2:00PM Water Cooler 12/11/2017

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, I have a commitment today that I need to make time for, so I am going to break form and present a Water Cooler with just a few topics. You may talk amongst yourselves, of course, but there are so many interesting stories right now that I want to present just a few for your consideration. I accumulated a lot of links over the weekend, so tomorrow I will have a pantry clearout. –lambert

Politics

2020

He’s running:

2017

“Days before election, Roy Moore disappears from campaign trail” [Montgomery Advertiser]. Lost in the mall? “Moore has made fewer than 10 public appearances in the past month…. Although Friday’s winter weather scrambled both campaigns’ plans, Moore’s absence from the trail is a notable contrast to Democratic nominee Doug Jones, whose campaign said Saturday he had done 217 public events over two months, and who has done almost daily appearances in the campaign’s last weeks.”

* * *

“Doug Jones is a Terrible Candidate” [Medium]. “Come election day, Alabamians will have the sacred honor of participating in the democratic process by voting for either a child rapist or a weak-kneed white blob in a suit to go work on Capitol Hill for some unknown corporate donor. Personally, I can’t say that I will be taking part.” And the dogpiling begins in 3… 2… 1…

“Alabama Doesn’t Owe the Democrats a Damn Thing” [SongDog]. “And accordingly, here come the coastal Democrats to put us all in line. A young DSA activist [link above] posted her critique of Doug Jones, for her Twitter audience of perhaps 2,000 across the country—of whom maybe 100 would’ve read her analysis. She rightly pointed out that, in one of the poorest and sickest states in the Union, the best the Democrats could muster is a candidate who supports neither a living wage, nor universal healthcare. In a state ravaged for decades by the depredations of neoliberalism, and centuries by slavers and their descendants, the best Doug Jones can do is appeal to bipartisanship in some half-baked Civil War ad. This young woman pointed out her outrage at this latest failure—Howard Dean blamed her for Donald Trump. She declared she would not participate in this half-ass appeal to the status quo—a status quo that’s currently being investigated by the UN as an example of extreme inequality and poverty—and liberal journalists called her privileged. She’s a trans woman in Alabama.”

Meet our demands and it won’t happen again:

* * *

“Report from Alabama: Can black voters sink Roy Moore?” [Will Bunch, Philadelphia Inquirer]. “When I asked Daniels about the seeming lack of energy in the black community, he insisted that Alabama’s African American voters aren’t an enthusiastic lot until Election Day arrives. “I don’t know if you saw energy even with Obama until they got out to the polls,” he said. In this final weekend of the campaign, the Jones campaign did bring in prominent outsiders, like New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker — seemingly a belated acknowledgement that more work needed to be done in predominantly black neighborhoods.”

“Black voters could defeat Roy Moore, if they show up on Tuesday” [McClatchy]. “For Alabama Democrat Doug Jones to win Tuesday’s special election for U.S. Senate, he’ll need near-historic turnout from the southern state’s large black community and progressive voters. If history holds, he won’t get it…. But to engineer the win, the party needs to mobilize a group of voters known in progressive circles as the “Rising American Electorate” — minorities, unmarried women and millennials, ages 18 to 34 — who have failed repeatedly to show up on Election Day when Barack Obama is not atop the ticket.” ZOMG!!!! The Democrats have rebranded the “Coalition of the Ascendant,” and fed it to a reporter, who swallowed it!

“Lewis is one of the few Democrats to stump for Jones in the months ahead of the election, but his presence on the trail should indicate that the black vote is still a struggle, and not one that begins or ends with a December special election. Alabama is but a case study in the renewed difficulties of getting black votes after Shelby County, and a survey of factors that go beyond “energizing” or “mobilizing” disaffected black people. Perhaps Jones will do enough canvassing in the black belt to eke out a victory this year, but the structural barriers to voting will likely remain, or worsen” [The Atlantic]. Structural barriers about which the national Democrats have done precisely nothing, probably because there’s no money in it for the consultants (meaning the donor class doesn’t want it).

“Doug Jones Flyer Draws Criticism, Backlash From Black Voters” (video) [WKRG]. “‘Prior to this, I was going to vote for Doug Jones. I felt like he was a better candidate. But after receiving this, I have decided not to vote at all,’ said Johnson. ‘For his campaign to put this flyer out it is a complete slap in the face.'”

On the Jones flyer:

* * *

“Fox News Poll: Enthused Democrats give Jones lead over Moore in Alabama” [FOX]. “[A]ccording to a Fox News Poll of Alabama voters conducted Thursday through Sunday using traditional polling techniques, including a list-based probability sample with both landlines and cellphones. Jones receives 50 percent to Moore’s 40 percent, with 1-in-10 undecided (8 percent) or supporting another candidate (2 percent).” Big if true, and not a vote suppression scam.

More on polling. It all depends on how you model the electorate. Thread:

* * *

Irony not dead, totally:

For the national Democrats, the race is at best about many other things than Alabama voters, as Booker’s “Iowa” Freudian slip shows.

Realignment and Legitimacy

Nomiki Konst at the Unity Commission. Must-watch:

I’ve been wondering what sort of legal entity the Democrat Party is. It’s not a profit-making corporation. It’s not a 501(c)(3) or whatever. It’s not a membership organization like the DSA or British Labour. And if you believe the DNC’s lawyer in the Beck case, the party — whatever it is — can choose whatever candidates it wants in a smoke-filled room. So apparently it’s not an association of voters, or responsible to them in any way. The expert I asked said this question is “fantastically complicated.” However, from Konst, we know that whatever else it may be, the Democrat Party is a trough into which the donor class dumped $700 million dollars or so, and which five or six pigs consultants greedily sucked dry.* No wonder the Sanders $27-dollar-contribution model is so threatening that everybody is utterly silent about how well it worked and the possibilities on policy it opens up. NOTE * To be fair to the pigs consultants, at least they weren’t noisy about it; we didn’t know the deal until Konst told us.

Sanders on the Unity Commission:

Emphasis on the word “begun.”

This is certainly moving on from brakelights, though the principle is the same:

Since this is health-related, I’m assuming that everything is on the up-and-up, including training. But… a concrete material benefit indeed!

Stats Watch

The Bezzle: But have I filed this Bitcoin tweet correctly?

Readers?

News of the Wired

The Housewife of 2000:

I hose my area down. Doesn’t everybody?

* * *
Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (Carla):

Carla writes: “December 4 in Cleveland — unseasonably warm!” Indeed!

Readers, I’m running a bit short on plants. Buttoned-up gardens? Fall foliage? Forest fires?! First snow? Those photos from the summer you never had time to look at? Thanks!

* * *

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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.

71 comments

  1. JBird

    You’re implying that us marks, excuse me, voters don’t have an actual choice. We do. It’s between the deviating slime mold or the corrupt sleeve bag. If you complain you either are a RINO or a racist

    Reply
    1. JohnnyGL

      So it turns out the Nice Polite Republicans (NPR) aren’t really so nice, or polite, behind closed doors?

      I’ve yelled at my radio while listening to him on long drives more times than I care to admit.

      Reply
      1. Darius

        Ditch NPR. I did several years ago when I discovered podcasts. Real News, Michael Brooks, Dead Pundits, Rania Khalek, Jimmy Dore are places to start.

        Reply
    1. Jim Haygood

      Worse than jaywalking:

      Gov. Kay Ivey will sign into law today (May 22, 2017) a bill to ban crossover voting in party primaries. The bill says that if a voter participates in the primary of one party, that voter cannot participate in the primary runoff of the other party.

      The Republican majorities in the House and Senate passed the bills over opposition from Democrats.

      “It helps the Democrats choose Democratic candidates, it helps the Republicans choose Republican candidates. It just prevents the cross-over voting so you get a pure general election with a Democrat and a Republican,” Sen. Tom Whatley, R-Auburn, the sponsor of the bill, told AL.com after the bill passed the Senate in April.

      http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2017/05/alabama_gov_kay_ivey_to_sign_b.html

      Somebody should tell Gov Ivey that smearing the boundary line between party and state is communist. Putin wrote that law.

      Reply
    2. Vatch

      This law specifically prohibits voters from casting a ballot for one party in a primary and then crossing over to vote in another party’s runoff elections. Why would this even be possible? Shouldn’t the elections officials have a list of who voted in which primary? Wouldn’t the local officials be able to use the lists to prevent people from crossing over? I suspect that most of the people who crossed over didn’t even know that it was illegal, because the law was only passed in May, 2017.

      There were no crimes committed. There was only incompetence on the part of Alabama state government officials.

      Reply
      1. JBird

        There were no crimes committed. There was only incompetence on the part of Alabama state government officials.

        It’s not a bug, and it ain’t incompetence, but it is the goal. Let’s just see how many upstanding Republicans compared to the bad Democrats are charged, and if convicted, what their actual punishments are.

        I’m sure that there will be no difference.

        Reply
  2. Vatch

    “Days before election, Roy Moore disappears from campaign trail” [Montgomery Advertiser]. Lost in the mall?

    Ha! Maybe Roy is afraid that some more comedians will announce that he’s a “man’s man” at public appearances.

    Reply
    1. Sid_finster

      My SWAG is that his handlers think that he will win this if he doesn’t put himself in a position to make gaffes or mistakes and just runs this one out.

      Of course, HRC’s handlers gave her similar advice.

      Reply
    2. Stephen Gardner

      Perhaps he is walking the Appalachian trail or visiting his significant other on the side in Argentina or something. ;-)

      Reply
  3. allan

    Axelrod Doubles Down on Support for Chicago Public Schools Chief Who Covered Up Ethics Investigation
    [Chicago Maroon]

    David Axelrod jumped back into the world of Chicago politics this week to defend his long-time friend Forrest Claypool, who resigned as Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Friday after it was revealed he orchestrated a cover-up and lied to investigators.

    Axelrod spoke to the media in support of Claypool before and after the school chief resigned Friday following a scathing report by the school system’s inspector general (IG) that found he “repeatedly lied” to investigators and engaged in a “full-blown cover-up.” Axelrod told The Maroon he sees this as “florid language” from a “media-seeking” inspector general. …

    After the report came out, Axelrod, who is close with both Claypool and his appointer Mayor Rahm Emanuel, told the Sun Times that he did not need to resign, referring to his misconduct as a “pardonable sin.” …

    Meanwhile, the Chicago Teachers Union went after the mayor and his “political lackeys” who were still defending Claypool.

    “While the mayor and political lackeys praise Claypool for his service, our members knew him to be an unmitigated disaster as CPS CEO. His resignation is a victory for them, their students and our school communities,” the Union said. …

    That Booker/Emanuel 2020 dream ticket is beginning to look like long odds.

    Reply
  4. Enquiring Mind

    Once upon a time, after mastering fine-motor skills and no longer coloring outside the lines, kids of a certain era learned how to blacken the ovals with their #2 pencils. Among such ovalescent adventures were the Stanford Achievement Test and the California Mental Maturity Test, leading up to the big one, drumroll please, The Iowa Test. Who knew we were so far ahead of the curve? Get Cory, and reporters, too, just because, some crayons and a remedial coloring book

    Reply
    1. steelhead

      +1000. Anyone who deviated from the #2 pencil exercise were outcast and subject to absolute rejection by grade school, high school, college administration and teacher individuals who needed a sense of domination. This of course not subject to trust fund, legacy and wealth factors. George Carlin was an extremely intuitive person…

      Reply
    1. John

      https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-resolution/176

      Reaffirms: (1) that it is long-standing U.S. bipartisan policy that the permanent status of Jerusalem remains a matter to be decided between the parties through final status negotiations towards a two-state solution; and (2) the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 as U.S. law, and calls upon the President and all U.S. officials to abide by its provisions.

      Humm I don’t see anything about “recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel“

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        From Wikipedia on the Act of 1995:

        The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995[1] is a public law of the United States passed by the 104th Congress on October 23, 1995. It was passed for the purposes of initiating and funding the relocation of the Embassy of the United States in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, no later than May 31, 1999, and attempted to withhold 50 percent of the funds appropriated to the State Department specifically for “Acquisition and Maintenance of Buildings Abroad” as allocated in fiscal year 1999 until the United States Embassy in Jerusalem had officially opened.[2] The act also called for Jerusalem to remain an undivided city and for it to be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel. Israel’s declared capital is Jerusalem, but this is not internationally recognized, pending final status talks in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. The proposed law was adopted by the Senate (93–5),[3] and the House (374–37).[4]

        Further down, section 3 of the act was reprinted:

        Sec. 3. Timetable.
        (a) Statement of the Policy of the United States.—
        (1) Jerusalem should remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected.
        (2) Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel; and
        (3) the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999.
        (b) Opening Determination.—
        Not more than 50 percent of the funds appropriated to the Department of State for fiscal year 1999 for “Acquisition and Maintenance of Buildings Abroad” may be obligated until the Secretary of State determines and reports to Congress that the United States Embassy In Jerusalem has officially opened.

        Reply
        1. Vatch

          The Resolution is contradictory. It’s just a way for politicians to cheaply satisfy various constituencies. Here’s the full text:

          Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem.

          Whereas June 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War and the reunification of the city of Jerusalem;

          Whereas there has been a continuous Jewish presence in Jerusalem for 3 millennia;

          Whereas Jerusalem is a holy city and the home for people of the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian faiths;

          Whereas, for 3,000 years, Jerusalem has been Judaism’s holiest city and the focal point of Jewish religious devotion;

          Whereas, from 1948 to 1967, Jerusalem was a divided city, and Israeli citizens of all faiths as well as Jews of all nationalities were denied access to holy sites in eastern Jerusalem, including the Old City, in which the Western Wall is located;

          Whereas, in 1967, Jerusalem was reunited by Israel during the conflict known as the Six Day War;

          Whereas, since 1967, Jerusalem has been a united city, and persons of all religious faiths have access to holy sites within the city;

          Whereas this year marks the 50th year that Jerusalem has been administered as a united city in which the rights of all faiths have been respected and protected;

          Whereas the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 (Public Law 104–45), which became law on November 8, 1995, states that Jerusalem should remain the undivided capital of Israel in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected; and

          Whereas it is the longstanding policy of the United States Government that a just resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be achieved through direct, bilateral negotiations without preconditions for a sustainable two-state solution: Now, therefore, be it

          Resolved, That the Senate—

          (1) recognizes the 50th Anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem and extends its friendship and hopes for peace to the residents of Jerusalem and the people of Israel;

          (2) reaffirms its support for Israel’s commitment to religious freedom and administration of holy sites in Jerusalem;

          (3) continues to support strengthening the mutually beneficial American-Israeli relationship;

          (4) commends Egypt and Jordan, former combatant states of the Six Day War, who in subsequent years embraced a vision of peace and coexistence with Israel and have continued to uphold their respective peace agreements;

          (5) reaffirms that it is the longstanding, bipartisan policy of the United States Government that the permanent status of Jerusalem remains a matter to be decided between the parties through final status negotiations towards a two-state solution; and

          (6) reaffirms the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 (Public Law 104–45) as United States law, and calls upon the President and all United States officials to abide by its provisions.

          Reply
          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I agree it’s a cheap and craven way to satisfy, by being contradictory and ambiguous with its implicitity.

            (6) reaffirms the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 (Public Law 104–45) as United States law, and calls upon the President and all United States officials to abide by its provisions.

            That’s calling for recognition…if not explicitly.

            Reply
      2. Elizabeth Burton

        You shouldn’t inject facts into the effort to undermine the integrity of Bernie Sanders. It’s bad form.

        Reply
  5. diptherio

    When I was a kid, my dad bought his first totally brand new truck. Specifications for his dream ride included a vinyl bench seat and no stereo…because he wanted to be able to clean it out with a hose :-D. After much cajoling, we were able to convince him to at least go for an AM radio…

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the Hippie

      or get a marine radio…like for a boat.
      my last two trucks had vinyl/rubber/whatever, instead of carpet.
      when I run this latest truck into the ground, my next vehicle will be a buckboard and a mule(I secede, dammit)…but I’ll still eschew a carpeted ride.

      Reply
    2. sleepy

      Had an uncle who had an all-vinyl interior pickup. Used to clean fish in it and he too would just hose it out when done.

      Reply
    3. Phacops

      While working in Indonesia for a contact lens manufacturer I would get a ride from our hotel to the facility in their van. There frequently was water on the floor and I learned that the driver would hose down the interior several times a week.

      Reply
    1. Robert Hahl

      A friend who looked into the electricity consumption issue told me that if all of the bitcoin miners were to agree to slow down, they would collectively consume only about 10% as much electricity yet still achieve the exact same results; like a racecourse which they could all agree to walk over rather than run. Everyone in the world would have to agree to slow down or it wouldn’t be “fair.”

      I assume this type of agreement won’t happen. Then the question becomes will bitcoins stay valuable enough to keep paying for all the electricity. And if so, what prevents the diversion of all existing electricity supply toward bitcoin production?

      Reply
      1. ChrisPacific

        It would have to be a technical solution rather than a trust-based one so that people could be provably compliant, since the whole point of bitcoin is to allow transacting with people you don’t necessarily trust (that and to be shiny and trade like gold, on which point I think it has rather overshot the mark). But I think that might be possible, and people are supposedly looking into it.

        Reply
  6. D

    In between the lines, I suspect that many insiders well familiar with megalomaniac Mark [The Dumb Fucks] Zuckerberg’s ‘personality’ are horrified at the prospect of him running for President, some now have vulnerable children after all. Emphasis mine:

    12/11/17 By James Vincent Former Facebook exec says social media is ripping apart society – ‘No civil discourse, no cooperation; misinformation, mistruth.’

    Another former Facebook executive has spoken out about the harm the social network is doing to civil society around the world. Chamath Palihapitiya, who joined Facebook in 2007 and became its vice president for user growth, said he feels “tremendous guilt” about the company he helped make. “I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works,” he told an audience at Stanford Graduate School of Business, before recommending people take a “hard break” from social media.

    Palihapitiya’s criticisms were aimed not only at Facebook, but the wider online ecosystem. “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created are destroying how society works,” he said, referring to online interactions driven by “hearts, likes, thumbs-up.” “No civil discourse, no cooperation; misinformation, mistruth. And it’s not an American problem — this is not about Russians ads. This is a global problem.”

    He went on to describe an incident in India where hoax messages about kidnappings shared on WhatsApp led to the lynching of seven innocent people. “That’s what we’re dealing with,” said Palihapitiya. “And imagine taking that to the extreme, where bad actors can now manipulate large swathes of people to do anything you want. It’s just a really, really bad state of affairs.” He says he tries to use Facebook as little as possible, and that his children “aren’t allowed to use that shit.” ….
    ….
    Palihapitiya also notes that although tech investors seem almighty, they’ve achieved their power more through luck than skill. “Everybody’s bullshitting,” he said. “If you’re in a seat, and you have good deal flow, and you have precious capital, and there’s a massive tailwind of technological change … Over time you get one of the 20 [companies that become successful] and you look like a genius. And nobody wants to admit that but that’s the fucking truth.”

    I would add Tech Billionaires in general to that last paragraph, along with the words Connections and Government Subsidies.

    Reply
  7. Terry Humphrey

    Just received my 2018 benefit amount from Social Security. My 2percent raise was all but wiped out by the Medicare increase. Let’s see, individuals get a 2% raise and Medicare gets a nearly 23%. My overall gain, $4 a month.

    Reply
    1. Lee

      Same deal; my benefit went down. They better stop giving me raises or I’ll go broke. And then there’s the rise in Part D and Medicare supplement premiums. And losing state and local tax deduction. Sheesh!

      Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      51 years ago, coming off a World Series win, arguably one of the best combo of starting pitchers ever both held out for 3 year $500k deals (that’s $166,666.00 a year) and the Dodger management said no dice, so Sandy Koufax signed a 1 year deal for $125k, while Don Drysdale settled for a 1 year $110k contract.

      I don’t watch a lot of baseball, so I had no idea who Giancarlo Stanton was, nor did I know of his $285 million contract.

      We’ve come a long way since 1966~

      Reply
        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          And 35 years ago, in 1982, AT&T was broken up into many baby Bells.

          Those were the days, when, I wanted to say when “men were men,” but that is not correct.

          Reply
          1. Alex Morfesis

            But all the kings men and all the kings horses found some new fangled thingee called krazy glue and now they have put ATT back together again…

            Reply
        2. Wukchumni

          It was pretty common when I was a yout, that the baseball cards would tell you what sort of profession a given MLB player was in during the off-season, a realtor or maybe he owned a liquor store, etc. They were way underpaid and there was no such thing as anything other than a 1 year contract in the Major League, what if the player got hurt and the owner had to eat the salary?

          Reply
  8. Tim

    Class Warfare:
    http://www.newsweek.com/alabama-un-poverty-environmental-racism-743601?utm_source=internal&utm_campaign=most_read&utm_medium=most_read2

    Alston also pointed out that the U.S. “has been very keen” on other countries being investigated by the U.N. for civil and human rights issues.

    “Now, it’s the turn to look at what’s going on in the U.S.,” Alston said. “There are pretty extreme levels of poverty in the United States given the wealth of the country. And that does have significant human rights implications.”

    Reply
    1. perpetualPOOR

      I read another article regarding the UN and the study of poverty this weekend.

      Raw sewage runs from indoor pipes directly onto the soil. No septic, no sewer, just sewage. They documented water lines running right through the raw sewage. Shocking. This is in America, the “richest” country?

      Reply
      1. Massinissa

        Yes, we ARE the richest country, but obviously the wealth of the richest country should go to the already richest people in said country! It only makes sense. /sarcasm

        Reply
  9. Summer

    ” But to engineer the win, the party needs to mobilize a group of voters known in progressive circles as the “Rising American Electorate” — minorities, unmarried women and millennials, ages 18 to 34 — who have failed repeatedly to show up on Election Day when Barack Obama is not atop the ticket.” ZOMG!!!! The Democrats have rebranded the “Coalition of the Ascendant,” and fed it to a reporter, who swallowed it!”

    “Rising American Electorate” — minorities, unmarried women and millennials, ages 18 to 34…

    Really think about what they are saying about “millennials”…apparently if you are a minority (I’m assuming that means not white) or unmarried woman between the ages of 18 to 34, that’s something different than being a millennial.
    So many identities, so little time.

    Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Yes, under identity politics there are no millennial black people, exactly as there is no black working class.

      Mentally, it’s like not mixing food on your plate, but I suspect it has to do with how donors fund projects. Speculating freely: Donor class funding drives the institutional structure, and the institutional structure drives the mental categories. It’s like Conway’s Law; the institutional silos and the mental silos mirror each other.

      Reply
  10. edmondo

    Bernie Sanders
    ✔ @BernieSanders

    The Democratic Party will not become a vibrant and successful 50 state party until it opens its doors widely to the working people and young people of our country. I am extremely pleased that the Unity Reform Commission has begun that process.

    Is Bernie trying to get Al Franken’s gig on Saturday Night Live? Why doesn’t he just endorse Cory Booker now and ensure Trump’s re-election?

    Reply
    1. flora

      And the Demo Unity Tour, er, conference has declared

      “Democratic establishment bars anyone who challenges an incumbent from using the party’s Votebuilder database”

      ” This is why it’s especially grave that the DNC is refusing to allow primary challengers to access Votebuilder, the party’s central database, “housing years of information on just about every contact the party has ever made with every voter.” Denying a modern candidate this database is a hamstringing move, virtually guaranteeing their failure.

      “It’s a move that’s being weaponized against Sanders Democrats, who, running as “Justice Democrats,” are challenging the worst of the worst of Democratic Party politicians, fronting progressive, bold policies that poll well with voters and bode well for the nation. ”

      https://boingboing.net/2017/12/11/screw-triangulation.html

      This Dem Unity pitch sounds a lot like the unity of the Borg. Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated,.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyenRCJ_4Ww

      This interesting thing is the Dem estab thinks its necessary to go to these lengths to shut out progressive, or less GOP-lite candidates from challenging sitting neolib Dems. There must be a lot of energy in the base to replace the corporatist Dems.

      Reply
      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Democratic establishment bars anyone who challenges an incumbent from using the party’s Votebuilder database

        Well, that rips the mask off, doesn’t it?* (With Flora, I wonder if challengers could use Our Revolution’s mailing list…)

        * If purging all Sanders supporters from the Rules and Bylaws Committee didn’t do that already.

        Reply
  11. allan


    Trump’s pick for US highway chief withdraws from process
    [AP]

    President Trump’s nominee to lead the Federal Highway Administration has withdrawn from consideration for the post, a surprising development given his widespread support and qualifications, the U.S. Department of Transportation confirmed Monday.

    A DOT spokesperson said that Paul Trombino III was stepping away from the federal appointment for family reasons. Trombino told colleagues in an email Friday that he had decided to stay in Iowa to take care of his ailing father, whose condition has recently deteriorated.

    Trump announced Trombino’s nomination in September, and he received bipartisan support. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee endorsed Trombino in October, with members calling the 51-year-old a talented administrator who would help rebuild the nation’s highways. …

    In other news, an Amber alert has been posted for the infrastructure plan.

    File under We’ll Pivot To It In The Second Term.

    Reply
  12. allan

    Austerity and the rise of the Nazi party [NBER]

    Abstract: The current historical consensus on the economic causes of the inexorable Nazi electoral success between 1930 and 1933 suggests this was largely related to the Treaty of Versailles and the Great Depression (high unemployment and financial instability). However, these factors cannot fully account for the Nazi’s electoral success. Alternatively it has been speculated that fiscally contractionary austerity measures, including spending cuts and tax rises, contributed to votes for the Nazi party especially among middle- and upper-classes who had more to lose from them. We use voting data from 1,024 districts in Germany on votes cast for the Nazi and rival Communist and Center parties between 1930 and 1933, evaluating whether radical austerity measures, measured as the combination of tax increases and spending cuts, contributed to the rise of the Nazis. Our analysis shows that chancellor Brüning’s austerity measures were positively associated with increasing vote shares for the Nazi party. Depending on how we measure austerity and the elections we consider, each 1 standard deviation increase in austerity is associated with a 2 to 5 percentage point increase in vote share for the Nazis. Consistent with existing evidence, we find that unemployment rates were linked with greater votes for the Communist party. Our findings are robust to a range of specifications including a border-pair policy discontinuity design and alternative measures of radicalization such as Nazi party membership. The coalition that allowed a majority to form government in March 1933 might not have been able to form had fiscal policy been more expansionary.

    Heckuva job, Rubinite Dems.

    Reply
    1. Jean

      Didn’t they ditch the central bank model and just print as much new money as was needed to industrialize and pay higher wages?

      Here’s a series of articles on exactly how they did it. Any reason we couldn’t create money the same way???

      https://www.scribd.com/document/108556261/Henry-C-K-Liu

      p.s. The Treaty of Versailles was written by John Foster Dulles who worked at a Wall Street law firm.

      Reply
      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > The Treaty of Versailles was written by John Foster Dulles

        No, it wasn’t. From Dulles’ obituary at The Times:

        The fact that he was one of five men–another was Thomas W. Lamont, a partner in J. P. Morgan–who served as the President’s economic advisers at Versailles gave John Foster Dulles’ career another lift.

        And Washington Monthly, in an article on the Dulles brothers:

        Neither Allen nor John Foster played big roles in drafting the Treaty of Versailles, but they did make numerous connections.

        The facts are interesting enough without wildly exaggerating them!

        Reply

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