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Profile Information

Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 55,568

Journal Archives



Warren Wealth Tax Could Slow Economy, Early Analysis Finds

New York Times

WASHINGTON — Senator Elizabeth Warren’s proposed wealth tax would slow the United States economy, reducing growth by nearly 0.2 percentage points a year over the course of a decade, an outside analysis of the plan estimates.

The preliminary projection from the Penn Wharton Budget Model, which will be unveiled on Thursday in Philadelphia, is the first attempt by an independent budget group to forecast the economic effects of the tax that has become a centerpiece of Ms. Warren’s campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The assessment found that if the tax raised as much new federal revenue as Ms. Warren intends, and if the proceeds went toward reducing the federal debt, annual economic growth would slow from an average of 1.5 percent to an average of just over 1.3 percent over a decade.

To put the finding in context: Penn Wharton estimated in 2017 that President Trump’s tax cut would increase economic growth by roughly 0.06 percentage points per year over a decade, an effect that was much smaller than White House officials predicted. Its estimate of Ms. Warren’s policy implies the wealth tax would have an effect that is three times as large as the Trump tax cuts — but in the opposite direction.

At Least 6 Victims After Shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita

Source: KTLA-TV

Authorities responded to a shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita early Thursday.

The number of people injured was not immediately known. However, television footage showed people being treated on campus by paramedics.

Authorities are searching for a suspect described as a 15-year-old boy wearing a black hat and black clothing, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Read more: https://ktla.com/2019/11/14/shooting-at-saugus-high-school-prompts-lockdown-of-campus-gunman-sought/

A report of a shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita has prompted the lockdown of multiple campuses in the area Thursday morning, authorities said.

Deputies responded to a report of shots fired on the campus, located at 21900 Centurion Way, the Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station Department said in a series of tweets.

There are at least six — but possibly seven — victims, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. It was not immediately clear if all of them had been shot.

Paramedics responded after receiving a gunshot wound call just before 7:40 a.m., according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. The agency confirmed at least one person was shot in the abdomen.

DCCC adds senior staffers after summer departures

Source: The Hill

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the body charged with electing Democrats to the House, has added a slate of senior staffers after a series of high-profile departures over the summer.

The hires, which focused on bringing in people of color, help bring the body back to full strength less than a year before Democrats defend their House majority. The staff moves are part of a broader effort to quell concerns about a lack of diversity in the DCCC’s upper echelons.

Among the new hires are Tasha Cole, a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation executive who will be the DCCC’s first chief diversity officer, and Ryan Hedgepeth, the chief of staff to Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) who will become the deputy executive director for member engagement.

The DCCC said that with the new hires, half of its senior leadership team identify as people of color.

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/470448-dccc-adds-senior-staffers-after-summer-departures

Bloomberg campaign acknowledges past 'disrespectful and wrong' comments about women

The Hill

Representatives for former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg conceded ahead of a reported presidential run that the ex-mayor has made“disrespectful and wrong” comments about women, according to the New York Times.

A 1990 booklet of quotations attributed to Bloomberg included “If women wanted to be appreciated for their brains, they’d go to the library instead of to Bloomingdale’s,” and a suggestion that a computer would perform oral sex on the user, which would “put … a lot of you girls out of business,” according to the Times.

Bloomberg said the comments were merely “Borscht belt jokes” when they came up during his 2001 mayoral run. But more recently, in 2012, the then-mayor told two guests at a party to “look at the ass” on a female guest and last year said “I don’t know how true all of it is” of the sexual harassment allegations that led to the firing of CBS’s Charlie Rose.

“Mike has come to see that some of what he has said is disrespectful and wrong,” former City Hall press secretary Stu Loeser, now an advisor to Bloomberg, told the Times on Wednesday.

The Era of Car-Clogged City Streets Is Over


The federal government spends more than $45 billion on automotive transportation annually. Add in state and local spending, and costs top $175 billion every year. At the same time, the public health costs of deaths connected to automobile-related crashes and emissions amount to an additional $900 billion. And that excludes the costs related to the 4.5 million people injured in automobile crashes every year.

All in all, the social costs of cars are more than $1 trillion every year for a transportation system struggling with increasing congestion, lengthening commute times, harmful emissions comprising the largest share of greenhouse gases of any sector in the United States and rising pedestrian fatalities from car crashes. We can spend this money better to make our cities more efficient, equitable, and safe.

We didn’t get here by accident. Cities across the country have been designed for and around the use of private cars — the least efficient transportation mode in terms of the number of people that can be moved per hour. For individuals, cars seem to make a lot of sense. They can serve a lot of different trip types (going to do the shopping, picking up the kids, dropping by the grocery store, visiting the cafe, getting to work in the morning), they work in all sorts of weather, and thanks to plentiful parking, they’re practically “dockless”: you can park them almost anywhere including outside your own house in the public right of way, without paying anything. But, most of the time — 95 percent by many estimates — private cars sit idle.

Our cities are getting more dense, and they are choking on cars. In 2018, average downtown last-mile speeds were below 20 mph across most major U.S. cities. These inefficiencies relate to the basic question of how we get around, and are lowering the quality of life for residents and businesses, especially in underserved communities. It is also a drag on one of the basic economic purposes of cities: connecting people to jobs. One of the keys to improving city productivity is expanding the number of jobs commutable within 30 and 45 minutes of where you live. Conversely, as our cities become harder to traverse, the harmful effects of spatial segregation become more pronounced.

Deval Patrick vision statement

For Everyone, Everywhere
The moment is precarious – and also full of possibility. The public is asking big questions and insisting on big solutions. Renewing the American Dream requires we deliver on an Opportunity Agenda, a Reform Agenda, and a Democracy Agenda.

But we can’t make meaningful and lasting change to our policies without also changing our politics. That means governing not for the next news cycle or election cycle, but for the next generation. Not just to beat the incumbent, but to shape a better future for everyone, everywhere.

Opportunity Agenda
An Opportunity Agenda is about growing the economy out to working people and the marginalized, not just up to the well connected. In a global economy where knowledge is power, that means investing time, ideas and money in education, innovation and infrastructure.

Education from pre-K to community college, and right through workforce development and retraining, because education is the single best investment the public can make in its own collective future.

Innovation because it is our competitive edge in the world. That means cultivating industries like clean tech, precision manufacturing, robotics, gaming, cybersecurity, transportation, green construction and biotech, to name just a few of the economic revolutions underway or within our grasp.

And infrastructure because it is the platform the public builds to enable personal ambition and private investment. That means roads, rails, bridges, airports, train stations, broadband and a modernized efficient electric grid. That means school buildings and parks, laboratories and libraries.

Reform Agenda
A Reform Agenda is about making meaningful fixes to the big systems that consistently fail to meet modern needs. This means a health care system that provides access to high-quality, low-cost health services everywhere and for every single individual, bar none. This means an immigration system that provides for both border integrity and human dignity, that encourages the determined and creative whose values align with ours to make their home here. This means a justice system that focuses less on warehousing people than on preparing them to re-enter responsible life.

Democracy Agenda
A Democracy Agenda is about fixing the many devices that have crept into our political system to engineer outcomes at odds with the public will. The hyper-partisan gerrymandering where the Party picks the voter rather than the other way around. The voter suppression and other gamesmanship used to make it harder for your vote to count. The explosion of dark money into elections. The influence of paid lobbyists. We must root these out and return power to where it belongs: with the people.


Medicare for All a Vote Loser in 2018 U.S. House Elections

Larry Sabato

— “Medicare for All” has been a major issue in the Democratic primary race. But it also came up a lot in the 2018 cycle.

— A regression analysis comparing the performance of 2018 Democratic House candidates shows that those who supported Medicare for All performed worse than those who did not, even when controlling for other factors.

— Democratic presidential candidates would do well to take heed of these results, particularly as the eventual nominee determines what he or she wishes to emphasize in the general election.

Deval Patrick campaign announcement video

Two very quick observations:
* Unlike every other campaign announcement video, it wasn't captioned
* He doesn't use the opportunity to display a candidate website

Deval Patrick Joins the 2020 Race: 'This Won't Be Easy, and It Shouldn't Be'

Source: New York Times

Former Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts officially entered the presidential race on Thursday, adding an 18th candidate and an 11th-hour twist to a turbulent Democratic primary with less than three months to go before the Iowa caucuses.

Mr. Patrick’s announcement, which he had signaled this week, came in the form of a video he released early Thursday morning. In it, he offered an explanation of why he was joining the race now after having passed on a bid for the White House a year ago, saying he was running for people who “feel left out” and want a future “not built by somebody better than you, not built for you, but built with you.”

“I admire and respect the candidates in the Democratic field,” he said. “They bring a richness of ideas and experience and a depth of character that makes me proud to be a Democrat. But if the character of the candidates is an issue in every election, this time is about the character of the country. This time is about whether the day after the election, America will keep her promises. This time is about more than removing an unpopular and divisive leader, as important as that is, but about delivering instead for you.”
Sign Up for On Politics With Lisa Lerer

Mr. Patrick, 63, who served two terms as governor and is one of the highest-profile black leaders in the Democratic Party, is expected to appear on “CBS This Morning” later Thursday and offer additional details about his run.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/14/us/politics/deval-patrick-2020-president.html
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