Friday, January 15, 2016

Just for one day

I know we're all supposed to be fixed on the right-wing clown protest of a wildlife preserve, but everyone's already seen the story about how one of them took the money and drank it all up,* and the only other story I saw that truly entertained me was the one about the old man who took one of them down with his leg after the guy annoyed him.

"The Top 5 Reasons MoveOn Members Voted to Endorse Bernie (with the Most Votes and Widest Margin in Our History)"
* The interesting thing about this article isn't that it's in the HuffPo, and isn't that it says, "The Impossible Could Be A Real Contender In 2016," but that it's written by Howard Fineman.
* Tommy Chong gets out there for Bernie - because he wants to legalize "a real living wage".
* Even Booman reckons that Bernie has a real chance if he can win the first two contests in Iowa and New Hampshire and if the polls continue to say that Bernie fares better than Clinton in the general election. Current polls show Sanders running a few points ahead in NH and in Iowa, but only Sanders beating the top three Republicans in the general in those states, while Clinton only beats Trump (and not by nearly as much). Print out copies of the January 10th polling entry to show your local friends and relatives who keep insisting that Clinton is "more electable", since that seems to be one of their big arguments. True, the Republicans haven't really started going after Bernie yet, but since all they seem to have is "Socialist! He wants to raise your taxes!" this is a lot less convincing with some fairly simple push-back by people who can point out that "democratic socialism" (or socialism in general) is nothing like Soviet communism, and that it's more American than apple pie, what with being pretty much spelled out in the Preamble to the Constitution and all. And that Bernie wants you to have more money in your pocket at the end of the month.
* CNN has "Biden praises Sanders on income inequality, calls Clinton 'relatively new' to the fight," and at The Hill, "Biden: Clinton 'relatively new' to income inequality issue."
* "Bernie Sanders Is a Loud, Stubborn Socialist. Republicans Like Him Anyway."

Chelsea Clinton goes out scamming on Medicare for All for her mom: ""Sen. Sanders wants to dismantle Obamacare, dismantle the CHIP program, dismantle Medicare, and dismantle private insurance," she said during a campaign stop in New Hampshire. "I worry if we give Republicans Democratic permission to do that, we'll go back to an era -- before we had the Affordable Care Act -- that would strip millions and millions and millions of people off their health insurance."" Wait, I've heard this before, and it was a lie then, too.
* "'Fighting Dirty,' Clinton's 'Inflammatory Distortion' of Sanders' Single-Payer Plan"
* "Nurses Blast Clinton Attack on Healthcare for All."

"Howard Dean, Now Employed by Health Care Lobby Firm, Opposes Bernie Sanders on Single-Payer."

Ian Welsh's 2015 in review: "The real dangers in the world are increasing. For the first world, this doesn't mean 'Islamic Terrorism,' which has never been an existential threat; it means political and economic instability at home. The people one should fear most are almost always one's own leaders, both political and economic, rather than foreigners, and this remains true."

And it's nice to see Thomas Frank finally saying what I've been saying for years: "It's not just Fox News: How liberal apologists torpedoed change, helped make the Democrats safe for Wall Street: Center-left pundits have carried water for the president for six years. Their predictable excuses all ring hollow. As the Obama administration enters its seventh year, let us examine one of the era's greatest peculiarities: That one of the most cherished rallying points of the president's supporters is the idea of the president's powerlessness."

"The DNC Junta Is Continuing the Democratic Leadership Council Coup"

"There Is A Bipartisan Refusal to Accept Obama's Push For TPP."

David Dayen: "Hillary Clinton Whiffs on Reforming Wall Street's Ratings Agencies: Hillary Clinton's response to Bernie Sanders' plan to aggressively break up the big banks responsible for the financial crisis is to suggest that he is naive. 'My plan also goes beyond the biggest banks to include the whole financial sector,' Clinton wrote in a New York Times op-ed in December. 'My plan is more comprehensive,' she said at the first Democratic debate in October - and for that reason, 'frankly, it's tougher.' But Clinton's vision of financial reform neglects one part of the industry everyone agrees was an essential factor in the 2008 crisis: the credit ratings agencies, which assess the worthiness of Wall Street securities for investors. Sanders' plan, released last week, would no longer allow the companies that issue securities to pick which ratings agency they use - a simple but outrageous practice that creates an enormous conflict of interest and helps facilitate fraud. The heart of Clinton's pitch on Wall Street is that she recognizes all potential hazards. But there is not one word in her big reform plan about the ratings agencies."

"ObamaCare's Neoliberal Intellectual Foundations Continue to Crumble" - Basically, the theory that's supposed to make Obama care "work" doesn't work, unless of course the real theory is something else.

"DNC chairwoman flippantly defends her support for war on drugs: In a recent interview with Ana Marie Cox in the New York Times Magazine, Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee and Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz admitted her 'criminal-justice record is perhaps not as progressive' as the records of some of her progressive colleagues. Wasserman Schultz was asked during the interview about her status as 'one of a dwindling number of progressive politicians who oppose legalization of even the medical use of marijuana.' Her response was frankly a word salad of tired drug war cliches - the same ones that have fueled mass incarceration for decades."
* "DNC chair: Young women have been complacent since Roe. Young women: WTF?" Stupid woman. Who do you think has been fighting for reproductive rights while the "centrists" have been shushing the older women who've just gotten tired of having to fight Democrats on the subject?
* "Debbie Wasserman Schultz Blames Voters for Failures of Democratic Party."
* Pierce: "Update: Debbie Wasserman Schultz Is Still Head of the DNC."
* Controversial DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz To Face Progressive Tim Canova In An August Primary.

"Lawyers Went to Rahm Emanuel, Then Quashed the Laquan McDonald Video: The mayor's men demanded that dash-cam video be kept confidential for at least several years as part of a $5 million settlement with the teenager's family."

Elizabeth Warren And Chuck Schumer Will Have To Co-Exist
* VA-09 Congressional Primary Pits A Bernie County Chairman Against The Hillary Backer Who Loves Japanese Internment Camps

Pierce: "Joe Lieberman's 'No Labels' Group Has Labeled Donald Trump a 'Problem Solver'."

David Dayen, "The Problem With Hillary Clinton Using a Progressive Hero to Attack Bernie Sanders" The problem is that it neuters Gensler, silences him, because as part of the Clinton campaign he can't object to things he used to object to that Clinton herself seems unconcerned with. "When asked for Gensler's views on Massad's tenure and whether a hypothetical Clinton administration would prioritize restoring stronger derivatives rules, the campaign declined to comment. Gensler's comments about Sanders repeatedly attacked him for failing to consider the shadow banking system: the collection of financial institutions whose activities sit outside the regulatory perimeter. But after two years of CFTC give-backs, much of the derivatives market sits in the shadows as well. On this point Gensler and Clinton have said little, and the silence speaks volumes."

"Massive Online Backlash After Planned Parenthood Endorses Hillary Clinton." This seems like a bad move, since they have never done this before. Hm, maybe this is why.

"This Supreme Court Case Could Make All Public Unions 'Right to Work': The legal foundations of thousands of public-sector bargaining agreements could soon disappear."

Ryan Cooper in The Week: "How Michigan literally poisoned an entire city to save a few bucks [...] Why on Earth did they do this? Austerity. Aside from the obvious humanitarian disaster, this is a stark demonstration of austerity's false economy. Trying to be cheap on Flint's water supply will end up costing the state of Michigan (and probably the country as a whole) a ton more money than it would have to fix it properly in the first place."
* "Michael Moore Demands MI Republican Gov. Be Arrested For Poisoning Flint's Water."
* Maddow: "Flint toxic water tragedy points directly to Michigan Gov. Snyder." And that's just one little thing Snyder has done.

"FBI Turns 18-Year-Old With An IQ Of 51 Into A Terrorist; Dumps Case Into Laps Of Local Prosecutors." Really, the FBI should be embarrassed to have anything to do with these cases, and so should prosecutors.

"California Crisis Pregnancy Centers Dealt a Double Blow in Court: Two federal judges in California delivered a one-two punch to anti-choice activists at crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) last week by declining to block the state's new reproductive disclosure law. The law, set to go into effect January 1, requires a public notice about access to abortion and birth control at pregnancy-related clinics statewide. CPCs have sought to block the California Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency (FACT) Act, arguing in a flurry of lawsuits that it violates their constitutional rights to ?freedom of speech, assembly, and free exercise of religion."

Al Jazeera America shutting down.

Squeeze makes David Cameron listen to insults

"DuPont's deadly deceit: The decades-long cover-up behind the 'world's most slippery material' [...] None of this would have come to light had it not been for a West Virginia cattle rancher named Wilbur Tennant who, along with four other members of his family, sued DuPont in 1998 claiming he had lost hundreds of head of cattle because of pollution from a landfill next to his farm. DuPont had purchased the patch of land, which included a creek that ran directly into the Ohio River, from Tennant in the 1980s, telling him that it would be used as a non-hazardous landfill. But soon after the landfill got underway, the creek started to turn black and smelly. Sometimes there would be a layer of foam on the water. Within a few years, about 280 of Tennant's cattle, which drank water from the creek, had died. When the Tennants cut open a cow to investigate the cause of its death, they discovered that its internal organs had turned bright, neon green, video footage recorded by the rancher shows. Tennant and his family members, too, suffered breathing difficulties and cancers."

Kevin Drum: "My Right to Die: Assisted suicide, my family, and me" - Unfortunately, not just a long think piece. I was so sorry to read this. Whatever differences I have ever had with Kevin's approach over the years, I still think of him as One of Us, a friend, maybe even family. This was painful.

Naked Capitalism:
* Job Guarantee Versus Basic Income Guarantee
* The Obama Report Card: The Good, the Bad and the Incomplete
* 15 Ways Bill Clinton's White House Failed America and the World

A more positive review of "The Big Short: The criminality of Wall Street and the crash of 2008"

"I'm From Philly. 30 Years Later, I'm Still Trying To Make Sense Of The MOVE Bombing" - So am I, it was and is incomprehensible that this could happen in a major city, and no one in authority paid a price. "The police had come with warrants for several people they believed to be in the compound at 6221. No one knew how many weapons the MOVE folks had, or even how many people were in the compound - the police guessed that there were six adults and possibly as many as 12 children inside." And the cops blew the place up.

How Saul Alinsky scared Mayor Daley into paying attention.

What happened to democracy in the UK: "From reactionary revolution to consolidation: 11 February 1975 to 7 May 2015"

Emily goes back to the orphan elephant refuge to give birth to her baby.

If I had a car, this would look good on my bumper.

This Triumph ad may not be historically or scientifically accurate. I loved it.

The Thrilling Adventures of Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage - the comic.

Women In Stem Collection - dresses for geek girls, but I'm not so sure, since I don't seem to see any pockets. I did like the periodic table dress, though. But a smock-style dress would be a lot better for crawling around setting cables and such.

RIP: David Bowie, 8 January 1947-10 January 2016, who wondered if there were life on Mars and who fell to Earth, and who said good-bye, and I don't even know what I can say about this. Except, I guess, this. Well, and this, of course.
* Bowie's first TV performance
* Amiri Baraka, Polarizing Poet and Playwright, Dies at 79, the former Leroi Jones.
* Professor Snape, we loved you truly, madly, and deeply: "Alan Rickman, giant of British film and theatre, dies at 69 ." Always a commanding presence as either hero or villain. And Metatron. God, this has been a terrible week.


  1. Bad week for us, Bowie and Rickman and Al Jazeera. Still it does happen that in deep winter we begin to feel a returning life force, and like you I love the snow. This year I am surrounded by that deep white glistening kind, pure and lovely. So glad to be where I am now, in PA.

  2. Amiri Baraka died in 2014; this is the second anniversary.

    It's still a terrible week, and hibernating until 2017 is looking like a good idea. As for "geek" dresses, which mostly seem to be short and tight--NO POCKETS, NO /P/E/A/C/E/ LOVE.

  3. "Man, do you have any idea how awful the ACA system is? Better than what we had before, but that’s like saying having a tent and a place to pitch it is better than sleeping on the streets." — Me, I hate explaining the ACA

    People like Strether forget that the ACA provides better rates on medications and care, even to people who can't make the deductibles. It may be only a tent, but I don't think you'd find many people willing to give it up.

    I don't understand why you — why anyone — believes President Sanders could get his single-payer proposal through Congress. Sanders is a man of vision and a brilliant orator but how can he get a war-mongering Republican Congress to flip over and turn socialist? With Obama we had the false hope that he would suddenly turn on the bankers and national security state when he became President. He didn't. With Sanders, it seems to me, we have the false hope that he can somehow simply override the gerrymandering, the bad choices we have made in our elected representatives, and the appalling Roberts Court.

    We elect leaders because of false hope, and then we turn on them when it turns out the hopes were false. I would rather see the Republican Party fail and a new party move in on the left, than see Sanders elected on a Democratic ticket and fail. There is, I think, true hope in that. But who knows what will happen?

    1. In 2008, the Democratic Party had the largest majorities that either party had held in a generation. After Obama's pro-Wall Street and pro-National Security State, with a chief of staff who called the left "fucking retards", with smarming away about how we should embrace Republicans who are after all our fellow Americans, the Congress flipped in 2010. I should add that the flip was helped by the DNC's recruitment and support of Republican-lite candidates for Congress.

      The election of an intransigent majority Republican Congress owes significant debt to Obama's actions and inactions. Obama supporters can't seem to get their heads around the idea that a leader can have an effect.

    2. Wow. That's really some approach you've got there, Raven. Sanders is putting these issues in mainstream play for the first time ever, and you don't think he could deliver in 48 months so that means he's being unrealistic. The Right really is a lot more sophisticated about movement politics than we are.

      Sam Seder just did another of his Random Rush segments. I think Limbaugh sums it up pretty well. You can listen to Seder's response by having the video play through but I'll cue up just the Limbaugh part. You know, just about the only response I've heard out the New Democrats to these issues is that more education is always the answer to whatever is ailing the domestic labor market and, to deal with that, the New Dems are committed to helping by making post-secondary academics or job training a little cheaper to invest years in for a chance to grab at one of the limited number of brass rings out there, while in the matter of retirement security the New Democrats' big idea is maybe it's time for 70 to be the new 65. [LINK]

    3. Sound bite follow-up Any of these may be tough not to dismiss out of hand given the late paleoconservative Samuel Francis' "controversial views on immigration, multiculturalism, [and] miscegenation." [LINK] However, do consider reading through at least one of these largely redundant takes on the Trump phenomenon. [LINK] [LINK] [LINK]

    4. I would rather see the Republican Party fail and a new party move in on the left, than see Sanders elected on a Democratic ticket and fail.

      That is one defeatist argument. What disheartened and disillusioned Obama supporters wasn't his failure to realize their hopes, it was his failure to try. It was the dawning realization that they'd been conned. Sanders, on the other hand, has always had the interests of his constituents at heart and has a good chance of changing the make-up of Congress if voters see their representatives standing between them and a decent health care system, higher wages, greater job and retirement security, and all the other things that make life livable.

    5. In the highest artistic tradition of the art, here are Ezra Klein and Matt Ygleisias getting the brutal and therefore fun to read fisking each of them recently earned for themselves. The title and subtitle of this Seth Ackerman article is pitch perfect: Meet the New Harry and Louise Vox’s attack on Bernie Sanders is sold as a policy critique. It’s actually a dishonest exercise in managing the Democratic Party base. [LINK]

    6. Klein and Yglesias seem to be withering on the vine. Not sure what fisking is, but I suspect they've been earning it since they first appeared on the scene. (I was never a fan.)

    7. If only I could remember where I left my keys. [LINK] [LINK]

  4. Replies
    1. I stayed up 'til after seven in the morning last night waiting for confirmation of that, but he was still technically alive even after Patrick posted that, as she notes in the comments and on Facebook. Still waiting. He's added an update to the post, which it turns out he'd saved but someone else had posted while he slept.

    2. Locus had posted that he'd been taken off life support, but that post had been withdrawn; it's back up now. (Sometimes it gives a 404 error. It's just sad all around)

  5. ...the only other story I saw that truly entertained me was the one about the old man who took one of them down with his leg after the guy annoyed him

    Satire, unfortunately.