Quotes From the News:
“So all these headlines about New York minimum wage, 15 dollars,…the headlines should be 'Governor Andrew Cuomo Signs Into Law a Raise to Eleven Dollars and Five Cents.' That is the more accurate way to report this, taking into account inflation. It doesn't seem so revolutionary.” Mike Pesca (Slate, The Gist
“[Hillary Clinton] is, at heart, I think, an incrementalist. She believes in getting up every day and kind of attacking a problem and if you make two inches of progress, that's better than no progress at all. That may be an effective way of trying to govern at a time when things are so polarized and the ability to get big things done is so difficult. It is not an inspiring campaign message and I think that is where she continues to get into trouble.” Dan Balz, (NPR, WAMU, The Diane Rehm Show)
“I think the idea of cutting us off from the world would ultimately shrink — not grow — the job opportunities” [in the U.S.] U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew (APM Marketplace)
“Inside Yemen, this isn't a Saudi bombing campaign; this is a U.S.-Saudi bombing campaign…It's done with American weaponry, with American targeting, it's done with American refueling planes.” Senator Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) (PBS NewsHour)
“Mick Jagger should fold up his penis and go home.” Music critic Robert Christgau, writing in the Village Voice in 1980, reviewing Prince's album Dirty Minds (MSNBC, The Rachel Maddow Show)
Anecdotally…An Overheard “Thanks, Obama” moment: “So, when we didn't have insurance, my husband couldn't go to a doctor at all even though he can't work because he's disabled. Now that we have insurance, I can't go to my doctor [at a low-income free local clinic] because they don't accept any insurance. Thanks, Obama.”
Meaningful excerpt: From The Atlantic, Peter Beinart, “The Terror Trap.”
“The Islamic State's justification for [the downing of a Russian airliner over the Sinai] was identical to the one it gave for its attack on France: It was bombing Russia because Russia had bombed it.
“All of which suggests that the more America intensifies its war against ISIS, the more ISIS will try to strike Americans. And the more terrorism ISIS manages to carry out, the more fiercely America will escalate its air attacks, thus creating the civilian casualties that, according to the International Crisis Group's Noah Bonsey, 'tremendously help the narrative of a jihadi group like the Islamic State.' If the public reaction to Paris and the December attack in San Bernardino is any guide, continued jihadist terrorism will also lead to a rising demand for American ground troops. That…would be the worst trap America could fall into, because ISIS wants to cast itself as the Islamic world's defender against a new crusader invasion.”
ICYMI: The Washington Post's frightening report “ A New Divide in American Death”
Democratic Sloganeering: A Thought.
If one compares photographs of Democratic presidential primary candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, one can't help but notice the difference in the slogans sprayed on bunting around them. Bernie textually shouts “A Future We Can Believe In.” Hillary's key phrase is “I'm With Her.”
Bernie Sander's slogan identifies a problem: a future the American people can't or don't want to believe in. It's an inclusive slogan: “we” and “us.” It looks to the future.
Hillary's slogan is exclusive: you, person, are with me, Hillary. It seems to try to change the past: “In 2008, voter, you were not with me but now you are.” Her slogan seems to be part hipster, recalling 1970s t-shirts “I'm with him”/”I'm with her”/”I'm with Stupid”/”Wouldn't you like to be a Pepper, too?” Worst case: it's 2008 all over again. “You're likable enough, Hillary.”
The media is reporting (and has been for many moons) on Hillary's “enthusiasm gap.” It's difficult not to look at the slogan and think that might encapsulate it: it's a slogan about one person, not about you and not about me, certainly not about us. There is no future in it: it reflects the past and it's stated firmly in the present: “I'm [currently] with her.”
April 24: Game of Thrones season premiere on HBO
April 30: 2016 White House Correspondents' Dinner (a.k.a. Nerd Prom)
May 3: Indiana Primary
June 6: California Primary
Lastly: This was floating on Facebook this week, and being all egalitarian and shit, here's free publicity for this guy. Who doesn't want a saxophone-playing gorilla at their party? He brings balloons, y'all. Fancy.