Softpanorama

Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Skepticism and critical thinking is not panacea, but can help to understand the world better

Elizabeth Warren: a fighter with financial oligarchy, better economic nationalist then Trump

As taming financial oligarchy is No.1 task to the nation Warren has chances for 2020. People are tired to be treated like cattle, without jobs and without hopes. The resent of neoliberal corruption and "revolving  door" politics. She can be alternative to both "all hat, no cattle" Trump, who proved to be in the pocket of Goldman Sachs with his tax cuts, and betrayed his votes on key issues of jobs, decent medical insurance and ending of outsourcing/offshoring, as well as Kamala Harris (aka Hillary light)

 We need to repeal the Bush and Trump tax cuts; bring back the inheritance tax on large estates! Reinstate in some form Glass Steagall and reign on the power of financial oligarchy. Restore key restriction on financial oligarchy that existed under New Deal Capitalism which was dismantled since late 1970th.

News US Presidential Elections of 2020 Recommended Links Tulsi Gabbard Tax policy and tax avoidance under neoliberal regime Populism as a social protest against neoliberalism Corruption of Regulators Lobbying as institutionalized corruption Cognitive Regulatory Capture
Neoliberal corruption "Clinton Cash" Scandal: Hillary Clinton links to foreign donors and financial industry Revolving Doors as Corruption Silencing of Brooksley Born Demexit: Abandonment of Democratic party by working class and lower middle class Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Clinton  monday morning quarterbacking Redistribution of wealth up as the essence of neoliberalism Chronic Unemployment
Elizabeth Warren Versus Barack O Neoconservatism The Deep State  American Exceptionalism New American Militarism Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powe
Corporatist Corruption Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Myth about intelligent voter Pluralism as a myth Libertarian Philosophy Nation under attack meme Trump economic platform2016 Trump on immigration
Principal-agent problem Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Corporatism Ethno-linguistic Nationalism Non-Interventionism National Security State Predator state Machiavellism Neoliberal Propaganda: Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few
Betrayal by Bernie Sanders of his supporters Superdelegates at Democratic National Convention The Iron Law of Oligarchy Trump 2020 campaign US Presidential Elections of 2016 as a referendum on neoliberal globalization Politically Incorrect Humor Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc
 

If there were ever a politician for our time, the second and more egregious gilded age, it should be Elizabeth Warren. She INVENTED the Consumer Financial Protection Burueau! She has studied the big banks and Wall Street for decades! She knows how they operate better than anyone on the planet. She is the Teddy Roosevelt of our time, but are we smart enough to elect her?

NYT comment from Gustav Durango on Jan. 28, 2019

Win or lose, Elizabeth Warren will bring the lion's share of ideas to this presidential season. It's one to say that you support a trendy concept, but it's quite another to have thought through the implications of your proposals - and be prepared to first defend, and then implement them. Warren is, and will be - from Day 1. We shouldn't settle for "hope and change" this time; we need a President in 2021 capable of thinking her way through a maze of societal problems, and unafraid to passionately, untiringly champion her preferred option.

NYT comment from Matthew Carnicelli Brooklyn, NY on Jan. 28, 2019

I lost A LOT of respect for her when she pulled back her comment about the primary being rigged, her constant lying campaign for decades about being a native (she contributed to a recipe book called pow wow chow, where she claimed to be Cherokee), and her approval of Trump's military budget with more money than trump even asked for.

 Sean O. Gamalson 1 week ago (edited)

Elizabeth Warren is a progressive with no backbone who supports the military industrial complex.

 tmcfootball961 week ago

"The consequences of this enormous inequality producing so much misery to the bulk of mankind, legislators cannot invent too many devices for subdividing property... Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise."

- Thomas Jefferson, October 28, 1785

As you probably know, since December 1, 2018, the left-leaning politician was elected in Mexico in the person of López Obrador. Hi movement Morena has the majority in the Congress. He won by a landslide on an anti-corruption platform.  I do not see the reasons why Warren can't repeat this success.  If you think about alternative, you need to think  twice: Sanders proved to be a fraud in 2016 elections -- he folded way too easily (and the impression was that  he is not fighing Hillary as much as simply promoting his platform and waiting where to fold). Kamala Harris is ruthless (she really looks like a prosecutor who can indict a ham sandwich); she is clearly corrupt establishment candidate, yet another neocon warmoger that is essentially "Hillary light".  She bought Russiagate hook, line and sinker. Civility actually is a really important element of politics, and Kamala definitely lacks civility. Tulsi Gabbard probably will be eliminated by MIC on early stages.  

Actually "anti-corruption" platform is well researched by the US intelligence agencies election platform and it is often used for organizing color revolution in other countries.  As we know intelligence agencies represent an influential political player in the USA presidential elections now. If not the kingmakers (like Praetorian Guard in Roman empire), they are definitely something like the third ( "inner" in terms of Orwell 1994) political party and their support of Warren can be decisive.

As Clinton wing launched a color revolution against Trump, the USA now is not a newcomer to using color revolutions mechanisms as a political tool. I do not see why this some Gene Sharp recommendation can't be implemented by Warren in her 2020 race against Trump -- who is a perfect opponent for any anti-corruption crusader.  He can be buried with Trump University scam alone, if the cards are played right.

A fear that the anti-corruption  candidate against will lead to defeat of Trump in 2020 is visible in Trump recent speeches too. In a way Trump is an ideal political sparring partner for any anti-corruption candidate. Again, just the story of Trump university ( a classic "bait and switch" scheme) if properly revived  can so a real damage (hint -- he settled the NY lawsuit for 25 million). 

Just the story of Trump university ( a classic "bait and switch" scheme) if properly revived  can so a real damage (hint -- he settled the NY lawsuit for 25 million) can sink Trump

While Trump get some boost due to Mueller report, the effect of this might not last until November 2020 and may be overshadows by trade war with China or invasion of Iran or Venezuela that neocon advisors like Bolton and Pompeo pushing the county into. As if costs of Iraq and Afghan wars are not enough.  Some estimates are between 1.6 trillion and 5 trillion dollars Time

A truer measure of the wars’ total costs pegs them at between $4 trillion and $6 trillion. This fuller accounting includes “long-term medical care and disability compensation for service members, veterans and families, military replenishment and social and economic costs,” Harvard economist Linda Bilmes calculated in 2013.

The Pentagon and its civilian overseers don’t like to talk about war costs, either before or after the shooting. That’s because a high price tag beforehand acts as an economic brake, making war—assuming that’s the goal—less likely. The nation may no longer draft soldiers, but when it wages war it has to draft dollars (borrowed or otherwise). Far better to try to sell a war with a low-cost estimate to mute possible public opposition.

And Warren is a more formidable opponent for Trump in this area that those two weaklings of 2016 Presidential race: Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz (The Sad Story of Trump 'University' ):

I don't know anything about starting a university, and that was a fake university," Rubio said as Trump repeatedly tried to interrupt him. "There are people who borrowed $36,000 to go to Trump University, and they're suing now. $36,000 to go to a university that's a fake school. And you know what they got? They got to take a picture with a cardboard cutout of Donald Trump."

"I've won most of the lawsuits," Trump protested.

Cruz also got in on the act. "You know, Marco made reference earlier to the litigation against Trump University. It's a fraud case. His lawyers have scheduled the trial for July," he said. "I want you to think about, if this man is the nominee, having the Republican nominee on the stand in court, being cross-examined about whether he committed fraud. You don't think the mainstream media will go crazy on that?"

Friday morning on NBC's Today, Rubio kept the heat on Trump for his "fake school." "You have a guy who is being sued right now for fraud for Trump University," said Rubio. "I've had stories written about my driving record."
 

Warren really has teeth in this area and Trump will feel very uncomfortable in any debate that raises this topic.

Republican field right now is empty and contains only weakened and vulnerable Trump compromised by his neocon cabinet members such as Bolton and Pompeo and  who managed to betrayed all his major elections promises and like another king of "bait and switch" maneuver -- Obama can count only of pure lack for his reelection.   So the situation of Trumps vs. universally hated neocon warmonger Hillary Clinton can be repeated on new level with  Warren vs. Trump.  And Warren is more compatible with the Democratic Party then Trump was with the Republican party at the time of his election campaign. She can inherit large part of Bernie bros and part of blue collar voters that previously voted for Trump (I think entering the race by Sanders this time was a huge mistake).  As Trump can't to rely on attracting anti-war voters he will be further weakened. In a way he might represent "Hillary" in the upcoming elections,  an easy target.  The only scenario that can help Trump is the repetition of Romney vs. Obama scenario, when the other candidate would represent financial oligarchy (universally hated private equity sharks in case of Romney).

Right now Elizabeth Warren is a clear leader among candidates that can offer to the US people some meaningful improvement of the standard of living and at least a little bit suppress the current pace of enrichment  of the financial oligarchy.  In financial area she has more concrete proposal then Sanders. She might be a meaningful improvement over Trump, who completely discredited himself both in domestic and foreign policies, effectively betraying  his electorate in both. Such a Republican Obama. 

Her message about predation of financial oligarchy is well received by most US citizens and is to the point. Her ideas about tax reform are also a welcome change from Trump machinations.  As the leading consumer advocate in the Senate and Wells Fargo's toughest critic, Warren is well positioned here to take on potential Democratic rivals, especially on two new establishment candidates Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey.

She can use Teddy Roosevelt's anti-corruption and environmental speeches in he campaign. I think he is one Republican completely disowned by the current Republican Party. As such Warren has strong  appeal toward moderate republicans, who resent the power of Wall Street.

And while each of Warren's Democratic rivals has a unique set of policy issues, none of them is as well versed in how the economy. for example Tulsi Gabbard anti-war stance is weakened by her clear lack of any meaningful experience with the domestic economy and it problems.  In US Presidential election are mostly about the domestic issues. At least they matter most and that gives Warren tremendous advantage over rivals.  None of them are even close  to her level of understanding of the  US economy and problem with financial oligarchy.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren already owns two key issues that might shape the 2020 presidential race:

Trump's breaking of all his major election promises have left Trump voters disillusioned, and Warren might be  able to attack part of the voters which voted for Trump in 2016.

But on foreign policy, Warren's vision was called  "Trumpism with a human face," by Daniel Drezner of Tufts University. He says Warren's "simplistic take on globalization contrasts sharply with her more sophisticated take on markets." Elizabeth Warren owns two policy issues in the 2020 presidential race

The material below was adapted from Christina Wilkie article Elizabeth Warren owns two policy issues in the 2020 presidential race

Corruption within Trump administration, including Trump himself

  "The consequences of this enormous inequality producing so much misery to the bulk of mankind, legislators cannot invent too many devices for subdividing property... Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise." - Thomas Jefferson, October 28, 1785.

"An enormous proportion of property vested in a few individuals is dangerous to the rights, and destructive of the common happiness, of mankind; and therefore every free state hath a right by its laws to discourage the possession of such property." - Benjamin Franklin, July 29, 1776.

"All property ... seems to me to be the creature of public convention. Hence the public has the right of regulating descents and all other conveyances of property, and even of limiting the quantity and the uses of it." - Benjamin Franklin, December 25, 1783.

Two years into Trump's first term, the promise he made at nearly every campaign rally to "drain the swamp" in Washington and restore accountability has quietly disappeared from the president's speeches.

But more than a dozen of Trump's Cabinet appointees and top aides have left their jobs under due to investigations and scandals. Warren is uniquely deft at explaining the Trump administration's conflicts of interest and ethics problems in a way that's clear and easy for voters to understand and really hurt Trump.

Trump is "someone whose Cabinet appointees don't know about whatever the subject area they're supposed to be in charge of;" Warren said on MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show". She went on to decry "Cabinet officials who get caught for trading in stocks in the areas that they are supposed to oversee," and "Cabinet officials who don't even pay their taxes."

During a speech in August, Warren described one such official, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, as a "cartoon version of a Wall Street fat cat, awash in financial conflicts, intertwined with Russian financial interests, suspected of swindling millions from his business partners and using his official position to pump up his fortune through shady stock trading." Ross has denied what he calls "unfounded allegations" against him.

Warren has also backed up her words with action. This fall, she introduced sweeping new ethics legislation, no doubt with an eye toward her 2020 campaign platform. The Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act would place a lifetime lobbying ban on former presidents and vice presidents, Cabinet secretaries, members of Congress and federal judges.

It would also require presidential candidates to release at least eight years of tax returns — Trump has refused to release any of his tax returns.

Another measure inspired by problem experienced with Trump business empire during his administration would require presidents and vice presidents to place some assets, including their real estate holdings, into blind trusts they have no control over them. Trump has refused to divest his interest in his family real estate business, and instead left his sons to run it while he is president.

Hammering Trump over his corruption and ethical issues might hurt Trump chances to attract the same percentage  of independent voters. He already lost all anti-war right.

In December, Quinnipiac's large monthly tracking poll found that more than 60 percent said he does not share their values.

Few Democrats are better equipped than Warren is to turn this avalanche of scandals connected with Trump into election victory

Reining in corporate power

When Warren arrived on the national scene, America was still in the throes of the 2008 financial crisis and eager for someone who could punish the banks, insurance giants and Wall Street firms that had made billions of dollars on risky loans, then demanded taxpayer-funded bailouts when those loans went bust.

Warren fit the bill, and the instrumental role she played in creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau helped make her into a sort of anti-Wall Street folk hero.

Ten years later, however, the economy has recovered, and the days of occupying Wall Street seem long gone. In this new political environment, Warren now seeks to occupy an economic middle ground, albeit one that's left of center, by emphasizing that it's the rules of the capitalist game that need to be changed, not the whole game (a la Bernie Sanders).

Sen. Elizabeth Warren: Making capitalism work for all   

"I am a capitalist," Warren told CNBC's John Harwood during an interview last summer. "I believe in markets. What I don't believe in is theft, what I don't believe in is cheating. That's where the difference is. I love what markets can do, I love what functioning economies can do. They are what make us rich, they are what create opportunity. But only fair markets, markets with rules. Markets without rules is about the rich take it all, it's about the powerful get all of it. And that's what's gone wrong in America."

Warren's argument that markets are good, but that markets need rules, also plays to her experience --- after all, she helped to craft many of the post-2008 era's banking and financial regulations.

A decade later, a new set of alleged corporate abuses tops the headlines, including Facebook's myriad data breaches, Wells Fargo's fake account scandal.

Warren is also a powerful voice for the rights of workers, another issue that's been amplified in recent years by wage stagnation, campaigns like the push for paid parental leave, and a renewed focus on work-life balance.

This fall, Warren introduced the Accountable Capitalism Act, which would require, among other provisions, that employees be given seats on the board of directors at some of the nation's biggest companies.

Foreign policy

Despite Warren's strength and depth of experience on the two key issues above, in foreign policy her credentials are less impressive. This night well be  her Ahelle spot and Tulsi can derail her if she  play her  cards right and get far enough in the race (which is not very probable as she is really hated by military-industrial  complex, which rules the country). Support of Hillary in 2016 -- this abhorrent neocon warmonger is a large dark stop on her reputation.

As a candidate, Trump promised to end America's participation in big multinational trade deals and expensive foreign wars.  He betrayed his promises and that is the line of attack on Trump that will well resonate with the majority of voters.  American people are tired of unending stream of the wars for preservation and expansion of the global neoliberal empire rules by the USA. The USA simply do not have enough resources to serve as a global policemen.

Still it looks like Warren shares Trump election time skepticism of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and supports the return of U.S. troops from both theaters.

In November, Warren wrote a major essay in Foreign Affairs magazine, where she described the Middle East as a "tangled mess," and concluded that "neither military nor civilian policymakers seem capable of defining success, but surely this is not it."

Warren, like "election time" Trump, seemed to favor withdrawal without an emphasis on longer-term strategic objectives.

Warren also shares Trump's belief that globalization, and especially the last few decades of U.S. trade policy, have failed the American middle class. In a way she is kind of "Hillary light" in foreign policy, a neoliberal candidates who tried limited reform of bank sector without understanding its connection to a larger problem of neoliberalism in this country.

But she breaks with Trump over who globalization's real winners are: For Warren, it's massive corporations and a tiny global elite. Trump, however, claims the real beneficiaries are America's adversaries (and occasionally its allies).

Warrens still has time and space to refine and amplify her policy platforms.

In Iowa last weekend, Warren essentially had the crowded Democratic primary stage to herself. But rather than drill down on policy, she made a sweeping pitch for change. "We can talk about a lot of these pieces, but I want to put an idea on the table," Warren said in Des Moines on Saturday. "And that is we need change, and not just one statute here or one law there. ... We need big structural change."

Potential weaknesses

 Elizabeth Warren has three major problems from my point of view

  1. She supported Hillary Clinton in 2016 election.
  2. She is "republican-light" reputation in foreign policy. Although that may be the result of "survival instinct":  touching the US neocon foreign  policy issues can unleash a color revolution by intelligence agencies against you.
  3. It is clear that she deftly abused the claim that she has Indian ancestry to advance her career 

The main concern about her is that  in case of winning she might turn out to be "Hillary light" in disguise of tax for the rich.

Biography notes (adapted from Wikipedia)

Warren was born Elizabeth Ann Herring in Oklahoma City on June 22, 1949,  the fourth child of middle-class parents Pauline (née Reed, 1912–1995) and Donald Jones Herring (1911–1997). Warren has described her family as teetering "on the ragged edge of the middle class" and "kind of hanging on at the edges by our fingernails". She had three older brothers and was raised as a Methodist.

Warren lived in Norman until she was 11 years old, when the family moved to Oklahoma City. When she was 12, her father, a salesman at Montgomery Ward, had a heart attack, which led to many medical bills as well as a pay cut because he could not do his previous work. Eventually, their car was repossessed because they failed to make loan payments. To help the family finances, her mother found work in the catalog order department at Sears. When she was 13, Warren started waiting tables at her aunt's restaurant.

Warren became a star member of the debate team at Northwest Classen High School and won the state high school debating championship. She also won a debate scholarship to George Washington University (GWU) at the age of 16.  She initially aspired to be a teacher, but left GWU after two years in 1968 to marry Jim Warren, whom she met in high school.

Elizabeth Warren and her husband moved to Houston, where he was employed by IBM. She enrolled in the University of Houston and graduated in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science degree in speech pathology and audiology. For a year, she taught children with disabilities who were enrolled in a public school. Her qualifications were based on an "emergency certificate", because she had not taken the education courses that were required for a regular teaching certificate.

The Warrens moved to New Jersey when Jim received a job transfer. She soon became pregnant and decided to remain at home to care for their child. After their daughter turned two, Warren enrolled in Rutgers Law School at Rutgers University–Newark. She worked as a summer associate at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. Shortly before graduating in 1976, Warren became pregnant with their second child. After she received her J.D. and passed the bar examination, she decided to perform legal services from home; she wrote wills and did real estate closings.

The couple had two children, Amelia and Alexander, before they divorced in 1978.   Two years later, Warren married Bruce H. Mann, a law professor, but she decided to retain the surname of her first husband.   She also has grandchildren. 

Warren has said that as a child she was told by older family members that she had Native American ancestry, and that "being Native American has been part of my story, I guess, since the day I was born".  Warren was criticized in 2012 for having listed herself as a minority in a directory for Harvard Law School. Opponents said Warren falsified her heritage to advance her career through minority quotas. Warren denied these allegations, and several colleagues and employers (including Harvard) have said her reported ethnic status played no role in her hiring.   An investigation by The Boston Globe in 2018 found "clear evidence, in documents and interviews, that her claim to Native American ethnicity was never considered by the Harvard Law faculty, which voted resoundingly to hire her, or by those who hired her to four prior positions at other law schools." 

Following a challenge by President Donald Trump to pay $1 million to her favorite charity if she could prove her Native American ancestry via a DNA test, Warren released results of a DNA test in 2018.  It concluded that "while the vast majority of [Warren's] ancestry is European, the results strongly support the existence of an unadmixed Native American ancestor in [her] pedigree, likely in the range of 6–10 generations ago."  The use of DNA to determine Native American heritage has been criticized by the Cherokee Nation as "inappropriate and wrong".   During a 2019 public appearance in Sioux City, Iowa, Warren was asked by an attendee, "Why did you undergo the DNA testing and give Donald more fodder to be a bully?" Warren responded:

I am not a person of color; I am not a citizen of a tribe. Tribal citizenship is very different from ancestry. Tribes, and only tribes, determine tribal citizenship, and I respect that difference. I grew up in Oklahoma, and like a lot of folks in Oklahoma, we heard stories about our ancestry. When I first ran for public office, Republicans homed in on this part of my history, and thought they could make a lot of hay out of it. A lot of racial slurs, and a lot of ugly stuff. And so my decision was: I’m just gonna put it all out there. Took a while, but just put it all out there. 

Career

Warren discussing the work of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at the ICBA conference in 2011. During the late 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, Warren taught law at several universities throughout the country while researching issues related to bankruptcy and middle-class personal finance.  She became involved with public work in bankruptcy regulation and consumer protection in the mid-1990s.

Academic Career

Warren started her academic career as a lecturer at Rutgers University, Newark School of Law (1977–78). She moved to the University of Houston Law Center (1978–83), where she became Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in 1980, and obtained tenure in 1981. She taught at the University of Texas School of Law as visiting associate professor in 1981, and returned as a full professor two years later (staying 1983–87). In addition, she was a visiting professor at the University of Michigan (1985) and research associate at the Population Research Center of the University of Texas at Austin (1983–87).  During this period, Warren taught Sunday school.   Early in her career, Warren became a proponent of on-the-ground research based on studying how people actually respond to laws in the real world. Her work analyzing court records, and interviewing judges, lawyers, and debtors, established her as a rising star in the field of bankruptcy law.  One of her key insights, according to Warren and economists who follow her work, was that rising bankruptcy rates weren't caused by prolifigate consumer spending, but by the attempts of middle-class families to buy homes in good school districts. 

Warren joined the University of Pennsylvania Law School as a full professor in 1987 and obtained an endowed chair in 1990 (becoming William A Schnader Professor of Commercial Law). She taught for a year at Harvard Law School in 1992 as Robert Braucher Visiting Professor of Commercial Law. In 1995, Warren left Penn to become Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.  As of 2011, she was the only tenured law professor at Harvard who had attended law school at an American public university.  Warren was a highly influential law professor. Although she published in many fields, her expertise was in bankruptcy and commercial law. In that field, only Bob Scott of Columbia and Alan Schwartz of Yale were cited more often than Warren.  

Advisory roles

In 1995, Warren was asked to advise the National Bankruptcy Review Commission.  She helped to draft the commission's report and worked for several years to oppose legislation intended to severely restrict the right of consumers to file for bankruptcy. Warren and others opposing the legislation were not successful; in 2005 Congress passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, which curtailed the ptcy.  

From November 2006 to November 2010, Warren was a member of the FDIC Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion.  She is a member of the National Bankruptcy Conference, an independent organization that advises the U.S. Congress on bankruptcy law.  She is a former vice president of the American Law Institute and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  Warren's scholarship and public advocacy combined to act as the impetus for the establishment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2011. 

TARP oversight

Warren stands next to President Barack Obama as he announces the nomination of Richard Cordray as the first director of the CFPB, July 2011.
On November 14, 2008, Warren was appointed by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to chair the five-member Congressional Oversight Panel created to oversee the implementation of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act.  The Panel released monthly oversight reports evaluating the government bailout and related programs.  During Warren's tenure, these reports covered foreclosure mitigation; consumer and small business lending; commercial real estate; AIG; bank stress tests; the impact of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) on the financial markets; government guarantees; the automotive industry; and other topics.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Warren was an early advocate for the creation of a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The bureau was established by the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act signed into law by President Obama in July 2010. In September 2010, President Obama named Warren Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to set up the new agency.  While liberal groups and consumer advocacy groups pushed for Obama to formally nominate Warren as the agency's director, Warren was strongly opposed by financial institutions and by Republican members of Congress who believed Warren would be an overly zealous regulator.    Reportedly convinced that Warren could not win Senate confirmation as the bureau's first director,  Obama turned to former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray and in January 2012, over the objections of Republican senators, appointed Cordray to the post in a recess appointment.  

Political affiliation

Warren was registered as a Republican from 1991 to 1996.  Warren voted as a Republican for many years, saying, "I was a Republican because I thought that those were the people who best supported markets".  According to Warren, she began to vote Democratic in 1995 because she no longer believed that to be true, but she states that she has voted for both parties because she believed that neither party should dominate.  According to her, the Republican Party was no longer "principled in its conservative approach to economics and to markets" and was instead tilting the playing in favor of big financial institutions and against "middle class American families."

US Senate

On September 14, 2011, Warren declared her intention to run for the Democratic nomination for the 2012 election in Massachusetts for the U.S. Senate. The seat had been won by Republican Scott Brown in a 2010 special election after the death of Ted Kennedy.   A week later, a video of Warren speaking in Andover became a viral video on the Internet.  In it, Warren replies to the charge that asking the rich to pay more taxes is "class warfare", pointing out that no one grew rich in the U.S. without depending on infrastructure paid for by the rest of society, stating:

There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. ... You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn't have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea. God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.

President Barack Obama later echoed her sentiments in a 2012 election campaign speech. Warren ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination and won it on June 2, 2012, at the state Democratic convention with a record 95.77% of the votes of delegates.    She encountered significant opposition from business interests. In August the political director for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce claimed that "no other candidate in 2012 represents a greater threat to free enterprise than Professor Warren".  She nonetheless raised $39 million for her campaign, the most of any Senate candidate in 2012, and showed, according to The New York Times, "that it was possible to run against the big banks without Wall Street money and still win".

Warren received a prime-time speaking slot at the 2012 Democratic National Convention on September 5, 2012. She positioned herself as a champion of a beleaguered middle class that "has been chipped, squeezed, and hammered". According to Warren, "People feel like the system is rigged against them. And here's the painful part: They're right. The system is rigged." Warren said Wall Street CEOs "wrecked our economy and destroyed millions of jobs" and that they "still strut around congress, no shame, demanding favors, and acting like we should thank them".

Tenure

On November 6, 2012, Warren defeated incumbent Scott Brown with a total of 53.7% of the votes. She is the first woman ever elected to the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts,  as part of a sitting U.S. Senate that had 20 female senators in office, the largest female U.S. Senate delegation in history, following the November 2012 elections. In December 2012, Warren was assigned a seat on the Senate Banking Committee, the committee that oversees the implementation of Dodd–Frank and other regulation of the banking industry.  Warren was sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden on January 3, 2013. 

At Warren's first Banking Committee hearing in February 2013, she pressed several banking regulators to answer when they had last taken a Wall Street bank to trial and stated, "I'm really concerned that 'too big to fail' has become 'too big for trial'." Videos of Warren's questioning became popular on the Internet, amassing more than one million views in a matter of days.  At a Banking Committee hearing in March, Warren asked Treasury Department officials why criminal charges were not brought against HSBC for its money laundering practices. With her questions being continually dodged, Warren compared money laundering to drug possession, saying: "If you're caught with an ounce of cocaine, the chances are good you're going to go to jail ... But evidently, if you launder nearly a billion dollars for drug cartels and violate our international sanctions, your company pays a fine and you go home and sleep in your own bed at night." 

In May 2013, Warren sent letters to the Justice Department, Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Federal Reserve, questioning their decisions that settling rather than going to court would be more fruitful.  Also in May, suggesting that students should get "the same great deal that banks get", Warren introduced the Bank on Student Loans Fairness Act, which would allow students to take out government education loans at the same rate that banks pay to borrow from the federal government, 0.75%.,  Independent Senator Bernie Sanders endorsed her bill saying: "The only thing wrong with this bill is that [she] thought of it and I didn't". 

During the 2014 election cycle, Warren was a top Democratic fundraiser. Following the election, Warren was appointed to become the first-ever Strategic Adviser of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, a position that was created just for her. The appointment further added to speculation about a possible presidential run by Warren in 2016.

Saying "despite the progress we've made since 2008, the biggest banks continue to threaten our economy", in July 2015 Senator Warren, along with John McCain (R-AZ), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Angus King (I-ME) re-introduced the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act, a modern version of the Banking Act of 1933. The legislation is intended to reduce the risk for the American taxpayer in the financial system and decrease the likelihood of future financial crises. 

In a September 20, 2016, hearing, Warren called for the CEO of Wells Fargo, John Stumpf, to resign, adding that he should be "criminally investigated" over Wells Fargo's opening of two million checking and credit-card accounts without the consent of their customers under his tenure.  

In December 2016, Warren gained a seat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, termed by The Boston Globe to be "a high-profile perch on one of the chamber's most powerful committees", which the Globe said would "fuel speculation about a possible 2020 bid for president". 

On February 7, 2017, Republicans in the Senate voted that Sen. Warren had violated Senate rule 19 during the debate on attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions, claiming that she impugned his character when she quoted statements made about Sessions by Coretta Scott King and Sen. Ted Kennedy. "Mr. Sessions has used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens in the district he now seeks to serve as a federal judge. This simply cannot be allowed to happen", King wrote in a 1986 letter to Sen. Strom Thurmond, which Warren attempted to read on the Senate floor.  This action prohibited Warren from further participating in the debate on Sessions' nomination for United States Attorney General. Instead, she stepped into a nearby room and continued reading King's letter while streaming live on the Internet.  

On October 3, 2017, Warren called for Wells Fargo's chief executive, Tim Sloan, to resign during his appearance before the Senate Banking Committee, saying, "At best you were incompetent, at worst you were complicit". 

Political positions

Warren is known for her progressive politics and her populist views on the economy.  According to the UK magazine New Statesman, she is among the "top 20 US progressives". 

2018 election

On January 6, 2017, in an e-mail to supporters, Warren announced that she would be running for a second term as a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts. She wrote in the e-mail, "The people of Massachusetts didn't send me to Washington to roll over and play dead while Donald Trump and his team of billionaires, bigots, and Wall Street bankers crush the working people of our Commonwealth and this country," and "This is no time to quit." 

The Senate election in Massachusetts took place on November 6, 2018. Warren defeated her Republican opponent, Geoff Diehl by a 60% to 36% margin.

2016 presidential campaign

Warren stumps for Hillary Clinton in Manchester, New Hampshire, October 2016

In the runup to the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Warren was put forward by supporters as a possible presidential candidate. However, Warren repeatedly stated that she was not running for president in 2016.  In October 2013, she joined the other fifteen Senate Democratic women in signing a letter that encouraged Hillary Clinton to run.  There was much speculation about Warren being added to the Democratic ticket as a vice-presidential candidate.  On June 9, 2016, after the California Democratic primary, Warren formally endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.

In response to questions when she endorsed Clinton, Warren said that she believed herself to be ready to be vice president, but she was not being vetted.  On July 7, CNN reported that Warren was on a five-person short list to be Clinton's vice-presidential running mate.   However, Clinton eventually chose Tim Kaine.

Warren vigorously campaigned for Hillary Clinton and took an active role in the 2016 presidential election.

She remarked that Donald Trump, the Republican presumptive nominee, was dishonest, uncaring, and "a loser". Which in retrospect was all true.

She made several serious  mistakes in  her campaign which limited her chances by limited voter groups that  can support her and her platform. We can mention the  following

  1. Subjecting herself to the generic test to reveal the level of her Indian ancestry.
  2. Supporting reparations bill. 
  3. Supporting Russiagate.

If looks like she  does not want  to understand that the  reason for criminal behaviour of financial sector is systemic: under neoliberalism financial oligarchs are above the law and deregulation, especially financial deregulation,  is a sacred cow. Because the goal of neoliberal is the  redistribution of wealth up. As Bush Senior quipped (quoted from memory) "Neoliberalism is the concentration of wealth in the higher, stronger and tighter hands"

See 2017 paper  The Slow Death of Neoliberalism Part 4C Conclusion  by

by

The Slow Death of Neoliberalism Part 1 emptywheel
The Slow Death of Neoliberalism Part 2 emptywheel
The Slow Death of Neoliberalism Part 3 The Phillips Curve and Critical Theory emptywheel
Part 3A. This post at Naked Capitalism expands on Part 3, and adds a discussion of Simcha Barkai’s paper and methodology; I discuss other aspects in Part 4A.
The Slow Death of Neoliberalism Part 4A The Nature of the Person emptywheel
The Slow Death of Neoliberalism Part 4B emptywheel
The Slow Death of Neoliberalism Part 4C Conclusion emptywheel

It’s fairly easy to criticize neoliberalism from the inside, just based on its incoherence and its failure to deliver good outcomes to most of the population. The Barkai Paper discussed in part 3 and 3A, and the Paradise Papers and the Panama Papers make it obvious that the benefits of neoliberalism flow to the wealthy at the expense of the rest of us, whose wages are largely stagnant and have been for decades, and whose share of overall wealth has fallen.

Friedrich Pollock, a member of the Frankfurt School, said that the profit motive has always been a form of the power motive. We can see the truth of this statement in Trump actions, and that’s how members of his cabinet act. If senators are openly stating that Wall Street banks “own” Congress, if we have over 30,000 lobbyists legally spreading bribe money throughout the Beltway, if we have the Mercers, Waltons, Kochs and Adelsons (the latter with his man in the White House), and if we have congresscritters afraid of losing their jobs as public employees unless they can immunize their patrons from estate tax and the AMT, I’d say we’ve returned to government by the rich

Neoliberalism’s decline has been much too slow considering the among of definite harm to human beings and societies have been done in its name in the past 50 years.

 


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[Aug 22, 2019] The Two-Faced Elizabeth Warren by Matt Purple

Yes, is way Warren is a connuation of "Trump tradition" in the USA politics: reling of hate toward the neoliberalism establishment to get the most votes.
Aug 22, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

...in a piece Warren wrote for Medium in which she (rightly) warned of "a precarious economy that is built on debt -- both household debt and corporate debt." Notably missing was the national debt, which amounts to around $182,900 per taxpayer and which Warren's policies would only steepen. How exactly is a government flailing in red ink supposed to make the country solvent? And what of the fact that some of the economy's woes -- student loan debt, for example -- were themselves at least in part caused by federal interventions?

Those objections aside, it would be wrong to dismiss Warren as just another statist liberal. She's deeper than that, first of all, having written extensively about economics, including her book The Two-Income Trap . But more importantly, she's put her finger on something very important in the American electorate. It's the same force that helped propel Donald Trump to victory in 2016: a seething anger against goliath institutions that seem to prize profit and power over the greater welfare. This is firmly in the tradition of most American populisms, which have worried less about the size of government and more about gilded influence rendering it inert.

Warren thus has a real claim to the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party, which is deeply skeptical of corporate power. She could even try to out-populist Donald Trump. She's already released more detailed policy proposals than any of her Democratic rivals, everything from sledgehammering the rich with new taxes to canceling student debt to wielding antitrust against big tech companies to subsidizing childcare. All this is chum to at least some of the Democratic base (old-school sorts rather than the SJWs obsessed with race and gender), and as a result, she's surged to either second or third place in the primary, depending on what poll you check. She's even elicited praise from some conservative intellectuals, who view her as an economic nationalist friendly to the family against the blackhearted forces of big.

America has been in a populist mood since the crash of 2008, yet in every presidential election since then, there's been at least one distinctly plutocratic candidate in the race. In 2008, it was perennial Washingtonian John McCain. In 2012, it was former Bain Capital magnate Mitt Romney. (The stupidest explanation for why Romney lost was always that tea party activists dragged him down. Romney lost because he sounded like an imposter and looked like the guy who fired your brother from that firm back in 1982.) And in 2016, it was, of course, Hillary Clinton, whose candidacy is what happens when you feed a stock portfolio and a government security clearance into a concentrate machine.

If Elizabeth Warren wins the Democratic nomination next year, it will be the first time since Bear Stearns exploded that both parties' candidates seem to reflect back the national temperament. It will also pose a test for Warren herself. On one hand, her economic policies, bad though they might be, stand a real chance of attracting voters, given their digestibility and focus on relieving high costs of living. On the other hand -- this is where Fauxcahontas comes back in -- a white woman claiming Indian status in order to teach at Harvard Law is pretty much everything Americans hate about politically correct identity politics.

The question, then, is which image of Warren will stick: one is a balm to the country's economic anxiety; the other is unacceptable to its cultural grievances. Right now we can only speculate, though it seems certain that Trump will try to define her as the latter while much of the media will intervene in the other direction.


john a day ago

Her entire political theory seems to have been that giant corporations should not be allowed to utterly screw the common man. That is about it, and for this she is called a commie radical. I like her, little afraid of foreign policy
=marco01= 18 hours ago • edited
Warren was born into a middle class family, Trump wasn't. Trump is playing the populist, he has no idea what average Americans deal with.

Warren was raised on the family lore of having native ancestry and she does. Not much but she does and that's all it takes to start family lore. Her Native American ancestor was from around the time of the American Revolution and it's easy to see how that legend could be passed down. There is no proof she ever benefited from this, she was just proud to have Native American ancestry.

Funny how the RW is so outraged by this one thing. Maybe it would be better for her to con people, lie and make stuff up nonstop like Trump. It seems a never ending blizzard of lies and falsehoods renders one immune.

polistra24 18 hours ago
Let's remember that our only effective populist, in fact our only effective president, was a rich patrician. FDR's roots went back to the Mayflower, yet he was able to break the influence of the banks and give us 50 years of bubble-free prosperity. The only thing that counts is GETTING THE WORK DONE.
Nelson 12 hours ago
Her economics aren't bad. She herself claims to be a capitalist, she just wants our massive economy to also benefit regular folks instead of just the elites. And whatever economic program she proposes is most likely further left than she thinks necessary because that's a better negotiating position to start from. Remember every proposal has to go through both branches of Congress to become law, and they will absolutely try to make everything more pro-corporate because that is their donor base.
cka2nd 11 hours ago
"And what of the fact that some of the economy's woes -- student loan debt, for example -- were themselves at least in part caused by federal
interventions?"

Mr. Purple might want to remind himself that 75% of federal student financial aid in the 1970's was in the form of grants, not loans, and that it was only after the intervention of conservative Republican congressman Gerald "Jerry" Solomon and the Reagan Administration that the mix of federal student financial aid was changed to be 75% loans and only 25% grants. I believe the Congressman used to rail against free riding college students, which is all well and good until one finds that the "free hand of the market" becomes warped by so many people being in so much debt, and all of them being too small to save.

Democrats might want to ask Joe Biden about this, considering his support for legislation that made it harder to discharge student debt in bankruptcy proceedings. They might also ask Senator Warren about this subject.

Absolute Fictions 11 hours ago
Warren believed her family story. Trump, on the other hand, knew that his family was not Swedish, but knowingly continued the lie for decades, including in "The Art of Deal " - claimin his grandfather came "from Sweden as a child" (rather than dodging the draft in Bavaria who made his fortune in red light districts of the Yukon territory before trying to return to the Reich).

Warren made no money from her heritage claims, but the $413 million (in today's dollars) given to Trump by his daddy was made by lying to Holocaust survivors in Brooklyn and Queens who, understandably, did not want to rent property from a German.

Vanity Fair asked him in 1990 if he were not in fact of German origin. "Actually, it was very difficult," Donald replied. "My father was not German; my father's parents were German Swedish, and really sort of all over Europe and I was even thinking in the second edition of putting more emphasis on other places because I was getting so many letters from Sweden: Would I come over and speak to Parliament? Would I come meet with the president?"

JeffK from PA 10 hours ago
This column was pretty much as I expected. It started out by rehashing all of the Fox News talking points about Warren, without debunking those that were without merit.

After that it touched on Morning Joe's take on her, just to make it 'fair and balanced'.

Then it acknowledged, briefly, that she has been correct in many areas. No comment on how the CFPB recovered hundreds of millions of $$ from corporations that abused their power or broke the law.

Then it mis-characterized the impact of her policies "sledgehammering the rich", "economic policies, bad though they might be".

Dismiss Warren all you want. She could very well be the nominee, or the VP. She would eviscerate Trump in a debate. Her knowledge of issues, facts and policies would show Trump to be what he is. A narcissistic, idiotic, in-over-his-head clueless and dangerous buffoon. I anticipate Trump would fall back on his favorite tropes. Pocahontas, socialist, communist, and MAGA.

My opinion is that the average American is getting really tired of Trump's shtick. The country is looking for somebody with real solutions to real problems. This reality tv star act is getting pretty old....

Kent 10 hours ago
Good article. Especially enjoyed this turn of phrase:

"And in 2016, it was, of course, Hillary Clinton, whose candidacy is what happens when you feed a stock portfolio and a government security clearance into a concentrate machine."

Really enjoyable.

I don't think anyone is going to care about the pocahontas thing. This election will be squarely about Trump. I think Warren is by far the best candidate the dems can bring out if they want to beat him. A Warren/Buttigieg or a Warren/Tulsi ticket would likely be a winner.

Bernie's a little too far to the left for Joe Lunchbucket, Joe Biden is a crooked Hillary wannabe, Kamala Harris is unlikeable, and the rest won't rise out of the dust.

Heaventree 9 hours ago • edited
The whole business about her supposed Native American ancestry and whatever claims she made will make no difference to anybody other than folks like Matt Purple who wouldn't support her under any circumstances anyway.
Consider that the best-known advocate of the "Pocahontas" epithet is of course Donald Trump, whose entire reputation is built on a foundation of bulls--t and flim-flam.
Lynnwig 9 hours ago
"Thus in retrospect was it the "Obama" in "Obamacare" that was the primary driver of opposition from conservatives, only for their concerns over federal intrusion to mostly disappear once Trump was at the controls."

No. What disappeared was the Individual Mandate. THAT was what rankled me...the government can do whatever stupid thing they want as long as they don't try to force me into it.

[Aug 17, 2019] Is Warren just another smooth talking confidence artist?

Video link removed --- see the original post...
Aug 17, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Warren (D)(1): Worth listening to in full:

There's a lot wrong here -- although Warren is a terrific story teller -- but it's really too bad that Obama didn't say "accounting control fraud," instead of "predatory lending." Although it's not clear that Warren would have understood him if he had.

Michael Fiorillo , August 16, 2019 at 2:23 pm

You're damn right there's problems with Warren's Obama story: he does five minutes of research about her career and focus before she arrives, makes sure to be backlit upon her entrance, rings what comes across as a transparently canned bell and she swoons!

I get that that most people were taken in by that talented, fraudulent shapeshifter, but this is painful to watch.

Synoia , August 16, 2019 at 2:25 pm

Smooth talking confidence artist, IMHO.

[Aug 15, 2019] Warren might soon pass Biden of official polls

Aug 15, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

im1dc , August 14, 2019 at 08:25 AM

Yet another clear as day reason S. Warren is the leading and ONLY Dem candidate with ideas and actual SOLUTIONS to fix America's problems

PS do note that a recent Poll but Biden behind Sanders in New Hampshire

https://www.thedailybeast.com/elizabeth-warren-suggests-shed-repeal-the-94-crime-bill?ref=home

"Elizabeth Warren Suggests She'd Repeal Biden's 1994 Crime Bill"

'The senator had tough words for one of Joe Biden's signature laws'

by Gideon Resnick, Political Reporter...08.14.19...10:57AM ET

"Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) suggested in an interview Tuesday evening that she would seek the repeal of the 1994 crime bill -- a historic though highly controversial measure tied closely to one of her closest competitors for the Democratic presidential nomination.

It "needs to be changed, needs to be rolled back, needs to be repealed." Warren said of the law, which has become widely bemoaned by criminal justice reform advocates for its tough-on-crime measures, harsh sentencing guidelines, and general encouragement of the war on drugs."...

im1dc , August 14, 2019 at 09:21 AM
Good news for S. Warren, Bad news for V.P. Biden

...but in meaningless Polling at this early date

https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/457387-biden-just-one-point-ahead-of-warren-in-new-weekly-tracking-poll

"Biden just 1 point ahead of Warren in new weekly tracking poll"

By Julia Manchester...08/14/19...11:04 AM EDT

"Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is trailing former Vice President Joe Biden by just 1 point in a new Economist–YouGov weekly tracking poll.

Biden sits at 21 percent support in the survey, while Warren is close behind at 20 percent. The next candidate is Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) at 16 percent support among voters."...

Plp -> im1dc... , August 14, 2019 at 03:30 PM
If broadly reflective of a trend


It means Biden as massive front runner
A few months ago
Is now deflating fast

Fred C. Dobbs , August 14, 2019 at 01:13 PM
Pa. Democrats support Joe Biden and Elizabeth
Warren, but will vote for anyone against
Donald Trump in 2020, poll finds
https://www.inquirer.com/politics/pennsylvania/pa-2020-presidential-election-poll-trump-biden-warren-sanders-20190808.html

Hiladelphia Inquirer - August 8

Pennsylvania voters have very strong -- and mostly negative -- views about President Donald Trump, and about half say they will vote against him no matter his opponent, according to a new poll of registered voters across the state.

Over multiple questions and surveys, a clear portrait emerges of an electorate deeply polarized over the president, with strongly held feelings on either side.

About half of voters had a "strongly unfavorable" opinion of the president, twice the number who held a "strongly favorable" opinion.

And while the divisions among Democratic voters are real during this primary election, especially across groups such as age, race, and income, the real divide is between the parties and ideologies: Most Democrats, regardless of which candidate they support, say they will vote against Trump no matter what. ...

---

Trump claims credit for Shell plant announced under Obama
https://www.inquirer.com/news/donald-trump-beaver-county-pa-shell-cracker-energy-environment-climate-20190813.html
Philadelphia Inquirer - JILL COLVIN and JOSH BOAK - August 13

MONACA, Pa. (AP) -- President Donald Trump sought to take credit Tuesday for the construction of a major manufacturing facility in western Pennsylvania as he tries to reinvigorate supporters in the Rust Belt towns who helped send him to the White House in 2016.

Trump visited Shell Oil Co.'s soon-to-be completed Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex, which will turn the area's vast natural gas deposits into plastics. The facility, which critics claim will become the largest air polluter in western Pennsylvania, is being built in an area hungry for investment.

Speaking to a crowd of thousands of workers dressed in fluorescent orange-and-yellow vests, Trump said, "This would have never happened without me and us."

In fact, Shell announced its plans to build the complex in 2012, when President Barack Obama was in office.

A Shell spokesperson said employees were paid for their time attending Trump's remarks.

Trump used the official White House event as an opportunity to assail his Democratic rivals, saying, "I don't think they give a damn about Western Pennsylvania, do you?"

The focus is part of a continued push by the Trump administration to increase the economy's dependence on fossil fuels in defiance of increasingly urgent warnings about climate change. And it's an embrace of plastic at a time when much of the world is sounding alarms over its impact.

"We don't need it from the Middle East anymore," Trump said of oil and natural gas, calling the employees "the backbone of this country."

Trump's appeals to blue-collar workers helped him win Beaver County, where the plant is located, by more than 18 percentage points in 2016, only to have voters turn to Democrats in 2018's midterm elections. In one of a series of defeats that led to Republicans' loss of the House, voters sent Democrat Conor Lamb to Congress after the prosperity promised by Trump's tax cuts failed to materialize.

Beaver County is still struggling to recover from the shuttering of steel plants in the 1980s that surged the unemployment rate to nearly 30%. Former mill towns like Aliquippa have seen their populations shrink, while nearby Pittsburgh has lured major tech companies like Google and Uber, fueling an economic renaissance in a city that reliably votes Democratic.

Trump claimed that his steel and aluminum tariffs have saved those industries and that they are now "thriving." a description that exaggerates the recovery of the steel industry.

Trump also took credit for the addition of 600,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs. Labor Department figures show that roughly 500,000 factory jobs have been added under his presidency. ...

(Apparently, workers' pay would be docked if they
did not attend; and they were advised to 'behave'.)

[Aug 08, 2019] Biden, Sanders, and Warren are the only candidates with support in the double digits

Notable quotes:
"... Warren has the best potential to grow ..."
"... Among the reasons why Biden, Sanders, and Warren will be difficult to topple from the top tier: a significant portion of their supporters say they have made up their minds about the race. ..."
"... This is especially the case with Sanders. Nearly half -- 48 percent -- of his supporters said they would definitely vote for him... ..."
Aug 08, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , August 07, 2019 at 05:42 AM

The top tier of Democrats in NH is
starting to solidify, and more poll takeaways
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/08/06/the-top-tier-democrats-starting-solidify-and-more-poll-takeaways/y4SYgN0uzQPs9SZH0xYvjM/story.html?event=event25
via @BostonGlobe - August 6

A new poll out Tuesday on the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary shows the outcome is anyone's guess between former vice president Joe Biden, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Beyond which candidate had what level of support in the first-in-the-nation presidential primary -- scheduled for February 2020 -- a deeper dive into the Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll provides a number of other big-picture takeaways.

The top tier is hard to crack

Biden, Sanders, and Warren are the only candidates with support in the double digits (21 percent, 17 percent, and 14 percent, respectively), and a closer read suggests that might not change anytime soon. Much of this has to do with the fact that a significant portion of their support is locked down. Nearly half of Sanders' and Biden's supporters in the poll say they their mind is made up and they aren't looking at supporting anyone else in the field. Something dramatic could occur, of course, but odds are that the status quo will remain for a while.

Further, if there are big changes in the race, the poll found that Warren, not someone else outside of the top three, is in the best position to benefit. Warren was the "second choice" of 21 percent of respondents. No one else was even close to her in that category.

While Sanders has support locked down now, and Warren has the best potential to grow , Biden, it appears, has his own lane of supporters that no other candidate is even contesting. Biden's support is very strong among older voters, moderates, and union members. For the most part, these voters aren't even looking at other options.

New Hampshire Democrats are moderate

For all the conversation about how far left the Democratic Party has moved in recent years, the poll shows likely Democratic primary voters have not moved the same way. Yes, a majority back the Green New Deal concept and Medicare for All, but more than 50 percent describe themselves as either moderate, conservative, or very conservative. This is compared with the 45 percent who say they are either liberal or very liberal. While this might seem like a near tie, consider this survey polled likely Democratic voters -- the party's base -- which is the most liberal. ...

Biden, Sanders, and Warren top
post-debate survey of NH Democrats
https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2019/08/06/biden-sanders-and-warren-top-postdebate-survey-democrats/OQFDiH2UeFSbEj0i4DRNCL/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

... In fourth place is Senator Kamala Harris of California at 8 percent, followed by South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 6 percent and Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii at 3 percent.

Among the reasons why Biden, Sanders, and Warren will be difficult to topple from the top tier: a significant portion of their supporters say they have made up their minds about the race.

This is especially the case with Sanders. Nearly half -- 48 percent -- of his supporters said they would definitely vote for him...

Graphic: See key results from the Suffolk/Globe poll
https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2019/08/06/poll-suffolk-university-boston-globe-poll-puts-biden-atop-democratic-primary/c5k6eDUNmU5VlDWsAU91yM/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

ilsm -> Fred C. Dobbs... , August 07, 2019 at 09:45 AM
Biden seems to have the democrat "NH state machine" who did okay in 2016, the delegation all democrats in lock step with the crooked DNC.

Sad that Bernie has to be hitched to the saddest excuse for a party since the Nixon GOP.

[Aug 03, 2019] Sanders and Warren voters have astonishingly little in common

Aug 03, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Christopher H. , July 23, 2019 at 10:34 AM

Remember all those lies Krugman, EMike and Kurt said about "Bernie Bros?" Well turns out they are the out of touch elites, not Sanders supporters. They were projecting. Krugman won't even go all in for Warren!!!

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/12/sanders-warren-voters-2020-1408548

Sanders and Warren voters have astonishingly little in common
His backers are younger, make less money, have fewer degrees and are less engaged in politics.

By HOLLY OTTERBEIN
07/12/2019 05:01 AM EDT

PHILADELPHIA -- Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are two of the most ideologically aligned candidates in the Democratic primary -- both left-wing populists who rail against a "rigged" economic system.

But the fellow enemies of the 1 percent have surprisingly different bases of support.

In poll after poll, Sanders appeals to lower-income and less-educated people; Warren beats Sanders among those with postgraduate degrees. Sanders performs better with men, Warren with women. Younger people who vote less frequently are more often in Sanders' camp; seniors who follow politics closely generally prefer Warren.

Sanders also has won over more African Americans than Warren: He earns a greater share of support from black voters than any candidate in the race except for Joe Biden, according to the latest Morning Consult surveys.

For progressive activists, who are gathering this week in Philadelphia at the annual Netroots Nation conference, it's both promising and a source of concern that the two leading left-wingers in the primary attract such distinct fans. It demonstrates that a progressive economic message can excite different parts of the electorate, but it also means that Sanders and Warren likely need to expand their bases in order to win the Democratic nomination.

Put another way, if their voters could magically be aligned behind one or the other, it would vastly increase the odds of a Democratic nominee on the left wing of the ideological spectrum.

The fact that Warren and Sanders' bases don't perfectly overlap hasn't garnered much public attention, but it's something very much on the minds of their aides and allies.

"It shows that the media does not base their perceptions on data that is publicly available," said Ari Rabin-Havt, chief of staff to the Sanders campaign. "I think people develop overly simplistic views of politics that presume that people who live in the real world think the same way as elite media in D.C. and New York."

It's not a given that Sanders voters would flock to Warren, or vice versa, if one of them left the race and endorsed the other. In Morning Consult, Reuters-Ipsos and Washington Post-ABC News polls, more Sanders supporters name Biden as their second choice than Warren -- and a higher percentage of Warren voters pick Kamala Harris as their No. 2 than Sanders, according to recent surveys.

Wes Bode, a retired contractor in the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa, illustrates the point: He said he likes that Sanders has "new ideas," such as free college tuition, and recently attended one of his town halls in the state. But he's fond of Biden, too, because he's "for the working man."

It might seem unusual that a voter's top picks for 2020 are the two candidates who best represent the opposite poles of the Democratic Party. But a person like Bode is actually more common than someone like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose favorites are Sanders and Warren.

For Sanders, the need to grow his base is a problem that dates back to his 2016 run. He failed to win the nomination that year in large part because he was unable to win over older voters, especially older voters of color.

"Two places where Bernie has always struggled with is older voters and women to some degree," said Mark Longabaugh, a top strategist to Sanders in 2016. "Warren is identifiably a Democrat and runs as a Democrat, so I think many more establishment Democrats in the party are more drawn to her -- whereas Bernie very intentionally ran for reelection as an independent and identifies as an independent, and appeals to those who look inside the Democratic Party and think it's not their thing."

During the 2020 campaign, Sanders' advisers have acknowledged that he needs to appeal more to older voters, and he's recently been holding more intimate events in the early states that tend to attract more senior crowds than his rallies do. His team is also trying hard to expand the primary electorate by turning out infrequent voters.

Warren, meanwhile, is aggressively working to win African American support. Her allies argue that her performance at events such as Al Sharpton's National Action Network convention and the She the People conference show that she has room to grow among black voters.

"If you were looking to buy a rising stock, you would look at future market share and indicators of strong fundamentals," said Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which backs Warren. "Elizabeth Warren has consistently connected on a gut level with black audiences ... getting standing ovations after connecting her inspiring plans to her personal story of struggle growing up poor in Oklahoma and being a single mom in Texas."

Several Democratic operatives said they believe Warren has the ability to expand her base to include black women in particular.

"She impressed 2,000 top women of color activists at [our conference]," said Aimee Allison, founder of She the People. "Elizabeth Warren has deepened, sharpened and made racial justice a grounding component of her policies."

A look at their poll numbers shows how distinct the pools of support for Sanders vs. Warren are.

Twenty-two percent of Democratic primary voters who earn less than $50,000 annually support Sanders, while 12 percent are for Warren, according to an average of the past four weeks of Morning Consult polling. Of those without college degrees, 22 percent are behind Sanders; 10 percent back Warren.

Roughly the same percentage of voters with bachelor's degrees -- 16 percent and 15 percent, respectively -- support Sanders and Warren. But among those with postgraduate degrees, 12 percent are for Sanders and 19 percent are for Warren.

There's a similar split based on age, gender and interest in politics. Sanders wins more than one-third of the 18- to 29-year-olds, while Warren gets 11 percent of them. Warren has the support of 13 percent of those aged 30 to 44, 12 percent of those aged 45 to 54, and 13 percent of those aged both 55 to 64 and 65 and up. Sanders' support goes down as the age of voters goes up: He is backed by 25 percent of 30- to 44-year-olds, 17 percent of 45- to 54-year-olds, 12 percent of 55- to 64-year-olds, and 8 percent of those 65 and older.

Twenty percent of men support Sanders and 11 percent support Warren; 18 percent of women are behind Sanders and 14 percent are behind Warren.

Warren also performs best among voters who are "extremely interested" in politics (winning 17 percent of them), while Sanders is strongest among those who are "not at all interested" (26 percent).

As for black voters, 19 percent are behind Sanders, while 9 percent support Warren.

With Biden still atop most polls, even after a widely panned performance at the first Democratic debate, some progressives still fear that Warren and Sanders could divide the left and hand the nomination to the former vice president.

"There's a lot of time left in this campaign," said Sean McElwee, co-founder of the liberal think tank Data for Progress. "But one thing that's clear is that it's very important for the left that we ensure that we don't split the field and allow someone like Joe Biden to be the nominee."

[Aug 03, 2019] Warren has moved beyond campaign rhetoric by introducing Bill on student debt in the Senate and a co-bill in the House by Rep. Clyburn

Aug 03, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

im1dc , July 24, 2019 at 04:58 AM

S. Warren has moved beyond campaign rhetoric by introducing this Bill in the Senate and a co-bill in the House by Rep. Clyburn

She's REAL, not a phony like the others

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/news/elizabeth-warren-on-student-loans-new-bill-would-cancel-debt-for-millions/ar-AAEK4MO

"Elizabeth Warren on student loans: New bill would cancel debt for millions"

By Katie Lobosco, CNN...18 hrs ago

"Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is introducing a bill Tuesday that would cancel the student loan debts of tens of millions of Americans, a plan she first proposed on the campaign trail in April.

The 2020 Democratic presidential candidate is partnering with South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn, also a Democrat, who will sponsor companion legislation in the House.

The bill would forgive $50,000 in student loans for Americans in households earning less than $100,000 a year, resulting in immediate relief to more than an estimated 95% of the 45 million Americans with student debt.

For those earning more than $100,000, the bill would offer partial debt relief with the amount getting gradually smaller until it phases out. Households that make more than $250,000 are not eligible for any debt relief.

Warren's campaign has said that she would pay for the debt relief -- as well as her plan to make tuition free at public colleges -- with revenue from her proposed wealth tax. It would assess a 2% tax on wealth above $50 million and a 3% tax on wealth above $1 billion.

The one-time debt cancellation could cost $640 billion, the campaign has said."...

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to im1dc... , July 24, 2019 at 05:24 AM
MSN: ...

Warren's campaign has said that she would pay for the debt relief -- as well as her plan to make tuition free at public colleges -- with revenue from her proposed wealth tax. It would assess a 2% tax on wealth above $50 million and a 3% tax on wealth above $1 billion.

The one-time debt cancellation could cost $640 billion, the campaign has said.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, another Democratic presidential hopeful, also has a student debt cancellation proposal. But his goes further and would cancel all $1.6 trillion in outstanding loan debt. There would be no eligibility limitations and it would be paid for with a new tax on Wall Street speculation. Sanders has proposed making tuition free at public colleges, as well.

As proposed, Warren's bill would ensure that the debt canceled would not be taxed as income. Those borrowers with private loans would be allowed to convert them into federal loans so that they could be forgiven. ...

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , July 26, 2019 at 07:13 AM
Elizabeth Warren's Wealth
Tax. How Would That Even Work?
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/18/upshot/warren-wealth-tax.html
NYT - Neil Irwin - Feb. 18, 2019

When the United States government wants to raise money from individuals, its mode of choice, for more than a century, has been to tax what people earn -- the income they receive from work or investments.

But what if instead the government taxed the wealth you had accumulated?

That is the idea behind a policy Senator Elizabeth Warren has embraced in her presidential campaign. It represents a more substantial rethinking of the federal government's approach to taxation than anything a major presidential candidate has proposed in recent memory -- a new wealth tax that would have enormous implications for inequality.

It would shift more of the burden of paying for government toward the families that have accumulated fortunes in the hundreds of millions or billions of dollars. And over time, such a tax would make it less likely that such fortunes develop.

What is the Warren plan?

Developed by Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, two University of California, Berkeley, economists who are leading scholars of inequality, the proposal is to tax a family's wealth above $50 million at 2 percent a year, with an additional surcharge of 1 percent on wealth over $1 billion.

Mr. Saez and Mr. Zucman estimate that 75,000 households would owe such a tax, or about one out of 1,700 American families.

A family worth $60 million would owe the federal government $200,000 in wealth tax, over and above what they may owe on income from wages, dividends or interest payments.

If the estimates of his net worth are accurate, Mr. Buffett would owe the I.R.S. about $2.5 billion a year, in addition to income or capital gains taxes. The Waltons would owe about $1.3 billion each.

The tax would therefore chip away at the net worth of the extremely rich, especially if they mainly hold investments with low returns, like bonds, or depreciating assets like yachts.

It would work a little like the property tax that most cities and states impose on real estate, an annual payment tied to the value of assets rather than income. But instead of applying just to homes and land, it would apply to everything: fine art collections, yachts and privately held businesses.

What are the arguments against it?

They are both philosophical and practical.

On the philosophical side, you can argue that people who have earned money, and paid appropriate income tax on it, are entitled to the wealth they accumulate.

Moreover, the wealth that individual families accumulate under the current system is arguably likelier to be put to work investing in large-scale projects that make the economy stronger. They can invest in innovative companies, for example, or huge real estate projects, in ways that small investors generally can't. ...

[Aug 03, 2019] Here is Yggies commenting on Warren's trade plan.

Aug 03, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Christopher H. , July 29, 2019 at 10:32 AM

Liz Warren's new plan on trade. Will PK, EMike or Kurt comment?

https://medium.com/@teamwarren/trade-on-our-terms-ad861879feca

Christopher H. said in reply to Christopher H.... , July 29, 2019 at 10:37 AM
here is Yggies commenting on the plan. He's a good stand in for the centrists I mentioned.

https://www.vox.com/2019/7/29/8933825/elizabeth-warren-trade-economic-patriotism

all seems pretty vague

[Aug 03, 2019] The Best Guide For The Perplexed Progressive in 2020 is 2016 by John V. Walsh

Aug 01, 2019 | www.unz.com

2016 was widely recognized as the year of "populism," more adequately described as the year of revolt against the political Establishment -- in both Parties. The Democratic Primary in 2016 was a battle of progressive forces against the Democratic Establishment, and the battle lines were clearly drawn. Those lines remain much the same as we approach 2020.

On the Progressive or Populist side were those who opposed the endless wars in the Middle East, and on the Establishment side those who supported those long and bloody wars. On the Progressive Side were those who supported badly needed domestic reforms, most notably Medicare for All, which after all is a reform of almost 20% of the entire economy and a reform that has to do with life itself. In contrast on the Establishment side were those who supported ObamaCare, a device for leaving our health care to the tender mercies of the Insurance behemoths with its ever increasing premiums and ever decreasing coverage.

In 2016 the pundits gave progressives little chance of success. Hillary Clinton was a shoo-in, we were all assured by a horde of "reliable sources." And given the control that the Clintonites exercised over the Democratic Party apparatus, there was little prospect of a successful rebellion and every chance of having one's career badly damaged by opposing Party elite. Summer soldiers and duplicitous candidates were not interested in challenging the Establishment.

In 2016 Bernie Sanders was the only politician who was willing to take on the Establishment. Although not technically a Democrat, he caucused with them and worked with them. And he was a lifelong, reliable and ardent advocate for Medicare for All and a consistent opponent of the endless wars. For these things he was prepared to do battle against overwhelming odds on the chance that he might prevail and because from his grass roots contacts he sensed that a rebellion was brewing.

In 2016 only one among the current crop of candidates followed Bernie, supported him and joined him on the campaign trail -- Tulsi Gabbard. At the time she was a two term Congresswoman and Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), a career building position, from which she would have to resign in order to support one of the candidates. Moreover, reports said she bridled at the internal bias of the DNC in favor of Hillary. To express her displeasure with the DNC and to support Bernie, she had to defy the Clinton Establishment, which might even have terminated her political career. But she was a foe of the endless wars, partly based on her own experience as a National Guard member who had been deployed to Iraq in a medical unit and saw the ravages of war first hand. So she joined Bernie, introducing him at many of his rallies and strengthening his antiwar message.

Bernie and Tulsi proved themselves in the defining battle of 2016. They let us know unequivocally where they stand. And Bernie might well have won the nomination were he not cheated out of it by the Establishment which continues to control the levers of power in the Democratic Party to this day.

In 2016 these two stood in stark contrast to the other 2020 Democratic candidates. Let us take one example of these others, Elizabeth Warren, a darling of the main stream media which often refers to her as ideologically aligned to Bernie Sanders. Perhaps she is so aligned at times -- at least in words; she is after all in favor of Medicare for All, although she hastens to add that she is "open to other approaches." That qualifier is balm to the ears of the Insurance behemoths. Translation: she has already surrendered before the battle has begun.

In 2016 a critical primary for Bernie was Masschusetts where Senator Warren wields considerable influence. Clinton defeated Sanders there by a mere 1.5% whereas she had lost to Obama there by 15% in 2008. Wikipedia has this to say of the primary:

"Following the primary, Elizabeth Warren, the state's senior US senator, was widely criticized by Sanders supporters online for her refusal to endorse him prior to the primary. Supporters of Bernie Sanders have argued that an endorsement from Warren, whose political positions were similar to that of Sanders's, and who was a frequent critic of Hillary Clinton in the past, could have handed Massachusetts to him. "

One must conclude that either Warren does not genuinely share the views of Sanders or she is loath to buck the Establishment and fight for those views. In either event she, and the others who failed to back Bernie in 2016, are not made of the stuff that can win Medicare for All, bring an end to the regime change wars and illegal sanctions of the last four or more administrations, begin serious negotiations to end the existential nuclear peril, and address the many other problems facing us and all of humanity.

John V. Walsh can be reached at john.endwar@gmail.com

Anonymous [322] • Disclaimer , says: August 1, 2019 at 4:26 am GMT

“Bernie walked the walk”
When was that? The time he toured through Baltimore and called it a third world city while assiduously not discussing how, why, and because of who it became so?
The way he openly sold out to Clinton and ducked into his new third manor house to avoid being held to task for leaving his base out to dry the very moment they were ready to seriously break ranks from the neolib political machine?
Is he walking the walk now as he tries to rationalize away his underpaying of his campaign workers and cuts hours to minimize the costs of the 15 dollar floor price he demanded for everyone other employer?
The man is a DNC stooge through and through.
And Tulsi being anti-war out of personal squeamishness doesn’t make up for the rest of her painfully party-line-compliant platform, particularly when the Deep State has multiple active avenues available to at the very least keep our military presence still existing military presence trapped and held hostage. All the dove cooing in recorded world history won’t hold up when, not if, Britain or France or whoever deliberately sinks another navy vessel and drags her by the hair into another desert scrum.
Daniel Rich , says: August 1, 2019 at 6:09 am GMT
@Anonymous Quote: “When was that?”

Reply: The moment he endorsed HRC and showed his true colors.

Kronos , says: August 1, 2019 at 8:15 am GMT
@Tusk As with the 1960 Presidential Election, Hillary stole that election fair and square. Had Sanders went full third party, it would’ve destroyed the Democrats outright. Despite Clinton’s cheating, Bernie went ahead and bent the knee. Strangely enough, Trump’s victory saved Sanders and his faction. Had Clinton won, she would’ve purged the Sanders supporters relentlessly.

There is such a thing as a tactical retreat. Now he’s able to play again.

Nik , says: August 1, 2019 at 8:15 am GMT
I dont remember either Bernard Saunders or Tulsi Gabbard even uttering the word Apartheid.

These peopke are hypnotized

alexander , says: August 1, 2019 at 9:35 am GMT
The reality, Mr. Walsh,

is that our “establishment elite” have failed the United States of America.

How, you may ask ?

The answer is simple.

By defrauded us into multiple illegal wars of aggression they have bankrupted the entire nation.

The iron fact is that because our “elites” lied us into illegal war we are now 22.5 trillion dollars in heinous debt.

Why is this okay ?

The answer is simple.

It is not okay, NOT AT ALL .

And it is not enough (anymore) to just demand we “end our wars”, Mr. Walsh.

The cost in treasure has been too high and the burden on the US taxpayer too obscene.

Without demanding “accountability” from our elites, who lied us into this catastrophe, our nation is most probably going under.

I say…. make them pay …”every penny”…. for the cost of the wars they lied us into.

An initiative, like the “War fraud Accountability Act” (retroactive to 2002) would do just that.

it would replenish the coffers of our nation with all the assets of the larcenous profiteers who deceived us all….into heinous war debt.

As we witness the rise of China as the new global economic powerhouse, we can see first hand how a nation can rise to immense wealth and global influence “precisely because” it was never deceived by its “ruling class” into squandering all its resources initiating and fighting endless criminal wars.

Just imagine where the USA would be today, had we chosen the same course.

stone cold , says: August 1, 2019 at 10:25 am GMT
Until Dems are willing to refuse to depend on Haim Saban’s “generous donation” to the Dem candidate, none of their candidates will deserve to be the the POTUS candidate. Ditto for the Republicans and their fetish with Shelly Adelson. Candidates must kowtow to Israel or else there will be no dough for them and they might even be challenged in their incumbencies next time around by ADL/AIPAC. Until we get rid of Israeli money and political power, we are toast.
War for Blair Mountain , says: August 1, 2019 at 11:47 am GMT
You left out two facts:

1)Both Sanders and Gabbard are onboard for going to war against Christian Russia over Crimea..Sanders has gone so far as saying that a Military response against Russia is an option if all else fails in getting Russia out of Crimea…

2)Both Sanders and Gabbard are waging a war of RACIAL EXTERMINATION against Working Class Native Born White American Males….And that’s WHITE GENOCIDE!!!!

Justvisiting , says: August 1, 2019 at 12:54 pm GMT
@Kronos Bernie “bent the knee” once and got to enjoy his lakeside home and his wife protected from fraud prosecution after she stole money from People’s United Bank for her college scam.

He is owned.

If Tulsi were a serious threat she would be neutralized one way or another.

“Progressives” are virtue signaling fools–the kleptocracy marches on and laughs at them.

concerned , says: August 1, 2019 at 1:14 pm GMT
Check out “The National Security State Needs an Enemy: Senator Warren Warns About “White Supremacist” Threat” by Kurt Nimmo at:

https://www.globalresearch.ca/state-needs-enemy-warren-warns-about-white-supremacist-threat/5685241?print=1

One has to wonder where Dems like Warren and their identity politics is taking the US. Will everyone who even slightly disagrees with them be labeled a terrorist?

[Aug 02, 2019] Trade -- On Our Terms

Aug 02, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , July 30, 2019 at 09:13 AM

https://twitter.com/paulkrugman/status/1156228417601376257

Paul Krugman‏ @paulkrugman

OK, obviously I need to weigh in on Elizabeth Warren's trade proposal. I've been a huge fan of her plans so far. This one, not so much, although some of the critiques are overdone 1/

https://medium.com/@teamwarren/trade-on-our-terms-ad861879feca

Trade -- On Our Terms
By Elizabeth Warren

Last month, I released my economic patriotism agenda -- my commitment to fundamentally changing the government's approach to the economy so that we put the interests of American workers and families ahead of the interests of multinational corporations. I've already released my ideas for applying economic patriotism to manufacturing and to Wall Street. This is my plan for using economic patriotism to overhaul our approach to trade.

8:41 AM - 30 Jul 2019

The truth is that this would have been a bad and destructive plan if implemented in, say, 1980. At this point it's still problematic, but not disastrous (this is going to be a long tweet storm) 2/

Background: the way we currently do trade negotiations is that professionals negotiate out of public view, but with input from key business players. Then Congress gets an up or down vote on the result 3/

This can sound like a process rigged in favor of special interests. But it was created by FDR, and its actual intent was largely the opposite. It took away the ability of Congresspeople to stuff trade bills with goodies for their donors and districts 4/

And while business interests certainly got a lot of input, it was set up in a way that set different groups against each other -- exporters versus import-competing industries -- and this served the interests of the general public 5/

Without this system we wouldn't have achieved the great opening of world markets after World War II -- and that opening was a very good thing overall, especially for poor countries, and helped promote peace 6/

So what has changed? The key point is that the system pretty much achieved its goals; we're a low-tariff world. And that has had a peculiar consequence: these days "trade negotiations" aren't mainly about trade, they're about intellectual property and regulation 7/

And it's not at all clear that such deals are actually good for the world, which is why I was a soft opponent of TPP 8/

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/03/11/tpp-at-the-nabe/

TPP at the NABE

Not to keep you in suspense, I'm thumbs down. I don't think the proposal is likely to be the terrible, worker-destroying pact some progressives assert, but it doesn't look like a good thing either for the world or for the United States, and you have to wonder why the Obama administration, in particular, would consider devoting any political capital to getting this through.

So what Warren proposes is that we partially unravel the system FDR built, making trade negotiations more transparent and giving Congress a bigger role in shaping the deals. This sounds more democratic, but that's a bit deceiving 9/

Mainly it would substitute one kind of special interest distortion for another. That would have been a clearly bad thing when trade deals were actually about trade. Today, I think it's ambiguous 10/

Warren would also expand the criteria for trade policy to include a number of non-trade goals, like labor rights and environmental protection. Here again there are arguments on both sides 11/

On one side, the potential for abuse would be large -- we could be slapping tariffs on countries for all kinds of reasons, turning trade policy into global power politics, which would be really bas for smaller, weaker countries 12/

On the other hand, there are some cases where trade policy will almost surely have to be used to enforce some common action. If we ever do act on climate change, carbon tariffs will be needed to discipline free riders 13/

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/29/climate-trade-obama/

Climate, Trade, Obama

I think the president has this wrong:

"President Obama on Sunday praised the energy bill passed by the House late last week as an 'extraordinary first step,' but he spoke out against a provision that would impose trade penalties on countries that do not accept limits on global warming pollution."

And I also think the report gives a false impression of what this is about, making it seem as if it's nothing but dirty politics...

Overall, this is the weakest Warren plan so far. (Still waiting to hear from her on health care! Harris has taken point there, and done it well) But it's not bad enough to change the verdict that she's the strongest contender on policy grounds 14/

Christopher H. , July 30, 2019 at 09:32 AM
Krugman starting to turn on Warren.
Christopher H. said in reply to Christopher H.... , July 30, 2019 at 09:43 AM
He backs Harris's attempt to split difference on health care reform.

The problem with PK and Kurt and EMike is that if you don't deliver better services and rising living standards - no matter the excuses we don't care about your excuses -
you're going to get more racism, demagogues like Trump and toxic politics.

The Dems's track record for the past 40 years is objectively awful. PK lives in a rich man's bubble if he believes corporate trade has been good for humanity and peace.

Look at the world!

Christopher H. said in reply to Christopher H.... , July 30, 2019 at 09:47 AM
Krugman argues trading order was built by FDR. It wasn't.
Plp -> Christopher H.... , July 30, 2019 at 10:48 AM
Krugman has COSMO liberal scruples
About raising nationalist priorities

If he took Dean bakers line
He could avoid taking national sides

Be for the wage class and the toiling masses
Globally

Best possible Trade policy is simplified

Example
Intellectual property
Should not exist
It's bad for emerging systems
And advance systems both
If your frame is best for wage earners

And toiling masses

ilsm -> Christopher H.... , July 30, 2019 at 01:58 PM
Harris is all for keeping FIRE profiting on the US health system, like she is for filling profitable prisons in Cali!

Harris a charter member of the DNC committee to re-elect Trump.

Plp -> Christopher H.... , July 30, 2019 at 09:50 AM
Perhaps he is just revealing why he supported neo liberal trade policy
In the Reagan Clinton era

He's a cormopolite not a nationalist

And his frame is common humanity
Not the us wage class


Now we see what happens when multinational corporations get free reign as they did since the end of Bretton woods

Managed world trade from 1946 to 1971
Is probably the baby PK doesn't want to throw out
With the bath water accumulated since 1971

[Aug 02, 2019] During the debate, Warren argued no first use of neclear weapons policy would make the world safer

Aug 02, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to ilsm... , July 31, 2019 at 12:23 PM

Warren, Bullock spar over 'no first use' nuclear policy https://thehill.com/policy/defense/455472-warren-bullock-spar-over-no-first-use-nuclear-policy

Rebecca Kheel - July 30

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) sparred Tuesday night over her proposed "no first use" policy on nuclear weapons during the Democratic debate.

In defending the proposed policy, Warren argued for diplomatic and economic solutions to conflict, saying "we should not be asking our military to take on jobs that do not have a military solution."

But Bullock opposed that proposal, saying, "I don't want to turn around and say, 'Well, Detroit has to be gone before we would ever use that.'"

Warren is the lead sponsor of the Senate version of a bill that would make it U.S. policy not to use nuclear weapons first.

It has long been the policy of the United States that the country reserves the right to launch a preemptive nuclear strike.

Former President Obama reportedly weighed changing the policy before leaving office, but ultimately did not after advisers argued doing so could embolden adversaries.

Backers of a no first use policy argue it would improve U.S. national security by reducing the risk of miscalculation while still allowing the United States to launch a nuclear strike in response to an attack.

During the debate, Warren argued such a policy would "make the world safer."

"The United States is not going to use nuclear weapons preemptively, and we need to say so to the entire world," she said. "It reduces the likelihood that someone miscalculates, someone misunderstands."

Bullock argued he wouldn't want to take the option off the table, but that there should be negotiations to eliminate nuclear weapons.

"Never, I hope, certainly in my term or anyone else would we really even get close to pulling that trigger," he said. "Going from a position of strength, we should be negotiating down so there aren't nuclear weapons. But drawing those lines in the sand at this point, I wouldn't do."

Warren shot back that the world is closer to nuclear warfare after Trump's presidency, which is seeing the end of a landmark arms control agreement with Russia, the development of a low-yield submarine-launched warhead and the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement.

"We don't expand trust around the world by saying, 'you know, we might be the first one to use a nuclear weapon,'" she said. "We have to have an announced policy that is one the entire world can live with."

Bullock said he agreed on the need to return to nonproliferation standards but that unpredictable enemies such as North Korea require keeping first use as an option.

"When so many crazy folks are getting closer to having a nuclear weapon, I don't want them to think, 'I could strike this country,'" he said. "Part of the strength really is to deter."

----

Long-standing US policy has been to lump chemical,
biological and nuclear weapons in a single
category. So, our guv'mint implicitly reserves the
right to respond to a chemical attack (say) with
nuclear weapons. This was how the US got het up
about Iraq's supposed 'weapons of mass destruction',
which is how the US lumps them together under
the heading 'CBN' weapons. Iraq certainly
had chemical weapons, possibly biological ones,
and much less plausibly a nuclear weapons program.
It was all about those mysterious 'aluminum tubes',
which supposedly could be used for uranium-enriching centrifuges. (Not these tubes, apparently.)

But I digress. Suffice it to say, the US has
quite a few self-serving policies.

Now, the real question is, how much longer
do we want to have Mr Trump in control
of the nuclear football, as the nuke-
authorizing gadget is known?


[Aug 01, 2019] Elizabeth Warren could hit the mark as the candidate best placed to beat Trump.

Aug 01, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Katherine1984 , 31 Jul 2019 13:44

Like it or not, beating Donald Trump is no easy task.

A candidate too far to the left and they just won't get sufficient support from an electorate which inclines to the right (by UK standards).

Too establishment and "entitled" and some will hesitate to give them even a get-Trump-out vote.

Elizabeth Warren could hit the mark as the candidate best placed to beat Trump.

But she will have to brace herself for him to play a very nasty campaign against her.

MohammedS , 31 Jul 2019 13:24
Who gives a monkeys? The real issue is that the selfish, disorientated and cowardly way the Dems are conducting this race is handing Trump a winning platform for 2020.
After long hard thinking I have come to the sad conclusion that Trump is right and that he is indeed a genius. He has achieved what he had set out to do. He has polarised the standard bearer for democracy in the world. He has enriched himself and his family. He has broken American society, possibly irreversibly. He has brought about change in the worlds economies. He has also managed to set the debate and the stage to win in 2020. Now some may say he has been an awful president, but looking at his strategy he has been highly successful. He may not be what we want but he has certainly been better at feeling the pulse of America and deciding which medicine to give. A truly evil genius indeed.
TheMediaSux , 31 Jul 2019 13:15
Sanders and Warren are the only two with some kind of personality. The others look like they were created by lobbyists and corporate donors in a lab on a computer like Kelly Lebrock from Weird Science.
TremoluxMan , 31 Jul 2019 13:08
The point about taxes going up is a red herring and a straw man argument. If you get insurance through your employer, you pay anywhere from $300/month to $1200/month for yourself and family. Through a Medicare for all plan, that payment would disappear. Yes, you'd pay more in taxes to cover your health insurance, but it would likely be lower than private insurance, a net gain, with better coverage, no deductible or co-pays. Even if it was the same, it's still a wash. You're eliminating an expense for a tax. Plus, you're not paying for some executive's perks and exorbitant salary.

Personally, I'd feel better paying $50,000-$75,000/year to a government administrator than $10M-$20M/year + perks to a CEO.

ColoradoJack -> Andy Womack , 31 Jul 2019 12:10
Obama was simply being honest there. By any standard, Obama, both Clinton's, Gore (except for climate change) and Biden are at best moderate Republicans. Each would qualify as being to the right of Richard Nixon (leaving aside the issue of integrity).
In the case of Bill Clinton, Americans had not got woken to the fact that, while a little less by Democrats, the middle class was nontheless being screwed by both parties. Obama's rhetoric was enough cover to fool the public into thinking he would fight for real change. Both Gore and especially Hillary showed what the public now thinks of "moderates". Bernie Sanders and/or Elizabeth Warren are the only chances to beat Trump in 2020.
Eisenhower , 31 Jul 2019 11:13
Reparations for slavery, the elimination of private insurance, free health care for anyone who overstays a visa or walks over from Mexico, and a crystal lady.

We are in trouble. My nightmare of a Trump re-election is more and more likely.

MoonlightTiger -> BaronVonAmericano , 31 Jul 2019 11:13
I believe it is. Ha
BaronVonAmericano -> thepianist , 31 Jul 2019 11:11
The general election poses an obvious vote against Trump.

Virtually 100% of the decision-making you have about what future we might want is in the primary.

Staying out of the primary debates is tantamount to abandoning all political power.

BaronVonAmericano , 31 Jul 2019 11:05
Warren and Sanders clearly demonstrated that a party wanting to win should nominate one of them.

They enthralled the audience, and showed they possess a vision for the future that every other Democratic candidate claims to eventually want, when there's time, maybe, perhaps if they get a majority someday.

Cmank1 , 31 Jul 2019 10:54
Clearly Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren were the clear winners of the night! They shamed the listless other candidates, none of whom exhibited a similar energy, excitement & vision for the future of the country. Despite a definite veneer of displeasure by your account, both the audience at the event, and those watching at home felt the excitement of progressive proposals won the day.
KMdude , 31 Jul 2019 10:46
The winner of the debate was Trump.

When Sanders declared he's in favor of free healthcare and free education for illegal immigrants there was -at best - muted criticism from the other candidates.

Most Americans are likely outraged by this suggestion and this will play in Trump's favor.

DontFanMeBro , 31 Jul 2019 10:39
It's obvious that John Delaney is simply a plant by Big Business (which has both the centrist Democrats and all of Republicans in its pocket) to troll and derail the candidacy of progressives Sanders and Warren. His sole function is to throw a monkey wrench in their path and be a "nattering nabob of negativism" (to quote Agnew) regarding their policies. That's all he does all day and all night, and the centrist-loving moderators and journalists love giving him infinite time to do his damage
Haigin88 , 31 Jul 2019 04:42
The answer is obvious: if you want your best shot at 86-ing the orange pestilence, then it has to be Warren/Sanders or Sanders/Warren. You're not supposed to signal your vice-president until after you've got the nomination, I know, but surely having Trump as president has shredded all previous norms? Go now, right now, and say that it'll be you two. You can even keep it open and say that you don't know who'll head the ticket but it will be Warren and Sanders. That would crush all opposition and keep churning interesting as a guessing game.

Maybe Warren should head the ticket. I know that Sanders is very sharp and he plays basketball but if he was president then he'd be asking for a second term and to get sworn in when he's 83 and being in one's eighties might be too much of a psychological barrier. My suggestion, though, would be it's Sanders/Warren but on the promise that Sanders will step aside during his first term, after two years and one day (meaning that Warren could serve out the rest of the term and still then run for two more terms under her own steam).

That would guarantee the first female president and so quieten down the phoney-baloney identity politics drones; better, it would mean that the US would get an excellent leader in Elizabeth Warren, no matter her bodily organs; it would pull together the Crooked H. adherents and get them on side, if they truly care about getting female in there and if it doesn't it will expose them as the phonies they are. And it would keep matters on policy, when Trump is weak, rather than personalities, which is the territory on which Trump wants to fight.

[Jul 31, 2019] Lambert Strether

Jul 31, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

July 30, 2019 at 9:59 pm

Sanders: "Elizabeth is exactly right." On trade.

Adding, Warren keeps saying "suck profits out." Vivid!

Reply

DonCoyote , July 30, 2019 at 10:03 pm

"You're gonna hear a giant sucking sound ". Yup, Ross, we heard it

Lambert Strether Post author , July 30, 2019 at 10:05 pm

Guardian editorializing in the photo at the top of their live blog . Accurately, I would say.

Of course, it's "just business." Not that there's anything wrong with that!

Lambert Strether Post author , July 30, 2019 at 10:45 pm

Warren: "We beat it by being the party of big structural change." The issue is whether "regulation" is big enough and structural enough.

Sanders: "To stand with the working class* of American that for the last 45 years has been decimated." Then the Canada bus trip. "We need a mass political movement. Take on the greed and the corruption of the ruling class of this country." Plugs website.

Sanders was better; working the bus trip in was good.

NOTE * Guardian paraphrase : "Bernie Sanders pledged to stand by the US middle class , recounting his recent trip to Canada to emphasize the high price of insulin in America." Lol.

WheresOurTeddy , July 31, 2019 at 4:24 am

The allergy to the phrase "working class" is not accidental. They want as many Americans as possible thinking they're just temporarily embarrassed millionaires.

As someone who has spent most of my life in the working class, made it to the middle, got knocked down again, and made my way back up to the middle again, there is most certainly a difference.

Jessica , July 31, 2019 at 4:49 am

When was the last time (if ever) that someone said the words "ruling class" in a presidential debate? (I assume that Eugene Debs was never invited to any presidential debate.)
Even that Bernie said "working class" won points with me. Typical of the Guardian to change it to "middle class".
Williamson was impressive.
I liked that Warren showed fire and guts. Her policies would be a real change for the better, especially if pushed farther. My real question about her is whether she would stand up to the other side and fight to win.
For me, the biggest difference between Bernie and Warren is that I am starting to hope that Warren would really fight, but I know Bernie would.

Spring Texan , July 31, 2019 at 10:37 am

I like Bernie better, but I like Warren too, and I *DO* trust her to fight.

The big tell was when she went to Washington as a Senator and Larry Summers said don't criticize us in public if you want to be part of the club, and she not only ignored that but told on him publicly!

Two actually GOOD people! They were my dream team last night.

nippersmom , July 30, 2019 at 10:46 pm

Warren paraphrased Sanders stump speech.

Lambert Strether Post author , July 30, 2019 at 10:50 pm

In academic terms, yes.

Watching Warren's reactions was really interesting. I think the sheer stupidity of centrist arguments really ticks her off, which speaks well of her.

scarn , July 30, 2019 at 11:07 pm

I agree. I'm highly skeptical of Warren delivering anything (especially a victory), and I don't really trust her to try very hard to implement her plans. Watching her in this debate opened a thin crack in my icy wall of distrust. I hope she proves me wrong.

skippy , July 31, 2019 at 4:28 am

Eh . Warren for all her sociopolitical baggage is a completely different animal to the Blue Dog Corporatist DNC fundie or the Free Market Conservative slash Goat picked me to administrate reality for everyone dilemma.

But yeah feel [tm] free [tm] to play curricular firing squad and then wonder why ones head is sore from the effects of banging on an sacrilegious edifice .

Lambert Strether Post author , July 30, 2019 at 10:47 pm

And now the spin doctors!

I think a photo finish by Sanders and Warren, Buttigieg in the running followed by Klobuchar, Beto fading, the centrists losing big, Williamson a dark horse coming up on the outside.

[Jul 31, 2019] Democratic Debate Warren and Sanders Stand Pat, but Look Out for Marianne by
Jim Geraghty

By one key metric -- Google interest -- Marianne Willamson was the dominant figure of the debate. and that's tells a lot about debate aorgnizers which are not interested in real political debase. Just interested in the debate as a political show. They are too interested in promoted identity politics to devide the electorate, to allow discussion of really important for the nation question such as rampant militarism.
Notable quotes:
"... A lot of liberals will love her for her quip, "I don't understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running to the president of the United States to talk about what we really can't do and shouldn't fight for." ..."
"... Of course, she's celebrating one of the big problems in our political system -- no presidential candidate wants to acknowledge the limits of the power of the office, the presence of the opposition party, judicial review, the inherent difficulties of enacting sweeping changes through legislation, or the limit of government policy to solve problems in society. ..."
"... One of the reasons Americans are so cynical is that they've seen plenty of politicians come and go, with almost every one of them promising the moon and very few living up to the hype. ..."
Jul 31, 2019 | www.nationalreview.com

A lot of liberals will love her for her quip, "I don't understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running to the president of the United States to talk about what we really can't do and shouldn't fight for."

Of course, she's celebrating one of the big problems in our political system -- no presidential candidate wants to acknowledge the limits of the power of the office, the presence of the opposition party, judicial review, the inherent difficulties of enacting sweeping changes through legislation, or the limit of government policy to solve problems in society.

One of the reasons Americans are so cynical is that they've seen plenty of politicians come and go, with almost every one of them promising the moon and very few living up to the hype.

Advertisement

Warren shamelessly insisted that the government could pay for quality health care for every American -- and illegal immigrants, too! -- just by raising taxes on billionaires and big corporations. Warren made clear tonight that she's not going to let a little thing like fiscal reality get in between her and the nomination.

... ... ...

Tonight was another night where you could easily forget Amy Klobuchar was on stage. Back when Klobuchar's campaign was in the nascent stage, people wondered how "Minnesota nice" would play on a national debate stage. We can now declare it boring, predictable, and forgettable.

[Jul 30, 2019] I believe Warren has authenticity as far as being anti-Wall Street

Notable quotes:
"... I like Elizabeth Warren, I would vote for her, . Not fond of some of her foreign policy positions, and I don't like how worked up Trump gets her. Forget about Trump, lets here what you plan on doing with the presidency E. Warren! ..."
"... Biden and Harris are both IMO DNC monsters like Clinton who will get us into nuclear war due to a combination of excessive hubris and flat out neocon/neolib stupidity. ..."
"... Warren's okay but it's hard to get past her support for Hillary in 2016 and not for Sanders whose policies reflect hers. So for me, Sanders is still the best, Warren 2nd. However, Trump will destroy him with Socialist scaremongering. ..."
"... Biden is older and will not want war (with any country) complicating his Presidency, and may choose a VP ready to succeed him if he decides not to run for a second term. He will return to the JCPOA. I don't like Biden's ingratiation with Zionists, but the reality is that Biden and Trump will be the choices, so hold your nose, because it's Biden or war and further regime change ambitions with Trump and maybe even a manipulated Trump 3rd term using war as the excuse to prolong his mandate! ..."
"... Biden has no conception of giving up office. As to war he will be as ready to start wars as he was when he and Obama and Hillary were all part of the same administration. ..."
Jul 30, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jason , Jul 30 2019 1:20 utc | 51

I like Elizabeth Warren, I would vote for her, . Not fond of some of her foreign policy positions, and I don't like how worked up Trump gets her. Forget about Trump, lets here what you plan on doing with the presidency E. Warren!

In the primaries I will support Gabbard, I believe she is as real of an anti-war candidate as there is, not perfect, but it is all relative.

Sanders would get my vote, too, although I do fear he is a bit of a "sheep-dog" but I'd give him a shot.

If not one of those candidates, oddly, I'll vote for Trump. Biden and Harris are both IMO DNC monsters like Clinton who will get us into nuclear war due to a combination of excessive hubris and flat out neocon/neolib stupidity.

I see a repeat of the 2016 election on the horizon, with the DNC doubling down on idiocy and losing in a similar fashion. They haven't learnt a thing from 2016 and think hyperventilating while screaming Trump, Trump, Trump is going to win the election.

Circe , Jul 30 2019 13:37 utc | 85

Warren's okay but it's hard to get past her support for Hillary in 2016 and not for Sanders whose policies reflect hers. So for me, Sanders is still the best, Warren 2nd. However, Trump will destroy him with Socialist scaremongering.

My bet is that the nominee will be Biden, because Biden can beat Trump in the election and Democrats, at the last minute, will vote out of fear of running someone who might lose to Trump.

My feeling is that there will be war in Trump's second term. Trump will be much bolder and more fascist after getting another mandate and having nothing to lose. Trump will be a war President having invested more than any other President on military hardware and itching to show it off. He hasn't fired his hawks for a reason. He will be more full of himself and his own importance in history. His Zionist financiers will get their money's worth in spades. His agenda will be more hostile on Iran and China and he'll finish what he started in Venezuela. He will lose the detente with NK, and after the election, he will no longer give friendly lip service to Russia especially on Syria and Venezuela and will expect Russia to go along with what he has planned for Iran.

Biden is older and will not want war (with any country) complicating his Presidency, and may choose a VP ready to succeed him if he decides not to run for a second term. He will return to the JCPOA. I don't like Biden's ingratiation with Zionists, but the reality is that Biden and Trump will be the choices, so hold your nose, because it's Biden or war and further regime change ambitions with Trump and maybe even a manipulated Trump 3rd term using war as the excuse to prolong his mandate!

nottheonly1 , Jul 30 2019 13:44 utc | 86

I wonder when people will start to call the executive of the US what it has been for some time now:

The Fascist US Regime

Does anybody believe this is going to end well?

bevin , Jul 30 2019 15:29 utc | 93
"My bet is that the nominee will be Biden, because Biden can beat Trump in the election and Democrats, at the last minute, will vote out of fear of running someone who might lose to Trump....."

Biden is Hillary without the feminist support. No way that he could beat Trump.

"Biden is older and will not want war (with any country) complicating his Presidency, and may choose a VP ready to succeed him if he decides not to run for a second term. .."

Biden has no conception of giving up office. As to war he will be as ready to start wars as he was when he and Obama and Hillary were all part of the same administration.

There is only one Democrat, among the announced candidates, who can beat Trump and his name is Sanders.

[Jul 30, 2019] The -Existential Battle- Is for Control of the Democratic Party

The purpose of the "Clintonized" Democratic Party is to diffuse public dissent to neoliberal rule in an orderly fashion. The militarization of US economy and society means that by joining the war coalition, the Democratic party doesn't have to win any presidential elections to remain in power. Because military-industrial complex rules the country.
Yes Clinton neoliberals want to stay in control and derail Sanders, much like they did in 2016. Biden and Harris are Clinton faction Trojan horses to accomplish that. But times changed and they might have to agree on Warren inread of Biden of Harris.
Notable quotes:
"... Trump fought the swamp, and the swamp won. Trump campaigned on ending our stupid pointless wars and spending that money on ourselves – and it looked at first like he might actually deliver (how RACIST of the man!) but not to worry, he is now surrounded by uber hawks and the defense industry dollars are continuing to flow. Which the Democrats are fine with. ..."
"... Trump campaigned on a populist platform, but once elected the only thing he really pushed for was a big juicy tax cut for himself and his billionaire buddies – which the Democrats are fine with (how come they can easily block attempts to stop the flow of cheap labor across the southern border, but not block massive giveaway tax cuts to the super rich? Because they have their priorities). ..."
"... So yeah, Trump is governing a lot like Hilary Clinton would have. ..."
"... I think it's much more likely that a Sanders victory would see the Clintonistas digging even further into the underbelly of the Democratic Party. There they would covertly and overtly sabotage Sanders, brief against him in the press and weaken, corrupt and hamstring any legislation that he proposes ..."
"... electing Sanders can not be the endgame, only the beginning. I think Nax is completely right that a Sanders win would bring on the full wrath of all its opponents. Then the real battle would begin. ..."
"... The notion that real change could happen in this country by winning an election or two is naive in the extreme. But that doesn't make it impossible. ..."
"... Lots of people hired by the Clintons, Obama, Rahm Emanuel, Cuomo, etc. will have to be defenestrated. Lose their public sector jobs, if not outright charged with crimes. No one must be left in a position to hurt you after the election. Anyone on the "other side" must lose all power or ability to damage you, except those too weak. These people can be turned and used by you; they can be kept in line with fear. But all the leaders must go. ..."
"... In order for Sanders to survive the onslaught that will surely come, he must have a jobs program ready to go on day one of his administration- and competent people committed to his cause ready to cary out the plan. ..."
"... Besides preventing social movements from undertaking independent political activity to their left, the Democrats have been adept at killing social movements altogether. They have done – and continue to do – this in four key ways: ..."
"... i) inducing "progressive" movement activists (e.g. Medea Benjamin of Code Pink and the leaders of Moveon.org and United for Peace and Justice today) to focus scarce resources on electing and defending capitalist politicians who are certain to betray peaceful- and populist-sounding campaign promises upon the attainment of power; ..."
"... (ii) pressuring activists to "rein in their movements, thereby undercutting the potential for struggle from below;" ..."
"... (iii) using material and social (status) incentives to buy off social movement leaders; ..."
"... iv) feeding a pervasive sense of futility regarding activity against the dominant social and political order, with its business party duopoly. ..."
"... It is not broken. It is fixed. Against us. ..."
"... Obama spent tens of trillions of dollars saving Wall Street – at the expense of Main Street – so that nothing got resolved about the problems that caused the crash in the first place. Trump's policies are doubling down on these problems so there is going to be a major disruption coming down the track. A major recession perhaps or maybe even worse. ..."
"... The militarization of US economy and society underscores your scenario. By being part of the war coalition, the Democratic party, as now constituted, doesn't have to win any presidential elections. The purpose of the Democratic party is to diffuse public dissent in an orderly fashion. This allows the war machine to grind on and the politicians are paid handsomely for their efforts. ..."
"... By joining the war coalition, the Democrats only have leverage over Republicans if the majority of citizens get "uppity" and start demanding social concessions. Democrats put down the revolt by subterfuge, which is less costly and allows the fiction of American Democracy and freedom to persist for a while longer. Republicans, while preferring more overt methods of repressing the working class, allow the fiction to continue because their support for authoritarian principles can stay hidden in the background. ..."
"... When this political theatre in the US finally reaches its end date, what lies behind the curtain will surely shock most of the population and I have little faith that the citizenry are prepared to deal with the consequences. A society of feckless consumers is little prepared to deal with hard core imperialists who's time has reached its end. ..."
"... This wrath of frustrated Imperialists will be turned upon the citizenry ..."
"... By owning the means of production, the Oligarchs will be able to produce the machinery of oppression without the resort to 'money.' In revolutionary times, the most valuable commodity would be flying lead. ..."
"... Could that be why "our" three-letter agencies have been stocking up on that substance for awhile, now? ..."
"... " The purpose of the Democratic Party is to diffuse public dissent in an orderly fashion." ..."
"... Yes, this election is starting to remind me of 2004. High-up Dems, believing they're playing the long game, sacrifice the election to maintain standing with big biz donors. ..."
"... Sadly, when Sanders speaks of a "revolution", and when he is referred to as a revolutionary, while at the same time accepting that the Democratic Party is a Party of the top 10%, puts into context just how low the bar is for a political revolution in America. ..."
"... actual democracy is an impediment to those who wield power in today's America, and in that respect the class war continues to be waged, primarily through divisive social issues to divert our attention from the looting being done by and for the rich and the decline in opportunity and economic security for everyone else. ..."
"... the Democratic Party consultant class, I call them leeches, is fighting for its power at the expense of the party and the country. ..."
"... The DLC-type New Democrats (corporatists) have been working to destroy New Deal Democrats and policies as a force in the party. The New Deal Democrats brought in bank regulations, social security, medicare, the voting rights act, restraint on financial predation, and various economic protections for the little-guy and for Main Street businesses. ..."
"... The DLC Dems have brought deregulation of the banks and financial sector, an attempt to cut social security, expansion of prisons, tax cuts for corporations and the billionaires, the return of monopoly power, and the economic squeeze on Main Street businesses forced to compete with monopolies. ..."
Jul 30, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

... ... ...

That 2020 existential battle, of course, is always cast as between the Democrats and the Republicans.

But there's another existential battle going on, one that will occur before the main event -- the battle for control of the Democratic Party. In the long run, that battle may turn out to be more important than the one that immediately follows it.

... ... ...

Before mainstream Democrats can begin the "existential battle" with the forces of Trump and Republicanism, they have to win the existential battle against the force that wants to force change on their own party.

They're engaged in that battle today, and it seems almost all of the "liberal media," sensing the existential nature of the threat, is helping them win it. Katie Halper, in a second perceptive piece on the media's obvious anti-Sanders bias, " MSNBC's Anti-Sanders Bias Is Getting Truly Ridiculous ," writes: "When MSNBC legal analyst Mimi Rocah ( 7/21/19 ) said that Bernie Sanders 'made [her] skin crawl,' though she 'can't even identify for you what exactly it is,' she was just expressing more overtly the anti-Sanders bias that pervades the network."

... ... ...

MSNBC is clearly acting as a messaging arm of the Democratic Party mainstream in its battle with progressives in general and Sanders in particular, and Zerlina Maxwell, who's been variously employed by that mainstream, from her work with Clinton to her work on MSNBC, is an agent in that effort.

Let me repeat what Matt Taibbi wrote: " [Sanders'] election would mean a complete overhaul of the Democratic Party, forcing everyone who ever worked for a Clinton to look toward the private sector. "

... ... ...


TG , July 30, 2019 at 1:45 pm

Agreed. Trump fought the swamp, and the swamp won. Trump campaigned on ending our stupid pointless wars and spending that money on ourselves – and it looked at first like he might actually deliver (how RACIST of the man!) but not to worry, he is now surrounded by uber hawks and the defense industry dollars are continuing to flow. Which the Democrats are fine with.

Trump campaigned on enforcing the laws against illegal immigration and limiting legal immigration, but he's now pretty much given up, the southern border is open full "Camp of the Saints" style and he's pushing for more legal 'guest' workers to satisfy the corporate demands for cheap labor – and the Democrats are for this (though Sanders started to object back in 2015 before he was beaten down).

Trump campaigned on a populist platform, but once elected the only thing he really pushed for was a big juicy tax cut for himself and his billionaire buddies – which the Democrats are fine with (how come they can easily block attempts to stop the flow of cheap labor across the southern border, but not block massive giveaway tax cuts to the super rich? Because they have their priorities).

Soon I expect that Trump will propose massive regressive tax increases on the working class – which of course the Democrats will be fine with ('to save the planet').

So yeah, Trump is governing a lot like Hilary Clinton would have.

And elections are pretty much pointless. Even if Sanders does win, he'll get beaten down faster even than Trump was.

Redlife2017 , July 30, 2019 at 4:52 am

I think people have a hard time with real inflection points. Most of life uses more short-term linear decision making. But at inflection points we have multiple possibilities that turn into rather surprising turns of events, such as Brexit and Trump. We still have people saying in the UK – "but they wouldn't do that!" The hell "they" won't. Norms are thrown out of the window and people start realising how wide the options are. This is not positive or negative. Just change or transformation.

That is my philosophical way of agreeing with you! It is easy to point at the hostility of the mainstream media and DNC as there being no way for Sanders to win. After all in 2004, look what the media and DNC did to Howard Dean. But people weren't dying then like they are now. The "Great Recession" wasn't on anyone's radar. People felt rich, like everything would be fine. We are not in that situation – the facts on the ground are so wildly different that the DNC and mainstream media will find it hard to stay in control.

Nax , July 30, 2019 at 2:42 am

I think it's much more likely that a Sanders victory would see the Clintonistas digging even further into the underbelly of the Democratic Party. There they would covertly and overtly sabotage Sanders, brief against him in the press and weaken, corrupt and hamstring any legislation that he proposes.

If Sanders should win against Trump expect the establishment to go into full revolt. Capital strike, mass layoffs, federal reserve hiking interest rates to induce a recession, a rotating cast of Democrats siding with Republicans to block legislation, press comparing him to worse than Carter before he even takes office and vilifying him all day every day.

I wouldn't be shocked to see Israel and the Saudis generate a crisis in, for example, Iran so Sanders either bends the knee to the neocons or gets to be portrayed as a cowardly failure for abandoning our 'allies' for the rest of his term.

Tyronius , July 30, 2019 at 4:59 am

You've just convinced me that the American Experiment is doomed. No one else but Sanders can pull America out of its long slow death spiral and your litany of the tactics of subversion of his presidency is persuasive that even in the event of his electoral victory, there will be no changing of the national direction.

JCC , July 30, 2019 at 9:05 am

I'm reading a series of essays by Morris Berman in his book "Are We There Yet". A lot of critics complain that he is too much the pessimist, but he presents some good arguments, dark though they may be, that the American Experiment was doomed from the start due to the inherent flaw of Every Man For Himself and its "get mine and the hell with everybody else" attitude that has been a part of the experiment from the beginning.

He is absolutely right about one thing, we are a country strongly based on hustling for money as much or more than anything else, and both Trump and the Clintons are classic examples of this, and why the country often gets the leaders it deserves.

That's why I believe that we need people like Sanders and Gabbard in the Oval Office. It is also why I believe that should either end up even getting close, Nax is correct. Those with power in this country will not accept the results and will do whatever is necessary to subvert them, and the Voter will buy that subversion hook, line, and sinker.

Left in Wisconsin , July 30, 2019 at 11:32 am

No. The point is that electing Sanders can not be the endgame, only the beginning. I think Nax is completely right that a Sanders win would bring on the full wrath of all its opponents. Then the real battle would begin.

The notion that real change could happen in this country by winning an election or two is naive in the extreme. But that doesn't make it impossible.

Big River Bandido , July 30, 2019 at 7:16 am

Lots of people hired by the Clintons, Obama, Rahm Emanuel, Cuomo, etc. will have to be defenestrated. Lose their public sector jobs, if not outright charged with crimes. No one must be left in a position to hurt you after the election. Anyone on the "other side" must lose all power or ability to damage you, except those too weak. These people can be turned and used by you; they can be kept in line with fear. But all the leaders must go.

Norb , July 30, 2019 at 6:09 am

In order for Sanders to survive the onslaught that will surely come, he must have a jobs program ready to go on day one of his administration- and competent people committed to his cause ready to cary out the plan.

The high ground is being able to express a new vision for the common good, 24/7, and do something to bring it about. You win even if you suffer losses.

Without that, life in the USA will become very disruptive to say the least.

g3 , July 30, 2019 at 4:08 am

Mainstream Dems are performing their role very well. Most likely I am preaching to the choir. But anyways, here is a review of Lance Selfa's book "Democrats: a critical history" by Paul Street :

https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/hope-killers-by-paul-street/

Besides preventing social movements from undertaking independent political activity to their left, the Democrats have been adept at killing social movements altogether. They have done – and continue to do – this in four key ways:

i) inducing "progressive" movement activists (e.g. Medea Benjamin of Code Pink and the leaders of Moveon.org and United for Peace and Justice today) to focus scarce resources on electing and defending capitalist politicians who are certain to betray peaceful- and populist-sounding campaign promises upon the attainment of power;

(ii) pressuring activists to "rein in their movements, thereby undercutting the potential for struggle from below;"

(iii) using material and social (status) incentives to buy off social movement leaders;

iv) feeding a pervasive sense of futility regarding activity against the dominant social and political order, with its business party duopoly.

It is not broken. It is fixed. Against us.

The Rev Kev , July 30, 2019 at 4:43 am

Pretty bad optics on MSNBC's part being unable to do simple numbers and I can fully believe that their motto starts with the words "This is who we are". Jimmy Dore has put out a few videos on how bad MSNBC has been towards Bernie and Progressives lately so it is becoming pretty blatant. Just spitballing a loose theory here but perhaps the Democrats have decided on a "poisoned chalice" strategy and do want not to win in 2020.

After 2008 the whole economy should have had a major re-set but Obama spent tens of trillions of dollars saving Wall Street – at the expense of Main Street – so that nothing got resolved about the problems that caused the crash in the first place. Trump's policies are doubling down on these problems so there is going to be a major disruption coming down the track. A major recession perhaps or maybe even worse.

Point is that perhaps the Democrats have calculated that it would be best for them to leave the Republicans in power to own this crash which will help them long term. And this explains why most of those democrat candidates look like they have fallen out of a clown car. The ones capable of going head to head with Trump are sidelined while their weakest candidates are pushed forward – people like Biden and Harris. Just a theory mind.

Norb , July 30, 2019 at 7:18 am

The militarization of US economy and society underscores your scenario. By being part of the war coalition, the Democratic party, as now constituted, doesn't have to win any presidential elections. The purpose of the Democratic party is to diffuse public dissent in an orderly fashion. This allows the war machine to grind on and the politicians are paid handsomely for their efforts.

By joining the war coalition, the Democrats only have leverage over Republicans if the majority of citizens get "uppity" and start demanding social concessions. Democrats put down the revolt by subterfuge, which is less costly and allows the fiction of American Democracy and freedom to persist for a while longer. Republicans, while preferring more overt methods of repressing the working class, allow the fiction to continue because their support for authoritarian principles can stay hidden in the background.

I have little faith in my fellow citizens as the majority are too brainwashed to see the danger of this political theatre. Most ignore politics, while those that do show an interest exercise that effort mainly by supporting whatever faction they belong. Larger issues and connections between current events remain a mystery to them as a result.

Military defeat seems the only means to break this cycle. Democrats, being the fake peaceniks that they are, will be more than happy to defer to their more authoritarian Republican counterparts when dealing with issues concerning war and peace. Look no further than Tulsi Gabbard's treatment in the party. The question is really should the country continue down this Imperialist path.

In one sense, economic recession will be the least of our problems in the future. When this political theatre in the US finally reaches its end date, what lies behind the curtain will surely shock most of the population and I have little faith that the citizenry are prepared to deal with the consequences. A society of feckless consumers is little prepared to deal with hard core imperialists who's time has reached its end.

This wrath of frustrated Imperialists will be turned upon the citizenry.

notabanker , July 30, 2019 at 9:17 am

This wrath of frustrated Imperialists will be turned upon the citizenry.

When their fiat money is worthless, we'll see how effective that "wrath" really is.

ambrit , July 30, 2019 at 12:55 pm

By owning the means of production, the Oligarchs will be able to produce the machinery of oppression without the resort to 'money.'
In revolutionary times, the most valuable commodity would be flying lead.

Carey , July 30, 2019 at 3:49 pm

Could that be why "our" three-letter agencies have been stocking up on that substance for awhile, now?

Phil in KC , July 30, 2019 at 1:09 pm

" The purpose of the Democratic Party is to diffuse public dissent in an orderly fashion."

Wow! I'm going to be keeping that little nugget in mind as I watch the debates. Well-stated, Norb.

DJG , July 30, 2019 at 8:43 am

If the nation wishes true deliverance, not just from Trump and Republicans, but from the painful state that got Trump elected in the first place, it will first have to believe in a savior.

No, no, no, no, no. No oooshy religion, which is part of what got us into this mess. Cities on a hill. The Exceptional Nation(tm). Obligatory burbling of Amazing Grace. Assumptions that everyone is a Methodist. And after Deliverance, the U S of A will be magically re-virginated (for the umpteenth time), pure and worthy of Manifest Destiny once again.

If you want to be saved, stick to your own church. Stop dragging it into the public sphere. This absurd and sloppy religious language is part of the problem. At the very least it is kitsch. At its worst it leads us to bomb Muslim nations and engage in "Crusades."

Other than that, the article makes some important points. In a year or so, there will be a lot of comments here on whether or not to vote for the pre-failed Democratic candidate, once the Party dumps Bernie Sanders. There is no requirement of voting for the Democrats, unless you truly do believe that they will bring the Deliverance (and untarnish your tarnished virtue). Vote your conscience. Not who Nate Silver indicates.

mle in detroit , July 30, 2019 at 10:30 am

+100

ptb , July 30, 2019 at 9:21 am

Yes, this election is starting to remind me of 2004. High-up Dems, believing they're playing the long game, sacrifice the election to maintain standing with big biz donors. The leading issue of the day (Iraq/GWOT/Patriot Act) was erased from mainstream US politics and has been since. Don't for a minute think they won't do a similar thing now. Big donors don't particularly fear Trump, nor a 6-3 conservative supreme court, nor a Bolton state dept, nor a racist DHS/ICE – those are not money issues for them.

KYrocky , July 30, 2019 at 9:32 am

Sadly, when Sanders speaks of a "revolution", and when he is referred to as a revolutionary, while at the same time accepting that the Democratic Party is a Party of the top 10%, puts into context just how low the bar is for a political revolution in America.

The candidate who would fight and would govern for the 90% of Americans is a revolutionary.

The fact that it can be said as a given that neither major Party is being run specifically to serve the vast majority of our country is itself an admission for that the class war begun by Reagan has been won, in more of a silent coup, and the rich have control of our nation.

Sadly, actual democracy is an impediment to those who wield power in today's America, and in that respect the class war continues to be waged, primarily through divisive social issues to divert our attention from the looting being done by and for the rich and the decline in opportunity and economic security for everyone else.

Sanders is considered a revolutionary merely for stating the obvious, stating the truth. That is what makes him dangerous to those that run the Democratic Party, and more broadly those who run this nation.

Sanders would do better to cast himself not as a revolutionary, but as a person of the people, with the belief that good government does not favor the wants of the richest over the needs of our country. That is what makes him a threat. To the rich unseen who hold power, to the Republican Party, and to some Democrats.

freedomny , July 30, 2019 at 11:28 am

Good read:

https://eand.co/why-the-21st-century-needs-an-existential-revolution-c3068a10b689

dbk , July 30, 2019 at 11:45 am

Perhaps another indication of internal discord that's getting out of hand:
https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/5-more-top-dccc-staffers-out-in-ongoing-diversity-saga

I agree with the thesis here, and confess to being puzzled by comments on LGM (for example) politics threads of the ilk "I'm with Warren but am good with Buttigieg too," or "I'm with Sanders but am good with Harris, too," etc.

Really?

Matthew G. Saroff , July 30, 2019 at 11:55 am

I love reading Taibbi, but in his article , that quote, " Sanders is the revolutionary. His election would mean a complete overhaul of the Democratic Party, forcing everyone who ever worked for a Clinton to look toward the private sector ," should be the lede, and its buried 2/3 of the way down.

This primary season is about how the Democratic Party consultant class, I call them leeches, is fighting for its power at the expense of the party and the country.

flora , July 30, 2019 at 1:07 pm

Yves writes: it is unfortunate that this struggle is being personified, as in too often treated by the media and political operatives as being about Sanders.

I agree. Sanders represents the continuing New Deal-type policies. The DLC-type New Democrats (corporatists) have been working to destroy New Deal Democrats and policies as a force in the party. The New Deal Democrats brought in bank regulations, social security, medicare, the voting rights act, restraint on financial predation, and various economic protections for the little-guy and for Main Street businesses.

The DLC Dems have brought deregulation of the banks and financial sector, an attempt to cut social security, expansion of prisons, tax cuts for corporations and the billionaires, the return of monopoly power, and the economic squeeze on Main Street businesses forced to compete with monopolies.

The MSM won't talk about any of the programmatic differences between the two sides. The MSM won't recognize the New Deal style Democratic voters even exist; the New Deal wing voters are quickly labeled 'deplorable' instead voters with competing economic policies to the current economic policies.

So, we're left with the MSM focusing on personalities to avoid talking about the real policy differences, imo.

sharonsj , July 30, 2019 at 2:53 pm

When Bernie talks about a revolution, he explains how it must be from the grassroots, from the bottom up. If he manages to get elected, his supporters have to make sure they get behind the politicians who also support him and, if they don't, get rid of them.

Without continuing mass protests, nothing is going to happen. Other countries have figured this out but Americans remain clueless.

[Jul 30, 2019] Warren targets corporate power with plan to overhaul trade policy TheHill

Jul 30, 2019 | thehill.com

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Elizabeth Ann Warren Poll: Beto O'Rourke leads 2020 Democrats in Texas by 3 points, followed by Biden Coalition to air anti-Medicare for All ads during Democratic debates Marianne Williamson: I am not a 'wacky new-age nutcase' MORE (D-Mass.) on Monday released a plan to use trade policy as a tool to create stronger safeguards for labor, the environment and regions of the country harmed by globalization.

Warren's plan would overhaul the process by which the U.S. proposes, writes, finalizes and enforces trade deals while imposing strict standards for any nation seeking or currently in a free trade deal with the U.S.

ADVERTISEMENT

In a Medium post outlining the extensive trade proposal, Warren said her approach to trade is centered on using the United States' immense leverage to protect domestic industries and workers.

Warren argued U.S trade policy has ceded too much power to international corporations, squandering the country's ability to defend its manufacturers, farmers and laborers.

"As President, I won't hand America's leverage to big corporations to use for their own narrow purposes," Warren wrote. "We will engage in international trade -- but on our terms and only when it benefits American families."

Warren's plan is among the most comprehensive proposals to replace President Trump Donald John Trump Professor installs seesaws across US-Mexico border to form connection 'on both sides' What the world can expect from the Boris Johnson government Marianne Williamson: I am not a 'wacky new-age nutcase' MORE 's tariff-based trade policy with a holistic protectionist agenda.

Trump has imposed more than $250 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods, foreign steel and aluminum, solar panels, and washing machines since taking office in 2017. The president has used import taxes as leverage in trade talks and inducement for companies to produce goods in the U.S., but manufacturing job gains and activity have faded throughout the year.

U.S. farmers and ranchers have also lost billions of dollars in foreign sales due to retaliatory tariffs imposed on American agricultural goods.

Warren acknowledged that while tariffs "are an important tool, they are not by themselves a long-term solution to our failed trade agenda and must be part of a broader strategy that this Administration clearly lacks."

Warren said she instead would pursue deals and renegotiate current agreement to "force other countries to raise the bar on everything from labor and environmental standards to anti-corruption rules to access to medicine to tax enforcement."

To do so, Warren would expand the ability of Congress and noncorporate advocates to see and shape trade deals as their being negotiated, not after they have been submitted to lawmakers for approval

Warren proposed staffing trade advisory panels with a majority of representatives from labor and environmental and consumer advocacy groups. She also called for special advisory panels for consumers, rural areas and each region of the country, "so that critical voices are at the table during negotiations."

Under Warren's plan, trade negotiators would be required to submit drafts of pending agreements to Congress and submit them for public comment through the same process used by federal regulators to propose and finalize rules.

Warren's plan also raises the bar for entry into a trade deal with the U.S. and seizes more power for the federal government to enforce agreements.

Warren proposed a list of nine standards required of any country seeking a U.S. trade deal including several international tax, climate and human rights treaties. She noted that the U.S. "shamefully" does not comply with some of these standards, but would do so under her presidency.

The plan also excludes any nation on the Treasury Department's currency manipulation monitoring list from a potential U.S. trade deal. As of May, that list includes China, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam.

Nations in trade deals with the U.S. would also be required to support subsidies for green energy, follow U.S. food inspection standards, pay a fee on goods produced using "carbon-intensive" processes and agree to stricter anti-trust standards.

[Jul 30, 2019] The main task of Democratic Party is preventing social movements from undertaking independent political activity to their left and killing such social movements

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Besides preventing social movements from undertaking independent political activity to their left, the Democrats have been adept at killing social movements altogether. They have done – and continue to do – this in four key ways: ..."
"... i) inducing "progressive" movement activists (e.g. Medea Benjamin of Code Pink and the leaders of Moveon.org and United for Peace and Justice today) to focus scarce resources on electing and defending capitalist politicians who are certain to betray peaceful- and populist-sounding campaign promises upon the attainment of power; ..."
"... (ii) pressuring activists to "rein in their movements, thereby undercutting the potential for struggle from below;" ..."
"... (iii) using material and social (status) incentives to buy off social movement leaders; ..."
"... iv) feeding a pervasive sense of futility regarding activity against the dominant social and political order, with its business party duopoly. ..."
"... It is not broken. It is fixed. Against us. ..."
"... The militarization of US economy and society underscores your scenario. By being part of the war coalition, the Democratic party, as now constituted, doesn't have to win any presidential elections. The purpose of the Democratic party is to diffuse public dissent in an orderly fashion. This allows the war machine to grind on and the politicians are paid handsomely for their efforts. ..."
"... By joining the war coalition, the Democrats only have leverage over Republicans if the majority of citizens get "uppity" and start demanding social concessions. Democrats put down the revolt by subterfuge, which is less costly and allows the fiction of American Democracy and freedom to persist for a while longer. Republicans, while preferring more overt methods of repressing the working class, allow the fiction to continue because their support for authoritarian principles can stay hidden in the background. ..."
"... When this political theatre in the US finally reaches its end date, what lies behind the curtain will surely shock most of the population and I have little faith that the citizenry are prepared to deal with the consequences. A society of feckless consumers is little prepared to deal with hard core imperialists who's time has reached its end. ..."
"... This wrath of frustrated Imperialists will be turned upon the citizenry ..."
Jul 30, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

g3 , July 30, 2019 at 4:08 am

Mainstream Dems are performing their role very well. Most likely I am preaching to the choir. But anyways, here is a review of Lance Selfa's book "Democrats: a critical history" by Paul Street :

https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/hope-killers-by-paul-street/

Besides preventing social movements from undertaking independent political activity to their left, the Democrats have been adept at killing social movements altogether. They have done – and continue to do – this in four key ways:

i) inducing "progressive" movement activists (e.g. Medea Benjamin of Code Pink and the leaders of Moveon.org and United for Peace and Justice today) to focus scarce resources on electing and defending capitalist politicians who are certain to betray peaceful- and populist-sounding campaign promises upon the attainment of power;

(ii) pressuring activists to "rein in their movements, thereby undercutting the potential for struggle from below;"

(iii) using material and social (status) incentives to buy off social movement leaders;

iv) feeding a pervasive sense of futility regarding activity against the dominant social and political order, with its business party duopoly.

It is not broken. It is fixed. Against us.

Norb , July 30, 2019 at 7:18 am

The militarization of US economy and society underscores your scenario. By being part of the war coalition, the Democratic party, as now constituted, doesn't have to win any presidential elections. The purpose of the Democratic party is to diffuse public dissent in an orderly fashion. This allows the war machine to grind on and the politicians are paid handsomely for their efforts.

By joining the war coalition, the Democrats only have leverage over Republicans if the majority of citizens get "uppity" and start demanding social concessions. Democrats put down the revolt by subterfuge, which is less costly and allows the fiction of American Democracy and freedom to persist for a while longer. Republicans, while preferring more overt methods of repressing the working class, allow the fiction to continue because their support for authoritarian principles can stay hidden in the background.

I have little faith in my fellow citizens as the majority are too brainwashed to see the danger of this political theatre. Most ignore politics, while those that do show an interest exercise that effort mainly by supporting whatever faction they belong. Larger issues and connections between current events remain a mystery to them as a result.

Military defeat seems the only means to break this cycle. Democrats, being the fake peaceniks that they are, will be more than happy to defer to their more authoritarian Republican counterparts when dealing with issues concerning war and peace. Look no further than Tulsi Gabbard's treatment in the party. The question is really should the country continue down this Imperialist path.

In one sense, economic recession will be the least of our problems in the future. When this political theatre in the US finally reaches its end date, what lies behind the curtain will surely shock most of the population and I have little faith that the citizenry are prepared to deal with the consequences. A society of feckless consumers is little prepared to deal with hard core imperialists who's time has reached its end.

This wrath of frustrated Imperialists will be turned upon the citizenry.

[Jul 27, 2019] Elizabeth Warren The woman who predicted last financial crisis is sounding alarm again by Ros Krasny

Notable quotes:
"... But Dean Baker, the co-founder of the liberal Centre for Economic and Policy Research, said that the increase in corporate debt has corresponded with higher profits and manageably low interest rates. "The idea that you're going to have this massive cascade of defaults - it's very hard to see," Baker said. ..."
"... Michael Madowitz, an economist at the Centre for American Progress, said that most predictions about recessions were wrong, not just those offered by politicians. ..."
"... But he interpreted Warren's essay as a broader warning about how Trump's efforts to support growth by curbing regulations and attacking government institutions might eventually be destructive ..."
"... With my total lack of understanding of world economics I predict a stock market crash sometime between May 2020 and October 2020 and a recession, including Australia (worse than the unofficial one we have really been in here in Australia for the last 10 years), over following few years. ..."
Jul 27, 2019 | smh.com.au

Elizabeth Warren became a household name thanks to her prescient warning of what became a global financial crisis. Now she's staking her credentials on another forecast of fiscal trauma ahead. The Democratic presidential candidate published an online essay this week saying that a rise in consumer and corporate debt is imperilling the longest expansion in US history.

"Whether it's this year or next year, the odds of another economic downturn are high - and growing," Warren wrote.

Her prediction could help her win over primary voters by tapping into anxieties about middle-class economic stability despite broad gains over the past decade. But Warren's opponents could seize on her warning to undermine her credibility should a crash fail to materialise before next year's election, and some economists sympathetic to her agenda say that - for the moment - her conclusion of a looming recession is overblown. Recessions are notoriously difficult to forecast. Warren first warned in 2003 about subprime mortgage lending, yet it was roughly five years later when the US housing market fully collapsed.

And although her dire forecast echoed in style some warnings made by Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, Warren hasn't aligned with him in portraying her potential election to the White House as the only way to avert disaster. "I went through this back in the years before the 2008 crash, and no one wanted to listen.

So, here we are again," Warren said on Capitol Hill last week. "I'm trying to point out where the warning signs are. I hope our regulators and Congress listen, make changes, and that the economy strengthens."

Even economists who like her prescription are skeptical about her diagnosis. Warren rooted her concerns about the economy in a Federal Reserve report that found a 6.8 per cent increase in household debt over the past decade, allowing the Massachusetts senator to write that American families are "taking on more debt than ever before." But that figure is not adjusted for inflation, nor is it adjusted for population growth - and the number of US households has risen by 9.5 per cent during the same period, meaning that Fed data also shows debt levels have fallen on a per capita basis.

"I don't see a huge bubble on the other side of household debt that is going to savage people's assets," said Josh Bivens, director of research at the liberal Economic Policy Institute. At the moment, families can afford their debt because of low interest rates, and that minimises the risks to the economy. American households are devoting less than 10 per cent of their disposable income to debt service, down from roughly 13 per cent in 2008, according to the Fed. This doesn't mean that Warren is wrong to conclude that families are burdened by student debt and childcare costs, just that data suggests the debt produced by those expenses is unlikely to cause a downturn.

Part of Warren's forecast hinges on a spike in interest rates that seems unlikely as most benchmark rates have declined since November. Warren has assembled a litany of proposals aimed at bringing down household debt, through student loan forgiveness and affordable childcare availability as well as a housing plan designed to lower rent costs. She touted her policy agenda - which has propelled her higher in the polls - as ways to avert her predicted crash.

Warren's warning of a downturn is a somewhat unique maneuver for a presidential candidate. Past White House hopefuls have waited for the downturns to start before capitalising on them. Bill Clinton won the presidency in 1992, for example, on a post-recession message summed up by then-adviser James Carville's edict to focus on "the economy, stupid."

Warren also warned this week that an increase in corporate borrowing could crush the economy.

But Dean Baker, the co-founder of the liberal Centre for Economic and Policy Research, said that the increase in corporate debt has corresponded with higher profits and manageably low interest rates. "The idea that you're going to have this massive cascade of defaults - it's very hard to see," Baker said.

Related Article Bumpy road ahead for US financial reforms

While the US economy may not be entering into a recession, many economic forecasters say growth is still slowing because of global and demographic pressures. Evidence of this has already caused Fed officials to signal that they plan to cut interest rates at their meeting next week. Trump has repeatedly called for the Fed to make even steeper cuts to improve his economic track record.

Michael Madowitz, an economist at the Centre for American Progress, said that most predictions about recessions were wrong, not just those offered by politicians.

But he interpreted Warren's essay as a broader warning about how Trump's efforts to support growth by curbing regulations and attacking government institutions might eventually be destructive. "It's hard to say what a debt-driven problem would look like until it happens," Madowitz said.

"I think it's also reasonable to elevate concern at the moment given how politicised Trump has made apolitical economic institutions like the Fed. That's not a free lunch. It creates real risks, so it's more important than usual to think about what happens if things go bump in the night."

AP Mick 8 hours ago

I really have no idea about economics - seriously the mechanics of world financing, where every country seems to in debt baffles me. But if you look at the last 40 years or so - my adult life - there seems to be a stock market crash about each 10 years and a recession in the USA about each 10 years. From memory, stock markets in 1987, 1997, 2008 (I suppose also dot com stuff in around 1999/2000 as well). Recessions in the US in early 90's, early 2000's, 2009 into 2010's.

With my total lack of understanding of world economics I predict a stock market crash sometime between May 2020 and October 2020 and a recession, including Australia (worse than the unofficial one we have really been in here in Australia for the last 10 years), over following few years.

I wonder how my predictions will stand up to the experts. Gillespie 8 hours ago No facts seem to be the hallmark of your post. "Warren first warned in 2003 about subprime mortgage lending" shshus 10 hours ago The incoming economic meltdown in a insanely indebted global ponzi scheme is a no brainer. Despite Trump's usual bombast, the US economy is hardly growing and manufacturing is already in recession. The lunatic policies of central banks to offer free money at almost zero interest rates has caused a greed based credit frenzy that is simply unsustainable. The coming economic collapse will be far worse as the trade wars between US and China and rest of the world will simply compound the problem. Australia is particularly vulnerable in both economic and strategic terms. Time to batten the hatches, rather than pile on more consumer debt.

[Jul 24, 2019] Elizabeth Warren Seeks to Cut Private Equity Down to Size

Highly recommended!
That bill alone makes Warren a viable candidate again, despite all her previous blunders. She is a courageous woman, that Warren. And she might wipe the floor with the completely subservant to Israel lobby Trump. Who betrayed his electorate in all major promises.
Notable quotes:
"... Not only would Warren's legislation prohibit some of the most destructive private equity activities, but it would end their ability to act as traditional asset managers, taking fees and incurring close to no risk if their investments go belly up. The bill takes the explicit and radical view that: ..."
"... Private funds should have a stake in the outcome of their investments, enjoying returns if those investments are successful but ab-1sorbing losses if those investments fail. ..."
"... Critics will say that Warren's bill has no chance of passing, which is currently true but misses the point. ..."
"... firms would share responsibility for the liabilities of companies under their control, including debt, legal judgments, and pension obligations to "better align the incentives of private equity firms and the companies they own." The bill, if enacted, would end the tax subsidy for excessive leverage and closes the carried interest loophole. ..."
"... The bill also seeks to ban dividends to investors for two years after a firm is acquired. Worker pay would be prioritized in the bankruptcy process, with guidelines intended to ensure affected employees are more likely to receive severance pay and pensions. It would also clarify gift cards are consumer deposits, ensuring their priority in bankruptcy proceedings. If enacted, private equity managers will be required to disclose fees, returns, and political expenditures. ..."
"... This is a bold set of proposals that targets abuses that hurt workers and investors. Most readers may not appreciate the significance of the two-year restriction on dividends. One return-goosing strategy that often leaves companies crippled or bankrupt in its wake is the "dividend recap" in which the acquired company takes on yet more debt for the purpose of paying a special dividend to its investors. Another strategy that Appelbaum and Batt have discussed at length is the "op co/prop co." Here the new owners take real estate owned by the company, sell it to a new entity with the former owner leasing it. The leases are typically set high so as to allow for the "prop co" to be sold at a richer price. This strategy is often a direct contributor to the death of businesses, since ones that own their real estate usually do so because they are in cyclical industries, and not having lease payments enables the to ride out bad times. The proceeds of sale of the real estate is usually dividended out to the investors, hence the dividend restriction would also pour cold water on this approach. ..."
"... However, there is precedent in private equity for recognizing joint and several liability of an investment fund for the obligations of its portfolio companies. In a case that winded its way through the federal courts until last year ( Sun Capital Partners III, LP v. New England Teamsters & Trucking Indus. Pension Fund ), the federal court held that Sun Capital Partners III was liable under ERISA, the federal pension law, for the unfunded pension obligations of Scott Brass, a portfolio company of that fund. The court's key finding was that Sun Capital played an active management role in Scott Brass and that its claim of passive investor status therefore should not be respected. ..."
"... Needless to say, private equity firms have worked hard to minimize their exposure to the Sun Capital decision, for example by avoiding purchasing companies with defined benefit pension plans. The Warren bill, however, is so broad in the sweep of liability it imposes that PE firms would be unlikely to be able to structure around it. It is hard to imagine the investors in private equity funds accepting liability for what could be enormous sums of unfunded pension liabilities ultimately flowing onto them. Either they would have to set up shell companies to fund their PE investments that could absorb the potential liability, or they would have to give up on the asset class. Either way, it would mean big changes to the industry and potentially a major contraction of it. ..."
"... I am surprised that Warren sought to make private equity funds responsible for the portfolio company debts by "joint and several liability". You can get to economically pretty much the same end by requiring the general partner and potentially also key employees to guarantee the debt and by preventing them from assigning or buying insurance to protect the guarantor from being liable. There is ample precedent for that for entrepreneurs. Small business corporate credit cards and nearly all small business loans require a personal guarantee. ..."
"... Warren's bill also has strong pro-investor provisions. It takes on the biggest feature of the ongoing investor scamming, which is the failure of PE managers to disclose to the investors all of the fees they receive from portfolio companies. The solution proposed by the bill to this problem is exceedingly straightforward, basically proclaiming, "Oh yeah, now you will have to disclose that." The bill also abolishes the ability of private equity managers to claim long term capital gains treatment on the 20 percent of fund profits that they receive, which is unrelated to the return on any capital that the private equity managers may happen to invest in a fund. ..."
"... We need a reparations movement for all those workers harmed by private equity. Seriously. ..."
"... It's so nice to see someone taking steps to protect the rights and compensation of the people actually doing the work at the companies and putting their interests first in case of bankruptcy. That those who worked hardest to make the company succeed were somehow the ones who took it in the shorts the worst has always struck me as a glaring inequity bordering on cruelty. ..."
Jul 23, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Elizabeth Warren's Stop Wall Street Looting Act , which is co-sponsored by Tammy Baldwin, Sherrod Brown, Mark Pocan and Pramila Jayapal, seeks to fundamentally alter the way private equity firms operate. While the likely impetus for Warren's bill was the spate of private-equity-induced retail bankruptcies, with Toys 'R' Us particularly prominent, the bill addresses all the areas targeted by critics of private equity: how it hurts workers and investors and short-changes the tax man, thus burdening taxpayers generally.

... ... ...

[Jul 20, 2019] Warren's Weaknesses

Jul 20, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

Take yer pick. These and more are linked all over the innertubes and growing in number and breath of issues everyday:

Why the Differences Between Sanders and Warren Matter https://jacobinmag.com/2019/01/elizabeth-warren-bernie-sanders-socialism...

That Time Warren Cheered Trump. Well, this was disappointing... Elizabeth Warren stands up and applauds Trump's promise that "America will never be a socialist country." https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=416898935744430

Elizabeth Warren hates money in politics, keeps taking campaign donations from rich lobbyists and corporate executives https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/elizabeth-warren-hates-money-...

Elizabeth Warren ripped Joe Biden's big Philly fund-raiser. Last year, she did an event with some of the same rich donors. https://www.inquirer.com/news/elizabeth-warren-joe-biden-presidential-fu...

Leftover PAC money funneled into Warren's campaign https://www.gloucestertimes.com/election/leftover-pac-money-funneled-int...

Elizabeth Warren's 'big money' rejection doesn't apply to general https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/feb/26/elizabeth-warrens-big-m...

Elizabeth Warren's Campaign Turned To A Big Donor To Pay For The DNC Voter Database, Despite Her Fundraising Pledge https://www.buzzfeednews.com/amphtml/rubycramer/elizabeth-warren-fundrai...

Warren has a plan for Wall Street -- and Wall Street isn't panicking https://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/18/elizabeth-warren-wall-street-e...

Why Wall Street prefers Warren to Sanders https://www.politico.com/newsletters/morning-money/2019/07/18/why-wall-s...

Elizabeth Warren on Bernie Sanders: "He's a socialist, and I believe in markets." https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/rubycramer/elizabeth-warren-bernie-...

Elizabeth Warren decided to specifically stand up and applaud Trump when he said "America will never be a socialist country." https://twitter.com/HammerMtPress/status/1094369068063358976 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6B_MYpByUs&feature=youtu.be&t=3753

snoopydawg on Fri, 07/19/2019 - 5:06pm

[Jul 15, 2019] Elizabeth Warren Has Made Her Story America's Story

Highly recommended!
Jul 15, 2019 | www.thenation.com

Looks like Warren weakness is her inability to distinguish between key issues and periferal issues.

While her program is good and is the only one that calls for "structural change" (which is really needed as neoliberalism outlived its usefulness) it mixes apple and oranges. One thing is to stop neoliberal transformation of the society and the other is restitution for black slaves. In the latter case why not to Indians ?

I'd argue that Warren's newly tight and coherent story, in which her life's arc tracks the country's, is contributing to her rise, in part because it protects her against other stories -- the nasty ones told by her opponents, first, and then echoed by the media doubters influenced by her opponents. Her big national-stage debut came when she tangled with Barack Obama's administration over bank bailouts, then set up the powerhouse Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). But she was dismissed as too polarizing, even by some Democrats, and was passed over to run it. In 2012, Massachusetts's Scott Brown mocked Warren as "the Professor," a know-it-all Harvard schoolmarm, before she beat him to take his Senate seat. After that, Donald Trump began trashing her as "Pocahontas" in the wake of a controversy on the campaign trail about her mother's rumored Native American roots. And Warren scored an own goal with a video that announced she had "confirmed" her Native heritage with a DNA test, a claim that ignored the brutal history of blood-quantum requirements and genetic pseudoscience in the construction of race.

When she announced her presidential run this year, some national political reporters raised questions about her likability , finding new ways to compare her to Hillary Clinton, another female candidate widely dismissed as unlikable. A month into Warren's campaign, it seemed the media was poised to Clintonize her off the primary stage. But it turned out she had a plan for that, too.

I n the tale that is captivating crowds on the campaign trail, Warren is not a professor or a political star but a hardscrabble Oklahoma "late-in-life baby" or, as her mother called her, "the surprise." Her elder brothers had joined the military; she was the last one at home, just a middle-schooler when her father had the massive heart attack that would cost him his job. "I remember the day we lost the station wagon," she tells crowds, lowering her voice. "I learned the words 'mortgage' and 'foreclosure' " listening to her parents talk when they thought she was asleep, she recalls. One day she walked in on her mother in her bedroom, crying and saying over and over, " 'We are not going to lose this house.' She was 50 years old," Warren adds, "had never worked outside the home, and she was terrified."

RELATED ARTICLE

This part of the story has been a Warren staple for years: Her mother put on her best dress and her high heels and walked down to a Sears, where she got a minimum-wage job. Warren got a private lesson from her mother's sacrifice -- "You do what you have to to take care of those you love" -- and a political one, too. "That minimum-wage job saved our house, and it saved our family." In the 1960s, she says, "a minimum-wage job could support a family of three. Now the minimum wage can't keep a momma and a baby out of poverty."

That's Act I of Warren's story and of the disappearing American middle class whose collective story her family's arc symbolizes. In Act II, she walks the crowd through her early career, including some personal choices that turned her path rockier: early marriage, dropping out of college. But her focus now is on what made it possible for her to rise from the working class. Warren tells us how she went back to school and got her teaching certificate at a public university, then went to law school at another public university. Both cost only a few hundred dollars in tuition a year. She always ends with a crowd-pleaser: "My daddy ended up as a janitor, but his baby daughter got the opportunity to become a public-school teacher, a law professor, a US senator, and run for president!"


Warren has honed this story since her 2012 Senate campaign. Remember her "Nobody in this country got rich on his own" speech ? It was an explanation of how the elite amassed wealth thanks to government investments in roads, schools, energy, and police protection, which drew more than 1 million views on YouTube. Over the years, she has become the best explainer of the way the US government, sometime around 1980, flipped from building the middle class to protecting the wealthy. Her 2014 book, A Fighting Chance , explains how Warren (once a Republican, like two of her brothers) saw her own family's struggle in the stories of those families whose bankruptcies she studied as a lawyer -- families she once thought might have been slackers. Starting in 1989, with a book she cowrote on bankruptcy and consumer credit, her writing has charted the way government policies turned against the middle class and toward corporations. That research got her tapped by then–Senate majority leader Harry Reid to oversee the Troubled Assets Relief Program after the 2008 financial crash and made her a favorite on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart . Starting in the mid-2000s, she publicly clashed with prominent Democrats, including Biden , a senator at the time, over bankruptcy reforms, and later with then–Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner over the bank bailouts.

Sanders, of course, has a story too, about a government that works for the "millionaires and billionaires." But he has a hard time connecting his family's stories of struggle to his policies. After his first few campaign events, he ditched the details about growing up poor in Brooklyn. In early June, he returned to his personal story in a New York Times op-ed .

W arren preaches the need for "big structural change" so often that a crowd chanted the phrase back at her during a speech in San Francisco the first weekend in June. Then she gets specific. In Act III of her stump speech, she lays out her dizzying array of plans. But by then they're not dizzying, because she has anchored them to her life and the lives of her listeners. The rapport she develops with her audience, sharing her tragedies and disappointments -- questionable choices and all -- makes her bold policy pitches feel believable. She starts with her proposed wealth tax: two cents on every dollar of your worth after $50 million, which she says would raise $2.75 trillion over 10 years. (She has also proposed a 7 percent surtax on corporate profits above $100 million.)

Warren sells the tax with a vivid, effective comparison. "How many of you own a home?" she asks. At most of her stops in Iowa, it was roughly half the crowd. "Well, you already pay a wealth tax on your major asset. You pay a property tax, right?" People start nodding. "I just want to make sure we're also taxing the diamonds, the Rembrandts, the yachts, and the stock portfolios." Nobody in those Iowa crowds seemed to have a problem with that.

Then she lays out the shocking fact that people in the top 1 percent pay roughly 3.2 percent of their wealth in taxes, while the bottom 99 percent pay 7.4 percent.

That "big structural change" would pay for the items on Warren's agenda -- the programs that would rebuild the opportunity ladder to the middle class -- that have become her signature: free technical school or two- or four-year public college; at least partial loan forgiveness for 95 percent of those with student debt; universal child care and prekindergarten, with costs capped at 7 percent of family income; and a pay hike for child-care workers.

"Big structural change" would also include strengthening unions and giving workers 40 percent of the seats on corporate boards. Warren promises to break up Big Tech and Big Finance. She calls for a constitutional amendment to protect the right to vote and vows to push to overturn Citizens United . To those who say it's too much, she ends every public event the same way: "What do you think they said to the abolitionists? 'Too hard!' To the suffragists fighting to get women the right to vote? 'Too hard!' To the foot soldiers of the civil-rights movement, to the activists who wanted equal marriage? 'Give up now!' " But none of them gave up, she adds, and she won't either. Closing that way, she got a standing ovation at every event I attended.

R ecently, Warren has incorporated into her pitch the stark differences between what mid-20th-century government offered to black and white Americans. This wasn't always the case. After a speech she delivered at the Roosevelt Institute in 2015, I heard black audience members complain about her whitewashed version of the era when government built the (white) middle class. Many black workers were ineligible for Social Security; the GI Bill didn't prohibit racial discrimination ; and federal loan guarantees systematically excluded black home buyers and black neighborhoods. "I love Elizabeth, but those stories about the '50s drive me crazy," one black progressive said.

The critiques must have made their way to Warren. Ta-Nehisi Coates recently told The New Yorker that after his influential Atlantic essay "The Case for Reparations" appeared five years ago, the Massachusetts senator asked to meet with him. "She had read it. She was deeply serious, and she had questions." Now, when Warren talks about the New Deal, she is quick to mention the ways African Americans were shut out. Her fortunes on the campaign trail brightened after April's She the People forum in Houston, where she joined eight other candidates in talking to what the group's founder, Aimee Allison, calls "the real Democratic base": women of color, many from the South. California's Kamala Harris, only the second African-American woman ever elected to the US Senate, might have had the edge coming in, but Warren surprised the crowd. "She walked in to polite applause and walked out to a standing ovation," Allison said, after the candidate impressed the crowd with policies to address black maternal-health disparities, the black-white wealth gap, pay inequity, and more.



G Jutson says:

July 4, 2019 at 1:00 pm

Well here we are in the circular firing squad Obama warned us about. Sander's fan boys vs. Warren women. Sanders has been our voice in DC on the issues for a generation. He has changed the debate. Thank you Bernie. Now a Capitalist that wants to really reform it can be a viable candidate. Warren is that person. We supported Sanders last time to help us get to this stage. Time to pass the baton to someone that can beat Trump. After the Sept. debates I expect The Nation to endorse Warren and to still hear grumbling from those that think moving on from candidate Bernie somehow means unfaithfulness to his/our message .

Kenneth Viste says: June 27, 2019 at 5:52 am

I would like to hear her talk about free college as an investment in people rather than an expense. Educated people earn more and therefore pay more taxes than uneducated so it pays to educate the populous to the highest level possible.

Jim Dickinson says: June 26, 2019 at 7:11 pm

Warren gets it and IMO is probably the best Democratic candidate of the bunch. Biden does not get it and I get depressed seeing him poll above Warren with his tired corporate ideas from the past.

I have a different take on her not being progressive enough. Her progressive politics are grounded in reality and not in the pie in the sky dreams of Sanders, et al. The US is a massively regressive nation and proposing doing everything at once, including a total revamp of our healthcare system is simply unrealistic.

That was my problem with Sanders, who's ideas I agree with. There is no way in hell to make the US into a progressive dream in one election - NONE.

I too dream of a progressive US that most likely goes well beyond what most people envision. But I also have watched those dreams collapse many, many times in the past when we reach too far. I hope that we can make important but obtainable changes which might make the great unwashed masses see who cares about them and who does not.

I hope that she does well because she has a plan for many of the ills of this nation. The US could certainly use some coherent plans after the chaos and insanity of the Trump years. Arguing about who was the best Democratic candidate in 2016 helped put this schmuck in office and I hope that we don't go down that path again.

Caleb Melamed says: June 26, 2019 at 2:13 pm

I had a misunderstanding about one key aspect of Warren's political history. I had always thought that she was neutral in 2016 between Sanders and Hillary Clinton. On CNN this morning, a news clip showed that Warren in fact endorsed Hillary Clinton publicly, shouting "I'm with her," BEFORE Sanders withdrew from the race. This action had the effect of weakening Sanders' bargaining position vis a vis Clinton once he actually withdrew. Clinton proceeded to treat Sanders and his movement like a dish rag. I am now less ready to support Warren in any way.

Robert Andrews says: June 26, 2019 at 12:17 pm

I have three main reasons I do not want Senator Warren nominate which are:

Not going all out for a single payer healthcare system. This is a massive problem with Warren. With her starting out by moving certain groups to Medicare is sketchy at best. Which groups would be graced first? I am sure whoever is left behind will be thrilled. Is Warren going to expand Medicare so that supplemental coverages will not be needed anymore? Crying about going too far too fast is a losing attitude. You go after the most powerful lobby in the country full bore if you want any kind of real and lasting changes.

With Warren's positions and actions with foreign policy this statement is striking, "Once Warren's foreign policy record is scrutinized, her status as a progressive champion starts to wither. While Warren is not on the far right of Democratic politics on war and peace, she also is not a progressive -- nor a leader -- and has failed to use her powerful position on the Senate Armed Services Committee to challenge the status quo" - Sarah Lazare. She is the web editor at In These Times. She comes from a background in independent journalism for publications including The Intercept, The Nation, and Tom Dispatch. She tweets at @sarahlazare.

Lastly, the stench with selling off her integrity with receiving corporate donations again if nominated is overpowering.

For reference, she was a registered Republican until the mid 1990's.

Joan Walsh, why don't you give congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard any presence with your articles? Her level of integrity out shines any other female candidate and Gabbard's positions and actions are progressive. I don't want to hear that she isn't a major player, because you have included Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Gabbard's media blackout has been dramatic, thank you for your contribution with it also.

Robert Andrews says: June 27, 2019 at 8:29 am

I was impressed with Warren on the debate, especially since she finally opened her arms to a single payer healthcare system.

Caleb Melamed says: June 26, 2019 at 2:35 pm

Gabbard is playing a very important role in this race, whatever her numbers (which are probably higher than those being reported and are sure to go up after tonight). In some ways, her position in 2020 resembles that of Sanders in 2016--the progressive outlier, specifically on issues relating to the U.S. policy of endless war. Gabbard makes Sanders look more mainstream by comparison on this issue (though their difference is more one of emphasis than substance), making it much harder for the DNC establishment to demonize and ostracize Sanders. (Third Way really, really wants to stop Sanders--they have called him an "existential threat.") Gabbard's important role in this respect is one reason the DNC and its factotums are expending such effort on sliming her.

By the way, Nation, you have now reprinted my first comment to this article five (5) times!

Clark Shanahan says: June 26, 2019 at 1:19 pm

Tulsi,
Our most eloquent anti-military-interventionism candidate, hands down.

Richard Phelps says: June 26, 2019 at 1:29 pm

Unfortunately EW doesn't beat Trump past the margin of error in all the polls I have seen. Bernie does in most. The other scary factor is how so many neoliberals are now talking nice about her. They want anyone but the true, consistent progressive, Bernie. And her backing away from putting us on a human path on health care, like so many other countries, is foreboding of a sellout to the health insurance companies, a group focused on profits over health care for our citizens. A group with no redeeming social value. 40,000+ people die each year due to lack of medical care, so the company executives can have their 8 figure salaries and golden parachutes when they retire. Also don't forget they are adamantly anti union. Where is Warren's fervor to ride our country of this leach on society? PS I donated $250 to her last Senate campaign. I like her. She is just not what we need to stop the final stages of oligarchic take over, where so much of our resources are wasted on the Pentagon and unnecessary wars and black opps. It is not Bernie or bust, it is Bernie or oligarchy!!!

Walter Pewen says: June 27, 2019 at 10:52 am

Frankly, having family from Oklahoma I'd say Warren IS a progressive. Start reading backwards and you will find out.

Clark Shanahan says: June 26, 2019 at 1:24 pm

You certainly shall never see her call out AIPAC.
She has since tried to shift her posture.. but, her original take was lamentable.

https://theintercept.com/2014/08/28/elizabeth-warren-speaks-israelgaza-sounds-like-netanyahu/

Clark Shanahan says: June 26, 2019 at 10:29 pm

You really need to give Hillary responsibility for her loss, Andy
Also, to Obama, who sold control of the DNC over to Clinton Inc in Sept, 2015.
I'll vote for Warren, of course.
Sadly, with our endless wars and our rogue state Israel, Ms Warren is way too deferential; seemingly hopeless.

Walter Pewen says: June 28, 2019 at 11:22 am

I don't want to vote for Biden. And if he gets the nomination I probably won't. And I've voted the ticket since 1976. I DO NOT like Joe Biden. Contrary to the media mind fuck we are getting in this era. And I'll wager a LOT of people don't like him. He is a dick.

Karin Eckvall says: June 26, 2019 at 10:50 am

Well-done article Ms. Walsh. Walter, I want to vote for her but can't because although she has plans to deal with the waste and corruption at the Pentagon, she has not renounced our endless militarism, our establishment-endorsed mission to police the world and to change regimes whenever we feel like it.

[Jul 13, 2019] The saddest thing of all is that the Dems' fixation on Russia and Putin is now coming back to bite them in the ass. Trump could not have asked for a better gift.

Notable quotes:
"... You can bet that the likes of Rachel Maddow will never change their tune on the subject of Russiagate. ..."
Jul 13, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Rob , July 12, 2019 at 12:27

You can bet that the likes of Rachel Maddow will never change their tune on the subject of Russiagate.

However, with the election season heating up, it might seem wise for them to start singing a different tune altogether, such as Sanders and Warren are too radical to have any chance of defeating Trump.

The saddest thing of all is that the Dems' fixation on Russia and Putin is now coming back to bite them in the ass. Trump could not have asked for a better gift.

[Jul 06, 2019] Neoliberal democrats for profit love of minorities

Nov 10, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com

JamesWonnacott , 10 Nov 2016 11:18

"And of course, they answer it by bashing immigrants and people of colour, vilifying Muslims, and degrading women."

Muslims, of course, never degrade women do they?

[Jul 05, 2019] Who Won the Debate? Tulsi Gabbard let the anti-war genie out of the bottle by Philip Giraldi

Highly recommended!
The problem here is that the US population is too brainwashing with jingoism and Exceptionalism to value Tulsi message. The US army is mercenary army and unlike situation with the draft people generally do not care much when mercenaries die. That makes any anti-war candidate vulnerable to "Russiagate" smear.
He/she need to have a strong domestic program to appeal to voters, So far Warren is in better position in this area then Tulsi.
Notable quotes:
"... The Drudge Report website had its poll running while the debate was going on and it registered overwhelmingly in favor of Hawaiian Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. Likewise, the Washington Examiner , a right-wing paper, opined that Gabbard had won by a knockout based on its own polling. Google's search engine reportedly saw a surge in searches linked to Tulsi Gabbard both during and after the debate. ..."
"... On the following day traditional conservative Pat Buchanan produced an article entitled "Memo for Trump: Trade Bolton for Tulsi," similar to a comment made by Republican consultant Frank Luntz "She's a long-shot to win the presidency, but Tulsi Gabbard is sounding like a prime candidate for Secretary of Defense." ..."
"... In response to a comment by neoliberal Congressman Tim Ryan who said that the U.S. has to remain "engaged" in places like Afghanistan, she referred to two American soldiers who had been killed that very day, saying "Is that what you will tell the parents of those two soldiers who were just killed in Afghanistan? Well, we just have to be engaged? As a soldier, I will tell you that answer is unacceptable." ..."
"... Tulsi also declared war on the Washington Establishment, saying that "For too long our leaders have failed us, taking us into one regime change war after the next, leading us into a new Cold War and arms race, costing us trillions of our hard-earned tax payer dollars and countless lives. This insanity must end." ..."
"... Blunt words, but it was a statement that few Americans whose livelihoods are not linked to "defense" or to the shamelessly corrupt U.S. Congress and media could disagree with, as it is clear that Washington is at the bottom of a deep hole and persists in digging ..."
"... In the collective judgment of America's Establishment, Tulsi Gabbard and anyone like her must be destroyed. She would not be the first victim of the political process shutting out undesirable opinions. One can go all the way back to Eugene McCarthy and his opposition to the Vietnam War back in 1968. ..."
"... And the beat goes on. In 2016, Debbie Wasserman Shultz, head of the Democratic National Committee, fixed the nomination process so that Bernie Sanders, a peace candidate, would be marginalized and super hawk Hillary Clinton would be selected. Fortunately, the odor emanating from anything having to do with the Clintons kept her from being elected or we would already be at war with Russia and possibly also with China. ..."
"... Tulsi Gabbard has let the genie of "end the forever wars" out of the bottle and it will be difficult to force it back in. She just might shake up the Democratic Party's priorities, leading to more questions about just what has been wrong with U.S. foreign policy over the past twenty years. ..."
"... Yes, to some critics, Tulsi Gabbard is not a perfect candidate . On most domestic issues she appears to be a typical liberal Democrat and is also conventional in terms of her accommodation with Jewish power, but she also breaks with the Democratic Party establishment with her pledge to pardon Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden. ..."
"... She also has more of a moral compass than Elizabeth Warren, who cleverly evades the whole issue of Middle East policy, or a Joe Biden who would kiss Benjamin Netanyahu's ass without any hesitation at all. Gabbard has openly criticized Netanyahu and she has also condemned Israel's killing of "unarmed civilians" in Gaza. As a Hindu, her view of Muslims is somewhat complicated based on the historical interaction of the two groups, but she has moderated her views recently. ..."
"... To be sure, Americans have heard much of the same before, much of it from out of the mouth of a gentleman named Donald Trump, but Tulsi Gabbard could well be the only genuine antiwar candidate that might truly be electable in the past fifty years. ..."
Jul 02, 2019 | www.unz.com

Last Wednesday’s debate among half of the announced Democratic Party candidates to become their party’s nominee for president in 2020 was notable for its lack of drama. Many of those called on to speak had little to say apart from the usual liberal bromides about health care, jobs, education and how the United States is a country of immigrants. On the following day the mainstream media anointed Elizabeth Warren as the winner based on the coherency of her message even though she said little that differed from what was being presented by most of the others on the stage. She just said it better, more articulately.

The New York Times’ coverage was typical, praising Warren for her grasp of the issues and her ability to present the same clearly and concisely, and citing a comment "They could teach classes in how Warren talks about a problem and weaves in answers into a story. She's not just wonk and stats." It then went on to lump most of the other candidates together, describing their performances as "ha[ving] one or two strong answers, but none of them had the electric, campaign-launching moment they were hoping for."

Inevitably, however, there was some disagreement on who had actually done best based on viewer reactions as well as the perceptions of some of the media that might not exactly be described as mainstream. The Drudge Report website had its poll running while the debate was going on and it registered overwhelmingly in favor of Hawaiian Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. Likewise, the Washington Examiner , a right-wing paper, opined that Gabbard had won by a knockout based on its own polling. Google's search engine reportedly saw a surge in searches linked to Tulsi Gabbard both during and after the debate.

On the following day traditional conservative Pat Buchanan produced an article entitled "Memo for Trump: Trade Bolton for Tulsi," similar to a comment made by Republican consultant Frank Luntz "She's a long-shot to win the presidency, but Tulsi Gabbard is sounding like a prime candidate for Secretary of Defense."

Tulsi, campaigning on her anti-war credentials, was indeed not like the other candidates, confronting directly the issue of war and peace which the other potential candidates studiously avoided. In response to a comment by neoliberal Congressman Tim Ryan who said that the U.S. has to remain "engaged" in places like Afghanistan, she referred to two American soldiers who had been killed that very day, saying "Is that what you will tell the parents of those two soldiers who were just killed in Afghanistan? Well, we just have to be engaged? As a soldier, I will tell you that answer is unacceptable."

At another point she expanded on her thinking about America's wars, saying "Let's deal with the situation where we are, where this president and his chickenhawk cabinet have led us to the brink of war with Iran. I served in the war in Iraq at the height of the war in 2005, a war that took over 4,000 of my brothers and sisters in uniforms' lives. The American people need to understand that this war with Iran would be far more devastating, far more costly than anything that we ever saw in Iraq. It would take many more lives. It would exacerbate the refugee crisis. And it wouldn't be just contained within Iran. This would turn into a regional war. This is why it's so important that every one of us, every single American, stand up and say no war with Iran."

Tulsi also declared war on the Washington Establishment, saying that "For too long our leaders have failed us, taking us into one regime change war after the next, leading us into a new Cold War and arms race, costing us trillions of our hard-earned tax payer dollars and countless lives. This insanity must end."

Blunt words, but it was a statement that few Americans whose livelihoods are not linked to "defense" or to the shamelessly corrupt U.S. Congress and media could disagree with, as it is clear that Washington is at the bottom of a deep hole and persists in digging. So why was there such a difference between what ordinary Americans and the Establishment punditry were seeing on their television screens? The difference was not so much in perception as in the desire to see a certain outcome. Anti-war takes away a lot of people's rice bowls, be they directly employed on "defense" or part of the vast army of lobbyists and think tank parasites that keep the money flowing out of the taxpayers' pockets and into the pockets of Raytheon, General Dynamics, Boeing and Lockheed Martin like a perpetual motion machine.

In the collective judgment of America's Establishment, Tulsi Gabbard and anyone like her must be destroyed. She would not be the first victim of the political process shutting out undesirable opinions. One can go all the way back to Eugene McCarthy and his opposition to the Vietnam War back in 1968. McCarthy was right and Lyndon Johnson and the rest of the Democratic Party were wrong. More recently, Congressman Ron Paul tried twice to bring some sanity to the Republican Party. He too was marginalized deliberately by the GOP party apparatus working hand-in-hand with the media, to include the final insult of his being denied any opportunity to speak or have his delegates recognized at the 2012 nominating convention.

And the beat goes on. In 2016, Debbie Wasserman Shultz, head of the Democratic National Committee, fixed the nomination process so that Bernie Sanders, a peace candidate, would be marginalized and super hawk Hillary Clinton would be selected. Fortunately, the odor emanating from anything having to do with the Clintons kept her from being elected or we would already be at war with Russia and possibly also with China.

Tulsi Gabbard has let the genie of "end the forever wars" out of the bottle and it will be difficult to force it back in. She just might shake up the Democratic Party's priorities, leading to more questions about just what has been wrong with U.S. foreign policy over the past twenty years. To qualify for the second round of debates she has to gain a couple of points in her approval rating or bring in more donations, either of which is definitely possible based on her performance. It is to be hoped that that will occur and that there will be no Debbie Wasserman Schultz hiding somewhere in the process who will finagle the polling results.

Yes, to some critics, Tulsi Gabbard is not a perfect candidate . On most domestic issues she appears to be a typical liberal Democrat and is also conventional in terms of her accommodation with Jewish power, but she also breaks with the Democratic Party establishment with her pledge to pardon Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden.

She also has more of a moral compass than Elizabeth Warren, who cleverly evades the whole issue of Middle East policy, or a Joe Biden who would kiss Benjamin Netanyahu's ass without any hesitation at all. Gabbard has openly criticized Netanyahu and she has also condemned Israel's killing of "unarmed civilians" in Gaza. As a Hindu, her view of Muslims is somewhat complicated based on the historical interaction of the two groups, but she has moderated her views recently.

To be sure, Americans have heard much of the same before, much of it from out of the mouth of a gentleman named Donald Trump, but Tulsi Gabbard could well be the only genuine antiwar candidate that might truly be electable in the past fifty years. It is essential that we Americans who are concerned about the future of our country should listen to what she has to say very carefully and to respond accordingly.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org

[Jul 01, 2019] Biden was a strong backer of a 2005 bankruptcy "reform" law that made it harder for people to file personal bankruptcy and to wipe out all of their debts by Keith Hoeller

Jul 01, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

Just in time for the 2020 presidential election, the Democrats have discovered that there is real economic inequality in the United States. But they have not yet fully addressed the role that the Democratic party and its leaders have played in creating this vast inequality that led to the election of President Donald Trump in 2016.

The presidential candidates have been slow to fully recognize the role that former President Bill Clinton's globalization policies (NAFTA and WTO) played in the outsourcing of American jobs or the lowering of wages for workers.

As the Democratic presidential debates have shown, Vice President Biden is having a hard time defending his long public record, especially as an opponent of federally mandated "forced" busing to integrate our public schools decades after the Supreme Court's overturning of racial segregation in Brown v. Board of Education (1954). As a Senator Joe Biden was a free trade advocate as well.

But Senator Biden played a large role in creating inequality in two additional realms. He was a strong backer of a 2005 bankruptcy "reform" law that made it harder for people to file personal bankruptcy and to wipe out all of their debts. Given that perhaps as many as fifty percent of all personal bankruptcies in America are caused by debt incurred from health care not covered by insurance, this was an especially cruel blow to those seeking relief from their heavy debt loads.

Senator Warren has already criticized Biden for his support of this bill (" The Twenty Year Argument Between Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren Over Bankruptcy, Explained ")

In "' Lock the S.O.B.s Up: Joe Biden and the Era of Mass Incarceration ," The New York Times documents his decades-long support of tough on criminals legislation, culminating in the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act. This bill, signed into law by President Clinton, has been blamed for the jailing of high numbers of African Americans and other minorities, in particular.

Unlike the Republicans whose goal is to increase inequality by lowering taxes on the wealthy, at least the Democrats seem sincere about reducing it. To do this, they have fallen all over themselves to offer free college tuition and to reduce student loan debt. Sen. Bernie Sanders recently proposed to eliminate all student loans entirely .

Why have Democrats focused on college as a means of solving economic inequality? Statistics have shown that in general the more education you have, the higher your lifetime earnings will be. For example, men with bachelor's degrees earn nearly a million more dollars in median lifetime earnings than high school graduates.

[Jun 30, 2019] Can Warren beat Biden?

Notable quotes:
"... If her trend of seriously closing the favorability gap with Joe Biden is any indication, if her broad but incomplete acceptability to the Clinton and the Sanders wings of the Democratic party is any indication, we would have to answer that question with a fairly emphatic, "yes, she can." ..."
Jun 30, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

On the first night of the first Democratic debates, Elizabeth Warren gave a master class in when to speak and when to keep one's mouth shut. This is a lesson former Vice President Joe Biden could learn a ton from.

When Waren did speak, it was clear, passionate, on point, and richly factual. On health care, she even surprised a bit by committing to eliminating private insurance where she has previously hedged her betting.

... ... ...

Can Warren beat Biden? If her trend of seriously closing the favorability gap with Joe Biden is any indication, if her broad but incomplete acceptability to the Clinton and the Sanders wings of the Democratic party is any indication, we would have to answer that question with a fairly emphatic, "yes, she can."

Whether she will depends on a number of factors, some within, some beyond her control. In my view, the most critical tasks within her control are finding a way to a coherent foreign policy position and pivoting to an efficient answer on the DNA testing question that simultaneously educates regarding and firmly rejects blood quantum theories of race.

[Jun 30, 2019] Trump Invites Debates over Omnivorous Crony Capitalism> by Ralph Nader

Notable quotes:
"... Sanders and Warren are not what they claim to be. They are both updating Roosevelt's New Deal and more closely resemble the Social Democrats that have governed western European democracies for years, delivering higher standards of living than that experienced by Americans. ..."
"... In May 2009, the moderate Senator from Illinois, Dick Durbin, said: "The banks – hard to believe when we're facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created – are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place." ..."
"... In the new book, Banking on the People , by Ellen Brown, readers can get an idea of the way large banks, insurers, and the giant shadow banking system – money market funds, hedge funds, mortgage brokers, and other unregulated financial intermediaries – speculate and shift deep risk and their failures onto Uncle Sam. These corporate predators gouge customers, and, remarkably, show a deep aversion for productive investment as if people matter. ..."
"... Control of our political economy is not a conservative/liberal or red state/blue state issue. When confronted with the specifics of the corporate state or corporate socialism, people from all political persuasions will recognize the potential perils to our democracy. No one wants to lose essential freedoms or to continue to pay the price of this runaway crony capitalism. ..."
"... The gigantic corporations have been built with the thralldom of deep debt – corporate debt to fund stock buybacks (while reporting record profits), consumer debt, student loan debt, and, of course, government debt caused by drastic corporate and super-rich tax cuts. Many trillions of dollars have been stolen from future generations. ..."
Jun 28, 2019 | dissidentvoice.org

Trump Invites Debates over Omnivorous Crony Capitalism

Donald J. Trump's 2020 election strategy is to connect his potential Democratic opponents with "socialism." Trump plans to use this attack on the Democrats even if Senator Bernie Sanders, who proudly calls himself a "democratic socialist," doesn't become the presidential nominee (Sanders has been decisively re-elected in Vermont).

Senator Elizabeth Warren is distancing herself from the socialist "label." She went so far as to tell the New England Council "I am a capitalist to my bones."

Sanders and Warren are not what they claim to be. They are both updating Roosevelt's New Deal and more closely resemble the Social Democrats that have governed western European democracies for years, delivering higher standards of living than that experienced by Americans.

The original doctrine of socialism meant government ownership of the means of production – heavy industries, railroads, banks, and the like. Nobody in national politics today is suggesting such a takeover. As one quipster put it, "How can Washington take ownership of the banks when the banks own Washington?"

Confronting Trump on the "socialism" taboo can open up a great debate about the value of government intervention for the good of the public. Sanders can effectively argue that people must choose either democratic socialism or the current failing system of corporate socialism. That choice is not difficult. Such an American democratic socialism could provide almost all of the long overdue solutions this country needs: full more efficient Medicare for all; tuition-free education; living wages; stronger unions; a tax system that works for the people; investments in infrastructure and public works; reforms for a massive, runaway military budget; the end of most corporate welfare; government promotion of renewable energies; and the end of subsidies for fossil fuels and nuclear power.

In my presidential campaigns I tried to make corporate socialism – also called corporate welfare or crony capitalism – a major issue. Small business is capitalism – free to go bankrupt – while corporate capitalism – free to get bailouts from Washington – is really a form of corporate socialism. This point about a corporate government was documented many years ago in books such as America, Inc. (1971) by Morton Mintz and Jerry Cohen.

Now, it is even easier to make the case that our political economy is largely controlled by giant corporations and their political toadies. Today the concentration of power and wealth is staggering. Just six capitalist men have wealth to equal the wealth of half of the world's population.

The Wall Street collapse of 2008-2009 destroyed eight million jobs, lost trillions of dollars in pension and mutual funds, and pushed millions of families to lose their homes. Against this backdrop, the U.S. government used trillions of taxpayer dollars to bail out, in various ways, the greedy, financial giants, whose reckless speculating caused the collapse.

In May 2009, the moderate Senator from Illinois, Dick Durbin, said: "The banks – hard to believe when we're facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created – are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place."

Is there a single federal government agency or department that can say its most powerful outside influence is NOT corporate? Even the Labor Department and the National Labor Relations Board are under more corporate power than union power.

Who better than Trump, on an anti-socialist fantasy campaign kick, can call attention to the reality that Big Business controls the government and by extension controls the people? In September 2000, a Business Week poll found over 70 percent of people agreeing that big business has too much control over their lives (this was before the horrific corporate crimes and scandals of the past two decades). Maybe that is why support in polls for "socialism" against "capitalism" in the U.S. is at a 60 year high.

People have long experienced American-style "socialism." For example, the publicly owned water and electric utilities, public parks and forests, the Postal Service, public libraries, FDIC guarantees of bank deposits (now up to $250,000), Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, etc.

What the public is not sufficiently alert to is that Big Business has been profitably taking over control, if not outright ownership, of these public assets.

In the new book, Banking on the People , by Ellen Brown, readers can get an idea of the way large banks, insurers, and the giant shadow banking system – money market funds, hedge funds, mortgage brokers, and other unregulated financial intermediaries – speculate and shift deep risk and their failures onto Uncle Sam. These corporate predators gouge customers, and, remarkably, show a deep aversion for productive investment as if people matter.

Moreover, they just keep developing new, ever riskier, multi-tiered instruments (eg. derivatives) to make money from money through evermore complex, abstract, secret, reckless, entangled, globally destabilizing, networks. Gambling with other people's money is a relentless Wall Street tradition.

The crashes that inevitably emerge end up impoverishing ordinary people who pay the price with their livelihoods.

Will the Democrats and other engaged people take Trump on if he tries to make "socialism" the big scare in 2020? Control of our political economy is not a conservative/liberal or red state/blue state issue. When confronted with the specifics of the corporate state or corporate socialism, people from all political persuasions will recognize the potential perils to our democracy. No one wants to lose essential freedoms or to continue to pay the price of this runaway crony capitalism.

The gigantic corporations have been built with the thralldom of deep debt – corporate debt to fund stock buybacks (while reporting record profits), consumer debt, student loan debt, and, of course, government debt caused by drastic corporate and super-rich tax cuts. Many trillions of dollars have been stolen from future generations.

No wonder a small group of billionaires, including George Soros, Eli Broad , and Nick Hanauer, have just publicly urged a modest tax on the super wealthy. As Hanauer, a history buff and advocate of higher minimum wages, says – "the pitchforks are coming."

Ralph Nader is a leading consumer advocate, the author of Unstoppable The Emerging Left Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State (2014), among many other books, and a four-time candidate for US President. Read other articles by Ralph , or visit Ralph's website .

[Jun 28, 2019] Pathetic, the whole debate were pathetic

Here’s a transcript.
We’ll see how neoliberal MSM will spin this, but I would say Sanders emerged unscathed, Harris attacked and "wounded" Biden, Biden sounded like a lightweight, Gillibrand seems to be a very unpleasant person although different form Harris...
Notable quotes:
"... as if polling on donald trump and stuff is just so interesting ..."
"... Kamala Harris got more floor time than anyone else. Harris ended Biden's campaign. The debate is rigged against Bernie Sanders. ..."
"... Did Harris get the debate questions in advance? ..."
"... Her manner of speaking is like someone who doesn’t care, doesn’t take the whole thing seriously. It’s like someone who is cheaply casually condescending on the whole thing, on her having to be there. That’s what I perceived. It is deeply disqualifying from any leadership position. “Food fight”? We at that level now? That makes her cool? My god, what garbage. ..."
"... Harris will alienate The Deplorables, the military, the White Working Class or even black people, who know her as Kamala The Cop. ..."
Jun 28, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

zagonostra, June 27, 2019 at 9:58 pm

Pathetic, the whole scene is pathetic. What a way to run a putative democracy, bring back the league of women voters to run the debates and that idiot with the graphs during commercial breaks while watching this online, I want to break his freaking head sorry.

Carey, June 27, 2019 at 10:19 pm

Fully agree. And WTF was with that gesticulating moron at the break?

WheresOurTeddy, June 27, 2019 at 11:29 pm

his sleeves were rolled up, so you know he is a hardworking guy just like you, and can thus be trusted

jrs, June 28, 2019 at 1:54 am

+1

Yea online and a bunch of polling graphs, as if polling on donald trump and stuff is just so interesting

anon in so cal, June 27, 2019 at 10:31 pm

Twitter consensus:

Kamala Harris got more floor time than anyone else. Harris ended Biden's campaign. The debate is rigged against Bernie Sanders.

Twitter questions:

Did Harris get the debate questions in advance?

deeplyrad , June 28, 2019 at 4:43 am

C’mon Lambert, seriously, a joint with Harris?

I had the idea that your sensibilities were rather more refined than that, knowing anything about or not.

Her manner of speaking is like someone who doesn’t care, doesn’t take the whole thing seriously. It’s like someone who is cheaply casually condescending on the whole thing, on her having to be there. That’s what I perceived. It is deeply disqualifying from any leadership position. “Food fight”? We at that level now? That makes her cool? My god, what garbage.

FWIW, Boot Edge Edge’s prehensile sincerity was masterful in my view – shows some real talent.

I’m just observing this out of academic interest and hope we’ll all have a chance to vote for Bernie in the general. But from tonight, Boot Edge Edge to me stood out as a talent – and everyone else (besides Bernie who was reliably on message and will keep going more or less the same after this) was garbage or unnecessary (Biden is a disgrace), and the first debate was better.

Cal2, June 27, 2019 at 11:19 pm

In that case, Donald Trump gets our votes, as well as keeping all the potential crossovers, who had supported Trump last time, and would have voted for Sanders-Gabbard.

Harris will alienate The Deplorables, the military, the White Working Class or even black people, who know her as Kamala The Cop.

Sanders-Harris would be political suicide for the Democrats.

Sanders-Gabbard would be a winner against Trump.

[Jun 26, 2019] Right now, Warren is as powerful a spokesperson on public policy as you could be in the minority

Notable quotes:
"... Warren's announcement of her presidential candidacy made clear that she considers Trump to be merely a symptom of this larger problem – the detritus of a crumbling democracy. Just cleaning up the garbage is not going to solve the systemic problem of plutocracy from which he emerged. If not systemically fixed today with more than cosmetics, Warren understands, the corrupt plutocracy is capable of generating even more toxic products tomorrow. ..."
Jun 26, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

... ... ...

...While Obama was in the White House, it was Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) who attracted the ire of administration officials and congressional leaders by occasionally spiking executive branch nominees or blowing up bipartisan deals .

Sanders, by contrast, was not a troublemaker at all. He talked about his blue-sky political ideals as something he believed in passionately, but he separated that idealism from his practical legislative work, which was grounded in vote counts." In other words Warren put principles over party in the interest of advancing the issues she cared about, like a true progressive. Sanders' messaging "revolution" was all talk and bluster but no show. Warren has been praised for "picking strategic battles she won with a specific set of political skills. 'I would say she's the best progressive Democratic politician I've seen since Bobby Kennedy,'" reports the political writer Robert Kuttner. Before she went into electoral politics Warren had already received credit from Obama and others for establishing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) a progressive half-billion dollar New Deal-type agency. Can another person be named who has been responsible for establishing a comparable key regulatory agency in recent decades? By contrast the not easily dismissed explanation about Sanders' lack of such accomplishments is "in a business where personal relations count, Sanders is viewed as a brusque and inflexible loner."

Which then is the true WaPo "Revolutionary?" The tame lion who talks a good game or the principled brinkswoman who plays a good game? It is Warren who complained to the NYT : " Democrats have been unwilling to get out there and fight." Warren did fight during her campaign for and service in the Senate, even acquiring a reputation (among males , at least) for "stridency" as she was learning the ropes for coping with a systemically corrupt political order. We should doubt anyone within such a system who is not as strident or angry as Warren. That stance tended to enhance her power to change the system, at least until she decided to campaign for president as a way to acquire more power to reform it. She then appropriately revealed "a folksier, more accessible side that wasn't always apparent in her role" in the Senate.

Former congressman Barney Frank, always a sharp observer of such matters, said of Warren, after she had barely completed two years of her brand new "strident" career in electoral politics: "Right now, she's as powerful a spokesperson on public policy as you could be in the minority . She has an absolute veto over certain public-policy issues, because Democrats are not going to cross her . Democrats are afraid of Elizabeth Warren." Can anything remotely similar be said of Sanders after his 30 years in Washington? Indeed, Frank expressed what Politico reported as a consensus view that "[Sanders'] legislative record was to state the ideological position he took on the left, but with the exception of a few small things, he never got anything done . He has always talked about revolution, but on Dodd-Frank and Obamacare, he left the pitchfork at home and joined the Democrats."

Warren acquired power to make change. After two more years she was so powerful that the Clinton establishment unsuccessfully pressured her to endorse Clinton in the primaries, and Sanders' acolytes would blame her for not making Sanders the victor by performing as his unsolicited super-endorser. It takes exceptional strategic and other political skills, focus and commitment to gain such power in such a short time. Unlike Sanders, even Warren's enemies do not claim she is ineffective.

Warren, no less than Sanders, has clearly stated that the reason for her candidacy is to fight "against a small group that holds far too much power, not just in our economy, but also in our democracy." She says her purpose is not "to just tinker around the edges  --  a tax credit here, a regulation there. Our fight is for big, structural change" of plutocracy, "a rigged system that props up the rich and the powerful and kicks dirt on everyone else." WaPo must have missed these parts of Warren's presidential announcement speech which promised this challenge to the power of the systemically corrupt plutocracy. It is the central motif of her campaign. And of course, "she has a plan for that" – her first plan. It is her bill S.3357. 15 th Cong. – the "Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act."

Warren's announcement of her presidential candidacy made clear that she considers Trump to be merely a symptom of this larger problem – the detritus of a crumbling democracy. Just cleaning up the garbage is not going to solve the systemic problem of plutocracy from which he emerged. If not systemically fixed today with more than cosmetics, Warren understands, the corrupt plutocracy is capable of generating even more toxic products tomorrow.

Therefore, from the very start of her highly effective campaign Warren positioned herself in opposition not just to Trump but to the economically "rich and powerful [who] have rigged our political system as well. They've bought off or bullied politicians in both parties to make sure Washington is always on their side." Like Sanders at his best , she calls this system by its proper name. "When government works only for the wealthy and well-connected, that is corruption   --  plain and simple. Corruption is a cancer on our democracy. And we will get rid of it only with strong medicine  --  with real, structural reform. Our fight is to change the rules so that our government, our economy, and our democracy work for everyone." She emphasized to Emily Bazelon, writing for the NYT : " It's structural change that interests me." She told TIME "If we want to make real change in this country, it's got to be systemic change."

Ignoring the fetid distraction of Trump to focus her advocacy instead on the necessary systemic reforms is a winning progressive strategy. Establishment Democrats will again predictably ignore this strategy, as they did in 2016, at their peril. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has already accurately predicted the result of sending what Naomi Klein calls , "tepid centrists carrying the baggage of decades of neoliberal suffering" to battle against mobilized totalitarians: "We have a very real risk of losing the presidency to Donald Trump if we don't have a presidential candidate that's fighting for true transformational change in lives of working people in the United States."

Warren has taken on the task of defeating, not appeasing, the corrupt establishment which is willing in 2020 as it was in 2016 to take just that risk in order to preclude a progressive revival. Warren's plan is, "First: We need to change the rules to clean up Washington. End the corruption." This is not an opportunistic aspersion by a political con-artist, like Trump's totally phony "drain the swamp" slogan, soon belied by his own most corrupt administration in recent history. With Trump second to none in pandering to plutocrats, even a broad section of his own base has abandoned the remaining mere 23% of Americans who think he has made any progress on this central campaign promise. In Warren's case, according to a New Yorker profile , "her agenda of reversing income inequality and beating back the influence of corporate power in politics . are issues that Warren has pursued for three decades." Her mission has nothing to do with political calculation. It constitutes hard-earned strategic wisdom about priorities.

Once the systemic corruption is ended all the other crises from climate change and energy to health and food policy and much more can finally all respond to currently disempowered majorities. Systemic anti-corruption reform sustains itself first through the watchdog agencies it creates; solutions for these other issues are not similarly sustainable once the corrupt plutocracy refocuses its purchased influence on any modest measures that may filter through its defenses in singular and usually highly constricted moments of reform. For example Obama's singular unambiguous reform – the Iran nuclear deal – and other more modest Obama reforms have been killed or wounded by Trump, because Obama left the MIC, Big Pharma, Wall Street and the other components of the corrupt plutocracy with even more power than he found them. Through his strategic malfeasance, for motives that historians will need to pick over, Obama's 8 years were therefore not just unproductive, but counterproductive for democracy and social justice.

For Warren this issue of the corrupt plutocracy is not just a majoritarian favorite adopted to boost a political campaign. Obama campaigned as one "tired of business as usual in Washington" who would "overcome all the big money and influence" there and get the "lobbyists [who] dominate our government system in Washington" and their "undue influence" out of "our way." But he woke up president not so "tired of business as usual in Washington"after all. Refreshed by record-setting campaign cash from the Wall Street plutocracy he did the opposite of what many thought to be his central campaign promise. Roger D. Hodge, Mendacity of Hope: Barack Obama and the Betrayal of American Liberalism (2010) ( Obama "the best friend Wall Street could hope for").

Warren does not seem to be just another mendacious politician on this priority issue of the day. It is one for which Warren's prior expertise and activism drew her into politics. This is uniquely her own issue, emergent from a highly successful academic and policy career which brought her into contact with the corruption which then shaped her views about its centrality. It is less that Warren needs to be president in the mode of the usual megalomaniacal career politician than that this paramount issue calls her to bring to the presidency her unique skills acquired during an extraordinarily successful career outside of electoral politics. Warren herself confides : "I know why I'm here. I have ideas for how we bring systemic change to this country. And we're running out of time." As a University of Chicago economist told the NYT , "Wall Street and its allies are more afraid of her than Bernie because when she says she'll change the rules, she's the one who knows how to do it." Such knowledge is a relevant strategic distinction, unlike WaPo's "Revolution versus Reform" nonsense, for the very reason that progressive failure has for two generations been driven by lack of competent strategy not lack of motivational ideology.

Zach Carter's argument quoted above can be interpreted to suggest another answer than WaPo's misguided theory for this key question of the difference between Sanders and Warren. Some claim their differences are merely symbolic, "differences of temperament, style," " and world views," much in the same manner as the other candidates who are mining the plutocratic wing's war-chest of symbolic and diversionary identity politics, and single issue politics, while at the same time they raise money from plutocrats to seed and foster those divide and conquer divisions and strategic errors among progressives. That argument goes that these are just different flavors of progressivism, wholly unrelated to strategic success. But to deny the existence of objectively important – indeed decisive strategic – differences between the two progressives in the race would also be just as wrong as the ridiculous and disputable subjectivity of the "Revolution versus Reform" distraction marketed by WaPo and others. It invites progressives to distribute themselves randomly according to the subjective appeal of various styles and smiles rather than be guided by disciplined thoughtful strategic choice which has become the decisive factor for recovering democracy.

In the face of such distracting theories of difference, it is important for progressives to debate and answer this question for themselves, well before the primaries, so as not to squander their resources of time, finances and conviviality fighting among themselves over largely subjective triggers during the important lead-up to the primary elections. For the primaries they must be strategically united in order to win against a plutocracy which rarely finds itself strategically impaired. I have argued at length elsewhere that the contemporary uniquely extended failure of democracy in America since Buckley – which can be quantified by the metric of rising economic inequality – is fundamentally due to the failure of progressives over two generations to unite behind effective strategy to fight the corrupt plutocracy as their priority. At those times of similarly profound crises in the past, progressives have successfully formulated and united behind effective strategy. In the United States, due to its own systemic cultural legacy of racist slavery, genocide, and imperialism, joined by more universally shared issues of patriarchy and plutocracy, there will always be fertile soil for the emergence of latent anti-democratic elements into a totalitarian mobilization when an authentic and competent opposition is laking. This was understood from early days, such as Franklin's famous qualification "if you can keep it."

Trump is the direct and predictable product of the progressive failure to have forged an effective opposition to corrupt plutocracy by the time of that strategic moment when popular trust has been lost in the plutocratic " center ." Lack of a unifying progressive strategy meant that volatile and highly manipulable proto-totalitarian element would look elsewhere. As Slavoj Zizek, Trouble in Paradise (2014) 115, posits: "The rise of Fascism is not only the Left's failure, but also proof that there was a revolutionary potential, a dissatisfaction, which the Left was not able to mobilize." Proto-totalitarian Trumpism is what arises when progressives are unable to unite strategically.

The Plutocracy and its propagandists take a keen and well-financed interest in prolonging this division among progressives. They now back Biden, or Trump. Recent reliable polling shows Biden 30% – Sanders 19% – Warren 15%. This current data shows that supporters of the two progressives, if united, would defeat the plutocracy 's status quo candidate. As the progressive choice between Sanders and Warren lingers through the summer of 2019 in a mere contest of subjective tastes it will aggravate yet another in a series of historical failures by progressives to unite strategically and competently at a time when the stakes are now the highest. Continued progressive failure to act strategically for decisively wresting control of the Democratic Party from its corrupt plutocratic establishment will only move the country further in the direction of totalitarianism. Sanders failed at this task in 2016 though progressives provided him resources and support to do the job. Yet another progressive failure to organize strategically behind a competent progressive in the 2020 primaries could be terminal. The likes of WaPo will not do it for them. The necessary exercise of their own strategic judgment in this choice needed to prevail in 2020 will be a useful exercise of an unexercised muscle by progressives. To elect a strategist progressives must master the strategy.

The purpose of this article is to discuss four issues for which there is evidence of an objectively salient strategic difference between these two leading alternatives to Biden beyond those already discussed. Though the " eminently beatable" Biden currently leads the plutocracy's large stable of compromised candidates, it is difficult to imagine Biden not tripping fatally over his own serial, legendarily tone-deaf and unrepented gaffes. The plutocracy may need to draw on its deep bench in later innings. Progressives need be prepared. The objective evidence below can assist progressives in making the necessary early strategic choice between the two progressives for opposing the plutocracy's eventual candidate which will help them to resist predictable distractions. The alternative to such a strategic decision is bickering over subjective, standard-free, factually contested assertions that too often seem to belie unattractive motivations if not actual bot provocateurs.

Some might object that 2019 is too early for progressives to rely on polls or even to make such a choice. My own experience in authoring a long 2015 Huffington Post article strongly supporting Sanders is that discerning use of early polling data can provide a reliable guide to what will remain as the decisive factors through to the end of the campaign cycle, and even beyond. The present piece is offered in the same spirit as my 2015 article which remains relevant as an example of how early the disastrous outcome of the establishment Democrats' 2016 status quo approach could be predicted. Since the decisive factors are now discernible there is no advantage and great risk in delaying the inevitable choice that progressives will make.

I disclose my personal views at the outset, if they are not already clear. Though I supported Sanders extensively through advocacy and as a state delegate for Sanders in 2016, lending a good deal of my time and even some money to the effort, my experience produced high regard for self-organizing Sanders supporters but quite the opposite for the man himself. Certainly by the time of his craven speech at the Democratic Convention in July, if not earlier , I had concluded he was an incompetent betrayer of the important role and opportunity he had been granted by his supporters, which he wasted at a crucial moment in American history. When he is compared to Elizabeth Warren, I now find Sanders to be unreliable , inauthentic, and wrongly motivated as a career politician with no other relevant skill base. This perspective has been elaborated at greater length by Jeffrey St. Clair (2016), as referenced below.

Sanders is concededly good at expounding majoritarian policies and his nominal independence allows him rhetorical distance from the plutocratic wing of the Democrats, which creates guilt by association and a fat target for the proto-totalitarian (also called "populist") right-wing. I do not deny the sincerity of his progressive views. He has a role. That role is not a leadership role. The problem with Sanders is execution. Chris Smith makes a similar point in Vanity Fair when he observes that Sanders "is very good at raising money .what Sanders was less good at in 2016 was spending his large pile of money to win votes. Particularly the crucial Democratic primary votes of women and African-Americans. Sanders is showing little sign that he's going to get it right this time around." Marketing strategy is not political strategy. Sanders ran a both lucrative and wasteful 2016 campaign in these respects and also in his failure to elaborate detailed strategy to support his big themes, which also drew justifiable criticism of his competence.

If Bernie Sanders has not, Elizabeth Warren clearly has learned each of these lessons from Sanders' flawed campaign. She has been generating detailed policy at such a fast pace it is difficult to see anyone catching up to her, though Sanders has tried by feebly issuing a less nuanced version of Wilson's college debt plan. Warren has demonstrated her ability to run a highly effective campaign on limited funds. Spending money effectively is a strategic skill. There do not seem to be any third-string cronies around her siphoning off funds into useless sideshows. One imagines that if Warren possessed Sanders' 2016 mostly wasted pile of loot she would already have reorganized the Inauthentic Opposition party – as Sheldon Wolin described the Democrats in 2008 – into a true opposition party that it was designed by Martin Van Buren to be at its inception.

As for Sanders' problem with reaching African-Americans, according to Rev. Al Sharpton his progressive rival has no such problem. Of course, "Kamala [Harris] connects with black-church audiences. Cory Booker, too," says Sharpton. "And I'll tell you who surprised me: Liz Warren. She rocked my organization's convention like she was taking Baptist preacher lessons." Warren thus readily solves the biggest demographic problem Sanders had and still has: black women, particularly in the south. And this Oklahoma woman might also surprise with her ability to use " southern charm " to flip the script for white women still living under the South's unreconstructed patriarchy. Her primary-election campaign strategy has been preparing her with the experience to play an unprecedented role in American political history in the 2020 general election.

An establishment Democratic Congressman offered a similar observation about Warren's potential: "If she can make the leap to being a candidate that played in the rural Midwest it could be really interesting to watch." By comparison Sanders, used to "giving the same stump speech at event after event, numb to the hunger of the beast he had awakened," St. Clair (2016) 8, brings a known and dated turn to the stage, which like Biden's has little potential to surprise on its up side potential among new demographics in this manner. The sooner Warren becomes the acknowledged front runner in the party, the sooner she can use her proven networking skills within the party to bring some order to the crowded primary field for purposes of deploying them effectively to reach various such disaffected demographics. She is the person most capable of turning the lemon of an overcrowded field of contenders into lemonade. Organizing such cooperation is something foreign to Sanders' experience, which was demonstrated in his shutting out potential allies from his campaign. Yet it is a significant potential strategic factor that Warren can uniquely bring for the essential redefinition of the Democratic Party in 2020.

We already know Sanders capitulated to the plutocracy in 2016 for no reason that he could credibly explain . After promising his supporters to carry the fight to the Convention floor he folded long prior to the Convention. What exactly is to be gained by progressives in trusting Sanders not to do the same thing again? We now have the alternative of Warren who gives us no reason to doubt and some reason to trust that she will " persist " with strategic intelligence rather than capitulate under similar circumstances. She combines the unique qualities of a true policy expert with the ability to communicate. But most important she is someone who has not been a career politician, and therefore is not, like Sanders, "year after year: a politician who promises one thing and delivers, time and again, something else entirely." St. Clair (2016) 18. In 2016 this habit, in the form of deference to the plutocracy he campaigned against, delivered Trump.

Having disclosed this general point of view toward the two progressives, I try to remove these subjective understandings largely derived from my involvement in 2016 on behalf of Sanders' effort from the analysis below of four objective factors that distinguish Sanders' from Warren based on opinion polling of their supporters. Those with a different experience than mine can nevertheless use these objective factors to make a strategic progressive choice. The issue raised here is not so much about the contested fact-based considerations above, but about the necessity for progressives to made a strategic decision based on uncontested objective facts. The argument is that there is no reason to delay making that strategic choice.

... ... ...

If it is true that Warren is attracting support on her merits and not for her gender, the men who are supporting Sanders in excess numbers and at the same time prioritized a progressive victory in 2020 should make a primary choice only after they a) get better informed about Warren, b) read the writing of polling trendlines on the wall, c) not be fooled by Sanders' "socialism" gambit, and d) eschew even the appearance of gender bias by immediately unifying progressive support behind Warren.

2016 was then, 2020 is already now. Warren is not remotely a Clinton.*

* This article is based in part on the author's book, "Strategy for Democracy: From Systemic Corruption to Proto-Totalitarianism in the Second Gilded Age Plutocracy, and Progressive Responses" which is currently available as a free ebook .

Rob Hager is a public interest litigator who filed an amicus brief in the Montana sequel to Citizens United and has worked as an international consultant on anti-corruption policy and legislation.

[Jun 26, 2019] The Democratic electorate has shifted sharply to the left, taking many politicians along with it -- willingly and unwillingly by Thomas B. Edsall

Notable quotes:
"... The Democratic Party, thanks largely to the Clintons and their DLC nonsense, has certainly moved to the right. So far right that I haven't been able to call it the Democratic Party. ..."
"... Every Democrat should sign on to FDR's 1944 Economic Bill of Rights speech. It is hardly radical, but rather the foundation of the modern Democratic Party, or at least was before being abrogated by the "new Democrats." Any Dem not supporting it is at best one of the "Republican-lights" who led the Dem party into the wilderness. It would also behoove the party to resurrect FDR's Veep Henry Wallace's NY Times articles about the nature of big businesses and fascism, also from '44. Now that was a party of the people. 7 Replies ..."
Jan 23, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

In its most recent analysis, Gallup found that from 1994 to 2018, the percentage of all Democrats who call themselves liberal more than doubled from 25 percent to 51 percent.

Over the same period, the percentage of Democratic moderates and conservatives fell steadily, with the share of moderates dropping from 48 to 34 percent, and of conservatives dropping from 25 to 13 percent. These trends began to accelerate during the administration of George W. Bush and have continued unabated during the Obama and Trump presidencies.

... ... ...

The anti-establishment faction contributed significantly to the large turnout increases in Democratic primaries last year. Pew found that from 2014 to 2018, turnout in House primaries rose from 13.7 to 19.6 percent of all registered Democrats, in Senate primaries from 16.6 to 22.2 percent and in governor primaries from 17.1 to 24.5 percent.

... ... ...

The extensive support among prospective Democratic presidential candidates for Medicare for All , government-guaranteed jobs and a higher minimum wage reflects the widespread desire in the electorate for greater protection from the vicissitudes of market capitalism -- in response to "increasingly incomplete risk protection in an era of dramatic social change," as the political scientist Jacob Hacker put it in " Privatizing Risk without Privatizing the Welfare State: The Hidden Politics of Social Policy Retrenchment in the United States ." Support for such protections is showing signs of becoming a litmus test for candidates running in the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries.

... ... ...

Sawhill looks at the ideological shifts in the Democratic electorate less from a historical perspective and more as a response to contemporary economic and social dislocation. Among both conservatives and liberals, Sawhill argued, there is "an intellectual awakening about the flaws of modern capitalism" -- a recognition of the failings of "neoliberalism, the idea that a market economy with a few light guardrails is the best way to organize a society." This intellectual climate may result in greater receptivity among voters to more radical proposals.



Michael
Rochester, NY Jan. 23 Times Pick

These "big, bold leftist ideas" pose a strategic problem for liberals and the Democratic Party," (sigh). Here we go again. I am an older guy (Caucasian). I attended Texas A&M University from 1978 to 1982. My tuition payments during that entire time was $4 per credit hour. Same for every Texas resident during that time. Roughly $128 per year. Had Texas A&M not offered education at this modest entry point financially, I would still be working in the Holiday Inn kitchen washing dishes. Like I was in high school. So, I don't understand why older guys who went to school on the cheap, like me, and probably like Mr. Edsall, are writing articles about "radical" proposals like "free" or at least "affordable" education for Americans. We could achieve this very easily if America refocused on domestic growth and health and pulled itself out of its continuous wars. America has spent $6 Trillion dollars on war since 2001. For what? Nothing. Imagine how much college tuition we could have paid instead. Imagine how that would change America. What is radical is killing people of color in other countries for no goal and no reason. Let's refocus on domestic USA issues that are important. Like how to get folks educated so they/we can participate in the US economy.

Mr. Edsall, what did you pay to go to school per year? Was that "radically" cheap? For me, it was not radical to pay $128 per year. It was a blessing.

Bruce Rozenblit Kansas City, MO Jan. 23 Times Pick
To the conservative, liberal means socialist. Unfortunately, they don't know what socialism is. They think socialism is doing nothing and getting paid for it, a freeloader society. Socialism is government interference in the free market, interference in production.

Ethanol is socialism. Oil and gas subsidies are socialism. Agricultural price supports are socialism. Tax breaks and subsidies are socialism. The defence industry is socialism. All of these socialist policies greatly benefit big business. What liberals want is socialism of a similar nature that benefits people. This would include healthcare, education, public transportation, retirement, and childcare. Currently, people work their tails off to generate the profits that pay for corporate socialism and get next to nothing in return. Daycare costs as much as many jobs pay.

Kids graduate from college $50,000 in debt. Get sick and immediately go bankrupt. They have to work past 70. Pursuing these policies is not some far out leftist agenda. They are the norm in most industrialized nations.

It's hard to live free or die if you don't have anything to eat. It's easy to be a libertarian if you make a million bucks a year. Liberals are not advocating getting paid for doing nothing. They want people to have something to do and get paid for it. That is the message that should be pushed. Sounds pretty American to me. 27 Replies

Ronny Dublin, CA Jan. 23 Times Pick
This old white (liberal) man regrets that I was born too late for the FDR New Deal era and too early to be part of this younger generation taking us back to our roots. I lived in America when we had a strong middle class and I have lived through the Republican deconstruction of the middle class, I much preferred the former.

Economic Security and FDR's second bill of rights is a very good place for this new generation to pick up the baton and start running. 4 Replies

Matthew D. Georgia Jan. 23
Are these really moves to the left, or only in comparison to the lurch further right by the republicans. What is wrong with affordable education, health care, maternal and paternal leave, and a host of other programs that benefit all people? Why shouldn't we have more progressive tax rates? These are not radical ideas. 6 Replies
MIMA heartsny Jan. 23 Times Pick
As a senior, who has been a healthcare provider for decades, I hope that people will not be afraid if they get sick, that people will not fear going bankrupt if they get sick, that they do not have to fear they will die needlessly if they get sick, because they did not have proper access to haeathcare treatment. If a 29 year old woman from Queens, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, can fulfill my hopes and dreams, and alleviate these fears, just to get humane healthcare - then I say "You Go Girl!" What a wonderful world that would be..... 9 Replies
chele ct Jan. 23 Times Pick
Moving to the left??? I'm 64 years old. I started out on the left and haven't moved leftward in all these years. I'm just as far left now as when I registered to vote as a Democrat when I was 18. We called it being liberal and the Democratic Party reflected my beliefs.

The Democratic Party, thanks largely to the Clintons and their DLC nonsense, has certainly moved to the right. So far right that I haven't been able to call it the Democratic Party. So far right that I have seriously considered changing my party affiliation. Right now, the only think keeping me in the party is this influx of vibrant new faces. One thing that will make me leave is any ascendancy of the corporate lapdog "New Democrat Coalition" attempting to keep my party in thrall to the Republicans. No. The electorate has not shifted sharply leftward. We've been here all along. Our party went down a wrong path. It had better get back on track or become a footnote. 12 Replies

Rich Pein La Crosse Wi Jan. 23
I work with young adults in a university setting. The university I work for used to be really inexpensive. It is still relatively inexpensive and still a bargain. Most of the students have student loans. They can not make enough money in the summer or during the term to pay for tuition, fees, housing, and food. They need jobs that will pay enough to pay for those loans. They also need portable health care. As the employer based health insurance gets worse, that portable health care becomes a necessity so they can move to where the jobs are. So if a livable wage and universal health care are far left ideas then so be it. I am a leftist. 1 Reply
stuart glen arbor, mi Jan. 23 Times Pick
Every Democrat should sign on to FDR's 1944 Economic Bill of Rights speech. It is hardly radical, but rather the foundation of the modern Democratic Party, or at least was before being abrogated by the "new Democrats." Any Dem not supporting it is at best one of the "Republican-lights" who led the Dem party into the wilderness. It would also behoove the party to resurrect FDR's Veep Henry Wallace's NY Times articles about the nature of big businesses and fascism, also from '44. Now that was a party of the people. 7 Replies
Ken New York Jan. 23
@Michael. Pell grants and cheap tuition allowed me to obtain a degree in aerospace engineering in 1985. I'd like to think that that benefited our country, not radicalized it.
C Wolfe Bloomington IN Jan. 23
@Midwest Josh

I don't think that's entirely accurate, and even if true, leaving students to the predations of private lenders isn't the answer. Although I'm willing to entertain your thesis, soaring tuition has also been the way to make up for the underfunding of state universities by state legislatures.

At the same time, there's been an increase since the 70s in de luxe facilities and bloated administrator salaries. When administrators make budget cuts, it isn't for recreational facilities and their own salaries -- it's the classics and history departments, and it's to faculty, with poorly paid part-time adjuncts teaching an unconscionable share of courses. So universities have been exacerbating the same unequal division between the people who actually do the work (faculty) and the people who allocate salaries (administrators) -- so too as in the business world, as you say.

shstl MO Jan. 23 Times Pick
I have a friend who lives on the West Coast and is constantly posting on social media about "white privilege" and how we all need to embrace far left policies to "even the playing field" for minorities. I always bristle at this, not because I don't support these policies, but because this person chooses to live in a city with actually very few minorities. She also lives in a state that's thriving, with new jobs, new residents and skyrocketing real estate values. I, by contrast, live in a state that's declining....steadily losing jobs, businesses and residents....leaving many people feeling uneasy and afraid. I also live in a city with a VERY high minority crime rate, which also makes people uneasy and afraid. Coastal liberals like my friend will instantly consider anyone who mentions this a racist, and hypocritically suggest that our (assumed) racism is what's driving our politics. But when I look around here and see so many Trump supporters (myself NOT included), I don't see racists desperately trying to retain their white privilege in a changing world. I see human beings living in a time and place of great uncertainty and they're scared! If Dems fail to notice this, and fail to create an inclusive message that addresses the fears of EVERYBODY in the working/middle class, regardless of their skin color, they do so at their own peril. Especially in parts of the country like mine that hold the key to regaining the WH. Preaching as my friend does is exactly how to lose. 5 Replies
Bruce Shigeura Berkeley, CA Jan. 23
A majority of Americans, including independent voters and some Republicans favor Medicare for all, a Green New Deal, and higher taxes on the rich. While Trump has polarized voters around race, Ocasio-Cortez is polarizing around class -- the three-fourths of Americans working paycheck to paycheck against the 1 percenters and their minions in both parties. Reading the tea leaves of polls and current Democratic Party factions as Edsall does, is like obsessing about Herbert Hoover's contradictory policies that worsened the Depression. If Ocasio-Cortez becomes bolder and calls for raising the business taxes and closing tax incentives, infrastructure expansion, and federal jobs guarantee, she'll transform the American political debate from the racist wall meme to the redistribution of wealth and power America needs. 1 Reply
Stu Sutin Bloomfield, CT Jan. 23
Labels such as 'liberal" fail to characterize the political agenda articulated by Bernie Sanders. By style and substance, Sanders represented a departure from the hum-drum norm. Is something wrong about aspiring to free college education in an era when student debt totals $1.5 trilliion? His mantle falls to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her followers. One hundred years ago, American progressivism was spawned by Robert La Follette. As governor and senator from Wisconsin, and as failed third party candidate for president, La Follette called for laws to protect youth from horrendous labor practices. He called for laws to protect civil rights. In time, many of La Follette's positions became mainstream. Will history repeated itself? Maybe. The rise of "liberalism" in the Democratic Party is therapeutic, as evidenced by youthful audiences who attended the Sander's rallies. Increasing voter turnout will take back government from a minority that undermines the essence of a democratic system. A Democratic counterbalance to the Republican "Freedom Caucus" may appear divisive to some. To others, it offers a path to the future. 4 Replies
Tracy Rupp Brookings, Oregon Jan. 23 Times Pick
I am so proud of our youth today. They are the hope. I am a lifetime ashamed of my own demographic: Old white men. We really suck. 6 Replies
tom midwest Jan. 23
Ok, from the perspective of a rural white midwest retiree independent with post graduate education, the issues weren't the democrats moving to the left, it was the Republican party turning right (and they show no signs of stopping). Who is against an equal opportunity for an equal quality education for everyone? My college costs years ago could be met with a barely minimum wage job and low cost health insurance provided by the school and I could graduate without debt even from graduate school. Seeing what years of Republican rule did to our college and university systems with a raise in tuition almost every year while legislative support declined every year, who is happy with that? Unions that used to provide a majority of the apprenticeships in good jobs in the skilled were killed by a thousand tiny cuts passed by Republicans over the years. The social safety net that used to be a hand up became an ever diminishing hand out. What happened is those that had made it even to the middle class pulled the ladder up behind them, taking away the self same advantages they had in the past and denying future generations the opportunity. The young democrats and independents coming along see this all too clearly. 1 Reply
Ashley Maryland Jan. 23
These so-called liberal and progressive ideas aren't new. They work now in other countries and have so for many, many years, but the rich keep screaming capitalism good, socialism bad all the while slapping tariffs on products and subsidizing farmers who get to pretend that this is somehow still a free market. It's fun to watch my neighbors do mental gymnastics to justify why subsidizing soy bean farmers to offset the tariffs is a strong free market, but that subsidizing solar panels and healthcare is socialism AKA the devil's work. All of this underscores the reality that, much like geography, Americans are terrible with economics.
JABarry Maryland Jan. 23
The tensions between progressive and moderate positions, liberal and conservative positions in the Democratic Party and in independents, flow from and vary based on information on and an understanding of the issues. What seems to one, at first glance, radically progressive/liberal becomes more mainstream when one is better informed. Take just one issue, Medicare for all, a progressive/liberal objective. At first glance people object based on two main points: costs and nefarious socialism. How do you pay for Medicare for all? Will it add to the debt? Will socialism replace our capitalist economy? People who have private medical insurance pay thousands in premiums, deductibles, co-pays each year. The private insurance is for profit, paying CEO's million dollar salaries and returns to stockholders. People paying these private insurance premiums would pay less for Medicare and have more in their own pockets. Medicare for all is no more nefariously socialistic than social security. Has social security ended capitalism and made America a socialist country? I think not. Is social security or Medicare adding to the national debt? Only if Congress will continue to play their tribal political games. These programs are currently solvent but definitely need tweaking to avoid near term shortfalls. A bipartisan commission could solve the long term solvency issues. The more we know and understand about progressive/liberal ideas, the less radical they become. The solution is education. 17 Replies
James St. Paul, MN. Jan. 23
@Bruce Rozenblit Absolutely correct. According to the Bible of Saint Reagan, Socialism for corporations and the rich: Good. Socialism for the poor and working class: bad.
Midwest Josh Four Days From Saginaw Jan. 23
@Michael - cheaper tuition starts with getting the Federal Govt out of the student loan business, it's as simple as that. Virtually unlimited tuition dollars is what drove up tuition rates. Higher Ed is a business, make no mistake.
mrfreeze6 Seattle, WA Jan. 23
@Bruce, have you ever considered creating a new "reality" network where the truth about things could be told? You're quite good at articulating and defining how the world works, without all the usual nonsense. I really appreciate your comments.
Samuel Santa Barbara Jan. 23 Times Pick
Can we please, please stop talking about AOC? Sure, she's young and energetic and is worthy of note, but what has she accomplished? It's easy to go to a rooftop- or a twitter account- and yell "health care and education for all!' But please, AOC, tell us how you are going to not only pay for these ideas but actually get them through Congress and the Senate? It's just noise, until then, and worse, you're creating a great target for the right that will NOT move with you and certainly can label these ideas as leftist nutism- which would be fine, if we weren't trying to get Trump out of office ASAP.. Dreams are great. Ideals are great. But people who can get stuff actually done move the needle...less rhetoric, more actual plans please.. 10 Replies
c harris Candler, NC Jan. 23
Its ok for a far right bigoted clown to be elected to the president and a tax cut crazy party that wants to have a full scale assault against the environment and force more medical related bankruptcies to be in charge? The safe candidate protected by 800 superdelegates in 2016 was met with a crushing defeat. The Democratic establishment wants a safe neo con corporatist democrat. Fair taxation and redistribution of wealth is not some far out kooky idea. The idea that the wealthiest Americans getaway with paying tax at 15%, if at all, is ruinous to the country. Especially since there is an insane compulsion to spend outlandish trillions on "national security". Universal health care would save the country billions of dollars. Medicare controls costs much more effectively than private insurers. As with defense the US spends billions more on health care than other countries and has worse medical outcomes. Gentrification has opened fissures in the Democrats. The wealthy price out other established communities. The problems of San Francisco and Seattle and other places with gentrification need to be addressed before an open fissure develops in the party. 2 Replies
David Wahnon Westchester My Jan. 23
@Midwest Josh It's time for higher education to stop being a business. Likewise it's time to stop electing leaders who are businessmen/women. 38 Replies
T.R.I. VT Jan. 23
@Bruce Rozenblit Wow! Great points, why don't you run for office? I agree!
Michelle Teas Charlotte Jan. 23
One could argue that many of these ideas are not that far left - rather it's a result of more and more Americans realizing that WE are not the problem. Clean water and air, affordable health care and affordable education are not that radical.
don salmon asheville nc Jan. 23
@Midwest Josh Hmmm, how old are you Midwest Josh? There were student loans back in the 1970s when college cost me about $400 a year. Maybe something happened when that failed Hollywood actor spouted slogans like "Government is not the solution, government is the problem" (and, no, it was not taken out of context, he most definitely DID mean that government is the problem - look it up) www.remember-to-breathe.org 38 Replies
Matt Williams New York Jan. 23
You are studying this like it represents some kind of wave but in fact it is just a few districts out of 435. These young women seem extraordinarily simply because the liberal media says they are extraordinary. If the media attention on these new representatives were to cease, no one except their families, their staff, and maybe Stephen Colbert would notice. 9 Replies
Amanda Jones Jan. 23
Finally, the left came out of its hibernation. We have spent the last decade or more either sleeping or hiding, while at the same time, the Tea Party, the Freedom Caucus, Trump, and his minions were taking over our government---It is such a breath of fresh air to finally listen to airwaves filled with outrage over CEO's making millions of dollars an hour, of companies that have become monopolies, of tax plans that bring back the middle class---it took us a while, but we are back. 2 Replies
FunkyIrishman member of the resistance Jan. 23
For so long (40+ years) the political spectrum has been pulled wildly and radically to the right across so many issues. The Democratic party has for the most part ''triangulated'' their stances accordingly to essentially go along with republicans and corporate interests for a bargain of even more tax/corporate giveaways to hold the line on social issues or programs. It has now gotten to the point that continuous war has been waged for two (2) decades and all the exorbitant costs that go along with that. There has been cut, after cut after cut whereas some people and businesses are not paying any taxes at all now. Infrastructure, social spending and education are all suffering because the cupboard is now bare in the greatest and most richest country in the world. It just came out the other day that ONLY (26) people have as much wealth as the bottom half of the entire world's population. That amount of wealth in relation to dwindling resources of our planet and crushing poverty for billions is abjectly obscene on so many levels. Coupled with all of the above, is the continued erosion of human rights. (especially for women and dominion over their own bodies) People are realizing that the founding fathers had a vision of a secular and Progressive nation and are looking for answers and people that are going to give it to them. They are realizing that the Democratic party is the only party that will stand up for them and be consistent for all.
dudley thompson maryland Jan. 23 Times Pick
Democrats just don't like to win presidential elections. Go ahead. Move left. But remember, you are not taking the rest of the country with you. As a NeverTrump Republican, I'll vote for a moderate Democrat in 2020. No lefties. Sorry. Don't give the country a reason to give Trump four more years. Win the electoral college vote instead of complaining about it. The anti-Trump is a moderate. 5 Replies
Fourteen Boston Jan. 23
"These "big, bold leftist ideas" pose a strategic problem." No they don't. The Real Problem is the non-thinking non-Liberal 40% of Democrats and their simpatico Republicans who are programmed to scream, "How will we pay for all that?" Don't they know all that money will just be stolen? They were silent when that money was stolen by the 0.1% for the Tax Giveaway (they're now working on tax giveaway 2.0) and by the military-industrial complex (to whom Trump gave an extra $200,000,000,000 last year), various boondoggle theft-schemes like the Wall, the popular forever Wars (17 years of Iraq/Afghanistan has cost $2,400,000,000,000 (or 7 times WW2)), and the Wall Street bailouts. Don't those so-called Democrats realize whose money that was? First of all, it's our money. And second, our money "spent" on the People is a highly positive investment with a positive ROI. Compare that to money thrown into the usual money pits which has no return at all - except more terrorists for the military, more income inequality for the Rich, and Average incomes of $422,000 for Wall Street. When the People's money is continually stolen, how can anyone continue to believe that we're living in a democracy?
David Walker Limoux, France Jan. 23
Bruce, a succinct summary of your post is this: What we have now is socialism for the wealthy and corporations (who, as SCOTUS has made clear, are people, too) and rugged individualism for the rest of us. What we're asking for is nothing more than a level playing field for all. And I hope that within my lifetime SCOTUS will have an epiphany and conclude that, gosh, maybe corporations aren't people after all. We can only hope. 27 Replies
Loren Guerriero Portland, OR Jan. 23
Edsall writes with his normal studious care, and makes some good points. Still, I am growing weary of these "Democrats should be careful and move back to the center" opinions. Trump showed us that the old 'left-right-center' way of thinking is no longer applicable. These progressive policies appeal to a broad majority of Americans not because of their ideological position, but because so many are suffering and are ready to give power to representatives who will finally fight for working families. Policies like medicare for all are broadly popular because the health insurance system is broken and most people are fed up and ready to throw the greedy bums out. We've been trying the technocratic incrementalism strategy for too long, with too little to show for it. Bold integrity is exactly what we need. 1 Reply
Reilly Diefenbach Washington State Jan. 23
Outstanding post. America has to catch up with Europe. Democratic socialism is the only answer. 38 Replies
Jessica Summerfield New York City Jan. 23
@Bruce Rozenblit Thank you; as others have commented already, this is so well said. To build on your point: just yesterday, a commenter on a NYT article described AOC as a communist. Incredible. The extent to which decent, pragmatic and, in a bygone era, mainstream, ideas are now painted as dangerous, extreme, and anti-American is both absurd and disturbing. 27 Replies
A. Stanton Dallas, TX Jan. 23 Times Pick
If Hillary were President, there would never have been a shutdown. That is the lesson that Mrs. Pelosi, AOC and Democrats should carry forward to 2020. 5 Replies
BE Lawrence KS Jan. 23
@Bruce Rozenblit Once again reader comments are better than the editorial! This is the most concise explanation I've seen on these pages. 27 Replies
FunkyIrishman member of the resistance Jan. 23
@LTJ No one is promoting ''free stuff'' - what is being proposed is that people/corporations pay into a system Progressively upwards (especially on incomes above 10,000,000 dollars per year) that allowed them and gave them the infrastructure to get rich in the first place. I am sure you would agree that people having multiple homes, cars, and luxury items while children go hungry in the richest nation in the world is obscene on its face. Aye ?
Michael Los Angeles Jan. 23 Times Pick
Keep on keepin' on, AOC. Be the leader you (and we) know you are.
FJS Monmouth Cty NJ Jan. 23
@Ronny Respectfully, President Clinton had a role in the deconstruction of the middle class. My point is many of the folks in the news today were in congress that far back. Say what you will about President Trump and Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez,I believe they both have exposed the left,the right,the press for what they are. Please choose your own example. I don't agree with all of her positions, but I can't express how I enjoy her making the folks that under their watch led us to where we find ourselves today squirm and try to hide their anger for doing what she does so well. I've been waiting 55 years for this. Thank you AOC.
G James NW Connecticut Jan. 23
@Bruce Rozenblit Bruce, spot on. The point of the New Deal was not to replace capitalism with socialism, but to save capitalism from itself by achieving the balance that would preserve a capitalist economic system but one in which the concerns of the many in terms of freedom from want and freedom from fear were addressed. In other words, the rich get to continue to be rich, but not without paying the price of not being hung in the public square - by funding an expanding middle class. A middle class that by becoming consumers, made the rich even richer. But then greed took over and their messiah Saint Reagan convinced this large middle class that they too could be rich and so cutting taxes for the wealthy (and in the process redistributing the wealth from the expanding middle class to the wealthy) would one day benefit them - when they were wealthy. Drunk on the promise of future wealth, and working harder than ever, the middle class failed to notice whose ox was being gored and voted Republican. And now finally, the pendulum swings. Amen. 27 Replies
C Wolfe Bloomington IN Jan. 23
@Socrates I'm reminded of a poll I saw several years ago that presented positions on issues without attaching them to any individual politician or affixing labels of party or ideology. The pol aimed to express the issue in neutral language without dog whistles or buzzwords. When the pollsters had the data, they looked for the member of Congress whose positions best reflected the view of the majority of respondents. It was Dennis Kucinich, the scary liberal socialist bogeyman of his day.
Liz Chicago Jan. 23
I lived in Europe for a long time. Not even most right wing parties there wish to abolish universal healthcare, replace low or tuition-free colleges with college debt, etc. The US has politically drifted far to the right when the center Democrats were in charge. Now Trump is lurching the country to extreme raw capitalism at the cost of national debt, even our environment and climate, Democrats need to stop incrementalism. Simple as that. 1 Reply
Blackmamba Il Jan. 23
@Michael Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was opposed to the eternal triumvirate axis of inhumane evil aka capitalism, militarism and racism. King was a left-wing socialist community organizer. In the mode of Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. And the Nazarene of Matthew 25: 31- 46. America's military and prison industrial complexes are the antithesis of America' s proclaimed interests and values. America is number one in arms, money and prisoners. MAGA? 38 Replies
Bob Taos, NM Jan. 23
Bernie and AOC don't seem all that radical to me for the reason this op-ed points out -- I grew up in a New Deal Democratic family. My Grampa was an electrician supervisor for the City of Chicago and my Granma was a legal secretary. They wanted universal health care and free education and jobs for all. Those things made sense then, and they make sense now. They provide solutions to the deep problems of our society, so who wouldn't want them? We've had a lab test -- other than actual jobs for all Northern Europe has these things and we don't. Neo-liberalism, its Pay-Go formula for government, and its benefits for the rich fails on most counts except producing massive inequality and concentrated wealth. Bernie voters want solutions to inequality and climate change, and they are readily available if government can be wrested from the hands of Republicans like Trump and neo-liberals.
Ellen San Diego Jan. 23
@Michael To me, the key sentence in your excellent post is that American needs to "refocus on domestic growth and health and pull itself out of its continuous wars." All policiticians hoping for our votes in the future need to make clear where they stand on this. As to those who say that making all those weapons creates jobs, is there any reason that we couldn't instead start producing other quality goods in the U.S. again? 38 Replies
Bill W Vancouver, WA Jan. 23
@chele Me too! I am 72 y/o, retired, college educated at a rather tough school in which to gain entrance. Lived below my means for over 40 years. Parents are both WW2 Marine Corps officers(not career), who voted Republican and were active in local elections. They would be shocked and disgusted at what that "party" represents now.
Thea NY Jan. 23
@Bruce Rozenblit Wish I could like this many more times. What you are saying is what is the truth. 27 Replies
walking man Glenmont NY Jan. 23
I think you look at all this in a vacuum. Democrats veered left because there was a need to counterbalance what was happening on the right. They see Republicans aggressively trying to undo all the gains the left had achieved the previous several decades. Civil rights, Womens' rights, anti-poverty efforts, and so on all not just being pushed to the right, but forced to the right with a bulldozer. It got to a tipping point where Democrats could clearly see the forest for the trees. A great deal of this was a result of Republicans inability to candy coat their agenda. Universal healthcare....not being replaced by affordable alternatives, but by nothing. Tax cuts that were supposed to help the middle class, but, as evidenced by the government shutdown, giving them no economic breathing room. And, in fact, making their tax cut temporary, something nearly impossible to reverse with such a high deficit. Attacking immigrants with no plan on who, actually, would do the work immigrants do. The list goes on and on. In the past, many social programs were put in place not so much to alleviate suffering as to silence the masses. Now Republicans feel the time has come to take it all back, offering easily seen through false promises as replacements. That the left should see the big picture here and say "Not so fast" should come as absolutely no surprise. All they need now is a leader eloquent enough to rally the masses.
allen roberts 99171 Jan. 23
I think the Democratic Party is finally returning to its roots. We are now engaging in the same politics which gave us control of the House for about fifty years. I went to my first International Union convention is 1972 at which Ted Kennedy was one of the featured speakers. One of the themes of the convention was healthcare for all. Now it treated as some sort of radical proposal from the left. I am not certain why clean air and water, affordable health care and housing, combating climate change, raising wages, taxing the highest income brackets, updating our infrastructure, solving the immigration issue, and providing aid not weapons to other nations, are considered liberal or socialistic. I think it represents the thinking of a progressive society looking to the future rather than living in the past. 1 Reply
bdfreund Ottawa Jan. 23
@David G. I would also say that many people think a cooperative economic enterprise, such as a worker owned factory, is Socialism. But this is blatantly wrong and is pushed by the rich business and stock owners to denigrate these types of businesses. Cooperatives have often proven themselves quite successful in navigating a free market system, while simultaneously focussing on workers rights and ownership. We need more if this in North America. 27 Replies
will b upper left edge Jan. 23
@Samuel She's been in office less than a month. You want to shut down the conversation that is finally bringing real hope & passion to average people, & is bringing a new set of goals (& more integrity) to the Democratic Party? Paying for single-payer has been rehashed many times; just look at all the other 'civilized' countries who have it. For once, try putting the savings from ending co-pays, deductibles, & premiums into the equation. Think about the savings from large-group bids, & negotiations for drug prices, & the savings from preventative medicine heading off more expensive advanced treatment. Bernie Sanders has been explaining all this for years now. 'Less rhetoric'? The conversation is (finally) just now getting started! You start by explaining what is possible. When enough people understand it, the needle will start to move. Watch.
David J NJ Jan. 23
@JBC, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez was voted into congress and then the media took notice. It wasn't the other way around. My only hope is that she stays the course.
H. G. Detroit, MI Jan. 23
@Bruce Rozenblit And don't forget the biggest socialist project of our time - the wall! And withholding 800k employee checks to do so? That's socialism at gun point. 27 Replies
Jean Cleary Jan. 23
There are two points left out of all of the analysis of both Pressley's and Ocasio-Cortez's campaigns. First of all, both women did old fashioned retail politics, knocking on doors, sending out postcards, gathering as many volunteers as they could and talking about the issues with voters face to face. They took nothing for granted. This is precisely what Crowley and Capuano did not do. Second, they actually listened to the voters regarding what they needed and wanted in Congressional representation. What both of the stand for is neither Liberal or Conservative. What they stand for human values. This is not to say that Capuano and Crowley did not stand for these same values, but they took the voter for granted. That is how you lose elections. The Democrats are going back to their roots. They have found that the Mid-terms proved that issues of Health Care, minimum wages, good educations for all despite economic circumstances, and how important immigration is to this country really matter to the voters. They need to be braver in getting this across before the next election And the press might want to start calling the candidates Humane, period. 1 Reply
APT Boston, MA Jan. 23
@MIMA Yes, absolutely. I'm retired from the healthcare field after practicing 38 years. It is unconscionable that we question the access of healthcare to everyone. The complaint usually heard from the right is about "the takers." Data I've seen indicates that the majority on "the dole" are workers, who can't make ends meet in the gig economy or the disabled. That some lazy grubbers are in the system is unavoidable; perfection is the enemy of the good.
Felix New England Jan. 23
@Michael Could not have said it better myself. 38 Replies
Billy from Brooklyn Jan. 23
@Stu Sutin I agree, "Liberal" is too broad a term, as so-called liberals do not agree on everything, especially the degree. We can be socially liberal, while economically moderate--or vice versa. Some believe in John Maynard Keynes economics, but appose abortion. Some want free college tuition, while others support public schools but do not support the public paying for higher education. Our foreign policy beliefs often differ greatly. What joins us is a belief in a bottom up economy, not top down--and a greater belief in civil liberties and a greater distribution of wealth. Beyond that, our religious and cultural beliefs often differ.
Robert Grant Charleston, SC Jan. 23
I think the Internet has provided an influx of new understanding for the American left. They've learned that things considered radical here are considered unexceptional in the rest of the developed world. There is a realization that the only reason these are not normal here is because of a lack of political will to enact them. That will is building as the ongoing inequities are splashed across the front pages and the twitter feeds. It is the beginning of the end for American exceptionalism (a term coined by Stalin as America resisted the wave of socialism spreading around the world in the early 20th century). Unbridled capitalism lasted longer than communism but only because its costs were hidden longer. We need to find the sustainable middle path that allows for entrepreneurship along with a strong social safety net (and environmental protection). This new crop of progressive Democrats (with strong electoral backing) might lead the way.
G. Slocum Akron Jan. 23
at 63, I was there. I don't want second Trump administration either, but the route to a Democratic victory is not cozying up to the corporations and the wealthy, but by stating clearly, like FDR, "they are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred." We need people who are willing to say that the rich deserve to be taxed at a higher rate, because they have benefited more from our society, that no income deserves to be taxed at a lower rate than the wages paid to working people, and that vast wealth needs to be earned, not inherited. Emmanuel Saez makes persuasive arguments, but they need to be made in the language of the working people. 12 Replies
Richard Grayson Brooklyn Jan. 23
@Michael Your $128 a year would be more like $414 or so in today's dollars. Still . . . I went to Brooklyn College, part of the tuition-free City University of New York from 1969-1973. We paid a $53 general fee at the start of every semester ($24 for a summer semester), and that was it. Wealthy or poor, everyone paid the same amount (about $334 in today's dollars). 38 Replies
Rob Ware Salt Lake City, UT Jan. 23
@JRS Democratic party leaders have been in favor of more border security and an overhauled immigration system for as long as I've been alive. The suggestion (clearly this comment's intention) that Democrats favor "open" borders, ports, etc., is a myth propagated by an ever more influential right wing. And it's working: it's been repeated so often that it's now virtually an assumption that Democrats favor open borders, despite that fact that any critical thought on the subjection indicates the opposite is true.
Cass Missoula Jan. 23
I'm a very moderate Democrat -liberal on social issues and very supportive of free global trade- who would vote for any of the current Democrats over Trump, but would leave the party if AOC's ideas became the norm. I don't have a problem in principle with a 70% top marginal tax rate or AOC's Green New Deal- Meaning, these aren't moral issues for me per se. I just believe they would bankrupt the economy and push us into a chaos far worse than what we're seeing under Trump. 5 Replies
magicisnotreal earth Jan. 23
@Michael The increase in fees for education to include the books along with the lowering of standards for the classes taken is part and parcel of the reagan revolution to remake American society. One of the most problematic things for those seeking to undo what FDR did was the plethora of well educated and well read people American had managed to create. How were they going to be able to overcome this? You can deduce whatever methods you may know but I saw them tank the economy on purpose and prey on the fear that it created with more and more radical propaganda. Once they got into office they removed the best and brightest of our Civil Service and began making legal the crimes they wanted to commit and changing laws and procedures for how things were done so that people would eventually come to think of this as the "right" way when it was in fact purpose designed to deny them their due. 38 Replies
OldBoatMan Rochester, MN Jan. 23
Younger candidates, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, appeal to younger voters. John Kennedy appealed to WWII veterans, most of whom were in their 30s when they elected him. One of the reasons for Barack Obama's support in 2008 among younger voters is that he was a younger candidate and they identified with a younger candidate. That appeal to a younger electorate will play a larger role in future elections. Don't focus too strongly on issues. Democrats will win by a landslide in 2020 if they nominate a younger candidate that can inspire younger voters. November 3, 2020. 1 Reply
Barry McKenna USA Jan. 23
@Samuel Actually, running a campaign and getting elected is a significant accomplishment. Before anyone decides about what bills to promote and means of paying for them, we need a momentum of discourse, and promoting that discourse is another major accomplishment. You and many millions of others, also, have good reasons to be frustrated. Let's just try to actually "work" at talking the talking and walking the walk, and maybe we will--or maybe we won't--arrive some place where we can see some improvement.
Jason A. New York NY Jan. 23 Times Pick
The interesting part of this piece is the statement about politicians moving unwillingly. So some Democratic Congressmen and Congresswomen are allowing their personal beliefs to be compromised for the glory of being elected or re-elected? Sounds like someone I would not care to support. 2 Replies
profwilliams Montclair Jan. 23
A great essay! The wild card in all this analysis, of course, is what happens when these (now) young voters, age, eventually partner, and have kids. As every generation has shown, the needs of a voter changes as they age. I'm surrounded by many new neighbors with little kids who moved out of Brooklyn and Jersey City who suddenly find themselves concerned about rising property taxes- they now see the balance between taxes and services. Not something they worried about a few years ago. 2 Replies
John Patt Koloa, HI Jan. 23
@Tracy Rupp I am a senior citizen heterosexual white male. I do not apologize for my race, gender, etc. In fact, I am proud of our accomplishments. I do apologize for my personal wrongs, and strive to improve myself.
D I Shaw Maryland Jan. 23
"This will be difficult, given the fact that what is being proposed is a much larger role for government, and that those who are most in need of government support are in the bottom half of the income distribution and disproportionately minority -- in a country with a long racist history." True enough, but if progressives want actual people in that bottom half to lead happier lives, the focus of any programs should not be to employ armies in left-leaning and self-perpetuating "agencies," but rather to devise policies to help people develop the self-discipline to: A) finish high school, B) postpone the bearing of children until marriage (not as a religious construct but as a practical expression of commitment to the child's future), and; C) Find and get a regular job. These are supported by what objective, empirical data we have. These have not struck me as objectives of the rising left in the Democratic party. Mostly, I see endless moral preening, and a tribal demonizing of the "other," just exactly as they accuse the "other." In this case the "other" is we insufficiently "woke" but entirely moderate white folks who still comprise a plurality of Americans. I see success on the left as based primarily on an ability to express performative outrage. But remember, you build a house one brick at a time, which can be pretty boring, and delivers no jolt of dopamine as would manning the barricades, but which results in a warm, dry, comfortable place to live. 4 Replies
Edward Wichita, KS Jan. 23
@Concerned Citizen For your information, Holiday Inns typically had a restaurant in the hotel in the days Michael is talking about so... whatever! 38 Replies
Warren Peace Columbus, OH Jan. 24
My father fought in Germany during WWII, then came home and went to college on the GI bill. Both my parents received federal assistance for a loan on their first house. Later, during retirement, they were taken care of by Medicare and given an income by Social Security. They worked hard, kept their values, lived modestly, and voted for Democrats. Apparently, they were wild-eyed, leftist-socialist radicals, and I never knew it.
617to416 Ontario Via Massachusetts Jan. 23
@Bruce Shigeura AOC in some ways is doing what Bernie was doing -- mobilizing people around class as you say -- but the difference is that AOC doesn't shy away from issues of racial justice. Bernie seemed to want to unite people by ignoring issues of race, as if he was afraid that mentioning race too much might drive Whites away. AOC seems able to hold whites on the class issue while still speaking to the racial justice issues that are important to non-Whites. She's an extraordinary phenomenon: smart, engaging, articulate and with personal connections to both the White and Non-White worlds, so she threatens neither and appeals to both.
harpla Jan. 23
@Stu Sutin "Is something wrong about aspiring to free college education in an era when student debt totals $1.5 trilliion?" Yes. If you're the Congressperson who gets his/her funding from the lenders.
Joshua Schwartz Ramat-Gan, Israel Jan. 23
A O-C has yet to open a district office. A O-C is more interested in "national" issues and exposure than those of her district. What A O-C may have forgotten is that it is her district and constituents that have to re-elect her in less than 2 tears (or not): "Would you rather have a Congress member with an amazing local services office, or one that leads nationally on issues?" she queried her 1.9 million followers on Instagram -- a number that is well over twice the population of her district. The results strongly favored national issues." https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/22/nyregion/aoc-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-district-office.html As Mr. Edsall points out, her district is not necessarily progressive and liberal and while there may be national issues, at the bottom line, many of her instagram groupies are not her constituents. Democrats like to constantly point out that Ms. Clinton won the popular vote, and she was the non-liberal-progressive Democrat. I am sure that the Republicans pray for the success of the Democratic left. They seek to give voice to that left. That will bring the swing votes right back to or over to the Republicans, without, but possibly even with Mr. Trump (if the Democrats cross a left-wing tipping point). Bottom line, instagram is fine and likes are great, twitter is good for snappy answers, but representatives to the House have to deliver to their district and constituents. A O-C leads, but to the salvation of the Republican party. 6 Replies
Marc Vermont Jan. 23
@Joshua Schwartz M. Ocasio-Cortez explained on The Late Show the other night that the reason she has not opened her district office is due to the Government Shutdown. The people charged with setting up the office are on furlough, the money for the office is being held up and she staff or furnish the office.
Eric Bremen Jan. 23
Isn't this somehow the natural swing of things? Years of heavy-handed politics benefitting small minorities on the right have taken their toll, so now new ideas are up at bat. By the way, these ideas aren't really that bold at all - many countries have living minimum wages or mandatory healthcare, and are thriving, with a much happier population. Only in the context of decades-long, almost brainwash-like pounding of these ideas as 'Un-American' or 'socialist' can they be seen as 'bold'. American exeptionalism has led to a seriously unbalanced and dangerously threatened social contract. Tell me again, Republicans: why is a diverse, healthy and productive population living under inspiration instead of constant fear so bad?
jrd ny Jan. 23
The "experts" offering advice here seem to have forgotten that Hillary Clinton listened to them in 2016: the party decided that appealing to suburban Republicans and Jeb Bush voters was more important than exciting the Democratic party base. The other hazard of calculated politics is that the candidate is revealed to be a phony, believing in nothing but power or that it's simply "her turn" -- an uncompelling program for a voter. 1 Reply
H NYC Jan. 23
They will all face primary challengers in 2020. Tlaib and Omar didn't even win a majority of the primary vote. There were so many candidates running in those primaries, they only managed a plurality. And let's be honest about the demographic changes in the districts Pressley and Ocasio Cortez won. They went from primarily ethnic White to minority majority. Both women explicitly campaigned on the premise that their identity made them more representative of the district than an old White male incumbent. Let's not sugarcoat what happened: they ran explicitly racist campaigns. They won with tribalism, not liberal values. Democrats actually need more candidates like Lucy McBath, Antonio Delgado, and Kendra Horn if they want to retain Congressional control and change policy. And many minorities and immigrants aren't interested in the far left faction. We don't have a problem with Obama and a moderate approach to social democracy.
Len Charlap Printceton NJ Jan. 23
@JABarry - Some data: Canada has a program like Medicare for All, and its bottom line health care statistics are better than ours in spite of a worse climate. We paid $9506.20 per person for health care in 2016. In Canada, they paid $4643.70. If our system we as efficient as Canada's, we would save over $1.5 TRILLION each and every year. This is money that can be used for better purposes. If one uses the bottom line statistics, we see that both Canada and the UK (real socialized medicine) do better than we do: Life expectancy at birth (OECD): Canada- 81.9, UK - 81.1, US - 78.8 Infant Mortality (OECD)(Deaths per 1,000): Canada - 4.7, UK - 3.8, US - 6.0 Maternal Mortality (WHO): Canada - 7, UK - 9, US - 14 Instead of worrying how we would pay for it, we will have the problem of how to spend all the money we would save. BTW can you point to a period where too high federal debt hurt the economy? In 1837 the federal debt as a percentage of GDP was 0%; it was 16% in October of 1929. Both were followed horrendous depression. It was 121% in 1946 followed by 27 years of Great Prosperity.
UTBG Denver, CO Jan. 23
Best comment in some time. I work and live too much in the'big flat'. I am a very hard core Chicago Democratic Liberal from birth, but the distressed towns and small cities are facing extinction. then what?
Mercury S San Francisco Jan. 23
@In the know I'm formerly Republican, and female. I'm on the ACA, and while premiums were going up slowly, they've exploded in the past two years due to Republican sabatoge. They are certainly no reason to vote for Trump.
D.j.j.k. south Delaware Jan. 23
@Midwest Then the rich will only be eligible for college. Give me government intervention any time. I am retired military . Off base in Lewes De a mans hair cut is now 20.00 plus tips. Just a plain cut. On base with gov intervention it 12.00 . Capitalism you support is only for the 1 percent the 99 percent never gets ahead. 38 Replies
P New York Jan. 23
She has a massive throng of twitter followers, is completely unconcerned with facts, uses publicity to gain power and seems unwilling to negotiate on her positions. Remind you of anyone else? 3 Replies
FXQ Cincinnati Jan. 23
The establishment is trying so hard to spin the progressives push on the issues of Medicare for All, free state college and university tuition, a livable wage of $15/hr as ponies and fairy dust and an extreme "socialist" makeover/takeover of America. But from all the polls that I've seen, these policies are actually quite popular even with a majority of Republicans. Yes, a majority of Republicans. A Medicare for All would cover everybody, eliminate health insurance premiums for individuals and businesses ( which by the way are competing with businesses in other countries that have a single-payer system) and would save $2 trillion over ten years (Koch bothers funded study). The result would be a healthy and educated populace. But how to pay for this? Well, we spend over $700 billion on our military while Russia spends $20 billion and China spends $146 billion, so there seems to be plenty of money that is already being spent to be redirected back to us without compromising national security. A Medicare for All system supports a private healthcare system just as it is now, except instead of giving some insurance company our premium who then skims off a big chunk for their profit, we pay it to our government who then administers the payments to the healthcare provider(s). The system is in place and has been for people 65 years and older and works very well with high satisfaction rates. Just expand it to all. 2 Replies
Smartone new york,ny Jan. 23
@Midwest Josh Wrong!!! Tuition's have skyrocketed because for past 35 years States have slashed support for public universities. The Federal Government took over student loan business from predatory banks which was a very good thing but unfortunately have kept interest rates high ... Student loans is a profit center for Federal Government 38 Replies
Michael Rochester, NY Jan. 23
@Concerned Citizen Go ahead and check the holiday inn in Palestine Texas. It had a small restaurant in 1978. I was their dishwasher. There was no ford plant nearby. 38 Replies
FXQ Cincinnati Jan. 23
@Bruce Rozenblit Well put. As Martin Luther King Jr. said: "We all too often have socialism for the rich and rugged free market capitalism for the poor." 27 Replies
Glenn Ribotsky Queens Jan. 23
@stuart They used to call it the "Democratic wing of the Democratic party". I was glad when Thomas Edsall finally got around, in this piece, to mentioning that what is often thought of as a radical leftist turn today, due to just how far to the right our general political discussions had gone, was actually pretty much mainstream Democratic policy for much of the middle 20th century.
Fourteen Boston Jan. 23
@Len Charlap Quite simply Canada's healthcare quality is ranked 16th in the world, while ours is lower ranked at 23rd. And we pay twice as much. That indicates some funny business going on.
Westchester Guy Westchester, NY Jan. 23
It is remarkable that "big, bold leftist ideas" include - preserving the historical relationship between the minimum wage and the cost of living - lowering the cost of college to something in line with what obtained for most public colleges and universities in the 50s, 60s and 70s and exist in the rest of the Western world today - adapting our existing Medicare system to deliver universal coverage of the kind generally supported across the political spectrum in Canada and the UK Democrats should reject the "leftist" label for these ideas and explain that it is opposition to these mainstream ideas that is, in fact, ideological and extreme. 2 Replies
H NYC Jan. 23
@Marc Except that's outright false. Offices are open. All the other new Congress members from New York are setup and taking care of people. She doesn't care about constituent service. She revels in the media attention, but isn't getting anything done even in the background. NY has three Congress members (Lowey, Serrano, Meng) whose under-appreciated work on the appropriations committee actually helps ensure our region's needs and liberal priorities are reflected in federal spending. Meanwhile Ocasio Cortez is working on unseating Democrats incumbents she deems insufficiently leftist e.g. Cuellar, Jeffries. Who needs Republicans when you have Socialists trying to destroy the Democratic Party.
Eric The Other Earth Jan. 23
The NYT should consider getting some columnists who reflect the new (FDR? new?) trends in the country and in the Democratic party. The old Clinton/Biden/Edsall Republican lite approach -- all in for Wall Street -- is dying. Good riddens. BTW I'm a 65 year old electrical engineer. 1 Reply
rtj Massachusetts Jan. 23
You're missing something big here, sir. Capuano was a Clinton superdelegate in 2016 who declared well before the primaries (like all other Mass superdelegates, save for Warren who waited until well after the primaries.) Thereby in effect telling constituents that their vote was irrelevant, as they were willing to override it. Somerville went for Sanders 57% to 42%. Putting party over voters maybe isn't a great idea when 51% of voters in Massachusetts are registered Unenrolled (Independent) and can vote in primaries. Bit rich to signal that our votes don't matter, but then expect it later as it maybe actually does matter after all. Pressley was all in for Clinton, which is of course suspect. But like me, she had only one vote.
don salmon asheville nc Jan. 23
@C Wolfe Wow. Funky Irishman has been, for many months, writing about and presenting excellent data showing that the US is actually a center-left (if not strongly progressive) country. I used to present this evidence to Richard Luettgen (where has he gone??) who kept insisting we are center-right (but never, as was his custom, presented any evidence for this). your example is the best I've ever seen. I'm a member of a 4000-strong Facebook group, the "Rational Republicans" (seriously - a local attorney with a decidedly liberal bent started it and almost beat regressive Patrick McHenry here in Asheville). I've been making this point on the FB page for the past year and people are stunned when they see the numbers. I'm going to post your example as well. Excellent!
John LINY Jan. 23
It's funny to watch people shocked when she makes her proposal. Her ideas are very old and have worked in the past in various cultures. But the point that she can voice them is because she can. Her people put her there because she said those things with their approval. She reflects her community ideals. Just like Steve King.
rose atlanta Jan. 23
I'm already tired of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and I'm a liberal and Hispanic...its constant overkill, everybody falling over her, total overexposure. The news media has found their darling for the moment. Let's see what she accomplishes, what bills she proposes and passes that is the work to be done not being in the news 24/7.
GregP 27405 Jan. 23
Until the left figures out that every single one of their most desired Policy Implementations are only feasible with controlled immigration and secured borders doesn't matter who the messenger is. Want Single Payer Healthcare? Can't have it and Open Borders too. Want free College? Can't have it and Open Borders too. Want Guaranteed Basic Income? Cannot have it in any form without absolutely controlling the Border. So, either you want that influx of new voters to win elections or you want to see new policy changes that will benefit all Americans. Pick one and fight for it. You seem to have chosen the new voters. 3 Replies
Fourteen Boston Jan. 23
@Matt Williams But they are extraordinary, relative to their bought and paid for colleagues. That came first and the media is reporting it. Their authenticity is naive, but it shouldn't be, and that's the story. It's a glimmer of hope for democracy that may be extinguished - let's celebrate this light in the darkness, while it lasts.
Erik Jan. 23
@Bruce Rozenblit This is. Spot. On. The socialism of: Privatize the profits, socialize the losses. It's defined American economic and social policy for the last 30+ years and we can see the results today. 27 Replies
Deb Jan. 23
@shstl I agree and as a moderate Democrat, I already feel like an outsider, so imagine what independents are thinking. AOC stated that she wants to primary Hakeem Jeffries, who is a moderate. With statements like these, made before spending a day in congress, who needs the GOP to tear apart the Democratic party? Sanders didn't even win the primary and his supporters claim the primary was stolen. We lost the house and senate all by ourselves. I already have AOC fatigue and my rejoice for the blue wave is still there but fading.
Bill Terrace, BC Jan. 24
Since 1980, the US has veered sharply to the Right. A course correction is long overdue.
Kingfish52 Rocky Mountains Jan. 24
The Democratic party was shoved to the right with Bill Clinton's Third Way ideology that made its focus the same wealthy donor class as the Republicans, while breaking promises to its former base, the middle and working class. This led to the unchecked capitalism that produced the Crash of '08, and the subsequent bail out to Wall St. The powers running the DNC - all Third Way disciples, like Hilary - refused to take up any of these "socialist" causes because their wealthy donors didn't want to have their escalating wealth diminished. Meanwhile these Democrats In Republican Clothing were banking on continued support from those they had abandoned. And they got it for years...until now. Now, finally, we're getting candidates who represent those abandoned, and who are refusing to hew to the poobah's Third Way agenda. But the Old Guard is trying to retain their power by labeling these candidates as "socialists", and "far left". Well, if that's true, then FDR was a "socialist" too. Funny though how all those "socialists" who voted for FDR, Truman, JFK, and LBJ enjoyed such capitalistic benefits like good paying jobs, benefits, home ownership, good education, and the fruits of Big Guv'mint like the Interstate Highway system, electricity, schools, the Space Program and all the benefits that produced. It was only when we turned our backs on that success and relied on unchecked capitalism that most of America began their slide backwards. We need to go left to go forward.
Elfego New York Jan. 23
Why is the media lionizing this ignorant, undisciplined child? She should shut up, sit down, learn how to listen and learn from her elders in government. She is acting like a college student, who has no one to hold her accountable for her reckless, stupid behavior. Why does the media seem to be enamored of her?????
mj somewhere in the middle Jan. 23
@Michael Lucky for you. I went to the University of Michigan at roughly the same time and it was no where near that cheap--not even close. And housing? Don't get me started on that. Even then it took my breath away. 38 Replies
Quiet Waiting Texas Jan. 23
@chele That which you are pleased to call the DLC nonsense originated not with the Clintons, but with one of the worst presidential defeats the Democratic party ever suffered: the 1972 campaign of George McGovern. That debacle resulted in a second Nixon administration and I hope that the current trends within the Democratic party do not result in a second Trump administration.
Jack Shultz Pointe Claire Que. Canada Jan. 23
It is exceeding strange to me that "Conservatives" in the US consider Medicare for all and universal access to higher education as being radical, pie-in-the-sky, proposals. Here in Canada we have had universal medicare for a half a century and it has proven itself to be relatively effective and efficient and has not driven us into penury. As for free access to education beyond high school, I remember learning a while ago that the US government discovered that it had earned a return of 700% on the money spent on the GI Bill after WWII which allowed returning GIs to go to colleges and universities. The problem with American conservatives is that they see investments in the health, welfare and education of the citizenry as wasteful expenditures, and wasteful expenditures such as the resources going to an already bloated military, and of course tax cuts for themselves as investments.
Orangecat Valley Forge, PA Jan. 23
Note to the NYT and its contributors. Your sycophantic enslavement to promoting Ocasio-Cortez is beginning to fatigue some of your readers. 2 Replies
RedRat Sammamish, WA Jan. 23
@chele Amen to you! I too am old guy (79) and think Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a savior of the Democratic Party! She is young and has great ideas. I agree with you about the Clintons, they led the party down a sinkhole. I agree with just about everything I have heard Alexandria espouse. She is refreshing. Glad she is kicking the butts of those old guard Democrats that have fossilized in place--they are dinosaurs. 12 Replies
Tintin Midwest Jan. 23
@Tracy Rupp The problem with blaming a group based on demographics, rather than behavior or ideology, is that you are likely to be disappointed. There are a lot of people who are not old white men who are just as seduced by money, power, and local privilege as was the old guard. Feminists writing letters to condemn a male student who made charges of being sexually harassed by his female professor; African American activists who refuse to reject the antisemitism of charismatic cult leaders. Human beings in charge will be flawed, regardless of their race, gender identity, or sexual orientation. As the balance of power changes hands, corruption too will become more diverse. 6 Replies
Woof NY Jan. 23
Money is the mother's milk of politics, so let me comment on "many of whom did not want the Democrats to nominate a candidate with deep ties to party regulars and to the major donor community." Include me. Because the major donor community is Charles E Schumer, Leader Democrats, House Top Contributors, 1989 - 2018 1 Goldman Sachs 2 Citigroup Inc 3 Paul, Weiss et al 4 JPMorgan Chase & Co 5 Credit Suisse Group That is Wall Street Nancy Pelosi, leader Democrats, House Top Contributors, 2017 - 2018 1 Facebook Inc 2 Alphabet Inc (Google) 2 Salesforce.com 4 University of California 5 Intel Corp $13,035 That is Silicon Valley . The U of CA should spent its money on students What is the interest of these donors ? For Wall Street, it is maximizing profits by suppressing wages, outsourcing to of enterprises it owns to low wage countries, and immigration of people willing to work for less For Silicon Valley it is Mining your data, violating your privacy, and immigration of people willing to work for less via H1B To win general (not primary) elections you need large amounts of money. At in return for this money, you need to take care of your donors, lest you find you without money in the next election Until the Democratic Party frees itself of this system, it will spout liberal rhetoric, but do little to help average Americans As Sanders showed, it can do so, running on small donations. DNC, eye on frightened donors, killed his attempt. 1 Reply
Cwnidog Central Florida Jan. 23
"The most active wing of the Democratic Party -- the roughly 20 percent of the party's electorate that votes in primaries and wields disproportionate influence over which issues get prioritized -- has moved decisively to the left." Yet it seems that you feel that the party should ignore them and move to the center right in order to capture suburban Republican women, who will revert back to the Republican party as soon as (and if) it regains something resembling sanity. Do you seriously think that its worth jettisoning what you describe as "the most active wing of the party" for that? 2 Replies
Ron Cohen Waltham, MA Jan. 23
@shstl Right on!
Linda Miilu Chico, CA Jan. 23
@David G. See Norway, Denmark, Germany, England and Finland. Citizens have jobs and health care; education is affordable and subsidized. Not all young people attend universities; many go to vocational schools which prepare them for good jobs. We could do the same. 27 Replies
Lisa NYC Jan. 23
@Midwest Josh That is so NOT true Midwest Josh. The unattainable loans and interest problems are because the private sector has been allowed into the student loan game. The government should be the underwriter for all student loan programs unless individual schools offer specialized lending programs. Whenever the government privatizes anything the real abuse starts and the little guy gets hurt. 38 Replies
michaeltide Bothell, WA Jan. 23
@Bruce Rozenblit, at the end of a long line of commenters, I add my congratulations for a well-articulated overview of our political dilemma. Both "trickle-down"economics and "neo-liberalism" have brought us to this pass, giving both Democrats and Republicans a way of rewarding their corporate masters. I believe both Cinton and Obama believed they could find a balance between the corporate agenda and a secure society. We see with hindsight how this has hailed to materialize, and are rightly seeking a more equitable system – one that addresses the common sense needs of all of us. I, for one, am overjoyed that the younger generation has found its voice, and has a cause to support. My recollection of demonstrating against the Viet Nam war (and the draft), marching for civil rights, and even trying to promote the (then largely inchoate) women's rights movement, still evokes a passionate nostalgia. We have witnessed an entire generation that lacked passion for any cause beyond their individual desires. It's good to have young men and women reminding us of our values, our aspirations, and our power as citizens. As the bumper sticker says, "If you think education is expensive – try ignorance." Thanks again for a fine post. 27 Replies
James Mullaney Woodside, NY Jan. 23
@Matt Williams Without the undue media attention we wouldn't be saddled with this cartoon character masquerading as a president.
Shirley0401 The South Jan. 23
@Quiet Waiting That was FIFTY YEARS AGO. People who fought in the Spanish-American War were still casting ballots, for heaven's sake. McGovern has been used by Third Way apologists as a cautionary tale to provide cover for doing what they clearly wanted to do anyway. The other reality is that the McGovern/Nixon race took place in a time when there was broad consensus that many of the social programs Republicans are now salivating over privatizing weren't going anywhere. 12 Replies
ann Seattle Jan. 23
Abolishing ICE is tantamount to having open borders. No modern country can allow all people who are able to get to its borders to just move in, and take advantage of its government services. If a country were to start offering Medicare for All, no or reduced college tuition, a universal jobs guarantee, a $15 minimum wage, and wage subsidies to the entire bottom half through an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit, paid maternity/paternity leave, and free child care, it would need tax-payers to support these plans. It could not afford to support all of the poor, uneducated migrants who have been illegally crossing our borders, let alone all of those who would run here if ICE were to be abolished. Look at Canada which has more of a social safety net than is offered in our country. It has practically no illegal immigrants. (A long term illegal immigrant had to sue for the government to pay for her extensive medical care, and the court decisions appear to have limited government payment of her medical bills just to her and not to other illegal migrants.) It picks the vast majority of its legal immigrants on a merit system that prioritizes those who would contribute a special needed skill to the Canadian economy, who are fluent in English and/or French, and who could easily assimilate. Thus, most of Canada's immigrants start paying hefty taxes as soon as they move to Canada, helping to support the country's social safety net. 1 Reply
GAO Gurnee, IL Jan. 23
@Samuel To pay for universal health care you capture all the money currently being spent for the health care system. That includes all the employer insurance premiums, VA medical care costs, military medical costs, all out-of-pocket expenses, everything. That provides plenty of money for our health care needs as exemplified by the costs in other advanced countries with better systems. Also re-activate parts of the ACA that were designed to control and reduce costs but that have gone unfunded. Reduce hospital and hospital administration costs, which are exorbitant and provide little real health care benefit. There will be plenty of funds for actual provider salaries (physicians, nurses, technicians, pharmacists, etc). 10 Replies
Martin Kobren Silver Spring, MD Jan. 23
You have to accept some of this polling data with a grain of salt. Most of the population has no idea what "moderate," "slightly liberal," or extremely liberal mean. These tend to be labels that signify how closely people feel attached to other people on the left side of the ideological spectrum. The same is true, btw, of people on the right. The odd thing is that if you ask Trump voters about the economic policies they favor, they generally agree that social security ought to be expanded, that the government has an obligation to see that everyone has medical care, that taxes on the rich should be higher and that we ought to be spending more money, not less on education. Where you see a divergence is on issues tightly aligned with Trump and on matters that touch on racial resentment. Trump voters do not favor cuts in spending on the poor, though they do support cuts in "welfare." The moral of the story is that a strategic Democratic politician who can speak to these Trump voters on a policy level or at the level of values -- I'm thinking Sharrod Brown -- may be able to win in 2020 with a landslide.
jk ny Jan. 23
I saw AOC on the Colbert Show recently and one of her first statements was in regards to wearing red nail polish. I turned it off. Enough of the red lipstick as well. Please. Next she'll discuss large hoop earrings. 1 Reply
P McGrath USA Jan. 23
O'Cortez is a "Fantasy Socialist. She says the stupidest and most outlandish things so the media puts a microphone in front of her face. She hates when folks fact check her because nothing she is saying adds up. O'Cortez has all of the same "spread the wealth" tendencies as the previous president who was much more cunning and clever at hiding his true Socialist self.
Trebor USA Jan. 23
@chele Right on. I expect there is a very large contingent of us. It is disheartening to be associated by age and ethnicity with the corporatist financial elite power mongers who control both parties and the media. But we can still continue vote the right way and spread the word to fight corruption and corporatism. Eschew New Democrats like ORourke. The first commitment to find out about is the commitment to restore democracy and cut off the power of the financial elite in politics. All the other liberal sounding stuff is a lie if that first commitment is not there. Because none of it will happen while the financial elite are controlling votes. There will always be enough defectors against, for example, the mainstream support for medicare for all national health care to keep it from happening if New Democrats aren't understood as the republican lite fifth column corrupters they really are. 12 Replies
MDB Encinitas Jan. 23
I see a Trump victory in 2020. Thank you, AOC. 1 Reply
Odysseus Home Again Jan. 23
@David G. You mean like Scandinavia, right? 27 Replies
R. Law Texas Jan. 23
Chock full of very interesting data, but we tend to to believe Zeitz's conclusion that Dems are just returning to their roots, following the spectacular 2008 failures that saw no prosecutions - in starkest contrast to the S&L failure and boatload of bankers charged: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/04/magazine/only-one-top-banker-jail-financial-crisis.html To the extent this primary voter data is replicated across the country in Dem primaries, and not just the AOC and Ayana Pressley races, we could be convinced some massive swing is occurring in Dem primary results. Until then, we tend to believe that the cycle of 30-50 House seats which swing back and forth as Dem or GOP from time to time (not the exact same 30-50 districts each cycle, but about 30-50 in total per election cycle or two) is a continuation of a long-term voting trend. Unpacking the egregious GOP'er gerrymandering, as is the goal of Eric Holder and Barack Obama: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/02/us/politics/voting-gerrymander-elections.html which has blunted Dem voter effects, will be of far more consequence - get ready !
Odo Klem Chicago Jan. 23
@Michael Gig'em dude. Class of '88, and I feel the same way. And as far as I can tell, the increase has been almost totally because state support has fallen in order to fund tax cuts for the people, like us, who got the free education. Who says you can't have your cake and eat it too? You just have to raid everyone else's plate. 38 Replies
Jay Orchard Miami Beach Jan. 23
I understand the Andy Warhol concept of everyone having 15 minutes of fame. But it's absurd that AOC's 15 minutes of fame coincide with her first 15 minutes in office.
Fred Up North Jan. 24
Ocasio-Cortez and the rest haven't been in Congress a month. Get back to me when anyone of them even gets a bill passed naming a Post Office. Until the, maybe you ought to learn your jobs?
mrfreeze6 Seattle, WA Jan. 23
@In the know, Your party invented the fundamental ACA program. It was the brainchild of the Heritage Foundation that started this fiasco that you'd like to blame on Dems. Also, you simply cannot argue that the Republicans attempted to implement the program in good faith. They have done everything they can to sabotage it. In the end, Republicans don't want people to have affordable health care. It doesn't fit their "family-unfriendly" philosophy. Furthermore, the only real business-friendly ideas Republicans embrace are a) eliminate taxes, b) remove regulations, c) pay employees nothing. If you as a woman believe these are notions that strengthen you or your family, I'm at a total loss in understanding your reasoning.
Len Charlap Printceton NJ Jan. 23
@Matt Williams - You are ignoring the many statistics in the article that apply to the Democratic party as a whole. For example: "From 2008 to 2018, the percentage of Democrats who said the government should create "a way for immigrants already here illegally to become citizens if the meet certain requirements" grew from 29 to 51 percent, while the share who said "there should be better border security and stronger enforcement of immigration laws" fell from 21 to 5 percent." There are many others.
SteveRR CA Jan. 24
"...as millennials and minorities become an ever-larger proportion of the party, it will have a natural constituency..." I would counter that as they start to actually pay taxes then the millennials will adopt the standard liberal plaint, 'raise the taxes on everybody except me'
Roger California Jan. 23
@D I Shaw I think the precise point is that would much easier to do A,B, and C if there were universal health care, job guarantees, and clean water to drink. It is much easier to make good long-term decisions when you aren't kept in a state of perpetual desperation.
Giacomo anytown, earth Jan. 23
These 'new' ideas are not new, nor are they 'progressive democrats'', nor are they even the democratic party's per se. More importantly, the 'issue', for which no one has come up with a solution, is the same -- how are we going to pay for this all? The GAO reported in '16 that Sander's proposal for payment was completely unsustainable. Similarly, Cortez's plan for a tax rate of 70% of earnings (not capital gains) over $10mm per annum does not come close to funding 'medicare for all', 'free collage/trade school', and 'the New Green Deal'. Our military is a 'jobs program' rooted in certain state's economy -- it is going to be very difficult to substantially reduce those expenditures any time soon. The purpose of government is governance -- what politician is going to have the integrity and cujones to tell the American people that we need these 'liberal' policies, but that every single one of us is going to have to contribute, even those at the far lower income strata? Are we all willing to work longer in life and live in much smaller houses/apartments to do what is necessary? If the answer is yes, then and only then can any of us claim the moral high ground. Until then, it's just empty rhetoric for political gain and personal Aggrandizement of so-called progressives. 5 Replies
Keith Texas Jan. 23
@chele I'm an "elder millennial" in my 30s. The first US election I really paid attention to was in 2000. Remember how all of the Democrats would gripe about, "oh I really *like* Nader, but the Green Party candidate is never going to win..." It's a party in dire straights when the ideological base doesn't even particularly love its candidates on the issues. Repeat in 2004 with Kerry. Obama managed to win based on charisma and the nation's collective disgust with the neocons, but then we did it again with Hillary. 12 Replies
Chris W Toledo Ohio Jan. 23
Sorry libs, but with the exception of the Left Coast, and Manhattan, there is not alot of attention given AOC and her silly class warfare 70% tax nonsense, that goes with the Dem/Lib territory--nothing new or exciting with her. Being a certain ethnicity or gender is not exciting or inherently "good" as Progressives attempt to convince others. Identity politics is nonsense. When she does something of merit, not simply engage in publicity stunts and class warfare nonsense then maybe she will get some attention outside of Lib/Wacko world. "With all the attention that is being paid to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib" Other than these opinion pages and the Lib coasts, not so much. 2 Replies
cgtwet los angeles Jan. 23
Since Reagan there has been a steady drumbeat to the right and far-right policies. We've lived so long in this bubble that we've normalized these For-the-Rich policies as centrist. So I don't accept the writer's premise that the Democratic party is moving to a radical left. The Democratic party is simply embracing pro middle class policies that were once the norm between 1935-1979. And I welcome the shift of the pendulum. 1 Reply
Andrzej Warminski Irvine, CA Jan. 23
@Giacomo That's right, this country can afford trillions for the Pentagon system--the military-industrial complex, to coin a phrase--and foolishly criminal wars, but it can't afford national health insurance, something that some industrialized countries have had since the late 19th century. Anybody who thinks these ideas are "radical" or "leftist" clearly understands nothing about politics.
just Robert North Carolina Jan. 23
The shift claimed by Mr. Edsall among democratic voters who claim to be liberal or progressive is more illusion than reality. With President Obama more democrats are willing and indeed proud that our party represents the cutting edge principle that we protect the needs and interests of those struggling to find a place in our society. For a long time Democrats bought into the notion that the word liberal was some how shameful. But now with the machinations of a McConnell and Trump it becomes obvious that Democratic principles of justice for all and fighting for economic equality are not outside ideas, but actually central to the growth of our country. No longer will we kow tow to a false stilted opinion, but stand up proudly for what we believe and fight for.
Shenoa United States Jan. 24
AOC behaves like a sanctimonious know-it-all teenager....entertaining for about 5 minutes, then just plain annoying and tiresome. Does not bode well for the Democratic Party,...
Nima Toronto Jan. 23
Actually, people like AOC or Bernie aren't that far left at all. Internationally, they'd be considered pretty centrist. They're simply seen as "far left" because the Overton window in DC is far to the right. Even domestically, policies like universal healthcare and a living wage enjoy solid majority support, so they're perfectly mainstream
Samuel Santa Barbara Jan. 23
I understand what you are saying, but please remember- half of this country thinks- rightly or wrongly- that AOC and many of her ideals are unobtainable and socialist. Whether they are or are not is NOT the point. We need ideas that are palatable to the mainstream, average American- not just those of us on the liberal wings. And I AM one of those. Since you bring up Bernie- how well did that work out? The country isn't ready for those ideas. And rightly or wrongly, pursuing them at all cost will end up winning Trump the next election.
Bob Guthrie Australia Jan. 23
@Jose Pieste Well here in Australia its 10 minute waits for appointments made on the same day. I have MS and see my specialist without a problem. And the government through the PBS prescription benefit scheme pays $78 of my $80 daily tablets. We are not as phenomenally wealthy a country as the USA and we mange it with universal health care. I pay about $30 Australian for each doctor's visit and sometimes with bulk billing that is free too. You reflect a uniquely American attitude about social services that is not reflective of what is done in other modern democracies. I really do feel for you my friend and for all Americans who have been comprehensively hoodwinked by the "can't afford it" myth. You can pay for trillion dollar tax cuts for people who don't need it. Honestly mate - you have been conned.
beberg Edmonds, WA Jan. 23
@Samuel Rep. Ocasio-Cortez has sponsored or co-sponsored 18 bills in the House, including original co-sponsor with Rep. Pressley of H.R.678 -- 116th Congress (2019-2020) To provide back pay to low-wage contractor employees, and for other purposes. 10 Replies
JBC NC Jan. 23
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, as is well documented here and throughout world media, prefers spotlights and baffling interviews to opening her district office and serving her electorate. As with every other media creation, the shiny star that it has made of Ms. Ocasio-Cortez will fade soon. The arc of her House career will as well. 4 Replies
ML Boston Jan. 24
"What pundits today decry as a radical turn in Democratic policy and politics actually finds its antecedents in 1944." This quote in the article should have been the lede. Instead, it appears 66 paragraphs into the article. What is now being called "left" used to be called "center." It used to be called the values and the core of the Democratic party.
jk NY Jan. 23
@Derek Flint There was a reason for the DLC's decision to be more center left. The Democrats were losing and this gave them a chance to win, which they did with Clinton, almost Gore, and Obama. 12 Replies
G. Michigan Jan. 23
@Jason A. Representatives should represent their constituents. For example, if most of the voters one represents want Medicare, perhaps that's a sign that one should reconsider their anti-Medicare views. And think about why constituents want Medicare.
fast/furious the new world Jan. 24
@A. Stanton Don't make anything about Hillary. That ship has sailed.
Christy WA Jan. 23
The leftward swing of the Democrats is in direct proportion to the rightward swing of the Republicans and a gut reaction to the GOP's failure to do anything constructive while in power -- i.e. failure to replace Obamacare with Trump's promise of "cheaper and better;" failure to repair our crumbling infrastructure, and yet another failed attempt at trickle-down economics by robbing the U.S. Treasury with a massive tax cut for the rich that provided absolutely no benefits for the middle class and the poor. As always, what the Republicans destroy the Democrats will have to fix.
ErikW65 VT Jan. 23
@Quiet Waiting, the DLC was officially formed after Mondale's loss, in '85. the DLC's main position is that economic populism is not politically feasible. But I don't recall either McGovern or Mondale's losses being attributed to being too pro-worker, too pro-regulation of capitalism, or making tax rates progressive again. Further, the idea that economic populism has no political value was just disproved by a demagogue took advantage of it to get elected. The RP's mid-term losses and other data points show that people in the middle are realizing Trump's not really a populist. Those economic Trump voters, some of whom voted for Obama twice, are up for grabs. Why would you be afraid that the DP's shift to raising taxes on the wealthy and being pro-worker will result in a Trump victory? 12 Replies
Tom New Jersey Jan. 23
@Michael The cost of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security has increased as a fraction of tax receipts. Twice the as many people go to college as when you went, so the subsidies are spread more thinly. Colleges have more bureaucrats than professors because of multiple mandates regarding sex, race, income, sexual preference, etc. People have not been willing to see taxes raised, so things like college subsidies get squeezed. The US decided in the 1940s that the only way to avoid a repeat of WW1 and WW2 was to provide a security blanket for Western Europe and Japan (and really, the world), and prevent military buildups in either region while encouraging economic development. The world is as a result more peaceful, prosperous, and free than ever in human history, despite "its continuous wars" as you put it. For the US to pull back would endanger the stability that gave us this peace and prosperity, but Trump is with you all the way on that one, so it must be a good idea. Liberal reforms will mean tax increases, especially Medicare for all, but also more college subsidies, which largely benefit the middle class and up. Liberal reformers need to convince the public to send more money to the IRS, for which there is no evident support. Let's not confuse opposition to Trump with a liberal groundswell. 38 Replies
Skanik Berkeley Jan. 24
Why do Political Commentators and Analysts keep operating under the delusion that people vote their skin colour ? People vote their economic interests. I am all in favour of National Health Care Letting Immigrants who have not committed a crime stay and become citizens. But I am also in favour of stricter Border Control as I feel our duty is to the poor citizens of America. Send Economic aid to poorer countries, help them establish just governments. As for Ocasio-Cortez, she is aiming too high and has too many lies about her past to go much higher.
Martin New York Jan. 23
The meanings of these labels--liberal, left, center, conservative--, and of the spectrum along which they supposedly lie, changes year to year, and most pundits and politicians seem to use them to suit their own purposes. When you realize that a significant group of people voted for Obama and then for Trump, you realize how radically the politics of the moment can redefine the terms. The Democrats could create a narrative that unites the interests of all economically disadvantaged people, including white people. Doing so would create a broad majority and win elections, but it would arouse the fury of the oligarchs, who will demonize them as "socialists." But as Obamacare proved, if actually you do something that helps people across the board even the Republicans and the media will have a hard time convincing people that they are oppressed, for example, by access to health insurance. For the oligarchs, as for the Republicans, success depends on creating a narrative that pits the middle class against the poor. In its current, most vulgar form, this includes pitting disadvantaged white people against all the rest, but the Republicans have an advantage in that their party is united behind the narrative. Democratic politicians may be united against Trump, but that means nothing. The challenge will be uniting the politicians who run on economic justice with the establishment Democrats who have succeeded by hiding their economic conservativism behind identity politics.
Marc Adin Jan. 23
I applaude AOC. I am 72 white male. I have been waiting for someone like AOC to emerge. I wish her the best and will work for her positions and re-elections and ultimate ambitions. She is a great leader, teacher, learner, whip smart, and should not be taken likely. Go for it AOC! Realize your full potential.
Mario Quadracci Milwaukee Jan. 23
Enough about her, sheesh
Xoxarle Tampa Jan. 23
Someone as thoroughly imbedded in the establishment as this Op-Ed writer is necessarily going to need to be educated on what the political center of gravity really is. The Democrats have shifted RIGHT over the past few decades. Under Bill Clinton and Pelosi, Schumer, Feinstein and Obama. They are not left, not center-left, not center, but instead center-right. They have pursued a center-right agenda that does not engage with the rigged economy or widening inequality, or inadequate pay, or monopolist abuse of power, or adequate regulation and punishment of corporate crime. They have enthusiastically embraced our deeply stupid wars of choice, and wasted trillions that could have been put to productive use at home. The new generation of progressive Democrats seek to move the debate BACK TO THE CENTER or Center-Left if you will. Not the Left or Far-Left. They want to address the issues the current Democrat Establishment have ignored or exacerbated, because they are in essence, the same rarified rich as the lobbyists and donors they mingle with. The issues that affect MOST of us, but not the FEW of them. The endgame of this shift is that Obama engineered a pseudo-recovery that saw the very rich recover their gains, but the poor become MORE impoverished. Such is the rigged economy, 21st Century style. Things have to change, the old guard have to be neutered. Too much wealth and power is concentrated in too few hands, and it's too detrimental to our pseudo-democracy.
JB Arizona Jan. 24
This is the difference between R & D's. OAC may get her support from well-to-do, educated whites, but her platform focuses on those left behind. Even her green revolution will provide jobs for those less well off. R's, on the other hand, vote only for candidates that further their selfish interests.
Panthiest U.S. Jan. 23
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and her legislative cohorts are a much needed breath of fresh, progressive air for the U.S. Congress. And I say that as someone going on age 70 who was raised and educated in the conservative Deep South. Go left, young people!
Our road to hatred Nj Jan. 23
@Bruce Rozenblit Unfortunately, the hot button on fox is the word socialism. so undo the negative press there and have a chance of implementing fairer policies. 27 Replies
Roger California Jan. 23
@Samuel "It's easy to go to a rooftop- or a twitter account- and yell "health care and education for all!'" Its not easy to get anyone to listen. The moral impetus precedes the "actual plans," which come out of the legislative process, Why would you be against this getting attention?Unless, of course, you oppose health care and education for all. 10 Replies
PLH Crawford Golden Valley. Minnesota Jan. 24
The further the Democrats go Left with all the cultural politics including white people bashing and calling Men toxic, the further I am heading towards the right. I personally can't stand what the Democratic Party has turned into. We'll see who wins in 2020. I think a lot of people forget what happens in mid term elections. People vote for change and then, after seeing what they wrought, switch back.
RVN '69 Florida Jan. 23
I am a old white male geezer and lifelong liberal living in complete voter disenfranchisement in Florida due to gerrymandering, voter suppression and rigged election machines (how else does one explain over 30,000 votes in Broward County that failed to register a preference for the Senate or Governor in a race where the Republican squeaked in by recount?). I am pleased to finally see the party moving away from corporatist and quisling centrists to take on issues of critical import for the economy, the environment and the literal health of the nation. As "moderate" Republicans come to a cognitive realization that they too are victims of the fascist oligarch billionaire agenda to end democracy; they too will move to the left. So, I for one am not going to worry an iota about this hand-wringing over something akin to revolution and instead welome what amounts to the return of my fellow New Deal Democrats.
ST New York Jan. 23
Too much attention here to this new cohort of self important attention seekers presenting as civil servants. Not one of them has had any legislative experience in their lives how can they do all they say they want. They have no grasp of policy economics and politics. Are they too good to recall the wise words of Sam Rayburn - "Those who go along get along" or is that too quaint outdated and patriarchal for them? Why dont journalists and other pols call them out. Example, AOC calls for 70% marginal tax rate - saying we had it before, ha ha. Yes but only when defense spending as percent of gdp was 20-40 percent, in the depth of WW2 and the cold war, life and death struggles - it is now 5%, no one has the stomach for those rates now, and no need for them to boot. Free school, free healthcare, viva la stat! yeah ok who will pay for it? Lots of ideas no plans, flash in the pan is what it is, it will die down then settle in for a long winter.
fred Miami Jan. 23
There is a difference between posturing as a leader and actually leading. So, there is another, and very direct, way for real Americans to end the shutdown: Recall petitions. With very little money, why not target Mitch McConnell. Laid off federal workers could go door-to-door in Kentucky. The message, not just to the Senate majority leader, would be powerful. And this need not be limited. There are some easy targets among GOP senators. Perhaps Ms. Ocasio-Cortez can achieve greater national standing with a clipboard and pen down on the hustings.
Kathy Oxford Jan. 24
All this fuss over a bright young person who stopped complaining and ran for office. She has a platform. Time will tell how effective she will be. Right now, she's connecting to those young and old who believe we can do better. If you had a choice who would you rather share a beer with?A Trump supporter who has no interest beyond building an ineffective wall or an Ocasio-Cortez supporter, full of ideas, some fanciful, some interesting but most off all energy and light versus fear and hate?
Tintin Midwest Jan. 23
I'm a liberal Democrat and I remain very skeptical regarding the platforms of these new members of Congress. Youthful exuberance is admirable, but it's not sufficient to address complicated issues related to fairness. Fairness does not always mean equity of wealth. Some people have more because they have worked more, worked longer, or took more risks with their money. Should the nurse who worked three jobs to make $150,000/year be made to sacrifice a significant portion for those who chose to work less? Such an anecdotal question may seem naive, but these are the kinds of questions asked by regular Americans who often value social programs, but also value fairness. The claim that only some tiny fraction of the 1% will bear the cost of new programs and will alone suffer increased taxation is simply untrue, and those who are making this claim know it. This tiny group of wealthy knows how to hide its money off-shore and in other ways, as documented in the Times last year. Everyone knows the low-lying fruit for increased taxation is the upper middle class: Those who work hard and save hard and are nowhere near the top of the wealth pyramid. It's that nurse with the three jobs, or the small business owner who now clears $200,000 a year, or the pair of teachers who, after 25 years of teaching, now bring home $150,000 combined. Those are the targets of the proposed "new" taxes. Don't believe the hype. I'm a liberal, and I know what's up with these people. 4 Replies
Woody Missouri Jan. 23
Ocasio-Cortez represents the success of a progressive in ousting a white liberal in a safely Democratic district. While interesting, that doesn't provide much of a blueprint for winning in 2020 in districts and states that voted for Trump. As noted elsewhere in this newspaper, of the roughly 60 new Democrats in Congress elected in 2018, two-thirds, were pragmatic moderates that flipped Republican seats. Progressives were notably less successful in flipping Republican seats.
nora m New England Jan. 23
Just keep in mind that what the author deems "radical" ideas are considered mainstream in the rest of the developed world. We are an extreme outlier in lacking some form of universal health care, for example. Also, while the NYT clearly saw Bernie's 2016 campaign as shockingly radical, the very people Edsall says we must court were wild about Bernie. His message about income inequality resonates with anyone living paycheck to paycheck and the only thing "radical" about it is that he said the truth out loud about the effects of unbridled capitalism. The neoliberal types that the NYT embraces are the milquetoast people who attract a rather small group of voters, so, I am not too eager to accept his analysis. I fully expect the Times to back Gillibrand and Biden, maybe even that other corporatist, Booker. They don't scare the moneyed class.
Tom J Berwyn, IL Jan. 23
Cortez has fire and I respect that. Time to have what WE want, not what they want.
David California Jan. 23
The Dems have been drifting to the right for decades, egged on by pundits who keep telling them to move to the center. Do the math: moving to the center just moves the center to the right. Frankly, Nixon was more liberal than most of today's Dems. A move to the left is long overdue.
Andrea Landry Lynn, MA Jan. 23
The Democrats are the party of the middle class and the poor, and the GOP is a party of the rich. That is the distinction most voters make. 3 Replies
Robert Migliori Newberg, Oregon Jan. 23
The rumblings in the Democratic party may represent a realization that WE THE PEOPLE deserve a bigger slice of the pie. Democrats such as Sanders, Warren and AOC are tapping into a reservoir of voters who have been excluded from the American Dream by design. The new message seems to be "fairness". I think that translates into government which does the most good for the greatest number of people. Candidates who embody that principle will be the new leaders. Ignore at your peril.
AACNY New York Jan. 23
The problem is AOC doesn't really know anything. Not everyone feels comfortable saying it, but it's pretty hard to miss. 1 Reply
Ole Fart La,In, Ks, Id.,Ca. Jan. 23
@Quiet Waiting: if voters believe republicans are helping them economically then follow them off the cliff. Hopefully enough voters will try a more humane form of capitalism. 12 Replies
Derek Flint Los Angeles, California Jan. 23
@chele Me, too!
Steve W Ford Jan. 23
Ms Ocasio Cortez is a partial illustration of Reagan's dictum that "The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn't so". In the case of AOC she is not only very ignorant but she believes many things that are actually not true. For her to actually believe that the "world will end in 12 years" and simultaneously believe that, even if true, Congress could change this awful fact is so breathtakingly ignorant one hardly knows where to start.
JoeFF NorCal Jan. 23
Maybe it's worth considering that a lot of those spooky millennials, the stuff of campfire scare stories, themselves grew up in the suburbs. They are the children of privilege who have matured into a world that is far less secure and promising than that of their swing-voter soccer moms. Health care, student debt, secure retirement, and the ability to support a family are serious concerns for them. And don't even get me started on climate change and the fossil fuel world's stranglehold on our polity.
ErikW65 VT Jan. 23
@dudley thompson, if you are one of those elite moderate liberals against the "lefties" concern about college and medical costs, protections for workers and the environment, and progressive taxation, then in the end getting your vote isn't worth sacrificing the votes of all the other people who do care about those things. Your "moderate" way may calm those swing voters who fear change, and allow them to vote for the Democrat, but it also demoralizes and disappoints the much larger group of potential Democratic voters that craves change.
Odysseus Home Again Jan. 23
@Jessica Summerfield ..."article described AOC as a communist." And I saw an article describe Ross Douthat as a "columnist"... equally misleading. Will the calumny never cease? 27 Replies
ML Boston Jan. 23
Thomas, this "left" used to be known as the middle. A commitment to housing instead of an acceptance of homelessness. Dignity. A tax system designed to tax wealthy people, not, as we have now, a tax system designed to tax the middle class and poor. Can we all just take a look at what is being promoted -- look at what AOC is proposing compared to Eisenhower era tax rates. We have lurched right so that event center-right is now considered left.
Raul Campos San Francisco Jan. 23
Rage is the political fuel that fires up the Left. Rage also is the source of some very bad ideas. Having bad ideas is the reason people don't vote for a political party in a presidential election. The democrats are now the party of socialism, open borders, very high taxes, anti-religious bigotry, abolishment of free speech, rewriting the constitution, stuffing the Supreme Court, impeachment of the President, and being intolerance of other views. They have also alienated 64 million Americans by calling them deplorables, racist and a host of other derogatory terms. Not a good strategy to win over voters in swing states. They also have attacked all men and white men in particular. They think masculinity is toxic and that gender is not biological but what a person believes themselves to be (noticed that I used the plural pronoun?). So far a long list of bad ideas. Let's see how it plays out in 2020. 1 Reply
Anthony Western Kansas Jan. 23
We need to be careful what we refer to as left. Is the concept that we have access to affordable housing, healthcare, and decent jobs really a position of the far left? Not really. The 1944 progressives saw access to basic life as a right of all people. This is why young educated progressives support policies that encourage success within the unregulated capitalist economy that has been created over the last 40 years. The evidence illustrates that federal and state governments need to help people survive, otherwise we are looking at massive amounts of inequality that affect the economy and ultimately affect the very people, the extremely rich, who support deregulation.
Stephen New Haven Jan. 23
Look at what's going on in Venezuela! Let's not go this direction. 1 Reply
Kathy Oxford Jan. 23
@Bruce Rozenblit The Republicans great skill has been selling lies to the socially conservative to get their greedy financial agenda through. They have never cared about their voters other than how best to spin their rhetoric. 27 Replies
Kurt Pickard Murfreesboro, TN Jan. 23
Moving left takes a twitter account, a quixotic mentality and the word free. Its sedition arousing rhetoric is blinkered by the lack of a viable strategy to support and move it forward. Liberals thrive on the free media attention which feeds their rancor and aplomb. Liberals are the infants of the Democratic Party. They're young, cute and full of amusing antics. They have an idyllic view of what the world can be but without efficacy. When they are challenged, or don't get enough attention, they revert to petulance. As all mammals do, most liberals eventually grow up to join the Democratic median. Those that don't become the party regalers brought out when the base needs energized. They grow old and fade away, remembered only for their flamboyance and dystopian view of the world. The Democratic Party has never been more fractured since its inception. With close to thirty potential candidates for President, it is going to take a coalition within their party in order to put forth a viable nominee. Then the party infighting will commence which will lead the party into defeat. Democrats must focus on a untied party platform which is viable and will produce results for the American people. Enough of the loquacious hyperbole and misandrous language; it's time to stop reacting and start leading.
Larry Roth Ravena, NY Jan. 24
If it looks like the Democrats are moving strongly to the left, it's because they have stopped chasing the GOP over the cliff in a vain effort to meet them in some mythical middle. That's why the gap is widening; Republicans have not slowed in their headlong rush to disaster. In truth it is the Republican Party and its messaging machine that has been doing its best to drag America to the extreme right by controlling the narrative and broadcasting talking points picked up and amplified by the Mainstream Media. The Mainstream Media has its own issues. Increasingly consolidated under corporate ownership into fewer and fewer hands, it has developed a reflex aversion to anything that looks too 'left' and a suspicion of anything that looks progressive. The desperate battle for eyeballs in a fragmenting market has also taken a toll; deep journalism or reporting that risks alienating any part of the shrinking audience for traditional news is anathema to the bean counters who have financialized everything. Deliberate intimidation by the right has also taken a toll. Republicans have no answers; Democrats do - and that's the gist of it. The real challenge is to prevail against a party that has embraced disinformation, the politics of resentment and destruction - and the Mainstream Media that has failed to call them out on it.
Doremus Jessup On the move Jan. 23
We are looking at a future Speaker of the House. Watch out Republicans, this woman is not afraid of you white, stodgy, misogynistic and racist haters. Your party, once a viable and caring party, is dead.
Clark Landrum Near the swamp. Jan. 23
The Republican Party used to be a moderate political party that was fully capable of governing. Over the years, the right wing of the party assumed control and they became a radically conservative party that basically hated government and did nothing for the benefit of average Americans. As a result, many voters came to believe that a more liberal stance was preferred to what the Republicans had become. Basically, the Republican Party veered sharply to the right and went off and left a lot of their earlier supporters, like me.
Charlie Little Ferry, NJ Jan. 23
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the perfect foil to the Trump twitter fest we've been subjected to for the past 2 years. However, enough of the tit for tat -- I would still like to see the freshman representative put forth some legislation for a vote.
ray mullen Jan. 23
gentrification is bad. white flight is bad. so which is it?
Fred Baltimore Jan. 23
In terms of policies, this "sharp shift to the left" represents a return to the New Deal and the Great Society and a renewed commitment to civil rights. It is a return to things we never should have turned away from.
Larry Long Island NY Jan. 23
@Tracy Rupp Don't be so quick to condemn. The really old white men of today defeated Germany and Japan. Then those same old white men went into Korea and then Vietnam. Ok so maybe you have a point.
David Keys Las Cruces, NM Jan. 23
Shifted to the LEFT? After decades of movement to the Right, by the GOP and even assisted by Dems such as the Clintons, etc., this political movement is merely a correction, not a radical shift as your article contends.
RM Brooklyn, NY Jan. 23
Just as the reader comments from yesterday's opinion piece on the Covington School story by David Brooks reveal rampant confirmation bias, the comments here reveal an equally relevant truth: nobody, but nobody, eats their own like the left. The "Down With Us" culture in full effect.
Marc Vermont Jan. 23
I am confused about what message, what issues resonate with the "moderate" people who are disaffected from the liberal message of the Democrats on the left. What policies would bring them to vote Democratic, what is it about health care for all, a living wage and opening the voting process to all people are they opposed to. Is it policy or message that has them wavering?
ML Boston Jan. 24
@dudley thompson Do you consider Eisenhower leftist? (highest tax rates ever). How about Nixon? (established the EPA). We have lurched so far right in this country that the middle looks left. I'm sick of the labels -- listen to what these leaders are actually proposing. If you don't understand how the marginal tax rate works, look it up. If you don't realize we once didn't accept mass homelessness and mass incarceration as a fact of life in America, learn some history. We're living in a myopic, distorted not-so-fun-house where up is down and center is left. We need to look with fresh eyes and ask what our communal values are and what America stands for. 5 Replies
Blunt NY Jan. 23
Here is a thought I would like to share with the New York Times: Thomas Edsall's article is excellent. The corollary I draw from it that the paper that projects itself as the voice of the liberals in this county has to understand that it has fallen behind times. If the statistics and commentary accompanying it is a criteria to consider, The Times should move to a more progressive editorial platform. The sooner, the better! The support given by this paper to Hillary Rodham Clinton over Bernie Sanders in 2016 is unforgivable. The attitude exhibited towards Elizabeth Warren is hardy different. This has to change if you want to keep your relevance unless you believe publishing Edsall's essay is just part of your "diversity" policy. What the followers of AOC and other progressives are clamoring for are very basic human needs that have been delivered in affluent (and not so affluent) societies all over the globe. No need to name those countries, by now the list is well known. What do we need delivered: Universal Healthcare, Free Public Education K through College, No Citizens United, Total Campaign Finance Reform, Regulation of Wall Street, Regulation of Pharma, Regulation of Big Tech, Gender Equality, 21st Century Infrastructure. All paid for by cutting the Military and Defense Budget Waste (cf Charlie Grassley, a buddy of Karl Marx) and taxing the top percent at levels AOC cites and Professors Suez and Zucman concur with in their Times OpEd.
David Emmaus, PA Jan. 23
Democrats need to win elections first. Progressive ideas may have support on the coasts and cities but fall flat in red states where there is still widespread dislike for immigrants and minorities and strong opposition to "having my hard-earned tax money supporting free stuff for the undeserving who can't/won't take care of themselves." Because the Electoral College gives red states disproportionate representation the Democrats must win some red states to win a presidential election. Running on a strong progressive platform won't work in those Republican-majority states. What Democrats need is a "Trojan Horse" candidate. Someone who can win with a moderate message that has broad appeal across the entire country but who will support and enact a strong progressive agenda once he/she is elected. And on a local election level, Democrats need to field candidates whose message is appropriate for their local constituency -- progressive in liberal states, more moderate in conservative areas. Winning elections comes first. Let's do what it takes to win and not let our progressive wish list blind us to the importance of winning elections.
Joe Schmoe Brooklyn Jan. 23
@Westchester Guy: Leftists want amnesty and, eventually, open borders. This is utterly and totally incompatible with their push for "free" college, universal health care, and so forth. The fiscal infeasibility is so obvious that one could only believe in these coexisting policies if they were blinded by something, like Trump hatred, or just plain dishonest. The "leftist" label for the new Democrat party is entirely appropriate. You also have your own bigots to counter Trump. The difference is that their bigotry is sanctioned by most of the mainstream media.
MDCooks8 West of the Hudson Jan. 23
Has AOC or any other liberal offered any feasible policy to improve the lives of the people they claim to help? Just take a good hard look at NYC where AOC is from which for many years the Public Housing Authority cannot even provide adequate heat in the building the city owns. So while AOC dreams of taxing the wealthy 70% perhaps she needs to slow down and catch up to reality to realize what she offers is only building towards another Venezuela.
Kip Leitner Philadelphia Jan. 23
This article is half poison pill. By reading it, you learn a lot about Democratic Party voting patterns, but you also have to endure a number of false ideas, the worst of which is Edsall's warning that radical Democrats will foment internal chaos leading to electoral loss. The fact is, it is the corporate democrats, who in the last 40 years abandoned the base of working, blue collar democrats in favor of their Wall Street overlords. It is the corporate democrats who created the billionaire class by reducing corporate tax rates. It is the corporate Democrats who by reducing marginal tax rates created the plutocracy. It is the corporate democrats who gave *Trillions of Dollars* to Bush and Obama's perpetual wars and $70 Billion more than the defense department asks. This impoverishing the citizenry with debt is their legacy as much as the Republicans. This shoveling of money to the 1% who abandoned the middle class has been a train ridden by Corporate Democrats. It is the Corporate Democrats who caused all this friction by letting the middle class fall off the edge of the economic cliff -- all the while proclaiming how much they care. They show up on MLK day and read flowing speeches from the podium when what we really need is activism and changes in marginal tax rates, defense spending and the Medical Insurance and care oligopoly. So now there is revolution brewing in response to the Corporate Democrats' appeasement of the Oligarchy? Good. Bring it on.
Jeremiah Crotser Houston Jan. 23
Honestly, it is the centrist, neoliberal wing of the Democratic party that gave up on talking to the Midwest and focused on the coasts. That was the Clinton strategy and it didn't work. Although AOC comes from an urban area, her message is broad: she is for the struggling, working person. Edsall underestimates AOC's basis in economic thinking and her appeal to flyover country. She speaks carefully and justly to social issues, but she also speaks to the "kitchen table" issues that middle America is concerned with--in a much more real way than the neoliberal Dems have figured out how to.
MD Monroe Hudson Valley Jan. 23
Please end you outsized coverage of AOC. I really don't know how you justify all the news coverage. She is one of 435 representatives, and a new one at that. No accomplishments, just a large Instagram following.
Steve C Boise, Idaho Jan. 23
@John Patt Everybody over the age of 50 should apologize for giving our young people catastrophic climate change, endless wars, broken healthcare, crumbling infrastructure, ever widening income and wealth disparates, unaffordable post-secondary education, rampant gun violence, no voice for labor. We over 50 didn't care enough to vote and to make enough political noise to keep these things from happening. We over 50 all have personal responsibilities for this messed up world we're leaving the young. 6 Replies
Steve C Boise, Idaho Jan. 23
@Zor The answer is no. Remember Schumer saying that for every urban vote Democrats lost by running Hillary, they would gain 2 suburban votes. It didn't turn out that way. The centrist, corporatist Democrats (including Hillary and Biden) have no clue how to reach the working class of any race. The working class focus of AOC is the Democratic Party's best chance at a future. But of course the establishment, centrist, corporatist Democrats are still focused on helping their big money donors. Here's another question: Just how are establishment, centrist, corporatist Democrats different from Republicans?
Evan Walsh Los Angeles Jan. 24
Here's my thing- though I'm a deeply liberal person who shares a lot of political beliefs with Ocasio-Cortez, I'm am not the least bit interested in her. Why? Because she's one representative of a district all the way across the country from where I live. I care about about my newly flipped district in Sherman Oaks. I care about my solidly Democratic district in Santa Rosa. Just because one charismatic representative from Brooklyn has a good Twitter feed doesn't mean that I have to care or that she deserves a highly-placed role on an important committee. She's a freshman. Let her learn. And then, go ahead and tell me she deserves a seat.
Bob Guthrie Australia Jan. 23
There really is not a far left in America. You guys have this weird aversion to moderate sensible socialism that -as the saying goes- is only in America. Our conservative government in Australia accepts it as a given the things AOC is fighting for. There is nothing weird about universal health care in modern advanced countries. The conservatives have a magic word in the USA that they us as a bogeyman and the word is socialism. Ironically they don't mind Trump snuggling up to extreme left dictators like Kim and ex KGB Soviet operatives like Don's supervisor Vlad Putin who by definition had to be a card carrying communist to get to his position. But moderate socialism is all over northern Europe, NZ, UK and Australia. You people are oppressed by conservatives playing the "that's socialism" card at every turn. We never ask where does the money come from? here. The money seems to be there in all the countries that take care of the health of their citizens. America is a wonderful country with fantastic people- I love visiting... but to use an Aussie word - crikey I wouldn't want to live there. 1 Reply
Pono Big Island Jan. 23
A.O.C. Alexandria "Overexposure" Cortez. This young woman is talented but should pace herself a bit. It's not a marathon but it's not a sprint either. Let's call it "middle distance" in track terms. You need to save some breath for when it's really needed. Pace for long term influence on policy. Or be a "one hit wonder".
Cass Missoula Jan. 23
@Matt Williams Exactly. I'm a Democratic in a conservative area, and all my Democrat friends think this woman is nuts. Our Senator Jon Tester is wonderful. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? Hard pass. 9 Replies
MikeG Left Coast Jan. 23
@Cass You may self-identify as a moderate but you sound like a conservative. Please go join the other party of no ideas if AOC strikes you as radical. The majority of Democrats don't agree with you.
Eero East End Jan. 23
Ideology fails when it meets reality. Trump and McConnell are busy teaching the American middle class what it is to be reduced to poverty - health care they can't afford, rising taxes on those who have had some economic success, elimination of well paying jobs, and on and on. Those voters are understandably interested in pocket book issues, the resurgence of progressive candidates meets this newly emphasized need. In addition, look at the population demographics. The baby boomers were a "bump" in population, they in turn have produced a new bump in their children, who are now adults. The boomers were quite left, their children have inherited some of this belief system - equal rights and protection and support of those with less opportunity. The voters in general are also completely fed up with politicians lying to them and taking away their benefits. They generally have a mistrust both of the right wing destruction of our norms, and the Democrats failure to fight back (Garland should have been appointed even in the face of McConnell's calumny). The new face of the Democratic party feeds pocketbook issues, a belief that America is, in fact, a melting pot, and the need for restoration of our Democracy. This pretty much covers all the bases, the Democrats just need to get better at educating the populace.
Zor OH Jan. 23
By and large, the majority of 2600+ counties that Trump carried are not economically well off. However, they are socially very traditional. Do the Democrats have a message that will resonate with millions of these traditional white middle/lower middle class voters in the hinterland? 1 Reply
bored critic usa Jan. 23
have you listened to her interviews? she doesn't say much of anything. all political about all these socialist ideas with no means or method of how to get there. and thank goodness she has no clue how to get there
Andrew NY Jan. 23
I used to be friends with a very high-achieving guy I met as a 15-year-old on a teen summer tour in Israel, run by the national Reform synagogue movement, in 1985. In the course of our frienship spanning the final years of high school through the beginning of college, gradually fading to an email or 2 once every couple years; our different paths & outlooks became very stark, though we'd both call ourselves liberals. My friend left no stone unturned in his unambivalent achievement orientation, embracing w/religious fervor the absolute virtue of success, the unimpeachable morality & integrity of our meritocracy, & meritocratic ideals/ethos. Naturally, he wound up at Harvard, majoring in government, followed by Harvard Law. What struck me throughout was the unvarnished "empiricism" of his outlook: rarefied, lofty principles or romantic ideals seemed alien: the nitty gritty of practical & procedural realities were the whole picture. The one time we explicitly discussed comparative politics, he only gravitated toward the topic of Harold Washington's coalition-building prowess. He was an ardent Zionist ("Jewish homeland!"), with little apparent interest in theology or spirituality for that matter. Eventually he went into corporate law, negotiating executive compensation. I think he epitomized the Clinton Democrat: A "Social justice," equal opportunity for all, meritocracy "synthesis." In a word, that peculiarly "practical," pragmatic liberalism was *ultimately conservative*.
rantall Massachusetts Jan. 23
Let us all remember that since Reagan the "center" has moved decidedly right. So when we talk about a move left, we are moving back to where we were in the 1950s-1970's. For example take AOC's tax proposal. Right out of that time period. Look at the GOP platform in the 1950's. It reads like a progressive platform today. So let's put this in perspective. Everything is relative and we have adjusted to right wing dominant politics today.
Len Charlap Printceton NJ Jan. 23
Edsall looks at the fact the Democrats (and, indeed, the whole country) are moving in a progressive direction. He does not look at the question of why. I maintain that with an increase in educated voters, the country is moving towards policies that work, that are good for the country as a whole, not just for a minority. The other wealthy countries, all with a universal government health care system such as an improved Medicare for all, get BETTER health care as measured by all 16 of the bottom line public health statistics for ALL of their people at a cost of less than HALF per person as we pay. High inequality has been bad for the economy and governance of this country. Look at what happened in 1929 and 2008 both preceded by periods of high inequality. Compare that with the long period of low inequality after WWII of Great Prosperity. Today as a result of terrible SCOTUS decisions, the Super Rich pushing the country towards oligarchy. The situation at our borders was actually better before 2003 when ICE was created. It has perpetrated so many atrocities, rightly garnered such a terrible reputation, why isn't it time to abolish the thing and start over with a new more humane organization. After all, the Germans did not keep the Gestapo after the war. I running out of space, but let me end by saying we are now getting more progressive voters that say that 2 + 3 = 5, and fewer conservative ones who say 2 + 3 = 23 and fewer moderates who want to compromise on 2 + 3 = 14.
michaeltide Bothell, WA Jan. 23
@Concerned Citizen, likewise, public education is funded largely by property taxes, even on those who do not have children in school, or whose children are out of school. This is not "someone else's" money! It is all our money, and this is the way we choose to employ it – to educate all our children, realizing, I hope, that educated children are a major asset of a developed country. 38 Replies
ManhattanWilliam New York, NY Jan. 23
Until AOC starts to achieve some actual LEGISTATIVE VICTORIES, I'm not prepared to follow her ANYWHERE. I'm willing to listen to what she has to say, some of which I agree with and some I question. I lean Left on most issues but I'm not a fanatic, and fanatics exist on BOTH sides of the political spectrum. I believe that one must PROVE themselves before being beatified. In substance, I'm open to the "new wing" of the Democratic party which I am, officially, a member of. Let me add that I will NEVER cast a vote for anyone calling themselves a Republican because that very label is forever tainted in my book. But I don't much care for the 'tit for tat' Tweeting from AOC either, writing about Joe Lieberman (whom I do not like) "who dat"? What is "dat", Miss AOC?
PeterC BearTerritory Jan. 23
The insane part of this never gets addressed. Why should Americans political interests and aspirations be controlled by two monopolistic parties? 1 Reply
Mathias Weitz Frankfurt aM, Germany Jan. 23
The country may be in a need of a more social agenda, but this agenda must perceptible help the depressed white rural folk first. Nothing will work what make those, who are already falling behind feel like a "basket of deplorables". I hope AOC will find a way not just to become a poster star of the progressive urban left, but also understand the ailing of the depressed rural right.
dmdaisy Clinton, NY Jan. 23
The Democratic Party needs to do a very good job of educating an electorate (and possibly some of its own members) that has for more than 30 years drunk the kool-aid of the "lower our taxes," small government, and deregulation gurus. We have such a predatory capitalism now, with government failing over and over again to reign in huge corporations headed by those who think they should be determining everything from economic to housing to health to foreign policy. Enough already. Most of the young members of Congress need a lot more experience and more immersion in the nitty gritty of creating legislation before they can take the reins, but they can educate their constituents. And maybe they can convince others that everyone gains through a more level playing field.
Lou New York Jan. 23
Calling these ideas left is a joke. AOC and Bernie Sanders would practically be conservatives in Canada and Europe. What we have are 3 unofficial parties: 1. The party of people with good ideas who aren't afraid to speak about them because they aren't beholden to big donors 2. The party of watered down, unpopular ideas that are vetted by 20 pollsters and donors before seeing the light of day 3. The party that gets into office by tapping into people's primal fears, and avoids policy altogether Republicans have been moving the goalposts for decades now, how can you even tell left from right anymore?
michjas Phoenix Jan. 23
@A. Stanton Since 1990, there have been funding gaps, shutdowns or serious threats of shutdowns almost every year. The have become routine tactics in the effort of each party to drive a hard bargain.
SLE Cleveland Heights Jan. 23
Running up the Democratic vote in Blue states by pandering to left leaning views will not unseat DJT in 2020. Winning the popular vote by 3 or 3 million yields the same results. Unless or until we adopt the Nation Popular Vote Intrastate Compact or reapportion the House more equitably, Republicans will continue to exploit the Electoral College's antimajoritarianism. Courting the minority of lefties mimics DJT's courting of his base; last November proved that elections are won in the middle. Appealing to moderates in purple states is the only path to 270. If you have any doubt, ask private citizen HRC how much good the Democratic over-vote did for her.
Barry Moyer Washington, DC Jan. 23
@Bruce Rozenblit What is exceedingly strange to me is that those who rail against socialism completely misread socialism at it's very roots; Family. 27 Replies
Mike Austin Jan. 23
Yes, because all these pundits got 2016 so right. They are people with their own opinions, just like everyone else, except the punditry has a vested interest in maintaining the status quo that has been so good to them for so long. Enough already! Times, you're as much to blame as these pundits for 2016!
Jerre Henriksen Illinois Jan. 23
When progressive solutions are proposed, the opposition yells "socialism" while others bring up the cost of progressive solutions. No one talks about the significant portion of our nation's wealth spent on the military. We don't audit the Pentagon or do due diligence on the efficiency of huge projects undertaken by the military nor do we question the profits of the industrial-military complex. Meanwhile, Russia manipulated our latest presidential race, underscoring the worry over cyber attacks. Climate events in the country mean our citizens experience life changing events not brought on by terrorists or immigrants. A medical event in a family can initiate bankruptcy; we all live on that edge. Our infrastructure projects have been delayed for so long that America looks like a second rate country. Income inequality is ongoing with no sign of lessening. Suicide is on the increase while death by drugs is an epidemic. An education for students can mean large debt; efforts to train the workforce for the technological world are inconsistent. For many of us, the hate and fear promoted in this country is repulsive. Because our society works for an ever smaller number of us, Americans are increasingly understanding that a sustainable, just society works for all it's citizens. We are exhausted by the stalemate in Washington leaving us caring very little about the labels of progressive, moderate, or conservative. We just know what needs to change.
Frank Shifreen New York Jan. 24
Edall's final point that thsese are Democrats returning to Democratic roots and not a wave of radicalism. I along with a lot of other older voters was infected with a kind of gradualism. I voted for Hilary, much now to my dismay. AOC among others is stating what she, and what many of us want. The old Democratic party was a mirror image of Republicans, with taking the same money, voting for the same wars, and within it all a kind of shame,liberal as a kind of curse, where we were afraid to make our own agenda, make our own plan for America. taking the burden, in health care, college education, immigration, is an investment in the future
LTJ Utah Jan. 23
The New Democratic approach in essence is taking wealth and redistributing it, along with promising free goods and services. Is that high-minded or simply a Brave New World. The underlying assumption seems to be the rest of America will not find that worrisome, and that what happened in MA and NY represents a nationwide trend. 3 Replies
Mr. Slater Brooklyn, NY Jan. 23
@A. Stanton Well, she's not the president (thankfully) and you can't predict hindsight only speculate.
Sarah Conner Seattle Jan. 23
These voters are not moving to the left. They are correcting a trend to the right that accelerated with Reagan: the rise of corporate dominance and societal control; the loss of worker rights, healthcare and protections through destruction of our unions; and the mass incarceration of our nation's young African American men for minor drug offenses, thus destroying their futures and communities. These "left" liberals are fighting to bring back democratic norms and values that were once taken for granted among those of all political stripes.
Mark Thomason Clawson, MI Jan. 23
I have always voted in every primary. I have always voted for the most "leftist" available. So did my whole family, and all the people with whom I discussed our voting. The issue was always "most leftist available." That often was not very leftist at all. That is what has changed. Now the option is there. It isn't because we vote for it. We vote for it now because now we can, now the choice is there. What has changed is not so much the voters as the invisible primary before anyone asks us voters. What changed is the Overton Window of potential choices allowed to us. I think voters would have done this a long time ago, if they'd had the opportunity. So why now? Abject failure of our politics to solve our problems has been true for decades, so it isn't mere failure. I'd like to think it was voter rebellion. We just wouldn't vote for their sell outs. Here, that meant Bernie won our primary, and then we did not turn out for Her. We finally forced it. The money men could not get away with it anymore.
Smartone new york,ny Jan. 23
It is strange that Mr Edsall frames Medicare 4 All , Free College , and higher taxes on wealthy as RADICAL leftist ideas .. when it fact each of these proposals have the majority of support from Americans.. The most current poll shows 70% support for Medicare 4 All.. so you are only radical if you DON'T support.
Centrist NYC Jan. 23
Unless the progressives start addressing the concerns of the middle class, they will drive the Democratic Party right off the cliff. You remember us, don't you? People who have tried to do things right and work hard. Granted, our cares and concerns aren't that sexy or tweetable so it's easy for you newly elected firebrands to overlook us. Don't forget, we are the ones who will ultimately foot the bills for your giveaways.
Jerry Smith Dollar Bay Jan. 23
The notion that democrats are moving leftward is borne on revisionist history. There's nothing new or bold being proposed; Zeitz is right on the money.
PK Atlanta Jan. 23
"Medicare for All, government-guaranteed jobs and a higher minimum wage" I have a question to all the "progressive" Democratic voices in Congress - how are you going to pay for such an agenda? Money doesn't just grow on trees. Either you will have to cut funds from another program, or raise taxes. Most of these progressive people favor raising taxes on the wealthy. But what is your definition of "wealthy"? $10 million in annual income? $1 million in annual income? $500k? $200k? Almost all the proposals I have seen coming from progressives involves increasing tax rates for families making more than $200k, either through higher rates, phased out deductions, or ineligibility for certain programs. A professional couple where both are software engineers could easily surpass this threshold, but they are not rich. They struggle to pay the mortgage, save for the future, pay taxes, and provide for their children. Why should they be forced to pay more in taxes percentage-wise than a family earning $100k or $60k? It is for these reasons that I as an independent will never support progressive candidates. These candidates lack basic math abilities and a basic notion of fairness. So if the Democratic party starts to embrace some of the policies espoused by these progressives, they are on a path to lose elections in the future. 1 Reply
Linda Miilu Chico, CA Jan. 23
@AutumnLeaf Mitch McConnell blocked Obama at every turn; he denied him the appointment of a moderate respected Judge to the SC, a Judge the GOP had voted for on the Superior Court. Congress wasted time with 40 attempts to declare the ACA unconstitutional; the Plan was modeled on a Romney Plan in MA. Scalia's Citizens United Decision declared that corporations are people; Scalia knew that he was using a Superior Ct. Decision with a transcription error: word spoken: corporation; word transcribed: individual. Scalia spent a lot of time at corporate lodges, "hunting"; mainly eating until he finally ate himself to death. McConnell spends his time with mine owners. Trump spends his time with lobbyists for Israel and Saudi Arabia. 9 Replies
nickgregor Philadelphia Jan. 23
I think this article underscores the incredible opportunity available to the left if they pick a radical democratic socialist candidate. If they are already winning the college educated crowd that is gentrifying these major urban areas and losing the poorer minority crowd that is voting for people like the Clinton's over Sanders or Crowley over AOC; we are getting the people whom one would think would be less incentivized to vote for our platform and we can gain the people who would benefit more from our platform.Therefore, it is really just a question of exposure and talking to these people. Reaching out to minorities; talking about mass-incarceration, how it disproportinately affects precisely these minority voters that we have to gain; and how the moderate democrats have been benefiting economically and politically from the chaos and inequities in these communities for years. It is a question of messaging. Minorities are our natural allies. They are disproportinately affected by the inequality; and as soon as we can reach them; tell them that there brothers, husbands, sons are coming home, and that we have a job for them to support their family when they do, that is a huge % of voters that will swing our way, and accelerate the pace of our revolution--and what critics will come to remember as the end of their decadence and control over all facets of society, to the detriment of everyone else. The end is coming--and a new, better society is on the verge of being reborn 1 Reply
jmgiardina la mesa, california Jan. 23
Of all of those quoted in this article, the only one who really gets it right is Joshua Zeitz. FDR's 1944 State of the Union address should be required reading for every Democrat, and every Establishment talking head who warns against alienating suburban voters by advocating for a New Deal social safety net. I share the sentiments of many on who have responded by noting that it was, and is, the leadership of the Democratic Party that has moved right rather than the Democratic electorate that shifted left. Don't believe me? Go back through the sixteen years of the Clinton and Obama presidencies and see how many times each referenced Ronald Reagan versus even mentioning Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, or Lyndon Johnson.
Jose Pieste NJ Jan. 23
Medicare for all? Get ready for 6-week waits for a 10 minute appointment (and that will be just for primary care). After that, expect to wait 6-12 months to see a specialist. 1 Reply
Len Charlap Printceton NJ Jan. 23
@c harris - Hillary received almost 4 million more primary votes than Bernie.
JABarry Maryland Jan. 23
@José Franco I will not dig out social security trustees' projections of future funding requirements or the possible solutions bandied about by politicians (google them), but one single tweak would eliminate any projected shortfalls. Currently the FICA contribution is limited to earnings of $132,900. Those who earn over that amount pay no FICA tax on the earnings above that level. The person earning a million dollars in 2019 will stop paying FICA on his earnings by mid-February. Applying FICA to all earnings of all earners would keep social security solvent. No raise in retirement age, no reduction in benefits, no insolvency. As to Medicare's solvency and public benefits, see the excellent comments of Len Charlap. 17 Replies
Shenoa United States Jan. 23
There are several issues upon which I and my like-minded moderate family members will cast our votes in 2020: - Border security and the end to the brazen exploitation of our citizenry by the millions of foreign migrants who illegally, and with an attitude of entitlement, trespass into our sovereign country year after year...costing our taxpayers billions. - Reckless proposals to increase government benefit programs that aren't affordable without raising taxes, threatening our already stressed social security safety net. - The rise of Antisemitism and the mendacious obsession with Israel amongst leftists within Congress, as well as within the ranks of their constituents. Democrats will need to address these issues to our satisfaction if they want our votes. 2 Replies
PeoplePower Nyc Jan. 23
Ed, it's time to retire. If you spent time looking at the actual data, Democratic primary voters, particularly those in overly restrictive closed primary states like New York, are older, wealthier, "socially liberal" and "fiscally conservative." They are what we would have called moderate/Rockefeller Republicans 40 years ago, but they vote Democratic because that's who their parents voted for. Most progressive voters today, the ones who support Medicare for all, investment in public higher education, taxation on wealth (you know, those pesky issues that mainstream Democrats used to support 30-40 years ago) are younger and more likely to be unaffiliated with any political party. This is why Bernie did much better in states with open primaries, and Hillary did better in closed primary states like NY AOC won in spite of NY's restrictive primary system. She was able to achieve this because many of the older Democratic establishment voters who would have voted for Crowley stayed home, and she was able to motivate enough first-time young voters in her district to register as a Dem and vote for her. (First time voters in NY can register with party 30 days prior to primary election) Let's be clear though: your premise that Dem primary voters are driving the party's shift to the left couldn't be further from the truth--the progressive shift in the body politic you describe is coming from younger, independent, working class voters and is redefining the American left.
Woof NY Jan. 23
From the NYT , Edsall April 19, 2018 The Democrats' Gentrification Problem "Conversely, in the struggling Syracuse metropolitan area (Clinton 53.9 percent, Trump 40.1 percent), families moving in between 2005 and 2016 had median household incomes of $35,219 -- $7,229 less than the median income of the families moving out of the region, $42,448." Syracuse, a democratic City in one of the most democratic States in the US, so assuredly democratic that Democratic Presidential candidates rarely show up has been left by the Democrats and the Democratic Governor ,Cuomo, in a death spiral of getting poorer by the day That in a State, that includes NYC, the international capital of the global billionaire elite. Exactly, what have the Democrats done to help ?
Dave Connecticut Jan. 23
"Sawhill argues that if the goal of Democrats is victory, as opposed to ideological purity, they must focus on general election swing voters who are not die-hard Democrats." Wow, what an original argument! I have been hearing the exact same thing since I registered to vote at age 18 in 1977. Democrats are always urged to support the "sensible, centrist" candidates who keep on losing elections to Republicans who drag their party, and the whole country by default, even further to the right. JFK was called a communist and worse by pundits like this and he would have won by a landslide in 1964. How about if Democrats for once push for policies that are backed by 90 percent of Americans, like Medicare For All, the higher minimum wage, universal college education, renewable energy and the rest of the Green New Deal and higher marginal tax rates for the rich. I would love to see just one presidential candidate run on this platform before I die so I can fill out my ballot without holding my nose. 1 Reply
Piece man South Salem Jan. 23
Kind of make sense considering how far to the right the Republican Party has gone with the Donald. And he's a guy who was a Democrat at one point. He's a dangerous mr nobody. Let's counter going far to the left so we can come back to some middle ground.
Ellen San Diego Jan. 23
@Len Charlap Canada can also more easily afford universal healthcare and a stronger social safety net because it doesn't have the outsized military budget that we do. 17 Replies
Rob Calgary Jan. 23
@Ronny I agree with you - have a subsidized education - (rather I prefer to say equal access to education) as well as health care guarantees to a greater extent equality of opportunity - which is what all democratic societies should strive for. It's not equality of outcome but equality of opportunity. Children should not be punished for have parents of lesser means or being born on the wrong side of the tracks...
Mr. Slater Brooklyn, NY Jan. 23
Until I see well-crafted legislation that is initiated by her that will help improve the lives of many she's just another politician with sound bite platitudes. She doesn't even have a district office in the Bronx yet to the chagrin of many of the constituents.
mr. mxyzptlk new jersey Jan. 23
@Midwest Josh Perhaps student loans made by the FED at the rates they charge the big banks in their heist of the American economy achieved back in 1913. 38 Replies
bfree portland Jan. 23
AOC is a liberal darling who's stated (on 60 Minutes) that unemployment rates are low because everyone is working two jobs; I might add, that has nothing to do with how unemployment rates are figured and come on, "everyone?" And recently she's stated that the world will end in 12 years if we don't do something about climate change. Come on, this is silliness, ignorance and borderline stupidity. If she's the poster child for the Democrats, then she's the gift that will keep on giving to the GOP.
Andrew M. British Columbia Jan. 23
I grew up during the Vietnam War, and over the years came to admire the American people who ultimately forced their government to withdraw from an immoral (and disastrous) military adventure. This is rare in human history. Rare in American history too, as the follies in Iraq drag on and on to remind us. Perhaps the American people are becoming themselves again. I wouldn't call it drifting left at all.
Sean Greenwich Jan. 23
Thomas Edsall's column is yet another conservative spin on Democrats from The New York Times. Where are the voices of progressive Democrats, who form the overwhelming majority of New York City residents? Of New York state residents? Who form the core of the Democratic Party's support. The Times insists that these conservative voices are the only ones deserving of publication here. Where in the world did the notion come from that The Times was a "liberal" publication?
michaeltide Bothell, WA Jan. 23
@Chris Young, It seems you aonly approve of departments that teach what you consider "productive." If schools become an adjuct to the marketplace, then only the material, quantifiable results will be the metric by which the value of education is measured. This will leave us, as in some ways we are already becoming, a population that emulates robots, and has no use for critical thinking, ethics, or art. The profit in education is in the quality of the students it turns out into the world, not on a corporate balance sheet. 38 Replies
TR NJ USA Jan. 23
It's all good but important to expand the focus on the entirety of the Democrats in Congress - and the amazing age range and gender mix. The opportunities are vast - an intergenerational government of forward thinking, principled women and men. Please media pundits - avoid focus on only 1 or 2. There are brilliant ideas pouring forth - let the ideas from every corner flow! Remember that the intense media focus on Trump, liberal as well as conservative, contributed significantly to what happened in election 2016.

David Gregory
Sunbelt Jan. 23
If by liberal you mean the circular firing squad of the politics of aggrievement, no. My politics fall in line with FDR's Second Bill of Rights. Here he describes them in 1944 https://youtu.be/3EZ5bx9AyI4 "...true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security & independence. "Necessitous men are not free men." People who are hungry & out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made... We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security & prosperity can be established for all -- regardless of station, race, or creed. Among these are: The right to a useful and remunerative job...; The right to earn enough to provide adequate food & clothing & recreation; The right of every farmer to raise & sell his products at a return which will give him & his family a decent living; The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition & domination by monopolies at home or abroad; The right of every family to a decent home; The right to adequate medical care & the opportunity to achieve & enjoy good health; The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident & unemployment; The right to a good education." That is where Democrats used to be. Then came the Corporate Democrats, the DLC and the Clintons.
Wah California Jan. 23
This piece misses more than it hits. Where it misses particularly is in it's insistence that the Class interest of working class Democrats pulls the Party right, rather than left, and that the insurgents are mostly young, white gentrifying liberals. This is not altogether false, but misses that many of the gentrifiers are not middle class themselves, but lower middle class young people with huge college debt who could never dream of living in upper middle class enclaves like most of the opinion writers in the Time for example. So they move into the inner city, make it safe for professionals, and then yes, Brooklyn goes white. Harlem goes white. Berkeley loses its working class majority. Etc. The big problem for the left of the Democratic Party is not that its mostly young, white and middle class; it is that the very term "liberal" is now widely understood by working class people as meaning "establishment." And they are against the "establishment". As it happens, so are the young insurgents. This then is the task for the left of the Democrats; to unite the culturally conservative working class with the emerging multi-racial, multi-ethnic youth vote to take down both the reactionary Right and the Liberal establishment. And the only reason such a sentiment seems crazy is that the New York Times, far from being a bastion of the resistance to Trump is actually a bulwark of that Liberal Establishment. Stats are stats but the future is unwritten.
Driven Ohio Jan. 23
This is a shame as most of the country wants middle of the road.
Ralphie CT Jan. 23
AOC is pretty interesting. She's charismatic, fearless....and I'm trying to think of something else. OH, she's personally attractive. If the government gig falls apart she can probably get TV work. But as an intellectual light or a rational political leader -- she is clearly lacking. OF course that may not matter as the earth will come to an end in 12 years. Which is even more ludicrous than saying the earth is only 6000 years old. She is simply spouting far left talking points which are driven by emotion, not rational thought. And she keeps making unforced errors in her public speaking engagements. She really doesn't appear to understand what she's talking about and can't respond to reasonable questions about her policy positions. But then, that's not too unlike much of the left. So maybe she's a perfect fit for a fact free faction which is beginning to run the dem party. 1 Reply
Gloria Utopia Chas. SC Jan. 23
One commenter gave a really insightful look at socialism for corporations and the rich here, otherwise known to most of us as corporate welfare, including subsidies to oil companies, who seem rich enough, but nevertheless, extend their "impoverished" bank accounts for more of our dollars. Successful corporations, will reward investors, CEO's, hedge fund managers, all those at the top, but the worker, not too much for that drone, who was part of the reason of the success of that corporation. Socialism has been tainted by countries with autocratic rulers , uneducated masses, and ofttimes, as in Latin America, religious masses. But, Scandinavia, has shown us a socialism to envy. It's confident citizens know that much of what makes life livable has been achieved. Finland rates as one of the happiest countries in the world. Taxes are high, but one isn't bankrupted because of illness, one doesn't lose a home because of a catastrophic illness, education is encouraged, and one doesn't have to pay the debt off for 30 years or more. The infrastructure is a priority, war is not. It just seems like it's a secure way to live. This is socialism I wish we could duplicate. Does anyone consider that socialism also includes our police, libraries, fire stations, roads, and so much more? Used for the good of society, it's a boon for all, rather than unregulated capitalism which enriches the few at the expense of most of us. 3 Replies
Allentown Buffalo Jan. 23
@Reilly Diefenbach "Democratic socialism" isn't a thing, but implies two contradictory ideals. Social democracy is thing, a good thing, and in line with what Nordic nations have. 38 Replies
Michael Pilla Millburn, NJ Jan. 23
Never has someone gotta so much for doing so little. None of this means anything if it doesn't become law. As a life long Liberal Democrat (there, I said it) myself, I find it infuriating when Liberal/Progressive politicians get out-sized credit for their good intentions while those same good intentions threaten party unity. The Progressive idea of party unity seems to be limited to getting what they want or they'll walk away. They just know better, so there's no need for compromise. Never mind that they have no way of enacting any of this legislation -- and more often than not Progressives lose at the polls. These "kids" need to wake up and realize that there are no moral victories in politics. The ONLY goal of any Democrat has to be unseating Trump and McConnell, everything else is a noise, and a dangerous distraction.
Jake Wagner Los Angeles Jan. 23
I support universal health care, free college for students who meet enhanced entrance requirements and raising marginal tax rates to 70% on wealthy Americans. Yet I do not support an expansion of the EITC, ending immigration enforcement or putting workers on boards of directors. So where do I stand? All my life I've voted Democratic. But there has been a seismic shift in politics. And after the shift I will most likely vote Republican or for a third party. The issue that causes my change in affiliation is the Me Too movement. I find it repugnant that feminists seem to argue that the media rather than the courts should determine guilt or innocence in sexual assault cases. Bill Cosby had an agreement with Andrea Constand in their case. But feminists weren't happy with the outcome. So they resorted to extra-legal means to get Cosby convicted. This included a media campaign in which the NY Times and the New Yorker wrote stories highlighting accusations of 60 women for which statutes of limitations had elapsed. But statutes of limitations are there for a reason. This became clear in the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh which degenerated into a trial for rape. Nobody except maybe the accuser could remember in any detail events at the party in which the rape had presumably occurred. So the confirmation became one of character assassination in which Kavanaugh was convicted of drinking beer. I will NEVER vote for any politician who supports the Me Too movement.
Alan Seattle, WA Jan. 23
"... protection from the vicissitudes of market capitalism"? People want protection from monopoly capitalism. The left-right frame is a fallacy. If you put the actual policies on the table, the great majority want single payer, clean elections, action on climate change, etc. Pitting Left v. Right only redounds to tribalism. It ends up with a President who shuts down the business of which he himself is the CEO. That's not great.

[Jun 24, 2019] Bernie Sanders' Newest Plan Would Wipe $1.6 Trillion In Student Debt, Fund Free State College

Notable quotes:
"... The massive student-debt jubilee would be financed with a tax on Wall Street: Specifically, a 0.5% tax on stock trades, a 0.1% tax on bond trades and a .005% tax on derivatives trades. ..."
"... By introducing the student-debt plan, Sanders has outmaneuvered Elizabeth "I have a plan for that" Warren ..."
Jun 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Bernie Sanders' Newest Plan Would Wipe $1.6 Trillion In Student Debt, Fund Free State College

by Tyler Durden Mon, 06/24/2019 - 06:00 34 SHARES

In his latest attempt to one-up Elizabeth Warren and establish his brand of "democratic socialism" as something entirely different from the progressive capitalism practiced by some of his peers, Bernie Sanders is preparing to unveil a new plan that would involve cancelling all of the country's outstanding $1.6 trillion in student debt.

The massive student-debt jubilee would be financed with a tax on Wall Street: Specifically, a 0.5% tax on stock trades, a 0.1% tax on bond trades and a .005% tax on derivatives trades.

Sanders plan would forgive roughly three times as much debt as Elizabeth Warren's big student-debt amnesty plan, which would forgive some $640 billion in the most distressed student loans.

Additionally, Sanders' plan would also provide states with $48 billion to eliminate tuition and fees at public colleges and universities. Thanks to the market effect, private schools would almost certainly be forced to cut prices to draw talented students who could simply attend a state school for free.

Reps Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Pramila Jayapal of Washington have already signed on to introduce Sanders' legislation in the House on Monday.

The timing of this latest in a series of bold socialist policy proposals from Sanders - let's not forget, Bernie is largely responsible for making Medicare for All a mainstream issue in the Democratic Party - comes just ahead of the first Democratic primary debate, where Sanders will face off directly against his No. 1 rival: Vice President Joe Biden, who has marketed his candidacy as a return to the 'sensible centrism' of the Democratic Party of yesteryear.

By introducing the student-debt plan, Sanders has outmaneuvered Elizabeth "I have a plan for that" Warren and established himself as the most far-left candidate in the crowded Democratic Primary field. Hopefully, this can help stall Warren's recent advance in the polls. The plan should help Sanders highlight how Biden's domestic platform includes little in the way of welfare expansion during the upcoming debate.


3-fingered_chemist , 8 minutes ago link

My federal student loan monthly statement says I don't have to make a payment. I don't qualify for any forgiveness because I'm responsible. Nonetheless, I pay the loan every month. The balance goes down but every month it's still the same story.

I have to imagine the provider prefers students to see that it says zero dollars owed this month with the hope that they don't pay because it says 0 dollars owed, default, and rack up a bunch of fees and interest that the student doesn't see in the fine print.

The provider can then get paid by the taxpayer no questions asked. Much more profit and payment is significantly faster.

Rex Titter , 18 minutes ago link

Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!

Education costs are in the stratosphere 'because' of conversion of univeristires into neoliberal institution. Which mean that the costs will skyrocket even more.

Somebody once said: If the neoliberal government took over management of the Sahara desert, in five years, there would be a shortage of sand.

The only way to rein in neoliberals in government is to stop giving them so damned much money...

Buy gold and toss it in the lake,,,

honest injun , 24 minutes ago link

The guaranteed student loan program created a mechanism that increases the price of education. Before the program, graduates could expect 10 times the cost of a years' tuition. Now, they'de lucky to get one year. The Americans were pushed out of this business and the UN-Americans replaced them. This goes on for decades until the marks realized that they've been screwed. ... The victims are in full support since they've been systematically dumbed down that it seems like a good idea. It's not. This is a bailout of a failed neoliberal institution.

[Jun 23, 2019] Maher Democrats Screwed If They Run On Reparations And Concentration Camps In 2020

Jun 23, 2019 | zerohedge.com

Establishment comedian Bill Maher warned that if 2020 Democrats run "a campaign based on reparations and concentration camps" it will be "very hard to win the election" against President Trump.

[Jun 23, 2019] Elizabeth Warren Demands Reparations For Gay And Lesbian Couples

I think she went off rails here... As much as this is blatant identity politics, with such moves she probably has little or no chances.
Jun 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
reparations for slavery - soundly dismissed by numerous African American speakers - Senator Elizabeth Warren has tried to outdo her opponents by seeking reparations for another group of repressed and long-suffering individuals.

Warren reintroduced the Refund Equality Act, a bill that would allow same-sex couples to amend past tax returns and receive refunds from the IRS.

"The federal government forced legally married same-sex couples in Massachusetts to file as individuals and pay more in taxes for almost a decade," Warren said in a statement.

"We need to call out that discrimination and to make it right - Congress should pass the Refund Equality Act immediately."

[Jun 23, 2019] Interesting opinion about Warren 'the wonk' in the Washington Examiner

Notable quotes:
"... Actually Warren has come out strong in favor of Medicare for All and the Green New Deal in every public speech I've seen. ..."
Jun 21, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

LinusL , 3d ago

Interesting opinion about Warren 'the wonk' in the Washington Examiner:

"She's got a (borrowed) plan for that: The media myth of Elizabeth Warren the wonk"

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/shes-got-a-borrowed-plan-for-that-the-media-myth-of-elizabeth-warren-the-wonk

LinusL -> LinusL , 3d ago
Also, where are her positions on military budgets, Empire and foreign policy?

And why hasn't she come out strong for Medicare for All?

Vassili555 -> LinusL , 3d ago
Actually Warren has come out strong in favor of Medicare for All and the Green New Deal in every public speech I've seen.
LinusL -> Vassili555 , 3d ago
https://jacobinmag.com/2019/06/elizabeth-warren-medicare-for-all-health-care-policy

[Jun 23, 2019] Warren backing of Hillary in 2016 is remembered by some voters

Notable quotes:
"... Sanders supported Clinton too in the general election. He also actively campaigned for her. ..."
"... apples and oranges, Thomas and Herr, Would you care to defend her "posture" on NATO? Ditto, for her contributing to the "Evil Vlad" narrative? Israel?? Wiki: Warren states she supports a two state solution, but she believes Palestinian application for membership in the UN isn't helpful.[63] ..."
"... "Warren lied about her ancestry to circumvent diversity quotas. Why should anyone believe anything she has to say?" You are going to be told this a million times before 11/20 but that's bullshit. It's been well established that she didn't get any job because of that. ..."
"... "In the most exhaustive review undertaken of Elizabeth Warren's professional history, the Globe found clear evidence, in documents and interviews, that her claim to Native American ethnicity was never considered by the Harvard Law faculty, which voted resoundingly to hire her, or by those who hired her to four prior positions at other law schools. At every step of her remarkable rise in the legal profession, the people responsible for hiring her saw her as a white woman." ..."
"... With Warren and Sanders talking complete sense about our oligarchy, the electorate's expectations are going to improve. Nothing could be better. We've been asked to settle for Republican-lite servants of mammon for too long in the Democratic Party and that's going to change. ..."
"... Hell, if we're going to fine them for data breaches, do we start with the DNC? ..."
"... In a poll last week of 2,312 registered voters in South Carolina, Warren gained nine points to reach 17% compared to Biden's 37%. Among 18-34 year olds, Warren is leading 24% to Sanders' 19% and Biden's 17%. ..."
"... I keep hearing from the mainstream media that Biden is leading in the polls. But we ought to note that Biden's up against a group including Warren, Sanders, Harris etc who are pushing a progressive policies, and if you take their percentages together, Biden cannot compete. Once one of these progressive takes the lead in the group, and hires all the others as running mate, cabinet members etc, he or she will be unbeatable against both Biden and Trump. ..."
"... The latest of that polling features Sanders and Biden nearly neck and neck as far as approval goes. Funny you don't hear about that on CNN or MSNBC. ..."
"... American voters have spent so long being treated like idiots by politicians and to an even greater extent the press that Warren comes across as something new and interesting by comparison. ..."
"... This election won't be decided by defecting Trump voters. ..."
"... Those who would be swayed by Trump using "Pocahontas" as a slur or would even pay attention to it wouldn't vote for Warren anyway. He's not going to change any minds with it, just rile up his existing sheep. ..."
"... That's a very narrow view of her position on Israel. She also supported the Iran treaty, boycotting Netanyahu's speech to the Senate, called on Israel to stop colonizing the West Bank and to recognize the right of Palestinians in Gaza to peaceful protest – her comments about aggression toward Gaza were about Israeli response to missiles fired by Hamas. I don't mind her having a nuanced response to what is in fact a very complex situation. ..."
"... Nerd used to be just an insult, aimed at anyone more intelligent, thoughtful or better-informed than the speaker. But I think now, like 'queer' and other words, it has been reclaimed and repurposed in a much more positive light. ..."
Jun 21, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

aussiecharlie , 2d ago

Clinton said vote for me because I am a woman, Warren says vote for me because I am a potential leader who happens to be a woman. Good luck to her and the US
Dargyva -> aussiecharlie , 2d ago
She's not saying anything like that, at all! She's all about economic justice policy. You noticed she's female without her even telling you.
TempsdesRoses , 2d ago
Don't get me wrong. I would certainly vote for her, if needed. I believe she's quite green behind the ears on foreign policy and how inequality is a global issue. Her backing of our entitled neoliberal wife of an ex-president & neocon dismayed me.

Sanders gets the bigger picture on poverty, race, and war/ neocolonialism:
if you wish: MLK Jr's take on "The Three Evils".

Thomas1178 -> TempsdesRoses , 2d ago
And yet Warren was the one censured for reading Coretta Scott King's condemnation of Jeff Sessions in the Senate while Bernie sat on his ass.
Herr_Settembrini -> TempsdesRoses , 2d ago
"Her backing of our entitled neoliberal wife of an ex-president & neocon dismayed me."

Sanders supported Clinton too in the general election. He also actively campaigned for her.

TempsdesRoses -> Herr_Settembrini , 2d ago
apples and oranges, Thomas and Herr, Would you care to defend her "posture" on NATO? Ditto, for her contributing to the "Evil Vlad" narrative? Israel?? Wiki: Warren states she supports a two state solution, but she believes Palestinian application for membership in the UN isn't helpful.[63]

In a town hall meeting in August 2014, Warren defended Israel's shelling of schools and hospitals during that summer's Israel–Gaza conflict, stating that "when Hamas puts its rocket launchers next to hospitals, next to schools, they're using their civilian population to protect their military assets. And I believe Israel has a right, at that point, to defend itself". She also questioned whether future US aid to Israel should be contingent on the halting of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.[64] In addition she defended her vote in favor of granting Israel $225 million to fund the Iron Dome air defence system.[65]

zuftawov943 , 2d ago
Nobody ever got elected by over-estimating the good sense of the American public.
MeRaffey , 2d ago
While the 2020 election feels critical, the 2024 election will decide the future. Like Trump himself, his base is filled with old people who are still loyal to Ronald Reagan's Republican Party. Old people watch FoxNews, old people vote, old people love Trump and in 2016, old people decided the election.

Younger people do NOT vote. The younger someone is, the less likely they are to vote. However, young people voted for Obama, twice, but when Hillary came along, they stayed home and let the old people choose the president.

And then, in 2018 the young voted again and we learned the next generation plans to take this country into the future. If the young vote in 2020, Trump is toast. If the young stay home, Trump will see a second term.

However, by 2024 the young will assume their rightful place in history and the age of old white men running the country, and the world will come to an end.

kapsiolaaaaa -> MeRaffey , 2d ago
You are making assumptions that old people are idiots. Making assumptions that middle aged people do not exist or are small in numbers. Trump gets 200 or so electoral votes. He loses. I don't see any case he wins. He is past his 'used by date' even for Republicans. You loose Tx to the Ds its game over, add PA and OH to the list. It doesn't even matter what crazy FL man thinks.
zuftawov943 -> MeRaffey , 2d ago
Don't forget modern geriatric medicine, by which the dinosaurs in the senate and elsewhere in the hardening arteries of the US body politic will live - and hold ofice - for even longer than Strom Thurmond. They can afford the private medical insurance to pay for it.

By the way, MeRaffey , I hope you meant to omit to punctuate in your last phrase so that it would read: ... the age of old white men running the country and the world will come to an end . Your comma has me worried.

Mujokan , 2d ago
Warren/Harris, said it before but it makes sense. I would've preferred Biden to Clinton but I can't see him getting the same turnout as Warren. Opinions on Trump are now fixed, it's a red herring to worry about "firing up" Trump supporters, they are already as fired up as they can get. Swing voters are probably going to vote by where the economy is which is out of our control. Ideally Democrats will be just as fired up as Trumpists, the investigations will suppress their enthusiasm somewhat (though they wouldn't care if he killed someone so...) and the coming Trump recession will be brought on by his trade wars and the blame will therefore fall where it should.
lightchaser , 2d ago
Warren lied about her ancestry to circumvent diversity quotas. Why should anyone believe anything she has to say? Furthermore, What exactly is she promising that is any different then any of the other radical leftists running right now? It's all "Free Stuff" that she's going to make the rich pay for. Um..yeah, that always works out doesn't it? Who needs real math when fuzzy math makes us believe the combined wealth of the richest Americans will finance all this "free" stuff to say nothing about why so many Americans feel entitled to the earnings of others. Remember folks, if a politician says 2+2=6 then it must be true.
Mujokan -> lightchaser , 2d ago
"Warren lied about her ancestry to circumvent diversity quotas. Why should anyone believe anything she has to say?" You are going to be told this a million times before 11/20 but that's bullshit. It's been well established that she didn't get any job because of that.
lightchaser -> Mujokan , 2d ago
She claimed Native American ancestry on her application to Harvard, a job she got and it wasn't the first time she played this card either. But hey, in a political party that loves to change races and genders and expects everyone else to go along with the charade by all means go ahead and believe what you want to believe.
Thomas1178 -> lightchaser , 2d ago
A lie, see Snopes, see any link you've been given each time you post this lie. She got it on merit.

"In the most exhaustive review undertaken of Elizabeth Warren's professional history, the Globe found clear evidence, in documents and interviews, that her claim to Native American ethnicity was never considered by the Harvard Law faculty, which voted resoundingly to hire her, or by those who hired her to four prior positions at other law schools. At every step of her remarkable rise in the legal profession, the people responsible for hiring her saw her as a white woman."

Full story: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2018/09/01/did-claiming-native-american-heritage-actually-help-elizabeth-warren-get-ahead-but-complicated/wUZZcrKKEOUv5Spnb7IO0K/story.html%3foutputType=amp

BaronVonAmericano , 2d ago
With Warren and Sanders talking complete sense about our oligarchy, the electorate's expectations are going to improve. Nothing could be better. We've been asked to settle for Republican-lite servants of mammon for too long in the Democratic Party and that's going to change.

The danger, of course, is that in this transition period Biden gets nominated. However much centrists will clamor for voters to hold their nose and vote for him, that's not an electoral strategy. Trump's best chance of winning is that Biden gets nominated and the progressive base of the Democratic Party is totally demoralized and lacking energy by late 2020.

tigerfisch , 2d ago
After the US public allowed themselves to be hypnotized by Trump's campaign of fatuous lies, empty promises and racist dog whistles, I doubted the electorate possessed the wit to understand actual policies. Maybe they've finally woken up - time will tell.
Jdivney -> tigerfisch , 2d ago
Do you understand how elections work? The US public were hypnotized? He lost the popular vote. The fault lies with the Republican establishment for letting him put the R after his name. Perot ran on essentially the same ticket back in 92 as a third party candidate. He got 18% of the vote. Had he run as a Republican he could well have won.
tigerfisch -> Jdivney , 2d ago
Oh dear. The question is, do you know how US elections work? The popular vote is irrelevant. He's the 5th POTUS who lost the popular vote. Almost 63 million hypnotized dolts voted for him, and he won - that's why he currently resides in the WH
Thomas1178 -> tigerfisch , 2d ago
Or neither "hypnotized" nor "dolts." The people I knew who voted for him in North Carolina thought he was an asshole. But they wanted a conservative Supreme Court for the next two decades and he has delivered that for them. Why do you assume that people on the right are idiots who don't know what they want? That essential presumption by the left is one of the reasons the left lost last time.
Thomas1178 , 2d ago
As one who used to be a Warren supporter, I think she is both patronizing voters and pandering to them. These policies have some detail, sure, but they don't deal with the consequences that Warren knows very well lurk in the wings and as a result they don't necessarily make sense.

Her proposal for free college is one example – sounds great, while in reality it would benefit the better-off middle class at the expense of the most vulnerable students and create a cascade of problems that she has no plans to fix.

Again, fining companies for data breaches? Surely we should fine them *if* they don't immediately report data breaches to their customers– or maybe if they haven't maintained appropriate data security, although I'd love to see proving that one to a court. Hell, if we're going to fine them for data breaches, do we start with the DNC?

Thomas1178 -> Thomas1178 , 2d ago
PS To be clear, I'd still take her in a second over Fat Nixon, I just wish she would pander less and keep her plans to the sensible and achievable, like her consumer protection bureau, which was a fantastic idea.
cheryl kimble -> Thomas1178 , 2d ago
corps get fined for data breaches today. ever heard of a hippa violation?
Thomas1178 -> cheryl kimble , 2d ago
Yes, (politely) do you? The fines for HIPAA violation have to do with noncompliance with the act, not with an uncontrollable data breach. The fines increase on a sliding scale if "willful neglect" has been found (the data were not properly secured) or if the company delays in reporting a data breach/violation.

Which is pretty much exactly what I said above.

PaulOram , 2d ago
Yep - No more old white guys - just being disgusted by Trump is not enough - people want new ideas. EW all the way - with AOC by her side as well hopefully.

There is nothing Trump fears more than the stigma of being a one term pres - his ego would implode.

Thomas1178 -> PaulOram , 2d ago
Oh, I think he fears going to prison more. Michael Cohen was right – the minute Trump is no longer protected by the presidency he is going to be facing charges, on tax evasion if nothing else. He will do anything to keep his protection for more years. He's probably hoping to die in office. (I'd add something to that, but I don't want the Secret Service visiting me!)
MeRaffey -> outkast1213 , 2d ago
what did she do in 2016?
HobbesianWorlds , 2d ago
The DNC is again placing it's foot on the scale in favor of Biden. I believe that they know Bernie is less likely to win because of America's irrational fear of the word, "socialism." That's why they put Biden and Sanders on the stage together and pushed out Elizabeth Warren to the other debate with lesser known and less popular candidates. They do not what her, with her solid plans, to confront Biden, which would give her a greater boost in the polls and more recognition across the nation.
Jdivney -> HobbesianWorlds , 2d ago
It was a random drawing. No one has disputed that.
HobbesianWorlds -> Jdivney , 2d ago
And who was watching the drawing? Who set up the drawing? Are you saying that there was independent oversight on its setup? Or do you just take the DNC's word for it?
Jdivney -> HobbesianWorlds , 2d ago
An inability to believe in coincidence will take you to some strange places. If Sanders and Warren drawn the same night you could make an argument that Biden was getting set up to look good against the lightweight opponents. Or had Sanders drawn the undercard that he was being marginalized. Warren will do fine either way. She's a great candidate. Biden isn't.
HobbesianWorlds , 2d ago
Biden rides high on President Obama's very long coat tails and Wall Street money even without detailed plans that actually help the working class and the poor. Bernie is riding high on his honest fight for the working class and the poor.

Elizabeth Warren is rising fast because she not only agrees with Bernie on fighting for the working class and the poor, but she has detailed plans that are holding up to independent economic scrutiny.

Both Warren and Sanders are honest in their fight for economic justice for all and recognize that the root cause of poverty and lower middle class' struggle is corporate and wealthy-individual money in politics. They aim to stop it.

Biden claims he can negotiate with McConnell. Obama reached out to McConnell his entire term and drew back a nub. The same will be true of Biden. For the Republicans and Trumpians, it's all about making Democrats fail no matter how much it hurts the working class and the poor. Their propaganda network will always assist and sustain them by appealing to the emotions and prejudices of millions of Americans.

malapropriety -> HobbesianWorlds , 2d ago

Biden claims he can negotiate with McConnell. Obama reached out to McConnell his entire term and drew back a nub. The same will be true of Biden.

The same will be true of any Democrat though. There is no way around it except by expanding the powers of the office of the President, which is what has given Trump such a wide ability to repeal Obama-era policies.

Any Democrat coming up against a Republican Senate will have the same thing happen to them, although I can imagine the Republicans will hate Biden marginally less than Obama given that he's not black.

HobbesianWorlds -> malapropriety , 2d ago

There is no way around it except by expanding the powers of the office of the President, which is what has given Trump such a wide ability to repeal Obama-era policies.

Not the first year of his presidency. His Republican Party controlled Congress and they mostly hated Obama as well. As long as there was full control of congress, it was easy. It was not easy to remove the ACA because so many Americans liked it.

Now remember that the reasons Trump was appointed to office by the EC, was that enough far-right people voted, together with the "conservative" media adding to Russia's concentration of propaganda in the key states (stats provided to the Russians by the Trump campaign) and lifted him just enough to overcome the votes of ~3 million voters. Far more voters are now counting on voting against him and for the best Democratic candidate.

Progressives do not want to expand the powers of the Oval Office. That is the wrong thing to do. True change for the better can only come through the ballet box and by educating the voters to exactly why our government is dysfunctional and is replete with corruption.

I think the most popular message to all voters (from farmers to all others in the working class) is that corporate and private money in politics is the root cause of government corruption and dysfunction and why the collective wealth of the working class is steadily redistributing to the uber-wealthy.

The only candidates who what to change the economy to a DEMAND-side economy is are those who actually and loudly advocate it.

But just voting for a progressive president while putting the "conservative" obstructionists (those who maintain the high capacity money pipeline that runs from Wall Street to their pockets) back into Congress will mean the corruption and dysfunction will continue. Voters must be replaced by a super-majority liberal/progressive Congress, and with that, Elizabeth Warren will make that change.

Haigin88 , 2d ago
I think she also knows that she should've and easily could've been president right now. That strange piece yesterday, talking about Biden and Sanders standing in front of good female candidates of today: leaving aside a keen Biden getting bullied out of 2016 by Clinton already having things sewn up, Sanders was notoriously late jumping into 2016 because he was waiting on Warren. If Warren was going to run against the wretched Clinton, he wouldn't. Warren choked so Sanders had to do it himself. Warren must know that she would have dismantled Crooked H and, seeing as Clinton was the only person who could've lost to el diablo naranja, Warren would've hammered Trump too. Hence, Warren's got some making up to do and seems very determined.

She's always been my tip. If I was an American, I would vote for Tulsi Gabbard in a second but Warren is a strong candidate and I always thought that her announcing on the last day of last year was going to give her licence to say to other candidates: "I've been running since 2018!". Warren is the candidate that liars for Clinton tried to pretend that Clinton was. A note of caution, though: someone posted a Republican survey of exactly four years ago yesterday. Bush was on 22%, Trump was polling 1%. Long time to go yet.

Johnnybi , 2d ago

In a poll last week of 2,312 registered voters in South Carolina, Warren gained nine points to reach 17% compared to Biden's 37%. Among 18-34 year olds, Warren is leading 24% to Sanders' 19% and Biden's 17%.

I keep hearing from the mainstream media that Biden is leading in the polls. But we ought to note that Biden's up against a group including Warren, Sanders, Harris etc who are pushing a progressive policies, and if you take their percentages together, Biden cannot compete. Once one of these progressive takes the lead in the group, and hires all the others as running mate, cabinet members etc, he or she will be unbeatable against both Biden and Trump.

JudeUSA -> Johnnybi , 2d ago
There is no sure way of knowing how that would play out. You may be interested in looking at the Morning Consult Poll, which comes out weekly. If you scroll down to Second Choices... it gives possible outcomes for where votes may fall. According to MC poll the 2nd choice for Sanders voters is Biden, 2nd for Biden is Sanders, 2nd for Warren is Harris, 2nd for Buttigieg is Biden, and 2nd for Harris is Biden. The poll also shows results for early primary states, if you click on "Early Primary States".
https://morningconsult.com/2020-democratic-primary /
Thomas1178 -> Johnnybi , 2d ago
Only one question: are these the same polls that were running in ninth 2016? And if they are why do we give a crap what any of them say since we know they are all horribly wrong?
Johnnybi -> JudeUSA , 2d ago
The latest of that polling features Sanders and Biden nearly neck and neck as far as approval goes. Funny you don't hear about that on CNN or MSNBC.

It's clear to me that the US public want action, and that means progressive policies. They were conned last time into thinking Trump represented change. But a Hillary Mark II candidate such as Biden will lead to another Trump victory.

decisivemoment -> kejovi , 2d ago
American voters have spent so long being treated like idiots by politicians and to an even greater extent the press that Warren comes across as something new and interesting by comparison.
AdamCMelb , 2d ago
There is no doubt that Warren is the best policy brain in the Democratic Party. She also has some good ideas, and some not so good ones.

Were I American, I would be tempted to vote for her. But her candidacy is hopeless. It may be unfair, but the Pocahontas issue will kill her bid stone dead in the general election. Trump would be licking his chops over a Warren run.

Jdivney -> AdamCMelb , 2d ago
This election won't be decided by defecting Trump voters.
uraniaargus -> AdamCMelb , 2d ago
Those who would be swayed by Trump using "Pocahontas" as a slur or would even pay attention to it wouldn't vote for Warren anyway. He's not going to change any minds with it, just rile up his existing sheep.
BaronVonAmericano , 2d ago
When it comes to economic regulation, Warren is second to none.

Her defense of Israeli strikes on Gaza and general support for an internationalist militaristic status quo is morally blind, at best.

I think she would be an excellent Secretary of Treasury or Commerce, but needs evolution elsewhere before I'd want to see her as president.

(Of course, I'll vote for her in the general if she gets the nomination.)

Thomas1178 -> BaronVonAmericano , 2d ago
That's a very narrow view of her position on Israel. She also supported the Iran treaty, boycotting Netanyahu's speech to the Senate, called on Israel to stop colonizing the West Bank and to recognize the right of Palestinians in Gaza to peaceful protest – her comments about aggression toward Gaza were about Israeli response to missiles fired by Hamas. I don't mind her having a nuanced response to what is in fact a very complex situation.
petersview , 2d ago

Warren has treated voters as adults, smart enough to handle her wonky style of campaigning. Instead of spoon-feeding prospective voters soundbites, Warren is giving them heaps to digest – and her polling surge shows that voters appreciate the nerdy policy talk.

If talking sense and enunciating real policies is regarded as "wonky"and "nerdy"in the USA then Warren doesn't have a hope and Trump is a shoe-in.
pascald -> petersview , 2d ago
Nerd used to be just an insult, aimed at anyone more intelligent, thoughtful or better-informed than the speaker. But I think now, like 'queer' and other words, it has been reclaimed and repurposed in a much more positive light.

[Jun 22, 2019] Warren passes Sanders in poll

Looks like DNC establishment pushes Biden no matter what
Jun 22, 2019 | www.washingtontimes.com

... Sen. Elizabeth Warren is on the move, passing Sen. Bernard Sanders for second place, according to a Monmouth University poll released Wednesday.

Mr. Biden had support from 32% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents - in line with his 33% support from last month.

Ms. Warren , meanwhile, is now at 15% - up 5 points from last month - and Mr. Sanders was at 14% support.

... ... ...

The Monmouth survey of 306 registered voters who identified themselves as Democrats or Democratic leaners was taken from June 12-17 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.6 percentage points.

... ... ...

And a new survey from the firm Avalanche Strategy found that when the notion of "electability" was taken off the table, Ms. Warren was the top choice of Democratic voters at 21%, followed by Mr. Biden and Mr. Sanders at 19% apiece.

[Jun 22, 2019] The secret to Elizabeth Warren's surge? Ideas by Jill Priluck

Notable quotes:
"... There's a simple reason for Warren's sudden rise in the polls : the public has an appetite for policy. Of all the Democratic candidates, Warren's campaign has been by far the most ideas-driven and ambitious in its policy proposals. And voters love it. ..."
"... Week in and week out, she has been crisscrossing the country to tell receptive voters her ideas for an ultra-millionaire tax, student debt cancellation and breaking up big tech. She has also weighed in on reproductive rights, vaccines, the opioid crisis and algorithmic discrimination in automated loans. Her bevy of white papers demonstrates that there isn't a policy area Warren won't touch and she isn't worried about repelling anyone with hard-hitting proposals. ..."
"... Better than any other candidate, Warren has articulated a connection between her personal and professional struggles and her ideas, lending an air of authenticity to her campaign. Her backstory – teacher turned reluctant stay-at-home mom turned Harvard Law School professor – clearly resonates with voters in important states such as Iowa and South Carolina. ..."
"... Rule of thumb that is true for all politicians regardless of party. Most of what they promise they will do will never happen and much of does happen does not occur in the way they promised when they campaigned. ..."
Jun 18, 2019 | www.theguardian.com
n Friday, the Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren co-sponsored a bill to impose mandatory fines on companies that have data breaches. It was the kind of consumer welfare legislation that in the past would have been unremarkable. But in an era when Congress has consistently shirked its duty to shield consumers, the bill stood out.

The legislation capped a week in which Warren surged in the polls. Less than eight months before the Iowa caucus, Warren is making strides in 2020 primary polls. According to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey of 1,000 adults, 64% of Democratic primary voters in June were enthusiastic or comfortable with Warren, compared with 57% in March. Fewer of these voters were enthusiastic or comfortable with Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, who have lost 11 and six points, respectively, since March.

There's more. In a poll last week of 2,312 registered voters in South Carolina, Warren gained nine points to reach 17% compared to Biden's 37%. Among 18-34 year olds, Warren is leading 24% to Sanders' 19% and Biden's 17%.

There's a simple reason for Warren's sudden rise in the polls: the public has an appetite for policy

There's a simple reason for Warren's sudden rise in the polls : the public has an appetite for policy. Of all the Democratic candidates, Warren's campaign has been by far the most ideas-driven and ambitious in its policy proposals. And voters love it.

Rather than condescend to voters, like most politicians, Warren has treated voters as adults, smart enough to handle her wonky style of campaigning. Instead of spoon-feeding prospective voters soundbites, Warren is giving them heaps to digest – and her polling surge shows that voters appreciate the nerdy policy talk.

Indeed, since Warren declared her candidacy for president, she has been offering policy prescriptions for our country's most pressing ailments – and she hasn't been brainstorming in a bubble.

Week in and week out, she has been crisscrossing the country to tell receptive voters her ideas for an ultra-millionaire tax, student debt cancellation and breaking up big tech. She has also weighed in on reproductive rights, vaccines, the opioid crisis and algorithmic discrimination in automated loans. Her bevy of white papers demonstrates that there isn't a policy area Warren won't touch and she isn't worried about repelling anyone with hard-hitting proposals.

Better than any other candidate, Warren has articulated a connection between her personal and professional struggles and her ideas, lending an air of authenticity to her campaign. Her backstory – teacher turned reluctant stay-at-home mom turned Harvard Law School professor – clearly resonates with voters in important states such as Iowa and South Carolina.

That sense of reciprocity has turned Warren into a populist rock star. Instead of appealing to the lowest common denominator among the voting public, she's listening to and learning from voters in an ideas-driven campaign that doesn't take voters for granted.

The strategy is paying off – and proving wrong the outdated political wisdom that Americans don't care about the intricacies of government.

In May, Warren traveled to Kermit, West Virginia, the heart of Trump country, to pitch a $2.7bn-a-year plan to combat opioid addiction.

"Her stance is decisive and bold," Nathan Casian-Lakes told CBS News . "She has research and resources to back her ideas."

Jill Priluck's reporting and analysis has appeared in the New Yorker, Slate, Reuters and elsewhere

Elizabeth Warren's economic nationalism vision shows there's a better way Robert Reich


azucenas , 18h ago

I've decided that I want to see Warren as President. She is honest and has many good ideas about the economy and offering a leg up to minorities and the poor. Her integrity is unimpeachable. I have donated small sums to her campaign. Bernie has not spoken in detail the way Warren has although his democratic socialism goes in a positive direction. There are many voters who feel that he is too old. I hope that he will approve Warren as the best candidate in the running. Biden's moment is long gone. For now I believe that another recession lurks in the near future and Warren, as a wonk, is the best person to deal with it.
GWreader , 20h ago
She also does not take a dime of PAC money, which helps keep her mind cleared of hidden agendas. Because of that, she is the first candidate who campaign I've donated to.
shooter gavin , 1d ago
Rule of thumb that is true for all politicians regardless of party. Most of what they promise they will do will never happen and much of does happen does not occur in the way they promised when they campaigned.

In the case of Sen Warren she talks a lot of wonderful stuff, paid by rich people. Expect the same results. The courts will probably shoot down the wealth tax as described by Warren anyway which means everything she promises just dies.

JayThomas -> shooter gavin , 1d ago
Then she'll pull an Obama and blame the Republicans.

[Jun 21, 2019] Technocratic, neoliberal, Clinton Democrat ideas which have already proven to fail

Jun 21, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

shaunhensley , 2d ago

Technocratic, neoliberal, Clinton Democrat ideas which have already proven to fail. She's for the working class, so long as that working class wears a white collar.
Thomas1178 -> shaunhensley , 2d ago
The $14.5 million in emergency relief she obtained for Massachusetts fishermen says different.
PhilosophicalSquid -> shaunhensley , 2d ago
Youve left something out, that should be 'Neo Liberal Elite' shouldnt it?
Janet Re Johnson -> shaunhensley , 2d ago
She's no neolib. They hate her, and with good reason.

[Jun 21, 2019] Warren declared that she will take the money in the general election if she wins the nomination. Do you expect that money to come with no strings attached

Jun 21, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

curiouswes -> JohnLG , 2d ago

but she declared that she will take "the money" in the general election if she wins the nomination. Do you expect that money to come with no strings attached. Clearly this video implied that she knows differently.

This video shows that as a member of Congress she is cognizant of the "as Senator Clinton, the pressures are very different"

Warren knows EXACTLY what she is doing when she says she will take the money in the general if nominated.

[Jun 21, 2019] Warren made a mistake in claiming Native American heritage, which enabled her to advance professionally as a diversity candidate.

Jun 21, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Blackorpheus , 2d ago

Okay, Warren made a mistake in claiming Native American heritage, which enabled her to advance professionally as a "diversity" candidate. But that would have to count as a venial not mortal sin. She is doing considerable good on the campaign trail, and I believe that she means to try to follow through on her detailed promises.
PepperoniPizza -> Blackorpheus , 2d ago
Can't wait to see her debate Trump.
Thomas1178 -> Blackorpheus , 2d ago
She didn't, as multiple links below will show she never used that claim for any kind of professional gain. Same troll, different clothes.
PhilosophicalSquid -> Blackorpheus , 2d ago
Now you know its a lie, please will you stop spreading it and correct it when you see it.
Thanks

[Jun 21, 2019] Working people who are struggling in Iowa and South Carolina say: She's just like us!

Notable quotes:
"... 780 billion per year on defense without a enemy in sight, and no nation spending a tenth that, seems to be a place one could get a dollar or two. ..."
"... As Chomsky notes in 'manufacturing consent', the mass media that is not 'Right' is 'Centrist' and will support a centrist candidate over one advocating more radical change. ..."
"... Here's an idea. If Warren was a true progressive she wouldn't have been a registered Republican for 5 years, and she would have endorsed Bernie over Hillary in the 2016 primaries. ..."
Jun 21, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

JayThomas , 1d ago

Her backstory – teacher turned reluctant stay-at-home mom turned Harvard Law School professor – clearly resonates with voters in important states such as Iowa and South Carolina.

Working people who are struggling in Iowa and South Carolina say: "She's just like us!"

Jdivney -> JayThomas , 1d ago
Good thing US politics isn't the bucket of crabs and feudal resentments that is the UK.
ildfluer -> JayThomas , 23h ago
Funnily enough, Iowans like her more every day.

https://www.vox.com/2019/6/9/18658583/2020-iowa-democrats-poll-joe-biden-elizabeth-warren-pete-buttigieg

She's popular in South Carolina too:

https://www.postandcourier.com/politics/warren-buttigieg-surge-in-sc-democratic-presidential-poll-as-biden/article_0a351cee-8f77-11e9-a29c-9fe60d10303b.html

Biden still leads in both Iowa and SC. But he was a very visible VP.

Jdivney -> shooter gavin , 1d ago
Please expand upon the "Constitutional issues of a wealth tax".

Looks pretty clear to me.

Article I, Section 8, Clause 1: The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.

SolentBound -> Jdivney , 23h ago
"Please expand upon the "Constitutional issues of a wealth tax".

"Looks pretty clear to me."

The point is that the question would go to a Republican Supreme Court which could indeed find a wealth tax unconstitutional. If you want to know why, do a search. There's lots written on it.

Waynem Rogers , 2d ago
Her problem is the American media who's only interested in sound bites. Policy, plans we don't have time for that. Call someone a nasty name
ronnewmexico -> Waynem Rogers , 2d ago
I don't know. Seems a lot more substance this go round than the last, near as I can tell. Last go round climate change got one question and 45 seconds in response, by both candidates in the general. The media certainly wants and will allow that to happen, but any dem who does would be a idiot.

Seems last go round gender preference was a main thing. Warren will I think not fall into that trap. White male midwestern industrial voters are at large, what lost HRC key states, she took for granted. White male voters and usually their spouses, will not have a part of a program that seems to leave them out of things.

Substance is the name of the game for warren, but to counter Trump one needs to throw out the barbs as well, as she did in her twitter post on not being on his propaganda outlet Fox.

"I won't do a town hall with Fox News because I won't invite millions of Democratic primary voters to tune in, inflate ratings, and help sell ads for an outlet that profits from racism and hate. If you agree, sign our petition.

ronnewmexico -> ronnewmexico , 2d ago
Yes that is Elizabeth Warren calling them racists and haters. A guy like Trump calls names and it is par for the course. A woman who conducts herself as your local librarian or grade school teacher, and you have to take pause and listen, is there substance to this? Seems there is.

This new Elizabeth Warren, name calling and all, I find must more to my liking than that before. Which is the why to her newfound popularity. Substance and calling a pig a pig not a dog or some other thing.

curiouswes -> ronnewmexico , 2d ago
I think you made a good case. she isn't my favorite but still acceptable. In no particular order, for me it is Gabbard, Sanders, Williamson, Warren or Yang. the other 18 would be like voting for the GOP with some protection against the conservative slant on social issues.

The right wingers that post here won't debate me because I'll expose them. They know how the system works and they use it to their advantage. Socialism is about getting free stuff but the issue here is who gets the free stuff. Supply side econ says that the rich are entitled to the free stuff and the less fortunate aren't entitled to it. this is killing upward mobility.

the masses want answers

LiberalCurmudgeon , 2d ago
Iceland, Denmark and Sweden repealed their wealth taxes because they don't work. The Scandinavian countries pay for their safety net by embracing capitalism and taxing the hell out of everyone. Maybe we should embrace that model? Or does Warren's base simply all of the benefits of that system without paying for it?
ildfluer -> LiberalCurmudgeon , 2d ago
They're not similar countries to the USA, at all. US citizens are taxed no matter where they choose to live on earth. This is not the case in most countries.
MikeSw -> LiberalCurmudgeon , 2d ago

The Scandinavian countries pay for their safety net by embracing capitalism and taxing the hell out of everyone. Maybe we should embrace that model?

It would be a hell of a lot better than the government acting as the paymaster for large corporations - paying their workers with food stamps because the corporations don't pay them sufficiently to live on.

You do know that is how the US works, right? Corporations don't pay their workers enough, so the government (i.e. taxpayers) pick up the tab.

ronnewmexico -> MikeSw , 2d ago
To add the average family of four, assuming one stays with the kids so they do not pay day care costs, at Walmart earning a average salary , is eligible for federal food assistance and in most states, Medicaid.

California for several decades paid for most of kids college education and even today, New Mexico does the same. New Mexico is indeed one of the poorest states, and if they figured out how to do that(under a republican governor years ago), most places could. The tax rate here is about on average, no higher than most.

780 billion per year on defense without a enemy in sight, and no nation spending a tenth that, seems to be a place one could get a dollar or two.

HollowayHaines , 2d ago
To quote one of the Guardian's post picks:

Smart and lucid. All the right ideas, without using the " S " word that people in the USA do not really understand, and have a big fear of

I'd extent that from "The USA" to "The USA & the editorial staff of most papers in England", and include some writers for this paper in that catchall.

'Socialist' Sanders and 'Left Wing' Labour as personified by Corbyn are all very well as useful poles to beat the Right with in polemics, but when it looks like they might actually gain access to the corridors of power, suddenly they become villains that have to be defeated so that sensible 'moderates' can retain power....

Warren was receiving more support from this particular paper even before she announced her candidacy than Sanders has or I suspect will even if he gains the nomination.

As Chomsky notes in 'manufacturing consent', the mass media that is not 'Right' is 'Centrist' and will support a centrist candidate over one advocating more radical change.

ildfluer -> HollowayHaines , 2d ago
Those labels are totally irrelevant in the USA. Calling someone 'right' or 'left' or 'socialist' in the USA has nothing to do with dictionary definitions. They all mean to say one thing: I disagree with them because they're wrong.
StephenO , 2d ago

On Friday, the Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren co-sponsored a bill to impose mandatory fines on companies that have data breaches.

Warren is the politician who operates like a blind-folded person desperately trying to hit a pinata. In her political realm, such companies simply twist in the wind and make easy targets. Her policy is equivalent to any store or home being burglarized and then being fined by government for being a victim of crime. Complete mindlessness describes the policy.

ildfluer -> StephenO , 2d ago
Yes. Of course every politician should simply lie down and let the corporations get away with every damn thing. I mean, that's worked really well for most Americans since Reagan.
Ginen -> StephenO , 2d ago
Agreed that is a stupid policy. If the company suffers a data breach owing to poor security or conceals or unduly delays disclosure of the data breach, then it would make sense to fine the company or to hold the company civilly liable to those injured by the data breach. But a blanket fine for any company that suffers a data breach is dumb.
MatchYou , 2d ago
If you want ideas, check out Andrew Yang's website. He has over 100+ intricate ideas laid out in the "policy" tab.
ildfluer -> MatchYou , 2d ago
Which means nothing if he's only polling at <1%.
Ginen -> ildfluer , 2d ago
What's Warren polling nationally against the other Democratic candidates? The article doesn't say, instead cherry-picking selected polling.
ildfluer -> Ginen , 2d ago
Around 16% now in some polls. And polling against Trump - 47% v Trump's 42%. Economist/YouGov poll, she came second behind Biden: https://twitter.com/gelliottmorris/status/1138799359930318848
Guy Littleford , 2d ago
The Labor party in Australia surprised me with the boldness and coherency of their plans and it was a great thing to see a party running a campaign on ideas and principles. They lost the election.
irenka_irina -> JayThomas , 2d ago
....the electorate was conned by spin...outright lies and the Murdoch press.
NeverForever , 2d ago
Here's an idea. If Warren was a true progressive she wouldn't have been a registered Republican for 5 years, and she would have endorsed Bernie over Hillary in the 2016 primaries.
MVOregon -> NeverForever , 2d ago
What a really stupid thing to write and think. Do you have any inkling of the history of the Republican and Democratic parties? I was born in a Republican household (progressive) and it took me living overseas for 20 years to realize what a nasty little insurgency had taken the Republicans from what Teddy Roosevelt championed to what he described as swine; the Dixiecrats. Ignorance is not bliss no matter how hard you try to pretend.
Machiavelli20 , 2d ago
One thing that needs to be done involves an honest discussion about the costs of Warren's proposals and the fact that the US already has a $22 TRILLION national debt with more than $1 TRILLION being added each year at a minimum. A former US Comptroller General stated in 2015 that even the official National Debt figure is a misrepresentation and that taking into account an honest understanding of the nation's actual legal obligations the figure was actually $65 TRILLION.

If anyone wants to see it even worse just look at economist Lawrence Kotlikoff's infinite horizon estimates that placed future already promised commitments at $220 TRILLION. My point is that Warren and everyone else in the DC political establishment, is "blowing smoke" and that the US is bankrupt and needs a serious strategy to mitigate that fact rather than reckless proposals aimed to attract votes.

That is not going to happen and the country is in a fundamental financial crisis.

Guy Littleford -> Machiavelli20 , 2d ago
Its repinlicans who increase your deficits. Reagan believed deficits don't matter. The bush tax cuts...and now Trumps tax cuts and QE. He's expanding credit, which looks like real growth, but is it? Only the US can do this, because it runs the global dollar. We should have had the Bankor. But the yanks ensured that did not happen.
EdChamp -> JayThomas , 1d ago

Nobody expects Congress to deliver on a president's campaign promises. That's not how the system works.

True. We use to call it "obstructionist" when the other party in congress unreasonably opposed a president's proposals. We no longer use that term, though. Now we call it "resistance". I'm sure there are at least a few republicans who see being part of the "resistance" exciting if Warren wins the White House.
Janet Re Johnson , 2d ago
At first I thought she must be mad, running for president. Then I started listening to her ideas and looking at how they were being received.
There are millions of young people, youngish people, and parents whose lives would actually be changed by her college loan plan. Even conservatives admit that "her math is correct" and "it's doable."

Then I started watching her in town halls and found her to be VERY different from that awkward lady in the kitchen having a beer. She's warm, direct, funny, casually self-deprecating, and easily able to translate complex ideas into readily understood ones.

EdChamp -> JayThomas , 2d ago

Free college and health care, and the rich pay. Who wouldn't get on board with that?

Well, since you asked. I don't have any student debt and I don't need any more health care. If we are buying votes with "free" stuff, what do I get for free?

I do like a good brisket. Can we carve out some of that tax on those nasty millionaires for my grocery fund?

EdChamp -> Jdivney , 2d ago

Well, as a rock ribbed Republican, you only one choice.

Not applicable since I'm not a republican. I did vote for Trump, after voting for Obama twice. I'm an independent, and we outnumber either republicans or democrats.
WeAreNotJustAMarket , 2d ago
For me it's a toss-up between Warren and Sanders. When it comes to who will actually get to run against Trump, if a dining room set and 4 chairs gets the Democratic nomination, they get my vote in the general election.
PepperoniPizza -> WeAreNotJustAMarket , 2d ago
The fix is already in I think. Your table and chairs name is Sleepy Joe Biden. Of course, it's still a long time to the election and mortality rates may kick in.
MsEvenstar , 2d ago
Warren is rising fast because A) she stands for something and B) she does an excellent job of explaining how America can make the journey from where it is (including rampant inequality) to where it needs to be to offer a future to all its people, not just to those who are white, rich and privileged! Plus, she is super smart & sassy!

[Jun 17, 2019] Elizabeth Warren Is Completely Serious - The New York Times

Jun 17, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

For her entire career, Warren's singular focus has been the growing fragility of America's middle class. She made the unusual choice as a law professor to concentrate relentlessly on data, and the data that alarms her shows corporate profits creeping up over the last 40 years while employees' share of the pie shrinks. This shift occurred, Warren argues, because in the 1980s, politicians began reworking the rules for the market to the specifications of corporations that effectively owned the politicians. In Warren's view of history, "The constant tension in a democracy is that those with money will try to capture the government to turn it to their own purposes." Over the last four decades, people with money have been winning, in a million ways, many cleverly hidden from view. That's why economists have estimated that the wealthiest top 0.1 percent of Americans now own nearly as much as the bottom 90 percent.

As a presidential candidate, Warren has rolled out proposal after proposal to rewrite the rules again, this time on behalf of a majority of American families. On the trail, she says "I have a plan for that" so often that it has turned into a T-shirt slogan. Warren has plans (about 20 so far, detailed and multipart) for making housing and child care affordable, forgiving college-loan debt, tackling the opioid crisis, protecting public lands, manufacturing green products, cracking down on lobbying in Washington and giving workers a voice in selecting corporate board members. Her grand overarching ambition is to end America's second Gilded Age.

[ Elizabeth Warren has lots of plans. Together, they would remake the economy.]

"Ask me who my favorite president is," Warren said. When I paused, she said, "Teddy Roosevelt." Warren admires Roosevelt for his efforts to break up the giant corporations of his day -- Standard Oil and railroad holding companies -- in the name of increasing competition. She thinks that today that model would increase hiring and productivity. Warren, who has called herself "a capitalist to my bones," appreciated Roosevelt's argument that trustbusting was helpful, not hostile, to the functioning of the market and the government. She brought up his warning that monopolies can use their wealth and power to strangle democracy. "If you go back and read his stuff, it's not only about the economic dominance; it's the political influence," she said.

What's crucial, Roosevelt believed, is to make the market serve "the public good." Warren puts it like this: "It's structural change that interests me. And when I say structural, the point is to say if you get the structures right, then the markets start to work to produce value across the board, not just sucking it all up to the top."

[Jun 14, 2019] Under the proposal Warren released as part of her presidential campaign in April, borrowers with a household income of less than $100,000 would have $50,000 of their student debt cancelled

Jun 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

200PM Water Cooler 6-14-2019

Warren (D)(1): "Elizabeth Warren to introduce bill cancelling up to $50,000 in student debt for most borrowers" [ MarketWatch ]. "The Democratic Senator of Massachusetts plans to introduce legislation in the coming weeks that mirrors her presidential campaign proposal

Under the proposal Warren released as part of her presidential campaign in April, borrowers with a household income of less than $100,000 would have $50,000 of their student debt cancelled and borrowers with an income between $100,000 and $250,000 would be eligible for some student debt cancellation -- though not the full $50,000. Borrowers earning $250,000 or more would receive no debt cancellation.

Her campaign estimated the plan would cost $640 billion, which would be paid through a tax on the ultra-wealthy." • I don't think it makes sense to introduce free college without giving relief to those who, because they chose to be born at the wrong time, are subject to a lifetime of debt, so kudos to Warren.

That said, note the complex eligibility requirements; Warren just can't help herself. Also, of course, you can drown in an inch of water, so pragmatically, even $50,000 might not mean all that much, especially since servicers gotta servicer.

Warren (D)(2): "Elizabeth Warren's plan to pass her plans" (interview) [Ezra Klein, Vox ]. Klein: "Do you think that there's a way to sequence your agenda such that you're building momentum as opposed to losing it?" Warren: "Here's my theory: It starts now. That's what true grassroots building is about. Green New Deal. More and more people are in that fight and say that matters to me. Medicare-for-all, that fight that matters to me [No, it doesn't. –lambert]. As those issues over the next year and a quarter get clearer, sharper, they're issues worth fighting for, and issues where we truly have leadership on it, have people out there knocking doors over it . You asked me about my theory about this. This is the importance of engaging everyone. The importance not just of talking to other senators and representatives but the importance of engaging people across this country." • This language seems awfully vague, to me. For example, when Sanders says "Not me, us," I know there's a campaign structured to back the words up. I don't get that sense with Warren. I also know that Sanders knows who his enemies are ("the billionaires"). Here again, Warren feels gauzy to me ("the wealthy"). And then there's this. Warren: "I believe in markets But markets without rules are theft." This is silly. Markets with rules can be theft too! That's what phishing equilibria are all about! (And the Bearded One would would argue that labor markets under capitalism are theft , by definition.) But I'd very much like to hear the views of readers less jaundiced than I am. Clearly Warren has a complex piece of policy in her head, and so she and Klein are soul-mates.

[Jun 13, 2019] Warren's rise is threat to Sanders

Jun 13, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Warren (D)(1): [Team Warren, Medium ]. "The rising cost of rent reflects a basic supply-and-demand problem. There aren't enough places to rent that are affordable to lower-income families. That's because developers can usually turn bigger profits by building fancier new units targeted at higher-income families rather than units targeted at lower-income families. The result is a huge hole in the marketplace." •

I'm not a housing maven by any stretch of the imagination, but I think a story that doesn't consider the role of private equity in snapping up distressed housing after the Crash is likely to be a fairy tale.

Warren (D)(2): "The Memo: Warren's rise is threat to Sanders" [ The Hill ]. "'She certainly does seem to be taking votes away from him,' said Democratic strategist Julie Roginsky. 'It seems as if, as she is rising, he is falling.'" • The national averages don't show that.

[Jun 13, 2019] It seems that the corporate Democrats and Clintonites new strategy is to promote Warren and then start leaning on her heavily in an effort to convert Warren to the neoliberal "dark side"

Notable quotes:
"... As it is, it seems that the corporate Democrats and Clintonites new strategy is to promote Warren and then start leaning on her heavily in an effort to convert Warren to the neoliberal "dark side" or have her not be a problem for them. ..."
"... Her stance on single payer is troubling and telling, and her foreign policy positions and worldview are absolutely atrocious. She has good policy ideas (not great political instincts), but none of the ideas at the present time have movements behind them and would need those movements to push them through. ..."
"... As for Warren, I believe she could have value in a narrowly defined (finance-related) role in a Sanders administration. I will not vote for her for president. Her foreign policy is atrocious, she doesn't support single payer, and she has proven herself to be a garden variety neoliberal on all but her own niche issues. ..."
Jun 13, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Hepativore , June 12, 2019 at 2:35 pm

As it is, it seems that the corporate Democrats and Clintonites new strategy is to promote Warren and then start leaning on her heavily in an effort to convert Warren to the neoliberal "dark side" or have her not be a problem for them.

Warren has unfortunately shown just how easy it is to get her to back down under pressure and there is also the fact that she has been willing to carry water for the Clintonites before to advance her own political career like she did in the 2016 election.

At this point, I would seriously consider Yang to be my third choice after Sanders and Gabbard if it came down to it. Warren would probably be either incapable or unwilling to face any serious political opposition either from Trump or neoliberal Democrats and would probably cave.

Grant , June 12, 2019 at 2:47 pm

Her stance on single payer is troubling and telling, and her foreign policy positions and worldview are absolutely atrocious. She has good policy ideas (not great political instincts), but none of the ideas at the present time have movements behind them and would need those movements to push them through.

Is she the person to lead movements and to help them grow? I can't see anyone making that case. She has had an impact on issues, with the CFPB, which is good, but that was her work within academia. Different animal than actual movement building. Here, we have single payer and she has backtracked.

So, changes that may happen down the road, great. At least provides some alternatives and possibly a path from here to there. But, the fights we could win in the shorter term? Waffles. No thanks. I think she can play a great role in her current position or if Bernie were to win, in his administration, but I think she would be very problematic as a general election nominee. Just my opinion. I like her more than Biden and a number of others running but that says more about them than her.

nippersmom , June 12, 2019 at 3:08 pm

The first thought that entered my mind when I saw that quote from Biden was that he really is suffering from cognitive decline.

As for Warren, I believe she could have value in a narrowly defined (finance-related) role in a Sanders administration. I will not vote for her for president. Her foreign policy is atrocious, she doesn't support single payer, and she has proven herself to be a garden variety neoliberal on all but her own niche issues.

The only candidates besides Sanders I would vote for (Gabbard and Gravel) have less chance of getting the nomination than he does. If Sanders is not the Democratic nominee, I will once again be voting Green.

[Jun 11, 2019] One of the older male anchors on financial TV today noted, in a very condescending tone, that for some reason Elizabeth Warren has an attitude when it comes to corporations

Notable quotes:
"... "When the modern corporation acquires power over markets, power in the community, power over the state and power over belief, it is a political instrument, different in degree but not in kind from the state itself. To hold otherwise -- to deny the political character of the modern corporation -- is not merely to avoid the reality. It is to disguise the reality. The victims of that disguise are those we instruct in error." ..."
Jun 11, 2019 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

Lies Owe a Debt to the Truth

"There was time when average Americans could be counted upon to know correctly whether the country was going up or down, because in those days when America prospered, the American people prospered as well. These days things are different.

Let's look at it in a statistical sense. If you look at it from the middle of the 1930's (the Depression) up until the year 1980, the lower 90 percent of the population of this country, what you might call the American people, that group took home 70 percent of the growth in the country's income. If you look at the same numbers from 1997 up until now, from the height of the great Dot Com bubble up to the present, you will find that this same group, the American people, pocketed none of this country's income growth at all.

Our share of these great good times was zero, folks. The upper ten percent of the population, by which we mean our country's financiers and managers and professionals, consumed the entire thing. To be a young person in America these days is to understand instinctively the downward slope that so many of us are on."

Thomas Frank, Kansas City Missouri, 6 April 2017

"When the modern corporation acquires power over markets, power in the community, power over the state and power over belief, it is a political instrument, different in degree but not in kind from the state itself. To hold otherwise -- to deny the political character of the modern corporation -- is not merely to avoid the reality. It is to disguise the reality. The victims of that disguise are those we instruct in error."

John Kenneth Galbraith

One of the older male anchors on financial TV today noted, in a very condescending tone, that for some reason Elizabeth Warren 'has an attitude' when it comes to corporations.

I hope she and some of her like minded fellows get their opportunity to extend the hand of equal justice to these smug serial felons, pampered polecats, and corporatist clowns. It has been a long time coming.

[Jun 10, 2019] Elizabeth Warren gains momentum in the 2020 race plan by plan by Lauren Gambino

Notable quotes:
"... "I feel duped," said the voter, Renee Elliott, who was laid off from her job at the Indianapolis Carrier plant. "I don't have a lot of faith in political candidates much anymore. They make promises. They make them and break them." ..."
"... Warren rose to her feet. "The thing is, you can't just wave your arms," the she said, gesturing energetically. "You've really got to have a plan – and I do have a plan." ..."
"... But despite the burst of momentum, Warren's path to the nomination has two major roadblocks: Sanders and Biden. Her success will depend on whether she can deliver a one-two punch: replacing Sanders as the progressive standard bearer while building a coalition broad enough to rival Biden. ..."
"... "She sounds like Donald Trump at his best," conservative Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson told his largely Republican audience as he read from Warren's proposal during the opening monologue of his show this week. The plan calls for "aggressive intervention on behalf of American workers" to boost the economy and create new jobs, including a $2tn investment in federal funding in clean energy programs. ..."
"... His praise was all the more surprising because Warren has vowed not to participate in town halls on Fox News, calling the network a "hate-for-profit racket that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracists" ..."
Jun 09, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

The senator's 'I have a plan' mantra has become a rallying cry as she edges her way to the top – but is it enough to get past the roadblocks of Biden and Sanders?

Elizabeth Warren at a campaign rally in Fairfax, Virginia, on 16 May. Photograph: Cliff Owen/AP Plan by plan, Elizabeth Warren is making inroads and gaining on her rivals in the 2020 Democratic race to take on Donald Trump.

The former Harvard law professor's policy heavy approach made an impression among activists at the She the People forum in Texas last month and was well-received at the California state party convention earlier this month.

Elizabeth Warren's economic nationalism vision shows there's a better way Robert Reich

This week a Morning Consult poll saw Warren break into the double digits at 10%, putting her in third place behind Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. A recent Economist/YouGov poll found Warren was making gains among liberal voters, with Democrats considering the Massachusetts senator for the Democratic presidential nomination in nearly equal measure with Sanders.

Her intense campaigning on a vast swathe of specific issues has achieved viral moments on the internet – even including one woman whom Warren advised on her love life – as well as playing well during recent television events.

At a televised town hall in Indiana this week, Warren listened intently as a woman who voted for Trump in 2016 described her disillusionment – not only with a president who failed to bring back manufacturing jobs as he said he promised but with an entire political system stymied by dysfunction.

"I feel duped," said the voter, Renee Elliott, who was laid off from her job at the Indianapolis Carrier plant. "I don't have a lot of faith in political candidates much anymore. They make promises. They make them and break them."

Warren rose to her feet. "The thing is, you can't just wave your arms," the she said, gesturing energetically. "You've really got to have a plan – and I do have a plan."

That mantra – a nod to the steady churn of policy blueprints Warren's campaign has released – has become a rallying cry for Warren as she edges her way to the top of the crowded Democratic presidential primary field.

But despite the burst of momentum, Warren's path to the nomination has two major roadblocks: Sanders and Biden. Her success will depend on whether she can deliver a one-two punch: replacing Sanders as the progressive standard bearer while building a coalition broad enough to rival Biden.

Warren began that work this week with a multi-stop tour of the midwest designed to show her strength among working class voters who supported Trump. Ahead of the visit, Warren unveiled a plan she described as "economic patriotism", which earned startling praise from one of Trump's most loyal supporters.

"She sounds like Donald Trump at his best," conservative Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson told his largely Republican audience as he read from Warren's proposal during the opening monologue of his show this week. The plan calls for "aggressive intervention on behalf of American workers" to boost the economy and create new jobs, including a $2tn investment in federal funding in clean energy programs.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson praises Elizabeth Warren's economic policies

His praise was all the more surprising because Warren has vowed not to participate in town halls on Fox News, calling the network a "hate-for-profit racket that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracists".

The debate over whether Democrats should appear on Fox News for a town hall has divided the field. Sanders, whose televised Fox News town hall generated the highest viewership of any such event, argued that it is important to speak to the network's massive and heavily Republican audience.

As Warren courts working-class voters in the midwest, she continues to focus heavily on the early states of Iowa and New Hampshire. After jumping into the race on New Year's Eve 2018, Warren immediately set to work , scooping up talent and building a massive operation in Iowa. Her campaign is betting a strong showing in the first in the nation caucuses will propel her in New Hampshire, which neighbors Massachusetts, and then boost her in Nevada and South Carolina.

But as Warren gains momentum, moderate candidates are becoming more vocal about their concern that choosing a nominee from the party's populist wing will hand Trump the election.

"If we want to beat Donald Trump and achieve big progressive goals, socialism is not the answer," former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper told Democrats in California last weekend. Though his comments were met with boos and jeers among the convention's liberal crowd, his warning is at the heart of the debate over who should be the Democratic presidential nominee.

Warren has pointedly distinguished herself as a capitalist as opposed to a socialist or a democratic socialist, but she has not backed away from a populist platform that embraces sweeping economic reforms.

In her address to the California Democratic party, Warren rejected appeals for moderation.

"Some say if we all calm down, the Republicans will come to their senses," she said. "But our country is in a time of crisis. The time for small ideas is over."

[Jun 07, 2019] Tucker Carlson: Elizabeth Warren's "Economic Patriotism" Plan "Sounds Like Donald Trump At His Best"

Jun 07, 2019 | www.realclearpolitics.com

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: Good evening and welcome to Tucker Carlson Tonight. Let's begin tonight with a thought experiment: What if the Republican leadership here in Washington had bothered to learn the lessons of the 2016 election? What if they'd cared enough to do that. What if they'd understood, and embraced, the economic nationalism that was at the heart of Donald Trump's presidential campaign? What would the world look like now, two and a half years later? For starters, Republicans in congress would regularly be saying things like this. Quote:

"I'm deeply grateful for the opportunities America has given me. But the giant 'American' corporations who control our economy don't seem to feel the same way. They certainly don't act like it. Sure, these companies wave the flag  --  but they have no loyalty or allegiance to America. Levi's is an iconic American brand, but the company operates only 2% of its factories here. Dixon Ticonderoga  --  maker of the famous №2 pencil  --  has 'moved almost all of its pencil production to Mexico and China.' And General Electric recently shut down an industrial engine factory in Wisconsin and shipped the jobs to Canada. The list goes on and on. These 'American' companies show only one real loyalty: to the short-term interests of their shareholders, a third of whom are foreign investors. If they can close up an American factory and ship jobs overseas to save a nickel, that's exactly what they will do  --  abandoning loyal American workers and hollowing out American cities along the way. Politicians love to say they care about American jobs. But for decades, those same politicians have cited 'free market principles' and refused to intervene in markets on behalf of American workers. And of course, they ignore those same supposed principles and intervene regularly to protect the interests of multinational corporations and international capital. The result? Millions of good jobs lost overseas and a generation of stagnant wages, growing inequality, and sluggish economic growth. If Washington wants to put a stop to this, it can. If we want faster growth, stronger American industry, and more good American jobs, then our government should do what other leading nations do and act aggressively to achieve those goals instead of catering to the financial interests of companies with no particular allegiance to America.... The truth is that Washington policies  --  not unstoppable market forces  --  are a key driver of the problems American workers face. From our trade agreements to our tax code, we have encouraged companies to invest abroad, ship jobs overseas, and keep wages low. All in the interest of serving multinational companies and international capital with no particular loyalty to the United States....It's becoming easier and easier to shift capital and jobs from one country to another. That's why our government has to care more about defending and creating American jobs than ever before  --  not less. We can navigate the changes ahead if we embrace economic patriotism and make American workers our highest priority, rather than continuing to cater to the interests of companies and people with no allegiance to America."

End quote. Now let's say you regularly vote Republican. Ask yourself: what part of that statement did you disagree with? Was there a single word that seemed wrong? Probably not. Here's the depressing part: Nobody you voted for said that, or would ever say it. Republicans in congress can't promise to protect American industries. They wouldn't dare. It might violate some principle of Austrian economics. It might make the Koch brothers angry. It might alienate the libertarian ideologues who, to this day, fund most Republican campaigns. So, no, a Republican did not say that. Sadly.

Instead, the words you just heard are from, and brace yourself here, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Yesterday, Warren released what she's calling her "plan for economic patriotism." Amazingly, that's pretty much exactly what it is: economic patriotism. There's not a word about identity politics in the document. There are no hysterics about gun control or climate change. There's no lecture about the plight of transgender illegal immigrants. It's just pure old fashioned economics: how to preserve good-paying American jobs. Even more remarkable: Many of Warren's policy prescriptions make obvious sense: she says the US government should buy American products when it can. Of course it should. She says we need more workplace apprenticeship programs, because four-year degrees aren't right for everyone. That's true. She says taxpayers ought to benefit from the research and development they fund. And yet, she writes, "we often see American companies take that researchand use it to manufacture products overseas, like Apple did with the iPhone. The companies get rich, and American taxpayers have subsidized the creation of low-wage foreign jobs." And so on. She sounds like Donald Trump at his best. Who is this Elizabeth Warren, you ask? Not the race hustling, gun grabbing, abortion extremist you thought you knew. Unfortunately Elizabeth Warren is still all of those things too. And that is exactly the problem, not just with Warren, but with American politics. In Washington, almost nobody speaks for the majority of voters. You're either a libertarian zealot controlled by the banks, yammering on about entrepreneurship and how we need to cut entitlements. That's one side of the aisle. Or, worse, you're some decadent trust fund socialist who wants to ban passenger cars and give Medicaid to illegal aliens. That's the other side. There isn't a caucus that represents where most Americans actually are: nationalist on economics, fairly traditional on the social issues. Imagine a politician who wanted to make your healthcare cheaper, but wasn't ghoulishly excited about partial birth abortion. Imagine someone who genuinely respected the nuclear family, and sympathized with the culture of rural America, but at the same time was willing to take your side against rapacious credit card companies bleeding you dry at 35 percent interest. Would you vote for someone like that? My gosh. Of course. Who wouldn't? That candidate would be elected in a landslide. Every single time. Yet that candidate is the opposite of pretty much everyone currently serving in congress. Our leadership class remains resolutely libertarian: committed to the rhetoric of markets when it serves them; utterly libertine on questions of culture. Republicans will lecture you about how payday loan scams are a critical part of a market economy. Then they'll work to make it easier for your kids to smoke weed because, hey, freedom. Democrats will nod in total agreement. They're on the same page.

Just last week, the Trump administration announced an innovative new way to protect American workers from the ever-cascading tidal wave of cheap third-world labor flooding this country. Until the Mexican government stops pushing illegal aliens north over our border, we will impose tariffs on all Mexican goods we import. That's the kind of thing you'd do to protect your country if you cared about your people. The Democrats, of course, opposed it. They don't even pretend to care about America anymore. Here's what the Republicans said:

MITCH MCCONNELL: Look, I think it's safe to say – you've talked to all of our members and we're not fans of tariffs. We're still hoping this can be avoided.

"We're not fans of tariffs." Imagine a more supercilious, out of touch, infuriating response. You can't, because there isn't one. In other words, says Mitch McConnell, the idea may work in practice. But we're against it, because it doesn't work in theory. That's the Republican Party, 2019. No wonder they keep losing. They deserve it. Will they ever change?

[Jun 05, 2019] Elizabeth Warren's latest big idea is 'economic patriotism'"

Jun 05, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Warren (D)(1): "Elizabeth Warren's latest big idea is 'economic patriotism'" [ Vox ].

"The specific Warren proposal on this score has three parts, a Green Apollo Program, a Green Marshall Plan, and a Green Industrial Mobilization. The Apollo Program is a ten-fold increase in clean energy R&D funding, the Marshall Plan is a $100 billion program to help foreign countries buy American-made clean technology, and the Industrial Mobilization (which it would perhaps be more natural to call a 'Green New Deal,' were that name not already taken) proposes a massive $1.5 trillion federal procurement initiative over 10 years to buy 'American-made clean, renewable, and emission free products for federal, state, and local use and for export.'

That's roughly the scale of federal spending on defense acquisition and would of course turn the federal government into a huge player in this market."

• I bet Warren's policy shop didn't copy and paste from other proposals either

[Jun 05, 2019] Liz Warren Unveils Economic Patriotism Plan Calls For Aggressive Market Interventions, Active Dollar Management

Jun 05, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Sign in to comment filter_list Viewing Options arrow_drop_down

michigan independant , 50 seconds ago link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvFKU62-FPk

Ethan Allen Hawley , 2 minutes ago link

Return to wampum belt economy! It's the only fair and just economy!

SeaMonkeys , 19 minutes ago link

Readers here are brainwashed. Industrial policy is based on a partnership between manufacturing, banks and finance, government, and workers. All of these relationships are built on trust and all the members stand to profit. This is the secret of Germany's and Scandinavia's over 200 years of success. It is called stakeholder capitalism. It includes all members of society. Germany is the world's largest exporter for a reason. It has approximately 1,500 banks, 70% of them are non-profit and restricted to lending for loans that are productive - create jobs and add value.

The English/American model of capitalism is called shareholder capitalism. Shareholder because the owners are absentee landlords. The financial markets rule, all other members serve. The communities are shells - people are distrustful of each other and of the social institutions. Shareholders don't live in the communities that add the value. They are the elites, and are spread throughout the world.

Readers here might not like Elizabeth Warren, and that's ok. I don't really like her. But her ideas are good. No Republican or corporate Democrat would ever embrace her ideas.

The irony is that Trump campaigned on similar ideas as Warren's. Why do you people think Trump is engaging in all the trade war rhetoric? It's for the same ends as Warren's ideas, except her ideas are more complete. Trump doesn't bring enough to the table. He needs to include labor, banks, manufacturers, and government. He hasn't because his ideas are not developed.

All the blabber mouths on Zero Hedge complaining about how full of **** academia is and now is your chance to actually stand for something. Do you think industrial policy is built on "snowflake" studies in Harvard?

No, it's in vocational schools and mentoring. Apprenticeships, and so forth.

Un-*******-believable. Zero Hedge is no different from Rush Limbaugh, a big fat closeted queen.

DEDA CVETKO , 23 minutes ago link

Dear Squaw: aggressive market intervention is old news. Been there, done that since at least Richard Nixon's first term.

Ditto dollar intervention.

Have you something new and original to offer?

-- ALIEN -- , 29 minutes ago link

"...wide-ranging proposal for aggressive, socialist-style government intervention in U.S. markets..."

So, basically more of the same **** that's been going on since 2008?

Where is the Billions for Banksters rider?

Nothing to see here, move along.

Headwinds of Reality , 34 minutes ago link

She's gone full anti semite, she's done here

Celotex , 35 minutes ago link

"Hey, look at my great new conjured-from-nothing ideas and forget about my racial identity fraud."

Real Estate Guru , 36 minutes ago link

Fake Pochahontass Slut-Bunwalla is a total whackjob!

devnickle , 44 minutes ago link

What ever happened to states rights? Ever increasing central governmental control is not the answer, and was never intended to be. The Democrats spout about "Democracy!!!". This is nothing of the sort. They are perfectly happy to tell someone in Nebraska what to do, even if they have no idea corn grows in dirt. Narcissistic sociopaths is what they are. It's time to neuter them.

Let it Go , 55 minutes ago link

Unfortunately, a fair number of people are listening to her. The article below warns that her push towards socialism as many progressives, liberals, or those simply left of center are proposing, would be a grave mistake. Socialism is not the answer to combating inequality.

https://Inequality Is A Growing Pox Upon Our Economic System! html

thegekko , 1 hour ago link

Well, down here in Australia we had a Federal election a couple of weeks ago, and the opposition party, the Labor Party(ie the equivalent of your Democrats) was soundly defeated partially because of their radical "climate change" policies.

Quite obviously the left cannot grasp the fact that not everybody buys into the climate change hoax/industry. After the election many "journalists" who work for our national broadcaster, the ABC, which is funded by the Feds, came out on social media describing the result as a catastrophe for the climate and branded Australians as stupid. Sound familiar, just like a certain someone who labeled half of America as deplorables.

Australians are not stupid, and realised that the changes Labor were proposing were too radical. Their plan called for a 45 percent reduction in emissions by 2030. It should be noted that despite rhetoric to the contrary by Labor, it is a well established fact that Australia is far exceeding it's Kyoto & Paris targets.

Yet, the Labor party wanted to take these steps.

Labor, a party which is supposed to be in support of the workers, had they have won governmengt, would have no doubt done everything in their power to prevent the Adani coal mine in Queensland going ahead!

FFS, what sort of a world are we living in where coal mining is viewed by the left as a criminal activity?

The result of Labor's insanity, they did not win back a single seat in Qld, and in the Hunter Valley in NSW, a massive coal mining town, one particular seat there has been held by Labor for 25 years with a healthy margin. The local Labor candidate, Joel Fitzgibbon, managed to still hold onto the seat despite a 20 percent swing against him!

The fact is, as I am sure you are all aware being intelligent people on ZH, is you cannot take radical steps like what was proposed by Labor & in the process destroy the economy. These changes, if they are to be implemented, need to happen over the course of decades, four, five, maybe six, I don't know.

But more importantly, there needs to be serious discussion as to whether man made "climate change" is real because it does not seem to be, and obviously the vast majority of people are not buying into it. much to the chagrin of the left.

In Australia, and I am sure the same happens in America, the only people buying the climate change ******** are the cafe latte/upper class inner city snobs.

The other thing that escapes the minds of the left in Australia is simple mathematics. We are a population of 24 million in a world of 7.5 billion, that makes us 0.33 of 1 percent of the world population. Even if Australia cut it's emissions to zero tomorrow, it will make no difference to the world when we have China & India building coal fired power stations.

Ironically, the high priest of climate change, Al Gore, is down here at the moment, in Queensland of all places where voters told the left where to get off, on a $300,000 taxpayer funded love-in. From memory, didn't Al Gore state in his doco in 2006 that within 10 years the Earth would be facing a climate catastrophe? lol

spoonful , 1 hour ago link

Aggressive Market Interventions, Active Dollar Management . . . you mean the PPT?

Vince Clortho , 1 hour ago link

She has all the credibility of a Fake Indian Bolshevik.

Goodsport 1945 , 1 hour ago link

She isn't going away, and neither is her brand of voodoo economics, because too many ignorant Massholes will continue to return the squaw to office.

EenuschOne , 1 hour ago link

Chief Shitting ********

e_goldstein , 1 hour ago link

The Communist Fauxcohantus.

(Practicing for when Skankles runs again.)

A Nanny Moose , 2 hours ago link

Moar management will solve problems created by management.

Duct tape cannot fix stupid, but it can muffle the screams.

TAALR Swift , 2 hours ago link

Too late Fauka-haunt-us. The interventions and active management has been going on for years.

Dumb biatch does not deserve to collect a Gov salary, gibmes or pension.

40MikeMike , 2 hours ago link

Democrats sunk and going to prison on collusion.

OK...

what's the next snake oil?

How about dealing with awful illigitamacy?

They own 1st and 2nd Black Slavery.

So fix it?

Forfeit the election and see what a debt conscious America is capable?

We can do with less, or less of more.

Only speaking for non-elites.

40MikeMike , 2 hours ago link

$1.5 trillion on renewables?

As in abandoned babies in a certain community?

LOL123 , 2 hours ago link

You go girl.... Lynn Rothschild will back you once she counts con-tracts and loans filtered back into her " All Inclusive Capitalism" banking system... She's got your back. She was was only kiddig about rewrting an ecconomic plan for Hillary and ditching yours....xoxo Lynn

"on Tuesday Elizabeth Warren proposed spending $2 trillion on a new "green manufacturing" program that would invest in research and exporting American clean energy technology."

Jessica6 , 2 hours ago link

These people are control freaks. And the trouble with control freaks is they always make things worse.

StheNine , 2 hours ago link

Indian giver....

Carefulboy23 , 2 hours ago link

Capitalism is man preying on his fellow man. Socialism is the exact opposite.

Lie_Detector , 2 hours ago link

Blah blah blah!

El Oregonian , 2 hours ago link

"In my administration, we will stop making excuses. We will pursue aggressive new government policies to support American workers."

"In my administration, we will NOT stop making excuses. We will pursue aggressive new government TOTALITARIAN policies to support American Stalinist ideals ."

FIXED.

DeePeePDX , 2 hours ago link

Let's just reset the calendar to year zero, go all-agrarian, and march all dissent into the killing fields.

It's like these dumbfux read "Atlas Shrugged" and stole every idea of the antagonists.

Wild Bill Steamcock , 2 hours ago link

Warren's Official Campaign song: NO CHANCE IN HELL!

CaptainMoonlight , 2 hours ago link

Go away , fake Pocohontus

lisa.roy39 , 2 hours ago link

𝐆­𝐨­𝐨­𝐠­𝐥­𝐞 𝐢­𝐬 𝐩­𝐚­𝐲­𝐢­𝐧­𝐠 𝟗­𝟕­$ 𝐩­𝐞­𝐫 𝐡­𝐨­𝐮­𝐫,𝐰­𝐢­𝐭­𝐡 𝐰­𝐞­𝐞­𝐤­𝐥­𝐲 𝐩­𝐚­𝐲­𝐨­𝐮­𝐭­𝐬.𝐘­𝐨­𝐮 𝐜­𝐚­𝐧 𝐚­𝐥­𝐬­𝐨 𝐚­𝐯­𝐚­𝐢­𝐥 𝐭­𝐡­𝐢­𝐬.𝐎­𝐧 𝐭­𝐮­𝐞­𝐬­𝐝­𝐚­𝐲 𝐈 𝐠­𝐨­𝐭 𝐚 𝐛­𝐫­𝐚­𝐧­𝐝 𝐧­𝐞­𝐰 𝐋­𝐚­𝐧­𝐝 𝐑­𝐨­𝐯­𝐞­𝐫 𝐑­𝐚­𝐧­𝐠­𝐞 𝐑­𝐨­𝐯­𝐞­𝐫 𝐟­𝐫­𝐨­𝐦 𝐡­𝐚­𝐯­𝐢­𝐧­𝐠 𝐞­𝐚­𝐫­𝐧­𝐞­𝐝 $­𝟏­𝟏­𝟕­𝟓­𝟐 𝐭­𝐡­𝐢­𝐬 𝐥­𝐚­𝐬­𝐭 𝐟­𝐨­𝐮­𝐫 𝐰­𝐞­𝐞­𝐤­𝐬..𝐰­𝐢­𝐭­𝐡-𝐨­𝐮­𝐭 𝐚­𝐧­𝐲 𝐝­𝐨­𝐮­𝐛­𝐭 𝐢­𝐭'𝐬 𝐭­𝐡­𝐞 𝐦­𝐨­𝐬­𝐭-𝐜𝐨­𝐦­𝐟­𝐨­𝐫­𝐭­𝐚­𝐛­𝐥­𝐞 𝐣­𝐨­𝐛 𝐈 𝐡­𝐚­𝐯­𝐞 𝐞­𝐯­𝐞­𝐫 𝐝­𝐨­𝐧­𝐞 .. 𝐈­𝐭 𝐒­𝐨­𝐮­𝐧­𝐝­𝐬 𝐮­𝐧­𝐛­𝐞­𝐥­𝐢­𝐞­𝐯­𝐚­𝐛­𝐥­𝐞 𝐛­𝐮­𝐭 𝐲­𝐨­𝐮 𝐰­𝐨­𝐧­𝐭 𝐟­𝐨­𝐫­𝐠­𝐢­𝐯­𝐞 𝐲­𝐨­𝐮­𝐫­𝐬­𝐞­𝐥­𝐟 𝐢­𝐟 𝐲­𝐨­𝐮 𝐝­𝐨­𝐧'𝐭 𝐜­𝐡­𝐞­𝐜­𝐤 𝐢­𝐭.

click this link════►►► http://www.worktoday33.com

Mona Lisa , 2 hours ago link

Criminal scammer spammer Alert ! Identity theft Alert ! Malware infected site.

Never give away your personal data to shady and criminal websites as this one.

It is an incredible audacity and impertinence to misuse the company name "google" to pretend credibility for a criminal organization.

Buy a Tesla instead of the same old boring Landy Rovy Rangy Rovy banger all of your gang are buying.

[May 22, 2019] Sen. Elizabeth Warren gains traction among black female voters

May 22, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Axle Grind , 4 hours ago

liz warren gains traction. she's built low to the ground for torque.

Mary Czarnik , 6 hours ago

Dems only need few select states to campaign in and they will win elections all the time. Everybody is playing the racists card when they do not like what is said or done!!

G Watsittoyaa , 1 day ago

Demoncrats run on Identity Politics ; thats all they see.

[May 16, 2019] A Polyarchy is a system in which power resides in the hands of self-selected elite. The rest of the population is to be fragmented and distracted. They are allowed to participate every couple of years by voting. That's it.

Notable quotes:
"... United States is neither a Republic and even less Socialistic. US, in the technical literature, is called a Polyarchy (state capitalism). Polyarchy (state capitalism) idea is old, it goes back to James Madison and the foundation of the US Constitution. A Polyarchy is a system in which power resides in the hands of those who Madison called the wealth of the nation. The educated and responsible class of men. The rest of the population is to be fragmented and distracted. They are allowed to participate every couple of years by voting. That's it. The population have little choice among the educated and responsible men they are voting for. ..."
"... Polyarchy (state capitalism) it is a system where small group actually rules on behalf of capital, and majority's decision making is confined to choosing among selective number of elites within tightly controlled elective process. It is a form of consensual domination made possible by the structural domination of the global capital which allowed concentration of political powers. ..."
May 16, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Uh, no, Tom, she won't be collecting a lot of voters, well, at least not near enough. Biden has already been "chosen" like Hillary was over Bernie last time. You should know by now Tom, we don't select our candidates, they're chosen for us for our own good. 2 hours ago

This is going to take a long time. You just can't turn this ship around overnight.

US Political System:

United States is neither a Republic and even less Socialistic. US, in the technical literature, is called a Polyarchy (state capitalism). Polyarchy (state capitalism) idea is old, it goes back to James Madison and the foundation of the US Constitution. A Polyarchy is a system in which power resides in the hands of those who Madison called the wealth of the nation. The educated and responsible class of men. The rest of the population is to be fragmented and distracted. They are allowed to participate every couple of years by voting. That's it. The population have little choice among the educated and responsible men they are voting for.

This is not an accident. America was founded on the principle, explained by the Founding Father that the primary goal of government is to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. That is how the US Constitution was designed sort of ensuring that there will be a lot of struggle. US is not as the same as it were two centuries ago but that remains the elites ideal.

Polyarchy (state capitalism) it is a system where small group actually rules on behalf of capital, and majority's decision making is confined to choosing among selective number of elites within tightly controlled elective process. It is a form of consensual domination made possible by the structural domination of the global capital which allowed concentration of political powers.

A republic is SUBORDINATE to democracy. Polyarchy can't be subordinated to any form of Democracy. 2 hours ago Is the author, to use an English term, daft? Tulsi Gabbard won't get out of the primaries, much less defeat Sanders or Biden. Farage achieved his goal (Brexit), then found out (SHOCK!) that the will of the people doesn't mean anything anymore.

If Luongo had wanted to talk about the people's uprising, he should've mentioned the Tea Party. 3 hours ago Gabbard appears to have some moral fibre and half a backbone, at least for a politician, regardless of their views, Farage is a slimy charlatan opportunistic populist shill 3 hours ago (Edited) I like Tulsi Gabbard on MIC stuff (and as a surfer in my youth - still dream about that almost endless pipeline at Jeffreys Bay in August), but...

On everything else?

She votes along party lines no matter what bollocks legislation the Democrats put in front of Congress. And anyone standing full-square behind Saunders on his socialist/marxist agenda?

Do me a favour. 1 hour ago (Edited) Farage left because he saw what UKIP was becoming...a zionazi party.

Also Gabbard is a CFR member. 3 hours ago Gold, Goats and Guns? Certainly not guns under President Gabbard! Here's her idea of "common sense gun control:"

https://www.votetulsi.com/node/25028

I'm totally against warmongering, but I have to ask - what good is it to stop foreign warmongering, only to turn around and incite civil war here by further raping the 2nd Amendment? The CFR ties are disturbing as hell, too. And to compare Gabbard to Ron Paul? No, just...no! 3 hours ago Always been a fan of Bernie, but I hope Gabbard becomes president. The world would breathe a huge sigh of relief (before the assassination). 4 hours ago By this time in his 1st term, Obama had started the US Wars in Syria and Libya and has restarted the Iraq War.

Thus far Trump has ended the War in Syria, pledged not to get us dragged into Libya's civil wars and started a peace process with North Korea.

Venezuela and Iran look scary. We don't know what Gabbard would actually do when faced with the same events. Obama talked peace too.

[May 16, 2019] Warren can steal considerbale chunk of Trump 2016 voters

May 16, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Warren (D)(1): "Trump backers applaud Warren in heart of MAGA country" [ Politico ]. West Virginia: "It was a startling spectacle in the heart of Trump country: At least a dozen supporters of the president -- some wearing MAGA stickers -- nodding their heads, at times even clapping, for liberal firebrand Elizabeth Warren . LeeAnn Blankenship, a 38-year-old coach and supervisor at a home visitation company who grew up in Kermit and wore a sharp pink suit, said she may now support Warren in 2020 after voting for Trump in 2016.

'She's a good ol' country girl like anyone else,' she said of Warren, who grew up in Oklahoma. 'She's earned where she is, it wasn't given to her. I respect that.'"

Also: "The 63-year-old fire chief, Wilburn 'Tommy' Preece, warned Warren and her team beforehand that the area was 'Trump country' and to not necessarily expect a friendly reception. But he also told her that the town would welcome anyone, of any party, who wanted to address the opioid crisis ." ( More on West Virginia in 2018 .

Best part is a WaPo headline: "Bernie Sanders Supporter Attends Every DNC Rule Change Meeting. DNC Member Calls Her a Russian Plant." • Lol. I've been saying "lol" a lot, lately.)

Warren (D)(2): "Our military can help lead the fight in combating climate change" [Elizabeth Warren, Medium ]. "In short, climate change is real, it is worsening by the day, and it is undermining our military readiness. And instead of meeting this threat head-on, Washington is ignoring it  --  and making it worse . That's why today I am introducing my Defense Climate Resiliency and Readiness Act to harden the U.S. military against the threat posed by climate change, and to leverage its huge energy footprint as part of our climate solution.

It starts with an ambitious goal: consistent with the objectives of the Green New Deal, the Pentagon should achieve net zero carbon emissions for all its non-combat bases and infrastructure by 2030 .. We don't have to choose between a green military and an effective one . Together, we can work with our military to fight climate change  --  and win." • On the one hand, the Pentagon's energy footprint is huge, and it's a good idea to do something about that. On the other, putting solar panels on every tank that went into Iraq Well, there are larger questions to be asked. A lot of dunking on Warren about this. It might play in the heartland, though.

[May 15, 2019] Warren does have some sound ideas about taming the financial oligarchy, but she is completly incompetent in foreign policy, where she is undistinguishable from other establishment Democrats

Her call for impeachment procedures is a blunder. She is trying to play the dominant mood of the Dems crowd, not understanding that in this case Biden will be the winner.
Notable quotes:
"... Beto O'Rourke, the rich-kid airhead who declared shortly before the Mueller report was released that Trump, "beyond the shadow of a doubt, sought to collude with the Russian government," will not fare much better. ..."
"... Sen. Elizabeth Warren meanwhile seems to be tripping over her own two feet as she predicts one moment that Trump is heading to jail , declares the next that voters don't care about the Mueller report because they're too concerned with bread-and-butter issues, and then calls for dragging Congress into the impeachment morass regardless. ..."
May 14, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Originally from: Russia-gate’s Monstrous Offspring by Daniel Lazare

Besides Fox News – whose ratings have soared while Russia-obsessed CNN’s have plummeted – the chief beneficiary is Trump. Post-Mueller, the man has the wind in his sails. Come 2020, Sen. Bernie Sanders could cut through his phony populism with ease. But if Jeff Bezos’s Washington Post succeeds in tarring him with Russia the same way it tried to tar Trump, then the Democratic nominee will be a bland centrist whom the incumbent will happily bludgeon.

Former Vice President Joe Biden – the John McCain-loving, speech-slurring, child-fondler who was for a wall along the Mexican border before he was against it – will end up as a bug splat on the Orange One’s windshield.

Beto O'Rourke, the rich-kid airhead who declared shortly before the Mueller report was released that Trump, "beyond the shadow of a doubt, sought to collude with the Russian government," will not fare much better.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren meanwhile seems to be tripping over her own two feet as she predicts one moment that Trump is heading to jail , declares the next that voters don't care about the Mueller report because they're too concerned with bread-and-butter issues, and then calls for dragging Congress into the impeachment morass regardless.

Such "logic" is lost on voters, so it seems to be a safe bet that enough will stay home next Election Day to allow the rough beast to slouch towards Bethlehem yet again.

[May 15, 2019] Bernie Sanders on trade with China, health care and student debt

Good domestic policy suggestions and debate skills. Horrible understanding of foreign policy (he completely subscribes to the Russiagate hoax)
His capitulation to Hillary in 2016 still linger behind his back despite all bravado. he betrayed his followers, many of who put money of this while being far from rich. he betrayed them all. As such he does not deserve to run.
Warren and Tulsi are definitely better options then Sanders for 2020.
May 07, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., became a household name in 2016 when he ran a progressive campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination -- and came close to securing it. He's back in the 2020 race, but this time up against more than 20 other candidates. Sanders sits down with Judy Woodruff to discuss trade with China, health care, student debt, Russian election interference and more.

[May 14, 2019] The Guardian summary of the day

May 14, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

4.56pm EDT 16:56

Here's a summary of the day thus far: Donald Trump praised attorney general William Barr for opening what appears to be a broad investigation of the Russia counterespionage investigation that swept up the Trump campaign. Barr appointed a US attorney to lead the inquiry and reportedly has got the CIA and DNI involved.

Senator Elizabeth Warren took a "hard pass" on an offer to do a Fox News town hall event, calling the network "hate-for-profit".

[May 14, 2019] Cory Booker Compares Elizabeth Warren to Trump

Warren definitely have the courage to put forward those important proposals. Lobbyists like Cory Booker of course attack them.
Notable quotes:
"... It's called Anti-Trust laws not her "opinions"... ..."
"... Let's be honest, Booker isn't fit to shine Warren's shoes! I wonder if Cory's ass is jealous of all the shit that just came out of his mouth!! SMDH ..."
"... CB bought and paid for by drug companies. Of course he doesn't like Warren. But ask him about Americans right to free speech and he puts after the needs of any foriegn country ..."
"... He who looks like a slick bouncer for the big money monopolies, is looking to get a piece of it ..."
May 14, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Marduk of Nexus , 55 seconds ago

I knew the establishment Dems would fight against the progressives, but this is so blatant...

TheBreaker OfWalls , 1 minute ago

It's called Anti-Trust laws not her "opinions"...

Ronn Thomason , 2 minutes ago

Let's be honest, Booker isn't fit to shine Warren's shoes! I wonder if Cory's ass is jealous of all the shit that just came out of his mouth!! SMDH

molson12oz , 11 minutes ago

Cory- .Most Americans will NOT think you are Presidential Caliber.Where's the MONEY coming from? Small donor contributions? I don't even think you'll get the Black & hispanic vote.Why do this?

You are stealing the votes from way more qualified candidates. Bad idea if you want to have Democratic POTUS in 2020

BRIAN , 11 minutes ago (edited)

CB bought and paid for by drug companies. Of course he doesn't like Warren. But ask him about Americans right to free speech and he puts after the needs of any foriegn country

Scott Price , 12 minutes ago

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren need to form a Democratic ticket.

William MARDER , 15 minutes ago

He who looks like a slick bouncer for the big money monopolies, is looking to get a piece of it

Mitchel Evans , 16 minutes ago

After that Trump remark, Cory can bite my butt. Whatever disagreements I may have with Warren, she has some very daring, intelligent, and discussion-worthy policies. We need her in the next administration, whether as potus or in the cabinet. Sheesh, Cory, burn your bridges, sir.

Pierre Lefrançois , 18 minutes ago

Don't worry about C Booker, he's a light weight with talking points and no virtuous convictions.

Peter Krug , 23 minutes ago

Cory Booker is a lot more like Trump than Elizabeth Warren is.

[May 11, 2019] Is Warren's college plan progressive -- Crooked Timber

Notable quotes:
"... It's not obvious to me that universal access to college education is a progressive goal. ..."
"... I think it is extremely important to understand where Warren is coming from on this. Warren initially became active in politics because she recognized the pernicious nature of debt and the impact it had on well-being. I ..."
"... Warren's emphasis in this particular initiative, it seems to me, is to alleviate debt so that individuals can pursue more advanced functionings/capabilities. ..."
"... The more a college degree is the norm, the worse things are for people without one. Making it easier to get a college degree increases the degree to which its the norm, and will almost inevitably have the same impact on the value of a college degree as the growth in high-school attendance (noted by Sam Tobin-Hochstadt above) had on the value of a high school degree. ..."
"... The debate on this subject strikes me as misguided because it says nothing about what students learn. A good high school education should be enough to prepare young people for most kinds of work. In most jobs, even those allegedly requiring college degrees, the way people learn most of what they need to know is through on the job training. Many high school graduates have not received a good education, though, and go to college as, in effect, remedial high school. ..."
May 11, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

Is Warren's college plan progressive?

by Harry on May 6, 2019 Ganesh Sitaraman argues in the Garun that, contrary to appearances, and contrary to the criticism that it has earned, Elizabeth Warren's college plan really is progressive, because it is funded by taxation that comes exclusively from a wealth tax on those with more than $50 million in assets. Its progressive, he says, because it redistributes down. In some technical sense perhaps he's right.

But this, quite odd, argument caught my eye:

But the critics at times also suggest that if any significant amount of benefits go to middle-class or upper-middle class people, then the plan is also not progressive. This is where things get confusing. The critics can't mean this in a specific sense because the plan is, as I have said, extremely progressive in the distribution of costs. They must mean that for any policy to be progressive that it must benefit the poor and working class more than it benefits the middle and upper classes. T his is a bizarre and, I think, fundamentally incorrect use of the term progressive .

The logic of the critics' position is that public investments in programs that help everyone, including middle- and upper-class people, aren't progressive. This means that the critics would have to oppose public parks and public K-12 education, public swimming pools and public basketball courts, even public libraries. These are all public options that offer universal access at a low (or free) price to everyone.

But the problem isn't that the wealthy get to benefit from tuition free college. I don't think anyone objects to that. Rather, the more affluent someone is, on average, the more they benefit from the plan. This is a general feature of tuition-free college plans and it is built into the design. Sandy Baum and Sarah Turner explain:

But in general, the plans make up the difference between financial aid -- such as the Pell Grant and need-based aid provided by states -- and the published price of public colleges. This means the largest rewards go to students who do not qualify for financial aid. In plans that include four-year colleges, the largest benefits go to students at the most expensive four-year institutions. Such schools enroll a greater proportion of well-heeled students, who have had better opportunities at the K-12 level than their peers at either two-year colleges or less-selective four-year schools. (Flagship institutions have more resources per student, too.) .

For a clearer picture of how regressive these policies are, consider how net tuition -- again, that's what most free-tuition plans cover -- varies among students at different income levels at four-year institutions. For those with incomes less than $35,000, average net tuition was $2,300 in 2015-16; for students from families with incomes between $35,000 and $70,000, it was $4,800; for those between $70,000 and $120,000, it was $8,100; and finally, for families with incomes higher than $120,000, it was more than $11,000. (These figures don't include living expenses.)

Many low-income students receive enough aid from sources like the Pell Grant to cover their tuition and fees. At community colleges nationally, for example, among students from families with incomes less than $35,000, 81 percent already pay no net tuition after accounting for federal, state and institutional grant aid, according to survey data for 2015-16. At four-year publics, almost 60 percent of these low-income students pay nothing.

... ...

.


Mike Huben 05.06.19 at 1:16 pm ( 1 )

If you take progressivism to mean "improvement of society by reform", Warren's plan is clearly progressive. It reduces the pie going to the rich, greatly improves the lot of students who are less than rich, and doesn't harm the poor.

Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

nastywoman 05.06.19 at 1:37 pm ( 2 )
@
"Is Warren's college plan progressive"?

Who cares – as long as this plan -(and hopefully an even more extended plan) puts an end to a big part of the insanity of the (stupid and greedy) US education system?

In other words – let's call it "conservative" that might help to have it passed!

Trader Joe 05.06.19 at 1:49 pm ( 3 )
The difficulty with the plan as proposed is not whether it is progressive or not but that it targets the wrong behavior – borrowing for education. If the goal is to make education more accessible – subsidize the university directly to either facilitate point of admission grants in the first place or simply bring down tuition cost to all attendees.

Under this proposal (assuming one thinks Warren would win and it could get passed) the maximizing strategy is to borrow as much as one possibly can with the hope/expectation that it would ultimately be forgiven. If that's the "right" strategy, then it would benefit those with the greatest borrowing capacity which most certainly is not students from low income families but is in fact families which could probably pay most of the cost themselves but would choose not to in order to capture a benefit they couldn't access directly by virtue of being 'too rich' for grants or other direct aid.

L2P 05.06.19 at 1:50 pm ( 4 )
"Rather, the more affluent someone is, on average, the more they benefit from the plan. "

This doesn't seem like a fair description of what's going on. If Starbucks gives a free muffin to everyone who buys a latte, it's theoretically helping the rich more than the poor under this way of looking at things. The rich can afford the muffin; the poor can't. So the rich will get more free muffins. But the rich don't give a crap. They can easily just buy the damn muffin in the first place. They're not really being helped, because the whole damn system helps them already. They're just about as well off with or without the free muffin.

Same here. My kid's going to Stanford. I'm effin rich and I don't give a crap about financial aid. If it was free I'd have an extra 75k a year, but how many Tesla's do I need really? How many houses in Hawaii do I need? But when I was a kid I was lower middle class. I didn't even apply to Stanford because it was just too much. Yeah, I could have gone rotc or gotten aid, but my parents just couldn't bust out their contribution. Stanford just wasn't in the cards. And Stanford's a terrible example, it had needs blind admissions and can afford to just give money away if it wants.

This sort of analysis is one step above bullshit.

bianca steele 05.06.19 at 2:02 pm ( 5 )
I don't understand the fear, in certain areas of what's apparently the left, of giving benefits to people in the middle of the income/wealth curve.

The expansion of the term "middle class" doesn't help with this, nor does the expansion of education. These debates often sound as if some of the participants think of "middle class" as the children of physicians and attorneys, who moreover are compensated the way they were in the 1950s.

The ability to switch between "it's reasonable to have 100% college attendance within 5 years from now" and "of course college is only for the elite classes" is not reassuring to the average more or less educated observer (who may or may not be satisfied, depending on temperament and so on, with the answer that of course such matters are above her head).

Ben 05.06.19 at 2:12 pm ( 7 )
The actual plan is for free tuition at public colleges. So not "the most expensive four-year institutions" that Baum and Turner discuss. [HB: they're referring to the most expensive 4-year public institutions]

There's also expanded support for non-tuition expenses, means-tested debt cancellation, and a fund for historically black universities, all of which make the plan more progressive. And beyond that, I could argue that, for lower-income students on the margin of being able to attend and complete school, we should count not only the direct financial aid granted, but also the lifetime benefits of the education the aid enables. But suffice it to say, I think you're attacking a caricature.

Dave 05.06.19 at 2:17 pm ( 9 )
the college plan does not actually offer 'universal access'

Given that something like one third of Americans gets a college degree, Warren's plan seems good enough. It's not obvious to me that universal access to college education is a progressive goal.

Michael Glassman 05.06.19 at 3:46 pm ( 16 )
I think it is extremely important to understand where Warren is coming from on this. Warren initially became active in politics because she recognized the pernicious nature of debt and the impact it had on well-being. If you are trying to get out from under the burden of debt your capabilities for flourishing are severely restricted, and these restrictions can easily become generational. One of the more difficult debts that people are facing are student debts. This was made especially difficult by the 2005 bankruptcy bill which made it close to impossible for individuals to get out from under student debt by entering in to Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Warren's emphasis in this particular initiative, it seems to me, is to alleviate debt so that individuals can pursue more advanced functionings/capabilities. So if you think that the definition of progressive is creating situations where more individuals in a society are given greater opportunities for flourishing then the plan does strike me as progressive (an Aristotelian interpretation of Dewey such as promoted by Nussbaum might fall in this direction). There is another issue however that might be closer to the idea of helping those from lowest social strata, something that is not being discussed near enough. Internet technologies helped to promote online for profit universities which has (and I suppose continues to) prey and those most desperate to escape poverty with limited resources. The largest part of their organizations are administrators who help students to secure loans with promises of high paying jobs once they complete their degrees. These places really do prey on the most vulnerable (homeless youth for instance) and they bait individuals with hope in to incurring extremely high debt. The loan companies are fine with this I am guess because of the bankruptcy act (they can follow them for life). This is also not regulated (I think you can thank Kaplan/Washington Post for that). Warren's initiative would help them get out from under debt immediately and kick start their life.

I agree k-12 is more important, but it is also far more complicated. This plan is like a shot of adrenaline into the social blood stream and it might not even be necessary in a few years. I think it dangerous to make the good the enemy or the perfect, or the perfect the critic of the good.

nastywoman 05.06.19 at 5:28 pm ( 22 )
– and how cynical does one have to be – to redefine a plan canceling the vast majority of outstanding student loan debt – as some kind of ("NON-progressive") present for "the rich"?
Sam Tobin-Hochstadt 05.06.19 at 5:59 pm ( 25 )
I think this work by Susan Dynarski and others really makes the case that reducing price will change access and populations significantly: https://www.chronicle.com/article/How-U-of-Michigan-Appealed-to/245294

But even apart from that, the argument of the post seems like it would suggest that many things that we currently fund publicly are not progressive in a problematic way. Everything from arts to national parks to math research "benefits" the rich more than the poor. There's possibly a case that public provision of these goods is problematic when we as a society could spend that money on those who are more disadvantaged. But that's a very strong claim and implicates far more than free college.

Finally, it's worth comparing the previous major expansion of education in the US. The point at which high school attendance was as widespread as college attendance is now (about 70% of high school graduates enroll in college of some form right away) was around 1930, well after universal free high school was available. I think moving to universal free college is an important step to raise those rates, just as free high school was.

Leo Casey 05.06.19 at 7:31 pm ( 29 )
It strikes me that the argument made here against a universal program of tuition free college is not all that different than an argument made against social security -- that the benefits go disproportionately to middle class and professional class individuals. Since in the case of Social Security, one has to be in gainfully employed to participate and one's benefits are, up to a cap, based on one's contributions, middle class and professional class individuals receive greater benefits. Poor individuals, including those who have not been employed for long periods of time, receive less benefits. (There are quirks in this 10 second summary, such as disability benefits, but not so much as to alter this basic functioning.)

Every now and again, there are proposals to "means test" social security, using this functioning as the reasoning. A couple of points are worth considering.

First, it is the universality of social security that makes it a political 'third rail,' such that no matter how it would like to do away with such a 'socialist' program, the GOP never acts on proposals to privatize it, even when they have the Presidency and the majorities that would allow it to get through Congress. The universality thus provides a vital security to the benefits that poor and working people receive from the program, since it makes it politically impossible to take it away. Since social security is often the only pension that many poor and working people get (unlike middle class and professional class individuals who have other sources of retirement income), the loss of it would be far more devastating to them. There is an important way, therefore, that they are served by the current configuration of the system, even given its skewing.

Second, and following from the above, it is important to recognize that the great bulk of proposals to "means test" Social Security come from the libertarian right, not the left, and that they are designed to undercut the support for Social Security, in order to make its privatization politically viable.

Most colleges and universities "means test" financial aid for their students, which is one of the reasons why it is generally inadequate and heavily weighted toward loans as opposed to grants. I think it is a fair generalization of American social welfare experience history to say that "means tested" programs are both more vulnerable politically (think of the Reagan 'welfare queen' narrative) and more poorly funded than universal programs.

There are additional argument about the skewing of Social Security benefits, such as the fact that they go disproportionately to the elderly, while those currently living in poverty are disproportionately children. This argument mistakes the positive effects of the program -- before Social Security and Medicare the elderly were the most impoverished -- for an inegalitarian design element.

The solution to the fact that children bear the brunt of poverty in the US is not to undermine the program that has lifted the elderly out of poverty but to institute programs that address the problem of childhood poverty. Universal quality day care, for example, provides the greatest immediate economic benefits to middle class and professional class families who are now paying for such services, but it provides poor and working class kids with an education 'head start' that would otherwise go only to the children of those families that could afford to pay for it. And insofar as day care is provided, it makes it easier for poor and working class parents (often in one parent households) to obtain decent employment.

So the failings of universal programs are best addressed, I would argue, by filling in the gaps with more universal programs, not 'means testing' them.

To the extent that Warren's 'free tuition' proposal addresses only some of the financial disadvantages of poor and working people obtaining a college education, the response should not be "oh, this is not progressive," but what do we do to address the other issues, such as living expenses. It is not as if there are no models on how to do this. All we need to do is look at Nordic countries that provide post-secondary students both free tuition and living expenses.

christian h. 05.06.19 at 9:15 pm ( 31 )
Having grown up and gone to university in Germany it is simply incomprehensible to me that there is tuition supporters on the political left in the U.S. It's true that free college isn't universal in the same sense free K-12 education is. But neither are libraries (they exclude those who are functionally illiterate completely, and their services surely go mostly to upper middle class people who have opportunity and education to read regularly), for example. Neither are roads – the poor overwhelmingly live in inner cities, often take public transport – it's middle class suburbanites that mostly profit. Speaking of public transport, I assume Henry opposes rail; it is very middle class, the poor use buses. (The last argument actually has considerable traction in Los Angeles, it's not completely far fetched.)
SamChevre 05.06.19 at 11:57 pm ( 40 )
I agree that Warren's free college and debt forgiveness plans would not be very progressive, but I'd propose that I think the dynamic mechanism built in would make it worse than a static analysis shows.

(Note that most of my siblings and in-laws do not have college degrees; this perspective is based on my own observations.)

The more a college degree is the norm, the worse things are for people without one. Making it easier to get a college degree increases the degree to which its the norm, and will almost inevitably have the same impact on the value of a college degree as the growth in high-school attendance (noted by Sam Tobin-Hochstadt above) had on the value of a high school degree. (We're already seeing this: many positions that used to require a college degree now require a specific degree, or a masters degree.) This will increase age discrimination, and further worsen the position of the people for whom college is unattractive for reasons other than money.

To give a particular example of a mechanism (idiosyncratic, but one I know specifically). Until a couple decades ago, getting a KY electrician's license required 4 years experience under a licensed electrician, and passing the code test. Then the system changed; now it requires a 2-year degree and 2 years experience, OR 8 years experience. This was great for colleges. The working electricians don't think the new electricians are better prepared as they used to be, but all of a sudden people who don't find sitting in a classroom for an additional 2 years attractive are hugely disadvantaged. Another example would be nursing licenses; talk to any older LPN and you'll get an earful about how LPN's are devalued as RNs and BSNs have become the norm.

Dr. Hilarius 05.07.19 at 12:39 am ( 42 )
I suspect tuition reform will be complex, difficult and subject to gaming. Being simple minded I offer an inadequate but simple palliative. Make student loan debt dischargeable in bankruptcy. You can max out your credit cards on cars, clothes, booze or whatever and be able to discharge these debts but not for higher education. The inability to even threaten bankruptcy gives all the power to collection companies. Students have no leverage at all. The threat of bankruptcy would allow for negotiated reductions in principal as well as payments.

Bankruptcy does carry a lot of negative consequences so it would offset the likely objections about moral hazards, blah, blah. I would also favor an additional method of discharging student debt. If your debt is to a for-profit school that can't meet some minimum standards for student employment in their field of study then total discharge without the need for bankruptcy. For-profit vocational schools intensively target low income and minority students without providing significant value for money.

John Quiggin 05.07.19 at 1:44 am ( 44 )
Progressivity looks much better if the program sticks to free community college, at least until there is universal access to 4-year schools. That's what Tennessee did (IIRC the only example that is actually operational).
Gabriel 05.07.19 at 3:03 am ( 47 )
Harry: it doesn't seem as if you responded to my comment. I'll try again.

1. A policy is progressive if it is redistributive.
2. Warren's plan is redistributive.
3. Thus, Warren's plan is progressive.

Comments about how effective the redistribution is are fine, but to claim a non-ideal distribution framework invalidates the program's claims to being progressive seems spurious. And I don't think this definition of progressive is somehow wildly ideosyncratic.

Nia Psaka 05.07.19 at 4:01 am ( 48 )
To whine that free college is somehow not progressive because not everyone will go to college is a ridiculous argument, one of those supposedly-left-but-actually-right arguments that I get so tired of. To assume that the class makeup of matriculators will be unchanged with free college is to discount knock-on effects. This is a weird, weird post. I guess I'm going back to ignoring this site.
Kurt Schuler 05.07.19 at 4:04 am ( 49 )
The debate on this subject strikes me as misguided because it says nothing about what students learn. A good high school education should be enough to prepare young people for most kinds of work. In most jobs, even those allegedly requiring college degrees, the way people learn most of what they need to know is through on the job training. Many high school graduates have not received a good education, though, and go to college as, in effect, remedial high school.

Readers who attended an average American high school, as I did long ago, will know that there are certain students, especially boys, who are itching to be done with school. It is far more productive to give them a decent high school education and have them start working than to tell them they need another two to four years of what to them is pointless rigamarole.

Rather than extending the years of education, I would reduce the high school graduation age to 17 and reduce summer vacations by four weeks, so that a 17 year old would graduate with as many weeks of schooling as an 18 year old now. (Teachers would get correspondingly higher pay, which should make them happy.)

Harry Truman never went to college. John Major became a banker and later prime minister of Britain without doing so. Neither performed noticeably worse than their college-educated peers. If a college education is not necessary to rise to the highest office in the land, why is it necessary for lesser employment except in a few specialized areas?

An experiment that I would like to see tried is to bring back the federal civil service exam, allowing applicants without college degrees who score high enough to enter U.S. government jobs currently reserved for those with college degrees.

[May 09, 2019] Secret Right-Wing Elizabeth Warren Crush

May 09, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

I would love to have a social conservative who was as red-hot on the abuse of corporate power as she is. Of course there's no way she would ever win the Democratic nomination if she were a social conservative, nor would she be a US Senator from Massachusetts.

Back in 2011, when she announced for the Massachusetts Senate race on an anti-big business platform, I wrote in this space that she was "a Democrat I could vote for." In 2014, observing how far gone she is on cultural leftism, I lamented that I wanted so bad for her to be good -- but hey, you can't always get what you want.

The Week 's Matthew Walther recently wrote a piece praising her from the Right as a "forgotten reactionary." Excerpt:

Warren's vision of human flourishing is fundamentally a conservative one -- or at least it would be if the family were still at the center of the conservative conception of politics. What she argues for is the right of families to thrive, not be the slave of financial interests, corporate power, housing monopolies, the educational establishment, or any other external force. She believes, radically, alas, in 2018, that we all have a right to food, water, housing, education, and medical care. The idea that hard-working Americans should be able to raise their children in comfort and with a sense of dignity is not, or at least should not be, the exclusive purview of any one politician or party. The fact that Warren very frequently does seem to be among the only elected officials in this country who both affirms these things and has taken the trouble to think carefully about them is a reminder that the centrism rejected by her and fellow travelers on the left and the right alike is not only noxious but omnipresent.

Warren's economic vision of human flourishing -- that is, the economic conditions she believes must be in place for people to flourish -- is fundamentally conservative, in an older, more organic sense. Old-fashioned Catholic reactionaries understand exactly what she's talking about, and so would the kind of Christian conservatives who read Wendell Berry and Crunchy Cons (which, alas, came out about 13 years too early).

Lo, Fox News star Tucker Carlson riled up the Right the other night with his tour de force criticism of right-wing free market orthodoxies (among other things).

Last night, he praised Elizabeth Warren for having written a 2003 book about how the US economy traps families. He points out that in her book, Warren made an economic case that the mass entry of women into the workplace has been a financial disaster for families. More:

Elizabeth Warren said that out loud. Nobody seemed to mind. She'd never say that today. It's not allowed like so much else that is true and important. She can't talk about the things that she believed 10 years ago. No modern Democrat can.

Can Republicans? In a follow-up column, Matthew Walther thinks they should, and that Tucker Carlson's commentaries so far this year have been galvanizing. More:

If anyone had suggested to me five years ago that the most incisive public critic of capitalism in the United States would be Tucker Carlson, I would have smiled blandly and mentioned an imaginary appointment I was late for. But that is exactly what the Fox News host revealed himself to be last week with an extraordinary monologue about the state of American conservative thinking. In 15 minutes he denounced the obsession with GDP, the tolerance of payday lending and other financial pathologies, the fetishization of technology, the guru-like worship of CEOs, and the indifference to the anxieties and pathologies of the poor and the vulnerable characteristic of both of our major political parties. It was a masterpiece of political rhetoric. He ended by calling upon the GOP to re-examine its attitude towards the free market.

Carlson's monologue is valuable because unlike so many progressive critics of our social and economic order he has gone beyond the question of the inequitable distribution of wealth to the more important one about the nature of late capitalist consumer culture and the inherently degrading effects it has had on our society. The GOP's blinkered inability to see beyond the specifications of the new iPhone or the latest video game or the infinite variety of streaming entertainment and Chinese plastic to the spiritual poverty of suicide and drug abuse is shared with the Democratic Socialists of America, whose vision of authentic human flourishing seems to be a boutique eco-friendly version of our present consumer society. This is lipstick on a pig.

And:

It is difficult for me to understand exactly why conservatives have come around to their present uncritical attitude toward unbridled capitalism. It cannot be for electoral reasons. Survey after survey reveals that a vast majority of the American people hold views that would be described as socially conservative and economically moderate to progressive. A presidential candidate who spoke capably to both of these sets of concerns would be the greatest political force in three generations.

The answer is that for conservatives the market has become a cult. No book better explains the appeal of classical liberal economics than The Golden Bough , Sir James Frazer's history of magic. Frazer identified certain immutable principles that have governed magical thinking throughout the ages. Among these is the imitative principle according to which a favorable outcome is obtained by mimicry -- the endless chants of entrepreneurship, vague nonsense about charter schools, calls for tax cuts for people who don't make enough money to benefit from them. There also is taboo, the primitive assumption that by not speaking the name of a thing, the thing itself will be thereby be exorcised. This is one reason that any attempt to criticize the current consensus is met with whingeing about "socialism." This catch-all talisman is meant to protect against everything from the Cultural Revolution to modest restrictions on overdraft fees imposed at the behest of consultants.

Read the whole thing.


Haigha January 9, 2019 at 9:34 am

"In the real world you are going to have to keep companies from getting too powerful if you want a free(ish) market."

"So, is it possible that in this everything-can-be-bought-and-sold culture that the massive corporations made the very rational choice to buy themselves a government?"

... ... ...

Franklin Evans , says: January 9, 2019 at 12:22 pm
Noah makes an excellent point about the differences between public- and private-sector unions and collective bargaining units. I would personally add that public-sector unions would never have been necessary if governments were not run under the same philosophy as private-sector employers: minimize the cost of employees by any means possible. I've always held that regardless of any definition of necessity, public-sector unionization was and remains a bad idea.

I also don't know of a better alternative. Sometimes it's the evil you must handle, rather than the lesser of two evils.

As for the shifts in the socio-economic realities, there's a necessary categorization necessary when discussing women in the workforce. I offer these broad categories which are likely arguable. It's a starting point, not a line in the sand.

Families at or below the poverty line: when you control for the benefits of a stay-at-home parent, these families only ever had one option to get above the poverty line enough to no longer need public assistance, and that was a second income. The entire motivation for minimum wage, stable work hours and such was an attempt to mitigate the need for a second income. It gets politicized and complicated from there, partially for good reasons, but unless you look at a given family's income limitations before criticizing the woman's working instead of being at home, you are ignoring the consequences of poverty, which cannot be mitigated by parenting.

The woman has a higher income potential: it started well before the employment argument, as in decades previous women were "permitted" to attain higher education in skill and content areas beyond nursing and teaching. One reaction to that, an analysis conclusion I arrive at personally, was to routinely discriminate against female employees in both compensation and promotion. The prevailing "wisdom" (again, my personal POV) was that women are going to get pregnant anyway, why encourage them away from that? If the only disparity in compensation was for unpaid leave due to pregnancy and childbirth, you might have avoided a large part of the feminist revolution.

The broad mix of "women belong in " arguments based on some moral construct (religious or other): this is where the feminist revolution was inevitable. It comes down to personal agency and choice. I have an Orthodox Jewish relative whose wife fully, happily and creatively embraces her religiously mandated role. She's very intelligent, an erudite writer and speaker, and is as much a pillar of her community as any male in it. We should avoid extreme examples like Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun, but her plight without fatal consequences is precisely what many women face, and want to escape. Feminism simply states that such women have the right to make that different choice, and the power the men of their community have over them is a denial of a human right.

I'm sure other broad categories need to be described. I'll leave this before it gets beyond being too long.

Gertrude , says: January 9, 2019 at 1:12 pm
@kgasmart "I defy Elizabeth Warren, or any other prominent lefty, to publicly restate her thesis that the entry of women into the workforce has ultimately harmed the family.

Imagine the furious tweetstorms. How dare she suggests it's been anything but wonderful for women themselves – and thus, for society as a whole. Evidence to the contrary be damned as 'hateful,' of course."

You don't understand the left. And no, having once been in favor of SSM doesn't mean you understand the left. I and many others will happily say the following: "Society was not prepared for the mass entry of women into the workplace. Childcare suffered, work-life balance suffered, male-female relations suffered."

The problem here is that we follow that up with: "The problem was not women having basic aspirations to the dignity and relative economic security work offers. The problem was a government captured by the rich who don't understand what policy for families that can't afford nannies would look like. The problem was also a social structure which valued families less than it valued proscribed gender roles. Time to chart a different course."

Trust me, feminists talk all the time about how much harder it is to have a family these days. We just don't think the problem exists because women selfishly wanted basic economic security.

KD , says: January 9, 2019 at 2:24 pm
Warren is a smart, informed academic with some solid views on economic issues.

On the other hand, she is a terrible politician, and not suited for high executive office. She lacks gravitas and has no intuition for the optics of what she does, going from gaffe to gaffe. She'd be chewed up and spit out before she became a contender.

While I think HRC had terrible ideas, I never questioned her capacity to project authority and credibility, that is, "act presidential". In contrast, Obama's dork factor got him in trouble on a number of occasions (although his "communist salute" stands out), and Warren is many times more a dork than Obama.

Zgler , says: January 9, 2019 at 3:28 pm
"I confess I have never understood her appeal. She is the very model of a useless New England scold, constantly seeking to regulate just about everything. There is almost no problem that more government, more regulation – usually with no oversight – cannot fix. No, thank you."

This sounds like someone who has not researched Warren's writings and positions

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_positions_of_Elizabeth_Warren

and just does not like her style (i.e. New England Scold). I think her style, which would be fine in a man (e.g. who is a scold if not Bernie) will primary her out.

Hector_St_Clare , says: January 9, 2019 at 4:29 pm
The market is not a Platonic deity, floating in the sky and imposing goodness and prosperity from on high. It is the creation of our choices, our laws, and our democratic process. We know, for instance, that pornography has radically altered how young boys perceive their relationships with women and sex, and that the pornography industry has acquired a lot of wealth in the process of creating and distributing that content. Just last month, we learned that a Chinese entity created the first gene-edited baby, using a technology developed in the United States. Some company, here or there, will eventually create a lot of prosperity by using this gene-editing technology (called CRISPR) in an unethical way, quite literally playing God with the most sacred power in the universe -- the creation of human life. In the past few years, it has become abundantly clear that Apple -- despite self-righteously refusing to cooperate with American security officials -- has willingly complied with the requirements of the Chinese surveillance state, even as China builds concentration camps for dissidents and religious minorities. And, as Carlson mentioned, there are marijuana companies pushing for legalization, though we know from the Colorado experience that legalization increases use, and from other studies that use is concentrated among the lower class, causing a host of social problems in the process.

I'm an anti-capitalist so of course I'd agree with JD Vance that there's no good reason to trust the free market or the owners of capitalist enterprises. Nonetheless, I can't join him in his specific criticisms of free markets here, and I think this kind of underscores the difficulties there may be in building bridges between social conservatives and social liberals. Bridges can certainly be built, for sure, but it will take some work and some painful compromises, and this is a good example of why: several of the things that JD Vance points to as examples of free markets gone wrong, are things that I'd say are good things, not bad ones.

I'm not going to defend pornography (although I'm not particularly going to criticize it that much either: while I distrust conservative / orthodox Christian sexual ethics, I don't really care about pornography per se and would be happy if the more violent / weird / disturbing stuff was banned). Gene editing of humans though strikes me as a clearly good thing: why wouldn't we want our species to be more peaceful, better looking, more pro-social and more healthy? And why wouldn't we, at the margins, want to raise people who might otherwise be born with serious physical or mental handicaps to be 'fixed'? I have a lot of fears for the future of the world, but the idea that gene editing of our species might become commonplace is one of the things that makes me hopeful. I also think it's a good thing that tech companies are cooperating with the Chinese state: not because I like China and its government, particularly, but because I believe strongly in the sovereign nation state and in the right of national governments to decide how foreign companies are going to behave on their territory. I'd much rather a world in which companies in China are constrained by the Chinese state than one in which they're constrained by no rules at all other than their own will. Finally, the legalization of marijuana and other soft drugs seems to me to be a good thing as well.

I'm sure that JD Vance and I can come to lots of agreement over other issues, but I did want to point out there may be stumbling blocks over social issues as well- precisely because these issues do matter. They don't matter as much as the economic issues, but they do matter somewhat.

EarlyBird , says: January 9, 2019 at 4:37 pm
All of these critiques of capitalism from social conservatives hews exactly to the platform of a tiny little party, the American Solidarity Party:

https://solidarity-party.org/

Among the planks in their platform:

"We believe that family, local communities, and voluntary associations are the first guarantors of human dignity, and cultivate mutual care. National institutions and policies should support, not supplant them."

Quite seriously, the entire party could have been invented by Rod, and I mean that as the highest endorsement.

Haigha , says: January 9, 2019 at 4:43 pm
"You think creating a power vacuum will prevent big businesses from imposing their will on the population? Go back and look at your beloved 19th century and tell me that absent government intervention corporations won't crush peoples lives for a few extra cents."

Absolutely. Absent government help, businesses can't do anything except offer people goods or services, or offer to purchase their labor or goods or services, on terms the individuals may or may not find advantageous compared to the status quo. When Big Business ran roughshod over people in the 19th Century, it was because government helped them (e.g., court cases letting businesses off the hook for their liabilities because of the supposed need for "progress").

[May 08, 2019] Elizabeth Warren Student Loan Debt Forveness propasal: critique from the conservarives

Not all specialties are created equal. It is clear that a person who take loan to became obtain a degree in communications is deeply misguided as chances to get a well paying job with this specially are close to zero. Many "humanitarian" specialties are similar -- unemployment is almost guaranteed and if a person was misled we should prosecute greedy university administrators and jail some of them. Such specialties should have a disclaimer: employment is difficult to obtain. Unemployment is almost garanteed. Take the courses at your own risk.
At the same time for STEM degrees Warren proposal makes more sense as people who enrolled into those specialties tried a more realistic approach, but probably job market turned bad or level of talent is not enough or both. while people in this specialties are needed but their chances for employment are crippled by the flow of H1B applicants so part of those costs should be subsidized by fees for large H1B employers, such as Microsoft and Google. Or something like that.
At the same time why we should forgive a person the debt if the particular person specialized in, say, dance? What is the social value of oversupply of dancers? So probably subsidies should be selective and limited to STEM specialties and selected "high social value" humanitarian specialties.
So the loan forgiveness is a crippled, somewhat unfair but still a reasonable approach.
But the key problem is not loads but greed of neoliberal educational institutions. Cost of tuition skyrocketed after 1980 and that's not accidental: this is drect result of neoliberalism corruption of higher education. The ability of government to prosecute "too greedy" colleges is important. Limits of salary of administrators and especially president and vice president and deens are critical.
Notable quotes:
"... The total cost of Warren's plan would be $1.25 trillion over 10 years, with the debt forgiveness portion consisting of a one-time cost of $640 billion. Warren plans to pay for her plan by imposing an annual tax of 2 percent on all families that have $50 million or more in wealth. ..."
"... Warren is right to focus attention on the matter of student loans. This is a major issue for young people and experts have been warning of a crisis for years. ..."
"... After all, they are victims of a scam perpetrated by the education cartel and the federal government. ..."
"... Here's how it works: the education cartel sells the lie that only those with four-year college degrees can succeed in life. Then they steer everyone with a pulse towards a university. ..."
"... The government steps in and subsidizes student loans that allow almost anyone to go to college, regardless of their ability to pay the loans back. ..."
"... College is not for everyone and there's no reason to keep promoting that idea. ..."
"... Reduce the overabundance of administrators. The number has exploded since the 1990s. ..."
"... A lot of required courses are just padding to make the experience drag on for four years. That creates unneeded expenditures of time and money. ..."
"... several nations currently do offer virtually free college educations & I don’t believe their diplomas are of less value for it. ..."
May 08, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren recently jolted the Democratic presidential primary race by tackling one of the most important issues of our time: student loans and the cost of higher education. Warren called for canceling up to $50,000 of student loan debt for every American making under $100,000 a year. In addition, she would make two- and four-year public college tuitions free for all new students.

The total cost of Warren's plan would be $1.25 trillion over 10 years, with the debt forgiveness portion consisting of a one-time cost of $640 billion. Warren plans to pay for her plan by imposing an annual tax of 2 percent on all families that have $50 million or more in wealth.

Warren is right to focus attention on the matter of student loans. This is a major issue for young people and experts have been warning of a crisis for years.

But in most cases, it isn't right to blame student loan borrowers for their predicaments. After all, they are victims of a scam perpetrated by the education cartel and the federal government.

Here's how it works: the education cartel sells the lie that only those with four-year college degrees can succeed in life. Then they steer everyone with a pulse towards a university.

The government steps in and subsidizes student loans that allow almost anyone to go to college, regardless of their ability to pay the loans back. These loans are a trap, and not just with regard to their cost. The government, which took over the student loan industry , forbids borrowers from discharging that debt in bankruptcy proceedings.

How do such cheap and easy student loans affect universities? For starters, they have caused a proliferation of degrees that offer poor returns on investment . In addition, they have led to the dilution of the value of previously marketable degrees such as those in the humanities and international relations, as more students enter those programs than could ever hope to work in their respective fields. For example, in 2013, half of all those who had graduated from college were working in jobs that did not require degrees .

But worst of all, the easy access to student loans has destroyed the price mechanism, which is so important for determining the real supply and demand of a product. Since government is the ultimate payer, tuition has been pushed sky high. The rate of tuition increase has actually outpaced inflation threefold .

Is Elizabeth Warren's plan the solution? No! It will only make things worse.

For starters, the wealth tax that she would use to fund her plan is likely unconstitutional . But even if it was upheld by the Supreme Court, it would still be bad policy. Countries that have imposed wealth taxes like France and Sweden have found that the rich simply leave and take their assets with them rather than pay more.

As for the idea of universal student loan debt forgiveness, it is a bad policy on the merits. For starters, it does not make economic sense to forgive the debts of those who will earn at least $17,500 more a year than those who don't go to college.

Also, although the student loan bubble has been inflated by the actions of both the education cartel and government, at the end of the day, loans are a contract. Those who are able to pay them down should and not be bailed out.

... ... ...

Finally, we need to promote alternatives to college. There are many well-paying jobs out there that don't require degrees . There are also apprentice programs offered by organizations like Praxis . We should encourage entrepreneurship, which is how so many in this country have lifted themselves out of poverty. College is not for everyone and there's no reason to keep promoting that idea.

Kevin Boyd is a freelance writer based in Louisiana. He is a contributor to The Hayride, a southern news and politics site. He has also been published in , The Federalist, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution , and The New York Observer among other publications.


Lert345, says: May 8, 2019 at 3:14 pm

How to make college cost effective. Two major reforms

1. Reduce the overabundance of administrators. The number has exploded since the 1990s.

2. Restructure college. Most programs don’t need to be four years long. Most can be cut to 2 1/2 – 3 years. A chemistry student should be taking courses required for a chemistry degree, nothing more (unless he/she wants to). A lot of required courses are just padding to make the experience drag on for four years. That creates unneeded expenditures of time and money.

After doing the above, then maybe we can talk about “free” college.

mrscracker, says: May 8, 2019 at 4:04 pm
I personally believe that we should each pay our own way through life as much as possible, but several nations currently do offer virtually free college educations & I don’t believe their diplomas are of less value for it.

I agree with you that other avenues like trades should be encouraged. A four year degree isn’t necessary for everyone.

DavidE, says: May 8, 2019 at 5:46 pm
@workingdad. If a wealth tax is unconstitutional, do you consider a property tax also unconstitutional?

[May 08, 2019] Elizabeth Warren's Watered-Down Populism

May 08, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Too often caught between Randian individualism on one hand and big-government collectivism on the other, America's working-class parents need a champion.

They might well have had one in Elizabeth Warren, whose 2003 book, The Two-Income Trap , co-authored with her daughter Amelia Warren Tyagi, was unafraid to skewer sacred cows. Long a samizdat favorite among socially conservative writers, the book recently got a new dose of attention after being spotlighted on the Right by Fox News's Tucker Carlson and on the Left by Vox's Matthew Yglesias .

The book's main takeaway was that two-earner families in the early 2000s seemed to be less, rather than more, financially stable than one-earner families in the 1970s. Whereas stay-at-home moms used to provide families with an implicit safety net, able to enter the workforce if circumstances required, the dramatic rise of the two-earner family had effectively bid up the cost of everyday life. Rather than the additional income giving families more breathing room, they argue, "Mom's paycheck has been pumped directly into the basic costs of keeping the children in the middle class."

Warren and Warren Tyagi report that as recently as the late 1970s, a married mother was roughly twice as likely to stay at home with her children than work full-time. But by 2000, those figures had almost reversed. Both parents had been pressed into the workforce to maintain adequate standards of living for their families -- the "two-income trap" of the book's title. Advertisement

What caused the trap to be sprung? Cornell University economist Francine Blau has helpfully drawn a picture of women's changing responsiveness to labor market wages during the 20th century. In her work with Laurence Kahn, Blau found that women's wage elasticities -- how responsive their work decisions were to changes in their potential wages -- used to be far more heavily driven by their husband's earning potential or lack thereof (what economists call cross-wage elasticity). Over time, Blau and Kahn found, women's responsiveness to wages -- their own or their husbands -- began to fall, and their labor force participation choices began to more closely resemble men's, providing empirical backing to the story Warren and Warren Tyagi tell.

Increasing opportunity and education were certainly one driver of this trend. In 1960, just 5.8 percent of all women over age 25 had a bachelor's degree or higher. Today, 41.7 percent of mothers aged 25 and over have a college degree. Many of these women entered careers in which they found fulfillment and meaning, and the opportunity costs, both financially and professionally, of staying home might have been quite high.

But what about the plurality of middle- and working-class moms who weren't necessarily looking for a career with a path up the corporate ladder? What was pushing them into full-time work for pay, despite consistently telling pollsters they wished they could work less?

The essential point, stressed by Warren and Warren Tyagi, was the extent to which this massive shift was driven by a desire to provide for one's children. The American Dream has as many interpretations as it does adherents, but a baseline definition would surely include giving your children a better life. Many women in America's working and middle classes entered the labor force purely to provide the best possible option for their families.


Fran Macadam April 4, 2019 at 4:34 pm

She Woke up.

Careerism trumps sanity. In the age of #MeToo, it's got to be all about me.

Tim , says: April 4, 2019 at 7:19 pm
Warren's academic work and cheeky refusal to fold under pressure when her nomination as Obama's consumer ('home ec.'?) finance czar was stymied by the GOP are worthy of respect. I'd like to see her make a strong run at the dem nomination, but am put off by her recent tendency to adopt silly far-left talking points and sentiments (her Native DNA, advocating for reparations, etc.). Nice try, Liz, but I'm still leaning Bernie's direction.

As far as the details of the economic analysis related above, though, I am unqualified to make any judgment – haven't read the book. But one enormously significant economic development in the early 70s wasn't mentioned at all, so I assume she and her daughter passed it over as well. In his first term R. Milhouse Nixon untethered, once & for all, the value of the dollar from traditional hard currency. The economy has been coming along nicely ever since, except for one problematic aspect: with a floating currency we are all now living in an economic environment dominated by the vicissitudes of supplies and demands, are we not? It took awhile to effect the housing market, but signs of the difference it made began to emerge fairly quickly, and accelerated sharply when the tides of globalism washed lots of third world lucre up on our western shores. Now, as clearly implied by both Warren and the author of this article, young Americans whose parents may not have even been born back then – the early 70s – are probably permanently priced out of the housing market in places that used to have only a marginally higher cost of entry – i.e. urban California, where I have lived and worked for most of my nearly 60 years. In places like this even a 3-earner income may not suffice! Maybe we should bring back the gold standard, because it seems to me that as long as unfettered competition coupled to supply/demand and (EZ credit $) is the underlying dynamic of the American economy we're headed for the New Feudalism. Of course, nothing could be more conservative than that, right? What say you, TAColytes?

K squared , says: April 5, 2019 at 7:05 am
"Funny that policy makers never want to help families by taking a little chunk out of hedge funds and shareholders and vulture capitalists and sharing it with American workers."

Funny that Warren HAS brought up raising taxes on the rich.

[May 07, 2019] The Democrats on Our Crazy Defense Spending and neocolonial wars

May 07, 2019 | www.laprogressive.com

The military sucks up 54% of discretionary federal spending. Pentagon bloat has a huge effect on domestic priorities; the nearly $1 trillion a year that goes to exploiting, oppressing, torturing, maiming and murdering foreigners could go to building schools, college scholarships, curing diseases, poetry slams, whatever. Anything, even tax cuts for the rich, would be better than bombs. But as then GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said in 2015, "The military is not a social experiment. The purpose of the military is to kill people and break things ." If you're like me, you want as little killing and breaking as possible.

Unfortunately, no major Democratic presidential candidate favors substantial cuts to Pentagon appropriations.

Current frontrunner Joe Biden ( 33% in the polls) doesn't talk much about defense spending. He reminds us that his son served in Iraq (so he cares about the military) and that we shouldn't prioritize defense over domestic programs. Vague. Though specific programs might get trimmed, Lockheed Martin could rest easy under a President Biden.

"Since he arrived in Congress, [runner-up] Bernie Sanders [19%] has been a fierce crusader against Pentagon spending , calling for defense cuts that few Democrats have been willing to support," The Hill reported in 2016. "As late as 2002, he supported a 50 percent cut for the Pentagon." Bernie is still a Pentagon critic but he won't commit to a specific amount to cut. He wouldn't slash and Bern. He'd trim.

Elizabeth Warren (8%) wants "to identify which programs actually benefit American security in the 21st century, and which programs merely line the pockets of defense contractors -- then pull out a sharp knife and make some cuts ."

... ... ...

Kamala Harris (5%) has not weighed in on military spending. She has received substantial campaign contributions from the defense industry, though.

The Democrats on Wars for Fun

As senator, Biden voted for the optional wars against Afghanistan and Iraq . He lied about his votes so maybe he felt bad about them. He similarly seems to regret his ro le in destroying Libya.

Sanders voted to invade Afghanistan . His comment at the time reads as hopelessly naïve about the bloodthirsty Bush-Cheney regime: "The use of force is one tool that we have at our disposal to fight against the horror of terrorism and mass murder it is something that must be used wisely and with great discretion." Sanders voted against invading Iraq , favored regime change in Libya ( albeit nonviolently ) and voted to bomb Syria .

There have been no major new wars since 2013, when Warren joined the Senate so her antiwar bona fides have not been tested. Like many of her colleagues, she wants an end to the "forever war" against Afghanistan. She also wants us out of Syria .

Democrats on NSA Spying Against Americans

... ... ...

Joe Biden, though to the right on other foreign-policy issues, was a critic of NSA spying for years, going back at least to 2006. Under Obama, however, he backtracked . Even worse, Biden called the president of Ecuador in 2013 to request that he deny asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Bernie Sanders alone would end warrantless mass surveillance and said Snowden " did this country a great service ." Warren doesn't discuss it much except to say it would be nice to have " an informed discussion ." Harris favors some limits but generally keeps quiet.