The Green New Deal

The Green New Deal is being rolled out today:

Whether it’s a deadly cold snap or a hole under an Antarctic glacier or a terrifying new report, there seem to be constant reminders now of the dangers that climate change poses to humanity.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., think they have a start to a solution. Thursday they are introducing a framework defining what they call a “Green New Deal” — what they foresee as a massive policy package that would remake the U.S. economy and, they hope, eliminate all U.S. carbon emissions.

That’s a really big — potentially impossibly big — undertaking.

“Even the solutions that we have considered big and bold are nowhere near the scale of the actual problem that climate change presents to us,” Ocasio-Cortez told NPR’s Steve Inskeep in an interview that aired Thursday on Morning Edition.

You can read the entire .pdf here. I’ve read it and found absolutely nothing objectionable and most of it makes a great deal of sense, so I suppose given our current political climate the Green New Deal, like the People’s Budget, will gain no traction among VSP and go nowhere.

Regardless, as far as goals go, it’s pretty solid and if we achieve any of it, it would be a win.






101 replies
  1. 1
    David Evans says:

    It all looks good. I wish it had not included “to transition away from nuclear energy”. Nuclear has its problems but even including the few disasters it is much safer than coal, and I’m not sure we can cut CO2 fast enough without it.

  2. 2
    Brachiator says:

    Wait a minute. AOC is a freshman Congress person. She’s not supposed to be coming up with bold initiatives.

    Looking forward to reading it later on today.

    Every now and then, I see (and refuse to take seriously) carping from “hard-headed” conservatives that AOC is young, naive, idealistic, etc. And then I consider the low attention span idiot currently sitting in the White House, whose brain dead policies are defended by people who really should know better. Makes AOC a superstar by comparison.

  3. 3
    VeniceRiley says:

    Right? Adding nuclear just muddies the carbon cutting message. But this is our most important job; and will be for the next several decades at least.

  4. 4
    Mike in NC says:

    Green New Deal? Cue Fat Bastard tweeting nonsense about “byoootiful clean coal”.

  5. 5
    Fair Economist says:

    It looks like AOC adjusted her proposal to get more public and Congressional support, and I think that’s a very good sign. She is aiming to get things passed, not cause trouble for potential allies like Wilmer does.

  6. 6
    The Moar You Know says:

    This is how you move that goddamn Overton window. Make unrealistic proposals, pass realistic laws.

  7. 7
    NotMax says:

    A wall around Antarctica will keep all that ice in. Same with Greenland. //

  8. 8
    opiejeanne says:

    @Fair Economist: Good for her.
    I’ve been enjoying watching her deal with the ninnies and trolls on the Right.

  9. 9

    @David Evans:
    I don’t think we should ditch existing nuclear power plants just to be rid of them, but I don’t think there’s sense in building more nuclear plants. Given how slow they are to build, we probably can’t get a meaningful number on line in the time frame required to do much about global warming. It makes more sense to go straight to renewable power.

  10. 10
    bobbo says:

    I love how the idea is supposed to pose some never-specified problems for Democrats in swing districts. This stuff is all extremely popular, among everyone except elected Republicans.

  11. 11
    Martin says:

    @David Evans: Sure we can. To start with, it takes a decade to get a nuclear plant online. You want to wait that long to solve this? In 3 years you could put residential solar on every house in California. In 5 you could include a whole house battery as well.

    Pelosi’s shade isn’t that she thinks this is a bad idea, its that Pelosi never had time for symbolic votes. Pelosi got the ACA passed. She expects something more than a Medicare for All idea. She know how hard the details are and she wants people to put their effort into that end of it.

  12. 12
    Jeffro says:

    Agree with all of the above – I’m glad they put out the plan, woo hoo.

    Next up: can an “acting” (unqualified) (unconfirmed) (henchman) Attorney General defy a subpoena to testify before Congress before it’s even served (and might never be)? Don’t all innocent people act like this? Inquiring minds want to know!

  13. 13
    Martin says:

    @The Moar You Know: Generally I agree. I’m glad AOC is out there doing this. Let’s see if the followup is there. It’s going to be hard.

  14. 14

    I’m glad to see policy addressing a real need being discussed. It’s been a long time since we did that. Many thanks to Ocasio-Cortez.

  15. 15
    Martin says:

    @Jeffro: It’s a bit telling that the acting AG seems completely miss the purpose of a subpoena.

  16. 16
    rikyrah says:

    We can’t get basic infrastructure in this country because the GOP doesn’t want New Deal- Infrastructure done ever again, because can’t have folks seeing something that Government can actually do.
    Then, you have the idiot in the White House, purposefully sabotaging the alternative energy industries that were bringing in all sorts of good paying ON THIS SOIL JOBS.

    Never ever forget that the first thing that the GOP Governor of Minnesota, Kasich and Walker’s phucking azzes did, was kill the high speed rail projects. I was supposed to be able to go from Chicago to Minneapolis already, and from Chicago to Cleveland on high speed rail, but those phuckers killed it.

    We have all this regular infrastructure that is LITERALLY FALLING APART, and jobs that would go to American citizens…
    but, the GOP won’t do it…..

    VOTE THOSE PHUCKERS OUT!

  17. 17
    Doug R says:

    Hammer home the climate change. Point out it makes arctic outflows WORSE. Run on it.

  18. 18
    Fair Economist says:

    @The Moar You Know: It’s more a statement of goals than a specific set of proposals. One thing I expected but did not see is the (presumable) logic behind it – people will have to make sacrifices so they will need a guarantee they will be treated fairly. There also isn’t a clear statement that fixing these problems means hiring a lot of people, although maybe I missed it.

    I so wish this had been done for the financial crisis. I said back then we could hire huge numbers of people to fix environmental problems and fix two problems at once. Now we don’t have a problem with aggregate demand anymore although we could potentially get a lot of rural jobs from this

  19. 19
    Mary G says:

    Sound on; I just laughed my ass off at this

    Everything's terrible, so here's a cockatiel playing peekaboo 🐦📽️: squeakybeeper pic.twitter.com/OXRONxwlsf— Nature is Amazing ☘️ (@AMAZlNGNATURE) February 7, 2019

  20. 20
    Kay says:

    @daveweigel
    39m39 minutes ago
    More
    The split-screen between the Green New Deal launch and the Schultz speech really emphasizes how *much* policy debate is going on in the Democratic primary. Some of it incredibly risky.
    Not much going on in centrism-ville.

    And none at all in Republican-ville. It’s a good time to move the Overton Window. She’s got the place to herself :)

  21. 21
    gratuitous says:

    Let’s lift a page from the Republican playbook. Every goddam year, in Congress and state legislatures across the country, new and exciting restrictions on abortion. And, like clockwork, most of their stupid, unpopular and lethal proposals get struck down as unconstitutional. But some of them slip through. And the next year, they’re back with more.

    Be cynical if you want, I certainly am. These bills are introduced to get campaign money from their dumbass supporters who want to “save the babies” as if the smiling white tot on their billboards is being murdered every day. It’s a terrific scam, but they never tire of it. And decent people have to waste a LOT of time and resources battling back against their bullshit.

    Maybe the Green New Deal doesn’t end all pollution forever by the end of April. But we better start somewhere, and keep at it.

  22. 22
    jacy says:

    @bobbo:

    Exactly. The best thing that Democrats can do is to stop apologizing for having ideas that the vast majority of Americans agree with. The media, that’s another matter, but they’ll follow along eventually.

  23. 23
    MaxUtil says:

    They were discussing this on NPR this morning. Their key take away was tut-tutting AOC saying that, “she hasn’t proposed any way to pay for this except new taxes and deficit-spending which the Democrats are always criticizing Republicans for.” Sigh

  24. 24
  25. 25
    Kay says:

    Peter Baker
    ‏Verified account
    @peterbakernyt
    Follow Follow @peterbakernyt
    More
    Warren’s claims to Native American heritage now threaten to overshadow the image she has fostered of a truth-telling consumer advocate who would campaign for the White House as a champion of the working class.

    It’s a but her emails narrative.

    It’s a shame because Warren is really substantive and specific- she has real economic reform proposals. Not that anyone will find out unless she figures out a way around them creating dark shadows of images and such :)

  26. 26
    NotMax says:

    @Martin

    it takes a decade to get a nuclear plant online

    Or much more (emphasis added).

    The Watts Bar Nuclear Plant is a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) nuclear reactor pair used for electric power generation. It is located on a 1,770-acre (7.2 km²) site in Rhea County, Tennessee, near Spring City, between the cities of Chattanooga and Knoxville. Watts Bar supplies enough electricity for about 1,200,000 households in the Tennessee Valley.

    The plant, construction of which began in 1973, has two Westinghouse pressurized water reactor units: Unit 1, completed in 1996, and Unit 2, completed in 2015. Unit 1 has a winter net dependable generating capacity of 1,167 megawatts. Unit 2 has a capacity of 1,165 megawatts. Both units are the newest operating civilian reactors to come online in the United States, and Unit 2 is the first and only new reactor to enter service in the 21st century. Source

    A phase down rather than a phase out of nuclear plants is a fine option, so long as a phase out is not off the table for much later in the century.

  27. 27
    raven says:

    Robinson exploded on the scene in 1956 and for the next six decades established a legacy that’s second to none. That includes becoming MLB’s first black manager in 1974.

    On the field, Robinson was a history maker as well. After signing with the Cincinnati Reds in 1953, he faced a tough road filled with racist taunts and death threats. It’s a road Robinson not only overcame, but conquered en route to producing one of the greatest careers in MLB history.

    Robinson is still the only player to win MVP in both leagues, earning National League honors with the Reds in 1961 and the American League award with the Baltimore Orioles in 1966. At age 20, he was voted NL Rookie of the Year after hitting a then rookie-record 38 home runs. He went on to make 14 All-Star game appearances, and currently ranks tenth on the all-time home run list with 586.

  28. 28
    dexwood says:

    @raven:
    I just read the Wapo story. Great ballplayer. I was lucky enough to see him play for the Orioles many times at Memorial Stadium.

  29. 29
    trollhattan says:

    @opiejeanne:
    I don’t want to heap too many unrealistic expectations on her but she’s done splendidly so far and I’ve gone from cautious skeptic to fan.

    Her campaign isn’t easily replicated but I hope it becomes a template for other ambitious, smart and thick-skinned young people to run elsewhere. Some will win and they help usher out the deadwood and stock the place with new blood not encumbered by moronic old ideas of how things need to work.

  30. 30
    PJ says:

    It’s a good start. The devil will be in the details. Probably little of this will become law as long as a Republican is President and Mitch McConnell rules the Senate (I was going to say, “until Jan. 2021”, but I am an irrational optimist), but in the next 18 months the details can be worked out so that candidates can run on it in 2020.

  31. 31
    Jeffro says:

    @Martin: “I refuse to testify but I’m perfectly willing to if you don’t make me, but if you make me, or prepare to make me, then I won’t do the very thing I was prepared to do”. Classic trumpian-style logic, which is to say, no logic at all.

  32. 32
    Jeffro says:

    @jacy:

    stop apologizing for having ideas that the vast majority of Americans agree with.

    Tweaked slightly, that is a GREAT line for Dem nominees X, Y, and Z to hammer home in front of primary crowds and the general election ones too: “I’m not going to apologize for promoting ideas that the vast majority of Americans agree with!”

  33. 33
    raven says:

    @dexwood: And he faced all the bullshit head on.

  34. 34
    Martin says:

    @NotMax: Yep. I think what California basically figured out decades ago is that ultimately this problem needs to be solved in a decentralized way. It’s about incentivizing individual conservation, local power generation, and so on. That not only allows the problem to be solved faster, but distributing the costs is better, and the result is generally more efficient and resilient. The 9 billion that South Carolina wasted on their failed nuclear power plant could have put rooftop solar on every single family home in the state, and they could have done that in 25% of the time than it would have taken to build the plant. But they were more interested in propping up the utilities than solving the problem.

  35. 35
    NotMax says:

    @Jeffro

    They have two factory settings: projection and extortion.

  36. 36
    raven says:

    @dexwood: And he faced all the bullshit head on.

  37. 37
    jl says:

    @Kay: I think its trivial garbage that will peter out, very few voters will a shit about that, if Warren can present good proposals that will reverse the economic and social rot in our economy, and back them firmly and consistently. And IMHO, it is all GOP pushed BS anyway. Who cares what she put on her bar exam, or bar application? It gave her exactly zero personal benefit, and went into some summary statistics bin for monitoring demographics of who was applying.

    I think it has potential to be an HRC emails thing if Warren takes it too seriously. She should make an honest explanation (if that is even needed) and an honest apology (if that is even needed). Then tell media POS’s to go to hell about it, in a polite and appropriate way.

    I don’t understand why the oppo researchers are bringing this out now, when it will be old news in a few months. Maybe they are so scared of Warren that they are firing their rounds early. If this is all they got, they got nothing. And if Warren can’t blow it off, she is not good enough politician to run in the general, which I hope is not the case.

    I worked for some bigtime financial and forensic economics consulting firms for a while, and the boss of one of the honest ones often gave his staff good advice like: ‘Remember that we swim in a sea of bad faith in this business”, and “We are surrounded by ‘operators’, and in the worst sense of that word”. And some others that I forget now. But we should keep the gestalt of that advice in mind.

    Edit: if voters cared about the optics and CW political posturing kabuki they maybe did in the 1990s and the ‘oughts’, candidates like BS and Trump, who are horrible by CW horse race standards of the corporate media never would have gotten above 2 percent in the polls.

  38. 38
    NotMax says:

    @jl

    Notable how the same people who harp on and on and on about honoring ‘heritage’ are the loudest voices raised against her.

  39. 39
    The Moar You Know says:

    They were discussing this on NPR this morning. Their key take away was tut-tutting AOC saying that, “she hasn’t proposed any way to pay for this except new taxes and deficit-spending which the Democrats are always criticizing Republicans for.” Sigh

    @MaxUtil: Why are you, or anyone, still listening to NPR? They’ve been the go-to outlet for the country-club Republican crowd for well over a decade now.

    Me, I like my drugs pure and uncut. If I’m going to listen to Republican bullshit, I get it from my dealer at Fox. They’ve got the good shit.

  40. 40
    trollhattan says:

    @gratuitous:
    Republicans have ALEC–American Legislative Exchange Council

    Democrats need DALEK–Democratic American Legislative Excellence through Knowledge [Tried to work in Kale but it wasn’t falling together.]

    Collect a bazillion Sorosbucks and start drafting pro forma legislation to bombard state and local gummints with.

  41. 41
    dexwood says:

    @raven:
    That he did. Tough, strong man in many ways. I loved seeing him and Brooks Robinson make that ballpark come alive.

  42. 42
    trollhattan says:

    @Jeffro:
    Wasn’t it the case that while “everybody” hated “Obamacare” the ACA, and the ACA provisions polled individually, have always had >50% support?

  43. 43
    NotMax says:

    @trollhattan

    Democrats need DALEK

    Once you’ve lost Cronkite the Dr. Who crowd…

    ;)

  44. 44
    Kay says:

    @jl:

    I like her whole agenda so I’m pulling for her in a primary. I want them all to have a chance to offer things, if only because it’s such a contrast with incumbent Republicans in either the Trump Administration or Congress.

    But I don’t pretend to know how to handle it. I think it’s difficult.

    I confess to being bitter about Clinton and I do wonder how all the liberals who wouldn’t defend Clinton from a bad faith focus on the emails will now feel when it’s happening to someone they like. Clinton had policy proposals too, including a wealth tax, and no one knew. This is how that happens.

  45. 45
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    It’s a but her emails narrative.

    She really handled it wrong. She could have gone all in.
    Pointing out the disparities of the Native populations..
    The voter suppression of Native populations..
    The attacks on Native women (by White men, which is part of the reason why the GOP blocked legislation enabling prosecution of those attackers)

    She could have turned it all the way up.

    As a Black person, I will say once again..

    We have 23 and me ads on everyday all day, about finding your ancestry…
    and Warren does one…and suddenly it’s the only thing about her?

    PHUCK OUTTA HERE.

  46. 46
    jonas says:

    @David Evans: Nuclear can be made very safe and while it is C02 free, it does produce hazardous waste and disposing of it is a complex technical, environmental, and political problem. Also, making nuclear safe and efficient comes at a price. Nuclear is very, very expensive relative to (esp.) natural gas now and the question of who should pay to subsidize it is a tough one: rate payers or tax payers?

  47. 47
    rikyrah says:

    @raven:

    RIP, Mr. Robinson.

    ::::: respect:::::

  48. 48
    raven says:

    @dexwood: That must have been awesome !

  49. 49
    jl says:

    I support any kind of well-planned large ‘green new deal’, so hurrah for AOC and Markey.

    I did not think much of the linked article. The fact that we are in crunch time to avoid catastrophic effects of global warming merits only a few lines of almost contentless boilerplate. Odd details, like anything about the economics and efficiency of some of the core green deal programs, like is wind and solar economically a feasible and efficient solution to man made climate change problems (they very definitely ARE, and in many place would be wiping fossil fuels out if not for massive economically unjustified subsidies) isn’t mentioned.

    My rough estimate is half the article was boilerplate corporate media BS political analysis (really, tipsy beer talk) that could have been cut and pasted from a dozen other articles on programs that the Democrats are pushing.

    It is full of intentionally obtuse, tendentious, interested, and vauge BS like this:
    ” what they foresee as a massive policy package that would remake the U.S. economy and, they hope, eliminate all U.S. carbon emissions. That’s a really big – potentially impossibly big – undertaking.”

    It is a crappy article. And I think more than half of it is nearly contentless BS, written to placate NPR’s big corporate SPONSORS (excuse me, I meant ‘underwriters’) or keep the GOP off its back. Please refer to the sayings of my old consulting firm boss in a comment above.

  50. 50
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    So damn impressed with this young woman. Watched this short clip of her yesterday and almost shouted out loud.

    To be at 28 so God-damned fearless and whip-freaking smart and SO laser focused on what needs to change in this country to make things better–its awe inspiring. The only hope I have for our future lays in the younger generations, “millennials” on down and their allies in our “Elderly Cohort”.

    P.S. I’m even willing to forgive Markey for our horrible Daylight Savings Times extension if he gets some of this green legislation through.

  51. 51
    Marcopolo says:

    On my phone so will keep this brief. Reposting this from a couple threads down. Here’s the Vox.com Green New Deal write up/explainer/analysis they did after the GND document dropped this morning. I think it’s a pretty good read: https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2019/2/7/18211709/green-new-deal-resolution-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-markey

    I have become a huge fan of AOC & other freshmen D congresscritters. They are shaking shit up, overturning the established beltway conventions, and making clear we need a gov’t that listens to and meets the needs of the broad swath of average Americans who tend to get shut out of the political/policy discussions in DC.

    In terms of the longer term D congressmen I am also super excited about what Schiff is doing. We are finally seeing OVERSIGHT!

  52. 52
    Kay says:

    @rikyrah:

    I have a friend who had this whole family story about being Swiss and now come to find out they’re German. I told him “forget it, that’s it for us, now why do I like you? You’re garden variety German. Yawn” :)

    There might be a lot of these people. This is a good idea for Warren, rikrah. Apparently millions of people have no clue what they are. Maybe not. Then that’ll just be 5 days of news.

  53. 53
    jl says:

    @Kay: I think having the guts and fortitude to tell the corporate media, and the hacks, and the GOP operatives of various sorts that infest those places, to go to hell (in a polite and appropriate way) is the best approach. I think HRC’s big mistake was to not do that nearly enough. After supporting BS in the primaries I did some volunteer work for HRC campaign, and I saw how much they worried over it, and at least where we were, had absurd and overly involved little scripts on how to handle it.

    As I typed above, BS and Trump both had issues much worse (Trump, several orders of magnitude worse) than anything Warren is facing so far. BS addressed things briefly then hammered issue, and then of course Trump out in la la land…

    I think there is so little trust left in what I believe to be a thoroughly rottenly corrupt political and economic system, that most voters really only care about very clear and firm stands on very clear and firm issues. BS might have survived closer media scrutiny, Trump would have been blown out of the water. I wish HRC had pounded harder on the truth about Trump, and worried less about the emails, and more firmly blown it off as BS. In an environment with almost no trust in conventional politicians, firmness with which you do things is an important emotional signalling device that impresses voters.

    But, that is just my two cents.

  54. 54
    Joe Falco says:

    @rikyrah:
    It’s not just them, but Christie did the same thing as well with the Hudson River tunnel project way back in 2010. And then the fat jerkface told everyone he did it because his wife was opposed to it. Republicans are going to be the death of us all.

  55. 55
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    There might be a lot of these people. This is a good idea for Warren, rikrah. Apparently millions of people have no clue what they are. Maybe not. Then that’ll just be 5 days of news.

    Just read a story TODAY at Msn.com from the WSJ, about two sisters who did 23 and me, and it totally blew up their world:
    1. Found out Daddy had another child
    2. One of the sisters found out that Daddy wasn’t HER Daddy…

    So, yeah, people doing these tests all the time….
    And, finding out all sorts of stuff.

    and, the thing that kills me about Warren…is that she took the phucking test…AND THEY ACTUALLY FOUND NATIVE ANCESTRY…

    Not enough to claim membership..but, somewhere down that line, she has the ancestor.

  56. 56

    I object to making it a grab-bag (job guarantee? universal healthcare?) but otherwise I was pleasantly surprised. Glad to see a steady hand like Markey involved.

  57. 57
    jl says:

    @rikyrah: Thanks. You should run for something. I like your style.

  58. 58
    Ruckus says:

    @bobbo:
    Just look how much solar is happening in red States. All the whining comes from paid hacks, be they elected or paid “journalists.”

  59. 59
    Sebastian says:

    @Martin:

    It’s not a portapotty scam so it’s outside of his area of expertise.

  60. 60
    piratedan says:

    @rikyrah: not only that, its just who the fuck is setting the narrative?

    who keeps talking about her native identification issues…. the media… why don’t they want to talk about anything else that she’s proposed… because they can’t be bothered to so we’ll circle back to talk about the one thing that seems to generate controversy because we can’t let it drop even though all she’s done is the same damn thing that Millions of other Americans have done… and just like in the Clinton e-mails story, she was fucking vindicated by the results.

    It’s the same fucking thing over and over again, they set up the narrative and the framing upon which that narrative sits… bust that shit apart, grab the mike and talk to the people directly because surely the powers that be will fuck her over just as surely as they did Clinton.

    It’s the same men behind the curtain, speaking into the earpieces that are destroying her candidacy, those nameless producers and news directors that decide what we get to hear and how we get to hear it.

  61. 61
    jl says:

    @rikyrah: ” the thing that kills me about Warren…is that she took the phucking test…AND THEY ACTUALLY FOUND NATIVE ANCESTRY… ”

    But that is where goal posts were moved, and the ratchet efforts began to keep this weak sauce issue alive. As after the DNA test foo-faw, operatives and their dupes starting yammering that ‘well, actually, it wasn’t much more Native American Ancestry than the average person”. Well, since the ‘average person’ in the US would include the about 1.5% of official Native Americans and PI people, that means almost exactly nothing.

    They do that garbage, and a good politician needs to understand that dividing line between honestly addressing an issue adequately for the vast majority of voters, and telling certain types of people go eff right off about it (in a polite and appropriate way, of course). I heard on the news that Warren has been in talks with some Native American nations, and they are reaching various understandings about the issues, and that is a very wise move.

  62. 62

    @Ella in New Mexico: Boy, the people on that panel look like they’re having a great time, huh?
    It’s like 5 people doing a imitation of Nathan Thurm in unison.

  63. 63
    tobie says:

    @Fair Economist: I agree with your assessment. The GND is a non-binding resolution that names some worthy goals but offers no plans on how to achieve them. The heavy lifting is already being done in the Energy, Natural Resources, and Transportation commiittees. I’ll be curious to see what specific climate actions they propose. The GND is a symbolic vote. A charitable interpretation would be that it generates interest and raises consciousness. A less charitable interpretation would be that it promises the moon and will be appealing until a sticker price is attached to it. I’d prefer the realism upfront.

  64. 64
    Gretchen says:

    One part of it is to increase high speed rail to make air travel unnecessary. This caused a lot of hyperventilating about what if I have to travel cross country for work and these socialists won’t let me.
    Private planes are unnecessary, but rich people have them anyway.

  65. 65
    David Evans says:

    @NotMax: It can be done faster. Taking your starting date of 1973, France built 49 PWR reactors in the following decade. All of them are still operating. Of course France had a considerable incentive, lacking any internal sources of oil and gas.

  66. 66
    jl says:

    @piratedan: ‘can’t be bothered to’,
    Yeah, probably that, since they are ignorant and lazy. But also because they have big $ interests in not discussing a lot of issues.

  67. 67
    tobie says:

    @jl: ‘But her emails’ is starting so early in this cycle.

  68. 68
    jl says:

    @tobie: Got a hammer, everything is a nail. You only know how to do one thing, that is all you do.

  69. 69

    @Gretchen:

    what if I have to travel cross country for work and these socialists won’t let me.
    Private planes are unnecessary, but rich people have them anyway.

    There are plenty of other reasons you might have to be somewhere ASAP and can’t wait for a train. The US is a big country. fwiw

  70. 70
    Fair Economist says:

    @piratedan:

    who keeps talking about her native identification issues…. the media… why don’t they want to talk about anything else that she’s proposed… because they can’t be bothered to so

    In Warren’s case, it’s not primarily to keep her down personally as to keep her ideas from being discussed. Those ideas are very dangerous to those who seek to exploit and manipulate ordinary Americans.

  71. 71
    trollhattan says:

    @Ruckus:
    Imagine how much more solar we’d have right now if asshole hadn’t slapped the 30% tariff on panels the second he got into office.

    Even the reddest of necks love “stickin’ it to the utility” and they’re happy to have PV panels.

  72. 72
    Fair Economist says:

    @tobie: Statements of purpose and fundamental goals aren’t everything, but they do matter. They become yardsticks for measuring actual legislation and regulatory actions. An example would be the UN Declaration of Human Rights – comes with no enforcement, but it changes the discussions.

  73. 73
    Sebastian says:

    @Kay:

    There is absolutely no way to differentiate genetically between Germanic tribes in Germany and the same tribes in Switzerland. Switzerland has no specific genetic markup. You could maybe have differences between French and Italian populations versus German populations in Switzerland but that’s about it.

  74. 74
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Paying people “unwillling to work” is a nonstarter. And a gift to her opposition.

  75. 75
    Ruckus says:

    @Kay:
    I have family stories about half of my family. And I believe those stories are maybe 50% right at best. The other half I have almost nothing. What I know goes back two generations. That’s it. I’d bet far more people are like me than actually know their background.

  76. 76
    jl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Various places in the world have shown that rail is competitive out to 400 or 500 miles, that covers a lot of intercity travel in regions with several major metropolitan areas.

    There is growing evidence that a good network of rail transport in that range also revitalizes smaller cities and rural areas that have been left behind. High skilled workers start commuting out of major hub metros into surrounding areas for work and business projects. And, oddly, a lot of the research is based on Krugman’s ‘new economic geography’ approach to analysis, while Krugman seems to be in some sort of rut of despair that nothing can be done about it in the US other than sending them tax money to keep them on life support. I wonder of Krugman knows how his work is being used in that field. I should email the Kthug dude and send him some references.

    There is a lot of social engineering going by powerful forces that instill ways of thinking that reinforce, I think often subconsciously, the idea that this place has to be a miserable dump and we lesser people only face lots of lose-lose bogus ‘hard choices’. I see no reason to buy into that propaganda.

  77. 77

    @jl: I’m a big rail booster, but it hasn’t exactly replaced affordable (if subsidized) air travel anywhere, all I’m saying.

  78. 78
    tobie says:

    @Fair Economist: I take your point. One minor quibble: I think the UN really wishes the Declaration of Human Rights had some enforcement teeth. The only way they could get the declaration passed was by leaving out that mechanism. I guess Dem hands are tied until 2020. I’ve been a bit taken aback at the frenzied GOP smear campaigns of the past few days with able assists from our failed media.

  79. 79
    jl says:

    @Sebastian: Half of my people came from a time when there was a Switzerland, but nothing like the Germany of today. Germany was a bunch of tinpot dukedoms, duchys and principalities and what not. Some geneology nuts in my family had to do a lot of work to track down that the branch of the Swiss family who came to the US long ago were just on the other side of some obscure little border of some duchy and were really ‘Swiss’ from an area north of Zurich. I forget the name now.

    Means nothing in terms of genetics or, back then, even culture or language, since they all spoke obscure dialects. For the people back then, it mean a lot in terms of political rights and civic culture, but that issue was probably moot, and lost, after emigration to US.

    Edit: the people that came in the 1840s and 50s knew where they were from and we still have their stuff, so more info there.

  80. 80
    jl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: IMHO, hasn’t replaced a lot of it for political reasons, and what the public, through corrupt politicians, choose to subsidize w public $ and what not.

  81. 81
    Kay says:

    I think the confusion came in because their last name on one side means “Swiss person in Germany” – or so this story goes which has gotten almost as convoluted as the Warren story.

  82. 82

    @jl:

    and what the public, through corrupt politicians, choose to subsidize w public $ and what not.

    I’d bet if you polled continental Europeans they would prefer to keep airline subsidies where they are.

  83. 83
    Kay says:

    We have a tiny town here- sort of an awful place, honestly, it’s claim to fame is cheap rental housing. Anyway the local lore is it is “French” and they have these huge dumb battles over whether they’re French or German. They have whole discussions about how the original settlers were from a border region which is why they were brown-eyed, although possibly German. Then there’s a faction who say they were French SPEAKING which is what matters, and makes then French. It is true they were French speaking. That’s in the records of local government.

  84. 84
    tobie says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Most of my rail experience has been starting from Germany and in the past few years I’ve noticed that rail has gotten really cheap if you book early or buy a subscription pass. Wasn’t it Chris Christie who killed high speed rail on the Northeast corridor? Amtrak feels so 1970ish.

  85. 85
    Michael Cain says:

    While I was shoveling snow this morning, I could hear the horns of the test trains running on the commuter rail line in my suburb. Construction was finished and it was supposed to open two years ago. The reason it hasn’t opened is that some years back Congress mandated a specific positive train control technology for new train lines that doesn’t work. The trains have to blow their horns at crossings as long as these are test trains. If RTD stops testing without going into service, they will have to start over on the several-month test process. The city is preparing to sue everyone in sight in an attempt to get service actually started.

    I have a small statutory change I’d like to see made — shouldn’t take more than a few days, so could they please do that first? In the future, could they leave the engineering specifications to the engineers?

  86. 86
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    @John Revolta:

    Boy, the people on that panel look like they’re having a great time, huh?

    Right?
    Although I’m betting Walter Shaub was feeling grateful for the Karmic justice that gave him a place at the table.

  87. 87
    jl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I think you would lose your bet. European travel services are not as unequally (between modes) or hugely subsidized as you might imagine, and deregulation and entrance of low cost budget airlines for intra-Europe travel, have had a big impact. Lots of price competition between and within air, and between air and rail. Market forces play a big role, beyond what differences and changes in politically feasible levels of subsidies can make up for.

    Price, service frequency, total travel time (including that getting from home or business to station/airport are very important in that order. Also, bigger hassle in check-in and security for air travel is a big barrier. Also, growing complementarity of air and rail, so they are not just competitors.

    Believe it or not, European governments pay a lot attention to who is demanding what, and that goes along with custom widely adopted in Northern Europe at least, of trying to make as many decisions at the lowest level of government as possible, as long as big picture coordination is also in the mix. No politician who wants to get reelected likes a huge public money waste pit on wide public view in his or her domain. Unlike the US, most countries there still operate as quasi democracies, not corrupt oligarchies.

    But if you like to fly, I wouldn’t worry. Even if the US in places goes Europe on rail, you’ll always have air option.

  88. 88

    @jl: It sounds like you agree with me. The idea that rail would nuke flying is ridiculous, and Europeans are more or less satisfied with the current state of the airline industry.

  89. 89
    jl says:

    @jl: Believe it not, some air carriers in Europe like complementary rail service. Gives them more flexibility in concentrating on higher profit flights with better service. Fewer capacity hassles at the airports, which is a big deal, and extremely expensive and lengthy problem to fix. Some regional airlines in US have made similar noises, and I don’t know enough about the power and $ politics of it know why they have not had more influence on the debate.

    @Major Major Major Major: OK, great. I didn’t understand that we agreed on most of the issues. Thanks.

  90. 90
    tobie says:

    @Ella in New Mexico: that was a genuinely inspiring question session. Thanks for posting.

  91. 91

    @jl: No worries, I could’ve been more articulate!

  92. 92
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Kay: Peter Baker needs a tumbrel ride as much as Maggie Haberhack.

  93. 93
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Fair Economist: The .01% is horrified that Warren can communicate what the .01% is doing to fuck over everyone else in very simple terms that all but diehard MAGAts can grasp.

  94. 94
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @The Moar You Know: NPR needs to be nuked from space.

    Only way to be sure.

  95. 95
    jayjaybear says:

    @rikyrah: The only time the GOP cares about cultural insensitivity is when they can pin it on a Dem.

  96. 96
    jl says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: To repeat some typing I did recently, I prefer to get my Fox News, MSNBC, and NPR from Saturday Night Live. Better done, and I get more information. McKinnon and Moffat really do their homework.

  97. 97
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @raven: @dexwood: As did I, dex. Never forget his solo HR in Game 3 of the 1966 WS – the only run scored in that game. (Paul Blair’s solo HR was the only run scored in Game 4 – lowest scoring Series in history IIRC – all because the O’s tumbled to the fact that the almighty Dodgers could not hit a live fastball to save their lives.)

    Frank Robinson is also the only person in history to hit a fair ball completely out of Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium – a line shot barely fair that barely cleared the stands & landed on the parking lot 450-odd feet from home plate. A feat that will never ever be duplicated, since Memorial is long gone, replaced by the Central Y, a kids’ playground & senior assisted living.

    Brooks & Frank – we called the The Robinson Brothers – of course Brooksie was a lilywhite Arkansan, but brothers in the hearts of all O’s fans forever.

    (Damn. Now I’m tearing up. One of my closest cousins passed Tuesday, way too young, & now this.And Cheetoh Benito lives. You want proof there’s no such thing as a just Deity, voila.)

  98. 98
    Bess says:

    @jl: I think the more important point is being missed in the DNA stuff. The community in which Warren’s parents lived and the one in which she grew up believed that the family had Native American roots and discriminated against them to the extent that Warren’s parents had to elope to be married.

  99. 99
    Bess says:

    @Gretchen: High speed rail can replace moderate length air travel. Most people would not willingly take the time to do a coast to coast trip via HSR.

    Keep an eye on the Boring Company. He whose name is cursed on this site seems to be developing a way to travel coast to coast using renewable energy and quicker than flying. To say nothing of avoid the fun of turbulence.

  100. 100
    Bess says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    NPR needs to be nuked from space.

    Yes, let’s destroy all those people who are for equal rights for all but not as “progressive” as we are. Shrinking the tent is a great way to win.

  101. 101
    Bess says:

    The cost of renewable energy.

    We should remind ourselves that just a few years back we were getting a bit over 50% of our electricity from coal and spending close to a quarter trillion dollars each year to treat the health damage caused by coal.

    From 2007 to 2015, wind and solar in the US reduced SO2, NOx, and PM2.5 by 1.0, 0.6, and 0.05 million tons respectively;
    reduction of those local air pollutants helped avoid 7,000 premature deaths (the central estimate in a range from 3,000 to 12,700);
    those avoided deaths, along with other public health impacts, are worth a cumulative $56 billion (the central estimate in a range from $30 to $113 billion);
    wind and solar also reduced CO2 emissions, to the tune of $32 billion in avoided climate costs (the central estimate in a range from $5 to $107 billion).
    So, if you add up those central estimates, wind and solar saved Americans around $88 billion in health and environmental costs over eight years. Not bad.

    The look at places where significant amounts of wind and solar generation have been added to the grid. Texas and Germany have seen the cost of electricity drop as renewable energy has been added to their grids.

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