Morning Ed: North Atlantic Politics {2017.04.30.Su}

There is some pushback against the Trump plan to get rid of state and local tax deductions. It’s a tax break that pretty strongly benefits blue states and I’m sympathetic to their frustration, but also believe that state and local taxes shouldn’t be deductible. Other than flattening taxes, I’m not sure what we could do to offset it. The same problem occurs with the mortgage deduction, which similarly favors blue states (albeit less reliably)

Paul Gottfried explains the intellectual tradition of the French right.

It’s almost as though… both sides do it.

Corbyn is in a lot of trouble in the upcoming election, but young people love him. Not Scots, though.

Meanwhile, are the LibDems back?

One of only areas I consider Trump to be especially good on is energy, so it figures that the administration’s own incompetence would get in its own way there.

Oh, well, okay then.

I’m still trying to determine if the whole Heath Mello thing was just the result of some bad reporting and a political party that refuses to acknowledge its mistake, or whether the Democratic Party’s new standards on abortion or genuinely this strict.


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Will Truman is a former professional gearhead who is presently a stay-at-home father in the Mountain East. He has moved around frequently, having lived in six places since 2003, ranging from rural outposts to major metropolitan areas. He also writes fiction, when he finds the time. ...more →

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47 thoughts on “Morning Ed: North Atlantic Politics {2017.04.30.Su}

    • There doesn’t seem to be anything in the ground that he wants to leave there and doesn’t want to help get to its final destination! “Especially” is probably an exaggeration, but it’s an area I expected Clinton – or any Democratic successor to Obama – to be particularly bad.

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      • And what exactly is good about not wanting to leave anything in the ground?

        And I’m not sure what you mean by help get it to its final destination, but Trump was definitely pro Dakota Pipeline

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        • And for those parts of the country that, for various reasons, would prefer to get their energy from sources that aren’t buried in the ground?

          Nothing is stopping them is it? Doesn’t CA require that x% of their energy be generated via renewables? Of wait, they did.

          On October 7, 2015, Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. signed legislation to require 50 percent of the state’s electricity to come from renewable energy by December 31, 2030.

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      • that’s a remarkably narrow vision of what is ‘energy’.

        While I recognize that flipping policy and favoring non-carbon based energy over carbon based energy is impossible, it’d be nice if a Republican administration would at least level the playing field between them. But even that’s absurd. A carbon tax — so that non-polluting forms of energy compete on an even playing field with coal/oil/gas — is a non-starter for this administration.

        And you seem remarkably sanguine about the idea of continuing to use carbon-based energy in the face of experts’ opinions about the consequences thereof. See the European Environment Agency’s 2017 analysis, for example.

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      • Michael and Francis, I favor All of the Above (my Energy and Planet sections tend to be promiscuous). Used to favor (more) subsidies for renewables and still support a carbon tax as long as it’s pass-through. With the exception of the offshore drilling ban following Deepwater Horizon I might have even been closer to the Democrats than the Republicans.

        But I can see the way the wind has been blowing.

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            • Assuming it can be built at reasonable cost. What with Toshiba’s nuclear subsidiary declaring bankruptcy, looks good for the federal loan guarantees on the Vogtle reactors in Georgia being called. Across the border in South Carolina, the legislature is considering fairly drastic changes in their regulatory scheme before the utility building the Summer reactors asks for a tenth rate increase related to the project, this one to cover the added costs due to the bankruptcy.

              There is a non-negligible chance that in both cases the owners simply abandon the projects and leave the various governments and ratepayers to eat the costs.

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              • There are lots of nuts-and-bolts studies for meeting power needs in the Western Interconnect from low-carbon sources, with minimal amounts from nuclear. The Western is, relative to its population and demand, rich in renewables. It is hard to find anything that looks reasonable, at the same level of detail, for the Eastern Interconnect. Mostly for the Eastern there’s magic hand-waving. Many of those turn out to be “rape the public lands in the West”.

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                • Many of those turn out to be “rape the public lands in the West”.

                  I can almost visualize Western Freedom Fighters blowing up the wind turbogenerators along the Great Plains. That will teach those fishing East Coasters a lesson

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                  • +1 :^)

                    Still, it’s interesting to read pieces by East Coast environmentalists, who have said for decades that westerners couldn’t be trusted to manage the public lands in their states, that can be summarized as “First we’ll pave the entire state of Arizona with solar cells…”

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                    • Michael,
                      Well, if you had to ask me, I’d say we ought to put solar cells where they make the most sense. You do get triple the output in Arizona versus Pittsburgh. And without water, who’s going to live in Arizona anyhow?

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          • Francis,
            Yesterday.
            As of right now, we have 20 years to figure out how to feed a third of America’s population. (Because current projections have us only able to feed about 200 million people). And America’s future is relatively bright.

            They’re planning genocide, and the wall’s already built, and people are going to drown.

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      • Will,
        Where I come from, conservative means not pulling things out of the ground that you can’t put back in unless you have to. Because if we pull them out later than everyone else, we can get a better price for them, if nothing else.

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  1. Oh no you don’t, you can’t hide this bait behind small words.

    [For the Democratic Autopsy presentation] Only about two-dozen lawmakers showed up for the presentation, which sources described as “dense but thorough.” But members were not allowed to have copies of the report and may view it only under the watchful eyes of DCCC staff.

    The presentation didn’t focus on Democratic messaging and instead was heavily skewed towards money — how much the DCCC brings in, from where and how those funds are spent.

    The Bold part, to me, at least, is the story.

    That’s not an Autopsy, that’s an Audit.

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    • I read that story and my original thoughts were “huh, so they don’t really want to learn anything”.

      Have you read Voltaire’s Bastards? I read it a million years ago, back when I was still smart, and there’s a scene in there that comes to mind:

      In WWII, Japan was wargaming some battle in the Pacific or other and they deliberately overstated their own powers and understated the powers of the allies so that the war games could be consistently won by Japan and they could consistently give reports about how their war games were consistently good.

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    • Lessee, here… Secret meeting? Held by institutional decisionmakers? About money, power and control?

      Sounds like the Iron Law of Institutions in action to me:

      The people who control institutions care first and foremost about their power within the institution rather than the power of the institution itself. Thus, they would rather the institution “fail” while they remain in power within the institution than for the institution to “succeed” if that requires them to lose power within the institution.

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    • Isn’t money actually a part of the issue this time though? One of the post-election (or more accurately post-Obama) assessments was that Obama’s political action group, Organizing For Action, diverted money away from conventional means of supporting Democrats at the state and local levels (at least in part because he felt he had to run against those organizations in 2008 when they were largely aligned with Clinton):

      “[With] all due respect to President Obama, OFA was created as a shadow party because Obama operatives had no faith in state parties. So I hope the OFA role is none. I hope OFA closes their doors and allows the country and state parties to get to the hard work of rebuilding the party at the local and grass-roots level,” said Nebraska Democratic Party Chair Jane Kleeb, echoing a sentiment that has dominated private chatter among state party chairs for months. “OFA had no faith or confidence in the state parties so they created a whole separate organization, they took money away and centralized it in D.C. They gave us a great president for eight years, but we lost everywhere else.”

      I think money is usually overrated, but the last eight years suggests to me there are limits.

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      • Yeah, that does sound like an interesting notion to chew on. I do wonder what it means not to trust the local democratic parties and how that relates to messaging though.

        Let me re-do the bold… Only about two-dozen lawmakers showed up for the presentation.

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  2. The reason why there was a such a reaction against Mello is that a few days before the stuff about him came out, Sanders said that the candidate in Georgia wasn’t a “real” progressive. But on the other hand, he embraced Mello as a progressive champion.

    Which was basically saying that economics was the only thing that mattered. If Sanders said something like, “despite our differences, we need men like Mello & Osoff are both people we need within the big tent of the Democratic party,” nothing would’ve happened. But, by saying Mello was a real progressive, but Osoff wasn’t, he was drawing unneeded lines in the sand.

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