Monday, November 10, 2014


These lines from this very good Matt Stoller piece stood out as obvious but also very important and often misunderstood:
The only time the question even comes up now is in an inverted corroded form, when a liberal activist gnashes his or her teeth and wonders — why can’t Democrats run elections around populist themes and policies? This is still the wrong question, because it assumes the wrong causality. Parties don’t poll for good ideas, run races on them, and then govern. They have ideas, poll to find out how to sell those ideas, and run races and recruit candidates based on the polling. It’s ideas first, then the sales pitch. If the sales pitch is bad, it’s often the best of what can be made of an unpopular stew of ideas.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

How the Rich Stay Rich

Good stuff in this Guardian piece,  but this chart in particular shows how the super rich stay richer: (via this tweet)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Romney Unleashed

In a article about Mitt Romney considering another presidential run (lol), I honestly find these quotes at the end kind of incredible:
Romney himself told the New York Times several weeks ago that “circumstances can change.” He also suggested that if he ran again, he would focus on avoiding off-the-cuff remarks, like the notorious “47 percent” line that dogged his campaign in 2012.

“I was talking to one of my political advisers and I said: ‘If I had to do this again, I’d insist that you literally had a camera on me at all times,” Romney told Leibovich. “I want to be reminded that this is not off the cuff.”
If Romney thinks he lost because he let down his weird pseudo-human persona to often...

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Arm Everyone, Let God Sort it Out

This does seem to be our basic policy. I find it kind of crazy that the proponents of arming people are never really forced to acknowledge that this isn't like changing money between bank accounts. When you give guns to people in failed states, there is a very good chance those guns will end up in someone else's hands.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Selling The War

I'm kind of surprised that more hasn't been made of this:
NEW YORK –- President Barack Obama met with over a dozen prominent columnists and magazine writers Wednesday afternoon before calling for an escalation of the war against the Islamic State, or ISIS, in a primetime address that same night.

The group, which met in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in an off-the-record session, included New York Times columnists David Brooks, Tom Friedman and Frank Bruni and editorial writer Carol Giacomo; The Washington Post's David Ignatius, Eugene Robinson and Ruth Marcus; The New Yorker's Dexter Filkins and George Packer; The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg and Peter Beinart; The New Republic's Julia Ioffe; Columbia Journalism School Dean Steve Coll; The Wall Street Journal's Jerry Seib; and The Daily Beast's Michael Tomasky, a source familiar with the meeting told The Huffington Post.

National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough also attended the meeting, according to the source.
I understand there is some amount of this stuff going on all the time that we don't hear about, but the formality of it and the number of people seems particularly gross. Not to mention it includes some of the dumbest "journalists" we have out there in David Brooks Tom Friedman and Jeffery Goldberg. But then again, that is the point. You're not inviting people here to question their actions, you're bringing them in so they can help sell your war.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The March to War

We've learned so much from the first several wars with Iraq that we're giving it another try. Maybe this time our bombs will give them the freedom and democracy that our previous bombs did not.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Fast Food Strikes Continue to Grow

Going for civil disobedience is an interesting escalation of the campaign:
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- About two dozen of this city's fast-food workers marched Thursday afternoon to a street corner that's home to a McDonald's, a Wendy's and a KFC. Calling for a living wage of $15, they seated themselves in the middle of a freeway entrance, backing up traffic as far as the eye could see.

Charleston police were eventually forced to pull them out of the street one by one, citing them for disorderly conduct in what were deemed "non-custodial" arrests. All told, 18 people -- most of them earning right around minimum wage -- were arrested next to the McDonald's parking lot.

"I'm just tired of seeing my family struggle," Robert Brown, a 20-year-old with short dreadlocks sprouting from his McDonald's visor, said right after a cop handed him a citation ordering him to appear in court. "I can't help them at all with what I make."

The Charleston arrests were part of Thursday's nationwide protest coordinated by Fight for $15, a union-backed campaign in which workers are demanding a $15 wage and union recognition. With the support of local labor and community groups, workers have been taking part in a series of intermittent one-day strikes in various cities over the past two years, shaming big fast-food companies like McDonald's over low pay and irregular hours.

Organizers billed Thursday's strikes and protests as an escalation of the campaign through civil disobedience. Notably, the demonstrations have spread well beyond big cities like New York and Chicago, where they were originally based. On Thursday, workers took to the streets in places like Durham, North Carolina; Tucson, Arizona; and Rochester, New York, according to news reports.

A Fight for $15 spokesperson said that roughly 500 people had been arrested in the demonstrations as of Thursday afternoon, though a portion of those appeared to be citations without arrest.

In instances that HuffPost could confirm, police arrested 47 people in Kansas City, Missouri; 27 in West Milwaukee, Wisconsin; 19 in New York City's Times Square; 30 in Detroit; 11 in San Diego; 8 in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania; seven in Miami; and three in Denver. Police also confirmed 19 citations in Chicago; 10 in Indianapolis; 13 in Hartford, Connecticut; and 10 in Las Vegas. In most cases, the arrests and citations came after protesters were blocking traffic.
This is obviously difficult to pick out, but it would be interesting to know SEIU's internal info on how many of these strikes have sprung up on their own due to the attention the previous ones received.