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Saturday, April 25, 2015

TPP? Chomsky Dicussing the Disastrous Free-Trade Agreement - NAFTA

If you're weary of the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) you should be.  NAFTA turned out to do exactly what Chomsky said it would.  Neo-Liberalization was the answer to a strong labor community that enjoyed record standards of living.  Corporate America waged an all out war in the '70s to reduce labor's influence.

Conservatives squawking about border issues and refugees should take a close look at the Mexican agriculture sector that was devastated after the passage of NAFTA. Farmers who were able to support themselves before NAFTA weren't able to afterward. When a foreign government can undersell domestic farmers - you're left with few alternatives.

If your skeptical of the TPP, you have a good reason to be so. We've seen this song and dance before with NAFTA. Could we at least let our senators read the bill? Corporations got to look it over.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

2016 - Demographics - Turnout

We're in a dogfight in 2016.  There's little doubt about it.  While Obama pulled a historic upset in 2012 only 2 Presidents in the 20th century pulled off 3 party victories in a row.  FDR and Reagan. 

O'Reilly was very right in the clip below.  The demographics change in the country is nothing short of an earthquake. 

From the LA Times:

"Republicans will be trying to win with a base of supporters that is roughly 90% white in an increasingly diverse country, having failed so far to develop a strategy to attract the growing minority populations who rejected them in 2008 and 2012.

Who wins will almost certainly depend on which proves more powerful — the hunger for change or the inexorable demographic wave.

Or to put it another way, the 2016 election will test whether the Obama coalition of minorities and white liberals can hold together, turn out and defeat the aging but still powerful coalition of social and economic conservatives and foreign policy hawks assembled by Ronald Reagan 35 years ago.

The best case for Republicans is that "the American public seldom has the stomach for a third term, and President Obama hasn't been the kind of leader who generates a third term," said political scientist Julia R. Azari of Marquette University in Wisconsin.

The two presidents in the modern era whose parties did win three or more elections, Reagan and Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt, both transformed American politics by embodying — and helping bring about — a change in what people believed government should do."

It's all going to come down to turnout.  Can Clinton energize Obama's base?  Can she get the minorities and white liberals to turnout like they did in 2012?

"According to CNN exit polls, 93% of African-Americans, 71% of Hispanics and 73% of Asians supported Obama over Romney."

Washington Post:

"But among whites, Obama is currently doing much worse than he did in 2008. At this stage four years ago, Obama trailed Republican John McCain by eight percentage points among white voters. Even in victory, Obama ended up losing white voters by 12 percentage points. 

Obama’s current 21-percent-deficit -- he trails Romney 59 to 38 percent -- would be far harder to overcome, as this year may break a string of increasingly non-white electorates. In 2008, whites made up a record-low 74 percent of all voters; in the latest Post-ABC poll, they made up a similar 75 percent of likely 2012 voters.

In 2004, John Kerry lost white voters to George W. Bush by a similarly wide margin, 58 to 41 percent -- and he also lost the election.

Compared with four years ago, white voter support for Obama is now lower among white men and white independents. (See the latest Post-ABC tracking poll on The Fix at 5 p.m. every day through Nov. 5.)

The clearest loss for the president is among white men. In 2008, Obama lost white men by 16 points, according to the exit poll. This year, Obama trails Romney double that margin -- 33 points -- larger than any deficit for a Democratic candidate since Ronald Reagan’s 1984 landslide win over Walter Mondale.

After splitting their votes 47 percent for Obama and 49 percent for McCain in 2008, whites who identify as political independents now favor Romney over Obama, 59 to 38 percent. Nearly half of all of those who supported Obama in 2008 but Romney in 2012 are white independents. (Overall, whites make up more than 90 percent of “switchers.”)

A key element of Romney’s advantage among all whites is that by 55 to 39 percent, more white voters say he, not Obama understands the economic problems people in this country are having. Among whites without college degrees, Romney is up 58 to 35 percent on this score, expanding what was a narrow gap just a few weeks ago. This advantage comes even as 48 percent of white voters say Romney, as president, would do more to favor the wealthy; 37 percent say he would do more to for the middle class."

The math is looking good though (WSJ):

"Republicans stand a slim chance of winning the presidency in 2016—unless they nominate a transformational candidate who can dramatically broaden the GOP’s appeal. That assertion may seem incongruous in light of stunning Republican triumphs in the past two midterm elections. But success in 2014 no more indicates the outcome of the 2016 presidential election than victory in 2010 foretold the presidential winner in 2012.

The continuing problem for the Republican Party is the country’s changing demographics. GOP congressional candidates won 60% of white voters in 2010 and 2014, producing landslide victories. The calculation works differently in presidential elections, however, when turnout is higher, particularly among minorities. In 2012, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney won 59% of white voters, the highest percentage of any Republican challenging an incumbent president in the history of exit polling. He won every significant white subgroup—men and women; young and old; Protestants and Catholics—often by overwhelming margins. Yet Mr. Romney still lost the election by five million votes.

Barack Obama won because he achieved breathtaking majorities among every other racial group. The president won 93% of African-Americans and more than 70% of Hispanics and Asians. As a result, the first African-American president won re-election with only four out of 10 white voters."

The best thing the Dems can hope for is the GOP candidates keep running to the far right on immigration, social issues and safety nets.  The economy just might be the wildcard in 2016.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Elizabeth Warren - "The Unfinished Business of Financial Reform"

A great roadmap to the presumed Democratic Nominee in 2016 (Hillary Clinton).  It's been great to see Clinton reaching out to the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party recently.  Submitting her to Time's 100 most influential people list.

Warren spoke at the Levy Economic Institute about the unfinished business of financial reform.

Highlights here:

Full interview here:

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Fox Contributer Says Poor Need to Stop Taking His Money!

Run and hide, rich people! The poor are coming to get ya!

Chomsky addresses this phenomenon, it's addressed in Manufacturing Consent - he calls it reverse Marxism - the wealthiest repeat the charges of class warfare from the bottom up over and over again -- (direct jump here) you can find it in the video below starting at 21:50.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Scott Walker calls for "Aggressive Foreign Policy"

Ho boy...  Let this Republicans douche-fest fly hard and fast...

Friday, December 19, 2014

Lexington 3rd Council General Election 2014 Breakdown

A little insight into the Lexington 3rd Council district election in 2014.

The sections in color are the voting precincts, the graduated circles are the percentage of homeowners vs. renters in Census blocks (the smallest measure in census data).  Of course correlation doesn't equal causation, but there's a strong indication that areas with high home ownership preferred Ellinger.

We'll be taking a closer look at this district and election in the next few months.

Vote Breakdown in Louisville $9 Minimum Wage Hike

Thanks to Louisville Liberal for the post:

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Bill O'Reilly's Meltdown Of A Possible Warren Presidency

This isn't embedding properly, but watch Bill O'Reilly's meltdown on a possible Warren Presidency:


One thing is for sure, progressives and "even" some conservatives would love to see such a run, and that's not snark:

"I hope that Sen. Warren will run for president in 2016 to force a national conversation on the Washington-Wall Street power nexus,"

She'd be coming in hot if she ran, she's beloved by progressives.  Run Liz run!  Run Liz run!  Run Liz run!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Elizabeth Warren Blasts Budget (Wall Street Give Way)

"Though the principles of the banking trade may appear somewhat abstruse, the practice is capable of being reduced to strict rules. To depart upon any occasion from these rules, in consequence of some flattering speculation of extraordinary gain, is almost always extremely dangerous, and frequently fatal to the banking company which attempts it."
-Adam Smith

The Republicans are set to take the Senate next month, nixing any hope of any further restraint of concentrated state-private Wall Street power.

This month the Republicans weren't the ones we really had to worry about.  Wall Street used the Democrats to do their bidding in this budget battle.  Wall Street just got a big Christmas present this year, a massive public subsidy covering risky trading. 

The taxpayer provided subsidy involved language with derivatives.  Basically allowing the big banks to make risky bets insuring the losses through FDIC insurance.  This insurance, set up after the crash in 1929 was meant to protect individual depositors, and never intended to cover bank losses.

Elizabeth Warren took the Senate floor to blast that portion of the spending bill.  Wall Street is on the offensive again, and while they've won this battle, the war certainly isn't over. 

"Do not go gentle into that good night
"Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

 Do not go gentle into that good night
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

-Dylan Thomas

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Noam Chomsky on Syria, China, Capitalism, and Ferguson

At 10:00 he starts going into the development of our current technological revolution which was almost entirely funded by the state sector.  The public paid for the iPhone/Android's, etc.

Around 17:20 he goes into the re-segregation of Black America, the drug war that waged police power against black people.

Monday, November 24, 2014

NEW POLL: Uh oh... The GOP's in Trouble... (Amnesty Executive Order Edition)

Wow, and this is what you call 2016 coalition building.  The Republicans howled over Obama's executive action, not because of any immigration line jumping, but because they were never going to get an immigration bill through with the radical anti-immigrant base that would crucify them for anything short of a self-deportation policy.  The D's needed to lock Hispanic support back up in their column.  Guess what?  A new poll shows Obama knew exactly what he was doing with the executive order he issued and the order did exactly that, uh oh someone's in trouble:

Buzzfeed News:

"The poll found that 89% of Latino voters support Obama’s decision to give temporary legal status to nearly five million undocumented immigrants. That level of support surprised Latino Decisions co-founder Matt Barreto, who noted the figure is higher than initial support of the president’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protected undocumented youth brought to the country as children from deportation and allowed them to receive work permits.

“This is the most unified we have seen Latino public opinion on any issue,” Barreto told BuzzFeed News. “DACA registered 84%, this is even higher. The White House was smart to put this step to protect parents — almost nobody in the Latino community is going to say they don’t support a policy to keep parents and children together.”

The Civil War that was predicted in the Republican ranks after they took the Senate?  Happening.  There's a stand off with leadership and rank and file Republicans with "no" clear front runners in 2016.  The Republicans are a whimpering, fractured-fragmented, rudderless, leaderless political coalition loose affiliation:

"Republican presidential primaries have for decades been orderly affairs, with any momentary drama mitigated by the expectation that the party would inevitably nominate its tested, often graying front-runner.

But as the 2016 White House campaign effectively began in the last week, it became apparent that this race might be different: a fluid contest, verging on chaotic, that will showcase the party’s deep bench of talent but also highlight its ideological and generational divisions.

As Democrats signal that they are ready to rally behind Hillary Rodham Clinton before their primary season even begins, allowing them to focus their fund-raising and firepower mostly on the general election, the Republicans appear destined for a free-for-all." -NYT
 Full speed ahead Mr. President.  While you attempted to craft a team of rivals the R's didn't give you a chance from day 1.  Your attempt was admirable, but your ability to adapt to political realities is really what you'll be remembered for.  That and the death of the modern conservative moment and the birth of a new left leaning coalition, the most pro-government coalition since FDR.  Just think of the things we could have accomplished if the R's weren't trying to torpedo your Presidency from day 1.

The "real" change comes in 2020 when state legislatures are back up for redrawing.  The Republicans have enjoyed an insane, unrepresentative advantage in drawing state and federal legislative boundaries.  Not to mention "all" left leaning Millennial voters will be eligible to vote then.

Let them talk of you ripping the Constitution up all the way into 2016:

(I know the video below is obnoxiously bleeding into the sidebar, Comedy Central made this formatting a PITA)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Can't Fight Against the Youth (Especially in 2020).

Millennials will encompass 1/3 of the American population in 2020.  And that is a game charger for the American electoral system.  The younger generation the most racially diverse generation in American history is pressing for a revolutionary new economic system, corporate state-capitalism has run it's course.  And a new generation with radically new values is demanding something new.  And we're going to have it, the proof is in the numbers:

 And these last 2 graphs are the real trouble to come for the GOP:

Left leaning (some reports say Socialist by nature) it's reason for concentrated capital to be shaking in their boots.

And it's attitudes beyond just criticism of capitalism.  Millennials drive less, spend less, live in urban centers avoiding small towns and are the most pro-government, socially liberal generation in American history and every piece of evidence says we're not going to grow more conservative as we age:

"Especially since the scheme of things is changing so fast. Young voters were as enthralled by Obama as their elders were frightened. He won 66 percent of the under-30 vote in 2008 and, despite four years of economic hardship, 60 percent in 2012. Not all young voters support the Democrats, of course, but the nonwhite ones overwhelmingly do, with 67 percent approving of Obama. A Pew Research Center survey found that 71 percent of nonwhites under age 30 want a bigger government that provides more services. The aggregate result is the most pro-government generation the United States has seen since the generation that voted for President Franklin Roosevelt exited the stage. An increasingly diverse young America wants the government to do more for it. An increasingly anxious older America now views government activism as a threat to its own rightful share of state resources."

So while 2014 was a small victory for the GOP, lets not forget the midterms weren't representative of what the overall electorate is, an incredible diverse, liberal coalition that's going to rule this planet, very, very soon.

"Can't fight against the young, cause we're strong"  I'm sure they'll say were 'rude, rude people'!

"Can't fight against the youth,
Cause we're strong.
Them are rude, rude people.
Can't fight against the youth,
Cause we're strong.
Them are rude, rude people.

We gonna rule this planet,
among children.
We gonna rule this planet "


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

David Harvey and Richard Wolf on The Charlie Rose Show, End of Capitalism

A great interview and critique on Capitalism, cities and the future to come.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Democrats - We're Going to Lose Senate Seats (And Probably the Senate) Here's why That's Okay...

Go vote November 4th.  Let me start by saying that.  Let me also say it's incredible likely we're going to lose the Senate.  And that's okay.  And here's why.

Presidents, even really, really popular Presidents lose seats 6 years in.  Take a look at say FDR and Ronald Reagan:

A wildly popular populist FDR - lost 7 seats in 1938 (6 years in).  A wildly popular actor plutocrat - lost 8 seats in 1986 (6 years in).

15 Senate seats during Eisenhower's 6th year, 4 Senate seats during Nixon's (Ford's) 6th year,  and 5 seats in the 2006 sweep Dem's made during GW's 6th year.  The only outlier was the wildly popular Bill Clinton who missed the bullet in 1998 during the insane tail end of the Reagan revolution where there was a stand still.  The Republicans overplayed their hand that year with the Monica nonsense and the public wasn't having it, that being the only exception.

Why bother voting?  The Dems are going to hold/pick up seats depending on turnout House and Senate.  Let's just try and minimize the historical pattern, this isn't going to be a fun November 4th.  But watching the run of the mill Republicans/Tea Party crowd deflate over the fact that they literally "can't" repeal the reforms Obama and the Democrats passed, well that's going to be something delightful to watch:

“It would take 60 votes in the Senate. No one thinks we’re going to have 60 Republicans, and it would take a presidential signature,” McConnell said. “I’d like to put the Senate Democrats in the position of voting on the most unpopular parts of this law and see if we can put it on the president’s desk.”

The Germans have a word for what were about to watch become of the Republican Party... Schadenfreude...  Their upcoming Civil War will draw battle lines between the purists and corporatists and we'll get to watch as they run to the far right pushing government shutdowns prompting filibusters from Senate Democrats, and veto threats from the President all while trying to persuade a left leaning country they're not completely looney tunes and fit to govern:

"Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says Republicans won’t be able to repeal Obamacare anytime soon.

Sen. Mitch McConnell has already mapped out a confrontational budget strategy with no end game: Jam spending bills, which are necessary for funding the government, with a bunch of right-wing riders unpalatable to President Obama. What if Obama vetoes your bills, POLITICO recently asked him? “Yeah, he could,” shrugged McConnell. He skirts what would happen next: the proverbial hot potato would get tossed back to him and Boehner, and the simmering GOP civil war between the cautious and the revolutionary would be on full boil.

The inconvenient truth for the Republican Party is that it’s not ready for prime time, yet it’s on the verge of fully sharing with the president the responsibility of running the country."

When they fail to repeal the big ticket items we'll return to the culture wars, and debates about marriage, abortion and "religious liberty" are going to start all over again, they won't be able to help themselves.  We're playing chess, not checkers.  We'll be back on line full steam ahead in 2016 with a united Democratic Party.  We're far more united than the Republicans are, Christie's and Paul's circular firing squad is a perfect example:

"Well, that was a splendid little war.

Over the past week, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul took the GOP’s intraparty bickering to a new level, openly savaging each other on issues of national security, privacy and government spending. When Christie wasn’t challenging Paul to explain himself to the families of Sept. 11 victims, Paul was accusing Christie of demanding federal handouts for hurricane relief and, in an obvious double entendre, labeling the Garden Stater the “king of bacon.”

Keep your heads up, just remember what Gust said in Charlie Wilson's War about the 'Zen Master'!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Elizabeth Jensen is Coming to Your House to Steal Your Coal and Children (with Obummer!)

Lock your doors people in the KY 6th, put some pants on and hide grandma.  Because Elizabeth Jensen (donate money to her here) is personally coming to your door to steal your coal, coal mining jobs and your children while partying her ass off with Barack Hussein Obama.

Super informative mailers are coming your way to warn you of the black menace that's upon us! 


Pay zero attention that the 6th congressional district has "zero" coal mines in it... 


Cheap, abundant natural gas has killed the coal industry, that's a fact.  Let's dig at the mailer's "facts"/citations:

The Republican Party of Kentucky (RPK) has cited, CNS News "The Right News, Right Now",  Town Hall - " is the leading source for conservative news and political commentary and analysis." and The Heritage Foundation who stated goal is to "formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense"

Someone should call the Kentucky Republican Party Chairman Steve Robinson and tell him to fire their mailing director for wasting mailers on an urban Millennial who thinks Barr, (a man who once said George W. Bush was going to be known as one of the greatest presidents) is a huge helping hand to the criminality that occurs on Wall Street.

Then again, $1 spend on the wrong person is a dollar not spend on the right person.

Hopefully Wall Street's congressman gets the boot very soon, if we're lucky his friends on Wall Street too.  I mean, it's not like they're living large while the rest of us are begging for scraps with record debt levels, right?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Senate (advances) to overturn Citizen United 79-18

Let's hope this works...

"Republicans are likely to vote against the amendment when it comes up for a final vote, but by allowing it to proceed, ensured that it will tie up the Senate for most of the week.

More than 20 Republicans joined Democrats in the 79-18 vote advancing the amendment, well over the 60 votes that were needed."
Elizabeth Warren on the Senate vote:

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Interview with Jake Gibbs

Jake Gibbs is running for 3rd district city council in Lexington.  He secured frontrunner status after beating out Daniels and Ellinger in the primary, he'll face Ellinger in the fall.

Like him on Facebook here, I've had the pleasure of helping Jake on his race and interviewed him:

LIK: Do you have plans to help the homeless here in the city?

Jake: Lexington has recently allocated 3.5 million dollars to aid the homeless and create more affordable housing. The city created an Office of Affordable Housing and recently hired a director.  These are important steps.  I will work to secure continued funding in the future.

The homeless problem is difficult. That population is comprised of several different types of people. There are people and families who have some income but barely make ends meet, and one financial disaster can land them on the streets. These folks can be aided by vouchers to get them in affordable housing. Such a program has the added benefit that any landlord accepting the government issued vouchers would have to maintain their property well.

There’s also the chronically homeless, a large percentage of whom have mental health issues. I would like to see permanent housing built for them that includes periodic visits from health care professionals. The evidence shows that such housing cuts down on police calls and emergency room visits to the point that it’s cheaper for the community to house people than to have them on the street.

I think such humane treatment of the homeless is the moral thing to do. But it is also cost-effective and will improve the quality of life for everyone in the community .

LIK: What can we do to provide and help to create affordable housing in Lexington?

Jake: A definition of affordable housing may be helpful here. Housing is considered affordable if it consumes 30% or less of a household’s income. Say you work a minimum wage job and rent an apartment by yourself. Your income is $1160 per month (assuming you don’t get sick or otherwise miss work). 30% of that is $348. If your rent is more than $348 your housing is not affordable.

As mentioned already, some money has been allocated and it is likely to be used for vouchers to subsidize the rent of qualified renters. These people would be less burdened financially, less likely to fall into homelessness and more likely able to move into better quality housing.

We could also mandate that new developments in the urban core designate a portion of the housing units as affordable for low-income people.

Another thing that would help people seeking affordable housing is an increase in the minimum wage.  Hopefully the federal government will take care of that but if they don’t I would like to see state and even local options explored.

LIK: Centrepointe. What's your take on the project?

Jake: Centrepointe highlights a governmental failing. The buildings on the block should never have been allowed to deteriorate to the extent that many were beyond hope. I wish we could have kept many of those building and done small and mid-size infill projects. I liked the mix of businesses. The Dame, Mad Hatter, Mia’s Restaurant and the drug store are the sort of business I patronize. I would like to have seen more of that sort of thing with residential above. Of course, that didn't happen.

I’m not excited about the design but it’s better than what was originally proposed, which looked like something from suburban Atlanta. It’s too bad Jeanne Gang’s employ was so short.

I hear some people say they’d rather have the green space back than the finished Webb product. I disagree. We need density, jobs and tax revenue. As much as I’m disturbed by the 6+ year ordeal, I hope it gets built, fully occupied and contributes jobs and tax revenue for the city. Hopefully we've learned the lessons. We need Code Enforcement to protect our older structures.

LIK: What's your opinion on density in the downtown and student areas?

Jake: Of course there are potential drawbacks to density, e.g., increased noise, but in most cases I think dense is good. We've allowed too much sprawl and now we reap the “rewards” in the form of traffic congestion, air pollution, and over-reliance on the car. More density in the downtown/university area will lead to more people walking and biking with the health and environmental benefits that come from these activities. Also, density will lead to more retail development allowing many people to cut back on trips to the mall. With more people walking there are more, what Jane Jacobs called, “eyes on the street,” making the area safer.

That said, we need to be sure that new projects are well-designed and that Code Enforcement has the tools to make sure owners keep properties clean and safe.

LIK: In regards to the Urban Service Boundary, should we examine developing some of that area?

Jake: I don’t see a need for an expansion of the Urban Service Boundary. At this point there is considerable opportunity for rehab of existing structures and new development within the current boundary. As mentioned above, I believe the negatives of density are more than outweighed by the benefits.

LIK: How do we ensure Lexington will continue to draw talent in and retain it?

Jake: The trend in America is for young professionals to desire living environments that are walkable and bikeable. Also, homeownership is a priority for fewer of them than in the past. So, we need rental units near the city center. I think Lexington is on the cusp of having a great downtown. If we can get more housing built in the area the increased population density will lead to increased retail. We will have a city that is very attractive to the workforce and that’s where companies want to locate.

LIK: One could criticize Lexington for a lackluster public transit, or a poor one. What do you think needs to be done to increase mass transit or streamline it?

Jake: I’d characterize LexTran as “lackluster” but it’s not from lack of trying. I ride the bus two days a week. I work at BCTC and the easiest way to get from Cooper Campus to the Newtown Campus is the bus. The buses are generally on time and the drivers friendly.

The Colt Trolley has been a nice addition. I can take it from near my Bell Court home over to Jefferson St for dinner at Stella’s or County Club and then a beer at West 6th Brewery  or Blue Stallion. Sure beats driving. Residents of the 3rd District are especially well-served by the Colt.

My main complaint about LexTran is that the buses run infrequently. But when they do run, at least on the routes I ride, they are under-utilized. It’s hard to justify running more buses when the current runs are significantly less than full.

I think the key to a better bus system is to somehow convince a significant number of car drivers that they’d be better off riding the bus. I think that’s a hard sell. Appeals to environmental issues will affect few. But if the cost of gasoline and parking increase that may cause more interest.

LIK: Why do you think you are the best candidate to represent the 3rd District?

Jake: I know the district and its people very well. Most of my 36 years in Lexington have been spent in the 3rd. My kids went to Maxwell School. I owned a business here (Alfalfa).  I received two graduate degrees from UK and have worked at BCTC on Cooper Drive for 30 years.

My main mode of transportation is walking. From my Bell Court home I walk to the YMCA most mornings and then to work. I walk downtown for most of my entertainment. I see the district up close – the good stuff and the bad.

I teach history and have a strong interest in urban history. That, with my extensive travels to Europe and around the USA, have given me a sense of what works in cities and what doesn’t. I also teach logic so I know good reasoning from bad.

If elected I will cut back to part-time teaching so I have the time to devote myself to the needs of the labor-intensive 3rd. I love Lexington and I will devote myself to making it even better.

The fact that my yard signs appeared at so many homes that are owner occupied is testimony to my roots in the community.

My opponent has been on council for 12 years and has very little to show for it. His signs seem to show up mainly in the yards of rental properties. That should concern voters in a district where poorly maintained rental properties are a major problem.

BUSTED! McConnell Caught at Secret Koch Brother Meeting:

Uh oh Mitch!

Looks like McConnell is going for another government shutdown:

via The Nation:

"So in the House and Senate, we own the budget. So what does that mean? That means that we can pass the spending bill. And I assure you that in the spending bill, we will be pushing back against this bureaucracy by doing what's called placing riders in the bill. No money can be spent to do this or to do that. We're going to go after them on healthcare, on financial services, on the Environmental Protection Agency, across the board (inaudible). All across the federal government, we're going to go after it…

And we're not going to be debating all these gosh darn proposals. That's all we do in the Senate is vote on things like raising the minimum wage (inaudible)—cost the country 500,000 new jobs; extending unemployment—that's a great message for retirees; uh, the student loan package the other day, that's just going to make things worse, uh. These people believe in all the wrong things.

On Citizens United and money in politics: “So all Citizens United did was to level the playing field for corporate speech….We now have, I think, the most free and open system we’ve had in modern times. The Supreme Court allowed all of you to participate in the process in a variety of different ways. You can give to the candidate of your choice. You can give to Americans for Prosperity, or something else, a variety of different ways to push back against the party of government.”
On McCain-Feingold:  “The worst day of my political life was when President George W. Bush signed McCain-Feingold into law in the early part of his first Administration.”
To put that in perspective, Mitch McConnell’s 35-year career in the Senate saw the 9/11 terrorist attacks that killed thousands of Americans, the 2008 housing meltdown that threatened the entire economy and Barack Obama’s election, to cite a conservative bête noire. But it was McCain-Feingold, the bill that banned soft money and unlimited donations to party committees, that constitutes the worst day of his political life."

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Why your job isn't safe, a bot is coming for it, and I mean "you".

"Take the automation of production for an example. The same technology that is used to deskill workers and enslave them can be used to eliminate the stupid boring work that nobody wants to do. We already know where we could go from here in transforming capitalism without leading to centralized state control."
-Noam Chomsky

 An integrating video on how robots are literally taking "all" of the work that humans do.  More now than ever we need to rethink our concepts of work, wealth and benchmarks to obtain food, shelter and housing.  Robots are literally taking over everything we do due to no fault of people.

They're coming, and they're going to "take r jerbs!"

A perfect example of this in North Carolina where those jobs returned from China:

"Take Parkdale: The mill here produces 2.5 million pounds of yarn a week with about 140 workers. In 1980, that production level would have required more than 2,000 people...

...In 1991, American-made apparel accounted for 56.2 percent of all the clothing bought domestically, according to the American Apparel and Footwear Association. By 2012, it accounted for 2.5 percent. Over all, the American manufacturing sector lost 32 percent of its jobs, 5.8 million of them, between 1990 and 2012, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The textile and apparel subsectors were hit even harder, losing 76.5 percent of their jobs, or 1.2 million."

We just hope they're nice... And their fusion reactors don't run on old people's medicine...And for the love of God, I hope they don't pitch 1000 movie ideas that star Adam Sandler...

And one of my favorite songs from Battlestar Gallactica, called "The Shape of Things to Come".

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

New Reason Poll Goes against "Every Other" Poll on Millennials [UPDATE]

If you haven't seen it yet, Reason Magazine released a poll about a week ago convinced Millennials were soon going to flock to their small government, private tyranny ideology.  They've run over 10 stories related to this poll, conducted and overseen by Emily Ekins, here's her twitter account, and here's her bio on Reason:

"Emily Ekins is the director of polling for Reason Foundation where she leads the Reason-Rupe public opinion research project, launched in 2011. Emily's research focuses on public attitudes toward government, public policy, and how individuals make trade-offs with an emphasis on quantitative analysis. She is an active member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the American Political Science Association (APSA). Emily is also working on her PhD thesis in political science at the University of California, Los Angeles. Emily's professional experience includes quantitative analyses of the Tea Party movement for the Cato Institute, and conducting survey analyses and case writing for Dr. Peter Tufano at the Harvard Business School. She has discussed her research on Fox News, Fox Business, CNBC, The Blaze, and her research has appeared in The Washington PostPoliticoThe Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Times."

Here's an appearance on Fox a couple of days ago touting the poll findings.

Just a few thoughts on that... And by a few thoughts, I mean let me lay out just about every other poll that hasn't been conducted by a Libertarian run magazine that says the opposite.  

Why they cut off the age of those polled to 29?  I have no idea.  But I'd bet it has something to do with the fact that those of us old enough to suffer our early 20s through the Bush Administration might tilt this poll in a direction Reason didn't care for.  Harvard did the same thing with a recent poll, there was a small split amongst 18-24 and 25-29:

[UPDATE] I messaged Trey Grayson asking him "why" they cut off was at 29 years of age.  He said that's a standard polling age cut off.

Here's a poll covered by the Atlantic and conducted by the Pew Research Center released around March 2014 - here's Millennials on government involvement in the economy -- a generation that gave Barack Obama a 2-1 advantage in 2012:

Here's the portion on the 'role of government':

"The poll results show Millennials to be overwhelmingly supportive of progressive policies that promote opportunity and economic security:"

A "not" insignificant pattern here...  It literally flies in the face of just about everything the Reason poll is alleging.

Reason has dropped story after story related to this one poll.  And even non-Libertarians publications took the bait, commenting on the poll:

"Millennial politics is simple, really. Young people support big government, unless it costs any more money. They're for smaller government, unless budget cuts scratch a program they've heard of. They'd like Washington to fix everything, just so long as it doesn't run anything."

In contrast here's a piece just released from the Brooking' paper in May:

"Millennials’ attitudes as consumers, as workers, and as investors are unique enough for Winograd and Hais to conclude that Wall Street may well be in for a “millennial reckoning.” For example, one of the studies the authors cite found that almost two-thirds of millennials "would rather make $40,000 a year at a job they love than $100,000 a year at a job they think is boring." Not only do millennials focus on corporate social responsibility, but their lack of trust in the financial sector does not indicate good things for the current governing philosophy on Wall Street. As the paper points out, organizational cultures “that lose touch with the changes taking place in a society pose a clear danger to the future of those organizations.” This does not “bode well for the survival of America’s current corporate governance practices."

Some takeways from the paper/polling:

"Key Millennial values shaping the future of the American economy include:
  • -Interest in daily work being a reflection of and part of larger societal concerns.
  • -Emphasis on corporate social responsibility, ethical causes, and stronger brand loyalty for companies offering solutions to specific social problems.
  • -A greater reverence for the environment, even in the absence of major environmental disaster.
  • -Higher worth placed on experiences over acquisition of material things.
  • -Ability to build communities around shared interests rather than geographical proximity, bridging otherwise disparate groups."
Here's the WSJ fretting in 2012 about Millennials and their Socialist tendencies fresh off the heels of the Occupy movement:

"According to a new study conducted by the Pew Research Center, 49 percent of millennials (age 18-29) view socialism in a favorable light, compared to 43 percent who view it unfavorably.
Moreover, millennials like the sound of socialism better than capitalism. 46 percent of millennials have positive views of capitalism, and 47 percent have negative views.
This is different from the country’s population overall: 60 percent say they have a negative view of socialism, versus 31 percent who say they have a positive view. Young people are the only age group whose support for socialism outweighs that of capitalism."
Here's some whining analysis:  
"But I think my innate cynicism leaves me with this as the most likely answer. Given the increasing infantilization of our society, the way in which few are gainfully employed until their mid- to late 20s, the young are of course in favour of a system which passes all sorts of things on to them for free. The old are less enamoured of such a system as they have the experience of paying the tax bills for all of it."

The biggest takeaway?  They couldn't hide the fact through all of this that Millennials "still" favor the Democrats.

In conclusion?  If the neo-right thinks Millennials, a generation who has survived an economic collapse and horrid job market second only to the Great Depression is going to flock to their ranks when they offer nothing but corporate, free market ideas that favor the rich they have a reckoning coming in 2016 and thereon after, even "if" someone like Rand Paul happens to survive the GOP primary.  

We're Elizabeth Warren Democrats for lack of a better term, and we're tired of playing nice with corporate/Wall Street giants and masses of concentrated capital which isn't even earned anymore, but inherited: