Links 11/14/16

England Has a Mole Problem: Feuding Mole Catchers WSJ

Avocados are driving deforestation in Mexico TreeHugger (J-LS). Like burning forests for palm oil in Indonesia choke everybody downwind.

Decision to Demonetise Currency Shows They Don’t Understand Capitalism: Prabhat Patnaik The Wire (J-LS). And guess who’s hurt…

India’s cash chaos sparks growing backlash FT (J-LS).

Kids Win the Right to Sue the US Government Over Climate Change MotherBoard (GF).

New Yorkers see drastic spike in home foreclosures NY Post (CC).

Patients and staff shut out of NHS transformation plans, says thinktank Guardian (JM). JM: “Same playbook everywhere.”

TPP’s “Cardiac Arrest”: A Lesson for the Challenges of the Trump Years Ahead Common Dreams


Losing euro-denominated clearing would cost London 83,000 jobs FT

Theresa May facing Cabinet backlash over refusal to deal with Nigel Farage despite his links to Donald Trump Telegraph

Obama: Greeks ‘need hope’ Ekathimerini


Russia-friendly political novice wins Bulgaria presidential election: exit polls Reuters

Moldova elects pro-Russian Igor Dodon as president Politico

Ukrainian politicians scramble to delete old anti-Trump posts Fort Russ (CL).

Japan’s Economy Grows Faster Than Expected WSJ


China’s Xi tells Trump cooperation is only choice Reuters

New China Data Shows Mixed Economic Picture WSJ

Will China’s Financial Bust Ever Come? Bloomberg

Chinese Workers’ Uprising: Unions, Workers, and Resistance in China Today Socialist Project

Asian Leaders Attempt to Decode Trump on the Future of Pivot Bloomberg

Trump Transition

RNC Chair Reince Priebus Is Named Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff WSJ “After meeting with Mr. Trump, the only person to be elected president without having held a government or military position, Mr. Obama realized the Republican needs more guidance. He plans to spend more time with his successor than presidents typically do, people familiar with the matter said.” Should Obama be doing this?

Trump pits establishment against populism at the top of his White House team WaPo. Chief of staff: Priebus. Senior Counselor: Stephen K. Bannon. “Populist” wouldn’t be the first word I’d choose for Bannon, whose Breitbart News is a cess-pit.

What Comes After the Uprising Peggy Noonan, WSJ. “The president-elect should make a handful of appointments quickly, briskly, with an initial emphasis on old hands and known quantities.” Steve Bannon? “It is the patriots who matter, many of whom kept away from Mr. Trump in the past. They are needed now. They have heft, wisdom, experience and insight. ” Steve Bannon?

GOP To Use Previously Unheard Of Tactic To Slam Dunk Trump Agenda Forbes. Reconciliation, but twice.

Passing the Baton Jacobin. “Barack Obama has spent eight years expanding the national security state. He will soon hand its full power to Donald Trump.”

A badly designed US stimulus will only hurt the working class Larry Summers, FT

What can Trump do? Sorting out his immigration plans Arizona Daily Star

Silicon Valley frets over foreign worker crackdown FT. H1B visas.

Trump and net neutrality: How Republicans can make the rules go away Ars Technica

Over 200 Incidents of Hateful Harassment and Intimidation Since Election Day SPLC (MR). Documentation.

Trump to supporters harassing minorities: ‘Stop it’ CNN. At the absolute minimum, Trump needs a Sister Souljah moment on this, pronto.

Trump Says Same-Sex Marriage Is Settled Law, Abortion Isn’t Bloomberg. Same-sex marriage was achieved with a grassroots movement; courageous people coming out in their thousands. Abortion was decided by the (highly credentialed, Ivy League Justices of the) Supreme Court. Liberals might take note of how matters get “settled.”

Morning After To-Do List Michael Moore. Unfortunately, making a “compact agenda” of bullet points that provide concrete material benefits to the 90% of Americans who work for wages isn’t on Moore’s list.

Citizens, United Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine. General Gamelin explains what to do next.

2016 Post Mortem

Reckoning with a Trump Presidency and the Elite Democrats Who Helped Deliver It The Intercept. Well worth a read.

Neoliberalism: the deep story that lies beneath Donald Trump’s triumph Guardian

Polls Showed Sanders Had a Better Shot of Beating Trump–but Pundits Told You to Ignore Them FAIR (MR).

Of course Bernie Sanders could have beaten Donald Trump Philip Bump, WaPo. “If the Sanders team’s emails had been hacked and trickled out by Wikileaks, what might we have learned?” Oh, come on.

Sanders backs Trump protests, questions Electoral College USA Today. Story more interesting than the headline (MR).

These 3 maps show just how dominant Republicans are in America after Tuesday WaPo. “Republicans will still control an all-time high 69 of 99 state legislative chambers. ”

In a Further Blow to Democrats, Republicans Increase Their Hold on State Governments NYT (a few days old, but the maps are useful).

Why We Need a New Democratic Party Robert Reich. “What happened in America on Election Day should not be seen as a victory for hatefulness over decency. It is more accurately understood as a repudiation of the American power structure, including the old Democratic Party.”

The Concession Speech aka Meet The New Clinton Inc. Mark St. Cyr (MT). Interesting if true. Grifters gotta grift…

‘Devastating’ election for House Democrats triggers request to Pelosi Politico. “Please, Madam, may we have less losing?”

What the DNC chair race tells us about the fight for the Democratic Party’s future Chris Cilizza, WaPo. This article is a mess. Great quote, however, from “a former DNC senior official”: The next DNC chair must understand “the intersection [buzz, buzz] of blue-collar fears and urban aspirations.” Oh. Blue collar people don’t have aspirations?

Clinton’s data-driven campaign relied heavily on an algorithm named Ada. What didn’t she see? WaPo (DK).

My beef over Hillary Clinton’s loss is with liberal feminists, young and old Tina Brown, Guardian

Liberal feminists, young and old, need to question the role they played in Hillary’s demise. The two weeks of media hyperventilation over grab-her-by-the-pussygate, when the airwaves were saturated with aghast liberal women equating Trump’s gross comments with sexual assault, had the opposite effect on multiple women voters in the Heartland.

These are resilient women, often working two or three jobs, for whom boorish men are an occasional occupational hazard, not an existential threat. They rolled their eyes over Trump’s unmitigated coarseness, but still bought into his spiel that he’d be the greatest job producer who ever lived. Oh, and they wondered why his behaviour was any worse than Bill’s.

Missing this pragmatic response by so many women was another mistake of Robbie Mook’s campaign data nerds. They computed that America’s women would all be as outraged as the ones they came home to at night. But pink slips have hit entire neighbourhoods, and towns. The angry white working class men who voted in such strength for Trump do not live in an emotional vacuum. They are loved by white working class women – their wives, daughters, sisters and mothers, who participate in their remaindered pain. It is everywhere in the interviews. “My dad lost his business”, “My husband hasn’t been the same since his job at the factory went away”.

Tina Brown, class traitor.

Takeaways from the election JIm Hightower. Ballot initiatives definitely not center-right.

The Election was Stolen – Here’s How Greg Palast. “Crosscheck,” detailed here. Sixteen years after Florida 2000…

U.S. election-integrity advocates question legitimacy of Donald Trump’s victory The Georgia Straight (SS).

Divided America: Portraits On The Eve of The Election Bullshitist. Aggregating quotes from the flyover states is a genre piece by now, but this is still a good one.

Trump Won Because Voters Are Ignorant, Literally Foreign Policy. Voice of The Blob.

Imperial Collapse Watch

NYT Article on Psychiatric Care at Guantanamo Hides More Than It Reveals Invictus

The End of American World Order The Diplomat

Class Warfare

What So Many People Don’t Get About the U.S. Working Class HBR

San Diego Voters Reject Funding of New Chargers Stadium NYT. If that particular gravy train has gone off the rails, I’m happy.

As Ratings Plummet, N.F.L. Considers Reducing Ads and Length of Games NYT (EM). EM comments:

Note the NFL has steadily increased the number of ad breaks over the years, but what’s really skyrocketed in the last decade is use of those not-so-stealthy in-game ads in various edges and corners of the screen. The overt militarism has also steadily increased, to the point where military color guards are a ubiquitous part of pregame ceremonies and the league mandates teams wear special camo-gear during the week of Veterans Day. Unsurprisingly, the DoD is one of the major NFL advertising partners. I can’t say whether that figures into the decline – concern over head injuries and the rise in popularity of lower-contact youth sports like soccer may well be more important – but I personally find the ad-and-warmongering inundation intensely annoying.

Antidote du jour (via):


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour“>here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

This entry was posted in Brexit, Links on by .

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. Steve C

    Not a WSJ subscriber so question for Nooners: who’s a patriot? Gingrich? Giuliani? Narcissistic jackasses, I’d say.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Yep, she went all Morning Again in America, didn’t she? I can almost see the Thomas Kinkade-style color scheme. I still think as a practical matter she’s giving good advice.

      1. RabidGandhi

        I’m fascinated by your interest in Nooners. Is it just because the vast majority of beltway pundits are so rancid that it makes her stand out as almost normal?

        1. Bev

          I believe the pundits know what is going on, but, don’t inform us.

          Lambert, thank you for posting the following article, but the link is broken, here it is:
          The Election was Stolen – Here’s How Greg Palast. “Crosscheck,” detailed here. Sixteen years after Florida 2000…

          working link:

          The Election was Stolen – Here’s How…
          Before a single vote was cast, the election was fixed by GOP and Trump operatives.

          Starting in 2013 – just as the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act – a coterie of Trump operatives, under the direction of Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, created a system to purge 1.1 million Americans of color from the voter rolls of GOP–controlled states.

          The system, called Crosscheck, is detailed in my Rolling Stone report,
          “The GOP’s Stealth War on Voters,” 8/24/2016.

          Crosscheck in action:
          Trump victory margin in Michigan: 13,107
          Michigan Crosscheck purge list: 449,922

          Trump victory margin in Arizona: 85,257
          Arizona Crosscheck purge list: 270,824

          Trump victory margin in North Carolina: 177,008
          North Carolina Crosscheck purge list: 589,393

          On Tuesday, we saw Crosscheck elect a Republican Senate and as President, Donald Trump. The electoral putsch was aided by nine other methods of attacking the right to vote of Black, Latino and Asian-American voters, methods detailed in my book and film, including “Caging,” “purging,” blocking legitimate registrations, and wrongly shunting millions to “provisional” ballots that will never be counted.

          Trump signaled the use of “Crosscheck” when he claimed the election is “rigged” because “people are voting many, many times.” His operative Kobach, who also advised Trump on building a wall on the southern border, devised a list of 7.2 million “potential” double voters—1.1 million of which were removed from the voter rolls by Tuesday. The list is loaded overwhelmingly with voters of color and the poor.

          1. Bev

            RED SHIFTS in the Presidential race & in nearly every Senate race in states with exit polls
            By Jonathan Simon  

            Thank you for being among the frustratingly small population of people willing to question the official story after an election.

            As I did in 2004 and have done in every federal election since, on election night last week I downloaded the exit poll results as soon as the polls closed and results were posted. As you may know, those exit poll numbers later get changed to match the vote counts. So those initial poll results are crucial, and I have them.

            My comparison between the exit poll results and the announced vote counts is all too familiar: it shows a red shift in the Presidential race and in nearly every Senate race in states where exit polls were conducted. (We call a shift towards Republicans a “red shift,” and a shift toward Democratic candidates a “blue shift.” We are seeing very, very few blue shifts in this election, and none outside the polls’ margin of error.)

            This data calls into question whether or not Trump really won in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida, and Michigan. These six states have a total of 108 electoral votes.

            We’re told that Trump won the Presidency with 290 electoral votes over Clinton’s 228.

            If the exit poll findings are accurate, the numbers should show a Clinton electoral college landslide to go with her popular vote victory. We’d be looking at Trump with 182 electoral votes and Clinton with 336!

            As for the Senate, in three states — Missouri, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, the discrepancy is enough to indicate the wrong candidate may have been declared the winner.

            Reversal of these three elections would change the majority in the Senate from Republican to Democratic.

            Whatever your political beliefs or party affiliation (or independent voter status), these results should concern you. If we expect to be able to change anything through the election process ever again, we cannot afford have an election system where votes are tallied in secret by computer software vulnerable to hacking from outsiders and rigging from insiders.

            Exit polls are the best way we have — and are trusted throughout the world, even by the U.S. government in regards to elections elsewhere — to get an immediate indication of the likelihood of election fraud.

            What can you do about it?

            Help more people get access to this information. Share these two blog posts of mine:

            Exit Polls from November 8 Election Show Patterns Indicating Possible Electronic Election Rigging in Favor of Republicans

            19 Big Myths About Our Elections That the Government and Media Want You to Believe

            Sign and circulate this petition from demanding an audit of the 2016 Presidential election:
            • Encourage people who want to learn more to purchase CODE RED: Electronic Election Theft and the New American Century. An excerpt is available free at my website.
            • If you’ve already read CODE RED, post a review on Amazon. This will help with the book’s visibility to people beyond the circles of those we know. (Simply click on the “Write a customer review” button here.) Your review can be as short as a few words!)
            • Use your reach, connections and skills where they’ll do the most good. Circulate this information to all of your communities. Reach out to influencers. Be the media.
            Correct misinformation where you see it. There’s a ton of it out there!
            Start or get involved with an election integrity/voting rights group in your area or online. Here are a few resources to get you started:

            Leaders in the election integrity movement and related movements are making plans now for other responses to this likely fraudulent election. Watch your email box for more information in the coming days.

            Thank you for your interest in electoral integrity.

            Jonathan D. Simon
            Author, CODE RED: Computerized Election Theft and the New American Century


            1. Fiver

              As the scenario you and Palast describe was given a fair amount of play, I would’ve thought the Dem Party and Clinton campaign would anticipate such an effect and made absolutely sure sufficient effort was made to document the phenomenon on the ground to create a list of people who tried to vote but were not on the lists. Clearly if it was possible to provide sufficient evidence a Court challenge would still be an option for voter fraud on that scale – and with a more friendly Court than 2000. With the kind of money, advisors, manpower etc., Clinton had to throw at her run, to not cover the bases in terms of a suspected ‘steal’ is almost too obtuse to fathom – the people are told by a Democratic Admin that the entire US National Security apparatus and every level of the State on down was braced for a Russian ‘attack’ or aliens landing, but nobody makes sure Team Dem has a friendly at every poll to keep an eye on things?

    2. Linda


      She doesn’t name names.

      It is the patriots who matter, many of whom kept away from Mr. Trump in the past. They are needed now. They have heft, wisdom, experience and insight.

      Donald Trump doesn’t know how to be president. He isn’t a reader of the presidency. He’s never held office. There’s little reason to believe he knows how to do this.

      The next president needs you. This is our country. Help him.

      A small extra excerpt:

      It was a natural, self-driven eruption. Which makes it all the more impressive and moving. And it somehow makes it more beautiful that few saw it coming.

      On the way home Wednesday morning I thought of my friend who runs the neighborhood shoe-repair shop. He is elderly, Italian-American, an immigrant. I had asked him last winter who would win the Republican nomination and he looked at me as if I were teasing. “Troomp!” he instructed. I realized at that moment: In America now only normal people can see the obvious. Everyone else is lost in a data-filled fog.

        1. juliania

          If, as many have supposed, Obama has been simply a tool with other folk making the horrible decisions, why on earth would he be hanging around? My answer to your question, Lambert is a most definite NO, this is not a good idea.

          Mr. Trump has lived in this country, some of the time; he’s lived in the world most of the time. He hasn’t been living in the oligarchical beltway. All of those are very good job training for the difficult job ahead. We don’t need the old ideas – at least not the recent past ones. We need new. For that people ignored the Republican establishment in the primaries. For that they voted for him in the election.

          On the job training, yes; I like it.

  2. Roger Smith

    Re: Morning After To-Do List Michael Moore. Unfortunately, making a “compact agenda” of bullet points that provide concrete material benefits to the 90% of Americans who work for wages isn’t on Moore’s list.

    I saw this yesterday and how wonderful and progressive. Demanding federal construction begin to fix Flint’ ongoing lack of usable water is item number 7 on his 2nd to-do list. …

    Is it okay because he doesn’t live there anymore, it can wait a little longer? I have zero hope that if this stars to happen with oxygen in the future. We’re all on our own. Maybe if the Democrats had pushed to do something real for a city like Flint, instead of dragging the media circus to town, placing an unnecessary burden on an already stressed local system, for a primary debate, the urban vote might not have been as suppressed. They could say “hey, look at what we did! We actually care!”

    1. craazyboy

      Michael Moore has certainly gone into a tizzy. Even worse than normal. I fear he may lite a fart and self-immolate.

      1. optimader

        He has a tedious, monetizable indie docu sugar plum dancing in his dreams to sell.
        At the federal level didn’t Flint get short shrifted by the BHO Admin? Ahhh..details don’t matter

        1. Dave

          I’m confounded by Moore.
          He made what IMHO is the greatest “Why you should vote for Trump” video ever, when he recited all the things that Trump supporters were feeling and how Trump would be the biggest F-U in the history of the world as voters gave the middle finger to the establishment.

          Then he attacks Trump. Maybe he’s just playing crack the whip and is hoping for publicity for his next movie? He looks really sickly too. Is he OK?

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I wonder if he suffers from split personality disorder…

            With the help of a doctor, and with good health insurance, I hope he can afford to manage it, if it is indeed that. I am just guessing here.

            BTW, many films have been made based on the novel, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which one is the best?

          2. Foy

            Dave. I too was surprised by that clip and then his subsequent attacks on Trump. It turns out that that clip was a shortened clip of a longer video. The shortened clip distorts what his main point was when taken in isolation (although it was brilliant).

            In the longer version he adds that they would enjoy their F-U “but only for a day or maybe a week”, then regret it because of what Donald Trump would actually do. In essence he was acknowledging their reasons but saying they were missing the greater problem and things would be way worse under Trump.

            I don’t like linking to Salon (a Clinton media echo chamber that missed what was happening like other mainstream media) but this article explains it…


            1. Procopius

              I wondered about that when I saw the clip. It left me wondering if he was actually advocating voting for Trump or just listing the reasons that Trump voters gave. I certainly had the feeling that he advocated voting for Hillary, even though that was not stated, but it was easy to interpret the rant as saying he was going to vote for Trump.

    2. nobody

      The book to read is Forgive Us Our Spins: Michael Moore and the Future of the Left, by Jesse Larner (2006). There are also some interviews with him on the subject available online.

    3. juliania

      New Zealand’s terrible earthquake may turn out to be a blessing in disguise. As they work extremely hard to replace damaged roads, repair homes, look after the dispossessed (which they will do much better than we did here with Sandy) people will have jobs and the economy will be able to survive the inevitable loss of tourism dollars.

      To fix Flint’s woes should be top of the list, with so many folk not being counted as out of work but that would jump at the chance of a worthy cause government funded – that would kickstart this administration in a good way towards maintaining popular favor, which I think it really has to rely on much more than any advice from advisors. We have to breed a new pool of those, and they should be young folk, millennials even, not all these old fogies (among whom I list myself, by the way.) Have the old fogies in the back room playing poker – they’re the ‘out to pasture’ guys, or should be.

      1. Tim

        To pick the typical analogy, would you mind if I come over to your house and break your windows? It will be good for the economy to have somebody come over and fix them, too bad it’s your money that could have been spent on something else productive.

        That being said, health is a basic human right, so poisoned water should be dealt with if for no other reason than that.

      2. Tom Bradford

        Yes, well, the 2011 Christchurch earthquake pumped billions into the NZ economy over the following years as the place was rebuilt, and this is probably why the NZ economy is doing better today that anyone else in the OECD – but 185 people died, thousands lost their homes for two years or more and tens of thousands had their lives disrupted with upheaval and uncertainty so I think you’d need to be an economist to see it as good thing.

        Ps, just had another aftershock – a 5.7*. No damage but they do rather rattle the nerves, and we have months of them to come, I’m told.


    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It has not been ‘HOPE’ all the time since the election.

      But it sounds hopeful on the ‘CHANGE’ part.

    1. integer

      The fact that this is now being reported in the NYT suggests a significant reorientation in US foreign policy.
      Leaders in Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Ukraine will be very nervous.

      (The NYT is still garbage though)

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Now that Obama doesn’t ‘own’ these things anymore, I suspect the NYT and other establishment outlets will be much more enthusiastic about doing proper investigations into the US’s allies wrongdoings.

      1. Dave

        Right down there with USA Today that’s dumped on middlebrow hotel doormats. The only difference is that you get to pay something like $5 for the Sunday advertising pile of pulp.
        Do your part for litter cleanup. Pick up lead tire weights along roads, they are toxic to waterways and animals. Pop them into the first class postage paid envelopes soliciting NYT subscriptions. Let’s help the owners of the NYT get back into their junkyard recycling business, along with the other owner, Carlos Slim who is figuring out ways to monetize his suddenly depreciated asset to Mexican peasants who can’t read but who are dependent on his privatized Telefonos Mexico for communication and from which a cut in the money sent home is taken.

  3. Steve C

    Reconciliation is unheard of because Obama and the Democrat losers didn’t want people to know about it. They never had an agenda, you see. So they and the media acted like reconciliation didn’t exist. It’s the go-to for Republicans. Bush used it three times. It’s how he got all his tax cuts. Democrats, especially Obama, hate wielding power. Republicans love it.

    1. Carolinian

      Democrats, especially Obama, hate wielding power. Republicans love it

      There ya go. Watching Trump on 60 Minutes yesterday it seemed obvious that the notion that he is going to spend all his time golfing while Pence holds down the fort is completely mistaken. I have no useful suggestions about how liberals can oppose what may turn into a juggernaut but I do think that if the coastals think they can make culture war against the middles the coastals are going to lose. Liberals are going to have to rediscover some of their own populism and that doesn’t mean Cher leading rallies on Union Square.

      And just a thought about a Sanders v Trump contest: these assertions leave out the fact that the establishment quite possibly would have been as opposed to Sanders as they were to Trump and might have even preferred Trump. The truth is there may be nothing we can do other than wait it out while building a movement (finally).

      1. RabidGandhi

        the establishment quite possibly would have been as opposed to Sanders as they were to Trump and might have even preferred Trump.

        The evidence for this is that there was only a belated half-arsed effort to repulse Trump’s takeover of the GOP, whereas with Sanders it was all-out war from the moment he was seen to be a contender. The current tooth gnashing and garment rending notwithstanding, Trump is manageable; Sanders is not.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          Both Sanders and Trump had an almost completely unforeseen strong tailwind propelling their unlikely candidacies, that tailwind being a building and upwelling popular sentiment against the status quo of a small elite of insiders rigging, well more or less *everything*, for their personal benefit without proper regard for the interests of the average citizen. I think what ultimately allowed Trump to prevail and fated Sanders to come up short was pretty obviously the fact that the Democratic Party had a completely locked in presumptive nominee in Clinton, and the Republican field was a dog’s breakfast, and the campaign of the only real insider favorite, Jeb Bush, was essentially still-born. Clinton had the entirety of the Democratic Party lined up to support her from day zero, and Trump never had to face anything remotely like that sort of focused consensus to win. The Republican Party indeed didn’t want Trump to take over the party in the same way the DP resisted Sanders, but the party was too splintered and disorganized to find a new consensus pick to coalesce behind once Jeb’s candidacy failed to launch.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            We got Trump because Hilary, plain and simple, check out Podesta and the “Pied Piper” strategy, these geniuses wanted somebody easy to beat so they made sure the press propped up the furthest-right R candidates. I recall wondering during the R primaries “geez the guys I’m being told are the front-runners are awfully far right” when someone more centrist like Kasich was discounted and ignored, the friggin cameras wouldn’t even show his face.
            Thanks Hilary. Thanks CNN.

      1. Steve C

        Dems used reconciliation as a last resort to salvage Obamacare. Republicans typically enact comprehensive omnibus reconciliation bills implementing their agenda in all areas of the federal government. Bush did it three times. Like I said, the Democrats don’t have an agenda.

      2. Steve C

        Democrats could have gotten Medicare for all, a carbon tax, bigger personal and dependent exemptions, Wall Street taxes, you name it. But they didn’t actually want any of that. They needed to resurrect the Republicans to prevent them from doing any of that. So they shouldn’t complain now.

        1. neo-realist

          They didn’t get it because……Corporate Health Care, Big Oil, Banks…..big democratic donors wouldn’t have approved. Which is not to say that they couldn’t have done it. But neoliberal democratic real politik says otherwise.

          1. jsn

            Yes, in other words the Democrats had a clear agenda and delivered on it.

            Just happens to be the near polar opposite of the agenda they promise voters every two years, and yes it has been necessary to keep the GOP around as cover for the institutionalized betrayal.

            TPP proves issues can be won, forget the parties until they begin to deliver issues again.

    2. TK421

      Obama loves power. He used his power to deport millions of time, his power to prosecute whistleblowers more than any other president, his power to attack Libya, legal or not. He just didn’t like budget reconciliation.

      1. Kurt Sperry

        In other words, Obama loves wielding power to kick down on the weak in the service of the strong. The kind of power wielding that carries no risks and requires no courage.

    3. John Zelnicker

      @Steve C – The one agenda item of Obama and his Democrats was to promote “bipartisanship” with the Republicans, even after the Repubs made it clear they would oppose anything Obama did, but you are not wrong.

      The avoidance of power wielding by the Dems is consistent with much of what Richard Kline wrote about “progressives” in his post from 2011 that Lambert put up today. They want to get people on their side by moral suasion, not be being militant and demanding. Well, that milquetoast strategy isn’t working and has never really worked. To successfully oppose Trump and keep the neo-liberals from completely decimating the social safety net, real progressives will need to be militant, demanding, and radical in devising strategies and tactics.

    4. rd

      Reconciliation doesn’t deal with the budget sequestration issues that are going to get in the way of Trump’s infrastructure agenda. However, I think that the GOP Capitol Hill gang doesn’t realize what is going to happen when Trump gets annoyed with them and starts holding election-style rallies in the Rust Belt to build up support for infrastructure spending.

      He doesn’t owe them anything and after trying to have Mike Pence and Reince Priebus unsuccessfully negotiate with them, he is going to just go straight to the voters. He will love the adulation of chanting crowds, so it will be fun for him unlike Hillary, Obama, and W. Congress is going to discover that populism cuts both ways.

  4. RabidGandhi

    Re: Palast and rigging

    Before the election when I said the US needed international election monitors, I was a ridiculous revanchist Putin-loving Trump apologist. Now when I say it I am an anti-fascist voice of reason and a defender of women and minorities.

    I always knew I was capable of deep, authentic personal change.

      1. diptherio

        Ah yes, the vagaries of the WP comment system…happens to the best of us, don’t take it personally.

        1. HotFlash

          Not only to the best of us, but to the best of the rest of us. eg, WP eats *only* my most very bestest comments ever.

    1. ProNewerDeal

      IIRC Palast noted that there is evidence of vote rigging in BOTH the D Primary to rig it in a pro-HClinton election, & in the general election to rig it in a pro-Trump direction.

      HillaryBot hacks are hypocritically citing Palast on the latter, while dismissing the former as “conspiracy theories”. I guess Greg Palast has also undergone “authentic personal change” from Alex Jones to Walter Cronkite \sarc

      1. RabidGandhi

        The scariest thing for me in this election/post-election cycle has been the accentuation of rancid source analysis, whereby a “good source” is someone who writes things I agree with. The last traces of critical analysis have been tossed out the window, fully replaced by confirmation bias and halo effect. Sad!

                1. optimader

                  excellent for them, that’s where they belong.

                  16C in Chicago area and beautifully sunny. Yesterday was the last day in the pool for me, I guess I’m a holdout. Last tomato harvest as well :o(

      2. MojaveWolf

        If this election led to a universal American standard of hand-marked, hand-counted under observation paper ballots I would count that as one of the most positive things about it.

    2. susan the other

      Crispin Miller is very matter-of-fact about vote tampering. It’s a fact of life to him. And I think it goes on all the time. They said (about little George) that you have to be “close” in the polls to be able to steal an election, otherwise it looks too obvious. Since then the concern about looking obvious has been flying out the window after than all the deleted ballots. Considering Hillary’s Ada is doing all that high-level analysis, either Ada is an idiot or the info was used to make it look close enough for Hillary to steal but something didn’t work. I’m wondering who saved Trump.

  5. sleepy

    Re USAToday Sanders interview–

    “Q: Is it conceivable you would run for president again?

    Sanders: You know, it’s conceivable that I may fly to the moon.

    Q: With all respect, it’s not conceivable that you may fly to the moon.

    Sanders: If Elon Musk (founder of SpaceX) called me, I could go to Mars. See, you’re wrong. I’m going to make Mars a progressive planet. I’ll be there first, planting the flag. People don’t think big enough!”


      1. Pat

        Felt the same way after watching him on the View this morning.

        He whiffed on the “how do we hold his feet to the fire”, but that is only to be expected. I mean how do you tell people there is little means of doing that unless you can scare the crap out of elected officials.

    1. JohnnyGL

      That was awesome!

      New campaign slogan for the Bernie-inspired Democrats….Make America Think Big Again!?!?!

      1. Dave

        I’m already printing and selling
        bumper stickers.

        I can’t seem to get people driving new luxury cars to buy them though. It’s a mystery.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          “Don’t blame me for Hillary’s popular vote total. I was not in a swing state, and I voted for Trump, so make sure she would not win on that front either.”

          That’d be another bumper sticker.

    2. fosforos

      Bernie is literally out of this world. Literally. That moon/mars nonsense was the only thing he said that wasn’t strictly restricted to issues within the US border. Just like his campaigning for the last eighteen months, without even the obligatory passing mentions. NATO? US bases? Preparations for atomic war? The bloated military budget? Syria, Ukraine, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Al Qaeda and all the much longer list of the depredations of US imperialism? The climate crisis? Not a word of this interview on any of the crucial issues that must animate any radical alternative to the Bipartisan Power Structure!

  6. temporal

    Today on ZH (no link because…), those crazy guys present people using buses to get to a protest as proof that it was all a conspiracy. Protests being a big city phenomenon generally among liberals appears to mean not understanding anything about a protest march. Protests require permissions and once OKed, the organizers are given a route and a time. Otherwise the authorities tend to be aggressive. Protests that happen purely spontaneously are generally referred to as riots.

    Once potential protesters find out that permissions have been given for a march they arrive by efficient means so that they can also get back home easily. The two best ways to travel are bus and train but buses are by far the best way to get to and from. Protesters pay money out of their pocket to ride a bus.

    Like I said, ZH has some true crazies. They apparently expected telekinesis and teleportation. Which is probably why there are so few conservative protests.

      1. DJG

        craazy: Indeed. The parking meters don’t belong to us Chicagoans, and they are designed to suck the dollars and the life out of a person. But they *do* look like the monoliths from 2001: Spacy Odyssey. That Rahm, master of the elegant visual.

        1. optimader

          I am quietly amazed they haven’t all been filled w/glue. It seems very unChicagoian. How long would a denial of revenue take?

            1. ChiGal in Carolina

              yes, the city has to pay whenever parking meters are unusable due to say, filming a movie that requires a downtown block to be closed.

              it is insane.

              1. optimader


                The city has to pay whenever parking meters are unusable
                I would need to see a link that confirms that
                Maintaining meter functionality is on the concessionaire’s tab.

                Not at all clear to me that the City is responsible for the concessionaires revenue in lieu of their being in an operable condition. If it were the case, why would Laz Parking spend the resources maintaining them?

                Yes, different case when the City elects to award a filming contract. Laz Parking is reimbursed for expected lost revenue .

                1. OIFVet

                  It’s not about the operability of the meters but about access to them. If they are inaccessible due to a neighborhood festival, fair, or even infrastructure improvement, the city is on the hook for “lost revenues” and has to pay CPM. There was a fight two or three years ago over the size of these lost revenues that the city had to pay. It is a sweetheart deal, little wonder that Richie Daley found such a nice job with the law firm that drafted the agreement. No corruption there, I’m sure.

                  1. optimader

                    It’s not about the operability of the meters but about access to them.

                    That would be my contention.

                    Next generation:
                    following the blueprint of first being anointed with financial independence, then transitioning into connected politics.

                    Footnote Files: (REmmauel, GWB GHB,HRC…..)

                    1. pretzelattack

                      it would depend on the contract, and i have no faith at all that the rahm administration negotiated one which imposed costs for vandalism on the company, which already costs the taxpayers more.
                      the whole point of these sweetheart deals is to fleece the public.

                      a public sabotage campaign would restrict access, and the company would probably argue that the city simply wasn’t performing its law enforcement job adequately.

                2. Yves Smith

                  No, we’ve written about that before. 100% accurate. In the privatization deal with Chicago, if the meters are unusable by virtue of street repairs, parades, visits by President, etc. the city has to pay the parking meter owners.

          1. Dave

            Glue? Messy, expensive and bad for the environment.
            Try Maximum Expansion Insulating Foam, the spray can comes with a little red straw that can be taped in place. A little dab’ll do ya.
            Works great in ATM card slots too.
            I heard that from a disgruntled bank employee who was fired and threatened to dab his banks’ ATMs. An idle threat no doubt.

            1. Inode_buddha

              The classic technique is a credit-card sized slice of cheese. Preferrably Velveeta, since it holds up to a mechanical pounding. Tip courtesy of the anarchists cookbook (dating myself there…)

              1. Dave

                “Oh, I forgot to put my glasses on when I went to the ATM…”
                “I wondered why that sandwich I ate later in the day was so tough…”

    1. ambrit

      I’d think that the lead time running up to a “demonstration” would play into it as well.
      The artificial nature of the “official demonstrations” mentioned shows how far from spontaneous “outpourings of popular feeling” they are. An alternative explanation of the bussing phenomenon would be that some ‘deep pockets’ pushing an agenda set the bus service up. Then, easily rounded up “demonstration prone” individuals can be pointed towards the busses and bought to the sites of the “spontaneous outbursts” for lights, camera, action.
      Real riots generally involve locals. Riots that involve large numbers of ‘out of towners’ can usually be described as “staged events.” Note that the “staging” can be initiated by either side of the fault lines that define the issues being demonstrated for or against. I’ve seen riots started by both protestors and or police.

        1. ambrit

          Yes. The phrasing is interesting too. “Flash mob,” as in ‘mobile vulgaris,’ the dreaded unwashed masses? Why not ‘flash happening,’ a hippy flavour, eh?

  7. Merf56

    The HBR piece talking about the ‘white working class’ was easily the most insightful and relevant thing I have read since the election. It is spot on. We’ll see if the Democrats pay the slightest attention. So far I see no sign of it…..

    1. Brad

      Nah, old hat memes going back to Nixon. That’s why the HBR piece had to start with a 1950’s throwback. The time of the white male working class has passed. Some sense this and hence, without alternatives, the hysterical Trump reaction. A nostalgic last gasp. The working class is majority non-white and non-male on the coasts. It’s last stronghold is the Midwest (the South and Texas are a different matter). The future Midwest will become majority non-white too. That’s the future.

      The real problem is exposing the J. Chait’s and (in comic form, the Bill Maher’s) who want to fake “joining the resistance” led by their president-in-exile, Obama, and funded, according to Chait’s concept, by Soros-backed non-profits in a “color revolution”. One size fits all in the liberal mind.

      1. integer

        The time of the white male working class has passed.

        “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”
        –Mark Twain

  8. oho

    ‘” He plans to spend more time with his successor than presidents typically do, people familiar with the matter said.”
    Should Obama be doing this?…

    we’re all on the same airplane. No one should be cheering for the pilot to crash. (i understand if someone wants to flame-rant me)

    1. Oregoncharles

      Not a flame, you have a point, but in this case, as Lambert has said repeatedly, gridlock and incompetence are our friends.
      Trump has already done his best work just by stopping the new “trade” agreements. I do hope he can withdraw from or drastically renegotiate the others without too bad a crash.
      Who thinks Obama’s offer will be appreciated?

      We might remember that O himself (why am I suddenly thinking of “Story of O”?) took a very long time to replace the Bush appointees, normally a high priority, and retained a couple on his cabinet. He doesn’t think the difference matters.

      1. integer

        The trend being that “in theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not”, in case anyone was wondering.

        1. integer

          Just to clarify, the above quote is not so much a trend as it is a statement of fact. The trend here is that hubristic tech types ignore this fact.

    1. UserFriendly

      I just became an Uncle a few hours ago. My sister, a programmer, chose the name Ada with Ms. Lovelace in mind. I sent her the post’s article, I don’t imagine she will be too thrilled with it.

      1. integer

        And please note that my derision of the algorithm does not reflect my view on the name itself.

  9. Jim Haygood

    From Trump’s interview with CBS:

    Lesley Stahl: You don’t like it, but your own transition team, it’s filled with lobbyists.

    Donald Trump: That’s the only people you have down there.

    Lesley Stahl: You have lobbyists from Verizon, you have lobbyists from the oil gas industry, you have food lobby.

    Donald Trump: Sure. Everybody’s a lobbyist down there–

    Lesley Stahl: Well, wait.

    Donald Trump: That’s what they are. They’re lobbyists or special interests—

    Lesley Stahl: On your own transition team.

    Donald Trump:–we are trying to clean up Washington. Look–

    Lesley Stahl: How can you claim–

    Donald Trump: Everything, everything down there– there are no people– … everybody that works for government, they then leave government and they become a lobbyist, essentially. I mean, the whole place is one big lobbyist.

    Lesley Stahl: But you’re, but you’re basically saying you have to rely on them, even though you want to get rid of them?

    Donald Trump: I’m saying that they know the system right now, but we’re going to phase that out. You have to phase it out.

    What else are out-of-office politicians going to do, if they stay in DC?

    Everybody’s got an angle.

    1. RabidGandhi

      I didn’t know Leslie Stahl was physiologically capable of asking questions antagonistic to authority (aka “journalism”). We live in amazing times.

      1. Carolinian

        People should watch this interview which is no doubt available on the web. It’s most interesting.

      2. Jim Haygood

        Never heard of her before. But the interview does provide a window into Trump’s priorities:

        Lesley Stahl: So you were with Paul Ryan, you met with the Republican leadership, what was the– one thing that you all agreed you want to get done right away?

        Donald Trump: Well, I would say there was more than one thing, there were three things, it was healthcare, there was immigration and there was a major tax bill lowering taxes in this country. We’re going to substantially simplify and lower the taxes–

        Lesley Stahl: And you’ve got both Houses?

        Donald Trump: And I have both Houses and we have the presidency, so we can do things–

        Lesley Stahl: You can do things lickety-split.

        Donald Trump: It’s been a long time since it’s happened.

        Bonds are terrified, with reason, of the “both houses” bit.

        A D-party Senate in 2018 is possible, if the party cleanses itself of the stain of Clintonism.

        1. craazyboy

          That confirms my “shit thru a goose” theory.

          Tho none of those things can be done both fast and comprehensively. Except maybe an old copy of Ryan’s tax bill can be dug up somewhere.

        2. RabidGandhi

          I disagree with El Presidente-Electo.

          It is not clear that he “has” both houses of congress. He might, or it may be that the repubs in congress have him (as those 3 items indicate– note they are not “Infrastructure, Get Out of Nafta, and Close Bases Abroad), or it may be a war between them (which might be good for the nation and for popcorn futures).

          That said, I’m old enough to remember a certain hopey-changey president starting off with a clearer majority in both houses. How’d that work out for the Party of Yes We Can’t?

          1. Carolinian

            It’s looking like Trump wants to be a “git r dun” guy– not like bipartisan fetishist Obama at all. Liberals,time to worry (but for pities sake not weep and march….Stahl to Trump, “are you afraid?”…. Trump, ” no”….my side: learn!!)

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  I think it depends on if he goes down (or get rolled over) fighting or not.

                  He may be a strongman, but is he a strong man? Is his family a strong family? Reading the last few days, it seems he plans on having them for support.

        3. EndOfTheWorld

          “if the party cleanses itself of the stain of Clintonism.”——But there’s no way that will happen. The Democratic Party IS NOTHING BUT the stain of Clintonism. If the stain of Clintonism is eliminated there will be no Democratic Party. And that’s what will eventually happen, IMHO. The Democratic Party will go the way of the Whigs.

            1. Jim Haygood

              In these early days, we can only concur with the late Saddam Hussein about the fate of the D party and its potential splits and spinoffs:

              Anything is possible now, my brothers.

            2. ambrit

              Sorry to disagree, but, given how badly the Democratic Party elites treated those Sanders Democrats, what incentives do the Sandersistas have to remain Democratic Party members?
              To legitimize such a “Revival” movement, Sanders and some of his surrogates must be seen to gain power and influence in the Democratic Party. So far, such is not in evidence.

                1. Carolinian

                  The Iron Law of Institutions says they’d rather go down with the ship than change captains. The Dems are a slender reed.

                2. John k

                  The first and most critical element has happened – she lost. A revolution is at least now possible.
                  Obomber’s is of course instructed to appoint a neolib to Dnc chair, this is the next fight, and the vast majority of dem congress, I.e. Those on the take, are instructed to support and anyway like status quo because bucks. Getting rid of Clinton was the easy part, all it took was for 10,000,000 that voted for big o to watch from the couch (course, she would have claimed a mandate if she’d won while only 9mm had done so… I can see her happily bobbing her head in agreement with her every word now.)
                  How will Bernie’s army manage to move this needle when real physical exertion is required, and there is no change in the dem’s implacable opposition? Remember Bernie and his plans are an existential threat to them all, while under trump the gravy train continues.
                  Hoping but not expecting.

                3. Code Name D

                  You seem to think we live in a democracy.

                  I just saw Sander’s latest interview where he called it “disgusting” should Trump attempt to prosecute Clinton. He even used the official narrative that any such prosecution would be some kind of revenge-play, rather than investigating crimes that she may have committed as SOS

                  The election is over, so any “requirement” that he hold his tongue against Clinton has now elapsed. We know must face the fact that he wasn’t laying to us when he stumped for Clinton, he genuinely doesn’t believe she is corrupt. I don’t want to diminish his past achievements, but Sanders is turning into a Clinton toadie, right before our eyes.

                  Even if Sanders does gain power, that notion that he will change anything becomes increasingly hard to defend. And this is how the Clinton wing will remain in charge. The Democratic Party is beyond saving, cannot be saved, and will not be saved.

                  1. Waldenpond

                    This deification of Sanders is as discomforting as the beatification of Clinton.

                    I was chastised during the primaries for viewing Sanders as a mediocre D. Felt he gave speeches and then got in line for whatever march to the right the Ds were making and found it bizarre he wasn’t registered as a D. His campaign was one long speech (he does give a good speech and his clips were emotion invoking and made effective marketing material) and he’s gotten right back in line.

                    I also was chastised when I expressed he supports the system…. the two party duopoly, capitalism, corporatism and his support for the drone program (kill lists, come on) was hand waved.

                    When Sanders states he’s a progressive, I believe him. Sanders support for Ellison (neolib,neocon) is not a surprise.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                The DNC chairperson – is he/she elected by a popular vote of all Democrats?

                Will it be a democratic process?

                Will people have to re-register – those Independent-turned-Democrat-turned-independent voters?

                Will Sanders become a Democrat again?

                  1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                    Not legitimate.

                    “Not my DNC chairperson, unless 51% of all Democrats have voted for that candidate.”

              2. neo-realist

                To legitimize such a “Revival” movement, Sanders and some of his surrogates must be seen to gain power and influence in the Democratic Party. So far, such is not in evidence.

                Ellison is making a play for DNC chair, so it may be a start; and where do wondering disaffected democrats go if not the democratic party to remake it into a much more economically populist party? The greens, who go into hibernation between Presidential elections instead of organizing mode? Starting a brand new party from scratch might be a more difficult job than remaking a party with brand name recognition and past success—New Deal, New Frontier, Great Society w/ the exception of Vietnam. I don’t know if we have much time in the little democracy we have left to wait for an entirely brand new thing to come together and get the support of critical mass America.

                1. ambrit

                  I’m wondering if much of the “rot” that has to be got rid of isn’t baked into the very structure of the party. A bureau is really the reflection of the people working in it. If they collude in a group think culture, whatever that group “thought” is will control how the organization functions. It’s a variant of the old techie acronym, GIGO: “Government In, Government Out.”
                  As the example of the Fundamentalist take over of many local governments and school boards, etc. shows, filling the middle levels of the bureaucracy will manage a take over quite well.
                  For the Democratic Party, the controlling question is, how many of the middle level functionaries are willing to change course and ideology? In the Republican Party, Trump, so far, seems to be accomplishing that feat. That’s the essence of a successful “hostile takeover.” When the people who do the actual work agree to go along with the new management, the deal is done. If the Clintonista Cadres are not amenable to hewing to new rules, they will have to go. Then, a pool of qualified replacements will need to be available to take over the tasks of the departing “Clintonist Bitter Enders.”
                  Here’s hoping there are a lot more sane Populists in the Democratic Party nomenklatura then DLC Werewolves.

              3. Jerry Denim

                After the Sanders mugging and the evidence of said DNC Sanders mugging via Wikileaks I was all ready to change my affiliation from “D” back to my typical post-primary Independent and hope that some data nerd somewhere would notice the dates of my party switching and care. Then after I got over the broad daylight mugging and the disgusting post-lost “Our Revolution” fundraising emails from Jeff Weaver I started thinking about revenge, house cleaning and just how close Sanders had come in 2016.

                Sanders damn near won the primary with vote rigging, poll rigging, unfair staged debates and the entire DNC and media establishment set against him. He finished with over 47% of the primary vote and 22 states in his column. He probably would have won a few more states with more neutral state party officials. (Six tie-breaking coin tosses, all Clinton Iowa?) What Sanders and his supporters achieved was incredible given the circumstances. Despite the widespread disgust with the DNC and their top candidate this year the Green party’s Jill Stein couldn’t crack a misrable 2% in California and less than 1% nationally! Which progressive road to victory looks easier to you? Building a 3rd party from the ground up, or hijacking the Democratic party and making it truly democratic again?

                “Clintonism” runs on money and corruption but it utterly depends on voter apathy and it’s cousin; ankle deep “slacktivist” identity politics to survive. (Facebook petitions to punish homophobic wedding cake bakers) The people that rigged the primaries for Clinton and secured her nomination at the convention despite her obvious disqualifying legal problems and her corruption typically hold positions that are supposedly “democratic”, as in requiring votes from registered Democrats, but frequently these functionaries occupy unfilled/unopposed seats or win meaningless elections with less than ten votes cast. My wife and I have vowed revenge on the local Clintonistas here in Los Angeles and we can’t wait to vote for fresh progressive Berniecrats in January at the Democratic Party ADEMs election. (Assembly District Election Meetings) It will be our first Democratic party event ever. From what we’ve heard virtually no one attends these things, and since they have been going on for years without any advertisement I have to conclude that is exactly the way these rat bastards like it. Building a Democratic system that runs on money and corruption but depends on voter apathy and low participation doesn’t make Clintonism strong, it makes Clintonism exceptionally weak. Less time online and more time out in our community is my resolution for 2017. Let’s use this time of Democratic party disarray to collect the scalps of Clinton/Neoliberal Democrats and transform the party apparatus into one favorable to progressive candidates. We can take back the Senate in midterms, then the White House in 2020.

                  1. Hana

                    I’ll raise you +1,000, dk

                    What I love about Jerry’s plan is his focus on the local “ground game”. It is telling that the big money donors focused more on state elections then on the national. The local venue is the place where the young folks get trained up in corruption. If you dig deep into the formative years for many of our national politicians it is at the local level that the rot begins.

                1. uncle tungsten

                  Right on. It was never rational for Bernie to go anywhere near the Greens. He had a far more solid voter recognition and support than the Greens will ever have in this generation. Sure Bernie has eaten a lot of crow in the last six months, but he has the will for it.

                  The incredible advantage of taking over the Dems as compared with starting a new party is a thousand fold and that is the difference between victories and defeats in the next decade.

                  The only game right now is to take control of as much state Democrat machinery as people can get their hands on. Over the next couple of years there is ample time to determine who can be a contender for the next Presidential election. But clean house well before new year 2018.

                  1. Lambert Strether Post author

                    > Bernie has eaten a lot of crow in the last six months

                    In other words, he took a punch for us (because it’s a ton harder to replace “Nader Nader neener neener” with “Sanders Sanders neener neener,” and the Nader Blame Cannon has been aimed at the left for 50 years).

                    Elections come and go. And yes, with the hostile takeover you get ballot access, all the laws and regulations that assume the existence of two parties, and the database. The Democrats still have assets.

              4. Oregoncharles

                don’t have a link, but a recent item said 70% of millennials (young people, you know, the future) are independents.

            3. Roger Smith

              I think EoW is referring more to the party as an government operation. How many of the actual lawmakers supported Sanders, 8? Far too many of the people are entrenched in the doctrine of Clintonland, in that a renewal of the party will largely be without those individuals. Granted some of those middle people will sway with the wind.

            4. Waldenpond

              How many of those were people who left, but came back temporarily, or new registers. Sanders got the young to register then the young didn’t show up for the general. Who else didn’t show up. CA turnout on the D side was down.

            5. MichaelC

              It all depends on how many Ds are more afraid of their base than their future employers. They only have one more chance to loot b4 their next race.

          1. fosforos

            The Democratic Party is not a *political party* with members and program and elected leadership. It is an Institution, part (like the Republican Party) and the Legislative Power of the Supreme Court, of the US’s Unwritten Constitution, which stands in absolute contradiction to the Written Constitution. Think of the Father of the Constitution, James Madison, and his dire warnings against the establishment of “permanent factions” and his nullification of the unconstitutional Alien and Sedition Acts through the Virginia and Kenticky resolutions without giving a thought to a Supreme Court that the Written Constitution allows only to decide specific cases, not to enact constitutional law. As an Institution of the established order the Democratic Party can only be abolished by social revolution (not by the social-democratic nostrum of “political revolution”, aka reform, adumbrated by Sanders). Since that is not on anyone’s near-or-mid-term agenda, any radicals hoping for a transformation of American politics should, IMHO, learn from the example of Huey Long and create a Really Populist movement that, starting as a faction within the given institutional structure, by recruiting members, running candidates, and concentrating on the issues vital to any radical (women’s rights, workers’ rights, civil liberties, anti-militarism, all out effort against global heating) can become strong enough to burst out of that institutional integument as a full-fledged radical and populist political party contending for power across the whole country. Then, in the words of the poet, the Democratic Party will become a “grave from which a glorious fantom may burst to illumine our tempestuous day.”

    2. JTMcPhee

      Trump is not completely a clean slate, but the “teachers” are lining up to write on him. Here’s one bit about how “they are all lobbyists down there,” and how his “team” is going about “learning the system:”

      Lockheed Martin talks F-35 with Trump transition team

      Aware that Donald Trump voiced strong misgivings about the capabilities and cost of the F-35 Lightning II, Lockheed Martin already is meeting with the President-elect’s transition team about the stealth fighter and other programs, a top company official said.

      “With the election now complete, we are working with President-elect Trump’s transition team.,” said Orlando Carvalho, Lockheed’s executive vice president for aeronautics. “We believe that in working with his transition team all the right information will get communicated and they’ll make the right decisions.”

      Trump made it clear on a conservative radio talk show last year that he had doubts about the F-35’s performance and its cost. At $379 billion, the F-35, which is built at Lockheed’s plant in Fort Worth, is the country’s most costly weapons program.

      After suffering through a rough start, the F-35 program has been showing improvement in recent years. The cost of the jet fighter has fallen to $112 million a copy and Lockheed hopes to get it down to $80 million to $85 million. But last week, the Pentagon said it will need $500 million more to finish the development phase…..

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Might be a tough sell to a man who wears “under budget and ahead of schedule” as a badge of honor.

        Kind of funny to think about how “scary” those six simple words could be to a corporation for which the words “terrorism” and “war” are cause for celebration.

      2. Jim Haygood

        This is where Trump’s “rebuild our depleted military” rhetoric gets dicey.

        Military procurement is the opposite of “depleted.” Fat-catted, if you will.

        1. craazyboy

          Add to it our new $18B aircraft carrier, $4B destroyer – that uses $1 million guided shells (apiece) for ammo, the newish IED resistant troop carrier that in volume is the single biggest budget item, and a host of others. That WAS the rebuilding of our arsenal. Add the new $1 trillion nuke defense upgrade on top of our already $600B “money for nothing” defense budget.

          Then, major new systems have a 20 year to production design cycle. We already shot the wad, folks.

          Cricky, Russia’s entire GDP is $1.3 trillion!

      3. PlutoniumKun

        When Lockheed talk about the cost of the F-35 they always mean the USAF’s version, the F35A (the simple one). There is plenty of evidence that they are reducing the superficial flyaway cost of the F-35 by loading on extra cost items onto the F-35B and F-35C. And no mention of the hourly flight costs, which are likely to be several times that of existing aircraft.

        The only good news is that it will drain so much money out of the military pot it will be harder to find anything for other programmes, although the Pentagon will try very hard to find innovative ways to pretend otherwise.

      4. djrichard

        Lockheed’s words with Trump {they’ll make the right decisions}

        shades of China’s words with Trump {cooperation is the only correct choice for China and the United States}

        I bet they’re all praying to their gods.

        1. cwaltz

          It should be interesting to see what happens. The Chinese are already making noises and they own over a trillion in treasuries if Trump starts a trade war.

          Cue the printing presses. The biggest GDP producer is going to fight the third largest.

          1. John k

            Those treasuries are useless for a trade war. They could sell them, so what? Fed could buy them, then treasury pays interest to fed that used to go to china, fed then gives income to treasury. Not in their interest… they already sold a half trillion? to support yuan. Which fed vacuumed.

            In trade war say we impose tariffs. We replace China stuff with mix of stuff made elsewhere or at home. China loses jobs.
            They could retaliate… but not effectively, we don’t send them much stuff except aero. They could buy airbus… but maybe our tariff is a function of the trade deficit?
            Of course more complicated… dollar rises, yuan falls… they sell more treasuries to support yuan…
            China has major internal problems, losing jobs destabilizing… our tech importers e.g. Apple love China, have supported them in spite of n korea and South China Sea etc, similar to we support Saudi even though not in our interest, we don’t even buy oil from them. Way past time for change.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It’s time for self.-cooking burgers.

            And self-walking pizzas (so they can self-deliver).

            “You want yours on 2 legs or 4 legs?”

    3. Dave

      “There’s nothing there but lobbyists”

      That fits exactly with the accusations against Trump by presstitutes that “his companies bought Chinese steel”.

      That’s because thanks to the Clintons and the globalists ruining the economy, that’s all there is!
      The Bay Bridge between Oakland and San Francisco had to buy steel made in the People’s Number Two Shipyard in Shanghai. It was defective and caused all manner of delays and cost overruns.

      President Trump, please make your trillion dollar infrastructure building program contingent on only buying American. The shipyard in Mississippi could be reopened for large scale steel fabrication projects.

  10. jgordon

    Bannon? Trump has a base, and Bannon being there is a sign to his base that he isn’t going establishment-crazy which keeps his base from distrusting him. That translated into real political power.

    Secondly, Trump remembers who was there for him and who gave him the cold shoulder. Bannon was on his side from the beginning, as was Alex Jones (unlike the lamestream media this was not in any way disguised).

    In fact, I’m sure Trump understands that these guys are a major reason that he got into the White House, and he is leery of offending them. Not just Bannon, I expect that Alex Jones will also be an extremely close advisor to President Trump from now on. Meanwhile NYT, WP et al are now cut out of the loop. Try to imagine just what that means for the media in America now…

    Anyway I saw yesterday that Trump wasn’t planning on putting Hillary in prison anymore. After I puked I reasoned that he might just be saying that to avoid giving Obama a reason to pardon her. I’m pretty sure that’s a deal breaker issue for his base if he goes back on it. Prison now or guilitines later. Up to them.

    1. craazyboy

      Bannon is already creating an uproar. He’s kinda the poster child for the goose steeping Master Race wing. He even looks like a nasty prick. Dunno what the Donald is thinking there. Springtime in Congress?

      Also just announced he’ll take One Dollah for prez salary. That scores a couple points.

      But he really needs to make new friends.

      1. ambrit

        Oh, he’ll have lots of new “friends.” Make no mistake about that. What he needs now are people he can trust.

        1. Hana

          Bannon probably knows where the DC establishment GOP bodies are buried. Useful when Trump needs to deal with enemies he needs to pretend are his friends even though they might be enemies again, soon!

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      NYT knows and thus the ‘we need the loyalty of our subscribers’ statement.’

      But being out of the loop, plus the minimal ad spending by the Trump campaign already hurt in both the primary and general election phases, will not be good.

    3. a different chris

      >I’m pretty sure that’s a deal breaker issue for his base

      I’m pretty sure it isn’t even “number 7 on the second list”. They just want the Clintons to go away. Mission (hopefully) accomplished. Now they want jobs, not jawbs. I expect he will pivot to that pretty darn quickly. We’ll see how that goes for him given the Republican congress.

      But we need to, as everybody says, focus on real things, not a People Magazine style politics. Trump was mostly a vote against, he seems to know that. Whether he uses it wisely or just tries to grab power is an open question and it will take at least a year to be able to even guess at the answer.

      Like Brexit. :)

    4. Yves Smith

      No, he said he had better things to think about now, which is the right answer. The House already has committees lined up to go after her, so he may not have to get his hand dirty. But many of his AG candidates would love to have her head.

    1. OIFVet

      I can’t speak intelligently about Moldova, all I know about it is that it is a former Soviet republic with a sizable ethnic Bulgarian minority. On the Bulgarian election:

      – The President-Elect may be backed by the Socialists, but he is an independent. He directly contradicted the leader of the Socialist party on several questions during the post-win press conference, and that’s a good thing. The BG Socialist party is a neoliberal party serving the oligarchy, though it has made some effort recently to at least appear to move to the left. The people did not vote for the Socialists, they voted for the persona of General Radev. The Socialists will be well-advised to realise this, and it appears that they sort of do.

      – “Russia-friendly” is actually surprisingly mild title, compared to the “Pro-Russia” label in title articles in Great Britain and in the US MSM. Because of course anyone who is not a raging Russophobe must be pro-Russia, right? Wrong, General Radev is an honor graduate of the US Air Force Maxwell War College, and is not in any way interested in exiting NATO and the EU. He wants Bulgaria to be treated and to act as a partner within these organisations, rather than as a puppet. This won him the vote, Bulgarians are bitter about how the elites have acted as vassals of the West against Bulgaria’s interests, and because there is almost nothing to show for it in return.

      – Bulgaria is a Russophile country due to history. Being freed By Russia from the Ottomans, while big part of the reason for the enduring warm feelings for Russia is only a part of the reason. Bulgaria gave Russia its alphabet, Russian language is basically the Old Church Slavonic which the Bulgarian Orthodox Church spread in the Balkans and to Kievan Rus, and the idea of Moscow as the Third Rome also came from the Bulgarian Orthodox priests fleeing the Ottomans after the fall of the Second Bulgarian Empire. All of these add up to a powerful identification that will never be broken, particularly now that the country is threatened with becoming a migrant holding area for the EU. General Radev tapped into those feelings and fears, promising to serve Bulgaria’s interests first and foremost, and those include working to lifting the Russian sanctions and ending the lunatic yapping-lap-dog confrontational rhetoric of his predecessor (which made him a national embarrassment and made him so unpopular that he didn’t even attempt to run for a reelection) , which have hurt Bulgaria’s important agricultural and tourist sectors. Radev is what in saner times was called a realist, and to the neocons and R2P-ers that makes him “Pro-Russia.” He isn’t, he is pro-Bulgaria first and foremost (or at least his rhetoric is).

      – Related to the above, the Reuters article links to a ‘Factbox’ on the general, in which we learn that “he was embroiled in a feud with the defense minister of the centre-right government over the servicing of Bulgaria’s aging Soviet-era jet fighters and the country’s participation in NATO joint air policing.” The context is that the Defense Minister wanted to contract with Poland to refurbish the MiG engines, rather than with Russia. Poland is not licensed by MiG for that kind of complete overhaul, and therefore MiG flat-out stated that they would never renew the air-worthiness certificates of the BG MiG-29s if Poland were to refurbish their engines. Bulgaria was faced with becoming unable to mount air patrols over her own territory, and the government’s answer to that was to invite and to pay NATO allies, including Turkey, to police Bulgaria’s skies. Remarkably tone-deaf given the 500 years of Ottoman rule, and the complete surrender of sovereignty such move entailed. General Radev at that point attempted to resign his commission, not wanting to preside over such fiasco. The PM had to step in, overrule his Defense Minister (a contract for new engines from Russia was just signed), and convinced Radev to remain as the head of the Air Force. Radev’s actions were seen by the public as the principled stand of a patriotic officer, and won him a lot of credibility. The military, while now gutted, remains very respected in Bulgaria.

      – Radev’s election thus offers hope (in Bulgaria) that the country will at least attempt to get rid of its ‘satellite syndrome’ and begin to assert its right to have its own sovereign interests, within its existing memberships and alliances. In effect, Radev’s aim is to make Bulgaria a bridge and facilitator between Russia and Europe, a chance that the current government threw away when it blocked South Stream on behalf of the US and its Western European puppets. A tall order, but very necessary if Bulgaria is to remain a viable nation. Of course, such assertion of sovereignty is quite objectionable to the neoliberal, neocon-R2P establishment on both sides of the Atlantic, but Trump’s election is seen as possibly providing an opening for that to happen. Needless to say, what is happening in Eastern Europe in general is deeply troubling to the establishment, as Orban, Zeman, and Fico have attempted to do much the same. I hope that Trump will take this opportunity to work with the Eastern Europeans, if he is truly bent on changing US foreign policy’s course. In any case, Radev’s career and actions have shown that he is an independent actor with no existing political and oligarchical dependencies, who has been rather principled in serving Bulgaria rather than himself and his backers. That’s a first in Bulgaria.

      – Bulgaria is also on the edge of a Constitutional crisis, because the PM threw a childish hissy-fit yesterday and will tender the government’s resignation today or tomorrow. This close to the transfer of the presidency, the Constitution does not allow the outgoing President to call for new parliamentary elections, and will only be able to form a caretaker cabinet, the third in three years. The ruling party and the Socialists appear to want to call a Constitutional Assembly to write a new constitution, one that would likely change the election system to a majoritarian system. While such change is popular with the public (it was a question posed in a referendum in the first round of the election, and won more than 70% of the vote), the danger is that Bulgaria will become a two-party system a la US, with the oligarchical and corrupt GERB and Socialist parties as the entrenched duopoly. Bad idea. Not to mention what it will mean for ethnic peace if the ethnic Turk MRF party (also corrupt and oligarchical, but indispensable in helping to avoid another Yugoslavia) is permanently excluded from having a role in governing Bulgaria. I hope that sanity will prevail. It is a paradox, but Radev won both the nationalist and the ethnic Turk vote, so his Constitutional role as an independent and unifying figure might be fulfilled.

      – Therefore, while the presidential institution in Bulgaria possesses little vested power, a lot is riding on General Radev’s shoulders. It is not only in Bulgaria’s interest that he succeeds, it is also in Europe’s, Russia’s, and the US’ interests too. He appears to be quite humble, and comes from humble family quite outside of the establishment, so I am confident that he is what he appears to be and does not have a hidden agenda despite his Socialist backers. It is refreshing to be able to write such a statement, to say the least.

      – Finally, a video of General Radev putting his MiG-29 through its paces during the 2014 Sofia air show. Given that a Neo-Ottomanist Turkey is next door, Bulgarians are rather pleased to have Radev as their new president. I know I am. It may surprise all of you, but this was the very first Bulgarian election that I voted in, and I voted for Radev because I believe that he is not a part of the status quo and has the credibility and the strength of character to resist it.

  11. Colonel Smithers

    I had a meeting with two colleagues this morning, one is a former regulator and the other is working on our offering to non-bank financial institutions. The meeting had nothing to do with Brexit. None of us is working on that. I have friends and former colleagues on the project, at the bank with no more “passion to perform” and elsewhere, including overseas. They report a strong showing by and interest in Spain (banks and asset managers) and Berlin competing strongly with Frankfurt for business (banks and tech firms). The pair felt that the Dutch central bank was a better regulator than the French and German ones in the approach to attracting business from the UK. One of our fintech clients has set up a bank in Spain, to get round EU passporting rules. Lloyd’s insurance brokers are setting up subsidiaries in Germany as German rules don’t allow broking by way of branches, even if the branch of an EU firm. None of the clients is waiting for the final Brexit settlement. They have seen and heard enough of the hard Brexit avenue and the incompetence of the British government.

  12. Jim Haygood

    “Abortion was decided by the (highly credentialed, Ivy League Justices of the) Supreme Court. Liberals might take note of how matters get ‘settled.'” — Lambert

    Donald Trump: Having to do with abortion if it ever were overturned, it would go back to the states. So it would go back to the states and–

    Lesley Stahl: Yeah, but then some women won’t be able to get an abortion?

    Donald Trump: No, it’ll go back to the states.

    Lesley Stahl: By state—no some —

    Donald Trump: Yeah.

    Donald Trump: Yeah, well, they’ll perhaps have to go, they’ll have to go to another state.

    Lesley Stahl: And that’s OK?

    Donald Trump: Well, we’ll see what happens. It’s got a long way to go, just so you understand. That has a long, long way to go.

    Trump’s stance is quite different from the extremism of an anti-abortion amendment to the constitution. He’s making a federalism argument.

    When the Supreme Court intervened on shaky grounds in Roe v. Wade, several states had legalized abortion, and a majority probably would have done so within a few years.

    If the federal government decides to simply get out of the way, we will have a situation similar to the gradual, grass-roots state acceptance of cannabis. That is, a majority of states will accept abortion, while a few hardball cases — Louisiana and Utah come to mind — will maintain their fierce ayatollah religious police to suppress it at all costs.

    1. Carolinian

      This was always Michael Kinsley’s argument–that fury over Roe was the stimulus for the resurgence of the right in the 70s and that abortion was gradually being legalized in the states already. Of course states like mine might still not have abortion but the overall political complexion of the country might also be quite different now. The Repubs rode abortion to the Reagan revolution and that has been a great disaster for the Left.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Yes. Overreaching is a bad idea in politics. So is “one size fits all,” in a culturally diverse country.

        Yank the pendulum too hard, and it swings back most viciously.

        1. Steve C

          Republican justices will never overturn Roe. They know it’s a big motivator for the right and gift to Republicans. They don’t want the right to lose its big saw.

      2. JTMcPhee

        Anyone remember the Endangered Species Act, and the Snail Darter? Here’s a fairly honest abstract of the case:

        Working as I did for the US EPA all through that debate, I got to see the dedicated silliness of environmental groups mooning over and hanging their flag from the little fish’s spines, when the compelling argument seemed to me to be straight economics: The “benefits” of the dam were fraudulently inflated, and the costs (habitat, homesteads, whole towns, etc.) were discounted by the TVA’s and involved governments’ economists. At the time, the courts actually paid some attention to the Administrative Procedures Act and the healthier interpretations of “due process,” and hammering on the straight political economics of the situation would likely have stopped the idiotic Tellico Dam (its “benefits” largely to rich folks with boats who wanted another publicly-provided play pen).

        By putting themselves in what proved to be a Pyrrhic-victory corner, smugly concentrating on and then teeing off from the Snail Darter status and thus putting themselves at odds with “human interests first” and showing the usual “Liberal” condescension and disdain and what appeared to many (even natural allies among those to be displaced by the Corps’ charge-ahead policies, they won the battle, sort of, and made a whole slew of enemies. But then, as we are seeing, the credentialed special people don’t seem capable of any other mode.

        Another, while I’m reminiscing: People in the Region V EPS offices worked pretty hard to try to rein in outfits like Dow and Monsanto and their destruction of the environment and the communities around their operations. The Clean Water Act regulations were up for amendment in the mid-80s as I recall, with a significant reduction in the amount of toxics from industrial plants.

        The Natural Resources Defence Council sued EPA to enjoin enforcement of the new rules. Their argument was that the NRDC and the rest of the “public” had not had adequate input time during the regulation-drafting process. I called the NRDC case attorney and pointed out to him that blocking the rules effectively let industry, specifically Dow and Monsanto who filed amicus briefs in support of the EPA’s position as I recall (since they had priced in their tricks for minimizing compliance costs), continue crapping (worse) all over people and the environment. While they pursued their APA challenge, the new regulations were stayed pending the outcome (years later) of their challenge. His response, all about protecting his niche, was “Who cares? It’s a good issue.” Meaning it gave them standing to hit at the government. Sometimes, “the government” (or parts of the monstrosity) actually aren’t the enemy. Another dysfunction from inside the Beltway.


        1. Carolinian

          Great comment. The 80s are when many say the major environmental groups retreated from real results and became fundraising machines more interested in NGO job security. See Jeffrey St. Clair on this.

          That said environmentalists have always had to exaggerate their case a bit as they are up against an array of moneyed interests. To stop a dam in the lower Grand Canyon the Sierra Club placed a full page ad in the NYT showing the GC as a lake. There was no dam.

          Trump has said he supports the national parks I think but the GOP have always been licking their chops when it comes to other federal lands–a major fight ahead.

          1. Carolinian

            BTW I believe I got the story wrong (never saw the ad myself–before my time) and the Sierra Club showed the Sistine Chapel filled with water and said imagine the GC like this.

            But the point holds. Environmentalists have to capture the public’s sympathy and imagination. Since we love our “purple mtns’ majesty” that’s doable.

            1. nycTerrierist


              Pro-environment issues are win-win: it needn’t be people interests vs. nature.

              Straw man arguments to the contrary can and should be exposed.

      3. RabidGandhi

        This needs emphasising, especially in the current realignment.

        Back in the day, there were many, many church groups working on the Latin American solidarity movement in places like Kansas. These were union people with a strong social justice streak. As the Dems ditched the working class, many of them got wooed to the GOP on the abortion issue. Both parties ramped up the abortion rhetoric in the 80s culture wars as a recruitment tool, but neither really did much on the issue, instead focusing on their real agendas of deregulation, neoliberalism and forever wars. The people whom they recruited on this issue are now becoming disllusioned on both sides, as both sides have been drafted into supporting policies against their interests, all under the banner of making abortion more/less legal.

        Trump is evidence of this. He used to be sort of pro-choice, now he’s sort of pro-life. And in the interview he makes this thoroughly clear: he is going to punt on the issue, or at least delay as much as possible, because the former culture-war R vs D bickering is just not on his list of priorities.

    2. Foppe

      yeah, it’s beyond bizarre (to me) that they never decided to encode the right in law, as opposed to just leaving it in the hand of the courts.

      1. craazyboy

        Politician’s kiss babies…even if they’re only negative 6 months old.

        All the bad things come later in life.

      2. JTMcPhee

        The people who got what they wanted from the Supremes in Roe v. Wade apparently never noticed or dreamed that said august body of Really Smart Older People has often done complete reversals of “settled law.” Stare decisis (Let the prior rulings of court stand unchanged) is sort of more of a kind of policy — heads up, for all the people that still are stupid enough to believe in any such thing as “rule of law” the way we mopes thought it worked…

        The Court is a pretty “undemocratic” (whatever that word means, kind of like “unAmerican”?) thingie. The Clantonites were sort of right about appointments to the court being one way to further demolish the lives of ordinary people, but too bad the Clantons would have given the rest of us just more of the same corporatist shills, and the Loyal Incompetent And Unconcerned About the Mopes Opposition, well, sort of “opposition,” would as before have rolled over to let the wolves at the lambs…

    3. Katharine

      And countless women will die ugly deaths, and child poverty, hunger, and abuse will increase, but after all does that really matter?

      Seriously, Jim, you sound as if you don’t think it does.

      1. Carolinian

        And how much death and social destruction resulted from giving the right this opening per Kinsley above? His point may be as simplification but it’s not invalid. Things are never black and white. There are always trade offs.

      2. a different chris

        I *think* he’s saying that a different approach would have put us in a much better position today. That’s arguable but it doesn’t make him heartless and lashing out does not help.

          1. cwaltz

            I’m pretty sure “Jim” will never have to worry about dying in childbirth.

            It’s not like childbirth wasn’t the leading cause of death FOR WOMEN preceding the advent of reproductive planning and still is in places where things like birth control or abortion are not accessible.

          2. B1whois

            You could simply apologize for lashing out. Defending lashing out also does not help. I am a woman who has had abortions. Today there is the ability to abort with a pill, I understand that this is what is done in Texas near the border, so comparisons to the past are not useful, other than for getting your dander up… the abortion pill can be used up to 10 weeks after 1st day of last period…
            Is Carolinian a woman? somehow I always thought so….

            1. ambrit

              You inhabit a privileged place in being close to the border where you can get that pill fairly easily if you have to. Imagine women in the real heartland, or constrained from getting anything at all. I can imagine the Texas state legislature mandating ten to twenty without parole for possession of that pill under a “conspiracy to commit murder” charge. Consider too, one can terminate a pregnancy by terminating the mothers life. Indeed, that happened quite a bit in the “bad old days.” The real issue here is not technical, but socio-political. In that regard, things haven’t really advanced so much as you suggest. This is also a world wide issue. Women are still being stoned to death in supposedly “civilized” parts of the world. Remember the one fact that liberals and progressives of all stripes that I have encountered seem not to accept: history also goes backward.

              1. hunkerdown

                ambrit, categorically false. You’re talking like a Civil War reenactor, i.e. an American, not like a sensible person. The Archdruid completely demolished the Whig-bourgeois theory that reuse of old ideas along any axis must be accompanied by period-accurate costumes and power relations at some length in Retroropia. Why would you be bringing that garbage back except to mendaciously sell a point?

                Please, for the sake of all that is woke, find a new trope.

                1. ambrit

                  I find your degree of anguish at my argument confusing. In the 1950’s to 70’s the country of Iran had a pro western, progressive social order, admittedly being imposed from the top. Women could hold jobs, dress in western fashions, and interact with men on a fairly equal basis. Note that, as far as I can ascertain, Iranian women were not compelled to do any of this. The West’s history of meddling in Iranian internal affairs is unmistakable. For complex reasons, Iran reasserted a nationalist, theocratic governing philosophy. Along with this came a reactionary social regime. All the gains for women of the previous decades were eradicated almost overnight by theocratic diktat. For the women of Iran, history ran backwards.
                  I haven’t read that part of Archdruids case, but, I will counter with the point that human nature doesn’t change very quickly at all. History may not repeat, but it can rhyme.
                  So, to embellish my point, consider the concept of kingship. There were Kings in Akkad and Summeria. Kings ruled Persia and Byzantia. Myriad small Kings bedeviled Dark Age Europe and the Ages of Chaos in the Orient. Today, real Kings inhabit chairs of Illusory pomp while de facto Kings rule countries from Arabia through the orient and on to America. What else to call a Caudillo or Jefe des Jeffes?
                  I believe you misunderstood the core of my pessimistic precis. The costumes will change, and the words masking the rot will change, but the central evil that often ruins human endeavours remains the same.
                  As for “new trope,” well, all that is old shall be new again, to paraphrase the Alchemists.

      3. Anne

        The issue for me is that we shouldn’t have to depend on where we live to determine what our rights are.

        Leaving it up to the states means that women will always have the whims of the majority hanging over their heads, poised to take away something that is about as basic and elemental as it gets: dominion over their own bodies and their own health.

        That may be just politics for some people, but it’s a lot more than that for everyone else.

        1. ambrit

          Turning your argument “on it’s head” gives us the inescapable fact that women outnumber men in the population. I’ll admit in advance that this argument is reductionistic, but, why haven’t women as a group taken control of the political process that seems to be in control of reproductive rights issues? Women have the potential power, if they can organize and act in concert.
          I have always remarked that abortion rights are an aspect of the perennial battle for control over fertility. In that conflict, simple and easy birth control was a game changer. Look at those “reactionary theocratic states” and notice the movements to outlaw any sort of birth control. Even deeper, I notice how, throughout the Paternalistic period of human history, women have been viewed and treated as objects; semi humans to be owned and controlled. This, I assert, is the real meaning of Roe v. Wade; women have been legally recognized as having ‘agency.’ Any backsliding on Roe v. Wade will have to be compensated for with a radical action, such as free and universal birth control completely under the control of the woman involved, no matter her age.
          We live in interesting times.

          1. Yves Smith

            To your point, the big fail of American feminists was not to get reproductive control enshrined in legislation after Roe v. Wade. That is how women have those rights protected in every other advanced economy. That would have created two barriers to getting it reversed. Instead, they spent considerable energy trying to get an equal rights amendment passed.

            1. ambrit

              Another example of political overreach.
              Yet another flaw in the “States Rights” argument is the implicit assumption that men and women are fundamentally different depending upon which “State” they live in. Since people can, theoretically, move about physically, that argument fails spectacularly, and leads into the issue of “Universal Rights.” Since the American Feminists failed in their “Equal Rights” push, a more restricted, but therefore more focused and “winnable” political struggle was and is needed. “Universal Rights” describes a basket of issues; some deplorable, some of use at guillotines. Chose the battles you can win, and work on the rest as time and chance dictate.

          2. Waldenpond

            … to some extent that power resides with wealth and women have to date accumulated less wealth with which to control power.

            By not enshrining it, it gives political parties a tool to distract people from fighting for economic rights.

            I agree that shifting the fight to free and universal would be an effective shift. Some issues thrash back and forth, go to far and then shift back and considered settled.

            Those that aren’t affected by the issue, misjudge the point of the shift. For lgbt fighting for gay marriage, there were laws targeting them, force of the state to enforce, leave it to the states, reinstatement of laws against them, enforcement by the state, private (religious) interests acting in lieu of the state, and legalization.

            Abortion illegal, laws against, force of the state for compliance, legalization, private interests acting in lieu of the state and voters, …..

            The weakness of the ‘State’s Rights-If You Don’t Like It Leave’ argument is that when the vote goes against religious doctrine, private (religious) interest use a religious freedom fallacy to circumvent the popular vote, as with gay marriage, they should lose with abortion.

            I’d like to see the demographics of support for marriage over time and the demographics of support for birth control and abortion and understand the degree to which my bias believes the opposition resides mostly in straight, religious males.

            1. ambrit

              I would not be surprised to find a large cohort of straight women in support as well. My reasoning being that, as I believe and have read, the social function of marriage is to secure support and nurture for children. Absent a collectivist society, what woman doesn’t want security for her children? This is where the trade off happens. Limit the availability of “free sex” and add a little subservience to the male ego and we have a microcosm of the Patriarchal Dispensation.

              1. Waldenpond

                I guess I am going to have to go look for numbers, but I thought the vast majority of women use birth control? I thought Catholics had a high use? I also thought a sizable number, not a majority, of women had abortions.

                I’m all for telling the truth about child rearing: it’s a con. All of it has to be marketed as ‘cute’ because children are dirty, smelly, noisy, expensive, time sucking, energy sucking and you will have to pry each individual claw off the edge of the nest to end it. But what do I know, I only had two.

                1. hunkerdown

                  I saw as much and had zero. The truth about childrearing, as best I could tell, could be summed up in “misery loves company and will stop at no lie to get it”.

                  1. aab

                    I wanted to raise my kid, and I’m glad I had her. She’s awesome.

                    I paid an enormous economic and career penalty to do it, though. The only women I know who went to Harvard with me who achieved their career goals as envisioned are the ones who did not have children. And occasionally let it slip out that they look down on me as a breeder. Thanks for that. I’m sure they all voted for Hillary.

                    1. hunkerdown

                      aab, there’s a mythos around the whole process that seems designed to draw people into the baby borg without fully informing them to expect calls on all manner of other endogenous and exogenous resources for the next umpteen years, and I can’t abide that. But I should have drawn a distinction between craft and bulk production. Thank you for being honest that good kids aren’t cheap. I simply add that “something not worth doing well is not worth doing.” Cheers!

                    2. ambrit

                      We have three children and also sacrificed much to raise them. The part about children versus career is not a simple case. I have heard the argument made that “A Career” is a child raising level of commitment. Fair enough, but, do not make the mistake of forcing others to fulfill some “societal norm.” (A general exhortation.)
                      In pre-industrial days, children were a major source of labour for agriculture. Given the relatively high death rate, a quick replenishment rate was optimal. Now that ‘wealth’ is measured in money, ‘careers’ substitute for large families as sources of wealth.
                      I am as fallable as any, perhaps more so than most, but I have a hard won stock of experience that tells me not to judge others. Disagree with them, oh boy, do I ever. But judge? That way lies madness.
                      Enjoy your child aab. He or she is very lucky to have a mother such as you. I’ve known too many people who were not wanted, and paid a heavy price.
                      And, how many children have parents who went to Harvard? Doubly blessed are they. Be proud.

                    3. Steve H.

                      They did not all vote for Hillary. We have evidence to the contrary.

                      I am a selfish man, and am well pleased with what I have gained from having children. With never a stable home as a kid, I yearned. “… whose uppermost dream for their kids was not so much greatness as goodness.” [Bob Hammel]

        2. armchair

          Great point Anne. I can’t believe how comfortable people are, in this forum, with throwing reproductive rights back to the states, and here is why. Aren’t there links, that a super-majority of state legislatures across this ‘diverse’ nation are controlled by republicans? You have to be a real Polyanna to think that Republican don’t win elections by catering to their Fundamentalist Christian base, and that it won’t be that hard to crush women’s rights in at least half of the states.

          Take Washington State. Coastal Elites, right? Bunch of pantywaists who have no idea about the working class, right? Bunch of latte sipping snobs, right? Well check out this link. Our state legislature is preserving women’s rights on a razor thin margin. The Republicans in this state are out to put women in their place.

          It is alarming to read disparaging comments about imperious liberals broadening the rights of women. It makes me think NC is out of its core competency. It is very hard for me to look past that comment and spend my precious few minutes looking at the Indian currency issue or figuring out if Jim Haygood’s warnings about the bond market are an ominous harbinger. Kind of ironic that the more NC wades into issues like reproductive rights and trying to put devil horns on liberals, the more difficult it is to focus on what this site’s strengths are.

          1. hunkerdown

            armchair, perhaps imperious liberals shouldn’t be anywhere near power, regardless of how many protected classes they’ve bought off. You seem to believe that, no matter what your trespasses against other classes, that you have a “right” to run government because you’re doing a good thing.


            Your class is being rejected. Your moral authority is nil. Your infantile little rivalry with “those darn Republicans” is a sham. You need to stop pretending like the Podesta emails haven’t been released and that you haven’t been exposed as a supporter of neoliberalism.

            You are using women as human shields for neoliberalism. Stop it.

        3. JTMcPhee

          Note that the majority you fear also includes a lot of, well, women, who are very vigorous if not always Christianly Sincere in their opposition to abortion as a right.

          If any of us want any kind of safety in our persons and property, we are sort of in the position of having to accumulate POWER via ORGANIZATION under sets of principles that will force the Fokkers to recognize us as a FORCE, not just a set of mopes to be played and rolled at the convenience and whim of the very few who actually “set policy”… Fokkers who do their thang while we sincere people are pushing our particular issues, hoping to get the rest of the Enlightened Liberal set to make a nice coalition with us…

          What was the expression? Keep your eye on the prize! which I think was the broader intent to quash the corporatist thing and impose, yes, IMPOSE, social justice.

          And I am just an old WASP, but I remember and took part in demonstrations in support of access to abortion (and not to increase the chances of get laid, as some of my fellow men did). And I have been personally involved in a situation where the pain and trauma of the whole abortion choice was central.

          And that dominion over our bodies, female and even male, is hardly as potent and right-ful as the imaging and slogans would have it — checked the labels on food packaging? Some women are cheering the “right” to go to foreign places in nice Imperial uniforms and take part in killing Wogs and Gooks. On and on.

      4. Jim Haygood

        You got the wrong impression, Katharine. I do remember the pre-Roe world. I do remember pregnant women in Texas heading for New York (legal), New Orleans (illegal) and Piedras Negras (quasi legal) for abortions. And I didn’t like it.

        But shoving our pro-choice views down the throats of states where a majority sincerely disagrees is a mistake, in my opinion.

        The federal gov’s ability to impose a “one size fits all” solution means that anti-abortion ideologues could conceivably outlaw it nationwide. A federalist approach is a better bulwark against a Handmaid’s Tale scenario (which could have happened under Mitt Romney), since some states — probably a majority — will reliably tilt pro-choice.

        It’s not perfect, and it’s unfair to women in prohibitionist states. But it may be the best we can do, in the long term.

        1. Anne

          The problem I have with your framing this as “shoving our pro-choice views down the throats of states where a majority sincerely disagrees” is that having such a policy does not obligate, nor would anyone be forced to undergo, an abortion. Those who object – sincerely or otherwise – to abortion are fully capable of observing and following their beliefs by never making the choice to have one.

          What is really going on here is that one group of people does have a choice, always, no matter what the law is – because not having an abortion is a choice – but that group, at the same time, seeks to deny others the right to make a different choice.

          As a woman, where I live should not determine what my rights are over my own body (although, granted, this 63-yr old body isn’t having any more children, I can assure you!), and I should not have to wonder if rights I have today will be taken away tomorrow, just because a majority of people who have no standing in my life hold sway over the legislative process.

          1. hunkerdown

            I should not have to wonder if rights I have today will be taken away tomorrow, just because a majority of people who have no standing in my life hold sway over the legislative process.

            Well, that’s exactly what liberal democracy IS. If you didn’t want this, you shouldn’t have ratified it at the polls.

            Oh, this is another one of those things where the bourgeoisie is always right, as long as it’s the right bourgeoisie! Okay, continue.

        2. Katharine

          Anne said it better than I, and I think her point stands. Basic rights, like control over one’s own body and health care decisions, should not depend on where one lives.

          We have shoved a lot of things down the throats of states where a majority disagreed. Are you going to use this reasoning to say Brown v. Board of Education shouldn’t have been decided as it was, or that the civil rights legislation of the sixties was wrong? How far do you take it, and if you do pick and choose, what are your criteria?

          1. MojaveWolf

            +1,000 to Katherine’s comment. Either bodily autonomy is a fundamental right or it isn’t. Basic rights, like control over one’s own body and health care decisions, should not depend on where one lives.

            IMO, the big reason we’ve lost ground on reproductive freedom since I came of age in the 80’s is primarily the utter spinelessness of those (at least nominally) pro-choice people in the public eye. You have a bunch of people going “well this sucks but it’s going to happen anyway” instead of making arguments about ob/gyn’s who are still willing to perform abortions being truly heroic people, choosing to do a job that lets them help women in need despite the price of constant threats and harassment and occasionally getting killed. They could all be doing something else and enjoying a cushy existence, but they choose to endure loads of misery and even put their lives on the line for the sole purpose of helping others. I don’t know how much the doctor’s at women’s clinics make, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re also taking a pay cut for this.

            Of course, this statement would be controversial and invite fire, as opposed to more generic stuff, but when people who really haven’t given this issue that much thought see one side filled with conviction and the other side waffling all over the place to get the most non-offensive sound bite, it’s understandable why the pro-choice #’s keep going down.

            I mean, my conservative Christian grandmother was pro-choice. I was openly pro-choice in small town Alabama and took zero flack for it. By the late 90’s or 2000 the world had changed and I’d go home to see giant billboards on the side of the interstate touting the horrors of murdering poor innocent babies. I remember a friend in the state legislature I had worked for growing up who had at one point been openly pro-choice saying “the people who think that way don’t talk about it in public” when I came home. (he wound up getting knocked out of office anyway, by another former friend who was sincerely religious right). The cowardice of your convictions is not a reliable winning strategy.

          2. Carolinian

            The difference is that Brown had a sounder Constitutional basis whereas the “right to privacy” justification for Roe is, I believe, regarded as iffy even by some Roe supporters. Clearly our far ago forbears had no opinions at all on abortion whereas the post Civil War amendments that gave us Brown did intend equal treatment for blacks.

            Laws, like governments, do indeed need “the consent of the governed” which is why we have legislatures. Yves is right that the pro choicers should have gotten the laws passed or an amendment passed. One reason they didn’t is that both the Republicans and the Dems have had their reasons for keeping the issue roiling. Fear over Supreme Court appointments has proven to be a useful distraction for both sides.

            1. dandelion

              Maybe a better argument could be constructed around the 13th Amendment’s outlawing of slavery — no person’s labor can be forced into the servitude of another person. Which, if the fetus is actually a person, is exactly what pregnancy requires.

              1. dandelion

                I think that since the 80s the zeitgeist has been building to get women out of the workforce, even as more women entered it. So many college-educated, professional class women leave the workforce now after having had children — or at least, that’s what I see in the Bay Area. Of course, working class women have aways worked, but I recently read an article noting that the solution to the woes of blue collar working men was that they take pink collar jobs — with of course no recognition at all about the effect this might have on women in those jobs. If we’ve reset structural unemployment at 10%, and we’re recognizing it will climb higher due to automation, and TPTB and the zeitgeist overall cues into the fact that a big population of unemployed men is dangerous — the solution is to push women out of the workforce, and making sure they have to care for children (and the elderly) with no support from anywhere is an excellent way to accomplish that.

                Several weeks ago, a friend of mine said that she was so excited to see HRC inaugurated, that it would signal all sorts of new possibility for women — and I said: unless it’s the zenith, from which we can only fall.

                It’s of note that it took both Germany (between the world wars) and the US (after WWII) only ten years to push middle-class women out of a new and heralded participation in public life back into the home.

                This, too, is why gay marriage is an easier proposition than women’s independence: it doesn’t pose fundamental challenges to economic power structures. Where gay rights do pose such challenges, they haven’t been granted: ENDA still hasn’t passed; I don’t think it’s even been brought to a vote.

                1. Anne

                  Is it the zeitgeist, or the extremely high cost of child care?

                  My daughter and son-in-law are currently paying $1,700/month for their two kids to be in full-time day care; that’s a big chunk of change – we “joke” all the time that when the kids are in school full time, they can buy a vacation home, as what they’re paying is more than some people’s mortgages.

                  Between the cost of child care, and the cost of health insurance, it can get to the point where one wonders if it’s worth it to be working so hard to keep your kids in day care. But hopping off the work treadmill means losing your seniority and not being able to so easily get back in once your kids are in school.

                  My other daughter and her husband are paying less, but they only have one kid – so far – and neither knows how on earth they will manage if they have another.

                  I think they are hoping Grammy could help out a couple days a week, so they wouldn’t need full-time care.

                  If Paul Ryan takes away the Medicare I have been waiting to be eligible for in two years, that plan may not work out.

                  1. Katniss Everdeen

                    If you’ve never read The Two Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Going Broke, I can highly recommend it.

                    It was written by Elizabeth Warren and her daughter.

                    Un-conventional “wisdom.”

                    1. Anne

                      After my younger daughter went back to work when the baby was 3 months old, she was only working 4 days a week, my husband watched the baby one day, and she had him in home-based care for three days. With no paid time off for most of her leave, then working one less day and paying for day care, they slowly sunk into a bit of a hole, made deeper by co-pays and deductibles related to her delivery and hospital stay (on top of that, they spent a good 8 months fighting the insurance company, which insisted their child was not covered under the plan and the hospital and docs were dunning them for costs they didn’t actually owe – that finally got resolved, thank God).

                      I offered to pay for the day care for a while, so they could get their bearings – had I not done that, I guess they would have figured out something, but the stress of the whole thing was really taking a toll.

                      Daughter #1 stayed home for year with her first, but then the economics of that caught up to them and she went back to work, then had baby #2 last Christmas, and went back to work when he was 3 months old.

                      It’s really, really hard to get ahead this way, and as hard as people are working, there really should be a better reward than not going completely under.

                      Thanks for the book rec – I have a feeling it will not be good for my blood pressure.

                  2. dandelion

                    Well, yes, it’s the high cost of child care. But what I mean by the zeitgeist is that for a while, in the 80s, there was a fight for workplace daycare, and it seemed the logical progression of women in the workforce — then all that fell away. I don’t think the big tech companies, except maybe one, despite all the luxe onsite benefits they offer employees, offer onsite daycare. It’s just not on anyone’s radar anymore, where before it was, big time.

        3. Waldenpond

          You are parroting archdruid. We got the ‘State’s Rights-if you don’t like it leave’ essay yesterday.

          There are a group of people who will tolerate black people being allowed to vote (barely).
          The same group who will tolerate women being allowed to vote (barely – even less barely I could argue)
          The same group who, only because white’s are facing the same brutal treatment, will allow that blacks should be treated equally under the law.
          Not at all interesting that this particular group find solutions that in no way affect them acceptable. Even less interesting that those that aren’t particularly religious have nothing but religious doctrine to fall back on for these positions.

        4. Katniss Everdeen

          Have to agree with Anne and Katherine here. I can’t see how a “right” can possibly be location-dependent, especially within the same country.

          It sounds a helluva lot like permission to me.

          And having to ask a cadre of overwhelmingly male “law” makers, for whom this issue is, at best, a thought experiment, for permission to control my own body is as repressive and misogynistic as it gets, political realities notwithstanding.

          And to all those renaissance men out there shedding crocodile tears for women because a man who said pussy got elected–get a clue. You can call me any name in the book as many times as you want and I don’t care. But I’ll not ask anyone’s permission to make my own reproductive choices. Ever. In any state. Or on any planet. Political realities notwithstanding.

          1. Katharine

            Political “realities” are in any case in the eye of the beholder (as we surely just saw in this election). Jim’s comment about the best we can do reminded me that an early edition of Morison and Commager’s history of the United States, in its sole reference to women, said, “In 1919 we gave them the vote.” The “we” who see the rest of us as merely an objective them may indeed be unable to do any better, but I believe we can.

          2. hunkerdown

            So what gives rights, if not other people? Imaginary friends? Dead people? Therein lies the rub: your rights are simply a consensus of non-aggression. Property rights are simply the agreement by communities to recognize certain claims, appropriately blessed, as an interest in certain parcels and chattels (and, increasingly, permission to do various things).

            It’s a very odd concept of rights that doesn’t allow for the agency to violate them, as if that were some outside, evil force… oh bah, this drama again? Never mind.

        5. catbird seat

          Wow…I’m thinking of the possible future absurdity of that 18 year old woman who can’t legally get an abortion, but, now is mandated to register for the draft and potentially die in a war for her Country!

          Sounds like a second class citizen maneuver where you have a right to die, but, not be free.

          Super sad scenario.

        6. Yves Smith

          The problem is that there are plenty of women who consider themselves to be pro life who have abortions, even more than one. No different than deathbed conversions, except they go back to their previous views.

          1. Anne

            And this is kind of the point, really. As a woman, and as a mother, one thing I can categorically state, and that is that the idea of pregnancy and having children is worlds different from the reality. Having been pregnant twice, I do not know that I would have been able to terminate, but then, I was pregnant under the best of circumstances – I was not a teenager, I was not single, I was not poor. We did not have genetic testing in either pregnancy, on the theory that having a perfect set of chromosomes guarantees no one a perfect life. Both our girls were as normal and healthy as can be.

            The fact that I would not have made the choice to terminate a pregnancy has nothing to do with anyone else’s choice. I don’t judge women who truly believe they are pro-life in theory, whose minds and views are changed by their own circumstance. It is not, in my mind, hypocritical to move from one side of the argument to the other – as long as it isn’t a case of okay-for-me-but-not-for-you (which it sometimes seems to be, probably because women are so afraid to be judged for changing their minds).

      5. Daryl

        For more details on what Republicans would like to happen, see women’s rights in El Salvador. Women being thrown into prison for having a miscarriage: coming to a Bible Belt state near you.

    4. Vatch

      That is, a majority of states will accept abortion, while a few hardball cases — Louisiana and Utah come to mind — will maintain their fierce ayatollah religious police to suppress it at all costs.

      I have great doubts about this. The Christian Ayatollahs are active in a great many U.S. states, including some of the supposedly “Blue” Democratic states. Currently, laws in most states mandate numerous road blocks that inhibit supposedly legal abortions. Waiting periods, mandatory counseling, “safety” requirements for clinic, etc. To Louisiana and Utah, one must add Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, North Dakota, Arkansas, Indiana, Colorado, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, and others. Note that many states have trigger laws that will make abortion illegal should Roe v. Wade be overturned. It’s a real mess; see:

      1. craazyboy

        Not to mention that little organization – The Catholic Church. Plus, even birth control is a no-no with them. So, only one way to do it right there. The Rhythm Method and/or a dozen kids.

      2. Observer

        Also add: South Dakota, South Carolina, Michigan, Oklahoma, Virginia, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Florida, and Kentucky. That brings our list to 22 (and there are probably a few others we have missed). So no, a majority of states (or at least half) will more likely move to block, not accept, abortion, should control be moved to the state level.

    5. jawbone

      Heh. One of the great conservative lines, along with “Hurry up and die,” “Let them eat cake,” and, as The Donald implies, “Screw the poor.” If they weren’t poor, they could go to Europe for their abortions, so….

    6. Waldenpond

      Does anyone else find it interesting what is basically ‘denial of contract’ is couched in ‘social’ terms? Certain individuals can have a legal contract determining obligations, rights and responsibilities for marriage, the rest of you are going to have to spend an abundance of time and resources on attorneys and do some judge shopping to try and create an equivalent contract.

      Same with abortion isn’t it? People (looks like mostly men) are denying women the right to negotiate a legal contract with an insurance company for coverage, denying the legal right to evaluate the efficacy of medical procedures?

      1. hunkerdown

        It’s mostly 1%er men that started this whole thing. Why are we all still playing their game and why are women continuing to put their uteri up for hostage with the Democrat Party, who apparently is not just an unreliable partner to the left, but to women too?

    7. Waldenpond

      Also I look at signals that gay marriage had support: polling, state laws in favor, politicians wavering (civil unions) to politicians abandoning the issue. I would argue also, that if private (religious) interests have to have special concessions made to to their institutions (church and corporate) they are admitting they have lost to the public and will lose in the courts.

      The same applies to signals that birth control/abortion have support: polling, state laws in favor, politicians wavering and abandoning the issue (Trump). Again, religious groups have been forced into purchasing medical clinics and hospitals (forcing practitioners to sign contracts for admission rights or abandon a geographic region) and through the ACA and demanding exceptions for religious department stores that sell cheap foreign crap to deny one group the right to contract.

      I think the tipping point was crossed when the religious were forced to resort to denying the right to contract in broad daylight (ACA). It doesn’t just affect women. On the other side are: doctors that refuse to serve religious clinics and hospitals as they are denied the right to contract with patients, companies that will leave states as they are unable to attract employees without the ability to freely contract with employees, insurers that want to provide specified contract to meet market demand.

      1. hunkerdown

        You mean, where the Hyde Amendment was made permanent by Democrats? I think people really just need to Beliebe that the Democrat Party can stand for something they aren’t being currently paid for.

  13. Joseph Wuest

    Your take on the difference between settled law re abortion vs. same-sex marriage is kind of off base. Read Against Equality’s stuff on the latter for accounts of how astroturfy the grassroots element of those battles were. You’re not wrong on the abortion issue but the dichotomy presented here doesn’t really hold up.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I see the ground zero of the movement that culminated in gay marriage as a reaction to the organic damage caused by the AIDS crisis and the organizing done as a result of it (ACT-UP, a great forgotten strategically non-violent movement).

      1. JTMcPhee

        Interesting that certain lifestyle things are marching ahead politically and others not. Could it be that there are a lot of LGBTQ “conservatives?” Cheney’s Daughter? And the NORMLization of pot? Could it be because there are a whole lot of hypocritical tokers among the Ruling Elite, whose progeny, and they themselves, might get swept up as casualties in the War on Drugs (TM) enthusiasm of self-funding police organizations?

        Power to the People! Right on, right on, right on!

      2. Waldenpond

        Yes, the impact of AIDS and the humanization of the individuals. Plus, I always thought that a helpful assist to the gay marriage movement was the money extremely wealthy gay men were able to put behind the movement and fundraise for.

      3. aab

        I couldn’t figure out where to put my reaction, so I’m putting it here, since it’s directly a response to your initial comment, Lambert.

        While I am open to the idea that the way legalizing abortion was handled was imperfect, I think there are a couple of things left out of the “don’t do top down change via the Supreme Court, like abortion.”

        The biggest is that it seems quite clear that a major force in getting same sex marriage legalized is that it is fundamentally conservative. It protects property interests, and by reinforcing the sanctity and power of marriage and the legal protections it offers, it reinforces marriage’s structural role in the oppression of women. Rich white men wanted same sex marriage rights, so they could acquire status-signalling trophy wives just like their straight friends. Obama backed same sex marriage ONLY because a bunch of gay billionaires said they’d close their wallets if he didn’t.

        Yes, there is less hostility in the culture now to homosexuality and non-binary gender identity, sexual orientation and sexual expression. That’s great. And yes, people coming out was a big part of that. Women need to come out about abortion. It’s starting. If I’d ever had an abortion, I’d say so right here. That I know much more about how many of my friends have been raped than how many have had an abortion tells you quite a bit about how effectively the shaming and suppression of abortion has been in our culture.

        But the fact still remains that women having control over their reproductive capacity is far more destabilizing to the patriarchy than same sex marriage. You’ll notice marriage rights came faster than job protections and the like. And the Democratic Party and the liberal movement could have worked to enshrine reproductive rights into law far more robustly at various times. They didn’t. Gee, I wonder why? Could it be that New Democrats were only too happy to have abortion constantly under assault, to fund raise off of and scaremonger over, just as the Republicans do from the right? Hillary Clinton was jabbering on MTP in April about how she’d be fine with a constitutional amendment restricting abortion, and she was endorsed exceptionally early by the major reproductive rights groups. They could actually have endorsed a far more pro-abortion rights candidate, but he cared about those icky working people; can’t have that.

        Worshiping Roe now is like advocating for the ACA; we do not have reproductive rights in America. Women are already using coat hangers and dying. There’s no feasible access in much of the country right now, and because it isn’t covered by most people’s health insurance, where you have physical access, you’re likely to not have economic access. Likewise, the ACA is not providing access to health care. Yet these two failed approached were quite different: ACA went through the legislative process. But what really mattered was that those in power didn’t want to actual deliver the policy in deed, only in word.

        So while the Supreme Court enshrinement approach may have been sub-optimal, I don’t think the core problem was a process problem. The core problem was that capitalist patriarchy stayed in charge, and elitists don’t really care about this issue. Rich women could get abortions in 1960, and they can get them now. Barack Obama could have enshrined access in a universal health care policy. Would the backlash to that be any worse than the repudiation he and the party actually received?

        1. hunkerdown

          aab, great comment and thank you for putting the whole matter into perspective with those “Sure, we’ll play you for it, on our table” elites and the role of elitism itself brought into relief.

        2. Waldenpond

          [ Rich white men wanted same sex marriage rights, so they could acquire status-signalling trophy wives just like their straight friends.]

          That’s what I noticed. It was gay marriage versus lgbt rights. The argument was the money would dry up, the fight would lessen and the discrimination would continue. I think states were pushing for right to work laws, not just for general purposes, but in response to the topic.

      4. cgeye

        … except around the 25th anniversary of Stonewall, it was decided by the major LGBTQ lobbyists (HRC, etc.) to focus solely on gay marriage, to the exclusion of employment equality legislation. Yes, much of it had to do with the heartwrenching stories of partners being barred from hospital rooms, but it was also a conservative push — those who wanted marriage weren’t in polyamorous relationships, or were disdainful of the need to partner up, at all.

        There was a lot of dissension within the community about this, precisely because it wasn’t like the radical vision ACT-UP had of access to healthcare without the romantic conservatism — but, then again, after the antiviral cocktails were discovered, lots of people just wanted to live, in peace, with their loved ones. Can’t say I blamed them….

  14. EndOfTheWorld

    RE: FP article: “Trump won because voters are ignorant, literally.” Subtitle: “Democracy is supposed to enact the will of the people. But what if the people have no clue what they’re doing.”

    How can the writer not be aware, at some level, of the irony in his patronizing arrogance? I guess his solution would be to make him dictator and just eliminate elections. Then the best people would run things.

    1. craazyboy

      Besides, how will the people ever know what they are doing with politician’s and journalists lying to them so much?

      1. Aumua

        Indeed, how will they?

        The truth is that the people on the whole are heavily brainwashed as it is, by multiple agencies, especially advertising. What kids are exposed to these days is some very advanced mental and emotional manipulation. It’s out of control really, this corruption of the human mind. I don’t know what’s going to happen. It doesn’t look good.

    2. Vatch

      Here’s a choice quote from the article:

      Trump supporters might be upset to learn that this method reveals that high-information voters (regardless of their income, race, employment status, gender, or where they live) tend to favor free trade and are pro-immigration.

      Pay attention, all of you who oppose the TPP, TTiP, and TiSA “free trade” agreements. You are low information voters.

      Perhaps one could say that Hillary Clinton was nominated by low information voters in the Democratic Party, and that the high information voters supported Bernie Sanders.

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        He’s right—the people finally learned that the “information” is mostly lies, propaganda, spin, anything but the truth. That is, the info he’s talking about, which must have the imprimatur of MSM stamped on it before it can reach the exalted status of “information”. By these standards my main goal in life is to become a “zero-information” voter.

      2. jrs

        Correlation is not causation, in fact it’s very clearly a logical fallacy being perpetuated here. High information correlates with support for trade agreements -> therefore since smart people want trade agreements I don’t even have to make an argument for them or refute the arguments against them.

        So he could explain why opponents of these trade agreements are wrong (and many of the arguments against them are NOT economic) or well shut up with the correlation garbage.

  15. european

    Re “The New Clinton Inc.” and the new “Unity Party” Mark St. Cyr is speculating about, see also David Brooks from a few days ago: “Which is why I’ve been thinking we need a third party that is social/open. This compassionate globalist party would support the free trade and skilled immigration that fuel growth.”

    1. temporal

      Finally something good might come from this.

      If the Clinton Inc. group, that is the neoliberals, can run on their own goals and merits they won’t be muddying the water for lefties. I suspect running on you’re with me or against rule by the elite would be a great way to skim our financial betters while providing much clearer self-documentation. Added benefits include putting most of the MSM including Brooks, PK and the rest of the neoliberals into a pen of their own making. No more soul-searching or complex historical research. If you want to be a victim of corporatism, feudalism and a loss of sovereignty Clinton Inc. is ready to help.

      I’d even consider giving them a dollar to build their pen and go away. Two, if they’d stop calling themselves liberals. If they really win doing this then it still won’t be worse than the last 24 years.

    2. tinheart

      If this so called “Purple Party” comes along I suspect it will be some sort of party that

      a) elects someone in the political part of the spectrum that “Fighting Joe” Lieberman or Michael Bloomberg occupy
      b) has a lot of liberal lip service, but
      c) has a lot of conservative friends on the other side (and is very accommodating to their needs)
      d) very pro war, and
      e) run by billionaires

      Remember these guys?

    3. aab

      Wait, what? That is the actual stance of the existing Democratic Party, which has literally no governing power outside of New York, California and a handful of other states.

      My husband found out that agency assistants in LA are on H-1B visas. He cursed for a significant number of minutes. That’s the main way non-connected people can enter the entertainment business. David Geffen was once an agency assistant. In the heyday of neoliberalism taking over Hollywood, Harvard and Yale grads got those jobs. But the actual position was notorious for its horrible, exploited nature. There was a whole genre of indy films in the late 80s and early 90s about how assistants were treated like slaves.

      So now, they just are slaves. The idea that you could claim that getting someone’s dry cleaning and placing their phone calls is a “special skill” is absurd. But I’m sure bringing in people on visas means there’s no unpleasant talk of being paid minimum wage (assistants work around 18 hours a day), being treated with dignity, etc.

      Is there any way to kill these Third Way zombies?

      1. cgeye

        I betcha that’s *why* those positions converted to visa-held — the lawsuits concerning wage n’ hour violations, for both FTEs and interns.

        Citizens have filed suit — who, on a visa, would dare?

    4. jrs

      Unity with who? See there is no unity on immigration (well short of workers of the world uniting perhaps, ok if you are a Marxist and it’s what you want it’s consistent at least). It’s enough if you could get white working class to have unity with black working class, and mexican working class who had attained u.s. citizenship etc.. And even that’s an uphill slog.

  16. Tom Stone

    Harry Reid just drove a stake through the heart of the Clinton Machine by endorsing Keith Ellison.
    In regard to the rest of the Democratic party this campaign was all stick and no carrot, the downticket Dems were starved of support with the DNC’s connivance and all of it went to HRC’s campaign.
    Every incumbent facing a choice between two factions of their own party asks themselves “What’s in it for me?, I need money to get reelected”.
    The Clinton’s abandoned their base decades ago, and during this campaign they abandoned down ticket Dems who desperately needed their support.
    Some of them were very well respected and liked members of the club, Russ Feingold comes to mind. They bet it all on this roll of the dice and lost, good riddance.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Would not count on it. The Clinton thing is embedded in the Higher-archy. The Family and its attendants, vassals, villeins and fiefdoms will more likely be a lot more like Freddie Krueger or Jason in resurrection, given all the creatures that are beholden to them and how much they know about where the bodies are buried and the money is hidden… Lots of people are told they are “cancer-free,” only to learn what that really means…

    2. uncle tungsten

      Sounds like time for a thorough audit of the campaign finances. How much is surplus right now? and do they owe the Clinton Foundation any cash to repay its yuuuge contribution in time and brand?

  17. jsn

    The adds pushed me off the NFL ten years ago, the politics of the announcers weened me from the college game a few years latter, or maybe that was because, after Vince Young, Texas sucked (although I did enjoy this).

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Tidbit from msnbs this morning:

      In an average 3 hour 12 minute NFL game broadcast, the ball is in play for 11 minutes.

        1. polecat

          All major team sports today is nothing but distraction and waste …with an emphasis on hating and devaluing the ‘other’ ….

          ….from that brand new Coliseum !!

          “release the lions !”

          1. optimader

            its what sells bad beer, cheese putty and chips!

            The commercials are celebrated in the football culture! And it keeps people off the Forest Preserve hiking/cyling paths! yeaaa

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Perhaps why politics is not a spectator sport.

        A 10-month long game or campaign, and the ball is in play for about 8 hours.

        “We need more audience participation.”

      2. Pat

        In fairness, there is also the time baked into the game of getting back to the line of scrimmage, the huddles, the change off between offense and defense, not to mention the time it takes to actually hike the ball putting it in play once the teams get in position none of which is consider part of that ball in play time. So figure at least another 45 minutes on top of it that has nothing to do with NFL milking. I mean even high school games take far longer than fifteen minutes. But yeah, the times have gotten a lot longer since I spent anytime watching professional football which was back when the Miami Dolphins dominated the game.

        1. optimader

          In fairness, there is also the time baked into the game of getting back to the line of scrimmage, the huddles, the change off between offense and defense

          The crotch adjustments, and dragging the broken ones away with a moment of superficial reflection..

          1. pretzelattack

            “i hope he recovers from the broken spine, jim, but at least he sacrificed himself for a worthwhile cause; they really needed that insurance touchdown”.

      3. Anne

        When you record a game, fast-forwarding through commercials and replays and booth reviews and general jibber-jabber, you really can watch a 3+ hour game in very little time.

        Not only do I hate the annoying promotional banners that appear on the screen, I also hate the non-stop, in-game, promotions by the announcers.

        Also, someone needs to tell Fox that its habit of putting teeny-tiny boxes with in-game baseball/football info on them makes it really hard to check on from across the room.

    2. curlydan

      Another good way to see the weird impact of commercials on the game is to go to the stadium and watch the game. There are many moments throughout the game where the teams are both standing on the field, chit-chatting, and looking quite bored while waiting for the endless parade of commercials to end. Since all games are essentially televised now, every game is like this.

      My suggestion is to limit the commercials to the time it takes to change possession (about a minute), then load up on commercials before, during halftime, and after the game. I don’t mind less time with Dan, Frank, Bob, Bubby, Jimmy, Johnny, Mikey, and whatever cast of character are “back in NY”.

      I just don’t have time for football games and getting barraged with the latest Buick ad.

      Maybe soccer will continue rising in popularity with its more viewer friendly format: 45 minute halves with the commercials “in the corners” or on the billboards.

    3. meme

      Not so sure how much the ads matter, at least in my family they DVR games and start watching well after they start.

      This year, however, a Trump supporting, Breitbart following family member lost interest in football after players decided to demonstrate their political views by staying seated during the national anthem. I wonder how big of an impact that had on viewership in general?

  18. lina

    Re: Hate Crimes:
    “Disturbingly, the most commonly reported location where incidents of harassment occurred were K-12 schools.”

    This is our future. I fear for my 3 year old living in this world.

    1. dk

      This is the way it has always been. Finally, our culture is beginning to look at it.

      A friend of mine, a researcher, did a study on rape and harassment at her college. One in six women reported one or more events at the school (a Catholic girl’s college, the figure is lower than the national average); but one in four reported experiences in junior-high and high school.

      1. lina

        But then why the uptick in the post election days? The stat I heard on NPR is that the # of reported incidents in the days following the election were about what they would receive in a 3-6 month timeframe.

        I agree, harassment, racism, bigotry has always been there. I fear for the future because we now have a leader who represents these things. It sets a tone for our culture.

        1. JTMcPhee

          NPR as a source? One might want (with reflection on what the recent pre-election polling produced, from all that “data” which is still, to so many, an unassailable “thing”) to focus on what the source and content of NPR’s data are…

          And I don’t doubt for a minute that some of the marginal-personality members of our population are finding it a little easier to let loose their personal nastinesses. But the categories have, it might seem, been redefined for “inclusiveness,” to increase the guilt-and-victim quanta.

          1. Katharine

            I’m not sure what you mean by the categories being increased for inclusiveness. The idea that you owe others the same courtesy you would want for yourself is pretty old-fashioned.

            1. JTMcPhee

              Yes, I subscribe to the Golden Rule. What I sought to convey with that observation is that those who keep tabs of assaults and even worser crimes, with an eye toward focusing more attention on said crimes as to particular kinds of casualties, because the tabulators are part of a category that wants to attract increased attention and enforcement, will tend to force-fit stuff that others might characterize differently into other sets.

              And demanding more prosecutions and harsher sentences for ‘hate crimes,’ seems to me that was the refrain that brought all of us the War on Drugs(tm) and the Groaf of the prison-industrial complex… Maybe there might be better approaches than attempting to maximize the Victim class?

        2. dk

          I’m suggesting/guessing some portion of the uptick may be in the reporting. By that I mean that kids can report other kinds of harassment and it doesn’t make the news as often. This is a hot topic, parents and media react more.

          Also, again just a guess, kids doing the harassment were not necessarily placid and benign before this. Bullies use whatever is available.

          Yes, it does set a tone. I heard misogynistic “locker room talk” as a kid, it shocked me then; my peers acquired it. I figured it must be some kind of weird fear of heterosexual responsibilities combined with supportive signalling to fellow males… I still think that.

          1. Aumua

            I’m certain that bigotry, sexism, hate, division, xenophobia, etc are on the rise. It could not be any more obvious to me. My only hope in this happening is that, as some have alluded to, all of this coming more to the surface and coming to a head may herald an eventual awakening where we, the Human species, may together look upon our evolutionary baggage and decide collectively that we don’t need it anymore. And chop that head right off, SHWACK! That’s my vision, and what sustains me in this difficult time.

        3. hunkerdown

          Pent-up demand, perhaps. After the 21st Amendment, there was a bit of an uptick in alcoholism that settled down. Also, to be fair, liberal hacks among us deserve some unmistakable evidence that their economic disloyalty to the people will not be supported, regardless of their righteousness on other matters. Social welfare doesn’t “net out” on the giving end, either.

  19. Cry Shop

    Weird, anything I post mentioning p o l l s or on the Pilkington post just turns into vapor. No pending. etc, just fails to post.

  20. Cry Shop

    For some reason it is T h e N a t u r e o f St a t i s t i c s by R*berts and W*llis, that sets off the rejection. go figure why any software author would hate them….

  21. dk

    U.S. election-integrity advocates question legitimacy of Donald Trump’s victory The Georgia Straight (SS).

    “How likely was it, really, that 90,000 Michiganders would have gone to all that trouble, going out to vote, but NOT for president, just to make the point (i.e., Mike’s point) that they weren’t happy with their choices?”

    In this election? I think it’s possible. I certainly did it myself, and encouraged others to. A shoddy presidential selection wasn’t necessary for my votes for a better secretary of state or to keep a decent congressperson.

    Manipulating to undervotes is only half as efficient as vote flipping, why not just vote-flip? How likely is it that a cheater going through the trouble would chose undervoting over vote-flipping? That seems to me to be the more/most unlikely scenario.

    Given the following (95% precincts reporting):

    Clinton  47.3%  2,239,745
    Trump    47.6%  2,255,356
    Johnson   3.6%    171,404
    Stein     1.1%     51,012
    Total           4,717,517,_2016

    90,000 undervotes would be around 1.9%. In the NM 2010 gubernatorial, with two less-than-popular but not overtly offensive candidates, the undervote was 0.8%. So yeah, I think a 2% undervote for this sounds about right.

    Not saying that manipulation didn’t occur, or that under voting can’t be a sign of manipulation, but it can also be the voter’s intent.

    1. Waldenpond

      If they would just provide a ‘none of the above’ box, we wouldn’t be forced to leave a blank and they wouldn’t have to wonder. I left a few items blank, which I hate to do, as I don’t trust some jackass not to fill it in with their choice.

      1. dk

        They have that in Nevada:

        “None Of The Above,” or NOTA for short, also known as “against all” or a “scratch” vote…

        When “None of the Above” is listed on a ballot, there is the possibility of NOTA receiving a majority or plurality of the vote, and so “winning” the election. In such a case, a variety of formal procedures may be invoked, including having the office remain vacant, having the office filled by appointment, re-opening nominations or holding another election (in a body operating under parliamentary procedure), or it may have no effect whatsoever, as in India and the US state of Nevada, where the next highest total wins regardless.

        Oh Nevada… no guts, no glory.

  22. Tom

    Has anyone here given much thought as to why the rulers of Mexico were so dismayed at Trump’s win? Media elites constantly tell us that the migrants that Mexico is so eager to be rid of will be a boon to our economy, yet the Mexican government itself doesn’t seem to think that their return will be a benefit to them. Who is lying to whom?

    1. Yves Smith

      Huh? Don’t you get it?

      1. Mexicans working in US lowers Mexican unemployment

      2. Mexicans working in US send $ home, increasing Mexican GDP

      How is workers going back to Mexico with no jobs there a benefit to Mexico?

      1. ambrit

        It could be of benefit to Mexico if some seriously radical Nortenos arm said Mexicans and return them primed and ready to have their Revolucion Nuevo Socialista. Here’s to the ghosts of the Magon Brothers!

      2. Dave

        Biggest source of revenue, higher than oil, now that prices are depressed, are monies sent from the U.S.

        Like the Marielitos, the Cubans kicked out of jails and allowed to come to the U.S., troublemakers and some Mexican criminals come north, as well as all the poor Mexican farmers driven off their land by NAFTA which forces them to ‘compete’ with U.S. taxpayer subsidized Archer Daniels Midland and Monsanto corn. Trump’s cancelling of NAFTA would allow them to return to their ancient homelands and farm again.

        Trump using some section or another of Dodd Frank to prohibit non-citizens from sending money out of the country would cut off Mexico’s main revenue source. That will assure cooperation from the Mexican government in reinforcing their border. New York Times main foreign owner Carlos Slim takes a cut of revenues sent south, also, think of the money he makes of his privatized Mexican telephone network as immigrants, legal and otherwise call home.

    2. craazyboy

      Also, the middle and upper class Mexicans think a safety net, more schools, more healthcare, etc.. means taxes for them to pay. That’s all free stuff in America.

    1. Steve C

      Milliband is Labour’s Hillary. Only he is electable. Until he leads Labour to another humiliating loss.

  23. fresno dan

    Passing the Baton Jacobin. “Barack Obama has spent eight years expanding the national security state. He will soon hand its full power to Donald Trump.”

    Obama does not deserve all of the blame for fortifying the national security state. He was aided by Democrats and liberals no longer willing to speak out against and oppose war and civil liberties abuses for fear of dinting their standard-bearer.

    When George W. Bush was in power and set about creating this vast system and asserting the right to ever more extreme unilateral powers in the name of national security, Democrats were outraged, decrying these measures as an attempt to create an “imperial presidency.”

    Seven years later, as one of their own was handed the reins to this extraordinary power, this outrage melted away. Rather than use Obama’s election to dismantle the national security state they had once railed against, Democrats allowed it to expand under Obama’s virtuous hand.

    As Democratic leaders and liberal pundits ignored issues of civil liberties and presidential excess, relegating what was once a central critique of Bush into a niche issue, various commentators sounded the alarm over entrusting Obama with such expansive powers. In 2012, speaking about the Obama administration’s drone program, the ACLU’s Hina Shamsi stated:

    Anyone willing to trust President Obama with the power to secretly declare an American citizen an enemy of the state and order his extrajudicial killing should ask whether they would be willing to trust the next president with that dangerous power.

    So, LOGICALLY, as repubs have no concern about the constitution, and dems have no concern about the constitution when a DEM is in power, a person concerned about preserving the constitution must therefore LOGICALLY vote for Trump so that dems will oppose at least a little bit the expansion of the security state…no?

    1. dk


      Bottom line, power chasers want as much power as possible available to the winner. If you’re not the winner, you get to complain, if you are, well… mmm, power.

      I thought at the time that the prospect of having that power, and not setting a precedent against it, was behind many a Dem senator (Clinton, Kerry, etc) voting for the 2002 Iraq Resolution. Unprovable of course.

  24. Uahsenaa

    re: Reuters on Xi and Trump

    I love American media response to anything having to do with Japan: it’s so wonderfully dimwitted.

    Since they don’t seem to know that the Japanese didn’t actually write their constitution but rather had it imposed upon them by the Allies, it has perhaps escaped their notice that the current rightwing government there would love nothing more than to have an independent military. Moreover, closing every American military base on the archipelago would be wildly popular with the Japanese people, especially in Okinawa, where a number of high profile incidents over the years have rankled the locals.

    As for China and trade, I’m no fan of Trump, but he clearly reads this situation correctly. Anyone who can do simple arithmetic would see that a trade war would do far more damage to the Chinese than to the Americans. What’s more, Trump might not even suffer a political fallout, because his base could interpret his actions and the attendant suffering as “sticking it to” the very people he promised to stick it to in his campaign. PLUS, where else would all that Chinese manufacturing output even go? Europe certainly wouldn’t be able to absorb it, neither could Latin America nor Russia. There’s already so much Chinese money trolling the world looking for assets to buy, imagine what would happen if they lost access to the American market.

    tl;dr – China has to keep its economy overheated just to stave off civil unrest. A trade war with the US would have severe domestic consequences.

      1. Uahsenaa

        Um, no. I realize the “foreign held debt” meme circulates widely, but this is a gun pointed at the Chinese, not the US. Setting aside the fact that it’s denominated in dollars, so the US always has the option of inflating it into worthlessness, the most salient point re: the Chinese economy can be found here. And I quote:

        China needs to maintain significant reserves of U.S. debt to manage the exchange rate of the renminbi. Were China to suddenly unload its reserve holdings, its currency’s exchange rate would rise, making Chinese exports more expensive in foreign markets.

        In the context of a trade war this is the last thing they’d want to do.

      2. craazyboy

        They could sell it and not much would happen. We got $20 Trillion out there now, and for the time being the world has proven to have a nearly insatiable appetite for treasuries. What to do? Buy negative interest Jap and Euro bonds?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      No pain, no gain.

      The price of Americans suffering is very real. It comes, potentially, and if not directly or immediately, with any move we make, with respect to any nation.

  25. kr

    Here is a ground report on India’s de-monetization. I landed here a few days before the sudden demonetization, and have had to scramble. Credit or debit cards help, but that does not always work, since very few of the stores (except the big ones) have the PoS machines.

    But everywhere I go (admittedly in one city, Bangalore) the poor are overwhelmingly in favor. I chatted with people in multiple ATM and bank lines, as well as with small shopkeepers and customers in such shops. Call it schadenfreude — the nearly unanimous opinion is something along the lines of “we know there is short term pain for us, but we expect things will improve; but the corrupt have been taken down, and their loss is permanent.” My mother and sister, in other big cities, have heard similar things from their maids, plumbers, taxi drivers, etc. It is seen as a comeuppance for the corrupt rich. But the key issue is, how long will the public put up with the hassles.

    There is quite a bit of praise for PM Modi, especially since this action actually hurts some of his party’s major constituencies; there was in fact an article in Hindustan Times about perhaps this is his way of changing the base of his party, to a more pro-poor, “backward caste” majority.

    It is also interesting to note that the biggest protests have come from politicians viewed as some of the most corrupt. But the really big time corrupt politicians have been a bit blase about this. One explanation is that much of their corrupt money is outside India, and hence not affected by this demonetization. But Modi promised yesterday that his next crackdown will be on “benami” properties (i.e., real estate that is in someone else’s name — a favorite tactic of corrupt politicians), and there is a new law on such “benami” properties that is just now taking effect. But unless there is some action on the money hidden away in Switzerland, Bahamas, and elsewhere, the really big fish will escape.

    Do not go by the main-stream-media on this. The MSM in India, and their counterparts in the western media, are notoriously anti-Modi, and will not give him any credit even when he does something that is genuinely good, as in this instance.

  26. Jim Haygood

    Gary North delivers the eulogy for New York’s Old Grey Meretrix:

    You can judge the competence of a newspaper by the articles that its editors run.

    Consider this article from The New York times. Here is the headline: Donald Trump and the G.O.P.: The Party of Lincoln, Reagan and, Perhaps, Extinction.

    The date of this article: October 15.

    The author: Declan Walsh. He is an Irishman who spent his career in Cairo and Pakistan. He was thrown out of Pakistan. So, the Times put him on the election beat. It wanted a foreigner’s views. It got them, good and hard.

    You may have heard about the luck of the Irish. In his case, Walsh’s luck was bad. He wrote what I regard as the archetypal article that best reflects the pre-election arrogance of the mainstream media.

    These were an arrogant bunch before November 8. Then they had their heads handed to them. Now all they have are declining audiences and falling revenues.

    From Saddam’s WMDs to The Party of Extinction — fool me twice, shame on … well, we won’t get fooled again.

  27. Jim Haygood

    Bloodbath in the bond market — the 10-year Treasury is at 2.25% this morning, up from 1.83% a week ago. Forty-two basis points is a huge move in Treasuries, in a week.

    As one would expect, higher yields pull capital into the US dollar. The dollar index DXY exceeded 100 this morning, approaching a multi-year high. DXY chart:

    The “Reagan redux” scenario, in which the dollar runs wild, to the extent of causing global disruption, is on. This presents an existential dilemma to China, as the yuan inadvertently gets hoisted skyward owing to its USD peg.

    J-yel could intervene by forgoing a rate hike next month, recognizing that a strong dollar is a form of tightening that not only will suppress US inflation, but also could pop the China bubble, with drastic consequences. But she won’t.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Today Goldman Sachs, the new unofficial flagship of the Dow Jones Industrials, is approaching a twenty (20) percent gain from its Nov 4th close.

      Mr Market is telling us something, even if we don’t care to hear it.

    2. JohnnyGL

      The bond market move has been the clear, immediate impact of Trump’s win. I figure someone with deep pockets must believe a fiscal expansion is coming in some form or another.

      Junk bonds, inv grade corp bonds have been hit hard, too.

      Clearly, Mr. Market has already done the hiking on J-Yel’s behalf. She can sit back and relax.

      1. craazyboy

        JYell has been delaying the hike all year. The latest bond market wisdom was they wouldn’t hike before the election, but afterwards. The press has been crediting Trump with a bond selloff and stock market rally, but the bond market was expecting a rate hike in December no matter who won. And the carry traders borrowing short term money and leveraging 10-30 times to squeeze out some yield gotta move quick or they’re trapped. Then I think we have mo-mo traders too – looking to get price gains on bonds- but when rates are nearing 1.5% on the 10 year, you have to wonder how much mo-mo is left with falling rates. Then looking at econ, some inflation and wage data has been perking up. And that is supposed to make the Fed move – at least up from ZIRP a bit.

  28. Anne

    I’m more than tired of the never-ending effort to blame everybody and everything for Clinton’s loss, except Clinton herself. Or even the unbelievably blind/deaf party elites. It isn’t liberal feminists who should be taking the blame for Hillary’s loss, any more than it is blacks who should be apologizing for letting Clinton down, or white working-class voters who should be asking for forgiveness for abandoning her in her hour of need.

    No, this is Clinton’s fault. She’s the one who didn’t read the mood or needs of the electorate correctly. She’s the one who mistakenly believed people would look past her grifting, past the “nothingburger” of her e-mails, past the ugliness of the Wikileaks revelations. She thought the words “Children’s Defense Fund” had magic, mind-erasing powers. She miscalculated that “more of the same” is what people wanted. She failed to hear the voices of the voters who blamed trade deals for job losses. She failed to comprehend that Sanders’ populist message was wildly, uh, popular, and failed to understand that people didn’t want to hear her keep saying, “no, we can’t do this, no, we can’t do that.” She failed to appreciate and understand the anger of Sanders supporters whom she promptly wrote off as unnecessary to her being able to win. She failed to understand the anger at her wooing of Republican votes, her pleasure at getting Republican endorsements.

    She. Failed. On so many levels.

    The thing my Hillary-supporting friends are all saying is, “but, but, she won the popular vote! The will of the people was for Hillary to be president, not Trump!” But the electoral college begs to differ – or will, when its members meet to cast their votes..

    She failed. The Democratic Party leadership failed.

    And from what I am seeing, it is going to continue to fail because it just is not being honest about “what went wrong.” When you look at how marginal the Democratic Party presence is in legislatures and state houses, and how it failed to win majorities in the House or the Senate, it is an insult to the intelligence of the people for this to come down to “boo-hoo! Jim Comey was mean to me!”

    What a colossal waste of time to still be playing the it’s everybody-else’s-fault game.

    1. Inode_buddha

      I notice that each of the groups you name in yout first paragraph, are the same groups that the Clintons have thrown under the bus over the years. And now they wonder why they don’t get the vote.

    2. JohnnyGL

      Rather remarkable that the Dem Party has been arguably failing since 2010 midterms when they got smoked. Yes, they pushed Obama over the finish line in 2012, but got smoked again in 2014. There’s no bench and the Repubs, supposedly in complete disarray, have most state-houses, and both houses of Congress.

      Would they really be trying to act like everything is fine if they win the Presidency and nothing else?

      It’s one thing to argue over why you’ve failed….but should it take 6 years to finally notice that you are, in fact, failing?!?!?!

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        After the Obama hyperbole, no one wanted to confess Obama was an empty suit all along. Please try of his skeptics want to blame the Kennedy assassination myth instead of the junior senator who sought out Joe Lieberman as a mentor.

        Obama is basically gone, so there can be catharsis.

      2. hunkerdown

        They got the left to waste time and energy on Bernie while narrowly fixing the primary, they still have their trademark shade of blue (now purple), all to themselves, and none of the hippies are coming by to bother them anymore. If I were a bourgeois liberal who can see no further than next quarter, I’d call that a downright success.

        1. Waldenpond

          Let me know when they’ve gone lavender…. I think they need to move in the other direction and get just a dash of the pinko.

  29. allan

    M1DB finally results in a conviction … of a leaker:

    Critic of Malaysian Leader Is Sentenced for Disclosing Audit Information

    An outspoken member of Malaysia’s Parliament was sentenced on Monday to 18 months in prison for publicly disclosing classified information from an official audit into a scandal-plagued government investment fund.

    A lower court ruled that the lawmaker, Rafizi Ramli, was guilty of violating the Official Secrets Act by possessing and publicizing information from the document. Mr. Rafizi, who has served in Parliament since 2013, could also lose his seat and be barred from running for office for five years.

    Rights advocates said the prosecution and conviction of a sitting member of Parliament for speaking publicly was unprecedented and was aimed at silencing one of the government’s most vocal critics. …

    The prime minister has held on to power by firing critics within his own government, blocking investigations and suppressing dissent. No one in Malaysia has been prosecuted over the missing money. …

    Our friends and allies.

    1. dk


      I am seeing so many online calls for people to get active, coming from people who have clearly never served on a local political committee or talked to anyone who has.

      Google: “[your county and state] Democratic Party”, if that doesn’t work try the state party, they should publish County party info. Look for Greens and Libertarians, and Reps, too, check out their meetings if you can, get the lay of the land. Listen first, listen again.

      This is also a juncture where a lot of novices and wannabes promote themselves to the expert rank, beware! Vet your leaders, get references and call them to follow up. Crosschecking! It takes some time and effort, and it can make the difference between success and failure.

  30. L

    The Guardian has another interesting piece up today: Labor movement braces for three-front battle with Trump, Congress and courts.

    The article is interesting both for what is in it, a succinct account of: how bad it is (new Right to work laws in many states, new R suparmajority in Pennsylvania of all places) and for what may happen (congressional Republicans pushing to undo many laws or sign national “Right to Work”). It also contains some interesting bright spots noting that voters in individual states are pushing for minimum wage increases and even concludes with a telling quote: “At the state and city level, we can do things. The cities are the laboratories for rebuilding the labor movement.”

    Nowhere mentioned in the article, or even asked is: should they have spent millions backing Clinton? Should they have even backed her a-priori the way that they did? Should they have held her feet to the fire to come out publicly to champion wage issues they way Sanders did?

    While I understand the need to gear up for the fight ahead a little introspection might make that fight go better.

  31. Alex morfesis

    Flyover states vs stepover states…methynx the missed obvious is the calous disregard by those self annointed Sharifs, graduates of institutions originally chartered by the crown, who have spent 35 years stepping over the collateral damage of their chase 4 Monet…mormony 4 monet…

    Ed koch, the first koch to hate america, the first neo liberal, decided it was economically prudent to help “stimulate” demand for housing in new york city by shutting down hundreds of thousands of apartments the city had obtained from its stanley michaels inspired refusal to restructure in rem tax delinquent foreclosures and his brilliant idea of milking billions of hud dollars by creating a crisis that did not exist….

    The inititiates and the chosen ones just could not be bothered wondering how to help and be helpful to those literally at their feet…

    I am confused how there can be shock about their capricious disregard for the rest of a country they have chosen to turn their backs to…

    Remember…the coastal corporate carabinieri who run off to the promised lands of museums and limitless restaurants are running away from the flyover states…

    new yorkers eat at diners not bistros…bagels…not croissants…

    its the goofy kids from pittsburgh that are willing to act crazy in their quest for artistic expression to sell a few pieces for castelli that tend to define the new urbanism…

    People running away from the flyover state they were born into…

  32. Laruse

    Re: NFL ratings

    I used to watch football games all day long on Sundays. I am a Minnesota Vikings fan, owned a #28 Adrian Peterson jersey, and I used to play in Picks Leagues and one year, I did a Fantasy league (I was too neurotic about stats to be willing to ever do that again).

    Then the concussion-related science began to come to light, and how the NFL actively suppressed what information they could. And then the news about Ray Rice cold cocking his fiancé broke. And then Adrian Peterson was arrested for whipping his four year old son severely enough to put him in the ER with lacerations to his whole body, including his testicles.

    On that day, I got rid of my AP jersey. And from that day going forward, I swore to never wear another athlete’s name on my back. And ever since, I have had a hard time watching football any more. Sometimes I put it on the television in the background, like yesterday when the Vikings lost to the team from Washington, but in the past two years, I find I have drifted fairly far from the old me that used to spend Sunday afternoons on the couch watching football, and I don’t miss it. I know I am not the only one who has drifted away.

    My point is that the NFL’s real problem isn’t whether games run too long or that the Presidential election took over everyone’s attention – I believe its problems are more fundamental and based in social issues not advertising.

    1. Tvc15

      Unfortunately, I previously wasted a lot of time as a Houston Oilers fan too.

      It’s not just the NFL that should receive our ire; college football and the treatment of “student athletes” by the NCAA is reprehensible. I recommend, “Schooled: The Price of College Sports” it was on Netflix. If you need more rage worthy groups, the NCAA should be on your list.

      1. Tinky

        You didn’t waste time if you had the pleasure of watching Earl Campbell in his (brief) prime.


    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      I wish this was true for society, but Mark Cuban made several predictions about the NFL’s over saturation a few years back. Part of the NFL popularity was you didn’t to have to follow it every day when it was limited to Sundays and Monday Night. Now it’s a four day affair each week.

      They pushed fantasy football so hard, inevitably lb there would be push back. It’s not fun if you have to work.

      Most games are on network television, but one can’t overlook the effect of streaming services and cord cutting. Why not throw on last week’s Walking Dead or Bob’s Burgers for background noise instead of the game? We don’t have to watch the ESPN ticker go through a thousand scores I don’t care about because I turned it on just after the Red Sox score anymore.

  33. Pat

    I just want to say that we have had a string of impressive and wonderful antidotes. I haven’t commented on wonderful orange kitties or impressive packs, but amazing transparent winged creatures does remind me how amazing and miraculous things I don’t normally notice can be.

    Thank you.

    1. polecat

      While examining the celery in full bloom in our garden last summer, which was crawling with all sorts of insect life, I spotted a tiny Ichneumon wasp (amongst the many other wasps, bees, syrphid flies, and beetles flitting around) …about 3/4 of an inch long, ovipositor (rear thread-like appendage) half again longer than it’s body, and of a very deep metallic blue …

      There IS wonder in one’s own backyard ….. if one ‘chooses’ to ‘see’ ….. ‘:]

      …and people, generally, don’t !!

      1. dk

        I remember, growing up, the 60’s, in the hour before dawn the birds will fill the trees, and the birdsong crescendo was almost deafening. And this was in Queens, NY, a populated suburb.

        No more.

        1. Katharine

          Sad, indeed. I deliberately leave my yard a bit scruffy (by some people’s standards) because I figure all the tree seeds and dead flower heads encourage what birds there are–and I do sometimes get wonderful flocks of grackles in cold weather, but few other crowds.

    1. Waldenpond

      4Xs the normal rain here for October. Our first frost date is Nov 15 and not only haven’t the trees dropped their leaves, a couple of the blueberries and the plum got another cycle of flowers and now have fruit. Bizarre seeing 3 dozen or so pink plums on the tree when the frost is supposed to hit. I can pick the fruit off but I’ll find out quickly if it’ll kill a tree to winter spray with the leaves still on.

  34. MikeRW

    For the first time post election it came up in the locker room of my gym (upscale, suburban NY). I would guess that it was overwhelmingly filled with Hillary/anti Trump voters. A clear Trump supporter openly voiced what he/they expect:

    1) They view Obama as having tyrannically jammed his agenda down America’s throat. They won, now it is their turn. There is zero interest in compromise, reconciliation, etc.
    2) They expect massive signings of executive orders on inauguration day, effectively erasing much of the last thirty years
    3) They expect open mass deportations of “illegals” to begin the day after inauguration
    4) They expect the near immediate termination of any, and all, domestic spending programs that aid the poor or needy (e.g., CHIP, welfare). End the redistribution system.
    5) The expect a Supreme Court that will quickly undo Roe v. Wade and eliminate any gun control regulations.
    6) While nominally in favor of LGBT rights, the states should do it not Washington. He did seem less inclined to the Pence religious agenda
    7) If the Republican establishment gets in their way they will demolish them in the mid-terms.

    In other words, take Trump at his word. His supporters expect results quickly and believe Trump has the mandate to do exactly what he said.

    1. meme

      He is already backing off on some of his issues (LGBT rights, keeping important parts of Obamacare, focus on only deporting immigrants considered dangerous or having criminal records), and he has not actually said he would end domestic spending programs that aid the poor (which is the legislature’s job, in any case). So, the Trump supporters will probably have to be satisfied with less than they expect.

    2. RabidGandhi

      Sounds like there’s a pretty big disconnect between this one dude at a gym and the guy he voted for. For example, when did Trump ever say he wanted “the near immediate termination of any, and all, domestic spending programs that aid the poor or needy (e.g., CHIP, welfare). End the redistribution system.” I clearly remember him saying the opposite, numerous times.

      And w/r/t “a Supreme Court that will quickly undo Roe v. Wade“, that has never been a big issue for the (formerly pro-choice) Trump. Just today he told Lesley Stahl (see quote above): “It’s got a long way to go, just so you understand. That has a long, long way to go.

      This looks like a classic case of one anecdote ≠ data, and it’s not even an anecdote from a Trump heavy demographic. Not very convincing.

      1. aab

        Rich people really don’t understand that. When I tried to talk to my oldest friends, who are either professional class or trust fund class, about why New Democrats had been a disaster, they insisted anybody suffering just had to “contact the government” to get the necessary resources to stay afloat. No counter-evidence was allowed. Of course nobody starves in America. If you’re smart, there’s a job for you. You just need to update your resume. Of course there’s health care access! That’s what Medicaid is for. And their position is so faith-based, that they avert their eyes from living human beings whose existence disproves their beliefs. So they don’t see the evidence that proves they’re wrong. It can’t be there, so it isn’t there. Problem solved!

  35. Qrys

    RNC Chair Reince Priebus Is Named Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff WSJ “After meeting with Mr. Trump, the only person to be elected president without having held a government or military position, Mr. Obama realized the Republican needs more guidance. He plans to spend more time with his successor than presidents typically do, people familiar with the matter said.” Should Obama be doing this?

    Well, clearly Obama sees that getting the recalcitrant Trump to accept his role as servant of the (bi-partisan) Deep State is going to take more than the usual tactics.

    1. L

      If we are to believe the reporting it took a mere one hour sit down for Obama to shift Trump from burning ACA to the ground to “keeping the best parts.”

      If that is all it takes to salvage his signature agenda I suspect he sees much to gain in spending time together.

      1. rd

        The only exit poll result I have not seen is an analysis of what percentage of people who get their insurance through the ACA exchanges (state or federal) voted for Trump. It would not surprise me if it is a significant percentage.

        Trump has to figure out how to get rid of the ACA without getting rid of the insurance. I think it will get renamed and rebranded into TrumpHealth and victory will be declared.

        However, I don’t think that Paul Ryan and Company understand what percentage fo their electorate is reliant on Social Security, the ACA, Medicaid, and Medicare. I think their voters are really going to be surprised that the people Paul Ryan et al were talking about were actually them once the donor class wet dream policies are enacted.

  36. none

    This is satisfying:

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz: Irrelevance Is Her New Reality

    “Debbie Wasserman Schultz may be a Jewish girl from New York, but I’m guessing she’s discovered what it’s like to be Amish. Certainly she has a good idea of what a shunning is…

    “The aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Sunday, “Hillary Clinton’s performance-enhancing steroids were Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Donna Brazile, and an army of Clinton partisans more than willing to forgo their autonomy as journalists, as long as they propelled Clinton’s candidacy. Nobody ever will forget that. History won’t forget it.”

    “He surmised that if Clinton had won last week’s election, probably many of DWS’ sins would have been forgiven if not forgotten. “The congresswoman will be lucky to find somebody willing to be seen with her at lunch, that’s how unpopular she is.”

    “Like a Rolling Stone” has been running through my head all week. How does it FEEEEEEEL?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      “…probably many of DWS’ sins would have been forgiven if not forgotten.”

      Thus, history is written by the victors.

      And we only put the losers on trial for war crimes.

    2. Anne

      Forgive me if I don’t regard the prospect of DWS having to eat alone at the Outcast Table much of a consequence for what she and her cohorts engineered. Maybe for her it is tragic and humiliating, but for me and many others, it isn’t much of a price for her to pay. Losing her primary would have been a step in the right direction, but I suppose at that point, she was still considered a player, and people were still thinking Clinton was going to win.

      1. hunkerdown

        It means she’s disabled from acting against us, at least temporarily, because those people talking to other of those people is only ever an act against us until the emails prove otherwise. You might take this as the same sort of catharsis that Sharia amputations are meant to deliver, Ephesians 4:28’s exhortation to substitute ordure labor notwithstanding.

    1. polecat

      …… hopefully he’ll learn a thing or two from Locutus …..

      oh wait ! …He did in the Borg Queen … so that’s a start ……

    1. ambrit

      Oh oho! That’s a low bar to set. Try something challenging, like the comments section of “The Journal of the Vulcan Academy of Sciences.”
      Live long and prosper!

  37. L

    A badly designed US stimulus will only hurt the working class Larry Summers, FT

    What the hell does it take for these people to go away?

    Seriously, his advice has been wrong at every time, on every level, for every person who has taken it. At this point he might perhaps offer some of his signature advice to Trump and help him fail too but that would mean having that advice acted upon and that would harm me.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      A badly designed bank bailout (as in, no-nationalization) will definitely hurt the working class.

    2. Benedict@Large

      This is just about the stupidest thing Summers has ever said. How on earth is a bigger paycheck even supposed to hurt anyone? Sure, a well-designed stimulus is better than a poorly-designed one, but a poorly-designed one is better than none at all. Shame on Summers.

    3. aab

      Everything Larry has ever done has hurt the working class, so he ought to know what that sort of policy looks like.

  38. AnEducatedFool

    Soccer is not a low contact sport. Soccer players suffer TBI at a high rate due to headers. Youth soccer is much less physical but as you go up the ranks the physicality increases as do injuries from headers. It is not a car crash on every play like football but soccer players use their head for position.

    Low impact sports are basketball and baseball and maybe field hockey. Lacrosse is fun but the entire basis of that game is how to fight a war.

    1. curlydan

      I do think soccer would do just fine with adjustments to the header rule. E.g. only heading in the penalty box, no headers off of goalie punts or goal kicks, etc. Every time I head the ball these days, I think “that kind of hurt” and it didn’t feel that way when I was a kid.

      In a study I saw, lacrosse had the highest rate of concussions per game played among high school players….soccer and football were up there as well.

      When my sons started playing sports, the sport I was most afraid of for safety reasons besides football was baseball because of the swinging bats. Now baseball seems like a very safe sport…but still boring to me :)

    2. rd

      The concussions I have seen in soccer primarily came from head-to-head contact of two players colliding going up to head the ball the ball. The repeated banging of heading of the ball would take a toll over time though.

  39. Vatch

    Avocados are driving deforestation in Mexico TreeHugger

    Sad, but there are lot of people on the planet who want to eat nutritious foods, and avocados are nutritious. Should I eat french fries instead of avocados because avocado farming is bad for the forests? Should I risk a heart attack or a stroke for the sake of the forests? Here’s a better idea: people should stop having so many children. Then there’ll be less demand for foods that cause deforestation.

      1. Vatch

        A healthful diet includes a wide variety of foods. The people who eat lots of beef are probably responsible for a lot more deforestation than the avocado eaters.

        1. crittermom

          “The people who eat lots of beef are probably responsible for a lot more deforestation than the avocado eaters.”

          How so?

        2. pretzelattack

          same point applies to them, too, why should somebody’s desire to eat beef trump the desire of people who live their to maintain the environment. especially with beef, which contributes more to global warming, as deforeststation in itself does.

      1. David N

        Avocados are popular because they are very high in fats. The proper comparison is not tomatos, but rather tree nuts, coconut oil, acai berries, and fish.

    1. Waldenpond

      Ouch. Re: Progressively Losing
      [From the Liberals are great believers in ‘the law,’ and happy enough to live and let live until they are in a pinch or have to give up something for the greater good—at which point they scream for a cop or start in on how ‘we’ can’t afford X]

      The problem isn’t just deforestation. The are growing so intensely in some regions they are depleting their soil and their aquifers are plummeting. In CA the avocados are so plentiful in the stores, they go bad.

    2. jrs

      Well you can buy California avocados. I do. Then again I live in California so it’s a no-brainer to refuse to buy Mexican produce and I usually do (not for Trumpian reasons obviously :)). But they are somewhat seasonal, it’s a long season but they aren’t always available. Don’t know how they are on water use but they aren’t driving deforestation if they are from California.

      1. anonymous

        Well, they already did cause deforestation in California.

        Ever drive around the avocado orchards in inland San Diego county?

        Used to be all native live oaks

  40. Leigh

    If either party had given a damn about the working class over the last 20 years – we wouldn’t be living in a country with no middle class.

    1. hunkerdown

      +1. “A system’s purpose is what it does” is a good antidote against the “wayward” melodrama that makes up so much of partisan politics today. If a system’s purpose were something else, it would be fixed or wound down.

  41. JTMcPhee

    “Report: Thousands of US troops trying to transfer to Canadian military,”

    PENTAGON – The Pentagon is reporting a massive surge in the number of troops requesting transfers to the Canadian Armed Forces in the past week.

    “We really can’t explain it,” said Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook, “but as of early this morning, we’re suddenly seeing a 5,000 percent spike in the number of troops requesting international interservice transfers. I have no idea why.”

    After Duffel Blog filed a Freedom of Information Act request to access military personnel records, an administrative clerk at the Pentagon told reporters, “Fuck it, just take the files, we’re all gonna die in a massive nuclear strike from North Korea anyway.”

    According to the files, most of the troops requesting transfers were located at bases in California, Washington, Hawaii, Maryland and Virginia. Historic data reveals that the majority of interservice transfer requests come from service members stationed in North Dakota and Ohio.

    Meanwhile, up in Canada, the CAF Recruiting Command met its goals for the first time ever.

    “We’re just super happy up here to have so many Yanks interested in applying. I nearly dropped my toque when I saw the numbers!”

    While Canadian citizenship is a requirement for both active and reserve military service, that did not seem to deter any US troops from putting in their applications.

    “I’m going to find me a sweet piece of Canadian ‘arse’ and get married. See, I’m learning the lingo already!” said Lance Cpl. Steve Johnson, a Marine currently stationed at Camp Pendleton.

    To deal with the influx of new recruits, CAF support battalions were putting together transition seminars for soon-to-be expatriated US service members that included such topics as anger management, appropriate professional language and metric system lessons.

  42. allan

    Detailed story on the investigation into the American Airlines 767 engine failure in October:

    Dramatic O’Hare engine explosion on Boeing 767 poses puzzle for investigators
    [Chicago Tribune, originally in Seattle Times]

    … industry experts said the sudden breakup almost certainly stemmed from a microscopic crack, caused by a flaw in the metal invisible to the eye, that grew over years of service.

    Using electron microscopes, metallurgists at the NTSB Materials Laboratory in Washington, D.C., are now scanning the pieces of the broken stage-two disk, 95 percent of which was recovered.

    Last week, the NTSB said the metallurgists have already found “features consistent with fatigue cracking” at a point next to the central bore of the disk. This crack was initiated at a point in the metal that differs from the composition of the material around it, referred to as an “inclusion” or flaw in the metal. …

    Such a flaw could have originated in tiny impurities in the bar of metal from which the parts were made almost two decades ago, or it may have been introduced during the forging or machining processes.

    Metals supplied for critical aerospace use are typically melted and resolidified twice to get rid of impurities. The process is meticulously recorded so that, for every part in the engine, GE knows exactly where the metal came from and when it was produced.

    Likewise, every person with the smallest role in the manufacturing of any piece of the engine records and signs off on their work. …

    It’s a good thing that out-sourced and right-shored part production will still be held
    to the same painstaking quality control and record keeping, amirite?

  43. dk

    Trump to supporters harassing minorities: ‘Stop it’ CNN.

    Draining the swamp
    “… we’re going to put on term limits … But everybody that works for government, they then leave government and they become a lobbyist, essentially. I mean, the whole place is one big lobbyist,” Trump said.

    Bit of a disconnect there, methinks. Term limits -> more turnover -> more lobbyists (or whatever they morph into if their formal channels are eliminated). This would be a case where regulation works better than “elimination”, because the motivation can’t be eliminated.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think in his “First 100 Days,;’ he also proposed a 5 year limit for many of those newly wannabe lobbyists.

      1. dk

        I think he means well on this, but some points here:

        Donald Trump vows to ‘drain the swamp’ in D.C. in first 100 days

        Trump’s proposal would bar former White House officials and Congressional members from taking up positions as lobbyists for the first five years after they leave office, extending the one- to two-year ban created by the 2007 law.

        “This would make that problem worse,” Dr. LaPira says. “It would extend the period that these lobbyists by another name would have to lobby underground or in the shadows.”

        This makes defining the who’s who of lobbying and tracking their actions a daunting task. The federal government currently defines a lobbyist as someone who spends 20 percent of his or her time in a three-month window trying to influence Congress, congressional staff, federal funding agencies, and executive branch members with regard to policy or law making. Redefining that characterization would allow the government to incorporate and moderate those currently lurking in the legislative shadows.

        “A focus on bans and cooling off periods is a solution to a problem that doesn’t really exist,” LaPira says. “The much better way to achieve all of this is to vastly improve the public disclosure of who lobbyists are and what they’re doing.”

        A corporate VP can sit in the headquarters office and still call their old buddies/bosses, and stay in or close to the loop for however many years. People don’t leave that kind of influence sitting on the table.

        I don’t necessarily agree with everything in the article..

        Josh Chafetz, a professor of law at Cornell University, tells The Christian Science Monitor. “One question is whether or not there is a ‘swamp’ there to drain.”

        “Swamp’ may be hyperbole, but it gets pretty murky sometimes.

        And frankly, is this a problem with government? Why not look at it from the corporate side? Criminal accountability for executives could really help, not just on this issue.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Lawyers and law firms that advise corporate officers and boards spend a fair amount of time getting legislation or de-legislation through the Con-gress, making un-criminal a lot of stuff that us ordinary people think of as straightforward -category criminality. And then advising how to work around the corners and edges of whatever “law” survives. And in the unlikely event that one of the advisees becomes an indictee, cutting a sweet deal with some revolving-door or politics-crushed prosecutor. And failing all that, working the post-conviction process to first minimize the sentence by playing the game with the federal corrections service people, and then getting the malefactor assigned to one of the federal fat farms or some local jail under contract to the feds.

          I’d offer what the Chinese do as an alternative, but then their cutouts for favored thieves and Big People are at least as corrupt in their way as what obtains in the US Empire…

          1. dk

            I dunno, I like the Chinese thing. I do think that corruption (by some definition) is inevitable, it’s a matter of reducing it by having the incentive low enough that it doesn’t become the dominant industry. Too late, I know.

            Or frankly, if they would just spend their money back into general circulation… they can go make more… bleh.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Another point is that, by making more of them, openly or not, the price should come down.

          Lobbyists should become cheap or cheaper.

  44. Anonymous

    thought you all might be interested in this email i just received:

    “Dear Colleagues and Friends,

    The election last week put many of us in great shock. We’ve seen reactions all over the country and the world expressing the anger and fear of a president and congress that stand for divisiveness and intolerance. For many in our communities, the threats of hate crimes, deportation, reversing all kinds of protective legislation and free speech means a deepening of an already unsafe situation.

    As an institution of higher education, the election could have drastic repercussions on our freedoms, our security, our funding. Many of our students —even faculty and staff—already live in a precarious situation. It is good to hear that already the CSU and CSU– are thinking about how to possibly become a sanctuary site.

    As the union of all faculty in the CSU, we support the concerns for our undocumented students and those in staff and faculty with tentative citizenship status. We oppose the xenophobic, racist, misogynist and homophobic threats. As the president elect assembles his appointees and soon nominees for the Supreme Court, we at CFA __ know that more than ever, we need to fight for union strength among our faculty and support our students.”

    1. polecat

      CSU … a bastion of safe-space TRIPE !

      and that goes for most of what are currently considered institutions of higher ‘learners’…..

  45. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The next DNC chair must understand “the intersection [buzz, buzz] of blue-collar fears and urban aspirations.” Oh. Blue collar people don’t have aspirations?

    I assume urban people are fearless.

    They have to be, in order to live there?

    1. polecat

      It’s institutional mass hysteria …. on a planetary scale.

      as Spock would say ….”Fascinating”

  46. ChrisAtRU

    Much to digest as usual … ;-)


    #TheReckoning [Intercept]
    “… Bill Clinton and then Barack Obama, had one thing in common which is that they both ran as these hardcore devoted consummate outsiders. I’m not part of Washington; I’ve never been a part of Washington, in the case of Clinton I’ve only been a southern governor, in the case of Obama I’ve only been a senator for four years, and what I want to do is go in and radically and fundamentally change how this entire place that you all hate and that we all hate, how it functions. And they won.
    And if you look at the ones over the same time who have lost, which is Al Gore and John Kerry and now Hillary Clinton, they are exactly the opposites. They were completely incapable of pretending to be outside forces.”

    Heh. #NoCountryForOldInsiders

    … you would have found out that he was much more in fundamentally touch with the disaffected and disadvantaged than #HRC. But the coronation would have continued nevertheless. #Sad

    From the #Tweetosphere: Truck drivers … #EconomicAnxiety

    1. none

      “… Bill Clinton and then Barack Obama, had one thing in common which is that they both ran as these hardcore devoted consummate outsiders….”

      Jimmy Carter too. Heck, even Kennedy. LBJ was an insider but that doesn’t count since his first POTUS run was as an incumbent.

      1. ChrisAtRU

        +1 Good call out, yes!

        Perhaps true progressives and the establishment will (re) learn the lesson here.

    1. uncle tungsten

      See also Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain for a really cynical peek at the game etc.

  47. SD

    I’m not sure I would call the gay marriage movement “grassroots,” particularly not in contrast to the fight for reproductive rights. There’s an excellent analysis here ( by Yasmin Nair, who has studied and criticized the gay marriage movement for many years. It’s worth a read in its entirety, but the gist is that gay marriage was largely a push by wealthy, white, same-sex couples to protect their assets by taking advantage of estate planning tools, Social Security rules that favor married couples over single people, etc. The New York Times ran a fascinating graphic (and accompanying story) a few weeks ago about the distribution of same-sex married couples in the United States by county. Nowhere did the proportion of same-sex to straight married couples exceed 5%, and that was in San Francisco.

    As a gay man (who is single), I believed for a long time that same-sex marriage and similar efforts, e.g., abolishing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ would be the thin end of the wedge in terms of a more inclusive civil rights that would redound to the benefit of not just the LGBTQ community, but all marginalized groups in the US. I’ve come to understand over the years that “trickle down civil rights” is about as effective as its economic counterpart. Gay marriage, however, has been hugely important to neoliberal Democratic politicians, who are able to signal “progressiveness” by supporting it while collecting enormous campaign donations from the wealthy. It’s a twofer, really. Supporting gay marriage is also a means of subtly reaffirming the fundamentally neoliberal position that the resources we all need to live decent, dignified lives (adequate health care and income in retirement, for instance) are properly meted out by private individuals and institutions, not public ones.

    1. fresno dan

      November 14, 2016 at 4:49 pm

      very interesting
      I had always attributed the rather sudden desire for monogamy and suburban domesticity to AIDS and maybe just growing older. But it is one of those things I guess that are called “virtue signalling” – all those tech multi billionaires are sure not homophobic – but for some reason when they are caught red handed conspiring to reduce pay by use of H4b visas, its kind of amazing the lack of attention this gets…

      1. SD

        I think you’re right. I am a Gen-X gay man who came of age during the AIDS epidemic (I was 14 in 1986). We were white, middle-class, American gay men who were just kind of figuring out how to be adults, and suddenly this awful plague began sweeping through and decimating the previous generation. “Patient Zero” and cautionary bathhouse narratives told us that being a sexually curious or sexually active person led to death. I believe that experience made my generation of gay, white men exceedingly scared and cautious and, ultimately, openly Puritanical (or neurotically self-Puritanical). As a result, we doubled down on class and wealth and the propriety of marriage as totems of safety. My demographic cohort now has money and power and we are spending it in entirely predictable ways.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      My consciousness of all this was formed in the 70s, so yeah, I see your point on estate planning.

      Nevertheless, my larger point remains, I think: (a) the coming out process moved the needle (and it’s hard to get more grassroots than that and (b) if, instead, the Court had mandated gay marriage, that battle would be being fought even today.

      1. SD

        Coming out absolutely moved the needle. I think it’s important to keep that individual act distinct from follow-on developments, such as gay marriage and serving openly in the military. Both of those things serve neoliberal, establishment interests, and the Human Rights Campaign and similar organizations have spent a huge amount of money directing the potentially rebellious and even anarchic (at least back in the day) energy that is released by a closeted person coming out into acceptable channels. The LGBTQ community needs a Stonewall 2.0. Maybe this election will galvanize us, although I have serious doubts about that. My gay white male friends overwhelmingly supported Clinton in the primaries.

  48. rd

    New Democratic Party

    Canada has a New Democratic Party (NDP) that is quite old now. However, they recently became the government in Alberta. This probably didn’t mean much to Americans, but is akin to the Green Party becoming the legislative and governor party in Texas. Alberta is the most conservative province in the country, so that was a pretty shocking electoral result. The NDP have historically been the catchall party for labor, environmentalists (before the rise of the Canadian Green Party) etc. Their primary governing role has been the various times that they have been the smaller party in a minority government, usually teamed with the Liberal Party.

    1. Cry Shop

      Good news, shows enough of the Liberal and Conservative’s base have been feed up with the rot at least in Alberta.

  49. ewmayer

    o “A badly designed US stimulus will only hurt the working class | Larry Summers, FT” — I wonder if Larry considers endless monies for bailouts of Wall Street crookery and the global Imperialist warmongering project as forms of “badly designed US stimulus” or not. But what do I know, I didn’t go to Haaaaaahhhvahd.

    o “Over 200 Incidents of Hateful Harassment and Intimidation Since Election Day | SPLC (MR). Documentation.” — While there certainly may have been a material increase, we lack any kind of control sample, since the scrutiny for such events has skyrocketed post-election. Look hard enough and you will find. Everyday incidents like this which went unreported now being ascribed to Trump and amplified by the MSM strikes me as a recipe for classic confirmation bias.

    o “Neoliberalism: the deep story that lies beneath Donald Trump’s triumph | Guardian” — Oh, look, *now* the MSM have discovered this hitherto mysterious economic/political phenomenon known as Neoliberalism. Timely ahead-of-the-curve stuff as always, guys!

    o “Of course Bernie Sanders could have beaten Donald Trump | Philip Bump, WaPo” — Not to hear the HRC shills at WaPo tell it during the primary season, when they were busy alternately ignoring Sanders and smearing him as an ultra-lefty. But I have good news for Mr. Bump and his ilk: WaPo’s credibility can only rise from here onward! (OK, I suppose it could also remain at 0, but I have faith that WaPo’s diligent propagandists will manage to con at least some people with their various false post-election narratives.)

    o “Clinton’s data-driven campaign relied heavily on an algorithm named Ada. What didn’t she see? | WaPo (DK).” — What didn’t she see? Reality, that’s what. Even better, WaPo can replace “she” with “we” and the same answer holds, even though various details of the respective self-inflicted blindnesses may differ.

    Big picture, I see 3 huge positives *already* before The Donald even takes office or names most of his cabinet:

    1. TPP and its odious ilk (TTIP, TISA, ISDS) appear to be dead.
    2. War against Russia seems off the table.
    3. The Neocons who were lining up With Her and slavering at the prospects of implementing a “more muscular US foreign policy” (that phrasing was much-used by the MSM, so presumably chosen by the neocons themselves) are drastically weakened. (Though I admit that John Bolton being rumored as SoS worries me – OTOH, could he possibly be any worse than Vicky Nuland?)

    So I must say I find the ongoing hyperventilation from the faux-gressives and the fretting and disingenuous ‘soul-searching’ from the utterly discredited MSM amusing.

    1. fresno dan

      November 14, 2016 at 5:23 pm

      right on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      I didn’t think I was going to have a friend in the White House either way. Short term, having TPP dead (though not killed with fire) is terrific as is (so far) no Syrian no-fly zone (hence no war with Russia*). Great wins, and of benefit across the board to all Americans (no matter their identity). Long term, since Trump is not my friend, I don’t mind if he gets ground up in a meatgrinder; gridlock was always my goal….

      * Though gawd knows what they’ll when The Blog gets hold of them…

  50. christy

    If the kids can sue for the the US government not protecting their environment, liberty, etc…can adults sue the government for not protecting us against Monsanto? If so, where do I sign onto the class action lawsuit?

    1. hunkerdown

      And what does Robert Reich know about the left? I didn’t see the word once in his screed. Just a single coat of the same runny bourgeois innovationism, the same commandment from Hillary to put the (liberal-left) Party back together again.

      There is no unity to be had between neoliberals and non-neoliberals, it would appear, though neolibs are really good at dressing up in other people’s lives for Halloween.

  51. john

    Technically, those military colorguards *are* ad spots.

    As a veteran, I can say my school is always begging us to come out to stand around and lend credibility to such pointless endeavors, free tickets and a raffle for some gadget or another included.

  52. Fiver

    What is key going forward is first, to acknowledge without qualification the proposition that the American people were presented by their elite political class with a ‘Sophie’s Choice’ – no matter which way it went the next 4 years were virtually certain to continue to be experienced by the great majority as ‘going in the wrong direction’, a condition that will worsen, perhaps quickly, perhaps in spurts, but without doubt for real – for all too many both in the US and around the globe, desperately so.

    No matter which Party was nominally in power, there was a profound crisis brewing with respect to a fundamental conflict of interest between US State-enabled, predatory corporate power, the interests of the vast majority of Americans, the bulk of the rest of humanity and life on this planet. There is no getting around that brute fact. And there’s also no getting around the fact that real Power knows perfectly well the only way through that does not leave half the planet and human race in ruins of necessity requires that Power to relent, to diminish, to share. There is no evidence to support a claim that Power will agree.

    The question resolves into whether of not Trump or some other event might trigger a negative response so large it is deemed ‘a National Security threat’. Some may even think that’s the role that’s been shaped for him. But my point is that while all at NC may agree that action ‘x’ crosses the line, or more broadly, that all who voted Dem agree that action ‘x’ crosses the line, or more broadly still, that in addition msm agrees that ‘x’ crosses the line, or even that half the people who voted Trump also agree ‘x’ crosses the line, what is the response of the public if the line is in fact crossed? Violence cannot succeed. In fact, violence is exactly what the most extreme of Power would most like to see. So.

    We have to face the prospect that it is perfectly possible that 70 or 80 or 90% or more of the population could oppose action ‘x’ and the corporate criminal class digs in anyway. In reality, this has always been the endgame – I suggest the one thing peaceful people can do is to organize a different sort of union, one which crosses all lines of work at all levels of skill, at all levels of income. That union’s or some similar entity’s multi-millions of potential members would provide base funding, skills, time, work – maybe even issue bonds or shares or whatever – for all manner of mutual support services from co-ops to start-ups and small-scale financing. Believe it or not, people can re-learn how to live as a member of a real community even after a couple of generations plugged into the Matrix, as we now are. This endeavor must begin immediately. It is not a Party. It is something new. When action ‘x’ happens, this entity goes on strike. It simply disengages until ‘x’ is off the table, or off the agenda or undone or whatever the case may be. While on strike members stop buying anything corporate made. They rely on the assist if possible. Being a member is being a decent anyone eager to do their bit. I believe there are an awful of people in that bag. It’s not a club, not an organized Church, not a ‘service organization’ – all those and more. It’s a new way for real people of all kinds to actively engage in moving the ball in a good direction, not bad, no matter what party is out of bounds.

  53. oho

    ‘Avocados are driving deforestation in Mexico’

    thank you NAFTA, the Clintons, Al Gore + Co.

    America survived 200+ years without 89 cent avocados. though I do love that guac.

    1. Foppe

      Yes, NAFTA plays a role, but on the topic of deforestation, animal ag is a much bigger reason, starting in the 1960s, but really picking up around the time of the Contras. What it involved, besides (the somewhat abstract problems surrounding) deforestation, was massive land expropriation by local elites who wanted to start cattle farming operations for meat & dairy exports to the US/West, the main demand for which was coming from the then-up&coming fast-food industry. (Also in Africa, via the World Bank encouraging/demanding “(export-)economic development”.)
      For more, see David Nibert’s splendid/shocking Animal Oppression and Human Violence.

Comments are closed.