2:00PM Water Cooler 11/16/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“Trump Eyes Trade-Deal Critic for Commerce Secretary: Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross is the leading pick for Commerce secretary in Donald Trump’s Cabinet, multiple sources told POLITICO. Ross, who has criticized trade deals including the North American Free Trade Agreement, is the founder of the private equity firm WL Ross & Co., which has restructured failing companies in the steel, coal and textile sectors” [Politico]. “With Ross’ experience with the plight of distressed U.S. sectors, industry sources told Morning Trade that his pick would be well supported by steel companies waging war against China and other countries through a multitude of trade cases filed through the Commerce Department.” And: “Wilbur Ross: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know” [Heavy].

TPP: “Should the US withdraw from TPPA, it will effectively mean that the Agreement cannot enter into force. As I have mentioned before, the agreement requires ratification of at least 6 countries, accounting for 85% of the total GDP of the 12 countries, to bring it into force. The US’ GDP alone constitutes about 60% of the total TPP Members’ GDP. Hence, there will be no TPPA without the US’ participation” [Malaysia Ministry of International Trade].


2016 Post Mortem



I do know that plenty of conservative books have been #1, too. But this is encouraging. Hard-cover, too!

UPDATE “In his first press conference since last week’s election, Obama was asked what he thinks his party should do to rebuild after Clinton’s loss to President-elect Donald Trump” [HuffPo].

“I believe that we have better ideas,” Obama said of the Democratic Party. “But I also believe that good ideas don’t matter if people don’t hear them.”

Obama continued: “Given population distribution across the country, we have to compete everywhere. We have to show up everywhere.”

Well, Obama, you’re the party leader. So where the hell were you? And speaking of “since last week’s election, what Obama’s doing here is eerily congruent with his behavior in law school, as described by Jerri-Lynn:

Near the end of class time, just in time for the last word, his arm would rise. He’d wait to be recognized. A pause— setting his audience on seat’s edge (or at least the ones who’d never heard him speak before), and then in his mellifluous voice, he’d intone, “Rain is wet”— or something equally banal, with the gravity otherwise due to a proposition from Wittgenstein.

Always the last word. Always uttered with utter conviction. And never, never– despite sitting through two classes with him– did I ever hear him say anything even remotely interesting. The Obamamometer took the ideological temperature of the room, and then unfailingly said something with which no one could possibly disagree— but which no other person would bother to say, because it was both so vapid and blindingly obvious.

“Always the last word…

UPDATE “The new twist goes: Trump is so bad, it proves that any of the others, all of whom were better, would have won going away. Really? The election turned on four states, one of which no Republican had won since 1984 (Wisconsin), two since 1988 (Michigan, Pennsylvania), and one since 2004 (Ohio)—the latter by a mere 2 percent, or 100,000 votes. If that one state had flipped, John Kerry would have been president. Trump by contrast won Ohio by almost eight points. And, with the exception of an Ohio-Pennsylvania combination, he would have had to lose three of those four states to lose the election” [American Greatness]. “Who else was in a position to keep every state Romney won, add Florida and Iowa, plus at least two of the Rust Belt Four? I won’t go through the entire, overstuffed field. I’ll just look at a few of the more prominent candidates, in order of their dropping out….”

The Voters

“There’s No Such Thing as a Good Trump Voter” [Jamelle Bouie, Slate]. Framing: A demand for empathy. This is, in essence, an expansion and intensification of Clinton’s “irredeemables” remark (in my mind far worse than deplorables). Leaving aside the issue of whether Bouie is a Christian (given Matthew 9:11, apparently not), so far as I can tell the only policy outcome of Bouie’s (and Clinton’s) views is splitting the country, either amicably or via civil war. But how is that to be done, given that identity politics, even given the Big Sort, doesn’t provide jurisdictional boundaries as clear as the Mason-Dixon line?

” Feminists misunderstood the presidential election from day one” [Gaurdian]. “It turns out many women don’t care about Trump’s sexism – nor that Clinton is a woman. A majority of white women voted for Trump. And while Clinton did carry the female vote overall, her advantage among women was a percentage point less than Obama had enjoyed over Romney in 2012. This has left many American feminists reeling. Just how did this happen, they ask?” Maybe America’s first female corrupt warmonger President wasn’t a good enough pitch?


UPDATE At press time, Warren will be a vice chairwoman of the Democratic Conference while Sanders will serve as chairman of outreach. Sanders will serve as Ranking Member on the Budget Committee [The Atlantic].

UPDATE “Dems and New Dem Chair Must Break Reliance on George Soros” [The Observer]. Yes, I know the Observer is a Trump family house organ, so this falls into the shopworn genre of “helpful advice from Republicans to Democrats,” but I happen to agree; I think the Democrats should forget about squillionaire money — Soros, at the very best, has terrible judgment about which projects to fund, given the erosion of Democrats at the state level and the loss of the legislative and executive branches — and go with the Sanders model.

Legitimacy and Realignment

“I don’t want Trump to succeed. I want him to fail spectacularly.” [Micheael Cohen, Boston Globe]. “I say this not because I don’t accept the outcome of last week’s election or because I don’t recognize him as my president. Trump won fair and square and will be the president for at least the next four years.” I’ve gotta tell ya, the constant stream of fear, fear, fear coming from Clinton supporters is starting to drive me bonkers. If you turn the gaslights up all the way, gaslighting doesn’t work! Clinton voters are half the country. The class to which they belong has been running the country for forty years, at least. Many of them are well off. Many of them live in areas very far away from any Trump voter. Presumably, they are adults and have many capacities for resistance. What are they so afraid of?

“The God That Failed” [RealClearPolitics]. On The Emerging Democratic Majority, the Ur-text of identity politics:

ut the “hard” version of the theory that prevailed bore little resemblance to the nuanced view promoted by Judis and Teixeira. In the wake of the 2006 and 2008 elections, books like Dylan Byers’ “Permanently Blue,” James Carville’s “40 More Years,” Sam Tanenhaus’s “The Death of Conservatism” and Morley Winograd and Michael Hais’s “Millennial Makeover” emphasized the demographic shifts, with less attention paid to the limitations the Ur-text placed upon governing philosophy. Countless journal and website articles – indeed entire websites – sprouted up dedicated to a view of American elections characterized by red outposts being swamped by a blue demographic tide. There were different variations of the argument, but the central theme was the same: Republicans were doomed to spend quite a lot of time in the wilderness.

Well worth a read.

Stats Watch

Industrial Production, October 2016: “Industrial production was unchanged in October with September, reflecting downgrades to both utility and mining production, revised a sharp 3 tenths lower to minus 0.2 percent” [Econoday]. “Overall capacity utilization fell 1 tenth in the month to 75.3 percent though manufacturing, once again, is positive, up 1 tenth to 74.9 percent. The factory sector has been flat all year but there have been recent signs of life, from this report as well as regional reports including from the Philly Fed whose November’s data will be posted tomorrow.” But: “Where things continue to look bleak is on capacity utilization. Total capacity was 75.3% in October, compared with a 75.4% consensus estimate from Bloomberg. The report from September was also 75.4%. These remain far under the actual base-line that would have made for a great economy” [MarketWatch].

Architectural Billing Index: “After seeing consecutive months of contracting demand for the first time in four years, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) saw a modest increase demand for design services” [AIA]. “As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending.”

Survey of Professional Forecasters: “Growth in the U.S. economy looks slightly weaker now than it did three months ago, according to 42 forecasters surveyed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia before the election on November 8” [Econoday]. Some ugly charts [Mosler Economics].

MBA Mortgage Applications, week of November 11, 2011: “Purchase applications for home mortgages fell a seasonally adjusted 6 percent in the November 11 week as a sharp increase in mortgage rates took its toll on application activity” [Econoday]. And: “If rates were being raised due to excess demand for mortgages the higher rates wouldn’t likely slow things down. But in this case demand has been relatively low, so the jump in rates not due to demand will likely slow demand” [Mosler Economics].

Producer Price Index (Final Demand), October 2016: “Weakness in food costs and service costs offset gains in energy to pull down October’s producer price readings which came in unchanged overall and down 0.2 percent excluding food and energy” [Econoday]. “This report is similar to yesterday’s import and export price report where pressure was mostly isolated to energy. But the price of oil is flat this month which doesn’t point to extending pressure for the November report.” And: “The PPI is now at the highest rate of inflation in the last 12 months – but the rate of increase is small. The month-over-month change is misleading” [Econoday].

Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations, November 2016: “Energy prices rose sharply in October and appear to be giving a big boost to November’s inflation expectations” [Econoday]. “Last week’s consumer sentiment report showed a similar jump in inflation expectations at the consumer level, yet petroleum prices have been coming down so far this month which doesn’t point to extended pressure ahead.”

Housing Market Index, November 2016: “Home builders remain very optimistic, reflected in the housing market index which is unchanged this month at 63 and far above the neutral 50 level” [Econoday].

Shipping: “The U.S. Postal Service today reported a 15.8-percent increase in its shipping and packages business in its 2016 fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, continuing a secular trend of strong package growth in the face of declines in USPS’ core first-class mail business” [DC Velocity].

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 59 Greed (previous close: 63, Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 42 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Nov 16 at 12:50pm.

Our Famously Free Press

“Twitter Is Adding New Filtering Tools in an Effort to Curb Abuse” [Wired].

News of the Wired

“These are the books students at the top US colleges are required to read” [Quartz]. With Samuel P. Huntington’s horrid Clash of Civilizations in most of ’em. If you want to know why war scares are so easy to generate, there’s one reason.

The Russian equivalent of flyover states:

* * *

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):


What a lovely garden.

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. apotropaic

          I like it too. Well stated without the usual caveats that folks throw out like “yes racism and sexism are important too, but …”. We don’t need to say that. It’s a given. When will they move on and actually learn what “intersectional” actually should and could mean in a nonreactionary setting.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The Death of the D party.

      It was commented here, before the election, that to defeat Hillary was to defeat those who were ‘with her,’ and the voters had a once-in-a-lifetime to reject more than just her.

      It was an idea that many could be for.

      As it turned out, one perhaps should not just vote third party, if the objective was to defeat her ‘legitimately,’ that is, if the popular vote was going to be an issue, and if the goal was to defeat her, and those with her, one had to vote Trump.

      “Kid, I sacrificed myself in 2016, just so today, you can live in a world without the D party.”

      1. jgordon

        Hillary was so wretchedly vile that the LOTE vote made sense this time around. Now let’s hope that Democrats can dispose of their garbage and/or a third party can rise to prominence fast so we have someone to support in 2020.

        1. cwaltz

          The hope word needs to be replaced with the work word.

          At some point people need to come up with Plan A and Plan B and then find the courage to implement it. They can’t rely on hope or faith.

      2. Jim Haygood

        After a quarter century of ritually asking myself upon awakening, “What can I do today to bust the Clintons’ chops?” it’s not easy to realize, “Oh wait, never mind, we won. At ease!”

          1. optimader

            Right, now what? there are Cubs fans here walking around w/ Postpartum Depression daze.. They have lost their common devotion to a perpetual disappointment, now they are just stuck with a team that wins every hundred years or so.

        1. different clue

          The Clintons are grooming Chelsea to run for Congress. The Clintons are even now plotting a Clinton Restoration. Unless the entire Clinton family, and every Clinton retainer and embed throughout the system can be proscribed ( in a legal and non-violent update of the Roman sense of that term), the many malignant “daughter clintonomas” metastasized throughout the system will grow. They must all be excised and ectomied, down to the last cell.

          Unless we achieve that, our Long National Nightmare is not over.

          1. Yves Smith

            IMHO, the Clinton camp letting out the idea that Chelsea was being groomed for office right now was a huge mistake.

            The Republicans have 2 Congressional committees locked and loaded to go after the Clintons. Saying Chelsea will run for a Congressional seat is like waving a red flag in front of them.

            And the Podesta e-mails indicate Chelsea’s wedding was paid for by the Foundation. That is a huge IRS violation. And given that Chelsea has been widely reported to have been deeply involved in the Foundation, it’s hard for her to claim she didn’t know.

            Plus this explains why Hillary wanted to delete all those e-mails about the wedding.

            Chelsea will be toast if the Rs keep after the Clintons, and absent a pardon, they have no reason to stop. And I don’t see how Obama can stop an investigation of the Foundation if the Rs want to redirect it that way.

            1. aab

              This gets back to the depth and breadth of the corruption, doesn’t it?

              If Obama only pardons Hillary, there’s nothing to stop an investigation of the Foundation, is there? She’d just end up as an unindicted co-conspirator, wouldn’t she? In fact, pardoning Hillary would direct more prosecutorial energy towards Chelsea, wouldn’t it? Bill’s and old man, and even though he was probably the mastermind of the scam, he’s a former president. So, since it’s a “family” foundation, that leaves Chelsea to take the heat and pay the price, if any price is to be paid. I can’t see Barack Obama pardoning all three of them. Can you?

              I realize in the real world, no Clinton is going to jail. But with Hillary not in power, the family is, at least technically, no longer Too Big Too Jail.

            2. Dave

              Damn that snotty little Clinton…

              Chelsea speaks:

              “It is frustrating, because who wants to grow up and follow their parents?” admits Chelsea.

              “I’ve tried really hard to care about things that were very different from my parents. I was curious if I could care about [money] on some fundamental level, and I couldn’t.

              “That wasn’t the metric of success that I wanted in my life. I’ve talked about this to my friends who are doctors and whose parents are doctors, or who are lawyers and their parents are lawyers. It’s a funny thing to realize I feel called to this work both as a daughter—proudly as a daughter—and also as someone who believes that I have contributions to make.”


            3. different clue

              The problem is: do the Rs want to eliminate the Clintons from American public life? Or do they want to keep the Clintons around for ever and for ever as a diversionary negative organizing principle? It looks to me like the Rs have long regarded the Clintons as the gift that keeps on giving. They deliberately diverted their so-called “investigation” of Benghazi aWAY from the issue of sending Quaddafi’s “liberated munitions” to the Cannibal Liver Eating Jihadis ( the “CLEJ” in Syria) by focusing their so-called “investigation” on unprovable he-said she-said matters of “security” and “why the attack” and “where was Obama?” I believe the Rs will pull the same diversionary non-investigation investigation stunt again if allowed to direct any “investigations”.

              I suspect that it would take Berniecrats worming their way into the Republican so-called “investigations” to turn them into real investiGAtions . . . because the Berniecrats know what a mortal threat the Clintons pose to any hope of restoring civic decency in this country.

            4. Liberal Mole

              Please let this happen. They’re planning to put her in my district, where Nita Lowey (mid 70’s) ran unopposed. Lowey’s daughter was the one who paid off the official who “accidentally” removed 100,000 democrats in Brooklyn from the rolls for the primary. Bought the woman’s rat infested brownstone for 6 million when it didn’t sell the year before for 3 million. This was reported in the NYT.

              I expect the Clintons need to somehow keep the “donations” rolling in, and thus Chelsea has to get into a political position as soon as possible. In the meantime Facebook liberals are ranting like hamsters against Trump’s possible nepotism because his son-in-law appears to have a lot of power in the ongoing transition. Funny how they think dynasties are good as long as they’re named Kennedy or Clinton.

            5. Lambert Strether Post author

              Re: Chelsea’s wedding

              Along with Clinton’s yoga lessons, Chelsea’s wedding was one of the topics deemed not-worked related on Clinton’s server, and hence emails regarding it were in the half of the material that was destroyed.

              If indeed it was destroyed…

            6. Fiver

              I have found the whole period from the re-opening of the FBI investigation forward increasingly troubling – something just does not ‘feel’ right about the way it got here – and given how low in my esteem are the principals in this exercise, I have given some thought as to how the candidate with so many hands on so many types of insider levers came to lose it in the final week. And when I consider two other hugely unlikely events spaced 8 years apart (that would be 9/11 and Lehman) I find myself leaning to the view that one candidate (the Queen on the board) had been effectively taken hostage and those levers that could’ve and would’ve otherwise delivered the election simply were not pulled, at least not for the originally intended candidate.

              Looks more and more to me like Catastrophe 3 has been and will be scripted by exactly the same combo of forces that brought the world first, the entirety of the horror of the 1st Half of the proposed 30-year ‘war on terror’ and second, the full empowerment of the corporate criminal class. I will never forgive Clinton for painting everyone into this rapidly darkening picture. Trump already has.



              1. aab

                I would be willing to bet real money that every Democratic machine state flipped every vote they could for her. It’s another reason to disregard the popular vote in this case.

                My fear all along had been that the Kochs would be able to pressure Republican Secretaries of State to help her, or that her campaign could use back doors because some of her really big donors are heavily invested in those voting machine companies. It looks like that didn’t happen. Maybe it was never a possibility.

                Honestly, do you think the electorate was evenly divided? Does that make any sense, given what we all saw out in the real world during the campaign? I realize there were people who dragged themselves unenthusiastically to the polls for her. But Democrats are particularly bad about that, even in a normal election. I bet she was at least 5% down in reality.

              2. JTFaraday

                Well, I’ve always thought that eventually the neocons would seek to dump moral responsibility for the mess in the Mideast on the yowling white trash in the red states– and they would leap to the bait.

                To be continued.

          2. uncle tungsten

            The many inquisitors need to go after the Clinton Foundation and all its entities. Obummer may pardon $hillary but not likely Chelsea. Regardless of any pardon the inquisitors should do everything possible to expose the truth. That will destroy the Clinton brand for many decades.

            There has to be some justice for the grotesque damage to Haiti and every other victim of the Clinton Foundation. Plus the Foundation proprietors should pay their taxes for the fraudulent front that it is.

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              I wonder, on Haiti, if a case could be brought before an international tribunal? I believe (most factions of) conservatives dislike international institutions, but perhaps trolling the Clintons at the Hague would be too delicious a prospect to resist.

              1. Vatch

                The United States does not participate in the International Criminal Court.


                Perhaps if Hillary Clinton were travelling outside the U.S., she could be arrested and sent to the Hague. But maybe not — it would certainly be “interesting”. From the Wikipedia article:

                Article 98 of the Rome Statute prohibits the ICC from requesting assistance or the surrender of a person to the ICC if to do so would require the state to “act inconsistently” with its obligations under international law or international agreements unless the state or the third-party state waives the immunity or grants cooperation.[31] The US has interpreted this article to mean that its citizens cannot be transferred to the ICC by any state that has signed a bilateral agreement with the US prohibiting such a transfer, even if the state is a member of the Rome Statute.

          3. Waldenpond

            Clinton is likely coordinating her pardon right now.

            [Speaking at President Gerald Ford’s alma mater, The Rev. Jesse Jackson called for President Obama to issue a blanket pardon to Hillary Clinton before he leaves office, just like Ford did for Richard Nixon.

            Stopping short of saying Clinton did anything wrong, Jackson told a large crowd of University of Michigan students, faculty and administrators gathered at daylong celebration of his career that Obama should short-circuit President-elect Donald Trump’s promised attempt to prosecute Hillary Clinton for use of a private e-mail server.

            “It would be a monumental moral mistake to pursue the indictment of Hillary Clinton,” Jackson said. He said issuing the pardon could help heal the nation, like Ford’s pardon of Nixon did.]

            —She’s not gone. Just waiting on the pardon, allowing her sycophants to act in public (Soros/strategy/fundraising) she’ll lay low doing only smaller, private events. How to rebrand? Elder states persons? The Ds Koch brothers.

            1. John Wright

              Jackson forgets that Ford had an excuse for his actions, supplied by none other than Lyndon Baines Johnson.

              LBJ commented that “Gerald Ford played too much football without a helmet”.

              Obama lacks this excuse and might see his legacy tarnished by appearing to dispense a blanket “stay out of jail” card to Clinton.

              Obama must be calculating how much value it is to have Clinton investigated, as it might only make him look better, vs giving the pardon vs the possible hit to his shrinking legacy.

              Obama is moving on to the post Presidency celebrity stage, where not ticking off potential customers is important.

              Of course if the pardon comes with enough early deposited quid….

              I remember the Ford pardon, after which people made light of Ford for a while by saying “I beg your full and absolute pardon” rather than the usual “pardon me” in normal discourse.

              How does the Reverend Jackson know it is a “monumental moral mistake to pursue the indictment of Hillary Clinton”?

              If that is true, HRC should be easily and quickly acquitted and the accusers left with egg on their faces..

              1. different clue

                He is expecting a big payout in the years after leaving office. If he is told that he won’t be paid any money at all unless he pardons whomever his owner-sponsors tell him to pardon, he will pardon whomever they tell him to pardon.

                If Clinton is too stupid and proud to take the proferred pardon, then I don’t know what Obama is supposed to do about that. I wonder if the OverClass has a bloody horse’s head big enough to change Clinton’s mind in that scenario.

            2. different clue

              Ford’s Nixon pardon didn’t heal the nation. It set the precedent for immunity and impunity and further coverupping pardons to come, such as those by George “Opium Poppy” Bush and so forth.

              How exactly did Jackson ever get himself designated a “moral” leader?

        2. fajensen

          This just put a scar on Hillary’s face, to actually win, “we” need to RICO the Clinton Foundation.

          With the power supply removed, the rest of that infernal machine will eventually grind to a halt.

    2. Left in Wisconsin

      Some great points but a few disagreements and one big question: What do you mean when you say the Democratic Party is dead? That it is going away? Or is destined to never win again?

      I think you are spot on about the divergence of interests between the professional liberal class and the working class. Obama’s electoral coalition was driven by the professional class that had arisen to manage the various segments of the financialized economy. Yes. But a professional class and party whose existence depends upon the largesse of finance capital? This is a big country with a large economy. Managing it requires a vast workforce, numerically if not percentage-wise. The professional class is not going away. And they won’t relinquish the D Party voluntarily.

      I see (belief in) meritocracy as the crux of the problem. Meritocrats are not solidaristic and they have no class consciousness. Yet they (yes, I see them as a subclass) control the entire “progressive” apparatus.

      1. hunkerdown

        The belief that that the country needs to be “managed” by some “objective” force from without is the crux of American liberalism, one part of the central crazy, and what gives the looting professional class a place in society. Perhaps that “requirement” is intrinsically right-wing, and needs to be seen as such in order to be rejected.

        How much power does the professional class have when nobody thinks being like them is a sufficient reward for working for free for massa hard?

      2. Fiver

        You are certainly right vis a vis the very idea of meritocracy, i.e., to believe the market selects and rewards on the basis of ‘worth’, automatically and permanently rigs the game in favour of power, not justice. A just human being can see the myriad ways in which we have become shockingly inhumane with respect to upper-class(es?) disassociation from broader social reality vs the rest in terms more than just income disparity. It’s the whole relationship of the underclass with the world that is ignored at the top. Those who create the world now do so according to the tastes and interests of runaway technological enthusiasm backed by giant waves of massive speculation over which there is virtually no public control. In the near term, for reasons unknown we are in pursuit of driverless cars. And it’s getting worse – if you read about what the leading-edge military/corporate science and tech enthusiasts are up to, and where they think they are taking us, it’s frankly frightening, and I love science – but while the elite heads break into another dimension, or lever the Cloud to create Artificial Intelligence or the military/security complex creates cyborgs, a genetics war, or organ-farms for the still-elderly solvent Boomers, whatever, the working people get nothing better than a Walmart Thanksgiving Day opening. There was a reason why Mao thought the Cultural Revolution was necessary.

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        The Democrat Party isn’t dead if 43% of its base (including most of its future) voted for an elderly socialist Jew who gave hour-long speeches on public policy.

        Since the author is a GP official: I understand the GP party-building imperative, but it seems to me that if the GP can’t take advantage of the opportunity presented in 2016, it never will. You can’t simultaneously claim Sanders is a sheepdog (Glen Ford*) and then beg him to take the top of your ticker (Stein). You just can’t. It’s ludicrous.

        If the GP wants to be a movement, and play the outside game, that’s what they should do. They’re better at it.

        I prefer to think that the Democrats are not dead. Rather, they have a tumor, which need to be cut out.

        * I, for one, find being called a sheep about as enticing as being called a #BernieBro. And I find the parallel of attempting to gain supporters by insulting them a disturbing parallel.

    3. uncle tungsten

      Good article, we are all in for an interesting few years. Your analysis sets some good indicators to guide our analysis. Thank you.

  1. Carolinian

    Here’s another interesting tidbit from M of A that was linked this morning.

    Meanwhile Trump yesterday had a phonecall with the Russian President Putin. They discussed bilateral relations, Syria and fighting terrorism. Today the Russian and Syrian military started the long expected big campaign against the “moderate” al-Qaeda in east-Aleppo city and Idleb governate. Air strikes on east-Aleppo had been held back for 28 days. Today missiles and cruise missiles were launched against fixed targets and dozens of carrier and land launched airplanes attacked Nusra position on the various front and in its rear. Long range bombers flown from Russia joined the campaign. Trump seems to have voiced no objections to this offensive.

    Or as Hillary would say, Trump checked back in with headquarters.


    Wonder if the Post/NYT gave as much coverage to the above as to Guiliani spouting off.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Trump is a traitor then, he expressed no concern that Russia was bombing our troops (let’s face it, that’s what al-Nusra are)

      1. fajensen

        Well, you can evacuate them to the US and give them a veterans card. Then everyone will be happy, I guess?

      2. divadab

        I hope you’re being sarcastic. The whole point of funding Al and all the other little Nusra’s is that they are NOT our troops – they are heroic opposition fighters against a brutal dictator.

        Try to keep the cover story straight.

  2. edmondo

    I surely have no idea what’s going on in Trump’s mind but “What If”?

    What if Trump – who really didn’t want to be president in the first place – decided he has one term (he is 70 freaking years old, after all) to actually do what he campaigned on? What if he tried to end unfair trade deals, protect American workers, pull back from our imperial over-reach and actually brought some real change to DC?

    The man is an unrepentant narcissist – he cares about the way he is portrayed and viewed by his followers and history. What if he decided to actually try to make it work. I understand that he is a repulsive human being but what if he actually turns out to be a good president?

    He’s already killed TPP and destroyed the Bush and Clinton dynasties and kept Ted Cruz out of the White House. That ain’t a bad start towards making America great again. What if?

    1. Paid Minion

      I’m just waiting for him to try “running the government like a business”. So we can put that tired piece of BS where it belongs, in the trash can.

      For starters government, unlike businesses, usually can’t dump unprofitable operations. Even if “privatized”, the government remains the ultimate bagholder.

      Same with this BS of “I can’t run my household budget like that……” Right, you can’t.

      Government finances v personal finances = Apples v oranges.

      It’s amazing to me how hard it is to get this simple point across.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        It’s a great point if you are one of 211,000 California public sector employees earning >$100K with lavish benefits (compared to the private sector). I mean the City Manager of little Fremont, CA is worth $411,000, right? And the assistant librarian in Chico, CA definitely earned her $128,000…I say it is long past time we had some private sector-type accountability

    2. none

      What if he tried to end unfair trade deals, protect American workers, pull back from our imperial over-reach…

      Then his roll of appointees wouldn’t look anything like what it does. He’s getting the usual cash-grabbing and war-monging Republican hacks, with some racist and religious whack jobs blended in. At best this is Dubya’s third term.

      1. Octopii

        And that’s it, right there. Don’t listen to the words being spoken, look at the appointees being chosen. The Trump presidency is not going to be what anyone on NC hoped it would be. Even the celebration of vanquishing the Clinton dynasty is turning out to be unwarranted.

    3. Foy

      Edmondo – I had a similiar thought right after his election speech…

      I don’t think it’s any coincidence that Trump seemed to increase his rhetoric about going on a big infrastructure build at his president-elect acceptance speech (the markets and Dr Copper heard it clearly for the first time and liked it).

      Trump likes building stuff and it’s even better if he can put his name in big lights on top of whatever building or whatever product it is. I imagine that the whole idea of building infrastructure all over the USA that he would be remembered for, for a very long time, gets him excited. Even if each bridge/road/railroad/hospital doesn’t have his actual name on them, no one will forget quickly which president built it. Like Roosevelt and the New Deal – his name will be linked to whatever gets built.

      Trump has seen how Bill Clinton’s NAFTA and other free trade deals have crushed the middle and working class and killed Hillary’s hopes and the Clintons’ reputation. He has seen how Dubya is now remembered (a simple minded, easily manipulated warmonger whose costs are still being felt). And I’m sure he sees that Obama has really accomplished very little and his fated Obamacare is falling apart with sky rocketing fees and ever expanding deductibles. Obama wont leave much legacy at all. I’m sure The Donald sees all this.

      So if I’m Donald and I like the idea of my name still in lights after I’m dead and want to be remembered as superior to those Presidents who came before me (very important to me) what do I do? Firstly I don’t do what they did. Then I build and fix infrastructure, build and build – it’s what I do. I build as much infrastructure stuff as I can that society needs so the public wont forget me – provided it’s not a toll road! It’s like the pyramids – they aren’t going away any time soon and if it’s done well people will remember I did that. And this has the added great benefit of increasing the employment and services for all those who voted for me, further burnishing my legacy. The contrast between me and the presidents who came before will be like chalk and cheese especially if I can be remembered for building useful things up rather than blowing useful things down with bombs and wars.

      Donald is 70. He has very few obligations to anybody as a result of this election, which is almost unheard of. The question is what does he really want? Legacy and posterity? Then secondly, how far can he push ‘The Swamp’ in getting what he really wants. If he really is a dealmaker, he’d have no qualms reaching across the aisle to get something done – If I was him I would go after infrastructure and fix healthcare (he’s talked about healthcare numerous times before – it’s not out of the question).

      Having said all that I’m still of the opinion that society is facing a Limits to Growth problem, but I’m leaving that aside in this thought experiment as I don’t think that The Donald considers that an issue.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Trump likes building stuff

        Also Trump is from the New York area, and so much of New York’s gloriously architected and rugged infrastructure was build during the New Deal.

      2. fajensen

        Then secondly, how far can he push ‘The Swamp’ in getting what he really wants.

        Pretty far, I think. Trump is a skilled showman and not afraid to roll in the dirt.

        If, for example, we have those tents with dentists donating their free time to Americans without any health care, Trump could simply go there, dragging all of the TV bandwidth with him, and ask the question on live TV: “Why the hell does this beuutifull piece of America look like Africa?”, “I’ll tell you – because so and so blocked MY health care plan.”, “Here, right here is a list, now you go Vote those fucks who want America to be 3’rd world OUT!”

        Not saying Trump would do that, but, I am saying he is capable of it. Doing what works, Unlike Obama and Hillary. Who would never, never mingle with “those people” in case some dirt rubbed off on their 2000 EUR suits. This potential is one of the reasons “they” are so scared of him.

  3. Andrew

    Apologies for jumping in with an early comment, especially when I’ve been too busy to be part of the conversation lately, but I have a contribution to the “how can NC reach new readers” conversation and am not sure there’s a better place for it …

    I mention NC to people with some care. Not everyone has an appetite for long-form discussion; not everyone is ready to poke holes in the veil of Maya. But once in a while, when the moment is ripe, I’ll forward a link, or pass on an argument and tell people where they can find more of the same. In many years of doing this I may have helped to convert a very few readers, but only one regular one that I know of.

    In the last few days I see a lot of people around me looking for answers in unaccustomed places. This morning, I had the great pleasure of hearing a friend and colleague tell me “I’ve been reading Naked Capitalism lately and …,” which led to a substantive and heartening discussion about what’s going on in America. The public appetite for what NC has to offer seems to be higher in this moment than I’ve ever seen it.

    Which leads me to ask whether a few very small things can be done to make NC easier of access for the first-time visitor (not an assignment! just a question!). The three main things on my mind are:

    – “Links” is a wonderful portal to critical thinking. I and I assume other readers value it as a place to be exposed to new ideas, sometimes in flawed packaging. But if a first-time reader happens to click through to a weird article without having the context of that expectation, it can give a mistaken impression, and indeed my colleague specifically mentioned this as a speed bump he’d hit before realizing what the point was. Yves has occasionally written a short and fine description of the “critical thinking” mission; would it make sense to “pin” this context to the top of Links, as a guidepost to newcomers?

    – I especially value Lambert’s lapidary expressions of the issues with which we are engaged, because of their clear explanatory power: “whose economy?”; “because markets / go die”; etc. But for new readers, who have missed the act of coinage, some of these expressions can be confusing. I forwarded the “three myths about Hillary’s election loss” article to several friends, and included a note explaining that “class traitor” was a compliment to Tina Brown, not an indictment. My friend this morning (to whom I had *not* forwarded the article) mentioned that specific use of “class traitor” was very confusing to him, and while he eventually got the point he said he had passed on sending the article to another friend because he thought it would be misunderstood. Lambert, your footnotes are wonderful; might it be worth adding a note now and again when you lean on one of these formulations out of context?

    – Finally, I thought the discussion here last week about journalists and bloggers worth reading was really valuable, and it would be fantastic if there were a way to keep that around for easy reference, if there is a way to do so. (Having a variety of suggestions to pass on to people is a helpful way of elevating discussion over apparent proselytization.) I don’t know if curation of the Blogroll could include some commentary from Yves/Lambert/Jerri-Lynn, or if there’s another way to achieve the same end, but it would be great if there were …

    1. grizziz

      Thank you for these comments. I think I agree and yet wonder if adding more context will make the content more sterile. Some of the time I think that Lambert is trying to build a coalition of literate people to stand with the working class, while at other times joking around with inside baseball comments defenestrating the ruling class and their mandarins. I appreciate both styles, but when I forward links I do not include NC comments because of the awkward spins that approach the untoutored reader.

    2. TK421

      these expressions can be confusing

      I’m not a new reader, and I find expressions like that confusing. The three keys to good writing, after Anatole France: clarity, clarity, and clarity. Phrases such as “because markets”, whatever that means, is not clear, and degraded language signals a disinterestd stance toward the topic at hand.

      1. Waldenpond

        I’ve read the site for many years and still don’t get some of the insiderism and just shrug it off. I look at it as similar to family or friends having inside jokes based on long term share experiences, they are trying to build their own group dynamic, consensus and solidarity among like minded individuals. I’m just watching from the outside.

        1. savedbyirony

          To the credit of the site and commentators, when asked to explain a term or phrase someone nearly always does so clearly and succinctly or offers a link giving a fuller explanation.

          1. Oregoncharles

            “Clear and distinct” (I thought) can sometimes lead to a considerable discussion.

            Not so much the insiderisms, some of which are really running jokes, but the technical terms.

        2. abynormal

          [cough] i poke, joke n brainstorm with many i disagree with. if there is a ‘group dynamic’ it is ever changing…what i love about this site!

          “The fatal misconception behind brainstorming is that there is a particular script we should all follow in group interactions…. [W]hen the composition of the group is right—enough people with different perspectives running into one another in unpredictable ways—the group dynamic will take care of itself. All these errant discussions add up. In fact, they may even be the most essential part of the creative process. Although such conversations will occasionally be unpleasant—not everyone is always in the mood for small talk or criticism—that doesn’t mean that they can be avoided. The most creative spaces are those which hurl us together. It is the human friction that makes the sparks.”
          ~Jonah Lehrer

      2. Jeff W

        “because markets”, whatever that means, is not clear

        Assuming “whatever that means” means you don’t have a good idea (or no idea) what that means, here’s my take:

        As this commenter on Langugage Log says, “The single word following because points out the inadequacy of the reasoning – one word in place of an entire argument.” It’s also a critical comment on the assumption underlying the discourse where the single word signals something that, for those talking about it, is so taken for granted, it merits no explication.

        So “Because markets” in the health care or education context says “There is an underlying assumption going on here that health care or education should be dealt with in a market. The reasoning is inadequate/wrong and should not be applied to health care in the first place.” It’s kind of an ironic meta-comment both on the discourse and on the lack of reasoning in the discourse.

        If you do know what it means, then I apologize in advance for offering an explanation.

      3. Solar Hero

        Irony alert! Whenever I see “because markets” at this site it is put in the mouths of mainstream economists and neoliberals, and therefore it is intended entirely how you took it. (i.e., that mainstream economists and neoliberals are “not clear, and degraded language signals a disinterestd stance toward the topic at hand.”)

        Playin’ a little inside-baseball at NC!

      4. UserFriendly

        I am a relatively new reader and I picked up on Because Markets rather quickly. Because most of the time when Yves or Lambert use it they link back to the original article, which is a masterpiece.


        It does give my own personal idea for a site improvement more sway though… A best of NC section. With Because Markets, Academic Choice theory, and what I can assume are some other wonders I haven’t had the time to stumble across yet.

    3. phemfrog

      Where was the discussion of journalists and bloggers to read? I was sick and couldn’t read last week… Was it a post or in the comments? A link would be awesome…

    4. MojaveWolf

      There was a discussion last week about the best journalists/bloggers out there? Any links to this for those of us who missed it? Pretty PLEASE with flowers and cinnamon on top?

  4. diptherio

    I’ve seen a few stories about Muslims facing increased harassment since the election. Of course, liberals and progressives and militant atheists have never done anything to encourage intolerance of Islam, so at least their consciences are clean on that score [/sarc]

    1. epynonymous, formerly john

      Also, America’s blacks are in for hard times. Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd. A friend reports her friend was assaulted boarding a train in Mass. Two 50-ish white men were harassing her going “How you like Trump?!” with a leering tone and manner.

      After Obama’s election, a woman in NY did the same kinda thing to me, spilling her drink on me (the next white guy in line at the men’s restroom in a McDonalds… apparently she couldn’t wait.) Her friends, also 20-ish women of color apologized and seemed embarassed.

      Maybe she wasn’t being rude, but just showing me what it was like in her life.

  5. NY Union Guy

    RE: TU-144

    For the record, that TU-144 is part of a static display at the Kazan State Technical University and has been there since March of 1976. Also, Kazan is hardly “flyover country,” as it is Russia’s 8th largest city.

    More TU-144 info:

    1. RMO

      As an aviation nut I love the two SST’s because they’re beautiful and because they are examples of the bleeding edge of technology when they were new. Unfortunately they were also supposed to be practical civil airliners, something they never accomplished. I always felt the country that actually won the SST race was the U.S. as Congress back then had some people in it that were smart enough and honest enough to stop wasting money on it. The U.S. aircraft companies were all really bullish on the future of the SST – as long as it wasn’t their own money that had to pay for it.

      I actually bought the glider I’ve flown for the last fifteen years for less than what a Concorde round trip used to cost. And that cost takes into consideration that the two airlines that operated that lovely machine were basically gifted them along with enormous supplies of spares and free technical support.

    2. David Mills

      I always thought that the Valkyrie (XB70) was an elegant design, all the more so in that it employed the compression wave of going hypersonic to provide lift.

  6. Gary

    The Russian equivalent of flyover states:

    How the hell did they ever get it back there? It looks like someone built it there. Probably a disgruntled worker built it out of parts smuggled out one at a time just like the Johnny Cash song. ha ha ha

    1. pmorrisonfl

      I *love* the Johnny Cash reference, ‘One Piece At A Time’ great song.

      My uneducated guess is that the plane was left in an open field, and the building was eventually built around the plane.

      1. TK421

        I would think so, too. It says “USSR” on the wing, and that country hasnt existed in quite a while.

      2. Tom

        Kazan was one of the centers of Soviet aviation. The big building on the right looks like some government building. Likely a uni building. My hunch (having got to know a few aviation engineers in Russia) is that enthusiasts got together and rescued this fantastic plane from the scrap heap. In other words: some deplorables who were themselves assigned to the scrap heap showing that they are still alive. Reminds me of one fantastic US company called cannondale that made the best bikes in the world from Pennsylvania. In my home country Germany we still pay premium for old cannondale bikes. But not for new ones as they are being made (bad quality) by slave labour in China. A very sad story (private equity). That is why Trump has won. And I can´t fault people who voted for him consiering the choice…

        1. RMO

          Yes, Cannondale was a sad story. Caught up in the go-go 90’s they overextended themselves trying to ramp up their stock value. The whole thing went boom and the U.S. factory was gone. I had a 1993 M800 (my first mountain bike and first bike I bought as an adult) that I bought new and I still have a 1993 Cannondale Track bike. I bought that as a frame and fork from a racer back in 1996 and built it up myself.

          1. Gary

            Cannondale made a good bike. I own one from about 1990/1989.
            I worked as a programmer for County Government most of my life. I was working for a retail shoe store company during 9-11. Some of the finest shoes in the world were made in New England. After 9-11, those companied either moved production to Mexico or went under. They really had no choice. People had worked there for generations and then it was all gone. Jerks in the Whitehouse… jerks in the Whitehouse. God help us.

        2. different clue


          Now that Cannondale is extinct, is there a 2nd best-in-the-world kind of bike? Or several kinds of bikes sharing the 2nd best-in-the-world title?

          Or were all the other bikes far short of Cannondale?

          1. cyclist

            Cannondale doesn’t make the best bike in the world, but the most recent versions before the US factory closed were damn good aluminum frames (e.g. the CAAD9). Early Cannondales had a reputation for being overly stiff and punishing, but they figured out how to make them ride well over the years. The brand still exists, but it is a name slapped on mostly Taiwanese frames (as are Trek and Specialized, and many other big brands). Some of the lower end stuff might actually come from China, but I never heard the slave labor angle before – the Taiwanese might just have the best carbon fiber technology in the world.

            It is sad that Cannondale might have been one of the last mass produced bikes to be produced in the US. There are still dozens of smaller framebuilders here, (just off the top of my head: Moots, Seven, Lynskey, Calfee, Rock Lobster….) but you are unlikely to walk into the average shop and find them (not cheap, generally).

          2. RMO

            Personally I would say they were one of the best bikes in the world especially when you looked at the major manufacturers – and they were certainly in that group. There are actually still quite a few small builders in the U.S. that make excellent frames and can be a great choice if you want to keep money in the local economy. Bicycles, even small handbuilt brands also get almost everything but the frame and fork from a small number of component manufacturers rather that producing them in house. The vast majority of the frames and forks are made by a small number of large companies in Taiwan and China. They make great ones along with the cheap and nasty ones. It was just nice to have the option of buying a different product (Cannondale’s thing was large diameter 6061-T6 aluminium tubes which made for a very rigid frame – efficient at power transfer, great for big riders but the ride could be a tad rough) made somewhere else in the world. I’m Canadian so the Cannondale was still an import for me rather than something from my own nation.

    2. Kurt Sperry

      Looks like there’s enough room in front of the plane to get the tubular fuselage in on trucks fro the lot behind the property it’s on, then just re-attach the wings in situ and rebuild the wall in front of the plane. It’s not like you need to make it airworthy, it just has to look OK. I’m sure all the valuable stuff like instrumentation, avionics, hydraulics, engines, copper, has been stripped out.

      1. nippersdad

        The adjacent trees don’t look like old growth. Without the trees and the fence it would have been pretty easy to tow it into place.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Perhaps they put up the building around the plane.

      Nice house (wonder how many bedrooms)..hopefully not San Francisco expensive.

  7. hamstak

    Clinton voters are half the country. The class to which they belong has been running the country for forty years, at least. Many of them are well off. Many of them live in areas very far away from any Trump voter. Presumably, they are adults and have many capacities for resistance. What are they so afraid of?

    I might suggest being exposed for what they truly are, and the (beginning of the) end of the grift, for starters. They may also realize that they need to take a genuine look in the mirror for once — this probably truly frightens them. But they will likely just double-down on their meds…

    1. jrs

      Who are we talking about Clinton voters or press memberse who presstitute for clinton? Because aren’t Clinton voters even less well off than Trump voters on average? Some Clinton voters are well off. So are many Republicans. And for those voters that is WHY they vote Republican. They are very directly voting their class interest. Some traditional Republicans even voted Trump, because they believe in voting party. This is the bed one chooses to lie in as well in voting Republican.

      1. hamstak

        Sorry jrs, somehow I translated “Clinton voters” as “Dem establishment” — my comment applies to the latter.

        As for the “group” that Lambert was referring to (roughly well-to-do, professional class voters), maybe what they fear is a loss of status and influence — more in a tribal sense than a personal sense. Things have gone their way for so long that they, like their political representatives, believed themselves incapable of error or failure. Now that they have, they might wonder where they stand, and that’s uncomfortable.

    2. Katharine

      Or maybe they are afraid of a truth Cohen overlooked, that they are really only about 28% of the country (I am not sure where the turnout and vote tallies stand now) and know almost nothing about the other seventy-odd. Not knowing can be scary when you first become aware of it, especially if you have previously convinced yourself you were fairly sophisticated. Consider how many people who had considered themselves solidly middle class panicked eight or nine years ago when their retirement plans suddenly looked precarious and foolishly inadequate. It was beyond reasonable anxiety, for which there were grounds enough, more in the realm of “I thought I knew what the world was about and I don’t!” If those frightened Clinton voters are in the same condition, it might be salutary.

        1. Laughingsong

          Here’s my uneducated guess: They spend a lot of time condescending and sometimes outright dissing working class and rural people. If their rice bowl starts looking fragile, they have a subconscious but overwhelming fear that they are about to “drop down” a few rungs and become one. I can’t cite anything right now but I seem to vaguely recall similar behavior during the GFC when many rich people felt it could actually happen.

          I could partly understand, at least I could see how disorienting it could be after having felt powerful, successful, in control. . . And then be faced with an out-of-control financial crisis. As an aside, they really must have felt even more invincible after coming out so well since then!

          But the part that kinda torques me is that even if they actually had to share the pain and lose income and wealth like the middle class did, they would likely still have more than most. Harder to understand the intensity of their fears. From down looking up, of course….

          1. fajensen

            They spend a lot of time condescending and sometimes outright dissing working class and rural people.

            Many also spend a lot of their time plotting, cheating, backstabbing and ass-kissing their way to the top, sucking up to the one above and kicking the many below.

            They project their own self image onto “The Other”, “The Other” is a simply nasty price of backstabbing human garbage because this is what “I” had to become in order to “Make It”.

            They invested thousands of hours and hundred-thousands of USD to become accepted with the “right people”. If they are diminished they will lose their “tribe”, because the value of their existence / presence is only measured in what favors they can do for the others. People will stop calling, space will be limited at the banquets and conferences, informal barbecues will have other people attending.

            Now, having myself come up, sort-of gone bust, and then managed to cloak myself in power yet again, I can say that elite angst – like 95% of all existential fears – it is something inside ones head that doesn’t actually exist.

            It is a delusion, a powerful one, but … money is not a finite resource. Time is. Time is infinitely more precious than mere money and one will suddenly be gifted a lot of time after going down with the false friends leaving and all. This time can then be spend on things that actually matter. Like real friends. And doing things one actually likes to do or is really interested in, just for that, not in order to “mingle with the right crowd”.

            The world is really, exactly whatever we imagine it to be.

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              > Many also spend a lot of their time plotting, cheating, backstabbing and ass-kissing their way to the top, sucking up to the one above and kicking the many below.

              Periodically, I run this wonderful parody of Lanny Breuer (part of the Obama Justice Department that never prosecuted a single bankster for the crash):

    3. Enquiring Mind

      One concern of mine about Democrats is that they have controlled many big midwest and eastern cities for decades with horrible results. Their public statements [we do good things, we help the little person] and private actions [raise money from anyone, pocket some, dole out favors, all shades of Her Hillaryness] finally became so different that even the least aware citizen could sense trouble.

      Why trust them to run a country if their track record in cities like Chicago and states like Illinois is so abysmal? Increasing risk of bankruptcies after slopping at the public trough for generations is a sad way for a party to fade from relevance.

      1. grizziz

        In Illinois the Democrats played the IBGYBG game and time and again when they signed a new contract with the unions the politicians did not raise taxes accordingly. Instead they borrowed money from the banks or delayed making the required payments to the pension funds with rosy assumptions about the future.
        One of my favorite moments was when Richie Daley signed the parking meter deal and the city received a $5 billion check which Richie said was for a rainy day fund. Guess what, it rained the very next day.

    4. JohnnyGL

      Much like those former steel-workers that they love to mock, they’re afraid that their way of life is going to end. They don’t have any other career path to follow. Newspapers are dying and the ad revenues are drying up.

      Once billionaires like John Henry decide the house organ isn’t doing its job….

    5. Montanamaven

      Went to a party of wealthy Dems on Sunday in upstate NY. Most of them talked teary eyed to each other in hush tones. I didn’t know many of them, so I just drifted around. One guy though introduced himyself and started out by saying he was furious about the election and pissed that half of America is “racist misogynist bigoted homophobic morons.” Thought i would agree. I said that I saw this in a different way and that I knew some of those people since I live in rural Montana as well as knowing people in the poorest county in NY. I said it was economics and he snorted at me. Another woman was worried sick about the National Endowment for the Arts. Not sure if there is a lot of soul searching going on. But the did seem afraid.

    6. Ché Pasa

      Fear is a great motivator.

      The ruling class is likely not afraid, for the tumbrels aren’t rolling just yet, and besides, most of them have pledged themselves to the New Boss.

      But inducing fear of the boogey-man is a tried and true way to keep the underlings in line, whether the boogey-man is real or not.

    7. Steeeve

      Clinton voters are half the country. I had my 16 yo son find that inaccuracy in that passage, since we had just looked at the charts in the ‘apathy vs anger’ article linked to the other day. My thumbnail calculation says only about half of eligible voters (not half the country) vote, half of them for Dem or Repub, and maybe half of them are actively partisan, so statements like these are really only talking about something like 15% of the people around you.

    1. diptherio

      Happens every election cycle…I thought I recognized the title of that article…the more things change…

    2. Laruse

      Careful there. Everyone knows The Onion is a fake news site and in the wake of the elections, no longer to be tolerated. But don’t worry because FaceBook is going to protect your delicate mind and filter it and its like out. [/sarc]

  8. mtnwoman

    “Obama continued: “Given population distribution across the country, we have to compete everywhere. We have to show up everywhere.”

    Riiight.. Revising much Obama? It was YOU (and Rahm) who let Howard Dean go after his 50 state strategy helped elect you. Then you let Tim Kaine and Odious Debbie run the place into the ground such that there are fewer Dems in office across the country than there have been since the 1920’s.

    1. RUKidding

      And he hired the odious Rahm Emanual as his first CoS, who famously told the progressive wing of the party – who were pulling on Obama’s coat to do the things he promised – that we were all f*cking r*tarded. And then Robert Gibbs told us we needed to all get drug tested.

      Yeah, way to go, Obama. And I duly note how much YOU got out in what’s called “fly-over country” during this election season… as in: Not. At. All.

      Pffffffft! Thanks for nothing. Guess you’ll just have to go out to lunch with your BFF Jamie Presidential Cufflinks Dimon to get some of that adulation you think you deserve.

      1. nippersdad

        You forgot O’s little addition to that particular litany of shame: “sanctimonious purists.”

        I have never forgotten it, and never forgiven it. If he didn’t want the sanctimonious purist vote he shouldn’t have been trying to shame it into voting for his hand picked successor.

      2. neo-realist

        I’m not an Obama fan, but in his defense, he pressed the flesh, hung out and dined with the little people in fly over country when he was running and it was Hillary’s responsibility to get on the ground in those states, press the flesh and go to the fish frys and the bbq’s and speak to their economic interests and needs which, unlike Obama, she didn’t do or do enough of.

  9. Kurt Sperry

    “If you turn the gaslights up all the way, gaslighting doesn’t work”

    Google shows no prior instances of that, one result and a link to this page. Well done.

  10. Kim Kaufman

    ““Always the last word…”

    Yeah, well the electorate had the last word this time. They weren’t buying what Obama was selling this time: Clinton, the TPP and more crappy neoliberalism.

    The dogs wouldn’t eat the dogfood.

    And is Wilbur Ross any worse than Penny Pritzker?

    1. JTMcPhee

      0Bomba is cruising through his Senior Slump. He’s got an enormous payday and an unimaginable number of strokes waiting for him, (to mix the metaphors, what’s his handicap again? Oh, yeah, “an honest 13,” as reported by CNN after “his 300th round of golf as President,” http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/07/politics/obama-golf-interview/index.html ), actually not even waiting until Jan. 21. Fokk him and his family and all the mopes who floated his boat to where he can piss down on he rest of us. Ferris Fokking OBueller.

      And of course “It turns out I’m really good at killing people…” http://hotair.com/archives/2013/11/04/nobel-peace-prize-winner-to-aides-lets-face-it-im-really-good-at-killing-people/

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I’m sure he’ll get some money, but the inability to close is…well. ..the Clinton Global Initiative was a nothing operation until after Kerry lost. What does Obama offer now? The answer is not much. There are no Obama Democrats.

  11. Elizabeth Burton

    What are they so afraid of?

    I’ve been dealing with this since even before the election, and what I’m seeing is a body of people who grew up in rural areas but “escaped” via college. They hated it, and I begin to think part of their refusal to accept there is an economic basis for people voting Republican is a reflection of their distaste for their own past. They are no longer “one of those people,” and their way of dealing with the sudden appearance of “those people” in a way that challenges their new view of how the world works is to reject it.

    I’m not expressing this well, because it’s still an idea in progress; and it doesn’t apply to everyone. On the other hand, neither does the image of the Republican voter as a racist, misogynistic, homophobic xenophobe, although to many prefer that generic label. Still, I’ve said over and over, to very little purpose so far, that attacking everyone who voted Republican, dismissing any reason offered that doesn’t include acceptance of their being said RMHX as false, irrelevant and/or immaterial, simply plays into the hands of those who’ve been keeping us at each other’s throats since the Declaration of Independence was signed.

    1. Michael

      Sigh. Yes, of course anyone who voted for Trump is a racist and a sexist, just like how the entire GOP was held hostage to the majority faction that was willing to burn down the country to punish us for electing and reelecting an African-American President.

      We live in a both/and world. I don’t need to pretend that the folks who I left behind in Flyover aren’t ruled by a brutally racist, sexist, homophobic, and self-destructive culture and power elite. I go home for Christmas. I know these people, and I see how they treat one another, and I see how my relatives who are good people who remain get abused by the worst of them.

      I need to answer the next question — given that this is so, now what? How can the Dems continue the meaningful gains in including people of color, women, and LGBTQ folks in having access to the best life available, and also present a viable option to people who are racist but who also love their kids? Trivially, the answer is to ditch neoliberalism. So . . . let’s do that?

      1. hunkerdown

        All the gains for those people were stolen from the public interest — not as a matter of intention, but as a matter of happenstance. You might just have to get your woke self back among the lumpen and stop pretending you’re better than. Which pretty much means ditching liberalism, neo or not.

    2. Stephanie

      I’m not expressing this well, because it’s still an idea in progress; and it doesn’t apply to everyone.

      It is on the right track.

      I think the problem there is growing up in a small, conservative town is a very different proposition than being an adult in the same, at least in the upper Midwest. A white adult with a job or a business can spout whatever crazy, pinko spew they want in a small town, so long as they’re not openly hitting on people of the same sex or organizing a union. Teenagers are never afforded that luxury, and since that is the last time a lot of white liberals have lived in a small town, they only remember the religious services they were forced to attend and the sex they were told they shouldn’t be having. They don’t relate to the struggle to find work in a small town, or getting to work with NO public transportation options, and in small towns even the heretical UCC people own guns to keep foxes away from the chickens. Their perspective is that of adolescents sick of being ordered around by people who think college is a waste of time because The Rapture, and they still have no idea why The Rapture might be a relief to those people.

      1. fajensen

        Their perspective is that of adolescents sick of being ordered around by people who think college is a waste of time because The Rapture,

        Very Good Point. Frozen behavior patterns. It’s like how we stop drawing at a certain ages so when we do it again at any age, we draw like children.

        “I grew up with these people, I know what they are like” becomes: Some teenager known as “me” grew up with these people, but, these people and that teenager doesn’t exist anymore. All of our cells were replaced at least twice over, we are not the same people. Time to start again.

    3. Katharine

      Interesting that like me, though coming at it differently, you see this as fright at a threat to their idea of how the world works. If we are at all right, we may see more of this as it becomes increasingly obvious that the old ways simply won’t work any more.

    4. TK421

      I think there’s something to that. They would be the Democratic counterpart to the people I grew up with ho used public schools and Pell grants to escape being poo, and now want to cut government programs to the bone.

    5. Carolinian

      You are onto something. People used to say half the people in NYC (including me for awhile) are from somewhere else. Places like New York are such a radical change from places like SC that you either change yourself to fit in or leave. I wound up in Atlanta.

      It’s also possible that people remembering the places where they grew up don’t realize that the US heartland has changed a lot more than the urban areas in recent times. It’s not quite the Sahara of the Bozarts that it once was. Plus, we have the interwebs now.

      Speaking of Atlanta, Julia Roberts grew up in the suburb called Smyrna and people I know had her in their high school yearbooks which later became hot resale items. Roberts later expressed disdain for the South and where she grew up and would probably fit your theory to a tee.

      As Rodney King said: “can’t we all just get along”…..

      1. Sandy

        I recently read an article about how the internet is changing rural America pretty dramatically, especially for young people. I think it was in The Atlantic. I wish I could find it.

        My general thesis is that cities like NYC were idolized by millennials but the kids who are around 18 or younger now will not strive so hard to get to these cities. These kids have smartphones so ingrained into their being that they don’t see themselves as deprived if they’re outside of a major city. I’m also hearing anecdotes from my younger friends here in NYC (around 22-23) about their peers rejecting the hard grind professional lifestyle here and leaving the city, and they’re also giving up drinking alcohol in large numbers (staying in is cooler) and data backs this up.

    6. JohnnyGL

      Reminds me of the minor celeb phenomenon of formerly fat people becoming weight-loss gurus and telling everyone, “If I can do it, ANYONE can”. Which, of course, translates into ‘you have no excuse for being a fat, lazy bum and no one else to blame’.

      Thomas Frank is from Kansas, he knows about this kind of thing. Tons of people around DC thinking they’re smarter than everyone else in the country because of their glittering resumes. If I can get an education and make it in DC, so can YOU!

      Same phenomenon with the Obamas and Clintons. They didn’t grow up rich, but they really, desperately wanted to join up with the rich. If they can get rich and make it big in this neoliberal world, so can YOU!

      I think it’s the same phenomenon of ex-smokers like Michael Bloomberg coming down so hard against smoking. I quite, why can’t YOU do it?!!?!?

      It seems like when someone overcomes major obstacles in life, they often lose the ability to see why anyone else in a similar situation can’t overcome in much the same way.

  12. Jim Haygood

    Stocks were mixed today, as the runaway US dollar index DXY hovers near a 13-year high.

    Nevertheless, the Dow Industrials are 0.3% below their record high set yesterday, the S&P 500 is 0.6% below its Aug 15th record high, and the Russell 2000 small-cap stock index is 0.05% below its record high set yesterday.

    Looks like this rally has room to rock during the seasonally favorable Nov-Jan period.

  13. Kim Kaufman

    ” Maybe America’s first female corrupt warmonger President wasn’t a good enough pitch?”

    And maybe Clinton’s assertions of how much she’s done for women and children in her career couldn’t be backed up with any evidence except for expanding S-CHIP.

  14. Kim Kaufman

    “Sanders will serve as Ranking Member on the Budget Committee [The Atlantic].”

    I thought Bernie was going for something bigger but I forget which committee.

    1. Jim Haygood

      The Senate Appropriations and Finance committees seem to have more practical authority over taxation and spending than Budget, a newer committee formed in 1974.

      Maybe Bernie doesn’t like to get his hands dirty with the sausage making. But those other committees are where the deals get done in the Senate.

        1. grayslady

          That’s how I read it. “Outreach”? In other words, we want you, Bernie, to go out and whore yourself with millenials to vote for Clinton-adoring Dems, just like you did after you lost the primary. Bernie’s greatest strength during the primary was that he was viewed as an independent, an outsider, in spite of running as a Dem. The Clinton Dem party needs to be destroyed, and that includes Chucky Schumer, Steny Hoyer, Nancy Pelosi and the rest of them. If Bernie allies himself with them, he will destroy everything he’s spent 30 years working for. What a waste.

        2. Jen

          As the saying goes, if you want to be a leader you need followers. What matters more than which committee(s) Bernie chairs, is what happens when he tells his followers they should call their congress critter about x,y, or z.

        1. Kim Kaufman

          At this point, I’m most concerned about who’s going to head DSCC and DCCC. If it’s the same old, we’re gonna get the same old corporate hack loser candidates.

          1. Katharine

            Unless Brand New Congress, Our Revolution, or others come up with a new approach. I think a lot of people are ready. In our local election, an innovative Green candidate for mayor got 10% of the vote, and the Greens don’t have a strong record in this state at all.

    2. Kim Kaufman

      I heard Bernie on the radio this evening. He said he wanted to be on the Health Education and Welfare. Can he be on more than one committee?

  15. vegasmike

    Jamelle Bouie and Amanda Marcotte were both anti-Sanders people. Sometime, I think they thought the Bernie bros were almost as deplorable as the Trump people. Also, it’s odd that many people are using radical feminist tropes to defend Hillary Clinton who was basically a corporate feminist.

  16. JTMcPhee

    The following is an open letter written and signed by every National Guardsman in America.

    Good morning America.

    Shake off the hangover and look yourself in the eyes, if you can. It’s always an awkward transition but you will make it. We’ve seen hundreds of toxic leaders come and go over the years, so trust us when we tell you everything will be okay.

    Don’t believe us? Strap in.

    You think the Electoral College is an outdated system that doesn’t represent the average person’s interests? Try the National Guard Bureau on for size, assholes. The states send our most incompetent officials to Washington to get them out of the way. Then they shit all over their hometowns for personal gain. Sound familiar?

    Are you worried about corruption? We’ve lived it – and this assclown’s still in charge. Hard to believe an obese official accused of improper conduct could keep his job in New Jersey, we know. But even now the New Jersey Guardsmen show up every month and play Candy Crush under their Humvees.

    Sure they might be pissed off, but they still get to do their jobs like normal.

    Are you concerned the new leadership might make poor financial decisions? Don’t worry, even if they do they’ll cave under media pressure and make it right.

    You just have to tell Congress and they’ll take quick action to fix it.

    So just take it easy and follow our advice. Smile to their face and talk shit behind their back. Grab a Monster and some smokes and hide out back by the Connex. And whatever you do, don’t piss them off until you’ve safely earned your retirement pay. http://www.duffelblog.com/2016/11/every-national-guardsman-dont-worry-america-you-can-still-survive-under-toxic-leadership/?utm_source=Duffel+Blog+Fans&utm_campaign=c2472ad45c-Duffel_Blog_Daily&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6d392bc034-c2472ad45c-23816453&goal=0_6d392bc034-c2472ad45c-23816453&mc_cid=c2472ad45c&mc_eid=c854cee13f

    Keep calm and carry on. Muddle through. Let a smile be your umbrella.

    1. diptherio

      That story was in NewsMax yesterday, which someone linked to. I read it and thought it smelled distinctly of BS, especially this bit:

      ‘Bill also said that many African Americans were deeply disappointed with the results of eight years of Obama,’ the source continued.

      ‘Despite more and more government assistance, black weren’t economically any better off, and black-on-black crime was destroying their communities. He said Hillary should have gone into the South Side of Chicago and condemned the out-of-control violence.’

      “Black-on-black” crime sounds like right-wing rhetoric to me, and the source is anonymous, so…and anyway, even if it’s all true, why should we care? I mean, no offense, but what’s the point, apart from schadenfreude?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        So what doesn’t sound like the Clintons? Their whole schtick is right wing rhetoric. Super predator, reform welfare, public private partnerships, the third way, we are Eisenhower republicans. Then Bill seems to fancy himself as a black messiah.

        It’s probably fake, but it’s well written.

      2. Vatch

        I’m neither agreeing nor disagreeing with you, but I wonder why Bill Clinton wouldn’t use right wing rhetoric in private. One would think that he’s picked up some right wing habits after years of hobnobbing with billionaires and TBTF bank CEOs.

      3. curlydan

        When I was reading those articles, I thought someone close to Bill might be feeding stories to the press about how Bill was pushing for more white working class emphasis while no one else was listening, i.e. should have listened to genius Bill.

        In Lambert’s myths busting post earlier today, one article said Bill “spent part of a day in early September” in white working class Pennsylvania counties. Wow, Bill, part of a day in early September! You really showed’em how to commit. If he was that concerned (and Bill probably can go where ever he wants), why not spend a few days plural in those counties in late October?

      4. Solar Hero

        Merely explain to me this: “more and more government assistance” = what? Obamacare?

        Not assistance!

    2. JohnnyGL

      We know it’s false because we learned in the Podesta emails that they don’t talk to each other. They don’t even email each other. They tell their staff to get in touch and deliver messages. :)

  17. DJG

    “I believe that we have better ideas,” Obama said of the Democratic Party. “But I also believe that good ideas don’t matter if people don’t hear them.”

    This is Obama admitting that he believes that governance is about rhetoric, nothing but rhetoric. Hear? What is this? Methodist youth camp?

    I have a better idea: Bittersweet-chocolate icing on all cream puffs.

    The difference is that I know that you have to test out an idea. Why, you might even have to have a legislative program, goals for jobs, an economic program, arm-twisting of senators, …

  18. Kim Kaufman

    I’m sorry I’m posting so much today but there’s just so much out there – like this:

    Hillary lost by 13,107 votes.
    87,810 voters cast ballots with the presidential section blank.
    Jill Stein got 51,420 votes.

    1. TK421

      I find that fascinating. It’s one thing to try and guess what people who didn’t vote would do differently, but when someone takes the time to get up and find their polling place and wait in line, and can’t stand either of the offerings on tap, that’s a clear message.

    2. uncle tungsten

      Thank you for that gem. That explains so much of the underlying strategy of voters. It is truly astounding and it points clearly to the futility of the Greens as a vehicle forward.

      I trust that same dataset can be established nationwide?

    1. Jim Haygood

      Wait … where’s all the racism and white supremacy that the NYT said Bannon is spouting?

      His speech and Q&A is mostly economic analysis, inveighing against crony capitalism. Bannon even praises nationalist parties for self-policing against fringe elements with racist agendas.

      This is not at all like the fact-free caricature the NYT painted, with nothing but pejorative adjectives. Did they lie to me AGAIN? :-(

      1. Aumua

        I’m sure that Bannon is an expert at wearing the “I’m a reasonable guy” facade. I’ve observed it is a common tactic among certain right wing extremist groups. When they can’t introduce their propaganda directly, they switch to an indirect approach.

        1. Carolinian

          Sounds like what certain left wing extremist neoliberal groups do. Greatest lie ever told: “change you can believe in.”

          The outcry over Bannon is because he’s considered–to put it crudely–“bad for the Jews.” There are dog whistles and then there are litmus tests. Of course Trump is more likely to be taking ME advice from his Jewish son in law who is married to the comely Ivanka, so Bannon was probably really picked because his conspiracy mongering (all that stuff about Hillary and the epipen) helped Trump win. Karl Rove part two.

          1. Aumua

            I do get your point. It just rings kind of hollow, doesn’t it? I mean if you want to paint yourself into a corner where you feel obligated to defend the likes Steve Bannon, then by all means, knock yourself out. I will step aside and observe.

            1. Carolinian

              I’m not defending anybody and no I didn’t vote for Trump. I hope we are all here just to understand what’s going on.

              But should say that while the Times and Post are predictably quick to jump to the anti-semitism charge, Phil Weiss, whose site takes the temperature of these things among the US Jewish community, says there’s some disagreement on how to react to Bannon because Trump has declared himself unreservedly pro-Israel. Even Dershowitz has defended Bannon for being pro Israel whatever coded phrases and pictures may have appeared on Bannon’s site.


              1. Aumua

                I apologize for any conclusions jumped to. I’m going through a bit of a rough patch right now. Regardless, I still can’t see much positive about Bannon in a position of power in our government. Guess we’re going to find out..

                1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                  There’s a huge positive: he gives us lots of stuff to be *against*. The Dems lost the war and must now make sure they do not also lose the peace. Pay absolutely no attention to the lady who wore purple when she conceded because she did not think good old Blue was Red enough

                  1. Aumua

                    I hardly agree with Glenn Beck. Well, maybe on this one point.. truthfully I’ve found myself in agreement with some very unlikely entities these past few months. It’s been awkward to say the least. But that’s just the kind of radical free thinker I am. And that’s just the kind of topsey turvy effect this election has had on everything that once was a given. I’m just calling it as I see it.

                    1. UserFriendly

                      Same here. I Don’t have strong feelings on Bannon either way. But I have found myself agreeing with Laura Ingraham and Ann Coulter once or twice which if you had told me that 2 years ago I would have laughed in your face.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        I read it. I don’t think much of Bannon’s ideology, which doesn’t seem coherent to me. Or his view of history. That said, it’s good to have a transcript to assess, instead of the usual suspects yammering at each other.

  19. curlydan

    On the top 100 books read in colleges:
    I wish I were a child of Thomas Kuhn or William Strunk. I’d write a new book: The Structure and Elements of Living in Scientific High Style off of Royalties. Gotta get me some of that.

  20. mk

    Received a text from Our Revolution: Tune in to Bernie’s speech about the future of our country under the presidency of Donald Trump. Watch tonight at 7pm ET/4pm PT

    1. ChiGal in Carolina

      though if you’re not on facebook you couldn’t watch while it was live, you can click on the link now and hear the whole thing

  21. ewmayer

    “What are they so afraid of?” — I’m starting to think that what the Dem tribalists fear most of all is that Trump might surprise (nearly) everyone *again* and actually turn out to be a decent president for all Americans, as he promised. I’m picturing the With Her crowd waking up in screaming night terrors, having just dreamt of such a horrifying scenario. “Aaaaaaieee! He’s not in fact Hitler v117.0! Heaven help us, we need a new bogeyman!”

    Mind you, I think the odds of DJT morphing into a historically beloved class traitor a la FDR are quite slim, but given the scaring-the-children way in which Dems demonized him, even a ‘not as terrible as I feared’ Trump presidency would represent a nightmare scenario for The Faithful.

    1. voteforno6

      He may have already performed his greatest public service, by taking out both the Bush and Clinton dynasties.

    1. mk

      Highlights of Bernie’s speech (missed the first couple of minutes, was finally able to see and hear, thank you facebook)
      Will Hold President Trump Accountable re: his campaign promises:
      He will not cut social security, medicare, medicaid
      Invest 1 trillion dollars public infrastructure
      Raise minimum wage to $10
      Reestablish Glass–Steagall legislation
      6 weeks paid maternity leave
      Change trade policies

      will not be involved in expansion of bigotry, racism, sexism, etc. (much crowd applause)
      we’re not going backward, we’re going forward
      Rescind the appointment of Bannon

      Climate Change –
      Must keep our commitments so others do as well
      Mr. Trump, please read a little bit about science – and talk to scientists, not CEOs from fossil fuel industry

      Bernie reads an article about his campaign
      Millennials voted for Bernie, they are the future, we set the agenda

      1. abynormal

        Thanks mk. Trump’ll be busy living the global protectionism he’s brewing. he will find himself in a dead-end alley…trying to turn his semi around, full of US CEO’s begging tax forgiveness to inevitably come home to DIE.

        A draft of Trump’s 14-point economic manifesto promises that, as president, he would “modify or cancel any business, or trade agreement that hinders American business development, or is shown to create an unfair trading relationship with a foreign entity.”……..for the worker or the corporation??
        it’ll be interesting to watch Trump, the businessman, go up against Coke, Nestle, GE etc…of course he can always blame the FED bc they ARE blameable and building a wall of their own at the end of Trumps alley.

  22. Waldenpond

    Post election hangover…. So much analysis and opinion it’s overwhelming. Even when doing other things my mind wanders back to elections:

    Rs are the NFL where the game is limited taxes, limited safety net, limited public/democratic ownership + religion and security.

    Rs are the team owners – free agents welcome to apply.

    Oligarchs are the players – 1st downations get a no-bid contract.

    Ds are the ticket sellers (determining distribution and offering head injury education programs) and the referees.

    The public are the ticket holders – forever waiting in line at the restroom.

    Third parties are the soccer team allowed to practice on the field during the off season as long as they don’t mess up the field.

    The left? Could be the track team allowed to run around the perimeter but never on the field.

    The football (Lucy’s going to pull away) – every electoral strategy trying to get around the duopoly

    What group represents the children’s summer programs?

    1. hunkerdown

      Conventions, especially national, with established officials promising a hand up in exchange for the courtesy of not disrupting the Party’s ritual and its ordained outcome, are approximately that. Their “graduates”‘ cognitive states are directly comparable.

    1. Octopii

      Ran into JB yesterday on think-tank row in DC….he seemed to be in a big hurry. Thought it was a good sign he’s not in NYC.

    1. voteforno6

      Definitely better than some of the other names that are floating around. Heck, he’s quite a bit better than some of the names floated for a potential Clinton administration. That being said, I think that there would be some pushback against him from a good deal of the national security establishment. He made a huge mistake by being right in the wrong way, rather than wrong in the right way, like most of the “serious” people in Washington.

      1. Steve C

        Webb should have been Obama’s SecDef, not Bush’s SecDef and the MIC champion Ashton Carter.

        If Trump has people like this, he will stymie the WithHer crowd and their need for him to be a bogeyman, as referred to above.

  23. Waldenpond

    Sanders praising Schumer! That made me laugh.

    Bernie Sanders Verified account

    There’s nobody I know better prepared and more capable of leading our caucus than @SenSchumer.

    This isn’t the tacky acct berniesanders that’s been handed over to the party, it’s his senate acct.

    1. polecat

      ….. Oh, and by the way, according to Bernie, the Clintons,et al, should be left aloooooone ! … no continuing investigations, and possible trials for them …. nooooooo.

      … but yeah …. Obi Wan Sheepdog, your our only hope !!

      right ! …. Go ahead, pull ALL my fingers ……

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        If you don’t like the inside game, go play the outside game, which is just as important. But the BarcaLounger of Cynicism really isn’t an inspiring place to be.

  24. g3

    An interesting postmortem piece on Itasca county in the Iron-range/mining country in Northern MN. The county flipped to Repub for the first time since 1928. MN itself hasn’t gone Repub in presidential elections since 1972, however narrowly. Killary came dangerously close to losing it . Though she managed to cross the finish line as also Rep.Nolan, the DFL (Dems) themselves ended up with net loss in the state legislature.Now Repubs will control both chambers in the state and we can all kiss goodbye to stories on the lines of “Billionaire gov taxes the rich and MN economy booms”….

    There is an audio and a brief summary but I added +tional summary from what I heard on the show after the link.


    Sanders won the county (in district MN-8) handily and the state, despite the Gov and the 2 US senators & the party machine backing Killary (Keith Ellison is not part of it). Here is the demographics [95% white] & the primary(caucus) data :

    People calling in gave various reasons – lack of jobs, Obamacare and yes, Sanders as a more credible candidate. IIRC, HRC didn’t visit the area and was spending time in the twin cities hobnobbing with donors. One caller did mention racism. For some context, Obama performed the best in the county compared to Gore & Kerry as per this wiki entry : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnesota%27s_8th_congressional_district
    [HRC campaigned for Obomba in 2008 amid reports that people in the area are hesitant about voting for a Black president].

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Thanks. That’s a really good link. There are more and more of these locally-focused articles coming out. I have one in today’s Links (forthcoming) on Florida.

  25. JSM

    Re: ‘Dems and New Dem Chair Must Break Reliance on George Soros’

    The author, Sainato, does not appear to be a Republican at all but a disaffected Sanders supporter, having written, for the Huffington Post, such articles as ‘Hillary Clinton Touted Fracking Across the Globe, and Only Bernie Sanders Can Be Trusted to Save Us From It,’ in November of 2015.

    He is quite prolific and for the most part quite good.

    1. integer

      Poor old George Soros. Did you know his last name is Hungarian and correctly (phonetically) pronounced “Shersh”? Hopefully he gets the opportunity to spend the rest of his life feeling frustrated and miserable.

  26. abynormal

    “Home builders remain very optimistic, reflected in the housing market index which is unchanged this month at 63 and far above the neutral 50 level”

    next month it’ll read HOPEFUL…zh:

    Mortgage Applications Crash 30% As Borrowing Rates Surge
    mortgage applications in America have collapsed 30% to 10-month lows – plunging over 9% in the last week as mortgage rates approach 4.00%.

    While the poor people sleepin’
    With the shade on the light
    While the poor people sleepin’
    All the stars come out at night.

  27. Jim Haygood

    Trouble for our foreign legions:

    JERUSALEM — American officials said Wednesday that they were investigating the killing of three United States soldiers at a Jordanian air base this month as a possible terrorist attack and dismissed suggestions that the three had done anything to provoke the shooting.

    The Nov. 4 shooting has been shrouded in secrecy as American and Jordanian officials investigate it, a sign of the sensitivity surrounding the episode. But the Americans evidently became irritated at reports that seemed to place at least some blame on the soldiers.

    The three soldiers, all with the Special Forces, were in Jordan on a training mission and were returning to the air base in the southern desert when a Jordanian soldier fired on them. The Jordanian soldier was wounded in what was described as an exchange of fire and is in custody.


    So WTF are US troops doing in Jordan anyway? It’s just a crappy, no-account, dictatorial Arab monarchy. But the US pays Jordan $1 billion a year to make nice to its neighbor Israel … and even provides troops to supervise compliance.

    It’s the least we can do to keep Sheldon happy.

    1. Jay M

      maybe some of the natives are pissed off, ya think?
      there, investigation complete
      (oh wait, we have to torture the crap out of the guy, he was wounded).

    2. Octopii

      Disagree with Jordan being a “crappy no-account dictatorial monarchy.” Jordanian people are the friendliest in the ME in my experience. They’re an island of relative tranquility surrounded by chaos and death, straining under the load of a high refugee population and hamstrung economy. Of all the Arab countries, Jordan is alone in taking large amounts of refugees from nearby wars, and yes, the US supports that financially as Jordan has no oil. Rich Arab nations should be, but are not.

      This incident is a worse kind of bad sign in a series of bad signs. If Jordan becomes unstable, it’ll be a tragic mess. Remember that the current Hashemite king and court are descended from the original Emir Hussein who started the Arab Revolt in WWI. Descendants in this line were kings of Iraq and Jordan until Iraq’s King Faisal and the crown prince were overthrown and killed in 1958…. setting the stage for Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship. The Jordanian monarchy survives but if it goes, expect the country to be destroyed.

  28. optimader

    Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts – The Fog of Politics

    “People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage. Intellectual myopia, often called stupidity, is no doubt a reason. But the privileged also feel that their privileges, however egregious they may seem to others, are a solemn, basic, God-given right. The sensitivity of the poor to injustice is a trivial thing compared with that of the rich.”

    John Kenneth Galbraith

    The sugar high of the Trump election seems to be wearing a bit thin on Wall Street. I had said at the time that I thought they would just execute the trading plans they had in place in their supposition that Hillary was going to win. And this is what I think they did, and have been doing.

    And so when the thrill is gone, and dull reality starts sinking in, I suspect we are going to be in for quite a correction.

    However, I am tuning out the hysteria from the Wall Street Democrats, especially the pitiful whining emanating from organizations like MSNBC, CNN, and the NY Times, because they have discredited themselves as reliable, unbiased sources. They really have…… http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/

        1. abynormal

          CooL, i’m grab’n Wilzen (my drug of choice) & my water wings!

          In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion.
          Camus, The Minotaur

  29. abynormal

    Tonight: Saudis, China Dump Treasuries; Foreign Central Banks Liquidate A Record $375 Billion In US Paper

    At some point, the dollar has to give. You can’t just keep printing money, and monetizing debt, and buying bonds, without the
    [petro] dollar imploding. Peter Schiff

    1. ewmayer

      LOL, Peter Schiff on ‘whither the dollar?’ Talk about highly reliable contrarian indicators. This was the guy that was screaming ‘dollar collapse! hyperinflation!! old ladies trucking wheelbarrows full of worthless fiat to use as fuel for their stoves!!!’ all through the GFC, and *still* hasn’t bothered to check into this highly mysterious phenomenon known as ‘debt deflation.’

      What a weenie.

  30. Plenue

    “There’s No Such Thing as a Good Trump Voter”

    I’ve had a bunch of interactions with liberal good-thinkers the last few days. The majority of it is a lot of “the disreputable, dark heart of America triumphed”. The absolute most charitable verdict I’ve encountered is that Trump voters “rationalized their support for a bigot with things like appeals to the economy”. Cart before the horse! The idea that jobs was the number one concern and is what drove millions to support a candidate they otherwise find distasteful completely fails to penetrate.

    1. JSM

      Point out that tarring millions of people one hasn’t met with inflammatory & prejudicial slurs, under the mantle of virtue, is the basest hypocrisy imaginable.

      Good luck!

    2. Aumua

      I think a lot of them rationalized their support with the fact that Clinton was quite possibly going to be even worse. Unfortunately many of them seem to still be rationalizing, even as the Clintons are leaving the picture.

  31. Solar Hero

    Clinton voters are not “half the country.” Half the country (voting age citizens) didn’t vote. Clinton voters are 1 out of 4, just like Trump voters. The plurality is everyone else.

  32. Pat

    I’ve heard a couple of people riff on building a wall. They don’t appreciate when I point out that they will also need one to upstate New York where we get our water. It is amazing how many people forget that those supposedly hateful could live next door. Or one county over.

  33. Cry Shop

    ” Feminists misunderstood the presidential election from day one” [Gaurdian]. “It turns out many women don’t care about Trump’s sexism – nor that Clinton is a woman. A majority of white women voted for Trump. And while Clinton did carry the female vote overall, her advantage among women was a percentage point less than Obama had enjoyed over Romney in 2012. This has left many American feminists reeling. Just how did this happen, they ask?” Maybe America’s first female corrupt warmonger President wasn’t a good enough pitch?

    Since votes are private, I assume these morons are basing their opinions on the same polls that predicted Hillary was going to blow the doors off. Right, wrong, who cares; as long as we have numbers to make us sound authentic.

    1. Cry Shop

      right at this segment of the video is when Jonathan Pie says what I and some others have been saying for some time about why the polls were going to get this election wrong. Late Wiemar Republic stuff going on.

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