Department of How Stupid Do They Think We Are?
There is still time to nominate Bernie. The US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, California, NJ, Montana, NM, SD, ND, and Washington DC have yet to hold their primaries. Bernie would need a commanding lead in them to catch Hillary, but the possibility is there. Bernie knows what his tracking polls look like, more importantly, he knows what his phone bank results look like. The Bernie phone bank is tied directly into his database, so he knows how many calls are being made, where those calls are going, and what the results look like, and his team knows this in real time. Read more about Bernie and the Democratic party
So Joshua Micah Marshall has joined Kevin Drum and Paul Krugman in attacking Bernie for not giving up before his strongest states are due to vote, and for misleading people to think that the United States could ever have single payer health care, free university education, and double social security benefits, or do anything other than start wars and conduct surveillance on its own people. Read more about Concern trolls for Hillary Clinton
Watching the evening news I caught a report by Andrea Mitchell on the Nuclear Security Conference that is now being held, appropriately enough, on April Fools Day. It is obviously part of a PR effort to build international support for our shiny new war on ISIS. Read more about Andrea Mitchell's April Fools Joke
“There’s definitely an elevated concern expressed in the cloakroom and members-only elevators, and other places, about the impact of a Sanders nomination on congressional candidates,” Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) said.
The TPP should be fought on all fronts, but due to the well known partiality of Republican lawmakers for TPP (as compared to Democrats), an intelligent strategy to destroy the prospects for TPP should target Republican constituencies with Read more about Japan's PM Confirms TPP => "unrestricted immigration"
Bill de Blasio, sensing, in his muddled way, some opportunity for influence or office -- presumably in a Clinton administration -- has rolled out a "Progressive" "Agenda."
Even though de Blasio's (shallow, mobile-friendly) web site qualifies the phrase "Progressive Agenda" with "to combat income inequality," media coverage frames it as a "progressive agenda," period, and since coverage was presumably driven by de Blasio's public relations effort, I'll assume de Blasio is putting forward a universal agenda he'd like all "progressives" to adopt.
If progressives do, they'll be selling working people down the river. But then you knew that. To show why, I'll compare the "agenda" to the 12-Point Platform in the form of a handy table, after first briefly describing the rollout.
Here's how Politico describes de Blasio's day on the Hill:
Bill de Blasio’s roadshow stopped in Washington on Tuesday, as the New York mayor unveiled a “Progressive Agenda” designed to guide Democratic candidates and lawmakers — but which many have read as a road map for Hillary Clinton.
Of course, since de Blasio is a "progressive" Democrat, the "agenda" is sloppy, unsystematic, and full of holes. In fact, a hack job, as even de Blasio's colleagues were not shy about pointing out:
De Blasio said the agenda was drafted by progressives who met at Gracie Mansion on April 2, and admitted it was still a work in progress, as some speakers pointed out omissions, such as public education and police accountability.
("Public education" is covered in the 12-Point Platform by point #7: "Free Public Education, pre-K-16." And "police accountability" is covered by #10: "End the Wars," which includes ending police militarization, and #9: "Enforce the Bill of Rights.")
More than a dozen progressive leaders spoke at the press conference beside de Blasio and signed the billboard next to the podium outlining the 13 progressive principles. Among the attendees were former Vermont Governor and DNC Chairman Howard Dean, Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley, activist Al Sharpton, and Oakland California Mayor Libby Schaaf.
Oddly, none of the reporting seemed to list the actual 13 points (none of the sources above, and not CBS, not the Times, not HuffPo ), probably because -- as I found on the site -- the individual points aren't numbered, and they're poorly written. (Clearly, Correntians working together over many months are superior to progressives meeting at Gracie Mansion for a day. Shocker, huh?) For example, take the second bullet point in the group numbered (1) -- please:
• Reform the National Labor Relations Act, to enhance workers’ right to organize and rebuild the middle class.
This item combines a vague policy proposal ("Reform the National Labor Relations Act") with an even vaguer benefit ("to enhance workers’ right to organize and rebuild the middle class." See here for what Democrats mean when they say "middle class." ) Compare #4: "Job and Income Guarantee," which states the policy so crisply as to imply the concrete material benefit. You'll also notice that the 12-Point Platform benefits all workers, which reforming the National Labor Relations Act, laudable as that may be, does not.
Anyhow, enough background and parsing of words. Here's a table that outlines the differences between the hasty output of de Blasios's "progressives" at Gracie Mansion, and the 12-Point Platform: Read more about De Blasio's pathetically inadequate "Progressive Agenda" vs. The 12-Point Platform
Judy Miller is trying to defend herself, so this may be a good time to review the record.
We can see the positioning and the messaging on the Democratic side beginning to take shape for the 2016 elections. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren with nods to Thomas Piketty and various economists have stepped forward to offer the themes of salvation for the middle class, moderating the extremes of inequality in American society, and doing something real about jobs and wages.
Clinton World seems to be responding, not yet with forthright statements from Hillary Clinton, but recently with articles by stalwarts of neoliberal Clintonism (and veterans of the Obama Administration) such as Larry Summers and Peter Orszag, expressing concerns about inequality and proposing measures to alleviate it, even including increased taxation on the wealthy. Read more about Will We Ever Get Change if We Keep Electing People Who Represent Special Interests?
I'm starting to sense a consensus congealing:
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who is considering a 2016 presidential bid, said on Sunday it would require 10,000 American "boots on the ground" to stop the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Syria.
Coalition airstrikes in Iraq and Syria won't destroy the group, but do help in some regard, Graham said on CBS's "Face the Nation."
Tuesday night Obama set up a 2015 agenda that Glen Ford in “State of the Union 2015: Lethal, Predatory, Delusional” asserts would have been a modest and easy win in 2009 and 2010 when the Dems dominated both houses, but hasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell with a Republican Congress.
In 2009 and 2010 Obama fed us, the citizens who put him into office, to the proverbial wolves, or as Ford lists them, “bankers, Wall Street, private insurers and Big Pharma.”
Ryan Lizza's write up of Jim Webb is so bad it is embarrassing.
In his senatorial race, Webb did well not only in northern Virginia, which is filled with Washington commuters and college-educated liberals, but also with rural, working-class white voters in Appalachia.
For those who came in late, in 2003 or so there were basically two voices pointing out how insane the Bush administration was; you had to be there, and if you were, you remember how amazing it was to find a voice of sanity. One such voice was Krugman, for which he still deserves huge credit, in my book; and the other was Dan Froomkin, who ran a blog, in the days when blogs were new, that was quite literally the only reason to read WaPo, where it appeared. Read more about Froomkin points out McClatchy laying down a marker on ISIS
Ferguson, Missouri has been turned into a war zone.
The police use inappropriate force, such as tear gas and rubber bullets, to overwhelm and intimidate residents who are legitimately protesting a police murder of a fellow, unarmed resident.
There is also a “keep moving” rule constantly imposed on residents and journalists on the sidewalks of Ferguson. It is not a real law but nevertheless was and still is constantly spouted by the police. This “rule” is anti the First Amendment and now being challenged by the ACLU. Read more about Ferguson, Front Line of Anti-Constitution & Class Warfare
BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!! That's what they said in 2008! Can't they at least have the common human decency to invent new fake rhetoric? Read more about "Holder: 'Change is coming' after police shooting"
Facebook runs "emotional contagion" experiment on 600,000 users, without their informed consent, by manipulating their news feeds
We show, via a massive (N = 689,003) experiment on Facebook, that emotional states can be transferred to others via emotional contagion, leading people to experience the same emotions without their awareness. We provide experimental evidence that emotional contagion occurs without direct interaction between people (exposure to a friend expressing an emotion is sufficient), and in the complete absence of nonverbal cues.