Blog Posts

Presidential Politics in the Wake of the Debt Ceiling Fiasco

The most reasonable conclusion I and many others can reach in the wake of the debt ceiling fiasco, and more generally the events since last November, is that our President wants and means to pursue an austerity economic policy at this time.
 
He obtained Speaker Boehner's support for a grand bargain that would have been more contractionary, very possibly leading to more job loss and weaker economic growt

Mad Men

I've gotten the impression a number of folks at dag like this show a lot.  My wife and I got into it a few months ago and are getting caught up. 

If you have a favorite scene, an "aha" moment the show has triggered for you, or just some observations you'd like to share about the show, it's success, and what that says if anything about part of our culture, please feel free to share.  Also if you don't like the show or know people who don't like it, I would find it interesting to hear why.

On a Potential Sanders Primary Challenge

Having made an offhand remark in another thread (indicating that if the Virginia primary were held today and it was Obama and Sanders on the Democratic side, I'd vote for Sanders--still true as of today, BTW) I want to elaborate a bit, partly so as to do what I can to avoid being misunderstood. 
Two thought experiments. 

1.

Scott Walker, the Koch Brothers, and the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page as Bull Connor

There are others here who could write this post a lot better than I could.  If I had the elementary technical skills to do so I'd paste in one of the iconic photographs of African American citizens being "pacified" or whatever Bull Connor thought he was doing with those fire hoses and police dogs.  If I were a cartoonist I'd figure out a way to substitute in for the folks on the receiving end of those assaults on their dignity and humanity any of the many subgroups of middle-class, or once middle-class, and poor fellow citizens who are getting hammered--impersonally, usually, but no less me

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.

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