The American Political System

A central component of the American identity is the notion that our political system is a responsive representative and democratic government that serves the people of the country. It is at the heart of our sense that we are exceptional country, the city on the hill, with structures and political values that should be emulated around the world.

Here we focus on the structure of the government under the Constitution, the role of money and the domination of our politics and government by the wealthy and corporations.

The Posts about the American Political System

Jeff Bezos Amazon image
Inequality, Jeff Bezos, Amazon and Bernie Sanders
August 22, 2018

It is always useful to put a face to trends. The grotesque yawning extent of inequality is one of those…

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Plastics and Run Amuck Capitalism
August 20, 2018

The earth is burdened by the tsunami of plastic refuse that will never degrade. Government needs to protect us from…

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illustration by Adam Maida in 8/21/17 New Yorker
Do Protests Work? – Time for Class Warfare
May 21, 2018

iIllustration by Adam Maida in 8/21/17 New Yorker In the August 21, 2017 edition of The New Yorker Nathan Heller…

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Justice Antonin Scalia
Gun Regulation, the 2nd Amendment, and Scalia’s Majority Opinion
May 9, 2018

Gun Regulation, the 2nd Amendment, and Scalia’s Majority Opinion Fire arms proponents make much of the  2008 case District of…

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How to Spot Fake News – libraries get in the game…..
February 20, 2018

Fake news is now a political strategy used around the world. How can we defend ourselves, how can we identify…

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Robert Reich
Recently Noted – Robert Reich: how we got into this mess and how we get out of it
December 29, 2017

Reich’s latest cartoon does a good job of describing the changes in the US economy, weaker on the underlying political…

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Economic Downturn and Legacy of Bush Policies Continue to Drive Large Deficits
Deficits, Deficits – the rhetoric of the forthcoming attacks on the poor
December 20, 2017

Republicans Create Bigger Deficits Then Blame The Entitled Poor. Cuts to social programs coming to fix the Republican created deficit…

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Vicious Republicans Attack Children’s Health Insurance Program
December 12, 2017

Nearly 9 Million children are loosing their health insurance as states run out of funds. The Congress, controlled by the…

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Trump Republican Policy Crimes (some only attempted at the moment)
November 30, 2017

Trump – Republican Positions and Crimes (some just attempted) against the poor, working and middle class. The current Trump Republicans…

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Recently Noted – “What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest an Answer”
November 7, 2017

The NY Times published an interesting article by Max Fisher and Josh Keller, “What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons…

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Trickle-Down Returns to Enrich the Rich – updated
September 28, 2017

Trickle-down economics has never worked, yet once again it is being used to justify tax cuts for the rich and…

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Trump, Charlottesville, and Presidential Blinders to White Terrorism
August 15, 2017

Viewed from a bit longer lens of history this reaction to white supremacist terrorism fits in very well with the…

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The Republican Party – vicious at the edges
June 23, 2017

None of the failings of our healthcare system outrages the vicious Republicans. They hate poor and middle class people, the…

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Vicious Republicans Not Trump Are The Problem
June 22, 2017

Trump is a side show here. The problem is the Republican Party bought and sold by the wealthy and corporations.…

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Trump’s Innovations in Governing – the cabinet meeting
June 12, 2017

Trump surprises us with another innovation in governing. He has turned his latest Cabinet meeting into a round of campaign…

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The Environment, Trump, Koch Brothers & Big Money
June 5, 2017

The now publicly visible campaign by the Koch brothers and many others to make their decade’s long campaign to deny…

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Movie – War Machine – a misplaced parable
May 28, 2017

Netflix has just released War Machine onto the streaming media waters. This movie fits into the long tradition of American media…

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Update on Trump’s Mental Capacities
May 26, 2017

The state of Trump’s mind has been a matter of continuous discussion ever since he came on the scene as…

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Trump’s Innovations in Governing
May 15, 2017

The 40 year class war in America has achieved its final objectives. The plutocrats are the White House. The Cabinet…

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America’s Longest War and Attorney General Sessions
May 13, 2017

So Jeff Sessions, tough guy, is going to reverse the very modest corrective direction of Obama’s policies to once again…

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Firing Comey and Trump as Solipsism
May 10, 2017

In his letter firing James Comey, now former Director of the FBI, Trump once again displayed the completely self-centered world…

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Trump – understanding the pathology
May 10, 2017

Trump talks to occupy space and run down the clock. He’s prompted to speak by a question but rarely answers…

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Obama, Wall St. and Big Money
May 8, 2017

New evidence of how big money works has turned up last summer in the WikiLeaks dump of Democratic National Committee…

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Building the New American Economy – Not
April 5, 2017

The title of this short book, only 130 pages, Building the New American Economy: smart, fair, & sustainable by Jeffrey…

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Justice in America – Not
April 5, 2017

A central dogma of American politics and culture is the rule of law. The ever present blind scales of justice…

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Job (Business) Killing Regulations
March 2, 2017

Ever since Ronald Reagan told us in his 1981 Inaugural Address, “Government is not the solution to our problem; government…

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Diversity and Identity Politics Is A Deadend
March 1, 2017

Progressives have to declare class war as a central strategy. Otherwise we will all be sitting at the dinner table…

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How Much Money Would It Take To Eliminate Poverty in the US?
February 26, 2017

This 2013 article “How Much Money Would It Take to Eliminate Poverty” ( addresses this question. The answer then was $175…

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Is Trump Showing Signs of His Age??
February 23, 2017

Trump ~1980 Ever since Trump came into my view as a candidate for President I have thought that his speech…

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Neoliberalism – a term that needs never to be used – Updated
February 10, 2017

Dollars and Sense has been around since the 1970s. Always a source of well researched critiques of capitalism. I recently,…

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Congressman Faso’s Challenge
January 30, 2017

To put the situation in sound bite language we spend twice as many healthcare dollars as almost all of our…

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Talk Back: Correcting the Anti-Government Bias of Our Politics
January 29, 2017

President Reagan was not the originator of this central trope of free-market (neo-liberal) politics, but he famously said in his…

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The Future of the Women’s March
January 24, 2017

There is much ongoing discussion about steps needed to turn the enormous one day action of the global Women’s March…

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Park Avenue and How We Got There
January 22, 2017

Park Avenue puts faces to many of the wealthy and the corporations. Do not for a moment think that if…

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Revisiting MetaData – Your Life Made Visible
November 17, 2016

In the current moment much of the concern about privacy online and otherwise has been overwhelmed by Trump, inequality, racism…

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“Liberal”, “Progressive”, “Free Market”, “NeoLiberal” – what’s up?
November 15, 2016

A friend asked the following question of me on Facebook the other day:What’s wrong with the word LIBERAL …. This…

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Next Steps for Progressives
November 14, 2016

The Trump election debacle demonstrates the bankruptcy of the current leadership of the Democratic Party. Faced with a foe who…

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Election Results: The Next Ten Years
November 9, 2016

– The Morning After -The election of Trump and the continued Republican control of both Congress and Senate guarantee that the…

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Money in US Politics and Supporting Bernie Sanders
February 3, 2016

Bernie Sanders is the only candidate not in the pocket of the rich and corporations. To even begin to think…

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Hillary Clinton, Big Money, and Corruption
June 6, 2015

The trail of money around Hillary and Bill Clinton and their foundation continues to attract lots of comment and not…

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Gay Marriage – how did this transformation occur?
October 7, 2014

this transformation in attitudes towards homosexuality should be studied so that we can understand how and why it took place.…

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The Corruption at the Center of American Politics and Government
June 16, 2014

The 1/2% of the Population That Run Our PoliticsRecently I came on a Ted Talk by Lawrence Lessig, “We the…

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The War on Drugs Is a Failure – The Gregory Brothers’ video
April 20, 2013

Why waste endless words on this topic? I stumbled on this video, “The Drug War Is a Failure” by the…

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drug-spending-v-addiction from Atlantic Monthly
Our Longest War – The War on Drugs – more data on its futility
April 15, 2013

I have noted here several times earlier about America’s longest war – the War on Drugs. Here is a graphic…

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Economic Inequality – Does It Matter?
May 9, 2012

It is fairly widely known that income and wealth inequality in the US is as high or higher than at…

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Big Money, Big Politics…the best government bought, not by you…..
May 4, 2012

Wonder about the Impact of the US Supreme Court’s Citizens United Decision?  Government in the US, as everywhere, has always been tilted…

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Long Division in American Politics – the money trail
January 26, 2012

A recent John Stewart Daily Show that explored Mitt Romney’s recent release of income tax data got me to thinking…

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Charts from Mother Jones Illustrate That the Rich Have Won the Class War
November 19, 2011

I came on a set of graphics in Mother Jones, “It’s the Inequality, Stupid: Eleven charts that explain what’s wrong with America” that illustrate what you…

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A Strange Sense of “Expertise” in the Cain Case in Milwaukee
November 17, 2011

This week’s installment of the Republican race for the honor of running for President bought us the eye-rolling scene of…

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Idiocy in America
September 8, 2011

The recent scene of Jon Huntsman, Republican candidate for President, stating that he believed in evolution surrounding this with the…

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Job Creation – A Pliable (Fraudulent) Rhetoric in the Current Debate over Debt and Debt Ceilings
July 12, 2011

When it comes to job creation both Democrats and Republicans reflexively trot out small business as the engine of growth.…

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Where, Oh, Where Did Our National Debt Come From?
July 8, 2011

The political rhetoric of the current moment, chiefly flowing from Republicans, but barely challenged by the Democrats, describes tales of…

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Naomi Wolf’s The End of America – the movie
May 27, 2011

The End of America – a film by Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern Here is a summary ((from the…

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Let’s Talk About The Defense Budget – a letter to the editor
April 2, 2011

(This was submitted to the Letters to the Editor section of the Register Star here in Hudson. Not clear at…

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Corporations as Persons – Freedom of Speech, now Right to Privacy – Bring on Three Strikes!
January 20, 2011

The case of the Federal Communications Commission v. AT&T ((See the NYTimes,  “Court Weighs Whether Corporations Have Personal Privacy Rights”…

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Bush, Anger and Dispair Over Our Situation
January 17, 2011

The return of George Bush to the national scene with the release of his memoir, Decision Points, once again roused…

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Education – Miseducation – Human Creativity – TED Talk by Ken Robinson
November 5, 2010

We all have had, some now enduring, experiences in the educational system. Excepting the academic super stars for whom the…

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The Mortgage Debacle – Redux
October 10, 2010

The current tsunami of revelations of misbehavior, if not outright criminality, by the banking industry in their pursuit of mortgages…

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Krugman Asleep at the Wheel of History ….. the elite has not been interested for forty years…
August 2, 2010

The August 1st New York Times carries the latest Paul Krugman opinion piece, “Defining Prosperity Down”. He is depressed because…

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Do We Need Wall St. and all the other gamblers in the financial services world?
April 20, 2010

What Is the Function of Wall St.? The global financial meltdown of 2008 – 2009 with its ongoing sequelae seems…

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Tea Party Nation – banned me for asking a few questions
March 8, 2010

Who and What Is Tea Party Nation? I generally don’t have that much interested in fringe weirdo politics. But, with…

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Controlling Gambling by Wall St. and the Big Banks – Bad for Business?
January 22, 2010

Anti-Wall St Does Not Mean Anti-Business President Obama’s proposals to break up the “too large to fail” mega banks and…

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Remarks on President Obama’s Speech on Accepting The Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo 12/10/2009
December 21, 2009

There is much to applaud in Obama’s speech: control of nuclear weapons, assertion of human and civil rights, multilateralism in…

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More Blather about Healthcare from “Experts”
June 16, 2009

Acknowledge the basic facts about how the healthcare system is working today. Yesterday in a radio interview, “How to conquer health…

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A New Thought on Terrorism
December 6, 2008

An article in today’s NYTimes about cyber crime, malware, etc. suggests to me that another line of attack may be…

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Mumbai, Boston and Terrorism
December 3, 2008

The arrival by small boat of the Mumbai terrorists reminds me of a persistent fear here. A small freighter or…

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November 5, 2008

I will not add to the comments that have flooded around the world last night and this morning. However this…

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Bush Mission Accomplished on aircraft carrier
Bush – the worst modern President
November 1, 2008

Since my entry this morning I have been thinking more about the Presidency and Bush. My knowledge of 19th century…

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Pondering at the Food Coop
November 1, 2008

November 1, 2008 So, here I am having coffee and my favorite lunch, a toasted bagel with peanut butter thinking…

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North Korea – a visit to the “Axis of Evil”
June 21, 2007

Recently, in the context of some discussion of the Bush regime, my step-son Jonathan pointed me towards several books on…

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Enron, Trust and Malfeasance
January 29, 2002

January 23, 2002 (revised 1/29/02) The collapse of energy giant Enron over the last six months has produced a surprising…

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Whose Opinion (Advice) Is This?
January 1, 2002

Whose Opinion (Advice) Is This? The Problem At a time when we are quite aware of the need for and…

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  1. including among them: Srnicek, Nick, and Alex Williams. Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World without WorkHardt and Negri, Assembly; Tufekci, Zeynep. Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest.
  2. Heller makes snide comments about "neoliberalism" - the term used everywhere but the US for free-market capitalist ideology: "(Neoliberalism can broadly refer to any program that involves market-liberal policies—privatization, deregulation, etc.—and so includes everything from Thatcher’s social-expenditure reductions to Obama’s global-trade policies. A moratorium on its use would help solidify a lot of gaseous debate.)" Heller might do well to spend some time understand free-market ideology and its history to know that in fact Thatcher and Obama do belong in the same sphere in this regard.