Archive for krystal ball

No, Krystal Ball, Hillary is Not Nor Will She Be, the Dems "Mitt Romney"


Clinton Cynicism is alive and well. For good and for ill.

Krystal Ball, co-host of the younger set's MSNBC afternoon program The Cycle, famously took a pundit shot at Hillary Clinton a week or so ago. Krystal is an interesting newer voice, having run for Congress in Virginia and being a bright and informed young mother herself.

Since she's subbing for Steve Kornacki on Up with Steve Kornacki (also a former Cyclist), she took the opportunity this Sunday morning to make her asserted -- and controversial -- case that Hillary could be the Dems 'Mitt Romney'. Provocative words, those.

"I haven't seen change I can believe in just yet," she said with a smile as she introduced the panel of guests there to prove her wrong. ['Hillaromney' was the MSNBC snark effort graphic.]

Basil Smilke, Jr. of Columbia University took the first turn at bat. He believes we should be focussed on, and in a markedly different way more than just the way that the New GOP does things. That we might want to keep an eye on the important and fundamental issues the people are dying to have taken up.

Literally. He mentioned healthcare, education, jobs ... other panelists chimed in with minimum wage and gay rights.

Neera Tanden, another young activist voice of note, took the NAFTA question and put it where it ought to be - in Bill Clinton's Column. She pointed out that women's issues, like Senator Gillibrand's pivotal bill to help the sexual assault and violence epidemic in the military … and pointed out issues that mean something to us in real ways. That demand policy reforms.

Krystal then mentioned both Goldman Sachs and Walmart histories, which is fair for progressives to do. But this isn't the 1990's, and politicians have to be allowed to evolve - we as voters do, it's damned hypocritical to judge others for making the very important cultural and societal changes we are constantly demanding of ourselves and others.

No progressive that I know doesn't have perfectly reasonable hesitations about Hillary Clinton, and I think we should absolutely be Loud and Proud Progressives and voice our need for the party to swing back Left. How we get there is going to get dramatic. Or Not.

Guest Blake Zeff, of Salon and both Clinton and Obama Campaign War Rooms, was justifiably tough on the HRC economic hawk stances. (He had seen into both camps, fascinating.) Yet they went on to discuss how the Right is drawing Dems to the right of their own interests.

Bill Maher went after Hillary (hilariously) for having discussed her Sunday School days on Campaign Launch slash Book Tour ... and for awkwardly gaming out the Christian Nation faux requirement of religiousity.

It would be ideal if candidates did not 'must need' to be both churchgoing and Bible or Talmud familiar. In fact, it's downright toxic in many progressive eyes to know passages of the Bible, because they are so often used against us to push culture back by the Regressive Asshattery, the 1%ers and their news channel, Fvx Noise.

Inequality needs to be the central Democratic Platform anchor again. Firmly. Income inequality, gender discrimination, immigration reform, LGBTQ rights, world power and food share imbalances - the things we care about, the things we fight for.

"Hard Choices" indeed. Chris Christie and Rand Paul and Rick Perry are such lovely alternatives to a Hillary or Elizabeth Warren run.


Can The Choice Be Any Clearer Than In Texas?


Listen up

Where else can people like Greg Abbott survive and even be a potential head of the state? He's becoming the poster child for everything he hates -- like planned parenthood.

I could fill you with all kinds of snarky comments, but I'd rather you watch Krystal Ball in one of her best segments yet.

Justice took a foothold into Texas yesterday when Rick Perry's anti-abortion, anti-women's productive rights bill, took a hit by a federal judge who tossed major portions of the law. And Wendy Davis, the woman who fought so hard to keep this from ever getting this far, is not only vindicated in her efforts, but at the same time sees her likely opponent for Governor, State Attorney General Greg Abbott slapped upside the head. Now it's up to Texas to come to their senses.

Stop the crazy regulations and the intentional voter suppression of women's votes. The Lone Star State could become a suffragette state if they don't act on their own soon. Old white Texas men, wake up. Women as people too!


"Who's being played here?" Dems lost the austerity battle, and sequestration is here to stay.


sequester cartoon tom tolesVia Tom Toles

During all the wrangling over the debt ceiling and the idiotic efforts of the sadomasochistic GOP to defund Obamacare, we may be losing sight of something very important. Sequestration is here to stay. In a lot of ways, we're starting to feel it, but we're not seeing it.

Here are excerpts from two articles that are must-reads. They're both infuriating, depressing eye-openers, and reminders that America better wake up and see what's happening to this country.

Via Digby:

What they were talking about was Paul Ryan's budget. And guess what? They got it [...]

You see? The Democrats already folded. Sequestration is now the ongoing law of the land and Paul Ryan's budget wet dream is considered the "clean" continuing resolution. Huzzah. [...]

This fact is all too real: they've got the Ryan budget already. And they've already moved on to the debt ceiling, which all the Fox freaks were going on about last night. [...]

With the exception of some chump change from millionaires in the last round, the Democrats have been losing on policy every step of the way since these budget battles began, even as they seem to be winning the politics. What could be more telling than the fact that the numbers in Paul Ryan's budget are now considered the starting point in any new negotiations to end the shutdown.

Who's being played here?

So that happened. Anyone out there still believe that elections don't matter?

And via Michael Hiltzik's latest Los Angeles Times column:

The clean CR that was most recently on the table at the House of Representatives would incorporate 100% of next year's sequester cuts in nondefense spending and 60% of the cuts in the defense budget. [...]

It's proper to recall the sequester's devastating effects on millions of Americans, keeping in mind that it was created only to settle a major debt-limit fight in 2011. [...]

It will cost as many as 1.6 million jobs over that time frame, the CBO says.

Just as the government shutdown leaves congressional pay and benefits intact, so does the sequester. The damage is all done at the opposite end of the economic scale. [...]

Yet the best we can hope for is that the sequester continues, and doesn't get worse. [...]

The best clue to the poverty of the Republican anti-Obamacare argument is the breadth of the lies told to justify it. [...]

There is absolutely no evidence that any workers have lost their jobs because of the reform act. Part-time work?... [T]he share of total employment represented by part-time jobs nationwide has actually fallen slightly (from 19.49% to 19.41%). [...]

Big business... may well be using Obamacare as a whipping boy to avoid the impression that they're just being cheap... As for "skyrocketing" healthcare premiums, they're nowhere in sight. [...]

One big lie has been attached to the GOP's determination to overturn a tax on medical devices... But as we showed back in May, no objective data support that claimall the numbers come from studies the industry commissioned or from libertarian think tanks that would oppose any tax. [...]

The players are all out for themselves — their profits, their ideology, their TV time. The real-world effect of their actions? That ball isn't in their court.

That last part about how the players are all self-serving, grandstanding show horses has been my mantra recently. These "lawmakers" are all about themselves, their re-election, income, and power. To hell with the people who they represent, many of whom are in dire straits.

Apparently, we're just there to do their bidding, not the other way around. We're at their service, to provide votes and donations, and as far as they're concerned, we're lucky to have them.


You'll laugh! You'll cry! #GOPshutdown round-up


government shutdown cartoon

There's so much news bouncing around the Internet Machine today regarding the utterly avoidable, destructive, and idiotic GOP government shutdown that all the stories deserved a round-up post of their own. Some of the reports are infuriating, some are somewhat reassuring, some are heartbreaking, and others are actually amusing, in a dark, What Are They Thinking? kind of way.

you'll laugh you'll cry

I retort, you deride, starting with this "Libertarian Magic Dust" video:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

We have a winner:

A handful of Republicans in the lower chamber on Tuesday embraced a “clean” continuing resolution (CR): Reps. Pat Meehan (Pa.), Jon Runyan (N.J.), Scott Rigell (Va.), Mike Fitzpatrick (Pa.) and Frank Wolf (Va.).

They joined Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) and GOP New York Reps. Pete King and Michael Grimm, who endorsed a clean CR earlier this week.

Senate Democrats believe that Republican efforts to force a vote on what some in the GOP have characterized as a congressional “exemption” are designed to politically corner Democrats like Kay Hagan of North Carolina or Mark Pryor in Arkansas, who represent more conservative states. Democrats contend that Republicans just want to campaign on the issue, while hoping the amendment will not pass. [...]

Reid’s office decided Tuesday morning to release the documents to POLITICO.  [...]

It bears repeating again that the original intent of the provision that is causing leaders so much trouble was merely to force Congressional staff on to Obamacare exchanges, not to have those employees get no employer contribution toward their care.

And if you need a good laugh, House Republicans to move piecemeal funding bills:

House Republicans on Tuesday will move to re-open small portions of the federal government, bringing up bills to fund the National Park Service, part of the Department of Veterans Affairs and operations for the District of Columbia. [...]

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and his team are trying to deflect blame for the shutdown and show that Republicans are still doing their part to keep open important parts of the government.

omg you are hilarious laugh jokeAhem: