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  • JoeBuck commented on the blog post Democrats Are Practically Begging for Obama to be Impeached

    2014-07-29 12:01:58View | Delete

    Oh, please. Yes, impeachment can happen, because it only takes a simple majority of the House, and if dissembling about a blow job is impeachable, surely they can come up with a charge. Conviction and removal from office is of course impossible. But surely FDL isn’t going to push the GOP leadership’s that impeachment is a Democratic fund-raising idea? Anyone with any exposure to right-wing media has seen the drumbeat for impeachment for most of the last year, with at least a dozen prominent wingnuts calling for it in the last week.

    The only sure way to prevent an impeachment from happening is for the Democrats to take the House in 2014, which is unlikely. No one should be surprised that the Democrats see an opportunity to fund-raise here. And yes, the GOP leadership sees the polls and knows it’s a bad idea, but their base overwhelmingly favors impeachment, even if they can’t agree on what the charge is (I could name several impeachable offenses, but since the Republicans agree with Obama’s actions for all of those, they’d have to come up with something else).

  • Richard Engel is the reporter NBC sent in after they pulled Ayman Mohyeldin out. I figured that he would more reliably parrot the official line, but his tweets from Gaza have been very good. He is reporting what he’s been seeing (though I suspect little of it is showing up on air). He speaks Arabic, so NBC messed up; when you really want the official line you just need to send a reporter who only speaks English (which is why otherwise progressive British reporters get the impression that most Venezuelans were against Chavez, they could only talk to the English-speaking upper classes).

  • JoeBuck commented on the blog post The Undying Filibuster Myth

    2014-07-22 14:11:28View | Delete

    I think that the Democrats definitely could have pushed harder, but there were a couple of factors in the way. One was Obama’s bipartisan rhetoric and inflated opinion of his ability to bring people together and create consensus middle of the road solutions. He thought he needed Republican votes. Another is that Lieberman and the conservative Democrats liked power. Without the filibuster threat they had no way of getting their will, and they repeatedly threatened filibusters to get their way. In Lieberman’s case, he was pretty much a trained seal for the insurance industry as well as every other moneyed interest you could name. This could have been countered if Obama and Harry Reid had pushed harder and if the party had been willing to use committee assignments as threat against disloyal Dems. But I think both Obama and Reid are somewhat to the right of many Senate Democrats, not crazy about some of the more progressive legislation that Pelosi got passed in the House, and didn’t mind the obstruction at first until they realized, too late, that the Republicans were intent on making Obama fail even if he wanted to govern as a moderate Republican.

  • California’s top-two primary can produce odd results if one party has two candidates on the ballot and the other has four or five. There was one race where two Republicans made it to the general election even though the majority of primary voters chose a Democrat. This could be fixed by some form of instant runoff voting, perhaps a simple form where voters could specify a second choice.

    The top-two primary also eliminates third-party candidates in the first round except in rare circumstances.

  • JoeBuck commented on the blog post Plan to Split California into Six States Might Make the Ballot

    2014-07-15 11:30:53View | Delete

    It’s not just the US Congress that has to approve; the California legislature would also have to approve. But this is going nowhere; the polling is already against it and the general trend is that a ballot measure’s yes-rating only goes down as the election approaches.

  • JoeBuck commented on the blog post Good News for Congressional Republicans in Generic Ballot

    2014-05-05 07:15:12View | Delete

    To be fair, though, Pew is a respected pollster and you can’t ignore this result. But context is important.

  • JoeBuck commented on the blog post Good News for Congressional Republicans in Generic Ballot

    2014-05-05 07:13:50View | Delete

    If it is true that “The average of all recent polls shows the country split very evenly at the moment”, then why did you base your story on what you yourself acknowledge is likely to be an outlier? That kind of practice is what we’ve come to expect from Fox News.

  • I should have read to the end of the article: the exact reform I was talking about in #11 is in Obama’s budget plan. For once it looks like Obama is doing something right on a business-regulation issue.

  • There are a small number of good people in Congress. We should get a bill introduced that would change the threshold: a company can’t be called “foreign” for tax purposes unless more than 50% of the ownership is foreign. That would prevent Americans from pretending that a company they control isn’t American. It’s true that [...]

  • Jon, Google hasn’t done nearly enough testing to demonstrate that their vehicles are as save as human drivers. They’ve done about 700,000 miles worth of testing, but according to Car and Driver (quoting NHSTA statistics), the fatality rate in 2011 was only 1.13 in 100 million vehicle miles. Crashes were 185 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, and injury rates were 169 per 100 million VMT. If Google has had no crashes at all in all of their testing, they’ve just reached the level where we would predict that human drivers would produce about one crash. But that assumes zero incidents, zero cases where the human riding along in the car stopped a disaster from happening.

    So while this is promising, we’d really need to have someone outside Google logging a few million miles.

  • Krugman has frequently criticized Obama from the left, particularly on doing too little on the stimulus side and having too many Wall Street shills in his administration.

  • From what I’ve read of Krugman, he wouldn’t disagree with you about what the right solution really was (some version of Medicare for all), and he also wouldn’t disagree with you that the ACA was basically an effort to buy off some interests to get a bill passed. He’s said as much many times. The main argument is about whether it was better than nothing, and there’s also an argument about whether it advances or impedes real reform.

    I wanted Medicare for all (that is, single payer: I think “Medicare for all” would be a better term to sell it to the general public), and failing that, a public option, or better, a way to buy into Medicare.

    We didn’t get that. But the ACA changes let my niece get her back injury treated on her parents’ insurance, they force my insurance company to cover some of my daughter’s issues that weren’t covered before, they could allow me to work as a consultant instead of for a corporation if I chose to (multiple pre-existing conditions in our family made buying individual insurance impossible before), and it’s enabled many, many people who were previously shut out to get coverage even if that coverage is flawed. In states that aren’t run by sociopaths, Medicaid was greatly expanded, which may well be the best part, and over time more Republican states will see the sense in taking the free money, or be forced to by their own constituents.

    Yes, FDL is right: we are still slaves to insurance companies, medical bankruptcy has not been eliminated. But rooting for the ACA’s failure doesn’t put us on a track to real reform, not in a right wing political culture. It puts us on a path to having Paul Ryan write the new version.

  • JoeBuck commented on the blog post BP Admits To Spilling Even More Oil In Lake Michigan

    2014-03-28 08:42:59View | Delete

    Any oil spill is bad, but the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was more than 100,000 times bigger than this one (4 million barrels).

  • Yes, but.

    Cassidy’s preferred approach relies on health savings accounts, and people living paycheck to paycheck (that is, most people) don’t have extra money to stash away.

  • I’m in Bangalore at the moment on a business trip, and RT is on cable. I’ve watched some of it, and they are all in with Putin, and I’ve seen them make lots of statements that clearly aren’t true.

    On the other hand, BBC World seems to be even more propagandistic in the other direction than CNN International is. CNN International often looks little like CNN, they take a more international perspective, though heavily pro-corporate, pro-business, and pro-wealthy. Perhaps they are torn because there’s still money to be made in Russia and China?

    The BBC really seems to have gone downhill. 10 or 20 years ago, they aggressively questioned American propaganda and these days they are total neoliberals. They loathe any political leader who questions the Anglo-American consensus, particularly those in Venezuela or other South American countries with leftist governments.

  • JoeBuck commented on the blog post Schumer Calls GOP’s Bluff on Immigration

    2014-02-10 08:14:14View | Delete

    “supported” should be “deported”, and it’s too bad that Schumer sounds like he’s bragging about that.

  • It’s possible that Sen. Warren could pick up some GOP allies, since many of them represent rural areas that are at risk of losing mail service if something isn’t done to help the post office. It might even help her find Republican support if the Obama administration isn’t enthusiastic about the proposal, since Republicans will cut off their own noses if they think it will piss off Obama.

  • JoeBuck commented on the blog post GOP Senators Release More Serious Obamacare Alternatives

    2014-01-27 18:43:03View | Delete

    Continuous coverage requirements aren’t a serious idea. Young people aren’t maintaining continuous coverage because they are broke and deeply in debt.

  • JoeBuck commented on the blog post Michael Moore: It’s Time For Single Payer Health Care

    2014-01-02 08:54:59View | Delete

    So do it in stages, on all fronts. Remember, Canada didn’t instantly get single payer. It started in Saskatchewan. That’s similar to the state by state solution. Another front is to do it by age. Shifting the Medicare age of eligibility to 60 would be a first step to get more people into a single payer system. Push for that.

  • JoeBuck commented on the blog post Michael Moore: It’s Time For Single Payer Health Care

    2014-01-02 08:52:01View | Delete

    Even if they are double, for someone with cancer that’s still going to be perhaps 100 times better than not being allowed to have health insurance at any price and owing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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