I've never heard of the Bread and Roses party before. Someone should form a Bread and Circuses party! Oh, wait, we could just rename either of our major parties to that.

Richard WingerRichard Winger wrote the following post Thu, 13 Sep 2018 23:36:47 -0400
Bread and Roses Party Petitions for Qualified Status in Maryland, but is Told Petition Lacks Enough Signatures
Last month, the Bread and Roses Party filed a petition to be a qualified party in Maryland. It submitted approximately 15,000 signatures, but was told that it only has 9,773 valid signatures. The requirement is 10,000 signatures. On September 5, … Continue reading →
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Opinion | The Localist Revolution

Localism is the belief that power should be wielded as much as possible at the neighborhood, city and state levels. Localism is thriving — as a philosophy and a way of doing things — because the national government is dysfunctional while many towns are reviving. Politicians in Washington are miserable, hurling ideological abstractions at one another, but mayors and governors are fulfilled, producing tangible results.
I'm pretty sure I posted a link to this when it was at an earlier beta stage. The interface is improving.

What kind of political conscience do you have??
How much power do you want your favorite politicians to have on various issues? Take the test. See where you land.

I started sending feedback asking "what about least favored politicians?" but then realized that we can pretty much imagine how people would respond to that, so why bother.
Richard WingerRichard Winger wrote the following post Fri, 22 Jun 2018 10:30:38 -0400
Newsgrowl Asks Polling Firms Why They Aren’t Including Green and Libertarian Nominees for Governor of New York
Steve Goodale has written this piece for Newsgrowl, to learn and reveal why New York polling companies have not been including Howie Hawkins and Larry Sharpe in their gubernatorial polls. Hawkins is the Green nominee, and Sharpe is the Libertarian … Continue reading →
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But getting the word out is difficult when the media refuse to focus on anyone not doing well in the polls. And the polls, in turn, consistently refuse to include anyone not regularly covered in the media.
Richard WingerRichard Winger wrote the following post Tue, 19 Jun 2018 21:09:36 -0400
George Will, Veteran Washington Post Columnist, Devotes a Column to William Weld’s Quest for the 2020 Libertarian Nomination
George Will has this column about William Weld’s quest for the 2020 Libertarian Party nomination. … Continue reading →
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Radical plan to split California into three states earns spot on November ballot


The history of California, admitted to the Union on Sept. 9, 1850, has been marked by more than 200 attempts to either reconfigure its boundaries, split it into pieces or even have the state secede and become an independent country.
I know how @Mike Macgirvin likes to keep up with Vermin Supreme...

Richard WingerRichard Winger wrote the following post Thu, 31 May 2018 19:45:04 -0400
Vermin Supreme Files to be on Kansas Democratic Primary Ballot for Attorney General
According to this story, Vermin Supreme has filed to be on the Kansas Democratic primary ballot for Attorney General. The filing deadline is Friday, June 1. No petition is needed. Supreme paid the filing fee. When he filed, no one … Continue reading →
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I thought he would make an entertaining US president. But I see where this is going.... if you're Attorney General that puts you in the running for the Supreme Court. And unlike presidents with their gruelling election cycles, the Supremes gig is for life. And all you need to do is take a stand for or against abortion. For abortion in a democratic presidency and against it in a republican administration. Bloody brilliant.
Marx’s Defenders Should Explain Why His Ideas Never Actually Work | Kristian Niemietz


This week will mark the 200th birthday of Karl Marx. It will be an occasion for a deluge of articles repeating the well-worn cliché that even though Marx’s predictions ultimately did not materialize, his analysis of capitalism was nonetheless spot on, and remains hugely relevant today. (In fact, it’s already started.)

Those articles will contain plenty of awkward attempts to squeeze contemporary developments into a Marxist framework in order to make the case that the great man saw it all coming. There will be plenty of obscure Marx quotes on display, which, like Nostradamus quotes, will have the virtue of lending themselves to projection. Those articles will end with platitudes like “Marx still has a lot to teach us,” or “you cannot understand modern capitalism without understanding Marx.”

They will, of course, respect the unstated etiquette of any contemporary discussion of Marxism: that the outcomes of real-world attempts to implement them must never, ever, be held against Marx’s ideas.
China has been been adopting market-oriented policies for decades.

Chinese economic reform - Wikipedia

Economic reforms introducing market principles began in 1978 and were carried out in two stages. The first stage, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, involved the decollectivization of agriculture, the opening up of the country to foreign investment, and permission for entrepreneurs to start businesses. However, most industry remained state-owned. The second stage of reform, in the late 1980s and 1990s, involved the privatization and contracting out of much state-owned industry and the lifting of price controls, protectionist policies, and regulations, although state monopolies in sectors such as banking and petroleum remained. The private sector grew remarkably, accounting for as much as 70 percent of China's gross domestic product by 2005. From 1978 until 2013, unprecedented growth occurred, with the economy increasing by 9.5% a year.
Marx proposed communism as a way for wealthy capitalist societies to more fairly distribute that wealth, avoiding the creation of artificial but large pockets of poverty and the erosion of democracy in these societies - which capitalism does create, and communist inspired programs do help alleviate.

Communism was not supposed to end extreme poverty in poor, underdeveloped societies. Marx himself praised capitalism for dealing with that.

"Communist" China has drastically reduced poverty because it has understood this. China's market policies are paralleled by strong socialist "welfare state" programs. "Capitalist" Latin America has failed to achieve the same level of success, in good part because each time a government that understood this balance was elected, the local colonial elites resorted to the USA's self-interested propensity to support or directly intervene with "anti-communist" coups d'état.

Still, la nave va...
I will certainly be the first to admit that my education on the subject of communism is lacking. Being educated in the USA during the cold war may have something to do with that.

Maybe I can actually learn something this time around. Previous conversations devolved into flamefests when I tried to ask questions.

Several statements you make, @Alexandre Hannud Abdo imply a coexistence between capitalism and communism which, no surprise, goes against the 1970's USA school curricula I was taught. I was taught that in capitalist societies, things are privately owned and in communist systems things are owned by the state (as a proxy for all the people). Before I ask what I was going to ask, I suppose I should stop and ask if this is even correct in your view.
Encourage Trump’s plan to remove troops from Syria

Stop creating enemies in the Middle East

5 Reasons Not to Feed the Russian Troll Hysteria
by ReasonTV on YouTube

The conventional story is that Russian trolls infiltrated the 2016 election with fake social media ads. But according to details from a February 2018 indictment of those trolls, it's unclear how much of an effect they actually had.
Untax healthcare

We’re launching a new campaign to untax healthcare. Our proposal would make all healthcare expenditures tax-deductible, including insurance premiums and preventive measures, such as supplements and fitness clubs. It would also create unlimited HSAs (Health Savings Accounts).
Longish (30 mins) but interesting.

Surprise: Voters Aren't More Polarized than Ever, Only Pols and Media Are
by ReasonTV on YouTube

Stanford political scientist Morris Fiorina says it's media and political elites who live in ideological bubbles, not regular Americans.
Interesting how he compares the two party system in the States to the situation in Europe in the Ninetieth century. It seems a bit of an extreme comparison, but still interesting. I might need to get the book ;-)
Senate reaches budget deal to clean out your wallet | Libertarian Party

“The ‘bipartisan deal’ means that the politicians get what they want,” Sarwark said. “We, as taxpayers, will pay an extra $400 billion according to the Washington Post. More precisely, because nearly all this extra spending will be funded by borrowing more money, our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will pay. In individual terms, this means that every man, woman, and child in the United States will have $1,238 added to their federal tab. When we combine that with the GOP tax cut of $1.5 trillion, which was not accompanied by reduced spending, our additional federal credit charge adds up to $5,880 per person.”

What was the definition of "bipartisan" I gave just the other day?

The Government is Going to Shut Down Again (And That's Bad)
by ReasonTV on YouTube

System failures are a false path to limited government.
While I agree with the reasoning presented, that doesn't imply that the bad caused by a shutdown is, by definition, worse than the bad caused by possible alternatives available at a given time. To take an extreme example, is a shutdown worse than increasing the national debt by $10T next year? I say no.
There aren't a lot of alternative outcomes besides anarchy and despotism. Or like the former Soviet Union, there could be a messy flip-flop between these two states.
I wasn't thinking of alternatives at that scale. I was thinking more like it's 11:30 and the only bill on the table to prevent a shutdown at 12:00 is a bill you vehemently oppose. You could really believe that this bill has worse results than a shutdown.

Of course, once Congress has dicked around for so long that they are down to the last hour, the game is already lost.
Oh, darn, I missed Supreme Leader Trump's address last night...

Libertarian Party Response to 2018 State of the Union
by LibertarianParty on YouTube

Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark responds to President Donald Trump's 2018 State of the Union Address.

Congressional New Year's Resolutions
by ReasonTV on YouTube

In this special holiday edition of "Mostly Weekly" Andrew Heaton comes up with some out-of-the-box New Year's resolutions for our legislators.
Warren's complaint about time to "read the bill" isn't new


Downsize DC compares Elizabeth Warren's "read the bill" video with former Rep Tom Price's "read the bill" video a few years back. Hypocrisy is bipartisan.

Tell your elected reps to introduce and pass Downsize DC’s “Read the Bills Act.”
Opinion | Tuesday’s election proves it: American politics are a disaster

It might be comforting to believe that Tuesday’s election can be explained as a political primal scream aimed at President Trump and his dangerous excesses. Some may even conclude that a Democratic sweep of next year’s midterms will follow along with the speedy impeachment of Trump. Then, surely, reason and order will return to the business of running the United States. Unfortunately, that pipe dream ignores the more profound meaning of this week’s election results: The shellacking Republicans took proves again just how unmoored American politics has become in the 21st century.
Richard WingerRichard Winger wrote the following post Wed, 11 Oct 2017 13:28:11 -0400
Matthew Yglesias Advocates Proportional Representation for the U.S.
Matthew Yglesias Advocates Proportional Representation for the U.S.

Matthew Yglesias here writes that the U.S. would be better off if it used proportional representation, especially for Congress. Yglesias is a founder of Vox, a well-read politics blog. Thanks to Rick Hasen for the link.
Ten Things Political Scientists Know that You Don’t

Hans Noel joins us this week to share ten insights into how politics, campaigns, and political parties work.

Is there such a thing as “the will of the people?” Why do political parties act the way they do? We also discuss Duverger’s Law, campaign finance, presidential elections, special interests, and grassroots movements.

Based on an article written by the guest, in the show notes.