President Obama's remarks to the Business Roundtable on Trade raise alarm bells for us all, and suggest that he is still pushing his pro- 1% agenda for all it is worth. Perhaps it would be better if Congress just treated him as a lame duck from here on in. Here are a number of statements from his talk and answers to questions, and my comments on them. Read more about A Credibility Problem?
It's complete. The 4 Senate Dems who blocked the public option -- Lieberman, Nelson, Landrieu, Lincoln -- are gone 4 yrs later. Worth it?
— Adam Green (@AdamGreen) December 7, 2014
Gov. Peter Shumlin intends to propose a combination of an employer payroll tax and an income-based contribution to finance single-payer health care, according to sources with knowledge of the plan.
The Inquisitor (not sure about the source, but they look like they could get a quote right):
The healthcare law has been considered President Obama’s signature domestic achievement, though Mary Landrieu tried using that to her advantage in a recent interview with a tea party radio host.
Senator Bernie Sanders just released his “Economic Agenda for America.” While that agenda is certainly more progressive than the talk we hear from Democrats, and certainly is progressive in its expression of generalities. It is not nearly sufficiently progressive in its specifics.
Here's a commentary on it.
1. We need a major investment to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure: roads, bridges, water systems, waste water plants, airports, railroads and schools. . . . A $1 trillion investment in infrastructure could create 13 million decent paying jobs and make this country more efficient and productive. . .
We certainly do need to re-invent our infrastructure. But a $1 Trillion program would only begin to scratch the surface, and won't solve the problem. The estimates of how much we have to spend to do that are roughly $3.6 Trillion. So, why isn't Senator Sanders proposing that? Read more about The Economic Agenda for America: A Commentary
In New York, the demonstrations have taken on a familiar feel and are similar to those happening in other major cities. They generally start at a central location, mainly in Manhattan, as the workday ends.
Protesters eschew preplanned routes, calling them cattle drives.
"Cattle drives." New language! Where'd that come from? Not Rev. Inc., for sure! Read more about Wildcat marches: Another novel non-violent protest tactic from the Fersusonians
I know, clickbait headline, but I read it anyhow. They missed one:
#40. No hydrocarbons to extract.
So we may come out of all this with our water and soil intact, assuming the local notables don't fill up the state with landfills. Read more about "39 Reasons Living In Maine Ruins You For Life"
Which I identify with, because of our fight against landfills up here in the Great State of Maine. Will Bunch:
The now-81-year-old retiree recalls a brochure for the new Eastwick community from the developer Korman Homes that showed kids playing and sliding down the steep hill in back of the development, pushing "how much fun it would be for the children."
But it wasn't long after moving in that the Reids weren't able to open their window on a warm night because of the noxious odor of burning garbage - and they realized the fumes were coming from that hillside in the cheerful brochure, a disposal site that the locals called Heller's Dump but was officially known as the Clearview Landfill.
(At this point, we can say "Boy, were they stupid!" We could also say, "They were trusting." After all, this was many years ago... I'll skip the horrors of the landfill (it was a really bad one, with a cancer cluster) to get to this paragraph: Read more about Fighting a landfill in Eastwick, PA
(Yes, I think "debacle" is fair to say when you publish a story on rape culture with poor sourcing and undisclosed agreements with the sources used, thereby enabling messengers to be shot and real problems minimized. Just ugh. What were they thinking?)
Anyhow, here are portions of a Taibbi twitter thread on that topic. Here's the one that caught my eye:
@RoryKoller The fact-checkers really did have an issue with the Vampire Squid line -- squids don't have "blood-funnels"
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) December 6, 2014
The thread begins: Read more about Taibbi on the Rolling Stone/UVa debacle
"Corporal Nobbs," he rasped, "why are you kicking people when they're down?"
"Safest way, sir," said Nobby. --Terry Pratchett, Guards, Guards
And so to the demise or at least translation of the New Republic. Corey Robin:
The New Republic is coming to an end. And the autopsies have begun. So have the critiques. But the real problem with The New Republic is not that it was racist, though it was. It’s not that it was filled with warmongers, though it was. It’s not that it punched hippies, though it did. No, the real problem with The New Republic is that for the last three decades, it has had no energy. It has had no real project. The last time The New Republic had a project was in the late 1970s/early 1980s, when it was in the journalistic vanguard of what was then called neoliberalism (not what we now call neoliberalism). That is what a great magazine of politics and culture does: it creates a project, it fashions a sensibility. The Spectator did it in the early 18th century, Partisan Review in the 1930s did it, Dissent in the 1950s did it, and The New Republic in the 1970s/1980s did it. I’m not saying that I like that last project; I don’t. I’m just saying that it was a project, and that it was a creation. Love them or hate them, great magazines gather the diverse and disparate energies of a polity and a culture and give them focus. .... That’s why virtually every obituary for the magazine that’s been written by people of roughly my age opens or closes with a memoir of one’s high school experience; the entire constituency of the magazine seems to be suffering from a Judd Apatow-like case of arrested development.
Which is really funny in a way; showing my age, I too was introduced to TNR in high school, but by a terrible teacher, so whatever the lesson was meant to be, it didn't take. Anyhow, I thought Robin's notion of a magazine's "project" was interesting. Read more about Elegy for The New Republic