ChrisWeigant.com

Friday Talking Points -- Contemptible!

[ Posted Friday, October 22nd, 2021 – 16:49 UTC ]

This week, the House of Representatives declared that Steve Bannon was contemptible. Well, that's not strictly legally accurate -- they actually officially held him in contempt of Congress, but it's more fun to say it the other way. Because he so obviously is, of course.

Democrats were patting themselves on the back for "moving quickly" on the issue, which is kind of a joke -- it is now almost ten months after the January 6th insurrectionist attack on the Capitol, and the select committee investigating it has only now gotten around to attempting to call their first contentious and politically-charged witness. This Congress only lasts until January of 2023, which is only 15 months away. If the committee hasn't finished by that point, it will be disbanded (if Republicans win back control of the chamber). In other words, time's a-wastin'.

The Justice Department now has to decide whether to charge Bannon with criminal contempt or not, and Attorney General Merrick Garland hasn't so far shown he is capable of moving on things of this nature with much speed at all. Then there'll be a court case, with plenty of objections, motions, appeals, and all the other various legal time-wasters built into the system, meaning it'll likely be years before Bannon's actual trial. So it's kind of a wonder to hear Democrats congratulate themselves for "acting swiftly."

Of course, all of Washington is currently consumed with another situation that almost demands the term "contemptible." This is not -- as the media keeps pushing -- an intraparty struggle between "moderates" and progressives within the Democratic Party, this is trying to get two bought-and-paid-for corporatist Democratic senators to agree to anything. The moral of this story, kiddies, is that when there is a 50-50 split Senate, then lobbyists don't have to buy a whole bunch of senators -- only one will do just fine.

Consider Senator Kyrsten Sinema. She actively campaigned on lowering prescription drug prices and raising taxes on corporate America and the wealthy. Then mountains of campaign cash flowed to her after she got elected to the Senate, and now she is adamantly refusing to allow the entire rest of the Democratic Party, including even Joe Manchin to lower prescription drug prices or raise the tax rates on either corporate America or the ultra-wealthy. It's pretty easy to draw the line between Sinema's newfound donor friends and the "principles" she now seems to stand for. She is for sale, plain and simple. And big Pharma and all the rest of them were able to block progressive policies very cheaply. Purchasing one senator is so much easier than having to buy a handful of them, in other words.

It's worth noting that this could have been a glorious victory in a very long and hard-fought battle. The New York Times had a good historical overview of what led up to this point:

When a powerful Democratic Senate chairman assembled his Special Committee on Aging to confront what he called a "crisis of affordability" for prescription drugs, he proposed a novel solution: allow the government to negotiate better deals for critical medications.

The year was 1989, and the idea from that chairman, former Senator David Pryor of Arkansas, touched off a drive for government drug-price negotiations that has been embraced by two generations of Democrats and one Republican president, Donald J. Trump -- but now appears at risk of being left out of a sprawling domestic policy bill taking shape in Congress.

This could have been the successful conclusion of a 32-year-old fight, in other words. But alas, this was not to be. Sinema's actions are starting to generate some real political blowback for her at home -- which is entirely appropriate, at this point. Five members of a veterans' advisory panel to Sinema publicly quit this week and they did not mince words about why they were doing so:

Five veterans tapped to advise Senator Kyrsten Sinema, an Arizona Democrat, resigned from their posts on Thursday, publicly accusing her of "hanging your constituents out to dry" in the latest sign of growing hostility toward a centrist who has emerged as a key holdout on President Biden's agenda.

In a scathing letter obtained by The New York Times, the veterans took Ms. Sinema to task for her refusal to abolish the filibuster and her opposition to parts of Mr. Biden's multitrillion-dollar social safety net, education, climate and tax plan, stances that have stymied some of his top priorities.

"You have become one of the principal obstacles to progress, answering to big donors rather than your own people," the veterans wrote in a letter that is to be featured in a new advertisement by Common Defense, a progressive veterans' activist group that has targeted Ms. Sinema.

"We shouldn't have to buy representation from you, and your failure to stand by your people and see their urgent needs is alarming," they added.

HuffPost posted the video with their report, and it's definitely worth seeing, if only for the naked disgust expressed in the letter.

Senator Manchin, of course, has his own contemptible positions as well. The upshot is that both of these corporatist Democrats have gutted large swaths of what President Joe Biden's Build Back Better plan sought to accomplish. This will, no doubt, lead to a lot of disappointment among Democratic voters. It seems Joe Biden is about to go through exactly what he saw his boss Barack Obama go through on his first big piece of legislation -- the Great Recession stimulus plan. It was cut in half from what economists said was necessary, and because of this stinginess it meant a much longer recession and recovery. The voters were not pleased.

This time around, Build Back Better is going to be cut in half -- after already being cut in half, down from $6 trillion -- and will wind up being only a quarter-loaf, at best. And that's what Democrats are going to have to sell to the voters in next year's midterms -- "Well, we tried to get tuition-free community college, but the only way to do that is to elect more Democrats so we can really, really try once again." That is not the most inspiring or motivating message, it's pretty easy to see.

Perhaps Democrats will benefit somewhat from their own messaging failure up to this point. Most Americans don't even know what the Democratic agenda contained, which means fewer of them might be disappointed with the final product. But the media is certainly not helping, because while they spent the last few months obsessing about the overall pricetag (to the exclusion of ever informing people what was in the plan), now they're going to start obsessing not over what made it into the plan, but what got left out. "Democrats had to cut this very popular idea!" the headlines will read, for at least the next couple of weeks.

Even Joe Biden is quite visibly annoyed with his two sold-their-soul senators. In a CNN townhall last night, Biden name-checked both Sinema and Manchin repeatedly, as he dejectedly explained why popular programs such as fighting climate change were simply not going to make it into the final deal ("I’m prepared to do the things that can get done now, that can begin to change the lives of ordinary Americans to give them a fighting chance and come back and try to get others later"). He was especially exasperated about the community college idea being cut, which makes sense because (as he pointed out) he is married to a community college teacher.

On community college and a lot of other issues, Biden tried to keep his chin up and promise: "We'll keep fighting for this," but it was just disappointing to hear him have to say stuff like that.

Here, according to the Washington Post, is what is currently in or out of the deal:

Financial incentives for power plants to switch to clean energy are out.

A carbon tax is out.

Two additional years of universal pre-K education are still in.

Subsidized child care, to cap costs for families at seven percent of their income, is in.

Extending the Child Tax Credit is still up in the air. Initially, some wanted to make this permanent. Democrats started this expanded program this year, and parents across America have been getting $300 checks for each child every month. But first this was trimmed back to "not permanent, but maybe four or five years" to "only next year." And now, Manchin is demanding that it be both means-tested (he doesn't want families making over $60,000 a year to get it) and have work requirements. This will vastly reduce the effectiveness of this program at cutting youth poverty, but Manchin doesn't seem to care. Biden is against the work requirement, so perhaps it will survive with just the means-testing Manchin is demanding.

Tax hikes on corporations and high-income earners are out. Thank-you, Kyrsten, for torpedoing the biggest selling point to the voters the entire plan was built around: "Make the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes." Sinema won't allow tax rates to rise at all.

Taxing corporations some other way might be in (such as a 15 percent minimum tax).

A brand-new "wealth tax" or "billionaires' tax" is reportedly being considered, which would mean creating an entirely new framework from scratch for an entirely new way to tax people. For some bizarre reason, Sinema seems to like this idea better than just raising the rates (which would be incredibly easy to do and wouldn't require anything new).

Bernie Sanders' dream of providing coverage to Medicare patients for hearing, vision, and dental appears to have been gutted -- it's now down to a single $800 voucher for dentistry, and allowing hearing aids to be sold over-the-counter without a prescription.

Expanding Obamacare to the states that still refuse to expand Medicaid may make it in the final bill. Also possible is increasing the subsidies for people who buy their health insurance through the Obamacare exchanges, which would directly lower their costs.

Allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices appears to be dead. There was a rather robust initial plan which got watered down considerably by a few bought-and-paid-for Democrats in the House, but Sinema won't even allow that. This would have saved an enormous amount of money -- which could have been used to pay for the rest of the plan -- but Sinema refuses to give patients any kind of break. Even though this was the most popular item in the entire Build Back Better agenda, supported by huge majorities of both Democratic and Republican voters.

Housing plans are iffy. Elder care is at risk. Paid family leave is down from 12 weeks to only four. Immigration reform is still potentially possible, but whatever they come up with will have to get the Senate parliamentarian's approval, which is not guaranteed.

To sum up, it's pretty clear that whatever deal may emerge in the coming days will be but a pale imitation of the robust agenda Joe Biden campaigned on. It'll be a small fraction of what he proposed that his Democrats in Congress pass.

And we have two contemptible bought-and-paid-for Senate Democrats to thank for this sorry state of affairs.

At least we're making progress, that's about the best thing you can say at this point. Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders wanted a final deal by today, but that does not look likely to happen. The clock is ticking, however, with three deadlines fast approaching (which we wrote about yesterday): the highway fund turning into a pumpkin at midnight on Hallowe'en, the Virginia governor's election in early November, and Joe Biden attending a worldwide climate change meeting later in the month. So both Manchin and Sinema have been forced into engaging almost constantly with the White House and with President Biden himself. Which has helped.

 

Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

We have several Honorable Mention awards to hand out this week before we get to the main event.

President Biden deserves some credit for lighting a fire under everyone (cough, cough, Manchin and Sinema, cough...) this week. At the start of the week, the media was still predicting the demise of the Build Back Better bill, but by week's end they were treating it almost as an inevitability. A lot of this has to do with Biden pushing everyone involved to a final agreement sooner rather than later, so we have to give him some credit for that.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer sent a letter around this week stating that the House will "explore options to remove the threat that the debt limit poses over the long term, now that Republicans have demonstrated a willingness to weaponize it for partisan purposes." That's "remove" as in "kill it forever" -- an idea which up until now hadn't had much backing from Democratic leadership. It's still a longshot, but it's nice to see someone of Hoyer's stature get on board with the effort.

If you like watching congressional committee meetings rather than, say, professional wrestling, then this week's top bout was Democrat Jaime Raskin grilling Matt Gaetz on whether he accepted that Joe Biden won the election fair and square. Raskin certainly deserves at least an Honorable Mention for doing so.

But this week our two awards are paired. We're not going to point out why the timing of this announcement was so important (as you'll see in the next section, by what preceded it). But it was indeed heartening to see:

Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer on Thursday announced that he is endorsing India Walton to be mayor of Buffalo, giving the winner of the Democratic primary a crucial boost only days before early voting begins in her race against Mayor Byron Brown.

"As Buffalo voters start to head to the polls this weekend, I urge them to cast their ballot for India Walton as the next mayor of Buffalo," Schumer said in a statement sent to The Buffalo News. "India is an inspiring community leader, mother, nurse and a lifelong Buffalonian with a clear progressive vision for her hometown."

Schumer's decision gives Walton backing from a centrist Democrat at a time when other such figures, such as Gov. Kathy Hochul and Rep. Brian Higgins of Buffalo, have refused to take sides in the battle between an upstart primary winner and a four-term incumbent who's waging a write-in campaign.

"India Walton won the Democratic primary fair and square and is the nominee, and I have always believed that the Democratic Party is a big tent and is strongest and most able to build national majorities and bring meaningful change when it is inclusive -- that is exactly how the Senate Democratic caucus is structured," Schumer said.

"Throughout my career, I have worked long, hard, and diligently to bring federal resources to Western New York and I look forward to doing that with India Walton for the betterment of the people of Buffalo," the senator added.

"Buffalonian"? Who knew? Our spell checker has now been instructed to approve this term.

Kidding aside, kudos to Schumer for doing what the rest of his fellow New York Democrats have yet to do (but really should). That's called "leadership" and it's why Schumer wins the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award.

[Congratulate Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on his Senate contact page, to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

Schumer's announcement came a few days after this happened, which is why it was so notable:

The chair of the New York State Democratic Party apologized Monday after comparing Buffalo mayoral nominee India Walton, a Black woman, to former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

The party chair, Jay Jacobs, made the comparison in an interview with Spectrum News. He doubled down in a defiant statement issued through the state party before eventually issuing an apology amid criticism from other Democrats, including some calls to resign.

Walton, a self-identified socialist, won the Democratic nomination for Buffalo mayor in June, in a victory over four-term incumbent Byron Brown. Brown has since launched a write-in campaign, and several top New York Democrats, including Jacobs and Gov. Kathy Hochul, have so far declined to endorse a candidate in the race.

In the interview with Spectrum News, Jacobs was asked what type of precedent it sets if he and other leading Democrats refrain from endorsing Walton, the winner of the primary. Jacobs responded that it is not necessary for state party chairs to endorse the primary winner, citing the white supremacist Duke as an example.

Here is his response, in full, to the question:

I think it then leads you to the question, is it always a requirement of a Democratic elected official or perhaps the state chair or party chairs, is it a requirement that if someone wins the Democratic primary, they must always get the Democratic endorsement of these people? And that's a question I would answer: "No, it's not." Let's take a scenario, very different, where David Duke, you remember him -- the Grand Wizard of the KKK -- he moves to New York and he becomes a Democrat, he runs for mayor in the city of Rochester, which is a low primary turnout, and he wins the Democratic line. I have to endorse David Duke? I don't think so. Now, of course India Walton is not in the same category, but it just leads you to that question: "Is it a must?" It's not a must. It's something you choose to do. That's why it's an endorsement. Otherwise they'd call it something else, like a requirement.

Once again, for emphasis: India Walton is a Black woman. And the state party chair used KKK Grand Wizard David Duke in a comparison to her.

This has already been an absolute knife-fight of a political race. It's gotten downright ugly. In fact, the Republican Party is even directly helping Brown's campaign out:

The New York Republican Party is going to bat for the Democratic mayor of Buffalo, New York, as he fends off a progressive challenger.

. . .

Without a partisan of their own on the ballot, top Republicans in Western New York have made no secret of their preference for the business-friendly Brown, with a number of pro-GOP business executives in particular chipping in to help fund his write-in effort.

The Walton campaign revealed at a press conference on Friday that Brown has official Republican Party support as well: The New York Republican State Committee is paying for mailers to Buffalonians that praise Brown and attack Walton.

A double-sided flyer sent to voters that the Walton campaign showed has a pro-Brown message on one side, calling him the "proven, commonsense leader Buffalo needs."

On the other side of the flyer, the GOP provides a side-by-side comparison of the two candidates and warns that Walton's "radical agenda will destroy Buffalo." Walton, the flyer claims, would "defund the police," "protect violent criminals," and usher in "economic disaster."

That's the environment that already existed this race. And the Democratic state party chair just proved he can take the debate even lower -- right down into the gutter.

This is beyond disgraceful. It is contemptible, in fact. Which is why Jay Jacobs is clearly this week's Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week. For shame!

[Contact New York Democratic Party Chair Jay Jacobs on his official contact page, to let him know what you think of his actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 639 (10/22/21)

Before we begin, we have some program news to cover. Next week, Friday Talking Points will be on hiatus, because it will be the closest day to Hallowe'en. And we're returning to our annual frightfest, where we provide a spooky tale of horror for both Democrats and Republicans (complete with carved pumpkins). So there's that to look forward to!

Friday Talking Points will resume the following week, never fear.

As for this week's talking points, well, we are left thinking they would have been a whole lot more triumphant if Manchin and Sinema hadn't essentially gotten everything they asked for from the entire rest of the Democratic Party. But we did what we could with what we were given, so here goes....

 

1
   Historic

Democrats are going to have to defend the much-smaller Build Back Better plan to the public. They should lean in to one specific word.

"Taken all together -- the COVID relief bill, the infrastructure bill, and the Build Back Better bill now under discussion -- it's pretty easy to see that Joe Biden is going to manage to pass some downright historic legislation in the first year of his presidency. Two free years of pre-K education for parents -- that is not just a historic change, but a very welcome one for parents. Capping their child care costs at seven percent of their income is also a historic change. Finally expanding Medicaid for all Americans will mean even those people living in ruby-red states will now be able to take advantage of Obamacare. That's historic -- finally getting to where Obamacare intended to go. The first guaranteed paid family leave in United States history -- wouldn't you call that historic? I mean, we can all play the 'what might have been' game -- of course the bill could have been better. But let's not lose sight of the fact that even with all the compromises, this will indeed be a historic bill, and a historic change for millions of Americans."

 

2
   Making Washington work

Not exactly as promised, but still an achievement.

"President Joe Biden campaigned on a simple idea -- he could make Washington work again. Even in the face of extreme partisan obstructionism, Biden is about to prove that he can actually make Washington work again. It may not work perfectly, and it's not a pretty picture, but that's how the sausage-making always goes, really. When the infrastructure bill and the Build Back Better bill get to Biden's desk, it will be because he brought the key players together at the critical time, sat them down, and hashed things out. His long experience in the Senate paid off, in other words. I cannot count how many times the media ran stories about how both of these bills were deader than a dodo, and yet here we are -- on the brink of passing truly historic legislation. As I said, it wasn't pretty, but in the end Biden did indeed make Washington work to some degree or another. That may sound like faint praise, but when you contrast it to the gridlock which preceded it, it's hard to deny that Biden is scoring some rather impressive legislative victories."

 

3
   Elect more Democrats

This is a hard truth, but it must be admitted.

"For every Democratic voter disgusted at the way the Build Back Better bill was stripped of so many good ideas, there's really only one answer: elect more Democrats to the Senate. If we had a majority of 52 instead of 50, then we would not have to care what Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema think about anything. They would be powerless. But there is really only one way to achieve that, and that is to win Senate races in 2022 in some battleground states -- it's as simple as that."

 

4
   Biden makes a move on filibuster

This is big news.

"At a CNN townhall this week, President Biden moved significantly closer to calling on the Senate to change the rules for filibustering. After the voting rights bill Joe Manchin wrote specifically to attract Republican votes failed, it became obvious that this is the only way forward. Manchin insisted he could get ten GOP votes, and in the end he got zero. The only remaining way forward to protect the right to vote is to allow such bills to be passed with a simple majority. Biden, from his townhall, seems to agree: 'We're going to have to move to the point where we fundamentally alter the filibuster. That remains to be seen exactly what that means, in terms of fundamentally altering it, and whether or not we just end the filibuster straight up.' This is a big change in attitude for Biden, and hopefully it will help convince Joe Manchin that the time has come to move forward instead of chasing the wild goose of bipartisanship on fundamental constitutional rights like the right to vote."

 

5
   Dagnabit!

I think ya jest shot yerself in the foot there, Tex....

"Three days after Donald Trump lost the presidential election, the lieutenant governor of Texas, Dan Patrick, swore he would reward anyone who uncovered credible instances of voter fraud anywhere in the country with a minimum of $25,000. His campaign finally made their first payment, to a poll worker in Pennsylvania. The funny part? He's a Democrat, and his tip led to the conviction of a registered Republican who tried to cast a vote in his son's name after already casting his own vote. So a very happy Democrat in Pennsylvania now has 25 grand he's going to use towards a down-payment on a house, all because of a Texas politician's political grandstanding! Ready... fire... aim!"

 

6
   Despicable him

Just when you have finally convinced yourself he can go no lower....

"Donald Trump reacted to the tragic death of American patriot Colin Powell by trying to make it all about himself. Of course, we've seen before how Trump refuses to follow the old 'speak no ill of the dead' rule in politics (see: John McCain), but this was beyond disgusting, it was downright despicable. In what cannot be accurately described as a condolence message, Trump called Powell 'a classic RINO,' accused him of making 'big mistakes on Iraq and famously, so-called weapons of mass destruction,' and -- completely without awareness of the irony -- accused Powell of 'always being the first to attack other Republicans.' He finished this verbal vomitus by saying Powell 'made many mistakes, but anyway, may he rest in peace!' But the truly despicable thing about it was Trump proving once again that no matter what happens in the world, to Trump, it is always about Trump. He whined that Powell was being 'treated in death so beautifully by the Fake News Media,' and then wistfully added: 'Hope that happens to me someday.' Well, I can at least say we all hope the media prove him wrong -- and sooner rather than later. There's really nothing else to say about someone so despicable, really."

 

7
   Hard to tell the difference, really

Too, too funny.

"Trump was also in the news for launching a beta version of a new social media platform, which (it will surprise no one) was instantly invaded by trolls. As the Washington Post delicately put it: 'The site was briefly accessible to the public on Wednesday night, allowing people to create accounts and claim usernames. One account under the handle "donaldjtrump" posted a photo of a pig defecating.' Personally, I found it hard to tell the difference between this post and what Trump had to say about Colin Powell, though. Both were pretty equally disgusting to behold."

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground

 

44 Comments on “Friday Talking Points -- Contemptible!”

  1. [1] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    trump invaded by trolls? isn't that kinda, yknow... redundant?

  2. [2] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    TP 3,4-
    A hard TRUTH?

    CONTEMPTIBLE!

    How much do you want to bet that if the Deathocrats had 52 instead of 50 that there would not be two more Deathocrat senators joining Manchin and Sinema.

    SOP for Deathocrats.

    The hard truth that needs to be admitted is that having only one big money party masquerading as two parties is what makes the show possible.

    You act as though Sinema is the only Deathocrat that takes and is influenced by big money.

    They ALL do and ALL are.

    The line that when Deathocrats use their standard excuses (bipartisanship, parlementarian, Manchin Sinema, etc.) on why they couldn't get things done that they have used for decades that you need to elect more Deathocrats has never yielded the results you claim it would because that was never the real purpose of electing more Deathocrats.

    It is time for YOU to give up on your bipartisan delusion that there are only two choices and citizens should just settle for the show instead of demanding better.

    TAKE THE VACCINE!!!

  3. [3] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    You are really reaching on the MDDOTW.

    It seems that Jacobs was using something that was an obvious reason that Democrats would not endorse a nominee, comparing a situation- not the people.

    It is the same as when commenters here used a Nazi small donor candidate as an ridiculous argument against One Demand.

    They were not calling me or comaparing me to a Nazi.

  4. [4] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    TP 1-
    Historic just doesn't mean what it used to mean.

    You are just trying to put lipstick on the pig while it is defecating.

    It is the equivalent of writing about the positives of giving slaves two half hour meal breaks and eight hours off at night when they could be free to do what they want instead of just getting rid of slavery.

    How is we have let you down for decades but you should vote for us again because this time we really mean it a rational argument?

    You must be clueless or think that the rest of us are.

  5. [5] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    TP1 Re "2 yrs of 'free' pre-K education"

    Typical Dem/Lib Economics ignorance. Nothing the gov't does is ever "free". It's ever only a question of 'Who pays when and how?

    And selling it as "education" is pure sophistry. What it actually is is glorified day-care. Those who disagree need to review the government's own report on its audit of the "Head Start" program issued a few yrs ago. The report indicated "No effect beyond third".."

  6. [6] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    ...
    and Attorney General Merrick Garland hasn't so far shown he is capable of moving on things of this nature with much speed at all.

    To date, yes. But just because Garland isn't moving fast enough for many people's taste there's no reason whatsoever to not have confidence that "he'll get there." Quite frankly it's better for the Dems if this stuff is breaking in the months leading up to the Midterms, no?

    And does anyone really think he's somehow going to go easy on the Repugs?

  7. [7] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    CRS on [5]

    Sure, but the word free applied to public services that do not charge fee-for-service is a convention that everyone understands. Public schools are "free", as are the public roads.
    It's a tough argument to say that voters believe that they are not paying for the schools or roads through their taxes.

    To say that "nothing the government does is ever free" because everything must be paid for is just rhetoric. By the same logic, we should forbid all inspiring conservative talk of "free enterprise" and "democratic freedoms", etc. Nothing, technically, is free, i.e. not paid for by a compensating cost.

    Probably it's better to argue whether a free Pre-K education program is worth it, as you do further on, than to harp on meaningless wordplay.

  8. [8] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [5]

    Free Pre-K means free to most Americans, not free of cost. Unless you're a flat taxer (great...raise taxes on 90% of us just to give the richest 10% yet another tax cut? Really?

    "Free" will be to most of us and is going to come out of the pockets of those who can more than afford it.

  9. [9] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Cad

    Yeah, I understand the convention of referring to 'no-fee-for-service" things as being "free", but the "free" in "free markets" is another form of the word. Doesn't even mean "at no cost", means 'uncontrolled' or 'unconstrained'.

  10. [10] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Oops, direct that [9] to John M. rather than Cad.

    Cad [8]

    Often those things wind up coming from the pockets of those who benefit, not always from "those who can more than afford it" Witness Social Security.

  11. [11] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    Re: MtnCaddy [6] - absolutely correct.

    It is astonishing that the same crowd who was outraged at the various Bengazi!!! hearings in the House of Representatives and the Trump administration's (at least partially-successful) subversion of the DOJ for political gain decries the lack of results from the January 6 commission. It is another example of the American attribute of immediate gratification.

  12. [12] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    I will never understand why some Democratic voters think the 'circular firing squad' method of legislation works. Didn't they learn from the 'shellacking' of 2010? If not, did they not celebrate the abysmal failure of the 'Freedom Caucus' to change the GOP's direction, with the happy knock-on result of torpedoing most of the Republican agenda'.

    Here's a good article about how open discussion in PRIVATE can result in progress.
    'Shortly after that tussle, Manchin and Sanders met privately, posed for a photo together and publicly reconciled. They’ve met four times so far this week, each softening their rhetoric toward one another and speaking more hopefully of a deal even as they continue to spar behind the scenes. Yet the cathartic blowup helped spark a significant breakthrough after a dayslong feud between the two that began when Sanders leaned publicly on Manchin to support Biden’s agenda.'
    https://www.politico.com/news/2021/10/21/bulls-how-a-manchin-bernie-blowup-helped-unstick-dems-agenda-516561

  13. [13] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hey, not much action around here for a FTP column ...

    In know, y'all are saving it up for the big shindig tonight.

    Don't be shy, bring all your favourite tunes!

  14. [14] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I feel like dancin' the night away - what d'ya say, everybody!

    Welcome to the CW Sunday Night Music Festival and Dance Party, where we dispense with all of the political chatter in favour of letting the music speak loud and proud ...

    What are your favourite dance tunes - you know, the ones that make you move even when you don't really want to!?

  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Let me get things started with a Whitney Houston favourite...

    I Wanna Dance With Somebody

  16. [16] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    One of my guilty pleasures ... er, oh, heck, it's one of my all-time favourites ...

    Dancing Queen

  17. [17] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers were not originally from Vancouver but they found great success there, naturally. Vancouver was THE place to be in the 60s to 80s, if you were at all musically inclined ...

    Malinda

  18. [18] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    one of my best friends in the world lives in BC.

    I hope she's alright.

  19. [19] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Bobby Taylor and the Vacouvers, formerly LIttle Daddy and the Bachelors, including Tommy Chong on guitar, were a soul band that formed in Vancouver.

    Too Much Monkey Business

  20. [20] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Wow, Joshua, that was FUN!

  21. [21] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    the who always were.

  22. [22] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    liz, you're one of the few people here i legit wish i could meet in person.

  23. [23] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    so if you ever feel like visiting NYC, give us a shout

  24. [24] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I will do! I was in NYC, a couple of times and was on the observation deck at World Trade Center 1 or 2 and to see Ralph Feinnes as Hamlet! Would love to meet you, too!

  25. [25] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    (can't believe I got his name wrong ... :()

  26. [26] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, you can dance ... for inspiration. Come on!

    Into The Groove

  27. [27] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    you can dance?

    you can dance!

    there ya go.

  28. [28] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    My all-time favourite Madonna song ...

    La Isla Bonita

  29. [29] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i used to love that song. still do, but in a different way.

  30. [30] 
    nypoet22 wrote:
  31. [31] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    He brushed by me with painted-on jeans ... o-o-o-h

    He's simply ... awesome.

    Caribbean Queen

  32. [32] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Don't Tell Me ... now THAT reminds me of my one and only Madonna CD, Something To Remember ... used to play it a lot ... will have to dig it up ... love, love, love every single track on this album ...

    Here's a sexy slow dance song off this album ...

    I Want You

  33. [33] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Rick Astley could always get me going ... still can! :)

    Never Gonna Give You Up

    Together Forever

  34. [34] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Can you feel it ...

    ... it's the Rhythm of the Night!

  35. [35] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  36. [36] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Here's a rockin' tune from PRiSM, the opening track off of their fourth studio album (1980), the last one featuring the soaring vocals of the late and great Ron Tabak ...

    American Music

  37. [37] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Another slow dance song before I go ... 'cause I, for one, am all tuckered out. :)

    PRiSM - Night To Remember

  38. [38] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Feels like I might have dropped a few pounds tonight. Whew.

    That's a wrap for me ... but keep the party going all you fun-loving left coasters, you!

    Take care everyone and stay safe.

  39. [39] 
    John M wrote:

    [5] C. R. Stucki wrote:

    And selling it as "education" is pure sophistry. What it actually is is glorified day-care. Those who disagree need to review the government's own report on its audit of the "Head Start" program issued a few yrs ago. The report indicated "No effect beyond third".."

    So what if it is only glorified daycare?? It still provides a valuable economic boost to the economy by allowing working women to participate in the labor force who would not be able to otherwise do so without the support of childcare.

  40. [40] 
    John M wrote:

    [15] [16] Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    "Let me get things started with a Whitney Houston favourite..."

    I love Whitney Houston and ABBA

  41. [41] 
    John M wrote:

    [28] Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    "My all-time favourite Madonna song ..."

    Love Madonna too. You were playing all the ones I like!

  42. [42] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    John, hope to see you here ... or, you know, over there this coming Sunday night!

  43. [43] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    John M [39]

    Somebody has to raise the next generation. How does substituting a baby sitter for a mom ". .provide a valuable economic boost to the economy"? Couldn't the person who comes into the home to tend the kids just go be the clerk at Kroger or Walmart rather than the mom being the clerk, resulting in exactly the same "boost to the economy"?

    You're scenario only makes sense if you presume the mom in the example is a highly-skilled, highly productive person (computer engineer, physician, etc.) and the substitute mom is totally unskilled.

  44. [44] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    John M My[43]

    Should have said " isn't the person who comes into the home OR takes the kids into her home or pre-school (normal day-care system as you have in mind) . ."

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