Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Quinn’s Education Speech is Prep for 2013 Mayoral Race, Duh.
I woke up this morning to a truly huge string of tweets by the Speaker for the New York City Council and likely 2013 mayoral candidate Christine Quinn about education reform in the city. The tweets were a compliment to a speech given this morning about the subject, just as the city deals with a school bus driver strike that would affect more than 150,000 students.
The New York Times coverage of the subject brings up the very astute point that Ms. Quinn is in a precarious place. The proposals in her speech simultaneously distanced herself from Bloomberg’s more divisive policies while retaining a majority of what he has implemented.
It’s clear that Quinn is running for mayor, whether she wants to say it or not. This is a political stance intended to appeal to both sides of the Bloomberg divide: if you like Bloomberg, you can rest assured that Quinn is not going to make a complete 180 degree turn; if you dislike Bloomberg and his education reforms, the changes Quinn proposes are significant enough in the right places that you can rest assured that she is not necessarily just Bloomberg lite.
In terms of electoral politics, it’s a smart move for Quinn. The field of Democratic primary candidates is still quite liquid around her, and her name recognition/popularity far exceeds that of all official and potential Democratic challengers.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg himself is still trying to court potential successors. Quinn has been presumed to be his preference, but apparently “his anxiety level about that choice […] is high.”
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
What Happens to 16 Million Email Addresses When the Campaign Ends?
Information is opportunity in the digital age, and so it shouldn’t be surprising at the Democratic party wants Obama’s email list.
The estimate of exactly how many emails he has is 16 million, about 6 more million than a data journalist who spoke at my college in September or early October had estimated. More importantly though, it’s not just emails. It’s demographic information beyond one’s wildest imagination that they then use to do micro targeting so distinct that voters don’t even realize they’re being targeted. Volunteer and donor information is included in there as well.
At this point, it seems the Obama inner circle plans to continue to govern the way it runs for president - doing as much in public as possible. The current proposal being pushed by Messina is a sort of non-profit set up by Obama aides that maintains the information and uses it to advance the President’s legislative agenda. In other words, they aren’t ready to give up one of the major things that helped them win because they think they could use it again.
Demographic information of this nature has a short shelf life as it is, so the Obama and Co. plan to maintain is a smart idea. What isn’t going over quite so well is the reluctance to share the wealth with other Democratic candidates. The DNC and Debbie Wasserman Schultz want to use it for House and Senate races, saying it could be one way to avoid getting whipped in the midterms again. Past experience says that the likelihood of a happy, drama-free turnover is extremely low, so this is likely to be another intraparty battle that continues for some time.
This has the potential to turn into another Myspace debacle - something I’m pretty sure the Obama crew would want to avoid at this point, but this information might just be worth the fight.
Monday, December 3, 2012
“The right calls liberals ‘progressives’ now as an epithet, because they think it’s a Woodrow Wilsonian conspiracy to destroy the country from within. It’s a Glenn Beck thing. They’ve decided that progressive is scary, so when they swear at me on Twitter in all caps they use the word ‘progressive.’ Like, ‘I’ve unmasked you, progressive!’ I think progressive is the name of an insurance company.” Rachel Maddow
The ironic thing about “progressive” as an insult/attack is that political history would consider the Progressive Era (which includes Wilson and FDR and such) the heyday of the left. In other words, modern conservatives are trying to use the left’s past success as an insult. It’s a bet on political short term memory loss.
Judging by Dr. Maddow’s comments on Sunday, I would say the bet was smart.
Saturday, October 20, 2012
“The Bowles Plan” That Bowles Doesn’t Want
Speaker of the House John Boehner presented a counteroffer to President Obama today that would create $2.2 trillion in net savings, but would keep the Bush-now-Obama tax cuts in place even for the wealthiest Americans.
In presenting the plan publicly, Speaker Boehner called it “the Bowles plan,” referring to Erskine Bowles who was part of the epic fail that was the fiscal committee. At that time, Bowles’ position was one of concessions on both sides of the argument. This time around, he was not particularly happy to have his name stamped on the congressional Republicans’ plan.
In a press release via the Moment of Truth Project, Mr. Bowles said…
“the approach outlined in the letter Speaker Boehner sent to the President does not represent the Simpson-Bowles plan, nor is it the Bowles plan. […] The Joint Select Committee failed to reach a deal, and circumstances have changed since then. It is up to negotiators to figure out where the middle ground is today. Every offer put forward brings us closer to a deal, but to reach an agreement, it will be necessary for both sides to move beyond their opening positions and reach agreement on a comprehensive plan which avoids the fiscal cliff and puts the debt on a clear downward path relative to the economy.”
Last week, Bowles gave it only a one third probability that a deal would be reached to avoid the “fiscal cliff”, calling such a move “insane” while insisting that an effective deal would have to both raise revenue AND cut spending. “One without the other won’t work,” he said.
In other words, an actual compromise - what a novel concept.
More importantly though, Bowles hails from North Carolina (my home state) and is one of the few Democrats from the state that hasn’t made us liberals hang our heads in shame. In fact, he’s probably the best Democrat the state can claim at this point (Some of us miss the old, doesn’t-cheat-on-his-cancer-stricken-wife-while-campaigning-on-the-strength-of-his-marriage John Edwards), and hope that he succeeds in divorcing himself from the Republican plan.
Done With DADT
by Molly Ward (originally posted on 09/19/2011)
Because I’ve tried in vain to get the widget to work and it just won’t, I suggest you click this link…
This seems old, doesn’t it? Deja vu, anyone? But really it’s not. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is officially repealed on September 20th, 2011 (tomorrow). It was back in July that the military was declared “ready” for repeal by President Obama, Defense Secretary Panetta, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mullen, but that was pending a 60-day hold as required by Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia. That period is OVER tomorrow. And we enter a new period in the modern military where gay and lesbian people can openly serve in the military without fear of being discharged for that reason.
But there’s more than a few important things to remember about exactly what’s happening here. First of all, let’s remember that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell went into effect under President Clinton and is a democratic policy. So don’t cheer so loudly or quickly, liberals. President Obama and Congress helped us fix something WE did wrong, not the conservatives we so love to demonize.
I think its important to remember that this isn’t just a figment of our imaginations. For a long time, as a gay person, I was very confused as to why it mattered whether I could serve openly. First of all, I’m young, female and have no interest (at this moment) in military service, personally. There you go – I’ve instantly insulated myself from this problem. But there are A LOT MORE PEOPLE who really, really cared about this, because it really did affect their lives. Some people saw the ‘re-closeting’ thing as a non-issue – if you were closeted once, you can do it again! But it’s just not that easy. As someone who struggled with NOT being able to tell 5 people that she was gay just a few weeks ago, I can easily say that once you’re out, the closet seems like the stupidest place you’ve ever been. More importantly and less superficially though, people lost their jobs – jobs they loved and were passionate about – because of this policy. People lost their jobs as Arabic translators and intelligence experts…because of who they like to have sex with. Seems kinda stupid now, doesn’t it? For someone who was a vital asset to our military lost their job for something like their bedfellows.
Well, tomorrow it will be done. I see it fit to mark this occasion with a huge thank you to anyone who has ever served in the military and those who currently serve. Also, a thank you to anyone who’s lives DADT touched either directly or indirectly – you spoke out against a policy that was clearly wrong and it will no longer effect people. Thank you for speaking up, for those of us who agree but needed to be presented the facts are truly indebted to you.
Originally posted here: http://mlenox.wordpress.com/2011/09/19/done-with-dadt/