Posts Tagged ‘Bernie Sanders’
* Good news: The Obama administration has decided it will no longer defend Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act in court. This from Barney Frank suggests that Democrats may have stumbled, through no fault of their own, onto a key truth: “People who will be angry at the President over this won’t vote for him anyway.”
* Maybe Jon Stewart should rethink this moronic camel gag. It’s good that the protests in Wisconsin haven’t turned violent, but it’s not as if there isn’t a history of anti-union violence in the U.S. Remember that this all began with Walker promising to bring in the National Guard—and a deputy attorney general from Indiana was fired just today for advocating the use of live ammunition against the protestors.
* This is weak even by Fox standards.
* Nate Silver pregames 2012, state by state.
What we have to understand is this is not just Wisconsin. This is part of the concerted attack on the middle class and working families of this country by the very wealthiest people in America, the Koch brothers and many others. And you’re also right in suggesting that if you look at the end game, what are you talking about?
You’re talking about the end of Social Security, privatization of Social Security, massive cuts and privatization of Medicare, major cuts in Medicaid. You’re talking about over a period of time, the end of unemployment compensation, the end of the minimum wage or lowering the minimum wage.
What these guys want is to return us to the 1920′s when working people had virtually no rights to organize or to earn a decent living. Bottom line today is the top 1% earn more income than the bottom 50%. The top 1% owns more wealth than the bottom 90%. That gap between the very rich and everybody else is growing wider.
And what the wealthiest people in the country are doing are using their resources to make the attack against the middle class even stronger. They want the destruction of the middle class and almost all wealth in this country to go to the people on top.
* And to top it all off: creationists suffer defeat in Oklahoma. It’s like I can’t lose today.
* Pawlenty already going after Romney on health care. This should be fun to watch.
* Via Yglesias, John Holbo has the only critique of bipartisanship you’ll ever need.
* And, via Tim, this perfectly reasonable report: A federal appeals court says three Seattle police officers did not employ excessive force when they repeatedly tasered a visibly pregnant woman for refusing to sign a speeding ticket.
“Quite frankly,” Sen. Bernie Sanders said today, “we don’t have the votes for single payer.” That’s not much of a surprise, but Sanders did outline another strategy for single payer that some liberals might want to think about. “Right now,” he explained, “we have language in the bill that says that states that want to go forward with single payer can do that.” I’ve mentioned before that this seems like the best approach for progressives in the U.S., as it’s already worked in Canada; there’s every reason to think that adoption of single payer by a single state would eventually spread nationwide.
Potentially seismic news tonight as Bernie Sanders (backing me up on reconciliation) now says he currently can’t support the health care bill. This comes amidst his fellow Vermonter, Howard Dean, continuing to argue that the bill in its current form is worse than nothing and Joe Lieberman, history’s most absurd villain, actually threatening to join the GOP.
Kevin Drum, Steve Benen, Scott Lemieux, Think Progress, and Nate Silver all say Dean is wrong, and on the policy merits he probably is—I don’t think the bill is actually worse than nothing and if I were in the Senate I’d have to swallow my rage and vote for it. But politically I just don’t know; continuing to be “responsible” and “realistic” when even our allies habitually betray us is starting to look like a mug’s game. (I think the official term for the progressive caucus is “useful idiots.”) Why shouldn’t Obama and Reid have to beg for Bernie’s support? Why should only centrist tantrums count?
Robert Gibbs says Howard Dean is being irrational, and Jane is absolutely right: he didn’t say anything like that about Holy Joe, even when it was actually true. Why not? Russ Feingold says it’s because the Liebermanized bill is what the White House has really wanted all along. If that’s so, they’re the only ones; without a public option support for health care tanks, with good reason to think (as Kos does) that the individual mandate (however necessary) will prove politically toxic without a public option on the table.
Chris Bowers says there are no more happy endings. Probably not.
* Skepticism fail: James Randi jumps the shark. Ugh.
* Health care reform continues its endless slide into oblivion. Steve Benen counts the five senators still not on board: Ben Nelson/Olympia Snowe from the “center,” and Feingold, Sanders, and Burris from the left. Meanwhile, Crooks & Liars and Firedoglake still argue the Liebermanized bill is worse than nothing, while Yglesias singles out Harry Reid for praise:
…the fact of the matter is that there’s almost no precedent for the legislative mission he’s been asked to accomplish of turning 59 Democrats, one loosely Democrat-aligned Independent, and two slightly moderate Republicans into 60 votes for a package that’s simultaneously a dramatic expansion of the welfare state and a measure that reduces both short- and long-term deficits.
Fair enough. But it’s Reid’s total rejection of reconciliation as even a theoretical alternative that has left us in this mess in the first place. Reid gets no special praise from me.
* io9′s 20 best SF films of the 2000s. Totally forgot Spider-Man 2 and Eternal Sunshine were from this decade; it’s been a long ten years.
* And meat-eaters finally win a round: “Meat may be the reason humans outlive apes.”
* I just don’t understand it; instead of feeling happy, I feel sort of let down: You’re a Good Man, Barack Obama. (Thanks, Erica!)
* How cap-and-trade works for acid rain and smog. The success of sulfur dioxide market is an important piece of counterevidence to those (like me) who think that a cap-and-trade market won’t work—but it’s worth noting that a carbon market would be far larger in scope than the SO2 version, potentially impacting nearly every segment of the global economy. Speculative trading and even a financial bubble is much more likely to emerge in a global CO2 market than in a sulfur dioxide market conducted in a single country. An earlier Grist piece also problematizes the supposed success of sulfur trading:
Compare the success of the often-touted sulfur dioxide trading system the U.S., instituted in 1990, with the speed and quantity of reductions under rule-based systems during the same period. U.S. SO2 emissions dropped by 31% between 1990 and 2001. Over the same period of time, under old fashioned rule-based regulation, Germany reduced its emissions by 87%, Italy by 62%, and Western Europe as a whole by 57%.
A carbon tax remains the smarter choice.
* And my favorite senator, Bernie Sanders, will try to put a hold on Bernanke’s reconfirmation at the Federal Reserve.