A good part of the reason I started blogging was because I went to a history conference at a UT branch up between Dallas and Fort Worth and found that, contrary to belief, many well known academic historians have found community history projects to be invaluable because of their focus and details. Photos rated high. Photos with details rate high. Interviews with participants in events rated high. Interviews with older people rated high if you cover their experience and perspective.
- Prairie Weather

“Protest works. Just look at the proof”

Free MP3 sites

Be your own program director. Venture off the beaten path. Live a little.

2dopeboyz: Hip hop. (RSS)

3hive: Sharing the sharing. Free and legal MP3s from over 600 underground and undiscovered artists — new ones added daily. (RSS)

Amazon MP3 Download - Frequency: Weekly. Get the latest on Amazon MP3 music downloads - new releases, freshly ripped hits, and special deals.

Audio Drums - A blog for rare, possibly overlooked, maybe forgotten gems of music with a slight emphasis on electronic and indie genres. (RSS)

Common Folk Music - A blog about music, not just folk music, but all music ranging from indie to alt-country to bluegrass, because music is for the “Common Folk”. (RSS)

Discobelle.net (RSS)

Fiddlefreak Folk Music Blog - Folk, bluegrass, Celtic, and other music of the people. (RSS)

Fingertips Music - Free and legal music. (RSS)

Gorilla Vs Bear (RSS)

Hillydilly: Simply Good Music. (RSS)

I Rock Cleveland: Indie Rock, College Rock, Alt Rock, Modern Rock, Cleveland Rock, and Rock. (RSS)

KEXP Song of the Day: KEXP 90.3 FM - where the music matters (RSS)

Kick Kick Snare (RSS)

Line Of Best Fit - TLOBF.COM | Music Reviews, News, Interviews & Downloads (RSS)

Lipstick Disco - Deep House & Disco music blog fronted by Females (RSS)

Minnesota Public Radio Song of the Day: Music lovers from 89.3 The Current share songs with you each weekday. (RSS)

Muruch (RSS)

Music Like Dirt: Music in all its many forms, mp3’s, live reviews and photography. (RSS)

My Old Kentucky Blog - a music blog that parties with unicorns. (RSS)

Nah Right. (RSS)

ninebullets.net. (RSS)

Rollo & Grady: Los Angeles Music Blog, LA Music Blog (RSS)

Said the Gramophone: a music weblog (RSS)

She Makes Music: She Makes Music focuses on the most exciting and impressive new music created by brilliant and talented female musicians. (RSS)


Sounds Better With Reverb (RSS)

Stereogum: All the MP3s on Stereogum.com (RSS)

their bated breath (RSS)

Women of Hip Hop (RSS)

YouKnowIGotSoul (RSS)

Mourn ya till I join ya

The Wheel’s Still In Spin: Focusing on new music releases and reviews of individual albums as original, fictional short stories (RSS)

A Fifty Cent Lighter & A Whiskey Buzz - This site is just a way for me to have a little fun and share a little music. I’ll highlight some of my favorite artists that I play on the radio and try to expound upon their music in ways I can’t always do on the air. (RSS)

Aminal Sound

Audiofile: Music Blog, Music Articles - Salon.com

Crossfade: The CNET music blog

Direct Current New Music - Adult pop, rock, singer/songwriters, folk, Americana, alt-country, adult alternative, soul, world music, crossover jazz and simply those artists that make us go “hmmm.”(RSS)

GarageBand.com Folk top tracks (RSS)

GarageBand.com Hip Hop top tracks (RSS)

Flawless Hustle: Urban culture blog featuring artist interviews, music reviews, legal music downloads, street art, graffiti and more! (RSS)



The Jon Swift principle: “I will add anyone to my blogroll who adds me to theirs.” Email or leave a comment to let me know.


The Hunting of the Snark

Sites participating in blogroll amnesty day

Jon Swift aka Al Weisel, may he rest in peace. Co-originator of Blogroll Amnesty Day

skippy the bush kangaroo (Co-originator of Blogroll Amnesty Day) (2012)

Vagabond Scholar (2012)
Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety. Keeper of the Jon Swift Memorial Roundup (The Best Posts of the Year, Chosen by the Bloggers Themselves)

Notes From Underground (2012)

Redeye’s Front Page (2012)

Wisdom of the West (2012)

Zen Comix (2012)

pygalgia (2012)

Mikeb302000 (2012)

The Agonist (2012)

Brilliant At Breakfast (2012)

Bacon and Eggs (2012)

« Additional planks for the platform | Main | Summer vacation »

Bumper Sticker Platform, 2013 edition

On a Saturday morning a few years ago I dashed off a quick caffeine-fueled post that tried to formulate a simple but substantive platform for the left. It was partially a reaction to the prior couple years of conservative rhetoric. During the 2008 campaign the right insisted Barack Obama was a socialist; once elected his signature initiative - the Affordable Care Act - was also called socialist, which must have been news to the for-profit private insurance industry.

So someone repeatedly called a socialist was elected, and a relatively modest change to an existing system was called socialism yet still passed into law. There seemed two lessons from that. The first was that America must be comfortable with socialism, because otherwise Obama wouldn’t have won. The second was that since liberal policies - even incremental ones - were going to be called socialist by conservatives, why not just go for the best policy? Why worry about trying for some lesser thing in a fruitless attempt to court the unalterably proposed?

My short, punchy version of going for the gusto was this: Medicare for all, end the wars, soak the rich. It wasn’t meant to be a comprehensive platform but an attempt to advocate for a small number of consequential policies; something with popular appeal that would fit on a sign or bumper sticker. I wanted to keep it short because liberals are prone to getting too wonky for their own good. Laundry lists full of prescriptions for all society’s ills, each spelled out in excruciating bullet point detail, turn off all but the true believers.

I think it’s better to have a few items and say: these are the things I will fight for. Other issues will come up, but here are the things I will make noise about and I will agitate about over and over. If they are not implemented, then at an absolute minimum I will force those who don’t want them to be public in their opposition. I will hammer away at them, run on them, make campaign issues of them, and so on.

The original post bubbled away at Corrente and a few other places for a while. I posted an updated list a few months later which included a job guarantee. That may sound too ambitious, but according to Duke professor William Darity it only requires a president with the will to create it:

Persistent high unemployment has produced a crisis for virtually all Americans. But we can resolve the crisis by adopting a federal job guarantee for all citizens. A system of job assurance, rather than unemployment insurance, could have been implemented at any point by presidential directive under the mandate of the Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act of 1978 (popularly known as the Humphrey-Hawkins Act).

Of course, that’s not the same as a critical mass of support. For as much as I like the idea, I haven’t seen any signs of it catching on with either activists or officials. In light of lambert’s Monday post asking for a re-think of the platform, the jobs guarantee may need to be dropped (for now).

The same goes for End the Wars. The Iraq war actually has ended since the original post, and Afghanistan seems to be proceeding at an acceptably low level of carnage. Drone strikes and other dirty wars are largely off the public’s radar as well. Metaphorical wars at home (the war on drugs, draconian sentencing, the militarization of police, the creation of a domestic army, etc) also seem to not have captured the public’s imagination. While I think ending the literal and metaphorical wars is one of the most urgent moral issues of our time, I don’t see it being a tent pole issue in a campaign.

On the other hand, the fight for a living wage has become a huge issue in the last year or so. It’s definitely an issue with a constituency. With those changes in mind, here is my 2013 proposal for the Bumper Sticker Platform:

  • Medicare for all
  • Tax the rich
  • A living wage
Medicare for all is self explanatory. Tax the rich: a new “super rich” marginal rate of 70% starting at $5,000,000 per year, and maybe eliminating the carried interest loophole as well if possible. A living wage: $15 an hour minimum wage. Nine words, three policies. Substantive, popular and fits on a bumper sticker. Anyone who ran on that would probably have a receptive audience just about anywhere, no?

One more political note: each of these policies is fiscally responsible. Medicare for all would save $600 billion in private insurance charges. Take out the $350 billion that extending coverage would cost, and that still leaves a savings of $250 billion per year. While those who hate all government spending on principle would surely object, I think most citizens would be more practical: If the result is savings, that’s all that matters.

Taxing the rich is obviously a fiscal plus. And a living wage would force deadbeat companies to stop paying so little that their employees end up on Medicaid or other government programs. (Not to mention that paying a living wage is also the decent thing to do.)

So there’s the first stab at the latest Bumper Sticker Platform. I think it’s got a lot to recommend it. Now we just need some candidates to run on it.


I exchanged a few emails with lambert while working all this out. He thinks Bumper Sticker Platform will be disparaged as BS Platform, and prefers the (#) Word Platform as something that helps manage the development as others contribute. I think BSP is good because it can get updated every few years with the same title, as opposed to having a 9 word platform one time out and a 12 word platform the next time. So even the branding is up for debate! Feel free to chime in.

Reader Comments (3)

August in this household (hot.drought.rural Texas) has seen a turn to the calm comfort of the CBC in the background in place of NPR. It's a great way to cool off, knock off ten to fifteen points on both BP numbers. And it serves to remind me that the background noise in the US is made up of the harsh sounds of anger and resentment. Even the comedians are tense and defensive.

That anger stands in the way of the kind of comity you're asking for. Your post would seem eminently reasonable in Winnipeg or Lunenberg. But not down here where it isn't enough for me to win: you have to lose.

August 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPW

Bump 'em up a notch for a popular bandwagon effect:

PROMISED Single-Payer
The $WELL$' TAXE$ are Too DEM LOW!
A $22 ACTUAL Productivity wage!

(Negotiating, Bargaining and Conflict Resolution 1.0 : ALWAYS Ask for the most, initially!)

August 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBruce

Bruce, I want you to represent me at my next negotiation, no matter what it's for.

August 22, 2013 | Registered CommenterDan

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