Imagine This

Imagine if a 37-year-old newly-elected white Democratic congressman from a safe seat asked Elliot Abrams the same questions as Ilhan Omar asked him Wednesday.  Now, imagine that the same guy advocated for a 70% marginal tax rate.

In my imagination, I’m guessing that the Abrams testimony would have perhaps gotten some play on YouTube and perhaps a mention on MSNBC.  I’m not sure about that, because these blob members sure think that their collective shit smells like roses.  And I also imagine that the 70% marginal rate proposal would have been ignored.

I don’t have a deep observation to make here, but from the perspective of pure political power, AOC and Ilhan Omar have it, and they are wielding it wisely.  Omar’s apology was pitch perfect.  AOC’s response to petty criticism on Twitter is consistently good.  The right is afraid of these women, and they should be.






84 replies
  1. 1

    from the perspective of pure political power, AOC and Ilhan Omar have it, and they are wielding it wisely.

    As far as I can tell, AOC’s most powerful move so far has been to shoot realistic climate activism in the foot by posting the ridiculous Green New Deal FAQ on her website.

  2. 2
    Kraux Pas says:

    I keep seeing reference to this “blob” in the last few days, but I’m not sure precisely what this refers to.

  3. 3
    [Individual 1] mistermix says:

    @Kraux Pas: The foreign policy establishment.

  4. 4
    TomatoQueen says:

    @Kraux Pas: The Blob is the foreign policy community, both inside and outside the Beltway.

  5. 5
    rikyrah says:

    Omar’s questioning of Abrams was so wonderful…I wanted to put it on a loop.

  6. 6
    [Individual 1] mistermix says:

    @Major Major Major Major: If you really think that’s true, I mourn your political instincts.

  7. 7

    @[Individual 1] mistermix: how does posting a document that advocates for things like universal basic income help us combat climate change? I think it’ll damage the party’s ability to rally around the abstract GND concept over the coming months, which is very bad and quite consequential in terms of real world outcomes.

    (Expander after posting)

  8. 8
    Yarrow says:

    I don’t think the white guy would have gotten the same reaction from Abrams because white guy.

    His reaction seemed in part that he could not believe a woman…a woman of color…a woman of color who is Muslim was in a position of power to ask him questions and was doing so.

  9. 9
    Emma says:

    @Major Major Major Major: some sort of support will be needed to manage the massive human displacement. Florida is already experiencing landmass loss, and it’s not only the rich who live on the coasts.

    (Added) I know that it is nearly impposible to get through but when you sit down to negotiate you ask for the most and negotiate it to the acceptable)

  10. 10
  11. 11
    cmorenc says:

    Even two years into the Trump Admin, I am continually astounded how consistently he picks arrogant knaves, fools, and malignant sociopaths for important posts. Elliot Abrams, John Bolton, Scott Pruitt, Brett Kavanaugh, Steve Mnuchin, Ryan Zinke, Stephen Miller, Mick Mulvaney, and so on.

    Lincoln had a team of rivals
    Trump has a team of knaves.

  12. 12
    WereBear says:

    @Yarrow: His reaction seemed in part that he could not believe a woman…a woman of color…a woman of color who is Muslim was in a position of power to ask him questions and was doing so.

    That was my take. The “u-word” as not far from his lips…

  13. 13
    Yarrow says:

    I don’t have a deep observation to make here, but from the perspective of pure political power, AOC and Ilhan Omar have it, and they are wielding it wisely. Omar’s apology was pitch perfect. AOC’s response to petty criticism on Twitter is consistently good.

    AOC is very skilled at clapbacks on Twitter, but her posting that terrible Green New Deal FAQ on her website was a major misstep.

  14. 14

    @Emma: I absolutely agree! But this is in theory supposed to be an infrastructure-focused ten-year-plan type thing to combat emissions. At any rate, I think that document was a big misstep and I hope I’m wrong that it’ll harm the cause.

    Gonna pull back now and not threadjack, please discuss foreign policy.

    ETA I see my neoliberal-shill ass is not alone

  15. 15

    @WereBear: His astonishment was visible.

  16. 16
    Yarrow says:

    @Emma: That’s fine but there are ways of stating it to explain what that’s for. “Support for those displaced by climate change” would be a better way of wording it. “Income for those unwilling to work” set off a lot of alarm bells for a lot of people. The whole FAQ was a mess and did not help the cause of passing the GND.

  17. 17
    Brachiator says:

    The right is afraid of these women, and they should be.

    Amen. The right is still in love with their own bullshit. They pretend that they are hard headed realists who understand the world and can prove that Christian free market capitalism (which is not a real thing) is perfect.

    They treat AOC and others as silly little girls who need to be schooled by their betters.

    Meanwhile, like Muhammad Ali, AOC and her comrades keep landing powerful, stinging jabs. It helps tremendously that the Republican president is a fool and the rest of the GOP establishment has long discarded even the pretense of intellectual honesty. Makes them an easy target.

  18. 18
    Yarrow says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: It really was. That’s why I don’t think a white guy saying the exact same words would have received the same response.

  19. 19
    Princess says:

    I think Omar’s questioning was very effective because it brought out the ugly in Abrams and now people are talking about his past. She has helped innoculate us against a stupid war in Venezuela by discrediting him as an honest broker before he can begin. Also, she did it with a smile and a pleasant voice.

  20. 20

    @Yarrow: I think it was Yglesias on twitter who noted some times white democratic men have done it to Abrams and it went mostly unnoticed.

  21. 21
    J R in WV says:

    I was astonished by Congresswoman Omar’s questioning, and delighted by Genocidal Fascist Abrams’ responses to that questioning — what a prickkk that man showed himself to be.

    He could not believe a dark-skinned Muslim was in a position to hold him accountable for his war crimes, his perjury before congress. Wonderful day for humanists to see that fascist monster held up before the American people and accurately described to one and all~!!!~

    On a personal note, last November, while briefly in NYC for urban vacation, my rear most molar broke. Yesterday the new crown was ready to install. In the process of gluing the new crown into place, fine dentist I have been seeing for 20 years now managed to also glue my cheek to the crown. It was not fun resolving that sad situation.

    I will not go into detail, but the month ago drilling and molding was much less stressful. All is well, now, after a tense 10 or 15 minutes. No one in the building had ever heard of such a thing.

    I hope his brother with whom he practices never lets him hear the end of it… At family BBQs and beach trips,after a couple of beers, “Hey remember that time when you glued JR’s cheek to his new crown?? HAHahahaha!!!”

  22. 22
    opiejeanne says:

    @WereBear: What is the “u” word? Uterus? Unclean?

    Oh, wait. Uppity. Duh.

  23. 23
    bjacques says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I had a go about this the other day…

    (Bit of a rant, sorry)

    AOC is correct to draw a connection between global warming and capitalism—late stage, anyway. So much of profits, from rent-seeking, high-frequency trading and asset-stripping as opposed to actual industry, goes into speculation and buying back of corporate debt and not as reinvestment, let alone raises for workers.

    Millions of people keep old polluting beaters on the road not because they want to, but with no mass transportation and no money to buy cleaner, fuel-efficient vehicles. They burden the healthcare system because they can’t afford to see a doctor until too sick to work and it’s more expensive by then. The Green New Deal tries to address the former “where technologically feasible”. Anyway, pollution and excess heat are waste, which should offend any engineer or planner.

    But I think AOC didn’t go far enough in linking capitalism to global warming, and this would really give the Economist the vapors. Most profit flees *legally* offshore, untaxed, gutting governments’ ability to address any problems, let alone environmental ones. Then the untaxed wealth returns as a tsunami of dark money buying government complaisance, even complicity, accelerating the process. It’s a dangerous positive feedback loop. That money also returns to warp markets by speculating, by turns, in fuel), food, housing, and medicine, further pushing people into short term and desperate choices.

    The increasing flow of untaxed profit is the runaway Greenhouse Effect of global capitalism. UK magazine Private Eye covers this in depressingly exhaustive detail. Remember the Panama Papers, LuxLeaks, and the Lagarde List of people and companies stashing their loot in the Bahamas , Luxembourg and similar places? The US barely addresses it and the UK have pretty much given up on it. The EU are belatedly going after it, starting March 30, coincidentally the day after Brexit.

    France started connecting the environment to the economy, in a left handed way, by bailing out the polluters and shifting the burden to citizens as increased fuel taxes, much as in 2008, when most governments bailed out banks and imposed austerity on everyone else. I wonder what the Economist thought of that? We know what the Gilets Jaunes think.

    The Green New Deal’s broad outlines are solid. Some of it may fall by the wayside. FDR didn’t get everything he wanted but he got enough to save the American economy. The ten year goal of clean energy is a target that we may or may not reach. JFK wanted to reach the moon in ten years. We made it in eight and created entirely new industries. Al Gore “invented” the Internet by promoting government funding of that nascent sector. The solar industry alone employs more people than coal and nuclear combined and is growing.

    Our politics have become so small we’ve forgotten what big ideas look like. More of this, please.

  24. 24
    germy says:

    This:

    Earlier today @mkraju tweeted that Rep Omar “angrily yelled at him” for asking about her tweets.

    Here’s the clip.

    Yall keep me honest, please, but on what planet is this “angrily yelling” at him??🤔 pic.twitter.com/a5XVs5brAE

    — Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@MuslimIQ) February 13, 2019

    She’s Black. Even when we’re laughing and smiling—as Rep Omar is in this clip—we are angry or have an attitude.

    I hope @brianstelter is proud of himself for perpetuating negative stereotypes about Black women. https://t.co/MwSAtZHhGU

    — Imani Gandy (@AngryBlackLady) February 14, 2019

  25. 25
    JR says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Its fairly clear in my observation of RW politics that pushing too far and “compromising” back is a pretty solid way to advance your goals through democratic means

  26. 26
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Yarrow:

    His reaction seemed in part that he could not believe a woman…a woman of color…a woman of color who is Muslim was in a position of power to ask him questions and was doing so.

    His air of entitlement was blatant. “How dare you impugn my honor!!!”

  27. 27
    opiejeanne says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: He spluttered a bit at one point. I found his replies to her to be very offensive in tone and content.

  28. 28

    @J R in WV: Holy cow. I’m getting a crown installed on Monday. I’m going to listen for anyone saying “oops.”

  29. 29
    glory b says:

    Then there’s celebrating the defeat of the Amazon, when the rep fpr that district was for it, as were 75% of the people of color in the area.

    Also, she doesn’t seem to understand what a tax abatement is. She talked like there is a pile of money somewhere that would be given to Amazon that can now be distributed to mom and pop businesses and be used for infrastructure and new teachers, etc.

    I’m not saying that funding those is a bad thing, but the takeaway from a few people I know who live near there is that a bunch of young white activists pushed AOC out front, while the vast majority of the black and brown people there wanted Amazon.

  30. 30

    @JR: but this has damaged the GND with Democrats too.

    @bjacques:

    JFK wanted to reach the moon in ten years. We made it in eight and created entirely new industries. Al Gore “invented” the Internet by promoting government funding of that nascent sector. The solar industry alone employs more people than coal and nuclear combined and is growing.

    These are all great examples of why you discuss your plans with domain experts before announcing them; it was already known that the aspirational goals were possible.

  31. 31
    Cowboy Diva says:

    @opiejeanne: I inferred the word uppity from WereBear’s comment.

  32. 32
    MattF says:

    It’s a little odd that knowing how to deal with toddlers is now a political necesseity for left-leaners. ‘That bad woman gave me a boo-boo!’. Awww.

  33. 33
    Mary G says:

    And it’s very helpful in seeing who is really an ally and who isn’t. Max Boot wrote a column in the WaPo that accused Omar of every crime in the book. She got information from Wikipedia! The horror! His conversion to sanity is a total fraud.

  34. 34
    Yarrow says:

    @JR: If that Green New Deal FAQ was so great, why didn’t she leave it up and defend it instead of having her spokesperson say, “An early draft of a FAQ that was clearly unfinished and that doesn’t represent the GND resolution got published to the website by mistake.”

  35. 35

    @Major Major Major Major:
    One of the major points of the GND is that it’s both an anti-climate change bill and a works bill. Those two things are inseparable, because achieving carbon neutrality is inevitably going to create massive changes in our economy, and much faster than they would happen without a big government push. If we want it to have a prayer of succeeding politically, we need to guarantee that people who are losing their jobs in old industries will have new jobs to go to, and that the new jobs we’re creating are good paying ones that will let people support their families. Otherwise, it’s going to be a gigantic boondoggle that will only benefit the ultra-rich.

  36. 36
    MattF says:

    @Mary G: Boot is a man without a party.

  37. 37
    Groucho48 says:

    The New Green Deal is only a misstep if we let it be one. It’s an aspirational document and it swings for the fences. If liberals back off the whole thing because parts of it are too pie in the sky, that will give the MSM cover to mock the whole thing and host a plethora of right wingers to mock it as well.

    Haven’t we learned, yet, that the MSM will completely ignore any reasonable policy suggestions coming from the left?

    Instead of condemning it all, in typical circular firing squad manner, support the parts of it you like and offer constructive suggestions for the parts you don’t like. “This is a good starting point for discussion” should be the go to position. Not “this is a disaster”. Because a good percentage of it is good stuff.

  38. 38
    Betty Cracker says:

    @bjacques: Great points and especially salient following the outrageous news that Amazon will pay ZERO in federal taxes for the second year in a row.

  39. 39

    @Roger Moore: I agree! And this has nothing to do with UBI for those unwilling to work. But the FAQ is now the document Democrats will be asked to answer for, not the legislative document.

  40. 40
    opiejeanne says:

    @Mary G: Yes, I haven’t trusted the New Improved Max Boot from the start. I figured he’d show his old self and he did right there. He was a temporary ally at best, if he even was an ally.

  41. 41
    Yarrow says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    but this has damaged the GND with Democrats too.

    Yep. That’s why it was worse than just a dumb mistake.

  42. 42
    Ohio Mom says:

    @J R in WV: I once had a dentist who put a crown on just a smidgen off. A few months later, he announced his retirement, leading me to wonder if he shouldn’t have called it quits a little earlier.

    Eventually, things in my mouth shifted to accommodate the crown, and I promised myself to keep to younger dentists from there on out.

  43. 43

    @Betty Cracker: especially galling when you consider how much of their revenue comes from the government using their web services.

  44. 44
    [Individual 1] mistermix says:

    @glory b: I’d want to see the polling on that. I think we’re all seeing that the Amazon “deal” (read ransom demand) and the whole HQ2 spectacle was just an attempt to get gullible politicians to cough up money in exchange for tax breaks. Amazon will still expand in NYC. Google came to NYC without a tax break.

  45. 45
    Kraux Pas says:

    @Groucho48:

    The New Green Deal is only a misstep if we let it be one. It’s an aspirational document and it swings for the fences.

    This exactly. Offering aspirational ideas that aren’t fully fleshed out isn’t a bad thing. If done properly, it brings more interested parties toward the same aspirations and gives them something to build toward together. Having more minds working toward a common purpose improves the odds it will materialize in a concrete way in the future.

    Just think of how long “universal/expanded access to healthcare” was a goal and how many forms it took before we acted. We still have progress to make on this, too.

  46. 46
    [Individual 1] mistermix says:

    @Major Major Major Major: It’s a FAQ on a website about an outline for possible legislation. A few missteps are not that important – they certainly didn’t shoot “realistic” climate change in the foot, as you claimed in your first comment. As someone else pointed out, there’s nothing wrong with taking a more extreme position and negotiating back. If you start with “realistic” climate change legislation, you’ll get nothing. Start with a Green New Deal, and you might get something.

  47. 47
    SenyorDave says:

    @JR: I think of it as the Malcolm X effect. Malcolm X made MLK palatable to some whites (not the conservative ones, of course who hated MLK when he was alive but now insist they supported him).

  48. 48
    Yarrow says:

    @[Individual 1] mistermix: Or you could get less because legislators are nervous about being associated with it given the way it was introduced. It might have to be given a makeover, even a new name, and everyone has to start again.

  49. 49

    @Mary G:

    His conversion to sanity is a total fraud.

    I think it would be more correct to say that his conversion to sanity is limited. He went along with the Republicans because they went along with Neoconservative foreign policy, and he was willing to go along with the rest of the Republican platform to get it. When Trump broke with the Neocons and the rest of the foreign policy establishment, that disillusioned him with the parts of the Republican platform that he only adopted to get along with the Republican party, but it certainly didn’t convince him that his foreign policy views were wrong. So he’s going to oppose both Trump and anyone from either side of the aisle who goes against his foreign policy goals.

  50. 50

    @[Individual 1] mistermix:

    I’d want to see the polling on that. I think we’re all seeing that the Amazon “deal” (read ransom demand) and the whole HQ2 spectacle was just an attempt to get gullible politicians to cough up money in exchange for tax breaks.

    Do share any polling if you find it; obviously we both see the same online chatter but I’m also curious what the folks on the ground think.

    FWIW there are non-Amazon-specific tax breaks in NY that Google does in fact avail themselves of, and things like that were part of the “$3 billion” you see cited.

  51. 51

    @[Individual 1] mistermix:

    If you start with “realistic” climate change legislation, you’ll get nothing. Start with a Green New Deal, and you might get something.

    We started with a Green New Deal, introduced in legislative language by AOC and Markey, which didn’t touch on any of the flashpoints AOC needlessly introduced on the FAQ, which is now the document Dems will be asked to answer for.

    (Edited for clarity)

  52. 52
    [Individual 1] mistermix says:

    @Yarrow:

    Or you could get less because legislators are nervous about being associated with it given the way it was introduced. It might have to be given a makeover, even a new name, and everyone has to start again.

    I think this completely misreads the current political climate. The same exact thing could be said about the 70% marginal tax rate. Everyone was nervous about being associated with it until they saw polling that supported it. People are ready for change and ready for Democrats to lead. Being overly cautious and hedging rhetoric also carries a lot of risk that you and Major^3 are not acknowledging.

  53. 53

    @[Individual 1] mistermix: I can support the GND as an aspirational document, details to be hashed out later; the FAQ is making a lot of people skittish.

  54. 54
    [Individual 1] mistermix says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    FWIW there are non-Amazon-specific tax breaks in NY that Google does in fact avail themselves of, and things like that were part of the “$3 billion” you see cited.

    Yeah, I’m from NY, and I’m well aware that a corporation gets a tax break for merely existing here. But, the point remains that Google did nothing like what Amazon did – no “HQ2” contest, they did not seek and were not granted a special incentive package. I will not mourn this “loss” of jobs – because, as a resident, I’ve seen years and years of unrealistic job projections used to support huge tax breaks, and those job numbers never pan out.

  55. 55
    Kraux Pas says:

    @Major Major Major Major: The FAQ was one person’s work and it has since been taken down.

    I think what is more troubling than the FAQ is the media’s tendency to latch onto one arguably bad data point about one side and hammer them about it while papering over reams of bad behavior by the other side to bring “both sides” to a false sense of parity.

  56. 56
    [Individual 1] mistermix says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    the FAQ is making a lot of people skittish.

    The whole point of your long back and forth is that some people are skittish about something AOC said. People are skittish about a lot of things AOC says. Yet, she still has, as I argued in the post, a massive amount of power that the skittish do not have. I wonder why.

  57. 57
    Yarrow says:

    @[Individual 1] mistermix: I think you’re misreading what we’re both saying. See MMMM’s comment at 51:

    We started with a Green New Deal, introduced in legislative language by AOC and Markey, which didn’t touch on any of the flashpoints AOC needlessly introduced on the FAQ, which is now the document Dems will be asked to answer for.

    That’s the issue we’re talking about. The GND itself is great. There are very good ideas in it. Aspirational is good. Putting out a dumb FAQ, that even AOC’s own spokesperson later said was a draft and was put on the website by mistake, is the problem. It has created issues for legislators who want to support the GND but now that it’s associated with no airplanes, farting cows and income for those unwilling to work they’re more hesitant.

    It was a mistake that has negatively affected legislators’ support for the actual GND. That’s why I’m bringing it up and I think MMMM is as well.

  58. 58
    RobertB says:

    @J R in WV: “Looking forward to it” is too strong, but I’m curious how my dentist’s CNC crown-making machine works out. No “come back in three weeks”; you hang out for a bit while the machine makes the crown.

    My old dentist was a nice guy. He was an okay dentist, but was well-versed in state-of-the-art techniques in cash extraction. I changed from my old dentist because he went from inserting antibiotics as a peridontal treatment (not covered by insurance, and $200 a pop), to an antibiotic tray treatment ($400 or so to make the tray, plus $x a pop). You look it up, and it turns out the change from antibiotic insertion to the new method was because antibiotics inserted in your gum line get flushed out by your saliva in about a day, and are effectively worthless. This wasn’t new research, and was probably why the insurance company refuses to pay it. Still helps with the dentist’s boat payment, though. That same dentist told my wife she needed two new crowns and a crown replacement. Our new dentist told her, “Use sensitive-tooth toothpaste.”

  59. 59
  60. 60

    @Yarrow:

    It was a mistake that has negatively affected legislators’ support for the actual GND. That’s why I’m bringing it up and I think MMMM is as well.

    Bingo.

  61. 61
    Kraux Pas says:

    It has created issues for legislators who want to support the GND but now that it’s associated with no airplanes, farting cows and income for those unwilling to work they’re more hesitant.

    There probably should be less air travel or it should be made more efficient. Climate change may make it untenable entirely. More heat, more energy in weather systems, more turbulence.

    We should find a solution to farting cows. Can we trap cow farts and use them as a fuel source? There must be a way and methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2.

    I support a universal basic income, but that would be a tough lift. A person unwilling to work in that scenario would have basic economic security; food, shelter, and not much else.

  62. 62
    Emperor of Ice Cream says:

    @bjacques: This is so smart and spot on. This is all about the end of capitalism as we know it (ie, an economic system based on perpetual “growth”). There are no new frontiers or consequence-free resources to be exploited. We need a new model. Otherwise, it is the death of the planet in terms of human life … climate change is just one of many symptoms. We will either learn to live on the planet in a sustainable way or the planet will expel us. We’ve lost the time we had (since 1980 or so … the Reagan election was the fatal pivot) to gently manage this transition — it is now mobilize or die. Time’s up.

  63. 63
    Yarrow says:

    @[Individual 1] mistermix: See my most recent comment. I am not calling for hedging. I’m saying it’s good to be smart and to have good documents so the criticism comes on the substance.

    No one put out a document claiming that there should be a 150% tax rate for rich people and it should be an absolute not marginal tax rate. They said 70% marginal tax rate and they got people talking about what that was. That’s smart policy work. The GND FAQ was dumb policy work. It was a mistake that can have bigger consequences and undermine the good goals of the GND itself, even if that is also aspirational.

  64. 64
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kraux Pas: This is true. That sneering ambulatory cream cheese sculpture Hugh Hewitt, who for some reason has a perch at both The Post and MSNBC, had a fucking field day with that nothingburger FAQ. Hurhurhur **cow farts** was the in-depth analysis.

    ETA: Another reason I like AOC is that she works the media refs effectively. She understands the importance of that.

  65. 65
    Elizabelle says:

    @Emperor of Ice Cream: Great comment.

    Predatory capitalism needs to be reigned in. It is approaching end stage in some facets.

  66. 66
    Emperor of Ice Cream says:

    I would also say to those who are critical of AOC for the draft FAQ (which was a mistake, but really inconsequential in the grand scheme of things) and think THAT gave the cons on the right their opening … do you really think that otherwise they would be treating the GND with respect and seriousness. Trolling is what they do. It’s their only move at this point. We need to stop having the vapors over every “misstep” because it gives an opening for criticism from the crazy right (and the media). They are going to do it regardless. There is no way to escape it. We need to keep making our case … the facts of the situation are only going to keep moving in one direction. I suspect (hope) the portion of the country that is not crazy (about 60% or so) is going to keep moving our way if we stand strong. Because. We. Are. Right.

  67. 67
    Emperor of Ice Cream says:

    @Elizabelle: Thank you! I am so angry and frustrated these days … I feel like I’m trapped in a perverse alternative universe where nearly everyone is blind and crazy. Balloon Juice is one of my sources of sanity. Mainly a lurker, but I am increasingly feeling the need to just SCREAM. Maybe hopeless, but at least I can vent to rational people as we try to cope with the madness all around us.

  68. 68
    Yarrow says:

    @Emperor of Ice Cream:

    do you really think that otherwise they would be treating the GND with respect and seriousness.

    No, of course not. That’s not really the point. We don’t want to give them lots of opportunities to define our signature issues for us.

  69. 69
    tobie says:

    @Roger Moore: This thread is likely dead but I’ll post anyway. The idea of coupling a massive jobs bill and massive climate action bill isn’t new at all. HRC’s entire jobs and manufacturing proposal was a detailed green new deal. What I’ve seen criticized about the GND proposal is just how empty it is. It names lofty goals but has zero granularity when it comes to pressing questions about how to decarbonize agriculture, deal with the land use issues around changes in transportation and harnessing of renewables, etc. And this non-binding resolution doesn’t even begin to address other greenhouse gases like methane. The resolution is nothing more than a consciousness raising exercise, the weaponizing of a slogan.

    Really I read this site and wonder how all the things we hated about Republicans–the absence of substance, one liners as policy, disruption as a strategy, virtue signaling, the extolling of common sense over study and expertise–and I realize there was never any difference between us and them. We’re all ripe demagoguery.

  70. 70
    bjacques says:

    @Emperor of Ice Cream: Thanks! I guess it depends on what sort of growth. We can generate a lot of wealth, as much as the sun will give us, but if it’s all extracted into tax havens or other locales where they can’t do anyone much good (but often do a lot of harm), that kind of growth will kill us all. And a lot of the real estate investment boom pre-2008 was just extraction of dormant equity, like Facebook and others mine your data and Uber and Airbnb extract unused apartment space or the undepreciated value of your car, or even your spare time. Fostering innovation and industry that improve lives while undoing the damage to our environmental niche can only be good.

    Anyway, without diffusing the message of a sustainable version of the original New Deal, I get what MMMM says about unlikely targets. And high speed rail only makes sense where it can compete with air or road travel, whether the latter’s externalities are factored in or not. But as visions go, it’s not a bad one. others above have covered this point. China has high speed trains running between Beijing and Shanghai, about the same distance between New York and Chicago, in about 5 hours several times a day. Technologically feasible, for sure, but unlikely in the States for political, economic and other reasons.

    Maybe it’s just me. Back in the day (about 1985), I would have scoffed at the concept of a Green New Deal but lapped up the idea of an O’Neill space colonies in 20 years. Hanging out in the National Space Society (fka The L5 Society) cured me of that though. I owe my tree-hugging friends of 1990 an apology.

    The FAQ’s problematic language didn’t make it into the actual resolution, so returning focus to the latter will be a test of AOC’s messaging skills.

    ETA: What tobie says, except that if we don’t jump on each other for defeatism and apostasy for raising doubts about things like this, that’s the difference between us and them. The Economist article I alluded to earlier raised the decarbonization question and a few others. I don’t have the link to hand.

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    Brachiator says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Great points and especially salient following the outrageous news that Amazon will pay ZERO in federal taxes for the second year in a row

    I loved Trump’s response to this.

    I have stated my concerns with Amazon long before the Election. Unlike others, they pay little or no taxes to state & local governments, use our Postal System as their Delivery Boy (causing tremendous loss to the U.S.), and are putting many thousands of retailers out of business!

    Notice that Trump says nothing about the federal taxes that Amazon does not pay.

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    p.a. says:

    WootWoot! Some progressives are nervous about an imperfect webpost and the right is all over it, with the flatworm MSM picking up the thread; the same right whose whole economic policy for two fucking generations (at least) has been based on a back-of-napkin scribble that was provably laughable on day 1, with *crickets* from the media as the US has been banana-republic’ed by the whole thing.

  73. 73
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Groucho48: Thank you for a very reasonable view.

  74. 74
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Brachiator: Trump has made it clear in other remarks that he still thinks Amazon does’t pay state and local SALES taxes, which is wrong. He’s also wrong about the PO. Basically, he’s just wrong. As usual.

  75. 75
    Elizabelle says:

    @Emperor of Ice Cream: Keep Calm and Carry On and Comment!

  76. 76
    NotoriousJRT says:

    My reaction to this post was that these women scare people on the left, too. I don’t know if it is generational or simply anecdotal to the pond in which I swim. But, the attention to AOC and others in her freshman class is not an unalloyed positive.

  77. 77
    L85NJGT says:

    That whole Amazon move strikes me as trying to fast forward a corporate timeline. You move HQ to NYC when an old line company has morphed into a bank. Because finance is NYC’s hometown industry. Amazon is a logistics company. Atlanta, DFW or Chicago – pick one (the tax payer provided goodie basket will be all about the same). Now about that consulting fee Mr. Bezos…

  78. 78
    FlipYrWhig says:

    The only thing that pleases me about the “oh noes there was a flawed document published to a website, what a debacle!” episode — which IMHO is a goofy overreaction with a wild tempest-to-teapot ratio — is how many of the people defending Ocasio-Cortez ALSO enjoyed dropping a hammer on, say, Hillary Clinton’s email server or “basket of deplorables.” Sometimes politicians flub things. Let’s take them ALL in stride, OK?

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    tobie says:

    @bjacques: The dream of a high speed rail network has been at the heart of Democratic politics for a long time, and it seemed like we were almost there when the Republicans decided in 2010 that there would be no more infrastructure spending for popular things, and things that would make the governing party popular, as long as the Democrats were in charge. You could say the same about the Republican stance toward a smart grid, weatherizing of public buildings, subsidies for renewables, etc. Investing heavily in jobs programs in regions affected by the transition from fossil fuels to carbon neutral energy sources also has the support of the public. All of this seems to be boiler-plate Democratic politics. But including everything from guaranteed healthcare to guaranteed housing to a guaranteed universal basic income in a climate bill does real damage to the cause. Mitch McConnell saw it and pounced.

  80. 80
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    The party of Steve King and Louie Gohmert says what, now?

  81. 81
    Brachiator says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Trump has made it clear in other remarks that he still thinks Amazon does’t pay state and local SALES taxes, which is wrong. He’s also wrong about the PO. Basically, he’s just wrong. As usual.

    Yep. The rubes don’t seem to eat this up as easily as Trump’s other nonsense, not because they understand that he is wrong, but because like everyone else they like being able to get stuff from Amazon.

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    @[Individual 1] mistermix: Here is some polling on that. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/14/nyregion/amazon-queens-location.html

    A December poll showed a majority of New Yorkers welcomed Amazon, especially those in the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island. The move was also popular among blacks and Hispanics… But fewer New Yorkers approved of the incentives officials offered Amazon. Though again, the proposed deal was more popular among Queens residents, blacks and Hispanics.

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    Emperor of Ice Cream says:

    @Elizabelle: Good advice. I work at an environmental nonprofit (in fundraising … one day I’ll try to write up my thoughts about how broken THAT model is and how it explains so much of why our public policy debates are so cramped) – since I live this stuff all day everyday, it’s driving me a little mad at the moment. I’m up for the fight, though. I may get bent, but I refuse to break for these mofos. Thanks for the reminder….

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    sam says:

    @Yarrow: He looked very close to having a coronary. It was beautiful to watch.

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