Pulling the Princes From Their Thrones

“He has pulled down the princes from from their thrones and exalted the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things, the rich sent empty away.” Mary, the mother of Jesus, Luke 1:52-53 The Washington, DC version of what’s left, right, and centrist are very strange indeed. People who want to blow holes in the federal deficit by giving away promiscuous tax cuts, subsidies, and bailouts we can’t afford to profitable industries are considered conservative. People who advocate policies opposed by 80% of Americans, such as cutting Social Security benefits, are considered centrists. And people who advocate common-sense policies supported by 70-80% in the polling are considered far to the lef

A Progressive Populism That Works

There is a lot of talk in Democratic party circles about populism (which among Democrats is generally of a more progressive nature) vs centrism. All three terms — progressive, populism, and centrism — are thrown around way too loosely by pundits who rarely know what they are talking about. For some, it all boils down to the differences (stylistically as well as substantively) between Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren. For others, it is a debate about whether Democrats should talk about growth or inequality — a recent report from Benenson Strategy Group and SKDKnickerbocker ominously warned that swing voters want the focus to be on growth rather than inequality. Some pundits talk about whe

Go Midwest, Young Man

Let’s just say it one last time: 2014 was a rough year for Democrats. We had our asses handed to us, and with the exception of a few Democrats winning big races, it’s abundantly clear that somewhere along the way we lost our voice. We forgot to tell people why we are Democrats. It’s time for us to do a little soul-searching. So as we figure out what happened and get past this moment, as Democrats and Progressives struggle to find our own True North, let’s get back to some strategy basics. There is a lot we can do better, which I have been writing about in recent blog posts, but one fairly simple thing we could do might not seem that important, yet it is: We can hold the DNC convention in Ohi

Financial Collapse: The Sequel?

Wall Street lobbyists have snuck into the budget package an amendment that would repeal the part of Dodd-Frank that reins in the financial weapon of mass destruction called Credit Default Swaps. Per usual, it is Elizabeth Warren that explains this best. You will hear a lot of folks say that the rule that will be repealed in the Omnibus is technical and complicated, and that you shouldn’t worry about it because smart people who know more than you about financial issues say that it’s no big deal. Don’t believe them. Actually, the rule is pretty simple. Here’s what it’s called — the rule that the House is about to repeal — and I’m quoting from the text of Dodd-Frank: “PROHIBITION AGAINST FEDERA

Singularly Bad Idea: Wall Street Taking Over Public Education

Hedge fund CEOs and various kinds of slick venture capitalists see tapping the public education “market” — the pool of public dollars federal, state, and local governments spend on education — as a great new way to make big bucks. Many of these investors hoping for big payoffs, including some of the Walton family and the Koch brothers, also have very conservative political agendas. So when you hear politicians from both parties tout all the glories of charter schools and vouchers, ask yourself this question: Do you really want Wall Street hedge funds — hedge funds being the ultimate speculators on Wall Street — running our educational system? Will we have charter school-backed securities tha

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