• on a comment on MyDD time for Scott Shields over 8 years ago
    Ah, my first typo...

    I'm not the Scott Shields from the Mescaleros.  I doubt any of you had mistaken me for Joe Strummer, somehow posting from beyond the grave.

  • comment on a post MyDD time for Scott Shields over 8 years ago
    You know, it really never seemed like a common name.  And then Google was born.  Why are there so many Scott Shields in sports?  It's weird right?  I was an okay catcher in little league, but never thought I had a shot at the bigs.

    Oddly, I used to be in a band and I'm a huge Joe Strummer fan, but I'm not the Joe Strummer from the Mescaleros.  Even so, there are some sources that credit that Scott Shields for my work.  It's like I don't even exist.  Sheesh!

  • on a comment on DNC Rumbles over 9 years ago
    I'm with kydem on this.  The DLC gets a bad rap because of the way From and Reed have handled some things publicly, but once you really get into what the DLC is all about ideologically, you begin to realize it's not the evil monstrosity everyone makes it out to be.  I may not agree with everything they say, but it's still important to have them at the table.

    That said, what the party really needs is a bottom-up rebranding not to dissimilar from what Labor went through in the nineties.  I'd say the only difference would be that we're not nearly as extreme as Labor had been and our rebranding should be more image-based than ideological.  (Oliver Willis' Brand Democrat idea is a good start.)

    We are a party of liberals, progressives, and moderates.  We don't need to kowtow to conservatives, but we do need to remind moderates why we are the better fit for them.

  • comment on a post Byrd democrats.. over 9 years ago
    What on earth do the cross burning in Long Island and the murder in Wisconsin have to do with Robert Byrd and the Democratic Party?  What do they have to do with each other, for that matter?

    I'm trying to make sense of your post...

    The Democrats should have been calling for an end to deer hunting and a mass turn-in of all hunting rifles in Wisconsin?

    And in Long Island, the party should have been calling for Robert Byrd's arrest in the cross burning case because he was in the Klan sixty years ago?

    I'm not a huge fan of Byrd's, but I think you need to look more at what he's done lately rather than what he did in the past.  For example, in 2003, it was Byrd -- not John Kerry -- who held the distinction of being the most liberal member of the Senate.  That certainly doesn't excuse his past, but it goes a long way in atoning for it.

    In terms of him campaigning for John Kerry, Christopher above is exactly right.  Byrd is 87 years old!  He's not exactly campaign-trail ready.  Also, the GOP would have hung Byrd's biography around Kerry's neck if he'd campaigned for him.  Imagine the campaign ads!

  • on a comment on Ben Nelson for President? over 9 years ago
    THANK YOU!!!

    Did we learn nothing from Kerry having to defend his every vote in the Senate?  Nelson used to be a Governor, but so did Graham.  Once you're elected to the Senate, it seems that you're tainted goods.  Going from Senator to Governor might work, but still...  it needs to be a Governor.

    For 2008, I'm thinking the most intriguing prospects are Dean, Mark Warner, and Bill Richardson.  Anyone I'm missing?

  • comment on a post POLL--What is the Biggest Lie About Reagan? over 9 years ago
    I had to go with the one that says Reagan was a great tax cutter.  Looking at the list above, that is definitely the most useful lie when it comes to the exploitation of Reagan's passing by the current GOP leadership.

    With all of this glowing coverage, people are in the mode of thinking about Reagan as a great, almost infallible, leader.  Rove & Co. (or maybe Norquist & Co.?) are pushing the Reagan as tax cutter myth so hard to further justify their own goal of cutting taxes to such a point that the federal government will cease to exist.  Reagan = Good.  Reagan = Tax Cuts.  Tax Cuts = Good.

    But it's a total myth.  Krugman's got the goods, citing the fact that "as a share of G.D.P., the increase was substantially larger than Mr. Clinton's 1993 tax increase."  Not only that, but "no peacetime president has raised taxes so much on so many people"

    Elsewhere in the media?  Nothing.  In fact, almost all of the coverage of Reagan's passing talks about Reagan the great tax cutter, holding his conservative ground against would-be tax raisers everywhere.

    So maybe it's not the biggest lie (it's still definitely in the top five), but it's certainly the most dangerous.

  • comment on a post The Presidential Water over 10 years ago
    I actually would love to see Ventura run (and win) as a no BS, reform minded independent. However, his insistence that a national sales tax is a better indicator of wealth than an income tax is totally off the mark.

    First of all, everyone must purchase a certain amount of goods just to get by.  In states like Texas that have abolished income taxes in favor of a high sales tax, everything is taxed and nothing is exempt.  They had to do that to make up for the missing revenue.  This makes a national income tax heavily weighted against the poor.

    Secondly, what would stop people who could afford it from crossing borders to make high end purchases like cars? The cost of a one way ticket to Canada would likely be less than the tax savings they would enjoy and well within the reach of many middle-class-and-up Americans.

    Perhaps most importantly, even pro-sales tax advocates estimate the required national sales tax rate to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 25%. More realistic economists have said that it would need to be more like 50% to make up for the lost revenue.  Imagine what a 50% tax rate would do to our consumer based economy.

    Supporters of the national sales tax have proposed a rebate to all Americans of about $19k for a family of four to offset the massively regressive aspects of the tax. Maybe that works after the first year, but the people who can least afford it would be bleeding money paying this tax.

    I agree with Ventura that the income tax is not as progressive as it's meant to be.  But replacing it with a national sales tax is like replacing a mean house cat that scratches your arm with a lion who will eat you alive.

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