No, I don't want her to run for President in 2016. I want her leading a new Democratic majority in the US Senate.
Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
No, I don't want her to run for President in 2016. I want her leading a new Democratic majority in the US Senate.
Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
Let's think this through for a minute. We all know the Dems just caved, and caved big time on the CRomnibus bill. Gutting provisions from the already watered-down Dodd Frank finacial reforms? Virtually no funding increases for Democratic priorities? Higher limits on political contributions? Defunding an initiative that passed with 70% approval in DC?
Everybody's so angry about this cave. But really, what choice did Democrats have? Really? Let's say Senator Elizabeth Warren decided to filibuster at every stage possible, and got some backup from colleagues and gummed up the works on the bill. Government shutdown, right?
What would the GOP leaders say in response to that? Fine, if you Dems don't help pass the CRomnibus, we will blame the Dems for the shutdown every single day in a unified voice until the newly elected GOP-controlled Congress takes their seats in January. And then we will reopen the government, take credit for it, and blame the Dems all over again. And we won't need to negotiate one iota with Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid to do what we want.
I can practically hear Mitch McConnell saying it....
So here's the deal we're offering. Let's get this deadline out of the way, and you're going to have to take a hit on several key issues that we want. In exchange for us not pummelling you and your party for shutting down the government.What would the GOP do with such a strong negotiating hand? They would keep adding more and more of their pet priorities and poison pills to the bill until the Dems and President really squawked, and then they would pass it with the slimmest sliver of Dems in safe districts that they needed.
Warren and anyone like her that wanted to stop this would know the reality of the situation just as well. The only thing a filibuster would gain them is getting the party blamed for the shutdown by a much more effective GOP communications messaging onslaught.
What option did they have? Obama is the only one who had any leverage with the veto pen, so he's probably the one who got to define the line in the sand on the cave. Why else would Nancy Pelosi not even bothering whipping against the bill she spoke out against? Why else would Dems vote for it to assure it passed, but switch their vote against it when it became clear it had enough votes?
Just saying. Not excusing. Given the current cast of characters holding office, I wouldn't expect anything such as taking this to the people and using the bully pulpit. And after November, I don't think the people were much in the mood for the pulpit again anyway.
Well, that's one theory at least. What's your theory for the cave?
Taxation without representation is alive and well in the District of Columbia, yes our nations capitol. Anyone who has lived in the District is painfully aware of their lack of voting representation in either the US House or Senate, yet those bodies have oversight authority of anything the local District government may do.
So when recreational marijuana was on the ballot in DC this fall, many suspected Congress would never let the initiative stand if it were to pass.
And pass it did, with about 70% of the vote. And now, true to form, Congress is looking to block implementation of the law via the current omnibus funding bill slowly working its way towards the President's desk right now.
This is an outrage. The will of the people was heard loud and clear and certain GOP and Democratic Congresscritters have decided they just can't have democracy in the District.
Just for a minute. Here at DailyKos, we were not enthusiastic about this election. One need look no further than the Dkos endorsed U.S. Senate candidates... how many were there? Huh? Oh yes. Zero.... wait wait... One! Rick Weiland in SD, and only that one in a sort of hail mary last second shot to try to boost a D in a race we had long assumed was going to the Rs.
No, we here were not excited by the candidates. We were holding our noses. Our $$ and time was guided away from these battlegrounds and towards a bunch of Secretary of State races.
I'm not saying this to critique those endorsements. Just pointing out that we activists were not fully engaged in the fight to keep the Senate. So when we lose control of the Senate, what do you expect?
Anyway, as I said several weeks ago, having a republican controlled Congress may be the best thing possible for President Obama's final two years. Congress certainly wasn't going to pass any legislation when they could blame everything on Harry Reid. Now they can't do that anymore. So let them govern. And maybe they'll actually pass a few bills that Obama can veto.
Work. Hard work. That's what this nation was founded on.
More and more these days, people are working longer and harder to make ends meet.
Productivity has never been higher, yet wages and compensation are losing ground for everyone but the top.
The housing crisis drained the piggy bank for millions on main street, while Wall Street raked in billions in bailouts and handouts.
Those who make money off of money keep piling it up in offshore tax havens, trying to keep their money growing without lifting a finger.
Yet our current Congress has passed fewer laws than even the famous Do Nothing Congress, refused to even to keep the government open, and threatened the world economy with the debt limit terrorism.
National parks and monuments shuttered, hurting businesses that depend on them.
Food and safety inspectors on the sideline and infrastructure projects slowed, compromising the safety of our food and slowing repairs to our infrastructure.
Even falling short for those who give this nation the most, our men and women in the U.S. Military.
It took a majority of Democrats in the House to finally get the government open again.
But the Republicans' anti-work ethic has continued ever since. Unemployment benefits for the long term unemployed? Denied.
A minimum wage increase to pull families out of poverty? Filibustered.
Affordable Health Care? Nope… Republicans blocked Medicaid expansion states around the country that would have meant health care for millions of working poor, all in a cynical attempt to undermine the President.
And now the Republicans have recessed the House until the midterm elections are over, punting on every priority to keep our country moving forward.
It's time for you to get angry about Republican obstruction and really send a message. Vote for Democrats across the board in 2014 and let the party that values work put our states and our nation back to work.
Obamacare is a horrible horrible… word.
Don't get me wrong. The Affordable Care Act, the ACA, is actually a pretty damn good policy that is helping MILLIONS of people get the care they need, and finally reigning in the insurance companies. Period. Full stop.
But every time one utters the phrase Obamacare, they are perpetuating the negative intentions of the people who started that phrase. It's a pejorative. It's an insult. It's a slander. Can't you hear the whiney tone in their voices right now? OBAMAcare. Just tune in to FOX news any day of the week. It won't take long to hear the venom dripping off the commentators tongues when they hiss out "ObAAAAmacare". Obamascare?
All the right wingers and extremists hate Obama. Hearing his name evokes wincing reactions from President Obama's detractors, making "Obamacare" kryptonite to a huge chunk of the population. They reject him as our legitimate President. They are suing him for something, I guess. They are waiting for the flimsiest chance to impeach him. Anything "Obama" is immediately bad in the eyes of this tea party infused segment of the population.
And we are being complicit in perpetuating this type of disrespect when we embrace the term Obamacare. I've tried to stop using it. Not because I don't want to honor President Obama who invested basically all the political capital he had in his first term to pass the pioneering ACA, something so many other Presidents had failed at. No, I don't like it because it's a lie. "Obamacare" the word implies that there is a health care program run by the government that is called Obamacare. There is not. That was the public option, and it didn’t get in the final bill.
Seriously, how many conversations have you had to have where people say, "well I don't like that Obummercare", and you try to explain that it's not a government program, it's really just a set of rules and policies governing regular old health insurance, some expansions of popular and successful programs like Medicaid, plus some subsidies and a website that lets people shop for individual insurance policies, creating competition in a capitalist manner? You lost them from the start. It's Obamacare, therefore it is bad.
I know the President has played it cool, which is totally his deal. And when the Obamacare mantra started permeating regular conversations, he icily tried to inoculate the word by taking it as his own. And while I don't begrudge the President the right to react like that, it's not how he should act in my opinion. Because he's playing right into the hands of the people who are trying to undermine the Affordable Care Act. He is actually undermining his own policy by using this epithet.
This word must be banished from every conversation, document, talking point, speech, website, and tweet coming from those who support the President and ACA. We must get rid of Obamacare. Finally something I can agree with Republicans about. Any moniker that both pushes away tea party types and confuses lower information voters is a lose-lose name for what is actually a great policy step forward.
Now, try the phrase "AffordableCare" out for size. You might recognize that name from somewhere, yes, right from the name of the ACA itself. Where Obamacare sounds like a policy plan or government program, AffordableCare sounds like rules that make health care insurance you buy affordable and standard. It's nice when the policy name reinforces what your policy does, and in this case, AffordableCare as a name really works. AffordableCare emphasizes the best thing about the ACA, that it's designed to reign in the insurance companies and make things more affordable. Affordable is something it's really hard to say with a sneer. Who doesn't want affordable? Well, now, that would be downright Un-American!
Which word would you rather use? Obamacare? AffordableCare? Choose your weapon in the poll below.
Don't let the door hit you on the way out! For those of you who missed the blurb today in the Live Elections Digest, our most reviled state senator, Sen. Rodney Tom of Washington's 48th district, announced today that he is retiring at the end of this term instead of running for reelection.
Tom was a Republican state rep, switched to Democrat to get promoted to the state senate, and then switched again last year to (cough, cough) independent and sided with another blue dog D to hand control of the State Senate to.... himself as majority leader in a coalition with Republicans!!! The nerve!!!
Guess the stiff challenge from former Kirkland Mayor Joan McBride may have scared him off. He says it was for health reasons, and while we personally wish him no ill will, his power grab and subsequent blocking of numerous progressive initiatives in the last two sessions was responsible for a lot of suffering from those who could have been helped. So, sorry babycakes, no tears for you Rodney.
I'd like to say that the Seattle & Puget Sound Kossacks are claiming their first scalp, but we barely got a chance to go after him and McBride deserves the all credit for getting out early to challenge him in the primary.
The Seattle and Puget Sound Kossacks had their second meeting on Saturday, again at the Pyramid Alehouse in the heart of Seattle’s Sodo neighborhood, and directly across from the Mariners Baseball Stadium. A dozen souls showed on a spritzy spring Saturday afternoon to share stories, ideas and passions, as well as a few delicious beers, burgers and coffee.
But the counter-arguments about the ACA’s expanded Medicaid coverage, minimum plan requirements, no pre-existing condition denials, and profit caps were quite persuasive. But not as persuasive as Momomia’s personal story about the last 3 years she has spent caring for sick relatives and having to scrape and struggle to keep paying the $300+ month premium just to keep coverage. She finally got her ACA subsidized health care last October and was on the verge of tears when she explained she had a $0 monthly premium, dental, vision and quality prescription coverage. Yes, Obamacare’s all about helping the lazy and the illegals, as someone said when I challenged his “both parties are evil” false equivalence on Facebook recently. Or maybe, just maybe, Obamacare puts value on families rather than fetishizing the culture of work crap that the GOP has been peddling lately. But I digress.
John led discussion on a couple items of business. First he got general agreement to try to stick with the first Saturdays of the month for meetings and to stick with Pyramid Alehouse due to it’s convenient location and parking on non-game days. We even got our own room this time, and the parking, proximity to transit and central location make it ideal. John is checking the schedule for the next meetup, and will communicate that out.
Growing up in Seattle, Geoff McGrath learned how the Boy Scouts of America can be very empowering to a young kid. Getting out on the trails in the National Parks abundant in the Pacific Northwest, McGrath learned the important skills and attributes espoused in the Scout Law and Oath. He went on to earn Eagle Scout, and as an adult, became a software engineer, has a 20 year marriage, and eventually became the leader of a BSA troop. When McGrath’s church Rainier Beach United Methodist formed Troop 98, they asked McGrath to lead it.
The story doesn’t have a happy ending, at least not yet, because as you might have guessed McGrath is openly gay. And when word got back to the Chief Seattle Council of the BSA that McGrath was doing an interview with NBC News, McGrath was let go by the BSA.
The Scouts, if you will recall, just last year finally changed their membership policy that bans gay youth and adults which led to tragic stories about scouts such as Ryan Andresen http://www.dailykos.com/... who did everything to earn Eagle Scout but was awaiting final approval when the BSA held up his nomination as he aged out of eligibility. The ban gave cover for treating gay youth as less than others, and this story caught on and showed how harmful the ban had become. There were a few stories about ousted adult leaders, but most of the focus was rightly on the more vulnerable kids.
Thankfully a year ago, they changed the policy, but only for youth http://www.dailykos.com/.... Adults were still banned. Another slap in the face.
Just this week, we have what is being reported as the first instance of an adult being ousted as a BSA leader since the youth policy changed last year. McGrath’s case has shown that the new policy is essentially one we are all painfully familiar with: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Let me be the first to coin the acronym BSADADT.
As soon as the BSA heard he was talking to NBC News, his gayness became an issue. It wasn’t when he helped charter the troop. It wasn’t an issue when the troop became so popular that they added a cub scout unit. No, those things were OK, as long as McGrath kept shut up about his orientation. It wasn’t a problem that he was gay when he took the troop to go camping at Mt. Rainier, or that he was helping the church provide after-school activities in one of Seattle’s most diverse and economically challenged neighborhoods. But when McGrath was talking publicly, honestly about himself, that’s when it became a problem.
I’m not sure what those initial interviews were about, but sadly, NBC News ended up with a scoop about the first openly gay BSA leader ousted since the new policy was put into effect instead of whatever other story they were trying to write. http://www.nbcnews.com/...
And we all now get a retread of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell debate. Do we really need to have this debate again? Come on Boy Scouts of America, number 1 in the Scout Law is “Trustworthy”. How can someone be trustworthy if they are not honest? Honest about themselves? And don’t get me started on that whole “help other people at all times” schtick if you don’t really mean it, because BSADADT does not help anyone.
There's a lot of things to talk about in the Pacific NW right now, and the Seattle & Puget Sound Kossacks will be meeting this Saturday to discuss them:
Thanks to those who have RSVP'd for the event already. Please do so in the comments if you have not already. This is a casual event, stop by anytime between noon and 3pm for some beers, food or coffee. Please wear your orange proudly so we can find each other, and ask at the desk for the "democrats" group.
Just to refresh:
Saturday, April 5thNothing is scheduled at the Century Link: http://www.centurylinkfield.com/...
12:00 noon - 3:00 pm (stop by at your leisure)
1201 1st Ave South across from Mariners Stadium
Mariners are out of town: http://seattle.mariners.mlb.com/...
Which means Pyramid Alehouse has free parking: http://www.pyramidbrew.com/...
Pyramid is on the corner across from the Mariners Stadium. Here's a handy guide how to get to the Mariners stadium from both roads and transit. http://seattle.mariners.mlb.com/...
We hope to see you on Saturday. And yes, if you missed it above, it will be my second and last event as organizer for Seattle & Puget Sound Kossacks, since I will be relocating this summer to the SF Bay area. My man got his awesome residency in SF, and I have an itching to let the moss growing on my car and on my back to dry out for a few years. So off to the center of the software universe I go. John Crapper has generously offered to keep the ball rolling here, but we will be asking for reinforcements too.
So please join us for a beer or a bite.
Trickle down has not been debunked, not in the minds of the masses. How else can you explain the lack of revolt? We should see mobs with pitchforks and torches chasing Republicans, who keep giving away tax cuts and goodies to the "job creators" while cutting funding for things the middle and lower class need like public education, safety services, food stamps, veteran benefits and unemployment insurance.
Is it just because of voter apathy that the GOP keeps getting away with it? No, unfortunately despite the efforts of many people smarter than me, some of our heroes like Robert Reich, Elizabeth Warren, Paul Krugman, Bernie Sanders and even Barack Obama, there's a huge chunk of the population that still buys into the idea of trickle down economics. Even worse, the corporate media beltway talking heads still sell it to us, and our less visionary Dems cower at the mention of it. If you cut taxes and regulations on ye old "job creators", well, by golly they'll create more jobs!
That's a nice fairy tail. The aforementioned heroes do a pretty good job of trying to fight this myth. Reich's documentary Inequality for All was the economic equivalent of Al Gore'sAn Inconvenient Truth: A thorough, line item by line item debunking of the economics of the 1%. But it hasn't made a dent in the national consciousness that still is being fed trickle down, just with different job creatory phrases.
Oh by the way, to whom am I crediting the phrase "rising tide"? Yup, another Democratic and Progressive hero, none other than President John F. Kennedy used this phrase a number of times. Rising Tide Economics? Well, apparently President Obama's National Economic Council Director, Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign's chief economics director and former Clinton Administration economic advisor Gene Sperling beat me to the punch with this article in 2007! Yes, 2007, before Occupy, before the housing bubble burst.
Before you go off on me about Sperling, I am not one of his acolytes here to troll a 7 year old article. I'm just here to talk about messaging. And frankly, Sperling gets it pretty close to right on policy. We have to strengthen the social compact as well as encourage growth. That creates the rising tide.
But the real strength in Sperling's theory is not just the details, it's the very visual and soundbyte friendly name "rising tide". It's the tonic we need to apply every time trickle down economics rear their ugly head.
When Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker starts cutting services and cutting taxes for the rich, we need to rain down on trickle down and talk about rising tide.
When the House Republicans slash food stamps, Senate Democrats need to fight back not by saying "Oh, please let us cut them a little less", they need to deny the legitimacy of the economics behind those cuts by saying no way, Jose. That's just more trickle down. We need to raise all boats, and we do that by strengthening the finances and futures of the broadest segments of the population. Rising Tide. Because a Rising Tide does lift all boats, even the boats of the 1%.
Rising tide is something everyone can understand. Even your Uncle Joe who watches Fox news and listens to Rush. The population is in a broad ocean, and we're all trying to stay afloat. Trickle down is the rich flying over the ocean in their private jets and pouring water down on us, filling the boats and sinking us in inequality. At best, the 1% just callously look down as the holes in the boats slowly swamp and sink us. Because of course, as Rep. Paul Ryan would say, there are generations of men just too lazy to row those boats and keep bailing them out as the just keep leaking and leaking. You know, the culture of worky thingy.
Rising tide instead patches the holes in the boats of the finances of the many, making the lower and middle classes stronger. Heck, a few might be able to upgrade from those leaky row boats and canoes to one with a motor, maybe someday even a nice sailboat off into retirement. And a lucky few might eventually be able to get a nice yacht.
Now, with a nice visual in their heads, your conservative friends and family might be receptive to something like Inequality for All. One of my favourite illustrations from that documentary was about pillows. How many pillows does a rich person need to buy? Not that many. So trickle down will not help the pillow manufacturer very much at all. But rising tide? Yup, you know it's true, rising tide puts more money in the pocket of the broadest segment of the population possible and lowers the insecurity. Guess what? Now the pillow factory has tons of new customers. Pillow factory hires new workers. Unemployment goes down. Wages go up. Factory owner does well, gets a yacht. Factory workers don't go bankrupt and get to send their kids to college.
So the next time you are arguing against what amounts to trickle down economics, don't just call it that. Fight back against it with a simple to explain economic philosophy that is just plain common sense. And watch the lights go on in the minds of those who have been in the dark with trickle down for more than 3 decades. Set the spark. Start the fire. Get your pitchforks nice and sharp.
Hey folks, fond memories are in the rear view mirror of our inaugural meeting in January, and the hangover from the Seahawks Super Bowl victory has finally worn off. Time to get the Seattle & Puget Sound Kossacks back together for some beers, obviously!
At our first meeting we tentatively scheduled our next meeting for Saturday April 5th, again at the Pyramid Alehouse 1201 1st Ave South in SODO area, across from the Mariners Stadium. Stop by anytime between noon - 3pm. I've confirmed that both the Mariners and Sounders are out of town that day, so traffic in that area should not be bad, and parking in the Pyramid lot is free.
So let us remove the "tentative" label and make it official. Please RSVP in the comments if you can make it so we can get a rough headcount.
There's no real "agenda" of these meetings, other than getting like-minded folks together... add coffee, grub and alcohol... stir and see what happens. We had a blast talking politics at our last meeting and it was great to put faces with the names. So consider joining us for some community building and great discussion.