Why Bernie Matters

Opponents of Bernie Sanders have been having a field day. Over the past couple of weeks, the Vermont Senator has taken a number of shots. A writer at Slate rather absurdly knocks him for 1) hosting a popular podcast allegedly characterized by shoddy production values and softball questions. More seriously, he has been criticized both for 2) failing to endorse, at least initially, Democratic Congressional candidate Jon Ossoff in Georgia’s sixth district, and 3) endorsing Omaha mayoral candidate Heath Mello notwithstanding Mello’s votes to restrict abortion rights in the Nebraska legislature. Sanders also continues to hear from carpers who resent his decision 4) to re-become an independent after registering as a Democrat before his Presidential run. Continue reading

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A Path to the Governor’s Mansion for Ben Jealous

Former NAACP President Ben Jealous has indicated that he will compete for Maryland’s Democratic gubernatorial nomination and the right to square off against Larry Hogan in next year’s general election. Mr. Jealous faces a daunting task. In order to take on the “deeply popular” Republican, he’ll have to beat a slate of other Democrats while likely facing staunch opposition from Maryland’s Democratic Party.

Read the rest of my Baltimore Sun op-ed here.

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Progressive Maryland Videocast 3 (March 26)

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Progressive Maryland Videocast (March 22)

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USA – GINI Coefficient since 1900

This chart (it’s linked to an interactive webpage) shows how income and wealth inequality in America dropped significantly in the 1930s and reached their lowest point in the 1960s and Continue reading

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First Progressive Maryland Videocast

My first videocast for Progressive Maryland with co-host Karen Guzman. The lighting is a little sketchy but we’ll get that fixed for the next one.

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Same Old Democrats

The Republican Party’s power is approaching hegemonic proportions. In the wake of the November election, Republicans now control the White House, both Houses of Congress, and soon will have a majority on the Supreme Court. They dominate thirty-two state legislatures and thirty-three governors are Republican. If the GOP can pick up two more state houses, it will be in a position to call for a constitutional convention. At such a gathering, expect significant increases in the government’s power over individuals and greater limits on its ability to regulate corporations. Continue reading

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Progressive Discontent in Maryland

Appearances to the contrary, Maryland’s Progressive Democrats have little to cheer about. The newly-elected Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez may hail from Montgomery County but the party establishment hand-picked him to run when it appeared economic populist Keith Ellison was likely to prevail. While over 60% of Marylanders are registered Democrats, Republican Governor Larry Hogan is enjoying “sky-high popularity.” Despite Maryland’s high cost of living, the intransigence of some Democratic legislators and executives has stymied efforts in Baltimore City, Montgomery County, and Prince George’s County to raise the minimum wage to $15. Maryland’s traditionally excellent public schools are struggling to accommodate influxes of immigrants and increasing numbers of students from poor families. Continue reading

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Interview with Montgomery County Councilman Craig Rice

Councilman Rice and I discuss Montgomery County, MD, Public Schools, ways to combat poverty, and the problems posed by Republican executive power.

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Halcast 3

Enjoy a wide-ranging fast-moving chat with “Friend of Hal” Glenn Sadowsky.

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Halcast 2

Great conversation with “Listen to Cliston” Brown and Danny “Thoughtwrestler” Cardwell about the Democratic Party’s (and our) woes.

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On the Democratic Party’s Messaging Woes

To increase legibility, please click on image.

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First Halcast

Jack beat me to the punch as he posted this on his facebook page yesterday. If you didn’t see it there, here’s my first videocast. Feedback is definitely desired. I know it’s long (although I hope you find it rewarding) and the cam is almost solely on Jack. I’ll be working on both issues.  So, most future Halcasts will be pithier with (slightly) more dynamic video. Here’s what I especially like: the audio quality is very good and I think the video is surprisingly clean even though Jack was on an iPhone.

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Sam Ronan for DNC Chair

USAF veteran Sam Ronan’s positions are closer to Bernie’s (and mine) than Keith Ellison’s are.  Unlike Keith, Ronan is calling for an end to all corporate donations to the Democratic party and Democratic candidates.  His platform is more unapologetically progressive.  http://www.ronanfordnc.org/the-vision-for-our-future/

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Bernie versus Hillary Redux or the War for the Democratic Party’s Soul

The Democratic Party is not big enough for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. They embody mutually exclusive visions of the economic policies the party should pursue and the ethical rules which it should follow. Accordingly, efforts to tamp down or paper over disagreements between those who supported Clinton in the primaries and those who supported Sanders are doomed to fail and shouldn’t even be attempted. Continue reading

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My interview with MD Delegate Jeff Waldstreicher

Delegate Waldstreicher and I discuss the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act, the Fight for 15, and how progressives can win!

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Fusing Group Identity and Class-Based Politics

In respective post-election “taking stock” articles, Columbia History Professor Mark Lilla for the New York Times and Alex Seitz-Wald at NBC suggest how the Democratic Party can return to prominence. Lilla contends that Trump’s victory should mark the End of Identity Liberalism. Identity liberalism, as practiced by Democrats like Hillary Clinton, consists of appeals to discrete groups identified by race, ethnicity, gender, and sexually orientation. This is a losing strategy, Lilla argues, and must be rejected in favor of one that seeks to attract voters based on shared economic interests and overarching national goals. Continue reading

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My Interview with Rob Scribbler on Global Warming

For much more browse to www.robertscribbler.com.

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Hotter than ever!

For the third straight year, earth’s temperatures set a record high.

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Selfish Loser Dems

Establishment favorite neo-liberal Hillary Clinton faced an unexpectedly strong challenge from self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries.  Ultimately, Clinton lost disastrously in November to historically unpopular billionaire Donald Trump who posed as an economic populist. Sanders is now probably the most well-liked politician in America. Under these circumstances, you could be forgiven for expecting a chastened shrunken Democratic Senate minority to unite behind an unabashedly progressive economic agenda, but you’d be wrong. Continue reading

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