Monday Morning Open Thread: Best We Can Do Is Persist

Some days you’re Walter, some days you’re the (confused) goat…


Friday Morning Open Thread: After the Debate

My opinion: Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris both did really well (although Warren will no doubt be dinged as ‘too wonky’ and Harris as ‘insufficiently specific’). Buttigieg, O’Rourke, Booker, and Klobuchar all had good moments for their future campaign ads. The two old guys at center stage did a credible parody of Statler & Waldorf… okay, that’s mean, but Biden’s dental implants seemed to be giving him problems, and Sanders was not only hoarse even before he started shouting but his old-man jowls are slipping back down around his jaws…

The Guardian liveblog finished with a pretty good “key takeaways from the debate” summary — and not just because I generally agree with it.

I will have more about last night’s debate, if only to highlight my two favorite candidates’ performances. But here’s a couple immediate OMG moments that the media will be gumming over right now. First, Beto continues his ‘Fvck it, y’all know I’m right about this’ tour:

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Election 2020 Open Thread: “Eat the Rich — Elect President Warren”

The New Yorker‘s economics correspondent John Cassidy, no wild-eyed radical:

As Senator Elizabeth Warren prepares for Thursday’s Democratic debate, in Houston, she is the first viable contender for the Presidency in decades to have proposed a direct tax on wealth. In January, she unveiled a plan to assess a two-per-cent levy on fortunes greater than fifty million dollars and to tax three cents on every dollar of wealth exceeding a billion dollars. Since then, economists have been debating the proposal’s practicality and desirability. During a conference at the Brookings Institution in Washington last week, some of the main protagonists faced off. Many of the technical issues that they raised were important, but to me the main thing that came across was the groundbreaking nature of Warren’s proposal.

In theory, the United States already taxes wealth—the stock of cash, financial instruments, real estate, equity in private businesses, and consumer durables—through the estate tax. But this levy applies to wealth accumulated over a lifetime, and the high marginal rate on large bequests (currently forty per cent) has prompted a great deal of avoidance (some legal, some illegal) and political opposition. In 2001, a Republican-controlled Congress passed legislation to get rid of the estate tax completely. That law expired in 2010, and the tax was resurrected in an even weaker form. Trump and the G.O.P.’s tax reforms of 2017 further reduced the estate tax’s impact by doubling the exemption threshold.

Rather than trying to eliminate some of the estate tax’s loopholes, which the Obama Administration proposed, Warren put forward a new tax that has the dual political advantages of sounding modest (two cents on the dollar) and, if it works as advertised, bringing in a lot of revenue—$2.75 trillion over ten years, the campaign says. Unlike the estate tax, it would be paid annually and applied to a base—those with the largest fortunes in the country—that has grown enormously over the past four decades, driven by soaring asset prices and a sharp rise in wealth concentration, especially at the very top.
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Thursday Morning Open Thread

Another DNC debate — this time in Houston — tonight. Not sure my mind has been sufficiently strengthened to survive this performance again…

The important question, IMO, is which Repub grifter(s) are getting the rakeoff on this stunt? Per ABC:

President Donald Trump’s campaign intends to counter-program the Democratic primary debate hosted by ABC News and Univision with an ad blitz that includes two full-page newspaper ads and flying a massive banner in the air that blasts socialism just before candidates take the stage.

“Socialism will kill Houston’s economy!” the ad reads, along with a number to text, according to a rendering provided to ABC News by a Trump campaign official.

The campaign is spending around $7,500 for the flight and production of the ad, which is scheduled to fly from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. local time — an hour before Democrats are set to square-off in their first one-night debate this cycle…

Speaking of dumb stunts, and the Media Village Idiots who love them:

If your mind immediately goes to full-frontal strip-tease, too late — a Libertarian candidate already tried that back in 2016. (He didn’t win, either.)

Speaking of MVIs, Yang’s got a new fan:

Still, keeping it positive:

Election 2020 Open Thread: Kamala Harris Is Running Like A Winner

Complete interview here: