We haven't received a single new Challenger.
This is a major problem. Without Challengers, there's really nothing to do. Shadowboxing doesn't work in a format like this.
Unless we get Challengers, we may have to continue with the Blitz Battle schedule.
As always, my email is open.
<homer>Big wheel keep on turnin'! Proud Mary keep on burnin'!</homer>
<marge>No, no! That's CC
There's been quite the kerfluffle of late about the "shadowy" 527 committees
and such, which has brought up again the question that I thought we'd settled: Campaign Finance Reform.
The McCain-Feingold (AKA Shays-Meehan) law had one overriding aim: to stop politicians' constant panhandling for big dollars and being bought by big donor interests. And that has, indeed, happened.
Unfortunately, the tightening restrictions on hard money raised by parties squeezed soft money through the only loophole left: The formerly innoccuous 527 committees
. These committees have been around longer than you might think, but the restrictions placed on them--they are absolutely forbidden from coordinating with campaigns, for example--made them unattractive as long as parties had the power of the soft money.
But the very restrictions that made 527s unappealing to politicos pre-McCain-Feingold are what make the 527s unappealing to us voters now: Since they cannot advocate for any candidate in their advetising, the only thing they can do is denigrate the other candidate in the race. That's why you never hear the Swift Boat Veterans Still Holding A Grudge About Kerry's 1971 Senate Testimony (SBVSHAGAKST) telling you to vote for Bush--they can't. All they can do is tear down Kerry. MoveOn's 527 ads (they also have a PAC, which can
coordinate and advocate but which is subject to much stricter rules) do the same thing--attack the Bush administration without any positive words about Kerry. So while the McCain-Feingold law didn't necessarily create
the 527 monster, it certainly made the monster more visible.
Besides that, many people feel that McCain-Feingold was an unconstitutional restriction on free speech.
Regardless of how you feel, CFR is staying in the spotlight for at least the next little while. But what say you? Is it a constitutional thing to take the money out of poiltics? Did McCain-Feingold go too far or not far enough? If you were king or queen, what would your campaign finance policy be?
Jay Bullock, Iron Blogger Democrat
For years upon years, what constitutes a fair tax plan has been debated and debated and debated over and over again. In congress, media, and state governments, what is "fair" seems to vary depending on whom you ask.
It is not surprising to note, that the current federal tax code is THOUSANDS of pages long, if not longer if it is compiled in totality. So why does it have to be this complicated? Is there a simple, fair way to make sure everyone pays an equal and fair amount of their income to the tax man?
One example of a tax concept is the flat tax. That is to say implementing a flat income tax across the board for everything. On an embarassing note for us in the good 'ol US, Russia has met with success
a 13% flat tax, and so far, it seems to be working fairly well, given the fact that its implemented in Russia
, a country wracked with problems more pressing than fair taxes. In Iraq, Paul Bremer implemented a 15% flat tax
. How that one will turn out with the oil revenues, we don't know yet
. But we shall see soon I expect.
Others still disagree that this is a fair system, and claim that the lowest tax bracket should remain paying a 0% tax while the rest of us pick up the tab.
are you ready?
-Chris from NH
The year 2000 marked the first time in which a president had been elected not by the popular vote, but instead by electoral votes. Despite the recounts and voiced complaints of thousands (probably millions, but I always err on the conservative side,) George W. Bush was sworn into office in January 2001.
Given that the United States is not a democracy
, but rather a Constitutional Republic, should an election result by electorate in place of popular vote be accepted? or should more states adopt the Colorado proposal to give electoral votes by percentage (bush wins 50% vote, he gets 50% of EC votes.) and thereby taking some power away from the Constitutional institution of checks and balances placed in the system?
On the other side of the coin, is the electoral college innately unfair to those in smaller states with no major urban centers? Given that states like NY and CA have a large amount of electoral votes due to the population (mostly from their cities) and votes are generally cast with self-interest in mind, should the cities speak for the rest of the state, and skew the election results?
or should we decide on a new form of representation in the elections? Though it is merely an idea, this may be something we all have to deal with in the near future.
I'm all ferklemt- I give you this topic- Discuss!!
-Chris from NH
I'd like to thank all of you who chipped in a donation over the last week - it is greatly appreciated.
Big Dan was scheduled to Battle this week, but is ill, so we'll be going with one more week of Blitz Battles. Also, we desperately need more Challengers of all stripes, so if you've ever thought about stepping up, now's the time.