Links 12/16/16

US financial stocks make gains in wake of Fed signals FT

Yield on 10-Year Government Note Hits Highest Close Since September 2014 WSJ

Lawmakers Who Owned Bank Stock Were More Likely To Vote For Wall Street Bailout: Study David Sirota, International Business Times

California, Uber meet amid self-driving car legal showdown AP

DeVry agrees to pay $100m in case alleging deceptive ads Boston Globe

How a Monte dei Paschi Rescue Is Unlikely to Solve Italy’s Banking Problems WSJ

Corpus Christi, Texas, tells residents to avoid tap water due to contamination fears AP. Remember when finding shovel-ready projects for Obama’s stimulus package was hard?

Corpus Christi law firm sues Valero, contractor over water issues Corpus Christi Caller-Times


China Halts Trading in Key Bond Futures as Panicky Investors Sell Securities WSJ

China cedes status as largest US creditor FT

World Bank Donors Commit to Record $75 Billion to Meet Growing Demand WSJ

Police State Watch

Video: San Diego Police Allow Police Dog To Bite Naked Man For 40 Seconds Jonathon Turley (Re Silc).

When SWAT Raids Are Routine The American Conservative

Our Famously Free Press

International Fact-Checking Network fact-checkers’ code of principles Poynter. I’m so old I remember when we had editors to do that!

Facebook now flags and down-ranks fake news with help from outside fact checkers TechCrunch. Using Poynter’s code.

Got a confidential news tip? NYT. Times sets up secure dropbox. Of course, if spiking James Risen’s warrantless surveillance story until after Bush was elected in 2004 is any indication, what the Times means by “get in touch with and provide materials to our journalists” isn’t necessarily what a whistleblower might think it means.

War Drums

Bipartisan War The Unz Review (Re Silc).

2016 Post Mortem

Stop It! There Are No Big Lessons From the 2016 Election. Kevin Drum, Mother Jones. “It is a tale. Told by an idiot…” The literal STFU is a nice touch.

Elizabeth Warren Fuels 2020 Speculation By Joining Key Senate Committee Time

2 former NC governors criticize GOP efforts to strip executive power Charlotte Observer. Strip executive power from an incoming Democrat governor.

Republicans could keep parts of Obamacare for up to four years Politico and Democrats open to replacing Obamacare Politico. Sounds bipartisan. Watch out.

Trump Transition

How Donald Trump’s New Top Economic Adviser Views the World WSJ. Apparently, Goldman’s #2 is a useful idiot?

Trump chooses congressman, former SEAL Ryan Zinke as interior secretary Reuters

* * *

Rogue Electoral College? Don’t count on it: Our view USA Today

Inside the Final Efforts to Block Trump from Winning Monday’s Electoral College Vote People

Long-Shot to Block Trump Lands at Electoral College Monday Bloomberg

* * *

Obama to hold press conference at White House on Friday Reuters. Is the orderly transition still on? Or not?

Obama: ‘We Will’ Take Action Against Government That Meddled in US Election Voice of America

The Democratic Party Allies with the CIA Counterpunch (CL).

‘Putinites on the web’ are the new ‘Reds under the bed’ The Spectator

Scoundrel Time: Lessons in Patriotism and Journalism From a Master Counterpunch

Craig Murray’s Description of WikiLeaks’ Sources emptywheel. A critique of this interview with Murray.

Assange: Some leaks may have been Russian The Hill. But not the WikiLeaks leaks, apparently.

* * *

Daily Action Alert Is the New Service That Lets You Use Your Phone to Fight Trump Vogue. Help me.

The practical guide to resisting Trump, by former Congressional staffers Quartz

Labor Secretary Tom Perez Jumps Into The Race For DNC Chair HuffPo

Top Democrats Call for Public Hearing on DOL Waivers for Banks with History of Misconduct House Committee on Financial Services. A letter to Labor Secretary Tom Perez.

Beyond Hope TNR

Guillotine Watch

This Is Your Life in Silicon Valley Medium

Class Warfare

What Happened to Turkey’s Ancient Utopia? Discover

Report: A Tale of Two Retirements Institute for Policy Studies

Suit filed to block voter-approved increase in Arizona’s minimum wage Arizona Daily Star. Suit filed by “business interests.”

Unhappy Russians nostalgic for Soviet-style rule – study Guardian

Recharging the Batteries of Whiteness: Trump’s New Racial Identity Politics Verso Books

Why the Peak Oil Movement Failed The Archdruid Report

Antidote du jour (via):


Bonus video:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. voteforno6

    Re: The Democratic Party Allies with the CIA

    I enjoy reading Counterpunch, but this article is a little unhinged.

    [Threadjacking material that would discredit the site removed from this comment, and from comments in response to it. See my comment at 11:34AM –Lambert, 2:31PM

    1. timbers

      Here’s something less conspiratorial. At 5:30 this morning my radio alarm went on to NPR headlines – “Horror in Aleppo” followed by Russian hacking headlines and Obama having a press conference today abt retaliation against Putin’s interference in the election. Some here are saying this is just Dems being an opposition party to strengthen themselves in future elections (something aurgued here yesterday in comments) and nothing to do with electoral college and preserving Clinton’s promised bipartisan war and hegemony agenda. If Dems wanted more votes they’d by pushing issues that benefit working people. There’re not and instead doubling down on this which most voters don’t care about – like they mostly always do.

      1. fresno dan

        December 16, 2016 at 7:52 am

        I saw snippets of Morning Joe and CNN this morning. CNN had Friedman and both shows made the red scare of the early century and 1950/s look like a walk in the park. Like I note in my comment below about FOX having more equanimity about Russia that the MSM, if we are not in a dem/MSM conspiracy, than we are in a great simulation. Maybe the Russians haven’t hacked our computers, they have hacked our brains so that we destroy ourselves in the greatest red scare EVAH!

        Again I ask, who SUBSTANTIVELY more manipulated the election process: Russia or the DNC (Bernie)??? Soooooo…….why was the DNC manipulation a big nothing burger???

        1. Adamski

          Also means that the electoral college should undo the primary results too, and seat Sanders as President, natch. Dems not saying this. Therefore, insincere.

        2. JerryDenim

          BREAKING NEWS! New CIA reports conclusively prove the Russian state intelligence service hacked into CNN computers and stole Presidential debate questions to unfairly prep candidate Trump! Oh shit, wait… Never mind, got that backwards. Those were insider Clinton spies acting on behalf of the DNC/Clinton.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        The Democrats need reform beyond messaging to win at this point.

        Trust has an incalculable value. The Team Blue elite are simply lying crooks. They can’t refocus. At this point, their only path to power is to hold onto a smaller Democratic party and hope turnout plummets in future elections. For Team Blue to be the Democratic Party, there needs to a purge of crooks and Clintonistas. Without their Team Blue status, those crooks have nothing.

        A Clintonista discussing relevant issues will be laughed at without acts of contrition. Podesta searching for the “truth” of Area 51 is not an act of contrition. It’s amazing Podesta “trusts” the CIA on Russians but know they lie to him about the greys. These are simply bad people. Oh sure, they aren’t cackling about those meddling kids and their stupid dog, but the Democrats are full of corrupt people. A Russian villain who can cloud their own incompetence and greed is their only way back into power.

        1. b.

          “Podesta ‘trusts’ the CIA on Russians but know they lie to him about [Area 51].”


          I have a footnote to my Grand Oligarchy Acclamation Theory of US elections since Bill Clinton: as a working assumption, US presidential elections (as well as elections for Congressional seats, and primaries) should, from the voters perspective, best be considered a variation of the Monty Hall problem.

          However, we have approached the point where we have to assume that every door hides a goat, and that there is no payoff within the permissible choices.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I would stay with door #1.

            Why else would the host (who knew where the prize was) open another door (#3, in this example)? He knew you got the right door, and was trying to make you change, thus saving the network money.

            The key greed factor is here, corporations have to make money (or not give away money).

            Thus, when you pick a candidate (door #1, Trump), who scares the big boys, they will expose the other door (Hillary) as not good (door #3), and attempt you to go with door #2 (Let the House pick).

            As with the Monte Hall problem, you stay put.

            1. fosforos

              Learn how to play bridge (or if you’re a real conservative, whist). This is elementary. When you first guessed, your choice had a 1/3 chance of being right, and that chance is unchanged. But now that one door has been opened only two remain so the unopened door has a 1/2 chance to be the right one against your 1/3 chance. It’s ALWAYS right to switch.

              1. Tom_Doak

                I have seen this explanation for years and I still do not understand it. As I see it, your original chance of being right has changed, has it not? You can now see that its odds of being right are 50%, the same as door #2.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  With a neutral host, you NOW have 50% with door #1, and 50% with door #2, according to your comment.

                  For fosforos, the unopened door has 50%. But #1 and #2 are both unopened. Which is forforos referring (“the unopened door has a 1/2 chance”)? And why should he switch?

                  1. Outis Philalithopoulos

                    In the original Monty Hall problem with a neutral host, after the player picks a door, the host is required to open a different door which contains a goat.

                    The chance that the player picked the door with a car on the first try is 1/3. After the host opens the other door, the probability that the originally picked door contained a car is still 1/3 because nothing has changed (it has not metamorphosized into 1/2). The only other unopened door therefore has a 2/3 chance of containing the car.

                    If the host is not neutral, then the problem turns into one about psychology and is no longer associated with exact probabilities.

                    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      If you become ill, after the host opens the door (#3), and you are replaced by another player, who is brought in from across town (by teleporting), and now comes to the stage, what does he see?

                      He sees door #1 and door #2 unopened.

                      Behind one of them is a car , and the other, a goat.

                      One more thing – he looks just like you, on the outside. And everyone in the world thinks he is you.

                    2. Outis Philalithopoulos

                      This is a great illustration of how the problem is sensitive to slight changes in the setup.

                      If, in your example, the player teleported in knows which door was originally chosen, and which one was not, then the problem hasn’t changed and it still makes sense to switch.

                      But if this information isn’t available to the new player, then either door could be the one originally chosen (as far as the player knows). So the chances of either door containing the car, as far as the new player knows, is 1/2.

                    3. Tom_Doak

                      OK, let’s do the same problem backward. Assume the car is behind door #2 as you say.

                      Now assume that I picked door #2 to start with.

                      Monty shows me the goat behind door #3. So does that mean I should switch to door #1?

                    4. Outis Philalithopoulos

                      If you want to analyze the problem this way, it works out as follows (always assuming that you initially pick door #2):

                      The car is either in door #1, #2, or #3, with a 1/3 chance of each.

                      If it was in door #2, then, as you say, switching will always lose you the car, and staying put will always win you the car. But this only happens 1/3 of the time.

                      If the car was in door #1, then the host will show you door #3, and so your choice is between switching to #1 (which always wins you the car) and staying with #2 (which always loses). Similarly, if the car was in door #3, then switching always wins the game.

                      So following a perfect strategy would depend on knowing which door contains the car, but you don’t. All you know is that 1/3 of the time, the correct strategy is not to switch, and 2/3 of the time, the correct strategy is to switch.

                    5. Tom_Doak

                      Thank you. I get it now. I was omitting the 1/3 of the time where if you had chosen door #3, Monty would show you Door #1.

                    6. Optimader


                      …In a stochastic, or random process, there is some indeterminacy: even if the initial condition (or starting point) is known, there are several (often infinitely many) directions in which the process may evolve. In many stochastic processes, the movement to the next state or position depends on only the current state, and is independent from prior states or values the process has taken

                      So did anyone ever consider the goat a win??

                    7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      Tom, in the example, you pick door 2, for all 3 scenarios. I am not what you mean by “I was omitting the 1/3 of the time where if you had chosen door #3, Monty would show you Door #1,” when responding to Outis’ comment on 4:11PM)

                      That is,

                      If it was in door #2, then, as you say, switching will always lose you the car, and staying put will always win you the car. But this only happens 1/3 of the time. (You pick is door #2)

                      If the car was in door #1, then the host will show you door #3, and so your choice is between switching to #1 (which always wins you the car) and staying with #2 (which always loses). Your pick is door #2) Similarly, if the car was in door #3, then switching always wins the game (Your pick is door #2)


                    8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      Outis, you write:

                      Similarly, if the car was in door #3, then switching always wins the game.

                      But at that moment in time, we know it’s not in door #3. The door was opened, and there was no car in it. And the host opened it for that precise reason.

                      I don’t get why, with additional information that eliminates one of the 3 possibilities, it’s still 1/3.

                    9. Outis Philalithopoulos

                      Here are two explanations:

                      (A) Suppose you play the game 99 times (assuming for the sake of simplicity that the player always starts with door #2). Then the car will be, on average, in door #2 33 times, and same with door #1 and door #3.

                      If the car is in door #2, then the host will show the player the goat behind door #1 some part of those 33 times, and the remaining times the goat behind door #3.

                      On the other hand, the 33 times the car is in door #1, the host will always show the player the goat in door #3.
                      Similarly, the 33 times the car is in door #3, the host will always show the player the goat in door #1.

                      So no matter what the host does, the 33 times the car was in door #2, the player would lose by switching. However, the 66 times the car was elsewhere, the player always wins by switching.

                      (B) Call the following “Game Q”. You pick a door. The host offers you two choices. Either you can take whatever lies behind this door, or you can switch to the contents of both other doors.

                      It is fairly intuitive that in Game Q, you win 1/3 of the time if you don’t switch, and 2/3 of the time if you do.

                      However, a little bit of thinking shows that there is no scenario where you win in the Monty Hall problem but lose in Game Q, or vice versa. So despite their apparent differences, the two games are exactly equivalent, and the probability of winning if you switch is always 2/3.

              2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                But the host is not unbiased.

                And the host, like Hillary, was given the correct answer before the show.

                1. Optimader

                  Hillary was given the questions not the answers. The irorny being her team of cretinos, ADA and she were given extra time to refine the wrong answers

              3. Aumua

                Well yes basically, but 1/3 + 1/2 != 1, so there is actually a 2/3 chance that the other door is the car.

          2. HopeLB

            After watching the Canadian Minister of Defense tell the world about the different types of aliens and how the world should be told, the ONLY silver lining to a Hillary win would have been truth telling about aliens. (Unless of course, the CIA/NSA are controlled/led by the aliens and are using our greed to re-engineer the planet by cleverly urging us on to methanate the atmosphere, in which case Podesta would not have been told anything.)

        2. oh

          The current democratic party sells a lot of blue Kool Aid and middle class wannabe rich and elites lap it up in their dog bowl. The D leader was on National Propaganda Radio this morining mouthing carefully chosen words and innuendos about how the Russkies interfered in our election. He said that people were not apprised of how qualified and experienced H was in her role as SOS and therefore did not vote for her. He also said that the campaign by Trump did not allow her to discuss issues.

          I turned of the radio half thru after the NPR presstitude threw him more soft balls and leading questions. Pox on both the D’s and the R’s. The “interview” was so sickening.

    2. lambert strether

      Nice threadjack. First one out of the box.

      See “1963” in the post title? No? But suddenly that’s all we’re talking about. Well played.

      1. optimader

        Hitler was the second shooter….
        and w/o further adieu, this deer path into the epistemologically boggy woodlands should be officially dead by order of gamekeeper Godwin.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          It’s a hairball. We’ll never know the truth, don’t even have a means of recognizing if we encounter it. And it’s over 40 years old. We have contemporary material to discuss, and outcomes that, in our own small way, we can influence. The topic is an utter waste of time. There’s probably a Reddit forum for it, and people can go there.

      2. two beers

        I think it’s more than just a threadjack. It seems like an attempt to further conflate left sites like counterpunch with fake news. Ironic, considering how little patience Alexander Cockburn had with conspiracy theories: you can find his tirades against 9/11 CT in the CP archives.

        Could this threadjacker be a fake commenter?

    3. GQ

      Differences between the two historical intelligence camps: Navy intelligence (~NS.A +5i’s) & Army intelligence (~CI.A) seem to be getting serious with overt alignment with political parties (the align has always been there in the background). The question is: what is driving this to the surface? I suspect it has to do with divergent views on where the US’s global risks are. The Army intelligence centered group is preoccupied with Russia while the Navy intelligence group is preoccupied with China. Each discounts the seriousness of the other’s preoccupation. Are we seeing ‘civil war’ within the intelligence services emerging?

  2. semiconscious

    re: Scoundrel Time: Lessons in Patriotism and Journalism From a Master

    happy to see you linked to this. my vote for today’s ‘must read’. deeply disturbing & genuinely hilarious all at the same time :) …

    1. fresno dan

      December 16, 2016 at 7:34 am

      I agree. Its as if I’m in the Twilight Zone with the revisionism going on with the CIA and Iraq. Its as if people are asserting with a straight face that George Tenet had nothing to do with the CIA
      And now the CIA is just chuck full of the most modest, patriotic, truthful people in America.!??!?
      AS BAD AS TRUMP IS, and I have said many times how horrible I think he is, the idea that any virtue is bestowed upon the CIA is preposterous and outrageous…
      I saw a snippet of Tucker Carlson on FOX, and when FOX has to explain that Russia is insecure because of the advancing European/American push eastward and explain their point of view – well, the world has turned upside down.

      1. Doug Hillman

        I might buy Russian meddling in US elections only if the CIA vociferously denied it. The CIA claim that Russia exposed the “Democratic” Party’s blatant subversion of democracy must be the richest vein of irony ever. This syndicate of liars and killers, whose slogan is Biblical: “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free” is and has meddled in elections in every country on Earth. So a pot coated in brimstone carbon soot, overflowing with the smelliest crap, has the gall to accuse the Russian kettle of subverting democracy. If Russia did help to expose the “Democratic” Party’s crimes, they did us a huge favor, but who can possibly believe anything the CIA claims … ever?

        1. Lemmy

          I’ve been having some fun on pro-Clinton sites by reminding people that anyone who wants to believe unverified assertions of anonymous CIA officials about Russians hacking the election does so at their own risk:
          Attorney: Spy chief had ‘forgotten’ about NSA program when he misled Congress
          CIA director John Brennan lied to you and to the Senate
          CIA lied about torture, Senate report suggests
          Torture report: CIA lied to Congress and allies about its secret prisons
          George W. Bush’s CIA briefer admits Iraq WMD “intelligence” was a lie
          A Former CIA Official Apologizes to ‘Every American’ For Iraq Intelligence Failures
          Anonymous Leaks to the WashPost About the CIA’s Russia Beliefs Are No Substitute for Evidence

          1. fresno dan

            December 16, 2016 at 11:31 am

            Lies upon lies upon lies…..and your not willing to believe the CIA!?!! You must be a cynic…..

          2. Baby Gerald

            Thanks Lemmy, for this handy compendium of links to dismantle any defense of the CIA’s credibility in this red scare nonsense. I will save these for future reference.

            The Scoundrel Times story is so revealing of the utter lack of integrity in mainstream news journalism that has been par for the course for the past two decades or more. The stenographers club keeps on parroting the official story and doesn’t ask questions unless and until prompted by truth-seeking alternate sources committed to actual journalism. The growing access to these alternate news sources and their propensity for proving the official story false, eventually leads enough concerned citizens to call into question the official line and those that delivered it unquestioning in the first place.

            When this happens repeatedly across a variety of important world-changing issues, the credibility of mainstream journalism [and the people who work in that realm] is found lacking. Impossible to see from a third-person perspective their media organizations’ fealty to power and wealth, this club has instead decided to double-down on the red-bait smearing. When the argument descends to smug insults in response to honest questions, the discussion is over and all has been revealed.

            Tucker Carlson had a similar exchange on his show last week with Adam Schiff, and Floyd did the same thing with Eichenwald on Twitter. If you don’t believe the CIA you’re either a commie yourself or a gullible stooge. These will only be the first of many such dialogues to come.

            The conclusion I reach is that the vast majority of ‘press’ today no longer occupies the so-called fourth estate. It’s simply an extension and mouthpiece of the second, usually in complete opposition to the third. [estates of the realm wikipedia] These institutions need to realize that what sells more papers is actual journalism that people can trust, not how many click-bait headlines they can fit on the front page.

        1. Waldenpond

          Of course… intel agencies exist to protect private property. I'[m sure a list of which corporations are most likely linked with each agency shifts over time (they likely align with multiple agencies as they do with multiple political parties). The cia has a more broad international sphere, the FBI a more domestic focus. The SoS seems like nothing but the administrative and pr office of the cia. Clinton was sos so the D party has allied itself to the cia but why is the base (voters) mindlessly parroting this bs. The elite make money off this bs, the agencies gain power and those sweet sweet tax dollars, oligarch media owners have other financial interests and use their rags for spreading propaganda to further enrich themselves, bloggers get campaign money, thinktank/foundation welfare and hopefully time on msnbc, blah, blah, blah so I get why they do it…. but commenters/voters buying into the garbage is bizarre. Tribalism and partisanship overboard. They must find the made up victimization and adrenaline satisfying.

    2. Romancing The Loan

      No real other way to interpret that rant than that someone in that guy’s close family (dad?) is CIA. Operation Mockingbird in action!

      1. mirjonray

        Totally agree – fire up the Mighty Wurlitzer! Also, my first thought when I clicked on the link is that the only people in the MSM who can get away with criticizing the CIA are journalists on the Agency payroll, aka, limited hangout.

    3. flora

      From Eisenhower’s farewell address to the nation, 1961:
      “We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.
      “We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

      An “…alert and knowledgeable citizenry…”
      That’s where the real press, not the partisan cheerleaders comes in. Interesting how many big name cheerleaders I see in today’s MSM.

  3. oho

    ‘Elizabeth Warren Fuels 2020 Speculation By Joining Key Senate Committee’

    historically the US Senate is where political careers go to wither and die (or the Senators get too comfy ensconced in the Capitol Hill velvet).

    JFK/Obama springboarded immediately to a White House run. LBJ gets an asterisk as he was JFK’s vice-president.

    Need to expand the governors’ bench. Warren should’ve ran for Mass. governor in 2015.

    1. roadrider

      JFK served 3 terms as a congressman and one full term plus two years of a second term as a senator when he was elected president . He also had far more experience in foreign affairs than Obama.

    2. Waldenpond

      Rest assured… I read the Ds are planning on running a few billionaires for governor in the next elections.

  4. Steve C

    “We have a lot of fighting to do,” Tom Perez said. As Yves says, the Democrats, always “fighting,” never winning.

    1. Anne

      On my way from work to shopping yesterday, CSPAN radio was rebroadcasting an event held at the headquarters of the American Federation of Teachers, in support of Keith Ellison for DNC chair; I wasn’t able to listen to all of it at the time, but found this livestream – which is also embedded in the article I linked to (note: it takes about 30 seconds to get started and goes for about an hour).

      With respect to Tom Perez, he was one of the names floated for Clinton’s VP, and what does that tell you? That putting Perez in to head the party would be a victory for the status quo, a status quo whose electoral failures continue to pile up and threaten to perpetuate that pattern, because it is blind and deaf to the needs of the people. A status quo that serves itself at the expense of the people.

      Watching/listening to this event is at once heartening and heartbreaking, because you see what could have been, you see what can be, and you know how hard the establishment will fight to make sure it never happens.

    2. David

      Nice job, Drum. 2012 was the disappointment with Mr. Hope and Change election. Fortunately for him the R’s ran the guy from the monopoly box against him and he won but not by much. Hillary lost to Donald fucking Trump. She deserves to wear a scarlet letter for that one. That said, he’s right in a way. 2016 merely represents a continuation of the Democrat Party’s stalwart commitment to suckiness.

      1. Dita

        Agree. Apparently, the dems method for dealing with Trump will be to ride his presidency out, hoping he will inflict sufficient pain and suffering on the masses so that once again the dems are the only alternative. Business as usual, and no learning.

    3. Vatch

      As Lambert in Water Cooler reminded us on December 14, Perez advised the Clinton campaign on ways to bash Bernie Sanders. From Wikileaks:

      Nevada is an opportunity to fight back on so many levels. First, the current storyline is that she does not connect well with young voters. Given that Nevada is far more demographically representative of America, I am confident that HRC can do well with all African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans (dont forget the sizeable population of Asian Americans in Nevada, including Filipinos.). Emmy and the team have a good plan to attract all minority voters. When we do well there, then the narrative changes from Bernie kicks ass among young voters to Bernie does well only among young white liberals— that is a different story and a perfect lead in to South Carolina, where once again, we can work to attract young voters of color. So I think Nevada is a real opportunity , and I would strongly urge HRC to get out there within a couple days of NH.

    4. polecat

      “the Democrats, always “fighting,” never winning.”

      what does one expect when putting fingers in Chinese handcuff ….

  5. Samuel Conner

    Kevin Drum doesn’t share HRC’s puzzlement that she didn’t beat DJT by 50%. I don’t buy it.

    His argument is that HRC did about as well as one could have expected (perhaps even a little better) in a typical 3rd term election, and lost only by a tiny margin due to fluke outcomes in 3 must-win states.

    Yes, but against an historically unpopular candidate.

    Yes, by a tiny margin in 3 must-win states: all of which have been hammered by globalisation, which the Clintons have been cheerleading for decades.

    It sounds like Drum doesn’t want to interpret this election outcome to be grounds for change in the Democratic Party.

    I’ll be looking for genuine progressive primary candidates to help with $ in 2018. Is there an MMT version of “Emily’s List”?

    If not, there should be one.

    Call it “Abba’s (Lerner) List”

    1. diptherio

      The Drum article was annoying. He may have a point that the presidential election doesn’t “prove” anything in particular, it doesn’t follow that none of the people trying to use the election outcome as evidence for their pre-existing viewpoint don’t have a valid critique of the Democratic Party. Drum seems to be of the opinion that the Dems have done nothing that could have effected the election and so don’t need to change anything in particular. How convenient…

      I was also annoyed that he conflates the minority of people who actually voted with “the population” and laments that only 2-3 percent are persuadable. Newsflash to Kevin: the majority of us were persuaded long ago that both parties and their candidates were just a big basket of deplorables. But, apparently, in Drum’s world those people either don’t count as part of the population or just don’t exist. Real smart guy there…

      1. Pat

        My problem with that point from him was that was pretty obvious to anyone paying attention for at least the last decade, and I would say even longer. But Clinton and her extremely well paid campaign managers (and Drum) seem to have missed that. So rather than try to persuade the three or four per cent that are do decide on a case by case basis try to persuade dedicated voters from the other side, diss voters from their side and ignore those swing voters’ issues entirely.

        And I hate to say it but the point about Clinton losing the popular vote if you subtract California from the mix is really powerful. Except in the throes of “Clinton couldn’t have lost!!!” madness most people really do not want only one state determining everything, including a lot of New Yorkers (the other state with that rep). Democrats really really do not want to deal with what that point says, anymore than they want to deal with the loss of state and local offices.

        ON that and Drum’s real questions I have one answer to you, Republican lite Democrats don’t get elected after it becomes obvious that they are lying to you. People just decide elections don’t matter and stay home. National Democrats gaming the system so that people who really are old school Democrats don’t get to run but promoting former Republicans have made this happen. You can push a few of those in individual states and even nationally (cough, cough Obama cough) but generally the rubes have caught on to the fraud.

        1. fresno dan

          December 16, 2016 at 9:43 am
          December 16, 2016 at 10:41 am

          One point I would bring up is – policy! Obama and the dems have been in power for 8 years – was THERE NOTHING they could do policy wise to gain the confidence of the working class? ((maybe there shrugging is an answer….)) These states voted for Obama twice. Hillary lost because Hillary was not only a bad campaigner, but because the 1000watt Obama smile was wearing thin.
          We have tried “free trade” for 40 years now – there is NO EXCUSE IN THE WORLD FOR DEMS to support TPP and TIPP!!!!! NOBODY was fooled when the dems said they didn’t anymore….too many Goldman Sachs speeches I imagine…..

          1. Pat

            fresno dan

            I truly do think the trajectory of Obama’s approval will be similar to Clinton’s post Presidency. He will still be loved by a portion of the electorate. Those who figured out he was a terrible President while in office will just have more and more evidence to support that. And those who were in denial will start accepting that he was effective for his wealthy campaign donors (and not even them all the time) and no one else.

            I know I’m probably an outlier on this, but I do think that some of the pundits who are writing dreck like Drum just don’t want to admit they were deluded and allowed themsevles to be conned. Not all, but some. It is really hard to publicly go “We were wrong. I was wrong. Not only was Clinton not the most qualified person to ever run for President, she was the epitome of the Peter Principle. She was arrogant and ignorant. Because she had gotten away with not playing by the rules for so long, she was sure no rules applied to her. In this case, rules like you have to win the electoral college votes to win the election; to do that you have to appeal to voters in less populous states you have no interest in and even go there; people do not turn out to vote against people they turn out to vote for something so you need to offer them something to vote for beyond your inevitability, your gender, and scary opponent.” But like I said that would mean admitting you were conned, so we are unlikely to see that happen.

            1. fresno dan

              December 16, 2016 at 3:52 pm

              Pat, your probably exactly right. If your an “intellectual” or merely fancy yourself one, it probably is one of the most difficult things in the world to admit you were wrong.
              I know until I was in my mid thirties I was pretty obstinate that I was right about everything. Fortunately, being a microbiologist/scientist put me in a position of not being able to ignore the telescope too long….
              And you know what? Its just so much easier to believe what IS instead of what the theory you believe says it is….

      2. Plenue

        Drum undermines his entire article right at the end with this:

        “POSTSCRIPT: This is all about national-level politics. I don’t think there’s any question that Democrats took a huge beating at the state and local level, where they were already weak. If you want to write a smart piece about what’s wrong with Democrats, that’s the place to start. Forget Hillary Clinton. Tell me instead why Democrats have such dismal prospects at the state level.”

        So, yeah, the Dems clearly suck on some fundamental level, but their sucking has nothing to do with their losing the presidency? Really?

    2. tinheart

      Contrarianism is the big thing in writing these days. Gotta drive those page counts! Does Drum even believe what he’s writing, or is he just playing Devil’s Advocate?

    3. Katharine

      The last I heard, Brand New Congress had vetted 34 prospective candidates out of over 2,000 suggested names. I don’t know how effectively they are going to work, but I like their efforts to find candidates among people who are not part of the system. They seem at least worth keeping an eye on, and perhaps supporting.

    4. djrichard

      I do see the democratic party as staying true to the horse that got them here, which is loyalty to their benefactors first and foremost. And so within that, whatever intersection of the electorate that can be won over without appeals that antagonize the benefactors, go with that.

      The benefactors know this: the people who vote based on identity can be bought cheap. So unless the benefactors see some other way to slice and dice the electorate, it’s status quo. The benefactors certainly aren’t going to converge on economic populism.

      The game in the meantime, is to keep the battle alive in the minds of their consumers. Not so that the consumers can understand what they’re buying, but rather so that the consumers know who the enemy is – the enemy that is preventing them from prevailing. It’s a potentially winning formula.

      So embracing economic populism is the last thing they want to do. It not only antagonizes the benefactors, but also deprives the democratic party of an enemy. If they embrace economic populism, who becomes the enemy? The benefactors? Perish the thought.

      1. fresno dan

        December 16, 2016 at 11:35 am
        Hard to see how we can escape the dynamic you describe. If I have any hope at all, it seems like this election showed that overwhelming money superiority does not guarantee success.

  6. fresno dan

    ‘Putinites on the web’ are the new ‘Reds under the bed’ The Spectator

    Yesterday in the House of Commons, Labour MP Ben Bradshaw did something alarming: he demeaned the vote for Brexit — the largest vote for anything in British political history — by saying it was brought about by dastardly Russian meddling in the referendum.
    What’s truly scary about the Russia-won-it-for-Trump nonsense is that so many ostensibly left-wing and liberal people are uncritically lapping up CIA claims. Since when did the CIA become a paragon of political truth? Since when was it considered acceptable for the CIA to use its clout to cast a shadow over the democratic election of a president? Imagine, just imagine, if Hillary had won and the CIA had said: ‘We think her victory is dodgy.’

    If I ever say anything wrong, or act cross with anyone, or say anything offensive, or cheat on my taxes, or dart into a parking space nearer the sprawlmart in a space you were waiting for, and that ALL my microaggressions – I want you all to know that Putin made me do it….. PUTIN, PUTIN, PUTIN!
    I’m pretty sure PUTIN caused slavery too…..

    1. Eclair

      The CIA is, reportedly (it may all be ‘fake news’, what do I know), excellent at destabilizing governments, facilitating coups, removing unwanted, albeit ‘democratically elected’ leaders (like zippy wax strips whisking away unwanted facial hair).

      As you say, what is truly scary is how easy it is accomplished. People you thought were educated, well-read, leftist … all of a sudden they are terrified that we are about to be invaded by Putin. The Chris Floyd twitter interchange with Newsweek’s Eichenwald sounds like some of my conversations with formerly rational ‘liberal’ friends.

    2. paul

      It’s hard to pick out the absolute worst of the red tories,but benjamin bradshaw is always in the running.
      He bravely defied not only Putin,but also common sense, in supporting the recent vote for airstrikes in support of the moderate jihadists in Syria.

  7. Carl

    Loved how at the bottom of the Drum article, there was an appeal for money by Mother Jones, claiming “this year is unlike any other,” when Drum just got through saying how ordinary this election was, nothing to see here, move along. Well, Mother, which is it? And what a shadow of your former self you’ve become…

    1. Romancing The Loan

      Yikes. I like postcards from the end of america but this was just creepy – sexist dude assumptions projected onto an artsy faux-concerned shallow sweep over the lives of many different suicidally depressed women and the author’s bizarre conclusion that therefore feminism (and casual sex, and i guess birth control?) is wrong and women have to trap men into marriage with sex or they’ll kill themselves.

      This is…not how most people think, men or women, straight or gay. It’s nuts.

      1. frosty zoom

        i can see how you’d get that impression – yet i did not. more than anything, i just felt sad. i don’t think he’s blaming feminism; i get the impression that the hopelessness applies to men as well.

        people torn between what is “normal” now and what was “normal” then..

        1. Portia

          I got that impression from this:

          my drinking buddy Marty was liberated by feminism to pounce on 140 sniffable, lickable and squeezable trophies, while blowing up five marriages along the way.

          Encouraging heartlessness and dishonesty, this freedom to fornicate breeds cynicism, wrecks home and traumatizes children, but who wants to hear that? Sex is fun, rejuvenating, soul shaking, revenge, raid, exploration and carthasis, dude, while marriage anchors and delimits. Since husbands and fathers can be such tyrants, let’s just have playas. Pork and run is cool.

      2. reslez

        Yet another conservative writer who blames feminism for what neoliberalism hath wrought.

        If you want to increase stable marriages, give people stable living wage jobs. Until then, the chaos of poverty is going to sink most long-term relationships. That’s not the fault of women or men, it’s the fault of the .001%. Witness how they blame the victims for their “choices”.

        1. fresno dan

          December 16, 2016 at 3:40 pm

          I agree entirely. The stable, family values (real family values – not contrived values for political points) midwest of 70, 60, 50 years ago. How did all those people become oxy contin and meth addicts and start dying prematurely??? DE-Industrialization – mere coincidence?????
          Why, having no job has nothing to do with it (sarc)
          We have decades of inner city squalor that shows what poverty does to people, and we have it happening to white people too now, and there are people whose definition of character is that their tax rate can never, ever pay for more than the special privileges they get and the monopolies they are granted….

        2. frosty zoom

          it’s funny: i read the linked article and just felt so bad that there was someone who knew so many people who had killed themselves. the parts where he tries to find reasons for the tragedy just flew by me..

          i suppose having lived so close to so much pain would bring someone to find reasons for it.

          i have read much of this author’s work and have found that he is keenly aware of the pain caused by the greed of so few.

          my lord, i feel like i’ve linked to rush limbaugh or something. mr. dinh has chronicled the plight of america’s downtrodden for years. perhaps he says things so bluntly or, as you feel, misguidedly because he lives with these people and that is how they talk.

    2. Lee

      Thanks for this. I am ambivalent toward the author’s point of view. But then, I am ambivalent about much that has to do with the human heart. As a meditation on loneliness, sex detached from emotional attachment, and suicide it is quite compelling. But is having a successful, lifelong romantic relationship the only answer? Surely it is for many but not necessarily for all.

      1. frosty zoom

        of course there are many paths to happiness. i think the author is lamenting the demise of one of the most vital of these pathways.

  8. Jim Haygood

    From the FT article:

    China’s foreign exchange holdings have fallen about a quarter since early 2014 to just over $3tn. The decline has been driven partly by central bank selling of dollars to support the renminbi, which has fallen more than 15 per cent against the US currency over the same period.

    The fall in Treasuries holdings is part of a larger campaign by Beijing to stem capital outflows. China has also recently introduced curbs on Chinese companies’ overseas acquisitions and dividend remittances by foreign investors.

    For most of the 21st century, the trade weighted US dollar index has been falling. Pegging the renminbi to the USD was ideal for Chinese traders, who faced almost no currency risk. They could dispense with the cost of hedging, as the Bank of China did it for them.

    Suddenly the USD link is a thorn in China’s side, as runaway dollar strength carries China’s currency up with it. Capital flight is exacerbated by a sense that China will have to devalue. But devaluing could mean US trade sanctions.

    China shedding a quarter of its forex holdings (read “Treasuries”) to defend the currency is momentous. But it’s also unsustainable. Shrinking forex holdings are part of China’s monetary base. To sterilize this loss, China has to issue more domestic debt. But one of its auctions just failed.

    Push is coming to shove. Headache #1 for China is its USD link. But any negotiations with Treasury nominee Mnuchin would be informal for now. Markets have a funny way of rioting when they perceive that no one’s in charge.

    1. RabidGandhi

      Are there any tangible effects of being labled a “currency manipulator on day one” that would outweigh the benefits of devaluing RMB? (I mean beyond a couple of years of therapy to heal Xi’s wounded feelings).

      Of course an all out trade war would be disastrous for both sides, but there is a considerable distance between mean name calling and full-on Smoot–Hawley.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Good question, to which it’s hard to find a straight answer. From Bloomberg:

        The last time the U.S. designated China a currency manipulator was in 1994, when Bill Clinton was president. Under a 1988 law, the Treasury is required to assess whether major trading partners game their currencies to prevent balance-of-payments adjustments or to gain an unfair trade advantage.

        Meeting all three [criteria for manipulation] would trigger action by the president to enter discussions with the country and seek potential penalties.

        “They are a manipulator, grand master level,” [Trump] said in an economic policy speech last month. “I am going to instruct my Treasury secretary to label China a currency manipulator and to apply tariffs over any country that devalues its currency to gain an unfair advantage over the United States.”

        It all sounds reassuringly vague. Treasury and Commerce departments are key players. But it’s nothing that couldn’t be amplified to a presidential scream on Twitter.

      2. PlutoniumKun

        From what I know, there is no direct consequence of labelling a country a ‘currency manipulator’. All it really means is that the Treasury is supposed to monitor the currency daily and report to POTUS and Congress. As such, its an ideal Trump policy. He gets attention and kudos from his base, but doesn’t have to actually do anything.

        Of course, the Chinese might use it as an excuse to call his bluff and stop propping up the yuan, so it will fall even more, and Trump will struggle to respond as it will be all too obvious that the ‘natural’ exchange rate is much lower than it is right now. Trump making a big fuss over this might be just the cover Xi needs to allow the currency to drop and impose stronger currency controls.

        btw, thanks for the kind words yesterday on that bizarre thread.

        1. djrichard

          But what’s the ‘natural’ exchange rate when you have currency flight built up on the back of decades of currency manipulation?

          Currency flight is a game of the Chinese elite against their own central bank. They’re parking in US dollars betting that the PBoC will have to devalue once the PBoC exhausts its US treasury holdings trying to keep the peg to the US dollar from going down further. And when the PBoC devalues, they’ll move back into Yuan = instant profits. It’s the type of game Soros would play.

          1. PlutoniumKun

            Granted, all currencies are manipulated to one extent or another, and undoubtedly China has in the past kept the Yuan too low. But right now, there seems little doubt that it is overvalued, not undervalued in terms of the economic fundamentals.

            While I wouldn’t rule out anything from the Chinese elite, I’m not aware of any evidence that they are betting against the Yuan. That would be a very dangerous game for even the best connected Chinese oligarch. There are safer and easier ways to make money if you are rich and connected in China. The rich are certainly putting their money into dollars, but I see that as a personal hedging strategy, not part of a deliberate strategy of driving the Yuan down.

            1. djrichard

              there seems little doubt that it [yuan] is overvalued

              There can only be two reasons that yuan is over-valued:

              1) there’s a strong demand in China for US goods. So much so, that the trade imbalance has swung the other way. Nope not seeing that.

              2) there’s a strong demand in China for US dollar. Well if one currency is inflating (the yuan, through currency manipulation by the PBoC), then yes I would want to be holding the US dollar, all things being equal. Until recently, capital controls by China prevented a re-balancing. So the yuan was suppressed, and not allowed to become stronger. That changed when China wanted their currency to be accepted/included in the SDR basket. Then the capital controls were lifted.

              So because of (2), we now have all this pent up demand for US currency. Is that resulting in balanced trade? Well look at where the demand for US dollar is coming from; it’s certainly not from the hoi polloi. Even so, one can make an argument that the wealthy are balancing the trade by virtue of acquisitions of US assets. But that’s far different than demand from our factories. Factories produce “inflatable” goods; they’re a pump just like a central bank is a currency pump. Instead, the wealthy are buying things that aren’t as inflatable as goods and currency. They’re buying fixed goods when they can, less inflatable goods when they have to. More importantly, they’re getting out of currency they expect to be “pumped” further.

              And simply holding US dollars is good enough. For when they need to hedge against the PBoC devaluing. If there wasn’t capital flight (like when there’s capital controls), the PBoC doesn’t have to worry to about the economy: the monetized trade imbalance runs itself: it provides the engine of an inflationary monetary base from the printed QE with the engine of exports having a constant price advantage. But take away capital controls and allow capital flight and suddenly their whole economic model is at risk. The PBoC can fight a rear guard action through other means (unwinding QE, loosening lending reserve ratios/rrrs), but that only lasts until they run of US reserves. So when the PBoC capitulates, does that mean the wealthy were hedging that? Or does that mean the wealthy were betting on that? Hard to tell the difference.

      3. djrichard

        Remember Smoot–Hawley was instituted when US had balanced trade with the world. In a balanced trade regime, if you reduce imports, then it only follows that you’re going to reduce exports.

        Compare to today where we don’t have balanced trade. We don’t have a regime where imports and exports are related to each other.

        1. djrichard

          P.S. what we have today is a simulacrum of a usdollarzone, by virtue of all currencies (more or less) being pegged to the US dollar. So in essence, a simulacrum of the eurozone, except for the world as a whole.

          So in essence what is happening between US and China is no different than what is happening between Greece and Germany.

          Or between WV and NY for that matter. Except in the case of WV and NY, there’s not only a currency governance, but a fiscal and fedgov governance as well. WV is allowed to debase their labor rate only so much. And any currency flows to NY (due to trade imbalances) get recycled back to WV by virtue of fiscal spending by the Fed Gov.

          In the case of Greece and Germany, currency flows to Germany get recycled back to Greece in the form of loans. And Greece is allowed to debase themselves (labor wise and other-ways-wise) as much as Germany wants so that Greece stays within covenants on their loans. [smh] And in the case of US and China, currency flows (absent capital flight) to China get recycled back to US in the form of purchases of US debt (fortunately US doesn’t have to worry about loan covenants). China may have started out with debased labor, but really what’s kept them in the game is debasing their currency. That’s how all the countries play this game; they debase their currency by printing the local currency to buy US dollars (which are in turn recycled back to the US in exchange for US debt). [Up until the point where there’s currency flight, which is why India still maintains capital controls.]

          When we were on the gold-interexchange standard, there was a lot more effort by Govs to have balanced trade with each other. They didn’t like giving up their gold to compensate for trade imbalances.

          1. djrichard

            More importantly, US was on a gold-interexchange standard back then. Here’s the chart showing balanced trade (or lack thereof) over the years.

            Nixon took us off the gold-interexchange standard in 1971. Look at how what happens from that point on in the graphs.

              1. djrichard

                I’m not necessarily arguing for a return to a gold inter-exchange standard. It just turns out that one can correlate balanced trade with when we were on the gold-interexchange standard.

                But it should be possible to achieve balanced trade without a gold-interexchange standard. It just must means more will power is required. When we were on the gold inter-exchange system, will power wasn’t so critical as countries didn’t like giving up their gold.

                By the way, one can have a gold-interexchange standard internationally and be off the gold standard internally. That’s what we were between 1934 and 1971. And even when we were on the gold standard, it’s not like that really limited the banks in pumping out currency.

    2. JohnnyGL

      Mr Haygood,

      I decided to put my investor hat on again recently (I find I do better when I only tune in rarely). It seems the USD has really run up too far, too fast. You taking any interest in this? With rising bond yields and rising dollar, time seems ripe to pick up non-usd securities.

      Curious to get your thoughts.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Currencies are a trading vehicle I avoid. Their “fundamentals” are relative inflation and interest yields. But in practice, currencies vastly overshoot their fundamentals in both directions.

        Big currency traders, such as hedge funds, have contacts in finance ministries who share insider information. Unlike insider trading in stocks, insider trading in currencies is ubiquitous and rarely prosecuted.

        Currency trading is a real-life illustration of Buffett’s maxim that if you don’t know who the mark is at a late-night poker game with the good old boys in the barn … it’s you.

        Sorry I can’t be of more help. My only opinion about fiat currencies is that their intrinsic value is zero. How do you determine the relative valuation of two worthless assets? Beats the hell outta me.

        1. optimader

          How do you determine the relative valuation of two worthless assets? Beats the hell outta me.
          IN teh moment, Mr. Markets exchange rate.

          Ultimately what has intrinsic value? My stockpile of Spaten Oktoberfest and Jamesons I suppose.

        2. JohnnyGL

          “My only opinion about fiat currencies is that their intrinsic value is zero. How do you determine the relative valuation of two worthless assets? Beats the hell outta me.”

          Sounds like I should take the investment advice of the guy in the cube next to me. “Gunz, ammo, gold, and whiskey!!!” I found myself getting ready to disagree….and then….well, I hesitated…. :)

          Agree with your take on actual currency trading, which I don’t dare mess with, either. But, I do figure it might add some diversification to get non-USD denominated soveriegn bonds. Everyone’s hunting for yield these days, I suppose.

          You ever read Breakfast with Dave Rosenberg? I’m not a paid subscriber, but he offers freebees once in awhile. He thinks bond yields have backed up too far too fast, and that the equity market seems to be way ahead of itself and is priced for ZERO disappointment from Trump.

  9. RenoDino

    I must admit I had it all wrong. I thought the plan was to declare Hillary the winner and then declare war on Russia. Turns out it may be the other way around. Obama sounds very uncomfortable in his NPR interview today. He has to launch an attack on Russia because “this” cannot stand. What a way to start a Hawaiian vacation and World War 3.

    The day before Trump is sworn in, Obama gets his final report on Russian hacking. By then, we already may be in a shooting war. Do you think the inauguration will go off as planned or will there be a last minute stand in?

    Again, why do I think this is not over?

    1. pretzelattack is it all just a plot to scare electors into throwing the election to the house? playing with fire to get one oligarch into the white house instead of the one that won the election.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Who else can Democrats blame for picking a world class loser such as Hillary? Nader? Stein? (Those recounts were crafty) Minorities and Labor? Young people? Sanders (not after begging him to campaign for sorry Team Blue dolts across the country)? Vote rigging (not after the primaries)?

        Aliens are too stupid. Blaming the Chinese would be too obvious and given the behavior at places at Dkos over the years would become racist very quickly. They need to pick something before the state conventions especially in states that went for Sanders go crazy. Places like Massachusetts are problematic too. This boils down too “don’t look at me.” Sherrod Brown? Franken? Liz? You are supposed to be the best and brightest. Hillary was clearly a dolt, and she couldn’t even beat a guy with a cameo in Home Alone 2.

        The local Dims won’t blame themselves either. She really was a garbage candidate. A vote for her in 2016 was largely an announcement of “I can’t waste my beautiful brain on critical thinking when the Kardashians have so much going on.”

        “Fake news” too, but that isn’t gaining traction and might result in court battles.

      2. cocomaan

        For years, we’ve had a quiet Deep State that was content to operate on its own. Now power structures are starting to operate loudly, clanging around the way they did in 2008.

        With Congress at an all time low for approval ratings, while the military’s approval ratings get higher and higher, I am pretty frightened of a coup. It would be extraordinarily easy for it to happen. The priming has been done.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Who would do it? The cadets seemed to welcome Trump. The military is too small to control the country, and simultaneously, it’s too large to operate a coup. Obama did well with soldiers, but we didn’t hear much about Hillary’s performance for a reason. They hate her.

          Back when Yeltsin picked Putin as VP, he picked a guy with no political party because a nationalist and communist could ice Yeltsin and run the country. Putin didn’t have that backing. Nice Police Republicans aren’t a revolutionary guard.

        2. RenoDino

          Trump has crossed so many redlines, the first dumping on the MSM and the last being taking on the CIA. He is now right up there with Julian and Edward on their list of undesirables. He is guilty of telling truth to power. There is no higher crime. How can they allow an orderly transition?

          The one good thing that may come out of this is that the bankers who backed Hillary, then too quickly jumped aboard the Trump Market Train, may finally have to answer for their crimes. Not the fraud they committed that caused the Great Recession, but for their treason in backing Trump. They will probably get off just as lightly as before after they sign a loyalty oath and make a large “voluntary” contribution.

          You can imagine the impact this will have on the markets and the economy. For once, the political class will prioritized their existence over market forces. This only happens when the the sh*t gets real and a revolution sweeps away everything that stands in its way. The war on Russia will obviate any notion of civil unrest. It wouldn’t be very patriotic.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Now is the time to remember, you have to invest long term.

            If you have a dynasty (be it 100 years or 1,000 years), you have time to recover should markets be impacted.

            So, I don’t agree that the political class has to prioritize over market forces, if they invest wisely long term – that is, if they plan to be overlords for a long time, then, it’s always about existence.

      3. Katniss Everdeen

        I don’t get it either, but one thing’s for sure–we’ll know on Monday whether this is just a last temper tantrum or something more dangerous. is running a tv commercial on msnbs this morning featuring christopher suprun. He is the repub elector who is refusing to vote Trump, and he is demanding the classified info re: Russian “hacking” prior to the electoral college vote. He wants voters to call the white house and demand that the electors be briefed prior to the vote–like that ever works.

        Personally, I think this will turn out to be much ado about nothing. What worries me more is that obama will lose control of the situation between now and Jan. 20. If he ever had any control to begin with.

  10. Hana M

    Interesting post from Jack Murphy at SOFREP (usually behind a paywall but free until Dec.25):

    “Determining the truth behind the e-mail leaks is important, but it must also be realized that whatever the facts of the matter, there is a sizable faction within the CIA that has long believed that Trump’s presidential campaign was completely infiltrated by Russian intelligence….

    “While the Trump White House is still taking shape, early communication from a SOFREP source indicates that the Trump administration plans to reverse course in Syria, abandoning Obama’s position of regime change that would remove President Assad. This would also include working with the Russian military in Syria in order to facilitate a joint military solution for defeating ISIS, Al-Nusra, and other Jihadist groups.

    “If such a deal with the Russians came to involve some type of quid pro quo, senior staff at the CIA could potentially go to war with the White House. For instance, if a joint operations base with the Russians is opened in Syria or if the Russians agree to work with and coordinate with American forces in the region, but in exchange for the CIA scaling down their counter-Russian activities in Eastern Europe. At this point, such arrangements are hypothetical but these fears exist within segments of the intelligence community.

    1. RabidGandhi

      Obama already tried (Democrat “tried”) to partner with Putin in the September ceasefire, but he was quickly overruled by the Pentagon (CIA?). Part of the current Blob panic is that Trump does not seem to understand the chain of command, instead operating under the misconception that the President is commander-in-chief and sets military policy.

      Of course, Obama is a Democrat and there’s nothing the D’s love more than faking a try and then blaming their failure on Mean Repubs, but I have yet to see Trump display that same reprehensible trait.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Perhaps Trump can call a ceasefire and as least attend the daily intelligence briefing.

        But he should wear a tin foil hat during the briefing, just in case.

      2. alex morfesis

        The problem the blob has with el donaldo in chief is he has spent his entire life dancing with and around nyc mobsters who every waking moment are looking for a crack in the dam to steal, rape, pimp, blackmail or otherwise convert someone elses human capital into their gafone pocket…

        he is not the average milktoast fearmuffin failed lawyer turned politician that has plagued this democracy these past 50 years….

      3. oh

        Your second paragraph is right on the money. It was another head fake and triangulation by the D’s, while they continued to send arms to SA and the so called rebels (read AQ).

  11. Jim Haygood

    Let’s get radical:

    President-elect Donald J. Trump on Thursday named David M. Friedman, a bankruptcy lawyer aligned with the Israeli far right, as his nominee for ambassador to Israel.

    In a statement from the Trump transition team announcing his nomination, he said he looked forward to doing the job “from the U.S. embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem.”

    Mr. Friedman, who has no diplomatic experience, has said that he does not believe it would be illegal for Israel to annex the occupied West Bank and he supports building new settlements there.

    “The kapos faced extraordinary cruelty,” he wrote. “But J Street? They are just smug advocates of Israel’s destruction delivered from the comfort of their secure American sofas — it’s hard to imagine anyone worse.”

    “They’re not Jewish, and they’re not pro-Israel,” he said [to Jeffrey Goldberg], according to the people in the room.

    Ugh. The Israel Lobby is our misfortune. The religious fanaticism and bigotry of this nominee is repellent.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      The Israel Lobby is our misfortune.

      I think it’s more accurate to say that the israel lobby is the Palestinian’s misfortune. Profoundly so. Existentially so.

      1. Jim Haygood

        No disagreement, Katniss. But it’s our misfortune to be the sponsors of the Palestinians’ oppressor, an undeclared nuclear weapons proliferator which keeps the middle east dangerously unstable … because we The Lobby wants it that way.

        1. alex morfesis

          Actually the palestinian drug lords & their fellow middle eastern fools want there to be no peas(nor karats) in the fiddle east…

          there is nothing sacred about yierosalima…for either side really and so they all argue over it including that other bunch of people from the book, christians, who are just as ready 50 years from now to start the cycle of stupidity once it is the capital of israel…

          No one wants any real settlement…wouldn’t be profitable…the only way to solve it would be a 4 state solution with Jerusalem being an international city of the United nations with a 500 year charter so that hopefully, in the year 2525, maybe my imagined revival of Pythagorean religion will get beyond my guru logic nonsense of having compliant (former) temple virgins and my future minions can invent some non historical events and scream it should be renamed alexandria principalis in honor of the ram bam…

  12. JTMcPhee

    Query: When is a “leak” actually an “expose'”? Time to do an Inuit, those folks who have several hundred words to precisely describe snow, and create a lexicon to enrich the discourse wherein “leak” is a slur of a word, that covers the sneaky sh!t that “influenceers” emit from the Bernays sphincter, to Daniel Ellsberg’s courageous act with the Pentagon Papers….

    1. alex morfesis

      Are we allowed to say bernaze sauce anymore…thought the merger between generl mills and ebro reconnected the expired trademarks…

      Expose, leak…it would be nice if defense lawyers were not so easily mesmerized by tall building law firms…corporate secrets and copyright claims to keep media from publishing information…how quaint…remember security at fdu and the school administrators trying to suggest to me the newspaper staff mutiny and formation of a new unsanctioned publication made it a “newsletter” and did not have first amendment freedom of the press protections…not sure if that was before or after the article that forced the president of the school to resign within a week…

      Hello peoples…information in a specific order and sequence might be deemed copyright if resold as is for a profit…this myth of media lawyers bowing and scraping to verbal farts of tall building law firms must end…

  13. fresno dan

    Beyond Hope TNR

    From the moment Barack Obama was elected in 2008, he began to disappoint those who had believed in his message of change. He appointed entrenched Washington insiders to his Cabinet. He put Wall Street bankers in charge of regulating Wall Street banks. He compromised with Republicans on the economic stimulus, slowing the recovery for millions of Americans. He refused to push for universal health care, and deported two million immigrants. He failed to shut down Guantanamo, dispatched another 60,000 troops to Afghanistan, and launched hundreds of drone strikes that killed countless civilians. Today, income inequality continues to rise, and big banks are bigger than ever, and student debt has hit a record $1 trillion. Democrats have not only lost control of every branch of the federal government, they are weaker at the state level than at any point since 1920.

    Mission Accomplished….

    ‘It’s hard to imagine a bigger shift for America than going from Barack Obama to Donald Trump. The two of them are polar opposites in almost every regard. ‘
    Well, just like Obama not only was similar to Bush, but cemented things like the Patriot Act, I imagine Trump will defacto be much more similar to Obama than Trump, Obama, or any of either presidents critics would acknowledge. Look at what I pasted from the article and I would bet at the end of Trump’s term its exactly the same….
    Ask yourself this: How much was going into Iraq singly Bush’s idea and will, and how much was the establishment’s? There were sanctions on Iraq a long time prior to Bush, it was set up with all sorts of reports about Saddam being a great danger, and a good many dems voted for Iraq, as well as the general principal of the “indispensable nation”.

    1. Liberal Mole

      The historians questioned, apart from Sullivan, are a delusional pack who still can’t even admit what a lousy candidate Clinton was. They can’t see the difference between Clinton’s tiny audiences and the tens of thousands who came out to hear Sanders or Trump – without, I may add, any advertising or promotion from the main stream media. It’s a big enough blind spot to cast doubt on any other of their opinions.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        It’s Einstein’s definition of insanity. Clinton Inc produces a product which is good enough to lose and leaves partisans with “ifs” and “could ofs” to help them sleep. Expecting Hillary to move the needle beyond Clinton Inc’s traditional product is simply insane. Call it mass hysteria, but all of these people have to deal with they, themselves, picked a loser capable of losing to Donald Trump.

        Has Hillary done something special enough to change the larger perception of Clinton Inc? The answer is no. She has only reinforced Clinton Inc. Now without the sheen of Clinton celebrity and largess, the insanity is on full display.

        1. Antifa

          “The insanity, yes, it’s all out on the front lawn, like a Saturday morning garage sale. It looks so tawdry laying about like that . . . there’s still pork all over the gears and handles of the sausage making machine.

          This is not The Plan. This was never The Plan. Someone must pay for this disaster, since we choose not to accept responsibility or blame. Nor is there anything to learn from it. Nor is it ours to clean up. Whom shall we blame?

          Putin? Let’s see hands for Putin. The ayes have it.

          The Plan will work next time. Sit tight and don’t go changing . . .”

  14. Marco

    Is it possible to be a patriotic American and WELCOME Russian involvement? Still waiting to hear that the Podesta emails were bogus. My born-again republican 75 year-old mother basically said “God Bless Putin”. What a strange new world.

    1. Paid Minion

      – Russians (allegedly) release e-mails from Democratic leadership, to “undermine our democracy”; basically, by showing the American People the scummy stuff going on behind the propaganda.

      – The PTB respond, by saying , “the truth is not relavent; releasing the truth “destroys our institutions”….”

      IOW, our “system” will collapse if the BS facade is not maintained? A system that screws the bottom 90% of the population?

      This coming from people who have never been inhibited from interfering in other peoples elections, both before and after.

      Pretty sad when you realize the Russians have more credibility than our government.

      1. Portia

        our “system”, it really is a thing. who will get a heart, a brain, courage, and go home when it collapses?

  15. John Morrison

    Remember when finding shovel-ready projects for Obama’s stimulus package was hard?

    It was false back then. If they believed it, then they would have searched for or created shovel-ready projects in the intervening years. They did nothing of the sort, at least more than a bare minimum.

  16. Jim Haygood

    Prepare yourselves for Calpers Black Monday, warns MarketWatch:

    The investment team at Calpers has been signaling that the current assumption of 7.5% long-term returns may be too high, and it would probably peg it around 6% instead.

    The 7.5% rate is hardly unusual among government pension funds. But as the $300 billion gorilla in the pension world, any change [by Calpers] — likely to be discussed at its Dec. 19 board meeting — will be watched by other pension plans.

    While about 40% of the largest corporate plans assume returns of 7 percent and below, only 9% of public pensions assume such low returns. Reducing the expected return to 6 percent may double the immediate contributions of some municipalities, according to P&I.

    Cutting Calpers’ assumed return to 6 percent is gonna be Götterdämmerung for Calian gov entities.

    But failing to do so means the next bear market would push Calpers into an unrecoverable death spiral … as its actuaries cry “Terrain! Terrain! Pull up!

    Honestly, I’m not buying any popcorn for this show — too grim. It’s a dark new chapter in imperial decline, as pension envy becomes the leitmotif of the coming decade. But hey, look over there — 350-ship navy steaming into San Diego! USA #1.

    1. cocomaan

      only 9% of public pensions assume returns 7% and below

      What planet do these people live on? The only people who get +7% returns in this world are drug or arms dealers and slave traders.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Now that the Chinese own one of their ports, they will be constructing Treasure Boats (Baochuan).

  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Lawmakers owned bank stock…Wall Street bailout

    Maybe lawmakers should be more like the president – sell your business and put your portfolio in a blind trust. I thought that was simple enough to understand, unless they studied lawmakers owning before they became lawmakers, and somehow that led them to be more likely to vote bailout. (Sorry, didn’t read the article, confusing headline was discouraging).

  18. fresno dan

    In 1994, a typical apartment in the 25-unit Norfolk Street building cost $552 a month. Today, it rents for $4,800.
    This almost nine-fold increase reflects the gradual dismantling of New York’s system of rent stabilization.
    ……….Over the years, the Republican-dominated State Senate has often flexed its muscle to weaken rent stabilization at the behest of real-estate interests. Yet it was an overwhelmingly Democratic body that made the most important and far-reaching move.
    …………..The median rent across the city was under $600. Since then, of the 860,000 apartments that were stabilized, almost 250,000 have become free-market units, diminishing New York City’s largest source of affordable housing. Most of the decrease came from vacancy decontrol.
    …………The standard economic argument for decontrol — that raising rents to market rates spurs construction of new apartments — was less persuasive in New York, where housing built after 1974 was ALREADY EXEMPT from caps on rent increases.

  19. ChiGal in Carolina

    Interesting that the comments on the TechCrunch article about the brave new FB are mostly favorable, the nay-sayers being right-wingers objecting to the appointment of a “librul” tribunal as the gate-keeper of truth.

    I would guess that from the Left folks also have concerns about, snopes, and (oops, can’t remember the 3rd) as arbiters of the truth? But surely this is a step in the right direction? I mean, that pizza thing… Not on FB myself so have very little exposure to the crap out there but if so many are getting their news from them (which is the real problem, and one within the power of each user to remedy).

    As to the AP, I remember when they ran their headline about Clinton being the Dem nominee the night before the CA primary.

    A slippery slope, just interesting that it is only the Fox News crowd that seems to be voicing concern at TechCrunch.

  20. fresno dan

    I have been puzzling over this from Paul Krugman:
    Donald Trump won the electoral college at least in part by promising to bring coal jobs back to Appalachia and manufacturing jobs back to the Rust Belt. Neither promise can be honored – for the most part we’re talking about jobs lost, not to unfair foreign competition, but to technological change…….

    Try to place that line in context with this from Noah Smith:
    Then, in the 1990s and 2000s, the U.S opened its markets to Chinese goods, first with Most Favored Nation trading status, and then by supporting China’s accession to the WTO. The resulting competition from cheap Chinese goods contributed to vast inequality in the United States, reversing many of the employment gains of the 1990s and holding down U.S. wages. But this sacrifice on the part of 90% of the American populace enabled China to lift its enormous population out of abject poverty and become a middle-income country.
    Was this “fair” trade? I think not. Let me suggest this narrative: Sometime during the Clinton Administration, it was decided that an economically strong China was good for both the globe and the U.S. Fair enough. To enable that outcome, U.S. policy deliberately sacrificed manufacturing workers on the theory that a.) the marginal global benefit from the job gain to a Chinese worker exceeded the marginal global cost from a lost US manufacturing job, b.) the U.S. was shifting toward a service sector economy anyway and needed to reposition its workforce accordingly and c.) the transition costs of shifting workers across sectors in the U.S. were minimal.
    It was a great plan. On paper, at least. And I would argue that in fact points a and b above were correct.

    But point c. Point c was a bad call. Point c was a disastrous call. Point c helped deliver Donald Trump to the Oval Office. To be sure, the FBI played its role, as did the Russians. But even allowing for the poor choice of Hilary Clinton as the Democratic nominee (the lack of contact with rural and semi-rural voters blinded the Democrats to the deep animosity toward their candidate), it should never have come to this.

    The transition costs were not minimal.
    Three points
    1. I think Duy is a pretty smart and objective fellow – but the FBI? The Russians? C’MON Tim….
    2. Every economist who owns up to the fact that the theory of trade and the reality of our “free trade” policy as a disastrous outcome is a positive.
    3. So…..Duy quotes Noah Smith that….US workers had to become poorer so Chinese workers become wealthier……..
    GOOD F*CKING GRIEF, I wonder if people ever pay attention to what they themselves say. The argument for FREE TRADE is that trade is NOT a ZERO SUM GAME (their gain is not our loss)……so Mr. Economics Genius…..why do you quote someone who says we have to get POORER for the Chinese to get richer???

    But let me not be disingenuous. The “US” did get richer. GDP had gone up almost every year.
    HOWEVER, Very, very, very few US citizens got richer, many got poorer, and most went nowhere. Maybe “free trade” doesn’t CAUSE increasing inequality, but it sure seems like it do…..
    (maybe if we had….Chinese communism we ALL would have benefited too???)
    Economists – incapable of understanding if 99.99% of any increase in GDP goes only to 0.01%, most people will be p*ssed…..

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The most amazing trick is, if when the GDP goes up 3%, you become 1% poorer or 5% unhappier, they can brainwash you to still root for more GDP growth.

      “Go, GDP!!!”

    2. lyman alpha blob

      “…U.S. was shifting toward a service sector economy anyway…”

      And who praytell asked all the people in manufacturing jobs if they were OK with this?!?!?! Astonishing lack of agency as if all the McJob creation was a naturally occurring phenomenon.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think we can all tutor or teach the rich Chinese students who are currently helping out our cash-flow-challenged universities.

        “Yes, you paid your California taxes (to fund the state government that is a not a household), but we here at UC Berkeley needs to clear spots for those rich foreign students, who are here to help us (or their parents are helping, with their Chinese-foreign-reserves-draining dollars. Sorry about your kid.”

    3. djrichard

      And there’s this

      The damage done is largely irreversible. In medium-size regions, lower relative housing costs may help attract overflow from the east and west coast urban areas. And maybe a program of guaranteed jobs for small- to medium-size regions combined with relocation subsidies for very small-size regions could help. But it won’t happen overnight, if ever. And even if you could reverse the patterns of trade – which wouldn’t be easy given the intertwining of global supply chains – the winners wouldn’t be the same current losers. Tough nut to crack.

      I saw a lot of people carrying water for free trade with this line of argument. Basically, the genie is out of the bottle, so why bother. In the mean time, enjoy the benefits of cheap goods. Yay!

      I know whenever I make bad decisions, I need to unwind them. But why do that when TINA (in case you have to ask, unwinding a bad decision is not an alternative).

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Is she still around? Can’t she just grow a beard and hit on Larry David’s wife like Al Gore?

      With the way Comey will be scapegoated, I suspect he will regret not having pursued charges in the Summer.

    2. Antifa

      Mrs. Clinton;

      You were ready to establish an American no-fly zone in Syria, where there is already a Russian no-fly zone protected by S-400 and S-500 surface to air missiles. This would have led immediately to the loss of American, Russian, and Syrian aircraft and pilots, and brought us all to the brink of thermonuclear war. Not pushing the button would hardly be an option for either side.

      That’s how tough you are. Tough enough to kill me, my family, and everyone I might ever meet just to make rich people richer, just to advance the Empire.

      Therefore, if you really believe Putin and Comey did you in, you should look directly into the TV camera and say, “Nice work, fellas. Good game.”

      Instead of whining about not being coronated, or about getting 3 million more votes in California than Trump, tell me more about your lack of turnout and lack of votes in Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Florida. Do tell. You lost those states by the ballots counted, and not because of Putin or Comey but because citizens of this republic were too sickened by the endless flood of facts about you and how you operate to ever mark a ballot in your favor.

      You are not Poor Widdy Hillary. You are Never Hillary.

      And always will be.

    3. lyman alpha blob

      “Speaking to a group of donors in Manhattan, Mrs. Clinton….”

      Bwaaahahaha!!! Grifters gotta grift!

    4. OIFVet

      “The public deserves to know exactly what happened…” Now she is all for transparency! Unless of course it concerns her emails and those of the DNC and her campaign, or the transcripts of her speeches to Goldman Sux, in which case the public does not need to know nuffink! Please go away already.

  21. rich

    ‘False Narratives of a New Cold War’ – Insightful Interview With Professor of Russian Studies
    Michael Krieger | Posted Friday Dec 16, 2016 at 11:00 am

    We’re shut out now. There hasn’t been an op-ed in The New York Times or Washington Post editorial pages arguing that the United States is at least equally to blame for this new Cold War crisis. They simply will not accept those articles…So this is the problem. In a democracy we fight through discourse. If you can’t get to the mainstream media and make the argument, then there’s no way of slowing the drift toward catastrophe.

    – Stephen F. Cohen, Professor Emeritus of Russian studies at Princeton University and New York University

    Good interview.

  22. Waldenpond

    Can I just say how much I am enjoying watching the D elite and the electoral college shenanigans? They are so in your face about how much they have nothing but contempt for even our minimalist distorted effort at democracy, voting and voters with this.

    I suggest you go to your state’s EC vote on the 19th as it’s possible this be the last time they meet in public (watch history being made!) because they are now up for sale and would refuse to face a backlash and might want to forevermore meet in secret with lots of security.

    Because of the Ds, voters are now going to wonder if their EC is going to stab them in the back. So Ds have brought us a nearly billion dollar campaign season, purging voters as patriotic business as usual and now have made reality the right for elite electors to nullify an election. Bravo.

  23. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Obama, action against government(s) that meddled in the US election.

    Including those who used money*…

    *There is no fortress so strong that no money can not take it.

  24. Plenue

    On the subject of the electoral college, I’m amazed by how quickly the Clintonites went from “abolish the electoral college! It doesn’t represent the will of the people, Clinton got three million more votes!” to “the electoral college is great; we can and should use it in a completely legally unfounded and ahistorical way as a deliberative body to override the will of the people”.

    And there’s the chance of massive unrest if they succeed, possibly even getting Civil War 2 started early. The idiots inside the Beltway have no understanding of the forces they’re being so petty and frivolous with.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Was it more Machiavellian that sent a pope to Avignon to set up a rival papacy?

      Will his cabinet work from Trump Tower in New York?

  25. TomDority

    Did you see this
    H.R.5983 – Financial CHOICE Act of 2016
    Looks like it will be the consumers waterloo.

  26. KFritz

    Memo to Kevin Drum (& others)

    Aside from the analyses of the primaries and Presidential election, and the big issues of policy and history of policy, Hillary Clinton’s staff ran a strategically and tactically inept campaign in the ‘swing’ states where the election was always going to be decided. A savvy local political operative from Michigan said in yesterday’s Politico piece regarding “Brooklyn’s” relations with local campaigners, ” They thought they were smarter, which they weren’t. They believed they had better information, which they didn’t.” It’s a decent bet that arrogant, myopic mistakes that emanated from “Brooklyn” happened because the people HC chose to run the campaign mirrored her own arrogance and myopia.

    Drum’s article looks like a diversionary tactic to distract attention from Clinton’s sorry performance.

    Kuleto’s is closing this month. Maybe Kevin should close down his column, too.

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