Links 11/15/16

Video Shows Wild Buffalo Held Without Food or Water Near Dakota Access Pipeline Construction Site EcoWatch (Bev)

Gwen Ifill, who overcame barriers as a black female journalist, dies at 61 Washington Post (furzy)

Global CO2 emissions begin to plateau MacroBusiness

Global emissions levels stay flat despite economic growth Politico

Statcheck: a data-fakery algorithm that flagged 50,000 articles Boing Boing (Dan K)

Amid post-election fallout, EPA quietly approves Monsanto’s volatile, drift-prone herbicide dicamba SOTT (Wat)


Under Donald Trump, the US will accept China’s rise – as long as it doesn’t challenge the status quo South China Morning Post. Margarita: “This does not bode well …neocon Woolsey as Trump advisor; plus, the headline makes no sense. China’s rise, by definition, poses a challenge to the status quo.”

More calls to eliminate large denomination bank notes MacroBusiness

Government’s Demonetisation Shock Has Hit the Poorest the Most The Wire (J-LS)

Korea raises its voice Korea Herald

Why the Bangladesh Government Is Pleased Trump Will Be the Next US President The Wire (J-LS)

EU imposes anti-dumping duties on some Chinese steel products Eur-Lex

German media demands military buildup in response to US election Strategic Culture Watch (furzy)


Theresa May’s Donald problem Politico

UK faces hefty Brexit bill as EU negotiators take tough stance Financial Times. As we said from the outset….because that is what the EU said from the outset as firmly as possible and not budged an iota. The only reason this is headline-worthy is the government and UK media have stuck their fingers in their ears and have kept saying “nyah nyah nyah.”

‘There is no plan’ for Brexit, leaked memo says BBC

Erdoğan backs referendum on EU membership talks Politico


Tomgram: Engelhardt, Through the Gates of Hell TomDispath

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Your Government Wants to Militarize Social Media to Influence Your Beliefs Motherboard (resilc)

Trump Transition

Obama seeks to allay Trump concerns BBC. Incroyable. Obama acting as Trump’s ambassador? How did that happen?

Obama to reassure Nato leaders on Trump commitment Financial Times. This is not Obama’s commitment to make. Trump wanted NATO members to pay the 2% of GDP they are required to pay as part of NATO rules and aren’t. My sense is Trump was otherwise perfectly fine with NATO.

U.S. protesters march against Trump presidency for fifth day Reuters (EM). Persistent, but numbers no where near large enough to have an impact.

Rudy Giuliani Seen as Top Pick for Secretary of State Wall Street Journal. We have entered an alternative reality. The understudy, John Bolton, a textbook case of Dunning Kruger Syndrome, suggests how few mainstream people are in Trump rolodex.

Mnuchin Said to Be Top Treasury Pick Among Trump’s Advisers Bloomberg. So much for Trump as the end of Goldmanites (or more generally, Bob Rubin stooges) running financial regulatory policy. Elizabeth Warren should have a field day with this. No one you’d want is ever a candidate for this job, but I’d regard Wilbur Ross as less bad. Fewer ties to the big finance establishment, and even though a distressed debt investor, he’s done some sensible things, like doing deep principal mods on distressed mortgages (which sadly no one seemed interested in trying to imitate).

5 takeaways from Trump’s first 5 days Politico

The F-35 Stealth Fighter Is Politically Unstoppable — Even Under President Trump WarisBoring (Micael)

The U.S. Media Is Completely Unprepared to Cover a Trump Presidency Atlantic (resilc)

2016 Post Mortem

Analysis: Democrats Turn Their Backs on Rural America Daily Yonder (Plutonium Kun). In case you missed it. Important. Unimaginable Dem stupidity.

Student loans, credit card debt, and why Clinton lost the Election The Hill (margarita)

Neoliberalism: the deep story that lies beneath Donald Trump’s triumph George Monbiot, Guardian. YY: “I thought the problem with neolibralism is that those who are identified by others as having neoliberal thinking do not identify themselves as neoliberal. So all criticism fall on deaf ears.”

Elite, White Feminism Gave Us Trump: It Needs to Die Verso (genericdude)

What I Got Wrong About Hillary Clinton—and What Other Feminists Get Wrong About Her Now Nation (YY). A resentful privileged woman speaks.

No More Flyover Country Ilargi, Automatic Earth. A really good piece.

Gnashing of Teeth and Rending of Garments

Why the Trump Protests will Fail Counterpunch (Bill Bluden)

At Conference, Political Consultants Wonder Where They Went Wrong New York Times

A Blueprint for a New Party Jacobin (Plutonium Kun)

On the Knife-Edge of Western Globalization: A Stint at Standing Rock George Washington

Not made in America? California bullet train officials seek exemption to buy foreign parts Los Angeles Times (resilc)

Whither the Economy?

Can Trump Derail The EV Revolution? OilPrice

Is Donald Trump Right That Banks Can’t Lend? Wall Street Journal. Consistent with what we’ve said for quite a while.

For-profit colleges could prosper under Trump: Barron’s Reuters. EM: “Bill Clinton probably polishing his ‘Board Member and PR face’ CV bona fides for forwarding to the various outfits named as we speak!”

Hillary Clinton probe will ‘absolutely’ continue – House Oversight Committee chair RT (Mason)

Mary Jo White to Step Down as S.E.C. Chief New York Times. Good riddance. I should post on this but plenty of others will describe how her “legacy” isn’t worth a tin of beans.

SEC Chairman White to Leave Agency, Opening Door to Conservative Shift Wall Street Journal

Giuliani: Trump presidency will be ‘best thing’ for charter schools New York Post

A Concerned Billionaire Develops a Plan for Retirements New York Times. A concerned ex private equity guy who wants Wall Street to insert a tube into workers’ paychecks and extract rents. Help me. And if you have any doubts, he sees himself as a disciple of Pete Peterson, enemy of Social Security.

OCERS is presently undertaking a comprehensive review of our asset allocation OCERS. OCERS = Orange County Employees Retirement System.

A better way to structure investment management fees Pensions & Investments. More pushback on private equity fee structures

Class Warfare

Trident Lakes: Subterranean Doomsday Prepper Village Being Built In Ector, Texas Inquisitr. Larue: “Trident Lakes comes complete with an underground gun range, multiple white sand lagoons, and an equestrian range, the Daily Mail reports.” Moi: Underground means you are vulnerable to having your air supply cut off and having those malicious above ground people try to flood you out. Plus no access to sunlight will probably make at least some of the inhabitants cranky and less than healthy.

Jail Is Where You Don’t Want to Be Vice (resilc)

Mass incarceration in America, explained in 22 maps and charts Vox. Resilc: “Last I checked the Demozzz have controlled the White House for 8 years…..”

Antidote du jour (Lulu):


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. john

    Thanks for the Hillary e-mail probe link. It was my immediate thought this morning.

    I wonder what the narrative will be?

    1. Eureka Springs

      If it happens it sure beats the last time D’s took control of both houses. Waxman taking on baseball was yet another says it all about the D’s moment.

    1. Bill

      I noted a few weeks ago that she didn’t look like her usual radiant smiling self, more troubled and under the weather, but put it down to the awful election going on.

      Her death was however a total shock. Coming so close after losing Leon Russell and Leonard Cohen, it feels all the more distressing.

    2. neo-realist

      Her loss at an arguably too young middle age is a disappointment, however, I have not bothered to watch her PBS show in a long time for Gwen was just another center right establishment mouthpiece rationalizing the status quo with respect to the economy, civil rights and foreign policy.

      1. Jess

        “Gwen was just another center right establishment mouthpiece rationalizing the status quo with respect to the economy, civil rights and foreign policy.”

        Yep. More window dressing on the neoliberal house of horrors.

  2. voteforno6

    I see over on Newsweek that the execrable Kurt Eichenwald is running the Bernie Sanders oppo dump, and trying to claim that Bernie would’ve lost because of it. These people just lost an election to Donald Trump, and they’re still trying to lecture us on who is and who is not electable.

  3. YY

    A question to any that may have better idea as to what is going on. While I try not to pay any attention to what occurs in the extreme right (of for that matter anywhere), my understanding of Breitbart organization is that it was basically reactionary and pro-Israel(government) and Zionist. AB’s demise would not have altered this fundamental characteristic and I would assume that this would have been inherited. So how is it that Bannon is not just a white supremasist (sure why not) but also anti-Semitic, as a chorus of suspiciously quick and uniform alarm is sounded in the press. While I can be easily be convinced that he may be an a**hole, what is it with what appears as excessively loud coordinated reaction to this particular item?

  4. Roger Smith

    Re: German Media War Drums

    From the article:

    The loudest voices calling for an assertive German and European foreign policy have not, however, come from conservative but rather the liberal papers. They are exploiting anxiety over a Trump presidency to campaign for the return of German militarism.

    My new favorite saying in recent days (especially working at a public college and seeing the ridiculous election fallout first hand): If we can out fascist the fascists, truth and love will prevail!

        1. IDG

          It means liberal. Liberal is what you see now as liberalism and every liberal getting crazy due to recent events (Brexit, trump, nationalism on the rise, etc.) it’s just a reaction to expect from liberalism..

          The meaning of the word was just co-opted in the US to mean ‘progressive’ or ‘left’, but there was nothing progressive or lefty about liberal political economy ever (and that’s the most important part of politics).

          Liberalism has always been THIS, there is nothing “neo” about it. Just because traditional left and ‘liberals’ were like-minded about identity and sex politics does not mean they were economically progressive in the broader meaning of the word.

          1. Dave

            “New York Rhymes”, Stenographers, Presstitutes, dead trees, advertising seditious ideas and useless crap for over privileged, wealthy foreigners in our country.

            But I do like the crosswords.

      1. Rhondda

        Yes. I was thinking as I read the Podesta emails that the right-wing wasn’t wrong when they called the MSM “the liberal media.”

        The reason I thought they were wrong for so many years is because I hadn’t received the memo that the meaning of liberal had changed to neoliberal.

    1. b

      The “liberal” papers quoted in that piece are Die Zeit and Süddeutsche. Both are well known NATO organs, about as “liberal” as Clinton is.

  5. EndOfTheWorld

    RE: The US media is completely unprepared to cover a Trump presidency–(The Atlantic)—In fact, the US media is unprepared to cover any presidency. The US media is unprepared to find its own ass with both hands and a flashlight.

    However, they’ve been much tougher on Trump than on HRC. And it’s ridiculous to say that Trump is more dishonest than Hill. This is another piece decrying the stupid masses for not making the choice the media told them to.

    1. cocomaan

      One of the interesting byproducts of Trump’s lies on a number of issues (violence in inner cities, lying about Obama screaming at a protester) has been that he’s largely made the “flavor of the week” election coverage useless as a barometer of what he actually thinks about the infinite number of things the president is supposedly responsible for. Instead, we’re left with positions we’re all pretty sure he supports: deportations and The Wall, doing something about Obamacare, anti TPP, some foreign policy changes wrt to NATO and intervention.

      This occurred to me last night when watching John Oliver, who I never watch, fly off the handle about Trump’s many flip flops and outright lies. But there’s some things Trump has never flipped on and those are what he’s remembered for.

      From the Clinton camp perspective, it’s very hard to say what any of her positions were. None of them are memorable. Something something plan something. Whereas Bernie’s positions were crystal clear and memorable as well.

      It’s interesting to me because it basically took advantage of the media’s obsession with the week-to-week bullshit (recalling Obama and arugula, which made the cover of Newsweek back in the day), when what really matters is whether you stand someplace on the core issues.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      One member of the US Media says that the US media is completely unprepared to cover a Trump presidency???

      Is that like the barber of Seville, does he cut his own hair?

      As EndofTheWorld says, redirecting the focus to a particular presidency, when the problem is with the media.

    3. John Wright

      The event known as the “White House Correspondent’s Dinner” is an example of how the US media slavishly “covers” the Presidency.

      At this dinner a hundreds of media “faces” show up and everyone hams it up, including the President who is in on the con.

      Remember the skit with George W. Bush looking though the Oval Office for Weapons of Mass Destruction?

      A country was destroyed using WMD’s as part of the justification.

      That Bush’s handlers would put him up to the skit, Bush would agree to do it and have the media in attendance at the WHCD laugh at it was an example of the shallow and corrupt media in the USA.

      Stephen Colbert DID speak “truth to power” at this dinner during the Bush administration, but that won’t happen again.

      The US media is ALWAYS completely prepared to cover the US Presidency, with the coverage limited to entertainment, the reporting of sound bites and looking the other way when some wealthy or influential group might be embarrassed.

      Why would they behave any different now with Trump?

    4. optimader

      The US media is completely unprepared to cover a Trump presidency
      Self projection?
      1. write down what he says;
      2. research facts on the ground, write them down;
      3. summarize (in writing)

      Am I missing anything here?

      1. jgordon

        This is the actual media process:

        1) The government hands them stories.

        2) They try to get people to swallow them.

        Now that the elite media has been cut out from government access their whole model is ruined. “Investigation” is a vestigial function that was dispensed with long ago because shareholder value.

    5. Jess

      “The US media is unprepared to find its own ass with both hands and a flashlight.”

      LOL. (And correct.)


      “This is another piece decrying the stupid masses for not making the choice the media told them to.”


  6. scott2

    I suggest the liberals read up on Woodrow Wilson. He was easily our most racist president. No president today could do a fraction of what he did (like resegregating the postal service). And then there`s the Great War, which he ran on keeping the US out of. And he was a Democrat.

    1. Arizona Slim

      I tried to point that out. It was my response to a friend’s FB post. And it didn’t go over well.

      Who needs history when we have the scary Trump monster?

    2. Anonymous

      Look into how Wilson was manipulated into putting Felix Frankfurter on the SC. That is an untold story in American history. He was essentially blackmailed over letters to his mistress. There are many threads that run off that little kerfuffle.

      1. ewmayer

        My dictionary app has this capsule bio:

        Frankfurter, Felix (1882–1965), U.S. Supreme Court associate justice 1939–62; born in Austria. He was a founder of the American Civil Liberties Union in 1920 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963.

        So someone’s timeline is a tad off.

    3. Procopius

      John Dos Passos’s USA Trilogy didn’t (so far as I remember) mention the blatant racism. Maybe Dos Passos, who was actually quite conservative, didn’t notice it. The thing about Wilson I remember him emphasizing was that the opposition to the war claimed the President wanted to get in on the Allied side in order to protect the huge loans the New York banks had made. No reason to think there was ever any other reason.

  7. Kokuanani

    I won’t be at all surprised when Obama finds a role as permanent “advisor” to Trump, to “help him through the transition” — i.e. to continue Obama’s pet projects like TPP.

    1. Carolinian

      Maybe not the TPP–hard to see how Trump could do a 180 on that–but Obama is probably making nice to save as much of his “legacy” as possible. Which is an example liberals could follow. They should be trying to co-opt the guy, not piss all over him. The protestors don’t seem to get that the extreme view of Trump presented by Clinton and the media was mostly about getting her elected. After all she was once good friends with the “monster.”

      1. alex morfesis

        TPP is not dead…at least not the concepts behind it…eternal vigilance or eternal surfdumb…if anyone imagines the klownz that be are just going to “pack it in…”

        nothing…nothing…nothing el cadillo americano has done so far suggests he will do even a tenth of what he burped out to convince citizens to mark his name on the ballot…the only good thing is it is most likely he will keep american soldiers out of a large hot war…most likely “only” since he is seemingly surrounding himself with the warmongerz junior league…

        And since he is surrounding himself with the same old tired stale breadcrumbs of the grand olde party…his republican party will fall apart in the 2018 election & with the coinciding disintegration of the democratz in 2017…well…

        2018 will be an interesting election…

        But “son of tpp” is in development…

        this movie franchise/this “property” still has legs…

        1. Carolinian

          Has he done anything so far? But of course everyone seems to have a crystal ball (including me, to a point).

          The campaign is over. Time to deal with what is.

          1. alex morfesis

            There are plenty of non insiders who the cadillo americano could start “leaking” who would bring credibility to his changee thingee…

            sheila bair…
            faith hope consolo…

    2. optimader

      As I recall BHO was a deer in the headlights ’til he figured out he could spend most of his time fing off

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Smooth jive talk all about how the new corporo-fascism and extra war were really good for you…then off for 18 holes. 8 years of convincing people that Bush’s policies were really cool while Michele and the girls take the jet to Milan for handbag shopping at $200K per hour. Good riddance, somebody count the silverware when they move out.

        1. ran

          Come now he didn’t spend all his time golfing; he also shot hoops quite a bit. Also Terror Tuesdays! It’s hard work deciding who you’re going to murder this week.

      2. Rhondda

        I was thinking more Gríma Wormtongue, myself.
        But John Malkovich in Dangerous Liasons works, too ;-)

  8. cocomaan

    Trident Lakes prepper village:

    The Ector, Texas subterranean village also boasts a golf course, shopping complex, multiple restaurants, zipline, and even a spa.

    the on-site DNA vault.

    Peak techno-chauvanism. It sounds like a tech startup read some zombie apocalypse novels then got a venture capital group to fund them. A community based around disaster sustainability should be training its residents on how to operate every aspect of the community, not ziplining them around or loading sperm into the DNA vault that would spoil two weeks into catastrophe.

    The Trident Lakes creators emphasized for the sustainable community to work, the residents must be able to rely on one another. Residents with a variety of skill sets will be necessary to maintain the complex after a major disaster strikes, Whitt also noted.

    So you’ll immediately have an underclass who have no clue how to use any of the equipment and a warlord who knows where the air filters are. Sounds grant.

    1. tony

      Air supply is not the issue. The real issue is that it is guarded by armed men. Which means that the moment a major disaster makes the shelter necessary, those men have every reason to take over the compound.

      1. RMO

        I was thinking Vault-Tec. I bet the whole thing is actually an unethical psychological experiment of some sort:-)

  9. Kokuanani

    If you’d told me that “What I Got Wrong About Hillary Clinton” was by Joan Walsh, I could have avoid wasting 2 minutes clicking on it and reading it.

    What tripe!!! And a pity party as well.

    1. pretzelattack

      the comments are mostly critical, i was a little surprised. i pretty much stopped reading them when they went almost full obot.

    2. ChrisPacific

      I’m glad I wasn’t drinking coffee when I got to this part:

      And she promotes a worthy agenda for action: “The most promising path forward would be to agitate for a robust economic agenda focused on women’s needs: a $15 minimum wage, universal child care and pre-K, paid family leave, free college, and tough laws that crack down on wage theft and guarantee fair scheduling and equal pay for women.”

      Of course, Hillary Clinton supported almost all of those policies…

      What planet is the author living on? Hillary spent a lot of time and effort telling us that a $15 minimum wage was unrealistic and unachievable and we should pick our battles. Only once it became clear that it was actually going to pass in some states did she jump on the bandwagon and try to claim credit. As for free college, that was Bernie’s platform, and Hillary had many uncomplimentary things to say about it.

      1. Lambert Strether

        “Tough laws” that “crack down” — as long as her donors have no problems with it. And that was always the problem with Clinton. We had a reasonably good idea who her silent partners were, but we didn’t know what deals she had cut with them. So it was never possible to discount them properly.

        1. ChrisPacific

          And we have seen this before with Obama (the deal to remove single payer from the table) and know how it ends.

  10. flora

    re: Democrats turn their Backs on Rural America

    Thanks for this link. And the national Dems wonder why so many statehouses and gov mansions are going GOP?

    1. sleepy

      In March, 2015, almost a year before the Iowa caucuses and way before he became a “star”, Sanders held a rally at the community center in Kensett, Iowa, population 250, which drew over 200 people. Kensett is figuratively in the middle of nowhere too. He was everywhere in rural Iowa, and those folks voted for him.

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        I don’t believe that HRC actually carried the Iowa caucuses. IMHO there was cheating there and in other states. And what good did it do her? She would have been a lot better off just folding and letting Bernie win. Then he would be prez and wouldn’t prosecute her. Now she’s facing prison time.

      2. Arizona Slim

        In August 2009, my aunt took me to a Bernie Sanders town meeting in Peacham, VT (pop. 600). The event was held in the village’s Congregational Church, which seats 300 people.

        Well, wouldn’t you know it, 600 people showed up. Which meant that only half the crowd could get into the church.

        So, Sanders started the town hall by speaking to the people outside. Then he came into the church, where my 82-year-old aunt and I had found seats.

        The reception blew me away. There he was, a white-haired guy wearing khakis and a blue button-down shirt with rolled-up sleeves. Looking more like a rumpled old grandpa than a future presidential candidate. And the crowd greeted him like a rock star. It took a few minutes for the Vermonters to settle down.

        After bringing us up to date on what was happening in DC, he opened the floor to questions and comments, and, boy, did his constituents have them.

        After a couple of hours, it was starting to get dark, so my aunt said that it was time to leave. So we did.

        I can’t help thinking that the town meeting went on for a couple hours after we left.

        1. petal

          The same thing happened last winter at Dartmouth. There were overflow rooms because so many people showed up, and he visited the overflow rooms first and gave a short 5 minute or so talk, and then went into the main auditorium for the big show. Everyone in my overflow room was shocked as all get out when he walked in. All of a sudden, there he was a few feet in front of us, no aides, just himself walked in out of nowhere. No one was expecting that.

    2. Ché Pasa

      Do you think they are actually “wondering why?” I don’t. I think it was a strategic choice, and they know what they are doing by letting the Rs take over in so many states and communities.

      This has been going on for a long time.

    3. voteforno6

      Those people running things at the DNC are too smart for their own good. They probably just thought of this as simply a matter of reaching the most people at once. There aren’t a lot of people in rural areas – that’s what makes them rural. The thing is, the people that live in those parts of the country aren’t stupid. They will notice if candidates show up in small, rural towns, even if it’s not the ones that they live in, or near. They’re also used to traveling distances to get to places. If they’re sufficiently interested, they’ll drive a few hours to go to an event.

      1. Dave

        Can’t wait for the next local official Democratic Party rally, dinner, get out the vote event, environmental forum, stop Global Warming conference, tabling at a fair, etc.

        “So, you are the people that promoted Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders? Go F* yourselves!”

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The way to see flyover America is not by flying over in an airplane, but by train or better yet, on a mule.

      One thing they can do to reinvigorate rural America is to break up Big Universities in urban areas into tiny schools and relocate them to rural areas. Take UCLA for example, there is just too much distraction and it is just too expensive for both professors and students.

      I would move, for example, the philosophy department to Mt. Baldy, the business school to Porter Ranch where methane was leaking, and the physics department to Palmdale.

    5. rd

      I live in upstate NY. There were very few president candidate signs in the urban or suburban areas this year. However, as soon as you got past the last subdivision, the Trump-Pence signs sprung up like weeds. If you drove on the back roads into a college town, you would see regular Trump-Pence signs on lawns and in farmer’s fields along the way and then suddenly no presidential signs at all once you hit the town limits.

      However, the House seats, local and state judges, state legislators etc. all had plenty of signs up in both rural and urban areas.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        These rural people are either

        1. Independent thinkers immune to mass media propaganda
        2 just racists
        3. dying and yearning for some help.

        If it’s 1 or 3, with any neural media, Trump could have gotten even more votes (maybe some aspiring, fearless urban young voters might just remember their less urbane, rural relatives).

      2. Lord Koos

        I live in a county that is primarily rural, and although there is a university in the town, the county reliably votes Republican. Trump/Pence signs were everywhere, and you could literally count the Hillary signs on one hand. But, it’s telling that in a county of 40,000 people, only about 6500 bothered to vote.

    6. cyclist

      One problem I had with that article was the presumption that candidates need to be supportive of things ‘biofuel’ in order to get rural votes. This type of program is a massive mistake from an environmental perspective (e.g. vast fields of agribusiness GMO corn to be used in an inefficient process to make ethanol). We need to wean farmers off this sort of agriculture and on to more sustainable things (same with coal miners). It would be worth trying to work out ways do this without making enemies in the affected communities.

      1. hunkerdown

        Democrats are clientelists. This is how they try to buy cooperation: with subsidies for Big Ag that, to the little people, are calculated to sound like bootstrapping opportunities.

  11. Leigh

    I posted this comment below late yesterday – please forgive the redundancy, but I’m quite tired of the “blame game” being played to quantify/justify the election results on both sides. Media fodder.

    We are where we are for a very simple reason. Both parties have been sent a very clear message by America’s working class – time will tell if it as fallen on deaf ears. All else is white noise.

    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. EndOfTheWorld

        Hudson probably read my posts about the democrats going the way of the Whigs. ha,ha. But he’s right—they have to just get rid of the Clintons, Soros, and Wall Street or they “are dead” as he put it. And the party can’t do that. That’s like going in for a cancer operation where half of your body will be chopped off.

        1. voteforno6

          Maybe they can do it, we’ll see. I think it’s worth the effort. Why go through all the hassle of building a completely new political party, when we’ve got an unused one just sitting around. It’s definitely a fixer-upper, though, so it will take some time to fix.

          1. Eureka Springs

            You don’t ‘fix up’ an ongoing criminal enterprise which is anti everything you want by design and intent, hates, you, and hates even more the very idea of a truly democratic process. How clear can it be with more than a century of consistency on these points? There is no pretense. Just the fact – the Rubinites, Soros, the Donna Brazil’s and the Clinton’s have continuously been embraced and rewarded rather than chased away with broomsticks… and that Unions have loved them as much as MIC and the Banksters all along says more than one ever need to know.

            Go back just a few months and read about the D platform process which just happened and the results.. the platform itself. As well as the convention.

            If you walked into a classroom today to practice Chinese and everyone else was there to learn French… you aren’t going to ‘fix’ them. Where’s the middle, you all learn Turkish? Round hole/square peg.

            The very most you could ever get are some seemingly “progressive” apologetic feckless reforms with knives in the back.

            1. RabidGandhi

              There are several assets in that criminal organisation that would be worth looting. The management and PR depts you mention all need to be streamlined/outsourced to Malaysia ASAP. But the brand is still worthwhile and could be repositioned as being pro-worker instead of anti, all of the big ticket funders could be made redundant and the organisational structures could be reformulated for far greater autonomy.

              The best time for a hostile takeover would be when their market valuation is at an all-time low due to a major PR loss, i.e., now.

              1. Eureka Springs

                Would be much better to be much more than pro worker. Workers are so much more divided these days anyway. I’m a worker who is also pro retired, lazy, disabled, kids, students, artists, workers as well… just to name a few. Worker party for the sake of it strikes me as just begging to remain a neoliberal tool. That’s certainly what Working Family party seems to be. (An arm for Dem/neoliberal kettling)

                I’m also against workers which lead anyone to being able to be a billionaire, or private jet owner…) Or making more than say 20/30 times the minimum wage.

                7 or 8 billion humans on this big blue marble need to stop working so much… especially considering so much of human work is destructive.

                But then, your neoliberal takeover perspective is why there should be a D party for you to ‘reform’ and remain within. And strengthens my belief it will remain worthless for workers and more, always will be. Rebranding as pro worker doesn’t all seem to follow the most basic definition of democratic (that word with an original definition worth trying) process.

                This ain’t no party, no disco, no foolin’ around…)

          2. hunkerdown

            voteforno6, because a used PR firm can not be turned into a people’s council any more than a used wallet vacuum cleaner can be turned into a vegetable juicer. The purpose of a system is what it does. If the Democratic Party were really meant or designed to help the working class according to the working class’ own expressed needs, that would have happened by now, and not just been a fluke of a warmongering aristocrat keeping his blue-blooded kind off a lamp post by giving white people special bennies.

            And, because the rich need to see their toys broken in front of them.

        2. temporal

          It would be a whole lot easier if the implied franchise of the purple party and Clinton Inc. were to become a reality. I’m pretty sure that they’d shear off a lot of the coasts neoliberals into their club but the results would be worth it. There might be a lot of pseudo Rs that would join as well. Pretty sure the Ds would loose a lot of Hollywood and Wall Street types.

          The color choice at the con-session speech, with all of it’s symbolism, is as good as it gets. King and Queen of the greedy geezer prom.

          1. EndOfTheWorld

            Another thing that’s killing the dems is that private sector unions are basically dead in the water. Two of the last “good jobs”, for example, are UAW and Post Office. They’ve both gone to a two tier pay system, basically conceding there is no future.

            You still have gov’t sector unions, but they have problems of their own–ie some municipalities have gone and more will go bankrupt.

            The dems being the party of the “little guy” is a cruel joke, since they pushed through NAFTA and GATT.

    1. Sandy

      I had a thought last night: if Hillary Clinton had been running as a Republican, but with the exact same platform, and Donald Trump as a Democrat, with the same platform, Hillary would have won in a landslide.

      I think it comes down to the simple history of Americans dumping the incumbent party out of the Executive branch after two terms almost every single chance they had. After all, Hillary’s platform was further to the right than Don’s.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Don’t underestimate Hillary’s dishonesty and (this isn’t my description of Hillary; I wish it was) her pretending to be the smartest kid in class because she sits in the front row and not much else routine would present similar problems. Or the Iraq War. Jeb would be saved by Shrub country, South Carolina until he wasn’t.

        Republican voters might not be anti-war, but I suspect the hawks would have had problems in areas dealing with the fallout of Veterans and related illnesses.

  12. EndOfTheWorld

    Leigh, yes of course. That’s why you had Trump and Sanders, both candidates from no party, winning this year. Well, Sanders would have won but he got hosed. Trump managed to evade the hosing tactics of the GOP and got elected.

    1. Steve C

      Yeah. If Bernie was done in by Hillary DNC conniving, how would he have done against world-class GOP connivers bested by Trump.

      1. Anne

        I am convinced that if Sanders had gotten the Democratic nomination, Trump would not have gotten the GOP nomination – someone less scary and more traditional would have been Sanders’ opponent.

        It’s anyone’s guess how Sanders would have fared in either case, but I do not see Sanders making some of the same mistakes Clinton did – he would not have ignored the demographic that Clinton took for granted – and let’s face it, he would not have been dogged by all the baggage and scandals Clinton was.

        1. EndOfTheWorld

          HRC was a horrible candidate all the way around. Nobody wanted to attend her rallies unless she paid some pop culture stars to be there. She’s unlikable in the extreme. Also a criminal who should be in prison. By now, owing to the pervasive MIC in American, there are many voters who know what classified information is and they know the average person would be prosecuted for the violations Hill committed. Americans don’t bow down to royalty.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Mishandling classified information has no direct or immediate victims (most of the time).

            The same with crossing the border illegally or overstaying one’s visa.

    2. Jim Haygood

      Bernie Sanders should be the default assumption for Democratic presidential nominee in 2020.

      He’s proven his vote-getting ability with strong performances nationwide in primaries that were rigged against him.

      In 2020 the burden of proof will be on those who advocating nominating anyone else.

      1. Katharine

        I would like to agree, but he’ll be 78. He might be pushing his limits, and would almost surely be feared to be doing so. Even in this election, a woman I know who’s only four years younger said dismissively, he’s too old. Even if he turns out to be one of those warhorses who go on being effective into their nineties, the perception would hurt.

        Anyway, I don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket. Now is a good time to start paying attention to voting records and general behavior of some of the other possibilities.

        1. Sandy

          Naive to assume it would be a politician. The Dems’ best chance of winning in 2020 is a The Rock / Jessica Alba ticket. Not kidding.

          1. Katharine

            Not likely! I don’t even know who they are, and while there is a fair chance I am in a minority, I should think by 2020 the country may have seen more than enough of amateurs trying to learn basic government while being in charge.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              If they can make government simpler for Trump, the government will be easier for the Little People to relate to on a daily basis.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Are we prejudging by ruling out a not college educated, unemployed, working class candidate in 2020?

            When was the last time we had a president who was like many Americans?

          3. Carolinian

            Or Jessica Alba/The Rock. George Clooney may be available. He already played a candidate in a movie and therefore would “have his character.”

        2. Dave

          78 is too old.
          Our old Neocon war-hawk Senator Feinstein is 78 and boy, does she look haggard.
          She’s the oldest senator. She’s also married to a war-profiteer who has the franchise on selling “surplus” post office property to his pals.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            If we can force our brightest, most experienced generals to retire upon reaching a certain biological time-marker, surely we can allow our overworked politicians and supreme court justices to enjoy their sunset years as well.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        Still like Tulsi Gabbard (with Bernie playing her Steve Bannon.)

        She ticks just about every box–woman of color, combat and government experience, and she’s already bucked the DNC. She’ll be 40 years old in April. 2021.

        She’d have to overcome the fact that she was born in American Samoa, but I’d imagine that birthplace thing ship has sailed.

        Not even very far outside the box, and, with Bernie’s imprimatur, quite possibly the sure thing of hillary’s fantasies.

        1. Waldenpond

          Look at her funding. She consistently passes through much more money than her rivals. Look at where she gets her money and where it’s going.

      3. Waldenpond

        There is no other Sanders. No one has his history. There is no one in the pipeline that doesn’t take dark money/pac money. Sanders was weak on foreign policy, I don’t think anyone has the reputation to be able to redo his run. Remember Sanders chat events? Is there anyone who has done anything like that?

        1. Fiver

          Not another Sanders, for sure, but I do wonder if it is not critical that the next candidate is able to communicate with ease on both sides of the flyover/coast rift. Perhaps it is precisely in ‘the heartland’ that a new progressive movement will take root and spread as it once did – except this time at the speed of light.

  13. Roger Smith

    RE: Why the Trump Protests Will Fail…

    This article has the most honest, raw, no holds barred critique of Sanders I have yet encountered. He had great policy, but he gets way to easy a pass when it comes to his character and timidity. His display made me seriously question whether or not he could make some of the tougher choices (like standing up to the corrupt party, even at his weakest), though I still would have voted for his policies.

      1. Roger Smith

        Trump definitely had the robust, steamrolling, endurance attributes necessary to beat both parties/dynasties. I’m not sure how they would have fared head to head. If I was guessing I’d think it would have been close. Sanders would have been able to turnout the average person much more strongly than Clinton, which I think gives him the edge.

    1. Carolinian

      There are two of us (a lot of Sanders love around here). The presidency is a political job…it’s not just about being right. Maybe the Dems need to go a bit more Central Casting.

    2. hreik

      Folks over at Counterpunch never met a candidate good enough for them. Eff them. Look what we have now, and whom he’s appointing.

      1. Carolinian

        Well, when was the last time we had such a candidate? (Sanders even had he made it all the way would have been a 74 year old with no party behind him.

        But Counterpunch ran quite a few pro Sanders articles. Their founder, Alex Cockburn, didn’t like Sanders at all however.

        1. Benedict@Large

          The Marxists took an immediate dislike (hatred) towards Sanders. Like Hillary, they felt that it was their turn. Forget that they’ve never been able to put forward a candidate with ever the small backing as Jill Stein. They have served their time, and now it was their turn. And Sanders was only getting in their way.

        2. Gareth

          Cockburn also had a fondness for right wing militias and was a climate change denier. A bit of an all around curmudgeon.

          1. Carolinian

            Not sure about the rightwing miltias although he did object to Waco (as did many). The climate change thing was likely a way of tweaking groupthink and not too seriously intended. He did see the solutions of people like Al Gore as both a placebo and a way of reviving the US nuke industry which he vehemently opposed. Also he liked to drive old American land yachts on his many trips across America to his California home. These were often purchased from an SC dealer not far from where I type.

            As for curmudgeon–If by curmudgeon you mean our own Oscar Wilde (also via Ireland) then perhaps so. The current left could certainly use such elan and iconoclasm. Cockburn died far too young.

      2. Fiver

        That’s ridiculous. You have msm to blame. CP had lots of stuff on both candidates. You cannot blame a leftish-leaning, anti-neoliberal publication for taking a dim view of what was being offered straight-up from Clinton quite aside from what she’d done to Sanders, Libya, Syria, the very process itself – what she offered was at best the distance of another can kicked downhill towards the lip of the overhang and the 3 thousand foot drop into a steaming fumerole. One can only imagine what a can full of 2 generations of toxic political failures might do after such a fall and intense heat. A rather great mess, I suspect.

        That said, I fully agree the lists of potential staff and a number of characters crawling out from behind the curtain now have me feeling almost exactly as I did at this time in 2008: and that is the candidate all along knew who could put him in the Big Chair, so he made the deals that would get it done.

        We have all to some extent been played or taken. Every piece of every denunciation splattering wildly out of msm re Trump strengthened him. It did not relent for months on end. Trump drew everyone into the completely wasted culture war stuff while he was putting together some very powerful allies. The story that Trump destroyed both Parties and msm is not true at all. Both are back in business. What most worries are the positions being bandied for DoJ, Departments of Financial Looting, and Military/National Security. I am extremely worried about Trump being set-up by some third country to again have the US do the dirty work in the Middle East.

        Check this out:

    3. Katharine

      Surely you jest!

      This article has the most honest, raw, no holds barred critique of Sanders I have yet encountered.

      The man uses an awful lot of words with remarkably little specificity. If he had spent less time telling us how good his previous analysis had been and more telling us the facts to which he vaguely referred there would have been more value in the article. Counterpunch has gone awfully far downhill since Cockburn died.

      1. Roger Smith

        I did not feel Stauber was promoting his claim past that one sentence. While the piece itself is more (thinly) illustrative of the state of the left at this moment, his take on Sanders is what stood out to me. And, while it reads somewhat harsh, I don’t feel it is unduly so. Outside of random comments on the internet, this has been the most serious look at Sanders behavior I have seen.

        1. Katharine

          Fair enough. Perspective is a personal thing. I got little value from it, but if you did, good. I was chiefly annoyed with him for referring to the Podesta email material but not quoting it. The point of being a reporter is to bring together information in one place to save the reader the trouble of having to go look it up elsewhere, and I thought he failed there. Even if I had seen it before (and I don’t know if I had seen the particular item he referred to), I wanted to know what he was referring to, and couldn’t tell.

    1. Carla

      Shorter: this comment from the Three Myths post by Lambert yesterday:

      “DWD November 14, 2016 at 1:58 pm

      I am from Michigan and I just don’t think it is that complicated.

      At this time 33% of the children of Michigan live in poverty.

      I just read that manufacturing jobs in Macomb County (white flight area of Detroit) – probably where this election was won or lost – went from 102K in 2000 to around 60K now. That is one hell of a hit.

      I think there are three factors worth discussing.

      One is that for better or worse the Clintons are associated with globalization and people wanted more nationalism.

      Second: the Clintons have been on the public scene for more than 25 years and people are simply tired: call it Clinton Fatigue

      Third: the negatives (whether these are right or wrong doesn’t matter) that Hillary brought to the campaign could not be overcome.

      The other factors that are comfortable for us to use: racism, misogyny, and hatred are present as well but they always are: they do not explain how Macomb County went from supporting Barack Obama [in 2008 and 2012] to supporting Donald Trump.”

      1. Roger Smith

        I’d wager she lost much worse if Trump’s negatives were taken out of the equation. My entire Wanye County nuclear family, typically Democrat, voted for Trump.

        Two co-workers (who I would peg as traditional establishment candidate voters) at the south end of the county voted Stein because they did not like either candidate. This show me that even with Trump’s negatives, too many probably sought alternatives to biting the bullet.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Hillary despite population growth under performed Obama from 2008. Yes, it could have been worse, but turning a non voter into a voter is most of the battle. Once a person votes once, it should be easy to get them to vote again. I’m sure she had novelty voters in non relevant states.

          This is such a Democratic disaster even Reid and Schumer have endorsed Ellison as DNC chair, and Schumer is known for not having enlightened attitudes about Muslims.

          I voted for Stein, but I think any KKKhristian at the top such as Pence or Cruz would have produced a similar turnout for Hillary if not higher.

          1. Rhondda

            I’ll say it here as I did last night on a different thread: Dems are promoting Ellison because he’s Muslim. Not because he’s the best person for the job...To my mind it’s just more of the BS identity politics that got us into this mess.

            I’m done with identity politics. Role models are for “coaching” imho.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The Clintons…public…for more than 25 years.

        “I gave the best years of my life for my country.”

        Thank you and you can finally go home again.

  14. hemeantwell

    A Blueprint for a New Party Jacobin (Plutonium Kun)

    Excellent quick history of the development of state regulation of political parties in the US, along with useful comparisons to other countries that, as usual, show the US to be an arsenal of anti-democracy. I’ll give it a must read.

    1. I Have Strange Dreams

      A very insightful piece:

      “we need to realize that our situation is more like that facing opposition parties in soft-authoritarian systems, like those of Russia or Singapore.”

    2. meeps

      Yes. Third parties are being gamed by the game and new strategies are needed now.

      Could parallel, non-party organizational structure/s engage ‘outliers’ as democratically represented members? Rural people are often not logistically situated near mass demonstrations or protests, party meetings, etc. The unemployed, the disabled, the stay-at-home parents and family caregivers don’t have unions (do they)? I suspect there’d be higher rates of participation with better outcomes if these people had unions or guilds (or what have you)?

    3. norm de plume

      An interesting and informative piece. Yes, the system is gamed against outsiders to the duopoly and that must be fixed.

      But I was surprised that although Australia was mentioned as a pioneer of the secret ballot there was no mention of a characteristic feature of our modern electoral system – preferential voting.

      Ackerman says:

      ‘Instead, the problem arose from the oldest dilemma of America’s two-party system: running candidates against Democrats risked electing anti-labor Republicans. For unions whose members had a lot to lose, that risk was considered too high’

      Adoption of preferential voting addresses this problem by allowing voters to register a first preference for a third (or fourth, or fifth) party with the existential danger of vote-splitting limited by preferencing the least worst option as second pick. So that you could vote Green and put the Dems second if you wanted to ensure no GOP benefit from your first pick.

      This would have the additional benefit of dragging ye olde Overton window along with it. In the current situation, had a big Green vote with a Dem pref gotten Hillary over the line everyone would be aware of that debt and any attempt by her to ignore or betray those who made the difference would mean more of them leaking next time until, voila, they constituted the main alternative themselves (the third eventually becoming the second, and even perhaps the first) An organic ‘circulation of the elites’ in politics if you will – but requiring that party registration reform first.

      Ackerman’s prescriptions at the end are alright as far as they go but such ideas never go far enough for me. There are good reasons to go for slow and steady to win the race, but root and branch appeals more and in the end, that means a system based on preference voting, in real time, on issues rather than for (or against) persons. This on nationally mandated and supported electoral software, so that our representatives don’t stand in front of us every four years drastically limited or fatally compromised as members of a party, but as individuals who have declared their own preferences on vital issues, so providing a guide to how they might approach other issues of moment yet to arise in our future. These good sons and daughters of our districts would then caucus in Congress or Parliament and form fluidly changing coalitions on each passing issue and vote after consulting their electorate’s majority position (again, part of said federally supported voting system) but nonetheless make their decisions by their own lights, knowing that they must stand before us again with those weights on their shoulders.

      At the very birth of Western democracies there were no parties, no ‘representatives’ and it was when they began to take root that the rot set in.

  15. Carolinian

    Here’s a somewhat interesting backgrounder on the Portland (Oregon) protests/riots.

    When Oregon was admitted into the Union in 1859, it was founded as a white utopia, the only state with black exclusion laws written into its Constitution — language that voters didn’t take action to remove until 2000. The Ku Klux Klan found a stronghold in Oregon well through the 1920s, and a code of ethics for local real estate agents prohibited housing sales to nonwhites. Housing discrimination was finally outlawed in 1957.

    Now Portland is considered one of the most liberal cities in the country but perhaps still in a bubble even though the ideology has reversed? At any rate there was violence. The Never Trumpers are not Gandhi it seems.

    1. RabidGandhi

      Back in the day I saw one map that revolutionised my perspective. It showed US public schools by racial segregation. It turns out the most segregated schools and (thereby most de facto racist areas) of the country are not in the much-maligned deep south, but rather in deep-blue NY and MA. Phil Ochs riffed off this perfectly in “Love me I’m a liberal”: busing is great so long as it’s not in my neighbourhood.

      I was also in Portland, OR in 2008, staying with Obot friends who covered their ears whenever I pointed to the Anointed One’s obvious defects. The outward ideology may change, but the hubris of liberalism remains, and it will always be aimed at oppressing the weakest with a smug patina of superiority.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Decades back, it used to that North Europeans were considered more open minded, more progressive than racist Americans (this was the 70s, 80s). They had people from different parts of the world, even then, though not as many as today. Then more came, and they now must cope with the not-always-easy task of integrating them, so the newcomers don’t live in isolated communities, among other issues.

      2. rd

        I wondered for years why Boston was such a hot-bed of racial unrest and bigotry. And then I found out that many of the slaving ships sailed out of New England ports…..

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          When you live on the top floor of the Metropolis, and you only see the most polite serfs of any kind, never feeling threatened in any way, never having to compete (are you kidding) with anyone, of course you can lecture and admonish those lowly servants for not getting along.

          “Can I have some peace and quite here, so I can enjoy my artisanal blood sausage?”

          “I always get along with everyone in my building.”

        2. Dave

          Tit for tat. The slavers that rounded up the captured slaves in Africa were Arabs. So now Muslims are are getting their just desserts and are condemned by Trump.
          There, followed your logic, see how that works?

        3. NotTimothyGeithner

          It’s more about dividing the Irish and the blacks than a holdover of the slave trade. There were Boston draft riots in the 1860’s too. That element of the slave trade was out of Boston for decades by then. There was anti-Catholic sentiment within the abolitionists who were often prohibitionists and shut down the drinking halls where unionizing occurred.

          Then of course free blacks were often in competition for jobs and could easily be sent back to the South. Nothing really changes.

      3. Lord Koos

        Portland is classic liberal culture, but other parts of Oregon can be scary as hell. The last time I was in the more rural areas of the state, evidence of meth use was easy to spot, and there are some seriously scary far-right bigots everywhere. A black friend of mine and his 12-year-old son were visiting Newport OR when they were harassed and threatened in a restaurant… the guys bullying them called the local cops, who took the victims into custody rather than the perps… dad went to jail, and the son went into juvenile detention for a couple of nights.

        1. Jess

          “other parts of Oregon can be scary as hell”

          No shit, Sherlock. I have a former girlfriend, formally SoCal beach type, who retired along the Oregon coast. Recently she asked me for advice on getting a handgun for home protection. Not should she get one, but which one to get? She’s a former nurse, Hillary supporter, big on progressive issues, believes in climate change, animal lover. But here area is so damn full of scary redneck dopeheads she feels the need to buy a gun.

          1. RMO

            The best advice is don’t get one in the first place. If you’re going to go down that path anyways then get solid training in handling firearms. Think hard about what taking someone’s life, even in self defense means. Think about the chance you might injure or kill yourself or an innocent person unintentionally. Lastly, if you’re determined to go ahead with this if it’s “home defense” you’re worried about get a pump action 12 gauge shotgun, not a pistol.

          2. Andrew Watts

            She probably faces a lot of hostility from the locals. It’s because “Californian” is synonymous with “asshole” in Oregon as much as anything else.

    2. Andrew Watts

      When did Pravda on the Potomac become a reliable source of information? They’ve done such a wonderful job with this election after all. The state’s history with racial/ethnic tensions have nothing to do with the protests taking place. Outside of the pro-Trump rally in Silverton that was filled with mean and nasty language theres been protests/rallies around the state that have been non-violent and peaceful.

      The protests in Portland are obviously a different matter. At a time when tensions are already running high the mayor and police decided they’d escalate. How many people do you think could get away with “suspicion of cocaine possession and possession of a destructive device charges” while running around smashing windows? More than a few good indicators that the man was an agent-provocateur. While the media drones on and on about the violence in Portland a Trump supporter can sport a Trump/Pence 2016 t-shirt with nothing to fear from the protesters.

      But hey, you gotta get the proles to turn on each other somehow, right?

      1. Carolinian

        Did you even read the story? They fully report the claims that some of the vandalism may have been caused by reactionary elements within the crowd. BTW the daughter of someone I know was trapped in her hotel for three nights during a business trip to Portland and reports that the hotel was spray painted (no doubt by that one agent provocateur). As for the Post’s reporting, presumably you think taking an aggressive attitude is the same thing as a rebuttal. Most of us prefer to keep an open mind.

        1. Andrew Watts

          Yes, I read it. It’s how I know it’s mostly sensationalist bullsh–. The unrest on Thursday night only affected a small portion of the downtown area. While the bulk of the property damage took place at the Toyota dealership. The vandalism and violence is not an ongoing affair. My point is, and remains, that the local police were dumb enough to escalate in this already tense environment but it hasn’t stopped commerce or tourists from gawking at the protesters.

          BTW the daughter of someone I know was trapped in her hotel for three nights during a business trip to Portland and reports that the hotel was spray painted (no doubt by that one agent provocateur)

          I probably know the details of their visit too, Creepy, huh? She was most likely staying at the Marriott on Broadway. It could’ve been the Hilton but I doubt it given the center of gravity of the protests. I know this because protests/rallies in downtown Portland usually take place around Pioneer Courthouse Square and extend down to Tom McCall park.

          So, if any of you tourists or visitors want to enjoy Portland during your stay here while uncivil protests are ongoing avoid that area of downtown. As always, enjoy your time in Oregon and have fun spending your money.

          …and then get the f— out.

          1. Andrew Watts

            Clarification is needed.

            The vandalism and violence is not an ongoing affair.

            There has been a few isolated incidents since Thursday that were perpetrated by individuals but nothing that constitutes a riot.

          2. wombat

            If only the peaceful DAPL protesters received only 10% of the Soros backed “Trump Protests” coverage….

  16. semiconscious

    At Conference, Political Consultants Wonder Where They Went Wrong

    man, the pairing of that headline with the picture below it is pure, onion-level gold! :) …

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The best way to learn is not by having more conferences. Those full of polysyllabic sound and dogmatic fury seem clueless.

      The best way to learn about those Deplorables is to spend a few years with them…like the way Gauguin or Marco Polo did to learn about other cultures.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Even there, you only get a limited perspective, probably.

        You can go to a famine stricken Third World country to help, but should an emergency (mand made or otherwise) occur, your American passport means you’ll be evacuated, but the same people around you, millions, but without that citizenship certificate, will be left behind.

        They are humans, just like you.

      2. savedbyirony

        Gandhi returned to India and went in search of his country’s people by extended train travel, second and third class.

  17. Steve C

    Regarding Democrats and rural Senate races. Yes. The Democrats failed in a ludicrous way. On the other hand, a bunch of smug, over-educated consultants did get fat fees out of it, so that’s as it should be.

  18. Ed

    “Rudy Giuliani Seen as Top Pick for Secretary of State Wall Street Journal. We have entered an alternative reality. The understudy, John Bolton, a textbook case of Dunning Kruger Syndrome, suggests how few mainstream people are in Trump rolodex.”

    Going through Yves’ excellent coverage of the transition, it has occurred to me that Trump’s best option at State is to do what Obama did with Gates and Defense, and just ask Kerry to stay on for another year while he figured this foreign policy stuff out.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Trump is trying to rebuild trust with the Russians. Why would keeping Kerry make sense when the Russians don’t trust him? Then again, the obvious flaw is John Kerry. He has suddenly not become John Kerry. Keeping Gates worked out real well too…

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      So, I’ll make a prediction. John Bolton will NOT be chosen as secretary of state.

      The possibility of him in that position will, however, make whomever IS chosen look positively beatific by comparison.

      It’s high time this country got used to the fact that our new president is, by training, a salesman, with all the attendant implications. And, as Ilargi muses in the “No More Flyover Country” link above, he’s damn good at it.

      1. Jim Haygood

        One prays that you are correct.

        Bolton is such a piece of work, he’d make us miss ol’ Lurch Heinz-Kerry.

        1. Rhondda

          I’d be OK with him being put forward as a “chew toy” for the UN. Or maybe send him to be our rep to the quivering EU — or our ambassador to France or something. I despise the guy but I’m sure he still has some uses.

      2. Bugs Bunny

        Well…it will certainly be a clear indication of direction no matter who gets the nod. If it is Bolton (never saw a war he didn’t like), the confirmation hearing will be a hoot.

      3. optimader

        So, I’ll make a prediction. John Bolton will NOT be chosen as secretary of state.

        The possibility of him in that position will, however, make whomever IS chosen look positively beatific by comparison.

        I agree and called it the Trumperton Window

      4. RabidGandhi

        A good theory and it shouldn’t be hard for Señor Trump to do. I spent the last 6 hrs trying to think of someone more batsh*t crazy than Bolton on ForPol. So far all I got is Mike Morell, Kurt Eichenwald and Auric Goldfinger.

        1. Lambert Strether

          What about Dick Cheney? Heck, Madeline Albright!

          The thing to understand, however, is that The Blob is crazypants collectively. I don’t envy Trump’s task of finding a not crazy, trustworthy individual.

          1. pricklyone

            He’s not going to find one searching among the denizens of rightwing talk radio
            Laura Ingraham as WhiteHouse mouthpiece?
            Bolton (again?)
            I still say he is not what you think he is. All pretense of any sane policy will be dispelled forthwith. He isn’t draining the swamp, he’s actively seeking the smellier holes, and making them his own.
            Watch him walk back everything he said in speeches that made people think he wasn’t just another crazy right wing nut.
            You might as well have elected Mark Levin, or Hannity.
            Straight talk, my ass…
            I predict a new found taste for drones when it ain’t Obama’s finger on the button.
            I predict a new round of “Winning” trade proposals, minor changes, just more of the same shit, just not “0bama” trade deals.
            Trump ran as the anti-Obama, as far as I can tell, and it worked. But, he is another empty suit, himself, and will be a product of whatever loons he surrounds himself with.
            They may change more often (your fired!) but I doubt if they will change for the better!
            We dodged a bullet with Hillary, and now we get to face the firing squad with trump.
            (Disclaimer again, didn’t vote for either of them, and their was no lesser evil, only a different sort of evil.)
            So far Trump is proving to be everything I thought he would be. And he hasn’t even taken office, yet.
            Maybe in 4, 8, or sixteen years, people will be ready to give up the crazy postures, and start looking at things as they are. Keep on trying, Lambert.

            1. Lambert Strether

              > I still say he is not what you think he is.

              Straw man, much?

              > All pretense of any sane policy will be dispelled forthwith

              TPP going off the table and not going to war with Russia over a Syrian No-Fly Zone isn’t a bad first week. I prefer sovereignty, and I disprefer nuclear war. If those views are crazy, call me crazy. No, I don’t regard that as anything more than breathing space. Yes, The Blob might capture Trump, as it had already captured Clinton.

              BOT PROPHYLACTIC That doesn’t mean I “support Trump.” Just because I say that the Germany fought and won the Battle of France with brilliant tactics doesn’t mean I support Baby Hitler.

              1. pricklyone

                My evidence is his own words, on his website, and in his associations. No Straw Man, there. As valid as any speculation, here, about what he may do, and why he will do them.

                Nothing has really changed re: TPP. He only has objected to the current admin. negotiated agreements, not ‘trade’ agreements on principle. He claimed he would be a better negotiator. I disagree, as I said. Cannot attribute any news on that front to DJT, as he has no standing, yet, and the agreement was, thankfully, in trouble before the election. (Thanks, Bernie).

                Which “Blob” did you have in mind? From the “birther” crap, to the present, DJT has made noises consistent with his relying on what has now been rebranded as Alt-right for his views. None of that is a secret, surely. It’s a different Blob.

                I object to “BOT” here, and just because I express a differing characterization of Trump to the prevailing ‘good news’ opinion latched onto here, does not make me a Hil-bot, any more than it makes you a trump supporter. (Which I do not think I said.)

                The “Keep Trying” may have been misinterpreted, it was in fact an encouragement to keep putting good info on the site. Not as a sarcastic comment. After re-reading the lousy way I wrote the paragraph, it may not read as I intended.

                The information on this site regarding the TPP, TISA, and such has been excellent, and we do not differ at all on the questions of Sovereignty, or the forestalling of a confrontation with Russia, over Syria (or any other manufactured reasons).

                Although I replied to your comment about Cheney and/or Albright, this rant was not intended to refer to you, personally. I just cannot help noticing the attribution of character to DJT for which I can find no evidence other than a few offhand comments in his speeches. The evidence, IMHO, points to a different analysis.

                I reply in late timeframe, as comment never got out of moderation yesterday, and I gotta sleep sometimes :)

                I guess we will all find out in January.

  19. Carolinian

    From the above Politico link here’s more on Bannon

    Under Bannon, Breitbart has become a traffic-driving, baldly pro-Trump site promoting a populist, anti-globalist agenda that targets establishment Republican stances on trade, world affairs and the inclusiveness championed by Priebus and the party’s macerated mainstream. He’s also been accused of pushing racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic rhetoric — and reportedly told his ex-wife he didn’t want his kids hanging around Jews.

    Which pretty much explains the MSM hostility. However

    But Trump’s pique with Ryan was nothing compared with Bannon’s animus, which predated the candidate’s tussle with the former House Ways and Means Committee chairman. Bannon railed against Ryan as “the enemy” and claimed his policies were aimed at creating “a one world government,” according to Breitbart insiders interviewed by The Hill’s Jonathan Swan.

    When one staffer suggested building a bridge to Ryan in a December 2015 email leaked to Swan, Bannon replied that his goal was to see Ryan “gone by spring.”

    So Bannon, dogwhistler for sure but also hates Ryan, the entitlement enemy. Whither Trump indeed.

  20. djrichard


    Wasn’t it Mark Cuban who made the analogy that the stock market was like an operating system and that HFT was a virus? And the laissez faire response seems to be that they’re comfortable with viruses in the eco-system.

    It seems that would be an apt way to describe our electioneering/campaigning system as well. But with a difference. Laissez faire is fine when it comes to citizens united. But when the powers that be actually lose elections, well now those viruses must be squelched.

    [By the way, if anybody has the original article by Mark Cuban, would appreciate the link. Can’t seem to find it on google.]

    1. integer

      I have been thinking about the possible structures of the proprietary algorithms used for HFT.

      If I was going to design one, I would allow for the data to be normalized in terms of medium and long term trends, and then use continuous wavelet transform techniques (or perhaps short term Fourier transforms) to analyze the frequency spectrum and identify the probability of a particular stock moving in a particular direction in the short term. It would not surprise me at all if this is the basis of many HFT algorithms, though as always, the devil would be in the details.

  21. djrichard

    13 week treasury yield is over 0.5%. Just two more basis points or so and the Fed Reserve has safe harbor for increasing the Fed Funds rate.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Retail sales (announced this morning) are up 4.3% year-on-year — strong evidence that we’re not in recession. Charts from the great Excel maestro, Doug Short:

      As the bloodied bond bulls at Hoisington Management pointed out yesterday, the bond market has already tightened policy. So has the rising dollar, with DXY still over 100 this morning.

      No need for J-Yel to pile on. But one fears that like her near-sighted predecessor Mr Magoo, J-Yel may fail to notice that anything has changed.

  22. kr

    Here is an update from the ground on the Indian demonetization. Just to recall, the Modi government demonetized all 500 and 1000 rupee notes; the notes had to be exchanged at banks and post offices, but you have to come with a government issued ID. There are limits on how much you can withdraw, from ATMs or banks, or how much of the old notes you can exchange; but there is no limit to how much of the old currency you can deposit, with the caveat that any deposits greater than Rs. 250,000 would then invite a tax audit to see if the deposits were in line with declared income. (One US $ is about 67 Indian rupees.)

    We were able to withdraw money from a bank today; that was because I went with my mother-in-law, and senior citizens and disabled persons are taken to the front of the queue. Otherwise, I would have had to wait at least two hours in the queue.

    I went to two small shops today; both had the debit card PoS machines, and they did not have that last week. But the more interesting thing was what happened in one of the two shops. My “tuk-tuk” driver took me to a vegetable shop owned by someone from his village. The shopkeeper asked the driver if he could make a cash deposit Rs.250,000 in the driver’s bank account; the deal was the driver could get a cut of 10 percent, and would then repay the shopkeeper with the newly issued currency notes later. The driver refused.

    Once we were out of the shop, I asked him – why did you refuse?
    Two reasons, he said. First, he was really happy that the Prime Minister was hitting the corrupt hoarders hard, and did not want to undercut that; he said, he had received many such offers within the past 2 days. But more importantly, he noted that if such money were deposited, he could then be classified as “above the poverty line” and hence become ineligible for all of the subsidies that we was currently getting, for food, cooking gas, utilities, etc. (I had not thought of that.)

    My mother’s cleaning lady, in another city, had a similar tale. Prime Minister Modi had started a new scheme to bring in the really poor people into the financial network, and had forced banks to open nearly 100 million new bank accounts for such “unbanked” people in the bottom rungs of the ladder. The government then used these bank accounts for direct transfer of subsidies (which in itself had led to significant reductions in leakage and corruption). But many such accounts had zero or low balances; people typically withdrew all of the money once the monthly subsidies were credited to the account. The servant maid was offered the following: someone trying to dispose off unaccounted cash would make a deposit of Rs. 49,000 into her account, and then she would repay back a few months later after a 10 percent cut for her. This is because for any cash deposit of Rs. 50,000 had to be accompanied by a government issued ID; but no ID was required for the 49,000 deposit. But the government has wised up, and today said they would audit all of the 49,000 and 49,500 rupee deposits. The cleaning lady too, refused. She had never voted for Modi, but noted that many in her background were now truly appreciative of what Modi was trying to do.

    The Indian people can be truly remarkable in trying to beat the system. Here are some more examples.

    I went to pay the electricity bill; the utilities are permitted to accept the demonetized currency for another 10 days. The guy in front of me had 200 of the now demonetized 1000 rupee bills; the average electricity bill is around Rs 500-700 per family, so I guess he was willing to pay for the entire neighborhood! (The clerk helpfully told him to wait, until the “single bill” customers like me and three others in line could be taken care of first, so at least I did not have to wait too long.) Suddenly, people are willing to pay (for themselves, and their neighbors) property taxes and utilities in advance!

    Immediately after the demonetization announcement, some folks booked first class seats on trains and flights using cash; the idea was that you could cancel later, and get paid with the newly printed currency notes. For one of the longest (and costliest) trains, there were not a single seat available for the next three months. So the government then announced that for any cash purchases made after the demonetization announcement, there would be no refunds for train or flight tickets!

    The demonetization was announced at around 8 PM and was effective midnight. So some Jewellery shops had a special sale that night, and did brisk business; some were willing to backdate the invoices. Gold prices shot up in those three hours! But now, around 60 shops are being audited to check if they complied with the rules requiring ID proof for any sale exceeding a 100,000 rupees.

    It is tough, but the almost unanimous response from the poorer folks seems to be one of admiration for Modi. But how long will the schdenfreude of seeing the really rich guys suffer trump their own hardship? Today, the government is using Airforce planes to transport currency to far flung corners of the country. They are also going to use the indelible ink markings used during elections to prevent the same persons (typically, servants and agents of the rich trying to dispose off their cash) repeatedly going to different banks and going back again to the end of the queue after a transaction. But, I guess the sword is always ahead of the shield, so let use see how well the government responds.

    I am here for another four weeks, so I will try to give periodic updates.

  23. NotTimothyGeithner

    It just occurred to me. Democrats aren’t upset how working class whites and lefty types voted. They are upset the “moderate conservative Republican” or colorblind fascist didn’t vote for the rainbow coalition of fascists led by Hillary.

  24. cocomaan

    Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution, talking about different types of diversity. Worth a read, probably guaranteed to make certain people go nuts, but I think it’s interesting to think about (especially thinking about class diversity).

    The original thinking behind the Electoral College was that geographic diversity was important. The Founding Fathers were not majoritarian, but rather they believed in placing special weight on diversity of this kind. The prevailing view was “if too many (geographically) diverse voices veto you, you can’t get elected, not even with a majority of the votes.” That view was a strange and perhaps unlikely precursor of today’s veto rights/PC approach on campus, but there you go.

    The Democratic Party today is more likely to stress the relevance of ethnic and racial diversity, if the talk is about diversity. (Gender diversity too, but that requires its own post, maybe later to come.) Non-Democrats are more likely to count other forms of diversity for more than the Democrats do. I see Democrats as somewhat concentrated in particular cities and also in particular occupations, more than Republicans are. There is nothing wrong with that, but it is another way in which Democrats are less diverse.

    1. allan

      Nice try at a diversionary tactic by Cowen, as usual.

      In 1790, the ratio of the populations of the largest (VA) and smallest (DE) states was about 12 to 1.
      In 2010, with CA and WY, it was more than 66 to 1.
      How would the founders have felt about empowering a tyranny of the minority?

    2. Sandy

      Geographic diversity is not a happiness project. We have dual citizenship, our state and our country. States have retained autonomy over all matters not claimed in the Constitution for a reason. Our national citizenship might oppress us but we always have the right to pick up and move to a different state without filing a single piece of paper. I now live in NYC, but am quite glad that I always have the option to move somewhere run with an opposing philosophy, such as Montana. Or back to Texas.

  25. JCC

    “No More flyover Country” – It really is a good piece. Not only does he describe Trump’s salesmanship style in a way that most can appreciate there are also these two good quotes:

    to a large extent people are up in protest against the image the Hillary campaign and the media have painted of Trump, not the man himself. A difference they cannot see.


    Someone summed it up as: Trump swept aside the Republicans, the Democrats, the Bush dynasty and the Clinton dynasty, all in one fell swoop, and we should perhaps be thankful to him for that.

    Not to mention the embedded youtube video of Leonard Cohen at the end of the article.

    1. Hana M

      Agreed. I loved this:

      You’ll be flooded in the years to come, even more than today if you can imagine, with terms like protectionism and isolationism and even populism, but ignore all that. There’s nothing economically -let alone morally- wrong with people producing what they and their families and close neighbors themselves want and need without hauling it halfway around the world for a meagre profit, handing over control of their societies to strangers in the process.

      There’s nothing wrong or negative with an American buying products made in America instead of in China. At least not for the man in the street. It’s not a threat to our ‘open societies’, as many claim. That openness does not depend on having things shipped to your stores over 1000s of miles, that you could have made yourselves at a potentially huge benefit to your local economy. An ‘open society’ is a state of mind, be it collective or personal. It’s not something that’s for sale.

    2. Annotherone

      “No More Flyover Country” – What a great read with so many pertinent points, put in a style that encourages one to read on rather than move along, sigh, and consign it as …tldr .

      I picked out this as an important point :

      “Trump has run his campaign catering to the anger that exists among Americans. And people experience and label that as ‘terrible’ and ‘awful’. His Republican friends and opponents find it terrible, because it scares the bejeezus out of them, and they’re too scared to go anywhere near that anger. Trump embraced the anger. Because he knew from the start, instinctively, that it was the only way he could win.

      And you can think like the majority of your peers do, that all that commingling with the anger, with racists and bigots and what have you, is inexcusable. But what you miss out on if you take that approach and hold on to it, is that in that case the anger does not get addressed at all. It’s instead left free to just wander over the land and fester and grow on society, out of reach of politics, media, everything. ….”

  26. thoughtful person

    On the issue of co2 levels, methane also a significant issue, and those numbers certainly not plateauing. Not sure I buy co2 plateau either…

    1. PlutoniumKun

      There has been a big decrease in coal use in China, that alone seems to be the major contributor to the plateau

  27. PlutoniumKun

    Flattered as I am to be mentioned above the line, I should state that the links above attributed to ‘Plutonium Kun’ are not from me. Not unless I’ve been sleep-emailing again.

  28. Rhondda

    RE: More calls to eliminate large denomination bank notes

    “Removing large denomination notes in Australia would be good for the economy and good for the banks,” UBS analysts led by Jonathan Mott said in a note to clients on Monday. Benefits would include reduced crime and welfare fraud, increased tax revenue and a “spike” in bank deposits, he said…

    If all the A$100 notes were deposited into accounts at the lenders, household deposits would rise by about 4 percent, the UBS analysts said. That would likely be enough to fill the big banks’ regulatory-mandated net stable funding ratios and reduce reliance on offshore funding, they said.

    Twenty years ago there were only five $100 notes per person in circulation…and now we have 12. A graph included in the latest Reserve Bank annual report shows the number of $100 notes in circulation climbing faster than any other denomination. Note that I said “in circulation”. They are certainly not in day-to-day use… the [Reserve] Bank expects the typical $100 note to last 70 years. When they do come back they are often not even unbundled…

    Who’s got them? According to The Curse of Cash released this week by influential US economist Kenneth Rogoff, they are mainly in the hands of drug lords, human traffickers and tax evaders.

    Phasing out high denomination notes would be painless, for those of us with nothing to hide. We would be invited to deposit them in banks in return for their full value up until a deadline, after which they would no longer be legal tender and worthless….

    Personally I believe Australia should phase-out both $50 and $100 notes. We are turning into a cashless society anyway, so phrasing-out these bills wouldn’t create much of a burden to the ordinary law-abiding person.”

    The author makes clear what I have long suspected: the “black money” moniker is the smear, the excuse, the ginned-up shock doctrine-style crisis to provide cover for sheer economic force to recapitalize the ailing banks and rent extraction through bank fees.

    It seems clear to me that a large quantity of people have removed some of their money from the banking system and are holding it in cash. These plans seem largely about capitalizing the banks with a giant forced bail-in through forced deposits from cash-savers.

    As Prabhat Patnaik said in an article at The Wire that was Linked at NC yesterday, “There is a feeling that black money is basically a stock of money, which is put in pillow cases or trunks or underground. That’s not the case. Black money is something which refers to a whole range of activities which are undertaken either illegally or in order to avoid taxes.”

    I also thought this quote from Patnaik was worthy: “…let me give you an analogy. If there is a crime that happens in a particular locality, you don’t go and call all the residents of that locality to the police station to find out whose hands have bloodstains or whose eyes are bloodshot and so on. Typically, you just pursue the case and you investigate. Same with black money.”

    If this was really about “black money” (funny how that new term — at least to me — is everywhere all of sudden) they’d go after the people hiding money offshore who were exposed in the Panama Papers, or Swiss bank account holders, or the like. But no.

    And that is why my takeaway from this is that TPTB propagandists are purposefully conflating “cash hoarding” by savers with “black money” which as professor Patnaik point out is really a flow of money — not hoarding or saving — and is “tax avoidance or illegal business”.

    If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear. Come sit by me. The better to see you, my dear. The better to taste you, my dear. Whispers the abuela Wolf.

    1. Vatch

      It seems clear to me that a large quantity of people have removed some of their money from the banking system and are holding it in cash.

      No kidding. People might have a greater incentive to put more money in the banks if the banks actually paid savers a non-trivial rate of interest.

      1. BecauseTradition

        People might have a greater incentive to put more money in the banks if the banks actually paid savers a non-trivial rate of interest. Vatch

        Government privileges for depository institutions mean the banks don’t have to pay honest* interest rates for deposits.

        *Honest interest rates need not be high since equal fiat distributions to all adult citizens could ethically lower interest rates in fiat.

    2. BecauseTradition

      These plans seem largely about capitalizing the banks with a giant forced bail-in through forced deposits from cash-savers.

      I can’t see how that could happen since depositing cash creates new liabilities 1-for-1 with the new reserves (bought from the central bank with the physical fiat, a.k.a. cash) so bank Equity should remain unchanged.

    1. Bugs Bunny

      I know! They had to have a big Council of foreign ministers dinner (burb!) in Brussels to figure out how to react.

      As is his wont, French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault skipped it, likely because there was a big ruling coming down on whether construction could proceed on his pet project of a middle of nowhere in Britanny airport. Priorities!

      And dinner in Brussels? Monsieur le Ministre ne peut pas se déplacer ce soir.

      1. Hana M

        I couldn’t handle reading more than the headlines at Spiegel, but there are some real doozies:

        ‘The World Is Crumbling in Front of Our Eyes’
        Running Out of Allies: Trump’s Election Triggers Deep Concern in Europe
        A Political Catastrophe: Trump’s Victory Ushers in Dangerous Instability
        Concern in Brussels and Berlin: Trump Spells End of Normality for Europe
        Opinion: An Absurd and Dangerous President
        Populist Revolution: The Unpredictable Presidency of Donald Trump

        And last but not least….
        One-Hundred Years of Fear: America Has Abdicated Its Leadership of the West

        Uh….last we checked the U.S. presidential term only runs four years….Someone please send our allies an emergency shipment of Xanax.

      1. ambrit

        Zounds! An but a sennight past yet doth the “Epiphany of the Commons” still roil the blood and pique the choler of high and base born both. As the poet lamented; “When Donald delved and Hillary span, who was then the gentleman?”

    2. Brad

      Who can blame them. They are like the dependent child traumatized and alarmed by the increasingly bizarre and erratic behavior of the drunken parent.

      And “only 4 years’ is precisely the point. They are contemplating ever sharper zigs and zags every 4-8 years. Recall these Europeans still have historically recent memories of the consequences of total regime collapse. The hysterics aside, they correctly see a growing dynamic of destabilization in the USA.

      1. integer

        The hysterics aside, they correctly see a growing dynamic of destabilization in the USA.

        Yes, though they fail to attribute this to those who are truly responsible.

  29. fresno dan

    No More Flyover Country Ilargi, Automatic Earth. A really good piece.

    You’ll be flooded in the years to come, even more than today if you can imagine, with terms like protectionism and isolationism and even populism, but ignore all that. There’s nothing economically -let alone morally- wrong with people producing what they and their families and close neighbors themselves want and need without hauling it halfway around the world for a meagre profit, handing over control of their societies to strangers in the process.

    The fact of the matter is, there has been “growth” every year except for 2 years since 2000.

    The below graph shows who is getting the fruits of all that growth

    There’s nothing wrong or negative with an American buying products made in America instead of in China. At least not for the man in the street. It’s not a threat to our ‘open societies’, as many claim. That openness does not depend on having things shipped to your stores over 1000s of miles, that you could have made yourselves at a potentially huge benefit to your local economy. An ‘open society’ is a state of mind, be it collective or personal. It’s not something that’s for sale.

    1. ambrit

      The essence of neo-liberalism seems to be that everything is “for sale.” The Very Long Con proceeds apace.

  30. human

    More calls to eliminate large denomination bank notes

    Preaching to the choir here, but, when the typical cable bill is over $100 per month, $100 notes are not particularly high denomination. This is just another attempt to demonize any cash and, obviously, will have nil effect to those who are exempt from reporting rules (banks, brokers, governments) and the major proponents of the loopholes.

    1. cocomaan

      “Stopping the black market”.

      But when the “proper” economy fails you, are you just supposed to sit around, twiddling your thumbs, waiting for things to get better?

      No, you start to hustle and make money where you can.

      Black markets are critical for a functioning society, I’d argue. Without the flexibility of the underground economy, people would starve.

      1. ambrit

        One argument is that the present “ruling elites” have become so divorced from objective reality that starving people don’t bother them. The essence of ‘modern’ political economy has become “power at any price.” Black markets, by their very definition, are outside the “normal channels” of ‘control.’ If “control” means a certain percentage of the population starves, the ruling elites now say, so what? A similar dynamic precedes many revolutions.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          My dear ambrit, young starving people are more likely to sell their blood, so some might achieve eternal youth.

        2. LT

          You said the word: Control.
          I had a rant about “control freaks” a few weeks ago.

          They sell their control over people by saying it will provide “convenience” or “freedom”.
          Sillycon Valley perps are masters at this.

    2. Benedict@Large

      Whatever the supposed justifications are for tampering with federal currency, the real reason is to give the banks an opportunity to collect a “user’s fee” every time a financial transaction is made. My advice? Every time you hear someone talking about this clear attempt at wholesale theft, bring up the word “guillotine”.

      1. BecauseTradition

        the real reason is to give the banks an opportunity to collect a “user’s fee” every time a financial transaction is made. Benedict@Large

        Which is morally absurd given that fiat is for the use of all a nation’s citizens, not just for depository institutions (except in the case of unsafe, inconvenient physical fiat, bills and coins, which the population may still use to some extent).

        Every time you hear someone talking about this clear attempt at wholesale theft,

        Speaking of theft, the fact that only depository institutions in the private sector may have inherently safe accounts at the central bank itself or equivalent* means the poorer are forced to lend (a deposit is legally a loan) to depository institutions to lower their borrowing costs and, by extension, the borrowing costs of the more so-called creditworthy, the richer. That or be limited to unsafe, inconvenient physical fiat – assuming they can still use even that.

        And btw, one problem with physical fiat is the awkwardness of applying negative interest to it fairly. Not that negative interest should be applied to individual citizen accounts anyway up to, say, $250,000 US, but certainly banks and other businesses should be charged for the use of their Nation’s fiat – to discourage fiat hoarding, to provide an unavoidable Federal tax/reserve drain AND to make less negative interest yeilding sovereign debt attractive by comparison so we can avoid the disgrace of welfare proportional to wealth, i.e. issuing positive yeilding sovereign (hence risk-free) debt.

        *e.g. a Postal Checking Service forbidden to lend but merely allowed to handle accounts and process transactions.

  31. Phil

    Here is a pretty good article by Mish, with a golden quote:

    “And in the totally clueless category we note …

    The Hill reached former Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Colo.), who was in charge of Clinton’s White House transition team, as he packed up to leave Washington and return to his farm in Southern Colorado.

    Democrats have not done very well in rural America and I don’t understand why that has happened.’ “

  32. winstonsmith

    RE: Monsanto

    Even with the approval of the brand new herbicide, some farmers affected by the drifts, said they would have to switch to Monsanto’s dicamba-resistant crops to protect themselves from possible incidents in the future, by way of insurance, St. Louis Dispatch reported. EPA launched a criminal investigation in October into the illegal application of drift-prone herbicides onto new plants. It’s uncertain, whether these measures will prevent dicamba-related crop damage in the future, since some farmers might continue using extremely volatile third-party herbicides

    It’s not a bug, it’s a dicamba-ready bug, i.e., a feature.

  33. alex morfesis

    Peak smartphone ??…china needed trump to deal with their 1997 moment…maybe “they” hacked podesta(though I still suspect valjar)…but also peak dollar store…a search of ali blah blah shows “smartphones” for sale at less than 35 bux…and the chinese communist red army has no release valve from elections…

    the chinese winning a trade war does not resonate with me…

    they moved forward twenty years of construction work to keep their power and keep their economy from collapse…the insane amount of concrete that is claimed they have recently used…china is only 4 times the population of the usa…not 10 times…and with an almost identical footprint…

    1 of my takes on what brought on the great crash of 1929-1931 was the disconnect for many from the transition to motorization and electricity…but it took 20 years for it to sink in…we are at 20 years for the computerization age…win95 era…we are in for an interesting roller-coaster ride…

    china has got a wall to climb…

    the great fall of China is probably right in front of us…

    no capacity to project substantive military force beyond its immediate borders…

    The smartphone threat ?? Empty…no one “needs” a new smartphone…what new “gadgets”, whistles or bells can be added that will lead to the next wave of buyz ?? Actually suspect many will not want to change phones since there are so many apps they have taken time absorb…Peak smartphone…

    1. Arizona Slim

      Here in Tucson, Samsung has been operating a demo van on Congress Street. That’s in the heart of our oh-so-hip and gentrifying Downtown.

      I took a look at their phone and tablet line. And then I went home and researched the prices. Zounds! More than 600 bucks for one of those phones. The tablets? I didn’t even bother trying to find a single price.

      I think I’ll keep using the smartphone that I have right next to me.

  34. OIFVet

    Bulgaria, Moldova Complete Putin’s Lucky Week.

    Bulgaria’s new president, Rumen Radev, has insisted it is quite possible to be a good European and a friend to Russia at the same time, indicating that he will do nothing to disturb Bulgaria’s membership of NATO, let alone the EU.

    Brussels – for which read Germany – can only regard Radev’s call for a more “pragmatic” approach to Russia’s seizure of Crimea with dismay.

    Much now depends on the outcome of early general elections in Bulgaria, which the now outgoing pro-Western Prime Minister, Boyko Borissov, is demanding.

    Either way, the presence of such a high-ranking Kremlin ally in Sofia will embolden restive pro-Russian forces elsewhere in the neighbourhood, in Serbia and Montenegro especially.

    Pro-Bulgarian NATO general=Kremlin ally. Pragmatic=anti-Western. A small country can not have its own national interests and be pro-Western at the same time. Got it. Muti had better build up the German military fast, and blitzkrieg that uppity Bulgaria lest the infection spreads to France next year. Borissov was her reliable errand boy, forever acting like a puppy eager to get pet on head by the “boss,” as he referred to Merkel, so losing him must really hurt.

  35. Vatch

    Global emissions levels stay flat despite economic growth Politico

    I couldn’t read the article because I don’t have a Politico Pro account. I just want to ask, what economic growth? Isn’t China in the early stages of a recession? Of course emissions are down.

  36. JohnnyGL

    Couple of links that might amount to nothing, but might become interesting….

    Pelosi looks like she might face a leadership challenge. This would be a good thing, in my view.

    Schumer is facing grassroots resistance (WaPo says it’s Occupy and BLM folks) to the idea of him as Minority Leader. This is also a good thing.

    Can Bernie find a way to become Minority Leader? Most Dems would lose their minds as he’d break their fundraising model. But, as Lambert says, Rome wasn’t burnt in a day….it’s imperative to strike while the Clinton-istas are still disoriented.

    1. Kim Kaufman

      The only problem with this is, as someone pointed out to me, Bernie isn’t a Dem. I believe he un-Demmed himself the day after the convention.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Constructive ambiguity on Bernie’s part will keep the two-cell brain of Chuck Schumer wheel-spinning in an endless loop, like a gerbil stuck on the exercise wheel.

  37. Kim Kaufman

    “Gwen Ifill, who overcame barriers as a black female journalist, dies at 61 Washington Post (furzy)”

    The last time I watched Gwen Ifill was I think around 2009 when the Obamacare was happening. She said something along the lines of Dennis Kucinich was just so far to the left as to not even be in the playing field. All the Smart People on the panel laughed.

  38. Kim Kaufman

    “U.S. protesters march against Trump presidency for fifth day Reuters (EM). Persistent, but numbers no where near large enough to have an impact.”

    And what’s the point, really? They’re mad or disappointed or scared or whatever. But a protest without a reason doesn’t really go anywhere. I see it as sort of a waste of energy, unfortunately. They should have a list of demands at least. Or they should be demonstrating in front of every Dem congress critter’s office demanding they get it together. While they’re protesting, the Dems are doubling down on getting another corporate hack in as DNC chair.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      They are demonstrating against Trump.

      But, if they don’t have a list of demands, then, they are not demonstrating for something.

      It’s OK to be against, but if the basis is popular vote vs the electoral college, they should start working on a Constitutional amendment.

      1. JohnnyGL

        I don’t think they’re pointless or a waste of energy. I’m tempted to see protest activity as a muscle that atrophies if you don’t use it. It’s good to see people engaged (organically, of course, not the paid-for and media-manipulated color-revolutions stuff). I don’t think they need a list of demands, either. Remember Occupy didn’t really have any and lots were willing to defend that. Rightly so, in my view. In fact, it’s probably better to stay vague instead of getting specific especially for causes like PrimeBeef lists above (which are really without merit in the near term).

        Besides, to the degree that they put pressure on Trump, his allies, and other Republicans, that’s a good thing. It sends a message that “hey, you’re on notice that we’ll make things uncomfortable for you when you do bad stuff”. Also, if they get more targeted and tactical (per my link above going after Chuck Schumer) than that’s even better.

    2. DarkMatters

      Soon coming to a neighborhood near you!

      Based on em’s I’ve been getting, is funding yet another bizarre operation (as inexplicable as their meddling in the Republican Party primaries to suppress Trump, when the obvious action would have been to support Bernie in the Democratic primaries.) Waste of energy or not, the demonstrations have the feel of a color revolution. MoveOn’s actions have felt more like a series of experiments in mass psychology than an actual political movement. I don’t fathom their purpose either, and that concerns me.

      1. flora

        keep the spectacle going to distract people from analyzing what exactly the current Dem party stands for, and why it lost. these street protests change nothing in the Dem party outlook. politicians chase power, preferably rising power. In the 30’s the Dems chased rising union/blue collar and prairie alliance power at a time when the money power had been thoroughly discredited. In the 70’s the Dems started chasing the money center power when union strikes and street protests were becoming discredited. Power isn’t only or always about money. Hillary just learned that lesson. the Dem party won’t learn until they lose a few more pres/senate races and see a new form of power they need to chase after. they currently don’t want my vote, judging by their positions, so they do not have my vote.

        see this old mot about politicians:

        “There go my people, I must find out where they are going so I can lead them.”
        ―Alexandre Auguste Ledru-Rollin

    3. Anne

      Here’s the thing: the media has decided what it is the people are protesting, and while I’m sure there are people protesting Trump’s election, I expect there are also those who have other reasons for being in the streets – reasons that involve Trump, but which do not concern the legitimacy of the election itself.

      I see this as a way of reminding the power structure that people are increasingly reaching a breaking point, and being in the street every day is a way of saying, “no, we’re not just going to shrug our shoulders, go home and forget about the issues that matter to us. We’re not going to let it be okay to be racist or misogynistic, or xenophobic – we want those who are most vulnerable to see that they are not alone.”

      I see the protests as putting Trump – and every other slacker legislator who thinks he or she is riding the gravy train and we don’t matter that – on notice that people are paying attention, are watching and waiting. People want and need accountability and being physically out in the streets is a way of getting that.

      Protests don’t have to be all about one thing all the time – it’s early days, so I wouldn’t be quick to assume that what we’re seeing now doesn’t grow and shift its attention as it needs to.

      Right now, I just think it’s important to be visible, and make the power structure uncomfortable, though I expect the media will be working hard to curry favor with Trump and will do what it can to pretend it’s not happening, or frame it as just being professional Dirty Fking Hippies.

    4. Tom

      This, acccording to <a href="KGW8, the local NBC affiliate in Portland:

      More than half of the anti-Trump protesters arrested in Portland didn’t vote in Oregon, according to state election records.

      At least sixty-nine demonstrators either didn’t turn in a ballot or weren’t registered to vote in the state.

      1. flora

        does that mean the protesting is really nothing more than TV background video for whatever narrative the MSM is pushing?

      2. jrs

        So maybe they disliked both candidates. Good. Much more hopeful than thinking they are disgruntled Hillary supporters.

    5. jrs

      What are your demands?

      (Or do we only ask questions of that like things of Occupy which actually had more demands than this)

  39. queenslawyer

    Very infrequent commenter but long time reader and supporter. I just wanted to drop off one more anecdote/data point regarding the ongoing Obama care death spiral, and the seemingly intentional alienation of their base by Democratic neoliberals.

    I’m a young lawyer in NYC, 10 years out of law school, been at the same firm since I graduated. The firm offers several plans but I’ve always gone with a high deductible plan coupled with an HSA account that is generously funded by the firm up to 50% of my deductible. In 10 years, I’ve never made a claim against the policy, and (due solely to my age and good fortune) have never had to go out of pocket for a medical expense, unless I forgot to seek reimbursement or something. Tough life I know…

    Before I got married last year, my premiums never exceeded $100/month. When I added my wife last year, the premium doubled (which seemed fair since we doubled the number of insureds), the deductible doubled, but my firm doubled the HSA contribution too. When it comes to healthcare, I’ve spent an awful lot of time in Happyille!

    This morning I received the notice regarding enrollment in our 16-17 plan. Good news: the coverage hasn’t changed! Bad news: premiums are going up 200% (yes there are two zeroes there). For the use product I’ve purchased every year for 10 years, and haven’t used once.

    Now, I make enough that this won’t break me. But these same rates apply to the paralegals and secretaries and filing clerks that make barely more than minimum wage. How are they supposed to handle this? And on a macro level, the transfer of $5k from my earnings to US Healthcare will delay my intended purchase of a home. That extra few hundred/month is our savings…. When it’s not otherwise needed. Thanks obama!

    And now the political wrinkle.

    My wife voted for HRC. I was variously deemed a racist, misogynist, what have you, through the campaign, for suggesting that the HRC opposition was class-based. No argument I made (often marshalling facts from NC) could get through. But this, quite simply, did.
    It’s very easy for white urban liberals to vote on identity distractions, until they get their own ticket to pain city. Well I don’t think the wife will make that mistake again.

    Losing life long supporters one at a time. Heck of a job Democrats!

  40. lt

    Re: German media and military buidup
    In the face of a perceived threat to “Almighty Trade”, they are proposing a return to a more militarized economy.
    What could go wrong?

    Looking at current world wide entanglements, conflicts, and the responses to them, this isn’t like the build up to WW1. I t is gettimg harder to deny that WW1 ever really ended. There were pauses, shifts in battlegrounds, etc…over the course of the last 100 years, but it never really ended.

  41. Portia

    there go the bees

    EPA quietly approves Monsanto’s volatile, drift-prone herbicide dicamba

    get your Q-tips ready

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Oh my goodness, Trump is going to destroy the environment.

      “How can you destroy something that is already destroyed(or being destroyed by a best-effort predecessor?”

  42. fresno dan

    Four thousand: That’s the number of political appointees President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team will have to pick in the next few months for the government to continue running effectively after President Barack Obama leaves office. The challenge is great for any new administration; it’s especially daunting for a political outsider whose staff, according to the Wall Street Journal, was surprised to hear last week that it would have to replace everyone in the West Wing.

    Political appointees are supposed to make the president more powerful. But for Trump, the appointees might have the opposite effect. The Trump team doesn’t have anything like 4,000 qualified loyalists ready to walk into executive branch jobs, the way most presidential campaigns do. To get Republican candidates with relevant executive branch experience, it will have to choose former Bush administration officials. For better or worse, Trump’s presidential agenda is therefore likely to be filtered through mainstream Republican personnel.

    We like to think the president runs the government, but other than a handful of issues, the vast majority of what the Federal government does is on autopilot. And on those issues, how much does the president really change things??? (sure, repubs have constrained abortion but not eliminated it)

    I can remember when I was young, and I was interested in the news at an early age, I had never heard of abortion, immigration, trade, terrorism, or health care as national issues (I was vaguely aware that a few years prior something called medicare for old folks had started). The big issues were Vietnam, inflation, (stagflation) civil rights (race riots), and the environment was really starting to get people’s attention. The war on poverty was discussed, and to my young eyes it seemed the discussion was from the aspect of how to actually succeed at vanquishing poverty. And oh yeah, getting to the moon seemed important….

    Of course, there was so much less media back than. The important stuff was on the 3 network newscasts, and they were practically identical. The local paper was pretty good, but it scarcely covered national news and pretty much reiterated what was said on TV.

    So it seems government can do some things – I remember it was a rare day one could see the mountains from Fresno when I was a child – now you can see the mountains practically every day. We landed on the moon Woo-Hoo (sarc). Medicare seems to work well enough. Inflation was a problem….beware of what you wish for – now no inflation is supposedly a problem.
    Made some progress with poverty, than came to a dead stop.
    Failed in Vietnam (or maybe we succeeded and just didn’t realize it)

    It just strikes me we are just exchanging the right hyperbole about Obama for left hyperbole about Trump. (Yes, I agree some of the things Trump says are despicable – he will moderate his language I suspect. What he does is what is important, and just as there wasn’t all that much “change” with Obama, I doubt there will be all that much “change” with Trump – IF one banker were to be prosecuted and convicted, when one considers the pool, is that a big deal – again, if it even happens)

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      For imperial China, the government was run either by eunuchs or Confucian mandarins.

      They were so good, even a kid could be an empero

      In any case, I hope Trump will consider hiring some Democrats. They need work as well.

    2. cocomaan

      I think the instructive essay here is Max Weber’s work on bureaucracy (found in the essay collection On Max Weber).

      He cites several different version of the same phenomenon in bureaucratic thought: emperors, rulers, kings, all unable to pierce bureaucratic secrecy or influence the bureaucracy in any meaningful way. What you’re describing is definitely something real.

      The US federal government has been running for over two hundred years. There are agencies created in the last fifty (Dept of Ed) that may be in danger, but bureaucracies like the military can just wait out a Trump presidency if he wants to, say, dismantle the F35 program.

  43. OIFVet

    Friends, could you please lend your voice to save a Unesco World Heritage site? The Pirin National Park in Bulgaria is under increasing threat from logging and ski resort development. Just this past week, heavy rains caused raging floods and a lot of damage in the ski resort of Bansko, due in no small part to deforestation. Now the oligarchs want more of the same, and the destruction of an incredibly beautiful mountain for their short-term profit. You can sign a WWF petition to be delivered to the BG government here:

  44. Andrew Watts

    RE: Your Government Wants to Militarize Social Media to Influence Your Beliefs

    That horse already left the barn a long time ago. It’s a good thing they’re doing it wrong. Although even a clumsy and overly reliant on technology imitation is a sincere form of flattery.

    1. DarkMatters

      To add to your point, re weaponization of social media, Andrew Korybko has a book available for download at Written from a Russian perspective, it provides a comprehensive survey of western geopolitics, and how social media methods have been applied to foment color revolutions from the Bosnian civil war onward. A list of some “nonviolent” tactics used by Gene Sharp include

      Public Speeches
      Slogans, caricatures, and symbols
      Assemblies of protest or support
      Social disobedience
      Boycott of elections
      Refusal to accept appointed officials
      Nonviolent occupation
      Nonviolent land seizure
      Dual sovereignty and parallel government

      They’re beginning to sound awfully familiar.

        1. Waldenpond

          Darkmatters is referring to what is being done to populations by govt and elite interests.

          Going forward, accept that the US govt and merc agencies are effing with people. Develop strategies to avoid and for those that can’t avoid, develop ways to participate that are lower on the risk scale.

          It’s going to take diverse tactics. There is also a legitimate space for those that want to make the lives of the 1% a misery yet not risk arrest. Think of ways for people to be involved at different risk and physical levels. Which actions are better for local neighborhoods, 1% neighborhoods and interests and govt protest. Young people are great at staying up late, older people not so much. Older people might be better at govt office sit-ins and donating money.

    2. dk

      Considering Twitter as a weapon (or at least a delivery system, making speech the weapon), one could then argue that Trump used this “weapon” to produce/deliver some considerable portion of his campaign effects, in other words he performed a “military” takeover.

      I just find it an amusing juxtaposition of concepts without special insight, but others might latch onto it as a further demonization of Trump, and also of “un-restrained” social media.

  45. Katie

    Ilargi says -” Donald Trump looks very much like the ideal fit for this transition – but nor because he understands the issue itself, or its implications. What matters is he promises to bring back jobs to America, and that’s what the country needs. Not so they can then export their products, but to consume them at home, and sell them in the domestic market.”.

    I think he’s truly gone mad if he thinks Donald trump is an ideal fit for the presidency. Worse expecting him to run an old school domestic Keynesian policy that won’t enrich his fellow Senators but reduce domestic inequality is foolishly hopeful. I still do t understand why automatic earth is linked on this otherwise excellent website.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Read up some more and decide whether you think “domestic Keynesianism” is the answer, Keynes and Harry Dexter White both cooked up their “command and control” monetary BS having been admirers of Stalin’s Russia and centralized planning. “I have seen the future…and it works!” was the gushing that was typical at the time.

      Can we please just:

      1. Let bad debts clear;
      2. Let the price of money be determined by supply and demand, not by failed academics with their infinitely complex failed theories about how an infinitely complex system does/should operate.

      Look at Japan, now throwing in the towel, deciding that turning the central bank into a hedge fund that leverages up to buy everything that’s not nailed down does not work. Fail.

  46. fresno dan

    “Whereas the previous period was characterized by 1) increasing globalization, free trade, and global connectedness, 2) relatively innocuous fiscal policies, and 3) sluggish domestic growth, low inflation, and falling bond yields, the new period is more likely to be characterized by 1) decreasing globalization, free trade, and global connectedness, 2) aggressively stimulative fiscal policies, and 3) increased US growth, higher inflation, and rising bond yields.”
    “As for the effects of this particular ideological/environmental shift, we think that there’s a significant likelihood that we have made the 30-year top in bond prices. We probably have made both the secular low in inflation and the secular low in bond yields relative to inflation. When reversals of major moves (like a 30-year bull market) happen, there are many market participants who have skewed their positions (often not knowingly) to be stung and shaken out of them by the move, making the move self-reinforcing until they are shaken out.

    “For example, in this case, many investors have reached for yield with the upward price moves as winds to their backs, many have dynamically hedged the changes in their duration, etc. They all are being hurt and will become weaker holders or sellers. Because the effective durations of bonds have lengthened, price movements will be big.”

    Time will tell. Does Trump understand that success depends on three things:
    1. Its jobs stupid
    2. Its jobs stupid
    3. Its jobs stupid

    1. jawbone

      Does Trump understand that? Possibly, yes. Do the the Repubs in power in Congress? They probably don’t care one iota.

      Hillary didn’t get it. Or, at least, could not bring herself to offend the Repubs she was seeking to vote for her. And she couldn’t really use that line after her husband’s famous “It’s the economy, stupid” resulted in NAFTA and other actions destroying the middle and working classes’ security.

      Fookin’ brilliant.

    2. Waldenpond

      How are you going to get the jobs? Weaken the corporate structure or empower workers. Transfer payments to begin new businesses (corporate welfare/private public partnerships), regulation to incentivize return (lower corporate taxes/lower wages), work through unions where the power structure rests not in the members but in the CEO or reduce the power of the corporate charter?

  47. Brad

    “Obama seeks to allay Trump concerns BBC. Incroyable. Obama acting as Trump’s ambassador? How did that happen?”

    This is consistent, by the playbook, Clinton-Obama Truth Denial. All in the interest of not rocking the boat. When the Truth manifests itself, in a split second up pops the cardboard cutout Obama-Clinton to deny it. Blair was a study here as well. They are keenly aware that the people they’ve “assigned themselves” to police – the left – wants to react to the truth. It’s pure dissembling. There are many instances of this from this ilk. It’s one of their most hateful characteristics, since it feeds the deep anti-intellectualism and contempt for the truth of a society that must be saturated by commercial propaganda in order to sell people toxic garbage. Clear-thinking people who care about the truth just get in the way of that.

    Hence Trump. I bet he fires up his own media propaganda bullhorn to compete with Fox in the sewer main of commercialism, even while he’s POTUS. I think that was his original goal anyway, and why he went after Fox the way he did from the beginning. But Surprise! He also got the bogey prize! P. “Trump” Barnum thinks a sucker’s born every minute, and he took a look at the mob Fox was leading around by the nose and thought, “Hey, I can do better than that. Those could be MY suckers!” And now they are.

    1. jawbone

      One of my short term fears about a Trump administration. But how can he explain to those pushed downward by loss of good paying jobs, into the lower to lowest income quintiles, that going after Medicare and Medicaid would good for them??

      I also had feared Hillary would make nice to the Repubs by going after the three safety nets still in place, SocSec, Medicare, and Medicaid.

      Would this be something which could be a death knell for the Repubs? However, the rightwingers are totally ruthless. Scorched earth, bulldozing millions into penury…. Oh, and Hurry Up and Die.

      There’s a hard rain agonna fall….

  48. Vidar

    Not sure how well reported this is internationally but according to Norwegian media NATO chief Stoltenberg (a Norwegian) has no apparent issues with what Trump said about it during the campaign. Key quote (my translation – original text and link below):
    – Trump has pointed out the importance of Europeans investing more in defence. On that, I completely agree. This has been the message of American leaders for years, and what’s positive is that we are seeing increased investment from the Europeans, contributing to a fairer sharing of the burden.

    – Trump har påpekt hvor viktig det er at europeerne begynner å investere mer i forsvar. Der er jeg helt enig med ham. Dette har vært amerikanske lederes budskap i mange år, og det som er positivt, er at vi nå ser at europeerne øker investeringene og bidrar til en mer rettferdig byrdedeling, sier Stoltenberg.

  49. susan the other

    today’s antidote – I’m guessing a pony from Shetland Island. Some cold, windswept place where you must have a thick coat and be patient for spring.

  50. ewmayer

    o “U.S. protesters march against Trump presidency for fifth day | Reuters” — LOL at the NYT comedy duo of Pinch and Deany planning to ‘hold power to account, impartially and unflinchingly’ during the Trump presidency. Not their own – thankfully waning – power, mind you.

    o “Mnuchin Said to Be Top Treasury Pick Among Trump’s Advisers | Bloomberg” — Every time I see the name ‘Mnuchin’ my brain wants to munge that to ‘Munchkin’. Does that make me a bad person or merely selectively dyslexic?

  51. Plenue

    On the subject of Syria, the Russians are finally bringing the hammer down. The fleet has begun cruise missile strikes on militant infrastructure. This in addition to round the clock airstrikes from aircraft flying from both the Kuznetsov and land airfields, and they’re preparing multiple models of strategic bombers back in Russia to bring additional heavy ordnance to the fight.

    On the ground the Syrian Army is claiming the jihadis suffered at least 500 KIA during their recent failed offensive to relieve East Aleppo, and the militants are on the run to the west of the city. Eastern Aleppo is starting to starve, and the SAA are massing troops for what is likely to be a big push into the rebel held areas (this seems to have been slightly delayed by the militants launching a gas attack that injured 30 soldiers).

    Meanwhile Al Jazeera and the MI-6 front Syrian Observatory for Human Rights are claiming the Russian air force bombed a hospital in Aleppo City. Only problem: neither the Russian nor Syrian air forces have launched any strikes against Aleppo City in nearly a month.

    Oh, also, American’s A-10s and F-15s have been spotted over Idlib province, and allegedly carried out at least one air strike there. If they’re flying there it’s with Russian permission, which may be a practical sign of the US’s new policy of acknowledging Jabhat al-Nusra is just al-Qaeda with a different label. Or maybe Russia just doesn’t want to be the one to escalate.

  52. LT

    “Rather, the common theme is a growing mass of white men with high school educations who are worried about their futures because they are getting older and have no savings. They ask: What happens if I get sick? How am I going to take care of my 90-year-old mother with no money in the bank?”

    Yeah, because people of color don’t worry about their future and savings. WTF?

  53. Bev

    Thanks Yves, I only just got to today’s links and see that you posted the link to the awful plight of the buffalo without water nor food. Thank you so much for doing that. I hope it helps the buffalo. Though I wonder if it is some psychological attempt to break the will of the Water Protestors by breaking such a wonderful animal as a buffalo.

    Those who harm, torment animals, harm, torment people.

    I looked through the comments, but it looks like no one posted about this. My heart to the Water Protectors, my heart to the buffalo.

    Thanks again,

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