Forced binaries, etc.

I’ve been hating on the Democratic party in public for almost 35 years, in private for longer than that. But I have to say, and I don’t see how anyone could deny this, if a Democrat were president now there just wouldn’t be anywhere near as many dead and doomed people. The CDC might not have been richly funded, but it certainly wouldn’t have been eviscerated, with talented people not wanting to go anywhere near it. The pandemic task forces wouldn’t have been disbanded, and probably would have been listened to from… Read More

Fresh audio product

Just added to my radio archive (click on date for link): March 12, 2020 Kali Akuno on why black voters like Joe Biden • Dibyesh Anand on the belief system of India’s Hindu Fascists (book here)

Fresh audio product

Just added to my radio archive (click on date for link): November 21, 2019 Ryan Grim, author of We’ve Got People, on the long fight between insurgents and establishment in the Democratic party • Jenny Brown, author of Without Apology, on the history and politics of abortion in the US (check out National Women’s Liberation and Redstockings)

Hahaha

Great moments in political analysis: Bill Clinton, November 2016: Bill Clinton branded Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn the “maddest person in the room” in a speech he gave explaining the resurgence of left-wing politics in Europe and America. Documents released by Wikileaks show the former President joked that when Mr Corbyn won his leadership contest, it appeared Labour had just “got a guy off the street” to run the party. Barack Obama, December 2016: President Barack Obama has suggested that Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party is “disintegrating” because it has lost touch with “fact and reality”…. Read More

Katha Pollitt, 1996 vs. 2016

[What a difference 20 years can make. Here’s the full text of column that Katha Pollitt wrote for The Nation as welfare was being repealed. It’s full of sharp criticism of the Clinton administration, the awfulness of the Dems, the treachery of lesser-evil politics, the limits of elite advocacy—and even a little mockery of Supreme Court fetishism. Today, Katha is a big fan of Hillary Clinton and has forgotten all this. Too bad, because this is very good.] The Nation — August 26-September 2,1996 The Strange Death of Liberal America Katha Pollitt I woke… Read More

On Hillary

[I said this on my radio show yesterday as a Hillary teaser. Jane McAlevey urged me to circulate it, and I do what Jane says.] A little self-promotion. I have a cover story in this month’s Harper’s on Hillary Rodham Clinton, which the editors gave the tabloidish headline, “Stop Hillary!” (And I do mean tabloidish—it caught the attention of a New York Post reporter, who wrote it up for the paper’s Page Six gossip feature.) In it, I review Hillary’s life in a very non-friendly way, in hope of derailing her unannounced yet… Read More

Minimum wage politics

I haven’t used this venue to promote my Harper’s piece on the awfulness of Hillary Clinton, but that’s about to change. First this little note, and then some bits from the cutting-room floor that wouldn’t fit next week. Some Democrats have been saying that a Hillary presidency would almost certainly lead to a rise in the minimum wage and a Republican wouldn’t. Maybe. But here’s the recent historical record. I have to admit I was surprised by this, but here you go: • The real value of the minimum wage rose 7.7%… Read More

Presidential economics, 2004 vintage

Mike Tomasky writes with some surprise in The Daily Beast (“The 24 and the 42 million, and Basic Competence”) that both the job market and the stock market have done better under Democratic presidents than under Republican. He comments: “ And yet, no one in America knows. No one.” That’s not true. Subscribers to Left Business Observer knew that years ago. I first reviewed the post-World War II record of the two parties in 1996, and updated the study in 2004. The results: Dems are better for growth in both jobs and GDP, and for… Read More

Why we love Dems (cont.)

Because they try so hard to “keep the stakeholders in the room”—even when they deserve a stake in the heart! Tom Daschle tells Wonk Room about how the public option—weak tea in the first place—was too much for the industry, so they snuffed it: I don’t think it was taken off the table completely. It was taken off the table as a result of the understanding that people had with the hospital association, with the insurance (AHIP), and others. I mean I think that part of the whole effort was based on a… Read More

Radio commentary, January 21, 2010

In the economic news, more stumbling along the bottom. On Thursday morning, the Labor Department (not, by the way, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the main source of data in that agency, but in this case the Employment and Training Administration, another division within the Department—sorry to go all geeky on you) reported that first-time claims for unemployment insurance, filed by people who’ve just lost their jobs, rose by a sharp 36,000 last week. The Department said, however, that this rise was mostly the result of a holiday-related processing delays and not… Read More