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The Religion of Politics June 18, 2016

Posted by tkcollier in In The News, philosophy & politics, Religion.
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PoliticsOfReligion

Thinking About the American Presidency | Geopolitical Futures December 30, 2015

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To understand the American system, it is important to grasp how little power the American president has at his disposal.

Nevertheless, the American presidency was crafted for the unexpected moment, such as 9/11, where fundamental decisions need to be made within hours or days. When I vote for president, I ignore the policies and programs because they will rarely have the opportunity to pursue them. The American public is very clear in how it votes — it looks at the candidates, not the issues. This has been seen as a sign of shallowness. It is actually a sign of their deep understanding of the presidency.

FreeBeerVoterThe most important decisions presidents make are the ones they were never prepared for and have no policy for. Truman and Korea. Eisenhower and Suez. Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Johnson and Vietnam. What their farm programs might have been is of monumental irrelevance. First, they can propose but Congress and the courts must enact. Second, it was the crises that defined their presidency. They had no policy for any of these, because they did not know what was coming.

When voters say they judge the person, what they are saying is that character is more important than the intentions. Intentions of presidents are crushed by history. Character, if you can glimpse it, tells you if the person is smart enough to understand the moment of history he is compelled to govern in, and the constraints it imposes on his choices. He needs to understand what is possible and impossible, in order that he have the ability to cause the least damage to the nation. Because in the end that’s what presidents must do. And the president must have the strange combination of hubris in imagining being president, and modesty, in understanding how little it means

https://geopoliticalfutures.com/thinking-about-the-american-presidency/

Russia’s Bridge to Nowhere September 8, 2012

Posted by tkcollier in In The News, Politics, Science & Technology.
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Alaska doesn’t have the biggest boondoggle bridge project.  Putin just wasted over a billion dollars on a bridge to show off at this week’s 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference.  The bridge to the Russky island, the world’s largest cable-stayed bridge, dead-ends just beyond the bridge, meaning that the 5,000 local residents, who live on the other side of the island and have no access to telephones, public lighting or running water, still have to use a ferry to reach the mainland.

via Bridge to Russky Island – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Undecided Voters Choose the Next President September 8, 2012

Posted by tkcollier in Humor, Politics.
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The U.S.A. is so evenly polarized that world events, beyond the control of any campaign, should determine the winner of the Presidential election. Today, voters in a handful of swing counties, within a few undecided states, would tip the balance towards Obama. As an example the I-4 corridor through Orlando will decide Florida. It separates the Republican North with the Democratic South. Florida is the only part of the US where as you drive North, you head South.

But one thing to expect in this world we live in is to expect the unexpected – whether its politics, weather, finance…

People Aren’t Smart Enough for Democracy to Flourish, Scientists Say March 5, 2012

Posted by tkcollier in Lifestyle, Politics.
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The research, led by David Dunning, a psychologist at Cornell University, shows that incompetent people are inherently unable to judge the competence of other people, or the quality of those people’s ideas. For example, if people lack expertise on tax reform, it is very difficult for them to identify the candidates who are actual experts. They simply lack the mental tools needed to make meaningful judgments.

As a result, no amount of information or facts about political candidates can override the inherent inability of many voters to accurately evaluate them. On top of that, “very smart ideas are going to be hard for people to adopt, because most people don’t have the sophistication to recognize how good an idea is,” Dunning told Life’s Little Mysteries. (more…)

William Jefferson Gingrich January 26, 2012

Posted by tkcollier in In The News, News and politics, philosophy & politics.
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How long have I been saying it? At least for 15 years, but in private I have been aware of it longer. Newt Gingrich is conservatism’s Bill Clinton, but without the charm. He has acquired wit but he has all the charm of barbed wire.

Newt and Bill are 1960s generation narcissists, and they share the same problems: waywardness and deviancy. Newt, like Bill, has a proclivity for girl hopping. It is not as egregious as Bill’s, but then Newt is not as drop-dead beautiful. His public record is already besmeared with tawdry divorces, and there are private encounters with the fair sex that doubtless will come out. Thanks to my big brother for this piece.

via William Jefferson Gingrich – The New York Sun.

(more…)

Is It 3rd Party Time In 2012? October 3, 2010

Posted by tkcollier in philosophy & politics, Politics.
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“We basically have two bankrupt parties bankrupting the country,” said the Stanford University political scientist Larry Diamond. Indeed, our two-party system is ossified; it lacks integrity and creativity and any sense of courage or high-aspiration in confronting our problems. We simply will not be able to do the things we need to do as a country to move forward “with all the vested interests that have accrued around these two parties,” added Diamond. “They cannot think about the overall public good and the longer term anymore because both parties are trapped in short-term, zero-sum calculations,” where each one’s gains are seen as the other’s losses.

We have to rip open this two-party duopoly and have it challenged by a serious third party that will talk about education reform, without worrying about offending unions; financial reform, without worrying about losing donations from Wall Street; corporate tax reductions to stimulate jobs, without worrying about offending the far left; energy and climate reform, without worrying about offending the far right and coal-state Democrats; and proper health care reform, without worrying about offending insurers and drug companies.

via Op-Ed Columnist – Third Party Rising – NYTimes.com.

Barack Obama’s Speech Writer – Jon Favreau December 6, 2008

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He is too busy to read much. “I’m embarrassed to say that since college” — Favreau graduated from Holy Cross in 2003 — “I’ve been so busy speechwriting for Kerry and then Barack that I haven’t been reading all the good literary stuff I used to read back in the day.” As for speechcraft, while he says the speeches of Bobby Kennedy are his favorites, he also says Peggy Noonan is his all-time favorite speechwriter. He cites Ronald Reagan’s Pointe du Hoc speech marking the fortieth anniversary of D-day as his favorite of hers,

via Barack Obama’s Speech Writer – Jon Favreau Writes Speeches for Obama – Esquire

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How our Greed Turned To Fear, Again November 23, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business.
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Losing our shirt? The problem is that our banks are also losing theirs. Illustration by Barry Blitt.

Losing our shirt? The problem is that our banks are also losing theirs. Illustration by Barry Blitt.

Not so long ago, the dollar stood for a sum of gold, and bankers knew the people they lent to. The author charts the emergence of an abstract, even absurd world—call it Planet Finance—where mathematical models ignored both history and human nature, and value had no meaning. A lengthy but cogent explanation of how we got here.

via Wall Street Lays Another Egg: Politics & Power: vanityfair.com

The Rich Elected Obama November 11, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in philosophy & politics, Politics.
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Top Clinton advisor Mark J. Penn points out that…the exit poll demographics show that the fastest growing group of voters in America has been those making over $100,000 a year in income. In 1996, only 9 percent of the electorate said their family income was that high. Last week it had grown to 26 percent — more than one in four voters. And those making over $75,000 are up to 15 percent from 9 percent. Put another way, more than 40 percent of those voting earned over $75,000, making this the highest-income electorate in history.

The poorest segment of the electorate, those making under $15,000, has shrunk from 11 percent to 6 percent over the past dozen years. And those making $15,000 to $30,000 annually — the working poor — also shrunk from 23 percent to 12 percent of the electorate.

President Clinton got 38 percent of the vote among those making over $100,000. This year Obama earned 49 percent of that vote. He also got 52 percent of a new polling category — those making over $200,000 a year who were no longer among the top 1 percent of earners, as they had been in past elections, but were now the top 6 per cent. (more…)

Election Day USA November 4, 2008

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Are We Born Conservative Or Liberal? September 19, 2008

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The participants with traditional conservative views — supportive of the Iraq war, death penalty, immigration reform and The Patriot Act — had strong physical reactions to the threatening images of spiders and calm reactions to the non-threatening images of bunnies and happy children.

Those with more liberal views — low support of Iraq war and higher support of gay marriage, gun control and abortion rights — showed no differences in reaction when viewing the threatening and non-threatening images. They appeared to physically react to the same to an image of a bowl of fruit and one of an open war wound.

Fascinated by the clear differences in the results, Rice University researchers believe this study, while small, is proof that our political views, in part, are genetically instilled in us.

“We estimate your biological makeup has a 30 to 40 percent role in how you will vote,” says Alford. “The other portion is how and where you were raised as well as environmental factors” Paging Dr. Gupta: – Blogs from CNN.com

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