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Liberal Outrage

Everybody's Mad at Donna Brazile

Thomas Frank on the mainstream libs (when can we take back the word "liberal" from these guys?) are pissed about Brazile's book confirming the primary process was rigged for Clinton.

Members of the punditburo blasted Sanders last year for suggesting such a thing; now they are blasting Brazile for confirming it. They vituperate even though what she and Sanders have said is, well, true.

Which is to say that the fury swirling around Donna Brazile is somehow symptomatic of our times. Since she had a front-row seat to everything that happened last year, her analysis and recollections of that volcanic election are valuable by definition. But what she has to tell us doesn't fit easily into the simple moral framework that now guides all our thinkings on politics.

For example. Donna Brazile wanted Hillary Clinton to be president and worked hard to achieve that result, but she also thinks Clinton and her team blundered repeatedly. This feels like common sense to me, but in the Republic of the Righteous it is a brain-stopping contradiction; it may not be uttered.
Hacks review: Donna Brazile lifts lid on Hillary and the Democrats' disaster

The former DNC chair's memoir of election defeat has it all: Russian hackers, campaign drama and a reigniting of bitter internal feuds
Read more

Brazile regards Donald Trump as an obvious scoundrel, yet she can also understand how he appealed to ordinary Americans in the deindustrialized states. Again, not a startling insight, really - but try saying it in the pages of any American prestige publication.

The reaction to her book, Brazile said when I phoned her this month, is as though she "had broken the holy grail of politics".

By min | December 20, 2017, 11:35 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Off to a good start

After Doug Jones' win last week, there were a lot of calls to "thank" black voters - especially women - for "saving" the election. A lot of it seemed sanctimonious to me when it wasn't coupled with calls to address issues of importance to those voters, but the general sentiment is correct. Jones owes his victory in large part to black voters. So it's pretty alarming that in his first post-election interview he's focused on telling people how willing he is to vote with Republicans. I'm sure that's exactly what the people who voted for him were hoping for.

Jones also won in a large part thanks to the fact that he was running against a man with serious sexual misconduct issues, but he's now saying he's ready to dismiss the sexual harassment charges against Trump, saying we need to "move on" and focus on "real issues".

Meanwhile, Ralph Northam won the governorship in Virginia in a large part thanks to people being angry over Republican refusal to accept the ACA's Medicaid expansion, but instead of claiming a mandate on that issue, Northam is backing away and is instead dribbling out some Neoliberal mush about cost control (despite the Federal government being responsible for the vast majority of the cost, even in later years) and work training programs. He's also blaming sick people for being sick (they need "skin in the game").

Similarly, Northam said he has no plans to try to force Republicans to accept a broad expansion of Medicaid. Instead, he has begun talks with lawmakers in both parties about overhauling the state's Medicaid system to expand access to health care while better defining eligibility to control costs.

Outgoing Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) tried every year to push the legislature to accept millions in federal money to expand the health program to hundreds of thousands of low-income Virginians. Northam campaigned heavily on the promise of getting more Virginians access to health care.

He said Friday that he remains committed to that pledge, but that he must be careful about obligating the state to escalating costs. Under the program, the federal government pays the lion's share in the early years but the state contribution gradually increases [not quite - the Fed contribution goes from 100% to 90% in 2020]. "Medicaid is growing in Virginia by 5 to 7 percent, in that ballpark, every year," he said.

"So I look forward to . . . seeing how we can provide better service and at the same time cut costs" through "managed-care Medicaid," he said.

A managed system would involve rewarding "healthy choices," he said. "I want people to have skin in the game. I want to incentivize people to really have good health."

And although some people who need Medicaid cannot work -- children, some pregnant women, people with certain disabilities -- others can, he said. "I want to help them get back on the workforce [through] training," he said.

Republicans can win elections by the thinnest of margins and claim sweeping mandates to re-write our entire society, but when Democrats win they immediately start compromising.

By fnord12 | December 17, 2017, 1:01 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Second Time As Farce

Colin Powell holding up a fake vial of anthrax. vs.Nikki Haley standing in front of a stagecraft Iranian rocket
Colin Powell holding up a fake vial of anthrax. Nikki Haley standing in front of a stagecraft Iranian rocket

By fnord12 | December 14, 2017, 12:19 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

The Henry Ford Square Dancing Conspiracy

Do Si Do To Fight the Jews' Attempt To Bring Jazz To The Masses (wait, what?).

By fnord12 | December 13, 2017, 4:23 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

No, dummies. It balances it out.


As congressional Republicans' disastrous tax plan inches closer to reality, New Jersey's legislative leaders are getting cold feet about the Garden State's own tax plans that would boost working families, clean up the tax code and allow policymakers to invest in the assets critical to the state's future. But the GOP tax plan is no reason for lawmakers to shelve these plans -- it actually gives them more reason than ever to move forward.

In particular, these policymakers are suggesting that New Jersey might need to press "pause" on long-held efforts to make New Jersey's income tax fairer by asking the wealthiest residents to pay a little more so our state can build a brighter and stronger economic future. The reason: Fears about a "double whammy" if the Republicans' federal tax proposal raises taxes by eliminating state and local tax deductions used heavily by New Jerseyans. Those fears, however, are unfounded.

In fact, the Republican tax proposals in D.C. all favor the wealthy -- even if these deductions disappear.

I don't know why this is even in question.

By fnord12 | December 12, 2017, 9:08 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Too Much Democracy

Reacting to the modest reforms that the DNC Unity Commission made over the weekend (e.g. reducing - not eliminating - superdelegates), a pair of political scientists say, "Whoah, hold on there. Is the Democratic Party Becoming Too Democratic?". Here's their core argument:

Casting doubts about a party's legitimacy -- in particular picking a presidential nominee -- can have real electoral consequences. In 2016, Senator Bernie Sanders highlighted Hillary Clinton's contributions from well-heeled donors, and particularly her strong support among the party's superdelegates, as signals that the nomination contest had been fixed for her and that the only way for the Democratic Party to be a truly democratic party would be to nominate Mr. Sanders.

By the spring of 2016, democratic legitimacy was the overwhelming rationale of his campaign. In the general election, roughly one Sanders supporter in 10 ended up voting for Donald Trump, and many young voters defected for third-party candidates, possibly costing Mrs. Clinton the election in several key states.

Never mind that less Bernie voters voted for Trump than Clinton voters voted for Obama. Imagine thinking that those voters would have been more likely to vote for Clinton if they weren't given a voice at all. Don't appeal to voters, just tell them to get in line.

Just to spell it out a little better: the article acknowledges that the primary process isn't very democratic. It then says that the problem is that candidates might complain that the process isn't democratic, which will influence voters. And so the authors' proposed solution isn't to make the process more democratic, it's to eliminate the pretense of being democratic all together. Smokey Back Rooms 2020!

By fnord12 | December 11, 2017, 12:26 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Obama's smart grid didn't kill coal & nuclear

I know facts and logic and words have no meaning anymore and i've basically stopped bothering trying to rebut right wing stuff, but this is still worth a read.

By fnord12 | December 6, 2017, 9:53 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

The failure of incrementalism

Carl Beijer:

What Trump is showing us, however, is that even if you win a short-term incremental victory, you can still end up with nothing in the end. You can engage in years of modest pragmatic compromise climate change diplomacy and find yourself right back where you started a decade later; you can pass "achievable" business-friendly health care legislation on the assumption that this will engineer some kind of universal coverage down the road, and then have it gutted as soon as the opposition takes power.

By fnord12 | December 2, 2017, 11:30 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

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