Keep It Simple, Stupid

“STUPID” applied to the scriptwriters for the Democrat’s B-movie for decades.


Here’s how they did it with FDR in office

…In the interest of supporting a united front between liberals and socialists, let me start this off with a rather long quote from Matt Christman of Chapo Trap House, on why Obamacare failed to gain more popularity:

❝ There are parts to it that are unambiguously good — like, Medicaid expansion is good, and why? Because there’s no fucking strings attached. You don’t have to go to a goddamned website and become a fucking hacker to try to figure out how to pick the right plan, they just tell you “you’re covered now.” And that’s it! That’s all it ever should have been and that is why — [Jonathan Chait] is bemoaning why it’s a political failure? Because modern neoliberal, left-neoliberal policy is all about making this shit invisible to people so that they don’t know what they’re getting out of it.

❝ And as Rick Perlstein has talked about a lot, that’s one of the reasons that Democrats end up fucking themselves over. The reason they held Congress for 40 years after enacting Social Security is because Social Security was right in your fucking face. They could say to you, “you didn’t used to have money when you were old, now you do. Thank Democrats.” And they fucking did. Now it’s, “you didn’t used to be able to log on to a website and negotiate between 15 different providers to pick a platinum or gold or zinc plan and apply a fucking formula for a subsidy that’s gonna change depending on your income so you might end up having to retroactively owe money or have a higher premium.” Holy shit, thank you so much.

RTFA. It deals with a lot more than Obamacare because, guess what – the Dems shroud their timorous legislation in enough Cloud Nine fog to hide the Titanic.

Bipartisan [remember that?] bill, written by a Democrat [imagine that?] restricting Trump’s ability to wage war OK’d by House committee


Click to enlargeAP/Andrew Harnik

❝ A House committee has earned a rare bipartisan round of applause for beginning to roll back the US president’s ability to wage war.

❝ The House Appropriations Committee recently approved an amendment to revoke the Authorization for Use of Military Force, which allows the president to undertake war against al-Qaeda and its affiliates without Congressional approval. The law, passed shortly after the terrorist attacks of 11 September, 2001, has been used to approve conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.

The new amendment, introduced by Democratic Representative Barbara Lee, would sunset these presidential powers eight weeks after Congress passes the 2018 defence spending budget. The appropriations committee has sent the budget to the House floor for a vote.

❝ A visibly surprised Ms Lee welcomed the addition of the amendment on Thursday, condemning the AUMF as “a blank check to wage war anywhere, at any time, and for any length”.

The AUMF has been used to justify military action more than 37 times in 14 countries since 2001, according to the Congressional Research Service…

❝ “This issue is more urgent given the erratic behaviour and inexperience of our current Commander-in-Chief,” Ms Lee said. “No president should have a blank check for endless war, least of all President Donald Trump.”

Members of Congress were falling over each other to pass this bill in 2001 – excepting Barbara Lee, the sole vote against its passage. She understood and declared the foolishness of a bill so broad and unchecked it would be used [and was] by any president for any war they wished for.

I wish her well trying to shepherd her sanity through the rest of a Congress notable for cowardice and capitulation to religion, bigotry and corporate pimps. I compliment the members of the House Appropriations Committee for doing exactly what they are chartered to do.

Obama cops out on Civil Rights – again

The Obama administration decided on Tuesday to appeal a judge’s rulings that prevented the U.S. government from banning same-sex marriages, a move that could undermine support among President Barack Obama’s traditional liberal base ahead of a key election.

The Obama administration filed a notice of appeal with the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts in support of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, that barred gay marriages, even though Obama had previously opposed the law.

Although Obama opposes the law, a Justice Department spokeswoman said that the administration was defending the statute because it was obligated to defend federal laws when challenged in court.

Predictable hogwash offered up by the administration. The reality is that the rationales are designed to appeal to homophobes and reactionaries who want the DOMA to continue to be the law of the land.

That’s not leadership. That’s collaboration.

Continue reading

Axcess Ontario brings high-speed broadband to rural New York

Government executives who are curious about the specific projects that are likely to result from the FCC’s National Broadband Plan might want to study Axcess Ontario, the county-established nonprofit deploying a fiber network in Ontario County, N.Y.

County officials met with the FCC, May 4, to explain their broadband strategy. The program, much of which is already implemented, focuses on snaking a 180-mile fiber backhaul throughout all municipalities in Ontario County. Any service provider will be free to extend its network equipment from the backhaul to provide services to homes and businesses.

Continue reading

He wasn’t the one we’ve been waiting for… UPDATED


Daylife/Getty Images used by permission

Health care reform — which is crucial for millions of Americans — hangs in the balance. Progressives are desperately in need of leadership; more specifically, House Democrats need to be told to pass the Senate bill, which isn’t what they wanted but is vastly better than nothing. And what we get from the great progressive hope, the man who was offering hope and change, is this:

“I would advise that we try to move quickly to coalesce around those elements of the package that people agree on. We know that we need insurance reform, that the health insurance companies are taking advantage of people. We know that we have to have some form of cost containment because if we don’t, then our budgets are going to blow up and we know that small businesses are going to need help so that they can provide health insurance to their families. Those are the core, some of the core elements of, to this bill. Now I think there’s some things in there that people don’t like and legitimately don’t like.”

In short, “Run away, run away”!

Maybe House Democrats can pull this out, even with a gaping hole in White House leadership. Barney Frank seems to have thought better of his initial defeatism. But I have to say, I’m pretty close to giving up on Mr. Obama, who seems determined to confirm every doubt I and others ever had about whether he was ready to fight for what his supporters believed in.

I voted for Obama. What I got was Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

Maybe all those years left Obama with leftover SDS ideology about consensus as a solution. That’s not what democracy is about. Majority rule means – majority rule.

If 19th Century country clubs like the Senate are stuck into archaic forms like filibusters defeating democracy, allowing 41 cretins to outvote 59 cowards – that’s not the change I voted for.

I didn’t expect the Democratic Party or Congress to change willingly. I did expect Barack Obama to fight for change.

UPDATE: All right. I’m not so pissed off, tonight. In the interim, Obama started making noises, again, like a leader instead of part of a barely liberal troika.

Water down the strength of my criticism by half. Of course, I appreciate the changes he brought. They have been almost exclusively by executive order. Let’s see some Congressional butt kicked, too.

Newspapers heading the way of Circuit City and other dinosaurs

In March 2007, Circuit City came up with a plan to confront softening sales and competition from online and offline retailers: fire the most talented, experienced employees.

Of course, those workers were the retail chain’s single most important point of difference from the legion of Internet retailers and general merchandisers, but in a single stroke, Philip Schoonover, the chief executive of Circuit City, wiped out that future.

For Circuit City, not so great. The “wage management initiative” erased morale, both for employees and the folks who shopped there. Sales sank after the one-time gain from the layoffs. And last week, the company sought bankruptcy protection.

So are newspapers reacting to their downturn as Circuit City did?

Continue reading