Obama 2024

Michell Obama’s speech from the opening night of the Democratic National Convention was stunning. It is, I think, going to go down in history as one of the great convention speeches of all time, and, possibly, one of the great political speeches of all time.

The section that’s resonating with everyone is so pitch perfect:

The story that has brought me to this stage tonight. The story of generations of people who felt the lash of bondage, the shame of servitude, the sting of segregation, but who kept on striving and hoping and doing what needed to be done so that today, I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves. And I watch my daughters, two beautiful, intelligent, black young women, playing with their dogs on the White House lawn. And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters and all our sons and daughters now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United States.

If she was a Senator or some other political candidate, it would have been a home run. For a non-politician, it was a grand slam.

Michelle Obama’s Speech for the Ages – The Atlantic:

(Via www.theatlantic.com)

Who are the Liars?

We didn’t create the graphic, but we shared it on our Facebook page. It promptly shattered all previous benchmarks for reach and engagement by a factor of at least 20. Almost a hundred people were so shocked by it that they hid it in their newsfeeds; twenty-seven decided they never wanted to see anything shared by MormonPress ever again; one person unliked our Facebook page.

Judging by the comments, the harsh response wasn’t because the graphic claimed that Jeb(!) Bush and Joe Biden are relatively honest politicians. No, our commenters were infuriated that Hillary Clinton was rated as being rather honest. Many of the comments on the photo can be summarized as “Hillary’s a lying liar who lies.” One commenter suggested that Mormon “would not stand for [MormonPress’s] lies.” Well, I guess we’ll have to ask him down the road.

PolitiFact’s rankings of truthful statements of the Presidental candidates

This isn’t an election that’s going to be won by persuasion. Either you hate Hillary enough to vote for a liar, or you’re willfully ignorant.

Best Argument for a Progressive Income Tax (vs a flat tax)

It’s sometimes hard to explain to someone why a flat tax is inherently unfair.

“How is it unfair if everyone pays 10%?”

That statement is hard to argue with, unless the person you’re arguing with is able to have a nuanced discussion about tax burden and how a dollar is worth more to someone at one end of the wealth spectrum than it is to someone at the other.

This little sketch by David Akadjian does a good job of making that argument without needing to be particularly nuanced:

David Akadjian, 2016

The established rich pay less, everyone else pays more.

Another way to say this is that the wealthy and established are making it harder and harder for people to get ahead by shifting the burden onto those who are just starting out. This hurts small businesses and rewards larger, established businesses.

Obamacare Works

I flagged this article the other day.

Under “Obamacare,” the share of Americans without health insurance has dropped to a historic low of about 9 percent, with room to go even lower. But even as the economy has expanded, major government surveys point to a lackluster rebound for employer-based coverage.
“It’s very clear that the Affordable Care Act has done most of the work in decreasing the number of uninsured,” said economist Robert Kaestner of the University of Illinois Chicago.

It’s really hard to argue, using non-gamed statistics, that Obamacare hasn’t been a success. It’s likely it’d be even more successful with some sort of single payer option, but progress is progress.

Yes, there are problems (e.g. still poor coverage at higher premiums, some confusion and poorly run state markets). But improving Obamacare (again, some sort of single payer option, expanding Medicare to cover more lower income folks) is almost inarguably the path we should be taking.

(Via Daily Kos.)

Interesting Juxtaposition

First, from The Guardian:

I would be “dead rich”, to adapt an infamous Clinton phrase, if I could bill for all the hours I’ve spent covering just about every “scandal” that has enveloped the Clintons. As an editor I’ve launched investigations into her business dealings, her fundraising, her foundation and her marriage. As a reporter my stories stretch back to Whitewater. I’m not a favorite in Hillaryland. That makes what I want to say next surprising.

Hillary Clinton is fundamentally honest and trustworthy.

As for her statements on issues, Politifact, a Pulitzer prize-winning fact-checking organization, gives Clinton the best truth-telling record of any of the 2016 presidential candidates. She beats Sanders and Kasich and crushes Cruz and Trump, who has the biggest “pants on fire” rating and has told whoppers about basic economics that are embarrassing for anyone aiming to be president. (He falsely claimed GDP has dropped the last two quarters and claimed the national unemployment rate was as high as 35%).

Now, from the GOP Town Hall last night. CNN’s fact checking:

Reality Check: Cruz on the Muslim Brotherhood

Verdict: False.

Reality Check: Cruz on Wall Street Journal article on Arizona immigration

It’s true that the Journal story said that spending on education dropped by hundreds of millions of dollars. But Cruz exaggerates the other claims, so we rate them as false.

Reality Check: Cruz on anti-ISIS campaign

Verdict: False.

Reality Check: Cruz on 2009 Fort Hood attack

Verdict: False.[1]

Reality Check: Cruz on NYPD surveillance of Muslim neighborhoods

is completely false.[2]

Reality Check: Trump on refugees

we rate this statement false.

Reality Check: Trump on NATO and terrorism

Verdict: False.

Reality Check: Trump says reporter grabbed him

Verdict: False.

Reality Check: Trump on self-funding

Verdict: False.

Reality Check: Trump on San Bernardino

Verdict: False.

Reality Check: Kasich on beating Clinton in polls

Verdict: True.

Reality Check: Kasich on Ohio job creation

It’s false that Ohio is now among the top 10 in terms of job creation.

I don’t even know how you combat that.

  1. This one is amazing, as it’s Cruz lying about his home state. He claimed Florida was his home state. Maybe everyone who has some Cuban heritage gets to claim Florida as their home state?  ↩
  2. This was actually a long ranging answer that went false, true, false. But, it was primarily false. You can read the article for the details.  ↩

The GOP Lab Experiment in Kansas

The Koch-backed Kansas Policy Institute predicted that Brownback’s 2013 tax plan would generate $323 million in new revenue. During its first full year in operation, the plan produced a $688 million loss

This article is entirely damning of the tea party, ultra-free market, low business taxes, “let them eat cake”, GOP philosophy. There’s a balance to be found in taxing corporations, but the current-ish crop of GOP establishment candidates (Cruz, Rubio, Perry, etc.) seem to believe in the fallacy of corporate trickle down economics.

And it hurts those least able to defend themselves.

Between 2010 and 2012, Kansas saw income growth of 6.1 percent, good for 12th in the nation; from 2013 to 2015, that rate was 3.6 percent, good for 41st.

I’d be willing to bet a whole bunch of jellybeans that the income growth rate disproportionately impacts low-to-middle income households.

There’s a reason the Trump campaign is resonating with the disenfranchised on the right. Many of the voters don’t realize it, but their party has left them behind in favor of uber-social conservatives with an ultra-libertarian view on the role of government, who look at them as collateral damage in a big fiscal experiment.

The Reagan Republicans, who Ted Cruz claims to carry the mantle of, are really voting for Trump, who’s championing the middle class, hawkish (albeit nuance-less) foreign policy, and middle-of-the-road social views.[1]

It’s remarkable that Donald Trump, who is spouting absolutely insane policy proposals, is somehow the most relatable and electable Republican candidate.[2]

(Via NYMag.)

  1. Whether or not this is a winning strategy is TBD. I don’t think it is, as this is a rapidly diminishing group of voters. Those policies don’t resonate, I think, with a majority of today’s electorate.  ↩
  2. It’s not lost on me that the Democrats have run out two life-long politicians, one who is a Socialist and one with a history of taking, shall we say, politically expedient positions. I still voted for Hillary (I think she’s well-prepared for the job and well-connected in Washington with the non-Tea Party wing of the GOP). I’ll vote for Bernie in a heartbeat if he’s the nominee (but he won’t be).  ↩

Best Election Coverage

Josh Marshall and the team at TPM are doing the best election coverage, I think. They certainly lean left, but I think they’ve got an incredible understanding of the political machine and the implication of the various results.

I think today’s coverage has been a good example:

No, There Won’t Be a Contested Convention

Worst Possible Outcome

I think these are the best assessments of the outcomes from Super Tuesday on the Republican side. If you’re not reading TPM this election cycle, you should add it to your list.