Warren speech and water

Elizabeth Warren’s speech was packed. She did a great job. Short speech. She just hammered the same point home over and over again: the game is rigged and that’s not right. That’s a direct quote.

There was a group handing out Warren For President hats and signs:

warren

After the Warren speech, Detroit activists (joined by lots and lots of NN ’14 attendees) had a rally on water. This is some background info on that:

The Detroit Department of Water and Sewerage announced in March it would target Detroit households with overdue balances of more than $150, or more than two months behind on bills. Since spring it has shut off water to more than 15,000 homes. The water department has released a list of more than 200 businesses that could have water shut off for late payments.
Meanwhile Friday, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer called for a moratorium on Detroit’s water shutoffs until city officials can assess who has the financial means to pay off delinquent accounts — and who doesn’t.
“I think it’s been a backward approach,” Schauer said in an interview at the Netroots Nation conference being held at Cobo Center. “I mean … cutting people off and then offering financial assistance is the wrong approach.”
Schauer added that financial assistance “needs to be provided to people that just are in a true hardship position.”

Meanwhile, the National Nurses United is protesting downtown Friday near Cobo Hall, drawing more than 1,000 demonstrators as they marched to Hart Plaza.They chanted: “No water, no peace” and “water is a human right, fight, fight, fight.”National Nurses United says the shut-offs pose a public health emergency and that its event will seek an immediate moratorium on them. The group’s co-president, Jean Ross, has called the shut-offs an “attack on the basic human right of access to safe, clean water.”

water protest

I saw in the comments last night that some of you are wondering about the immigration activists and Biden. I can’t really do that justice on the fly here but I will tell you that a large portion of the speeches presented prior to Reverend Barber’s appearance last night were centered on immigration reform. I don’t think the fact that immigration reform activists are unhappy is any surprise to the Obama Administration or any of the Democrats in Congress. Chuck Schumer appeared last night and spoke prior to Reverend Barber and Schumer’s comments were on immigration reform. I assume that’s why he came. They know they have to respond to this. The truth is Democrats ran on immigration reform in 2008 and again in 2012 and Latinos are a vitally important group of voters for them. Am I surprised activists are making demands? Not at all.

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67 replies
  1. 1
    Roger Moore says:

    The truth is Democrats ran on immigration reform in 2008 and again in 2012 and Latinos are a vitally important group of voters for them. Am I surprised activists are making demands? Not at all.

    Bear in mind, too, that immigration is not just a Latino issue. It’s also a huge issue among Asian Americans, who have shifted from red to blue over the past few elections, and in the tech industry, which has a lot of important Democratic money people.

  2. 2
    Cervantes says:

    Thanks, Kay.

    I liked this from Pierce:

    “Imagine,” he said, “a country where we don’t lead with the example of our power but, instead, we lead by the power of our example.” There aren’t four politicians in America who can pull off that line and not sound like the precinct captain in Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. But Biden is so transparently sincere in his bombast that people applauded him.

  3. 3
    Kay says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Absolutely. True on both counts.

    Netroots sets up the speaker line-up and they arranged the people who spoke before Barber. The focus was on immigration because they wanted the focus to be on immigration. I saw Schumer arrive at the hall yesterday afternoon and that’s why he came. He’s a terrible speaker and he’s a really odd fit to speak before Barber at an NEA sponsored event. He came to promote immigration reform.

    If Joe Biden was surprised or offended (I don’t think he was) he needs to turn in his politician card, because this was inevitable.

  4. 4

    Kay@top
    My two cents on your post from 2 days ago about JIT (just in time) scheduling for hourly employees.
    Bonus: Comments from BJ commenters and a kitteh!

  5. 5
    Kay says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Thanks, I’ll read it. I just went to the SEIU lunch on the Seattle 15 dollar an hour wage and how they did it. That’s an amazing story.

  6. 6
    the Conster says:

    Water is the new oil. You can live without oil.

  7. 7
    Cervantes says:

    @Kay: He was not offended — but I think he made a mistake in allowing the activists to be removed and thereby silenced.

    Al Gore made a similar mistake with Ralph Nader and the debates in 2000.

  8. 8
    Kay says:

    @the Conster:

    Mayor Mike Duggan, during a news conference last week, said the issue of delinquent bills was “badly handled.”
    “People need to pay their bills, but it could have been handled in a far more sensitive way,” Duggan said, adding there should have been more rigorous notices before water was turned off.

    It’ll get fixed. Duggan ran on ordinary city services. Get the lights on, provide residents with the services they need as Job One before any big, lofty policy goals. He can’t be happy about how this is playing out. His entire sales pitch was “you need a city that runs”.

  9. 9
    Kay says:

    @Cervantes:

    I don’t know. A big part of those types of actions is drama. I don’t mean that in a bad way. Activists push. That’s what they do. If they want to create energy and urgency around an issue they almost require push-back.

  10. 10
    StringOnAStick says:

    I just saw my first 2016 campaign bumper sticker, and it said “Carson’16”. I had to think a bit about who Carson is, especially since it was on a beat-up work 1-person business pick-up with a stereotypical redneck older white guy at the wheel. Apparently if a black winger pol says crazy enough stuff, even a redneck white boy will support him.

    I just shake my head when I see citizens like this, aggressively supporting the very party and policies that have been making people like him poorer since the 1980’s. There’s just no getting through to these guys; maybe a few of them finally wake up and smell the coffee but most don’t. I got some insight into this by reading Bob Altemeyer’s “The Authoritarians”, and if you haven’t read it yet, I can’t say how important it is to do so, especially in a mid-term election year. Bottom line: the totally committed conservative isn’t reachable, not by facts, not by trying to talk them through their highly compartmentalized thinking. Where we do have leverage is with the people outside that group, including occasional voters, and the best way to do so is face to face interactions. There’s just no point to going face to face with a winger, neocon, or teabagger; it wastes time you could be spending on someone who is persuadable.

  11. 11
    The Dangerman says:

    I could go for Warren for top of the ticket and Hillary as VP (although we might have the same problem as with Palin, Warren would have to have her food tested).

    @StringOnAStick:

    just saw my first 2016 campaign bumper sticker, and it said “Carson’16″.

    It just this side of doesn’t matter who the Republicans run; they have no chance. They can muck up Congress for a while longer, but their WH chances, for a while, are done.

  12. 12
    Trentrunner says:

    1. Why isn’t Hillary there?

    2. What was Hillary’s word salad about the American “example” on Jon Stewart all about? Both Digby and Beinart were nonplussed.

    3. What movie should I watch today? I saw Under The Skin earlier this week and it creeped me the f*ck out, in a good way.

  13. 13
    Cervantes says:

    @Kay: Sure, I’m all for activists being pushy. As Shaw said, overly polite people, being too willing to accommodate, do not change the world.

    Regardless I am often repulsed by the sight of power being used to silence people — relatively powerless people — who are trying to speak.

    (Granted, I am painting here in black and white. Your view is more nuanced.)

  14. 14
    Belafon says:

    @Cervantes: The question also becomes, though, if you go to see a speech by Biden, and other people keep him from speaking, who is being silenced?

  15. 15
    Keith G says:

    @Belafon: Exactly, if I drive 1200 miles to experience a speech from a particular speaker, I want to hear it.

    On the other hand I don’t see why politicians do not engage the protesters. Give them a few minutes to make their case up top and then invite them to stay and listen to the response in the body of the speech – and it they continue to disrupt, they are just boors who need to be shown out.

  16. 16
    catclub says:

    @Cervantes: I so much want to vote for Joe Biden in 2016.

    Maybe if Obama is impeached and he takes the top job, it will help his chances. ;)

  17. 17
    Belafon says:

    @Keith G: This was from a diary at DK yesterday from Biden’s speech:

    In the middle of the speech Vice President Biden was heckled. It first started softly and progressively got louder. A group of attendees stood up in the front side of the room and started yelling “stop deporting our families.” The vice president did not get frazzled or perturbed.

    “I respect your views and I share your views,” he said. “But let me take these issues one at a time.” The hecklers continued for about a minute thereafter. They were then escorted out of the room peacefully.

    “You should clap for those young people,” Vice President Biden said. “Can you imagine the pain, the anxiety, coming home every day wondering whether or not your mother and father will still be there? Can you imagine what it must feel like?”

  18. 18
    catclub says:

    @Trentrunner:

    Why isn’t Hillary there?

    Maybe because she is effectively retired. Odd thought, I know, but possible for a 67 year old.

  19. 19
    Cervantes says:

    @Belafon: Biden is the Vice President of the United States of America. And you are comparing his opportunity to be heard with … whose again?

  20. 20
    Corner Stone says:

    @catclub: Impeach!
    You know, Smilin’ Joe probably has a few chits to call in after his long service in the Senate.
    President BFD, all up in this damn hizzy!

  21. 21
    catclub says:

    @Trentrunner:

    What movie should I watch today?

    The Tall Guy

    Ikiru

    The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

  22. 22
    Cervantes says:

    @Keith G:

    On the other hand I don’t see why politicians do not engage the protesters. Give them a few minutes to make their case up top and then invite them to stay and listen to the response in the body of the speech.

    Exactly.

  23. 23
    Keith G says:

    @Belafon: Well then, no one was silenced (in practical term).

    Re an earlier comment:

    Regardless I am often repulsed by the sight of power being used to silence people

    Passing up a chance to contribute in order to use theatrics to grab a shot on the news is not being silenced. Choices have consequences.

    Updated to change a ‘w’ to a ‘t’.

  24. 24
    Roger Moore says:

    @Keith G:

    On the other hand I don’t see why politicians do not engage the protesters.

    I think there are two big reasons. One is that the protestors aren’t there to engage; they’re there as a publicity stunt to attract attention to their issue. The goal is to take advantage of the audience- especially the media audience- that has been brought there by the speaker. That feeds into the second problem, which is that giving them attention by engaging would encourage more disruptions. There’s no limit on the number of groups who can potentially step in to disrupt the speech, especially if it becomes clear that disruptions will be rewarded with engagement.

  25. 25
    Laertes says:

    I feel exactly the same way about Warren that I did about Obama eight years ago: Sure, that’d be awesome. But (s)he’s just too decent and smart and righteous and we can’t possibly get that lucky. Elections are always won by soulless smooth-talking jackals with executive hair and world-class smarm.

    I was wrong then, and it’d sure be nice to be just as wrong again.

  26. 26
    Corner Stone says:

    @Keith G: I always wonder about people’s determined urge to play nice when dealing with the most powerful people on the planet.

  27. 27
    catclub says:

    @Corner Stone: Tactical impeachment. Just think if GWBush had been impeached and the nation was charmed by Cheney invading Iran!?

  28. 28
    Cervantes says:

    @Trentrunner: Wallace and Gromit: A Grand Day Out.

  29. 29
    Cervantes says:

    @Corner Stone: I used to wonder about that. I don’t any more.

    (Yes, I am old.)

  30. 30
    Corner Stone says:

    @catclub: “My friends. It is a sad day indeed that I am called upon today to deliver the last required vote to conclude the conviction and impeachment of Barack “The Islamic Shock” Obama. I have done my duty, and kept a close eye on the usurper for several years now. Always waiting for that day when he reached for the nuclear football and/or the white women. I am saddened by his ultimate betrayal to myself and this fine, fine nation.
    But now it’s time to party! Let’s do this!”

  31. 31
    Keith G says:

    @catclub: I think we would all be in a better place if Biden were sworn in as President in Jan 2017. Being a good winner of the election and being a good president can be two entirely different ability sets.

    Neither TR, Truman, or LBJ ever make to the presidency without a dead president.

    (Is using neither correct with more than two options?)

  32. 32
    Corner Stone says:

    @Keith G: I would’ve went with “nor” before LBJ there.

  33. 33
    Violet says:

    @catclub:

    I so much want to vote for Joe Biden in 2016.

    Me too! Can you imagine the great stuff from The Onion if Uncle Joe was running?

  34. 34
    Keith G says:

    @Roger Moore:
    @Corner Stone:
    Points granted(both of yiz)

    Still, there seems to be little cost and maybe some profit in the extension of such consideration. Politics has gotten too streamlined and the highest officeholders are too removed from confrontation with the raw public for any of our own good. Case in point, Obama has a lunch op with a working mom and many hearts go pitter-pat, and rightfully so.* There are good thing to be had from such activities.

    *de rigueur

    After edit

    @Corner Stone: Right you are!

    Cassidy is so wrong about you!

  35. 35
    Corner Stone says:

    I love how MSNBC is using a stream of non-stop experts from the Wilson Center to discuss Gaza.

  36. 36
    catclub says:

    @Laertes:

    Elections are always won by soulless smooth-talking jackals with executive hair and world-class smarm.

    Hence President Romney.

    California’s Jerry Brown may also like a word.

  37. 37
    Loneoak says:

    Any links to video of Warren’s speech? I can only find crappy YouTubes.

  38. 38

    @Corner Stone: Its not just MSNBC, also PBS Snooze Hour, they don’t have reporters on ground so they have all the professors from NYC and DC instead. I prefer watching the BBC, they have reporters everywhere from Gaza to Donetsk. Snooze Hour sadly seems to have only one foreign correspondent, Margaret Warner

  39. 39
    Corner Stone says:

    @Keith G: Ha. No interest in touching that at the moment, even with your mahogany rolling pin.

  40. 40
    Corner Stone says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Specifically, I am no fan of CEO Jane Harman’s Wilson Center
    I don’t mind pooled reporting so much, much like I don’t mind pooled tips.

  41. 41
    Keith G says:

    @Loneoak: I am not being disparaging, but from the clips I have seen, it is THE Elizabeth Warren stump speech (v. 2014). So there are a bunch of videos out there. I am wondering if she took questions.

    For that type of event, look up her appearance at Slate’s Politics and Prose event. It had a “question time” and was very informative. It can be found on iTunes or at the Slate podcast site.

    Edit:

    @Corner Stone:

    I don’t mind pooled tips.

    Commie!

  42. 42
    Mike E says:

    @Cervantes: Just watched “Were-rabbit”…hysterical.

  43. 43
    gogol's wife says:

    @Laertes:

    You have read my mind.

  44. 44
    D58826 says:

    Just a bit over 24 hours and the usual disgusting right wing are blaming the MH17 shoot down on Obama. Allen West went so far as to saw the blood on Putin’s hands was supplied by Obama. I know I should not be surprised but the level of Obama hatred and anger is just amazing. This summer is the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of WWI and I’m just wondering how that will be retro-actively blamed on Obama.

  45. 45
    fidelio says:

    Thanks for mentioning the water issue, Kay.

    Access to clean water and to effective sewers and sewage treatment is such an important factor in public health that having these mass shutoffs take place at all is a comment on the appalling indifference of the administrator to public welfare and safety. Having them happen during the summer months just adds to the awfulness.

    I am also willing to bet that Detroit, like a lot of other cities, has been using water bills to hide the cost of various civic projects–you can increase the sewerage fees much more easily than you can increase property taxes or sales taxes, or find new taxes to institute. There’s usually no need to get approval from the voters–just have the city council vote on it and there you are. Here in Nashville increases in sewerage fees have been used to help pay for the NFL stadium as well as plenty of other civic expenses that had little or nothing to do with the operation and maintenance of the sewer system.

  46. 46
    Dennis says:

    A public utility can’t continue to provide water unless people pay for it. The free-rider problem will only expand if Detroit just lets unpaid bills go.

    On the other hand, the city will (ironically) go down the toilet faster if basic services are denied. It is a very difficult problem.

    I’d like to hear what those who say “it is a basic human right” propose as an alternative solution.

  47. 47
    catclub says:

    @Corner Stone: Unbiased experts from the Saban Center at Brookings were unavailable?

  48. 48
    Corner Stone says:

    @catclub: It’s possible they weren’t quite hawkish *enough*.
    But I somehow doubt that.

  49. 49
    Corner Stone says:

    @Keith G: Yeah, I was thinking about that and realized I did a very poor job of communicating. I used pooled tips when one aspect should more correctly been called “tipping out”.
    I conflated or just outright abused the two ideas into one category, and that was a most very poor job on my part.
    Just shoddy work. I can haz promotion now?

  50. 50
    CaseyL says:

    I watched a PBS special about the Dust Bowl era. Huge duststorms – 200 miles wide, 2 miles high, lasting for days on end – hit the MidWest from 1931 to 1935, at least.

    Absolutely heart-rending images and stories; and I had to wonder how soon before something that catastrophic happens again.

    Detroit turning off the water strikes me as a kind of dress rehearsal for when the water wars are real. It won’t just an issue of who has and hasn’t paid the bills, but an issue of there simply not being enough water, period.

    Already seeing some of it in California and Texas.

    You want ugly? That’s gonna be ugly.

  51. 51
    Corner Stone says:

    I, for one, would take Alex Smith in a heartbeat for $10M or $13M a year.
    I’d put him in the top 10 NFL QB’s and maybe in the top 8.\
    Alex Smith willing to wait for deal

  52. 52
    Mnemosyne says:

    Does anyone know why water is so freakin’ expensive in Detroit? According to this article, it costs more than twice the national average.

    And why do I have a sneaky feeling that the upscale suburbs that use the same water system aren’t paying the same high prices as people living within the city limits?

  53. 53
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Dennis:

    What’s your plan for when the cholera or dysentery epidemics hit Detroit? Better to pay a little extra money now to avoid that than to pay a huge amount of extra money in a few months when you have a massive public health crisis.

  54. 54
    Dennis says:

    @Mnemosyne: Who to pay a little extra money?

    That’s the question–how do you get the cost of delivering water paid for? We are in total agreement that it needs to be paid for.

  55. 55
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Historically cities had a two-tier system with water to a courtyard or street spigot for free (free to the consumer, it’s rolled up into the municipal budget) and water inside the residence as a value-added extra service for the prosperous.

    The individual water meter is a relatively recent invention, and there are parts of England where they’re just now being installed as part of ongoing privatizations…

  56. 56
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Dennis:

    Who to pay a little extra money?

    Not knowing the whole story, my instinct would be to have the surrounding suburbs pony up a little more since they can afford it and everyone is using the same water. Though if you didn’t read the article I linked to, it’s very interesting — basically, this seems to be a crackdown due to the ongoing bankruptcy of the city and the main purpose seems to be to show that they’re Doing Something rather than actually taking sustainable action that would allow people who get behind in their bills to get caught up.

  57. 57
    Keith G says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Does anyone know why water is so freakin’ expensive in Detroit? According to this article, it costs more than twice the national average.

    I scanned the link twice. It sure was not informative, so to quess at your question:

    1. The high cost of maintaining an infrastructure that was put in place 100 years ago.
    2. Those high capital costs (which are somewhat constant) divided over a smaller population.
    3. The need to not just repair, but to update old systems to meet new environmental regs. – again spread over a small pop.
    4. The fact that user fees are the new way to gain civic income instead of higher personal or business income taxes. Thus, there might be other non water-related charges tacked on to the water fee.

    Remember that due to Detroit’s historic bankruptcy, they have been “ruled” by an emergency manager and not Detroit’s mayor and City Council – who I think only have rubber stamp approval on fiscal issues.

  58. 58
    Keith G says:

    @Keith G: As I remember discussions about Detroit’s civic infrastructure, I recall a conversation about how there are many contiguous city blocks with no legal habituation or functioning businesses. There might be water trunk lines that stretch for miles having less than 10% of the paying customers that it was designed for, but it can’t be shut down.

    I have read about a move to condense the city and it’s services. To, in essence, cutoff and abandoned neighborhoods whose services are radically cost-ineffective to provide. Those discussions usually don’t end well, I bet.

  59. 59
    Trollhattan says:

    @CaseyL:
    The Dust Bowl series was riveting–don’t know why it didn’t generate more interest.

    For more on droughts of the moment, sobering reading from the weekly USDA Drought Monitor Report.

    http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/f.....140717.pdf

    If we don’t have at least an average winter, the wheels fall off.

  60. 60
    Culture of Truth says:

    This is all great, but with net activism more than 10 years old, I would hope there is more than simply “making demands.” Demands are so 2003.

  61. 61
    Culture of Truth says:

    What was Hillary’s word salad about the American “example” on Jon Stewart all about? Both Digby and Beinart were nonplussed.

    I thought it was obvious. She was trying to re-channel Ronald Reagan. I don’t say that to be mean or nasty or snarky. I’ll vote for her. It just seemed clear.

  62. 62
    Cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Does anyone know why water is so freakin’ expensive in Detroit? According to this article, it costs more than twice the national average.

    Good instinct. I suspect the two-to-one ratio is spurious, based on a useless mixture of new and old data. I’m out for the week-end; just ask me again on Monday if you want a more detailed explanation. For now beware the author(s) of the Atlantic article.

  63. 63
    Cervantes says:

    @CaseyL:
    @Trollhattan:

    The [PBS] Dust Bowl series was riveting

    Yes. I recommend it highly.

  64. 64
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cervantes:

    They did say that the average bill was $75 for a family of four, though the link provided was pretty useless. I live in an apartment where our water is paid, so I have no idea if that’s high, low, or in-between.

  65. 65
    rikyrah says:

    They know they have to respond to this. The truth is Democrats ran on immigration reform in 2008 and again in 2012 and Latinos are a vitally important group of voters for them. Am I surprised activists are making demands? Not at all.

    A Democratic Party Controlled Senate passed Immigration Reform.

    A Democratic President said he would sign Immigration Reform.

    The REPUBLICAN CONTROLLED HOUSE WILL NOT ALLOW IT TO COME TO A HEAD.

    So, why the fuck are Immigration Activists ‘demanding’ anything from Democrats, when the problem is THE GOP?

  66. 66
    Roger Moore says:

    @rikyrah:

    So, why the fuck are Immigration Activists ‘demanding’ anything from Democrats, when the problem is THE GOP?

    Because they have some leverage with the Democrats and none with the Republicans. It’s like looking for your lost keys under the lamppost because that’s where there’s enough light to see them.

  67. 67

    The latest immigration bills from the GOP:
    In the Senate: repeal DACA to get the emergency funds for the current crisis sponsored by Ted Cruz
    In the Congress: Repeal the 2008 act and deport the child migrants ASAP.

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