Tuesday, November 10, 2015


1. League of Conservation Voters endorses Clinton, their earliest endorsement in 30 years. A no-brainer compared to the Republicans, but much less so compared to her party rivals. My impression of LCV is that it's a quite political organization - and speaking as a former politician, I'm not saying that as an insult. I just hope whatever political value they saw in the early endorsement, in terms of her prioritizing the environment if elected, will be worth it. This also probably has a lot to do with John Podesta as her campaign chair. Enviros are putting a lot of faith in Podesta - maybe rightly so, but he's not the one who could be president.

2. Obama killing Keystone. What I haven't seen mentioned is the union issue, that a number of unions supported the pipeline. Cooperation and conflict between environmental and union priorities is a long-running aspect of the Democratic Party scene. Rejecting Keystone despite union support is a marker for how that all plays out within current party politics.

A related issue that surprises me locally is how little union representation there is within the renewable power industry - that feels like a missed opportunity locally, and maybe more broadly.

3. Kentucky as a test of the worst-case scenario in 2017. If Republicans score their trifecta, keeping the Senate while winning the presidency, what happens to Obamacare could be partly predicted by what's happening now in Kentucky and whether the Republicans can take medical care away from people. If they can't get the political will to pull it off in Kentucky, they may find it hard to do at the federal level.

As for what happens to Obama's Clean Power Plan under this scenario, you've got me. The lawsuits will fly. I fear the worst if Republicans get the Senate and kill the filibuster.

4. Burma. I spent a lot of time there long ago, and now it looks like Suu Kyi's party will overcome the "free and unfair" election obstacles to form a government to the extent allowed by the military. Despite Suu Kyi's lionization by the outside world, the ethnic minority representatives that I knew didn't trust her. My optimistic hope is that she'll do something to help against the brutal mistreatment of ethnic and especially Muslim minorities. She faced strong internal constraints against directly confronting Burmese racism before the election, but it's reached frighteningly dangerous levels. She had better spend some of that political capital she just earned in the right way.


Jeffrey Davis said...

Conservatives haven't killed the filibuster in 200 years. I suspect there's a reason for that.

crf said...

You defend the current cloture rule?