Posts Tagged ‘Rolling Stone’

VAL 2016 | Var finns de framgångsrika demokratiska och socialistiska politiska konsulterna i amerikansk politik?

Bernie Sanders

Den retoriska frågan ställde Bernie Sanders när han intervjuades i Rolling Stone av Tim Dickinson.

Frågan var intressant med tanke på att Sanders valkampanj har ett överskott av entusiasm, inte minst från sina unga gräsrötter men ett underskott av professionella medarbetare.

Team Sanders har varit duktiga på att två saker: samla in stora mängder pengar från vanligt folk och locka stora folkmassor till sina valmöten.

Mindre framgångsrika har man varit när det gäller att stå emot attackerna från Hillary Clintons professionella medarbetare med stor erfarenhet från tidigare valrörelser.

Men en annan förklaring till att Sanders hamnat på efterkälken är att han säkerligen inte förväntade sig få en sådan positiv respons bland de demokratiska väljarna.

Även Sanders trodde nog att det skulle bli en promenadseger för Clinton. Sanders hoppades nog bara på att kunna påverka Clinton och partiets valplattform i en mer positiv riktning.

On a campaign, a candidate gets so much advice. Who’s been the lodestar – the person or people that you return to for guidance?

The difficulty that we have had in this campaign is that if you have the politics of somebody like a Hillary Clinton, you can bring together a team with a whole lot of political experience, people who have been part of Bill Clinton’s campaigns or administration, or Al Gore’s efforts, pollsters or media people or great surrogates. That is what the establishment Democratic Party has – hundreds of very knowledgeable people. Sophisticated people. I know many of them. I’ve been in the rooms during Obama’s campaigns. I have looked at the chart of literally the 39 different ways Obama can win. ”If you lose Wisconsin but you win New Je rsey and bup, bup, bup…”

But there aren’t a whole lot of people who understand the day-to-day mechanics of running a presidential campaign, who have history running a campaign for a candidate like myself. You tell me: Where are the democratic-socialist political consultants who have been involved in successful campaigns in recent history? There aren’t any. So we’ve had to put together our own campaign by the seat of our pants. And that’s been hard. We started this campaign with a handful of people from Vermont, people I’ve known for 20 or 30 years. And it’s grown. We’ve used people who have experience in the Democratic Party – the best that we can find. And we have political activists involved. We’ve met some great people over the campaign. A lot of great surrogates, from Nina Turner to Chuy Garcia to Killer Mike to Danny Glover, Susan Sarandon – great people from different walks of life who gravitated into the campaign.

Bild: Talking Union.

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Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders i en intervju med Rolling Stone:

It’s hard. But I volunteered to do this. I’m glad we’re doing it. I look forward to winning this damn thing.

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VAL 2016 | Hur vinner man mot en person som Donald Trump? Denna fråga har satt myror i huvudet på både republikaner och demokrater.

Neera Tanden

Neera Tanden, på den liberala tankesmedjan Center for American Progress, tror sig ha svaret.

På 90-talet arbetade Tanden för Bill Clinton i Vita huset. Här hade hon även rollen som ”senior policy adviser” till First Lady Clinton.

Senare var Tanden ”deputy campaign manager” åt Clintons senatskampanj i New York 2000 samt ”policy director” i hennes presidentvalskampanj 2008.

Henne svar på problemet Trump är hämtat från valrörelsen i New York när Clinton drev med republikanen Rudy Giuliani.

Det bästa sättet är att helt enkelt att skämta om honom. Och inte ta honom på för mycket allvar. Ett bra skämt är bättre än äkta (eller låtsad) upprördhet.

Mark Binelli intervjuade Tanden i Rolling Stone.

”I was not at all surprised by the success of Sanders,” says Tanden, who is now an outside adviser to Clinton’s campaign. ”The oddity of the race is how much Democratic voters also strongly support President Obama. They like what he’s done, but they want more. On both sides, because of the Great Recession, the Republican assault on government and the virtual standstill in Washington, people have lost faith in traditional answers. Political rollouts and solutions don’t have the power they had in previous cycles. People are interested in more disruptive change.”

Still, Tanden, who has also worked in the Obama White House on crafting the Affordable Care Act, finds it a ”great irony” that Clinton is now considered suspect by parts of the progressive left. ”As someone who worked for her in the Nineties, I can tell you that everyone on Bill Clinton’s White House staff, and everyone on the outside, thought of Hillary as the liberal champion,” Tanden says. ”Liberal activists went to her to lobby. And the president’s more centrist staff was scared of her.” Tanden pauses for a moment, then continues, ”I have to say, I think some of this is weirdly sexist. We assume she has the same views as Bill Clinton when it hurts her, and we assume she has different views when that hurts her.”


The political class, after months of writing off Trump and being proved wrong again and again, has developed an almost superstitious fear of the man, as if he must have a shriveled monkey’s paw secreted in one of his pockets that’s giving him special powers. But Tanden thinks that ”the best analogy to this race is one that Hillary has actually already run”: her 2000 Senate campaign against another brash New Yorker beloved by his supporters for going off-script, Rudy Giuliani. ”He and Trump are similar, and the way to deal with him was to make clear what he was doing. Our campaign got to a place where we were mocking him, and it really worked.”

Giuliani eventually dropped out of the race after his marriage fell apart and he received a diagnosis of prostate cancer (and Clinton went on to easily dispatch his replacement, Rick Lazio). Before that, according to The New York Times, Clinton ”had found her way to handle the gibes thrown at her by the confrontational mayor. Rather than engage him, Mrs. Clinton became the foot-tapping, arms-folded sighing mother of a forever misbehaving teenager, a strategy intended as much to infantilize Mr. Giuliani as to provoke him.

”‘I can’t be responding every time the mayor gets angry,’ Mrs. Clinton said, smiling as she campaigned in upstate New York a few days before Christmas 1999. ‘Because that’s all I would do.'”

Till detta kan läggas att man skall ta politiska motståndare på allvar om de kommer med seriösa policyförslag.

Gör man inte det riskerar man få även sina anhängare emot sig eftersom väljarna inte köper hela paket från en kandidat (eller ett parti). Även demokratiska väljare kan tilltalas av visa delar av Trumps förslag.

Att bara avfärda allt han säger kan uppfattas som nonchalant och förstärka bilden av Clinton som en av politikeretablissemanget i Washington.

Bild: Från Real Time With Bill Maher Blog.

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VAL 2016 | Bernie Sanders har lovat jaga Hillary Clinton hela vägen till demokraternas eget partikonvent.

Rolling Stone USA - March 24, 2016

”We’re in it for the long haul. We’ll win some states, we’ll lose some states. We’re going to the convention.” Detta var Sanders löfte när han nästan lyckades slå Hillary i Iowa.

Hans kampvilja har tvingat Clintons lite småtråkiga kampanj at bli lite mer snabbfotad. Han har fått Team Clinton att inse att man inte kan ta något för givet i denna valrörelse.

Och man kan definitivt inte ta något för givet med Donald Trump som motståndare. Han har varit undervärderad under hela sin valrörelse.

Mark Binelli har i Rolling Stone studerat dynamiken i demokraternas valrörelse.

The morning after Super Tuesday, as many pundits were writing Sanders’ obituary, his campaign held a press briefing in Burlington. ”We had a fantastic night,” campaign manager Jeff Weaver insisted, acknowledging that ”we shot for five [states] and got 4.9.” Sanders had won Vermont, Colorado, Oklahoma and Minnesota and lost Massachusetts by the thinnest of margins. ”We did not target 11 states yesterday,” Tad Devine, a senior adviser to the campaign, explained, describing Super Tuesday as ”the single best day” for Clinton on the campaign calendar in terms of geography and demographics.

”These arguments about the delegate math, I have to say, as someone who spent a lot of time in the Eighties working on this topic, I view the analysis as being, frankly, shallow, and representing not a real understanding about how the modern nominating process works,” Devine said. ”I know there’s a lot of number crunchers who think they know how this process works and conclude the race is over. I would suggest understanding the dynamics of a modern presidential campaign requires more skills than arithmetic.”

Devine went on to sketch out a Sanders path to victory, pointing out how the geographic diversity of the senator’s Super Tuesday wins proved they could rack up a string of wins as the primary season moved out of the South and into friendlier territory. At one point, he even suggested that pledged delegates – that is, the delegates won at the voting booth – might switch to Sanders if Clinton stumbled badly, an oddly undemocratic pitch from a campaign focused on the rights of the little guy.


Added the Republican pollster Frank Luntz, who attended a half-dozen Sanders events in Iowa and New Hampshire, ”I’ve been doing this for 20 years now, and there’s something special about the Sanders voter. You can see it in their eyes: They believe they’re onto something, and that the rest of America will discover it in time. This is not Don Quixote to them. They think they can change the political process.”

Even before Super Tuesday, Luntz considered Clinton the likely nominee. But he also told me about a recent poll he’d conducted with Snapchat, in which, among 18-to-26-year-olds, Sanders was more popular than Barack Obama. ”He has really taken that generation by storm,” Luntz says. ”He is everything they have been waiting for. He’s not political, he’s more focused on policy. Whereas Clinton plays politics the way it was played 20 years ago when her husband was president.”


In the view of the Democratic pollster Peter Hart, Clinton’s biggest challenge is that ”voters think she’s competent, but they’re less convinced on compassion, and they’re downright skeptical when it comes to integrity.”


That said, the incredible stakes manifested by the spectre of a President Trump have started making even Clinton’s platitudes (”I know it sometimes seems a little odd for someone running for president, these days, in this time, to say we need more love and kindness in America. But I’m telling you, from the bottom of my heart, we do”) sound like necessary truths.

The primary fight with Sanders has also certainly transformed Clinton into a much stronger candidate: She’s more relaxed, and there’s a deeper focus and urgency in her message. According to a story in The New York Times, Team Clinton has been preparing to bloody Trump with the help of ”two prominent surrogates”: the Big Dog himself, Bill Clinton, who ”would not hold back on the stump” in order to blunt Trump’s ”ability to sway the news cycle,” and President Obama, ”who has told allies he would gleefully portray Mr. Trump as incapable of handling the duties of the Oval Office.”

Will that be enough, in these days of revolt? ”The key is, how does she handle Phase Two and Phase Three of this campaign?” Hart, the Democratic pollster, says. He isn’t as worried about the schism that’s been playing out in the primary. ”It’s different from other years, where there would be irreparable damage for a long time,” he says. ”I’m not of the belief that everyone who voted for Bernie looks at Hillary and says, ‘There’s the enemy.’ This is a situation where I think, by the time the Democrats go to the polls, the differences will be joined.”

Tidskriftsomslag: Rolling Stone, 24 mars (nr. 1257), 2016.

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VAL 2016 | Donald Trump är expert på att få exponering i media trots att han kontinuerligt förolämpar deras kampanjbevakning.

Rolling Stone - March 10 - 2016 - Issue 1256.

Och även om rapporteringen oftast är negativ kan media inte ta ögonen ifrån honom. ”He’s pulling 33 times as much coverage on the major networks as his next-closest GOP competitor, and twice as much as Hillary”, skriver Matt Taibbi i Rolling Stone.

I år är det tydligt att väljarna trötta på vad man ser som en allians mellan media och partiernas etablissemang kring beskrivningen av vad som måste göras i landet och vilka politiker som är lämpliga för jobbet.

Att väljarna på både vänster- och högerkanten har tröttnat på att deras respektive partier alltid tycks välja samma typ av politiker har skapat utrymme för både Bernie Sanders och Donald Trump.

Vare sig Sanders eller Trump är naturliga representanter för sina respektive partier. Båda har kommit in i sina partier relativt sent. Båda ses som outsiders av gräsrötterna. Och i år är detta ett plus.

Taibbi skriver om fenomenet Trump:

Trump is no intellectual. He’s not bringing Middlemarch to the toilet. If he had to jail with Stephen Hawking for a year, he wouldn’t learn a thing about physics. Hawking would come out on Day 365 talking about models and football.

But, in an insane twist of fate, this bloated billionaire scion has hobbies that have given him insight into the presidential electoral process. He likes women, which got him into beauty pageants. And he likes being famous, which got him into reality TV. He knows show business.

That put him in position to understand that the presidential election campaign is really just a badly acted, billion-dollar TV show whose production costs ludicrously include the political disenfranchisement of its audience. Trump is making a mockery of the show, and the Wolf Blitzers and Anderson Coopers of the world seem appalled. How dare he demean the presidency with his antics?

But they’ve all got it backward. The presidency is serious. The presidential electoral process, however, is a sick joke, in which everyone loses except the people behind the rope line. And every time some pundit or party spokesman tries to deny it, Trump picks up another vote.


Interestingly, a lot of Trump’s political act seems lifted from bully-wrestlers. A clear influence is ”Ravishing” Rick Rude, an Eighties champ whose shtick was to insult the audience. He would tell ticket holders they were ”fat, ugly sweat hogs,” before taking off his robe to show them ”what a real sexy man looks like.”

In Greenville, Donald ”The Front-Runner” Trump started off the debate by jumping on his favorite wrestling foil, Prince Dinkley McBirthright, a.k.a. Jeb Bush. Trump seems to genuinely despise Bush. He never missed a chance to rip him for being a ”low-energy,” ”stiff” and ”dumb as a rock” weenie who lets his Mexican wife push him around. But if you watch Trump long enough, it starts to seem gratuitous.

Trump’s basic argument is the same one every successful authoritarian movement in recent Western history has made: that the regular guy has been screwed by a conspiracy of incestuous elites.


Reporters have focused quite a lot on the crazy/race-baiting/nativist themes in Trump’s campaign, but these comprise a very small part of his usual presentation. His speeches increasingly are strikingly populist in their content. His pitch is: He’s rich, he won’t owe anyone anything upon election, and therefore he won’t do what both Democratic and Republican politicians unfailingly do upon taking office, i.e., approve rotten/regressive policies that screw ordinary people.


No one should be surprised that he’s tearing through the Republican primaries, because everything he’s saying about his GOP opponents is true. They really are all stooges on the take, unable to stand up to Trump because they’re not even people, but are, like Jeb and Rubio, just robo-babbling representatives of unseen donors.

Tidskriftsomslag: Rolling Stone, 10 mars (nr. 1256) 2016

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VAL 2016 | Bernie Sanders ser ut att kopierar den strategi som tog Hillary Clinton hela vägen fram till utrikesministerposten under Barack Obama.

Rolling Stone December 3 2015 Issue 1249

Redan när Tim Dickinson gjorde sin stora intervju med Sanders förra året talade presidentkandidaten om att han försökte skapa en gräsrotsrörelse som skulle pressa på för politisk förändring.

Anledningen att han fortfarande hänger kvar och kampanjar kan mycket väl vara att han vill kopiera Hillary Clintons strategi mot Obama 2008.

Genom att hänga kvar in i det sista, långt efter att det var uppenbart att hon inte skulle kunna hämta in Obamas försprång, gjorde hon det tydligt för alla att hon inte gick att ignorera.

Och genom att göra henne till utrikesminister undanröjde Obama samtidigt hotet att den starkaste politiska motståndaren i det egna partiet skulle ägna de närmaste åren åt politiskt krypskytte.

På samma sätt kan en strak gräsrotsrörelse vara det bästa sättet att bygga upp ett politiskt tryck mot en eventuellt kommande president Clinton. Kanske han t.o.m. kan få en framskjuten position i en sådan administration?

Så här lät det bl.a. i Dickinsons intervju i Rolling Stone:

I say with utmost sincerity: I have known Hillary Clinton for 25 years. I knew her as first lady. We’re not best friends, ya know, but I know her. She is a very impressive woman, very intelligent and has a huge amount of experience. Nobody denies, Hillary Clinton least of all, that she is an establishment candidate. You can’t go around the country touting all the governors and senators and people who support you without acknowledging that you are the candidate of the establishment. Hillary Clinton has a Super PAC, which will raise money from a whole lot of wealthy individuals and corporate interests. That’s just the way it is.

I do not say, ”Elect Bernie Sanders for president, I’m going to solve all of these problems.” We need millions of people to stand up and fight back, to demand that government represents all of us, not just the one percent. I’m trying to create a movement. That is what my campaign is about – that is not what Hillary Clinton’s establishment campaign is about.


Do you think Hillary Clinton would be tough enough on Wall Street as president?

Of course not. Why would you think she would? For a start, look at where Hillary Clinton has gotten her money and support in the past. And if you look at her unwillingness to deal with the basic issues – and that is the re-establishment of Glass-Steagall and the fact that we have got to break up these large financial institutions – that is not Hillary Clinton’s position.


A lot of progressives agree with your ideas, but they view Hillary Clinton as more electable. And given the dangers you just articulated in terms of the Republican agenda, does that not argue for moving ahead with a more traditional candidate?

The answer is that progressives who think that are wrong. And I mean that very sincerely. Look up the polls for a start. The last polls that I saw – check ‘em out; they’re in the machine – will show you that Bernie Sanders does better against Trump than Hillary does. On many of the matchups, I do better, OK? That’s just a fact.

Number two, the only way that Republicans win elections is when voter turnout is low. We have brought out over 300,000 people to our meetings – a significant majority of those people are nontraditional voters. I would say 90 percent of the people who go to my meetings have never been to a Democratic Party meeting in their life, OK? The energy and the enthusiasm that we are developing in this campaign with young people, with low-income people, with working people, is the kind of enthusiasm that is needed to create large voter turnouts.

Frankly and honestly, Hillary Clinton is not generating enthusiasm. She has very strong establishment support. But establishment support will take you only so far.

Tidskriftsomslag: Rolling Stone, december 2015, Issue 1249.

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USA | Donald Trump ser ut att vara oövervinnerlig. Istället för att implodera rullar det på för ”The Donald”. Ingen ser idag ut att kunna stoppa honom.

Rolling Stone September 24 2015 issue 1244

Ett tecken på detta är att Trumpkampanjen inte har behövt lägga några pengar på reklam i tv. ”The Donald” får tillräckligt med uppmärksamhet ändå.

Paul Solotaroff har följt Trump för tidskriften Rolling Stone. Här är ett utdrag från hans rapport:

What I saw was enough to make me take him dead serious. If you’re waiting for Trump to blow himself up in a Hindenburg of gaffes or hate speech, you’re in for a long, cold fall and winter. Donald Trump is here for the duration — and gaining strength and traction by the hour.

Begin with his message and mode of delivery. Standing over his shoulder, I watched Trump use the press to speak directly to his base, talking past the cameras and microphone banks to that furious demographic of working and out-of-work factory-town families who saw their wages set like Quikrete in the 1980s and watched the spoils and tax breaks swim upstream. When we landed in New Hampshire and pulled in to a Hampton high school in his motorcade of stretch SUVs, Trump was mobbed by reporters with the pushy fervor of kids seeking autographs at spring training. He batted aside their questions — Iraq, Russia, immigrants — to buttonhole the hundreds of people milling outside, unable to get in but listening on speakers, and the thousands more seated down the hall.

”I built a net worth of more than $10 billion. I’ve been a world-class businessman. . . . That’s the thinking that our country needs. Take our jobs back from China and Japan and Mexico. . . . Take a look at China. . . . We owe them $1.4 trillion . . . because we’re led by people who don’t have a clue. Honestly, I think we’re led by stupid people.”

There, in those words, is his campaign. I am strong; politicians are weak. I speak truth and never retreat; they lie and wave the white flag to our foes. They have stripped us bare; I will build us back, make this country feared the whole world over. Everything he utters is a version of this, dressed in different raiment or reference — and he’s saying it to people, his ”silent majority,” who have longed to hear these words since Richard Nixon. ”He’s delivering a message of power and courage without any proof points called policy,” says Steve Schmidt, the Republican wise man and campaign warhorse who’s been watching Trump with mounting fascination. ”A huge chunk of conservatives are unmoored from the issues. What moves them is his tone and attack on Republicans who they hold in complete contempt.”


To this point, at least, it’s been an asymmetrical war: Trump carpet-bombs his rivals each and every day without much in the way of artillery coming back. But sooner rather than later, the counterinsurgency will start, a coordinated effort by the party’s elites to trash him and his scary ideas. ”Trump’s challenge is, he’s got an unusual coalition — Tea Party Republicans, non-Tea Party Republicans and even some Democrats,” says Nate Cohn, the standout data journalist for The New York Times. ”What happens when he starts getting attacked on all the issues? Will he be able to hold his supporters together under the brunt of attack ads from the Super PACs?”

Cohn isn’t convinced that Trump’s constituency will see him through that thresher and beyond. ”He’s had total command of the media so far, and much of his strength is based on that. But popularity derived from public attention is generally thin, as we saw with Herman Cain and Sarah Palin.”

Steve Schmidt, the Republican strategist, puts it somewhat more crudely: ”Trump’s starring in a reality show of his own making, and treats every appearance like an episode,” chasing ratings in the form of fresh votes. But how do you turn appointment TV into a lasting candidacy? ”You need a huge team on the ground doing the nuts-and-bolts work — collecting signatures to be on the ballot in certain states, bringing voters to the polls — and Trump is very late to the party,” says Cohn. ”Most of his rivals have been at this over a year, and have those seasoned operatives locked up. And even if they’re available, is he really prepared to pay them a premium now?”

The first time we met, Trump led me to understand that his run had cost him peanuts thus far. A little outlay for jet fuel and salary to staff events, but not a dime dropped on advertising or charters. ”I thought I’d have spent $10 million on ads, when so far I’ve spent zero,” he says. ”I’m on TV so much, it’d be stupid to advertise. Besides, the shows are more effective than ads.” But with a commanding national lead at the end of August and runaway margins in the early primary states of New Hampshire and South Carolina, he’s had to staff up aggressively on the fly. To that end, he’s dispatched his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, to speed-hire ground troops across the country, pros who’ll try to turn his rock-star crowds into follow-through voters in six months. He’s brought on Chuck Laudner, an old hand in Iowa politics, to run his operation in that state, and had ramped up months ago in South Carolina and New Hampshire, putting strong, seasoned crews to work.

”We’re up to 60 people now, including 14 in Iowa,” Trump tells me, ”and building huge, phenomenal teams in the first seven states. I know that costs money, but I’ve got this, believe me. Remember: The two biggest costs in a presidential run are ads and transportation. Well, I own two planes and a Sikorsky chopper, so I’d say I’m pretty well covered there, wouldn’t you?”

Still: Trump, for all his billions, has far less sitting in liquid assets. Bloomberg ran the numbers on his FEC filing and pegged his cash on hand at $70 million; Politico had it closer to $250 million. Either way, it sounds like a lot of money till you factor the per-diem costs of the past couple of presidential cycles. Barack Obama spent about $1.6 million a day at this stage of his first run, in 2007. The price tag may have doubled in the eight years since, though Trump has the cost breaks noted above, so perhaps it’ll only run him the million per. But Obama was raising money as fast as he spent it, while Trump is barely bothering to lift a finger. (At last report, he’d taken in $100,000, or about five percent of what he’s spent already.) Is he really prepared to shell out $30 million a month, and more when the primaries roll around?

Absolutely,” he tells me. ”I’m prepared to underwrite this! I make $400 to $600 million a year.”

Tidskriftsomslag: Rolling Stone, 24 september 2015.

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USA | Nobelpristagaren Paul Krugman, som varit en av Barack Obamas starkaste kritiker på vänsterkanten, har omvärderat presidenten.

Roling Stone - issue 1220 - October 23 2015

I en längre artikel i Rolling Stone om Obamas år i Vita huset lyfter Krugman framför allt fram hälsovårdsreformen, hanteringen av den finansiella krisen och ekonomin som de områden där presidentens politik haft störst positiv effekt.

När det gäller Affordable Care Act, eller Obamacare, skriver han bl.a. följande:

We won’t have the full data on 2014 until next year’s census report, but multiple independent surveys show a sharp drop in the number of Americans without health insurance, probably around 10 million, a number certain to grow greatly over the next two years as more people realize that the program is available and penalties for failure to sign up increase.

It’s true that the Affordable Care Act will still leave millions of people in America uninsured. For one thing, it was never intended to cover undocumented immigrants, who are counted in standard measures of the uninsured.


Still, Obamacare means a huge improvement in the quality of life for tens of millions of Americans – not just better care, but greater financial security. And even those who were already insured have gained both security and freedom, because they now have a guarantee of coverage if they lose or change jobs.

What about the costs? Here, too, the news is better than anyone expected. In 2014, premiums on the insurance policies offered through the Obamacare exchanges were well below those originally projected by the Congressional Budget Office, and the available data indicates a mix of modest increases and actual reductions for 2015 – which is very good in a sector where premiums normally increase five percent or more each year. More broadly, overall health spending has slowed substantially, with the cost-control features of the ACA probably deserving some of the credit.

In other words, health reform is looking like a major policy success story. It’s a program that is coming in ahead of schedule – and below budget – costing less, and doing more to reduce overall health costs than even its supporters predicted.

Of course, this success story makes nonsense of right-wing predictions of catastrophe. Beyond that, the good news on health costs refutes conservative orthodoxy. It’s a fixed idea on the right, sometimes echoed by ”centrist” commentators, that the only way to limit health costs is to dismantle guarantees of adequate care – for example, that the only way to control Medicare costs is to replace Medicare as we know it, a program that covers major medical expenditures, with vouchers that may or may not be enough to buy adequate insurance. But what we’re actually seeing is what looks like significant cost control via a laundry list of small changes to how we pay for care, with the basic guarantee of adequate coverage not only intact but widened to include Americans of all ages.

Tidskriftsomslag: Rolling Stone den 23 oktober 2014.

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KONST | Även om man inte är speciellt intresserad av valkampanjer finns det åtminstone en bok som de flesta känna till.

Juxtapoz, april 2013

Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72 blev resultatet av Hunter S. Thompsons bevakning av George McGovern och Richard Nixon under presidentvalskampanjen 1972.

Enligt Frank Mankiewicz, McGoverns pressekreterare, var bokens beskrivning av kampanjen ”the most accurate and least factual” av alla redogörelser från valkampanjen.

Thompsons stil har kallats Gonzo journalistik, en blandning av reportage och fria fantasier. Resultatet blir – åtminstone för anhängarna – sannare än sanningen. Oavsett vilket var det underhållande.

Nära förknippad med Thompson är den engelske illustratören Ralph Steadman. Han var enligt Thompson ”the only illustrator I know of who understands the Gonzo journalism concept”.

Konsttidskriften Juxtapoz har ägnat ett nummer åt Steadmans illustrationer och hans samarbete med Thompson.

Nathan Spoor beskiver hans stil så här:

Equal parts painter, cartoonist, printmaker, sculptor and even songwriter, Ralph Steadman is a singular emblematic artist who defies definition at each turn. The instantly-recognizable splashes of ink and scrawled descriptions that make up the pantheon of his work reveals the vibrant and witty man that captured so many strange and defining moments in his award-winning political and social art.

Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget är Juxtapoz, april 2013. På framsidan ser vi Steadmans bild av Thompson.

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ANALYS | Barack Obama vann övertygande över sin republikanske utmanare Mitt Romney med 332 elektorsröster mot 206.

Bild-President Obama och First Lady Michelle Obama

Dessutom är det bara Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower och Ronald Reagan som också lyckats vinna mer än 50 procent av det totala röstetalet två gånger i rad.

I en insiktsfull intervju med Tim Dickinson på Rolling Stone beskriver James Carville, politisk strateg och arkitekten bakom Bill Clintons valseger 1992, hur Obama lyckades och varför Romney misslyckades.

Remember, for Obama, there was a great strategic dilemma as to whether to present Romney as a flip-flopper or as someone who is for the rich guy. You had to pick one, and they picked ”for the rich guy.” If you’re going to be successful in politics, you have to pick one. One of the great statements of the Kerry campaign was when they said, ”We have a nuanced and layered message.” It can’t be nuanced and layered and be a message – it just can’t.

The best thing Romney did was flip-flop in the first debate. If you flop to where people are, then they like you. Let’s say that somebody runs against gay marriage all their life, and you’re for gay marriage, and then they come out for it. You don’t say, ”I don’t trust him, he flipped his position.” You say, ”I like that, he changed his mind.” In the research – and I know this because we did a lot of it – if you’d say that Romney was for all these crazy right-wing things, people would say, ”He’s more moderate than that, he doesn’t believe that.” They liked the fact that they couldn’t trust him.

That’s why the Obama campaign decided to focus on his history at Bain.

Yeah. At the end, the message of the Bain stuff was: When he has to choose between you and his friends, he’s going to choose his friends. I think that stuck with him pretty good.


How did the Republicans get so outclassed in terms of technology? In 2004, Rove dominated on that front.

The most amazing story of the whole election was how personally shellshocked Romney was that he lost. They completely thought he was going to win. How can a man with a reputation of being data-driven, who does spreadsheets better than anybody in the world, be shocked that he lost? I can’t wait to read the book as to what happened to Romney. It’s stunning.

Part of it is how inefficiently they spent all the money they had. Conservatives have a point here: You give somebody too many resources, and they don’t allocate them very well. The top people in the Romney campaign were paid $134 million in this election. The top consultants in the Obama campaign were paid $6 million. Democrats just spent their money smarter, better and with less nepotism or favoritism. It’s stunning that a community organizer would be so much more efficient than a head of one of the largest private equity funds. As the rabbis have been saying for 5,000 years, ”Go figure.”

Bild: Obamakampanjen lade ut fotot på presidenten och Michelle Obama på Facebook och Twitter efter segern.

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