March 4, 2015 archive
Mar 04 2015
Mar 04 2015
Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when
we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.
This Day in History
Franklin D. Roosevelt sworn in as president, Ronald Reagan takes responsibility for the Iran-Contra affair, the AAA is born in 1904.
Something to Think about over
We’ve collectively decided that putting kids in 3000 pounds of metal traveling at 65 MPH is safe, while letting them walk unsupervised can potentially get them taken away from you and placed in a foster situation. Also known to be safe.
Mar 04 2015
This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
March 4 is the 63rd day of the year (64th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 302 days remaining until the end of the year.
In this day in 1933, at the height of the Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt is inaugurated as the 32nd president of the United States. In his famous inaugural address, delivered outside the east wing of the U.S. Capitol, Roosevelt outlined his “New Deal”–an expansion of the federal government as an instrument of employment opportunity and welfare–and told Americans that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Although it was a rainy day in Washington, and gusts of rain blew over Roosevelt as he spoke, he delivered a speech that radiated optimism and competence, and a broad majority of Americans united behind their new president and his radical economic proposals to lead the nation out of the Great Depression.
The only American president elected to more than two terms, he forged a durable coalition that realigned American politics for decades. FDR defeated incumbent Republican Herbert Hoover in November 1932, at the depths of the Great Depression. FDR’s combination of optimism and activism contributed to reviving the national spirit. Working closely with Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin in leading the Allies against Germany and Japan in World War II, he died just as victory was in sight.
Starting in his “first hundred days” in office, which began March 4, 1933, Roosevelt launched major legislation and a profusion of executive orders that gave form to the New Deal, a complex, interlocking set of programs designed to produce relief (especially government jobs for the unemployed), recovery (of the economy), and reform (through regulation of Wall Street, banks and transportation). The economy improved rapidly from 1933 to 1937, but then went into a deep recession. The bipartisan Conservative Coalition that formed in 1937 prevented his packing the Supreme Court or passing much new legislation; it abolished many of the relief programs when unemployment practically ended during World War II. Most of the regulations on business were ended about 1975-85, except for the regulation of Wall Street by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which still exists. Along with several smaller programs, major surviving programs include the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which was created in 1933, and Social Security, which Congress passed in 1935.
As World War II loomed after 1938, with the Japanese invasion of China and the aggressions of Nazi Germany, FDR gave strong diplomatic and financial support to China and Britain, while remaining officially neutral. His goal was to make America the “Arsenal of Democracy” which would supply munitions to the Allies. In March 1941, Roosevelt, with Congressional approval, provided Lend-Lease aid to the countries fighting against Nazi Germany with Great Britain. He secured a near-unanimous declaration of war against Japan after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, calling it a “date which will live in infamy“. He supervised the mobilization of the US economy to support the Allied war effort. Unemployment dropped to 2%, relief programs largely ended, and the industrial economy grew rapidly to new heights as millions of people moved to new jobs in war centers, and 16 million men (and 300,000 women) were drafted or volunteered for military service.
Roosevelt dominated the American political scene, not only during the twelve years of his presidency, but for decades afterward. He orchestrated the realignment of voters that created the Fifth Party System. FDR’s New Deal Coalition united labor unions, big city machines, white ethnics, African Americans and rural white Southerners. Roosevelt’s diplomatic impact also resonated on the world stage long after his death, with the United Nations and Bretton Woods as examples of his administration’s wide-ranging impact. Roosevelt is consistently rated by scholars as one of the greatest U.S. Presidents.
Mar 04 2015
Recently MSNBC announced that it was making major programming changes to counter its ratings slide. It cancelled two afternoon programs, “The Reid Report” and “The Ronan Farrow Daily” which were replaced by two hours of news programming hosted by Thomas Roberts. A source at MSNBC said that the goal was to “move away from left wing TV.” If anyone ever thought that MSNBC was “left wing TV” than they were paying attention. Three hours of disgraced Republican has-been Joe Scarborough and the other programming throughout the day and into prime time that spouted DNC talking points is not left wing. Never was. And that is why MSNBC is falling in its ratings, as the left wing host of Young Turks, Cenk Uygur, points out he has two million viewers every day.
Maybe, MSNBC should hire Cenk and get Keith Olbermann back and fire Joe Scarborough who is more suited for Fox News.
Mar 04 2015
The Hill reported on Monday that centrist Democrats were preparing to fight the “Elizabeth Warren wing” of the party fearing that a shift to the left would lead to greater losses in 2016.
The New Democrat Coalition (NDC), a caucus of moderate Democrats in the House, plans to unveil an economic policy platform as soon as this week in an attempt to chart a different course.
“I have great respect for Sen. Warren – she’s a tremendous leader,” said Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.), one of the members working on the policy proposal. “My own preference is to create a message without bashing businesses or workers, [the latter of which] happens on the other side.”
Peters said that, if Democrats are going to win back the House and Senate, “it’s going to be through the work of the New Democrat Coalition.”
“To the extent that Republicans beat up on workers and Democrats beat up on employers – I’m not sure that offers voters much of a vision,” Peters said.
Warren’s rapid ascent has highlighted growing tensions in the Democratic Party about its identity in the post-Obama era. [..]
Leaders at three centrist groups – the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI), the New Democrat Network (NDN) and Third Way – arranged a series of meetings with moderates after the disastrous midterm elections to “discuss the future of the party,” according to a source close to the NDC.
The laughable part in that article is thinking that Barack Obama’s election in 2008 brought about a shift to the left in Democratic caucus was bad for the party:
One sign of the shift is the decline of the Blue Dog Coalition, a once-sizable bloc of conservative Democrats that is nearly extinct. More than two-dozen of its members were ousted from office in 2010.
Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), who is viewed as a centrist, said the centrist strain of politician is declining and estimated that “there’s fewer than 100” left in Congress.
“We need more moderates and centrists in both parties,” Carper said. “Part of politics is the art of compromise.”
The problem with that thinking is that it was centrist/right wing/Blue Dog policies that lost the Democrats the House in 2010 and this year the Senate. You can’t compromise with the right wing fundamentalists who are dominating the GOP. That lesson should have been learned during the debt ceiling fight in 2011 when Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) bragged that he got 98% of what he wanted. That’s not compromise, that’s caving. House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) got the message and held the Democratic caucus together during last week’s battle to pass a clean funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security. Today that clean bill passed.
Third Way and “Fix the Debt” Democrats are nothing more that tools of Wall Street and billionaire Pete Peterson who founded and funds Third Way and commissions like Pres. Obama’s Cat Food Commission (that the Democratic congress refused to form) that was nothing more than a cover for destroying Social Security and what is left of the social safety net. None of that is centrist, it is pure corporate right wing ideology. Now they’re back and want the left to shut up, especially Sen. Warren.
Here’s “Uncle” Charlie Pierce from Esquire’s Politics on these charlatans:
Like the shingles, “centrist” Democrats lay dormant in the body until they erupt again and your face feels like it’s burning off. They all showed up at the Cafe today for lunch, and there was some whoopin’ and hollerin’ and triangulatin’ going on, I’ll tell you. I had to threaten to call the cops to stop them from dancing on the counter like scalded monkeys.
“I have great respect for Sen. Warren – she’s a tremendous leader,” said Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.), one of the members working on the policy proposal. “My own preference is to create a message without bashing businesses or workers, [the latter of which] happens on the other side.” Peters said that, if Democrats are going to win back the House and Senate, “it’s going to be through the work of the New Democrat Coalition.”
Who in the fk is brother Peters, you say? Glad you asked. Among his other qualities, he’s rich as hell. So, it should be pointed out, is Senator Professor Warren. But who is advocating for policies guaranteed to take a little money out of their own fat wallet? [..]
Actually, the great American middle-class was born at a time in which the top tax rate was in the neighborhood of 90 percent, and in which financial institutions were carefully regulated, and when there was a general political consensus that public investment and a thriving middle class were good for everyone. Damn, I liked Ike. [..]
Remind me again. What was the fate of all those Democratic candidates who ran away even from this administration’s very modest efforts at moderating income inequality? Nice to see you again, Senator Lundergan Grimes.
As Richard Eskow so pointedly notes Democrats in 2010 and 2014 ran on those centrist policies and lost. Now they want to do it again in 2016. That’s not just insanity, it’s political suicide.
Shout louder, Sen. Warren. Somebody has to keep this country on a better path.
Mar 04 2015
Yes, yes that was a boot to the ‘nads. Now if only his interviews were more like that.
I didn’t mention it last night, but as it develops Jason Jones, the longest serving correspondent at the moment, will also be leaving The Daily Show (Sam Bee, his wife, will be staying with the program). Jessica Williams has announced she is not a host candidate at this time though I understand Brian Williams is shopping his resume.
I don’t expect he’ll get it, the show would lose credibility.
Over on The Nightly Show side I felt the interveiw with DiBlasio went well enough but it wasn’t particularly funny, about the level you’d get from David Letterman. The monologue went pretty well-
If you happen to be assaulted on campus Atrios gives us a warning not to use School Counciling or Medical Services as the records are not protected from the school should you decide to sue them or they you.
The Turtle and The Carrot
This Week’s Guests-
I don’t know what Sigourney Weaver will be on to talk about, but I do know what I want to hear about and that’s her new Aliens project which ditches the last two movies (which were horrible because Ripley dies) and all the vs. Predator crap as non-canon.
Robert Smigel’s web exclusive extended interview and the real news below.