Archive for Democrats

May
11

I’d buy that for a dollar

Posted by: | Comments (1)

Department of Health and Human Services headquarters by the National Mall. Photo by Matthew G. Bisanz via Wikimedia Commons.

Moving left again:

[A]s she tries to clinch the nomination, Mrs. Clinton is moving to the left on health care and this week took a significant step in her opponent’s direction, suggesting she would like to give people the option to buy into Medicare.

“I’m also in favor of what’s called the public option, so that people can buy into Medicare at a certain age,” Mrs. Clinton said on Monday at a campaign event in Virginia.

Mr. Sanders calls his single-payer health care plan “Medicare for all.” What Mrs. Clinton proposed was a sort of Medicare for more.

Clinton was replying to a woman who as a small-business owner is contending with the cost of health insurance. The Wall Street Journal:

Read More→

At Political Animal, Nancy LeTourneau comments on Rebecca Solnit’s essay on cynicism in Harpers. She writes that when Barack Obama entered the White House riding on a message of hope and change, that “the Republican strategy of total obstruction was designed to dampen all that with cynicism about the political process.” Cynicism about the political process is not in short supply in 2016. Hope is. But let’s not give Republicans too much credit.

Solnit writes:

Cynicism is first of all a style of presenting oneself, and it takes pride more than anything in not being fooled and not being foolish. But in the forms in which I encounter it, cynicism is frequently both these things. That the attitude that prides itself on world-weary experience is often so naïve says much about the triumph of style over substance, attitude over analysis.

Anyone who dares venture onto Facebook or Twitter these days knows the posture. Solnit continues:

If you set purity and perfection as your goals, you have an almost foolproof system according to which everything will necessarily fall short. But expecting perfection is naïve; failing to perceive value by using an impossible standard of measure is even more so. Cynics are often disappointed idealists and upholders of unrealistic standards. They are uncomfortable with victories, because victories are almost always temporary, incomplete, and compromised — but also because the openness of hope is dangerous, and in war, self-defense comes first. Naïve cynicism is absolutist; its practitioners assume that anything you don’t deplore you wholeheartedly endorse. But denouncing anything less than perfection as morally compromising means pursuing aggrandizement of the self, not engagement with a place or system or community, as the highest priority.

Read More→

Comments (2)
Apr
29

Weak tea

Posted by: | Comments (1)

It will take more than fear of Donald Trump for Democrats to win this fall. They need a message. This article from Harold Meyerson after monumental losses in 2014 summed it up:

What, besides raising the minimum wage, do the Democrats propose to do about the shift in income from wages to profits, from labor to capital, from the 99 percent to the 1 percent? How do they deliver for an embattled middle class in a globalized, de-unionized, far-from-full-employment economy, where workers have lost the power they once wielded to ensure a more equitable distribution of income and wealth? What Democrat, besides Elizabeth Warren, campaigned this year to diminish the sway of the banks? Who proposed policies that would give workers the power to win more stable employment and higher incomes, not just at the level of the minimum wage but across the economic spectrum?

Bernie Sanders has focused on the banks this year, but Democrats as a party have failed so far to send a message to families working without a net that their concerns and anxieties have been both heard and felt, and that Democrats have a plan to address them. They need to forcefully answer the “cares about people like me” question.

Read More→

Comments (1)
Mar
11

Short Attention Span Theater

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on Short Attention Span Theater

After several years of delays, Short Attention Span Theater will again resume production on Repatriation Tax Holiday 2.

Robert Reich flagged District Studios’ announcement yesterday on Facebook:

I’ve spent the last day in Washington, where Democrats are quietly gearing up to negotiate a “tax amnesty” for American-based global corporations that have parked some $2.1 trillion in untaxed profits abroad (mostly in tax havens) to avoid paying their U.S. taxes. The U.S. corporate tax rate is 35 percent, but Obama is ready to offer 14 percent if they’ll bring the profits home; Republicans want 10 percent; some Democratic senators are willing to go even lower (Barbara Boxer is teaming up with Rand Paul to offer 6.5 percent). Corporate lobbyists are swarming over Capitol Hill, suggesting if they don’t get a great deal they might not just keep the profits abroad but even move their corporations abroad (like Pfizer is doing).
Read More→

Comments Comments Off on Short Attention Span Theater
Mar
02

The GOP’s reckoning

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on The GOP’s reckoning

"What does not kill me, makes me stronger." - Friedrich Nietzsche (By Hartmann, Basel. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

“What does not kill me, makes me stronger.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
(By Hartmann, Basel. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

Much digital ink has been spread about how Republicans created Donald Trump and now are paying the price for it. But Trump is not the only nemesis they helped create.

First, writing yesterday from Chattanooga, Tennessee, Charlie Pierce spoke of the Super Tuesday reckoning facing the Republican party:

The facts are as stark as the slopes of Lookout Mountain in the early morning light. It is a consummation devoutly to be wished, especially by those of us who see the Republicans as having been cruising for this particular bruising ever since it so greedily ate the monkeybrains in the 1980s. But, from the people who make their living at being Republicans, we are seeing the kind of existential panic that you only see once or twice in a century. It’s Watership Down, with Super PACs and Mitch McConnell.

Indeed, this morning’s online headline at the Washington Post described it as a “nightmarish Super Tuesday” for the GOP establishment. Trump won seven of the states in play. Hillary Clinton also won seven Super Tuesday states.

Read More→

Comments Comments Off on The GOP’s reckoning
Feb
27

Primarily Al Jazeera

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on Primarily Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera America Digital takes a bow

Al Jazeera America Digital takes a bow

South Carolina Democrats hold their primary today. There were neither Bernie nor Hillary campaigners hanging around my Greenville, SC hotel like Ted Cruz supporters last week. It seems Clinton spent more of her time doing small-town, retail politics in downstate, rural areas where she has connections going back years. Sanders campaigned more via arena and college events and phone banks. There will be more to say after the hand-clapping and the shouting are over.

Al Jazeera America is going away soon and will be missed. Tony Karon posted a “valedictory note” about the service yesterday. A sample:

The core principle driving the journalism that distinguished Al Jazeera America online as a unique voice in a cluttered news landscape was the simple — yet radical — proposition that no single human life is worth less than any other.

Read More→

Comments Comments Off on Primarily Al Jazeera
Feb
25

Saturday! Saturday! Saturday!

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on Saturday! Saturday! Saturday!

Want the skinny on how the fall elections go down in Buncombe Co., NC?

Precinct Meeting/Volunteer Recruitment Event

precinct-cluster-infopage.png

An organized and functional precinct is the foundation of the Democratic Party. The BCDP Strategic Plan is based on the DNC’s 50-State Strategy which is “an ambitious effort to build the Democratic Party from the ground up in every single precinct…” Every precinct matters! Every vote counts! In Buncombe County we will “continue an aggressive and forward-looking effort based on the belief that if we invest in people and invest in our party, we can continue to turn once-red districts and states blue in elections to come.”*

To reinforce our efforts, the BCDP established 11 clusters of precincts to further strengthen Get Out The Vote efforts, provide mentors to new leadership, coordinate volunteer efforts and facilitate communication and fund raising efforts. Clusters build camaraderie, friendship and make electing Democrats a lot of FUN!

Every election year is the most important, and 2016 is no different. Democrats need only 4 more seats in the North Carolina House to overcome a veto-proof majority. Now, more than ever, Democrats need to elect a Democratic Governor who will bring respect back to the great State of North Carolina.

That’s why our 2016 Annual Precinct Meetings are Volunteer Recruitment Events! Plan to attend and bring your Democratic neighbors and friends. Volunteer! Vote! ELECT DEMOCRATS!

Agenda for all clusters is as follows:

  1. Message from the State Party Chair
  2. Discussion of Responsibilities and Expectations of Precinct
  3. Election of Precinct Officers ONLY if vacancies exist
  4. Elect Delegates to the County Convention
  5. Collect Sustaining Fund donations  – Checks should be made payable to BCDP
  6. Hot 100 Membership
  7. Volunteer Sign-Up
  8. Proposing and adopting resolutions for consideration at the county convention

Find your neighborhood meeting HERE

Please RSVP To the appropriate Cluster Leader/Precinct Chair found in the PDF.

Categories : Democrats, Local
Comments Comments Off on Saturday! Saturday! Saturday!
Feb
23

An “existential sense of betrayal”

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on An “existential sense of betrayal”

Democratic leaders have finally figured out that “The Bern” has “tapped into the zeitgeist of college-age voters, a key demographic for the party in a presidential election year,” Politico reported yesterday. In spite of Hillary Clinton’s momentum coming out of her Nevada caucuses win on Saturday, Sanders’ unexpected strength and fundraising ability has Democrats studying his message and trying to figure out how to incorporate it into their own:

… Democrats, particularly in the House, are actively strategizing about how they can reach the young, white voters who propelled Sanders to victory in New Hampshire and a near win in Iowa. And if Sanders can rocket out of obscurity to challenge a political heavyweight like Clinton, they admit it would be wise for Democrats to try and incorporate his most successful messages.

“I think Bernie Sanders has a very positive message,” Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) declared at a recent party meeting in Baltimore, echoing comments she’s made elsewhere. “It’s about fairness, it’s about opportunity. … I’m very proud of the way Sen. Sanders has expanded the universe of young people especially interested in the political process.”

Still, the progressive love for Sanders is something of a catch-22 for House Democrats. The majority of Democrats in the House are liberal but the party needs to win support from blue collar and moderate voters to retake seats in swing districts.

Read More→

Comments Comments Off on An “existential sense of betrayal”
Feb
04

Elizabeth Warren: Two Legal Systems

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on Elizabeth Warren: Two Legal Systems

Thank you. Thank you.

Comments Comments Off on Elizabeth Warren: Two Legal Systems
Feb
03

It takes more than an Obama-style campaign

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on It takes more than an Obama-style campaign

Photo by Molly Theobald for the aflcio2008 (PA: Working America Voter ID and Persuasion)
[CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

People began asking early in 2015 if the local Democratic party was working on 2016. I told them we started working on 2016 the day after the election in 2014.

Each week I pick up messages at our local Democratic headquarters. For months, people have called to ask how they can get in touch with the Bernie Sanders campaign. (Even a disenchanted Republican now and then.) For months, I’ve directed them to the grassroots group organizing for Sanders here. Several hundred volunteers. On the ground it looks like 2008 all over again. They are phone banking out of our offices twice a week. Bernie Sanders is not a registered Democrat, but the memo from DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz says he’s running on our ticket.

I also get (fewer) calls from people asking how they can get in touch with the local Hillary Clinton campaign. I tell them I wish I knew. They are nowhere to be seen. Unless you’ve got the money to attend a high-dollar fundraiser downstate. Clinton volunteers could use our space too. But so far there aren’t any.

Read More→

Comments Comments Off on It takes more than an Obama-style campaign