Links 1/22/17

GMO grass that ‘escaped’ defies eradication, divides grass seed industry The Oregonian (GF).

Gene-edited animals face US regulatory crackdown Nature

Now smaller firms developing antibiotics but will society, politicians accept high prices? Times of India

1MDB Scandal: Talks Between Malaysia, Abu Dhabi Over Missing Money Break Down WSJ

Corruption improves re-election chances: How much can politicians steal before being punished? (PDF) Zagreb School of Economics and Management (MT).

Tesla cleared in Autopilot crash Silicon Valley. But read all the way to the end.

Artificial intelligence is growing so fast, even Google’s co-founder is surprised Chicago Tribune. Sergey Brin thinks Davos is like Burning Man. And it is! It is!

As U.S. Cedes Leadership on Climate, Others Step Up at Davos NYT

The United States & Russia: Two Sides of Same Geopolitical Coin?


Iraqi general’s tour suggests tough fight ahead in west Mosul Reuters

Putin Signs Long-Term Basing Deal With Syria Foreign Policy

U.S. Under Trump Won’t Send a Delegation to Syria Talks WSJ

French primary vote to leave two in running for Socialist presidential nomination Reuters

Your Guide to Dutch Elections, a Bellwether to European Populism Bloomberg


What can China do to save Sino-US ties with Donald Trump in charge? South China Morning Post

The ‘Civilization’ of China’s Military Presence in the South China Sea The Diplomat

Playing politics? Chinese tourism under scrutiny as Lunar New Year nears Reuters

Women’s Marches

Laying the Ground for Resistance to Trump on Day One Truthout. “Resistance” suggests that restoring the status quo ante is the baseline, given that “the resistance” notably did not resist Obama. I don’t think that’s a saleable proposition.

Women marches across the world draw huge crowds Al Jazeera

Thousands of Alaskans hit the streets for Women’s March in solidarity with national events Alaska Dispatch News

The Greatest Signs From the Women’s March New York Magazine

Photos from the scene of the Women’s March on Washington WaPo

Without a path from protest to power, the Women’s March will end up like Occupy Micah White, Guardian

March Eschaton

Race And Feminism: Women’s March Recalls The Touchy History NPR

Democratic Lawmakers Feel Boost from Women’s March Roll Call

The Rebel Girl Jacobin. Elizabeth Gurley Flynn.

Thomas Schelling, Methodological Subversive Rajov Sethi. “In bargaining situations, ‘the sophisticated negotiator may find it difficult to seem as obstinate as a truly obstinate man.’ And when faced with a threat, it may be profitable to be known to possess ‘genuine ignorance, obstinacy or simple disbelief, since it may be more convincing to the prospective threatener.'”

Trump Transition

Trump’s sharp policy shifts, from military to mortgages FT. A fine round-up.

Trump trade strategy starts with quitting Asia pact: White House Reuters

Donald Trump: Six Theses Corey Robin. It’s nice to see a critique of Trump that’s evidence-based and not hysterical.

As we start a new era, see the similarities between Obama and Trump Fabius Maximus

The Not-Hillary President Moon of Alabama

CEOs Counsel Taking Trump Seriously, But Not Literally Bloomberg

* * *

Trump inauguration crowd: Sean Spicer’s claims versus the evidence Guardian. Spicer said: “[I]n person and around the globe.” Now, I would bet Obama’s inaugural had a ginormous worldwide television audience also, larger than Trump’s, but this article, and what I’ve seen of the rest of the ginormous dogpile, only addresses National Mall photos and numbers, omitting Spicer’s qualifier. Adding: Subsequently, I’ve seen an image of the White House press room, which has pictures of the (more or less uncrowded) National Mall up on easels; one of my many weaknesses is that I privilege text over images. But Dear Lord. We’re having a crowd estimate controversy? Help me.

White House Disputes Inauguration Attendance Estimates WSJ. Note the lead: “The crowd that gathered….” As above, not what Spicer said.

Trump inauguration draws nearly 31 million U.S. television viewers Reuters. Absolute numbers. Fewer than Obama, better than Clinton and both Bushes.

Trumpism Corrupts: Spicer Edition Weekly Standard. See the last paragraph.

With False Claims, Trump Attacks Media on Turnout and Intelligence Rift NYT. Let me try to figure the discount by checking the byline. Judy Miller?

* * *

Wilbur Ross brings art of restructuring to Team Trump FT

Trump son-in-law Kushner can serve as White House adviser: Justice Department Reuters

Donald Trump is starting his presidency with the smallest confirmed Cabinet in decades WaPo

Trump woos the CIA with a visit – and attacks the news media McClatchy

The Latest: Former CIA chief says Trump should ‘be ashamed’ AP. One of the more entertaining aspects of the latter part of the 2016 campaign and the subsequent transition has been the rehabilitation of the CIA as truthtellers, moral exemplars, and so forth, by establishment liberals and conservatives.

Project MKUltra – Ways of killing a person without leaving evidence of murder the unbalanced evolution of homo sapiens (ChrisSp). Cf.

The Second Act of the Great British Spy Bloomberg. Spies can be Flexians, too!

2016 Post Mortem

Standing not far behind Trump on Friday? The future of the Democratic Party. WaPo. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that getting Democrats to handle basic blocking and tackling at the precinct level — like voter registration — along with a platform that will bring concrete material benefits to working people, like Medicare for All, would do more for Democrats than even a charismatic candidate like Elizabeth Booker or Cory Warren.

How a Rust Belt teenager feels about the future under Donald Trump WaPo

BuzzFeed Discovers We’re Not the Rubes It Has Claimed, But Insists We Still Have a Fake News Problem emptywheel

Class Warfare

Davos Elite Seeks Fixes to Defend the System From Populists Bloomberg

How U.S. Immigrants’ Jobs Are Shifting WSJ. “They’re now more likely to have college degrees and fill professional and technical roles.” So you can bet the 10% will reconcile itself to a wall, as long is it works for them (and yes, I think that the H1B visa scam the Silicon Valley squillionaires are running is grotesque).

Painful truths: psychologists unpick the ethics of empathy FT

The Board

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. EndOfTheWorld

    The number of people at the inauguration was reduced by the very real threat of danger. Even Trump’s supporters raised the alarm for everything from gas attacks to a nuclear bomb. As it was there was some trouble and some people were hassled and/or injured.

    1. Hana M.

      Many of the voters who swung the electoral college to Trump are hurting too much economically to be able to afford a quick trip to D.C. on a working day. To quote Robert Reich in Lambert’s article at NC:

      The economy is not working for most Americans. The economic data show lower unemployment and higher wages than eight years ago, but the typical family is still poorer today than it was in 2000, adjusted for inflation; median weekly earning are no higher than in 2000; a large number of working-age people—mostly men—have dropped out of the labor force altogether; and job insecurity is endemic.

      If you are holding down two jobs, if you would have trouble meeting a $400 emergency bill, if your car is on it on it’s last legs, if your own health is poor, how the heck are you going to manage a day trip to D.C.?

        1. jrs

          Gee it sure would be nice to have some mandatory paid time off in this country like they do in every other industrialized county on earth. Think Trump will be delivering that? I don’t.

          It takes a leftist!

          Traveling all the way to DC will always be an ordeal for many though, for one thing it’s pretty far away from much of the rest of the country. It’s only local to the Northeast pretty much.

      1. ex-PFC Chuck

        He could have also mentioned that they didn’t live in the Acela corridor, many of whom are of the parasite class.

          1. Oregoncharles

            One in Portland, too, unfortunately on the same day as the state Green Party convention. Plenty of women showed up anyway (one said her husband went to the march; another came with her wife), so we handed control of the party to them. I’m looking forward to the results; very impressive group.

            Anybody that can organize a Green Party chapter in Astoria, Oregon is one heck of an organizer.

          2. Buzz Meeks


            Sorry to post off topic here as I wanted to pass on the web/contact info for the class action lawsuit against Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the DNC, Wilding et al v. DNC et al, for voter fraud and collusion against Bernie Sanders and supporters during the primaries. The website is . All thus far filed documents are posted here.


            Buzz Meeks

        1. Pavel

          I think this is all a bit of nonsense. Recall that the polls stated over and over that both Trump and HRC were distrusted if not despised by the majority of voters. At the end, slightly more people went with Trump than with Hillary, though many of these were unenthusiastic and many were just using Trump to send a giant “FU” to the elite (as happened with the Brexit vote in the UK). Thus it’s not surprising that these tepid Trump voters wouldn’t bother going to the Inauguration.

          If HRC had won, she would have had more attendees, since her natural voters live in the Acela corridor and (as noted above) have more money to spend on travel etc.

          Still, it’s going to be a long 4 years if there is a media battle with Spicer over every such minor story.

          1. Vatch

            At the end, slightly more people went with Trump than with Hillary

            Actually, more people went with Hillary than with Trump. They just lived in the wrong states, so more electors went with Trump than with Hillary. Okay, I’ll admit that electors are people, too. :-)

            1. scott2

              The people on food stamps in LA county alone could have swung the popular vote, 1.3 million of them.

          2. Oregoncharles

            Actually, substantially more PEOPLE went with Hillary, but Trump got more STATES.

            A serious glitch in our system – not that I wanted Hillary or voted for her; but it’s hard to claim “democracy” when the person who got more votes didn’t get the job.

            1. Pavel

              I stand corrected, Vatch and Oregoncharles.

              I should have specified: in the Rust Belt battleground states, more people “broke for” Trump at the last minute than for HRC.

              But one can’t claim HRC should be president or “won the election” — she did win the popular vote, but that’s not how the damn system works!

              As for any “democracy” claim, that ship sailed a long time ago. The US elections are a complete and corrupt joke.

              1. Procopius

                Oh, for goodness sake! Since I was little I’ve been told, every four years, “After all, we don’t live in a democracy, we live in a representative republic.” Said with a kind of whiny sneer that claims moral and intellectual superiority. Get over it.

          3. Yves Smith

            Um Hillary did win the popular vote by a big margin, but it was due to big majorities in CA and some blue cities.

            And Trump voters who could not attend in person could have watched on TV but I take the point re having to work.

            The reality is Obama’s election was a historical event, which meant unprecedented interest, and at a key historical turning point (the crisis!). The Trump team is looking ridiculous, unless this is an effort to divert attention from the women’s march and to raise doubts about crowd counting (which is always exaggerated, favorably by organizers and unfavorably by the opponents, who are usually the establishment but not here).

            1. H. Alexander Ivey

              Ah…Well, if I was teaching an IELTS course (a course in English language proficiency where English accuracy and fluency is judged), and the Task 1 writing (which is the writing section for describing information displayed on a chart or graph) showed two charts; one showing the popular vote totals for Clinton, Trump, and Stein, and the second chart showing the electorial vote totals for Clinton, Trump, and Stein, the student would get full marks if they described the popular vote totals as ‘very similar’, ‘not significantly different’, or ‘almost the same’, and they described the electorial votes totals as ‘quite different’, ‘largely for Trump’, or ‘a significant amount more for Trump’. In the IELTS system of describing the differences between two numbers, any difference less than 5% is described as small to quite small, 5 – 15% as significant, 15-25% as large, and more than 25% as quite large, quite significant.

              I believe that the statisticians would say that the difference in the popular vote between Trump and Clinton is insignificant, within the error of counting – what? the election is not on the up and up??. What most people are missing is that the most significant number is the number of those who could have, and chose not to have, voted. About 50%. That number dwarfs both Trump and Clinton.

            2. Steve C

              The more we’re talking about crowd size the less we’re talking about the worst Cabinet in history. Trump seems to think he can distract and misdirect through the next four years. But why not? It worked for Reagan.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Thanks to Fake Economic Statistics reported by Fake Media, you won’t read this:

        The economy is not working for most Americans

        1. marym

          my security software is giving me a malware warning about the womensmarch site right now, but a google search shows buses dot womensmarch dot com and womensmarch dot com slash transportation.

          Also found this NY Mag article which lists transportation alternatives, including this paragraph with links:

          There are also dozens of groups across the country sponsoring their own buses. The Ripple, a New York–based women’s collective, is sponsoring a trip for 100 women. The Louisiana chapter of the Women’s March has 42 seats left on its bus. The Michigan Education Association is chartering five buses for the occasion; is organizing a trip from New Jersey; and the Alabama chapter of the Women’s March is offering transportation scholarships.

        2. beth

          My understanding was that that was why we had a local women’s march and a state capital march. I really am not on the inside of the Dem organization locally.

      3. diptherio

        While Reich is quite correct, it would behoove “the Left” that he be removed from his position as policy pitch-man. He may have apologized and seen the (obvious) error of his ways since assuring us all that NAFTA was going to be good for American workers, include enforceable labor protections, etc., but I think that a lot of those laid-off manufacturing workers remember him specifically…and not in a fond sort of way.

        If a surgeon assures you that amputation is necessary, and then lets you almost bleed out after cutting off the wrong leg, you’re going to be unlikely to listen to his medical advice in the future, even if he happens to be correct the next time…just sayin’.

        1. RabidGandhi

          Agreed, but did Reich really apologise for Nafta? The most I heard him say was that some tweeks should have been made to include labour. The turd needed more polishing, it turns out.

          Nafta was such a huge blow to the people in all three signatory countries that Reich should never be allowed anywhere near any type of policy discussion.

          1. Vatch

            He also said that the environmental portions of NAFTA needed modification. Change both the labor and environmental parts of NAFTA, and we’ll end up with a substantially different agreement. Reich was unequivocal in his opposition to the TPP, and that implies a genuine change of heart.

            1. RabidGandhi

              Sorry, not convinced. Perhaps the biggest effect of Nafta was that it dumped hugely subisidised US grains onto the Mexican market. Since Mexican farmers– efficient as they are– couldn’t compete with the subsidised prices, masses of Mexicans were pushed into destitution, and hundreds of thousands fled northward across the border, creating the migratory wave of the late 1990s.

              This was not due to a lack of having the right clauses or worker protections; rather this was the essence of Nafta. It is a devastating treaty at its core, and no amount of lipstick will make it prettier.

              1. Vatch

                Well, a couple of million unemployed Mexican farmers sure seems like a labor issue to me, but I can understand why one would look at this from a different point of view.

          2. rd

            Canadian healthcare costs are half the US cost per capita. This is a clear unfair competitive advantage for Canadian workers. Trump should insist that US pharmaceutical companies be allowed to increase their prices in Canadian markets without limit to whatever the pharma company wants it to be. Canada should also be forced to pay specialists far more as well as buy lots of additional unnecessary medical equipment to even the playing field. US health insurance companies should be allowed to enter the Canadian market to disallow coverage to any patients who are silly enough to require procedures.

      1. Oregoncharles


        Actually, I think the Left is too invested in non-violence to be effective in a violent scenario. Besides, the Right has most of the guns.

        I wish he wasn’t so convincing.

        1. Outis Philalithopoulos

          I also found the tweetstorm sobering.

          So do you feel that the Left of today is really quite culturally alien to the sort of thing one saw in Weatherman (or abroad, say in the Red Brigades)? I don’t have a clear sense on this, and I’m curious what people think.

          1. alex morfesis

            The withered men…and the red charade ?? One was a cover for dope peddling and the other tried to get people to move from the cities so daddies employer, consolidated Edison wouldn’t have to take a loss or file bankruptcy for all the electrical wiring built to homes no one wanted to move to…trust fund babies…pffftt

            Can’t think of any “radical” organization of the last 50 years that did not have a real story behind the fake story…

            As to the twitter noise…that fellow needs to break away from his mesmerized love of charles Bronson…suspect he is waiting for deathwish 88 to finally come out of development at paramount with bruce willis…maybe they can get brian garfield to work on the script…

            1. Outis Philalithopoulos

              The Red Brigades kidnapped Aldo Moro and held him for 55 days before in the end killing him. It’s fairly common on the Italian Left to suspect that they were infiltrated or directed in some way by Italian or American or other intelligence agencies, but whatever position one takes on that issue, it’s difficult for me to see how one can regard their role as historically trivial.

              1. alex morfesis

                Not suggesting anyone is trivial…just not real in a sense they have anything to do with their public persona nor pronouncements….

                there are some, when cornered with facts, who will attept to cloak the realities with some argument of needing to make compromises to obtain resources…

                I do not see this great “groundswell” of anyone, left or right, taking up arms or running around making things go boom…

                Not sure if this is good or bad, but certainly have had my share of quiet conversations with parties on both sides of the spectrum who either participated in fighting off hoover or imagined pres. obama would not surrender the oval office and they would have to deal with it…(it’s the south…lots of guns…lots of talk…too many weapons to actually keep clean…)

                The world is full of beer muscled bafoons…

                it is easy to claim one will take up arms…it is something else to actually watch someone take their last breath…

                But are they not trivial…they ate up column inches but how many could name three organizations and what they actually did or claimed to srand for without having to run off to wikiland

                1. Oregoncharles

                  Weathermen. Symbionese Liberation Army. American Indian Movement (the only ones to kill FBI agents and get away). Earth Liberation Front (fires). I could go on. No Wiki.

                  How could I forget? the Black Panthers (mostly just gestural, but they did defend themselves.)

                  I remember that time, and I think you’re too dismissive.

                  1. alex morfesis

                    I am not trying to be dismissive…and my question was how many average people…not if nc crowd could…

                    and my final thought stands…what did any of the noise makers you describe accomplish…and I will give a double pffft once again to the weathermen…trust fund babies with media flax…

                    there are many from history who are long lost to “contemporary” history…we mostly hear of the “approved and annointed” opposition and groups…

                    how many know who joe hill even was or that he and a small band actually took control of baja california from the mexican government…

                    no one remembers the “13 demands” from the assembly in offenburg, sept 12, 1847, where the demand for habeas corpus was turned into law on 3-26-1848 in the middle of the revolutions and revolts of 1848 that most have no clue even happened…the “gasthous salmen” sat empty for almost 60 years after kristallnacht…now there is some little exhibit with some outdoor 65 ft tall unisex statue…oh…and to see how much the world can not remember…offenburg( a few kilometers from strasbourg) is wolfgang shaeubles parliamentary home district…sad really…

                    1. Outis Philalithopoulos

                      Speaking at least for myself, the original reason I was talking about groups like Weatherman was in the context of assessing whether there is a potential for serious violence in slivers of the Left today. That isn’t inconsistent with some of the points you bring up. In particular, Weatherman was almost spectacularly counterproductive (starting with the famous “Days of Rage”), and the Red Brigades arguably helped to turn Italy away from radical politics.

          2. UserFriendly

            There are plenty of violent people out there and plenty of them voted for Hillary because ‘Trump is Hitler’ was pushed SO hard. I’m shocked none of them have cracked yet. The problem is if any of them do anything the whole left gets the blame.

          3. Oregoncharles

            Yeah, I’m that old.

            The tone is very different today. Nonetheless, rocks do get thrown and windows broken – but no bombs, as yet. I think the window breakers are out of step with the rest.

            No, there is not the culture of rebellion now that there was in the Days of Rage. this is more comfortable, but I have to wonder how effective. We have to get beyond polite marches and rallies if we hope to make an impression.

            We shall see what happens when all those women in pink hats go home.

      1. Optimader

        On the theme of relieved, i look at photos of seas of ppl standing in crowds like that and wonder where they go to pee. It all looks like a very unappealing way to spend a day.
        Stay hydrated…

        1. Oregoncharles

          Long, long lines for the portapotties, judging by one personal account I saw. Can’t find it now, but she said it was claustrophobic.

    2. Jim Haygood

      Hell, the number of Obama supporters in Palm Springs was reduced too, for a different reason:

      Obama’s plane was still circling the Palm Springs airport. Heavy clouds and rain had descended, making it too dangerous to land.

      The airport was still on a security lockdown for his arrival, and travelers began to complain loudly about their late flights and missed connections.

      A voice over the loudspeaker announced that the 90-minute ramp freeze had been lifted, and passengers began boarding their long-delayed flights. Obama’s plane was being diverted to March Air Reserve Base, about 60 miles away.

      On the sidewalk near the resort community’s guardhouse, a small group of cold and wet well-wishers stood vigil. By 8 p.m., about 20 people were on the sidewalk.

      “It’s such a bummer for there to be so few people,” said a mother who came with her two children. “Maybe he’ll understand that it’s California and its raining.

      Calians will never get that wet stuff that comes out of the sky: Why today? Why us?

      1. Clive

        Cold? Yeah, right, I’m sure the temperature plummeted to the low 60’s. People had probably started stocking up on canned food.

        1. Arizona Slim

          That storm blasted into AZ yesterday morning. Yes, it was cold, windy, and rainy, but it wasn’t a blizzard.

        2. rd

          I lived in LA for a couple of years. I have never seen so many down coats in my life as when the temperature plummets below 70 and the threat of hypothermia looms.

          1. craazyboy

            ‘Tis a shock. The girls won’t go out wearing only the summer lace bra when it gets that cold.

          1. Oregoncharles

            If you have a sleeping car, trains are FAR more comfortable than airliners. They just take a lot long.

        1. oh

          Greyhound is better for him. It might even make him realize that the economy he bragged about in his speeches was a total lie.

          1. Procopius

            I have a feeling he knows that already, but part of his job is/was to raise spirits, and you do that by saying positive things even when everybody knows that’s a lie. I don’t blame him for that part of his failure.

    3. Jomo

      I think the factual evidence from both Inauguration Day and the Women’s March shows there was no “very real threat of danger.” Certainly no gas attacks or nuclear bombs. My personal explanation is that Trump supporters stayed away because the “Chocolate City” has large populations of Black and Gay people. I mean “they” are everywhere. “They” even had their own inaugural events (See “Hundreds Of Queer People Held A Guerrilla Dance Party Outside Mike Pence’s Home And you have to see it to believe it” at HuffPo). Real people that Trump supporters don’t want to acknowledge actually exist except as problems to be controlled by punitive legislation. Believe me, it’s fine with my friends in DC that a few Trump supporters came to town, they got the day off from work. Even better that many more women did. No one should be scared to visit, just be prepared to receive a proper education from the locals.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s like Election night again – here we are, counting totals.

        As far as the number of ex-presidents in attendance, Trump’s must be the most, five – Carter, Bush Sr., Clinton, Bush Jr and Obama.

        And one empress.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        I take your point, but at the same time I put it to you that plenty of voters in the Rust Belt might feel that they have already received a “proper education” from “the locals” in the form of the destruction of their communities, followed by an AIDS-level epidemic of excess deaths.

        And if they had time to tour Northern Virginia, they might marvel at the size of the mansions, and the prices, and conclude that “the locals” were, for some reason, doing very well for themselves.


        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Sounds like Northern Virginia is our Loire Valley.

          In the future, it will be another UNESCO World Heritage Site.

        2. Yves Smith

          At an Atlantic conference IIRC four years ago, Paul Volcker complained that the stink of prosperity was too obvious DC. And remember, he lives in New York City.

  2. fresno dan

    As we start a new era, see the similarities between Obama and Trump Fabius Maximus

    The parallels go deeper. Obama won the presidency campaigning as The One bringing “hope and change”. Trump won the presidency (with a minority in the popular vote) making a wide range of big populist promises — many of which will be difficult or impossible to fulfill (e.g., boosting employment in manufacturing, and rebalancing trade with China). Neither entered office with a plan to fulfill their promises.

    I have always believed that the modern media and the office of the presidency have conspired to turn the office into something akin to the Wizard of Oz.
    Despite the hyperbole, there will be little real difference between Obama and Trump because the truth is: there is little real difference between dems and repubs….

    1. Jim Haygood

      Not even a dime’s worth, as ol’ George W [Wallace, not Bush] quipped.

      There is only one War Party.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think the White House will be decorated, um, differently.

        That’s one major difference.

        Another is the emphasis on the CIA (not sure what direction). Trump’s first visit Saturday was to Langley.

          1. Carolinian

            Early Sun King, judging from his apartment. But Melania will class up the joint when she finally arrives.

              1. Optimader

                Yes indeed SunKing. Its not derogatory inso far ad he woild probably be flattered?
                I wonder if Melina will actually move in? Ia tualky would understa d if she didn’t.
                I’m sure she is of the opinion that She had a great gig going and it took a hit.

            1. Robert Hahl

              Thanks for reminding me why I cancelled cable TV. It’s like visiting a middle school, with money.

            2. polecat

              ‘gold drapes’ .. how 70’s !

              so where does the brown and avocado green fit in ??

              we already have orange ….

            3. Vatch

              Ooh! Ooh! Can the bathroom fixtures be far behind? We’ll be able to make jokes about the Presidential showers!

            4. 3.14e-9

              A CNN story a week or so ago reported on the latitude that first families have in redecorating. Evidently there’s a big store room of furnishings somewhere in White House, and the incoming president or family members are given a tour and allowed to pick and choose anything they’d like installed before their arrival.

              Here’s a link to a WaPo photo gallery of past oval office decor:


              It looks like Obama initially chose gold drapes; it’s hard to tell because of variations in photo color. Bush-43, definitely gold. Reagan’s were double, with gold underneath deep red.

              None of them, however, come close to Clinton’s. I’m not sure whether I’d call those gold, bright yellow, or just plain ugly. Funny thing is, those “Trump gold” drapes appear to be the same ones (see photo gallery images 4 & 5).


              Extra: Here’s a link to smarmy article about Obama’s underwhelming remodel in 2010. Evidently, media critics thought it was just so … common. One said it looked like a “college dorm common area.”


            5. 3.14e-9

              It gets better. The gold drapes — IF they are the same ones — were specially commissioned by the Clintons, and Hillary worked closely with the decorator they brought with them from Arkansas, Kaki Hockersmith.

              From a 2001 WaPo article:

              On Inauguration Day 1993, Nelson Wurz, draper to the president, stood patiently at the West Gate of the White House, waiting for Bill Clinton to be sworn in. When the call came that the oath of office had been administered, the gates parted and Wurz rushed to the Oval Office. He had only a few hours to complete his mission: to hang the lush golden presidential draperies he had just completed, and to do it before the Clintons came “home.” …

              On that frantic day, Hockersmith watched carefully as Wurz and his team installed the silk swags she had designed to replace the Bush blue cotton damask curtains, designed by A-list New York decorator Mark Hampton. Hockersmith says the “strong gold damask” happened to be a pattern once used by George Washington.

              That day was just the beginning of a presidential decorating marathon, as Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton swatched their way through more than 25 rooms–two floors of stately public rooms plus the upstairs private quarters of the White House and the woodsy cabins of Camp David. Because both the president and the first lady are passionate about White House history, they took an active role in the renovating and refurbishment.

              Evidently it was one of the most expensive redecorating projects in White House history, and some of the “donations” received through Hockersmith were issues when the Clintons left “dead broke” and took furniture with them.


    2. neo-realist

      The judicial picks tend to be much more reactionary from the republican figureheads—-Rehnquist, Scalia, Alito, Roberts—-all deeply contemptuous of civil rights and willing to support decisions that set civil rights in stone or set them back.

      I’m not saying that the neoliberal likes of Obama and Bill Clinton are civil rights mavericks but you don’t get such troglodytes from the dems.

      If you’re not a person of color, it’s easy to pay such short shrift to the issues of the courts

  3. Marco

    Can we assume the Women’s Marches are Team D sanctioned / controlled events via the MSNBC / Maddow hype? I see no reason why we will not have many more if Team D is encouraging them. What concerns me is that they will become litmus tests of fealty for Whatever Comes Next in terms of direction and leadership for 2020. I can hear the question “Were you out protesting Trump? If not then you’re not a real Democrat”. So a faux-leftism with the “marching” drowns out the necessary battle for policy change at the heart of Team D.

    1. DJG

      No, you cannot assume that. The one in Chicago was put together by local activists with hardly any ties to the local political structure.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        What happened to others in the coalition?

        No Union Workers’ Marches?

        No Earth First (or Make Earth Great or Livable Again) Marches?

      2. cwaltz

        Can we assume the march was the result of Russians or CIA since everything knows that at this point all things point back to these two groups responsibility for everything?

        (tongue firmly in cheek in case someone missed me yesterday defending the people choosing to march)

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      The sheer scale means that no, things are more complicated.

      Ideologically, the Women’s March leadership is clearly in the Clintonian tradition, else Emma Goldman, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, and many other union/left figures would be presented as exemplars, and they’re not. And their principles are rights-driven, not universal benefits-driven. So it all looks solidly Third Wave, to me. (I mean, it’s terrific that there were whole airplanes full of women flying to DC to march, but women holding down three jobs, or going to school and working, weren’t on those flights.)

      I’d also like very much to take a look at the national leadership, and especially at their funding.

      And the Democrat establishment being what it is, they’ll certainly attempt to hijack the movement by decapitating its leadership, as they did the leadership of Black Lives Matter (a process that was horrible to watch).

      That said, there will have been all sorts of cross-currents and action at the local level that isn’t about Democrats; and it is, after all, entirely a good thing to march against “grab them by the pussy,” further assaults on “reproductive rights,” equal pay, and all the rest. Now, whether the mobilization translates to organization is another thing, and that’s where the danger of the Democrat establishment hijacking it come in.

      1. Lori

        I almost skipped the Sacramento march due to my skepticism about leadership…right down to the Shephard Fairey art work that flooded my facebook feed in the two weeks leading up. I’m so glad I didn’t. Even here, with the state capitol as the gathering point, the marchers and speakers mostly did their own thing…politely listening, but then overtaking and outshining the Dem establishment figures that were present selling the familiar messages. Don’t know where any of this leads, but there was nothing business as usual about it, which made it pretty darn exhilarating. Reading the facebook recaps this morning, leadership seems gobsmacked themselves about the scale and what happens next. Here, they’re saying it took on a life of its own. Best they’re coming up with is send postcards to your Senators or hook up with that #indivisible thing.

      2. Oregoncharles

        “And the Democrat establishment being what it is, they’ll certainly attempt to hijack the movement by decapitating its leadership, as they did the leadership of Black Lives Matter”
        Which is one reason Occupy never admitted it had leaders ( it did, of course; I saw them in the march in Portland). Not that it did them much good in the end.

      3. ekstase

        “it is, after all, entirely a good thing to march against “grab them by the pussy,” further assaults on “reproductive rights,” equal pay, and all the rest.”

        Thank you. This needs to be said now, by guys on the left. There’s an awful lot of “ha ha, ‘grab her by the pussy’ is just how men’s brains are organized and it was always thus, and all men have the same thoughts,” and if none of those arguments can be verified, and they can’t, trot out, “Can’t you just take a joke?” This stuff gets tiresome, fellas. You can be better than this.

        1. Oregoncharles

          It;s awfully clear that Trump is a classic jerk and sexual harasser. Fortunately, that kind of behavior isn’t all that common – or perhaps I’m naive, as well as shy.

          However, first: that comment about “grabbing” was in the conditional; he said that he could, not that he did (he may have).

          Second: the interesting thing about it is that he was talking, in a surprisingly self-aware way, about the perqs of power. “power is sexy,” as someone said. This is not a joke; it’s fairly basic biology, working itself out in human terms. The point was that they let him. That was primarily because most of them wanted something from him. That doesn’t make him any better, he’s still taking advantage; but it does make the phenomenon essentially universal. I suspect it applies to both sexes, but there haven’t been enough women in power yet to be sure. Maybe we should ask some.

          1. Yves Smith

            The other part, as female friends mine who know the entertainment business harrumph, that there is lots of casual sex (as one said, “Why do you think they have trailers on movie sets?”), and pretty much all the women who have successful careers slept aplenty with powerful men. As one of them said, “When will we see one of those women on the cover of Vogue or Vanity Fair tell young girls who think they want to be actresses what it really takes to get ahead?” (no pun intended). So his specific comment wasn’t about Trump being a rich guy per se, it was the perks that go with being an influential guy in the entertainment biz.

            1. ekstase

              There are people everywhere who behave with self-respect, and who respect women. As we’ve learned from Bill Cosby, they aren’t all lining up to degrade themselves. There are people in every field who won’t associate with creeps or be creeps. Maybe we just don’t learn their names. And there is a long list of women who have complained about this guy’s abuse of them. Treating or trying to treat women as things is repulsive and pretty crazy.

      4. oh

        That’s what Dimocraps do. They hijack movements and kill them just like one effort against corporations being people and money free speech, which I participated in; l I figured out that the Dimocrats hijacked it and took all the credit and let the movement die.

    3. Waldenpond

      Just as there are people who will never read the DNC/Podesta e-mails and deflect with Russia, there are people who will never read the spreadsheet put together (preprinted signs, porta potty, tables with water and hand wash, little things like who paid for the performers staff or did they all willingly donate their time) on who organized the event.

      Myth making of the event also includes that those that want to ban abortion weren’t included. CAIR was there. So not only was the anti-choice people allowed, they were given the stage.

    4. Waldenpond

      Someone did hard work to put this spreadsheet together.

      Here’s the write up in NYT.

      I seem to remember the ‘facts have a liberal bias’ crowd mocking the Rs for this stuff, even meme’d it…. IOKIYAR and now ignore.

    1. polecat

      Oh come on now Carla ….. One cannot tire of the modern extrapolation of terrible lizards ..

      … unless it’s swamp lizards … ‘;]

  4. 3.14e-9

    When Resistance is not enough:

    Liberals Plot Revenge as Donald Trump Assumes the Presidency

    Time magazine interviews David Brock following his anti-Trump fundraiser in Miami. He has all kinds of fun activities planned, including working with Facebook to censor “fake news” and hiring an army of lawyers to keep Trump tied up in court.

    Among those who have advised him on the plan is Hillary Clinton, who suggested to Brock in a phone call after the election that he should sign up some top-notch litigators who would do pro bono work against Trump. “She spoke about trying to construct a suit that would get you discovery on potential or alleged contacts between the Trump organization and the Russian government,” Brock remembers. Brock has since been in talks with attorney Gloria Allred to help fund the defamation suit she has led against Trump on behalf of a former contestant from The Apprentice, who has said Trump made unwanted sexual advances on her.

    Brock said he was on a billionaire’s rooftop on the Upper East Side when he got the news that Clinton was losing. He joked about how it was a good place to be, “in case you had to throw yourself off.”

    It probably wouldn’t have worked, unless he miraculously landed in a dumpster fire.

    1. sleepy

      some top-notch litigators who would do pro bono work

      Haha, good one Mr. Brock. Neither you nor your legal buddies will do anything for free.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Naw, they just want to grift some free legal work so they won’t have to diminish their Smaugean hoard…

  5. cocomaan

    I think the most apt comparison to the Women’s marches is the Iraq war protests, where hundreds of thousands hit the streets, the war went ahead anyway, and the protesters went home. There was a real sense of defeat.

    When I participated in Occupy, it created some interesting protest networks afterward. I imagine, and hope, that the women’s marches do the same thing, provided people actually stand for concepts and not for people.

    1. pretzelattack

      these protestors have the support of a significant part of the establishment, i think the democrats mostly ignored those.

      1. cocomaan

        You’re completely right, good point. If the D’s are letting the populism infuse the party after denying it for two decades, we might actually get something out of this, as little as I trust them.

        Either way, I am happy that people are getting out on the streets instead of remaining on the internet. The internet, I think, has become a sink for activism. It’s monitored. It’s controllable. What’s not nearly as controllable is people in large groups on the street.

        1. ambrit

          Then you will run into the old police state maxim: “Two people together on the street are a couple. Three people together are a crowd. Four or more people together are a conspiracy.”
          We all know what happens to conspirators, don’t we.

      2. cwaltz

        At this point, the DC establishment is trying to make inroads so yeah I’m sure they ARE presently trying to figure out how to harness that power they saw yesterday. As representative government they’d be foolish not to. However, the fact that DC shows up at a party is not the same thing as DC actually throwing the party and creating the guest list.

        My hopes at this point for the march is that groups, including women, were able to spend time networking because I think there are going to be rough days ahead. As regulatory actions get unwound and government becomes less and less a force to protect us, we’re going to need to be able to rely on each other.

    2. Patricia

      I’ve been negative about the women’s march but it has proven to be more than I expected, so I’m laying down some of the cynicism honed during election. I have no hope for elite dems, but there are many semi-aware libs in the general pop who are decent people and if they can pivot from Trump to the issues, and keep moving, I can deal with them.

      However, I find it difficult being around them socially, and need to learn to keep distaste to myself. I’ll be practicing with a group of university librarians who meet monthly in my neighborhood. heh

      I find it easier being around Trumpers than them, possibly because they are closer to me politically even while getting things very wrong. Also the smugness. Smugness combined with fear—very put-offish.

      1. cocomaan

        You do have to consider whether many of the people who marched didn’t actually vote with the D’s this election. The turnout for HRC was pretty damn low.

        I’m totally with you on smugness. My wife pointed something out to be recently: look at the Amazon logo, a company beloved by some Democrats, with Bezos and the WaPo being the cheerleaders of a certain group of elite Democrats. It’s a smirk. They call it a smile, but it’s a smirk, one that bleeds smugness.

        1. Lupemax

          the amazon logo always reminds me of a limp penis (sans balls of course) on the rise and I feel embarrassed – it’s on the packages I get from them too (that I feel guilty about all the time – the packages I mean). Don’t know why – but there you go.

            1. Waldenpond

              Thanks. They didn’t have a book I am interested in. Still avoiding using Amazon. Will keep looking.

        2. Elizabeth Burton

          Maybe I just have a dirty mind, but honestly? That Amazon logo looks like a well-known part of the male anatomy to me. Which is also, I suppose, appropriate to the Bezos general attitude.

      2. IdahoSpud

        I’m willing to be patient. My goal is to wait and see if this is anything more than a bunch disgruntled “I’m with her” supporters going about their two minutes hate.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          It is more, but more what? I see the sponsors page, but I’d like to know who’s funding those funders, money laundering being a Democrat and Clintonian trick, and I’d like to see the other roles played by the leadership, if any, in the Democrat nomenklatura.

          I don’t want to be too foily, but after watching the Clinton campaign assimilate the press and the political class, and reading the Podesta mail, I’m definitely in “trust but verify, except don’t trust” mode. (Caveat again that on the ground there’s certainly tons of good work going on. The question is how that work will be exploited and leveraged, by whom, for what purpose.)

        2. Patricia

          I can’t get past distaste because the libs I’m around will agree with me up to a point but after that: “oh they mean well”. But “they” (focusing here on dems) don’t mean well.

          Schmooze means co-optation, sooner or later. If they maintain their current attitudes, they won’t mind, either. But maybe some (enough) of them won’t?

          Can’t do much, being disabled, but perhaps simply reiterating disagreement might do something, over time. So be patient, and see, yes.

          Daughter returns from DC tomorrow. If she has anything interesting, will post here. She has her head on straight, mostly. Being young, she has much more hope than I do—and that’s both a help and a hinderance.

      3. Praedor

        I’ll keep the cynicism. Protests won’t do jack squat. Protests will have ZERO effect on GOP legislators. They have their majorities and a bunch of people on the street complaining does nothing to them.

    3. Arizona Slim

      Standing for concepts, not people. Bang on

      This is what I would like to see:

      1. We oppose this policy.
      2. This is what we propose instead.
      3. Here is how we are going to make it happen
      4. Join us.

      1. aletheia33


        as far as i know, no one who spoke at the rally said anything of this nature. it seemed to be one after another basically cheerleading: “we (i.e., women) are wonderful, we must fight, we will win but it will be very hard,” etc. after 2 or 3 of them i stopped listening.

        can anyone contradict this? i would be so pleased to hear of a substantive, hard-hitting speech.

        i do appreciate that women and others attended simply for inspiration and to revel in the vibe of one another’s presence in such numbers, including many from my own community whom i respect. and i know the question whether that was enough will be answered only in the coming weeks and months when we see how many of the participants follow up with action.

        and action of an effective kind–while i am not sure what kind that would be. i am simply convinced that only protesters who are “coffin ready,” to use MLK’s term, can at this point alter the course of things. i’m sure eventually such protesters will emerge– but how soon?

        1. ambrit

          The quote is apropos, but consider; the jihadis in the Middle East also fit the role of “coffin ready.” Thus, what the “coffin ready” support and aim for is very important. As the SciFi writer Jerry Pournelle said once, “Who is willing to fight and die for a standard of living?”

          1. FluffytheObeseCat

            Actually, when it gets bad enough, a standard of living is exactly what people get out and fight or die for. And not much else.

            Pournelle assumed his reader would interpret the phrase to mean “a new fridge with an ice maker and a Sony Trinatron”. Those days are quite gone now.

          2. aletheia33

            i assumed the mention of MLK would be enough to signal the meaning as he presumably understood it, “coffin ready” as in openly standing up deliberately unarmed to armed people who may kill you for doing so.

            the protestors at standing rock did this. they said we are ready to die if we have to and i think they were. that is uncommon.

            the women in the march have admirable spirit. they do not yet fully understand the nature or magnitude of the powers that are determined to absolutely crush their causes. and i fear, far too gullible by the powers that seek to co-opt them. however, many will learn it, one way or another.

            i notice that nina turner spoke at a teach-in sponsored by public citizen, in a church. she should have been on the stage at the rally. or maybe it is exactly fitting that she was teaching, not cheerleading.

          3. Praedor

            I am, after a fashion. I will NOT be impoverished by the DC looters and their owners on Wall St by them cutting MY Social Security or Medicare. They get to do that over THEIR dead bodies.

        2. Montanamaven

          And as much as I understand that celebrities have a right to their opinions and a right to participate in these events, I wish they wouldn’t be given the podium or air time on CNN and MSNBC. Better to set up a mic and let regular people talk. I appreciated the reporters that did interview regular people and not Cher and Ashley Judd. And IMHO, I think Michael Moore, who I admired for his work on Flint, Michigan, should cede the mic to somebody else. He is past his sell by date. Ditto Gloria. Thank you for your service, but there really needs to be new blood that has few ties to the establishment Dems.

          1. Praedor

            Gloria died as any sort of legit rep of anything when she dismissed Bernie supporting women as just a bunch of boy chasers.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > provided people actually stand for concepts and not for people

        Shorter: “What are their demands?”

        The unity principles strike me as mushy and lowest common denominator; like 10%* down instead of 90% up, if you see what I mean. When you’ve got cops wearing the little pink hats, you might be carrying unity a little too far.

        * “… free from structural impediments.” Aux barricades, citoyens!

        1. Waldenpond

          There was chanting on behalf of the National Guard yesterday. I thought it was odd a group would cheer the militarized presence taking photos of the event to run through facial recognition. But, meh, I’m not a state violence/police state repression kind of person.

      3. Waldenpond

        1. Clean up your party: Purge the individuals that rigged the election and enact same day/open registration in all states.
        2. Stop: running dark money groups, hiding wealth in foundations, churning money through campaigns, taking money from billionaires.
        3. Put up. Negative 30 year history is a deep hole, make up for it with achieving a basic issue with broad support like medicare for all.
        4. Give me one reason to vote for you.

        1. Propertius

          You can’t enact changes to registration without controlling some state legislatures. One of the side-effects of the Cult of Obama and the Hillary disaster is that the Democrats control the smallest proportion of state governments since Reconstruction:

          This is what happens when you, as Lambert so eloquently put it, “light a billion dollars on fire and toss it into the air”.

          As for the rest of your excellent suggestions, please remember that the party is really run by (apparently massively overpaid) professional political consultants (who make their living by raising shady money and churning it through campaigns), and party bylaws are specifically designed to prevent any sort of grassroots uprising from displacing them (no more 1972s). I am not optimistic about the prospects.

        2. Praedor

          They offered you several reasons to vote for them:
          1. Where else are you going to go?
          2. Hillary isn’t Trump.
          3. Take their guns!
          4. Russians!

  6. Ulysses

    Here’s a comment from “PaperTowel” on the WaPo Rust Belt teenager story linked above:

    “I am 60. When I was growing up, my parents moved several times because my dad was seeking better jobs. My husband and I have both moved to get better jobs. I am getting really tired of these whiners who want to stay put instead of going where the jobs are. Be a grown-up and do what you have to do – if there are no jobs where you are, then move. Stop whining”

    This is how neoliberal brainwashing makes people think. The burden is always on ordinary people to accommodate the needs of their corporate overlords, never the other way around. Mutual support, among those who live together in a community, is a completely alien concept.

    I fear this anti-communitarian attitude will remain– until our over-stretched globalized economy is finally destroyed completely by the predations of the kleptocrats. Sadly, the restored “commons” of the future may be more like the grim, survivalist bands depicted in Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy than anything else.

    1. Susan C

      That is not neo-liberal brainwashing – it is common sense. You have to go to where the jobs are, pure and simple.

      1. pretzelattack

        china. why if those slackers had any gumption, they would take their nonexistent savings and illegally sneak into china, which doesn’t want them, in order to get some miserable job they can’t live on.

      2. Patricia

        It is common sense only when you accept neolib framing, which rejects the importance of friends, place, community, family.

        1. Susan C

          You can develop friends, place and community no matter where you move to. Believing in neo-liberal framing can place you at a disadvantage.

          1. jgordon

            Right. And those fake friends haphazardly cultivated in trendy urban centers with abundant corporate job opportunities will be among the very first to shoot you for that last bit of peanut butter at the bottom of the jar when they miss two meals because the store shelves are empty.

            Cultivating as friends a pack of entitled, cosmopolitan dilettantes who will turn into crazed zombie jackals the moment even a minor hiccup interupts their privileged lives, and then pretending like that’s an authentic substitute for real relationships with local community minded people who know how to make do and survive even without money. Looks like a risky proposition to me, but good luck with that.

            1. Propertius

              And those fake friends haphazardly cultivated in trendy urban centers with abundant corporate job opportunities will be among the very first to shoot you for that last bit of peanut butter


              Cosmospolitan jackals don’t have guns. They will, however, beat to death with an exquisitely-designed, impossibly thin, and totally underpowered Macbook Pro.

          2. lyman alpha blob

            Not if everyone is moving all the time.

            At one time the ‘job creators’ were part of the community. They lived there and started businesses there. The Walmartization of everything has destroyed that. You either sell out to the big companies or go out of business.

            I moved to a large city and stayed for a decade for a decade – after that decade I was one of the oldtimers in the city as the population was fairly transient. Most in my circle were more recent transplants than me. I did find a ‘community’ of a sort but after a decade it was broken up and gone after the neighborhood started to gentrify. But it was never a real community for me – I hadn’t grown up with or gone to school with and wasn’t related to any of these people. Not many there really knew me or each other in the way a true community does, where people know your history and your family’s history, etc. You’re not judged solely on what you did recently but on your whole body of work so to speak. You have elders whose reputations you trust to whom you can look for advice, etc.

            It takes a while for these types of community relationships to build, decades or more. You can’t recreate it in the same way after packing up to go where the new jawb is.

            1. jrs

              I think maybe a lot of people long for this at a very deep level to be valued as something other than an economic commodity. Now for a woman for a certain part of life she will also be valued as a breeding or potential breeding commodity (and after that just as a market commodity again). But beyond that there’s just the market and people are what they are in the market (having friends etc. is of course all well and good and adds greatly to well-being but doesn’t mitigate this at the deepest level, because it’s more primary).

          3. JCC

            I am one of those who has often moved to where the jobs are, from cities and towns in Connecticut, New York, Florida, California, and the US Army in Korea as well as very long term contractor work in Iraq.

            Being a relatively friendly and out-going person, I can say with some confidence that developing friends, place, and community no matter where you move to is true only if you believe that a very small and very limited and probably very temporary subset of friends, place, and community is equivalent to that of your home town.

            It’s not.

            With the exception of maybe one or two, when you move the friends disappear, new friends have to be made and the sense of place and community have to be rebuilt from scratch. It’s a long and difficult process, particularly as you age. And it is never equal to what you had in the community of friends and close relatives that you started with. The hardest part is that, even if you could go home again, almost everyone else has left, too.

            In the U.S., it seems that almost everything is transient nowadays and a “real sense of place” is almost non-existent for many. And that is a problem.

            1. Carla

              @l.a.b. and JCC — Thank you for these thoughtful comments about your experiences.

              I have lived in the same community all of my life, feel fortunate to have done so, and have no desire to leave it. People left in waves, after high school and then college. My daughter moved for work and, now in her 40s, has lived in 5 states.

              Despite the fact that I stayed put, my 2nd husband (the good one) died when I was 50, two of my closest friends died around the same time, another somewhat after, two local 1st cousins have passed away, and since I turned 60 two close friends have moved out of state with new husbands.

              Many of these losses are an inevitable result of growing older. Still, I sorely miss all these important people and cannot imagine moving away from the dear friends and other familiar elements of community I still rely upon here in NE Ohio.

          4. Patricia

            You believe neolib framing when you think it is fine to repeatedly move for a job. One of the many problems it causes is that one become divorced from a sense of place and disconnected from the earth. One develops little sense of how climate/plants/animals/insects are changing over time–and that erases urgency in the face of genuine crisis.

            1. Susan C

              Sometimes life is not lived based on any type of belief system or “framing” of such but rather for reasons that are not easy to understand but necessary just the same for your survival. It is important to not bring in political beliefs to the table when making a major change or taking a risk, unless that is part of why the change is being made. I very much applaud the poetic nature of what you have said – but in fact you can get in touch with the earth and its tiny and not so tiny inhabitants when you move to a place where nature is fully on display – and move for that purpose. I just moved and love it. It was risky and I didn’t know how things would turn out. But inertia can overtake the best of us which can cause us to not to move forward in the ways that we need to.

              If I may add one additional thought – my age group (60s) had different life experiences which may have made us less risk adverse. Our families wanted us to move out of the house upon graduation so just about everyone got married, had roommates or struck out alone. There were jobs then but recessions too so it was scary to do but that is how it was then and what society expected.

              1. Patricia

                Hey, Susan C, we might be somewhat at cross purposes. Yep, there are reasons why moving might be best. It’s the foisted-upon and serial nature that I find problematic. I’m generalizing, of course, when I say that a healthy culture is made up of people who understand/cherish their lands and can hold long-term friendships. Individually, one does what’s necessary to get by, if that is the position one is in. But if one can choose….

                Until I was 34, I didn’t live for more than 4 years in a place. It wasn’t all that good for me. I finally landed in the midwest, not choosing the area, but stopping. Over time, I’ve become attached (tho’ I still miss pacific northwest). I am 60.

                I think stability is more important for people in this era than when I was young. Putting down roots is one of the better defenses, for plebs, to a disintegrating society/economy. If we can manage it, if we can choose—solid communities, dependable friendships, gardening experience, etc are advantages. And developing such takes a decade, at least.

                1. Susan C

                  Patricia – I agree with everything you are saying especially that we have intrinsic personal needs for more stability right now. To have more security in my own life I moved in 2015 about 2000 miles to a part of the country that has a lower cost of living but it took five moves in this town to find the right neighborhood where I feel comfortable and safe as well as a place where there are jobs of some sort or another. In one way I did a lot of research on this market but in another it happened all by serendipity. And I loved the big move and all the little moves when first arriving. When I look back at my life, my best decisions were my moves as I found them enriching and rewarding. Even in bad economies.

                  1. Patricia

                    I wish you well, Susan C, getting to know your place: the soils and rocks, the lay of the land, the plants and creatures, how the winds blow and moisture arrives, the qualities of light and dark. Staying long enough to pass through familiarity’s contempt into deeper affection.

                    May more of us be able to wrench such choice from our current economic system. Particularly the young.

        1. cwaltz

          You’re probably kidding but the military is actually how I escaped my dysfunctional childhood.

          It comes with a lot more risk these days since our leaders seem to think anything and everything is an excuse to send the military into harms way but it was not nearly as bad when I joined in 1986.

          1. Praedor

            The military paid for my college education instead of my parents. It gave me a good job with major responsibilities and egalitarian pay and chance for promotion. It helped me acquire self discipline, courage (under literal fire), and have me rotated friends. It provided me with universal single payer healthcare (including vision and dental). it’s going to provide me with an actual pension to supplement my social security (newer recruits are going to get ripped off with 401k type garbage).

            The military has lots of upside. Not so great when you get shipped off to fight in wars of choice in order to maximize profits for mega corporations or to steal other people’s natural resources.

      3. roadrider

        What if the jobs aren’t anywhere? That’s true for many older workers or those whose skills are no longer “hot”. And what if the jobs are in areas that are unaffordable to most workers? That’s also true for many. So, no, its not “common sense”.

        1. pretzelattack

          the neoliberals simply have to bring back indentured servitude. this will give the struggling retail workers something to do, provide them with a cot or at least a blanket on the floor, and maybe one hot meal a day; when they work off the 7 years free labor, and pay off the bond, they will be free to homestead whatever part of california or colorado hasn’t been settled yet.

            1. Propertius

              Every time I hear the right-wing trope that raising the minimum wage destroys jobs and depresses the economy, I always want to ask why they don’t just advocate repealing the 13th Amendment. After all, wouldn’t lowering the minimum wage to zero produce infinite jobs and infinite growth?

              1. GF

                The 13th Amendment already allows indentured servitude if one is from the criminal incarcerated class.

              2. RabidGandhi

                Owning slaves is too costly. You have to feed them, clothe them; if they fall ill, you have to get them better or you lose your investment.

                Deregulated disposable precarious workers=much cheaper, fewer headaches.

          1. Christopher Fay

            Indentured servitude? That’s going to a college strongly supported by the alumni on a sports scholarship. BC

        2. jrs

          affordability – maybe not so much for cities that have gone full 100% gentrification where there pretty much are no poor people anymore, but the thing is many so-called “unaffordable” places actually have vast percentages of the population living on very little income and wealth, pretty high poverty rates.

          So then the question becomes HOW?

          Well I suspect by taking desperate measures: cramming more and more people into a tiny apartment, doing a super long commute out to where the rent or housing is cheaper, living in a not very good neighborhood etc.. So it’s inaccurate in a sense to say that places are unaffordable when a lot of poor people manage to live in them and thus afford them. It’s in some way even disrespectful of their lived experience. They are unaffordable at what many people would consider a decent standard of living that much is true!

        3. Waldenpond

          I raised my kids with the idea to have hobbies/sports etc so that if they needed to relocate for a job, they would have the opportunity to find like minded acquaintances. My son was looking at relocating for the fracking boom. I pointed out that it was going bust. He didn’t relocate when a couple of online acquaintances did. They got temporarily stuck in a town with high rent and no openings. He dodged an expensive bullet.

          What is the magical level to spend on a college education for which industry that will provide a positive return? Where is the city that has jobs? When I was young (haha!) I could take a couple of weeks, apply at half a dozen businesses and have three offers. The current situation is sh$t.

      4. cwaltz

        Common sense says if 10 people move for the 5 jobs advertised, 5 people are going to be out of luck even though they “moved to where the jobs are.”

        A lot of life is luck, not skill.

          1. cwaltz

            Yes, but in this society when you take a risk and it fails the assumption isn’t that you were unlucky but that you lacked skills.

            At some point there should be some awareness that it costs money to continually look for where the jobs are and some point those resources can and do run out and at that moment you are pretty much stuck where you are.

            People like to blame those at the bottom for their predicament but it may very well be that the ” capitalist system” hasn’t provided them the resources to continually live like nomads searching for mythical jobs to support themselves.

            1. jrs

              Yes either a risk is actually a risk or it’s not. Rich kid (maybe Donald Trump :)) playing with some small portion of daddies money – not a real risk. Putting some discretionary income in penny stocks – maybe stupid but not a real risk.

              But actual REAL risks have the potential to backfire spectacularly because they actually ARE risks. And risks a person who gets most of their income from labor takes that jeopardize that income (really jeopardize it, not just take a pay cut when you can still get by on it) are real risk. Backfiring spectacularly in a society with little safety net is potential poverty, homelessness etc..

              Then when people end up poor which is a potential outcome of a real risk (a real risk has a real downside) and is unable to afford housing or even just unable to afford medical care or other basic necessities, we BLAME THEM. Even though we keep saying people should take risks!

              1. cwaltz

                Building on that idea, no one gets to choose their parents.

                Donald Trump may very well have worked hard to accrue his fortune but he was LUCKY that he had a parent with resources to give him a million dollars to start his empire and to bail him out when things turned downward.


                The median wage in 2014 was 53,000 and some change. That means half the country doesn’t have a million dollars to give tell the next generation they birthed to go out there and take some risks and fail spectacularly. The best thing they can do is encourage them NOT to take risks so they don’t end up paying the consequences for that risky behavior.

      5. Elizabeth Burton

        Unless you have obligations, such as that your family where you are needs your income to survive. “Common sense” says you don’t make flash judgments unless you know all the factors involved. There actually are teenagers who have loyalty to their families and aren’t willing to abandon same to “go where the jobs are.”

      6. Yves Smith

        We moved all the time. I went to 10 different schools before college. It was terribly damaging to me psychologically.

        Are you a parent? How can you advocate this? It’s cruel to children and hard on adults.

        And separately, for most of the moves, my father’s employer picked up the moving costs AND any loss on the house sale. That’s not the norm now, so you have real large costs in relocating.

        And what happens if that new job in a strange place doesn’t work out?

        1. Aumua

          As a military kid I experienced the same and it definitely contributed to dysfunctional behavior down the road. Most people that stayed put as kids take for granted the roots that having a ‘home town’ provides.

        2. RMO

          The “just get a job” thing is heartless B.S. in general. How about this for a story: An E.E. friend of mine worked for years at a company well known for manufacturing supercomputers. He’s highly skilled both at coding and hardware work. He was making about $100K Canadian. Then his entire department was fired and outsourced. He was completely unemployed for two years, only got some sporadic employment for the next year. About two years ago he finally got back to work full time in a job that uses his skills to their fullest and pays something close to what he was making before. This is a guy who was fortunate enough to graduate back in the early 80’s into an economy that had high demand for E.E.’s, he had very low student debt because University tuition was quite reasonable at the time in B.C., didn’t have to shovel money into a terrible health insurance plan because we have single payer AND was able to buy a nice condo back in the late 80’s before Vancouver housing prices went crazy. He was in an extremely good position to cope with the crash compared to most people but even in his case it took ages for him to get back to almost the same situation he was in before he was laid off. How much more difficult would it be for someone with no savings (or huge debt)? Someone who needs to take care of an aging or ill relative? Someone who doesn’t have credentials that the market is looking for right at this moment? He DID have those credentials and still found it difficult.

          Personally I’ve done the education and training dance and have been very successful at getting very good grades in both an academic business program and a trades program – both the government and industry groups were claiming that there was high demand for graduates in the fields I chose which was part of why I went into them. Results so far – nothing. In fact, I’ve made more money at playing music than as either an accountant/book keeper or an aircraft mechanic. And I’ve only made about a hundred bucks playing music… I should also point out that this has all taken place in one of those cities that we’re supposed to believe have all sorts of jobs available.

        3. Susan C

          Yves- I think you are addressing me by your comments. Moving to a new location for job opportunities is risky and not without peril but it can work and often does as you make it work. It is true that employers no longer want to pay for relo but there are ways to get set up temporarily and then move your own stuff in on your own dime and take it off your taxes, or you make a deal with a new employer to have them pay you off the top so you can move stuff in and then have the lower salary moving forward. For me, I always relished moving as I found it personally rewarding. To learn about new places and new parts of the country and meet new people.

          1. ambrit

            The kicker here is that most relocations entail the forsaking of most physical possessions and the enduring of a period of rootlessness. Making new friends is not easy in the best of situations. I did the multiple move trip as a child. Kids pick up anxiety and depression from their parents easily. They depend on their parents and identify with them during the growth season.
            Remember the exhortation, “It takes a village to raise a child?” That was village, not bus station.

        4. LarryB

          Have to second what Yves says here, I was an Air Force brat, and also attended 10 different schools before college. It is incredibly cruel to children, it stunts them emotionally and socially, you can’t really develop any true friends during the time when you are supposed to be learning how to form these attachments. Not to mention the interruptions in your schooling, different places have different curriculum, and they don’t always mesh together well. All in all, it’s a real bad deal for kids.

          1. Susan C

            I am really not sure what you mean by lack of resourcefulness. You have to be very resourceful when striking out in a new direction.

      7. Propertius

        That is not neo-liberal brainwashing – it is common sense. You have to go to where the jobs are, pure and simple.

        After all, it worked so well for the Joads.

    2. Tom

      Paper Towel fails to mention how long that move to China, India or Pakistan would be for the typical Rust Belt refugee.

    3. Cojo

      This country’s immigrant history is based on people traveling long distances for work and hope of a better life. What I wonder is whether our American/new world genome is skewed towards those with less sense of building roots in one place but rather a more nomadic one of moving to better hunting grounds.

      1. Lee

        I believe this urge to see what’s over the next hill is genetically built in to many if not most of us and could be particularly true among European settler populations and their descendants. The problem is whether or not a new location is capable of providing the necessities of life (such as other peoples’ land and resources) when you migrate or explore. Given our current level of population and resource use we can no longer be assured of a welcoming social or physical environment once we hit the road. Also, most species usually travel in strongly bonded social groups over very long periods of time allowing for evolutionary or learned adaptation.

        1. HotFlash

          Well, that and a few little things like the enclosure of the commons, the 100 years war, the potato famine (blight across Europe, but only a famine in Ireland — interesting, that), the fact that all the land was already owned and had been for centuries, and the weapons superiority of the European ‘colonists’ over the inhabitants — but yeah, genetics, for sure.

    4. makedoanmend

      Yep, there was a reason that Motown occured where it did. It centralised transport, manufacturing expertise at all levels and reduced costs directly and indirectly by reducing supplier network distances and energy usage. There were quite a few cities across the industrialised world that “naturally” grew this way.

      If one wanted to move in order to change work or pursue new opportunities, one was free to do so. Or one could prioritise other activities like rearing a family and pursuing hobbies by selling one’s labour (at somewhat decent wages) and stay put.

      Today we obey the “natural” markets and the more rational one is the more one obeys. We also use more energy and reduce the quality of life.

      This is called progress.

    5. Katniss Everdeen

      Americans leaving their “communities” in search of better opportunities is a long-standing national tradition, although I’m sure most Native Americans fervently wish it wasn’t.

      And the “nation of immigrants” badge of american honor is based on a whole lot more than moving someplace that’s no more than a plane ride away from home to get a better job.

      I’d hardly call the idea an “anti-communitarian,” neoliberal construct. Or an unbearable burden.

      1. pretzelattack

        a lot did it to escape unbearable conditions at home. i don’t think we have to accept the neoliberal idea that conditions have to be unbearable for a lot of americans. where are these new immigrants or emigrants going to go to get jobs comparable to the ones lost? are we all to become fast food workers and hairdressers to the elites?

        1. Ulysses

          “Are we all to become fast food workers and hairdressers to the elites?”

          That seems to be the plan. Although some may compete ferociously– in the hyper-competitive worlds of sports, entertainment, and the arts– in order to provide fleeting distractions for the bored kleptocrats. As Katniss knows well, this “winner-take-all” arena is tough.

              1. B1whois

                Doesn’t blood pretty much replaced itself on a regular basis? In which case the only concern would be if you’ve done drugs recently. And of course you can have disease.

      2. Ulysses

        Leaving a Midwestern town– that provided stable employment opportunities for your parents and grandparents– to chase a short-term, “gig-economy” job, that might briefly keep the wolves at bay, isn’t comparable at all to taking advantage of the Homestead Act of 1862.

        1. pretzelattack

          hey leave your fast food/retail job in the midwest where you at least have a place to live, relatives and friends in order to possibly get a fast food/retail job in los angeles, where the cost of living is much higher, and you don’t know anybody. oh and you have no savings beyond a month or two.

            1. pretzelattack

              living in la on 12 an hour you probably have to live on the beach. or maybe in one of those culverts made famous in “them”.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                You will be arrested trying to live on the beach in Santa Monica or other coastal cities.

                Why would people pay millions for those oceanfront houses then?

                1. polecat

                  Why would the likes of ‘cloaked in blue’ Barbara Streisand pay millions for those oceanfront mansions then?


        2. Katniss Everdeen

          Agreed. But the quality of available jobs was not the issue.

          Since you mention it though, it is obama who, for the last eight years, has taken credit for a robust economic recovery and the creation of millions of “jobs.” Perhaps that’s where the criticism should be leveled.

          And by the way, all the women marching and demanding “much-needed change” would seem to feel the same way.

          1. cwaltz

            Obama only gets part of the blame since he, at the very least wanted to raise the minimum wage, and did so for federal contractors. The GOP Congress, on the other hand, didn’t and wouldn’t even support that.

      3. jrs

        Tell me how sustainable are all those plane rides to get home if we wish to keep global temperature rises below I don’t know 4 degrees celsius? This may be baked in the cake anyway, but to preach joining in collective suicide as the way a human being ought to be is another matter …

        A sane society would encourage people to live a sane lifestyle, one that doesn’t entirely destroy the livability of the planet.

    6. alex morfesis

      The world has always had kleptocrats and financial warlords…the religious conservative parts of this nation have constantly berated the level of divorce and although the essence of their arguments may be based more on the he-man woman haters club then any “concern” about the children and communities, there is no question it has become difficult to find the capacity to just get up and go…

      broken families leading to broken lives…

      Religious leaders emphasize retribution over redemption and are only “helpful” if you are crawling in a gutter and there is some govt funding attached to “helping” you…

      Heck…life has gotten so “easy”, Goodwill prosecutes people for shoplifting “donated” items…

      Half the country is 2 paychecks from the street, but almost all marketing is for the corporate carabinieri and their overlords…

      Those who have a support system which can carry them for 3-6 months to allow them to chase the economy can move forward…

      those who dont…

    7. Dita

      This isn’t new though. Our country is populated with immigrants and descendants of immigrants who did exactly that though – move. That it is our national feel good fable serves to disguise somewhat the brute reality of being forced to make a life elsewhere. UBI and single payer might have an impact in making it easier for people to remain in economically wrecked towns. That in turn could possibly give these places new life – in theory some people will focus their energy on entrepreneurship, since keeping the wolf from the door wouldn’t be a factor.

    8. jgordon

      Speaking of the future, don’t forget that as things stand now a large number of nuclear plants will also be melting down as soon as things go south. So our impending future will likely bear more of a resemblance to Fallout 4 than Mad Max or even Maddadam.

    9. Eclair

      Well, two points here: we are taking as unexamined the capitalist definition of ‘jobs,’ or ‘work.’ That a ‘job’ is a gift from a person who has power over you, and that you, the worker, are at the mercy of that powerful person. You, therefore, must scurry around, begging for work; you might even have to migrate.

      If we define a job as the work done to make our community a better place for all, then our jobs are more closely tied to the places we actually live.

      And, there seem to be be two types of people (at least at the poles); those who are natural wanderers, always looking over the horizon, and those who are happiest staying in the place where they were born. I am a wanderer, mild variety. My husband is happiest just staying put. When his job transferred him from California to Colorado a decade ago, he became physically ill … high fever of unexplained origin … the morning we left. I had to throw him into the car and drive the whole distance.

      1. Carla

        “If we define a job as the work done to make our community a better place for all, then our jobs are more closely tied to the places we actually live.”

        Beautiful! — Thank you!

        1. Waldenpond

          Questions: Will there be a hierarchy of jobs with differing hours and pay rates? Why will/won’t sex work be included in the jobs guarantee?

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        So true and ancient.

        Type 1: Those modern Homo Sapiens Sapiens who stayed home in Africa.

        Type 2: Those who migrated out of Africa.

        Wanderers seem to have an edge:

        A. Trojans who wandered first to Carthage, then to Roma, just in time to conquer the Greeks who launched 1,000 ships on Troy.

        B. The English who wandered to America, and now when America speaks, Europe listens (as in Merkel’s ‘We are ready to compromise in areas we can, my Might Orange Haired One).

        There are probably other examples for wandering that I can’t think of right now.

        And for staying home to be advantageous as well, Posters are welcome to add to this.

    10. jhallc

      My guess is that all this moving around for better (paying I’m guessing) jobs took place in the 60’s and 70’s based on the commenters age. Back then there were jobs to be had in other places and especially, if your parents (likely the father) hapened to be management and wanted to move up the corporate ladder you moved around a lot. If you were blue collar union you could move and find other work, but the incentive was not as large since you lost seniority (pension) if you left your union job. Those good union jobs are gone and moving to find a job is most likely going to result in a reduction in pay these days. Who wants to uproot themselves and their family just to become a greater at Walmart?

    11. knowbuddhau

      I think this kind of rootlessness is one of our many problems. I live where I live because I love living here. I’d rather be just barely making it here than live in a city.

      Twice a day, four times when I work my night job, I get to drive through some of the most beautiful landscape in the country. If you’re familiar with Deception Pass, at the north end of Whidbey Island, WA, you’ll know what I mean. The other morning, as I drove over the bridge at 4:40am, the full moon was hanging over Deception Island, filling the pass with a broad swath of moonlight on the water. As one who practices Zen, it was deeply moving. Later that night, returning from my night job, the moon was on the other side of the bridge. Can’t get that in a city. Can’t even see the stars at night. It’s never that quiet or dark in a city.

      And when I’m coming home, I drive along part of the same route my school bus took over 40 years ago. I’m not just *from here, I AM here. I can’t even imagine what it’s like for people who’ve lived and died in this region for literally milennia, who’ve buried their ancestors here, who have a relationship of kinship with the land, plants, and animals that most of us settlers know only as objects interesting for their decorative value. “Ooh, look! An eagle! How lucky we are to live here. God I hope it doesn’t build a nest on our property.” They like to frame the Cascades or Olympics or the Salish Sea (aka Puget Sound) in the picture windows of McMansions built on glacial till bluffs, but don’t mind at all if the runoff from their fancy landscaping poisons the water. (Hood Canal, at the south end, has been just about killed from runoff. And we’ve only been here a couple centuries.

      Some people managed to live here for milennia, and in the company of cathedral forests and rivers overflowing with big, beautiful, healthy salmon. There connection with the lands and waters is visceral. Maybe we should ask them for some advice.

      People of lesser means get crowded together in tiny apartments. No pets, no garden, no real, visceral, daily experience with the island qua island. And since the local economy is just about a wholly-owned subsidiary of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, making your own way is tough.

      What sense of belonging, what sense of actually loving the land and how it orients one to the micro- and macrocosms, do people have who are only here for the money? And often a pittance at that. How motivated are they to defend the rights of the lands and waters not to be polluted for their own sakes? This land isn’t sacred to them, it’s just more god-forsaken dirt far, far removed from the Holy Land. Nothing special about it at all. No urgency in protecting it from depradations for corporate profit. If it gets too bad, just move on, right?

      No wonder they feel awful. Going from a crowded apartment to a crowded parking lot, to a crowded commute, to a job – not a livelihood! – that dehumanizes and demoralizes you a little more every day, with the greatest connection to the world at large coming through electronic media, separates us from the places we inhabit. It’s already living in a kind of virtual reality, just with the Google goggles on the inside.

      Belonging to the land, being it in an immediate and unmitigated directness, is worth much more to me than a shiny new car.

      Still, I would like to be able to make enough to support myself now and into a dignified retirement. I drive a lot more than I’d like to. I’d like to live within a short bike ride of work. I’d like to give more back to the community and land that made me what I am. How we do that without despoiling the lands and waters is the problem.

      Giving up and running away, only to find the same soul-destroying conditions everywhere else, is not our only option.

      1. Isolato

        Hey There KB,

        Just drove by Deception Pass the other day as I made my way from my non-ferry served little island in the San Juans to Seattle where I lived downtown for 20 years. Little did I know how much I would love living in a small and caring community. And while there are no “jobs” on my island (but many chores!) I am lucky enough to have piled up enough so that I can get by with less. And working to make my little community a better place is my job now.

      2. polecat

        ‘Waves from Port Angeles ….’

        On a clear day you can see Mt. Baker in all it’s glory !

        On a not-so-clear day … you can still see some of it …

        When I lived in the Central Valley of Caalifonia (Arnie speak) one could barely see either the Coast range, or the Sierra Nevada for the smog … especially in the fall !! Yuck !

    12. Waldenpond

      Wasn’t this Thatcher’s ‘there is no society’ schtick. No communities, no generational support, heck, spouses don’t necessarily live together as they can’t find jobs in the same region let alone town. The denial that completely disconnecting from systems is inefficient. I wouldn’t want floundering employees that are focused the basics of learning and adapting to their surroundings and have no ties to the community.

      1. Montanamaven

        Might be a good spot to mention that I took the advice of a commenter here to read Oldenberger’s “The Great Good Places” and Christopher Lasch’s “The Revolt of the Elite and the Betrayal of Democracy”. I found a great good place in a small town in upstate NY. Since moving there part time I’ve met county workers, a guy working on the new Tappan Zee Bridge, an Amtrak worker, a TV director, a few lawyers, a community banker, a chef, local police and firemen. We’ve survived the election at the bar while the patrons in the restaurant are still divided up into either weepy Dems or happy Republicans. I can’t say enough about the importance of sliding on to the bar stool after the work day and mixing with people who are in very different lines of work than mine. I love to hear them tell stories of this community that most have lived all their lives. And they have welcomed me, a wanderer, and made me feel at home.
        The suburbs and exurbs killed these third places. And it was one reason I did not take to Los Angeles when I worked there for a couple years. If you have no third places like bars or hair salons or cafes, you go to parties with like minded people with similar jobs. It’s because I hung out at this third place, I was not convinced Clinton would win. I met several disgruntled Democrats who crossed over and registered Republican in the primaries to vote for Trump. Two words that I heard often were “corruption” and “condescension”. The elites in my other small town in Montana are looked at as overeducated idiots with no common sense. Except those that do sit at the bar.
        Yes, Margaret, there is such a thing as society. My current read is “Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism” by Peter Marshall. I just started the chapter that explains the anarchists are anti- state but not anti -society. Society is, as Thomas Paine pointed out, a blessing. Solidarity, sympathy, co-operation, mutual aid, initiative, and spontaneity” are elements of society which is “the most desirable condition of the human species.”

  7. UserFriendly

    re: Gene-edited animals face US regulatory crackdown

    The rank hypocrisy of letting Monsanto splice Corn with Bacillus Thuringiensis then bending over backwards so that it doesn’t have to get labeled, but bugging out about swapping genes in the same species to prevent animal cruelty… sigh

    1. Dave

      “GMO grass escapes”,
      The way for citizens to resist GMO contamination of our environment is to sabotage these products on the store shelves according to one guy who hands out flyers at farmers’ markets near here.

      “Slice bags of seeds, crush cereal boxes, or partially open them, write GMO with an indelible marker on labels, demand that merchants segregate the products or label them in store, accidentally dump them in aisles etc. ” Such a hot head.

      We just buy organic food exclusively.

  8. allan

    The Board

    Wow. Just wow. Other than his sister, who is surely a perfectly nice person,
    and that director of a museum in Harlem,
    the bios of the board members read like a bill of particulars of what’s wrong with modern liberalism.

    1. Pat

      Yeah, a litany of private equity, real estate, charter school backers, lobbyists etc.

      Even sadder, I could send that list to some of my old school liberal friends who are still deluded about Obama and have it go right over their heads.

      1. pretzelattack

        the perfect board is the enemy of the good board. i bet you would get some variant on that response.

    2. fresno dan

      January 22, 2017 at 8:33 am

      So I wasn’t going to even look at that, but your comment made me decide to give it a glance. The one I liked…uh, disliked….hmmmm, thought the most interesting was the last (the others are crony capitalists I already know about)

      “Robert Wolf is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of 32 Advisors and the Chairman of Measure – Drone as a Service®.

      Prior to his role at 32 Advisors, Robert was CEO of UBS Americas and President of the UBS Global Investment Bank. Robert was appointed by President Obama to President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board from 2009 to 2011, the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness from 2011 to 2013, and the Export Council from 2013 to 2016.”

      The below is from CNBC (I know I get moderated if I put in too many links)

      “Washington, D.C.-based Measure announced Wednesday it completed a “significant” funding round for an undisclosed amount and will become independent from investment firm 32 Advisors. The 1-year-old “drone as a service” company uses the unmanned aircraft to gather data for clients in areas ranging from agriculture to insurance to disaster relief.

      The cash stream comes shortly after Measure cleared a major hurdle with the FAA, which can give exceptions for commercial use in the absence of blanket regulations for businesses. Earlier this month, it gave Measure permission to deploy more than 300 models of the aircraft, more than any other commercial operator.”

      And this is from Bloomberg
      Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg
      Wall Street A Top Fundraiser for Obama Turns From Wall Street to Drones
      “Wearing cuff links with the U.S. presidential seal, Robert Wolf was explaining why he loves drones and wants to help big companies fly them.”
      “….cleared a major hurdle with the FAA…”
      Is being in Washington helpful?
      Is being on the Obama board helpful?
      Are presidential cufflinks helpful? Hmmmm….are they unique to each administration – because if my aim was to get some of those p*ssy protesters, and they think I got my cufflinks from the Trump administration, I don’t think I would have done to well….

      And the question I always have, is how do people so interested in mo’ money, mo’ money, have so much time to “give” away….so interested in the common weal…public service…..must be why God blesses them so much.

      1. polecat

        I would really like to see folks like these wearing a different kind on ‘cufflink’ …..

        Orange is the new black

        ….. Oh wait a minute !

  9. NotTimothyGeithner

    Voter registration sucks. It’s often hot. People are mean. You need high morale to get people to do it, and sitting behind a desk or holding a clip board while saying nothing to people going by doesn’t count.

    The Democrats need a motivated base to get people to do registration and go back if they are doing It right.

    “Have you registered to vote?”
    “Are you registered? ”

    Do this for three hours in a non bourgeois safe part of the locality. That’s it. Rinse and repeat. More than three hours without a break causes a person to lose effectiveness.

    The local Democrats who didn’t do this the last go around, they know how to do this. They simply didn’t want to for one reason or another. Going to a rally where no policies are demanded beyond vague calls for some kind of unity and fightin’ back with like minded people isn’t difficult. It’s quite easy and probably fun. With registration and canvassing in general, you have to talk to strangers often in non-safe places like the outsides of libraries. I knew a girl who diligently went to the dump (three dumpsters in a county) every Saturday morning to register people because everyone threw out trash. She voted for Jill this last go around and hasn’t done jack politically since after the 2008 election.

    Reich is right on everything except unity with the Clinton people. The Democrats do need a full time organizing operation need to make sure areas are being reached and the awful, but enthusiastic, volunteers are being given dispatched to wave signs. If the morale problem is fixed, people will register and canvass.

    1. j84ustin

      Totally anecdotal but I remember in 2008 and 2012 being approached more than once and asked if I was registered to vote. Never happened in 2016.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          This is a commuter lot in Fairfax. So reasonably well healed government employees or contractors. The reason people such as myself stress “registration” is Dems depend on transients such as renters and students. You have to register in areas where the bourgeois types fear to tread, where the “deplorables” live because they move and registration is often not up to date. They wind up going to polls and can’t vote.

          Those tablers would have made a difference hitting poorer areas of the Philly area one weekend.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Or — follow me closely here — they could pay people to do it.

      The Democrats jammed a billion dollars down the toilet of the Clinton campaign. Imagine spending that much on voter registration!

      1. Waldenpond

        I remember the photo of a young black man being paid to hand out D flyers. He was interviewed and was clear he didn’t like them and wasn’t going to vote for them. It was just a temporary paycheck.

        Nearby college was a bust. Several rounds, many hours, few registrations and it was finally abandoned. Nearby university not having much luck either and they planned one of their dormstorm events. I have no idea how it turned out.

        If people are online more and do more tasks online and online registration is easy, in person advocates are going to be ignored. You try to come up with possibilities for engagement…. So you hate all politicians? Well, have I got a deal for you… initiatives!!

        It was also embarrassing to explain to people the common errors and that they would have to follow-up to see if they were registered, and ahem, would have to do it again. You get the ‘thanks, I’ll take it with me’.

    1. ambrit

      Oh, so “Masque of the Red Death” it is.
      To be a little unseemly, the next act will be D.T. as “The Conqueror Worm.”

  10. davinati

    Unfortunately, I do not think they will be able to convert the rather successful protests into effective organizations in all the states, especiallly the ones completely dominated by Republican Governors and legislatures. All the pussy cotumes and signs will be very off putting to these regions and this is where, I think, organized woman movements need to be the most. The other big reason is they are already subdividing women into little castes. Look at these signs, definitely from the Clitonites because they are very professionally produced and had a large buy based on the prominence they garnered on television and other media: Essentially, identity politics has detroyed the democratic party, let’s double down.

  11. philnc

    This may be the Democrats’ 1852 moment. The unravelling of political parties can happen rapidly, especially when the party establishment continues to play the “they have no where else to go” card. The Whigs were done and over with by 1856, with many of its members like Lincoln moving over to the new Republican party. Warren and Booker (together with Schumer and Pelosi) won’t save the party, they’ll accelerate its collapse.

    1. Arizona Slim

      A few years ago, Iceland had The Best Party. And, guess what, those people knew how to have fun. It was the cool kids party

      The Best Party also had a knack for winning elections.

      I remember a similar level of joy during the Sanders campaign. We need to get that mojo back.

  12. oho

    Democrats love its senators—but historically the path to the White House is made at the governor level. JFK/Obama were outliers.

    probably something to do with actual experience wielding executive power/wheeling-dealing versus giving pedantic speeches esconced in velvet at the Senate.

    And I can’t think of a Dem. governor w/a real national profile.

  13. james wordsworth

    As an outsider the US approach to voter registration seems anti-democratic, and in fact downright loony. Voter registration should be automatic for all citizens. In Canada simply filling in a tax return (and almost everyone does, because there are lots of credits for low income people) is enough to get you registered. Very easy and straightforward. But then again perhaps I am making the mistake of thinking the US is a rational, civilized place (lol).

  14. fresno dan

    The Not-Hillary President Moon of Alabama

    Hillary would surely have lost against any middle-of-the-road Republican candidate. History will note that she was an arrogant but incompetent Democratic candidate who lost against a rather bad Republican candidate, one who lacked support even from his own party. Trump won barely, but she lost completely.

    “Trump won barely, but she lost completely.”
    The experienced candidate, apparently unaware of the electoral college….

    The US has a Willy Loman inability to accept that it has failed. The shining city on a hill offers for leadership Hillary R. Clinton and Donald J. Trump. And Americans, ever fearful of “wasting” their vote, refuse to consider third party candidates.

    The only question is, what are the percentages that we will have even worse nominees in 2020?

    1. Carolinian

      This is an interestng M of A because it’s based on the theory that there is a segment of the US elites who have had it with the neocons. When it comes to the establishment perhaps we peasants can start to divide and conquer them.

      1. fresno dan

        January 22, 2017 at 10:34 am

        It reminds me very much of some of the writings of Charles Hugh Smith on the deep state, bureaucracy, establishment – whatever you choose to call it. Its not a monolith, and maybe everything (superficially) seemed to be going our way in the 90’s and it was the end of history, but it looks like history got up and decided to give us a good kick in the as*.

        At some point the PR has to end, and one can’t say your winning when your losing. It is AMAZING to me that AFTER Iraq and Afghanistan, politicians put forward the proposition that getting into Syria would be a good thing. BOTH parties were prepared to go forward with that thesis.

        1. Carolinian

          Unfortunately looking over the WaPo and NYT this morning there seems to be little division among the MSM and we are probably looking at 4 years of sniping and hate directed at Trump whether he deserves it or not. If he makes moves to improve relations with Russia they will really go ballistic.

      2. VietnamVet

        There is a battle ongoing between the nationalist and globalist branches of the western oligarchy; Donald J Trump verses Jeff Bezos (WaPo), Carlos Slim (NYT), Brian Roberts (Comcast) and George Soros. I am hoping that the government with the new President comes out on top. Then the people will have something to seize in 4, 8 or 12 years from now.

    2. John Parks

      apparently unaware of the electoral college….
      You would have thought that she/they would have learned their lesson in Texas during the 2008 primaries.
      Obama’s organization totally blindsided the Clinton campaign strategy because the Obama organization knew where the delegates were and the Clintonites never bothered to learn the election rules as applied to Texas.
      “Why does this always happen to me?” might be a good epitaph.

      1. fresno dan

        John Parks
        January 22, 2017 at 1:45 pm

        Do you remember just the incessant articles on what a political genius…GENIUS Bill Clinton was?
        So, did Bill not help his wife? Or maybe his advice wasn’t that good?
        Or….was Hillary still mad about…..
        Cutting off your nose to spite your face. Maybe Hillary should have cut off…..(I’m not gonna mention Lorean Bobbit….)

        1. EndOfTheWorld

          Gotta throw out a joke. “A guy went to bed with Tanya Harding, Lorena Bobbitt, and Hillary Clinton, all at the same time. Woke up with a broken leg, amputated penis, and NO HEALTH INSURANCE.” (Rim shot.)

  15. Ari

    I was at a bar in the Flatiron area of NYC last night. Lots of the marchers from Trump tower were out and about.

    A group of 3 women and their male friend were talking. As I was eavesdropping, their conversation centered on some of the inappropriate comments Trump has made and thus disqualifying him as being fit for the Presidency. We all know this particular refrain.

    I butted in, and politely asked them why they can’t see that someone who thinks things we all do, some of them inappropriate, yes, and has the personality to voice those thoughts, no matter how detestable, isn’t that possibly a good thing? Perhaps frank honesty, bluntness and saying what you think, what you really think is perhaps a side of leadership that is not only refreshing but something almost neccessary? No bullshit.

    They literally were speechless and all four of them walked away from the bar area.

    It really gave me pause. These four people, having merely one of their ideas challenged, could not or were not interested in having an actual conversation about it. An unwillingness for honest inward thinking. To explore a perspective unlike their own. I was stunned that they just walked away.

    1. mk

      Thanks for doing that.

      Maybe if we all do something like this every chance we get, we’ll pop that bubble eventually.

      I worked for people who went to the marches yesterday, and afterward I sent them a link to video of Bernie addressing the women’s march crowd in Vermont, just to remind them of the issues I hoped they were marching for.

    2. armchair

      Your comment is insightful. Part of the Trump scam is to use hateful language, bigotry and misogyny to fool his marks into believing that Trump is honest. The whole thing is odd because the mark will tell you the hate filled speech is a demonstration of honesty and integrity, and in the next sentence the mark will tell you the hate speech is nothing to worry about. Sometimes it is easier to walk away.

      1. johnnygl

        If you check out the recent town halls that bernie did on cnn and msnbc, the opinions voiced by trump voters were pretty clear and interesting. They voted trump in spite of, not because of, the rotten stuff he said. They are really lambert’s volatility voters. Something different…anything different. These people see their families and communities in peril!!!

        1. armchair

          I am amazed how many commentators in this venue have never encountered anything but sweet, love-filled people from the Trump demographic. Not all of us have been so lucky.

          1. ambrit

            I’ll see your seldom seen “sweet, love filled” Trumpists and raise you two arrogant, self righteous and in your face Hillbots. What still bothers me is the absolute high level of hate and fear exhibited across all segments of the populace.

            1. armchair

              Yes, but Trump really knows how to take that hate and fear and turn it into an asset. Not sure who exploits it as skillfully as him.

              1. ambrit

                I think you have just defined ‘demagogue.’
                We are really on the edge of “He made the trains run on time” territory. What, then, is Trump’s core character? That is what’s germane now.

              2. B1whois

                Seems to me that Clinton won thr popular vote by turning hate and fear into an asset as well. Only Bernie Sanders was different.

              3. FluffytheObeseCat

                Trump is a heel. He is just as vindictive, egotistical and crass as his enemies claim. A fair chunk of his supporters voted for him because, not in spite of this. But, I believe they are still a minority of his votes. Maybe 25%, max.

                And the precious, aghast, Womens’ March “protestors” in Mahattan who had plenty of time and money to hang at some Brooklynesque bistro after the March are real too. Their hauteur and insularity are both real and despicable. Perhaps more contemptible than analogous thuggery from the Trump punks, who have (mostly) been less gifted by life and society.

            2. Dave

              Nothing more horrifying than Liberal Fascism.
              They pretend to be one thing, but they are the other.
              The Republican Fascists just are.

        2. cocomaan

          I was at an open forum on the election involving students. Few trump supporters in attendance, but the one who was brave enough to weather the criticism said that, while thought Trump was boorish and offensive, the identity politics didn’t matter as much to him as trade, tax, immigration, and other policies.

          The response was that, as a white man, this was his privilege talking.

          That became the encapsulation of the conversation to me.

          1. Dave

            Carry that defamation to the next level.
            Use Jujitsu questions to make them admit that they believe that whites have no voice, deserve no vote and are not part of the democracy.

            Once they fall for that, they have just discredited themselves.

            1. Montanamaven

              Yes, it’s what the Archdruid calls “a thought stopper”. I like to use that term when somebody talks in declarative sentences to me rather than really engaging in a conversation. I will say, “That’s kind of a thought stopper.” Or I say, “Yes, that’s the conventional wisdom. But I like to look to see if it really is true or even wise.”

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            What is offensive is decades of neoliberal oppression.

            As for boorishness, it’s definitely something ostracized by aristocrats and billionaires.

            One sign of the power one possesses as a billionaire is, just with one look, one can get a lot done, like, perhaps, cleaning up spilled coffee or a broken coffee cup.

            If you run a diner, you’d have to shout or scream to get the same thing done.

          3. polecat

            In the parlance of John Micheal Greer, ‘white privilege’ has become one of those ‘thought stoppers’ that the supposed liberals use when they don’t have a valid response !

            the right have their’s as well ..

          4. mk

            That’s a pretty good trick, turning a person’s economic hardships into the problem is your privilege.

            That’s like when a doctor tells a women that what she is complaining about is all in her head.

        3. Lambert Strether Post author

          > They are really lambert’s volatility voters

          That’s Chris Arnade’s idea, not mine.

          But yes, the idea that people could vote for Trump not because of his coarseness (shall we say) but in spite of it — because it wasn’t possible to endure the Clintons of this world any more — doesn’t seem to be an option.

          People voted for hope and change in 2008, and gave the Democrats a second chance in 2012. The Democrats blew it. So they “threw the bums out,” an old political story, and voted for hope and change again.

      2. Ari

        If only they responded exactly as you had!

        That’s a point of view I did not consider, nor do I think I agree with. However.

        That was the point in my approaching them, to have a meaningful and challenging conversation. Perhaps my perspective and thoughts aren’t as well founded as I think they are. Maybe I should consider things differently.

        They seemed intelligent and engaging. I was not being confrontational at all. I personally don’t think they walked away for the reason you indicate.

        To me it was a profound telling as to how some (most) people are so unwilling to discuss any point of view unless it reinforces their own. If that’s the case, that’s just a sad commentary on where we’re at intellectually.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Perhaps individually, each of them wanted to.

          But peer pressure.

          Imagine being unfriended on some Social Media.

          “Forget how you would look. Yes, they will label you crass, offensive, boorish, etc.”

    3. Jim Haygood

      I was stunned that they just walked away.

      They were retreating to a safe space, to escape a hurtful confrontation. ;-)

      1. human

        Adversity and defence of ones’ positions are no longer politically acceptable nor required. Safe spaces for special snowflakes are the new normal. I see this regularly in my business dealings. Middle management does not know how to handle assertive dialog.

        1. ambrit

          On the shop floor, assertive anything other than sales gets you “shown to the door.”
          Few “snowflakes” here in working class H—.

      2. cwaltz

        Maybe they weren’t interested in listening to unsolicited excuse making for boorish behavior while they were spending time with each other.

        I guess if I am eating dinner out with my spouse and we start eating our meals after discussing politics and someone comes over and interrupts our meal to share their conflicting viewpoint and I consider that rude, that I too am guilty of being a “special snowflake.”

        The reality is people here are assigning motives without any actual input from those 4 people. People like to accuse the liberals of being arrogant, boorish and smug. Well, if that is the case then how exactly do you think YOU appear when you automatically assume that because someone doesn’t have to a conversation with you 24/7 on your topic of choice that it must be because they aren’t capable of emotionally handling the conversation? The words that come to mind for me are arrogant, boorish and smug. Look at you, and I bet you wouldn’t even describe yourself as a liberal!


        1. ambrit

          What are the rules of etiquette for public spaces like bars?
          As the joke says: “Is this a private fight, or can anybody join in?”
          I’m of two minds about this.
          First, the group of four can expect some degree of privacy.
          Second, the interloper asserts the right to interject countervailing evidence to rebut the argument propounded by the group of four.
          Which takes precedence, and why?
          It is a puzzlement.

          1. cwaltz

            There was a saying that “Perception is reality” that was all the rage a few years ago.

            The funny thing about perception though is that it also can have two minds. One person may consider me funny and insightful while another might consider me rude and presumptuous. Neither one would really be wrong since in both cases they are basing their perception of me on their own personal value system and how they viewed the encounter. As a matter fact ,they both could be right since being insightful or funny doesn’t preclude a person from being rude and presumptuous too.

            *shrugs* I try not to read too much into my singular encounters with people since one encounter does not a full story make.

    4. Arizona Slim

      Inappropriate comments? Good grief!

      Didn’t they ever read a transcript of Nixon and his aides while they were being taped? And what about LBJ? That guy could have taught the Navy how to cuss!

      1. Aumua

        It’s not about swearing. You know that, but you act as though you don’t know it here. It’s.. peculiar behavior, but not really surprising.

        1. Mo's Bike Shop

          The Watergate Tapes contain loads of casual evidence about Nixon’s ideas on ethnology. FYI.

      1. B1whois

        This is one of the reasons I chose Uruguay as my new home, I had read that they are intellectually curious in a way that USAians no longer are. After nine months here, I have to agree that it is refreshingly true!
        It’s also very interesting to me that although they are concerned about Trump, they understand that Clinton was not a better choice. (Apparently the MSM propaganda doesn’t extend to South America.)
        Also, I want to point out that my decision to leave the US predated Trump, although Bernie made me briefly reconsider.
        Finally, it has been interesting for me today to read the discussion about moving to find a job. Although a job is not why I moved, it has been a very lonely experience to be in a country where I don’t understand the language. Even though I knew many people in California, and had lived in the same city for 30 years, I didn’t really feel like I had a lot of close friends. Both of my parents are dead, so that made it easier. But I have three children in the US and part of the rationalization for leaving was to encourage them think outside of the (US) box.

        1. ambrit

          Don’t worry too much about the language barrier. You are living the process called “immersion learning.” Give it a year or so.
          Irregular progress reports would be appreciated.

    5. Aumua

      Maybe everyone is not necessarily thinking xenophobic, racist or sexist thoughts, as you are assuming they do.

      1. Yves Smith

        Most men are horny. Especially young ones. And they talk about women’s bodies among themselves. Gotta tell you this is normal, even if normal offends you.

        I’m surprised the Rs and Dems were too lazy to review Trump’s interviews on Howard Stern. He was plenty lewd and crude.

        1. Aumua

          Offended? No, ha. Just saying it’s a common tactic among the ‘red-pilled’ to claim they are just saying what everyone’s thinking, when making racist comments in particular, but I think it applies to tacky, crude, lame ass sexist remarks as well. Not saying I never have, but I’m not usually thinking of women as playthings, just like I’m not usually thinking other races are less than whites.

          1. RMO

            So I was abnormal as a young man? I have to admit I always thought I was anyways:-) I really don’t like the “all of us think it, you’re just upset because I’m saying it out loud” tactic. The majority of the men I know personally don’t talk or act like that in private. Some do, most don’t. Included in the group that don’t are engineers, construction workers, lawyers, accountants, airline pilots (including some ex-fighter pilots), aircraft mechanics, chefs, musicians, electricians, a television producer, programmers and farmers – ages range 25 to 85 so it’s a pretty diverse group!

          2. integer

            – Not saying I never have, but I’m not usually thinking of women as playthings

            Amazingly enough, at least some women really enjoy sex, even with men!

            – just like I’m not usually thinking other races are less than whites.

            You’re not usually thinking it? What about the remainder of the time?

            1. Aumua

              I suppose some of them love being ogled, groped, and grabbed by whatever powerful man happens to be passing by, too, but I’ll bet the majority ain’t really into it. I don’t think that white people are superior, ever, by the way. That was awkwardly stated.

              1. Yves Smith

                The movie studios had abortion clinics on site back when Reagan was head of the Screen Actors Guild. Let us not forget that that was illegal back then? That gives you an idea how casual sex there is in the entertainment business.

                1. cwaltz

                  The movie studios also have a loathsome record when it comes to abusing children sexually. The fact that Hollywood treats something like it is “normal” and “casual” does not mean the rest of the country agrees or feels the same way.

              2. integer

                I’m guessing you’ve never heard a group of women debrief (whoa!) post hen’s party. Anyway, my point is that men and women can appreciate each other’s sexuality without necessarily being sexist.

          3. Yves Smith

            Sorry, this is not “redpilled.” I had plenty of women saying this was ridiculous. Anyone who has worked on Wall Street, and any woman not in an elite job has heard tons of male banter. I’ve been taken to strip clubs a half a dozen times and to hostess clubs in Japan a few times too. I find them intriguing from an anthropological perspective, particularly in NYC, where strippers are not prostitutes (any man who tries touching the women gets thrown out immediately, and even at sorta seedy strip clubs, the bouncers would make sure the women got into cabs when they left their shift).

            There is a high degree of variability of sex drive among men. One study found that how often men think about sex ranges from 2x a minute (no typo) to 2x a day.

            1. Aumua

              Of course sex drive varies! Of course people talk about sex, including men. This has gone so far from my original point, that I wonder if you’re not just trolling your own board, Yves. You’re holding up Wall Street, and elsewhere Hollywood as excesses as examples of normal (presumably healthy) behavior. Have I wandered into an alternate universe here? Ok, boys will be boys then, and “the bantz” makes it all good.

              I wasn’t saying that this thread was a “redpilled” discussion, just that there’s a slippery a slippery slope here we should be aware of.

              1. Yves Smith

                Have you managed to forget what this is about?

                Trump had conversation with another man that he though was off camera. Thus this was the equivalent of locker room conversation. I cannot tel you how many women and men said that to me, unprompted.

                On top of that:

                1. Even though it’s really childish on a man of his age (then mid-50s), men (and even women) exaggerate about their sex lives. And Trump in particular exaggerates about himself routinely.

                2. Even with that, he never said he did grab pussy. He said he could readily.

                It is ridiculous to get excited about this. Women coming forward saying they were fondled or harassed by Trump is another matter entirely. However, the Dems are total hypocrites on this front, since every woman who made allegations about Bill Clinton was treated as a liar with an agenda. And that includes Juanita Brodderick, who said Clinton raped her and has contemporaneous witnesses.

    6. Toolate

      As a friend said to me the other day: “you saying it ain’t a good thing when the clan takes the hoods off?”

  16. Pat

    As I said in yesterday’s links, I will certainly give the local participation in the women’s march outside of the Acela corridor and LA/San Fran CA more respect and less cynicism. I’m betting there was more there there.

    Admittedly not hard news, but here is the headline from

    Up To 750K Attend Anti-Trump Protest In Downtown Los Angeles; Huge Crowds Also In NYC, D.C. (UPDATE)

    Here, it was numbers and a couple or interviews with not one concrete demand. More he won’t have us to kick around type rhetoric.

    If that is an inaccurate portrayal of the marches in LA and NYC, it isn’t just Trump and Spicer who should yelling at the media.

    1. Dave

      So, how are the womyns’ marches doing in Appalachia?
      One of the poorest areas of America.
      It’s unseasonably warm, so don’t use that excuse.

  17. hreik

    Perhaps if some of the posters here that belittle the marchers/marches had been at one the marches / rallies her/himself, they wouldn’t be so dismissive. Putting TPTB on notice that we are watching, listening and have strength is not trivial. As e.e. cummings wrote:
    “There is some sh*t I will not eat”

    1. Pat

      Gee I seem to remember being at a few marches, including a few during the Obama era. One for something strictly local, most for things I consider to be important on a state or national level. (And btw more than one of them had turnout on the Washington Mall equal to yesterday’s turnout there). Funny how easy everyone found those to ignore. Other than making us feel like we were doing something, it changed nothing in any of those cases, the wars went on, the jobs went away, the charter schools got the funding and the public schools suffered, the neighborhood supermarkets closed….

      I’m going to be blunt:

      until you have the power to get laws written that impact their bottom lines, corporations don’t give a damn about marches. And to do that you have to
      Have the power to get people on the ballot who will follow through with your selected agenda AND get them elected. And until you can do that the politicians will help you when it costs them nothing and lie to your faces and sell you out when it will cost them large contributions and/or post retirement work.

      The marches MUST be a beginning of the work so that strength you think you have is real. Otherwise it isn’t and will be nothing but a fond memory for you and others. Look I know I’m cynical, but if even a quarter of those marching organize, campaign, register, and/or show up to work for their positions again again in numerous harder ways you are right you have power. If not like I said enjoy the memory.

      1. nycTerrierist

        Great piece on counterpunch addresses the limits of symbolic displays like yesterday’s march.
        Citing labor history, Magaray observes we never would have had a middle class without organized labor and a potentially violent push back against the status quo:

        “It wasn’t the Congress who was responsible, it wasn’t philanthropic institutions, and it wasn’t the Church. It was organized labor. That was true then and it’s true today. If a woman wants to be assured of making the same rate of pay as a man, the only place where this is guaranteed in writing is within the confines of a labor union.

        Accordingly, instead of sending petitions to Congress, or holding demonstration at City Hall, or enlisting in Sisterhood buzz-groups, or writing scathingly clever op-eds for the New York Times, women should consider getting scary. They should consider doing what men dread them doing, which is to muscle up. They need to become union members.

        If women rightly think that it’s unfair for them to make 77-cents on the dollar compared to what men make, Feminists need to abandon their genteel intellectualism and rhetoric (no matter how eloquent), and do something scary. They need to embrace the “primitive.”

        All of which made Hillary Clinton’s “ornamental Feminism” during the campaign seem so phony. She couldn’t have it both ways, folks. She couldn’t be a glorified shill for Wall Street and, simultaneously, insist she favored “wage equality,” because those two views are contradictory. Wall Street is opposed to wage equality. Wall Street is opposed to labor unions. Sad to say, so is Clinton.”

        The sooner we move past ‘ornamental feminism’ the better.

        1. Dave

          “If women rightly think that it’s unfair for them to make 77-cents on the dollar compared to what men make…”
          Send that myth to bed in the Shibboleth Inn.

          Pay equity requires doing the same dangerous jobs men do, with danger of dismemberment and death, in high cold and dank wet places, using your hands until they bleed and are numb, using upper body strength until your bones ache and you are bent for life, working the same number of hours that men do, jobs that don’t allow pregnancy leave, or “Could you help me lift this?”

          Of course, women get the pleasure, obligation and more important job of raising children, which if it were paid appropriately, would put them well ahead of men on “pay equity.”
          True equity would be all married men and women, especially with children, having to switch jobs every six months of the year.

          1. Yves Smith

            Stop with the bullshit. Women are discriminated against in jobs that aren’t construction work. Tell me how many women are hedge fund or private equity partners, which is where the really big pay disparity is. Or partners in law and consulting firms.

            And why is construction work more valuable than nursing?

            Now some of this is due to career interruption to raise kids, but single women in pretty much every field are discriminated against. The same writing sample, attributed to a male name, is scored lower than when attributed to a woman. Women have to have 2.5 times as many peer reviewed articles published, on average, as men to get tenure in the sciences.

            Even Australia, a notably macho country, has a lower gender wage gap than the US., at 16-17% v. 23% in the US.

            Go read this article:


            1. Dave

              I think the only fair sample to see if there is an average pay disparity is where men and women work together in the same job and have the same duties and in very large numbers. i.e. Retail clerks, bus drivers, nurses or doctors. Is there a pay disparity there?

              Places such as hedge fund or private equity partnersville, while unfair, are not AFAIK what the pay disparities models are based on though because of the small number of people involved and huge amounts of pay. If Bill Gates walks into a cafe, what does it do to the average pay level therein? How can you use women’s absence from these few super high paying jobs as a debit against their other tens of millions of income any more than you can impute value to all the working men in the country through the obscene pay levels of the BSDs?

              If you add up the amount of dollars paid to construction workers nationwide, where women are not represented, and thus are not there to be underpaid, I’ll bet it well exceeds hedge fund or private equity partner pay.

              Yes, nursing, care giving and teaching is more valuable to society than construction, no doubt about it, except when it comes to water systems, sewers, hospitals and roads.

              However, those are fields almost entirely owned by women. Are they underpaid for what they do? Of course. But so are the men who work those jobs.

              Thank you for a superb website and this forum.

              1. Yves Smith

                No, you have the causality backwards.

                Feminized professions are always underpaid. The fact that more women are becoming lawyers than men is a sign of its fallen status.

                On Wall Street, women over time find they are shunted from promotions, and wind up in the more difficult, lesser paid niches. These are supposedly hugely meritocratic firms, many of the women are single or have no kids, and the ones that do can afford hot and cold running nannies. The fact that there are no women in senior positions at top PE firms is a sign of male discrimination, since studies repeatedly show women are at least as good, and most studies find better, investors than men. Same pattern in law firms and accounting firms. And women do compete for these positions and are very rarely admitted into these clubs.

                And you clearly didn’t read the article.

                Get over your upper body strength fetish. Women are actively discouraged from getting strong. At my advanced age, I can carry well more than the 70lbs than the max airport baggage handlers are allowed by law to lift (I think the unions have gotten it down to 50 lbs), which is more than you need for most manual labor work. That’s strong enough to do everything that the handymen in my building do (none of whom are in very good shape). Look at the top paying blue collar jobs. Virtually none of them require manual labor yet I would bet you that they skew heavily male.

                Men do have a relative strength advantage so that makes it more efficient, from an allocation of labor perspective, to have them be employed in jobs that require strength. But it does not logically follow that they are therefore uniquely valuable or deserving of higher pay. For instance in India, the average male is 5″ 5″ tall. His relatively small stature means shorter limbs, less ability to use leverage well. Yet they do manual labor there too. The even smaller undernourished men of the Middle Ages did manual labor. That implies that manual labor work is organized to suit the labor power, and if that labor power were female, it would not mean the work would not get done, as you falsely imply. It would just get done differently. Similarly, women in coastal New England towns in the 1800s got by even though their men would be absent 6-8 weeks on fishing trips. That is why the “widow’s watch” is a feature of so many homes, to see if their husband’s ship came back or not.


                1. Furzy

                  Let me, a woman and a former Wall St. broker, affirm every word of Yves reply…even as a full broker of stocks and futures, I was often referred to as “that girl” by the mucky mucks, NEVER promoted, and several times “let go” before the 5 year vestiture in the firm’s retirement plan….the male brokers got all my accounts, of course….and then, most infuriating, I would hear via the grapevine that my former bosses would declare “Oh, she’ll always find another job, don’t worry about her….”

                2. Dave

                  Wall Street sounds like a venal, corrupt place. I would not want my son or daughter to work there, nor can I defend, justify or want anything to do with them. Thank you for getting out and educating people as to those rackets through so many means.
                  One more reason for a 1% tax on all speculative activities with a commensurate drop in personal income tax levels.

                  “Feminized professions are always underpaid.”
                  Then why do women join them? There’s a high demand for carpenters, plumbers and journeymen in all the professions. So much so that millions of unskilled immigrants who are not even native speakers of English can come here and do take these jobs.

                  Why don’t American women sign up for them? Pay is approaching $100 an hour for skilled plumbers. Every union seeks females for journey positions. You can make your own hours and take time off for family if you want. You do have to get your hands dirty though.

                  Why is there no link between demands for pay equity and controlling unskilled immigration which through increased labor supply lowers pay for women and men who thus cannot demand higher wages?

                  Thinking further after reading your reply, there are a lot of construction workers who while paid well, do little. I’m thinking CALTRANS, which is a public agency with a union, where five guys often stand around and watch one guy work in the hole. No upper body strength required there, except to hold that beer belly in.

                  Agreei with your last paragraph, my grandmother could out-hoe any guy on the farm. Soviet women worked in factories and on road crews. Of course, they were also cheated of their pay as well as were the men.

      2. alex morfesis

        agreed…government corporatists love huge marches…they are totally ineffective and quickly disperse the energy and issue…

        learned long ago…avoid anyone who is organizing a big event…
        they are probably the informant…

        your local congress kritter will actually fear someone or a group who can put together a “we love chairman mao” series of events…obviously toungue in cheek…where you have banners and posters “thanking and praising” what they have not done…and raising 20 bux from a few thousand people and asking them to make the check(do people have those anymore ?) to great wondrous leader…

        Corporate carabinieri do not fear big and occasional and all in one convenient spot…

        300 groupings around the country of 200 people waving and thanking con-grass kritter for supporting something they are against…signs like…honk if you love congressman grifter…

        on a regular basis making sure to get as close as possible to media hq to insure the credentialed news does not have to spend too much time and gas getting to the “thank you” event…

        As was noted in comments…even the great former fearless leader had less than 25 people sitting and waiting for his disembarkment…

        most politicians are lucky if they can get 50 of their own employees or “supporters” to show up on que…

        If some local groups can get 100-200 people to show up every three weeks to “stage” another event…your con-grass grifter will wake up and try to figure out how to buy the group off by giving them what they want…at least for a few moments…

        And small is important…small, fun and disciplined…

        too large and some pinkmen with bald heads, beer bellies and a badge will sit in a room and imagine putin is behind it…or al kayduh…

        or maybe al bundy…

        1. B1whois

          Interesting comment, and in Sacramento CA 100-200 people gathering would certainly attract a police pressence. Do you think a smaller group could be used effectively, and with what tactics. I really like the idea of rallies held on the property of local media.

          1. alex morfesis

            A small enough group and after a few events the police assigned and media will get used to the group and any attempts to demonize the group melts away…too small and you might end up with no coverage…or some round pinkman with a badge deciding to rough the group up to send a message…

            Also the events need to be short winded and timed to gather the most
            Attention without giving anyone the opportunity to mislabel the group and event…no more than 15 -30 minutes…almost like a democracy flash mob…

            Although going directly to the media so they can become part of the story is not a bad “once in a while” thing…my limited experience would suggest they would get thin skinned rather quickly…just suggested the placememt of events should not be out beyond a 10 or 15 minute drive for the credentialed newskritters…

            The issue of timing events is to work in tune with the media production deadlines and timelines…showing up when there is not enough time for someone to plan, film/write and edit for production serves no purpose other than catharsis…

            And having an attorney and maybe a recently retired police officer involved to coordinate with public officials so if (which I think is a waste of energy and time) folks decide they want to find themselves arrested, preprocessing so that “outside agitators” can’t sneak in or be snuck in, is in order…

            one does not and never want to say…we intend to get arrested…as that might trigger a certain set of actions by public officials…simply a we may or may not…but if the events are always short enough and exceptionally peaceful…

            And this is nice for local stuff…but my thoughts were in respects to not wasting energy with one big burp centralized event, but instead having a steady chinese water torture on con-grass kritters and other enablers that be at many multiple locations

            Real events but sorta tongues in cheek fake “thank you” events…

            1. aletheia33

              not quite the same thing, but as i recall the group in upstate NY led by zephyr teachout that succeeded in stopping fracking (or a pipline?–i can’t believe i already forgot the exact issue, i am getting old), they just kept showing up and protesting at every single event that gov cuomo showed up at.
              he hated them.
              and they won.

    2. Pespi

      Yeah. It doesn’t “do anything” but if it doesn’t just dissolve into nothingness once everyone’s got their virtue signalled and all that, its the sort of thing that can lead to real organizing

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      “Movements” that embrace the likes of Madonna as inspiration–“And to our detractors that insist that this march will never add up to anything: F–k you. F–k you,” she said. “It is the beginning of much-needed change.”–belittle themselves.

      Memo to Madonna: Change is dumping pelosi and schumer and the clintons for leadership with actual progressive principles. The time for the above “eloquence” was when the dnc was sabotaging Bernie.

      F-bombs are no longer shocking or powerful. What would be is some coherence and a few ideas.

          1. charles leseau

            Maybe Gaga was busy learning how to play piano, instead of pretending to play on a dummy piano while throwing her arms out arrhythmically and pointing at people.

    4. Eureka Springs

      I’ve been to enough marches with specific issues in purpose to know montanamaven was spot on yesterday when she said – this day is not a threat to the powers that be.

      And that’s why people were not kettled, beaten, gassed, provoked, arrested, entirely ignored by media when they weren’t belittled by them, by the tens to hundreds of thousands. It happens all of the time to entirely peaceful protesters of war/wto/pipelines/banksters, etc.

      It’s rather amazing a Republican President didn’t order violent provacative acts by the police state! O certainly did when it came to peaceful Occupy.

      Perhaps there is value to be found from so many standing in the streets together aimlessly wondering why they are there and thinking for a moment that a Democrat would fix it…. but at some point these people will have to get specific and challenge TPTB which is entirely corrupt, if they want any sort of justice, equal pay at a living or better wage, fair voting – leading to actual representation by parties or elected politicians themselves.

      Until that happens your assertions fall flat to experienced protesters.

      There was no notice to TPTB… it was a bake-less sale without cupcakes or the collection of funds to put towards something specific. It will be forgotten in days. Like instagram… the photos will fade faster than indigestion from fast food.

      My bet, this felt trendy for many…
      These were largely comfortable people. The kind of people who think O’romney care is great! That a war on an emotion is fine as long as an idpol Dem gets to wage it. Anyone but Trump (or perhaps Cruz had he beat Her) and they would have stayed home. 90 plus percent will remain Democrats and think they are better because of it.

      1. B1whois

        If Trump continues to be lenient on these protests or marches, they will continue to provide an inadequate outlet for the development of populist power. I hate it when Trump’s right.

      2. dandelion

        And that unity platform didn’t contain all that much unity. A significant faction aren’t in line with the “support for sex worker rights” when the term includes pimps and corporatizing brothel-owners. A significant faction of women both straight and gay are also not in line with the idea that there is such a thing as gender identity separate from socialized gender roles or that males who believe themselves female should count as female hires for EEOC, should have their crimes listed as female crimes, should be housed with women prisoners, should compete in female sports or be eligible for women’s scholarships.

        This is where the term “intersectional” becomes a cudgel, and women who don’t fall in line with this capitalist, neoliberal postmodern primacy-of-subjectivity-over-material-reality politics are being doxxed, no-platformed, and harassed online with rape and death threats. The director of “Boys Don’t Cry” was recently driven off the stage with threats and misogynistic slurs at Reed College by “feminist” activists angry that she hadn’t, in the 90s, hired trans actors for the film.

        On a national level, those splits can, for a while, be papered over, but on a local level that’s not possible.

    5. cocomaan

      I am not cynical about the marches, but I’ll try to defend the people that are: they arise about two years too late.

      The Democrats threw all their effort into electing HRC. They actually defunded downballot campaigns in order to run a losing election. While the republicans have some rising stars in their middle age (Rubio, Priebus, Cruz come to mind), the democrats have nobody on the bench. It is now a party of geriatrics in freefall.

      These protests are a good sign and I’m hopeful, but the Democrats are now completely shut out of DC for at least two years. The monumental fuck up has yet to be fully understood, because it’s been a very long time since the D’s were completely out of power.

      1. Carla

        Please take a look at the governorships, the state legislatures and congressional gerry-mandering and tell me how the Democrat Party can conceivably return to any measure of power in the next 20 years. The only place they hold any majority is among big-city mayors, and if they’re true to form, they’re very busy figuring out how to hand the cities over to Republicans. A few more private-public partnerships should suffice nicely on that score.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          For the House, the Dems need 29, so here goes:

          8 in California. DWT is all over this.
          Virginia 2nd, 5th, and 10th
          Maine 2nd
          Florida 18th, 25th, 26th, and 27th (DWS pulled resources to protect her Republican friend.)
          Texas 23rd
          Michigan 1st, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 11th
          Illinois 6th, 12th, 13th, 14th, and 16th
          PA 5th,6th, 7th, 8th, 15th, and 16th

          For those scoring at home, these are more than 30 districts with R+5 or better. They can be won with elbow grease. I didn’t check every state.

          The Republicans didn’t invent gerrymandering in 2011 with the new census results or start using computers to draw districts then either.

          As for the Senate, hold serve and pick up Arizona and Nevada which are both attainable. It’s all of a sudden a tie.

          If the Clintonistas use it as an excuse, it’s simply not true, and imagine if all the marchers took one afternoon to register voters. Gosh, they might have had their girl in the White House.

          1. Vatch

            Until the next national election two years from now, the Democrats in the Senate will need to make frequent use of the filibuster. They may have to spend four full years blocking Trump’s choice for the Supreme Court. If they don’t filibuster often, they will fail repeatedly.

            It’s interesting that you mention Illinois as a state in which the Democrats can win more Congressional districts. One would think that they already have an excess of districts in Illinois, since Illinois is gerrymandered in favor of the Democrats. As far as I know, all of the other heavily gerrymandered states are gerrymandered in favor of the Republicans.

          2. UserFriendly

            in 2016 there were only 16 house races where the margin was less than 5% (5 won by GOP) and only 33 with a margin less than 10% (15 won by GOP). Thats a big Dem wave you are counting on. The best bet dems have is to storm the Governor’s mansions and state legislatures in 2018 in hopes of stacking the deck in their favor after the Census. Here are the major ones with seats in play:

            It will be absolutely essential to keep the PA and VA governorships. Controlling redistricting there would net democrats between 4-8 seats.

            Winning back OH, MI, and WI would probably bring another 4-6.

            If dems don’t win back the IL and MA governorship they stand to lose at least 3-6 seats.

            *all estimates include seats likely to be gained/lost to reappointment.

            ​Of course if the state senate and state house are of the opposite party then it will likely mean the congressional districts come to a compromise. Still though, those are the races to worry about.​

            NC’s gerrymander is currently costing D’s 3 seats, unfortunately their governor doesn’t get to veto the maps so the D win there doesn’t help. Same for FL.

            Long shots that could yield a few seats: IN, GA, TX (yeah, right).

            NC and IN just happened and the important race will be 2020.

            Here is where those races stand so far:

    6. lyman alpha blob

      “Putting TPTB on notice that we are watching, listening and have strength is not trivial.”

      So were there signs and rallies demanding that Pelosi and Schumer be replaced? I’m guessing not. If this were a rally against the policies of empire in general I’d be agreeing with you. But this seemed to be just against Trump, not against the entire establishment.

      1. B1whois

        Hreik – I’d say it more likely put TPTB on notice that these groups are watching the wrong issues, as Lyman alpha bob points out. And that does sound trivial.

  18. jsn

    Like most Liberals and many on the Left, Cory Robbin is falling for Trump’s “Subversive Methodology”. A crashing bore, a social gadfly, unserious in every way and yet a hot knife through the butter of our political institutions: this man, for better or worse knows, understands and exercises power.

    I hope that his willful ignorance of systems and systemic effects, a common problem for those who intuitively understand human power relations, will cause him to self sabotage and that an effective left opposition will unite around these systemic effects.

    To my mind the systems to watch are money, health care, the military and social security. I particularly liked the Micah White link, despite it being in the Guardian: by what tactic can power be taken? Trump has shown us his…

    1. Carolinian

      Yes it would be more appropriate for him to write a new book on The Progressive Mind. Whatever happens in our unusual new era I’m convinced it’s the Dems who are to blame. The Repubs, our tory party, are representing who they are supposed to represent.

      Of course both parties are played out and party identification is historically low.

  19. Brian Lindholm

    We’re having a crowd estimate controversy?

    Aye. How utterly pointless. And is it any surprise that Trump had a smaller crowd? Most of any inauguration crown is composed of residents of DC and surrounding suburbs. In 2008, 92% of DC residents voted for Obama. In 2016, 4% of DC residents voted for Trump. A smaller inauguration crowd this year was essentially mathematically ordained.

    But ultimately, who cares? We already knew that Trump was unpopular. Especially in the DC area. The real question is what the hell is Donald Trump going to do as president? The size of the crowd doesn’t tell us a damned thing about that.

      1. polecat

        Gentlemen ! If I may humbly state : We must never allow the enemy to gain the high ground !

        .. therefor .. We cannot afford to let develop, EVER, .. a Crowd Estimate Controversy Gap !

        with all my all sincerity, Mr. President,

        Signed, General Turgidson

  20. JeffC

    People are missing something really important regarding Trump’s inauguration crowd in Washington DC on Friday: per my daughter who was there in the crowd, fully half of the people present (including her) were there to protest his inauguration, not to support it.

    That the press didn’t pick this up makes them look rather pathetic, as it shows they were staring at monitors rather than mixing with the crowd.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      This reminds me of internet polling.

      Maybe more or fewer people show up, but is it representative of the whole? If nearly half showed up to protest, and the total was smaller than 8 years (whose crowd was all Obama supporters), that is, if 2 x Trump supporters (2017) < Obama supporters (2009), then you really have to wonder if Trump only received less than 1/2 of the vote total that Obama got in 2008.

      Or maybe it's like movies…sometimes the world premier is seen only by a small crowd, though anything could happen later.

  21. oho

    And since no one else has brought it up—-the walks, all around the world, looked very bourgeois. I’m shocked that if you’re working 3 part-time jobs you don’t have time to schedule a protest march with one week’s notice.

    where was the Women’s March on August 20, 2016?

    I guess Clinton + DNC Inc. thought that they had election in the bag. No need to ‘spontaneously’ astroturf a march via their allies.

  22. timbers

    What are woman marching for? Here’s the first article linked:

    What started as the Women’s March on Washington spread to streets and city squares from Sydney to South Carolina on Saturday, with protesters marching in solidarity as a show of empowerment.

    As many as a million people took part in the main march in Washington, DC.

    Women gave a host of reasons for marching, ranging from inspiring other women to run for office, to protesting against Trump’s plans to repeal the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which among other things requires health insurers to cover birth control.

    That’s it? To maintain ACA access to birth control? What about better paying full time jobs with benefits? What abut affordable healthcare or ending the constant war mongering that sends their children into combat? How about eduction for their children that doesn’t forced them into their parents basements and life long poverty?

    If this is the best the woman and the “Democrats seeing boost” can do with a march around the planet for birth control under ACA, Dems better not count and the “boost” they’re “seeing.”

    1. abynormal

      I find the U.S. march a sad state of affair. Madonna bombing the WH, Really? The global march has my attention and crowd numbers don’t impress me…Show the Substance MSN.

      Thanks Lambert n Opti for your concern the other day….I’m hanging by my eyelashes between KIASER, 2 ER, Hospital & rehab stays. Gottaa break this cycle soon. Cheers All…

      1. Carolinian

        Not sure of the context, but wishing you well. One hopes we are all here in some sense Comrades, as Comrade Haygood likes to say.

      2. Jim Haygood

        Show the Substance

        That was the cry from the crowd when they were handing out those free joints on Inauguration day in DC — Show me the substances! ;-)

        As Snowden said to Chelsea Manning … “Stay strong a little longer [Aby].”

    2. cwaltz

      “That’s it? Access to birth control?”

      I’m going to guess that you are either male or have never had the responsibility of a child if you think birth control and the means to control whether or not you become a parent is a small thing.

      Prior to reproductive planning the leading cause of mortality in women was childbirth. It still is in areas of the world where there is no effective means to determine whether or not to have a child.

      But hey, I’d imagine if you have never had your kidneys blocked off due to a fetus or you’ve never had to plan your existence around the existence of another human being then sure, access to reproductive planning is no big deal.

      If you all want a movement for better paying jobs then I’m sure Fight for $15 would welcome you with open arms. However, I’d change my tactic if you think belittling others for what they care about or feel strongly about is an effective means to convert people or even make them care about what YOU think is important.

      1. timbers

        Don’t mean to belittle but am merely noting the one policy issue I found is – just 1 issue AND it fits in with the social identity mold that neo liberal Dems use while other more broad based economic class issues of non social identity are …. MISSING

        1. Waldenpond

          There will never be any policy advancement as Ds purposefully make sure their peasants have to keep fighting over something as basic as birth control.

          2020 slogans: Ds for 30 years: punishing you with the far-right so you’ll shut up when you get center-right.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It’s Operation Barbarossa, but only Army Group Center is advancing.

          Whatever happened to the other groups?

        3. cwaltz

          It’s an important issue for women and largely an issue exclusive to women To this date, there has not been a single male who has had gestational diabetes, suffered preeclampsia or died in childbirth. Women get pregnant everyday and in many cases when it happens there are boys(I hesitate to call them men) who walk- nay, run away leaving women holding the bag and dealing with the consequences. So no it shouldn’t be a big surprise that a march by women for women should address pregnancy as an identity issue.

          My opinion is that social movements should not require you to jettison identity. Who I am and what I experience has value. It shapes and helps inform me on a variety of topics. Intelligent people use information, not throw it away.

          In keeping with your statement below, women watched the ACA debate. It was then that women were thrown under the bus and Hyde was codified into law and a discussion ensued on what is and isn’t abortion(under Bush birth control was an abortifactent- the equivalent of an abortion. The Supreme Court has upheld that position in not requiring employers to cover the cost of birth control by the way). So yeah the idea I should ASSUME that universal health care would include my reproduction is not upheld by historical facts. With that in mind why in the world would I trust that universal health care would include my incredibly important reproductive rights in it? Why would I assume that people who threw me under the bus before wouldn’t do so again?

          1. RMO

            As you said, it is a very important issue and it should be one of the main ones raised in the context of the marches. It would have been nice if they had aimed a bit higher (such as pushing for single payer that includes birth control, ready access to abortion services, full care for all aspects of pregnancy and childbirth) and also had a good, solid slate of other issues and policies to fight for but I certainly don’t have a problem with the demand to at least keep the provisions that already exist.

      2. timbers

        Better to call for universal healthcare for all. Defending birth control for just 1 sex is a tiny weenie itsy bitsy subset of that and a social identity based defence of a tiny part of healthcare – not a good or smart thing for a world march.

          1. cwaltz

            Yeah that totally worked out for women during the ACA debate.

            Oh wait it didn’t. Hyde was codified into law and the new goal post was birth control was the equivalent of abortion.

            But hey I totally trust you progressives not to screw this up after all since you have Pelosi at the helm again. bahahahahahaha

        1. marym

          The impact of women having affordable, reliable access to birth control isn’t itsy bitsy, it’s huge; but ok, agreed that it’s not a sufficient organizing theme for a national march, let alone a national mass movement.

          However, the statement of one organizer to one media outlet doesn’t reflect yesterday’s events. Even the initial organizing, at least in part a disappointed-Clintonite initiative, had a broader focus on more issues, as well as the general theme of “Women’s rights are human rights.”

          Then the people who actually participated – in DC, in large US cities, in hundreds of smaller US communities, and in countries and cities around the world – brought in more issues.

          Not that a random look at tweets is any more representative than a mainstream media interview with a march organizer is any more reliable for analysis of yesterday’s events but:

          Immigrant rights and solidarity with vulnerable ethnic minorities

          EPA, education, anti-war

          Traditional political power


          IMO, however yesterday got started, and whatever Madonna and Michael Moore think about it (did anyone interview Angela Davis, or someone from the ACLU?), more was revealed about people’s willingness to engage than just a post-election pout and love for the ACA. Maybe that’s too optimistic, but maybe also we build solidarity by showing it, not by withholding it.

        2. polecat

          ‘WHERE”S MY MALE B-CONTROL ………’

          couldn’t resist stirring the collective hornet’s nest …

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Boys should act more responsibly.

            It seems Planned Parenthood is really Planned Female-Parenthood.

            Not enough boys on their own visit their centers.

      3. HotFlash

        I am not in DC, although my next-door neighbour is Womenly Marching. I have had a life-long connection with the press (born into a newspaper family) and I have on three occasions been in situations that were reported by the press, and frankly, the reports were not recognizable as the event I was in. Therefore, I will withhold judgment until I hear from her, who was actually there.

  23. Arizona Slim

    Friendly reminder to the NC community: I am using my phone to view this site. Just got a pop-up that said that my SIM card was damaged because I had visited four “adult” sites.

    Fat chance, scammer.

    Needless to say, I didn’t go to Google Play to install the app that is supposed to fix the problem. I urge others to ignore messages like this one. They are bogus.

    1. ambrit

      Well Arizona Slim, this is a site with one of the highest levels of “adult” content, as in free from “Status Quo” propaganda. Can’t have the ‘kiddies’ learning to think for themselves, can we? That would tend to limit the graft available to the “adults” in the room.
      If we could backtrack these “scammer” messages, I wonder how many would originate from the Langley Virginia region?

          1. Elizabeth Burton

            Had the same experience with my laptop. They keep trying to plug the things back in, but I do scans every week, and it’s only used occasionally for stuff I can’t do on my Mac.

            On the other hand, if the Chinese are checking on me, they’re dying of boredom.

    2. fresno dan

      Arizona Slim
      January 22, 2017 at 10:55 am

      When I make credit card donations to Wikipedia, my credit card categorized it as “charity”
      When I make donations to Naked Capitalism, it is categorized as “recreation”

      For all the monitoring of me by credit card companies, don’t they know me? Wipes away tear…..
      I’m too damn cheap to pay for porn!!!
      There aren’t enough hours in the day to look at all the FREE porn!!! AND I AM TRYING….very, VERY HARD….
      Of course, nothing is really free….carpal tunnel….not to mention dehydration…..

      Yeah, all Pop ups I get from “FBI” “Microsoft”, “Google” even “Interpol”……Fortunately, training as Soviet Commie mole in basement to undermine noble American political parties given me extensive and sophisticated knowledge such computer subterfuges. Example, I hacked John Podesta, my years of spycraft, psych-ops, and academic training allowed me craft nefarious intrigue that too captivating, mesmerizing, and irresistible to not comply to. Here is:
      email: Hey John, what your password?
      No one resist….

    3. Dave


      Do you think it could possibly have anything to do with the word “Naked” somewhere in there?

      1. Aumua

        I sometimes hesitate to open this page at work, not because of any radical politics or anything, but because the word Naked appears right at the top.

        1. ambrit

          I had to go and argue with the IT person at my local library to have this site whitelisted by the internal “adult content” filter there.
          That’s my problem with any “censorship” programs. Too often, those programs come pre-bundled. What’s actually involved is generally obscure. Too many opportunities for ideologically based “information control.”

  24. spk

    RE: The Board

    What you’d expect: A diverse camp of racial and gender identities among a (nearly) monolithic assemblage of heggies, And the front pages aren’t much better. I like this gem:

    “Whether you are looking for a role in your community or have been active on the field of democracy for years, we look forward to working with you and for you.”

    I guess those last eight years were about gathering names and numbers, since all we saw were regressions in the “filed of democracy.”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        On one hand, we have ‘the smart phone is so easy to use, a kid can do it.’

        On the other hand, we have ‘government, at the very, very top, is so difficult, it’s best to leave it to experts.’

  25. tongorad

    As an government actor, Trump’s hands are clean. I’m sure that will change very quickly.

    Where was all this fierce concern when Obama was destroying lives and communities? Participation in this march seems to me to be a mark of insincerity and hypocrisy.

    Politics must be thought of as the art of the possible, but I have a very hard time relating to these people.

  26. Jim Haygood

    Last bombing sortie of the Peace Laureate:

    On Friday the Pentagon reported that they had struck a terror training camp near Idlib, killing more than one hundred Al-Qaeda terrorists.

    The wrinkle is that several members of a group that had previously been backed by the CIA and received TOW missiles as part of an Obama administration program—and were at the camp and embedded with Al-Qaeda—were also killed.

    Obomba had urged them to “Stay moderate, my friends.

    But the young hotheads just wouldn’t listen. :-(

    1. marym

      and possibly the first of the new regime


      Three suspected members of al Qaeda’s Yemen branch were killed on Sunday by what local officials said they believed were two separate U.S. drone strikes.

      If confirmed, they would be the first such attacks since U.S. President Donald Trump assumed office on Friday.

      1. fresno dan

        January 22, 2017 at 12:10 pm

        I am glad the noble and virtuous CIA has convinced our new president to be prudent and continue our highly successful polices in the mid east….

        1. cwaltz

          Let’s repeat this again. The CIA is a tool. They don’t make policy, they inform and carry out.

          The noble and virtuous leadership doesn’t get to pin this on the underlings.

            1. integer


              To cwaltz: What’s with “Let’s repeat this again.”? I also noticed that the other day you stated “I AM the working class”. Why do you keep using language that implies you are more than one person?

              1. cwaltz

                I’ve said the CIA is not in charge of anything on more than one occasion. That’s what again means…..more than once.

                And yes, I am just as much the working class and have as much right to speak on behalf of them as the putz who I commented towards.

                Any other questions I can help you with?

            2. Yves Smith

              The CIA has been aggressively trying to interfere with an orderly change in power. As Lambert described, this was a big concern of the Founding Fathers and they spent a lot of time designing processes to try to guarantee that. And perhaps more important, the CIA is supposed to have nada to do with the US. The idea that the CIA was feeding the press stories with clear partisan intent on matters domestic, like the allegation that the DNC was hacked, when it is the FBI that is in charge of domestic counter-terrorism, is pretty outrageous.

              You are basically saying Obama is behind this. I find this difficult to swallow given his and Michelle’s personal antipathy towards Hillary Clinton.

            1. cwaltz

              The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the United States federal government, tasked with gathering, processing and analyzing national security information from around the world, primarily through the use of human intelligence (HUMINT). As one of the principal members of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), the CIA reports to the Director of National Intelligence and is primarily focused on providing intelligence for the President and Cabinet.

              Really? I’m sure the Director of National Intelligence will be so happy to know that he doesn’t need to submit anything for funding this year

              1. Yves Smith

                The statement is substantively accurate. I have a colleague who has been covering DC for decades and is a tax expert. There are tons of military related ops that are on a black budget basis and effectively don’t require Congressional approval.

                And that’s before you get to allegations of the CIA having other ops that provide it with cash.

        2. witters

          So the marching did have at least one desired effect!

          (And I am moderated. On everything. Is there an Honour board?)

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I thought he would go after ISIS in Syria first.

        Does it mean he would have to get more members of his team in there, faster?

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            By moving the embassy to Jerusalem, modern Crusaders will go after ISIS beyond just Syria.

  27. reslez

    Tesla’s “Autopilot”: Someone died and it’s “working as designed”? This is what comes out of the NTSB these days?

    Frankly I’m frightened to share roads with idiots who use this hyped up technology. It’s all well and good to risk your own life but what about the minivan next to you packed full of little kids? In a plane the risk of collision with another plane is very low. When you’re thousands of feet in the air, engaging the autopilot when you shouldn’t risks mainly yourself. The situation is far different on packed public roads.

    All driving assistance features need to have their code fully audited by third party watchdogs. Anything else is going to result in more death. We already know from lawsuit testimony that the software development practices of auto companies like Toyota are breathtakingly deficient. Nothing tells me Tesla is any better, in fact since they’re a unicorn company run by a grifter (but I repeat myself…) I’d expect them to be worse. If your product is safe, cut the advertising and prove it before you kill anyone else.

    1. John Parks

      I was surprised that the software can supposedly identify a pedestrian but can not recognize the broad side of an obstacle the size of a barn wall!

      It is going to be real dodgy when they try to write the software to handle variable road conditions. e.g. heavy rain, snow, ice and anticipate a sliding semi-trailer!

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        If you put a giant flat screen TV in front a self-driving car, would it know it’s a TV or, if the display is route 66 through open country Arizona, just drive through it?

        That was how the bad guys kidnapped Indiana Jones (or his friend, I don’t remember just now) in a marketplace in the Middle East, on his way to look for the Ark.

      2. bob

        It’s not that hard to imagine it not seeing the semi-

        Trailers are not low. It’s possible to walk under them, depending on the type.

        The way that it happened, with the semi across the road, the computerz would see a clear road ahead, under the trailer.

        No one thought to figure in clearance?

        What was most concerning to me with this whole episode was the way it was stage managed by the oligarch. The “accident” was first reported 2 months after it happened. Then, the finding of…what exactly? No oligarch was harmed in the review of this material.

        How much did that cost? Local, state, and feds all had to be kept in line, along with their fawning press lackies.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Not so long ago, when computerz was going to fix everything, our War Leaders were all ready to turn over to a couple of million lines of code the decision to fire off the Great Empire’s suicidal nuclear arsenal, part of the whole “Star Wars” thing. Satellite and other sensors would feed perfectly gathered data on heat sources, light flashes, radio signatures, stuff like that, into a computer complex, large parts of which were in data-linked but also “autonomous” (because of possible Rooskie Sneakiness) orbiting satellites subject to launch stresses and micrometeorite penetrations and gamma rays and all those energetic particles from the solar wind and so forth, intense cold and heat cycling, human construction. All of that was the real WOPR that these Fokkers were going to give power over the future of humanity and the planet to.

          I asked one involved engineer I ran into whether he would see a way to do the following: using sensors at intersections, even limiting it to the ones where the most red-light-running collisions occurred, why not install some of the carbon-dioxide lasers that Star Wars was going to orbit at each intersection, firing on a diagonal path across it at tire height, and when a vehicle approached that place and was about to run the red light, why not just slice it off at the hubcaps? something like 5,000 people die in intersection accidents every year. Rather than clean up and charge criminally and collect fines after the fact, how about a little REAL deterrence?

          Produced a lot of hemming and hawing about mil-specs and how the accidental Armageddon could not POSSIBLY happen via some sort of technical glitch or failure… Good enough for planetary commitments to destruction, but not to deal with a fairly simple problem with real consequences.

          Not that the deaths mean anything, in the Great Calculus of Great Game-ery. Other than as a way of scoring “success” and “victory…”

          1. bob

            Computers work well with defined data sets. Roads and traffic are anything but defined and/or steady state.

            They keep trying to sell the dream. I’d buy a picture of the decapitated car.

            Funny, no pictures?

            1. JTMcPhee

              The planetary ecosystem with all its variables, let alone the marvelous near-earth environment, and the complexities of our grand world military idiocy with all its hair trigger weapons and many possible paths to error (from the megadeath perspective) are also not ‘defined data sets.” Much less any kind of “steady state.” But our rulers and their minions were (are?) apparently happy to take a flyer on turning over existential-demolition decisions to the Algos in those computing engines…

              Trust the code, trust the code, nothing could possibly go wrong…

  28. barrisj

    Tis the season of the March, or mass demo. Long ago, in the seminal year of 1968 the writer and Marxist John Berger composed a short essay on The Nature of Mass Demonstrations, in an era where street protests and demos seemingly had real effects on national policies throughout the Western world.
    He distinguished very clearly between those demonstrations that were mere public spectacle – harmless, essentially, and indulged by the State because no real threat to its legitimacy was intended – and those that were – as Berger saw it – “revolutionary rehearsals”, whose intent was clearly to upset the prevailing order, and to be met with State violence. All would agree that since the 60s, mass protests against government policies, whether domestic or foreign – e.g., military actions – have largely been street theatre, ignored by “the authorities”, or countered by ritual projection of State power by the use of punitive police actions or outright violence against marchers or speakers. Isolated but persistent demonstrations of a purely local action but with national implications such as Ferguson, or that of the DAPL action are exceptions because of the unique circumstances or catalyzing events that precipitated the demos initially, and never really moved beyond the immediate geographical confines of the confrontations with governmental authority. Berger’s essay is well worth considering in its totality, especially as it concerns the assumption of requisite ideological foundations and dedication to – as he would have it – “revolutionary awareness”, or perhaps “consciousness raising” as a more contemporary phraseology. Timely, despite being nearly 50 yrs. since written.

    John Berger

    The Nature of Mass Demonstrations

    Seventy years ago (on 6 May 1898) there was a massive demonstration of workers, men and women, in the centre of Milan. The events which led up to it involve too long a history to treat with here. The demonstration was attacked and broken up by the army under the command of General Beccaris. At noon the cavalry charged the crowd: the unarmed workers tried to make barricades: martial law was declared and for three days the army fought against the unarmed.

    The official casualty figures were 100 workers killed and 450 wounded. One policeman was killed accidentally by a soldier. There were no army casualties. (Two years later Umberto I was assassinated because after the massacre he publicly congratulated General Beccaris, the ‘butcher of Milan.’)

    I have been trying to understand certain aspects of the demonstration in the Corso Venezia on 6 May because of a story I am writing. In the process I came to a few conclusions about demonstrations which may perhaps be more widely applicable.

    Mass demonstrations should be distinguished from riots or revolutionary uprisings although, under certain (now rare) circumstances, they may develop into either of the latter. The aims of a riot are usually immediate (the immediacy matching the desperation they express): the seizing of food, the release of prisoners, the destruction of property. The aims of a revolutionary uprising are long-term and comprehensive: they culminate in the taking over of State power. The aims of a demonstration, however, are symbolic: it demonstrates a force that is scarcely used.

    A large number of people assemble together in an obvious and already announced public place. They are more or less unarmed. (On 6 May 1898, entirely unarmed.) They present themselves as a target to the forces of repression serving the State authority against whose policies they are protesting.

    Theoretically demonstrations are meant to reveal the strength of popular opinion or feeling: theoretically they are an appeal to the democratic conscience of the State. But this presupposes a conscience which is very unlikely to exist.

    If the State authority is open to democratic influence, the demonstration will hardly be necessary; if it is not, it is unlikely to be influenced by an empty show of force containing no real threat. (A demonstration in support of an already established alternative State authority – as when Garibaldi entered Naples in 1860 – is a special case and may be immediately effective.)

    Demonstrations took place before the principle of democracy was even nominally admitted. The massive early Chartist demonstrations were part of the struggle to obtain such an admission. The crowds who gathered to present their petition to the Tsar in St Petersburg in 1905 were appealing – and presenting themselves as a target – to the ruthless power of an absolute monarchy. In the event – as on so many hundreds of other occasions all over Europe – they were shot down.

    It would seem that the true function of demonstrations is not to convince the existing State authority to any significant degree. Such an aim is only a convenient rationalisation.

    The truth is that mass demonstrations are rehearsals for revolution: not strategic or even tactical ones, but rehearsals of revolutionary awareness. The delay between the rehearsals and the real performance may be very long: their quality – the intensity of rehearsed awareness – may, on different occasions, vary considerably: but any demonstration which lacks this element of rehearsal is better described as an officially encouraged public spectacle.

    A demonstration, however much spontaneity it may contain, is a created event which arbitrarily separates itself from ordinary life. Its value is the result of its artificiality, for therein lies its prophetic, rehearsing possibilities.

    A mass demonstration distinguishes itself from other mass crowds because it congregates in public to create its function, instead of forming in response to one: in this, it differs from any assembly of workers within their place of work – even when strike action is involved – or from any crowd of spectators. It is an assembly which challenges what is given by the mere fact of its coming together.

    State authorities usually lie about the number of demonstrators involved. The lie, however, makes little difference. (It would only make a significant difference if demonstrations really were an appeal to the democratic conscience of the State.) The importance of the numbers involved is to be found in the direct experience of those taking part in or sympathetically witnessing the demonstration. For them the numbers cease to be numbers and become the evidence of their senses, the conclusions of their imagination. The larger the demonstration, the more powerful and immediate (visible, audible, tangible) a metaphor it becomes for their total collective strength.

    I say metaphor because the strength thus grasped transcends the potential strength of those present, and certainly their actual strength as deployed in a demonstration. The more people there are there, the more forcibly they represent to each other and to themselves those who are absent. In this way a mass demonstration simultaneously extends and gives body to an abstraction. Those who take part become more positively aware of how they belong to a class. Belonging to that class ceases to imply a common fate, and implies a common opportunity. They begin to recognise that the function of their class need no longer be limited: that it, too, like the demonstrations itself, can create its own function.

    Revolutionary awareness is rehearsed in another way by the choice and effect of location. Demonstrations are essentially urban in character, and they are usually planned to take place as near as possible to some symbolic centre, either civic or national. Their ‘targets’ are seldom the strategic ones – railway stations, barracks, radio stations, airports. A mass demonstration can be interpreted as the symbolic capturing of a city or capital. Again, the symbolism or metaphor is for the benefit of the participants.

    The demonstration, an irregular event created by the demonstrators, nevertheless takes place near the city centre, intended for very different uses. The demonstrators interrupt the regular life of the streets they march through or of the open spaces they fill. They ‘cut off these areas, and, not yet having the power to occupy them permanently, they transform them into a temporary stage on which they dramatise the power they still lack.

    The demonstrators’ view of the city surrounding their stage also changes. By demonstrating, they manifest a greater freedom and independence – a greater creativity, even although the product is only symbolic – than they can ever achieve individually or collectively when pursuing their regular lives. In their regular pursuits they only modify circumstances; by demonstrating they symbolically oppose their very existence to circumstances.

    This creativity may be desperate in origin, and the price to be paid for it high, but it temporarily changes their outlook. They become corporately aware that it is they or those whom they represent who have built the city and who maintain it. They see it through different eyes. They see it as their product, confirming their potential instead of reducing it.

    Finally, there is another way in which revolutionary awareness is rehearsed. The demonstrators present themselves as a target to the so-called forces of law and order. Yet the larger the target they present, the stronger they feel. This cannot be explained by the banal principle of ‘strength in numbers,’ any more than by vulgar theories of crowd psychology. The contradiction between their actual vulnerability and their sense of invincibility corresponds to the dilemma which they force upon the State authority.

    Either authority must abdicate and allow the crowd to do as it wishes: in which case the symbolic suddenly becomes real, and, even if the crowd’s lack of organisation and preparedness prevents it from consolidating its victory, the event demonstrates the weakness of authority. Or else authority must constrain and disperse the crowd with violence: in which case the undemocratic character of such authority is publicly displayed. The imposed dilemma is between displayed weakness and displayed authoritarianism. (The officially approved and controlled demonstration does not impose the same dilemma: its symbolism is censored: which is why I term it a mere public spectacle.) Almost invariably, authority chooses to use force. The extent of its violence depends upon many factors, but scarcely ever upon the scale of the physical threat offered by the demonstrators. This threat is essentially symbolic. But by attacking the demonstration authority ensures that the symbolic event becomes an historical one: an event to be remembered, to be learnt from, to be avenged.

    It is in the nature of a demonstration to provoke violence upon itself. Its provocation may also be violent. But in the end it is bound to suffer more than it inflicts. This is a tactical truth and an historical one. The historical role of demonstrations is to show the injustice, cruelty, irrationality of the existing State authority. Demonstrations are protests of innocence.

    But the innocence is of two kinds, which can only be treated as though they were one at a symbolic level. For the purposes of political analysis and the planning of revolutionary action, they must be separated. There is an innocence to be defended and an innocence which must finally be lost: an innocence which derives from justice, and an innocence which is the consequence of a lack of experience.

    Demonstrations express political ambitions before the political means necessary to realise them have been created. Demonstrations predict the realisation of their own ambitions and thus may contribute to that realisation, but they cannot themselves achieve them.

    The question which revolutionaries must decide in any given historical situation is whether or not further symbolic rehearsals are necessary. The next stage is training in tactics and strategy for the performance itself.

    Sorry for taking up much space.

    1. sid_finster

      Except this time the establishment supports the demonstration and the demonstrators.

      They are as upset about the present situation as anyone.

      1. Robert Hahl

        Interesting web site. “Tlaxcala, the international network of translators for linguistic diversity.” Here is their posting of John Berger reading Ghassan Kanafani’s “Letter from Gaza.” Kanafani was assassinated by the Israeli Mossad in 1972.

        John Berger Reads Ghassan Kanafani’s Letter from Gaza (2008) (Tlaxcala)

        I discovered John Berger about one week before he died. Pig Earth is part of a trilogy called Into Their Labors, about peasant life in a Frence mountain village where he emigrated. That is an example of how to do artistic research.

    2. John Parks

      I will admit that I was a bit surprised that there was nothing (using Berger’s words) “It is in the nature of a demonstration to provoke violence upon itself.” other than symbols.

      even the Monty Python snippet makes the connection

      constitutional peasant

      1. rd

        I posted a link to a Monty Python sketch down below. My suspicion is that Monty Python sketches may be some of the most relevant political commentary over the next couple of years,

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          He’s a fake Messiah.

          I ought to know…I have followed a few.

          (Could have used it 8 years ago).

    3. Jim Haygood

      Tangentially related:

      Most of the approximately 230 protesters arrested on Inauguration Day will be charged with felony rioting, federal prosecutors said.

      The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the offense is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The office said most of those arrested will be released without having to post bail and must return to court in February.

      Here the state violence is not in the form of flying bullets, but rather absurdly inflated criminal charges that carry lifetime legal disabilities upon conviction.

      At the same time, the protesters presented so little real threat that they weren’t even required to post bail, illustrating the utterly specious nature of the fedgov’s habitual overcharging.

  29. David

    For anyone interested, about a million people have now voted in the Socialist Party primary in France, a bit down from the turnout last year. Voting ends in a few minutes (1900 CET) and we should get the first projections fairly soon after that, based on exit polls. But with seven candidates, it may be tomorrow before we have a clear picture of who goes into the second round. Oh, and almost any result is possible.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Someone said, “Why didn’t those people vote?”

      Perhaps Trump supporters are

      1 shy
      2 the silent type
      3 dying
      4. working or looking for work
      5 smaller (that is, you can fit more people into the blur in the photo).
      6. something else

      But let’s remind us that:

      1. Inaugural crowd size ≠ approval/disapproval
      2. Even if a president’s approval rating is 1%, he is still president.
      3. It’s the finish, not the start, that matters.
      4. As we distract us with this subject, things are happening, like taking on the CIA.

  30. Waldenpond

    GMO grass… so the Democrats USDA was going to deregulate a failed experiment to protect the profits of corporate interests.

  31. Parker Dooley

    “GMO grass escapes”

    Ward Moore “Greener Than You Think” — 1950’s SF novel. GMO Bermuda grass eats the world. Very satirical on scientism and the ad/sales industry. It’s coming, comrades!

    1. polecat

      ‘GMO Bermuda grass’

      It’s already out there … since millennia

      .. i believe they call it … BAMBOO !

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Make it “GMO Bermuda Triangle grass” and use it for the maze in the royal garden.

  32. Robert Hahl

    Re: Thomas Schelling, Methodological Subversive – Rajov Sethi

    I liked Schelling’s burglar paradox:

    ‘If I go downstairs to investigate a noise at night, with a gun in my hand, and find myself face to face with a burglar who has a gun in his hand, there is a danger of an outcome that neither of us desires. Even if he prefers to just leave quietly, and I wish him to, there is danger that he may think I want to shoot, and shoot first. Worse, there is danger that he may think that I think he wants to shoot. Or he may think that I think he thinks I want to shoot. And so on. “Self-Defense” is ambiguous, when one is only trying to preclude being shot in self-defense.’

    “Sandeep Baliga and Tomas Sjöström have shown exactly how such reciprocal fear can lead to a fatal unraveling [nuclear war], and explored the enormous consequences of allowing for pre-play communication in the form of cheap talk [to avoid conflict]. And I have previously discussed the importance of this reasoning in accounting for variations in homicide rates across time and space, as well as the effects of Stand-your-Ground laws.”

  33. rd

    Re: Wilbur Ross on restructuring

    He should be able to save the government by offshoring a bunch of US government jobs overseas.

    But seriously, my experience is that in the private sector overhead staff have to get trimmed every 3-5 years due to bureaucratic “Parkinson’s Law” growth.

    Government should look at their operations the same way periodically. However, there is a difference between making government more efficient and believing that it should not play a role.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Cost cutting.

      We could use a few more ‘those fighter jets are too expensive.’


      “Those drones are too expensive.”

      “Those bases are not cheap.”

      “Those color revolutions cost too much.”

  34. hreik

    Again, about the “march”. I”ll be happy if Medicare isn’t phucked w, the Medicaid expansion stays, if SS isn’t privatized, if women can still get abortions, etc. My fight and many at the protest I was at was to fight rollback of gains made the last several decades.

    I see from some of the responses to my comment that unless the march ended up w drafted legislation, or demanded Pelosi’s or Shumer’s resignation or disavowed Steinem or Madonna, or such it wasn’t authentic, left enough, whatever. Not pure enough.

    I have felt for a while I don’t belong here. I know now I was right. I stayed around at one person’s suggestion. I don’t expect people to agree. But the cynical caustic and dismissive attitude is not for me.

    The writers, including most of the commenters are really terrific tho.

    1. cwaltz

      Don’t get frustrated and give up on sharing your viewpoint. Take a break and a breath if you need to but keep on pushing on because the world needs people to continue to dialogue on things.

      For the record, I found the marches very heartening. It was good to see people join together and care about something even if the results of that something aren’t immediate drafted legislation.

      1. hreik

        Ty for that. Like Vatch’s comment below, it made me smile. For the record I wore my pussyhat and carried a sign

        2017: I can’t believe we still have to fight this sh*t.

        1. Liberal Mole

          “I can’t believe we still have to fight this sh*t.” Alas, that’s what women were saying 20 years ago at the big pro choice march in DC. Thanks, neoliberals!

        1. Outis Philalithopoulos

          hreik, I noticed you saying your compliments have been disappearing and did some investigating. The only comment that I could find by you that was actually intentionally moderated away was a near copy of this one, posted about the same time and eliminated to avoid duplication. If, however, you notice other comments you post disappearing for no clear reason, please let me know about it (send me an email at

        2. beth

          The writers, including most of the commenters are really terrific tho.

          If this is true, why not just read the writers and leave out the comments? Then you get what you like and omit the rest.

          1. hreik

            The commentariat writing is every bit as good as the ‘official’ ones. That’s what i meant. The quality of writing of the commenters is superb.

    2. Vatch

      The marches and gatherings on Saturday were very useful, in my humble opinion. For weeks, I have been encouraging a couple of dozen family members and friends to call their Senators to object to some of Trump’s cabinet nominations. To the best of my knowledge, only one person has followed my advice. At least only one person has told me about following my advice. After participating in the women’s marches, three family members told me that they intend to call their Senators’ offices in the next couple of days about some of Trump’s nominations. That’s the sort of action that can scare politicians into doing the right thing.

      As for cynical and caustic ideological purity, yes, it can be annoying. It might make you feel better to imagine just how frustrated some of the ideological purists feel. There is zero chance that they will accomplish their goals, but there is a chance that you will accomplish the goals that your summarize in your first paragraph. (I would add that I hope we can prevent Poisoner Scott Pruitt and Serial Forecloser Steven Mnuchin from taking office in the federal government.)

      1. hreik

        Ty so much. You put a smile on my face. I would add: Devos and Tom Price as well to your list. I think the dems should let Tillerson go and focus on Pruitt, Mnuchin and the 2 above. And yes, my goals are achievable, but we have to fight and fight and fight some more.
        Thanks again.

        1. cwaltz

          Add Pudzer to that list too.

          A guy whose organization was found guilty of violating Department of Labor standards in 60% of the cases the DOL investigated should not be in charge of regulating labor standards. The only reason to place someone like him in charge of labor would be to gut the protections workers have and make things more miserable for workers.

      2. tongorad

        The comment about the supposed ideological purity and cynicism of those who criticize the marches seems like a projection and is very self-serving, imo. Identity politics is the essence of cynicism, with its essentialist reductionism and exclusion. How convenient.

        1. ambrit

          A quibble if I may. Identity politics partakes of the essence of cynicism. I hope and fear that true cynicism is expansive and inclusive, and not in the least convenient. Try this on for size. Just as Al Gore’s book was “An Inconvenient Truth,” the history of the Obama administration should be called “An Inconvenient Fake.” Cynical enough?

    1. Vatch

      Here’s the bill’s information:

      It was co-sponsored by Reps. Peter Welch (VT), Walter Jones (NC), Thomas Massie (KY), Barbara Lee (CA), Ted Yoho (FL), and Thomas Garrett (VA). Both Republicans and Democrats. If you like the bill, then after you have called your Senators to protest at least one of Trump’s cabinet nominations, call your Representative and ask her or him to co-sponsor HR258.

      1. beth

        We would have to stop sending money and weapons to Saudi Arabia. Will that fly with the amt of $$$ available for bribes?

  35. Greg

    Re: China and the South China Sea, this strikes me as a useful provocation for any of the many sides involved militarily –

    Check out the map at the top – the most dangerous area in question is not immediately on top of the Spratly’s, but it’s close enough to build a narrative.

    SINGAPORE, Jan 20 (Reuters) – A surge in piracy to the west of the Philippines is forcing shipowners to divert vessels through other waters, stoking their costs and extending the time it takes to transport goods such as Australian iron ore to key Asian destinations.

    There have been 16 attacks since last March on ships in the Sulu and Celebes Seas, through which about $40 billion worth of cargo passes each year, according to the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP).

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Perhaps it’s time for completely encased in steel, self-sailing, pilot-less ships.

      Will they be pirate-proof?

      Throw some escort drones above the ship for added protection, maybe.

    2. ambrit

      If the Chinese are running true to form, it might be Chinese naval vessels trying to “augment” their crew’s measly wages. That or the rise of a Watery Warlord.

  36. David

    Socialist primaries. First results suggest that Hamon (Hollande without the charisma) will come out on top. Montebourg (vaguely Left) has endorsed Hamon for the second round, so with his 18%, Hamon should be over the 50% threshold. Looking bad for Valls, who may have made a tactical error in running this time.

  37. Oregoncharles

    “Gene-edited animals face US regulatory crackdown

    Last-minute proposal from Obama administration addresses CRISPR and other cutting-edge technologies.”

    Legacy stroking. Clinton did the same thing: took a number of “progressive” actions saved for the very last minute, only to be reversed by the Republican who took over from him. It was dishonest then and it’s dishonest now.

    1. Praedor

      A gene edit intended to prevent cruel de-horning of dairy cattle gets the full restriction treatment but GMO food mustn’t be labeled. It must also be mostly unrestricted so Monsanto can just go nuts and spread their gene edited plants ask over bejeesus.

      I’m cool with the cow edit to stop a type of cruelty but a far better target would be be to make dairy cows that don’t have to be kept perpetually pregnant to produce milk. The calls are stripped from their mothers early, distressing both and many are destined to die too (especially males).

  38. Buttinsky

    Thanks for posting the link to “CORRUPTION IMPROVES REELECTION CHANCES / HOW MUCH CAN POLITICIANS STEAL BEFORE GETTING PUNISHED?” It’s nice to see that someone has gone to the trouble of writing a detailed paper on what would seem self-evident — crime pays. That’s why politicians and other criminals engage in it. And as usual, the longer/deeper one is in the game, the higher one’s chance of getting caught. Which can be a bummer. I especially like the understated way the author makes the point that furthering an electoral career is at odds with building a better society.

    “Political corruption can be the source of much economic inefficiency and is arguably one of the main problems constraining developing economies in their growth and prosperity. However can corruption be used to improve re-election chances of politicians in office? And what is the optimal level of corruption for doing so? This paper uses fraudulent public procurement in local government as a unique proxy for corruption and ties it to re-election probabilities of local government officials. It finds that due to a relationship between local quasi-entrepreneurs and political elites, local politicians can win elections without constraining their corrupt activities. The paper finds an optimal level of corruption for which politicians maximize their re-election chances.”

  39. ewmayer

    Ha, ha, the woman sitting at the table a few feet away at my local coffee joint is reading The Road To Character by David Brooks, which the Amazon blurb-o-matic describes in suitably hagiographical terms thusly:

    With the wisdom, humor, curiosity, and sharp insights that have brought millions of readers to his New York Times column and his previous bestsellers, David Brooks has consistently illuminated our daily lives in surprising and original ways. In The Social Animal, he explored the neuroscience of human connection and how we can flourish together. Now, in The Road to Character, he focuses on the deeper values that should inform our lives. Responding to what he calls the culture of the Big Me, which emphasizes external success, Brooks challenges us, and himself, to rebalance the scales between our “résumé virtues”—achieving wealth, fame, and status—and our “eulogy virtues,” those that exist at the core of our being: kindness, bravery, honesty, or faithfulness, focusing on what kind of relationships we have formed.

    Looking to some of the world’s greatest thinkers and inspiring leaders, Brooks explores how, through internal struggle and a sense of their own limitations, they have built a strong inner character. Labor activist Frances Perkins understood the need to suppress parts of herself so that she could be an instrument in a larger cause. Dwight Eisenhower organized his life not around impulsive self-expression but considered self-restraint. Dorothy Day, a devout Catholic convert and champion of the poor, learned as a young woman the vocabulary of simplicity and surrender. Civil rights pioneers A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin learned reticence and the logic of self-discipline, the need to distrust oneself even while waging a noble crusade.

    Blending psychology, politics, spirituality, and confessional, The Road to Character provides an opportunity for us to rethink our priorities, and strive to build rich inner lives marked by humility and moral depth.

    “Joy,” David Brooks writes, “is a byproduct experienced by people who are aiming for something else. But it comes.”

    (Snif) It’s just so inspiring! I shall have to dive in, just as soon as I finish Michael J. Gelb’s self-improvement classic How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day. Hey, if Leonardo could do it, yes we can!

    1. HotFlash

      Lessee — Frances Perkins, Dwight Eisenhower, Dorothy Day, A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin. All dead. Therefore cannot repudiate the eminent Mr. Brooks’ attributions. Well played, Dave!

    2. Eclair

      Dorothy Day, “devout Catholic convert.” Well, she was a ‘convert.’ But ‘devout’ in the groveling to power, David Brooks brand of devout? I don’t think so.

      Until her recent rehabilitation by Pope Francis, she was a Church outsider. Mostly because she actually believed in following the path of Jesus; be poor, live with the poor, ask why poverty still exists, be a gad-fly to the Establishment. No charity balls to raise money. No tax write-offs for donations.

  40. Oregoncharles

    “1. Donald Trump talks on the phone a lot. Fifty to 100 times a day.”

    Not worth mentioning. Any manager spends most of their time on the phone – so do organizers, that or email. I first noticed that because my father ran a small investment management company (private – nothing anyone would have heard of.) He had the first speakerphone I ever saw, back in the 60s, because otherwise his ear and arm hurt. And in college, about the same time, I roomed with a political organizer. He. too, spent endless hours on the phone (no email then) – funny spectacle, as he was usually in pajamas.

    Does Corey Robin really not know that?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Gifted with telepathy, perhaps, Corey doesn’t understand why people should be on the phone at all????

      1. Massinissa

        He thinks that the correct way to communicate to people is to write articles published by the MSM.

  41. Oregoncharles

    ” a large number of working-age people—mostly men—have dropped out of the labor force altogether;”

    I wondered what those people were actually doing; I think I just met one. He bought the large log in our back yard, will have it cut by a portable mill and sell the lumber to, say, farmers working on barns. I’ll keep his contact info. He appears to operate on an all-cash basis, which is fine with me, and no, I won’t ask him whether he files taxes.

    He’s probably doing better than many, since salvage logging is a significant business around here. Does anyone have numbers on the “dark” economy? I suspect it skyrocketed after 2008. I started my landscaping business on the “dark” side, until the contractors’ board noticed my classified ad.

  42. allan

    Last Principled Conservatives™ John McCain and Lindsey Graham fold like cheap suits [AP]

    Rex Tillerson, the former Exxon Mobil executive with close business ties to Russia, saw his prospects of becoming secretary of state brighten Sunday after gaining the support of two influential Republican senators who had wavered on the nomination.

    “Though we still have concerns about his past dealings with the Russian government and President Vladimir Putin, we believe that Mr. Tillerson can be an effective advocate for U.S. interests,” Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said in a statement. …

  43. craazyboy

    Fake NFL Football Game

    The Atlanta Falcons are playing with the Green Bay Packers.

    In brutally manly play, thrusting downfield again and again, the Falcons are dominating over the feisty defense of the Green Bay Packers. Resistance, seemingly paradoxically, yields deeper and deeper penetration with every thrust into Packer territory, inevitably climaxing with a score.

    Tirelessly, they switch positions and the Falcons do it again. It’s as though the Packers have no safe space at all.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The Falcons quarterback marches and marches.

      Green Bay quarterback marches and marches his men, as well, for nothing, so far.

  44. rd

    Re: Sean Spicer and a very, very long four years ahead

    It turns out that Sean Spicer was not lying, he was simply offering alternative facts per Kellyanne Conway:

    We can look forward to four years of Monty Python Norwegian Blue Parrot sketches ahead in the White House Press Room:

    We will be pining for the fjords by the end of 2017 I think. SNL writers will get laid off as the show will simply be able to use the White House press conference and Sunday news show transcripts verbatim.

    Sean Spicer would have been far better off just saying that you couldn’t do an accurate count because the white people attending the inauguration wouldn’t show up on the white lawn covering.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Trump’s forgotten Americans are invisible – that’s my other guess.

      “You want to go out with me this Saturday night? Who are you? Have we met?”

      Through repeated conditioning like this, our invisible suitor grew up rapidly during his high school years.

  45. JTMcPhee

    It can’t happen here!

    From 2012, an interesting report. A pilot of British extraction was flying an unpowered sailplane on a recreational flight in SCar. He ran short of thermal lift, which is how these planes gain altitude in flight. The whole plane weighs maybe 600 pounds with pilot aboard. It flies at a max of maybe 120 mph. But the exigencies of his day took him near a nuclear power plant, leading to his being ordered to land, arrested by a small army of 17 cop cars looking for action, some suggesting he should be shot down, held for over 24 hours, charged with”breach of peace,” a charge later dropped in exchange for his agreement not to sue the government.

    Note that FAA maps (“sectionals”) apparently do not show any “no fly zones,” though NOTAMs (notices to airmen) may have noted the plant site as to be avoided. I did not check.

    One thing to note, the guy was a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. Membership includes representation by lawyers in such contacts. Lots of fokkin politicians also belong. AOPA lobbies actively from DC hq. One model for “resistance–” — not sure what kind of association the residents of Ferguson, MO or Flint or Chicago might be able to join to get the same deal, for $99 a year…

    Again, this was 2012. I’m sure everything has since gotten better, so one can once again soar “O’er the Laaand of the Freeee, and the Home of the Braaaave…”

    1. RMO

      There were no NOTAMS restricting flight where he was nor were there any permanent restrictions. The police had no valid reason to demand any action of him or to arrest him. I’m a glider pilot myself (though I fly mostly here at home in Canada) so I’m quite familiar with this case. Even the relatively privileged of us (white, financially well off enough to afford to fly for fun and with the ability to secure a good legal defense) can get thrown in the hole for no damned good reason – it makes me realize just how terrifying an encounter with the police is if, for example, you were black or poor (or black AND poor).

      1. JTMcPhee

        “Might Makes Right.” “Without a remedy, there is no right.”

        At least some people have a tiny chink through which they can band together and fund a ‘defense fund’ and the lobbyists concentrating on this small part of “Our Democracy” to limit in tiny instances the horror and impact of the crushing paw of “the government.”

        Have the police forces in Canada been playing catch-up with the Security State that we Americans suffer from? I see Trudeau as predicted is “doing an Obama.” Too bad Rob Ford died so young — maybe he could have been the Canadian Trump…

        1. RMO

          “Have the police forces in Canada been playing catch-up with the Security State that we Americans suffer from?”

          To a certain extent yes but things aren’t as bad. Which, come to think of it applies to a lot of things you can compare and contrast between Canada and the U.S. :-)

          So far my only aviation related encounter with the RCMP involved the time I dropped off one of the gliding club’s gliders (in its road transport trailer) at our little grass airport after it had been to another airport for maintenance. As I was putting the trailer away a Citabria (a two seat light aeroplane) perform what looked like a “stop-and-go” landing. When I went to leave a police car puled up in front of me and the officer asked me what I was doing there and after telling him I was a member of the gliding club he demanded identification and proof of that. He took it to his car and got on the radio. About thirty minutes later he came out, gave me back my pilot’s license, driver’s license, club membership card and said I could go. When I asked him what this was all about he just turned away and left. Seemed a little rude. Later that week I found out that the Citabria had flown up from the U.S. and was suspected of being used for smuggling. Everywhere the plane went the police were waiting. Eventually the pilot set it down on a road when he was out of fuel, bent the wings and got arrested. Strangely enough the guy who bought the wreck and rebuilt it was someone I went to high school with and who was working as an apprentice aircraft mechanic at the shop I get my glider maintained at. Recently a newer club member who I gave flight instruction to bought the plane from him. It seems to want to stay near me or something.

  46. ekstase

    Re: “Without a path from protest to power, the Women’s March will end up like Occupy”

    Yes, re-shaping public perception of inequality. All these movements are successful in ways that can’t be measured. I feel compelled to quote something Madonna said yesterday:

  47. hunkerdown

    False claims: 7 out of Judith, “Reporting was contributed by Maggie Haberman*, Glenn Thrush*, Michael S. Schmidt and Eric Schmitt.” My asterisks mark DNC “presstitutes” from the lists released in 2016.

    On another note, the correspondence between the White House’s America First foreign policy position brief and John Robb’s synthetic model of the Trump Administration is striking.

  48. CDT

    Do NC commmenters support anything but nihilism? Yes, Obama was a huge disappointment, Hillary sucked, the DLC ruined the already lame Democratic Party, and the Democrats might be beyond redemption. On policy, Bernie is quite good, but apparently he must be cast aside as a sellout. What, pray tell, do you affirmatively support? I enjoy schadenfreude as much as the next person, but that’s not much of a path to power.

    1. Yves Smith

      Lambert and I repeatedly go after this line of attack on Sanders.

      The only way he could have run as a Democrat was to agree to endorse the winner. And if he had tried running outside the Dems, he would never have gotten past the 1% he started out at. He didn’t campaign for her much. He gave her obligatory support. He’s never been money or power motivated, so the “sellout” charge is ludicrous.

      In fact, the sort of behavior you observe is EXACTLY like what Richard Kline described in “Progressively Losing.” Progressives are interested in being morally correct and winning arguments, and not in exercising power.

      So you could argue that the sort of nihilism you observe is just like what the Dems do, virtue signaling.

    1. ewmayer

      A.k.a. “I’ve got nothing useful to say and, had I any semblance of a conscience, I would have removed myself from the public sphere long ago, but that not being the case, I’m gonna wrap myself in this here patented surefire IdPol banner and smear Trump as an antisemite. Because even though he has apparently absorbed his Jewish son-in-law’s pro-Zionist views, he himself is not a Jew, and he hasn’t bombed Iran yet, or something. And he hates womyn so much he talks about grabbing them by the, um, scruff. If he really respected womyn he would show some leadership and go out and bomb thousands of them, like Hillary did! [Former CIA tool and credentialed-elite singular-womyn Gloria Steinem approved this message.]”

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