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AlyoshaKaramazov recently suggested that we talk about what progressives are for, not just what we're against.  Well, for one thing, we're for a healthy economy.  And contrary to what the GOP has worked hard to make seem like common knowledge, progressive economics is good for the economy.
In his movie "Inequality for All", I think Robert Reich shows us the economic "big picture".  Meteor Blades reviewed this movie before, but I think many of us are progressives because it "just feels right," and understanding the economic argument for progressive politics is a very powerful tool that often eludes us, and an argument we fail to make or make effectively.  I think Reich simplifies this for us with his economic "Virtuous Cycle," the reverse of  which is shown in Meteor Blades' diary.  ...

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Primary-ing a Democrat is definitely something we shouldn't consider without ample justification.  It's full of risk, since incumbents have a tremendous advantage in name recognition, fund raising abilities, connections, etc.  We all have our own issues of particular passion.  We certainly wouldn't want to launch an internal fight without something that we all are passionate about, and that is central to our key values.  There is definitely risk.
So why are Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid special?  These programs help the elderly, and those with elderly parents, and the poor, and the disadvantaged.  (Hospital care for retires is a big part of Medicaid.)  They are key factors in keeping many people out of poverty and ill health.  They help the economy by giving spending money to those who will actually spend it.  They are perhaps the pinnacle achievements of the New Deal and the Democratic party.
And Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are tremendously popular, and popular among all segments of the population (including the Tea party).
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Poll

Should progressives unify behind a committment to primary Democrats who vote to cut SS, Medicare and/or Medicaid benefits?

86%57 votes
13%9 votes

| 66 votes | Vote | Results

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Yesterday I began the process of preparing to vote for the fall election.  Obviously, some decisions are very easy.  But this year I also have to vote on whether to retain 3 state supreme court justices (not too hard a decision), on Circuit Court Judge, Grp. 45 (getting harder), a couple of County Court Judges, School board members and Soil and Water Conservation District Commissioners?  (hummm).  I probably spend about 5 hours on this preparation every election.  I’m guessing many progressive leaning people don’t have the time.  But these low visibility races are where our future leaders come from.  And how can we expect to have quality schools and judicial decisions without making intelligent voting decisions?

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Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 07:17 PM PST

Weather extremes website

by Seitanist

Weatherunderground has a new web page that lets you view extreme weather of various types (that you can select) in a specified timeframe: Weather extremes.  This is very cool, as shows very visually how many records are being broken in recent years.  
I'm risking the diary police with this poor excuse for one, but I thought people would find this tool useful.  Weather underground (and Jeff Masters) have done a lot to try to raise awareness of climate change, and should be commended.  (And after a long wait, they have a pretty good phone app too, at least fo iPhone.)

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Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 10:35 AM PDT

That Vision Thing

by Seitanist

During his presidential campaign running against Bill Clinton, H.W. Bush famously responded to a goal related question: “oh, the vision thing”.  Quoting Wikipedia: “The oft-cited quote became a shorthand for the charge that Bush failed to frame his positions on individual issues in a compelling and unified manner.”  Let’s see, how did that election turn out???

Anyone can tell you what the Republicans think is wrong with the country: too much taxes and too much regulation make it hard for us to compete.  It’s easy to understand at a gut level, and one can find examples that seemingly demonstrate this, at least at a macro level.

What’s the Democratic vision?  ...

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I believe that well-to-do professional retirees are being exposed to the realities of the modern American workplace as a result of the health care reform effort, and they don’t like what they see.

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Sun Jan 04, 2009 at 09:00 AM PST

Marketing away the GOP

by Seitanist

The Bush administration is being widely denounced as a failure lately.  But:

- They weren’t, really: the "failure" itself was a conservative goal

- Lots of Republicans are still in office, and Jeb Bush is apparently planning to run for senate (and his chances are thought to be good)... so we dare not dismiss them.  

My biggest fear is that even we "liberals" don’t fully "get it" with regards to just how radical and destructive conservative philosophy is.  If we don’t educate the public, we’ll be fighting them for years.  And we’ll be spending lots of energy on the wrong issues: those wedge issues Republicans are so adept at using to obscure their main goals.

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Wed Dec 24, 2008 at 08:04 AM PST

Atheist & complicit in evil?

by Seitanist

Elfrijole’s "An Atheist’s Thoughts At Christmas" ( http://www.dailykos.com/... ) was excellent, and pretty much captures how I am (or try to be) in my regular life.  I highly recommend this diary.  I must say, however, that I am struggling with his statement "I will not mock or devalue your faith".  I am often concerned that by not questioning people’s faith, I am silently complicit in perpetuating a deception that is detrimental to society.

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I haven’t seen any comments on Hollywood’s impact on the election, and perhaps it’s because it’s so obvious.  But: bias and prejudice don’t disappear overnight.  People often need to be shown a vision of how things could be.  And that vision has to be prevalent enough to seem normal, so that we are willing to accept it.

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Saturday, rented "estate" house in the wine country of Sonoma, the wedding.  The two brides, plus numerous family members and friends.  Lots of kids: of the siblings of the brides and their friends.  And the daughter of the brides: biologically by one bride and my partner.  And her two half sisters sharing the same paternal parent, with their separate mothers, one with her partner.  

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