Don't be scary
January 6, 2015 12:12 PM   Subscribe

Republicans in state governments plan juggernaut of conservative legislation - "Enjoying a majority of unprecedented breadth, Republicans plan a new tide of conservative initiatives targeting the Common Core, abortion, income taxes, labor unions and the EPA." (via)

Meanwhile at the national level the GOP's main goal for the next two years is 'don't be scary'. Mitch McConnell aims to set the stage for a Republican win in 2016 with a 'reasonable agenda'. The new senate majority leader is hoping to achieve small legislative achievements but more importantly wants the GOP to demonstrate to the country an ability to govern effectively and thus won't overreach.

also btw...
  • A prediction for 2015: "The Republicans decide to position the party as the one that can get something done in Washington. They argue that President Obama was ineffective in his first six years, but when they got control of both the Senate and the House, legislation was passed. The Keystone pipeline finally is approved, as well as minor tax code revisions and even some changes in immigration policy. The Republicans are determined to strengthen their position with Hispanics in 2016. They want desperately to hold the nation’s highest office and they see Jeb Bush as a winner for them."
  • Top Issue for Americans? Bad Government: "A new survey detects a surprising shift in perceptions. 'Complaints about government leadership -- including President Barack Obama, the Republicans in Congress and general political conflict -- led the list, at 18%.' For the first year since 2007, the economy wasn't the top issue."
  • 5 things to know about the new, GOP-heavy Congress: "The GOP is intent on upending the president’s policies, including his 5-year-old health care law, his recent immigration actions sparing millions from deportation, and environment and business regulations. Unnerved by the prospect of a negotiated deal with Iran over its nuclear program, several Republicans, with some Democratic help, plan a pre-emptive strike of tough new sanctions on Tehran."
  • A machine to judge political claims against reality: "If I could rub an empty lager can, and get a genie to appear and grant me one wish for 2015, it would be for something apparently banal but revolutionary: an accurate simulation of the economy."
    posted by kliuless (147 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
     
    I suspect the next couple of years in American politics are going to be some of the ugliest we've seen, with Republicans increasingly attempting to mainstream white supremacy as a legitimate political ideology. I fear the scandal around the new incoming speaker and his acknowledged associations with white supremacist groups was a trial balloon to see how well the public would accept openly racial politics in advance of the next major election cycle. I hope I'm wrong, wrong, wrong, but I feel like the white identity folks are hoping to come out of the shadows and start offering their worldview up as a legitimate political platform now.
    posted by saulgoodman at 12:24 PM on January 6, 2015 [35 favorites]


    I don't understand why assaults on Common Core standards are considered to be a Republican thing. I don't know anyone who likes them.
    posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:24 PM on January 6, 2015 [13 favorites]


    Republicans trying to not be scary scares the hell out of me. Having said that the next two years are going to be a trainwreck of absolutely nothing getting done except daily press releases about Obama being obstructionist for yet another veto.
    posted by TwoWordReview at 12:26 PM on January 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


    let me guess how this is going to go: The Republicans will ask for 2x what they want and the Democrats will claim victory when they only pass half of it. 2 party government at its finest...
    posted by any major dude at 12:26 PM on January 6, 2015 [19 favorites]


    Fuck this democrat party shit.

    I feel that voting republican will do a lot better than settling for some democrat that wants republican votes, and is too much of a pussy to actually do some democrat shit like support labor unions, choice, environment, welfare, lower and middle-class, etc.

    I'm going to vote in all the fucking republicans that want in. I feel that would be a quicker way to get to "the rev(olution)". People aren't as angry as they should be.
    posted by hal_c_on at 12:27 PM on January 6, 2015 [8 favorites]


    It's also quite amusing to hear Republicans in the house trying to defend their vote for Boehner from the Tea Party types. They all seem to be some variation of 'Oh well of course I would have voted against him, but you know..."
    posted by TwoWordReview at 12:27 PM on January 6, 2015


    While I'd lay some of the blame at the feet of corporate media for its mealy-mouthed abrogation of its responsibility to make statements of fact as opposed to some sad current-events equivalent of "teaching the controversy", mostly I blame Democrats themselves for the pathetic turnout. They ran away from their own achievements, abandoned their own President, let the Republicans define them and refused to own any progressive agenda, or even the word "progressive", let alone "liberal".

    Of course they were routed. Who was going to vote for them?
    posted by George_Spiggott at 12:27 PM on January 6, 2015 [32 favorites]


    What exactly is changing here? Republicans have been in undisputed control of congress for the last six years.
    posted by mullingitover at 12:28 PM on January 6, 2015 [9 favorites]


    it's ever thus with progressives and liberals in this country because it's the party of 'many voices' and no consensus, whereas the right will line up behind fox news talking points and rally the vote. Hilary's novelty as a woman candidate is their only hope in '16.
    posted by OHenryPacey at 12:30 PM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


    Meanwhile at the national level the GOP's main goal for the next two years is 'don't be scary'.

    Until they win in 2016, then it's time to go Full-American-Taliban.
    posted by T.D. Strange at 12:37 PM on January 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


    If Hilary is our only hope then all hope has been lost.
    posted by el io at 12:38 PM on January 6, 2015 [13 favorites]


    Republicans - calling neofeudalism "conservatism", and dragging the USA quietly into the 13th century.
    posted by JohnFromGR at 12:39 PM on January 6, 2015 [6 favorites]


    Until they win in 2016, then it's time to go Full-American-Taliban.

    WHO'S READY FOR WAR WITH IRAN STARRING JEB BUSH?
    posted by Talez at 12:39 PM on January 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


    Mitch McConnell aims to set the stage for a Republican win in 2016 with a 'reasonable agenda'.

    I mean.

    There are several dozen horrifying Tea Party Republicans in Congress who will not let this happen.
    posted by duffell at 12:40 PM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


    Hilary's novelty as a woman candidate is their only hope in '16.

    This is silly. The Democrats' "hope" in 2016 is the same as their hope in every presidential election year: a different electorate turns out.

    The next two years will be just like the past four, except the Republicans will claim Democrats are the obstructionists.
    posted by spaltavian at 12:42 PM on January 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


    I don't get how you guys pay so much tax yet get so little for it.

    Shit must be real in Mexico.
    posted by Samuel Farrow at 12:43 PM on January 6, 2015


    : "Of course they were routed. Who was going to vote for them?"

    Their win followed the typical 'midterm penalty' pattern. Had things been reversed, President Romney's party likely would've been on the losing end of the election, and we'd be reading the tea leaves trying to figure out what republicans did to alienate their base.
    posted by mullingitover at 12:43 PM on January 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


    I don't understand why assaults on Common Core standards are considered to be a Republican thing. I don't know anyone who likes them.

    Do you know a lot of teachers?
    posted by escabeche at 12:46 PM on January 6, 2015 [6 favorites]


    Fuck this democrat party shit.

    Should be "Fuck this democratic party shit."
    posted by Drinky Die at 12:56 PM on January 6, 2015 [11 favorites]


    I'm going to vote in all the fucking republicans that want in. I feel that would be a quicker way to get to "the rev(olution)". People aren't as angry as they should be.

    We got shit for revolutions after 8 years of the Bush presidency. New Orleans in ruins, two wars, exploding debt, terroist attacks, and fuck all of a revolution. At one point people started bringing up the draft in mutters and rumblings. Still jack shit. And frankly, most of the angry people protesting in the world right now, from Germany to Greece, do have the same "revolution" you have in mind.

    I'd sincerely hope that the presidency doesn't go for the Republicans, 8 years of Metafilter whining about "Surely this" got really really old the first time.
    posted by zabuni at 12:57 PM on January 6, 2015 [54 favorites]


    Heightening the contradictions: surely it'll work this time!
    posted by tonycpsu at 1:00 PM on January 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


    The EPA? Don't these rich Republicans live in nice big houses in the countryside, like the rich Tories in England? Don't they want to look out on it, unspoilt? Or is it more "it strangles business with its lame and stupid regulations" crap? Yeah, clean water huh, who needs it?

    Also, the Iran sanctions and sabre rattling stuff is fucking scary.
    posted by marienbad at 1:04 PM on January 6, 2015


    No doubt this is the Republican mantra for at least the next two years.
    posted by jbickers at 1:05 PM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


    Still jack shit.

    Sometimes people have to lose all hope before they do something drastic. That "hope" stuff took the fire out of some people...but now they're realizing "oh shit, that didn't do jack...".

    Don't these rich Republicans live in nice big houses in the countryside, like the rich Tories in England? Don't they want to look out on it, unspoilt? Or is it more "it strangles business with its lame and stupid regulations" crap? Yeah, clean water huh, who needs it?

    When they destroy the environment, the poor people start hurting first. The water, the air, the ground...its all about poor people getting their stuff taken/tainted first. Nobody is gonna be drilling in the Hamptons anytime soon...

    So in that way, fuck the environment, because it doesn't affect "my land".
    posted by hal_c_on at 1:08 PM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


    Two perspectives on political paralysis:
    [Number 2: Political scientist James A.] Morone argues that at several points in American history, the federal government (blocked by design from changing its policies) has become manifestly out of step with a changing country. To name one example, Washington could not recognize unions but was faced with a militant labor movement ca. 1932. In such cases, Americans typically denounce their hobbled government as corrupt and elitist and demand that power shift to “the people.” They are invoking a myth, because the population is not unified; in fact, one of the reasons that government is paralyzed is that it reflects citizens’ conflicting interests. Nevertheless, by invoking “the people,” the reformers win new political rights or procedures (white male suffrage in the Jacksonian Era, regulatory agencies in the Progressive Era, collective bargaining under the New Deal, community action agencies in the 1960s). These new rights and procedures change who is effectively enfranchised and thus shift policy outcomes. Once a new equilibrium is reached, the system returns to paralysis, but in better alignment with the underlying social/economic situation.
    The fact that Americans on all sides of the political spectrum think their government is corrupt and elitist strikes me as an important partial confirmation of Morone's account. It's Occupy + Tea Party, Ferguson + NYPD, ascendancy for Elizabeth Warren + ascendancy for Rand Paul.

    I like to remind my students that no one living in the first fourteen years (or the first thirty years) of the 20th Century had any clue what they were in for. We live in interesting times.
    posted by anotherpanacea at 1:09 PM on January 6, 2015 [15 favorites]


    Fuck this democrat party shit.

    I feel that voting republican will do a lot better than settling for some democrat that wants republican votes, and is too much of a pussy to actually do some democrat shit like support labor unions, choice, environment, welfare, lower and middle-class, etc.


    Dude man bro, you'll end up with Gilead from the Handmaid's Tale here in the US of A, before the "contradictions" get heightened enough to reach the news media or the consciousness of John Q. Public.
    posted by jonp72 at 1:10 PM on January 6, 2015 [23 favorites]


    It's the same shit in the UK now too. Labour huffily denies that it is less conservative than the Tories. WT ever-lovin' F. Corporatism and the dismantling of the public sector continues apace in both countries, even though it has been repeatedly shown that the public doesn't actually want that.
    posted by George_Spiggott at 1:10 PM on January 6, 2015


    Don't these rich Republicans live in nice big houses in the countryside, like the rich Tories in England? Don't they want to look out on it, unspoilt? Or is it more "it strangles business with its lame and stupid regulations" crap? Yeah, clean water huh, who needs it?

    The undestroyed environment around them is evidence that we no longer need laws against destroying the environment.

    “Remember acid rain,” the Fox News host laughed. “Whatever happened to acid rain? It was ruining cars. Whatever happened with that?”
    posted by Drinky Die at 1:11 PM on January 6, 2015 [16 favorites]


    I'm going to vote in all the fucking republicans that want in. I feel that would be a quicker way to get to "the rev(olution)". People aren't as angry as they should be.

    Oh man, education and common sense in America has really fallen.

    Until you make a lot white middle and working class people angry enough to revolt, it's not gonna happen. Voting Republican won't do that, you're just helping to hand the keys of power to someone who doesn't have your interests in mind, in vague and unrealistic hope of teaching people some sort of lesson.

    It won't work.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:12 PM on January 6, 2015 [42 favorites]


    Now we will find out how well what has been happening in Kansas will work for the rest of the nation!
    posted by MoonOrb at 1:16 PM on January 6, 2015 [9 favorites]


    Luckily I recently took up homebrewing: looks like I am going to need a ready source of alcohol. *grimace*
    posted by wenestvedt at 1:17 PM on January 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


    I don't understand why assaults on Common Core standards are considered to be a Republican thing. I don't know anyone who likes them.

    Do you know a lot of teachers?


    I know a lot of textbook editors, who think that they are asinine.
    posted by Melismata at 1:17 PM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


    Why did I read this post? I was relatively calm and happy today until I read this post.
    posted by Foosnark at 1:17 PM on January 6, 2015 [14 favorites]


    I'm going to vote in all the fucking republicans that want in. I feel that would be a quicker way to get to "the rev(olution)". People aren't as angry as they should be.

    Pretty tough talk for someone who doesn't live in the US.
    posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 1:22 PM on January 6, 2015 [11 favorites]


    you're just helping to hand the keys of power to someone who doesn't have your interests in mind, in vague and unrealistic hope of teaching people some sort of lesson

    See also: third party candidates.
    posted by Slap*Happy at 1:22 PM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


    Sometimes people have to lose all hope before they do something drastic.

    People are not going to "lose all hope" due to a Republican president; your idea is something a petulant child would come up with.
    posted by Greg Nog at 1:25 PM on January 6, 2015 [17 favorites]


    I don't understand why assaults on Common Core standards are considered to be a Republican thing. I don't know anyone who likes them.

    Do you know a lot of teachers?
    posted by escabeche


    Not to follow this derail too much, but yeah, I do, and I am one (at the college level), and Common Core is shit to the core, and I haven't heard any of my colleagues or friends say anything different. It's not about education at all but about manufacturing more good workers for big corporations.
    posted by Saxon Kane at 1:25 PM on January 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


    I'm going to vote in all the fucking republicans that want in. I feel that would be a quicker way to get to "the rev(olution)". People aren't as angry as they should be.

    How quaint- you actually believe there will be a revolution, that there can be a revolution. And of course the way to go about it is to ensure that the party that has the most investment in crushing revolution has the most power. This is like saying "I'm going to feed this overweight guy nothing but bacon and eggs. After he has the coronary, he'll be totally healthy!"

    Seriously, the sooner this "The Revolution is inevitable, all we need to do is make things bad enough" nonsense dies in a fire, the better for everyone.
    posted by happyroach at 1:26 PM on January 6, 2015 [25 favorites]


    > It's not about education at all but about manufacturing more good workers for big corporations.

    One could argue that's the entire point of the industrialized educational system here in the US?
    posted by qcubed at 1:29 PM on January 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


    GOP, once again living up to the party motto of Old White People: "Fuck you, got mine."
    posted by Old'n'Busted at 1:31 PM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


    Well at least this might wake up some of the folks who only become politically active when the Republican Party wing of the Corporate State is in "charge". The Democratic Wing of the Corporate State has served its purpose well over the past 21 years.
    posted by nikoniko at 1:31 PM on January 6, 2015


    I'm going to vote in all the fucking republicans that want in. I feel that would be a quicker way to get to "the rev(olution)". People aren't as angry as they should be.

    You may want to crack a book and read up on exactly how fun revolutions generally are to live through, and how often they lead to the outcomes people were hoping for.
    posted by the phlegmatic king at 1:33 PM on January 6, 2015 [28 favorites]


    Time for the Whigs to emerge from hiding. Donkey and Elephant versus Owl!
    posted by nerdler at 1:34 PM on January 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


    To the people saying, "this is all just typical midterm fallout, nothing new here, blah blah blah" -- hey, sometimes Chicken Little is right and the goddamn sky IS falling. Today's Republican party, Tea Party & Neocon versions alike, is fucking terrifying in the shit they believe. The modern world is in the midst of about a billion different crises, and these nutbars are ready to pull the trigger on a whole host of horrible to flat out evil policies that will only serve to make things worse. I don't know what the solution is, what's the way to fight them, what's the way to try to get human civilization to move to some sort of progressive track, but I desperately hope we can find some way to do so. They have their hands on so much money, so much power, and can make so many people's lives around the world miserable, it's frankly terrifying. Because they do not care what the outcomes of their actions are, as long as it falls under the rhetoric of God and Country or whatever. And the Democratic party, while generally better on social issues, is a weak-willed, impotent political force, and more importantly, they are locked into the same general logic as the Republicans (neoliberal global capitalism & American exceptionalism), so Hillary Clinton '16 is not much of a light at the end of the tunnel.
    posted by Saxon Kane at 1:34 PM on January 6, 2015 [14 favorites]


    One could argue that's the entire point of the industrialized educational system here in the US?
    posted by qcubed


    Yep, and that's at the root of the problem.
    posted by Saxon Kane at 1:35 PM on January 6, 2015


    You may want to crack a book and read up on exactly how fun revolutions generally are to live through, and how often they lead to the outcomes people were hoping for.

    posted by the phlegmatic king
    <--Eponysterical?

    Anyway, yes, every revolution ends up turning against its core principles -- they revolve. But that doesn't mean they aren't necessary.
    posted by Saxon Kane at 1:41 PM on January 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


    Anyone that says that voting for Republicans in order to make shit worse in order to fuel for the fire of a revolution that will never come is probably talking out of ignorance or privilege or both.

    Things would be demonstrably worse for a lot of Americans if the Republicans have the congress, the presidency and the judiciary in 2016. Now personally my privilege as an upper middle class white male helps insulate me from a ton of those negative impacts but I'm totally not willing to give up the ground that was gained to make a more inclusive society on the off chance that making things worse makes things better in the long run.

    You know the real strategy towards making things better? You get up and start making things better on a microlevel and hopefully other people pile on and things get better. Hoping for armed revolution on the faint chance that the same people that are in charge now aren't in charge in the future seems delusional at best.
    posted by vuron at 1:42 PM on January 6, 2015 [12 favorites]


    Y'all...I mean seriously. Think about it:

    We had a president that:

    1.Was asleep at the helm for the worst terrorist attack on our country's soil in history,
    2 Petulantly neglected natural disaster preparation - even to the point of dismissing an advisor alerting him to the danger of an impending destruction of one of our major cities with "Good...now you've covered your ass",
    3. Literally LIED us into an elective war that will cost our country more than a trillion dollars and thousands of lives,
    4. Presided over an illegal wiretapping campaign,
    5. Presided over an illegal TORTURE campaign,
    6. Presided over the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, brought on in large part by the financial deregulation championed by his party, all while
    7. Taking literally HUNDREDS of days of vacation during his time in office!

    WHAT REVOLUTION???
    posted by darkstar at 1:44 PM on January 6, 2015 [70 favorites]


    That "hope" stuff took the fire out of some people...but now they're realizing "oh shit, that didn't do jack...".

    You're right, it didn't do jack. Except the biggest health care bill in more than 50 years. And ending a couple wars. And ending torture. And pulled the USA out of the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression and did it in 6 years. And killed bin Laden. And repealed Don't Ask, Don't Tell and publicly supported gay marriage and put two liberal women on the supreme court and ...

    But apart from that, the Romans have done nothing for us.
    posted by Justinian at 1:49 PM on January 6, 2015 [67 favorites]


    (I'm sure somebody already corrected me, but I meant "majority whip" not "speaker" above; Boehner will remain speaker apparently.)
    posted by saulgoodman at 1:50 PM on January 6, 2015


    The undestroyed environment around them is evidence that we no longer need laws against destroying the environment.

    Yup. Just like the fact there are no longer any lynchings means that we don't need the Voting Rights Act.
    posted by suelac at 1:56 PM on January 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


    7. Taking literally HUNDREDS of days of vacation during his time in office!

    1,020 days, or 32% of his Presidency. 42% of his first 8 months (i.e. the time up until Sept 11), including almost all of August. Far more than any president in history, including FDR who was elected to 4 terms and served a bit more than 3.
    posted by George_Spiggott at 2:02 PM on January 6, 2015 [24 favorites]


    Needs the Scary tag.
    posted by yoga at 2:05 PM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


    States are gerrymandered to ensure Republican majorities for local, state and national representation but unless states vote to start splitting electoral votes, the Presidency can't be gerrymandered. The most populated states tend to be blue. There are just a handful of states that will decide the 2016 presidential election.
    posted by Grumpy old geek at 2:06 PM on January 6, 2015


    "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." - H. L. Mencken
    posted by jim in austin at 2:10 PM on January 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


    “Remember acid rain,” the Fox News host laughed. “Whatever happened to acid rain? It was ruining cars. Whatever happened with that?”

    You know it's not like they even need a historical memory. China now is what we'd look like today if it wasn't for all the anti-pollution legislation that republicans have been opposing for decades.
    posted by empath at 2:11 PM on January 6, 2015 [22 favorites]


    To the people saying, "this is all just typical midterm fallout, nothing new here, blah blah blah" -- hey, sometimes Chicken Little is right and the goddamn sky IS falling. Today's Republican party, Tea Party & Neocon versions alike, is fucking terrifying in the shit they believe.

    I want to preface this by saying that I wouldn't vote for a Republican for dog catcher, but honestly, no, they are not worse than the combined GOP and Democratic congresses that almost dismantled the republic and launched a disastrous war in the middle east in the wake of 9/11. And Obama is still president for now, for whatever that's worth.
    posted by empath at 2:16 PM on January 6, 2015


    Hey, before everybody tears their clothes and freaks out in grief over the GOP's successes in November, I'd like to remind everybody that the majority of the Senate seats up for election in 2014 were Democrats who swept in with Obama in 2008 and that 2014 was a midterm election, aka "the years that Democrats roll their eyes at the idea of voting". There was no way 2014 was going to go well for the Dems.

    In 2016, meanwhile, the Senators elected during the peak of the initial Tea Party furor come up for election, and it's a Presidential election year. That's math.
    posted by Pope Guilty at 2:34 PM on January 6, 2015 [12 favorites]


    Anyway, yes, every revolution ends up turning against its core principles -- they revolve. But that doesn't mean they aren't necessary.

    People are referring to a more immediate danger, when your revolution is co-opted by other interest group, just as it gets off the ground.

    I had an acquaintance who was a student during the uprising against the Shah in Iran. He was pissed when (largely poor rural) religious conservatives took the movement over. The results were NOT what he had been pushing for.
    posted by bonobothegreat at 2:34 PM on January 6, 2015 [8 favorites]


    2 Petulantly neglected natural disaster preparation - even to the point of dismissing an advisor alerting him to the danger of an impending destruction of one of our major cities with "Good...now you've covered your ass"

    For the sake of the historical record, Dubya's response "All right. You've covered your ass, now." was to the CIA briefing "Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US." in August of 2001.

    The Bush administration had, however, downsized FEMA and cut funds for New Orleans' disaster preparedness in 2005 just before Hurricane Katrina devastated the city, despite its being one of the agency's top three concerns for potential catastrophe. Coincidentally, this happened just when Bush was finishing a 28-day vacation.

    The fiascoes of G. W. Bush administration's blurred together after a while and no doubt will have faded entirely from the memory of many voters when Jeb runs in 2016. Meanwhile the new GOP-dominated Congress will be doing everything it can to ensure victory then.
    posted by Doktor Zed at 2:40 PM on January 6, 2015 [11 favorites]


    "The undestroyed environment around them is evidence that we no longer need laws against destroying the environment. "

    Nobody I know's been murdered lately, must be time to get rid of those antiquated, job-killing anti-murder regulations.

    (One of the funniest parts of this is that one of the nominal conservative polestars is the idea that people are terrible, right down to original sin, so you have to have strong law and order to deter the criminal impulse while keeping government minimal to avoid the corruption of power… unless those people are in business, at which point I'm sure they can be trusted not to return to the same money-making schemes that did massive environmental damage before the regulations. That's sure to work!)
    posted by klangklangston at 2:41 PM on January 6, 2015 [12 favorites]


    Until you make a lot white middle and working class people angry enough to revolt, it's not gonna happen. Voting Republican won't do that, you're just helping to hand the keys of power to someone who doesn't have your interests in mind, in vague and unrealistic hope of teaching people some sort of lesson.

    It won't work.


    Handing someone the keys to power who doesn't have my interest in mind will mean they will fuck shit up for me and my interests.

    The point that you and I agree on is that people need to get angry to do something. I can't see any other way to get people angry then just give control of everything to the republicans. And then when everyone is fucked living like a serf, maybe then they won't have anyone to blame except those in power...100% republican.
    posted by hal_c_on at 2:44 PM on January 6, 2015


    Nobody I know's been murdered lately, must be time to get rid of those antiquated, job-killing anti-murder regulations.

    This is absolutely genius. I'm going to use this in many discussions this week.
    posted by hal_c_on at 2:45 PM on January 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


    unless states vote to start splitting electoral votes, the Presidency can't be gerrymandered

    hey guess what
    posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:47 PM on January 6, 2015 [7 favorites]


    "The point that you and I agree on is that people need to get angry to do something. I can't see any other way to get people angry then just give control of everything to the republicans. And then when everyone is fucked living like a serf, maybe then they won't have anyone to blame except those in power...100% republican."

    Use a power not available to Republicans: Reflect on the past and ask yourself when the last time this worked was.
    posted by klangklangston at 2:47 PM on January 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


    Not to follow this derail too much, but yeah, I do, and I am one (at the college level), and Common Core is shit to the core, and I haven't heard any of my colleagues or friends say anything different. It's not about education at all but about manufacturing more good workers for big corporations.

    This is most certainly not the reason why Republicans are attacking Common Core.

    Like on many other policy issues, Republicans are attacking a boogeyman that they constructed, not the actual, real life issue. The problem is that now their constituents expect them to destroy the boogeyman, since, after all, it's a boogeyman. So hearing that they are aiming for a "reasonable agenda" is comical. They constructed a version of America that's at the edge of apocalypse for their constituents, and now they think that they can be "reasonable" about that?
    posted by odin53 at 2:58 PM on January 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


    I am going to annoy a few people here, but the voters voted in what we have and that is how democracy works, right?
    The odd thing? in polls, most voters liked what the Dems did in recent years. They also noted that the GOP voted against those things. However, when asked how they felt about a GOP takeover, the strongly approved of it. What does this tell you about democracy and voting?
    posted by Postroad at 3:00 PM on January 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


    Now personally my privilege as an upper middle class white male, ...

    What this makes me feel first and foremost, as someone who is not an upper middle class white male, is excluded. Just saying.
    posted by dmh at 3:05 PM on January 6, 2015


    dmh, not to put too fine a point on it, but that's kind of the idea of the political strategy at play.
    posted by DoctorFedora at 3:15 PM on January 6, 2015


    What does this tell you about democracy and voting?

    That Mencken, as jim in austin mentioned above, was right.
    posted by Doktor Zed at 3:19 PM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


    Oregon has a ton of rain.

    It also has both legislative houses controlled by Democrats, as well as a Democratic governor.

    But it rains an awful lot, and there is not much sun here this time of year.
    posted by Danf at 3:24 PM on January 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


    ..."people need to get angry to do something."

    Wrong. Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong. Anger leads to mistakes and rash decisions. Anger over powers reason and strategic thinking. Anger leads to lashing out and exposing oneself to critical errors of judgement and allowing your opponent to paint you as irrational and unfit to lead.

    I do not want angry voters. You want to be angry, go join the Tea Party. I want people to think their ideas through and consider secondary and tertiary effects of anything they propose. I want people be able to explain their view points without falling back on catch phrases and truisms, or regurgitating received wisdom from their chosen talking heads. I want voters who have read the ballots, evaluated the candidates based upon their previous voting record (if incumbent) or on their ability to communicate clearly their intention of how they will vote if elected (and get voted out the next election if they don't). I want a civic minded and engaged population that has learned how to navigate the minefield of propaganda parading around as news. I want the 4th Estate to get off it's ass and start doing what it should do, not cowtow-ing to the elites, praying for their jobs to be safe from astro-turfing lobbyists with PR agencies on speed dial. I want financial industries regulated to the point that they are so busy trying to stay compliant that they don't have time or energy to create boiler room call centers selling penny stocks to people who don't know anything about the effective distribution of goods through the use of capital trading houses (yes, I know, they've been dead and gone since before the 20th century). I want the poorest of the worlds people to have a roof over their heads and a full belly at the end of each day.

    But we will never get that by voting Republican.

    *And I want a pony. I will name her War Pony. We will ride into the sunset, crunching the skulls of our enemies that have been driven before us.
    posted by daq at 3:25 PM on January 6, 2015 [17 favorites]


    In Wisconsin, I've kind of reached outrage fatigue. There seems to be nothing we can do in the short term to slow down the effectively one party rule of the state, and the only thing that has checked their crazy actions were older-school Republicans, some of whom have started resigning.

    The left needs new leaders that come up with effective tactics from the local level up.
    posted by drezdn at 3:26 PM on January 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


    I, for one, welcome our new insectoid overlords.
    posted by Chitownfats at 3:29 PM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


    Don't blame me, I voted for the lizard people.
    posted by asperity at 3:38 PM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


    Molted.
    posted by clavdivs at 3:39 PM on January 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


    The Republicans are determined to strengthen their position with Hispanics in 2016.

    GOP Strategists: First, we stop referring to them as 'spics', 'beaners', and 'wetbacks'...

    Tea Party: POLITICAL CORRECTNESS RUN AMOK!!

    GOP Strategists: Uhmmm, what else have we got... voter suppression it is.
    posted by hangashore at 4:02 PM on January 6, 2015 [6 favorites]


    We don't blame you.
    posted by Lizard People at 4:04 PM on January 6, 2015 [24 favorites]


    I don't understand why assaults on Common Core standards are considered to be a Republican thing. I don't know anyone who likes them.

    Common Core is an attempt to nationalize academic standards, which can differ from state to state. Republicans don't like Common Core because it precludes them from teaching subjects that don't fly nationally--namely creationism, but also history, sex ed., etc.

    Others have issue with Common Core because of its curriculum manipulation and assessment methodology, which further ratchets up the corporate-run standardized testing that has dominated education since the 90s. That aspect of CC just makes the privatization of education all the stronger.

    It's worth noting that a nationalized standard movement is, IMHO, at least a step in the right direction for education. Every other modern nation has national standards; only in the U.S. are they piecemeal, and determined state by state, county by county, district by district. When standards are nationalized, it should level the playing field for students and teachers alike.

    Diane Ravitch has a number of articles on the subject--here's one recent one. This is a big, complex, and complicated subject, and people's knee-jerk reactions are immensely irritating to those of us in education who are trying to improve a system a lot of people--including folks on the left--who just want to bury it in a shallow grave.
    posted by zardoz at 4:21 PM on January 6, 2015 [13 favorites]


    Don't blame me, I voted for the lizard people.
    posted by asperity at 10:38 AM on January 7 [+] [!]

    We don't blame you.
    posted by Lizard People at 11:04 AM on January 7 [4 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


    Man, I love you guys.

    Question - Lizard People, how do you always know when you're being mentioned on MeFi? Do you have a Google alert set up or something? Or is there just a particularly attentive intern at your secret moon base?
    posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:32 PM on January 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


    the lizard people are everywhere
    posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:33 PM on January 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


    "Don't be scary"

    Executive summary: Silence criticism by stressing the importance of positivity, compromise and getting things done, while steamrolling through legislation that sets us back to some kind of Republic of Dave scenario from Fallout 3.

    Welcome to 2016!
    posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 4:47 PM on January 6, 2015


    What is Howard Dean up to these days? Dissolve the DLC and start fresh with a firebrand in charge of party strategy.
    posted by j_curiouser at 5:23 PM on January 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


    I feel like feces is being unfairly maligned by the repeated association with the current Democratic party.
    posted by srboisvert at 6:56 PM on January 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


    "Silence criticism by stressing the importance of positivity, compromise and getting things done, while steamrolling through legislation..."
    Wait a minute, that seems so familiar.

    I know, it was the platform that President Barack Obama ran on in 2008. That whole "HOPE" thing. See, the Republican's CAN learn.
    posted by daq at 7:00 PM on January 6, 2015


    Well, "hope" was certainly in short supply at the end of two terms of W. But I must have missed out on all the steamrolling, which was hard to hear over the sound of Dems bending over backwards to capitulate to the GOP.
    posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 7:07 PM on January 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


    Voters got tired of the Democrats and their broken promises when they got into office and did none of them. So in revenge they voted in the Republicans.

    After the increases in the income tax, and tax penalties for not having health insurance, I'd say the chances that the voters will elect a Republican into the White House are very good in 2016.

    You all have no idea just how doomed we are. We live in a corporatism where corporations use lobbyists to pay politicians to vote for laws in their favor and give money to Democrats and Republicans. Each law pass in favor of a corporation takes away freedoms, rights, and liberties from the people.

    Health insurance companies lobbied politicians to get that ACA bill passed, it takes control away from Doctors and gives it to insurance companies, it also raises the copays and deductibles and monthly fees, we are facing a doctor shortage as the Baby Boomer Doctors retire and some Doctors now refuse to take Medicare. I had only two therapists in my area that take Medicare, and they refuse to take me because they are all booked up. My doctors are retiring and I get new doctors now.

    Common Core, it really depends on how it is taught. If they follow PEMDAS, it should be alright. If they don't follow PEMDAS and do the "Any answer is correct if you feel good about it" BS then I have a problem.
    posted by Orion Blastar at 7:59 PM on January 6, 2015


    Use a power not available to Republicans: Reflect on the past and ask yourself when the last time this worked was.

    Thats exactly what I'll be thinking when I consider punching the ticket for a democrat. When was the last time this shit worked?

    Dear old donkey,

    You aren't doing your job, so I might vote for the other guy. Not because he's better, but you seriously do need a good kick in the donkey.

    Signed,
    Formerly Loyal Democrat
    posted by hal_c_on at 8:11 PM on January 6, 2015


    Well, "hope" was certainly in short supply at the end of two terms of W. But I must have missed out on all the steamrolling, which was hard to hear over the sound of Dems bending over backwards to capitulate to the GOP.

    The steamrolling sound you heard was actually a generation of first time, millennial voters turning away from politics en mass after Obama immediately betrayed everything they voted him into office to counter.

    There was a moment in 2008-09 when Obama had a real chance to sieze a generation of voters for the Democrats and really follow through on "hope and change".

    He completely failed.

    And now we're here. Walker 2016.
    posted by T.D. Strange at 8:15 PM on January 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


    When was the last time this worked? The Obama presidency.
    posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:15 PM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


    You aren't doing your job, so I might vote for the other guy. Not because he's better, but you seriously do need a good kick in the donkey.

    Yeah see the thing is what you are doing when you do this is kicking everyone else in the world in the donkey. Not just Americans--though they would be the most immediately fucked, if they're not cis/male/white/middle class or higher--but the next nation of brown people the Republicans decide to bomb the fuck out of, the economies--as in basically every economy--tied to the American one, and not least me, one of your neighbours to the north.

    Voting Republican as some sort of bizarre revenge strategy does not one goddamn thing to 'teach Democrats a lesson' and does everything to fuck over your countrymen and every country in the world that is somehow tied to the USA.

    Might be worth considering that this attitude you're espousing is more or less precisely the attitude that Republicans exemplify on a daily basis: fuck you, I don't need to consider anyone else.
    posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:27 PM on January 6, 2015 [12 favorites]


    He completely failed.

    I agree. I don't agree that voting in Republicans will spark a national uprising (and I have to admit I don't know anything about Walker), but I know for damn sure it will set back civil rights for women and minorities by decades or longer.
    posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 8:29 PM on January 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


    Vote Republican to teach the Dems a lesson and the lesson they will take from it is that they should move that much further to the right to get votes.
    posted by jason_steakums at 8:30 PM on January 6, 2015 [20 favorites]


    What does this tell you about democracy and voting?
    "So voters want a higher minimum wage, legal pot, abortion access and GOP representation. Ok then."
    posted by persona at 8:32 PM on January 6, 2015


    The lesson voting republican teaches the democrats is that they need to be more like republicans if they want your vote.
    posted by aubilenon at 8:32 PM on January 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


    "The same thing we do every night Pinky--try and take over the world!"
    posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:36 PM on January 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


    Thats exactly what I'll be thinking when I consider punching the ticket for a democrat. When was the last time this shit worked?"

    We reading the same thread?
    You're right, it didn't do jack. Except the biggest health care bill in more than 50 years. And ending a couple wars. And ending torture. And pulled the USA out of the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression and did it in 6 years. And killed bin Laden. And repealed Don't Ask, Don't Tell and publicly supported gay marriage and put two liberal women on the supreme court and ...

    But apart from that, the Romans have done nothing for us.
    I don't agree with everything Obama has done, but on balance he's been pretty effective at righting the foundering ship of state.
    posted by klangklangston at 8:39 PM on January 6, 2015 [6 favorites]


    Day 1: Cripple Social Security Disability Insurance.

    Hold on to your butts.
    posted by dirigibleman at 8:44 PM on January 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


    You're right, it didn't do jack. Except...

    I'm just upset. I ain't voting for those fuckers, but I don't know what to do.
    posted by hal_c_on at 8:49 PM on January 6, 2015


    Yeah I mean all those disabled freeloaders should just pull themselves up by their bootstraps!

    Christing fuck these sociopathic assholes
    posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:50 PM on January 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


    I'm just upset. I ain't voting for those fuckers, but I don't know what to do.

    You have two choices:

    1) Vote Democrat

    2) Vote anti-woman, anti-queer, anti-poor, anti-people-of-colour.
    posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:51 PM on January 6, 2015 [6 favorites]


    Oh, there is a third choice
    Trust me.
    posted by clavdivs at 8:55 PM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


    ..anti-environment, anti-regulation, anti-education, anti-science, anti-reality...
    posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:58 PM on January 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


    Day 1: Cripple Social Security Disability Insurance.

    Hold on to your butts.


    Tom Coburn, long the chief architect against Social Security Disability in Congress and author of countless bogus studies against every aspect of the agency, on his way out the door laid out a GOP blueprint to completely gut SSDI after a manufactured crisis in the DI trust fund.

    That's absolutely part of their kick-the-poors-while-they're-down-and-also-because-they're-poor-and-fuck-poor-people agenda, beginning today.
    posted by T.D. Strange at 9:00 PM on January 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


    I mean seriously, at this stage in history, voting Republican is saying "I am a spoiled and petulant child, and it is more important for me to make some impotent gesture of revenge than it is to guarantee the rights of my queer brothers and sisters. It is more important to entrench racism in government, just to show those Democrats how wrong they are. The environment doesn't matter, because telling the Democrats I'm pissed off is more important than anyone's children. Getting my revenge matters more than women having their bodily autonomy stripped away from them. Who needs solid regulation of business when I can really screw the Democrats?"

    etc

    Seriously, it's taking your toys and going home, at best. Grow up. Recognize the evil that will be perpetrated on everyone who wasn't born straight, white, male, with money, if you vote this way.
    posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:05 PM on January 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


    "I'm just upset. I ain't voting for those fuckers, but I don't know what to do."

    Organize, and get progressives elected locally to build a bench capable of taking on both the Democratic and Republican parties.
    posted by klangklangston at 9:22 PM on January 6, 2015 [4 favorites]




    Taking folks on disability hostage economically != Don't Be Scary.
    posted by riverlife at 1:26 AM on January 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


    Hey, I really need to live in a country with universal healthcare and community living for people with disabilities. Maybe Norway would give me asylum?
    posted by Soliloquy at 1:35 AM on January 7, 2015


    My sweet little old Aunt Betty, and my Aunt Gail, are sending out stuff they've favorited on Right Wing News. And not the fluff piece about Grumpy Dog.

    This seems to me to be the worst of it, like Frodo coming home to the Shire and finding Saruman there. Some of the gentlest and most (I had thought) unpolitical people I know, just shaking with rage now about liberals and their government programs. Yesterday it was 'Nobody should receive welfare who's ever failed a drug test.'

    I really feel like I don't recognize my country or the people around me any more.
    posted by newdaddy at 3:56 AM on January 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


    Let me follow that up by saying its a larger problem can than be addressed by organizing and knocking on doors in the lead-up to a single election, IMO. The culture itself is running away from progressives, from any notion of common purpose. Liberals and progressives are simply contemptible now, their views aren't even worth consideration. By advocating any particular view we taint it.
    posted by newdaddy at 4:03 AM on January 7, 2015


    Some of the gentlest and most (I had thought) unpolitical people I know, just shaking with rage now about liberals and their government programs.

    This is the power of the Parallel Media Echo Chamber, which the right-wing think tanks have spent the last forty years building and honing.

    One of the ways in which ideas (bullshit or not) are reinforced is repetition -- all these sources saying the same thing can't ALL be wrong, can they? So Grandma turns on the TV news (which happens to be Fox) and hears about how muslim atheist extremists are fighting a war on Christmas by shooting cops and then breathing defiantly. She picks up the newspaper (the RIGHT newspaper, not that Commie rag they want you to read) and reads the same on its front pages and editorials. She turns on the radio and hears the same story, only louder and shriller. She turns on her computer and reads the same thing on dozens of web sites, then clicks Facebook to see if there are any nice cat pictures today and sees that ten people posted the story on their walls. And soon Grandma herself is spouting the same story to anyone who'll listen, along with a couple of nasty remarks about Al Sharpton and judicial activism and our Kenyan tyrant. (Add on a little bit of the Whisper Down The Lane Effect, in which the stories get wilder and more inflammatory as they travel.)

    I'm fighting the same battle with my father, who grows more politically surly by the day. Over the last week or two I've heard from him how hoodies are going to be banned nationwide because of urban violence, how Al Sharpton has been issuing death threats to cops, and other such delights. My one comfort is that while he has bought into the rhetoric, he can't stand most modern right-wing candidates and thinks that most of them are idiots. The day that he says "Y'know, I think that Sarah Palin and Louie Gohmert were right all along" is the day that we get all of his medication checked.
    posted by delfin at 5:36 AM on January 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


    The saddest thing, is that even with the Republicans in charge of everything but the White House, Obama will be blamed for any economic collapse or set back that happens within five to ten years of leaving office.
    posted by drezdn at 6:58 AM on January 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


    The lesson voting republican teaches the democrats is that they need to be more like republicans if they want your vote.

    Quite so.

    If anybody reading this seriously intends voting against the Dems for not being progressive enough, and is actually willing to live with the knowledge of having helped the frat boys have another crack, then vote Green. It will have exactly the same immediate effect but is far less strategically damaging.
    posted by flabdablet at 7:36 AM on January 7, 2015


    and is actually willing to live with Democrats screaming NAAAAAAAAAADERRRRRRRR! in your ear for the next few decades, then vote Green.

    Fixed this for you.
    posted by delfin at 7:40 AM on January 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


    Once the good ole boys are back behind the wheel, anything Democrats are screaming will be the least of anybody's worries.
    posted by flabdablet at 8:26 AM on January 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


    I'm too depressed to even bother with the political news any longer. What a great new year it is, already!
    posted by RedOrGreen at 8:28 AM on January 7, 2015


    I am a liberal academic scientist woman who teaches at a majority-minority public college. There is literally nothing about me that they don't hate, except that I'm white and I'm married, but I don't think I'm the right kind of white or the right kind of married.
    posted by hydropsyche at 8:40 AM on January 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


    I'll give this to Republicans. As a party that gets elected on a "we're going to fuck over a lot of people" ticket they will actually see through the objectives they ran on, driving the country into an even deeper pit then it's already in.
    posted by juiceCake at 9:36 AM on January 7, 2015


    I am a liberal academic scientist woman who teaches at a majority-minority public college

    BURN THE WITCH
    posted by flabdablet at 10:11 AM on January 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


    "I really feel like I don't recognize my country or the people around me any more."

    Sounds like they're getting more conservative and xenophobic as they age, which is not really unheard of. But in terms of public support for policies, they're more and more a minority, which tends to increase the fervor and reactionary appeal of nostalgia and revanchism.

    We tend to remember the past as simpler and less conflicted than it was (not least because we were all children in the past). But there are very few of us for whom a return to the past would be a good thing — those who would benefit from it have a loud megaphone and have to win on prejudice rather than policy.

    Also, it helps me to remember that America has largely been a country of assholes (I assume most countries have been, but I'm most familiar with America for obvious reasons) for a long time. Limbaugh's a rancid shit, but I'd take him over Father Coughlin. And for all the ways Bush fucked us as a country, he was still probably less vile than Andrew Johnson. (Being only maybe the third worst president and worst in modern times is something Bush can put on his refrigerator.)
    posted by klangklangston at 10:11 AM on January 7, 2015 [2 favorites]








    Congress Spends Day One Passing A New Abortion Ban
    At what point does it get scary? lol
    posted by jeffburdges at 4:48 AM on January 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


    Yeah wow, they are wasting no time.

    Screw with a classically impartial, nonpartisan research service so they can do what they want? Check
    Setting the stage for a big government shutdown with bonus points for sticking it to the disabled? Check
    Shredding the bodily autonomy of women? Check

    What's next on the list?
    posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:04 AM on January 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


    Probably sabatoging the diplomatic process with Iran, and imposing sanctions, as a lead up for 2017 when the Republican president declares war on Iran.

    Also, probably an attempt to impeach Obama. Possibly not lead by the leadership, but by the more true believer factions.
    posted by happyroach at 9:24 AM on January 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


    What is Howard Dean up to these days?

    Raking in the big bucks on K Street like everybody else.
    posted by blucevalo at 9:35 AM on January 8, 2015


    What's next on the list?

    Debtor prisons?
    posted by juiceCake at 7:09 PM on January 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


    What's next? Why, taking away health insurance from people only working a job destroying 30+ hours a week instead of a job preserving 40+:
    "The bill changes the full-time worker threshold from 30 hours weekly to a 40-hour minimum. Critics claim defining full-time employees as those working at least 30 hours is pressuring firms to save money by cutting workers' hours below that and, in turn, the number of full-time jobs."
    ...
    "You say you care about low-income workers, about working women and small businesses?" House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., taunted Obama. "Show it and sign this bill."
    ...
    The White House, just days into the 114th Congress, also has threatened to veto two other Republican-sponsored bills, including one forcing approval of the Canada-to-Texas Keystone pipeline.
    ...
    "Given the chance to start with a burst of bipartisan productivity, the president turned his back on the American people's priorities," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters Thursday, adding, "We were taking our oath of office when they were issuing veto threats. Come on."
    posted by weston at 9:23 PM on January 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


    Man, Obama's gonna be out of veto pens before February.
    posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:48 PM on January 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


    Critics claim defining full-time employees as those working at least 30 hours is pressuring firms to save money by cutting workers' hours below that and, in turn, the number of full-time jobs.

    This claim is incoherent on so many levels as to leave me gasping in awe at the sheer breathtaking scale of the bone-headed cluelessness required to believe in it.
    posted by flabdablet at 3:35 AM on January 9, 2015


    I am in favor of the ACA all the way, but
    "Critics claim defining full-time employees as those working at least 30 hours is pressuring firms to save money by cutting workers' hours below that and, in turn, the number of full-time jobs."

    this is mostly true, correct? The 30 hour cut-off didn't necessarily decrease the amount of full-time jobs (and raising the number of hours won't increase the number of full time jobs) but part-time workers did have their hours cut correct? I feel like we've heard alot of stories of people who used to work 1-2 jobs at 30-35 hours per job who now have to work 2-3 jobs at 20-25 hours per job.
    posted by LizBoBiz at 6:15 AM on January 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


    VETO ALL THE THINGS!
    posted by empath at 6:40 AM on January 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


    I don't think tying health insurance to employment will ever work long-term. Of course getting Republicans and conservative Democrats to sign off on Single Payer has about 0% chance of ever happening in the next few decades even if (or, depending on how cynical you feel, because) it would solve a lot of these issues.

    I think, near-term, the next best thing to do would be not rock the boat too much. The ACA is one of the biggest policy and economic changes instituted since the new deal and it's still not fully implemented. The more changes made to it the more uncertain the future landscape will be. The ACA has flaws, sure, and a lot of people still don't fully understand it. But it's a known quantity which people can and are preparing for. As time goes on it will be understood better by more and more people. The more changes to it the more uncertain the future will be. While uncertainty is good for some, it's bad for most.

    I could imagine that if the cut-off is changed to 40 hours then a lot of those people working 2-3 jobs will find that one of those jobs no longer exists because that place increased the hours of another person and now needs fewer people. Some of those people will find one of their 2-3 jobs increases in hours, but many will just have less hours to work or might lose all 3 of their jobs. So some people will benefit and some people won't.

    Whether it will be overall beneficial I have no idea, but Republicans spent the last half-decade furiously trying to bury the ACA using every trick they could think. I'm not very trustful that they actually want to fix it. If they're proposing a change, I'm going to believe their past rhetoric and assume they think this change and others like it will be used to kill it eventually. If you have a loved one who needs medical help you don't want a person who vowed to kill them at the operating table.
    posted by Green With You at 10:52 AM on January 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


    re: 'dynamic scoring'
    -Who's Right On Dynamic Scoring? Ask Canada
    The first is that predicting the effects of policy changes isn't as straightforward as dynamic scoring's proponents suggest, and in some cases comes down to assumptions that are a matter of belief... Another reason for Canada's decision to stick with the static method, according to Askari, is that in most cases it doesn't make that much of a difference, a conclusion many American experts share... Finally, Askari said that dynamic scoring reflects an ideological agenda, derived from the belief that tax cuts always lead to growth.
    -Do Tax Cuts Partly Pay for Themselves?
    -A Republican Ruse to Make Tax Cuts Look Good
    -Dynamic Scouring

    What is Howard Dean up to these days?
    Raking in the big bucks on K Street like everybody else.


    i finished reading edward luce's time to start thinking and chapter 6 -- 'why money continues to rule washington' -- is sobering; here's a start:
    In his classic book American Politics: The Promise of Disharmony, Samuel Huntington identified America's key fault line as the gap between the ideals of America's national creed—based on the values of political equality—and its reality, which often fails to live up to them. Whenever the gap becomes too glaring, as it seems to have done in the early twenty-first century, Americans are prone to bouts of "creedal passion."

    During such periods, Americans tended to respond in one of four ways—with hypocrisy, moralism, cynicism, or complacency. Huntington saw these tendencies as sui generis, given that America was uniquely founded on a creed rather than on shared history or ethnicity. Polling showed that the outlook of wealthy Americans more often fit Huntington's definition of hypocrisy, while small town and blue-collar Americans were more prone to cynicism. When combined, these mentalities tended to "perpetuate the status quo."

    For Huntington, hypocrisy was the most insidious of America's creedal vices: once seen in their leaders it would tilt the broader American public toward cynicism. It is no accident that Bush, who appeared to care little whether money was seen to be influencing his agenda, started with far lower expectations than Obama. Following Huntington, Bush would have qualified as complacent (with some moralism). Obama would appear to be hypocritical (with a lot of moralism). "If you are extraordinarily high-minded in your political pronouncements," wrote Huntington, "then you are bound in the nature of things to be more than ordinarily hypocritical."
    stay for mancur olson on public choice theory:
    -How the White House’s Deal With Big Pharma Undermines Democracy
    -The revolving door spins faster on healthcare reform

    anyway, i was watching one of his protégés (viz. skip to 21m for US, cf. "the nature of power itself is changing") where he and wolf are skeptical of the 'china model' [1,2,3] but then apparently: "Fukuyama goes on to say that a friend in Beijing had learned that the Communist party would translate that book’s recently published companion volume, Political Order and Political Decay for publication in a private edition for its senior leadership."

    i guess i'm still hoping that quality of life on the fitness landscape for group evolution will prove adaptively advantageous? "four things are essential for large-scale digital innovation to flourish: great research universities, the rule of law and respect for contracts and property, large pools of innovation-seeking capital, and a cultural acceptance of risk and failure..."

    also btw...
    -Gunned Down: The Power of the NRA
    -A Million To Be Kicked Off Food Stamps
    -U.S. FCC chief's speech seen supporting Obama on net neutrality
    posted by kliuless at 11:22 AM on January 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


    Man, Obama's gonna be out of veto pens before February.

    I feel like people should mail him pens with the name of the thing they want vetoed on them.
    posted by jason_steakums at 7:04 PM on January 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


    I feel like people should mail him pens with the name of the thing they want vetoed on them.

    I think this would be kind of an awesome campaign. Like the various fan campaigns to save shows. But important-er! The first time the Republicans start complaining about Obama thwarting the will of the people as demonstrated in their 2014 mandate, he backs up a dump truck of pens and pours them on the Capitol steps.

    Maybe they could donate them to DC public schools, after.
    posted by anotherpanacea at 7:27 PM on January 9, 2015 [4 favorites]






    *standing ovation for Bernie Saunders*
    posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:24 AM on January 14, 2015








    Apparently youtube has many : Honest Political Ads: NASCAR Politics
    posted by jeffburdges at 5:34 AM on January 20, 2015




    The day that he says "Y'know, I think that Sarah Palin and Louie Gohmert were right all along" is the day that we get all of his medication checked.

    FYI, it is considered good form to address Gohmert by his full title: Louie Gohmert, Padishah Emperor For Life of the Crazy People
    posted by homunculus at 2:38 PM on January 23, 2015


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