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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#19381 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-January-13, 10:42

I have always assumed that the bugs will win in the long run, but I am hoping it's not yet that time. I am not that pessimistic.
Ken
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#19382 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2022-January-13, 14:19

View Postpilowsky, on 2022-January-12, 15:14, said:

The rule of law and the constitution are legal fictions that only apply to wealthy people.
There are about 11 billion people in the world today.
Total "wealth" in the world is about 500 trillion.
200 people own about 1% of it. $4,626,900,000,000.00 at last count.
They make this money from the labour of a lot of people who get nothing.

AFAIK, the world population is about 7.9 billion.
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#19383 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-January-13, 15:34

View Postjohnu, on 2022-January-13, 14:19, said:

AFAIK, the world population is about 7.9 billion.


You (and worldometer) may be right.
OTOH population estimates are likely underestimated.
In the USA Trump went to great lengths to damage the census,
Your source takes data from "The world population counter displayed on Worldometer takes into consideration data from two major sources: the United Nations and the U.S. Census Bureau."
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek.
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#19384 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2022-January-13, 18:03

View Postkenberg, on 2022-January-13, 10:42, said:

I have always assumed that the bugs will win in the long run, but I am hoping it's not yet that time. I am not that pessimistic.


Reminds me of a twitter exchange I saw recently - sorry, I am paraphrasing from memory.

Quote

Quote

If vaccines are so essential, how did Neanderthals survive without them?

I don't know, why don't you ask one of them?

The easiest way to count losers is to line up the people who talk about loser count, and count them. -Kieran Dyke
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#19385 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-January-13, 18:39

View Postpilowsky, on 2022-January-13, 15:34, said:

You (and worldometer) may be right.
OTOH population estimates are likely underestimated.
In the USA Trump went to great lengths to damage the census,
Your source takes data from "The world population counter displayed on Worldometer takes into consideration data from two major sources: the United Nations and the U.S. Census Bureau."


Sure. So we could say the world population is 9B or 10B or 11B. Maybe the way to look at it is this: The world population was estimated to be a little more than 6B in 2000 and now it is estimated to be around 8B. This suggests that the world population grew by about a third since 2000. Of course we could also worry that the estimates are more accurate now than they were in 2000. But a 30% growth in 22 or 23 years seems to be in the right neighborhood. Since I do not have a very clear idea of what a group of 8 billion people looks like, maybe saying that whatever number is right, the doubling time seems to be around sixty years or so, is more important. If the world is crowded, if resources are scarce, if people are releasing too much harmful stuff into the atmosphere, then, regardless of exactly how many there are having the number increase by 205, or 50 %, or 100 %, appears to be a significant problem.
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#19386 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2022-January-13, 18:58

View Postkenberg, on 2022-January-13, 18:39, said:

Sure. So we could say the world population is 9B or 10B or 11B. Maybe the way to look at it is this: The world population was estimated to be a little more than 6B in 2000 and now it is estimated to be around 8B. This suggests that the world population grew by about a third since 2000. Of course we could also worry that the estimates are more accurate now than they were in 2000. But a 30% growth in 22 or 23 years seems to be in the right neighborhood. Since I do not have a very clear idea of what a group of 8 billion people looks like, maybe saying that whatever number is right, the doubling time seems to be around sixty years or so, is more important. If the world is crowded, if resources are scarce, if people are releasing too much harmful stuff into the atmosphere, then, regardless of exactly how many there are having the number increase by 205, or 50 %, or 100 %, appears to be a significant problem.

And the world death rate is holding steady at 100%.

#19387 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-January-14, 08:35

There is no filibuster where senators must physically hold the floor / now there is only the ballbuster where a single senator for no reason at all can kill any potential bill.

Manchin and Sinema support being able to throw a fit without the subsequent time out.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#19388 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2022-January-17, 10:21

View Postpilowsky, on 2022-January-13, 15:34, said:

You (and worldometer) may be right.
OTOH population estimates are likely underestimated.

Your number was more than 35% higher than worldometer. Even if it's underestimates, it seems very unlikely that it's so far off. I'd guess it's less than 5%.

#19389 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-January-18, 07:37

I wonder what would be the effect of a third-party candidate in 2024? Who would that help/hurt most? Could a third party win with a plurality?
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#19390 User is offline   awm 

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Posted 2022-January-18, 08:31

View PostWinstonm, on 2022-January-18, 07:37, said:

I wonder what would be the effect of a third-party candidate in 2024? Who would that help/hurt most? Could a third party win with a plurality?


As always it depends on the identity of the candidate. However, I suspect that the people who still support Trump are pretty much "Trump or bust" and unlikely to be pulled away by any third-party candidate, whereas Biden has a lot of voters who don't love him (but absolutely despite Trump) and might be pulled away by a third-party candidate. So I'd suspect Trump is more likely to be helped by a serious third party run.
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#19391 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-January-19, 11:40

Matt Yglesias said:

The false "trap" of bipartisanship

Republican members of Congress seem to be increasingly interested in reaching a deal on reform of the Electoral Count Act.

This is good news on several fronts.

A bill with Republican Party support can pass the United States Senate, whereas a purely partisan bill will die via filibuster. It’s also good news because ECA reform is good on the merits — it won’t fix American political institutions or “save democracy,” but it will reduce the odds of a collapse, and reducing those odds is important. Passing and signing bipartisan bills also tend to be at least a little bit popular and make the president who’s doing it look good.

...

Kevin Drum recently looked at this from a different angle, taking advantage of the fact that states have been polarizing on ballot access. Democratic-run states have been steadily making it easier to vote while Republican-run states have been steadily making it harder. But turnout is up across the board, with the voting rules changes having no discernible impact.

Does that mean it’s fine to make it harder for people to vote? No, that’s crazy. The government should pass laws that make life easier and more convenient. Republicans are making life harder and less convenient out of a mistaken belief that this gives them a partisan advantage. But when Democrats say that a federal requirement for more early voting is necessary to “save our democracy,” Republicans hear that making it convenient to vote early helps Democrats and dooms Republicans.

The way forward here is to turn the temperature way down and have some people sit in a quiet room with experts and work out a list of things that everyone can agree are pro-convenience and don’t advantage anyone. It really should be doable since there is no clear advantage here.

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#19392 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-January-19, 15:23

Joe Biden: "Capitalism without competition isn't capitalsim; it's exploitation."

+1
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#19393 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-January-19, 21:35

Matt Yglesias said:

Yes

Erik Wasson at Bloomberg said:

BBB: @SenMarkey in statement says next step is to take climate portion, add any social programs that have 50 votes and pass it

+2
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#19394 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-January-20, 10:45

Matt Yglesias said:

https://www.nytimes....presidency.html

President Biden’s first year in office has been frustrating for many of his supporters. He has disappointed his more leftist supporters by refusing to take aggressive unilateral action in some areas where he has discretion, and he has disappointed his more moderate supporters by choosing to take aggressive action in other areas.

That’s doubly true for the gaggle of youngish, college-educated, city-dwelling liberals who dominate the work force of the media, the progressive nonprofits and much of the Democratic Party itself — people who most likely didn’t back Mr. Biden in the primary and always suspected he wouldn’t deliver enough change for their tastes.

However, these are the banally normal problems of a normal presidency. Even the midterm wipeout that appears to be looming for his party is, by historical standards, a normal course of events.

But if Mr. Biden and his team want to give Democrats a fighting chance and turn his numbers around before electoral disaster strikes, they would do well to keep two slightly paradoxical thoughts in mind. First, Mr. Biden is governing in extraordinary times, but his presidency is still governed by the normal rules of American politics. Second, generating a feeling of normalcy around American politics and daily life — as he promised to do during the campaign — would itself be a transformative change.

The central contradiction of the Biden presidency is that he won the Democratic primary by running to the center, offering electability and normalcy rather than political revolution and big, structural change. But just as he was emerging as the party’s nominee, the Covid-19 pandemic struck, and we started hearing about plans for “an F.D.R.-sized presidency” — that is, big structural change. Had the U.S. economy completely collapsed over the course of 2020 the way it did under Herbert Hoover, that might have been realistic.

But mostly, it didn’t. Timely action from the Federal Reserve and trillions in bipartisan relief appropriations held things together. Not well enough to save Donald Trump’s presidency, but well enough to make the Electoral College race razor-thin and cost Democrats several seats in the House of Representatives.

Yet even when it turned out that the polls were off and his victory was much narrower than expected, Mr. Biden never really let go of the dream of a transformative 1930s-style presidency, though he clearly lacked the large legislative majorities to deliver on a New Deal or Great Society.

The disappointment of this failed effort at transformational policymaking tends to mask the extent to which, in his first year, Mr. Biden was in some ways surprisingly successful in his aspirational promises to restore a climate of bipartisanship to the legislative process.

Many progressives believe that Republicans voted for the bipartisan infrastructure bill only as part of a ploy to stymie the Build Back Better agenda. But Republicans never attempted such a move during the Obama years, and the fact that they agreed to anything at all was contrary to some very confidently asserted predictions from journalists (myself included) who cut our teeth on Obama-era policy fights and expected total intransigence.

We’ve also seen bipartisan legislation to expand American science funding and independent supply-chain capacity — the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act — pass the Senate with a substantial bipartisan majority. The House passed similar legislation (in separate bills), and the two chambers are trying to hash out the differences in a conference committee, a venerable legislative institution that has largely fallen into disuse during the recent years of hyper-partisanship.

But alongside these reassuring springs of normalcy, Mr. Biden has had to contend with some unusually challenging situations. It’s extraordinary that his administration has been stalked by the specter of a defeated predecessor who refuses to admit that he lost fair and square. Yet as the political scientist Sam Rosenfeld writes, the most striking feature of American politics in 2021 was the “abiding sturdiness of electoral dynamics.” Swing voters responded to unified Democratic Party governance by swinging right and seeking to counterbalance.

Exacerbating this problem is perhaps the most normal political challenge of all — economic conditions deteriorated in the second half of the year, helping to drive down Mr. Biden’s approval ratings.

The inflation of 2021 is not especially his fault. There is no way to undergo a pandemic without some economic cost, and bearing that cost in the form of inflation is superior to the alternative of stabilizing prices at lower levels of employment and real output.

But the nature of the White House is that even things that are not the president’s fault are the president’s problem. The same goes for the virus. Mr. Biden perhaps set himself up for failure by over-promising (a very normal campaign sin) and implying that he would be able to “shut down the virus” and allow society to return to normal. That was not true when he promised it, and variants have made it even less feasible.

Vaccines greatly reduce the health risk associated with the virus, but they don’t eliminate it. And that makes the trade-off between economic output and virus control harder rather than easier. Because so many Americans are vaccinated, demand for goods and services is now much higher than it was during the Trump presidency. That means quarantine rules and other restrictions on business activity and public institutions do carry real costs. This winter, with the Omicron surge, we have more people who want to fly on airplanes than pilots who are cleared to carry them.

The Biden administration and executive branch have clearly been taking steps toward more prioritization of the economy and less of public health — for example, shortening the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance about isolation time — but the president has been reluctant to explicitly say in public that’s what’s going on, perhaps out of fear of sounding too much like his predecessor. And saying just “follow the science” is not the answer: The scientific method doesn’t answer questions about trade-offs.

When all is said and done, the frustrations of the Biden supporters who want a return to normal are more politically significant than those of the more progressive crowd who yearn for transformation.

That means more focus on the short-term economic situation. The good news on inflation is that the gasoline price spike of 2021 is unlikely to occur a second time, and the Federal Reserve is likely to pivot into inflation-fighting mode as well. But there are risks, too, from economic disruptions in China, and monetary policy efforts to curb inflation could do too much to curb real growth as well.

The fate of Mr. Biden’s presidency — and if you believe the dire warnings of many Democrats and academics, of the republic itself — hinges less on the fate of legacy items like Build Back Better or a renewed voting rights act than it does on the normal procession of macroeconomic events. Unfortunately for Mr. Biden, no president has control over them entirely — but pushing for a final version of the bipartisan U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, which contains provisions to strengthen the semiconductor supply chain, could be helpful.

It means more attention to classic Biden themes of patriotism, bipartisanship and normalcy, and fewer headlines dominated by high-profile squeeze plays against moderate senators.

Most of what has happened to Mr. Biden has been very normal. But if Democrats take their own fears about the opposition party seriously, they should be very worried about the consequences of the normal cycle of overreach and backlash, and try harder to surprise the country by doubling down on normalcy.

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#19395 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-January-21, 08:42

Jimmy Kimmel said:

Republicans want to add restrictions to voting because they are worried about voter fraud, even though it’s almost completely nonexistent, voter fraud. Hey, you know what? You guys believe climate change is nonexistent, right? How about coming up with some restrictions for that? Let’s compromise on this.

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#19396 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-January-21, 09:52

Nate Cohn at NYT said:

https://www.nytimes....ce=articleShare

Joseph R. Biden Jr. was supposed to be another Franklin D. Roosevelt, a Democratic president who enacted transformative liberal legislation and in doing so built a lasting political coalition.

It’s a comparison that he invited even before the election, when he told The New Yorker in an interview in August 2020 that he was “kind of in the position that F.D.R. was in.” Prominent presidential historians and even the descendants of F.D.R.’s cabinet members echoed the comparison.

One year into his presidency, no one is confusing Mr. Biden for Mr. Roosevelt. Not with his legislative agenda stalled and his approval rating mired in the low forties.

But the difference between the two Democrats isn’t merely the one between success and failure in the first year. Rather than following Mr. Roosevelt’s playbook and focusing relentlessly on the crises facing the nation and voters, Mr. Biden’s efforts have shifted from the pandemic and the economy to also pursue longstanding Democratic policy goals — universal prekindergarten, climate change, voting rights, a child tax credit.

Even if those proposals are needed or important, they do not rank high on the list of the public’s demands at the heart of a pandemic and with rising inflation. Only 33 percent of voters say the president is focused on the issues they “care a lot about,” according to a recent CBS/YouGov poll.

The decision to prioritize the goals of his party’s activist base over the issues prioritized by voters is more reminiscent of the last half-century of politically unsuccessful Democratic presidents than of Mr. Roosevelt himself.

It’s not so much Mr. Roosevelt’s New Deal as Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society. One launched an era of Democratic dominance; the other brought that era to its end.

It is a presidency aimed at matching Mr. Roosevelt’s transformative legacy while forgetting the most basic, high school history class lesson about the root of the New Deal’s political appeal: It was designed to meet the challenges of the moment.

While liberals cherish the New Deal for expanding the role of government, the core of its political success was its focus on addressing an immediate crisis facing the nation — the shuttered banks, failing farms and mass unemployment of the Great Depression. The New Deal was not always successful. Its individual provisions were not always popular. But Mr. Roosevelt fixed the banking crisis and quickly restored a sense of hope and optimism. Americans believed that his policies put them on the path to recovery. The expansion of government was incidental to its central political appeal.

Mr. Biden understood as much before the election, when he reminded The New Yorker that “what in fact F.D.R. did was not ideological, it was completely practical.”

Yet in a news conference on Wednesday, Mr. Biden strained to reframe his proposed package of liberal policy initiatives as a practical response to the pressing challenge of inflation.

Perhaps the history books will remember Mr. Biden for putting America on a path to normalcy. But Americans do not have that impression of the Biden administration today. More than half of voters think Mr. Biden is not focused enough on the economy or inflation, according to the recent CBS/YouGov poll.

The poll gave no indication that Mr. Biden’s legislative agenda would do much to improve his standing. Just 24 percent of voters said their opinion of Mr. Biden would improve if he passed the Build Back Better Act, even though a majority of voters say they support the proposal. In contrast, 70 percent said their opinion of Mr. Biden would improve if he tamed inflation, while 60 percent said it would improve if the coronavirus situation did.

Voters should not necessarily be taken at their word, but their message is consistent with a large body of political science research: The fortunes of the president are tied to the strength of the economy.

The comparison between Mr. Biden and Mr. Roosevelt is strained today, but it was plausible enough to some historians just a few months ago. Like Mr. Roosevelt, Mr. Biden faced a litany of crises that might be addressed with government action. And for the first six months of his presidency, one could draw a plausible parallel between Mr. Biden’s approach to the crisis and the early days of Mr. Roosevelt’s term.

Like Mr. Roosevelt’s First Hundred Days, the $1.9 trillion dollar Rescue Plan sought to offer relief from the pandemic and a path back to normalcy. It lacked the political appeal and psychological impact of Mr. Roosevelt’s blizzard of legislative acronyms, but it seemed to help put the nation back on the road to recovery, amid rising vaccination rates, plummeting case numbers and a surging economy.

The analogy does not hold so clearly anymore, not since the summer’s optimism gave way to the Delta variant, rising inflation, a chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan and ultimately malaise. At the same time, Mr. Biden’s legislative agenda transitioned to longer-term, progressive policy goals. Many Democrats from across the ideological spectrum believed that popular legislative initiatives, from a bipartisan infrastructure bill to the wide-ranging social spending bill, would help the president improve his popularity. They have had no effect.

While the legacy of Mr. Roosevelt is often cited as the blueprint for building a political coalition with progressive legislation, there’s not much reason to believe his initiatives would have yielded political dominance if they did not have a clear connection to recovering from crisis and depression.

Public opinion data from the 1930s is fairly sparse, but there is only equivocal evidence that the public was ideologically inclined toward expanded government, organized labor or social democracy. The public supported many New Deal programs, but wanted Mr. Roosevelt to be “more conservative” by 1938. By then, nearly 40 percent of Democrats preferred a conservative Democrat to a New Dealer if Mr. Roosevelt did not seek a third term.

Indeed, Mr. Biden’s efforts today might be more reminiscent of Mr. Roosevelt’s second term, when the economy fell back into recession and Mr. Roosevelt unsuccessfully pushed a more liberal agenda. The result was the formation of the so-called “conservative coalition” of Republicans and anti-New Deal Southern Democrats. The New Deal had come to an end.

The Biden administration does appear to recognize the disconnect between the aims of its agenda and the demands of the public. At his news conference on Wednesday, Mr. Biden was generally focused on the coronavirus and inflation. But his legislative agenda remains focused on voting rights or Build Back Better.

Another initiative might be more tailored to the Biden administration’s political challenge: a new effort to increase the production of semiconductors, which passed the Senate over the summer as part of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act.

The shortage of semiconductors has helped drive up the cost of cars and other electronics. The commerce secretary, Gina Raimondo, called for Congress to pass the bill weeks ago, although Mr. Biden did not mention the initiative in his prepared remarks on Wednesday.

Federal support for semiconductor production will not give Mr. Biden a transformative legacy. Yet it is the sort of policy that could lay the groundwork for a political recovery. It’s the sort of bill that might have been part of the New Deal.

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#19397 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-January-21, 22:01

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#19398 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-January-22, 10:35

Thinking about the Nate Cohn article cited above.

A guy really should not invite a comparison of himself with FDR. A baseball player wants to think carefully before he invites a comparison with, say, Joe DiMaggio.
And as Cohn points out, the FDR presidency was not all a piece of cake.
Long ago there was a discussion between William F Buckley and a guest (I forget who) on Firing Line. They were discussing the New Deal and Buckley said something like "Are you familiar with the economic numbers from the 30s? Because I warn you, I am." Well, there were ups and downs, that much is so.

Successful policy has to be a combination of idealism and practicality, which appears to be what Cohn is saying. Most people agree, I imagine Biden agrees, the problem is to get it right. Are we getting it right? Well, sorta, perhaps.
I hope for better.
Ken
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#19399 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2022-January-22, 16:13

My concern with it was twofold, but boils down to "you're a liberal pundit, which in the US seems to mean a rich white Democratic male who a worried only about things getting worse, and believes that the Cleavers can live the way they did on TV (because his family does) if we just do the right things for business".

I saw a tweet from Mr. Cohn which I thought was in that article that said basically "instead of aiming to be a new FDR, he seems to want to be another political failure like LBJ, Clinton or Obama". To which I say - we need a new LBJ, who did the right thing for the country knowing the cost to his party; Clinton, professionally at least (and he really wasn't worse personally than FDR!); and Obama was the perfect political Democrat if it wasn't for, you know, that One Thing.

But also, he really needs to get out of his little comfortable world if he thinks that Biden is chasing the progressive base. Most of my (non-bridge) contacts in the US are part of the progressive base. They were saying during the primaries that Biden was the worst of all possible candidates, and only won because he was the most inoffensive to the most people - and they're saying now that we definitely have got what we signed up for. They're definitely not supporting this presidency. They're saying the things that Cohn is claiming is "pandering to them" are half-hearted, watered down, and the party is doing it's usual "oh you don't want to? Okay" to its rebellious troupe, and "Oh you want us to meet you halfway? Sure, here we are. Wait, why did you back up?" to the Republicans. They're saying "you knew going in that this was going to happen, and you made no plan for it. And you're not screaming it all from the rooftops either. So obviously, you wanted all this to fail, so you could blame Manchin and Synema for the failure to get what you never really wanted, and then say 'see, we tried'."

If you want to hear what real progressives are saying, try Worst Year Ever. Go back to the beginning, where the candidate campaigns were starting, and follow through to the resigned "well, we knew that would happen, let's hope for better than we expect". But of course, you won't see those by-lines in the Times or the Post.

Biden has a 34% approval rating, it seems. Nobody that doesn't have an ® beside their name will get over 60%, as the other 40% will disapprove. The progressives disapprove because of this "look, see? We did the best we could, it Just Isn't Time for it yet" nonsense; and the Institutional Democrats, the ones who want the blandest beigest most inoffensive candidates aren't all that happy either, because Operation Pull The Wool Over isn't working as well as it used to.

If you're looking at the New Deal, listen to historians who pay attention to these things about how much New Deal went to the non-euro-immigrant community. How much the Japanese Internment was based on "our people get the land and the businesses". How much of the recovery, and war profit, and peace dividend was coloured. And then look at the demographics of Democratic voters and how they skew young and non-white. And then decide if you want to listen to the person who still thinks we can go back to the Cleavers (maybe he'd settle for the Bunkers).

Semiconductor production? In the U.S.? That isn't going to get shipped out to Malaysia once the shipping lanes get un[-]ed, or if they don't, to Guadalajara, after all the machines paid for by the U.S. government get "cleared" by 4 years to look good? Just like all the other manufacturing that isn't locked into place by union contracts. Sure. Again, "pander to our rich billionaires, rather than their rich billionaires. That's how to be a Successful Democrat."
When I go to sea, don't fear for me, Fear For The Storm -- Birdie and the Swansong (tSCoSI)
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#19400 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-January-22, 17:02

The one thing forgotten in all this hubbub about Joe Biden is the fact that no expected the Senate to turn blue - that it did is a minor miracle. Biden is walking a tightrope. You can't compel legislation when you don't have the 60 votes necessary to override vetoes. The Senate is 50-50 with Harris the tie-breaking vote - what the hell can you get done with those numbers under existing Senate rules?

No, the finger should be pointed directly and decidedly at Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema for holding hostage the 70 million who voted for Biden in order to preserve the antiquated Senate rules.

We need a bumper sticks: Senate Rules < Voting Rights.!
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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