Tag Archives: Liberal

Government For the People, By the People

I receive breaking news from Politico.com (great website, btw). Yesterday I got the following alert:

Addressing the attempted Christmas Day terrorist attack from Hawaii, President Obama acknowledged failures in gathering intelligence that could have prevented it.   “When our government has information on a known extremist and that information is not shared and acted on as it should have been,” Obama said, “a systemic failure has occurred, and I consider that unacceptable.” The president blamed the incident on “a mix of human and systemic failures.”

I’ll go out on a limb and predict the following… the left will blame Bush, the right will blame government in general and/or Obama. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s have a real discussion…

Government is a necessary element to a free and stable society. Whether protecting the population from terrorist attacks or regulating the banking system, government needs to work. The most amazing thing is that despite the billions of dollars spent on agencies including Homeland Security and regulatory agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, we continue to see examples in which these bodies fail in their primary mission.

It strikes me that the tired old argument of more government vs. less government is just a red herring that needs to stop. The real discussion that our leaders should be how do we make our existing government work?

This is not politically sexy and can’t be solved by political zingers or by just throwing money at the problem. In fact, most of the changes that will need to be made will come from the agencies themselves and from dedicated career government workers who are trying to get a job done, but need to deal with a regular shifting of people and priorities that are politically decided when a new president is elected.

Bureaucracy has been demonized as a word and therefore becomes a political weapon against any politician that gets serious about government reform.

Idiotic and politically charged statements such as “government death panels” galvanize an already leery segment of the population that sees government as an overarching radical entity that is out to get the individual. This environment makes it tough to tackle real reform that is desperately needed.

Government is here to stay. It is necessary. The size and scope is debatable. However, it’s time for both sides of the political spectrum to come together and demand a common goal… government that is both efficient and effective.

Just my humble opinion – Glenn


Debatepedia.org is a Breath of Fresh Air


We at PoliTalk try to go beyond the typical left/right talking points and name calling that you find on many political discussion shows. When we find like minded people or information resources, we like to share them with our listeners. Today, we’d like to bring your attention to Debatepedia. It is a great web site that presents the different sides of a debate and provides information and resources that really helps the discerning political knowledge seeker find information. Information is presented without the one-sided filer that you get in many media outlets. Here is how they describe themselves:

Debatepedia is a wiki encyclopedia of debates, arguments, and supporting quotations. Its mission is to become “the Wikipedia of debates”. It is a place where we can all work together as editors, via the same wiki technology driving Wikipedia, to frame the arguments in public debates that we all need to think through.

These are debates in our neighborhoods, cities, states and provinces, nations, and in an increasingly interconnected world. These are debates that we care deeply about because they matter to our lives, our neighbor’s lives, and the lives of our children and the societies they inherit. Some of these debates are relevant to whether people live or die in wars or in our own societies. We need to take these debates seriously, and approach them with a fiercely critical eye. We need to fully weigh every pro and con within them, fully deliberate, take rational positions, and take action with conviction in our beliefs. Don’t be complacent in your beliefs! Understand why you believe what you do and be ready to defend yourself. Debatepedia helps you do this. It helps you frame all the arguments and all the scholarly quotes in debates you care about in a simple pro/con “logic tree” structure so that you can fully deliberate, take a stand, take action, and defend yourself.

Jeff and I had the pleasure of meeting Brooks Lindsay, the co-founder of Debatepedia during our last trip to Washington DC. We have been linking to the site ever since and are pleased to spread the word about this site. Check out their debate on healthcare reform. It is a great resource. Kudos to Brooks and team for creating such a great site!


Don’t Forget the Deficit…

I am a progressive. I want a leaner, more efficient, more effective progressive government. My liberal tendencies don’t preclude me from being a traditional Yankee — and fiscally conservative at that, despite the “progressive” label and popular beliefs. As we have discussed on our show, I’m also a huge proponent of health care reform. But the thing I fear the most right now is that our deficit is growing out of control and nobody is really focusing on it. Sure, there’s talk about it, but there isn’t action yet in the form of legislation. The best article I’ve read on this? From the Brookings Institution. Yeah, that’s right, the so-called liberal Brookings Institution. Here it is, and kudos to them. Everyone should read this article, which is why I’m posting it on the site. — Jeff

Episode 34 – Is Gay the New Conservative?


Glenn and Jeff get very provocative this week, asking what it really means to be a “conservative.” They argue that a true conservative would actually embrace gay marriage. Politically, while unconventional, fiscal conservatives should back gay marriage in order to separate from their “conservative” brethren, and build a new party build on new conservative principles of limited government, fiscal discipline and social responsibility. Inexplicably, under the last “conservative” government, Medicare and Medicaid spending, the budget deficit, the national debt and federal spending per household all grew to their highest levels ever — all trendlines which should have been going down. Even the rate of growth of government, which one would expect to slow under conservatives, increased. With the party polling at its lowest levels in decades, it’s  time for them to take bold, and yes, even irrational steps. The definition of insanity is repeating the same mistakes and thinking you’re going to get a different result. We think the Republican Party, in its present form, has gone insane. You want the best of inside the beltway politics, listen to MSNBC’s Hardball. You want great political commentary? watch Ed Schultz, Keith Olberman or Rachel Maddow. But if you want Washington politics explained to Main Street, listen to PoliTalk — always entertaining and informative. It’s PoliTalk: your weekly political podcast.

Listen to the current installment of PoliTalk and get yourself informed, inspired, entertained and ready for the day… spread the word… tell two friends, and so on and so on…

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