Reviews are in on that other epic battle in a galaxy far, far away — okay, New Hampshire — and the ones I’ve seen are pretty positive. John Cassidy, in the New Yorker:
The Democratic National Committee made a big mistake staging the third Presidential-primary debate, which was held at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, on a Saturday night, when millions of potential viewers wouldn’t be watching. The debate was lively, informative, and civil. Apart from a brief diversion into whether former President Bill Clinton, should he become the first First Gentleman of the United States, would be entrusted with selecting flowers and menus for official occasions—his wife said that he wouldn’t—it was also substantive. And excluding, for a moment, Martin O’Malley, it reaffirmed the choice facing Democratic voters: experience, moderate reformism, and vigorous engagement abroad (Hillary Clinton) versus passion, an assault on privilege, and an abiding skepticism about overseas military engagements (Bernie Sanders)…
Jamelle Bouie, at Slate:
… The Democratic Party is moving to the left. The Obama administration will end as the most liberal presidency since Lyndon Johnson’s. The Democratic grassroots has embraced figures like Elizabeth Warren, and now, Bernie Sanders, who call for class consciousness and a fundamental change to the balance of American politics. And even as she runs to the right of Sanders, Clinton’s second White House campaign is measurably more liberal than the one she ran in 2008.
What this means, in practice, is a Democratic Party that’s less hesitant—and in the case of Sanders, more forthright—about using national government to solve or ameliorate social problems, from income inequality and low wages to gun violence and health care access. It’s a Democratic Party that has put paid leave and child care at the top of its agenda, on top of strengthening programs like Obamacare and expanding others like Social Security.
But there’s a problem. The Democratic Party is still a coalition, and it’s not a coalition of liberals. Most Democrats, and people who vote for Democratic candidates, are moderates or even right-leaning. They don’t share the priorities of their liberal partners. And Democratic politicians have to represent them too, as we see in states like West Virginia and even Pennsylvania…
Bernie Sanders, like a growing cohort of liberals, wants a more social democratic America, and is willing to raise taxes to achieve it. And by injecting this stance into the Democratic primary, he’s forcing the party to contend with it. If it wants more and more expansive programs, then it will have to raise taxes on everyone, and make a case for doing so.
Hillary Clinton doesn’t want to make that case (neither does Martin O’Malley, for that matter). And so her sights are set on the center of the Democratic consensus—high taxes on the rich, new small programs for everyone else.
But, again, the Democratic Party is moving left. Democratic voters are becoming more liberal. And following that trend, Democratic policymakers, including lawmakers, are beginning to call for more (and more ambitious) progressive policy. Eventually, all of this will collide with the pledge to cut middle-class taxes. Arguably—looking at the scope of Clinton’s proposals—it already has…
Ed Kilgore, at NYMag‘s Daily Intelligencer:
… Every time he noted a difference of opinion between himself and Hillary Clinton, Sanders seemed to pull his punches–noting that a subject (Syria) was really complicated; that Clinton was very knowledgeable (health care); or that intra-Democratic differences were vastly less significant than the gap between donkeys and elephants. When the subject of Wall Street attitudes came up, he chose to emphasize how much the Gucci shoe crowd hates him rather that how much they like Hillary. He actually may have shown the most heat on an important but wonky policy distinction that most viewers likely didn’t get: that Clinton’s preference for means-testing benefits and avoiding middle-class tax burdens is out of line with the spirit and the substance of the New Deal with its universal benefits and universal cost-sharing.
Both Sanders and O’Malley made it abundantly and redundantly clear they disagree with Clinton on what to do with Assad, much as Ted Cruz and Donald Trump did with Marco Rubio in the last GOP debate (the smarter brand of pundit will probably be talking about that parallel in the days just ahead). But while Sanders was clever in suggesting HRC has a habit of supporting “regime changes” that began with her vote on Iraq (which of course cannot be brought up too often), the way he talked about it made the habit sound like it was on the order of an excessive taste for carbs or bad music…
All in all, the debate did nothing to change the dynamics of the Democratic contest, and much of what was said will soon be forgotten. There will be another debate in January, and then we will find out if Bernie Sanders really is counting on his field organization and an exceed-the-expectations strategy instead of any game-change-y debate moments to close the gap with Clinton. As for HRC, she’s already regained the “inevitability” factor she came into the Invisible Primary carrying. Even if Sanders somehow wins Iowa and New Hampshire, Clinton still has a far more plausible path to the nomination, thanks to her standing in the many states that are not as honkified and activist-dominated as the first two. But the whole world will still be watching her for a stumble. It did not happen at St. Anselm’s College.
Much more good analysis at all three links. If you have other recaps/dissections you like, put a link in the comments.
Apart from hashing over the weekend epics (I suspect someone ought to put up a spoilers-below-the-fold Star Wars discussion thread, but I’m not sure how soon), what’s on the agenda as we scramble towards the various year-end celebrations?
Didn’t watch the debates Saturday night but by all accounts, it was civil, intelligent and policy-focused, three adjectives that have not been applicable to any of the GOP debates so far. I’m proud that the political party I support has grown-ups with mature world views anyway.
And if we lose, that will be why. Sigh…
And on the other side: Trump on Putin’s crackdown on journalists: ‘it’s never been proven’
Maybe Bernie should start saying, “Live long and prosper”. Couldn’t hurt.
@Amir Khalid: “I’ll be bahck.”
@Amir Khalid: If he did, he might get my vote.
@OzarkHillbilly: Ah, NO.
ETA: Been there, done that.
Greatest moment in television history happened tonight. (key moment happens at 2:43)
@David Koch: They’re showing it on Joe of the Morning.
ETA: That never happened when Trump was in charge.
@David Koch: What is it? (I can’t watch it)
@BillinGlendaleCA: And now Joe is a big Kerry fan! What a fucking joke.
I only get to see Morning Joe when I’m on break, but he is as constant as the Northern Star: a fcking jerk.
@raven: why, what did kerry do?
Just anecdotally, people I know that normally don’t care much about politics, and consider themselves to be Dems are very interested in Sanders. These are people in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. So it’s not just millennials. Not saying they would vote for him, but still . . .
@raven: And Mika says Hillary has her own data problems.
Oh, Hillary is in a bubble; cause she doesn’t do Morning Joe or the Sunday shows. This is inane, CLICK.
@David Koch: Ah yes… Kinda figured that’s what it was after BiGC’s Trump comment.
I saw on twitter that Rolling Stone has an article saying that Hillary was promoting that little known movie nobody had ever heard of as a payoff to supporter JJ Abrams. I hope somebody gives that kid a break someday and gives him a crack at something big.
@David Koch: Worked his ass off.
@raven: But Hillary had nothing to do with it. Apparently, according to Joe of the Morning, she spent four years at state with her thumb up her ass.
For a bit of a palette cleanser, pretty pictures:
Paying my Respects to Leslie Brand
Yosemite – From the Archives.
Trying to figure out how a reorder of cigars placed at a company in Florida on Friday and sent by USPS got to my doorstep on Maui on Saturday.
Not complaining, mind you.
@NotMax: Obviously, proof that Government is inefficient.
@BillinGlendaleCA: thanx- I needed that.
@NotMax: If that had been Fedex, you’d still be waiting. (seriously)
I think this is true:
and, I think one way we could deal with this is to have the Republican Party implode and disappear, and then have the Democratic Party split and be our two sensible parties.
Of course, this is way too neat, clean, and simple to actually ever happen….
@BillinGlendaleCA: That’s a point in her favor.
@OzarkHillbilly: You’re welcome.
@Baud: First they say she needs a competitive primary, and within 5 minutes, they say she may lose Iowa and NH!
ETA: If you’re running for an office and someone is polling better than you are, it just might be a competitive race.
Well, the only way this particular company will ship to Hawaii is by USPS Priority Mail, so guess that’s a point in my favor.
Usually takes from 3 – 5 days; overnight is astonishing.
Any updated news on just WTF happed last nite in Vegas?
Maybe that wormhole near Saturn moved a little closer?
The university and public schools are closed and the town is deserted in the morning!
@BillinGlendaleCA: Don’t expect consistency from the people who believe who Obama is fascist, communist Chamberlain Hitler.
@NotMax: In another life I worked for a freight forwarding company and became well versed in the ways things got shipped. Of course, that was 35 years ago so YMMV, but USPS should still have priority placement of air freight so their stuff always catches the flight. If it usually takes 3-5 days, I can only think it is because of a pre Xmas lull in flying and a happy coincidence of timing. Still, I suspect in general USPS is still cheaper and more reliable than their competitors on overnight and priority.
How about two months from now?
Seriously. I realize this issue is not the most important thing since … ever. But there are those of us — verily, even old farts like mineself — who are planning to see it before it leaves theaters, but who don’t exactly have time to see it now, and have no desire to find out (prematurely) that Kylo Ren is actually the love-child of Jabba the Hutt and Boba Fett. And that Rey is actually Finn’s twin brother, separated at birth, etc.
On the other hand, I would support tons of spoilers being dropped onto Red State or Freeperland. Fuck ’em.
Apparently the news goes to the GOP for analysis about the Democratic debate.
@SFAW: Same here. I won’t see it for a while.
@SFAW: Seeing as I refuse to see a movie in a theatre I have given up on spoiler free entertainment. Still, avoiding the biggie spoilers isn’t that hard and the little ones really don’t change my enjoyment much. I just finished watching seasons 1-4 of Game of Thrones and was constantly surprised by the twists and turns.
Late January 2017?
No charge for screenings at the White House.
They sure have been. I just checked all the holiday shipments I sent and they all look like they’ll be delivered in plenty of time, and the farther away the faster it seems to get there, which I assume is the difference between being put on a plane or a truck. My last shipment was to Seattle on Saturday morning, it’s already in the sorting facility there.
@NotMax: Better than going to all of those stuffy inaugural balls. Maybe I’ll do an outdoor screening and invite the public. I am a man of the people.
@David Koch: You had ONE job, Steve Harvey!
@Chris T.: I’ve been thinking for the last 20 years or so that a scenario very much like that may eventually play out. It would be the best possible outcome under the circumstances.
@Baud: Then we’d have to call you President for Life Baud.
@Baud: Visiting my sister. Turned “Today” off 4 minutes into the broadcast. Setup was “Hillary is a big liar because — as far as we know — ISIS is not specifically and verifiably using Donald Trump [‘s words] in their recruiting videos.” Then: analysis by DTrump and Chris Christie and CChristie is when the remote went *click*.
Sister’s family watches NBC because it’s one of maybe 3 channels that come in well on their kitchen TV set. Satellite on other sets, but NBC rules the most-watched morning set. Alas.
The GOP candidates out-poutrage each other, and it’s passed over — those guys! — and HRC and Democrats’ words are scrutinized like a coded message. We know it’s a lie. Let’s pore harder.
I have not watched MSNBC or television news for many days now. ETA: meaning I have not turned it on. But do turn sets off, when others are not in the room.
Iowa Old Lady
@Chris T.: @Betty Cracker: But their base voters would still be there. Desire for those votes would affect any party that remains.
ETA: We’re seeing Star Wars Christmas morning. You’d be amazed how empty the theater is at 9 am on Dec. 25.
I renewed my son’s membership to Sonic Junction. They’ve added harmonica and piano lessons. Have to do a few more things before Friday.
@Elizabelle: The thumb on the scale people really need to worry about is the MSM, because they’ll do everything they can to minimize the insanity of the Republican party.
@Betty Cracker: My concern is over those who want to pre-schism before the GOP implodes.
@Satby: In honor of Star Wars, I’ll accept the title of Galactic Emperor as an alternative.
@Elizabelle: The media is going to be worse than ever this election season. I hope everyone’s loins are girded.
@Baud: But, will there be a massive cheese wheel?
@BillinGlendaleCA: I’ve tasked that to Omnes, since he’s our man on the ground in Wisconsin.
@Iowa Old Lady: I agree about the base voters, but if they finally drag the party so far right that it is unelectable on a national level and starts to infuse the entire organization with loser stink that adversely affects down-ticket races, triggering an implosion, a reconstituted party might finally prevent that nasty little tail from wagging the dog.
Iowa Old Lady
@Betty Cracker: From your mouth to the ear of the noodly one.
@Betty Cracker: We can hope.
The “please don’t spoil it” contingent reminds me of the imperial storm troopers in the movie. I would say why, but I wouldn’t want to ruin a good analogy with supporting details.
Deadspin has the exact moment of crown removal. It is a delight to behold.
Isn’t this Trump’s property?
So over the past few days I’ve tortured the girls with classic Christmas movies or shows. I can predict with almost 100% certainty that Qunoot will fall asleep during anything in black and white, though Charlie Brown Christmas and the Grinch were enjoyed. Valentina watched all of them but found Clarence the angel bewildering. I’m still debating inflicting White Christmas on them.
I don’t know — if I could get Michelle to go with me to one, it wouldn’t be so bad.
Of course, she’d have to dump that skinny guy, first. You know who I mean – the guy who’s in worse health than Donald Trump.
@Satby: Obviously the pyramid is used to store grain.
@BillinGlendaleCA: ? I knew that!
Wait, why is my smiley grimacing???
@Satby: Maybe it’s cold, ?
That really doesn’t narrow it down.
You Have to See These Photos of Mongolian Men Hunting With Eagles
Worth the trip over to MJ.
Go with White Christmas. Fairly non-sectarian, inoffensive (bare in mind the era in which it was made), and decent music (and this said by someone not particularly enamored to musicals). Oh, and Holiday Inn (think that’s the name of it). I blame my wife for introducing those movies to me, ’cause I sure would not have watched them on my own.
Gin & Tonic
@Botsplainer: No, he sold it. For a yooge amount of money, of course. But if he still owned it this wouldn’t have happened, natch.
Iowa Old Lady
@David Koch: Oh god, I just watched that video. Five minutes of painful horror. Crown, cheers, flowers, tears. Followed by crown removal. I’m cringing.
Iowa Old Lady
@Satby: Consider Scrooged. “The bitch hit me with a toaster.”
@Satby: ? Miracle on 34th Street. And thank me later.
From Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun’s wet nurse might have been his sister
Still trying to figure out how that got written.
@OzarkHillbilly: Wow. That is amazing.
I made it to Dec. 20th without hearing Wonderful Christmastime, it was on the radio when I drove up to pay my respects to Mr. Brand.
Meanwhile, President Obama interview with NPR’s Steve Inskeep, which airs today. NY Times front page:
From the article:
@Iowa Old Lady: Maybe in Iowa, the theaters are empty at that time on Christmas, In New York, movies and Chinese food are a tradition, and theaters are well filled even in the early morning.
@Yutsano: Done. Qunoot dozed through a part of it but never fell fully asleep. Seriously, it’s like I put a Qualude in her cocoa as soon as the black and white rolls.
They both really liked Casablanca though.
No one expects them to.
What the Party’s liberals want is their seat at the table back. The one that got taken away when Bill Clinton declared that the era of big government was over. The Free Marketeers and Business Friendly ‘moderates’ had their go and they hollowed out the country’s economy and burned the fuckin place to the ground.
Now they get a ‘Time Out’.
Those Yosemite shots are amazing. What time of year did you take them?
@henqiguai: I love both of those and Christmas in Connecticut too. I may just tell them they’re on and let them watch or not.
But I made them watch IAWL and Miracle on 34th. I told them they were important cultural touchstones.
Maybe they anticipated additional business during the holidays and set up a distribution network to improve delivery times?
@Betty Cracker: Especially the part where they release them back to the wild after 12-14 (?) years.
@debbie: Late June, it was just after my high school graduation.
ETA: As the album title says, “from the Archives”.
Because of course those people aren’t smart enough. Arghh!
@Elizabelle: I’m glad PBO called out the media coverage, which has been excessive, but a more fruitful criticism might have been leveled at the GOP candidates, who talk about ISIS as if that relatively small, ragtag band of fanatical psychotics is an existential threat on par with the Nazis or Bug Army from Starship Troopers.
It’s a fine line to walk, though. A lone wolf attack is laughably easy to pull off in the US since we’re so awash in assault-style weapons and high capacity magazines. A Paris or Mumbai-style attack in a US city could definitely throw the election to whichever hairball the GOP eventually horks up.
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
@OzarkHillbilly: What’s confusing about it?
Brother-sister marriages are rife in ancient royal lines. More recent, though not quite as close, is the very interwoven Hapsburg family tree. (Brother-sister, no. Uncle-niece, yes.)
@debbie: They do work extra at sorting facilities during the holidays because of volume, but the real pinch point is airline flights. They have no control over the # of them, just priority placement.
Yes, I saw the word, “Archives,” the time of year was what I asked.
@debbie: Late June, 1978.
I didn’t get a picture of it, but there was still some snow on the top of Half Dome. The pictures were taken with an Olympus OM-1 using Kodachrome ASA 100.
Still trying to figure out how that got written.
What is surprising or odd about that statement? The Egyptian royal family intermarried in order to keep their blood line pure. Modern DNA studies and CAT scans of mummies are divulging loads in information about various royals.
Paul in KY
@Punchy: I think Steve really must have thought Ms. Columbia had it in the bag.
They’re beautiful. My brother took his family there a couple years ago, in late June. None of his pictures are without other people in them. I kind of like those empty spaces. They’ve probably disappeared forever.
The Narrative Must Flow. The difference between their positions was tiny, with whether or not Assad should be a priority dominating. Secondary was who they thought locally could be primary proxies, since neither wanted us to do the fighting. Sanders harped about Libya but voted for the intervention, and didn’t like the idea that America should ‘lead’, but their idea of our role was the same – support locals, convince regional powers to take care of it. There were no hawks and no doves in that disagreement. I liked that about both candidates.
Media descriptions of Libya are really pissing me off. The fact that our role was to start a bombing campaign that Europe took over completely, because NATO and the Arab League asked us to, has gone down the memory hole.
@debbie: We hiked from Glacier Point to the Little Yosemite Valley, where we camped. The trip up Half Dome was a day trip. After 2 days, we hiked down the Yosemite Valley. Once you get out of the main valley floor, it’s much, much less crowded.
That was fascinating, and the photos are stunning. I shared it (on FB) with a friend of mine who was posted to Mongolia for several years and fell in love with the country and the people. Thank you for the link.
I listened to the interview this morning. It was only the portion where Obama was defending his position on ISIS, of course. At least Inskeep was less belligerent than he was the last time he interviewed the president.
@Paul in KY: I believe the country in South America is COLOMBIA.
@Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:
Yeah, I finally connected those 2 dots after I hit post. I’d like to blame it on “not enuf coffee” but I’ve been up since 3:30, so that leaves me with “The cat walked across the key board.” Still, I think it was a really badly written sentence and somewhat sexist. Why not say his father was his uncle?
Good Morning, Everyone :)
@Iowa Old Lady: we watched Scrooged last night and a few nights before Elf. Of course those are just lead ups to the grande finale…Bad Santa on Christmas Eve. A long standing tradition in our house now.
@BillinGlendaleCA: Been up to the top of Half Dome once and that was an indelible experience. Out of shape sea level lungs made me slow and had to walk back to the valley in the full moon light. After a while, when the moon got up, the granite almost flowed from within and no flashlight was required. Magic!
I disagree. It’s not going to happen tomorrow, or nearly soon enough to suit me, but that is what is going to happen.
Right now, the Republican party is becoming the dustbin of history. They are handily gathering ALL the waning centers of influence; the racism, sexism, hippie-punching and Bircherism in the nation; into one handy package that the 1% owns outright. Their Presidential candidates are sponsored by their own crazy billionaires! This isn’t even debatable. It’s happening.
It does all kinds of things, but functioning as a political party is less and less one of them. If 2016 is the spectacular failure which fractures the Coalition of Hate, it will be sooner.
It was not Bill Clinton that cost liberals lasting damage. It was Mondale getting face crushed by Reagan in 1984 and Dukakis getting face crushed Bush, Sr, in 1988.
Clinton salvaged what he could of liberalism, but he was still way too far to the left of most of the country in 1993, as can be seen with the struggles he had implementing his liberal agenda: (1) Gay’s in the military, (2) universal healthcare, (3) family medical leave, and (4) gun control.
@AnonPhenom: The US Senate in 1996, which is when Clinton said “the era of big government is over,” included the following Democrats:
Howell Heflin (D)
Dale Bumpers (D)
David Pryor (D)
Ben Nighthorse Campbell (D, then R)
Joseph I. Lieberman (D)
Sam Nunn (D)
Wendell H. Ford (D)
J. Bennett Johnston (D)
John B. Breaux (D)
Max Baucus (D)
Jim Exon (D)
Bob Kerrey (D)
Richard H. Bryan (D)
Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D)
Kent Conrad (D)
John Glenn (D)
Ernest F. Hollings (D)
Charles S. Robb (D)
Robert C. Byrd (D)
Does that look like a group that, if not for Bill Clinton’s State of the Union rhetoric, was going to unleash a bold liberal ascendancy?
Paul in KY
@Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism: Richard III had to publically disavow any designs on marrying his niece Elizabeth (daughter of his late brother Edward IV), after his wife died.
In late 15th century England, that marriage would have been considered barbaric/mega-scandalous.
@Elizabelle: We went to the doctor and there was one of those morning shows on. It has been many years since I’ve seen one, and I was shocked; it made Sesame Street look as leisurely paced as an art film.
All the fast talk and the screaming and the wild editing and the constant contradictory sound bites getting thrown at you like rotten tomatoes. I’m sure if a person has spent the last decade watching it all happened gradually and they don’t notice.
But I thought it was just awful. Totally obnoxious and unwatchable.
Paul in KY
@PurpleGirl: Whatever, Ms. Pendant ;-)
I thought Ms. Columbia blew on the answer to the ‘Why should you be Ms. Universe’ question. She was honest, but should have had more ‘helping others’ stuff in there.
@gene108: Agreed. I opposed much of Bill Clinton’s agenda and was appalled enough with some of it to become an idiot Naderite back in the day. But with the passage of time and perspective, it’s become clear to me that laying the Democratic Party’s rightward lurch at the feet of Bill Clinton ignores and lets off the hook the actual causes of it: Reaganism and its powerful coalition of Chamber of Commerce types and social conservatives. That coalition shows signs of weakening, and we should respond with a stake through its heart in the most expeditious possible manner, not with a purification of our own ascendant coalition.
@Paul in KY: Whirled peas!
@gene108: IMHO what caused liberals lasting damage was the cessation of Vietnam as a galvanizing cause, combined with Republicans’ success at claiming “law and order” (a polite way of saying keeping people of color and young people in their places) as their signature issue. Republicans have been running against welfare — i.e., goodies for surly ingrates — for 40 years. “New Democrats” came up with a strategy of talking up efficiency, deregulation, and high tech innovation, and managed to win over a big chunk of white suburbia. It all made sense at the time. They weren’t trying to spite traditional liberals, they were trying to build a majority. And even in the heady days of Democratic ascendancy there was tension between the pro- and anti-civil rights camps. Democrats have never been a lockstep liberal party. IOW, they can’t have sold out their liberal identity, because they didn’t _have_ a liberal identity in the first place.
The New York Times ✔ @nytimes
Obama thinks Donald Trump is exploiting the resentment and anxiety of working-class men http://nyti.ms/1J1JFV0
5:56 AM – 21 Dec 2015
Jefferson Beauregard Sessions was a Democratic member of the US House of Representatives, from Alabama, in 1993.
the news this morning said that they believe she DID IT ON PURPOSE?
Jovana Lara @abc7jovana
Police confirm woman suspected of driving onto Las Vegas Strip sidewalk, hitting 37 people, is in custody http://abc7.la/1NGlrfR
that is who they are.
Republicans grope for way to kill Paris climate agreement
Republicans are running out of ways to undermine the Obama administration’s commitments as part of the Paris climate agreement.
GOP lawmakers acknowledge that they won’t get a vote on the international accord, which they vehemently oppose. But Republicans and their allies are still pursuing channels in each branch of government, as they look to torpedo the agreement.
Many hoped that the Green Climate Fund was their best chance to do just that.
As negotiators were hashing out a final climate deal, Republicans vowed to block American contribution to the fund, an international pool of public and private money directed to help poorer nations prepare for climate change.
But the omnibus spending deal passed this week allows Obama to find GCF funding elsewhere in the federal budget, effectively taking the matter out of Congress’ hands.
“The prohibition about doing it was very outspoken,” Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a vocal Obama critic, told The Hill. “You heard me say that: ‘No you can’t do it.’ But then they say, ‘Well, we can do it within accounts.’ So, that’s where it is.”
Even so, critics of the deal say there are ways to eventually disrupt his climate promises.
2017 appropriations: While the White House, Democrats and greens expect Obama to be able to meet at least part of his current commitment to the Green Climate Fund, Republicans said they could challenge that in the 2017 appropriations process.
@gene108: And Richard Shelby was a Democrat until the ’94 elections.
@Elizabelle: I am afraid the President again comes across as condescending on the economic problems of the working class (a term I prefer to middle class since it refers to anyone who depends on their job to pay bills and keep a roof over their head, and does not receive substantial income from rent or capital investments.) It would be nice for both him and Hilary to say that they are disappointed that neoliberal Democratic policies have not produced stronger wage growth and economic prosperity that was distributed across the country. http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/novemberdecember_2015/features/bloom_and_bust058470.php?page=all They both go to “more education” panacea and that is not the heart of the problem. I think that is what we miss, that for lots of people living in small towns and cities, there is a sense that the economic system on which the thrive is being destroyed.
Latest GOP Polling:
A Fox News poll, conducted entirely after last week’s debate,
1. Donald Trump: 39% (up from 28% in November)
2. Ted Cruz: 18% (up from 14%)
3. Marco Rubio: 11% (down from 14%)
4. Ben Carson: 9% (down from 18%)
There’s also the latest survey from Public Policy Polling, which was also conducted entirely after last week’s debate:
1. Donald Trump: 34% (up from 26% in November)
2. Ted Cruz: 18% (up from 14%)
3. Marco Rubio: 13% (unchanged)
4. Jeb Bush: 7% (up from 5%)
5. Ben Carson: 6% (down from 19%)
@FlipYrWhig: yep, people keep forgetting that there is no “Green Lantern” ring that comes with the Presidency. Clinton tried to get a stimulus plan through Congress in 1993, when he had Democratic majorities, and it was killed. Likewise of course his famous health care initiatives. All he could get through was the something the Blue Dogs and Neoliberals loved, a deficit cutting bill that raised taxes and cut spending equally and NAFTA, with Republican votes. The resulting decline in Union participation and voting organization, along with culture war themes on affirmative action, gay rights, gun laws, etc. motivated the first huge lurch to the Republicans in 1994. After that Clinton was basically counterpunching.
“Clinton salvaged what he could of liberalism”
Clinton redefined right-wing economic nonsense as the new ‘liberal’. He radically empowered the already rich while gutting programs that helped the poor.
Clinton’s policies INCREASED wealth inequality, decreased social mobility, and gutted social programs for the least amongst us.
Simultaneously Clinton’s corporate policies accelerated media consolidation, deregulated banks, and outsourced American jobs.
Good jobs with decent wages, benefits and pensions disappeared to be replaced by lousy jobs with few or no benefits or pensions.
But Walmart’s stock went up as did many international corporations who took advantage of NAFTA and the dictatorship of China’s horrific labor and environmental policies.
Stocks owners won.
The middle class was gutted.
I was thinking of Shelby. I got my Alabama Senators confused. Sessions did not get elected until 1996.
Not that anyone is likely to notice, but reportedly Lindsay Graham is dropping out of the race today.
CNN is reporting that Lindsey Graham is dropping out of the race. Wonder who will pick up his .000001% of the GOP voters.
I feel like if the Democrats were able to survive the Civil War and the Republicans were able to survive the Great Depression, they’re basically indestructible at this point. It’s become too ingrained in American political culture that those are the only two legitimate parties. They can change, they can do a complete 180 from what they used to be, but they’ll remain.
We can hope the GOP will be confined to minority party status for a good long while, maybe long enough for them to have to grow a moderate wing again, I don’t think that’s implausible. The actual end of the GOP is, though. At least I think so.
@SiubhanDuinne: Lindsey who?
Wait a minute, you guys are trying to tell me Lindsay Graham was in race?
No. That not true. He was never in the race, that just a rumor.
From Steve Benen over at Maddow Blog, with his observations about the latest GOP Polling:
Gin & Tonic
@D58826: I, for one, will miss his calm and measured tone on foreign affairs.
@SiubhanDuinne: But Jim Gilmore persists!
One thing we fail to appreciate is how totally ascendant liberalism has been on social issues, with the exception of abortion rights.
I remember when Ellen came out as gay, in the 1990’s, and people wondered if ABC would just cancel her show because of it. They did not and that was considered bold.
Now the mainstream tries to be inclusive. Interracial couples are no big deal and the bigots, who used to call the shots on such issues are an angry rump with ever declining power over what we see and hear.
Facts not in evidence.
The late 1990’s was the only time we had real wage growth in this country in the last 40 years.
Inequality actually narrowed a bit during Clinton’s second term.
The roots of manufacturing’s decline in the U.S. is a trend that started before Clinton and continued after Clinton, so I’m guessing the reasons are a bit more complicated than NAFTA and Favored Nation status with China.
The glut of illegal immigration in the 1990’s hurting construction trades and the lack of an effective response is something Ckinton failed to handle properly.
Not saying Bill was the cause of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party’s downfall. That was accomplished by a combination of determined and organized wealthy conservatives (see Powell memo) and their own lead footed inability to adapt to the conservatives’ sophisticated marketing strategy (see Mondale and Dukakis). But it was Bill and the DLC who, when they took over the party, decided that the liberals didn’t need to be paid any attention other than when it was necessary to triangulate.
Thanks Bill, for gutting Glass-Steagall.
Yeah, and blaming the “New Democrats” annoys me too because it lets the voters off the hook. That Reagan coalition of Chamber of Commerce types and social conservatives came with a ton of voters who were ex-Democrats – not just white Southerners but a significant chunk of those “white ethnic,” “blue collar,” “union” voters. This isn’t news to anyone – liberal blogs mention the Southern Strategy almost daily, as well as the fact that it wasn’t just Southern. If a bunch of the Democrats’ traditional voter base is going to defect and/or become increasingly unreliable, the party establishment is going to react by paying less attention to their needs and trying to find support elsewhere. The Democratic Party didn’t just wake up one day and decide they were bored with the New Deal system and were now going to start selling out union voters just because.
My news alert just now: “Breaking News: Lindsey Graham Drops Out Of Republican Presidential Race.”
Me: “Lindsey Graham was running?”
Jim Gilmore is to the Republican presidential race what Baud is to the Democratic race.
No, strike that. Gilmore’s been far less active than Baud.
And they are a fine example of why it’s a terrible idea.
@Chris: Excellent points.
I get that you’ve either bought or are cynically selling the right-wing economic nonsense that Clinton pushed, it’s the preferred fictions pushed by the neoliberal/DLC/Third-way/Blue-dogs.
That doesn’t change the facts:
Clinton’s _choices_ INCREASED INEQUALITY and decreased social mobility.
You can claim that the two lousy low wage, no benefit, no union protection jobs that were ‘created’ during the Clinton years are somehow better than the decent wage, full benefits, and union protected job _destroyed_ during the Clinton years is a Good Thing [tm] all you want. It just insults those of us who were paying attention.
But hey, Hillary’s Billionaire Heir Walton employers stock exploded, so it’s all good, right?
@gene108: You’re right. Life would be so much easier if there were one-dimensional villains, pure heroes and simple, linear narratives. But the world we live in is more complex. I try to keep that in mind, but it’s difficult sometimes, especially when the villains are particularly cartoonish…
Two stories that piqued my interest:
A black actress is cast as Hermione in the play Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, and a racist freakout ensues.
A homeless man is arrested in Fairfax, Virginia for digging himself a two-room cave to live in. He appears to have occupied himself in there by studying English and religion.
Gin & Tonic
@Amir Khalid: A homeless man is arrested in Fairfax, Virginia for digging himself a two-room cave to live in.
Well then he wasn’t homeless, was he?
Yep. Unions and their members started walking away from the ‘Liberal’ Democratic Party in the late 60’s and early 70’s because of reforms made to the primary process that took power out of the hands of the Guys in The Smoke Filled Back Rooms (and unfortunately let Guys With Big Wallets in) and because of the Liberal’s support for Civil Rights for African Americans and Women.
It changed the party. It was the price that had to be paid.
So the New Democrats (and DLC, and Blue Dogs) got their chance at the wheel. And where are we?
With a bunch of ‘New Liberals’ who aren’t happy with the results.
They deserve their seat at the table. The party has to stop treating them like the red-headed step-child.
I don’t expect it will do any good to tell you this, but saying things like
doesn’t persuade people to listen to you; in fact, it does quite the opposite. Sometimes I wonder if you’re even trying to convince anyone.
@Chris: Yes, the impetus behind them will be the same. We’ve always had racism, the city/country tension, the Gatsbys and the Babbitts and the Joads.
One thing I think will stick is the bank regulation that moderates economic swings. This was only tangentially touched upon in any of my history classes, but the US used to be at the mercy of “Panics” that happened so regularly they were simply marked by their year. The middle class, such as it was, became continually preyed upon and wiped out in these market crashes.
I hope that much has sunk in. As I always say, “Republicans. Those marvelous folks that brought you the Great Depression.”
@Gin & Tonic:
He is now, alas. Fairfax PD had the cave filled in.
@Gin & Tonic: True he was always quite measured in wanting to bomb everyone equally, :-)
This. And it’s obnoxious that there’s a cohort of progressives/lefties who are so hellbent on finding backstabbers and sellouts to blame. The Democratic Party went through a whole process of soul-searching because they were getting whomped in presidential elections and the erstwhile “Solid South” was turning Republican because of race. The New Deal era party was as progressive as it was racist (some have called it “socialism for white people”); the Kennedy/LBJ party willingly chose racial justice even when they knew it would cost them elections; the Hart/Gore/Clinton party embraced efficiency and technocracy; and Obama was the first to try something else in 20-25 years, and did it by tickling the fancy of young and irregular voters who, as was predicted in 2007, weren’t all that interested in the Democratic Party as compared to Barack Obama. The fate of 20th-c. American liberalism is inscribed in that trajectory. And the thing to keep in mind is that _there still aren’t that many liberals in America_, so it ain’t surprising that the left-of-center party isn’t that far left.
@Amir Khalid: He’s trying very hard to convince himself of his own superiority. Does that count?
Clinton sold a right-wing economic agenda that increased wealth inequality and enriched the already rich.
Hillary’s Billionaire Walton heirs were able to take advantage of Bill’s outsourcing to foreign dictatorships like China as well as his indifference to Unions. Low, low wages for cheap dictatorship made goods.
Hillary’s continued support for trade abominations like the TPP, which essentially codifies the slavery in countries like Malaysia, isn’t tempered by her _temporary_ withdrawal of support. I remember 1993’s NAFTA push by the Clintons. Fool me once….
@Paul in KY (#107):
I believe that’s “pedant”. Not sure, just walked in from the gym, still a little tuckered out.
@Thoughtful Today: Presidents don’t unilaterally set policy, or even party planks, ffs. Politics doesn’t fucking work on the basis of magical thinking and Great Men making Great Decisions. Especially not in the US.
And your counterfactual for a non-Clinton world is a second Bush term or 90s era Jerry Brown, not a different more liberal democrat. Do you honestly believe we’d be in a better place right now if we had had another round of Bush or if Jerry Brown had been in office with a majority republican legislature and was willing to sign off on his campaign promises of eliminating the department of education or instituting a flat tax? Or do you believe there was some perfect paragon of progressivism that would’ve been not only electable, but would’ve moved the entire democratic party dramatically further to the left overnight and the only reason why they didn’t run is because Clinton did? We don’t get to live in a different world. People are not perfect. You *have* to start from the basis of what the actual, real, alternatives are; they were all *worse*.
And jesus that last paragraph is mind bogglingly incoherent. There’s a way to say what you’re trying to say there that doesn’t sound completely stupid, but that isn’t it.
Really, please, please, try harder. It’s not like there aren’t plenty of specific tactical mistakes within the context of *reality* regarding Clinton to complain about! I realize you’d have to actually understand wtf was going on in the 90s to do that, and that might require actual investigation and thinking, rather than the comfort of black and white assertions, so I can understand why you might not want to do it, but please, for the love of god, either stop picking completely indefensible lines of attack or stop talking. It’s getting extremely old.
@Thoughtful Today: Again: You’re assuming your conclusion. The data doesn’t fit.
And you still have an authoritarian mindset that contradicts the conclusions you want to make.
Paul in KY
@Thoughtful Today: As opposed to GHWB & Sen. Dole’s more left-wing agenda?
Paul in KY
@henqiguai: Ditto ;-)
(grumble, grumble, can’t even spell that word…)
@Paul in KY:
Whatever, Ms. Pendant
No, it’s important to get the names of other countries correct, as it is important to get people’s names and locations correct. Or can I call you whatever I want.
And your second misspelling of the name must be intentional or just shows you to be an ignorant, ugly American.
And, as henqiguai points out, the word you wanted was pedant</emt.
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
Because we know who his father was. The speculation that his mother was one of his father’s sisters is the topic of the sentence.
Paul in KY
@PurpleGirl: I don’t have all day to spell everything correctly. I was 1 freaking letter off.
Neoliberals are trying to distort history.
The facts aren’t changed:
Clinton’s economic policies increased wealth inequality.
Bill’s extension of China’s Most Favored trade status directly led to the outsourcing of good American jobs and his indifference to Unions led to the gutting of worker’s pay for the lousy jobs that remained.
Hillary’s Walmart employers were enriched by both of Bill’s policies. Walmart’s Made in China merchandise is now sold in America by non-union workers who are paid so poorly that they often qualify for Welfare.
Clinton handed the Billionaire’s America’s middle class’s lunch.
And the Clinton’s and their Democratic partisans celebrate that the middle class got crumbs.
I think that the jury is out whether you are for real or just trolling….
I gotta say, you have some of the more elliptical reasoning that I have seen without being either stupid (which I don’t think you are), or just strolling for trolling — a worthy self-entertainment goal that hurts no one and can provide hours of entertainment posing various strawmen while getting JB’ers to go nuts trying to engage in a real discussion with you…
Hey — have fun. Thanks though, I will pass on playing…
Rob in CT
…he says, chanting it like a Mantra.
Income inequality began widening in the mid-1970s and has continued since. You can certainly point out that Bill Clinton failed to arrest the trend, and that specific policy choices (agreeing to lower the capital gains tax rate, signing the Securities Modernization Act of 2000, NAFTA, etc) fit in with the trend. What you cannot do is blame the trend on Bill Clinton or DLC Democrats. It started under Nixon or Ford, continued under Carter, accelerated under Reagan & Bush, continued under Clinton, Bush the Lesser and Obama.
By the time Bill Clinton was elected President the Democrats had gotten shellacked repeatedly in Presidential elections. Nixon, Nixon/Ford, Carter, Reagan, Reagan, Bush the Elder. That’s a serious ass-kicking, and it resulted in the Party trying to figure out how to win again. The initial response to the Conservative backlash was a failure, man.
You can blame Clinton for a variety of things, but one think you need to understand is that American voters ultimately chose supply-side fairy tales + fucking over Those People, repeatedly. It sucks, but it’s true, and it’s not because of the Demon Clinton.
There was a fairly brief period of time when this country managed both robust economic growth and also reduced inequality (not that it was all peaches & cream: the growth came with a lot of pollution and no discussion of inequality is really complete unless you consider race). Roughly from WWII through the mid-1970s. Many people look at that and figure it’s the norm, from which we’ve deviated. It is not: that was the deviation. Replicating that (minus the egregious racism, sexism, pollution, etc) is unlikely to be easy and certainly won’t be accomplished by defeating the evildoer Clinton in the primary. I say this as someone who will be voting Bernie in the primary.
Put another way: we need more Bernies congress more than we need Bernie in the WH.
@Satby: Surely they’d enjoy the Crosby-Kaye version of “Sisters”!
Paul in KY
@Rob in CT: Good points, Rob. I’d have rather won with Bill than lost with a not-Bill.