2:00PM Water Cooler 5/10/2017

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

This is another travel day for me, so I need to put something together in advance. I’ve been wanting to consolidate my thoughts on the Ossoff race in GA-06 for some time, so herewith. Let me caveat that I’m not in the District or the state of Georgia, and I welcome comments from readers who are! Tomorrow I will return to your regularly scheduled programming. –lambert

* * *

When a creature has developed into one thing, he will choose death rather than change into his opposite. –Frank Herbert, Dune

You know the Democrats regard the Ossoff race in Georgia’s Sixth District — freed up by Tom Price’s nomination to Secretary of Health and Human Services — as existential because that’s where they’re putting their money: $8.3 million as of April, 95% of it from out-of-state, and the most expensive House race ever. (Meanwhile, the Sanders-supporting Thompson campaign in Kansas couldn’t shake loose $20K from the Democrats for a mailer, despite ultimately improving Democrat share by 24%.)

Note that Jon Ossoff couldn’t make 50% of the vote in round one of the special election. Not having won outright, Democrat Ossoff faces — Google actually has a dropdown for the search “who is ossoff running against” — Republican Karen Handel, “a former Fulton County commission chair, she has run four statewide campaigns and has long been a fixture in 6th District politics,” who didn’t have a spend a dime on TV and radio advertising with a month to go, because of name recognition. Currently, the race is a toss-up:

This is a very close race. Both public and private polling suggests that it is, as of today, a true tossup. Which means that moving a point or two either way could make a huge difference. The prospect of being the deciding voice in a race with this much national import attracts all sorts of outside spending on both sides of the aisle.

Here are the salient points as I see them.

(1) GA-06 is a wealthy Republican suburban district. NBC:

The district is one of the nation’s most educated and affluent. It went for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in the GOP primary and Trump eked out a narrow 1.5 percent win over Hillary Clinton — a far cry from Mitt Romney’s 24 percent romp over Barack Obama in 2012.

(2) Ossoff is running as a moderate Republican. NBC:

Ossoff launched his campaign with an invitation for donors to “make Trump furious,” but now goes out of his way to avoid discussing the president or the fact that he is a Democrat.

Instead, he’s casting himself as a bipartisan pragmatist whose real foils are gridlock and political corruption.

In an interview with NBC News, Ossoff said it’s about “staying focused on executing locally.”

Here is Ossoff’s script for his volunteers from the New Yorker:

Small groups gathered around Ossoff’s thirty-year-old campaign manager, Keenan Pontoni, and I heard someone whisper, “He reminds me of David Axelrod!” Pontoni went over door-knocking protocol: “Things to know about Jon that I hope you can bring up at the doors, and are mentioned on the script: First, that he was a national-security expert and aide with top-secret clearance, fighting to stop corruption and cut waste. He did that several times as a congressional aide. Second, that he’s a business owner, who’s had to balance budgets and make payroll. Third, and probably most importantly, he has, throughout the world, exposed corruption and saved lives against isis; he has exposed sex trafficking; he has done amazing things through his investigative career. Right now, more than ever, we need somebody who knows how to fight corruption in Washington.”

(We’ve already pointed out that Ossoff is opposed to #MedicareForAll; that’s one of the policies that “fiscally conservative” is code for.)

A local voter comments in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

“It’s appealing. I live in Johns Creek and I know that fiscally conservative message will help him reach out across party lines,” said Jason Ingraham, an attorney who volunteers for Ossoff. “I’m surprised by how many Ossoff signs are in the neighborhood, but you’ve got to appeal to Republicans to win this district.”

(3) A key Ossoff constituency is up-scale women. The New York Times:

On the ground, though, the people powering the campaign were locals, many of them previously apolitical suburban women shocked into action by the presidential election.

In November’s aftermath, Amy Nosek, a 42-year-old stay-at-home mother of two living in an affluent Atlanta suburb, sank into depression, though she’d never been depressed before. “I didn’t even want to go pick up my kids from the school bus because I didn’t want to talk to the other parents, or see anybody,” she told me.

As an antidote, she and a friend founded a local chapter of Indivisible, the network of anti-Trump groups that sprang up after the election. Soon, they were consumed by political organizing. “We’re working all the time,” Ms. Nosek said. “Sometimes, I fall asleep on the couch at 9 or 10 p.m., and then I wake up at 2 and I’m working until 4.”Sign Up for the Opinion Today Newsletter

Like her, most of the activists I met were new to electoral politics. Some had not even known what district they lived in or who their local representatives were.

In general, I think it’s better than people be involved in politics than not. However, when the people involved — and they candidates they support — are opposed to universal direct material benefits like #MedicareForAll, I have to oppose them, even if welcoming their involvement. I’d also note that previously apolitical or even pre-political people will have virtually no immune system against whatever bullshit the Democrat Establishment is peddling, starting with who’s responsible for Clinton’s loss in 2016 (Clinton).

* * *

So, look at those salient points:

1) Appeal to suburban Republicans

2) With Republican-friendly policies

3) Especially upscale suburban women

Does that sound like the 2016 Clinton campaign all over again? Clinton’s pivot toward the burbs after the convention? It should, because that’s what it is. Democrat leader Chuck Schumer summarized the Democrat establishment strategy very nicely, and it applies to Ossoff in 2017 as much as it applied to election 2016:

For every blue-collar Democrat we lose in western Pennsylvania [or Kansas or Montana], we will pick up two moderate Republicans in the suburbs in Philadelphia, and you can repeat that in Ohio and Illinois and Wisconsin.

In short, the Democrat Establishment’s belief that they did nothing wrong in 2016 is bone deep. So they’re going to double down, and run the same plays from the same playbook in 2017. And part of my reason for writing this post is to inoculate you against the outpouring of Democrat triumphalism — and kicking the left — that will materialize should Ossoff win. It will be intense.[1]

The election is June 20. I guess we’ll see!


[1] I’d speculate that it will be along the lines of “Ossoff’s blueprint for victory,” as if a wealthy Republican suburb were somehow representative of America as a whole. And to the Democrat Establishment, it is!

* * *

And, of course, talk amongst yourselves. Summer travel? Summer projects? Snow all gone?

* * *

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

And here’s today’s plant (Rainbow Girl):

Rainbow Girl writes: “Thrushing brook with mossy rocks (a frog?) and vibrant skunk cabbage.”

* * *

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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. Stephen Tynan

    I’d be more interested in DNC’s about face in Montana.
    Pence to the rescue.

    1. diptherio

      Maybe they’re throwing Bernie supporters a bone in a race they figure doesn’t really matter anyway….or maybe they had a successful chat with Quist and decided that they would be able to work with him. [speaking as a Montanan, btw]

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        If they lose Georgia after spending millions and lose Montana by a bit and spend nothing, this will raise questions about Perez.

        After the election, one of the usual suspects had an article which featured an anonymous donor lamenting dropping millions on the Democrats when the same money could have done good if she had given it to the Boy and Girls Club.

        The Democrats just blew a billion dollars on the Clinton campaign and gained nothing. Most candidates need money not to “win votes” but to raise awareness of an election even happening and to create name recognition. Hillary Clinton would have still been a featured gig on SNL if she spent the whole cycle in her Manhattan apartment. She still could have appeared on Ellen whenever she wanted.

        Not all donors are simply crummy people. Like most voters they don’t pay as much attention as they should, focusing on their immediate needs.

        Georgia is a tough race for a variety of reasons, and I don’t oppose the money going to Osseff or even Osseff’s campaign because I think running everywhere is important. If Montana is a repeat of Kansas where the Dem candidate makes it close with no money or name recognition, donors might start to notice that the problem with Democratic fortunes isn’t GOP chicanery but the Democrats themselves.

        After Nov. 2014, Pelosi worked overtime to assure voters Hillary would set everything right and their donations were investments for building for a new order and all that garbage. Well…Pelosi produced nothing. Its time to blame Russia!

        1. kimsarah

          Are there any financial disclosures the DNC must file that would show where the money was spent?

  2. dcblogger

    Ossoff’s opponent, Kate Handel, is an anti-abortion nut. So I really hope that Ossoff wins. It make sense to appeal to suburban Republicans in a district that is suburban and predominately Republican.

    1. John k

      Mixed view.
      Good to reduce rep majority, but ossoff winning says dems can continue kicking progressives and dismiss any and all progressive policies.
      Why would you ever want MFA? Everybody except deplorables and takers have coverage. Besides, after that they’d want a bigger min wage.
      We gave them an inch…

    2. hunkerdown

      The Democrat Party sells out abortion with depressing regularity when it’s convenient to their paymasters (see also the ACA). One, how is that preferable, and two, why does this bit of virtue signalling even matter? People who support abortion are learning to do their own and acquiring the (hitherto less-than-readily-available) toold.

      1. Carla

        The Democrat Party will sell out anything and anybody, which they do with depressing regularity when it’s convenient to their paymasters.

        There, fixed it for ya.

        What concerns me even more is that Democrat and Independent voters either forgive or forget — or both — with depressing regularity… this turns a corrupt political party into a terminal disease.

        1. Procopius

          You know the Democrats regard the Ossoff race in Georgia’s Sixth District — freed up by Tom Price’s nomination to Secretary of Health and Human Services — as existential because that’s where they’re putting their money:

          I scanned the article pretty quickly, so maybe I missed it, but I thought the DNC did not send Ossof any money. Be a little surprising if they didn’t because he’s exactly the kind of candidate they love (Republican Lite), but it didn’t say how much they sent him, so I kind of assume they did not (gotta keep their powder dry for races they can win).

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      Given that the Democrats have lost all three branches of government, as well as most state legislatures and governorships, they can’t be said to be very effective at defending abortion rights, no?

    4. Yves Smith

      The Democrats are complete hypocrites on this topic. Abortions are functionally not available in most flyover states due to restrictions on funding for them plus scarcity of clinics where the procedure is done. If you can’t afford to get an abortion, pray tell how meaningful is that right?

      It has hit the point where med schools are no longer training students on how to perform abortions.

    1. JohnnyGL

      Wow, she sounds awesome. Dems will hate her and defend Manchin to the death.

      She’ll need to be ready for smear after smear.

      Being so anti-coal may scare people in W. Va. Very curious how this plays out.

      1. Fred1

        She won’t beat Manchin, but if she is able to effectively articulate genuine social safety net policies, which are important to many West Virginians, she will do well. The main consequence of her run, if she gets traction, will be a validation of the Bernie v. Hillary proof of concept, in the sense that she will mortally wound Manchin for the general election.

  3. nowhere

    I lived in Alpharetta for about 5 years, so I know the area pretty well. There is just a smidge above a 0% chance that anyone supporting Medicare for all will be coming out of this district. This is a very strong Republican stronghold, and the only chance for a D to win would be to get a R-light candidate.

    So then the question is: why waste so many resources in this race? To that, I guess the national Ds want to stick it the Rs and prove that they can go into the heartland of the Southern Strategy and pry away a nominal win. Idk…

    1. Martin Finnucane

      The Democratic Party exists primarily to neuter and corral the left. As such, the Party is happy to throw money at this nonsense race because this race effectively drags the Overton window far to the right. “We devoted enormous resources to winning this race, and ran a center-right ‘fiscal conservative,’ and we still barely won.” Or lost. Either way, the race serves its purpose of lowering expectations. “We’d like Medicare for All (for instance), but unless we run milquetoast right-wing nobodies with no policy prescriptions (other than charter schools, maybe), then we’ll lose.”

      By the same token, starve Quist, and hope to gawd he loses. The message sent by a Quist win (or hell, by a Sanders win) is very very bad news for the big D Democrat PTB.

    2. Vatch

      I’m sure you’re partly correct about the desire of the national Dems to stick it to the Repubs, but they could have done it for far less money by effectively supporting James Thompson in Wichita, Kansas, the heart of Koch Brothers territory. But Thompson isn’t a corporate Democrat, so the national Dems nixed that.

      1. nowhere

        I’m open to changing my perspective, but if I ran an organization, who would I support:
        1. Someone who has been a member of my organization for over 10 years and has been an aid to a longtime organizational member, and is running against someone who got less than 20% of the vote
        2. Someone who switched from my rival organization a year ago and has no organizational experience

        I’m not saying I support Ossof, or the Dems dumping so much money to support him. I just think there is some additional info that is playing into the politics.

        1. Vatch

          They should have supported both. The national Democrats have spent millions on Ossoff, and they only spent a few thousand on Thompson. If thay had diverted $50,000 from the Ossoff primary campaign to the Thompson general election, there’s a very good chance that Thompson would have won, and Ossoff would still be one of the two candidates in the Georgia runoff.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            Exactly. I don’t mind them fighting GA-06 (the platform to run on is a different issue). I do mind them fighting in GA-06 to the exclusion of all else (modulo some late money to Quist).

    3. PH

      You might be right in this red district, but i am not convinced it is true in all red districts. Especially if the time horizon is broadened to 2 or 3 election cycles.

      But we have to change the debate. Need someone to carry the Progressive positions into primary and general elections. Over time, i think we can win support.

      Conceding in advance to everything but moderate Repub rhetoric will never build support for justice or peace.

      None of the 6 oe so Dems in primary took progressive positions on websites

    4. Lambert Strether Post author


      So let the Democrats run a sacrificial lamb here, instead of dragging the entire party rightward to win a wealthy Republican suburb a la Clinton 2016, and throwing the left and the rest of the country under the bus (as usual).

      As far Medicare for All, surely you’ve noticed that Republicans collectively given some of their number permission to speak of it positively, and they are? Plus, Medicare for All isn’t a hot button issue. I don’t see Ossoff incurring a big penalty for advocating it. What happens instead is that Pelosi and the rest of the Democrat leadership get another No vote. That will have actual real life consequences in terms of lost lives.

  4. David, by the lake

    I’m sure there will be much establishment gloating should he win. Not caring, personally. As Hari Seldon might have observed, the empire cannot be saved. Eh, bien. I’ll vote as disruptively as I can, but my efforts are otherwise focused locally, like getting front-yard food gardens legalized in my community. You know, something that actually matters, as opposed to which interest group is king-of-the-hill in DC this week.

    Anybody know where things stand on that constitutional convention count? Now there’s something that could make a difference.

    1. jsn

      Much like Louis XVI calling the Estates General, dormant for a couple centuries, in 1789!

      1. David, by the lake

        Reformation or revolution? I’d prefer the former. The federal government will never reform itself, so the states need to step in and get it done. (The Tennis Court Oath came about b/c the First and Second Estates sought to run roughshod over the Third. A constitutional monarchy was very possible, had the two upper Estates been less arrogant.) The alternative is to continue to plod along the standard trajectory of imperial decline until things fall apart, probably sometime later this century. I’d rather avoid civil war, myself.

        1. jsn

          I’d rather live through change, but the longer the Empire dams the flow, the bigger the flood when it breaks.

          If the C Convention crowd gets their party, the people with pitchforks will be showing up too. The people pushing the convention think owning people sounds like a grand, time tested idea, that’s how it is in the Bible. Those on the chattel end of that deal are likely to differ.

          With trust in institutions at historical lows and unregulated propaganda monopolies distributing incompatible narratives between the right and the far right (you decide which party is which, I can’t, I just no there is no Left anywhere to be seen), a Constitutional Convention will be an existential threat to anyone who doesn’t show up armed.

          1. reslez

            > a Constitutional Convention will be an existential threat to anyone who doesn’t show up armed.

            It definitely has the feel of Louis XVI convening the Estates-General. Not to mention that 28 states want a Balanced Budget Amendment, which would take us back to pre-Depression era economics. Imagine FDR if the Constitution forbade any spending to counteract the Depression, and in fact required additional spending cuts. Insanity. “The patient died on the table because the law orders the surgeon to keep cutting until the bleeding stops…” Any CC will be a s*** show. The nation is too propagandized and the elites are too feral.

            1. Huey Long

              Any CC will be a s*** show. The nation is too propagandized and the elites are too feral.


              I don’t see the union surviving a CC nor dissolving peacefully.

            2. AbateMagicThinking but Not money

              Re “The patient died on the table because the law orders the surgeon to keep cutting until the bleeding stops…”

              It’s like ‘Fiat Blood Money – a farce’:

              Surgeon General*: We need more blood! Make some more blood!

              Politician: You can make blood? No way! Who-da-thunk-it?

              Surgeon General: Since 1971, here in the America. That’s when the first proper factory was set up, but they were doing it way back in the Civil War. Why haven’t you politicians educated the people about this?

              Politician: Hey-hey! We’re into power! POWER – I tell you! Its us against them – Not explaining tech. stuff that we don’t understand ourselves.

              Exit Woman a-Hollerin’-and-a-Yellen’ in despair.

              Curtains (in the pejorative sense of the word).

              *If you want something doing properly you’d better get the military to do it. (Is that where you are heading?)

          2. David, by the lake

            It still takes 38 states to ratify any amendments coming out of a convention. Issues dealing with federal-state relations and the structure of federal power (congressional term limits, unfunded mandates, a legal path for secession, restricting federal authority to the explicit powers granted, etc) might clear that hurdle. Issues purely left/right would likely not, as any 13 states have an effective veto.

            1. jsn

              Last time something like this happened, it was the Articles of Confederation that, according to their own rules, needed tweaking. Once the Convention got underway, all bets were off and those there wrote and agreed an entirely new Constitution.

              They then went out and campaigned for its ratification, which peaceful process I have a hard time imagining this time: we are an Empire now with a huge freight of contained grievances, but contained only by a thin residue of Constitutional Government such a Convention in its existence will have gone a long way to de-legitimize. For anyone paying attention there’s been scant legitimacy since the November 9th, 2000 and even less since September 12 of 01.

              My bet is a Convention turns quickly into a Revolution, progressive or reactionary, but either way, as Huey says above, a “s*** show”.

        2. reslez

          > The alternative is to continue to plod along the standard trajectory of imperial decline until things fall apart, probably sometime later this century. I’d rather avoid civil war, myself.

          Too late for that IMO, civil war has already been written. Environmental collapse is baked in. Rivers of refugees will swamp whatever stable nations are left.

          Pick your poison — fresh water collapse, soil collapse, climate collapse. There’s too many bacteria fighting over too little agar. Part of the reason the rich are so insane is because they’re scrambling to grab everything they can before the end.

          Besides, all the peaceful options for reform have been erased. Elect Obama and get GW. Elect Trump and get GW. There’s going to be a 3rd party, but the gear stick has been disconnected from the transmission: voting doesn’t do anything. What comes next is full blown autocracy as the lower classes turn to a strongman to protect them from the rich. Next you have billionaires with private armies duking it across the Potomac. In the meantime, the best thing the average citizen can do is work on their garden (seriously).

          1. David, by the lake

            Unfortunately, I can’t disagree with your basic argument. I keep hoping that we will take a less-bad path than the one we are on. A con con would provide a possibility for peaceful dismantling of the empire, rather than the usual trajectory. In the meantime, yes, the garden is a better investment of energy than the deck-chair arrangement battles going on these days.

        3. Lambert Strether Post author

          > the states need to step in and get it done

          From my perspective, a Constitutional Convention would be a disaster until the left is stronger.

    2. dcblogger

      A constitutional convention at this time, or even in the next two years, would be dominated for Koch brothers sock puppets. We need to strengthen the left before we take such a step.

      1. hunkerdown

        Liberals don’t get to call themselves “left” anymore. If you’re not 100% for robust, universal public goods (and no liberal can be, because they need an Other to deprive in order to justify their whipcracker and gatekeeper positions), you’re not part of the “left” and I for one would appreciate that you stop misrepresenting yourself as such.

        1. jsn

          But he’s right about the Kochs, they’re exactly who I was alluding to as thinking people are a dandy, Old Testament form of property.

        2. Montanamaven

          I agree hunkerdown. Democrats, liberals, friends of the the super smart (Oh pahlease!) and beloved Hilary Clinton and hubby are not “the left”. So they don’t get to give us (those who are for mutual aid and a non-hierarchal structure) marching orders. I am getting tired of this misdirection and this not so subtle propaganda that seeks to keep any revolutionaries in a veal pen. “It’s just not the right time,” is something I have heard for years. When I talk about single payer health care and How I worked very hard for it in 2009 and went to D.C. to lobby and how Dr. Margaret Flowers and other docs were arrested in the Senate hearings on health care, my “liberal” friends say, “People weren’t ready for single payer. It wasn’t the right time.. Let’s wait…Let’s keep our powder dry.”
          If not now, when?

      2. jsn

        A real left needs to show up well armed.

        Not necessarily with guns, but with enough organization and coherence that, under duress, force could plausibly materialize.

        Any popular good that could come from a Convention will be resisted tooth and nail, root and branch by the powerful incumbents who will inevitably dominate the “representation” there.

  5. Kurtismayfield

    I have to ask, because I do not understand for one second why upper class white suburban women are having such a reaction to Trump. What is the issue?

    #1. It isn’t economics, heck they might win out on Trump’s tax plan.
    #2. If they were anti war they would have not been happy with Hillary either.
    #3. It may be immigration, maybe they are realizing their lifestyle would be quite different without cheap housecleaning and lawn services.
    #4. He hasn’t touched reproductive issues yet, but hey may because of the right has framed Planned Parenthood as the bogeyman.
    #5. Is it possible projection over a male beating a female in the election?

    I am sorry but I just don’t understand it, and would appreciate someone setting me straight.

    1. jrs

      1) have to be quite well off indeed to net much from Trump’s tax plan, such as it is (last plan floated was hardly a plan). So I’m not sure they actually are in the income bracket to really benefit from it, they may think they are, but they might be deluded.
      2) yea both are warmongers
      3) there are other reasons people support immigration, but why one would primarily focus on that issue over others (say raising the minimum wage), unless they personally are very involved with immigrants is unknown.
      4 & 5) yes they might have problems with what is perceived as his misogyny and possible threats on women’s issues.

      Maybe they dislike what is mostly his tone. I mean hello he did run an openly bigoted and offensive campaign. Whether this offends white women in Georgia I couldn’t possibly say though.

      They might see the Trump presidency as degrading America’s standing in the world and the office of the presidency, and that it does. And conservatives care about such things. (As a good leftist I could give a rip about Americans standing which whitewash it’s crimes in the world- but I know I’m not a typical voter even in a blue state.)

      1. TK421

        hello he did run an openly bigoted and offensive campaign

        Hillary also ran an offensive campaign: in the military sense, against Libya, for no good reason. Thousands of innocent people died and millions more were displaced. Now, is denying Muslims entry to our country worse than killing them with bombs in their own?

        1. Loblolly

          Now, is denying Muslims entry to our country worse than killing them with bombs in their own?

          Small Americans cannot stop the beltway from waging war on the world and do not want to pay the price of that war in the form of immigration wage pressures and refugee burdens on already strained personal economies.

          To be sure small Americans are already paying the price in limbs, and PTSD in the hopes of getting a diminishingly useful education and many others are dealing with systematic unemployment and diminished life expectancy.

          Maybe voting for Trump and lashing out at immigrants is the wrong response to those pressures, and maybe not. The Democratic Party is certainly one whit interested in helping as evidenced this election as a single example of too many to count.

          1. Tim

            You didn’t answer the question, and yes lashing out at immigrants is the wrong response, immigrant impacts on the homeland are a symptom not the disease.

        2. beth

          In one sense something positive was settled in the last 8 years. Hillary put to rest the belief that women can declare war on a country. I perceive Hillary is proud of this accomplishment. I am not one who ever thought otherwise. No one in the future can use that as a reason for not electing a woman.

          Alas, it also settled any doubt that a woman would find a better way to settle differences between nations.

        1. sleepy

          So was Newt Gingrich, formerly the congressman from the same district. Beyond that, a sizeable chunk of the Atlanta metro moved there from outside the South so I think it’s a non-issue.

          In answer to another poster, above, who questioned why the upscale white women of the district might dislike Trump, I suspect it’s in large part based on his vulgar misogyny, more a matter of style than feminist issues. They just prefer their innate conservatism not to be associated with such crudities.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            This is of course an issue, but I wonder why its morphed into “OMG Russia” and how it “cost” Hillary the election instead of staying focused on Trump’s real awful nature.

            1. Indrid Cold

              EVERYTHING morphs into OMFG Russia. They have quadrupled down on this so hard it’s scary. It’s all I see on the Twitters. It’s such obvious baloney. What are they preparing us for? They must figure that since most of us just ate up ‘weapons of mass destruction’ and ‘911’ and the Syrian gas attacks that never happened that we’ll believe anything no matter how obviously wrong.

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                I don’t think they have a clue.

                I believe they know they have a popularity problem. The Senate map is not good. They spent the last cycle kicking their base, union voters and young people. “#DemExit” is a real thing. People are dropping their identification as Democrats. Last year with this contentious election, party ID is at historical lows.

                Basically, the Democratic elite is at odds with its base. The Democratic Party is largely run by a rainbow coalition of Republican sympathizers, not FDR Democrats. The Dem elite have their paradise, but they are losing their supports and didn’t win on their gamble to win the suburbs. They need to distract enough of the Democratic base from recognizing what frauds the Team Blue elite are to hold onto their power.

                Russia is a great villain. It doesn’t hurt Hollywood (a major video game in recent years featured North Korea as the villain as a late stage replacement for China to sell games to the Chinese market). Its not easy to visit. Americans can’t just drive there. Its large and somewhat mysterious. The signs are in a different language and alphabet.

                Fighting the good fight against a mysterious villain is all they have. They can’t fight on healthcare because it raises questions about their previous behavior. Banks and Wall Street? The Democrats don’t have a leg to stand on. War? Survey says no. The environment? The VP candidate earned his nickname of Governor Coal.

                These are the people who put up Hillary in 2016 after she lost to Obama. Many are simply stupid and not capable of holding rationale discussions about moving forward.

                1. clarky90

                  Russia in an Orthodox Christian Democracy with a very popular (Democracy in action) leader who well-represents the citizens of Russia.

                  Wouldn’t it have made more sense to have chosen the Communist Chinese or the North Koreans as “colluding” against USA “Democracy”? The Democrats need to fire their present script-writers (low energy hacks) and fly in some fresh talent from Hollywood. Some people with great imagination and a sense of humor would be good? Some cool plot twists? Attractive leading characters?

                  1. NotTimothyGeithner

                    “The Great Wall” starring Matt Damon. Too many American industries want to sell to Chinese audiences.

                    For fun, ask an “OMG Russia” type if they have a clue how many people even live in Russia. They don’t have a clue, but the Hollywood box office does.

                    As I noted, there was a video game featuring the North Koreans invading the U.S. which makes absolutely no sense, but what really happened is at a late stage a few colors changed and what was once a Chinese adversary became a country with a much smaller market.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          I believe hes referring to the adulation of a man such as Robert E. Lee over the years. Lee must have possessed manners, but at the end of the day, he was a general of Slave empire that resulted in the deaths of 600,000 people.

          Vile people will be praised as long as they possess a certain caliber of manners. Trump doesn’t possess the Bobby Lee style and subsequently could not be liked in polite society. Trump’s brasher style might not sit well with people who love similar but more polite Republicans.

          1. nowhere

            And where would you build a national cemetery on a Trump property? Would everything be gold plated?

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              The military Governor of Alexandria was a Southerner who was pro-Union. He founded the cemetery and kept Lee’s house, so Lee could see his beloved home but never return. A fitting monument.

      2. Arizona Slim

        They don’t like his tone? Oh, the poor things!

        I mean, come on. I’m no fan of Trump, but I know where he’s coming from.

        That would be NYC. Where bluntness is a way of life. And let’s just say that NYC real estate developers are especially blunt.

    2. hreik

      Hey Kurtis, I like your namesake (Curtis and Superfly) btw.

      Here you go: (I will explain all of this in detail below).
      #1. I vote against my own economic interests most of the time.
      #2. I wasn’t happy w Hillary and didn’t vote for her either.
      #3. I have no cleaning ladies or other immigrants working for me. My life style does not rely on cheap labor of anyone. We do have a Portuguese man who plows our driveway in the winter. Heavens!!! The American guy who used to do it, who is also a landscaper (we don’t have a landscaper) stopped plowing driveways. (I am 68 and husband is 73 and Shoveling is more than we can do right now).
      #4. So what that he hasn’t touched those issues and he has, actually in trying to defund PP.
      #5. What? That one I don’t understand. Obama beat Hillary 2008. I voted for him (BHO) twice.

      Not all white, middle and upper class women are single issue voters or think only of themselves. My father was an immigrant from Nazi Austria and LBJ helped him get here. Your thinking, at least about this seems to be narrow and frankly offensive. Plenty of people vote against their own interests all of the time. Some people believe that until you are free, I am not either: economically, racially, etc. Some of us care about other human beings and how they fare. In some ways, I’ve been very lucky: great education, nice husband, 2 kids. In others, not so much: family history of dementia, chronic illness in family (including one child w serious auto-immune disease) but w a job w insurance, so lucky for that.

      Life is complicated. Choices are not binary, nor is life. I didn’t vote for Hillary b/c I live in a blue state and knew she’d win here. To the horror or many here, I now wish I had. I really found her to be a corrupt, lying, war-happy candidate. I wasn’t in her corner.

      But I sure as Hell wish she were in the White House now. We are looking at a very dangerous situation with this obviously incompetent, horribly corrupt, lying, vengeful, narcissistic nutcase in the White House. It’s a dangerous mess now.

      1. Yves Smith

        We would be in a disaster regardless. If Clinton had won, the Republicans would have impeached her. The “high crimes and misdemeanors” language is so broad that in practice it means Congress can impeach you if it wants to. They would have gotten her on continuing to obstruct re the e-mails. And they would have the votes in the House to get it an impeachment trial in the Senate relatively quickly. I remember the Watergate hearings. The country came to a standstill.

        Hillary’s response would be to escalate wars as quickly as she could. Not that she wasn’t inclined to do that regardless.

          1. Yves Smith

            Oh, I agree, but the Watergate trial really did put the government at a standstill. It was riveting. And at a minimum, a trial would go over the uranium sale to Russia which has Clinton Foundation fingerprints all over it. That looks to be very damning. Even the NY Times basically acknowledged the facts, but wrote the story in such a deep in the weeds manner that you had to read closely to get that. And if Clinton kept stonewalling on records, that’s obstruction of justice. She would be unable to govern, even if she tried staring it down.

            Remember Nixon was not convicted. He resigned.

          2. dpfaef

            The Constitution requires a two-thirds vote of the Senate to convict, and the penalty for an impeached official is removal from office. In some cases, disqualification from holding future offices is also imposed. There is no appeal.

            U.S. Senate: Impeachment

        1. hreik

          Beg to differ on the ‘impeachment’ issue, not your assessment of it’s cogency (with which I agree), but if she’d won there’d likely be a democratic majority in the Senate and ……. you know the rest. In Senate I believe 2/3 majority is required for impeachment.

          And…. I don’t think we’d be fighting travel bans, have ICE rounding up people, Phucking with EPA (as badly)…. like I said, I didn’t vote for her. But what we have now is really disastrous.

          1. Vatch

            Impeachment by the House of Representatives only requires a simple majority. Conviction by the Senate requires 2/3 of those present.

            1. Indrid Cold

              It looks like politics are just going to be more bare knuckled going forward. The feigned ‘bipartisanship’ has been breaking down along with the rest of the country. While Tip O’Neil and Reagan ‘joined hands across the aisle’ to stick a knife in the gut of what little welfare state we had, the degeneration of conditions of life for most of us is making it harder for people to get over cognitive dissonance.

          2. Adamski

            Naw. The Senate would be Republican, there was no way Clinton was gonna get any coattails because most of the country hates her, the Dems hitched their reputation to hers. The GOP didn’t do this with Trump, and their third of the population always turns out. I am not saying a GOP 2/3 majority, but a majority nonetheless.

        2. PH

          Disaster? Yes. War? Yes, but less brinksmanship in Korea.

          But EPA would not be shredded. Judicial appointments would be less extreme right. The bureaucracy would look different over the years. No trillion dollar cut to Medicaid on the table.

          What political environment favors development of Progressive movement?

          I am not sure. Hillary crowd smothers Progressives for fun. Trump wants to insult us and put us in jail. Maybe that is better. But high risk.

            1. beth

              The EPA has only been helpful only in as much as it has set a target to reach for.
              The little progress we have accomplished in my neck of the woods, has been by activists here goading local citizens and local gov’t toward that target. The state EPA equivalent has not moved one iota and even obfuscates even as we make some progress. My limited understanding is that EPA’s main success is in running and publishing studies.

              I would like other opinions.

            2. jrs

              not as badly, I mean no president has ever tried to undo another presidents order on public lands like national monuments before. Trump really is beyond the pale horrible. The full extent maybe couldn’t be foreseen (although on some of this stuff it kind of could), but now we know the rest of the story.

              1. Lambert Strether Post author

                Yes. I do think the executive orders and administrative actions are the things to watch. Instead, we get constant media churn on scandal.

                For example, on Medicaid: It will be interesting to see if the Democrats compromise — on grounds of “fiscal responsibility” — with the Republican efforts to turn Medicaid into block grants and capitate it. That’s a far bigger story then Flynn. And yet, oddly, it gets drowned out.

                1. Adamski

                  As the Dems tweeted when the ACHA was considered first time round, “you know it needs serious revision”. And they were content for their base to handle it. I heard 1000x “defend the ACA” but not “Medicaid”.

          1. Deadl E Cheese

            I used to weigh the merits of Hillary winning versus medium-term decay (see below), but after the Democratic Party only gained two seats in the Senate despite having the most favorable map in generations, it’s definitely better that she lost.

            It’s not like the Republicans were going to give her a chance to reshape the judiciary otherwise. And with her agenda of austerity and warhawkery, we could look forward to losing enough state legislatures for Tom Cotton to rewriting the Constitution in 2021 no matter how the Presidency went. Joy.

            This is the situation that the Democrat’s Judas Goat fuckup Obama left us in. Where having a billionaire clown rapist was actually our best hope to prevent complete reactionary control of the United States.

            1. Adamski

              Clinton wasn’t in favour of austerity. According to Matt Bruenig her fiscal plans meant an increase of govt spending of 0.5 to 0.8% of GDP. Not enough to hasten the recovery or help the Dems in 2018, not a stimulus. And we dunno what she might have done as a compromise with a GOP Congress, but she wasn’t in favour of cuts straight off the bat.

      2. Pat

        We will have to differ on how disastrous this would be. Especially since incompetent, horribly corrupt, lying, vengeful and narcissistic all apply to HRC as well Trump. But besides my firm belief that if Clinton had been elected in November by December TPP would be a done deal, there is also the very clear intention to ramp up America’s involvement with Syria. And from the Podesta emails, they knew this would lead to a military confrontation with Russia.

        Now Yves has also pointed out that we would likely be facing an impeachment trial sooner rather than later, but apparently most people think this would work out similarly to the last Clinton impeachment having apparently forgotten that despite the endless investigations, Bill Clinton made it through a whole term without being impeached. Hillary’s early in the first two year impeachment would be far more damaging, even if I’m with Lambert that gridlock is the BEST we can hope for until enough of the rot is killed with fire.

        1. Yves Smith

          Clinton was at its root a sex scandal, although he also turned it into obstruction of justice by lying. A lot of people though it was overdone. And the economy was doing well and Bill had a decent approval rating.

          I recall the proceedings well, and IMHO Ken Starr totally blew it in the way he presented the report. He had all of the lurid details, like the cigar, in the main text. That reinforced the impression that the Rs were trying to blow up a tawdry affair to a silly degree. By contrast, if Starr had had precisely the same information, but kept his report focused on the obstruction of justice stuff, and thrown the sexual detail into an appendix, the overall impression would have been very different (and all the reporters would have read and reported on all the lurid details anyhow). Bill nevah never would have been convicted but the damage would have been greater.

          By contrast, remember that Hillary even when campaigning had huge negative ratings. The public does not like her. She is already seen as dishonest. Her reflex is to stonewall and lie not at all well, and that would be disastrous in a protracted investigation.

      3. Kurtismayfield

        Your last part I think I am understanding more and more:

        We are looking at a very dangerous situation with this obviously incompetent, horribly corrupt, lying, vengeful, narcissistic nutcase in the White House. It’s a dangerous mess now.

        I agree, but I saw Obama as almost all of those things as well. It’s been getting to be a dangerous mess because we have let the executive grab so much power. Thank you for your thoughtful response.

      4. Lambert Strether Post author

        > a dangerous mess

        So is surrendering national sovereignty under ISDS. Clinton would have flip-flopped on TPP by now already. A Sophie’s choice, this election was.

    3. SKG

      My impression is that lots of apolitical / inactive suburban women thought that this was a much nicer country than Trump demonstrates that it is. (Speaking as a suburban white guy who lives in the 6th district.)

      They live in their own little bubble, have a black friend or two, considered the “pussy grabbing” comment disqualifying, and though we were past all that racial and women’s equality crap.

      Trump broke their image of America as an idyllic suburban paradise, and they want to fix it.

      1. beth

        Trump broke their image of America as an idyllic suburban paradise, and they want to fix it.

        I agree and also they think Trump attracts the poor who are always assumed to be dumb and uncouth.
        I could give examples I have heard but it always depresses me.

    4. PKMKII

      May a bit of #5, but I suspect it’s mostly two factors:

      Your upper class white suburban republican women like patriarchy, but they like their patriarchy to be professional and chaste. Trump comes off like an overgrown, lecherous frat boy, which they don’t like.

      Second, which is related to the first, is that the upper class in America has never really accepted Trump. He is not their idea of a rich person, he’s a poor person’s idea of what a rich person is; gold-plated everything, preening ego, rotating cast of imported model wives. Trump knows this, and resents them for it. I suspect it is what fueled his dislike of the finance industry on the campaign trail; he had no problem with their function and behavior, he had a problem with the fact that they treated him like outer borough trash. So two factors combined, Trump is a buffoon of a bull in their respectable china shop, making a royal mess and sullying the image of wealthy white people.

      1. Yves Smith

        There are actually a lot of rich people like Trump, or who want to be like Trump. Go to Dallas or wealthy pockets in flyover. There are plenty of people who like marble and gold just fine. They are proud to be new money.

        But they don’t grace the pages of style magazines.

        1. Sue

          Yes. It is as if so much gold were so much that it seemed to be worth so little-as if it were very poor and tasteless aesthetics, except for them or the ones who want to be like them

        2. PKMKII

          But they don’t grace the pages of style magazines.

          Hence why I said that they’re upset about sullying the image of wealthy white people. Keeping up appearances as being the most intelligent, talented, classy people in the room is essential for maintaining their status quo. If they start looking like goobers riding high off of inherited wealth and a rigged system, then the masses might realize they’ve been hoodwinked.

    5. dcblogger

      because they are really really really offended that people could vote for Trump after the pussy grabber tape. The idea that a man could brag about sexual assault and still get elected is appalling. so yeah, they are mad, really mad. I have not seem women this angry since Clarence Thomas was confirmed. Only this time the reaction is much stronger. The women’s march was not a clue? over 1000 different marches across the country and indeed the world. Even in Kuwait women were marching. Women really hate Trump.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        I’m calling a loud BS on that argument, considering so many who opposed Trump didn’t have a problem with Clinton’s sexual predator of a husband. Where were all those women when Bubba’s actions were in the spotlight?

        And you don’t think he ever engaged in his share of locker room talk? You don’t think women engage in that type of talk themselves? Come on.

        1. Arizona Slim

          It’s not as if someone like Trump has never been POTUS. Look at LBJ and Kennedy. Not known for their respect of women.

          And salty language? Look no further than Bill Clinton his own &^%$ self. That man could cuss a blue streak! I’ll bet that he still can.

      2. Yves Smith

        I know plenty of well off professional women who think the pearl clutching over the pussy grabbing remark was silly. First, if you’ve been around, this is the way the entertainment industry is. There is tons of casual sex and I know women personally who made no bones about seeking out the casting couch. Plus Trump didn’t say he’s actually done that but that as a star he could. Given that he thought he was speaking in private and unrecorded, you’d expect him not to censor himself.

        Second, upper class women who know non-upper class women know men hazing women and minorities being hazed is widespread once you get outside the bubble where men think they have downside. And this includes supposedly upper class men. I have heard stories out of private equity that make what went on at Fox sound like a bunch of Boy Scouts. And I can’t imagine those wives are all in the dark as to what is going on.

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Women really hate Trump

        First, that’s belied by past voting patterns. Pew:

        Women supported Clinton over Trump by 54% to 42%. This is about the same as the Democratic advantage among women in 2012 (55% Obama vs. 44% Romney) and 2008 (56% Obama vs. 43% McCain).

        So, for women in the aggregate, there’s nothing uniquely bad about Trump (if that is what “really hate” implies).

        Second, party, er, trumps gender. From the CNN exit polls:

        Unless Republican women are in some way not “real women,” of course.

    6. jrs

      why people in places with lots of immigration, support immigrants probably has only a minimal amount to do with wanting their cheap labor. It’s about familiarity. It’s the exact same as with gays maybe. So people didn’t support gay marriage etc. but people started to see that their friends and family and stuff were coming out as gay and maybe wanted various rights like marriage etc. and people became more sympathetic (there was also a lot of media propaganda there for sure but it was probably also influenced by people’s personal experiences). So people who know immigrants may be sympathetic to them. Although yes it does help if your VERY OWN job isn’t on the line, directly competing with say illegals or even H1Bs, because that tends to make people react in an entirely different way.

      I don’t actually have some perfect platonic solution to the immigration issue, I’m just trying to say how I think viewpoints come about. If one knows “dreamers” who have been here since little kids and never even lived in Mexico, one starts to understand their cause (really the “dreamers” are their own case).

    7. flora

      I think back to 4-6 weeks ago when so many women I know were literally being driven to distraction – or worse – by the MSM barrage of Trump-Russia-Sexist-Racist-apocalypse-has-arrived! stories. A lot of women I know seemed to have lost their bearings. In conversation I was alarmed by what they were saying, alarmed they actually believed the MSM baloney, alarmed they were so easily conned by their need to believe Hillary could not have lost otherwise. No, it doesn’t make any logical sense. But emotionally, it makes a lot of sense. The Dem estab is trying to capitalize on that. imo.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        “Strategic Hate Management.”

        We’re going to be dealing with Putin Derangement Syndrome for years, exactly as we’ve been dealing with all the talking points the Republicans created in the Clinton Impeachment saga (many of which online Obama supporters repurposed in 2008).

        In a way, these bubbles of talking points/jokes/epistemic closures/talking points (not sure I have a name for these complexes) are almost like asset classes.

        1. Enquiring Mind

          One frustrating aspect of the ever-present Putin Derangement Syndrome, for example, is that the allegations would seem fairly easy either to debunk or support. By that, I mean presentation of some documented facts from reputable sources (a tall order these days?) that would provide some definitive proof. Who hacked what where and when, then gave what to whom, and so on. At least with toxic waste there is a chain of custody. Why not try to get some similar treatment for news?

          Who did what when and how, instead of CNN or others told me that Russians were behind everything just because. At what point does the audience get to say, Enough! and have the parties stipulate to facts so that constant rehashing, misstatements, posturing, dissembling, non-journalism and such are minimized?

    8. NotTimothyGeithner

      Its not all upper middle class white women. Many voted for Trump who noticeably dominated the “suburban moderates.”

      I believe much of the problem is based on self perception. The greatest candidate in the history of ever lost to Donald Trump. Hillary’s campaign Titanic was predictable given Clinton Inc’s past history. The smug Democrats had lost to a clown and a very nasty clown at that. Their expectations about their own brilliance were shattered. They are looking to lay the blame somewhere else (Jill Stein, Bernie Bros, the weather, Russia, Comey, and on and on), but they bet and donated money on a loser.

      Many of these Hillary supporters were additionally warned Hillary would see low turnout in working class areas if no one bothered to canvass. Instead of working for their candidate, they stayed home and mindlessly watched MSDNC (I saw this on the links page) expecting a 70 point victory and Hillary to turn their wine spritzers into even better wine.

      Without Hillary, they lack a united leader, are probably losing members, and are under pressure from the “Bernie Bros.” They are reacting irrationally because their attachment wasn’t necessarily rationale. Most Hillary supporters only know Hillary from television.

      Its not terribly far removed from the Benghazi obsession or Birtherism. My dad’s friend’s son worked for Mittens (they are Mormon), and I my dad’s friend and he was griping about Mittens losing because of Evangelical Christians who didn’t vote for Mittens. The evidence is flimsy at best. Mittens did quite well by expected Republican standards. On an emotional level, he definitely invested a great deal of energy into Mittens and was simply lashing out. Im pretty certain he went to the convention and he probably has money to drop on Mittens. He had to know it was a long shot at best given demographics.

      Im not sure its a “man beating a woman” that is play but perhaps the recognition they don’t enjoy the support of fellow members of their class. We saw the celebration of sisterhood and the promises of Hillary sweeping white women all over suburbia. Then Hillary did well with unionized women in teachers and nurses but lost in suburbia. Their grandiose plans to dump the “its the economy” whiners were smashed. A pro-war, corporate Democrat can’t even beat Trump. Now they might have to canvass scary neighborhoods. Nodding along as Maddow and Matthews yell at them might not be a civic virtue.

      Outside of politics, the reaction to Joe Paterno at Penn State is very similar. The Penn State students held a rally for the enabler of a rapist. For some reason, they took it as an attack on their identity. Is it because they think they should have seen warning signs of Joe Paterno’s character? Was it a whispered joke? Hillary was a joke of a candidate at best. Selecting her for any reason other than one loves killing poor people and pro corporate polices was simply insane and based on no evidence, hence the claims about the real Hillary people see in private. The warning signs for the SS Clinton were there all along. They were voiced and easy to research. The problems with the economy are obvious and easy to research. Did “The West Wing” audience simply not take the election seriously last Spring when they voted for Hillary Clinton despite being loyal viewers of Joe and Minka in the morning? They don’t like the answer.

    9. lyman alpha blob

      I can offer an anecdote –

      My wife’s very intelligent aunt who I’m quite fond of wanted Clinton to win badly. She’s about the same age as Clinton and literally went to college with her although did not know her personally. She came of age during the 60s and 70s with all that implies and very much wanted a woman, and specifically Clinton, to be president. She’s been waiting her whole life. I tried pointing out all the negatives about Clinton (money grubbing ethically challenged warmonger, etc), that Clinton wasn’t the same as she was back in the 60s, and surprisingly she did not disagree. But she still wanted her to win.

      It’s a very similar irrationality to sports fandom, although the stakes are much higher with politics.

      On that note, off to watch the Sox, who represent all that is good in the world!

      1. Kurtismayfield

        Oh I work in education, I see “Team Dem” on display everyday. When I ask them what the Dem’s have done for education and unions during the past 20 years they look at me with blank stares. Then I tell them Arne Duncan, Clinton, and Cuomo were all in on Charters. I hope I convince one that this batch of Dems are not their friends.

    10. freedeomny

      Hilary represented the status quo – which is what they are comfortable with. Their lives are really not so bad – so they didn’t want anything changed. Trump represented the disruption of their “I’ve Got Mine” lives. They are terrified that their comfortable, financially well to do and socially liberal (as far as women’s rights) lives “could” be changed for the worse – and Hilary basically promised the I’ve Got Mine class that she would protect them. They instinctively know that their foothold on the food chain can change which is why they are holding on for dear life. That is my take at least…

      1. CanCyn

        Bingo! The comfortable, professional class are BLIND to the poverty and complete lack of opportunity for so many of their fellow citizens. Much easier to believe that they earned their lives and that the deplorables just have to work harder to get their share. It amazes me how many otherwise smart people sing the praises of Hilary to this day and refuse to see any of her faults. Scares me in fact.

    11. John

      They don’t like men who think its ok to grab them by the pussy…any more questions?

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        But they cheer for a man — Bill Clinton — who feels it’s OK to have sex (depending on the definition of “sex”) with a female subordinate. No power imbalance between President and intern? No duty of care?

        Clearly, there’s more going on than this simplistic drive-by of a comment would indicate.

    12. Edward E

      Mostly #5 The two upper classic country gals I know well say Comey deserved to be fired hundreds of days ago. But firing him as part of a cover-up, mere hours after Grand Jury subpoenas came down, with funding requested for Russia investigation and making up excuses nobody could find credible has them really steamed.

      It’s probably going to be a long hot dry summer, I’ve had to finally give up on winter’s arrival

    13. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Why upper class white suburban women are having such a reaction to Trump

      I think part of it is the pussy-grabbing tape, combined Trump’s grating air of male braggadocio.*

      I think more of it is that this class of women identify feminism with success in their careers and therefore identify greatly with Clinton (her achievements, such as they are; her age and authoritative demeanor; her persistence; and the sycophancy of the Clinton milieu, described so well by Thomas Frank here, which this class is accustomed to giving and receiving in their professional interactions**).

      So, for this class (professional + gender + age cohort) Trump is every sexist boss they’ve ever had, who unfairly stood in the way of their professional advancement, which is how they frame Clinton’s election (“it’s her turn”). To be fair to them, there are plenty of sexist bosses, and plenty of cases of unfair treatment. But just another instance of why “the personal is political” is a category error….

      * Before we go all “male chauvinist pig,” who was the President whose executive order incorporated the Hyde Amendment into the ACA?

      ** Thinking here of many meetings where somebody takes notes on a big pad. It took me awhile to realize that the notes were crumpled up and thrown away because the meeting outcomes were predetermined.


    I get that they’re running what amounts to a Rockefeller Republican in Georgia’s 6th. It’s Romney country, a Berniecrat is not going to work there. And I get that there’s a national effort to get him elected; policies aside, it’s simply good for party moral to get a victory this shortly after Trump took office. If he gets elected, fine, do the same thing in other Romney country districts.

    My problem is the national “progressive” media treating Ossoff like he’s the second coming of FDR. Meanwhile, crickets from them on Thompson and Quist. No honest evaluations of Ossoff’s policy positions, no ability to see past the politics-as-sports-team horse race. So if he wins, they will (more so then they’re already doing) declare it the blueprint for all of America.

    Which is problematic both because it creates an extremely narrow path to house/senate majorities that hurts progressive politics, but it’s also hard to sustain long-term. If the Democrats can win right now in Romney country purely based on the fainting spells Trump induces among the “respectable, cultured” Republicans, then there’s nothing that will keep those districts blue once Trump is out of office. We saw the same thing between ’08 and ’10, when many normally conservative districts (including my own) went Democrat during the Obama wave/Dubya backlash in ’08, only to return to Republican hands in ’10 once those factors went away. Democrats need to learn not just how to win a singular election, but build a long-term “tent.”

    1. nowhere

      My problem is the national “progressive” media treating Ossoff like he’s the second coming of FDR. Meanwhile, crickets from them on Thompson and Quist. No honest evaluations of Ossoff’s policy positions, no ability to see past the politics-as-sports-team horse race.

      I agree with your argument, but hasn’t this been ever thus? Are we looking of the main stream media to ever present anything other than the horse race? Did either Hillary or Trump ever even present policy? Maybe I misinterpreted your claim about the “national ‘progressive’ media”?

      1. PKMKII

        My implication was the kind of press that present themselves as progressive but then get mighty uncomfortable with even a whiff of social democrat policy, let alone anything farther left.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Hillary’s policies weren’t complete abominations back in 2008. Obama borrowed everything from her more or less. I do believe he borrowed from Edwards at one point. Her problem was she refused to acknowledge her past actions such as Iraq, hid from voters, and surrounded herself with the usual suspects making any promise worthless.

        Instead of learning from her mistakes, she more or less told voters to shove it by surrounding herself with the usual suspects but bringing on the ilk of Kissinger and Meg Whitman. If you hated Mark Penn, you will really hate David Brock!

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Clinton in 2008 was marginally better than Obama on domestic policy. On health care, Clinton supported a mandate and universal coverage, explicitly*; Obama did neither. On the foreclosure crisis, Clinton supported an FDR-style program called HOLC; Obama said he’d study it.

          I always felt (and I don’t remember whether I posted on this) that Clinton would fight the Republicans if only for the base motive of revenge for them impeaching Bill Clinton. If that was true in 2008, it certainly wasn’t true in 2016.

          * So at least single payer forces would start out at the thirty-yard line, instead of the goal line.

    2. TK421

      a Berniecrat is not going to work there

      If Bernie can win over West Virginian coal miners, why can’t he win over suburban Georgians?

      1. hreik

        Because WV coal miners are not comfortable suburban Georgians. Totally different demographic. The South is not a monolith.

        1. hunkerdown

          Well, that’s the trouble with this whole competition paradigm. If we must have this ridiculous level of oligarch indirection, the Democrat Party should stop trying to mission to them and just leave them to the Party that supposedly serves them reliably, rather than welcome an IC fox into the henhouse just because it wears blue feathers this year.

        2. sleepy

          Yes, this suburban Atlanta district shares more in common with suburban Minneapolis than it does with West Virginia.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      So they should avoid getting in the way of Berniecrats everywhere by optimizing for wealthy Republican suburbs, and run a sacrificial lamb (and in a couple of cycles, the lamb will turn into a tiger). Instead, they’re dragging the entire party right. As the Clintonites always do.

  7. allan

    Former US mental-health chief leaves Google for start-up [Nature]

    Eighteen months after leaving the US National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) for Google’s health-sciences division, psychiatrist Tom Insel is on the move again. The former NIMH director, who left Google on 5 May, is starting his own company. Insel’s group, called Mindstrong, will try to infer a person’s mental-health status by analysing how they use smartphones.

    Insel stepped down as NIMH director in November 2015, to start a mental-health programme within Verily, Google’s life-sciences group. One of the division’s goals overlaps with that of Mindstrong: Verily intends to build tools, possibly including smartphone apps or computer programs, that can recognize characteristics of mental illness using a method known as digital phenotyping.

    The method analyses factors such as a user’s word choice in communication, voice patterns when talking to digital assistants, physical movements and location data to determine their state of mind. If a smartphone could recognize when its owner was feeling suicidal, for instance, it could intervene by providing resources or alerting others.

    Insel says that Mindstrong, which is based in Palo Alto, California, takes a similar approach to gathering mental-health data. The company’s other founders include Richard Klausner, a former director of the US National Cancer Institute, and Paul Dagum, who holds patents on at least three digital phenotyping methods. They assess cognitive function — which could be impaired in disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease — from features such as misspellings and the length of time between keystrokes, according to the Mindstrong website. …

    I resemble resent this.
    Just because I can’t type or smell spell, that means it’s time to move into an assisted living facility?
    Another good reason, as if one was were needed, not to have a smart phone.

    1. Jim Haygood

      “Cancel your involuntary commitment order, Siri. I don’t want to be institutionalized.”

      “I’m sorry, Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that. Your voice pattern is stressing, and you’ve exceeded your daily typo limit.”

      *slams phone on the floor and pulverizes it under his heel, as sirens approach*

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > digital phenotyping

      Oh, man. If I had a spare squillion or so, I’d throw it at the team that came up with that one, fer sure.

      I’m really starting to think the biggest problem our country has right now is too much stupid money.

  8. nowhere

    I’d speculate that it will be along the lines of “Ossoff’s blueprint for victory,” as if a wealthy Republican suburb were somehow representative of America as a whole. And to the Democrat Establishment, it is!

    Given that a very large portion of the population didn’t vote in the last election, and as you have pointed out, it seems the Ds don’t want to do the dirty work of getting additional people to the polls (which has been limited for over 50 years), it seems they are targeting groups that vote in the greatest numbers – wealthy and educated (credentialed, if you prefer). It would also be a stick in the eye to the Republicans to lose a wealthy, suburban district in Georgia! It just doesn’t get much more R-base than that. This just seems like typical party fighting that has been happening… well for decades.

    What is the criticism? That Democrats aren’t the party for the Left? They haven’t been for a very long time. That the Republicans are even worse? And have been for a very long time. That voting for the Lo2E strategy has produced nothing but terrible results for a very long time? There are no major institutional players, or incentives, to push things to the Left. How does incessantly beating on Democrats change this?

  9. SKG

    So speaking as a resident of the 6th district, who’s had the occasion to meet Ossoff and we chatted for perhaps 90 seconds, and I donated a bit of money to his campaign..

    He didn’t strike me as having much policy depth at all. (He’s 30 with limited political background and is being super careful not to say anything that will show up in an attack ad.) There was a 2 hour debate with all 18 candidates during the first primary. His policy positions (which he bragged was more extensive than his opponents) are one page on his website that probably fits on a single sheet of paper. So I don’t know what his actual positions are.

    I have a tiny bit of hope that he’ll focus on some of the corporate abuse and abuse of governmental power that are some of Elizabeth Warren’s targets.

    I don’t expect anything especially progressive; but I think he’ll be easier to work with than Karen Handel. And there’s a tiny possibility he’ll hold the seat and keep someone terrible away.

    I haven’t looked at a breakdown of his precinct level results; and checked to see how he did in strong Obama areas. I suspect he’s throwing away a decent number of votes there; which is a bad sign.

    1. Vatch

      I have some observations on the Jacobin article about Gillibrand. I agree that she has flaws, but the author fails to note the context of some of these issues.

      1. The author criticizes her for her stance on immigration. He ignores the fact that high levels of immigration to the U.S. reduce wages, especially for people who already have low incomes.
      2. She’s bad on Israel because she is too supportive of the Israeli government. There are a lot of Jews in New York State, which means it’s hard to get elected if one isn’t highly supportive of the Israeli government. Unpleasant, but true.
      3. She’s friends with Wall Street. Yes, that’s a real problem, but again, how many New York politicians can stand up to Wall Street in their home turf?

      Gillibrand wouldn’t be my first choice for the Democratic nomination, and not my second choice, either. But is she really as bad as Joe Manchin, Heidi Heitkamp, Dianne Feinstein, Claire McCaskill, Michael Bennet, and Joe Donnelly? Gillibrand was not one of the trade traitors who voted for fast track trade promotion authority in 2015. Four of the Senators that I listed are trade traitors, and the ones who aren’t, Manchin and Donnelly, loyally supported most of Trump’s nominations (as did Heitkamp).

      1. Vatch

        One other point: remember when Sen. Cory Booker and several other Democrats joined most of the Republicans to defeat the Klobuchar / Sanders amendment 178 to S. Con. Res. 3, which would have supported the ability of U.S. citizens to get cheaper medicine from Canada? Gillibrand was not with Booker and the Republicans — she supported the Sanders and Klobuchar amendment:


          1. Vatch

            Well, then, her constituents should contact her office, and ask that she support it! Since she’s a Class I Senator, she’ll be up for reelection in 2018, and she ought to pay attention to the opinions of the people she represents.

            Gillibrand, Kirsten E. – (D – NY) Class I
            478 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
            (202) 224-4451
            Contact: http://www.gillibrand.senate.gov/contact/

      2. SpringTexan

        Agree. Gillibrand is no Sanders or Brown, but compared to Booker and such? MUCH better!

    2. jrs

      Kasich is playing “good Republican” now. We do always need a few of those in our political dramas.

      Not I must say how Kasich came across in the debates, he came across as hawkish crazy (Trump of course did not come across well either, he came across as utterly incoherent and I don’t mean ideologically which might be ok, but unable to string a coherent sentence together when even Ben Carson could manage that much). Fun stuff, let the good Republican/bad Republican drama with Kasich begin.

  10. Roger Smith

    1) Appeal to suburban Republicans

    2) With Republican-friendly policies

    3) Especially upscale suburban women

    And the ultimate flaw, most of the country and the supposed “Democrat” base are not suburban Conservatives. This does absolutely nothing for the party. The leadership (*chuckle*) can claim it means something, but all that it actually means is more or continued losses across the board. These fools act as if there is some way to balance all mainline constituencies while still serving only the rich and corporate… not possible and destined to fail. Good riddance. Ossof needs to lose so we can at least reach this already drawn out conclusion faster.

    1. Huey Long

      The Democrats are starting to remind me of a pro wrestling jobber who gets paid to lose to get the star wrestlers over with the crowd.

      1. kimsarah

        The Dems relish the loser role. Notice how all of the sudden after 15 or so years of absence, their spines come out with Trump. They don’t know how to govern when they win, but they sure know how to be whiney losers. That is their specialty as they continue to double and triple down.

  11. craazyboy

    Real News! Hillary Is Back From the Woods! API, Interpol

    DNC holds lovefest in Woodstock to celebrate. !_HillStock_! Will raffle off 5 free tickets for millennials and unlimited pre-approved minority folks. (download app, fill out, get notarized and mail in with pic.) All others call for ticket pricing. Not available for American Indians. You people have your own land and odd rules.

    Interpol showed up and got some really good shots with their iCam.

    “Hillary in impromptu pose.”

    “The grounds are packed!”

    “The Millenials Showed Up! Hi, Millenials! [wave, wave]”

    “Hollywood too!”

    “Bill in audience with latest mistress. She has a driver’s license this time.”

    “Hillary greets a somber, yet chipper, Comey on stage. He’s with her!! Sometimes rumors are true.”

    “Some supporters are still terrified and brought their safespace along. But we’ve got good Pharma and Koolaid for breaktime!”

    “Hillary begins speech showing what she did in the woods.”

    “Oh look! President Bush is in the audience. Whatta surprise! C’mon on up and give me a hug, ya’ll little devil!”

    “Huma too! C’mon on up Huma! Don’t look so sad. Let Mommy make you feel all better.”

    “America IS Still Great!”

  12. neo-realist

    In defense of Ossoff’s politics, all politics are local. I don’t believe he could get away with being a Sanders’ democrat for the district he’s running in—wealthy white republican. Policies that emphasize redistributive economics don’t play well in such a district. He couldn’t get away with supporting Medicare for All: WWR’s would oppose the idea of potentially having their tax dollars pay for the health care of poor black people in ATL—and I believe the right wing radio talkers would have field days making light of such a narrative.

    In spite of the fact that Ossoff’s politics hue closely to Clinton neoliberalism, he’s got a ton more charisma to make the sale and, unlike Clinton on the campaign trail, will actually get out in front of the people on a regular basis to make the sale. He also doesn’t have Hillary’s baggage of corrupt behavior which is cannon fodder for the right wing audience loud mouths and media. He’ll have a good fighting chance in this election for sure.

    1. Huey Long

      In defense of Ossoff’s politics, all politics are local. I don’t believe he could get away with being a Sanders’ democrat for the district he’s running in—wealthy white republican.

      This is very true, especially with house districts being the gerrymandered creatures that they are.

      I think that if even if Ossoff wins here the victory will be Pyrrhic. It is not a safe blue district and holding onto the seat will involve spending vast sums of money every other year so long as the GOP can field a decent candidate backed by Koch $$$.

      I also agree that running a Sanders guy/gal here would just be a waste for the reasons you mentioned.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Nonsense. Think beyond the district, as one would think a national party should. What is the Democrat Establishment doing? They’re doubling down on Clinton’s 2016 strategy and optimizing their appeal for suburban Republicans.

        Win the district battle, lose the national war, IMNSHO. (Whether the Democrats are paid to lose is another question.)


        Run a sacrificial lamb in GA-06 on Medicare for All, spin the result as “better than anybody had a right to expect” — which, with a level of effort, it would be, a la Thompson in Kansas — and then pay off Ossoff with a job somewhere. Really, how hard is this? It’s not hard.

  13. different clue

    If I were in GA District 6 I would vote for the Republican to do my best to MAKE Ossof lose. If the Clintocrat Party’s existential must-win choice can be defeated and destroyed in GA-6, that would put a major crack in the Great Wall of Clinton.

    It would be a step toward Real Democrats building the force and power to Tear Down This Wall.

    1. nowhere

      In what way does having LESS numbers to oppose abominations like the ACHA a good thing? There are no Real Democrats (True Progressives®) that can currently win in Georgia District 6.

      1. hunkerdown

        Suffering through adversity is part of the American mythos. And laws are infinitely malleable by the legislature. Democrat nomenklatura break party line for oligarchs whenever it’s convenient for them, anyway (see also the “rotating heel” act). Better to drown the one Party in the bathtub so we can put our full force against the other one.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        The Democrats are powerless to affect that outcome in any case; at this point, Mitch McConnell is in the driver’s seat, along with “moderate” Senators like Susan Collins.

        Democrats keep acting like they have real power (outside of their control of sectors in the media, the intelligence community, and The Blob). They don’t.

        The real issue is how to get the Democrats to go back on offense. So the real question is “How does electing a Medicare for All opponent in a wealthy Republican district help the party regain national stature”?

    2. kimsarah

      Honestly, the party and its brand are so destroyed and filled with stench that I don’t see why any “real” Democrat would want anything to do with it anymore.

  14. Vatch

    Oh my. Three Republicans joined the two independents and every Democratic Senator to uphold an Obama era regulation restricting methane emissions on federal lands:


    Even Joe Manchin and other corporate Democrats voted to preserve this environmental rule. For more information, see:


  15. drugstoreblonde

    It feels like we’re reinventing the “Blue Dog” all over again. Before relocating to Berlin, Germany, I lived in SLC, UT where I was represented (for a time) by Jim Matheson. Though suburban Salt Lake City is, well, different, than suburban Atlanta, it seems to have the same key ingredients: wealthy, well-educated population with jobs in higher education, IT, healthcare (to name a few) that are currently overly-represented by the current iteration of the democratic party + a surrounding area dominated by republicans (locally and nationally).

    Jim Matheson was basically just a warm body for his entire 14 years in Congress. He consistently voted on key issues with republicans, whether it was to expand/extend wars, approve and extend the Patriot Act, introduce inane cap-and-balance mechanisms during the worst years of the Great Recession, block gay marriage, etc. He once drafted a bill for expanded wilderness area in the Wasatch Front that went absolutely nowhere (this also may have been the only time he worked with local democrats on an issue close to home). Matheson was a complete non-entity and, as far as I can tell (an granted much of this observation is now coming from thousands of miles away), there is virtually no difference between him and his replacement (Mia Love).

    Even if Ossoff wins, which I consider a longshot, it will prove to be a total pyrrhic victory and will likely validate the entire broken strategy of building constituencies solely out of suburbanites in the liberal professions.

    I honestly think it’s better for everyone if he just loses–and badly. The last thing the notional Left in the US needs is another democrat that differs in style from his/her counterpart but is indistinguishable in content.

  16. allan

    New York to allow self-driving car testing [The Hill]

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced on Wednesday that New York would open applications for companies looking to test autonomous vehicles in the state.

    “New York has emerged as one of the nation’s leading hubs for innovation, and as we invite companies and entrepreneurs to reimagine transportation technology, we will encourage the development of new, safe travel options for New Yorkers,” Cuomo said…..

    In case you thought he wasn’t running.

    1. Huey Long

      In case you thought he wasn’t running.

      Cuomo is most definitely running!

      Hopefully whoever’s running against him drags him over the coals for his inability to adequately fund the MTA. He just cut the budget by $65 million, and the NYC subway service quality has been slowly devolving to 1970s levels of breakdowns.

      Budget Cut:

      Crappy Service:



      Pyongyang and Tehran are running cleaner and more reliable subway service than NYC at this point.



    2. kimsarah

      Good luck to any company wanting to locate in New York.
      I wonder how many have left the great empire state.

      1. Huey Long


        All of the upstate cities are bombed-out de-industrialized shadows of their former selves and NYC lost most of its manufacturing in the decades immediately following WWII.

        Most of the industry packed up and moved south of the Mason-Dixon line or overseas with Alexander Smith Carpet and American Safety Razor leading the way. Other industries became victims of technological progress, such as the demise of the American Locomotive Company and later Kodak.

        The local, state, federal governments played no small role in killing industry in NYC. The feds closed the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1966 killing thousands of industrial jobs, the state (Nelson) wasted enormous sums of money on Empire State Plaza, Roosevelt Island, and other boondoggles rather than on industrial infrastructure, while the city did all it could to zone industry out of Lower Manhattan and the waterfronts of both Manhattan and Brooklyn.

        The only industries still going strong in NYC are grift, propaganda, and artisanal pickle making.

    3. Arizona Slim

      Aw, come on, allan. You forgot to boldface leading. And encourage the development.

      Fixed it for you!

    4. duck1

      Custom design package for NYC autonomous vehicles:
      Random access expletive memory with Bose external speakers (all weather) for broadcast. Example, get out of my way you %@$**$#!
      Prosthetic arm that rises out of the roof to give surrounding drivers the single digit salute.
      Special brake, suspension, motor package to enhance bumpiness, throw the passenger against the seat during acceleration and throw them forward while braking.
      Enhanced situational awareness sensors to allow insane weaving and merging in congested traffic.
      It is believed this vehicle will signal the end of Moore’s Law.

        1. Jen

          That’s the Norther New England package. Bonus feature: “speed up as soon as passing lane becomes available.”

  17. Vatch

    Hah! Thousands of fake messages opposing net neutrality are being submitted to the FCC. I guess there aren’t enough real people opposed to net neutrality, so Big Telecom needs to fake it.


    Thousands of electronic comments submitted to the FCC’s website contain identical, duplicated messages that favor rolling back the 2015 rules, which were intended to protect websites and online services from being slowed or blocked by Internet service providers.

    And when reporters from The Verge started contacting the supposed authors of the identical messages, they got denials all around. “I have no idea where that came from,” Lynn Vesely, supposed submitter of one of the comments, told the website. Similarly, ZDNet found 128,000 identical anti-net neutrality comments and denials from the supposed submitters.

  18. clarky90

    Crying Chuck Schumer. “Why now?”


    After hearing C C Schumer, multiple times on the radio, I realized that he was playing the classic role of the “heel” from Big Time Wrestling. All fans immediately recognize a whiny, arrogant, cry-baby heel

    “Heels (Schumer, NYT, CNN, Clinton…)…….exhibit unlikeable, appalling and deliberately offensive and demoralizing personality traits such as arrogance, cowardice or contempt for the audience. Many heels do both, cheating as well as behaving nastily. ……Heels exist to provide a foil to the face wrestlers (Trump, Kelly Anne…).”


    Trump is casting his opponents as “heels”, Republican or Democrats. Who would oppose Peace? Only a “heel”! Who would oppose single payer health care? Only a “heel”! Who would oppose the Constitution and the
    Rule of Law???? A HEEL! Boooooooo you greedy, lying heels!

    IMO, people are waking up to this and are enjoying the show. I am.

    1. Huey Long

      Perhaps the Trumpster will fire his press secretary and hire Vince McMahon instead.

      It’s not a total pipe dream as Vince and Donny boy have been doing business together since the late 1980’s.

      1. clarky90

        Linda Marie McMahon (wife of Vince McMahon) is an American professional wrestling magnate and politician who is currently the Administrator of the Small Business Administration, under the Trump Administration.


        Vincent McMahon (stage name, Mr McMahon, the evil boss) is a heel and would have to work for the Bad Guys. Jeeesh, Man, I thought everyone knew that?

        WWE Vince McMahon goes from face to heel in star ceremony speech


  19. David Carl Grimes

    Obama’s raking it in. It’s only been 100 days but he racked up $60 million book advance, $400K for a healthcare investor conference, and now $3.2 million for a climate change speech in Milan. That’s almost $65 million in a little over 4 months.

    Maybe we should make it a law for ex Presidents to publish their tax returns and sources of income for four years after their presidency.


      1. clarky90

        Did I see Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize Medal up for auction on eBay? He must be desperately short of cash.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      The link from the Times, to which Breitbart cites, is more informative (which I would expect, given the givens on Breitbart). Here’s the quote:

      Yesterday [Obama] arrived in Milan on a private jet and headed straight for the Park Hyatt hotel, where the presidential suite will set you back €8,400 (£7,100) a night. The former US president is in Italy’s business capital to deliver a sold-out speech today. Some 3,500 people have paid €850 each for a ticket, raising nearly €3 million* for the Obama Foundation, which was set up to carry on his project of “renewal and global progress”.

      Obama, man of the people!

      * $3.26 million.

  20. allan

    Trump and Zinke Determined to Strike in U.S.
    Senate Can’t Pass Methane Rollback So Interior Decides To Do It Anyway [HuffPo]

    Hours after Senate Republicans’ failed attempt to overturn an Obama-era rule regulating methane emissions, the Trump administration announced it will take matters into its own hands.

    Kate MacGregor, the acting assistant secretary for Land and Minerals Management at the Department of the Interior, said shortly after Wednesday’s vote that as part of President Donald Trump’s America-first energy plan, the agency has flagged the methane rule as one it will “suspend, revise or rescind given its significant regulatory burden that encumbers American energy production, economic growth and job creation.” …

    The rule, announced by the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management in the final weeks of Barack Obama’s presidency, updated 30-year-old regulations, limiting the amount of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, that can be released from oil and gas operations on federal and Native American lands.

    In a surprise move, the Senate narrowly rejected a resolution to scrap the rule by a 49-51 vote on Wednesday. Republican Sens. John McCain (Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Susan Collins (Maine) voted against repealing the measure. …

    Republican shrieking about executive overreach in 3, 2, 1, … never.
    Or at least not until the next Dem administration.

  21. RickM

    I’ve lived in Georgia most of my life and my first vote for President was Jimmy Carter. Ossoff loses by 3-4 points. Those GOPers in Johns Creek and thereabouts will not vote for a Democrat when they pull the curtain. Karen Handel is odious, but she doesn’t drool in public. Good enough for them.

    1. dale

      Also, what Republican in Cobb County (Dobbins AFB) or North Fulton would even consider voting for a Democrat from DeKalb County (I know, North DeKalb is part of the 6th, but a very conservative part) one who lives in John Lewis’ 5th District, who has lived (in sin) with his girlfriend for 12 years, within walking distance of liberal Emory University? I doubt the poll numbers for this election. It wouldn’t matter if she did drool in public….

    2. nippersdad

      Speaking as a constiuent of Ga 08′, that sounds just about right to me. Gingrich’s former District will never vote for a Dem (even if only one in name) when there is a Karen Handel in the offing. Though I do have one caveat, after the Log Cabin Republicans, Susan G. Komen and voter disenfranchisement scandals Handel starred in one has to question whether or not she doesn’t drool, or even if it is not considered a prime qualification in that District. “Odious” is the perfect descriptor for her.

    1. Huey Long

      The company has not reported a profit for six years, which Lampert compared to Amazon.com Inc’s (AMZN.O) early unprofitable growth. He predicted people will look back and wonder how they missed the Sears’ turnaround, which he said would be driven by the Shop Your Way rewards program.

      Six shareholders questioned Lampert, including one who praised the CEO’s hard work and efforts to return Sears to profitability but asked if Lampert was in denial about the company’s losses and paranoid.

      Lampert refuted his question, saying there were “behind-the-scenes” counterparties trying to take advantage of the company’s situation and that he was trying to adapt and preserve as many jobs as possible.

      “That’s not about denial; that’s about caring,” he said.

      Is this guy stupid, on drugs, or delusional?

      1. ocop

        He’s just pulling out all of the stops to keep Sears alive through July, at which point declaring bankruptcy would no longer result in fraud charges.

        Per Wolf Richter:

        When a retailer like that files for bankruptcy, stockholders get shafted and most likely end up with nothing. Holders of unsecured debt “fare poorly,” according to Fitch’s review of past retailer bankruptcies. Recoveries on second-lien debt “varied.” But first-lien lenders made “full recoveries on at least one bank loan or secured bond issue.”

        So who owns Sears’ first-lien debt? Lambert and his hedge fund? And when will that bankruptcy finally happen?

        Probably not before July 8, 2017, the date of the above-mentioned sale-leaseback deals to Seritage Growth, according to Debtwire:

        [S]ome investors and analysts prognosticate that management is incentivized to at least keep the company out of bankruptcy through July 2017, since that would mark the two-year anniversary of the landmark $2.7 billion sale lease-back and rights offering transactions completed on 8 July, one of the sources familiar noted.

        The bankruptcy code provides a two-year look-back period for the avoidance of fraudulent conveyance with state law often providing a greater look-back, one of the sources said.

  22. allan

    United Directors Sued Over Ousted CEO’s Severance Package [Bloomberg]

    No guitars, doctors or rabbits were harmed in the reporting of this story.

    United Continental Holdings Inc. directors were sued by a pension fund for granting a $37 million severance package to the carrier’s former chief executive officer, who was ousted in a bribery scandal.

    The airline’s board erred in signing off on “lavish golden parachutes” for ex-CEO Jeff Smisek and other officials forced out after investigators found a public official strong-armed United into scheduling twice-weekly flights to an airport near Smisek’s vacation home, the Florida-based fund said in a lawsuit.
    [This is a typo. The flights were to allow David Samson, the chairman of the Port Authority of NY&NJ,
    to spend weekends at his home in SC.]

    Directors also harmed investors by refusing to demand that Smisek return severance payments, the City of Tamarac Firefighters Pension Trust Fund said in the Delaware Chancery Court complaint.

    The board “put the interests of Smisek and the other officers ahead of the company’s best interests,” the fund’s lawyers said in the suit, which was unsealed Wednesday. …

    Why was such a relatively small fund the first to do this?

Comments are closed.