I had said that Conyers had a very strong argument that the law limiting petition circulators to residents was likely unconstitutional. The court agreed today, holding that the case was indistinguishable from earlier Sixth Circuit precedent, binding on the trial court, Nader v. Blackwell. The arguments that the state made to try to distinguish the Nader case seemed quite weak to me.Paul Rosenberg:
Recently, however, cognitive linguist Anat Shenker-Osorio has taken on a much deeper and wide-ranging examination of how progressives and others think and communicate about economic issues, which she presented at length in her book ”Don’t Buy It: The Trouble With Talking Nonsense About the Economy.” (My review here.) So I asked her to bring me up to date on the latest developments in her work, in partnership with Lake Partners and for clients who include the Center for Community Change. She explained that her work is based on brand-new dial tests of large representative samples of likely voters in 2014, and that what they’re looking for is intensity — motivation to get voters to the poll in a low-turnout off-year election. But the results should generalize to motivating volunteers as well as base turnout in 2016 as well.And Rosenberg again:
“What progressives and, yes, even just Democrats, need to be doing is talking less about the economy as some fickle entity they intend to appease and more about the purse-string issues that directly affect you, me and other potential voters,” Shenker-Osorio told me.
“So, less ‘I can better manage the economy,’” she continued, “And more ‘With work increasingly demanding more while offering up less, we’re overdue for new rules.’ If Republicans want to talk ‘family values,’ it’s time they start valuing families.”
“That means recognizing that Americans need paid time for illness or caring for family, affordable childcare, and a fair wage,” she elaborated. “It also means that putting food on the table for your family shouldn’t require that you’re never home to eat it. People who work hard deserve more than a decent living — they deserve a decent life.”
If it sounds sort of simple, well, it is, in a way. Think of it as progressive message discipline.
The Black Knight in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” has nothing on Chris Christie. As he was being dismembered, the Black Knight insisted, “It’s just a flesh wound.” But Christie? “Wound? What wound?” is more his style. And in a sense that makes him the perfect presidential standard bearer for the GOP establishment wing. Just not in the way they had hoped.
Is opposition to Obamacare really about race? That’s the highly charged question that has bubbled up in the last day or so, starting with a Senate hearing and then bursting into the news media. I won’t keep you in suspense: The answer is, “Yes, but . . . .” Not all opposition to the Affordable Care Act, and not from all people, and not at all times. But two things are clearly true. First, some conservatives with large megaphones have worked hard to use the ACA as a tool of race-baiting, encouraging their white audiences to see the law through a racial lens. And second, a growing body of evidence demonstrates that race plays a role in many people’s opposition to the law.Greg Sargent:
What would happen if Grimes described Kentucky Kynect — not Obamacare, but Kynect — as a success, by saying: “In Kentucky, we got it right?”Jonathan Bernstein:
Look, the argument for Grimes keeping Obamacare at arm’s length is understandable. Her situation is obviously nothing like Jensen’s. With popular Governor Beshear evangelizing for Kynect and hitting McConnell over repeal, that leaves Grimes free to achieve distance from Obama and instead focus on jobs, the minimum wage, and equal pay. The Grimes camp is determined to avoid getting drawn into Washington arguments. She is focused on grounding her campaign in the state and contrasting that with McConnell’s chief vulnerability, his decades in Congress that have done little to alleviate Kentucky’s economic travails.
But even if that makes some sense, the idea that a Democrat must refrain from openly describing Kynect as the policy success that it is – the exchange has signed up over 400,000 people for health care, large numbers of them previously uninsured, many coming from a very poor, unhealthy, rural region — is really unfortunate and depressing.
Greg Sargent [see above] gets a great nugget from Democratic pollster Celinda Lake, who "recently conducted a statewide poll in Kentucky for an unnamed client and found that Kynect polls very positively, in contrast to Obamacare, which is underwater.”See also our own Charles Gaba aka Brainwrap, same topic.
Kynect is the Kentucky version of the Affordable Care Act exchange. To the extent the polling is correct, these results are another example of people loving the ACA but hating Obamacare.
Which just isn’t very surprising. People still don’t really know what “Obamacare” is. Why should they? There’s nothing labeled “Obamacare” that anyone has to deal with; almost nothing labeled “Affordable Care Act;” and there aren't even all that many noticeable parts of the new system. Of course, Kynect is one of those new things, but there’s no reason for anyone in Kentucky to know that it has anything to do with the national law.
if you haven't seen or taken the time to read The Case for Reparations, make sure you do. We'll be talking about it for a while. And here's a Ta-Nehisi Coates blog to go with it. This is a piece we and many others will be talking about for weeks to come. For example:
An Expert Responds to Ta-Nehisi Coates on ReparationsAdrianna McIntyre:
No matter how many conversations we have about America’s past, there’s always some sort of obligatory outrage whenever America’s dark history is synthesized, criticized and laid out before mainstream audiences without any filters. For some of us, the stories of America’s past are nothing new, but for others that history 101 failed (or maybe black history 101?), articles like Ta-Nehisi’s must-read cover story The Case for Reparations is a total eye opener. Coates eloquent essay into America’s past makes the important connection of how the wealth, privilege and white supremacy of the past connect directly to wealth and privilege today. Coates doesn’t directly call for a monetary sum or specific governmental policy to enact reparations, but rather wants to start a national conversation on the topic and it seems, at the very least recognition of the ills that America has wrought far far beyond slavery.[My bold]
21 things Obamacare does that you didn't know aboutGail Collins:
“That is part of the charm of this body,” said Senator Orrin Hatch, yearning for the good old days when “we all had a chance to bring up amendments whether they were germane or not.”
Hatch was trying to explain why his party was torpedoing a bill to extend a huge pile of tax benefits for everything from homeowners to students to Nascar racetracks. It was an extremely popular package, but it went nowhere. However, several Republicans congratulated Ron Wyden, the new Finance Committee chairman, for his great work in putting together a bipartisan piece of legislation that they were rejecting because of Reid’s refusal to entertain a series of charming amendments about Obamacare.