Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

About that “State and local governments are closer to the people” thing …

Indeed, they are; state and local governments are closer to the people.  It’s just that the people they’re closer to probably aren’t, well … you. So, here’s a question: Why isn’t, say, Kay Hagan, who’s running against the Speaker of the State House*, or Charlie Crist, who’s running against Florida governor Rick Scott, um, mentioning this in their campaigns?

Beats me, although it may actually be that they don’t know about this, since apparently the news media in these states and the other six that have enacted similar laws hasn’t bothered to report it. It’s part of what I now think of as vacuum-packed politics, in which only the Republicans ever say anything, and in which for nearly six years now we’ve had a Democratic president who doesn’t trouble himself to respond to falsehoods about policy, or ever actually educate the public about, like, anything. Normally, I would expect the president to, for example, inform the public that, as the New York Times puts it in an editorial today, complaining about the self-defeating cowardice of most of the Democratic Senate candidates in “red” or “purple” states, that the reason he has not imposed a ban on travel to this country from “African countries with Ebola cases [is that] most public­health experts say such a ban would be ineffective and could make the situation worse.  But I don’t expect that, because this president just plain doesn’t do explanation to the public.  It’s pretty difficult for a senator or Senate candidate to educate the public about something of this sort, but it would be very easy for the president to do that.

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It’s the Dems, not the Repubs, that should ‘nationalize’ this election. Here’s how:

Best as I can tell, the concept of “nationalizing” this election has been used exclusively to mean that the Republicans want to make this election all about Obama, Obamacare, and such.  Therefore, if the election is “nationalized,” the Repubs win, right?

In a post here at AB two weeks ago, I listed some of the many important financial-matters legislative accomplishments of the Dem-controlled Congress of 2009-10 that most people don’t know about or have forgotten about, and that I would love to see the Dems run on.  Three days after I posted that post, Elizabeth Warren gave this short, impromptu video interview to New York Times reporter Axel Gerdau, in which she discussed, among other things, the Senate Republicans’ filibuster earlier that day of an important bill she had sponsored that would significantly lower interest rates on former students’ student loans.  Warren used it as an example to illustrate the very essence of what is transpiring in Congress, courtesy of the Republicans, and (in the Senate) of Mitch McConnell.

Just as with the financial-industry legislation enacted during the first two years of the Obama administration, virtually no one even knows about the student-loan interest-rate bill, much less why it won’t be enacted.  The clarity and passion with which Warren spoke, about that bill and, more broadly, about the situation in Congress is something to behold.  A simple playing of that videotape as an ad, especially in Kentucky, but also in the other states that have pivotal senate races, would matter critically, I believe—especially if Warren would cut a follow-up ad explaining the filibuster situation.

What political pundits and Dem politicians and consultants don’t get about Warren’s popularity is that her issues are not presented as “women’s issues” but instead as hugely important financial issues that make a difference to men as well as women.

As regular readers of my posts know, I usually pepper my posts with attempts at humorous sarcasm.  But there’s nothing at all funny about so many Democratic candidates’ and officeholders’ consistent failure to educate the public about non-gender-based economic-populist legislation—legislation that has already been enacted, and legislation that has been proposed but languishes.  Off-hand, the only two Dem senate candidates who have done that are the two who are doing well in the polls: Gary Peters in Michigan, and Kay Hagan in North Carolina.

AB is just a little blog, with only a couple thousand views each day, so unless my point is picked up by other, more-widely-read blogs, my comments here will go unnoticed.  I’m certainly no political consultant, but the ones the Dems use apparently think it’s still 1992. (They’ve all been around since then as consultants—many of them since before then—haven’t they?)  This is so painful for me to watch.

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Thom Tillis vs. Sam Walton and Ray Kroc

From an interview of North Carolina Republican Senate Candidate Thom Tillis by NBC’s Chuck Todd today:

Todd: Do you think [the minimum wage] should be raised in North Carolina?

Tillis: I think that’s a decision that the legislature needs to make with businesses.

Todd: Well, you’re the speaker. Would you make that decision?

Tillis: Right now what we’re trying to do is make the minimum wage – we’ve got a president and Kay Hagan that want to create a minimum wage economy. What I want to do is create jobs that make the minimum wage irrelevant.

Todd: Okay, so… you haven’t really said whether you’d be for raising it or not. Would you support raising it in North Carolina or not?

Tillis: … Instead of focusing on this sort of defeatist mentality where we’ve gotta up the minimum wage, why don’t we focus on creating better-paying jobs?

Okay, so now we know that (1) Tillis credits Barack Obama and Kay Hagan with founding Walmart and transforming McDonald’s–sorry, Sam Walton and Ray Kroc, you didn’t built that–and (2) he wants to force Walmart and McDonald’s to shut down for lack of ability to compete for labor with all those high-paying jobs he will help create once he’s a senator.

Obama and Hagan better start thinking about selling all their stock in these companies they built.

(Sorry; I couldn’t resist posting this. Tried hard, but couldn’t resist.)

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