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New Corruption Charges In Chicago – 18 July 2012 | Lucas ...

New Corruption Charges In Chicago – 18 July 2012 | Lucas ... | Portland Coffee Party | Scoop.it

(Scooped by Dan Aronson)  Dean Nichols, the former campaign treasurer of ex-Illinois State Senator Rickey Hendon, was charged along with 6 others with corruption following federal stings. They are charged with bribery conspiracy for allegedly ...

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The yin and yang of American politics - by Leonard B. Rosenberg

The yin and yang of American politics - by Leonard B. Rosenberg | Portland Coffee Party | Scoop.it

The headline, “The yin and yang of American politics,” is taken from classical Oriental philosophy that describes how opposite and seemingly contrary forces actually are interconnected and interdependent, giving life and substance to each other.


This, I believe, is as true in politics as in nature itself. It is my strongly held belief that American politics need both a viable conservative party and a viable liberal party. However, in this era of extreme partisanship, this may be wishful thinking and, perhaps, a lonely premise on which to build one’s political ideas.

 

While politics is not really a game, a sports analogy may be useful in explaining this premise: In most sports, an opponent (never an enemy) is essential to the game itself. And the stronger and more competitive that opponent is, the better the quality of the game itself. One’s skills, whether athletic or intellectual, are not advanced by inferior players.
Strong competition brings out the best in combatants. A vigorous opposition often illuminates errors and weaknesses in one’s “game” and can challenge one to greater clarity and effectiveness.

 

The unstated and often unacknowledged reality is that liberals and conservatives need each other. By its very name, conservatism wants to conserve and preserve what is the best. Of course, even conservatives will offer modifications in the prevailing system to satisfy new conditions, so that stagnation is not the necessary or accepted result. But it can safely be said that drastic innovation and new approaches to new situations are not the hallmark of conservative rhetoric or practice. Smaller government, lower taxes, a strong military and fiscal integrity have been the conservative solution to almost every problem. Reliance on the “magic hand” of the free market, and its concomitant relaxation of government regulation, would thus release human energy and resources to combat economic imbalances.

 

Even from this liberal’s perspective, such conservative solutions might work if given public support and patience. In pre-Great Depression eras, severe business downturns came and went without much assistance from government.

 

But such support and patience are likely not to be too evident in the face of a modern economic catastrophe. People no longer live on farms or can rely on families for extended help. Jobs are needed and rather quickly. So for a society clamoring for more immediate actions and more political involvement, a period of liberal ascendancy may be required to introduce new ideas and new programs to meet the new reality.

 

The liberal, intensified government involvement will undoubtedly usher in a wave of innovation. Indeed, traditional solutions to problems may give way to untried but promising programs. The free market, while still fully functioning, would be restrained by greater government regulations.

 

And, while liberals are not dedicated to spending taxpayers money — after all, they are taxpayers, too — they favorably weigh the cost in terms of the social benefits expected.
Such liberal programs will involve new agencies (“bureaucracies” to opponents), more regulation and some curtailment of traditional personal freedoms. This is where conservative inputs may be essential: to rein in the excesses of the liberal agenda and to make those innovations that are adopted more efficient and accountable.

 

The framers of the Constitution purposely crafted a system of interlocking and separate powers, making accommodation and compromise essential. They were hoping to establish “a more perfect union,” not perfection itself. One that would both empower and limit government.
It should, perhaps, be remembered that conservatives and liberals were never as pure as their ideologies. Thus, conservatives never envisioned a society without considerable government involvement (such as highways or courts to enforce contracts and property rights) and liberals, when in power, never really denied the function of the largely free market in the allocation of resources.

 

So, in sum, it may be a political truism that liberals and conservatives act as counterweights to each other, and as alternates when one side or the other is in power too long or neglects the continued purpose of government: to serve the public and to govern at the pleasure of that public.

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Mitt Romney's offer of government of billionaires, for billionaires, by billionaires

Mitt Romney's offer of government of billionaires, for billionaires, by billionaires | Portland Coffee Party | Scoop.it
Robin Wells: In the Romney candidacy, the Republican party has found the apotheosis of the fact that it now represents solely the super-rich...
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Top 10 Myths About Social Security

Top 10 Myths About Social Security | Portland Coffee Party | Scoop.it

The discussion and analysis surrounding this retirement security linchpin and its future are remarkably fact-free, argues retirement expert Mark Miller.  Learn the truth about Social Security

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When lies triumph over facts, we’re done - Leonard Pitts Jr. - MiamiHerald.com

When lies triumph over facts, we’re done - Leonard Pitts Jr. - MiamiHerald.com | Portland Coffee Party | Scoop.it

"Americans increasingly occupy two realities, one based on the conviction that facts matter, the other on the notion that facts are only what you need them to be in a given moment. That ought to give all of us pause because it leads somewhere we should not want to go. When two realities divide one people, the outcome seems obvious."

 * Jeanne comments:  Let's find the narratives that increase our common ground!

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Richard Barrington: Attack of the Debt Monkey (INFOGRAPHIC)

Richard Barrington: Attack of the Debt Monkey (INFOGRAPHIC) | Portland Coffee Party | Scoop.it
This is not just a government issue; the average American has also taken on an unmanageable level of debt.
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TriMet's $1.4 million bill for new office furniture connected to Portland-Milwaukie light rail project: Commuter roundup

TriMet's $1.4 million bill for new office furniture connected to Portland-Milwaukie light rail project: Commuter roundup | Portland Coffee Party | Scoop.it
TriMet says the office furniture, part of a huge office relocation, will require considerably less leased space. The Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail project will cover nearly half the cost.
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Training a generation of citizen-journalists

Training a generation of citizen-journalists | Portland Coffee Party | Scoop.it
Two years ago, frustrated by the powerlessness citizens expressed to me about the political process, moved by their transpartisan worries about the state of U.S.

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Citizens for Economic Democracy blogs about a new concept in dining. Donations for menu items. One restaurant is here in Portland.

Citizens for Economic Democracy blogs about a new concept in dining.  Donations for menu items.  One restaurant is here in Portland. | Portland Coffee Party | Scoop.it

While fast food companies have been maligned for providing poor food choices when at some cost they could do better, some restaurant chains have decided to take a direct hand in doing something about it.  One such chain is Panera Bread.  In the past year the chain has opened three “Pay What You Can” cafes in Dearborn, MI, St. Louis, MO and Portland, OR as part of a program dubbed Panera Cares.  ~Eric Whinery

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The Wall Street Scandal of all Scandals

The Wall Street Scandal of all Scandals | Portland Coffee Party | Scoop.it
Just when you thought Wall Street couldn’t sink any lower – when its myriad abuses of public trust have already spread a miasma of cynicism over the entire economic system, giving birth to Tea...
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India, China lead world economy's '32-62-72' growth: StanChart - NDTV

India, China lead world economy's '32-62-72' growth: StanChart - NDTV | Portland Coffee Party | Scoop.it
"Despite the crisis in the West, the world economy continues to grow, led by the likes of China and India. '32-62-72' is the phrase that I use to describe this," says Gerard Lyons, Chief Economist of the global banking giant.
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Joseph Stiglitz: The Middle Class Has Been Screwed Over The Last Decade

Joseph Stiglitz: The Middle Class Has Been Screwed Over The Last Decade | Portland Coffee Party | Scoop.it
The trickle-down economy is a myth....
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The Politics of Power and the Precious Right to Vote - Huffington Post

The Politics of Power and the Precious Right to Vote - Huffington Post | Portland Coffee Party | Scoop.it

Dr. Jeffries described a common narrative about African American history that woefully simplifies most of the last 150 years. That narrative says all barriers to voting were settled for good once President Johnson and Congress “gave” black citizens the Voting Rights Act in 1965 and now that we have President and First Lady Obama and their two beautiful children in the White House we’ve reached a wonderful “post-racial” moment in America. But as Dr. Jeffries carefully explained, this oversimplification has always been a myth -- or worse, a lie -- and to ignore current threats to voting rights shows an ignorance of history and a willingness to jeopardize our democracy and future.

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finding common ground | Party Recon

finding common ground | Party Recon | Portland Coffee Party | Scoop.it

If we are ever to move forward as a nation we must find our common ground.  But does any exist today?  And if not, where might it be created?

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Watch as Rick Scott does a song and dance in after getting 'Pants On Fire' Review by politifact in rejecting Obamacare (VIDEO)

Watch as Rick Scott does a song and dance in after getting 'Pants On Fire' Review by politifact in rejecting Obamacare (VIDEO) | Portland Coffee Party | Scoop.it
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) made his case Thursday for deciding not to implement provisions of President Barack Obama's health care law, saying he was focused on creating jobs, not putting money into government programs.Speaking on CBS's "This...
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TriMet asks Portland City Council to delay or vote against Mayor Sam Adams' plan for $2 million fee hike

TriMet asks Portland City Council to delay or vote against Mayor Sam Adams' plan for $2 million fee hike | Portland Coffee Party | Scoop.it
Transit officials call for public involvement, not the speedy timeline proposed by Adams.
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Why We Need Pension Reform

Why We Need Pension Reform | Portland Coffee Party | Scoop.it

Say NO to class warfare! It is very easy to villify the right-wing rich, and some like the Koch Brothers make it even easier. However, money is not the only form of political capitol, and the left does it's share of damage in the name of self-interest. In an article featured in this weeks Time Magazine, Fareed Zakaria makes the case for Pension Reform, and points out that Democrats who oppose it are putting liberal special interest groups ahead of ideals.  He also goes so far as to say, "The accounting at the heart of government pension plans is fraudulent, so much so that it should be illegal." It's a great short read, and shows that the politics of self-interest are not the sole perview of the wealthy.

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