Yves here. One thing to keep in mind with Trump is that he is much less fixed in his positions than most people and even most politicians. Aside from cracking down on illegal immigrants, getting out of TPP and redoing other trade deals, improving relations with Russia, and cutting taxes, he’s been all over the map on everything else.
By Gaius Publius, a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States and frequent contributor to DownWithTyranny, digby, Truthout, and Naked Capitalism. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius, Tumblr and Facebook. GP article archive here. Originally published at DownWithTyranny
Watch the first 2:45 of this clip to see a primary reason Establishment Democrats lost to Donald Trump. Remember as you read on — it didn’t have to be this way.
What we’re about to get from the incoming Trump administration is revealed in this two-page PDF released by the campaign in October before the election. I’ve pasted images of the document below. I recommend reading it through in full. Just brief comments here; I’ll say more about some of its points in days to come.
Click to open each page in a separate window at full size. Here’s page one:
Of the “Six measures to clean up the corruption and special interest collusion in Washington, DC,” all are a farce, including and especially the so-called “ban” on lobbyists.
Of the “Seven actions to protect American workers,” the second is moot (we hope), the first and third would be greatly welcomed, including by Bernie Sanders, the fourth is too vague to be meaningful, and the rest would guarantee a radical reshaping of human life on earth — at a faster rate than the Clinton-Obama weak-tea proposals would have done. It’s death by climate under either party’s proposals, but a faster one under Trump.
The “Five actions to restore security and the constitutional rule of law,” if he did them, would increase the likelihood of a real, fighting, urban civil war in this country. The U.S. would become increasingly ungovernable.
Here’s page 2:
This page lists ten bills Trump will try to enact with his Republican Congress, again in the first 100 days of his administration. These include:
- A Bush-style tax relief bill that promises 4% GDP growth. The bill will likely happen; the 4% growth is pie-in-the-sky bait-and-betrayal (“You’ll get pie in the sky when you die,” and not before). Zero-to-anemic GDP growth is the permanent normal, and will never change until the massive burden of private debt is written down, something no money-financed politician — including Trump, almost all Republicans, and the entire Clinton wing of the Democratic Party — will allow.
- A “Trojan Horse” Infrastructure Act that finances, not infrastructure, but tax breaks to infrastructure investors. Trump’s “infrastructure act” offers (a) no guarantee that unprofitable needed projects, like Flint Michigan water system renovation, will ever be undertaken, and (b) no guarantee that one new worker will be hired. It’s a trap, and no Democrat, not one, should sign onto it.In fact, if you want an easy list of Democrats who should be retired to K Street in 2018, watch who jumps at the chance to be all-bipartisan about this bill.
- A School Choice Act that further privatizes education. This accelerates work started under Bush II and continued under Obama, the transfer of public education to wealthy investors as a profit opportunity.
- A “Repeal and Replace Obamacare” Act that is unlikely to be implemented in full, but which you should read to see what he and the Republicans are aiming for. Notice the fast-tracking for drug approvals. That could be good for citizens (if competing drugs are no longer held off the market by deliberately slow FDA approval) or terrible (if largely untested or industry-only-tested drugs are sped onto the market way too soon. Expect the latter only.
- “Community Safety” and “National Security” acts that will certainly increase the arrogance and militarization of police — read, “increase the likelihood of a real, fighting, urban civil war in this country” — and put military and domestic spy spending into overdrive. And just wait until Trump discovers the how NSA-gathered information can be used for blackmail. (Did Cheney make that discovery? Was that why Comey said No at Ashcroft’s hospital bedside? At least one person on this planet, yours truly, has asked that question.)
In short, there’s absolutely nothing good in these bills, and much that will throw the country into chaos. The federal budget will balloon (not a bad thing if properly spent, since most of the nation has yet to see a recovery), but Trump will give all new money to the wealthy and the Establishment-connected, the very people Trump voters wanted to toss out.
Even his proposals for veterans and the VA are meaningless. How do I know? This country never pays debts to veterans these days, despite all the hoopla around military pre-sales events at halftime shows. Veterans have already given all they can give to the country and can’t be induced to give more, so there’s no reason not to save money by welshing on promises that got them to join. Veterans, who are finished with fighting, have no leverage in that negotiation, nothing to withhold, and therefore no power against the government.
It’s sad to say it that way, but it’s true. The deficit never matters when it comes to war, but as soon as someone talks about VA funding, someone else mentions “the deficit,” which suddenly does matter, and the discussion ends. Both political parties play this game.
Trump especially will never increase VA funding, except cosmetically, since as a contractor, he always tries to welsh on a deal after the product has been delivered. Again, sad to put it that way, but that’s how Trump thinks and acts. Like a predator.
A Pre-Revolutionary State
More as this develops. Keep in mind, America is in a pre-revolutionary state. If it weren’t for the DNC, its manipulation of the process, and the many closed (to independents) primaries it ran, Sanders would have won. Ask yourself, perhaps as you watch the first three minutes of the clip above, how someone who can fill football stadiums was beaten by someone who can’t fill a high-school gymnasium.
Answer: He wasn’t. His defeat was engineered by everyone in position to affect it.A thousand thumbs were on that scale.
America was in a pre-revolutionary state before the primary, in fact was in that state ever since the crisis of 2007-2008 and its follow-on “[False] Hope and [Neoliberals Don’t] Change” election, which seated neoliberal Barack Obama as neoliberal Bill Clinton’s successor. The Sanders and Trump ascendancies both demonstrate how strongly people want that change to occur.
No matter who won the general election in 2016, Establishment Clinton or faux–Change Agent Trump, it wouldn’t have taken much under either administration to tip the balance toward revolt, since under either the suffering were going to keep suffering the boot of the bankers and CEO class. Only a Sanders presidency would have lowered those odds significantly. It certainly won’t take much to tip the balance toward revolution, with Donald Trump grinding people’s gears.
Our job: Make sure when Trump voters’ gears are being ground, we offer highly popular Sanders Wing policies to them, and nothing else.
I think Establishment Democrats have at most six months from now to surrender to the Sanders faction (which, as the big losers of 2016, they should do). If they don’t surrender, they will make themselves an irrelevant minority party for the rest of this generation. Or until full-blown climate chaos hits and no one on the globe talks elections. Or both.
You heard it here first. Six months max for the Party to reform itself. Sinon ça, le déluge.
That clip of the HRC rally was almost too painful to watch. It also reminds me of just how much her campaign was built on the cult-like “I’m with her” thing as opposed to focusing on actual issues. If you’re going to try to build a cult of personality you had better be sure your candidate actually HAS an appealing personality in the first place.
Six months, sounds about right to me. The biggest danger I see right now is that enough of the triangulation Democrats believe that Trump will be such a disaster that they can win the next election without changing a damn thing. That would be a terrible waste of the crap you’re going to have to endure under the Trump presidency. If the 2016 disaster makes the Democrats take on the sorts of policies that the Sanders campaign ran on (and really mean to follow up on them) four years of Trump could be worth it.
Re the HRC vs Bernie video: Who could’ve predicted that Bernie’s and Trump’s ability to pack stadia full of enthusiastic supporters and Hillary’s failure to do so would be a good indication of eventual voter turnout?
The entire Clinton campaign was a bubble of HRC and WJC insiders, their inner coterie of hangers-on and fellow grifters, the MSM (chiefly in NYC and DC), and DNC establishment politicians. They grossly mismanaged the campaign and none of them should be allowed to be involved in politics ever again.
I’ve become a great fan of Jimmy Dore since stumbling on him a few weeks ago. He had a great rant the other day about how none of the culprits in the HRC disaster is taking any blame:
Jimmy Dore: Hillary Supporters Against The ‘Blame Game’ Because They Deserve Blame (Nov 18th, 7 mins)
A Cheerleader… Christ.
Most campaign stops would use speakers with some simple message about what the candidate proposes to do, or did before, when in office to warm up the audience. Team Clinton had to use white noise machines, vacuous cheerleaders, and snotty high school peer pressure techniques, because they didn’t want anyone to hear the real message going on in the back rooms. They didn’t just want us hearing, they had to avoid parts of the oligarchy hearing each other. Team Clinton made so many conflicting promises to so many different segments of the oligarchy that the platform had to sound as empty as Clinton’s ethics. That just left them to run with Tracy Flick. Paul Metzler didn’t quit this time, though I bet he’s wishing he had already.
Jimmy Dore is great. Here is an amazing takedown of Obama by him.
Jonathan Pie’s take is pretty good, too. Someone else here referenced this recently, but can’t recall who.
Multiple people have, but I quoted the ending bit about how we need to engage with political opponents, not vilify them or claim they ‘trigger’ us and are big meanie poopie heads, which is effectively the level of discourse still coming from the Clinton diehard Tumblr types.
‘ also reminds me of just how much her campaign was built on the cult-like “I’m with her” ‘
in case you missed yet (yet another post-mortem)
So, where do we start? Firstly, end this nonsense about cooperating with Trump. The Democrats should speak with one voice that they will not support his reactionary, pro-corporate agenda. There will be no compromise. Use every means available to block implementation of his agenda. And talk economics, broken promises, but not style or personality. Trump wins if you make this about him – if that isn’t obvious to anyone who hasn’t been in hibernation for the past 2 years, we are doomed.
Clean house in the party. Replace the DNC leadership in its entirety. Remove Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi from leadership positions. Make this into the party of Warren and Turner and Gabbard and Teachout. And most importantly, repudiate neoliberalism directly, in language all Americans understand, and offer real change for the American worker.
As a platform position, refuse campaign money from banks?
Democrats? Democrats? Democrats, when they speak with one voice, the Stalinist one voice, take orders that they will continue to support neo-liberal, pro-corporate agenda. That’s why Bernie Sanders was an independent. Anyone who claims to be a party member but are not on Nazi Pelosi’s fast dial or Chuck Schumer’s political strategy newsletter mailing list are not Democrats, but the barely tolerated grass upon which they trample on the way to the feeding troughs.
RabidGandi is right, we don’t need one voice, we need a majority of voices, and certainly not in perfect harmony, but in a calcophony that can’t easily be steered by a corrupt few.
Accept we already know the Dems will role over. And Trump can scratch their belly and say “good boy”, “good boy,”
Trump said he will scrap TPP, Common Core, and Obamacare. Not bad.
it made me want to do some jumping jacks, and then fall to the floor and do 10 pushups.
If Democrats think that Trump will be an easy 2020, they really need to take a hard look at the 2004 elections.
The cruel reality is that the political system needs a through house cleaning. The Establishment Democrats won’t surrender power without a fight.
Trump has already backtracked on most of these proclamations by not mentioning them in his brief speech today. But it looks like he still wants to take on the Dakota pipeline protesters and more. And, of course, even if you want to keep our fossil fuel dependence until the bitter end, it makes no sense to take more of it out of the ground when the price is low.
I don’t read it that way, and neither does the Wall Street Journal, whose lead story is Trump Lays Out Day-One Agenda. Trump’s YouTube described actions he intends to take via executive order, to impress nay-sayers that he will do things that he can spin as positive right out of the box. Gaius is looking at Trump’s 100-day plan, which includes bills as well.
What’s that supposed to mean? Thought there were cool, calm, rational observers here who avoid hyperbole at all costs.
Does he agree with this guy?
The opposite of the Constitution is anarchy & a free-for-all, with the asymptote heading for terminal corruption. Raise your hand if you vote for that one.
Yesterday’s links had a post by JohnnyGL on Mark Blyth recent speech at Brown.
In the Q&A 2/3 through Blyth makes observations, spot on about the only difference between environmental collapse of the human species is a matter of days or weeks. I’ll hedge it with an observation I made earlier on NC that Trump is far more likely that Ms. Incrementalism to do a 180 if it becomes to apparently to ignore. (Either way, Paris was a joke, a slight of hand. (Barring some unforeseen miracle breakthrough such as in fusion power, making atmospheric extraction so cheap we can start undoing greenhouse gas emissions, not just stop them, we’re already doomed – good thing the earth will keep going without us.))
He also pegged the tax cuts and how Trump will promise to pay for them and the infrastructure. Certainly a case where intuition beat the polls.
Warning, his co-panelist is a deluded member of the coastal elites whom I won’t even honour to name, who does tar Bernie with costing Hillary the election, and who thinks saying hello to the paid help will make them all warm and friendly to the neo-liberal agenda. Suggest fast forward past her Q&A parts to catch Blyth’s observations.
Blyth right also shows those factory jobs are never coming back, as Bill Black also made clear in interview posted today on NC. Trumps stimulus will get some construction jobs, but those are irregular, often short lived employment, and hell on families as well as the workers because these infrastructure jobs require moving home, a lot.
The new high in the stock market mentioned in today’s links, Blyth also got that right. Cleared all his short positions predicting Trump’s election impact, and went long. He does expect tears, but a bit later.
Right, most jobs erased by automation, not off-shoring. Off-shoring does happen, but it is a secondary factor. Rising capital composition is #1. That is also why they like high capital ratio industries like energy and military.
As much as I was alarmed at what a Clinton Admin portended, I am more so now about Trump, having received evidence enough through his selections for key positions and those other ‘potentials’ floated for selection that this is going to be a very, very rough ride. These people are properly defined as extremists by their own actions and words over time. The collection being assembled are a systemic threat to the US and world the minute they’re sworn in.
And to think we could have had Larry Kudlow as preznit… oh wait….
Everyone on this sight should spend a full week reading the comments on Zero Hedge to truly appreciate what America is. You will quickly figure out that the supposed ideals and high morals are America are just more propaganda we tell ourselves to justify our heinous behavior at home and abroad. Trump supporters , if we take ZH as a barometer, are xenophobic, racist, narrow-minded haters. But I think they represent much, much more of America than Hillary Worshiper or Bernie Supporter realizes.
It’s not too late to bring on the Asteroid!
ZH = HAARP…. remember those days….
Disheveled Marsupial…. is there such a thingy as an faux intellectual spastic…. oh yeah… the pig with a ring in its nose aka the creative class…. something about door ways and an awl stuff….
Expat: I tend to read the comments only here at Naked Capitalism. I sometimes read comments to Glenn Greenwald’s articles, because he brings all kinds of thingies out of the woodwork.
Recall how various reactionaries of the right and pseudorevolutionaries of the left decided that Freud was a dopey stick-in-the-mud? Well, then comments sections started on the WWW. The Id in all of its spewing splendor.
My attitude is this: I’d rather have the racists spewing in a semi-public forum than hiding and planning various demented actions.
Is the U.S. populace mainly a bunch of religiously addled, provincial, spelling-challenged, resentful children? Maybe. A good portion is: Sinclair Lewis estimated it at about a third.
Antidote? Sinclair Lewis novels.
And don’t hang out at places like Zero Hedge or even Huffington Post.
ZH is not a barometer of the Trump voter. ZH is a middle class fusion of extreme Ayn Ryan libertardianism + alt-right. Fringe, not representative.
The risk with a public agenda, is that it can be criticized. The reward with a public agenda, is that it can be criticized. If this happened, but first within the campaign/administration, before it went public, a lot of group think could be avoided. Then a better public agenda can be introduced. With a better agenda, the inevitable public criticism will be less relevant. Then the inevitable critics will only be ignorable critics. Unfortunately it seems that “cult of personality” is the rule within R or D councils. The question remains, what is the common good, and how can we collectively implement it.
Good point. Funding mechanisms would seem to be one place to start. I think a better understanding of this would lead to a better infrastructure act among other things.
think global, act local
“”Martin Wolf, Chief economic commentator Financial Times:
“A necessary condition for informed debate on the future of our monetary system is that the public understands how it works. This research demonstrates that only a small proportion does so. It also demonstrates that, when they are taught the reality, most people do not like what they learn.”””
“”Only 13% of people want private/commercial banks to create most of the money. 59% want to assign this responsibility to a public body (government/central bank)””
Disheveled Marsupial…. AMI is a monetarist Chicago plan which makes the ISDS look like a joke…
I think ‘positive money’ gets a bad rap, partially deserved.
Debt free is a difficult concept especially considering that all money is debt in one way or another.
But for most people money is only available as a loan from a private bank which needs to be paid back with interest.
This is different money than if one received a social security check credited to their account. Or a grant from a public bank.
*Sigh*. No it is the same money. A bank, even a public bank, does not give out grants. It gives out loans.
And Social Security is pay as you go, so it is the same as other Federal spending.
Yes. My point is more on the ‘debt free’ aspects of the money. For a given person it is very different if he takes out a $1000 loan from a bank vs getting $1000 credited to his personal account by the government.
By the same token it is very different if the government just hires people and pays for material for infrastructure. No need to issue debt instruments to cover it.
You just don’t like the words.
“Stop the presses! fm wants a re-written dictionary”
I think that’s one of the big problems with these concepts is that it’s easy to talk past each other.
How many people get the concept that deficits put money into the economy?
Interesting press release on public attitudes about money creation. I haven’t gotten to the report yet. Actually, that “Glocalities” site looks pretty scary.
:) It’s the first time I’ve seen it. I think it’s always useful to emphasize that it’s the government that prints money, credits accounts, can hire people. It doesn’t have to go into/create debt to build infrastructure.
The author sound resigned. I can very well understand this feeling; your country gets raped thoroughly over and over and people elects yet another group of thugs.
As a non US citizen, I still think election of Trump is better than the very real possibility of an nuclear exchange. This is still possible, of course. Now, chances of such a calamity is significantly reduced; but, still I can feel his pain.
I’m not sure that the election of Trump reduced the possibility of an nuclear exchange. I think it drastically increased it.
Hillary, with all her hawkish neo-liberal policies, is predictable. I don’t even think Trump knows what Trump is going to do. Will he back NATO? He said he might not.
I follow the Syria Civil War very closely. All 5 sides (SAA, Rebels(JaF), TFSA, SDF, and ISIS) all think the Trump election is a win for them. They all can’t be right… but they all might be wrong. I’m deeply concerned about the TFSA (Turkey supported FSA groups). 10 miles of ISIS territory separate TFSA from SAA/Russian/Iranian troops. If the shooting starts between Russian and Turkey… which side will Trump be on? Both sides think Trump has their back.
Suggestions on how to make the Clintonites surrender?
they won’t. —cuz Clintonites never had to fear the liberal Left for the past 25 years.
Why do in revolutions the pitchforkers purge the entire class of sychophants that surround the nominal head? —-because the sycophants (DNC/DNC enablers) are just as bad or worse as the leader.
Why do the Clintonites need to surrender? HRC had less than 30% of eligible voters actually schlep out of bed to vote for her– that’s less than a quarter of the population. Of those, based on her campaign messaging, we can assume that a healthy chunk of them are not “Clintonites” but are rather scared of Trump, or Putin or whatever– but not loyalists by any stretch of the imagination. When you add to that her coalition of neo-cons, never-Trump repubs and other allies of convinience, the actual number of rice-bowl-in-hand Clintonites has to be less than 10% of the population. That is not a significant number when it comes to building political movements– the main reason HRC is not measuring white house drapes today.
And moreover, I have never seen a society that did not have an eternally intransigent set of reactionaries who are never going to be swayed by reason, ever, no matter what. So since the Clintonites will always be a small intransigent minority, the key is to overwhelm them so they cannot rule oligarchically. This overwhelming by sheer numbers is visually illustrated excellently in the video above. Build on these majorities and the Clintonites will become irrelevant, no surrender necessary.
This, a thousand times this.
Probably even this will wind up being held for moderation., but I’ll risk it.
Bottom-up from the states gets 90% there in terms of delegates. No Dem president means no presidential appointment. Pit the local elites from the state level against the global FIRE sector top-down elites. Hostile takeover.
They need to be scared of the left. What will scare them the most?
A guillotine at each Acela stop and every Tesla charging station?
I’ve been thinking about how to overcome them the past few days, yeah.
Here’s my two cents’ worth: start local, immediately. Start trying to persuade those experienced in local politics to serve as mentors/advisers; it’s time for them/us to recruit millennials. Think global, act local; borrow whatever you can from Bernie Sanders’ positions depending on local circumstances, and don’t slam the Greens – we’re all in this together now.
Re: the Senate/House of Rep: Let’s write to our Democratic Congressmen or women and Senators and request that House and Senate Ds each assume responsibility for an area of the POTUS-elect’s agenda – responsibility for becoming an expert and tracking it through the process of advancing to a vote, for keeping constituents informed, and for coordinating opposition. Let’s do research, and foreword reasoned and strong arguments – position papers, even, for those of you who are experts in critical fields like finance and energy. Recommend pieces posted on NC (both main posts and links), but do your own research too – or contribute in any way you can!
Let’s adopt the goal of making every small town in the Rust Belt like Burlington, VT (energy self-sufficient), or Dubuque, IA (home to the Growing Sustainable Communities yearly conference, and a model for the Midwest). Let’s familiarize ourselves with the goals and programs of the Appalachian Sustainable Development Organization or the Appalachian Development Alliance, and offer expertise (even if long-distance). Let’s attend School Board Meetings, City Council Meetings, Park Board Meetings, Library Committee Meetings … and most importantly, let’s bring 20-somethings along.
I love bumper stickers (and political magnets).
Am making one for the back of my work truck…
It’s a guillotine, as seen from below at a 3/4 angle. The blade is raised.
Do you think people will understand what that means?
Can’t wait to smile long and hard at the next expensive car next to me at the light with a Hillary decal on it.
oho’s point is worth considering, but it has to be qualified: They won’t because they never had to fear liberals. And they have demanded the surrender of the left or studiously ignored the left. The irony of Hillary Clinton’s remark about the basket of deplorables is that she was at an event sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign, which is the collaborationist white-boy wing of gayfolk. So you had Hillary Clinton talking Inside Baseball with people desparate to belong and to be validated by the Family that brought us DOMA and DADT. Why, a person might suspect that all Americans have rather loose standards and are easily buffaloed.
You can’t make this up. Further, we now have Obama on a farewell tour longer than Cher’s farewell tour. He seems to be willing to say anything. His advice to the Greeks about austerity was pure nonsense and hypocrisy. I’d rather have Cher out there: Cher is more cogent.
What is to be done? as that Lenin guy used to say.
I perceive Trump to be a very highly colorful (to use Putin’s word) version of U.S. management. He is the boss who we all have had and who we all have fled. The Democrats are middle-management types who lack imagination but want impunity. Typical of white people, Trump and the Clintons live lives that lack consequences. Consequences are for the little people.
Prescriptions? Time for alternate structures that demand some thinking and some loyalty. Too much of the U.S. is dominated by institutions of flaccid thinking, undermined by lack of commitment. I am reminded of articles that I have read in which people wrote about the rather chilly severity of the Italian Communist Party. But that is how the Italian Communist Party re-made Italy and maintained itself as the counterweight to the Christian Democrats. But I’m hesitant to propose “chilly severity” to Americans, who want everything to be comfortable and easy and delivered by Amazon prime.
So: Third party with some teeth in the platform: Progressive taxation. Single payer health system. End to the endless wars. Stress on civil rights and civil liberties for all. Genuine economic reforms. Let the Clintonites preside over the rump Democratic Party and its groovy cocktail parties.
I know that you tend to disagree, but I think that fostering a split within and flight from the Democratic Party is the only way to contain the corruption of its elites.
Technically, it was Chernishevsky – not Lenin who said What is to be done.
“typical of white people..” You can take your racist social identity politics and posture at Gawker. Your post-Leftist Program precludes any Left movement and led righ to Trump, who in all fairness, offered a better plank than Clinton.
I’m not hopeful. The only success I’ve had is with panicked youth by pointing out that reagan wanted to put missiles in space, and we made it through that with no missiles in space. There is zero acknowledgment that hillary was such a horrible candidate who would have been horrific in her own horribly special way, so at least I’ve gotten some youngsters to think about how they can engage the world, focus first on themselves and their future, not give in to the larger uncontrollable world, and try to create, such as they can, the world they want. Needless to say I won’t be spending the holidays with genetic family because I can’t bear to listen to the hyperbole re fascism misogyny and racism from people who can easily be all those things in their couched classist manner, so I guess I’m choosing disengagement and not giving airtime to the nonsense.
I don’t see any indication that surrender is anywhere in the offing – what I keep hearing is, “she’s now leading in the popular vote by 1.7 million votes,” so the argument is that someone who wins doesn’t give up, that what they did worked, it’s just that it worked better for Trump. They don’t see – refuse to see, actually, with eyes wide shut – Sanders as part of this at all. He just is not a factor for them: “he wouldn’t have won anyway in the general” is the refrain I hear.
As near as I can tell, the Democratic Party is like a house with a crumbling foundation, walls that are cracked, a roof that is leaking, and those in charge of the party keep trying to convince themselves that replacing the light bulb in the foyer, a little spackle and fresh paint is all that’s needed to fix it…so WE can live in it. Not them, no – heavens no. Where they live is so much…better.
We can’t wait for them to figure it out, to surrender; we have to go around them and build the house we want.
Remind them that the only reason HRC won the election was due to her superdelegates – no matter how hard Bernie tried, he could never “look” like a real competitor since the delegate count was always way in Hillary’s favor. In reality, if there was no such thing as superdelegates, which was a totally new feature from the DNC, that they would have realized sooner than HRC had no right to become the Democratic nominee. The nomination should have gone to Bernie as people were crazy about him.
Starve them of cash.
Norway cuts contributions to The Foundation by 87%
Apologies about the Norwegian source.
Why not 100%
All the Clinton Foundation
investorsbribers have lost 100%, why add to the losses by throwing good money after bad?
Do they believe Trump when he said that the quality he admires most about Hillary is that she never gives up, and all that implies?
Payment for services rendered? That puzzled me too.
Organize on issues and apply strong pressure, while cultivating prospective candidates who are clearly committed on those issues. Then if incumbents don’t give in they can be thrown out. (And people, please don’t bother telling me the system is rigged. I know that, but sitting and pouting about it is not a serious option. If people like Frederick Douglas and Sojourner Truth had the gumption to fight their fights against the odds they faced, so ought we.)
Agreed, a very important question, regardless of how one feels about sticking with the Dems.
GP’s suggestion of holding Dem officeholders to “Sanders Wing policies” is good, but it doesn’t address the immediate situation. I’ve been confused, and I imagine this is shared, by the shifting designation of the Dem left. It’s often, for reasons I can’t determine, described as the Warren wing of the Democratic party, even though Sanders ran in the primaries, got huge support and, more recently, took the lead in encouraging Ellison’s candidacy for DNC chair.
For the Clintonites to surrender their opposition will have to be better defined and willing to attack steadily on two fronts 1. policy stances and the interests they represent and, more mercilessly, 2. the misuse of the party to advance Clinton’s interests so as to harm the welfare of the party’s mass constituents. This is why the “Warren wing” tag is so mistaken, since it is Sanders and his backers, not the sideline sitting Warren, who have a very legitimate beef. All talk of party unity should be set aside until the party is reconstituted. That said, I worry that Sanders may not have the stomach for this, or may be mistaken in the belief that part of his great public ratings has to do with having been jugular averse.
‘Suggestions on how to make the Clintonites surrender?’
The sure-fire way would be for Republicans to carry through on their promise to indict – but, just as Obama legitimized all of Bush’s war crimes, financial system crimes, spying crimes etc., lifting a smashed Republican Party up off the pavement and propping them up so he could ‘reach out in the spirit of bi-partisanship to unite the country’, Trump will ensure Reps let Clintons live – what better for him than to have the Clinton mafia both under his thumb and still in place to do the deals no honest Dem could countenance?
I’d suggest a stake through the heart – the Clintons’ Dems have now been co-owners of the entire disaster that flowed from 9/11, the entire disaster that flowed from 9/15 (Hank Paulson destroys Lehman Bros 2008), and now this, the third black swan-like event in just about 24 years. One would think a record as poor as that would clinch it.
The Clintons thrived throughout this entire debacle. And they will thrive anew unless purged by authentically public-minded Dems as the criminals, liars and most of all absolutely rank political failures they are. Perhaps honest Dems could mount an effort to have the entire Election annulled as profoundly illegitimate, and new candidates chosen. As noted above, given Trump’s appointees there can now be no question as to ‘where he is going’ – everything about these people suggests they will come out swinging and the more they are resisted, the more extreme they will become. I can imagine the US/global corporate elite embracing Trump as the vehicle through which sovereign democratic governments are replaced with a military/technocratic form of fascism. A ‘clear and present danger’ calls for an Executive Order now, no?
Anyone who reads Greg Palast’s or Bev Harris’s work knows the answer to this question. The exit polls weren’t anywhere near the official tally, same in the primary as in the general election. The DNC and Clinton campaign chose to play the vote rigging game, “winning” in the primary and “losing” in the general, so I can’t say I feel all that sorry for them.
But with that in mind, it’s worth thinking a little bit about whether Sanders would have been successful as well. Republicans controlled the Secretaries of State in each of the battleground states Trump won. Sanders’ margin of victory would have to have been overwhelmingly large in order to overcome that.
I’ve spoken to a political scientist who has done meticulous large scale data work on election results for decades. He does not buy the exit poll argument. He says the exit polls have biases. For instance, they don’t sample rural voters to any meaningful degree and rural voters turned out big for Trump.
Could I get a reference, then? I’d like to read something that refutes this, since Palast also makes the point that this is the standard that US election observers use to judge foreign elections. Now that could simply be a mask for Americans casting suspicion on elections they don’t like, but I’d like to have some grounding for a critique.
It’s possible exit polling is the wrong symptom to look for, but there was an independent audit of the 2004 results in Ohio that matched the exit polls much more closely than the official results. Perhaps that was simply an aberration, but it’s one reason why I’m not willing to simply drop exit polling as a measure.
I don’t have a reference but I had a longer conversation with the political scientist, who is very much left leaning and decidedly opposed to Trump. He said in no uncertain terms that the idea that exit poll data can be used to reach conclusions about the integrity of election is garbage, tantamount to conspiracy theory, and should not at all be indulged at NC.
The short form:
1. The data in US exit polls is far too thin to reach any sort of conclusion re the elections. Only 17,000 people were polled and in only 34 states. It costs too much to do it right and they therefore don’t.
2. The samples are weighted demographically, when one of the big lessons of the election was that turnouts in key demographics were meaningfully different than in recent elections and in pre-election poll assumptions: specifically, lower than expected turnout of people of color, extremely high turnout of rural whites (I didn’t confirm with him, but I suspect they are not polled at all or so underpolled that that population is almost invisible. So how they were weighted in the exit polls is likely to be off.
3. Contrary to the assertions of some members of the commentariat (who not surprisingly provided no links), exit polls are not used as measures of the fairness of foreign elections. Poll watchers look for much more visible stuff: people being turned away, obstacles to voting in districts known to favor certain politicians or parties (harassment, too few machines or ballots, curtailed poll hours, last minute poll location changes, etc.)
I honestly thought I had confirmed that it is the UN and US standard that exit polls off by more than (IIRC) 5% are treated as a red flag for possible election fraud — not dispositive on their own, but indicative.
I know that exit polls in this particular general election were cut way back — and, of course, most of the major media organizations presumably sponsoring said polls were biased in Clinton’s favor in a couple of different ways. So I assumed most polling had a Clinton “house effect” all year. Is your source saying that exit polls are NEVER useful as a election fraud indicator, or just this particular election?
There was a lot of other evidence in the primary of election theft there. Eye witness testimony not disputed by boards of elections, videos of election workers changing ballots, etc. As to the general, I assumed both sides cheated as much as they could, however they could.
The idea that exit polls are used to gauge elections was not conjured out of thin air. This is from a 2011 study prepared by Democracy International for USAID (so, in effect, for the US State Department), p. 53:
This is why I asked for something I can actually read–no offense, but someone you know isn’t a link to anything either; I have to take your word on it–because I have read studies that say exactly this.
To paraphrase Goering, “When I hear ‘pro-growth,” that’s when I reach for my revolver.”
1.) There’s little to no evidence that tax cuts for the wealthy increase economic growth, at least not at the current relatively low tax levels. (There is some evidence that they are helpful at the super-high marginal rates of the early 60s)
2.) There is ABSOLUTELY NO reason to believe that the wealthiest in 1% will suddenly become unable to steer all the economic gains from growth to their own pockets. They have become very good at funneling almost all “growth” into their own pockets, and I see no reason to believe that they will suddenly become incompetent at this.
I see rich possibilities of a blow-off financial bubble in the leadup to the next recession. This will be celebrated in the business press as a Trump triumph. Key will be whether the blowup hits before or after 2020 and/or how long they will really tolerate Trump.
CNN mentioned yesterday’s Trump media meeting broadside (that was highly critical of CNN in particular) only briefly at the tail end of its story about his pending on-again off-again NY Times meeting. Thus far, there has not been much of an acknowledgement on the CNN website.
The good news is the fillibuster is intact and Congressional republicans are pretty lazy but a bunch of this stuff and some other nasties will be stuffed in a reconciliation bill.We wont have growth without new technology and Chinese imports the only ones that did have a job impact are declining and maybe fast for at least 2 reasons the smartphone market is saturated and so is the market for cheap household junk
The bad news is the Democrats never fight hard. Think you are going to see them filibuster? I doubt it.
How many have spines? Serious question: is anyone here knowledgeable enough to go through the list and assess their potential? I certainly doubt it comes to forty people ready to filibuster, but there is also a question of how good they are at pushing colleagues and mobilizing public support to increase the pressure.
Add to this the fact that many Dems who are coming up for Senate re-election in 2018 are in states that voted for Trump. Are they going to risk moving against their Trump-favoring voter populace by going after Trump in the Legislature, before 2018?
What worries me is that the people who are whispering in Trump’s ear (they are the ones in control) might be clever enough to keep this thing going right through to 2024 and beyond.
If the Dems lose bad in 2018, they will lose the threat of filibuster. Also, there would go any hope of neutralizing GOP gerrymandering in 2010, because the GOP will get to redraw districts *yet again*, in 2020. Then what?
Something has to happen prior to 2018 that is severe enough to wake people up. Where is the Black Swan for the Trump administration. Maybe I’m wrong; I hope so.
Vouchers for Medicare
A minor quibble with the author, as a man of Welsh heritage I would appreciate the retirement of the term “welshing” to the language dustbin where it can join it’s cousins “gyping” and “jewing”. Thank you.
Gareth, I had no idea. Thank you!
As a disabled veteran I must say that all of this article makes me sad, because we are always at the end of the line for funding, and with the pathetic list of losers above we will also be at the end of that line.
How bad is it? My MD retired last September and my new provider is in Boise over 600 miles away, my last physical was a phone consultation. Man am I glad she did not want to check my prostate, I doubt I could have gotten the receiver up there.
So, I am voting with my feet. Truck goes back to Ford, chapter 7 for all my creditors, and a one way ticket to Australia on January 15. Mind you I can no longer afford rents in the USA on a veteran disability so I was planning to leave after the election no matter who won, this just means I will go farther and be gone longer. At my age likely for the rest of my life.
I want to leave you all with a last thought, history shows that when nations build walls to keep out undesirable people they ALWAYS end up keeping YOU in.
Yes, but the 1.3 TRILLION Obama’s pledged to nuclear weapons upgrading is so much more important that some old raggedy veterans. I mean come on man, where are your values? BTW, you better watch that bankruptcy talk or you might find yourself on the no fly list.
Trump stated the money we are wasting on losing wars in the Middle East could rebuild America’s infrastructure…wonder why no mention of the nuke upgrades? Maybe it will die a quiet death.
Wishing you the very best! Find friends; get into the sun; eat well; keep your mind busy; set little goals; enjoy!
Thank you Phil, I will do my best, and Dave, some the nuclear arsenal is older than I am, and all of it is at least been around since Carter and Reagan, we are at the point of it becoming unreliable, and certainly technologically it is obsolete. I would like to post a snarky comment about scrapping it but we all know that is NOT going to happen unilaterally nor should it. What you would like I am sure is for a world that spends nothing on nuclear weapons, lives free of the threat they imply to all life on the globe. I am pretty certain that all sane and rational people share your sentiment, but no sane or rational people will agree that that is going to happen in our lifetime. It just is not.
It does bring up the question of spending priorities though. And, I think that really is at the base of the irreconcilable differences between the parties. If the matters related to taxing and spending went away I think you would see a lot less of the far fringe political wedge issues that so divide the nation. Reproductive rights, gay rights, race problems, immigration, these are the hot buttons blinking red that the right loves to push and the left says are over the line they have drawn in the sand.
I think that those topics though only have been used as divisive ploys because neither side of the political schism in America is willing to even think about fair division of wealth, to replace downward mobility with a renewed upward mobility, or the really intractable problems that have no economical solutions and which will carry a vastly larger price tag than something as miniscule as the nuclear arsenal.
Things like global jihad against the west. We can claim Islam is peaceful and modern members of a rational world, but if they say otherwise then all we are doing is winning a war that we claim does not exist using the tool of denial as our only tactic. If Islam is so peaceful then let the modern rational billion or so of them deal with the irrational jihadists who have so distorted the meaning of religion till mass murder is considered the will of Allah and where the cruel torture of individuals is though quite normal. There is something fundamentally incompatible with the tolerance of these behaviors and life itself.
Or, the REALLY expensive black swan, anthropogenic global warming. If you listen to the scientists who claim we caused it and we alone can stop it you will see that not only is it going to cost half or more of all global GDP to correct to their satisfaction but it will mean a slimming of the human population to well less than half of what it is now. Of course genocide as people normally think of it is out of the question, but they will come up with a term for all the starvation and poverty, call it rationalizing the carrying capacity of the planet.
The Earth is destabilizing geopolitically, has been for a while, look at N. Korea, nukes and soon the capability to deliver them to the continental USA. Are we to pretend they will honor the same protocols of the original members of the nuclear club of nations? That MAD will constrain them? How about we just hope that China has influence and exerts it properly? Fine, all the same I would not want to be in Oahu when their Dear Leader drinks a bit too much cognac some day.
It was a downward slope over the last 40 years, economically and geopolitically, we won the cold war but then failed to capitalize upon that victory by integrating the former Soviet peoples into the modern world in what would have appropriately been a Marshall Plan that cost a lot up front but paid HUGE profits after they were successfully brought into the modern world. Instead we sat back and watched as crooks and mafia oligarchs stole the nation from the people and turned all of Russia into a gulag of propaganda and crime. Rather than help them we have ourselves emulated their drunken spiral out of control and made America one of the most corrupt nations on earth with a political acid eating the seams of the republic. With a Hillary win we might have muddled through to the point where we could actually correct what is wrong, but now with Trump I believe the USA is finished. We will now not just keep declining, that will accelerate exponentially. The irreconcilable differences will now mean divorce, and with the end of the USA all stability in the world, what little there is, will be gone.
“The deficit never matters when it comes to war, but as soon as someone talks about VA funding, someone else mentions ‘the deficit'”…
Not just VA funding. Social Security, Medicare, infrastructure, in fact virtually any program that doesn’t explicitly feed the war machine invokes calls about the deficit. The other great line is that eventually “China will stop funding us”. Which always begs the question: why don’t we just submit our budgets to China and have them guide as to tell us what they will or will not fund. Of course, phrasing the question this way highlights the absurdity of the argument that China funds anything. A government deficit generates a net injection of disposable income into the private sector, generating an increase in its saving and wealth which can be held either in the form of government liabilities (cash or treasuries) or non-interest earning bank liabilities (bank deposits). If the nonbank public prefers bank deposits, then banks will hold an equivalent quantity of reserves, cash, and treasuries with the distribution among these government IOUs depending on bank preferences.
A government budget surplus has exactly the opposite effect on private sector incomes and wealth: it’s a net leakage of disposable income from the nongovernment sector that reduces net saving and wealth by the same amount. As the government takes more from the public in taxes than it gives in its spending, this results in a net debit of bank reserves and reduction in outstanding cash balances. If banks had previously held the amount of reserves and cash desired (which would be the normal case), the budget surplus will cause them to fall short of the desired holding of reserves and vault cash. They can go to the fed funds market to obtain reserves, but this is a system shortage that cannot be met by interbank lending, so the resulting shortage of cash and reserve balances forces the private sector to sell treasuries to the Fed to obtain the reserves desired. The Fed then adds reserves to bank deposits at the Fed. The Fed can simultaneously reduce the Treasury’s deposit at the Fed and return the treasuries to the Treasury. This is a retirement of government debt, which is what must take place as a result of government surpluses.
All the hysteria about government deficits comes from a flawed understanding of how the monetary system works. It is questionable how much of this is ideological and how much is really a misunderstanding. Sovereign governments have been led to believe that they need to issue bonds and collect taxes to finance government spending, and that good policies should be judged by their ability to enforce fiscal austerity. Mainstream economics has guided policymakers into imposing artificial constraints on fiscal policy and government finances, such as issuing bonds when running deficits, debt ceilings, forbidding the central bank to directly buy treasury debt, allowing the markets to set interest rates on government bonds, etc. To further dupe the public, a strong case is made for the independence of monetary policy and the monetary authority from fiscal authority so as not to subject the former to political pressures. All these constraints are self-imposed and voluntary. It’s as if someone would tie her feet together and then complain about the inability to walk.
The real issue is that those who are better off don’t want to have government intervention in economic affairs unless it benefits them
Marshall, is the incoming Trump administration an appropriate lobbying point for the MMT thought collective–to try to convince Trump and Company about the artificial constraints on fiscal policy and government finance?
Hillary’s PDF was so much better!
Little Hands Trump’s was only TWO pages…
Mommy Nearest’s was 175 PAGES!
[Obama] One: I will close Guantanamo
On the point most likely to succeed in Trump’s program, the energy extraction extravaganza. Research thru basic BLS data on sector employment and output as % of GDP shows that energy extraction is by far the least effective generator of jobs. US crude output almost doubled between 2008-2015 (aside: therefore Trump is a continuation of Obama’s Drill Baby Drill policy here), but it created if I recall correctly some 35K jobs over that period. Very capital-intensive, which is why capitalists love it of course, as with military production, another high capital / jobs ratio business. And Keystone: A Canuckistan freebee! I thought the reason Obama opposed this is because it will siphon Canadian crude away from the Midwest, raising market prices there. If so, enjoy your higher priced gas while driving on Trump’s toll highways!
On Trump’s sanctuary city boycott proposal: Will secure pure Trump hate in the major metro areas. And states like California are net contributors to the Federal revenues ($1 out / $0.75 in I believe). So here is a couple of ballot propositions the Left can put forward: 1) Establish a publicly owned state bank, mandate all state tax revenues be deposited there; 2) mandate that all Federal income tax revenues be escrowed there until the boycott ends. But in general, a state bank can be a means to finance infrastructure we need, like green energy and consumption, a real metro rail / affordable housing system, and small scale metro agriculture (especially for poor people). New York State built the Erie canal in the 1820s-30’s, revolutionizing the geopolitical economics of North America; California had its state water project in the 1940’s and 50’s, likely the single greatest infrastructure project on Earth at the time. And with Trump’s Burn The Earth Now program, SOCAL is going to have to do something about water soon. No Feds required. Eff the Ayn Ryans, let’s see California Shrugged!
On pre-revolutionary situation. There is a subjective element required. I’ll agree with that when I can see the Left woken up and engaged in a *permanent* war-footing mobilization that engages with real people. THEN we’ll see the liberals opt for a real fascist movement like they did in Europe, since the RoboCops won’t be able to handle a real movement. Trump ain’t that. He’s just the latest iteration in the long series of right wing cycles of increasingly economic and social parasitism that definitively began with Reagan. Each iteration breaks new ground in revealing a bit more of the monstrous visage of the rulers of the US. But it can go on ad infinitum without a real Left opposition. Explanandum for the twenty-somethings.
1 The notion that only 35 thousand jobs were created as a result of the fracking boom simply will not fly in flyover country (or anywhere numbers are used) no matter how much one might object to dirty energy (which I do in spades) – a number of States went into recession or near-recession for 2 years now due to the collapse of oil prices, something Dems ought to have responded to, but didn’t, being, you know, ‘red’ States and all.
2 The financial elite will no more allow California to escape its clutches than it did nominally sovereign Greece. It would mean a monumental fight on a par with secession or a more broadly based revolution. It’s coming to that in any event, though I’m not at all optimistic re outcomes.
Speaking of Jimmy Dore note the “silver linings list” at ~0:50, and the concentration of stuff in California.
I just spent far more time listening to Jimmy Dore than I should have; fun stuff!
“America is in a pre-revolutionary state…”
Gaius’s prognostications about civil and uncivil disorder are sweeping, and dramatic. What’s his ‘batting average’ like for accurate prediction–with an example or two, if anyone cares to reply?
Can’t speak to your second paragraph, but one of the warning signs that Crane Brinton points to is that the word “revolution” occurs frequently in popular discourse.
[The verifier mechanism burped. Sorry if this gets printed twice.]
KFritz, interesting question:
I’ll attempt an answer though others are invited to weigh in.
This is from an interview I did in March 2016, so eight months ago. I was asked in this part of it to talk about what I saw coming for the election, and also what trends and forces I saw at work that weren’t obvious 10 years ago, but may be obvious 10 years from now (the comparison was to Occupy).
The interviewer is “KMO,” host of the long-standing C-Realm podcast.
The audio link is here. Start at 23:46 for the section transcribed below, and end at 28:44.
KMO: I wonder, if you’re talking to somebody, say, in 2020 about what’s happening politically right now in the United States and in the world, where the electorate are coming from, what they want on both the left and the right, and what the party establishment figures like Clinton and all the people who have failed to overtake Donald Trump — what can you say to someone who already knows what’s going to happen in the next few months?
What do you see as happening right now that is larger than the outcome of this particular election? What trends and forces are at work and manifesting themselves in ways that were not obvious ten years ago and hopefully will be obvious ten years in the future […]?
Me: […] I think, and I wrote about this as we speak, I wrote about it today, a late-March piece in Down With Tyranny [Naked Capitalism link here], that the rebellion is not going to go away. And I feel like I can actually see [that] there are three paths ahead of us, and it feels like it’s kind of obvious what’s going to happen, if you posit that people on the right are done with it.
I speak to Tea Partiers all the time. They’re done with it. They were done with the bailout three years ago, the bank bailout. They will never support another bank bailout.
The people on the left are done with it. What Sanders has done is taken a lot of enormously broad discontent and given it a collecting point. It’s like that sand in the oyster that allows the pearl substance to collect around it. That substance was already there, it wasn’t created — some of it wasn’t created — but it was stimulated and collected by the sand. That’s what Sanders has done, and those people are not going to go away. That’s why Hillary is at such risk in this coming election.
Those of you who are listening to this after the election, I will make a prediction, and you can laugh in my virtual face if I am wrong. But—
If Sanders is nominated, he will beat the Republican hands down. He will beat the Republican, including Trump, especially Trump, by a greater popular vote differential that Obama won in either of his two elections. He could win by 10% or more. It could be 55 to 45, it could be 60 to 40.
If Clinton is nominated, and Trump is nominated, there are greater odds that she will lose than [that] she will win. If she loses, the Establishment left will immediately blame the Sanders voters, and unlike what happened in 2000 with the people who voted for Ralph Nader and then sort of took responsibility for that — they were kind of thrown off balance by that — the Sanders voters will push back. That will split the [voters in the] Democratic Party right down the middle, and all that really does is reveal the split that’s already there.
If Clinton wins, she’s still running with a split party and she’s impossibly vulnerable. I think in 2020, if this is before the 2020 election, and Clinton is the candidate, with one asterisk I will say she’s facing a [serious] primary challenge.
That asterisk is, when does the climate awareness tsunami hit the United States? That is, when do people finally get that it’s kind of over for civilized life and that we have a rolling crisis going on that needs immediate World War II-style action?
That tsunami of awareness will hit either before it’s too late or after it’s too late to really stop it [the worst of the crisis]. But at some point it will hit, and there won’t be another conversation in the country, I don’t think.