The Commoner.

Speaking for the common man. Voicing the concerns of those that appreciate the value of life and community, from the least to the greatest. Ringing the bell for Christian Democracy and Catholic Social Teaching in the US.

Ranked Choice Voting Explained

We NEED Ranked Choice Voting (aka Instant Runoff Voting, or IRV). The following video explains it simply and well. IRV eliminates lesser-of-two-evils voting, eliminates the “spoiler effect”, reduces political hostility (because candidates need the favor of their opponents’ supporters as well as their own), allows greater third-party involvement and increases democratic choice. BTW, it has bi-partisan support! It CAN be done. FairVote is a good source of info on IRV.

10 February 2012 at 21:00 - Comments

EPIC RANT…

right on the money is the root of all evil

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

10 August 2011 at 01:37 - Comments

Yeah, Perry ain’t so great (watch video to end)

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

18 June 2011 at 13:19 - Comments

Dear Exxon, We’re the Same Now!

The Supreme Court says we’re exactly the same. I can lobby government (no, my letters aren’t answered), and you can lobby government (yes, your voice is well heard and followed). I can buy TV commercials for my favorite politician (yeah, no I can’t), and now you can too (yes you can). I can pay income taxes and payroll taxes and sales taxes (yes I do), and you can… (yeah, you don’t have to do that). Like they said, we’re exactly the same.

24 January 2010 at 12:10 - Comments

HEED THE CALL!!!!

GO HERE to contact your elected officials.

22 October 2009 at 08:24 - Comments

Talking Healthcare Reform in the Texas Heat

img_2970Today between about 11:30 and 12:30, US Congressman Lloyd Doggett spoke and answered questions about healthcare reform. He had just finished a closed door talk at a local clinic. Senator John Cornyn, who was also at the closed door talk, ducked out, preferring not to talk to his constituents. Nice, Senator, nice. Rep. Doggett let various sides speak from the microphone. Doggett supports the Obama plan. The crowd was mixed, though most were in favor of the Obama plan or something more. Most were also in favor of a single-payer plan. I didn’t get to speak from the podium, but I did get to talk to Rep. Doggett for a minute afterwards expressing my support for the Wyden-Bennett bill.

8 August 2009 at 21:27 - Comments

Union Leaders v. the People

While I am still a huge fan of Ezekiel Emanuel’s health care plan, it is clearly not on the radar screen of Congress (at least in whole). The best health care legislation currently on offer is the Wyden-Bennett bill. Unfortunately, it suffers from the same problem as the Emanuel plan… it gets rid of the need for employer-based health insurance. Who has a problem with this? Not me. My super-Democrat, big time OCAW-man, father would not have had any problem with such a separation at all. But one group, UNION LEADERS, have a problem with it (those that have the ears of Democratic leaders). It removes one of the main reasons for their fight. Sure, it is because their constituents would have won the fight. But all of us would have won. God forbid. It seems that the AFL-CIO and other union leaders have abandoned the movement for the people in favor of the people leading the movement, themselves. Mob-like behavior to be sure.

6 August 2009 at 20:43 - Comments

Texas to Iran: “We’re with you!”

Democracy for Iran

Democracy for Iran

Wednesday afternoon (17 June 2009) approximately 300 to 350 people marched on the Capitol of Texas expressing their love of, and hope for, Iran and its people.  Most assembled were of Iranian descent.  Many had voted in the Iran election.  Many hope to return to Iran.
Marching to the Capitol

Marching to the Capitol

Iranian Democracy in Texas

Iranian Democracy in Texas

The people involved in this march and protest were displaying their sympathies with the reformers in Iran.  More than anything, these people (including myself) wanted and want democracy and freedom for the people of Iran.

Iran wants Change

Iran wants Change

Protester Warns About Mousavi

Protester Warns About Mousavi

While most protesting were in support of Mousavi, a few warned that there is really no difference between Mousavi and Ahmedinejad.  They were both selected by the Supreme Leader.  Clearly all assembled expressed support for real democracy and real freedom in Iran.

21 June 2009 at 18:55 - Comments

Austin Supports Iranian Democracy

Supporters of democracy in Iran gathered yesterday (Sunday, June 14) in Austin, at Sixth and Lamar (in front of Waterloo Records), to protest what is believed to be a de facto coup d’etat in Iran, where the establishment overthrew the will of the people.  I was there between 2:30 and 3:30.  It started before I got there, and continued after I left.  One of the common chants was “what we want.. ELECTION, .. what we got.. COUP D’ETAT“.  Most of the supporters assembled were of Iranian descent.  Many were students at the University of Texas.  It was a peaceful, family-friendly gathering of people that love Iran, and love democracy.  There was talk that there may be another gathering Wednesday at the Capitol.

Austin Supports Iranian Democracy

Austin Supports Iranian Democracy

Gathering at Sixth and Lamar

Gathering at Sixth and Lamar

15 June 2009 at 11:36 - Comments

Best Healthcare Plan is a Non-Starter

After talking to a senior research fellow of a major Washington think tank yesterday, I learned that my preferred healthcare reform plan, health insurance vouchers, has gotten so little discussion because it was ruled out by politicians early on as a non-starter.  Contrary to the claim on the healthcare reform chart I produced (i.e. the current version of it — I may revise it) that there were no likely opponents to insurance vouchers, there are actually two significant opponents: union organizers (not necessarily union members) and a certain group of uninvolved wealthy people.  Apparently, even though health insurance vouchers would greatly benefit union members (it would get health insurance off the bargaining table – which is the most common reason for strikes – and it would save many of their jobs by making their companies more competitive internationally), some union organizers cynically want to maintain points of fissure thinking their existence needs such justification.  Apparently, Clark Kent has no reason to be Superman if there is no Joker.  Union organizers (who supposedly speak for union members to public officials) control the union purse-strings that Democratic candidates are attached to.  On the other hand, many uninvolved wealthy people that have no real stake in the ownership or governance of American companies and corporations often see no benefit in a general (non-food)VAT tax replacing their currently tax deductable health insurance premiums as the funding mechanism for their personal health insurance policy, thinking that a new sales tax on that yacht they want to buy might be more expensive than their current government subsidized health insurance premium.  Of course, those wealthy people that are involved in ownership and governance of employing companies know that getting out of the healthcare business would be the biggest boon to their competitiveness.  As someone put it, the uncompetitive and now hospitalized GM is really just a healthcare company that makes a few cars on the side.  Uninvolved wealthy people are significant campaign contributors to both Republican and Democratic candidates.  This is so damned frustrating!!!  What a godless political system we have.

The take away… we REALLY need campaign finance reform.  If campaigns were publicly financed, the candidates (and then legislators) could not be swayed by private campaign contributions, and would as a result have no master but the people.  The interest of their constituents would then trump the interest of sugar-daddy Washington lawyers.  If the public interest were king, health insurance vouchers would not have been placed off the table, and would currently be seen as the obvious and best solution to our healthcare crisis in America.

27 May 2009 at 03:01 - Comments