2013’s First Open Thread

Happy New Year.

16 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. GalapagoLarryGalapagoLarry says:

    For times gone by.

  2. GalapagoLarryGalapagoLarry says:

    Here and elsewhere, neophytes (or folks who are naturally shy or reticent for some reason) ask, How do I get involved? Or, more vaguely, How can I help?

    (Disclaimer: I’m a neophyte, still. Although I’d worked on the Obama campaign in ’08 as a phone banker and literature dropper, it wasn’t until April of last year [’12] that I really dived into, How do I get involved. So I’m a newby, too. Take my words for what you paid for them.)

    Politics: There are two types, election politics and persuasion politics.

    In most cases, on our personal level, election politics means, we’re the worker bees. We volunteer our time and effort to carry out the electoral strategy of the candidate or cause we’ve chosen to support (and, also, we’re trying to further our own political interests as well). We wear out sneakers, we encounter assholes who weren’t vetted in the data base, we high five at victory.

    How to? Log on to your candidate’s (cause’s) web page. Click on “Volunteer”. Then follow up. Sign up. Show up. And don’t complain because the paid staff at headquarters has doughnuts and you’re not offered one. And take heart: you’re furthering your own interests, too. Right, Citizen?

    And you’ve heard: Go to you’re caucus. But don’t raise your hand, because you may end up as Precinct Committee Person, or delegate to the county or state convention. The old timers who’ve been doing that job may be all to willing to pass on the (cough) responsibilities. Or do. Raise your hand. You’ll learn by doing.

    Persuasion politics (beginner’s edition): Now this is where it gets interesting. Yeah, yeah, you’ve written letters to the editor, the void from which your plea will never emerge? You’ve e-mailed your senator or representative (state or federal) and all you get back is a boiler plate bunch of horseshit? You’ve cornered your councilman in the barbershop and he says, Hey, thanks for the suggestion, I’ll get back to you on that? (eternal silence)

    How to: Again, log on to your politician’s (cause’s) web page, but this time, click on the “subscribe” or “newsletter” button. When their newsletter shows up in your mailbox, ignore all the puffery about their “action” and their “accomplishments” (or not). Just look for their Open House or Town Meeting announcements, usually a barbecue or burger fry or cocktail party or whatever.

    This get-together is either at some (rich) supporter’s house. (Avoid!) or at the politician’s own house or a public venue–rec center, school, church basement, or such. (Go!)

    There’s usually a “voluntary minimum donation” involved. Whatever. If you’re a believer and you have it, hit their minimum. If you’re strapped, drop a buck. Or not. (Believe this new-comer, you’ll learn to spot the real “political insider” freeloaders once you’ve been to a few of these.)

    But: Go. Show up (potluck contribution or not). And mingle. You may not get the ear of your candidate. But other politicians and supporters may be there. Give them your ear. Remember, this is a learning experience. Listen, watch and eat. If you don’t persuade at this occasion, you’ll meet persons whom you may in the future.

    So: Do. Go. Help. Listen. Get involved. It’s in your interest, right?

  3. GalapagoLarryGalapagoLarry says:

    Lib, be proud. Your dick is probably bigger than Duke’s.

    But I’ll be his is purtier.

  4. GalapagoLarryGalapagoLarry says:

    So the senate comes to a deal. http://www.washingtonpost.com/… And our own Michael Bennet votes against it. I hope it’s for the right reason. I don’t much favor it either. It’s so sweet for Republicans, how can they not? Especially since McConnell wouldn’t have signed on without covering his ass beforehand with Boehner.

    Looks like it’s done?

  5. allyncooper says:

    After 44 yrs. of being a criminal, to smoke my first ever legal joint this year. Tis a privilege to live in Colorado.

  6. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    Nothing on his website abut why. There are some very good reasons to vote against it, but still a big surprise that he voted that way.

  7. Albert J. Nock says:

    “the Senate voted to end a long stalemate and raise taxes on upper-income households, extend long-term unemployment benefits and postpone decisions over government spending cuts, officials said.”

    Everybody gets fucked except the State.

  8. GalapagoLarryGalapagoLarry says:

    Details of this deal in the New Republic, by Noam Scheiber: http://www.tnr.com/blog/plank/… It’s obvious that — if the House goes along and it becomes law of the land — Republicans on the Hill will view Obama as so weak they can get away with the obstrucionism that has made them so loved and admired the past four years. But is it not worse that it reveals Obama sees himself as weak? Why else would he send Biden in to negotiate for this? This seems to be another major “negotiating” blunder for our president.

  9. dwyer says:

    This is really good stuff.  

  10. harrydobyharrydoby says:

    Apparently Bennet isn’t a Keynesian.

    I’m looking forward to Krugman’s take.  But it does appear to have insured a continuing ugly battle over the debt ceiling.  Not sure what leverage remains to protect the 98% against social security and Medicare cuts in two months.

  11. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    In mid November, that’s a reasonable argument. On Jan 1 when they basically have 24 hours and no credible bill waiting for budget cuts – that is not reasonable.

    As to cuts, if he wants cuts now then he doesn’t understand economics. If he wants a clear path to a balanced budget over the next 10 years including a way to rein in health and education inflation – that makes a lot of sense.

  12. Duke Coxdukeco1 says:

    I’m not conceding anything to Libby.  :)

  13. harrydobyharrydoby says:

    I don’t know the details, but apparently Bennett felt the Biden/McConnell deal didn’t measure up to his own.  Bennett is a deficit hawk, and he isn’t afraid to take it out of the hides of the lower 98% unfortunately.

  14. If lower taxes are good, then I’d say everyone made out pretty well, except the very rich.

    The sequester isn’t dead – spending cuts aren’t dead. In fact, the sequester is delayed two months, but the money that would have been saved from the cuts over those two months must still be cut during those two months. I.e. no change, you still get your spending cuts.

  15. GalapagoLarryGalapagoLarry says:

    I wouldn’t presume to actually know!

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