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Yes, the rumors are true! We confirm: @digby56 has won the 2014 Hillman for Opinion & Analysis Journalism. Details tomorrow! #DigbysHillman
@SidneyHillman
The best abbreviated pundit round-up of all is "what Digby said".

Tuesday was the premiere of The Upshot, the new section on data journalism from the NY Times. and guess what? It's good! Some of my favorite pieces:

Senate Forecasts

Who Will Win The Senate?

According to our statistical election-forecasting machine, it’s a tossup. The Democrats have about a 51% chance of retaining a majority.

See also:
How Senate Forecasts Compare

While there is a general consensus among forecasters, differences remain at the state level. Below, a scoreboard of major forecasters’ senate ratings.

Lynn Vavreck from the Upshot:
These stable patterns of American politics reveal a clear path for both parties in 2014: Get your 2012 voters to the polls. Of concern to Democrats right now is that Republicans once again have the upper hand on enthusiasm going into November.

The 2014 fight is not over swing voters. It’s for partisans.

Think of Keystone, immigration and inequality when you hear Obama speak and see him maneuver to shore up the base. That's what off-year elections are all about.

More politics and policy below the fold.

If you missed backstory, this from @NormOrnstein (http://t.co/...) answers this from @hiattf (http://t.co/...)
@JohnJHarwood
Not to be outdone, here's the WaPo with their own interactive data journalism:
What you’d need to make in every county in America to afford a decent one-bedroom
Maureen Dowd:
The Vatican had a hard time drumming up the requisite two miracles when Pope Benedict XVI, known as John Paul’s Rasputin and enforcer of the orthodoxy, waived the traditional five-year waiting period and rushed to canonize his mentor. But the real miracle is that it will happen at all. John Paul was a charmer, and a great man in many ways. But given that he presided over the Catholic Church during nearly three decades of a gruesome pedophilia scandal and grotesque cover-up, he ain’t no saint.
Ed O'Keefe:
Republicans outside of Washington are dropping their opposition to gay marriage. Will the national party follow along?
Wow, another big article handing Jenny McCarthy her head for claiming she’s not anti-vax. http://t.co/...
@BadAstronomer
Frank Bruni:
What do you call someone who sows misinformation, stokes fear, abets behavior that endangers people’s health, extracts enormous visibility from doing so and then says the equivalent of “Who? Me?”

I’m not aware of any common noun for a bad actor of this sort. But there’s a proper noun: Jenny McCarthy.

For much of the past decade, McCarthy has been the panicked face and intemperate voice of a movement that posits a link between autism and childhood vaccinations and that badmouths vaccines in general, saying that they have toxins in them and that children get too many of them at once.

Because she posed nude for Playboy, dated Jim Carrey and is blond and bellicose, she has received platforms for this message that her fellow nonsense peddlers might not have. She has spread the twisted word more efficiently than the rest.

And then, earlier this month, she said the craziest thing of all, in a column for The Chicago Sun-Times.

“I am not ‘anti-vaccine,’ ” she wrote, going on to add, “For years, I have repeatedly stated that I am, in fact, ‘pro-vaccine’ and for years I have been wrongly branded.”

You can call this revisionism. Or you can call it “a complete and utter lie,” as the writer Michael Specter said to me. Specter’s 2009 book, “Denialism,” looks at irrational retorts to proven science like McCarthy’s long and undeniable campaign against vaccines.

Nature:
A study that calls into question the stockpiling of billions of dollars’ worth of antiviral drugs to mitigate the threat of influenza pandemics has been criticized by flu researchers.

The analysis of Tamiflu and Relenza, drugs known as neuraminidase inhibitors, was published on 10 April by the Cochrane Collaboration1, a group that reviews the effectiveness of health-care measures. It concluded that the medicines were of little use. At the same time, the journal BMJ published a series of articles, including two that summarize the Cochrane findings2, 3, and several editorials that focus on the five-year campaign by Cochrane and the BMJ to obtain the unpublished drug-company clinical-trial data later used in the review.

The results “challenge the historical assumption that neuraminidase inhibitors are effective in combating influenza”, declared a joint BMJ–Cochrane news release on the findings. The drugs have had their “effectiveness overplayed, and harms underplayed”, said Fiona Godlee, the BMJ’s editor-in-chief, at a press conference. The study generated worldwide media coverage, including headlines labelling Tamiflu as “useless” and “ineffective”.

But the review and its bottom line are vigorously contested by many flu researchers. They argue that the analysis — an update by Cochrane — is based on randomized clinical trials (RCTs) of the drugs that lack sufficient statistical power to allow reliable conclusions to be drawn about the effects on flu complications and hospitalizations. These are the key outcomes of interest during a flu pandemic.

The critics say that the review also excluded many observational studies that have found the drugs to be helpful in normal clinical settings.

Christopher Hayes:
The New Abolitionism

Averting planetary disaster will mean forcing fossil fuel companies to give up at least $10 trillion in wealth.

Josh Barro (yes, from the Upshot):
In the new issue of The Nation, the MSNBC host Chris Hayes treads on the dangerous ground of comparing the effort to limit carbon emissions to the campaign for the abolition of slavery.

Mr. Hayes wants to be clear: He’s not making a moral comparison here. He’s talking about how an effective limit on carbon emissions would hugely diminish the value of an asset (fossil fuel reserves) held by a class of people likely to strongly resist such a policy.

The only comparable historical policy example he sees is slavery, which dominated American political discourse for two generations. Slaveholders gave up their slave wealth only when they were defeated in a war. It’s not a hopeful comparison.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Well, we're doomed in that case (14+ / 0-)
    Mr. Hayes wants to be clear: He’s not making a moral comparison here. He’s talking about how an effective limit on carbon emissions would hugely diminish the value of an asset (fossil fuel reserves) held by a class of people likely to strongly resist such a policy.

    The only comparable historical policy example he sees is slavery, which dominated American political discourse for two generations. Slaveholders gave up their slave wealth only when they were defeated in a war. It’s not a hopeful comparison.

    Can you see the Kochs giving up their billions? No way.

    Thanks for the roundup this morning, Greg!

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

    by Diana in NoVa on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 04:35:47 AM PDT

    •  Can't see them doing it willingly... (8+ / 0-)

      ...but at some point reality will intrude on "conventional wisdom." I don't see a "soft landing" in sight, not even for the ultra wealthy.

      Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 05:53:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They Didn't Give Up Their Slaves (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oortdust, penguins4peace, NM Ray, Simplify

      The Confederacy didn't give up slavery altogether, either. Many slaves weren't freed from their plantations and other owners for years after the South surrendered. Many "freed" slaves were locked into sharecropping. And even worse, prison - perpetuated over generations through today. Jim Crow widened the jailhouse bars to enclose entire counties, with Whites locked inside as jailers.

      But there is a counterexample. Most Gilded Age families did give up most or all of their wealth. The Sherman Anti-Trust Act and the Federal income tax, among other legislation from the original "Progressives" (led by ex-Republican Teddy Roosevelt), policed the rigged markets and banks to protect the 99% from the 1%. The 1% is even more able to organize for reform now than it was in 1905, including the modern immigration contingent.

      What it takes is a leader. Obama's substitution for that leader we thought we had in 2008 is what's setting our freedom from 1% predators back by a generation or more.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 05:58:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Kochs get hit with a 2%/year wealth tax ??? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude, rl en france

      Well, yeah. That makes all kinds of sense. Requires an Amendment -- likely after a 20 year fight -- and political will.

      "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Ryan Paul von Koch

      by waterstreet2013 on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 06:02:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The alternate model: The British empire (4+ / 0-)

      Great Britain abolished slavery in the empire in 1833 (sort of, with real freedom only five years later) -- by compensating slave-holders for the loss of their "property."

      (The "Legacies of British Slave-Ownership" Database of who got how much in compensation is now online, thanks to University College London, and allows easy checking on which British fortunes got a substantial boost first from Caribbean plantations and then from the compensation pay-outs.)

      The scheme has been much criticized since, as no compensation (reparations) was paid to those held in slavery. But that's not especially relevant to coal and oil and gas reserves, which (so far?) have not been recognized as having "human" rights.

      IMO, at least in the US, due to the Fifth Amendment, the only way for the government to legally compel companies to leave the stuff in the ground would be to buy out their rights, just like communities buy up development rights. One can argue about how to calculate the compensation, but some compensation would be due.

      On the other hand if we can make it politically unsavory, or way too expensive, to extract the stuff and sell it, there may not be as strong an argument for compensation. But I would expect them to try, and given their purchase of the best Congress money can buy, they could well succeed. Then watch the deficit hawks take off those costumes and reveal their true loyalties.

      •  Another idea would be to tax away inherited (0+ / 0-)

        wealth past a certain point, say 90% on anything over $5 million and adjusted for inflation, while at the same time limiting - and over time disallowing - fossil fuel extraction completely.  I really don't approve of monetarily compensating an extraction industry for ceasing to threaten the existence of life on this planet.  That should be payment enough.

        "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" - Edmund Burke

        by SueDe on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 08:59:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Oil as the new cotton....I can see it. (5+ / 0-)
  •  Scarborough....Rick Perry can.....Rick Perry can.. (6+ / 0-)

    Get serious Joe.

  •  Tamiflu was a miracle for me (8+ / 0-)

    I was hit with that nasty Swine flu in fall 2009; literally while I was driving I turned to my daughter and said "I need to stop the car now." It hits that fast. But I knew what it was because I had heard about a neighbor's symptoms, so I called my husband, who rushed me to the doctor, and gave me Tamiflu. I was only horribly bedridden one day. Other people I know we're knocked out ten days. Amazing stuff.

    Forget about the pursuit of happiness; that way lies grief. Concentrate on the happiness of pursuit.

    by kimtcga on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 04:50:32 AM PDT

  •  Nice "Fear of vax" opinion piece in my paper today (15+ / 0-)

    Vaccines still are crucial to health

    The measles virus can also live on infected surfaces for up to two hours after droplets from an infected person’s sneeze or cough comes into contact with it.

    When parents decide not to vaccinate their children, they are not only making a poor medical decision for their children, but their decision also has dangerous effects for anyone who comes into contact with their children.

    They are putting babies who are too young to be vaccinated and others who cannot receive the vaccine due to certain allergies or other illnesses at extreme risk.

    How can we identify those who refuse to vaccinate their children?  If we can ID them then we can hold them accountable in a civil court at least.  Perhaps a hit to their bank account would wake them up to the danger their child/children pose.  Perhaps they would also wake up to the faulty misinformation spread by doctor(s) who have since been discredited.

    This issue gets to me ::fuming::, can you tell?

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 04:52:14 AM PDT

    •  I'll try that link again... (7+ / 0-)

      Vaccines still are crucial to health

      hopefully it will work this time

      As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

      by JaxDem on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 05:03:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agree. Reckless endangerment. (6+ / 0-)

      Of course the real problem in actually holding them legally responsible, one I'd fully support, and sue the daylights out of these fools is that it would be almost impossible to prove in court the fatal illness in the baby came from a specific exposure with an non vaccinated carrier.

      To those with actual conditions that prevent vaccination being exposed add those that are being treated for things like cancer that have periods of near zero immunity. Those are specifics completely aside from the general health issue of the vaccination hold outs forming a reservoir of diseases that could otherwise be candidates for actual extermination as was the case with smallpox (we hope!).

      If there were ever a rational reason for making people wear a warning emblem in public this is it. Then a parent could yell "get away" as some carrier approached the stroller to look at the cute baby. I know personally two people with permanent damage due to exposure in the womb to people of an earlier generation that failed to get vaccinated even before this Luddite like campaign started.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 05:10:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Totally agree; this is part of everyone has an (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bear83, JaxDem, Amber6541, askew

      opinion but facts are facts.

      Vaccinations save live & improve & extend life. This is why  Stupid is winning since Reagan.

      nosotros no somos estúpidos

      by a2nite on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 05:17:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Barro is dreaming (5+ / 0-)

    unless I completely misunderstand this piece, Barro seems to believe that the little people can fight the oil companies, or buy them off. And that fossil fuel profiteers would have some moral sense. Good luck with that.

  •  Democrats have 51% chance of retaining Senate (6+ / 0-)

    Why is it even close?  The Democrats represent the 99%.  Or at least more so than Republicans, who only support the 1%.

      •  I hardly ever pay attention to polls (0+ / 0-)

        and chance statistics until late August, at the earliest, before an election.  What I do pay attention to is long-term trends.  The trends show that Democratic voters are less likely to vote in off-year elections and more Democrats are being disenfranchised by voter ID laws than Republican voters.  So when looking for for an activity in which I could participate that might help "my side," I have concentrated on helping people get the necessary ID then getting them to the polls.

        "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" - Edmund Burke

        by SueDe on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 09:13:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Because our "Democratic leaning" voters sit out (10+ / 0-)

      elections more than the fanatical other side? Because they may be "Blue" or "Bluish" but, oh hell, "I'm not really inspired" and "there should be better choices" or there is a big sale or game that Tuesday or . . .?

      Those that believe "GOD wants me to vote to preserve . . ." or "OUR COUNTRY IS BEING STOLEN!" and all that shit seem to turn out even if the church isn't running a bus to the polls.

      That "kook" neighbor hobbled out and voted. The rather sane one was too tired after work and "Nah, I couldn't make it" was the response.

      That is why. That is what I've personally observed.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 05:17:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Anger turns more people out (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pelagicray, Amber6541

        That's why the right wins in these off year elections- they find something that keeps their base outraged (remember all the anti-gay laws passed in the 2004 elections, and the anti-ACA stuff today), and that turns them out to vote.
        I like to believe that Democratic voters tend to be more informed, and thus aren't as easily led.
        And I think the anti-ACA stuff is going to backfire in some races (not enough, tho).

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

        by skohayes on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 06:24:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And Racism (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pelagicray

          Turns out the segment of voters that have traditionally voted in greater numbers. That leads to the R's pandering and whipping up racist sentiment among those voters rather than appeal to their better angels.

          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 Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 08:34:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  It's a dumb form of government (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pelagicray

        ... this 2 party system that we have. People want a choice, and even if one of the choices is utterly stupid and provably wrong most of the time, voters will insist even so that they need choices. It what allows some GOP politicians to literally "say anything" and still be considered electable. A parliamentary system of government would force the know-nothings into permanent minority status.

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

        by mstep on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 06:32:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Parliamentary systems have their own problems. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SueDe

          While I lean toward thinking they are better in many ways they are also subject to a host of issues. One thing I particularly like about them is separation of "Head of State" with the sometimes near worship from the political chief officer of the state.

          I do think a partial fix to our system would be implementing the idea of a binding redo "None of the candidates" option would help. That would offer the voters a choice of rejecting "hold your nose" candidates. I'd like that with the mandate that failed candidates are excluded from the redo so alternatives would be forced. That doesn't mean the alternatives would be all that much better so perhaps a second "None of the candidates" should result in declaration of a vacant seat for the next term in legislatures.

          We also need to do more to get off this week day voting crap, even if it takes a long term amendment process for federal elections that are set in an 18th century mentality. That can be done partially by making sure absentee voting is easy and "justifications" reduced to "Tuesday is a work day" level.

          Of course that would be bitterly fought by some politicians and one particular political party and its fanatical supporters. Hell, they want to take it back to early 18th century England where only a very few property owning "Freemen" could vote. Guess why! From that link with some history:

          New Jersey is the only state in which an elected Board of Chosen Freeholders governs a county. The colonial term “freeholder” is based upon the English concept of “freemen.” A “freeman” — by definition, one who owned property, was neither a servant nor hired laborer, and pledged allegiance to the King — was given the right to vote. Over time, individual landowners who were chosen to represent the citizenry in administering government became known as “Chosen Freeholders.” While the existing laws which govern voter eligibility no longer include “property owner,” the process by which Freeholders are chosen to represent the County’s citizens still embraces the spirit of freedom and democracy passed down from our colonial days.
          Oh yeah, no servants or hired laborer should have a say! That is why I tend to think of the TP/GOP, particularly the background funders in the 5% types, as exactly the kind of Tory most of my ancestors wanted to burn out in 1776. And one band of those idiots loves to wear 1776 like costume. Fucking Torys!

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 07:22:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Campaign Public Financing (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Amber6541, pelagicray

            Would go a long, long way to fixing whatever system of government we've got.

            To do that Citizen's United needs to be overturned and to do that we need a new supreme court majority and to do that we need a democrat for at least 8 more years.

            Simple, when you think of it that way. ;-)

            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 Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 08:36:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Agree, to some extent. (0+ / 0-)

              Still, having a Democrat in the White House isn't much unless the two houses in Congress are either in Democratic hands under the current political situation. At the very least, to do what you ask requires a majority in the Senate. Else every nominee will be blocked for the duration. In the TP/GOP we are facing a true anti-American force; one of neo Confederates, those calling any safety net "socialism" and in fact neo Tory types of the King George III days.

              The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

              by pelagicray on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 02:25:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  True, but there are two issues as I see it (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                pelagicray

                One is to pass needed legislation and the other is to keep the most egregious shit of the R party from ever coming to pass. This, I agree needs on a D president but it gets tiresome for the pres to keep vetoing things.

                I remember that in the Clinton years I was happy to have, at a minimum, enough D's in the senate to filibuster or block R lunacy.

                I'll admit, getting something done is really nice (ACA, e.g. but just barely if you will recall in Obama's 1st two yrs) but keeping the Republicans from destroying what is left of our country, is required. I'm happy to keep them at bay until we redistrict the fuckers out of existence.

                The nomination process as you say, is a snake pit. I'm hoping Hillary gets to nominate a couple decent justices to the SC.

                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 Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 08:22:29 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Americans Are Stupid (5+ / 0-)

      Over 50% of the 99% don't think about the actual consequences of their voting - or of their not voting.

      In a democracy the people get the government they deserve.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 05:17:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think people are stupid (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Amber6541

        I think they're apathetic, I think that maybe they're busy with other things like making a living, and I think most of them think the government works for the rich people, so voting won't make a difference.
        That report last week would seem to agree with them.

        A recent study by Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page examining 30 years of opinion surveys and policy decisions by the federal government found that, “When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose.” The average voter has little influence on government, the study found, but the well-to-do hold tremendous sway.
        http://www.nytimes.com/...

        Calling people stupid is a lazy way of saying "I don't know".

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

        by skohayes on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 06:29:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's Stupid (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          a2nite

          Lazy is not spending 15 minutes voting once every year or two. It's also stupid. Because not voting is the way to certainly lose to economic elites / organized interests.

          Even if it takes hours to vote it's stupid not to. Because voting taking hours is the demonstration that the elites/interests need to stop you from voting - it's even more important then. And stupid not to.

          Apathy in a democracy where so much is very obviously at stake is stupid.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 10:08:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Easy to say (0+ / 0-)

            I'm sure where you live, you can vote in 15 minutes and be done. Nice, but hardly the norm.

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

            by skohayes on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 10:47:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Easy to Say (0+ / 0-)

              If you ignore what I wrote:

              Even if it takes hours to vote it's stupid not to. Because voting taking hours is the demonstration that the elites/interests need to stop you from voting - it's even more important then. And stupid not to.

              "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

              by DocGonzo on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 10:50:08 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Democrats will raise my taxes and give 'em to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes

      them thar lazy blah people! They's so evil that they done make fun of my one true Jesus religion and kill poor little babies before they's even borned! They'd also grab our freedom givin' guns so that they can shove their Kommie Sharia Soshulism down our throats!

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

      by Stude Dude on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 06:05:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Enthusiasm or commitment? (6+ / 0-)

    Am I enthusiastic about the candidates in the Democratic runoff in Texas come May 27? Not especially, but I am voting. I make it an ironclad rule to vote in every election where I am eligible.
    For US Senator I voted in March for a candidate who did not make the runoff. David Alameel is my second choice. Keisha Rogers is a LaRouche partisan. No way I am voting for her.
    The only other office on my runoff ballot is Agricultural Commissioner. That is the case in 99 % of Texas. Kinky Friedman wants to repeal prohibition, and I don't mean alcohol. That is good enough for me.
    The Democratic Party will keep being weak as long it depends on people who are not committed to voting in off-year elections.
    I belong to a Democratic club in Houston. Our bylaws make it mandatory for our officers to vote in the Democratic primary.

    Censorship is rogue government.

    by scott5js on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 05:01:33 AM PDT

  •  Losing 2014 Over Keystone, Immigration, Inequality (0+ / 0-)
    Republicans once again have the upper hand on enthusiasm going into November.

    Why is that?

    Maybe it's because Democrats

    Think of Keystone, immigration and inequality when you hear Obama speak

    Keystone approved by two Obama Secretaries of State in a row. More immigrants deported by Obama than by Bush. Banksters and other corporate criminals walking around free, never prosecuted and fines just a business expense, after looting the world - while little people go to jail for any old offense against the capitalists, including Federal marijuana busts.

    Way to bring out the base.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 05:14:48 AM PDT

    •  wrong (mostly) on facts (6+ / 0-)

      1. Keystone delayed, not approved. hard fact. Might never be approved.

      2.

      Thus, comparing the deportation statistics across different presidential administrations is dicey because it is unclear what categories of people are actually being counted and categorized.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

      3. is mostly true, alas.

      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

      by Greg Dworkin on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 05:19:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Facts (0+ / 0-)

        Keystone will destroy the environment. It's against the national interest. Two Obama Secretaries of State each delivered a report approving it. The reports were written by the tar sands cartel. Facts.

        2. Dicey, unclear - weasel words from the Washington Post apologia for the incumbent deportation regime. The numbers say Obama has deported a lot more. It shouldn't even be close. Facts.

        3. Alas, it's consistent with the other facts.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 06:01:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Keystone by itself (0+ / 0-)

          will not "destroy the environment". Even without Keystone, there are a lot of things doing a much better job destroying the environment than one pipeline. One of them is human beings.
          This kind of hyperbole coming from the left is embarrassing.

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

          by skohayes on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 06:32:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's Not By Itself (0+ / 0-)

            Yes, Keystone itself will not destroy the environment. BTW, there is no justification for your scare quotes.

            But we are doing the other things on top of which Keystone will destroy the environment. Human things. To the human environment. Destroying it for humans - and other species.

            We are talking about whether Keystone will destroy the environment if approved, which it will. Disagreeing with "but humans" and accusations of embarassing hyperbole is nonsense.

            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

            by DocGonzo on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 09:38:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  YOUR statement in the above post: (0+ / 0-)
              Facts (0+ / 0-)
              Keystone will destroy the environment.
              When I quote people, I use quotation marks.

              Two thirds of that pipeline is already built and we're refining that oil in the US and making gasoline out of it.
              Yes, we are doing things that have the potential to destroy the environment, some of which are far more harmful than one pipeline.
              You were trying to point out "facts" to Greg, the first of which wasn't a fact.

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

              by skohayes on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 11:03:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's a Fact (0+ / 0-)

                The other oil in the rest of the pipeline is also destroying hte environment, though completing Keystone will destroy it more quickly, and commit us more quickly to more destruction even if we eventually stop pumping up the Greenhouse.

                The fact is that Keystone will destroy the environment. Your distractions from that fact nothwithstanding.

                "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                by DocGonzo on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 03:28:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  the monkey cage is an academic poli sci blog (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          skohayes

          and a far more reliable source than you.

          "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

          by Greg Dworkin on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 06:42:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Argument to Authority (0+ / 0-)

            When you don't have an answer to the facts I stated, just invoke some authority.

            Not convincing in the slightest.

            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

            by DocGonzo on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 09:39:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  you have nothing (0+ / 0-)

              as usual.

              "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

              by Greg Dworkin on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 09:49:50 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  and so people understand the argument to authority (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              skohayes

              complaint, there are two ways that can be dangerous.

              One is when the authority talks about things related to their field of expertise (even experts can be wrong). But experts are more likely to be right more often than people who aren't experts. In this case they are correct and do a good job of explaining why, not simple s they are authorities but in fact because they show their work. You, otoh, throw out ad hominems like 'weasel words'. You dismiss them because they apologia for  the WH. In other words, you make stuff up to support your position.  Perhaps you are correct but you would never know that form your comment.

              The other is when they comment on things outside their field of expertise. That's not the case here, though.

              "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

              by Greg Dworkin on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 10:00:13 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  You evidently haven't read the article (0+ / 0-)

          Did you know that the word deportation can also include preventing people from entering the US?

          One problem is the continued use of “deportation” in virtually all media reporting. In actuality, that category has been obsolete in immigration law since 1996. Prior to 1996, immigration law distinguished between immigrants who were “excluded,” or stopped and prevented from entering U.S. territory, and those who were “deported,” or expelled from the United States after they had made their way into U.S. territory. After 1996, both exclusion and deportation were rolled into one procedure called “removal.” At that point, the term “deportation” no longer had any meaning within the official immigration statistics. Its continued use in media reports is part of the confusion.

          The large number of immigrants who are apprehended, usually but not exclusively along the southwestern border, and prevented from entering the country were part of a category called “voluntary departure” before 2006. Now that is called “return,” which also includes the subcategory of  “reinstatement.”  There is also a large category of “expedited removals” of persons that do not appear before an immigration judge but the procedure carries all the sanctions as a judge ordered removal.

          These would-be immigrants accept this sanction that forgoes a court appearance before an immigration judge because formal removal — in which the U.S. government runs them through legal proceedings and pays for their return to their home country — would result in a multi-year bar (five to 20 years) on their eligibility to legally reenter the United States. Critics deride this policy “as catch and release.” The consequences of a return are much less harsh than a formal removal because the returned immigrant could come back legally, and presumably illegally, at any time.

          Thus, comparing the deportation statistics across different presidential administrations is dicey because it is unclear what categories of people are actually being counted and categorized. Moreover, different administrations choose to emphasize different statistics. Dara Lind  notes that the Bush administration seems to have reported removals and returns together, but Obama’s administration has emphasized only its number of removals.

          Meanwhile, many media reports continue to use the term “deportation” when they mean either return or removal or some subset of those.

          It's telling that someone who claims to have the facts ignores the facts presented in the article.

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

          by skohayes on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 11:11:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Idealistic libs create a Catch-22 by not voting. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sap

      Notice that conservatives, voting religiously (in every sense), have been steadily winnowing out the wishy-washy and moving their elected people further and further right. And when your peeps vote, you win elections.

      Idealistic libs, on the other hand, often refuse to vote for anything except the perfect. Or they skip voting because  feel cynical if change doesn't happen fast enough. Rather than allowing flawed Dems to keep power, we let power drain into worse hands, and make each election thereafter harder to win.  

      I saw it happen here in NC, when Dems didn't vote (or make any serious GOTV effort, for that matter) in 2010.

      •  Evidence? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stude Dude, UnionMade

        Where's your evidence that "idealistic liberals often refuse to vote for anything except the perfect"? Almost as many people voted for Obama in 2012 as in 2008, even after it became obvious you had to hold your nose while voting.

        The lack of a serious Democratic GOTV in 2010 is more responsible for a lack of voter turnout than Democratic ideological purity. Indeed, as you explain Democrats will vote for a much wider range of candidate and positions than the increasingly extremely narrow ideology Republicans vote for.

        The real problem is that Republicans get results. Democrats get process. Americans like results, not process, even when the results harm them and the process protects them. "Shoot first and ask questions later" is the national anthem and the Republican promise.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 06:06:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  If you can't find a reason to stay home (2+ / 0-)

      you're not trying hard enough.

      How about all the reasons to fucking vote? there are plenty.

  •  The top issue for 2014 is income inequality. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    reginahny, ratcityreprobate

    There are a number of features to this issue: raising the minimum wage to match historical levels, tax loop holes that only apply for the wealthy (e.g., "But Nobody Pays That" series in NY Times), and the dominance of oligarchy in U.S. politics.

    Thomas Piketty documents the economic processes that produce the concentration of wealth. His book is receiving extensive coverage: Capital in the Twenty-First Century

    Large-scale capital is growing about 2% faster than the economy is growing. Add an extraordinary array of tax loop holes and you've got an irresistible engine driving us to oligarchy. Check out Russia for a full development of oligarchy.

    The human side of this disaster is presented with this survey across decades: Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010

    Wealth, per se, is the problem. This is the biggest threat to American democracy to appear since the Civil War. So we need to take on wealth accumulation, head on. We need a constitutional amendment for direct taxation similar to the income tax:

    UPDATE: Wealth Tax -- Solve the Piketty Dilemma With Amendment XXVIII Intangible Property Tax

    The proposal is straightforward. In part, hit fortunes over $1-billion with a 2% tax per year. Those 492 Americans can afford it.

    The comments will astonish. Every cheapo shot against getting a Wealth Tax you can imagine. And nothing to say that billionaires should be allowed to accumulate wealth forever, without limit, without any dose of paying back American society for the advantages that we provide.

    "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Ryan Paul von Koch

    by waterstreet2013 on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 05:25:42 AM PDT

    •  speaking of Piketty and pundits (2+ / 0-)
      "You get the picture: modern capitalism is an unequal society, and the rich-get-richer dynamic strongly suggest that it will get more so."
      @DemFromCT
      previous tweet from Robert Solow on Piketty http://t.co/...
      @DemFromCT

      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

      by Greg Dworkin on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 05:37:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And all this ignores what tax loop holes (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DRo, ratcityreprobate

        do to concentrate wealth at the top. Overwhelmingly, the low-tax and no-tax schemes are only available to the top of the 1%er group.

        Same time the top of the 1%ers have Roberts & Klan working for them at SCOTUS, removing restraints on political use of their money.

        "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Ryan Paul von Koch

        by waterstreet2013 on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 06:22:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I often write (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          waterstreet2013

          that I don't want to receive a paycheck, I want my income to be deposited in a series of offshore trusts organized into a private bank so that I can borrow money from myself at low rates.

          I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

          by CFAmick on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 07:55:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You'll enjoy David Kocieniewski's work (0+ / 0-)

            at NY Times on the loop holes.

            Once they get where they can pay a million a year to private bankers and lawyers, taxes just fade away.

            "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Ryan Paul von Koch

            by waterstreet2013 on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 12:03:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  BTW: for the 1%er-only tax loop hole (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo, Stude Dude, ratcityreprobate

      system have look here: "But Nobody Pays That" from David Kocieniewski, a business reporter for The New York Times, a series that took a 2012 Pulitzer.

      Fighting 1%er tax loop holes looks a lot like Whack-O-Mole. For every scam/hole that IRS whacks, something else pops up.

      "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Ryan Paul von Koch

      by waterstreet2013 on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 05:50:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, I disagree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude, waterstreet2013

      People in general, are not that down in the weeds about the economy.
      We should talk about things people can relate to- raising the minimum wage, make student loans like mortgages, where you can refinance to a lower interest rate, expanding  Medicaid, etc.

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

      by skohayes on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 06:40:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is our economy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        waterstreet2013

        the economy of the 99%, and we will see nothing in this area from the GOP.

        I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

        by CFAmick on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 07:56:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Income inequality is the overall produce (0+ / 0-)

        basket that holds raising the minimum wage, expanding Medicaid, pay for military personnel, unemployment benefits, and all the other federal transfer payment systems.

        Tying everything together makes it all more effective -- people share their stories.

        War on the Poor is the game for the GOPers.

        "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Ryan Paul von Koch

        by waterstreet2013 on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 12:16:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Inaccurate Rental Data (0+ / 0-)
    WaPo with their own interactive data journalism:

        What you’d need to make in every county in America to afford a decent one-bedroom

    I looked in the interactive map. Each of NYC's 5 boros says you'd need $23.37 per hour. Regardless of the (relatively) lower rents in some Manhattan (New York county), 1 bedroom rents are not exactly (or to 1 penny in 23 thousand) the same there as in Staten Island. Nor are the other boros the same as each other - the Bronx is the poorest urban county in Amerca, and Brooklyn is not. Also in the Bay Area rents in SF are not the same (needing $29.83) as in Marin and Santa Cruz counties next door. In FL, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties of the Tampa Bay Area needed income isn't the same $14.58 in each. And those are just the areas I checked that are obviously wrong.

    The Washington Post says the data comes from HUD. So I suppose either HUD is wrong, or the meaning of HUD's data is being misinterpreted by the National Low Income Housing coalition the WP is reporting from. But it's the WP that's saying these data are accurate per-county. They're not, and the WP is guilty as usual of failing to to the most basic journalistic fact checking. But it's a nice picture.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 05:33:50 AM PDT

  •  I wish people would just stay away from Slavery. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, reginahny

    If you do t have ancestors who were actual slaves, please...just stop comparing it to whatever your political cause of the day is.

    Sigh. Once again, for the record, only Slavery is like Slavery.

    This is exactly how black folks feel about Slavery. It wasn't some regulatory hassle. It is the fundamental human tragedy of all black people. It defines our identity. As fundamental as the Shoah is to the Jewish people. It lives with in us in the language we speak, in our names, in our songs. It is the reason we are even HERE. It isn't the same as being out of work. It isn't the same as being arrested for smoking pot. It isn't the same as having to pay taxes.

    So just as you wouldn't compare having to get your car out of the tow pound to being gassed at Auschwitz, please avoid comparing whatever governmental injustice you have to Slavery. Unless you are truly being held against your will, are routinely raped, beaten, or forced to work without pay, are deprived of education and basic human rights, are treated as property to be bought and sold at will, are not allowed to speak your native tongue, or practice your native religion, or even keep your own given name, and could be tortured, maimed, or killed at the caprice of your owner, you are NOT experiencing Slavery.

    Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

    •  strictly an economics argument (0+ / 0-)

      and that is fair game. Did you read the piece?

      It is almost always foolish to compare a modern political issue to slavery, because there’s nothing in American history that is slavery’s proper analogue. So before anyone misunderstands my point, let me be clear and state the obvious: there is absolutely no conceivable moral comparison between the enslavement of Africans and African-Americans and the burning of carbon to power our devices. Humans are humans; molecules are molecules. The comparison I’m making is a comparison between the political economy of slavery and the political economy of fossil fuel.

      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

      by Greg Dworkin on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 05:39:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And yes, I read Hayes entire piece, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Greg Dworkin, a2nite, reginahny

      Including the bit about how hes comparing political economy and not moral equivalence.  My point, however, is that he could make this point without bringing abolition into it at all. Climate Change is compelling enough on its own merits. In fact, if you read his article without the Slavery bit, it is just as compelling if not more.

  •  Inter active Senate election map (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes

    270towin has an interactive Senate election map.

    Because of Joe Biden, the Democrats really just need 50 to hold on to the Senate.

    It looks like it comes down to Louisiana and Arkansas. If we win one of those, we get the 50/50 split but get to set the agenda because of the Biden tie breaker. If we win both - we can maybe get some judges confirmed, not not much else.

    “We can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the other possibilities.” - Winston Chuchill

    by se portland on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 05:46:36 AM PDT

    •  I forgot Bernie Sanders, and Rufus King (0+ / 0-)

      I think we can actually lose both Louisiana and Arkansas and get to 50 in the caucus. But let us hope we win both. I thought Kentucky was going to be more competitive.

      “We can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the other possibilities.” - Winston Chuchill

      by se portland on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 06:00:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Giving Up Over $20T In Wealth (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude

    Petrofuels cost the 99% a lot more in damages than we pay the 1% to burn them. The 99% pays for those damages; the 1% does not.

    So if the 1% have $10T of petrofuels, continuing to burn them is going to cost the 99% a lot more than $10T in damages.

    Plus the $10T the 99% will pay the 1% full price for the $10T in petrofuels directly.

    That's $20T we'll pay for a ruined world. Which the 1% will rule over the way they did before the Oil Age, and the way they do where they actually live: palaces in Riyadh, Moscow and Dallas.

    Of course, they don't have to give up all that petrofuel. They could make it into plastic and other synthetic materials - with a recycling regime so it doesn't eventually go into the Greenhouse. They could use some of its energy to sink the emissions into trees, plants, livestock and soil. Just don't burn it into the Greenhouse.

    That doesn't seem like too much to ask for them to keep the civilization they own intact.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 05:51:25 AM PDT

  •  I always wonder why Democrats are NOT (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude

    "enthusiastic" voters in the off years...Do some of us LIKE
    having evil morons running our country...so we can complain about them? Do people imagine that having another Democratic President late in 2016 will somehow overcome the incredible damage to OUR country that more right wing anti Americans in congress certainly WILL do between now and then?

    Are we that complacent or convinced that we will somehow overcome their evil by our innate moral superiority?

     Are we THAT fucking arrogant and stupid?

    I really hope we are not.

    Les Paul, NOT Rand Paul!

    by old mark on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 05:52:05 AM PDT

  •  Hayes piece has one significant flaw: war. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    The other is that ultimately the South had available alternative solutions to their energy needs, sufficient to maintain their standard of living without slavery. Thus the rise of sharecropping shortly after the war. They chose to fight for it, not simple because they had an economic reason to do so, but also because of white supremacy being firmly a part of their beleifs. In fact, this was the primary reason for their violent defense of slavery, if you read their writings and speeches. I know some historical revisionists keep saying it was just a money thing, but then how does one explain the prejudices and racism in the south that persists to this day, long after the money issue was resolved?

    Will there be a war over oil? Possibly. But I think its more likely to be over acquisition of it rather than abolition.

    Hayes is playing for cheap attention, thats why he rushes to include all his caveats. If he had a truly nailed down argument, he wouldnt need theatrics or apologies in advance.

    •  "the rise of sharecropping" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes, a2nite

      The southern economy was entirely built on slavery and continued to be so until well into the 20th century. The sharecropping dodge was just a form of faux-slavery that was jury rigged (along with prison labor) to take the place of actual ownership of human beings.

      It was an agricultural society where owners of large tracts of land had to have free, or dirt-cheap exploitable workers to till the fields and harvest crops.

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

      by mstep on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 06:48:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  TN Governor wants media to pay (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Amber6541

    to attend his events:

    Gov. Bill Haslam will speak on a panel at a public event at War Memorial Auditorium tomorrow, but according to his press secretary, media will have to pay $775 in order to hear what Tennessee's highest ranking elected official has to say.
    Bill Haslam is the state's leader and what he says — in this case to 1,000 attendees at a conference on faith, culture and public life — is eminently newsworthy. Saying "you're welcome to pay" starts down a very slippery slope towards pay-to-play media, even more so if Haslam isn't going to discuss to the public afterward what he was willing to say to 1,000 in private.
    http://www.nashvillescene.com/...

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

    by skohayes on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 06:52:07 AM PDT

  •  Not Abolition. It's Prohibition (0+ / 0-)

    We are drunk on fossil fuels and need to restrict its abuse. Period. Going into some form of AA is necessary.

    "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

    by Wynter on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 09:02:39 AM PDT

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