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Rancher Cliven Bundy poses at his home in Bunkerville, Nevada, April 11, 2014. Armed U.S. rangers are rounding up cattle on federal land in Nevada in a rare showdown with Bundy, a rancher who has illegally grazed his herd on public lands for decades, as c
Its the Cliven Bundy Party vs. the Democrats. Beautiful!
I'm absolutely loving how this election season is going. Faced with an unmotivated Democratic base, we need a shot of adrenaline. When you look at the issues that are circulating in the electorate, they are all things Democrats need to rev up the base and contest this election with vigor. These are major hot-button cultural issues that animate the Democratic base and keep the coalition intact. What luck...the GOP is playing right into our hands.

Immigration

Republicans have killed any chance of even having a vote on the bipartisan bill that passed the Senate, nor will they come up with their own. That's a great opportunity to bring our folks to the polls when the normally would not. Furthermore, the recent border issues have naturally caused the GOP to trot out the worst of the worst of its racists. We've got one GOP congressman even calling for war against Mexico and a military invasion! That's exactly what we need to motivate Latinos.

Contraception

With the Hobby Lobby fallout, Republicans are now waging total war on contraception. Contra-fuckin-ception! What better issue could Democrats have to motivate our women. We aren't talking abortion, but an issue over which there is almost unanimity among American women. You've got to have a screw loose to be against birth control, but they are.

Voting Rights

The Tea Party message from the Mississippi election is clear: Black voters are illegitimate. On top of Supreme Court decisions gutting the Voting Rights Act, and a slew of new laws to try and stop Black voters from voting by creating barriers to the ballot box, now even voters who clear those hurdles are not legitimate. Simply, the message to black voters is if you vote, you're a fraud and a criminal. That's exactly what I like to hear from Republicans because I know that gets black voters pissed. Especially considering all we went through to get the right to vote.

All we need is for the GOP to begin waging war on young people and this election isn't going to go like the Washington Media Establishment has told us it would. Turns out that the Republicans throwing out their only Jewish member of Congress isn't a harbinger of GOP resurgence, but a rear guard action against the Coalition of the Ascendant. That's a battle we know we can win because there is no question which group has the electoral growth and momentum.

Even I hadn't expected that 2014 would be an election over cultural issues, but that is exactly the kind of election that is taking shape. They've got nothing on foriegn policy or the economy. Nor are they saying a word about jobs, thankfully. They aren't even pimping the deficit. With the GOP in retreat on ObamaCare and marriage equality, and now even going as far as raising the flag of impeachment of President Obama, I can't think of a better landscape for which Democrats can nationalize this election.

A battle over who is cultural majority in America. White, old, rural, Evangelical men versus everyone else. Perfect!

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yep. And after the election we can (17+ / 0-)

    watch their clown car fill up;  I am really looking forward to that.

    the woman who is easily irritated

    by chicago minx on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 08:56:04 AM PDT

  •  We are also aided by the culture war (40+ / 0-)

    within the GOP itself which, though nearly won (TP being the victors), still threatens 'Pub enthusiasm and turnout.

    I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

    by Crashing Vor on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 08:56:05 AM PDT

  •  On Paper, Sure. (17+ / 0-)

    Is there polling evidence that lower activity voters are getting emotional about this simply because of the rightwing actions?

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 08:56:29 AM PDT

  •  We've GOT to win on the state level. (32+ / 0-)

    We can't take four--or even two--more years of some of these states with their current governments.

    "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 09:02:09 AM PDT

  •  Yeah - but... (9+ / 0-)

    Is it going to motivate Democrats to get off their asses to vote?

    “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck (Disputed)

    by RichM on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 09:02:37 AM PDT

  •  Thanks BBB nt (8+ / 0-)

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 09:07:11 AM PDT

  •  We'll see soon enough. (9+ / 0-)

    I keep hoping that the Republicans will make such asses of themselves that it will motivate Democratic and other sane voters to go to the polls in droves to vote them out, but so far it hasn't happened.
    It's not like they have been reserved and quiet in past mid term elections, yet that was never enough.
    Perhaps this time the Republicans will go too far and finally make those who can't be bothered to vote except in presidential elections wake up. There have been some signs of the public beginning to tire of the idiocy, but we won't really know until election day.
    I hope you're right. The alternative is that we'll just get an even more hardcore crazy congress because their base will come out and ours won't.
    Time will tell which it is, but I'm not all that confident yet that it will fall our way.

  •  Dear Republicans, PLEASE proceed (22+ / 0-)

    because you fuckers are creating fear and loathing in every single element of the Electorate, outside of old, white, racist men.

    Which is good news for everyone EXCEPT John McCain.


    "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

    by Angie in WA State on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 09:17:36 AM PDT

    •  nope--all news is by definition good news for John (4+ / 0-)

      McCain.  Once all the other old racist, militarist white males are dead, the Sunday talk shows will feature ONLY John McCain as a guest.   This will require some pre-taping during the week, of course...

      •  John McCain (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ladywithafan, Angie in WA State
        nope--all news is by definition good news for John McCain.  Once all the other old racist, militarist white males are dead, the Sunday talk shows will feature ONLY John McCain as a guest.   This will require some pre-taping during the week, of course..
        How sure are we that John McCain is himself still alive, and not some pre-taped something-or-other?

        /snark

        "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

        by thanatokephaloides on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 05:44:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  old, white, racist men (4+ / 0-)
      Dear Republicans, PLEASE proceed because you fuckers are creating fear and loathing in every single element of the Electorate, outside of old, white, racist men.

      Which is good news for everyone EXCEPT John McCain.

      And not all old white men buy into this racist crap, either.

      Some of us still have working brains and hearts.....

      ;-)

      "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

      by thanatokephaloides on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 05:42:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (5+ / 0-)

        Just because the majority of our demographic votes crappily, there are 35-40% of us who vote well every time and really, really give a damn.  This is especially cool because we have been marginalized by our demographic and spent our lives being outsiders in the face of hostility and told we were wrong every damn day for our beliefs.  That said, as the older folks die off, the elections for a better USA will become easier.

        Mmmmm. Sprinkles. - H.J. Simpson.

        by ten canvassers on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 06:12:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We're the folks who get pissed when racists blurt (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eagles92

          ....racist shit in front of us, "What, didja think you could say THAT because none of "them" are around? I saw you look around before you said it, you think I'm okay with that because I'm white?"

          Boy do they get pissed!

          "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

          by leftykook on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 05:34:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Let's not forget (16+ / 0-)

    On the immigration front, now we've got frothing mobs of angry people screaming at buses full of children.  Yeah, that's some good optics for the GOP there.

    And of course their Obamacare rants are losing steam as their complaints increasing run counter to the reality people are actually experiencing.  It was easy to make it the boogeyman when it was just a concept, harder to keep doing it once people actually start experiencing the benefits.

    And of course the GOP has that whole schtick about Gay Marriage, which isn't winning them any votes in that community and which is becoming increasingly a non-issue for most votes as more states allow gay marriage and the universe persistently fails to implode because of it.

    •  I think that's the bigger issue (9+ / 0-)

      The GOP keeps saying that x is going to be the end of the world as we know it, that the heavens will open and God will smite us, that the smoking gun will be a mushroom cloud...

      and then nothing happens. Absolutely NOTHING.

      They say they're going to do X if you elect them, and they don't even come close to X, they do Y, which nobody wants them to do in the first place.

      They say they want to save money, but they always wind up in a hole, or spend money on stuff that nobody wants or that only lines their (or their friends) pockets.

      People are noticing that this doesn't happen when the dems get control. They might not manage to get X done, but they likely try, may partially succeed, but at the very least they don't do Y.

      •  voting party, not people. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eagles92

        There is an educational hole that needs filling; too many people may dislike republican operations, but will vote for the republican incumbent ('my guy's not so bad' or 'better the devil you know'...) because they do not understand things like filibusters, vote whipping and caucus control.
        They don't look at the voting record of a Scott Brown or the vindictive actions of a Chris Christie, but fall for the softer rhetoric that appears long after the primary blood orgy has been mopped up.
        American voters need more education in the effects of their voting habits, especially when those are in fact habits, in that they are unexamined. We need to vote less like we're voting for American Idol and more like we actually know and care what our votes mean in actual practice. Aside from boring people to death with Civics 101, I have little clue how to effect that change in thinking.

        Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

        by kamarvt on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 06:30:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Who, other than young people, has the most (5+ / 0-)

    of most of the following (at least on average)?

    1. Spontaneous non-marital sex,

    2. Life disruption if an unplanned pregnancy occurs,

    3. Time remaining to have baby(ies) "later",

    4. Feeling that coverage of contraception costs was one of the main benefits to them of the ACA,
         because they are too 'invincible' to care as much about coverage of old peoples' diseases.

  •  I'm not so sure (11+ / 0-)

    The teabaggers and the rest of the crazy are a minority, but a sizable one.  About 25-30% of voters tend toward the crazy.  And they are controlled by a rather smart political machine that is very good at trading in the voting power of the crazy for financial support from a core of right wing billionaires.

    They'll likely destroy their prospects in Presidential elections and very likely in statewide elections in many purple-red states as well.  But the goal isn't to get things done, it is to wreck the government and create an upheaval.  Even if they ultimately lose, if they've rendered the US into a third rate power, they always have the BRIC countries, all of whom are far more culturally conservative than the US or Europe.

    •  Since They Unlike Dems' Extreme Wing Support (6+ / 0-)

      big money, the Republicans pander to their wing, and use it to make big gains in the non Presidential elections.

      Remember after 45 years of hippies whining about the Democrats, we finally got academic studies proving the country stopped governing for the people when LBJ left.

      If you don't have gray hair you never lived in a Democratic America where the people's prospects were level or rising.

      The RW doesn't need to make large or really many more strides before there's nobody left who even knows of anything better to push for.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 10:11:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, never lived in a (small d) democratic (2+ / 0-)

        America. Small d, big difference.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 10:12:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  to be fair, it was both. (0+ / 0-)

          LBJ's admin was the tail end of the 40 years in the wilderness for the GOP.
          i'm not prepared to say it was coincidence that the lot of most of America began to slide at that same time.

          Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

          by kamarvt on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 06:33:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  But the big driving issue is still the economy (6+ / 0-)

    and jobs, and Obama & Dems are still seen, rightly or wrongly, as a big reason for why both are not doing well, which will keep swing voters home or voting for the other side. Dems don't win on culture issues in midterm elections.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 09:38:07 AM PDT

    •  Sounds like the Goop should be running on the (6+ / 0-)

      economy.....but they're not......curious.

    •  Depends on the culture issue (4+ / 0-)

      Birth control could be a powerful motivating issue for a lot of women.

      the woman who is easily irritated

      by chicago minx on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 10:02:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not in most states, it isn't (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        thanatokephaloides

        and that's not something you can bullsh!t voters on.  They know if the economy is doing well.

        Or is the idea to GOTV and turn out as many millionaires as possible?

        Seriously, the economy is still in terrible shape.  People can't live on part time, minimum wage jobs.  And you've got millions of boomers facing reduced retirements with poor paying jobs and a bipartisan coalition trying to cut Social Security.

        In addition, you have over 20% unemployment for young voters, the same group that helped Obama get elected in 2008.  They're not as hyped on the hope and change as they once were.

        Yes, its still the economy and trying to ignore that fact is getting pretty low for Democrats.  Not my party.

        Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

        by Betty Pinson on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 01:31:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Many (most?) of the states struggling the most (5+ / 0-)

          are currently Republican run. This is not a weak issue for Democrats.

          In our criminal justice system, a Republican is presumed innocent until the 2nd Coming. - Gooserock

          by ExpatGirl on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 02:42:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What do you mean by "Republican Run"? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ExpatGirl, VClib

            Unless I'm mistaken, I believe most of the hotly contested Senate races, that Republicans need to win are in red states. The GOP needs to pick up six seats to take the Senate, and seven of the seats Democrats are defending are in states Romney won.

            Of course, there's no guarantee that the Republicans will run the table in those states, and certainly they need to pick up seats in states Obama won (like NC), but I'm not sure I'd dismiss the economy as a weakness for Democrats so readily. As Beddy Pinson pointed out, like the ACA no matter what they hear on the news or what pundits says, voters know instinctually if the economy is working for them.

            I agree with the diarist the women's issues are a negative for the Repulicans in 2014, though I'm not sure I agree with regard to immigration.

            Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

            by Pi Li on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 03:52:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Republican run (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jessbell911
              What do you mean by "Republican Run"?
              To answer your question, the "Republican Run" States are those which have demonstrated their persistent redness by electing Rs to their Governorships and State Legislatures.

              "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

              by thanatokephaloides on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 05:54:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Of course it is (2+ / 0-)

        But not everywhere and to the same extent, and a lot of people don't feel it improving for them. Many if not most of them are poor to struggling and live in red states, whose economies have been deliberately crippled by Repubs so as to hurt Dems, e.g. refusing the expand Medicaid or accept other federal aid.

        Repubs can't win on positive issues, so they're trying to win on negative ones, even if it means destroying the economy and peoples' lives. And Dems haven't yet found a way to counter that effectively. They refuse to go all-out populist on the GOP, for fear of offending media elites, suburban yuppies and Wall St.

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 03:10:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not where it counts. (0+ / 0-)
        The economy is doing better.
        Not where it counts, it isn't.

        We're not significantly any closer to what we need -- a continuous, nationwide labor shortage -- than we were on the day Mr. Obama took office.

        Practically all the gains have gone to the financial sector and the 0.1%ers it serves. Working people are still getting El Shafto.

        "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

        by thanatokephaloides on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 05:52:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  So you're saying (7+ / 0-)

      swing voters aren't hearing that there's been 52 weeks of jobs growth, that the unemployment rate is going down, that the economy is stronger? How is it that Americans seem to have the polar opposite view of what is actually happening?

      Please note that lamps in the Magic Lamp Emporium are on a genie time-share program so there may be a slight delay in wish fulfillment. (◕‿◕)

      by Mopshell on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 11:02:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Heh, good snark (0+ / 0-)
        How is it that Americans seem to have the polar opposite view of what is actually happening?
        For a second there I thought you were serious.

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 02:49:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  jobs growth? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raboof, greenbell

        I sincerely hope this is snark:

        So you're saying swing voters aren't hearing that there's been 52 weeks of jobs growth, that the unemployment rate is going down, that the economy is stronger?
        But in case it isn't, let me answer it thus:

        No one in the working classes believes this. We know that almost all the "good news" about unemployment results from systemic doctoring of the figures (no job after your UI runs out? You don't count any more!) and that the token job growth the Obama Administration brags about is a small fraction of the job growth the USA actually needs.

        It is my understanding that we lost approximately 10 million jobs when the economy tanked around the transition between Dumbya and PBO. A few years of 250 - 500 thousand jobs/year growth, while an accomplishment to be sure, is only a few drops in the bucket compared with what we need.

        And we need three other things from the new jobs, too. We need them:

            to pay well;

            to not require goat-awful amounts of post-high-school education
                (with the accompanying debt peonage) to obtain and hold;

            and to be long-term stable.

        In other words, what my generation's parents had and could count upon having.  (I'm 56.)

        No offense intended towards any; but without a strong middle class based on the kind of jobs I describe, we're kind of hosed as a country. No one can afford to spend half or more of his/her adult life just paying for the "privilege" of the possibility of a job which might pay enough to support a family on some temporary basis. Not and ever accomplish anything for country, State, family, or even self. There just isn't enough time. Or money, for that matter.

        The principal thing wrong with the American economy right now is a lack of demand driven by the fact that it takes so effing long to actually achieve genuine economic independence. And if we ever are to become, again, what we have been in the past (or anything better), we need to cut these twin anvils (student debt and un/der employment) off the necks of American workers.

        "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

        by thanatokephaloides on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 06:21:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Its got a better record than populism. (11+ / 0-)

      So far, minimum wage hasnt done jack. Neither has lock up Wall Street. I look at last years governors election in Virginia as the best off year model. We won that on culture. Contraception hits home. Voting rights hits home. Even in 2010, our guys who ran against culture warriors won. Those who ran on economic justice got creamed.

      Way of life issues work for us far better than anything else weve got. Plus culture is the one thing that unites Democrats and offers a clear contrast with the GOP. And its the one group of issues on which we have a majority.

    •  Yep, in Ohio, its still the economy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thanatokephaloides

      and I can't believe any Dem worth their salt thinks we can BS our way through that.

      DC Dems need to get off their arses and get something started, instead of negotiating back room deals for the Trans Pacific Partnership and other job-killing boondoggles.

      Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

      by Betty Pinson on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 01:27:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  yeah, but ... (2+ / 0-)

    voter suppression, voter apathy will pretty much trump everything else.

    "In 20 years, the GOP will be small enough to drown in a bathtub." - me

    by estamm on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 09:54:26 AM PDT

  •  No end to things to vote against, but... (9+ / 0-)

    what are the Democrats doing to make people want to vote FOR them.  Income inequality? Anti-NSA overreach?  Re-regulation?

    Hillary does not have the benefit of a glib tongue.

    by The Dead Man on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 10:04:07 AM PDT

  •  So far they haven't worked for us (4+ / 0-)

    Maybe in the future they will work, but past experience it has been a winner for the GOP

    "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

    by gjohnsit on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 10:28:04 AM PDT

  •  Yet I hear activists here who should know better (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thanatokephaloides, jessbell911

    (Texas) continually telling low-info/'pres-election' Hispanic voters - precisely the ones we need to turnout this year - that the immigration mess- in all respects, not just the current 'crisis'- is Obama and Ds fault.  

    I understand they do this hoping to pressure BO to make exceptions to immigration enforcement, in essence to not enforce the law in various respects.  But, in doing so, they show a fundamental misunderstanding of voter and political behavior.  Gratitude does not motivate voters anywhere near as much as anger or fear.  If BO did what they wanted, it would inure far more to the electoral benefit of Thugs than Ds.  That in turn would only make both legislative and executive immigration reform harder and less likely.  If they really want action on immigration, activists must change targets and focus all guns on Thugs.  They are after all the real culprits here.

    And, the simple reality is if there will be executive action it will occur in 2015, bc voter's who will be motivated by gratitude will likely show up in 2016.  But winning the vote of someone who is going to show up anyway is completely different from getting someone to show up in the first place.

    I know this will be incredibly frustrating for some.  but surely we can defer demands for gratification for three frakking months to keep from making things worse?

  •  Snark (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thanatokephaloides

    If you tend to have a screw loose, you shouldn't be against contraception.

  •  Rs were picking fights with poor people. (6+ / 0-)

    Suddenly they've taken on people who can fight back. Most of America by my reckoning.

    Paraphrasing Mencken, today's republicans are motivated by the haunting fear that somewhere, some black guy may be getting away with something.

    by Inland on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 11:29:57 AM PDT

  •  I'm stunned by the amount of pessimism here (9+ / 0-)

    Just listen to yourselves:

    Past experience tells us we can't win midterms so we can't win this year.

    We never win on cultural issues.

    Jobs and the economy are what count for voters and neither are doing well (this in spite of evidence to the contrary).

    Democrats give voters nothing to vote FOR and people don't vote AGAINST

    Raising the minimum wage doesn't matter to enough people and the few it does affect probably won't vote anyway

    The young are disinterested so none of them will vote

    If Obama does something positive for Latino immigrants, the Latinos won't bother voting

    Voter suppression and voter apathy will keep all Dem voters from bothering

    Only the elderly remember what a thriving democracy America used to be; everyone younger accepts the status quo and will keep voting for the Republicans who gave them this

    The Tea Party have a smarter political machine so, even though they are in the minority, they'll be in the majority when it comes to counting voters

    Birth control is not an issue that will resonate with males so they won't vote

    Populism doesn't work to get out the vote

    The GOP strategies are working; Democratic strategies are having no effect.

    I may have missed a few negatives because it was downright depressing reading them all. I don't know why you're here at Daily Kos. I thought the objective was electing more and better Democrats but you lot are just throwing your hands in the air and saying "it can't be done". It's like you're too afraid to be positive in case you lose so you decide to be "realistic" instead and accept losing now because at least you'll have one small win come November: "I told you so back in July".  The GOP should hire the lot of you because you're doing a bang-up job for them.

    Please note that lamps in the Magic Lamp Emporium are on a genie time-share program so there may be a slight delay in wish fulfillment. (◕‿◕)

    by Mopshell on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 11:50:28 AM PDT

  •  Monty Python Skit about the knight (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thanatokephaloides

    So we are losing all these battles and you think that will save us?Sort of reminds me of the skit where the knight has had all his arms and legs chopped off and still thinks he is winning.... Hope you are right but they control the court which means we are just screwed

  •  Don't see it. Yet. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thanatokephaloides

    But you're right, it's all the Dems have.  It's not like they're going to try actual populism.

  •  Self-inflicted wedge issues (6+ / 0-)

    These are self-inflicted wedge issues.

    The GOP came to power by forcing wedge issues into the public discourse. But they have succeeded in achieving the publicly palatable versions of this strategy and can't help but keep going back to their old ways. So, it's on to contraception witch has 80% of the public against it. That's what I mean by self-inflicted. They are dividing their own party now.

    If we abandon our allies and their issues, who will defend us and ours?

    by Bryce in Seattle on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 12:40:30 PM PDT

  •  They're already waging a campaign against young (6+ / 0-)

    people.  The voter suppression laws don't just target minorities.  They're also attempting to disenfranchise students. While the 18-21 demo isn't huge, they're overwhelmingly Democratic. They can't swing the midterms by themselves, but they give a big boost to the good guys.

    And don't forget the number of military and veterans that could be "poached" from across the aisle.  The GOP has done the rank and file vets and service members NO favors over the last 15 years.  They've sent them into TWO wars of choice, and then heaved them over the side when they came home.  They've created tens or hundreds of thousands of new veterans, slashing funding for the VA all the while.

    The only demo that the GOP can rely on is old white folks -- and speaking as an old white guy, they're not even going to get all of those.  Even the ANGRY old white guys aren't a lock... 'cos I know I'm plenty angry enough. And I can't be the only one.

    I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

    by mojo11 on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 12:48:55 PM PDT

  •  These people should not have access (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thanatokephaloides

    to sharp scissor (or dull for that matter) let alone the corridors of power in this country.

    The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion. Molly Ivins

    by MufsMom on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 02:25:11 PM PDT

  •  2014 and 2016 are cultural (5+ / 0-)

    You hit the nail on the head with this one.  I think  they'll go after the young folk by messing with higher ed, student loans, and repeal Obamacare that insures kids up to 26.  I would of went to the polls and took all of my friends if my coverage was in jeopardy.  Unfortunately there wasn't Obamacare back then I was screwed until I secured health care when I was 29.

  •  In NC (4+ / 0-)

    College students are preparing to sue over the new voting restrictions and collapse of precincts. Young people are motivated.

    If you think education is expensive, wait until you see how much ignorance costs in the 21st century. --PBO

    by kismet on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 02:43:32 PM PDT

  •  Dems should point out what I've seen happening (4+ / 0-)

    -- that Repubs think America is essentially the SAME country it was in 1963, and many want to return to those days. Those on the right, are trying to get rid of SSN, Medicare, Medicaid (as well as the ACA), change voting patterns through gerrymandering & coming up with ways to disenfranchise voters and get rid of the Voting Rights Act (1965). 

    Rand Paul and others have questioned whether the Civil Rights Act (1964) should be overturned.  They are attempting to overturn Roe v. Wade (1972) not only with regard to abortion, but also with regard to CONTRACEPTION.

    The President has been fought Tooth and Nail by the opposition because he asked for PAY RAISES and a RAISE IN THE MINIMUM wage for workers--PEOPLE in the lower and middle classes whose wages have been STAGNANT for nearly 30 years--since Ronald Reagan's administration.

    The right, in defense of corporations, has also been going after unions with a vengeance for the past 50 years.   Never mind that unions were instrumental in the passage of such workforce rules as the 40 hour work week, child labor laws, workplace safety laws,fair pay, etc.  Unions represent workers (the people), but business, with the help of Republicans has convinced people that the unions are BAD for them.

    The REpublicants have held Over 50 votes in the house to Overturn the President's attempt to get adequate health care for ALL American PEOPLE.  (Why would Anybody be against THAT???)

    The Cons have consistently f*&ed over the VETS and yet wave the flag like they are some kinda patriots - NOT EVEN CLOSE - based on their own behavior.

    The President is currently trying to think of a HUMANE way to deal with the desperate PEOPLE who are crossing the border illegally, while being denigrated by people for trying to help these PEOPLE.

    Dems are or should be on the opposite side of Republicans on ALL of the issues that I listed.  AND, ALL of those issues are issues that impact PEOPLE.   A fundamental change in the slippery slope we have experienced in the last 30 years is EXACTLY what this nation needs.

    Pres. Obama has demonstrated time and time again that he Does care about ALL PEOPLE. How hard can it be for Dems to demonstrate the same thing to American voters?

    “I hope that we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.” Thomas Jefferson

    by starduster on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 02:48:00 PM PDT

    •  YES YES YES! to every single word! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      avamontez

      Frankly, if voters can't see the bloody obvious then they deserve the worst Republicans can brings down upon their heads. Red states in the red to the tune of millions and billions; their credit ratings downgraded; governors stealing from pension funds and school children while encouraging toxic pollution of air and water and hiding the evidence. Take these red states, roll them together and THAT's what a Republican nation would look like!

      Please note that lamps in the Magic Lamp Emporium are on a genie time-share program so there may be a slight delay in wish fulfillment. (◕‿◕)

      by Mopshell on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 07:32:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary! (5+ / 0-)

    I always think I can guess by the responses to things like this whether the commenter lives in a Red or Blue state. Our perspectives are often very different.

    Here in NC, thousands are pitching up every week to protest. The attacks are coming on so many fronts: unemployment benefits, voting restrictions, abortion clinic closures, refusal to expand Medicaid and hospital closures, attacks on schools, environmental issues. It just goes on and on and on.

    You bet your bottom dollar that 'cultural' issues are important here.

    In our criminal justice system, a Republican is presumed innocent until the 2nd Coming. - Gooserock

    by ExpatGirl on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 02:53:19 PM PDT

    •  Thank you very much for pointing this out! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DemInSeattle, avamontez, ExpatGirl

      Of course cultural issues are important! Anyone suffering in a Red state that's digging itself deeper into debt by the day should be eager to get a Dem ballot in their hands so they can stop the rot. And these protests, are we seeing these in Blue states? No, we're not. If that alone isn't indicative of the difference between the two parties, if that difference isn't all too bloody obvious, God save the country because doltish voters won't.

      Please note that lamps in the Magic Lamp Emporium are on a genie time-share program so there may be a slight delay in wish fulfillment. (◕‿◕)

      by Mopshell on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 07:49:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why don't they fine people for not voting? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    myrmecia gulosa

    $100 fine would help the state budget a bit.
    It's not unconstitutional, is it?

  •  This (6+ / 0-)

    Is why I am optimistic that 2014 will be nothing like 2010.

    I'm not ready to go on the "Dems will take back the House" offensive yet, because I think we'll need to wait till 2016 for that...

    But I think all the GOP Dreams of "Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell" are getting dimmer by the day.

    "Please Proceed, Republicans".

    •  this: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      avamontez
      This is why I am optimistic that 2014 will be nothing like 2010.

      I'm not ready to go on the "Dems will take back the House" offensive yet, because I think we'll need to wait till 2016 for that...

      But I think all the GOP Dreams of "Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell" are getting dimmer by the day.

      "Please Proceed, Republicans".

      "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

      by thanatokephaloides on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 06:31:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I NEVER believed in a GOP Senate majority (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DemInSeattle

      Not just because that isn't what I ever want to see for the rest of my life but because to happen, it would mean the whole damn country had turned politically suicidal.

      It's also because the Republicans have become so disconnected with reality that whatever they envision is automatically suspect. They haven't become smarter, wiser or more rational since 2012 when they were convinced of a Romney win. Cantor's defeat is much closer to reality - blinded by super confidence in their own flawed polling and by their own conceit of victory being the only possible outcome. They've expended so much energy trying to convince Americans that up is down that they believe their own propaganda.

      Do you know what the fatal flaw was with the Nazis in WWII? They refused to believe that the allies could possibly break their 'unbreakable' codes and didn't just ignore those who tried to tell them otherwise but punished them for it. They fell into the trap of believing their own propaganda so when it all startied falling apart, they were psychologically incapable of acknowledging it let alone doing anything about it.

      Not all but I daresay most Republican politicians and candidates are well in that trap already, even more so than the voters. That's why you should be optimistic that 2014 will be nothing like 2010. The mess the Republicans are in is only just beginning to show. Give them another three months and they'll be wallowing in it.

      Please note that lamps in the Magic Lamp Emporium are on a genie time-share program so there may be a slight delay in wish fulfillment. (◕‿◕)

      by Mopshell on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 08:18:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  me either; can't gerrymander the Senate (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mopshell

        and every time an election involves a larger number of people, dispersed over a larger area, democrats outperform and republicans underperform.*
        * corollary to "if we turn out, we win".

        (and that psychological incapability you mentioned is actually a feature of the RW thought pattern. The inability to acknowledge error is a major flaw in RW logic that has been around forever.)

        Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

        by kamarvt on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 06:46:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  yes, they do! (0+ / 0-)

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 07:13:47 PM PDT

  •  Their version of Burkas (0+ / 0-)

    Think Michelle Duggar. Sleeves and long skirts.  This is part of their religion, and I can't see why a closely held company can't require this level of "modest" dress of their employees, at work and at home. They never wear bathing suits, either.  No more spring break, folks.

  •  Do we stand for anything? (0+ / 0-)

    Who knows...

    The Republicans are crazy, but why we follow them down the rabbit hole is beyond me.

    by Jazzenterprises on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 05:38:21 AM PDT

  •  amazing incitement from limbaugh on immigration (0+ / 0-)

    yesterday limbaugh was trying to get some tea baggers riled up for the president's visit.

    he's been on the same memes (even contradictory ones) since they started making this a big story- that the o admin knew about the 'flood' and that they encouraged it for political reasons, their takeover, etc. here, they are diseased

    Let me ask you this, folks, and I don't mean to sound coarse.  Can't avoid this, though.  Could a weapon of mass destruction also be some children carrying highly communicable diseases?  Could that be a WMD?

     

    This is not something that the Regime wants stated, that massive gang and terror networks could easily be slipping into the country in the midst of this so-called humanitarian crisis.
    Now, you attach that reality to everything we've learned so far about how these kids are being processed and dispersed. They're being processed with very little time and attention. They're not being medically screened anywhere near properly or thoroughly. They are being sent to all corners of this country.  We do not know if the people who are accepting them as sponsors are even citizens.  Do we know if there's even a paper trail per immigrant?  If there's not, then there's some serious malfeasance going on here.
    If there's not a paper trail, if we don't have a record, if we're not getting some form of identity, identification for every one of these people that we're processing in these detention camps and then dispersing all over this country, if we're not keeping track of who they are and where they were sent and to whom they were sent, then we are just inviting chaos. We're inviting a big mess.
    we could be welcoming across our borders with no stoppage whatsoever, with no investigation whatsoever, terrorists, criminal gangs, and all that entails.  And we're doing it on the basis of humanity. We're doing it on the basis that, well, these are starving children and they're coming from oppressed worlds and they just want a better life and we must do it.  And we're not allowing photos. We're not allowing cameras. We're not allowing visits to these detention camps except by Sheila Jackson Lee and Nancy Pelosi.  No Republican member of Congress is being permitted into a detention camp.  There are no photos of the arrivals, children or otherwise.  And there likely is not a paper trail.  It's not good, folks.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 07:46:59 AM PDT

  •  Everything you said is true (0+ / 0-)

    But location is everything. The way districts have been so distorted, some in the GOP have no worries at all. Their biggest threat is their own extremists. Here in liberal land we don't even have the voting issues as mail in voting has become the normal and we pretty much stay democratic.

  •  "Our women?" Look at your language: motivate La... (0+ / 0-)

    "Our women?"

    Look at your language: motivate Latinos,motivate blacks, motivate our women. Watch with the ownership language, you do not own women. Otherwise great piece.

  •  Forgot one thing (0+ / 0-)

    No. We've been even more deeply divided by class, middle against the poor. Ignoring it doesn't make it disappear. The poor -- and those who grasp why unrelieved poverty is such a critical issue -- voted for Obama in hopes that he could launch a legitimate discussion about our poverty crisis. He raised the issue a few times and the media marketed to libs ignored it. Reality is, not everyone can work (health/circumstances) and there simply aren't jobs for all who urgently need one. The US shipped out a huge chunk of our working class jobs since the 1980s, then ended welfare aid in the 1990s. Middle classers spit on those who were left behind. We have a poverty crisis. Dems and libs have ignored this, and alienated a huge number of those who had voted for Obama. Of course this will impact the 2016 election. The "masses" were deeply divided, presumably conquered.

  •  Want to Win Both Houses of Congress in 2014? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FamilyDocForDean

    These are great "issues to animate the base" but we need to use them in a more organized fashion.

    Here is a proposal how to do that:

    With the brief blessing of a few key people  (Elizabeth Warren leaps to mind)  groups like Daily Kos, Moveon.org, DFA, Emily's list, Color of Change, etc., etc., could spread and improve this contract, which could make a huge difference.

    Thanks for considering this proposal.  I hope we can make it a reality.


    Want to Win Both Houses of Congress
    in the 2014 Midterm Elections?  

    We Can If (and Only If) We :

    Learn from History and our Opponents, and
    Give Voters Something Worth Voting For.

    Republicans may seem ignorant, but they certainly are good at getting their way.  The Tea Party has largely stymied the potentially best President to come along in our lifetime.  What did Occupy accomplish?

    But maybe we could borrow a few Republican tactics to win the 2014 midterm elections,  hold control of the Senate, recapture the House of Representatives, get all the Democratic Congress rowing in the same direction, and move the country forward.

    Remember Newt Gingrich’s Contract With America?  It was 1994 and the  Republicans promised to pass 8 Resolutions and 10 bills if they won both houses of Congress.  (they did, for the first time in decades!)

    Remember how for many years Grover Norquist has pressured Republican candidates to sign pledges to not raise any taxes ? (no matter how reasonable or necessary-not even close tax loopholes)

    1) Suppose we create a Progressive Contract with America (or some catchier name-- The Fairness and Opportunity for Working Families Contract with America?).  

    2) And suppose we ask Democratic candidates to pledge to do their best to enact that agenda if elected?

    3) And borrowing from the Tea Party, if Democratic Candidates will not pledge to support our Contract, we will run more progressive candidates against them the next primary.

    The Democratic Congress are almost as beholden to the rich and powerful as the Republicans are, and it is not surprising that these things did not happen after our 2008 election victory.  (thus the need for the pledge)  President Obama should sign on, and polls suggest we could win.  

    On the other hand, now, we are cooked.  No chance of winning the House; a “coin flip” per Time magazine of losing the Senate; then limping through the next 2 years, and the Republicans running in 2016 against the “failed Obama Administration”.

    Contrast that with 2 extremely productive years and great momentum going into 2016.  So why not give it a shot?

    What would such a

    Progressive Contract with America

    look like?  I would propose the following as a starting point, and hope it will be revised and improved, perhaps Wikipedia style, under the auspices of Rebuild the Dream, Daily Kos, Moveon.org, or similar organization(s).  This will have to be a grass-roots effort, so powerful that candidates need to sign on.  

    I :  BASIC FAIRNESS ISSUES:

    Net neutrality--critical for a well informed electorate, and to give ordinary people some means to possibly level the playing field against the rich and powerful.
    Equal pay for equal work.

    Minimum wage of $12.50 or $15 per hour.

    Easy refinance of all student debt to 3% (or prime plus 2.5%), and offer new student loans at same rate.  Work to make college education more affordable in many ways, curb abuses, and create of a non-profit/public funded very inexpensive National On-line University.  (or better yet, International On-line University--an IOU where you don’t owe a lot when you’re done!)

    Comprehensive Immigration Reform
       
    A Constitutional Amendment for Equal Rights for Women

    II: TAX REFORM (Yes, the super rich will hate these and call them class warfare, but they were the ones who started that class warfare decades ago, and if we don’t start fighting back soon, it will be increasingly difficult if not impossible to ever level the playing field.)

    Eliminate the lower tax rates for capital gains income.  Income is income, and all should be taxed the same .

    All Financial Trades Should Be Taxed 0.5%.

    Eliminate Corporate and Wealthy Individual Tax Loopholes and Subsidies:

    Reinstate Inheritance Taxes and Eliminate Perpetual Trusts to discourage the formation of a hereditary aristocracy.

    Bolster Social Security by Eliminating the Cap on Income, so the wealthy pay the same percentage as their secretaries and servants.


    III:  FAIRER ELECTIONS and LESS CORRUPTION in GOVERNMENT:

    Not that long ago, when you paid a government official to get the laws you wanted, it was called Corruption.     Now we just call that Government. To avoid becoming a nation of, by and for the money, we need:

    A Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United and Hobby Lobby.  Corporations are NOT PEOPLE and have no right to Freedom of Speech or Religion.

    Transparency.  Make names of all donors public Perhaps even TV ads which accept more than $1000 from any one person would need to list the donor and amount given.  (you can have all the “free speech” you want, but not anonymously)

    Anticorruption Measures:  Even the Supreme Court acknowledges that “corruption or the appearance of corruption” is not a good thing.  Yet we allow politicians to accept money, and then do what the donor asks.  More ethical and reasonable would be that a politicians can take all the money they want from any individual, but if it is more than, say $10,000, they must recuse themselves from any vote likely to benefit the donors more than the general public.

    Make lying to confuse or mislead voters illegal
    .  As with the above proposal there will of course be gray areas, reasonable disagreement, and need for litigation at times, but the potential for punishment for intentional misleading  (or corrupt behavior) should have some salutary effect.

    Prohibit unreasonable restrictions on voting, and registration. A new voters’ rights act to prohibit election laws designed to discourage certain groups from voting.  Voter ID would be allowed, but only if states ensured that seniors, minorities, etc. were able to easily obtain such ID.  Voting hours, wait lines, availability of bathrooms at voting places, etc could not be manipulated in a discriminatory manner.

    Stop the “revolving door” between those in government and industry,.  Government officials should be banned for 3 years from lobbying the government.  Politicians will hate this proposal, because it is very lucrative for former government employees to then use their relationships to sell out the public interest for special interests.

    Limit ability of corporations and industries to set the regulations on themselves.  


    IV:  CELEBRATE AND BUILD ON OUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

     Embrace, support and improve Obamacare.  While not perfect, particularly during its rollout, it has helped, and will help many people, and was a necessary and difficult step.  We should be proud of it, educate voters, and work to make it better. Most of its perceived faults are the result of blatant misinformation by Republicans and Faux News. Most of its real faults were that it didn’t go far enough (single payer, for example) rather than it went too far.  Work to make Health Care more patient centered, humane, efficient, and cost effective.

    Embrace global climate change as a scientific fact, and a serious threat to us all.  Embrace and celebrate the new emissions standards for existing coal  power plants.  Strongly encourage clean technology, efficiency and renewable energy use by corporations, utilities and the public.  

    Below is an expanded discussion of the Contract issues above, some links, and a few issues which may or may not be good additions to the Contract:

    I:  BASIC FAIRNESS ISSUES:

    Net neutrality--critical for a well informed electorate, and to give ordinary people some means to possibly level the playing field against the rich and powerful.

    Equal pay for equal work.  Whether women earn 77 cents to the male dollar, as the Obama administration sticks to, or the figure is closer to Pew's findings of 84 cents for most women and as high as 93 cents for younger women, it's clear that the playing field is not equal. It's also clear that disparities are indeed related to gender. Recent cases have shown that women who ask for pay increases often don't get them. What they get instead: negative reactions. A 2007 study found that women who asked for raises were perceived as demanding. Men, meanwhile, faced no backlash. Women are also more likely to disrupt their careers to raise children or care for ill family members, and come back at a disadvantage.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

    Several things could be done to help:  Both men and women should be able to take family leave without retribution.  All employees should be allowed to share salary information without punishment.   Employers should be forbidden to punish those who ask for a raise, and in particular from treating one group of employees differently from another. And employers should not be allowed to demand information regarding one’s salary at a previous job, nor have salary guidelines which limit what can be paid based on your previous salary.  That just perpetuates inequality.  (There is a Fair Paycheck Act now in Congress, being blocked by Republicans. I don’t know its exact content.)

    Minimum wage of $12.50 or $15 per hour.  Job losses from raising the minimum wage would be more than offset by the economic boost caused by millions of Americans being lifted from poverty, and better able to buy goods and services.

       And no one working full time should be in poverty.  

    It is nice to get low prices at places like Walmart, but those low prices are subsidized by our tax dollars for food stamps and healthcare for Walmart employees, while the  company made  roughly  $ 17  billion in profits in 2012.  Incidentally, the CEO made over $23 million that year, and about a million employees made less than $25,000.  http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/...

    The world economy is largely powered by the American consumer.  That may not be  the best or most sustainable economic system, but it is what we have.  Yet middle class jobs are going away, and as long as consumers are essential, we’d better make sure lots of people can consume.

    Easy refinance of student debt to 3% (or prime plus 2.5%), and offer new student loans at same rate.  We don’t want the rates to be so low that people  incur more debt/borrow more money than necessary, or play games with borrowing and investing, etc.  But if educated workers and voters are crucial to our long term success, why lend money to Too Big to Fail Banks almost for free, and charge students usurious rates?

    Comprehensive Immigration Reform:  For a nation of immigrants, we certainly are conflicted regarding those following in our (or our ancestors) footsteps. Past time to make that right, and has support from business as well as progressives.  We’ll have to reassure voters we’ve included safeguards so waves of immigrants don’t come in to take their jobs, use up healthcare tax dollars, etc.

          1   A Constitutional Amendment for Equal Rights for Women.  Long overdue.

    II:  TAX REFORM:  (Yes, the rich will hate these and  call them class warfare, but they  were the ones who started the class warfare decades ago, and if we don’t start fighting back soon, it will be increasingly difficult if not impossible to ever level the playing field.)

    1) Eliminate the lower tax rates for capital gains income.  Income is income, and all should be taxed the same .  For years we’ve heard that the rich need special treatment of investment income so they will re-invest it and prosperity will “trickle down” to the rest of us.  But that was never true. Nearly all new wealth in recent years has gone to the wealthiest 1% or .1%, and wealth disparity has grown to the highest levels since the Robber Barons.  

    If you had the good fortune to have $1million in a US stock market index fund in 2013, you made about $250,000 without doing anything.  If you had $1billion in such a fund, you made $250 million.  Without doing anything.  One could argue that capital gains should be taxed at HIGHER levels than regular income, but probably treating all income the same is fairest, with higher tax rates for the wealthy, elimination of many loopholes, and stronger alternative minimum taxes.  Certainly, taxing Capital gains at LOWER rates than income obtained by real work by real people is crazy, and the fact that has been the case since 1921 largely reflects how well the government does what  rich people want.

    2)  All Financial Trades Should Be Taxed 0.5%.

    It’s a simple tweak that would reign in an out-of-control financial sector, stimulate jobs, generate billions of revenue, and possibly prevent another heart-wrenching crisis. Nobel Prize-winning economists like Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman want it. Billionaires like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates want it. Polls show the majority of Americans want it. Even the Pope wants it.
    We’re talking about a financial transaction tax (FTT) — a tiny tax of, say, less than half a percent: maybe 3 cents per $100  — on Wall Street trading. It’s simple, more than fair, widely supported by the public, and long overdue.  Wall Street has been raking in billions of dollars in profits from financial transactions. And they pay not a penny in taxes on most of them.

    Instead of talking about nickel-and-diming seniors by cutting their Social Security and Medicare, letting our infrastructure crumble, and forcing our children to go without proper education or medicine, we could be returning sanity and balance to our financial system. The FTT would put the breaks on the sort of reckless, breakneck-speed computer gambling that helped tank the American economy five years ago. It could raise hundreds of billions annually. Did you hear that, deficit hawks? We’d have enough to close the funding gaps in states that had their budgets destroyed by Wall Street’s risky behavior and predation. We’d even have enough to invest in new jobs. http://www.salon.com/...

    This small tax of less than ½ of 1% on Wall Street transactions can generate hundreds of billions of dollars each year in the US alone.

    Enough to protect American schools, housing, local governments and hospitals. Enough to pay for lifesaving AIDS medicines. Enough to support people and communities around the world – and deal with the climate challenges we're facing.

    It won't affect ordinary Americans, their personal savings, or every day consumer activity, such as ATMs or debit cards. It's easy to enforce and tough to evade.

    This is a tax on Wall Street, which created the greatest economic crisis in our nation, and globally, since the Great Depression. The same people who have returned to record profits and bonuses while ordinary Americans, the 99%, continue to pay the price of their crisis.

    So it's time for justice for ordinary families and businesses. For American families faced with a choice between buying food or paying the heating bill.

    The Robin Hood Tax is just. The banks can afford it. The systems are in place to collect it. It won't affect ordinary members of the public, their bank accounts or their savings. It's fair, it's timely, and it's possible.

    It's not a tax on the people, but a tax for the people.

    http://www.robinhoodtax.org/...  

    A financial transaction tax would also help eliminate the scam of being able to trade stocks a few milleseconds faster, which does nothing productive, but does suck billions of dollars out of the economy and into their companies and bank accounts. Now many of our best and brightest young people go into financial fields for great wealth with no benefit to society, rather than helping solve the many large problems we face.

    Eliminate corporate tax loopholes:

    We can and must do better than having many of our wealthiest and most successful companies pay little or no corporate taxes.

    5) Reinstate inheritance taxes and eliminate perpetual trusts to lessen the formation of a hereditary aristocracy. (Wealth and our Commonwealth, Gates)

    According to a study published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, only 1.6% of Americans receive $100,000 or more in inheritance. Another 1.1% receive $50,000 to $100,000. On the other hand, 91.9% receive nothing (Kotlikoff & Gokhale, 2000). Thus, the attempt by ultra-conservatives to eliminate inheritance taxes -- which they always call "death taxes" for P.R. reasons -- would take a huge bite out of government revenues (an estimated $253 billion between 2012 and 2022) for the benefit of the heirs of the mere 0.6% of Americans whose death would lead to the payment of any estate taxes whatsoever (Citizens for Tax Justice, 2010b). http://www2.ucsc.edu/...

    Bolster Social Security by eliminating the cap on income, so the wealthy pay the same percentage as their secretaries and servants.

    Social Security payroll tax contributions are only paid on wages up to $117,000 in 2014, , with employees  and employers contributing equally.  Less than 6 percent of the population has wages above the cap.  While the vast majority of Americans must make payroll tax contributions on all of their wages, millionaires and billionaires only do so on the first $117,000 of their earnings.  Scrapping the cap so that all earnings are subject to the payroll tax would come very close to closing Social Security’s entire projected 75 year funding gap.  Congress scrapped the cap on payroll tax contributions to Medicare’s Hospital Insurance Trust Fund in 1993.  It’s time for Congress to do the same for Social Security.  www.robinhoodtax.org/

    Ironically, perhaps the leveling of wealth and income that would result (along with immense whining) from the above changes in tax law, is necessary for the global economy to succeed.  Redistribution of some money from the wealthy to the public is the best cure for the liquidity trap discussed below, and therefore benefits not only the public, but the wealthy as well:

    MON JUN 09, 2014 AT 10:21 AM PDT
    The specter of deflation haunts Europe
    by
    gjohnsit
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     On Thursday the European Central Bank dropped interest rates on deposits to -0.1%. In effect, the ECB will charge depositors (other banks) who save their money with them.
       This isn't the first time that a European country has gone negative. Denmark and Sweden temporary did it in 2009-2010. Switzerland interest rates have been effectively negative for several years.
      The difference this time is size: there is real fear that the ECB move will force the rest of Europe and the Federal Reserve to do the same.

      Desperate monetary measures like this unmask the real problem - deflation.

    But euro weakness means other currencies would have to appreciate. And by pushing up other currencies, the ECB action would, in effect, be passing the single currency’s deflationary pressures onto other economies.
      Croatia, Hungary and Bulgaria, which are outside of the single currency, are all already suffering from deflation. Sweden and Switzerland have been flirting with negative prices. And the U.K.’s inflation rate has dropped below the Bank of England’s 2% target despite the economy’s strength.
     All three nations with pegged currencies, Switzerland, Denmark, and Sweden, will almost certainly be forced by the ECB to follow suit. The more nations that go negative creates more pressure on the rest of the world to go negative.
     The way we are going, the whole world will end up with zero interest rates or some variant of quantitative easing before long...Such too is the implication of a global savings rate that has spiralled to an all-time high of 25pc of GDP, starving the world of demand.
     Europe's inflation rate is barely above zero, while America's is less than 2%.
      The ironic thing is that the ECB's hand was forced by Japan, which has been exporting their deflation to Europe.
      After Japan, the biggest exporter of deflation is China, which also has been exporting deflation for years.
      Global monetary policy is in the same position and making all the same mistakes as were made early in the Great Depression. It's not a coincidence that the current dominant economic school is neoclassical - similar to the dominant economic thinking of 1930.
    Learning from Keynes

        Just because economists no longer pay attention to most of Keynes' teachings, doesn't mean he isn't still trying to tell us something, and the 2008 crisis and the failure of the neoclassical efficient-market hypothesis opened the window to reexamine the Keynesian school.
       Consider a concept of Keynes that is most relevant today: liquidity trap.

     A liquidity trap is caused when people hoard cash because they expect an adverse event such as deflation, insufficient aggregate demand, or war. Common characteristics of a liquidity trap are interest rates that are close to zero and fluctuations in the money supply that fail to translate into fluctuations in price levels.
     Those are exactly the conditions that we are currently suffering from today, a point that Paul Krugman has been trying to call attention to for years.
      Back in 2005, new Fed Chief Ben Bernanke warned about a global savings glut. Since then it has only gotten bigger as the global elite hide their riches from the tax man. This is happening despite global interest rates at record lows.
      This is exactly the environment that Keynes described when he created the liquidity trap theory, yet today's neoclassical economists are still "puzzled" about why economic growth remains slow, and why the economies of Europe are flat despite several rounds of austerity.
      The wealthy don't invest these trillions, but instead use it to hoard and speculate, often causing disastrous bubbles. Neoclassical economics and Say's Law has no answers for this problem, but Keynes logically predicted it.
      You might think that when the global economy has such an obvious flaw that has been predicted and described in detail by one of the great economists in history, that people would pay attention. Yet outside of Krugman, everyone scratches their heads in wonder, as if Keynes had never existed.
      It is long past time for mainstream economists to rediscover Keynes.

    12:51 PM PT: I am not aware of what was Keynes' solution to a liquidity trap. I'd be very interested if he ever mentioned a solution. He gets props just for accurately describing it and predicting it.
      From what I've read the normal solutions are...just about everything we've already tried, such as zero interest rates, discouraging savings, monetizing assets (such as mortgage-backed securities).

      There is only one last item on the list that hasn't been tried: Bernanke's Famous Helicopter Drop of money.
      It's actually a silly example, but the premise is deadly serious. It means bypassing the banks and sending money directly to consumers. It could manifest itself in many different forms.

    ORIGINALLY POSTED TO GJOHNSIT ON MON JUN 09, 2014 AT 10:21 AM PDT.

    I find it interesting, but not surprising, that Bernanke and Economists have not suggested redistribution of wealth as a solution to deflation and the liquidity trap.  Even in the above post, there is no mention.  But this Contract could get money to consumers, and cure the liquidity trap much better than a Helicopter.

    III:  FAIRER ELECTIONS and LESS CORRUPTION in GOVERNMENT:  

    Not that long ago, when you paid a government official to get the laws you wanted, it was called Corruption, or Bribery.   Now we just call it Government.

    To avoid becoming a nation of, by and for the money, we need:

    A Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United.  Corporations are NOT people, and do not have a right to “free speech” in the form of buying elections and elected officials.  The Citizens United decision gutted campaign finance restrictions and we need a constitutional amendment to limit the power and influence of money in elections and government.  But there are things we can do in the meantime, without involving “free speech”.

    Transparency.  Make names of all donors public Perhaps even TV ads which accept more than $1000 from any one person would need to list the donor and amount given.  (you can have all the “free speech” you want, but not anonymously)

    Anticorruption Measures:  Even the Supreme Court acknowledges that “corruption or the appearance of corruption” is not a good thing.  Yet we allow politicians to accept money, and then do what the donor asks.  More ethical and reasonable would be that a politicians can take all the money they want from any individual, but if it is more than, say $10,000, they must recuse themselves from any vote likely to benefit the donors more than the general public.  

    Make lying to confuse or mislead voters illegal.  As in the measure above, there will of course be gray areas, reasonable disagreement, and need for litigation at times, but the potential for punishment for intentional misleading (or laws for money) should have some salutary effect.

    Prohibit unreasonable restrictions on voting, and registration. A new voters’ rights act to prohibit election laws designed to discourage certain groups from voting.  Voter ID would be allowed, but only if states ensured that seniors, minorities, etc. were able to easily obtain such ID.  Voting hours, wait lines, availability of bathrooms at voting places, etc could not be manipulated in a discriminatory manner.

    Stop the “revolving door” between those in government and industry,.  Government officials should be banned for 3 years from lobbying the government.  Politicians will hate this proposal, because it is very lucrative for former government employees to then use their relationships to sell out the public interest for special interests.

    Limit ability of corporations and industries to set the regulations on themselves.

    IV:  CELEBRATE AND BUILD ON OUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

     Embrace, support and improve Obamacare.  While not perfect, particularly during its rollout, it has helped, and will help many people, and was a necessary and difficult step.  We should be proud of it, educate voters, and work to make it better. Most of its  real faults were that it didn’t go far enough (single payer, for example) rather than it went too far.  Most of its perceived faults are the result of blatant misinformation by Republicans and Faux News. Work to make Health Care more patient centered, efficient, and cost effective.

    Embrace global climate change as a scientific fact, and a serious threat to us all.  Embrace and celebrate the new emissions standards for existing coal  power plants.  Strongly encourage efficiency and renewable energy use by corporations, utilities and the public.  

     V:  Maybe Include, Maybe Not

    1) ABORTION: (Obviously, this is an extremely contentious issue, and may not be a good addition to the contract.  I think we should be courageous in the issues which level the playing field against the rich and powerful, and strategic on issues like abortion, gun control, carbon taxes, etc.  If they would doom our contract to failure, we should settle for what we can get.  If we can include them and win, fantastic!)  

    Reduce the number of Abortions by one half, within 4 years, not by making abortion difficult, illegal, shameful, prohibitively expensive, or demeaning.  But rather by making women’s health care including availability of contraception so good and encouraged that the vast majority of women choose whether or not to have a child BEFORE they get pregnant.  

    When necessary, however, abortions need to be safe, available, and affordable.  In states where availability of abortion clinics is very limited, federal hospitals or clinics through Public Health Service, VA, etc. could provide this care.  People against abortion, often think the pro-choice people like abortion.  Many of us do not.  Contraception is much safer, cheaper, more broadly supported, and less ethically challenging.  Abortion, in comparison with contraception, is a terrible choice;  Yet, sometimes it may still be the best choice available, compared to a mother’s other options;  and that decision is primarily up to the her.  

    The “pro-Life” folks have spent decades trying to eliminate Abortion.  They have caused untold suffering;  they have even murdered people they disagreed with.  From its maximum they have decreased the total number of abortions per year about 30% , and the number of abortions per 100 women aged 18-44 about 44%.  http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/...

    But we could halve that number again.  It is long past time for a different approach.  One that is humane and rational, and takes into account the best interests of women, children, and society as a whole.  It is not time to make Abortion illegal or unavailable.  It is time to make Abortion largely Unnecessary and Obsolete, by having the vast majority of child bearing choices made BEFORE pregnancy.

    This is a variation on President Clinton’s “safe, legal, and rare”.  The difference now is that we would help make that happen.  Contraception would be actively encouraged except when pregnancy is desired, and access to safe, affordable abortions would be provided by the federal facilities if  and when needed.

    It would seem any rational person who truly wants fewer abortions, should support this plan.  I think many Pro-Choice people suspect that the most avid anti-abortion people also object “to a women's right to make medical decisions in private”, or want “to control other people and punish those who don't follow the rules they want them to follow”.  Including this plank in our Progressive Contract platform, would shed light on how much that opinion is true.

    Reportedly 99% of women use some form of contraception at least some time in their lives.  Polls show about 8% of people think contraception is morally wrong, as opposed to about 51% who question the morality of abortion.  http://www.slate.com/...   (note, my conclusion is slightly different from the article I cite.  Certainly, many people are against abortion and for contraception.  But what is the motivation of the people actively working against abortion?)  

    2)  SEXUAL ASSAULT is a huge problem, both in the military, and on college campuses.  It certainly needs to be urgently addressed, but whether in this contract is less clear.    Of course we need to provide careful safeguards so innocent men’s lives are not ruined unjustly; but we need to provide much better protection for our women and other victims.

    An under-appreciated fact of sexual assaults both on campus and in the military is that those who sexually assault others do so repeatedly. They are almost always repeat offenders.  One way to address this is to require investigation files, and encourage victims to file a report, even when they are afraid, or unwilling, to press charges.    If subsequent reports involve the same perpetrator, victims could be invited to reconsider their decision, and charges could be brought by groups of victims to mitigate some of the humiliation and fear they experience. (This may require some adjustments to the statute of limitations.)

    3) CARBON TAXES:  Income taxes are not always the best taxes.  One could argue that taxes on fossil fuels (so we use less of them, encourage renewable energy and efficiency, and lessen global climate change)  makes more sense than taxes on work (income) which we don’t necessarily want to discourage.  Perhaps we could eliminate all income taxes for family income less than $200,000/year, with carbon taxes which increase only about a penny per gallon per month until they replace the income tax revenue, while incentivizing environmental stewardship.

    Unfortunately, even Democrats seem to feel we are entitled to pay 1/2 as much for our fuel as most of the rest of the world, so carbon taxes are a hard sell, and,alas may not make the cut this year for the Progressive contract.

    Carbon taxes also make perfect sense to fund our highways and bridges, since those using that infrastructure most would help pay for it.   They are essentially a user fee.

    Cap and Trade purports to do the same thing as carbon taxes, but most of the money would go to the large banks and brokerage houses, rather than rebuilding infrastructure and replacing government revenue now obtained by taxing income.

    This is obviously a work in progress, but I really appreciate your considering it, and look forward to hearing from you.  

    Thank you again for all your good work.

    Best Regards,
    John Uhl
    johnauhl@gmail.com
    408-391-4537

  •  War on young people you say? (0+ / 0-)

    How about the whole student loan mess?

    edwardlcote.blogspot.com

    by Edward L Cote on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 03:12:59 PM PDT

  •  if the recent "voter registration" restrictions (0+ / 0-)

    in Red states are any indication, they're attacking the student voters as well.

    * No out of state ID's accepted
    * Student ID's not accepted
    * Registration requirements raised
    * Absentee ballots disallowed or severely curtailed

    Apparently the hot button with students is of course, student loans and the usury that is the student-loan business... so rather than deal with the hot-button issues that will bring them out to vote for Those Librul Commie Pinkos in the D section of the ballot, they'll simply disenfranchise anyone under 30.

    Well played, GOP... NOT.

    The Rich and Spoiled 1%'ers are making the Biker Gang 1%'ers look a lot better than they used to.

    by dcnblues on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 03:32:28 PM PDT

  •  Cliven (0+ / 0-)

    Hasn't missed a meal of government grass, now, has he?  Bundy owes ME for his gut!!!!!!!!!!

  •  Counter class action lawsuit (0+ / 0-)

    I think it is time we start a class action against the republican congress for receiving money under false pretenses. They are being paid to work for us but instead they are using the money we pay them for masterbation. They are creating false scandals and holding fantasy votes against the ACA. They are doing anything but their job and then blaming President Obama for their lack of action. Now they want to have a lawsuit against President Obama so I say it is time we counter sue.

  •  Culture wars (0+ / 0-)

    As an old fat white guy who stands in line a little bit to the left of Trotsky. Right on. Throw the bums out! Organize to fight!

  •  Very motivational and I hope this bring out more (0+ / 0-)

    women.  Yeah, who really does not believe in birth control - all the Republicans who want to suppress women's rights as those rights threaten old white men and the religious right.

  •  Democrats (0+ / 0-)

    are their own worst enemies. Democratic politicians are incapable of voting as a bloc unless they are dosed with a massive amount of epoxy and Democratic voters can't get past their apathy and their complete ignorance of our society as it now stands.

  •  And we are still (0+ / 0-)

    suffering the effects of the George W. Bush presidency, and with  the  Roberts court, we will for years to come. Unless...Unless...

    Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.---George Orwell

    by okpkpkp on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 06:50:03 PM PDT

  •  Charge ol' Gundy Extra (0+ / 0-)

        Looks like ol' Cliven's been out there grazing on that "free" government grass himself!!!

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