Michael Wolraich's picture

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Legacy of Fighting Bob

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez fascinates the press and electrifies progressives, but some Democratic colleagues just want her to pipe down and behave. One anonymous Democratic rep told Politico, “She needs to decide: Does she want to be an effective legislator or just continue being a Twitter star? There’s a difference between being an activist and a lawmaker in Congress.” According to the article, Ocasio-Cortez’s colleagues are particularly dismayed by her history of backing primary challenges to Democratic incumbents, and they warn that she will have “a lonely, ineffectual career in Congress if she continues to treat her own party as the enemy.”

    If Ocasio-Cortez does start to feel lonely, I urge her to visit the Senate Reception Room at the other end of the Capitol. There’s a man she should meet. His portrait hangs on the wall, the old guy with the bow tie and the enormous pompadour. Few remember him these days, but Senator Robert La Follette of Wisconsin was a political sensation in his day, loved by the press, hated by his Republican colleagues. They loathed him for his radical ideas, his outspokenness, and his disloyalty to the party. President Theodore Roosevelt called him “a shifty self-seeker” and “an entirely worthless Senator.” In 1907, a journalist memorably described him as “the loneliest man in the United States Senate.”

    Topics: 
    Michael Maiello's picture

    How the Shutdown Could Wreck the Economy

    The China trade war seems to be costing both the U.S. and China, as trade wars do.  President Trump is probably correct that China is suffering more, but if you look at Apple's warning about diminishing iPhone sales, you see that punishing China has something of a boomerang effect for American multinationals.  Of course, anything that hurts Apple hurts the entire semiconductor supply chain, so there are far reaching consequences. Still, if Trump's argument is that China will eventually give because it's feeling more pain, then I think I can at least entertain the notion.

    Topics: 
    Danny Cardwell's picture

    The Lies Are True; We Just Don't Get It!

    Donald Trump has convinced his followers that reducing the trade deficit with Mexico would pay for his wall; this lie, like the 7,000+ other lies he's told since becoming president, has been swallowed up whole and regurgitated by his base.

    Topics: 
    Richard Day's picture

    TRUMP EXPLAINS ALL (LIVE CHAT)

    Our esteemed leader has (evidently) gone from concrete to steel slats? to curtain rods to....?

    Now the evil Dems have taken over the House (not the White House but the other House) and Spanky is having trouble keeping his sheets straight following his KFC orders delivered to his Lincoln Bedroom.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Your Public Domain Day Report, 2019: YES!!!

    Today, at last, is Public Domain Day in the United States. For the first time in decades, some American copyrights were actually allowed to expire naturally, a mere thirty-nine years later than planned. So after years of blogging, every January first, about what wasn't entering public domain and what would have entered public domain under earlier laws, I can finally blog about what is entering public domain.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Is the Fed Messing Up?

    I really don't know!

    The good thing about the Fed is that if it is messing up, it can always reverse course.  Interest rates remain low, but the central bank now has a lot of room to cut or even go back to QE, if the economy seems too tempered.

    Topics: 
    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Advent in Herod’s Kingdom

    Long before Christmas season was a consumer extravaganza starting just after Halloween, it was a period of solemn religious reflection starting four Sundays before Christmas. For some of us, it still is. In America that means it's both. I experience, and enjoy, the secular Christmas of eggnog, gift wrap, and Dean Martin, but I'm also mindful, maybe a bit more each winter, of Advent and its quieter demands. We're in the bleak midwinter, of the season and sometimes of the spirit. And midwinter's never seemed bleaker than when I watch the news.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Harvard and David Hogg

    Parkland survivor David Hogg, one of the most talented of that talented crop of activists, just got into Harvard. I’m happy for him. He was immediately attacked on social media by haters who called him unqualified. But he is a perfect example of Harvard’s long-standing admissions process, the “holistic” method they’re currently being sued over. That method is once again favoring a white kid. But it’s a reasonable and smart decision by Harvard.

    Topics: 
    Michael Maiello's picture

    We Never Should Have Had Military Forces in Syria in the First Place

    The collective wisdom seems to be that President Obama blundered when he drew a “red line” over the use of chemical weapons in Syria and then did nothing when Assad’s dictatorship crossed it.  I remember things differently.  I look at it through the lens of all the things that didn’t happen.

    Topics: 
    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    My First Short Story in a While

    As previously mentioned, I have a new short story out this month: my first in 21 years. I am very happy about this. And, as promised, here's a taste and a link to the full piece. I hope you enjoy it.

    The thing that broke your heart was, he could still fly. Nothing else to call it. There he was in those silly clothes, going wherever he pleased and not falling, as if gravity were just some tired social pretense and he’d grown too old to bother. But it wasn’t the same.

    Richard Day's picture

    SHADES OF ROY MOORE

    Roy Moore is no longer 'hot news', to say the least.

    Recently I was reminded of an older interview with this Alabama embarrassment by a recent interview with our current presidential embarrassment.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Dag Needs Some Culture

    I know most of you know Natasha Gural, friend to Dagblog and delightful political radical.  What you may not know is she is one of the best writers about art and culture out there today, and has for too long been without a venue.  Well, no more.  Natasha was selected to join the Forbes contributor network and will be writing as many as seven stories a month about art and the art world.

    Now We Know: Hillary Was A Great Candidate

    There are many more details to come out of our continuing political saga, soap opera, meltdown, but at this point we have enough details to know what should have been suspected all along: Hillary was a great candidate.

    This doesn't mean she didn't make a bunch of mistakes - whom among us has not?

    Topics: 
    Michael Maiello's picture

    Nobody Misses the WASPs

    "Those virtues included a spirit of noblesse oblige and personal austerity and piety that went beyond the thank-you notes and boat shoes and prep school chapel going — a spirit that trained the most privileged children for service, not just success, that sent men like Bush into combat alongside the sons of farmers and mechanics in the same way that it sent missionaries and diplomats abroad in the service of their churches and their country."

    This is hilarious.  Of course it's Ross Douthat because, what other self-hating Catholic and devotee to slave morality would write a column about how much the U.S. needs and misses the old line New England WASPs that used to specifically exclude Catholics like him from high society?

    Topics: 
    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Writing Short Fiction, Then and Now

    I used to write short stories. Then, for many reasons, I stopped writing fiction. Today I had my first story published in more than twenty years. (It will be posted on the web in two weeks, and I will link to it then. If you can't wait, the issue's for sale here.) More stories may be along; we'll see. If it takes another twenty-one years, I'll have something to look forward to in 2039.

    It's a little strange returning to an art form after two decades away. One of the things it means is that in my old stories, no one has e-mail. Most people didn't. Or cell phones. Any temptation to dredge up old pieces is held at bay by the fact that they've become historical fiction.

    So what else has changed?

    When Affirmative Action was White

    We had a recent discussion on the programs of the New Deal, how 'race neutral' the legislation was, passing with strong support from the southern Jim Crow states. This fact leading to some suspicion as to it's intended impacts on minority populations.

    Was it, in fact, a progressive policy primarily aimed at whites, not generally disenfranchised blacks? The book below argues the New Deal and programs like the GI Bill not only were not race neutral, they actually increased the economic and educational inequality of blacks and whites, in effect, they were "affirmative action" for whites. In the book the author argues that the gap created has not yet been remedied (2006).

    Michael Maiello's picture

    GM Owes the Country an Apology and at least $11.2 Billion

    That GM is laying off 15,000 people and closing five plants in the US when it owes its very existence to the generosity of U.S. taxpayers is blatantly unforgivable.  The story here is really simple: GM got paid off, its US workers got laid off.

    Topics: 
    Michael Maiello's picture

    If It Cries in Terror, It Doesn't Lead

    Last night I was on the Twitter and started seeing photos of children on Mexico's side of the border with the United States running from clouds of tear gas. The photos I saw were distributed by Reuters and it was clearly reported that tear gas had been fired into Mexico by agents of the U.S.

    Topics: 
    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Where Is Donald? Veterans Day Edition

    Today, Veterans Day 2018, the President of the United States stayed in the White House. He did not go to Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath. He did nothing to commemorate Veterans Day. The excuse was a forecast of rain. This makes no sense.

    Topics: 

    Pages

    Latest Comments