Sunday, February 10, 2019

The American People Understand That What's Needed Now Is Disruption, NOT Status Quo Politics


The carbon-tax approach to Climate Change has been an utter and preposterous failure-- the stupidest bullshit approach to an existential calamity in the history of man. Pelosi and other establishment Democrats like it and it's becoming a fallback for Republicans now that the real world is moving away from that "market-based" non-solution. Over the weekend, The Economist was singing its praises:
In economics, climate change is a big but straightforward example of a market failure, with a correspondingly straightforward solution. People take environmentally harmful decisions because the private benefits of doing so (using a car to get to work, say) outweigh the private costs (the price of the petrol to run the car). But emission-producing activities also impose social costs-- deaths from pollution and collisions, the contribution of carbon emissions to climate change-- that do not influence an individual’s decision to drive rather than walk or take public transport. To solve the climate problem, then, governments need only include the social cost of carbon in the prices people pay. The simplest approach is a levy on emissions corresponding to that social cost. Carbon-intensive activities become more expensive, and people efficiently reduce their emissions by responding to prices. It is an elegant approach favoured by this newspaper. In January a distinguished and bipartisan list of economists signed a letter that ran in the Wall Street Journal arguing in favour of a version that would refund carbon-tax revenue in the form of a flat, universal dividend.
It works on paper but would do little to save humanity. The Green New Deal proposed by Alexandria Ocasio and others is a game-changer that frightens status quo politicians out of their minds. They don't like game-changing; it threatens the status quo. That's why they fear and hate Ocasio Cortez. She's turning their world upside down and inside out and they're about ready to explode. Everything she wants is too hard.

"On the campaign trail," reported Gregory Krieg and Ashley Killough for CNN, "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez turned herself into a phenomenon. So far it's been the same in Congress, where she's using her star power to turn ordinarily dry hearings into viral, must-see TV. This week her target-- well, one of them-- was campaign finance. Seated at a big leather chair, she went on the attack like she was back on the stump, whipping through a fierce argument about Washington's influence machinery that got retweeted and described as "just sensational" by late-night host James Corden. By Friday afternoon, she was getting invited to watch the Grammys with Chrissy Teigen, who called her 'my hero'."

Kevin McCarthy has been in electoral politics since 2000 when he was elected to be a Kern Community College District trustee. 2 years later he was in the state Assembly and in 2006 he was elected to Congress, where he's a DC version of a star-- like Mitch McTurtle, who has been in elective office since 1977 and was first elected to the Senate in 1984 and exercises immense-- and almost exclusively destructive-- power over every man, woman and child in our country. Can you image Chrissy Teigen ever inviting either over to watch the Grammys and have some pizza. The idea is absurd. Maybe if she was a lobbyist instead of a model...

Last week she "debuted the Green New Deal resolution, her first major legislative proposal, alongside Sen. Ed Markey-- a Massachusetts Democrat who's been in Congress for longer than she's been alive. The launch further stoked a suddenly riveting debate over climate change and jobs programs, which landed on the front page of the New York Times," a paper that barely mentioned her name while she ran her successful campaign against a hack status quo garbage politician who was slated to become the next Speaker after Pelosi finally disappears.
While the fate of the Green New Deal remains a long way off, Ocasio-Cortez has consistently defied critics from both parties who at times seem to be tripping over each other to question her tactics, especially her aggressive use of social media. Ocasio-Cortez's communications director and longtime aide, Corbin Trent, said the Bronx-born congresswoman has no plans to change-- that Twitter and Instagram were key tools for galvanizing the public support that ultimately inspired a handful of the party's top presidential hopes to back the resolution.

"The way she operates, whether it's to come up with lines of questioning or lines of messaging, or how to present things to her constituents or to the American people or to the party-- it's continuous listening and talking," Trent told CNN. "When she using social media, that is essentially a practice run and a conversation that she's working and developing."

It's a long way from November, when she spent part of her first official visit to Washington joining a sit-in of now-Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office, where young activists from the Sunrise Movement gathered to agitate for urgent climate action.

Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat, said Ocasio-Cortez represents "a classic story of how somebody gets assimilated into the institution while preserving all their values and desires for change."

"I think it's been a wonderful transition to see someone go from being a full-time activist to being a legislator and an activist," he said.

Pelosi's relationship with Ocasio-Cortez has, to date, been mutually beneficial. Ocasio-Cortez helped secure the California liberal's left flank amid a leadership challenge. Pelosi, even while denying the New Yorker a new select committee assignment that would have been dedicated specifically to shaping the Green New Deal, offered her a seat on a different climate panel.

Ocasio-Cortez turned down the offer, citing the time she needed to manage her other assignments. Their relationship now is less a fight than a dance.

Asked on Thursday about Pelosi's description, in a Politico report, of the Green New Deal as "the green dream or whatever they call it," Ocasio-Cortez passed up a chance to land a jab.

"No, it is a green dream," she told reporters. "I don't consider that to be a dismissive term."

Even as her profile-- and influence-- rises, Ocasio-Cortez operates much as she did on the campaign trail. During a visit to the Midwest last summer to stump for other progressive hopefuls, Ocasio-Cortez would unleash her fire at the mic but then move quietly backstage at events, jotting in her notebook, constantly updating her speech with a new line or idea.

"What we're seeing is that there is not one single way to get things done," Trent said. "She was saying today, everybody says this is the way things are done in Washington and there certainly is a way things have been done in Washington, and there are certainly people who are going to continue to work that way. And I'm sure they'll be able to get things done. But there are also other paths."

Rep. Brenda Lawrence said Ocasio-Cortez and other new members who came in as activists are learning how to operate in a deliberative body.

"It's one thing to protest. It's another to pass laws and bills and actually impact lives and make a difference," said Lawrence, a third-term Michigan Democrat who co-chairs the bipartisan Women's Caucus. "So she's at the beginning of that. And I'm excited. She's going to have some growth and some bumps in the road."

"Every step is growth," she added. "She has such a large media platform, which I pray continues to be a positive one and continues to be one of the boldness of speaking truth to power."

How about a House twitter update? These are the members of the House who were mentioned a lot in the media last week and who have prominent roles in Congress-- along with the number of people who follow them on Twitter
AOC (D-NY)- 3 million
Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)- 2.23 million
Peter King (R-NY)- 1.8 million
Adam Schiff (D-CA)- 1.19 million
John Lewis (D-GA)- 1.03 million
Maxine Waters (D-CA)- 974 K
Ted Lieu (D-CA)- 943 K
Joe Kennedy III (D-MA)- 745 K
Ilhan Omar (D-MN)- 507 K
Eric Swalwell (D-CA)- 448 K
Gym Jordan (R-OH)- 419 K
Devin Nunes (D-CA)- 362 K
Rashida Tlaib (D-MI)- 336K
Steve Scalise (R-LA)- 288 K
Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)- 270 K
Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)- 232 K
Barbara Lee (D-CA)- 223 K
Mark Meadows (R-NC)- 222 K
Matt Gaetz (R-FL)- 203 K
Ayanna Pressley (D-MA)- 193K
Louie Gohmert (R-TX)- 189 K
Justin Amash (R-MI)- 153 K
Seth Moulton (D-MA)- 135 K
Steve King (R-IA)- 113 K
Steny Hoyer (D-MD)- 111 K
Pramila Jayapal (D-WA)- 103 K
Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)- 97.3 K
Ro Khanna (D-CA)- 90.5 K
Conor Lamb (D-PA)- 89.4 K
Jerry Nadler (D-NY)- 87K
Liz Cheney (R-WY)- 79.1 K
Mark Pocan (D-WI)- 76.2 K
David Cicilline (D-RI)- 73.9 K
Tim Ryan (D-OH)- 68.8 K
Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)- 48.9 K
Adam Kinzinger (R-IL)- 47.7 K
Jim McGovern (D-MA)- 45.7 K
Jamie Raskin (D-MD)- 44.4 K
Frank Pallone (D-NJ)- 31.6 K
Cheri Bustos (D-IL)- 31.3 K
Eliot Engel (D-NY)- 28.5 K
Patrick McHenry (R-NC)- 24.5 K
Elise Stefanik (R-NY) 21.9 K
Richard Neal (D-MA)- 20.1 K
Ben Ray Lujan(D-NM)- 20.2K
Kathy Castor (D-FL)- 17.4 K
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)- 13.2 K
Jim Clyburn (D-SC)- 4.4 K

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At 2:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read the first couple paragraphs. The rest was of no use to me.

"The carbon-tax approach to Climate Change has been an utter and preposterous failure-- the stupidest bullshit approach to an existential calamity in the history of man."

Truth illustrative of the fact that capitalist market solutions cannot ever work when socialist mandates must be used. period. Health care for everyone cannot be achieved when profit is the motive and profit is max'd when care is denied. same with climate. Extracted carbon is cheap, profitable and provides the maximum thermodynamic advantage. You cannot expect carbon REMOVAL that is not profitable to ever be implemented in a for profit only system, especially knowing that the corporations making a quarter trillion in profits per year own and operate both sects of the money party that is our government.

It's the age-old battle between the delusional religious beliefs AND GREED vs. pragmatism in serving the interests of human beings. Name one real-world instance where faith or prayer or a corporation sacrificed their profits (or very existence) fed the hungry or clothed the poor or gave a bone marrow transplant to someone with Lukemia... or saved humankind by ceasing to exist.

It isn't disruption that's called for. It's a conversion to reality from delusion... a change from automaton to sentience. But that has been needed for centuries. Humankind seems ill-suited to do this. Stupid humankind refuses.

Americans? been refusing for longer than I've been alive.

status quo equates to same-old delusion over realism... but it's profitable for the nancys and stenys and chucks of the democrap party.

Who is some pretty young thing to come in and upset all that money???

At 2:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what's needed is a mass meme conversion from limbic reflex to reasoned logic... from greed and hate to altruism.

I don't believe this is possible. Limbic reflex is human nature. Reason and altruism must be learned.

Americans haven't been learning much since the '60s. Education for profit and by lowest bidder kind of leads to really stupid people.

At 2:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Earth is caught between rock-headed ignorance and a hard greed. By the time enough people wake up, their lives will themselves be at immediate risk and it will be too late to save anyone.

At 3:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice to see the real Nazi has the third most twit followers. I'm surprised he doesn't have all 62 million who voted for trump. Maybe that's all of the 62m that know what twitter is.

At 3:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

americans need to eschew everything they've learned, most via coordinated propaganda programs. capitalism. greed. the natural order of mankind. paternalism. elitism. religion. 'be fruitful and multiply'. hate. ambivalence. laziness. delusion.

never happen. most americans are far too stupid. And those are the only ones who vote.

At 5:10 PM, Blogger buermann said...

"The carbon-tax approach to Climate Change has been an utter and preposterous failure"

It hasn't been attempted here for it to fail. In France they exempted a bunch of special interests and didn't cut the dividend checks which was stupid bullshit and doesn't even remotely resemble the actual policy proposal. In British Columbia, which instituted a very low carbon tax in 2008 (initially C$10/ton, increasing to C$30/ton in 2012 when it was frozen until this year), saw its population increase by 7% by 2015 while CO2 emissions were flat, representing a significant drop in per capita emissions at even that preposterously low tax rate. It shouldn't be the only policy but it should be one of the policies.

At 5:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

AOC must not change - we are counting on her to keep fighting! The rest of you negative whiners should go away and go to another blog and quit annoying all of the rest of us.

At 6:02 PM, Blogger Alan Parker said...

God Damn I Hate Steve Inskeep Of NPR - He's An Uber Establishment Hack Always Belittles Progressives - He Is The Biggest Reason I Quit Listening To NPR

At 8:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stopped watching NPR when Robert MacNeil left, because Lehrer took an immediate hard right in his "news" presentations.

At 11:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:31, nobody said AOC needs to change. If she did, we are back to 2008 when we pointlessly elected obamanation and goldman-sachs.

I just wish she were not hamstrung by being a democrap, subject to being neutered by Pelosi.

I'm just saying that americans need to get a lot smarter or all this means nothing.


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