HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » eniwetok » Journal
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Next »

eniwetok

Profile Information

Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Spiritual home: the rocky Maine coast
Member since: Sun Mar 27, 2016, 07:06 PM
Number of posts: 1,622

About Me

Greetings... what can I say? I'm an old time hippie and anti-war activist from the 60's. I was radicalized then and have always remained political. One's politics can have different aspects. Economically I'm an FDR liberal. Socially I believe in the Ninth Amendment that government has no legitimate power to limit some rights such as responsible drug use, the right to choose, or one's sexual behavior. Politically I'm to the left of the Democratic Party. Why? Over the years I realized the focus of activists should not be stamping out brush fires and putting band-aids on problems. The effort must always be to keep in mind the root of most of our problems such as wealth inequality, growing corporate power, voter apathy, climate change, etc... is an electoral system that is incapable of measuring the popular will and a political system that is incapable of implementing it. Sadly, the Democratic Party seems to need a push to find a greater appreciation for... and to work towards, implementing common sense democratic reforms to both those electoral and political systems.

Journal Archives

#VaxTrumpFirst

Trump has long GAMBLED WITH OUR LIVES:

Not preparing or educating the nation for a pandemic
Pushing for early economic reopenings,
Making false claims Covid was contained
Politicizing masks,
Sidelined the experts to hog Covid briefings for himself
Hyping fake miracle cures
Pushing fake Covid stats
Tampering with CDC testing guidelines
Installed a Fox hack to head pandemic response etc etc

The very fact Trump today BRAGGED that we might have a vaccine by "election day" proves he can't be trusted NOT to push for an early release of an unproven vaccine. If the FDA REALLY thinks the vaccine is safe: VAX TRUMP & IVANKA FIRST!

#VaxTrumpFirst

Want better election security? ABOLISH THE EC!!!!

Our idiotic EC makes presidential elections easier to game than the popular vote because besides the fact that some voters have up to a 4x bigger vote than others, it doesn't matter whether there's 10% voter turnout or 100% in a state... because a state's EC votes are the same.

As we saw in 2016 all it takes is selective voter suppression... and widespread foreign interference and disinformation campaigns in some of the swing states to make a big difference.

Want better election security? ABOLISH THE EC!!!!

Making The Abstract... Painfully Concete...

The GOP never gave up on Reagan's Starve The Beast... they just moved from hoping massive deficits would undermine New Deal and Great Society programs the far Right loathed.... to massive debt AND massive deficits.

But all this debt is nothing but theft from future taxpayers AND this fiscal insanity poses a existential threat to those existing and future programs Dems think would improve the lives of working Americans.

But the Dems have been shy from attacking the GOP's Tax & Spend accusations the past 40 years allowing the Orwellian Right to hoodwink the right wing base that tax cuts are just "their"money... not theft from their kids and grandkids.

So how do Dems drive home these fiscal issues... when the numbers are too abstract. A million, billion, trillion... too many zeroes.

Back in 03 or 04 a web site tried... and this is the archived page: https://web.archive.org/web/20040604030839/http://crunchweb.net/87billion/index.htm

Is it just me or does this make anyone else sick?

MINIMUM WAGE TALKING POINTS.... I wish Dems would use

Dems mention the minimum wage quite often... but never provide any historical context... but concentrate on a living wage. But I think context is essential to construct a compelling narrative against right wing ideas. For example under the progressive policies of the 50s and 60s the minimum wage nearly TRIPLED in real value between 1949 and 1968. dollars. http://money.cnn.com/interactive/economy/minimum-wage-since-1938/ One can see the years it was left to decline...

The MW has now depreciated a whopping $10,080 a year. That's the 1968 MW... it's high value level, simply adjusted adjusted to inflation.

https://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl?cost1=1.60&year1=196801&year2=202001

But this is what's really shocking and I wish some Dems would FINALLY ask: How could we afford that high MW in 1968 ($12.10 in today's dollars) when per capita GDP was only $26,260* and we can only afford $7.25 when that per capita GDP today is $64,589*???

So the minimum wage is worth 60% of what it was worth in 1968 but per capita GDP is 246% higher????


Anyone see the absurdity here?


*converted from constant 2012 dollars to 2019 dollars


https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/A939RX0Q048SBEA

The DISHONEST History Of The Electoral College

If we listen to Hamilton's take on the EC in Federalist 68, it was the only part of the US electoral system designed to prevent a malignant sociopath like Trump from ever becoming president.

The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States. It will not be too strong to say, that there will be a constant probability of seeing the station filled by characters pre-eminent for ability and virtue.

But it turns out it was that antidemocratic abomination that IMPOSED a malignant sociopath on the nation. AND it seems Hamilton wasn't being truthful

The Framers of Constitution were involved in an illegal coop against what were then the supreme law of the land... the Articles Of Confederation. It was failing but also essentially reformproof. So when the Framers devised their new system it had to fix the problems with the Articles... but it also had to be ratified or the nation might be in a worse situation. So many cynical compromises were included that need to be revisited... such as the EC. As it turns out it's the presidential counter part to the 3/5ths person rule. Madison explains it in the secret minutes of the Convention...

"The people at large was in his opinion the fittest in itself. It would be as likely as any that could be devised to produce an Executive Magistrate of distinguished Character. The people generally could only know & vote for some Citizen whose merits had rendered him an object of general attention & esteem. There was one difficulty however of a serious nature attending an immediate choice by the people. The right of suffrage was much more diffusive in the Northern than the Southern States; and the latter could have no influence in the election on the score of the Negroes. The substitution of electors obviated this difficulty and seemed on the whole to be liable to fewest objections."
July 19, 1787


Why didn't we ever learn that in US History class?

Missing Democratic Talking Points.... Fiscal.

It would seem Dems... in the primaries... but more in the general election, have some powerful talking points they just don't use... or even think of... even when it's well know the sabotaging of government's fiscal health poses an existential threat to a progressive agenda.

1: Tax cuts when we're in debt and running deficits, designed to cut revenue, is THEFT from future generations who have no say but get stuck with the bill plus interest.
2: The GOP's weaponization of fiscal irresponsibility is designed to create as much debt and crushing interest payments as possible
3: That the sabotage of the nation's fiscal health is DESIGNED to weaken or abolish New Deal and Great Society Programs the far Right has always loathed.
4: Tax cuts are not a free lunch. We're now pissing away $375 BILLION in net interest that buys us nothing and it will be 6 TRILLION over the next decade.
5: Tax cuts are not a free lunch. Even now net interest ($375 billion) = 22% of all individual income tax revenue. Total interest ($574 Billion) = 33%.
6: The GOP is sabotaging our nation's ability to deal with a coming recession, natural disasters, climate change or a war. And then there's stabilizing Social Security and Medicare.
7: The REAL Class War is being waged by corporations and the malignant rich who, for the past 40 years, have rigged government and the economy to screw the working and middle classes.
8: Huge budget numbers in the billions and trillions are too abstract. Want to scare the crap out of the average person use visual aids lkie https://web.archive.org/web/20040604030839/http://crunchweb.net/87billion/index.htm When the average person sees what a TRILLION in deficit spending looks like....

Can Someone Become President With 24% Of The Popular Vote?

Right wingers constantly use as a defense of the EC that they don't want NYC and LA picking our presidents. It's nonsense, of course... and why should any citizen get a smaller vote just because of their choice of state residence. But no one talks much about the absurdities the EC system.

I just did a spread sheet using last year's election results by state... and found out that it possible, though highly unlikely, that under our system a president can be elected with just 24% of the popular vote. If all the small states that comprise 280 EC votes... vote for candidate X by one vote... the winner take all rules that virtually every state uses... will give candidate X ALL those 280 votes... and if you want to be picky, OK, Nebraska apportions them but they only have 5 votes... not enough to affect this exercise.

If all the remaining states vote UNANIMOUSLY for candidate Y... X can win even with 24% of the popular vote. Now, before anyone whines that this is impossible... it doesn't matter because this just illustrates the absurdity of the system which DID give Trump the presidency with 46% while HRC got 48%.

It's about time that Dems FINALLY discuss the defects in our system which also deprive the Dems control of the Senate. Why? Because Dems represent 33 million more Americans than does the GOP.

DRUG TESTING FOR TAX BREAKS

Tax expenditures are another name for tax breaks like for capital gains... it's potential revenue the government decided not to collect. The most egregious example are those in the top bracket who get close to a 50% lower tax rate for capital gains than if the same money were "earned" income. If the GOP is going to push for laws allowing states to drug test for unemployment benefits... perhaps there should be a drug testing for those who get capital gains tax breaks. After all, both affect government's bottom line. Of course this would never happen... especially when according to the CBO the top 1% gets 70% of these tax cuts. But just the argument highlights the absurdity if not cruelty of the far Right's war on labor.

https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/113th-congress-2013-2014/reports/TaxExpenditures_One-Column.pdf

Democrat's Core Choice: MONEY OR MESSAGE?

Some here believe that Dems MUST go after big corporate money or Dems will forever be at a perpetual political disadvantage. They complain that to concentrate on messaging is to put purity over winning. I have problems with the first approach for several reasons.

1: The GOP can spend 100 billion in an election and the Dem's zero I think it's safe to say no one here would be swayed by all that spending. Therefore the effort must be to inoculate Dems that might be swayed by diversionary issues (guns, immigration, god & flag etc) and middle of the roaders to see through the GOP game and to see that their true interests are with the Dems.

2: No corporation is going to give money to Dems unless as self-centered entities, there's something in it for them.

3: To go after corporate money, therefore, will tend to ultimately corrupt any message and in an economy that's largely a zero sum game, to help corporations is to shaft labor. It undermines any attempt to inoculate voters in #1 at which point the party's positions and voters move to the Right. We don't need two GOP parties... a liberal and a far right one.

So how do we inoculate voters? Part of that is to understand how a successful belief system, even a dysfunctional one, take root. I've long speculated that it really just needs a few variables... to convince people the system/narrative is moral, to have a plausible answer for everything, and to demonize the other side so the True Believer distrusts their motives and therefore blocks out their message. The Right is very good at this. Once a person is locked into a belief system they then selectively seek information that supports it, and instinctively block out anything that threatens it. They deprive themselves of the intellectual tools to disprove the system.

The first part is to have clear positive vision of where Dems want to take this nation in 25-50 years. Without a vision, there will be no strategy on how to get there... and without a vision and a strategy Dems will have no consistent message and in politics if one's not constantly on the offensive, one is losing ground. Dems need a strategic and sustained counterattack against ALL the strategic attacks of the Right... something they've been involved in since the 70s... ideological framing from think tanks, a strong media presence, voter suppression, ALEC, using the courts as the judicial branch of the GOP, expanding corporate personhood, using money to buy elections, defunding the Dems by going after unions and trial lawyers, and starve the beast? The far Right has been so successful that even half of the Dems have moved to the right undercutting their own natural constituency.

This madness has to stop... but some here seem to believe that the Dems can sleep with corporations and protect progressive causes. Nope. All they do is water them down in a process so slow they don't even see it happening. Case in point. In election 2000 Dems saw through Bush's attempts to sabotage the Clinton Surplus with massive tax cuts. By 2008, Dems bought into Obama's call to make permanent most of Bush's irresponsible tax cuts. Gone from the discussion was ANY talk of paying down debt... and I'm talking PRE-crisis.






Go to Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Next »