Links 1/9/17

Very slow news day. The Golden Globes seem to have taken over the world! –lambert

Travelers react to smartphone wipes in Japanese bathroom stalls CNN

Hacked Sex Robots Will Reveal Their Client’s Freakiest Kinks Inverse (RH).

Top Economists Grapple With Public Disdain for Initiatives They Championed WSJ

Economic forecasts are hardwired to get things wrong Guardian

Fed official says strong jobs data rule out fiscal boost FT. Seems odd. Isn’t fiscal policy under the purview of elected officials?

Why Apple’s Critics Are Right This Time WSJ. We’ll look back at the elimination of the MagSafe connector as the inflection point where the rot really became visible.


Syrian government ready to negotiate on ‘everything’, Assad says Reuters

U.S. military aid is fueling big ambitions for Syria’s leftist Kurdish militia WaPo

Erdogan’s erratic tactics bring chaos in Turkey Unbalanced Evolution of Homo Sapiens

New U.S. Army Regulations Will Allow Turbans, Hijabs And Beards HuffPo

North Korea says can test-launch ICBM at any time, state media says Japan Times

Something fishy is going on with the corruption-related arrests in Malaysia Asian Correspondent


Johnson Meets Trump Advisers as U.K. Builds Post-Brexit Ties Bloomberg

Brexit as identity politics Stumbling and Mumbling

New Cold War

White House Red Scare MoDo, NYT

Divide Over Russia Deepens in Congress WSJ

Legal team for NC man guilty of hacking say CIA director left ‘door wide open’ McClatchy. Brennan used AOL. Wowsers.

Trump and the Intelligence Agencies: On the Slow Collapse of Imperial Republics Corey Robin

Russia’s RT: The Network Implicated in U.S. Election Meddling NYT. Check the circulation figures at the end. An elephant stamping and trumpeting at the sight of a mouse. Great powers, and confident elites, just don’t act this way.

Russia’s revolutionary centenary Lowy Institute

Our Famously Free Press

How the Times Failed You Current Affairs. Just as badly as you remember.

Moral panic over fake news hides the real enemy – the digital giants Evgeny Morozov, Guardian

John Dean: The gutless press is still giving Trump a free pass Newsweek

Story of Santa Claus with dying child can’t be verified Knoxville News-Sentinel

AIPAC Wins One— With The Help Of Most Democratic Freshmen Down with Tyranny

Israeli diplomat who plotted against MPs also set up political groups Guardian. Election meddling ZOMG!!!!!!!!

Trump Transition

Trump acknowledges Russia role in U.S. election hacking: aide Reuters. Rather, Priebus, speaking for Trump.

Priebus affirms: No meddling with entitlements under Trump Washington Examiner

US tax reform is vital but Donald Trump’s plan is flawed Larry Summers, FT. (Cf. Jared Bernstein and Martin Feldstein.)

Jeff Sessions should have been a tough sell in the Senate, but he’s too nice WaPo

Some Obamacare advice for Republicans: First do no harm LA Times

Who Will Donald Trump Turn Out To Be? Brad DeLong

2016 Post Mortem

Tanden: Clinton will never run for office again CNN

Not Acting Is a Decision: The Obama Legacy’s Empty Spaces William Rivers Pitt, Truthout. When you’ve lost William Rivers Pitt…. Cf. Stoller’s The Source of Barack Obama’s Power to Trick Us Comes from Our Willingness to Be Tricked.

What Time Is It? Here’s What the 2016 Election Tells Us About Obama, Trump, and What Comes Next The Nation

The Obama Speeches N+1

Trump election: US presidency is not a family business, says Obama BBC. Except for the Clintons, the Bushes, the Kennedys….

State Election Systems to Get More Federal Aid for Security ABC (GF). “Critical infrastructure.” Of course, with hand-marked paper ballots, hand-counted in public, we wouldn’t even have to worry about those devilish Russkis.

How White Liberals Used Civil Rights to Create More Prisons The Nation. Article more nuanced than the headline: “[T]he first modern anti-carry law was passed by California Governor Ronald Reagan in 1967. Nor would they want to mention that Reagan passed the law to disarm the twentieth century’s greatest gun-rights militia: the Black Panther Party.”

Class Warfare

Why Wages Have Lagged Behind the Global Jobs Recovery WSJ

Monopsony Takes Center Stage Marshall Steinbaum, Promarket

A Spike in Rates of Pregnancy-related Deaths in Texas Spurs Soul-searching Pro Publica

The impact of immigration on the French labor market: Why so different? Labour Economics (2014). Uses Borjas methodology.

Taking the long view The Economist

Data Could Be the Next Tech Hot Button for Regulators NYT

Policing the digital cartels FT

Ask HN: Bootstrapped US founders, who do you use for health insurance? Hacker News

Antidote du jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


      1. tongorad

        My favorite line from Ford:

        If the 1930s squatter shanty-towns called “Hoovervilles” were testaments to President Herbert Hoover’s economic policies, then the maddeningly precarious, no guaranteed hours, no benefits, zero job security, fraction of a shift, arbitrarily scheduled employment of today should be called ObamaJobs

    1. cocomaan

      The reign of Obama did not produce the nightmare of Donald Trump – but it did contribute to it.

      I gotta disagree with Cornell West on that one. Populist anger arose on both sides. The anti-establishment mood of Trumpers and Bernie brothers is precisely because Obama’s eight years were a lackluster response to several systemic crises, from Wall St. to higher&primary education to prisons and racial politics.

      1. Quentin

        The term Bernie brothers is meant to be insulting, derogatory, humiliating. You might prefer to avoid it in the future. Its origin lies in the dark corridors of Mrs. Clinton’s political empire.

        1. cocomaan

          No need to get upset. I know what Berniebros are. Mine was a play on Cornell West’s preferred term of endearment.

        2. hunkerdown

          It’s “bros” that’s intended to be humiliating and insulting. “Brothers” is “intended” to be an insult — I mean, how dare people have relationships not mediated and fungible according to market rules!

          If they’re too scoldy to consider themselves siblings, that’s their problem.

  1. jgordon

    Seeing how eager everyone is to take us to war with Russia in the links above… Well. Obama might not be able to take America to war with Russia before he ignominiously departs office, but I was just thinking that he could still leave his mark on history by giving America its first woman president.

    How? Easy! All Obama has to do is come out as a formerly closeted transgender and viola! Not only is (s)he America’s first black president, but also its first woman president. Talk about a legacy!

    OK that might sound absurd at first blush, but if you think about it this is just what’s needed to break that final glass ceiling and give hope to women everywhere. It’d be an inspiration for the left, and a good way to bring America together again. There’s no problem with this, right? Do it for America Barack!

        1. alex morfesis

          There is no mike/michelle controversy…some women hold water more than others…unless “mike” likes to walk around with a waterbottle tucked away every few weeks…

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That’s a good idea, similar to someone’s comment about changing from a male president to a female president medically a while back.

      Somehow related is the fictional story about a president resigning, to the surprise of many, at the last time and the vice president takes over.

      In that yet-to-discovered movie script, inspired by many instances of baseball players re-signing with their old teams to they can retire as members of their chosen teams (to fulfill their dreams), or playoffs bound teams playing players who never would have a chance to play at the big league level (again, to fulfill their dreams), the vice president becomes president for one day, a day prior to inauguration of the next elected president.

      The vice president turned president-for-one-day then pardons the guy who just has resigned as president, pre-emptively.

      Remember, this is just an undiscovered and unfinished script. So, we will see how the story writes itself (as many writers would tell you about stories writing themselves).

  2. PlutoniumKun


    Brexit as identity politics Stumbling and Mumbling


    Are we Remainers making a simple mistake about Brexit?

    What I mean is that we think of Brexit in consequentialist terms – its effects upon trade, productivity and growth. But many Brexiters instead regard Brexit as an intrinsic good, something desirable in itself in which consequences are of secondary importance.

    All this poses the question: what is the nature of this intrinsic good? I suspect it’s to do with self-image. Brexiters want to think of themselves as independent people free of the yoke of Brussels, an image that trumps technocratic consequentialist considerations – or at least is incommensurable with them. The fact that many cannot say what exactly they’ll be free to do after Brexit isn’t important: freedom can be desired for its own sake.

    In this sense, Brexit is another form of identity politics. Remainers who complain about its adverse effects might be making a point that satisfies themselves, but not one that has much influence upon many of their opponents. As with so much identity politics, we’re left with a rather futile dialogue of the deaf.

    I think this gets to the core of why Brexit is so popular and why its destined to be a disaster. For whatever reason Brexit, like climate change denial, has become a badge of membership for certain sectors of the political world. It is why, for example, the DUP in Northern Ireland supported Brexit despite it being so obviously a terrible idea for the NI economy, and that it could well precipitate that thing the DUP fears the most, a united Ireland. From the point of view of Unionists in Northern Ireland, there is not one single rational argument for Brexit. But they still voted for it.

    Its pretty clear that for many Brexiters in the Tory party, including quite possibly May herself, just to leave is enough. They don’t actually care about the consequences, its too important to them. And since they don’t care, they are refusing to face up to the hard work that would be required to stop it being a disaster. This is, I think, something that the more pragmatic and rational part of the right wing in the UK just don’t understand, leading to the calmness of the business and financial sectors. They think that the government is made up of rational people who will come to some sort of agreement in the end. They have no idea of the deluge that’s going to hit them.

      1. Waldenpond

        Some Brexiters are people that believe they can govern themselves and do not need yet another layer of oligarchs, plutocrats and technocrats immiserating them for their own good.

        I absolutely agree with you that the oligarchs (internal to enrich themselves by never letting a disaster go to waste and external gleeful to punish) are going to conspire to decimate the 90% through finance, trade, sanctions and jobs and then hand wave like it’s just a natural process (to disagreeing with their meritocratic superiors) and maybe Brexiters believe these people are nothing but vengeful sociopaths and are trying to get out from under now rather than later when it will be even more difficult to get out from under and the oligarchs will have even more power to destroy their lives.

    1. vidimi

      i think you’re right in your assessment but you missed the author’s hypocrisy. is brexit identity politics? perhaps, but capitalising the word ‘remainers’ implies that it is its own identity.

      economic consequences be damned, remainers form their views in opposition to the uncouth, provincial bumpkins they loathe as they like to self-identify with the cosmopolitan elite.

      who do trade treaties serve anyway? severing them wasn’t a bug of the brexit vote, but its principal feature.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        I’m not really sure that ‘remainers’ have an identity. They covered everyone from business and agriculture pragmatists, young people who loved the travel and work freedom in Europe, older people who dreamed of retiring to France or Spain, environmentalists and trade unionists who saw European legislation as better than anything they’d get from a domestic party, to a (very small) number of genuine pro-Europe ideologues. In total, they formed the establishment, which I suppose didn’t help.

        For me, the core of the problem is that for years both left and right decided that Europe was a convenient bugbear for anything they wanted to scapegoat, so it became a useful symbol when regular people wanted something to kick. When given the choice of voting for the UKIP for Parliament (i.e. real power), the majority had second thoughts and retreated back to Cameron. The Brexit vote gave people the chance to say ‘to hell with all of you’.

        1. JTMcPhee

          And if Britain “remained,” what eventually would be left of Britain, using the term to mean the ordinary people and their lives and livelihoods? Not that Torres and Faux Labor or any of the other parliamentary players have much to offer but self-interest for certain groups, the rest be damned… Is decimation and destruction by Elite rule inevitable, in our stars and in our genes and the long heritage of what is called “civilization”?

        2. vidimi

          indeed, but your view of brexiteers is still as reductionist as was my intentional description of bremainers. you have your constitutionalists, who would rather sacrifice economic groaf in exchange for not going down the rabbit hole of technocratic unaccountability; you have your struggling fishermen who fear that EU restrictions will put them out of their livelihood faster than dwindling north sea stocks will; you have your unemployed miners who see brexit as their last chance to undo the financialisation of the economy and bring some working class jobs back to the mainland…etc

          1. PlutoniumKun

            Not really. I could stand corrected on this, but I strongly suspect the overwhelming majority of Brexiteers didn’t not have pragmatic reasons for voting that way. It was either a gut level response to whatever it is they blame for the problems in their lives and their communities or a straightforward expression of national pride and ideological identity. There are individuals and groups with solid pragmatic reasons for supporting Brexit, but I’d suggest they are pretty much a rounding error in overall numbers.

            But if, for example, you followed John Harris’s excellent articles before the vote in the Guardian, in particular his interviews with English retirees in Spain, its clear that many had the reflective gut level objection to Europe of many Brexiteers, but faced with the problems Brexit would cause them, most chose to support Remain. The difference between them and their Daily Mail reading contemporaries in England is that they were faced more directly with the practical implications of a Brexit vote. I believe this is a key reason why younger people were far more likely to vote Remain – people with lives and unknown careers ahead of them were far more likely to appreciate the opportunities EU membership would potentially grant them.

    2. David

      I suspect it’s identity politics all the way down. Whatever one thinks of the underlying economic issues, it’s clear that the Remainers were not, by and large, making a rational case, but uttering hysterical threats of instant armageddon if the vote went the wrong way; In turn, I think that’s because they felt their identity itself was being put in question. In the UK (even if slightly less than in other European countries) there is a deracinated, internationalized, neoliberal international class, in finance, the media, politics etc. which is faintly embarrassed by being British (or English anyway) and lives in a bubble of European institutions and meetings, international restaurants and business)-class travel, allowing it to avoid interacting with ordinary people very much at all. If you talk to members of this class they are, in fact, quite proud of having overcome (as they see it) divisive cultural differences, being “citizens of Europe”, possibly even speaking a little of another European language. For such groups, Brexit, or even the possibility of it, is an existential cultural threat, irrespective of whether, as an economic option, it’s good, bad or indifferent.

    3. todde

      Young women who refuse to have sex with old wealthy men for money also suffer economic consequences.

        1. Anonymous2

          It seemed to me both sides of the Brexit debate largely failed to put forward rational arguments, but sought to use fear to influence voters : Fear of Change v Fear of Migrants.

          I switched off after a while as it was turning my stomach, so if it improved I apologise to those involved. But I have had a look subsequently at some speeches on Youtube which were presented to me as great contributions and found them pretty unimpressive, so will be surprised if I have cause to apologise.

          The debate I saw was a disgrace. It was no way to run a country.

          1. fosforos

            Yes, it was a disgrace. Especially Corbyn tailing the Blairite Remainers when common sense and rationality (not to mention radicalism) made it imperative to call for a boycott of the Tories’ pseudo-referendum.

    4. inhibi

      “I think this gets to the core of why Brexit is so popular and why its destined to be a disaster.”

      No. Just no. Stop pigeonholing an entire country’s majority into some narrowly-defined stereotype of seeking a certain type of political maneuvering, and open your eyes to the fact that you, like most, are out of touch with reality.

      The facts are simple: a huge portion of the country saw an ABRUPT (within the last decade) political, economic, and social change FOR THE WORSE in the UK, which they have been living and working in all their life. The EU referendum was the ONLY CHANCE of having their voice heard AND ACTED UPON. Thus, Brexit.

      What’s a disaster is the response from the opposition, the continual “we cant leave – it will be too much of a disaster”. Yes, it will be – for those working at the banks, financial institutions, and large conglomerates. For the left who is desperately trying to remain in power. Which is EXACTLY why it passed in the first place: people are sick and tired of the liberal infantilism that has pervaded the upper classes & universities, along the lines of “do what I say and not what I do”. What did the people get for it? Longer lines at the hospital, higher taxes, a foreigner as Mayor & vast portions of the country looking like Middle Eastern slums, thought-policing, arresting individuals for their views, however vile, on Twitter/FB, universities flooded with nonsense like safe-spaces, erasing works of literature to appease the students, etc etc.

      The EU is dissolving as we speak – yet Brexit is still seen as a potential disaster? Is everyone crazy these days? How can leaving a union be as catastrophic as war? As catastrophic as the ever tightening laws against free speech & individual liberty? As catastrophic as failing an entire generation of young adults, many of which have absolutely no skills and have no available jobs?

      Tell me, if Brexit is “destined” to be so much of a disaster, what exactly was the EU project, if not a consolidation of power by a select group of un-elected individuals to the woe of everyone else? Every vote against the EU is a vote in the right direction.

      1. makedoanmend

        “…it will be too much of a disaster…Yes…For the left who is desperately trying to remain in power. Which is EXACTLY why it passed in the first place: people are sick and tired of the liberal infantilism that has pervaded the upper classes & universities, along the lines of “do what I say and not what I do”. What did the people get for it? Longer lines at the hospital, higher taxes, a foreigner as Mayor & vast portions of the country looking like Middle Eastern slums…”

        Talk about circling the square…The Tories are now the Left desperating clinging to power for the last 7 years?…The Tories – the self described Conservative and Unionist party – are now liburals?…The Tories who brought us austerity and an underfunded NHS etc. are closet commies?

        Nice cultural signifier: “Middle Eastern slums” – would that be them dem non-christians furiner types that are bringing the British empire of the mind to it knees.

        Lordy knows the West and Western Europe never had no of these dirty slums before all them furiners infested our perfect paradises.

        Or maybe Boris and Natashia have already brought the brittania to this sorry state?

        Boris and Natashia: “We are everywhere, behind every mirror, and we never rest” (evil snigger, snigger, snigger…..)

    5. John k

      Cui bono?
      Benefits of globalism went mostly to London, which naturally voted overwhelmingly to remain. Who will bear most of the costs of Brexit? Most likely the globalists in London, though this might spread. Now imagine that Brexit clumsily goes forward, likely with trump maintaining trade with us… and ten years passes. Will the hinterlands look back and regret their vote? Will they regret if half of London banking moves to the continent? And what if the eu itself breaks up, not least because Germans refuse to fund their exports to the Latin quarter?
      IMO current eu policy is neither sustainable or changeable. If this is true it will not last, and it is likely that first leavers will pay the lowest price.

  3. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Not Acting Is a Decision: The Obama Legacy’s Empty Spaces William Rivers Pitt, Truthout.

    ……and all the while managed to run through the raindrops in DC without even the vaguest hint of scandal.

    Considering the litany of obama “accomplishments” cited–torturers are “patriots,” get out of jail free cards and government jobs for financial criminals, willingness to “negotiate” Social Security and Medicare, student loan explosion, embracing of austerity, TPP, “stomping” on whistleblowers, eight years of slaughter in the Middle East, massive foreign weapons sales increasing racial tension and insanely militarized police just to name a “few”–you’d have to have a pretty narrow definition of “scandal” to make that often repeated statement true.

    The guy was never accused of sexual assault. Not once. Raise the flag. Lucky us.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Surely that’s the point. Everything you’ve listed should be scandals, but thanks to the cravenness of the media and liberal establishment they are not so considered. The wiki definition of scandal is:

      A scandal can be broadly defined as an accusation or accusations that receive wide exposure. Generally there is a negative effect on the credibility of the person or organisation involved.

      No wide exposure. No negative effect on the credibility of Obama. He truly is made of Teflon.

    2. Jim Haygood

      Former Rep Ron Paul delivers a zinger to the departing 0bama:

      Barack Obama started with a Nobel Peace Prize and is ending his presidency with the Pentagon’s Distinguished Public Service Medal.

      Sounds about right for a president who bombed 7 nations and became the first in U.S. history to be at war every single day of his eight year administration.

      War is Peace, comrades.

      1. Pavel

        I didn’t watch the Golden Globes but I have seen the Twitterstorm erupting over La Streep’s comments. Trump is of course a bully and “deplorable” and rude — it seems the PEOTUS has the emotional IQ of a 13 y.o. boy — but the Dems should realise by now the flyover voters at best don’t give a sh!t what Streep says and at worst scorn her and the “Hollywood elite”.

        I do agree with those who note the hypocrisy of shaming Trump for mocking a disabled person (Bad!) while saying nothing during 8 years of bombing, droning, enabling genocide (Gaza, Yemen) and nation-destroying (Libya, Syria). And how about condoning torture?

        1. Arizona Slim

          IMHO, Streep said one thing that is worth repeating. And here it is:

          “An actor’s only job is to enter the lives of people who are different from us and let you feel what that feels like.”

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Definitely worth knowing.

            And we all can be better at empathy, as that also relates to cultivating our creativity, being great actors ourselves.

            “See what it’s like to be a Republican, and why it makes sense (to them) to believe as they do.”

            The Deplorables – people who are different from us in Hollywood.

          2. craazyboy

            In the interests of “Equal time”, I’d like to see her morph into her “The Devil Wears Prada” fashion moguless character and sneer at Hillary’s pantsuit.

          3. JamesG

            “An actor’s only job is to enter the lives of people who are different from us and let you feel what that feels like.”

            Someone should ask Madam Streep how she felt portraying Margaret Thatcher as a demented hallucinating hag.

          4. seltzer

            In other words, they are overpaid puppets. I am so looking forward to the next generation of computer graphics.

    3. Anne

      Yeah…which is why the non-stop tongue bath by the media for all-things-Obama is making me queasy and angry.

    4. perpetualWAR

      And why do people who talk about thr abysmal legacy of Obama forget:


    5. Waldenpond

      If a tree falls in the forest? Just because the public doesn’t hear it reported, does not mean it didn’t happen. Writers keep posting these screeds and whenever there is an opportunity to comment, Os extensive scandals are listed yet the writers keep ignoring them.

  4. Jim Haygood

    From the FT article linked above:

    Last week, Republican senator Rand Paul reintroduced legislation that would force the Fed’s monetary policy to be audited. Other Republican lawmakers are pushing legislation to make the central bank abide by strict policy rules.

    San Francisco Fed Gov John Williams said the Fed legislation would put political pressure on the central bank and interfere with its ability to freely set policy. Attempting to shoehorn the Federal Open Market Committee members under a single policy rule would run counter to the federated structure of the central bank, he said.

    John Williams is surely aware of how easy it would be to replace the FOMC with an algo. One such was developed by Stanford prof John Taylor. Plug in some macro data on inflation and economic output, and the Taylor rule spits out a policy rate. You don’t need no Eniac with glowing vacuum tubes; the Taylor rule can run on your phone.

    One wouldn’t be surprised if, on their way out the door, the FOMCers slip an Easter egg into their Taylor rule app. It will slash rates to zero if the FOMC is disbanded, helping PhD Eclowns with no manual skills to find jobs at the rapidly rising minimum wage. :-)

    1. djrichard

      Just above the lede, “Action on budget deficit would be more helpful, says San Francisco chief”. In other words, time for austerity. How do we vote these guys out again?

      Anyways, I see it all as a ploy to protect the corporations who have taken on huge amounts of debt and will need to roll that debt in perpetuity (until they can pay it off with more floats in stock or with actual cash flow).

      In any case, more from the article. “If you were to ask me three years ago, four years ago, when unemployment was still high and the economy was still digging out of a hole, I would have said, sure, fiscal policy would be great to help expedite getting back to full employment — short term fiscal stimulus”

      How about going back 8 years to 2008. I seem to remember a lot of calls for austerity at the beginning of Obama’s tenure. The Fed might have been on the opposite side of that call, but they weren’t using their bazooka voice that’s for sure. In fact, have they ever used their bazooka voice for fiscal spending?

      That said, Trump’s bazooka will be aimed right at the Fed Reserve with respect to this topic.

    2. craazyboy

      One Fed member, about 20 years ago, spilled the beans and admitted that’s how they do it. Back then, he said each member had a Taylor Rule spreadsheet on their personal laptop, and setting interest wasn’t rocket science. Maybe they moved it to the cloud with iPhone access nowadays?

      Unfortunately , if you used the Taylor Rule at home, you would have been outta da market in 2012. But that’s why we’re rocket scientists.

      I’m rather unsure how this whole “audit” or manage the Fed thing is supposed to go. Will they open up cloud Taylor Rule access to 500 congress peoples and they all fight over which direction to throw the interest rate switch? That isn’t gonna help. But something different needs to be done. Milton Friedman’s proposed Eniac computer that multiplies the money supply by 1.02 every year and sets interest rates constant at 2% is sounding rather attractive. That might be boring enough to even get Congress to lose interest in the magic of monetary policy.

  5. Bunk McNulty

    Skowronek: “He is already mixing up these new coalitions with a different ideological makeup than anything we have seen before.” Trump has an ideology? Wow. Can he even spell “ideology”? Obama’s “ ruthless pragmatism”? Help me.

  6. Jim Haygood

    From the Down with Tyranny link above:

    Rep Ed Royce (R-CA) offered a resolution Thursday objecting to the UN Security Council’s Resolution 2334, the one condemning Israeli expropriation of Palestinian land for settlements in the occupied territories. It has no force of law and is just an expression of wing nut ideology but it passed overwhelmingly, 342-80.

    There’s not much to learned from it, but it’s worth looking at how the freshmen voted (the Democratic freshmen, that is — obviously all the newly-elected Republicans are brain dead zombies incapable of voting against their rigid, turgid ideology). Every Republican freshman voted for the resolution.

    Oh my, oh my. Back in the days when the House was all lovey-dovey toward Israel (our greatest ally and best friend in the world), these resolutions would get whooped through on a 434-1 vote, with the curmudgeonly Ron Paul being the sole dissenter.

    Now eighty (80) representatives have gone rogue, refusing to sanction the expansion of Israel’s fifty-year colonial project of settling occupied territory? If this insubordination continues, there’s a real danger that peace could break out in the middle east. :-0

    1. fresno dan

      Jim Haygood
      January 9, 2017 at 8:37 am

      A crack in the dam? People may hate what Kerry said, but if your not gonna have a two state solution, the alternative is apartheid.

      So Jim, do you think Netanyahu will end up in the hoosgow?

  7. Marco

    It came up in comments yesterday regarding Obama vs Trump and their ability to handle criticism. The only criticism Obama has received is from Republican press and opponents. The fact that Trump was compelled to respond to the Reverand Holy Mother of Hollywood herself Meryl Streep and her criticism during the Golden Globe Awards is telling and I think reassuring. He cares what people say even if he will lie his pants off defending himself…in this case against the NYTimes reporter Kovalesk. The torrent of abuse from mainstream press and public figures is only going to get worse. The question remains will it have any affect on his behavior via policy decisions?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I think Sanders approach is the correct one. Trump can be pushed and attacked, but if you are attacking him because he’s not Jeb, Trump will throw a fit and possibly send an IRS audit team.

      The problem with the Streep criticism is its nothing new. Trump has had tantrums for over a year now. It doesn’t matter. “Hollywood liberals” aren’t that popular and often fail to attack on substance. Complaints from Hollywood didn’t lead to the end of the Shrub administration.

      1. alex morfesis

        Streep is not a hollywood liberal…she is an actress playing one on tv…she sued obama and the sec so she and her “foundation” can still have her money managed by the family office of her “in-laws”…the family of one certain former treasury secretary during watergate & LBO low equity pioneer, william simon…her brother married into the family and “magically” $he got casting couch calls…

        no connection between her connections and her career/$nrc

        She sued as a true one percenter to stretch the definition of “relatives” after her brothers divorce, to allow her to keep her money from having to be mingled with the deplorables meager funds…

        1. mad as hell.

          I too am tired of Streep’s path to sainthood. I watched her speech last night and thought don’t take the bait Donald, she is setting the hook for you. Bingo! This morning I read that Trump sent out a tweet stating that she is overrated, blah blah blah.

          Hollywood is going to be merciless in their Trump attacks. Which is fair game. Unfortunately Trump can not stand the ridicule and at some point in time he is gonna answer some insinuation with a tweet that is going to cause an outrage. It is not what I would call presidential character. Pass the popcorn especially while we deal with Hollywood.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Zaid Jilani of the Intercept noted Hollywood’s credibility problem set something from their collective silence during the Obama years.

          2. Annotherone

            I didn’t watch Golden Globes show last evening, but after reading here about the Streep/Trump thing I read a few Twitter entries on the topic. TSK!
            I’m actually feeling sympathy for Trump these days, even though I know it’s ridiculous to be doing so. I’m not a Streep fan btw – I too, as well as Himself the Prez-to-be, have always considered her to be a tad over-rated.

            Best tweet I saw, from one David Hilsenrath read:
            “I would think the proper etiquette for receiving a lifetime achievement award would be thank you then sitting the fuck down.”

          3. craazyboy

            I’m hoping Trump doesn’t have enough to do yet, and is just passing his time tweeting. Otherwise, we’ll have a 4 year long tweetstorm with Trump going one on one with every tweeter and tweetress in Hollywood and the press.

            But maybe this is the [cyber] gridlock some of us have been strategically hoping for as the best case outcome in our modern world?

            Caveat – will Congress tweet more too, or try and actually do something nasty and Pierce forges Trumps signature on the legislation? We must keep an eye out for risks to our long term strategy here.

          4. Aumua

            Unfortunately Trump can not stand the ridicule and at some point in time he is gonna answer some insinuation with a tweet that is going to cause an outrage.

            uh.. ya think? The question is, I guess: “so what?” Outrageous statements are what he does best. He feeds off outrage, isn’t that plain by now? Which is good, cause there’s going to be more than actors lining up to try and push Trump’s buttons.

            1. mad as hell.

              Of course he lives on outrage that is what got him elected.
              Well, I think he hasn’t stuck his foot as far down his throat as is possible and it’s coming. Someone who can fly off the handle as fast and frequently as Trump is eventually going to trip himself up, Big Time!

        2. Carolinian

          In other words she’s about as liberal as anyone else in Hollywood. Lectures from wealthy actors don’t impress. Athough I didn’t watch the show-have no idea what she said–Trump’s peevish response that she is overrated has more than a grain of truth.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      “Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence invites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose,” she [Streep] continued. “We need the principled press to hold power to account, to call them on the carpet for every outrage.”

      Yeah, well, that “disrespect” sword cuts both ways, tearfully over-dramatized delivery notwithstanding.

      As for the “principled press,” well……I don’t think that threat is going to get Trump quakin’ in his boots.

      By the way, Streep’s speech was made at the Golden Globes, which are awards presented by the foreign press. I wonder if RT votes.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Was she referring to disrespecting those…uh… Deplorables?

        And was she, being powerful herself, as shown by her being able to speak in front of millions, using her position of power (power comes in many forms) to bully others (“Report to the carpet!!!” – it maybe my outrage, but not yours…you, you Borscht lover you.)?

        1. polecat

          What about all the gliterati promising to emigrate to Kanuckland if Trump got the brass ring ..

          All I hear are crickets …….

          ‘FREE JASON BOURNE !!’

      2. Anne

        I didn’t see or hear the Streep speech, but I do see where people are falling all over themselves at what they are perceiving as some sort of deeply illuminating insight meant to call out Trump without actually using his name.

        I am astounded, once again, by the partisan blindness revealed by her comments.

        The “principled press” comment is cringe-worthy, if not laughable. Yes, we have a few voices trying to break through the wall, but for the most part, those voices are marginalized and ignored.

        No wonder people see “Hollywood” as being devoid of principle.

        1. Pat

          Her speech is going to be beloved in many places. The sad thing is that some of what she is saying I agree with, my problem with it was I knew it came from a place that failed to recognize that there was as much disrespect and bullying going on from Trump’s opponent. And while we agree that our Press needs to hold those in power up to the light and report on them clearly, she apparently missed where our main stream press were largely absent when it came to substance for the last sixteen years and not just covering one particular candidate.

          The speech was a mistake on many levels. An even bigger mistake was Trump’s reaction to it. But this is how it is going to go.

          1. Anne

            It isn’t just the “principled press” that needs to step up to the plate, and people like Streep were remarkably silent/absent when it came to holding Obama accountable for his actions and policies. Policies that were wrong under Bush were just as wrong when Obama took the baton, but suddenly, the loud voices who spoke out about Bush were tying themselves in knots making excuses and trying to find differences to justify why it was okay for Obama. I have no respect for that, none. Kind of like I have no respect for Republicans who would insist that the nominees of a Democratic president be properly vetted before hearings could be held, but when faced with Trump nominees with incomplete vetting and possibly serious conflicts, they just want to wave it all away as the trivial demands of sore-loser Dems.

            But Trump…ugh. Getting him to take the bait is like shooting fish in a barrel…and even if it was an undeniable fact that Clinton was champing at the bit to get something started with Russia, I truly never worried she’d get so enraged during a tweet-storm that she could end up launching missiles – but I do have some concerns about the decisions he will make in retaliation for some petty nonsense.

            I may have to go off the grid for the next four years – I truly do not think I will be able to stand what’s coming.

          2. Aumua

            Her speech is going to be beloved in many places. The sad thing is that some of what she is saying I agree with,

            It’s another case of something that I keep running into lately. Every position I would otherwise support and believe in is being co-opted and turned into something I don’t support at all. Like, you’re still saying the right things, but now for all the wrong reasons. The (democrat) left seems to have completely abandoned critical thinking.

        2. Brian

          If we continue to listen to actors as though they have something unique to say, we are going to be influenced by emotion alone. If they stick with the facts, then weigh the result with your own experience. After all, these nice folks are someone different every month. Or, as in Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’s, “Who am I this time?” Is it the actor talking or the person? Are they being paid to make the comment, or do they benefit from the status quo? We question our sources or we believe. You know what happens when you believe.

      3. fresno dan

        Katniss Everdeen
        January 9, 2017 at 9:29 am

        You know, once they taught mythology in the schools. I don’t know if they still do that.
        Antaeus would challenge all passers-by to wrestling matches and remained invincible as long as he remained in contact with his mother, the earth.[3] As Greek wrestling, like its modern equivalent, typically attempted to force opponents to the ground, he always won, killing his opponents.[3] He built a temple to his father using their skulls.[3] Antaeus fought Heracles as he was on his way to the Garden of Hesperides as his 11th Labor. Heracles realized that he could not beat Antaeus by throwing or pinning him. Instead, he held him aloft and then crushed him to death in a bear hug

        Maybe if some of these Hollywood stars were as smart as they fancy themselves, and had some introspection, they would realize they they’re own rather superficial communication has much in common with Trump’s tweeting and the best way to oppose Trump is to ignore him.

        But its not REALLY about Trump, is it?

    3. vidimi

      the whole thing reminds me of when keith olberman “eviscerated” donald trump on his show.

      i guess democrats can now chalk another tick in the ‘w’ column, right next to winning the popular vote. vacuous virtue signaling is so nauseating.

  8. John Wright

    I used google news to get around the WSJ paywall and read the “Top Economists Grapple With Public Disdain for Initiatives They Championed” WSJ article.

    It might be well summarized by the final paragraphs.

    “This year, academics are out in the cold. During the election The Wall Street Journal contacted every former member of the CEA, including those going back to President Richard Nixon. None had been
    tapped as an adviser to Mr. Trump’s campaign, nor did any publicly endorse him.”

    “The president-elect is “not particularly interested in hearing from the academic economist club,” Mr.
    Davis said.”

    “That could leave him missing needed advice. Still, the profession may have brought this on itself, said
    Joseph Stiglitz, a Columbia professor and Nobel winner. Anger among voters was to be expected,
    because globalization in particular was sold in part with broken promises.”

    ““The promise was that globalization, together with liberalization, lowering tax rates, and advances in
    technology, would make everyone better off,” said Mr. Stiglitz. It was economists, not the economics,
    that over-promised, he said.”

    ““In many ways, economic science was more honest,” he said, referring to the fact that some would win
    but others could lose from free trade. “It only said that under certain conditions winners could compensate losers, not that they would.””

    In my mind’s eye, I see three parallel economic conferences going on right now, one in India, one in China and another in Eastern Europe, each conference has many PhD educated young economists ready to move to the USA and ply their trade.

    Per the globalization pushed by USA economists, would not the overall USA and the world be better off with these newly imported foreign economists pursuing their self-interest?.

    I’m sure these overseas economists would be warmly welcomed to the USA job market by the job-seeking economists at the Chicago conference.

    1. fresno dan

      John Wright
      January 9, 2017 at 8:50 am

      Thank you very much for that synopsis. I’m sure you got the best parts so I am not going to waste my time reading the whole thing, but I love this:

      ““In many ways, economic science was more honest,” he said, referring to the fact that some would win
      but others could lose from free trade. “It only said that under CERTAIN conditions winners could compensate losers, not that they would.””

      YEAH, compensation when pigs fly. And economists STILL just don’t get it. It is not that there are winners and losers, its that ALL the winners are the very, very wealthy and the poorer you are, the more you lose. The idea that ONLY GDP can be discussed and that it is sacrilege to the economic religions to even discuss DISTRIBUTION just shows why Trump risks nothing by ignoring economists.

      1. ChrisPacific

        If you read the article (don’t bother) it’s clear they still don’t get it. They all seem to genuinely believe that they have been successful (pointing to GDP growth and reduction in unemployment) and can’t understand why people aren’t lining up to congratulate them. Stiglitz is one of the very few who is prepared to entertain the idea that the fault lies with economists. I expect he is regarded as a bit unsound by the rest of them.

  9. RenoDino

    I want what John Dean is smoking because it’s now probably legal in my state. The press gave Trump a pass? On the contrary, the press swung at him with all the traditional Hay Makers like sexual scandal, corruption, incompetence, being a Russian stooge, and mental instability and couldn’t put him away. They overestimated their influence and underestimated Trump’s appeal…by a lot. Now they are hysterical which is never a good look.

    1. Enquiring Mind

      John Dean, Ollie North and other discredited actors fall into my ‘change the channel, page down, skip’ category. There may be some type of redemption that is not manufactured or contrived, but I have a hard time believing anything they say.

      1. Arizona Slim

        John Dean’s book, Blind Ambition, struck the youthful me as a very self-serving tome. In my middle years, I heard that it had been ghostwritten.

  10. David Carl Grimes

    Sometimes, I wonder what would have happened if Bernie ran against Obama in 2012? Would he be President today? After all, it was a year after Occupy Wall Street and there was a lot of anger at the banker bailouts. If Bernie had campaigned against Obama then, it would have meant attacking Obama directly for his elitist policies and undoing the spell Obama had cast over liberals. In 2016, Bernie attacked Obama’s policies, but only indirectly, and never really linked Obama directly to the injustices that Bernie was fighting against. Maybe Obama was, or still is, too popular and it will take some time before the public realizes who he really is.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      It probably wouldn’t have gone over well. The hyperbole around Obama that people were willing participants was so bizarre that criticizing Obama is a reminder Obama is the guy who sought out Joe Lieberman as a mentor. “Smart, rational” people hate it when the warning signs about Obama are brought up because it’s a reminder they didn’t treat the primary process or their responsibility for Obama a seriously.

      I knew an Obama organizer who after call time during data entry when only weirdos are in campaign offices declared every Democrat who supported Lieberman over Lamont should be run out of the party when Obama wins the nomination. I said kicking her boss, Obama, out would be awkward. She twitched and went to a total non sequitur. She wasn’t a dummy or anything, but her stated values didn’t necessarily connect to Obama then. At least in her specific case, she has fairly unique tangential connections to Obama, but she made Obama reflect her values because of those tangential connections which mattered to her. She voted for Sanders despite being a Hillary target in many ways. Those connections are dumb. They aren’t reasons to vote for people for important jobs.

      I was still a yellow dog Dem at the time, and I always thought the Obama kids drank so much Kool aid a Hillary win would hurt the Obama kids connection to the Democratic Party whereas the Hillary staffers didn’t care.

      1. Arizona Slim

        In March 2016, I attended a Bernie Sanders rally in Tucson.

        For several months, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was off about his campaign. But I just couldn’t explain why I felt that way.

        During his speech, he offered praise to Obama, specifically, for how much better the economy was doing since, oh, Bush’s administration. The crowd went wild. Cheering. Hollering. Thunderous applause.

        Me? I was shocked.

        I mean, come on. Why was Sanders drawing such YUGE crowds? People weren’t flocking to his events because their lives were going well.

        I responded to Sanders’ Obama praise with a slow clap. And I left his rally before it ended.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          About the only profound point Obama has made is this: “I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.” -“The Audacity of Hope”

          Since the fraud was self inflicted, it means recognizing we are flawed creatures who can be swindled. Yep, I borrowed and read Obama’s books and still feel like he stole money from me.

          Cheering begets cheering too.

          1. Jim Haygood

            As Barry told his folks back in his Choom Gang days …

            Sorry, Mom and Dad – this might come as a shock
            (Standing at the door – gonna knock knock knock)
            I just want to be the First Lady of Rock

            –Stone Coyotes

  11. fresno dan

    Trump and the Intelligence Agencies: On the Slow Collapse of Imperial Republics Corey Robin

    Regardless of the truth value of the report, the nation’s intelligence agencies (the report is based on assessments by the NSA, the CIA, and the FBI) are strongly suggesting that the person who is about to walk into the White House got there with the help of a foreign power. The significance of this move by the nation’s security establishment against an incoming president, as I’ve been suggesting for some time, has not been quite appreciated. That the nation’s security agencies could go public with this kind of accusation, or allow their accusation to go public, is unprecedented. The United States used to do this kind of thing, covertly, to other countries: that is the prerogative of an imperial power. Now it claims, overtly, that this kind of thing was done to it. It’s extraordinary, when you think about it: not simply that it happened (if it did) but that an imperial power would admit that it happened.
    If people could step outside their partisan selves for one minute, I’d ask you to consider the following fact as yet another sign of late imperial disjunction: For the last eight years, we’ve had a president who half the country thinks is Muslim, Kenyan-born. For the next four, maybe eight, years, we will have a president who half the country thinks is the Manchurian Candidate, Russian-born.
    The idea that congressional leaders would respond to the question of whether Obama, POTUS, was born in the US (or a Christian) by saying, “I don’t know” is kind of the end of of it. Saying that meant that the entire US citizenship mechanism is carelessly and incompetently run and administered. The irony of this espoused by those who ARE running the government never ceases to amaze me….

    A. Lincoln:
    “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

    I have a tendency to think that everything is hyped for rating (CNN: Historic moment!!!) but I am coming to believe that this is an irreversible slide.
    I read an article about a guy who did marriage research who could predict with over 90% accuracy if a couple would be together in 5 years. He looked for contempt in their interactions – only contempt was irreversible and insoluble.
    If there was succession today, who would fight to rejoin the country???

    1. polecat

      “who would fight to rejoin the country ???”

      Ok, I’ll take a stab (with my pike) at that question …

      1/4 – new age Hessians = Blackwater, Xie …or whatever they call themselves now
      1/4 – new age christian solders = those enlisted who lean evangelical
      1/32 – clueless ideologically impaired citizens (on both sides of the legacy party ailes)
      -0 – Congress folk
      0 – political pundants (Tom Friedman et. al.)
      0 – economists (Paul krugman …. and he cat)
      0 – the Gliterati (mr. bourne … what say you ??)
      an indeterminate no. of snowflakes …ei .. ‘Cannonfodder’ … see 1/32 above
      the rest – confederates, compatriots, & competitors … in various combinations

      I’m sure i missed a few ….

    2. Ignacio

      Yep. Your observations and those of the author you quote are quite clever. Contempt, guilt, hate and fear are among our most frequent advisors lately and that’s not good. Not for the Imperial Republic, neither for the tiniest piece of land labelled as a country.

  12. fresno dan

    How the Times Failed You Current Affairs. Just as badly as you remember.

    “An incident revealing of the papers’ attitudes occurred in March, when the paper ran a news analysis piece titled “Bernie Sanders Scored Victories for Years via Legislative Side Doors.” The piece went through Sanders’ record in the Senate, showing him to be a pragmatic legislator, who, contrary to conventional wisdom, was actually very good at achieving specific policy objectives.

    The article was surprising, in that it was both in the New York Times and didn’t trash Bernie Sanders. Sure enough, later in the day the article was updated with a series of editorial changes, making it clear that while Bernie Sanders might have a decent record of senatorial accomplishments, he was still a pie-in-the-sky dreamer with no ability to achieve the meaningful changes he promised. The Times assured its readers that “there is little to draw from his small-ball legislative approach to suggest that he could succeed [as president]… Mr. Sanders is suddenly promising not just a few stars here and there, but the moon and a good part of the sun.”
    Great, great summation. I didn’t read every word out of the NYT about the political campaign of 2016, but this provides great detail about the viewpoint that cannot admit of any failings….

    Also, the above snippet I cut and pasted certainly gives the lie to “there is an iron wall between content and opinion” – actually, not even rising to published opinion, just who the NYT management thinks should be president.

    1. Carl

      I remember that article vividly…the NYT’s credibility took a gigantic hit with that one, in a year where credibility in the MSM did a header off a cliff. I’ll never look at those news outlets the same way again. BTW, the first piece in the Current Affairs series on Nate Silver is also well worth your time.

  13. ScottW

    Has anyone heard Clinton supporters’ reactions to Bill & Hillary attending Trump’s inauguration? I threw the question out to the Times’ commentariat on a Blow column today and got not bites. They go full out “Trump is not a legitimate President,” but seem unbothered by B & H legitimizing his Presidency by attending the inaugural.

    What am I missing?

      1. Dave

        Points at TV,
        “Oh look kids! There’s BARNEY!
        See that person in the purple dress?”

        “When I was little, Barney was our favorite dinosaur.
        Now Barney is what we call a DINOsore loser.”

        1. Enquiring Mind

          We took the kids to a park to play and some guy in a Barney suit showed up down the block. The kids at the other end of the park chased after him, causing him to flee for the relative safety of his car. Turns out he had the wrong park. Hillary could have similar ‘kids’ chasing after her, triggered by all that purple.

    1. Elizabeth Burton

      I was informed it was perfectly acceptable because the Clintons are a former president and First Lady. Therefore, their presence is meaningless other than as ceremonial.

      I now have a terrific bridge going to Brooklyn I’m thinking of offering the Clinton cultists at an excellent price.

  14. Jim Haygood

    Tanden: Clinton will never run for office again

    Eh, I dunno.

    Just as it’s hard for the D party to give up their reflexive Russia bashing which we all learnt in grade school, it’s tough to stop feeling threatened by Tanden’s promises that “she’s going to figure out ways to help kids and families.”

    Aiieeeee … “We’re from the Clinton Foundation, and we’re here to help.” Ask the Haitians how that worked out. And lock up your daughters, if “Bill” is in the contingent.

    1. Arizona Slim

      I read that story in this morning’s dead tree media. My reaction, which stunned my 91-year-old mother, was:

      “There is a God!”

      And then I kissed the newspaper.

      1. Pat

        I read the headline here, and all I could think of was Clinton herself saying she wasn’t thinking about running for President during the 2000 senatorial campaign.

        If there is some reason to run that will further enrich the Clinton coffers (legally and illegally and ways that should be illegal), Clinton will run. Especially if it fuels some of her need for power.

        I wish I felt that this might end short of her death or her being felled by a stroke, but I don’t. The Clinton zombie can and probably will rise again.

          1. Katharine

            And speaking of Clinton, I’m sure some of you can get good mileage out of this headline (article not significant):

            Hillary Clinton gets three standing ovations at ‘The Color Purple’

            1. Jim Haygood

              Just as Dick Nixon once got an impromptu standing ovation when leaving a restaurant in northern NJ, where he spent his later years.

              But that was 20 years after his resignation, when passions had cooled. The Clintons have no such sense of appropriateness or timing.

              They’ll hustle to the bitter end. Then Marc and Chelsea will sell $10,000 tickets to the VIP seats at the funeral. And there’ll be a merch table (books, souvenir T-shirts) as you exit the church.

        1. Carl

          More vampire than zombie…you really have to drive a stake through the heart. Wasn’t her corpse-like appearance during the campaign enough? Just. Go. Away.

    2. carycat

      Running is for the little people. Another coronation, the best that money and influence can buy, is not out of the question. Her handlers just need time to figure out the next con and wait for the marks to become less skittish.

  15. LT

    Obama: The Presidency is not a family business…BBC

    Indeed, Clintons (foiled), Bushes, Rockefellers, Roosevelts, Kennedys.

    No, actual Rockefeller was President. But the country has had Standard Oil Presidencies

      1. Vatch

        Only one of the Ohio Taft family members became President, but they still had a political dynasty. Outside of the Presidency, the Lee family of Virginia, the Long family of Louisiana, and the Daley family of Chicago were quite prominent. Oops, I almost forgot the Cuomo family of New York.

      1. Bugs Bunny

        Nelson Rockefeller was Ford’s VP. Not selected to run with him in 76 though. That was a certain Bob Dole.

    1. fosforos

      Kennedys??? One deposition after 2+years, two physical assassinations, one virtual assassination. And just last year, when a Kennedy (Robert Jr.) was (with one potential, much older, equivalent) by far the best potential president, you saw how much “radical press” coverage he received, even for his environmentalist civil disobedience!

  16. dcblogger

    Bernie’s rallies to save health care

    On Sunday, January 15, Democratic members of Congress, trade unions, senior groups, health care activists and all those who believe in economic and social justice are organizing a day of action to tell Republicans loudly and clearly: You are not going to get away with it.

  17. human

    Ah, yes. Our (unelected) 38th president, Leslie Lynch King, Jr (aka Gerald Ford) and his unelected vice president, Nelson. I just love the smell of fascism in the morning /$arc.

  18. Anonymous2

    From what I recall of the Brexit debate, it was hard to find anyone making a rational case on either side. As far as I could see it was an appeal to fear on both sides – Fear of Change v. Fear of Strangers. I switched off after a while as it was making my stomach turn, so perhaps I missed someone using good rational arguments. I am not confident that was the case as I have since listened to some of the speeches made on Youtube and found them very unimpressive.

    The Brexit debate IMO was an insult to the intelligence and a disgrace to the British political class on both sides of the argument.

    It is no way to run a country.

    1. John k

      Leavers were voting for change, remains were voting for status quo. Simple as that.
      And many voting for trump, or refusing to vote, were voting for the hope and change promised in 2008.

  19. Dave

    The Obama hagiographies are getting extremely intellectualized and vaporous.
    It’s like they are splitting hairs six ways.
    In other words, they are making stuff up out of thin air to resurrect the warm and fuzzy feeling about a “a beautiful black man in the white house”, a nauseating term that an otherwise educated and reputable gushing woman we know uses whenever any criticism of foreign or economic policy is mentioned.

    1. optimader

      the warm and fuzzy feeling about a “a beautiful black man in the white house”,

      Yes, well a light skinned half -black man , not a dark skinned half-white man..
      Beautiful? eeee , I’m sure his mother thought so?

  20. pictboy3

    For the paper studying economic effects of immigration in France vs. the US, I wonder if there are differences in welfare available to new arrivals in each country that would account for the different outcomes? If new immigrants to France get more benefits than those that come to the US, it could act as a form of stimulus in places where they tend to settle, which would account for wage increases in areas where they’re more concentrated. I still have to wonder what the effects are on particular industries though.

  21. optimader

    Travelers react to smartphone wipes in Japanese bathroom stalls CNN

    Having been a weary REM deprived traveler layovered a few times at the Narita Airport bar back in the day, waiting for the beater 747 to Beijing before direct flights were available, I wonder how many people will mistakenly throw their cellphone in the toilet with the used wipe?

  22. Oregoncharles

    Link for “Hacked Sex Robots Will Reveal Their Client’s Freakiest Kinks Inverse” doesn’t work.

    OK, maybe I shouldn’t admit I wanted to read that one, but hey, you posted it.

  23. Oregoncharles

    From “Economic forecasts are hardwired to get things wrong “: ” The consensus is that in the long term there will be a sizable and permanent hit to the economy from Brexit, caused by a loss of trade and inward investment. ” Look at the last two words: aren’t they forgetting something? There will also be a “loss” of OUTWARD investment – that is, more British money will stay home. Granted, Britain is smaller than the EU, but it’s also a money center.

    Furthermore, I think there’s a strong case that local investment is far more effective and less disruptive than “inward” investment. Years ago, it was big news here that Oregon PERS had lost a lot of money in a real estate investment – in, ironically, London. My thought: “why the f are they investing in London real estate?” In the first place, they know nothing. Real estate is above all local, so they’re begging to be taken – as indeed they were
    But there’s another issue: wouldn’t it do a lot more good to invest in Oregon? There’s a double gain. First, they would actually know what’s going on, so the odds would be better. But more important, they’d be stimulating the same economy the money comes out of, and benefiting the taxpayers and employes they’re supposed to be working for. N. Dakota actually does this, with excellent results.

    End of digression, back to Britain: There’s every reason to think keeping British investment money home would outweigh the loss of destabilizing foreign investments; but there’s also every reason for economists to ignore that point, because it violates their dogma. Yet more evidence that they’re priests, not scientists.

    Which I assume was the point.

  24. Oregoncharles

    “Seems odd. Isn’t fiscal policy under the purview of elected officials?”
    Not so odd; it’s called “jawboning,” the same thing Trump is doing to offshoring companies.

  25. HotFlash

    The term Bernie brothers is meant to be insulting, derogatory, humiliating. You might prefer to avoid it in the future. Its origin lies in the dark corridors of Mrs. Clinton’s political empire.

    That is why I self-identify as a Bernie Bro, to turn their words to a mere funny noise. That they mean it to be “to be insulting, derogatory, humiliating” is their problem, and, actually, makes it more amusing. In future, perhaps you might prefer to avoid telling people what to avoid saying, esp if based only on “their” intentions?

  26. Jim A.

    Of COURSE Clinton won’t run for office again. I mean “Lost to Trump,” looks worse on your political resume than many felony convictions would.

    1. craazyboy

      no,no,no. you announce you are running against Trump in 2020 while Trump has control of the FBI, State Dept., Justice Dept., and IRS.

  27. Oregoncharles

    ” Check the circulation figures at the end. An elephant stamping and trumpeting at the sight of a mouse. ”
    Should have a sarc tag. The Internet is not a mouse. The newspapers are dying of it.

    Like WaPo’s ProPornOt attack on NC, among others, this is an attack on a rival that is eating away at their business model, even though each particular example is small.

    Which raises a bigger problem: where is investigative journalism going to come from? And even if it gets done, like certain original pieces on NC, how is the general public going to see it? Apparently NC has real influence with a relatively specialized audience, so that’s one model; but it’s hard to see how that stretches to replacing the big daily papers. It’s a fundamental challenge of the Internet age, and one NC could productively address – you are one model.

  28. robnume

    Re: NYT and Paul Krugman: Krugman may be an economist – so’s my cat, Chester, according to Chester – but Krugman has apparently forgot that: “Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels.”

  29. John Morrison

    > Ask HN: Bootstrapped US founders, who do you use for health insurance?

    I’m wondering how appropriate what we find at the link is: “No such item.”

  30. Brad

    Brad De Long:

    I think the odds are that we will look back on the Trump presidency five years from now as four years that were essentially wasted, as far as dealing with the problems of America’s economy and society are concerned.

    And Obama on “the problems of America’s economy and society”, 8 years on?

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