Links 11/16/16

Cosmic ‘barcode’ from distant galaxy confirms Nature’s constancy Science Daily

Leaks and Mold Are Ruining the Disney Magic in Celebration, Florida WSJ

SEC approves vast surveillance system for stock market FT

Walgreens Claims Theranos Voided 11.3% of Test Reports WSJ

Walmart Sued for Selling Fake Egyptian Cotton Products Sourcing Journal

Singapore to Test Digital Currency in Latest Fintech Initiative Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia set to reveal depth of oil reserves FT. Hoo boy.


Syria’s Assad says Trump ‘an ally if he fights terrorists’ France24

These 5 maps explain the battle for Mosul Business Insider

Harsh words between Germany and Turkey EuroNews (Furzy Mouse).


Theresa May prepares draft bill to authorise Brexit FT

Theresa May attacks Deloitte and BBC over leaked Brexit memo Independent

Italy polls get worse for Renzi as referendum nears Reuters

Polls, Macron campaign launch throw French presidential election wide open Reuters


Another Financial Warning Sign Is Flashing in China Bloomberg. If populism is sweeping the globe, shouldn’t it arrive at China? And what would it look like if it did?

Chinese bubble cities launch second wave of tightening Macrobusiness

Indonesia police name Jakarta governor as blasphemy suspect Independent

Modi’s Money Crackdown Threatens India Corporate Profit Recovery Bloomberg

Why the Bangladesh Government Is Pleased Trump Will Be the Next US President The Wire

Report warns of Asia arms race if Trump withdraws US forces AP

War Drums

A Trump administration thaw with Russia is ‘unacceptable,’ McCain says WaPo (Furzy Mouse).

Will Trump really be Isolationist? Or will he March us to War? Juan Cole

America Has Abdicated Its Leadership of the West Der Speigel

Trump Transition

Trump: ‘I am the only one who knows who the finalists are!’ Boston Globe

Google Gets a Seat on the Trump Transition Team The Intercept

Trump taps Rep. Chris Collins, of New York, as transition team’s congressional liaison AM New York. “Collins was the first lawmaker on Capitol Hill to endorse Trump’s presidential bid.”

Donald Trump’s Transition Team Reshaped WSJ. Better sourcing.

Firings and Discord Put Trump Transition Team in a State of Disarray NYT. Thin sourcing; tendentious venue. Somebody should take Baquet aside and explain to him that one Daily Kos is enough.

Donald Trump ditches his press pool again, spurring sharp criticism CNN

Trump’s deportation plan is self-defeating and may worsen the problem it means to solve Business Insider

Statement on Trump Puts New Balance Shoe Company in Cross Hairs NYT. Domestic show manufacturer puts out statement saying Trump administration moved in the right direction on TPP. “Consumers” interpret this as support for Trump, tweet images of New Balance shoes burning. The Daily Stormer trolls them by proclaiming New Balance shoes “the official shoes of white people.” And now the talk is of boycotting New Balance. So the likely result is screwing the New Balance workers, who don’t seem to figure in any of the stories. Well played. These are juvenile antics. Couldn’t the identity politics crowd have done their virtue signalling by purchasing New Balance shoes, and putting Care Bear stickers on them or something?

Business booms at NY Times, WSJ as showdown with Donald Trump looms Times Picayune.

President Obama Leaves Behind a Deplorable Civil Liberties Legacy Liberty Blitzkrieg

2016 Post Mortem

Why Liberals Should Support a Trump Republican Nomination Jonathon Chait, New York Magazine. Note the date: February 5, 2016. The “Pied Piper” strategery worked out about as well as the South Carolina firewall, didn’t it? And these are the “smart” people!

A Losing Coalition Jacobin

Democrats clash over the future of the Obama coalition Politico. By Betteridge’s Law…And cf. “Is ‘The Obama Coalition’ Even a Thing? Was It Ever?”

Trump’s coalition won the demographic battle. It’ll still lose the war. Ruy Teixeira, Vox. Here’s the lead:

Here’s one way to think about the 2016 election. We are witnessing a great race in this country between demographic and economic change that’s driving a new America, and reaction to those changes. On November 8, with a tremendous burst of speed, reaction to change caught up with change and surpassed it.

If I swapped that paragraph from Teixeira into a Thomas Friedman column, would anyone notice?

Where the Democrats went wrong CNBC. Obama: “[O]ne of the issues that Democrats have to be clear on is that given population distribution across the country, we have to compete everywhere, we have to show up everywhere.” Throwing Clinton under the bus…

Pelosi’s Future Uncertain as Dems Weigh Options Politico

Trump: Some Numbers LRB. This:

“Tony and Cherie Blair were not obscenely wealthy when they arrived in power in 1997. Today they are worth more than $75 million. Consider the working-class voters whom the Clintons or the Blairs exhorted to vote for them in the 1990s: they are probably worse off now than they were then. In effect the Clintons and Blairs surfed on their grievances and inequities, making themselves rich and leaving their voters in the dust. This hasn’t gone unnoticed, which is one reason the old politics is no longer working.”

Americans Roll the Dice On Trump Cook Political Report. Volatility voters.

How Did Donald Trump Win Over So Many Obama Voters? NYT. Maybe because Obama didn’t deliver concrete material benefits?

Guest post: the foreclosure vote mathbabe

Door-to-Door Foreboding in Colorado The Nation (Furzy Mouse). Blame Cannons aimed at pesky voters.

Bernie Sanders has some harsh words for the Clinton campaign in his new book MarketWatch

The Daily 202: Obama in a state of denial about Trump, as Democrats work through the stages of grief WaPo

Building the House of Breitbart Jacobin

City Living Makes Animals Dishonest



Bonus antidote:

Antidote du jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. sleepy

    NYTimes still blames race on Trump’s winning over Obama supporters in Iowa:

    Trump clearly sensed the fragility of the coalition that Obama put together — that the president’s support in heavily white areas was built not on racial egalitarianism but on a feeling of self-interest. Many white Americans were no longer feeling that belonging to this coalition benefited them.

    Racial egalitarianism wasn’t the reason for white support for Obama in 2008 and 2012 in Iowa. It reflected racial egalitarianism, but that support had to do with perceived economic self-interest, just as the switch to Trump in 2016 did.

    And what on earth is wrong with self-interest as a reason for voting?

    1. jgordon

      Right. These corporatists use identity politics as a stalking horse to rob the public blind, and then they spew invectives about racism and mysogony wherever the public stops buying the bullcrap.

      The funny thing is that they’ve so learned to love the smell of their own farts (or propaganda) that they internalized an image of enlightened progressivism for themselves. This Trump election was probably the first clue that their self image is faulty and not widely shared by others. They are not taking it well.

      1. Arizona Slim

        Not taking it well? The corporatists aren’t the only ones.

        My Facebook feed is still overflowing with lefty-liberal meltdowns. And, quite frankly, it’s getting a bit tiring.

        I mean, come on, meltdown people. If you want change in the world, be the change you wish to see. While you’re busy with that project, work for the change you want to see. That’ll keep you a lot busier than posting memes on Facebook.

        And then there’s Naked Capitalism. Where the grownups hang out. Thank goodness for that. I’m spending a lot more time here, and it’s a real pleasure.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Z-E-R-O sympathy. Where were they when Obama continued and extended Bush’s worst policies? When he targeted and squashed Occupy? When NY slashed 100’s of thousands of primary voters and then restored them two weeks later? When Bernie got rolled in Philadelphia? Answer: they were cheering.

      2. Bev

        It is the need to save Democracy, which is in the self-interest of voter’s families, jobs, communities, and future.

        The left who want common ground, for the common good, is denied by the machines, while both major parties are pushed further and further right by those right-wing owned voting, scanning, tabulating, machines and controlled registration lists purged of legal minority voters.

        Hillary who benefited from these methods during the primary, does not control those machines and methods, so that what worked for her during the primary, worked against her in the general election…as planned by the right-wing.

        To all those protesters, signs should address election integrity/election results at protests. Hillary Won. Republicans lost. Republicans purged legal voters. The voting machines owned by the right wing have code to control votes counts. We need to save Democracy.

        Hillary flip and testify on those rigging machines and the purging of legal voters. Senate Democrats flip and testify on those rigging machines and purging voter lists. You all won the general. You don’t owe the right-wing anything. Bernie and Jill voters would help to save our Democracy, so adopt much of their Green New Deal.–in-nearly-ever-by-Jonathan-Simon-Election-Integrity_Exit-Polls_Rigged-Elections-161113-815.html

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

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

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

        If the exit poll findings are accurate (My Note, not Simon’s: The earliest exit polls are more accurate than the later exit polls. Simon captured the early exit polling numbers off CNN screen shots before exit polls were later adjusted to conform to the rigging of the voting machines), the numbers should show a Clinton electoral college landslide to go with her popular vote victory. We’d be looking at Trump with 182 electoral votes and Clinton with 336!

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

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

        What can you do about it?

        Help more people get access to this information. Share these two blog posts of mine:
        Exit Polls from November 8 Election Show Patterns Indicating Possible Electronic Election Rigging in Favor of Republicans
        19 Big Myths About Our Elections That the Government and Media Want You to Believe

            •    Sign and circulate this petition from (My Note: even though they mention the Russians) demanding an audit of the 2016 Presidential election:
        BREAKING: Ballot Protection Software On Ohio Voting Machines TURNED OFF!

        This is almost too incredible to believe. The Ohio voting machines now have ballot protection software on every machine. It allows an image to be collected and stored for every ballot cast. New York Times best-selling author Greg Palast is reporting that the protection software has been TURNED OFF on every single Ohio voting machine! After all the chaos that has gone down in Ohio elections, why in God’s name would they turn off the protection software?! Well, you might think, “Maybe it’s an accident.” …NOPE. In fact they were taken to court over it by Bob Fitrakis, and according to Palast, the Republican Secretary of State argued that it would take a MASSIVE effort to turn on the software.

        …But in fact, it’s a simple drop-down menu. The judge ruled in the Secretary of State’s favor. Apparently protecting our vote from fraud is just TOO MUCH TROUBLE.

        To watch my interview with Greg Palast, go here.

        Fraction Magic – Detailed Vote Rigging Demonstration by Bev Harris

        Q: Does Fraction Magic always use a USB?
        A: No. It can also be on the computer or use remote access

        Q: Why would someone do Fraction Magic?
        A: Contract signing authority. Pay to play. Billions of $$ in local appropriations.

        Q: Who put it there?
        A: According to programmers and court testimony: a convicted felon; 23 counts on previous computer crimes.

        Q: Name?
        A: Jeffrey W. Dean. Previously employed by Bud Krogh, the former head of White House Plumbers unit under Richard Nixon.
        Jeffrey Dean put some other stuff in there too.

        It is not over.:
        Stand up.
        Let’s make it right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Another organization with legal expertise who may help:
        The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit, public interest law firm.
        Breaking Through Power

        In Breaking Through Power, Nader draws from a lifetime waging—and often winning—David vs. Goliath battles against big corporations and the United States government. This is classic Ralph Nader, a crystallization of the core political beliefs and commitments that have driven his lifetime of advocacy for greater democracy.

        1. subgenius

          Your ‘democracy’ has already failed. Clinton helped administer the lethal injection, so why do you want to shill for her?

          1. hunkerdown

            Might you be ascribing a partisan history to Bev Harris that isn’t? I think Bev could eventually get to “don’t hate the election officials, become the election officials” and thence to shadow elections. We can only run experiments and watch them fail or work from a distance, and not as often as we should.

            Note that her facts are very compatible with that of the FBI’s second email concern being instrumental in getting Clinton’s fix turned off, lest some very damaging facts become public.

            1. subgenius

              The system was irrevocably broken quite some time ago. As far as I can tell, this kind of argument is now (almost) exclusively being used to try to delegitimize the current result in favour of Clinton.

              I still stand by the argument that it is simply not possible to repair the current system – it can only be destroyed and a new one put in place. The entrenched interests are just to entangled to be rooted out of this one.

              But yeah, I take your point and offer apologies to Bev, in this case…

            2. subgenius

              Sorry, been a fraught day and an earlier comment with an apology appears to have been lost. Common theme, actually.

    2. WJ

      You troglodyte. Everybody knows that voting is the way you signal your virtue, not express your self-interest!

        1. jrs

          “virtue signaling” itself is meme-signaling of the latest phrase, should just be called “showing off” as someone said. Because showing off is actually far richer in connotation.

          How should I have any idea what is going on with the protests right now? The news. Yes, but I’m not sure one can really know unless they go there (remember the news doesn’t accurately represent protests anyway). I think really it’s “not my protest”, as I wanted giant meteor. But I can think of good reasons to protest that aren’t virtue signaling, to drive a larger left agenda (beyond Clinton), because of genuine concern about Trump and wishing to get an early start on protest. I mean there’s no end of emo about the election it is true, but protesting now I don’t know, if one genuinely was concerned about any (not necessarily all) aspects of the Trump agenda it could be considered getting a jump on it.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            One can “show off” for many other reasons than “virtue.” In addition, “signal” connotes like minds recognizing each other (hence, to my mind, connotes the presence of class and cultural markers). “Show off” does none of those things.

    3. Pat

      Funny how being egalitarian means losses for the masses and gains for those at the top. Does anyone expect anyone but the rubes, regardless of ‘identity’, to continue to support policies and their advocates that do not benefit them? It isn’t as if the Obamas and the Clintons and the Bushes and the …haven’t all come out richer and with more opportunities for themselves and for their children, as for their backers. Well until the rubes rebelled their millions spent on the politicians have been pennies that grew into dollars.
      But still only the unimportant voters are supposed to disregard self interest.

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Economic self-interest could trump racial bigotry, if that was the issue.

      Similarly, economic self-interest can overcome the glass ceiling, if the latter is the issue.

    5. JTMcPhee

      I’m curious about the “self-interest” thing: Seems at root mostly about getting more money and thus more stuff, for some that means a decent job and food-and-water-and-housing security. There’s some fripperies of garnish on the plate — “Global warming AAAAHHHIEEEE!,” lgbtq, beating up on a few Others, more power for “my group,” things like that. All about my sadly dead cat’s favorite word: “MEE-NOWWWW!”

      Any chance of getting people to identify self-interest as something bigger, at least species- if not biosphere-large?

      Probably not…

      1. inhibi

        Only when SHTF, will us as a species ‘wake up’…forcibly.

        Looking at 1st world governments, I don’t think a single one would, for just a second, think about compromising its GDP for the environment.

        So yeah, the Ayn Rand philosophy so tightly wound in the corporatists and political class has finally made its way down to the ‘little man’.

          1. WheresOurTeddy

            Whenever I am reminded of Ayn Rand, this comes to mind (on the difference between “Atlas Shrugged” and “Lord Of The Rings”:

            “One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”

            1. jrs

              Lord of the Rings gets boring when it goes into being mostly about battle though (after the 1st of the 3 books pretty much – I probably would like The Hobbit book better, maybe I should read that). Of all the things stories of war are, they are mostly boring. If only the whole world was bored of war.

        1. Vatch

          Looking at 1st world governments, I don’t think a single one would, for just a second, think about compromising its GDP for the environment.

          True. It’s also true of many Third World governments (perhaps all of them, but I don’t have evidence for that). A prime example is India. It’s hard to blame them for this; instead, I do blame them for having out of control overpopulation, because that’s why they plan to double their coal usage.

          India is already the world’s fourth-largest emitter of carbon dioxide after China, the United States and the European Union, releasing more than 2 billion metric tons in 2013. By 2030, emissions are projected to rise to between 4 billion and 5.6 billion metric tons, according to modeling studies.

          Government leaders are unapologetic about India’s right to pollute, just as other nations have done in the quest for prosperity.

          “We need carbon space, please vacate the carbon space which countries have occupied,” Prakash Javadekar, India’s environment minister, said in a recent interview. “We want free carbon space where our development can be parked. We want to bring them [poor people] out of poverty. … And to that end, we’ll produce more energy.”

          Another article with similar information:

          1. hunkerdown

            The environment won’t have them ejected from office and bayoneted gruesomely for failure. Bankers, otoh…

          2. Felix_47

            Thanks for the link to the SA story. It is always the same sad story in India and it breaks your heart to read that rural Indians are paying half their monthly income for enough electricity to run one light bulb. Patriarchy run wild. The west should give green cards and allow all the women in India to leave for Germany or the US…….the men……not so sure they need to come. And does anyone think birth control is not an emergency? If they don’t have electricity and light at night what do you think they are doing? Just 25 years of one child one couple would do more than all the development funds in the world. Rather than wave our hands about CO2 production how about paying real money and benefits in return for real population control in India as well as in the US, for that matter.

        2. JTMcPhee

          And from Bloomberg,

          “Humans aren’t just changing the climate, we’re changing life itself.

          It’s not just about us.”

          But then there’s all these new trade routes and marketing opportunities opening up! So who cares about polar bears and plankton and who gets to shoot the last elephant?

    6. jrs

      Well maybe it shouldn’t be the *only* reason for voting. And that’s not a darn thing about signaling virtue but just concern for the larger community. I don’t even smoke weed, and a lot of people voting for legalization don’t for instance, they are just tired of criminalization.

      But let’s say there are all these self-interested racist troglodytes out there, it’s still a good market for things like single payer. Because it doesn’t just benefit the blacks on welfare (the stereotype) but all races and ALL incomes, so I think much of the country at this point wants single payer for that very reason.

      It also at this point will win over the opposition that isn’t just “poor working class whites voting against their self-interest”, which NEVER REALLY WAS the bulk of the people voting Republican, but those much higher up the income scale who are the people who are dyed in the wool Republicans, because even they are tired of American healthcare.

    7. beth

      Just who does the NYT represent really? The public? The wealthiest NYers? Historically you can see the paper was late to the game in supporting child labor laws & feminism first time round. The more history I read the more I see that they always represented the establishment, whoever that was at the time.

      It really would be hard for a newspaper in NYC to ignore the movers and shakers in their own city. Yet they seem to have others who are currently increasing their circulation. What scares me is that the NYT could end up increasing unrest by presenting gender equity and ethnic equity as a dichotomy to be exploited, just like Trump does.

  2. Linda

    Cat in the window photo caption translation:

    “Assange’s cat stole the show Monday at the Embassy of Ecuador.”

    (Embassy Cat dressed for the occasion of the Swedish prosecutor taking Assange’s statement Monday at the embassy of Ecuador in London.)

  3. financial matters

    Carolyn Sissoko has an interesting new paper out, Financial Stability, in which she takes on the nature of money problem.

    I think her concluding paragraph is interesting

    “”This analysis raises a host of questions: If the unsecured credit lines that make the payments system function smoothly are liquidity, then are these credit lines also money? Should they be money? If these credit lines that are so important to the operation of the payments system are not money, then what is the point of defining money at all? I am still puzzling over these questions so I only ask them and don’t pretend to answer them here.””

    As a derivatives expert she takes on the interesting question of how these complex sources of credit function, they provide credit but are they really money.

    I think Ingham makes a great point relevant to this, “all money is credit but not all credit is money”

    Sissoko acknowledges the role that sovereign governments play in establishing money systems but I think gives too much credit :) to private bank credit creation.

    If money grew on trees it would be worth very little (Wray 2004)

    Money is the result of the struggle between debtors’ demand for money and creditors’ belief that the state can service its debt, which in turn depends on tax revenues. And it is the need to work for a taxable income that gives it value. (Ingham)

    Taxes don’t finance spending but are necessary for money to have state backed value. They are also an important way for the state to transfer resources whether for bank bailouts, wars, social security, health care or whatever the state deems important.

    1. BecauseTradition

      If money grew on trees it would be worth very little (Wray 2004)

      That would depend on the rate of growth and, assuming every citizen had an equal number and quality of such trees, be an ethical means to create fiat apart from normal deficit spending for the general welfare.

      Of course there are no such trees but equal fiat distributions to all adult citizens could have the same effect.

      1. financial matters

        I do like the idea of a basic income guarantee, probably best used in concert with a job guarantee.

        I think it could provide a good balance against our increasingly precariat society and help compensate various reproductive type work.

        “As Ontario’s economy grows, the government remains committed to leaving no one behind. Maintaining an effective social safety net is one part of the government’s broader efforts to reduce poverty and ensure inclusion in communities and the economy,” Ontario’s budget statement said.

        It added: “The pilot project will test a growing view at home and abroad that basic income could build on the success of minimum wage policies and increases in child benefits by providing more consistent and predictable support in the context of today’s dynamic labour market.”

        1. JEHR

          If you want an update on this project (Nov. 15, 2016), read here.

          This paragraph from the writer, John Clarke, is germane:

          The increased income that will go to Segal’s test subjects should be provided (and more) to every person on social assistance in Ontario and the minimum wage should become a living wage, with an immediate increase to $15 an hour. The real implications related to the concept of Basic Income have to be considered apart from Segal’s quest to discover the obvious. That some of the poorest workers are going to be a bit better off with some extra money is clear but the issue is what it would mean to top up the wages of millions of low paid workers out of the tax revenues while letting their employers off the hook entirely when it came to paying living wages. That a group of people on social assistance will do better at 75% of the Low Income Measure than at 45% is a given but what happens if a basic payment is introduced while public services are being degraded and supports, especially for disabled people, are going under the austerity knife?

          1. financial matters

            Thanks, I think these are great points on the dangers of a basic income and emphasize why a good job guarantee should be the first order of business. The job guarantee is what should set the baseline for private employment to compete with.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              We used to have a mechanism, not to guarantee jobs but rather to ensure Labor at least had a defensible seat at the table with Capital: it was called “collective bargaining”. Now Capital has all of the seats, so instead of a fair balance of interests we’ll get violent revolution.

    2. JTMcPhee

      On the point of derivatives and, what do they call the scorekeeping in that realm, “notional dollars?”:

      Why are derivative transactions not understood as counterfeiting?

      What is a “notional dollar?” Maybe I don’t get it, but it seems the people and institutions with lots of what I would consider as fraudulent wealth based on exposure of ordinary people to “private gain, social loss,” get treated as if all that Funny Munny was actual real wealth because it is so, SOOO huge, and so they get the best tables at the swankest restaurants, builders of megayachts and million-dollar watches are happy to hand over the merchandise to them, all of that.

      And how does one wrap one’s head around the apparent reality given by the answer to this question, which seems to impact the larger nature and quantum of “money:”

      Q: How big is the derivatives market? By J.B. Maverick | May 27, 2015 — 3:11 PM EDT

      A: The derivatives market is, in a word, gigantic, often estimated at more that $1.2 quadrillion. Some market analysts estimate the derivatives market at more than 10 times the size of the total world gross domestic product, or GDP. The reason the derivatives market is so large is because there are numerous derivatives available on virtually every possible type of investment asset, including equities, commodities, bonds and foreign currency exchange. However, some analysts challenge estimates of the size of the derivatives market as vastly overstated.

      Determining the actual size of the derivatives market depends on what a person considers part of the market, and therefore what figures go into the calculation. The larger estimates of the market come from adding up the notional value of all available derivatives contracts. But analysts who disagree with the largest estimates of the market argue that such a calculation vastly overstates the reality of derivatives contracts, that the notional value of underlying assets does not accurately reflect the actual market value of derivative contracts based on those assets.

      An example that illustrates the vast difference between notional value and actual market value can be found in a popularly traded derivative, interest rate swaps. The large principal amounts of the underlying interest rate instruments, although usually included in the calculation of total swaps value, never actually trade hands in derivatives trading. The only money actually traded in an interest rate swap is the vastly smaller interest payment amounts, sums that are only a fraction of the principal amount.

      When actual market value of derivatives, rather than notional value, is the focus, the estimate of the size of the derivatives market changes dramatically. However, by any calculation, the derivatives market is quite sizable and significant in the overall picture of worldwide investments.

      I see that various analysts and experts have various opinions, hugely differing, by orders of magnitude, on the “size” and “value” of the whole Funny Munny thingie. But because it’s so huge, it has Big Momentum and thus Reality. I see that massive ramparts of economontological justification have been raised up to “protect that market” from people with pitchforks and “incomplete understanding of Trade.” I guess I just don’t have the little gray cells to figure it out, so it’s my failing…

      Gets back to that question that keeps popping up here: “What is money?”

    3. Conor O'Brien

      from financial matters: “ and creditors’ belief that the state can service its debt, which in turn depends on tax revenues”
      and on Urban living affecting mating choices: “Something that is a reliable signal in the wildlands may be completely unreliable in an urban environment.”
      Will the tax revenue signal be valid still when financiers grow fancier, but avoid paying their taxes,

      1. financial matters

        I think that gets into the idea of a liquidity crisis. As the credit spigot dries up prices will fall. A lot of credit seems to be based on exotic instruments.

        –On an inverse pyramid at the bottom little pinnacle are the central banks, 2%, then there are bank loans, 19%, then securitized debt, 38% and then derivatives 41%.

        The 2% is the $16 trillion pool of Treasuries. This is the high powered money that backs up or is the foundation for the rest.– (Satyajit Das)

        This is financialization run amok and what he calls ‘cotton candy’ which is spun sugar composed mostly of air.

        High powered money is what I have called ‘money’.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          But “credit spigots” no longer dry up, Mario assured us his spigot is “unlimited” and he’s now underwriting CCC junk on his way (like the BOJ) to buying anything that is not nailed down. One analyst said he thought the Fed’s balance sheet would expand to $10T in the next crisis, my question would be “why not make it $20T? $100T?”. Because in that intellectual framework of course the amount does not matter at all if the principle it’s based on is sound. This is where the debt-based money people’s heads usually explode, or they start talking about platinum coins or the Central Bank of Mars.
          Of course nobody wants to take their medicine, it tastes yucky after all…but a credit-based system is no system at all unless bad debts are allowed to clear. Just because they’re currently swept under the (CB) rug or are tenuously serviceable at zero interest rates does not mean they are money good.

      2. Oregoncharles

        ” Urban living affecting mating choices: “Something that is a reliable signal in the wildlands may be completely unreliable in an urban environment.””
        And does this apply to people? Because I suspect that it does, and might explain a lot.

    4. uncle tungsten

      Money washes ashore on beaches in some cultures. The people have agreed to attribute value to specific shells and as such they enrich many people’s lives even to the extent of being the foundation of marriage ceremony hence the guarantor of bringing children forth. Beautiful artefacts constructed from the shells enable or enhance much of human transaction in these societies and equally transmit knowledge to each generation.

  4. mk

    Where the Democrats went wrong CNBC. Obama: “[O]ne of the issues that Democrats have to be clear on is that given population distribution across the country, we have to compete everywhere, we have to show up everywhere.” Throwing Clinton under the bus…
    I yelled at the radio after hearing this, because he means just showing up, telling people what they want to hear, then doing whatever the hell you want after getting elected. Not one word about actually meeting peoples needs. EFF OBAMA and the DEMOCRATIC PARTY!!

    1. Eureka Springs

      If you didn’t read this (linked yesterday), you should consider both reading and sharing far and wide. The entire system is designed to be anti-representative. Don’t just get/stay mad, quit expecting a bunch of gangsters to function democratically. Get out of their box.

      1. JohnnyGL

        That was a good one, thanks for the reminder to read. I missed yesterday.

        I didn’t realize 3rd party access was much harder and more variable than in other countries.

      2. Waldenpond

        Excellent piece. I read that yesterday and marked it for the future. It’s what everyone already knows and feels and the writer did a good job laying out our electoral regime (authoritarian), the difficulties and failures working from inside and outside the D branch of what is legally one entity the ‘duopoly’.

        His solution of using PACs to get around the barriers?

        First: I’m just not sure of the shift to a ‘new party’ argument with a reliance on Sanders. (He seems to be describing the Green Party) I do agree that it would need a Sanders reputation, experience, a following and fundraising, but there can only be a Sanders through the duopoly. I just don’t see someone succeeding from the outside. That person would need to have been vocal on issues, have a following (celebrity) and inherent wealth or the ability to raise money.

        Second: Ourrevolution formed as a dark money lobby group. Simultaneously announced it would be transparent yet would provide cover for large donors (not transparent) and has since made the same muddled statements instead of releasing documentation.

        Third: just as ballot access favors major parties, the major parties would immediately trot off to the courts and legislatures to adjust the error of allowing third parties equal access to PACs.

      3. Oregoncharles

        Thanks for flagging that. I should have read it but didn’t – the title isn’t helpful. I’ll be sending it to the Oregon Green Party. Haven’t gotten to the proposals yet
        Note: Oregon, a Populist state, is easier than a lot of them. Even so, maintaining ballot access becomes the party’s main task; and I’ve experienced the effect of discrimination on the availability of candidates. That, in turn, becomes an excuse for leftish folks to stick with the Democratic Party – right into the present pit of hell.

        This line stuck out for me: ” Instead, we need to realize that our situation is more like that facing opposition parties in soft-authoritarian systems, like those of Russia or Singapore.” “More like”? Or exactly the same?

      4. Oregoncharles

        And a further note on the piece. I suspect that this:

        “But it would avoid the ballot-line trap. Decisions about how individual candidates appear on the ballot would be made on a case-by-case basis and on pragmatic grounds, depending on the election laws and partisan coloration of the state or district in question. In any given race, the organization could choose to run in major- or minor-party primaries, as nonpartisan independents, or even, theoretically, on the organization’s own ballot line.

        The ballot line would thus be regarded as a secondary issue. The organization would base its legal right to exist not on the repressive ballot laws, but on the fundamental rights of freedom of association” –

        is smoke and mirrors, that it would mean there isn’t really a party there. His plan is actually to make it PRIMARILY a fund-raising device, like Our Revolution or ActBlue, but with its own platform and members to, in theory, keep it honest. This I would like to see.

        To that point, he’s describing the way the Green Party operates, though he might not realize it. But we do worry about ballot lines and therefore are in the trap he describes. If his vision is possible, it could make a big difference. One note: the Green Party is not a labor party. We theoretically support labor, but they don’t support us, so it’s a dubious relationship. And his biggest problem may be that organized labor is now too small to start a functional national party. A lot of their membership is quite conservative, as Trump just demonstrated.

    2. Jim Haygood

      Speaking of “competing everywhere,” links above suggest that Senator Chuck Schumer of NY (where Hillary got 57.5% of the vote) is poised to become Senate minority leader, while Rep Nancy Pelosi of CA (where Hillary got 61.4% of the vote) is seeking re-election as House minority leader.

      Sticking with the Democrats’ bicoastal elite, NYC-SFO safe spaces is hardly the way to start “showing up everywhere.” There’s 3,000 miles from sea to shining sea. Outside of some African-American tilted districts in the Southeast and some Hispanic-tilted districts in the Southwest, Dems have almost nothing in flyover country. But the faithful Norwegians and Swedes in Mpls still love them. :-)

      From a general management POV, sticking with the same leadership after a massive institutional failure is a recipe for more of the same.

      Can’t some private equity fund just buy out the Democratic party, fire the management, leverage it up, grab some market share, and spin it back off? Stock symbols DEM and DIM are taken, but DNKY is available. Still time to get in on the ground floor!

      1. Anne

        It may well be that inside the bubble, the idea of a Schumer/Pelosi leadership team sounds just ducky, but out here in the real world, it just reinforces the growing suspicion that the Democrats have failed to learn any of the right lessons from this election.

        I was talking about this with a co-worker yesterday, and he said, “But Schumer is backing Keith Ellison for head of the DNC – doesn’t that say something?” It does, but I’m not sure that it says everything my co-worker thinks it does – or wants it to.

      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        This is only true if the Dems thought their constituents were people. They’re not, the Dem constituents are Dollars. They’re not located in Montana or Kansas or Tennessee…the Dem constituency is located in Martha’s Vineyard, Davos, Riyadh, 200 West St NYC (Goldman HQ), 800 North Lindbergh St. Louis (Monsanto HQ) and Panama.

        1. hunkerdown

          OTPBDHAL, their constituency is domiciled in those places. In reality, it’s mostly located in Nevada on the down low.

      1. JohnnyGL

        Yeah, it’s all problems with campaign strategy and operations.

        Dem Votes:
        2008 – 69.5M
        2012 – 66M
        2016 – 62.5M

        7M fewer votes in 8 years CANNOT possibly be related to the way a campaign was run. It’s because you and your party did a crappy job and people are jumping ship.

    3. temporal

      So my understanding that the President of the party is always considered to be the nominal leader of that party must be wrong. In all things, politicians never accept responsibility. When they figure out that they made mistakes they always find someone else to blame.

      O pontificating on things he denied to be true a week ago. Things that have been obvious for as long as there have been political parties. Ds have been playing the losing game of smacking the populists around for so long they don’t even understand what they are saying or how to say it.

      Ds don’t have to “show up” everywhere, Ds have to work to help people improve their lives. Just showing up doesn’t cut it. Dude can’t even say it right.

      O didn’t throw Clinton under the bus so much as show that his leadership of the Ds was a failure.

      1. Isolato

        I finally realized that “getting to the bottom of things” meant finding the poor snot least able to defend himself and totally disposable…then blaming him!

      2. edmondo

        “….we have to show up everywhere.”

        So says the man who killed the 50-State Strategy as his first order of business.

    4. Optimader

      He’s still POTUS? Must be, they still turn on his microphone

      Truncate to”just show up” (after golfing) summarizes his two terms.

    5. Ping

      I react the same way to the falsehood that simply showing up to spout platitudes wins elections anymore……

      Hello…..the population is largely cynical now about trade deals, wars and vapid promises. All the righteous indignation about Ukraine is DOA. It’s Russia’s border for chrissakes and it’s the European’s business.

      Deploying all over the world and propping up relics of the past like NATO only benefits war profiteers and looters.

      In varying degrees, some subconscious, the public understands that US foreign policy agenda has nothing to do with spreading ‘democracy’ but a clandestine geo political chess game that couldn’t care less about the well being of American society and is causing a ‘great unraveling’.

    6. oh

      I wonder what his reason was for his democrats losing Congressional seats in 2010 and 2014?
      Of course it’s never his fault. Someone else screwed up.

  5. EndOfTheWorld

    RE: Donald Trump ditches his press pool again, spurring sharp criticism.—Question: did Trump break any laws? Answer: I don’t think so. Quote: “Last week the White House Correspondents Association called the president-elect’s travel without journalists “unacceptable”. Retort: I call the WHCA’s performance in “journalism” unacceptable.

    1. Waldenpond

      I actually agree with them…. and you. It ‘IS’ unacceptable the elect is without journalists. They aren’t journalists. They are texted/emailed their talking points, they don’t need to be on the plane or in the room to receive them.

  6. Jim Haygood

    At the NY Times, new print and digital subscriptions have risen at four times their normal rate since election day, according to spokeswoman Eileen Murphy. The company saw record traffic on its website Nov. 8 through Nov. 10, the newspaper said in a statement Monday.” — Times Picayune

    Well, there’s a reason for that. NYT’s site was opened up, subscription free, on election day.

    If Budweiser America had a free beer day, it would soar to No. 1 in sales … proving nothing except that everyone loves a bargain.

    1. Carolinian

      Yes “record traffic”–wonder why? Did something happen on November 8? I did find the notion that John Oliver is leading the turnaround for the NYT somewhat comic. People who watch John Oliver probably already get or read the NYT. The truth is Oliver is a very timid contrarian.

    2. optimader

      Well, I suppose they could use all those IP addresses to geolocate clicker demographics and retool their propaganda presentation? ..or not..

  7. Kokuanani

    If I swapped that paragraph from Teixeira into a Thomas Friedman column, would anyone notice?

    What is the Moustache of Wisdom saying these days anyway? And how about Krugman?

  8. Carla

    On PRI’s The World, Sarah Chase, author of “Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security” finally addresses why corruption threatens U.S. security specifically.

    At the 23:00 mark on the audio:

    I kept waiting for her to get to the U.S. throughout her book, but she really only hinted. Now she is more forthright. Apparently she was waiting for permission from Sanders, Trump and 70% of the American electorate.

  9. hemeantwell

    In effect the Clintons and Blairs surfed on their grievances and inequities, making themselves rich and leaving their voters in the dust. This hasn’t gone unnoticed, which is one reason the old politics is no longer working.”

    I went to a discussion of the election outcome last night during which corruption and political profiteering didn’t come up as an negative influence on potential Democratic voters. It’s just an impression, but this accords with what I’m seeing in the MSM. For instance, it’s only in a Guardian article containing interviews with WWC voters that the writer allows quotations from the voters to raise the issue.

    In my view, the case for purging Clintonites from the DNC can be justified many times over. But the cherry on top of the argument is that they are correctly perceived as dishonest and corrupt by many voters, and until they are purged the Dems will be severely hampered in mounting a case against Trump. And it is not just their removal that is necessary. An explicit condemnation is required. The issue has to be acknowledged and acted on, not made to go away.

  10. financial matters

    Not sure if Trump realizes this but there is already a blueprint for creating infrastructure jobs. (hat tip SK)

    “”A lot of this has to do with the fact that Americans continue to be subjected to bad jobs or unstable employment — and those who are employed often face stagnant or even declining wages. The fragility of Americans’ economic well-being is epitomized by the National Coalition for the Homeless’ estimate that 44 percent of homeless persons actually have jobs, albeit poorly paid jobs.

    The expansion of “flex work” arrangements, which make work hours uncertain, contribute significantly to income volatility for workers in low-pay sectors of the economy. Around 50 percent of Americans could not meet a $400 emergency expense by drawing upon their personal savings if they had to.

    An alternative to these conditions is the adoption of a federal job guarantee, a policy that would insure the option for anyone to work in a public sector program, similar to what the Works Progress Administration established in the 1930s.

    Each job offered under a federal employment assurance would be at a wage rate above the poverty threshold, and would include benefits like health insurance. A public sector job guarantee would establish a quality of work and the level of compensation offered for all jobs. The program would be great for the country: It could meet a wide range of the nation’s physical and human infrastructure needs, ranging from the building and maintenance of roads, bridges and highways, to school upkeep and the provision of quality child care services””

    1. A

      A WPA-like jobs program for *some* infrastructure may be useful. But building complex structures like freeways, 5-story buildings, and the like requires skilled labor using big equipment (not a thousand laborers on the end of shovels).

      There are other jobs (service) that need doing and are not related to the construction industry (infrastructure): maintenance of parks, removing graffiti, providing access to community services, health and finance counseling, etc.

      There is much work that needs doing in the U.S. that could be part of a “jobs program” and bring about a more equitable economy. (And the “culture” of this near brain-dead nation might improve, as well.)

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        I’m not sure we even have the skills left to do big infrastructure, witness the *18 years* it took to build the new (unsound) SF Bay Bridge, the Chinese would have had that one done in 18 weeks with time left over for dim sum:
        What happens to a country that can’t make anything anymore?

    2. jrs

      Well FDR did invest in a very wide range of things, including art, including civilian conservation corps etc.. Though being it’s the year 2016, I’d like my federal jobs programs to be Jill Stein’s Green New Deal. Yea I know, dream on, we’re stuck with Drumpf who believes environmental issues aren’t real or something.

  11. Jim Haygood

    There she blows — the US dollar index DXY touched 100.53 just after 7 am — a 13-year high. Chart:

    Here comes the showdown with China … right here, right now. And it’s arrived long before Admiral Giuliani has his 350-ship navy deployed.

    China’s currency is getting lifted higher, simply by virtue of its de facto peg to the US dollar. This is intensely painful for Chinese exporters selling to the rest of world ex-USA.

    As a sovereign nation, China is under no obligation to peg its currency to the dollar, though it’s been a common policy throughout Asia. But currency warrior Chuck Schumer (a lawyer, not an economist) — who’s about to be elected Senate minority leader — says China should be punished for failing to lash its yuan to the mast of the runaway USD.

    How does China spell relief? D-E-V-A-L-U-E … and let the chips fall where they may.

    1. cwaltz

      The 1.2 trillion dollars in treasuries that the Chinese own should be a sobering thought for the Trump administration.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        I don’t think the Chinese care one tiny bit about that pile of paper, they already got the good stuff in return: new ports, airports, factories, highways, high-speed rail, and a fast-growing lower middle class.

        1. cwaltz

          I believe they will care enough to leverage the pile of paper should President Trump decide he wants a trade war.

  12. Carolinian

    To Teixeira and the Dems re the great demographic hope: if the country ever does become majority non WASP–which seems to be their one and only idea–what makes you think it will be voting for you? My state has a black Republican senator and an Indian-American Republican governor. For many years the Republicans used the “southern strategy” and race as their wedge to keep the middle and lower classes voting for plutocracy. But despite some remnants of this in Trump’s campaign rhetoric (just trying to fit in?) this strategy is played out. SC still has some yahoos with confederate flags in the beds of their pickup trucks but they are regarded as cranks. We’re Facebook nation now and the business Repubs where I live think racism is bad for business. While the GOP still clings to their voodoo economics and is played out in other ways this much they seem to get. And while Blacks still overwhelmingly support the Democrats, how much longer will that last? The Dem strategy of themselves using racial politics, but in reverse, to keep the public voting for plutocracy has just been a big fail.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      If the demographic wave comes in, the Democrats, both elites and the local level Democratic tribalists, can dump all the icky parts of politics such as canvassing and answering voters and can focus on fun parts such as victory parties and laughing at poor people. Now they won’t have to hear any criticism about their best friend, Obama or Hillary, because they will be assured of their righteousness. Now they can go back to discussing the social impact and telegraphed mysteries of boring HBO shows.

      1. cocomaan

        The last sentence had me cracking up, thank you. Nothing like hearing about how we’re in “the Golden Age of television” or the one thousandth Fresh Air show about made up people.

    2. flora

      In 1985 southern Dem pols created the DLC whose objective was to work for big business and the 1%’s interests while running under the banner of working for “the working class, the forgotten man.” (Did the working class wanted a balanced budget and Nafta and privatized SS and charter schools?) Once one of their own got in the White House (Bill C.) the the DLC’s relationship to the working class – the purported object of their “affections” – was thrown overboard in favor of “the new economy struggling to be born”, they said. Now the “new economy” trope is used to push for more bad “trade” treaties, privatize SS, push charter schools, cut taxes on rich corporations, deregulate banks, privatize govt functions, set public-private agreements that loot the public treasury, and to implement the 1%’s wishes. The goal is always the same: cater to the 1%. The sales pitch changes.

      1. John k

        The goal is to maintain or increase bribes from anybody, domestic or foreign, that recognizes the fabulous return on investment that comes from paying said bribes. If that happens to be the 1%, or .1%, so be it.

  13. olga

    Not a big fan of Juan Cole… his headline “Will Trump really be Isolationist? Or will he March us to War?” is priceless. Is there really nothing in between the two? Can he spell cooperation?

    1. Pavel

      Given Juan was a big cheerleader for Hillary’s little Libyan adventure, a bit cheeky of him to have concerns about “marching to war”…

    2. Bittercup

      In Juan Cole’s defense, that article seems to have been written by Nick Turse… but other than that, ugh. Sounds like something that would come out of a college creative writing class, what with stuff like this:

      Under an inky sky ablaze with stars, the type of night you see only in the rural world, I looked toward the man who asked the question and half-shrugged.

    3. Arby

      Apparently, Mr. Cole remains blissfully unaware we are already and still at war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, etc., etc., etc.

      1. John k

        People in Yemen and Sudan might be hurt that you left them out… wait, I guess they’re hurt being included…

  14. cocomaan

    The Vox article on demographics by Ruy Teixeira:

    Looking back from 2032, we are far more likely to view the 2016 election as the last stand of America’s white working class, dreaming of a past that no longer exists, than as a fundamental transformation of the political system.

    Demographic destiny involves amazing promises. As a millennial, I was told in high school that demographic destiny would mean that Boomers would be retiring in droves, opening up gazillions of jobs, heralding in true power for the youth of the nation who would then be calling the shots. The bullshit dazzled the youth of the day.

    Here’s my brave prediction, based on my individual judgment: by 2032, demographics will have changed, but the brave new diverse world will still be electing morons to public office.

    I thought that this election would demonstrate that charlatans use demographic “analysis” as something akin to tea leaf reading, but I guess not. Class. It’s class, all the way down.

    The white working class surged for the Republican this year, but it is shrinking

    44% of eligible voters didn’t show up to vote. Many more were felons that couldn’t vote, like my neighbor. Turnout is all that matters. If hispanics or blacks or asians or native americans or amish or rednecks or whatever group you happen to court at the time turn out for you, you will win. If they stay home, you lose. I saw very little analysis of turnout in this election, which is why the predictions were dumb.

    1. Roger Smith

      Why do these fools assume it is only the white people that live in economic and moral misery? The precious minorities these arrogant liberals champion live in the same terrible conditions. African Americans, Native Americans, Latinos… yep, it is just the white people that have failed to land that high paying financial sector job! Way to go Vox, you solved it!

    2. tex

      Not to mention Texeira’s now tired essentialism: “brown people are somehow mystically programmed to vote democratic.” (if one reads between the lines of his stupid thesis). They are not reasoning beings, but robots waiting to show up for team D at all costs. Here’s my prediction: in 2032 eveyone who made predictions about 2032 in 2016 will either be dead or dead wrong.

    3. Paid Minion

      LOL………same BS from the PTB, passed down to the next generation. Seems like every generation has to relearn this stuff. Which is how scam artists stay in business, as long as they can BS people about “excessive regulation = bad”.

      When I was in school, it was “There are going to be millions of jobs opening up, when the WWII guys retire….”

      Then it was “….Korean War guys”. then “Vietnam”. Now, “Gulf War vets”

      In three hundred years, there will be some guy on one of the outer planets, trying to sell Spaceship Mechanics School to the kids by saying:

      “There will be tons of job openings, as soon as those Romulan Intergalactic Clone War guys retire……..”

  15. Marco

    MathBabe and the foreclosure vote. First link I’ve seen connecting Obama’s massive fail on housing and election results. Runway Foam Revolts.

      1. Optimader

        I tried unsuccessfully a few times to read an entire MB post. I’ll go back to notclicking on her site.
        I like the use of the collective “We”

        Thing is, BHO wasnt the Candidate, HRC was and she was so bad she lost to an admittedly flawed oppo. candidate.
        She grifted in “public service” for how many years yet ran a campaign that was utterly void of showcased accomplishments, indeed she attempted to obscure her moments of very bad judgement and instead pour resources into convincing the electorate that her opposition with no public sector record, is a racist, misogynist , ignorant, undisiplined, dangerous…ect and by extension ppl willing to risk voting for him are deplorable ( fill in the blank ) ppl unfit to receive her attention.

        HRC demonstrated bad judgement all the way into the ditch and MB de monstrates a lack of critical evaluation

      2. jrs

        “First, it means we need to help Trump voters smell their particular shit, which is going to be hard for them, because many of them actually trusted Trump’s promises. That means we document all the ways their expectations have been unmet in the next four years. We have to keep track of the inevitable blame game that Trump is so good at, where he will vilify random people when he fails to deliver his promises.”

        Well that’s basically what leftist sites have been trying to do about Obama for 8 years. And how did that work out?

        Did it help liberals smell their own particular shit (which doesn’t stink)? It doesn’t seem it really did, it seems to be mostly preaching to the converted (those who are basically convinced the whole U.S. political system stinks – who are correct in my view mind you), occasionally it’s useful at best for people just learning and scrambling around desperately to figure out what’s so wrong about the whole system, and why it’s not what they expected (not a place where they will get much help from mere Dem partisans).

  16. flora

    Re: A Trump administration thaw with Russia is ‘unacceptable,’ McCain says -WaPo

    I posted following in another link. It applies here,too.

    Interesting interview with Stephen Cohen:

    “If Trump moves to heal ties with Russia, establishment will oppose him fiercely.”

    “[Stephen Cohen]: …. One issue on which Trump was very different from Mrs. Clinton and from the whole foreign policy establishment, was on our relationship with Russia. We now – this is me speaking, not Trump – we are in a Cold War much more dangerous than the 40-year long Cold War that we fought and ended. There are three places where Russia and America could very easily suddenly be in a hot war. That’s the Baltic regions, that’s Ukraine and that’s Syria. Trump has said that he wants to do something about it to improve it. What he said is very fragmentary, but very different from what other people have said. He says he wants to work with President Putin, he said he thinks it would be great if Russia and the U.S. united to fight terrorism in Syria. He hasn’t said anything about Ukraine. These are pressing issues. If Trump were to move, and he shouldn’t do this publicly, he should begin privately but if he were to move towards a detente, as we used to call it, a reduction of conflict in a relationship with Russia and to open cooperation, let’s say, in Syria – he will find himself opposed by a fierce and powerful pro-Cold War coalition, Democratic and Republican, and including the media, here in the U.S. He will have to fight very hard. The other side of that story is, is that foreign policy is the one area where an American President can do things pretty much on his own. He doesn’t need Congressional support unless he wants a treaty. The question is, is Trump really going to do it, and you might ask, if President Putin is ready for this – I think he is! Whether Trump will now move – we’ll see.”

    aaand, cue McCain.

    1. Trout Creek

      The last President to cross the “establishment” regarding Russia was JFK.
      James Douglass documented the back channel diplomacy in his book,” JFK and the Unspeakable”. Book is here : . It’s a fascinating book on this theory of why JFK was murdered.

      1. hunkerdown

        Booga booga, JFK, JFK, creeeeeepy deeepy state…

        Did JFK have millions of small arms on his side and a 4chan Trumpjügend ready to roll at any time? Any covert agency that Tries Something will find their operatives bleeding out into the gutter within 72 hours, and good riddance. There are a few people these days who aren’t willing to spectate when injustice is in the process of being done.

      2. olga

        Reading the book right now… the creepiest part is his assertion (documented) that the CIA had infiltrated almost every fed agency. What is amazing is that it gained so much power in just 12-15 yrs after being established.

    2. Optimader

      The “establishment” already demonstrated the efficacy of it’s fierce opposion by backhandedly assisting Trump’s election

      1. Carolinian

        The Guilliani trial balloon is a real worry since, as Yves points out, he isn’t suitable to be Secretary of anything. Even Bolton might be better since he’s at least a rather obscure figure to most people.

        Interesting that so far many of the prominent figures in the Trump crew are people who have wanted to be president themselves. This is just like the Lincoln situation–that “team of rivals”–where his cabinet was made of people who thought they could do the job better than the actual president.

        But one should distrust all trial balloons floated by the NYTimes. The floater might be Guilliani himself and of course the Times (and Post too) are still in full smear mode.

        1. Carolinian

          As I was saying

          While the papers are full of (badly) informed rumors about who will get this or that position in a Trump administration let’s keep in mind that 90% of such rumors are just self promotions by people like Cohen who shill for the rumored job. That is why I will not write about John Bolton or Rudy Giuliani as coming Secretary of State. Both are possible (unqualified) candidates. But others are just as likely to get that position. We will only know who it is after the official release.

          1. flora

            Thanks for the link. Think the following is a sign that the neocons – or at least E. Cohen – aren’t being welcomed with open arms.

            “Eliot A Cohen @EliotACohen

            After exchange w Trump transition team, changed my recommendation: stay away. They’re angry, arrogant, screaming “you LOST!” Will be ugly.

            Retweets 3,719 Likes 3,204
            5:07 AM – 15 Nov 2016″

        2. optimader

          I puzzle on this.
          Theoretically the SoS should merely carry water for/reflect the POTUS policy agenda. That said, Gulliani seems a very odd bird based on his domestic-centric CV to even have floated up in the Trumperton Window?

          More darkly yet, RG is a Neocon, if you remember Norman Podhoretz was his foreign Policy Advisor in his ’08 campaign. Should a candidate with exclusively, domestic experience (except for his tepid role in the Iraq Study Group from which he resigned) be shoved in this role? I don’t think so. AS well he seems inconsistent w/ Trumps rhetoric about ME interventionism
          TRUMP on the Iraq war: “I have been clear for a long time that we should not have gone in. A policy inference diametrically opposed to Giuliani stated position.

          Someone suggested holding over Kerry for a considered selection period. Politically implausible re: Iran, but I think Kerry has pretty decently executed as a professional State Dept head-cipher, having done the current admins work for better or worse, I think w/o manifesting an acute personal agenda calculated to antagonize

          1. Carolinian

            Guiliani probably would prefer State because much more prominent than Attorney General. Of course he would be a terrible choice but so was Hillary. Still one would think the last thing the new administration needs would be dueling showboats. One Trump is enough.

  17. divadab

    Re: John McCain: “unacceptable” to thaw relations with Russia:

    Who is McCain representing with this view? It seems particularly demented to me. Seriously – how does anyone who openly foments war against a nuclear power get taken seriously?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      We live in a childish society. McCain has been pushing his garbage for years (Bomb bomb box bomb bomb Iran to the tune of “Barbara Ann”), and he is still a “very serious person,” a serious and moderate Republican. It’s not limited to McCain. Team Blue just ran Hillary Clinton, based on once having lived in the White House. Obama, the greatest orator of our day, is a man exclusively peddles in vague language and banality. He does have a pleasant voice.

      The Democrats in Congress did nothing with subpoena power, but when Rush Limbaugh called a Georgetown law student a slut, the women in Congress they were outraged and held a faux committee hearing to denounce a well known pig. When Congress cut food stamps, did the women in Congress protect women and children who are the most affected by the cuts? No.

      There was 100% at the “let’s humiliate Sammy Sosa for not knowing English” committee hearing led by Democrats. I think embarrassing Shrub was part of the whole baseball thing, but this is a childish society.

      1. John k

        Love the Barbara Ann ref, it gets played on my 50s station regularly. Perfect description of the McCain neocon wing.
        We have been on an accelerating downhill run towards war with Russia (that of course would not get out of hand), if that stops while nothing else useful comes from trump it will be a good deal.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          It’s McCain’s joke. There is a reason people went hopping mad when Obama said McCain cares. McCain is a psychopath.

          The apocalyptic talk about Trump as the destroyer of worlds and the GOP was usually done by people who don’t despise John McCain.

          Trump is awful, but McCain being taken seriously in DC is simply frightening.

  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Asia arms race if US withdraws forces.

    Savings from no arms in Asia = profit sharing with America???

    “Give us money, and we will stay.”

    1. Optimader

      Seems to me this is all the justification the MIC needs to justify rolling up the carpet and leaving?
      Opening exciting new markets!

      1. JTMcPhee

        I’ve noted this elsewhere, but doctrinally, the Petagram and its dingle-berries equate and conjoin “markets” with “full spectrum military dominance.” Finally, an honest statement of the various Doctrines, from Monroe to Carter to Reagan to 0Bomba. All under the rubric of saying that the entire planet, except where someone else has a defensible position, is a “commons” subject to the claims and power projection of the Empire. It’s a singularly dead-end “vision,” but it’s driven a lot of “policy” since some Institute-er coined the notion back around the turn of the (20th) century — building on the Great Mayan Doctrine of the prior century (“Brittania rules the waves, and hence the planet!” “The US ?mperial Military Rules The Commons — Air, Land, Water, Space, Cyberspace! To give us Full Freedom of Action against any and all opponents who resist Trade as our corporations practice it!” —

        “The Military And The Commons”

        And there’s this pretty concise statement of what the “muscular” policies and doctrines of our Rulers are, “going forward”:

        “The National Military Strategy of the United States: The United States Military’s Contributioin To National Security, June, 2015”

        Note the continuous abuse and redefinition of the notion of “the commons,” as it originally was when life was simpler — now just something to be “enclosed and dominated and extracted from,” the military dominance just being part of the whole “trade” apparatus of “globalization.”

        One more index of Why We Are All Fokked.

        1. optimader

          and its dingle-berries equate and conjoin “markets” with “full spectrum military dominance.”

          It seems to me the dingleberries interest is in selling the sizzle and supplying the minimally acceptable ground beef instead of the steak. Thishas been the opportunity to cultivate a perpetual garden of cost overruns over the life cycle of the “weapons platform”.
          Whether or not the fantasy of “full spectrum military dominance.” is ever achieved? Well, that’s quite beside the point I suppose. Ideally fo teh suppliers, that is the carrot just over the achievable horizon. Color me cynical

  19. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Americans roll the dice on Trump.

    Life is a gamble.

    (GM foods, anyone?)

    And God does not play dice (maybe other games?).

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Trump’s Transition Team Reshaped.

    That ‘reshaping’ should occur frequently now and during his presidency.

    Google guy and Goldman Sachs man here today, gone from the team tomorrow (hopefully).

  21. lb

    The New Balance story has really bugged me since the first article I saw on the subject, for a few reasons:

    Note the clip they chose to show regarding “trump protests” was in Portland, and the buried lede (perhaps) that Nike, nearby in Beaverton, supports the TPP, is a poster child for globalization, and so on. Cui bono if everyone hates New Balance?

    I see, as the polish on these stories evolves, enforcement of a certain pre-election framing: worry about identity politics and refuse to see anything through an economic lens. Now that Clinton doesn’t have to pretend to support the TPP, (Democratic party tribalist) people can go back to being told that the #1 priority is hating their chosen Lex Luthor (what do you call the inverted logic of people who think they’re going to find a better life if only we can elect their one true Superman?). Cui bono #2? The identitarians, the neoliberals and those who want the dominant narrative to be “Trump is Hitler” to the exclusion of the competing “Globalization vs Sovereignty” or “American socioeconomic suffering” narratives they desperately fear. I would expect this sort of pattern to hold with other stories, beyond shoe-burning.

    1. jrs

      Not just globalization vs sovereignty (although that’s the most important point on the TPP) or *American* socioeconomic suffering. But the suffering of people in other parts of the world, working under horrible conditions to produce those shoes. Now THAT is deeply immoral (the only shoes some people can afford so when that’s the case can’t blame them if they have no choice, but …). And for a company that seems from the article to be making in the U.S.A. and NOT using prison labor like so many U.S. companies are nowdays (also deeply immoral – modern day slavery).

      1. a different chris

        >working under horrible conditions to produce those shoes.

        But remember, otherwise they “have to live on two dollars a day!”… yeah, they had their own sources of food and heat and water but NeoLiberalization – before it even became a word – gave their land away to the rich for “money”, whatever that actually is, polluted the water and air and simply left them no other choice.

        So now instead of $2/day they could just pocket, they get $5/day which is taken from them by they time they even get back to the barracks they now have to live in.

        1. JohnnyGL

          The modern style of enclosures of land coming from the palm oil plantation owners in Indonesia that send streams of refugees fleeing the fires in their villages towards those $2/day jobs are never paid any mind, are they?

          Just like no one noticed the border problem and maquiladora labor problems resulted, at least partially, from cheap US corn getting dumped on the Mexican corn farmers and putting them out of business.

          The first task in capitalism is always to ‘create’ the cheap labor force that you’re going to need to put to work.

    2. fresno dan

      Statement on Trump Puts New Balance Shoe Company in Cross Hairs NYT. Domestic show manufacturer puts out statement saying Trump administration moved in the right direction on TPP. “Consumers” interpret this as support for Trump, tweet images of New Balance shoes burning. The Daily Stormer trolls them by proclaiming New Balance shoes “the official shoes of white people.” And now the talk is of boycotting New Balance. So the likely result is screwing the New Balance workers, who don’t seem to figure in any of the stories. Well played. These are juvenile antics. Couldn’t the identity politics crowd have done their virtue signalling by purchasing New Balance shoes, and putting Care Bear stickers on them or something?

      this is why we can’t have nice wages…

    3. Kurt Sperry

      New Balance were apparently stupid enough to make a statement with enough ambiguity to plausibly conflate themselves with the Trump camp. No business should be seen taking sides in a presidential campaign this divisive and polarizing. What’s the upside? They got sloppy with their messaging and stepped on a landmine. They could have been more careful to come out strongly anti-TPP without getting associated with Trump, and they obviously should have.

      I admire the company for its commitment to keeping US production of their product alive, but that was an unforced error they committed there.

  22. Pat

    If we were to start ranking our elected officials at past their sell by date, McCain would be near the top. It is truly sad that there was apparently no realistic alternative for the voters for him or Schumer or…

    McCain has not always been on the wrong side of every issue, but in foreign policy it is pretty close.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      McCain was briefly not on the wrong side in preparation for his 2000 run when he made tolerable noises. Did Jeffords even include him on the list of Senators he talked to when he left? It was Hagel, Snowe, and Collins, but I don’t remember McCain being mentioned.

    2. Arizona Slim

      He is indeed, Pat.

      But, as my handle suggests, I’m here in the Grand Canyon State of Arizona. Where Ann Kirkpatrick ran one of the lamest campaigns against McCain that I have ever seen. Heck, she made Rodney Glassman’s 2010 campaign look good, and that’s a real accomplishment.

      Ann, you were up against one of the biggest names in American politics, and you didn’t close the sale with Arizona’s voters.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Ann Kirkpatrick affirming that her vote for Obamacare was one of her proudest moments — as Obamacare premiums were doubling in AZ — ranks right up there with Walter Mondale’s “Of COURSE I’m going to increase your taxes.”

        Poor Ann thought she going to ride Hillary’s magnificent coach-and-four into the Senate. But in the cold light of morning, HRC’s carriage had morphed into a moldy pumpkin with mice gnawing it.

    3. Dave

      McCain wants more war to somehow make up for his capture and humiliation?

      Living off his beer billionheiress must gall him too.

      1. Carolinian

        Cockburn seems to suggest it’s all about his personality. He’s simply an a*shole and has been since youth.

  23. fresno dan

    There are two main reasons why selling individual insurance across state lines, as promoted by the Republican candidates, won’t serve as a cornerstone to healthcare reform. One is obvious, well-understood and often reported. The other is less well-known, but perhaps more important.

    An important point: We’re talking about individual policies. The rules are different for employer-sponsored insurance plans, which cover an estimated 60% of Americans with health insurance. Typically, those plans are self-insured, with the employer shouldering the risk and the insurance company providing mostly administrative services. Those plans are subject to federal law and exempt from state regulation.

    Now to the drawbacks. Most obviously, any such proposal means eliminating or at least sharply limiting individual states’ abilities to regulate their own individual health insurance markets. This would directly contradict another nostrum appearing in Trump’s policy statement (paragraph one), which advocates returning “the historic role in regulating health insurance to the States.”

    On the face of it, lowering state-level barriers to health insurance sales would launch a race to the bottom akin to what happened with credit-card regulations after 1978. That’s when the Supreme Court ruled that credit card regulations could be exported by banks located in one state to customers located anywhere else. (This was no reactionary ruling, by the way; it was a unanimous opinion, written by arch-liberal William Brennan.) The result was that credit card-issuing banks set up shop in places like South Dakota and Delaware, which had virtually no usury laws, effectively nullifying other states’ limits on credit card fees and interest rates.

    One can envision a similar reaction in health insurance. The Affordable Care Act sets nationwide standards for minimum benefits and consumer protection that must be met by every plan in the individual market, but many states have standards even stricter than these. California, say, would still have the right to impose tough regulations on insurers domiciled in the state.

    But the prospect is that Blue Shield of California would no longer be issuing policies to Californians; the state’s residents would have the choice of Blue Shield of Texas or Louisiana, or nothing. As industry expert Richard Mayhew of observed early this year, if a law was passed granting a national license to any insurer in any state, “the state with the weakest and most easily bought regulatory structure would have 98% of the viable insurance companies headquartered there within nine months.”

    Nice primer on why allowing insurance to be sold across state lines is no panacea

    1. Tom

      Another point from the article that really caught my eye:

      Selling insurance across state lines is a vacuous idea, encrusted with myths. The most important myths are that it’s illegal today, and that it’s an alternative to the Affordable Care Act. The truth is that it actually is legal today and specifically enabled by the Affordable Care Act.

      If this is indeed true, why don’t more people call out this “solution” as bunk whenever it is trotted out?

  24. Waldenpond

    2016 addition: bubble building.
    App to block ‘fake’ news. Apparently there is now a push to block (there’s an App for that!) ‘fake’ news sites. I was on adamjohnson’s twitter feed and noticed the topic and he pointed out it wasn’t ‘fake’ news sites that gave Trump nearly $2b in free media.
    Adam H. Johnson ‏@adamjohnsonNYC 7h7 hours ago

    it’s almost as if arbitrating what is and isn’t “real” news is ideologically loaded and subject to abuse from those in power.

    1. polecat

      Don’t use googlEYE, faceBorg, twitHead ….. and the like ..

      It’s that simple ! …. Don’t sell yourselves short and buy into their shit …it’s to your collective ruin, when it really should be theirs’ !

      the results are these irrational protests now on display, due to the critically unthinking nature of these mediums…

      1. polecat

        … the digitally expressed two-minute hate on steroids …on a planetary scale …..

        …. with Big siliCON giving their ever-present nudge …tipping the scales in their favor, and to your loss.

  25. Dave

    “However, there were very few economic opportunities or programs to address the needs of the deportees [in their home country],” Mike Allison, a political science professor at the University of Scranton, told Business Insider.
    “There is a bit more emphasis on speaking with deportees today, but there is limited assistance for those deported. There are no jobs,”

    And this is the fault, the responsibility and the obligation of tax paying Americans with few decent job opportunities because?

    1. apber

      Lots of propaganda and disinformation in Business Insider articles. They seem to have become full retard neoliberal. Following the same path as the NYT and WAPO on the road to oblivion?

    1. John k

      No, it was not. gaddaffi was one of the better Arab dictators for his people. Former terrorist reformed after reagans attack provided universal health care and education. They were quite peaceful when Arab spring arrived next door in Tunisia… interfering in their civil war resulted in destroying the country and creating a fertile ground for the terrorists there now. Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, everything we touch turns to sh!t, making terrorists and influencing people everywhere… and McCain wants to similarly impose our will on Iran and Russia…
      Global warning apparently too slow…

      1. apber

        We won’t die in the next 100 years from global warming, but we could lose 50% of the global population from the never ending and technically unstoppable Fukushima radiation, a certified ELE (Extinction Level Event).

        1. pretzelattack

          that’s pretty optimistic. a lot of us will likely die from global warming in the next 100 years. it’s happening faster than initially predicted.

          1. pricklyone

            In the next 100 years, almost 100% will die without global warming. Very few live past 100.
            Oh, you meant a global, intergenerational WE.

        2. Kurt Sperry

          I’d like to see links to reputable scientific sources for that, I couldn’t find any via search. It’s truly an extraordinary claim–of the rather common doomsday variety–and as such it needs extraordinary science-based proofs to back it up. Obviously not to minimize what happened, but the 50% figure doesn’t pass the sniff test for me.

    2. Carolinian

      He was for the Syria regime change as well. It’s been a long time since he opposed the Iraq invasion, was a regular critic of Israel.

  26. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    City living makes animals dishonest.

    What about plants? Indoor city living vs outdoor city living, to be even more discriminating.

    I believe these questions are worthy of a Ph.D. dissertation.

    If plants are immune, perhaps, the way forward towards a denser city living is for us to be more plant like.

    1. allan

      “… Schumer has also added West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) … to the leadership.

      Manchin will take over for Stabenow as vice chair of the Democratic Policy…”

      Because Mylan deserves a seat at the table.

      1. cwaltz

        I suspect they gave him his position because he threatened to switch teams.

        Progressive and liberal activists should target him though. The Democratic Party has flat out told you last cycle that your interests are not always their interests. It’s why they created a process to work around you. You should figure out a way to work around them. Hopefully people are learning from the primary process though that the entrenched interests are not going to go quietly into the night. They are not going to fund your Zephyr Teachouts and instead will spend the money on their Chuck Schumers.

    2. Bugs Bunny

      The comments section in The Hill:

      Good to see Dems have not learned their lesson from the election.
      Schumer is perfect. He and Leahy are the only ones as repulsive as Reid. That should turn off more voters.
      Loser selects loser leader for loser team
      Perfect! Set up for failure again
      Kind of like ruling over a pile of rubble at this point.

      That’s the general tone. Along with rejoicing from random Republicans.

      1. cwaltz

        The premature Republican rejoicing is funny. I guess they aren’t acknowledging all the lobbyists their own “outsider” has on his transition team.

        I am going to enjoy watching to see if the GOP learned anything from their lesson back in 2006 and 2008 when the electorate got thoroughly sick of them. They better figure out things like health care quickly or they’ll be out on their backsides.

        Get rid of worthless politicians posturing instead of working seems to be a bipartisan sentiment.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          The last thing the Republicans will or even want to do is drain the swamp, and Trump couldn’t do anything about if he wanted to, which I doubt. The contortions written on Trump’s face in response to Leslie Stahl asking why his transition team was almost 100% lobbyists are burned into my memory. Trump’s not all there upstairs, I swear. Which, further, isn’t all downsides.

          1. cwaltz

            I agree. The conservative activists have the same problem we do. Their professional class politicians are going to continue using and abusing them if it will earn them a buck to do so. (woohoo crony capitalism!)

            On election morning I got the impression that Trump was thrown by the results. He was not prepared to win. I suspect that in 4 years he may wish that he would have thrown it towards her.

          2. Optimader

            “Not all there upstairs”
            Probably not but who is. Who is the standard? I know it isnt me!

            We are all products of our collective experience.. I doubt he really experienced any profound duress,other than the derivative psyops of an alcoholic father which i suspect can be profound and crop up in peculiar ways –and perhaps loosing ~$1B of Monopoly money? But thats a different sort of duress if you have a few more B in assets.. i’d suppose?

            He has had a professional career probably with a minimum of hostile POV directed at him. We will see how he evolves, there will be more of that where it came from.

            BTW,I wonder how BHO or HRC would have responded to an immediatly hostile media? Doesnt matter, thankfully both are yesterdays news

            1. Optimader

              Btw, wasnt Trump a target of derision and ridicule from the RNC and most GOP stalwarts, as much as from the DNC and it’s peeps? At least thats my non-wonk perception

              Is so far as both party apparatchick rejected him, I’ll maintain Trump for better or worse is functionally the first third party candidate to win. Thats not to say R party parasites will now reject the convienince of a potus host, there will certainly be those undermining him inthe backroom.

    3. Waldenpond

      People are still running data on who, what, when, where, why and how Ds lost 2016.

      I hope the trackers are watching this for 2020. It looks like they can start the clock on when the loss occurred to within one week after the 2016 election.

    1. kj1313

      Bill Humprey who ran as a Social Democrat tweeted this about Schumer

      @BillHumpreyMA Schumer as Leader after Reid was a foregone conclusion for literally 6 years. Sorry to y’all just finding this out. Changes no expectations.

      -The time to stop Schumer’s coronation was 2-7 years ago. As with the presidential consolidation years ahead, it’s a done deal by this stage.
      -Don’t mean to discourage people by making it all seem pointless but I want newly engaged voters to understand the timescale of these choices
      -We have to be prepared to wage politics daily and 3-5 cycles of two years each ahead, all at once, in order to prevail.

      1. cwaltz

        Well that’s good to know. Are they also planning ahead their Democratic losses 3-5 cycles ahead?

        Adapt or die.

        The Democratic Party might want to consider that sentiment while rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

        The generation I raised is cynical(contrary to the popular belief that they are all idealistic pie in the sky dreamers) and giving Bernie a “special title” ain’t going to placate them or get them to vote Democrat.

      2. Kurt Sperry

        When the decision loop cycles at 7 years a lap, you start out that amount behind and you can only fall further and further with each iterative step. You’ve essentially gone from an open control loop system, where data from outside the system can constantly be correctively incorporated into the decision process, to a closed loop control that has no inputs for adding new data–essentially like flying blindfolded at low altitude under VFR.

  27. Carolinian

    This seems right up NC’s alley if nobody has linked

    Helicopter money is a new and rather pejorative term for an old and venerable solution. The American colonies asserted their independence from the Motherland by issuing their own money; and Abraham Lincoln, our first Republican president, boldly revived that system during the Civil War. To avoid locking the government into debt with exorbitant interest rates, he instructed the Treasury to print $450 million in US Notes or “greenbacks.” In 2016 dollars, that sum would be equivalent to about $10 billion, yet runaway inflation did not result. Lincoln’s greenbacks were the key to funding not only the North’s victory in the war but an array of pivotal infrastructure projects, including a transcontinental railway system; and GDP reached heights never before seen, jumping from $1 billion in 1830 to about $10 billion in 1865.

    Indeed, this “radical” solution is what the Founding Fathers evidently intended for their new government. The Constitution provides, “Congress shall have the power to coin money [and] regulate the value thereof.” The Constitution was written at a time when coins were the only recognized legal tender; so the Constitutional Congress effectively gave Congress the power to create the national money supply, taking that role over from the colonies (now the states).

    1. cwaltz

      I wish him lots of luck with him getting anyone to take him seriously.

      It’s not like the person who shared the ticket with him as a Republican would take that position seriously.

      1. hunkerdown

        As a matter of fact, he’s right — there are risks to the enterprise that cannot be eliminated, but many humans deem those risks acceptable for the pleasure it brings them (how dare they not put their employer and insurer first, I know). Notwithstanding that, he isn’t going to sell many of Nancy Reagan’s aspirins that way.

        The time to buy cheap surgical tools from China is right now.

  28. Waldenpond

    Targeted robocalls. I’ve noticed I don’t get many targeted ads. It’s extremely rare in fact. I shop at a store that does not sell it’s customers data, I buy in bulk, use cash etc. Online, I read a diversity of sites which has probably created overlap for the algorithms.

    I looked up an item last week and just received a robocall on a landline in the spouses name.

    Crapola, they found me. haha!

    1. Waldenpond

      Not by changing the system, but by continuing to tell the voters to get over it. I wonder if he’ll go with the pat-on-the-head strategy ..’those jobs just aren’t coming back/retrain’ -OR- if he’ll go with the shut-up-shut-up-shut-up-stop-yer-bitchin’ strategy that ‘the Rs are worse!’.

    2. Jim Haygood

      “the system’s not working for them and we’re going to change it to make it worse,” Schumer said.

      Fixed it …

      1. cwaltz

        By the time Schumer and company are done there may not be much left to salvage of the Democratic brand. A hostile takeover might not net what those looking to reform the party thinks if the brand becomes trashed beyond recognition thanks to the Wall Street career politicians and their grifting.

  29. temporal

    Because Xmas…

    Running out of Christmas ideas for that diehard Apple fan in your life? Well, how about a $299 coffee table book filled with 450 photographs of Apple products. The iPhone-maker unveiled just such a tome today, announcing that the book will go on sale tomorrow at and in select Apple retail stores. It’s a hardcover edition, bound in linen, and is available in two sizes: $199 for a smaller 10.20″ x 12.75″ version, and $299 for a larger 13″ x 16.25″ edition. The book is simply titled Designed by Apple in California — a name that somehow manages to be both humble and incredibly pretentious at the same time.

    Even has a picture of a Cube, like the one I still have, highlighted in the story. Wonder if my 12 core Mac Pro, Power Macs and Power Macintoshes are in there somewhere?. Or my mini?

    Hopefully these will end up on the remainders table soon, I need to fix a wobbly table.

    1. jrs

      Apples modern day version of the Sears catalogue, only you pay a boatload of money for the catalogue and you can’t actually use it to order products.

  30. meeps

    Perhaps the constancy of electromagnetism creates an equal opportunity environment for the transmission of signals? Maybe humans can pollute that environment too?

    1. craazyman

      if they can find a barcode in a distant galaxy then finding one on Mars or Venus should be a piece of cake, even with a telescope.

      what’s up with that NASA? they don’t want to admit theirs life in our solar system evidently.

      I wonder what the barcode was attached to. Strange they didn’t say.

  31. annie moose

    The dem’s are dead and gone, merica’s a one party shop. Jeebus will solve all our problems. I can feel abstinence-only coming to a school near you. Praise be for G.W. the lessor 2.0.

    1. hunkerdown

      What are you doing about this? Because, of course, what the schools and other liberal institutions teach is inviolable truth, and we can’t steer the younger people in our lives toward a more healthy skepticism of authority.

  32. Massinissa

    “What would populism look like in China”

    I know what it would look like, because there has already been a test case. I think it would look like Bo Xilai’s Neo-Maoism and Cultural Revolution style Red Culture, which was very successful and popular in Chongqing. You know, before the CCP decided he was a threat to their power and decided to lock him up and throw away the key

    Not saying I support Maoism, mind you, not anymore than I support Trump. But IMO considering that Bo Xilai already tapped into Neo-Maoism and was dangerous enough that the CCP had to take aggressive action against him, it wouldnt surprise me if another high ranking official or popular movement decides to take NeoMaoism again and run with it.

  33. LT

    The article about the Trump administration’s “deportation” plan seems more like a revolving door incarceration plan, hence rise in private prison stocks.
    I read an article from a woman who grew up in a rural Texas town. She said the main job creators were two private prisons in the area.
    I guess that was the real “dog whistle” that was heard while he was campaigning.

  34. LT

    Re: Will Trump be an isolationist or march into war…

    Fossil fuels and weapons sales to increase the quarterly growth of those corporations are probably about as far as they have thought. At the moment, the plans that sound like a retreat from the world are not that, it sounds like they are trying to increase the market for global weapons sales.
    The problem with that short term thinking is that a heavily armed world, with increasing numbers of governments viewed as hated and/or illegitimate as the majority of people suffer increasing austerity, will more likely go to war int hte future.
    He may be the administration that comes face to face with world conflict or it may be another one. At any rate, the USA is weak at diplomacy, and always itching to use their weapons…so a big one is likely.

  35. dcrane

    Re: Liberals foolishly(?) rooting for a Trump nomination back in Feb: Just because Hillary lost to Trump doesn’t mean she didn’t come closer to winning against him than she would have against some of the alternatives (Kasich, Bush, Rubio…).

    1. Oregoncharles

      People easily overlook the differences between the primaries and the general election.

      Still, it’s delightfully ironic.

      Further thought: maybe, maybe not. It was a “change” election; none of the other count as a “giant uplifted middle finger” (love that phrase) to the Establishment. Trump and Bernie did, in different ways. So despite the polling at the time, the others might have struggled with their own establishment status.

    2. Massinissa

      Im not so sure of that mate. I think she could have at least beaten Jeb. Probably Rubio too, he was such a weeny. As fro Kasich and Cruz, im not sure she could have beaten them. I would say she probably would have lost to someone like Kasich too, but its hard to tell. I think it would have, at the very least, been less of a landlslide than it was for Trump.

  36. Raj

    don’t understand why boycott is a bad strategy. Gandhi used it rather successfully to send his message across.

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