Ordinary World: Monday 11Feb19

world

Ordinary World: Monday 11Feb19

[OW1] Don’t Let ?µ©%ing Measles Make a Comeback: Pass Legislation to Save The Public Health. Again. by David Koff: “The reality of the world in which we live is that some folks are just stupid: they deny that The Holocaust was real, they deny that we landed men on the Moon, they boldly believe that the Earth is flat and, as you’ve learned, they believe that vaccines are dangerous. Let them be stupid, Senator. Our job-yours and mine-is to craft legislation despite their shocking and dangerous stupidity. Therefore, When you announce that you’re once again sponsoring a bill to protect The Public’s health, you’ll no doubt be confronted with anger, misinformation, and outright lies. Expect that, plan a strategy for it and have a crack team of folks standing by to help you educate The Public and your fellow legislators. I’ll be on that team if you ask.”

[OW2] Beneath Brexit, The British Conservatives Are Changing by Josh Adams: “The next leader of the British Conservative Party will most likely be far removed from Trump’s brand of right-wing politics, which is noticeably less keen on free trade and far more socially conservative. What is not clear is whether or not this slavish devotion to Trumpism from congressional Republicans is an electoral convenience or a sign of a sincere (and permanent) change to the party’s philosophy. What is noticeable is that British conservatives are spending far less time talking up American conservatism as a model to emulate. Trumpism simply doesn’t sell across the pond. This generational change in the philosophy of the Conservative Party has gone largely unnoticed, and understandably so. Britain’s departure from the EU has gobbled up the political bandwidth and left little space for tracking other developments. On the opposite benches, Labour’s leadership transformation in recent years from a mainstream social democratic politics into a Maduro-sympathizing, anti-Semitic radical socialist one has been far more profound and dramatic (and if you’re into a little schadenfreude: entertaining, too).”

[OW3] You’re Living in the America John Dingell Made By Zach Stanton: “Modern America is as much a creation of John Dingell’s life work as anyone’s. If you or a parent or grandparent have relied on Medicare or Medicaid; if you’ve seethed about the lack of gun control; if you’ve cheered that segregation of public places is illegal and employment discrimination is banned; if you’re thankful for the continued existence of the U.S. auto industry; if you’ve raged about gas-guzzling cars contributing to climate change; if your health insurance is purchased on the Obamacare exchanges; if you’ve swum in lakes or rivers or oceans free from toxic pollution; if you’ve drunk a glass of or bathed your children in tap water with confidence that it’s free from contamination; then John Dingell played a role in your life.”

[OW4] Why It Doesn’t Matter if Ralph Northam Wasn’t in That Racist Photo By Lili Loofbourow: “That’s what this “let’s-insult-women-and-minorities” bravado is about, and its function isn’t rebellious. It simply confirms the quiet codes of power and dominance. It’s agreeing not be the killjoy in the group. It signals a willingness to play along with power, celebrate its excesses, affirm its essential privacy. And it’s disquieting—and should be disqualifying—to see that in a governor. It’s popular, these days, to insist that the rules have changed. That suddenly people are being held to standards that didn’t exist before, and that this is all rather unfair. Baloney. The reason that photo appeared in Northam’s yearbook in the first place is because it was violating a social standard, one that was apparently too flimsy to fully take hold in America. If you want to look edgy, blackface seemed like a pretty safe bet, and Northam took it, expecting it to cost him nothing. No one had the power to exact payment at Eastern Virginia Medical School in 1984, and Ralph Northam knew that. But nothing is free forever.”

[OW5] Omar ignites new anti-Semitism controversy with comments on AIPAC By John Bresnahan: “On Sunday night, Omar was responding to a tweet from prominent journalist Glenn Greenwald, who said, “Equating [Omar and Tlaib’s] criticism of Israel to Steve King’s long defense of white supremacy is obscene (McCarthy said it’s worse). In the US, we’re allowed to criticize our own government: certainly foreign governments. The GOP House Leader’s priorities are warped.” In response to Greewald’s post, Omar tweeted, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” followed by a music emoji, which suggested that money was calling the tune for McCarthy. When asked to explain where the money she was referring to came from, Omar tweeted: “AIPAC.” An Omar spokesman said the tweets “speak for themselves.” Democratic leadership offices didn’t respond Sunday evening to requests for comment on Omar’s statements. McCarthy and other Republicans have pressed Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and top Democrats to “take action” against Omar and Tlaib, saying he would do so if the GOP were the majority party.”

[OW6] The Trouble With Candace Owens by Cathy Young: “What exactly is that message and what are those values, other than boilerplate rhetoric about personal responsibility? A Trump personality cult? Locking up journalists who report the news in a way the President dislikes? A conservative version of tribalism and victimhood? (Owens has told her followers that conservatives shouldn’t “become skeptics” when they hear negative things about “one of our own.”) Mocking concerns about the resurgence of white supremacism, as she did in a video shortly after the white nationalist march in Charlottesville in which one of the participants ran down and killed a protester? Conspiracy theories such as speculation that white nationalist Richard Spencer is a Democratic plant? If you’re getting the sense that Owens is not a serious person, well…”

[OW7] If Trump Declares An Emergency To Build The Wall, Congress Can Block Him by Tamara Keith: “But that could change if President Trump follows through on his threat. A Democratic leadership aide tells NPR the House will “vigorously challenge any declaration that seeks an end run around Congress’s power of the purse.” That would likely include a resolution like the one Miller introduced back in 2005. If the Democrat-controlled House were to pass it, the Republican-controlled Senate would have no choice but to vote on it under the law. Several Republican senators have been cautioning the president not to put them in that position. “I have real concerns about it, but I’m not gonna start talking about the floor strategy and how I’m going to vote and how the House is going to vote until we get there and I hope we don’t get there,” said Senator Roy Blunt, R-Mo. But if they do get there and a resolution were to pass, President Trump could still veto it. It’s unlikely either chamber would have the two-thirds majority needed to reverse a veto.”

[OW8] Beyond the slogan, ‘Medicare for all’ vexes Democratic presidential candidates by Melanie Mason: “The role of insurance companies is an unavoidable flashpoint. While the Kaiser Family Foundation found nearly 60% of the public said they support a Medicare for all plan, that approval plummets to 37% if it would eliminate private insurers. Many are confused by how such a proposal would affect them. More than half of the respondents believed they could keep their employer-sponsored plan under Medicare for all, which is not the case under Sanders’ bill. Even the vocabulary surrounding the issue can be baffling. Universal coverage, for example, is not the same thing as single-payer. The former is a goal for everyone to have some form of health insurance; the latter is a specific type of system where one entity — usually the government — pays for everyone’s medical care. “Universal coverage is definitely something that gets a positive reaction from people, as does the general concept of the federal government doing more to provide health insurance for people,” Hamel said. “People agree on the goals and don’t agree on the ways to get there.” Single-payer advocates have seized on Medicare as an easily recognizable symbol of government healthcare, albeit one with significant reliance on private insurers. “The branding of ‘Medicare for all’ is so important because the vast majority of Americans know Medicare, they like it, they have family members that are on it,” said Topher Spiro, a health policy expert at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank.”


Senior Editor
Home Page Public Email Twitter 

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire.

Please do be so kind as to share this post.
Share

99 thoughts on “Ordinary World: Monday 11Feb19

  1. OW4: It would be fitting if this focus on personal purity over performance in the job ended with:

    a) resignation of all three statewide offices, b) GOP appointment of a replacement; c) replacement politicizes the election apparatus to make it hard for Democrats to vote; d) Democrats don’t need to worry about electing a racist, since they won’t have to worry about electing anyone in VA anymore.

    At least you can get to Planned Parenthood in DC, assuming you live in that part of the state. Oh well, gotta protect the world from… insufficient consequences (for the half the politics spectrum that chooses to subject itself to this)?

    Have you heard that there’s an organization scouring old yearbooks for incriminating evidence now? Freddie DeBoer was right that The modern woke left is a movement for snitches and wannabe cops.

      Quote  Link

    Report

    • At least with Fairfax, it is more than a question of purity over performance. It is question of whether he is a bloody felon who committed at least two rapes or not. You can’t be the anti-sexual assault party with a freaking rapist in high government office.

      The Democratic Party is in a tough spot in this situation. By presenting ourselves as the party of virtue we have opened ourselves up for these sorts of attacks. If we ignore them, we look hypocritical (i.e. we only care about it if Republicans do it). If pay attention to them, we kneecap ourselves at times.

      I also think that there is a closer link between purity and performance than many people acknowledge. Politicians that walk the walk on these issue are going to put for effort in fighting for racial and sexual equality than cynical politicians that go along with it to achieve power. Sincere politicians are less likely to abandon these issues as a matter of political expediency.

        Quote  Link

      Report

      • Fairfax is a different story, as he is accused of a crime, whereas Northam committed a violation of social norms (mostly elite social norms in practice) that supposedly reveals his cold, white-supremacist heart.

        I know the right brings up Robert Byrd way too much, but there is a point to his story that’s getting missed: it sticks in Democrats’ craw so effectively because today’s right has a positive conversion story template, whereas the modern left does not. By all current standards, Byrd should have ceded his seat to the GOP years before he did, lest we [insert cut-and-paste jargon] white supremacy.

        I think this is driven by wishful thinking about demographics. The left can be strangely natalist sometimes.

          Quote  Link

        Report

          • To an extent, yes. It’s gauche pretty much anywhere, but only an unrecoverable offense at elite levels.

            It’s telling that these norms are enforced when people become famous enough to make a valuable scalp, or who misbehave mostly at elite universities with a non-democratic diversity bureaucracy that cares first and foremost about protecting the institution from Twitter draggings.

            The fact that every time this happens, someone feels the need to haul out a historian to run us through the history of minstrelsy from the mid-19th century on should say something. Just like with Native opinion on the Redskins name, the people who are supposed to be offended care less and less the farther from power and influence you get. It’s an elite appeal.

              Quote  Link

            Report

            • According to polling, African-Americans in Virginia want Northam to stay on. I’ll take this at its word and they probably know the alternative of a Republican governor is worse.

              But I’m with pillsy, Blackface is an elite social liberal taboo thesis is not a hill I would die on.

                Quote  Link

              Report

              • Not to say that blackface is fashionable anywhere, but going after three-decade-old examples is certainly an elite trend that matters little to most people, including those in that poll. The same goes for cultural appropriation. It’s elite preening, supposedly on behalf of the downtrodden, who don’t seem to care one way or the other.

                Freddie DeBoer was right in “Planet of Cops”: in left spaces, it’s surveill or be surveilled. Everybody loves a snitch and withholding forgiveness is mistaken for fortitude.

                https://medium.com/@jesse.singal/planet-of-cops-50889004904d

                  Quote  Link

                Report

                • I can never figure out how it happened but there is a wonder in which “elite” in the United States means “upper-middle class bourgeois liberal” instead of Mitt Romney, Donald Trump, and the Koch Brothers. Even other upper-middle class bourgeois professionals like to bash their compatriots. People like Walker Bragman and Freddie DeBoer who like to pretend to be working class radicals.

                  The 1980s was less “woke” or whatever term you want to use than today perhaps but Weird Al Yankovich was able to make fun of Michael Jackson in the the 1980s without resorting to blackface. I remember seeing the movie Soulman on Comedy Central in the 1990s about 10-12 years after it was in theatres. The concept of the movie should make so queasy today.

                  If the majority of African-Americans want Northam to stay, I won’t question it. However, calling this another example of upper-middle class preening just screams of a sneer.

                    Quote  Link

                  Report

                  • A cultural elite and the simply wealthy can exist (partially) separately at the same time.

                    And I’m not defending blackface, or Northam’s choice to use it, assuming his unlikely excuse turns out to be false. My problem is the far fetched idea that this guy has been in elected office for years on the strength of a multi-racial coalition, but this photo shows he secretly harbors the same racial animus of reconstruction-era minstrels and has managed to hide it from everyone for 35 years.

                    Because if it doesn’t mean that and it says nothing about how the governor governs, all we’re left with is the idea that Northam must be sacrificed to strengthen the taboo, which seems to be the author’s main thrust. Voters want financial security, investments in infrastructure, and good public education. Loofbourow cares first and foremost about protecting the shibboleth at all costs.

                    You can’t eat shibboleths.

                      Quote  Link

                    Report

                    • Blackface was so taboo that when I was Northam’s age I had no clue of its history or meaning. Zero. For me it was an out of style comedian(?) tradition that showed up in extremely old pictures. I assumed it’d been replaced because it was bad, but that could be “bad” in the same way that silent movies were bad. Getting shoe polish everywhere might be the problem right there.

                      If we want it to be a serious taboo then someone needs to be sacrificed every now and then. Otherwise you’re letting clueless or insensitive people use it as college costumes.

                        Quote  Link

                      Report

                • What would make you say that black people don’t care one way or the other about things like blackface?
                  I mean, has anyone asked them for their opinion?

                  Of course, if we actually read what black people themselves had to say, it might reveal that they have opinions that are as nuanced and complex as we do.

                  Today, as everyone indicts the governor for his racism and everyone professes to stew in anger at how he has let down his constituents, I am most disturbed by the ways that we allow folks to construct progressive public personas that are allowed to mask a problematic past even as the country endorses the past and the masking. WE have allowed people to use buzzwords like equity and social justice to mask their racism. WE have allowed sitting next to the right people or hanging the right painting to erase things they have done that cause pain. WE have failed to allow folks to face their history and the part they play in what they profess to fight against. It is easy to advocate for something without acknowledging that you are part of what caused it. It is easy for the governor to denounce the hatred in Charlottesville without acknowledging that he is a branch of the tree that the hate there grew from.

                  Ouch.

                    Quote  Link

                  Report

                  • Written by a professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, writer of the book For White Folks Who Teach In the Hood… and the Rest of Ya’ll Too. If white progressives ever lost their fear of race taboos, this guy would be out of a job.

                    So yeah, I’m not going to be too impressed by this tough talk and will put more weight into the polls.

                      Quote  Link

                    Report

                    • Sure, all black voices count. In fact, one might say that “they have opinions that are as nuanced and complex as we do“.

                      Which is why we shouldn’t just let the conversation be a bunch of white folks talking about black folks, but listen to them speak in their own voices.

                        Quote  Link

                      Report

                  • Why yes. Someone did ask them: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/02/11/about-a-third-of-americans-say-blackface-in-a-halloween-costume-is-acceptable-at-least-sometimes/

                    And you can see the answer in the link. It’s doesn’t suprise me one bit.

                    I’m not sure exactly what LTL FTC means by elite preening, but I’m guessing that it’s partly about how these sorts of psychic slights are indeed the preserve of certain cohorts of the chattering class and those who pay special attention to the chatter.

                    Also, black people already know that racism exists, already assume that these sorts of things happen in all-white spaces, so we’re simply not that taken aback when the proof comes out. This is likely somewhat different among younger folks (especially the ones who write for places like The Root), who seem to care much more about the psychic slights.

                      Quote  Link

                    Report

      • The Democratic Party is in a tough spot in this situation.

        Whatever the situation is, it appears to be one the media designated. When the recently elected Governor of Illinois was in the middle of the primary and FBI tapes were released in which he was talking to Blagojevich in a disparaging way about a class of African-Americans, I thought he was dead in the water and someone like Bobby Kennedy’s son would get the party nomination. I mean its a taped conversation from less then 10 years ago.

        I think part of the difference is that the national media is also serving as the local media for (Northern) Virginia. See weather coverage. The media likes a good negative story about the South. The visuals create a strong visceral reaction.

          Quote  Link

        Report

  2. OW2: I don’t think this is entirely accurate, mainly because the British Conservative Party was never as socially conservative as the Republican Party. Other Western nations never really had a big faction on their right that believed they could reverse the social changes of the mid-20th century. The Evangelicals made American social conservatism unique in that regard. They really did thought we could get rid of the Sexual Revolution, feminism, and other changes that they did not like to restore what they saw as a better social order. European and Canadian conservatives might not have liked the 1960s but they didn’t think they could reverse them either.

    OW5: Yglesias recently noticed that Israel is being a wedge issue for the Democratic Party and part of a big intra-party battle. With the growing diversity of the United States, like other Western countries, you are getting lots of new Democratic voters and politicians that hate Israel because they perceive it as a “white supremacist colonialist imperialist power.” Most Jews like me are still very fond of Israel and perceive it’s creation as an act of national liberation and Jewish self-determination. Labour already inflicted a lot of pain on itself because of this fight.

    OW8: Americans are unsatisfied with the healthcare system as it currently exists but also wary of changes to it because they don’t want to take a big risk. The other big problem is going to be that to make healthcare more affordable, doctors are going to need to face a big pay cut. Good luck with that.

      Quote  Link

    Report

    • OW5: I suspect we’re going to find out that culture is very important. I used to have the attitude that there weren’t any foreigners, just Americans who weren’t here yet. Then Iraq happened and I was confused why the country fell apart even though we got rid of the strongman tyrant in charge of the country. Then, after that, I went to Qatar and saw that the richest country in the world had slaves and that confused the hell out of me.

      Anyway, culture is very important. Assimilation is very important.

      But we’ll find that out.

        Quote  Link

      Report

    • The problem with health insurance is the 160 million people in the United States that get it from their employer. This is going to be a big bandaid to rip off for the libertarians and the Medicare for All people. As far as I can tell, liberals and libertarians agree that employer-based healthcare is absurd. The problem is that libertarians want to rip of the bandaid and replace with a free market, freefall, free for all. Liberals at least want to replace it with something else.

        Quote  Link

      Report

      • The problem is that libertarians want to rip of the bandaid and replace with a free market, freefall, free for all. Liberals at least want to replace it with something else.

        The problem is that libertarians want to replace it with several something elses that have different costs and benefits. Liberals want to replace it with just one something else. (Note that the last sentence makes no mention of costs or benefits.)

          Quote  Link

        Report

        • I’ve heard libertarians compare health insurance to a consumer product like a car. I don’t buy the analogy and think it holds water. Like many liberals, I think the free-market is wonderful at providing for many things like cars, video games, dining options, computers, etc. It is great at designing products for a wide-variety of needs and price points but when it comes to something like health care, I think this idea will be a disaster.

            Quote  Link

          Report

          • If I were to make an analogy, it would be that health care is more like car maintenance.

            Sometimes you need products like oil filters or rims of the tires. Sometimes you need a skilled mechanic to work on the car and improve the timing of the timing belt. Sometimes you need a skilled mechanic to install or swap out products.

            The point in all of these cases is that you either need products that you can buy *OR* you need the time and attention of a skilled person.

            The arguments that it isn’t like this strike me as being arguments that start as some variant of “it *SHOULDN’T* be like this” and then, magically, transforms into “Therefore it won’t be”.

            Without any real explanation of what happens to turn the ought into an is.

              Quote  Link

            Report

          • I’ve heard lots of libertarians speak in favor of what would be my personal choice: universal catastrophic coverage coupled with the ability to buy additional coverage on a less-regulated market.

            I don’t know how that compares to the market for cars, but I won’t try to get in the way of a snappy analogy.

            ps – I also wouldn’t mind a public option, which is something that the Democrats explicitly rejected when they had control of the White House and both chambers of Congress. So maybe these ideological breakdowns are not what they appear on the surface.

              Quote  Link

            Report

            • Well, the D’s didn’t’ explicit reject a public option. They needed 60 votes to overcome a filibuster and couldn’t get the last couple votes for a plan with a public option. Lots of D’s wanted a public option.

                Quote  Link

              Report

                  • OK. Where did I say that there was an explicit rejection?

                    Let’s try this. The kind of ‘liberals want this, but libertarians want that’ framing in Saul’s comment is overly simplistic and not borne out by the facts of how we got to the ACA. If you disagree with that statement, tell me what I’m getting wrong.

                    Please read that comment in the context in which it you as made

                      Quote  Link

                    Report

                      • Yes, the Democrats who collectively held the White House, the HOR, and had a caucus of 60 Senators explicitly rejected a public option as part of their health care overhaul. They could not pass a bill that had a public option, even though many if not most Democrats might have wanted one, because that bill would not have gotten the votes. That tells me that “liberals want x” is an overly simplistic way to frame the debate on health care or on any issue. If you disagree with that overall statement, tell me what I’m getting wrong.

                        It’s not that hard to read things in context.

                          Quote  Link

                        Report

                        • So then the Republicans explicitly rejected the idea of repealing the ACA more recently when they failed to muster the votes to do so? I think they’d be shocked to hear it. I’m certainly shocked to hear it too but delighted to hear that they’ve come around on the matter.

                            Quote  Link

                          Report

                          • Yes, they did. Because they haven’t done the work to come up with ACA alternatives and because running against the ACA was the lazy alternative to doing the work.

                            Why is this surprising or objectionable to anyone? This is politics. You vote for a side expecting them to deliver what they promise and a whole lot of times, they don’t deliver that thing. And instead of taking responsibility for not delivering that thing, they find a way to blame the other side and use it as a way of arguing that it’s even more important to support them in the future.

                            How is this not clear?

                              Quote  Link

                            Report

                        • It was Joe “not liberal’ lieberman who sunk the public option mostly. Having 58-59 votes in the senate for something is usually good enough to get it passed. It was not the liberals who would not vote for the PO. It was one or two very centrist D’s who objected. How is that the D’s expliclty rejecting anything? They couldn’t’ muster a super majority does not seem to equate to rejecting.

                            Quote  Link

                          Report

                          • It was Joe “not liberal’ lieberman who sunk the public option mostly.

                            No. Yeah, Liberman swore to filibuster any plan with a public option, but the death of the public option was way more complicated than that. At least two Dem Senators in the Finance Committee voted against the two public options put forth by Schumer and Rockefeller. Either way, both Obama and the Dem leadership decided that the public option was not the hill on which to die.

                            And I ask again, what does any of this have to do with the overall point I was making in the context of the larger conversation?

                              Quote  Link

                            Report

                            • That explicitly repudiated actually means something in the English language? Libertarians haven’t had the votes to accomplish, what, anything they believe in but they aren’t considered to have explicitly repudiated their goals even though they can’t accomplish any of them electorally.

                                Quote  Link

                              Report

                          • I can see why you say that, but I said explicitly because I have a particular view of politics. I judge outcomes. The Democrats passed a plan without a public option and that’s about as explicit as rejections get.

                            If this were a conversation about fiscal policy and I said something like, “the Republican Party has explicitly rejected fiscal conservatism out of their collective preferences for tax cuts and military spending,” I don’t think that any of the people now commenting would have much to say.

                              Quote  Link

                            Report

                            • Well sure, but this cuts kind of to the heart of the yawning chasm between Republicans/conservatives and Democrats/liberals. The former say one thing and strive for the opposite. The latter say one thing and strive for that thing sometimes (often) falling short of it but generally aiming in the direction they say they’re aiming. That’s why the conservative masses view the GOP in a manner very different from the way the liberal masses view the Democratic Party.

                              So when you say the Dems explicitly rejected a public option I think it’s fair for us to object. The Dems strove for a public option but since they couldn’t achieve it they settled for something without the public option. That is as far from explicitly rejecting something as you can get. And the original context of your comment weighed that mature strategic political decision with far more ideological implications than I think is plausible. It also attempted to impose onto the Dems a duplicitousness that is currently, in my opinion, unique to the GOP.

                              And yes, had you said implicitly rejected then I probably wouldn’t have quibbled so much.

                                Quote  Link

                              Report

              • They needed 60 votes to overcome a filibuster and couldn’t get the last couple votes for a plan with a public option. Lots of D’s wanted a public option.

                If done right, the public option presumably means firing millions of insurance agents, hospital bureaucracy, and so forth.

                If done wrong then it’s just slapping another layer of bureaucracy on what we already have and seriously expanding access, which implies it’d be too expensive on what we already have.

                Either way I find it hard to believe the political establishment can take that kind of pain.

                  Quote  Link

                Report

                • If done right a public option would out compete the private plans and so the government wouldn’t be firing anyone. If done wrong a public option would simply be avoided by the health insurance buying users and would be a shriveled up non-issue; thus the “option” bit.

                    Quote  Link

                  Report

            • I’ve heard lots of libertarians speak in favor of what would be my personal choice: universal catastrophic coverage coupled with the ability to buy additional coverage on a less-regulated market.

              I find myself wondering exactly what scale this ‘universal catastrophic coverage’ would be? Because ‘enough coverage to keep people from ending up in poverty from medical expenses, but people can purchase supplemental insurance’ sounds like a lot of the things currently called ‘socialist’ by Republicans.

              It also sounds a lot like the Medicare-for-all stuff, although few people seem to remember that Medicare has supplemental insurance. Slightly reduced down Medicare-for-all?

              I actually like this idea, although probably for exactly the reasons that libertarians are dubious about it: Once you actually introduce a nationwide insurance plan anyone is on, no matter what the plan is, it is easy to slowly add to it.

              I.e., instead of just ‘Everyone’s current insurance is swapped out for the government one’, it is ‘Everyone now has catastrophic coverage from the government so their current insurance plan is reduced in cost, but everything is basically the same’…and then ‘We’ve added pre-natal care to the government’s plan’, etc, etc. Start eating employer-based insurance from the bottom, and it eventually turns into, basically, a Medicare supplement.

                Quote  Link

              Report

    • It goes to basic intelligence and familiarity with normal people (people who don’t eat fried chicken with a fork). The little plastic thingy that KFC gives out is for the mashed potatoes and coleslaw. Trying to use it on the chicken will snap the tines off.

      Kasich was doomed when he ate New York pizza with a fork.

      These things matter.

      One of the reasons the public watches so closely is that you never know when you’ll catch a politician at the Iowa state fair extending their probiscis into a lobster treat and sucking its juices out. At that point you know they’re not really for the working class, they’re an insectoid alien invader who wants to kill us all.

        Quote  Link

      Report

  3. I kind of feel like worrying about how exactly we’ll describe M4A to people can wait until a candidate who actually pushes the issue gets into office.

    Because, I mean, these polls are garbage. “Would you support M4A if it meant you lost your current health plan?” What the fuck? How can you think that you’ll get a meaningful answer to a question like that? It’s like polling for police accountability with questions like “would you support police accountability if it meant that sometimes the police didn’t respond to emergency calls”. “gosh, that sounds bad, I guess I wouldn’t.” Headline: POLLS SHOW LITTLE SUPPORT FOR POLICE REFORM

      Quote  Link

    Report

  4. Amy Klobuchar announced over the weekend in the middle of a freaking blizzard. I didn’t go to the event because I’m not that crazy but I was impressed that she soldiered through on it and even more impressed with how many people turned out. Husband and I discussed it and made a donation to her campaign. If all the haters can find on her is that she’s tough on her staff (and even that accusation is only being made anonymously) then she seems like a solid choice. And with so many candidates to her left Amy might have a decent shot at the massive centrist constituency of the party while they fight over the sparse pure ideologue votes. I suppose it’ll depend if Biden jumps in.

      Quote  Link

    Report

    • I think the issue of her being mean to her staff is a good one for the Democratic Party to discuss. She did not even try to deny the worst accusations. She just said “I can be tough.”

      I agree that there very well could be a sexist angle here but I’ve heard way too many stories about people who thinking managing by being abusive and berating is a perfectly acceptable strategy including from her former firm and similarly situated firms.

      If the descriptions of her behavior (or of managers at other hardass firms) is accurate, we would describe it as abusive if the relationship were anything but manager-managee.

      But there seem to be large forces in the U.S. that think the behavior allegedly done by Koubacher are perfectly find for managers to do. I’m not sure why this is.

        Quote  Link

      Report

  5. OW5:
    Wow, that was fast.
    Nancy brought down the hammer, and Omar apologized.

    I think with the growing diversity of people within the Dem coalition, we are going to need to find new ways of talking about Israel.

    Americans historically have applied our same ignorance and arrogance about the world to Israel, where people just assume that “the Israeli government”= “the people of Israel” = “the Jews globally”. It doesn’t help either that we also apply the Manichean framing of “Good Guy/ Bad Guy” without any room in between.

    In an ideal world, we would be able to criticize the Israeli prime minister, or his party, or the faction that he is a part of, rather than “Jews- pro or con?” sort of coverage we get.

    Then again, in a world like that, we would have President Hillary Clinton, so…

      Quote  Link

    Report

  6. RE: [OW5]
    Good thing she wasn’t wearing blackface. She’s fun and will be making the news for a while. I get the feeling she doesn’t want to be “racist” so there’s that.

    And looking up her political positions… I see like AOC she’s a member of the “this time will be different and it won’t burn the economy down” wing of the Dem party.

    Democratic socialism is a political philosophy that advocates political democracy alongside social ownership of the means of production with an emphasis on self-management and democratic management of economic institutions within a market or some form of decentralized planned socialist economy.

    RE: [OW7]
    So if Trump is crass and brutal enough, he can get his wall, and make Congress’ Dems look silly and weak. The problem would be that he steps all over lots of people and causes hard feelings.

    Rather than continuing to bet on Trump not understanding this, probably the Dems should make some sort of deal.

    RE: [OW8]
    So the Dems are going to give the people “medicare for all”, but it won’t have anything to do with medicare other than a clever copying of the name. And they think it won’t fall apart when people understand that.

      Quote  Link

    Report

    • OW7 If Trump is crass and brutal enough he might get his ass whupped by Congress or have the embarrassment of the Senate under his own party pass something rebuking him. And then if he vetoes it; the courts will still most likely shut it down.

      So if he’s brutal enough he might get cover himself in urine in public and then get slapped down by the courts. Yeah the Dems are probably quaking in their boots.

        Quote  Link

      Report

        • Because the GOP Senators have been signalling that they may do just that if he forces it on them and it’d take a grand whopping total of what, TWO of them to hand him his ass (since you can bet every Dem Senator will vote against him on it)? And at least two are gonna be in hard races in 2020.

          Now I grant taking the GOP at their word on anything is pretty silly but you can still rely on US Senators to look out for #1.

          And, again, even if none of that happens then the courts are going to knock the whole thing down.

          Hope Pelosi is planning her concession speech.

            Quote  Link

          Report

          • it’d take a grand whopping total of what, TWO of them to hand him his ass

            I think you mean 12.

            The GOP goes through the motions and arranges a show vote, people say stuff, and everyone is just shocked that there’s not enough unity to stop him. Everyone points to someone else for whose fault it is. Everyone gets to duck responsibility.

            So business as normal.

              Quote  Link

            Report

            • If it was 12 then Trumps wall would be legislatively killed and he couldn’t veto it. He’d be humiliated, his party would have turned on him and he’d not accomplish any of his goals.

              If it was 2 then Trumps wall wouldn’t be legislatively killed but he’d still have been proven to be unable to count on his own party so he’d still be embarrassed and then the courts would 100% assuredly kill his wall (pointing to the very obviously expressed will of Congress) and he’d still not accomplish any of his goals.

              Now if all the GOP hung together then at least then Trump would not have the embarrassment of his party turning on him. And maybe just maybe the courts might maybe let the wall be built, but let’s be real- the odds against that are still huge.

              So if Trump goes for that option it’s either huge defeat and embarrassment; minor defeat and embarrassment or tiny odds of success. I mean the over under on it explains why Trump hasn’t tried to do it yet. I certainly don’t see why the Dems would consider it as frightening a prospect as you seem to. Hell, even if Trump did it and succeeded then that’d mean the Dems could do the same damn thing next time they capture the executive for liberal goals. There’d be a portion of the left* that’d be firing off fireworks in celebration even if Trump somehow pulled it off.

              *Not me, I would view it as a very bad development.

                Quote  Link

              Report

              • We’re making different assumptions on how the process works.

                That article implies Trump declares an emergency, orders the military to build a wall, and Congress needs to stop him via defunding. This takes the normal budget channels, i.e. 60 votes in the Senate. Trump can/will veto that, and it would then take a two thirds majority (i.e. 67 votes in the Senate) to override him.

                If that is how it works then Nancy needs 12 GOP Senate votes the first round and 19 the second.

                I can believe 2 GOP Senate votes real easy, so you’re totally right if that’s what it is. But I don’t think there’s 12 GOP votes to oppose Trump’s base and 19 seems crazy high.

                Hell, even if Trump did it and succeeded then that’d mean the Dems could do the same damn thing next time they capture the executive for liberal goals.

                I’m not sure what the Left could do with the armed services that would further a liberal goal.

                  Quote  Link

                Report

                  • I think this is a good summation without hyperventilating.
                    http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/02/green-new-deal-aoc-bad-idea.html

                    However I’m still not sure what the Green Socialists would do with the Presidency and this as a bad example. The Army knows how to build walls, building walls isn’t illegal, and there’s not much money involved.

                    A Socialist Prez couldn’t legally use the Army to dismantle Capitalism by taking the means of production or whatever. Presumably he could shut down coal plants via weird interpretations of regulation but that would be a court thing.

                      Quote  Link

                    Report

                    • I was actually just teasing, but…

                      If a few immigrants straggling across the border is a “national emergency”, I can see President GIllibrand supercharging the VA to provide a British style national healthcare service to solve the national emergency of healthcare, or the Postal Savings Bank solving the national emergency of low income people’s access to banking, and well, pretty much anything else our little progressive hearts desire.

                      Which is the sort of mischief that causes cooler heads to refrain from using “national emergency” as a frivolous toy.

                        Quote  Link

                      Report

                      • In the real world immigrants add to the economy and, with some trivial filtering for things like known drug gang membership, are less criminal than normal. Brain drain is a massive benefit to the US and we should be encouraging it.

                        However that’s the logic of it. The emotion of it, which Trump and his followers are acting on, probably sincerely, is that the Southern border is an open sore attracting murderers and rapists.

                        And while I’m normally DEEPLY opposed to using the word “sincerely” when talking about anything Trump says, he’s been a xenophobic fool for decades so it’s probably a real thing here.

                          Quote  Link

                        Report

                      • If a few immigrants straggling across the border is a “national emergency”, I can see President GIllibrand supercharging the VA to provide a British style national healthcare service to solve the national emergency of healthcare, or the Postal Savings Bank solving the national emergency of low income people’s access to banking, and well, pretty much anything else our little progressive hearts desire.

                        You missed the big one, the one that probably _should_ qualify as an emergency: Gun violence.

                        Hey, Republicans, do you want the next Democratic president able to do anything about gun violence he wants?

                          Quote  Link

                        Report

                        • do you want the next Democratic president able to do anything about gun violence he wants?

                          He?

                          Absolutely. I totally think that the next Democratic president should shoot for the moon.

                          Why? Do you think that she wouldn’t have a moral obligation to do something about the gun epidemic?

                            Quote  Link

                          Report

                        • You missed the big one, the one that probably _should_ qualify as an emergency: Gun violence.

                          And there we go. “Gun violence” “should qualify as an emergency”.

                          “Gun violence” is a term chosen to include suicides and drug dealers shooting each other, thus drastically overstating the problem to normal people. And of course the only possible solution is getting rid of guns.

                          The illegal immigrant situation functions on a much higher scale, to the tune of 11 million illegal immigrants. If “guns” qualify “as an emergency” then the illegal situation clearly does even more so.

                          In the past two years alone, illegal immigrant criminals have been responsible for approximately 100,000 assault charges, 30,000 sexual assault crimes, and 4,000 murders and homicides. On Monday, 330 illegal immigrants, including many unaccompanied minors, were apprehended west of El Paso, where there’s no border wall. It is almost as if our lawmakers don’t care about the Angel Moms and Dads whose children have been senselessly killed by people who crossed our borders illegally. (Fox News)

                          Hey, Republicans, do you want the next Democratic president able to do anything about gun violence he wants?

                          As long as “anything he wants” isn’t illegal, only targets criminals, doesn’t target American citizens, and costs only a few Billion dollars.

                          But I’m not sure what the gun equiv would be here, prioritizing smuggled weapons perhaps? Violent drug dealers engaged in narco-terrorism? I’m pretty sure that with those limitations there wouldn’t be any objections, in fact you’d have GOP support… sort of like we had Dem support for a wall up to the point where Trump would take credit.

                            Quote  Link

                          Report

                      • Chip,

                        Here’s a better comparison. The wall and immigration crisis is to the Right what gun control from school shootings are to the Left.

                        It’s a problem which exists but the numbers don’t logically support restructuring society and eliminating rights for vast numbers of people. However we still have vapid pundits proclaim it’s a serious problem and something must be done and that something is [gun control/a wall]. The solution can’t possibly work and might even make the problem worse.

                        Or (better yet) these police shootings of the innocent. We just had a thread closed where emotions ran pretty high. The number of innocent dead was “one”, and the yearly total was claimed (without pushback) to be 14.

                        The dynamics are similar. People mis/over stating the problem. Cherry picking facts. Finding a dead body and putting the crying eyes of his loved ones on the TV with them sobbing that something must be done and this was unjust and preventable. We have activists insisting that this is the most important problem the nation faces, and the media giving them lots of air time because it’s interesting.

                        The Right media and the Left have different opinions on which issues are worth plumping, but we should remember there are people who actually believe this.

                        ICE held an average of more than 42,000 people in custody each day throughout fiscal year 2018. There are 11 million people total. That’s down from more than 12 so Trump’s policies are “working”. It’s easy to find murderers and rapists with these kinds of numbers, we can even find a dozen every day (as opposed to once every month for the police shootings).

                        So… national emergency? If the President could step in and spend $6 Billion and DO SOMETHING which might fix 80% of the problem, should he?

                        You get to laugh at the “seriousness” of this problem just like the other team laughs at the seriousness of school/police shootings.

                          Quote  Link

                        Report

                • The working assumption is that Trump would declare the emergency and use the part of the law relevant to the Dept of Defense that allows the Secretary to divert unencumbered money from a couple of the Department’s capital construction funds. Most often the Army Corps of Engineers construction funds intended for water projects and dealing with natural disasters. No one seems to think there will be a grab for money that isn’t authorized for emergency use in statute somewhere under some condition.

                  The emergency declaration has to at least nominally satisfy multiple conditions. The President has to spell out what the emergency is; he has to spell out why using the military to address the emergency is appropriate and legal; and he has to spell out what construction the military needs to make to carry out its part of handling the emergency. The Secretary issues orders to the Army Corps of Engineers to start construction, or hire someone to do the work, using the already-appropriated money.

                  The Dems disagree, the House passes a resolution rescinding the declaration and sends it to the Senate. Within 15 days McConnell must bring it to the floor for a vote; cloture doesn’t come into it. If the resolution passes by simple majority it goes to the President. If the President signs it, the emergency is over. If he vetoes it, it goes back to Congress where the usual two-thirds in both chambers is required to override. I doubt that there’s a two-thirds majority in either house that will vote to override right now.

                  There may be a different approach. I personally think the weakest link in the declaration is the part that says the military must be deployed within the country to deal with the problem. No rebellion or insurrection is happening; there’s no natural disaster; the courts are still functioning normally; no war has been declared; invoking any of the current authorizations for the use of force seems at least problematic. OTOH, I have no idea who would have standing to file suit on those grounds. Who sues over the military carrying out an unlawful order?

                    Quote  Link

                  Report

                  • The Dems disagree, the House passes a resolution rescinding the declaration and sends it to the Senate. Within 15 days McConnell must bring it to the floor for a vote; cloture doesn’t come into it. If the resolution passes by simple majority it goes to the President. If the President signs it, the emergency is over. If he vetoes it, it goes back to Congress where the usual two-thirds in both chambers is required to override.

                    From what I can tell, Congress doesn’t need his signature: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/50/1622

                    (a) Termination methods
                    Any national emergency declared by the President in accordance with this subchapter shall terminate if—
                    (1) there is enacted into law a joint resolution terminating the emergency; or
                    (2) the President issues a proclamation terminating the emergency.

                    So, basically, if the joint resolution passes by a simple majority it’s over. It just takes a few Republican defectors.

                    Granted, I am unsure what stops the president from declaring _another_ national emergency.

                      Quote  Link

                    Report

                • Michael clarifies down below. No filibuster so they just need 2 votes to send the defunding up to Trump in round 1 and, yes, 19 in round two if he vetoes. So most likely he’ll lose the optics of the GOP sticking with him and have to veto.

                  At which point congress will go to the courts to stop him and everything I’ve read suggests the courts will probably duly do so.

                  I mean if it was even remotely possible Trump would have done it already. This is the guy who oversaw the clusterfish of the ACA repeal and the shut down. So if he hasn’t pulled the trigger on this yet something really obviously must be flashing the red light in his face.

                    Quote  Link

                  Report

                  • Michael clarifies down below.

                    Thank you Michael, that made it a lot clearer.

                    So if he hasn’t pulled the trigger on this yet something really obviously must be flashing the red light in his face.

                    I was assuming incompetence has prevented him from doing it so far, that and not having the bandwidth to do it.

                    At which point congress will go to the courts to stop him and everything I’ve read suggests the courts will probably duly do so.

                    Maybe. The courts are normally pretty reluctant to get into a pissing match between the other two branches… and the Courts might reasonably ask why Congress doesn’t simply stop him themselves. They have the power of the checkbook and could simply defund that cluster.

                      Quote  Link

                    Report

                    • Maybe. The courts are normally pretty reluctant to get into a pissing match between the other two branches…

                      This. I’m not a SCOTUS historian, but my perception is that the Court has generally said that Congress has the power to remove the President, so it’s a political question. I’d think that a thousand Texas land-owners would have a better case on the theory that the military was taking their land in excess of the authority granted by Congress or the Constitution.

                        Quote  Link

                      Report

                      • I’d think that a thousand Texas land-owners would have a better case on the theory that the military was taking their land in excess of the authority granted by Congress or the Constitution.

                        These would be the same land owners who periodically get shot by Mexican people smuggling gangs and who have to clean up various problems created by the passage of illegals. I won’t say there’s no one willing to sue, but as a class they’re probably in favor of a wall.

                        A more natural foe would be environmentalists. Walls don’t normally do good things to animals and their migration.

                          Quote  Link

                        Report

        • TRUMP- THE WALL
          The design calls for the wall to be clad in faux marble, with Classical columns and large breasted caryatids modeled after Ivanka every 50 feet.

          He uses illegal immigrant labor to start construction, then halfway thru declares bankruptcy and stiffs the various contractors who worked on it but pockets his branding fee.

            Quote  Link

          Report

        • New idea: Congress passes a law specifically taxing Donald J. Trump, by name, for a billion dollars, to build the wall. They can even sweeten the pot by adding some additional funding in there, but design it so it’s non-severable, like Trump’s billion and only his billion is specifically assigned to the surveying and start of construction, so the entire thing can’t happen unless his billion is there.

          Now, this is obviously a Bill of Attainder and unconstitutional. Congress can’t make laws targetting individuals by name. But Trump doesn’t have to challenge it in court, he could just ignore the constitutional violation against him if it’s such an ’emergency’.

          …well, actually he does have to challenge it, because he doesn’t have the money he claims to have.

          But it would, nevertheless, be pretty funny.

            Quote  Link

          Report

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *