Excellent Read: “Elizabeth Warren & Tracee Ellis Ross on the Road to Activism”

My favorite Senator has been rude to Trump again, in a Washington Post op-ed:

Cratering in the polls, besieged by sexual assault allegations and drowning in his own disgusting rhetoric, Donald Trump has been reduced to hollering that November’s election is “rigged” against him. His proof? It looks like he’s going to lose.

Senior Republican leaders are scrambling to distance themselves from this dangerous claim. But Trump’s argument didn’t spring from nowhere. It’s just one more symptom of a long-running effort by Republicans to delegitimize Democratic voters, appointees and leaders. For years, this disease has infected our politics. It cannot be cured until Republican leaders rethink their approach to modern politics…

For years, Republican leaders have pushed the lie that voter fraud is a huge issue. In such states as Kansas and North Carolina , and across the airwaves of right-wing talk radio and Fox News, Republican voters have been fed exaggerated and imagined stories about fraud. Interestingly, all that fraud seems to plague only urban neighborhoods, minority communities, college campuses and other places where large numbers of people might vote for Democrats. The purpose of this manufactured hysteria is obvious: to delegitimize Democratic voters and justify Republican efforts to suppress their votes…

… Which reminded me that I’ve been saving an NYTimes article, one of their Table for Three series, by Philip Galanes:

Tracee Ellis Ross may be working 14 hours a day in Los Angeles on her hit TV show, “black-ish.” “But when Elizabeth Warren says she’ll have dinner with you,” Ms. Ross said, walking into a suite at the Hay-Adams Hotel in Washington, “you get on a plane. I have a million questions for her.”

And from the moment Senator Warren entered the lobby, friendly to all but racewalking toward the elevator, she was happy to offer answers: breaking down complex problems into plain-spoken choices, engaging everyone in sight. When a woman on the elevator said, “You look familiar,” Ms. Warren introduced herself, shook her hand and asked how her evening was going…

Ms. Ross, 43, has also established herself as a powerful advocate, particularly for self-esteem among black girls in a series of TV specials, “Black Girls Rock,” and through social media. For eight seasons, beginning in 2000, she starred in the sitcom “Girlfriends,” for which she won two NAACP Image Awards.

But her greatest exposure and acclaim have come with her starring role on “black-ish,” about an extended African-American family… For her performance, Ms. Ross was nominated for an Emmy for lead actress in a comedy. She is the first African-American woman to be nominated in the category in 30 years, and only the fifth in Emmy history…

Philip Galanes: One reason you’re both such powerful advocates — for the middle class, for self-esteem — is that you’ve fused who you are with the issues you care about.

Elizabeth Warren: Well, I know who I am, and I know what I fight for. Whether we’re talking about making college a little more affordable — or health care or social security — I want to be as sharp as I can be because I know how tough things are. That’s my opportunity now.

PG: It reminds me of your great line: “I was brought up on the ragged edge of the middle class.” What made it “ragged”?

EW: Because it was so hard to hold on to. My mother clung to it — “We are middle class” — because our grasp was so tenuous. There were times we were and times we weren’t.

Tracee Ellis Ross: I feel like I’m on the inside for the first time. Inside the castle. I have an Emmy nomination! And I’ve been in this career a long time. I’m 43, not some ingénue who just stumbled into this. Much of my role has been as an advocate for self-esteem and humanity. The beauty of my work is that I get to unzip something that people are afraid to touch. To make them more comfortable in their own skin.
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Open Thread: The Not-Yellow Rose of Texas

Anybody from the area want to comment? From what I can see, the assumptions seem to be that this is (a) putting down a marker for future elections; (b) a way to encourage voters to show up for down-ballot races; and/or (c) a relatively low-cost way of messing with Trump/Cruz/the Texan GOP…

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Labor Day ‘But Seriously… ‘ Open Thread

After analyzing nearly four decades of wage data, EPI estimated that male non-union workers in the private sector would be earning, on average, $2,074 [more] per year if the percentage of unionized workers in the private sector had stayed flat since 1979. Overall, EPI found that male non-union workers in the private sector have been losing about $109 billion per year. Women in non-union, private sector jobs took a much smaller hit to their income — about $24 billion annually — because men were significantly likelier to be union members in 1979.

The EPI report was co-authored by Washington University-St. Louis sociologist Jake Rosenfeld, author of the excellent 2014 book What Unions No Longer Do. Rosenfeld told me he had expected to find that union decline had somewhat depressed non-union wages, but that the scale of the effect was “staggering.”

“It has to be seen as a top culprit in the ongoing financial fragility of the average American worker,” said Rosenfeld…

Mr. Pierce, at Esquire:

None of our national holidays have moved as far from its original founding purposes as Labor Day has. This is because most of the people and corporations—which, of course, are indistinguishable from each other; thank you, Justice Kennedy—who have monetized our holidays would rather not have anything to do with the founding purposes of Labor Day… They have no real moral qualms about turning Memorial Day into a celebration of American barbecue, or the Fourth of July into a carnival of gluttonous alcoholism, but they really don’t want Americans remembering that we celebrate the first weekend in September not because of the Americans who died at Gettysburg or Normandy but, rather, that we celebrate the first weekend in September because of the Americans who died at Homestead, and at Ludlow in Colorado, and at Matewan. But that is what this day is for, even now, in a right-to-work, de-unionized global economy…

E.J. Dionne, in the Washington Post, “Help wanted: Phony populism doesn’t feed the family”:

You would have thought that Labor Day 2016 would bring us a serious conversation about lifting the incomes of American workers and expanding their opportunities for advancement.

After all, we have spent the year talking incessantly about alienated blue-collar voters and a new populism rooted in the disaffection of those hammered by economic change…

The truth is that Clinton has offered many more serious policy proposals for raising workers’ incomes than Trump has. Her website is full of ideas on expanding profit-sharing, a “Make it in America” initiative to promote manufacturing, and plans on family leave, child care, cutting student debt and much more…
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Though it’s a part of the Lone Star State, people don’t seem to care

The age break-downs in the polls are increasingly amazing to me. Here’s some from a recent PPP poll in Texas.

A Democratic victory in Texas this year remains a stretch but within the numbers there are signs of Democrats being positioned to become seriously competitive there in the years ahead. Trump’s lead is based entirely on his holding a 63-33 advantage among seniors. With voters under 65, Clinton leads him 49-45. And when you look just specifically at voters under 45, Clinton leads Trump 60-35.

I don’t understand why Republicans aren’t more freaked out about how badly they’re doing with younger voters. People like to say “oh young people are always lefties” but in fact the Democratic domination among younger voters from 2008 to now is completely unprecedented in modern American political history.

Sunday Morning Open Thread: Reports from Netroots Nation 2016

No garden pics this week — guess everybody’s too busy working outside and/or melted down into puddles of mulch-enriched sweat — so here’s a different form of uplift. From that Washington Post article:

ST. LOUIS — Hillary Clinton will call for a constitutional amendment to “overturn Citizens United” in her first 30 days as president and plans to make that announcement today to progressive activists at the annual Netroots Nation conference.

“I will also appoint Supreme Court justices who understand that this decision was a disaster for our democracy,” Clinton will say in a video message, scheduled to run near the end of today’s final keynote session. “I will fight for other progressive reforms, including small-dollar matching and disclosure requirements. I hope some of the brilliant minds in this room will seek out cases to challenge Citizens United in the courts.”…

Since 2010, the Citizens United decision has become a metonym for a series of conservative Supreme Court decisions that unwound campaign finance regulations. Democrats have repeatedly tried to pass disclosure measures, as well as an amendment to the Constitution, intended to reverse the decisions. Republicans, often led by Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.), have characterized those efforts as attacks on the First Amendment.

Even though the case was fought over an anti-Hillary Clinton documentary, Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) became its most prominent critic in the 2016 primaries. He never finished a speech without mentioning Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, blaming it for the money gushing into politics, and pledging to appoint a Supreme Court that would undo it…

netroots nation st louis BLM protest

Chris Savage of Eclectablog reported:

[Saturday] afternoon, I was sitting in a Netroots Nation 2016 panel titled “Rejecting the Pale, Male and Stale Leadership Pipeline: Roadmap to Building Inclusive Orgs”. Suddenly, a group of young, mostly African American burst into the room carrying a spay-painted banner that read “Fight back”. They told us they were marching to meet a Black Lives Matter protest in downtown St. Louis. They went from room to room, including the “Townhall” area where the booths and social area were located, encouraging attendees to join the protest.

Anne and I joined the march which went through the middle of town chanting and doing call-and-response before we ended at the entrance ramp to Interstate 64…

The entire event was well-organized, well-executed, and peaceful. The St. Louis police monitored the situation but kept their distance without interfering. In a conversation with one cop afterwards, he told us that they had to have a presence because if something had happened and someone got hurt, they needed to be there. They faced being accused of not caring otherwise. But he commended the protesters for being peaceful and respectful…

Also a certain Very Serious Person took a well-earned victory lap, via video:

Netroots Nation 2017 will be held in Atlanta, August 10-13.

Apart from #Don’t Mourn Organize, what’s on the agenda for the day?

Open Thread: Changing the Direction of the Conversation, Hopefully

nra gop ventriloquist sheneman

(Drew Sheneman via GoComics.com)

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KY and a dry screw

Kentucky submitted their Medicaid Expansion waiver today. and it is a doozy.  There are a couple of interesting and potentially useful nuggets ( I liked the wrap-around policies so that a family that qualifies for multiple categories of aid stay on one plan for simplicity’s sake), a couple of things that I could live with but don’t like and then work requirements tied to health insurance which CMS has always shot down.

Below is a pair of screen shots from the cost justification section of the waiver that I found utterly fascinating.  The top shot is what the state projects will be the enrollment and cost per person per month (PMPM) growth without the waiver.  The  bottom is what the state projects would happen to enrollment and costs with the waiver.  The 1115 waiver is supposed to be at least budget neutral and coverage neutral.

TLDR: Fewer people enrolled at higher costs.

Let’s look at the data below the fold:

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