2:00PM Water Cooler 1/20/2017

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Readers, I need a bit more time to digest, if that is the word I want, the inaugural, so check back soon and I’ll have more. I do note that there weren’t any liberal von Stauffenbergs, so apparently Trump is not a fascist after all. Good to know. –lambert

Adding, done! At least for today… –lambert


Trump Inaugural

“Donald Trump’s full inauguration speech transcript, annotated” [WaPo]. Populist:

Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning because today, we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the people.

For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered, but the jobs left and the factories closed. The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories. Their triumphs have not been your triumphs. And while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.

For “Washington, DC” read “the Acela Corridor” plus “Silicon Valley,” even if that’s not a Republican “big gummint” trope. And:

Everyone is listening to you now. You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement, the likes of which the world has never seen before.

Nice co-optation of “movement.” Never underestimate Trump! And:

At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction, that a nation exists to serve its citizens. Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their families, and good jobs for themselves. These are just and reasonable demands of righteous people and a righteous public.

But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge; and the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.

This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.

(APPLAUSE) We are one nation and their pain is our pain. Their dreams are our dreams. And their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny. The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.

This is the part that’s being labeled “bleak,” but Case-Deaton makes it realistic. But then we get the bombast of “glorious destiny.”

“Protesters block entrances to inauguration, set fires, vandalize” [Chicago Tribune]. Interesting quotes. See comment below on mobilizing vs. organizing. From my armchair at 30,000 feet, the four most impactful “movements” of the last decade or so in the United States were the capitol occupations, Occupy proper, Black Lives Matter, and #NoDAPL, the middle two in the realm of ideas, and first and fourth on policy). They share the common characteristic of taking and holding territory. (That’s what BLM did in Ferguson through continuous marching for weeks and months, since the police wouldn’t ever let them sit or stop; they had to keep walking.) Maybe I’m just getting old, but I don’t see the point of “protest” tactics. What are they but virtue signaling?

“Inauguration Day 2017: Celebration and chaos collide as Trump becomes president” [WaPo]. Covers the same territory as above.

“Anti-Trump protests erupt across the country” [The Hill]. Atlanta, Austin, Denver, Los Angeles, Oakland, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco, and San Jose. Several are using the tactic of disrupting public transportation, which is fine, I suppose, unless you have hostages to fortune who require your paycheck.

“Moments after taking the oath, President Trump transforms White House website” [WaPo]. “Strikingly absent from the six issues the website highlights — and from his speech Friday — was anything on repealing or replacing Obamacare.” Here’s the website:

Looks to me like the Trump web-designer took the most finicky, twee aspects of Obama’s brand strategy and copied them without really knowing what they were doing.

“Hillary: The Face of the Vanquished” [Politico]. Click through to the (Pulitzer-quality) photo, and take a look at Bill. Yikes!

Trump Transition

“Throw Sand in the Gears of Everything” [Frances Fox Piven, The Nation]. In essence, on the distinction between mobilizing (easy) and organizing (hard). From my armchair at 30,000 feet, I’m quite mistrustful of the notion of “resistance,” because it’s fundamentally reactionary and defensive. I think the lesson of the Sanders campaign is that going on offense is both necessary and possible. And at the risk of repeating myself: The only thing that matters is providing concrete material benefits to working people. Peace, land, bread, and so forth. Even if you’re a “Save capitalism!” moderate! Most everything else is venting at best. It’s ridiculous, for example, to have a “Resistance Manual” that shillie-shallies on Medicare for All.

2016 Post Mortem

“How Struggling Local Economies Helped Decide the 2016 Election” [Economic Innovation Group]. The name reeks, but at least the “Economic Innovation Group” is on H Street. And not K Street.

Realignment and Legitimacy

“The DeVos Democrats” [Jacobin]. Very much including the Black Misleadership Class.

Obama Hagiography

“The Obamas were a master class in dignity and civility. Did we learn what they taught?” [WaPo].

Stats Watch

There are no official statistics today.

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 53 Neutral (previous close: 53, Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 57 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jan 20 at 1:12pm.


“The findings in the journal Science show that ocean surface temperatures during the Earth’s last warm period, some 125,000 years ago, were remarkably similar to those today” [Japan Times]. “But what concerns scientists is that sea level back then was 20 to 30 feet (6 to 9 meters) above what it is today.” First slowly, then all at once…

“How much would it cost to geoengineer thicker Arctic sea ice?” [Ars Technica]. Less than the Iraq War! So we’re good…

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“Psychology’s Favorite Tool for Measuring Racism Isn’t Up to the Job” [New York Magazine].

Love me, love me, love me, I’m a liberal:

No, it isn’t, since the KGB died with the Soviet Union in 1991. But — and I can’t help but think this is generationally linked — KGB branding works. It’s a shame to see Black Lives Matter paroting Democrat talking points (and since when were budget cuts treasonous, anyhow?)

Class Warfare

“Microaggressions: Strong Claims, Inadequate Evidence” [Sage Journals]. This is important, especially in the IdPol world. Can our more academically minded readers assess?

With this background in mind, the principal goal of this manuscript is to provide a conceptual and methodological analysis of the MRP, with a particular focus on the extent to which scientific evidence supports its key presuppositions. In doing so, I draw on broader literatures in psychometrics, as well as philosophy of science, social cognition, cognitive-behavioral therapy, behavior genetics, and personality, health, and industrial-organizational psychology, that bear on the validity of the MRP [Microaggression Research Program]. I contend that these pertinent, well-developed bodies of knowledge have received short shrift in previous discussions of the microaggression concept. As a consequence, the MRP has largely neglected the critical scientific principle of connectivity: Novel research programs must accord—connect—with well-established scientific principles (Stanovich, 2012). If the findings of a research program run counter to these principles, the onus of proof falls squarely on its proponents to demonstrate that these principles are erroneous or do not apply in the case of their research program.


And then there’s this:

News of the Wired

“A Plea for Responsible and Contextualized Reporting on User Security” [Technosociology]. On Guardian reporting of a (putative) WhatsApp security problem.

“Dream job alert: Legoland is hiring model builders” [Quartz].

” In October, Green’s Dictionary of Slang became available as a free website, giving you access to an even more updated version of the dictionary. Collectively, the website lets you trace the development of slang over the past 500 years” [Open Culture]. Cool! Random word: Wiffmagig, [mid-19C] a trifler, an insignificant or contemptible fellow.

* * *

Readers, feel free to contact me with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, and (c) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant (Mrs. Mop):

Mrs. Mop comments:

There you have it, finally, a ‘plant with snow’ coming from German right in time.

Actually, it’s more snow than plant sitting on my balcony, a ‘blue
grass’ we call it in German but it is hidden under the snow, anyway, I like it for its distinctive profile which reminds me of this profile; Grassus Trumpus, which makes it almost an antidote. Or something. Have an inspiring inauguration day…

Readers, Water Cooler is a standalone entity, not supported by the very successful Naked Capitalism fundraiser just past. Now, I understand you may feel tapped out, but when and if you are able, please use the dropdown to choose your contribution, and then click the hat! Your tip will be welcome today, and indeed any day. Water Cooler will not exist without your continued help.


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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. Waldenpond

        The most important thing is to be polite to the person who slaughtered people in 7 countries for profit and the person who just made it harder for people to purchase a home.

        Sipping tea is no longer the go to meme. It’s now sipping $100 bottle champagne.

        1. Pavel

          I’d only say: when I read this link above:

          “The Obamas were a master class in dignity and civility. Did we learn what they taught?” [WaPo].

          My immediate thought was: I wonder what the people bombed to hell in Libya, Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere think of Obama’s “master class in dignity and civility”?

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It’s the same fuzzy logic thinking that say economic sanctions that kill kids in Iraq is not violence. To them, violence is bar room brawls. etc.

            “I am for non-violence. I work in fake news business.”

            “I am for sustainable earth. I have no idea my software was used by the accountants at a fracking corporation.”

            “I teach physics. I have no idea my students went on to work for nuclear bomb makers. I have no idea. I’m innocent!”

            Everything is inter-related to everything else.

          2. reslez

            Since Obama has no actual, positive accomplishments, the servile media is forced to write encomiums as empty as he is. Such grace, such class, such a coolly glinting smile as he beckoned the wolves home! An empty suit folded around a scarecrow, stuffed with discarded promises.

            1. aab

              I think they genuinely believe he’s awesome. Everything they value he exemplifies, with the added bonus that he’s their pretend Cool Black Friend, so they never have to feel guilty as long as he’s around and they like him.

              To the upper-middle class, nothing is more important than charm, cool, and civility. Acquiring those social skills are vital to their advancement and maintaining their position. Keeping your word? Using your power to help those beneath you who helped you into your position? Highly overrated, to their way of thinking.

      1. jo6pac

        Pfc. Bradley Manning’s civilian lawyer disagrees and has said his client’s clothing is being taken each night because of sarcastic comments he had made about using underwear to commit suicide. The lawyer has called the treatment degrading.

        Amnesty International also says the treatment may violate Manning’s human rights. He is being held at a Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va.

        From your link, obomber is famous for saying lots of things then never following up as the story points out.

        Childish, yes. Thanks NP.

        1. Nakatomi Plaza

          I don’t disagree with anything in the article, but I don’t see how the clever wordplay on names serves your purpose. The use of Obummer, Nobama, Obongo, and the litany of other gems we’ve all seen before are usually the first signal that you aren’t dealing with a serious person.

          And I’m sure you’d like to be taken seriously.

            1. different clue

              I wish I had thought of that one. StatusquObama.

              Its right up there with Obusha which someone coined to honor the continuity between Bush and Obama. Some people might even expand that to Clintobusha.
              Perhaps the long reign of the Clintobushas is finally over.

          1. integer

            the first signal that you aren’t dealing with a serious person.

            Because we should all strive to emulate the VSP cohort?
            The Obamamometer aka 0bama aka sphincter (long story) deserves a few nicknames imo. Seems like the least we can do. I mean, it’s not like he’s being held accountable for his actions or anything.

          2. Robert Hahl

            I thought “Billary” was a clever nickname (Buy one, get one free) and thought of making it into a yard sign, but I live inside the Beltway and didn’t want my car looking like that limo on K Street yesterday.

  1. Pat

    Did not watch the actual inauguration, but did see some coverage leading up to it. Regarding class, a lot was made of the notes that various Bushes have sent their successors. From both W and HW to the Bush twins, all have been very classy and generous, to be honest. I will also note that the Obama’s decorator commented both on how helpful the Bush White House was to him in trying to get the Obamas moved in, but in how immaculate they left the White House. I realize that the stories regarding the Clintons have been expanded and in the cases of the staffers flat out made up, but funny how no descriptions of generosity and classiness got mentioned about them.

    Another thing that amused me was all the talk about how sad Hillary Clinton looked. She didn’t look sad to me, she looked like she ate a lemon. Not the same thing. And despite the commentary Bill seemed fine with it all. She also seemed to snap at a staffer leading handling the entrances at one point (both the Clintons and the W Bushes were held back from exiting to the grandstands). She noticed the camera and then seemed to address said staffer and try to make a joke of it.

    Now none of this has any substance, but frankly most of today is symbolic and of little actual substance.

    I will also note that a bus driver traveling on my almost empty bus did go off on the protests in NYC. More or less his rant was “He got elected, he gets to take office, get over it. That’s all he has done so far and they have nothing to protest about yet. Protesting now is stupid and is costing the city a lot of money. They should grow up.”

    1. Vatch

      Protesting now is stupid

      Well, the bus driver isn’t entirely right. Trump has made several very disturbing nominations for cabinet and sub-cabinet level Executive branch positions. Those nominations need to be vigorously protested.

        1. Who me?

          It would be nice to see them fight tooth and nail like the Repubs and really own that fight instead of making half-hearted statements about it and then giving up halfway through like they were never really serious about it in the first place, which they obviously weren’t.

          That said, they have been extremely feckless even when they did have a majority. It’s because voters keep electing Dems who are best buds with their wealthy donors. We need to have a lot more primary challenges on the left for these fake Dems like Cory Booker in NJ and Claire McCaskill in MO.

      1. Big River Bandido

        Mass protest is just theater, and at this stage of the game, kabuki.

        I don’t hear any “resisters” calling for, say, a general strike. *That* would actually mean something.

        1. Gareth

          I think protests are useful and necessary just to let people know that there is an opposition still around and as an easy entry point for people wanting to initially engage a movement but not wanting to go to a f***ing meeting. Not protesting is taken by the opponent as a sign of weakness, as is calling a protest and failing to organize a big enough turnout. If the result of a protest is just another protest or another meeting to discuss white skin privilege and not an active organizing campaign then that is a failure too.

          1. hunkerdown

            Good point. Head counts, like Bernie’s march for Bernie, allow movements to observe their own strength, size up adversaries and choose battles. In an environment of internet shills who exist only in software and boiler rooms, nonviolent physical assembly mirrors the first step of any other meatspace mass actions. Who doesn’t show up for head counts probably won’t show up for the lightest of action, either.

            1. different clue

              It all depends on what the demonstrators do between demonstrations. What will they do in the dragging reality of their daily ho hum drum lives?

        2. DJG

          Just theater? Theater is life. Kabuki is life.

          The problem in the U S of A isn’t “theater.” It’s that we live in a swamp of melodrama, slogans, and kayfabe.

          We should be so lucky to have an surfeit of onnagata.

      2. Pat

        So that is a reason to set cars on fire? Disrupt things for weeks before he took office? That is going to convince anyone to not confirm one of them?

        See I think there are actions you take to try to derail their confirmation. They may be a long shot but will do more than marching in the street.

        OTOH depending on what he just signed, waiting and only NOW protesting would mean more. Especially since these are distinct actions by the President which have no immediate check by other public servants.

        But that is just me looking and largely seeing tantrums with no distinct issue but I don’t want him to be President, and knowing the protestors do not get they are not changing anyone’s mind.

        1. Vatch

          So that is a reason to set cars on fire?

          Well, if I or anyone else here had actually advocated violence, you would have a point. But there are plenty of ways to peacefully protest, and one of the simplest is to simply call your Senators’ offices and tell them what you think of Pruitt, Mnuchin, Price, DeVos, Sessions, etc. Obviously there are also plenty of other things that people can do.

          1. Pat

            Believe me the protests the bus driver I referenced in my original comment was not talking about someone calling their elected representatives. He was talking about the crowds of protestors blocking traffic and making his job more difficult in NYC. Something that has been happening regularly in this city since Trump got elected. I’m pretty sure the vandalism, no matter how limited, in DC made things harder for people there. I’m not someone who says there is never a reason for civil disobedience, but blocking the trucks supplying parts for the pipeline in North Dakota is much clearer in purpose than blocking traffic on Fifth Avenue to yell outside his home before the guy takes office.

            I’m sorry I didn’t make it clear that the traditional calling or writing your representatives regarding the nominees and/or suggested actions like adding Blind Billing to Medicare is among the things that are not street protests that are among the things like you can do to try to derail a nomination even if it is a long shot.

            1. Vatch

              No problem. I should have realized that the bus driver wasn’t referring to the mild sort of protests that I have been practicing the past couple of weeks.

      3. Katharine

        He has also proposed a devastating budget, so yes, indeed, there is plenty to protest, but I doubt the efficacy of this approach.

          1. Jen

            “effectively raising costs for middle-class borrowers by about $500 a year.

            The drop in rate, which was announced January 9 and supposed to go into effect on January 27, had been lauded as an opportunity to make homeownership more accessible to an estimated one million first-time and low-to-middle-income borrowers.”

            As a homeowner, I’m going to say that if $500/year is going to make a difference between being able to afford a home or not, you probably shouldn’t be buying. Mortgage insurance insures the banks, not the buyers.

            1. Katharine

              It didn’t say it was the difference between being able to afford a home and not, it said it would make it homeownership more accessible, which I would imagine might mean that people would be left more of a cushion for emergencies and be willing to risk the mortgage. And yes, for quite a lot of people, having an extra $500 in the cushion would be very comforting. It’s not necessarily about the home but about other things as well–like maybe the good car repair as distinct from the dubious stop-gap.

    2. Tom

      I watched it and was a little shocked at how strongly Trump called out the DC establishment (sitting all around him) as big-talking, do-nothing parasites living high on the hog while ordinary citizens suffered. That seemed like a pretty substantial decision on his part.

      1. cwaltz

        Trump’s solution seems to be to place private sector parasites that have been living high on the hog while ordinary citizens suffer in their place.

        You aren’t going to convince me that someone like Pudzer, Trump’s Labor Secretary pick cares for actual labor when you have information like this out there:

        Since 2009, Puzder’s restaurants were found to have violated wage and hour laws in 60 percent of Department of Labor investigations, and in California, a number of class action lawsuits are pending against CKE Restaurants on behalf of managers who were denied overtime pay.

        Pudzer makes more in one day than a minimum wage worker makes in a year-parasites in DC indeed. Pot meet kettle.


        1. Tom

          Yeah, I’m sure it will all go south quickly, but still.
          It’s somewhat bracing to have someone puncture — even briefly — the bullshit aura of comity and decorum that these crooks and liars love to move around in. Trump made them squirm a little bit and for that alone, I thank him.

          1. Waldenpond

            So when Ds virtue signal it’s bad, when Rs virtue signal it’s good… or is that it’s good when Rs mock Ds by parroting them.

            These parasites will bicker during the day and then join each other for banquets in the evening to arrange their offspring portfolio marriages.

            1. Tom

              If it was all a con job (and judging by his cabinet nominations, it was), what I don’t get is why Trump is still going on record — today in the biggest way possible — with a lot of his populist rhetoric. The election is over. He won. Isn’t it time for him to gracefully (for him) start backtracking on all his promises, confess that the obstacles are bigger than he imagined, and otherwise manage peoples’ expectations downward? He’s too cunning to think people will not pay attention to see if his actions match up with his words. I don’t get it.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                I don’t know, like all of us, except Trump, about what is in his mind.

                I am guessing it is that it’s a mix bag of

                1. His alpha-ness requires other billionaires publicly to do what he tells them.

                2 He’s being fallible. Lucky for us, no one has even claimed he’s the next Messiah.

                3. There being no perfect spouse, no Santa Clause, no woman or man who is perfect 10, no ideal politician/knight to tackle all the problems we face today, we have to focus on what we can do now and wait for our opportunities in those we are not able to deal with immediately.

                4. Like everyone else, he’s got a little bit of Don Quixote in him.

                5. He bluffs a lot.

                6. He likes to keep people guessing, being unpredictable, so you won’t know which hotel he’ll stay in on his next trip.

                7. Others I can’t think of now.

                1. fresno dan

                  “no ideal politician/knight to tackle all the problems we face today,”

                  You forgot Obama…..(sarc)

                  LAMBERT: This is the part that’s being labeled “bleak,” but Case-Deaton makes it realistic. But then we get the bombast of “glorious destiny.”

                  I imagine the homeless will be rediscovered, and it will occur to most “journalists” that our “full employment” is actually sh*t part time jobs, as well as the life span of people in the midwest decreasing, something that happened the first time ever under Obama, but was scarcely commented upon. Maybe even military personnel dying in overseas deployments will occasionally be noted and that we sure our involved in a lot of countries that are worst off for it.

                    1. JerseyJeffersonian

                      And…they’re off!

                      Can’t wait to see the fake news, in this case something existent under Obama being magically attributed to the rule of the Ogre Trump, in our local, the Philadelphia Inquirer (a literal mini-me for the Washington Post if one were to judge by all the stories picked up from that source), tomorrow morning.

                  1. cm

                    I imagine the homeless will be rediscovered

                    And I imagine NPR’s “Wait Wait” will suddenly rediscover the Executive branch as a source of ridicule, after eight years of fawning.

                    Any NPR defenders who are willing to dispute?

                    1. aab

                      Hasn’t it come out that he’s cutting NPR’s budget, what little of it is left?

                      It’s funded by Republican billionaires for the most part, isn’t it? I never listen, but I’d put a quid down that the fawning will continue — although the audience might rebel and force them “left”.

                    2. Who me?

                      I’m a daily listener. They’ve gently ribbed Obama now and again. But I think you’re right, they will go after Trump like hyenas after a fresh carcass and will continue to do that until he’s out of office unless he morphs into a more normal politician, which I don’t think will happen. Trump’s schtick got him elected and he’ll stick with it. NPR’s audience is probably between 90-99% strongly anti-Trump so they’ll just be giving their audience what they want.

                      I kind of expect every comedic/newsy show whether or not it’s on NPR to go after him like that. Big bombastic Trump is too big a target not to go after especially if/when things go sideways.

              2. Kurt Sperry

                That’s pretty much what I was thinking too watching the speech. If he were the phony I always assumed he would turn out to be, why double down on the populism, and further polarize the already preternaturally polarized political environment into which he is about to emerge? And the appointees, almost to a one, send a *completely* contradictory anti-populist message. Political superposition macro-scale. It’s incoherence makes it opaque.

                1. aab

                  I’m late to the conversation, but has no one else pointed out the obvious framing device? He’s pretending all those politicians are doing terrible things on their own, not as paid servants of billionaires. He set up the bad guys here so that his babble of billionaires can ride to the rescue. The Democrats crushed the country to such a degree he doesn’t actually have to do much to make them all look better those terrible DC establishment players (all of whom lived off corporate donations, and did as their own billionaires and CEOs instructed).

                  I’m basing this only on the quoted section, which I also read elsewhere. I haven’t read the whole speech, nor did I watch it. But this seems like the billionaires apologising to their guests and punishing their servants for leaving dust on the door frame and not putting enough of a crease in their sock garters. They’re just going to roll up their sleeves and get it done themselves!

              3. lee

                Perhaps they are all busy figuring out how to make money from a system of economic nationalism with trade barriers, higher U.S. workforce participation, universal healthcare and a decent social safety net. Wouldn’t that be nice.

          2. RabidGandhi

            Agree with Waldenpond. Trump attacks the establishment whilst behind him his oligarch cabinet is filing into the Whitehouse. The “soaring rhetoric” is no less vomit inducing than when Obama used it.

            1. craazyman

              give it a year before you vomit, to see what happens

              If he’s as bad as you think he’ll be, you’ll have a bellyful of juicy chunks.

              When you vomit now, it’s just dry heaves and noise.

                1. Vatch

                  No, it won’t be all good. Not if his cabinet and agency appointees roll back a multitude of public health, environmental, workplace safety, food safety, and financial regulations.

                  1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                    We are given a head start compared with 8 years.

                    Then, it was the dawning of the Unicorn Age.

                    Today, we start with ‘it’s not all good, and it’s not all bad.”

                  2. Optimader

                    More this
                    A word used by those of an immature disposition to attempt to cheer people up when infact all there doing is winding them up.

                    Than that

                    all good
                    ironic comment; a fundamental term in jailspeak, meaning ‘it’s not good at all and probably won’t get any better; i’m fucked.’
                    ‘i can’t make bail, i’m stuck with a public defender and i think my wife’s fucking my cousin, but hey, it’s all good.’


                    I definitely work cultivating my immature disposition

                2. Binky

                  The minute he took the oath of office he became a war criminal, just as Obama did, and Clinton before him. When Carter declared Saudi oil our national interest the die was cast-it was resolved that our country would never be chopped off at the knees like it was in 1973. When we didn’t find the oil in Vietnam like Mobil et al promised, we were on the hook to the Saud family, and we were hammered. It could happen again even with fracking and new finds in the Arctic.
                  Much as Lambert is in love with his idea of Trump, there is a history there that is as bad or worse than the Clintons and it will no doubt leave a bad taste. Much as some like to pretend there is no benefit to Russia from Trump’s ascent, there is no doubt giggling at the Kremlin at our expense. Just not from Litvinenko or Politkofskaya or…..

            2. Tom

              That’s what’s creating the dissonance — why, when every sign indicates that his administration is primed to wreak Republican havoc, is Trump still bothering with his “man of the people” shtick?

              1. Waldenpond

                D/R Marketing strategy. You’ve watched innumerable politicians lie… they say one thing in private and another in public. I can’t think of one that doesn’t. Rs have a public general strategy of refusing to publicly discuss issues like abortion and voting rights yet their voters know what they will do in office. Ds, in general, assign a rotation of individuals to lie about policy that the party does not support.

                People will tell you Trump is playing eleventyishdimensional chess just like they did for O. O was a neo-liberal on domestic policy at best and a neocon or right-wing on foreign policy. Trump is the same.

                It’s some little tiffs among the oligarchs about who is going to get the biggest rents and Trump’s job is to deflect the voters from watching the theft and to pacify.

                The current oligarch schtick is patting the peasants on the head (trying the 3rd grade psychology communication act of repeating words back to impart the belief they are ‘hearing’ the jobless, homeless, hungry) while extorting any assets remaining.

                1. reslez

                  If Trump were turning up his nose and scorning Obama in that photo you’d bash him for that instead. You have no credibility, the guy’s been in office for not even a day! You’re probably right about him but save the ranting until you have something of substance to complain about.

            3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              I think it’s only vomiting when you combine the soaring rhetoric with a newly anointed savior.

              Otherwise,if it’s nothing exceptional, I imagine…just your typical inauguration speech (since I didn’t watch all of it, perhaps someone can point out where it was exceptionally soaring).

                1. Linda

                  Honestly, I couldn’t take my eyes off her myself. So stunning. Such a beautiful dress, and the color! Oooh. I read it was cashmere.

                    1. John

                      Don’t think Jackie did girl on girl tittie shots for men’s magazines..not that there’s anything wrong with that. Same for golden showers.

            4. RabidGandhi

              OK full disclosure: I didn’t actually hurl because I didn’t (and won’t) listen to the inauguration, but I know my gentle constitution and I have yet to find the right drug to get my delicate intestines through any politician’s speech.

              That said, my point stands. Who cares about the freaking speech, look at his damn cabinet!

              Matt. 7:16-17

              Adding troll prophylactic: the mere election of Trump/defeat of HRC thwarted TPP and staved off a war with Russia, both major, major victories. But do let’s keep our heads during his time in power.

              1. different clue

                All the Clintonite embeds left-behind throughout the Power Structures will have to be purged and burned out of place and flushed down every toilet. Till that happens, they will keep conspiring to Overthrow Assad, Support the NaziNazi Banderazis, and Stand Up To Putin.

                They will keep doing that till every Clintonite eye is beaten out of every Clintonite eye socket.

            5. Lambert Strether Post author

              I don’t think populism and oligarchy necessarily contradict. “The brokers screwed it up, let’s deal direct” say both the volatility voters and the oligarchs. (I think that’s also a difference between Obama and Trump; Trump is volatile, Obama was not, not even at the beginning. “No drama Obama.” Except for a slow-running tragedy of squandered hopes and broken dreams, of course.

              1. RabidGandhi

                Yes I agree; oligarch does not necessarily mean anti-populist.

                My formulation would have better had I said “Trump attacks the establishment whilst behind him his [pro-privatisation, pro-austerity, pro-fracking, pro-agression vs. China, anti-keynesian, anti-medicare, anti-civil liberties] cabinet is filing into the Whitehouse.

        2. lyman alpha blob

          Regarding this from his speech vs your comment:

          Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning because today, we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the people.

          I fully expect Trump’s administration to be corrupt as all hell. You don’t get to be a big NYC/Vegas developer without cooperating with some pretty unsavory types. The thing is DC is already corrupt as hell and the reason the status quo hates Trump is because he is brashly tearing away the curtain they fought so hard to keep closed. IMNSO he’s the same as they are, just more blatant about it and not shy about cutting out the middleman. Why have cabinet members take marching orders from CEOs when you can just appoint the CEOs outright? I rather like the fact that he’s making the corruption clear for all to see.

          That being said, I remember a Harper’s article from several years ago comparing today’s DC class to Tammany Hall and making the point that back then, Boss Tweed was corrupt as hell but those who cooperated with him and gave him their votes actually got something in return unlike today’s politicos who promise the goldmine and give voters the shaft once the election is over.

          I suspect Trump will be corrupt in the Tweed sense. Not really sure how I feel about that yet though. If more people have meaningful employment that’s a plus however if it’s done by ramping up polluting industries while ignoring environmental concerns well then we’re pretty screwed. I think his daughter is the wild card here. She seems to be a reasonable person and also to have his ear more so than some of the douchebag CEO types he’s appointing.

          Interesting times.

          1. Anon

            Would going back to the days of “honest grift” be so bad compared to what we have now? That’s how bad things have become, where the populace is shafted so much that they yearn to be shafted a little less and have something to show for it.

        3. integer

          If nothing else, I hope Trump works his cabinet appointees so hard and stresses them out so much that they don’t get to enjoy their ill-gotten gains for four years. He is supposedly not the easiest person to work for, and it’s pretty clear they will be working for him, not with him, at least imo. I have entertained the possibility that Trump is purposely filling his cabinet with people he doesn’t particularly like so he doesn’t feel any need to treat them with respect. In any case, the interpersonal dynamics will become visible soon enough.

        4. Who me?

          I have an idea bout this and a couple other nominations.

          What if he’s nominated a couple of duds he can publicly fire and humiliate later over decisions they’ve made that prove very unpopular with his base? He can use his trademark phrase that made him famous on The Apprentice and score points with his base in a way that says to them that he’s actually there to help them. He can depend on the Republican controlled congress to pass loads of regulation-killing-big-business-subsidizing legislation so why not kick a few minor cabinet officers like the Labor Secretary to the curb when they make the predictably unpopular decisions they’ll later make?

          The public drubbing would have the side-benefit of putting the other cabinet officers on notice that they could suffer the same fate if/when they displease Trump sufficiently or make decisions that play very badly among those he counts as his voters. Humiliation and villainization seems to be a very big stick to use against people who have more money than they’ll ever need.

      2. RUKidding

        That’s interesting. Well it remains to be seen what will happen with Trump at the helm. He certainly appears to be surrounding himself with a lot (not all) of do-nothing parasites who plan to live very high on the hog while the rest of us continue to suffer.

        Notable among the crowd:
        – Ben Carson who said he wasn’t qualified before he decided that living in a house made him qualified to run HUD
        – Rick Perry who wanted to close the DOE, but couldn’t remember the name of that organization, nor did he know what it did when he so vehemently thought it should be closed down. But now he’s quite keen and eager to run it and thinks it’s worthwhile (while he’s on the gravy train)
        – Betsy DeVos who bascially wants public schools to be privatized and run like her family’s very lucrative ponzi scheme called Amway.

        Somehow I don’t see those three giving a rat’s patoot about what happens to the proles. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. I hear-tell that several of Trump’s DC Hotel contractors have filed a law suit (filed during the inaugural) to recover the costs that Trump has stiffed them on for working on his luxury hotel.

        So, eh? May be a very early case of the pot calling the kettle black. Nonetheless, I don’t disagree with Trump’s characterization of the weasels, lizards and other parasites that surrounded him during the inaugural. We’ll have to see if anything changes going forward. Talk’s cheap…

        1. EndOfTheWorld

          Trump had a hard time even getting through his own party’s convention with the nomination, which he had clearly indisputably won. A lot of these nominations are to make friends with the GOP, because he sure doesn’t have much chance to make friends with the dems. Although Tulsi was invited and may or may not have been offered a job, though she said she wasn’t. I think Al Gore was invited to Trump Tower as well. But yeah, he’s a republican who got elected president. What do you expect from him? An increase in the minimum wage?

    3. Annotherone

      I watched the inauguration, from around 30 mins before the swearing-in until Obama’s helicopter flew off.
      Avoided as much commentary as possible – ABC was reasonably civilised on that score.

      I’m going to sound like a Republican, but have to say I enjoyed the show – apart from way too much God-bothering. What happened to separation of church and state? I liked Trump’s speech – I liked his fearlessness in criticism of what has gone on under the hands of many sitting there watching and listening. I’ll no doubt be cursing the new President within days though.

      I thought Melania looked super in that pale blue Ralph Lauren outfit. (Hope it wasn’t made in China!)

      I laughed as camera lens, aimed at The Donald, caught Rick Perry behind his shoulder chewing gum and almost spitting it out then rescuing it and chewing on.

      Bill Clinton looks unwell. Hillary Clinton looked alright, but her walking as they left the arena seemed a bit laboured. Saw Bernie and his wife only fleetingly, once during the ceremony, and again as they were leaving. (What might have been, eh!?)

        1. Optimader

          It seems Bill has taken to posing with his mouth open of late.. to let the carrion flys out?? Not a good look for him in any case.
          In this pic you can do the thought bubble “Gawd, let this day pass”

          At best it appears he didnt get any slerp last night, at worst he looks like he had a ministroke.

        1. Massinissa

          Honestly? I wouldn’t be surprised if hes just old and forgot what he was doing and was just staring at some random thing. Are we sure he was staring specifically at ivanka?

          Anyway Hillary seemed pretty ok with it. She was smiling whole time.

          1. aab

            I’ve been wondering the same thing. I skipped everything (not out of spite, just busy with important family stuff that deadlined today). I only saw short clips on Twitter. But I gotta say, as soon as I saw that smirk and lip-bite, my stomach clenched. I don’t think he was looking at something random. I’d bet everything I have he was imagining assaulting someone.

            I thought Hillary’s coat looked pretty. I loved Melania’s coat, too. Is it normal for a Republican First Lady to wear blue to Inauguration Day?

            1. aab

              Coming back to say, the long shot of Hillary’s coat in the Politico shot has changed my mind about that coat. If it had to be so gigantic through the hips (for whatever reason) the collar should have been more dramatic. It looks lovely in head and shoulder pictures, but full-length? Yikes.

              And what is with those ridiculous gigantic pockets on an all-white coat? As with all the other giant pockets on the hideous housecoats she wore during the campaign, they make the proportion problem worse.I thought with the earlier ones she might be using them for extra camouflage if she’s got medical devices under there. But I don’t think they’d help at all with that in this case. Does her designer hate her?

              I know. Petty. But Lambert linked to the picture. Costuming, including political costuming, as always interested me. Anyway, unless she’s indicted, I hope that’s the last I see of the Pockets of Doom. But I bet they wheel her out tomorrow for the march somehow.

            2. NotTimothyGeithner

              The blue/red divide is from 2000, and the month long recount. Its been forgotten but they use to alternate the colors of awarded states.

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                During the recounts, the usual republican rags would run maps of counties divided into red and blue. It was subtle propaganda to paint people who wanted a recount as whiners.

      1. Waldenpond

        Ooh baby, here’s hoping we’re gonna get that LNG plant we beat back. We’re gonna get a couple ‘energy’ jobs and wipe out the surrounding businesses.

    1. Waldenpond

      I’ve seen pictures of what is purported to be Trump signing executive orders but can only find items re O. Does anyone have any info on what was in that stack of order?

      1. 3.14e-9

        As far as I can tell, they were all official nominations for his cabinet. The only other document that I heard about was a waiver for Mattis to serve as defense secretary when, according to the rules, he hadn’t been out of the military long enough.

        I was watching CNN pretty much all day. Right after he was sworn in, there was a luncheon with members of Congress and some other dignitaries in the statuary hall of the Capitol. Rather than going directly to the dining area, he slipped into a room along the side and signed the above-mentioned paperwork.

        It was kind of funny, actually. He was sitting at a big table, with Pelosi, McConnell, Ryan, Schumer, and a bunch of others standing around. Melania was standing behind him (I don’t know how she lasted all day in those six-inch spike heels), and the rest of the family was there, too, including the grand-kids, who were standing right next to him handing him the pens, and he was talking to them while listening to the big-wigs.

        Evidently it’s a tradition that after the president signs an order or legislation or whatever, someone gets the pen as a memento. There was a lot of noise with all the kids and cross-talk, but I think I heard him make a joke of giving Pelosi the pen he used to sign Pruitt’s nomination, saying he knew how much she liked him. Then someone traded her their pen later.

        So, he signed a stack of nominations, and the last paper he signed before going to the luncheon was the waiver for Mattis. Unless he was signing executive orders from the back seat of the limo or for the few minutes he was inside the White House before coming out the parade viewing stand, there wasn’t any other time he could have signed. Right before I turned off CNN, one of their talking heads said Reince Priebus told reporters that Trump didn’t go into the Oval Office before coming back out to the parade.

        That’s what I saw. Obviously I might have missed something.

        1. Carolinian

          Sorry I was writing from memory

          Trump is expected to impose a federal hiring freeze and take steps to delay a Labor Department rule due to take effect in April that would require brokers who give retirement advice to put their clients’ best interests first.

          He also will give official notice he plans to withdraw from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, Spicer said. “I think you will see those happen very shortly,” Spicer said.


          Trump is expected to sign an executive order in his first few days to direct the building of a wall on the southern border with Mexico, and actions to limit the entry of asylum seekers from Latin America, among several immigration-related steps his advisers have recommended.

          That includes rescinding Obama’s order that allowed more than 700,000 people brought into the United States illegally as children to stay in the country on a two-year authorization to work and attend college, according to several people close to the presidential transition team.

          In other words these are the planned orders, all from the above link.

          1. 3.14e-9

            OK, he might have started. I just found this on Politico. He must have done this following the parade. I’ve got CNN on again, and he and Melania still haven’t shown up. The Politico story links to the order. I haven’t read it yet; wanted to post here first for those who are following.

            The Senate confirmed Kelly and Mattis this afternoon, so that explains the additional two documents reported by Politico.


  2. Schnormal

    Well I’m all ready for the protest tomorrow! I made some signs. Who’s with me?

    I prefer being disempowered by corporatist democrats

    Trump is not a suitable model for projecting my own narcissism

    It was so much easier when we could virtue signal and support the status quo at the same time

    We’re the only industrialized country without universal health care. Sad!

    Guantanamo is still open

    I miss the calm guy who bombed 7 countries

    I really appreciate well marketed candidates now

    I want to blindly trust again #Obamayears

    I miss the guy who let us think we were compassionate

    Imagine if the Dems passed single payer in 2009

    1. two beers

      Good ones. I love the sound of liberal minds imploding from cognitive dissonance.

      I’ll be there with my signs:
      Oppose Trump for doing things we supported when Obama did them.

      After eight years of ignoring Executive Branch malfeasance, it’s time to be vigilant again.

      Thank Obama for commuting Manning’s sentence after he drove her to attempt suicide.’

      TPP United, Will Never Be Defeated!

      Milton Friedman will rise again!

      Peace is Weakness

      1. Schnormal

        Ha! I hesitated posting them, because I think turning the whole thing into a parlor game just displays my own privileged status. But I’m having trouble finding a place to stand where I don’t feel like I’m getting duped.

        And I was getting ready to argue that it was more the Dem’s *non*-feasance that paved the way for the Rep’s malfeasance, but that’s probably just my liberal defense reflex…

        1. Waldenpond

          Today is rough, Clinton, Bush, Obama now Trump. Not an R or D but can appreciate that sometimes humor and being a cynic is a legitimate method for communicating and serves as a good release valve.

      2. fresno dan

        two beers
        January 20, 2017 at 3:12 pm

        That’s going way beyond what Schnormal did two beers….its flat out torturing the Obamabots…uh, I mean enhanced interrogating them.
        Though I understand Trump will bring back torture…or bring back calling enhanced interrogation torture…or sumthin’

      3. Mitch Ritter

        Two Beers Veirs?
        Po’Town songwriting legend?

        I can’t kick a liberal when they’re down or I’d be kickin’ meself.
        However, also exceptin’ fer Rose Rising Alongside Miltie as Chicago School rules,
        every other point made by 2-Beers (Veirs?) here is A-OK!

        {Creative Commons Copywrong}
        Tio Mitchito
        Lay-Low Studios, Ore-Wa
        Media Disc fussin’ Group

    2. fresno dan

      January 20, 2017 at 2:39 pm

      If you showed your list to an Obamabot, they would short circuit!
      At least with Trump, these can all be issues again….

      1. Schnormal

        Fresno Dan –
        We need a wall between issues and politicians. I plan to keep pushing for single payer no matter who’s in office

  3. From Cold Mountain

    Trump’s inauguration speech was an expressions of what the Germans called “Volksgemeinschaft” a term taken over by the Nazi’s to rationalize genocide.

    History: Wash, rinse, repeat.

    1. craazyman

      Budweiser is German for beer.

      I didn’t see the thing on TV but I just read the speech.

      God Bless you Mr. President. Every bad thought I’ve ever had about Donald Trump in my years as a New Yawker — and there haven’t been many bad thoughts since I don’t care, but from time to time I’ve thought “He’s really crass.” or “Wow. Those buildings are gaudy” or “I can’t believe somebody would want to live in one of those”. hahahaha. Or “He didn’t really get into the wine business, did he? He did? Oh man.” Or “Who in their right mind would wanna be a contestant on his game show?” Or “Boy, he looks kind of mean sometimes.” Those kinds of thawts. Not deep thawts. Only passing thoughts. Thawts that pass like gas in the mind.

      But now Every bad thought is gone. And I’m ready for him to do what he says he’ll do. I’m ready to give him hope and some time to try. Ready to give him a real chance. God Bless him, God bless our President, for saying all those things and for meaning them, which I believe he does. You can’t wiggle out of those words like a slick politician. They’re lines in the sand and rulers to measure by.

      Bernie Sanders could have given that speech, almost anyway.

      1. Tom

        I think he means them too. During Trump’s remarks, Lester Holt commented on how at times Trump sounded like he was still on the campaign trail and Holt made it sound like that was a bad thing. Holt still doesn’t get it. I think Trump intends to use his bully pulpit in a way that will terrify and motivate any politician or corporation that thinks it can stand in Trump’s way. Of course, what that way is, exactly, is the $64,000 question.

        1. alex morfesis

          Trump bully pulpit will collapse now that he is the prezzr…he never had any crowds before he concocted this “man of the people/meet john doe” persona…

          His billionaire marauders krewe will steal everything that is not bolted down…

          Oh wow…

          what is that in the left hand of rick perry ?

          a ratchet ??


          these guys are ready…

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Is his speech an expression of the before-taken-over or after-taken-over term?

      Or will someone take over Trump’s expression in the future, say the next D president in 4 or 8 years, or the dossier conspirators?

      1. From Cold Mountain

        Before, but during as well. Democrat or Republican, does not matter?. I am just pointing to the similar social and economic trends.

        When you put America first, you make non-americans the “enemy”. Who those people are will be decided as people get more insane. In Germany they decided it was the Jews and the mentally and physically disabled. I am on Disability, will I be a “useless feeder” sooner or later? Who knows?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Being second does not make anyone an enemy.

          Russia is second, and unlike some, Trump doesn’t mark them as an enemy automatically.

          In that case, American can be first, in our hearts, let Russia be second.

          As for people who are disabled, they are not useless, though some people who are disabled are useless. Even people like Ben (pyramids were for storing grain) Carson, Trump has found a nice place for him.

    3. sid_finster

      Give us some specifics as to what exactly was a call for genocide, and why you think that is what Trump meant.

      1. From Cold Mountain

        I did not say it was a call for genocide. You have to understand the origins of Volksgemeinschaft and how it helped create a framework for the justification of genocide.

        Volksgemeinschaft (German pronunciation: [ˈfɔlksɡəˌmaɪnʃaft]) is a German expression meaning “people’s community”.[1] This expression originally became popular during World War I as Germans rallied in support of the war, and it appealed to the idea of breaking down elitism and uniting people across class divides to achieve a national purpose.

        That was his inauguration speech in a nutshell. From his speech:

        “Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another, or from one party to another — but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.”

        “What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people. January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.”

        “We will get our people off of welfare and back to work — rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor.”

        1. John Parks

          “Set and Setting”
          While Timothy Leary is dead, both in song and life, he did try to make us aware of how the same reality can be seen differently by different viewers. I think this is where you and sid_finster find your differences.
          I’m gonna’ wait and see.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          In general, I find the direct transfer of Nazi vocabulary to US politics as bad as project US politics onto other nation’s politics. The United States has a rich tradition of right-wing, even fascist politics (the Reconstruction is a lot like fascism in a minor key, absent The Leader). Best to look there for anything above the level of the tactical (which spans nations).

          1. Darthbobber

            Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft entered common sociological parlance, by no means confined to Germany, with Max Weber’s book of the same name, which I think was largely a response to Tonnie’s writings on the subject. I think Wright Mills played with it a bit, and it was briefly a thing with the early “new” left.

            The Nazi’s adopted (in highly modified form) a lot of things.

    4. grizziz

      Trump’s speeech:The Bible tells us, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.”

      Almighty then, who is in and who is out?*

      *Indulgences will be available at some additional cost under the tab “Got Soul”

      1. cwaltz

        I guess God’s people don’t include Mexicans since we’re building a wall to keep them out.

        (rolls eyes at Trump’s BS)

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Does God not bless every one and every nation, when we say God Bless America. when we should say God Bless Earth, including cats and dogs?

          “My home sweet home.”

          I think we should add ‘mi casa, su casa.”

          1. sandra l lawrence

            MLTPB, exactly! My all time fave bumper sticker reads “God Bless the Whole World. No Exceptions.” Had one on my Jeep when I lived in Mexico. It was well-received. Mexican citizens would stop and point it out to their children.

        2. craazyman

          It coould be a virtual wall and still be real. Don’t roll your eyes until there’s proof one way or the other.
          Oh How The Math is Hard When the Wall is Evereywheree

          It could be a Virtual Reality wall.

          it could be a Mind Wall. I know this Mexican dude where I get breakfast in the morning — not that I’d get breakfast in the afternoon or evening — but anyway. He’s 1st generation, working a restaurant yob and, on weekends, in a multi-level marketiing thing. Wife & 2 kids in Da Bronx. He’s thick of build, like a boxer, with a round happy face and he’s full of life and hope. His dad lives in Mexico with the family & farms a plot of land and has a small business. His English isn’t great — the dude that is — but we talk abit about life. It’s not wonderful in Mexico with the drugs and gangs. I can see his face change the moment he thinks of it. He’s glad he’s here and his kids are born here. I don’t think he’d be a butt sucking corporate whore or an ass kisser or a backstabber or a soul idiot, a clown of the mind and coward of the heart — like the office stiffs i work with. Well, not that I’m perfect either, but it’s bad. I’m glad he’s here. He makes me smile and he’s the kind of guy you just respect. Or I do anyway. I think you would too. I think anybody in the peanut gallery would. It’s too bad you can’t make a wall to keep idiots out. If you could it would go everywhere and nowhere all at once. Even the mathematicians would have a hard time with an equation like that, even somebody like Ramanujan. And even sombody like Hilbert. Or even ________. Anybody can fill this one in themselves..

          That’s where the wall is, right there where there’s nothing but space and you can fill it with whatever you want.

    5. Skip Intro

      “a term taken over by the Nazi’s “

      Taken over by which Nazi’s what? Obviously a ‘peoples community’ reeks of populism and is thus a short step to genocide. Surely you could have found a less absurd way to Godwin this discussion.

    6. ewmayer

      Let’s apply your ‘reasoning’ to a famous president of yore:

      “Lincoln’s ‘government of the people, by the people and for the people’ in his Gettysburg address was an expressions of what the Germans called “Volksgemeinschaft” a term taken over by the Nazi’s [sic] to rationalize genocide.”

      Ergo, Lincoln was a genocidal pre-o-Nazi! See how easy that was?

  4. Paid Minion

    Inauguration Day Report, from Texoma (North Texas)

    Everybody high-five-ing each other. They even pulled everyone off the shop floor to watch. Much talk about “Obama/ The Great Satan sent packing” and “Trump has the “right” people” pizzed off/scared.

    Lots of “running government like a business” talk. Can’t resist mentioning that Lehman, Enron, Worldcom, MF Global, Bear Stearns, AIG, Countrywide, etc. were run by “businessmen”.

    Need to start a betting line in Vegas, on guessing the date that the wretched refuse figures out they’ve been sold another stinking pile/thrown under the bus.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Those F35 jets were too expensive. A good business person would look for another quote.

      So is health insurance. We’ll see about that.

    2. Tom

      Interesting reactions. As I listened to Trump’s remarks, it seemed like the mentions of jobs and phrases like buy American and hire American got the biggest applause and reaction by far from the crowd there in DC. I think a lot of people are watching Trump very closely on whether he delivers on the “good jobs” promise.

      1. Dandelion

        Wasn’t “Buy American” an International Ladies Garment Workers Union campaign? Interesting that the idea is now considered to herald fascism.

    3. aab

      Based on the Obot I fought with online tonight elsewhere, I would not wager too much on them ever figuring it out, if he scams them the way Obama scammed us.

      Although I have talked to several Republican Trump voters who despise their party and are pretty cynical. But that may make them even less likely to abandon Trump. Where else do they turn? (They loved Bernie. Sigh.)

    1. different clue

      How long before Sirota gets Brockified?

      “If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.
      If you lie down with pigs, you get up with fece.”

      Lets see what Sirota starts smelling like after working with Brock for a while.

    2. ChrisAtRU

      Yeah … not sure about that … Brock hires Sirota to replace Daou (who remains as an adviser to Brock).


    1. fresno dan

      Big River Bandido
      January 20, 2017 at 2:55 pm

      Maybe 4pm??? I did see two cats squalling, so I expect cats and dogs f*cking any moment now….

  5. Carolinian

    Re sand in the gears–the Repubs did this with Clinton up to a govt. shutdown and impeachment with resulting disgust among the broader public if not their base. While the GOP did pull Clinton in their direction–the direction he wanted to go anyway–imitating Newt Gingrich is probably never a good idea.

    Perhaps a better plan would be to find some charismatic leadership that isn’t past retirement age. Think Robert Redford in The Candidate.

    1. Steve C

      It’s a big question how much Trump and people like Ryan are in sync. Going by Trump’s appointments, they are pretty much in sync.

      In the short term, Democratic success will have to be measured in how well they are able to shut down the torrent of right-wing initiatives that appear to be unleashed. Including permanently filibustering a Supreme Court nominee. In the medium term, people like Our Revolution must recruit candidates for every congressional and state legislative seat and run hard. They’re going to get a ton of flack from the corporadems. Did anyone notice Joe Lieberman’s scowling face behind Betsy DeVos this week?

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      The long term effect of 1994 and Clintonism is still with us. Then of course, the candidate recruitment efforts over the years. Evan Bayh was considered a real prize by Team Blue in this last cycle. Dean’s election to the DNC was an attempt to fix those problems, but Obama coopted and shut down that work. The great hope of the Democratic Party is lifelong Republican Liz Warren. In many ways, the Dems fundamental problem has been the promotion of Robert Redfords, charismatic nothings.

      Nina Turner who has never held federal or executive office has to be treated as a serious candidate (she is a serious person) largely because the Democrats have been so backwards for so long. A healthy party would have found a way to promote Turner as a candidate for Congress already or moved her into a district where she could live and build a reputation to run.

      1. Big River Bandido

        Your last sentence pretty much sums up the problem. The Democrats are not by any means a healthy party. No reform candidate will be able to get a nomination until the hacks who control the party machinery are tossed out. Reform will have to start internally, within the party itself.

        1. cwaltz

          That’s my largest problem. They’ve been trying to actively “reform” the party since at least 2006 when the Democratic DC insiders supported Independent Lieberman over the activist’s choice, Lamont. In my opinion the only way to get rid of the rot is going to be to withhold votes from them until the party becomes a shell which will kind of mean you will be starting over from the ground up anyways. Personally, if that is going to be the case might as well work to get a third party off the ground that you can use as a default choice to punish the Democrats if they get corrupt or vice versa.

          1. lyman alpha blob

            …the only way to get rid of the rot is going to be to withhold votes from them…

            Well we’re off to a good start there. No president, no Congress, and a shrinking minority of state houses and governors. Problem is the hacks still don’t seem to get it, putting Pelosi and Schumer in the biggest leadership spots.

            The bright spot is Sanders who is not a Democrat anymore and still getting the spotlight much to the chagrin of the establishment I suspect. Let’s see if he has anything up his sleeve.

      2. Carolinian

        I was sort of kidding about Redford but they do need new faces–who aren’t sellouts like Obama. Dems think ideas win elections. That’s probably wrong. The public is looking for leadership.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          I think the idea is to combine leadership with ideas. FDR did that. Reagan did that. Obama marketed himself as doing that, and didn’t. Clinton didn’t; that was the whole point of Clintonian incrementalism. Trump did (“Make America Great Again” is an idea). Sanders did. Bernie woulda won…

        2. aab

          Ideas do win elections. Just not the ideas the establishment Democrats want to keep pushing, that have been proven false or failed.

          And the leftist wing of the party has terrific young talent, that the establishment has worked very hard to keep out of office. Jayapal made it through. Teachout didn’t. Tulsi is doing her thing. She’s not precisely a leftist, but I think she’s moving in that direction. Josh Fox gave a barnburner of a speech for Bernie during the primaries. I want him in office. Then there’s Nina Turner, and Janet Kim and Bao Nguyen. I think Fetterman could have beaten Toomey, if the Democrats had cleared a path for him — and Bernie had been the nominee.

          There’s a lot of talent out there. They don’t tend to get media exposure. Hmmmmm….

      3. UserFriendly

        Nina Turner was being promoted by the OH D party, sort of. They had her fun for OH Sec of State in 2014. They knew it would be a long shot and she had to resign her Sate senate seat though… Of course if she hadn’t done that she wouldn’t have been able to be Bernie’s main surrogate.

    3. Massinissa

      I think Newt, along with Monica, saved Social Security. So if the Republicans want to do it again to fuck over the Donald I would definitely be ok with that.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The last trip to the restaurant wasn’t that agreeable.

      Perhaps some customers will never return, or maybe they don’t have money, being out of work for many years.

      Or maybe the blame lies with the title – Hope and Change is a lot catchier.

      1. Waldenpond

        I got the feeling through the election that many people weren’t happy with either candidate but a significant number were voting against Ds in general and Clinton specifically not necessarily voting for Trump. This is only one metric that might confirm that.

        1. Dpfaef

          100,000 people elected Trump.

          All I hear when Trump speaks is a chicken in every pot. A car in every garage. I don’t see his cabinet choices reflecting his concern for the people. And let me add, that when Obama passed the ACA the first thing the republicans said that’s what Hilter did. Now I have a president sort of elected promising the same darn thing only yuger and more better.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            That Austrian corporal also passed an ACA , that penalized those who elected not to be in it?

            He was lucky there was no (natural) term limit for ‘Leaders for Life.’

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            > 100,000 people elected Trump.

            Yes, Trump’s margin was small. And?

            If the argument is that Trump’s illegitimate because of that, (a) Clinton lost under rules she knew going on (and liberals are awfully big on “norms” when the norms work in their favor; otherwise, not so much); and (b) I think Trump’s illegitimate because he’s an oligarch, and oligarchy is itself legitimate.

            The nice thing about that view is that it’s clarifying: I wouldn’t have to agree, as liberals and the Democratic establishment would, that Trump were legitimate if he won by 500K, or a million, or whatever arbitrary threshold there is for legitimacy beyond the rules actually set up to, ya know, elect the President.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              If all that was needed was 100k voters in key states, imagine how a candidate who might have had people registering all Summer might have done. I wonder how many people at the march today are even registered or thought to bring registration forms.

              Imagine if every “protester” had spent an afternoon outside a local Walmart or Safeway trying to register voters. Sitting behind a booth staring at phones doesn’t count. You have to be aggressive.

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                If every “protester” registers three people, that is 1.5 million new voters.

                I would say it’s safe to say those voters would break 2 to 1 for Democrats. Oh well.

  6. Kim Kaufman

    ““Protesters block entrances to inauguration, set fires, vandalize” [Chicago Tribune].

    This protest was organized by Answer Coalition and the RCP (Revolutionary Communist Party). They’re not doing “protest,” they’re doing recruiting for the “revolution.” I am not at all surprised by violence.

    1. JustAnObserver

      OMG is the RCP still going !??

      It was, way back before I saw the neoliberal light, my one & only flirtation with a real Marxist-Leninist (or was it Trotskyist ? or Maoist ?) lefty groupuscule. In my defense I only went there initially ‘cos of a girl but stayed long enough to learn 2 things

      (1) False consciousness. Apparently I was so full of it I’d never get to be an operating thetan … Oh wait that’s something else.

      (2) The Fundamental Law of the Left: Fighting with your fellow revolutionaries over the number of workers that can dance on a capitalist’s head is far more important and satisfying than actually trying to change things.

      1. Massinissa

        (or was it Trotskyist ? or Maoist ?)

        According to Wikipedia they claim to follow Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.

        I guess they just put everything (Except that counter-revolutionary Trotskyism! /s ) into a pot and stir it…

    2. Massinissa

      Not surprising if they were involved. They were in the news last year for something similar. From Wikipedia:

      “Several members of the Revolutionary Communist Party were present at an anti-police protest that eventually catalyzed the 2016 Milwaukee riots. The organization confirmed that some of its members were among the protesters and that they traveled to Milwaukee to “support a revolution”, but did not intend to incite violence.”

      Theyre either nuts or provocateurs. I would bet on the latter.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        RCP showed up at Ferguson, too. The locals didn’t think much of having their efforts exploited.

        The RCP also has the worst trade dress in the world, although to their credit their posters are instantly recognizable, due to the extreme density of the type.

  7. Dr. Roberts

    I noticed George W Bush was barely keeping it together this morning as they were preparing the procession to the inauguration. He looked wracked by powerful emotions of grief and perhaps shame. He must feel this has all been his fault.

    1. Clive

      I would have condemned him as the sole guilty party once upon a time but now it’s a cast of thousands. I think that explains Bill’s expression in the Politico piece. But there’s nothing to explain Hillary’s stony face. Reminded me of the one Elena Ceaușescu had while she was arguing with the firing squad.

      1. Katharine

        Without knowing what was going on when the picture was taken, it’s impossible to tell what Bill’s expression meant. My first thought was that he was looking at pigeons overhead.

        1. fajensen

          As I remember it, the Ceausescus got kicked or thrown out of a doorway right in front of the executioners and basically got shot straight away. Maybe Elena Ceausescu had time for a few remarks, in my memory, it looked like it hadn’t clicked yet for them what the situation was.

          Anyway, The video is still up on LiveLeak. Google will find it. I don’t need to see it again. Depressing stuff.

    2. Jim Haygood

      Well, eight years have gone by since GW left town.

      And the messes Bush made in Iraq and Afghanistan are being passed on to yet another administration. Even while the ceremony was underway, “elite Iraqi troops” were fighting to “free Mosul from ISIS.”


      “Miserable failure,” as one used to type to invoke the Google bomb pointing to GWB.

      Lock him up!

      1. Katharine

        Not necessarily, unless you know something I don’t. He was in ICU two days ago, and there don’t seem to be a lot of updates, but he might still recover.

        1. cwaltz

          The guy is 92. I’m pretty sure you don’t recover from old age.

          It sure is swell that he has the best hospital care money can buy thanks to people like Mr Stewart and his wife’s tax dollars.

          1. Katharine

            My father was given six months and lasted fourteen. It’s not over till you really definitively hit the final illness.

          2. John Parks

            Well I’m not 92 but I can see it from my back porch if I squint real hard. (what’s another 20 years!?) I do know that when I buy something “as-is” I take it into consideration that it may also be the same as having a lifetime warranty!

  8. Waldenpond

    Hospital trend: eliminating urgent care for emergency care as it bills higher. Reading about hospitals expanding their ICUs. They’d have to build which is a hit to their profits so it has to be at the expense of other beds. So I expect that hospitals will force out the med surg beds to what… other hospitals? other communities? to free up floor space for the ICU sickest of the sick and those sweet, sweet billing profits per bed will go up. Shareholders must be tinkled pink, or is that the transfusion of young blood?

  9. Vatch

    Trump’s inaugural address included this:

    “The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer. Everyone is listening to you now.”

    In combination with Treasury Secretary-designate Steven Mnuchin’s history as a foreclosure king, this reminds me of the actor Eddie Albert as a CEO in this movie scene (time stamp 1:48):


    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      From the Gold Diggers of 1933 film, My Forgotten Man:

      I don’t know if he deserves a bit of sympathy

      Forget your sympathy, that’s all right with me

      I was satisfied to drift along from day to day

      Till they came and took my man away

      Remember my forgotten man

      You put a rifle in his hand

      You sent him far away

      You shouted: “Hip-hooray!”

      But look at him today

      Remember my forgotten man

      You had him cultivate the land

      He walked behind the plow

      The sweat fell from his brow

      But look at him right now

      And once, he used to love me

      I was happy then

      He used to take care of me

      Won’t you bring him back again?

      ‘Cause ever since the world began

      A woman’s got to have a man

      Forgetting him, you see

      Means you’re forgetting me

      Like my forgotten man

      Nothing is a perfect analogy, for today, it’s no longer a woman’s got to have a man.

  10. Jim Haygood

    Today one stock index — the Nasdaq 100, with its tech glamour stocks — reached a record high, eclipsing its previous Jan 13th record close by 4 points.

    Hope remains alive! ;-)

  11. Big River Bandido

    Jeffrey St. Clair has a pretty good mashup at CounterPunch. It includes this nice little zinger:

    “The best unintended consequence of Trump’s election to date is that it has prompted U2 to indefinitely delay the release of their latest album…”

    From St. Clair’s keyboard to Dog’s ears.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Speaking of seizing territory:

      While most of liberal America is “occupying” the Inauguration, someone should seize the opportunity to Occupy the headquarters of the DNC. After all, no entity did more to insure the election of Donald Trump.

      Would have been a hell of a lot more effective than setting a limo on fire. The stupid! It b-u-r-r-r-n-s-s!!!!!

  12. Goyo Marquez

    When I first heard this live:

    “Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning because today, we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the people…”

    I thought wow, that’s something Bernie might have said, at least he acknowledges the devastation of the middle parts of America, which the elites continue to deny.

    But when I read it here, it sounded more like normal, government isn’t the solution it’s the problem, return government to the local level, Republican/ conservative/ libertarian, talk. He didn’t seem to be pointing any fingers at the bankers or the CEOs who run the game and have profited the most from it.

    Hmmm… time will tell.

    1. RUKidding

      Oh Trump pointed fingers at the bankers and CEOs, alright. He pointed his fingers and said: “You’re Hired”!!

      Talk’s cheap. It’s all very well to diss the DC establishment, but to turn around and hire the vultures he has gives me pause. I’ll wait to see what Trump and his Admin does before cheering his words.

      Not a Clinton fan, but to say I’m skeptical about Trump – especially given his cabinet picks – is putting it mildly.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        So far, I’m seeing a swing to the right within the Overton Window.

        Not good, but not “the camps” either. “We can work with against” that. Bad for a lot of liberal careers, of course.

  13. Darthbobber

    The Black Bloc anarchists can always be relied on to make it really easy to confuse radicalism with an infantile temper tantrum.

    If the authorities don’t have them on the payroll its only because they’re willing to do it for free, saving the IC the expense of actually paying for provocateurs.

      1. Darthbobber

        I wish. Unfortunately, I’ve met enough of these neoromantic narodniks toknow the cops don’t actually need to provide their own provocateurs in this case.

    1. Fiver

      There was such a huge police, military, security presence no real, political ‘radicals’ would go anywhere near the place and behave violently for fear of being shot dead. As for ordinary protesters these days getting caught in someone else’s violence, or more typically, the inevitable over-reaction of police to someone else’s violence, is not just scary, but potentially leaves a permanent blot on an individual’s digital profile that can be very damaging when police round-up and charge people indiscriminately. If ‘radical anarchists’ do exist, I’m pretty sure we haven’t seen them.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    That’s what BLM did in Ferguson through continuous marching for weeks and months, since the police wouldn’t ever let them sit or stop; they had to keep walking.)

    Health-wise, walking is better than sitting or stopping. Not sure, though, if the police deserve any credit for being that considerate.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Yeah, but imagine never stopping, not for an instant. Why, it’s as if they were working in the cotton fields…

      The Ferguson locals deserve all the credit in the world, even if (as with Flint) their situation has not changed materially.

  15. lyman alpha blob

    Protesting by disrupting public transportation.

    That ought to get the poor and working class voters running right over to the Dem side.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


      Not even uber cars should be disrupted, before they bother high school prom limousine services…completely un-eco-friendly rituals.

    2. Waldenpond

      Boston Tea Party people. Come on, stop blaming and attacking each other and go after the limos (an excellent symbol of oligarch status and indulgence)

      1. Uber

        USA – property over people. Every. Single. Time.

        Threats against property also get 1000x the reaction as a threat against a person, or their well being. Free speech, and all that, see above.

        How many people did the cops manhandle and abuse today?

        But, don’t dare touch the car.

  16. Waldenpond

    Repeat of a twitter’s summary…. an actual nazi was punched, the windows at a McDs were broken and a limo is burning. Is this ‘meh’, an expected level of protest of the changing of the oligarchs or is it ‘tick tock’ time is up. I’m going with ‘meh’ doesn’t seem like an unexpected level of activities.

        1. Waldenpond

          Complaints are that media aren’t showing it, no one inside etc. Who knows. Now it might be Al Sharpton’s limo…. sorry, not sorry.

          1. alex morfesis

            Limo was allowed to be vandalized by the police for some reason…”we the people” $pray painted in yellow, then a claimed “bottle rocket” fired into the limo started the fire…

            None of which makes any sense since vehicles have fire retardant materials in them…and the “rioting” & destruction was confined to this one vehicle…without the police helping to “calm” the crowd down before more happened….

            there was a burning limo…but the details…

            fn anyone ?

        2. Waldenpond

          Larry King reporting his suv windows were smashed. Another example of people not attacking each other but targeting oligarch symbols and indulgences — oligarch owned and controlled media.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            We have to elevate our game.

            People are rightly alarmed to see a terminal cancer patient with one month to live killed.

            How many of us can visual the years of life shortened by being constantly nagged?

            In material science, the term is fatigue.

            To elevate our game, we need to stay away from Social Media for more than just a day at a time. It must be decades.

            The same with buying from the one monopoly on the net. Instead, buy from the local mom-and-pop stores…not just one day a month, but for the rest of our lives.

  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Anti-Trump protests erupt across the country” [The Hill]. Atlanta, Austin, Denver, Los Angeles, Oakland, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco, and San Jose. Several are using the tactic of disrupting public transportation, which is fine, I suppose, unless you have hostages to fortune who require your paycheck.

    Why must they always take it out on public transportation users?

    Free college tuition, but rarely any mention of free public transportation.

    And now this. Why not the reverse – free bus and disrupting SAT exams?

  18. Vatch

    It looks like net neutrality is on its way out. It will take a while to accomplish this, but as a first step, Trump appears ready to promote a net neutrality opponent to FCC chair. Power to the monolithic broadband companies!


    “Ajit Pai has been on the wrong side of just about every major issue that has come before the FCC during his tenure,” Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron said in a statement. “He’s never met a mega-merger he didn’t like or a public safeguard he didn’t try to undermine. He’s been an inveterate opponent of net neutrality, expanded broadband access for low-income families, broadband privacy, media diversity and more.”

  19. Darthbobber

    “Maybe I’m just getting old, but I don’t see the point of “protest” tactics. What are they but virtue signaling?”

    Well, we don’t have cattle raids in our culture, and we lack the kind of sports culture that provides a tradition of letting the young be Arsenal or Chelsea casuals and brawl with each other before the derbies, so you need some sort of “dangerous-but not too dangerous” rites of passage.

    1. Waldenpond

      The oligarchs only give up their wealth when peasants ask very, very politely. Remember, when a bank defrauds you, be polite. When an oligarch ships your job out, be polite. When you are sleeping on a bench and an oligarch demands the force of state to remove you, be polite.

      There are no examples of violence against oligarchs that have ever proven successful at rebalancing inequality. Think of oligarchs as wasps. Don’t be loud. Don’t invade their space. Be very gentle. Don’t upset them. Be polite! and they will willingly give you honey if you are patient.

      1. alex morfesis

        Oligarchs & monarchs are never removed by the prole/peasant, but by other oligarchs or nobles…

        karl marx=phillips intl…

        russian revo=morganatic blowback

        Austrian Sarajevo=morganatic blowback

        amer revolt=ttip/east india co tea tax

        Mosaddegh was more royal than pahlavi

        1. Waldenpond

          I think the strategy is for peasant rebellions to make certain billionaires uncomfortable (expend wealth to quell rebellion, rebuild and protect physical assets and self) enough it forces other billionaires to act to protect their wealth.

      2. Darthbobber

        And this folderol seriously looks like “mass struggle” to you? This is rebellion? Hardly.
        This is politics-as-usual pretending to be something else. And one can equate militance of pose striking with seriousness of purpose all day long without making it true.

        1. Waldenpond

          Heck no. Not even close. Some are in a kerfluffle because a couple of corporate windows and a limo got burned. Some hand wave it off as anarchists and virtue signaling. I think it’s going to take many strategies to change governing… finding candidates, protesting policy, peaceful protesting, civil disobedience and violence.

          I am disagreeing with the pretense that the peasants must be polite to the elite and the subsequent attitudes that follow: that the lower classes need outlets for their baser instincts that arise when they are unable to process their inevitable decline.

          1. Darthbobber

            That might be clearer if anybody you were responding to was engaging in such pretense?
            Otherwise its just kind of free-floating?

  20. Waldenpond

    Sanders voters gleeful…. oy, pictures of distraught anti-Trump people, one on his knees. The Sanders people are reminiscing about the Clinton people mocking those crying about Sanders loss with a ‘suck it Clinton mofos’ assuming it’s a Clinton voter that is upset….. ignoring the possibility it’s a Sanders voter.

      1. aab

        I haven’t either. There’s some gloating, but I can’t really blame them. I doubt a Sanders voter would wail like that at this point. We have no illusions left about what happened this year. You’d have to be a special sort of fool to do that in public today. I’m guessing some combination of drank all the Kool-Aid/performative for her group.

  21. Katharine

    I had two thoughts about the IAT story, in no particular order. The test-retest correlation on the order of r=.4 would seem to make it a questionable analytical tool. Also, nothing in this article suggested that the technique has been tested with neutral categories like fruit and vegetables instead of black and white people, so it isn’t clear how much of the variation in response might be due to extraneous factors such as difficulty getting used to the routine, or conversely, tiring of it mentally or physically. Possibly this basic check has been done, but if we are not told I am left wondering.

  22. Kim Kaufman

    From Diane Ravitch: Notes from Inauguration Day


    She is besides herself over her buddy Clinton’s loss. Nevertheless her observations include:

    “In his speech, Trump took a swipe at America’s public schools, saying they deprive students of “all knowledge.””


    “The new White House website removed the page devoted to civil rights advances and the page about LGBT rights, but added a page advertising Melanie trump’s jewelry.”

    and this:

    “A professor of history at the University of California at Davis reminded the world that the term “America First” was embraced by Nazi sympathizers in the U.S. in the 1930s.


    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      “In his speech, Trump took a swipe at America’s public schools, saying they deprive students of “all knowledge.””

      Not all knowledge.

      Only knowledge and wisdom that learning should make you happy, and if not, at least, healthy.

      Going to school, getting credentialed, so you can become a serf, when you and your follow citizens form the sovereign in sovereign currency, without knowing what is healthy to eat is no education at all.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      “A professor of history at the University of California at Davis reminded the world that the term “America First” was embraced by Nazi sympathizers in the U.S. in the 1930s.

      Those goose-stepping Germans also wanted to win too many Olympic gold medals.

      Maybe we change it to America Number One.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      “The new White House website removed the page devoted to civil rights advances and the page about LGBT rights, but added a page advertising Melanie trump’s jewelry.”

      It’s a fight among fashion world demigods and demigoddeses.

      Some had said they wouldn’t work to make Melania look chic. And now, she’s showing off her stuff.

      It reminds one of the film, Black and White in Color, about colonists in Africa fighting their European war in the home of the natives, who must be asking, what has that got to do with us?

      1. sandra l lawrence

        “The new White House website removed the page devoted to civil rights advances and the page about LGBT rights, but added a page advertising Melanie trump’s jewelry.” @ Kim Kaufman.
        Stormed off in indignation to check this out. Seeing jewelry mentioned only as part of Melania’s bio. Or did I naively bite and miss the whole tongue-in-cheek thing? Wouldn’t be the first time.
        : )

    4. Tigerlily

      A professor of history at the University of California at Davis reminded the world that the term “America First” was embraced by Nazi sympathizers in the U.S. in the 1930s.

      More hysterical pearl clutching from the liberal establishment.

      “America First” was a slogan used by isolationists, who weren’t necessarily “Nazi sympathizers” but opposed American involvement in foreign wars. Professor Rauchway is making a false equivalence between being an isolationist and being pro Nazi, and then trying to libel Trump by association.

      Just goes to show that holding a faculty position at a prestigious school is no bar to the most scurrilous intellectual dishonesty.

      1. Katharine

        Judging by the description at Wikipedia, it would be really hard to generalize about the membership of the America First Committee, since it lasted just over fifteen months and had relatively independent local chapters. What I find striking is that the paragraph on prominent members and sympathizers includes Norman Thomas, Charles Lindbergh, and Gore Vidal, among others, quite a mixed bag all in all.


        1. Tigerlily

          It is as you say a mixed bag.

          The slogan “America First” was in use well before the founding of the America First Committee. It loosely encompassed the idea, widely held in the US in the interwar years, that America’s (very belated) intervention in the First World War had been a mistake and that in the future the US should avoid becoming entangled in other peoples’ wars – a view which btw was grounded in a long and hallowed American foreign policy tradition, stretching all the way back to George Washington’s farewell address, as the American Firsters themselves would have been the first to point out.

          Only a few days before Pearl Harbor Gallop published a poll showing the majority of Americans supported neutrality – and interestingly, the plurality of those who favoured entering the war wanted to do so to support China (not Britain, as most people would assume today).

          My point is that the way things were perceived in the 1930s was often quite different from how they are retrospectively remembered today, and it’s shameful that a historian like Professor Rauchway, rather than engaging with those complexities, would debase his vocation to score some cheap political points.

          At the risk of kicking over the hornet’s nest I’ll also point out that with regard to their attitudes toward foreign interventionism many of the commenters here aren’t spiritually that far removed from the America Firsters.

    1. Tigerlily

      Was hoping for a timely critique of scientifism along the lines of this cogent Andrew Gelman post, but it’s just a reading list.

      Does look like an interesting class though.

      1. footnote4

        Thanks for the pointer to Gelman – cogent presentation and analysis, as you say, on the experimental science issues raised in the microaggression article.

        The suggestion of separating mathematical grand theory models like DSGE from policy models brings in additional issues beyond experimental method. One source of relevant context for those who haven’t seen it: Phillip Mirowski’s excellent series of books and articles on the attempts to establish economics as a ‘science’ from 1800s, and the role of the economic priesthood on behalf of the neoliberal thought collective.

        (Apparently Srivastava doesn’t have plans to implement his proposed class given the realities of academic constraints, which are, of course, f*cked.)

  23. Gareth

    I want to know just who is leading ‘The Resistance’? I’m guessing it’s some unemployed Clintonites looking for new paychecks. I went to the website and it does have a faint David Brock stench about it, but no names of any leaders. There were a number of the usual issues listed, along with the perceived Trump strategy, the weaknesses of his strategy, followed by list of excessively passive actions that can be taken, such as: “Call your Senator or Congress Critter”, “sign a petition” and the all important “contribute”. KaChing!?

    1. Waldenpond

      It’s Clinton people through and through. Good grief the resistance collapsed faster than the blogger boys. I’m so old, I remember watching the rise of Kos et al. Never a reader of most of the sites, I felt the were neo-liberal and libertarian.

      Now we see a quick jump in DSA (dark money, big-tent, instructions to market to unions and not talk about socialism) and OurRevo (dark money, Legum/MY retweets, elite run, includes Sanders staff that was sabotaging his mediocre campaign from the get go), watching media that spoke affirmatively of Sanders in some instances assume the fetal position to neo-liberalism and libertarianism.

      Heck, I don’t think it was a matter of collapsing, I think it was a co-option from the get go. It’s looks like one problem was the voices shoved to the front were very politically flexible.

      The few stragglers on what was called the left, those that left Sanders as a sell-out, those that grudgingly support Sanders (whether he sold-out because of the CIA (yes, really), D access/power) were reduced to making excuses for Sirota and Tracey today….

      I want to see the final flame out when Sanders hands over his data.

      1. kj1313

        Hold on where did Sanders sell out to the CIA? Crazy conspiracy theories just make you look unhinged.

        1. Waldenpond

          haha! It’s not my conspiracy theory. The (yes, really) was sarcasm. It’s people battling over why Sanders soldout.

      2. Darthbobber

        DSA-Dark money. I f’ing wish. I’d say you couldn’t make this shit up, but I’m looking at the evidence that you can.

        Instructions not to talk about socialism. Maybe if you’re a Tankie, and socialism means “Storm the Winter Palace as the only answer. Except that we even have some small factions that go that way.

        Big tent- You’re big tent is the centrists purist ideologically driven blah, blah, blah. I suppose every tent is bigger than some other tent until you get to the smallest physically possible Monad of a tent (probably inhabited by mini-Bob Avakian) You mean multi-tendency? The lack of a central committee to enforce a single line? Yes, DSA is non-Bolshevik in its organization. But then there’s still no shortage of heroic Vanguard of the Revolution parties out there operating on the Democratic Centralist model, and peddling their Watchtowers. It was probably about to work THIS time before Sanders distracted them from that revolution that was about to happen just-any-day-now up until that point.

        1. Waldenpond

          Dark money is a reference to pacs/organizations etc that don’t disclose their finances. I have been unable to find DSAs financial reports. If you’ve got it, a link would be great.

          1. Darthbobber

            DSA is dues-funded. A list of finances would essentially be a membership list. And I think there are good reasons why dues-funded organizations have never disclosed those.
            There IS a DSA Fund, which is a 501(c)(3) fund originally capitalized with Harrington’s book royalties, but the last I knew there wasn’t a heckuva lot in that kitty.

            The treasurer’s report at the Philadelphia meetings contains the dismal details of the local finances, the minutes that come out from the national org contain those monthly.

      3. different clue

        I’m beginning to think of some of these “Sanders sold out/ Sanders folded” people as Little Red Snowflakes all butthurt because Sanders didn’t live out THEIR fantasies for THEM.

        There there, Little Red Snowflakes. Here . . . have a crayon.

  24. McWatt

    It was great that Bernie ghost wrote Trump’s speech. I thought it was really good. Short simple and easily understood. Now if he even remotely comes close to honoring this new compact with us without destroying
    civil liberties, the financial system or the planet, all will be well.

  25. DJG

    Trump web site.

    The Movement Continues.
    The Work Begins.

    They are, in a sense, mirroring Tony Kushner.

    We won’t die secret deaths anymore. The world only spins forward. We will be citizens. The time has come.
    Bye now.
    You are fabulous creatures, each and every one.
    And I bless you: More Life.
    The Great Work Begins.”

    ― Tony Kushner, Angels in America (last lines of Perestroika)

    Wowsers. Things are topsy-turvy.

    And yes: Peace, land, and bread and roses. Going on the offensive and dancing at our revolution. Which means letting the powerful know that we exist. Protests.

    As to protest: Being out in the streets is one means of “manifesting,” displaying, challenging. Occupations are good. Ask the UAW. Long marches are good: Ask the bonus army. As to the commenters here getting all sniffy about protests: See you tomorrow at the women’s march in Chicago. Afterwards, we can talk. Talking a walk with a sign is the least a citizen can do. We will be citizens.

  26. fresno dan

    “Hillary: The Face of the Vanquished” [Politico]. Click through to the (Pulitzer-quality) photo, and take a look at Bill. Yikes!

    WHOA!!!! Who says there aren’t republicans in the MSM? I have gotten my pound of flesh, I think I could have come up with a less…..bad picture.

  27. ChiGal in Carolina

    So surprised to see the good (populist) part of the speech quoted in detail by Lambert (and many others downstream), with only a brief reference – “bombastic ‘glorious destiny'” – to the bad (nationalistic) part with NO quotes.

    Judging by how long the America First chest-thumping went on, it is as important to Trump’s message as the throw the bums out part.

    No, Bernie could never have given that speech. Pat Buchanan, maybe.

    1. Tigerlily

      Yesterday’s Globe and Mail (Canada’s quality daily) had a front page story on how one of the Trump administration’s top priorities will be to renegotiate NAFTA – and by “renegotiate” they apparently mean wring unilateral concessions from Canada and Mexico.

      The administration of Bush 43 believed that the US was the world’s only “hyperpower” and by virtue of that it could dictate policy to other countries, including erstwhile allies. At the time of the Iraq war for example the US ambassador held a news conference in which he openly said that Canada was going to be “punished” for not joining the invasion. Americans seem to get that their country’s international standing took a huge hit during those years, but public perceptions aside alienating your friends is never smart diplomacy, and even less so for a declining and overextended power.

      Nevertheless on foreign policy the indications are Trump is going to bring back Bush 43 good times, and perhaps even exceed them. Buckle up, it’s going to be a wild ride.

    2. tongorad

      No, Bernie could never have given that speech.

      You got that right. God forbid a liberal actually speak to the reality of working class life.

      1. cwaltz

        Dude I AM liberal and I AM the working class.

        You conservative snobs act as if you are the only ones who have ever held a job. Guess what special snowflake? You aren’t the only ones in America who actually work for a living no matter how often FOX News likes to pretend otherwise. Hell, considering the red conservative states are the biggest federal moochers dollar for dollar I’m more inclined to believe it’s the conservatives that don’t have a work ethic.

          1. cwaltz

            Instead of chastising me you might want to chastise the person who made a blanket statement about that set of people he seems to think HE gets to speak for and yes, I have as much of a right to speak for that class as HE/SHE does.

            One thing I’m not is a hippie, if someone punches me they can expect to get punched back.

          2. cwaltz

            Oh and by the way, I think if someone sneers the term liberal as if they are authoritatively entitled to define that particular SET of people, that I have just as much right to speak (as someone actually a member of it) as the person sneeringly defining me and people like me as a SET.

            It is rich though that if someone sneers at “deplorables” for not understanding concepts like Medicare or socialism it must be because they are an elite snob but if someone sneers at liberals then that’s acceptable. No double standard there.

          3. witters

            And so Russell’s Paradox: “Russell’s paradox is the most famous of the logical or set-theoretical paradoxes. Also known as the Russell-Zermelo paradox, the paradox arises within naïve set theory by considering the set of all sets that are not members of themselves. Such a set appears to be a member of itself if and only if it is not a member of itself. Hence the paradox. “

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      I didn’t see the chest-thumping as different from the usual sort of American exceptionalism. What’s more chest-thumping than “Pay any price, bear any burden”?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        “I lead the strongest military the world has ever seen.” -Barack Obama to the UN

        I’m sure the “libruls” hailed this as a message of peace.

    1. jo6pac

      Yes, then again are they young? This might be the same as Your Talking to a Young Women near You. I won’t go any further being a family site in all.

  28. fresno dan

    “The Obamas were a master class in dignity and civility. Did we learn what they taught?” [WaPo].

    Appearance is more important than substance?

    Pretending your virtuous is more important than being virtuous?

    The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you’ve got it made?

  29. kj1313

    Ok Clinton is gone but with Trump’s cabinet picks it seems like he’s just as a big problem with an authoritarian streak. There is also more organizing on the left, we’ll see how they take on the establishment.

  30. 3.14e-9

    Trump signs Obamacare order.

    I posted this above (8:47 p.m.), re-posting here so it’s not missed. I hope that’s OK. I haven’t read it yet, but it seems like a pretty big deal. There are no doubt others among the NC commentariat who can figure it out better than I.

    CNN now reporting, too, but they don’t know exactly what it means.

    The Politico story has a link to the actual document.


    1. jrs

      very soon to tell, especially as Obama’s first noises in office were about closing Gitmo ..

      “HHS could use the order to decide not to enforce the requirement that employers provide coverage to their workers or face a penalty. The policy has never been enforced, so there would be no change in existing policy.”

      bwhahahaha … thanks Obama

      of course trump may just repeal with no replacement to feel like he’s done something, that’s kinda the problem with egomaniacs. Colorado is sure going to regret not having passed state single payer though when they had the chance (it’s the only state that had a referendum for that recently).

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      From the Politico piece:

      The order says Cabinet heads “shall exercise all authority and discretion available to them to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay” any provision in the Affordable Care Act that would impose a “cost, fee, tax, penalty or regulatory burden.”

      So much for the mandate…

  31. Clive

    When I read that Obama was now on vacation and looking forward to getting in some rounds of golf, my first thought was “how can they tell the difference?”

  32. chuck roast

    Tonight I was watching the NBA game between Golden State and the Rockets in Houston. A guy named ZaZa Pachoula (sp.?) from Golden State went to the line to shoot free-throws. He is from SE Europe somewhere. The Ref. had no sooner given ZaZa the ball when the Houston crowd started chanting “U-S-A, U-S-A…”
    This action can best be described as redneck, racist, xenophobic and downright rude. Interested if the players and sports blow-hards say anything about this ugly occurrence.
    What a start!

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Georgian, you know like Stalin. Could it have been Hillary voters? She did win the county. Has the anti-Slavic rhetoric being pushed by the Democrats given people license to be pigs?

      1. RabidGandhi

        Not that you said otherwise, but just to note:

        1. Georgians are not slavs.
        2. Outside of the Democrat Party, one would be hard pressed to find a more virulent hotbed of anti-Russian sentiment than Georgia.

  33. Fiver

    Note the Clintons were at Inauguration 2 for a big callout from Trump – all is good, by-gones are gone, the furthering of the cause of justice as related to certain investigations will mysteriously founder, and the One Giant Scandal that was Election 2016 will receive a good scrubbing by the self-inspecting, so they and msm can pronounce that an evident, possibly prolonged crisis of legitimacy really never existed.

    I note and applaud the knock-on-door people and believe these efforts pay big dividends when you can hit that critical mass of shared recognition of political reality. There is a huge benefit to this mode of organization too in that it’s not electronic, it’s live, it cannot be edited by someone else, you discover yourselves who in your sphere have leadership calibre, who the ideas, who the heart etc. as you start building your local group. And be prepared to be infiltrated and otherwise harassed. I wondered if in the US, belonging to a political party carried with it any protections against arbitrary police power not enjoyed by non-members.

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