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"Why we fight"

I posted this over at NC in response to the TPP House vote, but I thought I would repost it here with a few changes and additions, and see wha..t you all think, and especially what you think I should change or add.

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Rather than go through the parliamentary detail, let me expose my personal and editorial biases, and comment on the question of “Why We Fight,” primarily so readers are clear, but also as (to be frank) a troll prophylactic.

I’ve been listening to the revolutions podcast before bed, from which I’ve drawn a few lessons. One is that revolutions are not infrequent in human affairs; the podcast has gone through the English revolutions of the 1600s, the American Revolution, and is now at the French Revolution; we just decapitated Robespierre. To come are Haiti and Russia, and perhaps more. Second: Both revolutions themselves, and the build-up to them, are protracted affairs with unknown flashpoints. That the ancien regime was sclerotic was known by a lot of smart people in the 1750s, and they all tried to fix it; but the revolution itself did not begin until 1789. Third: It’s foolish to romanticize revolutions, because they tend to kill a lot of people. Be careful what you wish for, especially when it’s others who will be doing the dying! Fourth: Accident and happenstance matter a lot. If Louis XVI’s character had been stronger, perhaps he would have kept his head, and France would have ended up with a Constitutional monarchy (and not a cascade that looks like Napoleon -> French Empire -> German nationalism -> German unification -> World War I (millions) -> World War II (millions). Not that causality in history is linear; but I think you can see how the butterfly of Louis’s vacillation could have created a vast, chaotic outcome. Finally: Victory belongs to those with organizational capacity who, when they see power in the street, can pick it up (as the Roundheads, the Jacobins, and the Bolsheviks show). Morality and justice are, I would say, very necessary, but most certainly not sufficient. Read more about "Why we fight"

letsgetitdone's picture

TPP: Fast –Track Is Back: Shall It Pass?

Well, that didn't take too long. The wonks in White House, the Republican Leadership. And the “free trade” Democrats, have hatched another devious process for passing the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill. It has the following steps

– Step one: the House passes a TPA bill without passing Trade Adjustments Assistance (TAA); then

– Step two: the Republicans in the Senate give assurances to Senate Democrats that TAA will be passed by the Senate and later the House; Read more about TPP: Fast –Track Is Back: Shall It Pass?

House Republicans to bring a "clean" Fast Track bill to the floor TOMORROW (Thursday)


WASHINGTON -- House Republicans plan to breathe new life into President Barack Obama's trade agenda on Thursday by bringing up a stand-alone bill to give the president expedited authority to speed major trade deals through Congress.

Copy edit: "plan to breathe new life" should read "breathe unlife." TPP is a zombie. Read more about House Republicans to bring a "clean" Fast Track bill to the floor TOMORROW (Thursday)

Krugman endorses "strange bedfellows" strategy of TPP opponents

(We are indeed approaching the End Times.) Krugman:

I think it’s fair to say that the liberal intelligentsia has been somewhat radicalized by Republican extremism; making common cause with those who share your basic values matters more than it seemed to a couple of decades ago.

At least, that's how I interpret, in the headline, that slightly Delphic utterance. Read more about Krugman endorses "strange bedfellows" strategy of TPP opponents

I'm so glad somebody else hates how the tech business uses the word "ecosytem"

From this brilliant, must-read, long-form article by Paul Ford in Bloomberg, "What is Code":

When your app is done, you may sell it in an app store. And if users are excited to use your app, they’ll be motivated to buy more apps. Loops upon loops, feeding into one another, capital accruing to the coffers of the patient software giants. An ecosystem. “Ecosystem” is another debased word, especially given what we keep doing to the real, physical one around us. But if a few hundred thousand people are raising their kids and making things for 100 million people, that’s what they call it.

I thought I was the only one! Read more about I'm so glad somebody else hates how the tech business uses the word "ecosytem"

About the Donald...


Trump has always known that the pageantry of a presidential campaign is a near-perfect marketing opportunity. He has been running this ruse since 1987, the first time he ruminated about replacing the permanent political class that had made America a “laughingstock.” He has gone farther this time to sell the fantasy, hiring political staff in states like Iowa and New Hampshire. But the success of the stunt will still be measured in money, not votes.

After all, there are about eight billion reasons Trump won’t be president. He was pro-choice until recently. He supported massive taxes on the ultra-rich. He has advocated tightening gun laws. He backed single-payer healthcare, a policy that conservatives abhor even more than Obamacare.

Well, that's pretty amazing. Read more about About the Donald...

In the garden: Come ON!!

The whole front area is sewn with clover (next to sidewalk) and wildflowers (further in). But so far, only one wildflower has bloomed! (Aside from some pretty and discreet small white flowers.) That's it. Read more about In the garden: Come ON!!

DCblogger's picture

Bernie and the press

Enjoy the cute curmudgeonly socialist from Vermont who can't possibly win phase while it lasts. Directly Bernie gets within 10 points of Hillary there will be a dramatic change. Remember the attacks on Howard Dean? It will be all that and more. We will learn every negative thing about Bernie and his family, true and otherwise, relevant and otherwise. I hope that Bernie's team have a plan for that. Read more about Bernie and the press

DCblogger's picture

Bernie has his work cut our for him

Forget the misleading headline, Hillary maintains commanding leads in all the polls of early states. Clearly Bernie has won the Anybody-but-Hillary vote, but we were always in the minority. Sanders needs to extend his support to Democrats who have not made up their minds and Hillary's softer supporters. That will not be easy now that she is on the campaign trail. Read more about Bernie has his work cut our for him

DCblogger's picture

Obama saw his supporters “like a tiger you can’t control”

Jon Schwarz

So while the Democratic party itself would have been much more powerful overall if Obama had kept his grassroots mobilized and involved, Obama himself and his most important donors and supporters would have been less powerful within the Democratic party. So Obama let the enthusiasm and activism surrounding his candidacy dissipate, all his supporters stayed home in 2010 and Obama’s party suffered a catastrophic collapse.

DCblogger's picture

The lost opportunity of 2009

Looking at the California drought, I am struck by the lost opportunity of 2009. When I saw Inconvenient Truth I really thought that the Democratic leadership would recognize the danger and respond to the challenge. It seems many others thought the same thing. When I think of how hard we all worked to reclaim our majorities and put a Democrat in the White House, I can only stare at the way our leadersheep threw away an historic opportunity to save the environment and revive the economy. Obama could have been a 21st century FDR, instead he chose Smirk's third and fourth term. Read more about The lost opportunity of 2009

Ted Cruz as a college debater

London Review of Books:

During his Princeton debating career, Cruz caused his team to lose a competition when an opponent from Yale (the future Obama economic adviser Austan Goolsbee, as it happens) went after Cruz’s favourite talking point, about how his father emigrated from Cuba with nothing more than $100 sewn into his underwear, noting that, heroic as the tale might be, it really didn’t shed much light on the subject under discussion, the growth of the federal deficit. ‘How dare you insult my father!’

Eesh. Grab some bench, rook. The elites at play aspect (Cruz vs. Goolsbee) aside, I can't imagine a serious debater deploying ad hominem as some sort of crushing rebuttal. Not even a serious high school debater. Read more about Ted Cruz as a college debater


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