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January 11, 2019

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I'm not knowledgeable enough about American political history to say how accurate his historical analogies and comparisons are, nor have I read an awful lot of detail about AOC, but from what little I have read his analysis on the whole sounds reasonable, and I sure hope he's right!

Well, I don’t think they’re afraid so much for the Democratic Party as they’re afraid for themselves. This is obviously a changing of the guard.

A changing of the guard is generally scary for the old guard. But that isn't, in itself, adequate reason to totally discount the concerns that they raise. They may be wrong, but their concerns ought to be addressed, not just dismissed by association.

Now it's possible that AOC is the flagbearer of the next wave. The wave which will deal with the reactionaries much like FDR did. (Regardless of one's enthusiasm for the New Deal, it left the right on the ropes for a generation.) Then again, we might again be looking at another McGovern phenomena.

It seems to me that the burden is, substantially, on those who want to be the new wave and the new generation to lay out how they will make it happen. Where will the votes in the Senate come from to do what they want to do? Specifically -- which states do they figure to take and hold? And how, using what issues?

I'm not saying it can't be done. But the concerns of the old guard Democrats about the outsized weight of rural red states is not without foundation. And just because you think that voters there ought to see that your views work for them doesn't mean that they will. What argument do you use to sway a farmer who is seeing the trade war with China destroy his markets and his business . . . but is still inclined to support Trump? If he's not yet seeing the folly of that, how do you propose to get thru to him? Especially when he's got serious cultural (as opposed to economic) reservations about you?

I am very appreciative of her contribution. It is clear that the candidates for the 2020 will be running as loud and proud populists focused on income inequality climate crisis and good governance. I think this would have happened any way but I see her as an excellerator. She also provides the way to respond to rightwing bullshit: don't apologize, explain, refute---0attack back, Everhy fucking time Its the only way to deal with bullies and that's what Republican politicians and "news" people are--bullies and thugs.Give them no respect and no quarter when they behave badly.

I figure Ocasio Cortez speaks first and foremost for herself and her constituents. Which are people who live in Queens and the Bronx, NYC NY. If that happens to resonate with folks in The Heartland, great. If not, great.

To the degree that folks try to make her the Great (D) Hope, I hope she ignores it and carries on as she has begun.

It's sufficient for her to be herself and represent the folks who voted for her. IMO.

I appreciate her taking-no-shit attitude. I hope it catches on.

I loved her quoting Rorschach ("I'm not locked in here with you; you're locked in here with me!") but I recall that a) Rorschach was insane and b) Rorschach died at the end of the story.

i have no problem with AOC. but i'm really baffled about how it is she managed to capture everyone's attention. she's been in office for a week and a half? i really hope she lives up to the hype.

wj: What argument do you use to sway a farmer who is seeing the trade war with China destroy his markets and his business . . . but is still inclined to support Trump?

None. Let'em vote how they vote. But give less-stupid farmers, and non-farmers, and previously apathetic non-voters, reasons to get excited about electing Democrats.

Hint: not taking shit from He, Trump and his devotees may be a more effective strategy than coddling them.

--TP

Hint: not taking shit from He, Trump and his devotees may be a more effective strategy than coddling them.

I can't imagine any benefit to coddling them. But I believe fighting them can be, and should be, done without sinking to their level. More effectively, too. (Emotionally satisfying as trashing them as they so richly deserve would be.)

The fact remains, it would be really useful to persuade those who are (currently) supporters . . . but not cult members.

Let's hope that this leftward swing will eventually translate into a saner foreign policy- this is not a given, in fact there can be a dynamic along the lines of: as a Democrat I have to be ultra-hawkish on defence to fend off accusations of being a bleeding heart liberal.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/17/opinion/democratic-party-cortez-foreign-policy.html

i'm really baffled about how it is she managed to capture everyone's attention.

1. She came from behind (far behind, IIRC) at the very last minute to beat a long-time incumbent in the primary.

2. She's young, female, and good-looking.

3. She's flamboyant and she takes no shit.

4. There's a much-watched and commented on generational tension in the party right now that she made herself part of.

People have certainly gained their 15 minutes of fame on far less.

I believe fighting them can be, and should be, done without sinking to their level.

I don't know if you mean to imply that AOC is sinking to their level, but that's not how I see what she's doing. Rather, she's refusing to play the game on their terms. Someone tries to make a scandal of a college girl dancing? Instead of stumbling around trying to justify dancing as something young people do, she posts a video of herself dancing outside her new office, and insists that congresswomen dance too. It's long overdue for someone to start throwing this crap back in their faces. That's not sinking to their level.

I'm reserving judgment about her beyond that -- nothing else would be appropriate with someone so untried. Same with Jared Golden, who swiped a seat from the Rs in Maine's 2nd district (which is not my district by a few miles). He's young, personable, raises hopes. I do think he was an asshole about Pelosi, but I don't require perfection. He fought a good battle with a snaky incumbent in a purple district, so maybe he did what he had to do. And even if not -- I'm still glad he won.

In both cases -- we'll see.

Where will the votes in the Senate come from to do what they want to do? Specifically -- which states do they figure to take and hold? And how, using what issues?

Exactly this. Here's the 2020 Senate map. Dark red are Republican seats, bright red open seats currently held by Republicans. The seats are overwhelmingly across the South and up the Great Plains. This past November, the Dems lost Senate seats in those regions.

The Dems currently hold 47 seats (including the independents, neither of whom are running this year). For election purposes, I count Jones's seat in Alabama as a Republican seat that has to be flipped, so 46. Need four seats if the VP is a Democrat, five seats if the VP is a Republican, and six for a Green New Deal agenda because of Manchin from WV.

CO is pretty much a given. ME, but if Collins runs again she will be tough. With a good candidate AZ is possible. Point to three more, and especially, the winning issues.

Worth keeping in mind that while the focus right now is on the freshman Dems in the House like AOC, there are also several "find common ground with the Republicans" newcomers.

if Collins runs again she will be tough

Not to disagree with your overall thesis, Michael, but this time Susan is also going to have it tougher than she ever has before, except maybe her first run for the Senate, where she had a strong opponent in a popular former governor. After that she rolled to victory by increasing margins in three more runs, and that does mean that a lot of Democrats voted for her in the past. But I think that's over now.

Admittedly I speak from my very tiny bubble, but I don’t think many Democrats or left-leaning independents are going to forget, or forgive her for, her despicable speech about Kavanaugh, and there’s a fund with several million dollars sitting in it that her opponent, whoever that may be, has access to without having to lift a fund-raising finger to get it. That’s the Kavanaugh-related fund, which she called, in a memorable combination of sneer and whine, a bribe. And if that’s not enough, half the Balloon-Juice commentariat is going to come to Maine, those who aren’t already here, to canvass for her opponent. 😉

Bottom line, I doubt she can gain back much if any of the ground she lost with the Kavanaugh debacle.

On the other side, the extreme right of her own party will probably primary her; they have been gunning for her for a while. So she is threading a difficult needle, trying not to alienate them on the one side, or, at the same time, her Dem/moderate previous voters on the other.

I don’t see it. Her schtick has gotten old, tired, and whiny. No left-leaning voter sentient enough to have an eyelid half open believes she’s a moderate, and indeed I’m pretty sure (though I’m not going to look it up) that her voting record has been leaning more Republican as time goes by.

Just to endear herself even more to left-leaning voters, she just equated Pelosi with Clickbait as “two stubborn people who won’t budge.”

Also, whether it makes it more or less likely that she can win again I don’t know (it's probably irrelevant), but she’s also the only Republican congresscritter in New England.

Maybe she won't run. But she seems very convinced that she is always and forever on the righteous path, and is going to keep proving that the voters of Maine agree with her.

We'll just see about that.

@JanieM: In case it wasn't clear, I'm predicting Maine as a Dem pickup. But I'm also a believer in name recognition and Collins has that. In decreasing order of confidence, Colorado, Maine, Arizona (narrowly), then...? To wj's point again, a newcomer in the House who is saying that they are going to make changes and are serious must have some reason to believe the Senate flips. I wish they would share it with me.

Michael: gotcha.

I don't know if you mean to imply that AOC is sinking to their level, but that's not how I see what she's doing.

I don't see that she is. But others, including some here, do seem to be advocating exactly that. Which is what I was addressing.

Michael: Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball suggests that Iowa, North Carolina, and Georgia may be vulnerable as well.

North Carolina has been heading purple for a while now. I blame the Research Triangle.

I don't have time to give the history in detail right now, but the mayor of Waterville was just elected vice-chair of the state R party. I take this as a sign of deep doubling down by the party; Isgro is a racist alt-right jerk who was subject to a recall vote (which he won, narrowly) after a bunch of his social media posts became public, including one where he told David Hogg to "Eat it, Hogg." So mature and dignified a representative of the city of Waterville and the state of Maine...not. And there were other comments of a specifically anti-immigrant, anti-"I don't like those brown/Muslim people" nature.

I wish I could believe that his elevation to a statewide post is just another step on the road to R marginalization. But I don't believe it, sadly.

Guess who else was the mayor of Waterville before he became the "I was Clickbait before there was Clickbait" governor of our fair state?

Bah.

a newcomer in the House who is saying that they are going to make changes and are serious must have some reason to believe the Senate flips

I disagree.

Ocasio-Cortez, and similar House newbies, have a platform from which they can expand the topics available for public discussion.

Overton window, y'all.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would have to dig pretty deep to "sink to the level" of such Republican luminaries as Steve Scalise.

Freshman Democrat AOC floats the notion that a 70% tax rate kicking in at $10M/yr would be a good thing.

Steve Scalise, the No.2 House Republican, tweets that "Democrats want to take 70% of your money".

One of these things is way more stupid than the other. Not to mention more mendacious, demagogic, and contemptuous of the intelligence of Real Americans(TM).

To be fair, maybe SS was simply addressing his billionaire padrones, and therefore not lying.

Here's a thought experiment: if you woke up tomorrow in a universe exactly like ours except that AOC was the first-term POTUS and DJT was a freshman Representative from NY, would you feel you were having a nightmare or that you just woke up from one?

--TP

I would feel that I had hadn't enough sleep yet.

Okay, CharlesWT, we'll just put you down as pro-sleep :)

--TP

It's impossible to ask "what about...?" these days without being accused of whataboutism, but in the age of Trump it's equally impossible not to ask. Näive, inexperienced, undiplomatic. No foreign policy chops, a fiscal Pollyanna. Am I talking about the Trump administration or AOC?

Strident! Shrill! Where have I heard this before?

That the smear campaign is already in full swing speaks volumes. She knocked off not just a long-time incumbent, but a Party leader, so the criticism is coming from right and center.

I love that AOC called out the Harvard "orientation" for what it is. I love that she's a bright, young, invigorating, and yes - unconventional - presence who's challenging the status quo and pushing for big progressive ideas. It remains to be seen if she becomes an important voice or just noise, and I get that compromise and practicality are part of the job. But she's not McCaskill enough for McCaskill? Oh, my stars!

I like Ocasio-Cortez, if only because she has experience bartending in the Bronx and coming OVER the bar in a single bound with a sawed-off truncheon to break heads and defend Pelosi after republican jackasses get back into the routine of pussy-grabbing the Speaker once again.

As to Scalise and company stupidly accusing Ocasio-Cortez of Marxism because of her Eisenhowerish tax proposals, which fall far short of America's high-tax golden age of economic plenty, first, she hasn't read Marx, I'm betting, but Scalise and company's knowledge of Marx is solely a result of their pet cat doing an impression of Groucho singing "I'm Against It" across the kitchen floor after they eliminated food stamps for kids.

Such is the dogsh&t of American political discourse.

Plus, I hope she plays baseball during the Congressional matchups and kicks Scalise in his unshot-off nuts with cleats a-flying at second base.

See comments in the archives for further elaboration as my self-imposed gag order persists.

As to Isgro in Maine, this is why wj's wise counsel that Democrats and liberals not accompany conservatives lower into the muck is .... what?

Amusing, I guess.

We can't get underneath them. No matter how low the bar, they harbor inexhaustible limbo moves to reach unheard of subterranean racism, misogyny, gay-bashing, immigrant-murdering, government-hating, Other-insulting crapola.

I mean Abraham Lincoln, Malcolm X, and I know how to win that game, which must be won in no uncertain terms, but ya know, last resorts and all.

See you in February.

if Wired, of all places is talking about her, i guess that means she's an official phenomenon.

I like AOC, but she is far from unconventional. She is very much a passionate 29 year old that would fit in well with my kids(one who graduated BU a few years before her) and their peers.

She has the irreverence for institutions and for the leadership that comes from believing that all things are possible and she is completely right.

Reminds me of when I was 29.

The key isn't how many Senate seats might be at risk, the key is how many could be won if they support her pretty left wing and, more important, unrealistic policy platform.

The key isn't how many Senate seats might be at risk, the key is how many could be won if they support her... policy platform.

I would qualify that with how many could be won in the areas where they are available to win. The South. Great Plains and prairie parts of the Midwest. Interior West. 2020 Senate is a bunch of tactical regional elections, not a national one.

The key isn't how many Senate seats might be at risk, the key is how many could be won if they support her pretty left wing and, more important, unrealistic policy platform.

I suppose that's my point. I don't want to hijack the thread, but I find trickle-down economics and the idea that ACC is a hoax and that 5% of the world's population with 40+% of its wealth can't afford basic healthcare to be unrealistic. We've been having those conversations for quite some time, so maybe a fresh set of eyes isn't such a bad idea, pretty or otherwise. The status quo doesn't seem to be benefitting most people. If the ideas are bad, let them die in the light.

McConnell, Zinke, Perry, Pompeo, Pruitt, Ryan, the incurious buffoon in the Oval Office... they're worthy of something, but reverence isn't the first thing that springs to mind.

I wish people wouldn't classify ideas or policies as left ,right etc because those labels don't mean anything. The things AOC has advocated are normal mainstream, heck even convention. There's nothing radical about the marginal tax rate. The green infrastructure initiative is just sensible. I think that often people label ideas by a category that shows more their emotional reaction to the person exposuing the ideas than the ideas themselves.

Näive, inexperienced, undiplomatic. No foreign policy chops, a fiscal Pollyanna. Am I talking about the Trump administration or AOC?

Well, both naive and inexperienced suggest at least the ability to learn from (future) experience. So that demonstrably lets out the Trump administration.

I recall that a) Rorschach was insane and b) Rorschach died at the end of the story.

Wait a minute, isn't Rorschach the only one who is willing to not lie and insists on telling the truth?

Well, yes, that too. (Some of what he thought was the truth was debatable, although not the crucial item that led to his death.)

It seems to me that the burden is, substantially, on those who want to be the new wave and the new generation to lay out how they will make it happen.

We will create an astro-turf "citizen" movement funded wholly by rich corporate donors.

We will use a conservative Supreme Court to roll back civil rights legislation.

We will use that same Court top undermine any reasonable attempt to reign in secret campaign funding.

We will use the gerrymander aggressively.

We will promote and pass public policy to make it harder for people not like us to vote.

We will promote policies favored by the rich and powerful and gain political support thereby.

We will align ourselves politically with movements that promote religious intolerance and hate.

That answer your question?

It seems to me that the burden is, substantially, on those who want to be the new wave and the new generation to lay out how they will make it happen.

This country has descended into a conservative nightmare that began with the social turmoil arising from the Civil Rights Movement and the decay of the New Deal political coalition (add a little liberal hubris for spice).

Nobody, but nobody, "laid out" how "they would make it happen." It fucking happened.

Insisting that your political opponents "lay out" a detailed plan is essentially being unserious. What the eff is YOUR plan to get the political outcomes you favor? With all due respect, I would insist that you go first. Thank you.

OT, i guess, but what if the obstruction was the collusion?

Bingo!

There's your National Emergency, a phrase p and his dupe enablers and malign fellow fascists are bandying about to soften up American ears for approaching dictatorial rule and justify vast martial powers for p, and only p, including stealing the 2020 Presidential election, closing the borders completely, and arresting his internal enemies, consisting mostly of the Other.

The bankruptcy of the United States will be declared as well, entire federal agencies shuttered, sealing p's eternal reputation as the master of a bankrupt universe.

The Supreme Court, the five or six pieces of conservative filth who own its majority, will uphold all measures.

McConnell will be unavailable, except perhaps for photo-ops with Rupert Murdoch, who will be declared czar of a sharply circumscribed Internet.

This little comment box will be off limits for First Amendment expression.

America will watch, stupified, as it dies from the head down.

Insisting that your political opponents "lay out" a detailed plan is essentially being unserious.

Just to be clear, I for one don't see them as opponents so much as potential allies. Even though I may disagree with them on some things, I prefer them to the reactionaries and other Trumpistas. (If it helps understanding, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" sort of thing.)

As at least potential allies, I don't want them to cause loses to those I oppose more. Which means laying out how they expect to win -- otherwise we need a different approach to defeating our mutual opponent. I'm not clear how that constitutes "unserious".

Wow. Know how people keep talking about having the House subpoena the translator's notes from Trump's meeting with Putin? This
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-has-concealed-details-of-his-face-to-face-encounters-with-putin-from-senior-officials-in-administration/2019/01/12/65f6686c-1434-11e9-b6ad-9cfd62dbb0a8_story.html

On at least one occasion, President Trump took possession of his interpreter’s notes after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.S. officials said.
Which, of course, would be unnecessary if there wasn't a smoking arsenal there IMHO.

subpoena that interpreter

America will watch, stupified, as it dies from the head down.

To be honest, I don't see it playing out that way.

It seems to me that the burden is, substantially, on those who want to be the new wave and the new generation to lay out how they will make it happen.

At the risk of repeating myself, IMO the burden on AOC is to represent the people who vored for her.

Whether she represents a "new wave" or is simply a political anomaly remains to be seen. To some degree, she gets to be the "new wave" simply due to her youth - she'll still be around after al, the geezers who usually run things are dead and gone.

If what she has to say resonates with people outside her district, fine. If not, fine. Appealing to folks in MO and IN is not her responsibility or problem.

Her biggest contribution so far is demonstrating how to tell idiots and bullies to piss off. Well done.

But russell, the issue (at least for me) isn't AOC. It's potential Senate candidates elsewhere. And whether to go full-on progressive (not her personally, but similar to her) vs. picking more moderate candidates in hostorically purple (or red) states.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/13/nyregion/ocasio-cortez-democrats-congress.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

Her main contribution is that she is unashamed to speak out in favor of green new deals and 70 percent marginal tax rates on the super rich and she denounced the corporate lobby session given to new Congressional representatives when she arrived. In the process she deals with bullies and centrist concern trolls who want to keep the left end of the Overton window somewhere in the corporate donor friendly center. Sanders is for the same things but various lines of attack, fair or unfair, that work on him don’t work on her. Not so far.

I expect, though, that people will keep trying.

It's true: AOC's job is to represent her own constituents. Same goes for Steve King, right?

Steve King's constituents have re-elected that racist goon several times. So he must be doing something "right", job-wise, despite expounding on larger subjects than potholes in Keokuk or whatever. So a Congressman can demonstrably "do his job" without having to shut up. Maybe the rules are different for Congresswomen though.

Meanwhile, Steve Scalise is still either an ignoramus or a liar, as AOC goaded him into demonstrating.

Also meanwhile: I used to say that He, Trump could not be a Russian mole because the first rule of being a Russian mole is to not act like a fucking Russian mole. I was wrong. Apparently the rules of being a Russian mole have changed, also.

But what of "traditional" Republicans or "establishment" Republicans, or whatever the hell Mitch McConnell would call himself? Does Putin have something on him too, or is he just slipstreaming behind Putin's puppet to advance his own principled "(Republican) policies"?

Barney Frank made this point a day or two ago: the Constitution gives the President a conditional veto over legislation -- Congress can vote to override it. McConnell is granting Putin's puppet an absolute veto -- he won't even let the Senate vote one way or the other unless Dear Leader approves.

Fuck it. If the American electorate is capable of preferring Putin-coddling authoritarians over "progressives", then the American electorate deserves everything it's got coming to it. The "moderate" faction of the electorate has a choice to make, and if it can't choose between gangsters and "progressives" without losing its shit then FSM help us all.

--TP

I'd bet on McConnell being "slipstreaming". So far, maintaining his personal power seems to explain his behavior better than advancing Putin's agenda. Whereas Trump's behavior is better explained vis versa.

Sanders is for the same things but various lines of attack, fair or unfair, that work on him don’t work on her.

Sanders never got "attacked" until he ran for President as a Democrat, even though he never was one, lost the nomination, then undercut the Democratic nominee, who then "lost" (in a tainted election) to an agent of the Russian mob. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez doesn't really fit into any of those problems.

AOC worked as an organizer for Sanders, so she kinda does have that connection. But she can’t be attacked as a white Berniebro and can still pull the party to the left as the NYT article says she is doing.

Anyway, I am not online to argue these days. The NYT link is there for anyone interested.

But russell, the issue (at least for me) isn't AOC. It's potential Senate candidates elsewhere. And whether to go full-on progressive (not her personally, but similar to her) vs. picking more moderate candidates in hostorically purple (or red) states.

Again, disagree. The left’s mission is to push the discussion further left. Somehow this bothers you. Our job is not to make Claire McCaskill feel comfortable. Our job is to push our agenda.

The question is not one of electability. It is one of public policy.

Again, the onus is on you. Do you wish to align with the GOP or “the left”?

PICK ONE.

Thank you.

Apologies. Trying to use an IPad. What a BS platform. Old and cranky. Still prefer rotary phones......


Good to see you Donald, hope you are doing well and I appreciate the 'I'm not online to argue' Stay well.

J.D. Thullen skrev:
We can't get underneath them. No matter how low the bar, they harbor inexhaustible limbo moves to reach unheard of subterranean racism, misogyny, gay-bashing, immigrant-murdering, government-hating

Just tonight, The Donald tweeted a "joke" (since pulled) about Wounded Knee.

There is nothing too low.

The left’s mission is to push the discussion further left. Somehow this bothers you.

To the contrary, I submit that the left's mission** should be to further your agenda. Which is NOT the same as taking positions, and demanding that candidates take positions, which cannot win in places from which you need, for example, Senators.

Now it is quite possible that SOME of your positions will play well enough there that you can win on them. But it is not self-evidently true that your agenda across the board will do so. (Indeed, I submit that the evidence to date suggest strongly that it will not.) So we come back to how will you contrive to win elections that you need to win in order to do some of the things that you believe should be done?

** Whether I agree with the left's positions or not

the onus is on you. Do you wish to align with the GOP or “the left”?

PICK ONE.

Except that those are not the only possible positions.

I can, and do, decline to "align" with either. I can, and do, ally with the left in service of the goal of defeating the current national-level GOP. But it is exactly that: an alliance of convenience, not a conversion. And I simply do not agree that it must be.

Except that those are not the only possible positions.

Well, in a 2-party FPTP system, they kinda are. At the polls, anyway. Is it better to run a centrist who might steal some moderates (but also gets you centrist policy) or a full-on progressive? That’s the calculus. In 2016, the centrist won the primary over the progressive, even as the platform got pulled to the left, and then lost the election whilst winning the popular vote.

So...

yeah, I got nuthin’.

Except that those are not the only possible positions.

Well, in a 2-party FPTP system, they kinda are.

If you're talking about the Presidency, then that is true (subject to a certain amount of signalling from the VP choice).

House and Senate elections, not so much.

Ocasio-Cortez seems to recognise that, too, as she has fairly publicly dialled back her efforts to endorse fellow progressive insurgents against Democratic incumbents. And reached some form of accommodation with Pelosi.
She appears to be rather more mature than she is given credit for.

And there is little doubt that the Democratic platform will trend more progressive in 2020.

Creating false dichotomies between ""centrist" Democrats and
'progressives" has long been counterproductive. Example.

The temptation for primary opponents to adopt (or even cite as reasons for doubt) Republican lines of attack should be resisted.

How does the Democratic Party plan to run political campaigns against President Coulter, First Lady Rush Limbaugh, Chief White House Counsel Sean Hannity, and Constitutionally-enabled Citizens United mega-donor Vlad Putin, all protected by a corrupt phalanx of lifetime-appointed anti-American judges?

How do we win elections against the self-selected un-elected mortal enemies of America?

The extra-judicial murder of liberals and the Other begins in Poland:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/world-news/polish-mayor-gdansk-stabbing-death

This will be the ongoing political strategy of the worldwide violent nationalist conservative movement, already well-underway in Russia and the Philippines, with Brazil, Hungary, and America catching up soon.

Elements in France, Germany and other countries will join in.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/senior-trump-official-anonymous-daily-caller-op-ed-shutdown-federal-workers

These 800,000 patriot federal employees, paid and unpaid, must begin sabotaging in every destructive way, their agencies' missions.

I expect the Homeland Security folks to do the most damage to the f*cking gummint and any vermin conservatives/republicans traveling within and without our borders without my permission.

The IRS no longer exists.

No conservative/republican should attempt to collect my federal taxes.

You really don't want to do that, cucks.

I expect the Homeland Security folks to do the most damage to the f*cking gummint and any vermin conservatives/republicans traveling within and without our borders...

Nah. Air traffic controllers, combined with TSA folks (far more likely to be living paycheck to paycheck) have bigger impact. Because if big donors stop being able to travel, all hell will break loose for politicians.

TSA IS Homeland Security.

Lucky you guys, I have censored the rest of this comment regarding how air traffic controllers, their labor currently enslaved without recompense, like nigger slaves, should play catastrophic whoopsies with planes attempting to land anywhere in my country, including private ones loaded with republican donors trying to avoid the rest of we niggers, kikes, and fags, while schlepping republican/conservative filth from all levels of government and their fascist donors to and fro over precious flyover country.

Yeah, but ... tax cuts! deregulation! "conservative" judges!

Putin, who wants all those things too since he probably owns more property in the US than his orange finger puppet does, may be willing to provide fighter escorts for the private planes of his quislings.

We'll need a 60,000 foot high wall.

--TP

"One feel-good story making the rounds today is about the crews of Canadian air traffic controllers who are sending pizza to their American counterparts, working without pay during the now 24-day partial shutdown of the federal government.

The pizza deliveries started last Thursday, when a team from Edmonton, Canada sent pizzas across the border to Anchorage, Alaska. It then snowballed from there, with at least 3 pizzas sent to 40 different U.S. facilities, according to the Washington Post."
U.S. Air Traffic Controllers Are Working Without Pay During the Shutdown. Canada's Privatized Air Traffic Control System is Bailing Them Out With Free Pizza.: Spinning off America's air traffic control system from direct government control would immunize it from the shocks caused by government shutdowns.

"would immunize it from the shocks caused by government shutdowns."

Forbidding fake conservative budgetary government shutdowns would immunize "it" from the shocks too.

It is the only thing causing these problems.

I call bullshit.

Privatizing the Weather Service would prevent the melting of Greenland too, in that case.

Private corporate motherf*ckers have conducted plenty of worker lockouts with pay over the decades. Where do you think the subhuman Republican Party politicians got the idea?

p, the apotheosis of republican conservative venality, still owes plenty of private contractors and individuals, including undocumented immigrants, wages and pay for labor and materials he stole from them for decades.

As a Libertarian, don't you believe those thieved from by p should bypass the f*cking government and settle hash with him using private military-grade firepower.

Bullshit, Charles. Bullshit!

The Canadian unionized air traffic controllers can stow the pizza. If they want to assist their American counterparts, they should unilaterally, even against their own governments' wishes, deny entry across the Canadian border and landing rights of all planes belonging to American flag air carriers and their dubious low quality American passengers.

All American passengers, including me, entering Canada on other foreign flag carriers should be denied disembarkation and our sorry asses deported back to pigfucker America on foot.

Have conservative republican Americans step aside for body cavity searches and extreme hair mussing and suitcase damage and loss before they kick their asses back to this shithole full of assholes and jagoffs and libertarians.

The rest of the world should do the same.

This seems like movement in the right direction

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/republican-senators-roll-out-bill-that-would-end-all-future-shutdowns-2019-01-12?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

It's not, though It's a Trojan Horse for more of the same. If you read the link (Marty, it's kind of long, don't tire yourself), you'll notice the provision that agency budgets would be automatically trimmed by one percent for every six months their budgets were not approved by Congress or the President annually as the f*cking law provides.

Well, there will never be another budget under those terms. Given those "incentives", Republican conservative vermin would merely delay any budget votes for as many decades as it would take to zero out every single agency except the Defense Department and whatever other civilian agencies staffed with armed conservatives are in place to keep the Other in our places.

Hmm, are they allowed to accept the pizzas or is that equal to accepting a bribe (they are lowly public employees not high-ranking politicians after all)?

[Only partially a joke. Over here in Germany public employess have to be very careful there, and free food is explicitly included as potential bribes. Talking a handful of €€€*, not the luxury stuff one might imagine).

*E.g. teachers may accept gifts of a total value not above 12€ per year

How many pizzas does it take to cover the mortgage on a 2 bedroom?

Over here in Germany public employess have to be very careful there, and free food is explicitly included as potential bribes.

Same in the US if it's a business lunch.

We're doomed. Our "president" and his party are Putin's fascist mobster puppets, and his constituents don't really care. They voted for this. I know that many here had WWII veteran parents. What a disgusting betrayal.

I'm spending more time with my hobbies.

I'm going to give it a rest for a another period to avoid further offense.

I'm incorrigible and I get it.

I've been doing some reading on the subject of anger, its uses and disuses, kind of self-medicating, but to no avail, for example, this:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/01/charles-duhigg-american-anger/576424/

Also, the incomparable and eloquent Martha Nussbaum's latest "The Monarchy of Fear" regarding our parlous times and the fear-mongering rage of our President.

Unfortunately, she is not convincing this time around. The Rage of Achilles (choose from among the many translations of the first line of The Iliad) seems a more fitting prescription for the moment.

I'm also about to read "The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War" as we head into the final months of relative domestic tranquility before Civil War II commences.

I'm returning to this as well:

"Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History"
Gwynne, S. C., in which the Texas Rangers finally, after failing to steal the territory of and having their asses kicked by the Comanche in the 19th Century, learned the tactical lesson of "becoming" Comanche to destroy them.

The p Republican Party are Comanche. Become them.

Their ponies, their women, and the scalps of their braves are mine.

Finally this, published overnight over at TAC, which I'm going to stop reading:

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-to-talk-to-someone-who-wants-to-put-you-in-a-gulag/

To which I commented, though I'm sure it will be censored:

"Judging from the photograph embedded in the article, all that us happening to the Brit MAGA kid is some tweaking of his hat.

Is he still alive, or has he been disembowled and helicoptered into the English Channel, a la conservative hero Pinochet.

Quay, you are a punk. You are full of dog shit.

A liberal British politician was murdered, shot in the street, by a conservative Brexiteer.

A popular "liberal" Mayor of a Polish city was just assassinated the other day by a conservative after threats by his fascist, conservative, anti-Semitic government."

The poor victims are getting ready for Civil War over there and around the world, fulfilling Buchanan's prophecy of "Lock and Load" against everything liberal.

They will kill.

Meanwhile, my son's National Science Foundation grant application to fund his post-doc Chemistry research is unattended to, perhaps forever, as the National Science Foundation, like the IRS and the EPA, now no longer exist.

I am f"cking done with these bugs.

Good luck to all of you.

See you on the flip side of whatever is left.

Carry on.


I've been conversing with Republican neighbor and friend and is scary to find in a real human being the Nazi mentality. He is a warm friendly kind to animals person, committed to Christianity (to the outward forms--he does not apply the principles to his politics, no Republicans do.) Really truly believes that we have national security threat on the border though he cant explain what it is (to do so would be to admit to fear of foreigners). He has a Hispanic son in law and is not racist in his relationships with people he knows and his church has an adopted village they support in Guatemala, and so he does not have any inkling of his basically prejudiced attitude toward people he perceives as different and therefor threatening. Yet Trump's anti-everyone but his base attitude, the god awful snobbery and entitlement that is not just a core Republican value, but almost the onnly Republican value is so strong in him that he is utterly inn thrall to the Dear Leader and rightwing propaganda and more than willing to behave in contradiction to the Christian principles he claims to believe in when it comes to politics. It is scary to realize that nearly forty percent of the population of America shares that same instinctive predilection for fascism.

A top tax rate of 70% is supported by six out of ten voters...
https://thehill.com/hilltv/what-americas-thinking/425422-a-majority-of-americans-support-raising-the-top-tax-rate-to-70

I, for one, am more than willing to give up 70% of my 10,000,001th dollar of taxable income in a given year. I'll just have to cut back elsewhere. Perhaps I can switch to single-ply toilet paper.

A top tax rate of 70% is supported by six out of ten voters...

Just curious how respondents interpreted the question. For example, would you answer "yes" if your actual view was that 70% was too low?

Which is my personal view. By the time you're making $10 million in a year, additional income is useless, except as a status indicator -- which it can accomplish just fine whether it is then taxed away or not. (For those enraptured by all the ways someone that rich could invest that money to grow a new business, how about some evidence that this is usually what happens?)

i'd like to know if 6/10 people understand how marginal tax rates work.

let me rephrase that. i'd like it if i knew that 6/10 people understood MTRs.

because, based on conversations i've had with people, pretty much nobody does.

When MTRs were 90%, there were so many loopholes and tax shelters that the effective tax rate was about 30%.

I'll just have to cut back elsewhere. Perhaps I can switch to single-ply toilet paper.

Singly-ply is better anyhow. Try again. ;-)

To educate the American public, Democrats should push a huge (yuge!) low end tax cut -- e.g. raise the standard deduction to $50K and levy just 10% on the first $50K of taxable income.

Oh sure, that would bust the federal budget and blow up the national debt. But let the Republicans make that case. Let the GOP stand against a middle-class tax cut. Let the MAGA crowd caterwaul that the "white working class" doesn't need or deserve a big tax cut like corporations and billionaires do.

I'd pay good money -- but not tax money -- to watch the "national discourse" after that.

--TP


Well the Brexit vote convinced me that the public should not be trusted to provide simple answers to complex questions... and our current politicians even less so.

Talk of a 70% marginal tax rate for incomes over $10m might be good politics, but it doesn't make actual sense. The number of people who would pay it might well be zero.

My guess is that anything over 50% strikes too many people as being unfair to be worth getting involved with.

I'll take the 50.

I'd say the number might be low, but not zero. Some people who make tons of money are doing things they love, and the money is just something that comes along with it.

I'd also say that, for those who are just in it for the money, I don't really care if they opt out. That's fine. Either they're crooks in one way or another, or whatever actual value they'd be creating will be left to someone else lower on the income scale to create.

It's not like income and wealth are too evenly distributed in these United States, such that we need to be sure that some number of people absolutely must rake in more than $10M in taxable income every year. It would be better if 10 people each made $1M instead of one person making $10M, to be simplistic about it.

What hairshirt said.

Ten million bucks a year is 200K a week. If that doesn't cover your nut, you need a smaller nut.

I know people who are living in their damned cars, for Christ's sake.

My guess is that anything over 50% strikes too many people as being unfair to be worth getting involved with.

History suggests otherwise. Which is to say,

a) we have had higher, substantially higher, marginal tax rates in the past. (Yes, there were enough deductions that most people eligible for them paid less. But we're talking here about the headline rate, and whether it is even possible.)

b) it isn't clear at all that anything resembling most people would regard a rate higher than 50% as "unfair" if applied to income above, for example, $10 million. Far more likely they would regard anyone being paid that much with extreme skepticism. I recognize that, by "too many people" you may have meant something more like "a large number of big donors to politicians." Who may (or may not) have outsized influence for the foreseeable future. If so, feel free to say so explicitly.

c) I'm pretty sure you didn't mean it this way. But I note that your words could possibly be taken to mean that most people wouldn't "get involved with" the high tax rate by the simple expedient of not bothering to negotiate salaries at that level.

I'd bet that most "high income" people have arranged to get the bulk of their income in capital gains and similarly lightly-taxed means.

Better to tax unearned income (like capital gains) at a high rate, and earned income at a relatively low rate, IMO. Yes, people will then shift back from CG to wages, but everyone gets a benefit they can use.

Let's take it for granted that back when the top marginal rate was 90% the number of people who paid it was "almost zero".

1) Did "almost zero" people bitch and moan about it?

2) Did the 90% bracket start high enough that "almost zero" people made that kind of income?

3) Did "loopholes" merely involve paper-shuffling that, presto!, made high-end income non-taxable? or did the "loopholes" encourage putting money into, say, real estate and other depreciable but nevertheless physical investments?

I wouldn't know; I was a kid at the time.

As for the "politics" of a 70% rate:

1) Persons who speak of "rates" without mentioning the "brackets" they apply to should be scorned and ridiculed by all right-thinking people. Hint: Steve Scalise, scorn and ridicule; AOC, not scorn and ridicule.

2) But given the abysmal ignorance of a big fraction of Americans, aided and abetted by the Fox/GOP noise machine, it's not clear that a "70% tax rate" is "good politics".

That's why I think a huge (yuge!) low end tax cut proposal would be "good politics" for the Democrats. Lousy policy, maybe, but excellent theater. Most Americans, even the ideologically-besotted ones, can do arithmetic when it comes to their personal money -- and the vast majority of them make less than $100K/yr. Let the Kochs and their mouthpieces explain to them that their wages cannot be taxed so lightly because then, God forbid!, the super-rich would have to pay more.

--TP

) Did "almost zero" people bitch and moan about it?

Yes. Bitterly. But they weren't culture heros so much before Reaganism, so they were widely regarded as a special interest.


2) Did the 90% bracket start high enough that "almost zero" people made that kind of income?

There weren't many.
US CEOs made about 10% of what they made then, in constant dollars.
One of the reasons was that windfall compensation would push them into the confiscatory bracket, so corps like GM resorted to aristocrat-like privileges and other forms of intangible compensation, as well as generous pensions, lifetime insurance after retirement, etc.

(Companies were more likely to retain earnings, or pay them out in dividends, and much less likely to make their directors and above rich beyond dream of avarice. It made companies more stable, and allowed such places as Bell Labs and RCA Sarnoff to exist.)

Also, the confiscatory brackets were a strong incentive for the accountants of the wealthy to pursue socially-beneficial tax shelter strategies: investing in munis, philanthropy, whatever the legislatures devised.

3) Did "loopholes" merely involve paper-shuffling that, presto!, made high-end income non-taxable? or did the "loopholes" encourage putting money into, say, real estate and other depreciable but nevertheless physical investments?

Some of each, I assume.
Again, municipal bonds and coupon clipping were popular.

My kingdom for an 'edit' button.

I should re-learnto use 'preview'

> US CEOs made about 10% of what they made then

should be

US CEOs made about 10% of what they make now: 30 times the pay of their average worker, instead of 300 X


A familiar voice remarks

> Good luck to all of you.

Thanks. It appears we're going to need it.

Tony P., the GOP is already on the record for rejecting tax cuts for the lower classes because they are 'unproductive' (both the tax cuts and the lower classes I presume). The very idea of trickle down economics is based on that idea. The common scum wastes its few dollars on food, shelter, clothing, healthcare etc. and leaving them more money to spend will end up it getting spent for more of the same (and may even work as a temptation to desire the consumer products reserved for their betters.
And the n-words (if they earn any in the first place) will blow it on bling and illegal drugs. So tax cuts for the bottom are actually counterproductive (and bust the budget).
Tax cuts for the super rich on the other hand will, through the power of the Invisble Hand of Voodoo, not just pay for themselves but boost the economy and then (that's basic physics) trickle down to the masses.
Hm, I see a flaw there. If money actually trickled down it would have the same ill effects on the morals of the dregs of society (the lower 90+%) as a tax cut for them, so it would be better that the money stayed up untrickled.
The base needs no extra persuasion there. Just tell them that the tax cuts would end up in the pockets of THEM (insert enemy du jour) not their own or better that THEY already took it, so there is nothing left for the worthy.

If the 70% marginal tax rate is just to show that you disapprove of extremely high incomes, then ok, send the signal if you want.

But if, like AOC, you want to raise money to fund something worthwhile, this isn't going to work.

Seriously, who would pay the tax? Name three people. Not Trump, not Romney, not Bezos...

That is true - but what the polling data does tend to suggest is plenty of political room to craft a more progressive tax policy.

And on this, as on healthcare, Democrats would be pushing at an open door.

Seriously, who would pay the tax? Name three people.

pretty much all A-list Hollywood celebs would pay it.

If the 70% marginal tax rate is just to show that you disapprove of extremely high incomes, then ok, send the signal if you want.

You proposed that people wouldn't bother making whatever income would be subject to that tax. I say fine. If they want to make that additional marginal income and be subject to that tax rate, that's fine, too.

I don't of extremely high incomes, per se. I just don't think that a small number of people making a highly disproportionate share of the national income is good for the nation, society, the economy, the political environment, etc.

If taxing income above a sufficiently high amount at a sufficiently high rate will spread national income a bit more evenly, I'm fine with that. More than fine, actually. But if some number of people still want to make $10M+ in taxable income, I'm not going to try to stop them. They'll just have to pay the 70% on every dollar above 10M.

At any rate, don't mistake a macro thing for a micro thing.

First sentence of my second graph should be:

I don't object to extremely high incomes, per se.

Better to tax unearned income (like capital gains) at a high rate, and earned income at a relatively low rate, IMO.

I'd go for this, too. Or treating all income the same, regardless of whether it's earned or unearned, subject to the same marginal rates. There's probably a hundred more reasonable ways to tax income than what we're doing now.

I don't say they wouldn't make the money. I say they'd get themselves paid in ways which would not attract income tax.

I say they'd get themselves paid in ways which would not attract income tax.

I'm sure some would. That should be made harder to do. Republicans like to say we should "simplify" the tax code. That often means something stupid like a flat tax, as though marginal rates are what makes the tax code complicated. They're not. Simplify the tax code for real, and it gets harder to manipulate.

I know AOC didn't get into all of that, but I highly doubt she'd be against any of it.

A question for you, Pro Bono - do object to taxing income above $10M at 70%? I'm not asking if you think it will result in a significant increase in revenue. I'm just asking if you think it's somehow wrong or damaging.

Again, municipal bonds and coupon clipping were popular.

Which, supply and demand in action, made it cheaper to fund local government projects.

Seriously, who would pay the tax? Name three people. Not Trump, not Romney, not Bezos...

Which may be an excellent argument for a simplified tax system, with fewer ways to game it. But that would be true regardless of the top marginal rate. It's an orthogonal argument.

P.S. I'll grant you Trump probably wouldn't pay it. But that's because he isn't nearly as rich as he would like people to believe. (And even less so when his cut off the money laundering is discounted.)

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