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[Dec 31, 2016] What Happened to Obamas Passion

This was written in 2011 but it summarizes Obama presidency pretty nicely, even today. Betrayer in chief, the master of bait and switch. That is the essence of Obama legacy. On "Great Democratic betrayal"... Obama always was a closet neoliberal and neocon. A stooge of neoliberal financial oligarchy, a puppet, if you want politically incorrect term. He just masked it well during hist first election campaigning as a progressive democrat... And he faced Romney in his second campaign, who was even worse, so after betraying American people once, he was reelected and did it twice. Much like Bush II. He like another former cocaine addict -- George W Bush has never any intention of helping American people, only oligarchy.
Notable quotes:
"... IN contrast, when faced with the greatest economic crisis, the greatest levels of economic inequality, and the greatest levels of corporate influence on politics since the Depression, Barack Obama stared into the eyes of history and chose to avert his gaze. ..."
"... We (yes, we) recognise that capitalism is the most efficient way to maximise overall prosperity and quality of life. But we also recognise that unfettered, it will ravage the environment, abuse labor, and expand income disparity until violence or tragedy (or both) ensues. ..."
"... These are the lessons we've learned since the industrial revolution, and they're the ones that we should be drawing from the past decade. We recognise that we need a strong federal government to check these tendencies, and to strike a stable, sustainable balance between prosperity, community, opportunity, wealth, justice, freedom. We need a voice to fill the moral vacuum that has allowed the Koch/Tea/Fox Party to emerge and grab power. ..."
"... Americans know this---including, of course, President Obama (see his April 13 speech at GW University). But as this article by Dr. Westen so effectively shows, Obama is incompetent to lead us back ..."
"... he is not competent to lead us back to a state of American morality, where government is the protector of those who work hard, and the provider of opportunity to all Americans. ..."
"... I've heard him called a mediator, a conciliator, a compromiser, etc. Those terms indicate someone who is bringing divergent views together and moving us along. That's part of what a leader does, though not all. Yet I don't think he's even lived up to his reputation as a mediator. ..."
"... Almost three years after I voted for Obama, I still don't know what he's doing other than trying to help the financial industry: the wealthy who benefit most from it and the technocrats who run it for them. But average working people, people like myself and my daughter and my grandson, have not been helped. We are worse off than before. And millions of unemployed and underemployed are even worse off than my family is. ..."
"... So whatever else he is (and that still remains a mystery to me), President Obama is not the leader I thought I was voting for. ..."
"... I knew that Obama was a charade early on when giving a speech about the banking failures to the nation, instead of giving the narrative Mr. Westen accurately recommended on the origins of the orgy of greed that just crippled our economy and caused suffering for millions of Americans ..."
"... He should have been condemning the craven, wanton, greed of nihilistic financial gangsters who hijacked our economy. Instead he seemed to be calling for all Americans not to hate rich people. That was not the point. Americans don't hate rich people, but they should hate rich people who acquire their wealth at the expense of the well being of an entire nation through irresponsible, avaricious, and in some instances illegal practices, and legally bribe politicians to enact laws which allow them to run amok over our economy without supervision or regulation. ..."
"... I knew then that Obama was either a political lemon, in over his head, an extremely conflict averse neurotic individual with a compulsive need for some delusional ideal of neutrality in political and social relations, or a political phony beholden to the same forces that almost destroyed the country as Republicans are. ..."
Aug 06, 2011 | nytimes.com

When Barack Obama rose to the lectern on Inauguration Day, the nation was in tatters. Americans were scared and angry. The economy was spinning in reverse. Three-quarters of a million people lost their jobs that month. Many had lost their homes, and with them the only nest eggs they had. Even the usually impervious upper middle class had seen a decade of stagnant or declining investment, with the stock market dropping in value with no end in sight. Hope was as scarce as credit.

In that context, Americans needed their president to tell them a story that made sense of what they had just been through, what caused it, and how it was going to end. They needed to hear that he understood what they were feeling, that he would track down those responsible for their pain and suffering, and that he would restore order and safety. What they were waiting for, in broad strokes, was a story something like this:

"I know you're scared and angry. Many of you have lost your jobs, your homes, your hope. This was a disaster, but it was not a natural disaster. It was made by Wall Street gamblers who speculated with your lives and futures. It was made by conservative extremists who told us that if we just eliminated regulations and rewarded greed and recklessness, it would all work out. But it didn't work out. And it didn't work out 80 years ago, when the same people sold our grandparents the same bill of goods, with the same results. But we learned something from our grandparents about how to fix it, and we will draw on their wisdom. We will restore business confidence the old-fashioned way: by putting money back in the pockets of working Americans by putting them back to work, and by restoring integrity to our financial markets and demanding it of those who want to run them. I can't promise that we won't make mistakes along the way. But I can promise you that they will be honest mistakes, and that your government has your back again." A story isn't a policy. But that simple narrative - and the policies that would naturally have flowed from it - would have inoculated against much of what was to come in the intervening two and a half years of failed government, idled factories and idled hands. That story would have made clear that the president understood that the American people had given Democrats the presidency and majorities in both houses of Congress to fix the mess the Republicans and Wall Street had made of the country, and that this would not be a power-sharing arrangement. It would have made clear that the problem wasn't tax-and-spend liberalism or the deficit - a deficit that didn't exist until George W. Bush gave nearly $2 trillion in tax breaks largely to the wealthiest Americans and squandered $1 trillion in two wars.

And perhaps most important, it would have offered a clear, compelling alternative to the dominant narrative of the right, that our problem is not due to spending on things like the pensions of firefighters, but to the fact that those who can afford to buy influence are rewriting the rules so they can cut themselves progressively larger slices of the American pie while paying less of their fair share for it.

But there was no story - and there has been none since.

In similar circumstances, Franklin D. Roosevelt offered Americans a promise to use the power of his office to make their lives better and to keep trying until he got it right. Beginning in his first inaugural address, and in the fireside chats that followed, he explained how the crash had happened, and he minced no words about those who had caused it. He promised to do something no president had done before: to use the resources of the United States to put Americans directly to work, building the infrastructure we still rely on today. He swore to keep the people who had caused the crisis out of the halls of power, and he made good on that promise. In a 1936 speech at Madison Square Garden, he thundered, "Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me - and I welcome their hatred."

When Barack Obama stepped into the Oval Office, he stepped into a cycle of American history, best exemplified by F.D.R. and his distant cousin, Teddy. After a great technological revolution or a major economic transition, as when America changed from a nation of farmers to an urban industrial one, there is often a period of great concentration of wealth, and with it, a concentration of power in the wealthy. That's what we saw in 1928, and that's what we see today. At some point that power is exercised so injudiciously, and the lives of so many become so unbearable, that a period of reform ensues - and a charismatic reformer emerges to lead that renewal. In that sense, Teddy Roosevelt started the cycle of reform his cousin picked up 30 years later, as he began efforts to bust the trusts and regulate the railroads, exercise federal power over the banks and the nation's food supply, and protect America's land and wildlife, creating the modern environmental movement.

Those were the shoes - that was the historic role - that Americans elected Barack Obama to fill. The president is fond of referring to "the arc of history," paraphrasing the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous statement that "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." But with his deep-seated aversion to conflict and his profound failure to understand bully dynamics - in which conciliation is always the wrong course of action, because bullies perceive it as weakness and just punch harder the next time - he has broken that arc and has likely bent it backward for at least a generation.

When Dr. King spoke of the great arc bending toward justice, he did not mean that we should wait for it to bend. He exhorted others to put their full weight behind it, and he gave his life speaking with a voice that cut through the blistering force of water cannons and the gnashing teeth of police dogs. He preached the gospel of nonviolence, but he knew that whether a bully hid behind a club or a poll tax, the only effective response was to face the bully down, and to make the bully show his true and repugnant face in public.

IN contrast, when faced with the greatest economic crisis, the greatest levels of economic inequality, and the greatest levels of corporate influence on politics since the Depression, Barack Obama stared into the eyes of history and chose to avert his gaze. Instead of indicting the people whose recklessness wrecked the economy, he put them in charge of it. He never explained that decision to the public - a failure in storytelling as extraordinary as the failure in judgment behind it. Had the president chosen to bend the arc of history, he would have told the public the story of the destruction wrought by the dismantling of the New Deal regulations that had protected them for more than half a century. He would have offered them a counternarrative of how to fix the problem other than the politics of appeasement, one that emphasized creating economic demand and consumer confidence by putting consumers back to work. He would have had to stare down those who had wrecked the economy, and he would have had to tolerate their hatred if not welcome it. But the arc of his temperament just didn't bend that far.

Michael August 7, 2011

Eloquently expressed and horrifically accurate, this excellent analysis articulates the frustration that so many of us have felt watching Mr...

Bill Levine August 7, 2011

Very well put. I know that I have been going through Kόbler-Ross's stages of grief ever since the foxes (a.k.a. Geithner and Summers) were...

AnAverageAmerican August 7, 2011

"In that context, Americans needed their president to tell them a story that made sense of what they had just been through, what caused it,...

cdearman Santa Fe, NM August 7, 2011

Unfortunately, the Democratic Congress of 2008-2010, did not have the will to make the economic and social program decisions that would have improved the economic situation for the middle-class; and it is becoming more obvious that President Obama does not have the temperament to publicly push for programs and policies that he wants the congress to enact.
The American people have a problem: we reelect Obama and hope for the best; or we elect a Republican and expect the worst. There is no question that the Health Care law that was just passed would be reversed; Medicare and Medicare would be gutted; and who knows what would happen to Social Security. You can be sure, though, that business taxes and regulation reforms would not be in the cards and those regulations that have been enacted would be reversed. We have traveled this road before and we should be wise enough not to travel it again!

SP California August 7, 2011

Brilliant analysis - and I suspect that a very large number of those who voted for President Obama will recognize in this the thoughts that they have been trying to ignore, or have been trying not to say out loud. Later historians can complete this analysis and attempt to explain exactly why Mr. Obama has turned out the way he has - but right now, it may be time to ask a more relevant and urgent question.

If it is not too late, will a challenger emerge in time before the 2012 elections, or will we be doomed to hold our noses and endure another four years of this?

farospace san francisco August 7, 2011

Very eloquent and exactly to the point. Like many others, I was enthralled by the rhetoric of his story, making the leap of faith (or hope) that because he could tell his story so well, he could tell, as you put it, "the story the American people were waiting to hear."

Disappointment has darkened into disillusion, disillusion into a species of despair. Will I vote for Barack Obama again? What are the options?

Richard Katz American in Oxford, UK August 7, 2011

This is the most brilliant and tragic story I have read in a long time---in fact, precisely since I read when Ill Fares the Land by Tony Judt. When will a leader emerge with a true moral vision for the federal government and for our country? Someone who sees government as a balance to capitalism, and a means to achieve the social and economic justice that we (yes, we) believe in? Will that leadership arrive before parts of America come to look like the dystopia of Johannesburg?

We (yes, we) recognise that capitalism is the most efficient way to maximise overall prosperity and quality of life. But we also recognise that unfettered, it will ravage the environment, abuse labor, and expand income disparity until violence or tragedy (or both) ensues.

These are the lessons we've learned since the industrial revolution, and they're the ones that we should be drawing from the past decade. We recognise that we need a strong federal government to check these tendencies, and to strike a stable, sustainable balance between prosperity, community, opportunity, wealth, justice, freedom. We need a voice to fill the moral vacuum that has allowed the Koch/Tea/Fox Party to emerge and grab power.

Americans know this---including, of course, President Obama (see his April 13 speech at GW University). But as this article by Dr. Westen so effectively shows, Obama is incompetent to lead us back to America's traditional position on the global economic/political spectrum. He's brilliant and eloquent. He's achieved personal success that is inspirational. He's done some good things as president. But he is not competent to lead us back to a state of American morality, where government is the protector of those who work hard, and the provider of opportunity to all Americans.

Taxes, subsidies, entitlements, laws... these are the tools we have available to achieve our national moral vision. But the vision has been muddled (hijacked?) and that is our biggest problem. -->

An Ordinary American Prague August 7, 2011

I voted for Obama. I thought then, and still think, he's a decent person, a smart person, a person who wants to do the best he can for others. When I voted for him, I was thinking he's a centrist who will find a way to unite our increasingly polarized and ugly politics in the USA. Or if not unite us, at least forge a way to get some important things done despite the ugly polarization.

And I must confess, I have been disappointed. Deeply so. He has not united us. He has not forged a way to accomplish what needs to be done. He has not been a leader.

I've heard him called a mediator, a conciliator, a compromiser, etc. Those terms indicate someone who is bringing divergent views together and moving us along. That's part of what a leader does, though not all. Yet I don't think he's even lived up to his reputation as a mediator.

Almost three years after I voted for Obama, I still don't know what he's doing other than trying to help the financial industry: the wealthy who benefit most from it and the technocrats who run it for them. But average working people, people like myself and my daughter and my grandson, have not been helped. We are worse off than before. And millions of unemployed and underemployed are even worse off than my family is.

So whatever else he is (and that still remains a mystery to me), President Obama is not the leader I thought I was voting for. Which leaves me feeling confused and close to apathetic about what to do as a voter in 2012. More of the same isn't worth voting for. Yet I don't see anyone out there who offers the possibility of doing better.

martin Portland, Oregon August 7, 2011

This was an extraordinarily well written, eloquent and comprehensive indictment of the failure of the Obama presidency.

If a credible primary challenger to Obama ever could arise, the positions and analysis in this column would be all he or she would need to justify the Democratic party's need to seek new leadership.

I knew that Obama was a charade early on when giving a speech about the banking failures to the nation, instead of giving the narrative Mr. Westen accurately recommended on the origins of the orgy of greed that just crippled our economy and caused suffering for millions of Americans, he said "we don't disparage wealth in America." I was dumbfounded.

He should have been condemning the craven, wanton, greed of nihilistic financial gangsters who hijacked our economy. Instead he seemed to be calling for all Americans not to hate rich people. That was not the point. Americans don't hate rich people, but they should hate rich people who acquire their wealth at the expense of the well being of an entire nation through irresponsible, avaricious, and in some instances illegal practices, and legally bribe politicians to enact laws which allow them to run amok over our economy without supervision or regulation.

I knew then that Obama was either a political lemon, in over his head, an extremely conflict averse neurotic individual with a compulsive need for some delusional ideal of neutrality in political and social relations, or a political phony beholden to the same forces that almost destroyed the country as Republicans are.

Perhaps all of these are true.

[Dec 31, 2016] What Happened to Obamas Passion

This was written in 2011 but it summarizes Obama presidency pretty nicely, even today. Betrayer in chief, the master of bait and switch. That is the essence of Obama legacy. On "Great Democratic betrayal"... Obama always was a closet neoliberal and neocon. A stooge of neoliberal financial oligarchy, a puppet, if you want politically incorrect term. He just masked it well during hist first election campaigning as a progressive democrat... And he faced Romney in his second campaign, who was even worse, so after betraying American people once, he was reelected and did it twice. Much like Bush II. He like another former cocaine addict -- George W Bush has never any intention of helping American people, only oligarchy.
Notable quotes:
"... IN contrast, when faced with the greatest economic crisis, the greatest levels of economic inequality, and the greatest levels of corporate influence on politics since the Depression, Barack Obama stared into the eyes of history and chose to avert his gaze. ..."
"... We (yes, we) recognise that capitalism is the most efficient way to maximise overall prosperity and quality of life. But we also recognise that unfettered, it will ravage the environment, abuse labor, and expand income disparity until violence or tragedy (or both) ensues. ..."
"... These are the lessons we've learned since the industrial revolution, and they're the ones that we should be drawing from the past decade. We recognise that we need a strong federal government to check these tendencies, and to strike a stable, sustainable balance between prosperity, community, opportunity, wealth, justice, freedom. We need a voice to fill the moral vacuum that has allowed the Koch/Tea/Fox Party to emerge and grab power. ..."
"... Americans know this---including, of course, President Obama (see his April 13 speech at GW University). But as this article by Dr. Westen so effectively shows, Obama is incompetent to lead us back ..."
"... he is not competent to lead us back to a state of American morality, where government is the protector of those who work hard, and the provider of opportunity to all Americans. ..."
"... I've heard him called a mediator, a conciliator, a compromiser, etc. Those terms indicate someone who is bringing divergent views together and moving us along. That's part of what a leader does, though not all. Yet I don't think he's even lived up to his reputation as a mediator. ..."
"... Almost three years after I voted for Obama, I still don't know what he's doing other than trying to help the financial industry: the wealthy who benefit most from it and the technocrats who run it for them. But average working people, people like myself and my daughter and my grandson, have not been helped. We are worse off than before. And millions of unemployed and underemployed are even worse off than my family is. ..."
"... So whatever else he is (and that still remains a mystery to me), President Obama is not the leader I thought I was voting for. ..."
"... I knew that Obama was a charade early on when giving a speech about the banking failures to the nation, instead of giving the narrative Mr. Westen accurately recommended on the origins of the orgy of greed that just crippled our economy and caused suffering for millions of Americans ..."
"... He should have been condemning the craven, wanton, greed of nihilistic financial gangsters who hijacked our economy. Instead he seemed to be calling for all Americans not to hate rich people. That was not the point. Americans don't hate rich people, but they should hate rich people who acquire their wealth at the expense of the well being of an entire nation through irresponsible, avaricious, and in some instances illegal practices, and legally bribe politicians to enact laws which allow them to run amok over our economy without supervision or regulation. ..."
"... I knew then that Obama was either a political lemon, in over his head, an extremely conflict averse neurotic individual with a compulsive need for some delusional ideal of neutrality in political and social relations, or a political phony beholden to the same forces that almost destroyed the country as Republicans are. ..."
Aug 06, 2011 | nytimes.com

When Barack Obama rose to the lectern on Inauguration Day, the nation was in tatters. Americans were scared and angry. The economy was spinning in reverse. Three-quarters of a million people lost their jobs that month. Many had lost their homes, and with them the only nest eggs they had. Even the usually impervious upper middle class had seen a decade of stagnant or declining investment, with the stock market dropping in value with no end in sight. Hope was as scarce as credit.

In that context, Americans needed their president to tell them a story that made sense of what they had just been through, what caused it, and how it was going to end. They needed to hear that he understood what they were feeling, that he would track down those responsible for their pain and suffering, and that he would restore order and safety. What they were waiting for, in broad strokes, was a story something like this:

"I know you're scared and angry. Many of you have lost your jobs, your homes, your hope. This was a disaster, but it was not a natural disaster. It was made by Wall Street gamblers who speculated with your lives and futures. It was made by conservative extremists who told us that if we just eliminated regulations and rewarded greed and recklessness, it would all work out. But it didn't work out. And it didn't work out 80 years ago, when the same people sold our grandparents the same bill of goods, with the same results. But we learned something from our grandparents about how to fix it, and we will draw on their wisdom. We will restore business confidence the old-fashioned way: by putting money back in the pockets of working Americans by putting them back to work, and by restoring integrity to our financial markets and demanding it of those who want to run them. I can't promise that we won't make mistakes along the way. But I can promise you that they will be honest mistakes, and that your government has your back again." A story isn't a policy. But that simple narrative - and the policies that would naturally have flowed from it - would have inoculated against much of what was to come in the intervening two and a half years of failed government, idled factories and idled hands. That story would have made clear that the president understood that the American people had given Democrats the presidency and majorities in both houses of Congress to fix the mess the Republicans and Wall Street had made of the country, and that this would not be a power-sharing arrangement. It would have made clear that the problem wasn't tax-and-spend liberalism or the deficit - a deficit that didn't exist until George W. Bush gave nearly $2 trillion in tax breaks largely to the wealthiest Americans and squandered $1 trillion in two wars.

And perhaps most important, it would have offered a clear, compelling alternative to the dominant narrative of the right, that our problem is not due to spending on things like the pensions of firefighters, but to the fact that those who can afford to buy influence are rewriting the rules so they can cut themselves progressively larger slices of the American pie while paying less of their fair share for it.

But there was no story - and there has been none since.

In similar circumstances, Franklin D. Roosevelt offered Americans a promise to use the power of his office to make their lives better and to keep trying until he got it right. Beginning in his first inaugural address, and in the fireside chats that followed, he explained how the crash had happened, and he minced no words about those who had caused it. He promised to do something no president had done before: to use the resources of the United States to put Americans directly to work, building the infrastructure we still rely on today. He swore to keep the people who had caused the crisis out of the halls of power, and he made good on that promise. In a 1936 speech at Madison Square Garden, he thundered, "Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me - and I welcome their hatred."

When Barack Obama stepped into the Oval Office, he stepped into a cycle of American history, best exemplified by F.D.R. and his distant cousin, Teddy. After a great technological revolution or a major economic transition, as when America changed from a nation of farmers to an urban industrial one, there is often a period of great concentration of wealth, and with it, a concentration of power in the wealthy. That's what we saw in 1928, and that's what we see today. At some point that power is exercised so injudiciously, and the lives of so many become so unbearable, that a period of reform ensues - and a charismatic reformer emerges to lead that renewal. In that sense, Teddy Roosevelt started the cycle of reform his cousin picked up 30 years later, as he began efforts to bust the trusts and regulate the railroads, exercise federal power over the banks and the nation's food supply, and protect America's land and wildlife, creating the modern environmental movement.

Those were the shoes - that was the historic role - that Americans elected Barack Obama to fill. The president is fond of referring to "the arc of history," paraphrasing the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous statement that "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." But with his deep-seated aversion to conflict and his profound failure to understand bully dynamics - in which conciliation is always the wrong course of action, because bullies perceive it as weakness and just punch harder the next time - he has broken that arc and has likely bent it backward for at least a generation.

When Dr. King spoke of the great arc bending toward justice, he did not mean that we should wait for it to bend. He exhorted others to put their full weight behind it, and he gave his life speaking with a voice that cut through the blistering force of water cannons and the gnashing teeth of police dogs. He preached the gospel of nonviolence, but he knew that whether a bully hid behind a club or a poll tax, the only effective response was to face the bully down, and to make the bully show his true and repugnant face in public.

IN contrast, when faced with the greatest economic crisis, the greatest levels of economic inequality, and the greatest levels of corporate influence on politics since the Depression, Barack Obama stared into the eyes of history and chose to avert his gaze. Instead of indicting the people whose recklessness wrecked the economy, he put them in charge of it. He never explained that decision to the public - a failure in storytelling as extraordinary as the failure in judgment behind it. Had the president chosen to bend the arc of history, he would have told the public the story of the destruction wrought by the dismantling of the New Deal regulations that had protected them for more than half a century. He would have offered them a counternarrative of how to fix the problem other than the politics of appeasement, one that emphasized creating economic demand and consumer confidence by putting consumers back to work. He would have had to stare down those who had wrecked the economy, and he would have had to tolerate their hatred if not welcome it. But the arc of his temperament just didn't bend that far.

Michael August 7, 2011

Eloquently expressed and horrifically accurate, this excellent analysis articulates the frustration that so many of us have felt watching Mr...

Bill Levine August 7, 2011

Very well put. I know that I have been going through Kόbler-Ross's stages of grief ever since the foxes (a.k.a. Geithner and Summers) were...

AnAverageAmerican August 7, 2011

"In that context, Americans needed their president to tell them a story that made sense of what they had just been through, what caused it,...

cdearman Santa Fe, NM August 7, 2011

Unfortunately, the Democratic Congress of 2008-2010, did not have the will to make the economic and social program decisions that would have improved the economic situation for the middle-class; and it is becoming more obvious that President Obama does not have the temperament to publicly push for programs and policies that he wants the congress to enact.
The American people have a problem: we reelect Obama and hope for the best; or we elect a Republican and expect the worst. There is no question that the Health Care law that was just passed would be reversed; Medicare and Medicare would be gutted; and who knows what would happen to Social Security. You can be sure, though, that business taxes and regulation reforms would not be in the cards and those regulations that have been enacted would be reversed. We have traveled this road before and we should be wise enough not to travel it again!

SP California August 7, 2011

Brilliant analysis - and I suspect that a very large number of those who voted for President Obama will recognize in this the thoughts that they have been trying to ignore, or have been trying not to say out loud. Later historians can complete this analysis and attempt to explain exactly why Mr. Obama has turned out the way he has - but right now, it may be time to ask a more relevant and urgent question.

If it is not too late, will a challenger emerge in time before the 2012 elections, or will we be doomed to hold our noses and endure another four years of this?

farospace san francisco August 7, 2011

Very eloquent and exactly to the point. Like many others, I was enthralled by the rhetoric of his story, making the leap of faith (or hope) that because he could tell his story so well, he could tell, as you put it, "the story the American people were waiting to hear."

Disappointment has darkened into disillusion, disillusion into a species of despair. Will I vote for Barack Obama again? What are the options?

Richard Katz American in Oxford, UK August 7, 2011

This is the most brilliant and tragic story I have read in a long time---in fact, precisely since I read when Ill Fares the Land by Tony Judt. When will a leader emerge with a true moral vision for the federal government and for our country? Someone who sees government as a balance to capitalism, and a means to achieve the social and economic justice that we (yes, we) believe in? Will that leadership arrive before parts of America come to look like the dystopia of Johannesburg?

We (yes, we) recognise that capitalism is the most efficient way to maximise overall prosperity and quality of life. But we also recognise that unfettered, it will ravage the environment, abuse labor, and expand income disparity until violence or tragedy (or both) ensues.

These are the lessons we've learned since the industrial revolution, and they're the ones that we should be drawing from the past decade. We recognise that we need a strong federal government to check these tendencies, and to strike a stable, sustainable balance between prosperity, community, opportunity, wealth, justice, freedom. We need a voice to fill the moral vacuum that has allowed the Koch/Tea/Fox Party to emerge and grab power.

Americans know this---including, of course, President Obama (see his April 13 speech at GW University). But as this article by Dr. Westen so effectively shows, Obama is incompetent to lead us back to America's traditional position on the global economic/political spectrum. He's brilliant and eloquent. He's achieved personal success that is inspirational. He's done some good things as president. But he is not competent to lead us back to a state of American morality, where government is the protector of those who work hard, and the provider of opportunity to all Americans.

Taxes, subsidies, entitlements, laws... these are the tools we have available to achieve our national moral vision. But the vision has been muddled (hijacked?) and that is our biggest problem. -->

An Ordinary American Prague August 7, 2011

I voted for Obama. I thought then, and still think, he's a decent person, a smart person, a person who wants to do the best he can for others. When I voted for him, I was thinking he's a centrist who will find a way to unite our increasingly polarized and ugly politics in the USA. Or if not unite us, at least forge a way to get some important things done despite the ugly polarization.

And I must confess, I have been disappointed. Deeply so. He has not united us. He has not forged a way to accomplish what needs to be done. He has not been a leader.

I've heard him called a mediator, a conciliator, a compromiser, etc. Those terms indicate someone who is bringing divergent views together and moving us along. That's part of what a leader does, though not all. Yet I don't think he's even lived up to his reputation as a mediator.

Almost three years after I voted for Obama, I still don't know what he's doing other than trying to help the financial industry: the wealthy who benefit most from it and the technocrats who run it for them. But average working people, people like myself and my daughter and my grandson, have not been helped. We are worse off than before. And millions of unemployed and underemployed are even worse off than my family is.

So whatever else he is (and that still remains a mystery to me), President Obama is not the leader I thought I was voting for. Which leaves me feeling confused and close to apathetic about what to do as a voter in 2012. More of the same isn't worth voting for. Yet I don't see anyone out there who offers the possibility of doing better.

martin Portland, Oregon August 7, 2011

This was an extraordinarily well written, eloquent and comprehensive indictment of the failure of the Obama presidency.

If a credible primary challenger to Obama ever could arise, the positions and analysis in this column would be all he or she would need to justify the Democratic party's need to seek new leadership.

I knew that Obama was a charade early on when giving a speech about the banking failures to the nation, instead of giving the narrative Mr. Westen accurately recommended on the origins of the orgy of greed that just crippled our economy and caused suffering for millions of Americans, he said "we don't disparage wealth in America." I was dumbfounded.

He should have been condemning the craven, wanton, greed of nihilistic financial gangsters who hijacked our economy. Instead he seemed to be calling for all Americans not to hate rich people. That was not the point. Americans don't hate rich people, but they should hate rich people who acquire their wealth at the expense of the well being of an entire nation through irresponsible, avaricious, and in some instances illegal practices, and legally bribe politicians to enact laws which allow them to run amok over our economy without supervision or regulation.

I knew then that Obama was either a political lemon, in over his head, an extremely conflict averse neurotic individual with a compulsive need for some delusional ideal of neutrality in political and social relations, or a political phony beholden to the same forces that almost destroyed the country as Republicans are.

Perhaps all of these are true.

[Dec 29, 2016] The neoliberal MSM narrative that it is a well established fact that Russia influenced US election is nonsense.

Dec 29, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
sanjait -> DeDude... , December 28, 2016 at 06:26 PM
"Russia tampered with vote tallies to help Donald Trump"

Yeah, that seems like a clear statement, but when you consider that the vast majority of people do not habitually read closely and interpret things literally, I can see how this would easily be misinterpreted.

Russia tampered with the election to help Donald Trump. That's a fairly well established fact. It's not the same as "tampered with vote tallies" but an inattentive poll respondent might assume the question was about the former. And most people are inattentive.

likbez -> sanjait... December 28, 2016 at 09:40 PM , 2016 at 09:40 PM
Sanjait,

"Russia tampered with the election to help Donald Trump. That's a fairly well established fact."

You are funny. Especially with your "well established fact" nonsense.

In such cases the only source of well established facts is a court of law or International observers of the elections. All other agencies have their own interest in distorting the truth. For example, to get additional funding.

And that list includes President Obama himself, as a player, because he clearly was a Hillary supporter and as such can not be considered an impartial player and can politically benefit from shifting the blame for fiasco to Russia.

Also historically, he never was very truthful with American people, was he? As in case of his
"Change we can believe in!" bait and switch trick.

There were several other important foreign players in the US elections: for example KAS and Israel. Were their actions investigated? Especially in the area of financial support of candidates.

And then FYI there is a documented history of US tampering in Russian Presidential election of 2011-2012 such as meetings of the US ambassador with the opposition leaders, financing of opposition via NGO, putting pressure by publishing election pools produced by US financed non-profits, and so on and so forth. All in the name of democracy, of course. Which cost Ambassador McFaul his position; NED was kicked out of the country.

As far as I remember nobody went to jail in the USA for those activities. There was no investigation. So it looks like the USA authorities considered this to be a pretty legal activity. Then why they complain now?

And then there is the whole rich history of CIA subverting elections in Latin America.

So is not this a case of "the pot calling the kettle black"?

I don't know. But I would avoid your simplistic position. The case is too complex for this.

At least more complex that the narrative the neoliberal MSMs try to present us with. It might be Russian influence was a factor, but it might be that it was negligible and other factors were in play. There is also a pre-history and there are other suspects.

You probably need to see a wider context of the event.

[Dec 18, 2016] Revealed! Putin personally hacked DNC from surveillance aircraft with bear on board

Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Danielle Ryan is an Irish freelance writer, journalist and media analyst. She has lived and traveled extensively in the US, Germany, Russia and Hungary. Her byline has appeared at RT, The Nation, Rethinking Russia, The BRICS Post, New Eastern Outlook, Global Independent Analytics and many others. She also works on copywriting and editing projects. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook or at her website www.danielleryan.net. ..."
Dec 18, 2016 | www.rt.com
Danielle Ryan
RT
Sat, 17 Dec 2016 21:42 UTC Map © Alexey Nikolsky / Reuters Shocking revelations earlier this week as US intelligence officials confirmed with "high confidence" that Russian President Vladimir Putin was "personally involved" in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee.

According to the anonymous sources inside the anonymous US intelligence agency, Putin's objectives were multifaceted, but the whole thing began as a "vendetta" against Hillary Clinton because she said some mean things about him a few times. Putin is also an "immature 12 year-old child," a former US official with links to the defense industry, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed (with high confidence).

The high level, anonymous and completely trustworthy sources also told a major US news agency that Putin himself had piloted a specially-designed Russian spy plane across the Atlantic to personally direct the still-ongoing hacking operations from the air.

via GIPHY
Satellite images seen by a separate anonymous NASA whistleblower are believed to show Putin in the cockpit of the spy plane alongside his co-pilot Boris, a lifelike robotic bear which has been under secret development in the depths of Siberia and has been programmed to attack Putin's enemies on command using a variety of lethal methods.

The NASA whistleblower did not provide journalists with photographic evidence, but the editors had a chat about it in their morning meeting and concluded that it's probably still true.

In fact, the American news agency could not verify any of the claims from the officials who commented for the story, but given that their sources used the term "high confidence" they took this to mean the evidence must be "nearly incontrovertible" and relayed the information to the public with this implication. An understandable decision, since, as we all know, only 100 percent factual information is ever released by anonymous intelligence officials.

Okay, let's rewind. Obviously that bit about the bear and the plane was fake news. And maybe a few other bits, too. But it all demonstrates a point. I've provided you with about the same amount of evidence as NBC has in its story this week claiming Putin personally rigged the US election: I made some allegations, I cited anonymous sources and then I conveyed it to you readers as "nearly incontrovertible" and suggested no further digging or investigation, or even a bit of healthy skepticism, was necessary.

Journalism is dying

There was a time when journalists needed more than 'maybes' and 'probablys' before deciding what their sources told them was "incontrovertible" and delivering half-baked conspiracy theories to the public. That time has apparently long gone.

Imagine for a moment that RT published a story about, oh, let's say Barack Obama personally hacking into Putin's computer. Now imagine the only evidence RT provided was "anonymous FSB officials" and told its readers the story was therefore practically indisputable because these anonymous sources were "confident" in the legitimacy of their secret evidence. Imagine the laughs that would get from sneering Western journalists. Well, that's pretty much exactly what NBC did. And they're not alone. The Washington Post has been at it too, reporting on a "secret" CIA assessment that Russia worked to get Donald Trump elected, quoting anonymous "top officials" and like NBC, providing no evidence.

Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but for something to be presented to the public as indisputable fact, there must be evidence made available to back it up. Neither the CIA or the FBI have provided any such evidence to the public.

Perhaps the saddest thing though is having to acknowledge that all our debates over fake news and real news really don't matter because the very people we are told to trust are the people who will most adeptly use the public's concerns over fake news to manipulate them. The CIA, for example, is hardly known for its long history of telling the truth. Its employees are literally trained in the art of deception and disinformation. They are hardly averse to creating a bit of fake news or making up 'evidence' where needed. Anything they say or do can be forgiven once someone utters the words "national security".

NBC's story claimed Putin not only wanted to embarrass Clinton with the DNC leaks, but to highlight corruption in the American political system; the emails showing, for example, how the DNC colluded with the Clinton campaign to ensure Clinton, not Bernie Sanders, would be the Democratic nominee.

Now, what better way to encourage people to ignore the corruption in the system than to focus their attention on the idea that Putin is the one who told them about it? Are people really reading these stories and convincing themselves that the CIA is the most credible source of public information on what the Russians are doing?

Clinton's long-shot

We've been hearing about Russian hacking for months, long before the election results in November, so why the sudden confidence in all this new and secret evidence? Why the new assertions that Putin himself directed the hacking? Look at your calendar. The Electoral College votes on Monday and it may be Clinton's last hope. It's a long shot, but in true Clinton character, she won't go down without a fight to the last gasp. Her best hope is to convince the Electoral College that Trump's win was influenced by a foreign power, is therefore illegitimate and that national security will be at stake if he takes office.

Amazingly, in the midst of all this, while Clinton's camp is still trying to get her elected through back-door tactics, Obama has pretty much called the election results legitimate .

Members of the Electoral College are expected to vote the way their states voted, but they are not required to. If Clinton can get enough members to flip their votes, Trump is deprived of the 270 votes he needs to become president. That's what this is really all about - and the media is serving as Clinton's willing accomplice.

Danielle Ryan is an Irish freelance writer, journalist and media analyst. She has lived and traveled extensively in the US, Germany, Russia and Hungary. Her byline has appeared at RT, The Nation, Rethinking Russia, The BRICS Post, New Eastern Outlook, Global Independent Analytics and many others. She also works on copywriting and editing projects. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook or at her website www.danielleryan.net.

[Dec 17, 2016] You think Putin personally supervised the Yahoo hacking? This could make many people patriotic in a hurry.

Notable quotes:
"... this will probably be in tomorrow's washington post. "how putin sabotaged the election by hacking yahoo mail". and "proton" and "putin" are 2 syllable words beginning with "p", which is dispositive according to experts who don't want to be indentified. ..."
"... [Neo]Liberals have gone truly insane, I made the mistake of trying to slog through the comments the main "putin did it" piece on huffpo out of curiosity. Big mistake, liberals come across as right wing nutters in the comments, I never knew they were so very patriotic, they never really expressed it before. ..."
"... Be sure and delete everything from your Yahoo account BEFORE you push the big red button. They intentionally wait 90 days to delete the account in order that ECPA protections expire and content can just be handed over to the fuzz. ..."
"... It's a good thing for Obama that torturing logic and evasive droning are not criminal acts. ..."
"... "Relations with Russia have declined over the past several years" I reflexively did a Google search. Yep, Victoria Nuland is still employed. ..."
"... With all the concern expressed about Russian meddling in our election process why are we forgetting the direct quid pro quo foreign meddling evidenced in the Hillary emails related to the seldom mentioned Clinton Foundation or the more likely meddling by local election officials? Why have the claims of Russian hacking received such widespread coverage in the Press? ..."
"... I watched it too and agree with your take on it. For all the build up about this press conference and how I thought we were going to engage in direct combat with Russia for these hacks (or so they say it is Russia, I still wonder about that), he did not add any fuel to this fire. ..."
"... The whole thing was silly – the buildup to this press conference and then how Obama handled the hacking. A waste of time really. I don't sense something is going on behind the scenes but it is weird that the news has been all about this Russian hacking. He did not get into the questions about the Electoral College either and he made it seem like Trump indeed is the next President. I mean it seems like the MSM was making too much about this issue but then nothing happened. ..."
Dec 17, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
pretzelattack , December 16, 2016 at 3:46 pm

this will probably be in tomorrow's washington post. "how putin sabotaged the election by hacking yahoo mail". and "proton" and "putin" are 2 syllable words beginning with "p", which is dispositive according to experts who don't want to be indentified.

HBE , December 16, 2016 at 4:13 pm

[Neo]Liberals have gone truly insane, I made the mistake of trying to slog through the comments the main "putin did it" piece on huffpo out of curiosity. Big mistake, liberals come across as right wing nutters in the comments, I never knew they were so very patriotic, they never really expressed it before.

B1whois , December 16, 2016 at 6:45 pm

The great sucking pit of need that keeps on giving. when will it abate?

different clue , December 16, 2016 at 6:49 pm

They are only hurt at the loss of their beloved Clintron, and are seizing on the Puttin Diddit excuse.

polecat , December 16, 2016 at 7:45 pm

Did they happen to offer you some Guyana Kool-Aid with that order of vitriol ?

Brad , December 16, 2016 at 10:26 pm

Unfortunately the whole "grief cycle" will get a reboot after next Monday's "Election II".

The rest of us are to be pissed off that the CIA and Clinton clique have continued to agiprop this.

Knot Galt , December 16, 2016 at 10:48 pm

Since the ex-Correct The Record key jockeys are out of a job they have to practice their craft somewhere.

hunkerdown , December 16, 2016 at 5:23 pm

Be sure and delete everything from your Yahoo account BEFORE you push the big red button. They intentionally wait 90 days to delete the account in order that ECPA protections expire and content can just be handed over to the fuzz.

auntienene , December 16, 2016 at 8:07 pm

I don't think I've looked at my yahoo account in 8-10 years and I didn't use their email; just had an address. I don't remember my user name or password. I did get an email from them (to my not-yahoo address) advising of the breach.

Do I need to do anything at all?

hunkerdown , December 16, 2016 at 8:22 pm

auntienene, probably not, but as a general principle it's better to close accounts down properly than to abandon them.

Tvc15 , December 16, 2016 at 10:50 pm

I was amazed as I watched a local am news show in Pittsburgh recommend adding your cell phone number in addition to changing your password. Yeah, that's a great idea, maybe my ss# would provide even more security.

Jeremy Grimm , December 16, 2016 at 4:30 pm

I use yahoo email. Why should I move? As I understood the breach it was primarily a breach of the personal information used to establish the account. I've already changed my password - did it a couple of days after the breach was reported. I had a security clearance with DoD which requires disclosure of a lot more personal information than yahoo had. The DoD data has been breached twice from two separate servers.

As far as reading my emails - they may prove useful for phishing but that's about all. I'm not sure what might be needed for phishing beyond a name and email address - easily obtained from many sources I have no control over.

So - what am I vulnerable to by remaining at yahoo that I'm not already exposed to on a more secure server?

polecat , December 16, 2016 at 7:53 pm

You are vulnerable to the knowledge that Marissa Mayer is STILL employed as a high-level corporate twit --

Lee , December 16, 2016 at 3:05 pm

It's a good thing for Obama that torturing logic and evasive droning are not criminal acts.

Ranger Rick , December 16, 2016 at 3:12 pm

"Relations with Russia have declined over the past several years" I reflexively did a Google search. Yep, Victoria Nuland is still employed.

Pat , December 16, 2016 at 3:32 pm

Yeah, it isn't like Mr. 'We go high' is going to admit our relationship has declined because we have underhandedly tried to isolate and knee cap them for pretty much his entire administration.

Jeremy Grimm , December 16, 2016 at 4:44 pm

Are you referring to Obama's press conference? If so, I am glad he didn't make a big deal out of the Russian hacking allegations - as in it didn't sound like he planned a retaliation for the fictional event and its fictional consequences. He rose slightly in stature in my eyes - he's almost as tall as a short flea.

With all the concern expressed about Russian meddling in our election process why are we forgetting the direct quid pro quo foreign meddling evidenced in the Hillary emails related to the seldom mentioned Clinton Foundation or the more likely meddling by local election officials? Why have the claims of Russian hacking received such widespread coverage in the Press?

Why is a lameduck messing with the Chinese in the South China sea? What is the point of all the "fake" news hogwash? Is it related to Obama's expression of concern about the safety of the Internet? I can't shake the feeling that something is going on below the surface of these murky waters.

Susan C , December 16, 2016 at 5:44 pm

I watched it too and agree with your take on it. For all the build up about this press conference and how I thought we were going to engage in direct combat with Russia for these hacks (or so they say it is Russia, I still wonder about that), he did not add any fuel to this fire.

He did respond at one point to a reporter that the hacks from Russia were to the DNC and Podesta but funny how he didn't say HRC emails. Be it as it may, I think what was behind it was HRC really trying to impress all her contributors that Russia really did do her in, see Obama said so, since she must be in hot water over all the money she has collected from foreign governments for pay to play and her donors.

The whole thing was silly – the buildup to this press conference and then how Obama handled the hacking. A waste of time really. I don't sense something is going on behind the scenes but it is weird that the news has been all about this Russian hacking. He did not get into the questions about the Electoral College either and he made it seem like Trump indeed is the next President. I mean it seems like the MSM was making too much about this issue but then nothing happened.

Pat , December 16, 2016 at 7:02 pm

Unfortunately the nightly news is focusing on Obama says Russia hacked the DNC and had it in for Clinton!!! He warned them to stay out of the vote! There will be consequences! Russia demands the evidence and then a story about the evidence. (This one might have a few smarter people going "huh, that's it?!?!")

I do like the some private some public on that consequences and retaliation thing. You either have to laugh or throw up about the faux I've got this and the real self-righteousness. Especially since it is supposedly to remind people we can do it to you. Is there anyone left outside of America who doesn't think they already do do it to anyone Uncle Sam doesn't want in office and even some they do? Mind you I'm not sure how many harried people watching the news are actually going to laugh at that one because they don't know how how much we meddle.

Knot Galt , December 16, 2016 at 10:55 pm

Obamameter. ty L. Scofield ;-)

[Dec 17, 2016] Paul Krugman Useful Idiots Galore

Notable quotes:
"... Shorter Paul Krugman: nobody acted more irresponsibly in the last election than the New York Times. ..."
"... Looks like Putin recruited the NYT, the FBI and the DNC. ..."
"... Dr. Krugman is feeding this "shoot first, ask questions later" mentality. He comes across as increasingly shrill and even unhinged - it's a slide he's been taking for years IMO, which is a big shame. ..."
"... It is downright irresponsible and dangerous for a major public intellectual with so little information to cast the shadow of legitimacy on a president ("And it means not acting as if this was a normal election whose result gives the winner any kind of a mandate, or indeed any legitimacy beyond the bare legal requirements.") This kind of behavior is EXACTLY what TRUMP and other authoritarians exhibit - using pieces of information to discredit institutions and individuals. Since foreign governments have and will continue to try to influence U.S. policy through increasingly sophisticated means, this opens the door for anyone to declare our elections and policies as illegitimate in the future. ..."
"... Any influence Russian hacking had was entirely a consequence of U.S. media obsession with celebrity, gotcha and horse race trivia and two-party red state/blue state tribalism. ..."
"... Without the preceding, neither Trump nor Clinton would have been contenders in the first place. Putin didn't invent super delegates, Citizens United, Fox News, talk radio, Goldman-Sachs, etc. etc. etc. If Putin exploited vulnerabilities, it is because preserving those vulnerabilities was more important to the elites than fostering a democratic political culture. ..."
"... It's not a "coup". It's an election result that didn't go the way a lot of people want. That's it. It's probably not optimal, but I'm pretty sure that democracy isn't supposed to produce optimal results. ..."
"... All this talk about "coups" and "illegitimacy" is nuts, and -- true to Dem practice -- incredibly short-sighted. For many, voting for Trump was an available way to say to those people, "We don't believe you any more. At all." Seen in that light, it is a profoundly democratic (small 'd') response to elites that have most consistently served only themselves. ..."
"... Post Truth is Pre-Fascism. The party that thinks your loyalty is suspect unless you wear a flag pin fuels itself on Post Truth. Isnt't this absurdity the gist of Obama's Russia comments today!?! ..."
"... Unless the Russians or someone else hacked the ballot box machines, it is our own damn fault. ..."
"... The ship of neo-liberal trade sailed in the mid-2000's. That you don't get that is sad. You can only milk that so far the cow had been milked. ..."
"... The people of the United States did not have much to choose between: Either a servant of the Plutocrats or a member of the Plutocratic class. The Dems brought this on us when they refused to play fair with Bernie. (Hillary would almost certainly have won the nomination anyway.) ..."
"... The Repubs brought this on, by refusing to govern. The media brought this on: I seem to remember Hillary's misfeasances, once nominated, festering in the media, while Trump's were mentioned, and then disappeared. (Correct me if I'm wrong in this.) Also, the media downplayed Bernie until he had no real chance. ..."
"... The government brought this on, by failing to pursue justice against the bankers, and failing to represent the people, especially the majority who have been screwed by trade and the plutocratic elite and their apologists. ..."
"... The educational system brought this on, by failing to educate the people to critical thought. For instance: 1) The wealthy run the country. 2) The wealthy have been doing very well. 3) Everybody else has not. It seems most people cannot draw the obvious conclusion. ..."
"... Krugman is himself one of those most useful idiots. I do not recall his clarion call to Democrats last spring that "FBI investigation" and "party Presidential nominee" was bound to be an ugly combination. Some did; right here as I recall. Or his part in the official "don't vote for third party" week in the Clinton media machine....thanks, hundreds of thousands of Trump votes got the message. ..."
"... It's too rich to complain about Russia and Wikileaks as if those elements in anyway justified Clinton becoming President. Leaks mess with our democracy? Then for darn sure do not vote for a former Sec. of State willing to use a home server for her official business. Russia is menacing? Just who has been managing US-Russia relations the past 8 years? I voted for her anyway, but the heck if I think some tragic fate has befell the nation here. Republicans picked a better candidate to win this thing than we Democrats did. ..."
"... The truth of the matter is that Clinton was a very weak candidate with nothing to offer but narcissism ("I'm with her"). It's notable that Clinton has still not accepted responsibility for her campaign, preferring to throw the blame for the loss anywhere but herself. Sociopathy much? ..."
Dec 17, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
Monetas Tuas Requiro -> kthomas... , December 16, 2016 at 05:10 PM
The secret story of how American advisers helped Yeltsin win

http://content.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,19960715,00.html

JohnH -> Dan Kervick... , December 16, 2016 at 11:46 AM
PK seems to be a bitter old man...
anne -> sanjait... , December 16, 2016 at 03:08 PM
Nothing to see here, say the useful idiots.

[ I find it terrifying, simply terrifying, to refer to people as "useful idiots" after all the personal destruction that has followed when the expression was specifically used in the past.

To me, using such an expression is an honored economist intent on becoming Joseph McCarthy. ]

anne -> anne... , December 16, 2016 at 03:15 PM
To demean a person as though the person were a communist or a fool of communists or the like, with all the personal harm that has historically brought in this country, is cruel beyond my understanding or imagining.

"Useful Idiots Galore," terrifying.

Necesito Dinero Tuyo -> anne... , December 16, 2016 at 05:25 PM
Dale : , December 16, 2016 at 10:51 AM
trouble is that his mind reflects an accurate perception of our common reality.
Procopius -> Dale... , December 17, 2016 at 02:37 AM
Well, not really. For example he referred to "the close relationship between Wikileaks and Russian intelligence." But Wikileaks is a channel. They don't seek out material. They rely on people to bring material to them. They supposedly make an effort to verify that the material is not a forgery, but aside from that what they release is what people bring to them. Incidentally, like so many people you seem to not care whether the material is accurate or not -- Podesta and the DNC have not claimed that any of the emails are different from what they sent.
Tom aka Rusty : , December 16, 2016 at 11:06 AM
PK's head explodes!

One thought....

When politicians and business executives and economists cuddle up to the totalitarian Chinese it is viewed as an act of enlightment and progress.

When someone cuddles up to the authoritarian thug Putin it is an act of evil.

Seems a bit of a double standard.

We are going to have to do "business" with both the Chinese and the Russians, whoever is president.

Ben Groves -> Tom aka Rusty... , December 16, 2016 at 11:07 AM
Your head should explode considering Trump's deal with the "establishment" in July was brokered by foreign agents.
ilsm -> Ben Groves... , December 16, 2016 at 04:11 PM
curiouser and curiouser! while Obama and administration arm jihadis and call its support for jihadis funded by al Qaeda a side in a civil war.

the looking glass you all went through.

Trump has more convictions than any democrat

... ... ...

Tom aka Rusty -> kthomas... , December 16, 2016 at 01:36 PM
In a theatre of the absurd sort of way.
dilbert dogbert -> Tom aka Rusty... , December 16, 2016 at 12:11 PM
One thought:
Only Nixon can go to China.
anne -> sanjait... , December 16, 2016 at 03:22 PM
Putin is a murderous thug...

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/23/opinion/david-brooks-snap-out-of-it.html

September 22, 2014

Snap Out of It
By David Brooks

President Vladimir Putin of Russia, a lone thug sitting atop a failing regime....

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/22/opinion/thomas-friedman-putin-and-the-pope.html

October 21, 2014

Putin and the Pope
By Thomas L. Friedman

One keeps surprising us with his capacity for empathy, the other by how much he has become a first-class jerk and thug....

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/21/opinion/sunday/thomas-l-friedman-whos-playing-marbles-now.html

December 20, 2014

Who's Playing Marbles Now?
By Thomas L. Friedman

Let us not mince words: Vladimir Putin is a delusional thug....

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/22/opinion/paul-krugman-putin-neocons-and-the-great-illusion.html

December 21, 2014

Conquest Is for Losers: Putin, Neocons and the Great Illusion
By Paul Krugman

Remember, he's an ex-K.G.B. man - which is to say, he spent his formative years as a professional thug....

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/28/opinion/thomas-friedman-czar-putins-next-moves.html

January 27, 2015

Czar Putin's Next Moves
By Thomas L. Friedman

ZURICH - If Putin the Thug gets away with crushing Ukraine's new democratic experiment and unilaterally redrawing the borders of Europe, every pro-Western country around Russia will be in danger....

anne -> anne... , December 16, 2016 at 03:23 PM
Putin is a murderous thug...

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/16/world/middleeast/white-house-split-on-opening-talks-with-putin.html

September 15, 2015

Obama Weighing Talks With Putin on Syrian Crisis
By PETER BAKER and ANDREW E. KRAMER

WASHINGTON - Mr. Obama views Mr. Putin as a thug, according to advisers and analysts....

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/21/opinion/mr-putins-mixed-messages-on-syria.html

September 20, 2015

Mr. Putin's Mixed Messages on Syria

Mr. Obama considers Mr. Putin a thug, his advisers say....

Gibbon1 -> anne... , December 16, 2016 at 07:15 PM
> By David Brooks
> By Thomas L. Friedman
> By Paul Krugman
> By Peter Baker and Andrew E. Kramer

I feel these authors have intentionally attempted to mislead in the past. They also studiously ignore the United States thuggish foreign policy.

Sandwichman : , December 16, 2016 at 11:06 AM
"...not acting as if this was a normal election..." The problem is that it WAS a "normal" U.S. election.
Ben Groves -> Sandwichman ... , December 16, 2016 at 11:09 AM
Yup, like the other elections, the bases stayed solvent and current events factored into the turnout and voting patterns which spurred the independent vote.
Gibbon1 -> Ben Groves... , December 16, 2016 at 11:57 AM
When people were claiming Clinton was going to win big, I thought no Republican and Democratic voters are going to pull the lever like a trained monkey as usual. Only difference in this election was Hillary's huge negatives due entirely by her and Bill Clinton's support for moving manufacturing jobs to Mexico and China in the 90s.
dilbert dogbert -> Sandwichman ... , December 16, 2016 at 12:13 PM
I would have thought in a "normal" murika and election, the drumpf would have gotten at most 10 million votes.
Sandwichman -> dilbert dogbert... , December 16, 2016 at 01:54 PM
The trouble with normal is it always gets worse.
Fred C. Dobbs : , December 16, 2016 at 11:08 AM
To Understand Trump, Learn Russian http://nyti.ms/2hLcrB1
NYT - Andrew Rosenthal - December 15

The Russian language has two words for truth - a linguistic quirk that seems relevant to our current political climate, especially because of all the disturbing ties between the newly elected president and the Kremlin.

The word for truth in Russian that most Americans know is "pravda" - the truth that seems evident on the surface. It's subjective and infinitely malleable, which is why the Soviet Communists called their party newspaper "Pravda." Despots, autocrats and other cynical politicians are adept at manipulating pravda to their own ends.

But the real truth, the underlying, cosmic, unshakable truth of things is called "istina" in Russian. You can fiddle with the pravda all you want, but you can't change the istina.

For the Trump team, the pravda of the 2016 election is that not all Trump voters are explicitly racist. But the istina of the 2016 campaign is that Trump's base was heavily dependent on racists and xenophobes, Trump basked in and stoked their anger and hatred, and all those who voted for him cast a ballot for a man they knew to be a racist, sexist xenophobe. That was an act of racism.

Trump's team took to Twitter with lightning speed recently to sneer at the conclusion by all 17 intelligence agencies that the Kremlin hacked Democratic Party emails for the specific purpose of helping Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton. Trump said the intelligence agencies got it wrong about Iraq, and that someone else could have been responsible for the hack and that the Democrats were just finding another excuse for losing.

The istina of this mess is that powerful evidence suggests that the Russians set out to interfere in American politics, and that Trump, with his rejection of Western European alliances and embrace of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, was their chosen candidate.

The pravda of Trump's selection of Rex Tillerson, head of Exxon Mobil, as secretary of state is that by choosing an oil baron who has made billions for his company by collaborating with Russia, Trump will make American foreign policy beholden to American corporate interests.

That's bad enough, but the istina is far worse. For one thing, American foreign policy has been in thrall to American corporate interests since, well, since there were American corporations. Just look at the mess this country created in Latin America, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia and the Middle East to serve American companies.

Yes, Tillerson has ignored American interests repeatedly, including in Russia and Iraq, and has been trying to remove sanctions imposed after Russia's seizure of Crimea because they interfered with one of his many business deals. But take him out of the equation in the Trump cabinet and nothing changes. Trump has made it plain, with every action he takes, that he is going to put every facet of policy, domestic and foreign, at the service of corporate America. The istina here is that Tillerson is just a symptom of a much bigger problem.

The pravda is that Trump was right in saying that the intelligence agencies got it wrong about Saddam Hussein and weapons of mass destruction.

But the istina is that Trump's contempt for the intelligence services is profound and dangerous. He's not getting daily intelligence briefings anymore, apparently because they are just too dull to hold his attention.

And now we know that Condoleezza Rice was instrumental in bringing Tillerson to Trump's attention. As national security adviser and then secretary of state for president George W. Bush, Rice was not just wrong about Iraq, she helped fabricate the story that Hussein had nuclear weapons.

Trump and Tillerson clearly think they are a match for the wily and infinitely dangerous Putin, but as they move foward with their plan to collaborate with Russia instead of opposing its imperialist tendencies, they might keep in mind another Russian saying, this one from Lenin.

"There are no morals in politics; there is only expedience," he wrote. "A scoundrel may be of use to us just because he is a scoundrel."

Putin has that philosophy hard-wired into his political soul. When it comes to using scoundrels to get what he wants, he is a professional, and Trump is only an amateur. That is the istina of the matter.

Fred C. Dobbs -> Fred C. Dobbs... , December 16, 2016 at 11:25 AM
If nothing else, Russia - with a notably un-free press - has shrewdly used our own 'free press' against US.

RUSSIA'S UNFREE PRESS

The Boston Globe - Marshall Goldman - January 29, 2001

AS THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION DEBATES ITS POLICY TOWARD RUSSIA, FREEDOM OF THE PRESS SHOULD BE ONE OF ITS MAJOR CONCERNS. UNDER PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN THE PRESS IS FREE ONLY AS LONG AS IT DOES NOT CRITICIZE PUTIN OR HIS POLICIES. WHEN NTV, THE TELEVISION NETWORK OF THE MEDIA GIANT MEDIA MOST, REFUSED TO PULL ITS PUNCHES, MEDIA MOST'S OWNER, VLADIMIR GUSINSKY, FOUND HIMSELF IN JAIL, AND GAZPROM, A COMPANY DOMINATED BY THE STATE, BEGAN TO CALL IN LOANS TO MEDIA MOST. Unfortunately, Putin's actions are applauded by more than 70 percent of the Russian people. They crave a strong and forceful leader; his KGB past and conditioned KGB responses are just what they seem to want after what many regard as the social, political, and economic chaos of the last decade.

But what to the Russians is law and order (the "dictatorship of the law," as Putin has so accurately put it) looks more and more like an old Soviet clampdown to many Western observers.

There is no complaint about Putin's promises. He tells everyone he wants freedom of the press. But in the context of his KGB heritage, his notion of freedom of the press is something very different. In an interview with the Toronto Globe and Mail, he said that that press freedom excludes the "hooliganism" or "uncivilized" reporting he has to deal with in Moscow. By that he means criticism, especially of his conduct of the war in Chechnya, his belated response to the sinking of the Kursk, and the heavy-handed way in which he has pushed aside candidates for governor in regional elections if they are not to Putin's liking.

He does not take well to criticism. When asked by the relatives of those lost in the Kursk why he seemed so unresponsive, Putin tried to shift the blame for the disaster onto the media barons, or at least those who had criticized him. They were the ones, he insisted, who had pressed for reduced funding for the Navy while they were building villas in Spain and France. As for their criticism of his behavior, They lie! They lie! They lie!

Our Western press has provided good coverage of the dogged way Putin and his aides have tried to muscle Gusinsky out of the Media Most press conglomerate he created. But those on the Putin enemies list now include even Boris Berezovsky, originally one of Putin's most enthusiastic promoters who after the sinking of the Kursk also became a critic and thus an opponent.

Gusinsky would have a hard time winning a merit badge for trustworthiness (Berezovsky shouldn't even apply), but in the late Yeltsin and Putin years, Gusinsky has earned enormous credit for his consistently objective news coverage, including a spotlight on malfeasance at the very top. More than that, he has supported his programmers when they have subjected Yeltsin and now Putin to bitter satire on Kukly, his Sunday evening prime-time puppet show.

What we hear less of, though, is what is happening to individual reporters, especially those engaged in investigative work. Almost monthly now there are cases of violence and intimidation. Among those brutalized since Putin assumed power are a reporter for Radio Liberty who dared to write negative reports about the Russian Army's role in Chechnia and four reporters for Novaya Gazeta. Two of them were investigating misdeeds by the FSB (today's equivalent of the KGB), including the possibility that it rather than Chechins had blown up a series of apartment buildings. Another was pursuing reports of money-laundering by Yeltsin family members and senior staff in Switzerland. Although these journalists were very much in the public eye, they were all physically assaulted.

Those working for provincial papers labor under even more pressure with less visibility. There are numerous instances where regional bosses such as the governor of Vladivostok operate as little dictators, and as a growing number of journalists have discovered, challenges are met with threats, physical intimidation, and, if need be, murder.

True, freedom of the press in Russia is still less than 15 years old, and not all the country's journalists or their bosses have always used that freedom responsibly. During the 1996 election campaign, for example, the media owners, including Gusinsky conspired to denigrate or ignore every viable candidate other than Yeltsin. But attempts to muffle if not silence criticism have multiplied since Putin and his fellow KGB veterans have come to power. Criticism from any source, be it an individual journalist or a corporate entity, invites retaliation.

When Media Most persisted in its criticism, Putin sat by approvingly as his subordinates sent in masked and armed tax police and prosecutors. When that didn't work, they jailed Gusinsky on charges that were later dropped, although they are seeking to extradite and jail him again. along with his treasurer, on a new set of charges. Yesterday the prosecutor general summoned Tatyana Mitkova, the anchor of NTV's evening news program, for questioning. Putin's aides are also doing all they can to prevent Gusinsky from refinancing his debt-ridden operation with Ted Turner or anyone else in or outside of the country.

According to one report, Putin told one official, You deal with the shares, debts, and management and I will deal with the journalists. His goal simply is to end to independent TV coverage in Russia. ...

(No link; from their archives.)

DeDude -> Fred C. Dobbs... , December 16, 2016 at 11:33 AM
"Unfortunately, Putin's actions are applauded by more than 70 percent of the Russian people"

Exactly; the majority of people are so stupid and/or lazy that they cannot be bothered understanding what is going on; and how their hard won democracy is being subjugated. But thank God that is in Russia not here in the US - right?

anne -> Fred C. Dobbs... , December 16, 2016 at 11:45 AM
https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CREC-2001-02-07/html/CREC-2001-02-07-pt1-PgE133-4.htm

February 7, 2001

Russia's Unfree Press
By Marshall I. Goldman

Watermelonpunch -> Fred C. Dobbs... , December 16, 2016 at 04:55 PM
"Infinitely dangerous" As in the event horizon of a black hole, for pity's sake?

Odd choice of words. Should there have been a "more" in between there? Was it a typo?

cm -> Fred C. Dobbs... , December 17, 2016 at 03:42 PM
"Pravda" is etymologically derived from "prav-" which means "right" (as opposed to "left", other connotations are "proper", "correct", "rightful", also legal right). It designates the social-construct aspect of "righteousness/truthfulness/correctness" as opposed to "objective reality" (conceptually independent of social standards, in reality anything but). In formal logic, "istina" is used to designate truth. Logical falsity is designated a "lie".

It is a feature common to most European languages that rightfulness, righteousness, correctness, and legal rights are identified with the designation for the right side. "Sinister" is Latin for "left".

Ben Groves : , December 16, 2016 at 11:18 AM
If you believe 911 was a Zionist conspiracy, so where the Paris attacks of November 2015, when Trump was failing in the polls as the race was moving toward as you would expect, toward other candidates. After the Paris attacks, his numbers reaccelerated.

If "ZOG" created the "false flag" of the Paris attacks to start a anti-Muslim fervor, they succeeded, much like 911. Bastille day attacks were likewise, a false flag. This is not new, this goes back to when the aristocracy merged with the merchant caste, creating the "bourgeois". They have been running a parallel government in the shadows to effect what is seen.

cm -> sanjait... , December 17, 2016 at 03:46 PM
There used to be something called Usenet News, where at the protocol level reader software could fetch meta data (headers containing author, (stated) origin, title, etc.) independently from comment bodies. This was largely owed to limited download bandwidth. Basically all readers had "kill files" i.e. filters where one could configure that comments with certain header parameters should not be downloaded, or even hidden.
cm -> cm... , December 17, 2016 at 03:48 PM
The main application was that the reader would download comments in the background when headers were already shown, or on demand when you open a comment.

Now you get the whole thing (or in units of 100) by the megabyte.

tew : , December 16, 2016 at 11:19 AM
A major problem is signal extraction out of the massive amounts of noise generated by the media, social media, parties, and pundits.

It's easy enough to highlight this thread of information here, but in real time people are being bombarded by so many other stories.

In particular, the Clinton Foundation was also regularly being highlighted for its questionable ties to foreign influence. And HRC's extravagant ties to Wall St. And so much more.

And there is outrage fatigue.

Ben Groves -> DeDude... , December 16, 2016 at 11:34 AM
The media's job was to sell Trump and denounce Clinton. The mistake a lot of people make is thinking the global elite are the "status quo". They are not. They are generally the ones that break the status quo more often than not.

The bulk of them wanted Trump/Republican President and made damn sure it was President. Buffering the campaign against criticism while overly focusing on Clinton's "crap". It took away from the issues which of course would have low key'd the election.

cm -> DeDude... , December 17, 2016 at 03:55 PM
Not much bullying has to be applied when there are "economic incentives". The media attention economy and ratings system thrive on controversy and emotional engagement. This was known a century ago as "only bad news is good news". As long as I have lived, the non-commercial media not subject (or not as much) to these dynamics have always been perceived as dry and boring.

I heard from a number of people that they followed the campaign "coverage" (in particular Trump) as gossip/entertainment, and those were people who had no sympathies for him. And even media coverage by outlets generally critical of Trump's unbelievable scandals and outrageous performances catered to this sentiment.

Jim Harrison : , December 16, 2016 at 11:24 AM
Shorter Paul Krugman: nobody acted more irresponsibly in the last election than the New York Times.
Sandwichman -> Jim Harrison ... , December 16, 2016 at 11:53 AM
Looks like Putin recruited the NYT, the FBI and the DNC.
DrDick -> Sandwichman ... , December 16, 2016 at 11:57 AM
Nah, Wall Street and the GOP recruited them to the effort.
Sandwichman -> DrDick... , December 16, 2016 at 01:57 PM
GOP included in FBI. Wall Street included in DNC, GOP. It's all just one big FBIDNCGOPCNNWSNYT.
sanjait -> Jim Harrison ... , December 16, 2016 at 03:06 PM
He can't say it out loud but you know he's including the NYT on his list of UIs.
tew : , December 16, 2016 at 11:26 AM
Let me also add some levelheaded thoughts:

First, let me disclose that I detest TRUMP and that the Russian meddling has me deeply concerned. Yet...

We only have assertions that the Russian hacking had some influence. We do not know whether it likely had *material* influence that could have reasonably led to a swing state(s) going to TRUMP that otherwise would have gone to HRC.

Dr. Krugman is feeding this "shoot first, ask questions later" mentality. He comes across as increasingly shrill and even unhinged - it's a slide he's been taking for years IMO, which is a big shame.

It is downright irresponsible and dangerous for a major public intellectual with so little information to cast the shadow of legitimacy on a president ("And it means not acting as if this was a normal election whose result gives the winner any kind of a mandate, or indeed any legitimacy beyond the bare legal requirements.") This kind of behavior is EXACTLY what TRUMP and other authoritarians exhibit - using pieces of information to discredit institutions and individuals. Since foreign governments have and will continue to try to influence U.S. policy through increasingly sophisticated means, this opens the door for anyone to declare our elections and policies as illegitimate in the future.

DrDick -> tew... , December 16, 2016 at 11:56 AM
It is quite clear that the Russians intervened on Trump's behalf and that this intervention had an impact. The problem is that we cannot actually quantify that impact.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/fbi-backs-cia-view-that-russia-intervened-to-help-trump-win-election/2016/12/16/05b42c0e-c3bf-11e6-9a51-cd56ea1c2bb7_story.html?pushid=breaking-news_1481916265&tid=notifi_push_breaking-news&utm_term=.25d35c017908

Sandwichman -> tew... , December 16, 2016 at 01:17 PM
"We only have assertions that the Russian hacking had some influence."

Any influence Russian hacking had was entirely a consequence of U.S. media obsession with celebrity, gotcha and horse race trivia and two-party red state/blue state tribalism.

Without the preceding, neither Trump nor Clinton would have been contenders in the first place. Putin didn't invent super delegates, Citizens United, Fox News, talk radio, Goldman-Sachs, etc. etc. etc. If Putin exploited vulnerabilities, it is because preserving those vulnerabilities was more important to the elites than fostering a democratic political culture.

cm -> Sandwichman ... , December 17, 2016 at 04:00 PM
But this is how influence is exerted - by using the dynamics of the adversary's/targets organization as an amplifier. Hierarchical organizations are approached through their management or oversight bodies, social networks through key influencers, etc.
David : , December 16, 2016 at 11:58 AM
I see this so much and it's so right wing cheap: I hate Trump, but assertions that Russia intervened are unproven.

First, Trump openly invited Russia to hack DNC emails. That is on its face treason and sedition. It's freaking on video. If HRC did that there would be calls of the right for her execution.

Second, a NYT story showed that the FBI knew about the hacking but did not alert the DNC properly - they didn't even show up, they sent a note to a help desk.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/fbi-probe-dnc-hacked-emails_us_57a19f22e4b08a8e8b601259

This was a serious national security breach that was not addressed properly. This is criminal negligence.

This was a hacked election by collusion of the FBI and the Russian hackers and it totally discredits the FBI as it throwed out chum and then denied at the last minute. Now the CIA comes in and says PUTIN, Trump's bff, was directly involved in manipulating the timetable that the hacked emails were released in drip drip form to cater to the media - creating story after story about emails.

It was a perfect storm for a coup. Putin played us. And he will play Trump. And God knows how it ends. But it doesn't matter b/c we're all screwed with climate change anyway.

sglover -> David... , December 16, 2016 at 02:50 PM
"It was a perfect storm for a coup. Putin played us. And he will play Trump. And God knows how it ends. But it doesn't matter b/c we're all screwed with climate change anyway."

It's not a "coup". It's an election result that didn't go the way a lot of people want. That's it. It's probably not optimal, but I'm pretty sure that democracy isn't supposed to produce optimal results.

All this talk about "coups" and "illegitimacy" is nuts, and -- true to Dem practice -- incredibly short-sighted. For many, voting for Trump was an available way to say to those people, "We don't believe you any more. At all." Seen in that light, it is a profoundly democratic (small 'd') response to elites that have most consistently served only themselves.

Trump and his gang will be deeply grateful if the left follows Krugman's "wisdom", and clings to his ever-changing excuses. (I thought it was the evil Greens who deprived Clinton of her due?)

100panthers : , December 16, 2016 at 02:17 PM
Post Truth is Pre-Fascism. The party that thinks your loyalty is suspect unless you wear a flag pin fuels itself on Post Truth. Isnt't this absurdity the gist of Obama's Russia comments today!?!
ilsm -> 100panthers... , December 16, 2016 at 04:29 PM
Obama and the Clintons are angered; Russia keeping US from giving Syria to al Qaeda. Like Clinton gave them Libya.
Jerry Brown -> sanjait... , December 16, 2016 at 04:46 PM
I agree. Unless the Russians or someone else hacked the ballot box machines, it is our own damn fault.
ilsm : , December 16, 2016 at 04:27 PM
the US media is angered putin is killing US' jihadis in Syria
Mr. Bill : , December 16, 2016 at 08:27 PM
"On Wednesday an editorial in The Times described Donald Trump as a "useful idiot" serving Russian interests." I think that is beyond the pale. Yes, I realize that Adolph Hitler was democratically elected. I agree that Trump seems like a scary monster under the bed. That doesn't mean we have too pee our pants, Paul. He's a bully, tough guy, maybe, the kind of kid that tortured you before you kicked the shit out of them with your brilliance. That's not what is needed now.
Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , December 16, 2016 at 08:39 PM
What really is needed, is a watchdog, like Dean Baker, that alerts we dolts of pending bills and their ramifications. The ship of neo-liberal trade bullshit has sailed. Hell, you don't believe it yourself, you've said as much. Be gracious, and tell the truth. We can handle it.
Ben Groves -> Mr. Bill... , December 16, 2016 at 09:51 PM
The ship of neo-liberal trade sailed in the mid-2000's. That you don't get that is sad. You can only milk that so far the cow had been milked.

Trump was a coo, he was not supported by the voters. But by the global elite.

Mr. Bill : , December 16, 2016 at 10:28 PM
Hillary Clinton lost because she is truly an ugly aristocrat.
Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , December 16, 2016 at 11:49 PM
The experience of voting for the Hill was painful, vs Donald Trump.

The Hill seemed like the least likely aristocrat, given two choices, to finish off all government focus on the folks that actually built this society. Two Titans of Hubris, Hillary vs Donald, each ridiculous in the concept of representing the interests of the common man.

At the end of the day. the American people decided that the struggle with the unknown monster Donald was worth deposing the great deplorable, Clinton.

Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , December 17, 2016 at 12:11 AM
The real argument is whether the correct plan of action is the way of FDR, or the way of the industrialists, the Waltons, the Kochs, the Trumps, the Bushes and the outright cowards like the Cheneys and the Clintons, people that never spent a day defending this country in combat. What do they call it, the Commander in Chief.
Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , December 17, 2016 at 12:29 AM
My father was awarded a silver and a bronze star for his efforts in battle during WW2. He was shot in the face while driving a tank destroyer by a German sniper in a place called Schmitten Germany.

He told me once, that he looked over at the guy next to him on the plane to the hospital in England, and his intestines were splayed on his chest. It was awful.

Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , December 17, 2016 at 12:55 AM
What was he fighting for ? Freedom, America. Then the Republicans, Ronald Reagan, who spent the war stateside began the real war, garnering the wealth of the nation to the entitled like him. Ronald Reagan was a life guard.
btg : , December 16, 2016 at 11:09 PM
Other idiots...

Anthony Weiner
Podesta
Biden (for not running)
Tim Kaine (for accepting the nomination instead of deferring to a latino)
CNN and other TV news media (for giving trump so much coverage- even an empty podium)
Donna Brazile
etc.

greg : , December 16, 2016 at 11:57 PM
The people of the United States did not have much to choose between: Either a servant of the Plutocrats or a member of the Plutocratic class. The Dems brought this on us when they refused to play fair with Bernie. (Hillary would almost certainly have won the nomination anyway.)

The Repubs brought this on, by refusing to govern. The media brought this on: I seem to remember Hillary's misfeasances, once nominated, festering in the media, while Trump's were mentioned, and then disappeared. (Correct me if I'm wrong in this.) Also, the media downplayed Bernie until he had no real chance.

The government brought this on, by failing to pursue justice against the bankers, and failing to represent the people, especially the majority who have been screwed by trade and the plutocratic elite and their apologists.

The educational system brought this on, by failing to educate the people to critical thought. For instance: 1) The wealthy run the country. 2) The wealthy have been doing very well. 3) Everybody else has not. It seems most people cannot draw the obvious conclusion.

The wealthy brought this on. For 230 years they have, essentially run this country. They are too stupid to be satisfied with enough, but always want more.

The economics profession brought this on, by excusing treasonous behavior as efficient, and failing to understand the underlying principles of their profession, and the limits of their understanding. (They don't even know what money is, or how a trade deficit destroys productive capacity, and thus the very ability of a nation to pay back the debts it incurs.)

The people brought this on, by neglecting their duty to be informed, to be educated, and to be thoughtful.

Anybody else care for their share of blame? I myself deserve some, but for reasons I cannot say.

What amazes me now is, the bird having shown its feathers, there is no howl of outrage from the people who voted for him. Do they imagine that the Plutocrats who will soon monopolize the White House will take their interests to heart?

As far as I can tell, not one person of 'the people' has been appointed to his cabinet. Not one. But the oppressed masses who turned to Mr Trump seem to be OK with this.
I can only wonder, how much crap will have to be rubbed in their faces, before they awaken to the taste of what it is?

Eric377 : , -1
Krugman is himself one of those most useful idiots. I do not recall his clarion call to Democrats last spring that "FBI investigation" and "party Presidential nominee" was bound to be an ugly combination. Some did; right here as I recall. Or his part in the official "don't vote for third party" week in the Clinton media machine....thanks, hundreds of thousands of Trump votes got the message.

It's too rich to complain about Russia and Wikileaks as if those elements in anyway justified Clinton becoming President. Leaks mess with our democracy? Then for darn sure do not vote for a former Sec. of State willing to use a home server for her official business. Russia is menacing? Just who has been managing US-Russia relations the past 8 years? I voted for her anyway, but the heck if I think some tragic fate has befell the nation here. Republicans picked a better candidate to win this thing than we Democrats did.

Greg -> Eric377... , December 17, 2016 at 12:11 PM
Well said, Eric377.

The truth of the matter is that Clinton was a very weak candidate with nothing to offer but narcissism ("I'm with her"). It's notable that Clinton has still not accepted responsibility for her campaign, preferring to throw the blame for the loss anywhere but herself. Sociopathy much?

This has made me cynical. I used to think that at least *some* members of the US political elite had the best interests of ordinary households in mind, but now I see that it's just ego vs. ego, whatever the party.

As for democracy being on the edge: I believe Adam Smith over Krugman: "there is a lot of ruin in a nation". It takes more than this to overturn an entrenched institution.

I think American democracy will survive a decade of authoritarianism, and if it does not, then H. L. Mencken said it best: "The American people know what they want, and they deserve to get it -- good and hard."

[Dec 15, 2016] Exclusive: Top US spy agency has not embraced CIA assessment on Russia hacking – sources

Dec 15, 2016 | uk.reuters.com

The overseers of the U.S. intelligence community have not embraced a CIA assessment that Russian cyber attacks were aimed at helping Republican President-elect Donald Trump win the 2016 election, three American officials said on Monday.

While the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) does not dispute the CIA's analysis of Russian hacking operations, it has not endorsed their assessment because of a lack of conclusive evidence that Moscow intended to boost Trump over Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, said the officials, who declined to be named .

An ODNI spokesman declined to comment on the issue.

"ODNI is not arguing that the agency (CIA) is wrong, only that they can't prove intent," said one of the three U.S. officials. "Of course they can't, absent agents in on the decision-making in Moscow."

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, whose evidentiary standards require it to make cases that can stand up in court, declined to accept the CIA's analysis – a deductive assessment of the available intelligence – for the same reason, the three officials said


marknesop says: December 13, 2016 at 6:17 am
But all of them, without exception, accept that the Democrats' server was hacked by Russia, and that it was Russia who leaked the information through Wikileaks, and that Russia also hacked the Republicans but declined to release incriminating or influential material it had in its possession. There is, to my knowledge, no evidence of this, either.

[Dec 13, 2016] Bill Black After 30 Years of Throwing Working People Under the Bus, Democratic Partys Centrist Leaders Remain Clueless Abou

Notable quotes:
"... By Bill Black, the author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One and an associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Jointly published with New Economic Perspectives ..."
"... This Russia stuff isn't about Trump but about the Democrats pleading with people not to look at the man behind the curtain. ..."
"... Propaganda only works when people are aware there is no curtain. At this point, the Wizard of Oz has been revealed, and unlike Baum's creation, he has no redeeming qualities. Telling everyone to look at the big giant head again fails. ..."
"... Putin is not the one responsible for manipulating Democrats into an intensely pro-Wall Street, anti-working class political posture that loses elections. ..."
"... The working class wants jobs and job security – not simply income. ..."
"... The baggage you speak of actually began with Reagan when from a government position of high privilege he actually sneered at government as the employer of last resort with his statement belittling "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you." Which a subservient press took and ran with to make sure it settled into everyone's subconscious. It's helpful to revisit the rise of Ronald Reagan, and to remember that Obama took him as his role model, not FDR. ..."
"... The New Democrats will likely go the way of the blue dog Democrats. Their Republican voters will ask themselves why should they vote for a powerless Republican-lite, and they will simply die politically. ..."
"... New Democrats are really moderate republicans. For the democrat party to survive and get back their base, they have to adopt progressive democrat ideas. Electing Schumer as their senate leader is a mistake. He represents all that is bad about the democrat party. ..."
Dec 13, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
December 12, 2016 by Yves Smith By Bill Black, the author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One and an associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Jointly published with New Economic Perspectives

On December 10, 2016, a New York Times article entitled "Democrats Have a New Message: It's the Economy First" that unintentionally revealed that the Party's "centrist" leadership and the paper remain clueless about how to improve the economy and why the "centrist" leadership needs to end its long war against the working class. This is how the paper explained the five "centrist" leaders' framing of the problem.

It was a blunt, plain-spoken set of senators who gathered last Monday at the Washington home of Senator Heidi Heitkamp, Democrat of North Dakota, dining on Chinese food as they vented frustration about the missteps of the Democratic Party .

To this decidedly centrist group, the 2016 election was nothing short of a fiasco: final proof that its national party had grown indifferent to the rural, more conservative areas represented by Democrats like Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Jon Tester of Montana, who attended the dinner. All face difficult re-election races in 2018.

This non-centrist group was a gathering of five New Democrats. President Obama self-identified himself as a New Democrat. The Clintons and Al Gore are leaders of the New Democrats. The leadership of the Democratic National Committee was, and remains, New Democrats. On economic issues such as austerity, jobs, and full employment, the New Democrats are far more extreme than the (stated) views of Donald Trump. The New Democrats are infamous for their close ties with Wall Street. This means that the paper's description of the Chinese nosh is as clueless as the five New Democrats kvetching about policy "missteps" that they championed for decades. Of course, neither the paper nor the non-centrists mentioned that critical fact. The blindness of the non-centrists to the fact that it is their policies that launched the long war by the New Democrats against the working class is matched by the blindness of the paper.

The kvetching may have been "blunt," but it was also dishonest. The five New Democrats know that they will likely be replaced in the 2018 elections by Republicans who share the New Democrats' anti-working class dogmas. What was really going on was an extended cry of pain about the five senators' fear of losing their jobs.

Note that the paper never tells you what the five New Democrats so bluntly identified as the New Democrats' "missteps" or what new policies they believed needed to be adopted by the Party. This failure is particularly bizarre because the paper says that its reportage is based on sources that the paper agreed to keep anonymous so that they could speak frankly about this meeting over Chinese food. That combination of supposed frankness from the sources gained by the grant of anonymity so them could describe in detail the purported bluntness by the gang of five should have produced some epic, specific condemnations of the Democratic Party's leadership by the New Democrats. Instead, it produced mush. Focusing on the "economy" is the right general idea for any political party, but it is so general a word that it is close to meaningless without identifying the specific policy changes that the five New Democrats now support and oppose. The mushy reportage provides a thin gruel to the reader.

Most of all, they lamented, Democrats had simply failed to offer a clarion message about the economy with appeal to all 50 states.

"Why did the working people, who have always been our base, turn away?" Mr. Manchin said in an interview, recounting the tenor of the dinner conversation.

And the "clarion message about the economy" that they proposed that the Democratic Party make was? You would have thought that little detail would (a) be critical to the article and (b) would be something that the five New Democrats would have been eager to publicize without any need for anonymity. Conversely, if even after the disastrous election, from their perspective, the five New Democrats could not compose that "clarion" call, then the real problem is that the New Democrats' economic dogmas prevent them from supporting such a "clarion" pro-worker policy.

The second sentence of the quotation is equally embarrassing to the New Democrats. It purportedly recounts "the tenor of the dinner conversation." The first obvious question is – how did each of these five New Democrats answer that that question? That is what the readers would want to know. Even with the grants of anonymity to multiple sources the paper inexplicably presents only the vaguest hints as to the five Senators' explanation for why the New Democrats waged their long war on the working class.

Notice also the unintentional humor of the five New Democrats finally asking themselves this existential question in 2016 – after the election. The New Democrats began their long war on the working class over 30 years ago. Tom Frank published his famous (initial) book warning that the New Democrats' war on the working class would prove disastrous in 2004. The five New Democrats are shocked, shocked that the working class, after 30 years of being abused by the New Democrats' anti-worker policies and after being vilified for decades by the New Democrats, overwhelmingly voted against the Nation's most prominent New Democrat, Hillary Clinton. None of the five New Democrats appears to have a clue, even after the 2016 election, why this happened.

The article and the five New Democrats fail to discuss the anti-working class policies that they have championed for decades. Job security is the paramount issue that drives voting by many members of the working class. The New Democrats and the Old Republicans share a devotion to the two greatest threats to working class job security – austerity and the faux free trade deals. This makes it ironic that the paper sought out the Party faction leaders who have been so wrong for so long as supposedly being the unique source of providing the right answers now. If the five New Democrats had engaged in introspection and were prepared to discuss their disastrous, repeated policy failures that would have been valuable, but the New Democrats admit to making zero errors in the article.

The paper's understanding of economics and jobs is so poor that it wrote this clunker.

But even liberals believe Democrats must work harder to compete for voters who lean to the right, if only to shave a few points off the Republican Party's margin of victory in rural America. In some cases, they said, that may mean embracing candidates who hold wildly different views from the national party on certain core priorities.

First, the phrase and the implicit logic in the use of the phrase "even liberals" reverses reality. It is progressives who have consistently called for the Democratic Party to return to its role as a party that champions working people.

Second, the issue is generally not who "leans to the right." Indeed, the 2016 election should have made clear to the paper the severe limits on the usefulness of the terms "right" and "left" in explaining U.S. elections. Jobs are not a right v. left issue.

Third, the paramount policy priority – jobs – is the same regardless of whether one focuses on economic or political desirability. So, how long does it take for the article, and the five New Democrats to discuss "jobs?" Given the fact that they vented at length about the fear that they would begin to lose their jobs within two years, the subject of job security should have been paramount to the five New Democrats. The article, however, never even mentioned jobs or any of the related critical concepts – austerity, the faux trade deals, or the refusal to provide full employment. Further, the article did not comment on the failure of the New Democrats to even mention these any of these four concepts.

"A Clarion Message about the Economy with Appeal to all 50 States"

Here is UMKC's economics department's long-standing proposal to every American political party:

Our party stands for full employment at all times. We will make the federal government the guaranteed employer of last resort for every American able and wanting to work. We recognize that the United States has a sovereign currency and can always afford to ensure full employment. We recognize that austerity typically constitutes economic malpractice and is never a valid excuse for rejecting full employment. The myth that we help our grandchildren by consigning their grandparents and parents to unemployment is obscene. The opposite is true.

The working class wants jobs and job security – not simply income. Working class people overwhelmingly want to work. Working class males who are unable to find secure, full time work often become depressed and unmarriageable. If you want to encourage marriage and improve the quality of marriages, full employment and job security are vital policies. There are collateral advantages to providing full employment. Full employment can reduce greatly the "zero sum" fears about employment that can tear a society apart. Each of these outcomes is overwhelmingly supported by Americans.

Good economics is not a "right" v. "left" issue. Austerity is terrible economics. The fact that we have a sovereign currency is indisputable and there is broad agreement among finance professionals that such a currency means that the federal government budget is nothing like a household. The major party that first adopts the federal full employment guarantee will secure a critical political advantage over its rivals. Sometimes, good economics is good politics.

Disturbed Voter , December 12, 2016 at 6:13 am

It is critical that existing Democrat leadership goes into retirement. Finagling the Clintons back into the WH, delays this by 4, 8 or more years. Besides generating immense animosity. This could be easily accomplished if all Democrat leadership retires at 65 immediately, to live on their Social Security and Medicare (if they think those are still important).

vlade , December 12, 2016 at 7:02 am

ah, but there was a "clarion message". It was "we care not even about the 1%, but the 0.01%. The rest of you can piss off".
Which is why Dems got dumped.

steelhead23 , December 12, 2016 at 11:35 am

I suspect this meeting was functionally similar to the ecclesiastic kvetching when folks began to believe the world was a sphere some 600 years ago. I can imagine them thinking: unemployment (as they measure it) is low, housing prices are jumping, and boy, look at that stock market – how did our base constituency lose its way?

As long as the Democratic Party leadership thinks this way, the party is useless and should be abandoned. I might suggest that Bill, Yves, Randy Wray, and others get to work educating them, but like flat-earthers, these folks not only live in willful ignorance, they would very much like to cast that crowd on the pyre of false-news purveyors lest they lead even more of the faithful astray.

sgt_doom , December 12, 2016 at 6:11 pm

I have to fully agree with Prof. Black's assessment; thought this when they reelected Nancy "my son works at Countrywide" Pelosi and doubled down on their identity politics. (David Harvey disposes of identity politics in a single sentence in his latest book.)

timotheus , December 12, 2016 at 7:43 am

But in this Lewis Carroll universe, "Work harder to compete for Republican votes" doesn't mean steal Trump's jobs-related thunder but give in on things like fracking a la Madame Heitkamp, or discover an enthusiasm for guns like Manchin, or run anti-abortion stalwarts like Donnelly. That's why the reporter couldn't depart from the vague mush–the "centrists'" solution to the Democrats' debacle is to become Republicans.

lyman alpha blob , December 12, 2016 at 1:06 pm

My folks are bible thumping, Fox News watching, prolife, and anti-gay marriage voters.

They were all set to vote for Bernie, not because they agreed with him on everything, but because he was fighting for people like them and he was honest. They would have burned in H-E-double-hockey-sticks before voting for Clinton though. Judging by the polls during the primaries and the eventual outcome, they were far from alone in their assessment. Too bad the dimwit DC Dems can't be bothered to actually talk to people like them.

NotTimothyGeithner , December 12, 2016 at 2:06 pm

They sort of do talk to people like your relatives, but partisanship is strong. Plenty of local Democrats can diagnose and propose solutions caused by the GOP but will worship Trump if he had a "D" next to his name. Claire McCaskill probably receives enough praise from partisan plebes for no payment she assumes all the plebes should love her. For conservative types, Sanders not being in the other tribe was a huge selling point.

The Trumpening , December 12, 2016 at 8:05 am

The fundamental power diagram of politics is that groups of donors select groups of politicians to fight for the interests of the donors. The complication in democracy is that the voters select which politicians will rule. So the donors are like a client, the politicians like a lawyer and the voters are like a jury. A talented politician is one who can cunningly convince voters to set her guilty donors free.

So all these New Democrats are doing is suggesting ways to better plead to the jury. But they are in no way questioning the donors or whether they should continue to push policies that only serve the donors' best interests

One revolutionary feature of Donald Trump's campaign was that he was his own donor and so was very free to directly appeal to what is in the best interests of the working class voters he targeted: economic nationalism.

Conversely the most problematic feature of the Trump campaign was that he was running as the head of a party that did have plenty of donors and he was openly contradicting plenty of these donors' interests. But Trump correctly calculated that the only way to power in America was to hijack one of the two legacy parties.

In some ways Bernie Sanders attempted a similar feat, although I remain skeptical about whether he really was trying to win. If Sanders had become President, he would be facing the same problems that Trump now faces; how to rule a party whose policies fundamentally diverge in many areas from what you have promised to deliver.

And so until the Democrat change donors – specifically by announcing that as a party they will only accept small donations and adopt some of the Trump tactics to reduce campaign spending – nothing will change except the sound bites. Many working class people realized exactly how flawed Trump was but they rolled the dice for one reason only – no one owned Trump. Or as Henry Kissinger put it:

"This president-elect, it's the most unique that I have experienced in one respect. He has absolutely no baggage," Kissinger told CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS." "He has no obligation to any particular group because he has become president on the basis of his own strategy."

Kissinger is smart so he makes these words sound blasι but I can assure you they strike fear into the hearts of America's elite. But only when we hear these same elites expressing fear of the entire Democratic party (like they did about Bernie Sanders) will we know something fundamental has changed for the better.

fresno dan , December 12, 2016 at 10:44 am

The Trumpening
December 12, 2016 at 8:05 am

Some very good insights. I would be curious to know your thoughts on when the repub/Trump split comes, which way will FOX tilt? Right now FOX is all Trump, but after a year or two of insinuations that Trump is a Pro Putin commie, I suspect the masterful propagandists that make so much of our beliefs will either cause the actual downfall of Trump, or will more than neuter him.

NotTimothyGeithner , December 12, 2016 at 12:03 pm

Trump was selected by Republican voters despite Fox not being his BFF. Trump is the GOP, and Republican voters support their own. 41 called Reagan a practitoner of Voodoo economics. Yes, this was an appeal to the Southern strategy. Attacks on Trump that say he's not a "true conservative" will never work. Trump is a known clown. He can't embarrass himself, and I think it's important to remember Iraq happened. What did the average Republican voter take from that? Putin Fear Fest is very similar to the events of 2002.

Periodically, new tribal arrangements need to be made. Romney was given a chance. He failed, so the GOP voters selected someone new. Republicans hate Democrats. Attacks levied by Democrats will always be brushed off.

Videos could emerge of Trump swearing allegiance to Putin at an orgy, and Republican voters wouldn't care.

This Russia stuff isn't about Trump but about the Democrats pleading with people not to look at the man behind the curtain.

jrs , December 12, 2016 at 12:09 pm

Yes Republicans stick together plus they think Trump is most likely to accomplish their "small government" goals and so they support Trump (this is probably true, the establishment supported Hillary, but many a Republican votes party line for one of their own).

NotTimothyGeithner , December 12, 2016 at 12:56 pm

Hillary did well with defense contract related Republicans, but they are clustered. The ones in hideously over priced McMansions in Virginia and Maryland are terrified of spending being redirected. They have mortgages to pay, and if Trump thinkers with defense spending whether through cutting cutting or moving, Northern Virginia will become a land of white elephants. Northern Virginia might have incomes, but outside of old town Alexandria, it's a dump of out of control suburban sprawl.

No one sane would live there by choice. The costs are too high to relocate a corporate operation or even grow one. Republicans in Wisconsin don't care.

fresno dan , December 12, 2016 at 3:43 pm

NotTimothyGeithner
December 12, 2016 at 12:03 pm

Oh, I agree with your overall points. I was just wondering specifically about Murdoch and if his contrariness will make FOX pro Russian ((in the face of overwhelming repub foreign policy establishment against Trump)), or will FOX be the "repub" anti Russain brand. It will be interesting when being "conservative" means you like Putin .

And I remember how many rabidly anti communists where having conniptions when Reagan met with Gorbachev in Iceland. But Reagan was well ensconced in the establishment. Can Trump alone end the red menace?

schmoe , December 12, 2016 at 6:41 pm

? – "Trump was selected by Republican voters despite Fox not being his BFF. " Hannity and O'Reilly segments this past cycle were one hour propaganda news feeds for Trump.

The Trumpening , December 12, 2016 at 12:22 pm

As far as Fox goes from what I understand they are currently split - with Kelly Megyn (I know), Brit Hume, and Chris Wallace being anti-Trump while Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs are pro-Trump bigly. This is a smart balancing of Fox's short term need for viewers versus their longer-term policy requirements. But there can be no doubt that Rupert Murdoch is rabidly anti-Trump - he even gave that raving NeverTrump lunatic Louise Mensch a website called HeatStreet.

From glancing at the National Review it seems the GOPe think they are being generous by admitting defeat and magnanimously getting behind Trump's cultural agenda while insisting conservatives stay in charge of economic and foreign policy. But this is no change at all since the Republicans have always been offering the working classes empty cultural issues.

I imagine the Republicans see this as a Tour de France with them being the huge peloton while Trump is a lone breakaway attacker who they will soon swallow back up and totally co-opt.

I don't think the MSM are that good at propaganda; if they were Trump wouldn't be President!. For example now they have launched this Trump + Putin campaign but Trump responds by picking a fight with China. But the MSM is aghast and totally support the Chinese position! So they accuse Trump of carrying water for Russia put there's the entire MSM all lined up with buckets of Chinese water on their heads!

I suppose at some point several top GOP Senators (McCain, Flake) and a bottom (Lindsey Graham) will leave the party and caucus with the Democrats to ensure legislative gridlock. I believe if Trump really tried he could get a House of Representatives that supports him. I don't see how he herds the Senate though.

NotTimothyGeithner , December 12, 2016 at 1:15 pm

Propaganda only works when people are aware there is no curtain. At this point, the Wizard of Oz has been revealed, and unlike Baum's creation, he has no redeeming qualities. Telling everyone to look at the big giant head again fails.

The msm and the Democrats don't know how to function moving forward because building trust will take years of effort, and many of the specific personalities are done. They can never be attached to a competitive effort without undermining the effort. If they hope to retake their spot, when FB seemed trendy and not a mom hangout, they need people to forget about the curtain, but it's impossible. Instead they will whine about wicked witches of the North.

Even Trump won because the GOP misfits were sheepdogs for Jeb. Whatever else Trump was, he wasn't part of Jeb's curtain. Shouting Trump is a fraud doesn't work as long as you then scream "pay no mind to the strings on my back." I think Rufio could have made more noise if he wasn't such an obvious beta as he attacked Jeb, but one could argue he betrayed Jeb. People don't like that kind of thing.

samkoki , December 12, 2016 at 11:48 pm

Hogwash.

Bernie proved that there is plenty of money for candidates with the right intent and policies.

What you say, that dems can't win without its moneyed donor class, is a notion that has been used to bludgeon democrats into conservatism and passivity.

Bernie blasted your assertion about campaign finance to bits.

As to the dems "figuring something out," the dem leadership doesn't need to figure anything out. They are perfectly happy serving the 1%. It's the rest of the democrats who need to figure that out about their leadership and take action, whether it is tossing the leadership or starting a new party.

Adamski , December 13, 2016 at 5:59 am

According to an NYT article about his campaign, Sanders was not running to win until after his popularity started to skyrocket. Initially he was still attending the Senate and was not campaigning fulltime.

It was just an attempt to spread his liberal policy message nationwide. But how to control the party as President when it's opposed to him on policy? That's what "political revolution" meant. If Congress opposed Trump, he will have a rally of thousands in the district of any difficult legislator blaming him or her for not letting Trump make America great again.

Similarly Sanders can campaign to either get a Dem majority, it he hadn't got one in 2016, by 2018. Or to increase it or make it more liberal. This is what he did when the city council opposed him in Burlington, Vermont. Within a year he got one which was much more pliable. The progressives never got a majority but he went from Obama-style gridlock to a working government.

aab , December 13, 2016 at 6:07 am

One correction: Bernie Sanders is not a liberal. He is a democratic socialist. It's not a minor point, particularly because liberals deliberately obfuscate the difference to con voters.

Liberals believe in hierarchy. I'm pretty confident Bernie Sanders is an egalitarian. That matters, when it comes to policy and governance, as well as core values.

Marshall Auerback , December 12, 2016 at 8:05 am

Putin is not the one responsible for manipulating Democrats into an intensely pro-Wall Street, anti-working class political posture that loses elections.

Clive , December 12, 2016 at 2:02 pm

I agree - if the "old" parties act like the old neoliberal parties, they can't solve our current predicament. While our predicament isn't a new one, just a new version of an old problem, retreading the past 20 or 30 years isn't going to do the trick.

Normal , December 12, 2016 at 8:11 am

Gov't as employer as last resort is a huge leap from the goals of full employment and job security. This is promoted here and elsewhere without any rationale. Someone will have to explain why this is the only possible solution.

Arizona Slim , December 12, 2016 at 8:26 am

Have you noticed the private sector stepping up? With a free market jobs program that would provide full employment? I haven't either.

jrs , December 12, 2016 at 12:12 pm

Plus the quality of the jobs in the private sector is often horrible (of course not all but many). There is a reason everyone wants a government job. And unless the government sector forces the private sector to improve the quality of their jobs (ie living wages and ACTUALLY enforce overtime and safety and etc. not to mention all the contract work going on that isn't EVEN jobs) it will remain so. Quality of jobs matters.

fritter , December 12, 2016 at 8:40 am

Not really, but try explaining the opposite. How can we have full employment without gov't employment as last resort? Granted you can have "goals" all you want if you ignore them, but we'll put that aside and assume you are not disingenuous.
Everything else has been tried and failed, miserably. Companies sit on piles of cash without significant hiring. Tax incentives get gamed easily.
Offering employment is the simplest, most targeted solution that effectively cuts the rest of the employers out of the hostage taking business.

Cry Shop , December 12, 2016 at 9:18 am

The working class wants jobs and job security – not simply income.

I rather like the term used here instead of jobs , people want a livelihood. In the USA, that get's shortened into jobs, and then later short changed again into things like minimum wage. One could have fully employment and terrible livelihood. Only the Japanese could put up with 50+ years of being economic animals. Anyone who thinks full employment is going to solve issues like income inequality has been eating mushrooms picked from the cow pasture.

Mark Anderlik , December 12, 2016 at 10:37 am

Yes. Better to say "good jobs." Nearly 40% of workers in my community work at low-wage jobs that do not provide for a decent living on its own.

Cry Shop , December 12, 2016 at 11:25 am

I just don't even like the idea of "good jobs" - so limited and so American.

For example, Jobs won't save us from Climate Change, it's not just a money issue. Hence Livelihood, as in lets make sure the bastards who made this mess die before we do, then we;ll have some justice to make our miserable end more bearable. http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/12/links-121216.html#comment-2725938

Waldenpond , December 12, 2016 at 12:07 pm

Full employment is the growth argument. Both would be beneficial but I would prefer the switch to income/leisure. Shorter work week, more leisure activities, less consumption, less growth.

lyman alpha blob , December 12, 2016 at 1:15 pm

Ditto. Government doesn't need to provide jobs where people go to the office and get paid to sit on their rear end all day – we already have enough of those in the public and private sectors.

I'd like to see a basic income guarantee with some sort of mandatory work required to get it. Something like the draft where people are called up to work for a certain period of time on a rotating basis but also giving them some say in what sort of job they get to do. One year you work at job x for a period of time, train your replacement and then get a bunch of time off. The next year you can try something different at job y.

Waldenpond , December 12, 2016 at 2:13 pm

Mandatory work everything is work. Yes, you can have call up for people who want to do a stint/internship learning large scale community construction, infrastructure, plumbing, electrical, etc.

Still, there needs to be jobs where people sit on their back sides part of a day some prefer working in offices and some are only able to work in offices.

But stretch the imagination: Community service runs the gamut: people to clean up streets, keep gutters open, scrape up weeds, maintain plantings, paint, repair; assisting children, seniors and animals; art etc. I am not a musician nor actor but would appreciate having free/low cost local enrichment programs. Public schools (the ones left) could be used in the evening for free classes: electronics, woodworking, engine/household repair, cooking, nutrition, etc.

And yes, there will be a need for people who sit on their rear ends to help organize and track activities. :)

lyman alpha blob , December 12, 2016 at 2:27 pm

Yes what you said.

And don't get me wrong about the rear end sitting – I don't mean those types of jobs shouldn't exist, I just mean that when you show up at the office you ought to have some actual work to do. And going to meetings deciding what work others should be doing doesn't count. I've worked at a few where I was required to be there for eight hours a day but only had four hours of work to do, and not for lack of asking.

One can only read the whole internet so many times a day ;)

polecat , December 12, 2016 at 7:11 pm

'Shorter work week, more leisure activities, less consumption, less growth.'

and lots of Free birthcontrol ..

jrs , December 12, 2016 at 12:18 pm

What nonsense it is to generalize what the working class as a whole wants (and really this probably should include everyone who works for a living). Some want jobs, some income. If everyone only wanted jobs no mothers would ever stay home to raise children etc..

Waldenpond , December 12, 2016 at 12:33 pm

Everything is work, everything is a job. If you take care of an elderly relative, it's duty (unpaid labor), if you take care of an elderly stranger it's a job. If you raise your own children, it's duty (unpaid labor), if raise others children, it's a job.

Elites are claiming more and more work is duty and of course it should be unpaid not to mention volunteerism.

If there was an income guarantee, most would labor their days away as work contributes to social connection and provides personal satisfaction.

If there was an income, I imagine social life would be richer as more people could be artists (festivals!), performers (community theater!), work in schools (art, music, construction classes) etc.

HotFlash , December 12, 2016 at 9:09 am

And, of course, it is the government that is the issuer of this sovereign currency that they cannot run out of. Or are you suggesting that the government give the $$ to the private sector, which will, of course, trickle it on down? We could call it, I don't know, how about 'quantitative easing'?

Another reason to prefer the government (which, after all, is "us") to administer jobs-for-all is providing jobs that do useful things for society which could not be provided on a for-profit basis. Um, like daycare, medical care, public utilities, eldercare, voter registration, education, making things that are repairable, and then repairing them when they need it, organic agriculture, humane animal husbandry, saving the monarch butterflies, *manual* residential snow shoveling - all those things that 'cost too much' for a for-profit business to do.

Eclair , December 12, 2016 at 10:27 am

Exactly, HotFlash. And, notice that so many of these livelihoods, child and eldercare, teaching, repair persons, garbage collectors, snow plow operators, have been relegated to the level of 'minimum wage jobs,' and the people that perform these necessary services consigned to the ranks of 'too dumb to be innovators or investment bankers.'

We have been conned into mumbling to our military, 'thank you for your service,' as they get to board flights before us. Why not honor trash collectors and the women who clean the toilets in our workplaces and the workers who are out on the county roads and interstates at 2am in a blizzard, keeping the roads clear so we don't have to be inconveniences? Where would our society be without them?

Cry Shop , December 12, 2016 at 12:03 pm

Douglas Adams was only being partially facetious when he had the an advanced civilization wiped out because they shipped out their phone cleaners on rocket-ships (ala the Marching Morons). It was his subtle rebuke to both Kornbluth and the Ayn Randian/neo-conservative of that time, as well as the general vapid consumerist society.

As to the military, I always favored the Coast Guard, they risk their lives to save other humans, not help the MIC and Empire.

manymusings , December 12, 2016 at 11:39 am

I think explaining govt-as-employer-of last-resort becomes easy once a few misconceptions are corrected and a few realities sink in. But it's no small thing for the realities to sink in - everything we've been taught, or encouraged to assume, is working against us. Conventional, responsible wisdom is that the wealth one has that didn't come from the government is "earned" and any activity that "earns" money is inherently productive and being productive is good - it makes one worthy. People think of "money" as the stuff passed around in big green wads in the movies, that comes into being through work an ingenuity (unless the govt commits the sin of "just printing it"). Distribution may not be "fair" but it at least follows certain intuitive laws or forces, that have a vague sense of morality associated with them (e.g., money is earned through productivity which means whoever has it by definition earned it, e.g. MH point on FIRE sector). It is a tautology - but a powerful one. People don't think of money as the product of accounting, a two sided coin created literally from a balance sheet - debits and credits, assets and liabilities - and that commercial banks can conjure "money" - pump it into circulation - simply by marking an asset in their ledger. People don't know that banks issue loans (create assets) out of nothing all the time (i.e., loans without corresponding deposits or reserves, loaning what they don't "have"). The asset becomes revenue-generating through interests and fees, which, if non-liquidating, are the precise opposite of "productive."

It is so difficult for this to sink in because our society organizes itself as if this weren't true. Speaking personally, it takes a persistent, systematic re-organization of how we process facts and arguments. We hear something like a "sovereign currency can never run out" as a justification for universal income or govt-as-employer-of-last-resort, and it triggers a deeply embedded sense that somehow this would send the economy spinning of the rails. But once it sinks in that "money" is just an asset/liability, and its entry into private circulation is purely a matter of public policy (not private "productivity"), at least then you're asking the right question: how should a sovereign inject currency into private circulation? Maybe no one answer is universally right at all times and in all circumstances .. but at this point debt is outpacing actual productivity, which means it must be written down (MH argument) and/or there needs to be an injection on the debtor side to try to catch up (e.g., jobs program or universal income). Which is why it is so nonsensical for the govt to "print money" in the form of transferring assets in the form of increasing bank reserves, as if bank lending depends on reserves at all it's like trying to fill a pool but flooding your sink). At least that's how I make sense of it still may botch the details, but at least once you strip away the cultural/social/moral baggage, it becomes more of a matter of simple economic logic that doesn't need a larger explanation. If you want to fill the pool, fill the pool, not the sink. But the baggage is real - which is why it really does seem to be a matter of letting the realities sink in.

juliania , December 12, 2016 at 1:35 pm

The baggage you speak of actually began with Reagan when from a government position of high privilege he actually sneered at government as the employer of last resort with his statement belittling "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you." Which a subservient press took and ran with to make sure it settled into everyone's subconscious. It's helpful to revisit the rise of Ronald Reagan, and to remember that Obama took him as his role model, not FDR.

This battle has been ongoing in American politics probably since way back before the Great Depression, but that's as far back as some of us remember our parents telling us about. I love Bill Black because he's the kind of Democrat I thought I was. This new crowd makes me sick. It's appropriate that Obama's murder weapons are called drones. That's what the New Democrats are: drones.

KYrocky , December 12, 2016 at 8:20 am

The New Democrats will likely go the way of the blue dog Democrats. Their Republican voters will ask themselves why should they vote for a powerless Republican-lite, and they will simply die politically.

They care about staying a Senator. They care about themselves first and only, and will suck up to and serve whoever provides the money that allows them to hold onto their seats.

Voters in these red states voted for change, above all else. They voted for a nut job because they finally heard a candidate speaking to their issues and concerns, something their Senators, apparently, have not done.

Dave McCrae , December 12, 2016 at 8:20 am

There will soon be so few democrats remaining that we should give some serious consideration to a sequestration solution of giving them their own land, with no fossil fuel degradation, clean water from the glaciers, a tiny house, a pouch of seeds, and a sustainable truck garden, no cars trucks or bicycles, a fig tree in the middle of town. They could either pay taxes or not, as they felt motivated, and provide their own services regardless as not to be a burden. We could gather them up and have a long march to their new home; it would be hravenly! The rest of us could peacefully proceed to hell.

manymusings , December 12, 2016 at 8:23 am

This is mind blowing. Granted I didn't follow the link to the full story - but how on earth is this even news , even under the pathetic standards of election post mortems? New dems concoct self-admiring story, posture as the ones who "get it." Feed it to reporter, who agrees to attribute anonymously of course (so it has the feel of insiders and not high schoolers). I'm guessing what these courageous centrists really mean with the confused prescription to court voters who "lean right" is to appeal on social/cultural issues. Scold "elitist identity politics" of the national party as a distraction from the "economic message" (which of course will be the same assault on decency it always has been). So "economy first" would mean attack/exploit social liberalism and call it a "fight" for the economic plight of the every-man/woman. The beauty is you get to sound angry on behalf of voters without an iota of accountability or reflection, without ever having to answer for shallow, self-serving policies and abject failure.

cnchal , December 12, 2016 at 11:10 am

Some times Bill is so over the top it is comical.

Note that the paper never tells you what the five New Democrats so bluntly identified as the New Democrats' "missteps" or what new policies they believed needed to be adopted by the Party. This failure is particularly bizarre because the paper says that its reportage is based on sources that the paper agreed to keep anonymous so that they could speak frankly about this meeting over Chinese food. . .

The five New Democrats were: Democrats like Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Jon Tester of Montana, at a dinner held at the Washington home of Senator Heidi Heitkamp, Democrat of North Dakota.

So, not anonymous at all.

Here is the key part to understanding the plight of the politician / narcissist that feels the wrath of voters.

. . . All face difficult re-election races in 2018.

There is nothing worse than being ignored, but fail to understand that what they themselves fear, being ignored with no jawb, the peasants have been living with for decades. Hypocrite is the word and these are vacuous human beings that care only about themselves no matter what emotional fakery they use.

flora , December 12, 2016 at 12:48 pm

Um .
what the five New Democrats so bluntly identified as the New Democrats' "missteps" or what new policies they believed needed to be adopted by the Party

Um, noun (subject)-verb-object. what (noun) was identified as (verb) "missteps" and "'policies" (objects) eg. the 5 did not identify the missteps or policies.

cnchal , December 12, 2016 at 4:01 pm

Comical. The first line in Bill's post gets the NYT headline wrong.

On December 10, 2016, a New York Times article entitled "Democrats Have a New Message: It's the Economy First"

The actual headline is "Democrats Hone a New Message: It's the Economy Everyone ". A small detail for sure, which implies from The NYT it's a purveyor of fake news, because honing implies a refinement of a message already being said, and is contradicted within two words, by the word "new". It is possible that the headlines keep changing and that Bill's was up when he quoted them, which would solidify their reputation of fake news purveyors.

Getting back to the meat of Bill's post.

This failure is particularly bizarre because the paper says that its reportage is based on sources that the paper agreed to keep anonymous so that they could speak frankly about this meeting over Chinese food. That combination of supposed frankness from the sources gained by the grant of anonymity so them could describe in detail the purported bluntness by the gang of five should have produced some epic, specific condemnations of the Democratic Party's leadership by the New Democrats. Instead, it produced mush . . .

Going to the NYT article here is the reference to anonymous sources, so I freely admit to being wrong about Bill's anonymous Chinese food eating party (or wake) attendees being the fatuous five.

The party, these senators said, had grown overly fixated on cultural issues with limited appeal to the heartland. They criticized Hillary Clinton's campaign slogan, "Stronger Together," as flat and opaque, according to multiple people present at the dinner, some of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity .

This is the NYT's only reference to anonymity and furthers it's reputation of a fake news purveyor as the word "some" implies that some would go on record but either couldn't be found or weren't asked.

The rest of the article segues into a pity party, from those that weren't there.

Moderate Democrats are not alone in their sense of urgency about honing a new economic message. After a stinging loss to Donald J. Trump, liberals in the party are also trying to figure out how to tap into the populist unrest that convulsed both parties in 2016. Only by making pocketbook issues the central focus, they say, can Democrats recover in the 2018 midterm elections and unseat Mr. Trump in 2020.

"We need to double down and double down again on the importance of building an economy not just for those at the top, but for everyone ," said Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a high-profile progressive who is seen as a leading potential opponent for Mr. Trump.

Elizabeth Warren doesn't realize that those at the top stole it from everyone else, and quadrupling down on building an economy that works for those at the top won't work for those at the bottom or anyone else except for those at the top.

Beyond that, they expect wide variance in how officeholders handle Mr. Trump and his agenda, from moderates who seek out accommodation to blue-state leaders who pursue total war . Their emerging message is likely to focus on protecting Medicare and Social Security, attacking income inequality and political corruption , and blocking legislation that might restrict access to health care.

"Likely" and "might" are weasel words. How likely are those that live and breath corruption to cut off their own supply?

The whole article is a mix of real and fake news and some days I like my comedy, black.

juliania , December 12, 2016 at 1:56 pm

Well, I laughed myself silly over this one:

"So, how long does it take for the article, and the five New Democrats to discuss "jobs?" Given the fact that they vented at length about the fear that they would begin to lose their jobs within two years, the subject of job security should have been paramount to the five New Democrats."

I'm still chuckling. It's sort of like five roosters in a chicken coop that only has room for one, all vying to become Chanticleer.

I mean, you do have to laugh sometimes.

Ignacio , December 12, 2016 at 2:27 pm

Yeps, hypocrisy became a major disease in politics long ago. Now it's time to pay for it, apparently.

templar555510 , December 12, 2016 at 8:40 am

We in the UK had thirteen years of ' New Labour ' which was Tony Blair's repositioning of the old Labour Party to turn it into a right of centre Thatcherite, neoliberal, let's privatise everything party, thus abandoning the working class in the process . Exactly as Bill Black describes re the Democrats . The problem as I see it is hydra headed , but here are the headings as it were :

1. A political shift to the right is also a psychological one, separating the ' doing okays ' from the ' left behinds ' and in the process reducing ( if not eliminating ) empathy from the ' doing okays ' for the ' left behinds ' . So intentional or otherwise this is a ' divide and rule ' policy, by government that has given rise to Global Trump_vs_deep_state. In the process the electability of a left-wing candidate as a leader – Saunders, Corybyn – has been made impossible under the present set up.

2. Automation. The power of labour hasn't just been weakened by this rightward shift . It has been severely weakened by the onward march of capital embracing new technologies of every type and as we all know none of the productivity gains from this have benefitted labour, nor will they in the future.

3. Bill Black is right a government is not like a household, but the daily message that we ' tax in order to spend ' is a deeply rooted belief system and just trying ( as I do ) to explain why this is not the case is, I imagine , like Copernicus trying to explain the actual motion of the earth around the sun. They just don't get it. It goes against common sense .

The election of Trump is not the beginning of the end it is end of the beginning. This is not a polite, dinner party conversation, it's going to turn ugly rather quickly and, just like the Crash of 2008 no-one will have seen it coming.

sharonsj , December 12, 2016 at 5:11 pm

Re automation: I know the CEOs are pushing replacing people with robots. But none of them can give you an answer to this question: Which robots are going to buy your products? And the fact that none of them can even think this far ahead means they are just as clueless as the New Dems. Maybe they can't see it coming but plenty of us can. I keep telling my friends they better start preparing for any and all emergencies because the future ain't gonna be pretty.

John Wright , December 12, 2016 at 8:52 am

Truly the Times will not connect any obvious dots

The Times writes: "Why did the working people, who have always been our base, turn away?" Mr. Manchin said in an interview, recounting the tenor of the dinner conversation.

This is the same Joe Manchin whose daughter, Heather Bresch, heads up Mylan of recent EpiPen monopoly pricing fame.

Maybe Democratic voters are realizing that the elected Democrats are concerned about taking care of their own well-connected class, but working people are a group ignored most of the time and catered to, verbally, only 2/4/6 years.

Quanka , December 12, 2016 at 9:00 am

Can we get a re-post on a previous BB primer on MMT? I studied (bachelors) econ, I have read L. Randal Wray's MMT book but I find the concepts of a sovereign currency hard to explain to outsiders who are mostly inundated with globalism, "free trade" etc.

casino implosion , December 12, 2016 at 11:40 am

Wray, whatever his importance to the MMT world as a theorist, is a terrible explainer. Cullen Roche (who disagrees with the UMKC economists on the prescriptive points of the theory, such as the job guarantee) does a far better job explaining it to the beginner on his site Pragmatic Capitalism.

JEHR , December 12, 2016 at 12:38 pm

Sometimes it does not matter how well you explain that a sovereign country need not raise taxes before spending can take place because some people will never change their beliefs no matter how well those beliefs are challenged. It is almost as difficult as trying to change someone's religious beliefs.

NotTimothyGeithner , December 12, 2016 at 1:58 pm

U.S. level sovereign countries. Russia could do it. Brazil and Indonesia could, but most "sovereign" countries would have problems with international trade if they tried this. Iran maybe could do it.

I fear many people believe the U.S. is a higher character version of the UK or France, so when you try to explain this, they don't quite grasp the U.S. is a continent spanning power and don't grasp why the dollar has value. The U.S. isn't the indispensable nation. It's the nation that can check out. Other nation states don't have this luxury. Despite the decline of industrial production, the U.S. makes that or could easily. American exceptionalism isn't the moral garbage Obama pushes. It's sovereignty in the modern world.

Barry , December 12, 2016 at 7:48 pm

Try Bill Mitchell – his blog is on the blogroll on the right
He even has weekly tests to see if you have got the concept!

UserFriendly , December 12, 2016 at 9:42 pm

For people without a background in Econ I highly recommend theses youtube playlists. They are filtered into different categories and are very good explainers.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWXGA051bB7uXlvsiGjvOxw/playlists

oh , December 12, 2016 at 9:13 am

The Dems are hoping that they'll be back in office as soon as the Repubs screw up. And it's quite possible since people don't have a choice other that the duopoly. We have to start building other parties to give ourselves a choice. But will we do it? How?

John k , December 12, 2016 at 9:17 am

They didn't lose because more people voted rep.
They lost because 10mm that voted for big o in 2008 stayed home, didn't vote for anybody for pres, or went 3rd party in other words, ABC, or anybody but Clinton.
A few will some day emulate Bernie, but this leap of faith means no banker money. Not many of these senior dems
new blood, please!

HotFlash , December 12, 2016 at 9:17 am

I find the spectacle of these despicable excuses for Senators being deeply concerned for their own job security quite heart-warming. Thanks, Prof Black, goes great with coffee.

But why, oh why, if they are that scared about their jobs, can't they get a clue? Are they still afraid of Hillary? Afraid that they would have to do honest work? Or do they still truly believe that the working class is just muttons?

NotTimothyGeithner , December 12, 2016 at 9:45 am

There aren't corporate board jobs waiting for losers without years of direct labor on behalf of corporate backers. Backbenchers who simply enjoy the celebrity of DC and follow corporate directives aren't relevant once they lose.

Certain ones retire to avoid the stench of losing (Evan Bayh, now officially a loser) and can manage decent jobs, but what does a loser bring to corporate pr especially when they are replaceable faces? A retired astronaut will come cheaper and present far less chance of scandal.

DJG , December 12, 2016 at 9:25 am

I'm detecting a new meme: Clarion

And the Democrats already keep trying that same old trick of hating their base. Heidi Heitkamp is about as far right as one can go. What's next? Resurrecting Pinochet to run in Florida?

ChrisAtRU , December 12, 2016 at 9:28 am

As if on cue, #TheLastCourtJesterOfTheNeoLiberalCrown has (of course) chimed in this morning with more weep-worthy analysis:

The Tainted Election

Warning: May cause severe eye-rolling (at the very least).

John Wright , December 12, 2016 at 10:29 am

Thanks for the warning.

I did click on the link, and the Krugman's first sentence was "The CIA, according to The Washington Post, has now determined that hackers working for the Russian government worked to tilt the 2016 election to Donald Trump."

At least Krugman didn't write, "According to reliable sources" as many people would not view the CIA and WaPo as reliable sources.

The thrust of the Krugman op-ed is that Clinton lost by such a small margin in some states, it could have been the alleged Russian influence that made the difference.

And it could have been because she was a lousy candidate with many concerns about her judgment and ethics (Libya, Iraq, Clinton Foundation, 150K Wall Street speeches, possible selling of favors during SOS, email evidence destruction, cheating on a debate with prior knowledge of debate questions from Donna Brazile, for TPP then against it.).

Krugman should be taking the Democratic leadership to task for foisting their marginal candidate on the electorate and the failure of the existing Democratic President to do much for the voters in his eight years in office.

I remember going to a lecture/book signing by Paul Krugman about 12 years ago and he seemed to be a decent and thoughtful academic.

Perhaps winning the Nobel branded economics prize was not good for him?

Or maybe there is something in the drinking water at the Times, that like the Shadow, has the ability to "cloud men's minds"?

fresno dan , December 12, 2016 at 10:59 am

John Wright
December 12, 2016 at 10:29 am

I view Krugman the same way I view the inquisitors of the Holy Roman Empire – they are the "true" believers, and as such have a duty to defend the sacredness of the church (i.e., the democratic party – it is INCAPABLE OF ERROR).

Krugman's indoctrination into the religion of economics would put the indoctrination of Jesuits to shame. Krugman is simply incapable of examining his indoctrination and in that respect can't even match Greenspan, who at least owned up to the flaw in his (Greenspan's) ideology.
Democrats are perfect, ergo any critique of Obama, ACA, employment, droning, et al is racism and any critique of Hillary is sexism – Krugman: ANY disagreement means your stupid.

thesaucymugwump , December 12, 2016 at 9:43 am

"Working class people overwhelmingly want to work. Working class males who are unable to find secure, full time work often become depressed and unmarriageable"

As always, Bill Black is spot-on, but the above sentence can be extended by eliminating the words "working class." The reason Trump won is not only because of blue collar workers. White collar workers in jeopardy of losing their job due to H-1B visas heard Trump's promise that he would stop visa abuse.

And Democratic leaders still have not realized that a non-criminal candidate, e.g. Jim Webb, would have trounced Trump due to his sheer normality. They were in too much of a hurry to crown their queen. Joe "more of the same" Biden is not the answer.

The Democratic Party might disappear for the most part unless it dumps identity politics and re-embraces workers and unions.

Jim Webb / Tulsi Gabbard in 2020.

simjam , December 12, 2016 at 9:53 am

The problem can be stated quite simply: New Democrats pay close attention to the ministrations of George Soros, AIPAC, and Wall Street. The policies flow from the dollars these entities provide.

Eureka Springs , December 12, 2016 at 9:58 am

Abolish the United States Senate.

NotTimothyGeithner , December 12, 2016 at 10:51 am

It's the rationale solution. I believe even indirect elections would produce a better class of Senators. The pomp of the Senate is corrupting. Each Senator fancies himself or herself President. If Hillary could almost make it and an empty suit such as Obama could make it, the Senator from the great state of (insert state) definitely could, so they need to keep the money spigots open and not offend voters in other states.

Indirectly elected Senators would likely be former state house Speaker types or people who have had more than back benching jobs and never felt the thrill of winning statewide. They wouldn't entertain delusions of becoming President.

An added benefit is people would pay more attention to state house races. Fixing potholes would not be sufficient for reelection.

Knot Galt , December 12, 2016 at 2:19 pm

Senate corruption is not about pomp as it is really about Citizens United. That senators have weak malleable egos that money easily corrupts is disguised by the pomp of the Senate.

Anyone who has ever run for local or state public office knows that local races are treated like the bush leagues and minor leagues of baseball where the campaign manager acts like a scout for the party apparatus. Each party has their loyalists and, to borrow a great metaphor, Inquisition-era Klugmans, who guard the gates and dole out monies to influence the local media and voters.

Thrown to the wayside are the actual beliefs of democracy; as the religion of money is the only thing recognized. The rationale decision is to reconnect with the ideas of principal. It's not going to be easy. As this article demonstrates, everyone involved in it is completely void of any principal thought.

And yet I wonder. Bill Black's critique and commentators on this post provide evidence that general principals are thought about. How then, could indirect elections tap into this vein and eschew our vacuous and archaic Senator class?

Altandmain , December 12, 2016 at 10:05 am

The existing Democratic leadership should be forced to resign in disgrace.

They claimed that veering to the center and peddling candidates like Clinton would be more "electable". That has not proven to be the case.

The cruel reality is that they won't go without a fight. They're not public servants. They only care about themselves.

rd , December 12, 2016 at 11:40 am

The House Democrats re-elected Pelosi and company virtually unchallenged. I think they are so used to losing that they view keeping majorities in the east and west coast states as victory.

TK421 , December 12, 2016 at 1:06 pm

When centrism fails, they'll try conservativism. People like that only do the right thing after all else has failed.

Denis Drew , December 12, 2016 at 10:46 am

One interesting path to bring left out labor back?

Just read that Trump stacked NLRB could walk back teaching and research assistants category as employees. Hey; we know states may conduct their own union certification setups for farm workers because farm workers were left off FDR's ship.
https://onlabor.org/2016/12/09/what-will-a-trump-nlrb-mean-for-graduate-teaching-and-research-assistants/

HEY! THAT MEANS THAT ANY CATEGORY OF WORKERS DEFINED OUTSIDE THE FED SETUP IS ELIGIBLE FOR SEPARATE STATE LABOR ORGANIZING SETUP!!!!!!!!!!!!

State labor setup could add something oh, so every day practicable. State NLRB substitute could MANDATE certification elections upon a finding of union busting. States should also take union busting as seriously in criminal law as fed takes taking a movie in the movies - that FBI warning on your DVD comes alive and you are gone for couple of years if caught.

But mandating certification elections has so much more an everyday, natural businesslike feel that it could sail relatively smoothly through state legislatures. Nota bene: Wisconsin mandates re-certification of public employees unions annually (51% of membership required; not just voters) - nothing too alien about mandating union elections.

State set up might ACTUALLY go the last practical mile and actually force employers to actually bargain with certified unions - which refusal to bargain remains the last impassable barrier associated with the fed no-enforcement mechanism. See Donald Trump in Vegas.

See: A HANDBOOK ON THE CALIFORNIA AGRICULTURAL LABOR RELATIONS LAW (35 page)
for an example (maybe unique) of a state fully replicating federal labor law for a left out segment of workers.
https://www.alrb.ca.gov/content/pdfs/formspublications/handbook/handbook0207.pdf

rd , December 12, 2016 at 11:25 am

Classic tone-deafness

So I think one of the main issues out there is even understanding what middle-class means. A key example of this can be found in this piece where the difficulties that Swiss watch makers are facing is because of the struggling middle-class. Completely baffling I have never known anybody in the "middle class" to even be thinking of buying a Rolex Oyster watch. There are many other things that they would do with $5k before buying a watch.

I think the media and policy makers are mistaking the struggles of people who are making over $250k a year (or local equivalent) as the struggles of the middle class.

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-12-12/middle-class-angst-is-depressing-swiss-watch-sales

rd , December 12, 2016 at 11:39 am

I think this is an interesting column discussing whether or not economists should be focused as much on income distribution as total income growth. I think what the Democratic party has completely missed is that the period fo time that the Trump voters view as "When America Was Great" was a period when GDP growth was high (3%-4%) but more importantly, a record percentage of it was being allocated to the middle-class.

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-12-09/economists-pretend-they-don-t-pick-winners-and-loser

Trump's big challenge will be routing the current 3% GDP growth to his voters as he has promised to. I have not seen or heard any concrete policy proposals that will accomplish this, so there should be a yawning wide door for the Democrats to march through 2 and 4 years from now if they can figure out how to turn on the light to discover where that door is. Right now the Democrats are just fighting with the Republicans on how the money should be distributed among the top 10% instead of looking at revisiting their policies form scratch.

Sanders was on the right track, but went to far on key things such as free university. I think most Americans would agree that college should have some value that is paid for, but it should be much less than $60k/year tuition. The rest of the developed world doesn't have massive student debt issues because their colleges and universities are typically in the $3k to $20k/year tuition and many professional programs (lawyers, doctors etc.) are structured as long undergraduate programs instead of 4-year undergraduate program just being a weeding out process before you even get into the professional program.

NotTimothyGeithner , December 12, 2016 at 12:13 pm

Free college is popular. Most people went to free public schools. Your argument against college is the same argument against elementary school. If you want more STEM graduates as a society, pay for it.

JustAnObserver , December 12, 2016 at 11:39 am

One small quibble: IMHO it is an issue of left vs. right. Unfortunately the US has no `left' and the only options ever presented are right vs. even-further-right.

juliania , December 12, 2016 at 2:12 pm

"Second, the issue is generally not who "leans to the right." Indeed, the 2016 election should have made clear to the paper the severe limits on the usefulness of the terms "right" and "left" in explaining U.S. elections. Jobs are not a right v. left issue."

Gaylord , December 12, 2016 at 11:47 am

Dems are owned by the banks, so they are helping to rob us.

Kris Aman , December 12, 2016 at 12:43 pm

Until Democrat Party leadership disavows their neoliberal, financial strip-mining, progressive voters are challenged by identity politics. How can one remain a Democratic loyalist under those circumstances?

In an article today on medical patents, drug profits and march-in rights, the NY Times created a video. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/11/us/retro-report-medical-patents-profits.html

The video begins with the March of Dimes funded development of the polio vaccine. Edward Murrow asks Jonas Salk, "Who owns the patent on this vaccine?" Salk famously answered, "The people, I'd say. There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?"

The video ends with his Salk's son repeating what his father said to him: "What is more important? The human value of the dollar or the dollar value of the human?"

These questions are not valid when corporate oligarchs control the puppet strings of both political parties.

Presumably, that's because neoliberals have bought into the Chicago School theory of human capital, "the stock of knowledge, habits, social and personality attributes, including creativity, embodied in the ability to perform labor so as to produce economic value." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_capital

Since economic value is intended for the shareholder, neoclassical and neoliberal policies are intended to achieve the same outcome: to decrease the dollar value of the human.

Arizona Slim , December 12, 2016 at 12:48 pm

All of Benjamin Franklin's inventions went into the public domain.

fosforos , December 12, 2016 at 1:10 pm

Prof Black says that Al Gore is "the [co]leader of the New Democrats." That was true in 1988-1992. But some people sometimes learn a thing or two over a quarter-century. In Gore's case, he learned something yuuuge: that global warming is the central issue of our time for *everyone*. Yet Prof. Black, the Democrats new, old, and middleaged, every single commenter on this posting, not to mention the Five coal-state Senators whining about "the economy," not a one of all of them had a single word about the most important (perhaps the *only* important issue) of our times. Does anyone doubt that, had the Democrats been forced to nominate him in the contested convention that I had so hoped for, the campaign, its outcome, and our present discussion would be quite different?

NotTimothyGeithner , December 12, 2016 at 1:32 pm

I believe Gore was a less talented version of his father under the spell of Tipper who was usually on a crusade against naughty language. Left to his own devices, Gore is alright, but it takes him a while. He was garbage in 2000.

Dave , December 12, 2016 at 8:43 pm

Eeyore Lieberman on the ticket is what did him in.

larry silber , December 12, 2016 at 1:30 pm

Wow! I respect Bill Black,so much so that if I was a billionaire respite with household name recognition to promote my ascension to the big house, my cabinet would have hopefully been blessed with his inclusion. I get the monetary sovereignty reality and am equally frustrated over the disconnect most people have digesting the difference between public and private debt. Unfortunately long standing cultural beliefs continually propogandized are hard to change, so without a very established credentialed leader, like maybe some of those new democats, and a host of other well respected influential cohorts supporting this counter intuitive reversal of perception, the reality that our governments finances are nothing akin to a households will only be reckognized by a very small group of open minded heterodox academics and truth seeking objective journalists, like the folks here at Naked Capitalism. I assume some unsavory corporate benefactors of energy , banking, and the sometimes comically nefarious cast of charachters running the various military industrial enterprises, obviously dependent upon government accomodations, contracts, and unlimited revolving door exposures, must have some inherent comprehension of the governments monetary sovereignty. Though i am sure, just like justice and law, to them its two tier. Whether we want to admit it or not, class is a big divider, and those benefitting from our current insanity stand on some shaky shoulders. They need institutions that are self affirming and equally prescribed to regardless of class. Religion helps the downtrodden with hope and morality; equally comforting to the plutocrats that be are the multiple arenas upholding assumptions espousing limited federal government coffers, conforming the masses to be humble and aquiescent, but more importantly incentivizes a hard working competitive ethic that the powers that be easily exploit for ever more profits.
Now the divergence between me and Professor Black comes where he implores that people just want to work, anotherwords have a secure job. What that job is and what it pays isnt the priority, the idea they have a structured format to adhere to and anchor their societal existence is whats paramount. I dont buy it! . I get it, here at Naked Capitalism isnt the place for anecdotal exploits, so i dont want to bore anybody with my angry history. But experiences do correspond to attitudes and policy persuasions. Briefly, I own a small business, I hate it, I simply have to continue with it because otherwise I am in the street. The Great Recession gutted my savings, opportunities, and networks, while age, personal obligations, and finances precludes any restructuring. Surely many middle aged middle class americans share my frustrations, and the future isnt looking any brighter. That being said, work for the sake of doing something integrated for a minimal pay check to stay relevant and in the "system" isnt what's needed. Productive opportunities that engage those that are idle and prone to self destructive behaviors might be socially responsible, and obviously our federal government can provide funding for that, even though this cooperative idea might sound too much like socialism. Young people surely need educational opportunities and structured paths to engage in that will lead to either being productive or aid searching for better sustainable ventures that balance our proclivity to turn nature into profits for the few. Point is, obviously society is a growth in progress and each new generation needs guidance finding ways to spend time assuring they and their societal members are continuing to build upon and improve the quality of everybodies lives. Sometimes profit can be a great motivator for this, and other times not. I am not sure if Prof. Black is expanding his definition of work. Maybe instead of getting into debt for an education, vocational or academic, people should be paid a living wage to receive an education at the beginning of their occupational lives, or like me, they need help restructuring due to public policy that destroyed their economic and occupational existences.. Bernie tried to introduce these concepts, but fear of deficits and lacking funds took center stage. Bernie, who obviously knows the truth because of Stephanie Kelton, got cold feet with regards to attempting an honest discusion, reverting instead to increased taxing to find funding. Sorry , until the definition of "work" is broadened, i'm not in favor of collectively indoctrinating unfortunate able bodied persons into a government work program that serves as a wage floor for some make for work job. Something like the Orange Oompa Loompa's proposed border wall? The entire concept sounds way too Orwelian for me.

jackiebass , December 13, 2016 at 6:33 am

New Democrats are really moderate republicans. For the democrat party to survive and get back their base, they have to adopt progressive democrat ideas. Electing Schumer as their senate leader is a mistake. He represents all that is bad about the democrat party. People are tired of being screwed by Neoliberal policies. We need a new deal for the 99%. Those voters that were conned by Trump are in for a rude awaking, and it won't take too long. American voters are very fickle. Not long ago the republican party was portrayed as on life support. It didn't take long for that to change. If democrats are smart they will quit living in the past and become more progressive. They only need to support their base to make big changes happen.

[Dec 11, 2016] The Clintons happily sacrificed the whole party to save themselves and in the end, they couldnt even accomplish THAT. What amazes me is that the chokehold that the Clintons had

Notable quotes:
"... "Jake Sullivan, Clinton's policy director, was the only one in Clinton's inner circle who kept saying she would likely lose, despite the sanguine polling," Glenn Thrush says, citing Sullivan's friends. ..."
"... "He was also the only one of the dozen aides who dialed in for Clinton's daily scheduling call who kept on asking if it wasn't a good idea for her to spend more time in the Midwestern swing states in the closing days of the campaign." ..."
"... Clinton herself had a spat with other top party officials who wanted to run against Trump as emblematic of where crazy repubs were headed. Clinton said, 'no, be nice to republicans, only Trump matters and we want their voters.' ..."
"... The Clintons happily sacrificed the whole party to save themselves and in the end, they couldn't even accomplish THAT. What amazes me is that the chokehold that the Clintons had(still have?) was so tight that the party let it happen! ..."
www.nakedcapitalism.com

Michael December 10, 2016 at 10:28 pm

Ellison is talking about starting the same sort of thing again with the 50-state strategy, and yeah, it's gonna pay off fast and big.

johnnygl December 10, 2016 at 8:40 am

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/12/how-the-democratic-party-lost-its-way-214514

Decent read from a democrat candidate in NC who ran for congress and got no help from DCCC. Makes larger point about how they need to built out the organization with training, infrastructure for campaigns. One remarkable bit is how there was a seat in TX district that hillary clinton won and the party didn't even field a candidate!

Jim Haygood December 10, 2016 at 9:01 am

A similar story about the final days of the SS Clintanic :

"Jake Sullivan, Clinton's policy director, was the only one in Clinton's inner circle who kept saying she would likely lose, despite the sanguine polling," Glenn Thrush says, citing Sullivan's friends.

"He was also the only one of the dozen aides who dialed in for Clinton's daily scheduling call who kept on asking if it wasn't a good idea for her to spend more time in the Midwestern swing states in the closing days of the campaign."

"They spent far more time debating whether or not Clinton should visit Texas and Arizona, two states they knew she had little chance of winning, in order to get good press," Thrush says. Just a week before Election Day, Clinton made a campaign stop in Tempe, Arizona.

http://dailycaller.com/2016/12/09/one-man-in-hillarys-campaign-warned-she-could-lose-and-everybody-ignored-him/#ixzz4SRXoMcMO

Who knows whether the NYT's ten months of daily fake news about "inevitable Hillary" misled the campaign, or the campaign misled the NYT?

One is reminded of the old nautical story about an imperious captain sailing on into a wall of clouds, as the worried navigator watches the barometer dropping to 28 inches of mercury.

The NYT's job is to inject more mercury - problem solved! (we thought)

integer December 10, 2016 at 11:17 am

Stuart Eizenstat , an Israel lobbyist with the law firm Covington and Burling , seemed to find it worthwhile to spend time emailing Jake Sullivan .

johnnygl December 10, 2016 at 1:05 pm

Building on lambert's favorite quote from atrios "they had ONE job!". Anecdotes like this from politico really emphasize how they literally stopped trying to elect other democrats. It was ALL about clinton and little else mattered. There was NO plan B!

Clinton herself had a spat with other top party officials who wanted to run against Trump as emblematic of where crazy repubs were headed. Clinton said, 'no, be nice to republicans, only Trump matters and we want their voters.'

The Clintons happily sacrificed the whole party to save themselves and in the end, they couldn't even accomplish THAT. What amazes me is that the chokehold that the Clintons had(still have?) was so tight that the party let it happen!

cwaltz December 10, 2016 at 1:27 pm

Personally I would like to see the Democratic Party go the way of the Whigs. They don't deserve my time and effort when the elite go out of their way to stack the deck.

[Dec 11, 2016] That supposed Russian interference

Notable quotes:
"... Greenwald's take down is another hammer meets nail piece. The CIA are systemic liars. In fact, that's their job to move around in the shadows and deceive. They literally lie about everything. They lied about Iran/Contra, torture programs, their propensity for drug smuggling and dealing, infesting the media with agents, imaginary WMDs that launch war and massacre, mass surveillance of citizens, just to name a few. ..."
"... This is the agency who are in secret and anonymity, with no verifiable evidence, whispering rumors in the WaPoo and NYTimes' ears that the Russians made Hillary lose. What moron would take the CIA at its word anymore? Much less a major newspaper? Did I miss something, is it 1950 again? Methinks I've picked up the scent of fake news ..."
"... Apparently, all the morons who are still screaming about Trump, as if he alone will be in charge of the government and not his GOP handlers. Please keep in mind that the ardent Clinton supporters quite clearly reveal cult behavior, and anything that allows them to continue embracing their belief in their righteousness will be embraced without question or qualm. ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... The upside of these overtly political battles among intelligence agencies is that we are eroding away the idea that these are non-partisan institutions without overt political agendas. ..."
"... What Stengel and various mainstream media outlets appear to be arguing for is the creation of a "Ministry of Truth" managed by mainstream U.S. media outlets and enforced by Google, Facebook and other technology platforms. ..."
"... In other words, once these supposedly responsible outlets decide what the "truth" is, then questioning that narrative will earn you "virtual" expulsion from the marketplace of ideas, possibly eliminated via algorithms of major search engines or marked with a special app to warn readers not to believe what you say, a sort of yellow Star of David for the Internet age. ..."
"... The NC lawsuit against WaPo, like the lawsuit of Hedges et al. against provisions of the NDAA, marks a watershed moment for defending free speech in our country! I hope that my oft-expressed belief -- that we will soon need to revive samizdat ..."
"... According to a recent posting on Wolf Street, according to records, the Treasury has borrowed 4 trillion more between 2004-15, than can actually be accounted for in spending. This is because it is the borrowing and thus public obligations, which really matter to the powers that be. The generals just get their toys and wars as icing on the cake. It doesn't matter if they win, because there would be less war to spend it on. Eventually they will use "public/private partnerships" to take their piles of public obligations and trade for the rest of the Commons. ..."
"... Money needs to be understand as a public utility, like roads. We no more own it than we own the section of road we are using. It is like blood, not fat. ..."
"... The CIA whinging about a right wing president being installed by a foreign power might just be the greatest self-awareness fail ever! ..."
"... LOL at that! You'd think they were afraid trump might turn out to be the next Hugo Chavez! They must really, really love their program to help al Qaeda in Syria. ..."
"... The CIA lies as a matter of course, and now they're being propped up as the paragons of honesty, simply out of political expediency. Crazy days. ..."
"... Modern Democrats simply aren't a political party but fanatics of a professional sports club. If it wasn't the Russians, it would be referees or Bill Belichick at fault. I'm surprised they aren't mentioning "Comrade Nader" at all times. ..."
"... In fact, Trump's coalition looks remarkably similar to the one that Scott Walker put together in 2014. ..."
"... Obama in Spartanburg, SC in 2007: And understand this: If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I'm in the White House, I'll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself, I will walk on that picket line with you as President of the United States of America. Because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner. ..."
"... And the Dems wonder why the working class feel betrayed. ..."
Dec 11, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
2016 Post Mortem

Trump Transition

The Evidence to Prove the Russian Hack emptywheel. The headline is a bit off, since the post's subject is really the evidence required to prove the Russian hack. Some of which does exist. That said, this is an excellent summary of the state of play. I take issue with one point:

Crowdstrike reported that GRU also hacked the DNC. As it explains, GRU does this by sending someone something that looks like an email password update, but which instead is a fake site designed to get someone to hand over their password. The reason this claim is strong is because people at the DNC say this happened to them.

First, CrowdStrike is a private security firm, so there's a high likelihood they're talking their book, Beltway IT being what it is. Second, a result (DNC got phished) isn't "strong" proof of a claim (GRU did the phishing). We live in a world where 12-year-olds know how to do email phishing, and a world where professional phishing operations can camouflage themselves as whoever they like. So color me skeptical absent some unpacking on this point. A second post from emptywheel, Unpacking the New CIA Leak: Don't Ignore the Aluminum Tube Footnote , is also well worth a read.

Chief Bromden December 11, 2016 at 7:51 am

Greenwald's take down is another hammer meets nail piece. The CIA are systemic liars. In fact, that's their job to move around in the shadows and deceive. They literally lie about everything. They lied about Iran/Contra, torture programs, their propensity for drug smuggling and dealing, infesting the media with agents, imaginary WMDs that launch war and massacre, mass surveillance of citizens, just to name a few.

They murder, torture, train hired mercenary proxies (who they are often pretending to oppose), stage coups of democratically elected govt.'s, interfere with elections, topple regimes, install ruthless puppet dictators, and generally enslave other nations to western corporate pirates. They are a rogue band of pirates themselves.

This is the agency who are in secret and anonymity, with no verifiable evidence, whispering rumors in the WaPoo and NYTimes' ears that the Russians made Hillary lose. What moron would take the CIA at its word anymore? Much less a major newspaper? Did I miss something, is it 1950 again? Methinks I've picked up the scent of fake news

Conclusion: It isn't the Russians that are interfering with U.S. kangaroo elections, it's the professionals over at the CIA

Brett December 11, 2016 at 11:29 am

+1000

Elizabeth Burton December 11, 2016 at 12:50 pm

Apparently, all the morons who are still screaming about Trump, as if he alone will be in charge of the government and not his GOP handlers. Please keep in mind that the ardent Clinton supporters quite clearly reveal cult behavior, and anything that allows them to continue embracing their belief in their righteousness will be embraced without question or qualm.

voteforno6 December 11, 2016 at 8:10 am

Re: That supposed Russian interference

I've tried to point out on other blogs just how shaky that story in the Washington Post is, and the response I get is something along the lines of, well, other outlets are also reporting it, so it must be true. It does me no good to point out that this is the same tactic used by the Bush administration in the run-up to the Iraq war. People will believe what they want to believe.

johnnygl December 11, 2016 at 8:35 am

It may help to point to the history of CIA influence at WaPoo. Counterpunch had a short piece reminding everyone of Operation Mockingbird (going from memory on that name) where CIA had reporters on staff at the paper directly taking orders and simultaneously on CIA payroll.

If questioned about CIA's motivation for hating trump, my best guess is that it is because trump is undermining their project to overthrow assad in syria using nusra rebels. And also because trump wants to be nice to russia.

I think there's some people in the cia that think they played a major role in winning the cold war through their support for mujahadeen rebels in afghanistan. I suspect they think they can beat putin in syria the same way. This is absolutely nutty.

JohnnyGL December 11, 2016 at 11:51 am

The upside of these overtly political battles among intelligence agencies is that we are eroding away the idea that these are non-partisan institutions without overt political agendas.

There's a large number of people that will see through the facade. Right now, Trump supporters are getting a lesson in how much resistance there can be within the establishment. I'm no Trump supporter, but I think seeing what these institutions are capable of is a useful exercise for all involved.

begob December 11, 2016 at 9:07 am

There's a running battle at the wikipedia article on Fake News Website, where propornot is now considered debunked.

Ulysses December 11, 2016 at 11:30 am

Apologies if this analysis by Robert Parry has already been shared here:

"What Stengel and various mainstream media outlets appear to be arguing for is the creation of a "Ministry of Truth" managed by mainstream U.S. media outlets and enforced by Google, Facebook and other technology platforms.

In other words, once these supposedly responsible outlets decide what the "truth" is, then questioning that narrative will earn you "virtual" expulsion from the marketplace of ideas, possibly eliminated via algorithms of major search engines or marked with a special app to warn readers not to believe what you say, a sort of yellow Star of David for the Internet age.

And then there's the possibility of more direct (and old-fashioned) government enforcement by launching FBI investigations into media outlets that won't toe the official line. (All of these "solutions" have been advocated in recent weeks.)

On the other hand, if you do toe the official line that comes from Stengel's public diplomacy shop, you stand to get rewarded with government financial support. Stengel disclosed in his interview with Ignatius that his office funds "investigative" journalism projects.

"How should citizens who want a fact-based world combat this assault on truth?" Ignatius asks, adding: "Stengel has approved State Department programs that teach investigative reporting and empower truth-tellers."

The NC lawsuit against WaPo, like the lawsuit of Hedges et al. against provisions of the NDAA, marks a watershed moment for defending free speech in our country! I hope that my oft-expressed belief -- that we will soon need to revive samizdat techniques to preserve truth– may turn ou to be overly pessimistic.

Ulysses December 11, 2016 at 11:36 am

Sorry, I forgot the link!

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-orwellian-war-on-skepticism-battling-fake-news/5559949

MyLessThanPrimeBeef December 11, 2016 at 11:57 am

It's like that quote: When the Clinton tide goes out, you discover who's been swimming naked.

Jim Haygood December 11, 2016 at 9:11 am

America's military empire is an enormous convection cycle, as money falls in while arms sales and global disorder radiate out.

Mr Milk Mustache (John Bolton) as assistant Sec State will help perpetuate and accelerate the grand convective cycle.

John Merryman December 11, 2016 at 9:47 am

Jim,

Keep in mind the basis of this capitalist economy is Federal debt. They have to spend it on something. The government doesn't even budget, which is to list priorities and spend according to need/ability. They put together these enormous bills, add enough to get the votes, which don't come cheap and then the prez can only pass or veto.

If they wanted to actually budget, taking the old line item veto as a template, they could break these bills into all their various items, have each legislator assign a percentage value to each one, put them back together in order of preference and the prez would draw the line. "The buck stops here."

That would keep powers separate, with congress prioritizing and the prez individually responsible for deficit spending. It would also totally crash our current "Capitalist" system.

According to a recent posting on Wolf Street, according to records, the Treasury has borrowed 4 trillion more between 2004-15, than can actually be accounted for in spending. This is because it is the borrowing and thus public obligations, which really matter to the powers that be. The generals just get their toys and wars as icing on the cake. It doesn't matter if they win, because there would be less war to spend it on. Eventually they will use "public/private partnerships" to take their piles of public obligations and trade for the rest of the Commons.

Money needs to be understand as a public utility, like roads. We no more own it than we own the section of road we are using. It is like blood, not fat.

The Trumpening December 11, 2016 at 8:15 am

The CIA whinging about a right wing president being installed by a foreign power might just be the greatest self-awareness fail ever!

johnnygl December 11, 2016 at 10:12 am

LOL at that! You'd think they were afraid trump might turn out to be the next Hugo Chavez! They must really, really love their program to help al Qaeda in Syria.

Uahsenaa December 11, 2016 at 10:24 am

There are so many eye-rolling ironies in all this I think my eyeballs might just pop out of their sockets. And the liberals going out of their way to tout the virtues of the CIA the very same organization that never shied from assassinating or overthrowing a leftwing president/prime minister it galls. The CIA lies as a matter of course, and now they're being propped up as the paragons of honesty, simply out of political expediency. Crazy days.

NotTimothyGeithner December 11, 2016 at 11:21 am

Modern Democrats simply aren't a political party but fanatics of a professional sports club. If it wasn't the Russians, it would be referees or Bill Belichick at fault. I'm surprised they aren't mentioning "Comrade Nader" at all times.

My guess is donors are annoyed after the 2014 debacle and are having a hard time rationalizing a loss to a reality TV show host with a cameo in Home Alone 2.

allan December 11, 2016 at 8:25 am

From the Amy Walter post mortem on the race in WI:

In fact, Trump's coalition looks remarkably similar to the one that Scott Walker put together in 2014.

It's really a shame that Obama didn't put on those walking shoes lift a finger to help the public service unions fight Walker.

Uahsenaa December 11, 2016 at 10:27 am

Obama in Spartanburg, SC in 2007:

And understand this: If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I'm in the White House, I'll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself, I will walk on that picket line with you as President of the United States of America. Because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner.

And the Dems wonder why the working class feel betrayed.

Maybe he just couldn't find a pair of comfy shoes

polecat December 11, 2016 at 11:37 am

Hol(e)y Shoes .

they glide on water funky bilge water --

Tertium Squid December 11, 2016 at 9:07 am

Here's what the "russki hacks" narrative reminds me of.

ambrit December 11, 2016 at 9:43 am

I'd extend that to include the entire DNC "Apologia pro Sancta Hillaria."

UserFriendly December 11, 2016 at 9:33 am

That ProPublica piece ( Suspected of Corruption at Home, Powerful Foreigners Find Refuge in the U.S. Pro Publica) is brutal. Not only do we have to be the shittest corrupt country in the world but we have to be a safe haven for ever other corrupt politician in the world as long as they have $$. Can someone just make it all end? Please. There needs to be a maximum wealth where anything you earn past it just gets automatically redistributed to the poor.

aliteralmind December 11, 2016 at 9:43 am

Truth in journalism just got a little bit more difficult:

http://www.johnlaurits.com/2016/12/10/disinformation-bill-propaganda/

tgs December 11, 2016 at 10:32 am

Thanks for the link – really important and scary things are going in congress concerning 'fake news' and Russian propaganda and HR 6393 is particularly bad. The EU is also taking steps to counter 'fake news' as well. Obama claimed that some form of curation is required – and it is happening quickly. People are suggesting that propornot has been debunked. That does not matter anymore. The Obama regime and the MSM don't care – that have gotten the message out.

And the people behind this are really deranged – check out Adam Schiff calling Tucker Carlson a Kremlin stooge for even suggesting that there is no certainty that Russia leaked the emails to Wikileaks.

After all, the media went all in for Hillary and spent huge amounts of time explaining why Trump is unfit. But they lost.

And now our efforts on behalf of al Queada are failing in Syria and more hysteria ensues. See for example:

Allies Warn Trump Against Cooperating With Russia Over Syria .

Some commentators believe that there is a well-organized large scale effort to normalize the suppression of free speech.

temporal December 11, 2016 at 11:50 am

The email saga lost a provable set of sources a long time ago. Before the files were given to Wikileaks it was already too late to determine which people did it. So-called forensic evidence of these computers only tell us that investigators either found evidence of a past compromise or that people want us to believe they did. Since the compromise was determined after the fact, the people with access could have done anything to the computers, including leave a false trail.

The core problem is that since security for all of these machines, including the DNC's email server and most likely many of those from Team R, was nearly non-existent nearly nothing useful can be determined. The time to learn something about a remote attacker, when it's possible at all, is while the machine is being attacked – assuming it has never been compromised before. If the attacker's machine has also been compromised then you know pretty much nothing unless you can get access to it.

As far as physical access protection goes. If the machine has been left on and unattended or is not completely encrypted then the only thing that might help is a 24 hour surveillance camera pointed at the machine.

Forensic evidence in compromised computers is significantly less reliable than DNA and hair samples. It's much too easy for investigators to frame another party by twiddling some bits. Anyone that thinks that even well intentioned physical crime investigators have never gotten convictions with bad or manipulated evidence has been watching and believing way too many crime oriented mysteries. "Blindspot" is not a documentary.

As for projecting behaviors on a country by calling it a "state action", Russia or otherwise, implying that there is no difference between independent and government sponsored actions, that is just silly.

[Dec 07, 2016] The Democratic left does not exist.

Notable quotes:
"... What people see in Clinton is a candidate willing to travel any distance at any time if the fee for showing up is $225 k for an hour of work, or so; but who couldn't find the time or reason to visit Wisconsin before an election and actually ask people to vote for her. ..."
"... This does present possibilities, and was in fact the Clinton/DLC plan, although a plan dating back to the 1960s. The idea is to add to the identity groups that are currently the base of the Democratic Party college-educated urban professional socially progressive but economically moderate Republicans. This preserves the neoliberal system, but should create great economic opportunities for elite blacks, women, Latinos etc who really would rather get rich before socialism. ..."
"... I am willing to now designate non-college rural whites as a valid minority, without real privilege except very locally, economically moderate but socially conservative. They have been up for grabs to a degree for a long time, and way too much a major topic of discussion, as nobody knows what to do with them, nobody really wants them, but they are very dangerous, as we can see. ..."
"... The way he put it is that the neoliberal center-left's long-term political project since the '90s, as embodied in figures like the Clintons in the US and Blair in the UK, can be summed up as an effort to redefine the two-party system so that the nominally "left" party becomes a de facto ruling party representing the center-left and center-right, leaving the far right with a dangerously long leash to move the nominally "right" party ever closer toward an outright National Front-style fascist party, and ideally leaving a shattered and demoralized far left as what amounts to an ideological hostage of the center. ..."
"... Both Clinton's failure to defeat Trump and the Blairites' failure to take Labour back from Corbyn have been setbacks for this project, and in both countries the center-right has largely decided to remain for now in its old electoral bloc with the proto-fascists instead of jumping ship to a "left" party that hasn't yet been fully transformed into a well-oiled machine for neoliberal centrism. ..."
"... He'll do many things more or less exactly the way a Clinton administration would have done them, perhaps in some cases with enough of a superficial far-right veneer to create the perception of contrast (for instance future Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who supports vouchers for religious private schools but otherwise might as well be a member of Democrats for Education Reform) and in some cases with red meat to the far right on issues the neoliberal center doesn't particularly care about (i.e. who the hell knows what if anything he'll do on issues like abortion rights, about which he's been all over the map in the past depending what's in his immediate opportunistic interest). ..."
"... appointing figures from places like Goldman Sachs to positions of authority at institutions like the Treasury and the Fed is a thoroughly bipartisan commitment that doesn't make either major US party look any more left-wing or right-wing than the other. ..."
Dec 07, 2016 | http://crookedtimber.org/2016/11/28/the-day-after-brexit/#comment-699954

kidneystones 12.03.16 at 1:01 pm 117

The Democratic left does not exist. Sanders is an independent who would never have been nominated except to help rubber-stamp the inauguration of the donor-class candidate.

The Democrats do not have a left-candidate, or a slate of 'left candidates' around whom a left might coalesce. That's the consequence of national Democratic priorities and the take-over of the party by the Clinton crime family. There are no 'up and coming' Democrats. Those who are talented are spotted and co-opted into the Clinton-controlled machine. The quid pro quo manner of doing business is transparent. Very large sums change hands and almost always according to the laws, in so far as the actual pay-offs are 'incidental' rather than clearly causal.

How many doctoral candidates in their thirties get paid $600 k per year for part-time work and another $300 k per year plus stock options?

All of them, if the doctoral candidate happens to be named Chelsea Clinton. As I noted earlier, Democrats regard outsourcing their interactions with young people and rural voters to Bernie Sanders as a 'solution.'

What people see in Clinton is a candidate willing to travel any distance at any time if the fee for showing up is $225 k for an hour of work, or so; but who couldn't find the time or reason to visit Wisconsin before an election and actually ask people to vote for her.

Yes, it was close. But let's not forget who won and why and how. The president-elect has already stolen parts of the Dem base and now he's after the rest. The traditional Dem coalition is already fractured and if the new president does half as well as he did destroying two political dynasties then Democrats may find themselves in an even deeper whole in 2018.

Like Labour, Democrats need to figure out whether they are the party of the working class, or not.

bob mcmanus 12.03.16 at 4:00 pm 118

There was no (or not much) 'working class surge' for Trump.

Well, there was, in that the internal composition of the Republican vote changed to be more white non-college rural working class and a little less urban college-educated Republicans. I don't know what the numbers are.

This does present possibilities, and was in fact the Clinton/DLC plan, although a plan dating back to the 1960s. The idea is to add to the identity groups that are currently the base of the Democratic Party college-educated urban professional socially progressive but economically moderate Republicans. This preserves the neoliberal system, but should create great economic opportunities for elite blacks, women, Latinos etc who really would rather get rich before socialism.

I am willing to now designate non-college rural whites as a valid minority, without real privilege except very locally, economically moderate but socially conservative. They have been up for grabs to a degree for a long time, and way too much a major topic of discussion, as nobody knows what to do with them, nobody really wants them, but they are very dangerous, as we can see.

I say ship them back to Ireland.

WLGR 12.03.16 at 4:46 pm 119

Hidari @ 108, Matt Christman of the podcast Chapo Trap House made almost this exact point in a recent interview with NYU historian David Parsons on Parsons' podcast The Nostalgia Trap. (Both excellent podcasts, by the way.)

The way he put it is that the neoliberal center-left's long-term political project since the '90s, as embodied in figures like the Clintons in the US and Blair in the UK, can be summed up as an effort to redefine the two-party system so that the nominally "left" party becomes a de facto ruling party representing the center-left and center-right, leaving the far right with a dangerously long leash to move the nominally "right" party ever closer toward an outright National Front-style fascist party, and ideally leaving a shattered and demoralized far left as what amounts to an ideological hostage of the center.

Both Clinton's failure to defeat Trump and the Blairites' failure to take Labour back from Corbyn have been setbacks for this project, and in both countries the center-right has largely decided to remain for now in its old electoral bloc with the proto-fascists instead of jumping ship to a "left" party that hasn't yet been fully transformed into a well-oiled machine for neoliberal centrism. (Of course this is also pretty close to Quiggin's three-party system critique, depending on the extent to which one treats the distinction between center-left and center-right as ever having been particularly meaningful in the first place.)

Faustusnotes, bob mcmanus brings up more or less the same litany of actual tangible policy decisions that I and others have brought up in the past, a kind of litany to which a typical center-leftist response is obstinately ignoring it.

Another point US leftists have been making for many months now is that Trump himself isn't actually a fascist, he's only pretending to be one , which you treated as a novel discovery at #79 and to which your response was that Trump's neoliberal administration in practice will make neoliberal Democrats somehow leftist by comparison, which is absolutely incorrect.

He'll do many things more or less exactly the way a Clinton administration would have done them, perhaps in some cases with enough of a superficial far-right veneer to create the perception of contrast (for instance future Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who supports vouchers for religious private schools but otherwise might as well be a member of Democrats for Education Reform) and in some cases with red meat to the far right on issues the neoliberal center doesn't particularly care about (i.e. who the hell knows what if anything he'll do on issues like abortion rights, about which he's been all over the map in the past depending what's in his immediate opportunistic interest).

But appointing figures from places like Goldman Sachs to positions of authority at institutions like the Treasury and the Fed is a thoroughly bipartisan commitment that doesn't make either major US party look any more left-wing or right-wing than the other.

[Dec 07, 2016] Clinton Democrats betrayal of working class

Dec 07, 2016 | crookedtimber.org

bob mcmanus 12.03.16 at 2:35 am 110

I want to see a political decision to abandon the working class

NAFTA & TPP etc, big bank bailout no prosecutions, no mortgage relief, grossly inadequate structured and targeted stimulus, low inflation low gov't spending with many gov't jobs cut, insurance and provider friendly whirlpool of an expensive health care plan

kidneystones 12.03.16 at 1:01 pm ( 117 )
The Democratic left does not exist. Sanders is an independent who would never have been nominated except to help rubber-stamp the inauguration of the donor-class candidate.

The Democrats do not have a left-candidate, or a slate of 'left candidates' around whom a left might coalesce. That's the consequence of national Democratic priorities and the take-over of the party by the Clinton crime family. There are no 'up and coming' Democrats. Those who are talented are spotted and co-opted into the Clinton-controlled machine. The quid pro quo manner of doing business is transparent. Very large sums change hands and almost always according to the laws, in so far as the actual pay-offs are 'incidental' rather than clearly causal.

How many doctoral candidates in their thirties get paid $600 k per year for part-time work and another $300 k per year plus stock options?

All of them, if the doctoral candidate happens to be named Chelsea Clinton. As I noted earlier, Democrats regard outsourcing their interactions with young people and rural voters to Bernie Sanders as a 'solution.'

What people see in Clinton is a candidate willing to travel any distance at any time if the fee for showing up is $225 k for an hour of work, or so; but who couldn't find the time or reason to visit Wisconsin before an election and actually ask people to vote for her.

Yes, it was close. But let's not forget who won and why and how. The president-elect has already stolen parts of the Dem base and now he's after the rest. The traditional Dem coalition is already fractured and if the new president does half as well as he did destroying two political dynasties then Democrats may find themselves in an even deeper whole in 2018.

Like Labour, Democrats need to figure out whether they are the party of the working class, or not.

bob mcmanus 12.03.16 at 4:00 pm There was no (or not much) 'working class surge' for Trump.

Well, there was, in that the internal composition of the Republican vote changed to be more white non-college rural working class and a little less urban college-educated Republicans. I don't know what the numbers are.

This does present possibilities, and was in fact the Clinton/DLC plan, although a plan dating back to the 1960s. The idea is to add to the identity groups that are currently the base of the Democratic Party college-educated urban professional socially progressive but economically moderate Republicans. This preserves the neoliberal system, but should create great economic opportunities for elite blacks, women, Latinos etc who really would rather get rich before socialism.

I am willing to now designate non-college rural whites as a valid minority, without real privilege except very locally, economically moderate but socially conservative. They have been up for grabs to a degree for a long time, and way too much a major topic of discussion, as nobody knows what to do with them, nobody really wants them, but they are very dangerous, as we can see.

I say ship them back to Ireland.

WLGR 12.03.16 at 4:46 pm ( 119 )

Hidari @ 108, Matt Christman of the podcast Chapo Trap House made almost this exact point in a recent interview with NYU historian David Parsons on Parsons' podcast The Nostalgia Trap. (Both excellent podcasts, by the way.) The way he put it is that the neoliberal center-left's long-term political project since the '90s, as embodied in figures like the Clintons in the US and Blair in the UK, can be summed up as an effort to redefine the two-party system so that the nominally "left" party becomes a de facto ruling party representing the center-left and center-right, leaving the far right with a dangerously long leash to move the nominally "right" party ever closer toward an outright National Front-style fascist party, and ideally leaving a shattered and demoralized far left as what amounts to an ideological hostage of the center. Both Clinton's failure to defeat Trump and the Blairites' failure to take Labour back from Corbyn have been setbacks for this project, and in both countries the center-right has largely decided to remain for now in its old electoral bloc with the proto-fascists instead of jumping ship to a "left" party that hasn't yet been fully transformed into a well-oiled machine for neoliberal centrism. (Of course this is also pretty close to Quiggin's three-party system critique, depending on the extent to which one treats the distinction between center-left and center-right as ever having been particularly meaningful in the first place.)

Faustusnotes, bob mcmanus brings up more or less the same litany of actual tangible policy decisions that I and others have brought up in the past, a kind of litany to which a typical center-leftist response is obstinately ignoring it. Another point US leftists have been making for many months now is that Trump himself isn't actually a fascist, he's only pretending to be one , which you treated as a novel discovery at #79 and to which your response was that Trump's neoliberal administration in practice will make neoliberal Democrats somehow leftist by comparison, which is absolutely incorrect. He'll do many things more or less exactly the way a Clinton administration would have done them, perhaps in some cases with enough of a superficial far-right veneer to create the perception of contrast (for instance future Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who supports vouchers for religious private schools but otherwise might as well be a member of Democrats for Education Reform) and in some cases with red meat to the far right on issues the neoliberal center doesn't particularly care about (i.e. who the hell knows what if anything he'll do on issues like abortion rights, about which he's been all over the map in the past depending what's in his immediate opportunistic interest). But appointing figures from places like Goldman Sachs to positions of authority at institutions like the Treasury and the Fed is a thoroughly bipartisan commitment that doesn't make either major US party look any more left-wing or right-wing than the other.

[Dec 02, 2016] No attempt at DNC of learning the history of neoliberalism, no attempt at any serious research about how and why it descroyed the US society

Notable quotes:
"... If I was in charge of the DNC and wanted to commission a very cleverly written piece to exonerate the DLC and the New Democrats from the 30 odd years of corruption and self-aggrandizement they indulged in and laughed all the way to the Bank then I would definitely give this chap a call. ..."
"... I would ask the Author to start with the Powell memo and then make an investigation as to why the Democrats then and the DLC later decided to merely sit on their hands when all the forces the Powell memo unleashed proceeded to wreak their havoc in every established institution of the Left, principally the Universities which had always been the bastion of the Progressives. That might be a good starting point. ..."
Dec 02, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Paul Art November 29, 2016 at 7:14 am

If I was in charge of the DNC and wanted to commission a very cleverly written piece to exonerate the DLC and the New Democrats from the 30 odd years of corruption and self-aggrandizement they indulged in and laughed all the way to the Bank then I would definitely give this chap a call.

I mean, where do we start? No attempt at learning the history of neoliberalism, no attempt at any serious research about how and why it fastened itself into the brains of people like Tony Coelho and Al From, nothing, zilch.

If someone who did not know the history of the DLC read this piece, they would walk away thinking, 'wow, it was all happenstance, it all just happened, no one deliberately set off this run away train'. Sometime in the 90s the 'Left' decided to just pursue identity politics. Amazing.

I would ask the Author to start with the Powell memo and then make an investigation as to why the Democrats then and the DLC later decided to merely sit on their hands when all the forces the Powell memo unleashed proceeded to wreak their havoc in every established institution of the Left, principally the Universities which had always been the bastion of the Progressives. That might be a good starting point.

[Nov 23, 2016] Trump won because Democratic Party governance eviscerated those communities

Notable quotes:
"... Judging by the people who Trump has appointed, it is looking like an ugly situation for the US. If he actually hires people like John Bolton, we will know that a betrayal was certain. While I think that it is probable that he is the lesser evil, he was supposed to avoid neoconservatives and Wall Street types (that Clinton associates herself with). ..."
"... I think it would be a mistake to attribute too much "genius" to Trump and Kushner. It sounds like Kushner exhibited competence, and that's great. But Trump won in great measure because Democratic Party governance eviscerated those communities. ..."
"... This is akin to how Obama got WAY too much credit for being a brilliant orator. People wanted change in '08 and voted for it. That change agent betrayed them, so they voted for change again this time. Or, more accurately, a lot of Obama voters stayed home, the Republican base held together, and Trump's team found necessary little pockets of ignored voters to energize. But that strategy would never have worked if not for Obama's and Clinton's malfeasance and incompetence. Honestly, Hillary got closer to a win that she had a right to. That ought to be the real story. ..."
Nov 23, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Altandmain November 23, 2016 at 5:09 pm

Does anyone else get the overwhelming impression that the US is heading for an impending collapse or serious decline at least, unless it puts a fight it against the status quo?

Judging by the people who Trump has appointed, it is looking like an ugly situation for the US. If he actually hires people like John Bolton, we will know that a betrayal was certain. While I think that it is probable that he is the lesser evil, he was supposed to avoid neoconservatives and Wall Street types (that Clinton associates herself with).

I find it amazing how tone deaf the Clinton campaign and Democratic Establishment are. Trump and apparently his son in law, no matter what else, are political campaigning geniuses given their accomplishments. For months people were criticizing their lack of experience in politics like a fatal mistake..

I think that no real change is going to happen until someone authentically left wing takes power or if the US collapses.

aab November 23, 2016 at 5:30 pm

I think it would be a mistake to attribute too much "genius" to Trump and Kushner. It sounds like Kushner exhibited competence, and that's great. But Trump won in great measure because Democratic Party governance eviscerated those communities.

This is akin to how Obama got WAY too much credit for being a brilliant orator. People wanted change in '08 and voted for it. That change agent betrayed them, so they voted for change again this time. Or, more accurately, a lot of Obama voters stayed home, the Republican base held together, and Trump's team found necessary little pockets of ignored voters to energize. But that strategy would never have worked if not for Obama's and Clinton's malfeasance and incompetence. Honestly, Hillary got closer to a win that she had a right to. That ought to be the real story.

Daryl November 23, 2016 at 6:09 pm

It is not clear to me what exactly a collapse entails. The US doesn't have obvious lines to fracture across, like say the USSR did. (I suppose an argument could be made for "cultural regions" like the South, Cascadia etc separating out, but it seems far less likely to happen, even in the case of continuing extreme economic duress and breakdown of democracy/civil rights).

The US is and has been in a serious decline, and will probably continue.

[Nov 23, 2016] A crisis of legitimacy -- recommended links

Nov 23, 2016 | www.economist.com

Legitimation crisis - Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legitimation_ crisis

Jump to International crises of legitimacy - Legitimation crisis refers to a decline in the confidence of administrative functions, institutions, or leadership. The term was first introduced in 1973 by Jόrgen Habermas, a German sociologist and philosopher. ‎ Legitimacy · ‎ Theories of legitimacy · ‎ Legitimation crisis origin · ‎ Historical examples A crisis of legitimacy | The Economist www.economist.com/node/796097

A crisis of legitimacy . People are fed up with politics. Do not blame globalisation for that. Sep 27th 2001 | From the print edition. Timekeeper. Add this article to ... Legitimacy: Legitimation Crises and Its Causes - Political Science Notes www.politicalsciencenotes.com/ legitimacy / legitimacy -legitimation- crises -and-its.../797

Causes of Legitimation Crisis : There are several causes or aspects of legitimation crisis . Habermas and several other neo-Marxists, after studying all the aspects of capitalist societies, have concluded that a number of factors are responsible for the legitimation crisis

The Global Crisis of Legitimacy | Stratfor https://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20100503_global_ crisis _ legitimacy

The Global Crisis of Legitimacy . Geopolitical Weekly. May 4, 2010 | 08:56 GMT. Print. Text Size. By George Friedman. Financial panics are an integral part of ...

The Legitimacy Crisis in the United States: A Conceptual Analysis - JStor https://www.jstor.org/stable/800195 by DO Friedrichs - ‎1980 - ‎ Cited by 52 - ‎ Related articles A " legitimacy crisis " is widely perceived to exist on the basis of polls of public at- ... causes of a legitimacy crisis may be identified, it has been associated with the ...

[PDF] THEORETICAL BASIS OF CRISIS OF LEGITIMACY AND ... - Dialnet https://dialnet.unirioja.es/descarga/articulo/3640420.pdf

by GE Reyes - ‎2010 - ‎ Cited by 1 - ‎ Related articles Theoretical basis of crisis of legitimacy and implications for less developed countries: Guatemala as a case of study. TENDENCIAS. Revista de la Facultad de ...

[PDF] A Crisis of Democratic Legitimacy? It's about Legitimation, Stupid! aei.pitt.edu/63549/1/EPB21-def.pdf

by A Mattelaer - ‎2014 - ‎ Related articles Mar 21, 2014 - generalised crisis in legitimacy , our democracies face a crisis of legitimation: political choices are in dire need of an explanatory narrative that. The Legitimacy Crisis | RealClearPolitics www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2015/05/08/the_ legitimacy _ crisis _126530.html

May 8, 2015 - American government - at all levels - is losing the legitimacy it needs to function. Or, perhaps, some segments of the government have ...

The Global Crisis of Legitimacy of Liberal Democracy - Global ... https://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/211/44824.html

The third dimension of the crisis that I identify is the crisis of legitimacy of US hegemony. This, I think, is as serious as the other two crises, since, as an admirer of ...

The Crisis of Legitimacy in Africa | Dissent Magazine https://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/the- crisis-of-legitimacy -in-africa

The Crisis of Legitimacy in Africa. Abiola Irele ▫ Summer 1992. A bleak picture emerges from today's Africa. One glaring aspect is the material deprivation ...

[Nov 19, 2016] The global revolt against elites is not just driven by revulsion and loss of jobs. The era of neoliberalism is over. The era of neonationalism has just begun.

It is the end of neoliberalism and the start of the era of authoritarian nationalism, and we all need to come together to stamp out the authoritarian part.
Notable quotes:
"... Neoliberalism has been disastrous for the Rust Belt, and I think we need to envision a new future for what was once the country's industrial heartland, now little more than its wasteland ..."
"... The question of what the many millions of often-unionized factory workers, SMEs which supplied them, family farmers (now fully industrialized and owned by corporations), and all those in secondary production and services who once supported them are to actually do in future to earn a decent living is what I believe should really be the subject of debate. ..."
"... two factors (or three, I guess) have contributed to this state of despair: offshoring and outsourcing, and technology. ..."
"... Medicaid, the CHIP program, the SNAP program and others (including NGOs and private charitable giving) may alleviate some of the suffering, but there is currently no substitute for jobs that would enable men and women to live lives of dignity – a decent place to live, good educations for their children, and a reasonable, secure pension in old age. Near-, at-, and below-minimum wage jobs devoid of any benefits don't allow any of these – at most, they make possible a subsistence life, one which requires continued reliance on public assistance throughout one's lifetime. ..."
"... In the U.S. (a neoliberal pioneer), poverty is closely linked with inequality and thus, a high GINI coefficient (near that of Turkey); where there is both poverty and a very unequal distribution of resources, this inevitably affects women (and children) and racial (and ethnic) minorities disproportionately. The economic system, racism, sexism, and xenophobia are not separate, stand-alone issues; they are profoundly intertwined. ..."
"... But really, if you think about it, slavery was defined as ownership, ownership of human capital (which was convertible into cash), and women in many societies throughout history were acquired as part of a financial transaction (either through purchase or through sale), and control of their capital (land, property [farmland, herds], valuables and later, money) often entrusted to a spouse or male guardian. All of these practices were economically-driven, even if the driver wasn't 21st-century capitalism. ..."
"... Let it be said at once: Trump's victory is primarily due to the explosion in economic and geographic inequality in the United States over several decades and the inability of successive governments to deal with this. ..."
"... Both the Clinton and the Obama administrations frequently went along with the market liberalization launched under Reagan and both Bush presidencies. At times they even outdid them: the financial and commercial deregulation carried out under Clinton is an example. What sealed the deal, though, was the suspicion that the Democrats were too close to Wall Street – and the inability of the Democratic media elite to learn the lessons from the Sanders vote. ..."
"... Regional inequality and globalization are the principal drivers in Japanese politics, too, along with a number of social drivers. ..."
"... The tsunami/nuclear meltdown combined with the Japanese government's uneven response is an apt metaphor for the impact of neo-liberalism/globalization on Japan; and on the US. I then explained that the income inequality in the US was far more severe than that of Japan and that many Americans did not support the export of jobs to China/Mexico. ..."
"... I contend that in some hypothetical universe the DNC and corrupt Clinton machine could have been torn out, root and branch, within months. As I noted, however, the decision to run HRC effectively unopposed was made several years, at least, before the stark evidence of the consequences of such a decision appeared in sharp relief with Brexit. ..."
"... Just as the decline of Virginia coal is due to global forces and corporate stupidity, so the decline of the rust belt is due to long (30 year plus) global forces and corporate decisions that predate the emergence of identity politics. ..."
"... It's interesting that the clear headed thinkers of the Marxist left, who pride themselves on not being distracted by identity, don't want to talk about these factors when discussing the plight of their cherished white working class. ..."
"... The construction 'white working class' is a useful governing tool that splits poor people and possible coalitions against the violence of capital. Now, discussion focuses on how some of the least powerful, most vulnerable people in the United States are the perpetrators of a great injustice against racialised and minoritised groups. Such commentary colludes in the pathologisation of the working class, of poor people. Victims are inculpated as the vectors of noxious, atavistic vices while the perpetrators get off with impunity, showing off their multihued, cosmopolitan C-suites and even proposing that their free trade agreements are a form of anti-racist solidarity. Most crucially, such analysis ignores the continuities between a Trumpian dystopia and our satisfactory present. ..."
"... Race-thinking forecloses the possibility of the coalitions that you imagine, and reproduces ideas of difference in ways that always, always privilege 'whiteness'. ..."
"... Historical examples of ethnic groups becoming 'white', how it was legal and political decision-making that defined the present racial taxonomy, suggest that groups can also lose or have their 'whiteness' threatened. CB has written here about how, in the UK at least, Eastern and Southern Europeans are racialised, and so refused 'whiteness'. JQ has written about southern white minoritisation. Many commentators have pointed that the 'white working class' vote this year looked a lot like a minority vote. ..."
"... Given the subordination of groups presently defined as 'white working class', I wonder if we could think beyond ethnic and epidermal definition to consider that the impossibility of the American Dream refuses these groups whiteness; i.e the hoped for privileges of racial superiority, much in the same way that African Americans, Latin Americans and other racialised minorities are denied whiteness. Can a poor West Virginian living in a toxified drugged out impoverished landscape really be defined as a carrier of 'white privilege'? ..."
"... I was first pointed at this by the juxtapositions of racialised working class and immigrants in Imogen Tyler's Revolting Subjects – Social Abjection and Resistance in Neoliberal Britain but this below is a useful short article that takes a historical perspective. ..."
"... In a 1990 essay, the late Yale political scientist Juan Linz observed that "aside from the United States, only Chile has managed a century and a half of relatively undisturbed constitutional continuity under presidential government - but Chilean democracy broke down in the 1970s." ..."
"... Linz offered several reasons why presidential systems are so prone to crisis. One particularly important one is the nature of the checks and balances system. Since both the president and the Congress are directly elected by the people, they can both claim to speak for the people. When they have a serious disagreement, according to Linz, "there is no democratic principle on the basis of which it can be resolved." The constitution offers no help in these cases, he wrote: "the mechanisms the constitution might provide are likely to prove too complicated and aridly legalistic to be of much force in the eyes of the electorate." ..."
"... In a parliamentary system, deadlocks get resolved. A prime minister who lacks the backing of a parliamentary majority is replaced by a new one who has it. If no such majority can be found, a new election is held and the new parliament picks a leader. It can get a little messy for a period of weeks, but there's simply no possibility of a years-long spell in which the legislative and executive branches glare at each other unproductively.' ..."
"... In any case, as I pointed out before, given that the US is increasingly an urbanised country, and the Electoral College was created to protect rural (slave) states, the grotesque electoral result we have just seen is likely to recur, which means more and more Presidents with dubious democratic legitimacy. Thanks to Bush (and Obama) these Presidents will have, at the same time, more and more power. ..."
"... To return to my original question and answer it myself: I'm forced to conclude that the Democrats did not specifically address the revitalization – rebirth of the Rust Belt in their 2016 platform. Its failure to do so carried a heavy cost that (nearly) all of us will be forced to pay. ..."
"... This sub seems to have largely fallen into the psychologically comfortable trap of declaring that everyone who voted against their preferred candidate is racist. It's a view pushed by the neoliberals, who want to maintain he stranglehold of identity politics over the DNC, and it makes upper-class 'intellectuals' feel better about themselves and their betrayal of the filthy, subhuman white underclass (or so they see it). ..."
"... You can scream 'those jobs are never coming back!' all you want, but people are never going to accept it. So either you come up with a genuine solution (instead of simply complaining that your opponents solutions won't work; you're partisan and biased, most voters won't believe you), you may as well resign yourself to fascism. Because whining that you don't know what to do won't stop people from lining up behind someone who says that they do have one, whether it'll work or not. Nobody trusts the elite enough to believe them when they say that jobs are never coming back. Nobody trusts the elite at all. ..."
"... You sound just like the Wiemar elite. No will to solve the problem, but filled with terror at the inevitable result of failing to solve the problem. ..."
"... One brutal fact tells us everything we need to know about the Democratic party in 2016: the American Nazi party is running on a platform of free health care to working class people. This means that the American Nazi Party is now running to the left of the Democratic party. ..."
"... Back in the 1930s, when the economy collapsed, fascists appeared and took power. Racists also came out of the woodwork, ditto misogynists. Fast forward 80 years, and the same thing has happened all over again. The global economy melted down in 2008 and fascists appeared promising to fix the problems that the pols in power wouldn't because they were too closely tied to the existing (failed) system. Along with the fascists, racists gained power because they were able to scapegoat minorities as the alleged cause of everyone's misery. ..."
"... None of this is surprising. We have seen it before. Whenever you get a depression in a modern industrial economy, you get scapegoating, racism, and fascists. We know what to do. The problem is that the current Democratic party isn't doing it. ..."
"... . It is the end of neoliberalism and the start of the era of authoritarian nationalism, and we all need to come together to stamp out the authoritarian part. ..."
"... This hammered people on the bottom, disproportionately African Americans and especially single AA mothers in America. It crushed the blue collar workers. It is wiping out the savings and careers of college-educated white collar workers now, at least, the ones who didn't go to the Ivy League, which is 90% of them. ..."
"... Calling Hillary an "imperfect candidate" is like calling what happened to the Titanic a "boating accident." Trump was an imperfect candidate. Why did he win? ..."
"... "The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang. The political triumph of Donald Trump shattered the establishments in the Democratic and Republican parties – both wedded to the rule of Big Money and to the reign of meretricious politicians." ..."
"... "It is not an exaggeration to say that the Democratic Party is in shambles as a political force. Not only did it just lose the White House to a wildly unpopular farce of a candidate despite a virtually unified establishment behind it, and not only is it the minority party in both the Senate and the House, but it is getting crushed at historical record rates on the state and local levels as well. Surveying this wreckage last week, party stalwart Matthew Yglesias of Vox minced no words: `the Obama years have created a Democratic Party that's essentially a smoking pile of rubble.' ..."
"... "One would assume that the operatives and loyalists of such a weak, defeated and wrecked political party would be eager to engage in some introspection and self-critique, and to produce a frank accounting of what they did wrong so as to alter their plight. In the case of 2016 Democrats, one would be quite mistaken." ..."
"... Foreign Affairs ..."
"... "At the end of World War II, the United States and its allies decided that sustained mass unemployment was an existential threat to capitalism and had to be avoided at all costs. In response, governments everywhere targeted full employment as the master policy variable-trying to get to, and sustain, an unemployment rate of roughly four percent. The problem with doing so, over time, is that targeting any variable long enough undermines the value of the variable itself-a phenomenon known as Goodhart's law. (..) ..."
"... " what we see [today] is a reversal of power between creditors and debtors as the anti-inflationary regime of the past 30 years undermines itself-what we might call "Goodhart's revenge." In this world, yields compress and creditors fret about their earnings, demanding repayment of debt at all costs. Macro-economically, this makes the situation worse: the debtors can't pay-but politically, and this is crucial-it empowers debtors since they can't pay, won't pay, and still have the right to vote. ..."
"... "The traditional parties of the center-left and center-right, the builders of this anti-inflationary order, get clobbered in such a world, since they are correctly identified by these debtors as the political backers of those demanding repayment in an already unequal system, and all from those with the least assets. This produces anti-creditor, pro-debtor coalitions-in-waiting that are ripe for the picking by insurgents of the left and the right, which is exactly what has happened. ..."
"... "The global revolt against elites is not just driven by revulsion and loss and racism. It's also driven by the global economy itself. This is a global phenomenon that marks one thing above all. The era of neoliberalism is over. The era of neonationalism has just begun." ..."
"... They want what their families have had which is secure, paid, benefits rich, blue collar work. ..."
"... trump's campaign empathized with that feeling just by focusing on the factory jobs as jobs and not as anachronisms that are slowly fading away for whatever reason. Clinton might have been "correct", but these voters didn't want to hear "the truth". And as much as you can complain about how stupid they are for wanting to be lied to, that is the unfortunate reality you, and the Democratic party, have to accept. ..."
"... trump was offering a "bailout" writ large. Clinton had no (good) counteroffer. It was like the tables were turned. Romney was the one talking about "change" and "restructuring" while Obama was defending keeping what was already there. ..."
"... "Without that bailout, Detroit will need to drastically restructure itself. With it, the automakers will stay the course - the suicidal course of declining market shares, insurmountable labor and retiree burdens, technology atrophy, product inferiority and never-ending job losses. Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check." http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/opinion/19romney.html ..."
"... Clinton toward the end offered tariffs. But the trump campaign hit back with what turned out to be a pretty strong counter attack – ""How's she going to get tough on China?" said Trump economic advisor Peter Navarro on CNN's Quest Means Business. He notes that some of Clinton's economic advisors have supported TPP or even worked on it. "" ..."
Nov 19, 2016 | crookedtimber.org

dbk 11.18.16 at 6:41 pm 130

Bruce Wilder @102

The question is no longer her neoliberalism, but yours. Keep it or throw it away?

I wish this issue was being seriously discussed. Neoliberalism has been disastrous for the Rust Belt, and I think we need to envision a new future for what was once the country's industrial heartland, now little more than its wasteland (cf. "flyover zone" – a pejorative term which inhabitants of the zone are not too stupid to understand perfectly, btw).

The question of what the many millions of often-unionized factory workers, SMEs which supplied them, family farmers (now fully industrialized and owned by corporations), and all those in secondary production and services who once supported them are to actually do in future to earn a decent living is what I believe should really be the subject of debate.

As noted upthread, two factors (or three, I guess) have contributed to this state of despair: offshoring and outsourcing, and technology. The jobs that have been lost will not return, and indeed will be lost in ever greater numbers – just consider what will happen to the trucking sector when self-driving trucks hit the roads sometime in the next 10-20 years (3.5 million truckers; 8.7 in allied jobs).

Medicaid, the CHIP program, the SNAP program and others (including NGOs and private charitable giving) may alleviate some of the suffering, but there is currently no substitute for jobs that would enable men and women to live lives of dignity – a decent place to live, good educations for their children, and a reasonable, secure pension in old age. Near-, at-, and below-minimum wage jobs devoid of any benefits don't allow any of these – at most, they make possible a subsistence life, one which requires continued reliance on public assistance throughout one's lifetime.

In the U.S. (a neoliberal pioneer), poverty is closely linked with inequality and thus, a high GINI coefficient (near that of Turkey); where there is both poverty and a very unequal distribution of resources, this inevitably affects women (and children) and racial (and ethnic) minorities disproportionately. The economic system, racism, sexism, and xenophobia are not separate, stand-alone issues; they are profoundly intertwined.

I appreciate and espouse the goals of identity politics in all their multiplicity, and also understand that the institutions of slavery and sexism predated modern capitalist economies. But really, if you think about it, slavery was defined as ownership, ownership of human capital (which was convertible into cash), and women in many societies throughout history were acquired as part of a financial transaction (either through purchase or through sale), and control of their capital (land, property [farmland, herds], valuables and later, money) often entrusted to a spouse or male guardian. All of these practices were economically-driven, even if the driver wasn't 21st-century capitalism.

Also: Faustusnotes@100
For example Indiana took the ACA Medicaid expansion but did so with additional conditions that make it worse than in neighboring states run by democratic governors.

And what states would those be? IL, IA, MI, OH, WI, KY, and TN have Republican governors. Were you thinking pre-2014? pre-2012?

To conclude and return to my original point: what's to become of the Rust Belt in future? Did the Democratic platform include a New New Deal for PA, OH, MI, WI, and IA (to name only the five Rust Belt states Trump flipped)?

kidneystones 11.18.16 at 11:32 pm ( 135 )

Thomas Pickety

" Let it be said at once: Trump's victory is primarily due to the explosion in economic and geographic inequality in the United States over several decades and the inability of successive governments to deal with this.

Both the Clinton and the Obama administrations frequently went along with the market liberalization launched under Reagan and both Bush presidencies. At times they even outdid them: the financial and commercial deregulation carried out under Clinton is an example. What sealed the deal, though, was the suspicion that the Democrats were too close to Wall Street – and the inability of the Democratic media elite to learn the lessons from the Sanders vote. "

The Guardian

kidneystones 11.18.16 at 11:56 pm 137 ( 137 )

What should have been one comment came out as 4, so apologies on that front.

I spent the last week explaining the US election to my students in Japan in pretty much the terms outlined by Lilla and PIketty, so I was delighted to discover these two articles.

Regional inequality and globalization are the principal drivers in Japanese politics, too, along with a number of social drivers. It was therefore very easy to call for a show of hands to identify students studying here in Tokyo who are trying to decide whether or not to return to areas such as Tohoku to build their lives; or remain in Kanto/Tokyo – the NY/Washington/LA of Japan put crudely.

I asked students from regions close to Tohoku how they might feel if the Japanese prime minister decided not to visit the region following Fukushima after the disaster, or preceding an election. The tsunami/nuclear meltdown combined with the Japanese government's uneven response is an apt metaphor for the impact of neo-liberalism/globalization on Japan; and on the US. I then explained that the income inequality in the US was far more severe than that of Japan and that many Americans did not support the export of jobs to China/Mexico.

I then asked the students, particularly those from outlying regions whether they believe Japan needed a leader who would 'bring back Japanese jobs' from Viet Nam and China, etc. Many/most agreed wholeheartedly. I then asked whether they believed Tokyo people treated those outside Kanto as 'inferiors.' Many do.

Piketty may be right regarding Trump's long-term effects on income inequality. He is wrong, I suggest, to argue that Democrats failed to respond to Sanders' support. I contend that in some hypothetical universe the DNC and corrupt Clinton machine could have been torn out, root and branch, within months. As I noted, however, the decision to run HRC effectively unopposed was made several years, at least, before the stark evidence of the consequences of such a decision appeared in sharp relief with Brexit.

Faustusnotes 11.19.16 at 12:14 am 138

Also worth noting is that the rust belts problems are as old as Reagan – even the term dates from the 80s, the issue is so uncool that there is a dire straits song about it. Some portion of the decline of manufacturing there is due to manufacturers shifting to the south, where the anti Union states have an advantage. Also there has been new investment – there were no Japanese car companies in the us in the 1980s, so they are new job creators, yet insufficient to make up the losses. Just as the decline of Virginia coal is due to global forces and corporate stupidity, so the decline of the rust belt is due to long (30 year plus) global forces and corporate decisions that predate the emergence of identity politics.

It's interesting that the clear headed thinkers of the Marxist left, who pride themselves on not being distracted by identity, don't want to talk about these factors when discussing the plight of their cherished white working class. Suddenly it's not the forces of capital and the objective facts of history, but a bunch of whiny black trannies demanding safe spaces and protesting police violence, that drove those towns to ruin.

And what solutions do they think the dems should have proposed? It can't be welfare, since we got the ACA (watered down by representatives of the rust belt states). Is it, seriously, tariffs? Short of going to an election promising w revolution, what should the dems have done? Give us a clear answer so we can see what the alternative to identity politics is.

basil 11.19.16 at 5:11 am

Did this go through?
Thinking with WLGR @15, Yan @81, engels variously above,

The construction 'white working class' is a useful governing tool that splits poor people and possible coalitions against the violence of capital. Now, discussion focuses on how some of the least powerful, most vulnerable people in the United States are the perpetrators of a great injustice against racialised and minoritised groups. Such commentary colludes in the pathologisation of the working class, of poor people. Victims are inculpated as the vectors of noxious, atavistic vices while the perpetrators get off with impunity, showing off their multihued, cosmopolitan C-suites and even proposing that their free trade agreements are a form of anti-racist solidarity. Most crucially, such analysis ignores the continuities between a Trumpian dystopia and our satisfactory present.

I get that the tropes around race are easy, and super-available. Privilege confessing is very in vogue as a prophylactic against charges of racism. But does it threaten the structures that produce this abjection – either as embittered, immiserated 'white working class' or as threatened minority group? It is always *those* 'white' people, the South, the Working Class, and never the accusers some of whom are themselves happy to vote for a party that drowns out anti-war protesters with chants of USA! USA!

Race-thinking forecloses the possibility of the coalitions that you imagine, and reproduces ideas of difference in ways that always, always privilege 'whiteness'.

--

Historical examples of ethnic groups becoming 'white', how it was legal and political decision-making that defined the present racial taxonomy, suggest that groups can also lose or have their 'whiteness' threatened. CB has written here about how, in the UK at least, Eastern and Southern Europeans are racialised, and so refused 'whiteness'. JQ has written about southern white minoritisation. Many commentators have pointed that the 'white working class' vote this year looked a lot like a minority vote.

Given the subordination of groups presently defined as 'white working class', I wonder if we could think beyond ethnic and epidermal definition to consider that the impossibility of the American Dream refuses these groups whiteness; i.e the hoped for privileges of racial superiority, much in the same way that African Americans, Latin Americans and other racialised minorities are denied whiteness. Can a poor West Virginian living in a toxified drugged out impoverished landscape really be defined as a carrier of 'white privilege'?

I was first pointed at this by the juxtapositions of racialised working class and immigrants in Imogen Tyler's Revolting Subjects – Social Abjection and Resistance in Neoliberal Britain but this below is a useful short article that takes a historical perspective.

Why the Working Class was Never 'White'

The 'racialisation' of class in Britain has been a consequence of the weakening of 'class' as a political idea since the 1970s – it is a new construction, not an historic one.

.

This is not to deny the existence of working-class racism, or to suggest that racism is somehow acceptable if rooted in perceived socio-economic grievances. But it is to suggest that the concept of a 'white working class' needs problematizing, as does the claim that the British working-class was strongly committed to a post-war vision of 'White Britain' analogous to the politics which sustained the idea of a 'White Australia' until the 1960s.

Yes, old, settled neighbourhoods could be profoundly distrustful of outsiders – all outsiders, including the researchers seeking to study them – but, when it came to race, they were internally divided. We certainly hear working-class racist voices – often echoing stock racist complaints about over-crowding, welfare dependency or exploitative landlords and small businessmen, but we don't hear the deep pathological racial fears laid bare in the letters sent to Enoch Powell after his so-called 'Rivers of Blood' speech in 1968 (Whipple, 2009).

But more importantly, we also hear strong anti-racist voices loudly and clearly. At Wallsend on Tyneside, where the researchers were gathering their data just as Powell shot to notoriety, we find workers expressing casual racism, but we also find eloquent expressions of an internationalist, solidaristic perspective in which, crucially, black and white are seen as sharing the same working-class interests.

Racism is denounced as a deliberate capitalist strategy to divide workers against themselves, weakening their ability to challenge those with power over their lives (shipbuilding had long been a very fractious industry and its workers had plenty of experience of the dangers of internal sectarian battles).

To be able to mobilize across across racialised divisions, to have race wither away entirely would, for me, be the beginning of a politics that allowed humanity to deal with the inescapable violence of climate change and corporate power.

*To add to the bibliography – David R. Roediger, Elizabeth D. Esch – The Production of Difference – Race and the Management of Labour, and Denise Ferreira da Silva – Toward a Global Idea of Race. And I have just been pointed at Ian Haney-Lσpez, White By Law – The Legal Construction of Race.

Hidari 11.19.16 at 8:16 am 152

FWIW 'merica's constitutional democracy is going to collapse.

Some day - not tomorrow, not next year, but probably sometime before runaway climate change forces us to seek a new life in outer-space colonies - there is going to be a collapse of the legal and political order and its replacement by something else. If we're lucky, it won't be violent. If we're very lucky, it will lead us to tackle the underlying problems and result in a better, more robust, political system. If we're less lucky, well, then, something worse will happen .

In a 1990 essay, the late Yale political scientist Juan Linz observed that "aside from the United States, only Chile has managed a century and a half of relatively undisturbed constitutional continuity under presidential government - but Chilean democracy broke down in the 1970s."

Linz offered several reasons why presidential systems are so prone to crisis. One particularly important one is the nature of the checks and balances system. Since both the president and the Congress are directly elected by the people, they can both claim to speak for the people. When they have a serious disagreement, according to Linz, "there is no democratic principle on the basis of which it can be resolved." The constitution offers no help in these cases, he wrote: "the mechanisms the constitution might provide are likely to prove too complicated and aridly legalistic to be of much force in the eyes of the electorate."

In a parliamentary system, deadlocks get resolved. A prime minister who lacks the backing of a parliamentary majority is replaced by a new one who has it. If no such majority can be found, a new election is held and the new parliament picks a leader. It can get a little messy for a period of weeks, but there's simply no possibility of a years-long spell in which the legislative and executive branches glare at each other unproductively.'

http://www.vox.com/2015/3/2/8120063/american-democracy-doomed

Given that the basic point is polarisation (i.e. that both the President and Congress have equally strong arguments to be the the 'voice of the people') and that under the US appalling constitutional set up, there is no way to decide between them, one can easily imagine the so to speak 'hyperpolarisation' of a Trump Presidency as being the straw (or anvil) that breaks the camel's back.

In any case, as I pointed out before, given that the US is increasingly an urbanised country, and the Electoral College was created to protect rural (slave) states, the grotesque electoral result we have just seen is likely to recur, which means more and more Presidents with dubious democratic legitimacy. Thanks to Bush (and Obama) these Presidents will have, at the same time, more and more power.

Eventually something is going to break.

dbk 11.19.16 at 10:39 am ( 153 )

nastywoman @ 150
Just study the program of the 'Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschland' or the Program of 'Die Grόnen' in Germany (take it through google translate) and you get all the answers you are looking for.

No need to run it through google translate, it's available in English on their site. [Or one could refer to the Green Party of the U.S. site/platform, which is very similar in scope and overall philosophy. (www.gp.org).]

I looked at several of their topic areas (Agricultural, Global, Health, Rural) and yes, these are general theses I would support. But they're hardly policy/project proposals for specific regions or communities – the Greens espouse "think global, act local", so programs and projects must be tailored to individual communities and regions.

To return to my original question and answer it myself: I'm forced to conclude that the Democrats did not specifically address the revitalization – rebirth of the Rust Belt in their 2016 platform. Its failure to do so carried a heavy cost that (nearly) all of us will be forced to pay.

Soullite 11.19.16 at 12:46 pm 156

This sub seems to have largely fallen into the psychologically comfortable trap of declaring that everyone who voted against their preferred candidate is racist. It's a view pushed by the neoliberals, who want to maintain he stranglehold of identity politics over the DNC, and it makes upper-class 'intellectuals' feel better about themselves and their betrayal of the filthy, subhuman white underclass (or so they see it).

I expect at this point that Trump will be reelected comfortably. If not only the party itself, but also most of its activists, refuse to actually change, it's more or less inevitable.

You can scream 'those jobs are never coming back!' all you want, but people are never going to accept it. So either you come up with a genuine solution (instead of simply complaining that your opponents solutions won't work; you're partisan and biased, most voters won't believe you), you may as well resign yourself to fascism. Because whining that you don't know what to do won't stop people from lining up behind someone who says that they do have one, whether it'll work or not. Nobody trusts the elite enough to believe them when they say that jobs are never coming back. Nobody trusts the elite at all.

You sound just like the Wiemar elite. No will to solve the problem, but filled with terror at the inevitable result of failing to solve the problem.

mclaren 11.19.16 at 2:37 pm 160

One brutal fact tells us everything we need to know about the Democratic party in 2016: the American Nazi party is running on a platform of free health care to working class people. This means that the American Nazi Party is now running to the left of the Democratic party.

Folks, we have seen this before. Let's not descend in backbiting and recriminations, okay? We've got some commenters charging that other commenters are "mansplaining," meanwhile we've got other commenters claiming that it's economics and not racism/misogyny. It's all of the above.

Back in the 1930s, when the economy collapsed, fascists appeared and took power. Racists also came out of the woodwork, ditto misogynists. Fast forward 80 years, and the same thing has happened all over again. The global economy melted down in 2008 and fascists appeared promising to fix the problems that the pols in power wouldn't because they were too closely tied to the existing (failed) system. Along with the fascists, racists gained power because they were able to scapegoat minorities as the alleged cause of everyone's misery.

None of this is surprising. We have seen it before. Whenever you get a depression in a modern industrial economy, you get scapegoating, racism, and fascists. We know what to do. The problem is that the current Democratic party isn't doing it.

Instead, what we're seeing is a whirlwind of finger-pointing from the Democratic leadership that lost this election and probably let the entire New Deal get rolled back and wiped out. Putin is to blame! Julian Assange is to blame! The biased media are to blame! Voter suppression is to blame! Bernie Sanders is to blame! Jill Stein is to blame! Everyone and anyone except the current out-of-touch influence-peddling elites who currently have run the Democratic party into the ground.

We need the feminists and the black lives matter groups and we also need the green party people and the Bernie Sanders activists. But everyone has to understand that this is not an isolated event. Trump did not just happen by accident. First there was Greece, then there was Brexit, then there was Trump, next it'll be Renzi losing the referendum in Italy and a constitutional crisis there, and after that, Marine Le Pen in France is going to win the first round of elections. (Probably not the presidency, since all the other French parties will band together to stop her, but the National Front is currently polling at 40% of all registered French voters.) And Marine LePen is the real deal, a genuine full-on out-and-out fascist. Not a closet fascist like Steve Bannon, LePen is the full monty with everything but a Hugo Boss suit and the death's heads on the cap.

Does anyone notice a pattern here?

This is an international movement. It is sweeping the world . It is the end of neoliberalism and the start of the era of authoritarian nationalism, and we all need to come together to stamp out the authoritarian part.

Feminists, BLM, black bloc anarchiest anti-globalists, Sandernistas, and, yes, the former Hillary supporters. Because it not just a coincidence that all these things are happening in all these countries at the same time. The bottom 90% of the population in the developed world has been ripped off by a managerial and financial and political class for the last 30 years and they have all noticed that while the world GDP was skyrocketing and international trade agreements were getting signed with zero input from the average citizen, a few people were getting very very rich but nobody else was getting anything.

This hammered people on the bottom, disproportionately African Americans and especially single AA mothers in America. It crushed the blue collar workers. It is wiping out the savings and careers of college-educated white collar workers now, at least, the ones who didn't go to the Ivy League, which is 90% of them.

And the Democratic party is so helpless and so hopeless that it is letting the American Nazi Party run to the left of them on health care, fer cripes sake! We are now in a situation where the American Nazi Party is advocating single-payer nationalized health care, while the former Democratic presidential nominee who just got defeated assured everyone that single-payer "will never, ever happen."

C'mon! Is anyone surprised that Hillary lost? Let's cut the crap with the "Hillary was a flawed candidate" arguments. The plain fact of the matter is that Hillary was running mainly on getting rid of the problems she and her husband created 25 years ago. Hillary promised criminal justice reform and Black Lives Matter-friendly policing policies - and guess who started the mass incarceration trend and gave speeches calling black kids "superpredators" 20 years ago? Hillary promised to fix the problems with the wretched mandate law forcing everyone to buy unaffordable for-profit private insurance with no cost controls - and guess who originally ran for president in 2008 on a policy of health care mandates with no cost controls? Yes, Hillary (ironically, Obama's big surge in popularity as a candidate came when he ran against Hillary from the left, ridiculing helath care mandates). Hillary promises to reform an out-of-control deregulated financial system run amok - and guess who signed all those laws revoking Glass-Steagal and setting up the Securities Trading Modernization Act? Yes, Bill Clinton, and Hillary was right there with him cheering the whole process on.

So pardon me and lots of other folks for being less than impressed by Hillary's trustworthiness and honesty. Run for president by promising to undo the damage you did to the country 25 years ago is (let say) a suboptimal campaign strategy, and a distinctly suboptimal choice of presidential candidate for a party in the same sense that the Hiroshima air defense was suboptimal in 1945.

Calling Hillary an "imperfect candidate" is like calling what happened to the Titanic a "boating accident." Trump was an imperfect candidate. Why did he win?

Because we're back in the 1930s again, the economy has crashed hard and still hasn't recovered (maybe because we still haven't convened a Pecora Commission and jailed a bunch of the thieves, and we also haven't set up any alphabet government job programs like the CCC) so fascists and racists and all kinds of other bottom-feeders are crawling out of the political woodwork to promise to fix the problems that the Democratic party establishment won't.
Rule of thumb: any social or political or economic writer virulently hated by the current Democratic party establishment is someone we should listen to closely right now.

Cornel West is at the top of the current Democratic establishment's hate list, and he has got a great article in The Guardian that I think is spot-on:

"The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang. The political triumph of Donald Trump shattered the establishments in the Democratic and Republican parties – both wedded to the rule of Big Money and to the reign of meretricious politicians."

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/17/american-neoliberalism-cornel-west-2016-election

Glenn Greenwald is another writer who has been showered with more hate by the Democratic establishment recently than even Trump or Steve Bannon, so you know Greenwald is saying something important. He has a great piece in The Intercept on the head-in-the-ground attitude of Democratic elites toward their recent loss:

"It is not an exaggeration to say that the Democratic Party is in shambles as a political force. Not only did it just lose the White House to a wildly unpopular farce of a candidate despite a virtually unified establishment behind it, and not only is it the minority party in both the Senate and the House, but it is getting crushed at historical record rates on the state and local levels as well. Surveying this wreckage last week, party stalwart Matthew Yglesias of Vox minced no words: `the Obama years have created a Democratic Party that's essentially a smoking pile of rubble.'

"One would assume that the operatives and loyalists of such a weak, defeated and wrecked political party would be eager to engage in some introspection and self-critique, and to produce a frank accounting of what they did wrong so as to alter their plight. In the case of 2016 Democrats, one would be quite mistaken."

https://theintercept.com/2016/11/18/the-stark-contrast-between-the-gops-self-criticism-in-2012-and-the-democrats-blame-everyone-else-posture-now/

Last but far from least, Scottish economist Mark Blyth has what looks to me like the single best analysis of the entire global Trump_vs_deep_state tidal wave in Foreign Affairs magazine:

"At the end of World War II, the United States and its allies decided that sustained mass unemployment was an existential threat to capitalism and had to be avoided at all costs. In response, governments everywhere targeted full employment as the master policy variable-trying to get to, and sustain, an unemployment rate of roughly four percent. The problem with doing so, over time, is that targeting any variable long enough undermines the value of the variable itself-a phenomenon known as Goodhart's law. (..)

" what we see [today] is a reversal of power between creditors and debtors as the anti-inflationary regime of the past 30 years undermines itself-what we might call "Goodhart's revenge." In this world, yields compress and creditors fret about their earnings, demanding repayment of debt at all costs. Macro-economically, this makes the situation worse: the debtors can't pay-but politically, and this is crucial-it empowers debtors since they can't pay, won't pay, and still have the right to vote.

"The traditional parties of the center-left and center-right, the builders of this anti-inflationary order, get clobbered in such a world, since they are correctly identified by these debtors as the political backers of those demanding repayment in an already unequal system, and all from those with the least assets. This produces anti-creditor, pro-debtor coalitions-in-waiting that are ripe for the picking by insurgents of the left and the right, which is exactly what has happened.

"In short, to understand the election of Donald Trump we need to listen to the trumpets blowing everywhere in the highly indebted developed countries and the people who vote for them.

"The global revolt against elites is not just driven by revulsion and loss and racism. It's also driven by the global economy itself. This is a global phenomenon that marks one thing above all. The era of neoliberalism is over. The era of neonationalism has just begun."

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2016-11-15/global-Trump_vs_deep_state

efcdons 11.19.16 at 3:07 pm 161 ( 161 )

Faustusnotes @147

You don't live here, do you? I'm really asking a genuine question because the way you are framing the question ("SPECIFICS!!!!!!) suggests you don't. (Just to show my background, born and raised in Australia (In the electoral division of Kooyong, home of Menzies) but I've lived in the US since 2000 in the midwest (MO, OH) and currently in the south (GA))

If this election has taught us anything it's no one cared about "specifics". It was a mood, a feeling which brought trump over the top (and I'm not talking about the "average" trump voter because that is meaningless. The average trunp voter was a republican voter in the south who the Dems will never get so examining their motivations is immaterial to future strategy. I'm talking about the voters in the Upper Midwest from places which voted for Obama twice then switched to trump this year to give him his margin of victory).

trump voters have been pretty clear they don't actually care about the way trump does (or even doesn't) do what he said he would do during the campaign. It was important to them he showed he was "with" people like them. They way he did that was partially racialized (law and order, islamophobia) but also a particular emphasis on blue collar work that focused on the work. Unfortunately these voters, however much you tell them they should suck it up and accept their generations of familial experience as relatively highly paid industrial workers (even if it is something only their fathers and grandfathers experienced because the factories were closing when the voters came of age in the 80s and 90s) is never coming back and they should be happy to retrain as something else, don't want it. They want what their families have had which is secure, paid, benefits rich, blue collar work.

trump's campaign empathized with that feeling just by focusing on the factory jobs as jobs and not as anachronisms that are slowly fading away for whatever reason. Clinton might have been "correct", but these voters didn't want to hear "the truth". And as much as you can complain about how stupid they are for wanting to be lied to, that is the unfortunate reality you, and the Democratic party, have to accept.

The idea they don't want "government help" is ridiculous. They love the government. They just want the government to do things for them and not for other people (which unfortunately includes blah people but also "the coasts", "sillicon valley", etc.). Obama won in 2008 and 2012 in part due to the auto bailout.

trump was offering a "bailout" writ large. Clinton had no (good) counteroffer. It was like the tables were turned. Romney was the one talking about "change" and "restructuring" while Obama was defending keeping what was already there.

"Without that bailout, Detroit will need to drastically restructure itself. With it, the automakers will stay the course - the suicidal course of declining market shares, insurmountable labor and retiree burdens, technology atrophy, product inferiority and never-ending job losses. Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check."
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/opinion/19romney.html

So yes. Clinton needed vague promises. She needed something more than retraining and "jobs of the future" and "restructuring". She needed to show she was committed to their way of life, however those voters saw it, and would do something, anything, to keep it alive. trump did that even though his plan won't work. And maybe he'll be punished for it. In 4 years. But in the interim the gop will destroy so many things we need and rely on as well as entrench their power for generations through the Supreme Court.

But really, it was hard for Clinton to be trusted to act like she cared about these peoples' way of life because she (through her husband fairly or unfairly) was associated with some of the larger actions and choices which helped usher in the decline.

Clinton toward the end offered tariffs. But the trump campaign hit back with what turned out to be a pretty strong counter attack – ""How's she going to get tough on China?" said Trump economic advisor Peter Navarro on CNN's Quest Means Business. He notes that some of Clinton's economic advisors have supported TPP or even worked on it. ""

http://money.cnn.com/2016/08/11/news/economy/hillary-clinton-trade/

[Nov 19, 2016] The 2016 election sounded the death knell for the identity politics by Michael Hudson

www.counterpunch.org

What is the Democratic Party's former constituency of labor and progressive reformers to do? Are they to stand by and let the party be captured in Hillary's wake by Robert Rubin's Goldman Sachs-Citigroup gang that backed her and Obama?

The 2016 election sounded the death knell for the identity politics. Its aim was to persuade voters not to think of their identity in economic terms, but to think of themselves as women or as racial and ethnic groups first and foremost, not as having common economic interests. This strategy to distract voters from economic policies has obviously failed...

This election showed that voters have a sense of when they're being lied to. After eight years of Obama's demagogy, pretending to support the people but delivering his constituency to his financial backers on Wall Street. 'Identity politics' has given way to the stronger force of economic distress. Mobilizing identity politics behind a Wall Street program will no longer work."

Michael Hudson

[Nov 19, 2016] Break Up the Democratic Party

Nov 19, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

RGC : , November 17, 2016 at 07:38 AM

Break Up the Democratic Party

By Michael Hudson
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
..................
The danger of not taking this opportunity to clean out the party now

The Democratic Party can save itself only by focusing on economic issues – in a way that reverses its neoliberal stance under Obama, and indeed going back to Bill Clinton's pro-Wall Street administration. The Democrats need to do what Britain's Labour Party did by cleaning out Tony Blair's Thatcherites. As Paul Craig Roberts wrote over the weekend: "Change cannot occur if the displaced ruling class is left intact after a revolution against them. We have proof of this throughout South America. Every revolution by the indigenous people has left unmolested the Spanish ruling class, and every revolution has been overthrown by collusion between the ruling class and Washington." Otherwise the Democrats will be left as an empty shell.
Now is the time for Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and the few other progressives who have not been kept out of office by the DNC to make their move by appointing their own nominees to the DNC. If they fail, the Democratic Party is dead.

An indication of how hard the present Democratic Party leadership will fight against this change of allegiance is reflected in their long fight against Bernie Sanders and other progressives going back to Dennis Kucinich. The past five days of MoveOn demonstrations sponsored by Hillary's backer George Soros may be an attempt to preempt the expected push by Bernie's supporters, by backing Howard Dean for head of the DNC while organizing groups to be called on for what may be an American "Maidan Spring."

Perhaps some leading Democrats preferred to lose with their Wall Street candidate Hillary than win with a reformer who would have edged them out of their right-wing positions. But the main problem was hubris. Hillary's coterie thought they could make their own reality. They believed that hundreds of millions of dollars of TV and other advertising could sway voters. But eight years of Obama's rescue of Wall Street instead of the economy was enough for most voters to see how deceptive his promises had been. And they distrusted Hillary's feigned embrace of Bernie's opposition to the TPP.

The Rust Belt swing states that shifted away from backing Obama for the last two terms are not racist states. They voted for Obama twice, after all. But seeing his support Wall Street, they had lost faith in her credibility – and were won by Bernie in his primaries against Hillary.
Donald Trump is thus Obama's legacy. Last week's vote was a backlash. Hillary thought that getting Barack and Michelle Obama to campaign as her surrogates would help, but it turned out to be the kiss of death. Obama egged her on by urging voters to "save his legacy" by supporting her as his Third Term. But voters did not want his legacy of giveaways to the banks, the pharmaceutical and health-insurance monopolies.

Most of all, it was Hillary's asking voters to ignore her economic loyalty to Wall Street simply to elect a woman, and her McCarthy-like accusations that Trump was "Putin's candidate" (duly echoed by Paul Krugman). On Wednesday, Obama's former Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul tweeted that "Putin intervened in our elections and succeeded." It was as if the Republicans and even the FBI were a kind of fifth column for the KGB. Her receptiveness to cutting back Social Security and steering wage withholding into the stock market did not help – especially her hedge fund campaign contributors. Compulsory health-insurance fees continue to rise for healthy young people. This was the profit center Obamacare offered the health-insurance monopoly.

The anti-Trump rallies mobilized by George Soros and MoveOn look like a preemptive attempt to capture the potential socialist left for the old Clinton divide-and-conquer strategy. The group was defeated five years ago when it tried to enlist Occupy Wall Street as part of the Democratic Party. It's attempt to make a comeback right now should be heard as an urgent call to Bernie's supporters and other "real" Democrats that they need to create an alternative pretty quickly so as not to let "socialism" be captured by Soros and his apparatchiks carried over from the Clinton campaign.

http://michael-hudson.com/2016/11/break-up-the-democratic-party/

RGC -> im1dc... , November 17, 2016 at 08:42 AM
"but without shutting out the wealthy, business interests, or US Corporations."

A very large part needs to be shut out. Or at least FDR thought so:

FDR: I Welcome Their Hatred

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjSTQwamo8M

RGC -> RGC... , November 17, 2016 at 08:49 AM
So does Bernie:

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

Dan Kervick -> im1dc... , November 17, 2016 at 09:41 AM
"Reconstructed" might be a better term. But barging full steam ahead with the Wall Street-friendly Chuck Schumer, as though nothing has happened, seems particularly obtuse on the part of the Democrats to me.

There is now a growing movement among the Berniecrats to join the Democratic Socialists of America and build it up into a much larger and more influential organization capable of exerting real political pressure on the political process.

im1dc -> im1dc... , November 17, 2016 at 12:19 PM
"without shutting out the wealthy, business interests, or US Corporations"

I should have been less opaque and simply added that America is a Capitalist based nation and shutting out its Capitalists, who risk their capital for profit, is exactly like biting the hand that feeds.

Obviously there are evil wealthy people such as that rich women who was caught asking Mitt Romney about 'eliminating, reducing or cutting off benefits to the 47% who refuse to work and earn a living' so her taxes would be cut. Obviously there are evil businesses that are predators and take and do not give back. Obviously there are evil MNC corporations, Apple is in my sites, that refuse to pay their fair share of taxes to run this nation.

But, as obviously there are super kind and nice wealthy people, businesses, and corporations that go out of their way to give back to their communities and the vote for Democrats.

The wealthy, American businesses, and MNC corporations will always be lead, in most places on earth, by those who want lower taxes and less regulation, that's built into the nature of having more and the desire to control it rather than give it to a government. IT IS NOT EVIL.

Accept that concept and you know why I believe the Democrat Party must be a welcoming home for the Capitalist Risk Takers, without any acrimony or embarrassment, but with open arms and respect for what they've accomplished with their lives.

Peter K. : , November 17, 2016 at 07:52 AM
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/02/why-liberals-should-support-a-trump-nomination.html

Why Liberals Should Support a Trump Republican Nomination

By Jonathan Chait

February 5, 2016
8:54 a.m.

The initial stupefaction and dismay with which liberals greeted Donald Trump's candidacy have slowly given way to feelings of Schadenfreude- reveling in the suffering of others, in this case the apoplectic members of the Republican Establishment. Are such feelings morally wrong? Or can liberals enjoy the spectacle unleavened by guilt? As Republican voters start actually voting, is it okay to be sad - alarmed, even - by the prospect that the Trump hostile takeover of the GOP may fail?

There are three reasons, in descending order of obviousness, for a liberal to earnestly and patriotically support a Trump Republican nomination. The first, of course, is that he would almost certainly lose. Trump's ability to stay atop the polls for months, even as critics predicted his demise, has given him an aura of voodoo magic that frightens some Democrats. But whatever wizardry Trump has used to defy the laws of political gravity has worked only within his party. Among the electorate as a whole, he is massively - indeed, historically - unpopular, with unfavorable ratings now hovering around 60 percent and a public persona almost perfectly designed to repel the Obama coalition: racial minorities, single women, and college-educated whites. It would take a landscape-altering event like a recession for him to win; even that might not be enough.

Second, a Trump nomination might upend his party. The GOP is a machine that harnesses ethno-nationalistic fear - of communists, criminals, matrimonial gays, terrorists, snooty cultural elites - to win elections and then, once in office, caters to its wealthy donor base. (This is why even a social firebrand like Ted Cruz would privately assure the billionaire investor Paul Singer that he wasn't particularly concerned about gay-marriage laws.) As its voting base has lost college-­educated voters and gained blue-collar whites, the fissure between the means by which Republicans attain power and the ends they pursue once they have it has widened.

What has most horrified conservative activists about Trump's rise is how little he or his supporters seem to care about their anti-government ideology. When presented with the candidate's previous support for higher taxes on the rich or single-payer insurance, heresies of the highest order, Trump fans merely shrug. During this campaign, Trump has mostly conformed to party doctrine, but without much conviction. Trump does not mouth the rote conservative formulation that government is failing because it can't work and that the solution is to cut it down to size. Instead, he says it is failing because it is run by idiots and that the solution is for it to instead be run by Trump. About half of Republicans favor higher taxes on the rich, a position that has zero representation among their party's leaders. And those Republicans are the most likely to support Trump.

Trump's candidacy represents, among other things, a revolt by the Republican proletariat against its master class. That is why National Review devoted a cover editorial and 22 columns to denouncing Trump as a heretic to the conservative movement. A Trump nomination might not actually cleave the GOP in two, but it could wreak havoc. If, like me, you think the Republican Party in its current incarnation needs to be burned to the ground and rebuilt anew, Trump is the only one holding a match.

The third reason to prefer a Trump nomination: If he does win, a Trump presidency would probably wind up doing less harm to the country than a Marco Rubio or a Cruz presidency. It might even, possibly, do some good.

The Trump campaign may feel like an off-the-grid surrealistic nightmare, The Man in the High Castle meets Idiocracy. But something like it has happened before. Specifically, it happened in California, a place where things often happen before they happen to the rest of us, in 2003, when Arnold Schwarzenegger won the governorship. At the time, the prospect of Schwarzenegger governing America's largest state struck many of us as just as ghastly as the idea of a Trump presidency seems now. Like Trump, Schwarzenegger came directly to politics from the celebrity world without bothering to inform himself about public policy. He campaigned as a vacuous Man of Action in opposition to the Politicians, breezing by all the specifics as the petty obsessions of his inferiors.

...

Pinkybum -> Peter K.... , November 17, 2016 at 09:04 AM
I think the takeaway is that Republican politicians lie and lie and lie and lie even about recent history. The exasperating thing to me is the complete inability of a Democratic politician to effectively counter these lies with facts. I wasn't that impressed with Sanders ability to argue effectively to be honest.

My mind goes back to the abortion question in the last debate. Trump's accusation that Clinton wanted to rip babies out of mother's wombs at 9 months has no basis in medical science or actual practice. However, despite being someone who should be an "expert" on women's issues could not articulate accurately how medically preposterous this notion was or even the facts behind late term abortions and why women need them at all. Surely a politician of Clinton's "skill" would at least have an anecdote ready about a woman who had a late-term abortion.

Peter K. -> Pinkybum... , November 17, 2016 at 09:38 AM
" The exasperating thing to me is the complete inability of a Democratic politician to effectively counter these lies with facts. "

Yes but the election isn't just about that. Hillary was the establishment candidate and the establishment isn't delivering. Trump was the outsider - he took over the Republican party - and it didn't matter that he lies or is obnoxious to a certain type of voter.

I think either Sanders or Obama would have won.

Pinkybum -> Peter K.... , November 17, 2016 at 10:14 AM
Obama is the establishment candidate. However, Obama has charisma and I think we need more politicians like this. I'm past caring whether or not they are great at policy (apparently Hillary was and she still couldn't argue effectively against Trump!) I want someone who can effectively argue the case for progressive policies. We know progressive policies are the right ones we just need someone who can fight for those policies. They need an encyclopedic knowledge of the shit Republicans have done, why it is wrong and how progressive policies have worked for the betterment of the 99 percent.
Peter K. -> Pinkybum... , November 17, 2016 at 10:48 AM
Obama campaigned on hope and change, not that everything is great and shut up and don't complain. Plus he didn't have scandals hanging over him.

My basic point is that center-left pundits like Chait were very wrong about Trump and the election. They were probably wrong about Sanders as well.

RGC : , November 17, 2016 at 09:12 AM
November 15, 2016
The Roosevelt Institute

The unheard winning and bold economic agenda
Findings from Roosevelt Institute's Election night survey
....................
Economic change election and the working class vote

Throughout this election cycle, polling conducted on behalf of the Roosevelt Institute and others revealed the potential of a "rewrite the rules" narrative, message and bold policy agenda to win broad and deep public support. It fit the times where voters wanted change and were tired of corporate interests dominating politics at the expense of the middle class.

It was also appealing to swing groups including white college graduates and white working class women. True, Trump always enjoyed big margins among the white working class men who identified with him, and they turned out for him early and in growing numbers. But there were points where Clinton was outperforming Obama with white working class women.

The data does not support that idea that the white working class was inevitably lost, as polls showed fairly resilient support with white working class women, until the Clinton campaign stopped talking about economic change and asked people to vote for unity, temperament and experience and to continue on President Obama's progress. As we shall see, both the Democratic base and white working class voters are struggling economically and would demand change in their own ways.

http://rooseveltinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Dcor_PE_RTR_Ealert_11.15.2016_for-release.pdf

RGC -> RGC... , November 17, 2016 at 09:27 AM
Three Myths About Clinton's Defeat in Election 2016 Debunked

Posted on November 14, 2016
By Lambert Strether

This post is not an explainer about why and how Clinton lost (and Trump won). I think we're going to be sorting that out for awhile. Rather, it's a simple debunking of common talking points by Clinton loyalists and Democrat Establishment operatives; the sort of talking point you might hear on Twitter, entirely shorn of caveats and context. For each of the three talking points, I'll present an especially egregious version of the myth, followed by a rebuttal.

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/11/three-myths-about-clintons-defeat-in-election-2016-debunked.html

Tom aka Rusty -> RGC... , November 17, 2016 at 09:46 AM
In Michigan and Ohio HRC was known as "Mrs. NAFTA."

Probably not fair, but what about politics is fair?

Pinkybum -> Tom aka Rusty... , November 17, 2016 at 12:31 PM
Clinton's responses to the charges about NAFTA were incredibly weak. This is strange considering she must have known that topic was going to be raised - why was she so unprepared?
ilsm -> Pinkybum... , November 17, 2016 at 01:05 PM
The dead did not vote enough in Pa. Oh, Wi, Fl, etc

She presumed the DNC could fix all those states.

Pinkybum -> ilsm... , November 17, 2016 at 03:21 PM
Did the dead also tell pollsters they were going to vote Democrat?
Tom aka Rusty -> Pinkybum... , November 17, 2016 at 01:07 PM
Lots of Dem post mortems reported in various media.

Interesting for us sideline players.

Peter K. : , November 17, 2016 at 09:34 AM
http://theweek.com/articles/661872/why-hillary-clinton-lost

Why Hillary Clinton lost

by Ryan Cooper

Nov. 16, 2016

llary Clinton was an extraordinarily terrible candidate for the Democrats to run in 2016.

Donald Trump's approval rating is 38 percent. President Obama's just bumped up to 57 percent. No amount of furious dissembling from humiliated Clinton partisans will convince me that Obama - and very probably Bernie Sanders* - wouldn't have beaten Trump handily.

So what gives?

Let me start by noting that the overall polls were off, but not by that much. They predicted a Clinton victory by about about 3 points. And in the popular vote, that prediction was reasonably close. Clinton is ahead by a bit less than 1 percent nationally, with many votes still to count.

What tipped the election was about 100,000 votes spread across just three states: Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Here's where the polls did seriously botch things. Trump won these states by 1, 0.3, and 1.2 points respectively (assuming the close result in Michigan holds). The poll averages showed Clinton winning these states by roughly 6 points, 3 to 7 points, and 2 to 5 points respectively, depending on who you ask.

Some people did correctly point to this outcome being a possibility. Remarkably, most of them relied heavily on gut-check analysis. Zach Carter and Ryan Grim wrote way back in February that Trump could win by peeling off Rust Belt states, based on little more than intuitions about trade and general voting patterns. Michael Moore hypothesized something similar. Nathan J. Robinson wrote around the same time that Clinton would lose because she is a wooden, uninspiring campaigner who was almost uniquely vulnerable to Trump-style attacks on character and integrity.

Van Jones was perhaps most prescient of all. In June, he argued that Trump would not gaffe himself out of the election, because outrageous statements help him get attention on social media; that tut-tutting about his lack of realistic policy would not work, because voters neither know nor care about that; and that he could potentially win over Rust Belt whites attracted to Trump's anti-trade messaging, because "we're not paying attention to a big chunk of America that is hurting - that would accept any change, the bigger the better."

With the benefit of hindsight, I think we can add a couple more factors to the pile. First is the self-deception of the Clinton campaign and its media sycophants. She did not visit Wisconsin at all between April and the election, and largely abandoned Obama's working-class message from 2012 in favor of portraying Trump as a dangerous, woman-hating maniac.

They were enabled in this by pro-Clinton publications, which churned out endless slavish portrayals of Clinton as some kind of wizard of politics and policy, whose grasp of fine detail would surely deliver the electoral goods. In fact, it turned out that her vaunted algorithm-driven turnout machine was contacting tons of Trump voters. Paul Romer points to the problem of "mathiness" in economics, where complicated and intimidating theoretical symbolism is built up without establishing clear linkages to the real world. Lots of computers, theories, and datasets might be the most sophisticated way to attack voter turnout, or it might be a way to simply appear sophisticated while dismissing people whose ideas don't come packaged with a science-y veneer. (Something similar seems to have happened to the wonky election-simulator people.)

Then there is the Clintons' omnipresent aura of scandal and corruption, which is about 50 percent unfair double standard and 50 percent totally their fault. The political media has been obsessed with the Clintons for 20 years to a frankly psychotic degree, particularly given how much worse the stories about Trump were. On the other hand, the Clintons enable that coverage with a paranoid and secretive attitude, and an obvious hatred of the press. The Clinton Foundation coverage was unfair compared to the much worse Trump Foundation, but then again, there was some genuinely skeezy stuff in there. There's a good chance that FBI Director James Comey's vague letter about emails to congressional Republicans, which led to an extremely ill-timed media firestorm, tipped the election to Trump. But then again, she might have avoided the whole story by following the dang rules in the first place.

I always assumed that if Clinton were nominated for president, the race would be dominated by some weird quasi-scandal that dragged on for month after month. It's not fair, but it is simply the reality of the Clintons. At some point, one simply has to take that into account.

That brings me to a final point: Clinton's general political affect. She is not a great campaigner (by her own admission), a rather robotic speaker, and most of all, a dynasty politician who very obviously got the nomination because the party elite cleared the decks for her. Given how the party has evolved, her political history was filled with devastating indictments of her judgment and priorities. Even after getting a reasonably good party platform (after just barely beating back about the most unlikely primary challenger imaginable), she was a non-credible vehicle for it. Without Obama's mesmerizing charisma and political energy, her image was defined by things like taking millions of dollars for secret speeches to Wall Street banks and refusing to release the transcripts. She simply was not a good fit for the party, and a terrible avatar of the party in a country furious at self-dealing elite institutions of all kinds.

Hillary Clinton was a heavily compromised candidate and bad campaigner who grossly misjudged the political terrain, and thus bled just enough of the Obama coalition to let Trump sneak past. If we ever get to vote again, let's hope the party learns from this epic disaster.

And that, now, is the key question: Where do the Democrats go from here?

* https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/11/10/hillary-clinton-lost-bernie-sanders-could-have-won/?utm_term=.92d64f147de5

ilsm -> Peter K.... , November 17, 2016 at 01:06 PM
the split is 23%, 23% and 4% of registered voters. 50% sat it out.
RGC : , November 17, 2016 at 09:42 AM
Reading Keynes - Part 3
L3 Impact of Keynes

This 1000 word article traces the impact of Keynesian theories on the 20th century.

The Global Financial Crisis (GFC) has created awareness of the great gap between academic models and reality. IMF Chief Economist Olivier Blanchard said that modern DSGE macroeconomic models currently used for policy decisions are based on assumptions which are profoundly at odds with what we know about consumers and firms. More than seven different schools of macroeconomic thought contend with each other, without coming to agreement on any fundamental issue. This bears a striking resemblance to the post-Depression era when Keynes set out to resolve the "deep divergences of opinion between fellow economists which have for the time being almost destroyed the practical influence of economic theory."

Likewise, today, the inability of mainstream economists to predict, understand, explain, or find remedies for the Global Financial Crisis, has deeply damaged the reputation of economists and economic theories. Recently, World Bank Chief Economist Paul Romer stated that for more than three decades, macroeconomics has gone backwards. Since modern macroeconomics bears a strong resemblance to pre-Keynesian theories, Keynesian theories have fresh relevance, as described below.

In the aftermath of the Great Depression, economic misery was a major factor which led to the Russian Revolution and the rise of Hitler in Germany. Conventional economic theory held that market forces would automatically and quickly correct the temporary disequilibrium of high unemployment and low production in Europe and USA. Keynes argued that high unemployment could persist, and government interventions in the form of active monetary and fiscal policy were required to correct the economic problems. Many have suggested that Keynes rescued Capitalism by providing governments with rationale to intervene on behalf of the workers, thereby preventing socialist or communist revolutions. There is no doubt that strong and powerful labor movements in Europe and USA derived strength from the economic misery of the masses, and also took inspiration from the pro-labor and anti-capitalist theories of Marx. While it is hard to be sure whether Keynes saved capitalism, we can be very sure that Keynes and Keynesian theories were extremely influential in shaping the economic landscapes of the 20th Century.

Keynes actually met Roosevelt (FDR) to try to persuade him of the necessity of an aggressive fiscal policy and of running budget deficits, in order to lift the US economy out of recession. He was only partially successful. FDR, like nearly all political leaders as well as economists of the time, was convinced of the necessity of balancing budgets: this is the same 'austerity' being touted today as the cure for economic problems. Leading economists like Lionel Robinson and Friedrich Hayek argued in favor of austerity, and said that Keynesian remedies were dangerously wrong. They held the view that the Great Depression had been caused by excessively easy monetary policies in the pre-Depression period, and Keynesian interventions in the form of further easy monetary and fiscal policies would only prolong the agony.

FDR was not quite convinced by Keynes, but was politically savvy enough to announce that he would not balance the budget on the backs of the American people. Accordingly, he did go against his personal convictions, as well as his campaign promises of balancing the budget, which he believed to be a sound and necessary economic policy. Keynes felt that the economic policies of FDR were timid and hesitant, and prolonged the recession un-necessarily. In light of contemporary experience of the tremendously aggressive expansionary monetary policy in the post-GFC era, we can see that bolder steps by FDR would not have caused the harms that he was afraid of. In fact, after the economy recovered somewhat, FDR went back to conventional wisdom and started reducing budget deficits in 1936. This created a mini-recession which has been labelled the "Roosevelt Recession of 1937". Duly chastened, FDR embraced Keynesian policies with greater conviction, and increased deficit spending right up to the second World War. It was the effectiveness of Keynesian policies that led even arch-enemy Friedman to state that "We are all Keynesians now," though he later recanted. Indeed, he master-minded the Monetarist counter-revolution in the 1970's which eventually led to a rejection of Keynesian insights, and a return to the pre-Keynesian ideas of austerity as a cure for recessions. Forgetting the hard-learned lessons of Keynes led to a recurrence of problems very similar to those faced by Keynes in the form of GFC 2007.

Following the GFC, there has been a resurgence of interest in Keynes and Keynesian Theories. In the "Return of Depression Economics", Krugman argued for the continuing relevance of Keynes, and stated that we could end the Great Recession immediately by implementing Keynesian policies. China implemented Keynesian policies, and used a fiscal stimulus of $586 billion spread over two years, to successfully combat the global recession created by the GFC. Unlike countries forced to implement austerity, which further wrecked their economies, the Chinese economy was able to perform well in the aftermath of the GFC. The Shanghai index had been falling sharply since the September 2008 bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, but the decline was halted when news of the planned stimulus leaked in late October. The day after the stimulus was officially announced, the Shanghai index immediately rose by 7.3%, followed by sustained growth. Speaking at the 2010 Summer Davos, Premier Wen Jiabao also credited the Keynesian fiscal stimulus for good performance of the Chinese economy over the two years following the GFC.

Meanwhile, even IMF acknowledged the failure of austerity, the anti-thesis of the Keynesian policy. Massive damage was caused to Greece, Ireland, Portugal and other economies which were forced to tighten budgets in response to the recession. In the see-saw battle between Keynesians and Monetarists, after three decades of darkness, the Keynesian star seems to be rising. Strange as it may seem, many fundamental insights of Keynes were never actually absorbed by conventional economists. Keynes himself said that he had the greatest difficulty in escaping the habits of thought created by an economics education. Mainstream economists never made this escape. As a result, Keynesian theories remain an undiscovered treasure offering deep insights into current economic conditions.

https://sites.google.com/site/21stcenturymacroeconomics/keynes/l3

Fred C. Dobbs : , November 17, 2016 at 10:25 AM
The Glaring Contradiction at the Heart of Donald Trump's
Economic Policy http://nyti.ms/2eJFsw4 via @UpshotNYT
NYT - Neil Irwin - November 17

Campaign promises are easy. Governing is hard.

It is a truism that Donald J. Trump and his team will soon learn. And a fascinating example has emerged since the election, courtesy of global currency markets. It is a study in the kind of complex trade-offs that Mr. Trump rarely grappled with during his campaign but will face many times a day in the Oval Office.

A centerpiece of Mr. Trump's campaign was the United States' trade deficits. He pledged to eliminate them and create a resurgence in American manufacturing.

He has also pledged tax cuts, infrastructure spending and deregulation. That set of policies has led markets to expect speedier economic growth and thus higher interest rates in coming years. That, in turn, is driving the value of the dollar higher on currency markets. Since Election Day, the dollar is up 2.6 percent against an index of six other major currencies. The value of the Mexican peso has fallen 10 percent against the dollar, a remarkable swing for the United States' third-largest trading partner.

You don't need to be an economist to see what that means: A pricier dollar makes it harder for American manufacturers to compete overseas; it gives an advantage to companies that locate operations elsewhere; and it will, all else being equal, tend to make the trade deficit higher rather than lower.

This is not to suggest that the shift in the currency so far is a major disaster for American manufacturers and other exporters (though those that ship their goods to Mexico will feel the brunt of it). There was a bigger rise in the dollar in 2014 and 2015 that damaged export sectors even more.
Photo

A board displaying the exchange rate for the Mexican peso and the dollar in a bank in Mexico City this week. Credit Henry Romero/Reuters

But let's imagine that Mr. Trump follows through on the policy mix he's hinted at so far: a combination of loose fiscal policy (think more spending on defense and infrastructure, and tax cuts) and tighter monetary policy (the Federal Reserve raising interest rates faster than
had seemed likely before the election). At that point, the dollar could move more decisively higher, creating a tension that the president and his advisers would have to resolve one way or the other.

As a rule of thumb, said Joseph Gagnon, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a 10 percent rise in the dollar would be expected to increase the current account deficit (a broader concept than trade deficit, but closely related) by 1 to 1.5 percent of G.D.P. in the ensuing two to three years.

In that scenario, Mr. Trump's pledge to eliminate the $500 billion United States trade deficit would have just become $180 billion to $270 billion harder.

This is the kind of dilemma presidents face all the time. The Oval Office debate might go something like this: The Commerce Secretary complains, "Mr. President, this strong dollar is just killing our manufacturers; they can't compete with this kind of appreciation." The Treasury Secretary, who is in charge of the currency, responds, "It's a necessary evil, Mr. President; our economy is booming so much that global investors just can't get enough of United States assets."

When there are these kinds of disputes, the president has to decide. And when a president tries to find a solution that answers both concerns, there are always complex ripples. For example, "let's appoint Fed officials who will cut interest rates" might temporarily let you have both a booming domestic economy and a competitive export sector, but would mean an increase in inflation - which will make both the bond market and many retired Americans living on fixed incomes unhappy.

The tension between currency policy and trade policy is just one example. Mr. Trump's promises to repeal Obamacare while keeping some of its most popular features would be hard to carry out in practice. Virtually every issue in tax policy, diplomacy and regulatory policy features similar complex trade-offs.

None of this is to say that these tensions are unsolvable, or that Mr. Trump won't overcome his lack of a policy background to arrive at good solutions. But he will almost certainly find out soon that "Make America Great Again" is a slogan, not an answer.

RGC : , November 17, 2016 at 10:39 AM
Jo Michell

Economics, Ideology and Trump

So the post-mortem begins. Much electronic ink has already been spilled and predictable fault lines have emerged. Debate rages in particular on the question of whether Trump's victory was driven by economic factors. Like Duncan Weldon, I think Torsten Bell gets it about right – economics is an essential part of the story even if the complete picture is more complex.

Neoliberalism is a word I usually try to avoid. It's often used by people on the left as an easy catch-all to avoid engaging with difficult issues. Broadly speaking, however, it provides a short-hand for the policy status quo over the last thirty years or so: free movement of goods, labour and capital, fiscal conservatism, rules-based monetary policy, deregulated finance and a preference for supply-side measures in the labour market.
Some will argue this consensus has nothing to with the rise of far-right populism. I disagree. Both economics and economic policy have brought us here.

But to what extent has academic economics provided the basis for neoliberal policy? The question had been in my mind even before the Trump and Brexit votes. A few months back, Duncan Weldon posed the question, 'whatever happened to deficit bias?' In my view, the responses at the time missed the mark. More recently, Ann Pettifor and Simon Wren Lewis have been discussing the relationship between ideology, economics and fiscal austerity.
I have great respect for Simon – especially his efforts to combat the false media narratives around austerity. But I don't think he gets it right on economics and ideology. His argument is that in a standard model – a sticky-price DSGE system – fiscal policy should be used when nominal rates are at the zero lower bound. Post-2008 austerity policies are therefore at odds with the academic consensus.
This is correct in simple terms, but I think misses the bigger picture of what academic economics has been saying for the last 30 years. To explain, I need to recap some history.

Fiscal policy as a macroeconomic management tool is associated with the ideas of Keynes. Against the academic consensus of his day, he argued that the economy could get stuck in periods of demand deficiency characterised by persistent involuntary unemployment. The monetarist counter-attack was led by Milton Friedman – who denied this possibility. In the long run, he argued, the economy has a 'natural' rate of unemployment to which it will gravitate automatically (the mechanism still remains to be explained). Any attempt to use activist fiscal or monetary policy to reduce unemployment below this natural rate will only lead to higher inflation. This led to the bitter disputes of the 1960s and 70s between Keynesians and Monetarists. The Monetarists emerged as victors – at least in the eyes of the orthodoxy – with the inflationary crises of the 1970s. This marks the beginning of the end for fiscal policy in the history of macroeconomics.

In Friedman's world, short-term macro policy could be justified in a deflationary situation as a way to help the economy back to its 'natural' state. But, for Friedman, macro policy means monetary policy. In line with the doctrine that the consumer always knows best, government spending was proscribed as distortionary and inefficient. For Friedman, the correct policy response to deflation is a temporary increase in the rate of growth of the money supply.
It's hard to view Milton Friedman's campaign against Keynes as disconnected from ideological influence. Friedman's role in the Mont Pelerin society is well documented. This group of economic liberals, led by Friedrich von Hayek, formed after World War II with the purpose of opposing the move towards collectivism of which Keynes was a leading figure. For a time at least, the group adopted the term 'neoliberal' to describe their political philosophy. This was an international group of economists whose express purpose was to influence politics and politicians – and they were successful.

Hayek's thesis – which acquires a certain irony in light of Trump's ascent – was that collectivism inevitably leads to authoritarianism and fascism. Friedman's Chicago economics department formed one point in a triangular alliance with Lionel Robbins' LSE in London, and Hayek's fellow Austrians in Vienna. While in the 1930s, Friedman had expressed support for the New Deal, by the 1950s he had swung sharply in the direction of economic liberalism. As Brad Delong puts it:
by the early 1950s, his respect for even the possibility of government action was gone. His grudging approval of the New Deal was gone, too: Those elements that weren't positively destructive were ineffective, diverting attention from what Friedman now believed would have cured the Great Depression, a substantial expansion of the money supply. The New Deal, Friedman concluded, had been 'the wrong cure for the wrong disease.'

While Friedman never produced a complete formal model to describe his macroeconomic vision, his successor at Chicago, Robert Lucas did – the New Classical model. (He also successfully destroyed the Keynesian structural econometric modelling tradition with his 'Lucas critique'.) Lucas' New Classical colleagues followed in his footsteps, constructing an even more extreme version of the model: the so-called Real Business Cycle model. This simply assumes a world in which all markets work perfectly all of the time, and the single infinitely lived representative agent, on average, correctly predicts the future.
This is the origin of the 'policy ineffectiveness hypothesis' – in such a world, government becomes completely impotent. Any attempt at deficit spending will be exactly matched by a corresponding reduction in private spending – the so-called Ricardian Equivalence hypothesis. Fiscal policy has no effect on output and employment. Even monetary policy becomes totally ineffective: if the central bank chooses to loosen monetary policy, the representative agent instantly and correctly predicts higher inflation and adjusts her behaviour accordingly.

This vision, emerging from a leading centre of conservative thought, is still regarded by the academic economics community as a major scientific step forward. Simon describes it as `a progressive research programme'.
What does all this have to with the current status quo? The answer is that this model – with one single modification – is the 'standard model' which Simon and others point to when they argue that economics has no ideological bias. The modification is that prices in the goods market are slow to adjust to changes in demand. As a result, Milton Friedman's result that policy is effective in the short run is restored. The only substantial difference to Friedman's model is that the policy tool is the rate of interest, not the money supply. In a deflationary situation, the central bank should cut the nominal interest rate to raise demand and assist the automatic but sluggish transition back to the `natural' rate of unemployment.

So what of Duncan's question: what happened to deficit bias? – this refers to the assertion in economics textbooks that there will always be a tendency for governments to allow deficits to increase. The answer is that it was written out of the textbooks decades ago – because it is simply taken as given that fiscal policy is not the correct tool.
To check this, I went to our university library and looked through a selection of macroeconomics textbooks. Mankiw's 'Macroeconomics' is probably the mostly widely used. I examined the 2007 edition – published just before the financial crisis. The chapter on 'Stabilisation Policy' dispenses with fiscal policy in half a page – a case study of Romer's critique of Keynes is presented under the heading 'Is the Stabilization of the Economy a Figment of the Data?' The rest of the chapter focuses on monetary policy: time inconsistency, interest rate rules and central bank independence. The only appearance of the liquidity trap and the zero lower bound is in another half-page box, but fiscal policy doesn't get a mention.
The post-crisis twelfth edition of Robert Gordon's textbook does include a chapter on fiscal policy – entitled `The Government Budget, the Government Debt and the Limitations of Fiscal Policy'. While Gordon acknowledges that fiscal policy is an option during strongly deflationary periods when interest rates are at the zero lower bound, most of the chapter is concerned with the crowding out of private investment, the dangers of government debt and the conditions under which governments become insolvent. Of the textbooks I examined, only Blanchard's contained anything resembling a balanced discussion of fiscal policy.

So, in Duncan's words, governments are 'flying a two engined plane but choosing to use only one motor' not just because of media bias, an ill-informed public and misguided politicians – Simon's explanation – but because they are doing what the macro textbooks tell them to do.

The reason is that the standard New Keynesian model is not a Keynesian model at all – it is a monetarist model. Aside from the mathematical sophistication, it is all but indistinguishable from Milton Friedman's ideologically-driven description of the macroeconomy. In particular, Milton Friedman's prohibition of fiscal policy is retained with – in more recent years – a caveat about the zero-lower bound (Simon makes essentially the same point about fiscal policy here).

It's therefore odd that when Simon discusses the relationship between ideology and economics he chooses to draw a dividing line between those who use a sticky-price New Keynesian DSGE model and those who use a flexible-price New Classical version. The beliefs of the latter group are, Simon suggests, ideological, while those of the former group are based on ideology-free science. This strikes me as arbitrary. Simon's justification is that, despite the evidence, the RBC model denies the possibility of involuntary unemployment. But the sticky-price version – which denies any role for inequality, finance, money, banking, liquidity, default, long-run unemployment, the use of fiscal policy away from the ZLB, supply-side hysteresis effects and plenty else besides – is acceptable. He even goes so far as to say 'I have no problem seeing the RBC model as a flex-price NK model' – even the RBC model is non-ideological so long as the hierarchical framing is right.
Even Simon's key distinction – the New Keynesian model allows for involuntary unemployment – is open to question. Keynes' definition of involuntary unemployment is that there exist people willing and able to work at the going wage who are unable to find employment. On this definition the New Keynesian model falls short – in the face of a short-run demand shortage caused by sticky prices the representative agent simply selects a new optimal labour supply. Workers are never off their labour supply curve. In the Smets Wouters model – a very widely used New Keynesian DSGE model – the labour market is described as follows: 'household j chooses hours worked Lt(j)'. It is hard to reconcile involuntary unemployment with households choosing how much labour they supply.

What of the position taken by the profession in the wake of 2008? Reinhart and Rogoff's contribution is by now infamous. Ann also draws attention to the 2010 letter signed by 20 top-ranking economists – including Rogoff – demanding austerity in the UK. Simon argues that Ann overlooks the fact that '58 equally notable economists signed a response arguing the 20 were wrong'.
It is difficult to agree that the signatories to the response letter, organised by Lord Skidelsky, are 'equally notable'. Many are heterodox economists – critics of standard macroeconomics. Those mainstream economists on the list hold positions at lower-ranking institutions than the 20. I know many of the 58 personally – I know none of the 20. Simon notes:
Of course those that signed the first letter, and in particular Ken Rogoff, turned out to be a more prominent voice in the subsequent debate, but that is because he supported what policymakers were doing. He was mostly useful rather than influential.
For Simon, causality is unidirectional: policy-makers cherry-pick academic economics to fit their purpose but economists have no influence on policy. This seems implausible. It is undoubtedly true that pro-austerity economists provided useful cover for small-state ideologues like George Osborne. But the parallels between policy and academia are too strong for the causality to be unidirectional.

Osborne's small state ideology is a descendent of Thatcherism – the point when neoliberalism first replaced Keynesianism. Is it purely coincidence that the 1980s was also the high-point for extreme free market Chicago economics such as Real Business Cycle models?
The parallel between policy and academia continues with the emergence of the sticky-price New Keynesian version as the 'standard' model in the 90s alongside the shift to the third way of Blair and Clinton. Blairism represents a modified, less extreme, version of Thatcherism. The all-out assault on workers and the social safety net was replaced with 'workfare' and 'flexicurity'.

A similar story can be told for international trade, as laid out in this excellent piece by Martin Sandbu. In the 1990s, just as the 'heyday of global trade integration was getting underway', economists were busy making the case that globalisation had no negative implications for employment or inequality in rich nations. To do this, they came up with the 'skill-biased technological change' (SBTC) hypothesis. This states that as technology advances and the potential for automation grows, the demand for high-skilled labour increases. This introduces the hitch that higher educational standards are required before the gains from automation can be felt by those outside the top income percentiles. This leads to a `race between education and technology' – a race which technology was winning, leading to weaker demand for middle and low-skill workers and rising 'skill premiums' for high skilled workers as a result.
Writing in the Financial Times shortly before the financial crisis, Jagdish Bagwati argued that those who looked to globalisation as an explanation for increasing inequality were misguided:
The culprit is not globalization but labour-saving technical change that puts pressure on the wages of the unskilled. Technical change prompts continual economies in the use of unskilled labour. Much empirical argumentation and evidence exists on this. (FT, January 4, 2007, p. 11)
As Krugman put it:
The hypothesis that technological change, by raising the demand for skill, has led to growing inequality is so widespread that at conferences economists often use the abbreviation SBTC – skill-biased technical change – without explanation, assuming that their listeners know what they are talking about (p. 132)
Over the course of his 2007 book, Krugman sets out on a voyage of discovery – 'That, more or less, is the story I believed when I began working on this book' (p. 6). He arrives at the astonishing conclusion – '[i]t sounds like economic heresy' (p. 7) – that politics can influence inequality:
[I]nstitutions, norms and the political environment matter a lot more for the distribution of income – and impersonal market forces matter less – than Economics 101 might lead you to believe (p. 8)

The idea that rising pay at the top of the scale mainly reflect social and political change, strikes some people as too much at odds with Economics 101.
If a left-leaning Nobel prize-winning economist has trouble escaping from the confines of Economics 101, what hope for the less sophisticated mind?
As deindustrialisation rolled through the advanced economies, wiping out jobs and communities, economists continued to deny any role for globalisation. As Martin Sandbu argues,

The blithe unconcern displayed by the economics profession and the political elites about whether trade was causing deindustrialisation, social exclusion and rising inequality has begun to seem Pollyannish at best, malicious at worst. Kevin O'Rourke, the Irish economist, and before him Lawrence Summers, former US Treasury Secretary, have called this "the Davos lie."

For mainstream macroeconomists, inequality was not a subject of any real interest. While the explanation for inequality lay in the microeconomics – the technical forms of production functions – and would be solved by increasing educational attainment, in macroeconomic terms, the use of a representative agent and an aggregate production function simply assumed the problem away. As Stiglitz puts it:
[I]f the distribution of income (say between labor and capital) matters, for example, for aggregate demand and therefore for employment and output, then using an aggregate Cobb-Douglas production function which, with competition, implies that the share of labor is fixed, is not going to be helpful. (p.596)
Robert Lucas summed up his position as follows: 'Of the tendencies that are harmful to sound economics, the most seductive, and in my opinion the most poisonous, is to focus on questions of distribution.' It is hard to view this statement as more strongly informed by science than ideology.
But while economists were busy assuming away inequality in their models, incomes continued to diverge in most advanced economies. It was only with the publication of Piketty's book that the economics profession belatedly began to turn its back on Lucas.

The extent to which economic insecurity in the US and the UK is driven by globalisation versus policy is still under discussion – my answer would be that it is a combination of both – but the skill-biased technical change hypothesis looks to be a dead end – and a costly one at that.
Similar stories can be told about the role of household debt, finance, monetary theory and labour bargaining power and monopoly – why so much academic focus on 'structural reform' in the labour market but none on anti-trust policy? Heterodox economists were warning about the connections between finance, globalisation, current account imbalances, inequality, household debt and economic insecurity in the decades before the crisis. These warnings were dismissed as unscientific – in favour of a model which excluded all of these things by design.
Are economic factors – and economic policy – partly to blame for the Brexit and Trump votes? And are academic economists, at least in part, to blame for these polices? The answer to both questions is yes. To argue otherwise is to deny Keynes' dictum that 'the ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong are more powerful than is commonly understood.'
This quote, 'mounted and framed, takes pride of place in the entrance hall of the Institute for Economic Affairs' – the think-tank founded, with Hayek's encouragement, by Anthony Fisher, as a way to promote and promulgate the ideas of the Mont Pelerin Society. The Institute was a success. Fisher was, in the words of Milton Friedman, 'the single most important person in the development of Thatcherism'.
The rest, it seems, is history.

https://criticalfinance.org/2016/11/15/economics-ideology-and-trump/

ilsm : , November 17, 2016 at 01:13 PM
A feat Goebbels could hardly pull off.

Obomber's new conference with Ms. Merkel. The peace prize winner who ordered 25000 bombing sorties in 2015 against places US is not warring against.

Per Obomber Assad caused all that suffering in Syria, despite US arming al Qaeda since 2010 to replace him with the kind of guys who rammed a bayonet through Qaddafi's rectum, and sending assassinated Qaddafi's weaponry through Benghazi at the time Clinton got her envoy killed there.

The greater threat to American democracy is the bizarre world of the US fighting for the Sunnis in the middle east. Also known as Obomber's Stalinist definitions of atrocities versus fictions about fascists.

Fred C. Dobbs -> ilsm... , November 17, 2016 at 02:22 PM
Why would one of Qadaffi's own
citizens do such a nasty deed on the
sadly misunderstood guy who brought down
Pan Am flight #103 over Lockerbie Scotland
killing 259 passenger & crew, previously
killing three people & injuring around
230 in La Belle discothθque in Berlin,
& why do you keep bringing this up?)
im1dc : , November 17, 2016 at 01:20 PM
Predictions for a Trump Presidency from a black Democrat woman activist

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/11/17/president-elect-donald-trump-gets-to-work-betraying-his-backers.html

"President-Elect Donald Trump Gets to Work Betraying His Backers"

'Millions of voters who thought they'd elected a populist hero will soon find out that men who live in golden penthouses are rarely heroes'

by Joy-Ann Reid...11.17.16...1:00 AM ET

"I should probably get out of the predictions business, having so misjudged the country before the recent election. But I will hazard two more. The first: Donald Trump will turn on his supporters. The second: The Democrats will turn on theirs, too.

Trump got a head start this week, floating the names of Iraq war supporters and promoters of a grand, global war with Islam like John Bolton and Rudy Giuliani for the job of secretary of state. Trump voters who claimed that Hillary Clinton would bring on World War III might be surprised by some of the views of Clinton and John Kerry's likely successor (and Giuliani is a vigorous neocon, too.)

Trump is now part of a global ring of ethno-nationalist leaders of far-right parties in thrall to Vladimir Putin's Russia. National security experts are shuddering at the demeanor of the people surrounding the next president who are busy mounting what Republican leakers are calling a "Stalinesque purge" of the insufficiently loyal. With the transition team in chaos, and experienced hands reluctant to join such an administration, who knows what kind of bizarre cabinet he'll wind up assembling.

Meanwhile, to the extent that he is doing something other than trying to figure out what a president does Trump-or rather the people around him who know how to take advantage of an opportunity-are preparing to stack his team with Wall Street and big-business friendly insiders and establishment cronies poised to raid the treasury on behalf of the one percent.

Working-class voters who thought they'd elected a populist hero will soon find out that men who live in golden penthouses are rarely populists, and even more rarely heroic. Trump, who in his own history as a developer preferred mob concrete and Chinese steel to the variety produced in the Rust Belt, cannot bring back the steel and manufacturing jobs lost in Lorain, Ohio or western Pennsylvania. No president can force shuttered mills to reopen, or companies who've left in search of cheaper labor to relocate to the United States (or those who have come back to choose expensive humans over cheaper robots.) Even if he manages to slap massive tariffs on Chinese-made goods, the only outcome will be much higher prices at Wal-Mart.

Meanwhile, anyone still wondering why Paul Ryan quietly slipped on his MAGA cap during the election will soon understand. On the off chance Trump pulled off an improbable win, Ryan knew he would be on track to enact his life's dream: turning Medicare into a voucher program and forcing future of the most popular government program since Social Security into private insurance HMOs. According to Josh Marshall, who cites Ryan's own website, the "phasing out" of Medicare begins in March.

Trump's tax plan will sock it to single mothers, by ending the ability to file as head of household and thus raising taxes on unmarried filers. The tax hikes will be higher the more children you have. Anyone who doesn't itemize deductions will likely get a onetime check for a few hundred dollars, the way George W. Bush did his "middle class tax cut." Count that as bill money.

Trump's trade and immigration policies will deliver an economic shock to states like Texas where trade produces a substantial share of the jobs, and which depend on high oil prices. Trump's North Dakota pipeline (in which he is personally financially invested) will flood more oil onto an already glutted world market, further forcing down prices and putting both the Lone Star state in an unpleasant economic position.

But not to worry, Republicans have a fix, to ensure there is no voter backlash against them.

They are already preparing to reverse their opposition to earmarks, with three red state Senators (from Florida, Alabama and of course, Texas) pushing to revive the kind of spending that helps members go back to their districts with something to show for their time in Washington, and which long greased the skids of congress. You see, most in the GOP never really objected to government spending. They just objected to government spending that might make their constituents look more favorably on Barack Obama's tenure.

Also watch as the objections to raising the debt ceiling and to infrastructure spending-so vehement during the Obama years-vanish into thin air. This will be a big spending administration, with the full backing of congress. The small number of conservatives preparing to fight back are likely to cave, eventually, in the interests of party unity and maintaining total Republican control.

All the while, Trump fans can maintain their euphoria over taking America back from the multiculturalists, the politically correct, leftie Hollywood and Beyoncι, by purchasing clothing and jewelry from Ivanka Trump's retail line, which she'll dutifully model during television appearances, after which her staff will inform the media on where faithful followers can "shop the look." The Trump children, armed with security clearances and still in charge of the family business and the ephemeral "foundation" will be in a position to stuff the family coffers for four years, African dictator style, with the possible aid of information marked "secret" and thus unavailable to their competitors. And if you expect the fearsome House Republicans who hounded Hillary Clinton over her emails to lift a finger to investigate what already look to be spiraling conflicts of interest, you don't understand the Republican Party.

But it isn't just Trump who is poised to betray those who voted for him. Some Democrats and their allies are already rushing to get their Trump tattoos, knowing that the coming spending boom helps them too. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia excoriated Harry Reid, the out-going minority leader, who alone came out forthrightly to defend the black and brown women, men, children, businesses and even churches being brutalized by gleeful Trump supporters from the GOP's white supremacist wing, in cities around the country. Reid, whose Nevada Democratic Party operation was actually successful in the 2016 elections, including getting a Latina elected to his seat, has bravely called out the white nationalists and anti-Semites of the alt-right and stood against the normalization of people like soon-to-be Trump senior counselor Stephen Bannon. But Reid is a lonely voice standing athwart anti-history yelling, "stop," while his party and the mainstream media fall into a swoon of presidential succession pageantry.

Even Bernie Sanders couldn't rush fast enough to get on the Trump side of the line, declaring himself a member of the white working class (his and his wife's three homes and high six-figure income aside) and cautioning Democrats-who belong to a party of which he is still not a member-to start focusing on these voters too. Sanders ran a campaign that echoed Trump's in many ways; appealing to a majority white, populist audience that hated Hillary Clinton more than it disdained Republicans. A majority of Black Americans were unimpressed, which is why he didn't become the nominee, and they should be unsurprised that he is dropping them faster than he and his supporters wrote off "the South" as insignificant during the primary campaign.

Bernie is not alone. Think pieces are already being written admonishing Dems to throw black and brown, LGBT, Muslim and Hispanic voters and progressive women under the bus in favor of the never-ending chase for the Pabst Blue Ribbon vote. Democrats continue to practice "identity politics" at their peril, they say; demanding that issues around rape culture, Black Lives Matter and merciful immigration policy be scotched in favor of bucking up men, dialing back blunt talk on race, policing and DREAMers, and emphasizing things like border security. In other words, Democrats must learn to talk more like Republicans and marginalized groups must learn to be quiet. The party has been here before, and ironically, that kind of thinking is what produced Bill Clinton, whose surname, and wife, the very people hawking this prescription loathe.

The message to African-Americans, Hispanics, Muslims, LGBT people (well, mostly Trans folks, since Trump has declared his movement can live with "the gays") and women, who stand in the crosshairs of the coming "retail authoritarian" presidency, is that you're on your own. Your party will not come to your aid. They'll be too busy trying to ride the Trump train, or to least avoid being tied to the tracks and run over by it in the next election.

There are small green shoots of hope. The coming battle for DNC chair, which could come down to two black candidates: Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison and South Carolina Democratic Party chair Jamie Harrison, is a proxy for whether the party will push a message of Sandersian working class populism or press forward on the ongoing fight for racial justice, voting rights and the rights of the poor. Perhaps one of these men can help the party find a way to do both.

And despite her immediate statement of conciliation to Trump, one can only hope Elizabeth Warren will hold strong on issues concerning Wall Street, once Republicans begin the process of dismantling restrictions on bankers' worst practices, restoring the robber baron era in lower Manhattan and on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, where the "tea party movement" was born amid furious presumptions that Obama would dare to help struggling homeowners instead of their mortgage note holders. We'll just have to wait and see.

In the end, the lessons of American history, from Reconstruction to the Fusion movement of the late 19th century; that an openness to the aspirations of racial, ethnic and religious minorities will always produce a fierce backlash among the country's majority population and cost the party dearly, have proven thrice true in the modern era-in the bloody political aftermath of Lyndon Johnson, Bill Clinton and now Barack Obama. All three marched the country forward on race, culture and economics, only to cede federal and state governmental power for years to the Republican right, which quickly proceeded, each time, to reward the rich and the powerful on the backs of their working class supporters who just wanted to feel like winners again.

In a sense, who can blame the Democrats for running away? But run they will. Count on it."

im1dc -> im1dc... , November 17, 2016 at 01:22 PM
I very much like the idea of bringing back "earmarks", for the record.

I did not know that Paul Ryan's website is proclaiming the end of Medicare as we know it to begin March 2017. That is ominous indeed.

Fred C. Dobbs -> im1dc... , November 17, 2016 at 02:10 PM
Trump pledges to earmark $20B for school choice
http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/295034-trump-to-earmark-20b-for-school-choice
The Hill = Sep 8

(Personally, I'll take a block
grant over an earmark any day.)

Fred C. Dobbs : , November 17, 2016 at 01:23 PM
(Premium members only.)

McDonald's gets fancy, says table
service coming to US locations

NEW YORK - McDonald's says it plans to offer table service across its U.S. stores to make the ordering process less stressful, but did not say when the overhaul will be complete.

The world's biggest burger chain says about 500 of its more than 14,000 domestic stores have been testing table service and ordering kiosks for people who do not want to wait for the cashier. People in those stores order at the counter or kiosks, then sit and wait for an employee to bring them their food.

Early next year, McDonald's says it will expand the offering in Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C. ...

http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2016/11/17/mcdonald-gets-fancy-says-table-service-coming-locations/xVHddwT9ZcZc1B24lzDYtL/story.html

Fred C. Dobbs : , November 17, 2016 at 01:23 PM
(Premium members only.)

McDonald's gets fancy, says table
service coming to US locations

NEW YORK - McDonald's says it plans to offer table service across its U.S. stores to make the ordering process less stressful, but did not say when the overhaul will be complete.

The world's biggest burger chain says about 500 of its more than 14,000 domestic stores have been testing table service and ordering kiosks for people who do not want to wait for the cashier. People in those stores order at the counter or kiosks, then sit and wait for an employee to bring them their food.

Early next year, McDonald's says it will expand the offering in Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C. ...

http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2016/11/17/mcdonald-gets-fancy-says-table-service-coming-locations/xVHddwT9ZcZc1B24lzDYtL/story.html

im1dc : , November 17, 2016 at 01:44 PM
This goes together with RGC's post above whether it is time to "Break up the Democratic Party"

This article suggests changing its message as well as its messengers would work better to seat Democrats in Elected Office

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/11/17/democrats-dig-deep-after-being-trump-d.html

"Democrats Dig Deep After Being Trump'd"

'Democrats on the Hill began soul searching this week-but the process appears to be longer for some than others'

by Matt Laslo...11.17.16...1:00 AM ET

"The Democratic Party is at a crossroads, but everyone on Capitol Hill seems to have a different roadmap.

Democrats, still in shock over Hillary Clinton's surprise loss to president-elect Donald Trump, are faced with a stark new reality: they are not only the minority party in all corners of Capitol Hill and across the nation-but there are cracks in places where their foundation was thought to be very strong.

The party is debating how it got here and whether it's time to tack left, in the Bernie Sanders' vein of populism, or to go back to the middle, which is how they won in the nineties and regained control of the House in 2006.

The change didn't come overnight. The party has been devastated in the past three election cycles, losing more than 900 state legislative seats and 11 governorships since President Barack Obama took office.

But it was Clinton's string of losses in the Rust Belt-Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio-that caused the soul searching in the party.

"So you can't conclude anything else but that our message is wrong. Our values aren't wrong, but our message is wrong," Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) told The Daily Beast. "The one thing we must commit to is that whatever our message is going forward must be different than what we had in the past because that one has failed."...

im1dc : , November 17, 2016 at 01:51 PM
re Paul Ryan's fast track changes to Medicare

Rep Price, Chairman of House Budget Committee is on it

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/tom-price-reveals-republicans-eyeing-medicare-overhaul-in-2017

"Rep. Tom Price Reveals Republicans Eyeing Medicare Overhaul In 2017"

By Lauren Fox...November 17, 2016...12:13 PM EDT

"Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), the chairman of the budget committee, told reporters on Thursday that Republicans are eyeing major changes to Medicare in 2017.

Price, who is being floated as a possible Health and Human Services Secretary in the next administration, said that he expects Republican in the House to move on Medicare reforms "six to eight months" into the Trump administration.

Privatization of Medicare has been a central feature of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan's budget proposal for years, and the House GOP has voted in favor of it multiple times. Ryan himself said last week that Medicare would be on the table in the new Congress, signaling it could be taken up early in the new year. Price's comments suggest privatization won't be part of the first round of legislative initiatives rolled out by the Trump administration and GOP-controlled Congress.

Price also noted that Republicans are eyeing using a tactic known as budget reconciliation to make the change. That process allows Republicans to pass bills with a simple majority in the U.S. Senate.

When asked by TPM about timing for changes to Medicare, Price said "I think that is probably in the second phase of reconciliation, which would have to be in the FY 18 budget resolution in the first 6-8 months."

Republicans plan to tackle the Affordable Care Act in the first budget reconciliation process, which could take place as early as January. Tackling Medicare reform and Obamacare repeal at the same time could prove too high a risk for Republicans who have yet to reveal a clear plan to replace Obamacare with.

During his weekly press conference House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) remained vague about the timing for such reforms, saying only that those discussions are still underway."

im1dc -> im1dc... , November 17, 2016 at 01:56 PM
Why should the Democrat Party change now that the Republicans have begun over reaching by believing they have a mandate from the voters?

Change Medicare? Was that on the ballot?

Seriously was that what the Electorate wants from Donald Trump and the Republicans?

Am I alone in seeing a huge opportunity for Democrats politically here?

ilsm -> im1dc... , November 17, 2016 at 03:51 PM
I saw the idea of a Trump presidency as the best thing that could happen to progressive since Hoover.
im1dc -> ilsm... , November 17, 2016 at 05:24 PM
we still need an electable candidate to emerge from the ferment.
Pinkybum -> im1dc... , November 17, 2016 at 05:02 PM
Privatizing Medicare will be a disaster it can only end in the service being worse. I'm sure they have plans to go after Social Security too. Getting rid of Obamacare won't hurt the white middle class too bad but even there too most people will know someone with a preexisting condition who can't get medical insurance. Good luck with all that Republicans!!
anne : , -1
https://investor.vanguard.com/mutual-funds/list#/mutual-funds/asset-class/month-end-returns

November 17, 2016

The 3 month Treasury interest rate is at 0.43%, the 2 year Treasury rate is 1.03%, the 5 year rate is 1.72%, while the 10 year is 2.29%.

The Vanguard Aa rated short-term investment grade bond fund, with a maturity of 3.2 years and a duration of 2.6 years, has a yield of 1.63%. The Vanguard Aa rated intermediate-term investment grade bond fund, with a maturity of 6.4 years and a duration of 5.5 years, is yielding 2.37%. The Vanguard Aa rated long-term investment grade bond fund, with a maturity of 23.0 years and a duration of 13.6 years, is yielding 3.75%. *

The Vanguard Ba rated high yield corporate bond fund, with a maturity of 5.6 years and a duration of 4.4 years, is yielding 5.40%.

The Vanguard unrated convertible corporate bond fund, with an indefinite maturity and a duration of 4.1 years, is yielding 2.04%.

The Vanguard A rated high yield tax exempt bond fund, with a maturity of 6.8 years and a duration of 6.4 years, is yielding 2.66%.

The Vanguard Aa rated intermediate-term tax exempt bond fund, with a maturity of 5.4 years and a duration of 4.8 years, is yielding 1.59%.

The Vanguard Government National Mortgage Association bond fund, with a maturity of 5.7 years and a duration of 3.4 years, is yielding 2.05%.

The Vanguard inflation protected Treasury bond fund, with a maturity of 8.8 years and a duration of 8.3 years, is yielding - 0.21%.

* Vanguard yields are after cost. Federal Funds rates are no more than 0.50%.

anne : , November 17, 2016 at 02:53 PM
http://www.multpl.com/shiller-pe/

Ten Year Cyclically Adjusted Price Earnings Ratio, 1881-2016

(Standard and Poors Composite Stock Index)

November 17, 2016 PE Ratio ( 27.08)

Annual Mean ( 16.70)
Annual Median ( 16.05)

-- Robert Shiller

anne : , November 17, 2016 at 02:53 PM
http://www.multpl.com/s-p-500-dividend-yield/

Dividend Yield, 1881-2016

(Standard and Poors Composite Stock Index)

November 17, 2016 Div Yield ( 2.06)

Annual Mean ( 4.38)
Annual Median ( 4.33)

-- Robert Shiller

im1dc : , November 17, 2016 at 03:26 PM
"Consumer prices show big increase on rising gasoline costs and rents"

Looks like a go for the FedRes to raise rates in December

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/consumer-prices-show-big-increase-on-rising-gasoline-costs-and-rents/2016/11/17/9cad99d2-accd-11e6-a31b-4b6397e625d0_story.html

"Consumer prices show big increase on rising gasoline costs and rents"

Reuters...November 17, 2016...5:27 PM

'Consumer prices show big increase'

"Consumer prices recorded their biggest increase in six months in October on rising gasoline costs and rents, suggesting a pickup in inflation that potentially clears the way for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in December.

Prospects for a rate hike next month also got a boost from other data on Thursday showing first-time applications for unemployment benefits tumbling to a 43-year low last week and housing starts surging to a nine-year high in October.

The reports painted an upbeat picture of the economy early in the fourth quarter and came as Fed Chair Janet L. Yellen told lawmakers that the U.S. central bank could lift borrowing costs "relatively soon."

The Labor Department said its consumer price index increased 0.4 percent last month after rising 0.3 percent in September. In the 12 months through October, the CPI advanced 1.6 percent, the biggest year-on-year increase since October 2014. The CPI increased 1.5 percent in the year to September.

Underlying inflation continued to slow last month as health-care costs moderated after recent hefty gains. But with rents pushing higher, that trend is unlikely to be sustained.

The so-called core CPI, which strips out food and energy costs, climbed 0.1 percent last month after a similar gain in September. That slowed the year-on-year increase in the core CPI to 2.1 percent from a 2.2 percent rise in September.

The Fed has a 2 percent inflation target and tracks an inflation measure that is now at 1.7 percent.

In another report, the Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 235,000 for the week ended Nov. 12, the lowest level since November 1973.

Claims have now been below 300,000, a threshold associated with a healthy labor market, for 89 straight weeks. That is the longest run since 1970, when the labor market was much smaller.

With the labor market firming and rents rising, housing is getting a lift. In a third report, the Commerce Department said housing starts jumped 25.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.32 million units last month, the highest level since August 2007."

Reuters

im1dc : , November 17, 2016 at 03:36 PM
This is what Chairman Yellen told Congress today

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/11/17/502480053/federal-reserve-chair-throws-cold-water-on-trump-economic-plan

"Federal Reserve Chair Throws Cold Water On Trump's Economic Plan"

by Chris Arnold...November 17, 2016...5:25 PM ET

"President-elect Donald Trump has pledged a $1 trillion infrastructure spending program to help jump-start an economy that he said during the campaign was in terrible shape.

Speaking on Capitol Hill Thursday, Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen warned lawmakers that as they consider such spending, they should keep an eye on the national debt. Yellen also said that while the economy needed a big boost with fiscal stimulus after the financial crisis, that's not the case now.

"The economy is operating relatively close to full employment at this point," she said, "so in contrast to where the economy was after the financial crisis when a large demand boost was needed to lower unemployment, we're no longer in that state."

Yellen cautioned lawmakers that if they spend a lot on infrastructure and run up the debt, and then down the road the economy gets into trouble, "there is not a lot of fiscal space should a shock to the economy occur, an adverse shock, that should require fiscal stimulus."

In other words, lawmakers should consider keeping their powder dry so they have more options whenever the next economic downturn comes along.

Trump was harshly critical of Yellen during his campaign. But testifying before the Joint Economic Committee, Yellen said she is not going to quit just because Trump won the election. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., asked Yellen, "Can you envision any circumstances where you would not serve out your term as chair of the Federal Reserve?" "No, I cannot," answered Yellen, "It is fully my intention to serve out that term." Yellen's appointment goes through January 2018.

Another target of Trump's during the campaign came up at the hearing: the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Ohio, cited Trump's criticism that the Dodd-Frank banking rules were stifling lending and stunting the economy. But Yellen gave her support to Dodd-Frank, saying:

"We lived through a devastating financial crisis, and a high priority for all Americans should be that we want to see put in place safeguards through supervision and regulation that result in a safer and sounder financial system, and I think we have been doing that and our financial system as a consequence is safer and sounder and many of the appropriate reforms are embodied in Dodd-Frank."

Yellen added, "We wouldn't want to go back to the mortgage lending standards that led to the financial crisis."

She also said she thought banks were actually willing to lend to small businesses, but that sales haven't been growing sufficiently fast to justify borrowing, suggesting the demand for loans was the real problem.

As far as the ever-present question about when the Fed will raise interest rates, Yellen signaled that she didn't see any reason to alter the Fed's prior guidance now that Trump has been elected as the next president."

ilsm -> im1dc... , November 17, 2016 at 03:52 PM
What Humpty Dumpty : ......
im1dc : , November 17, 2016 at 04:45 PM
"What do the Amish lobby, gay wedding vans and the ban of the national anthem have in common?"

http://www.chicagotribune.com/bluesky/technology/ct-facebook-fake-news-donald-trump-wp-bsi-20161117-story.html

"Facebook fake-news writer: 'I think Donald Trump is in the White House because of me'"

by Caitlin Dewey...The Washington Post

"What do the Amish lobby, gay wedding vans and the ban of the national anthem have in common? For starters, they're all make-believe - and invented by the same man.

Paul Horner, the 38-year-old impresario of a Facebook fake-news empire, has made his living off viral news hoaxes for several years. He has twice convinced the Internet that he's British graffiti artist Banksy; he also published the very viral, very fake news of a Yelp vs. "South Park" lawsuit last year.

But in recent months, Horner has found the fake-news ecosystem growing more crowded, more political and vastly more influential: In March, Donald Trump's son Eric and his then-campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, even tweeted links to one of Horner's faux-articles. His stories have also appeared as news on Google.

In light of concerns that stories like Horner's may have affected the presidential election, and in the wake of announcements that both Google and Facebook would take action against deceptive outlets, The Washington Post called Horner to discuss his perspective on fake news.

Q: You've been writing fake news for a while now - you're kind of like the OG Facebook news hoaxer. Well, I'd call it hoaxing or fake news. You'd call it parody or satire. How is that scene different now than it was three or five years ago? Why did something like your story about Obama invalidating the election results (almost 250,000 Facebook shares, as of this writing) go so viral?

A: Honestly, people are definitely dumber. They just keep passing stuff around. Nobody fact-checks anything anymore - I mean, that's how Trump got elected. He just said whatever he wanted, and people believed everything, and when the things he said turned out not to be true, people didn't care because they'd already accepted it. It's real scary. I've never seen anything like it.

Q: You mentioned Trump, and you've probably heard the argument, or the concern, that fake news somehow helped him get elected. What do you make of that?

A: My sites were picked up by Trump supporters all the time. I think Trump is in the White House because of me. His followers don't fact-check anything - they'll post everything, believe anything. His campaign manager posted my story about a protester getting paid $3,500 as fact. Like, I made that up. I posted a fake ad on Craigslist.

Q: Why? I mean - why would you even write that?

A: Just 'cause his supporters were under the belief that people were getting paid to protest at their rallies, and that's just insane. I've gone to Trump protests - trust me, no one needs to get paid to protest Trump. I just wanted to make fun of that insane belief, but it took off. They actually believed it.

I thought they'd fact-check it, and it'd make them look worse. I mean that's how this always works: Someone posts something I write, then they find out it's false, then they look like idiots. But Trump supporters - they just keep running with it! They never fact-check anything! Now he's in the White House. Looking back, instead of hurting the campaign, I think I helped it. And that feels (bad).

Q: You think you personally helped elect Trump?

A: I don't know. I don't know if I did or not. I don't know. I don't know.

Q: I guess I'm curious, if you believed you might be having an unfair impact on the election - especially if that impact went against your own political beliefs - why didn't you stop? Why keep writing?

A: I didn't think it was possible for him to get elected president. I thought I was messing with the campaign, maybe I wasn't messing them up as much as I wanted - but I never thought he'd actually get elected. I didn't even think about it. In hindsight, everyone should've seen this coming - everyone assumed Hillary (Clinton) would just get in. But she didn't, and Trump is president.

Q: Speaking of Clinton - did you target fake news at her supporters? Or Gary Johnson's, for that matter? (Horner's Facebook picture shows him at a rally for Johnson.)

A: No. I hate Trump.

Q: Is that it? You posted on Facebook a couple weeks ago that you had a lot of ideas for satirizing Clinton and other figures, but that "no joke in doing this for six years, the people who clicked ads the most, like it's the cure for cancer, is right-wing Republicans." That makes it sound like you've found targeting conservatives is more profitable.

A: Yeah, it is. They don't fact-check.

Q: But a Trump presidency is good for you from a business perspective, right?

A: It's great for anybody who does anything with satire - there's nothing you can't write about now that people won't believe. I can write the craziest thing about Trump, and people will believe it. I wrote a lot of crazy anti-Muslim stuff - like about Trump wanting to put badges on Muslims, or not allowing them in the airport, or making them stand in their own line - and people went along with it!

Q: Facebook and Google recently announced that they'd no longer let fake-news sites use their advertising platforms. I know you basically make your living from those services. How worried are you about this?

A: This whole Google AdSense thing is pretty scary. And all this Facebook stuff. I make most of my money from AdSense - like, you wouldn't believe how much money I make from it. Right now I make like $10,000 a month from AdSense.

I know ways of getting hooked up under different names and sites. So probably if they cracked down, I would try different things. I have at least 10 sites right now. If they crack down on a couple, I'll just use others. They could shut down advertising on all my sites, and I think I'd be OK. Plus, Facebook and AdSense make a lot of money from (advertising on fake news sites) for them to just get rid of it. They'd lose a lot of money.

But if it did really go away, that would suck. I don't know what I would do.

Q: Thinking about this less selfishly, though - it might be good if Facebook and Google took action, right? Because the effects you're describing are pretty scary.

A: Yeah, I mean - a lot of the sites people are talking about, they're just total BS sites. There's no creativity or purpose behind them. I'm glad they're getting rid of them. I don't like getting lumped in with Huzlers. I like getting lumped in with the Onion. The stuff I do - I spend more time on it. There's purpose and meaning behind it. I don't just write fake news just to write it.

So, yeah, I see a lot of the sites they're listing, and I'm like - good. There are so many horrible sites out there. I'm glad they're getting rid of those sites.

I just hope they don't get rid of mine, too."

im1dc -> im1dc... , November 17, 2016 at 04:46 PM
The takeaway: "Honestly, people are definitely dumber. They just keep passing stuff around. Nobody fact-checks anything anymore"

[Nov 18, 2016] Ellison is a dud, Bernie tweets support for Schumer theres nobody I know better prepared and more capable of leading our caucus than Chuck Schumer -- Well theres a good

Nov 18, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
chunder maker in that statement eh? Hope dashed! jo6pac November 17, 2016 at 3:13 pm

Lambert you were on to something when you mention his twitter account.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/11/17/the-skeletons-in-keith-ellisons-display-case/

I know my Muslim friends would never want to hurt anyone but this guy is as crazy as hillabillie.

cocomaan November 17, 2016 at 7:44 pm

Support for Syria and Libya interventions? Gross. No thanks.

Who else do we got? Wait this is it? WHAT?!!

uncle tungsten November 18, 2016 at 7:25 am

Ellison is a dud, Bernie tweets support for Schumer "there's nobody I know better prepared and more capable of leading our caucus than Chuck Schumer"!
Well there's a good chunder maker in that statement eh? Hope dashed!

There are no doubt many who are better informed, more progressive and principled, more remote from Wall Street and oligarchic capture than Chuck Schumer and Ellison. So there you have it – this is reform in the Democrats after a crushing defeat.

Vale democrats, and now the journey becomes arduous with these voices to smother hope. A new party is urgently needed (I know how difficult that is) and these voices of the old machine need to be ignored for the sake of sanity.

[Nov 18, 2016] The statecraft of neoliberalism: the elimination of political agency and responsibility for economic performance and outcomes by Bruce Wilder

Notable quotes:
"... The New Deal did not seek to overthrow the plutocracy, but it did seek to side-step and disable their dominance. ..."
"... It seems to me that while neoliberalism on the right was much the same old same old, the neoliberal turn on the left was marked by a measured abandonment of this struggle over the distribution of income between the classes. In the U.S., the Democrats gradually abandoned their populist commitments. In Europe, the labour and socialist parties gradually abandoned class struggle. ..."
"... When Obama came in, in 2008 amid the unfolding GFC, one of the most remarkable features of his economic team was the extent to which it conceded control of policy entirely to the leading money center banks. Geithner and Bernanke continued in power with Geithner moving from the New York Federal Reserve (where he served as I recall under a Chair from Goldman Sachs) to Treasury in the Obama Administration, but Geithner's Treasury was staffed from Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and Citibank. The crisis served to concentrate banking assets in the hands of the top five banks, but it seemed also to transfer political power entirely into their hands as well. Simon Johnson called it a coup. ..."
"... Here's the thing: the globalization and financialization of the economy from roughly 1980 drove both increasingly extreme distribution of income and de-industrialization. ..."
"... It was characteristic of neoliberalism that the policy, policy intention and policy consequences were hidden behind a rhetoric of markets and technological inevitability. Matt Stoller has identified this as the statecraft of neoliberalism: the elimination of political agency and responsibility for economic performance and outcomes. Globalization and financialization were just "forces" that just happened, in a meteorological economics. ..."
"... This was not your grandfather's Democratic Party and it was a Democratic Party that could aid the working class and the Rust Belt only within fairly severe and sometimes sharply conflicting constraints. ..."
"... No one in the Democratic Party had much institutional incentive to connect the dots, and draw attention to the acute conflicts over the distribution of income and wealth involved in financialization of the economy (including financialization as a driver of health care costs). And, that makes the political problem that much harder, because there are no resources for rhetorical and informational clarity or coherence. ..."
"... If Obama could not get a very big stimulus indeed thru a Democratic Congress long out of power, Obama wasn't really trying. And, well-chosen spending on pork barrel projects is popular and gets Congressional critters re-elected. So, again, if the stimulus is small and the Democratic Congress doesn't get re-elected, Obama isn't really trying. ..."
"... Again, it comes down to: by 2008, the Democratic Party is not a fit vehicle for populism, because it has become a neoliberal vehicle for giant banks. Turns out that makes a policy difference. ..."
Nov 18, 2016 | crookedtimber.org

bruce wilder 11.16.16 at 10:07 pm 30

At the center of Great Depression politics was a political struggle over the distribution of income, a struggle that was only decisively resolved during the War, by the Great Compression. It was at center of farm policy where policymakers struggled to find ways to support farm incomes. It was at the center of industrial relations politics, where rapidly expanding unions were seeking higher industrial wages. It was at the center of banking policy, where predatory financial practices were under attack. It was at the center of efforts to regulate electric utility rates and establish public power projects. And, everywhere, the clear subtext was a struggle between rich and poor, the economic royalists as FDR once called them and everyone else.

FDR, an unmistakeable patrician in manner and pedigree, was leading a not-quite-revolutionary politics, which was nevertheless hostile to and suspicious of business elites, as a source of economic pathology. The New Deal did not seek to overthrow the plutocracy, but it did seek to side-step and disable their dominance.

It seems to me that while neoliberalism on the right was much the same old same old, the neoliberal turn on the left was marked by a measured abandonment of this struggle over the distribution of income between the classes. In the U.S., the Democrats gradually abandoned their populist commitments. In Europe, the labour and socialist parties gradually abandoned class struggle.

In retrospect, though the New Deal did use direct employment as a means of relief to good effect economically and politically, it never undertook anything like a Keynesian stimulus on a Keynesian scale - at least until the War.

Where the New Deal witnessed the institution of an elaborate system of financial repression, accomplished in large part by imposing on the financial sector an explicitly mandated structure, with types of firms and effective limits on firm size and scope, a series of regulatory reforms and financial crises beginning with Carter and Reagan served to wipe this structure away.

When Obama came in, in 2008 amid the unfolding GFC, one of the most remarkable features of his economic team was the extent to which it conceded control of policy entirely to the leading money center banks. Geithner and Bernanke continued in power with Geithner moving from the New York Federal Reserve (where he served as I recall under a Chair from Goldman Sachs) to Treasury in the Obama Administration, but Geithner's Treasury was staffed from Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and Citibank. The crisis served to concentrate banking assets in the hands of the top five banks, but it seemed also to transfer political power entirely into their hands as well. Simon Johnson called it a coup.

I don't know what considerations guided Obama in choosing the size of the stimulus or its composition (as spending and tax cuts). Larry Summers was identified at the time as a voice of caution, not "gambling", but not much is known about his detailed reasoning in severely trimming Christina Romer's entirely conventional calculations. (One consideration might well have been worldwide resource shortages, which had made themselves felt in 2007-8 as an inflationary spike in commodity prices.) I do not see a case for connecting stimulus size policy to the health care reform. At the time the stimulus was proposed, the Administration had also been considering whether various big banks and other financial institutions should be nationalized, forced to insolvency or otherwise restructured as part of a regulatory reform.

Here's the thing: the globalization and financialization of the economy from roughly 1980 drove both increasingly extreme distribution of income and de-industrialization. Accelerating the financialization of the economy from 1999 on made New York and Washington rich, but the same economic policies and process were devastating the Rust Belt as de-industrialization. They were two aspects of the same complex of economic trends and policies. The rise of China as a manufacturing center was, in critical respects, a financial operation within the context of globalized trade that made investment in new manufacturing plant in China, as part of globalized supply chains and global brand management, (arguably artificially) low-risk and high-profit, while reinvestment in manufacturing in the American mid-west became unattractive, except as a game of extracting tax subsidies or ripping off workers.

It was characteristic of neoliberalism that the policy, policy intention and policy consequences were hidden behind a rhetoric of markets and technological inevitability. Matt Stoller has identified this as the statecraft of neoliberalism: the elimination of political agency and responsibility for economic performance and outcomes. Globalization and financialization were just "forces" that just happened, in a meteorological economics.

It is conceding too many good intentions to the Obama Administration to tie an inadequate stimulus to a Rube Goldberg health care reform as the origin story for the final debacle of Democratic neoliberal politics. There was a delicate balancing act going on, but they were not balancing the recovery of the economy in general so much as they were balancing the recovery from insolvency of a highly inefficient and arguably predatory financial sector, which was also not incidentally financing the institutional core of the Democratic Party and staffing many key positions in the Administration and in the regulatory apparatus.

This was not your grandfather's Democratic Party and it was a Democratic Party that could aid the working class and the Rust Belt only within fairly severe and sometimes sharply conflicting constraints.

No one in the Democratic Party had much institutional incentive to connect the dots, and draw attention to the acute conflicts over the distribution of income and wealth involved in financialization of the economy (including financialization as a driver of health care costs). And, that makes the political problem that much harder, because there are no resources for rhetorical and informational clarity or coherence.

bruce wilder 11.16.16 at 10:33 pm ( 31 )

The short version of my thinking on the Obama stimulus is this: Keynesian stimulus spending is a free lunch; it doesn't really matter what you spend money on up to a very generous point, so it seems ready-made for legislative log-rolling. If Obama could not get a very big stimulus indeed thru a Democratic Congress long out of power, Obama wasn't really trying. And, well-chosen spending on pork barrel projects is popular and gets Congressional critters re-elected. So, again, if the stimulus is small and the Democratic Congress doesn't get re-elected, Obama isn't really trying.

Again, it comes down to: by 2008, the Democratic Party is not a fit vehicle for populism, because it has become a neoliberal vehicle for giant banks. Turns out that makes a policy difference.

likbez 11.18.16 at 4:48 pm 121

bruce wilder 11.16.16 at 10:07 pm 30

Great comment. Simply great. Hat tip to the author !

Notable quotes:

"… The New Deal did not seek to overthrow the plutocracy, but it did seek to side-step and disable their dominance. …"

"… It seems to me that while neoliberalism on the right was much the same old same old, the neoliberal turn on the left was marked by a measured abandonment of this struggle over the distribution of income between the classes. In the U.S., the Democrats gradually abandoned their populist commitments. In Europe, the labour and socialist parties gradually abandoned class struggle. …"

When Obama came in, in 2008 amid the unfolding GFC, one of the most remarkable features of his economic team was the extent to which it conceded control of policy entirely to the leading money center banks. Geithner and Bernanke continued in power with Geithner moving from the New York Federal Reserve (where he served as I recall under a Chair from Goldman Sachs) to Treasury in the Obama Administration, but Geithner's Treasury was staffed from Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and Citibank. The crisis served to concentrate banking assets in the hands of the top five banks, but it seemed also to transfer political power entirely into their hands as well. Simon Johnson called it a coup. … "

"… Here's the thing: the globalization and financialization of the economy from roughly 1980 drove both increasingly extreme distribution of income and de-industrialization. …"

It was characteristic of neoliberalism that the policy, policy intention and policy consequences were hidden behind a rhetoric of markets and technological inevitability. Matt Stoller has identified this as the statecraft of neoliberalism: the elimination of political agency and responsibility for economic performance and outcomes. Globalization and financialization were just "forces" that just happened, in a meteorological economics. …"

"… This was not your grandfather's Democratic Party and it was a Democratic Party that could aid the working class and the Rust Belt only within fairly severe and sometimes sharply conflicting constraints. …"

"… No one in the Democratic Party had much institutional incentive to connect the dots, and draw attention to the acute conflicts over the distribution of income and wealth involved in financialization of the economy (including financialization as a driver of health care costs). And, that makes the political problem that much harder, because there are no resources for rhetorical and informational clarity or coherence. …"

"… If Obama could not get a very big stimulus indeed thru a Democratic Congress long out of power, Obama wasn't really trying. And, well-chosen spending on pork barrel projects is popular and gets Congressional critters re-elected. So, again, if the stimulus is small and the Democratic Congress doesn't get re-elected, Obama isn't really trying. …"

"… Again, it comes down to: by 2008, the Democratic Party is not a fit vehicle for populism, because it has become a neoliberal vehicle for giant banks. Turns out that makes a policy difference. …"

[Nov 16, 2016] The New Red Scare: Reviving the art of threat inflation

Notable quotes:
"... Reviving the art of threat inflation ..."
"... "Welcome to the world of strategic analysis," Ivan Selin used to tell his team during the Sixties, "where we program weapons that don't work to meet threats that don't exist." Selin, who would spend the following decades as a powerful behind-the-scenes player in the Washington mandarinate, was then the director of the Strategic Forces Division in the Pentagon's Office of Systems Analysis. "I was a twenty-eight-year-old wiseass when I started saying that," he told me, reminiscing about those days. "I thought the issues we were dealing with were so serious, they could use a little levity." ..."
Nov 16, 2016 | marknesop.wordpress.com
et Al , November 16, 2016 at 2:51 am
Harpers Magazine via Antiwar.com: The New Red Scare
http://harpers.org/archive/2016/12/the-new-red-scare/?single=1

Reviving the art of threat inflation

By Andrew Cockburn

"Welcome to the world of strategic analysis," Ivan Selin used to tell his team during the Sixties, "where we program weapons that don't work to meet threats that don't exist." Selin, who would spend the following decades as a powerful behind-the-scenes player in the Washington mandarinate, was then the director of the Strategic Forces Division in the Pentagon's Office of Systems Analysis. "I was a twenty-eight-year-old wiseass when I started saying that," he told me, reminiscing about those days. "I thought the issues we were dealing with were so serious, they could use a little levity."

####

While I do have some quibbles with the piece (RuAF pilots are getting much more than 90 hours a year flight time & equipment is overrated and unaffordable in any decent numbers), it is pretty solid.

[Nov 16, 2016] Being now a party of Wall street, neolibral democrats did not learn the lesson and do not want to: they attempt to double down on the identity politics, keep telling the pulverized middle class how great the economy is

Notable quotes:
"... I know what it is like to have to juggle creditors to make it through a week. I know what it is like to have to swallow my pride and constantly dun people to pay me so that I can pay others. ..."
"... I know what it is like to dread going to the mailbox, because there will always be new bills to pay but seldom a check with which to pay them. I know what it is like to have to tell my daughter that I didn't know if I would be able to pay for her wedding; it all depended on whether something good happened. And I know what it is like to have to borrow money from my adult daughters because my wife and I ran out of heating oil ..."
"... Two-thirds of Americans would have difficulty coming up with the money to cover a $1,000 emergency, according to an exclusive poll released Thursday, a signal that despite years after the Great Recession, Americans' finances remain precarious as ever. ..."
"... These difficulties span all incomes, according to the poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Three-quarters of people in households making less than $50,000 a year and two-thirds of those making between $50,000 and $100,000 would have difficulty coming up with $1,000 to cover an unexpected bill. ..."
"... Even for the country's wealthiest 20 percent - households making more than $100,000 a year - 38 percent say they would have at least some difficulty coming up with $1,000 ..."
"... Chronicle for Higher Education: ..."
"... Meanwhile, 91% of all the profits generated by the U.S. economy from 2009 through 2012 went to the top 1%. As just one example, the annual bonuses (not salaries, just the bonuses) of all Wall Street financial traders last year amounted to 28 billion dollars while the total income of all minimum wage workers in America came to 14 billion dollars. ..."
"... "Between 2009 and 2012, according to updated data from Emmanuel Saez, overall income per family grew 6.9 percent. The gains weren't shared evenly, however. The top 1 percent saw their real income grow by 34.7 percent while the bottom 99 percent only saw a 0.8 percent gain, meaning that the 1 percent captured 91 percent of all real income. ..."
"... Adjusting for inflation and excluding anything made from capital gains investments like stocks, however, shows that even that small gains for all but the richest disappears. According to Justin Wolfers, adjusted average income for the 1 percent without capital gains rose from $871,100 to $968,000 in that time period. For everyone else, average income actually fell from $44,000 to $43,900. Calculated this way, the 1 percent has captured all of the income gains." ..."
"... There actually is a logic at work in the Rust Belt voters for voted for Trump. I don't think it's good logic, but it makes sense in its own warped way. The calculation the Trump voters seem to be making in the Rust Belt is that it's better to have a job and no health insurance and no medicare and no social security, than no job but the ACA (with $7,000 deductibles you can't afford to pay for anyway) plus medicare (since most of these voters are healthy, they figure they'll never get sick) plus social security (most of these voters are not 65 or older, and probably think they'll never age - or perhaps don't believe that social security will be solvent when they do need it). ..."
"... It's the same twisted logic that goes on with protectionism. Rust Belt workers figure that it's better to have a job and not be able to afford a Chinese-made laptop than not to have a job but plenty of cheap foreign-made widgets you could buy if you had any money (which you don't). That logic doesn't parse if you run through the economics (because protectionism will destroy the very jobs they think they're saving), but it can be sold as a tweet in a political campaign. ..."
"... The claim "Trump's coalition is composed of overt racists and people who are indifferent to overt racism" is incomplete. Trump's coalition actually consists of 3 parts and it's highly unstable: [1] racists, [2] plutocrats, [3] working class people slammed hard by globalization for whom Democrats have done little or nothing. ..."
"... The good news is that Trump's coalition is unstable. The plutocrats and Rust Belters are natural enemies. ..."
"... Listen to Steve Bannon, a classic stormfront type - he says he wants to blow up both the Democratic and the Republican party. He calls himself a "Leninist" in a recent interview and vows to wreck all elite U.S. institutions (universities, giant multinationals), not just the Democratic party. ..."
"... Again, it comes down to: by 2008, the Democratic Party is not a fit vehicle for populism, because it has become a neoliberal vehicle for giant banks. Turns out that makes a policy difference. ..."
Nov 16, 2016 | crookedtimber.org

mclaren 11.16.16 at 9:52 am 7

Eric places the blame for this loss squarely on economics, which, it seems to me, gets the analysis exactly right. And the statistics back up his analysis, I believe.

It's disturbing and saddening to watch other left-wing websites ignore those statistics and charge off the cliff into the abyss, screaming that this election was all about racism/misogyny/homophobia/[fill in the blank with identity politics demonology of your choice]. First, the "it's all racism" analysis conveniently lets the current Democratic leadership off the hook. They didn't do anything wrong, it was those "deplorables" (half the country!) who are to blame. Second, the identity politics blame-shifting completely overlooks and short-circuits any real action to fix the economy by Democratic policymakers or Democratic politicians or the Democratic party leadership. That's particularly convenient for the Democratic leadership because these top-four-percenter professionals "promise anything and change nothing" while jetting between Davos and Martha's Vineyard, ignoring the peons who don't make $100,000 or more a year because the peons all live in flyover country.

"Trump supporters were on average affluent, but they are always Republican and aren't numerous enough to deliver the presidency (538 has changed their view in the wake of the election result). Some point out that looking at support by income doesn't show much distinctive support for Trump among the "poor", but that's beside the point too, as it submerges a regional phenomenon in a national average, just as exit polls do. (..)
"When commentators like Michael Moore and Thomas Frank pointed out that there was possibility for Trump in the Rust Belt they were mostly ignored or, even more improbably, accused of being apologists for racism and misogyny. But that is what Trump did, and he won. Moreover, he won with an amateurish campaign against a well-funded and politically sophisticated opponent simply because he planted his flag where others wouldn't.

"Because of the obsession with exit polls, post-election analysis has not come to grips with the regional nature of the Trump phenomenon. Exit polls divide the general electorate based on individual attributes: race, gender, income, education, and so on, making regional distinctions invisible. Moreover, America doesn't decide the presidential election that way. It decides it based on the electoral college, which potentially makes the characteristics of individual states decisive. We should be looking at maps, not exit polls for the explanation. Low black turnout in California or high Latino turnout in Texas do not matter in the slightest in determining the election, but exit polls don't help us see that. Exit polls deliver a bunch of non-explanatory facts, in this election more than other recent ones."
http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/usappblog/2016/11/11/23174/

"Donald Trump performed best on Tuesday in places where the economy is in worse shape, and especially in places where jobs are most at risk in the future.

"Trump, who in his campaign pledged to be a voice for `forgotten Americans,' beat Hillary Clinton in counties with slower job growth and lower wages. And he far outperformed her in counties where more jobs are threatened by automation or offshoring, a sign that he found support not just among workers who are struggling now but among those concerned for their economic future."

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/trump-was-stronger-where-the-economy-is-weaker/

Meanwhile, the neoliberal Democrats made claims about the economy that at best wildly oversold the non-recovery from the 2009 global financial meltdown, and at worst flat-out misrepresented the state of the U.S. economy. For example, president Obama in his June 1 2016 speech in Elkhart Indiana, said:

"Now, one of the reasons we're told this has been an unusual election year is because people are anxious and uncertain about the economy. And our politics are a natural place to channel that frustration. So I wanted to come to the heartland, to the Midwest, back to close to my hometown to talk about that anxiety, that economic anxiety, and what I think it means. (..) America's economy is not just better than it was eight years ago - it is the strongest, most durable economy in the world. (..) Unemployment in Elkhart has fallen to around 4 percent. (Applause.) At the peak of the crisis, nearly one in 10 homeowners in the state of Indiana were either behind on their mortgages or in foreclosure; today, it's one in 30. Back then, only 75 percent of your kids graduated from high school; tomorrow, 90 percent of them will. (Applause.) The auto industry just had its best year ever. (..) So that's progress.(..) We decided to invest in job training so that folks who lost their jobs could retool. We decided to invest in things like high-tech manufacturing and clean energy and infrastructure, so that entrepreneurs wouldn't just bring back the jobs that we had lost, but create new and better jobs By almost every economic measure, America is better off than when I came here at the beginning of my presidency. That's the truth. That's true. (Applause.) It's true. (Applause.) Over the past six years, our businesses have created more than 14 million new jobs - that's the longest stretch of consecutive private sector job growth in our history. We've seen the first sustained manufacturing growth since the 1990s."

None of this is true. Not is a substantive sense, not in the sense of being accurate, not in the sense of reflecting the facts on the ground for real working people who don't fly their private jets to Davos.

The claim that "America's economy is the strongest and most durable economy in the world" is just plain false. China has a much higher growth rate, at 6.9% nearly triple the U.S.'s - and America's GDP growth is trending to historic long-term lows, and still falling. Take a look at this chart of the Federal Reserve board's projections of U.S. GDP growth since 2009 compared with the real GDP growth rate:

http://www.frbsf.org/economic-research/files/2015-03-2.png

"[In the survey] [t]he Fed asked respondents how they would pay for a $400 emergency. The answer: 47 percent of respondents said that either they would cover the expense by borrowing or selling something, or they would not be able to come up with the $400 at all. Four hundred dollars! Who knew?

"Well, I knew. I knew because I am in that 47 percent.

" I know what it is like to have to juggle creditors to make it through a week. I know what it is like to have to swallow my pride and constantly dun people to pay me so that I can pay others. I know what it is like to have liens slapped on me and to have my bank account levied by creditors. I know what it is like to be down to my last $5-literally-while I wait for a paycheck to arrive, and I know what it is like to subsist for days on a diet of eggs.

I know what it is like to dread going to the mailbox, because there will always be new bills to pay but seldom a check with which to pay them. I know what it is like to have to tell my daughter that I didn't know if I would be able to pay for her wedding; it all depended on whether something good happened. And I know what it is like to have to borrow money from my adult daughters because my wife and I ran out of heating oil ."

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/05/my-secret-shame/476415/

" Two-thirds of Americans would have difficulty coming up with the money to cover a $1,000 emergency, according to an exclusive poll released Thursday, a signal that despite years after the Great Recession, Americans' finances remain precarious as ever.

" These difficulties span all incomes, according to the poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Three-quarters of people in households making less than $50,000 a year and two-thirds of those making between $50,000 and $100,000 would have difficulty coming up with $1,000 to cover an unexpected bill.

" Even for the country's wealthiest 20 percent - households making more than $100,000 a year - 38 percent say they would have at least some difficulty coming up with $1,000 .

"`The more we learn about the balance sheets of Americans, it becomes quite alarming,' said Caroline Ratcliffe, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute focusing on poverty and emergency savings issues."

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/965e48ed609245539ed315f83e01b6a2

The rest of Obama's statistics are deceptive to the point of being dissimulations - unemployment has dropped to 4 percent because so many people have stopped looking for work and moved into their parents' basements that the Bureau of Labor Statistics no longer counts them as unemployed. Meanwhile, the fraction of working-age adults who are not in the workforce has skyrocketed to an all-time high. Few homeowners are now being foreclosed in 2016 compared to 2009 because the people in 2009 who were in financial trouble all lost their homes. Only rich people and well-off professionals were able to keep their homes through the 2009 financial collapse. Since 2009, businesses did indeed create 14 million new jobs - mostly low-wage junk jobs, part-time minimum-wage jobs that don't pay a living wage.

"The deep recession wiped out primarily high-wage and middle-wage jobs. Yet the strongest employment growth during the sluggish recovery has been in low-wage work, at places like strip malls and fast-food restaurants.

"In essence, the poor economy has replaced good jobs with bad ones."

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/28/business/economy/recovery-has-created-far-more-low-wage-jobs-than-better-paid-ones.html

And the jobs market isn't much better for highly-educated workers:

New research released Monday says nearly half of the nation's recent college graduates work jobs that don't require a degree.

The report, from the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, concludes that while college-educated Americans are less likely to collect unemployment, many of the jobs they do have aren't worth the price of their diplomas.

The data calls into question a national education platform that says higher education is better in an economy that favors college graduates.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/29/underemployed-overeducated_n_2568203.html

Don't believe it? Then try this article, from the Chronicle for Higher Education:

Approximately 60 percent of the increase in the number of college graduates from 1992 to 2008 worked in jobs that the BLS considers relatively low skilled-occupations where many participants have only high school diplomas and often even less. Only a minority of the increment in our nation's stock of college graduates is filling jobs historically considered as requiring a bachelor's degree or more.

http://www.chronicle.com/blogs/innovations/the-great-college-degree-scam/28067

As for manufacturing, U.S. manufacturing lost 35,000 jobs in 2016, and manufacturing employment remains 2.2% below what it was when Obama took office.

Meanwhile, 91% of all the profits generated by the U.S. economy from 2009 through 2012 went to the top 1%. As just one example, the annual bonuses (not salaries, just the bonuses) of all Wall Street financial traders last year amounted to 28 billion dollars while the total income of all minimum wage workers in America came to 14 billion dollars.

"Between 2009 and 2012, according to updated data from Emmanuel Saez, overall income per family grew 6.9 percent. The gains weren't shared evenly, however. The top 1 percent saw their real income grow by 34.7 percent while the bottom 99 percent only saw a 0.8 percent gain, meaning that the 1 percent captured 91 percent of all real income.

Adjusting for inflation and excluding anything made from capital gains investments like stocks, however, shows that even that small gains for all but the richest disappears. According to Justin Wolfers, adjusted average income for the 1 percent without capital gains rose from $871,100 to $968,000 in that time period. For everyone else, average income actually fell from $44,000 to $43,900. Calculated this way, the 1 percent has captured all of the income gains."

https://thinkprogress.org/the-1-percent-have-gotten-all-the-income-gains-from-the-recovery-6bee14aab1#.1frn3lu8y

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/14/upshot/wall-street-bonuses-vs-total-earnings-of-full-time-minimum-wage-workers.html

Does any of this sound like "the strongest, most durable economy in the world"? Does any of this square with the claims by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama that "By almost every economic measure, America is better off "? The U.S. economy is only better off in 2016 by disingenuous comparison with the stygian depths of the 2009 economic collapse.

Hillary Clinton tied herself to Barack Obama's economic legacy, and the brutal reality for working class people remains that the economy today has barely improved for most workers to what it was in 2009, and is in many ways worse. Since 2009, automation + outsourcing/offshoring has destroyed whole classes of jobs, from taxi drivers (wiped out by Uber and Lyft) to warehoues stock clerks (getting wiped out by robots) to paralegals and associates at law firms (replaced by databases and legal search algorithms) to high-end programmers (wiped out by an ever-increasing flood of H1B via workers from India and China).

Yet vox.com continues to run article after article proclaiming "the 2016 election was all about racism." And we have a non-stop stream of this stuff from people like Anne Laurie over at balloon-juice.com:

"While the more-Leftist-than-thou "progressives" - including their latest high-profile figurehead - are high-fiving each other in happy anticipation of potential public-outrage gigs over the next four years, at least some people are beginning to push back on the BUT WHITE WORKING CLASS HAS ALL THE SADS!!! meme so beloved of Very Serious Pundits."

That's the ticket, Democrats double down on the identity politics, keep telling the pulverized middle class how great the economy is. Because that worked so well for you this election.

Cranky Observer 11.16.16 at 12:34 pm ( 11 )

= = = mclaren@9:52 am: The rest of Obama's statistics are deceptive to the point of being dissimulations -[ ] Only rich people and well-off professionals were able to keep their homes through the 2009 financial collapse. = = =

Some food for thought in your post, but you don't help your argument with statements such as this one. Rich people and well-off professionals make up at most 10% of the population. US homeownership rate in 2005 was 68.8%, in 2015 is 63.7. That's a big drop and unquestionably represents a lot of people losing their houses involuntarily. Still, even assuming no "well-off professionals" lost their houses in the recession that still leaves the vast majority of the houses owned by the middle class. Which is consistent with foreclosure and sales stats in middle class areas from 2008-2014. Remember that even with 20% unemployment 80% of the population still has a job.

Similarly, I agree that the recession and job situation was qualitatively worse than the quantitative stats depicted. Once you start adding in hidden factors not captured by the official stats, though, where do you stop? How do you know the underground economy isn't doing far better than it was in the boom years of the oughts, thus reducing actual unemployment? Etc.

Finally, you need to address the fundamental question: assuming all you say is true (arguendo), how does destroying the Affordable Care Act, Social Security, and Medicare help those in the economically depressed areas? I got hit bad by the recession myself. Know what helped from 2010 forward? Knowing that I could change jobs, keep my college-age children on my spouse's heath plan, not get hit with pre-existing condition fraud, and that if worse came to worse in a couple years I would have the plan exchange to fall back on. Kansas has tried the Ryan/Walker approach, seen it fail, doubled down, and seen that fail 4x as badly. Now we're going to make it up on unit sales by trying the Ryan plan nationally? How do you expect that to "work out for you"?

WLGR 11.16.16 at 4:11 pm

mclaren @ 7: "high-end programmers (wiped out by an ever-increasing flood of H1B via workers from India and China)"

I'm on board with the general thrust of what you're saying, but this is way, way over the line separating socialism from barbarism. The fact that it's not even true is beside the point, as is the (quite frankly) fascist metaphor of "flood" to describe human fucking beings traveling in search of economic security, at least as long as you show some self-awareness and contrition about your language. Some awareness about the insidious administrative structure of the H1-B program would also be nice - the way it works is, an individual's visa status more or less completely depends on remaining in the good graces of their employer, meaning that by design these employees have no conceivable leverage in any negotiation over pay or working conditions, and a program of unconditional residency without USCIS as a de facto strikebreaker would have much less downward pressure on wages - but anti-immigration rhetoric remaining oblivious to actual immigration law is par for the course.

No, the real point of departure here from what deserves to be called "socialism" is in the very act of blithely combining effects of automation (i.e. traditional capitalist competition for productive efficiency at the expense of workers' economic security) and effects of offshoring/outsourcing/immigration (i.e. racialized fragmentation of the global working class by accident of birth into those who "deserve" greater economic security and those who don't) into one and the same depiction of developed-world economic crisis. In so many words, you're walking right down neoliberal capitalism's ideological garden path: the idea that it's not possible to be anticapitalist without being an economic nationalist, and that every conceivable alternative to some form of Hillary Clinton is ultimately reducible to some form of Donald Trump. On the contrary, those of us on the socialism side of "socialism or barbarism" don't object to capitalism because it's exploiting American workers , we object because it's exploiting workers , and insisting on this crucial point against all chauvinist pressure ("workers of all lands , unite!") is what fundamentally separates our anticapitalism from the pseudo-anticapitalism of fascists.

marku52 11.16.16 at 5:01 pm 16

Maclaren: I'm with you. I well remember Obama and his "pivot to deficit reduction" and "green shoots" while I was screaming at the TV 'No!! Not Now!"

And then he tried for a "grand bargain" with the Reps over chained CPI adjustment for SS, and he became my active enemy. I was a Democrat. Where did my party go?

politicalfootball 11.16.16 at 5:27 pm ( 17 )

Just chiming in here: The implicit deal between the elites and the hoi polloi was that the economy would be run with minimal competence. Throughout the west, those elites have broken faith with the masses on that issue, and are being punished for it.

I'm less inclined to attach responsibility to Obama, Clinton or the Democratic Party than some. If Democrats had their way, the economy would have been managed considerably more competently.

Always remember that the rejection of the elites wasn't just a rejection of Democrats. The Republican elite also took it in the neck.

I'll also dissent from the view that race wasn't decisive in this election. Under different circumstances, we might have had Bernie's revolution rather than Trump's, but Trump's coalition is composed of overt racists and people who are indifferent to overt racism.

engels 11.16.16 at 7:12 pm 18

I find the discussions over identity politics so intensely frustrating. A lot of people on the left have gone all-in on self-righteous anger

Identity politics (and to some extent probably the rhetorical style that goes with it) isn't a 'left' thing, it's a liberal thing. It's a bκte noire for many on the left-see eg. Nancy Fraser's work.

The Anglo/online genus what you get when you subtract class, socialism and real-world organisation from politics and add in a lot of bored students and professionals with internet connections in the context of a political culture (America's) that already valorises individual aggression to a unique degree.

Omega Centauri 11.16.16 at 7:15 pm ( 19 )

As polticalfoorball @15 says. The Democrats just didn't have the political muscle to deliver on those things. There really is a dynamic thats been playing out: Democrats don't get enough governing capacity because they did poorly in the election, which means their projects to improve the economy are neutered or allowed through only in a very weakened form. Then the next election cycle the neuterers use that failure as a weapon to take even more governing capacity away. Its not a failure of will, its a failure to get on top of the political feedback loop.

Manta 11.16.16 at 7:32 pm 20

@15 politicalfootball 11.16.16 at 5:27 pm
"Throughout the west, those elites have broken faith with the masses on that issue, and are being punished for it."

Could you specify some "elite" that has been punished?

nastywoman 11.16.16 at 7:36 pm ( 21 )

@13
'I'm not sure what the thinking is here.'

The definition of 'Keynesianism' is:

'the economic theories and programs ascribed to John M. Keynes and his followers; specifically : the advocacy of monetary and fiscal programs by government to increase employment and spending'

– and if it is done wisely – like in most European countries before 2000 it is one of the least 'braindead' things.

But with the introduction of the Euro – some governmental programs – lead (especially in Spain) to horrendous self-destructive housing and building bubbles – which lead to the conclusion that such programs – which allow 'gambling with houses' are pretty much 'braindead'.

Or shorter: The quality of Keynesianism depends on NOT doing it 'braindead'.

mclaren 11.16.16 at 8:28 pm ( 25 )

Cranky Observer in #11 makes some excellent points. Crucially, he asks: "Finally, you need to address the fundamental question: assuming all you say is true (arguendo), how does destroying the Affordable Care Act, Social Security, and Medicare help those in the economically depressed areas?"

There actually is a logic at work in the Rust Belt voters for voted for Trump. I don't think it's good logic, but it makes sense in its own warped way. The calculation the Trump voters seem to be making in the Rust Belt is that it's better to have a job and no health insurance and no medicare and no social security, than no job but the ACA (with $7,000 deductibles you can't afford to pay for anyway) plus medicare (since most of these voters are healthy, they figure they'll never get sick) plus social security (most of these voters are not 65 or older, and probably think they'll never age - or perhaps don't believe that social security will be solvent when they do need it).

It's the same twisted logic that goes on with protectionism. Rust Belt workers figure that it's better to have a job and not be able to afford a Chinese-made laptop than not to have a job but plenty of cheap foreign-made widgets you could buy if you had any money (which you don't). That logic doesn't parse if you run through the economics (because protectionism will destroy the very jobs they think they're saving), but it can be sold as a tweet in a political campaign.

As for 63.7% home ownership stats in 2016, vast numbers of those "owned" homes were snapped up by giant banks and other financial entities like hedge funds which then rented those homes out. So the home ownership stats in 2016 are extremely deceptive. Much of the home-buying since the 2009 crash has been investment purchases. Foreclosure home purchases for rent is now a huge thriving business, and it's fueling a second housing bubble. Particularly because in many ways it repeats the financially frothy aspects of the early 2000s housing bubble - banks and investment firms are issuing junks bonds based on rosy estimates of ever-escalating rents and housing prices, they use those junk financial instruments (and others like CDOs) to buy houses which then get rented out at inflated prices, the rental income gets used to fund more tranches of investment which fuels more buy-to-rent home buying. Rents have already skyrocketed far beyond incomes on the East and West Coast, so this can't continue. But home prices and rents keep rising. There is no city in the United States today where a worker making minimum wage can afford to rent a one-bedroom apartment and have money left over to eat and pay for a car, health insurance, etc. If home ownership were really so robust, this couldn't possibly be the case. The fact that rents keep skyrocketing even as undocumented hispanics return to Mexico in record numbers while post-9/11 ICE restrictions have hammered legal immigration numbers way, way down suggests that home ownership is not nearly as robust as the deceptive numbers indicate.

Political football in #15 remarks: "I'll also dissent from the view that race wasn't decisive in this election. Under different circumstances, we might have had Bernie's revolution rather than Trump's, but Trump's coalition is composed of overt racists and people who are indifferent to overt racism."

Race was important, but not the root cause of the Trump victory. How do we know this? Tump himself is telling us. Look at Trump's first announced actions - deport 3 million undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes, ram through vast tax cuts for the rich, and end the inheritance tax.

If Trump's motivation (and his base's motivation) was pure racism, Trump's first announced action would be something like passing laws that made it illegal to marry undocumented workers. His first act would be to roll back the legalization of black/white marriage and re-instate segregation. Trump isn't promising any of that.

Instead Trump's (bad) policies are based around enriching billionaires and shutting down immigration. Bear in mind that 43% of all new jobs created since 2009 went to immigrants and you start to realize that Trump's base is reacting to economic pressure by scapegoating immigrants, not racism by itself. If it were pure racism we'd have Trump and Ryan proposing a bunch of new Nuremberg laws. Make it illegal to have sex with muslims, federally fund segregated black schools and pass laws to force black kids to get bussed to them, create apartheid-style zones where only blacks can live, that sort of thing. Trump's first announced actions involve enriching the fantastically wealthy and enacting dumb self-destructive protectionism via punitive immigration control. That's protectionism + class war of the rich against everyone else, not racism. The protectionist immigration-control + deportation part of Trump's program is sweet sweet music to the working class people in the Rust Belt. They think the 43% of jobs taken by immigrants will come back. They don't realize that those are mostly jobs no one wants to do anyway, and that most of those jobs are already in the process of getting automated out of existence.

The claim "Trump's coalition is composed of overt racists and people who are indifferent to overt racism" is incomplete. Trump's coalition actually consists of 3 parts and it's highly unstable: [1] racists, [2] plutocrats, [3] working class people slammed hard by globalization for whom Democrats have done little or nothing.

Here's an argument that may resonate: the first two groups in Trump's coalition are unreachable. Liberal Democrats can't sweet-talk racists out of being racist and we certainly have nothing to offer the plutocrats. So the only part of Trump's coalition that is really reachable by liberal Democrats is the third group. Shouldn't we be concentrating on that third group, then?

The good news is that Trump's coalition is unstable. The plutocrats and Rust Belters are natural enemies. Since the plutocrats are perceived as running giant corporations that import large numbers of non-white immigrants to lower wages, the racists are not big fans of that group either.

Listen to Steve Bannon, a classic stormfront type - he says he wants to blow up both the Democratic and the Republican party. He calls himself a "Leninist" in a recent interview and vows to wreck all elite U.S. institutions (universities, giant multinationals), not just the Democratic party.

Why? Because the stormfront types consider elite U.S. institutions like CitiBank as equally culpable with Democrats in supposedly destroying white people in the U.S. According to Bannon's twisted skinhead logic, Democrats are allegedly race traitors for cultural reasons, but big U.S. corporations and elite institutions are supposedly equally guilty of economic race treason by importing vast numbers of non-white immigrants via H1B visas, by offshoring jobs from mostly caucasian-populated red states to non-white countries like India, Africa, China, and by using elite U.S. universities to trawl the world for the best (often non-white) students, etc. Bannon's "great day of the rope" includes the plutocrats as well as people of color.

These natural fractures in the Trump coalition are real, and Democrats can exploit them to weaken and destroy Republicans. But we have to get away from condemning all Republicans as racists because if we go down that route, we won't realize how fractured and unstable the Trump coalition really is.

bruce wilder 11.16.16 at 10:33 pm 31 ( 31 )

The short version of my thinking on the Obama stimulus is this: Keynesian stimulus spending is a free lunch; it doesn't really matter what you spend money on up to a very generous point, so it seems ready-made for legislative log-rolling. If Obama could not get a very big stimulus indeed thru a Democratic Congress long out of power, Obama wasn't really trying. And, well-chosen spending on pork barrel projects is popular and gets Congressional critters re-elected. So, again, if the stimulus is small and the Democratic Congress doesn't get re-elected, Obama isn't really trying.

Again, it comes down to: by 2008, the Democratic Party is not a fit vehicle for populism, because it has become a neoliberal vehicle for giant banks. Turns out that makes a policy difference.

engels 11.16.16 at 10:33 pm 32

Ps. Should prob add that identity politics isn't the same thing as feminism, anti-racism, LGBT politics, etc. They're all needed now more than ever.

What we don't need more of imo is a particular liberal/middle-class form of those things with particular assumptions (meritocratic and individualist), epistemology (strongly subjectivist) and rhetorical style (which often aims humiliating opponents from a position of relative knowledge/status rather than verbal engagement).

Helen 11.16.16 at 10:35 pm ( 33 )

I don't know why I'm even having to say this, as it's so obvious. The "leftists" (for want of a better word) and feminists who I know are also against neoliberalism. They are against the selloff of public assets to enterprises for private profit. They want to see a solution to the rapidly shrinking job market as technology replaces jobs (no, it's not enough for the Heroic Workers to Seize the Means of Production – the means of production are different now and the solution is going to have to be more complex than just "bring back manufacturing" or "introduce tariffs".) They want to roll back the tax cuts for the rich which have whittled down our revenue base this century. They want corporations and the top 10% to pay their fair share, and concomitantly they want pensioners, the unemployed and people caring for children to have a proper living wage.

They support a universal "single payer" health care system, which we social democratic squishy types managed to actually introduce in the 1970s, but now we have to fight against right wing governments trying to roll it back They support a better system of public education. They support a science-based approach to climate change where it is taken seriously for the threat it is and given priority in Government policy. They support spending less on the Military and getting out of international disputes which we (Western nations) only seem to exacerbate.

This is not an exhaustive list.

Yet just because the same people say that the dominant Western countries (and my own) still suffer from institutionalised racism and sexism, which is not some kind of cake icing but actually ruin lives and kill people, we are "all about identity politics" and cannot possibly have enough brain cells to think about the issues I described in para 1.

I don't find it instructive or useful.

Main Street Muse 11.16.16 at 10:54 pm 34

The slow recovery was only one factor. Wages have been stagnant since Reagan. And honestly, if a white Republican president had stabilized the economy, killed Osama Bin Laden and got rid of pre-existing condition issue with healthcare, the GOP would be BRAGGING all over it. Let's remember that we have ONE party that has been devoted to racist appeals, lying and putting party over country for decades.

Obama entered office as the economy crashed over a cliff. Instead of reforming the banks and punishing the bankers who engaged in fraudulent activities, he waded into healthcare reform. Banks are bigger today than they were in 2008. And tell me again, which bankers were punished for the fraud? Not a one All that Repo 105 maneuvering, stuffing the retirement funds with toxic assets – etc. and so on – all of that was perfectly legal? And if legal, all of that was totally bonusable? Yes! In America, such failure is gifted with huge bonuses, thanks to the American taxpayer.

Meanwhile, homeowners saw huge drops the value of their homes. Some are still underwater with the mortgage. It's a shame that politicians and reporters in DC don't get out much.

Concurrently, right before the election, ACA premiums skyrocketed. If you are self-insured, ACA is NOT affordable. It doesn't matter that prior to ACA, premiums increased astronomically. Obama promised AFFORDABLE healthcare. In my state, we have essentially a monopoly on health insurance, and the costs are absurd. But that's in part because the state Republicans refused to expand Medicaid.

Don't underestimate HRC's serious issues. HRC had one speech for the bankers and another for everyone else. Why didn't she release the GS transcripts? When did the Democrats become the party of Wall Street?

She also made the same idiotic mistake that Romney did – disparage a large swathe of American voters (basket of deplorables is this year's 47%.)

And then we had a nation of voters intent on the outsider. Bernie Sanders had an improbable run at it – the Wikileaks emails showed that the DNC did what they could to get rid of him as a threat.

Well America has done and gone elected themselves an outsider. Lucky us.

[Nov 16, 2016] Strong woman and her gay minion DESTROY mansplaining stale pale male

Notable quotes:
"... 'A big part of Bill's anger toward Hillary was that he was sidelined during the entire campaign by her advisers,' said the source. 'He can't be effective if he sees himself as just another hired hand. He wasn't listened to and that infuriated him. After all, he knows something about campaigns, and he told me in early October that Hillary and her advisers were blowing it. ..."
"... 'Hillary wouldn't listen. She told Bill that his ideas were old and that he was out of touch. In the end, there was nothing he could do about it because Hillary and her people weren't listening to anything he said.' ..."
www.unz.com

'Bill always campaigned as a guy who felt your pain, but Hillary came across as someone who was pissed off at her enemy [Trump], not someone who was reaching out and trying to make life better for the white working class.'

'Bill also said that many African Americans were deeply disappointed with the results of eight years of Obama,' the source continued.

'Despite more and more government assistance, black weren't economically any better off, and black-on-black crime was destroying their communities. He said Hillary should have gone into the South Side of Chicago and condemned the out-of-control violence.'

'A big part of Bill's anger toward Hillary was that he was sidelined during the entire campaign by her advisers,' said the source. 'He can't be effective if he sees himself as just another hired hand. He wasn't listened to and that infuriated him. After all, he knows something about campaigns, and he told me in early October that Hillary and her advisers were blowing it.

'Hillary wouldn't listen. She told Bill that his ideas were old and that he was out of touch. In the end, there was nothing he could do about it because Hillary and her people weren't listening to anything he said.'

[Nov 16, 2016] This is evidence that the elites in the Democrat Party would rather lose with their candidate than win with an outsider

Notable quotes:
"... Of course, the DNC was too busy trying to blow the Sanders campaign to smithereens and Hillary decided that comforting the Democrat Party's donor base was more important than attracting working class voters in the Rust Belt. ..."
Nov 16, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Greg T November 16, 2016 at 2:05 pm

I read all of these points and conclude that Bernie Sanders would have defeated Trump in the general election. Sanders would have held all of the Democratic strongholds, and he would have beaten Trump in the Midwest.

Of course, the DNC was too busy trying to blow the Sanders campaign to smithereens and Hillary decided that comforting the Democrat Party's donor base was more important than attracting working class voters in the Rust Belt.

This is evidence that the elites in the Democrat Party would rather lose with a ' made ' candidate than win with an outsider.

[Nov 16, 2016] The Rotation of Imperial Power by Manlio Dinucci

Notable quotes:
"... Clinton's defeat is more than anything else a rejection of Obama. Obama descended into the fray to bolster her campaign and witnessed the rejection of his own presidency. Conquered, in the 2008 electoral campaign, with a pledge of support not only for Wall Street but also "Main Street", that is, the ordinary citizen. Since then, the middle class has witnessed its conditions deteriorate, the rate of poverty has increased while the rich have become even richer. Now, marketing himself as the champion of the middle class, the billionaire outsider, Donald Trump, has won the presidency. ..."
"... As her e-mails make clear, when she was Secretary of State, she convinced President Obama to engage in war to demolish Libya and to roll out the same operation against Syria. She was the one to promote the internal destabilization of Venezuela and Brazil and the US "Pivot to Asia" – an anti-Chinese manoeuvre. And yet again, she also used the Clinton Foundation as a vehicle to prepare the terrain in Ukraine for the Maidan Square putsch which paved the way for Usa/Nato escalation against Russia. ..."
"... Given that all this has not prevented the relative decline of US power, it is up to the Trump Administration to correct its shot, while keeping its gaze fixed on the same target. There is no air of reality to the hypothesis that Trump intends to abandon the system of alliances centered around US-led Nato. ..."
"... Trump could seek an agreement with Russia, an additional objective of which would be to pull it away from China. China: against which Trump announces economic measures, accompanied by an additional strengthening of US military presence in the Asia-Pacific region. ..."
"... Here you have the colossal financial groups that dominate the economy (the share value alone of the companies listed on Wall Street is higher than the entire US national income). ..."
"... Then you have the multinationals whose economic dimensions exceed those of entire states and which delocalize production to countries offering cheap labour. The knock-on effect? Domestically, factories will close and unemployment will increase, which will in turn lead to the conditions of the US middle class becoming even worse. ..."
"... It is 21st century capitalism, which the USA expresses in its most extreme form, that increasingly polarizes the rich and poor. 1% of the global population has more than the other 99%. The President[-elect], Trump, belongs to the class of the superrich. ..."
www.voltairenet.org

Clinton's defeat is more than anything else a rejection of Obama. Obama descended into the fray to bolster her campaign and witnessed the rejection of his own presidency. Conquered, in the 2008 electoral campaign, with a pledge of support not only for Wall Street but also "Main Street", that is, the ordinary citizen. Since then, the middle class has witnessed its conditions deteriorate, the rate of poverty has increased while the rich have become even richer. Now, marketing himself as the champion of the middle class, the billionaire outsider, Donald Trump, has won the presidency.

How will this change of guard at the White House change US foreign policy? Certainly, the core objective of remaining the dominant global power will remain untouched. [Yet] this position is increasing fragile. The USA is losing ground both within the economic and the political domains, [ceding] it to China, Russia and other "emerging countries". This is why it is throwing the sword onto the scale. This is followed by a series of wars where Hillary Clinton played the [lead] protagonist.

As her authorized biography reveals, she was the one as First Lady, to convince the President, her consort, to engage in war to destroy Yugoslavia, initiating a series of "humanitarian interventions" against "dictators" charged with "genocide".

As her e-mails make clear, when she was Secretary of State, she convinced President Obama to engage in war to demolish Libya and to roll out the same operation against Syria. She was the one to promote the internal destabilization of Venezuela and Brazil and the US "Pivot to Asia" – an anti-Chinese manoeuvre. And yet again, she also used the Clinton Foundation as a vehicle to prepare the terrain in Ukraine for the Maidan Square putsch which paved the way for Usa/Nato escalation against Russia.

Given that all this has not prevented the relative decline of US power, it is up to the Trump Administration to correct its shot, while keeping its gaze fixed on the same target. There is no air of reality to the hypothesis that Trump intends to abandon the system of alliances centered around US-led Nato. But he will of course thump his fists on the table to secure a deeper commitment, particularly on military expenditure from the allies.

Trump could seek an agreement with Russia, an additional objective of which would be to pull it away from China. China: against which Trump announces economic measures, accompanied by an additional strengthening of US military presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

Such decisions, that will surely open the door for further wars, do not depend on Trump's warrior-like temperament, but on centres of power wherein lies the matrix of command on which the White House itself depends.

Here you have the colossal financial groups that dominate the economy (the share value alone of the companies listed on Wall Street is higher than the entire US national income).

Then you have the multinationals whose economic dimensions exceed those of entire states and which delocalize production to countries offering cheap labour. The knock-on effect? Domestically, factories will close and unemployment will increase, which will in turn lead to the conditions of the US middle class becoming even worse.

Then you have the giants of the war industry that extract profit from war.

It is 21st century capitalism, which the USA expresses in its most extreme form, that increasingly polarizes the rich and poor. 1% of the global population has more than the other 99%. The President[-elect], Trump, belongs to the class of the superrich.

[Nov 16, 2016] Two More Myths About Clintons Defeat in Election 2016 Debunked

Notable quotes:
"... "It's not a question of what happens in the last week. The question is that she should have won this election by 10 percentage points. ..."
Nov 16, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Talking Point: The Clinton Campaign Was Well-Managed

Here are two examples of the talking point. From the Washington Post (November 10, 2016):

At Brooklyn headquarters on Wednesday, Podesta expressed his gratitude and support for the team, and for Mook. "We have the No. 1 campaign manager," he said, in a staffwide gathering in the afternoon. "I've been doing this since 1968, and I've never seen a culture and a spirit like we created in this campaign." On the conference call with thousands of staff across the country, Clinton also called in [how kind] and thanked her team for their dedication.

Mook tried to end the campaign on a high note.

"What you've created is going to live on," he told his troops. "Leaders all over this country, local networks around the nation, future candidates who are going to step forward. Someone in this room is going to manage a presidential campaign one day."

Talking Point: The Clinton Defeat Had Nothing To Do With Economics

Here's an example of the talking point. From, naturally, Amanda Marcotte (November 11, 2016):

Because this anger is so real and so palpable, there's been an unfortunate tendency in much of the media to assume that this anger must also be valid . The entire election cycle was a clusterfuck of articles demanding empathy for Trump voters , insisting that their rage must have some rational roots - perhaps economic insecurity ?

The persistence of the "economic insecurity" angle in the face of overwhelming evidence against it was a testament to the power of hope over reason.

(The subtext here is usually that if you don't retweet approvingly, you're a racist yourself, and possibly a racist Trump supporter.) There are four reasons why this talking point is false.

... .... ...

To be fair, Clinton is correct that "there are lots of reasons," in an election this close. However, to me, blaming Comey is like blaming the last pebble in an avalanche of #FAIL. Sanders asks the right question. Talking about the Comey letters , Sanders said:

"It's not a question of what happens in the last week. The question is that she should have won this election by 10 percentage points.

[Nov 16, 2016] The my way or the highway rhetoric from Clinton supporters on the campaign was sickening

Notable quotes:
"... The "my way" or the highway rhetoric from Clinton supporters on the campaign was sickening. When Bush was called a warmonger for Iraq, that was fine. When Clinton was called a warmonger for Iraq and Libya, the Clintonites went on the offensive, often throwing around crap like "if she was a man, she wouldn't be a warmonger!" ..."
"... On racism: "what I can say, from personal experience, is that the racism of my youth was always one step removed. I never saw a family member, friend, or classmate be mean to the actual black people we had in town. We worked with them, played video games with them, waved to them when they passed. What I did hear was several million comments about how if you ever ventured into the city, winding up in the "wrong neighborhood" meant you'd get dragged from your car, raped, and burned alive. Looking back, I think the idea was that the local minorities were fine as long as they acted exactly like us." ..."
"... I'm telling you, the hopelessness eats you alive. And if you dare complain, some liberal elite will pull out their iPad and type up a rant about your racist white privilege. Already, someone has replied to this with a comment saying, "You should try living in a ghetto as a minority!" Exactly. To them, it seems like the plight of poor minorities is only used as a club to bat away white cries for help. Meanwhile, the rate of rural white suicides and overdoses skyrockets. Shit, at least politicians act like they care about the inner cities." ..."
"... And the rural folk are called a "basket of deplorables" and other names. If you want to fight racism, a battle that is Noble and Honorable, you have to understand the nuances between racism and hopelessness. The wizard-wannabe idiots are a tiny fringe. The "deplorables" are a huge part of rural America. If you alienate them, you're helping the idiots mentioned above. ..."
Nov 16, 2016 | marknesop.wordpress.com
ucgsblog, November 14, 2016 at 3:50 pm
Erm, atheist groups are known to target smaller Christian groups with lawsuits. A baker was sued for refusing to bake a cake for a Gay Wedding. She was perfectly willing to serve the couple, just not at the wedding. In California we had a lawsuit over a cross in a park. Atheists threatened a lawsuit over a seal. Look, I get that there are people with no life out there, but why are they bringing the rest of us into their insanity, with constant lawsuits. There's actually a concept known as "Freedom from Religion" – what the heck? Can you imagine someone arguing about "Freedom from Speech" in America? But it's ok to do it to religious folk! And yes, that includes Muslims, who had to fight to build a Mosque in New York. They should've just said it was a Scientology Center

The "my way" or the highway rhetoric from Clinton supporters on the campaign was sickening. When Bush was called a warmonger for Iraq, that was fine. When Clinton was called a warmonger for Iraq and Libya, the Clintonites went on the offensive, often throwing around crap like "if she was a man, she wouldn't be a warmonger!"

The problem with healthcare in the US deserves its own thread, but Obamacare did not fix it; Obamacare made it worse, especially in the rural communities. The laws in schools are fundamentally retarded. A kid was suspended for giving a friend Advil. Another kid suspended for bringing in a paper gun. I could go on and on. A girl was expelled from college for trying to look gangsta in a L'Oreal mask. How many examples do you need? Look at all of the new "child safety laws" which force kids to leave in a bubble. And when they enter the Real World, they're fucked, so they pick up the drugs. In cities it's crack, in farmvilles it's meth.

Hillary didn't win jack shit. She got a plurality of the popular vote. She didn't win it, since winning implies getting the majority. How many Johnson votes would've gone to Trump if it was based on popular vote, in a safe state? Of course the biggest issue is the attack on the way of life, which is all too real. I encourage you to read this, in order to understand where they're coming from: http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-reasons-trumps-rise-that-no-one-talks-about/

"Nothing that happens outside the city matters!" they say at their cocktail parties, blissfully unaware of where their food is grown. Hey, remember when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans? Kind of weird that a big hurricane hundreds of miles across managed to snipe one specific city and avoid everything else. To watch the news (or the multiple movies and TV shows about it), you'd barely hear about how the storm utterly steamrolled rural Mississippi, killing 238 people and doing an astounding $125 billion in damage. But who cares about those people, right? What's newsworthy about a bunch of toothless hillbillies crying over a flattened trailer? New Orleans is culturally important. It matters. To those ignored, suffering people, Donald Trump is a brick chucked through the window of the elites. "Are you assholes listening now?"

On racism: "what I can say, from personal experience, is that the racism of my youth was always one step removed. I never saw a family member, friend, or classmate be mean to the actual black people we had in town. We worked with them, played video games with them, waved to them when they passed. What I did hear was several million comments about how if you ever ventured into the city, winding up in the "wrong neighborhood" meant you'd get dragged from your car, raped, and burned alive. Looking back, I think the idea was that the local minorities were fine as long as they acted exactly like us."

"They're getting the shit kicked out of them. I know, I was there. Step outside of the city, and the suicide rate among young people fucking doubles. The recession pounded rural communities, but all the recovery went to the cities. The rate of new businesses opening in rural areas has utterly collapsed."

^ That, I'd say, is known as destroying their lives. Also this:

"In a city, you can plausibly aspire to start a band, or become an actor, or get a medical degree. You can actually have dreams. In a small town, there may be no venues for performing arts aside from country music bars and churches. There may only be two doctors in town - aspiring to that job means waiting for one of them to retire or die. You open the classifieds and all of the job listings will be for fast food or convenience stores. The "downtown" is just the corpses of mom and pop stores left shattered in Walmart's blast crater, the "suburbs" are trailer parks. There are parts of these towns that look post-apocalyptic.

I'm telling you, the hopelessness eats you alive. And if you dare complain, some liberal elite will pull out their iPad and type up a rant about your racist white privilege. Already, someone has replied to this with a comment saying, "You should try living in a ghetto as a minority!" Exactly. To them, it seems like the plight of poor minorities is only used as a club to bat away white cries for help. Meanwhile, the rate of rural white suicides and overdoses skyrockets. Shit, at least politicians act like they care about the inner cities."

And the rural folk are called a "basket of deplorables" and other names. If you want to fight racism, a battle that is Noble and Honorable, you have to understand the nuances between racism and hopelessness. The wizard-wannabe idiots are a tiny fringe. The "deplorables" are a huge part of rural America. If you alienate them, you're helping the idiots mentioned above.

[Nov 16, 2016] What Was the Election All About

Nov 12, 2016 | www.independent.org

...In fact, the entire Democratic Party has mainly ceased to campaign on issues-choosing instead to invest heavily in identity politics. The message to black voters is: vote for us because you are black, not because of anything we are going to do. Ditto for Hispanics. And women. And the LGBT community. And others. Hillary does have an agenda. More on that in a future post. But she didn't campaign on it.

As for the mainstream media, I have never seen an election in which the media was so biased. And not just biased. The media's entire view of the election was Hillary Clinton's view. Even on Fox News, the entire focus on election night and in the days that followed was on identity politics. How many blacks were voting? How many Hispanics? How many women?

As if demography were destiny.

Now, as it turns out, a greater percentage of blacks voted for Trump than voted for Romney. The same thing is true of Hispanics. In fact, Trump did better among minorities than any Republican since Ronald Reagan. He even got a majority of white female votes.

Why were all these people doing something they weren't supposed to do? On network television and even on cable television, no one had an answer.

Putting the media aside for the moment, do you know what Hillary's position is on trade deals with other countries? Of course, you don't. And neither does anyone else. When she spoke about the issue at all, she said one thing behind closed doors and another in public. The reason this doesn't matter on Wall Street (or to the editors of the New York Times ) is that they assume she has no real convictions and that money and special interest influence will always win out.

What about Hillary's solution to the problem of illegal immigration? Do you know what that is? How about her position on corporate tax reform? Or school choice? Or Obamacare? Or opportunities for blacks in inner cities?

I bet you don't know her positions on any of these topics. But I bet you do know Donald Trump's. Not in detail, of course. But I bet you know the general way in which he differs from Obama administration policies.

[Nov 16, 2016] Ultimately the Establishment Democrats have nobody but themselves to blame for this one

Notable quotes:
"... Judging by the volume of complaints from Clinton sycophants insisting that people did not get behind Clinton or that it was purely her gender, they won't. Why would anyone get behind Clinton save the 1%? Her policies were pro-war, pro-Wall Street, and at odds with what the American people needed. Also, we should judge based on policy, not gender and Clinton comes way short of Sanders in that regard – in many regards, she is the antithesis of Sanders. ..."
"... "Establishment Democrats have nobody but themselves to blame for this one. The only question is whether or not they are willing to take responsibility" I disagree. In my view, it is not a question at all. They have never taken responsibility for anything, and they never will. ..."
"... What would make Democrats focus on the working class? Nothing. They have lost and brought about destruction of the the Unions, which was the Democratic Base, and have become beholden to the money. The have noting in common with the working class, and no sympathy for their situation, either. ..."
"... What does Bill Clinton, who drive much of the policy in the '90s, and spent his early years running away form the rural poor in Arkansas (Law School, Rhodes Scholarship), have in common with working class people anywhere? ..."
"... Iron law of institutions applies. Position in the D apparatus is more important than political power – because with power come blame. ..."
"... I notice Obama worked hard to lose majorities in the house and Senate so he could point to the Republicans and say "it was their fault" except when he actually wanted something, and made it happen (such as TPP). ..."
"... Agreed with the first but not the second. It's typical liberal identity politics guilt tripping. That won't get you too far on the "white side" of Youngstown Ohio. ..."
"... Also suspect that the working-class, Rust-Belt Trump supporters will soon be thrown under the bus by their Standard Bearer, if the Transition Team appointments are any indicator: e.g. Privateers at SSA. ..."
"... My wife teaches primary grades in an inner city school. She has made it clear to me over the years that the challenges her children are facing are related to poverty, not race. She sees a big correlation between the financial status of a family and its family structure (one or more parents not present or on drugs) and the kids' success in school. Race is a minor factor. ..."
"... The problem with running on a class based platform in America is, well, it's America; and in good ol' America, we are taught that anyone can become a successful squillionare – ya know, hard work, nose-to-the-grindstone, blah, blah, blah. ..."
"... The rags to riches American success fable is so ingrained that ideas like taxing the rich a bit more fall flat because everyone thinks "that could be me someday. Just a few house flips, a clever new app, that ten-bagger (or winning lottery ticket) and I'm there" ("there" being part of the 1%). ..."
"... The idea that anyone can be successful (i.e. rich) is constantly promoted. ..."
"... I think this fantasy is beginning to fade a bit but the "wealth = success" idea is so deeply rooted in the American psyche I don't think it will ever fade completely away. ..."
"... If you spend time in hardscrabble, white upstate New York, or eastern Kentucky, or my own native West Texas, and you take an honest look at the welfare dependency, the drug and alcohol addiction, the family anarchy - which is to say, the whelping of human children with all the respect and wisdom of a stray dog - you will come to an awful realization. It wasn't Beijing. It wasn't even Washington, as bad as Washington can be. It wasn't immigrants from Mexico, excessive and problematic as our current immigration levels are. It wasn't any of that. ..."
"... Nothing happened to them. There wasn't some awful disaster. There wasn't a war or a famine or a plague or a foreign occupation. Even the economic changes of the past few decades do very little to explain the dysfunction and negligence - and the incomprehensible malice - of poor white America. So the gypsum business in Garbutt ain't what it used to be. There is more to life in the 21st century than wallboard and cheap sentimentality about how the Man closed the factories down. ..."
"... The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible. Forget all your cheap theatrical Bruce Springsteen crap. Forget your sanctimony about struggling Rust Belt factory towns and your conspiracy theories about the wily Orientals stealing our jobs. Forget your goddamned gypsum, and, if he has a problem with that, forget Ed Burke, too. The white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump's speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin. ..."
"... White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America ..."
"... Poor or Poorer whites have been demonised since the founding of the original Colonies, and were continuously pushed west to the frontiers by the ruling elites of New England and the South as a way of ridding themselves of "undesirables", who were then left to their own resources, and clung together for mutual assistance. ..."
"... White trash is a central, if disturbing, thread in our national narrative. The very existence of such people – both in their visibility and invisibility – is proof that American society obsesses over the mutable labels we give to the neighbors we wish not to notice. "They are not who we are". But they are who we are and have been a fundamental part of our history, whether we like it or not". ..."
"... "To be sure, Donald Trump did make a strong appeal to racists, homophobes, and misogynists " ..."
"... working class white women ..."
"... Obama is personally likeable ..."
"... History tells us the party establishment will move further right after election losses. And among the activist class there are identity purity battles going on. ..."
"... Watch as this happens yet again: "In most elections, U.S. politicians of both parties pretend to be concerned about their issues, then conveniently ignore them when they reach power and implement policies from the same Washington Consensus that has dominated the past 40 years." That is why we need a strong third party, a reformed election system with public support of campaigns and no private money, and free and fair media coverage. But it ain't gonna happen. ..."
"... Obviously, if the Democrats nominate yet another Clintonite Obamacrat all over again, I may have to vote for Trump all over again . . . to stop the next Clintonite before it kills again. ..."
www.nakedcapitalism.com
Altandmain November 15, 2016 at 10:08 am

Ultimately the Establishment Democrats have nobody but themselves to blame for this one. The only question is whether or not they are willing to take responsibility for what happened.

Judging by the volume of complaints from Clinton sycophants insisting that people did not get behind Clinton or that it was purely her gender, they won't. Why would anyone get behind Clinton save the 1%? Her policies were pro-war, pro-Wall Street, and at odds with what the American people needed. Also, we should judge based on policy, not gender and Clinton comes way short of Sanders in that regard – in many regards, she is the antithesis of Sanders.

Class trumps race, to make a pun. If the left doesn't take the Democratic Party back and clean house, I expect that there is a high probability that 2020's election will look at lot like the 2004 elections.

I'd recommend someone like Sanders to run. Amongst the current crop, maybe Tulsi Gabbard or Nina Turner seem like the best candidates.

Carla November 15, 2016 at 10:42 am

"Establishment Democrats have nobody but themselves to blame for this one. The only question is whether or not they are willing to take responsibility" I disagree. In my view, it is not a question at all. They have never taken responsibility for anything, and they never will.

Synoia November 15, 2016 at 10:13 am

What would make Democrats focus on the working class? Nothing. They have lost and brought about destruction of the the Unions, which was the Democratic Base, and have become beholden to the money. The have noting in common with the working class, and no sympathy for their situation, either.

What does Bill Clinton, who drive much of the policy in the '90s, and spent his early years running away form the rural poor in Arkansas (Law School, Rhodes Scholarship), have in common with working class people anywhere?

The same question applies to Hillary, to Trump and the remainder of our "representatives" in Congress.

Without Unions, how are US Representatives from the working class elected?

What we are seeing is a shift in the US for the Republicans to become the populist party. They already have the churches, and with Trump they can gain the working class – although I do not underestimate the contempt help by our elected leaders for the Working Class and poor.

The have forgotten, if they ever believed: "There, but for the grace of God, go I".

Lambert Strether November 15, 2016 at 2:22 pm

> What would make Democrats focus on the working class?

The quest for political power.

Synoia November 15, 2016 at 11:19 pm

Iron law of institutions applies. Position in the D apparatus is more important than political power – because with power come blame.

I notice Obama worked hard to lose majorities in the house and Senate so he could point to the Republicans and say "it was their fault" except when he actually wanted something, and made it happen (such as TPP).

James Dodd November 15, 2016 at 10:46 am

What So Many People Don't Get About the U.S. Working Class – Harvard Business Review

anonymouse November 15, 2016 at 11:07 am

We know that class and economic insecurity drove many white people to vote for Trump. That's understandable. And now we are seeing a rise in hate incidents inspired by his victory. So obviously there is a race component in his support as well. So, if you, white person, didn't vote for Trump out of white supremacy, would you consider making a statement that disavows the acts of extremist whites? Do you vow to stand up and help if you see people being victimized? Do you vow not to stay silent when you encounter Trump supporters who ARE obviously in thrall to the white supremacist siren call?

Brad November 15, 2016 at 11:45 am

Agreed with the first but not the second. It's typical liberal identity politics guilt tripping. That won't get you too far on the "white side" of Youngstown Ohio.

And I wouldn't worry about it. When I worked at the at the USX Fairless works in Levittown PA in 1988, I was befriended by one steelworker who was a clear raving white supremacist racist. (Actually rather nonchalant about about it). However he was the only one I encountered who was like this, and eventually I figured out that he befriended a "newbie" like me because he had no friends among the other workers, including the whites. He was not popular at all.

Harold November 15, 2016 at 11:14 am

Left-wing populism unites people of all classes and all identities by emphasizing policies. That was what Bernie Sanders meant to me, at least.

Citizen Sissy November 15, 2016 at 11:38 am

I've always thought that Class, not Race, was the Third Rail of American Politics, and that the US was fast-tracking to a more shiny, happy feudalism.

Also suspect that the working-class, Rust-Belt Trump supporters will soon be thrown under the bus by their Standard Bearer, if the Transition Team appointments are any indicator: e.g. Privateers at SSA.

Gonna get interesting very quickly.

rd November 15, 2016 at 11:47 am

My wife teaches primary grades in an inner city school. She has made it clear to me over the years that the challenges her children are facing are related to poverty, not race. She sees a big correlation between the financial status of a family and its family structure (one or more parents not present or on drugs) and the kids' success in school. Race is a minor factor.

She also makes it clear to me that the Somali/Syrian/Iraqi etc. immigrant kids are going to do very well even though they come in without a word of English because they are working their butts off and they have the full support of their parents and community. These people left bad places and came to their future and they are determined to grab it with both hands. 40% of her class this year is ENL (English as a non-native language). Since it is an inner city school, they don't have teacher's aides in the class, so it is just one teacher in a class of 26-28 kids, of which a dozen struggle to understand English. Surprisingly, the class typically falls short of the "standards" that the state sets for the standardized exams. Yet many of the immigrant kids end up going to university after high school through sheer effort.

Bullying and extreme misbehavior (teachers are actually getting injured by violent elementary kids) is largely done by kids born in the US. The immigrant kids tend to be fairly well-behaved.

On a side note, the CSA at our local farmer's market said they couldn't find people to pick the last of their fall crops (it is in a rural community so a car is needed to get there). So the food bank was going out this week to pick produce like squash, onions etc. and we were told we could come out and pick what we wanted. Full employment?

Dave November 15, 2016 at 11:55 am

"Women and minorities encouraged to apply" is a Class issue?

shinola November 15, 2016 at 12:13 pm

The problem with running on a class based platform in America is, well, it's America; and in good ol' America, we are taught that anyone can become a successful squillionare – ya know, hard work, nose-to-the-grindstone, blah, blah, blah.

The rags to riches American success fable is so ingrained that ideas like taxing the rich a bit more fall flat because everyone thinks "that could be me someday. Just a few house flips, a clever new app, that ten-bagger (or winning lottery ticket) and I'm there" ("there" being part of the 1%).

The idea that anyone can be successful (i.e. rich) is constantly promoted.

I think this fantasy is beginning to fade a bit but the "wealth = success" idea is so deeply rooted in the American psyche I don't think it will ever fade completely away.

Lambert Strether November 15, 2016 at 2:15 pm

I'm recalling (too lazy to find the link) a poll a couple years ago that showed the number of American's identifying as "working class" increased, and the number as "middle class" decreased.

Vatch November 15, 2016 at 2:19 pm

Here ya go!

http://www.gallup.com/poll/182918/fewer-americans-identify-middle-class-recent-years.aspx

jrs November 15, 2016 at 6:11 pm

even working class is a total equivocation. A lot of them are service workers period.

TarheelDem November 15, 2016 at 12:24 pm

It is both. And it is a deliberate mechanism of class division to preserve power. Bill Cecil-Fronsman,

Common Whites: Class and Culture in Antebellum North Carolina identifies nine classes in the class structure of a state that mixed modern capitalist practice (plantations), agrarian YOYO independence (the non-slaveowning subsistence farms), town economies, and subsistence (farm labor). Those classes were typed racially and had certain economic, power, and social relations associated with them. For both credit and wages, few escaped the plantation economy and being subservient to the planter capitalists locally.

Moreover, ethnic identity was embedded in the law as a class marker. This system was developed independently or exported through imitation in various ways to the states outside North Carolina and the slave-owning states. The abolition of slavery meant free labor in multiple senses and the capitalist use of ethnic minorities and immigrants as scabs integrated them into an ethnic-class system, where it was broad ethnicity and not just skin-color that defined classes. Other ethnic groups, except Latinos and Muslim adherents, now have earned their "whiteness".

One suspects that every settler colonial society develops this combined ethnic-class structure in which the indigenous ("Indians" in colonial law) occupy one group of classes and imported laborers or slaves or intermixtures ("Indian", "Cape Colored" in South Africa) occupy another group of classes available for employment in production. Once employed, the relationship is exactly that of the slaveowner to the slave no matter how nicely the harsh labor management techniques of 17th century Barbados and Jamaica have been made kinder and gentler. But outside the workplace (and often still inside) the broader class structure applies even contrary to the laws trying to restrict the relationship to boss and worker.

Blacks are not singling themselves out to police; police are shooting unarmed black people without punishment. The race of the cop does not matter, but the institution of impunity makes it open season on a certain class of victims.

It is complicated because every legal and often managerial attempt has been made to reduce the class structure of previous economies to the pure capitalism demanded by current politics.

So when in a post Joe McCarthy, post-Cold War propaganda society, someone wants to protest the domination of capitalism, attacking who they perceive as de facto scabs to their higher incomes (true or not) is the chosen mode of political attack. Not standing up for the political rights of the victims of ethnically-marked violence and discrimination allows the future depression of wages and salaries by their selective use as a threat in firms. And at the individual firm and interpersonal level even this gets complicated because in spite of the pressure to just be businesslike, people do still care for each other.

This is a perennial mistake. In the 1930s Southern Textile Strike, some organizing was of both black and white workers; the unions outside the South rarely stood in solidarity with those efforts because they were excluding ethnic minorities from their unions; indeed, some locals were organized by ethnicity. That attitude also carried over to solidarity with white workers in the textile mills. And those white workers who went out on a limb to organize a union never forgot that failure in their labor struggle. It is the former textile areas of the South that are most into Trump's politics and not so much the now minority-majority plantation areas.

It still is race in the inner ring suburbs of ethnically diverse cities like St. Louis that hold the political lock on a lot of states. Because Ferguson to them seems like an invasion of the lower class. Class politics, of cultural status, based on ethnicity. Still called by that 19h century scientific racism terminology that now has been debunked - race - Caucasoid, Mongoloid, Negroid. Indigenous, at least in the Americas, got stuck under Mongoloid.

You go organize the black, Latino, and white working class to form unions and gain power, and it will happen. It is why Smithfield Foods in North Carolina had to negotiate a contract. Race can be transcended in action.

Pretending the ethnic discrimination and even segregation does not exist and have its own problems is political suicide in the emerging demographics. Might not be a majority, but it is an important segment of the vote. Which is why the GOP suppressed minority voters through a variety of legal and shady electoral techniques. Why Trump wants to deport up to 12 million potential US citizens and some millions of already birthright minor citizens. And why we are likely to see the National Labor Review Board gutted of what little power it retains from 70 years of attack. Interesting what the now celebrated white working class was not offered in this election, likely because they would vote it down quicker because, you know, socialism.

armchair November 15, 2016 at 2:50 pm

Your comment reminded me of an episode in Seattle's history. Link . The unions realized they were getting beat in their strikes, by scabs, who were black. The trick was for the unions to bring the blacks into the union. This was a breakthrough, and it worked in Seattle, in 1934. There is a cool mural the union commissioned by, Pablo O'Higgins , to celebrate the accomplishment.

barrisj November 15, 2016 at 12:49 pm

Speaking of class, and class contempt , one must recall the infamous screed published by National Review columnist Kevin Williamson early this year, writing about marginalised white people here is a choice excerpt:

If you spend time in hardscrabble, white upstate New York, or eastern Kentucky, or my own native West Texas, and you take an honest look at the welfare dependency, the drug and alcohol addiction, the family anarchy - which is to say, the whelping of human children with all the respect and wisdom of a stray dog - you will come to an awful realization. It wasn't Beijing. It wasn't even Washington, as bad as Washington can be. It wasn't immigrants from Mexico, excessive and problematic as our current immigration levels are. It wasn't any of that.

Nothing happened to them. There wasn't some awful disaster. There wasn't a war or a famine or a plague or a foreign occupation. Even the economic changes of the past few decades do very little to explain the dysfunction and negligence - and the incomprehensible malice - of poor white America. So the gypsum business in Garbutt ain't what it used to be. There is more to life in the 21st century than wallboard and cheap sentimentality about how the Man closed the factories down.

The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible. Forget all your cheap theatrical Bruce Springsteen crap. Forget your sanctimony about struggling Rust Belt factory towns and your conspiracy theories about the wily Orientals stealing our jobs. Forget your goddamned gypsum, and, if he has a problem with that, forget Ed Burke, too. The white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump's speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin.

http://crasstalk.com/2016/03/poor-white-america-deserves-to-die-says-national-review/

Now it's not too much of a stretch of the imagination to state that Williamson's animus can be replicated amongst many of the moneyed elite currently pushing and shoving their way into a position within the incoming Trump Administration. The Trump campaign has openly and cynically courted and won the votes of white people similar to those mentioned in Williamson's article, and who – doubtlessly – will be stiffed by policies vigourously opposed to their welfare that will be enacted during the Trump years. The truly intriguing aspect of the Trump election is: what will be the consequences of further degradation of the "lower orders' " quality of life by such actions? Wholesale retreat from electoral politics? Further embitterment and anger NOT toward those in Washington responsible for their lot but directed against ethnic and racial minorities "stealing their jawbs" and "getting welfare while we scrounge for a living"? I sincerely doubt whether the current or a reconstructed Democratic Party can at all rally this large chunk of white America by posing as their "champions" the class divide in the US is as profound as the racial chasm, and neither major party – because of internal contradictions – can offer a credible answer.

Waldenpond November 15, 2016 at 1:25 pm

[In addition to the growing inequality and concomitant wage stagnation for the middle and working classes, 9/11 and its aftermath has certainly has contributed to it as well, as, making PEOPLE LONG FOR the the Golden Age of Managerial Capitalism of the post-WWII era,]

Oh yeah, I noticed a big ol' hankerin' for that from the electorate. What definition could the author be using for Managerial Capitalism that could make it the opposite of inequality? The fight for power between administration and shareholders does not lead to equality for workers.

[So this gave force to the idea that the government was nothing but a viper's nest full of crony capitalist enablers,]

I don't think it's an 'idea' that the govt is crony capitalists and enablers. Ds need to get away from emotive descriptions. Being under/unemployed, houseless, homeless, unable to pay for rent, utilities, food . aren't feelings/ideas. When that type of language is used, it comes across as hand waving. There needs to be a shift of talking to rather than talking about.

If crony capitalism is an idea, it's simply a matter for Ds to identify a group (workers), create a hierarchy (elite!) and come up with a propaganda campaign (celebrities and musicians spending time in flyover country-think hanging out in coffee shops in a flannel shirt) to get votes. Promise to toss them a couple of crumbs with transfer payments (retraining!) or a couple of regulations (mandatory 3 week severance!) and bring out the obligatory D fall back- it would be better than the Rs would give them. On the other hand, if it's factual, the cronies need to be stripped of power and kicked out or the nature of the capitalist structure needs to be changed. It's laughable to imagine liberals or progressives would be open to changing the power and nature of the corporate charter (it makes me smile to think of the gasps).

The author admits that politicians lie and continue the march to the right yet uses the ACA, a march to the right, as a connection to Obama's (bombing, spying, shrinking middle class) likability.

[[But emphasizing class-based policies, rather than gender or race-based solutions, will achieve more for the broad swathe of voters, who comprehensively rejected the "neo-liberal lite" identity politics]

Oops. I got a little lost with the neo-liberal lite identity politics. Financialized identity politics? Privatized identity politics?

I believe women and poc have lost ground (economic and rights) so I would like examples of successful gender and race-based (liberal identity politics) solutions that would demonstrate that identity politics targeting is going to work on the working class.

If workers have lost power, to balance that structure, you give workers more power (I predict that will fail as unions fall under the generic definition of corporatist and the power does not rest with the members but with the CEOs of the unions – an example is a union that block the members from voting to endorse a candidate, go against the member preference and endorse the corporatist candidate), or you remove power from the corporation. Libs/progs can't merely propose something like vesting more power with shareholders to remove executives as an ameliorating maneuver which fails to address the power imbalance.

[This is likely only to accelerate the disintegration of the political system and economic system until the elephant in the room – class – is honestly and comprehensively addressed.]

barrisj November 15, 2016 at 1:41 pm

For a thorough exposition of lower-class white America from the inception of the Republic to today, a must-read is Nancy Isenberg's White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America . Poor or Poorer whites have been demonised since the founding of the original Colonies, and were continuously pushed west to the frontiers by the ruling elites of New England and the South as a way of ridding themselves of "undesirables", who were then left to their own resources, and clung together for mutual assistance.

Thus became the economic and cultural subset of "crackers", "hillbillies", "rednecks", and later, "Okies", a source of contempt and scorn by more economically and culturally endowed whites. The anti-bellum white Southern aristocracy cynically used poor whites as cheap tenant farming, all the while laying down race-based distinctions between them and black slaves – there is always someone lower on the totem pole, and that distinction remains in place today. Post-Reconstruction, the South maintained the cult of white superiority, all the while preserving the status of upper-class whites, and, by race-based public policies, assured lower-class whites that such "superiority" would be maintained by denying the black populations access to education, commerce, the vote, etc. And today, "white trash", or "trailer trash", or poorer whites in general are ubiquitous and as American as apple pie, in the North, the Midwest, and the West, not just the South. Let me quote Isenberg's final paragraph of her book:

White trash is a central, if disturbing, thread in our national narrative. The very existence of such people – both in their visibility and invisibility – is proof that American society obsesses over the mutable labels we give to the neighbors we wish not to notice. "They are not who we are". But they are who we are and have been a fundamental part of our history, whether we like it or not".

Enquiring Mind November 15, 2016 at 5:56 pm

Also read Albion's Seed for interesting discussion about the waves of immigration and how those went on to impact subsequent generations.

vegeholic November 15, 2016 at 2:04 pm

Presenting a plan for the future, which has a chance to be supported by the electorate, must start with scrupulous, unwavering honesty and a willingness to acknowledge inconvenient facts. The missing topic from the 2016 campaigns was declining energy surpluses and their pervasive, negative impact on the prosperity to which we feel entitled. Because of the energy cost of producing oil, a barrel today represents a declining fraction of a barrel in terms of net energy. This is the major factor in sluggish economic performance. Failing to make this case and, at the same time, offering glib and vacuous promises of growth and economic revival, are just cynical exercises in pandering.

Our only option is to mange the coming decline in a way that does not descend into chaos and anarchy. This can only be done with a clear vision of causes and effects and the wisdom and courage to accept facts. The alternative is yet more delusions and wishful thinking, whose shelf life is getting shorter.

ChrisAtRU November 15, 2016 at 2:26 pm

Marshall is awesome.

To be fair to the article, Marshall did in fact say:

"To be sure, Donald Trump did make a strong appeal to racists, homophobes, and misogynists "

IMO the point Marshall is making that race was not the primary reason #DJT won. And I concur.

This is borne out by the vote tallies which show that the number of R voters from 2012 to 2016 was pretty much on the level (final counts pending):
2016 R Vote: 60,925,616
2012 R Vote: 60,934,407
(Source: US Election Atlas )

Stop and think about this for a minute. Every hard core racist had their guy this time around; and yet, the R's could barely muster the same amount of votes as Mittens in 2012. This is huge, and supports the case that other things contributed far more than just race.

Class played in several ways:
Indifference/apathy/fatigue: Lambert posted some data from Carl Beijer on this yesterday in his Clinton Myths piece yesterday.
Anger: #HRC could not convince many people who voted for Bernie that she was interested in his outreach to the working class. More importantly, #HRC could not convince working class white women that she had anything other than her gender and Trump's boorishness as a counterpoint to offer.
Outsider v Insider: Working class people skeptical of political insiders rejected #HRC.

TG November 15, 2016 at 3:00 pm

Kudos. Well said.

If black workers were losing ground and white workers were gaining, one could indeed claim that racism is a problem. However, both black and white workers are losing ground – racism simply cannot be the major issue here. It's not racism, it's class war.

The fixation on race, the corporate funding of screaming 'black lives matter' agitators, the crude attempts to tie Donald Trump to the KKK (really? really?) are just divide and conquer, all over again.

Whatever his other faults, Donald Trump has been vigorous in trying to reach out to working class blacks, even though he knew he wouldn't get much of their vote and he knew that the media mostly would not cover it. Last I heard, he was continuing to try and reach out, despite the black 'leadership' class demanding that he is a racist. Because as was so well pointed out here, the one thing the super-rich fear is a united working class.

Divide and conquer. It's an old trick, but a powerful one.

Suggestion: if (and it's a big if) Trump really does enact policies that help working class blacks, and the Republicans peel away a significant fraction of the black vote, that would set the elites' hair on fire. Because it would mean that the black vote would be in play, and the Neoliberal Democrats couldn't just take their votes for granted. And wouldn't that be a thing.

pretzelattack November 16, 2016 at 3:09 am

that was good for 2016. I will look to see if he has stats for other years. i certainly agree that poor whites are more likely to be shot; executions of homeless people by police are one example. the kind of system that was imposed on the people of ferguson has often been imposed on poor whites, too. i do object to the characterization of black lives matter protestors as "screaming agitators"; that's all too reminiscent of the meme of "outside agitators" riling up the local peaceful black people to stand up for their rights that was characteristically used to smear the civil rights movement in the 60's.

tongorad November 15, 2016 at 3:18 pm

I might not have much in common at all with certain minorities, but it's highly likely that we share class status.
That's why the status quo allows identity politics and suppresses class politics.

Sound of the Suburbs November 15, 2016 at 5:02 pm

Having been around for sometime, I often wonder what The Guardian is going on about in the UK as it is supposed to be our left wing broadsheet.

It isn't a left I even recognised, what was it?

I do read it to try and find out what nonsense it is these people think.

Having been confused for many a year, I think I have just understood this identity based politics as it is about to disappear.

I now think it was a cunning ploy to split the electorate in a different way, to leave the UK working class with no political outlet.

Being more traditional left I often commented on our privately educated elite and private schools but the Guardian readership were firmly in favour of them.

How is this left?

Thank god this is now failing, get back to the old left, the working class and those lower down the scale.

It was clever while it lasted in enabling neoliberalism and a neglect of the working class, but clever in a cunning, nasty and underhand way.

Sound of the Suburbs November 15, 2016 at 5:33 pm

Thinking about it, so many of these recent elections have been nearly 50% / 50% splits, has there been a careful analysis of who neoliberalism disadvantages and what minorities need to be bought into the fold to make it work in a democracy.

Women are not a minority, but obviously that is a big chunk if you can get them under your wing. The black vote is another big group when split away and so on.

Brexit nearly 50/50; Austria nearly 50/50; US election nearly 50/50.

giovanni zibordi November 15, 2016 at 5:56 pm

So, 85% of Blacks vote Hillary against Sanders (left) and 92% vote Hillary against Trump (right), but is no race. It's the class issue that sends them to the Clintons. Kindly explain how.

dk November 15, 2016 at 7:54 pm

Obama is personally likeable

Funny think about likeability, likeable people can be real sh*ts. So I started looking into hanging out with less likeable people. I found that they can be considerably more appreciative of friendship and loyalty, maybe because they don't have such easy access to it.

Entertainment media has cautiously explored some aspect so fthis, but in politics, "nice" is still disproportionately values, and not appreciated as a possible flag.

Erelis November 15, 2016 at 10:59 pm

Watch out buddy. They are onto you. I have seen some comments on democratic party sites claiming the use of class to explain Hillary's loss is racist. The democratic party is a goner. History tells us the party establishment will move further right after election losses. And among the activist class there are identity purity battles going on.

Gaylord November 15, 2016 at 11:24 pm

Watch as this happens yet again: "In most elections, U.S. politicians of both parties pretend to be concerned about their issues, then conveniently ignore them when they reach power and implement policies from the same Washington Consensus that has dominated the past 40 years." That is why we need a strong third party, a reformed election system with public support of campaigns and no private money, and free and fair media coverage. But it ain't gonna happen.

different clue November 16, 2016 at 3:47 am

Well it certainly won't happen by itself. People are going to have to make it happen. Here in Michigan we have a tiny new party called Working Class Party running 3 people here and there. I voted for two of them. If the Democrats run somebody no worse than Trump next time, I will be free to vote Working Class Party to see what happens.

Obviously, if the Democrats nominate yet another Clintonite Obamacrat all over again, I may have to vote for Trump all over again . . . to stop the next Clintonite before it kills again.

[Nov 15, 2016] Thomas Frank Clintons Led the Democratic Betrayal of the Average Working American For Big Money

Notable quotes:
"... We so easily forget. Once the cry of so-called prosperity is heard in the land, we all become so stampeded by the spirit of the god Mammon, that we cannot serve the dictates of social conscience. . . . We are here to serve notice that the economic order is the invention of man; and that it cannot dominate certain eternal principles of justice and of God... ..."
"... The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." ..."
"... You can fool all of the people, some of the time. You can fool some of the people all of the time- but you can't fool all of the people all of the time. ..."
Nov 14, 2016 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com
"There are two theories of prosperity and of well-being: The first theory is that if we make the rich richer, somehow they will let a part of their prosperity trickle down to the rest of us. The second theory - and I suppose this goes back to the days of Noah - I won't say Adam and Eve, because they had a less complicated situation - but, at least, back in the days of the flood, there was the theory that if we make the average of mankind comfortable and secure, their prosperity will rise upward, just as yeast rises up, through the ranks...

We so easily forget. Once the cry of so-called prosperity is heard in the land, we all become so stampeded by the spirit of the god Mammon, that we cannot serve the dictates of social conscience. . . . We are here to serve notice that the economic order is the invention of man; and that it cannot dominate certain eternal principles of justice and of God...

The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

You can fool all of the people, some of the time. You can fool some of the people all of the time- but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.

Here is Youtube video ( Nov 2, 2016 )

[Nov 15, 2016] Break Up the Democratic Party Its Time for the Clintons and Rubin to Go – and Soros Too by Michael Hudson

Notable quotes:
"... Democrats still seem amazed that voters are more concerned about economic conditions and resentment against Wall Street (no bankers jailed, few junk mortgages written down). It is a sign of their wrong path that party strategists are holding onto the same identity politics they have used since the 1960s to divide Americans into hyphenated special-interest groups. ..."
"... Obviously, the bottom 95 Percent realize that their incomes and net worth have declined, not recovered. ..."
"... On the bright side, these "trade" agreements to enable corporations to block public laws protecting the environment, consumers and society at large are now presumably dead. ..."
"... Instead of a love fest within the Democratic Party's ranks, the blame game is burning. The Democrats raised a reported $182 million dollars running up to the election. But when democratic candidates from Russ Feingold in Wisconsin and other candidates in Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania asked for help. Hillary monopolized it all for TV ads, leaving these candidates in the lurch. The election seemed to be all about her, about personality and identity politics, not about the economic issues paramount in most voters' minds. ..."
"... Six months ago the polls showed her $1 billion spent on data polling, TV ads and immense staff of sycophants to have been a vast exercise in GIGO. ..."
"... If the party is to be recaptured, now is the moment to move. The 2016 election sounded the death knell for the identity politics. Its aim was to persuade voters not to think of their identity in economic terms, but to think of themselves as women or as racial and ethnic groups first and foremost, not as having common economic interests. This strategy to distract voters from economic policies has obviously failed. ..."
"... It did not work with women. In Florida, only 51 percent of white women are estimated to have voted for Hillary. It didn't even work very well in ethnic Hispanic precincts. They too were more concerned about their own job opportunities. ..."
"... The ethnic card did work with many black voters (although not so strongly; fewer blacks voted for Hillary than had showed up for Obama). Under the Obama administration for the past eight years, blacks have done worse in terms of income and net worth than any other grouping, according to the Federal Reserve Board's statistics. But black voters were distracted from their economic interests by the Democrats' ethnic-identity politics. ..."
"... This election showed that voters have a sense of when they're being lied to. After eight years of Obama's demagogy, pretending to support the people but delivering his constituency to his financial backers on Wall Street. "Identity politics" has given way to the stronger force of economic distress. Mobilizing identity politics behind a Wall Street program will no longer work. ..."
"... The Rust Belt swing states that shifted away from backing Obama for the last two terms are not racist states. They voted for Obama twice, after all. But seeing his support Wall Street, they had lost faith in her credibility – and were won by Bernie in his primaries against Hillary. ..."
"... Most of all, it was Hillary's asking voters to ignore her economic loyalty to Wall Street simply to elect a woman, and her McCarthy-like accusations that Trump was "Putin's candidate" (duly echoed by Paul Krugman). ..."
"... The anti-Trump rallies mobilized by George Soros and MoveOn look like a preemptive attempt to capture the potential socialist left for the old Clinton divide-and-conquer strategy. ..."
Nov 15, 2016 | www.counterpunch.org
In the week leading up to last Tuesday's election the press was busy writing obituaries for the Republican Party. This continued even after Donald Trump's "surprising" victory – which, like the 2008 bank-fraud crash, "nobody could have expected." The pretense is that Trump saw what no other politician saw: that the economy has not recovered since 2008.

Democrats still seem amazed that voters are more concerned about economic conditions and resentment against Wall Street (no bankers jailed, few junk mortgages written down). It is a sign of their wrong path that party strategists are holding onto the same identity politics they have used since the 1960s to divide Americans into hyphenated special-interest groups.

Obviously, the bottom 95 Percent realize that their incomes and net worth have declined, not recovered. National Income and Federal Reserve statistics show that all growth has accrued to just 5 percent of the population. Hillary is said to have spent $1 billion on polling, TV advertising and high-salaried staff members, but managed not to foresee the political reaction to this polarization. She and her coterie ignored economic policy as soon as Bernie was shoved out of the way and his followers all but told to join a third party. Her campaign speech tried to convince voters that they were better off than they were eight years ago. They knew better!

So the question now is whether Donald Trump will really a maverick and shake up the Republican Party. There seems to be a fight going on for Donald's soul – or at least the personnel he appoints to his cabinet. Thursday and Friday saw corporate lobbyists in the Republican leadership love-bombing him like the Moonies or Hari Krishna cults welcoming a new potential recruit. Will he simply surrender now and pass on the real work of government to the Republican apparatchiks?

The stock market thinks so! On Wednesday it soared almost by 300 points, and repeated this gain on Thursday, setting a DJIA record! Pharmaceuticals are way up, as higher drug prices loom for Medicaid and Medicare. Stocks of the pipelines and major environmental polluters are soaring, from oil and gas to coal, mining and forestry, expecting U.S. environmental leadership to be as dead under Trump as it was under Obama and his push for the TPP and TTIP (with its fines for any government daring to impose standards that cost these companies money). On the bright side, these "trade" agreements to enable corporations to block public laws protecting the environment, consumers and society at large are now presumably dead.

For now, personalities are policy. A problem with this is that anyone who runs for president is in it partly for applause. That was Carter's weak point, leading him to cave into Democratic apparatchiks in 1974. It looks like Trump may be a similar susceptibility. He wants to be loved, and the Republican lobbyists are offering plenty of applause if only he will turn to them and break his campaign promises in the way that Obama did in 2008. It would undo his hope to be a great president and champion of the working class that was his image leading up to November 8.

The fight for the Democratic Party's future (dare I say "soul"?)

In her Wednesday morning post mortem speech, Hillary made a bizarre request for young people (especially young women) to become politically active as Democrats after her own model. What made this so strange is that the Democratic National Committee has done everything it can to discourage millennials from running. There are few young candidates – except for corporate and Wall Street Republicans running as Blue Dog Democrats. The left has not been welcome in the party for a decade – unless it confines itself only to rhetoric and demagogy, not actual content. For Hillary's DNC coterie the problem with millennials is that they are not shills for Wall Street. The treatment of Bernie Sanders is exemplary. The DNC threw down the gauntlet.

Instead of a love fest within the Democratic Party's ranks, the blame game is burning. The Democrats raised a reported $182 million dollars running up to the election. But when democratic candidates from Russ Feingold in Wisconsin and other candidates in Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania asked for help. Hillary monopolized it all for TV ads, leaving these candidates in the lurch. The election seemed to be all about her, about personality and identity politics, not about the economic issues paramount in most voters' minds.

Six months ago the polls showed her $1 billion spent on data polling, TV ads and immense staff of sycophants to have been a vast exercise in GIGO. From May to June the Democratic National Committee (DNC) saw polls showing Bernie Sanders beating Trump, but Hillary losing. Did the Democratic leadership really prefer to lose with Hillary than win behind him and his social democratic reformers.

Hillary doesn't learn. Over the weekend she claimed that her analysis showed that FBI director Comey's reports "rais[ing] doubts that were groundless, baseless," stopped her momentum. This was on a par with the New York Times analysis that had showed her with an 84 percent probability of winning last Tuesday. She still hasn't admitted that here analysis was inaccurate.

What is the Democratic Party's former constituency of labor and progressive reformers to do? Are they to stand by and let the party be captured in Hillary's wake by Robert Rubin's Goldman Sachs-Citigroup gang that backed her and Obama?

If the party is to be recaptured, now is the moment to move. The 2016 election sounded the death knell for the identity politics. Its aim was to persuade voters not to think of their identity in economic terms, but to think of themselves as women or as racial and ethnic groups first and foremost, not as having common economic interests. This strategy to distract voters from economic policies has obviously failed.

It did not work with women. In Florida, only 51 percent of white women are estimated to have voted for Hillary. It didn't even work very well in ethnic Hispanic precincts. They too were more concerned about their own job opportunities.

The ethnic card did work with many black voters (although not so strongly; fewer blacks voted for Hillary than had showed up for Obama). Under the Obama administration for the past eight years, blacks have done worse in terms of income and net worth than any other grouping, according to the Federal Reserve Board's statistics. But black voters were distracted from their economic interests by the Democrats' ethnic-identity politics.

This election showed that voters have a sense of when they're being lied to. After eight years of Obama's demagogy, pretending to support the people but delivering his constituency to his financial backers on Wall Street. "Identity politics" has given way to the stronger force of economic distress. Mobilizing identity politics behind a Wall Street program will no longer work.

If we are indeed experiencing a revival of economic class consciousness, who should lead the fight to clean up the Democratic Party Wall Street leadership? Will it be the Wall Street wing, or can Bernie and perhaps Elizabeth Warren make their move?

There is only one way to rescue the Democrats from the Clintons and Rubin's gang. That is to save the Democratic Party from being tarred irreversibly as the party of Wall Street and neocon brinkmanship. It is necessary to tell the Clintons and the Rubin gang from Wall Street to leave now . And take Evan Bayh with them.

The danger of not taking this opportunity to clean out the party now

The Democratic Party can save itself only by focusing on economic issues – in a way that reverses its neoliberal stance under Obama, and indeed going back to Bill Clinton's pro-Wall Street administration. The Democrats need to do what Britain's Labour Party did by cleaning out Tony Blair's Thatcherites. As Paul Craig Roberts wrote over the weekend: "Change cannot occur if the displaced ruling class is left intact after a revolution against them. We have proof of this throughout South America. Every revolution by the indigenous people has left unmolested the Spanish ruling class, and every revolution has been overthrown by collusion between the ruling class and Washington." [1] Otherwise the Democrats will be left as an empty shell.

Now is the time for Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and the few other progressives who have not been kept out of office by the DNC to make their move and appointing their own nominees to the DNC. If they fail, the Democratic Party is dead.

An indication of how hard the present Democratic Party leadership will fight against this change of allegiance is reflected in their long fight against Bernie Sanders and other progressives going back to Dennis Kucinich. The past five days of MoveOn demonstrations sponsored by Hillary's backer George Soros may be an attempt to preempt the expected push by Bernie's supporters, by backing Howard Dean for head of the DNC while organizing groups to be called on for what may be an American "Maidan Spring."

Perhaps some leading Democrats preferred to lose with their Wall Street candidate Hillary than win with a reformer who would have edged them out of their right-wing positions. But the main problem was hubris. Hillary's coterie thought they could make their own reality. They believed that hundreds of millions of dollars of TV and other advertising could sway voters. But eight years of Obama's rescue of Wall Street instead of the economy was enough for most voters to see how deceptive his promises had been. And they distrusted Hillary's pretended embrace of Bernie's opposition to TPP.

The Rust Belt swing states that shifted away from backing Obama for the last two terms are not racist states. They voted for Obama twice, after all. But seeing his support Wall Street, they had lost faith in her credibility – and were won by Bernie in his primaries against Hillary.

Donald Trump is thus Obama's legacy. Last week's vote was a backlash. Hillary thought that getting Barack and Michelle Obama to campaign as her surrogates would help, but it turned out to be the kiss of death. Obama egged her on by urging voters to "save his legacy" by supporting her as his Third Term. But voters did not want his legacy of giveaways to the banks, the pharmaceutical and health-insurance monopolies.

Most of all, it was Hillary's asking voters to ignore her economic loyalty to Wall Street simply to elect a woman, and her McCarthy-like accusations that Trump was "Putin's candidate" (duly echoed by Paul Krugman). On Wednesday, Obama's former Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul tweeted that "Putin intervened in our elections and succeeded." It was as if the Republicans and even the FBI were a kind of fifth column for the KGB. Her receptiveness to cutting back Social Security and steering wage withholding into the stock market did not help – especially her hedge fund campaign contributors. Compulsory health-insurance fees continue to rise for healthy young people rise as the main profit center that Obamacare has offered the health-insurance monopoly.

The anti-Trump rallies mobilized by George Soros and MoveOn look like a preemptive attempt to capture the potential socialist left for the old Clinton divide-and-conquer strategy. The group was defeated five years ago when it tried to capture Occupy Wall Street to make it part of the Democratic Party. It's attempt to make a comeback right now should be heard as an urgent call to Bernie's supporters and other "real" Democrats that they need to create an alternative pretty quickly so as not to let "socialism" be captured by the Soros and his apparatchiks carried over from the Clinton campaign.

Notes.

[1] Paul Craig Roberts, "The Anti-Trump Protesters Are Tools of the Oligarchy," November 11, 2016.

Michael Hudson's new book, Killing the Host is published in e-format by CounterPunch Books and in print by Islet . He can be reached via his website, mh@michael-hudson.com

[Nov 15, 2016] End of outsourcing of the USA elite illiberal tendencies to the areas of the imperial domination and subjugation of foreigners and hit of the USA population produced the current backlash and secured the election of Trump

Nov 15, 2016 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 11.15.16 at 6:09 pm 124

@115

Liberal democracy has always depended on its relationships with an illiberal Other of one sort or another, and all too often "liberal progressivism" merely means responding to such relationships in one's own society, the capitalist exploitation of a domestic proletariat, by "outsourcing" our illiberal tendencies to consist largely of the imperial domination and subjugation of foreigners.

(Which can even happen inside one's own borders, as long as it remains suitably "illegal"; notice how much less ideologically problematic it is to document the presence and labor of the most brutally exploited migrant workers in e.g. China or the Gulf Arab states than in more liberal societies like the US or EU.)

It's the height of either hypocrisy or obliviousness for those who consider themselves liberal progressives to then act surprised when the people charged with carrying out this domination and subjugation on our behalf - our Colonel Jessups, if you will - demand that we stop hiding our society's illiberal underbelly and acknowledge/celebrate it for what it is , a demand that may be the single most authentic marker of the transition from liberalism to fascism.

In Pareto "elite rotation" terms, the election of Trump definitely means rotation of the US neoliberal elite. "Status quo" faction of the elite was defeated due to backlash over globalization and disappearance of meaningful well-paid jobs, with mass replacement of them by McJobs and temps/contractors.

Whether openness about domination and subjugation is an "authentic marker of the transition from [neo]liberalism to fascism" remains to be seen, unless we assume that this transition (to the National Security State) already happened long ego.

In a way illegal immigrants in the USA already represented stable and growing "new slaves" class for decades. Their existence and contribution to the US economy was never denied or suppressed. And even Greenspan acknowledged that Iraq war was about oil. So Trump put nothing new on the table other then being slightly more blunt.

likbez 11.15.16 at 7:19 pm 125

@120

bob mcmanus 11.15.16 at 4:31 pm

Neoliberalism and neo-imperialism show pretty much the contradictions of the older globalist orders (late 19th c), they are just now distributed so as re-intensify the differences, the combined etc, and concentrate the accumulation.

And elites are fighting over the spoils.

Yes, neoliberalism and neo-imperialism are much better and more precise terms, then fuzzy notions like "liberal progressivism" . May be we should use Occam razor and discard the term "[neo]liberal progressivism". The term "soft neoliberals" is IMHO good enough description of the same.

As for contradictions of the "older globalist orders (late 19th c)" the key difference is that under neoliberalism armies play the role of "can opener" and after then the direct occupation were by-and-large replaced with financial institutions and with indirect "debt slavery". In many cases neoliberal subjugation is achieved via color revolution mechanism, without direct military force involved.

Neo-colonialism creates higher level of concentration of risks due to the greed of financial elite which was demonstrated in full glory in 2008. As such it looks less stable then old colonialism. And it generates stronger backlash, which typically has elements of anti-Americanism, as we see in Philippines now. Merkel days might also be numbered.

Also TBTF banks are now above the law as imposing judgments on them after the crisis can have disastrous economic externalities. At the same time the corruption of regulators via revolving door mechanisms blocks implementing meaningful preventive regulatory reforms.

In other words, like with Soviet nomenklatura, with the neoliberal elite we see the impossibility of basic change, either toward taming the TBTF or toward modification of an aggressive neocolonial foreign policy with its rampant militarism.

[Nov 14, 2016] Clintons electoral defeat is bound up with the nature of the Democratic Party, an alliance of Wall Street and the military-intelligence apparatus with privileged sections of the upper-middle class based on the politics of race, gender and sexual orientation

Notable quotes:
"... The affluent and rich voted for Clinton by a much broader margin than they had voted for the Democratic candidate in 2012. Among those with incomes between $100,000 and $200,000, Clinton benefited from a 9-point Democratic swing. Voters with family incomes above $250,000 swung toward Clinton by 11 percentage points. The number of Democratic voters amongst the wealthiest voting block increased from 2.16 million in 2012 to 3.46 million in 2016-a jump of 60 percent. ..."
"... Clinton's electoral defeat is bound up with the nature of the Democratic Party, an alliance of Wall Street and the military-intelligence apparatus with privileged sections of the upper-middle class based on the politics of race, gender and sexual orientation ..."
"... Over the course of the last forty years, the Democratic Party has abandoned all pretenses of social reform, a process escalated under Obama. Working with the Republican Party and the trade unions, it is responsible for enacting social policies that have impoverished vast sections of the working class, regardless of race or gender. ..."
Nov 14, 2016 | www.wsws.org
The elections saw a massive shift in party support among the poorest and wealthiest voters. The share of votes for the Republicans amongst the most impoverished section of workers, those with family incomes under $30,000, increased by 10 percentage points from 2012. In several key Midwestern states, the swing of the poorest voters toward Trump was even larger: Wisconsin (17-point swing), Iowa (20 points), Indiana (19 points) and Pennsylvania (18 points).

The swing to Republicans among the $30,000 to $50,000 family income range was 6 percentage points. Those with incomes between $50,000 and $100,000 swung away from the Republicans compared to 2012 by 2 points.

The affluent and rich voted for Clinton by a much broader margin than they had voted for the Democratic candidate in 2012. Among those with incomes between $100,000 and $200,000, Clinton benefited from a 9-point Democratic swing. Voters with family incomes above $250,000 swung toward Clinton by 11 percentage points. The number of Democratic voters amongst the wealthiest voting block increased from 2.16 million in 2012 to 3.46 million in 2016-a jump of 60 percent.

Clinton was unable to make up for the vote decline among women (2.1 million), African Americans (3.2 million), and youth (1.2 million), who came overwhelmingly from the poor and working class, with the increase among the rich (1.3 million).

Clinton's electoral defeat is bound up with the nature of the Democratic Party, an alliance of Wall Street and the military-intelligence apparatus with privileged sections of the upper-middle class based on the politics of race, gender and sexual orientation.

Over the course of the last forty years, the Democratic Party has abandoned all pretenses of social reform, a process escalated under Obama. Working with the Republican Party and the trade unions, it is responsible for enacting social policies that have impoverished vast sections of the working class, regardless of race or gender.

[Nov 14, 2016] Note on the signs of decline of the US neoliberal empire

crookedtimber.org

likbez 11.15.16 at 1:19 am 93

Salazar 11.14.16 at 12:11 am #18

> How is the American Empire in decline? And how do we measure its decline?
We can only speculate about signs of decline. From WaTimes ( http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/dec/29/cal-thomas-america-shows-decline-signs-of-empires-/ )
British diplomat John Glubb wrote a book called "The Fate of Empires and Search For Survival." Glubb noted that the average age of empires since the time of ancient Assyria (859-612 B.C.) is 250 years. Only the Mameluke Empire in Egypt and the Levant (1250-1517) made it as far as 267 years. America is 238 years old and is exhibiting signs of decline. All empires begin, writes Glubb, with the age of pioneers, followed by ages of conquest, commerce, affluence, intellect and decadence. America appears to have reached the age of decadence, which Glubb defines as marked by "defensiveness, pessimism, materialism, frivolity, an influx of foreigners, the welfare state, [and] a weakening of religion."

The most important is probably the fact that the ideology of the current US empire -- neoliberalism (called here "liberal progressivism") -- became discredited after 2008. What happened after the collapse of the Marxist ideology with the USSR is well known. It took 46 years (if we assume that the collapse started in 1945 as the result of victory in WWII, when the Soviet army has a chance to see the standard of living in Western countries). Why the USA should be different ? Decline of empires is very slow and can well take a half a century. Let's say it might take 50 years from 9/11 or October 2008.

One telling sign is the end of "American hegemony" in the global political sphere. One telling sign is the end of "American hegemony" in the global political sphere. As Lupita hypothesized here Trump might be the last desperate attempt to reverse this process.

Another, the deterioration of the standard of living of the USA population and declining infrastructure, both typically are connected with the overextension of empire. In Fortune ( http://fortune.com/2015/07/20/united-states-decline-statistics-economic/ ) Jill Coplan lists 12 signs of the decline.

Trump election is another sign of turmoil. The key message of his election is "The institutions we once trusted deceived us" That includes the Democratic Party and all neoliberal MSM. Like was the case with the USSR, the loss of influence of neoliberal propaganda machine is a definite sign of the decline of empire.

Degeneration of the neoliberal political elite that is also clearly visible in the current set of presidential candidates might be another sign. Hillary Clinton dragged to the car on 9/11 commemorative event vividly reminds the state of health of a couple of members of Soviet Politburo .

See also:

[Nov 14, 2016] Three Myths About Clintons Defeat in Election 2016 Debunked

Notable quotes:
"... Because the following talking points prevent a (vulgar) identity politics -dominated Democrat Party from owning its loss, debunking them is then important beyond winning your Twitter wars. I'm trying to spike the Blame Cannons! ..."
"... Remember, Trump won Wisconsin by a whisker. So for this talking point to be true, we have to believe that black voters stayed home because they were racist, costing Clinton Wisconsin. ..."
"... These former Obama strongholds sealed the election for Trump. Of the nearly 700 counties that twice sent Obama to the White House, a stunning one-third flipped to support Trump . ..."
"... The Obama-Trump counties were critical in delivering electoral victories for Trump. Many of them fall in states that supported Obama in 2012, but Trump in 2016. In all, these flipped states accounted for 83 electoral votes. (Michigan and New Hampshire could add to this total, but their results were not finalized as of 4 p.m. Wednesday.) ..."
"... And so, for this talking point to be true, we have to believe that counties who voted for the black man in 2012 were racist because they didn't vote for the white women in 2016. Bringing me, I suppose, to sexism. ..."
"... These are resilient women, often working two or three jobs, for whom boorish men are an occasional occupational hazard, not an existential threat. They rolled their eyes over Trump's unmitigated coarseness, but still bought into his spiel that he'd be the greatest job producer who ever lived. Oh, and they wondered why his behaviour was any worse than Bill's. ..."
"... pink slips have hit entire neighbourhoods, and towns. The angry white working class men who voted in such strength for Trump do not live in an emotional vacuum. They are loved by white working class women – their wives, daughters, sisters and mothers, who participate in their remaindered pain. I t is everywhere in the interviews. "My dad lost his business", "My husband hasn't been the same since his job at the factory went away" . ..."
"... So, for this talking point to be true, you have to believe that sexism simultaneously increased the male vote for Trump, yet did not increase the female vote for Clinton. Shouldn't they move in opposite directions? ..."
"... First, even assuming that the author's happy but unconscious conflation of credentials with education is correct, it wasn't the "dunces" who lost two wars, butchered the health care system, caused the financial system to collapse through accounting control fraud, or invented the neoliberal ideology that was kept real wages flat for forty years and turned the industrial heartland into a wasteland. That is solely, solely down to - only some , to be fair - college-educated voters. It is totally and 100% not down to the "dunces"; they didn't have the political or financial power to achieve debacles on the grand scale. ..."
"... Second, the "dunces" were an important part of Obama's victories ..."
"... Not only has polling repeatedly underplayed the importance of white voters without college degrees, it's underplayed their importance to the Obama coalition: They were one-third of Obama votes in 2012. They filled the gap between upper-class whites and working-class nonwhites. Trump gained roughly 15 percentage points with them compared to Romney in 2012. ..."
"... "No, you are ignorant! You threw away the vote and put Trump in charge." Please, it will be important to know what derogatory camp you belong in when the blame game swings into full gear. *snark ..."
"... 'Stupid' was the word I got very tired of in my social net. Two variant targets: ..."
"... 1) Blacks for not voting their interests. The responses included 'we know who our enemies are' and 'don't tell me what to think.' ..."
"... Mostly it was vs rural, non-college educated. iirc, it was the Secretary of Agriculture, pleading for funds, who said the rural areas were where military recruits came from. A young fella I know, elite football player on elite non-urban HS team, said most of his teammates had enlisted. So they are the ones getting shot at, having relatives and friends come back missing pieces of body and self. ..."
"... My guy in the Reserves said the consensus was that if HRC got elected, they were going to war with Russia. Not enthused. Infantry IQ is supposedly average-80, but they know who Yossarian says the enemy is, e'en if they hant read the book. ..."
Nov 14, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
by Lambert Strether By Lambert Strether of Corrente .

This post is not an explainer about why and how Clinton lost (and Trump won). I think we're going to be sorting that out for awhile. Rather, it's a simple debunking of common talking points by Clinton loyalists and Democrat Establishment operatives; the sort of talking point you might hear on Twitter, entirely shorn of caveats and context. For each of the three talking points, I'll present an especially egregious version of the myth, followed by a rebuttals.

Realize that Trump's margin of victory was incredibly small. From the Washington Post :

How Trump won the presidency with razor-thin margins in swing states

Of the more than 120 million votes cast in the 2016 election, 107,000 votes in three states [Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania] effectively decided the election.

Of course, America's first-past-the-post system and the electoral college amplify small margins into decisive results. And it was the job of the Clinton campaign to find those 107,000 votes and win them; the Clinton operation turned out to be weaker than anyone would have imagined when it counted . However, because Trump has what might be called an institutional mandate - both the executive and legislative branches and soon, perhaps, the judicial - the narrowness of his margin means he doesn't have a popular mandate. Trump has captured the state, but by no means civil society; therefore, the opposition that seeks to delegitimize him is in a stronger position than it may realize.

Hence the necessity for reflection; seeking truth from facts, as the saying goes. Because the following talking points prevent a (vulgar) identity politics -dominated Democrat Party from owning its loss, debunking them is then important beyond winning your Twitter wars. I'm trying to spike the Blame Cannons!

Talking Point: Clinton was Defeated by Racism

Here's a headline showing the talking point from a Vox explainer :

Trump's win is a reminder of the incredible, unbeatable power of racism

The subtext here is usually that if you don't chime in with vehement agreement, you're a racist yourself, and possibly a racist Trump supporter. There are two reasons this talking point is false.

First, voter caring levels dropped from 2012 to 2016, especially among black Democrats . Carl Beijer :

From 2012 to 2016, both men and women went from caring about the outcome to not caring. Among Democratic men and women, as well as Republican women, care levels dropped about 3-4 points; Republican men cared a little less too, but only by one point. Across the board, in any case, the plurality of voters simply didn't care.

Beijer includes the following chart (based on Edison exit polling cross-referenced with total population numbers from the US Census):

Beijer interprets:

White voters cared even less in 2016 then in 2012, when they also didn't care; most of that apathy came from white Republicans compared to white Democrats, who dropped off a little less. Voters of color, in contrast, continued to care – but their care levels dropped even more, by 8 points (compared to the 6 point drop-off among white voters). Incredibly, that drop was driven entirely by a 9 point drop among Democratic voters of color which left Democrats with only slim majority 51% support; Republicans, meanwhile, actually gained support among people of color.

Beijer's data is born out by anecdote from Milwaukee, Wisconsin :

Urban areas, where black and Hispanic voters are concentrated along with college-educated voters, already leaned toward the Democrats, but Clinton did not get the turnout from these groups that she needed. For instance, black voters did not show up in the same numbers they did for Barack Obama, the first black president, in 2008 and 2012.

Remember, Trump won Wisconsin by a whisker. So for this talking point to be true, we have to believe that black voters stayed home because they were racist, costing Clinton Wisconsin.

Second, counties that voted for Obama in 2012 voted for Trump in 2016 . The Washington Post :

These former Obama strongholds sealed the election for Trump. Of the nearly 700 counties that twice sent Obama to the White House, a stunning one-third flipped to support Trump .

The Obama-Trump counties were critical in delivering electoral victories for Trump. Many of them fall in states that supported Obama in 2012, but Trump in 2016. In all, these flipped states accounted for 83 electoral votes. (Michigan and New Hampshire could add to this total, but their results were not finalized as of 4 p.m. Wednesday.)

Here's the chart:

And so, for this talking point to be true, we have to believe that counties who voted for the black man in 2012 were racist because they didn't vote for the white women in 2016. Bringing me, I suppose, to sexism.

Talking Point: Clinton was Defeated by Sexism

Here's an article showing the talking point from Newsweek :

This often vitriolic campaign was a national referendum on women and power.

(The subtext here is usually that if you don't join the consensus cluster, you're a sexist yourself, and possibly a sexist Trump supporter). And if you only look at the averages this claim might seem true :

On Election Day, women responded accordingly, as Clinton beat Trump among women 54 percent to 42 percent. They were voting not so much for her as against him and what he brought to the surface during his campaign: quotidian misogyny.

There are two reasons this talking point is not true. First, averages conceal, and what they conceal is class . As you read further into the article, you can see it fall apart:

In fact, Trump beat Clinton among white women 53 percent to 43 percent, with white women without college degrees going for [Trump] two to one .

So, taking lack of a college degree as a proxy for being working class, for Newsweek's claim to be true, you have to believe that working class women don't get a vote in their referendum, and for the talking point to be true, you have to believe that working class women are sexist. Which leads me to ask: Who died and left the bourgeois feminists in Clinton's base in charge of the definition of sexism, or feminism? Class traitor Tina Brown is worth repeating:

Here's my own beef. Liberal feminists, young and old, need to question the role they played in Hillary's demise. The two weeks of media hyperventilation over grab-her-by-the-pussygate, when the airwaves were saturated with aghast liberal women equating Trump's gross comments with sexual assault, had the opposite effect on multiple women voters in the Heartland.

These are resilient women, often working two or three jobs, for whom boorish men are an occasional occupational hazard, not an existential threat. They rolled their eyes over Trump's unmitigated coarseness, but still bought into his spiel that he'd be the greatest job producer who ever lived. Oh, and they wondered why his behaviour was any worse than Bill's.

Missing this pragmatic response by so many women was another mistake of Robbie Mook's campaign data nerds. They computed that America's women would all be as outraged as the ones they came home to at night. But pink slips have hit entire neighbourhoods, and towns. The angry white working class men who voted in such strength for Trump do not live in an emotional vacuum. They are loved by white working class women – their wives, daughters, sisters and mothers, who participate in their remaindered pain. I t is everywhere in the interviews. "My dad lost his business", "My husband hasn't been the same since his job at the factory went away" .

Second, Clinton in 2016 did no better than Obama in 2008 with women (although she did better than Obama in 2012). From the New York Times analysis of the exit polls, this chart...

So, for this talking point to be true, you have to believe that sexism simultaneously increased the male vote for Trump, yet did not increase the female vote for Clinton. Shouldn't they move in opposite directions?

Talking Point: Clinton was Defeated by Stupidity

Here's an example of this talking point from Foreign Policy , the heart of The Blob. The headline:

Trump Won Because Voters Are Ignorant, Literally

And the lead:

OK, so that just happened. Donald Trump always enjoyed massive support from uneducated, low-information white people. As Bloomberg Politics reported back in August, Hillary Clinton was enjoying a giant 25 percentage-point lead among college-educated voters going into the election. (Whether that trend held up remains to be seen.) In contrast, in the 2012 election, college-educated voters just barely favored Barack Obama over Mitt Romney. Last night we saw something historic: the dance of the dunces. Never have educated voters so uniformly rejected a candidate. But never before have the lesser-educated so uniformly supported a candidate.

The subtext here is usually that if you don't accept nod your head vigorously, you're stupid, and possibly a stupid Trump supporter. There are two reasons this talking point is not true.

First, even assuming that the author's happy but unconscious conflation of credentials with education is correct, it wasn't the "dunces" who lost two wars, butchered the health care system, caused the financial system to collapse through accounting control fraud, or invented the neoliberal ideology that was kept real wages flat for forty years and turned the industrial heartland into a wasteland. That is solely, solely down to - only some , to be fair - college-educated voters. It is totally and 100% not down to the "dunces"; they didn't have the political or financial power to achieve debacles on the grand scale.

Second, the "dunces" were an important part of Obama's victories . From The Week :

Not only has polling repeatedly underplayed the importance of white voters without college degrees, it's underplayed their importance to the Obama coalition: They were one-third of Obama votes in 2012. They filled the gap between upper-class whites and working-class nonwhites. Trump gained roughly 15 percentage points with them compared to Romney in 2012.

So, to believe this talking point, you have to believe that voters who were smart when they voted for Obama suddenly became stupid when it came time to vote for Clinton. You also have to believe that credentialed policy makers have an unblemished record of success, and that only they are worth paying attention to.

Conclusion

Of course, Clinton ran a miserable campaign, too, which didn't help. Carl Beijer has a bill of particulars :

By just about every metric imaginable, Hillary Clinton led one of the worst presidential campaigns in modern history. It was a profoundly reactionary campaign, built entirely on rolling back the horizons of the politically possible, fracturing left solidarity, undermining longstanding left priorities like universal healthcare, pandering to Wall Street oligarchs, fomenting nationalism against Denmark and Russia, and rehabilitating some of history's greatest monsters – from Bush I to Kissinger. It was a grossly unprincipled campaign that belligerently violated FEC Super PAC coordination rules and conspired with party officials on everything from political attacks to debate questions. It was an obscenely stupid campaign that all but ignored Wisconsin during the general election, that pitched Clinton to Latino voters as their abuela, that centered an entire high-profile speech over the national menace of a few thousand anime nazis on Twitter, and that repeatedly deployed Lena Dunham as a media surrogate.

Which is rather like running a David Letterman ad in a Pennsylvania steel town. It must have seemed like a good idea in Brooklyn. After all, they had so many celebrities to choose from.

* * *

All three talking points oversimplify. I'm not saying racism is not powerful; of course it is. I'm not saying that sexism is not powerful; of course it is. But monocausal explanations in an election this close - and in a country this vast - are foolish. And narratives that ignore economics and erase class are worse than foolish; buying into them will cause us to make the same mistakes over and over and over again.[1] The trick will be to integrate multiple causes, and that's down to the left; identity politics liberals don't merely not want to do this; they actively oppose it. Ditto their opposite numbers in America's neoliberal fun house mirror, the conservatives.

NOTES

[1] For some, that's not a bug. It's a feature.

NOTE

You will have noticed that I haven't covered economics (class), or election fraud at all. More myths are coming.

Lambert Strether has been blogging, managing online communities, and doing system administration 24/7 since 2003, in Drupal and WordPress. Besides political economy and the political scene, he blogs about rhetoric, software engineering, permaculture, history, literature, local politics, international travel, food, and fixing stuff around the house. The nom de plume "Lambert Strether" comes from Henry James's The Ambassadors: "Live all you can. It's a mistake not to." You can follow him on Twitter at @lambertstrether. http://www.correntewire.com

TK421 November 14, 2016 at 1:03 pm

Yes, I'm a sexist because I voted for Jill Stein instead of Hillary Clinton.

Knot Galt November 14, 2016 at 1:23 pm

"No, you are ignorant! You threw away the vote and put Trump in charge." Please, it will be important to know what derogatory camp you belong in when the blame game swings into full gear. *snark

IdahoSpud November 14, 2016 at 1:07 pm

Is it sexist, racist, and/or stupid to conclude that one awful candidate is less likely to betray you than a different awful candidate?

rwv November 14, 2016 at 1:21 pm

Didn't feel the Bern, and if you burn your ass you'll have to sit on the blisters

Steve H. November 14, 2016 at 1:26 pm

Talking Point: Clinton was Defeated by Stupidity

'Stupid' was the word I got very tired of in my social net. Two variant targets:

1) Blacks for not voting their interests. The responses included 'we know who our enemies are' and 'don't tell me what to think.'

2) Mostly it was vs rural, non-college educated. iirc, it was the Secretary of Agriculture, pleading for funds, who said the rural areas were where military recruits came from. A young fella I know, elite football player on elite non-urban HS team, said most of his teammates had enlisted. So they are the ones getting shot at, having relatives and friends come back missing pieces of body and self.

My guy in the Reserves said the consensus was that if HRC got elected, they were going to war with Russia. Not enthused. Infantry IQ is supposedly average-80, but they know who Yossarian says the enemy is, e'en if they hant read the book.

Maybe not so stupid after all.

Jason Boxman November 14, 2016 at 1:26 pm

Thanks so much for this!

[Nov 14, 2016] Thomas Frank Clintons Led the Democratic Betrayal of the Average Working American For Big Money

jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com
"There are two theories of prosperity and of well-being: The first theory is that if we make the rich richer, somehow they will let a part of their prosperity trickle down to the rest of us. The second theory - and I suppose this goes back to the days of Noah - I won't say Adam and Eve, because they had a less complicated situation - but, at least, back in the days of the flood, there was the theory that if we make the average of mankind comfortable and secure, their prosperity will rise upward, just as yeast rises up, through the ranks...

We so easily forget. Once the cry of so-called prosperity is heard in the land, we all become so stampeded by the spirit of the god Mammon, that we cannot serve the dictates of social conscience. . . . We are here to serve notice that the economic order is the invention of man; and that it cannot dominate certain eternal principles of justice and of God...

The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

You can fool all of the people, some of the time. You can fool some of the people all of the time- but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.

Here is Youtube video

watch-v=L4VxmAIzKCM

[Nov 14, 2016] Sanders Democrats Lost Elections Because They Focused On Liberal Elite, Not Working Class - Breitbart

Notable quotes:
"... "Democrats have focused too much with a liberal elite" while ignoring the working class. ..."
"... How does it happen that they win elections and Democrats lose? I think what the conclusion is, is that that is raising incredible sums of money from wealthy people … but has ignored to a very significant degree, working class, middle class, and low income people in this country. ..."
Nov 14, 2016 | www.breitbart.com
Sunday on CBS's "Face The Nation," Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said President-elect Donald Trump won because "Democrats have focused too much with a liberal elite" while ignoring the working class.

Sanders said, " How does it happen that they win elections and Democrats lose? I think what the conclusion is, is that that is raising incredible sums of money from wealthy people … but has ignored to a very significant degree, working class, middle class, and low income people in this country. "

[Nov 14, 2016] Clinton betrayal and the future of Democratic Party

Nov 14, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com
weejonnie Intheround 11h ago ...In the last 8 years the Democrat party.

Lost control of the Senate
Lost control of the House of Representatives
Lost control of dozens of state legislatures and Governorships.
The Republicans control 36 States of America - One more and they could in theory amend the Constitution.

In Wisconsin (notionally Democrat) the Legislature and Governor are both Republican controlled. And Clinton didn't even campaign there when it was pretty obvious the State was not trending towards her.

[Nov 14, 2016] No Soul-Searching by "Liberals" After Clinton's Defeat. Their Candidate Was the Embodiment of a Totally Corrupt Political System

Notable quotes:
"... So-called [neo]liberals and leftists in the US and around the world, are now wailing and gnashing their teeth in reaction to Hillary Clinton's crushing defeat. They are, however, the first to blame for the outcome of the US presidential elections. Their candidate, Hillary Clinton, was the embodiment of a totally corrupt political system. She is a hypocrite par excellence, talking to the bankiers of Wall Street behind closed doors differently than to the American people. Her rhetoric for the rights of women and blacks and other minorities sounded disingenuous. ..."
"... The Clinton Foundation received large donations from Saudi-Arabia and Qatar, countries rewarded in return by huge arms transfers overseen by her as Secretary of State. Her involvement in this corruption was no theme for the media. ..."
"... According to emails published by WikiLeaks, her campaign manager John Podesta was or is on the payroll of the Saudis. ..."
"... the Clinton team stole the primary elections to prevent the candidacy of Bernie Sanders, the media demonized Donald Trump. ..."
"... An American President is not a free and politically independent person. From day one, a President-elect can't anymore go around the corner and grab a hot dog or a hamburger. He is reigned in by a military and security establishment that holds the President fit for public consumption. Trump, as any other president, can be expected to follow their rule and political suggestions. ..."
"... I doubt very much that Trump will keep the promises of his election campaign, such as building a wall along the American-Mexican border, deport all illegal immigrants or ban Muslims from immigrating into the US. I even doubt that he will go after Hillary Clinton and her husband's dubious foundation. There exists a code of honor among thieves. ..."
"... Trump won precisely because of the shrill one-sided media propaganda and because of his rhetoric against the Washington establishment , including his own Republican Party. Now, this Republican establishment dominates both houses of Congress. Trump belongs also, however, to the US establishment but of another sort. Nobody should believe that the Washington establishment will follow Trump's lead. ..."
"... Whether Trump will stop American adventurism in the Middle East remains to be seen. His close ties with Netanyahu do not bode well for the Palestinians ..."
"... And while he has promised to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, I doubt that he will carry out this provocation against international law and the entire Muslim world. ..."
"... Chancellor Angela Merke l sent the President-Elect Trump a warning in the guise of a congratulation. Her political impudence was garbed within obsequious blabber about the allegedly honorable nature of German-American ties ..."
"... Germany's Foreign Minister Steinmeier called Trump a "preacher of hate" ..."
"... During the election campaign, Trump called Merkel's mass-immigration policy "insane" and "what Merkel did to Germany" a "sad shame". ..."
"... The media and the political class should at this point stop pontificating. Their double morals and unprofessional coverage of the US elections should prompt them to more humility. They should rather blame themselves for their biased reporting, which led directly to Clinton's defeat. ..."
Nov 11, 2016 | www.globalresearch.ca

So-called [neo]liberals and leftists in the US and around the world, are now wailing and gnashing their teeth in reaction to Hillary Clinton's crushing defeat. They are, however, the first to blame for the outcome of the US presidential elections. Their candidate, Hillary Clinton, was the embodiment of a totally corrupt political system. She is a hypocrite par excellence, talking to the bankiers of Wall Street behind closed doors differently than to the American people. Her rhetoric for the rights of women and blacks and other minorities sounded disingenuous.

The Clinton Foundation received large donations from Saudi-Arabia and Qatar, countries rewarded in return by huge arms transfers overseen by her as Secretary of State. Her involvement in this corruption was no theme for the media.

According to emails published by WikiLeaks, her campaign manager John Podesta was or is on the payroll of the Saudis. All of this was not considered worth reporting by the media. Virtually all national media in the United States supported Clinton's candidacy. Instead of reporting how the machinery of the Democratic Party and the Clinton team stole the primary elections to prevent the candidacy of Bernie Sanders, the media demonized Donald Trump.

I do not wish here to defend Donald Trump. He made numerous stupid, racist, sexist, and anti-Islamic statements that were rightly criticized. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, was treated with kid gloves while her huge criminal political record was glossed over. Instead of coming to grips with their abject failures, the liberals and their media continue in slandering Donald Trump. Trump's first declarations show already that he has conquered new frontiers.

An American President is not a free and politically independent person. From day one, a President-elect can't anymore go around the corner and grab a hot dog or a hamburger. He is reigned in by a military and security establishment that holds the President fit for public consumption. Trump, as any other president, can be expected to follow their rule and political suggestions.

I doubt very much that Trump will keep the promises of his election campaign, such as building a wall along the American-Mexican border, deport all illegal immigrants or ban Muslims from immigrating into the US. I even doubt that he will go after Hillary Clinton and her husband's dubious foundation. There exists a code of honor among thieves.

Trump won precisely because of the shrill one-sided media propaganda and because of his rhetoric against the Washington establishment , including his own Republican Party. Now, this Republican establishment dominates both houses of Congress. Trump belongs also, however, to the US establishment but of another sort. Nobody should believe that the Washington establishment will follow Trump's lead. Even his positive statements about Vladimir Putin or his suggestion to discard NATO, will probably vanish. But what I do hope is that he stands to his rejection of TPP and TTIP and his pragmatic view of Vladimir Putin.

Whether Trump will stop American adventurism in the Middle East remains to be seen. His close ties with Netanyahu do not bode well for the Palestinians. He sees Zionist colonization of the rest of Palestine as no hindrance to peace. And while he has promised to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, I doubt that he will carry out this provocation against international law and the entire Muslim world.

The German political and media class was not only surprised by the results of the US elections, but did not even try to hide its revulsion against the choice of the American people. The entire political class in Germany perceived and presented the Trump campaign in the same one-sided manner as American media did. Chancellor Angela Merke l sent the President-Elect Trump a warning in the guise of a congratulation. Her political impudence was garbed within obsequious blabber about the allegedly honorable nature of German-American ties:

"Germany and America are bound by common values - democracy, freedom, as well as respect for the rule of law and the dignity of each and every person, regardless of their origin, skin color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, or political views. It is based on these values that I wish to offer close cooperation, both with me personally and between our countries' governments."

Other German politicians did not even attempt to hide their disdain for American voters by diplomatic language. Germany's Foreign Minister Steinmeier called Trump a "preacher of hate", and Deputy Chancellor Gabriel cartooned Trump as a

"trailblazer of a new authoritarian and chauvinist international movement… [who wants] a rollback to the bad old times in which women belonged by the stove or in bed, gays in jail and unions at best at the side table."

During the election campaign, Trump called Merkel's mass-immigration policy "insane" and "what Merkel did to Germany" a "sad shame".

The media and the political class should at this point stop pontificating. Their double morals and unprofessional coverage of the US elections should prompt them to more humility. They should rather blame themselves for their biased reporting, which led directly to Clinton's defeat. Ordinary Americans are not as stupid as the Establishment wants us to believe. Established parties and media would be well advised to give the new US President a chance to prove his worth. There will be, without doubt, many occasions in the future for fact-based criticism.

The original source of this article is Global Research Copyright © Dr. Ludwig Watzal , Global Research, 2016

[Nov 13, 2016] The Democratic Party establishment has beclowned itself and is finished MSM neoliberal pressitutes with thier unbearable smugness are shamed

Notable quotes:
"... Understand something, the caricature of Trump and his supporters is all fiction! It was the wallpaper inside the bubble of the elites that kept them from having to face the fact they are being rejected by the people of this country. ..."
"... It is not racist to want to control our borders and stem the influx – for a period – of people from other lands. It is not racist to note that Islam has a violent element willing to kill innocents at any time and any place. Just like one bad cop can give all cops a bad rap, so can a handful of bloody insane Muslims. It is not racist or nativist to deport immigrants who have committed serious felonies. ..."
Nov 13, 2016 | strata-sphere.com
First, this from Slate :

The Democratic Party establishment has beclowned itself and is finished.

… The party establishment made a grievous mistake rallying around Hillary Clinton. It wasn't just a lack of recent political seasoning. She was a bad candidate, with no message beyond heckling the opposite sideline. She was a total misfit for both the politics of 2016 and the energy of the Democratic Party as currently constituted. She could not escape her baggage, and she must own that failure herself.

Theoretically smart people in the Democratic Party should have known that. And yet they worked giddily to clear the field for her. Every power-hungry young Democrat fresh out of law school, every rising lawmaker, every old friend of the Clintons wanted a piece of the action. This was their ride up the power chain. The whole edifice was hollow, built atop the same unearned sense of inevitability that surrounded Clinton in 2008, and it collapsed, just as it collapsed in 2008, only a little later in the calendar. The voters of the party got taken for a ride by the people who controlled it, the ones who promised they had everything figured out and sneeringly dismissed anyone who suggested otherwise. They promised that Hillary Clinton had a lock on the Electoral College. These people didn't know what they were talking about, and too many of us in the media thought they did.

This is a grueling but necessarily treatise on how the Political Elite played God and got burned. The essence here is wake up and fix the Democrat Party.

And here is another good assessment :

The mood in the Washington press corps is bleak, and deservedly so.

It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that, with a few exceptions, we were all tacitly or explicitly #WithHer, which has led to a certain anguish in the face of Donald Trump's victory. More than that and more importantly, we also missed the story , after having spent months mocking the people who had a better sense of what was going on.

This is all symptomatic of modern journalism's great moral and intellectual failing: its unbearable smugness . Had Hillary Clinton won, there's be a winking "we did it" feeling in the press, a sense that we were brave and called Trump a liar and saved the republic.

So much for that. The audience for our glib analysis and contempt for much of the electorate, it turned out, was rather limited. This was particularly true when it came to voters, the ones who turned out by the millions to deliver not only a rebuke to the political system but also the people who cover it. Trump knew what he was doing when he invited his crowds to jeer and hiss the reporters covering him. They hate us, and have for some time.

And can you blame them? Journalists love mocking Trump supporters. We insult their appearances. We dismiss them as racists and sexists. We emote on Twitter about how this or that comment or policy makes us feel one way or the other, and yet we reject their feelings as invalid.

Understand something, the caricature of Trump and his supporters is all fiction! It was the wallpaper inside the bubble of the elites that kept them from having to face the fact they are being rejected by the people of this country.

It is not racist to want to control our borders and stem the influx – for a period – of people from other lands. It is not racist to note that Islam has a violent element willing to kill innocents at any time and any place. Just like one bad cop can give all cops a bad rap, so can a handful of bloody insane Muslims. It is not racist or nativist to deport immigrants who have committed serious felonies.

The media over stated the drivers behind these views to propel their candidate to victory. They were not reporting facts.

The last good perspective was from the Morning Joe show:

[Nov 13, 2016] Why Polls Fail

Notable quotes:
"... he Clinton camp, the media and the pollsters missed what we had anticipated as "not Clinton". A basic setting in a part of the "left" electorate that remember who she is and what she has done and would under no circumstances vote for her. Clinton herself pushed the "bernie bros" and "deplorables" into that camp. This was a structural change that was solely based in the personality of the candidate. ..."
"... Even then polls and their interpretation will always only capture a part of the story. Often a sound grasp of human and cultural behavior will allow for better prediction as all polls. As my friend the statistician say: "The best prognostic instrument I have even today is my gut." ..."
"... NeverHillary turned out to be bigger than NeverTrump. Hillary got less than 6 million votes compared to Obama. Trump got nearly as much as Romney. ..."
"... A good indicator was the size of the crowds each candidate drew to their rallies. Clinton tended to show more "bought" TV-ready extras. Bernie blew the walls out at his rallies, as did Trump. You can't look at that and say the polls are even close to accurate. ..."
"... When the Democrats unleashed thugs on Trump supporters while the media studiously looked away, it was not sensible to openly identify with Trump. ..."
"... On Wednesday after the election, I heard an interview with a woman reporter who worked with the 538 polling group. She said that it was impossible for most reporters to really investigate how voters in certain areas of the country were feeling about the election bcz newspapers and other news organizations, including the Big Broadcasters, did not have the ability to pay for enough reporters to actually talk to people. ..."
"... the Los Angeles Times polls were correct (although the paper was pro-Clinton); can't get the link now, but they explained how they weighted their polls on the basis of the enthusiasm displayed for the preferred candidate, and Trump supporters were more "charged" ..."
"... I read many stories about how the polls were fixed for Clinton for months before the election. ..."
"... The pollsters took the % of voters from the Obama election but they also added more Democrats than were representative in the 2012 election, thereby skewing the polls for Clinton. Many believed that the reason they did this was to try to manipulate the voting machines in Clinton's favour and have the polls match the result. ..."
"... i go back to what my sociology of the media instructor said.. polls are for massaging people's brains.. unless one knows who pays for them and what goes into them, they are just another propaganda tool for use.. ..."
"... It has been known for a long time in the polling world that polling numbers are getting more and more unreliable because fewer and fewer people are willing to complete polls. ..."
"... theory would also explain the newspaper polls largely rigged to correspond to the planned vote theft, as well as the idiotic magnitude of overconfidence seen in the Pol-Est/MS Media/Wall Street complex. ..."
"... 1. IBD/TIPP (A collaboration of Investors Business Daily and TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence). TechnoMetrica was consistent throughout – final poll for election day had Trump leading by 2%. Also predicted the last presidential elections back to 2004. ..."
"... This election candidates' crowd draw was a good indicator. It was very difficult to pre-program the Diebold machines. MSM polls were in the bag for Hillary, had her ahead. It backfired. ..."
"... A bit about polling methodology explains the bias we've seen this election cycle. Typically, the polling samples are not big enough to be representative, so the results are corrected (weighted) based on the participant responses. The polls assume certain turnout percentages for different groups (Democrats, Republicans, Independents, rural, urban, ethnicity, gender etc.). A lot of the polls were weighting the polls with turnouts similar to 2012, corrected for the expected demographic changes over the last 4 years. ..."
"... Poll weighing is a tricky business. This is why most polling has a 4% error margin, so it does not produce as accurate picture as is typically presented by the media. The error is not randomly distributed, it is closely related to the poll weighting. The weighting error was favouring Clinton in the polls as it assumed higher Democratic turnout, which ended up not being the case, she underperformed 2012 significantly and lost the election. ..."
"... Are the polls done to discover "what's up", or are they done to project the view that one side is winning? ..."
"... I go with the second view. That's what the 'corrections' are all about. The 'corrections' need to be dropped completely ..."
"... This. There was a Wikiliks Podesta email in whdich Clinton operatives discussed oversampling certain groups to inflate the poll in her favor. ..."
"... Hmm ... what can I say that no-one else has already said except to observe that the polling and the corporate media reporting the polling statistics were in another parallel universe and the people supposedly being polled (and not some over-sampled group in Peoria, Iowa, who could predict exactly what questions would be asked and knew what answers to give) live on planet Earth? ..."
"... I most certainly did not predict Trump would win. But I did question the polls. What I questioned a few weeks ago was the margin of victory for Hillary. ..."
"... This is because most of the polls were weighting more Democratic (based on the 2012 election), which overestimated Clinton's support. ..."
"... So the difference between the poll and the actual result is 1.2% in favour of Trump (1.7% lead to Clinton in poll vs. 0.5% in the election). All are well within the error of the poll, so 1.2% difference between the election and the poll is well within the stated 3% error margin of the poll. ..."
"... You assume public polls are conducted by impartial actors who wish to inform and illuminate..... your assumption is incorrect. ..."
"... The New York Times recent admission that it writes the narrative first, then builds the story to suit says about everything for me regarding polls. ..."
"... According to reports, the first leader Trump spoke to on the phone after his election victory was the Egyptian president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. Sisi congratulated him on the election victory, a spokesman for the Egyptian leader said. ..."
"... It may be unfortunate, but I can see Trump & Erdogan getting along very well. Although, if they bring Putin into that triumvirate that could actually be very beneficial for the Middle East. ..."
Nov 13, 2016 | www.moonofalabama.org

Today I discussed the U.S. election with a friend who studied and practices statistics. I asked about the failure of the polls in this years presidential election. Her explanation: The polls are looking at future events but are biased by the past. The various companies and institutions adjust the polls they do by looking at their past prognoses and the real results of the past event. They then develop correcting factors, measured from the past, and apply it to new polls. If that correcting factor is wrong, possibly because of structural changes in the electorate, then the new polls will be corrected with a wrong factor and thus miss the real results.

Polls predicting the last presidential election were probably off by 3 or 5 points towards the Republican side. The pollsters then corrected the new polls for the Clinton-Trump race in favor of the Democratic side by giving that side an additional 3-5 points. They thereby corrected the new polls by the bias that was poll inherent during the last race.

But structural changes, which we seem to have had during this election, messed up the result. Many people who usually vote for the Democratic ticket did not vote for Clinton. The "not Clinton" progressives, the "bernie bros" and "deplorables" who voted Obama in the last election stayed home, voted for a third party candidate or even for Trump. The pollsters did not anticipate such a deep change. Thus their correction factor was wrong. Thus the Clinton side turned out to be favored in polls but not in the relevant votes.

Real polling, which requires in depth-in person interviews with the participants, does not really happen anymore. It is simply to expensive. Polling today is largely done by telephone with participants selected by some database algorithm. It is skewed by many factors which require many corrections. All these corrections have some biases that do miss structural changes in the underlying population.

The Clinton camp, the media and the pollsters missed what we had anticipated as "not Clinton". A basic setting in a part of the "left" electorate that remember who she is and what she has done and would under no circumstances vote for her. Clinton herself pushed the "bernie bros" and "deplorables" into that camp. This was a structural change that was solely based in the personality of the candidate.

If Sanders would have been the candidate the now wrong poll correction factor in favor of Democrats would likely have been a correct one. The deep antipathy against Hillary Clinton in a decisive part of the electorate was a factor that the pseudo-science of cheap telephone polls could not catch. More expensive in depth interviews of the base population used by a pollster would probably have caught this factor and adjusted appropriately.

There were some twenty to thirty different entities doing polls during this election cycle. Five to ten polling entities, with better budgets and preparations, would probably have led to better prognoses. Some media companies could probably join their poll budgets, split over multiple companies today, to have a common one with a better analysis of its base population.One that would have anticipated "not Hillary".

Unless that happens all polls will have to be read with a lot of doubt. What past bias is captured in these predictions of the future? What are their structural assumptions and are these still correct? What structural change might have happened?

Even then polls and their interpretation will always only capture a part of the story. Often a sound grasp of human and cultural behavior will allow for better prediction as all polls. As my friend the statistician say: "The best prognostic instrument I have even today is my gut."

Oscar Romero | Nov 13, 2016 3:23:53 PM | 1

An equally interesting question about polls: what about the exit polls? If Greg Palast and others are right, exit polls indicate that the voting was rigged. What does your statistics friend think about that?
Andrea | Nov 13, 2016 3:28:21 PM | 2
After the 1948 election, statisticians started to get rid of the quota sampling for electoral polls. After this election, it's time to reassess Statistics.

https://www.math.upenn.edu/~deturck/m170/wk4/lecture/case2.html

ab initio | Nov 13, 2016 3:30:01 PM | 3
NeverHillary turned out to be bigger than NeverTrump. Hillary got less than 6 million votes compared to Obama. Trump got nearly as much as Romney.
stumpy | Nov 13, 2016 3:45:38 PM | 4
A good indicator was the size of the crowds each candidate drew to their rallies. Clinton tended to show more "bought" TV-ready extras. Bernie blew the walls out at his rallies, as did Trump. You can't look at that and say the polls are even close to accurate.
Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 13, 2016 4:00:50 PM | 5
I suspect that the future of polling isn't as dire as you're painting it, b. There was huge anti-Trump bias in the Jew-controlled Christian-West Media from the beginning of the campaign. You drew attention to negative MSM bias yourself in the post which pointed out how consistently wrong the Punditocracy had been in predicting the imminent failure of the Trump campaign - thereby rubbing their noses in their own ineptitude and tomfoolery.

One factor which seemed important to me was occasionally hilighted at regular intervals by commenters here at MoA... The (apparent) fact that Trump addressed more, and bigger, crowds than Mrs Clinton. I accepted those claims as fact, and didn't bother to check their veracity. But nevertheless crowd size and frequency seems to have played a pivotal role in the outcome (as one would expect in a political campaign).

Mudduck | Nov 13, 2016 4:01:15 PM | 6
Exit polls have provided checks on the accuracy of the vote count -- but are liable to the same problem as the opinion pols, people who don't admit to their real position.
Steve | Nov 13, 2016 4:03:18 PM | 7
I'm not surprised that the polls fail badly in this presidential election. When the Democrats unleashed thugs on Trump supporters while the media studiously looked away, it was not sensible to openly identify with Trump. Even Trump was saying so through out the campaign.The Democrats together with their media partners truly believed that Donald Trump's alleged character flaws would be enough to win the election. Despite the fact that it was obvious to anyone without a blinker on that the momentum was on the side of Trump all along. Obama's phenomenon of 08 was nothing compared to Trump's phenomenon of this year, but because neither the MSM nor the Pollsters liked him they transferred their biases to their jobs. In any case I'm sure happy that the result of the election turned out different from the skewed prognosis.
jawbone | Nov 13, 2016 4:08:45 PM | 8
On Wednesday after the election, I heard an interview with a woman reporter who worked with the 538 polling group. She said that it was impossible for most reporters to really investigate how voters in certain areas of the country were feeling about the election bcz newspapers and other news organizations, including the Big Broadcasters, did not have the ability to pay for enough reporters to actually talk to people.

Since statistics had worked so well, and were cheaper to deal with, they won the day. And lost the battle.

Now, most people at this site seemed to base their decisions of whom to vote for based on stands on issues and known actions of the various candidates. But, even so, we probably paid attention to the polling results. I know I took into consideration that Hillary would win big in NJ, leaving me free to vote for Jill Stein. Based on known actions of Trump I could not vote for him, even tho' I hoped he would kill TPP and have better relations with Russia. I feared and still do fear his nominations to the Supreme Court. (I am not religious, but if I were I would pray daily, perhaps hourly, for the continued good health of the Justices Kennedy, GInsburg, and Breyer. I would hope the other Dem appointed justices would take care to avoid, oh, small airplanes....

Would Hillary have adjusted her campaign if she could have seen the rising disappointment of the working class Dems (even middle class to higher income Dems)? I don't know. I do know that her husband ran his first campaign on the famous "It's the economy, stupid" reminder.

Somehow, I don't think it would have registered enough.

And Obama ran on Hope and Change, but was always the Corporatist Dem Wall Street wanted. What a waste. And now we have four more years of doing essentially nothing aboug climate change. It was have been a strategy to put off even regulatory actions to lessen CO2 emissions until near the end of his second term, but, dang, it makes it easier for Trump to negate those efforts.

Again, what a waste. But I didn't vote for Obama for either term bcz I saw that his actions as IL state senator and as US senator were always looking out for the Big Money, Big Corporations, and seldom worked for anyone below the middle class, more the top of the middle class.

virgile | Nov 13, 2016 4:12:32 PM | 9
This Wasn't A Vote, It Was An Uprising
Paul Craig Roberts • November 12, 2016 >

Polls mean nothing when there is an uprising

virgile | Nov 13, 2016 4:15:15 PM | 10
No need of polls...say PBS

How to (accurately) predict a presidential election

joey | Nov 13, 2016 4:19:53 PM | 11
A long explanatory report which signifies nothing critical. "The polls were wrong??" No. The polls reported by MSM were wrong.

Big time, including from those from Clinton loving CBC here in Canada, which for an extended time was reporting Hillary with an 11% lead. That number was far beyond any minor adjustments, for sure.

There were polls, such as Rasmussen, itself suspected of fiddling, which were reporting ups and downs of 2%, and ended up tied election day.

So, please schemers, please do not try to cover up the MSM's deliberate attempt to influence results by using garbage numbers. Figures can lie, and liars can sure figure.

claudio | Nov 13, 2016 4:23:05 PM | 13
the Los Angeles Times polls were correct (although the paper was pro-Clinton); can't get the link now, but they explained how they weighted their polls on the basis of the enthusiasm displayed for the preferred candidate, and Trump supporters were more "charged"
mischi | Nov 13, 2016 4:25:01 PM | 14
I disagree with your friend, b. I read many stories about how the polls were fixed for Clinton for months before the election.

The pollsters took the % of voters from the Obama election but they also added more Democrats than were representative in the 2012 election, thereby skewing the polls for Clinton. Many believed that the reason they did this was to try to manipulate the voting machines in Clinton's favour and have the polls match the result. I think that Trump crying foul so early got them worried that they might be caught. Remember, voting machines in 14 states are run by companies affiliated with Soros.

james | Nov 13, 2016 4:26:58 PM | 15
i go back to what my sociology of the media instructor said.. polls are for massaging people's brains.. unless one knows who pays for them and what goes into them, they are just another propaganda tool for use..
Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 13, 2016 4:34:08 PM | 16
...
Polls mean nothing when there is an uprising
Posted by: virgile | Nov 13, 2016 4:12:32 PM | 9

Well, the Clinton-ista's and Soro-fuls certainly wasted no time when they switched from Anticipated Gloat to Full Spectrum Panic Mode, did they?

BraveNewWorld | Nov 13, 2016 4:35:07 PM | 17
It has been known for a long time in the polling world that polling numbers are getting more and more unreliable because fewer and fewer people are willing to complete polls.
Quadriad | Nov 13, 2016 4:41:10 PM | 18
I have a weird conspiracy hypothesis that I mainly made up on my own;

The last FBI "reopening" and the quick subsequent "close-down" felt all too counter-intuitive and silly, when examined solely based on their face value.

However, what if there was more to this? What if this was a final threat from FBI to the Soros-Clinton mafia to "quickly unrig the voting machines" OR we will arrest the lot of you? Which, once the promises were made by "allow fair play", required FBI to pull back as their part of the deal?

Just an idea...

Quadriad | Nov 13, 2016 4:43:54 PM | 19
This - admittedly conspiracy - theory would also explain the newspaper polls largely rigged to correspond to the planned vote theft, as well as the idiotic magnitude of overconfidence seen in the Pol-Est/MS Media/Wall Street complex.

Sorry on the split-think and double-post.

psychohistorian | Nov 13, 2016 5:02:02 PM | 20
I find it interesting b that you and your friend didn't seem to talk at all about the polling questions....at least that you shared with us. It is my experience and education that even with a "beauty contest" that we just had, that the structure of the polling questions make all the difference in how people being polled respond.

Polls are funded by parties with agendas and the questions, assumptions and biases are baked in to the result......IMO, they are all worthless or worse than that because folks see them, like the media as being something of an authority figure and therefore believable which we know is total BS.

Polls are just another propaganda tool of those rich enough to use them in their quiver of control.

Laguerre | Nov 13, 2016 5:15:19 PM | 21
Timid Trumpists is the major factor, I would think. A factor already well known in UK. People who are going to vote for a non-PC solution hesitate to admit it to poll questions.

somebody | Nov 13, 2016 5:15:50 PM | 22
All of the above is true, but - in addition - polls are used to manipulate campaigns.

People sympathize with someone who is considered a winner and when someone is considered likely to lose people lose interest.

To get the vote out polls have to be tight. In addition to that polls are used to motivate donors. In the end there has to be a reason pollsters get paid.

But even if polls would be done for purely scientific reasons, this election was impossible to poll. The correct question would have been "Do you hate/fear candidate x enough to motivate you to queue for voting for canditate y, or are you too disgusted to bother at all"

In the end, it was not the wrong polls that sank Clinton but the strategy to leave the anti-elitist populist stuff to Trump and - unsuccessfully concentrate on winning the elitist Republican anti Trump vote. That way she lost more of the Democrat Sanders vote than she could gain right wing.

The other factor was her reliance on television ads and media ties (they all backed her), a reluctance to talk to large audiences and an inability to communicate via social media.

It is possible though she never had a chance against a well established reality show brand.

The good news is that after this election campaigns will be done mainly low cost social media. The bad news is that these campaigns will be more fact free than ever and that the age of independent quality newspapers is over.

Quadriad | Nov 13, 2016 5:29:03 PM | 23
#22 somebody

So, you're saying that the age of independent quality newspapers has just ended, like about now. Interesting pov...

Somehow, the last few years of the MSM coverage of the NATO-Salafist War on Syria have had me convinced that the "independent quality newspapers" have become a*rse-wipe material a long time ago. Instead, we get the Sorosoid ZioTakfirism.

But, yeah, maybe it's all Trump's fault. Hey I also blame Hezbollah for kicking Yisrael's arse north of Litani in 2006. If they didn't piss of the Yivrim this much, maybe they wouldn't have punitively collapsed the faith in the Western Society from the inside.

Ultimately, it's all Putin's fault. He started it all by beating the pro-Saudi Chechens into a pulp back in 1999, and started the NATOQAEDA self-destruction.

likklemore | Nov 13, 2016 5:35:21 PM | 24
In this election, Pollsters got it wrong.

Two Exceptions:

1. IBD/TIPP (A collaboration of Investors Business Daily and TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence). TechnoMetrica was consistent throughout – final poll for election day had Trump leading by 2%. Also predicted the last presidential elections back to 2004.

Methodology

"Traditional Telephone method" includes cell –live interviews by Region; Age; Gender; Race; Income; Education; Party; Ideology; Investor; Area Type; Parental Status; White – men, women; Black/Hispanic; Women-single, married; Household description –Upper/Middle-Middle, Working, Lower; Religion; Union Household; Intensity of Support.

http://www.investors.com/politics/ibd-tipp-presidential-election-poll/

and
2. LATimes


This election candidates' crowd draw was a good indicator. It was very difficult to pre-program the Diebold machines. MSM polls were in the bag for Hillary, had her ahead. It backfired.

Is Newsweek embarrassed yet? They forgot some history. Truman-Dewey. Madam President! How appropriate.

Jackrabbit | Nov 13, 2016 5:44:28 PM | 25
Some of b's posts regarding US politics seems naive but I chalk that up to his not being American. But this technocratic excuse for the polling is just wrong. b, what happened to your skeptical view of Western media????

ben | Nov 13, 2016 5:46:27 PM | 26
virgile @ 9: An excerpt: " It was about the union men who refused to sell out their futures and vote for a Democrat who is an agent of the One Percent."

And now, I fear, they still have no future.

James @ 15 said.." polls are for massaging people's brains.. unless one knows who pays for them and what goes into them, they are just another propaganda tool for use..

How true..

Trumps choices for his cabinet don't leave much room for positive change, for the millions of disaffected voters who put him in office. We'll see!

voislav | Nov 13, 2016 6:13:07 PM | 27
A bit about polling methodology explains the bias we've seen this election cycle. Typically, the polling samples are not big enough to be representative, so the results are corrected (weighted) based on the participant responses. The polls assume certain turnout percentages for different groups (Democrats, Republicans, Independents, rural, urban, ethnicity, gender etc.). A lot of the polls were weighting the polls with turnouts similar to 2012, corrected for the expected demographic changes over the last 4 years.

Poll weighing is a tricky business. This is why most polling has a 4% error margin, so it does not produce as accurate picture as is typically presented by the media. The error is not randomly distributed, it is closely related to the poll weighting. The weighting error was favouring Clinton in the polls as it assumed higher Democratic turnout, which ended up not being the case, she underperformed 2012 significantly and lost the election.

It is important to stress that the election results ended up within the margin of error (+-4%). The polls were not wrong, it is the media and the analyst who over-interpreted the data and gave Clinton the win where she did not have a statistically significant (<4%) lead. This is why if Nate Silver at 538 was consistently writing that the polls in many of the swing states were within the error margin, although favouring Clinton, and their election prediction still gave Trump a ~30% chance of victory. Other analysts were more careless (hello Huffington Post) and even made fun of 538 for giving Trump any chance of victory.

There is no way to make more accurate polling for the future elections as the accuracy of the poll is tied in to poll weighing, which is guesswork (although somewhat educated by the historical data). Short of forcing everyone to vote, election-to-election turnout will change and affect the accuracy of the polls.

jo6pac | Nov 13, 2016 6:18:04 PM | 28
Some fun but sadly true.

#8 this for you

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-5Y74FrDCc&index=25&list=WL

#25 Yep

Quadriad | Nov 13, 2016 6:18:19 PM | 29
#27 voio

Instead of interpreting every single of those Polls as plausibly biased on one side, why don't you take the entire population of Western MSM Polls, and see if their median predicted outcome vs actual final outcome difference is statistically significant?

I'd say you'd find their entire population to be likely biased at least to six-sigma level.

(I have no time to show this myself, just proposing someone's hypothesis, as a research idea for someone's M Sci thesis for example)

lysias | Nov 13, 2016 6:18:32 PM | 30
I have lived in the D.C. area for the past 22 years with a land line phone and am listed in the White Pages. I have never been called by a pollster, although I am often called by political campaigns. I do not know anyone who has been called by a pollster.
jdmckay | Nov 13, 2016 6:35:22 PM | 32
Palast puts up good information that difference was good 'ole GOP voter purges.
jfl | Nov 13, 2016 6:40:08 PM | 33
Are the polls done to discover "what's up", or are they done to project the view that one side is winning?

I go with the second view. That's what the 'corrections' are all about. The 'corrections' need to be dropped completely.


Unless that happens all polls will have to be read with a lot of doubt.

Mike Whitney posted a link to a guy who got it right ... Patrick Caddell; The Pollster Who 'Got it Right' . His methods were not those of the captive pollsters.


More expensive in depth interviews of the base population used by a pollster would probably have caught this factor and adjusted appropriately.

No more 'adjustments' allowed. A desire to actually discover the lay of the land and to publish it is what's required. Good luck on getting that from the political class and/or their captive msm. Everything they do is a lie, calculated to keep themselves in power.

chipnik | Nov 13, 2016 6:42:19 PM | 34

The polls were obviously blatantly skewed towards urban Blue zones, and did not include working adults in Red zones, then were 'massaged' by reporting media in clearly a Rodham-paid PAC marketing campaign to brand the sheeples 'Wear Rodham!'

Only Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight even came close, but he had to rely on those same skewed polls. After all, since 1990, you can buy a CD set of American voting records by street address, it's not rocket science to be able to 'algo' that into a 'poll' that skews whichever way the highest bidder's (Rodham) quants tell you to.
https://www.facebook.com/viralthread/videos/598130190359668/

ben | Nov 13, 2016 6:42:20 PM | 35
jo6pak @28: Thanks for the videos.

On Tuesday a democratic site was taken down. This video was put up in it's place.

Strange and troubling. Seig heil anyone?

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

Adalbrand | Nov 13, 2016 6:53:27 PM | 36
@likklemore #24:

Glad you said that, and much better than I would have.

@somebody #22:

polls are used to manipulate campaigns.

This. There was a Wikiliks Podesta email in whdich Clinton operatives discussed oversampling certain groups to inflate the poll in her favor.

Demian is now known as Adalbrand .

Adalbrand | Nov 13, 2016 7:08:31 PM | 37
Oh Lookie – "Media Polls" Show Trump Back On Top, Go Figure…
As if on cue, or something. All of a sudden, S.U.R.P.R.I.S.E,… a litany of polls released today show Donald Trump ahead in key battleground states (Ohio and Florida), and tied –or closer than the margin of error– in new national polls…. […]

Remember what we stated on October 20th: […]

The real battle is the battle for your mind. The peak U.S. media false polling cycle is thankfully in the rear-view mirror.

It was because I followed that right-wing blog that I ignored all polls other than the LA Times tracking poll. (I didn't know about the IBD/TIPP poll until after the election.)
Jen | Nov 13, 2016 7:12:20 PM | 38
Hmm ... what can I say that no-one else has already said except to observe that the polling and the corporate media reporting the polling statistics were in another parallel universe and the people supposedly being polled (and not some over-sampled group in Peoria, Iowa, who could predict exactly what questions would be asked and knew what answers to give) live on planet Earth?
ToivoS | Nov 13, 2016 7:18:03 PM | 39
I most certainly did not predict Trump would win. But I did question the polls. What I questioned a few weeks ago was the margin of victory for Hillary.

There were two big variables that the pollsters had to guess at. One was the voter turnout numbers for those precincts that had many working class people with a high school or less education level. As it turns out those people came out in higher numbers than they have in elections over the past two decades. The other was voter turnout for many precincts that supported Obama in 2008 and 2012. What happened here was many of those voters who did turn out voted for Trump, instead of the Democrat. There was a third uncertainty here that no on has yet figured out. That was those people who would never admit to a stranger that they were going to vote for Trump and simply lied to the pollster.

In any case those three uncertainties worked in directions that none of the pollsters really picked up on.

voislav | Nov 13, 2016 7:23:32 PM | 40
#29 Quadriad

This is because most of the polls were weighting more Democratic (based on the 2012 election), which overestimated Clinton's support. For example, the Rasmussen poll, which traditionally weights more Republican, gave Clinton 1.7% lead, 44.8% to 43.1% (3% margin of error), so fairly close to the election results (47.3% to 47.8%).

So the difference between the poll and the actual result is 1.2% in favour of Trump (1.7% lead to Clinton in poll vs. 0.5% in the election). All are well within the error of the poll, so 1.2% difference between the election and the poll is well within the stated 3% error margin of the poll.

When you mention 6 sigma, you really don't really know what you are talking about. Typical polling error is 3 - 4% and the election result was within this error for most polls in all of the states. Standard deviation (sigma) that you mention is a random uncertainty associated with a measurement and it does not apply here. As I tried to convey, the errors in polling tend to be systematic, not random, because they are tied to weighting of the polls, not to the sample of the population as this is mostly corrected by the weighting. So because most of the MSM polls use similar weighting methodology based on the same historical data, they will all be off, there will be no random distribution of some for Trump, some for Clinton. Weighing based on different historical data skews the whole picture one way, it's not a random error. This is why pollster slap a relatively large 3 - 4% error on their polls, it is meant to cover any systematic bias of the weighting as well as random errors.

bigmango | Nov 13, 2016 7:23:48 PM | 41
You assume public polls are conducted by impartial actors who wish to inform and illuminate..... your assumption is incorrect.
Adalbrand | Nov 13, 2016 7:31:27 PM | 42
@ToivoS #39:

those three uncertainties worked in directions that none of the pollsters really picked up on.

Have a loook at the LA Times tracking poll . It had Trump ahead by 3.2% on election day, which is close to the margin of error. The graph there is interesting, because dates of various events, such as the debates are marked. The poll figures moved in response to those events as one would expect.

Before the election, the people who do that poll said that they did best at predicting the 2012 election. Oh, in a post about the election's outcome, Alexander Dugin singled out that poll for praise.

Bill Hicks | Nov 13, 2016 7:44:37 PM | 43
I have a better idea--how about we stop the stupid polling altogether since there is only one poll that really matters? Then the media would have to focus on the issues rather than the horserace. Oh, the humanity!

Quadriad | Nov 13, 2016 8:08:16 PM | 44
I know exactly what I am talking about.

Hypothesis A - that it's all explainable by random distribution of their samples.

If you use Hypotethesis A, and then disprove it in it's own game (be it 3, or 6 sigma), then you have to suggest an alternative.

I don't know what the alternative is. I don't even claim I do. But you can more easily disprove the veracity that the polls could have mostly been non-biased by showing that hypothesis is unlikely to be RIGHT. That's where sigmas make absolute sense.

Nice try though, Voislave.

Quadriad | Nov 13, 2016 8:12:56 PM | 45
Furthermore, what you are proving here is that the POPULATION of ALL COMBINED polls has a mean that must be different from the POPULATION of all actual voters, not of disproving the polls one by one.

I think you've totally ignored my point, you keep looking at individual polls as trees, I am looking at the poll forest and saying the entire forest is buggered if almost all polls erred on one side, regardless of their individual margins of error.

MadMax2 | Nov 13, 2016 8:14:16 PM | 46
The New York Times recent admission that it writes the narrative first, then builds the story to suit says about everything for me regarding polls. 'Hey, my editor needs someone to come out and say something, can you say this...?' <-- Now, if that is standard practice in journalism at 'the paper of record', then skewing polls to suit a common agenda is a given, again in my opinion. This of course is great news for sites like MofA.

Also impossible to capture The Don's campaign playing the electoral college system like an old mandolin, as it turns out. 306 Trump bts 232 Hillary it looks like in the wash up. That's old school work rate doing the job. Fair play. Great to see all the student debt laden brainwashed libtards out there doing there nut. They don't even know what a bullet they dodged + shite like the TPP is now dead. Some gratitude.

Hopefully in 2020 there are some more scientific polls like the USC Dornslife/LA Times poll, each having their own differing methodologies preferably. This should give the punters a better 'feel' for the electorate.

In other news...

Assange is being interviewed tomorrow by Swedush police (for the 2nd time I should add). There are and were no charges laid. I suspect their will be no charges brought tomorrow.

...so what happened...? Did The Rule of Law just...magically appear...?

Penelope | Nov 13, 2016 8:16:37 PM | 47
The most extraordinary thing I learned about polls is that exit polls are altered as soon as the official election or primary vote is in-- to match it.

https://richardcharnin.wordpress.com/tag/mathematical-proof-of-election-fraud/

Penelope | Nov 13, 2016 8:42:14 PM | 49
2 heartstopping items:
-- http://phibetaiota.net/2016/11/robert-steele-the-accidental-president-will-he-resign-the-closed-system-is-still-rigged-and-likely-to-remain-so/ Challenging Trumps legitimacy.
-- http://usdefensewatch.com/2016/11/putin-issues-international-arrest-warrant-for-george-soros-dead-or-alive/ This last-- like most overly dramatic news-- appears to be a scm but is widely dispersed across the web. Kind of curious. Of course I guess everybody knows that he's behind the protests in the US.

Julian | Nov 13, 2016 8:54:34 PM | 50
Who is Trump speaking to?
According to reports, the first leader Trump spoke to on the phone after his election victory was the Egyptian president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. Sisi congratulated him on the election victory, a spokesman for the Egyptian leader said.

Ireland's government said the taoiseach, Enda Kenny, had a 10-minute call with Trump, and was invited to visit the White House on St Patrick's Day.

Mexico's president, Enrique Peρa Nieto, has said he and Trump agreed in their call to meet before Trump takes office, while Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was invited to the White House.

Other leaders to have a chat with Trump so far include the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, India's prime minister, Narendra Modi, the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe – they reportedly talked for 20 minutes and agreed to meet soon in New York – and South Korea's president, Park Geun-hye.

Australia's prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, was reported to have chatted with Trump about security and trade in their call.

No surprises there.

It may be unfortunate, but I can see Trump & Erdogan getting along very well. Although, if they bring Putin into that triumvirate that could actually be very beneficial for the Middle East.

Notably absent

Adalbrand | Nov 13, 2016 8:55:25 PM | 51
@MadMax2 #46:

Concur with all your points. And yes, the timing of the Swedes finally deciding to interview Assange is funny.

I never thought that Hillary would become president, btw., from the moment she declared for 2016. Which is not to say that I was not concerned that the demonization of Trump might throw the election. We'll never know, but it is possible that Trump wouldn't have won without Wikileaks. And the two sets of leaks were very well timed.

To return to polls. It's not just most media polls that were off. The Clinton campaign's internal polls were off, too. They didn't have much doubt that they would win. (The same thing happened with Romney of course, but in their case, their internal polls differed from the media polls.) Apparently, they really did believe they have a firewall, with redundancies no less.

Clinton staffers: Arrogance from the DNC leadership cost Clinton the election

[Nov 13, 2016] Comey did it hypothesys

Nov 13, 2016 | nypost.com

But Democrats had a simpler answer for why Clinton lost. As one Democratic strategist close to Clinton told The Post, it all came down to "one word: Comey." Too bad for Democrats there are zero electoral votes in the State of Denial. FBI Director James Comey didn't use a private e-mail server to conduct official State Department business and put 110 classified e-mails on that unsecured server. Comey didn't fail to turn over some 14,900 e-mails to the FBI after assuring Americans that "I turned over everything I was obligated to turn over."

Comey didn't lie to the American people about Benghazi, publicly blaming the attacks on "inflammatory material posted on the Internet." Comey didn't tell Democratic voters he was against free-trade deals, but then tell Brazilian bankers that his dream was for "hemispheric . . . open trade and open borders."

Comey didn't have a foundation that accepted millions of dollars in donations from foreign governments during his tenure as secretary of state. He didn't give, as I wrote last month, "special treatment to Clinton Foundation donors after the Haiti quake, asking for them to be identified as 'FOBs' (friends of Bill Clinton) or 'WJC VIPs' (William Jefferson Clinton VIPs)."

Why did Hillary Clinton lose? Not because of Comey. She lost because exit polls showed that 54 percent of voters believe she is "corrupt."

To the elites in Washington, her corruption was apparently no big deal, at least not compared with their horror at the prospect of a Trump presidency. But Americans correctly saw her corruption as corrosive to our democracy.

This election was a popular repudiation of Clinton's corruption and deceit - and she owns that. But there is one person besides herself whom she can blame: President Obama. Because while Clinton may have lost to Donald Trump, it was Obama who created him.

[Nov 13, 2016] Martin Armstrong Exposes The Real Clinton Conspiracy Which Backfired Dramatically

Notable quotes:
"... Hillary lost not merely because she misread the "real" people, she decided to run a very divisive and nasty negative campaign, which has fueled the violence ever since. According to WikiLeaks emails from campaign John Podesta, Clinton colluded with the DNC and the media to raise what they thought would be the extreme right among Republicans to then make her the middle of the road to hide her agenda. ..."
"... Clinton called this her "pied piper" strategy, that intentionally cultivated extreme right-wing presidential candidates and that would turn the Republicans away from their more moderate candidates. ..."
"... The Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee along with mainstream media all called for using far-right candidates "as a cudgel to move the more established candidates further to the right." Clinton's camp insisted that Trump should be "elevated" to "leaders of the pack" and media outlets should be told to "take them seriously." ..."
"... The Clinton strategy was all about manipulating the Republicans to nominate the worst candidate Clinton called for forcing "all Republican candidates to lock themselves into extreme conservative positions that will hurt them in a general election." ..."
"... It was not Putin trying to rig the elections, it was Hillary. Clinton saw the Republican field as crowded and she viewed as "positive" for her. "Many of the lesser known can serve as a cudgel to move the more established candidates further to the right." Clinton then took the strategic position saying "we don't want to marginalize the more extreme candidates, but make them more 'Pied Piper' candidates who actually represent the mainstream of the Republican Party." ..."
"... "We need to be elevating the Pied Piper candidates so that they are leaders of the pack and tell the press to them seriously." ..."
"... This is by far the WORST campaign in history and it was all orchestrated by Hillary to be intentionally divisive for the nation all to win the presidency at all costs. She has torched the constitution and the country. ..."
"... Any Democrat who is not angry at this is clearly just a biased fool. Wake up and smell the roses. You just got what you deserve. ..."
"... It's one thing to be ruthless & evil. It's another to be ruthless, evil and stupid. Brexit should have been a huge eye-opener for the elites that they should seek to field two establishment candidates as usual at any cost rather than risk elevating an outsider. ..."
"... It's incredibly fortunate they were too dumb to realise that the former middle class and independents cognisant of NWO would create huge momentum for exactly those type of candidates & that this was absolutely the worst time in history to attempt that strategy. Lack of competition at the top of the food chain has made her ilk slow and out of touch. Evolution is a bitch. ..."
"... Personally, I find this hilarious. She schemes and connives to push forward the most "unelectable" republican, and that republican wins mostly because she vastly underestimates the dislike of Americans for her. ..."
"... Excellent article. Truly, the definition of "hubris" was Hillary during this election. ..."
"... What she underestimated was the ability for most to see thru her true contempt of people. That's the bottom line of Hillary- she just sees herself as royalty, and we just got tired of seeing it again and again. ..."
"... from the tone of the leaked emails it is clear they realized she was the worst candidate ever. ..."
"... This mirrors her naive approach to foreign policy of "create a controlled burn (Arab spring) and get rid of your enemy". Without realizing someone would move in to the void left afterwards. (I need to drink more - In whiskey, veritas). Or as in this case, the wind changes direction. ..."
"... It is interesting that there is no mention of any strategy to promote her ideas or positive qualities. In fact the "muddy the waters" statement shows they knew scandals would come up and they'd have to play defense. ..."
"... Remember how Hitlery called US working white men just a deplorable POS. Furthermore, her allies could easily falsify the voter counting process but again they were so arrogant and self confident that they fucked up themselves. ..."
"... People, stop be so naive and stupid. The life is not fair to losers since only winners always write the history! ..."
"... Finally, if Trump will follow an advice to be good to everybody being a unifier then he will be destroyed. This is why he must continue the strategy that brought his the victory. One never can win follow a defensive strategy! ..."
"... unfortunately, the MSM is continuing without a break in cadence their lock-step call for bipartisan! compromise! and let's be "REASONABLE" . DAMMIT. The time for reasonable is past. ..."
"... If Trump puts in a lot of NEOCON insiders in his cabinet I say we need to hammer it again home that this is our last chance. If trump doesn't deliver the JOBS and Economic turnaround then the conservatives are GONE. We won't get another chance. ..."
www.zerohedge.com

Meanwhile, Hillary lost not merely because she misread the "real" people, she decided to run a very divisive and nasty negative campaign, which has fueled the violence ever since. According to WikiLeaks emails from campaign John Podesta, Clinton colluded with the DNC and the media to raise what they thought would be the extreme right among Republicans to then make her the middle of the road to hide her agenda.

... ... ...

Clinton called this her "pied piper" strategy, that intentionally cultivated extreme right-wing presidential candidates and that would turn the Republicans away from their more moderate candidates. This enlisted mainstream media who then focused to Trump and raise him above all others assuming that would help Hillary for who would vote for Trump. This was a deliberate strategy all designed to propel Hillary to the White House.

The Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee along with mainstream media all called for using far-right candidates "as a cudgel to move the more established candidates further to the right." Clinton's camp insisted that Trump should be "elevated" to "leaders of the pack" and media outlets should be told to "take them seriously."

If we look back on April 23, 2015, just two weeks after Hillary Clinton officially declared her presidential campaign, her staff sent out a message on straregy to manipulate the Republicans into selecting the worse candidate. They included this attachment a "memo for the DNC discussion."

The memo was addressed to the Democratic National Committee and stated bluntly, "the strategy and goals a potential Hillary Clinton presidential campaign would have regarding the 2016 Republican presidential field." Here we find that the real conspiracy was Clinton manipulating the Republicans. "Clearly most of what is contained in this memo is work the DNC is already doing. This exercise is intended to put those ideas to paper."

"Our hope is that the goal of a potential HRC campaign and the DNC would be one-in-the-same: to make whomever the Republicans nominate unpalatable to a majority of the electorate."

The Clinton strategy was all about manipulating the Republicans to nominate the worst candidate Clinton called for forcing "all Republican candidates to lock themselves into extreme conservative positions that will hurt them in a general election."

It was not Putin trying to rig the elections, it was Hillary. Clinton saw the Republican field as crowded and she viewed as "positive" for her. "Many of the lesser known can serve as a cudgel to move the more established candidates further to the right." Clinton then took the strategic position saying "we don't want to marginalize the more extreme candidates, but make them more 'Pied Piper' candidates who actually represent the mainstream of the Republican Party."

Her manipulative strategy was to have the press build up Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz and Ben Carson. "We need to be elevating the Pied Piper candidates so that they are leaders of the pack and tell the press to them seriously."

This conspiracy has emerged from the Podesta emails. It was Clinton conspiring with mainstream media to elevate Trump and then tear him down. We have to now look at all the media who endorsed Hillary as simply corrupt. Simultaneously, Hillary said that Bernie had to be ground down to the pulp. Further leaked emails showed how the Democratic National Committee sabotaged Sanders' presidential campaign. It was Hillary manipulating the entire media for her personal gain. She obviously did not want a fair election because she was too corrupt.

What is very clear putting all the emails together, the rise of Donald Trump was orchestrated by Hillary herself conspiring with mainstream media, and they they sought to burn him to the ground. Their strategy backfired and now this is why she has not come out to to speak against the violence she has manipulated and inspired.

This is by far the WORST campaign in history and it was all orchestrated by Hillary to be intentionally divisive for the nation all to win the presidency at all costs. She has torched the constitution and the country. No wonder Hillary could not go to the stage to thank her supporters. She never counted on them and saw the people as fools. The entire strategy was to take the White House with a manipulation of the entire election process. Just unbelievable. Any Democrat who is not angry at this is clearly just a biased fool. Wake up and smell the roses. You just got what you deserve.

Notveryamused -> Charles Wilson •Nov 12, 2016 9:12 PM

It's one thing to be ruthless & evil. It's another to be ruthless, evil and stupid. Brexit should have been a huge eye-opener for the elites that they should seek to field two establishment candidates as usual at any cost rather than risk elevating an outsider.

It's incredibly fortunate they were too dumb to realise that the former middle class and independents cognisant of NWO would create huge momentum for exactly those type of candidates & that this was absolutely the worst time in history to attempt that strategy. Lack of competition at the top of the food chain has made her ilk slow and out of touch. Evolution is a bitch.

847328_3527 -> nmewn •Nov 12, 2016 9:33 PM

That yootoob video of "When people laughed at the idea..." is excellent...a Must watch for all! Here is the yootoob link again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zT0Rjc6jKCg

Automatic Choke -> 847328_3527 •Nov 12, 2016 9:34 PM

Personally, I find this hilarious. She schemes and connives to push forward the most "unelectable" republican, and that republican wins mostly because she vastly underestimates the dislike of Americans for her.

Could there be a more fitting slap in the face to someone of such enormous hubris and arrogance?

jcaz -> Automatic Choke •Nov 12, 2016 9:47 PM

Excellent article. Truly, the definition of "hubris" was Hillary during this election.

What she underestimated was the ability for most to see thru her true contempt of people. That's the bottom line of Hillary- she just sees herself as royalty, and we just got tired of seeing it again and again.

MalteseFalcon -> espirit •Nov 12, 2016 10:47 PM

Hillary Rodent fashions herself as some kind of leader who is a Christian (Methodist) and loves America ("Need to unify!!"). So let the Rodent get on TV and tell these bought and paid for rioters to stop. "Not in my name" should be the Rodent's plea.

<crickets>

She's a fraud.

Joe Davola -> MalteseFalcon •Nov 12, 2016 11:44 PM

It truly was the worst campaign in history (topping Mondale 84). If only they'd put half the effort into their campaign that they put into dirty tricks. Then again, from the tone of the leaked emails it is clear they realized she was the worst candidate ever.

They were so busy playing it like a parlor game, they forgot to actually provide real reasons to vote for her - beyond it was her turn.

This mirrors her naive approach to foreign policy of "create a controlled burn (Arab spring) and get rid of your enemy". Without realizing someone would move in to the void left afterwards. (I need to drink more - In whiskey, veritas). Or as in this case, the wind changes direction.

FreedomGuy -> Joe Davola •Nov 13, 2016 12:44 AM

It is interesting that there is no mention of any strategy to promote her ideas or positive qualities. In fact the "muddy the waters" statement shows they knew scandals would come up and they'd have to play defense.

It is never about how good they are. It is about how bad you/the other side is.

caconhma -> jcaz •Nov 12, 2016 10:31 PM

War is war. The goal is to win by destroying an opponent. Therefore, any actions and any strategy leading to a victory are totally justified!

Consequently, one cannot blame Hitlery for her actions. Hitlery has done the right things but Jewish arrogance that guided and executed her election campaign negated and destroyed all advantages she had. Remember how Hitlery called US working white men just a deplorable POS. Furthermore, her allies could easily falsify the voter counting process but again they were so arrogant and self confident that they fucked up themselves.

People, stop be so naive and stupid. The life is not fair to losers since only winners always write the history!

Finally, if Trump will follow an advice to be good to everybody being a unifier then he will be destroyed. This is why he must continue the strategy that brought his the victory. One never can win follow a defensive strategy!

hardmedicine -> caconhma •Nov 13, 2016 3:46 AM

unfortunately, the MSM is continuing without a break in cadence their lock-step call for bipartisan! compromise! and let's be "REASONABLE" . DAMMIT. The time for reasonable is past.

If Trump puts in a lot of NEOCON insiders in his cabinet I say we need to hammer it again home that this is our last chance. If trump doesn't deliver the JOBS and Economic turnaround then the conservatives are GONE. We won't get another chance.

Grosvenor Pkwy -> Chris Dakota •Nov 13, 2016 6:29 AM

Long-term drug and alcohol abuse slowly destroys the brain. She was definitely smarter 20 years ago. "first we have to bring them to heel..."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FnjXkHvYSY

VinceFostersGhost -> Chris Dakota •Nov 13, 2016 8:23 AM

for years the talk is that Hillary is a drunk.

Heard the same thing.......Benghazi......she was knocked out.


[Nov 13, 2016] Liberal Media Turns On Itself As NYT Promises To Rededicate Itself To Honest Reporting

Notable quotes:
"... Take over the Democratic Party and return it to the people. They have failed us miserably. ..."
"... Fire all pundits, predictors, pollsters and anyone else in the media who had a narrative they wouldn't let go of and refused to listen to or acknowledge what was really going on. Those same bloviators will now tell us we must "heal the divide" and "come together." ..."
"... let those of us who know the score lead the way in stopping the meanness and the madness that's about to begin. ..."
"... Everyone must stop saying they are "stunned" and "shocked". What you mean to say is that you were in a bubble and weren't paying attention to your fellow Americans and their despair. ..."
"... You live in a country where a majority of its citizens have said they believe there's climate change, they believe women should be paid the same as men, they want a debt-free college education, they don't want us invading countries, they want a raise in the minimum wage and they want a single-payer true universal health care system. None of that has changed. ..."
"... Finally, speaking of Saturday Night Live sketches, we can't wait to see how the liberal "comedy" show - which just like the NYT existed in a world of its own throughout the presidential campaign - spins the election results tonight. ..."
Nov 13, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com
* * *

Then there was ultraliberal Michael Moore, who in a facebook post urged to "Fire all pundits, predictors, pollsters and anyone else in the media who had a narrative they wouldn't let go of and refused to listen to or acknowledge what was really going on. Those same bloviators will now tell us we must "heal the divide" and "come together." They will pull more hooey like that out of their ass in the days to come. Turn them off."

Morning After To-Do List:

1. Take over the Democratic Party and return it to the people. They have failed us miserably.

2. Fire all pundits, predictors, pollsters and anyone else in the media who had a narrative they wouldn't let go of and refused to listen to or acknowledge what was really going on. Those same bloviators will now tell us we must "heal the divide" and "come together." They will pull more hooey like that out of their ass in the days to come. Turn them off.

3. Any Democratic member of Congress who didn't wake up this morning ready to fight, resist and obstruct in the way Republicans did against President Obama every day for eight full years must step out of the way and let those of us who know the score lead the way in stopping the meanness and the madness that's about to begin.

4. Everyone must stop saying they are "stunned" and "shocked". What you mean to say is that you were in a bubble and weren't paying attention to your fellow Americans and their despair. YEARS of being neglected by both parties, the anger and the need for revenge against the system only grew. Along came a TV star they liked whose plan was to destroy both parties and tell them all "You're fired!" Trump's victory is no surprise. He was never a joke. Treating him as one only strengthened him. He is both a creature and a creation of the media and the media will never own that.

5. You must say this sentence to everyone you meet today: "HILLARY CLINTON WON THE POPULAR VOTE!" The MAJORITY of our fellow Americans preferred Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. Period. Fact. If you woke up this morning thinking you live in an effed-up country, you don't. The majority of your fellow Americans wanted Hillary, not Trump. The only reason he's president is because of an arcane, insane 18th-century idea called the Electoral College. Until we change that, we'll continue to have presidents we didn't elect and didn't want. You live in a country where a majority of its citizens have said they believe there's climate change, they believe women should be paid the same as men, they want a debt-free college education, they don't want us invading countries, they want a raise in the minimum wage and they want a single-payer true universal health care system. None of that has changed. We live in a country where the majority agree with the "liberal" position. We just lack the liberal leadership to make that happen (see: #1 above).

* * *

There were countless more such examples of prominent liberals accusing the press of bias and propaganda long after the fact, even as the press itself refuses to admit any guilt, while itself blaming others, and so the circle continues to turn, and nothing changes in a world in which nobody knows what happens next now that the status quo has been crushed by the people.

Finally, speaking of Saturday Night Live sketches, we can't wait to see how the liberal "comedy" show - which just like the NYT existed in a world of its own throughout the presidential campaign - spins the election results tonight.

[Nov 12, 2016] Donald Trump is moving to the White House, and liberals put him there

Notable quotes:
"... The party elites--the superdelegates--committed to Clinton from the beginning. They decided it was her turn. And despite all the evidence showing they were supporting a weak, vulnerable, and heavily disliked candidate, they stuck with it anyway. This Trump presidency, and the Republican sweep in the House and Senate, is entirely on the shoulders of 300 insider Democrats. ..."
"... Clinton's supporters among the media didn't help much, either. It always struck me as strange that such an unpopular candidate enjoyed such robust and unanimous endorsements from the editorial and opinion pages of the nation's papers, but it was the quality of the media's enthusiasm that really harmed her. With the same arguments repeated over and over, two or three times a day, with nuance and contrary views all deleted, the act of opening the newspaper started to feel like tuning in to a Cold War propaganda station. ..."
"... But she was exactly the wrong candidate for this angry, populist moment. An insider when the country was screaming for an outsider. A technocrat who offered fine-tuning when the country wanted to take a sledgehammer to the machine. ..."
www.theguardian.com

thetowncrier -> NathAldridge 4d ago

No shit, Sherlock. Sanders would have beaten Trump. We are living in extreme times, and in extreme times centrism and political 'triangulation' doesn't work.

This result will be repeated next year in France with the National Front. Mark my words. And when it does, France will vote to leave the EU and the house of cards will come crashing down.

You can thank the Democrats, a party that used to represent working people, for at least part of that. Their billionaire backers picked Clinton because she'd ensure their wealth would remain untouched. I wonder what they're feeling now?

Aaron Jackson -> NathAldridge 4d ago

How do you figure? Clinton won the Democratic primary by less than the margin of superdelegates. She had a MASSIVE lead in funding, institutional support, and (at the least) insider bias--though it was likely more than that, given that nearly every single election anomaly in that primary bounced her way.

The DNC intentionally limited the debates and scheduled those they did have for off times to try to limit the damage Sanders could do to Clinton, and big media refused to cover Bernie Sanders except in the context of Clinton.

And even with all of that, Sanders pulled within 300 delegates of winning the Democratic Nomination by working through a grassroots, positive campaign. The momentum was entirely on his side, too! And national polls showed him performing MUCH better against Trump than Clinton. And, of course, he had no scandals (real or imagined) to leverage.

The party elites--the superdelegates--committed to Clinton from the beginning. They decided it was her turn. And despite all the evidence showing they were supporting a weak, vulnerable, and heavily disliked candidate, they stuck with it anyway. This Trump presidency, and the Republican sweep in the House and Senate, is entirely on the shoulders of 300 insider Democrats.


NathAldridge 4d ago

The Guardian in a nutshell!

Clinton's supporters among the media didn't help much, either. It always struck me as strange that such an unpopular candidate enjoyed such robust and unanimous endorsements from the editorial and opinion pages of the nation's papers, but it was the quality of the media's enthusiasm that really harmed her. With the same arguments repeated over and over, two or three times a day, with nuance and contrary views all deleted, the act of opening the newspaper started to feel like tuning in to a Cold War propaganda station. Here's what it consisted of:

  • Hillary was virtually without flaws. She was a peerless leader clad in saintly white, a super-lawyer, a caring benefactor of women and children, a warrior for social justice.
  • Her scandals weren't real.
  • The economy was doing well / America was already great.
  • Working-class people weren't supporting Trump. And if they were, it was only because they were botched humans. Racism was the only conceivable reason for lining up with the Republican candidate.

dynamic22 4d ago

"But she was exactly the wrong candidate for this angry, populist moment. An insider when the country was screaming for an outsider. A technocrat who offered fine-tuning when the country wanted to take a sledgehammer to the machine."

You said everything really.

Watchman80 -> dynamic22 4d ago

Yup.

Also, see this. Note the date (and the imagined Trump speech)

http://static.currentaffairs.org/2016/02/unless-the-democrats-nominate-sanders-a-trump-nomination-means-a-trump-presidency


Choller21 4d ago

Maybe it's time to consider whether there's something about shrill self-righteousness, shouted from a position of high social status, that turns people away.

I couldn't have put it better. I could have put it with more swear words in though.

BigBlue80 4d ago

Maybe there is a bright side to a Trump victory. After all, there was a reason that tens of millions of good people voted for him yesterday, and maybe he will live up to their high regard for him.

If you assume that election victory (not even a majority as apparently Clinton will win the popular vote) legitmises everything, you are right. But if you believe that there are western values that should not be sacrificed than you are wrong. Eventually, this will be the end of democracy - it will kill itself by electing a fascist. I happened before and it looks ever more likely. The you US with ist overbearing nationalism, its leader-orientation and glorification of the military was always close to fascism, but now it might have taken the final leap into the abyss.

atuocool 4d ago

"[Neo]Liberals" are a type of conservative who never convince me of the sincerity of their "progressive" values. What was progressive about Hillary? What would she have actually done for the poor? How would she have moved America away from being a corporate plutocracy? We all know the answer is nothing. Trump is a nightmare, but he represents a bizarre, retrograde change while Clinton represented a vacuous status quo.

John Hunter 4d ago

with nuance and contrary views all deleted, the act of opening the newspaper started to feel like tuning in to a Cold War propaganda station


Correct, it is censorship and suppression of contrary opinion and enormously biased towards "The Chosen One"

Once again it proves that the Guardian is against the tide of History.

It is not bad to be contrarian or representing an alternative opinion or "voice" however provided you still maintain some sense of integrity and journalistic professionalism, providing content, news and information that is fair, balanced without indulging in gratuitous character assassination, presenting controversial issues of public importance in a manner that is honest, equitable, and balanced.

The Guardian during the American election as with Brexit and many other controversial issues has consistently aligned itself with policies and opinion that many would consider left-wing or liberal yet is neither as the viewpoints they support betrays the liberty and freedom of the ordinary citizen.

As I said before the election regardless who win or lose the media has already lost by showing its hand and exposed itself as not a true independent source of news and information, but pursuing definite agendas and siding with corporate news media's opinions and politics.

According to the Guardian's own view liberalism will have to be remade in a post-liberal age. It is their own peculiar set of values they believe that is important and not the very principles the left originally defended. Pursuing a certain "metropolitan liberal creed".

An metropolitan liberal elite who believe they are more educated, more intelligent and talented, more enlightened, more able to comprehend what society needs than the slow, slobs, the wasters and good for nothings with their prejudices, that do not know what is good for them.

Their brand of Liberalism has been the complete antithesis of allowing people to take control of their lives. It has been a dictatorial imposition of the beliefs of the least liberal nature.

Equating the tendencies of so-called "social justice warriors" and so-called "identity politics" and equating them somehow with liberalism you're a long way from the truth have little to do with liberalism and no, that's not "left" either.

The establishment in the mainstream media believe they are economically liberals - though privately they look more kindly on monopolies than old school liberals would have. Yet these "liberals" want to happily embrace Brussels' legalistic regime of rules that range from the petty and impractical to a punitive and autocratic dictatorship.

Classical liberalism is a political ideology and a branch of liberalism which advocates civil liberties and political freedom with representative democracy under the rule of law and emphasizes economic freedom.

It is no secret what the problem is, lack of jobs, lack of opportunities, people who feel they have no future or rights in their own country anymore.

Ask yourself is what you identify with or support contributing towards a more peaceful, harmonious society where all have a sense of having a place and a future in their own country where they feel they fit in and contribute towards a more safe, secure and prosperous society?

Jerome Fryer John Hunter 4d ago 14 15

An metropolitan liberal elite who believe they are more educated, more intelligent and talented, more enlightened, more able to comprehend what society needs than the slow, slobs, the wasters and good for nothings with their prejudices, that do not know what is good for them.

This is not a new problem. The social elites (self-appointed) of all political persuasions are always bemoaning the stupidity of the plebs in not bowing to their superior understanding of all things. That this unfounded hubris is an amazing exemplar of denial of reality (who just won this election, for example) doesn't seem able to take root in the bubble of acceptable thought in their minds. How could they possibly be talking out of their bottom when it comes to damn near everything? (All evidence aside.)

We need the voice of the 'common people' to be heard, without being filtered by the elites. Fake democracy is not going to work -- we'll end up with a bigger fiasco, such as Jamie Dimon vs Kim Kardashian in the next US Presidential contest. Way past time for those in power to wake up to the fact that they're not in control, and real change that involves the great unwashed in the process is necessary. Trump is one dumb guy, but he has managed to figure out how to use this frustration to get his misogynist, racist, backside into the chair in the Oval Office.

Wise up, 'smart people'. Reply Share Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter | Pick Report _jhfta_ Jerome Fryer 4d ago 10 11

We need the voice of the 'common people' to be heard, without being filtered by the elites.

I give you: Boaty McBoatface. trp981 , 9 Nov 2016 11:2>
Concluding Unscientific Postscripts (*)

- Election of Trump is not just another routine changing of the guards in the US two-party system (although it is that too). This is a significant deviation in the business-as-usual model of politics, and there will be substantial repercussions that will explicitly manifest themselves somewhere down the line.

- The Founding Dudes and the Framers of the US Constitution had set up the system so as to preclude the possibility of ascendance of someone like Trump.

- The Founding Dudes and the Framers of the US Constitution had set up the system so as to eventually make possible the ascendance of someone like Trump.

- Sanders was right. That having had had been said, he would have still lost to Drumpf if he were the D's nominee instead of HRC.

- That is because RealAmerica_a spoke more vocally this time around, overwhelming the voice of RealAmerica_b.

- Judging by geographical size alone, RealAmerica_a is Real America.

- It is simply unimaginable that the enlightened citizenry will elect someone as destructive and unqualified as Reagan in 1980. Such a possibility is not conceivable in any logical space, and even fiction writers are wary to contemplate such an impossibility.

- Election of Reagan is not just another routine changing of the guards in the US two-party system (although it is that too). This is a significant deviation in the business-as-usual model of politics, and there will be substantial repercussions that will explicitly manifest themselves somewhere down the line.

- Trump's victory is a repeat of the interplay of the socioeconomic forces that made Dubya's presidency possible in 2000. Eight more years of this worldview and we will have another Obama-type candidacy afterwards to clean up the mess and make the world safe again for the staggering-but-still-dominant neoliberal order.

- People will be just too exhausted after eight years of Trump's presidency, and they will be so relieved after the election of the next Obama-type president as to retreat to their homes and let the new savior continue cuddling the big economic players and attempting to reach a Grand Bargain with the Republicans to further erode the threadbare social safety net holding up the people, of course for the good of the people themselves and in the name of Serious Politics.

-The dominant position in our society will continue to be the generalization of Alan Grayson's observation: Don't fall down, if you do disappear quickly.

- Setting aside the status quo status of Clinton's policy prescriptions (she a competent steward of the Washington Consensus), Trump's victory also signals the provisional victory of the manly men of RealAmerica_a (and the women who love them) over women (and minorities, and the LGBT, and immigrants, and etc).

- The same way that most people don't know or care about the wavelengths associated with colors, they don't know or care about the underlying forces affecting their lives as long as the politicians put on a good Reality TV show and pull effectively at their heartstrings.

- In other words, F science, F reality.

- In other words, long live Realty TV, the rule of Kardashians, the Apprentice, WWE/WWF , etc. Constant exposure to these things matter.


- Constant exposure to these things don't matter.

- Tomorrow the Sun will come up as before, and the Earth will go around it at a steady pace as before, and the already enfeebled welfare state will continue to fray as before, and millions of US citizens will continue their steady fall into precariousness as before (especially Trump supporters in RealAmerica_a), and millions will continue to lose steady jobs and be pushed into the the gig economy, and the 1% will continue raking in the loot as before under the benevolent gaze of their new leader.

- If HRC had won, all above would still occur, but probably at a lower rate (except for the Sun and Earth thing).

- Drumpf was the Smoker to HRC's Atoller .

(*) Yesyes, I know.

rasnip , 9 Nov 2016 11:2>
I feel lots of parallels can be drawn with brexit, particularly the points made at the end. amazingly people dont like being insulted and talked down to by party elites, the gop base has been totally transformed by trumps campaign.

that said has anyone else noticed that trump supporters only ever say 'hes going to do so much for us' and trump says we are going to reopen the mines/factories/get a better deal but never said how. he has promised unicorns and rainbows to people dealt a shit hand by the economic changes of the last 30 years.

spotthelemon usini , 9 Nov 2016 11:4>
The political class amongst US liberals are neo-liberals

Neoliberalism from Reagan to [Bill] Clinton .
written in 1998 the review of this book ends with
" Michael Meeropol's damning indictment of the economic direction of the Clinton presidency demonstrates that nowhere is the need for a new movement more pressing than in the United States".

Well Bush & Obama & Hillary, had she been elected, were continuations of that economic direction. If America has needed a new movement to win since 1999 then I guess they got really desperate which is why they voted for something as bad as Trump. Yes , the liberals or more specifically neo-liberals an be held responsible

Musicismath usini , 9 Nov 2016 11:5>
Frank has been making exactly this point since 1997. Others worth reading on this issue include Walter Benn Michaels and Adolph L. Reed, Jr.

Unfortunately, in a lot of fora where this message sorely needs to be heard right now, this article would be summarily dismissed on the basis that Frank used the word "shrill," which is out of bounds in liberal discourse. Which of course just illustrates Frank's point.

Aboutface , 9 Nov 2016 11:3>
The DNC put President Trump into the White House. The DNC, fixated on the anointed, untouchable HRC, lost its moral compass and the good work of Bernie and Warren, now amounts to a big fat ZERO.
Laughable, how out of touch - meaningless motherhood cliches cannot pay the bills.
Pinback71 , 9 Nov 2016 11:3>
It is a case in point that the MSM have completely lost touch with a population that often relies on the internet for its news. In the old days, the newspaper that was closest to your political viewpoint was delivered to your door as your primary source of information, now every news outlet, blog and forum in the world is delivered directly to your tablet.
The media, like the Government has considerably less influence than a decade or two ago.
Ummmmm , 9 Nov 2016 11:3>
Good article and, as one poster put it, encapsulates the Guardian's editorial line in a nutshell.

The FT seems to be to the left of this paper these days, forced to be more hard nosed about the world. This from its columnist Wolfgang Munchenau some days ago:

"What led the centre-left on to such a self-destructive path? The answer is a combination of the following: a false belief that elections are won from the centre; the lure of ministerial limousines; an inferiority complex about not being able to run "responsible fiscal policies"; and a belief that voters of the left have nowhere else to go. .. The main issue is not whether a Keynesian policy response would be economically correct. The more important point is that if the centre-left does not offer it, the populists will. Unless the centre-left returns to its Keynesian roots, I think there is a good chance that the politics of insurrection will succeed."


https://www.ft.com/content/dba252f8-a29c-11e6-82c3-4351ce86813f

Same trends at play in UK, US and Europe. Any lessons to learn?

Omoikani , 9 Nov 2016 11:3>
Excellent article. Perhaps the Guardian needs to do a whole lot of soul-searching.

The one thing left out of the article is what Michael Moore said, which is really worth reading in full , but the nub of which is the following:

You live here in Ohio, you know what I'm talking about. Whether Trump means it or not, is kind of irrelevant because he's saying the things to people who are hurting, and that's why every beaten-down, nameless, forgotten working stiff who used to be part of what was called the middle class loves Trump. He is the human molotov cocktail that they've been waiting for. The human hand grande that they can legally throw into the system that stole their lives from them.

Persianwar , 9 Nov 2016 11:3>

the act of opening the newspaper started to feel like tuning in to a Cold War propaganda station.

That's a very accurate summary. The first step to winning next time is to understand why you lost this time. The establishment view was that people were going to get Hillary Clinton whether they liked it or not. Next time try listening to people who are angry that their pay has fallen in real terms for 10 years. Try listening to people whose views you disagree with rather than 'no platform' them lest your delicate sensibilities be offended.

MacWolf , 9 Nov 2016 11:3>
The list of celebrities and pundits and surrogates taking his side on the campaign trail was extremely short.

I often wonder is having a celebrity endourse you counter productive. I saw many celebs appear on TV and social media telling people they shouldn't vote for Trump. Some went as far as to call people who might vote for Trump idiots. How many people got fed up with rich, famous people telling them how they should vote? If you're someone sitting in America's rust belt, no job or low paid crap job, being told by someone you think probably owns a Hollywood mansion and does very little work, would you not feel a little resentful being told by them how to vote? Wouldn't you take a dislike to a candidate who appears on stage with these celebs and yet you feel ignores you? Just a thought.

dizzyalien MacWolf , 9 Nov 2016 11:4>
Rights come with responsibilities.

If you have the right to vote, the responsibility is to think through the implications of using that vote for X or Y candidate, to work out for yourself what will happen to you, your family, your community and your country if you vote for X or Y.

If you vote for Y because you feel "resentful" that someone is using their freedom of speech to urge voting for X rather than Y - perhaps you shouldn't really be voting at all. Just a thought.

SqueakEMouse MacWolf , 9 Nov 2016 12:0>
More than just an odd thought my friend. The sight of a procession of wealthy, smug and self entitled celebs, often utter hypocrites, expecting to deliver their Facebook followers to a politician is nauseating and angers more than a few. Few of these celebs are famous for their brains so being called an idiot by a halfwit with money hardly endears them. But still society is in thrall to the concept of celebrity following. It begs the question of what all these followers are actually following. Perhaps Lady Gaga et al have confused the pathological need for an entertainment fix with an adoration of their thoughts and outlook.
MatthewRendall 4d ago

Killing off the neo-liberal virus in the Democratic Party would be a start, but won't be enough, if the Democrats simply put the American equivalents of Jeremy Corbyn in its place. What's desperately needed here are fresh ideas--something analogous to the Keynesian ideas that gave intellectual underpinning to the New Deal.

eken92 , 9 Nov 2016 11:4>

The American white-collar class just spent the year rallying around a super-competent professional (who really wasn't all that competent) and either insulting or silencing everyone who didn't accept their assessment. And then they lost. Maybe it's time to consider whether there's something about shrill self-righteousness, shouted from a position of high social status, that turns people away.

I think this is a very succinct assessment and goes most of the way to explaining this result, and the Brexit result too. People don't want to be lectured, they want to be listened to (yes, even if you think they're wrong).

MaoriSideStep , 9 Nov 2016 11:4>
'Liberals' created the grounds for Brexit too.

You see, their sneering attitude to the British working class, their name-calling, their bogus judgements about the working class for not wanting any more of their rights and opportunities taken away from them.

The 'liberals' are hated as much as the toffs. Brexit was a great example of the bile and hatred the 'liberals' spew out at the disadvantaged working class.

It wasn't the 'liberals' housing and schools, communities and healthcare, employment rights and opportunities that was being eroded though was it? No. But that didn't stop the 'liberals' branding the working class as 'racists' and 'stupid' and 'blind' did it.

Maybe you now can see yourself, on this poxy 'liberal' website and see how YOU have created a situation where the working class want ANYTHING other than more of your poison.

Look at the people bleating about Brexit: the 'liberals', the politicians, the bankers, big business, the judges...my goodness, doesn't that tell a story of the haves and have nots. All the bleaters are the scum that have never had the working class' best interests in mind and yet you think we, the working class, should take heed of their fatuous, aquisitive, vile, whimpers? Really?

It's only just beginning. Toodle pip.

BayOfGiggs MaoriSideStep , 9 Nov 2016 11:4>

The 'liberals' are hated as much as the toffs.

Why you think you'll get a great deal from....

Multi-Billionaire Media Barons controlling the news on both sides of the Atlantic (the same Baron in the case of Murdoch) and they in turn backed by the Trillionaire old and true establishment who are the exact same families as a hundred years ago and hundreds of years before that in many cases.

....baffles me however.

Designcycle MaoriSideStep , 9 Nov 2016 12:0>
Very well written and I agree to a large extent - the problem is.. are people like Trump and blood Boris Johnson going to be any more cognisant of the lives and problems of the working class than the liberals? And are they likely to do anything about those problems unless they simultaneously line their own pockets? If, and it's a very big if, the interests of the working class and the interests of Trump et al align somehow then there is a silver lining. If not, then the best we can hope for is that liberals start to reconnect with the people they purport to represent.
westcoaster Designcycle , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>

the problem is.. are people like Trump and blood Boris Johnson going to be any more cognisant of the lives and problems of the working class than the liberals?


No. But maybe, just maybe, the 'left-wing' parties will wake and remember what they are supposed to be for.
Omoikani , 9 Nov 2016 11:4>
Here's the other thing. Clinton and her mates at the New York Times and the Guardian are always lecturing us on the need to be compassionate and welcoming towards refugees from faraway places who would like to come and live among us, but there's never a moment of compassion for the people who are already here and suffering miserably on the margins of our already unequal societies - the unemployed and badly employed, the badly housed and homeless, those working sixty hours a week on the minimum wage for some crappy agency. So, guess what. That's why people are voting for stuff like Brexit and Trump.

If you lot in the metropolitan elite can't see this then you are doomed to keep repeating the same mistakes.

Voltaire21 , 9 Nov 2016 11:4>
Just like Silvio Berlusconi, Trumps opponents were incapable to escape the trap of trying to sling shit at a candidate made out of teflon.

The Clinton camp tried to fight a war in the trenches...but Trump feeds of negativity, they should have learnt early that nothing was too outrageous or controversial to tarnish him.

The closest they got was the misogyny accusations and even they didn't stick. Just like Berlusconi, Trump the lover of pageantry and beautiful women was being portrayed as a woman hater but he cleverly made it sound like he was hater of feminists instead of women.

The problem with Clinton is that she tried to play the integrity card but that was easily debunked by Trump with email gate.

hashtagthat Voltaire21 , 9 Nov 2016 11:5>
"The Clinton camp tried to fight a war in the trenches.."

Very apt, considering she's a warmonger.

finnja , 9 Nov 2016 11:4>
The voice of sanity. Thank you, Mr. Frank.
The Democratic Establishment didn't give a hoot about what Bernie had to say, because his presidency would not have served their ambitions. They're more interested in getting nice jobs at Goldman Sachs than controlling the finance industry. And their sons and daughters will not fight in all the wars Clinton&Co see as great business opportunity.
The Dem establishment has failed the people, and now we all reep the whirlwind.
Geoff Conway , 9 Nov 2016 11:5>
I agree with Frank's analysis though not his use of the word 'liberal' which has confusingly different meanings. I think the same analysis could be used to explain Brexit.

The problem is a political class which wishes to maintain the status quo of a neo-liberal, globalised economy. For 35 years this economy has redistributed wealth from the poor to the rich and massively damaged the environment. It has thus disadvantaged the great majority of the people in the USA, the UK and indeed people across the world. People are quite reasonably fed up with the lies behind this 'trickle-down' economics. They are angry and want something different. The vacuum created by the failure of the left to recognise this, and come up with a new solution, has resulted in Trump, UKIP, Marine LePen etc.

shooglebunny forkintheroad , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>
No. I really think liberals have been their own worst enemies during this election.

They have treated ordinary white Americans as if they are shit, spoken about them in ways that should make them hang their heads in shame and behaved as if they are living in a oligarchy where they can call the shots instead of a democracy and now they are paying the price.

You can only kick a dog so many times before it turns around and bites you.

I would also question the term"liberals" to describe people who are happy seeing jobs moved offshore, causing unemployment at home and slave labour conditions abroad; encouraging mass immigration to bring wages down and create a powerless and easily exploitable servant class and globalisation that provides them with a luxury lifestyle on the cheap while making it harder for just about everyone else.

The only "liberal" thing about these people is their attitudes towards trivial personal issues like sexuality and lifestyle choices.

NathAldridge , 9 Nov 2016 11:5>
Wise words from Frank - I hope the Guardian opinionators are made to read it

Clinton's supporters among the media didn't help much, either. It always struck me as strange that such an unpopular candidate enjoyed such robust and unanimous endorsements from the editorial and opinion pages of the nation's papers, but it was the quality of the media's enthusiasm that really harmed her. With the same arguments repeated over and over, two or three times a day, with nuance and contrary views all deleted, the act of opening the newspaper started to feel like tuning in to a Cold War propaganda station. Here's what it consisted of:

Hillary was virtually without flaws. She was a peerless leader clad in saintly white, a super-lawyer, a caring benefactor of women and children, a warrior for social justice.
Her scandals weren't real.
The economy was doing well / America was already great.
Working-class people weren't supporting Trump.
And if they were, it was only because they were botched humans. Racism was the only conceivable reason for lining up with the Republican candidate.

Craig Ross , 9 Nov 2016 11:5>
I hope all the Democratic Party insiders who rigged the primary elections are happy now.
SixHeads 4d ago

Absolutely right. And I'm willing to wager the liberal response to this will be to double down on the identity politics, double down on the victimhood narratives, double down on the march toward globalism, and double down on the cries for open borders and ever-increasing levels of immigration. They simply never learn.

It's very clear what happened this morning. Trump won because he picked up the white working class vote in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Ohio, all of which had previously voted for Obama in both 2008 and 2012. The people in these states didn't magically become racist over the past four years. They saw a candidate (Clinton) who represented "business as usual", and they rejected her.

mrsmiow , 9 Nov 2016 11:5>

Excellent article. Summarises both Brexit as well as Trump's victory.

The stats are showing that Trump polled higher amongst African and Hispanic Americans. I am not surprised. The Democrats, like the UK Labour party, like to think they OWN ethnic voters and they are merely another 'special interest' group alongside women, gays, etc. They don't and us ethnic voters have the same concerns as any other working or middle class voters. And NO ONE appreciates being told they are wrong, racist and unintelligent.

This shows Social liberialism is dead and rotten. Well past its used by date, time to chuck it out. It went off when supposed social justice warriors got into business with big business and fickle finance.

The elites may be well educated but that they couldn't even bare to bring themselves to understand the perspectives of another reveals how broadminded they really are - the journalists, academics etc. They believed in democracy where only one way of thinking and the status quo could be permitted to flourish. This is the most intelligent article to capture the social change that far too many liberals are denying. How are they going deal with reality, ie. Are the majority of Americans and British really racists? The greatest irony is this article is published within the vanguard of what ordinary people are democratically retaliating against.

Dustbowler , 9 Nov 2016 11:5>
When you reach rock bottom the only way is to look up. The problem for the Liberalism of the Democratic Party of the last three decades is that it has become a social scientific morality of the well connected and completely unable to deal with the naked populism of Trump let alone the half baked morass of crony capitalism of George Bush.
Lets be opportunistic. This gives it a chance to wipe the slate clean and at the very least rid themselves of the influence of the Clintons who from the removal of Glass-Steagal Act demonstrated their only concerns were with the needs of the Super Rich rather than the majority of the population. Unfortunately you have that feeling that they are not even capable of doing that.
George Pratt , 9 Nov 2016 11:5>
"Trump... a folly so bewildering, an incompetence so profound ..."

Har, har, har, the foolish and incompetent Trump is now president elect and you are a wise and competent journalist who foresaw the future clearly.

Maybe you're the foolish incompetent, not Trump. Maybe you should examine the foolish certainty which made you write your Guardian article headlined "With Trump certain to lose, you can forget about a progressive Clinton" and many others based on foolish and incompetent assumptions, reasoning and conclusions

Maybe you and all the rest of the useful idiots on the left should examine all of your convictions about the world. You might discover how often you have been hoodwinked by your own folly into believing trash like Trump will lose to Hillary, AGW is a real problem which can be corrected by funneling trillions to crony capitalist alternative energy companies, fracking is dangerous and the unlimited immigration of millions of young, able bodied, violent, low IQ men is a good thing.

babyboomer1957 , 9 Nov 2016 11:5>
Hillary can console herself with a new job at Goldman Sachs, rather like Barosso, Global ambassador sounds nice.
notacarboncopy babyboomer1957 , 9 Nov 2016 12:0>
And that is precisely a big part of why she lost.

People are sick of that merry-go-round, proof of the cabal that rules over us.

jennyjl90 , 9 Nov 2016 11:5>
Trump will achieve nothing of what he's said he wants to do. Reversing the 'reverse colonisation' of the white western world will fail, especially in the USA where, after all, the Afro-black population didn't ask to move to in the first place (though I'll bet tend dollars dollars not a single Afro-black American would opt for emigrating back to Africa, however much they complain about racial prejudice in the USA - the financial advantages of living in the developed world are FAR too valuable for that!).

As for the Hispanics, I doubt even a wall would stop them. The mass population of Central and South America is far, far greater than that of 'white western America' and their third world economics keep the USA and the developed world a desperate magnet for them (and I can't blame them - I'd fight tooth and nail to get in to the rich west as well!)

Nope, the Trump victory is a sad, hopeless rearguard action against the triumph of twenty-first century 'reverse colonisation' and that is that. The white western world is finished - the only question is, can it 'westernise' the immigrant population in time to save the developed world, or are we doomed to another Dark Ages of Global Third Worldism? (Maybe China will take over as Islam did post Roman Empire, while Europe went savage...)

White Western World - it's game over. Accept it.

queequeg7 , 9 Nov 2016 12:0>
When you separate identity politics - race and gender - from inequality and class, which is what Obama and Clinton both did, you end up with Donald Trump moving into the White House ......
queequeg7 Joelee73 , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>
The liberal argument has always been about the equality to exploit not an end to exploitation. It was at the heart of New Labour as well as Obama/Clinton Democrats ...
tedthetopcat queequeg7 , 9 Nov 2016 12:2>
For the last 30 odd years the liberal left have claimed class no longer mattered. Now the "white" working class have twice given them a kicking in 2016. When you're at the bottom class really matters!
MereMortal , 9 Nov 2016 12:0>

And so Democratic leaders made Hillary their candidate even though they knew about her closeness to the banks, her fondness for war, and her unique vulnerability on the trade issue – each of which Trump exploited to the fullest.

I really like Thomas Frank, but I wish in this diatribe that he wouldn't cheapen the countless (because the Americans don't count them) who have paid the price for Hillary's 'fondness for war' by referring to it like that, in passing, as if it was a fondness for muffins.
I wish that he had a bit more righteous fury about how the crazed neocon warmongers who effectively rule America and for whom Hillary was the latest acceptable face, with her almost total sense of entitlement, based on the fact that she was a woman, acted like she was heading for a coronation.
Yes it would be great if a woman had been elected president, I can think of at least two others one running, and one not, but doesn't even the most basic tenet of critical thinking require us to ask searching questions, about the specific woman ?

callaspodeaspode , 9 Nov 2016 12:0>
He has run one of the lousiest presidential campaigns ever. In saying so I am not referring to his much-criticized business practices or his vulgar remarks about women. I mean this in a purely technical sense: this man fractured his own party.

But did he really 'fracture' his own party? From the superficial point of view, one might have thought so. Many Democrats hope so.
But I'll suggest this. Anybody who is holding out the faint hope that he will work badly with the GOP in Congress is going to be very disappointed. He's going to put his signature to virtually everything they want. They're going to have a lot of fun together.
Even stuff which directly contradicts what he ran on and which upset many in the Republican establishment. I'm thinking foreign policy and trade agreements.

And those in movement conservatism who didn't like him, like Glenn Beck and Erick Erickson? Watch them do a 180 over the next six months.

I'll bet on it.

Designcycle , 9 Nov 2016 12:0>
Excellent article, about six months late, but hopefully not too late for liberals everywhere to wake up to the idea that if you claim to want to help improve the lives of the working class you better listen to them first, and connect with them second. I always thought laughing and sneering at Trump and particularly his supporters was never going to work. And sure enough it didn't. Nobody likes being patronised.
fragglerokk , 9 Nov 2016 12:0>
Sanders would have breezed it.

The Democrats ultimatey feared change

The Republicans didn't.

Sometimes you've got to have the courage to move beyond a rotting status quo and into a brave new world. If you don't you leave the door open for something potentially much much worse to take that opportunity.

How about doing a piece on how the press keep getting it wrong all the time, how you keep misjudging the mood of the people, the zeitgeist, how afraid you are of change and how as a result you keep siding with the establishment when the vast majority of people are fed up with its incessant inaction and bullshit?
Youre letting the fascists in through the open door because youre too afraid to give up your priviledges and go towards healthy change. You deserve what youre going to get because you spent too much time on here waffling bullshit and not enough time on the streets listening to what people want. Total cognitive dissonance. Social media is no good for assessing the mood of the people, its for pussy cat photos and selfies.

Franz Habsburg fragglerokk , 9 Nov 2016 12:0>
Would have? He could not even beat Clinton in the primaries! Americans overthrow democratic socialist governments, they don't elect them.
edhemingway fragglerokk , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>
The republicans feared change, but winning was more important to them. As incongruous as it may seem, a billionaire businessman reached out to voters disenfranchised by some 30 years of partisan parlour games. Maybe it'll dawn on the Democrats who they should be reaching out to and maybe it'll dawn on the Republicans that there's more to being a politician than banging on about God and being against abortion.

I don't like the guy and find some of his views abhorrent and would even have preferred HC, but... but... this may be a wake up call for politics in America. Not sure it will be because after Brexit, the finger was pointed at the London middle classes and older voters whereas the strength of the vote came from the post-industrial heartland destroyed by Thatcher and virtually ignored by both parties ever since. Still, we'll see.

Steve Giess , 9 Nov 2016 12:0>
"With the same arguments repeated over and over, two or three times a day, with nuance and contrary views all deleted, the act of opening the newspaper started to feel like tuning in to a Cold War propaganda station. "

Spot on analysis.
Let the soul-searching amongst the mainstream journalistic elites begin.

People have rspecially started to notice the "with nuance and all contrary views deleted" part. That is part of the problem and part of the reason Trump got elected as a sort of collective middle finger to the establishment by ordinary people who are sick of being told what to think and how to think by unelected elites whose job it is supposed to be to report the FACTS, and not to dictate what people are allowed to say or think. Because as a great person once said "Facts are sacred." And as JS Mill said in his famous essay 'On Liberty' - we should not censor unpopular views because even though the unpopular view may be incorrect we may come to a better understanding of why our own view is correct by seeing its collision with error. (Quite apart from the fact that the unpopular view is not always correct and by suppressing it we may never know the truth.)

I hope the mainstream media learn from this disaster and start living up to the ideals of the intellectual founders of our liberal democracies such as JS Mill who would no doubt be appalled at the lerhaps well intentioned but counterproductive censorsgip of views which run counter to that of the prevailing orthodoxy.

MustaphaMondeo Steve Giess , 9 Nov 2016 12:2>
It's because they believe we are stupid. The intellectual snobbery of the oxbridge set, think they are better than us. Little suspecting that most of us can't be arsed with that shite.

I blame education. It's turned their heads.

AlpineJoe 4d ago

The thing that keeps coming back to me with this election, as with Brexit, was the established candidates ignoring what people were saying. In Brexit, the remain side utterly ignored immigration, whilst the leave side focused on it. I don't think the remain side realised that immigration wasn't just conjured up by Daily Mail headlines but was a genuine issue for many people.

In the US, Trump spoke openly about jobs; bringing them back and preventing outsourcing. Looking again at trade deals to make sure American jobs were protected. Clinton's team ignored this.

Take heed for the future, politicians. Listen to what people actually say, not just the bits they say that you agree with.

Stillgrizzly AlpineJoe , 9 Nov 2016 12:0>

Indeed, that's the problem, a narrow political elite expecting the population to vote as they think, rather than as the population think. The disconnect between the consensus and the politicians is wide, the left in particular withdraws to the safety of it's narrow agenda when threatened leaving the centre wide open.
Louis Raine , 9 Nov 2016 12:0>
"Cold War propaganda station. Here's what it consisted of:

- Hillary was virtually without flaws.
- She was a peerless leader clad in saintly white, a super-lawyer, a caring benefactor of women and children, a warrior for social justice.
- Her scandals weren't real.
- The economy was doing well / America was already great.
- Working-class people weren't supporting Trump.
- If they were, it was only because they were botched humans. Racism was the only
conceivable reason for lining up with the Republican candidate."

Funny how all of these points were constantly touted in the Guardian... oh the ironny

SlumVictim , 9 Nov 2016 12:0>
The neoliberals weren't listening and probably still aren't listening. They will be blaming the white working class rednecks but there isn't enough of white working class rednecks to cause this upset. Professional neoliberal policians have neither the insight nor the intelligence to figure out they are the problem, they alienated the people they ignored while looking after the rich.

We see the same problem in the Labour Party here. The neoliberal Blairites spent 13 years using identity politics as a way to pretend to be radical while showing utter contempt for the white (and black) working class. When they lost two elections and Scotland, they blamed the left, as though no one could reject neoliberalism. Sorry professional neoliberal politicians, your days of your front trotters in the trough are almost up, you are being rejected and anyone but you seems to be the preference.

Inversnaid SlumVictim , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>
You, Sir or Madam, are a genius. Your analysis - like the analysis of the article - is spot on and your prose is punchy, concise and grammatically correct. You should be pick of the day.
SlumVictim , 9 Nov 2016 12:0>
The neoliberals weren't listening and probably still aren't listening. They will be blaming the white working class rednecks but there isn't enough of white working class rednecks to cause this upset. Professional neoliberal policians have neither the insight nor the intelligence to figure out they are the problem, they alienated the people they ignored while looking after the rich.

We see the same problem in the Labour Party here. The neoliberal Blairites spent 13 years using identity politics as a way to pretend to be radical while showing utter contempt for the white (and black) working class. When they lost two elections and Scotland, they blamed the left, as though no one could reject neoliberalism. Sorry professional neoliberal politicians, your days of your front trotters in the trough are almost up, you are being rejected and anyone but you seems to be the preference.

Inversnaid SlumVictim , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>
You, Sir or Madam, are a genius. Your analysis - like the analysis of the article - is spot on and your prose is punchy, concise and grammatically correct. You should be pick of the day.
Spacebanj0 , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>
Very interesting, and striking, parallels with Brexit. A disaffected majority, who don't believe they are listened to, rally round people who speak their language, engage with their fears and concerns and give them easy solutions to difficult problems.

Both decisions are tragically wrong, in my view, but its clear there is a huge disconnect between those on the left (notional or otherwise) and their usual target voters.

catherine Spacebanj0 , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>
The description of the Democrats is reminding me of New Labour...
iruka , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>
Absolutely spot on. And broadly applicable right across the western world. It wasn't Hillary the personality, or Hillary the crook, or Hillary the incompetent who lost the election.

It was the Hillary the archetypal representative of the smug 'n' shabby liberal stitch-up that's done us all over, basking in its meritocratic delusions, and raising all the ladders (and greasing the sides) to the lifeboats in which those delusions were acted out to delusional acclaim...

...even as it was busy handing the world over first (greedily) to transnational capitalism and now (stupidly) to the marauding squads of pinhead fascists that'll be everywhere in the US within weeks, maybe days. A couple of million George fucking pinhead Zimmermans.

"Socialism or Barbarism" (rings truer and truer!) is a choice that excludes liberalism only because liberalism is too morally and aesthetically insubstantial to make the cut. Imagine the choice in the form of a movie, and liberalism would be the twitching little grass who betrays the hero for the price of a bottle of White Lighting.

(In real life it's not a bottle of cider, of course: it's more likely a nice old house in a gentrified area that still holds on to the charming character of the people it displaced, some of whom spend 5 hours a day on the bus to come back and work in the charming shops and eateries, or as nannies and cleaners....).

Musicismath , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>
This is a very good piece (as you'd expect from a cultural critic as smart as Frank is), but it really needs to be read alongside Adolph L. Reed's excoriating article in Harper's from 2014, "Nothing Left: The Slow Surrender of American Liberals":

The left has no particular place it wants to go. And, to rehash an old quip, if you have no destination, any direction can seem as good as any other. The left careens from this oppressed group or crisis moment to that one, from one magical or morally pristine constituency or source of political agency (youth/students; undocumented immigrants; the Iraqi labor movement; the Zapatistas; the urban "precariat"; green whatever; the black/Latino/LGBT "community"; the grassroots, the netroots, and the blogosphere; this season's worthless Democrat; Occupy; a "Trotskyist" software engineer elected to the Seattle City Council) to another. It lacks focus and stability; its mιtier is bearing witness, demonstrating solidarity, and the event or the gesture. Its reflex is to "send messages" to those in power, to make statements, and to stand with or for the oppressed.


We are in a very bad place right now, in terms of ideas and arguments. The opposition, in pretty much every western hemisphere country, has been colonised by the same people: professional politicians, upper-middle-class in social background, educated at the same small group of elite universities, reflexively committed to meritocratic ideology. They're very good at expressing sympathy for the marginalised, at saying the right words, at, as Reed says, "sending messages" and engaging in representational politics. But all those gestures do nothing for the constituencies they supposedly represent. They're ultimately selfish -- focussed on their own career advancement and the narrow class interests of the meritocratic-professional elite itself. The opposition, as Frank himself once said, "has ceased to oppose" in any economically meaningful sense. (Although they're very good at symbolic forms of opposition on cultural and historical issues.)

And now their constituencies have noticed and have withdrawn their votes.

sarahsmith232 , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>
according to exit polls every section of white America, old, young, affluent, low-income, educated/not voted Trump, all bar 'young college educated white females', older college educated white females also voted Trump.
Same here with Brexit, voting patterns show the all white groups voted out, nothing to do with education levels, income or age.
The pundits write about 'the crisis of liberalism',, hhmmm, I think it should more be 'the rejection of illiberal openess'. When we say 'immigration needs to be reduced' the 'elites' reach for the favourite fall back 'you're a white that's racist/fascist/backward/uneducated' etc etc etc response. Well, turns out, the white part is right, the rest is just class based ignorance. Clinton was the absolute embodiment of this type of ignorance and arrogance. That basket of deplorables thing was disgusting, I felt personally insulted by it myself (i'm in the UK). Absolute standard 'elite' arrogance and hatred of those that don't agree with you. She's just paid for that hate by alienating absolutely EVERY SINGLE section of white America.
Trump's politics is a rejection of a globalism that has damaged the interests of so many, we're all far far too open to the forces of the world coming in at us from all directions, Catholics in Eastern Europe are not allowed their Christian values, are smeared as backward and ordered by foreign 'elites' in Brussels to drop all that they hold dear or face fines. We've all watched as the Remoaners showed to the world just exactly how 'tolerant' and 'accepting' they are of those they don't agree with, erupting into a torrent of class based ignorance and venomous hatred.
Well, they've all been at all this for far too long, and we're all pushing back against it. Spew race based hate at those that don't agree with you, BBC journalists shouting 'Nazi, fascist, racist' at any slight tightening up of immigration, Hilary Clinton labelling most white working-class a basket of fascist deployarables and hey presto, you lose to a repulsive cartoon like Trump.
They need to start thinking on about just exactly who it is in reality that's the race haters. Most are on the Left.
alanredangel , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>

A technocrat who offered fine-tuning when the country wanted to take a sledgehammer to the machine.

Good writing.

Mr Baker , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>
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hflashman , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>
Given that Republicans have been opposed to intervention by Big Government at least since the Great Depression if Trump gets the go ahead for some of his ideas it will be a case of 4 legs good 2 legs better.
Omoikani , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>

With the same arguments repeated over and over, two or three times a day, with nuance and contrary views all deleted, the act of opening the newspaper started to feel like tuning in to a Cold War propaganda station.

Quite so. And now the elitist corporate media which got everything wrong, including their highly confident predictions about the result, will now tell you in a highly confident manner all the things that are going to happen as a result of the thing they said wouldn't happen. First to dash off a thousand words of hyperventilating predictions? Jonathan Freedland , so top marks to him for speed, if nothing else.

gipsymermaid , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>
Interesting article, and in a way I sensed it coming unfortunately, at least in the meaning that I have always felt that certain liberal and "progressive" thoughts are just too alien from basic human nature, and are being forced to enter the mainstream a bit too fast, and that this is a huge risk in the sense that when people decide they are not ready for these and it's time to reject them properly, then all the valuable, truly liberating and forward-thinking ideas will be drained along with them and that means dark times ahead indeed.

I am from Eastern-Europe, and, while I don't have a lot of personal memories of the communist times myself, most of the liberal bits of my cultural heritage comes from the counter-culture, a lot of the things we value today in my country were, albeit not necessarily all illegal as such, certainly more of the taboo sort, than they would have been in the West. Now it looks like that with all this Brexit and America, the West will have to learn to use the liberal thinking to serve as meaningful criticism of the system that will be built in the future by these new people. It's the Westerner's turn now, to learn to read between the lines and produce culture with purpose other than entertainment (if there is any positive side to this, then it should be the rise of new, creative movies and the end of the high-budget superhero era, and the birth of music with lyrics worth listening to lol, that's what I keep telling myself as my silver lining for now at least.)

It's obviously difficult to compare, nothing, in the entire world at the time was this commercialised and business and technology and life and everything was obviously very different. And, crucially, whilst the commies declared themselves to be ruling in the name of the common working people, they had their own breed of intellectuals, at least in my country, there was an approved bunch of scientists, artists etc, who could stretch it and provide some sense. So, worryingly enough, from this point of view I wouldn't say they were comparable to the type of anti-intellectualist mob rule seemingly putting these people into power, and that is my real fear, that these new rulers will not even have their own bunch of approved scientists who might not approve the views of atheists or feminists or whatever, but would at least be ready to provide these new governments with sound advice on the environment, education, health, etc.

I'm not sure how avoidable this could have been in reality, but it should have been, because we have no time for such ideological bullsh*t games (excuse my words), the damage we are doing to our own, living planet is becoming irreparable, and we really, absolutely, from all backgrounds and cultures must work together to basically stay alive.

bobkolker , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>
The arrogance and snotty mindedness of the progressive liberal establishment has be dealt a righteous slap in the face which they have been asking for, for decades. The Revolt of the Deplorables. This was the winter of our discontent. Now it is our turn.

Time will tell whether this upset is the beginning of a much better era in the U.S.

I voted for Trump not because I like him (personally I find him repulsive) but because he was a wrecking ball and a sledge hammer to be used against the liberal progressives that have been running the U.S. into the ground for decades.

This the Moment of the Ticked Off Deplorables.

This is also a surprise. This is the most exciting time since Truman defeated Dewey.

Jamozki , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>
Except it was the Republicans (not the "white collar liberals") who deregulated the Wall Street banks. It was the Republicans who gave tax breaks to the wealthy 1% and it was the Republicans who got rid of welfare. The biggest con of all? That the majority of uneducated Americans who just voted Republican, think that the GOP represent thier interests and it's all the fault of the "liberals". We are without doubt witnessing the beginning of the end of the American empire...
Down2dirt Jamozki , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>
Clinton kept all Bush Senior's 'experts' , loonies like Greenspan. Obama's candidate?

Wake up! They are two cheeks of the same arse.

grauniadreader101 Jamozki , 9 Nov 2016 12:2>

We are without doubt witnessing the beginning of the end of the American empire...

And about time, too! That said, you are right about the GOP being the party of deregulation, tax-breaks for the rich etc. but since in the 35 years since Reagan, when bank deregulation began in earnest (I know, Nixon repealed the Gold Standard), we have had 16 years of Democratic rule, and NOTHING has been done to reverse it; in fact, quite the opposite. Most of the damage was done between Clinton (who repealed Glass-Steigel) and his chairman of the Fed, Alan Greenspan.

Thomas Fr

grauniadreader101 Jamozki , 9 Nov 2016 12:2>

We are without doubt witnessing the beginning of the end of the American empire...

And about time, too! That said, you are right about the GOP being the party of deregulation, tax-breaks for the rich etc. but since in the 35 years since Reagan, when bank deregulation began in earnest (I know, Nixon repealed the Gold Standard), we have had 16 years of Democratic rule, and NOTHING has been done to reverse it; in fact, quite the opposite. Most of the damage was done between Clinton (who repealed Glass-Steigel) and his chairman of the Fed, Alan Greenspan.

Thomas Frank is right on the money. People voted for Trump precisely because both parties represent business as usual and people are sick of it. Same with Brexit.

ank is right on the money. People voted for Trump precisely because both parties represent business as usual and people are sick of it. Same with Brexit.

ProperEnglishman 4d ago

The silent majority,the ones who go to work pay their taxes and quietly get on with life have spoken. Don't underestimate us. We're intelligent, humble and caring. We're entitled to a view. We've had enough, we don't have to bully scream and shout to get our way, we go down to the polling station and we put a cross in the box we feel passionately about and we go home back to our quiet lives-job done.Well done the people of America,you have had the equivalent to our Brexit and now let's get the world back to how it should be. One of the most satisfying parts is listening to the Lefties,Luvvies and BBC crying their eyes out. The times they are a changing.

mouchefisher , 9 Nov 2016 12:1>

It is a liberalism of the rich, it has failed the middle class, and now it has failed on its own terms of electability. Enough with these comfortable Democrats and their cozy Washington system. Enough with Clintonism and its prideful air of professional-class virtue. Enough!

Amen to that. Thank you, Thomas Frank, for articles such as this one. A lone voice of progressive reason at the Guardian (neo)liberal circus.

We need to overhaul the DNC, as well as the Guardian and NYT editorial boards.

HenryGeorgeFan , 9 Nov 2016 12:2>

She was the Democratic candidate because it was her turn and because a Clinton victory would have moved every Democrat in Washington up a notch.

Spot on. And this is exactly the misery that infects both wings of the Labour Party.

People in politics jostling for power and status, like it's a hobby for them, a kind of shoot-em up where the consequences of policy affect only other people.

Cameron and Johnson and all the slime of the Tory party suffer from the same disease.

Why do you want to be prime minister, you spam faced Tefal foreheaded dilettante?

"Well, I think I'd be rather good at it."

Well, you weren't. You were awful at it, because you had no basic guiding principles, just like all the other dilettantes from Eton and all the other posh boy Petri dishes where hubris is cultivated.

Buggin's turn.

Well, bug off.

[Nov 12, 2016] It was establishment versus the rest...... It did not help the establishment that their candidate was crooked. 5 states turned red overnight!

Nov 11, 2016 | /economistsview.typepad.com
ilsm -> John San Vant... November 09, 2016 at 01:51 PM
It was establishment versus the rest...... It did not help the establishment that their candidate was crooked. 5 states turned red overnight!

mhd28 -> ilsm... November 10, 2016 at 09:34 AM

It's hard to state that MI and WI turned Republican. Trump reviled R's as much as D's. They went for Trump, which is separate from Republicans.

JF -> JF... November 08, 2016 at 10:54 PM

Trump took what should have been democrats' issues. Clinton should simply have tried to take all of Sanders positions, working with Sanders, and then position Trump as the faker who was taking the dems positions. Alas, she did not.

Many saw this possibility. Brexit.

sglover -> JF... November 08, 2016 at 11:11 PM

Clinton made her usual lame, transparent attempts to co-opt Sanders' positions, but being Clinton, few people **believe** her.

Sanders backers always said that Clinton was almost uniquely capable of losing to a fraud like Trump, and here, apparently -- tragically -- we are.

And believing Dems will learn not one goddam thing. Expect the special pleading and blame-shifting to amp up to jet engine levels. Already Saint Krugman has smeared the Greens for Clinton's loss in Florida, which seems to mathematically impossible by an order of magnitude.

Clinton lost **Pennsylvania**, for Christ's sake! She seems to have lost Philly!! How does an even semi-competent candidate pull that off?!?!?

Adamski -> mulp... November 09, 2016 at 02:24 AM

...And Clintonians spent decades claiming neoliberalism was necessary to get moderate voters who went for Reagan, and that liberalism is too unpopular to win an election. They stuck to that script in post-Great Recession America, which is not post-Reagan America.

And they stuck with a candidate who has zero ability to get independent voters. Her leftward moves in response to Sanders on college tuition and more funding for health clinics (which Sanders said would achieve free primary care in the US) would have got out the vote, but she preferred to talk in infuriating platitudes and smear Trump as a Russian puppet to get the patriotic vote.

srbarbour -> Adamski... November 09, 2016 at 04:45 AM

"... but she preferred to talk in infuriating platitudes and smear Trump as a Russian puppet to get the patriotic vote."

This, I think, is a valid criticism. Hillary and the older Dems were truly out of touch on this issue and failed to understand how poorly it played with the electorate (which is sad, because there are some real serious issues with Russia right now). Likewise, they failed to grasp how desperate Millennials / Rural whites have gotten and thus how important fixing the economy was for them.

ilsm -> Mathew... November 09, 2016 at 04:04 PM

Clinton morals....

Fix that on "we came, we saw, he died......" with a post up his you know where! Or the no fly zone thing to give another country to the foundation donors' terrorists. You all missed the point!

All the people don't see what you want us to! You could fool enough of the people when you needed to!

sglover -> Billy Joe... November 09, 2016 at 12:11 AM

The Russia nonsense was always overblown, typical Dem tactical ineptitude. I wouldn't be surprised if it backfired to Trump's advantage.

Dems never stopped to consider that

  1. Any mention of foreign data leakage had to remind people of Clinton's FOIA-avoiding server escapades, and
  2. You can find lots of Dem "consultants" and "strategists" who themselves have lucrative histories with sleazy overseas characters (Podesta, Biden's son, etc.).

srbarbour -> sglover... November 09, 2016 at 05:22 AM

"The Russia nonsense was always overblown, typical Dem tactical ineptitude. I wouldn't be surprised if it backfired to Trump's advantage."

From a campaign prospective, right conclusion. Wrong reason. Pushing the Russia connection damaged Hillary because it played up her "War Hawk" and "Military Industrial complex" ties for the public, which in turn strengthened the corporocrat accusation.

Worse, to the informed it smelled like W's push for war, and thus reminded everyone of Hillary's vote on Iraq. And those things hurt.

ilsm -> srbarbour... November 09, 2016 at 01:57 PM

Clinton is with Bill unmitigated war mongering neoliberalNeocon/ The Clinton Iraq vote was purely animus! Stepping away is prevarication. What went into Qaddafi was pure evil sent by Obama and his SecState.

ilsm -> Billy Joe... November 09, 2016 at 01:54 PM

Clinton was more into Sunni/GCC money and influence peddling. The Russian/Putin thing was fantasy! The main stream media [Stalinist] propaganda did not sell in the 5 key states that went red from blue.

ilsm -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... November 09, 2016 at 02:30 PM

No, the point is the dems are crooked, Clinton was selected by the DNC (calling it crooked is repeating myself). I am convinced the US dodged a very severe mistake by electing Trump!

[Nov 12, 2016] Obama blew it in his first hundred days, when he refused to take on Wall Street, and instead played idiotic bipartisanship games with Republicans.

Nov 12, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
George H. Blackford : November 09, 2016 at 12:05 AM , 2016 at 12:05 AM
I said what I had to say back in 2009, http://www.rweconomics.com/blame.htm , and tried to explain it again during the primaries: http://www.rweconomics.com/Sanders1.htm . Now we will just have to wait and see, but I'm not hopeful.
sglover -> George H. Blackford ... , November 09, 2016 at 12:52 AM
Good essays. Sadly prescient.

I thought Obama blew it in his first hundred days, when he refused to take on Wall Street, and instead played idiotic bipartisanship games with totally (and obviously) intransigent Republicans. But more recently I figured that at least he got the Iran deal going, and that looked like a significant gain for sanity. Now, if I understand Trump's ramblings on every other Tuesday, the deal is vulnerable.

mulp -> sglover... , November 09, 2016 at 01:56 AM
You mean declare martial law and send the Marines into capture Wall Street, and ship them to Gitmo? Or didn't you notice the Republicans legalizing financial fraud over the past 40 years?

If you like I can detail the dozen major steps beginning circa 1970 like the camel nose unto the tent. Step one: retail money market funds as an alternative to bank savings accounts. They were a big fraud: "safer than FDIC bank savings accounts".

George H. Blackford -> mulp... , November 09, 2016 at 01:20 PM
Re: "If you like I can detail the dozen major steps beginning circa 1970 like the camel nose unto the tent." I'll do it for you:

http://www.rweconomics.com/htm/Ch_1.htm
http://www.rweconomics.com/htm/Ch_7.htm
http://www.rweconomics.com/Deficit.htm

JF -> sglover... , November 09, 2016 at 04:14 AM

Yes, totally agree with the point that Obama did not understand the strategic moment and instead aligned himself in a way that legitimized the opposition's points.

Simpson Bowles was benighted. TPP was senseless. How could a party that stood for working people give away social security and then try to give away jobs some more. Strategists should have been screaming that this was positioning the party in a way that was opposite to what the party had stood for in opposition to the republican elite.

Of course, Clinton was the wrong candidate as she is a archetype, tied to Trade deals, Glass Steagel and even the Iraq war.

I would like to see the democratic party stand fir work in the US.

Alas.

srbarbour -> JF... , November 09, 2016 at 05:31 AM
"Simpson Bowles was benighted. TPP was senseless. How could a party that stood for working people give away social security and then try to give away jobs some more...."

Just wanted to say, good tactical analysis there.

srbarbour -> sglover... , -1
"I thought Obama blew it in his first hundred days, when he refused to take on Wall Street, and instead played idiotic bipartisanship games with totally (and obviously) intransigent Republicans."

Hard to say, 2009 had a very different atmosphere and there was a very real desire in the electorate to return to bipartisanship. Plus, bipartisanship was kind of a major Obama campaign promise.

That said, the only gain Dems got from that was a general fuzzy, awareness the Republican partisanship is one-sided. A boon that is now tactically useless because the Republicans will control every branch of the government. So in hindsight, pure fail. However, forgiveable in context.

[Nov 12, 2016] Chris Matthews stuns the neoliberal crowd with a takedown of HRCs campaign.

Nov 12, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com
Oliver Klozoff -> Oliver Klozoff Nov 12, 2016 9:26 AM ,
I forgot to add a development, Chris Matthews stuns the liberal crowd with a takedown of hrc's campaign.

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

Anybody but the brain dead could see HRC ran a lazy campaign focused on a non-issue. It's clear she expected certain quarters of the population's loyalty in voting but offered them nothing. One hopes these libs begin to wake up.

[Nov 12, 2016] Battle brewing for DNC leadership

DemoRats lost working class votes. may be forever (or as long as they stay neoliberal DemoRats). This is an important defeats of Bill Clinton, who sold the party to wall Street.
Notable quotes:
"... On Thursday night, People for Bernie, a tech-savvy progressive group with ties to Sanders, told CNN it was backing Ellison as a first step in displacing Clinton loyalists with "a leadership untainted by cozy relationships to Wall St. moneymen, corporate behemoths, dictators, or monarchs." ..."
"... In a jab at Dean, People for Bernie co-founder Charles Lenchner added, "Any 50-state strategy must begin with a 50-state accountability project; we reject any effort to unite the party behind the agents of a failed leadership." ..."
www.cnn.com

As Democrats reel in the wake of Donald Trump's stunning victory, a new storm is brewing inside the party as competing factions begin to grapple for its leadership.

Howard Dean, who ran the Democratic National Committee from 2005 to 2009, announced on Thursday he would again seek its top role. Soon after he announced, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and his top allies began pushing Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison for the role.

But other politicos expressed interest in the job Friday. Former presidential candidate Martin O'Malley announced that he is throwing his hat in the ring.

"Since the election, I have been approached by many Democrats who believe our party needs new leadership," said the former Maryland Governor. "I'm taking a hard look at DNC Chair because I know how badly we need to reform our nominating process, articulate a bold progressive vision, recommit ourselves to higher wages and a stronger middle class, and return to our roots as a nationwide, grassroots party."

New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman and DNC Vice Chair Ray Buckley is exploring a run, according to the Boston Globe.

... ... ...

Sanders -- a registered independent who caucuses with Democrats and fought a lengthy primary battle for the party's nomination this year -- and top allies are touting Ellison for the job. The Muslim-American congressman currently co-chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

... ... ...

On Thursday night, People for Bernie, a tech-savvy progressive group with ties to Sanders, told CNN it was backing Ellison as a first step in displacing Clinton loyalists with "a leadership untainted by cozy relationships to Wall St. moneymen, corporate behemoths, dictators, or monarchs."

In a jab at Dean, People for Bernie co-founder Charles Lenchner added, "Any 50-state strategy must begin with a 50-state accountability project; we reject any effort to unite the party behind the agents of a failed leadership."

The current head of the DNC is Donna Brazile, a longtime Democratic operative and former CNN contributor, who is leading in an interim capacity after Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned on the eve of the convention. Hacked emails appeared to show Wasserman Schultz and other since-departed DNC officials discussing ways to undermine Sanders' effort to oust Clinton in the primary.

[Nov 12, 2016] Inside the Clinton loss Whos to blame

DemoRats lost working class votes. may be forever (or as long as they stay neoliberal DemoRats). This is an important defeats of Bill Clinton, who sold the party to wall Street.
Notable quotes:
"... But aides said the Clinton campaign's top strategists largely ignored the former president, instead focusing on consolidating the base of voters that helped elect President Barack Obama to the White House. In the closing days of the campaign, Clinton targeted young people, Hispanics and African-Americans with laser like focus, casting Trump as a racist who only sought the presidency to benefit himself. ..."
www.cnn.com

The campaign communications director, Jennifer Palmieri, said in a statement Friday that "no one anticipated" losing. She said many factors were at work, but she listed Comey as chief among them.

"We didn't blame everyone but ourselves," Palmieri said. "We acknowledged a lot of challenges we faced, plenty of mistakes made along the way, some challenges we weren't able to overcome."

She added: "What changed in the last week that made his turn out go up and our's go down? The only thing apparent was Comey. It was one thing too many. Could not overcome it."

Democrats close to Bill Clinton said Thursday that one mistake Clinton's top aides made was not listening to the former president more when he urged the campaign to spend more time focusing on disaffected white, working class voters.

Many in Clinton's campaign viewed these voters as Trump's base, people so committed to the Republican nominee that no amount of visits or messaging could sway them. Clinton made no visits to Wisconsin as the Democratic nominee, and only pushed a late charge in Michigan once internal polling showed the race tightening.

Bill Clinton, advisers said, pushed the campaign early on to focus on these voters, many of whom helped elected him twice to the White House. The former president, a Clinton aide said, would regularly call Robby Mook to talk about strategy and offer advice.

But aides said the Clinton campaign's top strategists largely ignored the former president, instead focusing on consolidating the base of voters that helped elect President Barack Obama to the White House. In the closing days of the campaign, Clinton targeted young people, Hispanics and African-Americans with laser like focus, casting Trump as a racist who only sought the presidency to benefit himself.

[Nov 12, 2016] Neocon bottomfeeders now are having the second thoughts

Notable quotes:
"... Some of those applications are coming from the #NeverTrump crowd, the source said, and include former national security officials who signed one or more of the letters opposing Trump. ..."
"... Fifty GOP national security experts signed an August letter saying Trump "would put at risk our country's national security and well-being" because he "lacks the character, values and experience" to occupy the Oval Office, making him "the most reckless president in American history." ..."
"... Another bipartisan letter cited concern about potential foreign conflicts of interest Trump might encounter as president, and called on him to disclose them by releasing his tax returns. Trump has refused to do so, saying he is under audit and will make the returns public only once that is done. ..."
www.cnn.com

The extraordinary repudiation -- partly based on Trump's rejection of basic US foreign policy tenets, including support for close allies -- helped spark the hashtag #NeverTrump. Now, a source familiar with transition planning says that hard wall of resistance is crumbling fast.

There are "boxes" of applications, the source said. "There are many more than people realize."

Some of those applications are coming from the #NeverTrump crowd, the source said, and include former national security officials who signed one or more of the letters opposing Trump. "Mea culpas" are being considered -- and in some cases being granted, the source said -- for people who did not go a step further in attacking Trump personally.

... ... ...

Fifty GOP national security experts signed an August letter saying Trump "would put at risk our country's national security and well-being" because he "lacks the character, values and experience" to occupy the Oval Office, making him "the most reckless president in American history."

Another bipartisan letter cited concern about potential foreign conflicts of interest Trump might encounter as president, and called on him to disclose them by releasing his tax returns. Trump has refused to do so, saying he is under audit and will make the returns public only once that is done.

It remains to be seen what kind of team Trump will pull together, how many "NeverTrumpers" will apply for positions and to what degree the President-elect will be willing to accept them.

There's a fight underway within the Trump transition team about whether to consider "never Trumpers" for jobs, one official tells CNN. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who is leading the transition team, has been working to persuade Trump and other top officials to consider Republicans who openly opposed his campaign. That has caused some friction with those who see no place for people who didn't support their candidate.

[Nov 11, 2016] Democrats once represented the working class. Not any more by Robert Reich

Notable quotes:
"... At the start of the 2016 election cycle, this power structure proclaimed Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush shoo-ins for the nominations of the Democratic and Republican parties. After all, both of these individuals had deep bases of funders, well-established networks of political insiders, experienced political advisers and all the political name recognition any candidate could possibly want. ..."
"... Recent economic indicators may be up, but those indicators don't reflect the insecurity most Americans continue to feel, nor the seeming arbitrariness and unfairness they experience. Nor do the major indicators show the linkages many Americans see between wealth and power, stagnant or declining real wages, soaring CEO pay, and the undermining of democracy by big money. ..."
"... Median family income is lower now than it was 16 years ago, adjusted for inflation. ..."
"... Wealth, power and crony capitalism fit together. Americans know a takeover has occurred, and they blame the establishment for it. ..."
"... Bill Clinton and Obama also allowed antitrust enforcement to ossify – with the result that large corporations have grown far larger, and major industries more concentrated. The unsurprising result of this combination – more trade, declining unionization and more industry concentration – has been to shift political and economic power to big corporations and the wealthy, and to shaft the working class. This created an opening for Donald Trump's authoritarian demagoguery, and his presidency. ..."
"... The power structure is shocked by the outcome of the 2016 election because it has cut itself off from the lives of most Americans. Perhaps it also doesn't wish to understand, because that would mean acknowledging its role in enabling the presidency of Donald Trump. ..."
Nov 11, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

What has happened in America should not be seen as a victory for hatefulness over decency. It is more accurately understood as a repudiation of the American power structure.

At the core of that structure are the political leaders of both parties, their political operatives, and fundraisers; the major media, centered in New York and Washington DC; the country's biggest corporations, their top executives, and Washington lobbyists and trade associations; the biggest Wall Street banks, their top officers, traders, hedge-fund and private-equity managers, and their lackeys in Washington; and the wealthy individuals who invest directly in politics.

At the start of the 2016 election cycle, this power structure proclaimed Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush shoo-ins for the nominations of the Democratic and Republican parties. After all, both of these individuals had deep bases of funders, well-established networks of political insiders, experienced political advisers and all the political name recognition any candidate could possibly want.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the White House. The presidency was won by Donald Trump, who made his fortune marketing office towers and casinos, and, more recently, starring in a popular reality-television program, and who has never held elective office or had anything to do with the Republican party. Hillary Clinton narrowly won the popular vote, but not enough of the states and their electors secure a victory.

Hillary Clinton's defeat is all the more remarkable in that her campaign vastly outspent the Trump campaign on television and radio advertisements, and get-out-the-vote efforts. Moreover, her campaign had the support in the general election not of only the kingpins of the Democratic party but also many leading Republicans, including most of the politically active denizens of Wall Street and the top executives of America's largest corporations, and even former Republican president George HW Bush. Her campaign team was run by seasoned professionals who knew the ropes. She had the visible and forceful backing of Barack Obama, whose popularity has soared in recent months, and his popular wife. And, of course, she had her husband.

Trump, by contrast, was shunned by the power structure. Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate in 2012, actively worked against Trump's nomination. Many senior Republicans refused to endorse him, or even give him their support. The Republican National Committee did not raise money for Trump to the extent it had for other Republican candidates for president.

What happened?

There had been hints of the political earthquake to come. Trump had won the Republican primaries, after all. More tellingly, Clinton had been challenged in the Democratic primaries by the unlikeliest of candidates – a 74-year-old Jewish senator from Vermont who described himself as a democratic socialist and who was not even a Democrat. Bernie Sanders went on to win 22 states and 47% of the vote in those primaries. Sanders' major theme was that the country's political and economic system was rigged in favor of big corporations, Wall Street and the very wealthy.

... ... ...

The power structure of America wrote off Sanders as an aberration, and, until recently, didn't take Trump seriously. A respected political insider recently told me most Americans were largely content with the status quo. "The economy is in good shape," he said. "Most Americans are better off than they've been in years."

Recent economic indicators may be up, but those indicators don't reflect the insecurity most Americans continue to feel, nor the seeming arbitrariness and unfairness they experience. Nor do the major indicators show the linkages many Americans see between wealth and power, stagnant or declining real wages, soaring CEO pay, and the undermining of democracy by big money.

Median family income is lower now than it was 16 years ago, adjusted for inflation. Workers without college degrees – the old working class – have fallen furthest. Most economic gains, meanwhile, have gone to top. These gains have translated into political power to elicit bank bailouts, corporate subsidies, special tax loopholes, favorable trade deals and increasing market power without interference by anti-monopoly enforcement – all of which have further reduced wages and pulled up profits.

Wealth, power and crony capitalism fit together. Americans know a takeover has occurred, and they blame the establishment for it.

The Democratic party once represented the working class. But over the last three decades the party has been taken over by Washington-based fundraisers, bundlers, analysts, and pollsters who have focused instead on raising campaign money from corporate and Wall Street executives and getting votes from upper middle-class households in "swing" suburbs.

Democrats have occupied the White House for 16 of the last 24 years, and for four of those years had control of both houses of Congress. But in that time they failed to reverse the decline in working-class wages and economic security. Both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama ardently pushed for free trade agreements without providing millions of blue-collar workers who thereby lost their jobs means of getting new ones that paid at least as well.

They stood by as corporations hammered trade unions, the backbone of the white working class – failing to reform labor laws to impose meaningful penalties on companies that violate them, or help workers form unions with simple up-or-down votes. Partly as a result, union membership sank from 22% of all workers when Bill Clinton was elected president to less than 12% today, and the working class lost bargaining leverage to get a share of the economy's gains.

Bill Clinton and Obama also allowed antitrust enforcement to ossify – with the result that large corporations have grown far larger, and major industries more concentrated. The unsurprising result of this combination – more trade, declining unionization and more industry concentration – has been to shift political and economic power to big corporations and the wealthy, and to shaft the working class. This created an opening for Donald Trump's authoritarian demagoguery, and his presidency.

Now Americans have rebelled by supporting someone who wants to fortify America against foreigners as well as foreign-made goods. The power structure understandably fears that Trump's isolationism will stymie economic growth. But most Americans couldn't care less about growth because for years they have received few of its benefits, while suffering most of its burdens in the forms of lost jobs and lower wages.

The power structure is shocked by the outcome of the 2016 election because it has cut itself off from the lives of most Americans. Perhaps it also doesn't wish to understand, because that would mean acknowledging its role in enabling the presidency of Donald Trump.

gloriousrevolution , 11 Nov 2016 15:5

I'm in agreement with RR, as far as he goes. He could have gone further, but it's probably not the time or place for that, anyway, that road is depressing.

Trump's an opportunist, certainly, but a very, very, successful one indeed. He has, after all, made an awful lot of money that way, so he's not that lacking in intelligence and ruthlessness. If only Sanders had been more ruthless and willing to stick the knife into the Democratic Party when he had the chance.

Trump, essentially ran as an independent. First he needed to defeat the Republican Party's establishment, which he did, take over the party and only then was he ready to challenge the Democrats and beat them down. He succeeded in his strategy, beating both of them, which is an astonishing feat, historic in character.

It actually gets worse for liberals. Trump also took on the liberal media and despite their best efforts to destroy him, brazenly supporting Clinton and ridiculing Trump and his supporters... Trump didn't just survive the onslaught, but crushed the media as well. Vast swathes of the population hate and despise the media as much as they loathe the political elite. People simply don't believe the media anymore, so most of their attacks on Trump were useless and ineffective when they came.

And it really isn't Trump that's important here. It's the character of the wave he surfed on and lifted him into the White House. But the media ignored the wave and have done for years and years. Now, the fascist chickens have really come home to roost and much of the responsibility lies with the incredible ignorance, arrogance and mind-numbing stupidity that characterizes so much of the media.

zootsuitbeatnick , 11 Nov 2016 15:5
"Democrats once represented the working class. Not any more."
And they haven't since Bill Clinton had his way with the party in the 90s.
As much as the right enjoys calling the Clintons liberals, they're not.
They're neo-liberals, which is a whole different philosophy.
The Dems abandoned those who supported them for generations and we are all living in the ever-worsening result of that betrayal.
judyblue , 11 Nov 2016 14:2
So Robert Reich spent the past year enthusiastically encouraging us to vote for a candidate who embodied every last bit of the formula that he now tells us was a sure loser. Should he perhaps have warned his long-time good friend Hillary that she was on the wrong road? That being the servant of Wall Street and promising the status quo with incremental progress was a recipe for failure?
Dave Hobbs judyblue , 11 Nov 2016 15:4
Except Reich was a Sanders supporter...
twitty , 11 Nov 2016 14:1
As you say, sir:
"The power structure is shocked by the outcome of the 2016 election because it has cut itself off from the lives of most Americans. Perhaps it also doesn't wish to understand, because that would mean acknowledging its role in enabling the presidency of Donald Trump."
This includes Obama's role as enabler.
Ironic, that Obama was a charismatic campaigner who failed entirely to become a charismatic president. And he lost to a candidate who had another sort of charisma: That of a lying, sneering, insulting, self-important clown.
Shows how bad things have become for a once hard-working & productive middle class now set adrift.
newsfrommars twitty , 11 Nov 2016 15:0
The same power structure that has for decades ignored the plight of millions in favour of it's own elitist wealth building, little wonder this election result. The neo liberals by their arrogance and lack of empathy have brought us to this setting us back decades. Clinton was definately does not hold any sympathy for the downtrodden, she cannot, she's in another class, the billionaire type. That is why we must never trust them or ever look again to people with this background to help us. They are responsible for the descent towards fascism and the people are responsible for their utter gullability in believing them in the first place.
morphy smith twitty , 11 Nov 2016 15:3
Obama is the worst president and most divisive. he is the master race baiter as well.

Nov 11, 2016 | Pinterest

How the 2016 US election night unfolded

The power structure of America wrote off Sanders as an aberration, and, until recently, didn't take Trump seriously. A respected political insider recently told me most Americans were largely content with the status quo. "The economy is in good shape," he said. "Most Americans are better off than they've been in years."

Recent economic indicators may be up, but those indicators don't reflect the insecurity most Americans continue to feel, nor the seeming arbitrariness and unfairness they experience. Nor do the major indicators show the linkages many Americans see between wealth and power, stagnant or declining real wages, soaring CEO pay, and the undermining of democracy by big money.

Median family income is lower now than it was 16 years ago, adjusted for inflation. Workers without college degrees – the old working class – have fallen furthest. Most economic gains, meanwhile, have gone to top. These gains have translated into political power to elicit bank bailouts, corporate subsidies, special tax loopholes, favorable trade deals and increasing market power without interference by anti-monopoly enforcement – all of which have further reduced wages and pulled up profits.

Wealth, power and crony capitalism fit together. Americans know a takeover has occurred, and they blame the establishment for it.

The Democratic party once represented the working class. But over the last three decades the party has been taken over by Washington-based fundraisers, bundlers, analysts, and pollsters who have focused instead on raising campaign money from corporate and Wall Street executives and getting votes from upper middle-class households in "swing" suburbs.

Democrats have occupied the White House for 16 of the last 24 years, and for four of those years had control of both houses of Congress. But in that time they failed to reverse the decline in working-class wages and economic security. Both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama ardently pushed for free trade agreements without providing millions of blue-collar workers who thereby lost their jobs means of getting new ones that paid at least as well.

They stood by as corporations hammered trade unions, the backbone of the white working class – failing to reform labor laws to impose meaningful penalties on companies that violate them, or help workers form unions with simple up-or-down votes. Partly as a result, union membership sank from 22% of all workers when Bill Clinton was elected president to less than 12% today, and the working class lost bargaining leverage to get a share of the economy's gains.

Bill Clinton and Obama also allowed antitrust enforcement to ossify – with the result that large corporations have grown far larger, and major industries more concentrated. The unsurprising result of this combination – more trade, declining unionization and more industry concentration – has been to shift political and economic power to big corporations and the wealthy, and to shaft the working class. This created an opening for Donald Trump's authoritarian demagoguery, and his presidency.

Now Americans have rebelled by supporting someone who wants to fortify America against foreigners as well as f