Links 11/20/16

Is Pot For Puppies Really a Thing? Fox (J-LS)

P.E.I. farmer assists in near-eradication of methane from cow farts CBC

Rates of Hothouse Gas Accumulation Continue to Spike as the Amazon Rainforest Bleeds Carbon RobertScribbler (guurst)

Amazon to sell Fiat Chrysler cars online Business Insider (resilc)


World’s Biggest Real Estate Frenzy Is Coming to a City Near You Bloomberg

IMF explaining its own contribution in destroying South Europe Defend Democracy

Possible Priorities of the 2017 German G20 Presidency Triple Crisis

Italy’s Government on Verge of collapse: Next Trumpian Domino to Fall? Michael Shedlock (EM)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Pentagon and intelligence community chiefs have urged Obama to remove the head of the NSA Washington Post (martha r)

Second Chinese Firm in a Week Found Hiding Backdoor in Firmware of Android Devices Bleeping Computer


“Jerusalem Mayor Threatens to Demolish ‘Hundreds’ of Palestinian Homes if Illegal Settlement Evacuated Newsweek (Judy B)

Trade Traitors

The Latest: Mexico seeks to push ahead on TPP without US Washington Post (martha r)

China, Russia to Push for Free-Trade Area in Asia-Pacific Bloomberg. Repeat after me: there is no such thing as “free trade”. There is only managed trade. Nevertheless…..

Mexico Seeks Trump Talks to Modernize Nafta, Pena Nieto Says Bloomberg

Trump Transition

The Knowns and Unknowns of Donald Trump’s Foreign Policy Atlantic (resilc)

Trump meets Romney: President-elect and critic in talks BBC

Donald Trump and Mitt Romney Parley After Months of Clashes Wall Street Journal. Very thin on substance, which suggests not much in the way of thawing took place.

Could David Petraeus, Rumored Candidate for Secretary of State, Get a Security Clearance? Intercept (resilc)

Transition Pauses for a Business Meeting New York Times

Trump Effect: CEOs Play Nice After Election Fox. J-LS points out we now have to pay attention to Fox to keep tabs on what Trump is up to.

White nationalist bloodied during DC protest CNN

There’s No Normalizing President-Elect Trump Common Dreams

Fiji invites Donald Trump to come and see climate change is not a hoax Indian Express (martha r)

The Story Behind Jared Kushner’s Curious Acceptance into Harvard ProPublica (martha r). In case you missed it.

I read 7 Republican Obamacare replacement plans. Here’s what I learned. Vox (resilc)

Trump: What the Market Is Really Saying New York Review of Books. Important.

2016 Post Mortem

Garbage In, Garbage Out Jacobin. Today’s must read. J-LS: “Didn’t I see a slew of articles in the run-up to the election touting the superiority of HRC’s ground game? You mean, those weren’t based on real reporting? Oh. I’m shocked, shocked…..”

Gnashing of Teeth and Rending of Garments

In Their Coastal Citadels, Democrats Argue Over What Went Wrong Wall Street Journal. As headline indicates, they are totally out of touch. At a minimum: 1. They need to all be made to read Listen, Liberal. 2. They need to go to a Midwestern town that has depopulated by at least 20%, stay there for a week, and make themselves ask questions of locals and take notes (no lecturing permitted!). That is where the distress of the non-privileged is easiest to understand.

The Right Way to Resist Trump Luigi Zingales, New York Times. First sensible thing I’ve read.

Trump Demands Apology From ‘Hamilton’ Cast Wall Street Journal

The Clinton enforcer is launching Koch brothers-like donor network to rebuild liberal power Politico (martha r). David Brock, hence “liberal” as defined by Thomas Frank. Lambert: “Great. Faux ‘brovado’ and more paid trolls. Why hasn’t David Brock died of shame? Or at the very least retired from public life, given the electoral debacle he masterminded?”

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-Wall Street) Jacobin (J-LS). Subhead: “Left populism is the answer to Trumpism. But all incoming Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer has is more favors for Wall Street.”

President Obama’s Last Stand Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone. Lordie. No mention at all of the fact that Obama’s banker-friendly approach to the crisis (for starters, his doing squat for homeowners, indeed, to allow Turbo Timmie to use them to “foam the runway”) increased inequality by delivering pretty much all of the growth in income to the top 10%? And contra Taibbi, everyone has airbrushed out of their memory that the country was fearful and prostrated when Obama took office and was hungry for bold leadership. See The Empire Continues to Strike Back: Team Obama Propaganda Campaign Reaches Fever Pitch for more detail. And as J-LS added: “What’s happened to Taibbi? If I want to read David Remnick…..I’ll read David Remnick.”

The Wreckage of Obama’s Legacy New York Times


Thousands Around the World Rally Against Dakota Pipeline Reader Supported News (martha r)

The Kind of Car Insurer That Gives Consumers the Best Value Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times

Dollar Parity Is in Sight for Euro Wall Street Journal

Guillotine Watch

Why The Mega-Rich Are Getting Bodyguards Daily Beast (resilc). Someone needs to explain this?

Class Warfare

Special Report: U.S. manufacturing economy fails employers and workers Reuters (EM). Important. One thing seldom mentioned as to why Ford had to pay its workers well: factory line work was (correctly) seen as tedious and unpleasant, and laborers needed to be paid a premium to be induced to take those jobs.

Actually, There Are Still Good Blue-Collar Jobs Bloomberg

This open source robot can grow any plant in your backyard FarmBot (David L). So how do we know this actually works? This is the robot version of vaporware, IMHO. Plus most people garden because they regard it as creative and therapeutic.

Antidote du jour (‏@Chris_arnade via Richard Smith):


And a bonus video, from Jerri-Lynn:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. fresno dan

    Is Pot For Puppies Really a Thing? Fox (J-LS)

    Obviously a ploy by big snausages to up their sales….

    gotta comment early, or the crazydude will be on my case…

    1. EndOfTheWorld

      Well, I’ve heard of people giving chemical tranquilizers to their pooches to calm them down, so pot, which is non-addictive, would be an improvement.

    2. MtnLife

      I have a friend who has been using cannabis tinctures for years on his dogs. Never for puppies though. He has a fairly strict 10 year age limit where the only exception is serious injury and probably disease (he feeds totally raw and has never had disease issues, knock on wood).

    3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      I think the PE crowd lining up to make a boatload off legal pot is in for a surprise, the stuff grows like a weed. Add sunlight and water. Pretty far-fetched to believe that $100-300 per quarter ounce prices can persist.

      1. Oregoncharles

        Based on close personal observation, pot is, yes, easy to grow (about like corn or tomatoes,) but not so easy to process if you want high-quality bud. It’s a huge amount of work, although it is easier in a drier climate. In this it’s rather like tea.

        Given time to shake out, I’d expect a bifurcation in the market rather like wine or coffee: cheap and not too pleasant but gets you high vs. high-quality, easy to smoke, and expensive. Granted, hobbyists can process high-quality pot, just as they can make high-quality beer; but it’s definitely a specialty – a passion, even. So it’s worth real money.

      2. hunkerdown

        OTPBDHAL, weed isn’t wheat. if you were to imply broad type equivalence about tomatoes or coffee anyone who grows ’em would laugh you right out of the Grange hall. Because there are at least three major substances known to contribute to its effects, and half a dozen or more to flavor, proportions, and therefore Liebig’s Law, are going to matter. This isn’t a box-ticking exercise, good fellow, this is about quality of life.

        Besides, the smartly-dressed, well-armed “PE crowd” from Mexico doesn’t seem to have done all that terribly.

  2. Clive

    Re: (paraphrased) What’s Happened to Taibbi (invasion of the Pod People special edition)

    I think this is one of the hardest things to avoid if you’re a professional journalist. Your job is to express your opinions and arguments. You can’t help, of course, but to end up doing this in public. From time to time, we all get things wrong or, best-case, have to say “when the facts change I change my opinions…”.

    Then you’re on the horns of a dilemma. ‘Fess up you’re altering your stance and risk charges of inconsistency. Stick to your guns and risk looking intransigent or even just bloody-minded.

    I can, for example, happy blab “gosh, was I sorely wrong about the Obamamometer” or “I thought Cameron might be tempered by a coalition with the Liberal Democrats” and, frankly, who cares. But Taibbi, having hitched his wagon to the Democratic Party soothsayers, has to eat some humble pie. Or keep digging. Not an enviable choice, I hope though he can free himself from these self-imposed straight jackets. Like I say, for a professional journalist, it’s not easy.

    1. Steve C

      Not that surprised about Taibbi. He always seemed about 90 percent on point at his best. I really would be disappointed if David Dayen or Matt Stoller joined the ranks of Dem cheerleaders. It would be a shame, to put it mildly, to lose those useful voices.

    2. andyb

      What happened to the “giant vampire squid” days of Taibbi? Has he sold out to the Establishment? His former take downs of the banker class were epic and had many of us questioning the wisdom of a group of foreign trillionaires with total control over US monetary policy.

      1. Sandy

        They get popular, make friends in the Establishment, and realize they want to keep those friends and their status. Being around power and wealth is intoxicating.

    3. charles leseau

      He’s definitely changed from the fellow who used to write for The eXile and Buffalo Beast, but that change happened long ago. Of course, he wouldn’t be writing for Rolling Stone if he did things now like shoving a cream pie filled with horse semen into Michael Wines’ face. I suppose this is all part of the natural mainstream trajectory, but what do I know?

      At least Mark Ames has still got it.

        1. charles leseau

          Yeah, that’s all part of what I mean. It’s kind of a natural progression. I think the first time I saw someone write “Et tu, Taibbi?” was probably close to 5 years ago now, but I forget about what exactly.

    4. fresno dan

      November 20, 2016 at 7:15 am

      Taibbi: In the past week, Obama has ventured some explanations for Donald Trump’s rise. He pointed out that Trump had made a “connection” with his voters that was “powerful stuff.”
      This felt like a double-edged dig, thrown at both the rabid lunacy of Trump’s crowds and Hillary Clinton’s infamous (and oft-disputed) struggles on the personal-connection front.

      Clive “….I hope though he can free himself from these self-imposed straight jackets.”
      As I’ve said many times, for many humans admitting error is the toughest thing they’ll ever do (or, more often than not, not do). But its not even admitting error – as Clive says, how many MSM writers are in mental straight jackets and they just can’t free their minds to reality?
      Believe me, it will be better if Trump succeeds more than he fails. But I do not bind myself to saying that he is succeeding if in fact he is failing…

      Read that second sentence from Taibbi again:
      “This felt like a double-edged dig, thrown at both the rabid lunacy of Trump’s crowds and Hillary Clinton’s infamous (and oft-disputed) struggles on the personal-connection front.”

      I think Taibbi is reading quite a bit into what Obama said. First, “felt” like a “double-edged dig” – – to who? Not to me – does not strike me as some subtle insult but a straight forward, and rather obvious critique of the Hillary campaign. Sure, one can say that what Obama is REALLY saying is so and so. As the church lady would say, How convenient – – – a way to make it seem someone else is saying what you want to say.

      But WHO really thinks Trump’s crowds are composed of rabid lunatics? And is it a compliment to imply that Obama is a master of passive aggressive insults?

      It strikes me that one of the worst things the MSM can do to its own credibility will be to criticize Trump for the exact same things Obama has done. MSM, Trump will f*ck up in new, numerous, and novel ways all by himself, but don’t ignore that a good many of the f*ck ups are merely continuing from previous administrations.

    5. Morgan Phillips

      The nice thing is that he’s being savaged in the comments section of his own article. The dogs are becoming ever more discerning in their appetites.

    6. uncle tungsten

      His owner backed $hillary and lost. RS magazine will suffer for a while. Taibbi backed Sanders as soon as it became clear he was running and he lost.

      Wounds heal, inspiration resurfaces, newspaper proprietors recover and so maybe Taibbi will feast on the mammoth carcass of the Trump and repugnants and leave the Democrat viper to writhe for a while.

  3. fresno dan

    The Story Behind Jared Kushner’s Curious Acceptance into Harvard ProPublica (martha r). In case you missed it.

    I would like to express my gratitude to Jared Kushner for reviving interest in my 2006 book, “The Price of Admission.” I have never met or spoken with him, and it’s rare in this life to find such a selfless benefactor. Of course, I doubt he became Donald Trump’s son-in-law and consigliere merely to boost my lagging sales, but still, I’m thankful.

    My book exposed a grubby secret of American higher education: that the rich buy their under-achieving children’s way into elite universities with massive, tax-deductible donations.
    I completed my analysis, which justified my hunch. Of the 400-plus tycoons on Harvard’s list — which included people who were childless or too young to have college-age offspring — more than half had sent at least one child to the university.

    So, who is worse – the whore or the john???

    1. Carolinian

      But, but….we’re a meritocracy. Note that they are only talking about this because he is son in law to the hated Trump. And as has been discussed here before, even if the Ivies weren’t hypocrites in their claims of being merit based, the criteria for those who do qualify don’t necessarily measure what needs to be measured. A lot of smart people are bored students. High GPA usually indicates a desire to become part of the system as well, of course, as intellectual ability.

      1. Baby Gerald

        The Ivies defend this practice quite openly by claiming that it’s thanks to rich legacy types that they can open up more seats for the poors. Not that they ever mention that this only comes after squeezing those poors for every possible dime and signing them to land they’ll be paying into seniority.

        1. epynonymous

          Oxford’s motto is Nullis Verbis… or take nothing on someone’s word.

          Harvard’s is Veritas.

          It’s a shame people aren’t more familiar with the 1600’s.

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          When I was a kid, tuition at the Ivies were at the level where middle middle class (as in 45th percentile and higher) could afford to send their children, admittedly by scrimping. And there were hardly any “legacy” kids. Indeed, I know siblings of meaningful donors where the smart diligent sib got in and the younger sibs (fancy schools, high SATs but not consistently super high grades) didn’t. So it looks like education cost bloat has led to more dependence on the rich.

          1. rd

            Private university costs are outrageous now. There was an article in our local paper about the new dorms and off-campus student apartments being built for our local university. Many of these kids are going to be stunned when they get out of school and their low pay combined with big student loans mean that they won’t live in that type of housing again for at least another decade.

          2. MsExPat

            Princeton had plenty of legacy students when I was there in the late 70s. I’d estimate 25% of the class. Easy to spot: they’d usually gone to some name prep school where they learned how to ask obvious questions in seminars that nevertheless made them look engaged. They had acquired the skills of writing a passable research paper. But in a class where there were some very sharp knives in the drawer, their blades were noticeably dull.

            Padding out an Ivy League class with alumni legacies is nothing new; my suspicion however is that the price tag has soared. Back in the day, if the old man contributed a couple thou each year to the alumni fund, the dim son’s application would get a second look. Now you need to build a library.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s sort of circular reasoning here.

        Harvard is good – it gets the best high school* students – thereafter, Harvard graduates are the best – Thus, Harvard is the best – then, it gets the best high school students…

        It’s the same on the faculty side…more circularity.

        *Also the best 9 year olds, if such 9 year olds have 200+ IQs.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            With good marketing, and with CNN, MSNBC, and other Hillary-Media on your side, you have a chance to be proud.

            “It’s all about selecting the right type of sham-poo, sorry, shampoo (the really poo), to wash brains.”

          2. rd

            Most presidents came from a period when there were very few colleges at all. About half the presidents went to university (if they went at all) before high quality schools like Cornell were even founded, never mind all of the state schools out west.

            Schools like Harvard are very important for making connections with wealthy people in field where that is important. So Wall Street and law firms are looking for these people, so it is an important status symbol in those circles. However, in most real-world jobs in fly-over country, a Harvard degree doesn’t get you much. You still need to prove yourself on the job. It is not accidental that most S&P 500 CEOs don’t have an Ivy League education.

            1. aab

              It’s not just flyover country. If you don’t want to do a very narrow band of professions, Harvard can’t and won’t help you. At all. A friend of mine who was revered at school for his artistry is apparently working as a baker across the street from Harvard Yard. He’s in his 50s. If you were in VES (that’s basically the art department) and you weren’t a trust fund baby or someone already doing art for the hyper-rich (staging post-modern operas, doing dryly ironic art installations), you got dumped out on the street after four years, with less support and fewer networking opportunities than if you’d gone to probably any random art school. That’s a niche example, but the issue is broadly applicable. If you didn’t go to Wall street, or do a handful of other very specific career paths, Harvard did not help you. The Harvard halo was monetizable, but still only in limited and specific ways.

    2. John Wright

      I do not get upset by this, private universities are very successful long term enterprises that have a product to sell.

      Academic ability is de-emphasized when it comes to selecting the football team, and Jared Kushner is simply a representative of “Team Connected Wealth” with a “$” sign on their jerseys.

      Harvard does need to maintain its brand, but letting in wealthy scions of prominent families (George W. Bush into HBS, or Jared Kushner into Harvard College) probably won’t damage it much.

      After all, probably more than a few parents probably push their kids to go to Harvard to associate with the rich and well-connected, and do not see value in having them associate with the very smart, poor and striving students that are there on scholarship.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        “Universities have a product to sell.”

        And, as well, they are engaged in manufacturing.

        They produce academic degrees.

        I suggest, if the products are faulty, universities should issue recalls.

        “Mr. Smith, please send your Ph.D. – with you – back to our university. It is faulty. We estimate it will take 5 years to fix it.”

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          “Is it too late to ask for a refund on my defective degree? I still feel shaky with logic, basic math and grammar.”

          “Well, you can pay for one degree and get a second degree for free. That’s our current special”

          1. Harry

            Certainly true of my old Alma Mater. Get one undergraduate degree and 3 years later you get a master’s thrown in. I think the oxons do the same thing.

      2. rd

        I don’t understand why the Jared Kushner-Harvard story is news. Anybody who expected anything else is living in a fantasyland. This is how the Harvards get those massive endowments that allow them to admit poor, bright students with full scholarships, so they can claim to excel in both fundraising and helping poor people.

        In reality, they essentially have an admissions quota for both ends of the income spectrum.

      3. Yves Smith Post author

        Each part of the university at Harvard is economically independent. “Each tub on its own bottom” as they say. HBS is a trade school. It’s not that stringent academically. And it has long been more money-driven than the rest of the university. Plus GW was apparently brighter before years of drinking got to his brain cells. I saw a video from when he was taking questions when running for Texas governor, and the contrast with the Bush we knew as president is stunning. He routinely spoke in complex sentences, and regularly used multi-syllable words correctly.

        1. Oregoncharles

          There’s an ongoing debate whether something happened to him, as in too much alcohol, or he was faking the dumb-a*s bit. Either way, it got him elected twice.

          As I remember, his grades and Kerry’s were very similar, and Bush was known as a partier.

        2. Expat

          Take this as you wish, but a well-placed source I know in the medical community (so much for any doctor-patient confidentiality) told me that GWB was a boozer at least up to leaving the White House. The pretzel incident was him drunk and falling down.

          But again, why bother with asking what the cause of his apparent slight imbecility is, congenital, acquired or feigned. Americans identified with Bush. Let’s not forget that the people on this site are probably in the top 5% of intelligence and education. Smart people have as much of a problem understanding dumb people as the other way around!

      4. aab

        There are very few smart, poor students at Harvard. The University is engorged with money, while refusing to pay decent wages and benefits to its workers. Income inequality at the college has gotten much worse among the admitted student body just as it has everywhere else in America, and it wasn’t a nirvana of non-elite access even at its peak.

        I’d like to see endowments past a certain level heavily taxed. I agree with Leon Botstein: Harvard is basically a hedge fund with an educational front for tax purposes at this point. Tax elite institution endowments (and put that money in government managed financial aid for poor students), and require income diversity in the admitted classes in proportion to America to keep getting all the sweet federal grants and tax breaks that they suck up, even as they also suck up billionaire donations for unnecessary buildings and institutes.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          I was in the last class where Radcliffe had separate admissions (women were 25% of the class my year). Radcliffe set out to get the smartest women they could find. I knew an econ prof (class of ’62) who said when he was an undergrad, when you walked into a class full of women, you knew it would be a tough class.

          That all changed the year they merged admissions. Among other things, there was a big influx of girl jocks, something Radcliffe had never particularly favored.

          1. aab

            A big reason I was seduced into going (I know that’s a humble brag, but it’s also reality) was Radcliffe’s history. I was proud to be a ‘Cliffie. I viewed Radcliffe as both more leftist and more intellectual than Harvard. I was admitted to “Harvard-Radcliffe.” But it was clear either my freshman or sophomore year that Radcliffe as an institution was being killed off. You could kind of sense the realignment as it was happening — not just that the school was gone, but that an important force opposing patriarchal, conservative power within the university was withering away.

            And I will just whisper here that there is still a small space in my heart that glows with affection for Harvard, for reasons I won’t belabor. I’m harshly critical of what it has become, but I knew going in that it was in many ways a bastion and powerful engine of forces that I loathed. But that wasn’t the totality of the institution. And it probably isn’t now, but it’s clearly much worse in that regard.

            1. cgeye

              Pockets of excellence and charm, in libraries, professors and TAs, study mates, usually away from the spotlight. If you can find your way in any institution with good programs, that’s a blessing.

    3. OIFVet

      So did Malia Obama get accepted on merit or is she a member of the lucky sperm and egg club? From the book description: “[The author] also reveals that Harvard maintains a “Z-list” for well-connected but underqualified students, who are quietly admitted on the condition that they wait a year to enroll.” Malia’s admission was not all that quiet, obviously, but she is taking a gap year.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The whole thing is concentration-of-power and inequality (only a few talented with or without inherited high IQ are admitted).

        It’s an fitting end to the educational system.

        (Kindergarten scene):

        Teacher: Don’t share your test results with anyone, or you will be suspended.

        Student: But I like to share. Johnnie is not so smart, I like to share with him my answers.

        Teacher: Outrageous behavior! How can the Machine tell who among you will make good serfs if we don’t have honest results?

        Student: But I just want to share. I don’t care about the Machine.

        Teacher: GO HOME NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    4. mk

      Neither the whore or the john, as the whore is probably a single mom with mouths to feed and the john supports him/her. I get your point, Harvard is much worse.

    5. uncle tungsten

      I thought that the good take away there is that Kushner is not the brightest tack in the box. That is a good thing as it may be better for Trump to be surrounded by dullards and klutzes and go down badly.

      The ferocious Repugnants in the house will be desperate to play Trump and it will need intelligence and rat cunning to outsmart them.

  4. voteforno6

    Re: Garbage In, Garbage Out

    So, Vox was in charge of the Clinton campaign’s strategy? I guess that explains why Matt Yglesias is pouting about the election.

  5. cocomaan

    Re: Taibbi,
    I know that Trump is repugnant but was this some kind of clever satire?

    At a time when a lot of Americans feel like they have little to be proud of, we should think about our outgoing president, whose humanity and greatness are probably only just now coming into true focus.

    The drone assassination guy? The one who said every male in a warzone that wasn’t a toddler was a combatant? Humanity and greatness?

    It seems like Taibbi’s opinion on Obama was formed in the last two weeks.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Still more “clever satire” from the nyt link, The Wreckage of Obama’s Legacy:

      In public, he [obama] played down the scale of policies like the stimulus package so that they would not attract too much attention, or criticism.


      Mr. Trump’s bluster on foreign policy threatens to reverse the notable improvement in diplomatic relations that took place under Mr. Obama.

      Looks like Winston Smith actually answered the white courtesy telephone.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Cue “The Shortest Book in the World” jokes:
        “Italian War Heroes”
        “Hilary Clinton Accomplishments”
        “Obama’s Notable Improvements in Diplomatic Relations”.
        From the guy who “lost” Turkey and The Philippines. I guess he could put Cuba in the “better” camp but that was a gimme.

        Short-term “legacy”: a few hangers-on reminisce about what a smooth jive talker he was.

        Mid- and Long-term: “placeholder cipher who continued the disastrous policies of 2000-2008, doubled the national debt, and destroyed the Democratic Party”.

      1. polecat

        Maybe Taibbi will assume that choice position as head chauffeur of Obama’s new-n-improved Hawaiian mj buckboard ……..

        ‘Driving Mr. Daisy … cutter’

    2. FluffytheObeseCat

      Obama deserves a lot of criticism. However, in relative terms…… when I view Obama next to Trump, Pence, Christie, Ebell, Flynn, Sessions, etc. Obama comes out looking modestly praiseworthy. (And you can hold the stagy high dudgeon; we have had no Presidents in my lifetime who haven’t presided over murder, don’t kid yourselves on that score.)

      The sight of that which is coming up to the plate may have shocked Taibbi into polite hyperbole.

      1. Steve C

        Yeah. The president from Citicorp foaming the runway for the big banks, throwing homeowners under the bus, leaving the Democrats a smoking wreckage. Lots to praise there. On the other hand, what an earnest guy. And people like David Remnick think he’s really cool, just because he acts cool. He’s also got smugness and condescension down cold. So I guess that’s good.

        1. FluffytheObeseCat

          The president from Citicorp [who] foam[ed] the runway for the big banks, [threw] homeowners under the bus, [left] the Democrats a smoking wreckage

          Yeah, that one. And you had clearly hoped for better from him or you wouldn’t still be sore about it. Do you have any expectation that the Trump administration will be kind to the weak and the clueless? Seriously? By say, 2019, when he’s had 2-3 SOTUS appointees confirmed, and the 2020 redistricting is looming, you think he’ll be coddling “losers”?

          1. Steve C

            Trump is on Obama. Lame Dems give you scarier Republicans. If Obama had given a crap about working people, he wouldn’t have been a policy and political failure, so no Trump. Also, if he had stopped pushing TPP right up to the election, Hillary would be president-elect. That’s on him too.

            I didn’t even mention Geithner, Rahm, Mary Jo White, Larry Summers, Michael Froman, cashiering Sheila Bair. The list goes on. Personnel is policy. Obama has had a parade of horribles in key spots. Not as gaudy as Trump’s. No. These guys are smooth and very effective representatives for the establishment. Another reason Trump won. Joe Underemployed showed them. Trump is a neoliberal. He’s not helping working people. But neither did Obama, also a neoliberal. You can’t polish a turd.

  6. EndOfTheWorld

    RE: World’s biggest real estate frenzy is coming to a city near you–Bloomberg–So, having become bored with Vancouver,Sydney, etc. the Chinese investors are casting their collective eye on the TX real estate market. Well, it is fairly cheap down there. Not too cold also. I wonder if they will have a water crisis soon, though.

    1. Carl

      Yeah, the prices here in Texas have jumped up a bunch, for unexplainable reasons. One wonders if it will continue when and if China begins to get serious about capital flight.

      1. Cry Shop

        Or it may turn into a torrent if China’s market starts to show signs of it’s own issues.

        …it seems to imply much greater fragility in supporting the real estate market than is generally assumed. Typically when prices go up, we see rapid growth in turnover volume but not only have we not seen this, in some cases we have see a decline in turnover. The only apparent support of the real estate market is higher credit growth which means to support this, PBOC will need to pump even higher levels of credit to support price increases or stability. This implies a lot more fragility in the real estate market given the relative lack of volume.

        If China uses credit to prop up the domestic market, then it’s not going to be hard for anyone with a modicum of smarts to get that money off-shore, as China is still a heavily export oriented economy.

  7. jgordon

    A simple question on farmbot: eliminating accounting trickery as much as possible, does the total amount of energy and materials required to produce and operate farmbot exceed the total amount of energy and materials harvested from the plants it produces?

    If not, this thing is exactly equivalent to dumping oil into a hole and setting it on fire. Well, that would be thematically appropriate considering that is how the rest of industrial civilization operates more generally.

    1. MtnLife

      On the other hand, how much fuel are you saving by not trucking your produce a few thousand miles across the country or globe? Add to that time and fuel for the grocery store runs. I’m thinking that this thing doesn’t NEED to run as much as you might think (or they expect/want). Maybe just turn it on for 15 min a day to do spot watering and call it good – something that could easily be handled by a small solar/wind/microhydro setup and a timer.

    2. Steve H.

      It allows independent concentration of power. A 1/2 horsepower drill may not seem like much, but a normal human can only generate about 1/4 horsepower consistently. The application allows a single worker to do what would otherwise take a team. So one worker can be more independent (I can repair my own home), and there is an implicit reduction of the energy required for organizational complexity.

      A solar panel for a military laptop in Afghanistan is not efficient from a total energy perspective, but it sure allows a local advantage.

      1. pricklyone

        I’m not seeing the multiplication of effort, though, with this thing. Not like a tractor, or such. Seems like another “hi-tech” solution in need of a problem. Buying and setting up all this hardware to do what you could do in a few minutes with hand tools and watering can?
        It doesn’t seem to scale up effort at all. It’s like “production” with a 3d printer. Doesnt scale at all.

        1. pricklyone

          Of course, the customer is likely small robotic hobby kid, with a little stand of weed!
          Who won’t have to remember to water and weed his stand every day.
          It’s open source, so you can build it yourself, if you like to tinker with stuff.

          1. Iowan X

            Yes, I think that’s about right–hobbyist oriented. The framing stuff, I can tell, is from a company called, and they’ve actually got an interesting product line for DIY. I need to build a little “Gazebo” out our back door…(we’re renting now, my wife and I still smoke, but not allowed indoors)–so I’m looking at 80-20 for the materials, so I can take it apart if/when we move again.

        2. hunkerdown

          It’s a proof of concept, and it scales almost trivially. The control gear isn’t proprietary. The RepRap homebrew 3-D printer community uses many of the same parts. The FarmBot could, as its developers encourage, be expanded to a larger work envelope by anyone with ordinary skill and tooling in the mechanical and electrical arts. One could easily extend the trolley to as long a “row” as the wire and water hose they have. The mechanics can be deployed in other agricultural tasks, too. One could set up the same robot with different programming just to start a whole bunch of seeds in a whole bunch of trays. One can perform the executive functions for this garden from anywhere, to the limits of one’s ability to sense remotely. Which is good for travelling professionals and pot growers.

          If it gets rid of some of those jobs Americans are too “economically evolved” (read: expensive) to do and thus creates some room in Rodrik’s trilemma for a welfare state, that’s cool too.

      2. Isolato

        I think it is only recently that the amount of power invested in the production of a solar panel could be expected to be repaid. It is a very complex analysis. I have been living “off the grid” for the last 14 years, but I doubt I have reduced my carbon footprint much. the benefit, as you have pointed out, is that I CAN live off the grid.

    3. frosty zoom


      does the total amount of energy and materials required to produce and operate you (or me, of course) exceed the total amount of energy and materials harvested from the plants we produce?

      a plantilibrium, perhaps?

  8. arte

    Dang, I seem to have miscounted – it was apparently 99 years exactly and not 99 years and 1 day like I thought note the site, the content is pretty much what you would expect

    History does not repeat but it rhymes – so does that mean that Obama fits in somehow as Kerensky?

    I guess one lesson here is that a moderate running as a change candidate in the time of war *really* should get out of the war in question in a reasonable timeframe, or risk extremists taking over.

      1. philnc

        Actually, the relative strength of a credential has more to do with its length and randomness than the types of characters it contains. The trick is to use strings that are easy for humans to remember but hard for computers to guess. I put together a short list of resources on the subject awhile ago:

        Once you get used to stringing together groups of unrelated words that use 20 or more characters together it actually gets pretty easy to achieve the levels of entropy (randomness) needed to frustrate the efforts of computers to crack them.

        1. lb

          This (memorable passphrases built from words in a human’s language du jour) may shift the attack surface subtly, improving defense against one sort of attack (computers trying to brute-force passwords) and weakening it against another (timing analysis of human-generated keystrokes, perhaps even shoulder-surfing). In some circumstances this might not be the best thing to optimize for.

      2. flora

        for clarity, I am chortling at scott 2’s particular example because I regularly see that sort of password – a variation on the spelling of “password”. Not secure, no matter variation is used. I assume Scott 2 meant it as a joke at Podesta’s expense.

  9. temporal

    Robert Reich has a 14 point solution for the current mess.

    Basically Mr. Reich suggests, doubling down on all the MSM style collusion stuff that didn’t work very well before. Getting all those that say they dislike the deplorables to speak with one voice against the guy that claims to want to help people hurt by current economic policies is absolutely brilliant.

    Rebuilding the party, changing leadership and repairing the economic damage done by the current neoliberal track is not on the list. Just turn the complaining up to eleven.

    Good luck with that.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      #13 is my personal favorite:

      13. Serious accountability: Establish performance metrics to evaluate his delivery on his campaign promises. An updated website of promises made and not kept. This is one especially suited to public policy students.

      Not just accountability, but SERIOUS accountability. Apparently, democrats make it a practice to arrive fashionably late to a party. Eight years too late in some cases. I wonder if that thought has occurred to any of them.

        1. Butch In Waukegan

          Tweet from Bernie last week:

          There’s nobody I know better prepared and more capable of leading our caucus than @SenSchumer.


          1. Scientist4of6

            I just read through Sanders’s Tweets of the past two weeks (from November 7 forward) and do not find this. Link, please?

            1. Butch In Waukegan

              It’s on his Senate tweet account, @SenSanders. I don’t know how to link to individual tweets, but it was on November 16th.

              There are 765 retweets and 4,515 likes. Some call him out, but what is really entertaining are the acrobatics used to justify his kiss up to Schumer. One fellow wrote “At this point, I’m convinced @SenSanders struck a deal w/ @SenSchumer to not challenge him if they let Sanders rebuild the party.”

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Not just false, but utterly false. If you can’t beat them you try to keep beating them you do not just curl up and die. And “raising hell” in this case apparently means throwing your support to the Senator from Wall St. With no “dry powder” left. Fail.

              1. Steve C

                Don’t try to kill the king if you don’t know you have a pretty good chance of winning. Don’t know Bernie’s thinking but imagine he thinks a full frontal assault isn’t strategically viable. He can be probably be a bigger pain in the ass in the tent than out, which in the Senate means you’re nothing.

                1. aab

                  Bernie is not in a position to take over right now. He just isn’t. All the wishing in the world will not make it so.

                  Apparently, he has discussed openly on his book tour that he and Jane were afraid if he ran and won, the banks and corporations would immediately punish the population for electing him. You know they could. He’d have been President if we have paper ballots, and I think that would have been the better outcome even with elite punishment. But this war isn’t over. And playing nice with Schumer publicly is the price he has to pay to be heard; it blocks them from using the media to demonize him significantly more. It pains me that so many people view him as a coward and a traitor. He’s a brave, canny old man. And the long game he’s playing — despite how he’s getting crapped on in both directions — may ultimately save the United States. But not if people keep looking for a savior. There is no savior. No one is coming to rescue us. We are going to have to rescue ourselves, together.

                  1. JSM

                    It’s not hard to see he weighed his options and made a choice. But the choice seems to be a bad one.

                    If there were any justice, and if media and money were properly seen as the means of very limited utility they were just proven to be, he would be the head of the party, not an independent backbencher (if that word can apply) in the minority.

                    He would be strongest if he named his own party and formed the other half of the pincer movement that would develop as soon as Trump starts pushing his agenda. He wants to work with Trump on working class issues and oppose the rest. The establishment wants to call Trump a racist. One looks shrewd, the other looks like a sentence of banishment for the next four or eight years. Sanders and Trump could prove in a year that there’s no real reason for the Democrats to exist as presently constituted: there already was a party of endless war, Wall Street, monopoly interests, etc. A new party & movement would be best situated to make this case to the nation at large and fellow Americans, and open the Democrats to the serious criticism they so richly deserve. For the most part, the American people already know who the Democrats really are.

                    Personal feeling is that this is, for many reasons, the real long game.

                    1. JSM

                      Just to clarify, not referring at all to a third-party run in the most recent presidential election, and not necessarily referring to a presidential run in four years, either.

                      Talking about liberating state, county and local progressives, the real party as well as its millennial future, from the albatross of the Democratic party. A number of other commenters have pointed out how damaging this was for state races. If Trump can create jobs for hundreds of thousands of people it is the Democrats’ putative raison d’être to protect, they are going to go extinct electorally, starting now.

                    2. Lambert Strether

                      I wouldn’t mind a Labor Party. Start clean, institutionally and culturally. Sanders has the funding model and a list.* Of course, there’s that pesky question of how that works at the local level… So obviously I haven’t thought a lot about this; I’m more reacting to buzz than making a serious proposal

                      * The Democrat Party has four assets it would be important to seize: (a) the voter lists, (b) ballot access, (c) lingering goodwill about being “better on the economy,” (d) having been written in to many statutes as a legal entity.

                      Sanders has more or less neutralized (a). With funding comes (b). Obama squandered (c). Nothing to be done about (d) that I can see, for now.

      1. Mel

        I like #12 too, about ideas. “Urge that the country be governed sensibly.” Unfortunate that putting it that way isn’t Reich’s assigned position. After Obama was elected, it was like we had come home from the store with a big bag of Progressiveness that we could munch as we sat on the sofa. That didn’t end well. This time, do not turn your backs.

      2. Optimader

        I can tell RR is one of the smart ppl because he used the word “metrics” AND this accountability bidnezz will be posted on an internetz website!
        How many years will it take to develop the sites user interface i wonder?

    2. cocomaan

      Who let Reich out of his neoliberal coffin?!

      As demonstrated in the Jacobin article, the Democrats couldn’t even get field offices set up. How does Reich expect a Million (Insert Minority of the Moment Here) March, or a letter writing campaign, or coordinate anything if Hillary and her team were actually getting Trump voters mobilized by accident?

      Let me replace Reich’s silly list-icle with a three point plan: 1) Get involved with organized labor again. Show up at strikes. 2) Begin to fight back against the incarceration state. Go into ghettos and talk to people about community policing. Show up at DEA raids on dispensaries 3) Speak out against the security state. Advocate shutting down the TSA jobs program. Demonstrate outside of Lockheed Martin.

      Of course, those things require actual work. If the last eight years are any indication, Democrats don’t actually want to work. They want a complacent congress at all turns. They want minorities to show up without question.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Estimated 10M people globally. Net effect? Zero. Were they all right, and the war powers utterly and completely wrong? Yes.

      1. Elizabeth Burton

        I said much the same thing in the comments on that piece. I pointed out the glaring absence of any mention of actually listening to those who voted Republican instead of lambasting them at every turn might prove useful. (Note: I refuse to embrace the “voted for Trump” theme because that allows the segue into “anyone who did is a racist, etc.”)

        I also suggested an equally important task is educating ourselves and others about modern history, modern political history and civics, as there is a clear and desperate need for same. I say that as someone who considered myself knowledgeable until I started investigating (with considerable help from y’all here at NC, I will add).

        Basically, nobody can afford to sit in their comfortable intellectual tower anymore. The fight is on.

      2. lyman alpha blob

        But Eric Schmidt and the tech billionaires told them the bots will take care of all that now so just feed all your crap data into Ada and what could go wrong??

        That Common Dreams article is not much better. Supposedly a hashtag reminding people that this is ‘NotNormal’ will do the trick. SNL pretty much took the p*ss out of that stupid idea last night.

        The hyperbole and histrionics coming from the ‘liberals’ are really laughable at this point. Has everyone forgotten that we had an idiot child of privilege selected for us as president not that long ago? The only major protests I remember after that election were the Brooks Brothers riots that helped get little Georgie into the White House. Where were the liberals then when our Constitution was being shredded? No, they rolled over and accepted the bogus result ‘for the good of the country’.

        As and far as worrying that Trump will become the new normal without some stupid hashtag campaign, was it ‘normal’ to allow a president to assassinate anyone they see fit including American citizens? Where were the liberals when that was going on?

        I could go on but the vast majority of readers here are well aware of all the things the Democrats and liberals allowed to take place without putting up much of a fuss.

        Go cry yourselves a river now loser liberals for all the good it will do you. No one to blame but yourselves for the current predicament.

      1. Mel

        People, people. Get sensible. They were not selling coffee mugs for $20. They were offering to accept a $20 campaign donation, with a touchy-feely gift to mark the occasion A little personal contact. And ghod knows … personal contact … that campaign … wooh!
        There should have been a $200,000 single-malt shot glass … Maybe there was …

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Pure theater, Hiilary sniffed power up the dresses of the mega-rich and their mega-wonderful husbands at $50-$100,000 a pop. Apparently $1B and Beyonce weren’t enough to make the purchase this time around but I’m sure they believe that the consent manufacturing machine just needs more fuel next time around.

    3. cwaltz

      Poor Robert, I suspect it’s going to be a looong 4+ years for him. The news really doesn’t get any better in 2 years either.

      For the record, it appears Robert’s strategy is different from Bernie’s, who has already said he’ll work with Trump in areas they have in common.

      Quite frankly all the teeth gnashing and opposing a guy who hasn’t even taken office yet seems pretty counterproductive. Don’t get me wrong Trump reminds me of a little baby with his calls for an “apology. The rending of the garments coming from the left for the fact that in January Trump takes office is absurd as well though. Let him actually DO something before you oppose him. The kneejerk reactions to his election are ridiculous. I feel like I’m living in a country filled with toddlers who can’t figure out how to control their emotional outbursts.

      1. John Zelnicker

        @cwaltz – I basically agree with you that there is far too much teeth gnashing going on based on speculation as to what President Trump is actually going to do. However, we already have some empirical evidence from Trump and much of is worthy of intense opposition. Among the *actual* moves that Trump has made are the appointment of Steve Bannon as chief strategist, and choosing Sen. Jeff Sessions as his Attorney General.

        Bannon may surprise us, but his track record is really bad and being that close to Trump does not bode well as Bannon may pull him further into extremist positions. He is worth opposing.

        Sessions I have no doubt about. He is a confirmed racist who believes that “Good people don’t use marijuana”, and you can rest assured that he will do everything within the power of his office to roll back all of the civil rights gains of the past 60 years. By civil rights, I mean those won by the black community, the LGBTQ community, and other marginalized groups. I’m sure you know by now that Sessions was rejected by the Republican Judiciary Committee for being too racist, in 1986, when he was nominated for a federal judgeship. Leopards and spots. He must be opposed.

        1. DarkMatters

          Regardless of the fact that Sessions claimed that his critics were less than accurate, and that Arlen Specter regretted his vote of 30 years past against Sessions, I’m very glad to see that Loretta Lynch is being replaced. As you may recall, Hillary gave reassurances that Loretta would be left in place if the Democrats took the presidency, following the famed tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton.

          I’m happy for small favors. If Sessions shows more honesty, which shouldn’t be difficult, at least we’ll have a clear idea of who he is, and be able to react intelligently for or against him, unclouded, one hopes, by the dense miasma surrounding the figures in the current regime.

          But I’m getting maudlin in my optimism.

          1. neo-realist

            Lynch may not have a beacon of light for truth, accountability and justice, but she looks like Thurgood Marshall compared to a reactionary racist like Sessions.

            1. cwaltz

              People aren’t always the same. They do change. I personally am willing to wait and see what Sessions has to say. His history on racial issues and parity is a mixed bag for sure and if I were Democrats before confirming him I’d ask some hard and fair questions regarding if and how his views have evolved.

              However, just like when the Democratic Party had control(and squandered it) the GOP also gets their opportunity to set a national agenda. If Sessions does engage in behavior that smacks of unfairness then the Democratic Party will be able to use that later on to argue that the GOP deserves to lose. Thus far though we simply have a guy that lost a judgeship because he was aggressively pursuing prosecution of AA individuals(something that seems to be standard behavior which is why our jails are disproportionately filled with AA people.) A guy who voted to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act in 2006 that he once called “an intrusive piece of legislation.” A guy who recently spoke at an awards ceremony for AAs involved in the Selma Voting rights movement and awarded people the Congressional Gold Medal for their work while applauding the 2013 decision to gut voting rights. In other words, he’s all over the place.

              The beauty of Sessions being AG is just like Holder his behavior will be front and center. If he is indeed a racist I expect he’ll end up resigning to spend time with his family because while we have not eliminated racism, most people can and do recognize it and see it for the abhorrent behavior that it is.

              1. Montanamaven

                I heard MLKjr’s niece this morning on the radio saying the Sessions prosecuted the Klan. So she was more inclined to give him a shot.

        2. Gareth

          My personal theory on Bannon is that Trump hired him so he can fire him at the first sign of failure. Every big-shot boss needs a readily available scapegoat.

          1. bob

            Good theory.

            Bannon is also easy to hate, in a position that has a term of months, normally.

            He’s an inflatable raft to be pulled on and tossed out at the first opportunity.

            Chris Christie is reported to be furious. He wanted that job.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        For the record, it appears Robert’s strategy is different from Bernie’s, who has already said he’ll work with Trump in areas they have in common


        That’s good news.

        In those areas they have in common, if Trumps fails, we fail as well, and we will all suffer.

        If we want to say, we hope Trump’s presidency is a failure, we have to be specific about what areas we hope they will be.

        1. cwaltz

          Bernie is very specific. He’s already said he’ll fight Trump on immigration and any attempts at a muslim registry. Bernie has said that “he will never support racism or bigotry.” There is no place in this country for xenophobia or discrimination based on religion according to Bernie.

          He did say he’s looking forward to working with Trump on things like the cost of prescription drugs and affordability and making sure Trump delivers on campaign promises. So yeah there is some common ground. The good thing about Bernie is he is very good about working across the aisle. There’s a reason he’s known as the “amendment king.”

      3. d. shatin

        As always it rarely is the person elected President but those that they bring with them atr truly wretched..
        incompetent…pushing political correctness on our every waking state..inexperience and igorance of what it islike to walk in someone else’s shoes…with this crowd,pity our children.

      4. MDBill

        Don’t get me wrong Trump reminds me of a little baby with his calls for an “apology.

        Of course the more salient question is how well his actions play with the citizens who voted him into office. I suspect many will view them differently.

    4. oh

      Robert Reich is just a broken record. He talks big until it’s time to walk the talk and then he magically transforms into a “lesser of the two evils” robot. If he thinks that he can change the party from within, he’s dreaming. Same with Bernie.

      1. cwaltz

        I am doubtful that the party will change. It shows no signs that it has learned anything and is interested in doing much more than put lipstick on the pig.

        That being said, I figure Bernie’s only get a small window to get them to change anyway. If they can’t figure things out soon they’ll lose the filibuster in Senate the hard way and they are well on their way to losing governorships too.

        Republican lite is not working out well as a strategy.

    5. ChrisPacific

      A democratic election produced a winner that we don’t like! Throw all the toys out of the cot and set fire to them!

      Reich should read the Zingales piece, although I think it would go over his head.

  10. Otis B Driftwood

    From the Jacobin article:

    Back in July Chuck Schumer summed it up: “For every blue-collar Democrat we lose in western Pennsylvania, we will pick up two moderate Republicans in the suburbs in Philadelphia, and you can repeat that in Ohio and Illinois and Wisconsin.”

    One of many reasons this guy needs to be removed as minority leader. The Democratic party has no chance to reform before that happens.

    Oh, and I can testify to the Clinton campaign’s absurd deployment of resources as I passed a Clinton campaign office on my way to vote in Berkeley, CA.

    And fwiw, despite this, I saw precious few “I’m with Her” signs around the neighborhood.

    1. Paid Minion

      “………pick up two moderate Republicans……….”

      That might have worked. If your candidate is Bernie Sanders and not Clinton, Inc.

    2. Tertium Squid

      passed a Clinton campaign office on my way to vote in Berkeley, CA.

      I see other sources saying Clinton spent heavily in California and that boggles the mind. At this point I’m sure Hillary would trade three million votes there for thirty thousand in Michigan.

      1. justsayknow

        Important to realize the money spent in California was going to and through loyalist and apparatchik. A rewards system. Nothing to do with winning elections.

        1. pretzelattack

          well, there were some anomalies in california voting, so maybe some of it had to do with winning elections, and laundering the payoff.

        2. KurtisMayfield

          Exactly.. they needed to keep their neofeudalist thinking in order to reward their vassals. But they never supported their systems in the middle of the country (50 state strategy axed) so there were no more vassals in the Midwest to support.

          This is also the reason there was a huge push back against Trump from within the party. He was not running a “traditional campaign” (also known as feeding the consultants) so every pundsultant that the MSM could find came out on TV and print to fight him. Only after the convention did the support all fall in line.

        3. Dave

          I use bumper stickers as a yardstick of a candidate’s popularity. OK, for what’s his name, who comments here, political magnets too.

          In my travels around the northern San Francisco Bay Area I counted three Trump stickers.
          All were on working, not vanity, pick up trucks.

          The seven Hillary decals were all on new semi luxury cars–Bright and shiny with a “7”, the highest number yet released, at the beginning of their license plate number.

          All seven were driven by women. 6 of these were attractive and from what I could quickly see, well dressed, in the 30 to 50 year age range. Two were convertibles–a highly impractical vehicle for financial, security and longevity reasons.
          One poor old thing was driving a maroon four door Ford Crown Victoria, probably an ex-police car, with an extra big “with her” sticker. It was heading for a neighborhood of apartments where people are just hanging on to the economy by their fingernails.

          My summation, except for the woman in the Crown Vic, all these women seemed to be “on the way up” or near the top. The pickup trucks for Trump were tradesmen. Draw your own conclusions.

          16% of uber wealthy Marin County voted for Trump. 10% of San Francisco.

          1. Arizona Slim

            Here in Tucson, the wine and cheese liberal neighborhoods still sport quite a few Hillary stickers and signs. Outside of those well-to-do enclaves, there is nothing that would indicate that this is an election year.

    3. Lurker

      In 2012 my door was knocked many, many times, starting early. This year, just twice: first time was 2 wks before the election. Knocker was visibly shocked when I said I wasn’t going to vote for Clinton, because I’ve always been a reliable D voter. This was in a swing state! They are finding out only 2 wks from the election that they are in trouble! So the 2nd GOTV visit the wkend before the election was really stupid- but in my case they just contacted a Stein voter.

      1. Arizona Slim

        During late 2015, I was canvassed by Bernie Sanders’ campaign. This year, I was canvassed by a volunteer from the county attorney’s primary challenger. And that was all.

      2. Jen

        In 2008 and 2012, I joked with the Obama people that I was going to take out a restraining order on them. They called regularly. I had canvassers visit my house multiple times, which impressed the hell out of me seeing that UPS can’t find my house half the time, and I’m paying them to come here.

        I live in a swing state and I got exactly one phone call from the Hillary campaign between the convention and election day. On November 7.

  11. EndOfTheWorld

    Chuck needs to study up on Harry Truman, who said: “When given a choice between a Democrat who acts like a Republican and a real Republican, voters will choose the real Republican every time.”

        1. UserFriendly

          It’s because average joe 9-5 works loo long and hard to tell the difference between progressives and ‘progressives that like to get things done.’ The media insisting that they voted together 90% on naming post offices doesn’t help.

      1. John Zelnicker

        @Katherine – Speculating freely, perhaps it’s because there have been so few real progressives to choose. There seems to be a serious avoidance issue on the left in regards to running for political office.

        1. Katharine

          But that does not answer the question of why, when there is a progressive, the odds of successfully making it through the primary are so low. Voters finally have a chance to get a representative who would work for them and too often turn it down.

          1. fresno dan

            “But that does not answer the question of why, when there is a progressive, the odds of successfully making it through the primary are so low.”

            Just a guess, but Debbie Wasserman Schultz….

            But I’m sure the dems when evaluating this debacle, after some deep soul searching and critical self reflection, will realize that electoral success means much less pandering to the 0.1% (need I tag this with SARC)

          2. Elizabeth Burton

            I can speculate. First, we’ve had 30+ years of GOP-Lite Democrats running for office and telling people this is how you get things done. Second, there are a lot more conservatives out there than the progressives want to believe, and the way to win them over is not to get in their faces with radical things initially but by starting out with those issues on which both agree. That doesn’t often happen because too many progressives tend to be purists.

            However, I will venture to day that a lot of it is that most progressives come from the college-educated comfortable class that has so much trouble listening to real people instead of telling them what they need. Think of it as spinach politics—you need to eat this because we know it’s good for you even if you don’t. No one likes being told they’re too stupid to know what’s good for them, but that’s exactly how progressives too often come across.

            I’m thinking progressives might do well to study the campaign of Tim Wakely in TX-21 this year. For the first time in 16 years, he gave incumbent Lamar Smith a run; it was the first time ever Smith didn’t get at least 60% of the vote, and in fact, Wakely’s loss was a close one. I’m praying he runs again in ’18. And this in one of the worst gerrymandered districts in the state.

            I read an analysis by Wakely’s campaign manager, who was essentially a newcomer to the process, and it boiled down to Tim’s being the kind of guy who was one of the people he was talking to, and he talked straight, and he listened. He succeeded with no financial support from the DNC or DCCC, which gave all their money to GOP-Lite Pete Gallego. And yes, I do think he succeeded, even if he didn’t win.

            1. Katharine

              This is interesting analysis, but won’t cover the campaign that was most in my mind, the Maryland senate primary this year, in which Donna Edwards, who emphatically did not start in the “comfortable” class, lost to Chris Van Hollen, who did.

          3. lyman alpha blob

            Here’s my theory – because the liberal establishment will work harder to keep an actual leftist from gaining traction than it will against their ostensible opposition in the Republican party.

            I saw it happen in my state when the very popular Dem Tom Allen tried to unseat Collins or Snowe in a Senate campaign a few years ago. There was a 3rd party on the left who might have received single digit percentages in the general if they were lucky and the Dem establishment went out of their way to deny the 3rd party candidate ballot access. Then Allen had his ass handed to him in the general.

            The Clinton campaign just repeated the same mistake in its attempt to marginalize Sanders and now are blaming everyone except themselves.

            When was the last time you saw Repubs go after the Libertarians or blaming them for their own losses? The Dems still are shrieking about Nader – when was the last time you heard the Repubs blaming Perot for two Clinton presidencies? And Perot got a lot more votes than Nader ever dreamed of getting.

            1. cwaltz

              Ned Lamont was one of the reasons I started looking at third party solutions. It was his election cycle where I learned what DWS now confirmed, the DNC is laughing at democratic activists and playing them. They see them as wallets and easily manipulated rubes.

              1. Montanamaven

                My experience as first Dem county chair in my Montana county EVER! Delegate to Dem convention 2004. I bought the whole “change the party from within” meme that talk show hosts like Thom Hartmann preach. HA! HA! HA! You cant. You must tow the line. If you are a leftist, as in economic populist/union loving/ anti-war kind and not a “progressive” interested only in social issues, you really got marginalized. They rig the state Dem rules so it’s hard to primary an incumbent like awful Max Baucus and pretty bad Jon Tester.
                Sheldon Wolin in “Democracy Inc” points to the Archer Daniel Midlands philosophy, “The consumer is the enemy; our competitor is our friend.” Wolin says “change consumer to citizen and competitor to “other party” and you have inverted totalitarianism.

      2. polecat

        It’s an Einsteinian kind of thing ….. time …there’s no going back with dems …. only forward … !!

        Lessons unlearned

        1. optimader

          Only going forward allows one to ignore the past and repeat those comfortably familiar mistakes with verve!

      3. John k

        The dems have been fighting like mad dogs to push down any real progressive with the temerity to run for office for at least a quarter century, witness Bernie and teachout.
        My fond hope was that a Clinton loss would make space for progressives. But the dems will continue following banker and corp orders to snuff them out all such… no matter that results speak for themselves. The reduced numbers in congress remain addicted to all that easy money.
        Hopefully the pendulum is moving… some of trumps policies such as lower taxes for people like himself will not satisfy, and infra likely to disappoint because Ryan. Maybe one term… and Bernie did not rule out 2020.

        1. Arizona Slim

          One of my friends just won a seat in the Arizona House. She is a Democrat and ran an unabashedly progressive campaign.

          So, if it can be done in AZ, it can be done in your state.

        2. cwaltz

          The DNC does so at it’s own peril. It better either adapt or die. Republican lite isn’t cutting it.

        3. mk

          When millions of working people stand up and fight the corporate interests, we will not be denied. – Bernie Sanders

    1. rd

      I think the focus on Schumer is misplaced. The Senate is going to be the seat of Democratic resistance to the Koch Brothers wet dreams due to the existence of the filibuster. A machiavellean experienced legislative hand is what is needed in the Senate.

      The key is Pelosi. She MUST be replaced. The replacement should be somebody who has to drive at least 150 miles to see the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans or Chicago. I think this is more important than the ethnicity of the person. That is the only way the Democrats will position themselves for wins .in the House and the Electoral College

      1. hunkerdown

        Laws that can be made can be unmade. But that’s not what Democrats do. Unmade laws can’t persecute the undeserving.

  12. Steve H.

    : his doing squat for homeowners, indeed, to allow Turbo Timmie to use them to “foam the runway”

    Nicely clarifying. If home ownership has been a defining characteristic of the middle class, this explicitly shows who ended up with the tire tracks all across their backs.

    1. Steve H.

      A digression in praise of sharp wit:

      Who said it first is not always who said it best. If the precise mathematics of the meaning of life are only available to one person, it doesn’t do much for the rest. “What is easy is readily understood, and from this comes its power of suggestion.”

      The use of sharp wit to clarify conflict situations is documented back to Aristophanes. A simple proverb may be better for a situation requiring acceptance and continuity. But an incisive juxtaposition is a wonderful solvent for bullshit. We can see the center of a jewel through different facets at the same time, but they meet at an edge.

      1. epynonymous

        My word of the day.

        “A jeremiad is a long literary work, usually in prose, but sometimes in verse, in which the author bitterly laments the state of society and its morals in a serious tone of sustained invective, and always contains a prophecy of society’s imminent downfall.”

      2. optimader

        If the precise mathematics of the meaning of life are only available to one person, it doesn’t do much for the rest

        Who said that first?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I don’t know who said it first.

          But my guess the math involved is this: 0 = 0.

          We came from nothing and we return to nothing.

  13. Ché Pasa

    Re: Taibbi Thing

    Perhaps a counterfactual and anecdotal tidbit, but:

    While the Ché household has not experienced any advance in income since the unpleasantness of 2008 (well, we have, but not due to increases in monthly direct deposits from our regular sources), while we still earn essentially zero interest on savings, and while practically every routine expense has increased substantially (except gasoline), we were able to refinance our mortgage at a significantly lower interest rate via the much derided HAMP program, and thus save thousands of dollars a year in interest that would otherwise be paying the bonuses for bank CEOs and such. Not sure it makes up for anything, but there is that.

    My view is that if the banks were going to be bailed out, there should have been a debt jubilee or something like it for every household in the land. I know. Dream on.

  14. Fuzzy

    Re the “coastal citadels” article, I couldn’t get around the paywall. Does it discuss liberals for whom hating white guys is a feature, not a bug? There seems to be quite a few of those. What does the Democratic party do about them?

  15. epynonymous

    Hamilton is just a field-day for crypto-racists anyways.

    Did you know he’s actually Puerto Rican?!

    It’s like a think-piece in reverse. Or rent-a-minority-friend / rap-sploitation for $400.

    Is America ready for an elitist mulatto musical?

    1. Harry

      Forgive me but I have never liked the word “mulatto”. I suggest “quadroon”, or “house n*gger” as less likely to offend those of us who are of mixed race.

  16. Katharine

    I find it puzzling that the item on Amazon forest emissions makes no reference to the reckless human destruction of hundreds of square miles of that forest. Anyone would think the trees had inexplicably betrayed us, not that we had destroyed them. The only reference to logging is in the comments, and the role of agriculture (think soy beans, or perhaps in Asian forests palm oil) gets no mention.

    1. johnnygl

      It looks like it is drought related more than human deforestation related. Southeast asian rainforests are still able to do their job, in spite of worse rates of deforestation in Indonesia vs. Brazil in recent years. There was a link to drought maps within that post which indicated the amazon is having a bad dry spell. I really, really hope it is temporary instead of some kind of secular change in weather pattern.

      The LAST thing the planet needs is a dying and drying amazon rainforest!!!!

      1. Vatch

        It’s possible that Southeast Asia has been spared a drought because the monsoon rains continue to fall. Amazonia doesn’t have the equivalent of the Himalaya mountains, which block moisture laden air from proceeding to Central Asia. Then again, the Himalayas mostly influence the monsoon in South Asia, rather than in Southeast Asia, so this might not be a significant factor.

        Another possibility is that decades of deforestation in Amazonia have made the region less humid, which contributed to the drought. Several thousand years ago, the Sahara region was much moister than it is now.

        The Neolithic Subpluvial began during the 7th millennium BCE and was strong for about 2,000 years; it waned over time and ended after the 5.9 kiloyear event (3900 BCE). Then the drier conditions that prevailed prior to the Neolithic Subpluvial returned; desertification advanced, and the Sahara Desert formed (or re-formed). Arid conditions have continued through to the present day.[1]

        You are absolutely correct that we don’t want Amazonia to dry up. The resulting aridity could last for thousands of years.

      2. Katharine

        But apart from problems with rainfall, the drying is also related to soil exposure and degradation; and the absolute loss of carbon fixing biomass cannot be discounted. Looking at the weather without considering the human effects is too piecemeal an approach. All these things go on at once.

        Unexpectedly good description of interacting phenomena:

        Deforestation also drives climate change. Forest soils are moist, but without protection from sun-blocking tree cover they quickly dry out. Trees also help perpetuate the water cycle by returning water vapor back into the atmosphere. Without trees to fill these roles, many former forest lands can quickly become barren deserts.

      3. John k

        Rain forest is cool, brings clouds and rain. Cut down chunks and area heats up, begins repelling clouds. Kind of like global warming…
        The Sahara would get more rain if you planted a lot of trees there, of course locals do the reverse.

  17. Jeremy Grimm

    “Trump: What the Market is Really Saying” — The smart guys got the election all wrong and the smart guys in the investment houses got the market all wrong. The article seems to suggest the market suddenly believes in Reaganomics with its jolt of Keynesian spending on “Defense” and infrastructure and further deregulation and maybe a little more inflation is OK. Were these trends in Trump’s economics hidden before the election and suddenly became visible in his “surprisingly conciliatory acceptance speech”? I can’t wrap my head around this link’s explanation for the change in the markets. It seems more like a rationalization of what happened than an explanation.

    Could the market shifts be explained by shifts in the bets in play? A Hillery win would have helped/hurt one set of market players and a Trump win would probably help another set of market players and the up tick in the market reflects the after election decision in favor of one outcome over the other lowering the risk. I’m not saying that’s what happened and lack the skill to crank out numbers which might build a case but it better fits my idea of an explanation of events. I have trouble believing a sudden change in the market reflects a sudden change in economic beliefs. However the link’s analysis of Trumpanomics makes more sense.

    1. cnchal

      So what might happen to a Trump economy? To begin with, the composition of Trump’s proposed tax cuts is deeply unfair. According to the Tax Policy Center, under Trump’s plan, the top 0.1 percent of the population would get a tax cut of $1.1 million, or 14 percent of their after-tax income. Middle–income earners would get a tax cut of less than 2 percent of income or an average of about $1,010. Those in the bottom fifth would get a tax cut on average of $110 or less than 1 percent of after-tax earnings.

      The elite win again. Never forget that narcissists elected to office end up surrounded by psychopaths. The con jawb continues.

      As for “markets”, the combined wisdom of it is psychotic. No surprise really when you look at the people running and gaming it. The rest of us are just runway foam.

    2. timbers

      IMO this is the part that jumped out at me. But it may not be all that new…a friend who works at an investment brokerage said to me a year ago that fiscal stimulus is what is need to get the economy growing more:

      “investors are starting to agree with liberal economists that fiscal policy is the way to get more growth…”

      But, fiscal stimulus that allows for higher growth will increase interest rates and that will end the free money for Wall Street, sending stocks lower maybe even with increasing sales growth/profits?

  18. Tertium Squid

    “What better way to spend inaugural weekend than talking about how to kick Donald Trump’s ass?” Brock said.

    …after a year and a half of failing at it when it mattered.

    Brock is smart trying to jump in right now when powerful people are feeling angry and helpless. I was wrong in thinking he’d go away after election day; we’ll have to endure him for another five elections I bet.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Notice Brock says the important thing is to come up with ways to kick Trump’s ass, he did not say the important thing is to promote policies that are good for the 99% and then talk about how to get people to understand and back them and get them enacted. This is about revenge, not enfranchisement and the greatest good for the greatest number.

      1. Montanamaven

        Similar to Mitch McConnell et al in 2008 saying their goal was to make Obama a one term president. And Oh how the “progressives” howled. Again as I said above, this is all kayfabe. The two parties are in cahoots. Time to marginalized all consultants, pundits…Brock, Reich, Carville, all pollsters like Celinda Lake and publications like THE NATION! Mother Jones. Figuarativley speaking, “Off with their Heads,” The Democrats and all these dinosaur publications cannot be redeemed.

    1. Pat

      As Lambert might say “when will the Democratic Party step up”. This has been going on since 2000 along with lots of legal shenanigans. In that time we have had a two term Democratic Presidency, a majority Senate and House. And then there is the Party itself. You know the one where their candidate for President wasn’t bothering with new voter registration, much less fighting for the voter rights of those targeted for removal.

      As for the AGs, don’t know what Lynch has been doing but Holder was busy cracking down on medical marijuana and prostition in New Orleans. Obviously things far more important than people’s right to vote being restricted or stripped.

  19. Tertium Squid

    Garbage in, Garbage Out

    And when the campaign finally showed up in the African-American, Latino, and white working-class areas they got lots of “so you only come by once every four years?”

    Imagine if that had been the sign in Clinton HQ instead of “Swipe Right for Hillary”.

  20. johnnygl

    Regarding Amazon rainforest releasing carbon instead of absorbing it. I really hope the rains pick up and end the drought there. Interesting that southeast asia has lower levels of atmospheric carbon, around 300ppm still in parts. At least those rainforests are still doing their job, in spite of those ridiculous fires around a year ago.

    A drying amazon releasing carbon is one of those theoretical scenarios of nightmare positive feedback loops of climate change that pushes CO2 even higher and kicks global temps up another degree or two and pretty much destroys civilization.

    I keep hoping there are unanticipated positives that save us like more rain in the sahara, turning it back into more of a savannah. That would help absorb some carbon. I’m not holding my breath, of course.

    1. uncle tungsten

      A tree led climate recovery is a global necessity. The fires continue every year in Indonesia without fail, the palm oilers must clear land. The Sahara won’t reforest without a human program but firstly the amazon with South East Asia USA,Australia PNG and West Papua, and on and on. Put back the forests, we can cohabit this planet with them. The project is not hard but there are some intractable foes to be pacified or recruited to this venture. Plant some soon.

  21. Paid Minion

    “US Manufacturing Economy”

    A nice little summation. Employers want skilled, drug-free,, dedicated people, willing to work 50-60 hour weeks, in un air conditioned facilities, in towns out in the middle of BFE. While paying so little, your employees are on public assistance.
    And while your employers are looking longingly at all those illegals…..

    Back in the early 90s, we had a TQM team organized to try to improve employee retention. Did exit interviews, tracked down people that had left 3-4 years prior. What were the findings? Low pay/benefits, and the people who moved in from out of town didn’t like living in BFE. Especially the wives who had college educations.

    You can probably guess what happened next. The study went in the round file.

    You can go to the poorhouse quickly, while staying home and watching TV, or you can get there a little slower, by working.

    The drug issue is real. My SIL (in a salaried exempt position) is working 60 plus hour weeks, covering for another supervisor that tested positive on a random screening.

    And lets dispess the argument that the pay is less, because the cost of living is less than the cities. Cars and gas aren’t any cheaper. Neither is food. Taxes are pretty much the same. The only thing that is cheaper, is purchased/rented real estate. And thats because the real estate is in BFE.

    1. Sandy

      There has been virtually zero discussion of the impact of the decentralization approach of industry in the Midwest. One industry / one company towns should not be permitted; the US has no real civic planning culture or scheme and this drives tremendous inequality. People just end up stuck in these towns which were built only for a handful of companies to drive down costs as much as possible. if they were in bona fide urban clusters, they could more easily find employment in other industries, such as construction. The China approach to master planning is winning out.

    2. ewmayer

      Some key snips for me:

      The paradox has echoed through the presidential campaign, with both major candidates lamenting the loss of factory jobs – even as unemployment in most industrial regions has dropped to rates usually considered healthy.

      That’s BS, because we all know how fake and Pollyannized official employment metrics have become over the decades. Too discouraged to actively seek work? You don’t exist! Working one hour a week waving a sign outside the local car wash? You’re employed, by golly!

      The logical response to a labor shortage is to raise pay enough to attract a quality staff, but many manufacturers say they can’t afford it in an era of rising global competition.

      The global wage and environmental-law arbitrage meant by the article’s anodyne “global competition” being the #1 reason Trump got elected. So basically, tariffs and a rollback in socalled “free trade” might work, yes?

      A tactic he may try is bringing in workers from local Amish communities in hired vans. That’s worked well for some local employers, but Brown has his doubts. Foundry work involves pouring molten metal, and many Amish seem more familiar with other types of wood and metal-working trades.

      Consider the sheer myopic inanity of that last sentence, whose unstated “logical conclusion” is “clearly these folks cannot possibly be *trained* to do the types of work we need.” Because having good intelligence, a great work ethic and all-around good-with-one’s-hands-ness isn’t enough? Jeezus, these twits aren’t even willing to invest in the relatively minimal several-weeks-of-on-the-job-training it would require to enable such a person to become proficient at castings work?

    3. MtnLife

      The drug issue is code for: not only do we want to control you for the 50-60 hours you are here but we want our tentacles of misery to extend to control of your home life as well. I can understand there are plenty of jobs where you want the person sober and focused but this could be tested for less daily (and less intrusively) by doing some sort of calibrated coordination tests that would not only weed out someone who is intoxicated but those who are too tired or otherwise distracted (maybe a death in the family) to perform their duties adequately. It might be incredibly helpful to know when your surgeon’s reflexes are a half second slower and that they can’t hold the scalpel steady because they’ve been working too long without sleep, mid-divorce BEFORE the surgery takes place. I think we should develop something like this for driving as well instead of arbitrary levels of metabolites that we use now. Would help to solve the marijuana road safety/sobriety test issue.

      1. Oregoncharles

        Performance tests have been done for marijuana intoxication, using driving simulators. They found that people unaccustomed to the drug did less well, stoners did better. Than when they were straight.

        THC is a very peculiar drug whose effects are difficult to detect. I’ve seen a person who’d had a lot too much (watched her smoke it): she sat and stared at the wall. No complaints. Not driving, either.

    1. UserFriendly

      Yes, and what a good read it was! The tooth fairy had me actually laughing out loud and getting strange looks. Perfect piece to send to people who get dumbfounded when I say Obama will go down as one of the worst presidents of all time. 2nd only to Reagan, IMO.

  22. timbers

    Trump: What the Market is Really Saying The 2nd last paragraph jumped out: “investors are starting to agree with liberal economists that fiscal policy is the way to get more growth…” If so, I still don’t get why markets are rising because growth might improve but the cost of debt would begin to normalize thus very much higher interest rates and doesn’t that drain of lot of the near free money flowing into Wall Street?

    1. craazyboy

      When you work in a bubble, you only think about what makes the bubble bigger. Not what pops the bubble.

  23. Vatch

    Trump Demands Apology From ‘Hamilton’ Cast Wall Street Journal

    Who cares? What concerns me is that people might start to believe that Alexander Hamilton actually had a goatee. As far as I know, he didn’t. Is there any genuine historical evidence that he had facial hair?

        1. Emma

          C’mon Opti. Anything is possible and permissible with theater…..just as is obviously today outside of theater! Conflict of any kind makes for great drama of any kind. And just as with the public, the cast of the musical Hamilton also have a civic right to protest as well. However, I’m not sure if disrupting the actual performance of Hamilton for their particular protest, in practice, really respected the civic rights of the audience. That troubles me more than goatee beards, nose rings and hiphopping history…..

          Besides which, was the performance of the musical less than that of the protest, and moreover, the most important social outcome desired by Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast? Perhaps the real message and sheer magic of Hamilton was ultimately lost (as would appear to be the case on NC in discussion here of the disruptive scene) through such a disruption. Let’s face it, violators who indulge in the abuse of mobile phone-time, snore sack-time, sweet snack-time and simple start-times are bad enough!

          Perhaps too, a minority within the audience had saved for not just weeks, but months even, to afford the cost of the ticket, and/or had taken time off from shift-work to attend. Their goal was to see an award-winning and ground-breaking American musical, not the VP-elect, nor protest of the VP-elect. In one sense, these people were mistreated by those above them upon the theater stage, but also entrapped out of a unique and progressive opportunity rarely made available to any of them. Just as is precisely their experience at the hands of yet another cast of actors well above them upon the political stage! Inconsideration does well make waves, unless we respect the tides….

          Disrupting this theater performance in such a way today where the average ticket price recently passed the $1000 mark to not only decry the VP-elect, but to voice displeasure at suggestive acts committed in an imaginable future by said VP-elect, is not one of the most effective or courageous forms of leveraging free-speech with group protest either. Particularly when so much else is under actual significant assault, including basic human rights ie. insuring fresh and accessible water in sanitary supply in relation to the Dakota Access Pipeline or Flint, Michigan for example.

          Ticket affordability aside, along with goatee beards and hiphopping history, the controversial VP-elect was not just willing, but open and interested enough to attend a performance of what is a color-conscious musical with the right tones (!) which makes revolutionary heroes out of immigrants. IMHO,that’s encouraging and should be welcomed. So, despite the protest and animosity on display towards Pence, he hopefully departed the theater newly reminded of the advantages that a belief in the values of unity, equality, respect and dignity for all mankind offers, and which Hamilton the musical instills. In practice, it is these values which make America great. And ground-breaking in a positive sense.

          Maybe the President-elect could now attend a performance, but without protest, and meet the talented cast backstage for discussion afterwards. They might together pave the way for some unexpected but responsive and ground-breaking policy which a clear majority of Americans would embrace…..Now that would be a “beautiful thing”!

          1. Optimader

            Emma if you’re in Chicago go see
            Fun without being revisionist history.

            To be clear I am all for free speech but I dont think a theatre is the appropriate location to politixally hector a member of the audience. Bad precedent imo.

            As far a Hamilton goes, hey if it keeps ppl employed and a roof on the Shubert Theater (chicago) i am good with it, but if push came to shove I would pay to not have to go.

            1. Emma

              Agree – without serious attempts to maintain peace and order (ie. peaceful protest……and peaceful policing….) a state of anarchy ensues…..That then means no Hamilton for any of us at all. And an end to progress already made.
              As for Hamilton and the cast, I’ve heard that each night of performance the musical and its’ cast inspire the audience to reflect on important issues in an educational and entertaining way. IMHO we need more stuff like that!
              However, I would hazard a guess the bulk of Hamilton money goes directly into real estate pockets as opposed to cast and supportive behind-the-scenes employees etc…… If that’s the case, perhaps our POTUS-elect, in direct consultation with the Hamilton cast, could work together towards establishing a more equitable state of affairs……

                1. Steve H.

                  : Hamilton grosses about $1.5 million weekly in ticket sales while it costs about 40 percent of that to rent the Richard Rodgers Theatre, pay salaries and cover other expenses, according to the show’s early financial statements obtained by THR.

                  Excellent article.

                2. Vatch

                  Lets see how egalitarian Miranda is about spreading his revenue split with the cast

                  Maybe he’ll emulate George Clooney, and in 2020 he’ll sponsor a Cory Booker for President campaign dinner. Couples will only have to pay $353,000 to sit at the most prestigious tables.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Pence is avenged!

      Drunk guy shouts at cast in the middle of the performance:

      An audience disruption took place at the Saturday evening production of “Hamilton” at the PrivateBank Theatre in downtown Chicago.

      According to audience member Brea Hayes of Batavia, who was at the performance, an audience member seated in the front of the balcony shouted profanities and election-related political statements after the cast sang the line, “Immigrants / We get the job done,” which is part of the show’s “Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)” number.

      Hayes said that the man appeared to be intoxicated, shouted “We won” among other things, and was resistant after being asked to leave. She said he finally was ushered out by Broadway in Chicago staffers.

      This is how justice will be served in the Trump era. /s

      1. brad

        I expect Lèse-majesté laws next. Can’t insult the “dignity” of a Trump Presidency. Watch LibDems polish that “continuity turd” too.

      2. Optimader

        This made me laugh.
        Some guy’s wife dragged him to it after paying a lft nt for tickets so he got drunk first?

  24. Carla

    Yves, I’m delighted by your comment on The Right Way to Resist Trump because when I read it a couple of days ago, I thought exactly the same thing: Finally, something that makes sense.

    Yesterday I sent it to several Democrats and some actual leftists, and only heard back from one, a rabid Democrat who dismissed it immediately, which only confirms our take on it.

    1. Vatch

      I especially like this from the article by Luigi Zingales:

      For example, with Mr. Trump’s encouragement, the Republican platform called for reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act, which would separate investment and commercial banking. The Democrats should declare their support of this separation, a policy that many Republicans oppose. The last thing they should want is for Mr. Trump to use the Republican establishment as a fig leaf for his own failure, dumping on it the responsibility for blocking the popular reforms that he promised during the campaign and probably never intended to pass. That will only enlarge his image as a hero of the people shackled by the elites.

  25. Tertium Squid

    Fixation on Fake News Overshadows Waning Trust in Real Reporting

    This wide formulation of “fake news” will be applied back to the traditional news media, which does not yet understand how threatened its ability is to declare things true, even when they are.

    This is about more than just hyperpartisanship in “legitimate” media organizations. The author is making that point that, after giving way to Facebook hegemony these outlets have very little ability to get Facebook to protect them from threats that are caused by Facebook itself.

    1. HotFlash

      Prediction: “fake news” will become an automatic way to dismiss any information which challenges the Official Line, as have “junk science” and “conspiracy theory”.

      1. polecat

        I think Senator (D.Ratf#ck) Dianne Feinstein discussed this very topic a year or so ago …. something about bloggers not being ‘real & credentialed’ journalists .. or some such ..

        she would know .. right ? /s

  26. Andrew Watts

    RE: Pentagon and intelligence community chiefs have urged Obama to remove the head of the NSA

    Interesting. It’d be irresponsible not to speculate about this. Maybe Russia wasn’t behind the Podesta/DNC email leaks. Maybe, just maybe, it was somebody closer to home. The spy chief meeting with Trump without informing his superiors in the Obama administration is suspicious after everything that’s happened. Anybody want to attempt to make the case that the NSA couldn’t have possibly pwned Podesta or the DNC?

    Everything I know about so-called tradecraft was taught to me by the Rocky & Bullwinkle Show.

    (From the pilot episode)


    Natasha: “What do we do next?”

    Boris: “We do what any intelligent self-sufficient spy with real initiative would do… we wait for instructions!”

    But if I worked for the NSA…

    “Hey boss, we can always blame Russia or China. It’s not like we’re gonna leave any conclusive evidence behind and those f—wits in Congress always believe what they’re told anyway.”

    For the record I’m not serious about this theory. I was just trying to get some laughs. Just not about the gullible f—wits in Congress. That’s not funny at all.

      1. Andrew Watts

        The problem with this theory is that it presumes that the Podesta / DNC leaks mattered. The whole issue was lost in the noise of the 24 hour news cycle unless there is something I missed in exit polls. It was an embarrassment but nothing that probably decided the votes of any individuals.

        I can’t honestly think of a reason why the DNC or Podesta was specifically targeted. In his memoirs Nixon admitted that the Watergate burglary was counterproductive and stupid. I don’t remember exactly what old Tricky Dick said specifically but it’s not like the DNC possesses any earth shattering insight, information, or strategy that could’ve swayed the election.

        If anything it had great comedic value. Both then and now.

        1. hunkerdown

          Destroyed public trust in the Liberal Democratic System wouldn’t be measured by exit polls. Exit polls don’t poll abstainers, for example. Did they stay home because of the stench of desperation on HIllary’s part? Because of the fireworks? Because of the Podesta emails? One would have to find them to ask them.

          It may be amusing to those of us who understand that institutions have interests, but to people who still trust that hierarchy, private property maximalism, and “representative” government are impartial institutions that provide the best practical way to run a world, it should come as quite a shock to see the hallowed Party throw elections, work against the people it presumes to represent, etc. etc.

      2. JSM

        Maybe it’s not that complicated. Maybe somebody (Flynn?) wants the real story on what the hell’s been going on over there, and why

        Over the past year or so, the command’s operations against the terrorist group’s networks in Syria and Iraq have not borne much fruit, officials said. In the past month, military hackers have been successful at disrupting some Islamic State networks, but it was the first time they had done that, the officials said.

        C’mon. The best hackers in the world, and all that…

  27. susan the other

    Just a point about Obama’s legacy. Watching Deutsche Welle. Obama went to Germany to reassure them that Trump would not be able to undo certain things – unspecified in the coverage. He gave a speech for which they assembled and endured but the unease was obvious. First in Merkel’s body language which was not very friendly and second in Obama’s body language which was painful to watch. He tried to be so casual it was clear he was covering up his own discomfort. When he departed both he and Merkel were relieved. She turned and walked away before his motorcade left. Why he even bothered is a puzzle. He was self-obsessed enough to jeopardize Merkel’s re-election just to make himself look like a statesman – which he is not.

      1. Steve H.

        I saw some dominance assertion. As they met, T initiates the handshake from a superior position and pats R’s arm, which is a dominant gesture. R returns the arm pat, so T gives him a second pat on his side. Then R & Pence shake hands & R gives him a pat, which P accepts without return.

        By the time they part, there was a still picture I saw which had T’s hand rotated over R’s during the handshake. R accepted T’s dominance, which make sense, since T had closed the deal.

        A lot of masking in the facial expressions, one still photo seemed to have T showing disdain at observers. All of which may have nothing to do with what was actually discussed.

        I’ll write this once and then leave it. We know nothing about what T will do until he has the actual power to put people in place, and then through the first wave of firings. He is just the sort of guy to revel in watching the vultures flock before he betrays them. He may be getting them to lay their cards on the table so he knows what they want. But between the possibilities, from being paid to step aside for P, to wanting to go down in history as a Great American, lies so much unknown that the noise is swamping the signal. And I use ‘lies’ with full poetic ambiguity.

        1. Mo's Bike Shop

          It seems reasonable to assume we are only getting a-b testing now. I’m already pondering how his ‘nope, here’s my new guy’ approach will work with a congress that expects every appointment to be the the plot of the show.

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          This was originally billed as a “Trump to kiss and make up with Romney” meeting. Romney really can’t say no to a President elect. Romney looked like he had just sucked a sour lemon in most of the pix, like he really would rather not have to be there.

          Then we are told “Romney is being considered for Secretary of State”.

          I can’t tell you how many times people in the Obama Administration were under consideration for posts that the candidate told the press they didn’t want.

          Having Romney on the list does a ton for Trump. Makes him look mainstream. I don’t see what being SoS under Trump does for Romney, particularly given his lack of relevant skills. Treasury would be a more logical pick.

          1. aab

            Except that picking Romney for Treasury would be like Obama bringing in Summers, although I think Trump’s base may better recognize what a betrayal that is.

            Romney’s family comes from Mexico not that many generations back, right? (As temporary residents, I realize.) If Trump feels he’s got to put some of these Murderer’s Row regulars in the cabinet, it might make sense to stick them in places away from their core skill set and treat them as mere managers. I wouldn’t mind watching that experiment.

  28. Kokuanani

    I also liked this from the Jacobin [“Garbage In, Garbage Out”] article:

    “What they seem to have missed is that the way to reach blacks, Latinos, and women is the same way you reach the white working class: progressive economics, and knock on their doors. And guess what? The allegedly ‘racist’ and ‘sexist’ white working class is cool with a multicultural coalition as long as you give them the progressive economics. On the other hand, it turns out that downplaying the progressive economics loses everyone except the skillled professionals.”

    I wonder how many of the excellent points made in the various articles linked & posted here @ NC will make it into the DNC “autopsy.” They ARE doing an autopsy, right? Because the “patient” [DNC] is surely dead.

    1. two beers

      Because the “patient” [DNC] is surely dead.

      Just what entity exists to fill the power vacuum?

      Chuckie Schumer for Senate minority leader…does that sound like a lesson learned from an autopsy?

  29. Schnormal

    Can someone please help me understand something?

    I read the Vox article on the Obamacare replacement plans and, as expected, found no mention of single payer.

    Now if Trump is supposed to be some kind of champion of business interests, wouldn’t moving to single payer be his best move? He’s not particularly beholden to the insurance or pharma industries. Sure, these industries are immensely powerful, but surely not more so than all other industries combined? If most employers are required to pay at least half of their employees’ premiums, wouldn’t they want to shift this cost onto the gov’t (privatize the profits, socialize the risk and all that)? It’s not even like he has to create a plan; all he has to do is Medicare for all. The cost of the program will be spread over the whole population (for most people this will amount to less than they were paying in premiums), and it’s not like the rich pay taxes anyway.

    Delivering single payer would be a giant win for Trump — not only would it allow his business cronies to save yuge premium and admin costs, but it would rank among the biggest populist coups of all time, neutralizing pressure from the (true) left and splitting them from the center, maybe permanently.

    I get that Trump hasn’t exactly been spending his life building alliances in congress, but he could pressure them by talking (tweeting) directly to the people, as one would expect from a true demagogue. And what the hell is keeping the corporate sector from pressuring congress more directly to adopt single payer? It seems the lobbyists are writing all the laws now, and they seem to have no trouble exempting their clients from a ton of environmental and financial regulations. What exactly is in it for big business, that they wouldn’t also want to end their participation in such a horrendously expensive and inefficient health insurance system?

    1. hunkerdown

      Public goods weaken labor discipline and other aspects of the lord-serf relationship. That’s why American small business doesn’t want it, anyway. Big business probably doesn’t concern itself overmuch with the details of “resources” in the first place, except when mining them.

    2. HotFlash

      he could pressure them by talking (tweeting) directly to the people, as one would expect from a true demagogue.

      Hear hear! Like FDR’s Fireside Chats, or Fiorello La Guardia reading the newspaper over the radio during the depression, b/c so many people couldn’t afford newspapers (so I was told). I once heard a recording of him reading the comics, Dick Tracy, IIRC.

      I look forward to watching “The Real President” every week.

    3. Schnormal

      On second hand I’m probably just going through some post-election denial. It’s naive to think that the Trump administration would feel obligated to replace Obamacare with anything more than a bunch of Chase-managed flexible spending accounts.

      Sometimes overthinking stuff can be soothing, especially since the reality of the new Trump administration will probably be nothing more complicated than watching them steal stuff.

      It’s kind of like how you can’t stop coming up with left-affirming reasons why Hillary lost, even after reading Greg Palast.

    4. djrichard

      Let’s say Trump wants a really draconian outcome whatever that is. If I were him, I would wait to do that after his voting base has other safety nets propping them up, like jobs (from stimulus, PPPs, reduced trade, whatever).

      But instead we see Trump saying he wants to tackle healthcare first. So my guess is will be that his voting base won’t be negatively impacted by that. Otherwise, he’s stupid.

      I have neighbor who will be going on ACA after being unemployed. I’m pretty sure they voted for Trump, knowing full well Trump’s position on ACA, but more importantly knowing his position on jobs for the working class. But I imagine their vote would flip next go around if they get the short-end of the stick over the next four years.

    5. Oregoncharles

      At this point he seems to be shaping up as a fairly typical Republican, but he supported single payer before he ran as a Republican. As you say, it makes good business sense, especially for someone like him with a lot of employes. Even after he switched, he occasionally said things implying universal coverage. So there’s a case to be made that he “really” supports single payer. Of course, getting that through a Republican Congress (thanks so much, Steve Israel and Obama) would be a challenge.

      Probably, as JEHR said, wishful thinking, but he campaigned to Hillary’s left on other issues, like “free trade.”

    6. Mo's Bike Shop

      What percentage even responds to ‘Single Payer’ in polls? I mean, how many people, on average, have any idea what it is?

      So why would single payer even show up on Trump’s list of possibilities?

      I’m all for asserting that the health of our citizenry is a national security issue. I’d prefer if usonians instinctively knew that ‘promote the general welfare’ is actually a constitutional requirement for our officers of government.

      1. marym

        It depends to some extent on how the polling question is worded, but there has been positive polling across different polls for many years.

        2015-2016 polling

        In 2009 I posted a paper on the PNHP website with the title, “Two-thirds of Americans support Medicare for all.” In that paper I examined two “citizen jury” experiments which reported support for single payer in the 70-to-80 percent range, as well as polls showing support in the 50-to-70 percent range. I showed that support for single payer rises as people are given more information about it.

        Polls conducted since 2009 confirm that correlation. Two recent polls released by the Kaiser Family Foundation, one last December and one in February, illustrate the correlation. You can see it in these four questions reported by the two polls:

        (1) 64 percent “have a positive reaction to the term ‘Medicare-for-all’” (February poll);
        (2) 58 percent “favor … having a national health plan in which all Americans would get their insurance through an expanded, universal form of Medicare-for-all” (Dec.);
        (3) 50 percent “favor … having guaranteed health insurance coverage … through a single government health plan” (Feb.); and
        (4) 44 percent have a “positive reaction to ‘single-payer health insurance system’” (Feb).

        Trump has actually mentioned single payer positively in speeches, but his published plan on his campaign website was just the usual Republican talking points for private insurance.

      2. Lambert Strether

        > So why would single payer even show up on Trump’s list of possibilities?

        One word: Neoliberalism

        Single payer does not show up on Trump’s list of possibilities because markets. Both conservatives (Trump) and liberals (Clinton, Obama) are neoliberals.

    7. rd

      Single payer is un-American (except for Medicare, Medicaid, and VA of course) because it helps poor and middle-class people.

      Just because a number of other countries use it successfully to cover their population at a cost that is half the US’s per capita healthcare cost, does not mean it is effective. On the contrary, it means that there is lots of corporate profit-making potential left on the cutting room floor in those other countries.

      The single biggest failure the Democrats have had over the past 25 years is not making a focused, comprehensive, understandable case for single payer health care to the American public. Even Bernie Sanders went overboard by throwing in things like free university for everybody into the soup pot that effectively made him sound like a crackpot socialist (even the European countries usually don’t offer free university and Canadian universities are priced like US state schools).

      The American voter voted for “CHANGE” in this election. I wonder when they will figure out that “CHANGE” is actually a rerun of the Twilight Zone episode “To Serve Man” where the manual is finally translated and found to be a cook book which means these voters are actually on the menu instead of at the table.

      The US has an excess per capita healthcare cost of about $5,000 per year or about $11,000 per household compared to the rest of the developed world. This is a direct competitiveness issue. These excess costs need to be factored in to understand the US worker competing with the rest of the world, resulting in lower disposable household income and reduced sales to other countries. This excess healthcare cost alone explains much of the decline in median disposable household income over the past three decades.

      Personally, I don’t think that the economic “Malaise” that the typical workers are feeling will go away until the healthcare and financial (minus REITs) sectors combined in the S&P 500 are less than 20% on a cap weighted and GDP basis. These days, I believe that they typically add up to close to 30%.

  30. JEHR

    What is to prevent Trump doing exactly as he wishes from now on? He did not give an account of his income; he has many, many interests in various companies that no one knows anything about; he creates his own ‘blind trust” which does not meet the definition of a blind trust; he is going to have his children as advisors; he can prevaricate whenever he wishes; he can contradict himself without a pause; he is already meeting foreign and other leaders in “Trump” towers; he entertains on his own golf courses, and so on. What if that is the route that he takes throughout his presidency. What can stop him? Will the sheriff arrest him for not following protocol. This is the way authoritarian government is introduced to the nation. An interesting thought. How like1984 this all is: What is true is false; what is false is true. How does one live in such a world?

  31. Vatch

    Here’s an article in “The Economist” which seems especially misguided to me:

    Establishment Democrats Steve Israel and Cory Booker assert that Sanders would not have beaten Trump. Their argument boils down to this: Trump and the Republicans would have been mean to Sanders in their advertising. What they overlook is that Sanders is strong in the Rust Belt states, which is where Trump managed to squeak by to victory. In addition to the Rust Belt, Sanders would also have won in the states that Clinton won, such as New York, California, and Illinois.

    I’m sure many NC readers can remind us how successful Steve Israel was as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. 193 Democrats in Congress when he assumed that office in January, 2011, and 188 Democrats in Congress when he left that office in January, 2015:

    Sure, there was a bump in 2013, but that happened as Obama won his second term. The Democrats should have been able to retake the Congress, or at least come close to doing so, but they didn’t.

    1. RMO

      And these were the same guys who were certain Hillary would win so you just KNOW they’re right about this!

  32. Cry Shop

    Monopoly / Bezzle – Buffett smelled a sure thing even before Hill-Billy got sunk

    He (Buffett) repeatedly mentioned the bitter lesson in his annual letter to shareholders between 1989 and 1996 and complained about the “kamikaze pricing tactics of certain carriers,” and said “it’s impossible to be a lot smarter than your dumbest competitor”.

    Why is Buffett changing his mind?

    Currently holding between 1 percent and 4 percent of the four largest US airlines, perhaps he would amass more shares and then push for industry consolidation to reduce competition.

    The emergence of new energy like shale gas may put a cap on fuel costs over the long run. That could also change the bad economics of the airline industry.

    The author of this article only need travel to any secondary city in the USA, even from one of the major hubs, to spot there is no competition in most of the market.

  33. b.

    “[Obama’s] humanity and greatness are probably only just now coming into true focus.”

    Yup, the man formerly known as Matt Taibbi.

    Another hagiobituary.

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