Blog Posts

On Progressives and Power

As someone who has worked for a legislature I can tell you that the provenance of ideas--who is proposing them, who is for them and against them, and how powerful are those forces--has an enormous amount to do with how, and whether, they are even seriously considered by legislators.

Emanuel, Finger Back on the Ballot

From The Tearjerker:

Emanuel Back on the Ballot

An eleted Rahm Emanuel celebrated today's Illinois Supreme Court reversal of a lower-court ruling that might have prematurely derailed his Chicago mayoral campaign.

"Today's decision is a victory not only for this campaign, but for all Chicagoans and for middle fingers everywhere," he said.

Meanwhile, the Tearjerker has learned that the lower court judge whose opinion was reversed has removed his three children from area private schools and has hired three full-time bodyguards.

Another Reason to Love Tina Fey (Are Any More Necessary?)

In a part of her speech accepting the Kennedy Center's Mark Twain Prize for American Humor last Tuesday night, she said the rise of conservative women in politics like Sarah Palin is good for all women,

unless you don't want to pay for your own rape kit...unless you're a lesbian who wants to get married to your partner of 20 years...[or] unless you believe in evolution.

Those remarks were not included in the PBS-televised version of her speech on Sunday night.  Included in the televised version were the following parts of her speech:

On the Essential Vacuity--and, Sometimes, Tactical Value--of the Label "Centrism"

Warning: This is an abstract post, not light reading (do I ever do light reading?).  Alternative Title: On One Way to Let Them Have Our Way.  Short version: Before trashing and running away from using the label "centrist", consider that may not in a particular situation, or even perhaps as a general matter, be a helpful thing to do to advance a liberal/progressive political agenda.  Example of what I am talking about is Paul Begala here:

Thoughts on How to Go on Offense

The modern-day GOP (since around 1980) has never had any reservations about interpreting Democratic victories in whatever the hell way they want to.  They have never ceded sole rights to defining any electoral mandate to the Democrats when the Democrats have won elections.  Nor have they felt any obligation whatsoever to concede a single thing to either a newly elected Democratic President or a recently elected Democratic Congressional majority. 

Fresh Eyes

Former Republican stillidealistic wrote, in Genghis's To Vote or Not to Vote thread:

I am not thrilled with the dems. This party is more dysfunctional than I ever would have imagined. Someone commented that keeping the dems in line is like herding cats, and then there's the old "I'm not a member of an organized political party, I'm a democrat." Both statements are sadly true.

My Adopted Progressive

We are entreated to adopt a progressive. 

I'm giving to the DCCC.  That doesn't mean it's going to progressive candidates in all cases, obviously.  But they have as good a sense as anyone which races are winnable with a little extra money and which aren't.  Priority #1 is to keep the House Democratic.  If that doesn't happen, progressives in the House will have close to zero influence.

The individual progressive I'm adopting is Jeff Barnett, candidate for Congress in the Virginia 10th (northern Virginia/DC burbs), where we live.

In Partial Defense of Bob Woodward

Woodward is coming out with a book, parts of which are being run in The Washington Post, called Obama's Wars.  As is the case with Woodward's numerous other books, it's an attempt to lay out some of what has gone on behind-the-scenes insofar as decisions about AfPak and Iraq are concerned.

Nissan's Polar Bear TV Ad

Has anyone else seen it?

I can't speak for anyone else, but, knowing full well I was being manipulated, it touched me in a way few ads do.

Nissan knows what is common knowledge--that the polar bears are facing a dire threat to their very existence, and that this bothers many people.  And they just took that and put it right there on the screen, in the viewer's face.  Not in an accusatory way but in a way that left the viewer able easily to imagine something she can do to help.

Reflecting on the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 20 Years and a Day Later

July 26 brings back fond memories of watching, with my parents in attendance, Bush I sign the ADA into law on the White House lawn.  I worked as a Congressional committee staffer behind the scenes in strong support of that law. ...



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