2:00PM Water Cooler 11/22/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

TPP/TTIP/TISA/NAFTA/CETA

TPP: “No, Trump Didn’t Kill the TPP — Progressives Did” [Arthur Stamoulis, Medium]. “Donald Trump didn’t kill the TPP. Assuming we see the fight through to the bitter end, it’s the cross-border, cross-sector, progressive ‘movement of movements’ that will have defeated the TPP…. An incredibly diverse array of organizations and individual activists were constantly sharing information and strategically coordinating their efforts to pressure key elected officials, such that we built a majority of opposition to the TPP in Congress — despite all the big-money interests fighting hard on the other side.”

TPP: “TPP Is Dead. What Did We Learn From This Great Progressive Victory?” [Dave Johnson, Our Future]. “TPP came out of an alignment of Wall Street, giant multinational corporations, most Republicans and the Wall Street-dominated Obama administration. The opposition was a worldwide coalition of millions of progressives and thousands of labor, environmental, democracy, consumer, human rights, LGBT, health and every other kind of progressive-aligned organizations, most Democrats and courageous political leaders like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren…. Trump jumping on board after public sentiment had shifted only demonstrated the degree to which the progressive instinct was right all along.”

But it’s clear that in the TPP battle Progressives set the stage by:

● working over an extended period of time,
● forming coalitions of aligned organizations to educate their audiences,
● educating “grasstops” organizers activists and supplying them with educational and collateral materials and well-researched arguments to help them speak to and engage the public,
● reaching out through media and social media channels to drive wider public awareness,
● and organizing opposition to pressure politicians.

You might call this a victory for the Outside Game, with Warren, Sanders (and Trump) playing the Inside Game….

TPP: “What does Trump’s no to TPP mean for Asia?” [BBC]. “China is well placed to step into the US’s global footprint with both its regional trade deal alternative – the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership deal – and its massive and expensive One Belt One Road initiative, which aims to build roads, ports and highways through much of Asia….According to some analysts, China has been playing what some call the ‘New Great Game’ in Asia – a reference to the power rivalry we saw in the 19th century in Central Asia – and will grab any opportunity it can find to increase its influence in the region.”

TPP: “The day the United States withdraws from the TPP, the remaining 11 members need only change one clause to give the TPP a new lease on life. They could simply amend the enactment rules so that U.S. participation is no longer required for implementation of the trade deal” [Nikkei]. Thereby achieving the ostensible strategic objectives of TPP without US participation? It’s not like the Pacific Fleet is sailing home any time soon.

Politics

2016 Post Mortem

“The ominous fact is that Trump is undeniably one of the greatest intuitive political geniuses in history. Think about it: A wealthy businessman with no political experience at all takes on more than a dozen experienced politicians and manages to prevail, winning the presidential nomination of a major party. He then runs what an army of experts and analysts consider to be a train wreck of a general-election campaign and nonetheless manages to prevail to become the president-elect of the most powerful nation on Earth. It’s an astonishing accomplishment” [The Week]. And good comment on the Hamilton stupidity, concluding: “More than anyone else on the political scene, Trump has managed to discern the populist potential of the social media age, and to go a long way toward mastering the funhouse rules that appear to apply within it. Until the rest of us catch up and adapt to the laws that govern this topsy-turvy world, we will remain at the mercy of our troll-in-chief.” Don’t them!

“Hundreds of thousands of Americans cast a ballot without voting for a presidential candidate” [WaPo]. In Nevada, enough chose “None of the Above” to potentially swing the election.

“The United States does not run a national popular vote contest. If it did, its presidential campaigns would be conducted exceedingly differently. Instead, because the United States is a federal republic, it holds 51 separate elections on the same day, per a compact between the states and Washington, DC. The day is prescribed by the Constitution: the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Other than that requirement, basically everything is left up to the states” [Michael Tracey, Medium]. “This is the system that the country has used for hundreds of years. You may not like it. But don’t say it’s “anti-democratic.” An “anti-democratic” system is a system where the popular will has no bearing whatever on how citizens are ruled. Countries where this could be said to be the case include North Korea and Saudi Arabia. In those countries, “anti-democratic” means the people are not consulted at all in determining how they are governed. In the United States, we have 51 popular vote contests to determine which candidate is awarded electors, and then the person with the majority of electors becomes president. Is that “anti-democratic”? No. Maybe it’s a bit arcane. But it’s not “anti-democratic” because you don’t like it.” The electoral college seems to be one alibi the Clinton camp is converging on.

“Clinton Camp Mastered The Science Of Politics But Forgot The Art, Staffers Say” [HuffPo]. ” But the dispute over why so many late deciders went to Trump over Clinton remains unresolved within the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party writ large.” Lots of detail here; late-breaking voters are the other alibi the Clinton camp is converging on. They then play the Comey card, but don’t mention ObamaCare.

Trump Transition

Trump, the new media genius. Who knew:

What Trump’s video does: (1) Promises immediate concrete material benefits to voters as Trump claims credit for stopping TPP (falsely, as we see from the TPP material above. (“You voted for me, now you get this.”) (2) Picks a tremendous wedge issue on immigration as an opening move: As Yves points out, Trump is targeting H1B visas (and rightly, as any American worker who has ever trained their non-American, half-price replacement knows. Should put the cat among the pigeons in Silicon Valley, too).

Policy

“Let’s Rebuild our Infrastructure, Not Provide Tax Breaks to Big Corporations and Wall Street” [Bernie Sanders, Medium]. “During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump correctly talked about rebuilding our country’s infrastructure. But the plan he offered is a scam that gives massive tax breaks to large companies and billionaires on Wall Street who are already doing phenomenally well. Trump would allow corporations that have stashed their profits overseas to pay just a fraction of what the companies owe in federal taxes. And then he would allow the companies to “invest” in infrastructure projects in exchange for even more tax breaks. Trump’s plan is corporate welfare coming and going.”

“Trump could try to sweeten the [infrastructure] pot by backing a partial increase in federal spending and perhaps set up a so-called infrastructure bank — an idea backed by Democrats — that would help fund projects with a mixture of investor and government money” [MarketWatch].

UPDATE Trump Names Two Opponents of Net Neutrality to Oversee FCC Transition Team” [Gizmodo].

Our Famously Free Press

“”The meeting [wtih Trump] was a total disaster. The TV execs and anchors went in there thinking they would be discussing the access they would get to the Trump administration, but instead they got a Trump-style dressing-down,” the source added” [New York Post]. Oh noes!!!!! No access!!!!!!

The story that gets the play:

'Hail Trump!': White Nationalists Nazi Salute Trump victory after media leave but @TheAtlantic was still filming https://t.co/9413d9Ag3A

— Saima Mohsin (@SaimaMohsin) November 22, 2016

The story that does not get the play:

socialists hold an event that gets no coverage despite being 3x as big as the neo-nazi event that got so much so much coverage recently pic..com/yuBhXXoa8M

— Socialist Sam Hinkie (@LarryWebsite) November 22, 2016

Realignment and Legitimacy

I ran this yesterday, but it’s important. If you didn’t click to enlarge the text, please do; it’s Sanders nuking identity politics.

Here are @BernieSanders‘ full remarks on identity politics from last night’s talk at Berklee. pic..com/k5q7ObuBRn

— Kyle Scott Clauss (@KyleClauss) November 21, 2016

Here is Benjamin Dixon making the same argument in concrete terms:

An intersectional, Black "progressive" CEO outsourced your job & now you're homeless. Do you think:

— Benjamin Dixon (@TheBpDShow) November 22, 2016

And here is Erica Garner making the argument in even more concrete terms:

Like IM tired of hearing these pundits and washed up Clinton era folks STILL trying to pimp race for their gain… Thats whats happening.

— officialERICA GARNER (@es_snipes) November 22, 2016

“Hey Democrats, want help to rally the country around Donald Trump? Here’s a great idea: Have a crowd of wealthy, out-of-touch Manhattan liberals (who can afford $849 tickets to ‘Hamilton’) boo Vice President-elect Mike Pence while the cast of the Broadway show lectures him on diversity” [Marc Theissen, WaPo]. I hate to quote a Bush speechwriter, but when he’s right, he’s right. Liberals (not the left, as Theissen would have it) got trolled very badly.

Inside Baseball

“Pelosi Supports Expanding Elected Democratic Leadership” [Roll Call]. “”In the course of my conversations with members, I was especially interested in their desire to have a stronger role in their committees,” Pelosi said. “This is music to my ears, because that is exactly what was essential to our success in 2006.” 2006 was another opportunity squandered by Democrats in general, and very much by Pelosi, who not only took impeaching Bush over warrantless surveillance off the table (he was a fascist, remember?), but immediately buried the Mark “Measure it for Me” Foley House page scandal in the Ethics Committee.

“Perhaps the bigger problem for Democrats moving forward is the fact they don’t even know how to think about the future of the party. It’s been nearly two weeks since the election, and party leaders are still shellshocked. If Republicans had lost, there would be at least some agreement about why. Democrats are looking around and saying they lost for all kinds of reasons” [Boston Globe].

Stats Watch

Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index, November 2016: “Manufacturing activity in the Fifth District came out of contraction and expanded in November” [Econoday]. “The largest contribution to the rise came from new orders, which rose a sharp 19 points, from minus 12 to 7. Capacity utilization also rose though remaining negative, to minus 1 from minus 5.” And: “For the first time in a long time, the regional Fed surveys seem to be saying uniformly that growth is weakly expanding” [Econintersect]. And: “The data overall will maintain expectations of a gradual overall improvement in the manufacturing sector. Overall employment conditions are also gradually tightening, which will put upward pressure on wages” [Economic Calendar].

Existing Home Sales, October 2016: “October existing home sales jumped 2.0 percent to an annualized rate” (above consensus) [Econoday]. And: “This was above consensus expectations. For existing home sales, a key number is inventory – and inventory is still low” [Calculated Risk]. But: “There will be increased uncertainty surrounding the near-term outlook on political and economic grounds. Average 30-year mortgage rates were 3.47% in October, but have now increased to around 4.00%. Buyers may look to rush and buy on fears that rates will increase further, but there will also be important affordability issues, especially with valuations already stretched. Inevitably, there will also be uncertainty over economic policies pursued by the new Administration, which could act to accelerate or deter house purchases” [Economic Calendar]. “Sales figures are liable to be significantly more volatile over the next few months.”

Housing: “In August of 2016, cash sales comprised 31.1% of all home sales, down from 32.6% in August of 2015, marking the 44th consecutive year-over-year monthly decline. Cash sales rose by 0.4 percentage points month-over-month” [247 Wall Street]. “Cash home sales reached a peak in January of 2011 when 46.6% of all home sales in the U.S. were sold for cash. That peak was nearly double the pre-housing crisis average of around 25%. If cash sales continue to fall at the December rate, the 25% rate should be achieved by mid-2019. The five states where cash sales were highest in August were Alabama (44.9%), New York (42%), Florida (40.9%), Indiana (38.6%), and Kansas (38%). Sales include new construction, resales, real-estate owned (REO), and short sales.”

Housing: “The big bet was that nearly a decade after the housing bubble peaked and then imploded, that young buyers would suddenly enter the real estate market in force. Instead, many are living with parents or are part of the renting revolution. Of course the housing cheerleaders continue to champion a bubble in real estate yet somehow scratch their heads at the political ramifications that are hitting our country. Just like in politics, we are living in a massively divided real estate market. The difference in real estate however is the group of people that can afford current home prices grows smaller and smaller. Millennials, the next wave of supposed buyers never materialized” [Dr. Housing Bubble]. “What you had is low inventory, investors, artificially low interest rates, and foreign buying taking up the slack. Even in California, we have 2.3 million young adults living at home with their parents. The latest data shows that instead of taking on mortgage debt, Millennials are racking up large amounts of student debt.”

Retail: “Amazon is looking to hire a number of people to expand its recently-launched U.K. ticket service into other markets in Europe, Asia, and probably into the United States as well” [ETF Daily News]. “AMZN’s entry into international ticker markets should prove much easier than in the U.S., where major venues, artists, and professional sports leagues often have exclusive contracts with Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation. Convincing promoters and leagues to change their practices could be difficult, the industry, which hasn’t changed in several decades is definitely ripe for an overhaul.”

Shipping: “The global container shipping industry needs to reduce its land-based workforce by 31,000 to improve efficiency, according to SeaIntelligence Consulting CEO Lars Jensen” [The Loadstar]. “Mr Jensen argues that all liner shipping companies need to become as efficient as the best performer, and SeaIntel analysis places Hapag-Lloyd marginally ahead of Maersk Line. Indeed, Hapag-Lloyd and niche operator Wan Hai are the only top-20 container lines to report a net profit in the third quarter of a year that could see cumulative industry losses exceed $10bn.”

Shipping: “Container industry chaos likely to continue, observers say” [DC Velocity]. “Fast-growing economies like China and Brazil that boosted demand for shipping services have dramatically slowed, and with e-commerce speeding the order-to-delivery cycle, “the days of converting cargoes from air to ocean are over,” he said. Relatively new container ships are being scrapped, and although Reeve expects container rates to gradually increase, any rise will be very limited due to continuing overcapacity, he said.”

Shipping: “SUPRAMAX bulker owners are anticipating increased activity both from the Indonesian and Australian coal markets this week as winter restocking and the continued rise in Chinese domestic prices resulted in strong enquiries from China” [Lloyd’s List].

Shipping: “‘The business of dry is not conducive [to consolidation] because it is tramping.’ [Jack Hsu, managing director of Hong Kong’s Oak Maritime,] said, explaining that there is not the need to have economies of scale like in the liner sector” [Splash 247].

Shipping: “The [new] terminal, along with work done previously and a second phase yet to be completed, will bring the total handling capacity in [the Port of Montreal] to 600,000 TEUs, and the port’s overall handling capacity to 2.1 million TEUs…. The Port of Montreal is the second-largest container port in Canada” [Progressive Railroading].

Supply Chain: “Tracking seeds and chemicals is becoming increasingly important in the agriculture supply chain” [Wall Street Journal]. “[Monsanto] will buy VitalFields, an Estonian software business that helps European farmers track their pesticide and fertilizer use to comply with European Union environmental laws. Monsanto will use the business to bulk up its Climate Corp. data-science division, which offers technology to track use of seeds and agricultural chemicals, and which recommends planting strategies to maximize harvests. Monsanto is betting that the growing debates over genetically-modified plants and other sourcing issues will only raise the value of transparency—and technology—in farming supply chains.”

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 65 Greed (previous close: 67, Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 63 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Nov 22 at 11:58am.

Dear Old Blighty

Richard Branson's Virgin to bankroll a secret Blairite campaign to stop Brexit https://t.co/abdzPvphGe

— Scott Nelson (@SocialistVoice) November 22, 2016

Our Famously Free Press

Interesting:

News orgs are seeing a swell in donations or subscriptions since Trump’s victory https://t.co/OLxQWuZ1UE pic..com/8sPaadQXpB

— Bloomberg (@business) November 16, 2016

It’s not the hyperpartisan, blinkered, and corrupt New York Times that got the most: Rather, it’s Gannet (of USA Today) and McClatchy (many papers across the country, but not in or of the Acela corridor) who got the most. Looks like readers are communicating they want news. (The Tip Jar is to your right ;-)

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“As A Broader Movement, Black Lives Matter Braces For Trump’s Presidency” [Buzz News]. “‘The movement has done an amazing job of creating a foundation for our work together,’ said Jessica Byrd, an activist and Democratic strategist who works with groups inside the movement. ‘Now is the time that container becomes powerful — we need each other to heal and resist.'” More on Byrd. And more. Not to go all foily — really! — but I think involving Democratic Strategists in “resistance” is about as sensible as involving Marshal Pétain.

Class Warfare

“If you conflate antimonopoly with antitrust, it’s a story of the late 19th century, with some successes in the early and mid 20th century and then collapse. So you’ve already left half of American history out. The tradition is much more important than that, and has much wider roots. We often don’t remember that the Boston Tea Party had an antimonopoly dimension. So too did Andrew Jackson’s protest against the Bank of the United States. The great concern among 19th century Americans was political power, concentrated political power. And that concern was not with economic performance, but with power, and the ways in which economic concentration can manipulate the political order” [Pro-Market]. Concentration of power in all its forms. This is an interview with historian Richard John, well worth a read.

“I favour worker-directors not so much because I’m a socialist but because I’m a libertarian. I support them for the same reason that I support free markets (in some contexts) and free speech. It’s because I believe in cognitive diversity. Worker-directors would increase boardroom diversity – not least by bringing ground truth to the table – and thus improve decision-making” [Stumbling and Mumbling].

“McDonald’s and Chicago airport workers plan to strike in push for $15 wage” [Los Angeles Times]. “The Fight for $15 campaign announced protests at 20 airports and strikes and acts of mass civil disobedience at McDonald’s restaurants in 340 cities. It said it expects “tens of thousands” of people to participate.”

“Now that the American economy has emerged from the Great Recession, there is new research that looks at its impact on the quality of the country’s relationships. Its findings are not encouraging. Daniel Schneider, a sociologist at the University of California, Berkeley, found that among mothers in heterosexual relationships, those who lived in areas hit harder by drops in employment rates during the Great Recession experienced higher rates of domestic violence and controlling behavior” [The Atlantic]. Because, ya know, economics has nothing to do with anything.

“We were all tying ourselves in knots working out whether the multiplier on infrastructure spending was 0.7 or 1.2 or 2.5, when what we ought to have been asking was: what course of action is most likely to avert a crisis of institutional legitimacy that will leave everyone much worse off” [The Economist, “The hole at the heart of economics”]. Whadday mean, “we”?

“The Hobo Ethical Code of 1889: 15 Rules for Living a Self-Reliant, Honest & Compassionate Life” [Open Culture].

News of the Wired

“Hot rat is so hot right now: Moscow falls for the rodent burger” [Guardian]. Yo Rat!

“Record-breaking pumpkin turned into boat for race” [Guardian].

“‘Digital Colonization’: Apple Rejects Indigenous App” [Telesurv].

“I’ve said many times that all social software trains you to be something. Early Facebook trained you to remember birthdays and share photos, and to some extent this trained you to be a better person, or in any case the sort of person you desired to be” [Hapgood]. “The process that Facebook currently encourages, on the other hand, of looking at these short cards of news stories and forcing you to immediately decide whether to support or not support them trains people to be extremists. It takes a moment of ambivalence or nuance, and by design pushes the reader to go deeper into their support for whatever theory or argument they are staring at. When you consider that people are being trained in this way by Facebook for hours each day, that should scare the living daylights out of you.”

This $1,500 Toaster Oven Is Everything That’s Wrong With Silicon Valley Design” [FastCo Design]. “Automated yet distracting. Boastful yet mediocre. Confident yet wrong.” Wicked expensive. And failure-prone.

“How Much Surveillance Can Democracy Withstand?” [Richard Stallman, GNU.org].

“[Benjamin Bergen], a professor of cognitive science at the University of California-San Diego, said cursing could be linked to higher intelligence” [CBS]. “‘It turns out that on average, the ones who swear the most also have the biggest vocabulary overall,’ Bergen noted.” No sh*t!

* * *

Readers, feel free to me with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, and (c) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant (AM):

spiky_things

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.

146 comments

  1. Joseph Wuest

    Tracey on the Electoral College not being anti-democratic is absurd. He’s right on the facts but his analysis basically relies on a false binary between what is democratic and what is anti-democratic. The argument is essentially that the EC system involves popular vote contests at the state level so therefore it is not anti-democratic; only oppressive regimes have anti-democratic systems and ours is just “arcane.”

    But this isn’t so. The EC thwarts the popular will by giving preference to certain states over others and, therefore, weights certain voters’ voices over others. This is inherently anti-democratic even if it is *more democratic* than say the Russian system for example.

    1. Roger Smith

      It is a compromise, one that gives regional issues representation they would not get if the populated areas had more power.

      With popular vote you literally have some people’s votes not mattering. With the EC you have a system trying to equate everyone’s votes to an equal representational level or value across a broad landscape with varying regional issues. That is much more democratic and thoughtful than a simple popular vote. The EC votes are still proportional to state populations as well, several Mid-western (MI, PA, OH) states actually lost EC votes in the 2010 Census and subsequent apportionment.

      1. Kurt Sperry

        “With popular vote you literally have some people’s votes not mattering.”

        As many as the people in the forty or so non-swing states whose individual votes currently have no bearing on Presidential contests? Having the same small handful of states–and even counties within those states–election after election deciding contests over decades is probably more disenfranchising. A few hundred votes (or even less) in a swing county in a swing state can easily outweigh a million individual votes made by Californians for instance. That sort of absurdity cannot be designed into a simple total popular vote contest.

        I’d love to see all big non-routine issues decided individually by popular referenda as well. In a representative democracy, the number of people who need to be bought in order to to hijack the process just makes corruption too cheap and too easy.

        1. UserFriendly

          Here is an interesting take on it. If it was just popular vote you could have candidates campaign on explicitly screwing over non urban area’s in favor of cities. And vice versa.
          https://benjaminstudebaker.com/2016/11/17/the-electoral-college-is-a-distraction/

      2. Plenue

        “With popular vote you literally have some people’s votes not mattering.”

        No, it’s the exact opposite. Popular vote means everyone’s votes are equal; a candidate can win just as much with votes from South Dakota putting them over the top as ones from California. The idea that the EC makes flyover states matter more is disproved by the fact that we still call them flyover states. They mostly don’t matter, and candidates frequently don’t even visit them. Large swathes of the country would be ignored under either system.

        Anyway, from the article:

        ‘In the United States, we have 51 popular vote contests to determine which candidate is awarded electors, and then the person with the majority of electors becomes president. Is that “anti-democratic”?’

        Yes.

        If it were truly democratic the winner would be whoever won the popularity contest, full stop. And he’s describing an idealized electoral system anyway; the one we actually have is a mess. There are even certain circumstances when electors can vote against what the majority of their area voted.

      3. anonymous

        A compromise all right.. a compromise between pure oligarchy and democracy. The notion that the EC is needed to give regional issues representation is also balderdash. It in fact vastly over-represents the same states over and over again, and has made my vote in CA meaningless in every single election in my lifetime.

        “With popular vote you literally have some people’s votes not mattering.” With the EC my vote has never once mattered, and will never matter, not if I live through another 20 elections. I don’t consider this democratic.

        As for the numbers changing, big deal. The House of Lords isn’t democratic just because they add new Lords every once in a while.

      4. Daryl

        I live in Texas, and my vote absolutely does not matter. Same for people in California. Voters in the two most populous states cannot effect the outcome of presidential elections.

      5. PQS

        Yes, a 3/5 compromise related to the original founding of the nation…and designed to provide Southern states with smaller (white, landowning) populations a balance against the more populated Northern states.

        But the Senate performs the same function in government today and the Senators are popularly elected, unlike int he FF’s time. Each state gets two Senators regardless of population, so why do we still have the EC, again?

        If each vote was weighted equally, no more would Florida, Ohio, PA, and Virginia decide the outcome for the entire nation. Instead, every state would get equal time from the candidates….

    2. RabidGandhi

      One of the silver linings of the Brazil coup was that it highlighted the difference between what is “democratic” and what is “constitutional”. Temer was installed in accordance with the constitution, but his installation was thoroughly undemocratic.

      I think this difference would be clearer to people from the US if Howard Zinn taught every civics class in the country, but alas, Zinn is dead and most high schoolers are taught that constitution =democracy, when if fact (as Zinn taught) the purpose of most of the US Constitution’s clauses was to prevent democracy, not establish it. This should be even more well understood now that we have all become studious scholars of Alexander Hamilton, but again, alas.

    3. curlydan

      I don’t mind the idea of the electoral college, but winner take all EC voting has become a bit of a sad joke in my mind.

      I actually like the idea of needing a majority of EC votes to become President and Vice President. There could come a time when 10 people run for President, and the person with 11% wins under a popular vote. The EC at least controls for that.

      I would change the winner take all to simply proportional EC voting. If state XY has 20 EC votes, and candidate A gets 40% of the vote, he gets 8 EC votes.

      I actually would like the see the candidates engage the entire country. While many might claim that the rural areas would be ignored, I don’t really believe this. Courted rural voters and their interests likely helped Trump.

      1. Roger Smith

        The problem here is that a system such as that would likely up being almost identical the the national popular vote. There would be very little difference and then new fights over gerrymandering for POTUS. The more you subdivide the state, the more it resembles the national popular vote.

        1. curlydan

          Yes, very close to a national popular vote although in my proposed system, a candidate still needs 270 votes to win. To be clear, I’m recommending proportional electors on the total state vote and not by congressional district results. Otherwise, it would be gerrymandering hell.

          But it could increase the impact of third parties. For example, if CA has 55 EC votes and a Libertarian gets 5% of the CA presidential vote, the Libertarians get 55*5%=3 EC votes.

          1. aj

            I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately as well. What about a national vote, but it’s now automatic run-off voting, so you don’t’ have to worry about “wasting your vote” and is now longer monopoly controlled by the 2 major parties.

            1. UserFriendly

              No run off it is a horrible Idea. Get rid of primaries entirely and implement score voting (aka range). Just rate each candidate 0-5. Love Sanders and Stein, and find Trump mildly better than Clinton.

              BS:5
              JS:5
              DT:1
              HC:0.

              Highest score wins.

              http://rangevoting.org/rangeVirv.html

          2. arte

            As a foreigner, the computer-aided Congressional gerrymandering is the biggest issue that I see in the American system – I don’t see why the system could not be updated. There’s plenty of field-tested alternative systems that are much better at avoiding that kind of abuse. Or is it really about preserving the primacy of the two party system?

            As for presidential elections, sure, go for a national popular vote. But make sure you also have bulletproof voting standards (paper ballots just one part!)… honestly, I can’t see how you could have a trustworthy national popular vote and avoid introducing a true national ID card.

            Otherwise, it just becomes a contest of who pads the vote counts the most – California or Texas.

          3. arte

            The main difference I see between proportional EC and national popular vote is that a proportional EC system would still have a stable number of electors per state, so different levels of voter apathy between states would not matter.

            BTW, do prisoners without voting rights currently count to a state’s population when determining how many electors they get?

    4. ian

      I have seen it argued that the system with the EC is more democratic for the reason that it forces a candidate to campaign in more places and win more elections. Using an analogy from baseball, having the outcome depend only on the popular vote would be like making the team that scored the most runs during the season the world series champions, regardless of how many games were won.

    5. Cry Shop

      It’s a distraction, a bait and switch operation.

      As long as the processes for selecting nominees for the duopoly is non-democratic, then it’s all moot. For this election the Republicans showed they had a more, if only slightly more, democratic process for selecting the party representative for the office of president. Where it really matters, in the areas of selecting national senators and & representatives, the processes is even more non-democratic. Then there is state and local elections, party selection process can get to look like a corrupt and extremely opaque crowning ala Holy Roman Empire, particularly where one party has a lock on who gets elected to office. This is why in a few states with intelligent voters, non-party members get elected. It’s also why both parties have done their best to disassemble public education, the real pre-request to democracy. Keep playing their game and harping on how the EC is unfair. Democracy, hell. 45 states in USA are pretty much the one party state of ALEC.

    6. Darthbobber

      There are a number of arguments to be made for the system being undemocratic in one sense or another, though the Clintonites won’t be making them.

      The first is that the system is based on the apportionment of both Senators and representatives between the states (senators+reps = total electors) This means that the smaller states have far fewer people per elector than the large ones. For 2008, (just the first data points a quick, cursory search yielded), the national average was 565,166 citizens per elector. Wyoming, with only 532,668 citizens total, had 3 electors, yielding one elector to every 177,556 citizens.

      Then you have the fact that how a given state determines the casting of its electoral vote is a matter of state, not national law. They may be bound to the state’s popular vote results. They may not. They CAN do as they please. Recently, proposals to game the system further have been floated and sometimes narrowly defeated. One in Virginia, which I think fell short by 2 votes in the legislature, would award the votes by winner of each congressional district, with the remaining 2 going to whoever carried the state. Obviously, this would embed the results of gerrymandering into the determination of the presidential contest.

      An interesting effort by a group of states to alter the system via interstate compact is this one, still ongoing (of less interest than the nature of the proposal itself is that the system CAN theoretically be completely altered without a constitutional amendment or any other federal action as such.)
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Popular_Vote_Interstate_Compact

  2. jsn

    The solid jade, bloody edged cynicism of the publishers at the Excronomist is monsterous: they and their cronies extracted every penny and all the power they could before penning this insincere crap.

  3. allan

    ” “Automated yet distracting. Boastful yet mediocre. Confident yet wrong.” Wicked expensive. And failure-prone. ”

    Enough already with the F-35.

  4. dcblogger

    Don’t Be Passive Observers of Last Night’s Terrorization in Standing Rock: Here’s What You Can Do

    ‘DAPL protesters rely on RT, citizen journalists, as MSM goes missing in action’

    #StandingRock Protectors Speak Out After Oil Police ASSAULT #NoDAPL

    1. oho

      don’t worry, America’s Nobel Peace Laureate president is on the case.

      oh wait—he’s too busy feteing Ellen DeGeneres, Bill Gates and Michael Jordan.

  5. JohnnyGL

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/11/21/pelosi_challenger_rep_tim_ryan_democrats_are_not_a_national_party_anymore.html

    Tim Ryan sounds decent enough here. Of course, interviewer doesn’t really ask interesting questions.

    And I was having an election fraud argument with a friend and bumped into this….seems like it’s important….

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2016/09/07/to_avoid_vote-counting_fraud_use_paper_ballots_131712.html

  6. marym

    Sanders and “identity politics”

    A different perspective according to Boston activists who were in the audience: The excerpt quoted above was a specific response to a question from a Latina who aspires to be the second Latina Senator. He said being Latina wasn’t enough for him to support her; she needs to stand with workers; and went on with that theme as you’ve quoted. However, according to the live tweets, he had spoken at length throughout the talk about the need for people to stand with and defend marginalized and vulnerable groups.

    Robin ‏@caulkthewagon · Nov 21
    Over and over again @SenSanders called on the crowd to protect people of color, immigrants, women, queer people, Muslims, etc etc etc

    Robin ‏@caulkthewagon · Nov 21
    Robin Retweeted Batman (1989) [includes screenshot quoting Sanders urging audience to unite against bigotry]
    He didn’t just say this once; he said it over & over. I walked away feeling like it was @SenSanders’ biggest concern

    The Muslim registry or #BLM issues are real and have a disparate impact across the working class.
    IMO we somehow conflate “identity politics” as used by TPTB to divide us, and identity issues which require solidarity. We need to sort this out better.

    @caulkthewagon
    @JonathanCohn

    1. Katharine

      Thank you! This suggests the media are once again trying to undercut his influence by misrepresenting his message. That’s not surprising, but maybe a reminder to us to read with caution.

      1. Darthbobber

        Or trying to alter the message into the significantly different one THEY are pushing. There’s a strong push from a reactionary direction to treat REAL race, gender, etc issues as inconsequential in the GUISE of being against “identity politics”. Which is not what Sanders says, but is what, say, Mr. FWill and his ilk have being saying for years. So there are
        a) those who want to delegitimize Sanders by mischaracterizing his remarks (see the execrable Moulitsas at the Orange Rag, who opines that liberals saying such things is LITERALLY worse than Nazis in government), and
        b) those who want to legitimize their own message by pretending Sanders is aligned with them.

    2. diptherio

      We need to sort this out better.

      This, a million times over. A large part of the problem seems to be the assumption that somebody has it figured out, when I don’t think that is at all the case.

    3. curlydan

      There are some more Bernie comments about identity politics here:

      http://www.gq.com/story/bernie-sanders-donald-trump-victory-interview-moty

    4. mk

      Bernie is promoting his book, Our Revolution, on C-Span’s BookTV, here are the links

      https://www.c-span.org/video/?417267-11/senator-bernie-sanders-discusses-revolution

      https://www.c-span.org/video/?417267-9/senator-bernie-sanders-responds-viewer-calls

      In both programs he is warning people to get to organizing, to stand together and fight, that when millions of us stand together and fight (black, brown, asian, native americans, white), we will not be denied.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        He’s right. That, to me, is why the TPP fight is important. No matter what Trump did in the last mile, the victory doesn’t happen without a lot of standing together and fighting.

    5. Lambert Strether Post author

      The key point is “not enough.”

      The Democrat establishment believes all those good things are enough. I believe they are all good things. But they are not enough.

      The next two tweets restate “not enough” in different ways.

      Another way to say this is to remember the Democrat “fight for” meme. They are always fighting for (the good things). But they are never winning! Part of that is that for a talking shop or non-profit, there’s no incentive for winning, because then you can lose your funding if you do. Most of it is that the Democrat base is too small. If you want a broader base, take a policy-based approach that brings concrete material benefits to all working people.

      1. aab

        I think you mean “the real Democrat base, that actually benefits from its governance, not the claimed Democratic base, that suffers under it.”

        And they never do fight. They only talk. And play golf.

        1. Cry Shop

          +1

          or if they do fight, it’s a sneering, back stabbing to suppress internal dissent to the vampire squid running the puppet show.

          1. aab

            True. I misspoke. They do fight. They fight hard against the left, and against policies the majority of Americans need and want. So Hillary just needed to change one word in that slogan to make it truthful: “Fighting Against Us.” Doesn’t have quite the same ring, though.

  7. Kim Kaufman

    re TPP: the one thing that scares me about Obama “coaching” Trump is he will be able to persuade Trump that there’s something in it for him if he goes along with TPP. And Trump is certainly not concerned about reversing himself on any of his previously stated positions.

    Imo, what Trump is doing is poking all the elite One World Order folks in the eye. He might be rich (or might not be) but he has never been invited to Bilderberg, Davos, etc. This is his opportunity to give them all the middle finger.

    1. wheresOurTeddy

      They deserve it.

      Oh to have been a fly on the wall in the TV News Exec meeting earlier this week…

    2. Carolinian

      He’s not going to do that. And honestly Trump’s moves so far indicate he’s not nearly so wishy washy as people think. It looks like he’s following most of his campaign rhetoric.

      And just a little pushback against the claim at the top of the page. Isn’t it true that had Trump lost the
      election the TPP would still be very much alive and kicking in some form? The left, some of whom pushed Clinton (including Sanders, Warren) ,are way too quick to take the lion’s share of the credit IMHO.

      1. Code Name D

        Agreed, the idea that progresives killed the TPP and not Trump is a bit simplistic. Trump was the ax head that cut down the TPP, but progresive helped build the driving force behind it. But without the ax head – all of the political will from Progressives would have been in vain.

        Besids, the TPP and other trade deals hav come back from the dead too many times. At best, we pushed back their time table.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > Trump was the ax head that cut down the TPP

          No. Trump was the guy who picked the fully-grown flower and put it in his buttonhole, but who didn’t plant it or help it grow (or prepare the soil).

      2. different clue

        Also agree. If progressives keep handing themselves excess credit for Trump rejecting TPP, they may end up with no credit at all.

        Because we all know that if Clinton had gotten herself elected, the Free Trade Traitor Coalition of Wall Street Country Club Republicans and Silicon Catfood Democrats would have passed TTP and Clinton would have signed it . . . after co-ordinating a shysterly show of making “changes”.

        And the progressives could go wee wee wee all the way home as far as the Clintonites would have been concerned.

        1. tegnost

          We corrected the spelling error in sentence 7(it’s principal, not principle), paragraph 29, of chapter 472, and now we think it’s all good

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          Dear Lord. I think the word “progressives” is so vague as to be meaningless, so I’ll use “the left” (since anti-TPP is clearly a pro-working class position that is, moreover, anathema to liberal professionals, who may well self-identify as “progressives.”)

          If the left had not build the movement resisting TPP (see the bullet points for how) then TPP would have been passed, no question. And I’d be a little happier with your “excess credit” line if I saw Lori Wallach’s work getting, say, 0.0001% of the media coverage that the Hamilton flap got.

          We see this all the time; a clever and opportunistic politician enters the stage in the last scene of the final act and seizes the credit; in this case, Trump.

          Frankly, I’m a little shocked that some NC readers are attributing the victory to a leader, any leader, as opposed to seeing a successful movement as the organic phenomenon it was. Besides being reductive, it’s disempowering. You can’t build in success, after all, if you don’t pay attention to the factors that brought success.

  8. Altandmain

    Interesting article:
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/21/disaffected-rust-belt-voters-embraced-donald-trump-midwestern-obama

    Much better than the usual fare that the Guardian does, mostly moaning about sexism and racism, despite Clinton’s appalling corruption.

    I’ve been very disappointed in the quality of coverage at the Guardian to be honest. They were pretty anti-Sanders and remain anti-Cobryn. I think that most of the MSM has this fantasy that they can bring back the “Third Way” neoliberals by attacking Social Democrats (and real ones, not the fake ones that embrace Third Way).

    In reality they will bring authoritarianism.

    1. Pavel

      “They were pretty anti-Sanders…”??? They were vehemently anti-Sanders and completely in the bag for Hillary, along with the NYT, CNN, MSNBC et al. I’ve been reading the Guardian for decades (starting when my parents brought home The Manchester Guardian, RIP) and it is now just a shadow of its former self. Bah humbug!

      (Apologies for the rant.)

    2. Cry Shop

      Blyth in his very prescient speach at Brown mentions one reason why the Guardian is anti-Cobryn, which is under his leadership and the current economic situation in the UK, they will never clear more than 30% of the vote. If Labour was in Italy, 30% of the vote would be huge, they’d find a coaliton partner; in the tri-opoly UK., which is really a Duopoly in disguise like the USA, this will be an unmitigated disaster for the poor and lower middle classes.

      Thatcher’s stroke of vile evil leadership was to turn a plurality into a (failed) capitalist, by encouraging both house ownership (via banking deregulation and tax reforms (see Bill Black post on NC yesterday)) and investment of retirement savings into private plans. This turns the masses into a group of competitors who want to cut each others throats. Why would anyone support decent, state owned housing, when it would devalue their own property?

      There are a lot of good original posts on NC, but someone needs to take them as a whole and do more synthesis with them.

      1. Fiver

        Having just witnessed the greatest political defeat in modern history, the prime cause of which was a presumption of self-important entitlement on the part of Clinton and machine-Dems so pronounced, so self-involved, they were (and are) prepared to gamble the very future of their country that people would accept any kind of treatment so long as some one or some thing could be publicly defined as ‘worse’ and on offer as the only alternative, I suggest the bald declaration that Corbyn is doomed to 30% or less is entirely premature. Just maybe, for the first time in many decades, it’s the ‘right’ or ‘middle’ or ‘moderate’ portions of the US Democratic Party and UK Labour Parties that need to support their fellow members to their left? What sort of alliance is it that only ever works one way? With the likes of Trump and May as opponents, for anyone in Labour to not support Corbyn with everything they had would be simply unconscionable – embracing the line from the Guardian, of all the tortured wraiths of long-dead ‘liberal’ journalism, certainly doesn’t help.

        1. Cry Shop

          The UK and the USA are two different balls of wax, particularly in the party system, but more importantly the complete and utter devastation of the working class by neo-liberalism. Even Thatcher was smart enough not to take away the UK’s social medicine, etc; and not to strip down the middle class to the extent that has happened in the USA. 71% of all US workers made less that US$50,000 last year, and that’s with none of the social services that UK workers enjoy. 71% is more than enough to pull in a victory, where as again, Corbyn will probably only get 30%. Nationalism is on the rise, Corbyn recognizes it, but is handicapped by the traditions of his party and his nature to play to that. I hope you’re right and Blyth’s wrong, but his record of predictions looks pretty good.

          https://youtu.be/gyBMhmK79tg?t=145

          1. steelyman

            “……but his record of predictions looks pretty good.”

            Agree with Blyth on most topics but didn’t he speculate in one of these talks about Putin invading the Baltics? I know he was speculating on future events but I reckon he’s really off target with that one.

            1. Cry Shop

              You have apply some intelligence to understand the general basis. He’s saying Russia (or China) is a wild card that anyone playing the long game can’t forget.

              「子曰:’不憤不啟。不悱不發。舉一隅不以三隅反,則不復也。’」

              “Confucius said: ‘I can not open up the truth to one who is not eager to get knowledge, nor help anyone who is not anxious to develop himself. When I have presented one corner of a subject to any one, and he will not deduce the other three, what value is there to repeat it.'”

  9. john

    http://www.someguywithawebsite.com/an-autopsy/#more-246

    Great blog-post from somebody who’s been in the game on the peripheray of the Clinton establishment for years.

    Pretty personal stuff.

    “People who liked Clinton but hated Trump voted overwhelmingly for Clinton. People who liked Trump but hated Clinton voted overwhelmingly for Trump. People who hated both of them voted overwhelmingly… for Trump.”

    Invokes class intelligently to explain the modern political divisions.

    1. TK421

      People who hated both of them voted overwhelmingly… for Trump.

      And that turned out to be the majority.

      1. Cry Shop

        let me fix that for you: Either didn’t vote or (overwhelmingly) voted for Trump.

        Even overwhelmingly is questionable, as very few people really were for Clinton, they just found it much easier socially to lie in public about what they felt in their heart, and in this election it was the plurality of voters who didn’t vote.

  10. Kim Kaufman

    FWIW:

    I am one of those 538 National Elector’s and yes the Electoral College is in play [edited with poll]

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/11/20/1601964/-I-am-one-of-those-538-National-Elector-s-and-yes-the-Electoral-College-is-in-play

    1. pretzelattack

      remember how scared the clinton supporters were that trump wouldn’t accept the results of the election? they were very, very worried about the effects that would have on our democracy.

      1. Roger Smith

        Turns out that it was they who don’t understand how our democracy works (as in, not by national popular vote).

        The hare claims to not have known the rules after hubris causes loss to tortoise

        The true irony as they want to change the vote themselves. Democratic…

    2. Laruse

      +1s to Pretzel and Roger Smith above.
      The reality is that if the electoral college did decide to go rogue and invest HRC over DJT, the country would descend into chaos and illegitimacy. I would bet you that a sizable portion of Trump’s voters don’t know about the EC, much less understanding how it works.
      There were riots and protests after the election itself stirred up over a candidate whose own voting base was pretty much “Meh” about her until she didn’t win.
      Many Trump voters on the other hand come across as far more passionately supportive of “their guy” (I know that is a very broad generalization). If the EC changed the outcome, the protests that would follow would make the post-election protests look like college frat parties that got a little out of hand.
      http://asktheelectors.org/ has gone viral around my FB ; so many people just sharing it and saying “Oh, what could it hurt?” Well, how about 47% of the voters who voted DJT? How about international relations? How about the judicial crisis it would create if any of the electors in the 29 states with laws (that are likely unconstitutional) on their books forcing the electors to be faithful in their vote?

    3. different clue

      If the Wall Street Democrats for Globalonial Free Trade Plantationism succeed in getting Clinton electorated by such a devious maneuver, we will be living in a Banana Democracy. If the not-for-Clinton voters and non-voters can even be forced at gunpoint to accept such an anti-legitimate so-called “president” Clinton under those circumstances.

  11. diptherio

    “I favour worker-directors not so much because I’m a socialist but because I’m a libertarian. I support them for the same reason that I support free markets (in some contexts) and free speech. It’s because I believe in cognitive diversity. Worker-directors would increase boardroom diversity – not least by bringing ground truth to the table – and thus improve decision-making” [Stumbling and Mumbling].

    However, see Germany where this has been the case for quite awhile…and so far as I know, the neolibrals have done a pretty good job stripping that place too. Or am I wrong? Please, someone who actually knows something about the effect of workers on the board has been in Deutschland chime in. My impression is that the reality has been underwhelming. I interviewed a former union activist about co-op stuff and his view was that even at food co-ops, simply reserving a few board seats for workers didn’t give the workers any more practical say, since they could be easily outvoted by the other stakeholder-reps, with their very different interests.

    1. SoCal Rhino

      Guessing that adding perspectives doesn’t matter if it doesn’t also involve a distribution of power.

    2. Uahsenaa

      Nancy Fraser puts this problem quite succinctly when she notes that while representation is important, it isn’t enough on its own. Only by representation coupled with redistribution (of power and resources) will those on the ground attain any sort of real enfranchisement. Inclusion in the boardroom has to be matched by some degree of seizing the means of production, or else inclusion will be rendered meaningless. Of course no modern CEO would ever even think of actually democratizing the running of a business. It’s downright un-American!

  12. petal

    Two guys bump on a sidewalk, one was a plain-clothes cop.

    “Each man believed the other had initiated the — a fact of life in a crowded city, the type of encounter that typically ends in little more than mutual annoyance. But now Cambridge police are seeking assault and other charges against Hodge and a woman who tried to intervene, and pursuing a lesser charge against a second woman who recorded the incident with her cellphone.”

    1. NYPaul

      There was a T.V. report recently highlighting a growing problem of pedestrians bumping into each other while engrossed into whatever was displayed on their phone screens. Apparently, there’s a new breed of aggressive buttholes who adopt the position, “I will walk rapidly, and, forcefully on the sidewalk, purposely ignoring other pedestrians. By virtue of my being engrossed watching my screen it becomes incumbent upon you to keep out of my way.”

      My complaint isn’t that there anti social creeps out there, that’s just a fact of life. But, I was shocked at how many comments following the story agreed with the serial, screen gawker.

      1. different clue

        Perhaps the proper approach ( at least the moral approach) would be to let the excessive screen-gawker power-walker keep walking while you, the alert dispenser of justice, carefully sidestep the bad actor and stealthily trim him/her, and then keep walking casually forward as if not involved.

  13. cocomaan

    BACK IN MY DAY….!

    I remember being an early adopter of in college in 2005. Back then you needed a .edu email address to sign up, so no family members allowed, so no creepy treehouse phenomenon. The only activity was the “wall function”, where you could write something on a person’s wall. No messenger. No news stories. No video posting. It was about the people on the service. You had to visit someone’s wall to find out what people were saying to them.

    The news came around toward the end of college. That’s when FB started to curate. It was an intentional move.

    I’m petrified. Mark Zuckerberg should be too.

    Mark Z is too busy in an echo chamber of his own piles of cash and humming lines of influence to be worried. He knows what he’s doing. There’s a reason the old Onion story about him was so hilarious and sad.

    1. different clue

      As long as he puts a few billions dollars into not-Facebook investents, what does he care if Facebook finally crashes and burns? Perhaps Facebook was a slow motion pump and dump operation all along, right from the start.

      And he pretended to be offering a useful platform at the start to attract a few early adopters, as an invitation to others.

  14. Peter Pan

    “[Benjamin Bergen], a professor of cognitive science at the University of California-San Diego, said cursing could be linked to higher intelligence” [CBS]. “‘It turns out that on average, the ones who swear the most also have the biggest vocabulary overall,’ Bergen noted.” No sh*t!

    Does this mean that I should pepper my comments with an abundance of objectionably obscene and vulgar language so that my comments will be viewed as more intelligent ?

    1. Praedor

      Yes. It also serves to force away the prisses, the wimps, the moralists, religionists, and other assorted candyass nobodies.

      1. clinical wasteman

        yes indeed Plenue, especially when the really obscene language is almost everywhere else. From the syndicated columnist’s national “We” through the whole horrorshow of “aspir*tion”, “Company V*lues/C*ulture”, “m*ndfulness”, “disr*ption”, “s*crifice”, “h*ardworking f*milies”, “c*mpetitiveness”, “p*rsonal d*velopment”, “beh*viors”, “moder*te/extr*mist” and so on and on and on. (‘Guillotined’ by the late Alexander Cockburn et al. is a good place to see some of these skewered; perhaps see also Wealth of Negations.org [disclaimer/disclosure etc.] if you’re still reading this at this point.)
        Having said that, it’s more than worth the effort to avoid words that might trouble some readers/writers here for whatever reason: the opportunity to think through substantial things together across those petty cultural gaps seems like a large part of the point to me.

    2. fresno dan

      Peter Pan
      November 22, 2016 at 3:16 pm
      F*ck no, %##%^*+&[email protected]@!!! and $)%^@*@#$$$!!! ….and furthermore (*# @#&@^# ((#*$&^&%**^%$#
      frankly my dear, I don’t give a butterfinger….

      hmmmm….I wonder if a surfeit of special characters will get me moderated??? Only one way to find out…

  15. Tim

    Another interesting article:
    http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2016/11/daily-chart-13?fsrc=permar|image2

    Note the vertical scale is a rate of change scale last election to this one. So I’d also like to see the rate of change in health of counties metric as well. Hopefully this chart is revisited in future elections.

    I think in general conservatism focuses more on attributes closer to survival, than liberalism which tends to be more outwardly focused, so I would think in general the better your health the more liberal you would be and if your health is bad the more conservative you would be.

    So it is in the best interest of democrats to have a healthy electorate going into an election year. Perhaps they need a more laser-like focus directly on health of the individual than second order things such as how you pay for healthcare.

  16. cocomaan

    I love the hobo code link — lots of consciousness about the tragedy of the commons involved — but weirdly, there are no real sources on where it came from, just lots of sites listing the 15 point code from an 1889 conference. It even passed the normally insane wikipedia standards with a citation from this cruddy website.

    The lack of a good origin for the code is as peripatetic and ephemeral as the subject itself!

    1. JTMcPhee

      It’s kind of just a restatement of that old Golden Rule thing. Goes way back before Matthew,Mark, Luke and John, too.

      I do hear that even those who live rough are getting ganged and battered by people in their milieu, more and more. And per a link the other bay on comity and commensalism in our new Hoovervilles, various tent cities, people at the bottom are striving for decency. What a surprise. !

  17. Pat

    This has an extremely enlightening election, as Lambert would say.

    For me, it has relieved me of any lingering doubts that the smartest people in the room might actually be smart. I now know they would have a hard time if they were stripped of their money for any length of time.

    Obviously the behavior at Hamilton was going to have a huge blowback. And the asses get to be portrayed as rude as well as arrogant. (I have less problem with the statement from the stage, but the booing was just stupid and pointless.)

    Just as obviously negating the results of the election by electors going rogue is going to have even greater blowback and it will not be pretty or allowed to stand without a major legal challenge said electors are likely to lose – and that is the least violent of the results.

    As for the Clintons and their campaign: you picked the wrong candidate, she was terrible at the job of campaigning, your advisors didn’t know which end was up, and your computer program was given garbage data and therefore was not remotely useful. Some of this was the bubble of being a President, some of it was an intense dislike of the electorate, some of it was just entitlement, but all of it was avoidable. Failing to recognize that the biggest mistakes were 1.) choosing Hillary Rodham Clinton, and 2.) forgetting that there are a hell of a lot more people out there that haven’t seen a raise in the over twenty years that the Clintons have been center stage than those who have done well and think things are fine. Oh, and not bothering to notice that less and less people have been showing up to vote for Democrats over the last eight years.

    Yet obviously we will continue to have protests that come off as tantrums and damage or undercut real protests. Lots of finger pointings at everyone but themselves from the DNC and the Clintonites, And a media that still doesn’t understand that part of the reason they have been and continue to be rolled is that the public has had over 30 years of them doing little or no journalistic reporting and a whole lot of ‘selling’ of the news and thus don’t listen, read or watch anymore, if you have the trust of your audience there is less chance to be sidelined by a guy with a or youtube account.

      1. aab

        The Democratic elite chose Clinton, not the voters. Although she probably did have some advantage with registered members of the Democratic Party, that was partly because the party has been shedded members since the rise of the New Democrats. So the remaining primary base was somewhat filtered to her advantage. Since only about a third of the electorate are registered Democrats, picking someone they might slightly prefer (debatable, but possible), but who independents despise and in many cases left the party because they despise her and what she represents, was never going to be a winning strategy. Which they knew, of course, since they were rigging the primary to filter out independents from the beginning, buying up media voices, and working to arrange for a Republican opponent they viewed as so repellent people would be FORCED to vote for her.

        p.s. Loved your comment, Pat.

    1. fresno dan

      Pat
      November 22, 2016 at 3:37 pm

      Nicely put Pat. I was reading the statement by Bernie at the top, and it puts me in mind that Da Nile is not just a river in Egypt, because I have read a number of “dem” commentaries that try to make the point that most Trump supporters were well off and therefore the economy had little to do with the election.

      Who said ‘I don’t know one working class person who voted for Trump’?

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      I think the best thing the Clinton camp can do is reflect on their loss. Silently.

      If this were the UK, they’d all be out of office. Heck, they’d be chopped up for chum and thrown overboard.

  18. clarky90

    I never (ever!) watched “The Apprentice” on TV. But, I just had a look at some highlights on Youtube. They give a wonderful insight into how the next four years will unfold. This is how Trump will select his new administration. Also, this is the level of competence he will demand from his employees, and how he will deal with failure.

    The World (at least here in NZ) is fascinated by USA politics. IMO, D Trump will turn his governance into reality TV magic. The MSM has lost the bidding war for the broadcast rights to the Biggest Show on Earth. big fail, msm!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdf1Pm6V8Kk

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QturQGAVOyI

    We also get to see Ivanka and Donald jr in action.

    1. clinical wasteman

      Most of my dilated whanau there (admittedly a bunch of ‘precariat’ and ‘beneficiaries’ with long discographies and no property portfolios) are a bit less sanguine. I guess some people will be curious to see how a Key-Peters hybrid (or at least a henna version of Winston’s hairpiece) works. But surely there can’t be that much mystery — at least in Auckland — about what a real estate developer does. And how much fun can a multi-generational purge of immigrants look to anyone in NZ whose whakapapa doesn’t go back to Aotea, Tainui, Te Arawa and the rest of the High Seas Fleet?

  19. subgenius

    Bonus antidote…

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/11/22/suicide-bomber-squirrel-hospitalizes-chicago-politician-who-spoke-out-against-squirrels/

    1. nippersmom

      RIP, squirrel. The story begs the question, why not just get better, gnaw-resistant lids for their garbage carts?

  20. RabidGandhi

    The ominous fact is that Trump is undeniably one of the greatest intuitive political geniuses in history.

    Meh. If Trump had taken down a group of adversaries who were passably competent I might buy this. Instead he correctly saw that the presidential selection process was a total joke, and threw his hat in the rink– he “saw power lying in the street” as my betters would have it. The idea that Trump must be some genius strategerian to have beat Jeb! and HRC just buys into the lame Acela talking point about Our Leaders being so wicked smart, when the overwhelming evidence points to the exact opposite. So why does knocking down a decrepit house of cards make Trump into the second coming of Cicero?

    1. Carolinian

      Everything you say is true but there’s another side which is that the entire establishment–including the still influential if widely derided press corps–was pulling against him not to mention playing tapes where he seemed to confess to groping (willing?) women. So you can’t simply chalk the victory up to Trump running against the Republican/Dem Clown Car. People probably have been underestimating him–at least to a degree.

      However I agree that all that Scott Adams “master persuader” stuff is unconvincing if not tongue in cheek.

      1. different clue

        Scott Adams was building a huge new audience of followers, some of whom will buy his book.

        Including me, once it reaches the library book sale for $2.00 .

    2. fresno dan

      RabidGandhi
      November 22, 2016 at 4:23 pm

      Have to agree with you. (every time I see Jeb! I laugh – I wonder how much the consultant was paid for that ‘hey! let’s put an exclamation mark behind his name! That will stir excitement!!!!! !!! !! ! ?’)

      You get this “exceptional nation” bullsh*t all the time, and the ?17? repub nominees were a pretty pathetic bunch. And on the other side you get Hillary… And than you get most Americans who think it is ‘throwing your vote away’ to vote for a third party, instead voting NO MATTER WHAT for the duly “made man” of our official cosa nostra, i.e., the duopoly parties.

    3. JohnnyGL

      Latest vote counts (yes, they’re still at it) have him actually matching GW Bush’s vote totals from 2004. So he’s got that going for him.

      If you watch the debates, he had some zingers, but was incoherent for big stretches. He was easily baited and distracted as Clinton had a smirk when she threw out the beauty queen thing in the 1st debate. He absolutely took it, as he did throughout the campaign.

      He does do much better in rallies and speeches on the campaign trail. Gotta give him that. He puts on a show.

      1. John k

        I thought he would do better in the debates, always thought it easy his to lose, which he nearly did, may have needed comey to make his mea culpa to get over the line.
        But that’s behind us, press is Obomber’s trained to be sweet in exchange for access, pressers will go well.

  21. geoff

    Shipping: “The global container shipping industry needs to reduce its land-based workforce by 31,000 to improve efficiency, according to SeaIntelligence Consulting CEO Lars Jensen”

    As a 25 year veteran of the shipping wars, I can say with high confidence that what he’s talking about is crapification. I’ve seen steamship line after line go from having local (that’s key) live employees who would answer your phone call and help you with your problem to automated voice response systems and (later) difficult to navigate websites. Basically, the lines that are losing money due to overcapacity (i.e. poor management) are being advised to shore up their losses by (further) cutting their frontline workers who actually keep the freight moving. Same as it ever was.

    In my last years in the industry, it got so bad that a large freight-forwarder (f*** it, it was CEVA) had NO US s available at any time. All inquiries had to be directed by e-mail to their VERY out of the loop and generally clueless “customer service” reps in India. This for airfreight moving from Europe to the U.S., which by its very nature is quite time-sensitive.

      1. geoff

        Youre welcome! I checked out CEVA on wikipedia, and it turns out that they’re an M&A Frankenstein’s monster composed of Dutch logistics firm TNT (think a second-tier DHL) and American Eagle Global Logistics, put together by private equity firm Apollo Management in 2007. By 2012 they obviously had no US-based customer service people left AT ALL. Crapification in action!

  22. JohnnyGL

    http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/trump-team-signals-he-won-t-pursue-clinton-investigations-n687116

    Wonder how this will play out with the “lock her up” crowd? I have a feeling that bunch will have a lot less patience with Trump if he backs away from election promises than Obama voters did when he said “look forward, not back”.

    1. Kim Kaufman

      Yeah, except for they don’t pay a lot of attention to the news, if they can even get any real news.

      1. aab

        Please desist in portraying Trump supporters as morons missing teeth. That’s not accurate. There were highly engaged Trump supporters during the campaign, who used social media pervasively and effectively, and were no more ignorant of official mainstream news than other voters.

        In fact, there’s already a tension between high profile Trump mouthpieces, some of whom are doing the, “No, really, it’s better this way,” line, and people raging about not investigating Clinton. I don’t actively go to Trump-affiliated sites, but I see some stuff from the Trumpverse on Twitter, Reddit and elsewhere. And, no, not all of these people are trolls, any more than any other group of people. The very worst behavior I have personally experienced came from Clinton supporters, both in terms of abuse, and being ignorant and low information.

    2. Carolinian

      Honestly do we really want to spend the next year or two with Hillary still on the front page every day?

      If she hadn’t done herself in with the stupid email business she quite likely would be the president-elect. Perhaps Comey had the right idea in letting the voters render the verdict (and they did). Losing the presidency is quite a punishment.

      1. NYPaul

        I’m not overly upset at letting the email thing die an ignominious death. There may be a bombshell or two still hidden there but its been pretty well vetted. Comey, at least, proclaimed unmistakably, ” Hillary Clinton really is a crook, and, none too bright either. And, you know how it is. She belongs to that special clique of undeserved elites, and, well, you know (shuffling his feet) we just don’t know what to do with them, so, we let them slide…..sorry.” See George W. Bush, the 1’st, Jamie Dimon, Lloyd Blankfein…….

        BUT, The Clinton Money Laundering Scam, that’s a dirty, dirty, rotten business, and, regardless of letting Hillary off on the other thing, this RICO Racket is completely different, still exists, and should be colonoscopied with a 12 ft. vacuum hose.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Hillary’s email hasn’t been vetted at all. We still don’t know what was in the half she deleted (and being able to do just that is the obvious reason for setting up the server in the first place).

      2. aab

        A) We still need to get past the electoral college vote. I am somewhat nervous about this. B) Putting a stake in the heart of the Clinton Foundation, as has been pointed out by our hosts here previously, helps the left and the cause of progress significantly. I am quite concerned that Trump is going to be so terrible and retreat from so much that his voters want and need that it will be too easy for the corporatists to hold onto power and bide their time.

        And we need to finally say SOMEONE in power is not too big to jail. They committed very serious crimes against the state. I’m in favor of them being brought to justice, on principle. (I know, silly me, principles are for suckers.)

  23. Kim Kaufman

    IF anyone still wants to read about this, this is a good one:

    Why Black Voters in Milwaukee Weren’t Enthused by Hillary Clinton

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/11/why-black-voters-in-milwaukee-werent-enthused-by-clinton.html?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily%20Intelligencer%20-%20November%2022%2C%202016&utm_term=Subscription%20List%20-%20Daily%20Intelligencer%20%281%20Year%29

    “It’s useful, in part, because it punctures several myths about how black voters were “supposed to” respond to Clinton’s campaign, according to journalists and politicos in major-media bubbles like New York and Washington.”

    ***

    “Many residents of the neighborhood also openly said they admired Trump, and were apparently unaware of his bankruptcies, frequent ripoffs of contractors, and other well-reported facts that might detract from that image. “From a business perspective, I loved him,” said a security guard who didn’t vote, but said Trump would have gotten his vote if he had. One interviewee, who voted for Trump to protest Clinton, said of what he viewed as Trump’s racism, “It’s better than smiling to my face but going behind closed doors and voting against our kids” — a point another resident echoed: “He was real, unlike a lot of liberal Democrats who are just as racist,” she said.”

    1. a different chris

      Whoa, I just had a white-guy-suddenly-see-new-things response to “It’s better than smiling to my face but going behind closed doors”… Hillary’s public vs. private thing to people like me meant the specifics of economic lies and such, but I now suspect minorities especially took the entire thing really, really personally,

      1. RMO

        What struck me most about the article was this: “Clinton did win the popular vote by a significant margin despite a barrage of fake, WikiLeaks-sourced news, James Comey’s harmful last-minute announcement” Uh huh. Which WikiLeaks stories were those? I haven’t heard anyone provide any credible evidence that the WikiLeaks releases were falsified in any way. And which last minute James Come announcement was the harmful one? The second one where he said they had no reason to continue investigating her, the first one where he said that although she had broken the law (and if any of us nobodies had done exactly the same thing we would be in prison) but that since he thought she hadn’t done so knowingly he preemptively ruled out prosecution? Oh, must have been that one in between…

      2. aab

        To be fair to Hillary, the racist behind closed doors phenomenon is the actual model for corporatist “New Democrat” liberalism. It’s not just her. Obama did the exact same thing — maybe not with such openly racist bills as the Crime Bill and the Welfare Bill, but his economic policies were terrible for people of color overall, and he did nothing meaningful on anything else. He’s deporting in record numbers, he did the actual bare minimum he could get away with in Ferguson and in other communities dealing with systemic police murder, etc.

        If African Americans went on a comprehensive voting strike, what would happen to the Democratic Party? It’s already incredibly weak, but the New Dems seem shamelessly to hold on to their control of the party anyway. Would a voting strike finally get them out?

    2. fresno dan

      Kim Kaufman
      November 22, 2016 at 5:22 pm

      Good article.
      As well as:
      “For the most part, the residents there who spoke with Tavernise simply saw no affirmative reason to vote for Hillary. Some saw her as corrupt; others noted that they had not seen their economic situation improved during the Obama years.

      “Ain’t none of this been working,” said a barber who had trouble finding health care, is now shelling out $300 a month for a plan he can’t afford, and who didn’t vote.”

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      > than smiling to my face but going behind closed doors and voting against our kids

      I’ve always said that the main difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Repubicans will kick you right in the stones, but Democrats will come up to you, put their arm around you, and slip the shiv between your ribs so skilfully you won’t even notice ’til later, when you start to bleed out.

  24. Spring Texas

    So when Obama and others raise the supposedly horrible spectre of other nations agreeing to the TPP without the US, would this supposed new TPP be as is? I doubt it, because the TPP includes so many measures designed to benefit US pharmaceutical companies and raise drug prices worldwide (BOTH in the US and in other countries). That’s why Doctors Without Borders is so passionately opposed.

    So these third-world countries are gonna unite to shovel money our way for pharmaceuticals? I don’t think so!

    And if they reach a different agreement among themselves or with China, it STILL is not going to include higher drug prices. Which is a huge and wonderful thing and a great thing to defeat! (if we care about people and not about pharmaceutical corporations)

  25. UserFriendly

    Lambert, you’ll like these. and maybe use them in tomorrow’s WC.

    https://.com/williamjordann/status/801197406226264064

  26. sgt_doom

    Thanks for those great points and comments on the TPP.

    Since today is a sad reminder of what occurred 53 years ago which the “Greatest Subsidized Generation” has ignored, save for select individuals and their cognitive or spiritual descendants, I would like to recommend three books ( some others) to more fully explain that assassinated president and the many wonderful things he either accomplished, or attempted to accomplish — not the endless CorporateNonMedia revisionism which routinely assails us.

    Two Days in June, by Andrew Cohen

    Battling Wall Street: the Kennedy presidency, by Donald Gibson

    JFK’s Forgotten Crisis: Tibet, the CIA, and the Sino-Indian War, by Bruce Riedel

    Those three explain little known, or little remembered, events in the too short Kennedy presidency.

    Plus, some others of great import:

    Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years, by David Talbot

    The Devil’s Chessboard, by David Talbot

    Reclaiming Parkland, by James DiEugenio

    Enemy of Truth, by Sherry Fiester

    JFK and the Unspeakable, by James Douglass

    Thy Will Be Done, by Gerard Colby with Charlotte Dennett

    Thank you!

  27. integer

    Pretty quiet around here today!
    I don’t have much to say either (still in post-election reflection mode), so I’ll just share this quote from Alduous Huxley:

    Unless we choose to decentralize and to use applied science, not as the end to which human beings are to be made the means, but as the means to producing a race of free individuals, we have only two alternatives to choose from: either a number of national, militarized totalitarianisms, having as their root the terror of the atomic bomb and as their consequence the destruction of civilization (or, if the warfare is limited, the perpetuation of militarism); or else one supra-national totalitarianism, called into existence by the social chaos resulting from rapid technological progress in general and the atomic revolution in particular, and developing, under the need for efficiency and stability, into the welfare-tyranny of Utopia. You pays your money and you takes your choice.

  28. Optimader

    Music to eat a tunafish sandwich by

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jv0fnSBf0Do
    les mccann and eddie harris – compared to what
    A $500.00 ticket to Hamilton? HaHa!! No comparison

    I love the lie and lie the love
    A-Hangin’ on, with push and shove
    Possession is the motivation
    that is hangin’ up the God-damn nation
    Looks like we always end up in a rut (everybody now!)
    Tryin’ to make it real, compared to what? C’mon baby!

    Slaughterhouse is killin’ hogs
    Twisted children killin’ frogs
    Poor dumb rednecks rollin’ logs
    Tired old lady kissin’ dogs
    I hate the human love of that stinking mutt (I can’t use it!)
    Try to make it real, compared to what? C’mon baby now!

    The President, he’s got his war
    Folks don’t know just what it’s for
    Nobody gives us rhyme or reason
    Have one doubt, they call it treason
    We’re chicken-feathers, all without one nut. God damn it!
    Tryin’ to make it real, compared to what? (Sock it to me)

    Church on Sunday, sleep and nod
    Tryin’ to duck the wrath of God
    Preacher’s fillin’ us with fright
    They all tryin’ to teach us what they think is right
    They really got to be some kind of nut (I can’t use it!)
    Tryin’ to make it real, compared to what?

    Where’s that bee and where’s that honey?
    Where’s my God and where’s my money?
    Unreal values, crass distortion
    Unwed mothers need abortion
    Kind of brings to mind ol’ young King Tut (He did it now)
    Tried to make it real, compared to what?!

    Les mcann w/Donald Dean, Leroy Vinnegar, Benny Bailey, Eddie Harris

    1. tegnost

      o hell yeah that is the….well you know what I’m talkin about… where’s the bee and where’s that honey

  29. g3

    Liberal Class, Ladies & Gentlemen!

    This one is about Kristofs’ high fees for talking about poverty but has this “juicy” tidbit about Ezra Klein :

    http://washingtonbabylon.com/nicholas-kristofs-burden-first-class-travel-and-30000-speakers-fee-makes-reporting-on-poverty-easier-to-endure/

    As to their speaking gigs, I recently wrote here about how Washington Babylon had approached the speaking bureau of Vox editor and Clinton surrogate Ezra Klein, using the alias of Emma Stoffels. Young Stoffels was meant to be a campus activist recruiting speakers for a sizzling event next spring: “The 2017 Millennial Policy Summit: What Happens Now?”

    It turned out that Klein, a principled opponent of a $15 minimum wage, wanted $30,750, hotel accommodations, meals and incidentals. As I noted, median household income in the United States was $56,500 last year so Klein apparently takes in more than half of what a typical family lives on for a full year.

  30. Jay M

    Marking the what? 53rd anniversary a quote from Tiberius Gracchus:
    Without houses, without settled habitations, they wander from place to place with their wives and children; and their generals do but mock them when, at the head of their armies, they exhort their men to fight for their sepulchers and the gods of their hearths, for among such numbers perhaps there is not one Roman who has an altar that has belonged to his ancestors or a sepulcher in which their ashes rest. The private soldiers fight and die to advance the wealth and luxury of the great, and they are called masters of the world without having a sod to call their own.

  31. Oregoncharles

    ” No. Maybe it’s a bit arcane. But it’s not “anti-democratic” because you don’t like it.””

    This is silly. It’s legal, it’s traditional, but it’s anti-democratic because it thwarts the expressed will of the people. The Constitution was not designed to be democratic; the electoral college is only one example. One effect is that the President, REGULARLY, has no mandate, no legitimacy. That doesn’t seem to stop them, but it isn’t a healthy situation. Much the same can be said for plurality voting, which produces the same problem and tends to lock voters into a false alternative.

    As Page and Sigel demonstrated, we simply don’t have a democracy in any meaningful sense. The biggest problem is the role of money, but anti-democratic procedures don’t help. Unfortunately, the overweening power of money is enforced by the un-democratic SCOTUS. But the Electoral College and plurality voting can be fixed with state law, state by state. Maine, to its credit, just took a big step in that direction, and close to enough states have now pledged to give their EC votes to the popular vote winner.

    At this point, Democrats have no excuse whatsoever for perpetuating the absurd botch of the EC. Oregon is one state that hasn’t joined the pledge, so that’s an issue for this year. Along with expanding Ranked Choice Voting from Benton County to the whole state. We let Maine beat us to it.

  32. JSM

    Re: Infrastructure

    Everyone knew the day after the election (when the shouting started to die down) that the Republicans’ infrastructure bill was a scammy corporate giveaway thingy.

    Will it create jobs, even if it is? Let’s see that analysis.

    Will liberal Democrats oppose or seek to ‘fiscalize’ it, even if it is? No analysis needed.

  33. subgenius

    Probably a worthwhile read/watch…

    http://www.dailydot.com/layer8/bruce-schneier-internet-of-things/?tw=share

  34. dk

    Listening to various Dem/”progressive” and mainstream media, it seems to me that the establishment/MSM/Dems (e/M/D, and those three players are not always so aligned or in step with each other) are trying to paint Trump with the alt-right/neo-nazi brush, to keep opposition whipped up and reject anything he does, even if it’s as useful as, or possibly more useful than, the programs they’ve been promotion throughout the previous decades.

    And by useful, I mean delivering net benefit for the nation as a whole, not necessarily for this or that identity group. Negotiating simpler and more direct trade deals, cracking down on work visa abuse, these are good ideas, even if they are not part of the e/M/D playbook or goal set. They may radically change some social and/or business contexts, but they move towards more stable configurations, certainly not less supportive of economic parity than the policies they replace.

    I didn’t like what I heard about “clean coal”, and remove two regs to add one is childish (although a regulatory review is not a bad idea in itself), and a lot of other stuff from Trump gives me the willies. But the guy is surrounded by the political reject heap; naturally, since he’s being rejected himself, this process started long ago (and was to some extent Trumps conscious choice at some stages of his trying to break into politics). Like every other president, he will react to the scenarios he is presented with, and physical proximity is still the most influential form of access.

    In the political game, this e/M/D isolation of Trump is as often a reflex as a strategy (and we know these people generally suck at strategy, too). Some degree of popular herd behavior may be unavoidable, but leveraging it to isolate Trump by clustering him with “fascist bigots” fails to look at the eventual scenario, a more highly polarized population prepared to violate some social compacts. e/M/D figure that at least the battle lines will be along their traditional Dem/Rep model, a win for them in terms of quashing a populist/grassroots synergies they can’t control (and apparently demonize so badly they can’t even comprehend the motivations).

    If anyone reading this gets this far and thinks I’m endorsing Trump, I have expressed myself poorly (not a new thing). Just musing on the currents beneath the surface(s).

  35. S M Tenneshaw

    Hey Democrats, want help to rally the country around Donald Trump? Here’s a great idea: Have a crowd of wealthy, out-of-touch Manhattan liberals (who can afford $849 tickets to ‘Hamilton’) boo Vice President-elect Mike Pence while the cast of the Broadway show lectures him on diversity

    It’s called the First Amendment. Check into it.

    1. aab

      For the seventy zillionth time, nobody is disputing their right to do it. It was hypocritical and very bad tactically — if, that is, you actually care about making progressive change in this country on behalf the 99%, which, of course, the people in the room booing probably did not.

      1. S M Tenneshaw

        We’re way past the time where we should be worrying about manners, or pregressive change. Trump responded to the Hamilton boofest by demanding an apology. This is resistance time. Wake. up.

        1. aab

          Resistance is not wealthy people booing in a Broadway theater. You want to resist? Go to Standing Rock. Sit in at your congressman’s office. Call your Senator every single day to oppose looming tax cuts or whatever noxious policy you choose.

          A girl from New York may have lost her arm resisting at Standing Rock because private mercenaries are being allowed to run wild on behalf of banks that backed Obama and Clinton. People may lose limbs to intentionally inflicted frostbite. Protesters were locked in dog kennels. Some of those bankers could easily have been in that audience booing Pence. Other people in the audience might easily have been among the power brokers trying to foist Hillary Clinton onto the nation. They have no right to boo. They’re at least as much a part of the problem as Pence. Or is violating treaties, illegally using eminent domain on behalf of private corporations to enrich themselves by despoiling our resources without following required governmental guidelines and committing human right violations against America citizens and Native Americans not count?

          1. S M Tenneshaw

            All your examples of resistance are valid, and frankly more meaningful than “wealthy people booing in a Broadway theater”, but that’s resistance also.

            “They have no right to boo.”. Actually they do. It’s still the first amendment. Check into it again.

            1. Yves Smith

              A theater is a private space, no different than a club or a restaurant.

              Someone can legally be thrown out of a club for misbehavior such as getting up and starting to give a speech to the entire restaurant.

              Trust me, the cops would remove the disruptive person just the same way Hillary Clinton had a Black Lives Matter protestor removed from a private event where she had paid the entry fee.

              You do NOT have First Amendment rights in private venues. Get a grip.

  36. Richard

    I just KNEW that on the day of the referendum when Cameron came out and said he wasn’t immediately going to invoke Article 50, he was hoping he could forestall the will of the people and prevent Brexit. He should have gone to Brussels THE NEXT DAY to do this. I knew it was all over right then and there

  37. Cry Shop

    News from the Webz: Fecesbook Build Tool to Allow Local Censoring in Bid to suck up to China Communist Party

    Facebook has built a tool for geographically censoring posts at the leading social network as it seeks a path back into the mainland China, The New York Times reports.

    The newspaper cited three current and former Facebook employees, who asked for anonymity, as saying that the tool could filter news s at the social network in specific places. 。。。

  38. Darthbobber

    “The ominous fact is that Trump is undeniably one of the greatest intuitive political geniuses in history.”
    Naah. Easy to look like a great striker when playing into an empty net.
    Sure, the received wisdom is that professionals + organization are supposed to be amateurs. But when the professionals are completely hollowed out and even questionable as professionals, that changes the equation.

    Most of this sort of thing is hyperbole. I can remember about a year or so when Donald Rumsfeld was being proclaimed a brilliant military genius for having won the conventional part of a war that was almost literally impossible to lose. Lee’s reputation as a great tactician may have been justified, but he hardly had to prove that in order to win the Peninsula Campaign or to wreak havoc on Burnside’s hapless troops at Fredericksburg. He just had to have the kind of opposing commanders he had.

    The Hamilton ephemera is another example of hyperbole, to me. I think Trump’s little tweet had pretty much no impact, and that the cast’s actions had very little. I didn’t encounter anybody in social media or in the real world who didn’t already have a definite partisan position who actually gave a shit one way or the other. And those who did just cycled through their predictable repertoire of available poses in predictable fashion.

    People are just doing the predictable “correction” that isn’t a correction to their earlier “he’s a dunce” posture by dashing to the other side of the boat for awhile.

  39. Procopius

    So glad to see that you know about the H1B visa thing. I don’t know how to research the law on those, but as I understand it the companies requesting them have to swear that (a) they cannot find an American who is qualified to do the work and (b) they are paying the full compensation that they would be paying an American hired to do the job. It seems there should be some (preferably heavy) penalty for companies which make the employees they are firing train their H1B replacements, thereby proving that they were able to find American workers able to do the work.

  40. XPM

    TPP: “No, Trump Didn’t Kill the TPP — Progressives Did” [Arthur Stamoulis, Medium]. “Donald Trump didn’t kill the TPP. Assuming we see the fight through to the bitter end, it’s the cross-border, cross-sector, progressive ‘movement of movements’ that will have defeated the TPP….

    If the election had gone the other way, would the TPP have passed? YES!

    Ergo, Trump killed the TPP. And no, I’m not saying that everyone who worked to defeat it had no effect, but it would certainly all have been moot if Clinton had won the election.

    This line is emotional blackmail designed to herd the left back into the LOTE veal pen. If I see it again I swear I’m going to throw up.

Comments are closed.