Look, politics is politics, and the reality is that patronage is a need that does have to be taken care of. (This is one of the reasons why no cabinet department will ever be abolished ever.) This is as true now as it was in 1886. The difference between now and 1886 is that back then they used the post office as a patronage trough and now we use public universities as such, which is probably not such an improvement, honestly. But this is something:

It was definitely a “seeing how the meat is made” experience for this former political science student. In addition to being confronted with the grosser positions of the person you’re interning for (such as Hoyer’s cozy relationship with AIPAC), you’re also surrounded by a number of SGA dweebs high on their own supply. We found out at the end of the internship that the other office was packed with interns who were almost all children of Hoyer’s top donors and friends. The interns in the separate office frequently got to write memos and do other more substantive work. However, answering the phones was probably more entertaining.

Like I said, patronage is a need. Sometimes people donate because they want their kids to have jobs. Better to give some unremarkable rich kid a job than to give a contract to some shady business, arguably. But to have a situation where connected people do all the important work that will actually lead to careers and power and the plebs do all the hackwork (and, indeed, never meet Hoyer himself) really does give away how Hoyer sees the world and how he recapitulates its unfair hierarchies: people with money and privilege get the inside track and the rest get nothing. Not exactly hard to believe about one of the most reactionary-centrist Dems there are, but still. Some Democrat.

You know, some days I think that there has to be at least one good thing about Steny Hoyer, and yet, I don’t think I’ve ever read one! Perhaps he’s a great legislator but I don’t really hear much about that. Not hard to believe he’s a great fundraiser given what’s in the Splinter piece, I guess.

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Dianne Feinstein still sucks in the same way she’s always sucked:

Supporters of the WIIN Act say endangered species laws will protect the delta and its wildlife. However, WIIN allows pumping levels to go beyond what is recommended under the Endangered Species Act.

Huffman and his colleagues, as well as Feinstein’s fellow Senate Democrat Kamala Harris of California, say the bill should be considered with more time and balance.

Harris said she opposes the bill because it would override part of the Endangered Species Act, affect the salmon fishing industry and give Trump and future presidents too much authority over California.

“I’m very concerned about any process that would allow this administration to override what Californians decided is in California’s best interest,” Harris said.

Huffman said in an interview that extending WIIN this month would amount to “trying to jam through end-of-session favors for special interests in the San Joaquin Valley that are against the interests of the Bay Area and most other water users in the state.”

Speier said WIIN was “an emergency piece of legislation,” but that the emergency — the drought — has passed.

“To extend this emergency piece of legislation when we’ve had the kinds of problems associated with forest fires and so much of our fishing industry is impacted, the environment’s impacted, I think we need to be very thoughtful in the way we move forward and not just knee-jerk take action,” Speier said.

Why would she screw over the people who voted for her to benefit people who didn’t? Oh, right, the latter are really rich people. Really seems to be all of it so far as I can tell.

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The media once again misleads the public by splashing OBAMACARE STRUCK DOWN and now half the public thinks it’s gone already because almost nobody knows the difference between a district court and an appellate court. So great job media! Once again you show that you’re a worse problem than fake news with your irresponsible choice of emphasis. I suppose the true suckers are the people who think they’ll fix themselves.

Also, too, whose interest does it actually serve to have this kind of constant upheaval and uncertainty served to us by the courts? Damned if I know. If 2020 Democrats were smart they’d start wondering aloud about why it is that we let the courts overturn legislation at all, particularly at the hands of political activists in robes whose protestations of impartiality are cynical at best. Neutering the courts would fix a lot of things! But I strongly doubt we’ll see that happen. Too crazy for a party still desperate to reinstate pre-Gingrich norms unilaterally.

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Why did I get a Christmas “card” email from Evan Bayh? Even when I was a bit more of a centrist wanker a decade ago I didn’t like him. Certainly never donated to him or anything. And it wasn’t my burner address either that I use for all my political stuff. It was my real one! A true mystery.

Got to be a prank. Well done, whoever.

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Got swallowed up by the Trump Telenovela’s most recent turns, but this is really, really bad. I have no problem assuming that no other Democrats want Manchin to be running the committee that would address climate change, but while a few people (including Bernie!) share particular blame for this, the party at large really has a problem. The dreams of a lifetime baronial perch atop a big committee are quite obviously more important to Dem Senators than keeping awful people away from those perches. It keeps happening: crooked Bob Menendez at Foreign Relations, bank-owned Tim Johnson a few years back at Banking, etc. Probably something the senators running for president ought to be asked about.

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The thing about discourse liberalism is that it would work just fine if both sides really did care equally about fact. But that’s not the case, so in order to stick with this framework, what is required is to create a fact-based, swayable conservative opposition that doesn’t actually exist, but that lots of people wish actually did. Hence the many reasonable movement conservatives on?The West Wing who always stepped in against their own interest when things got a little too hot and heavy on the one hand, or the elevation of nonentities like Jeff Flake and Ben Sasse (and Mitt Romney!) into saviors of the republic on the other. The thing is that if you’re not committed to this framework, the distinctions made between Sasse and Hatch don’t actually seem to exist! So weird.

There are of course fact-based conservatives in real life but they seem to keep getting exiled from the conservative movement for some reason. Wonder why!

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Trump on camera: Blame me for the shutdown.?Yes sir! Will do!

Haven’t seen any since the midterms, but for awhile I was regularly seeing “Trump’s actually a political genius” think pieces. I guess people aren’t paying to write them anymore. Interesting, that.

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Scott Walker will sign the GOP’s power-stripping bills because he doesn’t actually give a shit about the governorship as an institution. It was basically just a hulk from which to launch viking raids against passing ships, to be discarded when no longer useful to himself personally. In terms of institution-destroyers, what Walker did to state government stands right next to what Newt Gingrich did to the House, what Mitch McConnell did to the Senate, and what Donald Trump did to the presidency. The true pantheon.

But I’m sure Mitt Romney is going to fix all that come January. He’s just a good egg!

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