David Dayen Profile picture
Executive editor @theprospect. Author, Monopolized, Chain of Title. Unsanitized newsletter only at https://t.co/7y0W2B4aju. #D1A Tips: ddayen-at-prospect-dot-org
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24 Feb
1/ I want to invite you to apply for our Prospect writing fellowship, which in my completely biased opinion is the best early-career job in journalism. You can apply here:
2/ Our two-year fellowship gives a staff job (full benefits, union shop) to journalists just out of college or at an early point in their careers, working with our team on every type of reporting possible, from on-the-ground coverage to analysis, from short-form to long features.
3/ Our terrific writing fellows that I have had the pleasure of working with, @Marcia_Brown9 and @brittanyagibson, are wrapping up their fellowships, so we need two more to carry on the tradition. The first job would start at the end of May and the second in September.
Read 5 tweets
24 Feb
Um, Katie Porter v. Louis DeJoy alert. oversight.house.gov
Porter: You made changes to USPS but the IG said you did no analysis on whether they would save money. Now you're doing a strategic plan, have you done any analysis?
DeJoy: I disagree we did no analysis. We've done extensive research.
Porter: Will you provide those analyses to this committee?
DeJoy: We will produce "a certain amount of information." We're not embarrassed by the work we did.
Porter: Did you hire consultants?
DeJoy: The organization has embedded consultants for a long time.
Read 5 tweets
23 Feb
NEW at @theprospect: @alex_sammon on the array of corporate lawyers and Big Tech defenders populating Merrick Garland's Justice Department.
Garland said yesterday: "Fortunately or unfortunately, the best antitrust lawyers in the country have some involvement" in Big Tech. Lawyers in or likely to be in his DoJ certainly do:
-Emily Loeb (Apple)
-Susan Davies (Facebook)
-Susan Dunn (Amazon)
"Garland’s most concerning connection is Jamie Gorelick, who, despite being unlikely to get a formal role within the department, is positioning herself as a fixer with Washington’s most direct line to Garland’s office"
Read 4 tweets
18 Feb
GameStop hearing has begun here, I'll be intermittently live tweeting if anything interesting happens.
One thing so far, Waters announces this is the first of a series of hearings, and future ones will include regulators and policy discussions.
Remarkable pronunciation of "Dough-GEE-coin" from ranking member Patrick McHenry (R-NC)
Read 28 tweets
18 Feb
Here's my curtain raiser on today's GameStop hearing, of which I’m struggling to figure out the purpose, relative to what we need to actually uncover about our financial markets.
Publicly traded stocks spike if they have similar names to hot companies. Risky firms issue billions in junk debt. "Blank-check" companies with no products or sales are a hot commodity. Dogecoin. We have a speculation problem but it's not just on Reddit prospect.org/power/whats-re…
It'd be nice if the questioning in today's hearing brooched the unmentionable subject of banning unproductive and speculative trading instruments and closing the loophole that created hedge funds and private equity. prospect.org/power/whats-re…
Read 4 tweets
17 Feb
1/ A couple weeks ago, Theda Skocpol and Caroline Tervo looked at Indivisible and the drift between the national organization and its local chapters.
We got comments about it. A lot of them.
2/ So we decided to put them together for a roundtable series we're calling The Future of Organizing. Bob Kuttner introduces the project today.
3/ Our first two pieces happen to be diametrically opposed to one another. Michael Podhozer of the AFL-CIO argues that Skocpol & Tervo neglected the character of recent elections and the role of unions in grassroots democracy.
Read 6 tweets
11 Feb
Read the thread, but I'd say payday lenders & debt collectors & drug manufacturers & minimum wage employers & muni bondholders who don't like public banks all had plenty to lose right now from policies recently advanced in the state. But we're both talking around something-
The biggest advance in recent state policymaking was ending worker misclassification, a groundbreaking law codifying the principle that workers deserve benefits.
And Uber, Lyft & Doordash spent $200 million to evaporate it and literally create their own labor law.
They could do that because of the ballot measure system, which is at the root of most of California's problems, including the housing-related issues Ezra is right to decry.
Read 8 tweets
11 Feb
It's very in vogue to bash California and this doesn't even reach to some things that deserve scorn, like the continuing control of the Western States Petroleum Association and the state Chamber of Commerce in policymaking. And yet-
Thanks to progressives who dragged a reluctant Jerry Brown to tax the rich, the progressive income tax that properly tracks the nature of national inequality has saved the state from post-pandemic fiscal ruin.
the 100% renewable standard is a precedent rivaling anywhere in the world on the only long-run issue that matters for planetary survival. It could be faster but literally the whole world is slower.
Read 8 tweets
10 Feb
Here we have the trotting out of the old myth that you just couldn't stop 10 million people from losing their homes because of mortgage trustee permissions.
That all the paper was fraudulent doesn't enter into the consideration.
The foreclosure fraud settlement was unconscionable but it did order (meager) relief on first-lien mortgages that puts the lie to this idea that you couldn't modify loans because the permissions were so tangled. It's a lie sold by people like Michael Barr who failed homeowners.
Barr also failed the financial system by weakening prop trading and derivative reform, using the self-fulfilling prophecy that it would become loophole-ridden.
Read 4 tweets
6 Feb
Here's a great story with a Hollywood ending.
The last couple pages of my book Monopolized noted this fight against rapidly consolidating talent agencies, stuffed with private equity cash, who were getting rich while their own clients were losing money. (1/)
Unlike other parts of the economy where private equity pushes around workers, writers in Hollywood had a union. And the writers decided to leave their agents in protest. That story is here (from April 2019)
The writers had two main concerns. First, "packaging" fees, where studios pay talent agencies a commission for employing their clients. This comes out of a show budget, so the agent was vying with their own clients over the same pot of money.
Read 9 tweets
1 Feb
So I took a look at why Katie Porter got bumped from the Financial Services Committee, based on the makeup of the committee and the legislative output in the last Congress. It's very clear she was singled out and Maxine Waters is to blame. (1/)
First of all, Waters shrunk the committee from 60 to 54 members, creating the conditions for someone to be bumped.
Even with that, 4 committee Democrats lost or didn't run for re-election, another got 4 separate committee assignments, and another traded Financial Services for Appropriations. So there would be room.
Read 7 tweets
31 Jan
We won't have numbers until tomorrow but based on what's in here we can make some guesses. (1/)
Vaccine $ is defined at the $160bn level.
Substance abuse prevention: $4bn
"More targeted" payments probably at the $50k level that's been discussed, I'd guess least half of what's been proposed, let's say $200bn
extending UI "at the current level" i.e. $300, less than the $400 Biden calls for. If it's through Sept., that comes to $260bn
"fully funding your request" for nutrition assistance: $4bn + $6bn to extend the 15% increase to Sept. So $10bn
Read 7 tweets
29 Jan
Here's @alex_sammon on the early jockeying for position in 2022 Senate races. Will Schumer and the Dems pick more self-funders or stand-for-nothing candidates, or lean into the Ossoff/Warnock victories predicated on populism and organizing?
Then, we have @Marcia_Brown9 with another thing Biden can do on Day One (OK, Day Nine): allow DACA recipients to receive Medicaid or CHIP or purchase health insurance on the Obamacare exchanges, where they are currently barred. prospect.org/health/biden-c…
Also at @TheProspect today, here's a tribute to Hank Aaron from Derrick Jackson:
Read 4 tweets
23 Jan
This is a very uninformed article that presumes the dumb way Trump initiated executive orders taints all executive action a president has the authority and mandate to undertake.
I can't believe this has to be spelled out:
Congress passes laws, presidents implement them. There are latent authorities in already passed laws that can be employed to give material benefits to people. That's literally the job description of the president in Article II.
Most of Trump's exec orders were BS but some did draw on already passed laws, like the farm funding through the Commodity Credit Corporation. That was billions of dollars that cannot be "rolled back."
Read 14 tweets
15 Jan
The Prospect and The Intercept have learned that Renata Hesse, a former Obama Justice Department official who then went on to work for Google and Amazon, is a leading contender to head up the DoJ Antitrust Division.
Among other things, Hesse would presumably have to recuse herself from the active monopolization case against Google, the biggest anti-monopolization case in 20 years.
Jonathan Kanter, a plaintiff's lawyer who helped design the cases against Google and Facebook, remains "in the mix" for the same job, sources indicate.
Read 5 tweets
15 Jan
Here's a good day of @theprospect content:
First, @Marcia_Brown9 on "social accountability": how in the absence of legal action against elites with power and influence, civic structures have taken up this responsibility prospect.org/politics/new-e…
Then, @alex_sammon on Prop 22, the California measure keeping Uber/Lyft/Doordash drivers as independent contractors. In just the first month, consumers are paying more, drivers are getting less than promised, and other businesses are taking advantage.
We have @Lfelizleon using the history of U.S. intervention in Latin America to help inform the Capitol Riot: prospect.org/politics/chick…
Read 4 tweets
15 Jan
Here's Biden speaking on his $1.9 trillion plan. I appreciate the ambition. I believe it's a solid collection of policies. I think the strategy is kind of bonkers.
"With interest rates at historic lows, we cannot afford inaction."
The deficit hawk has been shooed away
Biden laying out the rescue half tonight, says the Build Back Better Plan will be the subject of his speech to a joint session of Congress (the State of the Union, effectively)
Read 16 tweets
13 Jan
If we had a culture of legal accountability nobody would have to resort to social accountability
For 20 years or more in America the justice system has proven utterly incapable of equal justice, at every level. In that absence, you're just going to get institutions taking on their own forms of justice.
The exact same dynamic happened with #MeToo. Women went to complain about men on social media because there was no hope of success through legal channels.
Read 4 tweets
9 Jan
This could be a chapter of my book Monopolized, I swear.
So if you look at this map it may confuse you to see that the top state in terms of getting the vaccine doses out is West Virginia. That's one of them anti-gubmint red states! How? Well...
Well, West Virginia was the only state that didn't sign a contract with the federal government to let CVS and Walgreens administer the vaccination program in nursing homes.
West Virginia has almost no chain pharmacies. The state instead delivered the supply to independent pharmacists, who had existing relationships with nursing homes in the state. As a result every facility in WV has gone through a first dose.
Read 6 tweets
6 Jan
I'm extremely proud of our Georgia runoff coverage because we went right to the places where this election would be decided: Black organizers, Black voters, inside and outside of Atlanta.
Here's the great @elihday writing about Kelly Loeffler's old, tired fearmongering of Sen.-elect Warnock, which goes all the way back to Reconstruction. This demonization failed.
Then Eli went on the Black Voters Matter tour, which stressed year-round organizing to build power. This was a decade in the making and it paid off.
Read 6 tweets
1 Jan
In the House rules package, there are specific exemptions to PAYGO for Covid measures and also climate mitigation!
(there's also statutory paygo, but that tends to only be important if the OMB director pays attention to it.
A rundown of other interesting things in the new rules, all of which are below:
There used to be a rule that the House would have to keep the staff of a former speaker on the payroll. (!!) That's gone.
Read 6 tweets