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US Politics

US Politics

Discussion covering all angles of American politics.
Eric Logan
Guess Who Makes More Than Bankers–Regulators - -
Guess Who Makes More Than Bankers–Regulators -
Long before George Bailey wrestled with Mr. Potter in "It's a Wonderful Life," the public decried the pay of top executives in large financial institutions. Overpaid bank executives are the villains in regulatory morality tales and feed distorted public perceptions about bankers' pay. It is true that the very top bank executives make more in a year than most of us make in a lifetime, but compensation of this magnitude is rare. Most banks in this country are small businesses and pay employees modest salaries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average annual salary of a bank employee was $49,540 in 2012, not much higher than the average annual across all occupations, $45,790. Yet one group in banking stands out as highly paid—federal bank regulators. Before the Dodd-Frank Act, the average employee of a federal bank regulatory agency received 2.3 times the average compensation of a private banker. By 2013 this ratio increased to more than 2.7—and in some cases considerably... more... - Eric Logan from Bookmarklet
Eric Logan
It’s not every day that an academic work, written by a French economist and published by a university press, is celebrated as a “watershed book,” but this is what commentators are saying about Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century—at least, liberal commentators. The New York Times’s Paul Krugman, among others, has deemed Capital the most important economic book in a decade. Less ideological readers should be more cautious. Piketty’s book is important and deserves respect: his 700-page opus, a decade in the making, brings together an incredible amount of data on the accumulation of capital since the Industrial Revolution. If you want to know, say, the relative income of a landowner in the United States or in France compared with an entrepreneur in the mid-nineteenth century, Piketty has an answer. Piketty also helps explain why the French remember their revolution and the subsequent Napoleonic period fondly: “It was an era of relative high wages for the lower class... more... - Eric Logan from Bookmarklet
Eric Logan
How Did Canada's Middle Class Get So Rich? - Derek Thompson - The Atlantic -
How Did Canada's Middle Class Get So Rich? - Derek Thompson - The Atlantic
America's middle class has been richest in the world for decades, but as David Leonhardt and Kevin Quealy write in the Times' new site The Upshot, we've lost that distinction to our neighbors from the north. Canada is officially home to the richest middle class on the planet, according to figures crunched from the Luxembourg Income Study Database. Here's the last 30 years of America's dwindling income advantage in a handy chart. How did we lose the lead? The authors blame three broad factors: (1) Canada's education attainment is outpacing the U.S. and most of the world; (2) American middle-class market wages aren't keeping up with overall economic growth; and (3) Other governments are doing more to redistribute income to poorer families in other countries, particularly in western and northern Europe. One word that doesn't appear in the article, however, is housing. The U.S. is emerging from a catastrophic collapse of the housing market that obliterated household wealth for millions of... more... - Eric Logan from Bookmarklet
Eric Logan
Founder of Russia’s “Facebook” says he was ousted, Putin’s men in “complete control” of the site. -
Founder of Russia’s “Facebook” says he was ousted, Putin’s men in “complete control” of the site.
Pavel Durov, the 29-year-old founder of Vkontakte — Russia’s “Facebook” — was fired form the social media site, according to Buzzfeed. “Judging by the news, as a result of my public renunciation last week, today I was fired as general director of VKontakte,” Durov posted to the social media site. He also went onto say that after seven years of relative social media freedom, two of Putin’s right hand men are now in control of Vkontakte. “In this way, today VKontakte goes under the complete control of Igor Sechin and Alisher Usmanov. Probably, in the Russian context, something like this was inevitable, but I’m happy we lasted 7 and a half years. We did a lot. And part of what’s been done can’t be turned back.” According to The Economic Times, Usmanov was named “Russia’s richest tycoon for the third year in a row,” and is worth $18.6 billion. He’s the co-owner of Russia’s largest iron ore mining company, once held 10 percent of (U.S.) Facebook’s shares, and currently owns shares of Russia’s internet group Mail.Ru and the UK soccer team Arsenal. - Eric Logan from Bookmarklet
The tsar is back! - Todd Hoff
Steven Perez
Oklahoma Will Charge Customers Who Install Their Own Solar Panels | ThinkProgress -
Oklahoma Will Charge Customers Who Install Their Own Solar Panels | ThinkProgress
"Oklahoma residents who produce their own energy through solar panels or small wind turbines on their property will now be charged an additional fee, the result of a new bill passed by the state legislature and expected to be signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin (R). On Monday, S.B. 1456 passed the state House 83-5 after no debate. The measure creates a new class of customers: those who install distributed power generation systems like solar panels or small wind turbines on their property and sell the excess energy back to the grid. While those with systems already installed won’t be affected, the new class of customers will now be charged a monthly fee — a shift that happened quickly and caught many in the state off guard. “We knew nothing about it and all of a sudden it’s attached to some other bill,” Ctaci Gary, owner of Sun City Oklahoma, told ThinkProgress. “It just appeared out of nowhere.”" - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
Interesting. I'm trying to think creatively about how this could backfire on the utilities. - Brian Johns
How stupid. One would think they would be encouraging this. - Eric Logan from FFHound!
The Koch Brothers and ALEC strike again see Salon for more info: The Koch brothers are going after solar panels via @Salon - WarLord
people going 100% off-grid WRT electric utility? how do you charge someone who is no longer a customer? - Big Joe Silence
It looks like more freedom for us. - Todd Hoff
The purpose of the smart grid was to allow energy producers to sell electricity back to the grid. T. Boone Pickens the Oklahoma Oil billionaire has been promoting it for quite awhile. - Eric Logan
Eric Logan
Math: Your Secret Weapon Against Wall Street and the NSA | Mother Jones -
Math: Your Secret Weapon Against Wall Street and the NSA | Mother Jones
As Edward Frenkel sees it, the way we teach math in schools today is about as exciting as watching paint dry. So it's not surprising that when he brings up the fact that he's a mathematician at dinner parties, eyes quickly glaze over. "Most people, unfortunately, have a very bad experience with mathematics," Frenkel says. And no wonder: The math we learn in school is as far from what Frenkel believes is the soul of mathematics as a painted fence is from "The Starry Night" by Van Gogh, Frenkel's favorite painter. The Russian born University of California-Berkeley mathematician, whose day job involves probing the connections between math and quantum physics, wants to change that. Rather than alienating drudgery, Frenkel views math as an "archipelago of knowledge" that's universally available to all of us, and he's been everywhere of late spreading the word. In particular, Frenkel is intent on warning us about how people are constantly using (or misusing) math to get our personal data,... more... - Eric Logan from Bookmarklet
Mathematics is the study of the higher consciousness. The Map. Frenkel was born in Russia. He is light years ahead of American talent because of how Russia teaches their students. Same with China. And India. I doubt that Americans will be able to claim anything in Maths or Physics by 2050. The US will be the Argentina of North America by then. Dead. Unfortunately. American Millennials... more... - MRW_8 "Do all mathematicians have an ass that high and tight" - Greg GuitarBuster
Thanks for the link to the Colbert vid. I watched it just to hear that remark. ;-) He was one of Gelfand's students? hmmmn. - MRW_8
Steven Perez
What Are The Gobshites Saying These Days? - Esquire -
"Well, allow me to retort, crudely:  fk off, you insufferable foof. Better bloggers than I have spent years -- nay. decades -- cataloguing how swiftly Mr. Brooks can flee from his previously rock-solid convictions the first time the consequences of those convictions go bad and threaten his speaking fees. (His performance in the aftermath of 9/11 and during the run-up to the Iraq War -- which, I presume, proved that C-Plus Augustus had no "manhood problem" which, in Mr. Brooks's world, is measured, drop by drop, by the blood of other people's children -- and then afterwards, when it went sour, and he looked like an idiot, is a masterpiece of intellectual cowardice. It's a wonder there aren't 100 cocks crowing around his house by now.) Pick you metaphor. Ugly by a frog. Arrogant by a Romney, Chaste by a Palin. Having your manhood questioned by a walking bit of tweed like David Brooks is like being called all of these things, and so many more. Come up with your own. Operators are standing by. This is a free call. I mean, Jesus H. Christ on a 10-day contract with the Spurs." - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
Steven Perez
New York Times' David Brooks Says Obama Has 'A Manhood Problem In The Middle East' | ThinkProgress -
New York Times' David Brooks Says Obama Has 'A Manhood Problem In The Middle East' | ThinkProgress
"BROOKS: Basically since Yalta we’ve had an assumption that borders are basically going to be borders and once that comes into question if in Ukraine or in Crimea or anywhere else, then all over the world all bets are off. And let’s face it, Obama, whether deservedly or not, does have a — I’ll say it crudely — but a manhood problem in the Middle East. Is he tough enough to stand up to somebody like Assad or somebody like Putin? I think a lot of the rap is unfair but certainly in the Middle East there is an assumption that he’s not tough enough." - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
I wish Brooks would keep his anxious masculinity to himself. - John (bird whisperer)
Bobo does enjoy stepping in it. - Steven Perez
A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends!!! - عِمرانــ
Eric Logan
James Lovelock reflects on Gaia's legacy : Nature News & Comment -
James Lovelock reflects on Gaia's legacy : Nature News & Comment
Is climate change going to be less extreme than you previously thought? The Revenge of Gaia was over the top, but we were all so taken in by the perfect correlation between temperature and CO2 in the ice-core analyses [from the ice-sheets of Greenland and Antarctica, studied since the 1980s]. You could draw a straight line relating temperature and CO2, and it was such a temptation for everyone to say, “Well, with CO2 rising we can say in such and such a year it will be this hot.” It was a mistake we all made. We shouldn’t have forgotten that the system has a lot of inertia and we’re not going to shift it very quickly. The thing we’ve all forgotten is the heat storage of the ocean — it’s a thousand times greater than the atmosphere and the surface. You can’t change that very rapidly. But being an independent scientist, it is much easier to say you made a mistake than if you are a government department or an employee or anything like that. So what will the next 100 years look like? That’s impossible to answer. All I can say is that it will be nowhere as near as bad as the worst-case scenario. - Eric Logan from Bookmarklet
Steven Perez
After Dry Winter In California, Preparations Begin For Harsh Wildfire Season | ThinkProgress -
After Dry Winter In California, Preparations Begin For Harsh Wildfire Season | ThinkProgress
"It’s been a long, dry winter for California, with record-low snowpack and ideal wildfire conditions to show for it. At the beginning of the month, during the time when snowpack usually peaks, the state snow survey showed it to be at 32 percent of average, one of the lowest years on record. In some areas of the Sierra Nevada Mountains — where snowpack provides crucial water supply over the summer — nearly half the snowpack has melted in just the past week due to soaring temperatures according to reporting done by Andrew Freedman at Mashable." - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
Steven Perez
The U.S. Isn't Very Good At Preventing Our Food From Making Us Sick | ThinkProgress -
The U.S. Isn't Very Good At Preventing Our Food From Making Us Sick | ThinkProgress
The U.S. Isn't Very Good At Preventing Our Food From Making Us Sick | ThinkProgress
"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just released this year’s food safety report — and while the agency is celebrating some incremental progress in combating foodborne illnesses, it’s clear there’s still much more work that needs to be done. When compared to a 2006-2008 period, the rate of foodborne illnesses in 2013 either increased or stayed about the same for most major disease agents." - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
Steven Perez
Texas Women Just Lost Access To Another Abortion Clinic | ThinkProgress -
Texas Women Just Lost Access To Another Abortion Clinic | ThinkProgress
"Texas’ harsh anti-abortion law has claimed another victim, as a clinic in El Paso has been forced to immediately halt its abortion services. The Reproductive Services clinic attempted to seek an injunction against the provision of the law that requires abortion clinics to get admitting privileges from local hospitals — a medically unnecessary requirement that’s often impossible to meet — but a federal judge denied that request." - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
Steven Perez
High Levels Of Mercury Found In Fish In Remote National Parks | ThinkProgress -
High Levels Of Mercury Found In Fish In Remote National Parks | ThinkProgress
"Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey and National Park Service released a report Thursday that found 5 percent of the freshwater fish sampled in 21 western national parks had levels of mercury that were high enough to trigger toxic responses from the fish themselves, potentially endangering their health and lives. In addition, 35 percent of the fish sampled had enough mercury in them to impact the health of some predatory birds, and 68 percent of fish had mercury levels above the recommended amount for “unlimited consumption” by humans. The researchers said in their report that the levels of mercury in some national parks were alarming because they occurred in small fish — organisms that should have the least amount of mercury in their systems, because the higher fish are on the food chain, the more mercury they’re expected to have. Zion, Capital Reef, Wrangell-St. Elias, and Lake Clark National Parks all contained sites in which most fish exceeded benchmarks for the... more... - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
Steven Perez
Western Re-Run: Nevada Rancher Versus The Feds | ThinkProgress -
Western Re-Run: Nevada Rancher Versus The Feds | ThinkProgress
"As High Country News reported in a chronology of the Hage case, he inspired other lawsuits and the Nevada ranchers who filed them all lost. Among them was Cliff Gardner from Elko County who fought all the way to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after the Forest Service revoked his grazing permit for abusing public land. Likewise Cliven Bundy, who was first ordered by a federal court to remove his cows from federal lands in 1998. Some of the particulars of all these range war cases differ, but the basics are the same: ranchers who stubbornly insist the federal government doesn’t have the authority to tell them what they can do on public lands, that someone else — the state or the ranchers themselves — actually owns those lands. This notion has been thoroughly discredited over and over again in the courts. The simple fact is, the hundreds of millions of acres managed by agencies like the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service are owned by the public and how they are... more... - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
Steven Perez
Poor People's Lives Are Getting Shorter | ThinkProgress -
Poor People's Lives Are Getting Shorter | ThinkProgress
Poor People's Lives Are Getting Shorter | ThinkProgress
Show all
"Although life expectancy has been rising for Americans as a whole, the people who live in this country aren’t necessary sharing those gains equally. Wealthy people are enjoying longer lifespans than lower income Americans, according to a new analysis from Brookings Institute researchers, and the gap is threatening to get wider. By the age of 55 years old, the average American man in the richest 10 percent of the county can expect to live another 35 years. But the average man in the poorest 10 percent only has about 24 years left. And the discrepancy is even starker among women, since low-income women’s life expectancy has actually been declining:" - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
Steven Perez
South Carolina Mayor With A History Of Anti-Gay Remarks Fires City's First Openly Gay Police Chief | ThinkProgress -
South Carolina Mayor With A History Of Anti-Gay Remarks Fires City's First Openly Gay Police Chief | ThinkProgress
"Residents of Latta, South Carolina are calling into question the motivations behind Mayor Earl Bullard’s firing of Police Chief Crystal Moore, a 20-year veteran on the town’s police department. Moore was unceremoniously relieved of her duties earlier this week after Bullard handed down a list of seven reprimands. Members of the city council have voiced their support for Moore and are condemning Bullard’s unilateral decision to fire Moore as an act of retribution, or worse: of outright homophobia." - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
Steven Perez
State Department To Delay Keystone XL Pipeline Decision Until After November | ThinkProgress -
State Department To Delay Keystone XL Pipeline Decision Until After November | ThinkProgress
"The State Department will “extend the government comment period on the Keystone XL pipeline, likely postponing a final decision on the controversial project until after the Nov. 4 midterm elections,” Reuters reported on Friday afternoon. The organization credited the information to a 1:30 call with Congressional staff. The decision of whether or not to approve the northern leg of TransCanada’s pipeline, connecting the tar sands of Alberta to oil refineries and export facilities in Texas, will enter its sixth year in September. State made the decision to give more time for 8 federal agencies to weigh in on the project. This would move the end of the review process, originally scheduled to end in May, to a date “likely” after the 2014 midterm elections, according to the Wall Street Journal. State Department officials cited a February district court decision that struck down a Nebraska law that aimed to put decisionmaking power over the pipeline in the hands of the governor." - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
Steven Perez
The Long-Term Unemployed Are Stuck Without Work Thanks To Bad Luck | ThinkProgress -
The Long-Term Unemployed Are Stuck Without Work Thanks To Bad Luck | ThinkProgress
"The long-term unemployed have most likely been out of work for so long simply because they had the misfortune of losing a job during a bad economy, according to an analysis by FiveThirtyEight’s Ben Casselman. His work “shows that by far the single biggest predictor of whether someone will be out of work for a year or more is the state of the economy when he or she loses his or her job,” he writes. This is true for the current recession and for other downturns more broadly. Over the last 15 years, during which they were two recessions, “a one-point increase in the unemployment rate increased an individual’s odds of remaining unemployed for at least a year by about 35 percent,” he finds. If someone loses a job when the unemployment rate is 8 percent or higher, he will be three and a half times more likely to be unemployed for about six months or longer compared to someone who loses her job when the unemployment rate is below 6 percent. Those who lost their jobs during the Great... more... - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
Steven Perez
The Imaginary Rule That Keeps Obama's Judges From Being Confirmed | ThinkProgress -
The Imaginary Rule That Keeps Obama's Judges From Being Confirmed | ThinkProgress
"The United States Senate is a labyrinth of arcane rules, obscure precedents, and traditions that were invented for an era when senators rode horses and buggies to Washington. There’s a rule that can force the clerk to spend hours reading a 767-page amendment aloud. There’s a another one that lets the minority leader order all committee work to shut down after 2pm. Indeed, even something as basic as a judicial confirmation is drawn out and complex. To confirm a circuit judge, the Senate has to vote on that judge, wait 30 hours, and then vote for her again. And even if someone masters the Senate’s many rules and traditions, they will still encounter roadblocks that are written nowhere in the Senate’s standing rules and that have very little grounding in its history. One of these is a practice that gives each senator the right to veto anyone named to a federal judgeship in their state. Because of this veto, Republican senators can make extortionate demands from President Obama. And they can back those demands up by threatening to hold every judicial vacancy in their state open until Obama leaves office." - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
Steven Perez
After Former KKK Leader Shoots Up Jewish Centers, CNN Asks: 'Can The Klan Rebrand?' | ThinkProgress -
After Former KKK Leader Shoots Up Jewish Centers, CNN Asks: 'Can The Klan Rebrand?' | ThinkProgress
"“Imperial Ancona, who lives in Missouri, insists there’s a new Klan for modern times — a Klan that’s “about educating people to our ideas and getting people to see our point of view to…help change things,” CNN’s Ashley Fantz writes. “He said he and those like him can spread that message without violence — a sort of rebranding of the Klan.” To learn if this is possible, Fantz asked marketing and PR experts if America’s most infamous white supremacist group could shed its violent past. According to one quoted ad agency president, lynchings are not too different from products, like a car that kills people because of an exploding gas tank. In his words, “if you have a car that is killing people because the gas tank is exploding, it doesn’t matter how fantastic the ad campaign is for that car.” CNN should have also taken note that this is not the first time the KKK has declared it is “rebranding.”" - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
Why would they? White/Aryan supremacy is their raison d'être. They're acting like violence is an aberration when it's their core brand. - John (bird whisperer)
Steven Perez
Congress Searching For Answers To Sexual Assault Crisis On College Campuses | ThinkProgress -
Congress Searching For Answers To Sexual Assault Crisis On College Campuses | ThinkProgress
"The lawmakers who spent the past year pushing for military sexual assault reform are now setting their sights on college campuses. Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Kirstin Gillibrand (D-NY), who introduced competing measures to change the way the military handles rape cases, are now working together to address the sexual assault crisis at colleges and universities. The issue of sexual assault at higher education institutions has received increasing attention as students at dozens of schools have filed federal complaints against their universities, accusing them of failing to protect victims. At the beginning of this year, President Obama announced the creation of a new White House task force to find policy solutions in this area. California lawmakers have introduced legislation at the state level. Now, U.S. lawmakers are laying the groundwork for national reform." - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
Steven Perez
Coal Company Cuts Off Ex-Miners From Their Health Benefits | ThinkProgress -
Coal Company Cuts Off Ex-Miners From Their Health Benefits | ThinkProgress
"More than one-thousand ex-coal miners are losing their promised health benefits in eight months. Murray Energy redirected the blame in its announcement this week to the Obama administration, insisting that the largest independent coal company in the U.S. is the real victim here — of the so-called war on coal. “Murray Energy’s inability to provide these benefits is, in part, due to the destruction of the coal industry, including our markets, by the Obama Administration and its appointees and supporters, who have eliminated the livelihoods of thousands of coal miners, and their families, by the forced closing of 392 coal-fired electric power plants in America, now and in the immediate future,” Murray said in a statement confirming the cuts. “Due to these action and devastated coal markets, Murray Energy is unable to support these benefits.”" - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
Steven Perez
Half of New York City Teens Behind Bars Have A Brain Injury, Study Finds | ThinkProgress -
Half of New York City Teens Behind Bars Have A Brain Injury, Study Finds | ThinkProgress
"About half of teens between the ages of 16 and 18 suffered a traumatic brain injury before being locked up in a New York City jail, a new study finds. Traumatic brain injuries can cause mood and behavior changes that vary depending on the nature of the injury, but often include impulsiveness, emotional volatility, and slowed brain processing speeds. These factors not only contribute the likelihood of individuals ending up in jail; they also affect the proper treatment while there and their likelihood of returning once released. “Two of the most common features of TBI, emotional dysregulation [mood volatility] and processing speed, may be linked to criminal justice involvement as well as problems while in jail,” according to the study in the Journal of Adolescent Health." - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
Steven Perez
Justice Scalia Tells Law Students 'Perhaps You Should Revolt' If Taxes Become Too High | ThinkProgress -
Justice Scalia Tells Law Students 'Perhaps You Should Revolt' If Taxes Become Too High | ThinkProgress
"During an event at the University of Tennessee’s law school on Tuesday, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia suggested to the capacity crowd that perhaps they should revolt against the U.S government if their taxes ever get too high. During a question and answer part of the event, a student asked Scalia about the constitutionality of a federal income tax. Scalia assured the questioner that the tax was in fact permissible by the constitution, but added that if it ever became too high, “perhaps you should revolt.”" - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
Steven Perez
Four Years After The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, The Gulf Is Still Suffering | ThinkProgress -
Four Years After The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, The Gulf Is Still Suffering | ThinkProgress
"In his 34 years living in Louisiana, Ryan Lambert can’t remember ever seeing young, dead dolphins on his trips out in the Gulf. In just the last few months, however, he says he’s seen two. Lambert, who owns a charter fishing company in Louisiana, told ThinkProgress he’s worried that the dying dolphins he’s still seeing point to lingering effects of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, which four years ago killed 11 people and spewed 210 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. “We still see little telltale signs,” he said. “There’s crabs with holes in their shells we’re seeing that we haven’t seen before, and I’ve never seen baby dolphins die.” One study has linked the spill to dolphin deaths in the Gulf, finding that dolphins’ diseases in Louisiana’s Barataria Bay are rare but consistent with oil exposure. BP, however, has disputed that ongoing deaths and strandings are a result of the spill." - Steven Perez from Bookmarklet
Sean McBride
This business better be straightened out right quick: [Google; ukraine hoax traced] It's all over the Internet tonight.
If this is a false story, it needs to be knocked down immediately. - Sean McBride
Gut instinct: false. - Sean McBride
No response from the ADL yet -- the story is still exploding on Twitter. - Sean McBride
Wow. Watch - Kerry won't be questioned about his dignifying this hoax. - Berthe
Some people on Twitter are wondering whether neocons like Victoria Nuland in Kerry's State Department were behind the hoax. We definitely need much more info on this incident. - Sean McBride
Sean McBride
Elizabeth Warren Book Is A Liberal Call To Arms That Rips Tea Party 'Magical Thinking' -
Elizabeth Warren Book Is A Liberal Call To Arms That Rips Tea Party 'Magical Thinking'
"Elizabeth Warren's new book isn't just a memoir -- it's a full-throated endorsement of modern, populist liberalism and a scathing indictment of anti-government "magical thinking" by the tea party. While the Democratic Massachusetts senator structures her new volume, A Fighting Chance, as a chronological tale of her life, she also uses her experiences to make strategic points and arguments about her political philosophy, which embraces government and the labor movement as forces for good." - Sean McBride from Bookmarklet
"We can't bury our heads in the sand and pretend that if 'big government' disappears, so will society's toughest problems. That's just magical thinking -- and it's also dangerous thinking," Warren writes. "Our problems are getting bigger by the day and we need to develop some hardheaded, realistic responses. Instead of trying to starve the government or drown it in the bathtub, we need to tackle our problems head-on, and that will require better government." - Sean McBride
Wow. The magical thinking is that government programs will ever work. Look at the evidence of the last 50 years, trillions spent on poverty and still plenty of poverty. If anything, the government incentivizes poverty. Sean, do you have any hope that anything Elizabeth Warren would propose would do any good and if so, exactly what would that be? - Berthe
What government programs do you want to do away with? Social Security? Medicare? The EPA? The FDA? - Sean McBride
Please try to remember that I don't agree with everything I post -- usually my motive is to pin valuable data on the grid with the aim of looking at the whole picture and how things connect. All politics is a dialectical process -- in fact, all of history is a dialectial process -- a series of complex interactions. - Sean McBride
What does she want to do? - Berthe
Read her book and find out. - Sean McBride
nah. - Berthe
Interesting little tidbit in this article (My point being Democrats are gulling you when they whine about "pettiness" esp. re Warren and her Cherokee claims.) This is about the NC Senate race and heres the tidbit: " A day before Hagan struck, Reid’s Senate Majority PAC began airing $1 million in TV ads that link... more... - Berthe
Massachusetts voters, not Elizabeth Warren, dismissed the Cherokee controversy as petty and mean and handed Scott Brown a major defeat (he has since moved to New Hampshire). I think your judgment in picking winning issues in political contests is questionable -- the entire Tea Party suffers from that problem. So let them spin their wheels and go nowhere. - Sean McBride
I don't know if I'm interested in the politics of it or not, Sean. What impresses me is that over the information age that I've lived, government and politicians find ways to be less and less accountable. That's interesting because it takes a lot of calculated effort and innate dishonesty to keep it up when you know that people can get the information that you're lying. Lie for a... more... - Berthe
Politics is the art of lying effectively and getting away with it. - Sean McBride
Gotta hope that some are worse than others. Warren impresses me as a particularly bad actor. - Berthe
This discussion is academic: [Just In: Elizabeth Warren insists she won't run for president] A pity -- she had the power to use the nomination process to put a great deal of pressure on Queen Hillary. Apparently she doesn't have the stomach for it or was given a major talking to in private -- back off or else. - Sean McBride
The Democrats are probably afraid of her ultra-goodie-2-shoes-liberal persona. When he ran in 2008, Edwards got a lot of mileage out of that with some people. He didn't believe a word of it but there is a segment of the Democratic Party that loves that "Two Americas" shtik. - Berthe
Sean McBride
Marco Rubio's long, hard fall in New Hampshire | -
"There's a new edition of the WMUR/University of New Hampshire Granite State poll of the nation's first primary state. There's no surprise in who is leading the Republican presidential pack: Sen. Rand Paul has led or been tied for the lead in four of the five Granite State polls since April of last year. This time, he's in front with 15 percent of likely New Hampshire Republican primary voters saying they support him." - Sean McBride from Bookmarklet
"Here are the new results: Rand Paul, 15 percent; Kelly Ayotte and Paul Ryan, 13 percent; Chris Christie, 12 percent; Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz, 7 percent; Donald Trump, 5 percent; Bobby Jindal and Scott Walker, 3 percent; Marco Rubio, 2 percent; Rick Perry and Rick Santorum, 1 percent. The category "Someone else" received 3 percent, and "Don't Know Yet" received 15 percent." - Sean McBride
Sshhh. Our mainstream media won't say it but the only reason Marco Rubio dropped like that is that the voters are against amnesty for illegals and doubling the number of legal immigrants. Yahoo News is my home page and they had 2 "immigration" articles this morning, both from the point of view of how necessary it is to do that "reform." - Berthe
Sean McBride
This Neurosurgeon With No Political Experience Could Be An Early GOP Frontrunner For 2016 -
This Neurosurgeon With No Political Experience Could Be An Early GOP Frontrunner For 2016
"If money is any indication, a prominent Baltimore doctor with no political experience is an early front-runner in the 2016 U.S. presidential race. A group encouraging retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson to run for president raised $2.4 million in the first three months of this year, more than the group backing Hillary Clinton or those affiliated with Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and other potential candidates, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission." - Sean McBride from Bookmarklet
"There is no interest in running for president," [his manager] said. "If the Lord speaks to him and says to him to run, then that's a different story. But I don't know a lot of people in the world who the Lord has spoken to directly." - Brian Johns
Dollars to donuts that group is the same one that backed Herman Cain last time. - Berthe
Ben Carson is a very different person than Herman Cain -- you need to take a closer look at his policy positions. - Sean McBride
I've seen him on TV. Maybe he's a good doctor but not impressive as a political/policy/news commentator. Hasn't done a lot of thinking on any of it so my take is that someone is behind him, someone is cooking up this new black Republican hope. I don't know what they're hoping for, of course, as the people who might vote Republican see it as transparent and phony. - Berthe
Sean McBride
How Elizabeth Warren’s Book Tour Could Mean Trouble for Hillary Clinton - The Daily Beast -
"Not that the calls for her to get in, even just to pull Clinton leftward in a primary clash, are likely to quiet. Just on Wednesday, Richard Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest labor union, described Warren during a Reddit AMA as “the prototype of a person we would want to be president of the United States,” describing her as one of the rare politicians who leads from conviction. “In short, it don’t get no better.”" - Sean McBride from Bookmarklet
"Which is to say that Warren is likely to spell trouble for Clinton even from her position on the sidelines. So far, Hillary has hewed to the Clintonian center. She has suggested, for example, that she would take an even more hawkish line toward Iran and the Middle East. And even as the party tilts toward the left and heralds the rise of liberals like Warren and New York Mayor Bill de... more... - Sean McBride
"But the same crowd of young and liberals Democrats who boosted Howard Dean in 2004 and Barack Obama in 2008 remains out there, and wants to be wooed. This has been the crowd that has been yelling “Run, Liz, Run!” that set up a Draft Warren page on Facebook and that consists of exactly the kind of rabid partisans who are willing to drop out of school or quit their jobs to knock on doors in the snows of Cedar Rapids." - Sean McBride
Hmmm. I wonder if even 20% of the population recognizes the name "Elizabeth Warren." Maybe not 10%. She doesn't have the war to run on like Dean in 2004 and that didn't work out for Dean. She has a granny school marm persona, IMO. Obama won the nomination in 2008 because of black voters. That was the strategy of the money people who backed him from the start. Once black voters could see... more... - Berthe
When have you ever seen her on national TV? Seems more like a cult following. - Berthe
Berthe -- I don't trust your ability to play grandmaster political chess or to forecast political trends with much accuracy. :) Your mind doesn't work that way. To play that game one needs to set aside all of one's personal political biases and agendas entirely -- not a trace. Be objective. Do science. Open up one's mind completely to everything one might instinctively dislike. I don't... more... - Sean McBride
Successful politics is all about making the right sequences of moves on the board that win, not lose. Often those moves will be counterintuitive. - Sean McBride
Regarding Warren: she's a long shot, and has stated herself that she doesn't intend to run. But there is an interesting vanguard vibe there around her to pay attention to. Barack Obama came out of nowhere very quickly. This is often how history works. I never pay attention to what "most people" know about -- "most people" know very little about anything and certainly can't anticipate what is on even the near horizon. - Sean McBride
Obama won both elections because, among other reasons, many white voters found him to be an attractive candidate -- more appealing than John McCain and Mitt Romney. The GOP in general is out of touch with the main currents in American political and cultural life these days -- and it still hasn't come close to recovering from the damage caused by the Bush/Cheney administration. - Sean McBride
In politics one needs to be able to clearly differentiate between the things one wants to happen and the things one calculates are actually going to happen. Never under any circumstances believe one's own propaganda. - Sean McBride
Sean, I'll let you be the grandmaster of politics here! Remember in 2008 how some of the pundits were telling us that Obama was playing "11th dimension chess" whatever that is. It conjures a vision of an MC Escher print. - Berthe
I'm not a Republican but I do want to have 2 viable political parties. The Republicans, IMO, are going to face a choice between the voters and the media/donor establishment because they are losing the voters by pandering to the media/donor establishment. That's interesting to me. Its been a long time coming, I guess, since Buchanan '92. - Berthe
Re Obama - the reason I thought early on that he could be a viable candidate against Hillary Clinton in 2008 was that he was black and would get black voters. After the general election, I read that that was the thinking of the people who backed him with money early on. His campaign always had money and that's the "first primary," getting the money to run. Plus, a lot of those white... more... - Berthe
I definitely think that Obama is a political chess player -- he is able to envision in his head multiple long sequences of moves on the board and evaluate and pick the winning sequences more often than his opponents. - Sean McBride
Well . . . I'll let you think what you like about Obama. - Berthe
I voted for Obama twice because I preferred his policies and temperament over those of his opponents. I honestly didn't care about his race and gave it little thought. I tell can't tell you what a relief it has been simply to have an American president who is an effective public speaker -- calm, clear-thinking, thoughtful, articulate, etc. -- after the nightmare years of George W. Bush. - Sean McBride
Ditto my comment above about letting you think what you like about Obama! (I should leave it at that, IOW.) No, I don't think he's a good public speaker. He's boring and he doesn't believe anything he says. Tell me something he's ever said in a speech. I voted for him in 2008 in the primaries because it horrified me that Hillary Clinton was running for president. I could write a page on... more... - Berthe
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