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Bankruptcy, Coming to a City Near You?

Stockton, California, officially filed for Chapter 9 protection yesterday, making it the largest ever U.S. city to file for bankruptcy. “We are extremely disappointed that we have been unable to avoid bankruptcy… This is what we must do to get our fiscal house in order and protect the safety and welfare of our citizens. We will emerge from bankruptcy with a solid financial future.” LINK

To learn more about this event check out that link above. To hear about its background, implications, as well as thoughts about public sector fiscal mismanagement and who gets hurt in the end check out the audio clip below.

Audio: Jon Phillips Discusses Public Debt with Callers (mp3)

If Stockton is the largest US city to file for bankruptcy, holding $500mil to $1 billion in debt, including pension liabilities. What does the future hold for the city of Los Angeles? Read more


Marco Rubio on The Daily Show

Wow, Florida Senator Marco Rubio went on Jon Stewart’s “Daily Show”, and it was amazing. Above is the first part of the interview, the rest of the interview is  hosted on the main Daily Show website, here’s a link to Part2 & Part3. These clips are a MUST WATCH for anyone wondering what an honest back and forth interview, where opposing ideas are exchanged in a civilized manner for the benefit of the public, looks like. They discuss topics like immigration, political dysfunction, healthcare, and the best way to deal with our debt, either through growth or tax increases. Party labels are put aside aside for the most part so that the merits of the ideas can stand on their own. Its been a very long time since I’ve seen something like this.

I give both of the a lot of credit. To Marco Rubio for his calm balanced approach and to Jon Stewart for his respectfulness and allowing Rubio to respond to Stewart’s counter arguments. Usually the studio audience laughs are used to move along to the next subject, leaving the feeling of mocking an opposing view, but this time they did not move on until every counter viewpoint was expressed. Watch all 3 clips and you’ll see what I mean. The two of them have contrasting views of what solutions work best but they allow each other to be heard so that the viewer can then best decide what perspective they actually agree with most.

Independents Gaining on Parties in California

In California, Democrats fell from 47-43%, Republicans went from 37-30% while Independents doubled from 10-21% during the last 16 years. Bruce McPherson, former California secretary of state, centrist legislator and current candidate for the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors — has re-registered as an independent, or “no party preference.”

“I walk precincts door to door and people tell me they’re looking for an independent voice… They see partisan politics as paralyzing the governing process. They see no movement or communication. They’re frustrated and fed up… But I’m not going to do Republican bashing because the left wing of the Democratic Party is guilty of the same thing. It’s my way or the byway. Republicans want to shut down things and Democrats want to pay for everything… There’s no middle.” LINK

United Supreme Court Rules on Arizona Policy

This Monday the Supreme Court announced one of its two most highly anticipated decisions expected to be released this week. The court announced it would strike down 3 out of the 4 debated aspects of Arizona’s illegal immigration policy, SB1070, stating they interfered with the federal government’s role in setting immigration policy. If you’ve got the time, here’s the 76 page supreme court syllabus for ARIZONA v. UNITED STATES. Read more

New Stencil Shirt Design!

This original design for the Unaffiliated Party is now available on shirts, hoodies, & more, in multiple colors for men and women! Visit our Shop to check out all the options.

Executive Order + Judicial Discretion = Reform ?

One week ago, June 15th, President Obama surprised many by announcing that he was issuing an executive order to halt the deportation of illegal immigrants under certain conditions, as well as providing them with renewable two year work permits. This move was seen as an unconstitutional  by some and welcomed by others.  So what’s the big deal about this kind of move? He’s the president right, he can pass whatever law he likes! Actually, the move was controversial because… he can’t. He can only sign into law, bills passed by Congress. We thought this would be a good opportunity to discuss some terminology that relates directly to this event, such as executive order and the separation of powers, so that we may better understand the raucous created by the announcement as well as come to our own conclusions regarding the legality and implications of the actions. Before we continue, explaining these constitutional matters does take some time, so this post is longer than we usually prefer, but all the information is necessary to properly judge the actions taken by the president last Friday. Read more

Capitalism, Misunderstood?

Milton Friedman (July 31, 1912 – November 16, 2006) was an American economist, statistician, and author who taught at the University of Chicago for more than three decades. He was a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, and is known for his research on consumption analysis, monetary history and theory, and the complexity of stabilization policy. As a leader of the Chicago school of economics, he influenced the research agenda of the economics profession. A survey of economists ranked Friedman as the second most popular economist of the twentieth century behind John Maynard Keynes, and The Economist described him as “the most influential economist of the second half of the 20th century…possibly of all of it.” LINK The clip above is from The Phil Donahue Show, an American television talk show, which ran from 1967-1996.

Today’s Lesson: Media Bias

Media bias is the one sidedness of journalists and news producers within the mass media in the selection of events and stories that are reported and how they are covered. The term “media bias” implies a widespread bias, applying to an entire program or station for example, rather than the perspective of an individual journalist or article LINK. I’d like to thanks MSNBC for the following video examples, both occurring over the last few days… Read more

The World We Leave Behind

I attended a 5th grade graduation today, bitter sweet. Nothing makes you realize who our current broken political system hurts the most than when you are staring at them proudly as they embark on their journey and are left to deal with the mess we’re leaving behind for them. If you ever wanted a reason for fiscal responsibility and honest politics, this is it. Read more

Easy Debt Ceiling Explanation

This January, after much political turmoil, the current US federal debt limit was increased from $15.194 trillion to $16.394 trillion. The debt limit, often referred to as the “debt ceiling”, is the maximum amount of debt that the country can have. Imagine your credit card, it might have a $2,000 limit. Let’s say you owe $1,925 on that card, do you think calling your credit card company and asking for a limit increase to $2,250 would fix your debt problem?

Thanks to January’s debt increase, our deficit has grown to $15.7 trillion. When it nears $16 trillion later this year and the political battles return fighting for or against a new increase to something above $17 trillion, lets hope voters have realized what the debt limit is and why we must not allow a new increase. Take note of who wants it increased and who doesn’t, then you will realize who’s really concerned about this country and not just their political careers. Until that federal debt number turns around and starts to head in the opposite direction, the future of this country can be described in nothing more than pessimistic terms. I’ll finish this brief post with a comment I found online recently, its the simplest way I’ve heard the debt ceiling dilemma explained…

“Let’s say, you come home from work and find there has been a sewer backup in your neighborhood and your home has sewage all the way up to your ceilings. What do you think you should do? Raise the ceilings, or pump out the sewage?”

God Grew Tired Of Us

Above is the trailer to one of my favorite documentaries, you can watch the rest below, its broken into 6 parts. I told a friend I’d be posting this on our Unaffiliated Party site and they asked what it had to do with politics since there’s none of it addressed in the film. Its pretty simple to explain, your politics has a lot to do with your mentality. If you think the world is a certain way or people deserve this or that you might align yourself with a party based on those beliefs. Examine what your party stands for and if you really agree with their ideals before continuing to stand with them 100%, and remember, complete allegiance is not supposed to be required. You can actually question, disagree and yes, even leave them.

Hopefully this documentary can open the eyes of those who think the United States is an unfair place where success is only available to the well off. No, you don’t live in an unfair country if every home doesn’t have a flat screen, an Xbox, an Apple product, or even if everyone doesn’t have a home. It is true that success is easier for some than others, but even the least likely have a shot by striving, struggling, and making the right decisions. This country has never guaranteed equal results, instead it has opted to provide equal opportunity. This is life, happy endings are not guaranteed but at least in this country you can dream and have a shot no matter what your background is. Read more

Where Would Bloomberg Soda Ban Lead?

Earlier this month we wrote briefly about New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to ban the sale of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces. “The proposal defines sugary drinks as beverages that are sweetened with sugar… that contain more than 25 calories per 8 fluid ounces and contains less than 51 percent milk… It would impact drinks sold in containers larger than 16 ounces, but would not impact the sale of diet soda or dairy-based drinks.” LINK

It might have seemed trivial to some and perhaps some even thought it was a great idea. Here’s the problem, once you give the government the authority to regulate your common sense decision making, they will only continue to expand their control. “While the New York City Board of Health approves of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to cut all large sugary drinks… they don’t think the plan goes far enough… [they] questioned why large tubs of popcorn were not included in the ban… Another member pointed out that even 100 percent juice and milk-containing beverages have large amounts of calories and should not be excluded.” One critic points out, “we don’t know if next it’ll be 16 fries on a plate or only one hot dog a day”. LINK Read more

How Did Our Economic Meltdown Happen?

This is not some wacky conspiracy documentary, just a straight up account by PBS Frontline. The documentary is broken down into 6 parts, continue reading to watch the rest.

Read more

“Unaffiliated Party Flyer” Shirt Available Now !

This original design for the Unaffiliated Party is now available on shirts, hoodies, & more, in multiple colors for men and women! Visit our Shop to check out all the options.

Media Can’t Wait to Deal the Race Card

“Are American’s secretly racist? Yes, when it comes to politics and President Obama, according to a study of Web searches,” states a headline on the front page of…. I’m pretty sick of hearing this from the media, if race really had a net negative impact on the 2008 election, we would not have the first African American president in this nation’s history. If this is the stuff we’re hearing after electing President Obama can you imagine what they would be saying if we hadn’t? I’m not saying race didn’t play a part in some people’s votes, but the historical nature of the 2008 election outweighed any other reason, race might have actually even created an advantage.

“When Obama became president, we were all happy about the symbolism, America’s first black president, we didn’t really care about his position or views on anything. We just wanted a black president no matter what…” states Harry C. Alford, President of the National Black Chamber of Commerce in this Link. Many voters simply wanted to be part of a historical moment and wanted to help make it happen. Read more