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« Liberal Outrage: December 2016 | Main | Liberal Outrage: February 2017 »

Liberal Outrage

Russia Russia Russia

It's not going away, so here are two perspectives. One from the Jacobin, which considering the source, goes about how you'd expect (it's a view i generally agree with and it repeats points i've blogged before), and one from Newsweek which makes the interesting case that Democrats are returning to their hawkish Cold War roots. The problem with the latter view, in my opinion (and this is acknowledged in the article), is that the Soviet Union doesn't exist anymore, and Russia isn't even pretending to follow a Communist ideology. Smearing leftist critics of Hillary Clinton's faction as stooges of Putin just seems laughable to me; i don't understand how anyone can do it with a straight face.

Related to all of this is Syria, of course. I read this today. Can't vouch for its accuracy but it was an interesting read.


By fnord12 | January 27, 2017, 12:48 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link



Thomas Frank on How Dems Lost the Midwest

Link

"They were willing to overlook some of the really horrendous things about the candidate who got elected," she told me, "because he said a lot of other things about what they were feeling." Specifically, things Trump said about trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and how awful they are.

At first, it surprised me to learn this. I knew that Trump was critical of trade deals, of course. But I have always thought of farmers as big fans of free trade, since the US exports a huge amount of food. Farmers turned against Jimmy Carter because of his grain embargo on the Soviet Union, for example, and farm lobbyists are forever pushing for opening up trade with Cuba.

But these days, things are different. The way Perry tells the story, family farmers are now in the grip of a handful of immensely powerful international food companies, and the trade deals our government has been agreeing to for decades have only helped to strengthen those corporations at their expense.

...

Then there was Obama himself. None of us city folk remember it today, but in 2008 Obama was regarded as a savior by certain aggrieved small farmers.

Unlike nearly every other national politician, Obama seemed to get it back then: he promised to enforce antitrust laws against big food conglomerates and to do something about corporate livestock operations. "He really ran a campaign that related to agriculture," Rhonda Perry recalls. "Part of his platform," she continues, "was about reining in the corporate power and the monopolies that these companies have - it was about ensuring that there was going to be fair and competitive markets. None of those things happened."

...

What did crop up persistently when I talked to this group was a disgust with the perceived moral haughtiness of liberals. More than one member of the club referred to himself as one of Hillary Clinton's "deplorables", for example. There was resentment of "Ivy League graduates" who felt entitled to "micromanage the rest of the country". The man who told me that - a fellow wearing a US Army Retired cap - also told me that "if you want to be an obnoxious slob, you have a right to be one".


By min | January 27, 2017, 9:22 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link



I mean, i love it, but...

Dean Baker means well, but this reads more like "How Mexico Can Invite A Coup From The CIA" to me.


By fnord12 | January 27, 2017, 8:30 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link



Shadow Government needed

I've made the point before that that Democrats need some sort of shadow government apparatus in place. Again, i'm not advocating for setting up some sort of Illuminati thing; it just means that you run a parallel mock government so that, as a party, you continue to build policies and react to current events. And it provides a source of bureaucrats (used non-pejoratively) to fill the mid level positions when you get back in power. I'm also realizing, after seeing this Intercept article about people at the EPA who are afraid to speak to the press, that it could provide a safety net to all these people afraid of losing their jobs. It would give them a place to continue doing their work and keep them financially stable. Obviously funding would be a huge issue, and the idea isn't that it could just employ everyone or at full salary. But it just struck me, in this time of #TheResistance, that people in places like the EPA are too terrified to speak out because of the fear of losing their jobs, and there's no support structure from the Democrats to help them.

Update:

Not to take away at all from the fact that EPA workers are scared of losing their jobs, i think with good reason, but today the New York Times had this:

Longtime employees at three of the agencies -- including some career environmental regulators who conceded that they remained worried about what President Trump might do on policy matters -- said such orders were not much different from those delivered by the Obama administration as it shifted policies from the departing White House of George W. Bush. They called reactions to the agency memos overblown.

By fnord12 | January 27, 2017, 8:10 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link



Caught car. Now what?

A conservative columnist that had been doing full-throated advocacy for "repeal and replace" of Obamacare before the election has now finally looked at the details and determined that it's too complicated and the Republicans should just leave it alone.

He's getting reamed from all sides, understandably. I mean, i appreciate the honesty, but der.

This is getting attention because it "proves" right (obviously it's really just one random guy) liberal pundits who've been saying that Republicans don't really have a plan for the "and replace" part (beyond "something something state lines"). And it also "proves" that Obamacare (formerly Romneycare) really is as "free market" as you can get while still providing (vaguely) universal coverage. So really your choices are to abandon that principle (i.e. ditch the "and replace" part), which Trump has said he's not doing, or go to the left, starting with a Public Option or (better yet) Medicare For All.


By fnord12 | January 25, 2017, 4:05 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link



to snitch

'Not maths?'

I didn't see these ads when i was a kid so i never got the opportunity to turn in my teacher. Not sure if my middle school's copies of Oregon Trails and Logo were legit.


By fnord12 | January 25, 2017, 2:21 PM | Liberal Outrage & Video Games | Link



If you want unity, get behind us for a change

Good article from Sarah Jones.

Key line: "...the same camp that is championing establishment ideology is also claiming that any attacks on that ideology are a blow to Democratic unity". Plenty in there about our horrible Senator, Cory Booker, too.


By fnord12 | January 24, 2017, 2:59 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link



Winning the unions

Michael Tracey has a write-up of Trump's nixing of the TPP and it's pretty good, but i was hoping he'd incorporate a related development that he highlighted on Twitter. Namely that after formally cancelling the TPP (or ending the US' involvement with it, which is effectively the same thing), Trump met with the leaders of Hillary supporting unions, and the leaders walked away being very pleased with the meeting. As people note in the "comments", this is potentially really dangerous to Democrats. The Democratic party relies heavily on the unions' money and ground game. The Dems better get a message for them.


By fnord12 | January 24, 2017, 1:04 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link



Can we please revise the mission statements of "fact checkers"?

Jan 14th: Bernie Sanders's claim that '36,000 people will die yearly' if Obamacare is repealed is given four Pinocchios by the Washington Post's fact checker.

Today in the Washington Post: Repealing the Affordable Care Act will kill more than 43,000 people annually. And no, the problem wasn't that Bernie undercounted by 7,000.

To be fair, the latter is actually a rebuttal of the former, and kudos to the Post for publishing it. But how do you go from awarding something four Pinocchios (which is such a weird metric. It's been a while, but i don't remember Pinocchio cloning himself every time he lied.) to publishing an article saying that it's true? And the headline even uses the dangerous word "will", which was what caused the original claim to get bumped from three to four Pinocchios. And it's not like the Post has issued a correction or any caveats. Their "fact check" still remains on their website completely divorced from this article. Basically you can have any reality you want.

Fact checkers should really be limited to verifying actual facts. They should leave policy analysis for policy analysts, and in that capacity they need to recognize that there are a lot of variables and possible interpretations. A lot of the caveats in the first article were just fine (e.g. a lot depends on exactly what the "replace" part of "repeal and replace" would be), but when you end with issuing Pinocchios or whatever, you're not just providing necessary context to readers. You're actually giving them a false sense of certainty.


By fnord12 | January 23, 2017, 12:42 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link



News captured

Guys, a garbage can was on fire during the Trump protests. Luckily there were one or two reporters around to get a picture of it.

Nice work, guys. The Washingtonian has more.

Also i hear that someone punched a Nazi in the face. I have a photo of that:


By fnord12 | January 22, 2017, 12:46 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link



Luke and Jabba team up to fight the Empire

David Brock his gross. He found a loophole in campaign finance laws so that his Super-Pac could collude directly with Hillary Clinton, he attacked Bernie Sanders on specious, ridiculous grounds (the Podesta email hacks reveal that even other Hillary supporters thought they did more harm than good), and he even paid an army of trolls to attack Bernie supporters online.

David Sirota, on the other hand, is a really good reporter with a lot of integrity. And is a firm progressive (e.g. was a Bernie supporter). I read him regularly.

So this is a big surprise that i'm having trouble wrapping my head around.

This is the line that makes me feel best about it:

The move suggests that a shattered and divided Democratic Party establishment is looking to embrace the combative, progressive wing that backed Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic Primary.

This line, second best:

Sirota replaces Peter Daou.

Daou was Brock's Salacious Crumb, so Sirota replacing him, if he retains his integrity, can only be a step up.


By fnord12 | January 20, 2017, 12:56 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link



Billionaires getting nervous

Davos Elite Seeks Fixes to Defend the System From Populists. They're even considering conceding to a "higher tax burden" to pay for more social spending.


By fnord12 | January 20, 2017, 8:20 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link



Healthcare in America

Ryan Cooper has three related articles. One on why Obamacare sucks. One on why repealing it will nonetheless kill thousands of people. And a (devastating) case study of someone trying to navigate the current system.


By fnord12 | January 20, 2017, 7:54 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link



Democratic socialist, actually

Ending MLK day with the strange but apparently necessary reminder that he was not a conservative.


By fnord12 | January 16, 2017, 7:21 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link



Corey Booker is a bad liar

Jezebel has a response from Booker on why he voted against the drug amendment:

I support the importation of prescription drugs as a key part of a strategy to help control the skyrocketing cost of medications. Any plan to allow the importation of prescription medications should also include consumer protections that ensure foreign drugs meet American safety standards. I opposed an amendment put forward last night that didn't meet this test. The rising cost of medications is a life-and-death issue for millions of Americans, which is why I also voted for amendments last night that bring drug prices down and protect Medicare's prescription drug benefit. I‎'m committed to finding solutions that allow for prescription drug importation with adequate safety standards.

Suuuuure. I'd be really concerned about importing drugs from that third world hellhole, Canada. Without looking anything up, i will guarantee that Canada's safety standards are much higher than ours, so Booker's position is bullshit. And of course the point of this bill isn't to actually do it, but to highlight how ridiculous it is that the same drugs that are sold here in the US are sold in Canada at a fraction of the cost. But i'll remember Booker's explanation the next time a real progressive is lectured about "making the perfect the enemy of the good".



By fnord12 | January 12, 2017, 3:01 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link



Cory Booker is horrible

Cory Booker was one of 13 Democrats who just voted against the Sanders-Klobuchar amendment to import drugs from Canada. Here's Bernie's (pre-vote) video on the subject (Facebook warning, but i was able to watch it without an account; just click "not now"). The vote was 46-52 and would have passed if it wasn't for these 13 "Democrats". (To be sure, might not have passed in the House, but as Sanders notes in the video, Trump is in favor of doing something about drug prices, and there were some surprise Republican votes in the Senate, like Ted Cruz).

Booker also recently endorsed the Goldman-Sachs candidate for governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy, over Assemblyman John Wisniewski (a Bernie supporter in the primaries). Anyone who remembers Corzine knows we don't need another Goldman-Sachs exec for a governor.

Our other horrible senator, Robert Menendez also voted against the amendment and endorsed Murphy. But i'll be surprised if his corrupt ass makes it all the way to his 2018 primary, whereas Booker is expected to run for president in 2020.


By fnord12 | January 12, 2017, 7:57 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link



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