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|Wednesday, April 13th, 2016|
|Monday, April 4th, 2016|
|Monday, March 21st, 2016|
|Wednesday, March 16th, 2016|
|Link Harvest: The Ideological Difference Between Progressive and Centrist Dems
This article talks about the ideological dffrence between Sanders and Clinton in terms of governing philsophy. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/benjamin-studebaker/bernie-vs-hillary-matters-more-than-people-think_b_9209940.html
I am less convinced that Clinton personally is as committed neoliberalism as she was before the 2008 recession and the Wall St. freak out over even modest reforms. But it is certainly the case that these are the conflicts in philosophy that drive the vehement vitriol on either side of the campaign. Progressives view Clinton's legislative record as Senator form NY and her publc statements as FLOTUS as being part of the overall neoliberal philosophy that has created a revolving door between Wall St and Washington. Things like Hillarycare and CHIP are regarded as not sufficient to address the reality that it is the existing system of financial and business regulation that creates the social and income inequality that drives what is wrng with America.
For Clinton supprters who regard themselves as centrists, this is what makes Sanders not merely crazy, but dangerous. If you believe that future economic growth and general ecnomic prosperity depend on minimizing the burdens on capital markets, business formation, and other "free market" values, Sanders assertion that markets cannot be trusted and inherently produce inequality (unless regulated) threatens to undermine the whole future of the economy.
This also, incidentally, is one of the contributing factors to the "do you focus on economic inequality v. racial inequality/gender inequality." The argument of socialists (and economic progressives) since the 19th Century is that it is the economic inequality that reenfrces racial and gender inequality. It is therefore impossible to genuinely address issues of racial and gender inequality in any meanigful way without addressing the overall economic inequality. Neo-liberals are ideologically wedded to the conclusion that racial and gender inequality are distinct and *must* be addressed seperately. (I say "ideologically wedded" because, as discussed above, neoliberalism views unregulated capitalism as inherently positive, with regulation needed only to address market failure and consumer protection. By contrast, economic progressivism can be quite racist and sexist. Huey Long, for example, was an economic progressive to the left of FDR and a total racist.)
As with all stark philosphical schools, you will find a range of folks and plenty of "yes, but . . ." arguments. You will also find lots of folks in the electrate who don't fit either philosophy and like a candidate for an unrelated reason ("Honesty," "gets things done," "cares about people like me," etc.) But the article linked to above is extremely useful in understanding why so many people who are eyeball deep in the policy fights care so deeply and vehemently about the election outcome.
|Tuesday, March 15th, 2016|
|Sunday, March 13th, 2016|
|A Meditation on Bereisheit and Politics
We are seeing a great deal of hate bubbling through the world right now. It should be recalled that the world before creation is described in Genesis not as dark, or empty, but as "to hu va vo hu," a bubbling chaos. The first creation of God was to bring light and darkness in their proper order. Indeed, the darkness comes first. "For it was evening and morning of the First day."
The enemy of light is not dark. Day follows the night, and the night is not always evil. If the light is love, the dark is not hate, but grief. Grief is part of life, and makes us appreciate the light all the more. "For the light is sweet, and it is good to see the Sun."
It is in the bubbling chaos that we revert to the state of godlessness Neither the joy of the light or the grief of the dark, the bubbling chaos of rage and hate is without form or substance. It strikes out at whatever it touches, heedless of the damage it does even to itself. But even in such times, "the Spirit of the Lord hovers upon the face of the waters."
We are made in God's image. We have within us the breath of the Divine. We can in our own little way, create a world of joy and love, punctuated in the proper time by loss and grief. Or we can return the universe to rage and chaos. We are blessed, or cursed, to live in a time when these choices are set forth fairly starkly. We can see millions of people choosing one way or the other. Make your own choice wisely -- and own it as your own.
Coming up this week for the Dems: Was Michigan a fluke? Can we even tell from such majorly different states as Ohio, Ill. and Florida? Each one of these states has a set of demographics that makes it very difficult to call. Any wobbles in the polling could be due to a variety of factors.
Keep in mind that what I am looking at has much less to do with ultimate winner as with the state of polling and whether candidates are significantly over or under performing their polls. We are now in primaries using exit polling, so responses are considered more reliable than to entrance polling in caucus states.
( Collapse )
Polling numbers here are from the most recent NBC/Wall St. J. polling, which is pretty much in synch with what RCP has been showing for the last few days. (MO was from the Kansas City, MO local paper).
So it will be interesting Tuesday night one way or the other. Unfortunately, we are unlikely to know if we are still dealing with a systemic problem in the polling models or not. Too many unique factors in the key states.
|Friday, March 11th, 2016|
|Tuesday, March 1st, 2016|
|Friday, February 26th, 2016|
|Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016|
|How The Political Revolution Works: The Current Democratic Primary Race
Dear Hillary Supporters and Bernie Supporters:
Saw y'all remember back last year when "the plan" was that Bernie was going to run to push Hillary to the left, and while Bernie supporters wanted Bernie to win they would rather vote for Hillary than any Republican?
So, with the hot breath of competition in the last two weeks we have.
Hillary adds web page tab and bigger plank on racial justice:
Hillary revives support for public option: http://qz.com/…/can-hillary-clinton-really-cover-the-last-…/
See, *this* is how the political revolution works.( Collapse )
I will close with a thought from Lois Bujold (bonus points for naming the book first). "The key to strategy, little man, is not just one path to victory, but so that all paths lead to some kind of victory." Mind you, for that to work, you have to keep your eyes on where you are going and not get so wound up in your strategy tree that you lose sight of the here and now.
|Monday, February 22nd, 2016|
|I Like This Quote From Federalist No. 76
This supposition of universal venality in human nature is little less an error in political reasoning, than the supposition of universal rectitude. The institution of delegated power implies, that there is a portion of virtue and honor among mankind, which may be a reasonable foundation of confidence; and experience justifies the theory. It has been found to exist in the most corrupt periods of the most corrupt governments. The venality of the British House of Commons has been long a topic of accusation against that body, in the country to which they belong as well as in this; and it cannot be doubted that the charge is, to a considerable extent, well founded. But it is as little to be doubted, that there is always a large proportion of the body, which consists of independent and public-spirited men, who have an influential weight in the councils of the nation. Hence it is (the present reign not excepted) that the sense of that body is often seen to control the inclinations of the monarch, both with regard to men and to measures. Though it might therefore be allowable to suppose that the Executive might occasionally influence some individuals in the Senate, yet the supposition, that he could in general purchase the integrity of the whole body, would be forced and improbable. A man disposed to view human nature as it is, without either flattering its virtues or exaggerating its vices, will see sufficient ground of confidence in the probity of the Senate, to rest satisfied, not only that it will be impracticable to the Executive to corrupt or seduce a majority of its members, but that the necessity of its co-operation, in the business of appointments, will be a considerable and salutary restraint upon the conduct of that magistrate. Nor is the integrity of the Senate the only reliance. The Constitution has provided some important guards against the danger of executive influence upon the legislative body: it declares that "No senator or representative shall during the time FOR WHICH HE WAS ELECTED, be appointed to any civil office under the United States, which shall have been created, or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased, during such time; and no person, holding any office under the United States, shall be a member of either house during his continuance in office."
Unfortunately, Hamilton neglected to take into account what his superior, Washngton, would later loudly condemn as the loyalty of Party over loyalty to the public interest.
|Wednesday, February 17th, 2016|
|I give birth to a Privacy White Paper
Attached please find links to our exciting new White Paper "Everything You Wanted To Know About the FCC, the FTC and Privacy Except Your Eyes Kept Glazing Over."
That's not actually the official title.
As explained at length, the FTC and the FCC have enjoyed a complementary relationship in the realm of consumer protection for more than 80 years. Nor is the FCC unique in this. Indeed, the FTC generally sits at the center of a "hub and spoke" system where specialized agencies handling unique sectors of the economy (e.g., FDA, CFPB, HHS for HIPPA, numerous financial regulators, FERC (power grid), Transportation (DoT)) which require specifically tailored oversight in addition to the FTC's role.
Accordingly, while Congress should expand the FTC's powers to address the increasing threats to consumer privacy, the FCC can, and should, continue to play an important complimentary role -- beginning with the long-promised ruleamaking on broadband privacy. In accordance with the legislative intent of Section 222, the FCC must protect both consumer privacy and OTT competitors.
We conclude with some details about the current practices (and potential practices) of broadband access providers, and recommendations for the FCC's upcoming rulemaking.
Press Release on White Paper:
Direct Link to 80+ page White Paper:
I find the creative prcess this intense (I've been working on this for the last several weeks) is like giving birth. Ecept when you're finished you look down at you're adorable newborn, smile benignly, then toss it to the assembled crowd jump and say: "OK, time to make another baby."
|Thursday, February 11th, 2016|
|Friday, February 5th, 2016|
|Today's dollop of wisdom: Why Clinton Has So Much Trouble Closing The Deal.
One of the things I have learned from various formal media training over the years is something called the "circle of trust." We all have a close circle of people we trust more than anyone else (spouse, children, parents, childhood friend, whoever). We have a somewhat larger circle of people we trust geneally, but less than that. This continues t expand out in concentric circles until we reach whatever your average level of "trust" is.
[Yes, I know
the word "trust" is highly variable, that people have different circles depnding on what specific circumstances, etc. etc. PLEASE stay focused and don't over disect the construct. I'm going somewhere with this.)
If someone is a regular lsitener/viewer of a talk show, the host is somewhere in that circle of trust. Maybe not the inner circle, but it means they generally consider this person a reliable person for news and information. [Again, please don't tell me you personally never trust anybody in the media. Still setting up here. But I'm just about there.] The critical lesson is never directly attack the host
. Why? Because the listeners include the host in their circle of trust. When you attack the host, you make yourself less trustworthy. To be effective, you need to respond in a way -- paricularly if the host starts out on the attack against you -- that lets you into the circle of trust while still making your points.
I assure you, this is very, very, hard. Please do not ask me in the comments how you do this. I'll just say there is a reason that good media training is important.
Which brings me to this snippet from last night's Democratic Primary debate. Unfortunately, the clip does not include the question that preceded the clip.
Now lets all start with the fact that debates are tricky things. After all, you are trying to sell not merely undecideds to vote for you. You are making sure you (a) keep your supporters, and (b) peel away as many supporters as you can of your opponent. This last is particularly hard, because -- as with the aforementioned talk show host -- your opponent's supporters already trust the opponent more than they trust you.
Going into the NH debate, Sanders enjoys a substantial lead over Clinton. That means the majority of voters in the room likely have Bernie in their circle of trust rather than Hillary.But enough are open-minded about the question they can potentially be shifted. Now watch the clip below and note where the boo-ing starts.
Clinton starts out of the gate really strong on this. The boos start with the accusation that Sanders and his campaaign are deliberately engagged in an "artful smear." Sanders then picks up the cue t talk about the influence of money and politics. This, of course gets rousing applause. Sanders never directs a word against Clinton. But because Clinton has set this up as oppositional, Sanders now looks like the champion of campaign finance reform (and, by implication, Clinton is not). Clinton does come back somewhat stronger on the second time. But here again, she directly attacks Sanders for his vote in 2000 for a bill which also contributed to deregulation of derivatives. Sanders again does not attack Clinton. Instead, he focuses on another talking point, how much he resisted repealing Glass-Stegal.
Clinton's message undoubted resonated extremely well with her existing supporters. Existing supporters agree with everything she's saying and will no doubt be delighted that she "called Bernie out" on his "artful smear." They will also attribute any criticism of Clinton'sdelivery here to inherent sexism and the idea that men can be angry and strong and women can't.
Except it's not about strength and passion. It's about how to get inside the circle of trust of those listening to you. This delivery did a great job reenforcing the circle of trust for her existing supporters. But I doubt it did anything for the "leans Bernie but still gettable" crowd, which is the one she *must* capture to win (or come close) in NH.
Mind you, Clinton benefitted from exactly this phenomena in 2008. Obama was leading in the polls before the debate. Clinton handled a question about her "likeability" as compared to Obama perfectly (making a joke of it and saying about Obama "he's very likable". Obama responded with the now infamous "your likeable enough Hillary," which was widely considered condescending and demeaning. (Clip here
.) Clinton responded in a way whcih did not directly challenge Obama and put his supporters on the defensive, but she managed to suggest by her manner (without stating explicitly) that "likeability" is a rather shallow and silly criteria. Obama was perceived as putting Hillary down, thus gaining the ire of Hillary supporters and those leaning Hillary but gettable.
What's unfortunate is that Hillary actually had all the information in there for a perfect answer, but she undermined herself by making it a charcter attack on Bernie.How Do I Think Clinton Should Have Delivered This?
Clinton had it right when she was talking about a ridiculous standard that "anyone who ever took a campaign contribution or a speaking fee from Wall St has to be bought. She should have started with agreement with Sanders, trumpetng her hard work on campaign finance reform with McCain Finegold and noting that Citizens United
wa an attack on her. She could have made her point about billionaires attacking her and said "Clearly all the Billionaires people say own me because of these campaign contributions and speakers fees don't agree with you. They don't own me, they hate me!" (Bonus points for "and i welcme their hatred") She could then follow up with more about an "impossible standard that no one can measure up to. "Even you, Bernie Sanders, couldn't live up this ridiculous standard f purity. We all know how hard you worked to stop repeal of Glass-Stegal. But in the end you had to vote for a bill in 2000 to deregulate the very derivitives that contributed to the financial collapse, because you had to trade away some things to get other things that were worth supporting. But by your own standard, that kind of "pragmatism" makes you a fellow sellout like me. If even Bernie Sanders can't pass the Sanders standard for Wall St purity, than that can't be the right standard! We need to bring together all Democrats and even Republicans who feel the same way to get real campaign finance reform! Stop stting the standard so high that even you can't pass it."
That can be strong, and passionate. It gets in the circle of trust by agreeing with the goals of the Sanders supporters. The attack is not on Sanders personally, but on a "ridiculous standard" that actually would make Sanders also look like a sellout (again, avoiding a personal accusation of hypocricy, but rasing doubt among the gettable that maybe they are being too harsh on Clinton).
Again, this wouldn't matter to the solid Bernie supporters, who would bristle at the idea that they are proposing an "impossible standard." [So please, Sanders supporters, don't fill up my comment section with how substantively wrong my proposed Clinton attack was. This is about plating, not tast or originality with the star ingredient.] But the solid Bernie supporters ae not your target. They are inherently ungettable. Your target are the undecideds and the leans-Sanders voters.
To conclude, do not mistake direct insult for "strength" or "aggression." Don't talk to the ungettable opponents. Remember that there are ways to be strong and aggressive (needed leader qualities) while still being inspirational and undermining your opponent. Remember that yur target audience is the undecided and gettable supporters of your opponent. Show fire to keep your own supporters charged up and demonstrate you're nobody's punching bag. But don't use strong accusatory mode unless you have to.
|Monday, February 1st, 2016|
|Sunday, January 24th, 2016|
|Friday, January 22nd, 2016|
|Today's dollop of wisdom
I Sometimes it will be necessary to make a show of strength and utterly defeat an opponent. When you do, avoid inflicting gratuitous humiliation. Abve all, unless absolutely necessary, never require an individual to make a public delaration surrender. Utterly crushing an opponent will often earn you grudging respect, and a desite to avoid future confrontations. Needless humiliation will earn you an enemy for life, often willing to go out of their way to do you damage.
As often the case, Lois McMaster Bujold summed it up well, in this quote from Aral Vorkosigan: "Always allow a retreating enemy to carry off as much face as possible. Just don't allow them to carry off anything else.