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.”

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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