwise, we are just 300 million or so folks running around with 300 million ideas.
What we are discussing in this thread is how to create a party with a different political attitude. A party that can put accountability for elected officials into the political equation and carry out a reform agenda that is popular with the majority of the members. Some rules would be established that are hard, if not impossible to edit, change, or delete. This would be a party unlike any other. I beleve such a party could restore peoples trust and confidence in government and work to support a reform agenda to remove the money influence from government. We fer shure aren’t looking to create just another third party.

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve!

Posted by: Roy Ellis at August 26, 2009 8:38 PM
Comment #286945

Roy,
Speaking solely from an Independent Political Point of View, I do see how easy it woud be for a Thrid Party to take the National Pulpit. And though I can only go so far down that path, let me share wioth you and others hat I have found running around in the Wilderness.

First, Political Education is a must. For how can the Government of “We the People” be for or against things that make up the Reality of the American Citizen? No, blaming the other guy for the problems created in an open Capitalistic Society may have worked with the Ignorance of the Youth of the 60’s and Silver Spons of the 70’s; however, taking the Public Debate from “Agreeing to Disagree” to challenging your political opponent to prove their political position will take some Artful Thinking, but one that puts the Old Guard of the Democratic and Republican Parties in a corner.

Second, establish the guidelines that allow the Individual Members to see the difference between the “I” and the “We” of an argument. For why I personal don’t like taxes, knowing that “We” need roads, hospitals, etc. to be seen as a Civilized Nation, even I have to say that not All Taxes are Equal.

Third, and one of the major reasons that the Founding Fathers of America made Our System of Government a Two Party Political Monopoly. For right now the President of the United States of America and the Democratic Party Leaders are looking forward to Generational Change while the Republican Party wants (in my opinion) to abuse their Unalienable Right to be Ignorant of the fact that a Better World is possible for political gain. However, starting with the Ideology that Every American should be given the opportunity to learn how to become Economicaly Viable and Financially Independent in whatever changes are made to deal with the Issues of Our Parents. I do see how how one could take the stance of the No-Nothing Party Opposition and remove all doubt their candidates are clearly standing in the Creek of Stupidity.

For example; Healthcare Insurance Companie are trying to make it so every American becomes medically dependent, yet niether the Democratic or Republican Party are standing up for an Americans’ Guaranteed Civil and Constitutional Right to be Medically Self-Insured. And though that may not set well with some of the Old Folks, I do believe that offering the Youth of America Managed Personal Medical Savings Plan will allow them to start down the road toward their family becoming Medically Self-Sufficient.

so, keep pushing for a Viable Second National Political Party and check out what President Lincoln did as he took on the Status Quo of the Whigs. For why I still can’t explain the difference between the Know-Nothing Party of the mid 1800’s and the No-Nothing Party of Today. but I am sure that educating the General Public on the difference will help a Third Political Party Leader more Magic Bullets that the Far Left and Far Right can handle. LOL

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at August 26, 2009 10:14 PM
Comment #286947

I just see a new political party that comes to the forefront being a swing vote. Once they gained enough clout they would just hold out their coffers for either the Republicans or Democrats to place the highest bid.

Unfortunately—and I may be wrong, but almost two centuries of monetary corruption lead me to no other conclusion—politics is nothing else but the business of power. While it is true that we probably need organizations representing majority and minority interests, they are all, and will always be a commodity to be bought and sold. Perhaps we have simply allowed our elected officials to transform our government into a haven for corrupt, greedy, power-hungry jackals, but unless we could somehow repeal what they’ve done, nothing will change.

As long as being an elected official is little more than a cushy, get-rich-quick scheme, we will never have a government representative of the people’s interests.

Posted by: Mike Falino at August 26, 2009 11:21 PM
Comment #286949

Mike,
Not to sound rude, but there is a difference between Smart Management and Stupid Management/Smart Labor and Ignorant Labor. Now, without injecting my own opinion into the debate which side does the current Leaders of the Democratic and Republican Parties stand on?

For why I’m not going to say that there has been a sharp decline in the intellect of the Leaders of Labor and Management over the last 150 plus years. I do have to laugh when the Industrial Leaders of Yesteryear started out with nothing and built America into the Great Society and Today’s Leaders of Commerce can’t find simple solutions to problems that they have known about for years.

For like it or not it is the JOB of “We the People” to educate Americas’ Eleted Officials on how to use the get rich quick schemes of the Charlatans and Vagabonds to the advantage of the Community.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at August 27, 2009 12:05 AM
Comment #286958

Problem is, Henry, that the allure of corruption and status quo is too great for any education to remedy. The old addage of “don’t vote for ‘em if you don’t like ‘em” has no relevence because, like I said earlier, most people seem to vote based on “party affilliation” and not on what is beset for this country.

Our leaders today are morrally bankrupt and stand for nothing our founding fathers did. When this country was born our leaders believed in Humanity and the people of America to do what was right, to rise above human tendancies of selfishness and greed, and to treat the responsibility of public office as such, not as a commodity or title of status.

We have allowed ourselves to be ruled by a semi-hereditary, wealth-based monarchy. When our leaders have the power to increase their own pay, we’ve lost our country!

Posted by: Mike Falino at August 27, 2009 7:32 AM
Comment #286961

Mike,
Like the lure of easy money the lure of power has some strings attached. For why I realize that many Americans still hold on to the Old School of Politics, I do believe they need to relook at the Late 1800’s. Because why it is nice and easy to say it is all about the money, if you want to see a change in Washington than you need to demonstrate a Bold Vision of Government and Society that will make the Barons of America and Humanity demand that Our Civil, Political, and Religious Leaders get busy doing the business of “We the People.”

For if our leaders think that they have built the best world humanly possible than I do say the quickest way to to settle the debate is to come out with a political stance on the Issues facing America that proves those seating in the seats of Congress don’t know Jack! Than watch them scramble for cover by begging the Powers-that-Be and Citizens not to listen to Logic and Reason.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at August 27, 2009 8:22 AM
Comment #286966

Agree with you Henry. There’s nothing wrong with this country that can’t be fixed with a bold reform of our government. In some cases we just need to return to abiding by the Constitution, respecting our sovereignty and dusting off some democratic principles we have lived by in the past. And, we have to address several technical issues, like alternative energy, global warming, electrical grid modernization, etc.
But Mike, we must first throw off the yoke of the Corpocracy. Corporations and businesses of all types have had about 150 years to lean on government and place all the risk on the people. The burden has come too heavy to the point of being a real threat to the nation.
You must recognize that we have gone from the wealthiest nation to the largest debtor nation in 30 years or so. That the government has worked against the middle class for as many years to get us ready for the global economy. That the trade agreements have abused our sovereignty subjugating the US to international law. That, even in the middle of this recession with unemployment of legal citizens reaching 10-25% the government is pressing for amnesty for 10-20 million illegals for the main purpose of lowering wages in this country. How stupid is that? The government is working on a water bill that will give the fed the right to transfer water from one state to another. Texas stands to loose 500,000 acres of farmland to eminent domain for a 12 lane highway trans Texas highway system. Being done with little or no public debate. Two interstate highway systems, paid for with your tax dollars, has been leased to foreign companies to operate as toll roads. No debate, just done. Government has tried to sell sovereign entities to foreign entities again and again. Government is working to implement the Fairness Doctrine to curtail free speech as it relates to talk radio and the Internet. You and I may not be able to discuss things on a political blog if it doesn’t meet some Czar’s diversity metric. Question is, are you willing to sit on the fence and watch it happen, or let it happen?
Mike, you seem to gloss over the party structure laid out in this thread. I would be interested to know specifically why you feel this party would be no different than any other political party.

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve

Posted by: Roy Ellis at August 27, 2009 11:01 AM
Comment #286968

I agree that all our problems could be solved by widespread reform, but how exactly do you propose to do that? It’s all well and good to say it’s as easy as pie, but the recipie is a secret and nobody is capable of reverse engineering the final product to separate its parts. How are we supposed to reform a government that neither you, nor I have any power to influence? It’s not as simple as “not voting for the corrupt ones” becuase in all honesty, if you are running for office you’re most likely corrupt in some way, or at least have potential for corruptability. You can’t win an election if you dont have piles of money, or can’t get that dough raised. Right there you are compromising yourself.

And how would we get our current elected officials to vote on any legislation that would change the way things are now or in the future? They would never vote to change something that would make it harder for themselves to get re-elected.

It’s easy to say all we need is reform, but it’s pretty much impossible to come by. How can we change the way things are? Please tell me!

One problem a lot of people seem to have is that they think all problems can be fixed. Sometimes good people die of cancer. Sometimes good countries do also!

Posted by: Mike Falino at August 27, 2009 12:09 PM
Comment #286972

I agree that a cohesive website, one that illustrates our ideals and current and past introduced legislation clearly and concisely, with a running list of active political candidates and members and how they vote, is important. And after hammering out the ideas that the party would espouse, we would need a grassroots push in every state to get our names out there. However, public support will be most crucial and getting the public excited in something that will not have anything relevant to their lives introduced for years will be next to impossible. There’s a reason so many third parties have started and crashed before, even without the aid of smear tactics by the big 2. It’s human nature to have interest wane. I don’t want to be a naysayer entirely, but I’m saying this for all the people who say that a third party would fit in easily; it won’t. It will be hard work and take the activity and time of hundreds of people across the nation. Also, it will take the money of several large donors and thousands of small ones to even get it off the ground. As much as we don’t want to admit it, money is what lubricates the wheels of the political system. The task, then, is to start with a well coded and well-kept website, appealing to both the random stranger and the stranger who follows politics fervently. This website, as I satated before, must clearly and without double-speak detail what the party feels is best for the american government and it’s place in society. We can debate what those policies are at another time. This website would, as Roy suggested, record the votes of it’s politicians and have the ability to veto politicians who the majority of the party believes is doing a poor job. On the same hand, we would need politicians who would buy into this sort of thing, easier said than done. The best call would be to draw up within our ranks and use the party supplies to first get our feet in state governments then ascend to the larger, national stage. This, however, is a process that will take years. The founders of the party likely will not live to see it take hold of any majority in the national congress, if, indeed, it ever does. If this type of party can get rolling, I would be on board.

Posted by: Doug at August 27, 2009 2:18 PM
Comment #286975

I’d agree to that, but yet i would not affiliate myself with the party. I would simply see it as a possible venue for a “majority” of my positions. You did, however, lay it out quite clearly what needs to be done. Unfortunetly it seems a political middle ground is less clear than most people think. Many many people consider themselves “independent” and “middle of the road”, but when it comes down to the wire, would they affiliate themselves with a “centrist” party?

There’s another problem, would it really be “centrist”? That’s a problem in of itself. I’m all for capital punishment and think it should be employed more often and more expidiciously, but I’m also against pretty much any war that isn’t imminently necessary.

Stuff like that makes a person hard to define, and makes it difficult to call someone a “centrist”.

Another problem would be convincing the multi-billion dollar corporations that sponser debates, as well as the entertainment corporationas that own all the cable news stations to promote the third party as more than a fringe movement. our media has found it quite comfortable to perpetuate the concept that America is only a “left” vs. “right” country. And most people can barely sit through debates now, imagine if there was a third person involved? They’re already set up for mentally diminished grade-schoolers to comprehend, how far would they have to dumb it down to incorporate a third viewpoint? And even then, that third view point, being a “centrist” would just confuse people becuase they would mostly just say “well his seems to lean more towards the “left/right” so I might as well vote for someone who can at least make up their mind.

People don’t like people who have no problem drinking Coke, Pepsi, and RC cola. They demand conformists. Look what happens when a politician changes his mind over time not out of political gain, but out of new information or simply changing times. They’re branded wishy-washy and everyone believes that. People can’t even see when someoen changes their mind for good reasons.

A third party, while a good thing to have because it creates more choice, would not be embraced by the media, politicians en masse, and the majority of Americans who, like I said, are simply too lazy to think critically about anything important.

Posted by: Mike Falino at August 27, 2009 2:41 PM
Comment #286976

Mike wrote, “how do you propose to do that”? Mike, I propose to do that by attempting to organize like minded folks that believe the Corpocracy has run us over a cliff, and that if we don’t organize and fight fire with fire we could possibly lose our country, Constitution, sovereignty as we have known it. One person at a time, one vote at a time, the way it’s always been done, and it has been done several times before. It won’t be ‘as easy as pie’. It will be a long and protracted political fight. But, it can be done, has been done. As it stands the nationwide debt is something like $80 trillion dollars. The trillions being pissed away by the Bush/Obama admins have yet to be felt. The pain hasn’t begun yet. Our great-grandchildren are indebted throughout their lifetimes and many think it is impossible to pay this debt off. It is time to remove the Corpocracy from government. Time to remove, or severely limit the influence of money from politics and government. I find myself here, a retired civil servant who would rather be fishing, asking people what we should do, how can we fight the Corpocracy and win without a real rootin tootin shoot em up revolution. Abject apathy reins across the land as I can tell. People, like yourself, have lost their trust and confidence in government to do the right thing, and rightly so. We need reform, lots of it and pdq. We know the problem. Corporate and businesses have had 150 years to stack the deck against the taxpayer citizen. One possible solution is to create a political party designed specifically to reform government. What I’m finding is that to restore peoples trust in a political effort the party has to demonstrate that it is a different animal in that the party accepts responsibility for holding their members, who become elected officials, accountable for their actions as they relate to ethical conduct and supporting the party’s reform agenda. Big mouthful, maybe read that sentence again. There must be 50 third parties out there going nowhere because they offer little in the way of holding politicians accountable. A party may start with good intentions but within a couple of years they will be bought and sold to the highest bidder, similar to the duopoly. So, we need a party that will put accountability into the political equation. Also, the party will need to present a bold reform agenda. The agenda should target reform of government, void of social issues such as abortion. So, we have accountability and reform in the mix of ingredients. And that’s what this thread is debating. We still need some rules that lock the party and members into a commitment that is extremely difficult, it not impossible to change, edit or delete, similar to amending the Constitution. Party rules are needed to insure that the party, once legalized and set in motion, can’t be taken over or co-opted by corrupt or special interest groups which would willingly take us back to a Corpocracy and the status quo we have now. Next, we need an enforcement mechanism to ensure politicians work to carry out the party’s agenda in accordance with the rules. This could be effected by authorizing the membership to serve an oversight role for elected officials, and others such as political appointees, Czars, Ambassadors, etc. For example: if a legislator takes a position on an issue that is 180 degrees from an issue in the party’s agenda and a certain number of complaints are registered, via the Internet, then a mandatory vote by the membership is required. If the legislator fails to receive 66% favorable vote then the legislator is rejected from the party. The legislator may continue to serve out his term in office but would not longer receive party support for any future political endeavor. Now, there will be plenty of wiggle room for the legislator to get on the party’s website and explain to the membership that he would like to vote against the party agenda in this case because blah blah blah. In this way he may or may not stay in good grace with the membership. The legislator must decide if he/she has the memberships blessing on this issue or what action to take. But, we have the politician paying attention to the membership as opposed to the situation we have not, ignoring the membership and voting for the Corpocracy. Also the politician won’t be spending three-fourths of his time on the phone with CEO’s dialing for dollars. The first reform issue will be to take the money influence out of government and carry out real campaign finance reform. All donations will be from the individual to the IRS for legal and accounting. The IRS will transfer bulk funds to the FEC. Here the audit trail as to where the money came from is broken. The FEC will then distribute funds to the parties on some schedule.
Also Mike, we must take advantage of the Internet as it provides instant and mass communications. My article at the top of this thread provides some information relating to the use of the Internet.
So far we have discussed party structure as it relates to accountability and a reform agenda. Still to be covered are rules for the party and specific issues reform issues.
Mike, I hope this gives you enough information to get you thinking our glass is not half-empty but half full. Yes, it will initially require some heavy funding but as reform is achieved we could do so much to reduce the cost for operating a political party. That’s another issue that we could debate in the near future. Imagine if other parties felt pressured to adopt a similar party structure to stay competitive. Politicians fighting for the people’s agenda as opposed to cowtowing to the Corpocracy and dialing for dollars. You’ve got to like it!

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve!

Posted by: Roy Ellis at August 27, 2009 2:52 PM
Comment #286977


“A compromised health insurance plan that does Not cover everyone is not Universal Health Care insurance. It is an entirely different animal, by definition. Those who argue for such compromises, in fact, by definition, oppose universal health insurance coverage.”

David R.:

You have correctly identified the lie embedded within the proposed universal health care plans, that they do not provide coverage of all citizens.

In the same paragraph, it appears that you have correctly stated Obama’s position on health care reform.

Posted by: jlw at August 27, 2009 2:52 PM
Comment #286980

Man, I’m getting little pushback! I may start asking for donations!

Donkey’s and Elephants neutered here!

Posted by: Roy Ellis at August 27, 2009 3:08 PM
Comment #286981

Mike,
I agree that a central party would be very hard to define. I would rather wait for the next post on the ideals of the party to argue it fervently, but I think we can define the party the same way republicans and democrats define theirs: What role does government play in society? Personally, I think the government’s role is multifaceted. It should act as an economic protector. It’s primary goal should be to secure our economic freedom and retain businesses state-side while heavily regulating speculative markets and reigning in spending. The trade policy should be a fair trade policy, where we do not put our nation arbitrarily at a disadvantage in trade with another nation, but free trade would occur between the United States and any country that has demonstrated the same or similiar: environmental restrictions, per capita income, worker’s safety laws, product safety regulations, levels and amount of inspection and an equally free trade policy with the United States. The specifics of the restrictions would be worked out long and hard, but in general I would say that not a tariff, but a sales tax of 10% for each of the 6 requirements the country doesn’t fulfill would be fair, with up to a 60% tax on their goods that cannot be recovered or paid by the violating nation. I think the government should not provide wealth to it’s citizens, but a balanced economic climate in which it’s people can attain it. As such, education would hold great importance, with national standards of education being adhered to. Public college funding should be the matter of the state’s, but tuition assistance can very mmuch still be handled within the realms of the federal government. I think that our immigration policy should be more open but still strict. Any person of 18 years or older and his immediate family (i.e. wife and children, not grandparents, siblings or cousins) who has a college degree and can and has passed a united states competency test covering the requirements of a similiar degree in the united states in his native language and also does not have a conviction of what would be a felony here in his home country should be allowed in any number. I think that uneducated immigrants should have restrictions, not only passing the same background check that their educated peers face but also must pass a test demonstrating basic competency in english. I think, also, that the government should have a simple and direct tax code, that taxes the poor and the rich at equal percentages of their income. In short, the government’s role is to protect our economic freedom through regulation of markets that lend themselves to forgery and the regulation of trading partners that put our nation at a disadvantage, to promote the education of it’s populace, to have a cohesive and easily understandable immigration code, to have a cohesive and understandable tax code and to not infringe upon the civil rights of it’s citizens. That is what I belive the role of government should be, not constantly smaller, not constantly bigger, but somewhere in between.

Posted by: Doug at August 27, 2009 3:17 PM
Comment #286985

jlw, thanks, and quite right.

An overnight installment of Complete Universal Health Insurance would be more than our federal government’s deficits and debt could handle.

The Golden Gate was not paid for and built in a year. Neither was the Hoover Dam. Big projects require phased development, with each phase paid for as implemented.

And no, Obama has not put forth a detailed plan on how the costs of reform can be kept deficit neutral, but, he is insisting that the Congress deliver a bill that is deficit neutral. Ergo, a phased implementation, that can be accomplished in a deficit neutral fashion, as promised.

Of course, this is no guarantee the Libs in Congress are going to follow Obama’s prescription, and if they don’t, it puts Obama in the hot seat regarding vetoing a health care reform bill which is NOT deficit neutral - in other words, capable of paying for itself and lowering the health care debt trajectory.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 27, 2009 3:54 PM
Comment #286987

David:

I guess for me being a moderate does not necessarily mean I am always in the middle. It’s more about how decisions are made. Specifically, it’s having ones ideology more in check. It comes down to provable good. For instance could I support a tax increase? Well someone on the right would say no on a matter of principle. Prove to me the good to society and the answer might be yes.

On the war issue, going to war because we hate the bad guys shouldn’t be the criteria. There should be a clear criteria for going to war. Bush’s preemptive was doctrine looks a little thin right now as a reason to go to war.

On health care this can lead to different solutions, where you and I I think agree some and disagree some. It seems totally irractional to me how we offer medical treatment to the unisured. On this point I believe we agree. However, on reform, I don’t see the benefits yet because I don’t see the CBO numbers changing. And with the waste you discussed in a recent thread, it seems that we can do far better. We should be able to reinvent healthcare that greatly reduces waste and thus take care of the uninsured AND address our long term financial mess at the same time.

The reason I think we can’t do this is probably rooted in hanging on to some ideology on the left and the right. (Loyalty to insurance companies and trial lawyers).

This is where I am attracted to a third way, if there were one.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at August 27, 2009 4:13 PM
Comment #286989

Roy, thanks for the very thoughtful response. And no, I’m not being sarcastic. I just want to point out two things. First, I haven’t lost faith in our government, just in how the people running our government right now do things. I believe we have the best form of government, but we just let it fall to shit by overindulgent apathy. Apathy is a very key word here, like you pointed out. Also, I don’t see the glass half empty. I see the glass as being full of water and stuffed in the back of a freezer. We’re actually getting to a point where things can get much much worse very quickly if we all stay the course we’re so comfortable with.

I don’t know the answer, and maybe it is forming a new coalition of like-minded non-partisans, if that makes any sense. One of our biggest challenges is to reshape our thinking, not just in our current selves, but of our future generations. We need to teach them, to ingrain in their thinking, that America isn’t the best country in the world, just one of many great nations. We need to get into their skulls that people should be allowed to believe whatever they want, but that nobody should make a decision on policy based on those beliefs. We need to instill a sense of national service, bringing together a fractured population that honestly does believe what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine.

We need to cut off traditional knowledge and replace it with modern, enlightened thinking. If America is anything it is a bastion of backwards, draconian, dark aged mentality. We were a country founded on enlightenment principles and yet we’ve turned into a combination of all the worst things our founding father’s despized. And what’s worse is we think it’s being a good American to pass this drek along to the next generation.

There truly is nothing we can do now, or in the immediate future to solve any serious problem, because no matter what anyone wants to believe, every single person in our government today is a corrupt monster. (OK, maybe there are a few who have some form of ethics, but I’d wager less than 1%).

As is almost every problem, the situation we find America in today is a problem of education. What we teach our children, what we allow (or don’t allow) to be taught to our kids in public schools, and how we perpetuate notions of Nationalism and American Imperialism must change.

Starting a new political party is a good idea, but it won’t accomplish anything. At this point in time so many people are so comfortable with the way things are, even when their drowning in the results of that belief, that it will take several generations of serious paradigm shifts to change things.

It sounds hideously bleak, but nothing will change until there is a serious (and by serious, I do mean serious) outrage by citizens fed up with fringe lunatics spreading their stupidity like a venereal disease.

Until we can ensure that the majority of Americans are not happy with being ignorant sheep we will still get people who vote along party lines, still have people who demand the government stay out of medicare, and think that women shouldn’t have a right to their body. People may always believe those things, but until that stuff is pushed out of the public sphere and guaranteed not to influence public policy, then propaganda, fear mongering, and superstition will continue to guide this country down the barrel of an proud card carrying NRA member’s semi-automatic rifle!

Posted by: Mike Falino at August 27, 2009 5:03 PM
Comment #286990

Pardon me while I have an out of thread moment!

We have kids killing kids in the streets of Chicago. Gangs running rampant in many major cities. Drug wars on the Southern border. Must be close to 3000 killed over the last year or so. 1300 killed in Juarez alone in 2009. Stack that up against the loses in two wars being fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. Billions spent fighting the drug cartels around the world. Some gisted excerpts from today’s Wash. Post: 12 homicides in El Paso this year. The latest victim, Jose David Gonzalez, is a ranking drug traffickers and informant for the US government. ICE agents had arranged for his visa allowing him to live in the US. Local officials complained ICE was uncooperative, failed to provide accurate names, photographs and timely intel that might have helped solve the homicide. The man charged in his killing, a ranking cartel member, was also determined to be an informant for ICE and living in El Paso. Local police said El Paso was home to a large number of cartel members and their families. They come for the same reason everyone does. El Paso is a safer place. A professor at the U. of El Paso said that the city is filled with stash houses, money laundering, shipments. Trucks come and trucks go. We live in a city of don’t ask, don’t’ tell. But the perception of El Paso as a safe city must be maintained by the city’s leaders.
Another article: (gist) A soon to be signed accord giving the US access to three air bases, two Army installations and two naval ports in Columbia has come to light. Legislator’s are asking why the administration had not consulted them or why no debate?

Could it be because the legislator’s wanted no debate? Let the heat stay with the administration and protect the Corpocracy at all cost. Same was done with NAFTA, NAU, etc. I believe NAFTA is still being run out of the Executive Offices’ back pocket as Congress is woe to sign a treaty/agreement because of sovereignty issues involved. But, the web is woven so tightly be now that it makes little difference in the grand scheme of things. Right?

Billions being spent and yet the drugs miraculously keep coming. 80% come across the border. Only way that kind of tonnage can come across is by 18 wheeler. And, come they do. They cross the border coming and going at 50mph while waving their EZ pass transit card, thanks to the US government. You would think the US would begin inspecting more trucks but, alas, they are busy building more EZ pass ports of entry. And, it’s just coming to light regarding the assistance being provided the cartel’s by corrupt Border Patrol personnel. The druggies know when a co-opted BP is on duty and which lane he will be monitoring. IMO the US government is facilitating the drug business, as it’s just too big to fail. Something like 20-40 billion yearly and to the Corpocracy that’s real good business. They just need to control the violence and take the heat out of it. Kind of like keeping a finger on the pulse in Vegas.

Then we have one of the Dem’s largest fundraisers arrested for fraud. He and his wife contributed more than $750 grand over 15 years to include federal committees, and candidates, such as Obama, Biden and Hillary. He was Bill’s nominee for Ambassador to Venezuela in 99. But Republican’s nixed that due to some objections about his investment schemes. He was Hil’s co-chair for fundraising and went on to raise more than $500K for Obama. A watchdog group found that he had donated to 75 federal candidates. He was a prominent voice in the debate on US-Iraq relations. He was charged with providing false account numbers and other records in securing a %74M in financing from CitiBank since 90.

Want to be a power player in the Corpocracy? Show me the money, boy//girl friend!


Well, I feel better having written that! Try to focus and get back to party structure, details, rules of the road. Sorry for that David.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at August 27, 2009 5:22 PM
Comment #286991

Craig said: “I don’t see the CBO numbers changing.”

And you likely won’t, because the CBO’s estimates have limitations that cannot provide the full picture, including the one where the reform bill creates more cost savings than the reform bill costs to implement. Accepting any studies summary results without understanding the studies assumptions and limitations, can lead to a false understanding of the projected results.

By the CBO’s scoring methodology limiting the return benefits to a 10 year window, and excluding widespread adoption of the IT infrastructure proposed (a conservative and reasonable assumption, but, not necessarily representative of what will actually happen), they come up with the reform costing 239 billion over 10 years.

However, if the IT infrastructure indeed drives down costs as many think it will, the private sector will adopt that infrastructure like a child will eat melting chocolate ice cream. Good for their bottom line, don’t you see.

Like I said, I think the CBO is being justifiably conservative and cautious in their assumptions. But, it is those very assumptions leaning toward worst case implementation, that may prove in reality to be overly conservative, in which case, the cost of the reform ends up being substantially lower or zero after say, 15 years of implementation. And the savings will continue to accumulate for years after that.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 27, 2009 5:28 PM
Comment #286996

Glen Beck is tired of being a sheep, a victim. Tomorrow he will describe a plan of action.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at August 27, 2009 6:02 PM
Comment #286998

From Californians for Population Control: “After repeated denials from President Obama and many Congress members that illegal aliens could receive benefits under the health care bill, the Congressional Research Service has stated: “HR 3200 does not contain any restrictions on noncitizens — whether legally or illegally present, or in the United States temporarily or permanently…”

Posted by: Roy Ellis at August 27, 2009 9:40 PM
Comment #287003

From Factcheck:

H.R. 3200: Sec 246 — NO FEDERAL PAYMENT FOR UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS

Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.

Also, under current law, those in the country illegally don’t qualify for federal health programs.

Posted by: Rich at August 28, 2009 9:04 AM
Comment #287016

“The Corpocracy leads from the left and the right”
and “start with good intentions but within a couple of years would come under the grasp of the Corpocracy”, or a third party could actually be funded by corporations not willing to put up with any degree of government interference.

“The federal government is making a historic grab for power and control”, as opposed to who was in power and control before? Sound like something from Rupert Morlok’s bureau of slogans.

El Paso was once considered to be one of the most desirable places in the country, with a crime rate that was so low that it didn’t even compare with any US city it’s size. So what happened? I’m glad I didn’t transfer there when Mercury Marine built their plant across the border.

Posted by: ohrealy at August 28, 2009 1:51 PM
Comment #287017


Passing a restriction against participation in the health care program by illegal immigrants is nothing more than a cruel joke perpetrated on the law abiding citizens.

They are in violation of our immigration laws. Their employers are violating our laws. Our government has done nothing to stop it. Our government will do nothing to prevent them and their employers from exploiting the health care program.

When it comes to illegal immigration, you would be a fool to believe anything the government tells you.

Posted by: jlw at August 28, 2009 2:06 PM
Comment #287019

ohrealy wrote: “a third party could actually be funded by corporations not willing to put up with any degree of government interference”.
Not necessary ohrealy. They are already operating two major parties thusly. I believe that with NAFTA, the NAU, open borders, WTO, IMF, World Bank, and three-fourths of what used to be our manufacturing base parked in Asia, the Corporations are getting little interference from any quarter.
What with all these third parties cropping up we may get a chance to see if the demrep’s are too big to fail.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at August 28, 2009 2:27 PM
Comment #287020

As I feared, we’ve gone completely off track here. But, I’ll be ready tomorrow to post on 3rd party rules for the road.

A blurb on the Congressional Research Sertvices:

CRS services come in many forms:
 tailored confidential memoranda, briefings and consultations
 expert congressional testimony
 reports on current legislative issues available 24/7 via a Web site
 the Legislative Information System (LIS)
 seminars and workshops, including the twice yearly Federal Law Update
 training for congressional staff in legislative and budget procedures
 a premier work in constitutional law, entitled the Constitution of the United States of America, Analysis and Interpretation
In 1914, Congress passed legislation to establish a separate department within the Library of Congress. President Woodrow Wilson signed the bill into law, and CRS, then called the Legislative Reference Service, was born to serve the legislative needs of the Congress.
With the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970, Congress renamed the agency the Congressional Research Service and significantly expanded its statutory obligations. The services provided today by CRS are a direct result of congressional directives and guidance.
Authoritative. All services and products are authoritative and accurate. Analysts demonstrate rigorous research methodologies, free of built-in bias. They present, explain and justify any critical assumptions; investigate and recheck data anomalies; use primary resources whenever available; double-check all statements of fact; and document and vet all sources. This assures Members, as they engage in debate, that the analysis they rely on is as accurate as it is current.

But, who you gonna believe these days? Seems we always have to wait and see, and by then its too late to care anyway, a la NAFTA, WTO, Stimulus, immigration, healthcare, etc

Posted by: Roy Ellis at August 28, 2009 2:45 PM
Comment #287023

“NAFTA, the NAU, open borders, WTO, IMF, World Bank..”

Please inform us of how your use of the alphabet soup of conspiracy is somehow different from the John Birch Society or Cato Institute while talking about being middle of the road. The Dmcrt party is all over the road and the Rpblcns are the new Dixiecrats, bringing home pork while complaining about spending.

CSpan is on channels 210 and 211. Channel 7 thinks that promoting the cast of Dancing with the Stars or endless reporting on Michael Jackson is part of their commitment to provide us with news in exchange for getting the airwaves. We have government by wimps who won’t make waves. Will anyone from a new party be challenging the FBI, FCC and FDA, all under one letter in the alphabet of worthlessness?

Posted by: ohrealy at August 28, 2009 3:37 PM
Comment #287044

ohrealy, it sure is a mixed bag out there. Glen Beck is espousing a plan to take the middle ground along with a lot of letter writing to remove the radicals from the obama WH. He wants each of us to ask our representatives if they believe in the Constitution, support closing the border, and two or three other questions and if we don’t get the right answer we are to vote the rascals out come next election. I like the idea of throwing off the yoke of the orpocracy though a third party. Found the party in some hard to change rules. Put forth a bold reform agenda. Hold politicians accountable through citizens oversight. Reject them if they fail to support reform. That’s it in about two sentences ohrealy. All the ‘F’ agencies would operate like sewing machines once the Corpocracy is removed. Recall Bush putting a White House ‘czar’ type in each agency? The NASA couldn’t shoot straight with global warming, the FDA couldn’t get the lead out, Consumer Affairs had one tech to inspect the worlds consumer products, and so on.
I would define the Corpocracy as businesses that have been in an incestous relation with government for 150 years or so. Votes are bought and sold like tuna fish and all legislation is enacted under a cloud, a huge conflict of interest. It’s time to remove the Corpocracy, the influence of money from politics. First up would be to abolish or modify Corporate Personhood and abolish Money is Free Speech. Next up would be to route all donations from the individual through the IRS. Then bulk transfer that money to the FEC and in doing so you break the audit trail. The FEC would then distribute to the Parties. And, go from there.
The first agenda would be pure reform. Social issues would eventually get mixed in as they percolate up from the membership. And, it wouldn’t matter who was in charge, who died, who tried to take the party over, etc as the party, once founded in rules can run pretty much on automatic, year over year Sounds too simple doesn’t it??

Posted by: Roy Ellis at August 28, 2009 7:43 PM
Comment #287046

“Glen Beck is espousing” Big mistake even mentioning that fool if you expect anyone to respect your opinions.

“closing the border” is also a red flag. What “border” are you talking about there? I’m in favor of closing the “border” with Russia.

“abolish or modify Corporate Personhood and abolish Money is Free Speech. Next up would be to route all donations from the individual through the IRS.”

The first part would basically involve removing more than half the SCOTUS. On campaign donations, which should just be referred to as bribes, I would be in favor of taxing them. The rate should be four or five times the amount of the bribes, based on the amount the biggest donors expect to benefit from the bribes.

You just told me that your opinions are mostly far right wing. Is that what you intended?

Posted by: ohrealy at August 28, 2009 8:17 PM
Comment #287048

I couldn’t resist on Glen Beck’s latest rant.
Close the border to illegal immigration. I believe healthcare will be strike one for the admin and if they try to push amnesty that will be strike two. And, if the economy don’t come zooming back, strike three, IMO
Agree on SCOTUS. That’s where the protracted fight will be. Congress should be able to write new legislation that goes around Corporate Personhood, I do believe. If the Congress and the Am. public were against the court they might very well roll over. If they had to be replaced in order to abolish Personhood, yeah, too long!
If necessary, set the max donor at $2500. That would take the wind out of their sails.
Don’t really know how to categorize my politics. I heard I was a conserative on a blog talk radio show. Seems I wouod be more of a populist taking the center ground and all. I’d rather be a populist if I had my choice as Jackson stands out as a gol darn hero to me. It seems being a populist is about the same as espousing Glen Beck’s name. Really not tht interested in politics, just want the Corpocracy removed, soon. Remove the yoke of Corpocracy from government and set reform in motion. More perfect union, life, liberty and the pursuit, etc

Posted by: Roy Ellis at August 28, 2009 10:38 PM
Comment #287059

Roy,
Why something has to be done to stop medical costs from rising, I’m not sure it will be enough to convince the Far Left and the Far Right that they will benefit especially given the political position of the Republicans. However, it will leave open the door for a third party candidate to have a vision of what Healthcare in America can be.

And amnesty or a form of it will not sale politically even to the hardcore democrats, yet with crime spreading across the border in the South I would look at President Obama and Congress passing a law that will restrict movement at and near the border. So again, I do believe the door will be left open since the Republicans don’t dare say they are for arresting all employers involed in the illegal hiring of non-citizens.

Now, the economy is a monster that to quote the Republicans “the President can’t do a lot to influence” Nevertheless, knowing that even if President Obama would achieve 100% employment over the next couple of years the Far Right would still find something wrong. I do believe a third party candidate with a strong vision of how to make the economy work toward giving every American the opportunity to become economically viable and financially independent can make huge inrows.

So why I know you have a problem with corporations being persons, but that also can be an extreme advantage to a third party candidate. Since is it ok for a person to be so induldged in their self-interest that their actions cause others to be harmed? Hence, would those corporations seeking the God Almighty Dollar at any cost be willing to accept a Consumer seeking everything at any cost. For the old saying beg, borrow, or steal has got more than one person in trouble has it not?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at August 29, 2009 5:26 AM
Comment #287065

Henry, It does seem an opportune time for a third party to take hold. The sun, moon and stars seems to be lined up thusly. The New American Independent Party is already signing up candidates, operating as a PAC. I suspect we will see a couple of more startups over the next two or three years. A lot depends of the direction of the economy. If we do experience a double-dip recession I believe Obama will be a one-term president. And, like you say, the Republican’s are in no shape to put a winning ticket together. But, it seem a long shot for a new party to have a presidential candidate ready to go in such a short time frame.
My party, Republic Sentry, is still pretty much a fignent of my imagination. Starting from exactly absolute zero is a sloooo process.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at August 29, 2009 10:52 AM
Comment #287111

Roy,
Keep the Faith! Remember when President Lincoln started the Republican Party he was faced by the Leaders of the Whigs.

As far as a third party candidate geting up to speed, I do believe Conservatives would enjoy having a candidate who realized why the old saying “You have to spend money to make money” is the way forward. Because why tax cuts and less government spending may make good sound bits, they do nothing to help both Small and Large Business make the transaction from a fossil fuel consumer to a part of a shared National Power Grid of Free Energy or increase the purchasing power of the American Consumer.

Posted by: Henru Schlatman at August 30, 2009 4:56 AM
Comment #287136

Right on Henry! Just read some words from David Walker, ex-C/GAO. I could vote for that guy easily, if he were associated with a third party.

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve!

Posted by: Roy Ellis at August 30, 2009 5:52 PM
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