Thursday, November 20, 2014



This was the former Michigan AAA building in Detroit. They tore it down this summer, so I'm glad I got some shots of it before it met the wrecking ball.

Stuff is happening:

At Long Last, Immigration Action
The President will advocate for sane immigration policy, and the NYT is ON IT. Good read.

The right will falsely label Mr. Obama’s actions lawless. They are a victory for problem-solving over posturing, common sense over cruelty, and lawful order over a chaotic status quo.

Washington Holds Its Breath Over Immigration Speech
Here's the thing: Republicans can pass their own plan, or they can pound salt. Defunding the agency that deals with immigration is not an option.

Officials of the Republican-led House Appropriations Committee have concluded that the government agency most responsible for implementing any new executive order — the Citizenship and Immigration Services — would not be hindered if government funds are cut off; it operates entirely on revenue it generates through immigration applications. In short, lawmakers have no fiscal leverage over the agency, which could keep operating even if the rest of the government was shut down.

Note to GOP: Just Because Right-Wingers Are Blind With Rage Doesn't Mean Obama's Immigration Action Is Illegal
And here's the other thing: This is legal, it's been done before (but maybe not on this large of a scale), and we can't address every issue based on a measure of the Conservative Outrage Meter, because the damn thing is obviously broken.

The standard they’re proposing instead is completely capricious and self-serving: That the right's reactive character is an inviolable norm, and that conservative outrage should thus help settle all other normative questions. If you submit deportation discretion to this standard, then every executive action save for the most trivial will be subject to the “can the conservative movement whip up a shitstorm” test.

Republicans are officially the "Boy Who Cried Wolf Party." EVERYTHING is a disaster, until policy kicks in and works, lo and behold, and then it's not. See: Obamacare, DOE "Solyndra" programs, auto bailouts, the (falling) deficit, Ebola in US, "terrorists crossing the border", gay marriage, climate change, on and on and on.... When have they been right about anything they screech about?

Obama's plan of action on immigration may derail Republican agenda
Wait, this splits the Republican base to the point where they can't function for all the poutrage? What a pity.

That's largely because the question of how to handle the estimated 11 million immigrants living illegally in the U.S. bitterly divides Republicans, and the party has been unable to agree on an alternative to the president's plan. To many, stark warnings from Boehner and McConnell sound more like pleas to the president to avoid reenergizing the GOP's conservative wing, whose leaders are already threatening to link the president's immigration plan to upcoming budget talks. Another government shutdown is not what McConnell and Boehner had in mind when their party won control of Congress this month.

Doing the right thing is the best negotiating stance
Bottom line again: R's can participate at any time. If they choose not to, so be it. There are lives in the balance.

Instead, he's saying I'm doing this and if you don't like it, pass a bill I can sign and I'll rescind it. He's not foreclosing compromise he's just saying that he's not going to wait any longer for them to do what they keep saying they are going to do and never actually do it. I don't know how it's going to work politically but he has nothing to lose by trying it. And actual humans will benefit. Good.

Warren Torches GOP On Economy: We Tried It, It Was 'Nearly Catastrophic'
This. This speech. This reality. This. This. This. The NBC/WSJ poll pointed out that everyone in America (except the rich) thinks the system works against them. First priority is to change the opinion that government always fails. You've got thirty years of Reaganism to undo - and Warren is the one pointing the way. And from that, all else will flow.

"People across this country get it. Sure, there’s a lot of work to be done and there’s a long way to go before Democrats can reclaim the right to say that we’re fighting for America’s working people, that we’re fighting to build a future not just for some of our children but for all of our children," Warren said. "No, we’re not there yet but don’t forget the good news. Our agenda is America’s agenda."

NBC poll: Public attitudes clear as mud
Steve Benen breaks down the poll and finds that America is pretty messed up when it comes to who can address what they say are their priorities.

A majority of Americans believe the government should “do more to solve problems and help meet the needs of people,” rather than leaving issues to businesses and individuals … though the election results, which most of the country is happy about, guarantee that won’t happen. There’s ample room for discussion about the contradictions, but one thing seems indisputable: if Republicans look at the 2014 as a broad national mandate for a far-right agenda and hardball partisan tactics, they’re badly misreading the political landscape.

Banks Had Unfair Advantage From Commodity Units: Senator
Our country is going to miss Carl Levin.

In a report on Goldman Sachs (GS) Group Inc., Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase & Co., a Senate panel said the firms have eroded the line separating banking from commercial activities to the detriment of consumers and the financial system. The holdings give banks access to non-public information that could move markets and increase the likelihood that industrial accidents will spur taxpayer bailouts, the report said... The investigation, which is the focus of a two-day public hearings that start today, is a swan song for retiring Levin, a Michigan Democrat who’s long been a scourge of the banking industry. His 2010 showcase of Goldman Sachs’s mortgage trades helped crystallize the financial crisis in the minds of the American public and left a stain on the bank that it has yet to fully erase.

GOP to double down on ‘voodoo’ economics?
We are getting the Ryan budget. That means more tax cuts for the wealthy and more program cuts for the poor, period, full stop. In a perfect world, you'd turn Liz Warren loose on this RIGHT NOW before it gets off the ground. Why can't the Dems ever get out in front of the next Big Lie, when it's obvious what's coming?

Ryan’s goal is to slash high end taxes and to balance the budget in 10 years. He says he’ll make up the lost revenues by closing some loopholes, but “dynamic scoring” is also a crucial piece of this puzzle. Liberals warn that “dynamic scoring” should only be used in limited ways, because its accuracy is very uncertain, but conservatives like it because it allows them to claim tax cuts will produce more revenue from economic growth, reducing the need for the hard choices required to make up that revenue in the plan itself.