• on a comment on Dude, Where's My Maglev? over 5 years ago

    Well, you're not crazy. Just wrong.

    Maglev is ridiculously expensive technology. The estimates for LA-Vegas were coming in at $40 billion. That's insane. The TGV-style DesertXpress project can be built for much, much less. Plus, it can be hooked into the SF-LA HSR line California is building, with a very easy and cheap spur west from Victorville to Palmdale.

    The enormous costs of Vegas maglev would have caused serious political problems for all HSR projects around the country.

    Maglev is not ready for prime time. Perhaps someday it might be, but not yet. The US needs to focus on TGV-style HSR, which is a tried and true technology around the world, before we try maglev.

    Finally, the DesertXpress project is going to take MUCH less time to build. So you'll be able to make use of it much sooner than you would have been able to with maglev.

    Trust me, this is a very good move by Reid (for a change!).

  • comment on a post Edwards Endorsing? over 6 years ago

    This is a baseless rumor. Here at the California Democratic Party convention there was a HUGE number of both Obama and Hillary supporters outside the hall, chanting at each other, waving signs, etc. It's out of that mass that this rumor emerged. It has no sourcing and no basis whatsoever.

    A lot of folks have come up to us at the Calitics table asking about it, but there is no evidence to suggest this is true, or anything other than some passionate activists wishing, hoping, and speculating.

  • comment on a post The Best Days Of My Life over 7 years ago

    I think this is wonderful news. Obviously a loss for the site, but, I am very excited and enthused about the new direction you are taking your work. It's time for us to start building a progressive, socially democratic movement. We must think big, and you seem to be doing precisely that. I look forward to your new project.

  • These are good points, but before folks go too far with the idea that there's a cultural divide between the elites and the masses, realize that we really DO have a coalition here between many of us who are white, urban, with post-graduate degrees (and the debt to reflect it!) and folks in the working classes, people of color, etc. We always assume there is a big difference, but we already are part of a de facto political coalition.

    We share a lot of commonalities in values, if not ideology - we abhor racism and know it still exists, we support a social safety net from universal health care to job creation, we oppose the abrogations of our freedoms and we oppose this war.

    You speak of culture. Over the last 30 years racial barriers in particular in culture have come down significantly. Whereas it was deeply transgressive in the 1950s for young whites to listen to or play African American music like rock and roll, today most musical movement, including those seen as racialized like hip-hop, are functionally multiracial. Although our culture is by no means deracinated, we share more of our culture today than at earlier times in the last 100 years.

    I think we share a lot more than we give ourselves credit for. But we don't speak across the existing divides as often as we should, and we don't seem to listen to other parts of the coalition as often as we should. When you fail to engage a conversation you create barriers. I think the more we talk to folks, the more we'll all realize that we do have a great deal in common, on some very basic matters, enough to make a viable coalition.

  • This part is especially important:

    (But we both know that this flies in the face of what I see here in CA and I'm sure is true in Philadelphia...every last demographic group is clamoring to communicate using new media...the relevant fact is, however, folks just aren't all coming to dkos and MyDD.)

    I agree completely. I think what a site like MyDD is doing is part of a broader movement to create new forms of social communication in this country. I would be curious as to why those folks aren't coming here; what is it that is forming a barrier between a place like this and other parts of the new media?

  • comment on a post A Quick Note On Diversity In the Blogosphere over 7 years ago

    I am with kid oakland on this - outreach is important. While not everyone has to blog, neither should we settle for what we have now. Especially as the blogosphere gains access to the halls of power - a voice, influence, financial clout - it becomes very important that we remain not just open and accessible to new voices, but that we find ways to actively bring new people in.

    If one of the keys to blogging's importance is access to information - and I believe it is - then it becomes even more important that we connect with populations that are currently not well represented here.

  • I don't think that's clear at all. Someone below linked to an excellent diary at dKos by Jerome a Paris, who has written countless articles over the last year or two debunking this claim.

    I thoroughly reject the idea, here and in France, that more free market policies are needed. We need that like we need a hole in the head.

  • The proper analysis is that Sarko is a neocon who shares with many Republicans a desire to use immigrants as a wedge for force free market policies down voters' throats.

    Sarkozy is not someone any of us ought to be supporting.

  • comment on a post French Elections, First Round Thread over 7 years ago

    combine with the fact that I am not on the "far left" anymore to make the socialist party no longer a reflexive choice.

    Huh? Since when is the PS considered "far left"? I'm sure folks like Oliver Besancenot would chuckle at that description.

    I still DO consider myself far left, but am hoping Royal wins the runoff.

  • comment on a post More on Gordon Smith, Ron Wyden, and "insider-itis" over 7 years ago

    Nothing here addresses the question of whether Wyden would actively go after Smith. Nobody doubts Wyden's commitment to Democrats in races that don't affect his personal position, but it stands to reason that he might express reluctance to go after the other senator in his state.

    As the sorry episode of Joe Lieberman proved last fall, we cannot expect Democrats to be consistent during election campaigns in who they support.

  • You know, those are really very interesting points about the demography. I wonder if Hillary's support is strongest among women in that age cohort.

    Here in WA, yeah, most of our female politicians fall into that generation - Murray, Cantwell, Gregoire, but also Democrats like Lisa Brown (Senate Majority Leader), Mary Margaret Haugen, Margarita Prentice, Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Darlene Fairley (powerful State Senators), Helen Sommers (House Appropriations Chair), etc. And they were largely elected in the early to mid 1990s.

    Now that I think about it the only woman under 45 who has had any political momentum here lately was Darcy Burner. Most of the people we elected last fall to help us take super-majorities in the state legislature were in fact men.

    This is a really fascinating point you make.

  • I was thinking about this as well, but didn't get to it in my post below. Because women appear to have had upward political mobility in the post-92 Dems, many may feel less excluded. However, we progressive white men have not felt that upward political mobility with that post-92 Dem establishment, and have had to create another political space to advance our agenda. We have a lot of women with us, to be sure.

  • comment on a post What's With So Many Movement Candidates Being Dudes? over 7 years ago

    My stab at an answer:

    Women's political organizing was one of the key components of what we call the DLC era Democratic Party. 1992 is a good example, but we can also see this here in Washington State: Our 3 major statewide offices (the two US Senate seats and the Governor) are held by moderately liberal Democratic women who have survived this decade without active netroots support. Murray and Cantwell got some in '04 and '06 (and Murray more actively courted it); and to survive in '08 Gregoire will at least have to try. But they all got where they were through a Democratic system that by all accounts has been extremely favorable to them.

    Perhaps we may be missing something really significant here in the receptivity to women of the post-1992 Democrats, the same establishment we frequently rail against. This may help explain, for example, why Hillary is doing so well among women voters in the current polling. It might be that, speaking broadly, Democratic women are less upset with the current party than Democratic men. After all, the Speaker and our leading 2008 candidate are women.

    blogswarm seems to hit on an important institutional factor as well with his comments about EMILY's List - NARAL has often functioned the same way too.

    Many of us can point to the repeated failures of the post-1992 Democrats on women's issues. There are also a lot of women among the netroots who feel unrepresented. Barbara Ehrenreich continues to write about the millions of working- and middle-class American women left behind by the post-92 Dems. But there might well be a lot of women who see things differently.

    We also must ask how our movement speaks to women's issues and how welcoming we really are of women. Currently there are debates raging at dKos about Markos' comments about misogynistic threats. Whatever we think about the specific comments, many women have expressed dissatisfaction with the overall tone toward women and their issues at dKos. Perhaps that causes divisions. There are a LOT of women centrally involved in the left blogosphere, from Pandagon to TalkLeft to FDL to My Left Wing. But they don't seem to be engaged in the electoral processes to the same degree. Is there a (perhaps unfair) perception that women aren't taken seriously by a boys' club?

    To conclude I see two big disconnects: between us and women who have seen the post-92 Dems as offering upward political mobility and therefore reward that establishment with votes and support; and between men in the netroots and women in the netroots who see the men as clueless or uninterested or even hostile to their involvement and their issues.

  • Yes, Obama would be better than the others. And my current preference for Edwards isn't because I think Obama sucks, but because he isn't as solid on the issues as is Edwards. Were Obama to try and out-progressive Edwards then I'd happily give him another look. My dream is that the 2008 race will be defined by the Dem candidates trying to outdo each other as to who is more progressive.

  • comment on a post It is official we are now reading an Edwards blog over 7 years ago

    Bound to happen eventually. Edwards is the most progressive candidate in the race and has gone to bat for us on some important issues. Many of us are not anti-Obama - I know I'm not - but since he lacks policy specifics or is not as strong as Edwards on what he has offered, many of us are shifting to Edwards.

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