Daylin Leach for Congress

This was my district until the January redistricting, which is too bad — I couldn’t stand Allyson Schwartz and I’d love to have Daylin Leach representing me! (He recently introduced a bill to make pot legal, for instance.) Oh well. Howie Klein introduces him:

Admirably, Allyson Schwartz has been a real fighter for Women’s Choice. Unfortunately, her progressive credentials stop there. PA-13– Northeast Philadelphia — is one of the most liberal districts in Pennsylvania. Obama beat McCain 65.4-33.7% in 2008 and did even better last year– 66.2-32.9%. Schwartz was reelected with 69% of the vote, 66% in Montgomery County and 74% in the parts of the district within Philadelphia. She’s always been extremely cautious to not get out ahead on any contentious issues and tends to vote very conservatively for a Democrat in a safe seat, especially on issues of economic justice. Now she’s running for the gubernatorial nomination and is giving up her seat in the House. This is the perfect time to replace her with a real leader and a courageous fighting progressive. State Senator Daylin Leach fits the bill perfectly. Take a look at the video up top. You have to admire a politician who brags about an “F” from the NRA.

But an “F” from the NRA isn’t why he’s so well known in the area. He’s been taking on tough issues that most politicians are afraid to get anywhere near– from legalizing marijuana and pushing marriage equality to labeling genetically engineered food. He’s been a major opponent in the state legislature of Republican efforts to privatize and voucherize public education and has been one of the leading voices against GOP efforts at voter suppression. Yesterday I mentioned that I spoke with another congressional candidate, this one in Florida, about important issues. When I mentioned specific tough issues, she punted, reverted to generalities and made excuses about hanging up. When I asked her about the Chained CPI I wasn’t sure if it was ignorance or a desire to play everything close to the vest. When I asked Daylin about Chained CPI, I felt like I was on the phone with Bernie Sanders or Raul Grijalva. “At a time when corporate profits, executive compensation, the stock market and wealth disparity are at near record highs, it is obscene to even consider balancing our budget on the backs of seniors and veterans,” he instantly responded. “I fully supported President Obama’s election, but I can’t support any drift towards corporatism to appease tea-party extremists.”
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Our betters

When alleged journalist Michael Kelly died, I said nothing because “if you can’t say anything nice,” etc.

But now I’ll noted that he was a neocon shill whose enthusiastic cheerleading (Sis! Boom! Bah!) for the Iraq invasion helped in causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians, just so he could report from a Humvee. Why journalists feel the need to lionize these pompous assholes is beyond me. I guess they all liked the same wine or something.

Reassuring!

ratchew

I missed this March 20th story:

TOKYO — The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant said Wednesday that it had found what it believed was the cause of an extended blackout that disabled vital cooling systems this week: the charred body of a rat.

The operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, said that when its engineers looked inside a faulty switchboard, they found burn marks and the rodent’s scorched body. The company said it appeared that the rat had somehow short-circuited the switchboard, possibly by gnawing on cables.

The company, known as Tepco, has blamed problems with the switchboard for the power failure that began Monday, cutting off the flow of cooling water to four pools used to store more than 8,800 nuclear fuel rods. It took Tepco almost a day to restore cooling to the first of the affected pools, with cooling of the final pool resuming early Wednesday.

Tepco said it would have taken several days for temperatures in the pools to have risen above the safe level of 65 degrees Celsius, or 149 degrees Fahrenheit. Still, the blackout served as an uncomfortable reminder to many Japanese about the continuing vulnerability of the plant, which had a triple meltdown in March 2011 after a huge earthquake and tsunami knocked out cooling systems. It was the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

The Long Depression

Rich Eskow on the Depression that just won’t go away:

The Long Depression is deep. The official unemployment rate is 7.7 percent, while the official U6 rate (which includes the under-employed) is 15.6 percent. An alternate methodology which includes long-term discouraged workers brings the figure up to 23 percent.

Nearly 50 million Americans lived below the poverty line as of the last census. And wealth inequality in the United States is higher than it is in Egypt.

The Long Depression is long. We’ve had abnormally high unemployment for four years now, and the numbers are still dismal.

Poverty in the United States increased for the fourth year in a row in 2011 (the last year for which statistics are available), and now includes one out of every five American children.

High earners have taken more than their share of the lopsided “recovery,” with the top 1 percent capturing 121 percent of the post-crisis income increases while the rest of the country fell behind. The minimum wage would need to be between $.9.22 and $10.25 an hour to keep pace with inflation, but the president’s very modest proposal (which would raise it to $9.00 by 2015, when the gap will be even greater) faces an uphill battle.

This growing inequality stifles growth and points to long-term stagnation in both wages and hiring.

And yet, as DS Wright reminds us (as if reminders were necessary),the topic du jour in Washington is deficits. That’s prolonging the Long Depression. Jobs programs have been declared “politically impossible,” despite the widespread public support seen in most polling data. Less aid is available for the growing ranks of the impoverished.

The sequester will make the situation even worse, with Head Start among the programs facing severe cuts. And tax programs which favor the wealthy and corporations, widening the inequality gap even further, are the topic of compromise rather than challenge.

Our grim economic fundamentals haven’t stopped the stock market from reaching record highs, as speculators and Fed-driven bubbles cash in on the short-term opportunities created by a two-tiered economy. Wall Street and Main Street don’t “rise and fall together,” presidential assertions notwithstanding.

Events of the last four years suggest that we’ve learned nothing from experience. As DeLong says, political leaders at home and abroad are summoning “the same ritual incantations … that were made by the Herbert Hoovers and Andrew Mellons and Ramsay McDonalds” of earlier generations.

They’re taking our economy apart, one piece at a time. Unlike the prisoner in that joke, we have a way out: through concerted action. But there’s no World War-sized event looming that could summon our will — or our willingness to accept government spending. There’s no sign of a new “Greatest Generation,” either.

Until one or the other comes along, welcome to the Long Depression.

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