Excellent Read: “Get Off Kamala Harris’s Back”

There’s been some much-deserved pushback to Ryan Cooper’s “only white men like me can be allowed to serve as True Progressives” manifesto — I particularly liked Wonkette‘s “Sure Guys, It Is Awesome That We Are Shitting On Kamala Harris” — but Brittney Cooper’s essay for Cosmopolitan definitely deserves wider distribution among us political types:

The future of the Democratic Party does not rest on the back of Kamala Harris, the junior senator from California. Furthermore, it is unfair for the Democratic Party to keep hanging its hope on black messianic figures, whom it hopes can bring new relevance to a struggling party. To be clear, there is a lot to like about Harris, the first black woman to hold a Senate position since Carol Moseley-Braun in the 1990s. Despite Ryan Cooper’s screed last week about “why leftists don’t trust Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Deval Patrick,” Harris’s policy positions on free college, single payer health care, an increased minimum wage, and criminal justice reform, are solidly to the left. Still. Black women are not Jesus. It’s not right to expect us to fix what white Americans are so committed to breaking. This debate, then, isn’t about Harris, but about the emotional and political labor that black women are expected to do to save America’s soul…

The biggest lie that members of the so-called “Sanders Left” told during the 2016 elections is that there was no appreciable difference between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. After six months of having Donald J. Trump lead the country, it’s quite clear that the left should have listened to 94 percent of black women voters. We know a disaster when we see one.

Now, to add insult to injury, those on the left are conceding the political narrative of the right. What do I mean? Did Hillary Clinton lose the election with 3 million more popular votes, or did the Trump campaign collude with the Russians while the GOP engaged in massive voter suppression to steal the election? Yes, I get the electoral college system. However, 3 million more popular votes is a win, and not only is there mounting evidence of collusion, but voter suppression was a significant problem, too. As a black “xennial” voter, I was horrified watching the GOP roll back the protection of the Voting Rights Act in locales across the country. So while it is true that if less than 53 percent of white women had voted for Donald Trump, Clinton’s popular victory might have been more resounding, there is something deeply wrong with a Left that thinks the first problem in a stolen democratic election is not theft and voter suppression but a failure to run up the vote totals on the clearly winning side…

In 2016, we were offered two kinds of revolution, one in which the “Sanders Left” tore shit down and one in which the Trump Right tore shit up. Surely you can see why black women, the ones who have been called to take the scraps handed to us by the nation and painstakingly build communities, families, and institutions, would turn down the sledgehammer no matter which white hand was holding it. Revolutionary destruction is still destruction, and black folks are the casualties of these kinds of political visions. Kamala Harris has work to do. But bearing the cross of the Democratic Party and fighting off angry white Sanders voters isn’t her work. So get off her back, and let her soar. In case you missed the memo: Black women are reclaiming our time.



HR incentives and the Mooch

I’ll stomp on Betty for a moment:

Scharden should be freuded here.

Unless someone is in uniform and is receiving a direct order to serve at the White House, why would anyone work for Trump. The competent have mostly disqualified themselves by signing multiple never-Trump letters during the campaign. The hacks are being forced out by Bannon. And now the boot-lickers see that boot licking is not enough if they are manifestly incompetent.

This is not normal.



You’re still here

My reaction on health care right now.



Late Night Open Thread: Head-to-Head, Tip-to-Tip

Be afraid, Alaska! Be very afraid!

Julia Ioffe, ex-Russian emigre, reminds us:



The summary of the Senate AHCA

Here is the TLDR of the Senate AHCA draft.

There are a lot of details that matter (I even like Sec. 102-b-1-B-II) but that is the fundamental difference.

CPI-U comes into play for Medicaid funding in FY 2025.
Per Capita Caps are in play for Medicaid
Enrollment caps for block grants for Medicaid are in play.

Old people in Alaska will be paying 16% of their income in premiums before receiving subsidy assistance.

Taxes are being cut massively with no incentive effect intentions.

There are massive work disincentives embedded in multiple spots throughout the bill

Deductibles are going up

Silver and Gold plans will be hideously priced and hyper narrow networks to dodge sick people

Section 1332 waiver protections are gutted

Any federal dollar can not be in the same zip code as a dollar that is used for abortion

New York is getting hit hard on both the Buffalo Kickback and the Basic Health Plan as immigration status is tightly defined.



Open Thread: Shakespeare in the KULCHA! Wars

As reported in the Washington Post:

Two right-wing activists interrupted the Friday evening performance of a controversial production of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” in New York’s Central Park, causing a stir on social media — where numerous videos of the protest proliferated — and resulting in one woman’s arrest.

In the videos, a woman identified as Laura Loomer, an employee of the far-right website Rebel Media, can be seen storming the stage during the scene of the title character’s assassination, shouting “Stop the normalization of political violence against the right! This is unacceptable!”…

Within the commotion, a second pro-Trump protester, Jack Posobiec, can be seen standing and yelling in the audience, “You are all Goebbels!” and “The blood of Steve Scalise is on your hands!”…

In a string of tweets, the Public Theater confirmed the interruption at its Friday show and said it had been “part of a paid strategy driven by social media.”…

Posobiec, a Washington-based Trump supporter who formerly also worked for Rebel Media, told The Washington Post on Saturday that, contrary to some media reports, he and Loomer did not coordinate their protests. Rather, he had attended the performance at the encouragement of alt-right personality Mike Cernovich, who posted a “challenge” on Periscope last week offering a $1,000 prize for anyone who could get tickets to the play and interrupt the show….

Cash Rules Everything Around Them — dolla-dolla, get tha monee…


(John Wilkes Booth)
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Could A London-Tower-Style Fire Happen Here?

Count on Megan McArglebargle to act as point-person for the Worst Glibertarian Hot Take. For those of us who aren’t being paid to prioritize money over humanity, here’s Justin Davidson, in NYMag, “Could the Grenfell Tower Disaster Happen in New York?”

There is no such thing as an accident when a high-rise building fails. If gas leaks, wires spark, or a wall crumbles, those are not acts of fate, but the preventable consequence of people not doing their jobs. Terminology matters; if it turned out that the fire that consumed Grenfell Tower in London, killing at least 30 people (and probably many more), had been set by a radicalized Muslim immigrant or an anti-Muslim white supremacist, those facts would shape the U.K.’s foreign and security policies. If it’s just an instance of faulty construction, politicians can wring their hands on television, appropriate some emergency funds, and then move on.

It’s too soon to be sure exactly what caused the Grenfell Tower to burn. A thick plume of accusations suggests a lot of possible culprits: a faulty refrigerator; the recently installed cladding of cheap aluminum panels with a flammable core; the gap between the wall and the rain screen, which could have created a chimney effect and sped flames and smoke up the building’s exterior; ineffectual fire alarms; a lack of sprinklers; the presence of just a single fire stair. Behind the technical factors is another layer of social issues. Residents have accused building management and authorities of ignoring their chillingly specific complaints, perhaps because of a generalized disinterest in the building’s poor and largely Muslim population, or because of the pressures of gentrification from the neighborhood all around…

New Yorkers might be tempted to react complacently to some items on this list. Aluminum panels are common, but the slightly less expensive version with the flammable polyethylene core is not legal here. All buildings higher than 50 feet must have automatic sprinklers and two fire stairs, not one. And yet to argue those points is to miss the larger awfulness of the situation. Whether the proximate causes turn out to be corruption, venality, racism, or some combination of all three, the underlying sin is contempt for the people who must live in conditions they cannot control…
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