If you have "no place to go," come here!

lambert's blog

More food pr0n

Warm salt pork salad with mind and onions and little hot things.

Read below the fold...

The two commandments of neo-liberalism

A greatly expanded version of the same idea.

Neo-liberalism Expressed as Simple Rules

Neoliberalism (a.k.a. The Washington Consensus) is the dominant ideology of the political class in Washington D.C., shared by both legacy parties. In fact, it's not clear there is another ideology, which is why we get seemingly weird policymaking processes like RomneyCare morphing into ObamaCare, even as proponents of each version of the same plan hate each other, "narcissism of small differences"-style. Of course, in neo-liberalism's house are many mansions, many factions, and many funding sources, so it's natural, or not, that an immense quantity of obfuscation and expert opinion has accumulated over time, making fine distinctions between various shades of neo-liberalism. Read below the fold...

MoDo throws Obama under the bus

What a shame, even if nobody reads her anymore. Politico quotes her (and I can't find the original):

MAUREEN DOWD, “Dems In Distress: Obama will never be king of the Democrats”: “So now Democratic panic has set in. … Democrats in Congress are looking over at the White House and realizing that the president is not only incapable of saving them, but he looks like a big anchor tied around their necks. … The state of relations between congressional Democrats and the administration has been deteriorating every week, but now it’s hitting a new bottom … Hill Democrats are seething at Obama … Obama’s approval ratings will shape the midterms, and some Hill observers compare his crumpling numbers to an illness. The president didn’t do the basic things to take care of himself, and now he’s gone terminal and contagious. …"

BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!!! Read below the fold...


It's comin' right at ya! Along with the crispy basil!

Read below the fold...

Annals of stupid "progressive" email blasts

Subject line: "Not One Dime Cut From Social Security" ("from," or at least signed by, Robert Borosage of Campaign for America's Future*). Read below the fold...

From the Skytrain...

From the upper deck BTS Thong Lo station.

Read below the fold...

You need Corrente, and yes, Lambert needs the money

[Note: You do not have to join Corrente to contribute. The PayPay buttons are to your right. Click away! --lambert]

So, how are we doing? First, you met Coyote Creek;s $250 challenge! And as of this evening, in terms the monetary total, we're 64% there ($3193 of $5000). And we have 72 contributors, with a goal of 112. Thank you! Read below the fold...

Profoundly Buddhist lavatory signage

The 12-point platform (basic version) [beta 3]

[I'm not sure I can revise this today because I have to digest 63 comments. I'm going to call out the reforms for special attention. --lambert]

[The prospect of being hanged concemtrates the mind wonderfully -- lots of good comments. More like this, please! And if you don't like a plank, propose a new one! --lambert]

[I just made a PDF version of the 12-Point Platform (basic version) and attached it at the end of the post; it fits on one sheet of paper, front and back. I'd be grateful for any improvements to the design, which is as low-key as the text. The typeface is Myriad, which is not only a propos, but AFAIK widely available. I'm thinking one thing that's missing is a logo.... --lambert[

[Readers, please look at this carefully. I'd like to release it as soon as possible (maybe only the basic version?) Shortly, I will produce an advanced version, with the bullet overlays. Then I can start writing the material and collateral to support each of the points. And that's got to be done before the mid-term rotisserie Inside Baseball wankery really gets started! As usual on this project, I've tried to keep the style very low-key. Comments and revisions welcome! --lambert]

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

"The 12-Point Platform" is a simple and self-explanatory list of common-sense programs that will benefit every American, no matter their class, gender, race, or age. "The 12 Reforms" are the programs needed to secure the benefits of the Platform. The Single Value ties the Platform and the Reforms together: Government is to be used for "public purpose," and not for privilege (which means "private law").

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

Read below the fold...

Once more into the breach on Bill Clinton's popularity

Josh Barro:

The one period of really robust wage growth in the last 40 years was the late 1990s, when the labor market was tight and workers could effectively demand higher wages in exchange for their labor. Fiscal and monetary policies that aim to recreate that situation might finally get Americans to stop saying we’re in a recession. Yet[1] that’s not the focus of the conversation in Washington.

That's it. That's what people remember. Read below the fold...

ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Unite Here: ObamaCare increases income inequality. So what's the plan?

(Unite Here, the union.) Quoting a big slab of their recent white paper [PDF]:

The Irony of ObamaCare: Making Inequality Worse
The promise of Obamacare was the right one [Oh? Why is leaving half the uninsured without coverage the right promise?] and the hope for extending healthcare coverage to the un-and under-insured a step in the right direction. Yet the unintended consequences will hit the average, hard-working American where it hurts: in the wallet. Currently a national dialogue is emerging by [sic] all political parties on the issue of income inequality. That is a debate worth having [Yeah, 'cause the 0.01% isn't just robbing us blind; it's trying to kill us!]. The White House and Congressional Democrats are “resetting” the domestic agenda following the negative fallout from the rollout [fallout from the rollout...] of the ACA. They plan to shift focus [at least until the election is over] from health care to bread and butter issues of income inequality that have eroded the American paycheck for decades.

This isn't as horrific as MoveOn propaganda, say. But Unite Here gives w-a-a-a-a-y too much credit to the Democrats -- indeed, the political class as a whole -- for acting in good faith; that's where all this crap about "a national dialogue" and "a debate worth having" comes from, though at least they didn't use the word "conversation." I'm also dubious about the "income inequality" frame, since it leads directly to flaccid, phony rhetoric like "bread and butter issues" and "the average, hard-working American." For one thing, as we know, "averages" are horribly deceptive; they conceal, for example, the degree of "inequality" the paper complains of. For another, what's wrong with "working class?"

Ironically [Ironically? Who's the audience here?], the Administration’s own signature healthcare victory [actually, the cliche is "signature domestic initiative] poses one of the most immediate challenges to redressing inequality. Yes, the Affordable Care Act will help many more Americans gain some health insurance coverage, a significant step forward for equality [why concede this?]. At the same time, without smart fixes, the ACA threatens the middle class with higher premiums, loss of hours, and a shift to part-time work and less comprehensive coverage

What the Fuck does "smart fix" mean? That language is an insider tell if ever I heard one. Maybe it means fixing the Cadillac plan issue, and throwing single payer advocates under the bus again? Just a thought. And while we're at it, who's the audience for this piece? Hipsters who appreciate irony? "The average, hard-working American" (paragraph one)? Or "the middle class" (paragraph two)? We know what Obama thinks a "middle class" job is: Amazon warehouse work. What do you think, Unite Here?

Honestly, this paper reads like it was written by two people. One wrote the wet-noodle prose above (and not very well, either). The other wrote the bullet points that follow: Read below the fold...

ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Enrollment numbers still circling the bowl: 7, 6, 5 ....

Sacramento Bee:

After the Congressional Budget Office predicted 7 million[1] Americans would sign up for coverage, they downsized their estimate to 6 million when technical problems with the website slowed enrollment in October and November. And even though the website has been functioning well since December, those early problems have cast a large shadow over enrollments ever since.

More than 4.2 million Americans have already purchased marketplace coverage. But using the enrollment experience of the Medicare prescription drug program as a template, Avalere projects that 22 percent, or 1.2 million people will purchase marketplace coverage by March 31. That would bring total enrollment 5.4 million people.

And remember: Enrollments doesn't mean new enrollments; the administration decided not to collect that data. Anyhow, when you combine a product launch debacle with a crappy product, numbers like these are what you get. But it gets worse: Read below the fold...

Kshama Sawant: Socialist City Council member in Seattle

Bloomberg (of all places):

Sawant, 41, is already helping reshape public policy in Seattle, the largest city in the U.S. Pacific Northwest.

An economics instructor and one-time software engineer who emigrated from India in the 1990s, she defeated an incumbent Democrat by advocating the $15 hourly wage. Both of the city’s mayoral candidates embraced the idea. Since taking office, Mayor Ed Murray has given her a seat on his task force of business and labor representatives weighing how to phase in the higher wage -- more than 60 percent higher than Washington state’s $9.32 anhour, already the most in the nation.

Sawant has also rattled the business community, saying as chairwoman of the council’s energy committee in January that aproposed rate increase for the city-owned utility should fall on corporations rather than individuals.....

As a newcomer to the U.S., Sawant was struck by the extent of poverty in the world’s largest economy, and the lack of amenities even poorer places enjoy, such as mass transit.

And now the interesting part: Read below the fold...


Subscribe to RSS - lambert's blog