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doghouse

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And right on schedule

By E.J. Dionne Jr.

Columnist
March 3 at 6:56 PM

The core political challenges facing Democrats are not the rise of those who proudly call themselves democratic socialists and the danger that Republicans will succeed in red-baiting the entire party.


Instead, Democrats face formidable coalition-management problems because they now provide a home to millions of voters (and scores of elected officials) who in earlier times might well have been liberal Republicans.


Democratic leaders — and presidential candidates — must find ways to cope with an alliance that spans not only their own long-standing left and center-left factions but also many moderate voters who despise President Trump but have not been Democrats before.


The fractious dust-up in the House Democratic caucus last week over how often its vulnerable members should be able to vote with the GOP is another reminder of the difficulty of holding a big-tent party together.


Here’s the key point: The 2018 elections did not make the Democrats a more left-wing party. It had the opposite effect: A large share of the new Democrats in the House hails from districts — many of them suburban — that in the past would have happily elected Republicans with moderate-to-progressive inclinations.


Such Republicans, once a substantial minority in the party, are a virtually extinct species. The rightward shift of the GOP began before Trump’s rise, and his extremism has, in turn, led to the defeat of even moderate conservatives. The survivors (with occasional brave exceptions) generally moved his way, fearing defeat in primaries.


This has had a peculiar effect on our politics: Many of the most important policy debates are no longer between the two parties; they are being carried out almost entirely inside the Democratic Party.


Because of the hold that right-wing ideologues and extractive industries have on their party, Republican politicians are under great pressure to deny that climate change has human causes. Therefore, Democrats tussle over whether carbon taxes or the provisions of an ambitious Green New Deal are the best way to mitigate an impending catastrophe.


Republicans don’t even support the advances in health-insurance coverage brought about by Obamacare. Therefore, the question of how to achieve universal coverage is left to the Democrats. They quarrel about the relative merits of a Medicare-for-all system or incremental steps building on the Affordable Care Act.


My hunch (and hope) is that those preferring single-payer health care will come to see that, if their goal is ever to be realized, it will not pass in one big bang. Rather, it will be achieved in steps that would leave a private insurance system in place for some time. But in the short term, there’s a lot of shouting.


Republicans are for cutting taxes, and then cutting them again, always in ways that tilt the code further toward the wealthy and corporate interests. They do this by ignoring the deficits they are increasing, except for mouthing vague bromides about “reforming entitlements.” This sticks Democrats with the burden of raising enough money to pay for both existing and new programs.


These issues are far bigger than the strife roiling the House. A significant number of moderate Democrats believe their political survival requires them to vote for nuisance amendments, put forward by Republicans with appeal in their districts.


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and progressive members of her caucus want the moderates to vote “no” on all of these last-minute motions, as Republicans generally did when they were in the majority. Pelosi understandably fears that throwing votes the GOP’s way increases their ability to disrupt legislation.


Yet many of the politically moderate freshmen, backed by other members of the leadership, naturally worry about protecting their fragile electoral margins. They thus argue that they should be able to vote with the Republicans fairly freely.


House Democrats will eventually resolve this problem by working out a better disciplined system of granting a limited number of “free passes” on especially tough votes while preventing wholesale defections. Modest procedural changes (for example, by allowing at least an hour between the introduction of an opposition amendment and the vote on it) might also ease the internal strains.


But even if they work through this kerfuffle, the larger challenge remains. Democrats need to figure out how to make genuine progress on the issues that rightly engage their party’s left — for starters, health care, climate change and rising economic inequality — in ways that allow their new constituency of virtual liberal Republicans to join the effort. The party’s presidential candidates should focus more of their energy on explaining how they’ll pull this off.
 

Dropbear

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As you said, Dem's are experts at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Instead of forming a coalition with the left and right, the radical liberal center are going to push gun bans, identity politics and a very personalized anti-Trumpism that is devoid of any sort of economic or foreign policy substance.

They may still manage to bumble across the line based on the sheer unpopularity of Trump. In which case I see Trump getting jailed and Dems hailing that as vindication that they don't need to seriously re-evaluate and shake things up. Republicans, in that case, would need to rebuild the party from scratch and probably will - sweeping the election in 2024. Alternatively, Dems manage to lose the next election and Trump stays another 4 years: the Republican Party is completely killed-off and Dems, again, never actually learn a lesson.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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Interesting this potential scandal unfolding with AOC. Her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, shares the same surname as one, Shami Chakrabarti from the UK. Perchance they are related?

FYI: Shami Chakrabarti was the lawyer who odiously sat as chair and authored the infamous Labour Party Anti-semitism inquiry and was soon awarded a peerage for her work of self-glorifying fiction. Previous to that she was the director of Liberty a charity which ceaselessly campaigned against anti-terrorist legislation, attempted to retrospectively apply European Human Rights Law against British soldiers in the battlefield and whilst on the governing body of the London School of Economics graciously accepted GBP 1.5 million from the son of Gaddafi. And finally, whilst promoting comprehensive schools for all and against selective and private education in a move of great hypocrisy sought a place her son at one of the UK's most prestigious private schools on the scholarship ticket and when he was too thick to get in, sent him to another less expensive private school.

If they are related, one can only hope that this type of thing doesn't run in families.
 

Thruth

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Thruth will be happy about this

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/03/justin-trudeau-is-finished.html

Justin Trudeau Is Finished

The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is finished. A long simmering scandal did him in.


Between 2001 and 2011 the Canadian construction and engineering company SNC-Lavalin bribed officials in Libya with tens of millions to get contracts in that country. In 2015 the company was charged by the Public Prosecution Service of Canada. It tried to avoid a trial and argued instead for a negotiated settlement since it had cleaned shop by changing its chief executive officer.

In 2016, SNC-Lavalin admitted that some former executives had illegally arranged donations of more than C$80,000 to Trudeau's Liberal Party from 2004 to 2011.

The company had revenues of some C$10 billion in 2018. Some 9,000 of its 52,000 employees work in Canada. The headquarter and 3,400 of its employees are in the province of Quebec where the Liberals need to pick up votes in October's federal election to keep their majority.

It was the task of the Justice Minister and Attorney General, Jody Wilson-Raybould, to decide if the case should go on trial as the law demands, or if it could be settled out of court. A trial would likely end with SNC-Lavalin banned from all public contracts in Canada for 10 years. It would cost jobs and votes.

The company lobbied the Liberal government which brought in a remediation agreement regime in 2018 as part of a massive budget bill.

During the fall of 2018 Trudeau and his allies tried to press the attorney general, a Canadian aboriginal, to overturn the decision of the director of public prosecutions, to apply the new law and to thereby drop the criminal charges against SNC. She would not do that. In January Trudeau fired her from the justice minister and attorney general job and gave her a minor position as veteran's minister. Under solicitor-client privilege and cabinet confidences Wilson-Raybould could not speak out about the issue.

On February 7 the scandal leaked from anonymous sources. Five days later Wilson-Raybould resigned as veterans minister. She hired a retired Supreme Court judge as her lawyer, to advise her on what she could say. On February 18 Gerald Butts, Trudeau's friend and principle secretary, was made the fall guy. He resigned even while he denied that he tried to influence the attorney general. Under pressure, the House of Commons Justice Committee invited Wilson-Raybould to testify. Trudeau had to wave some privilege which allowed her to finally speak out about her time as attorney general.

Yesterday Wilson-Raybould testified.

From her long opening statement:

For a period of approximately four months between September and December 2018, I experienced a consistent and sustained effort by many people within the government to seek to politically interfere in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion in my role as the Attorney General of Canada in an inappropriate effort to secure a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with SNC-Lavalin. These events involved 11 people (excluding myself and my political staff) – from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Privy Council Office, and the Office of the Minister of Finance. This included in-person conversations, telephone calls, emails, and text messages. There were approximately 10 phone calls and 10 meetings specifically about SNC-Lavalin that I and/or my staff was a part of.​

Wilson-Raybould gave all the details: who, when, where and how. There is a paper trail. She made detailed notes of everything that happened.

Pressuring the AG to drop charges can be a offense under Canada's criminal code (pdf), section 139(2):

Every one who wilfully attempts in any manner other than a manner. described in subsection (1) to obstruct,pervert or defeat the course of justice is guilty of an in-dictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years.​

During her testimony Wilson-Raybould noted that she was not yet allowed to speak out about what happened after she was fired as attorney general. There is likely more to come from her. She says that she believes that no law was broken but that Trudeau behaved inappropriately. A jury and court may see that differently.

Trudeau responded in a news conference that he "completely disagreed" with Wilson-Raybould’s version of events. He claimed that that neither he nor his staff had done anything wrong. The issue is under investigation of the independent ethics commissioner and Trudeau hopes that he will be found not guilty of any wrongdoing.


Even if he did not break any law Trudeau will be unable to escape the storm he is now under. With the case pending it will be difficult for the Liberals to win the October elections. It would be best for the party if Trudeau would step down and let someone else take the lead.

There is potential candidate with more credibility than the former media darling Justin Trudeau ever had.

Ezra Levant - @ezralevant - 2:24 utc - 28 Feb 2019
10. Last detail. Jody Wilson-Raybould's father was an Aboriginal activist who butted heads with Justin Trudeau's father. Here they are bantering. Bill Wilson tells Pierre Trudeau that his daughter Jody wants to be PM one day. Maybe she will be?​
Unfortunately, I doubt he is finished. Certainly not in the immediate future and unless the Conservatives develop a coherent, palatable platform, anything they gain from this fiasco will be lost.

There are no sympathetic characters here. Wilson-Raybould is not likeable. Not to her Liberal colleagues. She is polarizing. And not to Canadians because even Liberal-leaning folks question her motives for throwing the party under the bus only after she got moved out of the Minister of Justice/Attorney General role. Revenge-fucking her party and government. But not going to sit as an independent. Nope. Still as a Liberal and she will run as one in October. She also wanted to stick her nose into Indigenous reconciliation and was pissed when she was told to butt out.

This just opens the door a crack to allow people to see how government actually works. Business as usual.

SNC-Lavalin is huge. 50,000 workers worldwide, 9000 in Canada and 3400 in Quebec. It is based in Quebec. You don't fuck with Canadian globally reaching companies because there are not that many of them and you cannot fuck with Quebec. If they don't get the plea deal, they will leave Canada and more importantly, Quebec. By the way SNC gives $$$ to everyone of any political persuasion not just the Liberals. They are a world class company given that they seal big contracts with hookers and blow.

Is there criminality here on Justin's PMO and Privy Council. No smoking gun or slam dunk yet despite what Ezra and others might think. I'm trying hard to find it but this ain't Leaving Neverland. MJ is a pederest freak. JT is a silly twat who has been made to look sillier and even a bit sneaky politician looking.

Best we can hope for is that the Conservatives find a voice and a platform and Canadians forget that Scheer looks like a young Uncle Fester/Howdy Doody/Casey from Mr. Dressup and vote JT out because he only mumbles meaningless shite, and can't even do government-big business collaboration. right.
 

Rambo

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Unfortunately, I doubt he is finished. Certainly not in the immediate future and unless the Conservatives develop a coherent, palatable platform, anything they gain from this fiasco will be lost.

There are no sympathetic characters here. Wilson-Raybould is not likeable. Not to her Liberal colleagues. She is polarizing. And not to Canadians because even Liberal-leaning folks question her motives for throwing the party under the bus only after she got moved out of the Minister of Justice/Attorney General role. Revenge-fucking her party and government. But not going to sit as an independent. Nope. Still as a Liberal and she will run as one in October. She also wanted to stick her nose into Indigenous reconciliation and was pissed when she was told to butt out.

This just opens the door a crack to allow people to see how government actually works. Business as usual.

SNC-Lavalin is huge. 50,000 workers worldwide, 9000 in Canada and 3400 in Quebec. It is based in Quebec. You don't fuck with Canadian globally reaching companies because there are not that many of them and you cannot fuck with Quebec. If they don't get the plea deal, they will leave Canada and more importantly, Quebec. By the way SNC gives $$$ to everyone of any political persuasion not just the Liberals. They are a world class company given that they seal big contracts with hookers and blow.

Is there criminality here on Justin's PMO and Privy Council. No smoking gun or slam dunk yet despite what Ezra and others might think. I'm trying hard to find it but this ain't Leaving Neverland. MJ is a pederest freak. JT is a silly twat who has been made to look sillier and even a bit sneaky politician looking.

Best we can hope for is that the Conservatives find a voice and a platform and Canadians forget that Scheer looks like a young Uncle Fester/Howdy Doody/Casey from Mr. Dressup and vote JT out because he only mumbles meaningless shite, and can't even do government-big business collaboration. right.
this is a great post
 

doghouse

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I despise Elizabeth Warren, but I am totally onboard with this.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren unveils plan to break up Amazon, Facebook and Google in ambitious campaign pledge







Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) speaks at a campaign rally in Dubuque, Iowa. (Scott Olso/Getty Images)

By Tony Romm and
Brian Fung
March 8 at 9:44 AM

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) pledged Friday to take aim at Amazon, Facebook and Google if she is elected president in 2020, breaking apart each of the big tech companies and introducing sweeping new regulation of Silicon Valley.

The proposal marks the most ambitious and aggressive effort targeting the tech industry offered by any Democratic contender for the White House, and it could put pressure on other presidential aspirants to offer similar plans for more aggressive tech oversight.

“To restore the balance of power in our democracy, to promote competition, and to ensure that the next generation of technology innovation is as vibrant as the last, it’s time to break up our biggest tech companies,” Warren said.

Warren’s proposal has two key elements. First, the Democratic lawmaker said her administration would appoint “regulators committed to reversing illegal and anti-competitive tech mergers,” including Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods, Facebook’s tie-up with WhatsApp and Instagram, and Google’s ownership of Waze, Nest and DoubleClick.

Second, Warren said she would push legislation that would label key services — such as Amazon’s marketplace for goods and Google search — as “platform utilities,” which would have to be spun off from those tech giants’ other businesses.

Her plan primarily targets companies with annual revenue over $90 million, and it would embolden federal and state regulators to issue steep fines and other penalties that harm competition or consumers. Even Web users could sue Amazon, Facebook and Google if they violated Warren’s proposed federal rules.

Warren’s blueprint — detailed in a Medium post — comes as she prepares to speak to supporters in New York’s Long Island City neighborhood, where Amazon initially sought to construct one of two new headquarters. The company ultimately withdrew from the city amid staunch local opposition and fierce criticism from national figures such as Warren, who felt Amazon had received “taxpayer bribes” from New York.

“We must ensure that today’s tech giants do not crowd out potential competitors, smother the next generation of great tech companies, and wield so much power that they can undermine our democracy,” Warren said in the Medium post.

Amazon, Facebook and Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

For now, Warren’s plan illustrates the tech industry’s political fall from grace, as policymakers around the world begin to confront the ills posed by Silicon Valley — from the job losses threatened by the rise of automation to the fast spread of falsehoods online. Privacy scandals, fears of election interference and rapid consolidation have soured even the industry’s historically close ties with Democrats in Washington in recent years.

Previously, Democratic presidential candidates jockeyed to be seen as digitally savvy in the hopes of courting young voters and raising critical cash from tech moguls’ deep pockets. Then-candidate Barack Obama even appeared at Google headquarters during the early days of his 2008 campaign.

More than a decade later, though, the party’s most prominent national figures have become some of Silicon Valley’s fiercest critics, responding to mounting concerns about the effects of major Internet platforms on the economy and even democracy itself.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), another 2020 presidential hopeful, broadly has decried the “major monopoly problem” in the United States — particularly with big tech. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), meanwhile, has tangled specifically with Amazon over its business practices, particularly its treatment of workers. While neither they nor their peers have issued a plan as aggressive as Warren’s new pledge, tech experts in Washington said the party writ large had set its sights on the tech industry.

"I don't believe this will be an out-of-the-mainstream proposal in 2020,” said Rob Atkinson, the president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a think tank where representatives from Apple, Microsoft, Google and other tech companies sit on the board of directors.

Calling Warren’s proposal “appalling,” he said of the tech industry’s ties to Democrats: “Not only is the honeymoon over, but they’re in divorce court.”

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that Warren’s plan would target companies with annual revenue of $90 billion. The correct figure is $90 million.
 

doghouse

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Why do you despise her? Because she's a shitlib?
She's just another Steve Bannon. Her entire schtick is the result of a deep seated psychosis about how her dad lost his standing.

I will say at least her's is a little more justified, whereas Bannon's dad was just a moron.

There are actually some policy positions I agree with her on, but her whole looney toon "You didn't build that" spiel is fucking retarded. Stick to focusing on MegaCorps and the social safety net and she and I would get along fine.
 

Rambo

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She's just another Steve Bannon. Her entire schtick is the result of a deep seated psychosis about how her dad lost his standing.

I will say at least her's is a little more justified, whereas Bannon's dad was just a moron.

There are actually some policy positions I agree with her on, but her whole looney toon "You didn't build that" spiel is fucking retarded. Stick to focusing on MegaCorps and the social safety net and she and I would get along fine.
You didnt build that?
 

Rambo

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The Styx is still going strong delivering his political commentary and grimoires:

god i think that might be an even worse look than the leather jacket. he looks like he's cruising for underage girls in thailand.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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Something something the revolution won't be televised something something
We're in a midst of cultural war and you see the existing reality being challenged by new models Buckminster Fuller style (along with Burroughs). As Trump made the cosy dynasty arrangement in the US Presidency obsolete, so you see the Justice Democrats coming up with a structure to leap-frog over the mainstream Democrats to seize power. Something something.....blink and you might just miss it.
 

Dropbear

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We're in a midst of cultural war and you see the existing reality being challenged by new models Buckminster Fuller style (along with Burroughs). As Trump made the cosy dynasty arrangement in the US Presidency obsolete, so you see the Justice Democrats coming up with a structure to leap-frog over the mainstream Democrats to seize power. Something something.....blink and you might just miss it.
10/10. Never fails to deliver.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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Liberals are getting back to their policy roots, but wielded by a political apparatus using identity and partisanship to weaponise absolutely everything.

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/11/04/elections-2018-democrats-history-liberal-progressive-socialist-222187
Somewhat myopic when it comes to European welfarism and I see the same tendency from the UK to look on at the Nordic countries and much of northern Europe through the rose tinted spectacles that is some kind of social democrat or socialist utopia. But first the UK's welfarism.

This was set-up post WWII and along with the NHS, whole swathes of the productive economy were nationalized and this was all funded on the dole money from the USA. At the end of WWII there were two industrial nations left standing and that was the USA and UK. Within a decade the Brit industrial base was in decline and never really recovered which led to us being the poor man of Europe in the 1970s. When higher education and access to universities in the UK was ''free'' with grants, access to these institutions were strictly limited to around 8% of the population. Now students pay for their education with student loans the universities can extend access to where there is now 49% of 18 year olds go to university. The NHS whilst free at the point of access offers rationed health services and post code lotteries when it comes to access to certain treatments e.g. expensive cancer drugs.

I know of no European state that offers a guaranteed universal basic income. Sure, welfare payments and dole money from the state are in several countries more generous than the USA. But you have higher employment rates and outside of certain cities, your cost of living is much cheaper. Some of those generous welfare states come with a cost 62% income tax rates and high VAT rates on foods and commodities.

''The European way'' of ''regulating social intercouse'' has begat massive blow-back. Individuals are rebelling against the intrusive state that wishes to regulate every aspect of one's life. People feel they are living diminished lives and indeed we are in certain aspects of our daily lives. Whilst the bogeyman of nationalism and the far right is often cited against those who dare criticise the EU, or the various leave factions in several nations, one significant component in this is the desire to be free of this EU with the increasing lack of sovereignty, including personal freedoms.

I would suggest, up until fairly recently, us Europeans looked on the 'American way of life' with a mixture of envy and respect.
 
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Rambo

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https://politics.theonion.com/beto-o-rourke-announces-he-starting-obama-cover-campaig-1833305932




News in Brief
Beto O’Rourke Announces He Starting Obama Cover Campaign
Yesterday 5:14pm





EL PASO, TX—Revealing plans to “put his own spin” on beloved stump speeches and talking points, Beto O’Rourke announced Thursday that he was starting a Barack Obama cover campaign. “I’ve always loved Barack’s early stuff from back in ’08, even ’04, and I think diehard fans will go crazy when I cover all his greatest hits,” said the 46-year-old White House hopeful, clarifying that he and his campaign aides had spent several months “just going through Barack’s catalog” to memorize the former president’s platform. “Obama’s style always really resonated with me, and honestly, what’s the point in struggling to come up with something new when you can just give people what they want. I’m going to cover some of Barack’s most well-known campaign speeches, putting my own small twists on prison reform and healthcare—they’ll be way heavier, faster, and louder.” At press time, O’Rourke revealed that he had just finished working on a stripped-down version of “Change We Can Believe In” that went directly into a fiery rendition of “Yes, We Can!”
 

InstaHate

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Not a big Beto fan, but Texas hasn’t elected a Democrat to a statewide office longer than any other state, including those which are significantly redder than is Texas. Failing to beat a Republican in Texas, even one as loathesome as Cruz, isn’t meaningful beyond Beto missing out at being a senator running for president rather than a failed senate candidate running for president.
 

Rambo

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Not a big Beto fan, but Texas hasn’t elected a Democrat to a statewide office longer than any other state, including those which are significantly redder than is Texas. Failing to beat a Republican in Texas, even one as loathesome as Cruz, isn’t meaningful beyond Beto missing out at being a senator running for president rather than a failed senate candidate running for president.
Yes america would elect a loser
 

InstaHate

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Gross, but I give Beto a lot of credit for declining to endorse Will Hurd’s opponent. As much as a shake up is desperately, desperately needed, it would be nice if it was possible to do it without such partisan rancor. That ship may have very well sailed, and we may be doomed to both parties steeping lower and lower to “win” rather than actually help America.

I remember cheering (as much a kid can) Gingrich’s cut throat politics in the 90s. Looking back, I think they paved the way for Mitch McConnell and my exit from the GOP.

Anyway, I’d vote for an O’Rourke/Kasich split ticket any day. Shame that the Democratic Party is doing their version of the Tea Party. The establishment Left needs to give the new liberal wing of the party their due respect and influence, and the liberal wing needs to recognize the realistic big picture. The responsibility to develop a productive relationship is on both Pelosi’s gang and AOC’s.
 
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