Skip to main content

Joe Stiglitz at The New York Times writes—On the Wrong Side of Globalization:

The conflicting views about [trade] agreements are actually tearing at the fabric of the Democratic Party, though you wouldn’t know it from President Obama’s rhetoric. [...]

Based on the leaks—and the history of arrangements in past trade pacts—it is easy to infer the shape of the whole [Trans-Pacific Partnership], and it doesn’t look good. There is a real risk that it will benefit the wealthiest sliver of the American and global elite at the expense of everyone else. The fact that such a plan is under consideration at all is testament to how deeply inequality reverberates through our economic policies.

Worse, agreements like the TPP are only one aspect of a larger problem: our gross mismanagement of globalization.[...]

In spite of all this, there are those who passionately support the TPP and agreements like it, including many economists. What makes this support possible is bogus, debunked economic theory, which has remained in circulation mostly because it serves the interests of the wealthiest.

Cole Stangler at In These Times writes—Fighting for Fairness, One Budget at a Time:
In today’s Congress, too often a grim landscape of neoliberalism in gridlock, the [Congressional Progressive Congress]’s Better Off Budget stands little chance of passing. But that’s not so much the point: The proposal is a broad statement of values, an effort to flush austerity out of the annual budget debates that are often dominated by the Right. By fashioning an alternative to Paul Ryan’s safety-net-slashing schemes, progressives hope to shift the conversation away from austerity and toward economic fairness.  

It’s the fourth year the CPC has released its own budget, and the latest variant has much in common with previous proposals. Like last year’s Back to Work Budget, it features a hodgepodge of progressive economic demands: a tax hike on the super-wealthy, the creation of a financial transactions tax and carbon tax, an end to generous tax loopholes for the fossil fuel industry and cuts in military spending, including a full withdrawal from Afghanistan. [...]

Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, appreciates that the proposal draws the connection between public spending and job creation.

“The basic outlines make very good sense,” Baker says. “We still are way below full-employment by any reasonable measure. The best way to boost the economy is with more spending—we could wait for the private sector until our face turns blue, it’s not gonna happen.”

But Baker remains skeptical of what he views as an unwarranted emphasis on trimming the deficit.

Below the fold are more pundit excerpts.

Paul Krugman at The New York Times explains the still racist nature of the class war in That Old-Time Whistle:

There are many negative things you can say about Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee and the G.O.P.’s de facto intellectual leader. But you have to admit that he’s a very articulate guy, an expert at sounding as if he knows what he’s talking about.

So it’s comical, in a way, to see Mr. Ryan trying to explain away some recent remarks in which he attributed persistent poverty to a “culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working.” He was, he says, simply being “inarticulate.” How could anyone suggest that it was a racial dog-whistle? Why, he even cited the work of serious scholars—people like Charles Murray, most famous for arguing that blacks are genetically inferior to whites. Oh, wait. [...]

And since conservatives can’t bring themselves to acknowledge the reality of what’s happening to opportunity in America, they’re left with nothing but that old-time dog whistle. Mr. Ryan wasn’t being inarticulate — he said what he said because it’s all that he’s got.

E.J. Dionne Jr. at The Washington Post writes that the president and Democrats are in trouble in The politics of hopelessness:
Obama and his party are in danger of allowing the Republicans to set the terms of the 2014 elections, just as they did four years ago. The fog of nasty and depressing advertising threatens to reduce the electorate to a hard core of older, conservative voters eager to hand the president a blistering defeat.

American politics has been shaken by two recent events that hurt first the Republicans and then the Democrats. Republicans have recovered from their blow. Democrats have not.

Last fall’s government shutdown cratered the GOP’s standing with the public and confirmed everything Democrats had been saying about a House majority in thrall to a far right uninterested in governing. Then the Obama administration threw its adversaries a lifeline with the disasters that befell HealthCare.gov, empowering Republicans to remount their favorite hobbyhorse. [...]

The recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll pegged Obama’s approval rating at 41 percent, his disapproval at 54 percent. But the most disturbing finding to him ought to have been the 20 percent disapproval he registered among Democrats. Winning back three-quarters of those discontented Democrats would, all by itself, bump up his overall approval rating by more than six points. It’s where he needs to start.

Juan Cole at Informed Comment explains the Four Reasons Syria Refugees are a Bigger Story than Malaysian Air MH 370:
It is a tragedy that the 239 passengers on Malaysian Air MH 370 never made it to Beijing, and appear to have been the victims of a hijacking that went horribly wrong.  But the hours and hours of US cable television speculation about the fate of the flight during the past seven days are a Daily Show parody waiting to happen. There has been some genuine breaking news in the mystery worth covering, but much of that air time was spent in fruitless speculation. One guest told CNN that ‘funny-sounding’ but ‘very deadly’ Uighurs could be at fault. Even over-the-top CNN commentator Richard Quest reacted with horror at the sheer speculation and shut the guest down.
Yasmin Alibhai Brown at The Independent writes With Britain becoming ever more unequal, we need the likes of Tony Benn and Bob Crow more than ever:
I last saw Tony Benn at the Friends Meeting House in Euston. We were both invited to speak about the austerity measures and their impact on the voiceless. Before the event started, I asked him what had made him give up his inherited privileges and become a ferocious warrior for fairness and justice. His reply: “Nothing special. A conscience and simple, common humanity. We all have that.”
If only. Our government has neither and nor did the Blairites who came before them. They put on those faces, they poured honeyed libations when Benn passed away and even after Bob Crow suddenly died. But the ritual utterances meant nothing. For the ravenous rich and their political champions (or slaves), that’s two more lefty nuisances dead and gone. Relief and champagne all round. Now back to big business as usual.
Danny Vinik at The New Republic delves into why Economists Do Not Agree About How To Measure Unemployment and why it matters:
There’s a big debate playing out right now at the Federal Reserve, and it focuses on a seemingly simple question: Is the unemployment rate correct? The argument, from a geeky point of view, is really interesting. But what worries me is that the central bank might misread the conclusions and embrace policies that could choke off an already weak recovery.

But first, the debate: At issue is not whether someone’s been fudging the official unemployment rate of 6.7 percent. Rather, it’s the more arcane issue of whether that rate accurately represents the current state of the labor market.

Economists currently have two warring theories of the case.

Frederick A.O. Schwarz Jr. at The Nation explains Why We Need a New Church Committee to Fix Our Broken Intelligence System:
Almost forty years ago, a Senate select committee known as the Church Committee for its chair, Idaho Senator Frank Church, investigated America’s secret government. The committee’s investigation remains the most extensive of its kind in this nation’s history. Now it is time for a new committee to examine our secret government closely again, particularly for its actions in the post-9/11 period.

This need is underscored by what has become a full-blown crisis, with Senate Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein accusing the CIA of spying on the committee, possibly violating the Constitution’s separation-of-powers principles, the Fourth Amendment and other laws.

The Church Committee uncovered shocking conduct by numerous agencies, including the FBI, CIA and NSA. For example, the FBI tried to get Martin Luther King Jr. to commit suicide; the CIA enlisted the Mafia in its attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro; and the NSA and its predecessor, the Armed Forces Security Agency, obtained copies of most telegrams leaving America for a period of thirty years.

S.E. Cupp at theNew York Daily News gives Hillary Clinton GOP advice on how to run in 2016 in Can the pendulum swing for Hillary?:
But in her messaging she should, without saying it outright, be everything Obama was not in 2008. Where he was a fresh, new face, she should be the face of experience. Where he was naïve, she should be sober. Where he capitulated, she should be strong. Where he was idealistic, she should be pragmatic.

In short, she should run the way a Republican would—as the antidote to Obama. [...]

Don’t get me wrong, I want a Republican in the White House—and if the party runs a good race, one of them will surely end up there.

But if Hillary wants to win amidst stiff competition from the right (and potentially the far-left), she’ll resist the temptation to be Obama 2.0 and instead choose to be the Obama alternative—the candidate at the end of the country’s pendulum swing.

Nomi Prins at Truthdig writes —The Inevitability of Income Inequality:
There’s been a lot of discussion about the historically high levels of income and wealth inequality lately—mostly from people on the shorter end of that stick — with good reason: There’s no end in sight.

In his new book, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” economist Thomas Piketty argues that worsening inequality is inevitable in a mature capitalist system, based on his analysis of 200 years of data. But inequality isn’t just an evolving condition like a crippling allergy that comes and goes, or just grows, enumerated by horrifying statistics. Nor is it just the result of a capitalist-utopian idea of free markets in which everyone gets a fair shot armed with equal information (which simply don’t exist in the real world, where markets are routinely gamed by the biggest players). Inequality is endemic to the core structure of an America that operates more as a plutocracy than a democracy. It is an inherent result of the consolidation of a substantial amount of both financial power and political influence in the hands of a few families. [...]

Today, the focus of this power structure is so skewed that any notion of “public good” is mere campaign fodder for presidents or presidential hopefuls, and nonexistent for the banking elite. That’s why inequality for the rest of the population has leapt back up to 1928 levels and will continue to rise from there. That’s why Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton or both may run for president, while JPMorgan Chase, J.P. Morgan’s legacy, remains the most powerful bank in the world, as it was designed to be more than a century ago.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Funny perspective (10+ / 0-)

    The idea that we are at the far left extreme of current social movement is funny.

    Cupp - in the NY Daily News - says that Clinton should run as "the candidate at the end of the country’s pendulum swing."

    Whether or not she is the "inevitable" candidate, if she runs as the end of the leftward shift of (parts of) the Democratic party, many of us will just stay home.

    •  Cupp is an amazingly stupid pundit. (15+ / 0-)

      Saw her on Maher recently: dead from the neck up.

      Legal means "good".
      [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

      by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:36:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  She's verbalizing her fantasy. (13+ / 0-)

      And Democrats have been listening to this kind of helpful Republican advice for far too long already.

      Marx was an optimist.

      by psnyder on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:47:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The insipidness of Sippie Cupp (7+ / 0-)

      When Sippie Cupp says Clinton should run as 'the candidate at the end of the country’s pendulum swing' little does she realize that pendulum swing she's talking about is the righward one.  

      Only two things will come about from the presidency of Hillary Clinton and both do not bode well for the GOP or political right.  Either Hillary Clinton will win in such resounding fashion that she'll utterly destroy the GOP and allow the Dems to regain large majorities in the Senate and a majority in the House which will allow her to steam roll the GOP into a powerless minority.  Or Hillary Clinton will galvanize the left of this country so much that by some minor miracle the left pulls off an upset in the Dem primary and against pathetic GOP opposition elects one of our own as president along with a new batch of progressive politicians.  

      Personally I don't see the second scenario happening.  The left is demoralized and disorganized. We have no left alternative to Hillary and many are beginning to acknowledge her certainty and making alternative plans with Hillary at the top.  We have seen this struggle here at dkos as it's fractured the left between those accepting this fate and those not accepting this fate.  That's the fundamental debate for us going forward and once it's resolved, the options above will be clearer.  Either way though the pendulum swing which has brought us to the extreme right will after 40 years finally reverse course.  

      As is always the case Sippie Cupp is completely wrong about this as she is wrong about everything else.

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:36:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am not convinced that she will win the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Amber6541

        the nomination, much less the presidency. I am not convinced that she will actually run.

        She held one of the most powerful posts in the world, and worked hard throughout that time. At the end, she was noticeably worn out and exhausted.

        Running for president starts in 2014. Grueling 24 hour days, bad food, no home life, no time to relax, and little time for family or friends. You have to wonder if she thinks it is worth it.

        What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

        by agnostic on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 07:59:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The historic nature of her presidency (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Josiah Bartlett, GAS

          The historic nature of a Hillary Presidency would be too much for her to pass up.  She has to know that.  Hillary would be remembered throughout history and all time as being the first woman president and she would be admired by millions if not billions of women in particular for many years to come.  That is simply too much to pass up.  Especially considering the fact that she is the overwhelming favorite if she does decide to run.  I don't think she's too old.  She would be younger than McCain or Reagan for that matter.  I don't think she's worn out.  She probably was after her stint as Sec of State but that was also a result of nonstop politicking and campaigning for well over 30 years.  She needed a break and she's probably taking these 2-3 years to recuperate and rest up for that one final push towards what may be immortality.  Plus her people are already laying the groundwork for her run.  It'll be very hard to back out now even if she wasn't full committed.  The Clintons are out getting their people in key places so that when it is her time to run she can call  in some favors.  I don't expect her to jump in early.  She has no need to being she'll likely have more money than most small nations to run and universal name recognition.  But I do expect her to run at some point.    

          This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

          by DisNoir36 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 08:42:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Lincoln called the desire to run for President (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          agnostic, GAS, kfunk937

          a "maggot in the brain" and someone else said that the only cure for it was embalming fluid. If Hillary has that maggot in the brain, she will run no matter the cost. First woman President? She'd be crazy not to run.

          Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

          by Anne Elk on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 09:47:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Heh, I didn't know that, and I've read a lot (0+ / 0-)

            about Lincoln.

            The Springpatch musée is a must see. Fun and informative. The state of the nation was unbelievable when he first took over. One state already seceded, two others well on the way.

            What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

            by agnostic on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 10:26:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  But the civil war was Lincoln's fault! (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              agnostic, kfunk937

              Did you see that Fox News guy on Jon Stewart actually arguing that point of view? Unbelievable.

              BTW, Lincoln said that about Salmon P. Chase. People started warning Lincoln that Chase was going to challenge him for the Republican nomination for the 1864 election. Lincoln did nothing to head off Chase. He said that he felt sorry for Chase because he was afflicted by a maggot in the brain. What a guy!

              Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

              by Anne Elk on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 01:34:50 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for saying that up front.... (4+ / 0-)

      ...never, ever take advice from your political opponents who will tell you "I'm only saying this for your own good!" Only if you want to lose. Or, "This hurts me more than it does you." Right.

      She tips her hand when she says

      In short, she should run the way a Republican would—as the antidote to Obama. [...]

      Don’t get me wrong, I want a Republican in the White House—and if the party runs a good race, one of them will surely end up there.

      Run, sounding like a Republican, Hillary. That way, the electorate will surely trust you.

      What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

      by TerryDarc on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:53:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What a wonderfully vacuous "if" (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TerryDarc, Larsstephens, kfunk937
        if the party runs a good race
        As Barney Frank once asked a Tea Party loony,
        What planet do you spend most of your time on?…I could have a better conversation with a dining table.
        The public favors Progressive measures on all of the issues. And gerrymanders don't count in the Electoral College.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 10:08:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I would definitely (0+ / 0-)

          rather talk to a dining table than the average TP loon.

          What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

          by TerryDarc on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:23:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  wonderful advice (4+ / 0-)

      from SE Cupp. Apparently the "serious" conservatives already recognize the futility of trying to defeat Hillary Clinton, and are now fantasizing that she's really actually a Republican.

      You will not be punished for your anger. You will be punished by your anger.

      by mstep on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 07:19:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for the roundup, MB, although it's kind (17+ / 0-)

    of a downer.  I'm beginning to wonder whether politics is completely ineffectual when it comes to solving social problems, and whether change should be brought about by social movements.

    One thing does seem clear: Democrats have been hopeless at messaging. We need to do "guerrilla" messaging, using social media and even flash mobs to get the message out that Democratic policy leads to greater equality of opportunity.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 04:47:10 AM PDT

    •  Leadership? (9+ / 0-)

      It's not a downer if someone (Obama) steps up to the plate and starts truly talking up Progressive policies (including highlighting ObamaCare successes), while someone else (who?) starts aggressively hammering right wing policies.

      The Republicans were wrong on Bill Clinton's budget, wrong on WMD and the Iraq war, wrong on overt banking deregulation (resulting in the 2007 crash), wrong to block additional stimulus are wrong on healthcare and are very obviously wrong on "trickle-down" economics. Do you really want them in charge? With that much ammunition, and more, just a little leadership is needed for the Dems to GOTV.

      "One of the more serious temptations which stifles boldness and zeal is a defeatism which turns us into querulous and disillusioned pessimists, sourpusses." ― Pope Francis

      by GoodGod on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:02:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Obama doesn't lead from the front (6+ / 0-)

        Its been a real disappointment to me. He could be doing a lot to help Democrats in 2014 but he's really not

        Happy just to be alive

        by exlrrp on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:16:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He doesn't lead. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Laconic Lib, fiercefilms

          Recall when he asked us progressives to force him to act on certain issues? And when we did, all we got was a big FUCK YOU from his chief of staff?

          What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

          by agnostic on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 08:12:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Is that job? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Amber6541

            Sometimes people and media pundits act as if we had a Parliamentary system where the chief executive is (also) the head of his or her (majority) party in the legislature. That's not the way our government works. Obama's job is to faithfully execute the laws. It's become traditional for example for the President to send Congress a budget wish-list -- but under the Constitution, it's the legislative branch who draws up the budget, and the President just signs it or vetos it.

      •  Bill Clinton signed banking deregulation (6+ / 0-)

        In the same sentence, you praise his budget and absolve him of all blame in the banking deregulation fiasco.  Nice!

        Do you really want them in charge?
        Are you talking about Hillary and Bill back in the White House?

        The answer is No.

        •  There are enough people in the country, no 2 (5+ / 0-)

          presidents should be related.

          Alas....we're being oppressed so we can only consider a Bush or a Clinton.

          There is absolutely no possibility of ever considering any other name ever again.

          But the system's not broken or nuthin'....

          Legal means "good".
          [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

          by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:38:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Bill Clinton signed a bill (9+ / 0-)

          that repealed certain parts of Glass-Steagall. The movement to kill Glass Steagall started in 1935 (2 years after FDR signed the original bill) and continued to the end of the century, so he hardly gets all the blame.
          Not to mention:

          The final version of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act passed the House by a vote of 362-57 and the Senate by a vote of 90-8. This made the bill "veto proof", meaning that if Clinton had decided to veto, the bill would have been passed anyways.
          http://www.davemanuel.com/...

          Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

          by skohayes on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:40:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Very important fact ! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            skohayes, Larsstephens

            This should at the tip of every progressives' tongue when some RW'er spouts that Bill Clinton repealed Glass Steagal.

            Just to say it again;

            The final version of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act passed the House by a vote of 362-57 and the Senate by a vote of 90-8. This made the bill "veto proof", meaning that if Clinton had decided to veto, the bill would have been passed anyways.

            The republicons moan, the republicons bitch. Our rich are too poor and our poor are too rich. Ferguson Foont

            by Josiah Bartlett on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 08:56:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Valid point (0+ / 0-)

          But the republicans have taken it far further.

          "One of the more serious temptations which stifles boldness and zeal is a defeatism which turns us into querulous and disillusioned pessimists, sourpusses." ― Pope Francis

          by GoodGod on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:52:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  and we elected Obama to un-do all of that (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Laconic Lib

            and we got a big fat nothing burger.

            •  President Obama (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Amber6541, skohayes, Larsstephens

              was no more able to undo Gramm-Leach-Bliley than President Clinton was able to prevent it from becoming law by vetoing it...

              Fear doesn't just breed incomprehension. It also breeds a spiteful, resentful hate of anyone and everyone who is in any way different from you.

              by awesumtenor on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 09:05:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  We elected Obama to do it (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Amber6541, skohayes, Larsstephens

              and enough Blue Dogs to make sure he couldn't. And the egregious Joe Lieberman. And then Kennedy up and died and Martha Coakley lost his seat to Scott Brown. So the ACA barely squeaked through under budget reconciliation rules.

              We need to flip several more states to get to a genuine 60-seat majority in the Senate without any Blue Dog obstructionists. (I'm looking at you, Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, whom I campaigned for over Richard Mourdock, holding my nose the whole time. And several others.)

              Or, of course, we could nuke the filibuster on legislation. There are at present too many Senate "traditionalists" like Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy for that to go through, but Leahy is retiring this year.

              And then we have to take the House, which isn't looking good this year, but should happen in 2016. At which point we need to do something about the gerrymanders.

              Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

              by Mokurai on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 10:26:06 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I would prefer a Clinton in the White House (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          skohayes, Larsstephens

          and solid Dem majorities in the House and Senate so that a Clinton won't have to sign shit legislation handed to him by a GOP majority in congress.

          Certainly that's much more preferable than having a Rand Paul as president, Paul Ryan writing our budget or tax laws and John Cornyn deciding who will replace Scalia, Kennedy and Ginsburg.

          This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

          by DisNoir36 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 08:47:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Greater equality of opportunity is (3+ / 0-)

      a neoliberal trope. We need greater material equality to even begin to approach the more abstract equality of opportunity.

      Marx was an optimist.

      by psnyder on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:52:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Social movements are the only way (0+ / 0-)

      to drive politics. Look at Marriage Equality, driven by teh evul Gay Agenda. Look at income inequality, teed up for us by Occupy, union organizers, strikers, and other Soshulists.

      Look at the issues driven by social movements on the other side, must notably the Religious Right and the gun organizations. When the NRA was cutting a deal with Joe Manchin for a background checks law, they got, in essence, Tea Partied from way further right by Gun Owners of America (GOA) and the National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR).

      What's your issue?

      Mine is education, because to me, if we do it at all right, it drives all of the others.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 10:16:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kay Hagan sends me an e-mail or two or three (3+ / 0-)

    almost everyday......Keep it up Kay.

  •  EJ, I'm picking up what you (8+ / 0-)

    are putting down - killing Keystone might help. Not thinking this project needs careful, measured, consideration - just a quick death.

    Winning back three-quarters of those discontented Democrats would, all by itself, bump up his overall approval rating by more than six points. It’s where he needs to start.
  •  RE: TPP - I find it perplexing that while (13+ / 0-)

    the American people - and their elected representatives, for the most part - are being kept totally in the dark about the terms and conditions being conjured up in the TPP, more than 600 corporations have official advisors who not only get to see what the draft documents say, they're kindly DRAFTING the terms on our behalf.

    Ineluctable musings:

    1.  Obama trusts corporations more than he trusts either the people or their elected representatives;

    2.  Given corporate cooperation with NSA , corporate incompetence e.g., Target data loss or corporate employment of, say, that Snowden guy, why would anyone trust a corporation?

    3.   Why are corporations more trustable than citizens?

    4.  Perhaps because citizens, unlike corporations, have on rare occasions been known to stand up and do the right thing.  

    5. Corporations, on the other hand, really only do one thing - maximize profits - and they're focused on that to the exclusion of concerns like what is the right thing to do or where does this course lead us.  

    6. Corporations are by their very nature corruptible by $$$.  That's what freaks the Overlords out about people like OWS or Snowden or Manning.  Their willingness to put themselves at risk on principle.  Which makes citizens very dangerous, and corporations infinitely more trustworthy.

    Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

    by bobdevo on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:08:30 AM PDT

  •  Paul Ryan's not really a racist. He just (11+ / 0-)

    talks like one.

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:14:16 AM PDT

    •  There you go again...bringing up race. (6+ / 0-)

      (typical gooper response)

    •  But he really is an insufferable piece of shit (6+ / 0-)

      and it would be AWESOME if all the people in Wisconsin hurled obscenities at him and his family anytime they are seen out in the open.At the mall, at the grocery store, at stoplights, assuming Ryan has to stop at them.

      Make them regret coming out of their home.

      Legal means "good".
      [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

      by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:34:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  People in Wisconsin don't need to (5+ / 0-)

        harass the Ryan family in public.  They just need to vote him out of office.  Let him go to work for the Heritage Foundation or Fox News but have no authority to affect the governance of the country any more.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:26:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •   People in Wisconsin just need to sit tight (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Laconic Lib

          and tolerate all the heinous shit being done to them and save it all to vote one day in November. maybe he'll get voted out, but I'll be surprised if that happens.

          Then it will be 2 more years of just sitting tight and tolerating the ongoing daily shit that admin intends to shovel upon the people.

          Yes, the people of Wisconsin need to harass and badger him and other repubs because voting don't fix the problems.

          it just does not rise to the level of actually protecting people from the shit.

          Legal means "good".
          [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

          by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:43:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Shaming the Ryan family in public (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            thomask

            does nothing to protect people from shit.  It makes the "shamers" look juvenile, petty and powerless.  If people want to make a difference, they have to actually work for it - organize to register voters and get them to the polls.  The ballot box is the best weapon rank-and-file Democrats have to protect the people from Republican shit.

            "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

            by SueDe on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 07:54:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  when I visit friends who have a farm in wise. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Laconic Lib, SueDe

            i am shocked how many "I love Walker" signs I see.

            What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

            by agnostic on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 08:23:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, politics is bifurcating the country (0+ / 0-)

              more and more between rural and urban voters.  It's a shame, because these voters actually have more in common than they realize.  I blame religion.

              "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

              by SueDe on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 09:43:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I'm a big fan of public shaming. (4+ / 0-)

        But he'd just move the wife and kids to Washington (if he hasn't done so already) and keep the Wisconsin house for campaign season.

        He has no soul, so he has no sense of shame.

        Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

        by darthstar on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:27:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The "clean up" in Japan is a nightmare right out (7+ / 0-)

    of "Blade Runner" except worse for the workers. I find it astounding how little coverage this is getting from our politicians and scientists. From the NY Times:

    NARAHA, Japan — “Out of work? Nowhere to live? Nowhere to go? Nothing to eat?” the online ad reads. “Come to Fukushima.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/...
  •  I await the day the 1% treamble in fear (9+ / 0-)

    of the pissed-off 99%.

    Things will change ONLY when they truly are afraid.

    Currently, they laugh at us, having absolutely zero need to fear anything other than a few cardboard signs.
    US-FINANCE-BANKING-PROTEST
    they have the voting game pretty much nailed down and we voted ourselves into the current situation: the idea we will vote our way out of it given the system hasn't changed is utterly ridiculous.

    The 1% are ensconced in safety, protected against an organized American protest action or more by the PATRIOT Act.

    Be good citizens and don't act up, OK?

    Legal means "good".
    [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

    by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:16:54 AM PDT

  •  Paul Ryan probably won't try to hard to (10+ / 0-)

    walk back his "inner city men" comments.  I disagree with Krugman that

    he said what he said because it’s all that he’s got.
     He said what he said because it works; it gets out voters for the GOP.  In the years since Obama was elected, the GOP has enacted and promoted policies that cause widespread hardship, while at the same time  relentlessly promoting racial resentment as the explanation for it.   One only need look at the comment section of any online publication to see how well it has worked.   I'm in my sixties, and I can't remember a time where racism was so blatant and widespread.  While the public is ready to pick up pitchforks, a huge number of them are ready to attack the wrong people for their woes.  That so-called reasonable politicians like Ryan are now spouting stuff that they once left to their Tea Party loudmouths is a natural progression.

    I feel despair as I watch this process, because I can see its working.  

    "It ain't right, Atticus," said Jem. "No, son, it ain't right." --Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

    by SottoVoce on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:36:30 AM PDT

    •  I am also in my sixties, (6+ / 0-)

      and I remember quite well when Segregationists could campaign openly, and White Southern Baptists were united on Curse of Ham theology as an excuse for White Supremacy. I remember church bombings and lynchings and police riots and White flight and Massive Resistance.

      Lee Atwater explained that it all had to be Dog Whistled after the mid-1960s, even in the South. I saw first-hand how that was working during my Peace Corps training in Nashville TN. The country sheriff hadn't gotten the memo, and said of a prisoner who died in his jail, whose family was suing,

      Damned dead N***** ain't worth but $10,000.
      He was astonished to find that he couldn't run in the next election.

      I have collected a substantial glossary of Dog Whistles on dKosopedia.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 10:43:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Democrats (4+ / 0-)

    are locked in an endless loop of being apologetic wimps. It's almost as if they took what Brian Schweitzer said and thought, "Wow, that could be effective! Let's talk about how much we suck and can't do anything right! VOTE FOR US"

    •  Count me as disapproving of the President (7+ / 0-)

      But not for the reasons that would get me to vote against him or someone he supported.  

      I disapprove because he is not Liberal ENOUGH.

      I disapprove because he doesn't tell the Rethuglacans to STFU ENOUGH.

      I want him to use his executive pen like a mighty sward and cut Tepublicans to bits.

      I want Harry Ried to shut them out of the conversation forever.

      I want Nancy Pelosi to tell Paul Ryan to prove one thing in his so called budget.

      Pollsters are idiots because they don't ask the next question.

      It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

      by ksuwildkat on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:51:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  far older than Schweitzer (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Larsstephens

      "I don't belong to an Organized Political Party.  I'm a Democrat."
       - Will Rogers, 1930

      We have no desire to offend you -- unless you are a twit!

      by ScrewySquirrel on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 07:46:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right before the Democrats actually (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Larsstephens

        got organized and empowered for the 1932 elections.

        Then after FDR there was McCarthyism and Who Lost China?, and we got hammered. Also, nobody could have beaten Eisenhower.

        Then LBJ got organized to put through the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, and the War on Poverty, but screwed the pooch in Vietnam. He recognized that he had given the South to the Republicans for a generation. It turned out to be two. No form of Democratic organization could overcome that. We only got Southerners, Carter and Clinton, after that, until Bush screwed their pooch.

        Now the Republican Big Tent coalition of

        • 1%/Chamber of Commerce/Country Club/Wall Street
        • Religious Right
        • Libertarian
        • Neo-Confederate
        • John Birch

        factions is coming apart at the seams in open Civil War, and unlike with Reagan Democrats and the Tea Parties, there is nobody left who
        • can be recruited
        • the Tea Parties will allow to be recruited

        to make up for the millions of young people falling away from the Right every year, because their parents can no longer raise them in a bubble to be impervious to either empathy or facts.

        The Congressional Progressive Caucus is organized. But it can accomplish almost nothing in legislation until we can flip a few more states and undo the gerrymanders. Which organizations such as Battleground Texas are organized to do.

        It will happen. Possibly in 2016, but almost certainly by 2024. And there are issues where we can make progress in the mean time.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:20:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  'Stablishment squares..... (0+ / 0-)

    I was thinking that 40 years ago a 'Stadlishment square rooting for dirty energy and rooting for the failure of renewable and alternative energy would be broad parody.

    Now it's like Baggers and Wingers doing it for real, commenting all over the likes of Facebook.

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:43:49 AM PDT

  •  Political Correctness (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wintergreen8694

    I'm wondering if the Left is still tainted by dated stereotypes and cliches of twenty-some years ago still flogged by Wingers?

    OTOH, I don't think the Left did itself any favors by being a little too into purity and little bit holer-than-thou in the late '80s and early '90s.

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:48:13 AM PDT

  •  Iowa 4th District? (0+ / 0-)

    To the Democrats have enough of a bench there to field somebody strong enough knock off Steve King?

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:18:43 AM PDT

  •  Cosmos (0+ / 0-)

    Last night was their evolution episode. I wonder how many Red State TV stations preempted it?

    "Cosmos will not be seen tonight. Instead six-girl high school basketball been the Robert E. Lee Rebels and the Jefferson Davis 'Possums! How can you look at those corn fed cuties and deny the existance of God?"

    I'm wondering if Rubert is in the early stages of wanting to reign in the anti-Science Wingers? The idiots aren't as usefull as they "ewsta wuz".

    I wonder if MacFarlane is doing repentance because he feels guilty over making a zillion dollars dumbing down the US with his broader coarser epigone knockoffs of The Simpsons?

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:40:05 AM PDT

  •  a list of stories one would wish to not (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein

    have to read, thanks MB. Tweeted and rec'd.

  •  I suspect that Obama doesn't like much (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib

    about his current job. There are some things that he clearly enjoys, and there are things that he does well.

    That said, there are clearly parts that he either refuses to do, hates to do, or simply never gets around to. That includes pushing agendas, educating the masses, and energizing people over certain ideas. In fact, it seems as though he has an allergy to what happens to make up more than half of his job.

    Given his lackluster enthusiasm for some important parts of his job, I can see how 2014 might become a disaster.

    One problem that each president has warned their successors about is the Oval Office Bubble. Partly by choice, and partly because your aides fall into a trap (controlling the message, controlling what data gets to the pres., and trying to increase their petty little turf at the expense of other aides) every single president ends up with tunnel vision and being stuck in a bubble into which a good deal of reality never gets in. Of course, while they are in it, they don't recognize it often or easily. That is because you get CIA, DIA, NSA and NSC briefings, so therefore you think you have the pulse of the nation, if not the world. But that is not the real world. Far from it.  Right now Obama is a clear victim of the Bubble.

    I hope he breaks out of it. Soon.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 07:54:49 AM PDT

  •  LMAO (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Josiah Bartlett, salmo

    "But if Hillary wants to win amidst stiff competition from the right..."

    By stiff, I assume he means dead.

    The threat to our way of life comes from corporations, and the solution is to shrink corporations while freeing government from corporate control.

    by gbaked on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 08:02:09 AM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site