Friday, February 19, 2016

Grand Fun


17 comments:

  1. We have the power!

    The issue is not Hillary Clinton's Wall St links but Democrats' core dogmas Thomas Frank [Click] "The Democratic Party rejected the New Deal and its stress on working-class Americans in favor of a technocratic elite--is it time for a political revolution?"

    This just about nails it for me. Really, I am basically a New Deal Democrat, just as my parents were. I think "restoration" might be a better word than "revolution," but that's being finicky.

    Google Trends continues to look promising for Bernie in Nevada. The South Carolina primary is a little too far off to take the Trends data very seriously, I think; and the Nevada results will presumably influence South Carolina.

    --Alan

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    1. Yes, I agree that New Deal Democrat and restoration are spot on. Also, it's good to be confirmed in my gut feeling that the Party left me, so to speak, rather than that I left it.

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    2. I don't think "New Deal Democrat" is apt. Things have changed and changed again since the 2930s. The New Deal agenda had essentially been achieved by 1968. The country needed a new political map, which Reagan provided. Not one anybody here liked, of course. But a lot of people on the other side didn't like FDR's agenda either. I'm no Bill Clinton fan, but he saw himself as trying to push Democratic ideals in the context of Reagan's political map.

      Then we got Rove's "Contract for America." People don't seem to realize just how much that revolutionized American politics. Suddenly there were two parties on Capitol Hill instead of 535. And the result was the gridlock we're now dealing with. The American people are ready for a new political map. But that's a new map, not a return to an old one.

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  2. Thing is, we gave FDR both House and Senate for all the terms he was elected. It'll do us no damned good to elect Bernie and leave the House and Senate the same as what Obama's had. . .

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    1. Ayup. And it just might happen, although I don't see it happening right away. Then again, what if the GOP cannot act effectively as a group? I am beginning to suspect that we may well actually be seeing the first disintegration of a major political party since the Whigs in the 1850's. If Bernie should win, I think a lot of "Democratic" congress critters will be faced with the question of whether they should get on the wagon or get out of the way. Ah, yes--it could yet be interesting times. After the revolution will we all sing in tune? I doubt it.

      --Alan

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    2. Exactly, Puddle. We need to restore the Congress to Democratic control and, as Alan indicates, restore "Democrat" to the meaning of pro-labor, New Deal and Great Society party it had for much of the Twentieth Century.

      But, really, if the Republican party fractures, I'm rather concerned about the results. We can already see what a Tea Party dominated RP is like; Lord only knows what the TP would do if freed from the very weak fetters of what one might call the standard RP.

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    3. The chances are very good that Democrats will regain control of the Senate. Six years ago Republicans picked up a lot of seats in swing states, including Illinois. Odds are that they will regain most or all of those seats this time around. Maybe even one or two more.

      They'll also make gains in the House, but probably not enough to regain control. Which creates interesting questions of just how the Republicans are going to deal with Bernie. Will they get the message that gridlock doesn't work for them?

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  3. listener--re the Fox News poll you linked to in the previous thread, showing Bernie ahead of HRC for the first time, and the question of whether it is an outlier, take a gander at these google search trends for the whole US during the past ninety days. [Click] They don't tell one anything about who might be changing their opinions, just general interest. But they seem to have predicted results in Iowa, New Hampshire, Canada and the UK. Essentially they are another type of poll. Perhaps different search terms would give different results; I just grabbed a pre-existing set.

    --Alan

    P.S.: On the way home from Oakland (during evening crush hour) I pointed out to Miyoko an automobile with a Bernie 2016 sticker. She observed (I didn't have time to look) that the driver was an intelligent-looking, presumably well educated, young woman.

    P.P.S.: The carpool lanes in the SF Bay Area are being increased and changed to "express" toll lanes, which carpools (usually two or more people) can use for free if they have a new kind of transponder indicating how many people are in the car (one, two, three or more). With only one person in the car the tolls vary depending on the time of day. Also the restricted hours are being increased, and will be from 5 AM to 8 PM. I ordered one of the new transponders. (It also works to pay tolls on the bridges, and gives a one dollar discount on at least one of the bridges--the Golden Gate Bridge.)

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  4. This was written in response to a Facebook comment, which has since been removed, which expressed that Bernie supporters are not thinking straight, since his ideas aren't realistic.

    Nathan Scalia responded, and I have his permission to repost his comment:

    "Pragmatic" is a code word for setting low expectations, something the Clinton campaign has been practicing regularly since Iowa.

    Sanders supporters are not idiots. We realize that Sanders has lofty ambitions. We realize that he will face significant opposition in the implementation of his ideas. We even accept that, without a change in Congress demographics, some of Sanders' ideas may not be fully implemented.

    We know.

    We also know that he's going to try anyway, and won't complain that doing THE RIGHT THING is too hard.

    Because at the end of the day, Clinton is offering us nothing that Sanders isn't also trying to provide.

    The difference is this: When Hillary has a chance to shake off some of Wall Street's influence in politics, will she take it every single time, even if it means alienating her donors?

    Probably not. But we know Bernie will.

    Will Hillary take every opportunity to ensure that every single American is medically covered by a safe margin, even if it means a long, irritating, and possibly losing fight and threatens her reputation? Even if it means admitting that the ACA isn't a suitable foundation for true nationwide coverage?

    Probably not. But we know Bernie will.

    Clinton is offering a safe Presidency that will probably do some good things, but offers us nothing in the way of real change that Americans want. And, again, nothing she has to give is out of Bernie's reach.

    Absolutely nothing.

    She cannot mobilize the base like Bernie. She cannot win conservative support like Bernie. And she certainly isn't aiming high enough to give power back to the American people.

    As I said, Sanders supporters aren't stupid. Maybe we won't get debt-free college or universal health care.

    But at least Bernie's offering to try. And we can trust him not only to find every opportunity to achieve these goals, but also to create these opportunities.

    And ultimately, that's what this election is about. We don't think that Clinton is attending Wall Street meetings to get policy advice. But we don't have any reason to believe she's looking to change the influence they have.

    Bernie is.

    We may not get everything that Bernie wants. But we will get a man who is actually going to make the attempt, rather than shrug and say that trying to achieve these commendable goals is too hard and not worth the effort.

    Clinton's strategy is not pragmatism. It's an attempt to justify political stagnation. And we aren't interested in it.

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    1. Wow, Listener. Your friend's post is wonderful. He should put it in a letter to the editor to his local paper and possibly send it to online opinion columns.

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    2. Yeah, wasn't that well written?! He isn't actually a friend of mine; we both happened to post a comment on the same subject and I liked his post so well I asked his permission to repost it, which he was happy to do. :-)

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  5. Puddle, thanks for the link on the last thread. The article was kind of tough going but very helpful. I loved how the writer referred to C.S. Lewis in the last paragraph.

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    1. I like the C.S. Lewis ending too!!

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  6. Penny had her dental implant removed today. After 7 years it had become loose in the socket and couldn't be repaired. Apparently that is unusual: typically either implants don't work from the beginning or they last indefinitely. The good part is that she now knows not to get an implant for the other tooth that she lost a few years ago. Maybe a removable false tooth. We'll see.

    And she made it home safely despite the wind. Gusts literally shaking the house. And the 15-ft pine tree in the front yard is gone.

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    1. Eek! Did the pine tree leave a forwarding address? Hope that's all the damage, Bill.

      --Alan

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    2. Penny didn't mention if she could see where the tree went, and I haven't looked. That was all the damage here, though the TV newscast was detailing things all around the area.

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  7. In Nevada, Bernie's campaign is dominating the broadcast advertising (no mention of social media micro-advertisements, but if past is prologue they must also be exceedingly numerous). All this day Bernie has been pulling away from HRC in Google Trends, although she is also trending up at the moment. A record turnout is widely anticipated.

    --Alan

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