Tuesday, June 10, 2014

#ActOnClimate = Protecting property rights, public health, and bringing more efficiency to energy markets

I was at lunch in the district today (I'm running for State House) and was asked about my thoughts on the new steps to #ActOnClimate by the White House. 

Taking action on climate-disrupting carbon emissions will protect property rights, public health, and bring more efficiency to energy markets as true costs to consumers can lead to better allocation of resources and smarter investments in the energy sector. This is a win for public health and economic productivity.
These clean air safeguards will spur innovation and accelerate the clean energy economy to create good jobs here in Georgia-- protecting the health our children, protecting our property rights from polluters, and protecting our state's long term economic security in a tough global economy. 

Georgia Power’s Plant Scherer is America’s single dirtiest power plant–it dumped over 21 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the air we breathe in 2012 alone. 

While my opponent spends his time defending policies that have delivered neither prosperity nor fiscal stability I'm focused on our future.  (If you would like to help elect a progressive in Georgia chip in $5, $25... $250(???) today!

Here is President Obama on new steps to #ActOnClimate by reducing carbon pollution from power plants:

I also liked what The Economist Magazine had to say on the new EPA rules: Climate change: In praise of second best | The Economist 
Assuming the plan is carried out (and it will doubtless suffer multiple legal challenges), it would reduce total American carbon emissions by around 5%. That is a lot for one measure, though tiny compared with the overall cuts required to rein in climate change. American power plants have already reduced their emissions by 15% since 2005, so requiring them to cut the same amount over a longer period is not too arduous. The plan will raise electricity prices and kill some jobs, but it will also save lives, most immediately by cutting particulate pollution.
It is far from the best policy. Ideally, Congress would have passed a carbon tax or created a carbon market, putting a price on emissions and letting buyers and sellers decide on the cheapest way to reduce them. Instead, the government is telling a particular sector (electricity providers) how much to cut and when—and then adding layers of complexity by allowing different states different ceilings. As a method of dealing with a problem, this has all the attractions of a blackout in a blizzard.
But it became inevitable once Congress rejected a better approach—cap-and-trade legislation—during Mr Obama’s first term. The current approach is at least better than nothing, the most likely alternative. In climate policy, delay is rarely good. The more carbon is in the atmosphere, the more expensive it is to cut back and the more damage it does in the meantime. Anyway, Mr Obama’s command-and-control approach does not forestall setting up a carbon market later.
The second-best approach is dearer but not dramatically worse than the best would have been. Power plants and electricity consumers would bear the main burden either way. And the plan’s benefits (over $50 billion according to the administration, mostly from improving people’s health) still outweigh its costs (less than $9 billion, mostly from higher prices). One hitch is that the costs are all incurred in America whereas many of the benefits are spread round the world.
In short, the proposal is a net gain as it stands—but the international response could make its benefits bigger. China’s government is mulling over a national cap on carbon emissions, which would mean it is going further than Mr Obama. The regime in Beijing will, and should, impose such a cap in its national self-interest. But China’s leaders like diplomatic cover. If Mr Obama’s new rules help cajole the world’s largest polluter to do more to cut emissions, then second-best would be much better than nothing.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Help send this blogger to the Gold Dome in Atlanta.

I've getting last minute pleas for contributions before the midnight deadline by email from campaigns. 

So here is mine... 

I'm not like the other guy running; I spend more time learning about the policy choices we face, and more time in the district listening to citizens concerns about those policy choices. 
If you are fed up with the status quo under the Gold Dome chip in $5, $25, $250...and lets go win an election.

Did I mention I'm endorsed by Howard Dean's crew up in Vermont: Democracy for America?
Contribute a few dollars and lets work to rebuild our Democracy and build power to take on the organized money that is stealing our Government from the people.
Plus Jason Carter needs candidates down ballot that will help get out the Vote for him this November. 
He won't tell any "Whats the Deal" jokes so he needs troops on the ground more than happy to make them for him.  Plus your contribution can help me buy cool organizing tools like this...

Which i'm a little under $2000 short of being able to afford.

So chip in today and help turn Georgia blue.

If a critic of ObamaCare made a coherent argument in the woods... would anyone believe it actually happened?

So I've seen a wave of ObamaCare criticism hit my Facebook feed of late.

Criticism of the Affordable Care Act is 3 miles wide and two inches deep--I spend five minutes with a critic and the nuances and contradictions within their critique appear immediately. While we need to improve aspects of the ACA we are much better off with it in place. 

About 94.5% (yes exactly 94.5%) of the people who crticize the Afforadable Care Act have zero comprehension of the unsustainable health care system we had before the ACA; nor a grasp of the amalgam of history, health economics, sociology, and policy forecasting of health care costs/treatments that require grasping when discussing health care reform. 

If you don't understand the origins of our insurance system, nor basic aspects of the ACA, maybe you should keep your opinions to yourself and pick up a book (I can recommend a few if you need a place to start.)

Friday, May 30, 2014

Good reads, my state house campaign, and a new Populism in America.

Welcome to the weekend!  Brought to you by the labor movement.  Here are a few items that might occupy some of your free time this weekend.  Enjoy! 

Some good reads to start your weekend:

Instead of Austerity and Slogans, Vets Need a Fully Funded and Accountable VA | The Nation 

Gubernatorial Hopeful Jason Carter Vows Candidacy Free of “What’s the Deal” Jokes 

Leaving Homeless Person On The Streets: $31,065. Giving Them Housing: $10,051. | ThinkProgress 

The 6 Principles of the New Populism (and the Establishment’s Nightmare) 

China's Two Problems with the Uyghurs 

Taxes and the Public Purpose « Multiplier Effect

Most Income Inequality: Congressional Districts - Bloomberg Best (and Worst) 

Republican Colonel Blasts GOP For Focusing On Benghazi Instead Of Cheney’s War Crimes

Georgia Looks To Reopen Some Closed Hospitals As ERs : Shots - Health News : NPR

Income Taxes Aren’t Driving Georgians to Change States | Georgia Budget and Policy Institute 

As union membership declines, inequality rises | Economic Policy Institute 

Report says Georgia is No. 40 in senior adult health - Atlanta Business Chronicle

If some of what you read above is depressing its important to remember you can help contribute to the fight to take back our nation from wealth and power.

Action is the important step step to take if you don't want to give up.  Thats why I need your help...

Fight organized money and stand up for working people by chipping in to my State House campaign. Be it $5, $25, or $500 your money will go directly in to a grassroots effort to bring about some of that new reality based-pragmatic populism is that sweeping across the country.

Something for your viewing pleasure...

Need a book? (buying via my link gets this blogger a small %)

If you are looking for a book or two to dive into this weekend here are a few new books sitting on my bedside table at the moment...

Coming Up Short: Working-Class Adulthood in an Age of Uncertainty

  The Classical Liberal Constitution

What Should We Be Worried About?: Real Scenarios That Keep Scientists Up at Night

 Lucian Freud: Eyes Wide Open (Icons)

  Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Bailout Botched by Centrists

Very good podcast interview over at ProPublica.  Take a listen...

Podcast: A Bailout Botched by Centrists - ProPublica
If former Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner has faced his share of criticism for his rocky tenure, Jesse Eisinger says, his new book makes clear that most of it should be borne by his old boss, President Obama.
Following up on his unsparing examination of the book, "Stress Test," last week, Eisinger joins Steve Engelberg in the Storage Closet studio to expand on Obama’s missed opportunities in the wake of the financial crisis.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The State School Superintendent Race here in Georgia is an argument for IRV!

Tonight is the GBP debate. Watch Televised Debates on GPB *TONIGHT*  State School Superintendent Race  - Republicans: (6-7pm) - Democrats: (7-8pm).

With way too many candidates and the need to waste money holding a runoff the State School Superintendent Race is a perfect example of the need for IRV (Instant Runoff Voting) in Georgia

How does Instant Runoff Voting work?

For you Democracy for America fans out there here is Howard Dean making the case for IRV a few years back.

Watch Televised Debates on GPB *TONIGHT*  State School Superintendent Race  - Republicans: (6-7pm) - Democrats: (7-8pm).  But then think about how you'd vote through a rank ordering of your preferences rather than who you think can/should win.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Background to crisis in Ukraine

To put some context for myself to what has been happening lately in the Ukraine I've been picking up some history books.

I highly recommend this book I'm reading at the moment Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

11 Things The Senate Should Remember While Voting On The Minimum Wage

Think Progress has a run down on why increasing them minimum wage is a good idea.
1. Increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 and indexing it to inflation would raise the wages of 28 million workers by $35 billion. Raising the minimum wage would provide Americans who work hard a better opportunity to get ahead while giving the economy a needed shot in the arm.
2. In 2013, CEOs made 774 times the pay of minimum wage workers. While the top CEOs made an average of $11.7 million in 2013, full-time workers making the minimum wage took home only $15,080 a year.
3. Nearly two-thirds of all minimum wage workers are women.Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 would benefit 15 million women.
4. One million veterans would benefit from a minimum wage increase. After risking their lives to protect our country, 1 in 10 veterans working in America today are paid wages low enough that they would receive a raise if the minimum wage is raised to $10.10.
5. Raising the minimum wage will cut government spending on food stamps. Millions of workers earning the minimum wage make so little that they qualify for food stamps (SNAP benefits). This, in effect, amounts to taxpayers subsidizing corporations paying low-wages. Raising wages for low-income workers would actually cut government spending on SNAP by $4.6 billion a year, or $46 billion over the next 10 years, as workers earn enough on their own to no longer rely on the program.
6. Minimum wage workers are older than you think. Nearly 90 percent of minimum wage workers are 20 years or older. The average minimum wage worker is 35 years old. A higher minimum wage doesn’t just mean more spending money for a teenager, it means greater economic security for the millions of Americans who rely on it as their primary income.
7. Businesses see the value in increasing the minimum wage.Nearly 60 percent of small business owners recognize that raising the minimum wage would benefit businesses and support raising it. In fact, 82 percent of those surveyed don’t pay any of their workers the federal minimum wage of $7.25.
8. It won’t hurt job creation. States have raised the minimum wage 91 times since 1987 during periods of high unemployment, and in more than half of those instances the unemployment rate actually fell. Over600 economists signed a letter agreeing that a minimum wage increase doesn’t hurt job creation.
9. In polls, nearly three-quarters of Americans support a minimum wage increase to $10.10. Pew Research found that 73 percent of Americans back a minimum wage increase.
10. Millions of children will be more secure. If we raise the minimum wage to $10.10, 21 million children will have at least one parent whose pay will go up.
11. A $10.10 minimum wage means a $16.1 billion boost for people of colorRaising the minimum wage is a matter of racial justice: people of color are far more likely to work minimum wage jobsand those who do are far more likely to be in poverty. A $10.10 minimum wage would lift three and a half million people of color out of poverty and add $16.1 billion to their incomes.
BOTTOM LINE: Over the next few days, as Senators take to the chamber floor to debate and then vote on this legislation that would help the economy and millions of American workers, they should make sure they keep in mind these vital facts on why the minimum wage should be raised to $10.10. A vote against increasing the minimum wage is quite simply a vote against working Americans.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Jim in 2014 update; what exactly are those contributions buying you?!

So to give my blog readers who are supporting my campaign for State House an idea about where those dollars are going I wanted to post some examples of Facebook posts that I'm turning into ads.

These ads are cheap highly targeted mechanisms which allow me, for penny's on the dollars to target local demographics and test messaging and ideas with groups of voters i'm trying to organize and engage between now and election day.

Here are examples of my micro targeting in action.

This post on the need to create a top notch Pre-K system in Georgia is very popular (almost 26,000 people have seen this ad with over 100 video views).

This post on the stagnant minimum wage I just posted up is getting a lot of traction.

Finding out about fee hikes is not making local students (nor their parents) happy.

This image was a hit.

Please chip in at any level.  Be it $5, $15, $25, or $500.  Getting posts like this one (which is basically helping increase sign ups for a the email list of a city in my district) help engage voters in and around my district and help build some real local democracy all in one swoop.

Much of these ad buys are getting local news in front of voters who have no idea whats happening at the local level for just a few dollars a pop.

It also helps build my name recognition so that as my canvass teams start working the district and as those mail pieces start hitting towards the end of the campaign I won't be a stranger.  I'll be the truckloading Teamster who wants to work his ass off for voters across the district.

I've already got more "Likes" than my opponent's State Rep Fan Page and I've already organized more events in the district than he has done his entire two year term in office.  I'm going to outwork him; the question is can I keep pace in fundraising so that I can get my message out to voters.  So far i'm keeping pace good enough to start buying a few ads.

This is also allowing me to engage with young Republicans on Facebook locally for some really fruitful discussions where I'm able to harness work from groups like Demos and put them in front of young minds who don't see quality work on Fox News. I get snarky comments when I then engage with some serious dialogue.

Which inspired this post as I was headed to work when the young man first commented.

So please chip in now.  Your contribution will help me engage and build an alliance of educated voters between now and election day.  Help me lay the groundwork for an educated, engaged, and mobilized community locally that will be hitting the polls next November.  We are going to win this seat!  I'm willing to knock on as many doors, hold as many meet ups and discussion groups, and debate as many Ron Paul republicans as it takes to make the case that the GOP is running the state of Georgia into the ground.

Your financial contribution will help make this a win in November for sure!  First we get the truckloader elected; that way we show the Kroger cashier, the Starbucks barista, and the Waffle House waitress how they too can run and win through hard work, good organizing, and smart policy.
This isn't rocket science--but we have to lead the way so others see how to beat the 1% at a game we've sadly conceded completely to a political class who is out of touch with the real struggles of working people.

So thank you in advance for your contribution to my campaign. I think its an investment that will reap good returns over the long term for democracy in Georgia.  This isn't just about winning one state house district---this is about building a movement that spreads across Georgia and the south!