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Liberal Outrage

DSA makes Yahoo News

I didn't dare click on the comments.

By fnord12 | June 30, 2018, 11:40 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Even ICE wants to abolish ICE

Agents Seek to Dissolve ICE in Immigration Policy Backlash

By fnord12 | June 29, 2018, 11:49 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Why didn't the media see AOC coming?

This is pretty good. The truth is that all candidates that qualify for the ballot should get coverage; it would go a long way to addressing the problems around campaign financing.

(I don't actually expect anything to change, though.)

By fnord12 | June 29, 2018, 12:15 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

That would be awesome

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's victory is a great thing in and of itself, but if it resulted in Barbara Lee in a leadership position, it would be amazing.

By fnord12 | June 28, 2018, 12:01 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Chuck Schumer Is Secretly Sabotaging the Next Democratic President

Jonathan Chait is as right wing as you can get while still being technically a Democrat, and even he knows that Chuck Schumer is an idiot for fighting to keep the filibuster.

By fnord12 | June 28, 2018, 11:20 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez


As a member of the DSA, her website is a laundry list of every blue-sky progressive policy: Medicare-for-all, housing and jobs guarantees, gun control, ending private prisons, abolishing ICE, and investment in post-hurricane Puerto Rico....

Ocasio-Cortez ran decidedly to the left of Crowley, but she also shook up how Democrats go about getting elected. Until now, Democrats have seen big money in politics as simply a deal with the devil that had to be made. Democrats are so often outspent by Republican mega-donors that they viewed courting big-dollar donors and corporations as part of creating a level playing field.

But if one of Democrats' top fundraisers and likely successor to Nancy Pelosi can be toppled, perhaps Democrats need to rethink that deal.

Or, for a sliiiightly different take:

In other good news, Bernie supporter Ben Jealous won the primary for governor of Maryland.

By fnord12 | June 26, 2018, 10:08 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Taxing the churches

The hastily passed Republican tax law continues to be full of surprises. I'm all in favor of this one, which means they'll probably "fix" it.

By fnord12 | June 26, 2018, 9:47 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

The power of incumbancy

Looking at Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's race, Eric Wimer has a write-up of the seemingly insurmountable benefits that an incumbent has against primary challengers.

Wimer focuses on tangible, hard power, but another factor is just inertia. Min and i recently volunteered for a progressive candidate in a local race on election day. I thought we'd be helping with GOTV efforts, making sure that identified supporters went to the polls. Instead we were asked to do last minute campaigning outside the polling stations (at least 100 feet away, of course!). We were willing to do whatever, but privately i thought that this was a dumb use of our time. Who hasn't already made up their mind by the time they went to vote? It turns out that the answer was... nearly everyone. Most people we talked to didn't really understand that the election was a primary - they just wanted to vote against the Republicans - or they hadn't thought about the local race at all. And everyone that we talked to was in agreement that the candidate we were supporting was on the right side of the issues (mainly, the tax abatements given to new buildings in the area, which not only reduce the amount of revenue going to the community, but take ALL of that money away from the school system). So we converted quite a few voters and it turned out to feel worth it. But of course we were only at one polling station for a part of the day. Our candidate was part of a group that was well organized and had a lot of active support and was on the right (and seemingly popular) side of the issues. But they didn't win against what felt to me like the zombie-like horde of people that just went out to automatically vote down the party line column. The structural advantages that an incumbent has are just huge.

By fnord12 | June 25, 2018, 12:51 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

It takes a villain

I'm really hopeful about the activism that's been happening against Trump's ICE. Considering that Trump's ICE is only worse than Obama's by a matter of degree (a large degree, perhaps, but it's not a difference in kind), i wonder if having a bogeyman like Trump to unite against is at least a silver lining to his getting elected. Trump is revealing not just what the Republican party looks like with the mask off, but what the entire system really is. On the other hand, considering that everyone hated Bush's drone program and then forgot about it when Obama got elected, it may be that this is only temporary. What gives me hope is that the left nowadays has a larger infrastructure; e.g., the direct action against ICE has been led by groups like the DSA (see here, here) and is already more separated from the Democratic party than, say, the 2003 era blogosphere, which turned out to be largely partisan. But i don't think the left should become too separated from the Democratic party. Contra some in the DSA, i think it helps to have members challenging incumbent Democrats electorally (Donate to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez!) because that's the only kind of pressure they care about.

But anyway, thanks to Trump for being so cartoonishly evil that we can all unite against you for now.

By fnord12 | June 21, 2018, 9:47 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Democrats love endless occupation

Democrats have been attacking Trump from the right regarding Trump's (really Moon Jae-in's) negotiations with Kim Jong-un, and it's been driving me crazy. But now they're going a step further and actually proposing a bill:

The new legislation, from Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., would prevent Trump from withdrawing troops from South Korea unless...

Luckily, they are characteristically toothless in their legislation:

...unless the secretary of defense says it's in the interest of national security and that it would not undermine the security of allies in the region.

So unless Trump's secretary of defense opposes what Trump is doing, he can still do it.

By fnord12 | June 14, 2018, 11:53 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Publicly fund the research

I've long agreed with this type of thinking, but i like the way Dean Baker phrases things here:

In her Washington Post column Megan McArdle tells readers that we are making great progress in developing cures for cancer, but then she warns these cures can be very expensive...

The part missing from this story is that the reason these cures would be expensive is because of the government-granted patent monopolies that make them expensive. Without these monopolies, these therapies almost certainly would be cheap.

We do have to pay for the research, but at the point people are receiving these therapies the research has already been done. We are trying to recover these costs from people facing a potentially fatal disease. This situation is made even more perverse from an economic perspective since most often there are third party payers, either insurers or the government. So we will expect these people and/or their families to be spending time lobbying insurers or the government to pay for incredibly expensive treatments, which may or may not be helpful.

What a brilliant system!

The alternative is to pay for the research upfront. The government currently spends more than $30 billion a year on bio-medical research through the National Institutes of Health. We could triple this amount to replace the research that is now patent-supported. It can still be done through the private sector, even by the same companies. They would just be working under long-term contracts -- think of defense contractors...

In addition to having the benefit of all new therapies available at their free market price, which would almost always be cheap, this system would have the advantage that all the research results would be immediately available to other researchers (a requirement of funding) so that research could progress more quickly. In addition, this system would remove the incentive that patent monopolies give companies to lie about the safety and effectiveness of their drugs.

By fnord12 | June 6, 2018, 9:44 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Whatever's fair, pal

I'm not on the side of the Jackson estate here (i'm for as broad an interpretation of "fair use" as possible), but i do like them turning the table on Disney.

The complaint stresses that Disney is known for its strict copyright enforcement actions and a narrow view of copyright law's "fair use" doctrine.

"For example, just a few years ago, [Disney] sent DMCA takedown notices to Twitter, Facebook, and other websites and webhosts, when consumers posted pictures of new Star Wars toys that the consumers had legally purchased.

"Apparently, Disney claimed that simple amateur photographs of Star Wars characters in toy form infringed Disney's copyrights in the characters and were not a fair use," the state writes.

However, when the Estate urged Disney not to use any of its copyrighted works without permission, Disney's attorney used fair use as a defense. The company argued that it could legally use Jackson's copyrighted material since the broadcast was labeled as a documentary.

By fnord12 | June 1, 2018, 11:20 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

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