California Once Again Leading (and not just on Mexican Food, Mmmm Mexican Food)

The California story always bears repeating.  In 1978 Proposition 13 reduced and capped property taxes, and created a 2/3 requirement for any tax increases in the state legislature. The upshot of which was diminishing California from one of the leading states in business and education to competing with Mississippi.  As budgets crumbled, and schools and infrastructure with it, California Republicans stood firm on not increasing taxes, ever, under any circumstances.  Until the last 5 years.  With the re-election of Jerry Brown and the utter destruction of the California Republican Party, so that Democrats took full control of the state, came a resurgence.  They have gotten their seemingly insuperable budget issues under control and are back in a leadership position in the country.

One of the areas they’re leading on is on public finance of elections.  They’re making a major reform to open up public funding throughout the most populous state in the nation.

Besides having a Supreme Court that overturns Citizen’s United (or an amendment to the Constitution stating that money is not speech), one of the biggest things we can do to get control over our democracy is an embrace of public financing.

“California’s leaders are hearing from voters who are fed up with playing second fiddle to wealthy special interests,” Kathay Feng, executive director of California Common Cause, said in a statement. “This bill gives Californians new options to amplify the voices of everyday voters in election campaigns.”

We need that good stuff from sea to rising sea.


This Person Has a Radio Show

It’s an amazing time when your crazy uncle can be given access to valuable airwaves that we all own.

Howie Carr of Boston

That’s the worst thing about this administration. They’ve taken — it took 230 years to make this the greatest country, the greatest society in human history, and they are trying to unravel it and destroy it for — I don’t know why. I still don’t know why. What is — this country handed everything to Barack Obama. He didn’t have to work for anything. Just because of the color of his skin he was given everything. And he still hates the country.

The Most Irrational People of 2016

Are the few, hopefully very few (but I know there are some), people in swing states like Ohio who supported Bernie Sanders and are now planning to vote for Gary Johnson.  Not only is it a wasted vote, it’s a stupid vote because Gary Johnson is not just an unprepared waste of time, HE DOESN’T BELIEVE ANYTHING THAT BERNIE BELIEVES.

Except maybe for pot.  That’s it.  Just pot and the drug war.  Everything else in the universe, he disagrees with Bernie.  Bernie would actually be more interventionist than Johnson.

• Johnson favors fully privatized health care.

• Johnson’s support for gun ownership rights aligns with the Libertarian Party platform, which opposes gun restrictions of all kinds.

• Johnson “believes there is no role for the federal government in education.” He would cut the Department of Education.

• Johnson believes the climate is probably changing and humans are probably contributing. He supports the federal government’s interest in protecting the environment, but believes that should happen by punishing polluters, not intervening in energy markets or subsidizing certain energy sources.

• Johnson advocates for a free market with small government and limited regulation. He favors tax reform that would create a single consumption tax that is the same rate for all goods and all purchasers. Basic necessities would be covered by a “prebate” — a monthly payment given to every taxpaying household by the government.

He keeps proving himself a space cadet, but just looking at his positions, there’s almost no crossover with progressives except on pot.  IT JUST MAKES NO FUCKING SENSE FOR ANY BERNIE SUPPORTER TO VOTE FOR JOHNSON. ESPECIALLY IN A SWING STATE.

These people need to get their heads out of their butts.  You know who you are, Ohio!


Chelsea Deflates the Trump Football

Trump finished on Monday by claiming to be a mensch by not saying “rough” things about the Clintons with Chelsea in the audience.  He needn’t restrain himself. If the Trump campaign wants to go down that road, I welcome them to take that leap and see where bringing up infidelity gets them and so does Chelsea.

From Cosmopolitan

After the debate, Donald Trump said he was “proud” that he didn’t mention your father’s infidelity out of respect for you. What was your reaction to that?  

Well, my reaction to that is just what my reaction has been kind of every time Trump has gone after my mom or my family, which is that it’s a distraction from his inability to talk about what’s actually at stake in this election and to offer concrete, comprehensive proposals about the economy, or our public school system, or debt-free college, or keeping our country safe and Americans safe here at home and around the world.

And candidly, I don’t remember a time in my life when my parents and my family weren’t being attacked, and so it just sort of seems to be in that tradition, unfortunately. And what I find most troubling by far are Trump’s — and we talked about this when you interviewed me the night before the Iowa caucus — are Trump’s continued, relentless attacks on whole swaths of our country and even our global community: women, Muslims, Americans with disabilities, a Gold Star family. I mean, that, to me, is far more troubling than whatever his most recent screed against my mom or my family [is].

Actual Conservatives Exist

As I’ve said, the most conservative choice in this election is Hillary Clinton. Certainly not ideologically, but in the context of her being the safe, known, qualified and quantifiable choice.  How on Earth is it remotely conservative to choose the biggest question mark in electoral history for the biggest job on the planet?

Newspaper endorsements may not mean a hill of quinoa anymore but these editorial boards seem to be the last bastion of actual honest to God conservatism, willing to put country over party.

The Arizona Republic endorses Hillary, first Dem. in entire 126 year history.

This goes along with the Dallas Morning News which hadn’t endorsed a Dem. in 50 years. The Cincinnati Enquirer, which hadn’t endorsed a Dem. since Woodrow Wilson!

The crazy conservative Republican New Hampshire Union Leader punked out on endorsing Hillary but denounced Trump and endorsed Gary Johnson, which is as much as you can expect from some corners.

Who knows if these things help anymore, but they sure illustrate how unthinkable he is for those who are thinking.

We Haven’t Forgotten About You Chris Christie

Saw you trying to sneak away while everyone was paying attention to the debate.

David Wildstein, who pleaded guilty to federal crimes associated with the Bridgegate scandal and turned government informant, testified he and Bill Baroni, Christie’s top appointee at the Port Authority, boasted to the governor about the traffic jams when they saw him in person at a Sept. 11 memorial event in 2013.

“Mr. Baroni said, ‘Governor I have to talk to you about something,'” Wildstein recalled.

“(He said) there’s a tremendous amount of traffic in Fort Lee this morning. Major traffic jams. You’ll be pleased to know Mayor (Mark) Sokolich is very frustrated,” Wildstein said.

You been bit!!

Who’s On The Ballot

From Jen Sorensen.


But yeah go ahead and vote for Jill Stein, she’s awesome.  That proves you’re a real progressive.

From last night:


I happen to support that in a way that will actually work to our benefit. But when I look at what you have proposed, you have what is called now the Trump loophole because it would so advantage you and the business you do. You’ve proposed


Who gave it that name?


Sir, this is Secretary Clinton’s two minutes.


…tax benefit for your bit family. And when you look at what you are proposing it is, as I said, Trumped up, trickle-down. Trickle down it did not work. It got us into the mess we were in 2008-2009. Slashing taxes on the wealthy hasn’t worked and a lot of really smart, wealthy people know that. And they are saying, hey we need to do more to make the contributions we should be making to rebuild the middle class. I don’t think top-down works in America. I think building the middle-class, investing in the middle class, making college debt-free so more young people can get their education, helping people refinance their debt from college at a lower rate, those are the kinds of things that will really boost the economy, broad-based, inclusive growth.

Just for the record, Bernie couldn’t have said that any better.  Maybe he could have said it in a more rumpled, less red suit, but not any better.


Well, That Went EXACTLY As I Expected

There’s reems and reems of post-debate commentary so I’ll just add a couple of cents rather than regurgitate what anybody can find anywhere.

These debates are about vetting the candidates and some of it is has become silly on its face, but essential.  It’s about preparation, study, learning the lessons of past debate successes and failures as well as actually knowing policy and facts. History shows candidates get tripped up on various things, a lack  of knowledge or inability to be articulate, misstatements that show lack of mastery of facts and the physical and temperamental failings of looking bored or dismissive when you’re not talking.  You’re always on camera and body language counts as much as rhetoric.

What Donald Trump showed, again, is that he disdains preparation. He doesn’t care about the lessons of the past because he’s above them. Whether it’s misstating facts and then stupidly trying to fact check the fact check (he did that at the Commander-in-Chief forum too and failed), lying about well debunked facts, or slumping, sniffing, grimacing and interrupting.  If Hillary had done any of that she would have been destroyed.  He did it all, proving that he believes he’s above it all!  He’s above paying taxes, above truth, above learning!

Trump hardly ever answered a question, certainly not directly. Even the yes or no questions like “would you support the winner” he’d go on for paragraphs and then only at end did he say “yes.”  How would you create jobs?    No answer.  We’re losing jobs, losing them badly, bad trade deals.  He’d rip them up.  Not an answer.  You can’t just rip up trade deals and treaties.  What specifically would you do on anything?  No specifics, ever.  Just generalities and often counterfactual ones at that.  Ford is not taking jobs to Mexico, Michigan is not bleeding jobs, the Chinese are no longer devaluing their currency, they’re propping it up, etc.

He was nonsensical often when he was trying to be serious:  Tearing up trade deals, making other countries pay for their defense (like some Mafia protection racket), his father gave him a small loan of $14 million bucks!  You don’t learn anything from tax returns.  Clinton should have fixed everything for 30 years, but she didn’t, she’s responsible for everything wrong. He even claimed his web site would also be fact checking when it wasn’t and that Hillary was fighting Isis her whole adult life (um, what?).

And then other times his comments were just bizarre and unfocused when he was vamping.  Mentioning 400 pound hackers, his son’s amazing ability on computers, Rosie O’Donnell deserved to be called names, another attack on a judge, calling out her stamina when she ran rings around him looked and much fresher than he did.

If this was a boxing match he landed a few, but she knocked him down several times and he swung so wildly that he punched himself often.  To an extent she rope-a-doped him and could have done more.  He proved that he’ll take the bait every time on his record as a businessman, his taxes, his comments on women, birtherism, etc.

A great deal to build upon for the next debate.