Daily Archive: 11/05/2014

Nov 05 2014

Selling Out Won’t Save Democrats

In December 2012, the Wonkblog ran a story about the laws that would have passed the 111th and 112th Congress were it not for the filibuster. The House passed-or was considering-a number of bills that would have benefited the middle class and excited Democratic voters, but those bills were killed by “moderate” Democrats in the Senate. When liberals decried the practice of threatening to filibuster one’s own party, “pragmatic” Democrats said that we had to take what we could get and let the moderates do what they needed to protect their seats.

Nov 05 2014

Penny for the Guy

Remember, remember the fifth of November

When
Daily Kos went to pot

Because they thought the Dems were all that

When really, they were not.

 photo guy-fawkes-mask_zps402bb1b0.jpgAs a former (by compulsion) member it gives me great pleasure (in a schadenfreud way) to report that in the wake of last night’s debacle the Great Orange Satan is divided into roughly 4 camps.

The first, represented mostly by Mr. Moulitsas and those beholden to him by salary, contends that this is merely a bump in the road of inexorable demographic victory, only to be expected and predicted countless times by him and his “experts”.  Work harder, contribute more, go 2016 and Hillary Clinton!  Nothing to see here.

La, la, la, la, la.

The second group is the delusional suicidal types.  Those nasty voters.  How can they not recognize our vast accomplishments?  Don’t they realize the Republicans are evil?  Evil, evil, evil, evil, evil!  Voters is teh stoopid and until we get them to think gooder we are Doomed!  DOOMED!

This is my last post until the stoopid people think gooder.

The third group is the die hard Obots.  You see those spineless cowardly Democrats ran away from this good President and his tanking poll numbers and insurance mandates and Lilly Ledbetter (did we mention Lilly Ledbetter?) and all the other wonderful things he’s done like the Catfood Commission (sorry about your Social Security, those T-Bills aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on because we have to pay off these other T-Bills that Billionaires own), Bailing Out the Banksters (with no prosecutions), a Jobless Recovery fueled by easy money (not that there’s anything wrong with easy money) and Speculative Bubbles in the great FIRE casino, and being tough on Foreign Policy by increasing domestic spying, deporting more immigrants, killing citizens without due process, continuing our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and starting 7 or 8 new ones (it’s just a co-incidence that they’re all against Muslims, we’re not the racists, you are), and covering up W‘s torture regime.

Ingrates.

And finally there are what remains (on Daily Kos) of the democratic wing of the Democratic Party and their argument goes something like this-

Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for the real Republican all the time.

Needless to say I sympathize most with the last.  As for “inexorable demographic victory”-

Obama Manages the Rare Triple Play of Bad Politics on Immigration

By: Jon Walker, Firedog Lake

Friday October 31, 2014 10:26 am

Politics is fairly simple. There are actually only a few ways to disappoint a group that cares about a particular issue. The simplest is you can fail to adopt the policy they want.

Second, you can be caught lying to them. This raises hopes only to crush them. That can feel even worse than knowing a politician has always been opposed in a principled way to your idea.

Third, you can make them feel not valued or listened to. Voters can still respect politicians they disagree with, but being treated poorly is different.

With his recent decision on immigration Obama managed to do all three at the same time. He failed to take executive action on immigration reform like most Latino voters wanted. He lied about it by promising action by the end of the summer. Finally, Obama broke this promise for what seemed to be purely political reasons. This sends a message that Latino voters aren’t valued and Democrats think they can be taken for granted. It is a statement about where a group fits in the priorities of the party.

The final sin is that it was ultimately ineffective.  It didn’t save a single seat.  Cowardice never does.

The stoopid voters say things like this-

To Angry Voters, Washington Comes Out the Biggest Loser

By ADAM NAGOURNEY, The New York Times

NOV. 4, 2014

When asked if her vote would change anything, Ms. Dempsey glanced back at the empty sidewalk leading to the polling place. “I don’t know,” she said. “I really don’t know.”



“I feel like I’m in that class of people that’s kind of getting left behind in this whirlwind,” said Etrulia Byrd, 37, a waitress from Anchorage.  “I’m in that economic class of people that works really, really hard and will probably never get too far ahead, barely makes it, and kind of gets punished for it.”



“There’s no such thing as a good politician, I’m sorry,” said Christi Miller, 43, an Obama supporter from Hot Springs, Ark.  “They may start out that way, but I think once you get in and once you get painted with bribes, and you have to take care of the people who contributed to you. … ” Her voice trailed off. “They would care if they were actually running for office for the right reasons,” she said. “They’re running for office for money and power.”



“Since they’ve allowed all the money in politics, it’s gotten much worse,” said Scott Hasson, 40, a photographer who lives in Denver. “Everyone says our vote matters, but until we can check the system and start taking a lot of that money out, I feel like it’s just power, people with money have the power.”

The Democrats are spineless and cowardly-

A Victory for the Left

By William Saletan, Slate

Nov. 4 2014 11:25 PM

Republicans won big in the 2014 elections. They captured the Senate and gained seats in the House. But they didn’t do it by running to the right. They did it, to a surprising extent, by embracing ideas and standards that came from the left. I’m not talking about gay marriage, on which Republicans have caved, or birth control, on which they’ve made over-the-counter access a national talking point. I’m talking about the core of the liberal agenda: economic equality.



Republicans picked up other liberal themes, too. They harped on the injustice of cutting Medicare, the importance of educational opportunity as “the great equalizer,” and the folly of gambling pension money in the stock market. They endorsed health care as a fundamental right, ridiculed the description of wealthy people as “middle-class,” and championed midnight basketball.

No, Republicans haven’t become liberals. They still hate taxes and blame everything bad on President Obama, Obamacare, and big government. But their focus on wage stagnation and class stratification reflects the economy and the political climate. And when you use egalitarian benchmarks to indict the opposition, those benchmarks endure. In the next election, Republicans, too, will be measured by median income, black unemployment, and what they pay women. They’ll have to account for the poverty rate, the tax burden on low-income people, and the widening gap between investors and laborers. It’s these underlying benchmarks, not the partisan composition of Congress, that signal the fundamental direction in which the country is heading.

Ahem-

No Scapegoats. Time to Face Facts.

by Dallasdoc, Daily Kos

Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 07:47 AM PST

So here we are once more.  Another electoral drubbing at the hands of the most cartoonishly evil, corrupt, inept gang of thugs politics has served up since the days of Mark Hanna.  And we’re all shocked.  How could this have happened?  How can we possibly have lost to these freakshow escapees yet again?  

It must be the fault of the voters, for being stupid.  Or the non-voters, for being too lazy and stupid to show up.  Or the media, for always being in the tank for the Republicans.  Or the purist progressives, because they said bad things about Obama.  Or Ralph Nader, for who the fuck knows anymore.  Yeah, those guys are to blame.



Progressives and liberals have long hitched their wagon to the Democratic party, maintaining the delusion that it’s still the party of the New Deal and the Great Society at heart.  I’ve done this too.  But the New Deal was eight decades ago.  Our view of the party is almost as outdated as that of old African Americans in the 1960s, who stuck with the Republican party because it was the party of Lincoln.  Actually, they had better contemporary justification than we do, at least until Nixon’s Southern Strategy.  The New Deal Democratic party is as dead as the Whigs.  Our latter-day version is one more vehicle of corporate influence:  the Goldman Division of America, Inc.  We are locked in phony battle with the Koch Division for spectacles of Potemkin democracy, which offer changes and choices that cost the owners of this country nothing and usually improve their quarterly numbers.  Nothing can be done anymore that doesn’t pay off billionaire sponsors first and last.

Our political system is comprehensively corrupt, and it is almost impossible to participate in it, certainly not as an officeholder, without wallowing in that corruption.  In Washington those who have held themselves apart can be counted on your fingers.  Both parties are creatures of this corruption, and their bases know it.  Ask any average American if they think politics is corrupt, and you’ll get a resounding “No shit!” nine times out of ten.  Conservatives know this as well as liberals.  It’s only devout party followers who seem blind to the obvious.

Corrupt parties have to find ways to get their voters out, despite most of those voters knowing how corrupt they are.  It is almost impossible to make a positive, affirmative case for oneself when everybody knows your pockets are stuffed with cash.  Therefore, you have to point over there at how terrible the other guy is.  Hence we have almost exclusively negative campaigning.  Republicans are awfully good at this, and are bounded by neither truth, shame, nor basic human decency.  Democrats suck at it, despite having a lot more material to work with.  The problem for Democrats is that too many of the things they can truthfully say about the Republicans are just as true of them.  Want to point out how beholden Republicans are to the Kochs?  Yeah, just try it, when you’re getting so much “support” from Goldman Sachs or BP or Lockheed Martin.  Voters aren’t as stupid as most professional pols think they are.



The Democratic party will not change until it has absolutely no other choice.  The leadership has proven over and over again that it would rather lose to a Republican than permit a progressive Democratic insurgent to win a primary.  Losing to a Republican doesn’t threaten the leadership’s perks and position, for some unfathomable reason.  Seeing the Warren wing gain power within the party is a much more direct threat to most of their jobs, on the other hand.  The chimera of fighting the battle in the primaries is a lost cause:  they’ll make sure we lose.  When was the last time we won one?

Markos, Markos, t’was his intent

To Crash the Gates of government.

A big old blog of orange you know

To prove the DLC’s overthrow

But by his hubris he was catch’d

A sold out has-been and a site to match

Nov 05 2014

Dispatches From Hellpeckersville-Put The White Gloves Away

When you come to visit at chez triv, I really do hope that you came to see me, because the house is in no shape for company. We’re an overcrowded house, and in our case, that means a cluttered one as well. We have up to four people on a computer in our dining room at a time. Me on a laptop on the dining room table, the same table that occasionally plays host to two sewing machines. Sewing machines that live in a corner when not in use. Seriously, there’s no room for anything.

I am constantly donating and throwing things away, but it doesn’t seem to make a dent. It’s not dirty, it’s just clutter, but I now realize why my mom used to freak out at us, and I don’t have the child-power here to put to work that she did. There were four of us all clamoring to get out of the house on a Saturday morning. I do not have that. I have Cleetus, who does the heavy cleaning, and Baboo, who straightens up, and does the dishes.

Nov 05 2014

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

George Zornick: Republicans Just Took Over the Senate-Here’s Why That Sucks

When Iowa and North Carolina were called almost simultaneously a little before 11:30 Tuesday night, the seemingly inevitable became official: Republicans will control the Senate and thus the entire legislative branch.

On a variety of fronts, this new alignment is going to be hugely problematic for progressive governance-perhaps for governance, period. These will be the major flash points. The last one is the most important because it’s how the GOP will force Obama’s hand on most of the rest. [..]

8. Keeping the Government Open.

This is the big one, and the mechanism through which the GOP might be able to get many of the aforementioned policy wins. Before, the House GOP wasn’t able to clearly put forward its goals, particularly on things like the Ryan budget, because it got all garbled up in conference negotiations with the Senate. House members who wanted to avoid this conversation were fond of telling hard-liners that “we’re only one-half of one-third of the government,” so they had to compromise.

But that’s no longer true. With a deeply red Republican Congress and the word “mandate” dancing through the heads of many elected GOPers-and members of the media-it will be easy to force a simple showdown with Obama. Maybe Republicans go full-Ryan budget, which Obama certainly rejects, and there’s a government shutdown. Maybe they are smart about it and pass a really bad budget that’s just good enough for Obama to sign. Either way, it’s bad news for progressives.

Trevor Timm: Mark Udall’s loss is a blow for privacy, but he can go out with a bang: ‘leak’ the CIA torture report

The outgoing Senator and champion of civil liberties has one last chance to read the truth about American atrocities out loud, for the world to see – before it’s too late

merica’s rising civil liberties movement lost one of its strongest advocates in the US Congress on Tuesday night, as Colorado’s Mark Udall lost his Senate seat to Republican Cory Gardner. While the election was not a referendum on Udall’s support for civil liberties (Gardner expressed support for surveillance reform, and Udall spent most of his campaign almost solely concentrating on reproductive issues), the loss is undoubtedly a blow for privacy and transparency advocates, as Udall was one of the NSA and CIA’s most outspoken and consistent critics. Most importantly, he sat on the intelligence committee, the Senate’s sole oversight board of the clandestine agencies, where he was one of just a few dissenting members.

But Udall’s loss doesn’t have to be all bad. The lame-duck transparency advocate now has a rare opportunity to truly show his principles in the final two months of his Senate career and finally expose, in great detail, the secret government wrongdoing he’s been criticizing for years. On his way out the door, Udall can use congressional immunity provided to him by the Constitution’s Speech and Debate clause to read the Senate’s still-classified 6,000-page CIA torture report into the Congressional record – on the floor, on TV, for the world to see.

New York Times Editorial Board: Negativity Wins the Senate

Republicans would like the country to believe that they took control of the Senate on Tuesday by advocating a strong, appealing agenda of job creation, tax reform and spending cuts. But, in reality, they did nothing of the sort.

Even the voters who supported Republican candidates would have a hard time explaining what their choices are going to do. That’s because virtually every Republican candidate campaigned on only one thing: what they called the failure of President Obama. In speech after speech, ad after ad, they relentlessly linked their Democratic opponent to the president and vowed that they would put an end to everything they say the public hates about his administration. On Tuesday morning, the Republican National Committee released a series of get-out-the-vote images showing Mr. Obama and Democratic Senate candidates next to this message: “If you’re not a voter, you can’t stop Obama.” [..]

In theory, full control of Congress might give Republicans an incentive to reach compromise with Mr. Obama because they will need to show that they can govern rather than obstruct. They might, for example, be able to find agreement on a free-trade agreement with Pacific nations.

But their caucuses in the Senate and the House will be more conservative than before, and many winning candidates will feel obliged to live up to their promises of obstruction. Mr. McConnell has already committed himself to opposing a minimum-wage increase, fighting regulations on carbon emissions and repealing the health law.

Michelle Goldberg: People Voted for Republicans Last Night-That Doesn’t Mean They Like Them

Well, that was hideous. It was clear from the start that Democrats were going to have a bad night, but in the end it was worse than most expected. In North Carolina, Senator Kay Hagan, who was polling slightly ahead, lost to Thom Tillis, a candidate who once declared the necessity of getting citizens to “look down at these people who choose to get into a condition that makes them dependent on the government.” Iowa is sending Joni Ernst to the Senate, a woman who wants to abolish the EPA and has warned of a UN plot to forcibly relocate rural Americans into urban centers. Odious Republican governors like Rick Scott and Scott Walker kept their jobs, and the GOP won gubernatorial races in blue states like Massachusetts, Maryland and Illinois.

The strange thing, though, is that while the election was an overwhelming victory for conservatives, it really wasn’t a conservative mandate. That’s not just progressive spin — it’s hard to think of a single actual policy issue on which voters gave their endorsement to Republican plans. Voters are desperately unhappy with the economy, worried about chaos in the Middle East and the spread of Ebola at home. The mood of the country, if it’s possible to generalize, is sour, anxious and suspicious, and many, particularly the white male voters whose overwhelming backing pushed Republicans over the top, hold President Obama responsible.

Nov 05 2014

TBC: Morning Musing 11.5.14

I am tardy with this cuz I was up late watching the returns. But in light of the outcome, I think this is a good essay.

The Balance of Power

No Jump today!

So how you doin’?  😀

Nov 05 2014

On This Day In History November 5

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

November 5 is the 309th day of the year (310th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 56 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1938, Samuel Barber’s Adagio For Strings receives its world premiere on NBC radio

Adagio for Strings is a work for string orchestra, arranged by the American composer Samuel Barber from the second movement of his String Quartet. Barber finished the piece in 1936, and in 1938, it was conducted by Arturo Toscanini. Toscanini’s conducting was recorded at 8H Studio for radio broadcasting. Toscanini took the piece on tour to Europe and South America. It is disputed whether the first performance of Adagio in Europe was conducted by Toscanini or Henry J. Wood. Barber has rejected many arrangements published by G. Schirmer, such as the organ arrangement by William Strictland.

The piece begins with a B flat played by the violins. Lower strings enter two beats after the violins. At practical tempo, the piece length is about eight minutes. The piece’s reception was generally positive, with Alexander J. Morin writing that Adagio for Strings contains “full of pathos and cathartic passion, rarely leaves a dry eye.” The piece can be heard in many TV shows and movies.

The recording of the 1938 world premiere, with Arturo Toscanini conducting the NBC Symphony Orchestra, was selected in 2005 for permanent preservation in the National Recording Registry at the United States Library of Congress. Since the 1938 recording, it has frequently been heard throughout the world, and was one of the only American pieces to be played in the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

The Adagio was broadcast over the radio at the announcement of Franklin D. Roosevelt‘s death. It was also played at the funeral of Albert Einstein and at the funeral of Princess Grace of Monaco. It was performed in 2001 at Last Night of the Proms in the Royal Albert Hall to commemorate the victims of the September 11 attacks, replacing the traditional upbeat patriotic songs. It was also played during the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. In 2004, listeners of the BBC’s Today program voted Adagio for Strings the “saddest classical” work ever, ahead of “Dido’s Lament” from Dido and Aeneas by Henry Purcell, the “Adagietto” from Gustav Mahler’s 5th symphony, Metamorphosen by Richard Strauss and Gloomy Sunday as sung by Billie Holiday.

Adagio for Strings can be heard on many film, TV, and video game soundtracks, including Oliver Stone’s Oscar-winning film Platoon, David Lynch’s 1980 Oscar-nominated film The Elephant Man, Michael Moore’s documentary Sicko, Lorenzo’s Oil, A Very Natural Thing, Reconstruction, and Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Oscar-nominated 2001 film Amélie. It has been heard in episodes of The Simpsons, Big Brother 2010 (UK), That Mitchell and Webb Look, The Boondocks, South Park, Seinfeld, ER (TV series), Big Love. A recorded performance by the London Symphony Orchestra was, for a time, the highest selling classical piece on iTunes. The work is extremely popular in the electronic dance music genre, notably in trance. Artists who have covered it include Armin van Buuren, William Orbit, Ferry Corsten, and Tiesto. eRa included this song in their new album Classics.

Nov 05 2014

TDS/TCR (Live!)

It’s your own damn fault.

The problem with all those approaches are that they rely on something few voters have anymore- a crap to give.

The real news and this week’s guests below.

Nov 05 2014

Election Night Open Thread

Just as I said I would, I voted straight Working Families.  Yes on Absentee Ballots, No on any Town Charter revision.  The parking lot was full which might lead you to think turnout was high if you didn’t read the vote counter on the scoring machine.  Two Hartford precincts will remain open for an extra half hour because the voter lists were delivered late this morning.

This is an opportunity for you to record the debacle, which appears at the moment to be every bit as bad as the gloomiest predictions.  So Democrats, do you care about “electoral victory” or not?  Or only if the “right” kind of Democrats (meaning Blue Dog, Third Way, DLC, New Democrats) win?  Don’t be afraid to contribute your personal thoughts, we publish lots of stuff with which we don’t necessarily agree.

TDS/TCR Live at 11pm ET.