2010 and 2012

We lost for several reasons and little do do with ACA. And as stated by some, the loss is more situational than ideological.



3-Lower turnout in a midterm.

4-First midterm of a pres.

So what about 2012? Here is where it gets interesting.  The EC will shift 6 seats to the Reps. Also the SW is turning hard D- so when everything is said and done Ds win w/o Ohio and FL and with NM, NV, COL and IA. We need to focus on those states now- especially IA.  In fact, the path to victory should be pretty easing barring a native son (Pawlenty?).  As to the gerrymanding - TX FL and PA are gerrymanded to death- not much to gain on the part of R. OH and MI are a different story.  However, NY may bear fruit. The CAL initiative may shift a couple seats from the historical 3:2 ratio but I doubt it.




Thoughts including BP, Rasmussen and Damages

I haven't posted in a while; since healthcare reform passed.  I was not happy with the omission of the public option but I am overall pleased with AHCA especially since the community option may serve as a long term public option; in the heat of the debate I under estimated this part. As to the mandate, truth be told, $750 is not a lot of money to those that can afford it so even on this point I will take a step back.  So this brings me to two observations I want to make on the issue de jour. First, in seeing the amount of damage the spill is creating, what, up to 80 billions? more? Isn't the Supreme Court reversing the damages provision from 5 bill to 500 mill in the Exxon Valdez case look absurd in its face? Someone should read that opinion and tear our esteemed judges a new one. 

Also, on Barton's apology, just for fun, it got me thinking how Rasmussen could put a good spin on his idiocy.  Here it is: "If Barton feels the apology helps the energy industry, do you think he was out of line?" Or, "Would you not vote for Barton because of his comments?" Both questions are set to get the best possible answers for Barton, instead of a simple you approve or disapprove of his remarks question.  The way I see Rasmussen is like an economists sees the economy: macro and micro.  Depending on the issue, he will spin on narrow or large grounds.  For progressive issues, he will find the conservative spin; e.g., abortion, welfare, government- the question would be "is there a better way to do things?"   - but for conservative issues such as defense, taxes- the question would be "do you think they are behaving with good intentions?"  No doubt, Rasmussen is about driving narrative.   Liberals never do things the best way whereas conservatives always have good intentions.      



I will not support any Dem who votes for this bill

The Volokh conspiracy has had a solid debate on the constitutionality of the individual mandate. The more one looks at this, the more seemingly unconstitutional it is. Health care has been the most important Democratic issue for a very long time- if  dems screw this issue we deserve to lose. The regressive effect on a corporalist approach simply is antiethical for dem values (see Digby & Glenwald)- in fact I don't care as much on other issues. Yes, no bill may be hurtful but a bad bill would be self destructive. Kos is correct, we are falling for a GOP trap; GOP will change the bill and we will have nothing to show except minority status forever, (Congress has rescinded healthcare changes before-recall the Medicare reforms.  For the good of the party and the country, progressives should vote against this disaster.

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If the PO is gone, so should the individual mandate

1- The individual mandate is essentially regressive.
2- Its borderline unconstitutional.
3- Its political suicide.

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Dan Balz and GOP resurgence

A few bloggers are getting on the Dan Balz article on Republican resurgence- an online chat asked him about it and he disavowed use of the term. The title of the article contained the term. Typically, it is the editors (management) who control titles and seemingly Balz was not happy nor supportive of the choice since his article was more nuanced than that. But the spat does tell us two things: 1) a Washington Post management conservative driven agenda and the discomfort this is creating among the reporters.  

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With the recent health care reform equivocations by Shannon and Deeds, I think it behooves progressives to abstain from voting for one or both candidates to send a message: If you stray from Democratic core values, you will not come close to winning. BTW- Wagner is running is nice campaign and it is too bad she is being drag down by the incompetent duo. I will vote election day and I will vote democratic but I will abstain in one of the two top slots, probably Shannon, because not only are they taking my vote for granted but they are not campaigning for issues I hold dear. If many democrats abstain in certain races, there is a chance this message will be sent and heard by other Democratic party officials in the state.

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VA-Gov:Rep.candidate McDermott wanting to sell liquor stores is a bad idea

More bad consequences on the Republican's party's irrational war on taxes. Everyone knows the commonwealth of Virginia needs to raise taxes to build roads. A simple answer would be to raise gas taxes or cigarette taxes, which are among the lowest in the nation. McDermott, the Republican candidate offers to sell the ABC liquor stores and raise half a billion dollars. Without needing to address the merits of state involvement in alcohol sales; McDermott's approach would slay a dedicated revenue stream for a one time gain. Chicago, California and other places are already suffering from similar actions. Once the revenue stream is gone, it is gone forever; however, roads needs to be built and maintained in perpetuity. What happens in five years when we need additional new roads- shall we then sell Mount Vernon? After the parking privatization fiasco in Chicago, the eldermen are considering passing new rules restricting privatization plans. Here is hoping that Virginia, a state that prides itself in good governance, does not reduce itself to gimmicks.    

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Mandated Individual Pay is unconstitutional

Without a public option, the republican preferred solution of individual mandated contribution is not only political suicide for dems but probably unconstitutional. The effect of taking money from the middle class to give to individuals who make billions of dollars would make the current townhalls look like playtime. Simply put, is there any political palatable way to make an upscale redistribution scheme work? More to the point, having the government impose a tax that is paid directly to private companies, without an opt out, is plainly illegal. You need to have a government intermediary for the plan to work or it becomes a contract of adhesion and thus illegal.  

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Individual Mandate will assure distribution of money to rich people.

I want to echo Digby. The individual health care mandate on the table would transfer money from the middle class to CEO's making hundreds of millions of dollars. Has the government ever mandated anything like it? I cannot imagine a more unpopular position.  Without an option that disallows such ripoff (e.g., public option)- I see a popular uprising on the issue- if the insurance companies want to mandate my money to them I think then that they should cut their earnings. Why don't we mandate such? Anyone receiving federal money shall have their salaries curtailed.  

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Consumer driven economic imbalances

The following reprents postings in OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY, a moderate conservative forum. The issue arose when Martin Feldstein criticized the stimulus spackage for allowing individuals to squirrel away $500.00. [Edited for continuance].

The problem with the current consumer driven approach is that we are feeding the money towards the end of its velocity probably to be shipped abroad and thus continuing the unbalances that are one of the roots of the current problem. Savings on the other hand places the money in the early cycle of transactional movement and thus stabilizes currency (banks) and does stir investment. This is not to say one or another is right or wrong- the key is to find right balance- the current consumer driven society, probably in its last legs, is wasting assets by sheer expenditure of crap (for lack of a better word) created by short term goals. A post consumerist society would improve the standard of living by improving quality. Instead of purchasing disposable goods that last 1-2 years- with a little more effort we can have to same goods but better produced lasting twice/three times as long-this goes to PCs, light bulbs, automobiles and toasters- not to mention edibles-medication, etc. The better (surviving) companies strategized long term-so should consumers. Part of the problem is that instant gratification is easy to market and sales is what we do best in an open society; but these approaches affect us all in the long term- tactics (sales gimmicks) such as teaser rates merely serve to push back a much needed balance. The bottom line is that the economy has been due for a substantial contraction and the issue really is whether we have a soft landing or a crash.

Can one advocate 90-99% consumer driven GDP? Consumption is not good or bad per se. It is the type of consumption that is affecting the economy. The numbers show an imbalance seen nowhere else, in part because of the twin deficits. The point is that we can consume and maintain our standard of living, but it is going to require a different approach; the current approach is deteriorating our quality of life as evidenced by the fact that a majority of Americans have not seen earning growth in thirty years. We live in an unsustainable economy. Does one  honestly believe a society can go on forever with $720 yearly bill trade deficits (to be sure- that's an absolute number- in real economic terms-the number is 5% and that is what should be considered). As long as GDP growth is sub par to trade deficits it will be economically necessary (meaning it WILL happen) to suffer a contraction down the line.

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