Daily Clips: May 5th, 2016

Daily Clips: May 5th, 2016

Rule on arbitration would restore right to sue banks: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is “unveiling a proposed rule on Thursday that would restore customers’ rights to bring class-action lawsuits against financial firms, giving Americans major new protections and delivering a serious blow to Wall Street that could cost the industry billions of dollars.” Thankfully, the proposed rule doesn’t need congressional approval, so it seems certain that this will become law. Democrats are built to win in 2016:  According to Peter Beinart at the Atlantic, “the party’s current iteration is tailor-made to defeat xenophobia and take down Donald Trump.” He goes onto analyze why “since 2004, Americans who exhibit higher levels of ‘racial resentment’ have moved toward the GOP and those who exhibit lower levels have moved toward the Democrats.” National prayer day is not secular:  The US is not a Christian nation. If you think we are because a majority of our people are Christian, then by that logic we should also be called a white nation. Don’t fool yourselves. Tweet of the day: Just another day in Washington State. 17-year-old girl fatally shot in Burien; 17-year-old boy arrested https://t.co/c1icWoHU6N — The Seattle Times (@seattletimes) May 5, 2016

One Year Ago, Conservatives Predicted a Pizza Drought in Seattle. Were They Right?

One Year Ago, Conservatives Predicted a Pizza Drought in Seattle. Were They Right?

Just over a year ago, Ritu Shah Burnham, the owner of the Capitol Hill outpost of the national Z Pizza franchise chain announced that she was closing her pizza restaurant because of Seattle’s rising minimum wage . Shah Burnham expressed concern about the future of her employees to the local Fox affiliate: “I absolutely am terrified for them,” she said. “I have no idea where they’re going to find jobs, because if I’m cutting hours, I imagine everyone is across the board.” Shah Burnham’s quotes were picked up and circulated across the country by conservative news sites and economists as a sign that Seattle was on the fast track to destruction. Now that a year has officially passed since the Z Pizza saga exploded in the local media as a small-scale indictment of Seattle’s minimum-wage battle, I thought I’d check out the Capitol Hill pizza scene. How many pizza restaurants have opened within walking distance of Z Pizza in the time since that fateful Fox Q13  report in April of last year? Here, in order of personal preference, is a list: 1. Dino’s Tomato Pie (Nine minute walk from the old Z Pizza location.) From its intentionally terribad website to its self-proclaimed “longest bar in Seattle,” Dino’s Tomato Pie feels like it’s been around for decades. I’ve only eaten at Dino’s once since they opened in early March, but I keep having flashbacks to their delicious pizza—square, with thick crust and a spicy tomato sauce. It’s my clear favorite of all the new places that have opened on and around Capitol Hill. 2. Italian Family Pizza (Twelve minute walk from the old Z Pizza Location.) Italian Family Pizza is opening soon on First Hill , and as soon as it does, it’s going to be a serious contender for my coveted Favorite Pizza Restaurant Within Walking Distance of Z Pizza title. At their downtown location, Italian Family Pizza serves up huge pies—never slices—in a variety of styles. They are all
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Daily Clips: May 4th, 2016

Daily Clips: May 4th, 2016

Let me first address the major topic of the day: Donald Trump’s victory. No, liberals, this doesn’t represent a “ death of the Republican Party .” This is what you call an adaption. They’ve switched their focus from “principled conservatism” to rampant, angry nationalism. Trump recognized this and gave the base what it wanted. Sorry, Jeb! and Scott Walker, “tax cuts and deregulation” won’t cut it anymore. Democrats couldn’t have asked for a better candidate to face in 2016. The White House and Senate are now ours for the taking. Alex Jones celebrates Trump’s victory by telling George Will, “Blow what little is left of your brains out.”  Classy. Harnessing the power of the new working class:   But when labor is weak, as it is now, it lacks the political and economic juice required to win its own battles, much less to pass remedial legislation on its own behalf. Tweet of the day:  Data: The parties no longer deliver candidates Americans can respect. Troubling. pic.twitter.com/w1nYhN3qQ0 — Edward Snowden (@Snowden) May 4, 2016

Young Americans are Fleeing the GOP. Will Democrats Screw This Up?

Young Americans are Fleeing the GOP. Will Democrats Screw This Up?

I recently pointed out that Democrats tend to think progress either occurs incrementally or through dramatic change. These distinct theories of change can help us understand why certain voters support a given candidate. Age, I reasoned, was the best indicator of how individuals understood societal progress. Generally speaking, the dramatic-change camp is occupied by younger voters, while incrementalist tendencies are exhibited by older individuals (yes, I realize there are older individuals who support Bernie Sanders and younger people who love Hillary Clinton). While I still remain hopeful that Democrats will be demographically forced to abandon incrementalism, I’m becoming more skeptical — especially after I saw findings from  a new survey of American adults  which shows that Republicans have lost significant ground with young voters in the last year alone (emphasis mine): Sixty-one percent of 18-to-29 year-olds prefer that a Democrat be elected president in the fall, while 33 percent of those surveyed back a Republican. That gap of 28 percentage points has nearly doubled since a similar poll conducted last year … In pursuit of votes from their xenophobic and misogynistic base, Republicans have been forced into an awful short-term electoral strategy. By doing so, the GOP has abandoned young voters, which not only happens to be myopic, but also a terrible long-term strategy as a host of research shows. Partisan identification in one’s early years becomes “ a remarkably stable factor over a voters’ life .” So when you have nearly 51% of “millennials identifying as Democrats or leaning Democratic, compared with 35% who identify with the GOP or lean Republican ,” you’re alienating the next generation for (perhaps) the rest of their lives. That’s not an exaggeration. An influential work on party identification, The American Voter (1964), found that “persons who identify with one of the parties typically have held the same partisan tie for all or almost all of their adult lives.” Everything which I’ve just laid out seems to be excellent news for Democrats. So why am I nervous about these findings? Here’s the rub. The Republican surrender of the youth vote could benefit the conservative movement in a key way: it
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Daily Clips: May 3rd, 2016

Daily Clips: May 3rd, 2016

David Brooks blames inequality on “choice explosion” in America:  Brooks actually says: “the choice explosion has contributed to widening inequality.” He’s never written an article lamenting the structural forces which hold so many Americans back. But boy does he place all the blame on individuals in this article! Absolute blindness to the actual issues at play. Bernie Sanders’ gift to his party: The New York Times editorial board has a sterling piece today on Bernie’s influence. Here’s my favorite paragraph: Mr. Sanders has exposed a broad vein of discontent that Democrats cannot ignore. Predictions that Mr. Sanders’s supporters could migrate to Donald Trump in the fall are overstated , despite Mr. Trump’s cynical efforts to woo them. It’s more likely that some simply won’t vote. Mrs. Clinton is betting that many Democrats will be motivated to get to the polls if Mr. Trump is the Republican nominee. But to truly unify the party, Mrs. Clinton and party leaders must work to incorporate Mr. Sanders and what he stands for in the party’s approach to the general election. It would also help to acknowledge that the party has strayed at times from its more aspirational path. Democracies end when they are too democratic: So says Andrew Sullivan in a thought provoking column on the state of American politics. There’s much to disagree with, but it’s at the very least well researched and incredibly argued.  Tweet of the day: Starvation should be just as business unfriendly as lower profits. — Glenn Fleishman (@GlennF) May 3, 2016

Can We Afford To Talk About Campaign Finance Reform Without Talking About Voting Rights?

Can We Afford To Talk About Campaign Finance Reform Without Talking About Voting Rights?

On a sunny Saturday earlier this year, I stood across the street from Town Hall Seattle on an oil-stained driveway in front of a condo building I’ll never be able to afford as a man in Transitions® Lenses shouted at me about how Bernie Sanders was going to get money out of politics. “He’s going to overturn Citizens United!” the man, who was caucusing for Sanders, yelled at our precinct. “He’s going to make sure that corporations can’t buy elections anymore!” “And then what?” I asked. “And then the billionaires can’t buy elections anymore!” the man stated triumphantly to applause. That wasn’t exactly what I was asking. This campaign promise has been a keystone for Sanders (Hillary Clinton’s campaign has stumbled on this talking point  but has been refining it as the race trundles on) and it clearly resonated deeply with this man. On his campaign site, Sanders outlines his hope for the nation: Our vision for American democracy should be a nation in which all people, regardless of their income, can participate in the political process, can run for office without begging for contributions from the wealthy and the powerful. Which is, of course, an extremely great goal—but, in the absence of a plan to address another huge, looming issue that’s aggressively threatening democracy, it feels a little hollow. What I wanted to ask the man at my caucus, and what I’m still wondering about, is this: If you spend all of your energy rallying to get money out of politics, but at no point work to get more people involved in politics, what is the end result? Or, put more simply: Can we afford to talk about campaign finance reform without talking about voting rights? Interestingly, in August of 2015, Bernie Sanders has  addressed this question directly : We are facing a two-pronged attack on our democracy — unlimited money poured into the political process, paired with the
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Daily Clips: May 2nd, 2016

Daily Clips: May 2nd, 2016

The diabetic economy: Krugman offers a lovely analogy that likens low interest rates to the “insulin injections that diabetics must take.” These injections, like artificially low interest rates “aren’t part of a normal lifestyle, and may have bad side effects, but they’re necessary to manage the symptoms of a chronic disease.” In the rest of the article, Krugman looks at the disappointing nature of Europe’s economy while finding “ample grounds for hope” in the American economy. Basic income should be the next big thing: Now and then a worthy economic proposal comes along that seems as politically unattainable as it is sensible. Then, on closer inspection, you see that it’s more than a policy-wonk’s fantasy. And you wonder whether it could actually prevail. If you haven’t already read my overview of universal basic income, you can do so here . The idea is extremely enticing. In our lifetimes, it is not hard to imagine basic income being implemented in the US. Why Hillary Clinton may be doomed to repeat the Obama presidency: A sobering read to start your week. But a necessary one. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how the Democratic Party is split into two camps : incrementalism or dramatic change. Waldman has a similar view, as he noted “Clinton’s natural inclination toward incrementalism.” This strength/weakness of hers could mean that her presidency looks a lot “like a repeat of Obama’s, except perhaps without the enormous early wins.” Clinton’s battle plan: Don’t expect Hillary to sit back and take Trump’s insults. She will most likely throw the first punch.

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