Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All
Thursday, November 23, 2017
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Three years ago today, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed by a police officer while playing in a park. The lack of justice that followed has not been forgotten. We continue to fight for him & other victims of police violence. pic.twitter.com/nAD3pD7kVB— ColorOfChange.org (@ColorOfChange) November 22, 2017
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Monday, November 20, 2017
Saturday, November 18, 2017
The Democratic Party is, to say the least, an imperfect instrument, but it is the only nationally viable available tool to fight Republicans in their now explicitly authoritarian formation... and even in more "normal" times it remains the best, if always inadequate, tool for progressive reform (pressed and made accountable from the left by activism not confined to partisan politics, of course, but still). As an anti-racist eco-feminist democratic socialist vegetarian secular-multicultural queer it is easy for me to sympathize with those who (presumably like you) find the glacially-paced inertially-incumbent continent-scaled politics of the Democratic Party coalition hopelessly inequitable and under-responsive as measured against my desired outcomes and critical positions. Oh, yes indeedy I do. But I am able to hold more than one thing in my head at the same time: And so, yes, partisan politics are inadequate but also necessary, and, yes, viable coalitions will always be much less radical in their politics than are the politics of the more radical and righteous members of their coalitions. But if you are fighting for prison abolition, universal income, environmental justice, sustainable accessible infrastructure, ending rape culture, and the queer subversion of patriarchy you will probably have to ally with Democrats for every substantial accomplishment and you will probably have to fight with many to most of those Democrats every inch of the way to make them see sense and conduct themselves with integrity. Just because Republicans are comic book villains now doesn't mean their opponents, the Democrats, are comic book heroes. Seeing the obvious differences between the parties hardly requires the pretense that Democrats are above suspicion or criticism. But at this point, false equivalency theses amount to fascist enablement. I don't think that sort of nonsense is the least bit intelligent, righteous, pragmatically useful, or provocative. So, yes, I will keep "harping" on the unqualified, bigoted, authoritarian incompetent asshole in the White House, thanks, and you can throw your bile darts at the first woman to be Speaker of the House, the most effective and one of the most progressive occupants of that position by any objective standard (which is hardly to pretend she is some paragon or to endorse her many incorrect and compromised positions), Nancy Pelosi, instead, and tell yourself that makes you the REAL sooper-revolutionary all the livelong day if you like. Thanks for the comment -- it is nice to see I still care enough about this sort of thing that you could actually get a rise out of me these days.
Thursday, November 16, 2017
I am literally tearing up right now in response to the news about Al Franken.— leah mcelrath (@leahmcelrath) November 16, 2017
It is NOT difficult NOT to assault women sexually.
Keep your hands, your mouths, your tongues, your penises, and your sexualized commentary to yourself.
THIS IS NOT DIFFICULT.
hand the keys to the women, we clearly have no idea wtf we're doing— Oliver Willis (@owillis) November 16, 2017
For every vile man, there are many talented women who've been reluctant to enter a sexist political arena.— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) November 16, 2017
Men, you are not as precious and irreplaceable as you think you are. Clean house. And Senate.
And the presidency.
prediction: if the two unnamed members of Congress accused of sexual harassment/assault turn out to be one D, one R. the D will immediately resign and the R will be re-elected— Eric Boehlert (@EricBoehlert) November 16, 2017
Yes, Franken's statement and call for an investigation were the "right" thing to do after the wrong thing to do was done. Yes, his response is better to the wrong thing he did than Republican responses have been. Yes, Franken has been a useful Senator in a state that might eventually replace him with a Republican -- though the governor is a Democrat and the state has elected an outspoken progressive Democrat in Franken twice and hence Franken's replacement is likely to be a reliable Democrat, perhaps one less likely to abuse any women ever. Yes, the President is a documented and admitted serial sexual predator and harasser and should be held accountable along with Franken but likely won't be and this is utterly enraging. But Franken abused his power and should face consequences for that and making him face consequences helps build a world in which men who abuse and harass women are all more likely to face consequences for their immoral conduct and eventually that is a world in which people like Trump also face such consequences and hence a world in which life is more liveable for more women more of the time. That is what we want.
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
The United Nations climate conference is taking place in Bonn, Germany, right now. It has been the occasion of much anti-Trump rhetoric... It has also seen a fair bit of bargaining, such as the forging of an agreement among Mexico, Canada, and the Pacific "blue wall" (California, Oregon, and Washington) to cooperate on carbon reduction. The big news on the deal-making front, however, is that Syria... has signed the Paris Accord. That means that the American cheese now stands alone -- it is the stated position of 195 governments that global warming is real and must be confronted, and the stated position of one government that it is not and should be ignored. As a practical matter, however, the U.S. is still a part of the Paris Accord. The withdrawal that Donald Trump triggered cannot be completed until November 2020... the occasion of the next presidential election. The next time a Democrat is sent to the White House, there is zero question that person will rejoin the pact. And whether it is two months after the U.S. officially "withdraws," or four years and two months, or eight years and two months, there is zero question that the other nations of the world will be happy to welcome the Americans back on board. So, like Obamacare, the Paris Accord is a dragon that Sir Donald is going to have real trouble slaying.Of course, the Paris accord is inadequate even if implemented and it's not like the planet has time to waste on more years of Republican obstruction even if they have a limit -- and even the optimism here about such a limit seems to draw on the analogy of a failure to repeal the ACA just as we find the Senate endorsing yet another stealth repeal of the ACA (its enabling mandate) as part of the corporate plutocratic money-grab of the GOP tax plan.
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
A new Quinnipiac poll finds President Trump’s approval rate at 35% to 58%, near his record low. Also interesting: Just 40% of voters say Trump is fit to serve as president, while 57% say he is not fit. By a 51% to 38% margin, Americans would like to see Democrats win control of the House of Representatives in 2018. By a 52% to 39% margin, they would like to see Democrats win control of the Senate.
Hurricane Maria came close to sinking Puerto Rico, and may also come close to sinking the Republican Party in Florida. Since the hurricane, 140,000 Puerto Ricans have left the island, and 130,000 of them have settled in the mother of all swing states: Florida. All Puerto Ricans are American citizens. Puerto Rico has no electoral votes, but as soon as a Puerto Rican moves to the mainland, he or she can register to vote. Furthermore, most Puerto Ricans are Democrats and after the way Donald Trump rushed to help Texas after it was hit by Hurricane Harvey but basically ignored Puerto Rico after it was hit by Maria, the few remaining Puerto Rican Republicans probably are going to switch parties... Trump won Florida by 120,000 votes. Consequently if a large fraction of the 130,000 new Florida residents register and vote in 2018 and 2020, it could mean a lot of trouble for the Republicans. By itself it probably wouldn't have changed the result, but it would have made the race a lot closer and will also matter for Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) in 2018 as well as for many House races next year.
Sunday, November 12, 2017
I need you now, we can make history.— Doug Jones (@GDouglasJones) November 12, 2017
New poll has us up 4.
30 days out.
158,328 on children’s healthcare.
1 million on Medicaid
968k on Medicare
30 days out for the next 30 years- help us:https://t.co/ssxxzm09JB
Friday, November 10, 2017
For the past year, the Democratic Party has been engaged in an angry internal debate over identity politics, which are often framed in opposition to a purely class-based appeal. At times, it feels like progressives are doomed to re-litigate the 2016 Democratic primary forever, tearing each other apart while Trump tears down the republic. But if you squint at Tuesday’s results, you can sort of see a synthesis emerging between Obama and Hillary Clinton’s theory of the emerging Democratic electorate -- in which Democrats win by appealing to a coalition of white professionals and minorities -- and Bernie Sanders’s focus on grass-roots organizing and economic populism.
In some ways the election was the revenge of the Obama coalition. Educated white liberals joined people of color to elect an amazingly diverse group of candidates. A Latina single mother, Michelle De La Isla, was elected mayor of Topeka, Kan. Wilmot Collins, a refugee from Liberia, won the mayoral race in Helena, Mont. Seattle elected its first lesbian mayor, Jenny Durkan. After a year in which liberals have been bludgeoned by demands that they abandon identity politics and empathize with resentful Trump voters, the election was a reminder that white men needn’t be the center of the political universe.Yet class politics and identity politics aren’t really a binary, even if they’re sometimes presented that way. Murillo, for example, the first person in her family to graduate from either high school or college, told me that affordable housing was a central issue in her campaign. Overall, Tuesday was a great night for economic populists. Before this week, the Democratic Socialists of America had 20 elected officials among its membership. On Tuesday, 15 more won local office, including 30-year-old Marine veteran Lee Carter, who unseated the Republican majority whip in Virginia’s House of Delegates.
Ultimately, the main lessons from Tuesday are probably more strategic than ideological. Democrats need to contest every seat they can, no matter how red. (In the wake of the Washington Post’s revelations about Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore’s past sexual relationships with teenagers, it’s a good thing there’s already a strong Democrat in the race.) They should also recognize that young people are crucial to their fortunes, and make it easy for them to run. One person who played a key role in Democratic victories on Tuesday was Amanda Litman, a 27-year-old veteran of the Hillary Clinton campaign who co-founded Run For Something, which trains and supports progressive millennials seeking political office. (Her group backed both Bennett and Roem.) More millennial candidates, Litman told me, “means more millennial voters,” and millennials are largely left-leaning.
Tuesday, November 07, 2017
A new CNN poll finds just 36% say they approve of the way President Trump is handling his job, worse by one percentage point than his previous low of 37%, reached in October. Disapproval has also reached a new high at 58%, with 48% saying they strongly disapprove of the way he is handling his job. Also interesting: 59% say they think Trump himself knew that his campaign had contact with suspected Russian operatives.