Feel the Bern:
For Louis Celli, at the American Legion, Sanders’s progressive views make some sense in the context of advocating for veterans’ programs. “Who better than a socialist to advocate for veterans’ health care?” he asked.
Pretty much Gog and Magog territory right there.
One of the things the left, along with the kinda-left, is trying to figure out is whether Clinton is a neo-liberal at heart, or if she’s going to let her Inner Liberal bloom. Max Sawicky makes a very good point about Clinton’s campaign kickoff speech (boldface mine):
Several times HRC gives a shout-out to balanced budgets, even paying off the national debt. This is deeply wrong-headed economic policy, especially in the current period. Combined with her tax cut proposals, you have to wonder where any money for her spending initiatives would come from. It suggests she is under some delusion that the elimination of budget deficits under President Bill in the late 90s had something to do with the economic boom. For another view, see my friend Bob Pollin’s book, Contours of Descent.
The critique of the Republican economic policy appears to hinge on a bogus connection between the Bush tax cuts and the 2007-08 financial meltdown. Obama used to flog this horse too, as in “Well they cut taxes and look what happened.” This analysis glosses over the financial deregulation of the 90s in which Bill Clinton played no small part. It fundamentally misunderstands what happened to cause the financial system to blow up.
Any Democratic candidate who does not see the need in the current economy to engage in deficit spending either doesn’t understand what is needed or is too cowardly to fight for the right policy. Male* employment figures are still circling around the bowl. Keep in mind, the people who are still getting hit the hardest in this downturn are minority men, which should put some of the recent bold rhetoric on race in context: money talks, and, well, cost-free talk walks. As Sawikcy puts it, “I may be some kind of radical crackpot, but the points I make do not rely on any sort of radical economics.”
Something to consider in the ‘Who is the real Hillary’ discussions.
*Expectations of women and work are still more variable than men: men, aged 25 – 54, are expected to work, so lack of employment is almost entirely involuntary.
Observed at a D.C. area used bookstore:
It’s kind of sad that we can’t recognize the need for competent energy infrastructure without having to resort to national security justifications. On the other hand, that did get us some highways in the 1950s, so maybe this will work (boldface mine):
After devoting the first portion of the segment to the numerous places that lost power (including the White House and numerous Smithsonian museums) and the headaches that were caused, Jansing noted the reason for the outage: “What happened? The power company says all this caused by this, a transmission line fell off its foundation.”
While Jansing mentioned that the reason for the power outage was “a relatively small thing,” she added that it’s “pointing to a big problem.”
Following a soundbite from a Navy admiral with the U.S. Naval Command, Jansing began building the case for more funding:
We do know the U.S. electric grid loses power almost three times more often than it did in 1984. Much more than any other industrialized nation. Japan loses power an average of 4 minutes a year, but in the northeast U.S., 214 minutes, according to a University of Minnesota analysis and it just keeps getting worse. The main reasons? Aging infrastructure and increased demand from hotter summers, but now, experts worry about the growing cyber threat.
Jansing closed out her report by arguing that “there’s widespread agreement the power grid has to be updated and protected from cyber attacks” with the issue being the cost “as it often is in Washington.”
It’s worth noting that less than ten miles from the White House, electrical outages are a regular occurrence. Maybe appealing to national security will work because nothing else has so far.