Michael Wolraich's picture

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Legacy of Fighting Bob

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez fascinates the press and electrifies progressives, but some Democratic colleagues just want her to pipe down and behave. One anonymous Democratic rep told Politico, “She needs to decide: Does she want to be an effective legislator or just continue being a Twitter star? There’s a difference between being an activist and a lawmaker in Congress.” According to the article, Ocasio-Cortez’s colleagues are particularly dismayed by her history of backing primary challenges to Democratic incumbents, and they warn that she will have “a lonely, ineffectual career in Congress if she continues to treat her own party as the enemy.”

    If Ocasio-Cortez does start to feel lonely, I urge her to visit the Senate Reception Room at the other end of the Capitol. There’s a man she should meet. His portrait hangs on the wall, the old guy with the bow tie and the enormous pompadour. Few remember him these days, but Senator Robert La Follette of Wisconsin was a political sensation in his day, loved by the press, hated by his Republican colleagues. They loathed him for his radical ideas, his outspokenness, and his disloyalty to the party. President Theodore Roosevelt called him “a shifty self-seeker” and “an entirely worthless Senator.” In 1907, a journalist memorably described him as “the loneliest man in the United States Senate.”

    Topics: 
    Danny Cardwell's picture

    The Lies Are True; We Just Don't Get It!

    Donald Trump has convinced his followers that reducing the trade deficit with Mexico would pay for his wall; this lie, like the 7,000+ other lies he's told since becoming president, has been swallowed up whole and regurgitated by his base.

    Topics: 
    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Your Public Domain Day Report, 2019: YES!!!

    Today, at last, is Public Domain Day in the United States. For the first time in decades, some American copyrights were actually allowed to expire naturally, a mere thirty-nine years later than planned. So after years of blogging, every January first, about what wasn't entering public domain and what would have entered public domain under earlier laws, I can finally blog about what is entering public domain.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Advent in Herod’s Kingdom

    Long before Christmas season was a consumer extravaganza starting just after Halloween, it was a period of solemn religious reflection starting four Sundays before Christmas. For some of us, it still is. In America that means it's both. I experience, and enjoy, the secular Christmas of eggnog, gift wrap, and Dean Martin, but I'm also mindful, maybe a bit more each winter, of Advent and its quieter demands. We're in the bleak midwinter, of the season and sometimes of the spirit. And midwinter's never seemed bleaker than when I watch the news.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Harvard and David Hogg

    Parkland survivor David Hogg, one of the most talented of that talented crop of activists, just got into Harvard. I’m happy for him. He was immediately attacked on social media by haters who called him unqualified. But he is a perfect example of Harvard’s long-standing admissions process, the “holistic” method they’re currently being sued over. That method is once again favoring a white kid. But it’s a reasonable and smart decision by Harvard.

    Topics: 
    Michael Maiello's picture

    We Never Should Have Had Military Forces in Syria in the First Place

    The collective wisdom seems to be that President Obama blundered when he drew a “red line” over the use of chemical weapons in Syria and then did nothing when Assad’s dictatorship crossed it.  I remember things differently.  I look at it through the lens of all the things that didn’t happen.

    Topics: 

    Now We Know: Hillary Was A Great Candidate

    There are many more details to come out of our continuing political saga, soap opera, meltdown, but at this point we have enough details to know what should have been suspected all along: Hillary was a great candidate.

    This doesn't mean she didn't make a bunch of mistakes - whom among us has not?

    Topics: 
    Michael Maiello's picture

    Nobody Misses the WASPs

    "Those virtues included a spirit of noblesse oblige and personal austerity and piety that went beyond the thank-you notes and boat shoes and prep school chapel going — a spirit that trained the most privileged children for service, not just success, that sent men like Bush into combat alongside the sons of farmers and mechanics in the same way that it sent missionaries and diplomats abroad in the service of their churches and their country."

    This is hilarious.  Of course it's Ross Douthat because, what other self-hating Catholic and devotee to slave morality would write a column about how much the U.S. needs and misses the old line New England WASPs that used to specifically exclude Catholics like him from high society?

    Topics: 
    Michael Maiello's picture

    If It Cries in Terror, It Doesn't Lead

    Last night I was on the Twitter and started seeing photos of children on Mexico's side of the border with the United States running from clouds of tear gas. The photos I saw were distributed by Reuters and it was clearly reported that tear gas had been fired into Mexico by agents of the U.S.

    Topics: 
    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Where Is Donald? Veterans Day Edition

    Today, Veterans Day 2018, the President of the United States stayed in the White House. He did not go to Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath. He did nothing to commemorate Veterans Day. The excuse was a forecast of rain. This makes no sense.

    Topics: 
    Michael Maiello's picture

    Fun at the Ballot Box (Election Open Thread)

    Voting from the safety of a blue, blue state, I get to have a little more fun with my ballot than a lot of people in battlegrounds.

    Sorry, Andrew Cuomo -- you'll win anyway, so I voted for Howie Hawkins.

    Sorry, Kirsten Gillibrand -- I couldn't resist writing in a vote for Al Franken.

    If you're a friend of mine, I might have written you in for New York Supreme Court or for Civil Court judge. Let me know if you win.  You're welcome!

    Anyway, here's an election open thread.

     

     

    Topics: 
    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    The Death of Whitey Bulger

    I never thought I would be upset to see Whitey Bulger die. But somehow that happened. Because Bulger's death, like Bulger's life, promoted organized crime.

    I'm seeing a lot of the usual nonsense about the man, filled with praise he never deserved, from people who should know better. I blogged about the Whitey myth, and the way he the press builds him up into a folk hero, back when he was first arrested:

    Topics: 
    Michael Maiello's picture

    Birthright Citizenship is Important

    I highly doubt that the President can use an executive order to nullify an amendment to the Constitution, but I do take seriously that Trump will attempt to end the notion that anybody born on American soil can lay a claim to citizenship. It's all about who challenges him and what the law allows, after all.

    The arguments against "anchor babies" is soundbite ready. As Trump puts it:

    Topics: 
    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Talk Like Crazy People Are Listening

    Dear politicians: talk like crazy people are listening to you. Because they are. We're a big country, with hundreds of millions of people and no guaranteed health care. That means there are a lot of Americans who are mentally ill, and a lot of those people can't get proper treatment. Every time you speak in public, remember that there are some disturbed people who will take what you say, whatever you say, seriously, and that they might act on it.

    Topics: 
    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    What Just Happened in Northeast Massachusetts [UPDATED]

    Dozens of fires and explosions broke out in three small Massachusetts cities tonight. Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover have been evacuated, and power has been cut off to prevent more houses from blowing up. People are injured. Many have lost their homes. And at least one man is dead, because his chimney fell onto his car.

    Topics: 
    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    I Am Part of the Resistance Inside King Lear's Court

    King Lear is facing a test to his monarchy unlike any other faced by a fictitious British monarch. It is not just that he parceled out his kingdom and left himself nothing. Or that the country is bitterly divided between his scheming, ungrateful daughters. Or even that the kingdom may soon be overwhelmed by French invaders.
     
    The tragedy – which he does not fully grasp – is that many of his own followers are working diligently from within to frustrate his goals.
     
    I would know.
    Michael Wolraich's picture

    How Robert Mueller Outfoxed Donald Trump

    Special Counsel Robert Mueller faces a unique challenge in his investigation of Russian influence during the 2016 election. In addition to gathering information and prosecuting criminals, he has had to avoid getting fired by his resentful, mercurial, and unscrupulous commander-in-chief. Fifteen months into the investigation, he appears to have done a masterful job. By manipulating and distracting Donald Trump and his team of lawyers, he has not only preserved his job, he has maintained complete autonomy and seeded a cluster of spinoff investigations that will be nearly impossible for the White House to stifle. And despite Trump’s insistence that he’s “totally allowed” to intervene whenever he chooses, he won’t dare make a move this close to the midterm election, which means Mueller’s investigation will be protected for at least three more months.

    How has he done it?

    Read the article at Daily Beast

    Topics: 
    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Some Bodies Matter More Than Others: The Judith Butler Thing

    This week I started an online petition calling for Judith Butler to resign as president-elect of the Modern Language Association. If you're a member or past member of MLA, I'd invite you to sign it and to share it as widely as you are comfortable doing. Here is a letter to the Chronicle of Higher Education making a similar case.

    Pages

    Latest Comments