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IRS Scandals Update

I generally don’t feel a special degree of animosity for the internal revenue service. After all, it’s the politicians who have created the 74,000-plus page monstrosity of a tax code. Blaming the IRS for enforcing that system is like blaming the police for the drug war. This isn’t to say the IRS is blameless. Just […]

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SC Times defends President Obama

This Our View editorial in the St. Cloud Times proves how intellectually dishonest the Times’ editorial page is. Here’s exhibit A: Even if the bill had passed, President Obama doesn’t support the bill. He prefers to have the State Department work through the approval process for the project. It isn’t that President Obama prefers having […]

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Chuck Schumer feeling remorse over Obamacare? Not really!

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) said yesterday that his party made a mistake when they passed Obama’s healthcare law (Affordable Care Act – a.k.a. Obamacare) in 2010 instead of focusing more on helping the middle class: “Unfortunately, Democratws blew the opportunity the American people gave them” when electing Obama and a Democrat Congress in 2008 amid a recession, Schumer said in a speech in Washington. “We took their mandate and put all our foucs on the wrong problem—healthcare reform.” Well, duh! After this “startling” admission (that’s sarcasm folks), Schumer went on to say that he opposed the timing of the Obamacare vote, but he was overruled by other members of the party. Wait a minute! The #3 member of the Democrat party allowed his concerns to be overruled? Well, in the words of the Church Lady… It’s just so swell that Schumer is apparently feeling remorse over his part in passing a piece of legislation that will single-handedly bring down the very middle class he claims to be so concerned about. A Congressional Budget Office report estimated last year that over 20 million Americians stand to lose their employer-provided healthcare. Also last year, a study by the University of Chicago (The Affordable Care […]

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Political Theater Undermining American Democracy

To be viable, a representative democracy needs a virtuous and educated citizenry. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams agreed on this point in their exchange of letters in retirement. Their assumption was that an electorate would be able to apply judgment informed by virtue and a broad knowledge to not only matters of public policy, but also the candidates and incumbent office-holders themselves. To the extent that the people in power use it to present a false image, the judgment by the popular sovereign is unavoidably marred. The democratic system itself falters even if it is being portrayed as strong by those at its helm. I contend that the extent of political theater being orchestrated by U.S. office-holders compromises the democratic legitimacy of public power at the federal level.

The full essay is at “Political Theater

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Political Theater Undermining American Democracy

To be viable, a representative democracy needs a virtuous and educated citizenry. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams agreed on this point in their exchange of letters in retirement. Their assumption was that an electorate would be able to apply judgment informed by virtue and a broad knowledge to not only matters of public policy, but also the candidates and incumbent office-holders themselves. To the extent that the people in power use it to present a false image, the judgment by the popular sovereign is unavoidably marred. The democratic system itself falters even if it is being portrayed as strong by those at its helm. I contend that the extent of political theater being orchestrated by U.S. office-holders compromises the democratic legitimacy of public power at the federal level.

The full essay is at “Political Theater

Continue reading Political Theater Undermining American Democracy

Dear Northeast, How’s that solar working out for ya?

A couple of months ago, National Grid, one of Massachusetts’ two dominant utilities, announced rate increases of a “whopping” 37 percent over last year. Other utilities in the region are expected to follow suit. Why, when natural gas prices are at historic lows that have been predicted to lower electricity rates, is the Northeast facing double-digit increases? Changes have been mandated, but the replacements aren’t ready yet. New England has seen one big power plant close within the past year: Salem Harbor Power Station in Salem, Massachusetts—which went “dark” on June 1. Another major closure is scheduled within weeks: Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. The Salem Harbor plant is scheduled to be replaced with a new, state-of-the-art natural gas plant—though it has received resistance from Environmental groups who have filed a lawsuit to block it and, once the suit was settled, have threatened other ways to stop the project including civil disobedience. They want the plant to be replaced with renewables. However, a wind turbine that is iced up or a solar panel that is covered in seven feet of snow doesn’t generate electricity. And the cold days of a Northeast winter are one of the times when energy demand is […]

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