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Highland Park sanctuary

Anyone who says that the Green party doesn't do enough locally needs to look at Seth Kaper-Dale.

That said, i wouldn't have minded if he ran as a Democrat to primary Menendez. (No offense to Michael Starr Hopkins.)

By fnord12 | February 21, 2018, 3:01 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link


This is some incredible stuff and i expect we'll be seeing a lot more of it around the country as progressives challenge old guard Dems.

By fnord12 | February 15, 2018, 11:31 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Oh, nothing

But if you like, you can buy some lunchboxes or something.

I don't know what this thing is doing here. It's got no plot purpose, no character development purpose, not even any comic relief purpose exactly. It's just sort of here.

By fnord12 | February 15, 2018, 9:32 AM | Star Wars | Link

New Democratic campaign slogan

"We've got what we've got for the next 30 years."

(This was actually about repealing and replacing the Republican tax bill. Bernie Sanders, Dean Baker, and MMT guy Randy Wray - i.e. the lefties - do have some substantive ideas.)

By fnord12 | February 10, 2018, 1:10 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

As If Kids Weren't Punishment Enough

Having kids means having to take time off to take care of them when the little germ factories get sick. And if you don't get paid sick leave, that can be a huge financial problem. So when people start demanding paid sick leave for all jobs, what do we get offered instead? A plan that says you can get some paid sick leave in exchange for losing some of your pension. How exactly is this making things better?

The argument here is that the plan cannot be said to impose a punishment on parents because all it really does is shift around the punishment we already impose on parents. Put simply, the Rubio-Trump plan replaces the lost-earnings penalty that our current system imposes on parents with a lost-pensions penalty. So, it eliminates (reduces) an old penalty while imposing a new one.

DeSanctis insists that because these two penalties are equal in magnitude, there is no punishment involved, but that's a bizarre rhetorical dodge. If normally I punch you, but then decide going forward that I am going to kick you instead, would a normal person say that my new kicking policy does not constitute an attack on you? I don't think so.

The People's Policy Project writes about it here and here.

I don't agree with Bruenig's argument for cynical support.

The cynical case is that, after such a policy was enacted, it would be trivially easy to subsequently kill the part where parents who take the benefits are forced to retire later. In fact, you would have about 25 years of time before the first recipients of the paid leave benefit would be retiring. If the Democrats took control anywhere in that 25 years, they could ensure that nobody who received the paid leave benefit has to delay their retirement for doing so. Indeed, adopting the popular plank of "ending the parent retirement penalty" may even make it easier for them to take power in the future.

I think the Democrats have demonstrated time and time again that they have little desire to do much of anything, regardless of who's in charge. I wouldn't rely on them to fix anything no matter how many years they had to get it done. The years the Democrats controlled the House and Senate, they would try for some milquetoast bipartisan crap that the Republicans would easily block. Then when the Republicans gained both houses, the Dems would spend the whole time sitting on their hands while peddling the idea that they are just powerless to effect change at this particular time, but boy are they totally on your side so please vote for them next time.

fnord12: Republicans have a "solution" for student loan debt which also includes trading away your social security. Republicans really want you to give up your social security.

By min | February 9, 2018, 4:50 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Recap 82

Time Travel Ziggurat

By min | February 9, 2018, 3:30 PM | D&D | Link

Let the negative feedback loop continue

"The resistance gets rolled".

Liberal groups groused that their allies in Congress had yet again squandered their leverage, bowing to Republican promises to debate immigration but not necessarily to pass legislation. But Democrats seemed unconcerned about angering the party's left flank.

"My boss is the 700,000 [constituents] who I represent. That's who I report to," Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) said. "I don't report to anybody out here."

Indeed, Democrats on both ends of the party's ideological spectrum said that prodding from the left had little bearing on their vote.

They brag about ignoring their active base:

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) recalled being pressed two weeks ago to reject a deal to reopen the government. Nonetheless, "I voted yes," he said.

"I pay attention to everybody," said Brown, who's also spurned calls from the grass roots to champion a Medicaid-for-all effort this Congress. "If the suggestion is if I'm spooked by them or they affect my voting record, the answer is of course not."

I mean, fine, ignore these people. But then spare us the outrage when they don't show up at the polls or vote third party.

By fnord12 | February 9, 2018, 2:41 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Some of those that work forces

This keeps happening:

California police investigating a violent white nationalist event worked with white supremacists in an effort to identify counter-protesters and sought the prosecution of activists with "anti-racist" beliefs, court documents show.

This Intercept article did not get enough attention.

By fnord12 | February 9, 2018, 10:39 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

That'll show em


The budget agreement sets aside the question of immigration and what to do about the sunsetting Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was at the heart of the standoff in January that ended in a three-day shutdown.

Led by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democrats threatened to shut down the government if House Speaker Paul Ryan didn't give assurances of a DACA fix vote. In the end, enough Democrats voted for the spending bill to offset the conservatives who didn't vote for it. But they made sure Republicans sweated on the floor, withholding their support until the very last minute.

I'm not saying the Democrats have a lot of power at the moment or that forcing a government shutdown over DACA is a good strategy, but the way they keep leading DACA supporters and activists on isn't winning them any favors. Last time they forced a shutdown, got nothing, and relented. This time they threatened a shutdown but didn't (but at least they made the Republican's "sweat", thanks Vox). Democrats keep wavering between saying how they'll fight for DACA and claiming powerlessness. Meanwhile, Rand Paul seems capable of shutting down the government all by himself. It's enough to convince DACA supporters that maybe the Democrats aren't exactly sincere. Again, not sure what the right move here really is. But in terms of messaging and clear tactics, the Democrats don't seem to be doing so good.

By fnord12 | February 9, 2018, 10:22 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Got them scared?

Atrios has abandoned his normal brevity to rant about the astroturf campaign being set up to fight Medicare For All. See here and here. Also relevant is his post on means-testing.

Regarding United States of Care, it seems to me like Medicare For All must seem like a realistic threat to them if they feel the need to set up stuff like this.

By fnord12 | February 7, 2018, 6:19 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

WHO you gonna believe?


Republican lawmakers are threatening to cut off U.S. funding for the World Health Organization's cancer research program over its finding that the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup is probably carcinogenic to humans.

By fnord12 | February 7, 2018, 6:17 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

UBI or Die

This article talks about how Facebook (and presumably Twitter) is killing all content producers, largely because people can view the content on Facebook and never go to the producer' sites and generate ad revenue. I don't dispute anything in the article but i think the premise needs to be examined. Relying on ad revenue in the first place seems to be an increasingly dubious prospect on the internet, even if Facebook, Google, etc.. weren't sucking up all of what there is of it. We need a real solution to this problem, but it's not the sort of thing our 80 year old senators - bought by various interests - are equipped to discuss. And until someone comes up with a better idea, i'm going to say that we just need to give everyone a Universal Basic Income so that they can produce awesome stuff on the internet and not be afraid that they're going to starve to death because of Facebook.

By fnord12 | February 7, 2018, 11:40 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

$15 Isn't Even Enough

Using MIT's Living Wage Calculator (which breaks it down by county), someone made a map that shows how much 2 adults with 1 child would need to earn just to meet basic needs.

Click for larger image

Even in Kansas, you'd need $21/hr. In Jersey, you'd need $27/hr just to pay for food and rent and things just to live. But not savings. So, you'll also need to keep making this much up until the day you die. Don't even think about getting sick.

The current minimum wage in this state is $8.60. Meanwhile, you've got the State Senate President Stephen Sweeney and others not only making us fight to get $15/hr, they want to exclude people who do shift work or get paid in tips or work on farms. What the fuck? Why don't these guys just go around and tell people to die, because that's basically what they're doing by refusing to give people a living wage.

By min | February 5, 2018, 4:46 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Unironically noting without comment

Here's a weird kind of inside baseball story about Frank Pallone and how people get "picked" to run for Senate in New Jersey that i'm linking to so i don't lose it.

By fnord12 | February 3, 2018, 1:01 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Don't skip the avocado toast

Woman Who Stopped Buying Coffee Still Suffering From Intergenerational Poverty

By fnord12 | January 30, 2018, 1:03 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Can't decide

Which recent hire better shows how closely mainstream media has its finger on the pulse of the nation? Chris Christie at ABC or Max Boot at Washington Post?

By fnord12 | January 30, 2018, 11:56 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Dynasty Wars

The Democrats pick Joe Kennedy - who, if he's known for anything besides his last name, it's for being anti-marijuana legalization - to give the rebuttal to Trump's State of the Union, and the scuttlebutt is that it's because they want to run him for president. Trump managed to beat the Bushes and the Clintons already, so i guess the Kennedys were next. Or, you know, we could pick someone who already has a huge base and consistently beat Trump in the polls in the last election.

By fnord12 | January 26, 2018, 11:58 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Living with the Muslim ban

The ACLU has a number of sad, angering stories from people affected by it.

By fnord12 | January 26, 2018, 11:56 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Close up those bases

US military bases are wreaking havoc to the health and well-being of communities across the world.

By fnord12 | January 26, 2018, 11:55 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

The latest on the "too much democracy" beat

The rabble is doing democracy. And it's caused the Brookings Institution to pop a monocle.

By fnord12 | January 26, 2018, 11:54 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Recap 81

Some Rest and Relaxation at Home

By min | January 25, 2018, 11:22 PM | D&D | Link

"All she wanted to know was how much money he could raise."

In district after district, the national party is throwing its weight behind candidates who are out of step with the national mood.

By fnord12 | January 23, 2018, 1:30 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Dan Rather to join the Young Turks

It's true.

I even have a preview:

By fnord12 | January 22, 2018, 2:00 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

When you're a mustache-twirling villain

By fnord12 | January 19, 2018, 4:29 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Mothman on the move

Why shouldn't he visit Chicago?

By fnord12 | January 16, 2018, 6:58 PM | Cryptozoology | Link


Matt Bors.

By fnord12 | January 16, 2018, 4:20 PM | Comics & Liberal Outrage | Link

Another comic murdered

Today i learned that Boo-Yaa TRIBE had their own comic book, and they were pretty Kirby:

I saw an item in a 1994 Marvel Bullpen that Chuck D was visiting the Marvel offices because Public Enemy was going to be a part of Marvel's "Marvel Music" line. I had never heard of that line, so i looked it up. It turns out i did sort-of know about it, or at least the Neil Gaiman / Alice Cooper issue (i have it; don't think i've ever read it). The Public Enemy issue never happened but as part of the line Marvel did test runs for Boo-Yaa TRIBE and Cheap Trick (quite a combo).

By fnord12 | January 16, 2018, 1:37 PM | Comics & Music | Link

Show's over, Synergy

I know it's Jem and no one cares but me and Min, but you can not use this kind of art for this type of comic.

Especially when most of the art in the series looks like this.

My favorite panel:

By fnord12 | January 14, 2018, 9:46 PM | Comics | Link

Welcome to the Resistance

The Same Democrats Who Denounce Donald Trump as a Lawless, Treasonous Authoritarian Just Voted to Give Him Vast Warrantless Spying Powers.

By fnord12 | January 12, 2018, 1:16 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Stock markets vs. wages

Not a surprise, but good to see it quantified.

Funny how on every measure like this, the point of deviation is circa the Reagan Revolution.

By fnord12 | January 10, 2018, 2:14 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Moon deviates from the script

And the US press doesn't know what to do.

But while the bilateral talks were widely praised in South Korea's media, the US media seemed like a deer caught in the headlights from the first announcement of the breakthrough. Unclear how to respond to a possible outbreak of peace, the press immediately zeroed in on the section of Kim's New Year's speech where he declared that his "nuclear forces are capable of thwarting and countering" anything from the United States. Kim also reminded Washington that the "nuclear button" is on his office desk "all the time."

Although the Supreme Leader left out some of the harsh anti-US language he's used in previous declarations, the implied threat became the story for nearly every US media outlet covering his New Year's speech.

By fnord12 | January 10, 2018, 1:09 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

I could have told you that

Everything you know about depression is wrong:

There is strong evidence that human beings need to feel their lives are meaningful - that they are doing something with purpose that makes a difference. It's a natural psychological need. But between 2011 and 2012, the polling company Gallup conducted the most detailed study ever carried out of how people feel about the thing we spend most of our waking lives doing - our paid work. They found that 13% of people say they are "engaged" in their work - they find it meaningful and look forward to it. Some 63% say they are "not engaged", which is defined as "sleepwalking through their workday". And 24% are "actively disengaged": they hate it.

Most of the depressed and anxious people I know, I realised, are in the 87% who don't like their work. I started to dig around to see if there is any evidence that this might be related to depression. It turned out that a breakthrough had been made in answering this question in the 1970s, by an Australian scientist called Michael Marmot. He wanted to investigate what causes stress in the workplace and believed he'd found the perfect lab in which to discover the answer: the British civil service, based in Whitehall. This small army of bureaucrats was divided into 19 different layers, from the permanent secretary at the top, down to the typists. What he wanted to know, at first, was: who's more likely to have a stress-related heart attack - the big boss at the top, or somebody below him?

Everybody told him: you're wasting your time. Obviously, the boss is going to be more stressed because he's got more responsibility. But when Marmot published his results, he revealed the truth to be the exact opposite. The lower an employee ranked in the hierarchy, the higher their stress levels and likelihood of having a heart attack. Now he wanted to know: why?

And that's when, after two more years studying civil servants, he discovered the biggest factor. It turns out if you have no control over your work, you are far more likely to become stressed - and, crucially, depressed. Humans have an innate need to feel that what we are doing, day-to-day, is meaningful. When you are controlled, you can't create meaning out of your work.

By fnord12 | January 10, 2018, 1:07 PM | Liberal Outrage & Science | Link

We have to "do something" in Iran

FAIR has a rundown of how an organization devoted to attacking Iran got to publish OpEds in like every major paper.

By fnord12 | January 10, 2018, 1:06 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Automated copyright claims out of control

You stole my white noise.

By fnord12 | January 10, 2018, 1:04 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

North Carolina is no longer classified as a democracy

It's apparently the worst state, but based on the criteria i don't think many states are doing very well.

Link is a year old, but still true. It came up because of this ruling, which will hopefully help a bit.

By fnord12 | January 10, 2018, 1:03 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

The Liberal New York Times

A really incredible account from a former New York Times reporter on how much of his reporting was squashed by Times Editorial at the behalf of the Bush administration.

By fnord12 | January 10, 2018, 1:01 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Sea change

Conservative columnist Ross Douthat has come to the realization that Federal deficits are not a problem.

...as a non-economist staring at Congressional Budget Office projections and at examples of fiscal crisis from Greece to California, it seemed reasonable to make deficit cutting a near-term priority from 2010 onward, to offset the surge of Great Recession spending with a period of belt-tightening.

But now I think this reasonable view was wrong... I was wrong in the priority that I gave the deficit relative to other issues, wrong to discern a looming "fiscal precipice," wrong in some of the criticism I leveled at both George W. Bush and Barack Obama for failing to care enough about balancing the nation's books.

The best time to make deficit reduction a priority is when the inflation rate and the bond market give you some indication that you are headed for a dangerous inflationary spiral. Such indicators were conspicuously absent eight years ago, but many people I talked to (including people in the Obama White House) argued that it was important to reduce deficits pre-emptively, because the spiraling could happen too quickly for policymakers to effectively respond. At that point I believed them; now I think they had overlearned lessons from the 1970s that did not apply in 2010.

We'll see if it'll last through the next Democratic administration, but it's still a major shift.

By fnord12 | January 10, 2018, 12:57 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Good on Jersey

New Jersey's minimum wage is too low (as is the case with all minimum wages) but at least it's adjusted for inflation.

By fnord12 | January 10, 2018, 12:55 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Don't feed the deer

We see signs for "deer corn" advertised by farms in our area and we've always wondered about it. We're not allowed to feed the deer in our neighborhood but some people do anyway, and there's a small part of me that feels bad about all the displaced deer (due to new development). Also, i've wondered if paying them tribute might dissuade them from eating our bushes. However, upon looking it up, it seems pretty clear that you should not feed the deer.

During winter, deer lose 20 percent or more of their body weight by burning fat reserves. They are well adapted to survive the many stresses that winter presents.

Crum understands that people mean well, but, "I see too many deer on my necropsy table with bellies full of corn."...

The problem is that deer digestion is a finely tuned physiological process. Just the right combination of microorganisms, enzymes, and pH enable deer to digest a normal winter diet of woody vegetation. When offered a sudden supply of corn, a deer's digestive system doesn't have time to adjust to a high carbohydrate diet. The result can be acute acidosis followed by death within 72 hours.

By fnord12 | January 10, 2018, 12:51 PM | Science | Link

Chumley III

Putting some new songs up just in time to say i "released" an "album" in 2017.

Chumley III

By fnord12 | December 28, 2017, 7:34 PM | Music | Link

No need to stop here. There's plenty more SuperMegaMonkey where that came from.