Sunday, June 28, 2015

Again, We Say That This Is Barack Obama's Greatest Speech. Again, We Say...

No, really, this time it's really the best.

Being on the road, I actually lucked into hearing the vast majority of Barack Obama's eulogy for Clemental Pinckney in real time. It was on the radio, and I began to drive aimlessly so I didn't arrive at my destination before it was over. I was mesmerized. Obama is not only a master, but his words and sentiments hit home, with the added power of the truth.

Here it is, in its entirety:

James Fallow of Atlantic wrote perhaps the best deconstruction of what he, too, thought was Obama's best oratory. Read it here.

We don't have to agree with all his actions as president -- I haven't -- but the case that he is among the most consequential presidents is beyond dispute, I feel, and this from echos my sentiments, but before the Charleston eulogy.

I don't say this or reference these pieces to build up the man. He has done it before our eyes. Much as FDR went off the rails in trying to control the Supreme Court and LBJ blew much of his legacy in trying to win a war that should never have been fought, Barack Obama has had his failings. But much as FDR and LBJ are in the pantheon of the greats, so shall be Barack Obama.

He has guided the ship through troubled waters, without much help, and he did so with grace.

Some didn't like him, never accepted him. Too bad. He's won, for all of us. Good.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

America's Very Good Week: Why Conservatives Are Missing the Party

I'm on the road --yes, in a teardrop trailer with on-and-off wifi -- so it's been hard to comment on a very eventful week. We went from the tragedy of Charleston to the whew! of the Supremes' Obamacare decision to the uplifting Obama eulogy for Clementa Pinckney to the exhilarating joy of the same-sex marriage decision. Oh, and Confederate battle flags are like history. Wow.

What struck me more than anything was the fact that, through it all, one strain could be heard: The conservatives would have none of it. They rejected all of it, celebrated none of it. It wasn't their party, they would drink no punch.


You hated Obama and his blackness and his hopey changey thing, and what you don't get is to celebrate hope and change. Wow. We kicked your ass in the Culture War.

It's exhilarating. And, in the spirit of the inclusion Barack Obama always hoped for, I'm sad for the conservatives. They won't come to the party and party. They could have enjoyed a week like this. Instead, they sulked. Bad move.

Oh well.

Samuel Alito, just after finding out he lost the petulant four-year-old award to
Clarence Thomas. Thomas couldn't be reached for comment because of a colic attack.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Republican Education Policy: Burning Down the House

Add bad pay and constant derogation, and teachers are so out of there.

I view each Republican assault on public education with growing alarm and despair. Yes, it is very much like burning down the house. Once done, rebuilding from the ashes is a difficult task. And yet Republicans around the country are doing it with relish. Education cuts are, these days, generally caused by tax cuts, so we know why Republicans do it. But do they understand the costs? Maybe they don't care.

Take the latest case, as we discover that teachers are packing up and leaving Arizona in huge numbers. Remarkable:
Over the last five years, thousands of teachers have left the state, according to a 2015 report by the Arizona Department of Education, with this past school year being possibly the worst. The report warns if teachers keep leaving, “students will not meet their full potential” and “Arizona will not be able to ensure economic prosperity for its citizens and create the workforce of tomorrow.” It calls for increased pay for teachers and more overall education funding in the state.
Why are so many teachers leaving? Low pay, insufficient classroom resources and so many testing requirements and teaching guidelines that educators feel they have no instructional time and flexibility in their own classrooms, educators say. According to new Census Bureau statistics, Arizona is near the bottom of a state list of spending per student, $7,208, with the average per pupil spending around the country being $10,700 and near or at the bottom for classroom spending per student. But it is near the top of a list of states in getting public education revenue from the federal government.
Presidential candidate and Wisconsin governor Scott Walker's term in office has been marked by his nearly non-stop attack on teachers and education in general, reaching all the way to one of America's greatest institutions, the well-respected University of Wisconsin system. Walker destroys education on all levels with equal relish:
This week, Wisconsin kicked off a series of hearings on Governor Scott Walker’s proposed budget, which would slash about $300 million from the University of Wisconsin system over two years, funnel hundreds of millions to build a pro-basketball stadium, and cut deeply from funds for health care, food stamps and public media.
And it’s not just higher education feeling the pain.
Public primary schools across Wisconsin will lose about $127 million in education aid next year, largely by scrapping a special $150 per-student fund that Wisconsin school districts received over the past two years.
The struggling Milwaukee public schools are set to lose more than $12 million.
Bob Peterson, who taught 5th grade in the Milwaukee Public Schools for nearly three decades, told ThinkProgress that not only are the cuts “breathtaking,” they come as the schools are still reeling from the lost funding in the Governor’s 2011 budget.
Another item on Walker's anti-education checklist could be his worst: taking tenure away from UW professors. Tenure is a greatly misunderstood concept. It was meant -- and still means -- to protect academic freedom from political interference.
Wisconsin is the only state in the country where academic tenure is protected by law, but a budget plan approved by the GOP-controlled legislature's Joint Finance Committee would remove that safeguard for professors in the state university system and cut its budget by $250 million. The plan is backed by Gov. Scott Walker – who's expected to announce in the coming weeks that he's running for the Republican presidential nomination – and would shift control of the tenure policies to the university system's board of regents.
Republican lawmakers have said the change is simply a shift in power, and Walker spokeswoman Laurel Patrick said the change was part of a larger plan to give the university system more power over creating its own policies. But the proposal would also greatly expand provisions for how and when tenured faculty can be laid off or fired. Those provisions include budgetary constraints and program changes, and the proposal has been met with fierce opposition from professors in the state university system.
Removing tenure from Wisconsin law is a solution in search of a problem. Tenure has in no way corrupted Wisconsin higher education. Instead it has undoubtedly drawn top talent to the state and its highly respected research universities. Removing safeguards for tenure will have the opposite effect. Professors will look elsewhere for job security and move to states that aren't gutting funding. Highly talented academicians from other states will rush to non-tenured positions in Wisconsin? Doubtful.
The budget proposal also changes state law regarding shared governance, which gives faculty members deciding power on issues like curriculum, instruction and personnel matters.  It instead would give faculty an advisory responsibility on those issues.
Such language, the faculty members said in their resolution, "will lead to the demoralization and/or departure of substantial numbers of faculty, will have negative repercussions for recruiting outstanding new faculty, and will seriously damage UW‐Madison's national competitiveness and the faculty's ability to grow the economic future of the state and to serve its students and its citizens."
Arizona and Wisconsin aren't the only Republican states that have taken money from education and generally returned it to the rich through tax cuts. Kansas is at it, too:
But [Governor Brownback’s] budget headaches have continued: January receipts fell $47.2 million short of predictions, and Mr. Brownback has responded by cutting funding for public schools and higher education by a combined $44.5 million.
The move has education officials across the state seething. Here, the Kansas City Public School District has already endured $45 million in lost state revenue since 2009, said Cynthia Lane, the superintendent. Mr. Brownback’s cut of 1.5 percent to public school funding statewide would amount to a loss of $1.3 million in her district, she said.
Mind you, this is happening not as a response to a worsening economy -- the U.S. recovery, though slow, has been broad and continuing -- but rather as a shifting of priorities and a new round of GOP tax cuts, generally favoring the rich.

Let's not forget Bobby Jindal and his incredibly shrinking, very bad state of Louisiana:
Nowhere is the controversy greater than in Louisiana, which has a complicated higher education system and a Republican governor who is considering running for president.
Gov. Bobby Jindal proposed a budget that would reduce higher education spending by $141 million in fiscal 2016. In recent weeks, he has proposed offsetting some of the cuts by getting rid of some refundable business tax credits, which have a total value of $526 million. But the business community is strongly opposing that idea. That leaves the Republican-dominated legislature in a bind, forcing members to choose between education and low taxes, two priorities they generally support.
Take a guess which route the Louisiana GOP will follow.

Read more about the GOP assault on public education here, here, here, and here. And, yes, there is one Democratic governor, Dannel Malloy of Connecticut, who has proposed cuts to higher education funding to offset tax cuts. As of now, nothing has been agreed to.

Remember, America: These are our children we're choosing to shortchange education-wise. These cuts fall on all our children.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. He studied at Brown University and
was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. Essentially, he had a free education
through scholarships. He got his. The rest of you bastards can suck wind.

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Only Way to Stop a White Man with a Gun Is a Black Man with a Gun

Another gun is not a solution, except for the NRA, which wants everyone to buy one!

(Update. Charles L. Cotton has since deleted his post blaming the shooting on the Rev. Pinckney.)

Of course I'm not serious, but the NRA is. Witness National Rifle Association board member Charles L. Cotton's reaction to the Charleston church shooting, who blamed the Reverand Clementa Pinckney -- who's also a state senator -- for opposing concealed carry in South Carolina.

Pinckney and members of his flock deserved to die because Pinckney was "soft on guns."

Then again, Fox's Erick Erickson blames the Charleston shootings on Caitlyn Jenner. Of course.

Fox News is a burgeoning force in both claiming that this is a war on Christians, not on blacks, and that guns, again, are the answer to everything. Watch this clip, courtesy of Media Matters, to see some real whack-a-mole nonsense:

What's troubling -- if not surprising -- is that conservative Republicans like Jeb Bush can't bring themselves to call the killings what they were: a vicious act of white hatred for black people. Here's a piece on Jeb Bush, and here's a piece on why conservatives in general want to stay away from the white-black nature of the crimes.

There's a pattern here of avoiding reality, wanting to preserve guns in our society, pretending racism doesn't exist (or its most nasty white-supremacist variety), and pretending it's motivated by hatred of religion (ain't buying that nonsense). If we hadn't just witnessed a tragedy we'll long remember as a symbol of white racism toward blacks at its most evil depths, this crap would be hilarious. But it's not, it's in fact repulsive.

Dylann Roof said, "I have to do it. You’re raping our women
and taking over the country. You have to go.”

What will come of all this, in the short and the long run? Probably next to nothing, if Sandy Hook is any example. But, boy, will the kettle be stirred but good.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Jeb Bush and Rick Santorum to Pope: Shut the F**k Up on Climate Change.

If I were you, I'd just tell him to blow it out his ass. People
respect tough talk. He wears a goddam robe, for chrissake!

Bush, Santorum, Jindal, and Rubio are all science deniers and Catholics. Here comes Pope Francis poised to say that global warming is man-made and morally wrong, especially because it will fall hardest on the poor. Sounds pretty Catholic to me.

But not to those GOPers. Let's see how this works itself out. Oh, and most Latinos are Catholic, and many are pretty poor. Don't hold your breath for their votes after you trash the Pope on climate change. Just sayin'.

Note. Chris Christie is a Catholic but has said that climate change is real and humans contribute to it, so he's not completely craven.

The GOP Field Gets Trumped!

The Donald touted his net worth as a sign he'd make a great president.

I must say if anyone can put the clown in the GOP clown car it's the Donald. Make no mistake, he is -- in spite of his serial bankruptcies -- a very wealthy man. He's not boring, he's actually quite entertaining, and I suppose he has a fun reality TV show, though I've never watched it.

But, seriously, would he make a good president? As John McEnroe would say, you CAN'T be serious! And why?

Presidential? Timber!

But don't take my word for it. How about Dana Milbank?

Also in WaPo is Philip Bump. Do read the comments, too. One said the Donald will make the rest of the Republican candidates look positively normal. Imagine, someone making Dr. Ben Carson look normal.

Over at Politico, they've chosen the best ten lines from Trump's announcement speech. They are doozies. Also, they've included the video of the whole speech, if you want to toss 47 minutes of your dear life in the trash. Maybe you do. He is funny, I'll grant him that.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Why Do Republicans, As a Tribe, Reject Man-Made Climate Change?

The opposite must be asked: Why do Democrats, by and large, believe that climate change is man-made?

A final question (it's not surprising that Independents are somewhere in the middle, so forget that) is why do the scientists overwhelmingly support the Democratic Party's view?

Here's a Pew poll on Catholic viewpoints. And, naturally, Catholics break down along party lines.

My view of this phenomenon has always been that:
  • Republicans favor business, and assuming that climate change remedies might be bad for business, Republicans can't accept the truth about climate change because accepting it would be "bad for business."
  • Republicans are more strident -- and traditional -- in their religious beliefs and accept that climate change is God's will. And since climate change might bring on the end of days, it's, er, really God's will. As it was prophesied. 
  • Republicans are the more anti-intellectual party.
Whatever. It's weird that it breaks down along party lines. Just weird.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

McKinney Video Kid: Was It a Police Riot?

Brandon, the kid who shot the McKinney video that brought down a cop's career -- however temporary that might be -- has an interesting take on what happened that day.

It sounds very much like the "police riot" we saw at the Chicago Democratic Convention in 68, as well as the Ferguson riot that started out as essentially a police riot. Horrifying but typical. In the McKinney case, it appears to be a one-man police riot. No wonder he resigned nearly immediately.

I'm not one who believes all cops are bad -- though we didn't like "the man" much back in the 60s -- but we do have to question a culture that gets its back up if you "disrespect" them. If you do disrespect them, they throw you on the ground, maybe beat you and, occasionally, shoot you.

There's a better way, and it should be on display more often. Read these nine principles of good policing from 1829. Figured it out a long time ago.

Police violence happens too damn much. It has to stop. Hopefully, what we're seeing here is a real sea change. Police shootings and beatings don't go unreported anymore, and the people are ready to rise up. It's about time.

Real policing is different from Fox News policing, as TPM was ready to point out.

Police in Ferguson: Getting ready to stop a riot? Start one is more like it.

Time for a change. Past time.

Is Jeb Bush Toast? Already?!?

It's not enough that Jeb Bush should keep his mouth shut. He needed to
keep his mouth shut starting twenty years ago. Public shaming? Seriously?

Holy crap.

John McCain and Mitt Romney were, basically, horrible candidates. But they were "establishment candidates," it was their "turn." Remember when Fred Thompson, Rick Perry, and Rudy Giuliani were, at various times, going to swoop in and save the party from the stale "establishment?" Now Jeb Bush, the "establishment candidate," is imploding in very much the same way as the savior clowns did. OMG Scott Walker for president?

It's not that I want Jeb Bush to be president or even to run -- he's a blockhead of the highest order -- but are we really going to have a Republican candidate other than him? Carly? Perry? WALKER?? Christie? Rudy? Santorum? CRUZ?? PAUL? The Donald? OMG alert.

Yes, of course I'm talking about Jeb Bush's putting forth some twenty years ago the notion that we could publicly shame the bejesus out of pregnanat single women so they'll stop their slutty ways. Oh, yeah, that and saving Terri Schiavo shows what a carboard-cut-out of a conservative this highly offensive human is. Public shaming? All together now, John McEnroe-style:
Are you SERIOUS?
Keep the hits coming, Jebbie. We didn't know you had it in you. But we're getting the picture slowly, like a bird turning on a spit. Though it is a bit painful to watch.

Stay tuned. It's like clockwork.

Who gave Jebbie these cockamamie ideas? Huh?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Never-Ending Heritage of Racism in America

(Update. The officer, Eric Casebolt, shown out of control in the McKinney pool video, has resigned. Police will continue to abuse minorities, but apparently paying a serious price is trending.)

Michael Berry, a Texas native, has a conservative radio talk show on a number of stations, some affiliated with serial offender Clear Channel. If he is any example of what we can expect moving forward as we try to root out the racism lingering well past its sell date in an advanced, evolved country, then we're is trouble.

Of course, the McKinney incident he references is the pool party gone bad -- some say cop gone bad -- in McKinney, Texas.

Racism continues to be a major scourge upon our land and a scar that cuts across the fabric of our civility, our integrity, our message of human rights around the world. How can we call for human rights if the call rings hollow when our own failings as a nation are so plain for all the world to see?

Care of Crooks and Liars, here's Rush Limbaugh showing his callow musings on Barack Obama and race:
Play Limbaugh MP3
We're only scratching the surface, but when we do we discover that racism is not only alive and well in America but that it's still front and center as what could be called our original sin. Slavery has begotten this, and the grapes of wrath, etc. etc...

Gettysburg: The wounds have yet begun to heal.

Is Treatment of the LGBTQ Community a Test of a Nation's Stability and Civility?

Russian paratroopers -- who would be right at home in a gay pride
parade in the 90s, don't you think? -- accost a gay activist.

I caught this Slate article that tests LGBTQ levels of tolerance and acceptance against a country's location within the European Union versus Eastern European countries formerly behind the Iron Curtain and finds that -- with the exception of Croatia, a current EU member -- life is rough for the LGBTQ community within the Russian orbit.

It's a fascinating comparison: A nation's stability and civility may correlate with its inclusiveness of the LGBTQ community, most especially in Europe. This makes me want to learn more about progress in Latin America -- countries I identify as within the U.S.-European sphere -- as well as to investigate the situation in Africa and Asia.

But as we get further into the 2016 presidential campaign, I see another test: where presidential candidates fall within the LGBTQ acceptance quotient. What's the marker? Are you closer to Putin in your approach to LGBTQ issues, or are you closer to, for instance, Obama or Biden?

With headlines like "Scott Walker Backs Constitutional Amendment Allowing States To Ban Same-Sex Marriage," Walker -- who many point to as approaching frontrunner status -- might want to start worrying about comparisons to Vladimir.

I see another headline: "In GOP Race, Who Most Resembles Putin on Gay Issues?" In a test of civility and inclusiveness, Scott Walker -- and the rest of the GOP clown car -- might be flunking the Putin test. Ouch.

Scott Walker making headlines in Iowa: Who's your daddy, Walker? Putin?

As we get closer to the Republican National Convention, will we see the hard right -- Putin's people? -- close around an anti-LGBTQ candidate, or will we see the GOP go soft on same-sex, as Carly Fiorina (!) and Jeb Bush seem to have?

I've been having fun with this, but it's a very serious question and a very telling decision a nation -- or a culture -- has to make.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Today's Republican Party. Seriously?

Motley crew: Seriously?

Salon has a rundown of the evolution of the 2016 GOP clown car (wait, they don't, by and large, believe in evolution). Read it, then decide if this is what leadership means.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Paul Krugman Wins the Macroeconomic Debate with Evidence. So What?

Paul Krugman wants honest debate, gets derp in return. What a surprise!

Honest academicians want real debate based on ideas, evidence, experimentation, and facts where available, which basically means they want a fair fight.

Politicians -- and the ideologues who support them -- want to win, even if their ideology is flawed. Since I believe that reality has a liberal bias, I tend to find right-wing argumentation supported more by derp than reasoned and well-researched positions.

Paul Krugman, on his blog and in many of his columns, has stressed how his Keynesian view of macroeconomics is supported by the evidence and the success of the models that demonstrates it. For some observers, myself included, he spends a little too much time repeating the back-and-forth of the debate. But I respect that he feels obligated to fight the good fight until it's actually won.

Why? Because he feels it's that important. I agree. And Krugman can't stress enough that most economists of any importance agree with him. He thinks the debate should be over. But it can never be over if the other side plays unfair, absorbed by confirmation bias and echo-chamber-based epistemological closure.

Here's an example. Krugman attempts to make the case for temporary fiscal stimulus:
So, am I a Keynesian because I want bigger government? If I were, shouldn’t I be advocating permanent expansion rather than temporary measures? Shouldn’t I be for stimulus all the time, not only when we’re at the zero lower bound? When I do call for bigger government — universal health care, higher Social Security benefits — shouldn’t I be pushing these things as job-creation measures? (I don’t think I ever have). I think if you look at the record, I’ve always argued for temporary fiscal expansion, and only when monetary policy is constrained. Meanwhile, my advocacy of an expanded welfare state has always been made on its own grounds, not in terms of alleged business cycle benefits.
In other words, I’ve been making policy arguments the way one would if one sincerely believed that fiscal policy helps fight unemployment under certain conditions, and not at all in the way one would if trying to use the slump as an excuse for permanently bigger government.
Seems clear enough. Krugman is in favor of temporary fiscal stimulus to fight an economic downturn, not because he wants bigger government with permanent, ever-larger deficits.

So, what does he get in return for his exposition? His commenters -- those that disagree with him -- offer stark examples of the emptiness of their counter-argument.
Paul, you are bright enough to know expansion of government programs are almost never "temporary", so your assertion that you advocate temporary increase during recessions is specious.
These expanded programs have stakeholders that furiously resist termination once the economy rebounds. This includes both the recipients of the program and the public employee union member, determined to hang onto his new job.
For Pete's sake. That is not an argument. First, it's led by an insult -- "Paul, you are bright enough to know..." -- followed by a misdirection -- "expansion of government programs are almost never 'temporary'" -- that says, essentially, that Krugman is lying or at least insincere.

I remember arguing years ago with my brother, who couldn't have a more opposite political viewpoint from mine, and making the point that simply because I was liberal didn't mean that I couldn't be fiscally responsible. I stated that I could accept "tax and don't spend" and that I felt the GOP's formulation was " don't tax and spend anyway." The Dubya years proved that.

My brother mulled this over quietly amid small talk and then blurted out, "You're just a tax-and-spender no matter what you say!"

Whether he's right or not is meaningless: His ideology did not permit me to be different from what he thought of my ideology. There is no policy difference there. There is only an angry denial that I mean what I say.

That, in a nutshell, is what Paul Krugman has to put up with. Here's another commenter:
Surely, the "failure of aggregate demand" is THE cause of the Great Recession; and government stimulus, whether through fiscal or monetary policy, is the right antidote for the acute stages of the disease. But is government stimulus the ONLY solution to the problem; or even the BEST solution to the problem?

There seems to be some magical thinking involved with this prescription; that after some unspecified period of unrestrained borrowing, deleveraging will inevitably produce consumer liquidity at levels sufficient, not only to power economic growth, but also to pay down debt accumulated during the period of stimulus. Given the deterioration in wages for a very large proportion of consumers, and the reality of global labor markets, that just seems far from a given.
Saying this in response to Krugman's position is actually specious, and it's a waste of time countering it, but let's do it as an exercise in countering derp.
  • The commenter starts by agreeing with Krugman. Well, fine.
  • Then, he goes off the rails with his "But is government stimulus the ONLY solution..." Who said it was? Krugman didn't.
  • Then, we get pure derp: "There seems to be some magical thinking involved with this prescription..." Calling it "magical thinking" implies that Krugman is wrong to believe that fiscal stimulus has a multiplier and can help to restore full employment and raise aggregate demand in a downturn, and that the stimulus can end after it's no longer required. The commenter puts the lie to his earlier agreement with Krugman, and he fails to offer any counter-theory. Is it because he doesn't have one?
  • The dead giveaway that derp is involved with the argument is the line "after some unspecified period of unrestrained borrowing..." First, the time period is specified by the concept of short-term fiscal stimulus sufficient to halt the downturn and get back to full production, and second, who's talking about "unrestrained borrowing?" Nobody but the commenter and certainly not Krugman.
It may seem petty to be attacking the arguments offered by a couple of random commenters, but it's a valid exercise because it illustrates the problem. Krugman offers a policy prescription that has a track record written right into American history, that of the Great Depression. Also, most economists believe the ARRA stimulus did some good but was too small to do enough good. There is evidence that stimulus works to repair downturns and avoid the pain of slow, jobless recoveries. Dismissing it as magical thinking is actually admitting you have no actual counter-argument at hand.

What's really going on here is that those who oppose stimulus spending oppose it because it's a government solution, and we must not have that because it might work and government might appear effective and voters might say "government good! Me want more!" That's what worried the GOP about Obamacare, that it would work and get written into the fabric of the country. The evidence so far is that it's working, except possibly in the states that refuse Medicaid expansion. Those states are freaking out now that they see themselves deprived of the billions in aid the states who embraced Obamacare are receiving. It would be funny if it weren't so tragic. States that deny healthcare to its neediest citizens are dooming some of them to die unnecessarily. That's a horrifying political outcome, one chosen because of ideology.

I understand those who say, "Let the markets decide these things." Presumably, they sincerely believe in free markets, or at least that market failures are preferable to government regulatory failures. The only problem is that when certain markets decide who shall live and who shall die, or who shall be jobless and broke in a recession and who shall get by because of dumb luck, it should be understood as a market failure, one that is just not acceptable, and not proof some people are just unworthy.

And, yes, dumb luck is involved in many of life's decisions. My experience bears that out. If you don't believe that just think about this: Some of Mark Zuckerberg's college roommates are multimillionaires. Is that dumb luck or were they just smart enough to be Zuckerberg's roommates? You decide.

In the end, I agree with Paul Krugman not because his blog is called "The Conscience of a Liberal." I agree with Paul Krugman because he persuaded me with evidence.

Now job one remains getting politicians elected who'll press for these policies.

I'll close by quoting a Krugman commenter who gets it right:
This highlights one of the biggest differences between liberals and conservatives. Because conservatives want smaller government as an end in itself, they simply assume that liberals want bigger government for its own sake. I've never met a liberal who felt that way. Even democratic socialists don't want state control simply because they like the sound of it. They want the state to intervene in areas where they believe it can provide the greatest good for the largest number of people; otherwise it's hands-off.
On the money.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Texans Losing Billions Because of No ACA Medicaid Expansion, Business Leaders Incensed

That's right, 25% of Texans uninsured, leading the nation.

We could have seen this coming, and now it's here. The business leaders of Texas have had it up to here with the Republican intransigence on accepting the ACA's Medicaid expansion. It's costing businesses in the state billions and damaging the bottom line of hospitals, as well. This is a case of the old GOP -- the business elite -- up against the new GOP -- the Tea Party dead-enders.

Daily Kos expands on the story.

What are the odds the Texas GOP will do the right thing? Not very good, as you can well imagine.