2:00PM Water Cooler 11/11/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Readers, I kinda had to go vertical and do some research and write an essay, so there aren’t as many items as there normally are. –lambert

Also, yesterday we developed a terrific list of trustworthy writers. Could we today put together a list of trustworthy sources? I mean, besides Naked Capitalism.


UPDATE Days Until: -3. Comment on polling: Election “calls” have never seemed very interesting to me — were it my place to make them — in the same way that predicting when a flood will crest is a lot less interesting than understanding (and perhaps managing) a watershed. That doesn’t mean predictions are not fun! Madison asked in the Federalist 51: “But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” By the same token: “What is the horse race, but the greatest of all the performing arts?” That said, putting past Water Coolers into the “call” frame, the method I used didn’t yield bad results. Rather than tracking the very noisy individual polls, I decided to use the RealClearPolitics polling averages every Monday — once a week, for sanity’s sake — and plug those averages into a reasonable list of swing states provided by the New York Times, whose interactive tool then enabled me to game out scenarios in the electoral college. In all the weeks I did this but one, Trump had a plausible path to victory, depending on reasonable scenarios in individual states.

In other words, still in the “call” frame, I beat most of the paid pollsters in the political class who were, er, trumpeting Clinton’s victory. And as we saw in yesterday’s Water Cooler, I tied the Trump team’s internal polling; they thought they were going to lose, though they qualified their views by pointing out plausible paths to victory, just as I did.

Why did I not get the scale of Trump’s victory? I mean, in 2008 and 2012, and maybe farther back, the Republican candiate always made a show of putting Pennsylvania in play, and it never came to anything. Trump won it! Along with Michigan and Wisconsin (where Sanders, interestingly, defeated Clinton as well). First, I felt that the RCP averages would protect me from outliers. But when all the lemmings are headed toward the same cliff, what the average lemming is doing doesn’t much matter (I believe this is called “herding.”) Second and more importantly, I always felt that Clinton had a natural institutional advantage of 4%; her control of the Democrat Party nomenklatura, the fact that the press was functioning as a branch of the Clinton campaign at the operational level, that the entire political class was behind her (and my perception of the importance of this last may have been affected by the dominance games that Clinton supporters constantly played on Twitter, where I live a good part of the day). And of course, all the money. However, I also believe that we are building toward a legitimacy crisis (that is, the flood will crest). So I should have had the courage of my convictions and discounted the 4% advantage I felt Clinton had, since the institutions that should have given her that advantage are visibly crumbling.

Finally, Yves cites to anecdote: “[E]very single bit of anecdotal information I had from real people ran against what experts and the polls were saying.” So it’s worth asking when the very concept of anecdote rescales to the idea that a personal network, properly configured, can serve as a better proxy for voter’s views than a survey. (I’m too geographically marginal to have a network of Yves’s size and diversity.) This is similar to the idea of “spot checks” (see Stats Watch) on stuff being at the very least a necessary corrective to official statistics. This is also similar to the Los Angeles Daylight poll, which (uniquely) follows a panel of voters through the year. One might wonder if Naked Capitalism meetups might perform such a function — if we can avoid creating our own bubble!


“It is clear to any objective observer that the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which has resulted in rapidly rising premiums and deductibles, narrow networks, and health insurance, has not been a success. A Trump Administration will work with Congress to repeal the ACA and replace it with a solution that includes Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), and returns the historic role in regulating health insurance to the States. The Administration’s goal will be to create a patient-centered healthcare system that promotes choice, quality and affordability with health insurance and healthcare, and take any needed action to alleviate the burdens imposed on American families and businesses by the law” [President Elect]. Let us know how that works out. And:

To maximize choice and create a dynamic market for health insurance, the Administration will work with Congress to enable people to purchase insurance across state lines. The Administration also will work with both Congress and the States to re-establish high-risk pools – a proven approach to ensuring access to health insurance coverage for individuals who have significant medical expenses and who have not maintained continuous coverage.


  • Modernize Medicare, so that it will be ready for the challenges with the coming retirement of the Baby Boom generation – and beyond
  • Maximize flexibility for States in administering Medicaid, to enable States to experiment with innovative methods to deliver healthcare to our low-income citizens


“‘Donald Trump has said he wants to repeal Obamacare, and we hope that wasn’t an empty campaign promise,’ said Twila Brase, president and co-founder of CCHF. ‘It will take more than a promise to make American health care great again and to restore health care freedom to patients and doctors. Republicans need to advance visionary ideas for health care, ideas that are bigger than buying across state lines; ideas that put patients and doctors back together again without the costly interference and intrusions of profiteering outsiders. The high cost of health care comes primarily from the middlemen, including managed care and government'” [Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom]. CCHF is a good conservative site on health care policy. I don’t agree with them on policy, but CCHF is relentless and above all they don’t make stuff up.

“Obamacare ‘Replacement’ Might Look Familiar” [Kaiser Health News]. Could be. ObamaCare was, after all, originally a Republican plan, so it should be possible to rebrand it. “‘It gets into a questions of semantics,’ said Mark Rouck, an insurance analyst for Fitch Ratings. ‘Are they really repealing the act if they replace it with new legislation that has some of the same characteristics?’ … Topping the list of ACA provisions likely to survive under Trump is the requirement that employers cover workers’ children up to the age of 26, analysts said. The measure is widely popular and not especially expensive…. A health law crafted by Republicans might also retain the ACA’s protections for people with preexisting illness seeking coverage, said Glenn Melnick, a health economist at the University of Southern California… The ACA’s biggest coverage expansion came through the Medicaid program for the poor and disabled, which added more than 15 million people. Trump has suggested giving states fixed federal grants for Medicaid, which could lead to a substantial reduction in coverage or benefits.”

“Who’s Advising President-elect Trump on Heatlh Care?” (PDF) [Holland & Knight].

  • Rich Bagger: Executive Director (Health care policy advisor). Was Assistant General Counsel at Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield)
  • Eric Ueland: Budget Advisor (Entitlements)
  • Jim Frogue: Domestic Policy (Health Care, State Policy). Was Health Care Policy Analyst for Heritage Foundation [home of ObamaCare, interestingly enough]
  • Ado Machida: Domestic policies (Health)
  • Ed Meese: Executive Office of the President Lead
  • Andrew Bremberg: Domestic Policy (Affordable Care Act repeal and replace)

“Bremberg was on Walker’s team when the candidate unveiled a healthcare proposal that included repealing the Affordable Care Act and splitting Medicaid into smaller programs with separate funding” [Modern Health Care]. And: “For eight years, Bremberg served in the Department of Health and Human Services. From 2005 to 2007, he was special assistant to the Immediate Office of the Secretary and from 2001 to 2005, he was special assistant to the executive secretary” [Health Care Finance]. And: “Names reportedly under consideration for HHS secretary include former Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Gov. Rick Scott, R-Florida, and former Rep. Renee Ellmers R-North Carolina.” Thin bench!

“One day after his election, we polled our readership of healthcare managers and clinicians to see what they think the short and long-term effects will be of Trump’s policies on the healthcare sector, and we were flooded with responses. While most of them detail the deep concerns industry professionals have, a small few felt the businessman’s idea could improve competition and lower costs” [Health Care FInance]. Good article.

“Then Donald Trump was elected president, and now the tables may have turned again. Trump has on several occasions expressed his opposition to net neutrality, once calling it “another top down power grab” [MarketWatch].


“At this early stage, we can’t know with certainty exactly why Clinton lost. In a narrow sense, obviously, the electoral vote was lost because she lost Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Iowa. Exit polls (which are often unreliable, but all we have for the moment) and the vote distribution strongly suggest those states were lost because Clinton lost many of the white working-class voters that broke for Obama in 2012. Overall exits show a 16-point swing to Trump among voters making less than $30,000 compared to the last presidential election — the biggest of any group in The New York Times crosstabs…. Also, general turnout was off from 2012″ [The Week]. So to fire the blame cannons at working class racism, you have to argue like this: “Trump won the racist vote because the people who voted for the black guy wouldn’t vote for the white woman.” Oh, OK. Now, you can deploy the misogyny blame cannons, but the identity politicians seem to be going with racism at the moment.

“People often talk about ‘racism/sexism/xenophobia’ vs. ‘economic suffering’ as if they are totally distinct dichotomies. Of course there are substantial elements of both in Trump’s voting base, but the two categories are inextricably linked: The more economic suffering people endure, the angrier and more bitter they get, the easier it is to direct their anger to scapegoats. Economic suffering often fuels ugly bigotry” [Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept]. I would go further and urge that “racism/sexism/xenophobia” are forms of politics, and that they are the evil twin of identity politics, and together are the only forms of politics permitted by elites. See the next link.

“A top liberal group [The Center for American Progress] has temporarily abandoned plans for a new project designed to court white working class voters after it could not marshal the necessary financial support for the project, according to documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon” [Washington Free Beacon (2014)]. So, the Democrats abandoned the (white) working class because the squillionaires wouldn’t fund the effort to reach out to them (and here we are!) Could it be that the squillionaires had a reason for that? Like that would be against their class interests? More: “The stated need for the project suggests potential pitfalls for Democrats in its eventual delay: In a midterm election year expected to heavily favor Republicans, CAP has apparently abandoned, for the time being, an effort to reach out to a constituency that it acknowledges could determine the viability of the Democrats’ voting coalition going forward. The Bobby Kennedy Project was the brainchild of CAP senior fellow Ruy Teixeira, who for the past decade has stressed that a lasting Democratic majority will require the party to make inroads with white working class voters.” Much too little, much too late from Teixeira, who injected the identity politics virus into the Democrat bloodstream to begin with.

UPDATE “[R]ace politics is not an alternative to class politics; it is a class politics, the politics of the left-wing of neoliberalism. It is the expression and active agency of a political order and moral economy in which capitalist market forces are treated as unassailable nature” [Adolph Reed, Common Dreams (2015)]. And:

“An integral element of that moral economy is displacement of the critique of the invidious outcomes produced by capitalist class power onto equally naturalized categories of ascriptive identity that sort us into groups supposedly defined by what we essentially are rather than what we do. As I have argued, following Walter Michaels and others, within that moral economy a society in which 1% of the population controlled 90% of the resources could be just, provided that roughly 12% of the 1% were black, 12% were Latino, 50% were women, and whatever the appropriate proportions were LGBT people. It would be tough to imagine a normative ideal that expresses more unambiguously the social position of people who consider themselves candidates for inclusion in, or at least significant staff positions in service to, the ruling class.”

Reed’s just getting rolling. Read the whole thing!

“The Dems need organization and focus on the young. Need a fifty State strategy and tech rehab. I am in for chairman again,” Dean said” [Yahoo News]. Oh, HoHo. Really? After helping Clinton rig her selection as a superdelegate and smearing Trump as a coke user on no evidence? Yeah, the 50-state strategy was great. But that was before you lost your mind!

“The Real Lesson in Grubhub CEO Telling Trump Supporters to Resign (Plus an Earlier, Personal One) – WP Original” [WirePoints].

“Chelsea Clinton being groomed to run for Congress” [New York Post]. “Hail, Hydra! Immortal Hydra! We shall never be destroyed! Cut off a limb, and two more shall take its place!”

Stats Watch

Consumer Sentiment, November 2016 (preliminary): “Indications going into the presidential election are very positive as the consumer sentiment index is up more than 4 points in the November flash to 91.6 for the best showing since June (the data were compiled before the November 8 result). The gain is concentrated in the expectations component” [Econoday]. People expect Trump to do better, then? And: “While this is a very small sampling that is not always universally accurate, investors, traders and economists love to dwell on this report because it is really the first real look at live data for each month” [MarketWatch].

Rail: “Week 44 of 2016 shows same week total rail traffic (from same week one year ago) marginally expanded according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR) traffic data. Rolling averages remain in contraction – but are improving” [Econintersect]. Finally some good news!

Employment Situation: ” The good news is the prime working age group has started to grow again, and is now growing at 0.5% per year – and this should boost economic activity. And it appears the prime working age group will exceed the previous peak later this year” [Calculated Risk].

Honey for the Bears: “Sales aren’t falling year over year but they aren’t growing at 5% as they would do in ‘normal’ times” (charts) [Mosler Economics]. ” In ‘normal’ times inventories increase with sales, adding to output. But when sales slow inventory growth stops and reverses:”

Fodder for the Bulls: “Spot metallurgical coal topped $300 a metric ton for the first time since flooding in Australia curbed output from the world’s biggest seaborne exporter five years ago” [Bloomberg]. “China’s efforts to cut overcapacity in its coal industry have reduced domestic supply and boosted imports of both metallurgical and the variety burned in power stations.”

The Bezzle: “If a variable is normally distributed we can use standard probabilistic techniques to analyse it. If it is not then we cannot” [Phillip Pilkington, Econintersect]. “So, what about economic variables? Are they normally distributed? Short answer: no, they are not.” Oops. If you look at income (a proxy for class) you don’t see a bell curve. You see a power law curve. And see the last link in News of hte Wired, too.

The Bezzle: “In September, with typical marketing hoopla, Fitbit Inc. rolled out two new gadgets, the Charge 2 and Flex 2. Designed to measure more detailed fitness stats, the trackers were well reviewed and seemed poised to help Fitbit retain leadership of an increasingly competitive market. But within weeks the devices were piling up in stores, according to analyst spot checks” [Bloomberg]. In other words, the stuff wasn’t moving. We need more spot checks everywhere.

The Bezzle: ” UberEats And UberRush Couriers Complain They Don’t Get Their Tips” [BuzzFeed].

The Bezzle: “Apple cuts USB-C adapter prices in response to MacBook Pro complaints” [The Verge]. ” Apple’s cables, unlike those you might order from a random seller online, are going to be well-made and reliable.” That’s really funny. My genuine Apple cable wore out in about a year. The mouse cable is wearing out even faster.

Co-ops: “Can you lead and manage the operational activities of Co-operatives UK, the membership organisation which works to serve Britain’s seven thousand co-operative enterprises?” [Cooperatives UK].

UPDATE Industrial Romance: “The Business of Being Pantone: Turning Color Into Money” [The Fashion Law]. “Pantone monetizes wavelengths and pigments the way Coca-Cola bottles water and Manhattan developers buy up chunks of the sky. Technically, it’s a kind of biochemical company. After developing colors in a lab, Pantone makes most of its money by selling the shades and corresponding formulas to fabric mills, printers, and designers in a range of disciplines. It’s a simple model, and business has never been better.” Reminds me of identity politics, conceptually and methodologically.

“Among facts that take a stubbornly long time to sink in, here’s one: Countries that borrow in their own currencies never have to default on their debt” [Wall Street Journal, “Message from the Gilt Market: U.K. Can Never Run Out of Pounds”].

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 46 Neutral (previous close: 44, Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 14 (Extreme Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Nov 11 at 12:52pm. It’s amazing the dire predictions that didn’t come true. The global economy did not collapse. Neither did the markets or the Internet. There wasn’t violence at the polls. Putin did not hack our electronic voting systems. Funny how when you turn the gaslights off, things stabilize. As Peggy Noonan wrote: “[I]f trendlines that have proved reliable in the past continue, the sun will come up on Wednesday” [Wall Street Journal].

Class Warfare

“The Elephant Chart: Divergence In Financial Sector Income” [Econintersect].

News of the Wired

RIP Leonard Cohen [Rolling Stone].

“Regex that only matches itself” [Stack Exchange]. Too meta!

“What Percent of the Top-Voted Comments in Reddit Threads Were Also 1st Comment?” [Max Woolf]. “The answer is 17.24% of all top-voted comments! That’s certainly more than what I expected! Additionally, 56% of the top-voted comments were posted within the first 5 comments, and 77% within the first 10 comments. The chart follows a power-law distribution.”

* * *

Readers, feel free to contact 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 (ChiGal):


A second hornbeam tree…

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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.


    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I wanted to post Cohen’s live performance of Everybody Knows in London, but it seems to have been taken down. (The ones that are there aren’t the one I want…)

    2. JCC

      And then, of course, there is this:


      He was an excellent song writer and poet, some of his best are heartbreaking love songs using a background of the human condition over centuries. To me his songs are very emotional, potentially depressing, but often with a “this, too, shall pass” hopeful attitude at the finish, Everybody Knows and Hallelujah being the quintessential examples.

      1. Observer

        Best two covers of Hallelujah ever done were by:

        1. Jeff Buckley (1994), and
        2. Rufus Wainwright (2001).

  1. Altandmain

    Live by identity politics, lose by identity politics.

    The Democrats used to be the Party of the New Deal. They stood up for working class people. We shouldn’t idealize the past (Roosevelt was far from perfect, but I’d take him over any of the con artists in the DNC). Now as Thomas Frank shows, they care only about the upper middle class.

    I find it disturbing that the New York Times’ Nate Cohn seems to find the voting of the working class a mystery. A vote for Clinton IS a vote against people’s interests. It means more trade deals and what little manufacturing left will be sent to whatever nation labor costs are cheapest. Should it be any surprise that when grave economic injustices are covered up by identity politics, Clinton would get mauled?

    1. Pat

      Where do you get they care for any part of the middle class, including the upper middle class? No, I’m serious Oh, I’m sure they like them better than the scruffy middle middle class, working class and the poor, but if it includes anything more than a passing interest in something that doesn’t cost their top donors anything from cash to actually taking responsibility for their dealings they merely just expect them to be there because. That they have been hollowing out the economic classes from the bottom up doesn’t mean the insatiable need by those donors for more and more ends when it meets the top end of the Middle Class. It will just continue.
      It took my mother years to get that those raises she got in middle management were as much because of the raises the unionized work force she managed were getting as they were for her work. It isn’t just ‘working class’ that has not seen a real raise in 30 years, depressing the wages at the bottom affects the middle, and pretty much everybody until you get to that vaunted top 5% (and maybe even higher). What about their pensions, 401Ks, etc? What about their health benefits? What about the protections for their jobs, especially as they get older?

      Nope, they aren’t there for the upper Middle Class either.

      1. Altandmain

        By upper middle class, I’m thinking about the wealthiest 10%ers.

        Listen to their words. The Establishment Democrats are trying to appeal to the upper middle class suburban Republican voter. The kind that often votes GOP in elections.

        Not a fan of citing the Atlantic (pro Hilary Clinton bias), but this article is interesting:

        The kind of rhetoric the Democrats made under Clinton vs Trump shows they were appealing to this group and indifferent to Bernie.

        You can also tell thanks to Clinton’s attempts to appeal to “moderate Republicans” after the Democratic Primary was over. She wanted the type of GOP voter that wasn’t fond of Trump, but wanted a Romney, Bush, or someone like Marco Rubio. She never intended to keep any of her progressive promises (which were lies anyways).

        She never really attempted to integrate the Bernie base.

        1. Pat

          “Wealthiest 10%ers… think about that and the term MIDDLE class. IOW, even though the bottom rungs of that group have the hounds nipping at their heels, they still aren’t Middle Class.

          Other than that, we do agree about who Clinton and the New Dems/DLC/Third Way are interested in pleasing or appealing to.

          I will also add it was stupid and short sighted and obviously, like so many of their decisions totally missed the big picture – like where the numbers were anymore.

          1. Altandmain

            Clinton and her sycophants made the tone deaf and foolish choice of running a “conventional” Establishment Democratic campaign thinking that Trump would be so horrible that their victory was assured.

            Also, in response to your thoughts about the upper middle class, just because she panders to them doesn’t mean that she gives a damn about them. Quite the opposite.

            Finally, the other reason, apart from the 2012 results which I linked above, is because of Thomas Frank’s book Listen Liberal. The Establishment Democrats see themselves as the party of the well off, and see this as a meritocracy.

            That may seem ridiculous to you and I, but in the world of the Establishment, where the group think is deep indeed, this makes perfect sense.

        2. different clue

          One wonders if this concept can be easily summed up as:

          The top one percent, then the next nine percent, and finally the last and lowest 90 percent.

          One. Nine. Ninety. / 1-9-90

      2. Lord Koos

        I think most of us are simply obsolete as far as the elite are concerned, American workers (many of whom cannot find any work) are now viewed as useless mouths to feed. There is no going back from automation and globalism, not until the energy starts to run out, then it will be a whole new (old) world.

        1. Altandmain

          That could be ugly as well.

          No doubt the very rich would fight hard to keep a Middle Ages feudal structure in place, with themselves of course as the aristocracy.

      3. pebird

        Can we stop defining class by income and instead by property relations, like the good old days.

        An income is a flow of money coming from an external source.

        If that source is an employer where you need to sell your time to get the income, you are working class.

        If the source is property (real estate, profession/partnership, shop keeper, merchant, etc., basically where your “employer” is the market directly), then you are middle class.

        If you are in middle management and need to wait years for raises, you are not middle class (upper or lower), you are working class.

        Thanks for listening.

        1. LifelongLib

          Orwell thought there should be a union for “everyone who fears the sack” i.e. has to worry about being fired. It’s not a matter of income — many salaried people make more money than small independent business owners do. It’s about who has power over you.

        2. clinical wasteman

          Yes, provided we remember (not that it’s likely to be forgotten here) that so much of the income of the relatively and absolutely rich is rent, i.e. loot claimed in the name of their property.
          The other definition that does untold damage in the UK especially is “class = culture”, so that a propertyless “white collar” worker with propertyless parents and a debt-laden (or for older workers here, pre-fees/loans) college degree is “middle class” — all the more so if she reads whole books and writes in complete sentences — whereas someone like Alan Sugar (the “serial entrepreneur” who played the Trump part in the UK version of that reality show) or Mike Nichols (sportswear empire built on “zero hours” contracts) is “working class” forever because of his accent and contempt for “book learning”.
          This is the kind of thinking (or something) that allowed liberal commentators to write off the multi-ethnic urban poor and near-poor of overwhelmingly anti-“Brexit” (but NOT pro-EU) areas — Nag’s Head! Glasgow Govan! Tottenham! Belfast! — as “metropolitan elites”.
          Also worth remembering that the middle manager in pebird’s example may be objectively part of the working class herself while still — willingly or not — doing a job in the service of top-down class warfare. As in the case of Human Resources and real estate professionals, or most conspicuously in the UK, public/outsourced sector welfare clerks who may sympathise with claimants but still find themselves overseeing the brutal policing of the sick and unemployed because if they don’t they’ll be fired and on the receiving end of the treatment themselves tomorrow.

    2. flora

      Yes. The Dem estab doesn’t try to hide their indifferent to and even contempt for working class voters who used to be the base of the party. Not surprising when they work for Wall St. Lambert’s essay and links on realignment are a great read.

  2. hemeantwell

    I would go further and urge that “racism/sexism/xenophobia” are forms of politics, and that they are the evil twin of identity politics, and together are the only forms of politics permitted by elites.

    Right. Racism is an elite seduction in the sense that elites offer it to whites (or whomever, depending on the area) so they can enact and be intoxicated by a feeling of superiority. This may play out in terms of more tangible socio-economic advantages, but first and foremost it feels good, it’s a distracting fix from other crap. The white working class racist may feel closer to white elites, but the quick payoff is just feeling BETTER, NOW. Trump’s message is kind of like saying “it’s OK to use your drugs in public again.”

    Identity politics tries to load on the idea of self/group affirmation. In a certain sense it’s more narcissistic because it is nominally indifferent to how other groups think about themselves. You feel good about yourself and your group. But much of the time there’s an implicit distrust of other groups’ willingness to go along with your self-affirmation. Once you start working with the group distinction as key to a feeling of self worth, it’s hard, though not impossible, to feel that your view of yourself is shared by other groups. You can glaze on a reference to universal or more circumscribed common traits, like class, to provide a sense of shared dignity across groups, but there’s a tension with the identity frame. There’ve been so many examples of how quickly it allows an eruption of distrust and despair about group cooperation. That article in the Nation by the Ebony editor that was linked a couple of days ago is an incredible example.

      1. hemeantwell

        Reed, yes! Who else could clarify this better?

        I should have brought in Corey Robin, he’s written well on racism and class recently.

  3. ChiGal in Carolina

    re the plantidote

    thanks Lambert for letting me set the record straight. Gary Headlock was (mostly) right – it is neither a hornbeam nor a hophornbeam, nor a Koelreuteria paniculata, or goldenrain tree.

    it is a Koelreuteria bipinnata, also known as a Chinese flame tree or Chinese goldenrain tree, and it doesn’t grow in the great lakes area. it is however a stunningly beautiful tree


    1. jgordon

      Not to be facetious, but I thought it was extremely plausible for Trump to win because of a YouTuber I’ve been following who has been right on everything almost that’s happened in this campaign, and indeed he had an almost perfect prediction of how the election turn out down to the state level weeks before it happened.

      Therefore now that his occult Satanic election models have been proven far more accurate than any others I’d like to plug Styxhexenhammer666 of YouTube as the best and most accurate pundit of all things political this election cycle. If you think I’m pulling your leg, check out his old videos and compare them to what happened. It’s uncanny!

  4. dcblogger

    mebbe the voting machines played a role:

    Unverifiable election machines, including optical scanners, that have left us in an awkward situation. Exit polls, which the U.S. Department of State uses to judge the credibility of elections in other countries, show that Clinton won in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Florida, Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin. But we are supposed to just take it on blind faith that in fact she didn’t. This can be fixed by publicly hand counting paper ballots in every polling place. Of course the acceptable position is to believe on faith that the vote counts are accurate, but since when is taking it on faith the progressive position, when taking it on empirical evidence is a perfectly possible alternative?

    1. L

      Actually optical scanners are among the most verifiable systems. Unlike direct recording electronic machines (DREs) like the infamous Diebold systems of Florida 2000 they retain the paper ballots which facilitates manual recounting or retabulation (passing them through other scanners as a spot-check). We can verify their accuracy better than other technologies. And in North Carolina specifically it looks like a recount may actually be happening given the closeness of some races.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        The paper ballot itself needs to be the official record, not digital counts derived from the paper ballots. Elections are too important to be left to programmers.

        So far as I can tell, the NC recount is for the governor’s race.

        1. L

          I don’t get your comment. The paper ballot is the official record. The scanners are used for tabulation.

          Do you mean that a hand count of all paper ballots should be used for the official tally?

          1. Pat


            The machines have to programmed to tabulate the count, and they can be programmed to not count the votes accurately. For instance counting every third vote for Candidate A for Candidate B. Or….

          2. Waldenpond

            In regions that use touch screens, paper ballots do not exist. Some machines provide a version of a receipt and some don’t.

            So paper ballots for everyone, hand counted. I can’t even see a use for electronic machines in place of exit polling.

            1. L

              Many regions have moved away from DRE’s to some form of paper either precinct-counted or central count. See:


              DREs are not only more unauditable but actually are much more expensive than PCOS or CCOS and have a much shorter equipment life.

              We are actually approaching paper ballots for everyone but we use scanners for initial returns checked by post-election audits (hand count or other scanner).

      1. Pat

        I was thinking there might be too much money on the table for keeping their mouths shut and the lawsuits off the table, but then I thought Bill and Hillary Clinton. Nope, if there was a chance in hell that they could prove that she won even three of those states, we have a situation that made 2000 look like a cake walk. I mean in the choice between burning some bridges and being back in the White House, no question.

    2. Ché Pasa

      I for one question the outcome for the simple reason that it is comprehensively unverifiable. I believe anyone who accepts it unquestioningly is complicit in whatever horrors Trump and his cohort unleash, just as would be anyone who accepted Clinton’s election without question if the situation were reversed.

      Our elections were long ago seriously compromised, and the situation hasn’t improved much since then. It is still far to easy to “adjust” results to fit a preferred outcome, and it is more than a little interesting that the results of the few states that could provide a path to Trump’s presidency were the ones that varied so much from polls — not that I have much faith in polls, either.

      I doubt we will ever know whether the announced results accurately reflect votes cast.

      The rebellion just getting started is a direct consequence of the political class and their sponsors and owners believing they can do anything they want and get away with it.

      In this case, Trump sowed the wind and he will reap the whirlwind, but I have no doubt that were the situation reversed, armed militias would be in the streets demanding Hillary’s surrender and execution.

      So it goes.


        1. Ché Pasa

          He’s a crank if he doesn’t accept the outcome without question the way we’re supposed to.


        2. pretzelattack

          i wondered if the election would be decided by who was the better cheat. it’s quite possible; clinton had an enormous advantage over sanders because, as far as i can see, he wasn’t trying to cheat at all. but the republicans have been playing that game a long time.

        1. Jim Haygood

          Her subsequent resurrection would prove that God had a daughter as well as a son.

          And once again, foolish mankind killed one of his kids. :-(

    3. JSM

      The number of outstanding ballots in CA is apparently likely to be 200% of the margin of victory.


      CA was undeniably rigged in the primary, one of the TrustVote people, Fitrakis maybe, called it a ‘crime scene.’

      The natural suspicion arises that some majority of them are Trump votes. A 400,000 vote increase would give Trump the lead in the national popular vote.

      1. different clue

        Does it?

        Considering that Clinton was the OverClass’s designated Obama 2.0 candidate?

        Perhaps the Establishment tried its hardest to rig the vote for Clinton, and so many Trump votes came in that the plausibly-deniable amount of rigging the Establishment did was washed out by all the Trump votes?

        If someone feels aggrieved, let them sue. Who knows what might be kicked loose.

        ” Let a hundred lawsuits bloom. Let a thousand schools of foil contend.”

    4. jawbone

      Waukesha County in WI tends to hold off turning in vote tallies until…it’s time to find enough votes to bring the R’s to victory.

      A Scott Walker specialty.

      When an important state Supreme Courtk race showed the Dem judge winning, the Waukesha County vote call was held off until very late and then a whole big passel of votes was found favoring the Repub. The Supreme Court was extremely important to the Koch Brothers to allow Walker’s agenda to pass state constitutional muster.

  5. Jamie Dimon

    Love those advisors list! He’s really draining the swamp as he promised right? Guffaw.

    Don’t forget… Newt Gingrich Wants new HUAC, for real – http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/14/politics/newt-gingrich-house-un-american-activities-committee/index.html

    Again, so excited for the #NeverHillary crowd on NC to explain to me how Hillary (again, agreeing 100% she’s a warmongering neoliberal, per Adolph Reed) would have brought this to us… I swear people don’t understand politics as getting the best you can at any given moment because its about institution building and protecting the vulnerable among us – not just detonating system just “because”.

    Now on to getting Keith Ellison for the DNC for 2018. Fingers crossed.

    1. Steve C

      Leaving aside the NC commenters, Hillary and the Democrats blew another sure thing. They can’t help it. It’s in their nature.

      When they play to type, they play to not lose and their hyper-caution loses the race. Case on point. Tim Kaine. What did he bring to the table? His vote for fast track? I’d a voted for Hillary if she asked Bernie to be her running mate. But that was out of the question for the hyper-cautious corporate puppet Hillary.

      I supported Gore in 2000 and resented Nader supporters, but Bill Clinton was a better president than Obama and Hillary was Obama’s third term. Trump isn’t likely to be worse than Bush although he may very well be as bad. Obama spent the last eight years normalizing Bush policies and throwing New Deal types the occasional crumb.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I wonder if Kaine was the result of identity politics run amok, a white male to balance the ticket. The best con men believe their lies, and if the sexists won’t vote for Hillary, maybe the need a white man. We’ll find the whitest one, Tim Kaine. Those deplorable union men will , over the governor of a right to work state.

        Hillary’s health and the Paul Ryan process (pick a candidate to prove there are worse people to there) are also reasonable explanations without more evidence.

        1. WJ

          Kaine was picked because he needed to step down from the DNC to allow Wasserman Shultz to direct it so as to collude with the HRC campaign. The VP was his price/payment, and the whole thing was wrapped up back in summer of 2015 before the primary really even got underway

    2. pretzelattack

      we voted for the best we could get in this shitshow of an election. she’s a warmongering neoliberal with a fetish for provoking russia. now it’s time to work for actual change, to build institutions and protecting the vulnerable. cause they damn sure weren’t going to be protected under a clinton administration. the dnc had a chance to get all that, instead they sabotaged sanders. they should have thought of the consequences of doing that.

    3. Waldenpond

      Gingrich is indicative of Trump positions.
      Schumer (support) is not indicative of Ellison’s positions.

      You’re hearing what you want. They were two horrid candidates. Clinton’s foreign policy was deranged. I voted for less dead bodies.

  6. L

    The Baffler has a good article on the ongoing finger pointing (fingering?) within the party and the media: Round-up of Recriminations: After Trump’s win, there are more culprits than we can shake a finger at

    One choice part of it:

    Nothing good will come of her defeat, except perhaps the end of the Clinton dynastic stranglehold on Democratic Party politics and, by extension, the seizure of all liberal, left, and activist politics in the U.S. by the family’s scrupulously cultivated base of corporate donors. But that silver lining was bound to emerge eventually. Hell, it might’ve happened in two years when the next mid-terms rolled around. And there’s no guarantee that the liberal and leftist groups will make good use of the narrow opportunity they have been given. Indeed, the whole umbrella of “progressive” causes the Democratic Party claims to represent has emerged weaker than ever from this election. And Hillary Clinton bears a large part of the responsibility for that. It was her campaign, after all. She’d been preparing for this moment for decades, but when it finally came, she choked, and retreated to the only place she seemed to feel comfortable—talking small groups of rich people out of their money. It was Clinton who ran with no message, other than the profoundly tone-deaf “America is already great.” “Dangerous Donald,” indeed. She doesn’t deserve to go to jail for no reason, as the new president-elect would have it, but she and her highly fanatical careerist-asshole acolytes sure as hell don’t need to lead the country’s only opposition party for . . . One. More. Day.

  7. Jim Haygood

    Besides the startling surge in financial stocks (up 10.5% in a week) and health care (up 8.4% in a week), the small stocks of the Russell 2000 index (RUT) also are on fire — up 10.0% from last Friday. Chart:


    Small stocks did spectacularly well in the 1970s. Higher inflation seems to benefit small companies more than large ones.

    The RUT is only 1.3% below its June 2015 record high. A breakout to a fresh record would suggest that small stocks may be launching a multi-year period of outperformance.

    Gotta hide someplace from the grisly bond massacre.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Another record high for the Dow Industrials today … 18,848.

      Goldman Sachs is helping power the Dow: GS rose an awe-inspiring 15.9% this week. Mr Market is telling us something, even if some of us don’t like what we’re hearing.

      As the highest priced Dow component, GS (at 203.94) has 6.6 times the weight of the lowest priced Dow component, GE (30.71), under the Dow’s antiquated price-weighted methodology.

      Dow 20K lies 6 percent ahead … doable this winter.

  8. timbers

    The Little People at the DNC are being deplorable.

    DNC Staffer Screams At Donna Brazile For Helping Elect Donald Trump

    “Why should we trust you as chair to lead us through this?” he asked, according to two people in the room. “You backed a flawed candidate, and your friend [former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz] plotted through this to support your own gain and yourself.”

    Some DNC staffers started to boo and some told him to sit down. Brazile began to answer, but Zach had more to say.

    You are part of the problem,” he continued, blaming Brazile for clearing the path for Trump’s victory by siding with Clinton early on. “You and your friends will die of old age and I’m going to die from climate change. You and your friends let this happen, which is going to cut 40 years off my life expectancy.


    Donna could say get over you butt hurt but really that applies to those who voted for Hillary complaining she lost, right?

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      And then, of course, he deflects to generational politics because those are on the approved list of politics within the class he frequents.

      I mean, does he really think a Walmart heir and a Walmart worker, both 19, have the same interests or values?

      1. Katharine

        Well, survival does rank high on most people’s lists, and if he really believes his life expectancy will be effectively halved he may well think the two 19-year-olds have common interests. And in fairness to him, a lot of middle-aged or older people who claim to believe climate change is happening seem remarkably indifferent to what that may mean for those who outlive them. It was one of the things that grated on my ear in Clinton’s campaigning. Having said she believed in science (Credo in unam scientiam?) she was prepared to go right on pushing pipelines until she finally grasped that wasn’t polling well.

        1. Emma

          Climate change is happening. Just not in the DNC. Unless they elect Keith Ellison Chair, instate Bernie as The Godfather, superdelete the superdelegates and run Tulsi Gabbard and Nina Turner as the 2020 ticket. Now that wouldn’t be Trumps’ definition of a “beautiful thing” but it sure is mine!

          1. jawbone

            And it looks like Trump is actually going to do all he can to speed up climate change.

            What’s his game? Is he so stupid he doesn’t understand that you can have your own opinion, but you can’t have your own physics?

            Oh…maybe he’s pretty sure he can build some big developments under yuge glass domes?

        2. Jeotsu

          I believe the true generational warfare from climate change is still 2 or 3 decades out.

          By that time declining net energy will see infrastructure starting to fail widely, and that will exacerbate the famine issues when crops fail. It will be very easy for any given 19 YO to look at a 60 YO and say “you knew this was coming, you knew and you did nothing.”

          It is still too easy currently for most people to ignore the effects of climate change, as they don’t live in the Sahel or other marginal places.

          1. jawbone

            HIgher summer temps may also kill off aging Baby Boomers — at least those in the lower quintiles….

            But, still, Trump and his type must think that money will save their grandchildren and great grandchildren….

          2. Emma

            Thankfully some people in America get it (..even the Pentagon is implementing plans for climate change across defense operations).
            Great news from the US Green Party (@GreenPartyUS) too:
            “After gaining ballot access in 12 more states—thanks to petitioning and election wins—the Green Party is now on the ballot in 21 states!”. Plus their candidates in California, Florida, Michigan, and Minnesota, all won local seats. Hooray!

      2. Oregoncharles

        Evidently he isn’t a Walmart heir.

        Climate change will have effects that will be very hard to hide from. Yes, the wealthy will have advantages, but quite limited.

        And there may be an implicit admission in his rant: he knows full well that Hillary wouldn’t help with class issues, but she might have with climate. Sort of, compared to an outright denier.

        I agree with your point, that “cultural” issues are those the plutocracy allows on the table; but in this case, generation has very concrete effects that have nothing to do with culture.

      3. different clue

        Or the same chance of dying of old age?

        But yes, he really thinks that, in all innocent sincerity. Because that is what the Boomer-baiting Thought Leaders have all taught him to think.

  9. Knifecatcher

    USB-C is a nightmare from a security standpoint. Just think – the only way to charge your battery is now also a high speed data transfer mechanism. So every time you use a public charger you run the same malware risks as plugging in an unknown USB stick. And that off-brand USB-C charger from Amazon or eBay might just come with built-in malware from the factory.


    Of course the same can be said for just about every smartphone ever made, which is why I bought a Sony phone with a dedicated Magsafe-style charging port.

    1. hunkerdown

      Heh, computer makers have stopped sealing everything inside the box against tampering and instead extended the core system bus outside the box for fun to be had by all… and running systems to be carefully preserved for forensic purposes. Alternately, Apple has either learned nothing from FireWire DMA, or has learned nothing and forgotten nothing as a result of that little tiff with the Feebs over that Terrorably Important Phone. Moral: endpoint security can work, too well.

      The thing that kicks me is that, from a technological standpoint, it’s dreamy having gigabit-class memory-mapped I/O outside the box, but a guy’s gotta have standards as to who gets how far.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Dr Hussman is rather peeved that you have so casually forgotten him.

        Doesn’t anyone care about ‘obscene’ stock valuation anymore? ;-)

        1. sunny129

          MR. BOND has raised a RED flag with yields of 10y & 30y going upwards. Plus Inflation expectations has also increased!

          But it appears NO ONE cares!

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            My goal with the good doctor is to break even, so perhaps I should procrastinate more and keep the 5-year-plus monthly automatic investment plan.

      2. polecat

        Wolf Street
        USA Watchdog
        Wall Street on Parade
        The Archdruid Report
        ….. and finally, that Putin booster …. Moon of Alabama

    1. Pavel

      Just to note that Counterpunch has had a series of exceptional columns post-Trump this week. A dozen of their posts are worth a month of the NYT op-ed pages.

  10. scott 2

    SHIRX. Sexist, homophobic, islamaphobic, racist, xenophobe

    There, I save the left a lot of typing on their phones and keyboards.

    1. frosty zoom

      well done!


      information clearing house is an excellent aggregator


      grrrr… i’ve a 2003 maclaptop that i still use everyday; it saved my wife’s life during a fall. the new stuff crumbles


      like the hydra, the brown marmorated stink bug is also apt for the clintons


      i still insist that having a limited supply of money is crucial for our survival. no, not gold

    1. Jim Haygood

      Surely Trump is wise enough not to put his name on it.

      Without addressing the bloated cost structure of US health care, no “fix” is ever going to be affordable or popular.

      RyanCare, though … it’s got potential! If Ryan teams up with Nancy Pelosi to pass it on a bipartisan basis, we’ll know it’s seriously bad. Support the PRICK Act — Pelosi Ryan Illness Care Kludge.

        1. frosty zoom

          then please give us all pitchforks so the monsieur trudeau’s neonliberals™ are unable to create a new, better, extra inclusive stock photoesque privblic plan that ensures “dependable health care at affordable rates”.

      1. Pat

        I was about to say that putting Trump’s name on it might mean that he will go for something better, but then I remember how crappy his buildings really are…

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          With Trump, it’s always about casinos and dice rolling.

          And for most games, the house is the sure winner…except horse races (I think. I got that from watching 7 Days In May. I think Admiral Barnsbey said that.)

          1. pretzelattack

            well, over the long run, though occasionally casinos have gone bankrupt, hence house limits on bets. i think horse races charge quite a high house cut, or at least they used to.

        1. uncle tungsten

          That’s exactly what the Clinton Foundation does. They wont show up or accept any invitation until you pay the license fee.

    2. sleepy

      No, dems will join in as a compromise and it will be known as BipartisanCare.

      I always thought Boehner didn’t join in when Obama floated the Grand Bargain as part of a budget compromise in part because he was too smart to take the bait and be blamed for gutting SS. Dems of course will always compromise for the “greater good”.

  11. Waldenpond

    I think developing a list of reliable sources is going to take a while to shake out. There is going to be a cycle of entrenchment and shunning as the majority are playing for status and each other.

    There will be some fake apologies as the liberals and progressives resume complaining about policy outcomes now that the Rs are back in but will be reliable in the short term.

    There will be few sincere apologies that are an attempt to break out of the liberal/progressive grip on the D party.

    There will be shunning of those that got it right. See this thread on Michael Tracey and Vice….https://twitter.com/mtracey/status/797152833304952832

  12. ChrisFromGeorgia

    Can we have some kind of celebration for the death of the TPP?

    I believe Chuck Schumer took the kill shot yesterday.

    Put it in the ground before it starts to stink!

    1. JTMcPhee

      …the TPP is Freddie Kruger and Jason, Chris — not Glenn Close in “Fatal Attraction…” There are hundreds of thousands of Smart and Connected People with lots of money=power to spend on keeping the process going, the one that leads to their really big paydays down the road where there are no more governments to stand even a little bit for the lives and futures of the Great Lootable Masses now cowering behind the toilet-paper walls of their “sovereign nations,” as the drones and bombers and electronic fund transfers whiz past.

      Why do people who hate the notion of being robbed and poisoned by supranational corporations continue to use the phrase “lost profits” in describing what the ISDS structure would be churning? It’s no kind of profit as ordinary people would grok the term, just extortion money.

    2. sleepy

      The TPP will be resurrected when the time is ripe. Folks smarter than me said that a recession is looming in the next year or two, and whoever was elected president would get the blame. If so, that would be Trump and I could see a plan hatched to blame the lousy economy on protectionism–“see! we told you so”.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      At this time, getting as much good stuff as one can is the only hope.

      I think banning lobbyists for foreign governments from raising money for American elections is also easily achievable.

  13. Patricia

    I wonder if anyone here knows some reasonably ok sources for conservative opinion. I need to understand that perspective better, considering what’s coming…

      1. Donald

        The American Conservative is great, but thy are more like Rand Paul or paleoconservatives and not like most conservatives in politics. If I had known about the great writer list yesterday I would have pushed Daniel Larison, my favorite writer on foreign policy these days.

    1. Robert McGregor

      I just started reading Breitbart in the last couple weeks. For years I’ve heard from the MSM that Breitbart is the quintessence of reactionary evil, but at least on the presidential campaign–I found Breitbart to be more informative and entertaining than the usual Clinton schills–NYT, Washington Post, and CNN. Breitbart is the tabloid approach, and “The National Review” is the “intellectual” approach. The editor, Rich Lowry, was appointed by the founder, William Buckley, and the continually annoying, but sometimes worthwhile David Brooks, also was singled out by Buckley and wrote for The National Review.. Of course, I think the National Review started the #NeverTrump movement, and they are horribly in the tank for most of Corporate America–especially the Catholic version. Since Stephen Bannon (editor of Breitbart), is in the most inner of inner Trump circles, I believe Breitbart is the conservative blog to scan first.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      Marginal Economics is pretty good – its on the libertarian-ish side of mainstream right wing politics. I read it sometimes as a balance to all my commie reading material.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Whoa … I was just kidding about the PRICK Act (Pelosi Ryan Illness Care Kludge).

      But it looks to be real.

      Soylent Green is seniors! :-0

      1. Pat

        So what this does is:
        gives the Democratic Congress members a chance to show that they aren’t totally useless.

        gives Trump a chance to stick it to Ryan AND show HIS voters he meant what he said – and one of the things he said repeatedly was that Social Security and Medicare were not going to get cut in his Presidency.

        We’ll also get to see whether Dilbert’s alter ego has taken Trump’s measure correctly. And whether Ryan is offering AARP anything to ditch their members (and customers) by how fast they start mounting a lobbying effort.

        Otherwise it is “nice” to know I’ll never have actual health care again.

        1. hunkerdown

          Democratic Congressmembers have a habit of showing off how they’re not totally useless, only when they truly are. And AARP is an insurance sales agency, not an elder advocacy organization.

          You actually believe any of this stuff isn’t a sham?

          1. Pat

            AARP insurance is largely Medicare supplemental. Without Medicare they do not have an insurance business.
            And the “ineffectual” Democrats got a shot across the bow this week when they found out that not listening to large groups of the American public is not offset by big donors.

            We are in somewhat new territory now.

            1. hunkerdown

              With Medicare reduced fully to a private voucher system, AARP gets a new crack at a new market of possibilities.

              And Democratic brass are, if Democratic tradition and evidence from the Podesta emails holds true, interested in 1) keeping control of the Party, and 2) winning elections; in that order. Schumer’s pecuniary interests are the same now as last week or last decade. Schumer’s class interests are the same as last week or last decade. He is a long-standing part of the problem, and his support is toxic.

              Elite interests are rival to common interests, by definition. Elitism can’t exist without inferiors to self-righteously exploit. It’s just not credible that such a long-standing elite representative with such a long-standing neoliberal alignment, so much capital within elite circles and (lest we forget) split loyalties through dual citizenship is going to leave all that on the table just to look good for history. Especially when hack journalists are a thousand times cheaper.

              Please don’t get in the way of a proper housecleaning.

      2. Jen

        One (more) thing to be said for a Trump administration: their repellent policies are out there in the open where you can fight them tooth and nail.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      This is for the best. The sooner the GOP goes crazy, the sooner the will be swatted down. After all, aren’t most medicare recipients GOP voters? Republican voters derailed Shrub’s SS privatization scheme.

        1. Carla

          Yeah, well, Obama didn’t keep HIS hands off their Medicare. Even though Medicare is still the best deal going in healthcare in Amurica, Obamacare has steadily crappified it.

          1. marym

            Yes, and in 2012 he floated the idea of raising the eligibility age which is incremental privatization.

      1. Jim Haygood

        With his encyclopedic knowledge of politics, NotTim doubtless recalls the last go-round:

        (Oct 9, 1989) The Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act responded less to the expressed needs of the elderly, who really wanted protection from the bankrupting costs of long-term nursing home care, than to President Ronald Reagan’s effort to extend an olive branch after he was assailed by Democrats for trying to reduce Social Security benefits.

        Once the program arrived on Capitol Hill, the Democrats seized on it as the vehicle for sweeping health benefits for the elderly and for some disabled and needy people. And at Mr. Reagan’s insistence, the entire bill was sent to the elderly, in the form of an extra monthly Medicare premium and a surtax for people over 65 with incomes above $35,000.

        That tax, little noticed at the time, led to a well-organized protest campaign that ultimately buried members of Congress under an avalanche of angry mail. The revolt culminated last week in a House vote to repeal the measure and a Senate vote to slash the benefits and eliminate the surtax.


        Anger the grey panthers at your peril.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          “The Grey panthers”

          I haven’t heard this name in ages.

          Does Ryan make it to December?

      2. KurtisMayfield

        Yeah but leaving the DNC controlled Democrats as the “Not Republicans” isn’t really the best option.

      3. WJ

        I think the GOP should replace Medicare with government-issued revolvers given to Americans upon their 65th birthday. Let’s call these revolvers “Angel Trumpets”. If after turning 65 an American is diagnosed with a debilitating or terminal illness during his or her annual “Freedom Scan,” regular medical treatment will be replaced by six mandatory online training sessions pertaining to the proper use of the “Angel Trumpet.” Some of these sessions will involve Rush Limbaugh reading aloud from the Book of Revelation, others will be made up of advertisements from mortuaries, crematoriums, and the like, and at least one will involve an optional survey that fails to submit. After competing these sessions, the American is now licensed to self-administer the “Angel Trumpet” to his or her right ear, after which he or she is raptured up by Jesus.

    3. Elizabeth Burton

      That’s always been the GOP platform with regard to Medicare. Haven’t been paying attention? ;-)

    4. Oregoncharles

      Ouch. Now it’s serious.

      Surely he realizes this would be political suicide? “Keep your government hands off my Medicare!!!”
      Not so stupid, after all.

      1. Skip Intro

        We gotta make it seem more like identity-based virtue signaling, if we want a turn out and MSM coverage.

    5. PQS

      Of course they are. I laughed when this site questioned how long Trump had before the establishment rolled him. About ten minutes is my answer. They are living their dreams – Ryan, McConnell, et. al.: a woefully uninformed and uninterested Executive coupled with control of the entire government. It’s Bush III only even better for them.

      Here come the coupons for Medicare and Private Accounts for SS.

      1. JSM

        There are multiple establishments. On the bright side, this is the first presidency since Jimmy Carter not to feature a Clinton or a Bush.

      2. Tom

        I’m thinking the jury is still out on who rolls whom.

        As one recently linked article noted, Trump just dispatched the Bush and Clinton dynasties, whose members include ex-Presidents, a CIA head, a Secretary of State, a Senator, a couple Governors, etc.

        And he did it while fighting off the full force of the Democratic establishment, the Republican establishment, the media, corporate Amercia and Wall Street and FWIW, pretty much all of the Hollywood glitterati.

        Based on Trump’s recent track record, I would think that McConnell would want to figure out ways to work with Trump, rather than try to put one over on him.

    6. Buttinsky

      I’m never inclined to urge people not to panic when it comes to politics — my own hair has been on fire for 44 years or so — but it’s perhaps worth noting that this was as likely to happen under a Clinton presidency as a Trump one. Maybe even more so. One sure area of “bipartisanship” agreement — and a bone to be thrown to a Republican Congress intent on impeaching her — was “fixing” entitlements (Hillary spoke about it in one of those secret speeches praising the Simpson commission). How could privatizing Medicare not have been on the agenda in a Clinton-Ryan government? ACA was explicitly predicated in part on the idea that healthcare was too expensive because people were using too much of it, and so it had to be made more expensive so that people had some “skin in the game.” This is also part of the motivating philosophy in the Ryan plan.

      At least Trump talked about leaving Social Security and Medicare unmolested, and it’s hard to imagine that this did his campaign any harm. We can only hope that a few Democrats — and maybe Trump himself — draw that lesson from his win. Even in 2016, the conventional wisdom seems unassailable: no politician can openly take on the social-security-medicare demographic (and their kin) and expect to survive politically.

      Still, of course, I don’t really expect my hair to be reduced to a smolder anytime soon.

      1. katiebird

        Thank you!! I have been in a bit of a stomach churning panic since I read the above comment a few hours ago. And then remembered that my problem with Hillary is that we caouldn’t have counted on HER to veto Ryan’s bill.

        My hair has been burning since the night Jimmy Carter one. I can hardly remember why… oh yes… he didn’t support healthcare for everyone… This has been going on a long time!!

  14. Benedict@Large

    Anyone who advocates for the idea of “choice” in health insurance simply doesn’t understand the role of actuaries in plan design and rate setting. “Choice” is just another way of saying whatever that individual can afford. Republican’s “choice” is jut another way of saying rationing based on wealth.

  15. WJ

    This is an old piece (March 2016) by Guy Rolnick at Chicago Booth that is worth looking at again as we move forward. Rolnick offers a market-based defense of Sanders’s fundraising approach, which is rhetorically useful if nothing else. Here’s a key closing paragraph:

    “Whoever believes in a market economy assumes that players are “price takers” or “regulation takers”: they cannot influence the prices and the rules of the game. If we want to move into a more competitive market system, we should support the political revolution of Bernie Sanders, specifically the way he raises money. We must acknowledge that as long as it is totally within the norms, values, and beliefs of our society that politicians and regulators can take money from special interest groups, our chances of increasing the legitimacy of market ideas are diminishing.”


  16. armchair

    Are the following two ideas in competition with each other? 1) Racism is not a good explanation for why Trump won or why Clinton lost. 2) Many of Trump’s constituents have experienced validation of their racist tendencies by listening to his rhetoric, which could be dangerous.

    NC has loads of links, data and analysis that make the case that racism was not driving voter turnout or swinging the election. None of it removes the fear that Trump has awakened and initiated a new, ugly wave in American life. After all, is anyone predicting a drop in hate crimes? Is anyone predicting a new era of rhetorical civility? It is one thing to carefully sift the election data, but it is too precious not to acknowledge that Trump’s rhetoric has left more than a few people feeling like he is taking us on a voyage into, “The Heart of Darkness.”

    When a leader takes over the most powerful institution in the nation with racist promises (deport them! stop and frisk! build a wall! law and order! stop letting Muslims in!) you don’t let your guard down after he’s elected.

    Of course, the analysis of election data is sincere and valuable, but didn’t Clinton, herself, drive down her turnout? Her predecessor is the all time deportation champion. Clinton had her super-predator problem. Her economic solutions were weak tea for minorities as well as majority populations.

    What we need to know is if Trump is taking us into the Heart of Darkness or not. There is great eloquence on this site about how identity politicians exploit racism for their own gain, but how will Trump not continue to divide us all by race? There is nothing that persuades me that Trump won’t be just as complicit in divide and conquer tactics as any condescending neoliberal.

    1. hunkerdown

      None of it removes the fear that Trump has awakened and initiated a new, ugly wave in American life.

      Kindly consider your own part in validating and thus reproducing that drama, or is the whole point of this exercise to allow you to put stuff out in the collective unconscious without fingerprints, like the DNC does?

      Have you considered that liberal framing has no privilege in the conversation anymore, that liberal judgments are null and void outside your little clique, and that you are not fit to judge anyone or anything for righteousness?

      If you’re worried about the heart of darkness, maybe you need to give up kooky religious drama and take up politics of interests. The hearts of others are none of your business.

        1. integer

          I contend that the same level of racism would exist regardless of the election result, and that by keeping the issue of racism front and center of the public conciousness, a Clinton win would have exacerbated the problem. Speculating further, Clinton as President would have used both race and gender issues for her own ends, creating more resentment on all sides rather than less due to her cynical exploitation of real issues.

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        Validating and thus reproducing

        Huh? You are being dismissive of a completely legitimate point. Discussing something that is happening isn’t what makes it happen. This is no self-fulfilling prophecy.

        That we are undergoing a seismic shift in demographics is a matter of fact, not of preference.

        1. Carolinian

          So “seismic” that people of color failed to turn out in their usual numbers and make Hillary Clinton president. Maybe they saw the Dem ploy of using race as a wedge for what it is. MLK used to talk about creating a colorblind society which is the opposite of identity politics where people have to be fearful in order to get them to vote for you. The goal of course is to get working people fighting among each other rather than directing their anger where it should be concentrated–on the financial system that is slowly sucking the country down to a husk.

          At any rate I’m with hunkerdown. We should be spending a lot more time worrying about real crimes, less about “thought crimes.”

    2. Skip Intro

      Well the Clinton Gang just spent half a billion dollars spreading terror in the US. Even bungling clowns like that can manage to create perceptions when they spend that much. If you tell people they are racist misogynists long enough, eventually some will believe it, or adopt it since they are being blamed for it anyway.

  17. Jim

    The best of part of the Reed analysis on class and race is how it helps to make explicit the process by which the political philosophy of liberalism turned into a largely elitist and managerial ideology, especially for upwardly mobile minorities.

    What Reed(from the Left and Trump for the Right) now has to seriously evaluate (by looking closely at their respective fundamental assumptions about the national state) is whether in 2016 it is still possible to hope for and institutionalize a more totalizing national purpose like, for example, massive infrastructure development.

    Every instance of significant expansion of state capabilities in the U.S.–from war mobilization during WWI, to the Great Depression, to WWII and the Cold War–has been in response to what has been perceived as a crisis situation.

    Is it still possible, politically and culturally,to hope for a further crisis-driven centralization of state and private power to solve our problems?

    1. JTMcPhee

      Down-side of centralization is, it seems to me, the problem of Empire: when all the wealth flows toward the Imperial Capital, all the predators flow there too. And it becomes ever easier to corrupt and then own the wealth-collecting (or, nod to MMT, creating) mechanism,s and special-plead into enormous personal and class advantage that tightens and self-perpetuates in a destructive feedback process.

      Alternatives? Past situations indicate rupture, disintegration, degradation, simplification. With the Few escaping the consequences. Like the Nazis that scooted on their U-boats and ships from the dying Reich, with steamer trunks full of bearer bonds, and also gold, extracted by the Sonderkommandos http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/Sonderkommando.html from the teeth of the gassed and shot millions, and all the art treasures they could carry — off to Uruguay and Cleveland and “service” to the surviving Empire with the OSS/CIA…

    2. Mark P.

      ‘Is it still possible, politically and culturally,to hope for a further crisis-driven centralization of state and private power to solve our problems?’

      The crises are coming. Some of them will be too big for anything but state responses. Whether those responses, when they come, will be effective is another matter.

      For instance, look at the completely inept response by the Japanese to Fukushima in 2010 as compared to the response by the Soviets to Chernobyl or, indeed, a speculative comparison one might make to how the Japan Inc. of the 1970s-80s would have reacted to a crisis of Fukushima’s scale.

      FIRE-corrupted governments produce hollowed-out, crapified government apparati and public responses. Who’s going to put themselves on the line, after all, for corrupt, financier-owned superiors?

      1. Waldenpond

        I think Jim is recommending a policy driven cycle.

        The part that confused me was [Is it still possible, politically and culturally,to hope for a further crisis-driven centralization of state and private power to solve our problems?] We have a crisis driven system and the state and private power are too enmeshed. I am looking to break the state/private power structure apart.

  18. Kurt Sperry

    “racism/sexism/xenophobia” are forms of politics, and that they are the evil twin of identity politics, and together are the only forms of politics permitted by elites

    That made me think. Thank you.

  19. Waldenpond

    Regarding the scale of the Trump victory… I thought Trump could benefit from simply shutting up whenever Clinton took a hit. He finally did, and I think it paid off. I also thought the Clinton institutional support and media support were transparent and even over the top and became negatives.

    ACA… The liberal solution is tax credits, means tested Medicaid etc. The progressive solution is to regulate the pharma, medical devices and insurance industries. The democratic solution is single payer. Personal note: medical practice announced yesterday that it is closing down by the end of the year. It took me nearly two years to get in. The liberal solution does not solve my access issue. The progressive solution does not solve my access issue. Isn’t single payer the best option to resolve the issue of practitioners being forced to eliminate patients based on insurance reimbursement as it has a flattening effect on the cherry picking?

    I will be continue to be a non-bubble member until I get banned for repeating myself.

    1. Altandmain

      Certainly Trump’s response to Clinton’s fainting incident during the 9-11 ceremony she was attending would suggest that sometimes, shutting up is indeed the best option.

      IMO the best option (looking here from Canada) is to create a universal healthcare system. It’s not going to be perfect, but it is certainly the lesser evil compared to the appalling situation in the US. The US pays a lot of money for inferior quality care.

      The other big thing is to get tough with the pharmaceutical giants that are price gouging. They are the perfect example of economic rent seeking and worse, the majority of medical R&D is taxpayer funded. It’s an outrage.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That’s the risk with infrastructure spendig/fiscal stimuli…always.

      We need to weed out corruption, but humans are corruptible…easily.

    2. Tom

      I’ve started reading the article and Trump’s actual infrastructure plan and I have a lot more reading to do.

      But some early questions:

      In the article, the author cites two of the usual anecdotes about the horrors of privitizing public infrastructure — the Chicago parking meters debacle and a toll road in Texas that’s already falling apart.

      But are these two examples just two bad deals? Meaning, did the Texas government entity that signed the contract with the road builder just agree to a really shitty deal? Ditto Chicago. Did they get taken, another words?

      This gets to a theme that Trump returned to a lot on the campaign trail, the fact that government bureaucrats were negotiating really bad trade deals because they were in over their heads.

      I’m choosing to be optimistic and I’m wondering if Trump’s experience navigating the world of heavy construction might give him a little better handle on how to structure the deals and contracts with private contractors.

      1. VietnamVet

        This is the basic problem that goes back to Al Gore’s reinventing government. To oversee public projects takes expertise and money. Once good government is flushed down the drain, states no longer have the expertise to sell bonds, design and oversee construction and to run the projects. Private public projects are just wealth transfer schemes with politicians getting their cut and financiers getting a steady stream of public money to securitize. There is no incentive to be well built or maintained. They are rental properties.

        Last month my Dental Hygienist went off on a prolonged rant about the ridiculous costs of all the toll roads she had to take to see her relatives in North Carolina.

        1. Tom

          What you’re saying makes sense, at least in this hyper-predatory world of the 1% that we are living in. Which gets us to the same old point — even assuming that Trump means what he says about “making better deals,” there’s just too much built-in inertia and and even resistance to derailing the gravy train. Sad.

  20. Laruse

    Names reportedly under consideration for HHS secretary include . . .

    It doesn’t sound like PresElect is staffing a cabinet so much as casting a new reality show. Sure, Ben Carson is a doctor, but he is also certifiably crazy. When I saw something floating around the internet that he was considering Joe Arpaio for secretary of Homeland Security, I thought it was an Onionesque joke. It wasn’t. Now I don’t believe anyone would put an 84 year old man into that job, but that his name was even floated out there tells me much of what I need to know about the coming presidency – that my belief that once elected, Trump would straighten up and move back from the extreme edge, was dead wrong.

    Anecdotally, I am FB friends with a gay married couple in NC. Yesterday, one of them had a note posted to his FP page declaring “Your time is up fags.” It wasn’t posted by a friend of his but a FB friend of a friend.

    Another FB friend (also in NC) posted that yesterday that her half caucasion/half Hispanic son was called out in gym class and heckled for being (of all things) Asian! He was harassed, called several slurs, and the kids piled on and on until he was in tears. Teachers failed to notice or stop it.

    1. jawbone

      The worst story I heard today about vulgarity unleashed was that boy grabbed a girl’s crotch (he may have called her “pussy”), and when she protested said that if the president can do it so can he.

      Could be apocryphal. Think it was on WBAI.

  21. voteforno6

    Re: Chelsea for Congress

    I’m not familiar with that district…are there a lot of deplorables there? I guess it makes sense, though. The corrupt Democratic establishment in New York parachuted her mother into a Senate seat? Why not Chelsea as well? She’s already accomplished so much already, so we should be so lucky to have her (s)elected to serve in Congress.

    1. Jim Haygood

      In a word … no. Westchester County is one of the richest counties in the country. Rockland County across the river isn’t too far behind. Map:


      That Chelsea doesn’t live there is not an issue that would bother the Clintons. She can just use mom’s address in Chappaqua — echoing the way her illustrious mom showed up in 2000, having never lived in New York, and got elected Senator. Ever since, I’ve called New York the “Doormat State.”

      In her first campaign for Congress in 1988, Nita Lowey showed up at our company’s factory in Yonkers, once part of her district. Twenty-eight (28) years on, she’s still in Congress.

      Without term limits, designer district incumbency is forever. :-)

      1. voteforno6

        Yeah, that’s for sure – there wasn’t even a token third party candidate on my ballot this year. I just left it blank. Term limits is appealing, but I think that it would just make it worse. In that last term, more than likely they would be auditioning for their next job, rather than pretending to server their constituents.

      2. petal

        She can use the house mom and dad bought next door to theirs, right? Would the timing work out that she takes over Nita Lowey’s seat in the house for a little while, and then goes for the Senate when Schumer retires?

        1. Jim Haygood

          Makes complete sense that Chelsea and Marc would move in next door in Chappaqua to kick off Chelsea’s political career in NY17.

          Unfortunately Mom and Dad aren’t going to be as rich as they expected. No influence left to peddle means none to exert either.

  22. Oregoncharles

    “on Twitter, where I live a good part of the day”

    Twitter will getcha if you don’t watch out.

  23. grayslady

    Once Bernie was out of the race, I was convinced Trump would win. There were so many indicators of a Trump victory. This was the year of the anti-establishment candidate–not out of pique, but out of real desperation by millions of Americans. The press (and the Hillary surrogates) tried to shame potential Trump voters as racists and bigots, and Bernie’s voters as anti-capitalists, all the while forgetting Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Faced with the choice of unaffordable health care or being called a socialist, thousands of people suddenly found themselves saying, Yeah, I’d rather be a live socialist than a dead capitalist. On the Trump side, he never denigrated blue collar workers, who would be quite content with a decent-paying factory job instead of a white collar high tech job, so they were willing to give him a pass on being politically incorrect. These are very basic issues that polls can’t capture and that newspapers chose to ignore. There were many other indicators, but,again, they couldn’t neatly be placed into the categories that pollsters seem to favor.

    1. Iowan X

      I think you hit the nail on the head. This was a “change” election–they always are after a two-term run by an incumbent in either party–and Hillary was by far the weaker D candidate. The Super-Delegates did not do their jobs. I got an email today from Allen Grayson, saying he did a poll at the end of the campaign, Bernie v. Trump, and it was 56-44 Bernie. That sounds right to me.

    2. Elizabeth

      Wonderful comment – I predicted that Trump would win it also. Millions of people in this country are living in economic pain and their anger is white hot. Both Bernie and Trump spoke to them, and that’s why if the dem primaries weren’t rigged for Clinton, Bernie would have won the election and we wouldn’t be here today doing post mortems.. I don’t think the Dems will learn anything – they’d have to give up all that Wall St. money.

  24. Katharine

    After the observations of friction between Trump and Pence, this comes as a mild surprise:

    The Trump transition team gets a major staff reshuffle, two days after the election. Vice-president-elect has replaced New Jersey governor Chris Christie as head of the transition team, the New York Times reports.

    Found in the Guardian, with link to Times original report:

    1. ChrisAtRU

      I’m wondering if this was done to “free up” Christie for future #BridgeGate court appearances … ;-)

      Also: is he’s still in line for SCOTUS? #RumorMill

  25. PlutoniumKun

    R)e: the polling and the vote.

    I think the disparity between polling and the election result can be almost entirely explained by ‘shy’ voters. In Britain it was common practice to add a few percent to Conservative polls on the basis that some people just didn’t want to admit to voting for them in face to face polling. In Northern Ireland it used to also be common practice to assume that ‘extreme’ parties (Republican or Loyalist would poll about 2-5% more than expected because of the reluctance of people to admit to it.

    Yves outlined some of her anecdotes a few days ago, I’ll add one of mine. I know four New Yorkers, all Asian-Americans (first generation), friends of each other, female, late 30’s who I mostly catch up with on FB and another social media sites.Before the election there was general sharing of anti-Trump stuff, and after the vote there was the usual sharing of horror memes. But I noticed that while two were actively sharing, and the others were occasionally ‘liking. But talking to one yesterday, when I mentioned that I was actually happy Hilary lost, she said ‘oh… I voted Trump, so did X’. And quickly followed up with ‘oh, but don’t tell that to anyone!’ So of four ‘typical’ (New york, female, minority) Hilary voters, she only got 50% of them. I’m sure that pattern was widely repeated.

  26. blucollarAl

    The elites seem unable to grasp the importance of class differences in shaping fundamental political, social, and cultural attitudes. Consequently they readily universalize the ideological presuppositions of their own class and correspondingly judge positions that contradict them as the vicious, ignorant ravings of a Neanderthal group of misfits, and attribute the darkest and most hateful motives to them.

    Why not “Christianism” to explain the dark prejudices that inspire the hidden motives behind the elites’ disdain for the religious values and concerns of evangelicals? Or “cosmpolitanism” to explain their economically self-serving lack of interest in enforceable national borders? Or “enclavism” to explain the selfish lack of concern with the lives of ordinary working class folk? Why, that is, is it always the “others”, the lower classes, whose desires, interests, and political goals must be reduced to the basest possible motives, to racism, sexism, etc.?

    1. hunkerdown

      As Marx wrote, “The ideas of the ruling class are in every age the ruling ideas.” Powerful people don’t accumulate relative power by unconditionally validating and legitimizing the power of others. They obtain power by arrogantly declaring rightness or wrongness of ideas and things outside themselves.

      And, um, elites are not prejudiced against evangelicals. They simply have no need for betters because they understand what Seneca wrote about religion: “to the commoner, true; to the learned, false; to the rulers, useful.”

    2. flora

      And right on queue, the first 20 minutes of tonight’s PBS NewsHour was given over to identity politics and the “trauma” of high school age children caused by Trump’s win. (Don’t they teach civics in high school anymore ?) PBS and the rest of the MSM are still talking identity politics and not jobs and economic issues. American’s vote their pocketbook.

      1. flora

        Americans vote their pocketbooks. How else explain that in 2008, after the Wall St. melt down under a GOP administration, Iowa, Ohio and Wisconsin voted Dem for Obama; in 2016 after 8 years of continued economic pain for the bottom 80% the same states voted GOP? It’s economics. The MSM won’t touch that story. It doesn’t suit the medias’ elite owners to report the economic story. Suddenly Iowa and Ohio and Wisconsin are racist? Yeah, that’s the ticket! It’s *racism* that explains the results. The media won’t rebuild their credibility with this tripe.

        1. John k

          So they vote for the black guy, as lambert said, and not the white woman, and this is racism? Guess racism isn’t what it used to be.

          1. pretzelattack

            yeah and when they voted for the black guy, that was misogyny. it’s never ever a rejection of clinton’s policies.

        2. Art Eclectic

          Ok, sure. What story are you going to tell in 4 years when not 1 thing has changed for the economic pain of the bottom 80% because Trump filled his administration with the usual swamp denizens and rentiers that have been contributing to this problem for decades? Or are you oblivious to the collection of grifters currently being assembled to extract the few remaining nickles and dimes from the seat cushions of America? Even Dick Cheney is impressed.

          Rubes. You think you changed something when, in fact, you changed nothing except the names of thieves skimming the economy. Trump is getting rolled so fast by the GOP establishment his head is spinning.

          1. Ché Pasa

            Marks they are. So eager to be conned and fleeced by anyone who flatters their egos and validates their prejudices. Trump or Clinton, Bush or Obama, it doesn’t really matter, as long as they feel they’re getting the best deal ever and only some poor shlub over there is gonna get the shaft, because nobody likes a shlub, and they deserve it anyway.

            Over and over and over again, it happens and we’re not supposed to notice. Just go along with it. For Unity’s sake. For the Children.


            Or as we’ve seen in the Twittersphere: “Sad.”

  27. geoff

    Sources: The Independent’s (UK) Robert Fisk and Patrick Cockburn seem to me the best English language reporters on the Middle East. Eric Margolis (former Toronto Star) is also good.

    Robert Parry/ Consortium News on US intelligence/ foreign policy/ Deep State are excellent and non-foily.

    Seymour Hersh (LRB now) is slowing down, but still seemingly very connected with DoD/ intel. insiders.

    Greenwald/ Scahill/ Fang and others at The Intercept.

    Charles P. Pierce (esquire.com) is fairly conventional left/ Dem, but still a great and entertaining writer on national politics, and focuses at least once a week on shenanigans in our various statehouses.

    Thomas Frank and Rick Pearlstein.

    Joe Bageant was one of our best and is sorely missed. Check out “Deer Hunting With Jesus” and joebageant.net if you’re unfamiliar with his writing about the American South and American Empire.

    1. Carolinian

      Fisk is a great reporter and was subject to a smear campaign a few years ago–probably because he was considered bad (in other words good) on Israel. And on the subject of the Middle East Max Blumenthahl, son of the Hillary hanger on, is a rising star.

      There’s still lots of great journalism going on including at the NYT and Wapo and other outlets that some of us like to bash. The problem is that on certain subjects such as politics and foreign policy the MSM has gone off the deep end. One can debate why that is but it’s hard to deny.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      +1 for Joe Bageant

      Deer Hunting with Jesus was prescient and Bageant would be in top form if he were still around to write about this current mess. Anyone wants to know why Clinton lost should read this book.

    3. noinspiration

      Joe Bageant is great, and Deer Hunting with Jesus should be required reading for every diehard DNC dingdong who’s freaking out right now.

  28. allan

    Trump will have vast powers. He can thank Democrats for them [Glenn Greenwald @ WaPo]

    … Blinded by the belief that Obama was too benevolent and benign to abuse his office, and drowning in partisan loyalties at the expense of political principles, Democrats consecrated this [srveillance state] framework with their acquiescence and, often, their explicit vocal approval. This is the unrestrained set of powers Trump will inherit. The president-elect frightens them, so they are now alarmed. But if they want to know whom to blame, they should look in the mirror. This is what it’s like to reap what you’ve sown. …

    The Pottery Barn rule, as applied to the 1st, 4th and 5th Amendments.

  29. Jeremy

    Castle Intrigue?


    Professor Allan Lichtmann, one of the few prognosticators who correctly called Trump’s win, has also predicted that he expects Trump will be impeached before long. The premise is that DC Republicans cannot STAND Trump and would love to elbow him out of the way, making Pence the Prez.

    All they’d need is Trump doing something stupid enough to give them any flimsy excuse that’s enough to cover their butts. The article says that David Brooks just wrote an article in the NYTimes also predicting a Trump impeachment within a year (sorry no time to find link – flying out the door).


    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Republicans in Congress are too unpopular to do this. Paul Ryan will be gone long before Trump. David Brooks is always wrong.

    2. pretzelattack

      maybe that’s why trump has been quick to slap pence down, because he senses his fig leaf for the evangelicals is a snake in the grass. but then, as stated, david brooks is always wrong.

    3. Kurt Sperry

      I hope they try. One of the few potential upsides of a Trump victory was the Republican Party splitting and destroying itself and clearing the way if the Democrats can get the heads of all the neolibs and neocons onto pikes in the wake of the Clinton fiasco. Whatever scenario you can come up with, Berner takeover of the DP or new Party rising, will be and go better with a GOP that lays in smoldering ashes.

    4. Carolinian

      Uh, David Brooks is a slimy little toad? These people really have zero respect for the democratic process. Earlier they were pushing the idea that the GOP ignore the voters and make one of their favored goofballs like Paul Ryan the nominee instead. How much of a “political revolution” is it going to take to get people like Brooks sh*tcanned?

      1. John k

        He’s safe so long as he continues saying what corps want said.
        Waste of time to think such are independent thinkers.

  30. none

    my perception of the importance of this last may have been affected by the dominance games that Clinton supporters constantly played on Twitter

    I guess dominance games on Twitter lose to dominance games in the voting booth. Who woulda thought.

  31. voteforno6

    Re: Trustworthy Writers

    Patrick Lawrence, formerly at Salon, now at The Nation, has some very interesting foreign policy articles. He frequently goes against the grain of conventional wisdom, which is quite refreshing.

  32. knowbuddhau

    I’ve been relying on Pepe Escobar, formerly The Roving Eye (Asia Times Online), for a long time. He’s at RT, Sputnik, and Strategic Culture regularly. Used to be featured on The Real News Network, but I haven’t seen him there for the last few years.

    Nowadays I read little else but NC, Counterpunch, and things from Links and Water Cooler.

  33. Plenue


    “It’s time to stop moaning. It’s time to stop crying over spilt fucking Brexit. It’s time to stop ignoring your opponents or worse trying to silence them. It’s time to stop banning people from speaking in universities. It’s time to stop thinking that reposting an article on your Facebook feed is political engagement, that banning a gymnast from doing what he’s good at because he insulted someones religion somehow achieves something. And sorry, when did the Gymnast Association think it was approriate to start enforcing blasphemy laws? It’s time to realize that reading The Guardian doesn’t make you a liberal, that retweeting Greenpeace doesn’t lower your carbon footprint. And if my ‘mansplaining’ is ‘triggering’ you, you can either fuck off to your safe-space, or you can engage and debate me and tell me what I’m getting wrong. Because Trump just won the White House! Being ‘offended’ doesn’t work anymore! Throwing insults doesn’t work anymore! The only thing that works is fucking bothering; doing something. And all you have to do is engage in the debate. Talk to people who think differently to you and persuade them of your argument. It’s so easy, and the left have lost the art! Stop thinking that everyone who disagrees with you is evil, or racist, or sexist, or stupid, and talk to them! Persuade them otherwise! Because if you don’t I’ll tell you what you get: you get President Trump!”

    1. jrs

      Well you might find those you debate are winners at the capitalist system and very much want to keep that privilege and are quite fine with others suffering, and others who don’t like it can just as far as they are concerned go die, afterall they should have been more of a winner.

      So much for debating class privilege which is often what the debate really ends up being about.

  34. pretzelattack

    i used to like consortium and robert parry. i’ve been a little dismayed by some of the articles on the intercept. the guardian articles on climate change are often good, even better when they aren’t spinning the guardian line on elections.

    also, 2, the first game of the chess world championship was a draw.

    1. Iowan X

      84 year old Ed Meese. Might as well bring in 93 year old Hank Kissinger. I’m sure they have the ideas to bring back that Republican magic!

      1. RMO

        Nah, Kissinger’s only chance at a comeback was Hillary winning. He blew that one didn’t he? Funny thing is he would have been the least insane of her foreign policy courtiers! Just reflect upon that for a moment. The simple fact that he would have been just about the only one of that basket of deplorables who would have had the sense to avoid provoking global nuclear war made old blood-soaked Henry the sanest one in the group.

        If I were in the position to give a piece of advice to Trump it would be simply that he who lives by “throw the bums out” dies by “throw the bums out.” I suspect he knows this on an instinctive level anyways so whether he actually acts on some of his populist rhetoric or simply governs like a modern Republican depends on how he feels those options work out for him personally. I think he would have been a lot happier if he had won the popular vote but lost the college. That way he wouldn’t actually have to work at being president or have any responsibility but could spend the next four to eight years basking in the limelight while he relentlessly took the piss out of am HRS administration. My best guess is that he’s going to be a dismal president but maybe, just maybe if the 2016 debacle turns the Democratic party back into a party that fights for the majority of the citizens, abandons bloody pointless wars and really tries to do something to fight climate change instead of just talking about it, four years of Trump may be worth it in the end.

        1. Ian

          That was really the only hope we had once it was clear Bernie was going to quashed come hell or high water. Pretty depressing reality.

        2. Ohnoyoucantdothat

          My sentiments exactly. Trump may be the best thing for democracy in a long time. People are actually in the streets protesting his election. When’s the last time we saw that? Not during this election cycle. And if he does, in fact, put a bunch of clowns in his administration, all the better. He could actually bring life back to the morbid left in this country. Wouldn’t that be nice?

          Another thing … Trump made a lot of concrete promises. Not the nebulous lawyerly parsed mush of HRC, but real promises. What do you think happens to the Republican party if he reneges on those promises? Screw with SS and Medicare? Really Paul Ryan? People are already pissed with the ‘adjustments’ you’ve made to Medicare. And Trump has to remember who his base is … not a bunch of flower-sniffing liberals … most of his base have guns; lots of guns. If he screws this up, there might just be some serious revolution in the streets. These are not people to be screwed with. They won’t crawl into a hole somewhere and sulk. They’ll be searching for ways to get even. Just my opinion for what it’s worth.

  35. ewmayer

    Hey, Lambert, ain’t it great to no longer have to devote the valuable real estate at top of the 2PMWC to TPP and its ilk, day after day after day? We all appreciate your yeoman’s labors these past months in doing so, but I expect I speak for more than just myself when I say that it’s nice to see some change at the top, literally!

    o “At this early stage, we can’t know with certainty exactly why Clinton lost. | The Week” — Gee, ya think pervasive hubris, sense of entitlement, a dismal career track record on issues of substance and smugly writing off half the electorate as an irredeemable and ignorable ‘basket of deplorables’ might have had something to do with it? Yah, I didn’t think so.

  36. allan

    The fat lady sings: Obama administration suspends Pacific trade deal vote effort [Reuters]

    U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration has suspended its efforts to win congressional approval for his Asian free-trade deal before President-elect Donald Trump takes office, saying on Friday that TPP’s fate was up to Trump and Republican lawmakers.

    Administration officials also said Obama would try to explain the situation to leaders of the 11 other countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership pact next week when he attends a regional summit in Peru. …

    Thank you, Lambert and all.

    1. Cry Shop

      or maybe it’s relax,go to sleep, while we huddle over here licking our wounds (and making secret deals).

      1. Foy

        Yep so with the dead TPP I would say that’s 2 good legacy things right there. How many days has he been president elect again?

    2. pretzelattack

      a provisional but heartfelt “whew”. still provisional, but if trump blocks this and avoids war with russia i think we’re better off. also, 2, we seem to be backing off the overthrow assad project.

      1. Cry Shop

        Alle Ding’ sind Gift, und nichts ohn’ Gift; allein die Dosis macht,
        daß ein Ding kein Gift ist. — Paracelsus

        All things are poison and nothing is without poison, only the dose
        makes that a thing is not a poison.

  37. skippy

    Ref – preznit race outcome and latent soul surcharging….

    Exhale… wellie… I seem to remember a time in the hellcon [oops halcyon] days [thought (believed) I was doing something important(?)] in the military… anywho… must have been a bad month or something [too many 2:00AM alpha alerts total packup and unpack show lasting 18hrs-ish]. So hard ass attitude was SOP all around thingy….

    With this in mind on one glorious mornings PT on the DMZ someone had a serious malfunction and had the audacity to voice a negative emotional state of mind. Good Grief… the damage that could cause to morale could un-stabilize the entire 38th parallel demanded swift and immediate action [!!!!] to thwart an obvious communistic insurrection.

    Luck would have it that our sage PT instructor in – charge – had the perfict solution…. wait for it… wait… put the grumbling ungrateful socialists in charge for one exercise each and let them feel the power of authority – for a brief moment.

    Disheveled Marsupial…. and how does everyone think that went…… eh….

  38. Jay M

    Jive between 0bama and Trump:
    0: Welcome and the world appreciates this historic example of the peaceful transition of power.
    T: Let me tell you the first thing, you better have your people pull out all the bugs, monitors and listening devices in this crib immediately or my crew will be all over the place January 20.
    0: Wait a minute, there are a lot of legacy devices that are considered historic, National Geographic was just here a week ago doing a documentary.
    T: I don’t give a shit about legacy, legacy starts day 1 with me.

    1. Waldenpond

      Lena Dunham weepmail. 2020 not looking so good for the Ds.

      At a certain point it became clear something had gone horribly wrong. Celebrants’ faces turned. The modeling had been incorrect. [Watching the numbers in Florida, I touched my face and realized I was crying…. I could tell he was having trouble breathing, and I could feel my chin break into hives….. At home I got in the shower and began to cry even harder. My boyfriend, who had already wept, watched me as I mumbled incoherently, clutching myself.]

      [“It wasn’t supposed to go this way. It was supposed to be her job. She worked her whole life for the job. It’s her job.”]


      1. pretzelattack

        for some reason, comedians seem to want to do dramatic roles, but they often just aren’t very good at it.

  39. Oregoncharles

    I THINK the Electoral College discussion was here at the Water Cooler. In any case, here’s Paul Street, http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/11/11/the-long-death-march-of-the-dismal-dollar-democrats/, on the subject:

    ” I wonder if we’d like to address, among other things, our continuing self-destructive and fetishistic attachment to an electoral system set up by openly anti-democratic eighteenth century aristo-republicans. The Electoral College is, well, …it’s absurd, Monty Python-esque. I personally have no intention of recognizing the legitimacy of the second U.S. president in my lifetime to be appointed after losing the popular vote. They can’t be serious. A Trump White House is preposterous. But, so, upon serious critical scrutiny, are most of the reigning power structures and systems in American society.”

    Great rant, overall.

    1. witters

      Do not forget the brilliant Sam Kriss, or the brilliantly decent Craig Murray. And please, go back to Gore Vidal, the great modern theorist/anthropologist of the American Oligarchy.

  40. ChrisAtRU

    In true unfrozen caveman lawyer style, I am a bit frightened and confused by the Electoral College vs Popular Vote argument. A friend of mine posted this elsewhere today:

    Do You Understand The Electoral College?

    The argument made seemed logical to me. If any cares to argue the merits as posited in the video, I’m all ears.

    Cheers, and Bon Weekend!

    1. Cry Shop

      It’s mostly a distraction from the real issues at hand.

      If any candidate was capable of speaking to the working and middle class, then the 1% of the population that opposed, and the 0.01% who compose the oligarchy could do nothing. What is really needed is to eliminate either the two party system, or democratize their methods of selecting candidates. Think Hillary played an unfair hand to Sanders? That was nothing compared to the shenanigans that get played at local level, state level, and Congress level to filter out populist candidates and replace them with machine / oligarchy pets.

  41. Cry Shop

    for some reason, no matter how I word it, which lines I delete, a comment on polling keeps being rejected. My other comments get posted. I’m not referring to being held for for review, but the whole post gets eaten with no notification, but other comments I’ve made before and after get through. (I wonder what will happen to this comment. and yes, the language is clean.

  42. MG

    The GOP realizes they have a 2-yr window of golden opportunity to do a raft of things they have been wanting to do for 30+ years including:

    – Turning Medicare into a voucher program for new beneficiaries (starting in 2024)
    – Privatizing and looting Social Security
    – Driving vouchers for primary education
    – Getting rid of the Estate Tax and AMT among others
    – Pass income tax cuts that would make the Reagan ’81 and ’83 tax cuts small by comparison
    – Implement capital gains tax cuts
    – Dramatically cut back housing assistance, mass transportation, and several other areas of discretionary spending
    – Implement work requirements for food assistance
    – Undue federal OSHA requirements and worker’s comp programs pushing them down to the state level
    – Transferring a host of federally-owned assets into the private domain or pushing them also to the state level

    This isn’t scaremongering and large parts of it are from Ryan’s ‘Ready Now’ which has been the Congressional blue print since 2010 when it first got rolled out.

    Already a ton of people from Heritage and to a lesser degree AEI are being used to staffing key positions in almost every federal agency since the transition program is being run by Pence & the GOP establishment. Since Trump really didn’t have a large campaign establishment and staffing, the GOP establishment is going to do it for him.

    Even that list above on healthcare includes someone from Heritage (they are going to be everywhere) and Ed Meese (a guy who can’t get put in the ground fast enough).

    Obviously not going to be able to do everything on that list or even most of it especially if they pursue the tax cuts first and foremost to put into law by May. People are going to be shocked at what they voted for and what happens as a result.

    For all but maybe the 5% of Americans, it is going to be bad to very bad.


    1. Fiver

      The window will close on their hands if they actually think they can pull off another major looting that includes beating the stuffing out of the very people that put them there. As a result of the marriage of convenience between the evangelicals, Tea Party, rurals, etc. and the broken Republican leadership post-Bush, they have been playing ‘party of no’ without resort to fact or evidence for so long they suffer from a severe case of the mental bends – however, it will pass as quickly as it becomes apparent that their farmed-out-to AEI thinking actually put into practice would indeed inflict very serious damage to – his ratings. Trump is going nowhere if he cannot hold the popular support of all those who voted for him because they believe they’ve been left out during a period of enormous change. The economy will give him a great big ‘F’ for fail if he sets out on a track that terrifies or infuriates or at minimum unsettles the actions of investment and consumer spending of the entire well-off portion of his opposition – a very considerable percentage of all the middle-to-high income earners. In fact, you’d have to argue he was setting out to crash the market and poleaxe the economy if he trotted that package out in legislation.

      I don’t think that’s his intention. He wants good reviews.

  43. witters

    “People are going to be shocked at what they voted for and what happens as a result.”

    Why do you assume that “people” are as dumb as you say they are? Where do you think they have been living, and living through? Can you say “Hope & Change”?

  44. Fiver


    ‘Also, yesterday we developed a terrific list of trustworthy writers. Could we today put together a list of trustworthy sources? I mean, besides Naked Capitalism.’

    Does this refer to an open discussion here? Could you link? I’d be very interested to read who NC community think are the best non-NC writers and/or sources in alternate media. Thank you.

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