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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#19081 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2021-October-27, 18:18

Another favorite of mine. It probably belongs in another thread, so Barry you are free to move it.

Longfellow

Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five:
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, “If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry-arch
Of the North-Church-tower, as a signal-light,—
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country-folk to be up and to arm.”

Then he said “Good night!” and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war:
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon, like a prison-bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.

Meanwhile, his friend, through alley and street
Wanders and watches with eager ears,
Till in the silence around him he hears
The muster of men at the barrack door,
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
And the measured tread of the grenadiers
Marching down to their boats on the shore.

Then he climbed to the tower of the church,
Up the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry-chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the sombre rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade,—
By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town,
And the moonlight flowing over all.

Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their night-encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
That he could hear, like a sentinel’s tread,
The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent,
And seeming to whisper, “All is well!”
A moment only he feels the spell
Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay,—
A line of black, that bends and floats
On the rising tide, like a bridge of boats.

Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride,
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now he patted his horse’s side,
Now gazed on the landscape far and near,
Then impetuous stamped the earth,
And turned and tightened his saddle-girth;
But mostly he watched with eager search
The belfry-tower of the old North Church,
As it rose above the graves on the hill,
Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.
And lo! as he looks, on the belfry’s height,
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns!

A hurry of hoofs in a village-street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed that flies fearless and fleet:
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.

He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
And under the alders, that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.

It was twelve by the village clock
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer’s dog,
And felt the damp of the river-fog,
That rises when the sun goes down.

It was one by the village clock,
When he galloped into Lexington.
He saw the gilded weathercock
Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
And the meeting-house windows, blank and bare,
Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.

It was two by the village clock,
When he came to the bridge in Concord town.
He heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees,
And felt the breath of the morning breeze
Blowing over the meadows brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket-ball.

You know the rest. In the books you have read,
How the British Regulars fired and fled,—
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard-wall,
Chasing the red-coats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.

So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,—
A cry of defiance, and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo forevermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

#19082 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-October-27, 19:20

"touch one touch all" is a union motto in Australia.
I don't think there are any organisations in the USA that are as far left as these particular unions.


Some of them are so far to the left they have re-emerged on the other side.
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#19083 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-October-28, 02:04

Apparently, you can say anything you want in the USA.
In the friendly town of Murdock (sounds like Morlock (HG Wells), the Asatru Folk Assembly aims to preserve the culture of anyone of Northern European descent; so that they can honour their gods.
No non-white people are allowed.

Meanwhile, in Congress, there is a great deal of concern that investigating threats of violence towards public officials could "chill free speech", which would be bad.

Who needs to wait for Robert E lee when Michael S Lee on the Judiciary Committee will do the job for you.
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#19084 User is online   johnu 

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Posted 2021-October-28, 03:52

View Postpilowsky, on 2021-October-28, 02:04, said:

Meanwhile, in Congress, there is a great deal of concern that investigating threats of violence towards public officials could "chill free speech", which would be bad.

Who needs to wait for Robert E lee when Michael S Lee on the Judiciary Committee will do the job for you.


The only progress that can be made in the US is when the Confederate senators and house members start demanding to secede from the USA, and the Democrats join them in demanding that the Confederates secede.
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#19085 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-October-28, 04:25

Heather Cox Richardson said:

At a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee today, Republican senators accused Attorney General Merrick Garland of “siccing” the FBI on parents who are simply concerned about their child’s education.

The backstory is that there has been a coordinated effort across the country to whip up protests at school board meetings over mask mandates and opposition to teaching Critical Race Theory in K–12 schools (where it is not taught), and they have gotten heated enough that protesters have threatened the lives of school board members, teachers, administrators, and school staff.

In response, the National School Board Association (NSBA) wrote to the administration asking for federal help in addressing the increasing threats. Garland issued a memo calling for federal law enforcement to work with local law enforcement as necessary to protect school board members.

Under pressure from Republican state representatives, the NSBA apologized for some of the language it had used in its initial letter—it suggested the protesters were engaging in domestic terrorism, for example—and today senators tried to get Garland, too, to apologize for his memo.

He refused. "I wish if senators were concerned about this that they would quote my words," he said. "This memorandum is not about parents being able to object in their school boards. They are protected by the First Amendment as long as there are no threats of violence, they are completely protected."

It was painfully obvious that the Republicans, especially Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), were trying to create sound bites for right-wing media, and perhaps to undermine Garland’s credibility should the Department of Justice bring charges against high-ranking lawmakers over the events of January 6. They portrayed Garland as part of a conspiracy to crush American liberty and demanded his resignation.

It appears to be the new conspiracy theory of the Trump Republicans to say that the administration is hunting them: Fox News Channel personality Tucker Carlson is advertising an upcoming special that appears to suggest that the Democratic-controlled government is launching a war on right-wing Americans.

But that increasing hysteria feels as if it has desperation behind it. We learned recently that 18 members of Trump’s White House staff are cooperating voluntarily with the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. Only Stephen K. Bannon is not. These voices not only are likely to turn up valuable information, but also indicate that White House staffers are less worried about the wrath of the former president than the wrath of Congress.

If Trump has lost control of his team, it’s a whole new ball game. Anyone who can get out from under the wreckage will do so, and fast. That will make those remaining desperate to regain power. And Trump himself is facing more trouble. Today his lawyers asked a judge to block the IRS from giving his taxes to the House Ways and Means Committee.

Another indication of desperation today came from Georgia, where Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell endorsed Herschel Walker for the Republican nomination for the Senate. Although he brings to the table name recognition as a famous football player, Walker is a deeply problematic candidate. First of all, it is not even clear he can run in Georgia since he lives in Texas—he switched his voting registration to an Atlanta home owned by his wife in August. Walker has a history of domestic violence and questionable business dealings, as well as a history of mental illness. Walker’s ex-wife said he pointed a gun at her and said: “I’m going to blow your f---ing brains out.” Walker’s ex-girlfriend told police he made a similar threat to her.

But Walker has said the 2020 election in Georgia was fraudulent, and Trump strongly endorsed him.

McConnell opposed Walker’s candidacy this summer and, just a week ago, suggested to CNN that the former president should stay out of the midterms. But on Monday, Senator John Thune (R-SD), the second-ranking Republican senator, endorsed Walker. Today Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), the Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference—the third-ranking Republican senator—endorsed him, too. And so did McConnell, bowing to the recognition that the Republicans need Trump’s voters to win so badly that they must let Trump call the shots.

“I am happy to endorse Herschel Walker for U.S. Senate in Georgia,” McConnell said. “Herschel is the only one who can unite the party, defeat Senator [Raphael] Warnock, and help us take back the Senate.” Conservative editor Bill Kristol noted on Twitter that McConnell said nothing about Walker being qualified for the position.

The Republicans want power.

Already, Republican lawmakers are using unprecedented measures to dictate to the Democratic president.

Today, Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) called out Cruz for blocking all but four of President Joe Biden’s picks for ambassadorships (he let through former senators or their relatives). By this time in Trump’s presidency, the Senate had confirmed 22 of his ambassadors, 17 by a simple voice vote.

Cruz is putting holds on all Biden’s appointees until the president agrees to do as Cruz wants with regard to sanctions on a Russian company that is supplying gas to Germany. The construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline began during the Trump administration, meaning that Biden inherited a mess: our key ally Germany had committed to the pipeline, and sanctioning the company behind it would destabilize that relationship. When Secretary of State Antony Blinken concluded that it was “inevitable” that the pipeline would be finished, Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel reached a deal saying that if Russia used the pipeline for political pressure, the U.S. would slap sanctions on it.

Cruz wants sanctions now, and he is sabotaging the State Department until he gets his way.

This morning, the conservative magazine The Bulwark and the liberal magazine the New Republic jointly published “An Open Letter in Defense of Democracy.” Written by Todd Gitlin, Jeffrey C. Isaac, and Kristol, and signed by writers, scholars, and pundits from all political backgrounds, the letter deplores the efforts of the Trumpers to take control of our government and calls for Congress to pass voting rights legislation, by adjusting the filibuster if necessary.

The letter was a wake-up call. “[W]e urge all responsible citizens who care about democracy—public officials, journalists, educators, activists, ordinary citizens—to make the defense of democracy an urgent priority now.”

“Now is the time for leaders in all walks of life—for citizens of all political backgrounds and persuasions—to come to the aid of the Republic.”

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#19086 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-October-28, 04:45

Abrahm Lustgarten, an environmental reporter for ProPublica said:

There will be no bargains with an overheating climate.

The $3.5 trillion price tag that President Biden proposed for his climate-heavy Build Back Better Act might seem enormous. But over the long term, it will be a pittance.

By zeroing in on that number, the public debate seems to have skipped right over the economic ramifications of climate change, which promise to be historically disruptive — and enormously expensive. What we don’t spend now will cost us much more later.

https://www.nytimes....896ed87b2d9c72a

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#19087 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-October-28, 05:52

Jonathan Bernstein at Bloomberg said:

https://www.bloomber...y?sref=UHfKDqx7

I try not to write about it too much, but I should be clear: One of the most important facts of U.S. politics right now is the terrible shape the Republican Party is in. It has been dysfunctional for more than a decade, and more recently the mainstream of the party has been acting as if they live in a fantasy world.

Just to look around over the past several days …

Republicans on the Senate judiciary committee decided to gang up on a nominee by pressing for her views on a Virginia criminal case, which they presented as evidence that trans kids are lurking in restrooms, ready to commit violence. Only it turns out that they botched the facts of the case, which does not appear to have anything to do with school bathroom policies. There’s nothing new about the occasional reality-challenged member of Congress. But this wasn’t some kook in the House; it was senator after senator repeating what were basically wild, inaccurate rumors. Nor was this an isolated incident. These sorts of panics run constantly in Republican-aligned media, and are rapidly picked up and repeated by party politicians, often with further exaggeration. So one week the republic is in danger because people are censoring Dr. Seuss; the next week it’s because not enough people are censoring Toni Morrison.

A second example? Fox News’s Tucker Carlson … you know what? I’m not even going to go into it.

And of course, we have former President Donald Trump still out there repeating an array of lies about the 2020 election — including in a letter printed in the Wall Street Journal. If anything, there are fewer high-profile Republicans willing to challenge Trump on this nonsense now than there were nine months ago, and more officials amplifying his message.

This whole thing is hard to describe because of course all politicians are prone to exaggeration, and it’s not hard to find examples of Democrats getting facts wrong. Nor is it hard to find Republicans who stick to reality. So it’s easy to conclude that everyone does it, and anyone who says otherwise is simply making partisan attacks. Easy, but very wrong. What’s happening now among Republicans is more extensive and mainstream than any distortion of fact within the Democratic Party — or, for that matter, within the 1980s Republican Party.

The same applies to the antidemocratic views that some Republicans have expressed. Again, it’s not hard to find examples of frustration with U.S. institutions, or ideas to reform them that would help one’s party at the expense of the opposition — including ideas that scholars of democracy would consider misguided or dangerous. But Republican thinking has moved well beyond that, as with their fascination with the authoritarian government in Hungary. Of course, we’ve seen such things before — many American socialists expressed enthusiasm for Stalin’s U.S.S.R., after all. And it’s entirely reasonable to consider Southern segregationists, who had a central place in the Democratic Party, antidemocratic. Is this worse? Perhaps not, but even if it’s just as bad as Stalin sympathizers and Dixiecrats, then it’s dangerous in its own right.

Even now, there are a lot of Republicans, some with moderate policy preferences and some with very conservative ones, who embrace democracy and reject fantasy and conspiracy thinking. But many others are with the Republican-aligned media outlets, and the rest of the party hasn’t come close to restraining their influence. Many members haven’t even tried; they’re happy to accept whatever allies they can get, even if doing so erodes the party’s ability to govern and harms the democratic system. Others don’t know where to start.

Nor does anyone else. I attended the American Political Science Association’s annual conference in Seattle last month and heard nothing but a string of pessimism about the Republican Party — something that simply was not the case even 10 years ago. Of course, not everyone was pessimistic about the future of the republic. But no one seems to be able to imagine how the Republicans can turn themselves around, and I can’t remember the last political scientist I’ve spoken with (yes, Republicans included) who didn’t see serious problems here.

I suppose if I wanted to look for optimism, I could think about the Democrats in 1948, who broke from both the Henry Wallace faction and the Dixiecrats (although the latter was only the beginning of a long, ultimately successful, struggle). But then I look at today’s Republican Party. And I just don’t know how to get there from here.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#19088 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-October-28, 07:44

I largely agree with the Bernstein comments above but a comment. Politics reflects society. Our society is out of whack.
Ken
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#19089 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-October-28, 08:37

I was mistaken to think the GOP had no platform. They do: Gaslighting America.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#19090 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2021-October-28, 19:33

Santa Claus help us all.
Easter Bunny help us all.
Tooth Fairy help us all.
Wolpertinger help us all.
Eru Ilúvatar help us all.
Allah help us all.
God help us all.
Great Spirit help us all.
Odin help us all.
Aslan help us all.

It all amounts to the same thing at the end of the day.
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#19091 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-October-28, 23:01

View PostGilithin, on 2021-October-28, 19:33, said:

It all amounts to the same thing at the end of the day.

As a much better Australian PM said after the conservative coup in 1975:

Quote


Ladies and gentlemen, well may we say 'God Save the Queen', because nothing will save the Governor-General.

Our Prime Minister Scott Morrison (he's the one on the left) believes that we don't need to worry (about anything really) because technology will always save us.

Mr (Angus as in beef) Taylor is one of Scomo's ministers.

Quote

Mr Taylor pointed out that technological improvements were non-linear.
He pointed to the increase in computing power as transistor costs came down, and the similar path of solar.
"The march of technology is an extraordinary one," he said.
"And it has solved problem after problem for us over an extended period of time."
Mr Morrison made a virtue of the lack of anything binding in the plan.
"Our plan works with Australians to achieve this goal," he said at a press conference on Tuesday.
"Our plan enables them. It doesn't legislate them. It doesn't mandate them. It doesn't force them. It respects them."


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#19092 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-October-29, 07:06

Jonathan Bernstein at Bloomberg said:

Sometimes, I just can’t get my head around the extent to which American political culture is at odds with U.S. political institutions. And the current wrangling over the Democrats’ legislative agenda is one of those times.

The U.S. system is highly unusual. There are just so many policy makers, all with a legitimate ability to influence outcomes: the president, a bicameral Congress, the courts, the bureaucracy, political parties, interest groups — and that’s just at the national level. We get all of that again at the state level, and then all sorts of other policy makers at various local levels. It’s a sprawling system that defies easy understanding — a system with an enormous number of veto points, but also many access points for ordinary citizens. Even when it’s working well, it looks messy and disorganized.

And we hate it. Well, more or less. Many of us agree with Mark Twain, who said: “There is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.” Oh, and my favorite: “Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.” We have no patience for the delicate dance of legislating, with different lawmakers, representing different constituencies, fighting for what they think is best. We’re apt to jump to the conclusion that no one could sincerely hold those views; someone must be corrupt.

And then there’s the actual mechanics of things, which were highlighted on Thursday. President Joe Biden started the day by setting an artificial deadline … sort of. Rather than say the moment had come for everyone to make their final offer and move to a vote, Biden simply proclaimed that everyone had agreed. Not to a bill, exactly, but to a framework. Except as the day wore on, it was clear that agreeing to a framework on the Democrats’ partisan social-spending proposal — one part of their two-bill strategy — still left quite a lot of questions unanswered. And that with things still unsettled, Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin weren’t willing to say they’d vote for the framework, which meant that the House Progressive Caucus still wasn’t ready to vote for the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which meant lots more meetings and eventually everyone going home for the weekend.

Oh, sorry: A lot of you may have been lost there because I didn’t stop to explain several steps, and so unless you’ve been following all of this more closely than anyone needs to, it probably seems very confusing. Which is one reason people really dislike Congress. Why can’t they just cut the deal that, at this point, they are extremely likely to conclude? Why can’t Manchin say that he’s going to vote for a bill that he’s presumably going to vote for? Why is it okay for the Progressive Caucus to hold the infrastructure bill hostage? Can’t they just get on with it? Can’t Biden tell them to get it done?

Nope. No one can tell a member of Congress to do anything. It’s all bargaining, and once people are empowered to bargain they’re going to use leverage where they can, even if it seems messy, takes more time and achieves results that no rational expert would’ve ever produced. I understand why people want to put politics aside and just do what’s best.

But I strongly disagree. I love Congress, in all its messiness and interest-mongering and political machinations. It’s the core of U.S. democracy, in the best sense possible. It’s imperfect at best, and it’s rarely at its best. But what it’s doing right now? This two-bill convoluted multipart negotiation, with proposals getting added and taken away and some senators refusing to bargain publicly and others seemingly reveling in their key positions and all the rest of it? Perhaps it’s not quite Congress at its best. But there’s a lot of democracy going on.

What we’re seeing here is representatives of the people making decisions on behalf of the nation, and that’s an inherently messy process — at least if it’s going to retain all those influence and access points and respect all the interests that 330 million citizens bring with them. I’ll stick up for Congress as the institution designed to do just that. And I wish that its virtues were just a little bit better appreciated.

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#19093 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-October-29, 07:44

David Leonhardt at NYT said:

https://messaging-cu...896ed87b2d9c72a

The legislative process is rarely pretty. It highlights political divisions and can feel disconnected from people’s lives. When a big bill is making its way through Congress, voters are often turned off.

The central piece of President Biden’s agenda has followed the pattern. It has caused squabbles among Democrats, and the plan has already shrunk nearly by half, disappointing progressives, amusing Republicans and providing grist for critical media coverage.

Eventually, though, the process behind a bill’s passage tends to fade into history. What matters far more is a bill’s substance. And if Congress passes anything resembling the legislative framework that Biden announced yesterday, it will be highly consequential.

That was the main message I heard from policy experts yesterday when I asked them to assess the framework. Compared with Biden’s original proposal, it looks paltry. Compared with the status quo, it looks like a big deal.

“This is not going to solve every problem, but it is going to change people’s lives,” Megan Curran of Columbia University’s Center on Poverty and Social Policy told me.

The bill would sharply cut child poverty; reduce child-care and health care expenses by thousands of dollars a year for many families; enroll more children in pre-K; provide more people with health insurance; finance the building of one million affordable housing units; and slow climate change by reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.

“Because they started big, there’s a tendency to say, ‘Oh, it’s disappointing’ — but it’s huge,” said Jane Waldfogel, a longtime scholar of children and families. “If you had told us a year ago that there was going to be a bill this fall that would have an extension of the child tax credit, big funding for child care, pre-K, health care, et cetera, I would have said, ‘In your dreams.’”

There are a few important caveats:

One, major provisions did fall out of the bill, including paid leave, drug-price reductions and several tax increases on the wealthy. “No one got everything they wanted, including me,” Biden said yesterday, before leaving on a trip to Rome.

Two, the political impact may be modest, especially in the short term. Democrats remain underdogs to keep congressional control next year.

Three — most importantly — a framework is not the same thing as a law, as my colleague Carl Hulse notes. Some members of Congress are still trying to make changes, and Democrats will have to remain almost completely unified to pass a bill.

Below is a breakdown of the biggest pieces of the $1.8 trillion, 10-year plan, assuming it passes in something like its current form.

Climate

Biden has vowed to cut greenhouse-gas emissions 50 percent by the end of this decade, relative to 2005 levels. Many scientists consider that to be a good target, one that would let the U.S. do its part to prevent the planet from warming more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).

Biden’s original legislative proposal would have come very close to achieving that goal, Coral Davenport, a Times reporter, says. But Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia opposed a provision to retire coal and natural-gas plants. The remaining climate package — mostly tax credits to reduce pollution — will likely get the country about halfway to Biden’s goal. (Here is Coral’s full analysis.)

“The package is really strong,” Nat Keohane, president of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, told me. “We’re going to need more.”

For Biden to achieve the rest of his emissions goal, his administration would need to regulate pollution more aggressively, and states would need to pass their own clean-energy bills.

Education and child care

Today, slightly more than half of pre-school-age children attend a program; the Biden framework would aim to make preschool universally available. It would also increase the maximum Pell grant — the largest college financial-aid program — by $550. And it would cap the amount of money that families spend on child care at 7 percent of their income; today, the average for families that have young children and pay for care is about 13 percent.

“The investments in preschool and child care have the potential to reshape American education,” Erica Greenberg of the Urban Institute told me. One unknown, her colleague Matthew Chingos said, is whether the bill will manage to lift the quality of the education programs it funds. In both pre-K and higher education, many schools are excellent — and many others perform poorly.

Another question: Will a future Congress extend the bill’s child tax credit — which is worth up to $3,600 per child per year and crucial to the projected reduction of child poverty? To hold down the bill’s cost, the Democrats’ framework allows the expanded credit to expire next year. They are hoping that the provision proves too popular for Republicans to block in the future.

Health care and more

The framework sets out to fix two problems with Obamacare — by expanding Medicaid in the 12 states that have not already done so, and by reducing the cost of private health insurance for middle- and lower-income people who buy it on the Obamacare exchanges.

Jason Furman, an economist and former adviser to Barack Obama, cited these improvements in a Twitter thread pointing out the benefits of passing legislation that is flawed but “much better than nothing.” Future policymakers can build off the successes of earlier legislation and also fix its problems — which is a reason to celebrate Biden’s framework, he suggested.

The framework would also add hearing coverage to Medicare, expand in-home care for older adults and disabled Americans, and raise wages for home health care workers.

Taxing the rich

The bill would not add to the deficit, White House officials claim, because of tax increases on corporations and the affluent — although the most ambitious tax increases on the wealthy did not survive the negotiations.

The framework does include a minimum tax on corporations, to prevent them from using so many deductions and loopholes that they pay little tax. It also raises income taxes on the very affluent, with a 5 percent surcharge on household income above $10 million and another 3 percent on income above $25 million.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#19094 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-October-30, 16:16

When the known aim of the GOP is to overthrow liberal democracy, I don't think it is hyperbole to describe anyone still donating to that cause as un-American.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#19095 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-October-31, 04:29

Combining art and science using Python and other stuff.
By Shane Wighton.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#19096 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-November-01, 05:45

Heather Cox Richardson said:

https://heathercoxri...XMK-tEOxen_RkEk

In the weeks after the January 6 insurrection, one of the things that struck me as an odd political calculation was how quickly Republican lawmakers fell back into line behind former president Trump. Anyone watching could see that the information about Trump’s involvement in that insurrection that would come out by, well, right about now—about a year before the midterm elections—was going to be bad.

And here we are, and yes it is.

Today the Washington Post published a long report about the events before, during, and after January 6, compiled by a team of more than 25 reporters and additional staff who reviewed video and court transcripts, followed social media posts, and interviewed more than 230 people. The report lays the blame for January 6 on Trump and warns that we are in a fight for the survival of democracy.

The report is horrific, full of images, tapes, and timelines of a far more violent attack on our government than has previously been put together. It shows how very close the insurrectionists came to getting their hands on then–Vice President Mike Pence, who Trump told them was the architect of their disappointment.

What might have happened is the stuff of nightmares.

The report concludes: “Trump was the driving force at every turn as he orchestrated what would become an attempted political coup in the months leading up to Jan. 6, calling his supporters to Washington, encouraging the mob to march on the Capitol and freezing in place key federal agencies whose job it was to investigate and stop threats to national security.” It notes that the former president did not make any effort to stop the attacks until it was clear they wouldn’t succeed, and that lawmakers assumed he was backing the rioters.

The report lays out how, on January 6, Trump and his loyal lawyer John Eastman, the author of the infamous memo outlining a six-point plan for overturning the 2020 election, continued to try to steal the election even as rioters were running amok in the Capitol. As then–Vice President Mike Pence and his family were hiding for their safety from the mob, Eastman blamed Pence for the insurrection, saying that if he had only done as the memo suggested, the riot wouldn’t have happened.

Then, when Congress resumed to count the certified ballots, Eastman argued that the delay in debate caused by the insurrection meant that Congress had run out of time to count the certified votes, as established by the Electoral College Act, so that the election should be thrown back to the states.

The Washington Post report places the insurrection into context: “The consequences of that day are still coming into focus, but what is already clear is that the insurrection was not a spontaneous act nor an isolated event. It was a battle in a broader war over the truth and over the future of American democracy,” it says. “Since then, the forces behind the attack remain potent and growing.”

The Washington Post series raises a lot of questions. It notes both that FBI officials ignored a lot of red flags before January 6 and that Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, whom Trump put into office immediately after the election after firing Defense Secretary Mark Esper, refused to approve the use of the D.C. National Guard to defend the Capitol for more than two hours after Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund requested help.

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#19097 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-November-01, 07:37

I very much would like Donald Trump to be of historical interest only. Most, unfortunately, that is not true. I have mentioned that long ago, after Nixon resigned, I was listening to the car radio and they wer broadcasting something Nixon said, I think it was from the interview with David Frost. I said "You resigned I no longer have to listen to you) and turned it off. I wish I could say the same for DT and, importantly, I expect many people wish for the same.

Trump is an ongoing menace, and we must face that.

I take a view that I think some (many?) on this thread see as naive. I acknowledge that there are quite a few people out there who have many grievances. Maybe some of the grievances can be worked with, maybe some cannot. But I think with many of these people they will, at some point, decide that the true awfulness of Trump rules out support for him. Among many reasons would be that Trump is using them. He used the rioters, he uses everyone. Trump is without principles, uninterested in anyone or anything other than himself and his own glory (as he sees glory).

My argument from this is that we all must give priority to coping with Trump. If someone prefers that Beloved not be assigned as school reading (Soul On Ice was assigned reading for my 13 year old daughter, a bit extreme I thought), work with them anyway. Accept that we can disagree if you favor assigning Beloved. Here in Maryland the Maryland One Book (everyone in Maryland is encouraged to read it, free copies are available for assignment to high school students) was The Book of Delights. The author, Ross Gay, discusses the interplay between eating pecans, or maybe it was walnuts, and fellatio. Just what every high school kid needs to be discussing in class. As far as I know, this book was assigned to no one by anyone. But if someone wants to read it, go ahead. Meanwhile, we need to deal with the threat posed by Donald Trump. All hands on deck. We can worry about literary tastes later.
Ken
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#19098 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-November-01, 07:50

You know the culture war stuff is out of control when even wiser heads here in the water cooler can't resist bringing it up.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#19099 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-November-01, 07:57

Nate Cohn at NYT/Upshot said:

In the Pew NPORS study, reading was very strongly correlated with Democratic support among white voters without a degree--especially under age 45. I think it merits research as a possible weighting parameter

Tyler Cowen said:

We once more find a Democratic bias towards the written word. -- Richard Hanania's new theory of politics: https://richardhanan...ervatives-watch

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#19100 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-November-01, 08:13

In Donald Trump the Trump supporter sees himself - but with the powers of a superhero . How can you give up the big D on your chest? Whatever bias or grievance you have can be expressed without consequence - in fact, you’re encouraged to do so.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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