2:00PM Water Cooler 11/14/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, as always when I write about Democrats, it takes longer than I think. So today’s Water Cooler is a bit abbreviated. All add in some more Stats Watch material shortly.


“No, Trump Didn’t Kill the TPP — Progressives Did” [Medium]. This:

It took years of protests at subsequent rounds in Chicago, Dallas, San Diego, Salt Lake City, Maui and elsewhere — coupled with hundreds of other protests in cities and towns across the U.S. and around the world — to slowly, but surely, put the TPP on progressive groups’ radar.

Over that time, first thousands, then tens of thousands, then hundreds of thousands and then literally millions of Americans signed letters and petitions urging the Obama administration and Congress to abandon TPP negotiations that gave corporate lobbyists a seat at the table, while keeping the public in the dark.

This to me is a key point:

Together, globally-coordinated progressive coalitions from a host of different countries developed and publicized analyses of the TPP, pushing out leaked texts when our governments refused to tell us what they were proposing in our names, and hacking away week after week against media blackouts, relying heavily on independent media, social media and word-of-mouth to inform the most active elements of the public about the power grab underway.

The analysis throughout was superb, and in great contrast to the reams of shoddy stuff emitted by Beltway talking shops. A special shout-out to Lori Wallach! And:

As formidable as our opposition is, when we come together across issue areas and geographic borders, we have more power. When we have each others’ backs, we can still win.

” Four of the five House Republicans Trump has picked to serve on his transition team executive committee — Lou Barletta (Pa.), Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), Tom Marino (Pa.) and Devin Nunes (Calif.) — voted last year to give Obama trade promotion authority to complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership and also backed trade deals with South Korea, Panama and Colombia in 2011″ [Politico]. “Trump also picked one of his earliest congressional supporters, Sen. Jeff Sessions (Ala.), to serve as an executive committee vice chairman. Sessions was one of the few Senate Republicans who voted against trade promotion authority last year, though he backed most of the trade deals negotiated during the administration of George W. Bush, including the South Korea, Panama and Colombia deals that finally passed in 2011.”

TISA: “The prospects for concluding negotiations on the Trade in Services Agreement now appear slim after a senior trade official close to the talks told POLITICO that it’s looking less likely that trade ministers will gather for an anticipated early December meeting in Geneva — a get-together at which negotiations had been expected to wrap up” [Politico]. “‘There is a higher likelihood that a Trump administration decides to pursue TISA than there is that the EU will get its act together on data in the next four years,’ the official said. ‘I doubt very much that the Trump administration has thought very much at all about TISA. When they do think about it, they may look at it as being a different kind of trade agreement, because it’s not dealing with industrial goods. They may see the broad support for it among U.S. stakeholders. They may see the support for it in Congress and see it’s interesting.'”

TTIP: “Trump’s victory eradicated the last remaining optimism in Brussels that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership could be concluded anytime soon. ‘I think we should be realistic; I don’t think we will see the resumption of any TTIP negotiations in quite a long time,’ European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said at Friday’s closing Trade Council press conference.”

Lambert here: Another extraordinary series of events in an extraordinary year, though who could have imagined in January how the year would end! I’m tempted to scream Kill It With Fire!, because time and again we’ve seen these deals come back from the dead — the elites really would like to destroy national sovereignty, after all — and so I’m reluctant to discontinue this section, but maybe it’s time.


NOTE New readers may not be aware of my priors, so here they are: Older readers will know that I defined victory in 2016 as the emergence of independent voices for the left in the centers of power, distinct from the hitherto dominant liberal voices in the Democrat Party, for which I envision a hostile takeover, followed by a management shakeup, including any necessary defenestrations. I believe that victory to be fragile, but real. Older readers also know I preferred gridlock as a 2016 outcome, arguing on separation of powers principles that it would be best if the Democrats won the Senate, and either President crippled. Older readers also know that I enjoy the technical aspect of politics, and if a player presents us all with an opportunity to learn by doing something smart (or dumb) I’m going to comment on it. That goes for movement politics, too. This doesn’t mean I support the player; if I were to say that the German advance through the Ardennes was brilliant and outflanked the French, that doesn’t mean I support Hitler, for pity’s sake.–lambert


“Last week, Trump and Ryan expanded the healthcare agenda to include ‘modernizing’ Medicare, widely seen as an allusion to Ryan’s plan to convert Medicare into a defined contribution, “premium support” program that could impose higher costs on seniors. Ryan told Fox News that ‘Medicare has got some serious problems because of Obamacare. Those things are part of our plan to replace Obamacare.’ During the election campaign, Trump repeatedly said he wouldn’t touch Medicare” [Modern Health Care].

“No one knows exactly what Mr. Trump will propose. As an example, Trump has promised his supporters that he would not touch Social Security and Medicare, but House Speaker Paul Ryan has already suggested that cuts to Medicare are on the table. And note that Goldman does not “anticipate significant changes on immigration policy”, yet that was Trump’s initial campaign proposal. We have to wait and see what the exact proposals will be” [Calculated Risk].

“[W]e may well feel the need to seek out assurance in unexpected places. To that very end I may now become the world’s first — and perhaps last — writer to put Donald Trump and Nelson Mandela in the same sentence without contrast. But doing so yields a deep and comforting truth, one already manifest just a few days post-election” [FPCA]. “The Nelson Mandela we all remember and miss was a Mandela tempered by time and experience. Dissident Mandela and President Mandela were very different Mandelas indeed, different in ways that many would now like to forget. I too would like to forget much of the last many months. We should hope that President Trump will give us a reason to do so.”

“My very cloudy crystal ball shows a rewriting of the rules, but not to correct the grave mistakes of the Reagan revolution, a milestone on the sordid journey that left so many behind. Rather, the new rules will make the situation worse, excluding even more people from the American dream” [Joseph Stiglitz, Project Syndicate].

War Drums

“President-elect Donald Trump is about to learn the nation’s ‘deep secrets'” [WaPo]. This is where the man in the grey suit with the forgettable face comes into the Oval Office with a cooler, opens it, shows Trump the severed human head inside, and goes away. “Call me if you need me.”

The Voters

“And then in 2016, Rove went on Fox News to predict Trump would lose to Hillary Clinton. “I don’t see it happening,” Rove said of a Trump victory” [Newark Star Ledger]. “On the other hand, I won a couple of six-packs by betting that Trump would be the next president. My theory was the same as [new Jersey pollster] Mayur’s: In a neck-and-neck race, the enthusiasm factor would win it for Trump.”


“if Trump had lost and his supporters had angrily taken to the streets, destroying private property and threatening police officers while proclaiming ‘not my president,’ would the mainstream media have characterized the rioters differently than it has the pro-Clinton rioters?” [Of Two Minds]. Interesting on “elite fragmentation.”

“Whenever the U.S. elections were mentioned at one of the many August-to-November hotel industry conferences held in the United Kingdom and Europe, huge grins would break out amid audiences, panelists and moderators alike. They all know how very serious an election is anywhere, especially in such a dominant and influential country as the U.S., but there were those grins” [Hotel News Notes]. “No one has ever grinned during an entire presidential election before. Even now they are not grinning at the institution, just at this specific election process, and that should be worrying.”

“Bernie and Elizabeth, the party is yours for the taking. The opening is there for you to channel all of the pain and anger among Democrats. Will you seize it?” [Juan Williams, The Hill].

“”People are still coming to grips with what the best direction of the committee should be,” said one Democratic source connected to the DNC, arguing that Clinton’s lead in the popular vote signals the “hearts and minds” of the country are with Democrats. “We have a lot of work to do in terms of winning races, especially in the House” [RealClearPolitics].

Stats Watch

No stats today. There aren’t any!

Mortgage Rates: “Rates are rising with the expectation of much larger deficits next year (tax cuts combined with more spending)” [Calcuated Risk].

Housing: “It appears we are starting to see a pickup in Real Estate licensees in California, although the number of Brokers is still declining” [Calculated Risk].

Retail: “Despite largescale hiring announcements from numerous major retailers, the number of October employment gains in the sector declined 21 percent from a year ago to 154,600. That was the fewest job gains to kick off the holiday hiring season since 2012” [Econintersect].

Gentlemen Prefer Bonds: “Following Trump’s election victory, there are expectations of a much more aggressive US fiscal policy with substantial tax cuts and higher spending commitments. From the bond market perspective, this is an extremely dangerous development” [Economic Calendar]. And we all know what James Carville said: “I used to think that if there was reincarnation, I wanted to come back as the president or the pope or as a .400 baseball hitter. But now I would like to come back as the bond market. You can intimidate everybody.” Have times changed?

UPDATE The Bezzle: “Sweden leads the race to become cashless society: [CNN]. What “race”?

UPDATE The Bezzle: “Facebook’s incredible ad sales machine is slowing down” [CNN]. I don’t know about you, but I regard an ad in Facebook as a reason not to buy the product; that it will be cheesy or fraudulent in some way. Perhaps I’m a Luddite?

UPDATE The Bezzle: “In 2015, Allegiant jets were forced to make unexpected landings at least 77 times for serious mechanical failures” [Tampa Bay Times]. “None of the 77 incidents prompted enforcement action from the Federal Aviation Administration, which doesn’t compare airline breakdown records to look for warning signs. To create such a comparison, Times reporters built a database of more than 65,000 records from the FAA.”

UPDATE The Bezzle: “Better read the fine print before suing Airbnb over alleged racial discrimination” [McClatchy]. Disputes go to arbitration.

UPDATE The Bezzle: “Increase in Airbnb rentals leads to huge rise in noise complaints” [Evening Standard]. “The dramatic increase is likely to be largely accounted for by a surge in the number of homes available for rent on Airbnb in the “party areas” of Clerkenwell, Old Street and Angel.” Party houses were being rented on Airbnb in, IIRC, Austin TX, with predictable consequences.

The Mysterious East: “Japan’s laundromat bubble shows no sign of bursting” [Japan Times].

Rapture Index: Closes up 1 on drug abuse (“Several states vote to legalize pot”) [Rapture Ready]. Record High: 189 (October 10, 2016). Current: 189. So that’s the only pop we get from the election? One miserable point?!

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 50 Neutral (previous close: 48, Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 26 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Nov 14 at 12:40pm.

Class Warfare

“US Cities Spending the Most (and Least) for 2016 Holiday Season” [247 Wall Street]. Average holiday budgets, most, Palo Alto, CA: $2,821. Least: Brockton, Massachusetts: $71. Quite a spread.

“Kicking the Malthusian Vice: Lessons from the Abolition of “Welfare” in the Late Nineteenth Century” (PDF) [Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance]. This is fun!

News of the Wired

“Review: Touch Bar MacBook Pros give an expensive glimpse at the Mac’s future” [Ars Technica]. “The more I use the Touch Bar, the more I become convinced of its potential utility. Even if you only ever use it to control system settings once you get used to it, I think it’s easier and more convenient to use than the old function buttons.” That’s it?

UPDATE “The NHS’s 1.2 million employees are currently trapped in a ‘reply-all’ email hell” [Business Insider] “A ‘test; email was accidentally sent to everyone who works at the UK health service — prompting a series of reply-all responses from annoyed recipients going out to all 1-million-plus employees of the organisations.”

“International Human Cell Atlas Initiative” [Sanger]. “By making the Atlas freely available to scientists all over the world, scientists hope to transform research into our understanding of human development and the progression of diseases such as asthma, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. In the future, the reference map could also point the way to new diagnostic tools and treatments.”

UPDATE “Legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki is unretiring to make one more Studio Ghibli film” [Daily Dot]. Awesome!!

UPDATE “[Cary Pint, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Vanderbilt University] headed a research team that used scraps of steel and brass – two of the most commonly discarded materials – to create the world’s first steel-brass battery that can store energy at levels comparable to lead-acid batteries while charging and discharging at rates comparable to ultra-fast charging supercapacitors” [Vanderbilt] “‘We’re seeing the start of a movement in contemporary society leading to a ‘maker culture’ where large-scale product development and manufacturing is being decentralized and scaled down to individuals or communities. So far, batteries have remained outside of this culture, but I believe we will see the day when residents will disconnect from the grid and produce their own batteries. That’s the scale where battery technology began, and I think we will return there,’ Pint said.”

* * *

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 (AM):

AM writes from Ireland: “Nerine bowdenii – what ever they are!! Pink!! Amazing to see such color in October. They were growing in a walled garden in Glenarm.”


Readers, Water Cooler is a standalone entity, not supported by the very successful Naked Capitalism fundraiser just past. Now, I understand you may feel tapped out, but when and if you are able, please use the dropdown to choose your contribution, and then click the hat! Your tip will be welcome today, and indeed any day. Water Cooler will not exist without your continued help.


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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. Eduardo Quince

    Dissident Mandela and President Mandela were very different Mandelas indeed

    A bit closer to home, I would add that Candidate Obama and President Obama were different Obamas indeed. IOW, there was a huge gap between his campaign rhetoric and how he actually governed. Let’s not jump to the conclusion that President Trump will be the same as Candidate Trump. I won’t hold my breath but I’m at least willing to give him the same chance I gave Obama (who turned out to be a profound disappointment).

    1. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

      Yes, President Obama was a huge disappointment.

      And as bad as I expect Trump will be, there’s a good chance he will be even worse, too.

      Note that the bank stocks ran up when Hillary was expected to win.

      Then Trump did win, and they went up even more. (E.g. Bank of America, up 3$ to 20 in just 3 days!)

      1. Eduardo Quince

        there’s a good chance he will be even worse

        Look on the bright side: the TPP has been declared dead and Trump hasn’t even taken office yet.

        1. visitor

          TPP, TISA, CETA, etc have been repeatedly declared dead — but they are still slogging through the ratification processes.

          They are not dead, but quite alive, albeit sickly.

          Never declare such treaties dead until you have seen them buried and a heavy tombstone placed on top of their burial mound.

          1. ek hornbeck

            Re: Kill It With Fire!

            I concur, TPP/TIPP/TISA Watch needs to be revised and expanded, not canceled.

            How about shifting focus a little to CETA, NAFTA, and the new Chinese Regional Agreements?

            ps. You might want to use sunlight, a wooden stake, a silver bullet, a vault of salt, and an Elder Stone too- “That is not dead which can eternal lie. And with strange aeons even death may die.”

          2. Barmitt O'bamney

            Dig them up and drive a stake through their hearts. And while we’re on the subject of the undead – Pres. Trump should definitely not shelve FBI investigations of the Clintons. He will be sorry if he does. People are trying to call his win illegitimate? He needs to shift the burden of perceived illegitimacy back onto her and her rapist husband. Shouldn’t be hard!

            Obama deliberately resuscitated the GOP when allowing a few simple investigations to roll forward on Iraq, wholesale violations of the Constitution by Bush, penny ante corruption (eg the Abramoff scandal) and bigtime corruption involving Cheney and Halliburton, and Wall Streets’ fraud pandemic, could have delegitimized the Republicans forever. The price he paid for his failure – regardless of his motive- was that he basically became a lame duck starting in 2011.

            1. craazyboy

              As far as the TPP, Obama said he was washing his hands of it and will leave it to the Donald and the R Congress to decide what to do. So that is not really “dead” yet.

              I don’t think Trump personally has to even do much with pursuing Hillary, and foundation. I think the R congress can do quite a bit, then once Trump has the reigns, just keep the DOJ from blocking things. I think Congress can appoint a Special Prosecutor on their own.

              1. Yves Smith

                The Donald can easily keep his hands clean. If he appoints Giuliani (now looking not likely) or Christie as AG (could he get him approved?), they’d be chomping at the bit to go after her.

                1. fajensen

                  They could easily “do” Huma Abedin for espionage by framing the infamous Yahoo! account as a dead-drop for foreign agents.

                  Then automatically and absolutely not due to any windictiveness what so ever from Trump, the Clintons and also The Foundation will be dragged into the investigation. Then RICO the foundation, that should do it.

            2. aab

              Depends on your definition of lame duck. Freed of any burden to deliver for the Democratic base, he droned, tore at the Constitution, nibbled away at Social Security and Medicare. I think he actually did quite a bit. Most of it bad.

              The Iran deal was good, right?

                1. aab

                  As crisp, refreshing and soothing as a good hard cider. Merci, Lambert.

                  (Not snark, to be extra clear. That actually made me feel better — probably the “lunatic Secretary of State” styling. Yes, there’s that.)

        2. fajensen

          It is written in the Necronomicon:

          “That is not dead which can eternal lie,
          And with strange aeons even death may die.”

          Abdul Alhazred

          When the stars are right TTIP, CETA and TISA will rise again and wreak havoc on the planet.

          Reminds me that I should donate another 50 EUR to “Stop TTIP”, just in case.

      2. Pete

        I never liked candidate Obama. As far as I am concerned he is basically the democrat Trump. It drove me crazy how he never said anything of substance but people projected shit onto him and loved him. He was always an obvious centrist at best when you actually listened to him. Yes he didnt do some of the things he said he would but really he seems the same to me.

        1. Spring Texasn

          card check, immigration reform proposed to congress in the first year, public option — yes he did renege on things he said

        2. aab

          I’m sorry. That’s commonly held revisionist thinking that once again blames the victims — I mean, the voters.

          No, he wasn’t a Democratic Socialist. But he certainly did run far to the left of where he governed, and reneged on numerous campaign promises — in fact, most of them.

          My personal favorite? Those comfortable shoes. Remember how he was going to put on comfortable shoes and walk picket lines? Good times. Nobody and no institution stopped him from doing that.

          1. John k

            Nobody stopped him from jailing bankers.
            He received more from bankers than clinton in 08… how did they know how dependable he would be in standing between them and pitchforks?
            Missing tapes…

      3. john

        I think there is no difference between Mitt Romney and Donald Trump, except Trump used the word Muslims and said that the wars made us unsafe.

        Maybe we hate him because he’s low-class?

    2. Kim Kaufman

      I listened to only parts of Obama’s press conference earlier. He was still trying to promote it, saying TPP was a good deal for workers, etc. As long as there are corporations looking to make profits, and politicians looking for campaign contributions, that thing and things like it are not going to die.

      1. Carolinian

        I watched some of it and Obama looked like he was munching on glass–didn’t seem very happy to be there at all. He said Trump would not be the usual president because Trump is “not ideological.” That sounds true. If the Democrats had any power left they could probably make deals with him. It could be Trump is so far playing along with the Repub leaders because he needs results for the greater glory of Donald. Guess we’ll find out soon enough if he really is “ideological.”

      2. cwaltz

        Well he’s got to keep on letting the corporations know he’s going to be available for speaking engagements soon.

      1. RMO

        All my laptops have been Macs, the two computers I set my Mum up with were Macs, every media player I’ve ever had except the very first one has been an iPod. The Macbook I’m currently typing on is going to be my last Mac computer unless the company smartens up. Lately it seems like they’ve managed to wedge their corporate head so far up their corporate anus they’re in grave danger of turning inside out.

        I’ve never owned an iPhone though. My first smartphone was a Samsung which was meh and when it came time to replace it I seriously considered going back to a simple phone. Eventually I got another Android smartphone when I found one that had a week-long plus battery life. Of course it’s heavy, rubber armored and waterproof and the colour scheme makes it look like it was built by DeWalt but being able to go seven days straight without charging and still have power in reserve makes it worth all that.

    1. fajensen

      Good. I am looking for an older MacBook Pro for wifey since the designers designed away the “magsafe” connector which was a really neat idea and topped that decision with “meh – nothing happened since 2010”-hardware.

      The Pharaohs had the right idea: Designers will keep on designing until the actual product becomes useless to anyone except Designers. The judicious Lord of The land knows that Designers must be stopped at some point.

  2. Vatch

    A special shout-out to Lori Wallach!

    I agree! Will Trump offer her a job in his administration? Probably not.

    1. Jeff W

      I agree, also! Every media appearance I saw Lori Wallach on—usually Democracy Now!—she was crystal clear, very informative and very persuasive!

  3. Kim Kaufman

    “…said one Democratic source connected to the DNC, arguing that Clinton’s lead in the popular vote signals the “hearts and minds” of the country are with Democrats.”

    I think those hearts and minds came primarily from the very big and very blue state of CA and the large and very blue NYC. Waiting to see the final numbers. I also saw someplace that the number of blank votes for president in Michigan far exceeded the number of votes Trump won by. I left mine blank. At the end of the day, I decided that the Green party was just too incompetent for me to vote for and that Jill Stein was just annoying.

    And then there’s this:

    Soros bands with donors to resist Trump, ‘take back power’

    Major liberal funders huddle behind closed doors with Pelosi, Warren, Ellison, union bosses, to lick wounds, retrench.


    1. Katniss Everdeen

      As of this afternoon, msnbs is reporting that clinton is ahead in the popular vote by 700,000 votes.

      A considerably lower number than the “nearly 2,000,000” predicted a day or so ago.

      But, considering each voter presumably has one heart and one mind, maybe they meant to take each vote X 2.

      Still short but closer.

      1. Steve C

        How did “the one who is electable” and who supposedly was the most qualified candidate since James Buchanan get close enough to the human dumpster fire to get it snatched away from her?

        1. aab

          California is apparently hiring workers to work 12 hours a day 7 days a week to count the provisional ballots. That strikes me as extremely odd. I heard about this through a flukey source, so maybe it’s a normal thing that I just never happened to learn about before.

          But I worked the polls in June, and my understanding then — when provisional ballots would have mattered much, much more for the top line — was that some counties counted them all, some counties wouldn’t unless it was very close. Why are they hiring urgently a week AFTER the election? Shouldn’t this hiring issue have been dealt with weeks ago? It won’t change California’s electoral votes. It won’t change any of the glamour races.

          I’m honestly mystified.

      1. fajensen

        Hrumph. Welding that closed-door shut with Soros on the inside would be a better start, IMO.

        Maybe we need stakes, crucifixes and garlic too to keep everything contained.

          1. HopeLB

            Too bad there is no mechanism for the age groups that will be most impacted by climate change to control all policies that most affect it, but this would probably mean that most of our economic and political systems be handed over to the young. The elders could only be advisors.

            1. fajensen

              The elders could only be advisors.
              That was how “traditional” society used to be run, even “here”, only maybe 50 years ago. I think I blame the hippies – first their generation managed to perform one of the largest cultural revolutions since ever and then they went full-on retard and clamped down really hard on all of the elements that drove their “revolution” – wage growth, full employment, social security, freedom of expression, drugs … and so on.

              The 1968 generation simply refuse to let go and if they can kick away all the ladders they used to reach their positions, god-dammit they will!

              Hence our children have to pay for education, so they don’t “unfairly” complete with their children – people like me – who didn’t have to pay and had plenty of freedom to do other things while studying.

              1. John Zelnicker

                @fajensen – The hippie-punching is really getting old – and it’s wrong. It wasn’t the hippies who “clamped down”, etc., it was the conservatives such as the ones who continued to wear coats and ties after we eliminated the dress code for dinner at Freshman Commons.

                Starting approximately from the Powell Manifesto of 1971, the conservatives have worked a coordinated plan to promote the corporatism and financialization of *everything* under which we currently suffer. If the left had kept their eye on the ball and rejected the neo-liberal canard that government is incompetent and worthless, we might have been able to effectively fight the conservative corporate takeover.

                See Bill Mitchell’s billy blog for analysis of how the left has failed to be an effective counter to the neo-liberal takeover.

    2. Eduardo Quince

      Clinton’s lead in the popular vote signals the “hearts and minds” of the country are with Democrats.”

      Glen Greenwald raining on the “hearts and minds” parade:

      GG: Yeah, she did win the popular vote; I think she probably will end up winning the popular vote by a few hundred thousand votes or so. So a relatively small margin. A big reason why she’s going to win the popular vote is because the number of votes she received in places like New York City and California increase significantly over what even Obama received in large part obviously due to fear and horror over the prospect of a Trump presidency. But I think that that’s really cold comfort for a couple of reasons. Number one is because campaigns don’t cater themselves to the popular vote but to the Electoral College. Who knows what the popular vote total would have been had Trump spent time in California or New York trying to increase his vote total in those places. He instead ignored those as he should have done and we have an Electoral College system, that’s where the campaigns devote themselves to winning.


    3. Rhondda

      “Major liberal funders huddle behind closed doors with Pelosi, Warren, Ellison, union bosses, to lick wounds, retrench.”

      So I got a bunch of emails from OurRevolution urging me to support Ellison for some dem insider position. I paid so little attention I can’t even remember what. The moment I saw that their pitch was that I should support him because he’s Muslim, I just tossed it. I am done with this identity politics.

  4. Plenue

    Just throwing this out there, but is there a possibility of a third faction in a Democratic Party civil war? What about the cynical pragmatists like James Carville, who correctly view political parties as simply machines for winning elections? Such people simply want to win, and it should be abundantly clear to them that the identity politics, wall street, and hang the left approach has run its course. They might be searching for an alternative way to get votes, which will put them at odds with the neoliberal true believers.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Carville is a Clinton henchman and married to Mary Matalin. He has no power outside Clinton largess.

    2. dk

      Thing is, when politics is the job you do for money, winning isn’t really the thing. The thing is getting donors to pay you to promote candidates and issues that appeal to them. But actually winning every time is not necessary, and is in fact seen as counterproductive; if there are no more enemies and evils, what is there to sell? Losing by a couple of points can be more “productive” than winning.

      The voters are not the market, they’re the product. Hanging the left will sell (to $$$ donors) as long as there’s a left to hang. Keep in mind that hoisting and then trashing a progressive or two (or ten) is not a problem, as long as it’s all paid for. The trick here is to promote a prog/leftie for a seat they can’t actually win, for example in a heavily conservative district. Meanwhile the prog/left gets gradually (re-)rebranded as can’t-win. Just like Bernie, so close, by hey, lefties just can’t win.

      It will take a sustained grassroots effort to create effective voting blocs and seat engaged prog/left representatives. And then that progressive change must produce a stable economy, redistribute prosperity, and oh by the way, not burn the planet to a cinder in the meantime; let’s see where we stand in 20 years (I’ll be long dead by then though).

      This is what it looks like today: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/11/links-111416.html#comment-2708477

    1. Carolinian

      Oops see it was linked this morning. Needs double link anyway. Non-pay full stream doesn’t seem to be available.

  5. alex morfesis

    1 million dead or mangled bodies later…100 years ago the battle of somme was ending…as the canadian tank made its move to get hold of the dessauer/desire support trench…the first snows of the winter would hit on the night of the 17th-18th…and a grand total of 6 miles had been taken in the first battle with tanks in the meat grinder that had lasted 5 months.

    food inflation in the usa was at 100% as reported by the federal government of woodrow wilson…

    1. Jess

      I can’t agree. I’m not down with this never speak ill of the dead. I spoke ill of Tony Snow when he went south to meet Lucifer and I’ll speak equally ill of Gwen Ifill, who was a Dem faux proggy hack just like the rest. Peace and serenity? I think she deserves a few eons in the big brick oven instead. But look at the bright side: at least she lived long enough to see Hellary go down.

      1. integer

        I’m not down with this never speak ill of the dead.

        I agree. Be discerning, but don’t be afraid to tell the truth. People shouldn’t expect to escape criticism after death if they were parasites in life, especially if they are/were part of public life. There is power in taking control of the narrative.

      2. Carolinian

        I was no fan of her work but

        I think she deserves a few eons in the big brick oven


        What was shocking about Ifill’s passing is that she became gravely ill and continued to work as though nothing was wrong even though on television every night. Whatever you think about her competence or politics that takes a certain courage to which we can all relate. People are never just one thing.

        1. fresno dan

          I always thought what I liked about her was that she didn’t take it so seriously and THAT SHE WAS NICE (generally, I like big words like gracious or equanimous – but I think nice is the best word – or maybe pleasant ;) ). I learned that she was a preachers’s daughter tonight from watching PBS – maybe that was it….

          Me and Gwen were born in the same year, and I suspect i don’t have many years beyond how many she spent on this mortal coil. When I was young, I used to wish I was smarter, and when I was older, I used to wish I was rich. Now that the end of my journey down life’s highway draws nearer, I wish I had been nicer…or more pleasant


        2. Waldenpond

          Working to the end is not admirable. The vast majority work for income not interaction. Working to the end at hard labor with poor health care is not the same as someone with a well paid position and excellent health care spending time with associates that are longtime friends and companions.

      3. Uahsenaa

        I never wish anyone death. In fact, in certain cases, I wish them a very long, drawn out life. For instance, I hope some day a frothing at the mouth Henry Kissinger has to rely on a Cambodian nurse just to eat properly. Here’s hoping she spirits away all his china and silver.

        But to keep things in perspective, Gwen Ifill was a hack (like nearly all broadcast journalists), not a mass murderer. Plenty of people are delusional; that doesn’t mean they should burn.

  6. Altandmain

    The Democrats need a thorough house cleaning.

    The good news about the Trump win is that the Establishment Democrats have been discredited. Clinton did not prove more “electable”. If anything she managed to alienate the Midwest.

    It will be tough for the left to take the Democratic Party. They are in for a long slog because they Democrats will fight tooth and nail to keep the corporate money.

    1. RUKidding

      Whenever the Dems lose, they shift right. But of course, it’s the left who’s f*cking r*tarded and should get drug tested, even though the country – if questioned correctly by polls – tends to trend leftward.

      My expectation is that Dems will fight to push the party further right. After all, Trump’s now a fascist, so the Dems can claim the “Center-Right” as their own. Wasn’t Clinton more interested in attracting Center-Right Republicans than those nasty smelly r*tarded leftist peons earning under $1million/year???

      1. hunkerdown

        Michael Tracey gets it. What’s needed here is posture:

        Anyone who promoted HRC during the primary is not fit to offer advice on how to “move forward.” Ignore them. They are failures and frauds.

        They should be begging for forgiveness, not demanding that their will be imposed.

          1. aab

            And yet, for institutional reasons, they have all the standing. I have no idea how we get them out of the way.

            Tracey was fired by Vice — on election day, IIRC — for repeating a report someone else did about how Lena Dunham didn’t vote in the primaries, as she was merrily stumping for Hillary. The report was apparently accurate. He didn’t break the story himself. But that was apparently the last straw. I hope he finds something. He should be working.

            Matt Bruenig showed on Twitter again, literally HOURS after the election had been called. That was the first sense I had that Clinton really had been vanquished. I think he lost his primary job, as well. I guess the Clintonians can keep blacklisting him through their private networks. Shame. (For those unaware, he’s a leftist blogger who didn’t genuflect on Twitter for Joan Walsh and Neera Tanden, so they got him fired from his job working for Demos the week his wife was due to give birth, and continued to work to get him fired from his other source of employment as a lawyer; they apparently achieved that goal, as well.)

            1. hunkerdown

              By un-standing, that is, withdrawing our allegiance from, their institutions. One might start here: “Liberalism has no claim whatsoever to moral authority unless it provides for the common good, without exception, without excuses, without drama, and without begging its own moral question.” Which gives the business wing no reason to be involved.

              We can only be “net out” if we allow ourselves to be “net out”.

              Remember, the only reason these are institutions is because a lot of people choose to grant them that status. It’s a habit worth reconsidering.

    1. Anon

      Well, in the Middle East it’s an everyday occurrence. Thanks to arms sales from your wonderful government.

  7. mcdee

    “We have a lot of work to do in terms of winning races, especially in the House” They could start by not nominating terrible candidates.

  8. JustAnObserver

    Is that War Drums `severed head in a cooler’ some kind of indirect reference to the beginning of Phillip Pullman’s Northern Lights (Golden Compass in the US) ?

    Donald Trump searching for the meaning of `dust’ ?

    1. begob

      Or the end credits of Dawn Of The Dead remake: Oh noes – we just landed on zombie island and we’ve run out of fuel.

  9. LT

    Cashless society…
    I hope I’m long gone before that.
    When did it become necessary that everything you buy become the business of merchants 24/7?
    Why is that ok?
    I’m already sick about all the other info the rat b – – tards thought it would be cool to make available about people online.
    When can we tell these nosy marketers to f off?

    1. polecat

      I wonder what the ratio of ‘cashless vs non-cashless’ opinion is .. between ‘liberals’ vs everyone else ?

  10. Springtime for Hifter

    Thank you for the useful digest of initiatives for deep Democratic reconstruction. I am particularly encouraged by the prospect of thoroughgoing renewal of the oblast First Secretariat, rehabilitation of the Ogarkov cadre, and uskoreniye through cooperative enterprise to eradicate persistent bottlenecks. New thinking will expeditiously restore the force and vigor of the Party!

  11. Benedict@Large

    I sincerely hope that Soros is not gathering with the Dynasty Democrats to help them through their trauma. That group didn’t just lose two presidential elections since 2000 that should have been in the bag. They also got smashed over this same period in number of House members, Senate members, governorships, and state legislatures, and even had the incredible audacity to literally give a Supreme Court seat away to the far right.

    Sorry, but that is a complete failure for a political party. That is people out for themselves, and simply not doing their jobs.

    1. JTMcPhee

      …but the Dynasty Democrats, you have to note, are doing just fine, personally, as a group — see Pelosi and so many others… so why should they give a toot about what happens to anyone else? It’s not like they have to do more than a lip-service pretense to the proles every so often, with a steady buzz and drone from their media generators…

  12. Marianne

    “Nerine bowdenii – what ever they are!” In the U.S., we call them “Naked Ladies,” and they are beautiful!

    1. polecat

      Nerine sp. are ‘related’ to Amaryllis, which are, I think, what you’re referring to …..

      nerines are a bit smaller in stature and flower size …….

      I had a dwarf of species of Nerine that only grew about 10″, and had dull orange blooms …….

      I forget the sp.name …. oh wait …I remember now .. it was Nerine trumpensis …yeah, that was it …… ‘;]

      all joking aside, I’m really sorry I didn’t dig up some bulbs when I moved … as it was rather rare and hard to acquire …. ‘:[

  13. Bev

    Please consider tomorrow’s Links animal photo and Watercooler plant pictures to be from the following, because animal lovers are most often human rights lovers too.


    Animals Nov. 14, 2016 11:21AM EST

    Video Shows Wild Buffalo Held Without Food or Water Near Dakota Access Pipeline Construction Site

    Lorraine Chow

  14. clarky90

    Humans tend to follow their leaders, for good or for bad. It is our nature as hominids. The last USA president that I loved and enthusiastically followed was JF Kennedy. I don’t know why I adored him. I was 13 years old when he died. I have felt his absence to this very day. My eyes have just welled up, remembering……..

    IMO, since Kennedy, the USA has had a series of weak, self serving or sociopath leaders. The Government has been infested by the worst type of people- like carrion predators drawn to a carcass. The good people in organizations, in my experience, are usually meek cowards, who “go along to get along”. They want to do the right thing, but will not. There are not that many heroic Edward Snowdens and Chelsea Mannings in this world.

    When my boys were in the school system, I experienced the impact that a school principal can have on the ethos of the entire school. An awful, bullying, all boys high school, became a wonderful learning/sporting/social environment with a new and descent Headmaster. A lovely country primary/intermediate school turned into a nightmarish place when a rotten, disinterested principal took over. Many of us parents pulled our kids out and moved them to a school five kilometers down the road.

    My point. I think that Trump will be a great president. The first since JFK. Trump is a good person, imo, and a commanding leader. The psychopaths will crawl back under their rocks, where they belong. The good, descent people will suddenly be infused with courage, and step forward and take control of Government, social and business life. It will be a miracle. Take courage.

    Disclaimer- I was completely wrong about O’Bomber in 2008. (I cried with joy when he won. I should have wailed at the misery he was about to unleash on the World and it’s peoples)

  15. Jim Haygood

    Trash talk from the Junk man:

    European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker last week accused Mr Trump of ignorance.

    “We must teach the president-elect what Europe is and how it works. I believe we’ll have two years of wasted time while Mr Trump tours a world he doesn’t know.”


    Wow, that’s rude. Especially coming from a region that’s received seventy (70) years of US largesse, in the form of enormous defense subsidies.

    Maybe we should thank Mr Juncker, for making it that much easier to pull the plug on uppity rich white folks who now feel entitled not only to take our subsidies, but also to diss our political leaders.

    1. RUKidding

      Well the Euro-Trash “Aristocracy” like Junkers have always looked down on us barbarians in the New World. All of course with their hands out accepting our bribes, er, largess. Junkers feels entitled to diss Trump because most of the M$M in the USA has done so, themselves. Ergo, it’s open season for dissing the US POTUS… who is now refusing to reach so deeply into our pockets for their benefit.

      Where does all of that money go, anyway? I ask that in seriousness. I mean, I know where in general, but has there ever been any sort of accountability? Again: serious Q.

      1. polecat

        Limos, fancy restaurants, fine suits, hookers & blow…. or wine .. or both, off-shore secret spoils accts. expensive housing ??

        1. RUKidding

          Eh? Just as I thought. No wonder Junkers is so upset. It spoils all his plans for leading the good good life at the expense of US taxpayers.

      2. Jim Haygood

        For a quarter century, the Defense Dept has been unable to achieve a clean audit opinion.

        This is likely by design, to conceal a $50 billion-plus black budget, plus several times more in opportunistic fraud which piggybacks on opaque accounting.

        If banksters should go to jail, so should some generals.

        1. voteforno6

          Send generals to jail? Tsk tsk, you obviously don’t support the troops (except sending some generals to jail would probably be extremely popular within the ranks).

    2. Barmitt O'Bamney

      I believe you will have two years before another major European nation declares it’s independence from your bloodsucking tyranny, Jean Claude. Two years tops. And it may be more than country involved the prison break. Your time is drawing to a close. Order more champagne and caviar and enjoy yourself fully in the time you have left.

      1. Jim Haygood


        Anthony Coughlan is adamant that Ireland should follow the UK out. He points to two thirds of Ireland’s foreign trade being done outside the eurozone and says a special bilateral deal with the UK is necessary. However, this cannot happen while Brussels controls trade.

        In his thinking on the matter, Coughlan agrees with Financial Times columnist Wolfgang Munchau who argued if Brexit was hard, the Irish economic model might be unsustainable unless Britain is followed out of the EU.

        Socialist Party TD Paul Murphy holds the same view.

        “The EU has championed austerity and neoliberal policies, and right-wing governments who won’t deliver for ordinary people.”

        He says the radical economic changes his party call for are all illegal under EU law.


        Italy first, or Eire first? Surely Paddy Power will offer us a line on that wager.

        1. clinical wasteman

          Both at once and all the rest to follow — BUT immediately afterwards to re-merge under none of the previous treaties, and leaving the frivolous post-1914 borders in the historical trashcan where they belong. And ditching the world-historically bigoted ‘European-only’ part too. Or else: nobody should secede at all, including the United Feudal Kingdom, but the 1648-style borders and the European Exceptionalism must still go. National-feudal elites are even worse than supranational ones (please do visit and watch the anglo-landLordship raiding its ex-colonial poor!), but the supranational sort are even more powerful and can only be pulled down supranationally. Ergo, as Georg Buechner put it, totgeschlagen!, first the first kind, then the second.

    3. I Have Strange Dreams

      You’re blathering nonsense once again, Jim. The US made out like bandits thanks to WWII and its aftermath. The US does not engage in largesse. It makes investments. Even for a gold-bug, you are naive.

      1. Temporarily Sane

        The “US propping up Europe with largess” line is bullshit. The last thing the Empire wants is Europe becoming independent and getting odd ideas, like freeing itself of the United States military that’s been camped out there since 1945 or, god forbid, trade with Russia. Europe, especially the EU, works for the US as it’s easier to control. Before the Brexit referendum Obama went to the UK pleading with its citizens to vote in favor of remaining in the EU.

        1. Ruben

          It’s a two-way system. European leaders get defense subsidies at the expense of the American taxpayer and USA leaders get support for their hubris at the expense of European dignity.

    4. integer

      It has been hilarious watching corrupt world leaders writhing around in their impotence. As far as Australia goes, Turnbull and co. were blindsided, after having placed all their (nest) eggs in Clinton’s basket of non-deplorables. Hahaha.

  16. Leigh

    You posted a link the other day to Nestle CEO declaring water not being a human right.

    Why the media blackout on this story? I could not find a single news source outside of the link you provided.

    Dunno.. this seems too freakin’ important of an issue/potential issue to be ignored.

    1. RUKidding

      Nestle’s been saying that for quite some time now. Why is there a media black out? Why did you expect anything else? Not trying to diss you, personally, but this is how it works anymore. Nestle’s gets all these super great contracts to bottle water in drought-stricken California, and when the citizens show to protest this, guess what happens? That’s right, the “Democratic” mayors send out the SWAT teams to drag them off to the hooos-gow, and none of the MSM outlets cover it at all.

      You’d think in a drought-stricken state that might be news, wouldn’t you??

      1. Knot Galt

        There was recently a large class action lawsuit about water rights that was between small family farms and corporate America. It went into arbitration and the judges maintained giving the water rights to firms like Nestle and the US Government. The outcome has been that small enterprise and any remaining families no longer have rights to access water for their enterprise(s).

        When the former CEO and now Chairman says water is not a Right he is only affirming what the courts have already stated in deed and action. Even more shocking is this in CA and under the governance of Dem. Governor Jerry Brown.

      2. Waldenpond

        Republicans will demand privatization, the progressives will respond with insufficient regulations, the liberals will respond with the typical bureaucratic insufficient transfer payments (corporate welfare) for the less fortunate and bad-a-bing we end up with privatized water.

        It’s almost as if Ds are R-lite.

      3. fajensen

        Well, as Joe Frazier or Hunter S. Thompson once said: “Kill the body and the head will die”. Eventually.

        Just putting this out there: Those factories are awfully co-dependent on a lot of really brittle physical infrastructure, those sales and cash flows relies on brand awareness – the Nestle brand could become associated with other things as it were, finally, those SWAT guys are dependent on a lot of smart but quite shallow digital infrastructure – like people organising their protests on corporate-sponsored “social” media instrumented for the security services and “private contractors”.

        Anything Analogue today, is nearly Invisible to all the “war on terror”-Brainiacs. For analogue resistance, they have to send out agents, which strains the budget and available manpower and provide a reservoir of people who could potentially show up on TV or in congress hearings later. Which limits the excesses, the reason Obama has a hard-on for drones is that robots don’t testify.

    2. jrs

      It probably is a human right though, in the United Nations declaration of human rights. Nestle vs the U.N..

      1. Tvc15

        Unfortunately, Nestle, DBA Poland Springs in Maine is already executing on their water privatization vision. This summer, the head of the Lewiston – Auburn Chamber of Commerce was given a platform on the op-ed page in the local paper to sing their praises and state that, “Poland Springs is a model corporate citizen.” This “model corporate citizen” abuses an out-dated absolute dominion policy that allows them to pump out as much water from the aquifer as they can to export in plastic bottles.

        What could possibly go wrong with Swiss based Nestle’s global water privatization strategy?

        1. wilroncanada

          Wow! The local paper, as well as a western Canadian progressive web news site, have both pronounced on the Nestle-water outrage. (Confession: my daughter is editor of the local paper.) It is also old news, as well as new news in places. And Nestle are not the only trans-national culprits.

  17. Jim Haygood

    An inherent feature of bonds is that the longer their maturity (all else equal), the greater their interest rate sensitivity. Some Irish 100-year bonds have been smashed to a 29% loss in the past six weeks. Chart:


    Awkwardly, Basel III allows banks to treat qualified sovereign bonds as Level 1 assets — the same as cash. But unlike cash, bonds — even highly rated sovereign bonds — can suffer severe price declines when rates rise.

    Highly leveraged European banks are loaded with sovereign bonds. You can almost hear them screaming, “Make it stop! Please, make it stop!”

    Maybe it will stop. America’s greatest bond bulls, Hoisington Management in Austin, run a long Treasury fund with an average maturity of 28 years. Today Hoisington felt obliged to issue an interim report to steady the nerves of clients who feel like they’re on a down elevator with the cables cut. Excerpts:

    In effect, markets have tightened monetary conditions without the Fed acting. Another negative is that the dollar has risen this year, currently trading close to its 13 year high.

    The upcoming tax package may do little more than contain the additional negative momentum developing within the economy.

    It is our judgment that the declining secular trend in Treasury bond yields remains intact.

    Brave. But also perilous, in that the Fed piling another straw on the camel’s back next month might just break it. Over to you, J-Yel.

    1. fajensen

      Awkwardly, Basel III allows banks to treat qualified sovereign bonds as Level 1 assets — the same as cash

      Basel II, the same stupidity.

      I mean, who can resist the opportunity offered by placing Greek bonds yielding – ah dunno – 6, 7, 10% as Level 1 assets? The Rules say there is Zero risk, so nobody will even get fired for this, preserving those special risk management skills for the future.

      But this time we are much more experienced and we have so many acronyms EFSF, ESM and EFSM spreading the losses around fairly to everyone who didn’t get any of the gains, so surely it will go totally differently this time.

  18. robnume

    OMG, Lambert, thank you, and the Tampa Bay Times for this important story on an airline I’d never even heard of: Allegiant. With a safety record like theirs, this is one airline I will definitely never, ever fly. It is beyond comprehension that the FAA has done nothing to protect the traveling public. Another federal agency experiencing “regulatory capture?” Good grief.

    1. RMO

      The FAA mandate is both to regulate and promote air travel so they are a little compromised right from the start. A lot of the safety in U.S. aviation hangs on the professionalism and integrity of the employees because the FAA isn’t really all that powerful or present so if the company starts rotting from the head there’s only the “little people” to resist it. There were people at Alaska that did all they could inside the company to stop what they saw as deficient practices and some blew the whistle too. They got railroaded out of their jobs. Eventually they lost a loaded plane due to maintenance deficiencies. The people at the company that covered things up are still working. Those who did the ethical thing and tried to keep people from being killed will probably never work in the industry again.

  19. allan

    Mary Jo White to Step Down as S.E.C. Chief [Dealbook]

    … With turnover at the S.E.C., Ms. White’s legacy could be in jeopardy as well.

    She oversaw a record number of enforcement actions and directed a rapid pace of rule-writing based not only on Dodd-Frank, but on regulations of her own making. [Remember, this is Dealbook.]Those initiatives were aimed at improving money market fund regulation and the broader asset management industry.

    “I think what we’ve done so far has been quite transformative and really modernized that core responsibility,” Ms. White said in a recent interview.

    Yet Ms. White has not completed more than a dozen rules, nor has she formalized a plan to require that financial advisers act in their client’s best interests. Now that these initiatives will fall into the hands of a Republican chairman, they may come off the agenda. …

    Mission accomplished.

  20. Katharine

    Am I the only one who disliked the end of the Juan Williams piece? It would be so shallow and counterproductive to act as if a couple of celebrity figures were all that was needed to fix/save/your-choice-of-word-here the Democratic Party. It’s going to take a lot more honest talk and hard thinking than that.

      1. Katharine

        You may well be right; I’m certainly not optimistic, but I see no point at all in the simplistic hero model Williams suggested.

    1. Uahsenaa

      Sandernistas are already making moves to take over state parties, which was made much easier by HRC’s defeat. From there they can move to take over state houses, so that hopefully by the time of the next gerry–err, redistricting, they’ll be able to undo some of the damage done after the 2010 census. From there, you can cultivate candidates for the House and Senate.

      It will be far more effective and longer lasting if this works from the ground up. Then the neoliberals left in the party can crow all they want, because power will have been taken from them from below.

      1. Anon

        It seems the Red State gerrymandering will take more than Sandernistas to repair. The “redistricted” boundaries are in place to secure the longevity of Republican governors and state legislators. (Not just imbalance the Electoral College.)

        What needs to change are the attitude and awareness of the general population (and where they live) before political change is forthcoming.

        1. bob

          It might be a good time to start, for a longer term project. Under 4 years til the next census and therefore, more re-redistricting.

          The way it’s looking now, without a major change in momentum, the repubs will rule, unchallenged, at the state level.

          1. kimsarah

            Republicans have organization all the way down to dog catcher at the local level.
            Dems do not. The structure — except what’s left of the bitter Clintonites still in denial — is dead. The Clintons strangled the party in favor of their trickle up approach that took care of them and a few of their friends.
            Whoever becomes the next DNC chair will have an impossible task of rebuilding the structure from the bottom up over the next four to eight years. And that’s if they even bother trying.
            We’ll see if the true progressives take a stab at resurrecting the party. That could get ugly.

  21. Waldenpond

    Lambert [I defined victory in 2016 as the emergence of independent voices for the left in the centers of power, distinct from the hitherto dominant liberal voices in the Democrat Party, for which I envision a hostile takeover, followed by a management shakeup, including any necessary defenestrations. I believe that victory to be fragile, but real.]

    The R party is traditional conservatism of small govt (limited taxes), fiscal conservatism (limited safety net) and private property. With the rise of religion and national security, the party fractured between traditionalists and libertarians. Disparate interests predicted to fail.

    On the other side was the rise of liberalism (in part against communism) as a social movement purged not only the communists but the socialists and was left without counterbalancing mechanisms.

    Republicans demand limited taxes. The other side complies with respect to the top class of society and through corporations yet the rest are subjected to complicated regimes of taxation.

    The Rs are content to allow a minimal safety net as a protective buffer for capitalism and liberal politicians not only comply but subject people to transfer payments with complicated qualification, compliance and state enforcement regimes instead of broad based programs.

    The Rs support private property. Except for land set aside for environmental protection (use cheaply sold for private interests) there is not only no push for democratic ownership of the means of production, it is completely rebuffed.

    The Rs use religion to enforce their morality on others while the Ds pandered for votes, abandoned separation of state and respond to encroachment of rights (reducing grants, limiting access) with gestures towards more transfer payments and regulation that are cumbersome, bureaucratic and inherently insufficient to the issue.

    The Rs support a strong national security state. The Ds support a strong national security state. Obama has richly rewarded war profiteers to a degree that makes Dick Cheney blush.

    Republicans demand limited safety net. Liberals demand transfer payments. Socialists support broad based programs. Republicans support private ownership. Liberals support private ownership. (Liberals don’t just support private ownership, they are vesting corporations with a large degree of policy making and enforcement) Socialists support democratic ownership of the means of production (co-ops) and a reduction of power if not elimination of the corporate charter as currently used.

    As someone that would like to see corporations with less power and more democratically owned businesses and broader based programs, I am more on the ‘socialist’ side of the economic equation.

    One indication of a leftward shift for me, would have been more ‘socialist’ ‘democratic socialist’ language as the party would have to make systemic changes from it’s current policy recommendations. I haven’t seen a sign within the party yet.

  22. Paid Minion

    Alliegiant,,,,,, (musings from an almost 40 year veteran of the jet fixing bizness).

    Duh……..old airplanes break. Flying old airplanes is a nice way of keeping fares low. Nobody gives a $##t about how old the airplane is, or who’s doing the maintenance, all they see is the cheap ticket price.

    At least Allegiant does a bunch of their maintenance in the USA. Well, they try to. I’m sure some stuff was deferred, because they didn’t have the manpower or parts to fix it. Thanks to 40 years of pay cuts, “Lean Manufacturing”, airplanes still flying ten years after the last new parts were built, and the bean counters bitching about “excess inventory”, it’s getting harder and harder to get airplanes fixed.

    Nobody that has half a brain goes into airplane maintenance anymore because of the pay. Working conditions and hours still suck, and are getting worse. Nobody builds enough spares, they don’t want to carry the inventory, figuring someone else will take that financial load. Nobody wants to pay for training. Nobody wants to pay for tools.

    Thanks to typical US Quality management, aviation workers “have been doing so much, with so little, for so long………they can now do the impossible with nothing.”

    Try getting this data on other airlines, especially in Asia, Africa or South America. They have no problems, because they don’t track any problems.

    A bunch of these issues are relatively minor problems, but John Q. Idiot Public has watched too many “Airline disaster” movies. The same people you see crying over Hillary’s azz-kicking are the same people screaming in terror when some minor problem occurs with the airplane.

    Alliegiant operates out of Orlando and Las Vegas. Hot and humid airports. Even if they had new airplanes, they would be seeing more engine compressor stalls and higher ITTs than anybody flying out of ORH/MSP/DET/JFK.

    And lets talk about “flying with broke stuff”. All airlines and Transport Category aircraft have this little document called the “Minimum Equipment List”, and an associated “Maintenance and Operations Manual” and “Non-Essential Furnishings Manual” It gives you a list of maintenance and operational steps approved by the aircraft OEM and the FAA to safely fly the airplane with “something broke/inop”. Requires a sign off by both the mechanics and the flight crew.

    1. Synapsid

      Paid Minion,

      Las Vegas is humid? You visited maybe during a record monsoon?

      We call that region desert out here in the West.

  23. integer

    Once again South Africa is destroying Australia on the cricket pitch. This is going to be a long summer.

  24. Phil King

    Saw this over weekend, had missed it.


    James Woolsey as Trump’s national security adviser. Things are proceeding swimmingly for Trump & Co, and the party in general – they’re by and large within shouting distance of the promised land of party unity.

    Trump’s not getting rolled – to think so is to misinterpret what’s gelling – but he and his coalition are certainly on a roll. Nor is he getting house-broken, beltway style; he understands the inside game and embraced it long before he entered politics in the formal sense. He made his name after all, such as it is, in NY and NYC power politics. And not by being a stand-up guy. As Jedediah Purdy recently noted in Jacobin, he’s at heart an authoritarian (if unexceptional) a**hole, and he campaigned as one. I’d add that a key reason he won was because he’s exactly that. His right-wing populist base, for one, loved it. There are, it’s worth noting, varieties of populism. Not all are good.

    Out of his depth now, though ? I’m leaning towards a strong maybe but at the same time, points for having got this far. Now, though, he”s got actual responsibilities beyond throwing red meat to white nationalists. He’s wholly hedonic in character, it seems to me and that imo, not any supposed (more-ritual-than-real) opposition from DC Republicans, is his primary vulnerability. Whatever (ultimately) superficial differences between the more immediate Trump circle and the DC Repubs will be ironed out as there’s much, much to be gained by them working together. Art of the deal. Families that eat together, stay together.

    Coalition, coalition, coalition. And this particular right-wing assemblage of power, long in the making, is now mainstream Republican politics. Granted, it’s a many-headed hydra. You have your globalist right (aka neocon imperialists), the libertarian Tea-party right, the religious right, blue-collar Reagan Democrats, white nationalists, small-business producerists, haute finance and (generally speaking) big business, to name some key players. Holding it all together is a chore. Reagan and Bush II did it for a while. Bush I, McCain and Romney could never quite figure it out. I hope Trump fails spectacularly.

    1. RMO

      I think that what Trump does will entirely be determined by what Trump really thinks is best for him and him alone so it’s hard to predict. If being adored by followers is what he really wants he will do things to please them. If cashing in and gaining influence (and possibly being groveled before by the Washington insiders who were against him) is his heart’s desire he’ll do that. We just don’t know yet.

      One thing that has been consistent all the way back to when he first announced he was going to run is that all the people who matter, the Washington elite the party elites, the pundits, the talking heads and the media in general have ALWAYS woefully underestimated him.

      So did I, but then I don’t claim to be worth obscene amounts of pay for my insights into politics. I hope his presidency fails to but that will be little consolation if the next four years don’t see a revitalized left in the U.S. committed to genuinely positive policies and action at all levels of government to make the country better for the majority of the citizens.

      1. Phil King

        * it will be little consolation if the next four years don’t see a revitalized left….*

        Absolutely agree. Great point ty.

  25. Waldenpond

    Soros 3 day meeting. Politico:http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/democrats-soros-trump-231313
    [George Soros and other rich liberals who spent tens of millions of dollars trying to elect Hillary Clinton are gathering in Washington for a three-day, closed door meeting to retool the big-money left to fight back against Donald Trump.]
    [Yet the meeting also comes as many liberals are reassessing their approach to politics — and the role of the Democracy Alliance, or DA, as the club is known in Democratic finance circles. The DA, its donors and beneficiary groups over the last decade have had a major hand in shaping the institutions of the left, including by orienting some of its key organizations around Clinton, and by basing their strategy around the idea that minorities and women constituted a so-called “rising American electorate” that could tip elections to Democrats.]
    [The group requires its members — a group that now numbers more than 100 and includes finance titans like Soros, Tom Steyer and Donald Sussman, as well as major labor unions and liberal foundations — to contribute a total of at least $200,000 a year to recommended groups. Members also pay annual dues of $30,000 to fund the DA staff and its meetings, which include catered meals and entertainment (on Sunday, interested donors were treated to a VIP tour of the recently opened National Museum of African American History and Culture).]
    [Since its inception in 2005, the DA has steered upward of $500 million to a range of groups, including pillars of the political left such as the watchdog group Media Matters, the policy advocacy outfit Center for American Progress and the data firm Catalist — all of which are run by Clinton allies who are expected to send representatives to the DA meeting.]

    hmmm, Clinton? Clinton? That name seems familiar.

    [The Soros conversation was added to the agenda after Election Day. It was just one of many changes made on the fly to adjust for last week’s jarring result and the stark new reality facing liberals, who went from discussing ways to push an incoming President Clinton leftward,]

    The original intent of the 3 day meeting was going to be how to move Clinton left and after a historic loss, the response is to more involve Soros.

    It looks like the strategy is to better lie to the working class and maybe it was a bad strategy to strip the states.

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