Monday, December 18, 2017
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Vivian Paige Covers the Second, 2nd CD Debate

Check out Vivian Paige's blog for excellent coverage of the second forum/debate in the 2nd Congressional District. Participants were Rep. Glenn Nye ("D"), used car dealer Scott Rigell (R), and independent Kenny Golden. According to Vivian, "this forum was much better than the first one in that it covered a lot more ground" and "for the most part, the candidates were much better with their answers, despite the irksome setup of having them answer questions in the same order every time." For a lot more, click here.  

DCCC Abandoning Tom Perriello?

If true, this truly sucks.
"We are going to have to win these races one by one," said Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, conceding that the party would ultimately cut loose members who had not gained ground.

With the midterm campaign entering its final two months, Democrats acknowledged that several races could quickly move out of their reach, including re-election bids by Representatives Betsy Markey of Colorado, Tom Perriello of Virginia, Mary Jo Kilroy of Ohio and Frank Kratovil Jr. of Maryland, whose districts were among the 55 Democrats won from Republicans in the last two election cycles.

What's so frustrating here is that all of these Democrats - Markey, Perriello, Kilroy, Kratovil - voted "yes" on the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), and two - Perriello and Kilroy - voted "yes" on the Affordable Health Care for America Act. Yet these are the candidates the DCCC is talking about ditching? Lame.

So, a few questions for the DCCC: 1) Are the polls on these representatives' races really worse than those for Glenn Nye and other supposed "Democrats" who voted "nay" on both ACES and health care reform?; 2) More broadly, shouldn't you be rewarding Democrats who took tough/courageous votes for Democratic Party priorities and not rewarding those who decided, as Monty Python might say, to "run away!?!"; 3) Should you really be spending the money that we give you on candidates who go around bashing their own party, its ideals, and its leadership?

Yes, I understand that this is politics, and that it can be ruthlessly Machiavellian. But seriously, DCCC, do you really expect activists to give you money and support when you do @#$@ like this? Just sayin'.

UPDATE: The DCCC has issued a statement (see after the "flip"), essentially denying the New York Times story. I guess time will tell...

UPDATE #2: Paul Goldman weighs in with some interesting thoughts on all this.

Book Review: “American Taliban”

The other day, I received American Taliban, by Markos Moulitas of Daily Kos, as a birthday present from my wife (thanks!), and I began reading it with great hopes. Finally, a leading progressive was going to fight fire with fire, call it like it is, and prove beyond a doubt what many progressives and liberals believe in their guts - the right wing and the Boehner/Cantor/McConnell/Cheney/Palin-led Republican Party are, increasingly, morphing into an American version of the Afghan/Pakistani Taliban - intolerant, misogynistic, theocratic, totalitarian, violent, virulently homophobic, etc.

But that's not what happens in "American Taliban." Sure, there's a case to be made here, but Markos doesn't make it - at least not as effectively or rigorously as it should be made. That's highly unfortunate, a missed opportunity extraordinaire.  

In reading this book, I kept thinking to myself, ok, now Markos is going to provide voluminous evidence and airtight logical arguments to prove his thesis.  OK, now he is going to - as Matthew Yglesias puts it - explore "a number of issues...that relate to the fundamental congruence of values between different forms of populist nationalist movements around the world." And now, he's going to do this without "eliding a huge number of morally and practically relevant considerations" that make the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban qualitatively different from the "American Taliban" and other "right-wing populist nationalist movements" out there.

Again, though, this isn't what happens.  

Democracy vs. Republic, Foul Pole vs. “Fair Pole”

Over at the Coffee Party website, Annabel Park refutes the ridiculous notion that America isn't big enough to be both "a representative democracy and a republic." Annabel explains:
The whole meme that we are not a democracy but a republic is based on a distortion and diminution of the concept of democracy into a single, abstract form of it: a direct and pure democracy. Yes, we do not have THAT form of a democracy. We don't go to the polls to make every single governmental decision.  We have a representative democracy in which elected leaders are empowered by the voters.

A direct and pure democracy is only one form of a democracy. There are various models...

Got that? No, it's really not that difficult a concept, except to people who try really hard to make it difficult. As Eric Byler points out, it's analagous to  "baseball fans eager to prove their superiorty without putting in the time to study, let alone play the actual game," who claim that the "foul pole is in fair territory," thus should be called the "FAIR pole." Eric's response? "Every time I hear that I think (1) congratulations, you heard someone else say that and remembered how to repeat it exactly, and (2) it doesn't prove you know more about baseball than the other 50,000 fans in the park."  

Ha, so true. But something tells me it won't stop people from saying it, just like the people claiming we're not "really" a "Democracy" (or people claiming that "progressive" is the same as "socialist" or Barack Obama isn't the "real" kind of Christian, or that global warming's a big plot by environmentalists, or whatever other nonsense they're spewing these days).

“I don’t see how he’s going to get it past”

Another day, another spelling mistake by the Washington Post.
McDonnell is scheduled to unveil his plan for ABC privatization next week. Howell said she continues to hear skepticism from fellow Democrats and some Republicans about the governor's claim that his plan will fully replace the annual revenue the state now receives from its 332 liquor stores.

"I don't see how he's going to get it past," she said.

Past, passed, whatever (or maybe, as Faulkner said, "The past is never dead. It's not even past."). So, here's a fun idea: read the newspaper, see how many typos you can find, winner gets a metal medal. Heh.

UPDATE: There are at least two glaring mistakes in this article, can you find them? :)

UPDATE #2: Whoops, looks like another big mistake for the Post.

UPDATE #3: In this article, on the Virginia Politics blog, they spell the same person's name alternately as "Carlos A Martinelly-Montano" and as "Martinelly-Mantano." In the first instance, how about a period after the middle initial?  In the second, is it "Mantano" or "Montano?"

President Obama: “Honoring the American Worker”

The full transcript is here.  I liked this paragraph, among others:
This Labor Day, we are reminded that we didn't become the most prosperous country in the world by rewarding greed and recklessness.  We did it by rewarding hard work and responsibility.  We did it by recognizing that we rise or we fall together as one nation - one people - all of us vested in one another.  That is how we have succeeded in the past. And that is how we will not only rebuild this economy, but rebuild it stronger than ever before.

Jan Brewer. Anti-Immigrant Demagogue. Imbecile.

Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you the leader of the anti-immigrant movement in this country. Yes, she's an imbecile, and yes she's completely off her rocker, but just ignore all that and...oh forget it!

P.S. Even more lunacy after the "flip," this time on supposed "immigrant beheadings" (what next, aliens with anal probes?).

P.P.S. I wonder if Corey Stewart, Ken Cuccinelli, and the other anti-immigrant heroes here in Virginia believe in the "immigrant beheadings" insanity as well.

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