UPDATE 3/8 CoyoteCreek has issued a challenge: She'll match $250-worth of contributions (just say "Matching CC" in your PayPal message (that Donate button to your right)). Thank you CoyoteCreek!
UPDATE 3/7 Readers, thanks to you the server is back under control, though not completely! Meaning we're a little over
10% 14% of the way to goal. And 13 donations, 10% of the last campaign's donor total. Maybe I've got to rethink that NewsMax box. Kidding!
I knew there'd be something in Thurber!
So, why that picture? Well, because I launched myself into the air without being entirely certain whether I'd be grateful for a net I am in fact, without, that's why! In fact, I'm still not certain. I'd like the landing to be hard and not soft! But before we get to the sad tale, let me just make the ask.
This is the winter Corrente fundraiser. The PayPal button is to your right.
Corrente is supported, readers, by you.
The only other source of revenue Corrente has -- besides what I sock into it as a labor of love from my own precarious lower-lower-middle income -- is the small commission we get, quarterly, from Powells. (And thank you, book buyers, whoever you are.) There are no Amazon ads, there are no Google ads, there is no NewsMax block. There are no advertising banners. There are no pop-ups. There are no sponsored links. There is no content people pay to have placed. Partly that's because as a reader I hate that stuff on other sites; but mostly because I just don't want to deal with the people (or, in Google's case, the algorithms) who are in that business, and I don't want to think that way about Corrente. I am a bad businessperson! And there is no squillionaire writing the check.
Corrente is a really simple proposition:
Correntians donate enough to keep Corrente going, Correntians post whatever they want, and everything gets front paged, and sorted out, also by Correntians, which in practice means -- and here I am sidling toward the ask -- keeping lambert (moi) living in the precarious, lower-lower-middle, downwardly mobile lifestyle to which he has -- rather happily, actually -- become accustomed. (The PayPal button is to your right.) In this way, lambert can administer the server (see image at right for the server administration enclave), periodically upgrade the software, do occasional debugging, moderate the comments, answer the mail, beat back attacks, blog a lot, encourage others to blog, and conduct an extensive correspondence.
Six months ago, I (lambert) set a numerical goal for a fundraiser for the first time -- I'm a WASP, and I avoid talking about money whenever I can -- and asked for a hundred contributors! We met the goal, and raised $3000.
Do the math: Assume lambert (moi) works 20 hours a week on Corrente. Half a year is 26 weeks, so 26 * 20 = 520. $3000 / 520 = $5.76 an hour. I think that's low, even for an English major, so I'd like to raise the bar for consistently excellent left-wing blogging to, say, $5000 / 520 = $9.62 an hour, or within hailing distance of Obama's pathetic version of the minimum wage. (Of course, this estimated wage is ridiculously high: 20 hours a week is absurdly lowballed, and not only am I leaving out the costs of the server that keep Corrente consistently up and free from attacks -- $220 * 12 = $2640 -- I faithfully pay taxes on donations, which are, after all income. So, reworking the calculations, that comes to ( 3600 - (2640 / 2) - (3600 * 20%) ) / 520 = $3.00 an hour. My plan to blog and grow rich is working really badly To the right: The PayPal button!
So, $5000 is the goal.
That's what I'm asking for. Honestly, I don't think it's a lot, especially given the challenges we face, and the soul-sucking Cthulhu-like horror of media controlled by the political class. In fact, if every Corrente reader gave just $1.00 right now, we'd blow past the measely $5000 by an order of magnitude!
But what -- I hear you ask -- do I get for my contribution, besides a blog where I can post whatever I want and get front-paged*, unlike so many of the blogs that banned me? (For new readers: "Banned" is actually true for many Correntians; "If you have 'no place to go,' come here!" applies to a lot of exiles and refugees, especially from blogs run by legacy party apparatchiks.)
Here is what I want to do -- that is, what your donations will fund (PayPal button → ) -- for the next six months: Read below the fold...
If the President's budget were enacted by Congress, and OMB's projections over the next decade hold, it would almost certainly mean economic stagnation punctuated by recession over the next decade. Would it also mean austerity, however? Let's see.
“[Clinton] is a very, very intelligent person, no question about it, but I don’t know what her political future is, whether she’s going to run,” Sanders told TIME. “I don’t know what she’s going to say, but if you talk about the need for a political revolution in America, it’s fair to say that Secretary Clinton probably will not be one of the more active people.”
Well, no. In 2008 I saw Clinton as the last hope for some sort of reasonable domestic policy, if only because her base needed (needs) government to work for them in a way that the "creative class" does not. But that was then. This is now. Read below the fold...
OK, thanks to all of you, I'm going off to have that vexsome tooth extracted.* I realize that in the great scheme of things, worry about getting a tooth pulled is definitely one of those #FirstWorldProblems -- heck, real men pull their own teeth! -- and nothing like surgery, at least since the days of barber surgeons, let alone like childbirth. Still, I've so far successfully avoided almost all voluntary contact with the health care system, and my childhood experience with slow-speed dentistry was no picnic, and then there were the last thieving corporate weasels I went to, who were running some sort of insurance racket. So I confess to having so far successfully suppressed my fear! Read below the fold...
Here's the lastest revision with no documentation -- no "bullet overlay"-- so we can see if the platform reads well, stand-alone.
The basic idea is to define "the left" operationally.
Whenever anybody claims that any major Democratic candidate is on the left, even a "neo-populist," we can test that candidate for compliance using the 12 Point Platform.
And when people on comment threads talk about "the left," we can say: "You want the left? Here's the left!" and then copy and paste in the platform below:
The 12-Point Platform
1. A Living Wage
2. Medicare for all
3. Tax the Rich
4. Job and Income Guarantee
5. Debt Jubilee
6. Retirement Security
7. Post Office Bank
8. Enforce the Bill of Rights
9. End the Wars
10. Slow Food (Too)
11. Clean Air and Water
12. Carbon Negative Economy
Supporting the 12 Points, and necessary to pass, implement, and sustain them, are 12 Reforms. Herewith, also copy and paste-ready:
The 12 Reforms
1. Net Neutrality
2. Fairness Doctrine
3. Local Ownership of Media
4. Public Campaign Financing
5. Electoral Integrity
6. Self-Organizing Web-Based Citizen Deliberation
7. MMT Macro-economic Policies
8. Preserve and Expand the Commons
9. More Co-operatives, Fewer Corporations
10. Fiat Justitia. Ruat Caelum
11. Strategic Non-Violence
12. Points and Reforms Are Indivisible
Finally, to explain, revise, or extend the 12 Points and 12 Reforms, One value:
The One Value
1. Public Purpose.
So there you have it. Shorn of all the explanations and refinements we've been talking about, and without subheads dividing individual items into buckets, does it all look appealing? How about each individual point?
Is there anybody who can't live with this the way that it is? Read below the fold...
... or, as they are Orwellianly named, "Shared Responsibility Payments."* Bob Laszewski makes a good point:
Even if the administration gets 20%, or 25%, or 30% of the eligible group signed-up by March 31, that is nowhere near enough to create a sustainable pool. The long-time underwriting rule calls for at least 70% of an eligible group to participate in order to get enough healthy people to pay for the sick who will always show up first for coverage.
Supporters will cite the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projections saying a third of the eventual participants will sign up each of the first three years. Why would they? If Obamacare, with all of the attention and promotion it is getting, is not attractive the first year, particularly because of its steep deductibles compared to the after-subsidy premium people must pay, then why would it be attractive in the third year?
The response might be that the fines for not buying coverage will eventually more than double and force these people to finally buy coverage. Think about that. People don't want to buy this and the solution is to fine a family making $60,000 a year $1,500? If the cancelled policies are creating an election-year nightmare for the Democrats, think about how politically problematic big fines for not buying an Obamacare policy that consumers don't want would be in the 2016 presidential election year.
"Think about that." Read below the fold...
ObamaCare Clusterfuck: CORRECTION: “Keep your plan” fix to be prolonged until just before the 2016 Presidential election (!!)
A White House official said Wednesday that it would allow insurers to continue existing policies with renewals as late as Oct. 1, 2016, so individuals and small businesses could have noncompliant coverage well into 2017.
I dunno. Postponing the enforcing a law until after the mid-terms seems a little sketchy. But postponing it 'til after a Presidential election?! That seems a little over the top to me. Read below the fold...