2:00PM Water Cooler 11/21/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


TPP: “Obama to TPP Leaders: Keep Working to Push Deal Forward… ‘There are going to be tensions that arise, probably around trade more than anything else,’ Obama added, ‘because the president-elect campaigned on looking at every trade policy and potentially reversing some of those policies. But once they look at how it’s working, I think they’ll determine that it’s actually good both for the United States and our trading partners'” [Politico]. We haven’t killed it with fire…

TPP: “Leaders of the Trans-Pacific Partnership nations are openly considering going it alone, without the United States, in a so-called ‘TPP minus one’ in the wake of Donald Trump’s election” [Stuff].

CETA: “Claims that CETA is a ‘gold standard’ of trade deals for the betterment of people and the planet are undermined by a toothless environment chapter that cannot be properly enforced and a tribunal system which will prioritise corporate interests, according to a new analysis by green group Transport & Environment (T&E) and legal NGO ClientEarth” [Transport and Environment].

TISA: “: Any remaining hopes that the Trade in Services Agreement could be wrapped up this year were dashed on Friday when top-level trade officials involved in the talks canceled the concluding ministerial meeting set for early next month in Geneva. A technical-level meeting will still take place, a senior official involved in the talks told Morning Trade, but ministers will not be in attendance, since participants decided it wouldn’t be possible to reach a deal this year” [Politico].


2016 Post Mortem

“What form of politics? The strength of Trump’s vote is counterintuitive to ‘normal’ operating assumptions about bourgeois politics, certainly – a matter to which we will return. However, what was decisive was not Trump’s overweening strength, but Clinton’s etiolation of the Democratic base. Vox, the mouthpiece of know-it-all technocratic Clintonism, refers to the turnout as ‘surprisingly low‘. There is nothing surprising about it, to those who have had their eyes open. Between 2012 and 2016, the Republican vote barely changed, but the Democrats shed, at the latest estimate, approximately six and a half million votes. And 2012 was already three and a half million votes lower than Obama’s 2008 peak” [Salvage Zone]. Etiolate: 1. to cause (a plant) to whiten or grow pale by excluding light; 2. to cause to become weakened or sickly; drain of color or vigor.

“Wisconsin, a state that Hillary Clinton had assumed she would win, historically boasts one of the nation’s highest rates of voter participation; this year’s 68.3 percent turnout was the fifth best among the 50 states. But by local standards, it was a disappointment, the lowest turnout in 16 years. And those no-shows were important. Mr. Trump won the state by just 27,000 voters” {New York Times]. “Milwaukee’s lowest-income neighborhoods offer one explanation for the turnout figures. Of the city’s 15 council districts, the decline in turnout from 2012 to 2016 in the five poorest was consistently much greater than the drop seen in more prosperous areas — accounting for half of the overall decline in turnout citywide.”

And then there’s this:

Trump Transition

Cryptome releases Intelius public records background checks on major Trump administration figures: White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus Dox, First Daughter POA Ivanka Trump Dox, First Son-in-Law Jared Kushner Dox, White House Strategist Stephen Bannon Dox, National Security Council Michael Flynn Dox, Attorney General Jefferson Sessions Dox, CIA Director Michael Pompeo Dox, First Lady Melania Knauss Trump Dox, President Donald F. Trump Dox. JPGs, but best we have. Certainly a complex web of interests…

“Executives and anchors from the country’s five biggest television networks are meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower on Monday afternoon” [CNN].

UPDATE “Contrary to some press reports, Christie’s downfall wasn’t the result of friction with Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, campaign sources said; instead, Trump thought Christie was mishandling the transition, and he had “growing concerns” about the governor’s role in the ‘Bridgegate’ scandal in which two of Christie’s close aides were convicted of conspiracy on Nov. 4” [Yahoo News].


“There is a potential fight between the Donald Trump who develops real estate and the Donald Trump who wants to be a good Republican fighting for Republican causes he doesn’t really resonate with. My bet is that, if the issue can be properly framed, the valid technocratic arguments for loose money will prevail inside Donald Trump’s head, given the natural elective affinity with his past career” [Brad DeLong (!)].

“Team Trump’s Message: The Clash of Civilizations Is Back” [Politico]. It never left; Huntington’s pernicious Clash of Civilizations is on most Ivy League reading lists.

UPDATE “Donald Trump Is Declaring Bankruptcy on the Post-War World Order” [Foreign Policy]. “Global integration relied on the United States playing a vital stabilizing role in an otherwise turbulent world. After a long life, the seven decade-long American-led order is now exhausted. It was running out of steam anyway…. [T]he unique moment in global history that produced the liberal Leviathan and allowed it to cobble together wholesale a system that gave the world relative peace and prosperity for decades is giving way to a more uncertain, fragile successor. The long cycle of integration and relative tolerance forged by U.S. leadership since World War II is now headed in reverse.”

Realignment and Legitimacy

UPDATE Important:

I love the sound of smashing rice bowls in the morning.

“After last week’s election, Democrats hold the governor’s office and both legislative chambers in just six states—all of them on the Atlantic or Pacific oceans—compared with 25 for Republicans” [Wall Street Journal, “In Their Coastal Citadels, Democrats Argue Over What Went Wrong”]. “When the new Congress takes office in January, about one third of all House seats held by Democrats will come from just three states—California, New York and Massachusetts…. ‘Folks from rural counties and people from urban centers have different living conditions but they are dealing with the same issues, but people don’t see that right now,’ said Symone Sanders, a top aide to the Sanders campaign. ‘They’ve lost trust in the party.'”

“In the history of U.S. presidential elections, no president-elect has ever lost the popular vote by as much as Trump. This is not the stuff of a mandate” [Albert R. Hunt, Bloomberg].

“Of the 10 Demo­crat­ic sen­at­ors up for reelec­tion in 2018 who rep­res­ent states that Trump car­ried, six are from the Rust Belt. Many didn’t ex­pect to face par­tic­u­larly tough reelec­tion bids, but will be re­as­sess­ing their polit­ic­al fu­tures in the wake of Trump’s sur­pris­ing vic­tory. Sen. Sher­rod Brown of Ohio, a lib­er­al who had been on the short list to be Hil­lary Clin­ton’s run­ning mate, is sud­denly seek­ing com­mon ground with Trump. (Trump car­ried Ohio by 8.5 points, a mar­gin sim­il­ar to the one he racked up in Texas.) Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan told NPR the “re­spons­ible role is to work with the pres­id­ent” to find areas of agree­ment. “If you’re a Demo­crat like me, you’ve got to be able to have con­ver­sa­tions with folks … do some listen­ing and some learn­ing,” Sen. Robert Ca­sey of Pennsylvania said on MS­N­BC” [National Journal]. “The fate of these sen­at­ors is pivotal for the Demo­crat­ic Party. Even be­fore Trump’s sur­pris­ing vic­tory, 2018 figured to be a pun­ish­ing year for Sen­ate Demo­crats.”

“Currently, the Senate is split 51 to 48, with one outstanding Senate race (in Louisiana) likely bringing Republicans to 52 seats. That means they would need to pick up eight Senate seats to get to 60 — a tall order, but not impossible with a map as favorable for them as the one in 2018” [CBS].

Inside Baseball

“David Brock is forming a network of big donors to attack Trump throughout his term” [RealClearPolitics]. Grifters gotta grift. And reinforce failure, too, apparently.

“The claim that the Trump campaign was chaotic in the final months is wrong, Mr. Bannon says. It benefited from ‘excellent data’ furnished by the Republican National Committee and an operation in San Antonio set up by Mr. Kushner. The campaign was looking closely at ‘rural communities and the hinterlands that held a lot of votes,’ which the Clinton campaign had ‘basically ceded’ to Republicans. Mrs. Clinton also made the mistake of trying to ‘close the deal on a coalition’ (minorities, millennials) that ‘she’d never closed on before'” [Wall Street Journal, “Steve Bannon on Politics as War”]. Case for the defense.

” No one associated with Sanders wanted Donald Trump to win, and many in his movement worked hard to boost Clinton. But Sanders and his allies can’t help but feel some vindication. Mainly, though, they see an opportunity to assert themselves in the chaos of a decapitated Democratic Party” [NBC].

“In the days since Hillary Clinton’s stunning electoral defeat to Donald Trump, the vacuum she left atop the Democratic Party hasn’t gone unfilled” [Politico]. “Elizabeth Warren has moved aggressively to occupy the space, a timely reminder to the party and its most ambitious members that all roads to 2020 — not to mention 2018 — go through her.” Just think. If Warren had had the stones to challenge Clinton in 2016, she might be President today.

Stats Watch

Chicago Fed National Activity Index, October 2016: “The economy picked up pace in October following September’s rebound from prior softness, though still at a sub-zero rate of minus 0.08, and while all four components of the index improved, none made a positive contribution” [Econoday]. “Employment-related indicators were neutral at 0.0, up from minus 0.01 in the prior month, as a 0.1 percentage point fall in the unemployment rate to 4.9 percent was nearly offset by a smaller 161,000 increase in non-farm payrolls, 30,000 less than in September.” But “picked up pace” is really cheerleading, and: “The single month index which is not used for economic forecasting which unfortunately is what the CFNAI headlines. Economic predictions are based on the 3 month moving average” [Econintersect]. “[S]ee the three month rolling average for the last 6 months – it really has been staying within a very tight range. It is telling me that the economy is really going nowhere.” And: “[E]conomic activity was somewhat below the historical trend in October (using the three-month average)” [Calculated Risk]. And: “Still in the red” [Mosler Economics].

The FRBNY DSGE Model Forecast—November 2016: “Contributing to November’s moderate inflation forecast is the fact that the level of real output is still predicted to remain below its potential over the next few years. As a result, the output gap is projected to remain negative. The uncertainty around the output gap forecasts is, however, very large” [Liberty Street].

Supply Chain: “Trump protectionism could boost One Belt, One Road” [Lloyd’s List]. “With the US possibly rolling back from globalisation, China’s role in the world economy is likely to become more important and its influence will be bigger…. With a minimum spend of $1.4trn on infrastructure investment, the OBOR is estimated to be 12 times bigger in absolute US dollar terms than the Marshall Plan — a $12bn US initiative to aid Western Europe to help rebuild economies after the end of World War II.”

Supply Chain: “The food industry has become so globalized that much of the U.S. public doesn’t even know where its food comes from, much less whether it is safe” [MarketWatch].

Shipping: “China coal deficit and US grain shipments cited for dry bulk rate rebound” [Lloyd’s List].

Shipping: “[Chinese] electricity production has been showing a dramatic change in China and is just one example of the turnaround. Very encouraging for the dry bulk market are statistics showing China’s coal-derived electricity production in the last few months has been showing a huge shift from earlier this year (and also a huge shift from what was seen last year)” [Splash 247]. “At present, the dry bulk market has not been set to suddenly return to glory, but its longer-term prospects are also likely much better than consensus now believes, as well, as long as the Chinese economy continues to turn as it has been doing this year.”

Shipping: “Overall Trend For Top North America Seaports Remains Negative Through September” (with table) [Seeking Alpha]. Good summary through September.

Shipping: “Cargo volumes at the Port of Los Angeles increased nearly 16 percent in October compared to the same period last year, marking the busiest month ever at a Western Hemisphere container port” [Logistics Management]. “The Port of Long Beach did not fare as well as its West Coast brethren, with total container volumes down 6.2 percent annually at 581,808 TEU, due to what it called the ongoing fallout from the Hanjin bankruptcy.”

Shipping: “Container volume in October [at the Port of Virginia] surged to 238,567 TEUs – that’s containers measured in 20-foot units, an industry benchmark – a 2.2 percent increase from the same month a year ago” [Virginia Pilot].

Shipping: “The Port of Hamburg, Germany, has announced that its container volumes remained stable in the first nine months of 2016” [Container Management].

Shipping: “Despite the trade entering the slack winter season, Asia-Europe carriers clearly feel confident enough to roll out increases for December. And with the Chinese New Year festivities falling early next year – on 28 January – load factors after the Christmas holiday should be reasonably robust, strengthening the foundations of the rate increases” [The Loadstar]. “Meanwhile, transpacific carriers face a longer test of nerve, given that annual contract rates are typically set at the end of April. Nevertheless, spot rates between Asia and the US are also holding up better than a year ago.”

Shipping: “Light at the end of the tunnel for container shipping” [Lars Jensen, Splash 247]. “First of all we see record low capacity growth – despite the anemic global demand growth, we are no longer adding to the overcapacity of the global markets. Global demand growth this year has been 3.5% whereas the fleet has grown 3.1%. … We have seen substantial developments in terms of much needed industry consolidation…. We are increasingly seeing carriers begin to embrace much needed tools such as revenue management, digitisation, automation and process optimisation. This should be seen as a shift from the pure cost-cutting focus of the past years.”

Shipping: “A downturn in the market for office space in the region around New York City is turning into an opportunity for warehousing. A developer in northern New Jersey recently tore down a 500,000-square-foot office building to clear the way for 800,000 square feet of industrial space” [Wall Street Journal]. “E-commerce is a big driver, with fulfillment of online sales putting a growing premium on positioning goods with good access to highways, ports and people. Office vacancy rates, meantime, are in the double digits while industrial space is virtually full, boosting prices for warehouse space.”

Shipping: “Cancellations of orders for heavy-duty truck soared at the highest rate for a single month in more than two decades last month” [Wall Street Journal].

Rail: “Farmers across the Midwest are expected to bring in a record harvest this year, providing a boost to rail operators that have been reeling from the collapse in energy shipments” [Wall Street Journal]. “Rail analysts say the growth is triggering a fundamental shift in the business, as carriers and car owners convert tank-car orders to grain cars while investing in track to speed more grain to growing export markets.”

Housing: “What does a Trump administration mean for housing? Examining a few key items for the next year” [Dr. Housing Bubble]. “What is clear is that you should gear up to expect the unexpected. And most people expect housing values will only continue to go up.” The future lies ahead!

Gentlemen Prefer Bonds: “In the wake of Donald Trump’s victory, much has been made about the stunning selloff in the U.S. bond market” [Bloomberg]. “But for those that rely on fixed-income assets for what the name actually suggests — a fixed income over time — it couldn’t have come at a better time. Pension funds, which for years have struggled to keep up with their obligations as yields plumbed new lows, are now in line for a $100 billion reprieve as interest rates increase. Savers may finally see the interest they get from Treasuries rise after more than a decade of declines. And for banks, higher yields could also mean billions in extra income.”

“The Dappled World – speech by Andy Haldane” [Bank of England]. Given at GLS Shackle Biennial Memorial Lecture. “Although this crisis in economics is a threat for some, for others it is an opportunity – an opportunity to make a great leap forward, as Keynes did in the 1930s. For the students in this room, there is the chance to rethink economics with as clean a sheet of paper as you are ever likely to find…. In exploring new pathways, I will draw my inspiration from three features of economic systems which underpinned Shackle’s own work. First is the importance of recognising that these systems may often find themselves in a state of near-continuous disequilibrium. Indeed, even the notion of an equilibrium, stationary through time, may itself be misleading (Shackle (1972)). It was perhaps this feature of Shackle’s work that earned him his heterodox label.” I like “perhaps this feature.” Very dry humor.

Rapture Index, Nov 21, 2016: Closes down 1 on Wild Weather (“The lack of activity has downgraded this category.”) [Rapture Ready]. Current: 188. Record High: 189 (October 10, 2016).

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 66 Greed (previous close: 61, Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 53 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Nov 21 at 11:42am. Straining upward…

Health Care

“I read 7 Republican Obamacare replacement plans. Here’s what I learned” [Vox].

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Yet another Snowden:

The 420

“For the third successive month, none of the indicators were in positive territory for the month, although the overall movements were limited and all indicators did improve from September, which will help underpin confidence” [Economic Calendar]. “Trump’s decision to select Sessions as attorney general could put recent marijuana victories in major jeopardy, according to Aaron Herzberg – General Counsel at real estate focused marijuana firm CalCann Holdings. “It appears that he is intent on rolling back policy to the 1980’s Nancy Regan’s ‘just say no on drugs’ days,” he said.”


“Three Days on the Res: Facing the Dakota Pipeline” [Capital and Main]. “Several hundred yards north of the camp, a lone bridge has come to define the front line of this conflict. On one side, the West Dakota SWAT Team stands watch over the DAPL’s border. On the other, two young Lakota men are charged with maintaining order among the camp’s curious and defiant. In between rest the carcasses of burned-out trucks, which several tribal “water protectors” torched in response to the past few days of skirmishes that had culminated in a volley of tear gas and rubber-bullets. A concrete barrier topped with barbed wire and decorated with vulgar graffiti exemplifies the air of tension.”

Today’s news:

Just in time for Thanksgiving…

UPDATE “Protesters opposing the controversial pipeline reported being hit with teargas, rubber bullets and percussion grenades during the standoff” [Guardian]. “‘They were attacked with water cannons,’ said LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, a Standing Rock Sioux tribe member and founder of the Sacred Stone camp. ‘It is 23 degrees [-5 °C] out there with mace, rubber bullets, pepper spray, etc.'”


Nice slogan: “[N]o eminent domain for private gain” [Corporate Crime Reporter]. And the headline: “How the Kinder Morgan Palmetto Pipeline Was Defeated.” From the activists: “Tonya Bonitatibus of Savannah Riverkeeper led the effort to defeat the pipeline.” Bonitatibus: “One difference is that Savannah Riverkeeper and the friends we work with are not far left leaning. First and foremost we focused on eminent domain. We can get to the environmental issues later. The reason we took that approach is that there were a lot of people who were not opposed to the pipeline itself, but they were opposed to having their land taken. By sticking quickly and cleanly to one message and being careful about how that message came across and put in significant effort and time in making sure it was getting out there in a good way, it brought everybody together.”

“In the 1950s, geologist M. King Hubbert, known as “the father of peak oil”, warned that crude oil production would eventually peak and then decline. But ironically, he also figured out the mechanics of a technique that would one day expand the life of global oil reserves: hydraulic fracturing” [Cosmos].

“Polluted city air has now been identified as a possible means of transmission for resistant bacteria. Researchers in Gothenburg have shown that air samples from Beijing contain DNA from genes that make bacteria resistant to the most powerful antibiotics we have” [University of Gothenberg].

“Climate scientists and science reporters are buzzing about a new graph showing data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center, which gives a unexpectedly bleak portrait of current sea ice area at the poles” [The Verge].

Class Warfare

“Of course, I applaud this re-assertion of class – which, in generals if not specifics, applies equally to the UK. We must, however, distinguish between a good and bad way of bringing class back into politics. The bad way is to regard the ‘white working class’ as yet another ‘demographic’ to be catered to by marketing politics, often by claiming to heed their ‘legitimate concerns’ about immigration” [Stumbling and Mumbling]. “There is, however, a more intelligent form of class politics. This starts from the fact that class isn’t a state of mind but an objective fact: if you’re in a position of subordination to an employer, you’re working class whatever you feel. This means that being working class unites otherwise disparate people. The immigrant chambermaid, the skilled coder whose boss is a twat, and the academic facing the neoliberalization of the university are all working class. This means they have some common interests. All would benefit from increased control in the workplace and increased bargaining power.”

News of the Wired

“Homeopathy ‘treatments’ must be labelled to say they do not work, US government orders” [Independent]

“I spent 3 months applying to jobs after a coding bootcamp. Here’s what I learned” [Medium].

“What is the world’s weirdest language?” [Science Nordic]. “This language lacks words for numbers and colours. But at least it can be whistled.

* * *

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 (Carla R):


Carla: “November Hydrangea.”

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. diptherio

    On one side, the West Dakota SWAT Team stands watch over the DAPL’s border.

    Uh…we in Western Montana jokingly call the flatlands of Eastern Montana “West Dakota,” but so far as I know only North and South Dakota appear on maps. Also, the correct abbreviation for “Reservation” is “Rez,” not “Res”…just sayin’

      1. diptherio

        Learn something new every day…guess that’s what I get for assuming and being snarky about it…but it’s still, Rez, not Res…

  2. Anne

    Re: today’s plant – that is a lacecap hydrangea; we have one that, when we bought it, I thought was the “traditional” hydrangea, but once it started blooming, it was clear that it was not. We had to cut ours way back after a hard freeze last spring, after it had started leafing, and we didn’t know if it was going to survive. Well, it came roaring back, and is enormous with lots of blooms, still (although, after our 72 degree day through about 4 on Saturday turned into sleet and snow on Saturday night, and then temps in the low 30’s, I suspect the season’s blooming days are over). What I really love about ours, is that on one plant the colors of the blooms vary: some are all pink, some all white, some all blue, some all purple – but there are also some that combine those colors in sort of an ombre fashion.

    You’ll see, here, and here, that the blooms look like all the little bud-like things will eventually open up, but they don’t. Guess that’s the “lace” part of the “lace cap.”

      1. Clive

        Great advice. They are also a great way of determining if your soil varies in pH in different parts of the garden. I’ve got hot pink in one border, pale-pinky white in another (both at the front) and dark red in the back garden, all from the same species. So worth experimenting with positioning if you want to have a bit of fun and a gamble.

      2. Oregoncharles

        I suspect that the color variation on one plant reflects a pH right on the line, so it flips back and forth in different parts of the plant. Really intriguing effect, mildly implausible.

  3. Knot Galt

    Can Vox be trusted as a source any more? I’ve always assumed and deciphered their ‘apparent’ bias before. Yet the neo-bias is so palpable I’ve lost my ability to read their columns with any shred of critical thought.

  4. Clive

    Hydrangeas in November. Wow. That is crazy. Then again, I’ve still got roses in bloom and we’re almost in December (got a little soggy today, but there are a few flowers) as there’s only been one very minor air frost and a couple slight ground frosts. And there’s a few of the summer bedding plants hanging on too in sheltered corners of the garden (the germaniums have gone but the begonias are resolutely Not Dead Yet).

    Any Republican Climate Change Deniers send them my way.

    1. auntienene

      In North Jersey I still have bacopa and callibrachoa blooming. I’ve never seen anything like it.

      Re Sessions on putting the “grown-ups” back in charge, that just grates on my nerves. Taxpaying adults to be treated like children on his say-so. Why doesn’t he just come out and call us deplorables? I don’t think people are in the mood for this BS.

      1. Iowan X

        I’m supposed to put up and turn on the holiday lights in our Park in NoVA, right after Thanksgiving. I just got permission from the County Arborist to get into the trees today, after the big wind storm. Fall appears to be running late. I, as are others here, observe that climate change appears to be real.

    2. Medbh

      I still had dahlias blooming in Wisconsin up until last week. In contrast, it wasn’t unusual for me to go sledding on Thanksgiving as a kid. Even among my conservative family members, there’s no argument that the weather has gotten weird.

  5. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    What is a “mandate”? If a clown in greasepaint ran against Hilary and won would that be an “anti-mandate” for her? Seems this election was more than ever a show of voting against, not for something. So yes, there was a mandate, a clown in greasepaint won against a candidate that had 100% of the press and 100% of the establishment elite gunning for her.

    1. Mark John

      The Democratic party is at a crossroads. My local DFA group is proposing a debate between Howard Dean and Keith Ellison for DNC chair. I believe this is a complete distraction, a play for the establishment to hold on to leadership, and a waste of time.

      Bernie supports Ellison, Warren supports Ellison, and even Schumer supports Ellison. What’s the hold up?

        1. aab

          Does he really? I haven’t seen that. I guess my filtering and curating system for corporate news has a weak spot.

          So Obama fired Dean after Dean delivered those inconvenient majorities, and now that he doesn’t have to govern, he’s happy to bring him back? Is there any non-Bizarro universe where that makes sense?

        2. Michael

          That seems unlikely. Obama hates Dean with the passion of a thousand fiery suns — Dean committed the ultimate Democratic sin.

          He won.

  6. subgenius

    Re. Medium article on coding boot camps:

    At Hack Reactor, we’re trained to mask our inexperience. In our personal narratives, we purposely omit our bootcamp education.
    Why? Otherwise, companies automatically categorize us into junior developer roles or tag us as “not enough experience.”
    In one interview with a startup, the interview immediately went south once they realized I’d done a bootcamp. One company used it against me and made me a $60k offer, benchmarking against junior developers.

    Yeah, because $20,000 and 3-6 months learning is enough to become a master (of anything…)

    Special snowflakes everywhere…even though the climate has gone to hell…

    1. jrs

      Well actually there pretty much are NO junior development roles (possibly because they have all been filled by outsourcing and H1Bs at this point, or else cheap interns working for fast food wages, and gig economy contracts).

      Everyone wants years of experience in exactly that subject. So yes many may conclude they have to lie to live. It’s not always a question of lie or take a pay cut and earn 60k, but rather lie or be in a world of pain (unemployed, unemployable, condemned to a lifetime of gig work etc.).

      Respect for masters and expertise is all well and good IF we lived in a world with any respect for labor at all. We don’t, it’s hell out there.

      1. visitor

        Well actually there pretty much are NO junior development roles (possibly because they have all been filled by outsourcing and H1Bs)

        Elsewhere, it is because they have been offshored to India.

        Have Indians do the low-level programming, testing and maintenance stuff, cheaply, so very cheaply, and let us focus on system design, project management and highly complex technical issues, where the mythical “value” and “core competencies” are.

        Except that after a couple of decades, the pool of developers who started learning the ropes from an entry-level position and acquired all the necessary experience and skills, and from which we draw the new system designers, project managers, and technical wizards has dried out. And it becomes necessary to import those system designers, project managers and solvers of highly-complex technical problems from elsewhere.

        From the article, it seems that as another consequence people in charge of hiring seem to be losing their ability to figure out that those “bootcamp” candidates are puffing their CV and masking their lack of experience — something that Indian software developers actually do as a matter of fact (it is not just that they lie to live; they have whole families and groups of relatives relying upon them to live).

        I agree fully with your analysis. Lies for living, no respect for labour; that article is just another demonstration of the thorough crapification of our world.

    2. Sandy

      Glad I didn’t end up doing one of these back in ’13. Scams abound. That said, if you just paid $20k out of pocket to learn how to code, how can you feel too entitled to accept $5,000 a month to basically continue to learn to code? I definitely would have been happy with a salary at that level coming out of a bootcamp. Disturbing that some people would even expect to be above a junior level.

      1. Arizona Slim

        What’s worse, knowing how to code isn’t the most important thing. Before you write a single line, you have to know how to solve the problem for which the program is needed.

        1. Otis B Driftwood

          You’re right. Problem solving and an aptitude for learning are the key skills for software developers. Technology changes so rapidly, whatever programming language or stack you know today will be obsolete in 5 years so prepare to be a lifelong learner if this is your chosen profession. At my outfit we’ve had success hiring kids coming out of college. No master’s degree needed as the quality of C.S. programs is excellent and these kids have grown up with technology.

        2. subgenius

          ….that’s why one studies Knuth if serious, and that takes a bit of time… definitely more than a few months boot camp in web tech…

  7. ProNewerDeal

    fw http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Was-the-US-Election-Stolen-…Yet-Again-20161118-0008.html

    Eric Draitser editorial, claiming that exit polls show
    1 HClinton would’ve won the Pres election if not for pro-Trump rigging AND
    2 Sanders would’ve won the Pres D Primary election if not for pro-HClinton rigging

    Draitser claims that the exit polls results being sufficiently similar to the official election results, is a common test international election observers use to assure election quality in Developing nations, & if this same test were done on the US election, the US would be judged as low quality/unclean. Draitser indicates he is relaying the judgement of Prof experts, not his own unique theory.

    Any take on Draitser’s claims in this editorial?

    1. RabidGandhi

      The treacherous instrument is in thy hand,
      Unbated and envenom’d: the foul practise
      Hath turn’d itself on me lo, here I lie,
      Never to rise again: thy mother’s poison’d:
      I can no more: Putin, Putin’s to blame!

    2. Oregoncharles

      There is no reason to think US elections are at all clean.
      However, opinions on that point depend almost entirely on who won.

    3. JohnnyGL

      Hard to have any definitive opinion because there’s never any investigation done. We saw similar stuff popping up in the primaries. It’s not a smoking gun, but where there’s smoke, someone should check to see if a fire has broken out.

      But we in the USA have the best election system ever that can never possibly be tampered with, unless it’s Putin…

      Douglas Johnson Hatlem wrote some good articles back a few months. He gets granular. I don’t know how good the data is.

    4. HopeLB

      Many exit polls also showed Bernie winning. First on Bernie’s agenda should be getting verifiable voting for the revolution to succeed.

      1. Iowan X

        Yes. I think both D and R voters should both agree on cleaned-up voter processes, as Lambert reminds us: 1) A paper ballot; 2) Counted in public. And yet, this remains a state-level decision, due to the Constitution. Maybe voters will encourage it, but I’ll hold my breath until a real “smoking gun” appears. The good work that Greg Palast and others has done does not seem powerful enough to bust through the mythology of “They’d NEVER do that.”

        I’ll also note that some states (#Crosscheck) seem disinclined to be super-strong advocates for fair elections in the first place. Yes, I think it’s rigged, but that and a $1.50 buys me coffee.

      1. JSM

        It’s pretty clear that since 2000 the presidential elections have been nothing but a handshake agreement that ‘May the best cheater win.’ Just always remember, that ‘politically’ – ‘the incumbent has the advantage.’

        Nothing will change until the conspiracy deniers in the MSM face reality.

      2. Schtub

        Mail in ballots at least give us paper, which leaves a trail, and is far harder to falsify than mere bytes. You can still count the paper ballots by hand, in public, with mail-in voting.

        But you’re right — we do give up exit polls.

  8. cocomaan

    Re: homeopathy. Scientific rigor, the classification of drugs versus nutrition, and government sanctioning of these substances when there is so much private money on the line, calls into question conclusions about the sanctions.

    For instance, if they’re going to slap dismissive labels on homeopathic drugs, they should be slapping labels on anything containing refined sugar, one of the most damaging and addictive drugs known to mankind. “This product contains a drug commonly called “sugar”. Chronic exposure to sugar is a major factor in some of the deadliest diseases known to humanity, including but not limited to: heart disease, cancer, diabetes.”

    Considering it has addictive physiological and psychological properties with a withdrawal period, I think it’s easy to call it a hell of a drug. It’s also a drug with a high potential for abuse and few health benefits, so it should probably be Schedule 2.

    1. Plenue

      The whole deal with homeopathy is that it literally does nothing, and runs completely counter to basic laws of physics.

  9. clarky90

    Re David Brock’s ongoing nightmare. I expect Donald Trump’s eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, to run for, and win (easily) the presidency eight years from now, 2024.

    Ivanka is Jewish, a woman, a Millennial, a mom, a serene person. If her dad’s presidency is a success, she will have apprenticed with him for eight years (just as she learned Real Estate Development from her Dad)

    How would/could the Dems respond?? Checkmate!

    1. polecat

      How would/could Dems respond?? …..

      By wrapping their sobbing spineless jelly-like bodies within multiple stinging tentacles, of course !

    2. Oregoncharles

      DT will be 74 when his term ends. It will probably be 4 years of chaos. Will he even run again? Seems unlikely, but it is 4 years out.

      Interestingly, Ivanka’s speech at the convention hit quite a few very progressive notes, and got a Republican convention to cheer for them. And Donald himself ran to Hillary’s left on several issues, as often noted here. Might be an interesting end run.

      OTOH, persistent dynasticism is a sign of decadence in a modern political system.

      1. NYPaul

        I question if The Donald even completes one term. First, have to see how he separates his business interests from the Presidency. If he tries to be tricky about it he leaves himself open to actual criminal charges. As far I know there’s only one way to do it right; Convert the business empire to cash, place in blind trust. Doubtful if he’ll comply.

        Anyway, treacherous waters lie ahead if he tries ridiculous notion of turning it over to his children to run.

        From what I’ve read, this part of criminal law is nothing to try to end run around. Seriously dangerous, dangerous business.

        1. Yves Smith

          Who would prosecute him? The Attorney General is his direct hire. Criminal charges are a tall order. The Republicans have a majority in the House, and even though a lot of Republicans don’t like Trump, the party is disciplined and its leaders know an impeachment would hurt the GOP. The New York attorney general isn’t much of a prosecutor, and Trump has too little in the way of a business nexus in California for its AG to be likely to have grounds.

    3. neo-realist

      Ivanka is a smart gal, but she comes off as a bit too much of a Upper Manhattan princess to reach the proles in the rust belt and battleground states. Donald came from money, but he could talk the barroom bluster to the rubes and get over, telling them the trade deals f*cked them over and “we’re gonna win.” I don’t think that’s Ivanka’s style. The exception would be if Donald’s economy is a success for those proles, which I don’t believe it will be—-more like crony capitalism grift on a large scale.

      If the dems learn their lesson from the 2016 defeat, maybe a woman like Gillibrand, who successfully served as a congresswoman in upstate NY—a defacto battleground state—who if she campaigns like a serious populist in those middle American states–can potentially be very successful as a presidential candidate.

      1. Jess

        Kirsten Gillibrand? Are you fokking serious? Another handmaiden of Wall Street, spawn of Schumer? How about Tulsi Gabbard instead.

        1. neo-realist

          I’m alright with Gabbard too, pending her relationship w/ the Trump administration. Supposedly she had a talk with Donald about a cabinet position. A nest of racists, Dr. Strangeloves, and crony capitalists. If this administration seriously tanks, can she get the stench out of her business suit?

          1. neo-realist

            Since Obama and Emanuel deep sixed Howard Dean’s 50 state strategy which gave the party the ability to build a bench within the party, the dems cupboard is pretty bare…..what is there but corporate sellouts, electoral failures w/ poor political instincts (Hillary and John Kerry) and politicians like Biden and Sanders (a terrific one) that are a few years from either senility, illness, or death. Unless the party embarks on a bench building 50 state strategy of sorts in the near term, we may have to go with somebody that isn’t totally pure on the issues, e.g., banks, but can potentially have strong populist appeal….Gillabrand, if she works/campaigns the way she did to get elected in upstate NY and Tuli, if she puts herself out there a bit more so we know if she has the right stuff to run in a presidential campaign.

    4. Liberal Mole

      Well, those Clinton supporters should be happy! One of them said brightly on Faceborg, “First Hillary for president, then Michelle, then Chelsea, Sasha and Malia!” and others clapped their hands with joy. Gee, why not Laura or the twins?

    5. Darthbobber

      Brock has already done one road-to-Damascus conversion when he defected to team Clinton from the enemy trenches. So in extremis, I assume he’d just turn coat again.

  10. pricklyone

    RE: Class Warfare
    Just musing, here, on what this means.
    This definition of ‘working class’ may be a little overly broad. Even a CEO of a major corp. is, at least theoretically, an employee, and subordinate to the will of the board, and by extension, shareholders.
    While this is not, in practice, the way ‘the world works’, technically nearly everyone would fit this description, yes? Unless they are purely passive investors?
    Something more needs to be part of the definition, somehow to reflect the power relationships in place.
    If the definition stretches too far up the chain, then who are you gonna struggle against?
    This leaves “The Government” as the only possible ‘enemy’. Maybe this accounts for some of the anti-gov sentiment, I dunno.
    Just trying to get my head around where the distinction can be made.
    We were all taught, in the USA, that we are a classless society, from a very young age. Now, I know that this is total bullshite, but is it an ideal unrealized, or is it just an impossibility?

    1. hunkerdown

      It’s a noble lie. If one discounts, by instruction or otherwise, that society is persistently classful in the English sense, then the order one observes, these boxes with hierarchies and contests between them regardless of how one calls them, must necessarily be explained by some other principles, such as merit or race. Whatever principles are confirmed by one’s investigations and inquiries inform how one interacts with and positions themselves within the order. (Cui bono?)

      These decoy principles fail to reliably explain or predict, leaving room for variances from the norm to be discounted as individual variation, also called “personal character” (which I provocatively and without further comment define here as the exchange value of a member of a community, as opposed to their use value). (Cui bono?)

      The lines are necessarily fuzzy in a complex society, but Marx’s relationship to the means of production was a reasonable first cut at identifying the operative interests. Greer has refined a four-class system based upon the form in which one receives most of their income: wage, salary, investment, or alms. Some of the slop can be tightened further by looking at the basis on which one’s income varies; in particular, their relationship to collective surplus, or the surplus of others (cui bono?).

      Classless republics are an oxymoron. All republics have ruling classes — indeed, that class relation may be all there is to republics. It’s worth considering whether those who denounce “critical theory” as the death of Western civilization (and so what if it is?) simply seek to conceal power relations and find themselves guiltless in enforcing them.

  11. pictboy3

    When I was at American University in 2008 or so, Clash of Civilizations was cited a lot in the coursework, but always with the caveat that it was basically bullshit, and didn’t have much relevance to actual foreign relations theory. Has it come back into vogue in the Ivies or is it just still on the list much like it was back then?

  12. sgt_doom

    I think this may be pertinent to the discussion:

    The Legend of Rajat Gupta

    (On economic nationalism, real demographics and the presidential appointment of General Michael Flynn.)

    I know nothing about this fellow, Bannon, appointed by Trump other than he claims to be an economic nationalist. If true, America is in deep and dire need of such people?

    To explain, let’s take a close look at a Wall Street “hero,” Rajat Gupta.

    Rajat made his big bucks at McKinsey, helping and promoting the offshoring of millions of American jobs.

    Back in 2000, while appearing on NPR, Rajat vowed to replace all American workers with workers from India! (The NPR stooge, Warren Olney, kept silent in response. Since Warren has a typical NPR-job-for-life, he was no doubt unconcerned with such comments.)

    Rajat would later be appointed to the Global Advisory Board of the Gates Foundation*** (along with 9/11 Commission stooge, Philip Zelikow, and former Mexican president, Ernesto Zedillo, whom the Mexican government has tried to extradite from Yale University back to Mexico for trial).

    Later Rajat would serve several years in jail for insider trading and securities fraud.

    Gupta is an anti-economic nationalist with regard to America, but is one with regard to his birth country, India. Today in America there exists a larger working poor class than the middle class and America has fallen to number twenty-seven (#27) of countries with percentage of middle class to other groups, while number one (#1) is Germany, with the largest percentage of middle class.

    Situation Hopeless

    Over the past several months I’ve examined national voter demographics for presidential elections for the past fifty years and found the following: the ONLY way we’ll ever get a progressive party in America is to exclude two groups from voting (at least temporarily, for several voting cycles): women and union members.

    Operation Save Moderate Muslims

    I have never and would never vote for a Bush, a Clinton or a Trump — but I believe Trump’s appointment of Gen. Flynn is the first intelligent presidential appointment over the past six presidents!

    Gen. Flynn was fired from the position of director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) by President Obama as the general disagreed with Obama’s policy of supporting al Qaeda in Syria (al Nusra) — a continuation of the same policy dating back to Jimmy Carter and including all presidents in between!

    Their support of fanatical Islamic extremists translated to their support for the murders of secular Muslims and pro-democracy Muslims, something Gen. Flynn was also against. For some perverse reason pseudo-progressives and faux liberals are attacking him for being an Islamophobe — how Orwellian can such illiterates and poseurs get?

    Hopefully this means that America will no longer be financing al Qaeda and ISIS. Not too long ago the Obama Administration spent $500 million on non-existent Syria rebels; essentially that money went to al Qaeda and ISIS in weapons and trained personnel!

    Hopefully, debacles of this nature will cease and desist?

    The same presidents who lecture us (we the people) that all Muslims aren’t terrorists are the very same ones who have supported those fanatical Islamic extremists.

    Before Trump we could count on useless American presidents preaching two subjects: (1) those jobs are gone and they are never coming back; and, (2) all Muslims aren’t Islamic extremists.

    Let us hope Trump doesn’t follow the same format with his appointment of Gen. Flynn — he’s begun to look might different.

    In Closing . . . .

    Speaking of infrastructure, some years back President Obama signed legislation disbursing large sums of money to build high-speed rail in America — whatever became of those funds, because we sure don’t have any high-speed rail yet?

    ***Gates Foundation: Some time back, the Gates Foundation, through their then-owned Oxitec, released genetically engineered mosquitoes (to ostensibly fight Dengue Fever) in Brazil, Puerto Rico, Florida and Malaysia and within some months there were Zika explosions in those regions.

    Now, the Gates Foundation is supposed to be genetically engineering the photosynthesis process. God help us one and all!

    1. Daryl

      The Dallas-Houston HSR project is moving along at glacial speed, subject to extreme lobbying by car dealerships, construction companies etc at every step of the way. But it’s gotten farther than anything else around here has.

  13. Gary Headlock

    Unfortunately the only information from today’s water cooler that has permanently lodged itself in my brain is that one of President The Donald’s many email aliases is rideastud@yahoo.com, thanks Cryptome.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    From the supply chain, food industry:

    Here’s a stunning fact: Seventy-some-odd percent of the ingredients that go into supplements and vitamins are sourced in China or India. How many of you will now quit?


    Usually, the convention wisdom is ‘something is better than nothing.’

    Here, perhaps (taking) nothing is better than something.

    It’s like Zen – let there be nothing in your mind (and stomach).

    1. Carolinian

      That’s not exactly new info. For example I believe 100 percent of ascorbic acid vitamin c comes from China now. Perhaps the best protection against adulteration is to buy these items from retailers with deep, sue-able pockets (but also lots of lawyers).

  15. Marco

    Tulsi Gabbard meets with Trump? I would be more optimistic had Michelle Rhee also NOT turned up for show and tell.

    1. Daryl

      > “[CBS Good Morning co-host Gayle] King did not stand up, but asked some question, ‘How do you propose we the media work with you?’

      I have a proposal: Don’t work with him.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Please let there be leaks about the Romney/Trump meeting, or let’s start unsubstantiated rumors.

        Trump pulls power move by eating lunch and reading the newspaper while Romney just sits there. Trump, a known teetotaler, offers Romney a drink before he goes.

        It will be interesting to see if there is an adversarial press beyond “Trump has the dumbest Westworld theory. He thinks Rick Grimes is a wizard ” style stories.

      2. Darthbobber

        At least poses one of the key problems clearly: A media that thinks its job is to “work with” presidents.

    1. fresno dan

      November 21, 2016 at 6:00 pm

      Very amusing, but also very elucidating. The fact of the matter is that the repub “base” and the repub establishment have been at 180 degrees for decades on many issues. It really is amazing to me the power of inertia, and how long people will accept the mush spooned out in the cafeteria line instead of just going to another restaurant (i.e., going to a different party)

      1. neo-realist

        The base accepts mush because the establishment gives them just enough small government, i.e., minimal spending on socialist infrastructure and low taxes so those lazy good for nothing dark skinned people don’t coast on a good safety net, and it slaps down the blacks and the left when they start getting too uppity, er rather activist.

  16. a different chris

    I am happy that they are at least stalling another stupid pipeline. But:

    >One difference is that Savannah Riverkeeper and the friends we work with are not far left leaning. First and foremost we focused on eminent domain.

    Here’s one other “difference” -> you are f’ing white. Guess who else is f’ing white? The people that live in Bismark, where the DAPL was going to go until they b*tched.

    Every little bit (of white) helps, no doubt there.

  17. Cry Shop

    Kyle Scott Clauss identity politics Twitter post follows a slightly earlier post about Tump’s FCC picks being industry boys.

    Um, exactly who would Hill-Billy have picked, or for that matter Obie-wan (who is looking rather wan these days). “This is more like Beelzebub overthrowing Satan;” but lets not kid ourselves about Satan. ID politics indeed. They still don’t get it…

  18. Robert Hahl

    Re: “What is the world’s weirdest language?” [Science Nordic]. “This language lacks words for numbers and colours. But at least it can be whistled.

    This Amazon tribe was described by missionary and linguist Daniel L. Everett, in his book “Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes: Life and Language in the Amazonian Jungle”. This is a great read. The best travel writing I ever saw because the people are so unusual and Everett’s writing is vivid.

    Another good read is Tom Wolfe in Harper’s, about how Noam Chomsky seems to have got the Brazilian government to deny Everett permission to return to the tribe, in revenge for his having attacked Chomsky’s theories about grammar. Apparently the filed of linguistics has a lot in common with the field of macroeconomics with respect to the importance of personalities over evidence.


    1. Plenue

      If I recall correctly, this is the tribe that basically deconverted the outsider (Everett) from his Christianity. Another feature of the language is that it doesn’t allow the recollection of events that haven’t been personally witnessed, or that someone else witnessed and that you’re now recounting on their behalf. So when he was trying to tell them about the sweet baby Jesus, they stopped him in his tracks by demanding to know how he knew. He had no response.

    2. Cry Shop

      Meh, the man is associated with a Business School, who’s proudest claim to fame is their 24 hour trading room, and offers no pure science degrees. I doubt Chomsky would and could do the guy a favor by doning anything to bar the him from going back to Brazil. It takes a lot more than a single paper to overthrow the work of not just Chomsky, but thousands of other linguist.

      Rather it seems the professors he was working with in Brazil noted he was no objective observer, and went well past Margret Meed level interaction with the community. This messed up a large number of other graduate students research, and possibly contaminated all future work. Some of his writing supports themes strong in creationist thought, which is probably how he landed in his current job at a non-science school.

  19. different clue

    If Warren would have had the stones to etc. etc.? No. She would have been Clintonated, just as Sanders was Clintonated by the vast and massive Clinton/DemParty/MSM/Establishment Conspiracy.
    Which would then get revenge on Warren in her next Senatorial election.

    If Warren had tried for DemParty nomination, she would be a lame duck Senator now and targeted by the Clintonite Sh*tobamacrat Party for political extermination in her next election.

    It took the defeat of the Hillzilla Clintron to create the vacuum which Warren is barely beginning to fill.

    1. HopeLB

      Oh the irony (which I believe to God’s fatal flaw/guilty pleasure)! But you should question why the shadow government installed Trump particularly in light of of the vote rigging unearthed by Palast? Was it Kushner? And note Emmanual of the Rahm family on the golf course with Donald today. (Who won?). Something is afoot. Trump lost but won. Did the real powers see some problem with neolib/neocon Hillary? Was she about to become fully righteous/justice-doing now that she had enough money to survive the onslaught? Guess we will never know unless she writes a book. Hope she will though I am a Jill Stein/ Bernie supporter. It would be great for the kids. She lays out how you have to sell out in order to gain power(leaving out the part about how Bill and Hill turned the Dem Party over to the banksters, financializing/Nafta-ing the economy) and then having “earned” enough money, you turn on your “donors” and do the right (Methodist) thing. Would make a great movie! Some producer (Mike Moore?) should produce it and star Hillary as herself! Out Trumping Trumpy! How fantastic would that be?!!

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Perhaps; perhaps not. Winnie Wong et al had Warren as their first choice, IIRC, and then went with Sanders. Warren, like Sanders, is a party baron; she has an independent power base as a fundraiser. She has executive skill, evidenced by setting up CFPB. She gets good press. And… she’s a woman from the class of powerful professional women, defusing that aspect of Clinton’s appeal. And of course she’s not a socialist, which would mean a lot of the establishment wouldn’t dismiss her out of hand. Which is also one reason I’m not enthusiastic about her filling the “vacuum” created by the Clinton implosion.

      1. aab

        I also think that’s why she couldn’t have mounted a primary challenge. Clinton had all the traditional donors locked down. I don’t think her independent fundraiser base is all that significant anyway, and I do not see her ramping up small donors as successfully as Bernie did. Bernie was drawing on decades of grassroots awareness and activism. Warren has no background in that, and I don’t think she has the same breadth and depth of grassroots alliances.

        And I have no data or links to back this up, but I don’t think she has the broad appeal she would have needed as an outsider candidate. The New York Times might have had a harder time stigmatizing her, but Carlos Slim would have demanded it anyway. And I just don’t see all those desperate people rallying to her. Do you think she’d have won in Michigan? In the absence of Clinton running, she’d have done a little better than Clinton, probably — although what do, in fact, Southern black Churchgoing women think of her? But if she had tried to compete with Clinton, she would have failed. She’s not really all that different, minus the corruption and health issues. I realize those are big differences in some ways. But especially during the primary, that wasn’t in play, and wouldn’t have been with Warren in the field. It would have been two wealthy, elite, (raised Republican) white women from the East arguing over technocratic solutions to limited types of reforms, while beating war drums.

  20. Darthbobber

    Sanders’ comments on the need to add an actual class dimension to the “diversity politics”.
    I’ve seen that spun more ways than a cotton candy cone, with considerable violence done to the comments themselves in order to twist the interpretation to the desired one.

    TPM went with “Sanders says to ditch identity politics”,
    which Moulitsas over at the Kos rag, went with this absolutely idiotic tweet: Only linking because I think it really has to be seen to be believed

  21. JSM

    Re: “Team Trump’s Message: The Clash of Civilizations Is Back”

    This article and others like it would apparently prefer to pretend the Barack Obama administration never happened. Is it necessary to say more? Two paragraphs were enough.

  22. spk

    ProfessorWatch – Data are outdated. Cornell West still listed at Princeton (left 2012) and E. Warren not included on Harvard list.

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