FDL Book Salon Welcomes Heather Cox Richardson, To Make Men Free: A History of The Republican Party

By: Sunday October 5, 2014 1:59 pm

Heather Cox Richardson has a gift for seeing the connections in American history—for synthesizing a picture that makes sense out of a broad range of elements. She integrates larger economic and cultural developments with the experience of men and women at all levels of society, as well as the decisions and conflicts of policymakers and power brokers. She demonstrated her powers as a writer and historian brilliantly in her books West from Appomattox and Wounded Knee, and does so again in her brilliant To Make Men Free.


Killed by Congressional Cowardice

By: Saturday September 20, 2014 8:15 am

We tend to think of war as resulting from an excess of aggression or disorderliness or rebellion. Western academics hunt in the genes of foreigners and study chimpanzees to find the root of the nastiness.

But one would be hard press to count the number of people who have lost their lives to an excess of cowardice in the halls of the United States Congress. “This chamber reeks of blood,” said Senator George McGovern in 1970, he would have been shocked anew this week.

1 in 4 Americans ‘Open to Secession’

By: Friday September 19, 2014 1:52 pm

Though Scotland just voted to stay in Britain it seems secession as an idea still has some appeal. According to Reuters, 1 in 4 Americans are open to idea of their states seceding from the union.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted between August and September found that about 24% of those surveyed “strongly supported or tended to support” their state seceding form the union. The reason for the widespread antagonism towards the federal government was linked to disgust with gridlock and dysfunction in DC.

As We Go to War, Congress Goes Home

By: Friday September 19, 2014 12:28 pm

As President Obama gets the nation involved in a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy war in Syria, Congress is leaving the capital for the next two months to campaign for re-election to the job they refuse to do.

They left without actually voting on a declaration of war as is required by the Constitution. The closest they got was a quasi-proxy vote for funds to arm “moderate” rebels. Even this only got a standalone vote in the House.

Senate Votes To Give Weapons And Training To ‘Moderate’ Syrian Rebels

By: Friday September 19, 2014 6:50 am

Following the House, the Senate voted yesterday to approve President Obama’s plan to arm and train the so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels. They vote was 78-22 with 9 Democrats, 12 Republicans, and independent Senator Bernie Sanders voting no. Congress has now authorized another military adventure in the Middle East, what could go wrong?

Why Congress Voting to Ban Welfare at Marijuana Stores Is Good News for Reform

By: Thursday September 18, 2014 6:13 pm

The reform movement has long asked for marijuana to be treated just like alcohol and that is basically what this bill does. This is one of the first small steps by Congress towards creating federal regulations around marijuana business like those for alcohol.

Poll: 65% Plan to Vote for D.C. Marijuana Legalization Initiative

By: Thursday September 18, 2014 4:46 pm

Congress has abused the power to stop D.C. from adopting medical marijuana for over a decade even though the people of D.C. voted for it by an overwhelming margin. Maybe this time Congress will listen to the will of the electorate.

House Votes To Give Weapons And Training To ‘Moderate’ Syrian Rebels

By: Thursday September 18, 2014 7:50 am

President Obama’s self-described “fantasy” got some help from Congress yesterday as the House of Representatives passed a bill pushed by both Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to arm and train rebels in Syria. The vote was 273 to 156 and appropriated no funds yet proved controversial as both Democrats and Republicans opposed party leaders with 59 Republicans and 114 Democrats supporting and 71 Republicans and 85 Democrats opposing.

Obama Does Not Have Authority To Bomb Syria Without Congressional Approval

By: Friday September 12, 2014 6:44 am

Though President Obama made a number of absurd and unsupported claims in his address on ISIS, the one that already launched a thousands tweets is his assertion that he had the authority to bomb Syria without seeking congressional approval. In Obama’s distorted view of the constitution he can launch a military campaign against any country in the world with the justification that Al Qaeda – or some group he tries to tie to Al Qaeda like ISIS – operates within it. It is such an expansive view of the imperial presidency that not even George W. Bush and supporters were willing to claim it (at least publicly).

Obama Relegates Congress to Merely Providing Him With Good PR

By: Thursday September 11, 2014 7:25 pm

By far the most depressing part of President Obama’s prime time speech about Syria was when this ‘constitutional scholar’ relegated one of most important checks and balances in our entire political system to simply the job of improving public relations.

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