By Bill Schneider
Can states’ rights work for liberals? It has always been a conservative cause. Conservatives use states’ rights to resist federal policies that protect civil rights, voting rights, and abortion rights. Today, however, federal action is often blocked. So progressive states are passing laws that bypass gridlocked Washington and advance the liberal agenda on their own.
In his famous keynote address at the 2004 Democratic convention, Barack Obama criticized pundits who “like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue states.” His rejoinder: “I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America — there is the United States of America.”
Obama was wrong.
By Jon Cowan and Jim Kessler, Third Way
The de Blasio-Warren agenda won’t travel. Colorado is the real political harbinger.
If you talk to leading progressives these days, you’ll be sure to hear this message: The Democratic Party should embrace the economic populism of New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Such economic populism, they argue, should be the guiding star for Democrats heading into 2016. Nothing would be more disastrous for Democrats.
While New Yorkers think of their city as the center of the universe, the last time its mayor won a race for governor or senator—let alone president—was 1869. For the past 144 years, what has happened in the Big Apple stayed in the Big Apple. Some liberals believe Sen. Warren would be the Democratic Party’s strongest presidential candidate in 2016. But what works in midnight-blue Massachusetts—a state that has had a Republican senator for a total of 152 weeks since 1979—hasn’t sold on a national level since 1960.
The political problems of liberal populism are bad enough. Worse are the actual policies proposed by left-wing populists. The movement relies on a potent “we can have it all” fantasy that goes something like this: If we force the wealthy to pay higher taxes (there are 300,000 tax filers who earn more than $1 million), close a few corporate tax loopholes, and break up some big banks then—presto!—we can pay for, and even expand, existing entitlements. Meanwhile, we can invest more deeply in K-12 education, infrastructure, health research, clean energy and more.
By Jonathan Cowan and Jeff Okun-Kozlowicki, Third Way
Within the next 20 years, the Asia Pacific region will need 12,820 new airplanes, valued at $1.9 trillion. Who will build them?
With half of the world’s air traffic growth revolving around the Asia-Pacific region, there are massive opportunities for American manufacturing and middle-class jobs in this one sector alone. But opportunity is not destiny. In the last decade, America’s share of exports to key Asia-Pacific markets fell by 43 percent. Our performance was last among our major trade competitors in the region.
We do not have to idle on the runway, however, as other foreign countries fly by. If we can regain our historical share of these export markets – which are set to approach $10 trillion by the end of this decade – it would add $600 billion to our economy and 3 million jobs by 2020 alone. The first step to seizing this growth opportunity rests with Congress and passage of a tool called Trade Promotion Authority.
By Josh King, Politico Magazine
Matt Bennett can still hear the reporters laughing, all 90 of them. He can still picture Sam Donaldson doubled over, guffawing, on a riser that looked out over a dusty field in suburban Detroit. Bennett was a 23-year-old political rookie in 1988 when he was sent to a General Dynamics facility in Sterling Heights, Mich., to organize a campaign stop for Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis: a ride in a 68-ton M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank. The visit, meant to bolster the candidate’s credibility as a future commander-in-chief, would go down as one of the worst campaign backfires in history.
Following the event, after the reporters’ laughter subsided and Dukakis’s entourage was preparing to leave, one of the candidate’s traveling aides approached Bennett. “Nice event, Matt” he deadpanned. “It may have cost us the election. But beside that, it was great.”
The evidence is in, and the U.S. federal court system—not military commissions—is the most effective way to put terrorists behind bars and keep Americans safe. Did you know:
- Federal courts have convicted over 400 people of terrorism offenses between September 2001 and December 2010. In such cases, 65% of terrorism defendants pled guilty.
- The most common sentence for terrorists is 10-14 years behind bars; the second most common sentence is life imprisonment.
- No one convicted of a terrorism charge has ever escaped from prison.
- Since 9/11, there have only been seven convictions in military tribunals, and several of those convicted are already free, like bin Laden’s driver.
To learn more, read Making the Case: Why We Should Try Terrorists in Federal Courts.
by Ingrid Akerlind, Third Way
By 2020, auto analysts expect more than 2 million electric vehicles to be sold every year. That’s a huge leap from the 113,000 electric vehicles that were sold in 2012. It’s also why China has set its sights on trying to win this “new energy vehicle” sector by 2020.
China’s track record is formidable. It launched successful bids to compete in wind turbines, solar panels and personal electronics. However, there are a number of structural problems in how the government and economy work that make it unlikely that a Chinese competitor to Tesla, the Chevy Volt or even the Toyota Prius will emerge any time soon.
There may be 8 weeks left in 2013, but as it stands right now, the House will only be in session 7 days this month, and 8 days next month. Matt Bennett, appeared on MSNBC’s Jansing & Co. to discuss what this means for immigration reform and budget negotiations. (Spoiler Alert: It’s not ideal)
The Senate has passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)—a bill that would protect LGBT Americans from being fired because of who they are—and now it’s time for the House to act.
In an open-letter to Speaker Boehner, Sarah Trumble explains why lots of public support, little Republican opposition, and shared values make this bill his chance to prove the GOP is not stuck in the past.
by Michelle Diggles
Which is the most important result of Tuesday’s election?
A. A Republican governor won a landslide election in a blue state.
B. A Democrat was elected governor in a purple state during intense criticism of a new federal government program.
C. An outspoken liberal Democrat was elected mayor in a big city — where opposition parties had been in power for 20 years.
D. An education funding amendment lost in a mountain state.
If you said D, you’re correct.
On Tuesday, Amendment 66 was defeated in Colorado, with preliminary results suggesting a drubbing of two-to-one opposed. It would have improved education funding with slight tax increases and changed Colorado’s flat tax to a two-tiered, progressive structure.
The goal was a major overhaul of education finance, with reduced disparities at the local level and increased spending — including funding for early childhood programs, rural education and at-risk youth programs
Millions of dollars poured into the state to support the amendment. High-profile backing came from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Melinda Gates. But the more than $10 million spent in support of the amendment wasn’t enough to convince skeptical voters.
The defeat of Amendment 66 should worry Democrats. This is about as close as you can get to the main thrust of the Democratic Party’s progressive agenda: raise taxes on wealthier people to fund investments in the future.