Posts by Nick Cassella

Daily Clips: November 18, 2016

Daily Clips: November 18, 2016

What are the similarities between the new right and new left in Western politics? A piece highlighted to our team by our prez, Zach Silk— I cannot recommend it enough. It’s a fantastic dissection into the global nature of Brexit, Trump, and France’s National Front. Mark Blyth’s greatest insight comes however in how he finds common traits between the left and right wing versions of “this phenomenon.” To the author, they all share these common denominators. These parties are: pro welfare, pro state, and anti-finance He continues: These parties of course have very different policy stances. The new right favors nationals over immigrants and has, at best, a rather casual relationship with the liberal understanding of human rights. The new left, in contrast, favors redistribution from top to bottom and inclusive rather than exclusionary growth policies. Are video games breeding an assassination generation? No, next question. What is Seattle’s biggest economic weak spot?  Jon Stewart on Donald Trump Tweet of the day Well played, @RickBaldwin pic.twitter.com/5l3t7HZTpP — Roben Farzad (@robenfarzad) November 18, 2016

The Journey to the White House Does Not Begin with Baby Steps

The Journey to the White House Does Not Begin with Baby Steps

During the Democratic primary, I was very much influenced by the thoughts and arguments of  Robert Cruickshank —a senior campaign manager at Democracy for America. Cruickshank was a Bernie supporter, while I backed Clinton, yet we both agreed that the Democratic Party must advance bold and dramatic policies that helped all Americans in order to be successful electorally. I supported Hillary Clinton because I thought she had the best chance to win. That said, I was very concerned with her penchant for gradual progressivism; particularly her inability to view higher education as a fundamental right  and not a market commodity. I worried that Clinton’s messaging was too narrow and specialized. Instead of altering the narrative behind why key policy choices should be pursued, Clinton was busy coming up with complex ideas that were viewed as bipartisan. It seemed as if she was petrified of rocking the boat in a moment where the boat was taking on water. In May, I warned against such tactics: By resting on their incrementalist laurels…Democrats could make an electoral mistake. If they preach gradual progressivism, then they could give Republicans an opening to become the party which offers the American people a transformative vision. Just today, the New York Times editorial board warned that Democrats must address how they have “ strayed at times from [their] more aspirational path .” Merely throwing lean bones to the dramatic-change camp will not cut it for Democrats going forward. Eventually they will have to address the “ broad vein of discontent ” that pulses through America today and calls for an overhaul. The American people wanted an overhaul and the Democrats gave them maintenance. It is easy to see why Hillary Clinton’s campaign took comfort in doing so. They analyzed the success of the 2012 Obama campaign which regressed from “hope” and “change” to “hold the line.” Barack and co were victorious in the end because 1) the Republican nominee wasn’t a change-heavy candidate and 2) we were only four years removed from the financial crisis, so
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Daily Clips: November 17, 2016

Daily Clips: November 17, 2016

The messy politics of Obamacare repeal There’s a reason Republicans have voted to repeal Obamacare scores of times but have not in six-and-a-half years devised a coherent replacement: it’s tough substantively, and treacherous politically. Jobless claims in US decline to lowest level in four decades Can cities protect their immigrants from Trump? Trump can’t federalize local police departments, and it’s a stretch to imagine he would send in the national guard or the army to lock up whole communities and then sift through them to identify those without papers. What he can do is diminish or cut off federal funding to cities that retain their sanctuary status. Goldman Sachs, bank to the elite, makes pitch to the masses Tweet of the day And I've seen it all: Bill O'Reilly: Trump “Should Accept" Paris Treaty On Climate To Buy Some Goodwill Overseas” https://t.co/BMnRwzdSKc — Trey Pollard (@TreyPollard_SC) November 17, 2016

A time for questions

A time for questions

The day before the election, the Seattle Review of Books published a piece of mine which examined Against Democracy —a contrarian treatise written by Jason Brennan. The author’s arguments essentially boiled down to two deficiencies related to collective rule: 1) people are susceptible to supporting positions and politicians that do not serve their best interests and 2) public discourse tends to the lowest common denominator of society. Where myself and Brennan disagreed was whether or not these two very real issues were insurmountable. He ultimately views democratic citizens as irredeemable, while I consider my fellow citizens as reformable. As the reality of Hillary Clinton’s loss began to sink in last Tuesday night, I turned to Paul Constant (the co-founder of the Seattle Review of Books) and asked him if I could add an addendum to my piece: “Ignore all of the arguments I have hitherto made. Democracy is a terrible form of government.” In all seriousness, Americans should take the result of November 8th, 2016 as an opportunity to reflect on our responsibilities as civic participants. Is our government structured in the best way possible? If not, how could we improve it? Will building the wall help give identity to our people? Will registering Muslims make us safer? Now is a time for questions, not answers.

Daily Clips: November 16, 2016

Daily Clips: November 16, 2016

We must rethink globalization or Trumpism will prevail Thomas Piketty believes “Trump’s victory is primarily due to the explosion in economic and geographic inequality in the United states ovver several decades and the inability of successive governments to deal with this.” The man who would kill Dodd-Frank Read about Rep. Jeb Hensarling, the Texas Republican “who wants to overhaul financial regulation” and “is under consideration to be Donald Trump’s Treasury secretary.” Donald Trump is “planning register for Muslims” This is how it begins. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren join the Democratic leadership While this is good news, it’s infuriating to see Schumer giving senior roles to “centrists” like Joe Manchin (D-WV). Have they learned nothing from this election? Shoppers ramp up spending ahead of key holiday shopping season Capitalism for the win. All must be right in America. Tweet of the day China tells Trump climate change isn't a hoax it invented https://t.co/eWVQtI28t3 pic.twitter.com/7qV3RfzTTE — Bloomberg (@business) November 16, 2016

Daily Clips: November 15th, 2016

Daily Clips: November 15th, 2016

Gwen Ifill dies I remember watching the PBS News Hour with my grandparents and parents at a very young age. I remember being amazed at how sophisticated the conversation seemed. I remember really liking Jim Lehrer and his monotone drawls. I remember loving Gwen Ifill. She was a soft-spoken, yet critical reporter. I will miss her. The republic repeals itself  Andrew Sullivan…take a bow. A sobering read that simultaneously inspires and dampens the spirits of those against Trump. FBI: Hate crimes spike, most sharply against Muslims Horrifying. It’s only going to get worse. Examining how Washington State voted in the presidential election Here’s the likelier explanation for Trump’s overall underperformance: the Puget Sound is doing pretty well economically right now. A poll earlier this year by Strategies360 showed that King County residents say, by an over two-to-one margin, that they’re happy with the direction of Washington State. Compare that to recent national polls that show Americans think the country is on the wrong track by the same margin. Democrats once represented the working class. Not any more Robert Reich and Thomas Frank have been banging this drum for awhile. Their arguments are sound and convincing. Can cities counter the power of Donald Trump? It is cities that can, perhaps, find a way to allow black and white to join in opposition to monopoly power rather than, by setting them against one another, assure its consolidation. It is in cities where Martin Luther King, at the end of his life, devoted himself to the pursuit of racial justice for both blacks and whites in his Operation Breadbasket. That must be the model.

Daily Clips: November 14th, 2016

Daily Clips: November 14th, 2016

After last week’s disastrous federal results, I failed to publish any clips. In truth, I failed to do anything of consequence all week. He Who Must Not Be Named is now my president. That stings. Consequently, I will do everything in my power to not link to stories about him or his alt-right buddies. It’s just too painful for me at this point in time. On the alleged failure of “liberal progressivism” Excellent discussion over at the political blog, Crooked Timber. The author takes issue with the claim that “liberal progressivism” has held a hegemonic grip on society for thirty years. He even throws in some Rawlsian terms, which got me excited. Is Political Science This Year’s Election Casualty? No. What a terrible hot take. UPS air maintenance workers vote 98 percent to authorize strike Contract talks remain deadlocked over health-care benefits. Another example of greedy workers ruining capitalism! A blueprint for a new Democratic Party But electing individual progressives does little to change the broad dynamics of American politics or American capitalism. In fact, it can create a kind of placebo effect: sustaining the illusion of forward motion while obscuring the fact that neither party is structurally built to reflect working-class interests. Tweet of the day: Irony…Hamilton's Federalist#68 says electoral college was created to reverse the election of an unfit candidate. @JoyAnnReid @KevinMKruse pic.twitter.com/CoO9jv08rO — Douglas A. Blackmon (@douglasblackmon) November 12, 2016

Daily Clips: November 8th, 2016

Daily Clips: November 8th, 2016

And so it ends. The Washington Post’s Editorial Board calls out GOP; claims they are “rigging” election by pushing voter suppression. Voters could legalize marijuana for quarter of all Americans. Inclusive growth and inequality in Europe Tweets of the (big) day: Is this Brexit day in the US? I hope so. — Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) November 8, 2016 Pls vote for Hillary today. Even if you don't like her, its necessary to block a dangerous lunatic ultimate power. #ThisTimeIsDifferent — Bill Maher (@billmaher) November 8, 2016

Daily Clips: November 7, 2016

Daily Clips: November 7, 2016

Racism and sexism are extremely bad for the economy: Hamilton Nolan is now writing at Deadspin, and he is already providing excellent economic analysis to his new outlet. Dems are likelier than not to win the Senate majority:  Democrats need to pick up four seats to win the Senate. Wall St. soars as FBI clears Clinton ahead of Election Day:  Investors probably just love her populism. Obama’s plan to destroy America has failed miserably:   Republicans’ eagerness to exploit and encourage that kind of stupidity is what makes it so difficult to resolve ordinary political differences. Because in order to resolve them, both sides have to accept that they are in fact ordinary, that the world is not going to end if one side prevails, and that somebody who has a substantive disagreement with you about policy isn’t necessarily a demon bent on ripping you open and feasting on your entrails. Tweet of the day: Hillary passed Obama in total black voters who participated in Early Voting in Florida. 2012: 539,0002016: 564,000 (not counting today) — Adam Smith (@AdamSmith_usa) November 7, 2016

Daily Clips: November 4th, 2016

Daily Clips: November 4th, 2016

Sec of State Kim Wyman falls under sway of big-money corporate lobbying: Kim Wyman, who is a Republican, loves to tell Washington voters that she is not interested in partisan bickering. So it therefore appears somewhat odd that she went to “closed-door meetings” sponsored by the NRA and others. In fact, just last month there was a weekend retreat put together by Koch Industries where they “shot pheasant and clay pigeons.” Minimum-wage advocates chastised Washington’s secretary of state, Kim Wyman , who is in the midst of a re-election campaign. She has benefited from a blitz of radio advertisements paid for by the Republican group that sponsored the May meetings with industry representatives. Ms. Wyman declined requests to comment. The US economy created 161k jobs in October: The unemployment rate fell to 4.9%, as well. Study: Obama tax hikes on rich didn’t hurt economy, or rich : Would you look at that. State ballot initiatives on gun control appear likely to pass: Washington, Maine, and Nevada all look posed to win big on Extreme Risk Protection Orders and universal background checks, respectively. Tweet of the day: