NN ’14

I’m going to Netroots Nation for Balloon Juice tomorrow. I went in 2011 and mistermix and DougJ went in 2012. Also, there was the famous John Cole and ABL Balloon Juice trip to the Democratic National Convention in 2012.

I will cover the keynotes: Vice President Biden, Senator Warren and Reverend Barber. I’m also going to the Ohio caucus and I hope to hit some other state caucuses. I will (of course) go to the public education privatization panel (my personal obsession) and anything I can find on voting rights. I’m also going to the Fight for Fifteen panel and lunch. I have corresponded with Angry Black Lady and when I figure out which panel she’s on I’ll go to that too.

Here’s the schedule of events. I’ll do my best to get posts up on events in a timely manner but as you probably have figured out by now I am not very good at speedy-quick “BREAKING NEWS” type dispatches, so just be your patient and kind selves and remember I am not (actually) a journalist.

This thing looks huge, just a jam-packed schedule. I am absolutely thrilled it’s in Detroit this year.



A Hack at Reason? No Way!

Johnathan Chait takes a hatchet to Peter Suderman’s non-stop doomsaying about the ACA.








Like a Deadhead Sticker on a Cadillac

IMG_0403

Reader R sends in this gem: Atlas Shrugged plates on a SUV doing deliveries for Domino’s. I don’t think this is quite “going Galt”, but it makes a lot of sense to me.








John Galt’s body lies a-mouldering in the grave

[Content Note: Link to National Review.]

I was thinking of posing this question the other day “Were the 1980s the Golden Age of glibertarianism?” Then I though, nah, can’t be, not while there’s currently a major Republican figure named after Ayn Rand. Then I read this (h/t reader D):

Rand Paul Mitch McConnell: I think that if you were to ask any Republican in Washington which group of Americans stands to benefit most from the ideas and ideals of our party, they’d respond without hesitation that it’s the American middle class, and that any suggestion to the contrary is based on a cheap and dishonest caricature. And yet, I think it must also be admitted that in our rush to defend the American entrepreneur from the daily depredations of an administration that seems to view any profit-making enterprise with deep suspicion – that we have often lost sight of the fact that our average voter is not John Galt. It’s a good impulse, to be sure. But for most Americans, whose daily concerns revolve around aging parents, long commutes, shrinking budgets, and obscenely high tuition bills, these hymns to entrepreneurialism are, as a practical matter, largely irrelevant. And the audience for them is probably a lot smaller than we think.

He’s right of course that hymns to entrepreneurialism are largely irrelevant. They’re too high-brow, an early Rush album when the base wants the Nuge. During the golden age of glibertarianism, people said funny things like….the only thing that’s coming into my head is “pave the planet” which isn’t funny, but I remember there was some idea that P. J. O’Rourke was a good humorist (somebody help me out). Where be their gibes now? Their gambols? Their songs? Their flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar?

When part of your plan is to make everyone read a book that’s longer than the Jonathan Franzen and George Packer books my totebagger friends try to force on me, you need to change your plan.

Update. I’m wrong — it was Mitch not Rand. Not surprised…hate it or love it, he’s a smart guy. (h/t dsmilev)








My Review of Megan McCardle’s Upcoming Opus (Further to the Megan McCardle Is Always Wrong chronicles)

My many enablers in DPM’s thread have noted that news of McArdle’s upcoming volume might be “worth” reviewing.  One even suggested a basic format.
First:  you all are horrible people, wishing upon me or anyone the evils of (a) reading McArdle at book-length and (b) spending the time it would take to disembowel the work honorably.

Second: I’ve already completed my review, along the precise lines recommended within that last comment thread:

Please suggest other one line/haiku McArdle reviews, and/or jabber among yourselves



Open Thread: All the Privileges, None of the Responsibilities

six californias tim draper via nymag

Chewtoy for the bored BJ masses. Things have been so busy over the last couple weeks that I missed posting this earlier, but Kevin Roose at NYMag had fun with a late entry in the 2013 Libertarian “More Money Than Sense” sweeps…

Tim Draper, the third-generation venture capitalist and Silicon Valley money man behind companies like Skype, Hotmail, and Tesla Motors, is no stranger to throwing tons of money behind crazy-sounding ideas. A decade ago, he spent $15 million of his own money trying to pass a school-voucher program in California. When that failed, he launched the Draper University of Heroes, a wacky school for start-up aspirants that I wrote about earlier this year. Now, after leaving DFJ, the venture firm he co-founded, Draper has landed on his newest off-the-wall passion project: a legislative proposal to split California into six pieces, and make Silicon Valley its own state…

Draper’s five-page plan is a little light on details. But among the things it calls for:

  • Splitting California into Jefferson, North California, Central California, West California (which would include L.A.), South California, and Silicon Valley.
  • A plan to divide up California’s existing debts according to the number of people living in a given region, and assign the state’s assets to each new state based on the companies inside them.
  • Draper himself would get a new title, “agent of the state of California,” which would make him eligible to usurp California’s existing attorney general with a lawyer of his own choosing, for the purposes of defending the Six States plan…
  • .
    …[I]t’s a passive-aggressive swipe at the less economically productive regions of California, cloaked in a measure that purports to be good for all citizens of the state. Tim Draper wants the protection afforded by the United States government, without having to submit to the taxes and regulatory slow-footedness coming out of Sacramento. He wants Silicon Valley to be independent enough to play around with drones and genetic engineering, but not so independent that it needs its own military….

    **********
    Apart from thinking of all the better things you could do with Tim Draper’s money, what’s on the agenda for the evening?








    Fighters For Fifteen

    The fast food strikers were out again yesterday:

    With support from union groups such as the Service Employees International Union, the fast-food protests have dramatically grown over the course of the last year. The early protests in New York City in November grew to thousands of protesters waging actions in seven other cities during the summer. An August strike spread to more than fifty cities, including areas in the South that have historically been hostile to union actions.
    Mary Coleman, known to her co-workers as Ms. Mary, works at a Popeye’s in Milwaukee for $7.25 an hour. Coleman, 59, lives with her daughter, who has a heart condition, and her two grandchildren. She also relies on food stamps to make ends meet and says she would gladly trade in her Qwest card for higher wages.
    Coleman says she is inspired by the organizing of low-wage workers in other states.
    “I’m very excited about it, and it lets me know people can come together and do what’s right,” she says.
    Danielle, 23, is a fast food worker at Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ’n Biscuits in Charleston who will be going on strike.
    She walks five miles every day to work, and because she’s on her own, says she has trouble paying her bills on time. Sometimes she receives her paycheck and sees it isn’t even enough to cover rent.
    “It makes me feel good because people are opening their mouths and going on strike, and saying we want a raise. We’ve been busting out butts and we finally want a raise. I’m glad to be one of the people going on strike because this is ridiculous,” she says.
    Danielle adds she doesn’t fear retaliation from her employers for going on strike.
    “I know my rights as a manager. They can’t fire me for opening my mouth. I earned [my paycheck], I’m a hard worker.”

    I was following the strike yesterday on Twitter, and they were putting out photos.

    Here’s Mary Coleman, from the story:

    BautxxgIMAAGwit

    BauMah4IIAAiAhE

    BaulMgcCUAAhimH

    BavUTbXCUAEYdyK