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Two Party System as Polyarchy and anti-Democratic mechanisms of "first past the post" elections

Version 2.4 (Nov  21, 2016)

The USA looks more and more like a single party state -- it is governed by  Neoliberal party with two factions
 "soft neoliberals" (Democratic Party) and "hard neoliberals"(Republican Party)

News Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Recommended Books Recommended Links Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite US Presidential Elections of 2016 Democratic Party Neoliberals Monday morning quarterbacking The Deep State Predator state
The Iron Law of Oligarchy Neocons foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite New American Militarism Electoral College Hillary Clinton email scandal: Timeline and summary Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton Demexit Myth about intelligent voter
Neocons Obama: a yet another Neocon Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neoliberalism Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Protestant church on danger of neoliberalism
Donald Trump Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak DNC emails leak: switfboating Bernie Sanders and blaming Vladimir Putin National Security State  American Exceptionalism Libertarian Philosophy Nation under attack meme  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Pluralism as a myth
Principal-agent problem Corporatist Corruption Paleoconservatism Corporatism Ethno-linguistic Nationalism Non-Interventionism "Clinton Cash" Scandal: Hillary Clinton links to foreign donors and financial industry  Hillary role in Syria bloodbath Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS
Bernie Sanders Superdelegates at Democratic National Convention Jeb "Wolfowitz Stooge" Bush US Presidential Elections of 2012  Mayberry Machiavellians Politically Incorrect Humor Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc
"There is one political party in this country, and that is the party of money. It has two branches, the Republicans and the Democrats, the chief difference between which is that the Democrats are better at concealing their scorn for the average man."

-- Gore Vidal

“The Democrats are the foxes, and the Republicans are the wolves – and they both want to devour you.” So what does that make Libertarians? Avian flu viruses?”

-- Leonard Pinkney

The race is no contest when you own both horses. That is why no matter which political party is in power nothing really changes other than the packaging. The puppets who drink at the champagne fountains of the powerful do the bidding of their masters. The people are superfluous to the process.

-- Daniel Estulin

Due to the side an introduction was moved to the separate page Polyarchy, Authoritarianism and Deep State

Summary

I subscribe to Kantian idea of the dignity in human, the idea that everyone is entitled to survival as well as thriving beyond survival. But does everybody is entitled to equal participation in ruling of the state ?  Or  in election of state leaders? Which is what democracy means. Is the democracy possible, if elections use "the first after the post" rule?

My impression is that the Communist Party of the USSR made a grave mistake by not adopting "the first after the post" election system. In reality it would just legitimize the permanent Communist Party rule, as two factions of the CPSU competing for power (let's call them "Democratic Communists" and "Republican Communists") would exclude any real challenge for the one party rule that was practiced in the USSR under so called "one party" system (which, while providing the same results,  looks more undemocratic then "first after the post" system, and thus  less safe for the rule of oligarchy as it generates resentment of the population).   But both one party system and "first after the post" system provides a very effective suppression of any third party, preventing any chance of maturing such a political force. Which is all that is needed to continuation of the rule of the current oligarchy. It shops working only if  "revolutionary situation" (like in the USA in 2016) arise, when the people do not wont to live under the current system, and the ruling oligarchy can't continue to rule using the same methods and its brainwashing/propaganda doe not work anymore.  In such cases, often the ruling elite results to unleashing a war to suppress dissent and to restore the control. The pitch level of anti-Russian propaganda in 2016 in neoliberal MSM suggest that some part of the US elite is not totally hostile to this solution even in nuclear age.

The same was true for at least seven most recent US Presidential elections.  here we see attempt by oligarchy to rig the elections despite growing populism, at all cost. Evn by promoting a deeply criminal and unhealthy candidate. The level of propganda displayed in this election cycle by neoliberal MSM might well outdo the level achived by communist propagandists in best days of the USSR.

2016 elections are not unlike previous six presidential elections.  This time there is a slight chance that the election are not about choosing "soft neoliberal" vs. "hard neoliberal" but "soft neoliberal"  vs. "paleoconservative".

There is also an interesting question what king of democracy the competition  of "Democratic Neoliberals" ("soft neoliberal/closet neocons) and "Republican Neoliberals: ("hard core" neoliberal/open neocons) in the USA demostrates. Especially adjusting to slightly  lower level of political awareness and education of population in the USA (in the USSR the courses of philosophy and political economy (with obvious communist bent) was obligatory for all university students and people did read both Marx and Lenin. As Marx famously said he was not a Marxist ;-).  The same to a certain extent is true for Lenin, who was essentally a bridge between Marxism and national socialism.

And after they were literally forced to read Marx and make a set of quotes from some of his most important works, communist propaganda did no walr all too well. And people were listening to BBC and Voice of america at night, despite jumming.

This is not true with compley brainwashed the USA population, which does not have alternative sources of onfrematin (althouth they do exist, take for example RT).

Let's honestly ask yourselves  what percentage of US voters can list key proposition of paleoconservative political platform vs neoliberal platform, when just the words neoliberalism and Paleoconservatism are expunged from MSM. Assuming that this is the key difference between two candidates in the current Presidential race, this is really unfortunate.

Moreover the hypothesis that majority of voters under "popular democracy" regime (where all citizens have a right to vote) understand what they are voting for ("informed voters" hypothesis)  is open to review (Myth about intelligent voter).  Otherwise identity politics would not be so successful, despite being a primitive variation of classic divide and conquer strategy.

In any case one amazing fact happened during this election: republican voters abandoned Republican brass and flocked to Trump, while Democratic voters abandoed Democratic neoliberals and floked to Sanders (although DNC managed to fix primaries).  See Trump vs. The REAL Nuts—The GOP- “Uniparty” Establishment - The Unz Review  for an informed discussion of this phenomenon.

Mr. Trump’s great historical role was to reveal to the Republican Party what half of its own base really thinks about the big issues. The party’s leaders didn’t know! They were shocked, so much that they indulged in sheer denial and made believe it wasn’t happening.

The party’s leaders accept more or less open borders and like big trade deals. Half the base does not! It is longtime GOP doctrine to cut entitlement spending. Half the base doesn’t want to, not right now! Republican leaders have what might be called assertive foreign-policy impulses. When Mr. Trump insulted George W. Bush and nation-building and said he’d opposed the Iraq invasion, the crowds, taking him at his word, cheered. He was, as they say, declaring that he didn’t want to invade the world and invite the world. Not only did half the base cheer him, at least half the remaining half joined in when the primaries ended.

But at the same time the struggle for political equality which is often associative with the word "democracy" is a vital human struggle, even if democracy itself is an unachievable and unrealistic ideal (see The Iron Law of Oligarchy).  In some sense too much talk about Democracy is very suspect and just characterize the speaker as a hypocrite with probably evil intentions, who probably is trying to mask some pretty insidious plans with "democracy promotion" smokescreen. The same is true for countries.  Especially for those which use  "export of democracy" efforts to mask their pretty much imperial ambitions. The efforts to expand and sustain the global neoliberal empire led by the USA.  See color revolutions for details.  Actually that makes the USA very similar the USSR with its leaders dream about global Communist empire led from Moscow. Both in the USA and the USSR there was too much talk about democracy, while actually practice was decidedly undemocratic. It was oligarchic rule in both cases. In the USA the situation is further complicated by amazing level of brainwashing of population via MSM, which definitely exceed the level achieve by nomenklatura in Soviet Union. Can you imagine the situation in the USSR when members of the ruling communist party were prohibited to show their affiliation and the words "communist" and "communism" was "discouraged" and their usage is suppressed  in MSM including leading newspapers Pravda and Izvestia (roughly analogical to WaPo and NYT).   That's the situation we have in the USA now.

The term "neoliberalism" is effectively prohibited from usage in major US MSM and all political discussion is forcefully turned into "infotainment" -- the clash of  personalizes. In other words discussion of key issues facing the country (politics in real sense of this word)  was replaced under neoliberal regime by "infotainment" with slick and often psychically beautiful prostitutes instead of analysts.   But like was the case in the USSR neoliberal brainwashing gradually lost its effectiveness because it contradicts the reality. and neoliberalism failed to deliver promises of "rising tide lifting all board", or trickle down economy which justified tremendous enrichment of top 0.1%. 

So there is a consensus, that while there is not coherent alternative (and attempts to return to "enlightened corporatism" of New Deal are questionable at best in the age of peak oil), neoliberal ideology is on decline since 2008, which make Presidential elections of 2016 so atypical: for the fist time in many year there is one candidate (and earlier there were two) which was not pre-approved by establishment, fighting a weak, un-trusted by the most population establishment candidate with failing health.

Like in case of communist regimes before, under neoliberalism we now face a regime completely opposite to democracy: we have complete, forceful atomization of public, acute suppression of any countervailing political forces (similar to the suppression of dissidents in the USSR in its effectiveness and brutality, but done in "velvet gloves" without resort to physical violence). That includes decimation of  labor unions and other forms of self-organization for the lower 80%, or even 99% of population.  Neoliberalism tries to present any individual, any citizen, as a market actor within some abstract market (everything is the market under neoliberalism). Instead of fight for political  and economic equality neoliberalism provides a slick slogan of "wealth maximization" which is in essence a "bait and switch" for redistribution of wealth up to the top 1% (which is the stated goal of neoliberalism aka "casino capitalism"). It was working in tandem with "shareholder value" mantra which is a disguise of looting of the corporations to enrich its top brass via outsize bonuses (IBM is a nice example where such an approach leads) and sending thousands of white-collar workers to the street. Previously it was mainly blue-collar workers that were affected. Times changed. 

Everything should be organized like corporation under neoliberalism, including government, medicine, education, even military. And everybody is not a citizen but a shareholder  (or more correctly stakeholder), so any conflict should be resolved via discussion of the main stakeholders. Naturally lower 99% are not among them.

In any democracy, how can voters make an important decision unless they are well informed?  But what percentage of US votes can be considered well informed?  And taking into account popularity of Fox News what percentage is brainwashed or do not what to think about the issues involved and operate based on emotions and prejudices? And when serious discussion of issues that nation faces are deliberately and systematically replaced by "infotainment" voters became just pawns in the game of factions of elite, which sometimes leaks information to sway public opinion, but do it very selectively. All MSM represent the views of large corporations which own them. No exception are allowed. Important information is suppressed or swiped under the carpet to fifth page in NYT to prevent any meaningful discussion. For example, ask several of your friends if they ever heard about Damascus, AR.

The great propaganda mantra of neoliberal governance, "wealth maximization" for society as a whole in reality is applied very selectively and never to the bottom 60% or 80%, or eve 99% of population.  In essence, it means a form of welfare economics for financial oligarchy while at the same time a useful smokescreen for keeping debt-slaves obedient by removing any remnants of job security mechanisms that were instituted during the New Deal. As the great American jurist and Supreme Court associate justice Louis Brandeis once said: “We can have huge wealth in the hands of a relatively few people or we can have a democracy. But we can’t have both.” As under neoliberalism extreme wealth is the goal of the social system, there can be no democracy under neoliberalism. And this mean that pretentions of the USA elite that the USA is a bastion of democracy is plain vanilla British ruling elite style hypocrisy.  Brutal suppression of any move to challenge dominance of financial oligarchy (even such feeble as Occupy movement)  shows that all too well.

Politically neoliberalism. like Marxism in the past, operates with the same two classes: entrepreneurs (modern name for capitalists and financial oligarchy) and debt slaves (proletarians under Marxism) who work for them. Under neoliberalism only former considered first class citizens ("one dollar -- one vote"). Debt slaves are second class of citizens and are prevented from self-organization, which by-and-large deprives them of any form of political participation. In best Roman tradition it is substituted with the participation in political shows (see Empire of Illusion The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle by Chris Hedges) which decide nothing but helps to provide legitimacy for the ruling elite. 

The two party system invented by the elite of Great Britain proved to be perfect for neoliberal regimes, which practice what Sheldon Wolin called inverted totalitarism. The latter is the regime in which all political power belongs to the financial oligarchy which rules via the deep state mechanisms, and where traditional political institutions including POTUS are downgraded to instruments of providing political legitimacy of the ruling elite. Population is discouraged from political activity. "Go shopping" as famously recommended Bush II to US citizens after 9/11.

 


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[Dec 06, 2016] What the demand for recount tells us about Jill Stein?

Dec 06, 2016 | www.moonofalabama.org
jfl | Dec 3, 2016 5:54:00 PM | 31

A Bare-Knuckle Fight Over Recounts

Since recounts that overturn the vote totals seem unlikely, it appears the Clinton campaign's Plan B is to use any evidence of tampering that it can pin on Russia to lobby electors to change their votes to Clinton when the Electoral College meets in state capitals on Dec. 19.

Finding evidence of hacking of election computers that can somehow be blamed on Russia could be crucial for the Clinton team in their effort to convince electors to change their vote.

Laurence Tribe, a well-known and connected Democratic lawyer, has offered to defend pro bono any elector who breaks the law by changing their vote to Clinton. And there are plans to mount a constitutional challenge against the 26 states that legally bind the electors' to their state's popular vote.


Jill Stein's willingness to provide cover for 'the Russians hacked the election' recounts is interesting ...

Exhibit A in Stein's petition is an affidavit from Professor J. Alex Halderman, a professor of computer science at the University of Michigan, who alleges that Russia hacked the election.

Exhibit B from Stein's petition is an article from Wired Magazine about Russia's alleged role in the hack.

Exhibit C is a New York Times article quoting DellSecureWorks, a private security firm, saying Russia was behind the hack of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

Exhibits D through G - meaning all of Stein's exhibits - are on alleged Russian hacking. One article is about an alleged attempted Russian hack of the 2014, post-coup Ukrainian election.


... although I think it unlikely that 'the Russians hacked the election' it does look likely that the authors of that 'meme' managed to get Jill Stein to carry their water for them. Why did she do that? Did she even read the petition - that drew $7 million in funding overnight - before signing it? What does it say about her if she didn't? What does it say about her if she did?

What does it say about her that she went for such a lose-lose proposition?

Can an actual run on the electoral college be in the works? Can that be the 'reasoning' behind Jeff Bezos' ProPornoTeam?

[Dec 06, 2016] Challenges for Western civilization

Dec 06, 2016 | www.moonofalabama.org
psychohistorian | Dec 3, 2016 8:02:21 PM | 46

Here is link to an interview with Stephen Hawking that I will pull some quotes from

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/01/stephen-hawking-dangerous-time-planet-inequality

The quotes:
"
So the recent apparent rejection of the elites in both America and Britain is surely aimed at me, as much as anyone. Whatever we might think about the decision by the British electorate to reject membership of the European Union and by the American public to embrace Donald Trump as their next president, there is no doubt in the minds of commentators that this was a cry of anger by people who felt they had been abandoned by their leaders.
"
"
What matters now, far more than the choices made by these two electorates, is how the elites react. Should we, in turn, reject these votes as outpourings of crude populism that fail to take account of the facts, and attempt to circumvent or circumscribe the choices that they represent? I would argue that this would be a terrible mistake.

The concerns underlying these votes about the economic consequences of globalisation and accelerating technological change are absolutely understandable. The automation of factories has already decimated jobs in traditional manufacturing, and the rise of artificial intelligence is likely to extend this job destruction deep into the middle classes, with only the most caring, creative or supervisory roles remaining.

This in turn will accelerate the already widening economic inequality around the world. The internet and the platforms that it makes possible allow very small groups of individuals to make enormous profits while employing very few people. This is inevitable, it is progress, but it is also socially destructive.

We need to put this alongside the financial crash, which brought home to people that a very few individuals working in the financial sector can accrue huge rewards and that the rest of us underwrite that success and pick up the bill when their greed leads us astray. So taken together we are living in a world of widening, not diminishing, financial inequality, in which many people can see not just their standard of living, but their ability to earn a living at all, disappearing. It is no wonder then that they are searching for a new deal, which Trump and Brexit might have appeared to represent.
"
"
For me, the really concerning aspect of this is that now, more than at any time in our history, our species needs to work together. We face awesome environmental challenges: climate change, food production, overpopulation, the decimation of other species, epidemic disease, acidification of the oceans.

Together, they are a reminder that we are at the most dangerous moment in the development of humanity. We now have the technology to destroy the planet on which we live, but have not yet developed the ability to escape it. Perhaps in a few hundred years, we will have established human colonies amid the stars, but right now we only have one planet, and we need to work together to protect it.

To do that, we need to break down, not build up, barriers within and between nations. If we are to stand a chance of doing that, the world's leaders need to acknowledge that they have failed and are failing the many. With resources increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few, we are going to have to learn to share far more than at present.

With not only jobs but entire industries disappearing, we must help people to retrain for a new world and support them financially while they do so. If communities and economies cannot cope with current levels of migration, we must do more to encourage global development, as that is the only way that the migratory millions will be persuaded to seek their future at home.

We can do this, I am an enormous optimist for my species; but it will require the elites, from London to Harvard, from Cambridge to Hollywood, to learn the lessons of the past year. To learn above all a measure of humility.
"

[Dec 05, 2016] BuzzFeed Exposes Corporate Super Courts That Can Overrule Government

Corporations are "one-dollar-one-vote" top-down systems. They consider "one-person-one-vote" democracy illegitimate
Notable quotes:
"... Existing "trade" agreements like NAFTA allow corporations to sue governments for passing laws and regulations that limit their profits. They set up special " corporate courts " in which corporate attorneys decide the cases. These corporate "super courts" sit above governments and their own court systems, and countries and their citizens cannot even appeal the rulings. ..."
"... Now, corporations are pushing two new "trade" agreements - one covering Pacific-are countries and one covering Atlantic-area countries - that expand these corporate rights and move governments out of their way. The Pacific agreement is called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Atlantic one is called the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). ..."
"... International corporations that want to intimidate countries have access to a private legal system designed just for them. And to unlock its power, sometimes all it takes is a threat. ..."
"... ISDS is so tilted and unpredictable, and the fines the arbitrators can impose are so catastrophically large, that bowing to a company's demands, however extreme they may be, can look like the prudent choice. ..."
Sep 03, 2016 | Back to (our) Future

BuzzFeed is running a very important investigative series called "Secrets of a Global Super Court." It describes what they call "a parallel legal universe, open only to corporations and largely invisible to everyone else."

Existing "trade" agreements like NAFTA allow corporations to sue governments for passing laws and regulations that limit their profits. They set up special "corporate courts" in which corporate attorneys decide the cases. These corporate "super courts" sit above governments and their own court systems, and countries and their citizens cannot even appeal the rulings.

The 2014 post "Corporate Courts - A Big Red Flag On "Trade" Agreements" explained the origin and rationale for these corporate courts:

Picture a poor "banana republic" country ruled by a dictator and his cronies. A company might want to invest in a factory or railroad - things that would help the people of that country as well as deliver a return to the company. But the company worries that the dictator might decide to just seize the factory and give it to his brother-in-law. Agreements to protect investors, and allowing a tribunal not based in such countries (courts where the judges are cronies of the dictator), make sense in such situations.

Here's the thing: Corporate investors see themselves as legitimate "makers" and see citizens and voters and their governments - always demanding taxes and fair pay and public safety - to be illegitimate "takers." Corporations are all about "one-dollar-one-vote" top-down systems of governance. They consider "one-person-one-vote" democracy to be an illegitimate, non-functional system that meddles with their more-important profit interests. They consider any governmental legal or regulatory system to be "burdensome." They consider taxes as "theft" of the money they have "earned."

To them, any government anywhere is just another "banana republic" from which they need special protection.

"Trade" Deals Bypass Borders

Investors and their corporations have set up a way to get around the borders of these meddling governments, called "trade" deals. The trade deals elevate global corporate interests above any national interest. When a country signs a "trade" deal, that country is agreeing not to do things that protect the country's own national interest - like impose tariffs to protect key industries or national strategies, or pass laws and regulations - when those things interfere with the larger, more important global corporate "trade" interests.

Now, corporations are pushing two new "trade" agreements - one covering Pacific-are countries and one covering Atlantic-area countries - that expand these corporate rights and move governments out of their way. The Pacific agreement is called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Atlantic one is called the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Secrets of a Global Super Court

BuzzFeed's series on these corporate courts, "Secrets of a Global Super Court," explains the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions in the "trade" deals that have come to dominate the world economy. These provisions set up "corporate courts" that place corporate profits above the interests of governments and set up a court system that sits above the court systems of the countries in the "trade" deals.

Part One, "Inside The Global "Club" That Helps Executives Escape Their Crimes," describes, "A parallel legal universe, open only to corporations and largely invisible to everyone else, helps executives convicted of crimes escape punishment."

In a little-noticed 2014 dissent, US Chief Justice John Roberts warned that ISDS arbitration panels hold the alarming power to review a nation's laws and "effectively annul the authoritative acts of its legislature, executive, and judiciary." ISDS arbitrators, he continued, "can meet literally anywhere in the world" and "sit in judgment" on a nation's "sovereign acts."

[. . .]

Reviewing publicly available information for about 300 claims filed during the past five years, BuzzFeed News found more than 35 cases in which the company or executive seeking protection in ISDS was accused of criminal activity, including money laundering, embezzlement, stock manipulation, bribery, war profiteering, and fraud.

Among them: a bank in Cyprus that the US government accused of financing terrorism and organized crime, an oil company executive accused of embezzling millions from the impoverished African nation of Burundi, and the Russian oligarch known as "the Kremlin's banker."

One lawyer who regularly represents governments said he's seen evidence of corporate criminality that he "couldn't believe." Speaking on the condition that he not be named because he's currently handling ISDS cases, he said, "You have a lot of scuzzy sort-of thieves for whom this is a way to hit the jackpot."

Part Two, "The Billion-Dollar Ultimatum," looks at how "International corporations that want to intimidate countries have access to a private legal system designed just for them. And to unlock its power, sometimes all it takes is a threat."

Of all the ways in which ISDS is used, the most deeply hidden are the threats, uttered in private meetings or ominous letters, that invoke those courts. The threats are so powerful they often eliminate the need to actually bring a lawsuit. Just the knowledge that it could happen is enough.

[. . .] ISDS is so tilted and unpredictable, and the fines the arbitrators can impose are so catastrophically large, that bowing to a company's demands, however extreme they may be, can look like the prudent choice. Especially for nations struggling to emerge from corrupt dictatorships or to lift their people from decades of poverty, the mere threat of an ISDS claim triggers alarm. A single decision by a panel of three unaccountable, private lawyers, meeting in a conference room on some other continent, could gut national budgets and shake economies to the core.

Part Three, "To Bankers, It's Not Just A Court System, It's A Gold Mine," exposes how "Financial companies have figured out how to turn a controversial global legal system to their own very profitable advantage."

Indeed, financiers and ISDS lawyers have created a whole new business: prowling for ways to sue nations in ISDS and make their taxpayers fork over huge sums, sometimes in retribution for enforcing basic laws or regulations.

The financial industry is pushing novel ISDS claims that countries never could have anticipated - claims that, in some instances, would be barred in US courts and those of other developed nations, or that strike at emergency decisions nations make to cope with crises.

ISDS gives particular leverage to traders and speculators who chase outsize profits in the developing world. They can buy into local disputes that they have no connection to, then turn the disputes into costly international showdowns. Standard Chartered, for example, bought the debt of a Tanzanian company that was in dire financial straits and racked by scandal; now, the bank has filed an ISDS claim demanding that the nation's taxpayers hand over the full amount that the private company owed - more than $100 million. Asked to comment, Standard Chartered said its claim is "valid."

David Dayen explains this last point, in "The Big Problem With The Trans-Pacific Partnership's Super Court That We're Not Talking About": "Financiers will use it to bet on lawsuits, while taxpayers foot the bill."

But instead of helping companies resolve legitimate disputes over seized assets, ISDS has increasingly become a way for rich investors to make money by speculating on lawsuits, winning huge awards and forcing taxpayers to foot the bill.

Here's how it works: Wealthy financiers with idle cash have purchased companies that are well placed to bring an ISDS claim, seemingly for the sole purpose of using that claim to make a buck. Sometimes, they set up shell corporations to create the plaintiffs to bring ISDS cases. And some hedge funds and private equity firms bankroll ISDS cases as third parties - just like billionaire Peter Thiel bankrolled Hulk Hogan in his lawsuit against Gawker Media.

Part Four of the great BuzzFeed series, "Secrets of a Global Super Court," is expected to be published later this week.

PCCC Statement

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) released this statement on the ISDS provisions in TPP:

"Under the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Wall Street would be allowed to sue the government in extrajudicial, corporate-run tribunals over any regulation and American taxpayers would be on the hook for damages. This is an outrage. We need more accountability and fairness in our economy – not less. And we need to preserve our ability to make our own rules.

"It's time for Obama to take notice of the widespread, bipartisan opposition to the TPP and take this agreement off the table before he causes lasting political harm to Democrats with voters."

[Dec 04, 2016] UK election Who really governs Britain

But those politicians lucky enough to win discover -- if they did not know already -- that their capacity to affect even their own domestic environment is constrained by forces beyond their control.
Notable quotes:
"... But those politicians lucky enough to win discover -- if they did not know already -- that their capacity to affect even their own domestic environment is constrained by forces beyond their control. ..."
"... In the case of Britain, the once-powerful centralized governments of that country are now multiply constrained. As the power of Britain in international affairs has declined, so has the British government's power within its own domain. Membership of the European Union constrains British governments' ability to determine everything from the quantities of fish British fishermen can legally catch to the amount in fees that British universities can charge students from other EU countries. ..."
"... Not least, the EU's insistence on the free movement of labor caused the Conservative-dominated coalition that came to power in 2010 to renege on the Tories' spectacularly ill-judged pledge to reduce to "tens of thousands a year" the number of migrants coming to Britain. The number admitted in 2014 alone was nearer 300,000. ..."
"... On top of all that, British governments -- even more than those of some other predominantly capitalist economies -- are open to being buffeted by market forces, whose winds can acquire gale force. In a world of substantially free trade, imports and exports of goods and services are largely beyond any government's control, and the Bank of England's influence over the external value of sterling is negligible. During the present election campaign, HSBC, one of the world's largest banks, indicated that it was contemplating shifting its headquarters from the City of London to Hong Kong. For good or ill, Britain's government was, and is, effectively helpless to intervene. ..."
"... That's why we need a federal Europe. Local governments for local issues and elected by the local people and a European government for European issues elected by all Europeans. ..."
May 04, 2015 | CNN.com

Once upon a time, national elections were -- or seemed to be -- overwhelmingly domestic affairs, affecting only the peoples of the countries taking part in them. If that was ever true, it is so no longer. Angela Merkel negotiates with Greece's government with Germany's voters looming in the background. David Cameron currently fights an election campaign in the UK holding fast to the belief that a false move on his part regarding Britain's relationship with the EU could cost his Conservative Party seats, votes and possibly the entire election.

Britain provides a good illustration of a general proposition. It used to be claimed, plausibly, that "all politics is local." In 2015, electoral politics may still be mostly local, but the post-electoral business of government is anything but local. There is a misfit between the two. Voters are mainly swayed by domestic issues. Vote-seeking politicians campaign accordingly. But those politicians lucky enough to win discover -- if they did not know already -- that their capacity to affect even their own domestic environment is constrained by forces beyond their control.

Anyone viewing the UK election campaign from afar could be forgiven for thinking that British voters and politicians alike imagined they were living on some kind of self-sufficient sea-girt island. The opinion polls indicate that a large majority of voters are preoccupied -- politically as well as in other ways -- with their own financial situation, tax rates, welfare spending and the future of the National Health Service. Immigration is an issue for many voters, but mostly in domestic terms (and often as a surrogate for generalized discontent with Britain's political class). The fact that migrants from Eastern Europe and elsewhere make a positive net contribution to both the UK's economy and its social services scarcely features in the campaign.

... ... ...

After polling day, all that will change -- probably to millions of voters' dismay. One American presidential candidate famously said that politicians campaign in poetry, but govern in prose. Politicians in democracies, not just in Britain, campaign as though they can move mountains, then find that most mountains are hard or impossible to move.

In the case of Britain, the once-powerful centralized governments of that country are now multiply constrained. As the power of Britain in international affairs has declined, so has the British government's power within its own domain. Membership of the European Union constrains British governments' ability to determine everything from the quantities of fish British fishermen can legally catch to the amount in fees that British universities can charge students from other EU countries.

Not least, the EU's insistence on the free movement of labor caused the Conservative-dominated coalition that came to power in 2010 to renege on the Tories' spectacularly ill-judged pledge to reduce to "tens of thousands a year" the number of migrants coming to Britain. The number admitted in 2014 alone was nearer 300,000.

The UK's courts are also far more active than they were. The British parliament in 1998 incorporated the European Convention on Human Rights into British domestic law, and British judges have determinedly enforced those rights. During the 1970s, they had already been handed responsibility for enforcing the full range of EU law within the UK.

Also, Britain's judges have, on their own initiative, exercised increasingly frequently their long-standing power of "judicial review," invalidating ministerial decisions that violated due process or seemed to them to be wholly unreasonable. Devolution of substantial powers to semi-independent governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland has also meant that the jurisdiction of many so-called UK government ministers is effectively confined to the purely English component part.

On top of all that, British governments -- even more than those of some other predominantly capitalist economies -- are open to being buffeted by market forces, whose winds can acquire gale force. In a world of substantially free trade, imports and exports of goods and services are largely beyond any government's control, and the Bank of England's influence over the external value of sterling is negligible. During the present election campaign, HSBC, one of the world's largest banks, indicated that it was contemplating shifting its headquarters from the City of London to Hong Kong. For good or ill, Britain's government was, and is, effectively helpless to intervene.

The heirs of Gladstone, Disraeli, Lloyd George and Winston Churchill, Britain's political leaders are understandably still tempted to talk big. But their effective real-world influence is small. No wonder a lot of voters in Britain feel they are being conned.

ItsJustTim

That's globalization. And it won't go away, even if you vote nationalist. The issues are increasingly international, while the voters still have a mostly local perspective. That's why we need a federal Europe. Local governments for local issues and elected by the local people and a European government for European issues elected by all Europeans.

[Dec 02, 2016] There is no global left. We have only global state capitalists and global social democrats – a pseudo left.

Notable quotes:
"... There is no global left. We have only global state capitalists and global social democrats – a pseudo left. ..."
Dec 02, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
ejp November 29, 2016 at 7:41 am

There is no global left. We have only global state capitalists and global social democrats – a pseudo left.

The countries where Marxist class analysis was supposedly adopted were not industrial countries where "alienation" had brought the "proletariat" to an inevitable communal mentality. The largest of these countries killed millions in order to industrialize rapidly – pretending the goal was to get to that state.

The terms left and right may not be adequate for those of us who want an egalitarian society but also see many of the obstacles to egalitarianism as human failings that are independent of and not caused by ruling elites – although they frequently serve the interests of those elites.

Bigotry. Identity centered thinking. Neither serves egalitarianism. But people cling to them. "I gotta look out for myself first." And so called left thinkers constantly pontificate about "benefits" and "privileges" that some class, sex, and race confer. Hmmm. The logic is that many of us struggling daily to keep our jobs and pay the bills must give up something in order to be fair, in order to build a better society. Given this thinking it is no surprise that so many have retreated into the illusion of safety offered by identity based thinking.

Hopefully those of us who yearn for an egalitarian movement can develop and articulate an alternate view of reality.

[Nov 30, 2016] For those interested, here is a short vid on the EC.

www.moonofalabama.org

h | Nov 30, 2016 10:16:00 AM | 106

"Every four years it seems U.S. voters need to be reminded how the Electoral College works and how it serves the Republic. Prager University Foundation provides this short video on what the Electoral College is, its purpose, how it works and why America's Founders made it a bedrock in U.S. Presidential elections"...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6s7jB6-GoU

[Nov 30, 2016] Why no New Hampshire recount? So good job Stein, you just destroyed the only credible left alternative

So Clintons bought Jill Stein. Nice...
www.moonofalabama.org
bigmango | Nov 29, 2016 1:52:16 PM | 22

@Jack Smith | Nov 29, 2016 12:50:24 PM | 10

Correct. Many of the people (me included) who voted Green for obvious anti-Clinton reasons were also very suspicious of Trump. So Green made sense. But all of these people now feel utterly betrayed by Stein's greed or fronting for the Clintons. Why no New Hampshire recount? So good job Stein, you just destroyed the only credible left alternative while the Dems are mortally wounded on the their left flank and the Clinton mob are taking resumes for a new sheepdog to get the wayward Sandernistas back into their stinking little corner of Hillary's big tent where they belong.

Jackrabbit | Nov 29, 2016 6:03:01 PM | 44

@32 follow-up

...This recount is serious business. The Greens don't have the organizational aptitude or money to have accomplished what needed to be done within days. That indicates that Democrats/Clinton cronies are behind this. And the Clinton press corps have been engaged as well.

Noirette | Nov 30, 2016 12:58:53 PM | 115

Now Stein has allowed the dems to buy her ass, one has to wonder - why? Debs is dead at 60.

Because carreerism, because her position was always to get ahead in a major party (not Repub. obviously), to capitalise on her popularity.

Many Greens are like that all over the OECD world. They get 'splinter support', often quite high in votes, using seductive discourse, to then join the Top Brass promoting "renewables" using all kinds of inclusive and enviro-friendly, vague but marginal, leftist discourse, avoiding the 'economy' and 'real numbers' and for that matter deeper politics e.g. "sustainable communities" , "sharing", "grass roots initiatives", "husbanding energy", "respecting traditional ways of life", "integrating people", "developping solar", "promoting electric cars" and forbidding plastic bags, etc. etc.

The powerful party apparatus integrates them as a 'voice' for whatever is the gout-du-jour memes and everyone, including the dominant energy conglomerates are all happy. The person earns potentially well a lot.

Sorry to be so cynical and negative but I have seen Greens do this time and time again.

I don't hate or dislike Jill Stein. Just, that is the general trend and from what I have seen (maybe superficial) she is not different from the mold.

The ways of the world and Nature bats last...

[Nov 27, 2016] Given America's history over the last couple of decades, perhaps we can guess where Berezovsky got his idea for his a clever Russian two parties political scheme.

www.unz.com
We always ridicule the 98 percent voter support that dictatorships frequently achieve in their elections and plebiscites, yet perhaps those secret-ballot results may sometimes be approximately correct, produced by the sort of overwhelming media control that leads voters to assume there is no possible alternative to the existing regime. Is such an undemocratic situation really so different from that found in our own country, in which our two major parties agree on such a broad range of controversial issues and, being backed by total media dominance, routinely split 98 percent of the vote? A democracy may provide voters with a choice, but that choice is largely determined by the information citizens receive from their media.

Most of the Americans who elected Barack Obama in 2008 intended their vote as a total repudiation of the policies and personnel of the preceding George W. Bush administration. Yet once in office, Obama's crucial selections-Robert Gates at Defense, Timothy Geither at Treasury, and Ben Bernanke at the Federal Reserve-were all top Bush officials, and they seamlessly continued the unpopular financial bailouts and foreign wars begun by his predecessor, producing what amounted to a third Bush term.

Consider the fascinating perspective of the recently deceased Boris Berezovsky, once the most powerful of the Russian oligarchs and the puppet master behind President Boris Yeltsin during the late 1990s. After looting billions in national wealth and elevating Vladimir Putin to the presidency, he overreached himself and eventually went into exile. According to the New York Times, he had planned to transform Russia into a fake two-party state-one social-democratic and one neoconservative-in which heated public battles would be fought on divisive, symbolic issues, while behind the scenes both parties would actually be controlled by the same ruling elites. With the citizenry thus permanently divided and popular dissatisfaction safely channeled into meaningless dead-ends, Russia's rulers could maintain unlimited wealth and power for themselves, with little threat to their reign. Given America's history over the last couple of decades, perhaps we can guess where Berezovsky got his idea for such a clever political scheme.

[Nov 24, 2016] Populists as Snake Oil Sellers

Title is pretty misleading. It is neoliberals who are snake oil sellers. In no way FDR was a snake oil seller.
Notable quotes:
"... People aren't so much voting _for_ snake oil as _against_ the status quo. ..."
"... False analogies. Time for "change", no expectation of "hope" from the bomber* who got the Nobel peace prize. 'Snake oil'+ from both sides in 2016. Add a dash of corruption and rigged system. The corrupt snake oil sales pitch who lost to the unorganized snake oil sales pitch. ..."
"... From my prospective the donkey-s were pushing more of the same conservative party-line straight from 1928. The publicans had deep vested interest in the same failed approach to culture, society, economy, and finance. The same except for one of its hopeful candidates who saw the problem, some of the remedies, and a path towards the control tower using the popular but outdated methods of pandering to our most disgusting instincts of evil. Sure! ..."
"... Snake oil salesmen, eh? One only has to read Minsky on the neoclassical assumptions or, for that matter, Milton Friedman on why nonsense is perfectly fine to know who the big league snake oil salesmen have been. People voting for Brexit and Trump were voting for anything but the snake oil status quo. ..."
"... The Establishment isn't delivering so you get populists on the left and right. ..."
"... Make me think of the Middle East where the West destroyed the communists and socialists and so all that was left was the military-backed authoritarians and the mosques with their "snake oil." ..."
"... "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people" ..."
"... Seems it to difficult to admit globalization damaged US workers, so the fall back is to call workers gullible and racist. ..."
Nov 24, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

Ron Waller : November 24, 2016 at 08:20 AM

Clearly Keynes and FDR were snake-oil salesmen. The Progressive New Deal Era (1932-80) being the biggest economic muckup in the history of humanity!

Thankfully Friedman came along and made America and the world great again. (Just a slight kink in the model: the global economy teetering on the verge of collapse into fascist revolutions and world war. Nothing a little free-market medicine can't nip in the bud!)

anne -> Ron Waller ... , November 24, 2016 at 08:36 AM
Clearly Keynes and FDR were snake-oil salesmen. The Progressive New Deal Era (1932-80) being the biggest economic muckup in the history of humanity!

[ Perfectly ironic. ]

anne -> Ron Waller ... , November 24, 2016 at 08:40 AM
http://www.measuringworth.com/growth/

January 15, 2016

Annualized Growth Rates

1933 to 1979 Real GDP = 4.71%
1933 to 1979 Real GDP per capita = 3.39%

1980 to 2015 Real GDP = 2.70%
1980 to 2015 Real GDP per capita = 1.69%

Unhandyandy : , November 24, 2016 at 08:31 AM
Maybe a misdiagnosis. People aren't so much voting _for_ snake oil as _against_ the status quo.
ilsm : , November 24, 2016 at 08:48 AM
False analogies. Time for "change", no expectation of "hope" from the bomber* who got the Nobel peace prize. 'Snake oil'+ from both sides in 2016. Add a dash of corruption and rigged system. The corrupt snake oil sales pitch who lost to the unorganized snake oil sales pitch.

If the faux left don't get some logic it needs to be replaced by a leftie of the Trump brand.

*con artist/war monger

+racism/sexism fear mongers

Choco Bell : , November 24, 2016 at 09:01 AM
have become "homogeneous", while Lebanon has not thrived as a nation
"
~~steve randy waldman~

Populist Politicians

From the steve quotation you can guess that USA has thrived thus all our long list of ethnicity-s are mutually dissolving each into the other. As interbreeding proceeds you can see the evidence within Gaussian distribution of each ethnic feature. We are now a nation of one people.

If it then follows that the recent election was not merely all things racism, what was the focus of the candidates?

From my prospective the donkey-s were pushing more of the same conservative party-line straight from 1928. The publicans had deep vested interest in the same failed approach to culture, society, economy, and finance. The same except for one of its hopeful candidates who saw the problem, some of the remedies, and a path towards the control tower using the popular but outdated methods of pandering to our most disgusting instincts of evil. Sure!

His vision is incomplete. He is still searching for the answers, but he is certain that we cannot return to the cold war of 1950. Will he rediscover deflation, full reserve banking, green transportation, a gentler approach to the Luddites?

We need to support his search for a more sustainable USA, a more sustainable planet, a more sustainable

population-al
shrinkage
!

Sandwichman : , November 24, 2016 at 09:09 AM
Snake oil salesmen, eh? One only has to read Minsky on the neoclassical assumptions or, for that matter, Milton Friedman on why nonsense is perfectly fine to know who the big league snake oil salesmen have been. People voting for Brexit and Trump were voting for anything but the snake oil status quo.

There are populists and then there are demagogues masquerading as populists. Stamp out the populists with constant ridicule from the crackpot realists and all that will be left are the demagogues who style themselves as populists.

Peter K. -> Sandwichman ... , November 24, 2016 at 09:18 AM
Well said.
Denis Drew : , November 24, 2016 at 09:18 AM
CUT-AND-PASTE AGAIN :-]

As my old Bronx doctor, Seymour Tenzer, put it: "All these histories are bullshit -- I got punched in the chest; that's why I've got a lump." [:-)]

Trump's victory is down to the disappearance of the $800 job for the $400 job. That subtracted from the vote in the black ghettos – and added to the vote in the white ghettos -- both ghettos being far off the radar screen of academic liberals like Hill and O.

I notice the white ghettos because that is me. My old taxi job (much too old now at 72 3/4) was "in-sourced" all over the world to drivers who would work for remarkably less (than the not so great incomes we native born eked out). Today's low skilled jobs go to native and foreign born who willing to show up for $400 (e.g., since Walmart gutted supermarket contracts). Fast food strictly to foreign born who will show up for $290 a week (min wage $400, 1968 -- when per cap income half today's).

Don't expect the 100,000 out of maybe 200,000 Chicago gang age males to show up for a life time of $400/wk servitude. Did I mention, manufacturing was down to 6% of employment 15 years ago -- now 4% (disappearing like farm labor, mostly robo; look to health care for the future?)?
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/gang-wars-at-the-root-of-chicagos-high-murder-rate/

6% union density at private employers = 20/10 BP which starves every healthy process in the social body = disappearance of collective bargaining and its institutional concomitants which supply political funding and lobbying equal to oligarchs plus most all the votes ...

... votes: notice? 45% take 10% of overall income -- 45% earn $15/hr or less -- a lot of votes.

Peter K. : , November 24, 2016 at 09:25 AM
The Establishment isn't delivering so you get populists on the left and right. Would Dillow or SWL call Corbyn and Sanders snake oil salesmen?

The centrists do. The corrupt corporate media makes a point to do that.

Make me think of the Middle East where the West destroyed the communists and socialists and so all that was left was the military-backed authoritarians and the mosques with their "snake oil."

"Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people"

Tom aka Rusty : , November 24, 2016 at 10:27 AM
Seems it to difficult to admit globalization damaged US workers, so the fall back is to call workers gullible and racist.

[Nov 23, 2016] Populism and the Media

Notable quotes:
"... the media is not in competition with talking about disenchantment over globalisation and de-industrialisation, but a complement to it. ..."
"... This piece is right on the money and nails the ultimate failure of our modern corporate media. ..."
"... Modern corporate media is in existence to make more money, not to serve society. Whatever makes (the collective) us more likely to pay attention to the media is what the media will serve up. With the failure of old style media we have to be concerned whether an actual informed political discourse will be possible. ..."
"... These 6 Corporations Control 90% Of The Media In America http://www.morriscreative.com/6-corporations-control-90-of-the-media-in-america/ ..."
"... People are looking for scapegoats and the corrupt corporate media are misleading them, along with politicians. Why are they looking for scapegoats? Not simply because they're wealthy racist Trump supporters who long for the good old days, as the center-left is telling us. ..."
"... The corrupt corporate media was incredibly unfair to both Bernie Sanders and Jeremby Corbyn but the Blairites and Clinton supporters were okay with that. Sanders was quite good on calling out the media. We need more of that. ..."
"... "We know that erecting trade barriers is harmful: the only question is whether in this case it will be pretty harmful or very harmful"...to whom? To the elites? Or to those who voted for Brexit? ..."
"... Instead of constantly harping on the illusory 'free trade is a free lunch for all,' 'liberal' economists need to start taking responsibility for not emphasizing or even acknowledging that free trade is not a panacea...it has real downsides for many...and real benefits mostly for elites that negotiated the deals. ..."
"... Too many were severely harmed by off shoring and illegal immigration. ..."
Nov 22, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
Simon Wren-Lewis: Populism and the media :

This could be the subtitle of the talk I will be giving later today. I will have more to say in later posts, plus a link to the full text..., but I thought I would make this important point here about why I keep going on about the media. In thinking about Brexit and Trump, talking about the media is not in competition with talking about disenchantment over globalisation and de-industrialisation, but a complement to it.

I don't blame the media for this disenchantment, which is real enough, but for the fact that it is leading people to make choices which are clearly bad for society as a whole, and in many cases will actually make them worse off. They are choices which in an important sense are known to be wrong.

... ... ...

DrDick : November 22, 2016 at 10:38 AM

This piece is right on the money and nails the ultimate failure of our modern corporate media.
DeDude : , November 22, 2016 at 10:59 AM
Modern corporate media is in existence to make more money, not to serve society. Whatever makes (the collective) us more likely to pay attention to the media is what the media will serve up. With the failure of old style media we have to be concerned whether an actual informed political discourse will be possible.
Paul Mathis -> DeDude... , November 22, 2016 at 01:23 PM
Case in Point: Fake Media. As documented in the WaPo yesterday, two unemployed restaurant workers (McDonalds?) made a fortune with their fake news website that collected ad revenue from the likes of Facebook. They didn't bother with any facts; just published stories they knew would attract right wing extremists.

They really worked at their craft using specific language and formats to draw in eyeballs. It worked beyond their wildest expectations and they won't even discuss how much money they made.

Lili : November 22, 2016 at 11:14 AM
These 6 Corporations Control 90% Of The Media In America http://www.morriscreative.com/6-corporations-control-90-of-the-media-in-america/
sglover -> Lili... , November 22, 2016 at 05:42 PM
Something tells me there might be a bit of "fake news" creation going on in those shops, eh? But no, let's pull out our hair over some 20-year-old with a Facebook feed. And -- censor! For the greater good, naturally.
The Rage : , November 22, 2016 at 12:19 PM
That is because it isn't populism.
Peter K. : , November 22, 2016 at 01:13 PM
"In thinking about Brexit and Trump, talking about the media is not in competition with talking about disenchantment over globalisation and de-industrialisation, but a complement to it."

People are looking for scapegoats and the corrupt corporate media are misleading them, along with politicians. Why are they looking for scapegoats? Not simply because they're wealthy racist Trump supporters who long for the good old days, as the center-left is telling us.

The corrupt corporate media was incredibly unfair to both Bernie Sanders and Jeremby Corbyn but the Blairites and Clinton supporters were okay with that. Sanders was quite good on calling out the media. We need more of that.

Peter K. -> Peter K.... , November 22, 2016 at 01:20 PM
The SyFy Channel has a new series called Incorporated about a dystopian America set in 2074 where global climate change has wrecked havoc on politics and society. Giant multinational corporations have stepped in and taken over for governments as America's class divisions have sharpened between the haves and the have-nots. You can watch the first episode online.

http://www.syfy.com/incorporated

Teapot : November 22, 2016 at 02:42 PM
Globalization is not Pareto improving. Maybe it could be done in a way that is, but until then, the "media" is correct to paint a disenchanting picture
pgl -> Teapot... , November 22, 2016 at 02:58 PM
Pareto improving assumes we compensates those who lose from globalization. This is well known. What else is well known is we have a terrible track record on this score.
JohnH : , November 22, 2016 at 03:05 PM
"We know that erecting trade barriers is harmful: the only question is whether in this case it will be pretty harmful or very harmful"...to whom? To the elites? Or to those who voted for Brexit?

Instead of constantly harping on the illusory 'free trade is a free lunch for all,' 'liberal' economists need to start taking responsibility for not emphasizing or even acknowledging that free trade is not a panacea...it has real downsides for many...and real benefits mostly for elites that negotiated the deals.

Why do 'liberal' economists insist on invalidating the life experience of so many?

ken melvin : , November 22, 2016 at 03:30 PM
Wisdom implies giving a good look to the consequences, and taking measures to ameliorate those negative. Too many were severely harmed by off shoring and illegal immigration. These weren't without consequences and maybe not even, on balance, gainful.

In the future, let those best able to make any necessary sacrifices and adjustments.

Denis Drew :
As my old Bronx doctor, Seymour Tenzer, put it: "All these histories are bullshit -- I got punched in the chest; that's why I've got a lump."

Trump's victory is down to the disappearance of the $800 [a week] job for the $400 job. That subtracted from the vote in the black ghettos – and added to the vote in the white ghettos -- both ghettos being far off the radar screen of academic liberals like Hill and O.

I notice the white ghettos because that is me. My old taxi job (much too old now at 72 3/4) was "in-sourced" all over the world to drivers who would work for remarkably less (than the not so great incomes we native born eked out). Today's low skilled jobs go to native and foreign born who willing to show up for $400 (e.g., since Walmart gutted supermarket contracts). Fast food strictly to foreign born who will show up for $290 a week (min wage $400, 1968 -- when per cap income half today's).

Don't expect the 100,000 out of maybe 200,000 Chicago gang age males to show up for a life time of $400/wk servitude. Did I mention, manufacturing was down to 6% of employment 15 years ago -- now 4% (disappearing like farm labor, mostly robo; look to health care for the future?)?
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/gang-wars-at-the-root-of-chicagos-high-murder-rate/

6% union density at private employers = 20/10 BP which starves every healthy process in the social body = disappearance of collective bargaining and its institutional concomitants which supply political funding and lobbying equal to oligarchs plus most all the votes ...

... votes: notice? 45% take 10% of overall income -- 45% earn $15/hr or less -- a lot of votes.

[Nov 23, 2016] Affluent women voters apparently had NO IDEA that much of the country has been ravaged by Democratic Party neoliberal policies

www.nakedcapitalism.com

Pelham

"(and maybe we could replace the insulting euphemism "low information voters" with "differently-informationed voters." Or something)."

How about "insufficiently bamboozled voters"?

aab

Given that all these nice, affluent women voters who apparently had NO IDEA much of the country has been ravaged by Democratic Party policies, they are the people who should have the "low information" label hung around their necks for the foreseeable future. They also seem to have very little understanding how how elections work, how American government works, etc.

Low Information, High Credential voters (LIHC): ugly acronym, uglier impact.

[Nov 23, 2016] Recounts in states, when the total vote difference is in the single digit and where hundreds of thousands votes were cast should be mandatory

Notable quotes:
"... I was one of those recounting the votes by hand and when all was said and done we wound up counting over 100 votes more than the machines had counted and we only recounted ballots that contained votes for the 2nd and 3rd place candidates so there were potentially and quite probably an even higher number of ballots that weren't counted the first time around. A rough estimate is that 1-2% of the initial votes weren't counted at all by the machines. ..."
"... The ballots that were initially counted weren't marked in any way so we had no way of knowing which ballots had been previously counted by the machines and which hadn't however we were able to make some educated guesses after looking through thousands of ballots. ..."
"... After the recount we picked up some votes but not enough to change the results which was actually pretty reassuring as the extra votes tallied were in the same proportion for each candidate to what the machines initially tallied which is what you'd expect over a large sample size. ..."
"... What we found is that while these particular machines did accurately count the ballots they were able to count, they cannot count all of them due to user error which is pretty difficult to eradicate – some people simply won't follow directions properly no matter how clear they are. ..."
"... We caught some flak when asking for the recount about the presumed large cost to the taxpayer however the cost turned out to be minimal. Each candidate had 8 volunteers plus 8 more election clerks who were paid $11/hr by the city to supervise the volunteers. Our 8 teams of 3 managed to go through around 12K ballots in about 5 hours. ..."
"... The solution is to have all ballots for every election counted by hand in public immediately after the polls close. It isn't rocket science, it's not that expensive and it's the only way to ensure that everyone's vote is actually counted. ..."
Nov 23, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Regarding recounts, when the total vote difference is in the single digit thousands in large states where hundreds of thousands or more votes were cast, the candidates shouldn't have to ask for a recount, it should be mandatory*.

I've been asking my city to do a recount to verify the accuracy of the machines for several years and was told that the state law would not allow for a recount simply for accuracy's sake (unbelievable!) and the only way for a recount to happen would be after a close election.

Well my significant other stood for election in a city race this year, and how ironic, came within about 50 votes of winning and we got to ask for a recount! This was an odd race where voters chose two out of seven candidates for the two open seats. One candidate won by a clear margin and 2nd and 3rd place were separated by about 50 votes. I was one of those recounting the votes by hand and when all was said and done we wound up counting over 100 votes more than the machines had counted and we only recounted ballots that contained votes for the 2nd and 3rd place candidates so there were potentially and quite probably an even higher number of ballots that weren't counted the first time around. A rough estimate is that 1-2% of the initial votes weren't counted at all by the machines.

The ballots that were initially counted weren't marked in any way so we had no way of knowing which ballots had been previously counted by the machines and which hadn't however we were able to make some educated guesses after looking through thousands of ballots.

After the recount we picked up some votes but not enough to change the results which was actually pretty reassuring as the extra votes tallied were in the same proportion for each candidate to what the machines initially tallied which is what you'd expect over a large sample size.

What we found is that while these particular machines did accurately count the ballots they were able to count, they cannot count all of them due to user error which is pretty difficult to eradicate – some people simply won't follow directions properly no matter how clear they are.

We caught some flak when asking for the recount about the presumed large cost to the taxpayer however the cost turned out to be minimal. Each candidate had 8 volunteers plus 8 more election clerks who were paid $11/hr by the city to supervise the volunteers. Our 8 teams of 3 managed to go through around 12K ballots in about 5 hours.

The solution is to have all ballots for every election counted by hand in public immediately after the polls close. It isn't rocket science, it's not that expensive and it's the only way to ensure that everyone's vote is actually counted.

* Lest anyone accuse me of trying to get Clinton in, I say all of this as someone who would rather be shot in the face by Dick Cheney than cast a ballot for any of the Clinton's or their spawn, legitimate or otherwise.

[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 Jürgen 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 21, 2016] A Brief History of Vote-Rigging

Notable quotes:
"... Harris later learned that the lever machine companies and technicians had all been convicted of election fraud, going back to the 1880s, all over the US. Lever machine tampering was also discovered not long ago that changed election results, resulting from a single "miscalibrated" machine that it turned out had been producing anomalous results for over a decade. ..."
www.nakedcapitalism.com

TheCatSaid November 20, 2016 at 9:59 am

[Response to Ulysses' comment] This begs the question of whether those votes were cast or counted accurately. In my early days of learning about election fraud (particularly at the Black Box Voting.org website and discussion threads), a topic that came up time and again was that there was extensive history of election fraud associated with union elections. IIRC, as electronic voting machines were being actively promoted, one of the avid supporters of using these methods was trade unions.

A couple articles that touch on some of the history (though not specifically in relation to unions) are this one by Victoria Collier written in 2012 but with some important history, and chapter 4, "A Brief History of Vote-Rigging" from Bev Harris' book (available free online).

Harris later learned that the lever machine companies and technicians had all been convicted of election fraud, going back to the 1880s, all over the US. Lever machine tampering was also discovered not long ago that changed election results, resulting from a single "miscalibrated" machine that it turned out had been producing anomalous results for over a decade. Richard Hayes Phillips in his lectures and book about the theft of the OH 2004 election (and thus the presidency) describes with detail how one of the methods used was altering the punch cards or sending voters to the wrong precinct machine, so their ballot would end up with undervotes or overvotes and not be counted.

It would be interesting to know about the election procedures for that union election, particularly the Canadian vote. Was it on machines? Paper? How secure was the chain of custody of the ballots?

[Nov 21, 2016] Beppe Grillo The Amateurs Are Conquering The World Because The Experts Destroyed It

An interesting variant of rotation of elite...
Notable quotes:
"... echo chamber ..."
"... With Trump, exactly the same thing has happened as with my Five Star Movement, which was born of the Internet: the media were taken aback and asked us where we were before. We gathered millions of people in public squares and they marvelled. We became the biggest movement in Italy and journalists and philosophers continued to say that we were benefitting from people's dissatisfaction. ..."
"... the amateurs are the ones conquering the world and I'm rejoicing in it because the professionals are the ones who have reduced the world to this state. Hillary Clinton, Obama and all the rest have destroyed democracy and their international policies. ..."
"... If that's the case, it signifies that the experts, economists and intellectuals have completely misunderstood everything, especially if the situation is the way it is ..."
"... Brexit and Trump are signs of a huge change. If we manage to understand that, we'll also get to face it." ..."
"... Until now, these anti-establishment movements have come face-to-face with their own limits: as soon as they come to power they seem to lose their capabilities and reason for being. Alexis Tsipras, in Greece, for example ..."
"... President Juncker suggested modifying the code of ethics and lengthening the period of abstinence from any private work for former Commission members to three years. Is that enough? ..."
"... I have serious doubts about a potential change in the code of ethics being made by a former minister of a tax haven. ..."
"... We've always maintained this idea of total autonomy in decision-making, but we united over the common idea of a different Europe, a mosaic of autonomies and sovereignties. ..."
"... If he wants to hold a referendum on the euro, he'll have our support. If he wants to leave the Fiscal Stability Treaty – the so-called Fiscal Compact – which was one of our battles, we'll be there ..."
"... Renzi's negotiating power will also depend on the outcome of the constitutional referendum in December. We'll see whether he sinks or swims. ..."
"... Neoliberal Trojan Horse Obama has quite a global legacy. ..."
"... Maybe it's time for the Europeans to stop sucking American cock. Note that we barely follow your elections. It's time to spread your wings and fly. ..."
"... "The Experts* Destroyed The World" - Beppe Grillo. Never a truer word spoken, Beppe! YOU DA MAN!!! And these "Experts" - these self-described "ELITE" - did so - and are STILL doing so WITH MALICIOUS INTENT - and lining their pockets every fking step of the way! ..."
"... As the Jason Statham character says in that great Guy Richie movie "Revolver": "If there's ONE thing I've learnt about "Experts", it's that they're expert in FUCK ALL!" ..."
"... Apart from asset-stripping the economy & robbing the populace blind that is - and giving their countries away to the invader so indigenous populations cant fight back... or PURPOSELY angling for WW3 to hide their criminality behind the ULTIMATE & FINAL smokescreen. ..."
"... It NATO collapses so will the Euro project. The project was always American from the start. In recent years it has become a mechanism by which the Poles (and other assorted Eastern Europeans) can extract war guarantees out of the USA, UK and France. It is a total mess and people like Grillo add to the confusion by their flawed analysis. ..."
www.zerohedge.com
Whatever the reason, we agree with the next point he makes, namely the overthrow of "experts" by amateurs.

euronews: "Do you think appealing to people's emotions is enough to get elected? Is that a political project?"

Beppe Grillo: "This information never ceases to make the rounds: you don't have a political project, you're not capable, you're imbeciles, amateurs And yet, the amateurs are the ones conquering the world and I'm rejoicing in it because the professionals are the ones who have reduced the world to this state. Hillary Clinton, Obama and all the rest have destroyed democracy and their international policies. If that's the case, it signifies that the experts, economists and intellectuals have completely misunderstood everything, especially if the situation is the way it is. If the EU is what we have today, it means the European dream has evaporated. Brexit and Trump are signs of a huge change. If we manage to understand that, we'll also get to face it."

Bingo, or as Nassim Taleb put its, the "Intellectual-Yet-Idiot" class. It is the elimination of these so-called "experts", most of whom have PhDs or other letters next to their name to cover their insecurity, and who drown every possible medium with their endless, hollow, and constantly wrong chatter, desperate to create a self-congratulatory echo chamber in which their errors are diluted with the errors of their "expert" peers, that will be the biggest challenge for the world as it seeks to break away from the legacy of a fake "expert class" which has brought the entire world to its knees, and has unleashed the biggest political tsunami in modern history.

One thing is certain: the "experts" won't go quietly as the "amateurs" try to retake what is rightfully theirs.

... ... ...

Beppe Grillo, Leader of the Five Star Movement
"It's an extraordinary turning point. This corn cob – we can also call Trump that in a nice way – doesn't have particularly outstanding qualities. He was such a target for the media, with such terrifying accusations of sexism and racism, as well as being harassed by the establishment – such as the New York Times – but, in the end, he won.

"That is a symbol of the tragedy and the apocalypse of traditional information. The television and newspapers are always late and they relay old information. They no longer anticipate anything and they're only just understanding that idiots, the disadvantaged, those who are marginalised – and there are millions of them – use alternative media, such as the Internet, which passes under the radar of television, a medium people no longer use.

"With Trump, exactly the same thing has happened as with my Five Star Movement, which was born of the Internet: the media were taken aback and asked us where we were before. We gathered millions of people in public squares and they marvelled. We became the biggest movement in Italy and journalists and philosophers continued to say that we were benefitting from people's dissatisfaction. We'll get into government and they'll ask themselves how we did it."

euronews
"There is a gap between giving populist speeches and governing a nation."

Beppe Grillo
"We want to govern, but we don't want to simply change the power by replacing it with our own. We want a change within civilisation, a change of world vision.

"We're talking about dematerialised industry, an end to working for money, the start of working for other payment, a universal citizens revenue. If our society is founded on work, what will happen if work disappears? What will we do with millions of people in flux? We have to organise and manage all that."

euronews
"Do you think appealing to people's emotions is enough to get elected? Is that a political project?"

Beppe Grillo
"This information never ceases to make the rounds: you don't have a political project, you're not capable, you're imbeciles, amateurs

"And yet, the amateurs are the ones conquering the world and I'm rejoicing in it because the professionals are the ones who have reduced the world to this state. Hillary Clinton, Obama and all the rest have destroyed democracy and their international policies.

"If that's the case, it signifies that the experts, economists and intellectuals have completely misunderstood everything, especially if the situation is the way it is. If the EU is what we have today, it means the European dream has evaporated. Brexit and Trump are signs of a huge change. If we manage to understand that, we'll also get to face it."

euronews
"Until now, these anti-establishment movements have come face-to-face with their own limits: as soon as they come to power they seem to lose their capabilities and reason for being. Alexis Tsipras, in Greece, for example "

Beppe Grillo
"Yes, I agree."

euronews
"Let's take the example of Podemos in Spain. They came within reach of power, then had to backtrack. Why?"

Beppe Grillo
"Because there's an outdated way of thinking. Because they think power is managed by forming coalitions or by making agreements with others.

"From our side, we want to give the tools to the citizens. We have an information system called Rousseau, to which every Italian citizen can subscribe for free. There they can vote in regional and local elections and check what their local MPs are proposing. Absolutely any citizen can even suggest laws in their own name.

"This is something never before directly seen in democracy and neither Tsipras nor Podemos have done it."

euronews
"You said that you're not interested in breaking up the European Union, but rather in profoundly changing it. What can a small group of MEPs do to put into motion such great change?"

Beppe Grillo
"The little group of MEPs is making its voice heard, but there are complications In parliament, there are lobby groups and commissions. Parliament decides, but at the same time doesn't decide.

"We do what we can, in line with our vision of a world based on a circular economy. We put forward the idea of a circular economy as the energy of the future and the proposal has been adopted by the European parliament."

euronews

"One hot topic at the Commission at the moment is the problem of the conflicts of interest concerning certain politicians.

"President Juncker suggested modifying the code of ethics and lengthening the period of abstinence from any private work for former Commission members to three years. Is that enough?"

Beppe Grillo

"I have serious doubts about a potential change in the code of ethics being made by a former minister of a tax haven."

euronews
"You don't think the Commission is legitimate?"

Beppe Grillo
"Absolutely not. Particularly because it's a Commission that no one has actually elected. That's what brought us closer to Nigel Farage: a democracy coming from the people."

euronews
"You don't regret being allied with Farage?"

Beppe Grillo
"It was an alliance of convenience, made to give us enough support to enter parliament. We've always maintained this idea of total autonomy in decision-making, but we united over the common idea of a different Europe, a mosaic of autonomies and sovereignties.

"I'm not against Europe, but I am against the single currency. Conversely, I am for the idea of a common currency. The words are important: 'common' and 'single' are two different concepts.

"In any case, the UK has demonstrated something that we in Italy couldn't even dream of: organising a clear 'yes-no' referendum."

euronews
"That is 'clear' in terms of the result and not its consequences. In reality, the population is torn. Many people's views have done u-turns."

Beppe Grillo
"Whatever happens, the responsibility returns entirely to the British. They made the decision."

euronews
"Doesn't it bother you that Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is playing the spoilsport in Europe? Criticising European institutions was your battle horse and now he is flexing his muscles in Brussels."

Beppe Grillo
"Renzi has to do that. But he's just copying me and in doing so, strengthens the original."

euronews
"Whatever it may be, his position at the head of the government can get him results."

Beppe Grillo
"Very well. If he wants to hold a referendum on the euro, he'll have our support. If he wants to leave the Fiscal Stability Treaty – the so-called Fiscal Compact – which was one of our battles, we'll be there."

euronews
"In the quarrel over the flexibility of public accounts due to the earthquake and immigration, who are you supporting?"

Beppe Grillo
"On that, I share Renzi's position. I have nothing against projects and ideas. I have preconceptions about him. For me, he is completely undeserving of confidence."

euronews
"Renzi's negotiating power will also depend on the outcome of the constitutional referendum in December. We'll see whether he sinks or swims."

Beppe Grillo
"It's already lost for him."

euronews
"If he doesn't win, will you ask for early elections?"

Beppe Grillo
"Whatever happens, we want elections because the government as it stands is not legitimate and, as a consequence, neither are we.

"From this point onwards, the government moves forward simply by approving laws based on how urgent they are. And 90 percent of laws are approved using this method. So what good will it do to reform the Senate to make the process quicker?"

euronews
"Can you see yourself at the head of the Italian government?"

Beppe Grillo
"No, no. I was never in the race. Never."

euronews
"So, Beppe Grillo is not even a candidate to become prime minister or to take on another official role, if one day the Five Star Movement was to win the elections?"

Beppe Grillo
"The time is fast approaching."

euronews
"Really? A projection?"

Beppe Grillo
"People just need to go and vote. We're sure to win."

BabaLooey -> Nemontel •Nov 21, 2016 6:27 AM

euronews: "You don't think the Commission is legitimate?"

Beppe Grillo: "Absolutely not. Particularly because it's a Commission that no one has actually elected. That's what brought us closer to Nigel Farage: a democracy coming from the people."

BOILED DOWN - THAT IS ALL THAT NEEDS TO BE SAID.

Blackhawks •Nov 21, 2016 3:15 AM

Neoliberal Trojan Horse Obama has quite a global legacy. People all over the world are voting for conmen and clowns instead of his endorsed candidates and chosen successor. Having previously exposed the "intellectual-yet-idiot" class, Nassim Taleb unleashes his acerbic tone in 3 painfully "real news" tweets on President Obama's legacy...

Obama:
Protected banksters (largest bonus pool in 2010)
"Helped" Libya
Served AlQaeda/SaudiBarbaria(Syria & Yemen) https://t.co/bcNMhDgmuo

- NassimNicholasTaleb (@nntaleb) November 19, 2016

2) (Cont) But in the end what Obama did that is unforgivable is increasing centralization in a complex system.

- NassimNicholasTaleb (@nntaleb) November 19, 2016

3) Don't fughet Obama is leaving us a Ponzi scheme, added ~8 trillions in debt with rates at 0. If they rise, costs of deficit explode...

- NassimNicholasTaleb (@nntaleb) November 20, 2016

LetThemEatRand •Nov 21, 2016 3:20 AM

Maybe it's time for the Europeans to stop sucking American cock. Note that we barely follow your elections. It's time to spread your wings and fly.

Yen Cross -> LetThemEatRand •Nov 21, 2016 3:27 AM

Amen~ The" European Toadies" should also institute " term limits" so those Jean Paul & Draghi][JUNKERS[]- technocratic A-Holes can be done away with!

NuYawkFrankie •Nov 21, 2016 5:07 AM

"The Experts* Destroyed The World" - Beppe Grillo. Never a truer word spoken, Beppe! YOU DA MAN!!! And these "Experts" - these self-described "ELITE" - did so - and are STILL doing so WITH MALICIOUS INTENT - and lining their pockets every fking step of the way!

As the Jason Statham character says in that great Guy Richie movie "Revolver": "If there's ONE thing I've learnt about "Experts", it's that they're expert in FUCK ALL!"

Apart from asset-stripping the economy & robbing the populace blind that is - and giving their countries away to the invader so indigenous populations cant fight back... or PURPOSELY angling for WW3 to hide their criminality behind the ULTIMATE & FINAL smokescreen.

Yep -THAT is how F'KING sick they are. These, my friends, are your "Experts", your self-decribed "Elite" - and Soros is at the head of the parade.

lakecity55 -> NuYawkFrankie •Nov 21, 2016 6:18 AM

You know the old saying, "an expert's a guy from more than 20 miles outside of town."

tuetenueggel •Nov 21, 2016 5:17 AM

Which experts do you mean Beppe ?

All I Kow is that those "experts" are too stupid to piss a hole in the snow.

Oettinger ( not even speaking his mother tongue halfways correct )

Jean clown Juncker ( always drunk too is a kind of well structured day )

Schulz capo (who was too stupid as mayor of a german village so they fucked him out)

Hollande ( lefts are always of lower IQ then right wing people )

Blair ( war criminal )

and thousands more not to be named her ( due to little space availlable )

caesium •Nov 21, 2016 6:35 AM

It NATO collapses so will the Euro project. The project was always American from the start. In recent years it has become a mechanism by which the Poles (and other assorted Eastern Europeans) can extract war guarantees out of the USA, UK and France. It is a total mess and people like Grillo add to the confusion by their flawed analysis.

The bedrock of Italy was always the Catholic faith which the country has abandoned. "The Faith is Europe and Europe is the Faith" said Hilaire Belloc. A reality that Grillo is unable to grasp.

[Nov 19, 2016] 2 presidential electors encourage colleagues to sideline Trump

Nov 19, 2016 | www.politico.com
P. Bret Chiafalo, a Washington State elector who has already declared his opposition to Hillary Clinton, and Micheal Baca of Colorado have launched what they've dubbed "Moral Electors," an attempt to persuade 37 of their Republican colleagues to bail on Trump - just enough to block Trump's election and leave the final decision to the House of Representatives. They have the support of a third elector , Washington State's Robert Satiacum.

Story Continued Below

"This is a longshot. It's a Hail Mary," Chiafalo said in a phone interview. "However, I do see situations where - when we've already had two or three [Republican] electors state publicly they didn't want to vote for Trump. How many of them have real issues with Donald Trump in private?" Chiafalo, a self-described "regular nerdy dude who works for Microsoft" and Baca, a grad student and Marine Corps veteran, insist they're not seeking the election of Clinton - or even a Democrat. Both, in fact, had already been considering voting against her when the Electoral College meets in five weeks. Rather, they intend to encourage Republican electors to write in Mitt Romney or John Kasich. If enough agree, the election would be sent to the House of Representatives, which would choose from among the top three vote-getters.

Both men acknowledge that their effort is unlikely to succeed.

[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-López, 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 Grünen' 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 Trumpism 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-trumpism

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] Steve Bannon Interviewed Its About Americans Not Getting disposed

Notable quotes:
"... " Like [Andrew] Jackson's populism, we're going to build an entirely new political movement ," he says. "It's everything related to jobs. The conservatives are going to go crazy. I'm the guy pushing a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. With negative interest rates throughout the world, it's the greatest opportunity to rebuild everything. Ship yards, iron works, get them all jacked up. We're just going to throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks . It will be as exciting as the 1930s, greater than the Reagan revolution - conservatives, plus populists, in an economic nationalist movement." ..."
"... Nobody in the Democratic party listened to his speeches, so they had no idea he was delivering such a compelling and powerful economic message. He shows up 3.5 hours late in Michigan at 1 in the morning and has 35,000 people waiting in the cold. When they got [Clinton] off the donor circuit she went to Temple University and they drew 300 or 400 kids." ..."
"... Bannon on Murdoch: "Rupert is a globalist and never understood Trump" ..."
"... " The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get f-ed over . If we deliver-" by "we" he means the Trump White House "-we'll get 60 percent of the white vote, and 40 percent of the black and Hispanic vote and we'll govern for 50 years. That's what the Democrats missed, they were talking to these people with companies with a $9 billion market cap employing nine people. It's not reality. They lost sight of what the world is about ." ..."
"... ... I'd say, IMO, Steve Bannon is more than an excellent choice for President Trump's team ... Bannon's education, business, work and military experience speaks highly of his abilities ... I wish the MSM would stop labelling him a white nationalist and concentrate on his successful accomplishments and what he could contribute to Trump's cabinet. ..."
Nov 19, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com
Bannon next discusses the "battle line" inside America's great divide.

He absolutely - mockingly - rejects the idea that this is a racial line. "I'm not a white nationalist, I'm a nationalist. I'm an economic nationalist, " he tells me. " The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get f-ed over . If we deliver-" by "we" he means the Trump White House "-we'll get 60 percent of the white vote, and 40 percent of the black and Hispanic vote and we'll govern for 50 years. That's what the Democrats missed, they were talking to these people with companies with a $9 billion market cap employing nine people. It's not reality. They lost sight of what the world is about ."

Bannon's vision: an "entirely new political movement", one which drives the conservatives crazy. As to how monetary policy will coexist with fiscal stimulus, Bannon has a simple explanation: he plans to "rebuild everything" courtesy of negative interest rates and cheap debt throughout the world. Those rates may not be negative for too long.

" Like [Andrew] Jackson's populism, we're going to build an entirely new political movement ," he says. "It's everything related to jobs. The conservatives are going to go crazy. I'm the guy pushing a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. With negative interest rates throughout the world, it's the greatest opportunity to rebuild everything. Ship yards, iron works, get them all jacked up. We're just going to throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks . It will be as exciting as the 1930s, greater than the Reagan revolution - conservatives, plus populists, in an economic nationalist movement."

How Bannon describes Trump: " an ideal vessel"

It is less than obvious how Bannon, now the official strategic brains of the Trump operation, syncs with his boss, famously not too strategic. When Bannon took over the campaign from Paul Manafort, there were many in the Trump circle who had resigned themselves to the inevitability of the candidate listening to no one . But here too was a Bannon insight: When the campaign seemed most in free fall or disarray, it was perhaps most on target. While Clinton was largely absent from the campaign trail and concentrating on courting her donors, Trump - even after the leak of the grab-them-by-the-pussy audio - was speaking to ever-growing crowds of thirty-five or forty thousand. "He gets it, he gets it intuitively," says Bannon, perhaps still surprised he has found such an ideal vessel. "You have probably the greatest orator since William Jennings Bryan, coupled with an economic populist message and two political parties that are so owned by the donors that they don't speak to their audience. But he speaks in a non-political vernacular, he communicates with these people in a very visceral way. Nobody in the Democratic party listened to his speeches, so they had no idea he was delivering such a compelling and powerful economic message. He shows up 3.5 hours late in Michigan at 1 in the morning and has 35,000 people waiting in the cold. When they got [Clinton] off the donor circuit she went to Temple University and they drew 300 or 400 kids."

Bannon on Murdoch: "Rupert is a globalist and never understood Trump"

At that moment, as we talk, there's a knock on the door of Bannon's office, a temporary, impersonal, middle-level executive space with a hodgepodge of chairs for constant impromptu meetings. Sen. Ted Cruz, once the Republican firebrand, now quite a small and unassuming figure, has been waiting patiently for a chat and Bannon excuses himself for a short while. It is clear when we return to our conversation that it is not just the liberal establishment that Bannon feels he has triumphed over, but the conservative one too - not least of all Fox News and its owners, the Murdochs. "They got it more wrong than anybody," he says. " Rupert is a globalist and never understood Trump. To him, Trump is a radical. Now they'll go centrist and build the network around Megyn Kelly." Bannon recounts, with no small irony, that when Breitbart attacked Kelly after her challenges to Trump in the initial Republican debate, Fox News chief Roger Ailes - whom Bannon describes as an important mentor, and who Kelly's accusations of sexual harassment would help topple in July - called to defend her. Bannon says he warned Ailes that Kelly would be out to get him too .

Finally, Bannon on how he sees himself in the administration:

Bannon now becomes part of a two-headed White House political structure, with Reince Priebus - in and out of Bannon's office as we talk - as chief of staff, in charge of making the trains run on time, reporting to the president, and Bannon as chief strategist, in charge of vision, goals, narrative and plan of attack, reporting to the president too. Add to this the ambitions and whims of the president himself, and the novel circumstance of one who has never held elective office, the agenda of his highly influential family and the end runs of a party significant parts of which were opposed to him, and you have quite a complex court that Bannon will have to finesse to realize his reign of the working man and a trillion dollars in new spending.

"I am," he says, with relish, "Thomas Cromwell in the court of the Tudors."

Life of Illusion nibiru Nov 18, 2016 2:32 PM ,
now that is direct with truth

" The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get f-ed over . If we deliver-" by "we" he means the Trump White House "-we'll get 60 percent of the white vote, and 40 percent of the black and Hispanic vote and we'll govern for 50 years. That's what the Democrats missed, they were talking to these people with companies with a $9 billion market cap employing nine people. It's not reality. They lost sight of what the world is about ."

Deathrips Life of Illusion Nov 18, 2016 2:34 PM ,
William Jennings Bryan!!!! Bonus Points.

http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/documents/1876-1900/william-jennings-bryan-cro...

Read cross of gold about bimetalism. Gold AND Silver

PrayingMantis wildbad Nov 18, 2016 3:51 PM ,
... I'd say, IMO, Steve Bannon is more than an excellent choice for President Trump's team ... Bannon's education, business, work and military experience speaks highly of his abilities ... I wish the MSM would stop labelling him a white nationalist and concentrate on his successful accomplishments and what he could contribute to Trump's cabinet.

........ from wiki ...

Stephen Kevin Bannon was born on November 27, 1953, in Norfolk, Virginia into a working-class, Irish Catholic, pro-Kennedy, pro-union family of Democrats. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 1976 and holds a master's degree in National Security Studies from Georgetown University. In 1983, Bannon received an M.B.A. degree with honors from Harvard Business School.

Bannon was an officer in the United States Navy, serving on the destroyer USS Paul F. Foster as a Surface Warfare Officer in the Pacific Fleet and stateside as a special assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon.

After his military service, Bannon worked at Goldman Sachs as an investment banker in the Mergers & Acquisitions Department. In 1990, Bannon and several colleagues from Goldman Sachs launched Bannon & Co., a boutique investment bank specializing in media. Through Bannon & Co., Bannon negotiated the sale of Castle Rock Entertainment to Ted Turner. As payment, Bannon & Co. accepted a financial stake in five television shows, including Seinfeld. Société Générale purchased Bannon & Co. in 1998.

In 1993, while still managing Bannon & Co., Bannon was made acting director of Earth-science research project Biosphere 2 in Oracle, Arizona. Under Bannon, the project shifted emphasis from researching space exploration and colonization towards pollution and global warming. He left the project in 1995.

After the sale of Bannon & Co., Bannon became an executive producer in the film and media industry in Hollywood, California. He was executive producer for Julie Taymor's 1999 film Titus. Bannon became a partner with entertainment industry executive Jeff Kwatinetz at The Firm, Inc., a film and television management company. In 2004, Bannon made a documentary about Ronald Reagan titled In the Face of Evil. Through the making and screening of this film, Bannon was introduced to Peter Schweizer and publisher Andrew Breitbart. He was involved in the financing and production of a number of films, including Fire from the Heartland: The Awakening of the Conservative Woman, The Undefeated (on Sarah Palin), and Occupy Unmasked. Bannon also hosts a radio show (Breitbart News Daily) on a Sirius XM satellite radio channel.

Bannon is also executive chairman and co-founder of the Government Accountability Institute, where he helped orchestrate the publication of the book Clinton Cash. In 2015, Bannon was ranked No. 19 on Mediaite's list of the "25 Most Influential in Political News Media 2015".

Bannon convinced Goldman Sachs to invest in a company known as Internet Gaming Entertainment. Following a lawsuit, the company rebranded as Affinity Media and Bannon took over as CEO. From 2007 through 2011, Bannon was chairman and CEO of Affinity Media.

Bannon became a member of the board of Breitbart News. In March 2012, after founder Andrew Breitbart's death, Bannon became executive chairman of Breitbart News LLC, the parent company of Breitbart News. Under his leadership, Breitbart took a more alt-right and nationalistic approach towards its agenda. Bannon declared the website "the platform for the alt-right" in 2016. Bannon identifies as a conservative. Speaking about his role at Breitbart, Bannon said: "We think of ourselves as virulently anti-establishment, particularly 'anti-' the permanent political class."

The New York Times described Breitbart News under Bannon's leadership as a "curiosity of the fringe right wing", with "ideologically driven journalists", that is a source of controversy "over material that has been called misogynist, xenophobic and racist." The newspaper also noted how Breitbart was now a "potent voice" for Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

Escrava Isaura The Saint Nov 18, 2016 6:11 PM ,

Bannon: " The globalists gutted the American working class ..the Democrats were talking to these people with companies with a $9 billion market cap employing nine people. It's not reality. They lost sight of what the world is about ."

Well said. Couldn't agree more.

Bannon: " Like [Andrew] Jackson's populism, we're going to build an entirely new political movement I'm the guy pushing a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan.

Dear Mr. Bannon, it has to be way more than $1trillion in 10 years. Obama's $831 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) didn't make up the difference for all the job lost in 2007/08. Manufacturing alone lost about 9 million jobs since 1979, when it peaked.

Trump needs to go Ronald Reagan 180% deficit spending. If Trump runs 100% like Obama, Trump will fail as well.

[Nov 19, 2016] The Anti-Democratic Heart of Populism

The author mixes the notion of populism as a social protest against the excesses of the rule of the current oligarchy, which enpoverish common people, with neofascism and far right nationalism, which are now popular forms of expression of this protest
Nov 19, 2016 | www.project-syndicate.org

SANTIAGO – Many of the men and women who turned out for the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund in early October were saying something like this: "Imagine if the Republicans had nominated someone with the same anti-trade views as Trump, minus the insults and the sexual harassment. A populist protectionist would be headed to the White House."

The underlying view is that rising populism on the right and the left, both in the United States and in Europe, is a straightforward consequence of globalization and its unwanted effects: lost jobs and stagnant middle-class incomes. Davos men and women hate this conclusion, but they have embraced it with all the fervor of new converts.

Yet there is an alternative – and more persuasive – view: while economic stagnation helps push upset voters into the populist camp, bad economics is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for bad politics. On the contrary, argues Princeton political scientist Jan-Werner Mueller in his new book : populism is a "permanent shadow" on representative democracy.

Populism is not about taxation (or jobs or income inequality). It is about representation – who gets to speak for the people and how.

Advocates of democracy make some exalted claims on its behalf. As Abraham Lincoln put it at Gettysburg , it is "government of the people, by the people, for the people." But modern representative democracy – or any democracy, for that matter – inevitably falls short of these claims. Voting in an election every four years for candidates chosen by party machines is not exactly what Lincoln's lofty words call to mind.

What populists offer, Mueller says, is to fulfill what the Italian democratic theorist Norberto Bobbio calls the broken promises of democracy. Populists speak and act, claims Mueller, " as if the people could develop a singular judgment,... as if the people were one,... as if the people, if only they empowered the right representatives, could fully master their fates."

Populism rests on a toxic triad: denial of complexity, anti-pluralism, and a crooked version of representation.

Most of us believe that social choices (Build more schools or hospitals? Stimulate or discourage international trade? Liberalize or restrict abortion?) are complex, and that the existence of a plurality of views about what to do is both natural and legitimate. Populists deny this. As Ralf Dahrendorf once put it, populism is simple; democracy is complex. To populists, there is only one right view – that of the people.

If so, the complex mechanisms of liberal democracy, with its emphasis on delegation and representation, are all unnecessary. No need for parliaments endlessly debating: the unitary will of the people can easily be expressed in a single vote. Hence populists' love affair with plebiscites and referenda. Brexit, anyone?

And not just anyone can represent the people. The claim is to exclusive representation. Remember Trump's boast in his address to the Republican National Convention: "I alone can fix it."

Politics is always about morality, Aristotle told us. But populists favor what Mueller calls a particular moralistic interpretation of politics . Those who hold the right view about the world are moral; the rest are immoral, lackeys of a corrupt elite. That was exactly the rhetoric of the late Venezuelan ruler Hugo Chávez. When that failed, and when Chávez's sank his country's economy, there was always US imperialism to blame. So populism is a kind of identity politics. It is always us against them .

Viewed in this light, populism is not a useful corrective to a democracy captured by technocrats and elites, as Marine Le Pen, Rafael Correa, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, or assorted Western intellectuals want you to believe. On the contrary, it is profoundly anti-democratic, and hence a threat to democracy itself.

What is to be done? My take (the prescription is my own, not Mueller's) is that democrats must (and can) beat populists at their own game. The toxic triad can become salutary.

First, acknowledge complexity. The only thing that upsets voters as much as being lied to is being treated like babies. People who lead challenging lives know that the world is complex. They do not mind being told that. They appreciate being spoken to as the grownups they are.

Second, do not treat diversity of views and identities as a problem calling for a technocratic solution. Rather, make respect for such diversity a profoundly moral feature of society. The fact that we are not all the same and we can still get along is a tremendous democratic achievement. Make the case for it. And do not fall for the tired cliché that reason is for democrats and emotion is for populists. Make the case for pluralistic democracy in a way that inspires and stirs emotion.

Third, defend – and update – representation. Leave delegation to complex technical matters. Take advantage of modern technologies to bring other choices – particularly those having to do with the fabric of daily life – closer to voters. Tighten campaign finance laws, regulate lobbying better, and enforce affirmative-action measures to ensure that representatives are of the people and work for the people.

These measures alone will not ensure that all of democracy's broken promises are fulfilled. But we cannot expect a single set of simple actions to solve a complex problem. Nor can we believe that we alone can fix it.

If we believed that, we would be populists. For the sake of democracy, that is precisely what we should not be.

Andrés Velasco, a former presidential candidate and finance minister of Chile, is Professor of Professional Practice in International Development at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. He has taught at Harvard University and New York University, and is the author of numerous studies on international economics and development.

[Nov 19, 2016] Men arent interested in working at McDonalds for $15 per hour instead of $9.50. What they want is... steady, stable, full-time jobs that deliver a solid middle-class life

Notable quotes:
"... The economic point is that globalisation has boosted trade and overall wealth, but it has also created a dog eat dog world where western workers compete with, and lose jobs to, people far away who will do the work for much less. ..."
"... But neither Trump nor Farage have shown any evidence of how realistically they can recreate those jobs in the west. And realistically god knows how you keep the wealth free trade and globalisation brings but avoid losing the good jobs? At least the current mess has focused attention on the question and has said that patience has run out. ..."
"... Compared to the real economic problems, the identity politics is minor, but it is still an irritant that explains why this revolution is coming from the right not from the left. ..."
"... And what "age" has that been Roy? The "age" of: climate change, gangster bankers, tax heavens, illegal wars, nuclear proliferation, grotesque inequality, the prison industrial complex to cite just a few. That "age"? ..."
"... the right wing press detest one kind of liberalism, social liberalism, they hate that, but they love economic liberalism, which has done much harm to the working class. ..."
"... Most of the right wing press support austerity measures, slashing of taxes and, smaller and smaller governments. Yet apparently, its being socially liberal that is the problem ..."
Nov 19, 2016 | profile.theguardian.com
goodtable, 3d ago

A crucial point "WWC men aren't interested in working at McDonald's for $15 per hour instead of $9.50. What they want is... steady, stable, full-time jobs that deliver a solid middle-class life."

The economic point is that globalisation has boosted trade and overall wealth, but it has also created a dog eat dog world where western workers compete with, and lose jobs to, people far away who will do the work for much less.

But neither Trump nor Farage have shown any evidence of how realistically they can recreate those jobs in the west. And realistically god knows how you keep the wealth free trade and globalisation brings but avoid losing the good jobs? At least the current mess has focused attention on the question and has said that patience has run out.

Compared to the real economic problems, the identity politics is minor, but it is still an irritant that explains why this revolution is coming from the right not from the left.

If you're white and male it's bad enough losing your hope of economic security, but then to be repeatedly told by the left that you're misogynist, racist, sexist, Islamophobic, transgenderphobic etc etc is just the icing on the cake. If the author wants to see just how crazy identity politics has become go to the Suzanne Moore piece from yesterday accusing American women of being misogynist for refusing to vote for Hillary. That kind of maniac 'agree with me on everything or you're a racist, sexist, homophobe' identity politics has to be ditched. Reply

EnglishMike -> goodtable 3d ago
Funny, I've been a white male my whole life and not once have I been accused of being a misogynist, racist, sexist, Islamophobic, or transgenderphobic. I didn't think being a white male was so difficult for some people... Reply
garrylee 3d ago
"Are we turning our backs on the age of enlightenment?".

And what "age" has that been Roy? The "age" of: climate change, gangster bankers, tax heavens, illegal wars, nuclear proliferation, grotesque inequality, the prison industrial complex to cite just a few. That "age"?

Bazz Leaveblank -> garrylee 3d ago
I agree hardly an age of enlightenment. My opinion... the so called Liberal Elite are responsible for many of the issues in the list. The poor and the old in this country are not being helped by the benefits system. Yet the rich get richer beyond the dreams of the ordinary man.

I would pay more tax if I thought it might be spent more wisely...but can you trust politicians who are happy to spend 50 billion on a railway line that 98% of the population will never use.

No solutions from me ...an old hippy from the 60s "Love and peace man " ...didn't work did it :)

aronDi 3d ago
I have come under the impression that the right wing press detest one kind of liberalism, social liberalism, they hate that, but they love economic liberalism, which has done much harm to the working class.

Most of the right wing press support austerity measures, slashing of taxes and, smaller and smaller governments. Yet apparently, its being socially liberal that is the problem.

[Nov 19, 2016] The Democratic party lost its soul. Its time to win it back

Notable quotes:
"... For one thing, many vested interests don't want the Democratic party to change. Most of the money it raises ends up in the pockets of political consultants, pollsters, strategists, lawyers, advertising consultants and advertisers themselves, many of whom have become rich off the current arrangement. They naturally want to keep it. ..."
"... For another, the Democratic party apparatus is ingrown and entrenched. Like any old bureaucracy, it only knows how to do what it has done for years. Its state and quadrennial national conventions are opportunities for insiders to meet old friends and for aspiring politicians to make contacts among the rich and powerful. Insiders and the rich aren't going to happily relinquish their power and perquisites, and hand them to outsiders and the non-rich. ..."
"... I have been a Democrat for 50 years – I have even served in two Democratic administrations in Washington, including a stint in the cabinet and have run for the Democratic nomination for governor in one state – yet I have never voted for the chair or vice-chair of my state Democratic party. That means I, too, have had absolutely no say over who the chair of the Democratic National Committee will be. To tell you the truth, I haven't cared. And that's part of the problem. ..."
"... Finally, the party chairmanship has become a part-time sinecure for politicians on their way up or down, not a full-time position for a professional organizer. In 2011, Tim Kaine (who subsequently became Hillary Clinton's running mate in the 2016 election) left the chairmanship to run, successfully, for the Senate from Virginia. ..."
"... The chair then went to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, a Florida congresswoman who had co-chaired Clinton's bid for the Democratic nomination for president in 2008. This generated allegations in the 2016 race that the Democratic National Committee was siding with Clinton against Bernie Sanders – allegations substantiated by leaks of emails from the DNC. ..."
"... So what we now have is a Democratic party that has been repudiated at the polls, headed by a Democratic National Committee that has become irrelevant at best, run part-time by a series of insider politicians. It has no deep or broad-based grass-roots, no capacity for mobilizing vast numbers of people to take any action other than donate money, no visibility between elections, no ongoing activism. ..."
Nov 19, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

For one thing, many vested interests don't want the Democratic party to change. Most of the money it raises ends up in the pockets of political consultants, pollsters, strategists, lawyers, advertising consultants and advertisers themselves, many of whom have become rich off the current arrangement. They naturally want to keep it.

For another, the Democratic party apparatus is ingrown and entrenched. Like any old bureaucracy, it only knows how to do what it has done for years. Its state and quadrennial national conventions are opportunities for insiders to meet old friends and for aspiring politicians to make contacts among the rich and powerful. Insiders and the rich aren't going to happily relinquish their power and perquisites, and hand them to outsiders and the non-rich.

Most Americans who call themselves Democrats never hear from the Democratic party except when it asks for money, typically through mass mailings and recorded telephone calls in the months leading up to an election. The vast majority of Democrats don't know the name of the chair of the Democratic National Committee or of their state committee. Almost no registered Democrats have any idea how to go about electing their state Democratic chair or vice-chair, and, hence, almost none have any influence over whom the next chair of the Democratic National Committee may be.

I have been a Democrat for 50 years – I have even served in two Democratic administrations in Washington, including a stint in the cabinet and have run for the Democratic nomination for governor in one state – yet I have never voted for the chair or vice-chair of my state Democratic party. That means I, too, have had absolutely no say over who the chair of the Democratic National Committee will be. To tell you the truth, I haven't cared. And that's part of the problem.

Nor, for that matter, has Barack Obama cared. He basically ignored the Democratic National Committee during his presidency, starting his own organization called Organizing for America. It was originally intended to marshal grass-roots support for the major initiatives he sought to achieve during his presidency, but morphed into a fund-raising machine of its own.

Finally, the party chairmanship has become a part-time sinecure for politicians on their way up or down, not a full-time position for a professional organizer. In 2011, Tim Kaine (who subsequently became Hillary Clinton's running mate in the 2016 election) left the chairmanship to run, successfully, for the Senate from Virginia.

The chair then went to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, a Florida congresswoman who had co-chaired Clinton's bid for the Democratic nomination for president in 2008. This generated allegations in the 2016 race that the Democratic National Committee was siding with Clinton against Bernie Sanders – allegations substantiated by leaks of emails from the DNC.

So what we now have is a Democratic party that has been repudiated at the polls, headed by a Democratic National Committee that has become irrelevant at best, run part-time by a series of insider politicians. It has no deep or broad-based grass-roots, no capacity for mobilizing vast numbers of people to take any action other than donate money, no visibility between elections, no ongoing activism.

[Nov 19, 2016] Neoliberalism created the highly centralized State and the globalized market that has resulted in an unprecedented concentration of power and wealth and redefined regular notion of left and right

Notable quotes:
"... Put together, these two trends have served the purposes of the highly centralized State and the globalized market that has resulted in an unprecedented concentration of power and wealth. ..."
"... The liberal left and significant portions further left tend to celebrate a negative cultural and sexual liberty while the Liberal right tends to celebrate an economic and political negative liberty. ..."
"... It ends up bringing about exactly the kinds of intolerant [neo]liberalis m(blatantly on display these days) it ascribes to all non-liberal positions. ..."
Nov 19, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Jim November 17, 2016 at 3:51 pm

"The Archdruid report is useful but Greer should read Thomas Frank. Then he will stop conflating "Left" and "Liberal."

Put together, these two trends have served the purposes of the highly centralized State and the globalized market that has resulted in an unprecedented concentration of power and wealth.

The liberal left and significant portions further left tend to celebrate a negative cultural and sexual liberty while the Liberal right tends to celebrate an economic and political negative liberty.

The Left's defense of existing negative liberty (and not being willing to think beyond it) ends up undermining all modes of freedom because it tends to shut down debate about substantive ends.

It ends up bringing about exactly the kinds of intolerant [neo]liberalis m(blatantly on display these days) it ascribes to all non-liberal positions.

Is there anyplace for a positive concept of liberty in 2016?

[Nov 19, 2016] Here Ackerman ranks the USA with Belarus and Singapore on the democracy scale and indeed explicitly characterizes it as a Russian-like "soft authoritarian" regime.

Notable quotes:
"... Here Ackerman ranks the USA with Belarus and Singapore on the democracy scale and indeed explicitly characterizes it as a Russian-like "soft authoritarian" regime. I've always thought the USA possessed a distinct "Russkieness" to it, not surprising for a continent-country with a historic background of relative labor shortage and rich in natural resources. ..."
"... Yes, we are a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual empire of continental scope, that acquired contiguous territory by accretion, ruled by a decadent police state. There are many similarities, including waiting in line a a lot, ..."
Nov 19, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Brad November 17, 2016 at 1:24 pm

OK last one. "Obama urges Trump to stand up to Russia". Obama hasn't read the Bannon transcript apparently. http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/obama-russia-231556

Laugh line: "But Russia also diverges sharply from the U.S. on values like democracy, freedom of speech, international sovereignty and territorial integrity, he noted."

Obama, and everyone, needs to read Seth Ackerman's piece on the reality of the US political system up on Jacobin:

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/11/bernie-sanders-democratic-labor-party-ackerman/

Here Ackerman ranks the USA with Belarus and Singapore on the democracy scale and indeed explicitly characterizes it as a Russian-like "soft authoritarian" regime. I've always thought the USA possessed a distinct "Russkieness" to it, not surprising for a continent-country with a historic background of relative labor shortage and rich in natural resources.

However, I think the USA's political restrictiveness *does* directly stem for the founders and their constitution. It's an 18th C vintage Whig clique constitution in neo-classical dress.

Lambert Strether Post author November 17, 2016 at 3:09 pm

> I've always thought the USA possessed a distinct "Russkieness"

Yes, we are a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual empire of continental scope, that acquired contiguous territory by accretion, ruled by a decadent police state. There are many similarities, including waiting in line a a lot, and mordant humor.

JSM November 17, 2016 at 4:39 pm

JSM was struck by the same line in the Jacobin piece. 'Authoritarian democracy' was making the rounds in the primaries.

When Jill Stein can be zip-tied to a chair for hours on end, all for merely attending the 2012 presidential debates, why quibble about whether parties are banned by law, or as in the US, laws 'not directly intended' to achieve that de facto result, ruling power conspiracies, and arbitrary police action.

[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

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] President Obama Deserves an Oscar

Pretty biting assessment ...
Notable quotes:
"... I can recall tales of insecure Eastern European Jewish immigrants pretending to be WASPS. ..."
"... To be blunt, Barack Obama was less "a president" than a talented actor playing at being presidential. ..."
"... Those of us who have encountered this deception are usually aware of its tell-tale signs, though, to be fair, it may have been diligently practiced for so long that it has become a "real" element of the perpetrator's core personality. For those unfamiliar with this deception, let me now offer a brief catalogue of these tactics. ..."
"... Central is the careful management of outward physical appearances. In theatrical terms, these are props and depending on circumstances, this might be a finely tailored suit, wingtip shoes, a crisp white shirt, a smart silk tie and all the rest that announce business-like competence. ..."
"... Mastering "white" language is equally critical and in the academy this includes everything from tossing around trendy terms, for example, "paradigmatic," to displaying what appears to be a mastering of disciplinary jargon. Recall how the Black Panthers seduced gullible whites with just a sprinkling of Marxist terminology. ..."
"... I recall one (white) colleague who gave a little speech praising a deeply flawed dissertation written by a black assistant professor up for tenure. He told the assembled committee that her dissertation reminded him of Newton's Principia Mathematica (can't make that stuff up). ..."
"... Obama as President repeatedly exhibits these characteristics. It is thus hardly accidental that he relies extensively on canned Teleprompter speeches. According to one compilation published in January 2013, Obama has used Teleprompters in 699 speeches during his first term in office. There is also his aversion to informal off-the-cuff discussions with the press and open mike who-knows-what-will-happen "Town Hall" meetings. Obama is also the first president I've ever seen who often favors a casual blue jacket monogrammed "President of the United States." ..."
"... I suspect that deep down Obama recognizes that almost everything is an act not unlike Eddy Murphy playing Professor Sherman Klump in The Nutty Professor . It is no wonder, then, that his academic records (particularly his SAT scores) are sealed and, perhaps even more important, many of his fellow college students and colleagues at the University of Chicago where he briefly taught constitutional law cannot recall him. It is hard to imagine Obama relishing the prospect of going head-to-head with his sharp-witted Chicago colleagues. ..."
"... As a mulatto raised by white grandparents in Hawaii, Obama is not a black American, with no cultural ties to black Americans and slavery, yet he later learned to throw out a black accent to fool the fools. As Stephen Colbert once observed, white Americans love Obama because he was raised the right way, by white people. That was intended as humor, but ..."
"... Obama has leased an ultra-expensive house in an exclusive neighborhood in DC just like the corrupt Bill Clinton prior to his multi-million dollar speaking and influence peddling efforts. Obama will not return to Chicago to help poor blacks, like Jimmy Carter did elsewhere after he left office. Obama doesn't need an Oscar, he got a Nobel Peace Prize for the same act. ..."
"... Congratulations on noticing what it takes to be a successful politician in ANY "Western" democracy. It doesn't matter if you are black, white, aquamarine or candy-striped, or whether you are a college professor, an "economist", or a "businessman". It's all bluff and acting. ..."
"... The single most critical element of a successful con is not the hucksters appearance, or mannerisms, or even the spiel, it is simply making the con something that the sucker wants to believe. ..."
"... I recognized Obama's type not from academia, but from corporate America. He was the token black higher up. He's smart enough not to obviously do something requiring termination (get drunk and harass a colleague at an office party, shred important document, etc.), and his mistakes can be blamed on team failures, so he gets "black guy's tenure"-a middle or upper management position after only a few years. ..."
"... This critique applies to almost every Presidential candidate, regardless of ethnicity. ..."
"... The most successful recent President was a former professional actor and thus well suited for the position. The latest President-elect is also a savvy media figure, and yet mocked for his obvious lack of intellectual heft. But in his case, he's not acting, it's reality TV. ..."
"... PS. Maybe some Jews around Trump are beginning to feel that China is the real danger to US power in the long run. So, what US should really do is patch things up with Russia for the time being, drive a wedge between China and Russia, and use Russia against China and then go after Russia. ..."
"... Really! Go after Russia? And how would you do that and why? What would "going after Russia" look like? What about the "horrific Rape of Russia" you spoke of? China and Russia have business to conduct, they're quite through with us, our dollar and our Fed. We'll be lucky if they allow us a piece of the action. Instead of Russia>China>Russia machinations, we might want to figure out strategies for doing some other business than patronizing our arms manufacturers. Hey, cap Jewish influence in the courts and business if you wish, but keeping the U.S. in an endless state of war, economic and otherwise is zero sum and worse for the little people. ..."
"... I've called him that for years. And Dubya was possibly our first "legacy" president: chosen entirely based on whom he's related to not on any individual qualities that would suit him for such a high office. Had Dubya been raised by regular people, he would have probably ended up as a hardware store manager. ..."
"... Amen to all. The whole deal is a fraud. All successful politicians are imposters, people who've mastered the art of deception. I'd go even further and say that the majority of "authority figures" are probably parasites and frauds to one degree or another. ..."
"... Overall, the current president has been a deception, a trivial self-absorbed person whose main concern has been himself turned outward onto issues of race and sexual orientation ..."
"... American politics at this level is fake. Everything is orchestrated, attire is handpicked, speeches are written by professionals and read off the teleprompter, questions from the public are actually from plants and rehearsed prior, armies of PR people are at work everywhere, journalists are just flunky propagandists, ..."
"... He will be the subject of future dissertations about the failure of the American political process and the influence of media and third parties like Soros. ..."
Nov 16, 2016 | www.unz.com
As the troubled Obama presidency winds down, the inevitable question is why so many people, including a few smart ones were so easily fooled. How did a man with such a fine pedigree-Columbia, Harvard-who sounded so brilliant pursue such political capital wasting and foolish policies as forcing schools to discipline students by racial quotas? Or obsessing over allowing the transgendered to choose any bathroom? And, of the utmost importance, how can we prevent another Obama?

I'll begin simply: Obama is an imposter, a man who has mastered the art of deception as a skilled actor deceives an audience though in the case of Obama, most of the audience refused to accept that this was all play-acting. Even after almost eight years of ineptitude, millions still want to believe that he's the genuine article-an authentically super-bright guy able to fix a flawed America. Far more is involved than awarding blacks the intellectual equivalent of diplomatic immunity.

When Obama first appeared on the political scene I immediately recognized him as an example of the "successful" black academic who rapidly advances up the university ladder despite minimal accomplishment. Tellingly, when I noted the paucity of accomplishment of these black academic over-achievers to trusted professorial colleagues, they agreed with my analysis adding that they themselves had seen several instances of this phenomenon, but admittedly failed to connect the dots.

Here's the academic version of an Obama. You encounter this black student who appears a liberal's affirmative action dream come true -- exceptionally articulate with no trace of a ghetto accent, well-dressed, personable (no angry "tude"), and at least superficially sufficient brain power to succeed even in demanding subjects. Matters begin splendidly, but not for long. Almost invariably, his or her performance on the first test or paper falls far below expectations. A research paper, for example was only "C" work (though you generously awarded it a "B") and to make matters worse, it exhibited a convoluted writing style, a disregard for logic, ineptly constructed references and similar defects. Nevertheless, you accepted the usual litany of student excuses -- his claim of over-commitment, the material was unfamiliar, and this was his first research paper and so on. A reprieve was granted.

But the unease grows stronger with the second exam or paper, often despite your helpful advice on how to do better. Reality grows depressing -- what you see is not what you get and lacks any reasonable feel-good explanation. The outwardly accomplished black student is not an Asian struggling with English or a clear-cut affirmation action admittee in over his head. That this student may have actually studied diligently and followed your advice only exacerbates the discomfort.

To repeat, the way to make sense out this troubling situation is to think of this disappointing black student as a talented actor who has mastered the role of "smart college student." He has the gift of mimicry, conceivably a talent rooted in evolutionary development among a people who often had to survive by their wits (adaptive behavior captured by the phrase "acting white" or "passing"). This gift is hardly limited to blacks. I can recall tales of insecure Eastern European Jewish immigrants pretending to be WASPS.

But what if the observer was unaware of it being only a theatrical performance and took the competence at face value? Disaster. Russell Crowe as the Nobel Prize winning John Nash in A Beautiful Mind might give a stunning performance as a brilliant economist, but he would not last a minute if he tried to pass himself off as the real thing at a Princeton economic department seminar. To be blunt, Barack Obama was less "a president" than a talented actor playing at being presidential.

Those of us who have encountered this deception are usually aware of its tell-tale signs, though, to be fair, it may have been diligently practiced for so long that it has become a "real" element of the perpetrator's core personality. For those unfamiliar with this deception, let me now offer a brief catalogue of these tactics.

Central is the careful management of outward physical appearances. In theatrical terms, these are props and depending on circumstances, this might be a finely tailored suit, wingtip shoes, a crisp white shirt, a smart silk tie and all the rest that announce business-like competence. Future college or foundation president here we come (Obama has clearly mastered this sartorial ploy). But for those seeking an appointment as a professor, this camouflage must be more casual but, whatever the choice, there cannot be any hint of "ghetto" style, i.e., no flashy jewelry, gold chains, purple "pimpish" suits, or anything else that even slightly hints of what blacks might consider authentic black attire.

Mastering "white" language is equally critical and in the academy this includes everything from tossing around trendy terms, for example, "paradigmatic," to displaying what appears to be a mastering of disciplinary jargon. Recall how the Black Panthers seduced gullible whites with just a sprinkling of Marxist terminology. Precisely citing a few obscure court cases or administrative directives can also do the trick. Further add certain verbal styles common among professors or peppering a presentation with correctly pronounced non-English words. I recall a talk by one black professor from the University of Chicago who wowed my colleagues by just using-and correctly so-a few Yiddish expressions.

Ironically, self-defined conservatives are especially vulnerable to these well-crafted performances. No doubt, like all good thinking liberals, they desperately want to believe that blacks are just as talented as whites so an Obama-like figure is merely the first installment of coming racial equality. The arrival of this long-awaited black also provides a great opportunity to demonstrate that being "conservative" does not certify one as a racist. Alas, this can be embarrassing and comical if over-done. I recall one (white) colleague who gave a little speech praising a deeply flawed dissertation written by a black assistant professor up for tenure. He told the assembled committee that her dissertation reminded him of Newton's Principia Mathematica (can't make that stuff up).

Alas, the deception usually unravels when the imposter confronts a complicated unstructured situation lacking a well-defined script, hardly surprising given the IQ test data indicate that blacks usually perform better on items reflecting social norms, less well on abstract, highly "g" loaded items. In academic job presentations, for example, a job candidate's intellectual limits often become apparent during the Q and A when pressed to wrestle with technical or logical abstractions that go beyond the initial well-rehearsed talk. Picture a job candidate who just finished reading a paper being asked whether the argument is falsifiable or how causality might be established? These can be killer questions that require ample quick footed intellectual dexterity and often bring an awkward silence as the candidate struggles to think on his feet (these responses may rightly be judged far more important than what is read from a paper). I recall one genuinely bewildered black job candidate who explained a complicated measurement choice with "my Ph.D. advisor, a past president of the American Political Science Association told me to do it this way."

Obama as President repeatedly exhibits these characteristics. It is thus hardly accidental that he relies extensively on canned Teleprompter speeches. According to one compilation published in January 2013, Obama has used Teleprompters in 699 speeches during his first term in office. There is also his aversion to informal off-the-cuff discussions with the press and open mike who-knows-what-will-happen "Town Hall" meetings. Obama is also the first president I've ever seen who often favors a casual blue jacket monogrammed "President of the United States."

Perhaps the best illustration of these confused, often rambling moments occurs when he offers impromptu commentary on highly charged, fast-breaking race-related incidents such as the Louis Henry Gates dustup in Cambridge , Mass ("the police acted stupidly") and the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown shootings. You could see his pained look as he struggles with being a "good race man" while simultaneously struggling to sort out murky legal issues. This is not the usual instances of politicians speaking evasively to avoid controversy; he was genuinely befuddled.

Similar signs of confused thinking can also be seen in other spontaneous remarks, the most famous example might be his comment about those Americans clinging to their guns and Bibles. What was he thinking? Did he forget that both gun and Bible ownership are constitutionally protected and the word "cling" in this context suggests mental illness? Woes to some impertinent reporter who challenged the President to clarify his oft-repeated "the wrong side of history" quip or explain the precise meaning of, "That's not who were are"? "Mr. President, can you enlighten us on how you know you are on the Right Side of History"?

I suspect that deep down Obama recognizes that almost everything is an act not unlike Eddy Murphy playing Professor Sherman Klump in The Nutty Professor . It is no wonder, then, that his academic records (particularly his SAT scores) are sealed and, perhaps even more important, many of his fellow college students and colleagues at the University of Chicago where he briefly taught constitutional law cannot recall him. It is hard to imagine Obama relishing the prospect of going head-to-head with his sharp-witted Chicago colleagues.

Further add his lack of a publication in the Harvard Law Review, a perk as the President of the Law Review (not Editor) and the credible evidence that his two autobiographies where ghost written after their initial rejection as unsuitable for publication. All and all, a picture emerges of an individual who knows he must fake it to convince others of his intellectual talents, and like a skilled actor he has spent years studying the role of "President." President Obama deserves an Academy award (which, of course would also be a step toward diversity, to boot) for his efforts.


Carlton Meyer says: • Website

November 16, 2016 at 5:31 am GMT • 300 Words

This is why I often referred to Obama as a "Pentagon spokesman." Did you know his proposed military budgets each year were on average higher than Bush or Reagan? People forget that is first objective as President was to close our torture camp in Cuba. He could have issued an Executive Order and have it closed in one day. DOJ aircraft could fly all the inmates away within two hours before any court could challenge that, if they dared. It remains open.

Yet when Congress refused to act to open borders wider, he issued an Executive Order to grant residency to five million illegals. And under Soros direction, he sent DoJ attack dogs after any state or city that questioned the right of men who want to use a ladies room.

As a mulatto raised by white grandparents in Hawaii, Obama is not a black American, with no cultural ties to black Americans and slavery, yet he later learned to throw out a black accent to fool the fools. As Stephen Colbert once observed, white Americans love Obama because he was raised the right way, by white people. That was intended as humor, but

Obama has leased an ultra-expensive house in an exclusive neighborhood in DC just like the corrupt Bill Clinton prior to his multi-million dollar speaking and influence peddling efforts. Obama will not return to Chicago to help poor blacks, like Jimmy Carter did elsewhere after he left office. Obama doesn't need an Oscar, he got a Nobel Peace Prize for the same act.


3.anon says:

November 16, 2016 at 5:34 am GMT • 100 Words

What to make of the Michael Eric Dysons and the Cornell Wests of the world ??
How do they rise up the ranks of academia , become darlings of talk shows and news panels , all the while dressed and speaking ghetto with zero talent or interest in appearing white . And zero academic competency ??


6.CCZ, November 16, 2016 at 6:08 am GMT

Our first affirmative action President? I have yet to hear that exact description, even in a nation with 60 million deplorable "racist" voters.

8.Tom Welsh, November 16, 2016 at 7:00 am GMT • 100 Words

Congratulations on noticing what it takes to be a successful politician in ANY "Western" democracy. It doesn't matter if you are black, white, aquamarine or candy-striped, or whether you are a college professor, an "economist", or a "businessman". It's all bluff and acting.

Why does anyone still find this surprising?

11.Alfa158, November 16, 2016 at 7:56 am GMT • 100 Words

The single most critical element of a successful con is not the hucksters appearance, or mannerisms, or even the spiel, it is simply making the con something that the sucker wants to believe. White people were desperate for a Magic Negro and they got one. Black people ended up suffering from deteriorating economics and exploding intramural murder rates.

12.whorefinder, November 16, 2016 at 8:02 am GMT • 300 Words

Strikes a chord with me, and with Clint Eastwood (recall the 2012 RNC, where Eastwood mocked Obama as an "empty chair").

I recognized Obama's type not from academia, but from corporate America. He was the token black higher up. He's smart enough not to obviously do something requiring termination (get drunk and harass a colleague at an office party, shred important document, etc.), and his mistakes can be blamed on team failures, so he gets "black guy's tenure"-a middle or upper management position after only a few years.

He then makes sure he shows up every weekday at 9am, but he's out the door at 5pm-and no weekends for him. He's there for "diversity" drives and is prominently featured on the company brochures, and might even be given an award or honorary title every few years to cover him, but he never brings in clients or moves business positively in anyway. But he's quick to take the boss up on the golfing trips. In short, he's realized he's there to be the black corporate shield, and that's all he does. He's a lazy token and fine with being lazy.

It's why Obama had little problem letting Pelosi/Reid/Bill Clinton do all the heavy lifting on Obamacare–not only was Obama out of his depth, he was just plain ol' fine with being out of his depth, because someone else would do it for him. So he went golfing instead.

This is also why that White House press conference where Bill Clinton took over for him halfway speaks volumes. Obama literally had no problem simply walking away from his presidential duties to go party-because someone else would do it for him, as they always had.

It's also why he seems so annoyed when asked about the race rioting going on as a result of his administration's actions. Hey, why do you think I gotta do anything? I just show up and people tell me I did a great job!

13.Ramona, November 16, 2016 at 8:04 am GMT

It's been said for years that Obama amounts to no more than a dignified talk show host. The observation has merit. Oscar-wise, though, only for ironic value.


15.Realist, November 16, 2016 at 9:50 am GMT • 100 Words

@Anon

"I think Obama is pretty smart if not genius. His mother was no dummy, and his father seems to have been pretty bright too, and there are smart blacks."

Ann Dunham had a PhD in anthropology from a run of the mill university where she literally studied women textile weaving in third world countries. Pure genius .right.


16.Fran Macadam, November 16, 2016 at 9:54 am GMT • 100 Words

This critique applies to almost every Presidential candidate, regardless of ethnicity. So few of them have been other than those playing a role assigned by their donors. The most successful recent President was a former professional actor and thus well suited for the position. The latest President-elect is also a savvy media figure, and yet mocked for his obvious lack of intellectual heft. But in his case, he's not acting, it's reality TV.


17.Jim Christian says:

November 16, 2016 at 9:59 am GMT • 200 Words
@Anon

PS. Maybe some Jews around Trump are beginning to feel that China is the real danger to US power in the long run. So, what US should really do is patch things up with Russia for the time being, drive a wedge between China and Russia, and use Russia against China and then go after Russia.

Really! Go after Russia? And how would you do that and why? What would "going after Russia" look like? What about the "horrific Rape of Russia" you spoke of? China and Russia have business to conduct, they're quite through with us, our dollar and our Fed. We'll be lucky if they allow us a piece of the action. Instead of Russia>China>Russia machinations, we might want to figure out strategies for doing some other business than patronizing our arms manufacturers. Hey, cap Jewish influence in the courts and business if you wish, but keeping the U.S. in an endless state of war, economic and otherwise is zero sum and worse for the little people.


20.timalex, November 16, 2016 at 11:58 am GMT

Americans voted for and elected Obama because it made them feel virtuous in their mind and in the eyes of the world. Obama has always been a psychopath. Psychopaths are good at lying and hiding things,even when Presidents.

21.The Alarmist , November 16, 2016 at 12:03 pm GMT

So, you're saying he was an affirmative action hire.


22.Anon, November 16, 2016 at 12:28 pm GMT

Yeah and every white person in a position of power and privilege is "authentically intelligent". America is a society run by and for phonies.

23.War for Blair Mountain, November 16, 2016 at 12:32 pm GMT • 100 Words

Barack Obama is a creation of the Cold War. His father was imported into the US through an anti-commie Cold War foreign student program for young Africans. Barack Obama's nonwhite Democratic Party Voting Bloc would not exist if the 1965 Immigration Reform Act had not been passed. The 1965 Immigration Reform Act was another creation of the anti-commie Cold War Crusade.

The anti-commie Cold War Crusade has been a Death sentence for The Historic Native Born White American Majority.

It is now time to rethink the Cold War .very long overdue..

24.AndrewR, November 16, 2016 at 12:55 pm GMT • 100 Words

@CCZ

I've called him that for years. And Dubya was possibly our first "legacy" president: chosen entirely based on whom he's related to not on any individual qualities that would suit him for such a high office. Had Dubya been raised by regular people, he would have probably ended up as a hardware store manager.

25.Rehmat, November 16, 2016 at 1:36 pm GMT • 100 Words

I think after wining Nobel Peace Award without achieving peace anywhere in the world – Obama deserve Oscar more than Nobel Prize for equating Holocaust as a religion with Christianity and Islam in his speech at the UNGA in September 2012.

Oscar has a long tradition to award top slot for every Holocaust movie produced so far.

"There's no business like Shoah business," says YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, established by Max Weinreich in Lithuania in 1925.

More than 70 movies and documentary on Jewish Holocaust have been produced so far to keep Whiteman's guild alive. Holocaust Industry's main purpose is to suck trillions of dollars and moral support for the Zionist entity. Since 1959 movie, The Diary of Anne Frank, 22 Holocaust movies have won at least one Oscar ..

https://rehmat1.com/2012/10/26/barack-obama-holocaust-is-a-religion/

27.jacques sheete says: November 16, 2016 at 2:20 pm GMT • 200 Words

@Tom Welsh

Amen to all. The whole deal is a fraud. All successful politicians are imposters, people who've mastered the art of deception. I'd go even further and say that the majority of "authority figures" are probably parasites and frauds to one degree or another.

I enjoy democracy immensely. It is incomparably idiotic, and hence incomparably amusing. Does it exalt dunderheads, cowards, trimmers, frauds, cads? Then the pain of seeing them go up is balanced and obliterated by the joy of seeing them come down. Is it inordinately wasteful, extravagant, dishonest? Then so is every other form of government: all alike are enemies to laborious and virtuous men. Is rascality at the very heart of it? Well, we have borne that rascality since 1776, and continue to survive. In the long run, it may turn out that rascality is necessary to human government, and even to civilization itself – that civilization, at bottom, is nothing but a colossal swindle.

- H. L. Mencken, Last Words (1926)

28.anonymous, November 16, 2016 at 2:34 pm GMT • 200 Words

The bar was set ridiculously low by his predecessor the village idiot Bush who could barely put together a coherent sentence. After eight years of disaster people were hoping for something different. Having a deranged person like McCain as his opposition certainly helped. What choice did the American people have?

He received a Nobel Peace prize for absolutely nothing although I admit his reluctance to barge into Syria was quite welcome. How many wars would we be in had the war-crazed McCain gotten into office?

Overall, the current president has been a deception, a trivial self-absorbed person whose main concern has been himself turned outward onto issues of race and sexual orientation.

American politics at this level is fake. Everything is orchestrated, attire is handpicked, speeches are written by professionals and read off the teleprompter, questions from the public are actually from plants and rehearsed prior, armies of PR people are at work everywhere, journalists are just flunky propagandists, expressions of emotion are calculated, the mass media is the property of the billionaire and corporate class and reflects their interests, and so on down the line. The masses of Americans are just there to be managed and milked. Look back at the history of the US: When haven't they been lying to us?

29.nsa, November 16, 2016 at 2:44 pm GMT • 100 Words

President is a very easy job. Almost anyone could fake it even actors, peanut farmers, mulatto community organizers, illegitimate offspring of trailer park whores, haberdashers, developers, soldiers, irish playboys, bicycle riding dry drunks, low rent CA shysters, daft professors.

Play lots of golf. Hot willing young pussy available for the asking. Anyone call you a name, have them audited. Invite pals onto the gravy train. Everyone kissing your ass and begging for favors. Media nitwits hanging on every word. Afterwards, get filthy rich making speeches and appearances. Tough job .

30.Anonymous, November 16, 2016 at 3:03 pm GMT • 100 Words

Manchurian Candidate, or Kenyan Candidate? Whatever he may be called, our current White House resident is a colossal joke perpetrated on the world. Whoever covered all his tracks did a masterful task. He will be the subject of future dissertations about the failure of the American political process and the influence of media and third parties like Soros.

32.Lorax, November 16, 2016 at 3:17 pm GMT

Obama's grandfather, Stanley Armour Dunham, was a "furniture salesman," for which role he deserved an Oscar as well. It takes real acting ability to pull off a lifetime career in Intelligence Service: http://www.veteranstoday.com/2010/08/07/obama's-cia-pedigree/

34.JoeFour, November 16, 2016 at 3:56 pm GMT

@AndrewR

"Had Dubya been raised by regular people, he would have probably ended up as a hardware store manager."

AndrewR, I know you didn't mean it, but you have just insulted all of the thousands of hardware store managers in this country.

[Nov 16, 2016] The neocon godfather Leo Strauss would be proud as king of bait and switch Obama promotes lying to people telling them what they want to hear, then doing whatever you want after getting elected as an official Democratic Party policy

Notable quotes:
"... Where the Democrats went wrong CNBC. Obama: "[O]ne of the issues that Democrats have to be clear on is that given population distribution across the country, we have to compete everywhere, we have to show up everywhere." Throwing Clinton under the bus… ..."
"... he means just showing up, telling people what they want to hear, then doing whatever the hell you want after getting elected. Not one word about actually meeting peoples needs. EFF OBAMA and the DEMOCRATIC PARTY!! ..."
"... If you didn't read this (linked yesterday), you should consider both reading and sharing far and wide. The entire system is designed to be anti-representative. ..."
"... Don't just get/stay mad, quit expecting a bunch of gangsters to function democratically. ..."
Nov 16, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

mk November 16, 2016 at 7:55 am

Where the Democrats went wrong CNBC. Obama: "[O]ne of the issues that Democrats have to be clear on is that given population distribution across the country, we have to compete everywhere, we have to show up everywhere." Throwing Clinton under the bus…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I yelled at the radio after hearing this, because he means just showing up, telling people what they want to hear, then doing whatever the hell you want after getting elected. Not one word about actually meeting peoples needs. EFF OBAMA and the DEMOCRATIC PARTY!!

Eureka Springs November 16, 2016 at 8:21 am

If you didn't read this (linked yesterday), you should consider both reading and sharing far and wide. The entire system is designed to be anti-representative.

Don't just get/stay mad, quit expecting a bunch of gangsters to function democratically. Get out of their box.

[Nov 15, 2016] The Trump Ploy

Notable quotes:
"... Knowing how angry the working class has become, the deep state could not install Hillary, for that would have been a tiresome rehash of another Clinton presidency. With NAFTA, Bill launched the job offshoring that has wrecked this country, and those most affected by it, working class whites, know damn well who's responsible. The Clinton brand has become anathema to middle America. ..."
"... On the foreign front, America's belligerence will not ease up under a Trump presidency, for without a hyper kinetic military to browbeat and bomb, the world will stop lending us money. The US doesn't just wage wars to fatten the military banking complex, but to prop up the US Dollar and prevent our economy from collapsing. The empire yields tangible benefits for even the lowliest Americans. ..."
Nov 15, 2016 | www.unz.com
Michele Paccione / Shutterstock.com Universally, Trump was depicted as an anti-establishment candidate. Washington and Wall Street hated him, and the media were deployed to vilify him endlessly. If they could not discredit Trump enough, surely they would steal the election from him. Some even suggested Trump would be assassinated.

Acting the part, Trump charged repeatedly that the election was rigged, and he was right, of course. During the primaries, Hillary Clinton received debate questions in advance from CNN. More seriously, 30 states used voting machines that could easily be hacked.

A leaked tape of Trump making obscene comments about groping women became further proof that the establishment was out to get him. In spite of all this, Trump managed to win by a landslide, so what happened?

To steal an American election, one only needs to tamper with votes in two or three critical states, and since Hillary didn't win, we must conclude that she was never the establishment's chosen puppet. As Trump claimed, the fix was in, all right, except that it was rigged in his favor, as born out by the fact.

While everybody else yelped that Trump would never be allowed to win, I begged to differ. After the Orlando false flag shooting on June 12th, 2016, I wrote:

In 2008, Obama was touted as a political outsider who will hose away all of the rot and bloody criminality of the Bush years. He turned out to be a deft move by our ruling class. Though fools still refuse to see it, Obama is a perfect servant of our military banking complex. Now, Trump is being trumpeted as another political outsider.

A Trump presidency will temporarily appease restless, lower class whites, while serving as a magnet for liberal anger. This will buy our ruling class time as they continue to wage war abroad while impoverishing Americans back home. Like Obama, Trump won't fulfill any of his election promises, and this, too, will be blamed on bipartisan politics.

On September 24th, I doubled down:

Mind-fucked, most Americans can't even see that an American president's only task is to disguise the deep state's intentions. Chosen by the deep state to explain away its crimes, our president's pronouncements are nearly always contradicted by the deep state's actions. While the president talks of peace, democracy, racial harmony, prosperity for Main Street and going after banksters, etc., the deep state wages endless war, stages meaningless elections, stokes racial hatred, bankrupts nearly all Americans and enables massive Wall Street crimes, etc.

Only the infantile will imagine the president as any kind of savior or, even more hilariously, anti-establishment. Since the deep state won't even tolerate a renegade reporter at, say, the San Jose Mercury News, how can you expect a deep state's enemy to land in the White House?! It cannot happen.

A presidential candidate will promise to fix all that's wrong with our government, and this stance, this appearance, is actually very useful for the deep state, for it gives Americans hope. Promising everything, Obama delivered nothing. So who do you think is being primed by the deep state to be our next false savior?

Who benefits from false flag terrorist attacks blamed on Muslims? Who gains when blacks riot? Why is the Democratic Party propping up a deeply-despised and terminally ill war criminal? More personable Bernie Sanders was nixed by the deep state since it had another jester in mind.

The first presidential debate is Monday. Under stress, Hillary's eyes will dart in separate directions. Coughing nonstop for 90 minutes, her highness will hack up a gazillion unsecured emails. Her head will jerk spasmodically, plop onto the floor and, though decapitated, continue to gush platitudes and lies. "A Very Impressive Performance," CNBC and CNN will announce. Come November, though, Trump will be installed because his constituency needs to be temporarily pacified. The deep state knows that white people are pissed.

The media were out to get Trump, pundits from across the political spectrum kept repeating, but the truth is that the media made Trump. Long before the election, Trump became a household name, thanks to the media.

Your average American can't name any other real estate developer, casino owner or even his own senators, but he has known Trump since forever. For more than a decade, Trump was a reality TV star, with two of his children also featured regularly on The Apprentice. Trump's "You're fired" and his hair became iconic. Trump appeared on talk shows, had cameo roles in movies and owned the Miss Universe pageant. In 2011, Obama joked that Trump as president would deck out the White House in garish fashion, with his own name huge on the façade. The suave, slick prez roasted Trump again in 2016. Trump has constantly been in the limelight.

It's true that during the presidential campaign, Trump received mostly negative press, but this only ramped up support among his core constituency. Joe Sixpacks had long seen the media as not just against everything they cherished, but against them as people, so the more the media attacked Trump, the more popular he became among the white working class.

Like politicians, casinos specialize in empty promises. Trump, then, is a master hustler, just like Obama, and with help from the media, this New York billionaire became a darling of the flyover states. Before his sudden transformation, Trump was certainly an insider. He donated $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation, and Bill and Hillary attended his third wedding. Golf buddies, The Donald and Bill were also friends with one Jeffrey Epstein, owner of the infamous Lolita Express and a sex orgy, sex slave island in the Caribbean.

In 2002, New York Magazine published "Jeffrey Epstein: International Money of Mystery." This asskissing piece begins, "He comes with cash to burn, a fleet of airplanes, and a keen eye for the ladies-to say nothing of a relentless brain that challenges Nobel Prize-winning scientists across the country-and for financial markets around the world."

Trump is quoted, "I've known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it-Jeffrey enjoys his social life."

Bill Clinton shouts out, "Jeffrey is both a highly successful financier and a committed philanthropist with a keen sense of global markets and an in-depth knowledge of twenty-first-century science. I especially appreciated his insights and generosity during the recent trip to Africa to work on democratization, empowering the poor, citizen service, and combating HIV/AIDS."

Epstein gushes back, "If you were a boxer at the downtown gymnasium at 14th Street and Mike Tyson walked in, your face would have the same look as these foreign leaders had when Clinton entered the room. He is the world's greatest politician."

Even during a very nasty election campaign, Trump stayed clear of Clinton's association with Epstein because he himself had been chummy with the convicted pervert. Trump also never brought up the Clintons' drug running in Mena or the many mysterious deaths of those whose existence inconvenienced their hold on power.

With eight years in the White House, plus stints as a senator then secretary of state, Clinton is considered the ultimate insider. Though a novice politician, Trump is also an insider, and it's a grand joke of the establishment that they've managed to convince Joe Sixpacks everywhere that Trump will save them.

Knowing how angry the working class has become, the deep state could not install Hillary, for that would have been a tiresome rehash of another Clinton presidency. With NAFTA, Bill launched the job offshoring that has wrecked this country, and those most affected by it, working class whites, know damn well who's responsible. The Clinton brand has become anathema to middle America.

While Clinton says America is already great, Trump promises to make America great again, but the decline of the US will only accelerate. Our manufacturing base is handicapped because American workers will not put up with Chinese wages, insanely long hours or living in cramped factory dormitories. In a global economy, those who can suck it up best get the jobs.

On the foreign front, America's belligerence will not ease up under a Trump presidency, for without a hyper kinetic military to browbeat and bomb, the world will stop lending us money. The US doesn't just wage wars to fatten the military banking complex, but to prop up the US Dollar and prevent our economy from collapsing. The empire yields tangible benefits for even the lowliest Americans.

With his livelihood vaporized, the poor man does not care for LGBT rights, the glass ceiling or climate change. Supplementing his wretched income with frequent treks to the church pantry, if not blood bank, he needs immediate relief. It's a shame he's staking his hopes on an imposter.

The deep state ushered in Trump because he's clearly their most useful decoy. As the country hopes in vain, the crooked men behind the curtain will go on with business as usual. Trump is simply an Obama for a different demographic. Nothing will change for the better.

Linh Dinh is the author of two books of stories, five of poems, and a novel, Love Like Hate . He's tracking our deteriorating socialscape through his frequently updated photo blog, Postcards from the End of America .

[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] Philip Pilkington Why the Pollsters Totally Failed to Call a Trump Victory, Why I (Sort Of) Succeeded – and Why You Should Lis

Notable quotes:
"... The second argument is the Bayesian vs frequentist debate on the foundations of probability theory, which has roots that go back centuries. Not that it matters, but I am in the Bayes-Laplace-Jeffreys-Jaynes camp. Evidently the author is a frequentist. But it is a vastly bigger intellectual issue than how some pollsters blew it and can't be settled in a blog post by someone proclaiming The Truth. ..."
"... It's no secret that U.S. election results can't be audited - the integrity of the data is unknowable - and is subject to pre-election manipulation, in the form of widespread voter suppression. Post-election manipulation of vote totals also can't be discounted, because in many election districts it wouldn't be difficult and motive exists. ..."
"... The general nature of humans is to "freak out" about big things and demand stuff like Brexit, then "calm down" and leave things roughly like they are maybe with a few touch-ups around the edges.* (This is the simplified basis of my "Brexit not gonna happen" stance. ..."
"... But this is saying that people at the last moment decided the status quo was so bad they realized they just had to make a very scary leap into something new. That, if true, says quite a lot about the status quo. ..."
"... "The Bradley effect" is the idea people are lying to pollsters. The problem is modeling, and unlike a few years ago, Gallup and others no longer do their daily tracking polls which give a better picture of the electorate. In the absence of a clear view of the electorate, the pollsters make up who will vote based on preconceived notions. ..."
"... I think this is a good point. My understanding of the polling methodology is that they sample the electorate then break their sampled voters into demographic bins, then they weight the bins based on expected participation by demographic to get a final expected vote. ..."
"... Putting blame for voter 'apathy' on Clinton's treatment of the Democratic base that supported Sanders, probably the most activist part of the party, or on Clinton's pivot to 'suburban republicans', or on the FBI, or Clinton's disastrous foreign policy record, or Clinton's unprecedentedly low favorability and trustworthiness numbers is difficult, but all of those problems were foreseen by Sanders supporters as well as by the DNC, but were ignored by the latter. That those problems were likely to depress turnout, which Democrats need to win elections was also fairly obvious, which is why I never believed the polls and believed Trump was indeed likely to win. ..."
"... Polling organizations are really political organizations that get paid to influence public opinion rather than measure it. Their models are garbage. It's a complete joke of an industry. ..."
Nov 14, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
I have a very different explanation of why the pollsters got it so wrong. My argument is based on two statements which I hope to convince you of: That the pollsters were not actually using anything resembling scientific methodology when investigating the polls. Rather they were simply tracking the trends and calibrating their commentary in line with them. Not only did this not give us a correct understanding of what was going on but it also gave us no real new information other than what the polls themselves were telling us. I call this the redundancy argument . That the pollsters were committing a massive logical fallacy in extracting probability estimates from the polls (and whatever else they threw into their witches' brew models). In fact they were dealing with a singular event (the election) and singular events cannot be assigned probability estimates in any non-arbitrary sense. I call this the logical fallacy argument .

Let us turn to the redundancy argument first. In order to explore the redundancy argument I will lay out briefly the type of analysis that I did on the polls during the election. I can then contrast this with the type of analysis done by pollsters. As we will see, the type of analysis that I was advocating produced new information while the type of approach followed by the pollsters did not. While I do not claim that my analysis actually predicted the election, in retrospect it certainly helps explain the result – while, on the other hand, the pollsters failed miserably.

... ... ...

Probability theory requires that in order for a probability to be assigned an event must be repeated over and over again – ideally as many times as possible. Let's say that I hand you a coin. You have no idea whether the coin is balanced or not and so you do not know the probability that it will turn up heads. In order to discover whether the coin is balanced or skewed you have to toss it a bunch of times. Let's say that you toss it 1000 times and find that 900 times it turns up heads. Well, now you can be fairly confident that the coin is skewed towards heads. So if I now ask you what the probability of the coin turning up heads on the next flip you can tell me with some confidence that it is 9 out of 10 (900/1000) or 90%.

Elections are not like this because they only happen once. Yes, there are multiple elections every year and there are many years but these are all unique events. Every election is completely unique and cannot be compared to another – at least, not in the mathematical space of probabilities. If we wanted to assign a real mathematical probability to the 2016 election we would have to run the election over and over again – maybe 1000 times – in different parallel universes. We could then assign a probability that Trump would win based on these other universes. This is silly stuff, of course, and so it is best left alone.

So where do the pollsters get their probability estimates? Do they have access to an interdimensional gateway? Of course they do not. Rather what they are doing is taking the polls, plugging them into models and generating numbers. But these numbers are not probabilities. They cannot be. They are simply model outputs representing a certain interpretation of the polls. Boil it right down and they are just the poll numbers themselves recast as a fake probability estimate. Think of it this way: do the odds on a horse at a horse race tell you the probability that this horse will win? Of course not! They simply tell you what people think will happen in the upcoming race. No one knows the actual odds that the horse will win. That is what makes gambling fun. Polls are not quite the same – they try to give you a snap shot of what people are thinking about how they will vote in the election at any given point in time – but the two are more similar than not. I personally think that this tendency for pollsters to give fake probability estimates is enormously misleading and the practice should be stopped immediately. It is pretty much equivalent to someone standing outside a betting shop and, having converted all the odds on the board into fake probabilities, telling you that he can tell you the likelihood of each horse winning the race.

There are other probability tricks that I noticed these pollsters doing too.

... ... ...

The Catechism of the Catholic Church in discussing the first commandment repeats the condemnation of divination: "All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to 'unveil' the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. These practices are generally considered mortal sins.

Of course I am not here to convert the reader to the Catholic Church. I am just making the point that many institutions in the past have seen the folly in trying to predict the future and have warned people against it. Today all we need say is that it is rather silly. Although we would also not go far wrong by saying, with the Church, that "recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings". That is a perfectly good secular lesson.

I would go further still. The cult of prediction plays into another cult: the cult of supposedly detached technocratic elitism. I refer here, for example, to the cult of mainstream economics with their ever mysterious 'models'. This sort of enterprise is part and parcel of the cult of divination that we have fallen prey to but I will not digress too much on it here as it is the subject of a book that I will be publishing in mid-December 2016 – an overview of which can be found here . What knowledge-seeking people should be pursuing are tools of analysis that can help them better understand the world around us – and maybe even improve it – not goat entrails in which we can read future events. We live in tumultuous times; now is not the time

Donald November 14, 2016 at 7:26 am

The second argument is the Bayesian vs frequentist debate on the foundations of probability theory, which has roots that go back centuries. Not that it matters, but I am in the Bayes-Laplace-Jeffreys-Jaynes camp. Evidently the author is a frequentist. But it is a vastly bigger intellectual issue than how some pollsters blew it and can't be settled in a blog post by someone proclaiming The Truth.

craazyman November 14, 2016 at 9:27 am

Bayesian analysis is frequently cited as an alternative to frequentist schools, although only with prior awareness of the ontological challenges. Bwaaaaaaak!

The Philster is back! Dude, you've been gone a while.

If your title says we shouldn't listen to you, that might discourage readers before they read. That's a Bayesian prior. LOL. Sort of anyway.

The probability of us reading, given the admonition not to read = the probability of the admonition given the probability of us reading, divided by the probability of us reading. Or something like that. ;-)

When i do the math I get lost. I'll read it later. Right now i can't

jake November 14, 2016 at 8:07 am

It's no secret that U.S. election results can't be audited - the integrity of the data is unknowable - and is subject to pre-election manipulation, in the form of widespread voter suppression. Post-election manipulation of vote totals also can't be discounted, because in many election districts it wouldn't be difficult and motive exists.

The arguments above are convincing in principle, but when the outcomes against which we measure polling predictions can't even be verified….

a different chris November 14, 2016 at 8:10 am

Letting others debate Bayesian models… this stood out:

> This suggested to me that all of those that were going to vote Remain had decided early on and the voters that decided later and closer to the election date were going to vote Leave

Wow. Just wow. The general nature of humans is to "freak out" about big things and demand stuff like Brexit, then "calm down" and leave things roughly like they are maybe with a few touch-ups around the edges.* (This is the simplified basis of my "Brexit not gonna happen" stance.)

But this is saying that people at the last moment decided the status quo was so bad they realized they just had to make a very scary leap into something new. That, if true, says quite a lot about the status quo.

*Yes I've been married for quite a long time now. Why do you ask? :)

Anonymous November 14, 2016 at 8:58 am

After some discussions about 'the inverse Bradley effect' some months ago, the press had been strangely silent about the effect and whether it applied to Trump. Theoretically, Trump, more than any other candidate I can name, should have enjoyed better support in the election than he was polling, as people were uncomfortable admitting that he was their preference for fear of condescension from pollsters. Ross Perot–to whom Trump is often compared– enjoyed a five point advantage 'inverse Bradley effect' in 1992 over his last and best poll numbers. Bill Clinton experienced a straight up 'Bradley effect' in both of his Presidential victories (off three points from his polling, as I recall), though he still did well enough to win.

Nate Silver had an article that pretty much outlined what happened in the election back on Sept 15th. I'm not sure why he isn't referring to this as a fig leaf today, perhaps because so much of the rest of his reporting predicted Clinton's victory.

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-trump-could-win-the-white-house-while-losing-the-popular-vote/

I thought Clinton would likely win, but that it would be a squeaker.

NotTimothyGeithner November 14, 2016 at 10:03 am

"The Bradley effect" is the idea people are lying to pollsters. The problem is modeling, and unlike a few years ago, Gallup and others no longer do their daily tracking polls which give a better picture of the electorate. In the absence of a clear view of the electorate, the pollsters make up who will vote based on preconceived notions.

The LaT poll was very close this cycle and last cycle for the right reasons. Why didn't people lie to them? Are they special? They used a cross section of the country as a sample based on the census. They continued to talk to non voters or people who claimed to be non voters. They recognized people turning their backs on Team Blue. In 2012, they predicted the decline of the white vote for Team Blue and the rally of support from minorities because they talked to people.

In the case of the famed "Bradley effect," the pollsters in that race didn't account for high republican turnout in connection to a statewide referendum expecting the usual city council turnout. The Republicans simply weren't counted. The "lying" of secret racists excuse was cooked up by pollsters and Bradley's campaign to avoid accountability for not working hard enough.

Watt4Bob November 14, 2016 at 9:09 am

I don't know if this fits in, but this what I've been pondering.

For most of my life so far, lack of turnout has been assumed to be the result of 'voter apathy'.

It looks to me as if the democratic party's behavior this year, especially in suppressing the Sanders campaign, had the ultimate effect of creating negative motivation on the part of many otherwise democratic voters, who were excoriated with the warning that any vote not-for-HRC was a vote for Trump.

It would seem that many of those voters accepted that reality, and by refusing to show up at the polls, did indeed vote for Trump.

From my perspective, this is both a complete repudiation of the Third-Way politics of the Clintons, and the beginning of a sea change.

What I'm saying is that we no longer have voter apathy to blame, but real evidence of deepening engagement, which hopefully bodes well for Bernie's new project OR.

This wasn't a mysterious failure to excite voters, it was an obvious and monumental case of ignoring the wishes of the electorate, and reaping a just reward.

In the end, faced with the prospect of the SOS, voters elected to take a chance on Change, and this included many who could not bring themselves to vote for someone who obviously did not respect them, and for whom they held no respect.

This is not your usual "poor turnout".

FluffytheObeseCat November 14, 2016 at 9:57 am

I don't know how much of the poor turnout over the past 2 decades was ever "your usual poor turnout". Third Way servitors to the powerful were never beloved of the people, except perhaps for the charismatic Bill Clinton. And there were many of us who never understood the love for him.

Not voting has long been a conscious decision for many Americans, and when it's a conscious decision, it's essential a vote.

Skip Intro November 14, 2016 at 10:30 am

I think this is a good point. My understanding of the polling methodology is that they sample the electorate then break their sampled voters into demographic bins, then they weight the bins based on expected participation by demographic to get a final expected vote. The expected participation by demographic can really only be based on turnout from previous elections, though presumably pollsters tweak things to account for expected differences, like assuming women or latinos will be more motivated to vote in this election. If the actual turnout doesn't match the pollsters expectation, as happened in this election, where many traditional democratic demographics appeared to be demotivated, then the polls will all be systematically inaccurate.

Putting blame for voter 'apathy' on Clinton's treatment of the Democratic base that supported Sanders, probably the most activist part of the party, or on Clinton's pivot to 'suburban republicans', or on the FBI, or Clinton's disastrous foreign policy record, or Clinton's unprecedentedly low favorability and trustworthiness numbers is difficult, but all of those problems were foreseen by Sanders supporters as well as by the DNC, but were ignored by the latter. That those problems were likely to depress turnout, which Democrats need to win elections was also fairly obvious, which is why I never believed the polls and believed Trump was indeed likely to win.

And of course another major factor is that the polls were seemingly sponsored by media organizations which have pretty openly declared their opposition to Trump. The obvious suspicion was, then, that the polls were intended as campaign propaganda rather than objective information, and were tweaked (via turnout models?) to make Hillary seem inevitable. I also believed this was likely to lead to complacency among democrats, since Republicans are very reliable voters, and Trump-inspired indies would not believe anything coming from the MSM anyway.

Most people I dared to explain this too were incredulous, and tended to write it off as more of my characteristic weird logic… and now they are shocked, the idiots.

rich November 14, 2016 at 9:29 am

Polling organizations are really political organizations that get paid to influence public opinion rather than measure it. Their models are garbage. It's a complete joke of an industry.

David November 14, 2016 at 9:37 am

Actually that just under 2 percent win in the national polls is going to be correct. Also many polls were vert close in PA were close as was FL and NC . Very few were done in Michigan which AP may never call because it is close enough for a recount. In the national number it looks like a 1 or 2 win

casino implosion November 14, 2016 at 9:50 am

Good to see that Phil is out of grad school and holding down a real job. Hope he posts to NC again soon.

Joe November 14, 2016 at 10:37 am

I thought the media and the both campaigns got it so wrong because they think everyone everywhere is on Facebook and Twitter. The people that helped elect the Trumpeter aren't on social media and didn't exist to those in power.

Surprise.

[Nov 14, 2016] Bernie Sanders Indicting Hillary Would Be An Outrage Beyond Belief

Nov 14, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com
by Submitted by Stefanie MacWilliams via PlanetFreeWill.com,

In his first post-election interview , Bernie Sanders has declared to should-be-disgraced Wolf Blitzer that Trump seeking to indict Hillary Clinton for her crimes would be "an outrage beyond belief".

When asked if President Obama should pardon Hillary Clinton, Sanders seems almost confused as to why a pardon would even be needed.

Blitzer notes that Ford pardoned Nixon before he could be charged, to which Bernie seemed again incredulous as to the comparison was even being made.

He goes on to state:

That a winning candidate would try to imprison the losing candidate – that's what dictatorships are about, that's what authoritarian countries are about. You do not imprison somebody you ran against because you have differences of opinion. The vast majority of the American people would find it unacceptable to even think about those things.

Either Senator Sanders is a drooling idiot, or he is being willfully obtuse.

No one wants to imprison Hillary Clinton because of her opinion.

They want to imprison Hillary Clinton because she has committed criminal actions that any other person lacking millions of dollars and hundreds of upper-echelon contacts would be imprisoned for.

Apparently, according to progressive hero Bernie Sanders, holding the elites to the same level of justice as the peons is undemocratic, authoritarian, and perhaps even dictatorial!

Enough with the damn emails?

Enough with any hope that the Democrats have retained a minute shred of credibility.

You can watch the full interview below:

[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 Peña 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] Fears that Trump will be tamed by the deep state and neocons

Nov 13, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com
BabaLooey Nov 12, 2016 9:00 PM ,

An Open Letter To Donald J. Trump

THE ULTIMATE "APPRENTICE"

November 12, 2016

Dear Mr. President-Elect:

I was one of the millions of people that believed in you. Believed what you said. Heard you.

You got "hired" by 60 MILLION people. WE are your boss. YOU BECAME THE EMPLOYEE.

Something you are not used to.

I myself convinced nearly 20 people to vote for you over these last two years. Know what I said?

"He's NOT a politician. He's a business man. He's an outsider – something Washington, D.C. SORELY needs. He's NOT the same 'business as usual' guy. Mr. Trump will change things for the better in Washington. Clean it up. Make peace with Russia – not war. Trump is a BUILDER – not a destroyer. He'll negotiate FAIR deals with countries. Install sensible immigration policies. Reverse the stranglehold on health care policies that have bankrupted millions." I made them see how biased the media was against you. How they lied by omission – and sometimes outright lied about you. (To a person, they NO LONGER WATCH, TRUST, OR HEED the media anymore.)

He'll change the culture of Washington – because that's EXACTLY WHAT IT NEEDS. CHANGE."

Washington has become a den of vipers. Self-enriching criminals that have sucked the life blood out of US – YOUR EMPLOYERS . The phrase; "You're FIRED" must be repeated often to MANY people over the next few years. People that have engorged themselves because of the previous employees, who have mismanaged the nation, and lied to it's people.

Your very words from your speeches that convinced us to hire you. Your platform. Your slogans;

"Make America Great Again." "I'll take back this country for you".

You said that to 60 MILLION of us – and we hired you based on it.

We hired you because we're SICK AND TIRED OF CAREER POLITICIANS. We hired you because we are sick of the GREED, DUPLICITY, THE CORRUPTION of Congress and the past administrations that have enriched the elite, while robbing from the American taxpayer.

Already, the public has noticed that you have had a LOT of the old-guard/same ol' same ol' Republican Washington "insiders" advising you. We understand that you will need some guidance in the first few months. All "apprentices" do.

However, we, as your employers, will NOT TOLERATE THE SAME OL' SAME OL' …ANYMORE.

We hired YOU to do the right THINGS. "Drain The Swamp" "Take Our Country BACK".

Commencing January 21, 2017, that's exactly what we demand of you – our new employee.

WE WILL WANT RESULTS. ACTIONS. CHANGE.

WE WILL WANT INVESTIGATIONS. ARRESTS. PROSECUTIONS OF THE PEOPLE THAT WRONGED THIS NATION. STOLE FROM IT. CORRUPTED IT. DAMAGED IT.

Just like you monitored your "apprentices", and judged them on their performances, WE ARE JUDGING YOU. And we are NOT going to be fooled, like the oppositions legions were and are; by a biased media that lies to them. No one is going to get a "pass" anymore. Especially like your immediate predecessor.

That's over.

On January 21, 2017, your official duties commence.

We all wish you the best, and are with you.

The last thing we want to do is tell you;

You're Fired.

blue51 BabaLooey Nov 12, 2016 9:10 PM ,
One fine letter.
espirit blue51 Nov 12, 2016 9:20 PM ,
Concern that President-Elect Trump may not have foreseen what a Medusas' head of Snakes the .gov is.

Think Ron Paul has forewarned him.

It's a nasty and corrupt business.

Kirk2NCC1701 BabaLooey Nov 12, 2016 9:20 PM ,
What!? How does the last line jive with the rest above it?

You must have meant "If you don't perform and deliver as promised, then You're Fired! In the meantime, You're Hired! Welcome Aboard."

BabaLooey Kirk2NCC1701 Nov 12, 2016 9:28 PM ,
Read it again.

"On January 21, 2017, your official duties commence.

We all wish you the best, and are with you.

The last thing we want to do is tell you;

You're Fired."

-----------------------------

IF Trump even reads it (doubtful), he'll get it.

I get your point though Captain.

dreihoden BabaLooey Nov 12, 2016 9:28 PM ,
hear! hear! i second that emotion sir!

FIAT CON BabaLooey Nov 12, 2016 9:30 PM ,
it was just yesterday that I had posted the following to a friend... very similar.

I know, well the Internet people that elected him may and can put tremendous pressure on him to do the right thing... And I expect that to happen...I expect the people to demand through social media that they keep their promises and that they do what they are told by the people that elected them.....can you imagine the damage that could happen if the trump supporters starting to Diss him because he didn't do what he was told by the people that elected him.

I think in the very near future countries will be run by the people of the country via the Internet where everybody's voice counts and the people that want to share their voice will be the actual leaders of the country and the people that want to watch sports and stick their head in the sand will be sheeple.

I think referendums will be a much more common item

BabaLooey FIAT CON Nov 12, 2016 9:55 PM ,
@ Fiat Con

I wrote that in the hopes that someone on the "TTT" (Trump Transition Team) reads it, and maybe, maybe, shows Trump himself.

We all know he trolls different sites - and I'll bet he trolls ZH.

I agree with you; the "internet people" elected him. The "alt-right" (which IS the new media) elected him.

If we had no internet, and had to rely on the MSM, Clinton would have been elected.

Or worse.

But they are now the "old guard ". It is funny....sickening...and sad to watch them flail away like they have relevancy -

THEY don't.

In a big way, this election was a wake up call to THEM (like the NYT piece on here shows), to clean up THEIR act.

NO MORE business as usual. CFR meets and Washington insider parties of poo.

I actually DID convince 18 people to switch from Clinton to Trump (really, it was 12 from Cruz/Bush/Sanders, and 6 outright flip Clinton to Trump).. and ALL of them HAD been a daily staple of watching the MSM.

Getting them to stop was akin to getting a smoker off cigarettes. Some still do - but they NOW know how the MSM LIES.

(One way I showed them? A tape on YouTube of 60 Minutes "editing techniques", linked below, which REALLY opened some eyes)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GG8SjeeV7Y4

MaxThrust BabaLooey Nov 12, 2016 11:08 PM ,
Babalooey

I certainly hope Trump does get to read your post because I agree with it 100%.

We Trump supporters will not be fooled. We will not accept Neocons, CFR members or Israeli Duals.

May I suggest you send a copy of this post to all newspapers in the hope one will print it as an editorial.

BabaLooey MaxThrust Nov 13, 2016 8:31 AM ,
@ MaxThrust

Cheers Max!

The video embedded in this thread - when Ann Coulter was on Bill Maher and got mocked for her backing Trump - in several instances - was me in 2014 and 2015. I got laughed at by many for coming out for Trump back then.

However, what I wrote is true. I literally changed 18 people into Trump supporters from then to now.

The reasons are many - but the MAIN one is;

I'm. PISSED. OFF.

I'm angry as to the mis-management, lies and over-regulation that has killed the little guy in businesses. I'm angry as to the lies and deceit from the bought of main stream media. A whole LOT of other reasons as well.

I am giving free reign for anyone here to re-post this on ANY internet forum they want; Brietbart, Drudge, and ANY online newspaper comment op-ed section they wish.

I only am a commenter here. I choose not to become one on any other forum.

Please copy and paste it anywhere you'd like.

I'm just a little guy. A "peon". However, I did work hard for Trump. I expect no compensation. No recognition.

I DO expect Trump however - to DO WHAT he said. As a political outsider.

I am concerned as to the vipers, old guard Washington insiders, and of course, the Deep State - along with Israel - getting to Trump.

WE didn't elect them. We elected HIM.

So please - have at it. Post away.

I hope my post inspires others to do their own "Apprentice" type open letters to Trump.

He needs to hear from us (and I bet he does troll ZH and other finanical sites.)

[Nov 13, 2016] We were told confidently by Clinton surrogates like Krugman and DeLong that Brexit wouldnt happen again

By John Cassidy conviniently forget that Hillary was/is a neocon warmonger, perfectly cable of unleashing WWIII. Instead he pushes "Comey did it" bogeyman"...
Nov 13, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

Peter K. : November 13, 2016 at 03:48 AM

EMichael and im1dc would rather have their head in the sand. We were told confidently by Clinton surrogates like Krugman and DeLong that Brexit wouldn't happen again.

http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/media-culpa-the-press-and-the-election-result

MEDIA CULPA? THE PRESS AND THE ELECTION RESULT

By John Cassidy , NOVEMBER 11, 2016

Since Tuesday night, there has been a lot of handwringing about how the media, with all its fancy analytics, failed to foresee Donald Trump's victory. The Times alone has published three articles on this theme, one of which ran under the headline "How Data Failed Us in Calling an Election." On social media, Trump supporters have been mercilessly haranguing the press for getting it wrong.

Clearly, this was a real issue. It's safe to say that most journalists, myself included, were surprised by Tuesday's outcome. That fact should be acknowledged. But journalists weren't the only ones who were shocked. As late as Tuesday evening, even a senior adviser to Trump was telling the press that "it will take a miracle for us to win."

It also shouldn't be forgotten that, in terms of the popular vote, Clinton didn't lose on Tuesday. As of 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, a tally by CNN showed that Hillary Clinton had received 60,617,062 votes, while Trump got 60,118,567. The margin in her favor-now at 498,495-is likely to grow as the remaining votes are counted in California. At the end of the day, Clinton may end up ahead by two per cent of the total votes cast. If the United States had a direct system of voting, Clinton would have been the one at the White House on Thursday meeting with President Obama. But, of course, Trump won the Electoral College. If the final count in Michigan remains in his favor, Trump will end up with three hundred and six Electoral College votes, to Clinton's two hundred and twenty-six.

Still, as journalists and commentators, we all knew the rules of the game: if Trump got to two hundred and seventy votes in the Electoral College, he'd be President. Why did so few observers predict he'd do it? Many Trump supporters insist it was East Coast insularity and ideological bias, and many in the media are now ready to believe that. To be sure, it's easy to get sucked into the media bubble. But there are also strong professional incentives for journalists to get things right. Why did that prove so difficult this year?

It wasn't because journalists weren't legging it to Michigan or Wisconsin or West Virginia. In this magazine alone, a number of writers-including Larissa MacFarquhar, Evan Osnos, George Packer, and George Saunders-published long, reported pieces about the Trump phenomenon in different parts of the country. Many other journalists spent a lot of time talking with Trump supporters. I'd point you to the work of ProPublica's Alec MacGillis and the photojournalist Chris Arnade, but they were just two among many. So many, in fact, that some Clinton supporters, such as Eric Boehlert, of Media Matters, regularly complained about it on social media.

To the extent that there was a failure, it was a failure of analysis, rather than of observation and reporting. And when you talk about how the media analyzed this election, you can't avoid the polls, the forecasting models, and the organizing frames-particularly demographics-that people used to interpret the incoming data.

It was clear from early in the race that Trump's electoral strategy was based on appealing to working-class whites, particularly in the Midwest. The question all along was whether, in the increasingly diverse America of 2016, there were enough alienated working-class whites to propel Trump to victory.

Some analysts did suggest that there might be. Immediately after the 2012 election, Sean Trende, of Real Clear Politics, pointed out that one of the main reasons for Mitt Romney's defeat was that millions of white voters stayed home. Earlier this year, during the Republican primaries, Trende returned to the same theme, writing, "The candidate who actually fits the profile of a 'missing white voter' candidate is Donald Trump."

The Times' Nate Cohn was another who took Trump's strategy seriously. In June, pointing to a new analysis of Census Bureau data and voter-registration files, Cohn wrote, "a growing body of evidence suggests that there is still a path, albeit a narrow one, for Mr. Trump to win without gains among nonwhite voters." As recently as Sunday, Cohn repeated this point, noting that Trump's "strength among the white working class gives him a real chance at victory, a possibility that many discounted as recently as the summer."

Among analysts and political demographers, however, the near-consensus of opinion was that Trump wouldn't be able to turn back history. Back in March, I interviewed Ruy Teixeira, the co-author of an influential 2004 book, "The Emerging Democratic Majority," which highlighted the growing number of minority voters across the country, particularly Hispanics. Drawing on his latest data, Teixeira, who is a senior fellow at the Century Foundation and the Center for American Progress, offered some estimates of how many more white working-class voters Trump would need to turn out to flip states like Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin. "It's not crazy," he said. "But I think it would be very hard to pull off."

Trump managed it, though. He enjoyed a thirty-nine-point advantage among whites without college degrees, according to the network exit poll, compared to the twenty-six-point advantage Romney saw in 2012. "What totally tanked the Democrats was the massive shift in the white non-college vote against them, particularly in some of the swing states," Teixeira told me by telephone on Thursday. "And that by itself is really enough to explain the outcome."

In the lead-up to the election, the possibility of Clinton winning the popular vote while losing the Electoral College was well understood but, in hindsight, not taken seriously enough. In mid-September, David Wasserman, an analyst at the Cook Political Report, laid out a scenario in which turnout among white non-college voters surged and turnout among some parts of the Democratic coalition, particularly African-Americans, fell. "Clinton would carry the popular vote by 1.5 percentage points," Wasserman wrote. "However, Trump would win the Electoral College with 280 votes by holding all 24 Romney states and flipping Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa and Maine's 2nd Congressional District."

In the days and weeks leading up to the election, FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver also considered the possibility of Clinton winning the popular vote and losing the election. But he, Wasserman, and others who looked at the matter believed this was an unlikely outcome. On Tuesday, the FiveThirtyEight forecasting model estimated that the probability of such a scenario happening was about one in ten.

There was a straightforward reason for all the skepticism about Trump's chances: when you looked at the state-level polling, it looked like Clinton's "blue wall" was holding. Take Wisconsin, which turned out to be a state that Trump won. The Huffington Post's polling database lists the results of more than thirty polls that were taken in the Badger State since June: Trump didn't lead in any of them. Three of the final four surveys showed Clinton ahead by six points or more, and the Huffpollster poll average put her lead at 6.3 percentage points. Trump carried the state by one point. In other key states, the pattern was similar. The final Huffington Post poll averages showed Trump losing by nearly six points in Michigan, and by four points in Pennsylvania.

In a public statement issued on Wednesday, the American Association for Public Opinion Research said bluntly, "The polls clearly got it wrong this time." The organization announced that it had already put together a panel of "survey research and election polling experts" tasked with finding some answers. Several possible explanations have already been floated.

First, it's possible there was a late swing to Trump among undecided voters, which the state polls, in particular, failed to pick up. Another possibility is that some Trump voters didn't tell the pollsters about their preferences-the "shy Trump supporter" hypothesis.

A third theory, which I suspect may be the right one, is that a lot of Trump voters refused to answer the pollsters' calls in the first place, because they regarded them as part of the same media-political establishment that Trump was out railing against on the campaign trail. Something like this appears to have happened in Britain earlier this year, during the run-up to the Brexit referendum. Turnout wound up being considerably higher than expected among lower-income voters in the north of England, particularly elderly ones, and that swung the result.

Whatever went wrong with the polls in this country, they inevitably colored perceptions. "The reason it surprised me was because, like everyone else, I was taken in by those pesky polls," Teixeira told me. "It didn't look like, by and large, that he was running up as big a margin as he needed among non-college whites."

The prediction models didn't help things. On Tuesday morning, FiveThirtyEight's "polls-only" prediction model put the probability of Clinton winning the presidency at 71.4 per cent. And that figure was perhaps the most conservative one. The Times' Upshot model said Clinton had an eighty-five per cent chance of winning, the Huffington Post's figure was ninety-eight per cent, and the Princeton Election Consortium's estimate was ninety-nine per cent.

These numbers had a big influence on how many people, including journalists and political professionals, looked at the election. Plowing through all the new polls, or even keeping up with all the state and national poll averages, can be a time-consuming process. It's much easier to click on the latest update from the model of your choice. When you see it registering the chances of the election going a certain way at ninety per cent, or ninety-five per cent, it's easy to dismiss the other outcome as a live possibility-particularly if you haven't been schooled in how to think in probabilistic terms, which many people haven't.

The problem with models is that they rely so much on the polls. Essentially, they aggregate poll numbers and use some simulation software to covert them into unidimensional probabilistic forecasts. The details are complicated, and each model is different, but the bottom line is straightforward: when the polls are fairly accurate-as they were in 2008 and 2012-the models look good. When the polls are off, so are the models.

Silver, to his credit, pointed this out numerous times before the election. His model also allowed for the possibility that errors in the state polls were likely to be correlated-i.e., if the polls in Wisconsin got it wrong, then most likely the Michigan polls would get it wrong, too. This was a big reason why FiveThirtyEight's model consistently gave Trump a better chance of winning than other models did. But the fact remains that FiveThirtyEight, like almost everyone else, got the result wrong.

I got it wrong, too. Unlike in 2012, I didn't make any explicit predictions this year. But based on the polls and poll averages-I didn't look at the models much-I largely accepted the conventional wisdom that Clinton was running ahead of Trump and had an enduring advantage in the Electoral College. In mid-October, after the "Access Hollywood" tape emerged, I suggested that Trump was done.

Clearly, he wasn't. In retrospect, the F.B.I. Director James Comey's intervention ten days before the election-telling Congress that his agency was taking another look at e-mails related to Clinton's private server-may have proved decisive. The news seems to have shifted the national polls against Clinton by at least a couple of points, and some of the state polls-in Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, and other places-also moved sharply in Trump's direction. Without any doubt, it energized Republicans and demoralized Democrats.

One thing we know for sure, however, is that in mid-October, even some of the indicators that the Trump campaign relied on were sending out alarm signals. "Flash back three weeks, to October 18," Bloomberg News's Joshua Green and Sasha Issenberg reported on Thursday. "The Trump campaign's internal election simulator, the 'Battleground Optimizer Path to Victory,' showed Trump with a 7.8 percent chance of winning. That's because his own model had him trailing in most of the states that would decide the election, including the pivotal state of Florida."

Of course, neither the Battleground Optimizer Path to Victory software nor I knew that fate, in the form of Comey, was about to take a hand.

[Nov 12, 2016] Trump elected as President – risks and opportunities

Notable quotes:
"... Ideally, the next step would be for Trump and Putin to meet, with all their key ministers, in a long, Camp David like week of negotiations in which everything, every outstanding dispute, should be put on the table and a compromise sought in each case. Paradoxically, this could be rather easy: the crisis in Europe is entirely artificial, the war in Syria has an absolutely obvious solution, and the international order can easily accommodate a United States which would " deal fairly with everyone, with everyone - all people and all other nations " and " seek common ground, not hostility; partnership, not conflict ". ..."
"... The truth is that the USA and Russia have no objective reasons for conflict – only ideological issues resulting directly from the insane ideology of messianic imperialism of those who believe, or pretend to believe, that the USA is an "indispensable nation". What the world wants – needs – is the USA as a *normal* nation. ..."
"... The worst case? Trump could turn out to be a total fraud. I personally very much doubt it, but I admit that this is possible. More likely is that he just won't have the foresight and courage to crush the Neocons and that he will try to placate them. If he does so, they will instead crush him. It is a fact that while administrations have changed every 4 or 8 years, the regime in power has not, and that US internal and foreign policies have been amazingly consistent since the end of WWII. Will Trump finally bring not just a new administration but real "regime change"? I don't know. ..."
"... Alexander Solzhenitsyn used to say that regimes can be measured on a spectrum which ranges from regimes whose authority is their power and regimes whose power in in their authority. In the case of the USA we now clearly can see that the regime has no other authority than its power and that makes it both illegitimate and unsustainable. ..."
"... Finally, whether the US elites can accept this or not, the US Empire is coming to an end. ..."
"... With Hillary, we would have had a Titanic-like denial up to the last moment which might well have come in the shape of a thermonuclear mushroom over Washington DC. Trump, however, might use the remaining power of the USA to negotiate the US global draw-down thereby getting the best possible conditions for his country. ..."
Nov 12, 2016 | www.unz.com

So it has happened: Hillary did not win! I say that instead of saying that "Trump won" because I consider the former even more important than the latter. Why? Because I have no idea whatsoever what Trump will do next. I do, however, have an excellent idea of what Hillary would have done: war with Russia. Trump most likely won't do that. In fact, he specifically said in his acceptance speech:

I want to tell the world community that while we will always put America's interests first, we will deal fairly with everyone, with everyone - all people and all other nations. We will seek common ground, not hostility; partnership, not conflict .

And Putin's reply was immediate:

We heard the statements he made as candidate for president expressing a desire to restore relations between our countries. We realise and understand that this will not be an easy road given the level to which our relations have degraded today, regrettably. But, as I have said before, it is not Russia's fault that our relations with the United States have reached this point.

Russia is ready to and seeks a return to full-format relations with the United States. Let me say again, we know that this will not be easy, but are ready to take this road, take steps on our side and do all we can to set Russian-US relations back on a stable development track.

This would benefit both the Russian and American peoples and would have a positive impact on the general climate in international affairs, given the particular responsibility that Russia and the US share for maintaining global stability and security.

This exchange, right there, is enough of a reason for the entire planet to rejoice at the defeat of Hillary and the victory of Trump.

Will Trump now have the courage, willpower and intelligence to purge the US Executive from the Neocon cabal which has been infiltrating it for decades now? Will he have the strength to confront an extremely hostile Congress and media? Or will he try to meet them halfway and naively hope that they will not use their power, money and influence to sabotage his presidency?

I don't know. Nobody does.

One of the first signs to look for will be the names and backgrounds of the folks he will appoint in his new administration. Especially his Chief of Staff and Secretary of State.

I have always said that the choice for the lesser evil is morally wrong and pragmatically misguided. I still believe that. In this case, however, the greater evil was thermonuclear war with Russia and the lesser evil just might turn out to be one which will gradually give up the Empire to save the USA rather than sacrifice the USA for the needs of the Empire. In the case of Hillary vs Trump the choice was simple: war or peace.

Trump can already be credited with am immense achievement: his campaign has forced the US corporate media to show its true face – the face of an evil, lying, morally corrupt propaganda machine. The American people by their vote have rewarded their media with a gigantic "f*ck you!" – a vote of no-confidence and total rejection which will forever demolish the credibility of the Empire's propaganda machine.

I am not so naive as to not realize that billionaire Donald Trump is also one of the 1%ers, a pure product of the US oligarchy. But neither am I so ignorant of history to forget that elites do turn on each other , especially when their regime is threatened. Do I need to remind anybody that Putin also came from the Soviet elites?!

Ideally, the next step would be for Trump and Putin to meet, with all their key ministers, in a long, Camp David like week of negotiations in which everything, every outstanding dispute, should be put on the table and a compromise sought in each case. Paradoxically, this could be rather easy: the crisis in Europe is entirely artificial, the war in Syria has an absolutely obvious solution, and the international order can easily accommodate a United States which would " deal fairly with everyone, with everyone - all people and all other nations " and " seek common ground, not hostility; partnership, not conflict ".

The truth is that the USA and Russia have no objective reasons for conflict – only ideological issues resulting directly from the insane ideology of messianic imperialism of those who believe, or pretend to believe, that the USA is an "indispensable nation". What the world wants – needs – is the USA as a *normal* nation.

The worst case? Trump could turn out to be a total fraud. I personally very much doubt it, but I admit that this is possible. More likely is that he just won't have the foresight and courage to crush the Neocons and that he will try to placate them. If he does so, they will instead crush him. It is a fact that while administrations have changed every 4 or 8 years, the regime in power has not, and that US internal and foreign policies have been amazingly consistent since the end of WWII. Will Trump finally bring not just a new administration but real "regime change"? I don't know.

Make no mistake – even if Trump does end up disappointing those who believed in him what happened today has dealt a death blow to the Empire. The "Occupy Wall Street" did not succeed in achieving anything tangible, but the notion of "rule of the 1%" did emerge from that movement and it stayed. This is a direct blow to the credibility and legitimacy of the entire socio-political order of the USA: far from being a democracy, it is a plutocracy/oligarchy – everybody pretty much accepts that today. Likewise, the election of Trump has already proved that the US media is a prostitute and that the majority of the American people hate their ruling class. Again, this is a direct blow to the credibility and legitimacy of the entire socio-political order. One by one the founding myths of the US Empire are crashing down and what remains is a system which can only rule by force.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn used to say that regimes can be measured on a spectrum which ranges from regimes whose authority is their power and regimes whose power in in their authority. In the case of the USA we now clearly can see that the regime has no other authority than its power and that makes it both illegitimate and unsustainable.

Finally, whether the US elites can accept this or not, the US Empire is coming to an end.

With Hillary, we would have had a Titanic-like denial up to the last moment which might well have come in the shape of a thermonuclear mushroom over Washington DC. Trump, however, might use the remaining power of the USA to negotiate the US global draw-down thereby getting the best possible conditions for his country. Frankly, I am pretty sure that all the key world leaders realize that it is in their interest to make as many (reasonable) concessions to Trump as possible and work with him, rather than to deal with the people whom he just removed from power.

If Trump can stick to his campaign promises he will find solid and reliable partners in Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. Neither Russia nor China have anything at all to gain from a confrontation or, even less so, a conflict with the USA. Will Trump have the wisdom to realize this and use it for the benefit of the USA? Or will he continue with his anti-Chinese and anti-Iranian rhetoric?

Only time will tell.

[Nov 11, 2016] Chalabi on US elections: another reasonable article from Guardian

Nov 11, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

... this commentary is fairly good:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/10/third-party-candidate-gary-johnson-jill-stein-clinton-loss

The headline is "Did third-party candidates Jill Stein and Gary Johnson lose Clinton the election?" and the short answer is no, but Chalabi takes the time to point out the reasoning behind the answer.

makedoanmend November 10, 2016 at 4:43 pm

Thanks for the link. Don't get me wrong, there are 1 or 2 writers still worth reading and some articles that actually provide content.

It's just that, overall, the jist the of paper seems to have established a deliberate policy of contradictory messaging to cloud important issues, or momentarily providing balance to only later use the apparent balance a to push a one-sided agenda.

The Blairite faction's attack on Corbyn and the guardian's coverage comes to mind. It was pure hack journalism. The political careerists were so obviously in league with the hack journalist careerists.

Life is just too short.

best

Katharine November 10, 2016 at 4:47 pm

I hear you! You do what you need to do to be sane.

JustAnObserver November 10, 2016 at 5:14 pm

Apart from the Science & Tech stuff I've really only been reading the Graun recently (esp since its utterly scandalous treatment of Corbyn (*)) for the Thomas Frank pieces. Is he publishing these anywhere else on-line ?

(*) They're probably kicking themselves for not labeling them as `deplorables' & letting the Clinton team get to this phrase first.

pretzelattack November 10, 2016 at 5:35 pm

i'm looking forward to their climate change articles sans references to how we must vote for clinton.

[Nov 11, 2016] Pepsi and Cola neoliberal wings of the same Grand American Imperial Party

Notable quotes:
"... The Democrats don't represent the blue collar class anymore, but neither do the Republicans. Republicans supported NAFTA, CAFTA and China joining the WTO. They were the architects of the modern economy. The forerunners that the Clinton Democrats emulated. They were major advocates of deregulation of the financial sector, weakening of anti-trust laws, the destruction of the social safety net, and the crippling of labor unions. They created the wealth gap under Ronald Reagan. TPP might be considered Obama's project, but a Republican Congress fast-tracked it. ..."
Nov 11, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com
MooseMcNaulty 6h ago

The Democrats don't represent the blue collar class anymore, but neither do the Republicans. Republicans supported NAFTA, CAFTA and China joining the WTO. They were the architects of the modern economy. The forerunners that the Clinton Democrats emulated. They were major advocates of deregulation of the financial sector, weakening of anti-trust laws, the destruction of the social safety net, and the crippling of labor unions. They created the wealth gap under Ronald Reagan. TPP might be considered Obama's project, but a Republican Congress fast-tracked it.

This was less about which party better represents the working class than it was about which personality and rhetoric the working class preferred. Trump was talking about illegal immigration, trade policy, manufacturing jobs, rigged politics and sycophantic media, while Clinton was talking about incremental changes to subsidize childcare. If it had been Sanders and Jeb! it would've gone the other way, for much the same reasons.

[Nov 11, 2016] The Democratic party didnt demolish itself. It engaged willfully and knowingly in a radical makeover in the 90s. It wanted to be the political arm-candy of Wall Street and global capital

Notable quotes:
"... Uh, no. The Democratic party didn't demolish itself. It engaged willfully and knowingly in a radical makeover in the 90's. It wanted to be the political arm-candy of wall st. and global capital. Trump is one of the results. He is equally the result of a completely callow and hateful Republican party that never missed a chance to side with overweening wealth, power, and authority. ..."
"... And of course they didn't. The signs were there and have been perfectly transparent for some time now. Liberals, technocrats, and smart people might want to try on epistemic humility for a change to see how and why Brexit and Trump are deeply connected (besides or in addition to the blindingly shallow and obvious insight that "racists and sexists are racist and sexist"). From this they might begin to reevaluate what concrete coalitions are actually possible, whose interests they actually want to represent, and what problems they actually want to solve. ..."
"... There is a group dynamic when you try to use shaming as a main tool of control. Democrats failed to watch out for those who got hit hard by globalism–instead retreating into their increasingly expensive cities. ..."
Nov 11, 2016 | crookedtimber.org
The U.S. Democratic Party pretty much demolished itself. The process was in motion for a long time and involved a lot of self-deception among its partisans about its declining credibility as the party of the people and the devisive turn its rhetoric on racism and feminism had taken in covering for its economic betrayals.

A tip of my hat to Kidneystones. I was wrong in my judgments about how the dynamics would add up. He was right.

phenomenal cat 11.09.16 at 6:31 pm 80 Wilder @64

Uh, no. The Democratic party didn't demolish itself. It engaged willfully and knowingly in a radical makeover in the 90's. It wanted to be the political arm-candy of wall st. and global capital. Trump is one of the results. He is equally the result of a completely callow and hateful Republican party that never missed a chance to side with overweening wealth, power, and authority.

BTW: I posted this in Bertram's thread on Brexit back in June (6/24/16 8.23 pm).

"And so it begins. First Brexit, the election of Trump is likely to be the next big 'shock.' Who knows what else might happen in the intervening months. The global managers would do well to start cramming for the test (standardized of course) in political theology that is coming–though I have little doubt they won't."

And of course they didn't. The signs were there and have been perfectly transparent for some time now. Liberals, technocrats, and smart people might want to try on epistemic humility for a change to see how and why Brexit and Trump are deeply connected (besides or in addition to the blindingly shallow and obvious insight that "racists and sexists are racist and sexist"). From this they might begin to reevaluate what concrete coalitions are actually possible, whose interests they actually want to represent, and what problems they actually want to solve.

Yan 11.09.16 at 6:41 pm 83 ( 83 )

"I'm not sure why kidneystones should be thanked, or even congratulated. Before the new comments policy here, his contributions were pretty consistently nasty, personally insulting, and contemptuous of those with whom he disagreed. That his candidate won the election does not seem a sufficient reason to forget his past behavior here."

This is an excellent example of a feature of [neo]liberal culture that is surely related to this loss: [neo]liberals have become incapable of detaching evaluation generally from moral evaluation specifically.

To complement Kidneystones on the accuracy of his predictions is not to complement his morals or his rhetorical style or his political endorsements. To even complement him on his ability to understand, even in a sympathetic way, the motivations of Trump supporters is not to complement those supporters or endorse their motives.

We can complement Kidneystones for not having had his head in the sand about the reasons Trump won, even if he has his head in the sand about what the consequences will be. And we'd do better to try to get the rest of the democrats' heads out of the sand as soon as possible, so we can stop using magical solutions against those oncoming consequences.

It is time for the left to become a reality based community again. And that begins by stopping making excuses for what is at the end of the day a largely self incurred loss.

Sebastian H 11.09.16 at 7:03 pm 87 ( 87 )

There is a group dynamic when you try to use shaming as a main tool of control. Democrats failed to watch out for those who got hit hard by globalism–instead retreating into their increasingly expensive cities.

Many of those people, but not all, are racist.

Clinton's general message was "more of the same" which wasn't going to help them.

The message of most of the elite media and political class was "more of the same, and if you vote for him you're a racist".

Politics is tribal. Instead of trying to make them part of our tribe through inclusion and signs that we were going to improve their lives, we tried to cleave them from the Republican tribe by calling them racist.

That might have worked in concert with actively trying to get them in our tribe, but when you are trying to call 50% of the population racist, the shame factor isn't likely to be successful.

The election was close. Winning over even a tiny portion of those people would have added up to a win.

So go after those people.

You can choose to be sanctimonious about lumping them in with hardcore racists, or you can try to woo them and win. You probably can't do both.

F. Foundling 11.09.16 at 8:51 pm 105 ( 105 )

@ OP
> We should take seriously the risk of a Trump presidency ending in a large international conflict.

Actually, pretty much the only good thing about Trump's win is that it doesn't seem likely to produce a large international conflict *quite* as soon as a HRC victory. An HRC presidency appeared to entail a no-fly zone in Syria or an attack on the Syrian regime, meaning literally an attack on the Russians, and certainly would have included an intensification of the existing confrontation with Russia in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Therefore, it already seemed disquietingly likely to end in a 'large international conflict', and more specifically in a direct military confrontation with a nuclear power. Impressively, many talking heads representing the mainstream conventional wisdom have claimed that what is dangerous is, instead, *not antagonising Russia enough*: war is peace and peace is war (of course, this has to do with the fact that in their alternative reality, Russia is the side that initiated the conflicts in Georgia and Ukraine, as well as being about to invade the Baltics and Poland any minute now).

It is a testament to the madness of the course taken by the FP establishment that in this respect, even a profoundly stupid and narcissistic wannabe tough guy exhibiting open disregard for human rights and lives actually appeared a little bit less immediately dangerous than said 'reasonable' establishment. Trump is still very scary, of course, and may well do everything wrong that Clinton possibly could have done and then some more (even just letting Mike Pence call the shots in FP would probably be enough to produce that effect). Things being as they are, all my hope for the next four years is that Trump is a conman, but not a madman, and that he is just playing a madman on TV (Godwin calling: 'You know about whom else they said this?'). I'd like to believe that he wouldn't have survived in business cheating people for so long if he didn't possess at least a modicum of common sense and self-preservation instinct, which would help him to avoid completely catastrophic or suicidal moves in his bravado. Or, perhaps, the FP equivalent of his bankruptcies will be that he causes a catastrophic conflict and then scoots off and hides in a 'yuge' bunker, while others pay the price of his idiocy. Well, I never claimed that the situation looked good.

>Trump wants jobs for everyone, which is a good thing – although he only mentioned jobs in public infrastructure works, which sounds like predominantly jobs for men. But then we know how much he cares about women's interests.

If he truly launches such a deeply non-Republican, FDR-style policy, that would be an incredible and very positive precedent that should be welcomed, even if the gender distribution of the jobs leaves something to be desired. I still suspect that whatever he is saying now, in practice, he simply won't do anything that deviates from Republican orthodoxy, and that would be terrible enough. That's the path of least resistance, and it will be especially tempting for someone who is, in the end of the day, not really a politician by vocation.

bruce wilder 11.09.16 at 10:31 pm 121 ( 121 )

Discontent exists. We have to ask why these charlatans have proved so successful at exploiting it.

We could ask, why do they get so little competition from the soi disant left?

Manta 11.09.16 at 11:25 pm 128

bruce wilder @121

the soi disant left proposed Sanders and Corbin who, with all their defects, seem reasonable candidate for a party that would care about these matters.

It just happens that the "progressive" parties did not like those proposals, and preferred to push for Clinton in USA and to commit suicide in UK.

[Nov 11, 2016] In a winner takes all system you are bound to end up with a two party system

Nov 11, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
reason : , November 11, 2016 at 09:53 AM
Trump is just the symptom not the disease. But the biggest cause of the disease is the two party system. You (Americans) need to find a way to get rid of it.
Aaron Headly -> reason ... , November 11, 2016 at 10:22 AM
Two parties are plenty. We just need at least one party that can actually engage the working-but-worried members of the broad middle class. Trump offers one path there, but even the GOP don't seem too interested in taking it. I think that there are other ones, and that the Democrats need to look at them.
DeDude -> reason ... , -1
In a winner takes all system you are bound to end up with a two party system. If you have a direct election of a President you eventually end up with a two party system. See what happened in Canada, they had 3 parties with roughly 30, 30, 40% support each. Since the Conservatives were the 40% they had 100% of the power for a long time. The only alternative to a two party system, is to get rid of the winner takes all system and use the European model where the majority of legislators are allocated by proportion of votes (nationally) and the leader of the executive branch is elected by parliament.
EMichael -> reason ... , November 11, 2016 at 11:26 AM
The only way is with guns. I think we can do without that.
RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> reason ... , November 11, 2016 at 11:29 AM
The US Constitution needs better provisions for electoral democracy. The two party system is good enough if kept honest.

1. End private campaign financing or at least end Super PACs (Citizen United decision) and allow only private contributions of $100 or less per donor/candidate/election combination.

2. End gerrymandering.

3. Reasonable (12 to 20 years combined in both chambers) legislative term limits.

4. Ranked/preferential/instant runoff voting.

5. Popular petition and referendum to overturn SCOTUS.

mulp -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , November 11, 2016 at 12:20 PM
"Ranked/preferential/instant runoff voting."

Yeah, voting needs to be all about picking the most extreme winners possible to screw over the maximum number of losers. It needs to be a bidding system to find the smallest faction that can win based on promising to screw over the largest number while still winning.

A change that is the most republican democratic is approval voting. Candidates run seeking to get the greatest approval possible, 99%, by speaking and acting in 99% of the people's interests. That means no losers, by that also means no winners.

In an election, you vote for everyone you approve of, whether none, one, five, all of those running. I would have "none" on the ballot directly or implicitly, by rerunning any election with a totally new slate if no candidate fails to get votes from 50% plus 1. Ideally, all candidates get 70% of voters to approve of them, with the winner getting 90% or 85%.

After all, once the election is over, the person selected will represent everyone, so everyone is forced by law to approve of his legal actions.

RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> mulp... , November 11, 2016 at 12:27 PM
Actually Ranked/preferential/instant runoff voting may allow people to vote their extreme ambitions, but winning is relegated to the candidates that are least objectionable overall very much like the intent of your approval voting. Everyone you misunderstand is not necessarily an ogre. You just get too much of a reflection of yourself when you look at the ideas of others. Either that or your capacity to comprehend the language is strikingly inferior to your ability to mangle it with your eccentric pronouncements.
sglover -> mulp... , November 11, 2016 at 01:09 PM
You almost certainly know this, but Maine now has instant runoff voting. That's the one bright spot in this lousy week.
sglover -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , November 11, 2016 at 01:08 PM
If we're talking wish lists, I don't see why we can't also radically increase the size of Congress (more, smaller districts), and end the anachronism of lifelong terms for federal judges (lengthy, not lifetime, terms are more than enough to assure independence).
RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> sglover... , November 11, 2016 at 01:31 PM
Actually, I was going for a list that you could build a voting constituency behind that would forsake partisan loyalty to use anti-incumbency as a solidarity rallying cry for the purpose of literally extorting Congress to take desired action. That said, your ideas are as good as any on a first cut. Ultimately the supporting voting constituency would need to decide.

I just picked from popular favorites that I was familiar with and then tested them here for reactions off and on over the years. Many of our commenters want to have nothing to do with Constitutional reform either because they are afraid of shaking the tree or because they believe it impossible. The linchpin to achieving success is the critical mass necessary to deny most incumbents reelection. The resistance to that proposition becomes less with each new Congress. Picking a list is as easy as floating all the ideas and discarding any that would significantly rock the coalition of reformist voters. Even if only one such reform passes the final test then it is still better than what we got. Also, successfully demonstrating the power over Congress embodied in blocking reelection would be empowering to the electorate for many years to come.

RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , November 11, 2016 at 01:33 PM
Of course, only reforms that I have taken interest in over the last fifty years would be ones that I was familiar with.
mulp -> reason ... , November 11, 2016 at 12:05 PM
What two party system???

We have one party advocating free lunch social and economic policy.

On social policy, the conservative theory is tolerance takes away individual liberty, and true liberty means you as an individual must be able to exclude, harm, kill, or otherwise screw over anyone different from you because conservatives are superior individuals favored by God. White people owning black people is in the bible and thus a god given right of white Christian men, just as Jefferson wrote in the Constitution. (That Jefferson was not in American when it was written is denied by conservatives, as is the far greater influence of Washington and Hamilton, both shaped by the need for strong Federal power to tax and spend based on both running a war and then building a nation. And ironically, Jefferson acted as president far more like Obama than like the small government weak Federal advocate than he wrote of and that conservatives exaggerate.)

And on economics, the Republicans are pure free lunch. You as consumer will get rich by low wages and zero government spending and zero regulation because that will mean you get rich with slave labor producing goods your sell to rich consumers at high profit. Because after all, you conservative workers are superior to all workers who vote for Democrats and join unions fighting for higher wages and benefits.

As Republicans won elections based on their free lunch policies, liberals were marginalized in the Democratic Party. Instead, progressives argued the Democrats needed to adopt better and bigger free lunch policies.

Obama has been criticized for being a liberal instead of an angry black progressive revolutionary who put blacks in power all over government so they can make black people rich by screwing white people. That Obama treated everyone as having equal rights has outraged all the progressive activists. In their view, they elected Obama to serve them, and he squandered the chance to screw over everyone else. Blacks should have had the power to screw over whites and browns. Gays should have had the power to jail every homophobe, etc.

Clinton is evil because she told Bernie TANSTAAFL just like those evil liberals.

Bernie promised to tax the rich to create millions of government jobs, I assume, so no worker gets exploited by evil Wall Street corporations, and Bernie promises that he will be able to destroy the rich, their wealth, and keep taxing them to pay for all the government that will serve only workers.

Bernie promised to stop climate change by taxing the burning of fossil fuels to build alternatives and subsidizing workers so they pay no more for every, plus give them lots of other benefits, even after all the fossil fuel corporations are bankrupt because no one is burning fossil fuels.

After all, if a carbon tax generates a trillion dollars in revenue today, it will generate a trillion dollars in revenue when all cars and homes have switched to electric power and stopped burning fossil fuels. $100 a ton tax on 10 billion tons is the same as a $100 tax on 10 million tons in terms of revenue according to progressives.

According to progressives, the Laffer curve is 1000% lie, and tax revenue will keep increasing the higher the tax rate no matter how high the tax rate. But that's exactly identical to the conservative claim that tax revenue will increase the lower the tax rate, and tax revenue is highest at zero percent.

Bernie argues that only when you elect people who reject party politics, and all those elected work to support only their community, will government be the most effective and powerful, because when you agree to tax everyone but your voters and give free stuff to only your voters, can taxes that tax everyone and no one, to fund giving free stuff to everyone and no one, be made into law, with zero compromise.

Bernie and Trump are identities, just promising different winners they will screw different losers.

Neither support parties, and neither can be supported by any feasible political party representing more than the half the size of thone who will be the winners under their respective winners.

Do you think health care workers will support Bernie slashing their pay, or putting them out of jobs? Wall Street profits and rent seeking are certainly less than 2% of the 16-18% of gdp for health care, and most of that goes to paying workers. Bernie advocates killing jobs just as much as Trump advocates killing jobs - deregulation only kills jobs, never creates jobs, unless creating thieves is creating jobs, but not paying workers to cut health care costs also kills jobs.

DeDude -> reason ... , November 11, 2016 at 12:12 PM
Need I remind you that we had 4 national parties running in this election.
DeDude -> DeDude... , November 11, 2016 at 12:14 PM
We don't have a "two party system". We have the inevitable two-partyfication of a winner takes all system.
ilsm -> reason ... , -1
There really is no "second party":

"I would love to share, my liberal friend, in your sense of incredulity about the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of United States. I would love to stand with you in the sense of woundedness that, while certainly painful up front, carries with it the secondary compensation of a warm and nurturing solidarity. I would love to sit with you and fulminate in righteous anger about the unparalleled vulgarity and cruelty of Trump and his followers.
As much as I'd like to do these things, I won't.

Why?

Because I know you, perhaps better than you even dare to know yourself. I know you well because I have watched you with great and detailed care over the last three decades and have learned, sadly, that you are as much if not more about image and self-regard as any of the laudable values you claim to represent.

I have watched as you accommodated yourself to most of the retrograde social forces you claim to abhor. I have seen you be almost completely silent before the world's greatest evil, unprovoked war, going so far as to embrace as your presidential candidate this year a person who cold-bloodedly carried out the complete destruction of Libya, a real country with real people who love their children like you and me, in order-as the Podesta emails make clear-to further her personal political ambitions.
I watched as you stood silent before this same person's perverse on-camera celebration of the murder by way of a bayonet thrust to the anus of the leader of that once sovereign country, and before the tens of thousand of deaths, and hundreds of thousands of refugees, that war provoked.
I watched during the last eight years as you sought refuge in the evanescent qualities of skin color and smooth speechmaking so as to not to confront the fact that your "liberal" president was almost totally lacking in actionable convictions regarding the values you claim to be about.

I watched as you didn't say a peep as he bailed out bankers, pursued whistleblowers and deported desperate and downtrodden immigrants in heretofore unimaginable numbers.

And I didn't hear the slightest complaint (unlike those supposedly stupid and primitive libertarians) as he arrogated to himself the right to kill American citizens in cold blood as he and he alone deemed fit.

I monitored you as you not only completely normalized Israel's methodical erasure of the Palestinian people and their culture, but made cheering enthusiastically for this campaign of savagery the ultimate litmus test for social and political respectability within your ranks.
I watched as you breezily dispatched the memories of the millions of innocent people destroyed by U.S. military aggression around the world and damaged police brutality here at home in order to slavishly imitate the unceasing orgy of uniform worship set in motion by the right and its media auxiliaries in the wake of September 11th, 2001.
In short, since 1992, I have watched as you have transformed a current of social thought once rooted in that most basic an necessary human sentiment-empathy-into a badge of cultural and educational superiority. And because feeling good about yourself was much more important to you than actually helping the afflicted, you signed off, in greater or lesser measure to almost all of the life-sapping and dignity-robbing measures of the authoritarian right.

And now you want me to share in your sense of shock and incredulity?

No, thanks, I'll save my tears for all of the people, ideas and programs you heedlessly abandoned along the road to this day. "

- Common Dreams
(Thanks to David Mudcat Calderon)

, November 11, 2016 at 12:36 PM
Sandwichman -> John M ... , November 11, 2016 at 11:20 AM
Leaving aside black boxes, the Electoral College, swing state skewing and cumulative winner-take-allism transformed an estimated TWO MILLION vote popular vote margin into a 306-232 electoral vote romp for the LOSER.

As Leonard Cohen wrote, "Democracy is coming to the U.S.A."

It's coming from the sorrow in the street,
the holy places where the races meet;
from the homicidal bitchin'
that goes down in every kitchen
to determine who will serve and who will eat.
From the wells of disappointment
where the women kneel to pray
for the grace of God in the desert here
and the desert far away:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

DrDick -> Sandwichman ... , November 11, 2016 at 11:29 AM
The sad reality is that 46% of Americans simply did not vote, and most of them were Democratic voters. Trump is winning with fewer votes than Romney got. When you run an uninspiring candidate with high negatives, this is what happens.

http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/10-shocking-2016-election-facts-old-political-assumptions-are-out-window

RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> DrDick... , November 11, 2016 at 11:57 AM
Establishment progressive is sort of a thin line to walk, not for everyone :<)
ilsm -> Sandwichman ... , November 11, 2016 at 12:42 PM
With all the propaganda, emotion, idolizing 'experience', lusting for a first woman, and poor pk whining he is a (I see him faux) librul a vote is never informed nor would it assure the "right" outcome whomever might define that.

A f checks on the instrument error!

JMW -> John M ... , November 11, 2016 at 11:28 AM
In a system where the votes are not audited or not even auditable, all you have is hope.
Functional Finance : , November 11, 2016 at 10:05 AM
Mark- Your work here is a great public service and resource. Thank you
Fredd G. Muggs : , November 11, 2016 at 10:14 AM
I am older than either Dr. Thoma or Dr. Krugman and have been retired for some years. I also believe Mr. Trump, Speaker Ryan, and Leader McConnell, will do exactly what they said they would do. My life will get much harder particularly with the end of Medicare and cuts to Social Security. I do not see a chance of this improving in my lifetime. I have no illusions that anything I say or do will change the direction just set. Dropping out seems to be the best course to save my sanity.
Watermelonpunch -> Fredd G. Muggs... , November 11, 2016 at 10:27 AM
Trump was in my city the night before election day, and I saw his speech on youtube... He made a pretty clear campaign promise to protect medicare and social security.

Will anybody hold him to this?

Fredd G. Muggs -> Watermelonpunch ... , November 11, 2016 at 10:41 AM
no
DeDude -> Watermelonpunch ... , November 11, 2016 at 11:18 AM
Trump has been known both to ignore his promises but also to take revenge on those who say bad things about him. My guess is that at some point in time he will smack Ryan badly by blocking one of Ryans signature pieces. Privatizing social security might be the right issue for that revenge. However, the destruction/privatization of social security and medicare is unlikely to make it past a filibuster in the senate. It may not even be able to pass a straight majority in the senate. McConnell may get rid of the filibuster but just like Reed hesitated to do so (knowing how often the political winds change) my guess is that he may erode it further but not dare to totally get rid of it. After all even though it may allow you to get all your "dream legislations" through, it also will allow the other side to reverse all that you passed - and then get all their dream legislation through as soon as the pendulum swings back.
anne -> Fredd G. Muggs... , November 11, 2016 at 10:29 AM
I have no illusions that anything I say or do will change the direction just set. Dropping out seems to be the best course to save my sanity.

[ Why should what a person says or does be predicated on being effective in ways that are impossible to know? Saying and doing what is gratifying as such, when a person is able, would seem to be or should be enough. ]

DeDude -> Fredd G. Muggs... , November 11, 2016 at 11:21 AM
Dropping out is the worst thing you can do. That leave the other side emboldened and empowered. If you worry what a president Trump and a GOP house + senate can do to your future, you need to fight; not give up.
EMichael -> Fredd G. Muggs... , November 11, 2016 at 11:29 AM
Fred, you and I and the others in the 55 and older group(maybe 60) will catch a break on SS and Medicare.

If they can privatize it, they will build it on promises to those not in our age group that it will be a "super terrific" change while insisting that those of our age group will keep the benefits cause they will never, ever vote GOP again if they are taken away.

Not much solace in that, but it is all I got.

DrDick -> Fredd G. Muggs... , November 11, 2016 at 11:31 AM
I am also older than both of them (just barely older than Krugman) and if the GOP gets its way, I will never be able to retire.
ilsm -> Fredd G. Muggs... , November 11, 2016 at 12:43 PM
As if Obomber did you right?

Clinton would have peddled backward.

Donna Woodka : , November 11, 2016 at 10:15 AM
Hugs. I feel much the same. I used to blog quite a bit, have turned to social media the last few years as blogs stopped being a source for people.

Thanks for all you do. You've kept me informed, kept me wealthier, kept me saner. Please don't stop. We need you.

Sandwichman : , November 11, 2016 at 10:25 AM
"When Trump was elected, I felt like I had failed..."

On the contrary, Paul, you succeeded beyond your wildest dreams. By equating pro-labor "populism" with nativist, revanchist "populism" you succeeded in obstructing truly progressive economic policy initiatives such as shorter working time.

By ridiculing Wm. Greider's prescient 1990s warnings about the consequences of neoliberal globalization as the ravings of an "accidental theorist" you succeeded in preserving an expert consensus that everything was fine and nothing could go wrong.

By relentlessly harping on Gerald Friedman's analysis of Bernie Sanders's economic program, you succeeded in persuading rust belt voters that There Is No Alternative to the infallible wisdom of the past and present Chairs of the Council of Economic Advisers.

You succeeded in scoring so many goals that I am almost hesitant to tell you that they were in the wrong end of the field. Please, though, have a look at my open letter to you from May 2011 to which you did not reply. Perhaps your only failure, among all those myriad successes.

http://ecologicalheadstand.blogspot.ca/2011/05/open-letter-to-paul-krugman.html

Watermelonpunch -> Sandwichman ... , November 11, 2016 at 10:28 AM
Wait, who wrote what?
Sandwichman -> Watermelonpunch ... , November 11, 2016 at 10:34 AM
Herman Melville wrote Moby Dick.
anne -> Sandwichman ... , November 11, 2016 at 11:03 AM
https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/m/melville/herman/m53m/chapter32.html

1851

Moby-Dick
By Herman Melville

Cetology

Next: how shall we define the whale, by his obvious externals, so as conspicuously to label him for all time to come. To be short, then, a whale is a spouting fish with a horizontal tail. There you have him....

Watermelonpunch -> anne... , November 11, 2016 at 01:40 PM
Whoa, this thread went real confused, but I guess I just better get used to that state anyhow. :/
Sandwichman -> Watermelonpunch ... , November 11, 2016 at 10:55 AM
No I see what you're saying. Damn these comments with no edit function!

Oh well,to err is humid.

Sandwichman -> Sandwichman ... , November 11, 2016 at 10:30 AM
Dear Professor Krugman,

I am writing to you because three times over the last 14 months your authority has been invoked to me on behalf of the assertion that people who advocate shorter working time as a remedy for unemployment are guilty of a "lump-of-labor fallacy" assumption that there is only a fixed quantity of work in the world. As did John Maynard Keynes, I believe that working less is one of "three ingredients of a cure" for unemployment. I find it odd to learn that I (and presumably Keynes) am thereby assuming a palpable absurdity: that the amount of work to be done is invariant.

I have researched the history of the fallacy claim and published two scholarly articles on it and I have documented rather glaring discrepancies in the often-repeated claim. Because your authority on the alleged fallacy is so frequently cited, I would be extremely grateful if you would consider the evidence I outline below and respond to it. I believe the history is curious enough to be entertaining and thought provoking, whether or not you are persuaded by my presentation.

A column by you that has been held up to me as authoritative appeared in The New York Times on October 7, 2003. It was titled "Lumps of Labor." The first paragraph states as follows:

"Economists call it the 'lump of labor fallacy.' It's the idea that there is a fixed amount of work to be done in the world, so any increase in the amount each worker can produce reduces the number of available jobs. (A famous example: those dire warnings in the 1950's that automation would lead to mass unemployment.) As the derisive name suggests, it's an idea economists view with contempt, yet the fallacy makes a comeback whenever the economy is sluggish."

http://ecologicalheadstand.blogspot.ca/2011/05/open-letter-to-paul-krugman.html

anne -> Sandwichman ... , November 11, 2016 at 10:36 AM
When Trump was elected, I felt like I had failed...

-- Mark Thoma

[ Who assuredly did not fail, quite the opposite. What Mark Thoma has been doing is a wild success. Picasso painted or sketched or sculpted or constructed daily for decades. The work was successful as such, the effectiveness is only measured by the self-satisfaction with the work and the satisfaction of viewers of the work. ]

anne -> anne... , November 11, 2016 at 10:42 AM
Picasso painted Guernica as a protest against war waged on Guernica. The painting became famous and symbolic enough that a tapestry of the Guernica hangs outside of the United Nations Security Council.

When Secretary of State Colin Powell went to the UN Security Council to make the case for waging war on Iraq, the tapestry of Guernica was covered over. Sad, but no matter in that Picasso had created a plea for peace that would endure even though there would be no peace in Iraq.

anne -> anne... , November 11, 2016 at 10:45 AM
When Trump was elected, I felt like I had failed...

-- Mark Thoma

[ Mark Thoma has succeeded wonderfully. I, along with any number of readers, can properly assure Thoma of the success.

I am forever grateful. ]

Sandwichman -> anne... , November 11, 2016 at 10:49 AM
My mistake! I read the headline "Paul Krugman: Thoughts for the Horrified" and assumed that what followed had been writen by Krugman. Whoops!
anne -> Sandwichman ... , November 11, 2016 at 11:01 AM
No matter, your writing is necessary and successful just as well. The criticism strikes me as justified, but what it is beyond that is properly instructive.
JohnH -> anne... , November 11, 2016 at 12:44 PM
It will indeed be interesting to see if Krugman and other 'liberals' can eventually acknowledge their role in enabling a system that pissed so many off. It's not just his incessant boosterism for a lousy candidate, even before a single vote had been cast in the primaries. It is also his incessant boosterism of policies that overwhelmingly benefited the investor class and damaged workers.

Krugman can talk all he wants about the truth...but the truth is that Democrats have been ignoring workers for a long, long time.

Pavlina R. Tcherneva: "Democrats have not had an economic policy of their own for nearly half a century, just an 'inferior' version of what Republicans usually champion-tax cuts on the wealthy, dismantling the public safety-net, 'fighting' inflation by creating unemployment, market liberalization and deregulation across the board, which among other things brought us a colossal financial sector that has cannibalized the productive economy."
http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2016/11/economic-consequences-donald-trump.html

Krugman was a major 'very serious person' promoting Republican-lite policies...

Watermelonpunch -> JohnH... , November 11, 2016 at 01:53 PM
I don't hold out any hope now for Krugman picking up that clue phone, looks like he's gonna let that sucker ring right off the hook.

But maybe there's a chance some people will start listening.

Sandwichman -> Sandwichman ... , November 11, 2016 at 10:45 AM
"It's an idea economists view with contempt..." -- Paul Krugman

June 24, "Lumps of Brexit"

"So it turns out the establishment telling people they are a bunch of foolish xenophobes is not an effective electoral strategy. I wonder if the DNC is paying attention? I doubt it."

http://econospeak.blogspot.ca/2016/06/lumps-of-brexit.html

July 3: "Why Are Experts Ignoring Voters?"

"Do you hear that, voters? The experts view your ideas with contempt. They brag about viewing your ideas with contempt. They plagiarize each other bragging about how much contempt they have for your ideas. Now what are going to do about it? Just ignore them?"

http://econospeak.blogspot.ca/2016/07/why-are-experts-ignoring-voters.html

"It's an idea economists view with contempt..." -- Paul Krugman

anne -> Sandwichman ... , November 11, 2016 at 11:04 AM
The criticism is necessary at least for me, important and successful. So do continue the criticism.
sglover -> Sandwichman ... , November 11, 2016 at 01:14 PM
Thanks for injecting some reality, some actual history, into this thread. Krugman should be ashamed.
Benoit Essiambre : , November 11, 2016 at 10:30 AM
A scary thought just occurred to me. I believe the double austerity (monetary,fiscal) of the past 8 years played an huge role in getting us where we are.

Monetary hawks in particular basically jammed the investment markets in economic areas where margins were already thin, meaning rural and less educated and inexperienced groups fell into unemployment, hardship and misery for long periods of time.

Even if, unemployment wise, things were getting better in the end, these people were suffering for years through no fault of their own. It wasn't clear things had changed enough to prevent it from happening again. How much does unemployment set the average rural household back. Loosing 40000 a year for 8 years is 240000. Even if they now had a job they were starting out 240000 behind in their career and it seemed like things could deteriorate again and vulnerable regions would again be hit the hardest.

I don know how Trump is going to manage the economy, but many have pointed out that he may not be an austerian.

Of course Trump doesn't have all the power, other republicans may push back on spending and inflation but he seems to be good at manipulating others to get what he wants.

What if, despite the other things he is likely going to screw up, his policies end up being very stimulative and the economy ends up doing very well? What if it ends up being like those destructive wars that nonetheless boost the economy?

This might give legitimacy to his presidency and to other people like him.

There might not be anything we can do now. The monetary hawks should have been dealt with way before. The government should have put much more emphasis on the unemployment part of the Fed dual mandate and maybe raise the inflation target. By giving the opportunity to Trump to fix this incredibly damaging yet easily fixable problem, he may have been set up for success. His success could mean being stuck with people like him for a long time.


DeDude -> Benoit Essiambre... , November 11, 2016 at 11:50 AM
The only way to create real lasting growth is to change income and wealth distributions. Both Regan and Bush II had economic growth, but not spectacularly- considering their increases in national debt. Reagan presided over a 4-fold increase in national debt but had decent, not spectacular, economic growth.

It is very unfortunate that the GOPsters blocked additional stimulus because they wanted Obama (the nation) to fail for political reasons. The exact same infrastructure program that would have been a great win-win-win 4 years ago (and was blocked by GOPsters), will likely be instituted under Trump. Unfortunately, at this point we are close to full employment so the stimulus will likely cause wage inflation and the Fed will raise rates in response to that. So we will not be able to finance it by 0% interest and the growth effects of the infrastructure program will be tempered by the Fed.

sglover -> Benoit Essiambre... , November 11, 2016 at 01:41 PM
Isn't it likely that the Republicans are going to open the spigots and give Trump a couple of years of "prosperity"? Republican "devotion" to "fiscal sanity" has been one of the most transparent horseshit ploys of the last 25 years. Anyway, it seems like an obvious ploy to grease the skids for the next midterm elections.

If that kind of short-term ploy leads to more constraints and difficulties later -- that's **another** bonus. That means down the road we can stoke even more cynicism about public action. "See? Government can't do anything! Told ya!"

Have Dems figured this out yet? To listen to them, I'm not sure.

eudaimonia : , November 11, 2016 at 11:10 AM
Don't be so hard on yourself. This election was not about policy and being informed.

Almost the entire economic profession was unprecedentedly united against Trump. Rarely do you have universal agreement among economists, but they agreed Trump would be terrible. Even Mankiw said no to Trump.

Despite this, almost half of the voting population thought Trump would be better for the economy.

Then there were factors outside of Hilary's control. Since this was a marginal "victory" for Trump, the Comey comment, the one-sided attack from wikileaks, and the years of hammering away at non-scandals over email and Benghazi could have easily had marginal impacts enough to tilt the election to Trump.

Jim Harrison -> eudaimonia... , November 11, 2016 at 11:31 AM
The exit polling I've seen this morning suggests that even most Trump supporters thought that Clinton would be better for the economy than Trump. The election wasn't about that. Economic obviously has a lot to do with how people feel, but the enormous anger of the Trump electorate had more to do with cultural despair than dollars and cents. The decline of white Christian America wasn't cooked up at Davos by a neoliberal cabal. Its causes lie in the relative decline of American power, demographic changes, and the gradual triumph of secularization. This is an economics blog so perhaps it's inevitable that everything gets seen here as depending on economics, but Trump didn't win because Paul Krugman accused somebody of the lump of labor fallacy.
eudaimonia -> Jim Harrison ... , November 11, 2016 at 12:08 PM
Most polls I saw put Trump anywhere to 40%-50% among all voters.

There was a lot of anger among Trump supporters. Some of the anger was because of demographics. Some of it economics. Some of it against the establishment. Some of it was being angry for the sake of being angry.

The deplorables did come out of the woodwork, but I don't think they alone put him power. There is just not enough of them. They are loud and a minority. Sadly, the rest of the supporters were largely complicit in their despicable behavior and it was not enough to sway them.

DeDude -> eudaimonia... , November 11, 2016 at 12:23 PM
Given the tight margins in elections like this you can pick and choose half a dozen "causes" for the Trump win. One thing that struck me was that compared to the 2012 election Trump had less votes than Romney, but Hillary had much less than Obama. So it was about the balance between firing up voters on your side and turning off voters on the other side.

https://newrepublic.com/minutes/138621/trump-needed-huge-drop-turnout-win-thats-exactly-happened

ilsm -> DeDude... , November 11, 2016 at 12:55 PM
I refuse to vote for the crooks. At the national level no democratic candidate received my vote.

What they did about Gaza, Benghazi and to Bernie were the last straws.

So far it don't look like 2018 will be better wrt crooks.

EMichael -> eudaimonia... , November 11, 2016 at 11:32 AM
Agreed.

The days when policies mattered in elections are over.

They will return when the old racists die off and the young racists are greatly outnumbered.

ilsm -> EMichael... , November 11, 2016 at 12:56 PM
poor emike!
david s : , November 11, 2016 at 11:18 AM
I think the biggest mistake made by Drs Thoma and Krugman is thinking that the Democratic Party represents and fights for
liberals and progressives.

Both parties are the parties of status quo, money and war. That's it. Those are their interests.

EMichael -> david s ... , November 11, 2016 at 11:34 AM
And that is why Dems lose elections.

Perceptions versus reality.

Just a thought, can you name a Rep president who was in office when taxes on the super wealthy were used to provide direct aid to the poorest in the country?

Of course you can't.

ilsm -> EMichael... , November 11, 2016 at 12:57 PM
questions matter.......

that one does not

DeDude -> david s ... , November 11, 2016 at 11:57 AM
The biggest mistake made by many liberals and progressives is to think that there is no meaningful difference between the two parties. That mistake may have destroyed the global climate by putting Bush/Cheney in the white house rather than Gore. What damage it will do this time around is yet to be determined, but I am not optimistic. Those morons need to grow up and understand that in a two party system nobody gets even most of what they want.
Pinkybum -> DeDude... , November 11, 2016 at 12:22 PM
This is a conversation I have with my 20 year old son who was passionate for Bernie. I kept telling him if you think it is bad now just wait when a Republican gets in the White House (and with majorities in congress no less!) Apparently it is OK to burn it all down in pursuit of the ideal which is a very immature view of people who have no responsibilities or who do not have enough compassion for the old, poor, disabled, homeless or sick people of this world. Republican policies crush people in those categories and we are all in one of those categories at some point in our lives.
Pinkybum -> Pinkybum... , November 11, 2016 at 12:24 PM
Unless you are super-rich, then of course, you are OK!
ilsm -> DeDude... , November 11, 2016 at 12:58 PM
too many

Clinton is

the bigger damager

Pinkybum -> david s ... , November 11, 2016 at 12:04 PM
This is BS, most Democrats believe in the building up the working class. Republicans and Democrats who might as well be Republicans never fight for the working class and actually conspire to make their lives worse off.
sglover -> Pinkybum... , November 11, 2016 at 01:24 PM
"most Democrats believe in the building up the working class"

Sorry, but as far as I can tell, while it's true that professional Dems enjoy **talking about** "building up the working class", they're not all that keen on actually doing anything about it.

Why can't all those rednecks learn JavaScript and live fat off of web design? Stupid rubes....

david s : , November 11, 2016 at 11:19 AM
And thank you Dr Thoma.

I love your blog and work, and my day is not complete without visiting economistsview.

anne : , November 11, 2016 at 11:23 AM
What we are up against, Jonathan Weisman is Deputy Washington Editor of the New York Times:

https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/797146251359830017

Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald

This is disgusting on about 10 different levels

Jonathan Weisman @jonathanweisman

Defeated Dems could've tapped Rust Belt populist to head party. Instead, black, Muslim progressive from Minneapolis? http://nyti.ms/2enZ091

10:37 AM - 11 Nov 2016

Fred C. Dobbs -> anne... , November 11, 2016 at 12:41 PM
(That link may seem a bit
confusing. Ya gotta scroll down.)

Chuck Schumer backs Keith Ellison
to head of the D.N.C.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the incoming Democratic leader, threw his weight behind Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota on Friday to be the new chairman of the Democratic National Committee, the clearest sign yet that, in defeat, the party will move to the left.

After losing the working-class Rust Belt to Mr. Trump, Democrats could have recruited an industrial-region populist like Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio, who represents the Youngstown area. But Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont quickly backed Mr. Ellison, who is black, Muslim and an ardent progressive.

Two former governors, Howard Dean of Vermont and Martin O'Malley of Maryland, also expressed interest Friday in being the party's new committee chairman.

anne -> Fred C. Dobbs... , November 11, 2016 at 12:58 PM
I appreciate the further explanation:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/11/us/politics/donald-trump-transition.html

November 11, 2016

Chuck Schumer backs Keith Ellison to head of the D.N.C.
By CARL HULSE, JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, ALAN RAPPEPORT, and MAGGIE HABERMAN

anne -> Fred C. Dobbs... , November 11, 2016 at 01:19 PM
The article was nonetheless disgracefully worded, as was the summary by the editor.
Doug K : , November 11, 2016 at 11:29 AM
Mark, thank you for your work here - I have learned a lot and deeply appreciate your efforts. You have already done a great deal and helped to change the discourse. My thoughts from the Bush presidency in 2007 are at the link from my name.

I grew up in a police state (apartheid South Africa) and was constantly oppressed by the awareness that I wasn't doing enough, could not do enough, to stop the evil. Eventually it's necessary to learn how "to care and not to care". Do what little I could, let it go and go to sleep, get up and try again.

anne -> Doug K ... , November 11, 2016 at 11:46 AM
Perfectly inspiring.
Fred C. Dobbs : , November 11, 2016 at 11:47 AM
The Long Haul http://nyti.ms/2eorBuS
Paul Krugman - New York Times Blog - Nov 11

As I said in today's column, nobody who thought Trump would be a disaster should change his or her mind because he won the election. He will, in fact, be a disaster on every front. And I think he will eventually drag the Republican Party into the abyss along with his own reputation; the question is whether he drags the rest of the country, and the world, down with him.

(Thoughts for the Horrified http://nyti.ms/2enPZwR )

But it's important not to expect this to happen right away. There's a temptation to predict immediate economic or foreign-policy collapse; I gave in to that temptation Tuesday night, but quickly realized that I was making the same mistake as the opponents of Brexit (which I got right). So I am retracting that call, right now. It's at least possible that bigger budget deficits will, if anything, strengthen the economy briefly. More detail in Monday's column, I suspect.

On other fronts, too, don't expect immediate vindication. America has a vast stock of reputational capital, built up over generations; even Trump will take some time to squander it.

The true awfulness of Trump will become apparent over time. Bad things will happen, and he will be clueless about how to respond; if you want a parallel, think about how Katrina revealed the hollowness of the Bush administration, and multiply by a hundred. And his promises to bring back the good old days will eventually be revealed as the lies they are.

But it probably won't happen in a year. So the effort to reclaim American decency is going to have to have staying power; we need to build the case, organize, create the framework. And, of course, never forget who is right.

It's going to be a long time in the wilderness, and it's going to be awful. If I sound calm and philosophical, I'm not - like everyone who cares, I'm frazzled, sleepless, depressed. But we need to be stalwart.

DeDude : , November 11, 2016 at 12:08 PM
Don't set your goals to high. The election of Trump is not something you alone could have prevented - it is a collective failure of the progressive and fact-based community. Whatever you did it pulled in the right direction. It's just that the load was to heavy and the forces pulling in the other direction to strong. If you stop pulling it will be that more difficult for those of us who continue the good fight.
ilsm : , November 11, 2016 at 01:06 PM
Propaganda

I stopped fully reading Krugman's links in February. He has become illogical and filing fallacies of argument (first sentence examples) based on blind loyalty to a personality party that is not in the tiniest bit worse than the GOP.

His writings with the most of the NYT, mainstream media etc made me conclude they are a Stalinist press machine.

Fred C. Dobbs -> ilsm... , November 11, 2016 at 01:34 PM
I am reminded of the rants of Ivar Giaever, RPI's one Nobelist (in physics) who became a global warming denier.

Nobel Prize-Winning Scientist Who Endorsed Obama Now Says Prez. is 'Ridiculous' & 'Dead Wrong' on 'Global Warming'

Nobel Prize Winning Physicist Dr. Ivar Giaever: 'Global warming is a non-problem'

http://www.climatedepot.com/2015/07/06/nobel-prize-winning-scientist-who-endorsed-obama-now-says-prez-is-ridiculous-dead-wrong-on-global-warming/

Shah of Bratpuhr : , November 11, 2016 at 01:29 PM
Dear Dr. Krugman,

I know you'll never read this, but I am still angry with you from when you trashed Sanders. Thanks for nothing.

Sincerely,

Fred C. Dobbs : , November 11, 2016 at 01:42 PM
(Is this anything?)

There is an on-line petition up that directs the Electoral College to consider just the popular vote of this weeks election, and when the time comes (Dec 19), cast their votes for Hillary Clinton.

https://www.change.org/p/electoral-college-electors-electoral-college-make-hillary-clinton-president-on-december-19

As has been noted, electors are not 'legally bound' to vote for the nominee they are pledged to.

So, vote yer conscience, electors!

Do as The People have asked.

[Nov 11, 2016] Trump was the only one who talked about stopping the globalization which is destroying the American middle class and ending our crazy endless unwinnable foreign wars.

Notable quotes:
"... the more credible explanation is: 1) Barack Obama very eloquently promised Hope and Change in 2008 and 2012. 2) Barack Obama systematically broke his promises of hope and change. ..."
"... Hillary Clinton promised to continue Obama's policies. 4) Working people who had voted for Obama in the hope that he truly would change things lost patience and got sick of Democrats who (in the words of one millenial) "promise everything and change nothing." ..."
"... Populism is the real explanation for Trump's victory. ...he talked about stopping the globalization that's destroying the American middle class and ending our crazy endless unwinnable foreign wars. By contrast, Hillary Clinton gave $225,000 speeches to Goldman Sachs hedge fund traders in which she said the "banker-bashing so popular within both parties was unproductive and indeed foolish." ..."
Nov 11, 2016 | crookedtimber.org

mclaren 11.10.16 at 10:42 am 162

Raven Oathill in #145 says: "Oh, for examples of Trumpian fascism I forgot advocating torture …"

Barack Obama continued Bush-era torture, only slightly differently. Obama restricted torture to Appendix M of the CIA's interrogation manual - that's the manual that the CIA created by studying the Chinese communist's Mao-era thought reform torture methods. Appendix M prohibits cutting and beating in favor of sensory deprivation, sleep deprivation, cold, noise assault, and other methods like the water drip method. These forms of torture leave no marks but drive people insane or destroy their minds as surely as the standard three weeks of non-stop beatings favored in Lubyanka.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/25/obama-administration-military-torture-army-field-manual

Let's not forget that the American president who began our current ride on the torture carousel was Bill Clinton, who initiated "extraordinary rendition" (AKA fly prisoners to third world countries in CIA chartered Lear jets and let third world dictators torture the victims for us).

https://www.aclu.org/other/fact-sheet-extraordinary-rendition

The problem with the smug top-4% narrative of the Democratic elite's professional class that "It's all about racism!" is that many of the counties in red states that went heavily for Trump in this election went even more heavily for Bernie Sanders. A lot of states that voted for Trump in this election voted for Obama in the last election.

What, did those Rust Belt states suddenly decide to not become racist when Obama ran, and then became racist again when Trump ran? How does that work? "A black guy is running for president, so I'm going to stop being a racist and vote for him. Oh, wait, now a white guy is running for president, so I'm going to become a racist again." Does that make sense?

No, the more credible explanation is: 1) Barack Obama very eloquently promised Hope and Change in 2008 and 2012. 2) Barack Obama systematically broke his promises of hope and change.

3) Hillary Clinton promised to continue Obama's policies. 4) Working people who had voted for Obama in the hope that he truly would change things lost patience and got sick of Democrats who (in the words of one millenial) "promise everything and change nothing."

Populism is the real explanation for Trump's victory. ...he talked about stopping the globalization that's destroying the American middle class and ending our crazy endless unwinnable foreign wars. By contrast, Hillary Clinton gave $225,000 speeches to Goldman Sachs hedge fund traders in which she said the "banker-bashing so popular within both parties was unproductive and indeed foolish."

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-vampire-squid-tells-us-how-to-vote-20160205

Meanwhile Bill Clinton dismissed the American population's rage at the bankers who crashed the world economy with the comment: `"You could take Lloyd Blankfein in an alley and slit his throat, and it would satisfy them for about two days," Clinton said. "Then the blood lust would rise again."'

Did I mention that Hillary's daughter Chelsea is married to former Goldman Sachs hedge fund manager Mark Mezvinsky? They recently bought a pre-WW I ten million dollar townhouse overlooking Madison Square Park. So much for Chelsea's "zero dollar salary." I don't know a lot of people with a salary of zero dollars who can afford to buy 10.5 million dollar apartments in the upper West Side of New York. Do you?

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/real-estate/chelsea-clinton-buys-10-5-million-article-1.1288710

Hillary has wooed defense contractors with the love that dare not speak its name (the love of foreign intervention, AKA burning brown babies by the bushel-load) and she has promised lots more endless unwinnable wars around the globe, disguised as the sound-bite "America needs a more assertive foreign policy."

`"It is clear that she is behind the use of force in anything that has gone on in this cabinet. She is a Democratic hawk and that is her track record. That's the flag she's planted," said Gordon Adams, a national security budget expert who was an associate director in President Bill Clinton's Office of Management and Budget.

`Karen Kwiatkowski, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who has spent her post-service days protesting the war policies in Iraq and Afghanistan, is more blunt.

"Interventionism is a business and it has a constituency and she is tapping into it," she tells TAC. "She is for the military industrial complex, and she is for the neoconservatives."'

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-military-industrial-candidate/

By way of contrast, here's Donald Trump giving a speech on foreign policy:

"Unfortunately, after the Cold War, our foreign policy veered badly off course. We failed to develop a new vision for a new time. In fact, as time went on, our foreign policy began to make less and less sense. Logic was replaced with foolishness and arrogance, and this led to one foreign policy disaster after another. We went from mistakes in Iraq to Egypt to Libya, to President Obama's line in the sand in Syria. Each of these actions have helped to throw the region into chaos, and gave ISIS the space it needs to grow and prosper.

"It all began with the dangerous idea that we could make Western democracies out of countries that had no experience or interest in becoming a Western Democracy. We tore up what institutions they had and then were surprised at what we unleashed. Civil war, religious fanaticism; thousands of American lives, and many trillions of dollars, were lost as a result. The vacuum was created that ISIS would fill. Iran, too, would rush in and fill the void, much to their unjust enrichment. Our foreign policy is a complete and total disaster. No vision, no purpose, no direction, no strategy."

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/trump-foreign-policy-15960

Do I believe that Trump meant any of that? Of course not. Did Trump change his foreign policy stance five minutes after he gave that speech? Probably. Is the rest of that Trump foreign policy speech crazy and counterfactual? Obviously - especially the part where Trump claims that America's military is underfunded (!)

But the point here is that Trump actually at least talked about these screwups. He talked about America's mad wars around the globe. He talked about how American leaders couldn't stop getting into endless unwinnable foreign quagmires after the Cold War ended. Every ordinary American knows this stuff. But no one in Washington was talking about it - except Trump. Hillary, who voted for the Iraq war of 2003 and tried to convince president Obama to bomb Iran rather than negotiate, certainly never wanted to mention any of these inconvenient problems. And our beloved president Obama's response was "America is already great." Torture? Endless wars? Collapsing middle class? Burgeoning poverty? Skyrocketing child malnutrition? Bankers asset-stripping the economy? No problem, America is already great. Enjoy!

Sanders and Trump were the only candidates who talked about American corporations shipping jobs overseas. Sanders and Trump were the only candidates who talked about bankers looting the population and crashing the world economy and paying themselves bonuses out of the publicly-funded bailout money. Sanders and Trump were the only candidates who talked about how globalization is destroying the U.S. middle class.

The professionals with advanced degrees who make $80,000 a year or more (the top 4% of the American population) are the ones who control the Democratic party today. And they made sure Sanders never got the nomination. These self-styled Big Brains have decided to treat ordinary working folks and peons who have a mere bachelor's degree and no professional credential (Ma, PhD, M.D., LLD, JD) the same way Jim Crow Southerners used to treat black people.

Everyone without an advanced degree is now treated by the leaders of the Democratic party as one of "those people," ungrateful curs who have the unbelievable gall to criticize their betters. "Those people" have the insufferable temerity to question the wiser and smarter and far more wealthy doyens of the Democratic party, the masterminds with professional credentials, the geniuses who assure them that the TPP is spiffy and globalization is absolutely marvy-doo and global wage arbitrage is just dreamy.

To the professional class top-4% who run the Democratic party, working people and scum with a mere bachelor's degree are inferior creatures, not ready for self-governance. "Those people" must be guided by a superior breed, the elites with advanced degrees, those wise enough to have gotten things right by invading Iraq. And deregulating the banks. And making sure Bernie Sanders never got the Democratic nomination. And writing those marvelous zero-hours work contracts that let employers force employees to call in every morning to see if they get a shift that day.

"Those people" without advanced degrees need careful management, since they have no impulse control, they're filthy and smelly, they're really animals who can't help drinking and carousing and breeding. "Those people" never had the discipline to get a masters or an M.D., so they need a firm hand, and the strict guidance of the All-Powerful Market to keep them in check. Sound familiar? Sort of like, oh, say, Deep South slaveowners talking about their slaves circa 1840?

Populism. That's the reason why Trump won. ... he's the only one of the two presidential candidates who sounded any genuinely populist notes during the campaign. When Hillary was asked if she wanted to break up the too-big-to-fail banks, she said "no." When Hillary was asked about foreign wars, she lapsed into the old "indispensable nation" crap. When Hillary was asked about single-payer health care she called it "something that will never, ever happen."

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/hillary-clinton-single-payer-health-care-will-never-ever-happen/

Gee, I wonder why Hillary lost? It's such a puzzle. Racism! That's it! It must be racism!

[Nov 11, 2016] the issue here is class , the Republicans and Democrats are the two wings of the same party

Nov 11, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com

Justanotherwageslave

, 10 Nov 2016 12:3>
The analysis is correct more of less , the issue here is class , the Republicans and Democrats are the two wings of the same party. The party of property and money and the powerful , the vote for Trump is one of those events that happens much like Obama being elected twice after the Republicans stole the two previous elections via the supreme court and election fraud. It can happen but the system remains the same , there is no serious challenge to the supremacy of the ruling class.

The one analysis you will not hear in the media is a class one and if it is then it will be howled down lest it gain currency and the wage slaves realise they have been conned yet again , Trump is not unusual in his attitudes or views , it's just that the campaign gave them wide publicity.

In the UK the same kind of thing has happened to Labour , they lost Scotland and the 2010 election and the remain vote because ordinary working people are tired just as they are in the US of seeing the rich get every richer and their own living standards fall and nothing in the future but more pain and misery. They vote UKIP/SNP here as a cry in the wilderness and they voted for Trump for the same reason because they aren't what they've had before , the real problem will come when the right wing populists have been in power for a while and nothing has really improved.

[Nov 11, 2016] Donald Trump Wins US Presidency A Blow to the Global Establishment…or Its Latest Iteration Global Research - Centre for Res

Nov 11, 2016 | www.globalresearch.ca

With all that said, today I break my silence, in order to comment briefly on the 2016 US presidential election in the aftermath of Trump's victory. At the beginning of this presidential campaign, I thought Donald Trump's candidacy might be a publicity stunt; like a bombastic prime time reality show. But I was aware that the hard-core neocon, war mongering Hilary Clinton was the real danger, in terms of foreign policy and international politics. Her policies and past crimes are completely in-line with the current US-imperial agenda of endless war and military might, and this makes her far far more dangerous than Trump. It also made her far more likely to win the election, I presumed.

His extreme outrageousness and egomania aside, I felt from the outset that Trump is perceived as a threat to the global corporate, militarized establishment and its political allies, and that this is the real reason he has been demonized adhominem by the political establishment and the media in the US, across party lines. Most democratic and republican politicians and media pundits are part of the global establishment machine.

Trump's greatest crime seemed to be his unwillingness to acquiesce to the global establishment. His views on foreign policy, military spending and economic and trade policy demonstrate this. Because of his apparent threat to the global military industrial, US-led, global banking/war empire, I was certain that the deep state and global elites simply would not allow him to win. Even if they had to rig the elections in an already rigged political system, I was certain they would not "let him" win.

Now that he has, I'm not sure what to think, especially considering FBI director Comey's sudden flip flop and condemnation of Clinton, reopening the investigation into the Clinton email (email Gate) scandal, in the eleventh hour. Does the FBI wish to see Trump in office? If so, what does that mean about his threat to the establishment? Is Trump the beginning of the end of the global establishment or is he just a revision, a new direction, a preparation for a new iteration of the status quo? Of course, Trump is part of the elite given his immense wealth and corporate muscle. But as the Centre for Research on Globalization explains, the elites are not a monolith [1], and there may be divisions and factions within the global elite that do indeed oppose the present and historical direction of the global establishment. Is that what Trump represents, the division within the global power structure? Does he have friends in high places that wish to revamp the current global militarized corporate and banking oligarchy? Or, is he but its latest iteration of it? Is he a gateway to what is to come–Martial Law, etc [2]? It remains to be seen.

For now, I'm guardedly optimistic about the new direction that economic policy and US foreign policy could take under his presidency. If he is willing (and able) to rein in either, then he will have surpassed the broken promises of the previous US administration. He has stated numerous times that he opposes many elements of the war on terror (the invasion of Libya, current US operations in Syria and attempts to oust the existing regime, covert support of ISIS by the US, etc) and the military industrial complex. And while he is no doubt a capitalist, he is more of the old-school nationalist capitalist or protectionist-isolationist kind, not the neoliberal global capitalism that has put everyone out of work. This alone made Trump better than Hilary, so to speak. But the fact that he is no doubt part of the economic elite and that he was able to win at all, despite resistance from all sides of the political and media spectrum (both democratic and republican), raises questions.

[Nov 11, 2016] The Democrats did a fine job of stomping out any enthusiasm by sabotaging Bernie Sanders

Nov 11, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Paid Minion November 10, 2016 at 3:21 pm

The Democrats did a fine job of stomping out any enthusiasm by sabotaging Bernie Sanders.

The DNC became a wholly owned subsidiary of Clinton Family Inc. starting in about 2008. Control the rulemakers/money flow, and you can control who the nominee is. At least that is the conventional thinking, and Clinton Inc. is nothing if not conventional.

To buy the DNC, she chose to go to the Wall Street banksters, and others. Essentially an "up front" bribe. No smoking gun needed to be created. They knew what they were paying for, without it being said.

(I'm curious to see how many "donations" the Clinton Foundation receives, now that she's been pushed out on an ice floe.)

They never anticipated a challenger who didn't need the DNC, or it's cash.

They ignored the stats showing how many people wouldn't vote for Hillary Clinton under any circumstance. Just call them racist/sexist/dumbazz hicks, and call them "deplorables". Ask Mitt Romney how that worked out for him.

She lost an election to DONALD TRUMP. Even without the airwaves filled with Republican attack ads. (Lack of RNC enthusiasm for Trump? Or a recognition that Hillary's negatives couldn't be covered in a 30 second commercial?).

If it wasn't for the Clinton's collective ego, and lust for power/money (after all, we all now that in the current state of affairs, the moneyed class drives policy), we'd all (well, all of us who don't live in the rarefied air of the 1%ers/Banksters) be celebrating the upcoming inauguration of President Sanders.

[Nov 08, 2016] It seems to me that early voting should be abolished, voter photo ID SHOULD BE required by law in all states

Nov 08, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com
Pinto Currency Vatican_cameo Nov 8, 2016 12:35 PM

Check out Call for America.

Their automated polling system tells a completely different story:

http://callforamerica.com/

manofthenorth Pinto Currency Nov 8, 2016 12:51 PM

It seems to me that early voting should be abolished, voter photo ID SHOULD BE required by law in all states.

Also to keep things as clean as possible there should be a media "NO FLY ZONE" on polling outcomes until ALL POLLS are closed in all states.

So much wag the dog it is just disgusting.

Praying for justice.

roddcarlson -> Scuba Steve •Nov 8, 2016 1:16 PM

The early vote (aka the mail in ballots) were compromised. Right the FBI kept sacking the Dems with mail in ballot forms, it must've been like a drug bust all those voting confetti sitting there like paper dollars. Dems crying you are hindering our right to vote! Hopefully the later day voting goes in our favor, but considering Soros electioneering electronics machines with no way to track it may not.

If we lose the vote then America is cooked literally. But the vote was cooked books if it does happen, so we won't be judged for that. What we as a nation may be judged for is severe apathy and embracement of things for our personal gain years earlier where it was obviously wrong. We should have never let these politicians get away with things like Iraq after learning there were no WMD. Or free trade that was exporting our manufacturing base to every totalitarian government abroad. Or our keeping up with the Jones by bigger and bigger mortgages we could barely afford the old one. Or uncontrolled immigration. We should have put our foot down a long time ago and made these uppers fear like Vietnam the whole thing was unstable and going to capsize on their butts.

But I can pretty much tell you that Americans (true ones) aren't guilty of this electioneering. The invader Mexicans and other parasites think they are somehow going to get on top of this thing. You know I still love them to this day. I remember falling down some stairs carrying a heavy desk, while some legal Mexican American citizens came and picked me up and then helped carry the desk too. So I'm not judging people individually based on their skin or ethnic background, I however am not foolish to say there is a problem of means here either. Hope all the invader Mexicans like Mexico II where they get to live out of cardboard boxes and railroad cars, because they killed the American host and now get their very own Mexican culture that is wholly immoral here too. Well don't worry because you get a taste of this Hillary invasion as well, with your nemesis the Muslims she is going to import in here. You see parasite never stop loving bigger problems for the host.

If we lose this election white people need to start taking care of their own. I've had many races that were my best of friends, and I'm not at all going to say I hate those people I will never hate them. But the white people are under attack by a systematic attempt to dispossess them from people like Soros. We still hold the reigns of economic power, even in our weakened state. We can still peacefully (hopefully) use that power to say no to the 3rd world takeover of our country.

Again early vote may mean nothing given the found stuffed cheated ballots at Dem headquarters. But do not think that we accept this NWO takeover, we've overlooked many previous incursion that has let it get this bad but no more even with a Hillary win.

jcaz -> Ghost of PartysOver •Nov 8, 2016 12:02 PM

Bullshit.

The line I stood in this am was Trump up and down- everyone unhappy with the prospect of more of the same corrupt shit.

Not buying this story.

Ghost of PartysOver d jcaz •Nov 8, 2016 12:14 PM

It is really pretty easy to understand. Wall Street, including all the Hedge Funds, Banks .... have bought and paid for HRC. They control her. Wall Street will get what it wants which is more of the same; market manipulation, inside dealings, payoffs, lack of perp walks. You name it. This is a very good scenario for those bastards. Hence markets will rally.

Trump on the other hand will lock those bastards up. Markets will fall.

Pres HRC means outstanding next QTR reports and of course bonuses. Any illegal activity will be met with a slap on the wrist (Corzine ring a bell)

Pres Trump means reigning in the the crap and the next QTR report will not be so rosy. And bonuses will be much, much lower. Any illegal activity will be met with a perp walk.

I am a Trump fan and I am a realist.

[Nov 08, 2016] The US elections are a staged political farce with NO MATERIAL IMPACT on the US imperial policies, domestic or international

Notable quotes:
"... It is shockingly disappointing that MOA, this otherwise intelligent incisive, a deeply intellectual and factual blog's readership exhibit a trait common to overall American anti-intellectual sheeple constituency as Gore Vidal posited decades ago, having no shame expressing their utter confusion and ignorance about one fundamental fact of reality they are facing. ..."
"... Those political puppets, stooges of oligarchy are no alternatives to the calcified imperial system itself, they never have been and they never will. They are new/old faces of the same old 240 y.o. Anglo-American imperial regime based on ancient and modern slavery and they already declared it by submitting to it via pledging to run in this farcical rigged electoral fallacy. ..."
Nov 08, 2016 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kalen | Nov 8, 2016 3:21:04 AM | 73

It is shockingly disappointing that MOA, this otherwise intelligent incisive, a deeply intellectual and factual blog's readership exhibit a trait common to overall American anti-intellectual sheeple constituency as Gore Vidal posited decades ago, having no shame expressing their utter confusion and ignorance about one fundamental fact of reality they are facing.

THE FACT: The US elections are a staged political farce with NO MATERIAL IMPACT on the US imperial policies, domestic or international WHATSOEVER. And that's the fact based on rock solid empirical evidences also MOA proliferates that only a mental patient can deny.

SO WHAT THE F.U.CK ALL OF YOU PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT? "Voting" for this or that? NONSENSE;

Those political puppets, stooges of oligarchy are no alternatives to the calcified imperial system itself, they never have been and they never will. They are new/old faces of the same old 240 y.o. Anglo-American imperial regime based on ancient and modern slavery and they already declared it by submitting to it via pledging to run in this farcical rigged electoral fallacy.

All at the end will openly pledge unwavering support for the regime and their rotten deeply corrupted parties while abandoning their gullible voters.

Supporters of any of these plastic puppets of oligarchy not unlike a cargo cult, are impatient, nervous, excited and scared sitting and waiting before an impregnable curtain of political deceit, lies and manipulation by the ruling elite in front of their wide shut eyes , turning to magic, superstition, appeasement, making up stories, poems out of their incoherent utterances filed with tautologies, innuendos and absurd, begging for mercy or praying for a caprice of good will to save them ultimately in a form of fake, meaningless political turds passing as empty "political" platform promises while blatantly abandoning their unalienable rights to independence, self-determination and democratic system of people's rule, based on equality in the law, and one voter one vote principle, for a role of a meddlesome spectators to their own execution.

THE FACT: The democratic electoral system worth participating does not exist in the US but none of the candidates would utter this truth as long as they can benefit from the fraud and that includes third parties. If this was a true change or revolution, that we desperately need, honest leaders would not run their campaign within the corrupted system set up by and for two oligarchic parties but they would decry and utterly reject it.

Think people, all the so-called candidates even third party candidates are just nibbling on the behemoth of abhorrent and brutal US imperial power mostly with utterances that they never intended to follow if they wanted to survive terror of the US security apparatus, while peddling the lies about small incremental changes and stealing ours and our children future by asking us to wait, be patient, and begging ruling elite for mercy and may be for some crumbs from an oligarchs' table after they are not able to gorge themselves anymore with our blood sweat and tears.

Unfortunately, this time as well, millions of irrational, desperate and helpless in their daily lives electoral zombies such as those, under a spell of exciting political masquerade, regrettably also on this blog, will be aligning themselves with one or the other anointed by establishment winner [whoever it will be] of a meaningless popularity/beauty contest, in a delusional feat of transference of a fraction of elite's power to themselves just for a second of a thrill of illusion of power, illusion of feelings that something depends on me, that I can make a difference, a delusion of holding skies from falling and by that saving the world common among paranoid mental patients.

And they will continue to authorize their own suicide mission, since even baseless, continually disproved hope of Sisyphus, of any chance of influencing of the political realm via means of begging is the last thing that dies.

THE LOUD POLITICAL BOYCOTT OF THIS FARCE, UTTER REJECTION OF THIS FACADE OF DEMOCRATIC CHOICE, REJECTION OF ANY POLITICAL LEGITIMACY OF THIS SORRY SPECTACLE IS THE ONLY ALTERNATIVE AVAILABLE TO ANY DECENT PERSON, INDEPENDENT, SOVEREIGN CITIZEN WHO TAKES A MORAL STAND REJECTING ENSLAVEMENT RIGHT HERE AND RIGHT NOW.

THE REST WILL JUST PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THEIR OWN CHAINS.

MAKE YOU CHOICE.

Posted by: Kalen | Nov 8, 2016 3:21:04 AM | 73

[Nov 08, 2016] Which way Utah falls

Notable quotes:
"... I think Mormons are ticked over Romney losing in 2012 and blame Evangelicals ask when there was fear Evangelicals wouldn't vote for a Mormon. Romney did as well as a non Mormon robber baron would have done in 2012. Trump trashing Romney annoyed Mormons who probably aren't going to get another shot at the Oval Office any time soon. ..."
"... the Romney, Will, Kristol, McCain, Graham, Paulson, Blankfein NEVER TRUMP brigades are up to their sleazy behinds in the Clinton Foundation FRAUD. ..."
"... The Foundation is under very very strict rules but has ignored all of them, putting all their contributors at risk. If Trump wins – a grand jury will have all the necessary ammunition to bring down a whole lot of people, here and abroad. ..."
Nov 08, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Vatch November 7, 2016 at 2:47 pm

Shouldn't Utah be considered a swing state in 2016? Some Mormons are unhappy with aspects of Trump's behavior, and wild card McMullin is a member of the LDS church.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef November 7, 2016 at 3:15 pm

Can't be worse than Bill's behavior. Plus Trump doesn't drink.

Vatch November 7, 2016 at 3:48 pm

Nate Silver's site gives Trump an overwhelming advantage in Utah, but I still think that surprises are possible. See this article (which admittedly also shows a significant polling advantage for Trump):

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2016/11/evan-mcmullin-utah-donald-trump-161105032535083.html

An Emerson College poll released on November 3 shows him at 28 percent to Trump's 40 percent and Clinton's 20 percent.

Jason Perry, the director of Utah's bipartisan Hinckley Institute, says there is a large percentage of voters who do not even know who McMullin is, "but they know who he is not. He's not Trump, and he's not Hillary".

With 67 percent of Utah voters viewing Trump unfavourably according to a Monmouth University poll, voting for the Republican candidate does not appear to sit well with Utah's value-minded voters.

Becky Rasmussen, 37, of Highland City, is one such voter who could not see herself voting for Trump, in part because of her Mormon faith.

While she also sees Clinton as unfit for the presidency, Trump, she says, is "completely morally bankrupt …You see framed in his office him on the cover of Playboy Magazine".

But Porter Goodman, 28, from Provo – who believes that voting for McMullin "is the only way to not throw away your vote" – says it is not his Mormon beliefs that cause him to view Trump as having a "lack of morality".

"I say he lacks morality because he lies and because he abuses other people with his words and actions," Goodman says. "Savour the magnificent irony of Trump supporters who say, 'Yeah, Trump may be a pathological liar, but set that aside and focus on the great things he says he'll do as president."

NotTimothyGeithner November 7, 2016 at 4:42 pm

I think Mormons are ticked over Romney losing in 2012 and blame Evangelicals ask when there was fear Evangelicals wouldn't vote for a Mormon. Romney did as well as a non Mormon robber baron would have done in 2012. Trump trashing Romney annoyed Mormons who probably aren't going to get another shot at the Oval Office any time soon.

Nate doesn't do a why or how of trends and just focuses on raw numbers based on previous polls. It's why he never landed a baseball job when other Stat geeks did. If there was an usual trend in Utah, Nate would miss it.

The key issue is are Mormons "Republicans" or "conservative" when they describe themselves. If their identity is "conservative," I could see them not voting for Trump. If being a "Republican" matters, they will vote. They voted for McCain, and the fundies hated that guy.

GMoore November 7, 2016 at 5:52 pm

the Romney, Will, Kristol, McCain, Graham, Paulson, Blankfein NEVER TRUMP brigades are up to their sleazy behinds in the Clinton Foundation FRAUD.

The Foundation is under very very strict rules but has ignored all of them, putting all their contributors at risk. If Trump wins – a grand jury will have all the necessary ammunition to bring down a whole lot of people, here and abroad.

It's the great untold story of this election. IT's also the spit and glue that holds the Clinton coalition of media, government, Wall St, Dems and Goper royalty together in this fight to the death to keep a "friendly" administration in DC. This is kill or be killed time.

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

[Nov 08, 2016] The real danger of serious election-rigging: electronic voting machines. How do we know the machine *really* recorded everyones votes correctly? Insrtead we have anti-russian hysteria fed to us 24 x 7

Notable quotes:
"... "Yet commentators who have been ready and willing to attribute Donald Trump's success to anger, authoritarianism, or racism rather than policy issues have taken little note of the extent to which Mr. Sanders's support is concentrated not among liberal ideologues but among disaffected white men." ... ..."
"... poor pk a leader of the Stalinist press ..."
"... the surprising success of Bernie Sanders -- a Brooklyn-born, Jewish socialist -- in the primaries is solid proof that the electorate was open to a coherent argument for genuine progressive change, and that a substantial portion of that electorate is not acting on purely racist and sexist impulses, as so many progressive commentators say. ..."
"... "I will live my life calmly and my children will be just fine. I will live my life calmly and my children will be just fine." That assumes you're about 85 years old...and don't have long to live! ..."
"... Laid out by whom? By the commercial "media" hype machine that has 12-16 hours of airtime to fill every day with the as sensationalized as possible gossip (to justify the price for the paid advertisements filling the remaining hours). ..."
"... Killary Clinton got no closer than Ann Arbor this weekend, a message! ..."
"... Mr. Krugman forgot to list the collusion of the DNC and the Clinton campaign to work against Sanders. ..."
"... putting crooked in the same sentence as Clinton or DNC is duplicative wording. This mortification is brought to US by the crooked and the stalinist press that calls crooked virtue. ..."
"... Krugman did so much to help create the mass of white working class discontent that is electing Trump. Krugman and co cheering on NAFTA/PNTR/WTO etc, US deindustrialization, collapse of middle class... ..."
"... Hopefully the working class masses will convince our rulers to abandon free trade before every last factory is sold off or dismantled and the US falls to the depths of a Chad or an Armenia. ..."
economistsview.typepad.com

anne -> anne... , November 07, 2016 at 01:47 PM

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/05/23/the-truth-about-the-sanders-movement/

May 23, 2016

The Truth About the Sanders Movement
By Paul Krugman

In short, it's complicated – not all bad, by any means, but not the pure uprising of idealists the more enthusiastic supporters imagine.

The political scientists Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels have an illuminating discussion of Sanders support. The key graf that will probably have Berniebros boiling is this:

"Yet commentators who have been ready and willing to attribute Donald Trump's success to anger, authoritarianism, or racism rather than policy issues have taken little note of the extent to which Mr. Sanders's support is concentrated not among liberal ideologues but among disaffected white men." ...

[ Yes, I do find defaming people by speculation or stereotype to be beyond saddening. ]

ilsm -> anne... , November 07, 2016 at 03:53 PM
poor pk a leader of the Stalinist press
anne -> Chris Lowery ... , November 07, 2016 at 10:28 AM
The fact that Obama either won, or did so much better than Hillary appears to be doing with, the white working-class vote in so many key battleground states, as well as the surprising success of Bernie Sanders -- a Brooklyn-born, Jewish socialist -- in the primaries is solid proof that the electorate was open to a coherent argument for genuine progressive change, and that a substantial portion of that electorate is not acting on purely racist and sexist impulses, as so many progressive commentators say.

And her opponent was/is incapable of debating on substance, as there was/is neither coherence nor consistency in any part of his platform -- nor that of his party....

[ Compelling argument. ]

JohnH : , November 07, 2016 at 10:26 AM
Question is, will Krugman be able to move on after the election...and talk about something useful? Like how to get Hillary to recognize and deal with inequality...
JohnH : , November 07, 2016 at 10:29 AM
Barbara Ehrenreich: "Forget fear and loathing. The US election inspires projectile vomiting. The most sordid side of our democracy has been laid out for all to see. But that's only the beginning: whoever wins, the mutual revulsion will only intensify... With either Clinton or Trump, we will be left to choke on our mutual revulsion."
JohnH -> JohnH... , November 07, 2016 at 10:29 AM
Link: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/03/us-election-projectile-vomiting-barbara-ehrenreich
JohnH -> Bloix... , November 07, 2016 at 04:59 PM
"I will live my life calmly and my children will be just fine. I will live my life calmly and my children will be just fine." That assumes you're about 85 years old...and don't have long to live!
ilsm -> JohnH... , November 07, 2016 at 03:54 PM
the great mortification, these two.
cm -> JohnH... , November 07, 2016 at 11:11 PM
Laid out by whom? By the commercial "media" hype machine that has 12-16 hours of airtime to fill every day with the as sensationalized as possible gossip (to justify the price for the paid advertisements filling the remaining hours).
Tom aka Rusty : , November 07, 2016 at 11:17 AM
Something interesting today.... President Obama came to Michigan. I fully expected him to speak in Detroit with a get out the vote message. Instead he is in Ann Arbor, speaking to an overwhelmingly white and white-collar audience. On a related note, the Dems have apparently written off the white blue collar vote in Michigan, even much of the union vote. the union leaders are pro Clinton, but the workers not so much. Strange year.
ilsm -> Tom aka Rusty... , November 07, 2016 at 03:55 PM
Killary Clinton got no closer than Ann Arbor this weekend, a message!
John M : , November 07, 2016 at 11:26 AM
The real danger of serious election-rigging: electronic voting machines. How do we know the machine *really* recorded everyone's votes correctly? (Did any Florida county ever give Al Gore negative something votes?)
Julio -> John M ... , November 08, 2016 at 06:42 AM
That's a big subject but you are right, that is the biggest risk of significant fraud. Not just the voting machines, but the automatic counting systems. Other forms of possible election fraud are tiny by comparison.
Enquiring Mind : , November 07, 2016 at 11:48 AM
Here is the transcript from 60 Minutes about the Luntz focus group rancor. Instructive to read about the depth of feeling in case you didn't see the angry, disgusted faces of citizens.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/60-minutes-american-voters-on-trump-clinton/

ScottB : , November 07, 2016 at 12:08 PM
Mr. Krugman forgot to list the collusion of the DNC and the Clinton campaign to work against Sanders.
ilsm -> ScottB... , November 07, 2016 at 03:57 PM
putting crooked in the same sentence as Clinton or DNC is duplicative wording. This mortification is brought to US by the crooked and the stalinist press that calls crooked virtue.
Before the 1970s the US was both rich and protectionist - no look at our horrible roads and hopeless people - the miracle of free trade! : , November 07, 2016 at 07:13 PM
Krugman did so much to help create the mass of white working class discontent that is electing Trump. Krugman and co cheering on NAFTA/PNTR/WTO etc, US deindustrialization, collapse of middle class...

Hopefully the working class masses will convince our rulers to abandon free trade before every last factory is sold off or dismantled and the US falls to the depths of a Chad or an Armenia.

[Nov 08, 2016] We don't want World War 3 with Russia. We want our factories and jobs back, we would like to spend $1 trillion a year on infrastructure instead of blowing up yet another Middle Eastern nation.

Notable quotes:
"... We don't want World War 3 with Russia. We want our factories and jobs back, we would like to spend $1 trillion a year on infrastructure instead of blowing up yet another Middle Eastern nation. ..."
"... Fuck Hillary, Fuck the neolibcons, Fuck al-CIAda, Fuck the fascist banksters who eat our children for breakfast. ..."
"... Vote Trump in swing states. Vote Jill everywhere else. ..."
Nov 08, 2016 | www.moonofalabama.org
Perimetr | Nov 8, 2016 4:34:49 AM | 77

The heartland of the US is RED, solid RED.
The neolibcons are printing up their Newsweek mags with Madam President on the cover.

They don't have a clue about how pissed off the people in the "flyover states" are.

Fuck their rigged polls and lying news.

Sure Trump is behind or neck-and-neck . . . Just like we have 5% unemployment.

As long as you don't count the 1/3 of working age people who DON"T HAVE A JOB.

The deplorables can think of 650,000 reasons why Hillary should be in PRISON, even if the FBI can't.

We don't want World War 3 with Russia. We want our factories and jobs back, we would like to spend $1 trillion a year on infrastructure instead of blowing up yet another Middle Eastern nation.

Fuck Hillary, Fuck the neolibcons, Fuck al-CIAda, Fuck the fascist banksters who eat our children for breakfast.

ProPeace | Nov 8, 2016 7:02:55 AM | 80
@RayB | Nov 8, 2016 12:18:53 AM | 62 "The only real issue here is either war or peace."

Yes, especially that the US has war-based, or "blood economy" (like diamonds).

Interesting tidbits:

... ... ...

rufus magister | Nov 8, 2016 7:26:46 AM | 81
fairleft at 43 --

Do not blow shit up, like the political system, without a clear idea where the pieces will land and how you will put them back together. Crisis would benefit the right, not the left, given the current correlation of class and political forces.

The best result. sadly, would be a resounding win for Mrs. Clinton. As the comment at 11 shows, anything less than a crushing defeat will enable the alt-right and embolden the most reactionary and nativist elements in society.

The notion that worsening conditions will automatically produce progressive revolution is a pipe-dream. Beaten-down folks struggling to survive don't have the time or energy to organize.

Vote your conscience, your hopes. Takingg the long view, I am again voting, as I have for years, for the Socialist Workers Party.

Jackrabbit | Nov 8, 2016 8:03:07 AM | 82
rufus @81:
Do not blow shit up ...
The corrupt 'Third Way' Democrats blew up U.S. democracy years ago. "Do not blow shit up" = BOHICA.
The best result. sadly, would be a resounding win for Mrs. Clinton.... I am again voting, as I have for years, for the Socialist Workers Party.
Shameless, unadulterated bullshit.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Vote Trump in swing states. Vote Jill everywhere else.

[Nov 08, 2016] Trump 'I Do Think a Lot of the Polls Are Purposefully Wrong' - Breitbart

Nov 08, 2016 | www.breitbart.com

Tuesday on Fox News Channel, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump offered his thoughts on how the campaign proceeded as Election Day has finally come.

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One of his criticisms was how the polls had been handled, which he called in some cases "phony" and "purposefully wrong."

Partial transcript as follows:

DOOCY: A couple of weeks ago you know it was revealed that part of Hillary Clinton's game plan was to try, you know, to talk up the polls and make it seem like the show's over, no way you can win. Then of course the polls for the most part right now are too close to call. Ultimately though do you think the polls that we've seen over the last week or two, going back, are wrong because the pollsters are not factoring in how many Democrats are going to be voting for you?

You know all this early voting stuff, they say well this many Democrats requested ballots, this many Republicans. And also just the gigantic number of Republicans who have turned out to see you, the enthusiasm level. Do you think those things the pollsters are getting wrong?

TRUMP: I do think a lot of the polls are purposefully wrong. I think I can almost tell you by the people that do it. The media is very dishonest, extremely dishonest. And I think a lot of the polls are phony. I don't even think they interview people.

DOOCY: Right.

TRUMP: I think they just put out phony numbers. I do think this, after the debates, I think my numbers really started to go up well. And then I did a series over the last two weeks, only of you know, really important speeches I think. 20,000, 25,000 people, 31,000 people were showing up to these speeches.

You saw yesterday, you saw the kind of crowds we're getting. I said something's happening here. Something incredible is happening here. And tell you the enthusiasm and the love in those rooms, in those arenas, they're really arenas, I mean in New Hampshire last night it was a tremendous arena, beautiful arena. And same thing, we had a big convention center last night in Michigan. But they're packed. I mean we have thousands of people.

DOOCY: Right.

TRUMP: We had last night in Michigan we had 10,000 people outside that couldn't get in.

DOOCY: Wow.

EARHARDT: Wow.

TRUMP: 10,000 people. It's been amazing. So I said something's happening. Something's really going on.

[Nov 07, 2016] No, Hillary Clinton is not less Evil than Trump One has Funny Hair, the Other Wears Trouser-suits Global Research - Centre

Nov 07, 2016 | www.globalresearch.ca
After all, Clinton is not going to make it into the Oval Office unless she can secure the votes of those who backed the far-more progressive Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries.

Clinton's camp have wielded various sticks to beat these voters into submission. Not least they have claimed that a refusal to vote for Clinton is an indication of one's misogyny . But it has not been an easy task. Actor Susan Sarandon, for example, has stated that she is not going to "vote with my vagina". As she notes, if the issue is simply about proving one is not anti-women, there is a much worthier candidate for president who also happens to be female: Jill Stein, of the Green Party.

Sarandon, who supported Sanders in the primaries, spoke for a vast swath of voters excluded by the two-party system when she told BBC Newsnight:

I am worried about the wars, I am worried about Syria, I am worried about all of these things that actually exist. TTP [Trans-Pacific Partnership] and I'm worried about fracking. I'm worrying about the environment. No matter who gets in they don't address these things because money has taken over our system.

Given that both Donald Trump and Clinton represent big money – and big money only – Clinton's supporters have been forced to find another stick. And that has been the "lesser evil" argument. Clinton may be bad, but Trump would be far worse. Voting for a non-evil candidate like Jill Stein – who has no hope of winning – would split the progressive camp and ensure Trump, the more evil candidate, triumphs. Therefore, there is a moral obligation on progressive voters to back Clinton, however bad her track record as a senator and as secretary of state.

There is nothing new about this argument. It had been around for decades, and has been corralling progressives into voting for Democratic presidents who have still advanced US neoconservative policy goals abroad and neoliberal ones at home.

America's pseudo-democracy

So is it true that Clinton is the lesser-evil candidate? To answer that question, we need to examine those "policy differences" with Trump.

On the negative side, Trump's platform poses a genuine threat to civil liberties. His bigoted, "blame the immigrants" style of politics will harm many families in the US in very tangible ways. Even if the inertia of the political system reins in his worst excesses, as is almost certain, his inflammatory rhetoric is sure to damage the façade of democratic discourse in the US – a development not to be dismissed lightly. Americans may be living in a pseudo-democracy, one run more like a plutocracy, but destroying the politics of respect, and civil discourse, could quickly result in the normalisation of political violence and intimidation.

On the plus side, Trump is an isolationist, with little appetite for foreign entanglements. Again, the Washington policy elites may force him to engage abroad in ways he would prefer not to, but his instincts to limit the projection of US military power on the international stage are likely to be an overall good for the world's population outside the US. Any diminishment of US imperialism is going to have real practical benefits for billions of people around the globe. His refusal to demonise Vladimir Putin, for example, may be significant enough to halt the gradual slide towards a nuclear confrontation with Russia, either in Ukraine or in the Middle East.

Clinton is the mirror image of Trump. Domestically, she largely abides by the rules of civil politics – not least because respectful discourse benefits her as the candidate with plenty of political experience. The US is likely to be a more stable, more predictable place under a Clinton presidency, even as the plutocratic elite entrenches its power and the wealth gap grows relentlessly.

Abroad, however, the picture looks worse under Clinton. She has been an enthusiastic supporter of all the many recent wars of aggression launched by the US, some declared and some covert. Personally, as secretary of state, she helped engineer the overthrow of Col Muammar Gaddafi. That policy led to an outcome – one that was entirely foreseeable – of Libya's reinvention as a failed state, with jihadists of every stripe sucked into the resulting vacuum. Large parts of Gadaffi's arsenal followed the jihadists as they exported their struggles across the Middle East, creating more bloodshed and heightening the refugee crisis. Now Clinton wants to intensify US involvement in Syria, including by imposing a no-fly zone – or rather, a US and allies-only fly zone – that would thrust the US into a direct confrontation with another nuclear-armed power, Russia.

In the cost-benefit calculus of who to vote for in a two-party contest, the answer seems to be: vote for Clinton if you are interested only in what happens in the narrow sphere of US domestic politics (assuming Clinton does not push the US into a nuclear war); while if you are a global citizen worried about the future of the planet, Trump may be the marginally better of two terribly evil choices. (Neither, of course, cares a jot about the most pressing problem facing mankind: runaway climate change.)

So even on the extremely blinkered logic of Clinton's supporters, Clinton might not be the winner in a lesser-evil presidential contest.

Mounting disillusion

But there is a second, more important reason to reject the lesser-evil argument as grounds for voting for Clinton.

Trump's popularity is a direct consequence of several decades of American progressives voting for the lesser-evil candidate. Most Americans have never heard of Jill Stein, or the other three candidates who are not running on behalf of the Republican and Democratic parties. These candidates have received no mainstream media coverage – or the chance to appear in the candidate debates – because their share of the vote is so minuscule. It remains minuscule precisely because progressives have spent decades voting for the lesser-evil candidate. And nothing is going to change so long as progressives keep responding to the electoral dog-whistle that they have to keep the Republican candidate out at all costs, even at the price of their own consciences.

Growing numbers of Americans understand that their country was "stolen from them", to use a popular slogan. They sense that the US no longer even aspires to its founding ideals, that it has become a society run for the exclusive benefit of a tiny wealthy elite. Many are looking for someone to articulate their frustration, their powerlessness, their hopelessness.

Two opposed antidotes for the mounting disillusionment with "normal politics" emerged during the presidential race: a progressive one, in the form of Sanders, who suggested he was ready to hold the plutocrats to account; and a populist one, in the form of Trump, determined to deflect anger away from the plutocrats towards easy targets like immigrants. As we now know from Wikileaks' release of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta's emails, the Democats worked hard to rig their own primaries to make sure the progressive option, Sanders, was eliminated. The Republicans, by contrast, were overwhelmed by the insurrection within their own party.

The wave of disaffection Sanders and Trump have been riding is not going away. In fact, a President Clinton, the embodiment of the self-serving, self-aggrandising politics of the plutocrats, will only fuel the disenchantment. The fixing of the Democratic primaries did not strengthen Clinton's moral authority, it fuelled the kind of doubts about the system that bolster Trump. Trump's accusations of a corrupt elite and a rigged political and media system are not merely figments of his imagination; they are rooted in the realities of US politics.

Trump, however, is not the man to offer solutions. His interests are too close aligned to those of the plutocrats for him to make meaningful changes.

Trump may lose this time, but someone like him will do better next time – unless ordinary Americans are exposed to a different kind of politician, one who can articulate progressive, rather regressive, remedies for the necrosis that is rotting the US body politic. Sanders began that process, but a progressive challenge to "politics as normal" has to be sustained and extended if Trump and his ilk are not to triumph eventually.

The battle cannot be delayed another few years, on the basis that one day a genuinely non-evil candidate will emerge from nowhere to fix this rotten system. It won't happen of its own. Unless progressive Americans show they are prepared to vote out of conviction, not out of necessity, the Democratic party will never have to take account of their views. It will keep throwing up leaders – in different colours and different sexes – to front the tiny elite that runs the US and seeks to rule the world.

It is time to say no – loudly – to Clinton, whether she is the slightly lesser-evil candidate or not. The original source of this article is Jonathan Cook Blog Copyright © Jonathan Cook , Jonathan Cook Blog , 2016

[Nov 07, 2016] Election Fraud in America A Comparative Analysis

Nov 07, 2016 | www.globalresearch.ca

Election Fraud in America: A Comparative Analysis

Comparing Mythologies US, Ukraine, Venezuela

By Prof Michael Keefer Global Research, November 07, 2016 Global Research 30 November 2004 Region: Latin America & Caribbean , USA

vote twice

This important article was first published by Global Research in November 2004 in relation to the 2004 presidential race.

A 'president' who takes office through fraud and usurpation can make no legitimate claim to exercise the stolen power of his office.

Imagine the sensation that would have ensued if a United States Senator had declared, less than three weeks after the 2004 U.S. presidential election, that "It is now apparent that a concerted and forceful program of election-day fraud and abuse was enacted with either the leadership or co-operation of governmental authorities." The story would have made banner headlines around the world.

As a matter of fact, on November 22, 2004, BBC News attributed these very words to Republican Senator Richard Lugar. However, Lugar was speaking in his capacity as Chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee-and he was referring, not to the U.S. presidential election of November 2, but to the Ukrainian presidential election of November 21, 2004.

The primary evidence for Lugar's charge of electoral fraud is a striking divergence between exit poll data and official vote tallies. As it happens, wide divergences of just this kind have also been a feature of two other important recent elections: the Venezuelan recall referendum over President Chávez's mandate held on August 15, as well as the U.S. presidential election of November 2. In all three cases there is substantial evidence of fraud-though the dishonesty appears to be very differently distributed. In brief: the Venezuelan election was clean and the exit poll flagrantly dishonest; the Ukrainian vote tallies and exit polling seem both to have been in various ways corrupted; the American election, despite the Bush Republicans' pose as international arbiters of integrity, was manifestly stolen, while the U.S. exit polling was professionally conducted (and though it was subsequently tampered with, accurate results had in the mean time been made public).

Hugo Chávez's landslide victory in August was a surprise only to the hostile U.S. corporate press, which had represented the Venezuelan election campaign as a dead heat: the last opinion poll prior to the referendum in fact showed Chávez leading by a wide margin, with 50 percent of registered voters to the opposition's 38 percent. In the official tally, Chávez won 58.26 percent of the votes, while 41.74 percent were cast against him. International observers, including the Organization of American States and the Carter Center, declared that the election had been fair: in ex-U.S. President Jimmy Carter's words, "any allegations of fraud are completely unwarranted" (see Rosnick).

But on election day the leading New York polling firm Penn, Schoen & Berland disgraced itself by releasing (before the polls closed, and hence in violation of Venezuelan law) a purportedly authoritative exit poll, with a claimed margin of error "under +/-1%," according to which Chávez had been defeated, gaining a mere 41 percent of the vote to the opposition's 59 percent. The exit polling, it emerged, had been conducted-though not in Chavista neighbourhoods, where the pollsters did not venture (Gindin [15 Aug. 2004])-by an opposition group named Súmate, which had been formed to agitate for a recall referendum, and whose leadership had been implicated in the 2002 anti-Chávez coup. Súmate appears to have been largely funded by the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which has been aptly described as "the CIA's 'civilian arm'" (Chossudovsky [28 Nov. 2004]), and by the CIA itself (see "Súmate"); in the period leading up to the election, Venezuelan opposition groups like Súmate received altogether more than $20 million from the U.S., including over $3 million funneled through the NED (see www.venezuelafoia ). As had been understood prior to the event (see Stinard [10 Aug. 2004]), fraudulent exit polling was part of a concerted U.S.-backed project of delegitimizing and destabilizing the government of a geopolitically important oil-producing nation. Had the election been less of a landslide, and had it not been conducted with what appears to have been scrupulous correctness, the plan might have succeeded.

Ukraine is likewise recognized as a country of pivotal geopolitical importance (see Aslund [12 May 2004], Chin [26 Nov. 2004], and Oliker); it is a key element in the U.S.'s Silk Road Strategy for domination of central Asia (see Chossudovsky, War and Globalization , pp. 65-75). Here the election results were much closer, and have been more vigorously contested. Viktor Yanukovych, the candidate favoured by Ukraine's Russian neighbours, was declared the winner, with 49.4 percent of the vote to the Western-leaning Viktor Yushchenko's 46.7 percent. But Yushchenko and his party-supported by a growing chorus of Western commentators and governments-have cried foul.

While the Ukrainian exit poll figures publicized in the Western media do support claims of electoral fraud, the exit polls themselves are not above suspicion. The most widely disseminated claim has been that an authoritative exit poll showed Yushchenko to have won the election with a 6 percent lead; Yanukovych's governing party would thus have stolen the election, fraudulently swinging the vote by 8.7 percent. According to better-informed reports, however, two distinct exit polls were conducted. One of these, organized by the right-wing U.S. think-tank Freedom House and the U.S. Democratic Party's National Democratic Institute (NDI), and carried out by the Kyiv Democratic Initiatives Foundation (see Vasovic), perhaps as part of a group calling itself the Exit Pollconsortium (see Kubiniec), found that Yushchenko won 54 percent of the vote to Yanukovych's 43 percent. (It may be this poll that is referred to by the University of British Columbia's Centre for Public Opinion and Democracy in its claim that "an exit poll conducted by independent research firms" showed Yushchenko to have won by 54 to 42 percent.) The other national exit poll, based on interviews rather than questionnaires, was conducted by Sotsis Company and the Social Monitoring Center, and gave Yushchenko 49.4 percent of the vote to Yanukovych's 45.9 percent.

It is not my purpose to attempt an unraveling of the complexities of the Ukrainian election. The British Helsinki Human Rights Group has challenged the validity of the exit polls, claiming that in at least one city the exit pollsters were open Yushchenko supporters, and did not observe proper methodological protocols (see "Ukraine: 2nd Round"). While Western observers have reported major irregularities in the government's conduct of the election, Michel Chossudovsky and Ian Traynor have on the other hand adduced strong evidence of interventions in the Ukrainian electoral process by U.S. governmental and quasi-governmental agencies that resemble the same agencies' interventions in Serbia, Georgia, Belarus, and Venezuela. The voter turnout figures of 96 percent recorded in Yanukovych strongholds in eastern Ukraine are strongly indicative of fraud; so likewise may be "the 90% pro-Yushchenko results declared in western Ukraine," where the British Helsinki Group observed that Yushchenko's opposition party "exercised disproportionate control over the electoral process in many places." I would like merely to suggest that the interview-based exit poll which gave Yushchenko a 3.5 percent lead over Yanukovych-and hence indicated an irregular swing of 6.2 percent in the latter's favour-is more likely to have been properly conducted than the exit poll which was organized by Freedom House and the NDI, and which may well have been marked by Súmate-type improprieties.

Let us turn to the American presidential election, where the same kind of data has encouraged similar suspicions-though thanks to the soothing ministrations of the U.S. corporate media, with nothing resembling the massive public outcry in Ukraine. George W. Bush was hailed the winner on November 2, with 51 percent of the vote to John Kerry's 48 percent. But there are good reasons to be skeptical of the official vote tallies. The last wave of national exit polls published on the evening of November 2-polls which appear to have been duly weighted to correct for sampling imbalances-showed Kerry, not Bush, leading by 51 to 48 percent (see 'Mystery Pollster'). A divergence of 6 percent between weighted exit polls and the official numbers is a strong indicator of electoral fraud.

At the decisive point, moreover, the divergence between the exit poll results and the vote tally was wider still (see S. Freeman [21 Nov. 2004]). Prior to the election, political analysts identified Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania as the three key swing states: the candidate who carried these states, or a majority of them, would win the election.

Bush won Florida, with 52.1 percent of the vote to Kerry's 47.1 percent. (This tally, by the way, diverges by 4.9 percent in Bush's favour from the state exit poll, which gave Bush a paper-thin 0.1 percent lead.) Kerry won Pennsylvania, with 50.8 percent of the vote to Bush's 48.6 percent. (Here again the vote tally differs in Bush's favour from the exit poll results-this time by 6.5 percent.)

That left Ohio as the deciding state, the one on which the national election results depended. George W. Bush won Ohio, according to the official vote tally, with 51 percent of the vote to John Kerry's 48.5 percent. The divergence in this case between the vote tally and the exit poll, which showed Kerry as winning by 52.1 percent to Bush's 47.9 percent, is fully 6.7 percent.

Is it possible that these three divergences in Bush's favour between exit polls and vote tallies could have occurred by chance? I wouldn't bet on it. Dr. Steven Freeman of the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Organizational Dynamics has calculated that the odds against these statistical anomalies occurring by chance are 662,000 to 1 (S. Freeman [21 Nov. 2004]).

Or are exit polls perhaps just not as reliable as people think? Dr. Freeman has an answer to this question as well. In the last three national elections in Germany, the differential between the exit polls and the vote tallies was, on average, 0.27 percent; and in the last three elections to the European Parliament, the differential in Germany was 0.44 percent (S. Freeman [21 Nov. 2004]). Professionally conducted exit polls are highly accurate-which is why they have been used (in some cases more honestly than in Venezuela and Ukraine) as a measure of electoral integrity in places where improprieties have been anticipated. The U.S. exit polls were conducted by Mitofsky International, a survey research company founded by Warren J. Mitofsky, who as the company's website proclaims "created the Exit Poll research model" and "has directed exit polls and quick counts since 1967 for almost 3,000 electoral contests. He has the distinction of conducting the first national presidential exit polls in the United States, Russia, Mexico and the Philippines. His record for accuracy is well known" (see "National Election Pool").

The fact that Mitofsky International systematically altered the U.S. presidential exit poll data early on the morning of November 3, contaminating the exit poll figures by conflating them with the vote tally percentages, has quite rightly become a matter of controversy (see Keefer [5 Nov. 2004], and Olbermann, "Zogby Vs. Mitofsky"). But there seems no reason to doubt that the Mitofsky exit poll data made available by the CNN website on the evening of November 2 was professionally gathered.

Mightn't one propose, as a last resort, that Bush's election-winning divergence of 6.7 percent between the Ohio exit poll results and the Ohio vote tally was, at any rate, somewhat less scandalous than the 13.7 percent swing Yanukovych's party was blamed for by the Freedom House-NDI exit poll? (Ignore, if you like, the lesser 6.2 percent swing indicated by the Sotsis and Social Monitoring exit poll-which, if accurate, shows the Freedom House-NDI poll to be skewed in Yushchenko's favour by fully 7.5 percent.) But if stealing elections is like knocking off banks, the fact that one practitioner can dynamite the vault of the central bank and get away with it, while his less fortunate compeer draws unwanted attention by blowing out all of the windows of the neighbourhood Savings-and-Loan, doesn't make the former any less a bank robber than the latter.

The parallels between the Ukrainian and the U.S. presidential elections extend beyond the exit poll divergences. Ballot-box stuffers appear to have achieved a 96 percent turnout in parts of eastern Ukraine, with turnout figures in some areas exceeding 100 percent. There is evidence of similar indiscretions on the part of Bush's electoral fraud teams. Twenty-nine precincts in a single Ohio county reported more votes cast than there are registered voters-to a cumulative total of over 93,000 votes (see Rockwell). And in six Florida counties the total number of votes reported to have been cast exceeded by wide margins the total number of registered voters (see Newberry). Senator John McCain, manifesting the same stunning lack of irony as other Republican spokesmen, has weighed in on the issue: "IRI [the International Republican Institute] found that in a number of polling stations, the percentage of votes certified by the Central Election Commission exceeded 100% of total votes. This is simply disgraceful" (see "McCain"). McCain is of course referring to eastern Ukraine; when it comes to Florida or Ohio, he keeps his eyes wide shut.

The question of advance indications of electoral fraud offers a final point of comparison. In the United States, as in Ukraine (where international observers described the polls and vote-counts in previous elections as deeply flawed), electoral fraud was widely anticipated prior to the 2004 presidential election. As the materials itemized in the first three sections of this Reading List make clear, the electronic voting technologies in use in the U.S. were widely denounced by electronic security experts months and even years in advance, as permitting, indeed facilitating, electoral fraud; there is clear evidence that the 2000 election and the 2002 mid-term elections were marked by large-scale fraud on the part of the Bush Republicans; and U.S. computer scientists and informed analysts warned insistently that fraud on an unprecedented scale was likely to occur in this year's election.

How has it been possible for the massive ironies arising out of the similarities between the elections in the U.S. and Ukraine to pass unobserved in the corporate media? Have the media been simple-mindedly buttering their bread on both sides? If so, it is a habit that makes for messy eating. On November 20, an article in The Washington Post informed those who might question the U.S. election that "Exit Polls Can't Always Predict Winners, So Don't Expect Them To" (Morin). Two days later, The Washington Post carried breaking news of the early election results from Ukraine-and quoted a purported election-stealer who holds exactly the same opinion of exit polls: "'These polls don't work,' said Gennady Korzh, a spokesman for Yanukovych. 'We will win by 3 to 5 percent. And remember, if Americans believed exit polls, and not the actual count, John Kerry would be president'" (see Finn).

Key Issues and Evidence of Electoral Fraud in the US

Mainstream media assessments of the integrity of the 2004 U.S. presidential election have tended to focus on particular and local problems-computer errors or 'glitches' for the most part-that came to light on the day of the election or shortly afterwards. Naturally enough, the fact that these problems were noticed, and in some cases corrected, works if anything to enhance public confidence in the integrity of the electoral system.

The stance of the mainstream media is inadequate in at least two respects. First, some of the 'problems' were not mere accidents, but open and flagrant violations of democratic principles. Prominent among these was the election-night 'lockdown' of the Warren County, Ohio administrative building, on wholly spurious grounds of a 'terrorist threat': as a result, the public, the press, and the local legal counsel for the Kerry-Edwards campaign were prevented from witnessing the vote count (see Solvig & Horn, and Olbermann [8 Nov. 2004]). This maneuver generated widespread outrage: Warren County's Republicans may perhaps have 'misoverestimated' the degree to which previous conveniently timed 'terror alerts' and Osama bin Laden's late-October Jack-in-the-Box act had tamed the electorate.

But more importantly, while 'problems' and 'glitches' have commonly been covered by the corporate media as local issues, they can be recognized as belonging to a larger pattern. As James Paterson's compelling analysis of The Theft of the 2004 US Election makes clear, Republican intentions were evident well before the election. And as Joseph Cannon has remarked, "An individual problem can be dismissed as a glitch. But when error after error after error favors Bush and not a single 'accident' favors Kerry, we've left glitch-land."

There is widespread evidence, which goes well beyond any mere accumulation of local problems, that "glitch-land" is indeed far behind us. The landscape to which the 2004 U.S. presidential election belongs includes the murky swamps of Tammany Hall-style election-fixing-and the still more sinister morasses of 'Jim Crow' as well.

It has been reported that Republican-controlled counties in Ohio and elsewhere sought to reduce the African-American vote by deliberately curtailing the numbers of polling stations and voting machines in working-class precincts: large numbers of would-be voters were effectively disenfranchised by line-ups that were many hours long (see Fitrakis [7, 16, 22 Nov. 2004]). The Republican Party's purging of African Americans from voters' lists gained the 2000 election for George W. Bush (see Conyers [21 Aug. 2001]); as informed observers had anticipated (Palast [1 Nov. 2004], King & Palast), this shameful illegality was repeated in 2004 on a wider scale. Large-scale polling-station challenges were used to further slow the voting, and to turn the new provisional ballots into a mechanism for effectively disenfranchising minority voters. In the swing state of Ohio this year, it appears that fully 155,000 voters-most of them African-Americans-were obliged as a result of polling-station challenges to cast provisional ballots (see Palast [12 Nov. 2004], Solnit). Although it is becoming clear that the great majority of these citizens were legally entitled to vote (see Williams), the likelihood that their votes will be fairly counted, or that Ohio's Republican Secretary of State Ken Blackwell will permit them to be included in the official tally, remains slender. The effect of this Jim Crow mechanism appears to be compounded by racially-biased judgments of ballot spoilage. As Greg Palast reports, 54 percent of all ballots judged 'spoiled' in the 2000 election in Florida were cast by African-American voters, and similarly scandalous percentages are expected in key states this time round. Nor have African Americans been the sole victims of these tactics: it appears that in New Mexico, where Hispanics' ballots are five times more likely to be laid aside as 'spoiled' than those of white voters, 13,000 Hispanics were effectively disenfranchised by means of provisional ballots (Palast [12 Nov. 2004]). Bush won New Mexico by less than half that number of votes.

But it is the co-presence of other forms of corruption, in addition to all these, that establishes the difference between an election dirtied by illegalities, and one that was not merely soiled and distorted by fraud but actually stolen. The evidence presented within the texts listed here suggests with gathering strength that the Karl Rovian maneuvers alluded to above were supplemented on November 2, 2004 by less conspicuous-and yet decisive-manipulations of the machines that recorded and tabulated the votes.

How precisely this apparent manipulation may have been carried out in different jurisdictions-by rigging machines in advance to mis-record or delete votes, by configuring proprietary software so as to allow 'back-door' access for unrestrained vote-tampering, or by hacking into the notoriously insecure vote-tabulation systems-remains as yet undetermined. However, the evidence has been coming to light with surprising rapidity.

As observers and analysts noted at once, troubling discrepancies were apparent between the exit poll results published by CNN on the evening of November 2 and the official vote tallies (see DeHart, Dodge, S. Freeman, Otter, and Simon). No less disturbing, as I observed in my article on the subject, is the fact that the exit poll data was systematically tampered with early on November 3 to make the figures conform to the vote tallies. At 1:41 a.m. EST on November 3, for example, the Ohio exit poll was altered: Kerry, who had previously been shown as leading Bush by 4 percent in that state, was now represented in the revised exit poll as trailing him by 2.5 percent. And yet the number of respondents in the poll had increased from 1,963 to only 2,020. An additional 57 respondents-a 2.8 percent increase-had somehow produced a 6.5 percent swing from Kerry to Bush. At 1:01 a.m. EST on November 3, the Florida exit poll was likewise altered: Kerry, who had previously been shown in a near dead heat with Bush, now trailed him by 4 percent. In this case, the number of respondents rose only from 2,846 to 2,862. A mere 16 respondents-0.55 percent of the total-produced a 4 percent swing to Bush.

However, the key exit-poll issue remains the divergence between the November 2 exit polls and the vote tallies. Steven Freeman concluded, in the first draft of his judicious study of the November 2 exit poll data, that "Systematic fraud or mistabulation is a premature conclusion, but the election's unexplained exit poll discrepancies make it an unavoidable hypothesis, one that is the responsibility of the media, academia, polling agencies, and the public to investigate" (S. Freeman [11 Nov, 2004]).

Other evidence points toward a strengthening, indeed to a substantial confirmation of this "unavoidable hypothesis" of systematic fraud. Some of this evidence has been emerging from the swing state of North Carolina, and from the two key swing states of Florida and Ohio-either one of which, had John Kerry won it, would have made him the acknowledged President-elect.

In North Carolina, the tell-tale marks of electronic electoral fraud have been brought to light by an analyst who publishes at the Democratic Underground site under the name of 'ignatzmouse'. ("Ignatz," remember, is the name of the mouse who in the Krazy Kat cartoons smacks the unhappy cat with the inevitable brick. That pesky mouse is once again on target.)

What gives the game away in the North Carolina election data is the disparity within the presidential and senatorial vote-counts between the so-called "absentee" votes-a category that apparently includes the early voting data as well as votes cast by citizens living abroad and military personnel-and the polling-day votes cast on November 2.

In the race for Governor, 30 percent of the votes cast for the Republican and the Democratic candidate alike were absentee votes; the other 70 percent were cast on November 2. The Democrat won with 55.6 percent of both the absentee and the polling-day votes. In most of the other statewide races in the North Carolina election there were similarly close correlations between absentee and polling-day votes. For example, Democrats won the post of Lieutenant Governor, with 55.7 percent of absentee and 55.5 percent of polling-day votes; the post of Secretary of State, with 58 percent of absentee and 57 percent of polling-day votes; and the post of Attorney General, with 56.7 percent of absentee and 55.2 percent of polling-day votes. In three other statewide races, and in the voting for three constitutional amendments, the correlation between absentee and polling-day votes remains very close (though tight races for three other positions in the state administration were won by Republicans with polling-day swings in favour of the Republican candidates of 4.2, 5.2, and 5.4 percent respectively).

Given the close correlations between absentee and polling-day votes in ten of the thirteen statewide races, the senate result looks suspicious: the Democrat's narrow lead in the absentee voting became a clear defeat on November 2, with a 6.4 percent swing in the polling-day votes to the Republican. And the presidential results look more seriously implausible. In the absentee votes, Kerry trailed by 6 percent, a result that 'ignatzmouse' remarks "is consistent with the pre-election polls and most importantly with the exit polls of November 2 nd ." But in the election day voting, there was a further swing of fully 9 percent to Bush. Bush led in the absentee votes (30 percent of the total) by 52.9 percent to Kerry's 46.9 percent; but on polling day he took 57.3 percent of the remaining votes, while Kerry received 42.3 percent. In the absence of any other explanation, these figures point to electronic fraud-and, more precisely, to "a 'date-specific' alteration in the software, a hack, or a specific [software] activation just prior to the election."

The Florida evidence is, if anything, more flagrant. On November 18, Professor Michael Hout of the University of California at Berkeley released a statistical study indicating that electronic voting technology had produced a very substantial distortion of the presidential vote tally in Florida. According to the analyses conducted by Hout and his team, irregularities associated with electronic voting machines accounted for at least 130,000 votes in Bush's lead over Kerry in Florida-and possibly twice that much. (The uncertainty stems from the fact that the machines may have awarded Bush "ghost votes" which increased his tally without reducing Kerry's, or they may have misattributed Kerry votes as Bush votes. As Hout explains, the disparities "amount to 130,000 votes if we assume a 'ghost vote' mechanism and twice that-260,000 votes-if we assume that a vote misattributed to one candidate should have been counted for the other.")

Hout's results have not gone unchallenged (see Strashny); obviously enough, the validity of statistical analyses depends on the extent to which all possible causal factors have been accounted for. But other data indicates that the 'haunting' of Florida's electronic voting tabulators was if anything more serious than Hout and his associates believe. As I have already noted, in six Florida counties the number of votes purportedly cast exceeded the number of registered voters-by a cumulative total of 188,885 (see Newberry). These are apparently "ghost votes," and unless we're willing to assume a level of electoral participation resembling those claimed by totalitarian states like Ceaucescu's Romania or Saddam Hussein's Iraq, a significant percentage of the other votes cast in these counties must also represent the electoral choice not of human beings but of Republican hackers.

Further evidence which may help to identify the agents involved in Florida's electronic voting fraud has in fact begun to emerge. Brandon Adams, for example, has noted striking divergences among Florida voters according to the makes and models of the voting machines they used in different counties; and a heavy hacking of vote-tabulation systems used in conjunction with the older optical-scan voting machines is now well-established (see Paterson).

Moreover, statistically-based work is being complemented by acquisitions of direct material evidence. In Volusia County, one of Florida's six most seriously 'haunted' counties, where 19,306 more votes were cast than there are registered voters, Bev Harris's BlackBoxVoting team caught county election officials red-handed on November 16 in the act of trashing original polling-place tapes which BlackBoxVoting had asked for in a Freedom of Information request. In addition to filming the behaviour of county officials, her team was able to establish that some copies of the tapes that officials had prepared to give them in response to the Freedom of Information Act request had been falsified in favour of George W. Bush-in one precinct alone by hundreds of votes (see Harris [18 Nov. 2004], Hartmann [19 Nov. 2004]). The Volusia County materials provide proof, moreover, that the GEMS central vote-tabulation system, which was supposedly "stand-alone" and non-networked, was remotely accessed during the election (Harris [24 Nov. 2004]).

Ohio, remember, was the deciding state. John Kerry conceded the election after calculating that the some 155,000 provisional ballots cast in Ohio would not suffice-even if they were properly counted, and even if, as expected, they were very largely cast by Kerry supporters-to overturn the tallied results, according to which Bush had won the state by 136,483 votes.

However, the exit poll data indicates that it was Kerry who won the state, and by a comfortable margin. Once again, there is substantial evidence of electronic electoral fraud. Teed Rockwell found, after careful study of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections website, that twenty-nine precincts in this county "reported votes cast IN EXCESS of the number of registered voters-at least 93,136 extra votes total." The same website he studied ( http://boe.cuyahogacounty.us/BOE/results/currentresults1.htm#top ) also repays further study, for Rockwell's tallying of 'ghost votes' is in fact conservative. To cite just one example, Brook Park City is listed as having 14,491 registered voters, of whom it is claimed that fully 14,458 exercised their civic duty and cast ballots-for a turn-out rate of 99.4 percent. I leave it to the curious to discover how many of these high-minded but possibly nonexistent citizens supported their incumbent President.

Those who want to pursue the questions of vote fraud and suppression in Ohio may also want to consult the studies carried out by Richard Philips, whose work, together with the data available on the websites of Cuyahoga and other counties, provides depressing evidence of successful vote suppression in urban precincts. (It has been estimated that vote suppression tactics may have cost Kerry 45,000 votes across the whole state of Ohio [see Bernstein].)

The Green Party and Libertarian Party presidential candidates, belatedly followed by the Kerry/Edwards campaign, have called for a recount in Ohio. But if Ohio's Republican Secretary of State Blackwell permits no more than a recount, without a rigorous audit of the electronic voting machines and tabulators as well, the numbers for a reversal of the election results are probably not there. On the optimistic assumption that a fair count of the 155,000 provisional ballots would result in 10 percent of them being disqualified and 70 percent of the remainder being validated as Kerry votes, those ballots might reduce Bush's lead in Ohio by as much as 55,800 votes. However, it seems unlikely that a recount, including a re-examination of the more than 96,000 Ohio votes (most of them cast on old punch-card machines) that were discarded as spoiled, would turn up the almost 81,000 additional Kerry votes that would still be needed.

Together with the principle that every duly cast vote must be counted, advocates for democracy need to assert another complementary principle: the principle that votes cast not in polling booths, but in the hard drives of voting-tabulation machines; and not by citizens, but rather by ghosts summoned into existence by Republican hackers' nimble fingers, have no business getting counted, and should be removed from the tally.

The effect of turning a 'Ghostbuster' computer-auditing team like Bev Harris's BlackBoxVoting organization loose on the Ohio results, to carry out a serious audit of any polling precinct and computer-log data that hasn't already been quietly destroyed, might well be startling. For while a simple recount would probably leave Kerry trailing by several tens of thousands of votes, a thorough computer-audit 'exorcism' of the vote tallies, should such a thing ever be permitted, might well lead to a reversal of the national election results.

Whatever the finally certified results may be, a larger informing context should not be forgotten. The regime of George W. Bush has made no secret of its scorn for the American Constitution and Bill of Rights, its hostility to any notion of international law, its contemptuous dismissal of the decent opinion of humankind both at home and abroad, its contempt, in the most inclusive sense, for truth.

Bush has claimed that the 2004 election gave him "capital"-which he now will not hesitate to spend. An early instance of this expenditure has been the assault on the city of Fallujah, and a compounding of the manifold war crimes of which Bush and those who serve him are already guilty.

But what is this "capital"? As the evidence is revealing with growing clarity, the 2004 presidential election was not in fact a victory for Bush, but rather the occasion for an insolent usurpation.

A 'president' who takes office through fraud and usurpation can make no legitimate claim to exercise the stolen power of his office.

As the knowledge of his offence becomes ever more widely disseminated, he may yet come, like Shakespeare's Macbeth, "[to] feel his title / Hang loose upon him, like a giant's robe / Upon a dwarfish thief."

[Nov 07, 2016] Bernie Sanders was a Con Artist, had an 'Agreement' with Hillary Clinton – Wikileaks

www.eutimes.net

According to a new Wikileaks email, Bernie Sanders was just a Manchurian candidate and a Clinton puppet all along. We finally have confirmation of what we have suspected since Bernie said "people are sick of hearing about your damn emails" all the way back in 2015 during one debate. That was a big give-away and a huge red flag which many have raised back then but now we finally have irrefutable proof that Bernie Sanders was just a SCAM candidate and a con artist.

[Nov 07, 2016] Populism Needs Place-ism The American Conservative

Notable quotes:
"... Well, two can play at tendentiousness. I'd say that American populism, in its various guises, has been distinguished by three basic beliefs: ..."
"... Concentrated wealth and power are pernicious, so widespread distribution of both is the proper condition; ..."
"... War and militarism are ruinous to the republic and to the character (not to mention physical health) of the people; and ..."
"... Ordinary people can be trusted to make their own decisions. ..."
"... The Democratic candidate this time around is the most hawkish nominee of her party since LBJ in 1964 and its most pro-Wall Street standard bearer since John W. Davis in 1924. She is, in every way, including her "the peasants are revolting" shtick, the compleat anti-populist. ..."
"... Place-based populism, seeded in love, defends a people against the powerful external forces that would crush or corrupt or subjugate them. It's Jane Jacobs and her "bunch of mothers" fighting Robert Moses on behalf of Greenwich Village. It's the people of Poletown, assisted by Ralph Nader, defending their homes and churches against the depredations of General Motors and the execrable Detroit Mayor Coleman Young. It's parents-whether in South Boston, Brooklyn, or rural America-championing their local schools against berobed bussers, education bureaucrats, and Cold War consolidators. ..."
Nov 07, 2016 | www.theamericanconservative.com

With every generational populist efflorescence (those who disapprove call it a "recrudescence") two things are guaranteed:

First, the prosy men with leaden eyes of the New York Times will rouse themselves from complacent torpor into a Cerberus-like defense of the ruling class against the intruder. The Times of 1896 on William Jennings Bryan (a "cheap and shallow … blatherskite" with an "unbalanced and unsound mind," though whether or not Bryan was "insane," the Times editorialist of 1896 conceded, "is a question for expert alienists") is no different than the Times in 2016 on Donald Trump. For his part, Trump probably thinks Bryan's Cross of Gold would make a classy adornment to the Mar-a-Lago Club chapel.

The second certainty is that middlebrow thumb-suckers and chin-pullers will invoke midcentury historian Richard Hofstadter, whose 1964 essay that refuses to die, "The Paranoid Style in American Politics," ascribed dissent from the Cold War Vital Center consensus to mental illness. In your guts, as LBJ backers said of Barry Goldwater, you know he's nuts.

Or they'll quote Hofstadter's The Age of Reform , winner of the Pulitzer Prize-always a bad sign-in which populism is merely "the simple virtues and unmitigated villainies of a rural melodrama" writ large, and it ulcerates with "nativist phobias," "hatred of Europe and Europeans," and resentment of big business, intellectuals, the Eastern seaboard, the other bulwarks of Time-Life culture, circa 1955. (Only a Vital Centurion could believe that wishing to refrain from killing Europeans in wars is evidence of "hatred of Europe and Europeans.")

Well, two can play at tendentiousness. I'd say that American populism, in its various guises, has been distinguished by three basic beliefs:

  1. Concentrated wealth and power are pernicious, so widespread distribution of both is the proper condition;
  2. War and militarism are ruinous to the republic and to the character (not to mention physical health) of the people; and
  3. Ordinary people can be trusted to make their own decisions.

The Democratic candidate this time around is the most hawkish nominee of her party since LBJ in 1964 and its most pro-Wall Street standard bearer since John W. Davis in 1924. She is, in every way, including her "the peasants are revolting" shtick, the compleat anti-populist.

But Hillary's awfulness should not obscure the truth that a healthy populism requires anchorage. It must be grounded in a love of the particular-one's block, one's town, one's neighbors (of all shapes and sizes and colors)-or else it is just a grab bag of resentments, however valid they may be.

An unmoored populism leads to scapegoating and the sputtering fury of the impotent. Breeding with nationalism, it submerges local loyalties and begets a blustering USA! USA! twister of nothingness.

From out of that whirlwind spin the faux-populists of the Beltway Right: placeless mountebanks banking the widow's mite in Occupied Northern Virginia. To a man they are praying for a Hillary Clinton victory, which would be the Clampetts' oil strike and the winning Powerball ticket all rolled into one. President Clinton the Second would be the most lucrative hobgoblin for the ersatz populists of Birther Nation since Teddy Kennedy crossed his last bridge.

Place-based populism, seeded in love, defends a people against the powerful external forces that would crush or corrupt or subjugate them. It's Jane Jacobs and her "bunch of mothers" fighting Robert Moses on behalf of Greenwich Village. It's the people of Poletown, assisted by Ralph Nader, defending their homes and churches against the depredations of General Motors and the execrable Detroit Mayor Coleman Young. It's parents-whether in South Boston, Brooklyn, or rural America-championing their local schools against berobed bussers, education bureaucrats, and Cold War consolidators.

For a span in the early 1990s, Jerry Brown dabbled in populism. Alas, the protean Brown, once returned to California's governorship, became his father, the numbingly conventional liberal hack Pat Brown, though the chameleonic Jesuit may have one final act left him, perhaps as a nonagenarian desert ascetic.

A quarter-century ago, Brown spoke of the populists' struggle against "a global focus over which we have virtually no control. We have to force larger institutions to operate in the interest of local autonomy and local power. Localism, if you really take it seriously, is going to interrupt certain patterns of modern growth and globalism."

The harder they come, the harder they fall, as Jimmy Cliff sang.

The two self-styled populists who made 2016 interesting never so much as glanced at, let alone picked up, the localist tool recommended by Jerry Brown in one of his previous lives. Their populism, dismissive of the local, is hollow. It's all fury and no love. But tomorrow, as a Georgia lady once wrote, is another day.

Bill Kauffman is the author of 10 books, among them Dispatches from the Muckdog Gazette and Ain't My America .

[Nov 07, 2016] Sanders had non-aggression pact with Clinton who had leverage to enforce it. He basically handed her this nomination.

Nov 07, 2016 | twitter.com

WikiLeaks  Verified account
‏@wikileaks

Sanders had non-aggression pact with Clinton who had "leverage" to enforce it Robby Mook ("re47") email reveals https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/47397#efmAAAAB2 …

Robert. ‏@robbiemakestees · Nov 4

@wikileaks the plot thickens. He basically handed her this nomination. What did he honestly think was gonna happen?

[Nov 06, 2016] Trumps closing argument

Nov 06, 2016 | www.unz.com
Pretty good Trump ad tying together his themes of Hillary's corruption and globalism. Rather than just attack Hillary over idiosyncratic scandals, he's pulling together the threads of how Hillary's ideology and self-interest support each other.

It's funny how Trump is developing a more coherent big picture framework.

My recollection of Romney's campaign is that he generally lacked an intellectual framework for tying together his a la carte issues.

With McCain, he had Invade the World / Invite the World. Sure, it doesn't make much sense, but at least it's an ethos.

Romney, though, was a more reasonable man than McCain, so he was kind of stuck in nowhere land in the middle.

In contrast to the remarkable spectacle of Donald Trump, of all people, evolving into an insightful critic of the conventional wisdom of the zeitgeist , Hillary's big intellectual breakthrough in 2016 was realizing how much she really hates people who don't vote for her due to their irredeemable deplorableness.

That doesn't mean, however, the details will necessarily work together for Trump. For example, industrial protectionism was likely pretty good for America on the whole during the "infant industries" era (to quote the non-rap Alexander Hamilton). But you didn't really want to see how the sausage is made. Tariff battles in Congress tended to gross out everybody who wasn't a hired lobbyist or wardheeler.

Jerry Pournelle has proposed a modest tariff (e.g., 10%) on everything, no exceptions, as a way around the corruption problem. Of course, that's the opposite approach to Trump's Art of the Deal inclinations.

[Nov 06, 2016] The real test of the election - Shadow govt. comes out of the shadows Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... Trump has by mere existance dragged the shadow state out of the shadows. Sweet know thy enemy for they will always be thy enemy. Off to restock me popcorn ... 1 week supply will do after that forget it it will be long past popcorn. dinkum Nov 5, 2016 8:27 PM , We were taught at the kitchen table that the "Current Tax Payment Act of 1943", aka employee withholding taxes, would allow the shadow government dominate over the de jure government. Reason given was that the easier to not have to save money themselves to pay taxes, the less interest taxpayers would have in government. Every year, often in April, my Dad would say that he earned the first dollar for our family that year. Now, about 2 or 3 generations later with celebrations for lowering of the labor participation rates below 63%, shadow government is protected by those either not knowing or unable to know how to register to vote. Ripe pickings for One World Government advocates. Seems most Americans do not understand the concept of independence and have little or no interest in understanding. RaceToTheBottom Nov 5, 2016 8:17 PM , I'm sorry, but I am going to love pointing out to you Trumpsters that it makes absolutely no difference who gets elected, the State still wins..... ..."
"... I haven't voted for the main election in probably 20 years, except in the primary for Ron Paul. I figure 1 minute of my time for a lottery ticket is worth the shot. But yeah I don't think we should go full Nazi mania about the guy, or be like the Obamaites with their messiah. ..."
"... There are alot of people probably unhealthy optimistic about the guy. ..."
"... We are winning because we are breaking people's stockholm syndromes. Apathy is a bad thing, even if the vote is rigged it's better to stay positive that something can be done. Because something can always be done if people want it bad enough. ..."
"... Hillary=MIC=USA=ISIS. Vote accordingly. ..."
Nov 06, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com
This election is unprecedented in many ways. Never before has a candidate been under indictment (probably from Grand Jury) - and under investigation from FBI. Never before have previously private records been shown to the world vis a vis wikileaks. Never before a non-career politician garnered so much support so quickly, even to the chagrin of his own party. Never before has there been evidence so obvious, hundreds of smoking guns, like the election official admitting they are busing around voters to polls to vote multiple times. It's unprecedented! But as we explain in our best selling book Splitting Pennies - the world works like this (but only now, it's open for public view) . Yes, it's true. A small cabal of people who are not in public view, they play with the world like a big Sims game. If you're not up to date on this and want a good read about the connection between big banks and the CIA, checkout this groundbreaking work: Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. This is a MUST READ for any trader who claims to understand the markets.

In previous elections, well, what's the difference really between Bush and Gore? Bush and Kerry? They went to the same school, and take orders from the same masters. This election is different. Trump is a real 'trump' card. What does this word mean? It's an ironic name for the candidate who intentionally or not opened the shadow government for the world to see.

From MW: Trump definition

1 a : trumpet

2 : a sound of or as if of trumpeting <the trump of doom>

1 a : a card of a suit any of whose cards will win over a card that is not of this suit -called also trump card

2 : a decisive overriding factor or final resource -called also trump card

3 : a dependable and exemplary person

There are multiple game-changers here, and although Trump himself personally deserves the credit for being the punching bag at a huge personal sacrifice, Trump himself is not the primary cause of this paradigm shift. He's just the catalyst, and in the right place at the right time. As explained eloquently by Peter Thiel, if it's not Trump this time , it will be someone else next time, or some alternative non-career politician who represents the same things that Trump does. In fact, Trump probably doesn't know half of what he's getting himself into. He can be the first President that ushers in a new age of 'reality' (for lack of a better word).

First let's give credit where credit is due. What has made this possible is sites like Zero Hedge, and more importantly Wikileaks. Clinton Foundation as a model for pay-for-play politics was certainly not invented by the Clintons, or the Bushes. In fact, in America's Romanesque ideology, a good metaphor is the business of the Roman empire. Most Roman senators were in fact, super rich.

The Romans really invented the system of power politics, where politics became big business. The Greeks were too philosophical and practical to make a business out of it. While the Greeks spent all night debating what is the prime mover, Romans seized territory, built roads and bridges, and most importantly - got rich.

It's not so difficult to imagine the ridiculous riches held by the Romans, as we have a similar inequality today. Economists and other scholars have even pointed out 'signs' of the collapse of the American Empire lie in the comparison between inequality, inefficiency, a decline in morals, and a debasement of the currency. For example in this book: "The Collapse of Complex Societies (New Studies in Archaeology)" Joseph Tainter explores the similarities of complex societies and implies that we may be at a 'tipping point' similar to just before the collapse of the Roman Empire:

Combine this with various Roman symbolism, in Washington DC, and in the cult sects the Elite participate in (various forms of the Occult) - a picture emerges of a "New Rome" which may be have been the Illuminati plan all along for America. But the problem is that, the corruption, the debasement of the currency (today, we have Quantitative Easing) it can't continue. It's a simple problem of physics, the laws of gravity cannot be violated. The value of the US Dollar is guaranteed to crash. There's no question about it. It's because of the math and structure of the debt based money system. The future, is Bitcoin - not the Clinton Foundation. Clinton Foundation is a representation of how the Elite evolved from a direct rule class system during Medieval Europe to a 'Shadow Government' system that we use today.

Who is the "Shadow Government" and who are these "Shadow People" ? To understand it, you've got to hear it direct from the horses mouth- a Washington Insider (call him a Whistleblower, although he's not blowing the Whistle on a particular company it's the whole pay for play system) - READ THIS BOOK: The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government

Now many ZH readers and traders know this for a long time. What this election has done, is popularized and exposed this 'shadow government' which really is an entire 'shadow system' because it's not only about the government. For example in Forex business, on the surface, banks are cashing checks and loaning money. But 'behind the scenes' they are involved in much more sinister, often illegal, activities. And the bank fraud cases have been eye-popping, record setting, numbers like "$5.6 Billion" . Washington DC is a big customer of the banks, of the Elite. But by far, not the only one. And certainly not the most powerful. It's just what the public thinks. The President of the United States. It's a powerful person. No, it's not. Presidents (at least, previously) have been mostly puppets that take orders from "Shadow People" - Presidents have become like Actors and accordingly, our most popular President, Ronald Reagan, was an actor. A good actor. Everyone loves an actor! But remember what an ACTOR does - an actor reads his lines, and pretends very convincingly. Actors are not script writers, producers, artists - they are the only part of the creative process that's not creative. Real insiders in Hollywood for example know the real genius to making magic are the writers, producers, music composers like Ennio Morricone. Who is that? Ennio Morricone is a "Shadow Person" - this is the REAL genius and creative talent behind the Hollywood machine. That background music, it's not something just thrown together by some executives. Ennio Morricone is a musical genius, he works behind the scenes, 99% of people never heard of him. But we've all heard about some jerks like Robert DeNiro, who are paid to make fools of themselves and make foolish and childish statements about Trump and how the Establishment is good and you should enjoy how the system services your account even though you live worse every year and it hurts when they do it.

As we wait for the grand finale to the play we call "Politics" enjoy this composition, let it be the background music you remember as the Shadow People are exposed this next week. Turn off your TVs and listen to something that can actually increase your IQ! Yes - it's true!

Now for the real test of the Election. Now that the Shadow System has been exposed, will people openly accept it? There's no more conspiracy theories, most of the facts are now available online for all to see. Will they turn a blind eye - and vote for the Establishment? How deep does the programming go? VERY DEEP, if you are on meds and have a TV.

Thanks for tuning in to this digital production, every moment spent reading and not watching is another step to your higher development. Congrats! For a great read you can take with you anywhere on this topic, checkout Splitting Pennies , also available here at pleaseorderit.com

Renrah Nov 5, 2016 10:10 PM ,
Florida Dems busted for new voter fraud scheme
http://dennismichaellynch.com/florida-election-officials-busted-massive-...
GreatUncle Nov 5, 2016 9:12 PM ,
Trump has by mere existance dragged the shadow state out of the shadows. Sweet know thy enemy for they will always be thy enemy.

Off to restock me popcorn ... 1 week supply will do after that forget it it will be long past popcorn.

dinkum Nov 5, 2016 8:27 PM ,
We were taught at the kitchen table that the "Current Tax Payment Act of 1943", aka employee withholding taxes, would allow the shadow government dominate over the de jure government. Reason given was that the easier to not have to save money themselves to pay taxes, the less interest taxpayers would have in government.

Every year, often in April, my Dad would say that he earned the first dollar for our family that year.

Now, about 2 or 3 generations later with celebrations for lowering of the labor participation rates below 63%, shadow government is protected by those either not knowing or unable to know how to register to vote. Ripe pickings for One World Government advocates.

Seems most Americans do not understand the concept of independence and have little or no interest in understanding.

RaceToTheBottom Nov 5, 2016 8:17 PM ,
I'm sorry, but I am going to love pointing out to you Trumpsters that it makes absolutely no difference who gets elected, the State still wins.....

Sure the Clinton criminal network will have to change methods and the Foundation might curtail some efforts and profits.

But entirely new criminal networks, we can call them the Trumpster Criminal Network, will spring up and take their place.

And regardless of these skimmers we will have elected president (the definition of president is one who skims), the big winner is behind the curtains.

And I am saying this takes place without the Trumpster getting assassinated.

roddcarlson RaceToTheBottom Nov 5, 2016 10:14 PM ,
Voting by mail ballot was easy enough for me to do. Took about 1 minute of my time. Assuming it doesn't make a difference I'm out 1 minute. But just what if it does matter and it changed the direction and course we find ourselves on? I haven't voted for the main election in probably 20 years, except in the primary for Ron Paul. I figure 1 minute of my time for a lottery ticket is worth the shot. But yeah I don't think we should go full Nazi mania about the guy, or be like the Obamaites with their messiah.

There are alot of people probably unhealthy optimistic about the guy. But as the above comment, I think the election sure has been entertaining seeing all the bad info come out.

As a Ron Paul supporter, it's like confirmation that us uniquely different types that everyone thought we were when we talked about the whole thing being rigged and economics and the war mongering has wings and been lifted by Trump. Believe me it took Trump for my mother-in-law to see what is going on. People always were reserved to believe that it was this depraved. I'm sure you are right Clinton might be just the tip of the iceberg. But even if Clinton goes to jail for conspiring against Americans considering her terrible lists of crimes against us, that would be well worth it. This is all about making people believe that conspiracies happen, it took Enron for me to wake up. What comes next if not Trump is real change, one way or another things are not going back to the old way.

We are winning because we are breaking people's stockholm syndromes. Apathy is a bad thing, even if the vote is rigged it's better to stay positive that something can be done. Because something can always be done if people want it bad enough.

GreatUncle RaceToTheBottom Nov 5, 2016 9:20 PM ,
I agree but what was the real game here?

So you will lose like you were always going to lose ... yupper, dam straight, same game same play, YOY decade after decade.

But all those standing before you, from FBI to MSM, be you DOJ or the Clinton Crime family.

YOU NOW KNOW WHO YOUR FUCKING ENEMY IS because they all crawled out from under the rock.

That was the next step in this game ... know thy enemy for he always knew who you were but you in kindness now know them. Worse for them is actually your realisation of the truth.

So I ask this question when you were born are you more or less worthy a human being than an elite child?

This is what this is coming down to in the end.

qdone Nov 5, 2016 7:05 PM ,
if there's not a guillotine on a DC streetcorner on 1/21/17 it's hopeless.
snodgrass Nov 5, 2016 5:52 PM ,
I was thinking the same thing. All those foundations that help fund PBS are behind a lot of the crap we see in America today. And he doesn't mention the biggest source of corruption - the federal reserve and our banking system. Who owns all those corporations? The owners of the big banks - those that make up the federal reserve.
Akzed snodgrass Nov 5, 2016 7:15 PM ,
Who owns the corporations? Who are the biggest stockholders in the biggest mutual funds?
tomcat1762 Nov 5, 2016 5:23 PM ,
Such a sanitized interview. I wonder if it is the product of he same 'Deep State?'
Maestro Maestro Nov 5, 2016 4:49 PM ,
Hillary=MIC=USA=ISIS. Vote accordingly.

P.S. I vote NO FRNs aka US dollars; NO Euros; NO Yens; NO Saudi Rials; NO Chinese Yuans; NO British pounds; NO Russian roubles; and NO Israeli Shekels.

Merry Christmas.

[Nov 06, 2016] Can The Oligarchy Still Steal The Presidential Election

Notable quotes:
"... Clearly the Oligarchy does not want Donald Trump in the White House as they are unsure that they could control him, and Hillary is their agent. ..."
"... With the reopening of the FBI investigation of Hillary and related scandals exploding all around her, election theft is not only more risky but also less likely to serve the Oligarchy's own interests. ..."
"... Image as well as money is part of Oligarchic power. The image of America takes a big hit if the American people elect a president who is currently under felony investigation. ..."
"... Moreover, a President Hillary would be under investigation for years. With so much spotlight on her, she would not be able to serve the Oligarchy's interests. She would be worthless to them, and, indeed, investigations that unearthed various connections between Hillary and oligarchs could damage the oligarchs. ..."
"... In other words, for the Oligarchy Hillary has moved from an asset to a liability. ..."
"... In the speech, Vanfosson said while Donald Trump, a "part-time reality star and full-time bigot," doesn't care about student loan debt, neither does Clinton. "She is so trapped in the world of the elite," Vanfosson said. "She has completely lost grip of what it's like to be an average person." ..."
"... Vanfosson said the only thing Clinton cares about is the billionaires that fund her election. The student added there was no point in voting for the "lesser of two evils." ..."
"... "She would be worthless to them," They would love all the focus on her and not on their work. Their work will continue regardless of who is president. It becomes easier if the president is HillBillery, but it will happen either way. ..."
"... "Something about this was backward. A gay white man and a white woman asking a multi-billionaire how he knows the system is rigged and insisting it's not. Does that sound right to you?" ..."
"... They asked him how he knows the system is rigged and he said, 'Because I take advantage of it.'" ..."
"... Can The Oligarchy Still Steal The Presidential Election? Yes. But in the words of the economic-philosopher The Bernanke "It would be... disorderly." ..."
"... everything they do is for the children! ..."
"... Can they steal the election? They have to try. Their life depends on it. This is big time. Deep State has trillions and decades invested in this election. ..."
"... Thoughtful and interesting take as always by PCR. They may not want Trump, but better to delay their plans than let HRC blow them up by being under the ultimate spotlight. ..."
"... Thinking that this will not be a video game with the better hackers winning is probably either not paying attention or in some kind of "democracy speaks" denial. ..."
"... Roberts is right, of course. The rigged polls and media bias were prelude to the rigged election. ..."
Nov 05, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Paul Craig Roberts via Strategic-Culture.org,

The election was set up to be stolen from Trump. That was the purpose of the polls rigged by overweighting Hillary supporters in the samples. After weeks of hearing poll results that Hillary was in the lead, the public would discount a theft claim. Electronic voting makes elections easy to steal, and I have posted explanations by election fraud experts of how it is done.

Clearly the Oligarchy does not want Donald Trump in the White House as they are unsure that they could control him, and Hillary is their agent.

With the reopening of the FBI investigation of Hillary and related scandals exploding all around her, election theft is not only more risky but also less likely to serve the Oligarchy's own interests.

Image as well as money is part of Oligarchic power. The image of America takes a big hit if the American people elect a president who is currently under felony investigation.

Moreover, a President Hillary would be under investigation for years. With so much spotlight on her, she would not be able to serve the Oligarchy's interests. She would be worthless to them, and, indeed, investigations that unearthed various connections between Hillary and oligarchs could damage the oligarchs.

In other words, for the Oligarchy Hillary has moved from an asset to a liability.

A Hillary presidency could put our country into chaos. I doubt the oligarchs are sufficiently stupid to think that once she is sworn in, Hillary can fire FBI Director Comey and shut down the investigation. The last president that tried that was Richard Nixon, and look where that got him.

Moreover, the Republicans in the House and Senate would not stand for it. House Committee on oversight and Government Reform chairman Jason Chaffetz has already declared Hillary to be "a target-rich environment. Even before we get to day one, we've got two years worth of material already lined up." House Speaker Paul Ryan said investigation will follow the evidence.

If you were an oligarch, would you want your agent under this kind of scrutiny? If you were Hillary, would you want to be under this kind of pressure?

What happens if the FBI recommends the indictment of the president? Even insouciant Americans would see the cover-up if the attorney general refused to prosecute the case. Americans would lose all confidence in the government. Chaos would rule. Chaos can be revolutionary, and that is not good for oligarchs.

Moreover, if reports can be believed, salacious scandals appear to be waiting their time on stage. For example, last May Fox News reported:

"Former President Bill Clinton was a much more frequent flyer on a registered sex offender's infamous jet than previously reported, with flight logs showing the former president taking at least 26 trips aboard the "Lolita Express" - even apparently ditching his Secret Service detail for at least five of the flights, according to records obtained by FoxNews.com.

"Clinton's presence aboard Jeffrey Epstein's Boeing 727 on 11 occasions has been reported, but flight logs show the number is more than double that, and trips between 2001 and 2003 included extended junkets around the world with Epstein and fellow passengers identified on manifests by their initials or first names, including "Tatiana." The tricked-out jet earned its Nabakov-inspired nickname because it was reportedly outfitted with a bed where passengers had group sex with young girls."

Fox News reports that Epstein served time in prison for "solicitation and procurement of minors for prostitution. He allegedly had a team of traffickers who procured girls as young as 12 to service his friends on 'Orgy Island,' an estate on Epstein's 72-acre island, called Little St. James, in the U.S. Virgin Islands."

Some Internet sites, the credibility of which is unknown to me, have linked Hillary to these flights .

This kind of behavior seems reckless even for Bill and Hillary, who are accustomed to getting away with everything. Nevertheless, if you are an oligarch already worried about the reopened Hillary email case and additional FBI investigations, such as the one into the Clinton Foundation, and concerned about what else might emerge from the 650,000 emails on former US Rep. Weiner's computer and the NYPD pedophile investigation, putting Hillary in the Oval Office doesn't look like a good decision.

At this point, I would think that the Oligarchy would prefer to steal the election for Trump , instead of from him, rather than allow insouciant Americans to destroy America's reputation by choosing a person under felony investigations for president of the United States.

Being the "exceptional nation" takes on new meaning when there is a criminal at the helm.

TeamDepends Nov 5, 2016 9:55 PM ,

Nope, not this time. Trump is no Romney and too many feel that this is a life or death decision.
The Saint TeamDepends Nov 5, 2016 10:02 PM ,
Hillary CANNOT become President.

CheapBastard The Saint Nov 5, 2016 10:05 PM ,

If Hillary gets elected and it's rigged, then her "win" is invalid and her election is illegitimate. Most peoples of most countries are not obligated to obey an illegitimately crookedly elected leader. That's some of the reason why countries have revolts, civil unrest, etc.

PrayingMantis CheapBastard Nov 5, 2016 10:30 PM ,

... > ... "... for the Oligarchy Hillary has moved from an asset to a liability ..."

... ... heck, even the Student introducer goes way off script & trashes Clinton at her own rally ... >>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9bmc1uKAz4

... Vanfosson was scheduled to give a speech about Sanders and Clinton supporters uniting, but instead gave a speech about "how terrible Hillary is."

In the speech, Vanfosson said while Donald Trump, a "part-time reality star and full-time bigot," doesn't care about student loan debt, neither does Clinton.

"She is so trapped in the world of the elite," Vanfosson said. "She has completely lost grip of what it's like to be an average person."

Vanfosson said the only thing Clinton cares about is the billionaires that fund her election. The student added there was no point in voting for the "lesser of two evils."

The Saint PrayingMantis Nov 5, 2016 10:38 PM ,
Fired up. Ready to go. Three people… One… Two… Three…
To see Tim Kaine in Fort Myers, Florida

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2016/11/three-people-line-see-tim-kaine-...

LOL

RaceToTheBottom PrayingMantis Nov 5, 2016 10:39 PM ,
"She would be worthless to them," They would love all the focus on her and not on their work. Their work will continue regardless of who is president. It becomes easier if the president is HillBillery, but it will happen either way.
neidermeyer RaceToTheBottom Nov 5, 2016 10:51 PM ,
Whether she wins or loses she brings too much attention onto her backers ... her life expectancy shrinks daily.
Chris Dakota PrayingMantis Nov 5, 2016 10:49 PM ,
LOL

Dave Chappell apparently criticized how the media "twisted" what Trump said when he made lewd remarks about grabbing women in a caught-on-tape conversation in 2005 with former Access Hollywood anchor Billy Bush.

" Sexual assault? It wasn't. He said, 'And when you're a star, they let you do it.' That phrase implies consent," Chappelle reportedly said . "I just don't like the way the media twisted that whole thing. Nobody questioned it."

The 43-year-old comic praised Trump's performance during the second presidential debate, specifically how he handled the harsh line of questions from moderators Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz.

"Something about this was backward. A gay white man and a white woman asking a multi-billionaire how he knows the system is rigged and insisting it's not. Does that sound right to you?" Chappelle reportedly asked the crowd at the famous Cutting Room comedy club. "It didn't seem right to me. And here's how you know Trump is the most gangsta candidate ever. They asked him how he knows the system is rigged and he said, 'Because I take advantage of it.'"

Lynx Dogood TeamDepends Nov 5, 2016 10:43 PM ,
Government needs the trust of the people. PERIOD! If it is not there, the Gov. and its scharade is over. Hillary and the Clintons are over! If they still put her in, they are all done. All the MAGA people won't stop once the election is over. It will cascade beyond that and split the country. They can't have that.

The military as much as Obama has gutted it in the past 8 years, is for Trump. Obama forgot that it takes 2 or more generations, complete dumbass. They still listen to their parents. The Obama's don't want the rope that Hilary will get. They are all about self interests, their own.

This will be an interesting few days!

asteroids Nov 5, 2016 9:56 PM ,
If HRC wins I would not want to be working for the FBI. The progroms will begin.
Clock Crasher asteroids Nov 5, 2016 10:11 PM ,
exactly. I'd be investing in facial reconstructive surgery and working on new life on the other side of the planet.
old naughty Clock Crasher Nov 5, 2016 10:46 PM ,
so a few assume un-normal while PCR hold on to normal thinking by ptb...
I like PCR but this stance misinform, no?
Librarian Nov 5, 2016 9:58 PM ,
Can The Oligarchy Still Steal The Presidential Election? Yes. But in the words of the economic-philosopher The Bernanke "It would be... disorderly."
AtATrESICI AtATrESICI Nov 5, 2016 10:01 PM ,
everything they do is for the children!
Doom and Dust Nov 5, 2016 10:02 PM ,
It's much worse than just Epstein and his Nab O kov-named pimping jet. The Clintons have gone out of their way at least twice to secure the release of proven and probable child sex trafficking outfits.

Many disaster relief and aid organizations in the poorest countries are fronts for pedophiles and sex traffickers, and I know this from extensive personal experience in the Third World. The Clintons and their Foundation are the largest spiders in this global web.

pine_marten Nov 5, 2016 10:04 PM ,
Both Obysmal and Illary think raising their voices and flapping their arms can get them out of the mess they made for themselves.
Chupacabra-322 Nov 5, 2016 10:05 PM ,
Does a Bear Shit in the woods?
Who was that ma... Chupacabra-322 Nov 5, 2016 10:23 PM ,
Is the Pope Catholic? Is a frog's ass water tight", Does a one legged duck swim in circles? Is Hillary Clinton a liar?
Turnagain Nov 5, 2016 10:05 PM ,
After Wikileaks and Wienergate making the people believe that a Hillarhoid win is legit would be a tough sell.
Clock Crasher Nov 5, 2016 10:09 PM ,
Can they steal the election? They have to try. Their life depends on it. This is big time. Deep State has trillions and decades invested in this election.

For all my pessimism lately I'm with the majority here. Trump-slide! Back to the shadow!

monad Clock Crasher Nov 5, 2016 10:38 PM ,
Can they steal me? Can they steal you? Be ready to stand up for yourself. These cockroaches are much smaller than their shadows...
LetThemEatRand Nov 5, 2016 10:10 PM ,
Thoughtful and interesting take as always by PCR. They may not want Trump, but better to delay their plans than let HRC blow them up by being under the ultimate spotlight.
daveO LetThemEatRand Nov 5, 2016 10:35 PM ,
Plan B. Kill Trump, install Pence & warn him to toe the line.
Bopper09 Nov 5, 2016 10:11 PM ,
http://www.punditpress.com/2012/11/breaking-st-lucie-county-florida-had.html

This answer the title's question?

Clock Crasher Nov 5, 2016 10:19 PM ,
I want to see the hacking of the election go fubar with the votes blipping up and down like a penny stock. Lead changes every 2 minutes by increments of no less than 5% per quote. All the while CNN pretends like its normal.
johnwburns Clock Crasher Nov 5, 2016 10:28 PM ,
Thinking that this will not be a video game with the better hackers winning is probably either not paying attention or in some kind of "democracy speaks" denial.
johnwburns Nov 5, 2016 10:20 PM ,
Here is the #nevertrumper response to his 2 minute summary commercial. Disgusting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIL0w4BkHQU
monad Nov 5, 2016 10:23 PM ,
How can one cabal steal from itself? Ollie got no factions, Paulie. Gots Meadowlands and 20# sacks of limestone. Y'know... fertilizer.
Lies. Choose your own path, as God enabled you to do. You are created here, for this purpose.
Do your best.
Skiprrrdog Nov 5, 2016 10:31 PM ,
If the Cunt becomes president, we all better get ready to put our 'pod faces' on... If the Rodent gets 'selected', I wonder if she will keep the Obonzo's on as servants?
SmokeyBlonde Nov 5, 2016 10:32 PM ,
No. People are one to their game.
Baron von Bud Nov 5, 2016 10:33 PM ,
Roberts is right, of course. The rigged polls and media bias were prelude to the rigged election. Hillary's corruption and Bill's perversions are in the spotlight. It will only get much worse with nypd and the fbi ready to fight. Plus, she's incompetent, violent, and hated by a lot of people. Her election alone could incite WW3 within a few months. Trump on the other hand, will have a "conversion" if elected and a cautious foreign policy will follow. Careers will move along in DC and Trump will find the job easy. Harmony .... maybe for a few years.
navy62802 Nov 5, 2016 10:34 PM ,
I predict that if she wins on Tuesday, she will be arrested on Wednesday so that the real puppet Tim Kaine can take over.
War Machine Nov 5, 2016 10:37 PM ,
I abhor violence nowadays but for a guy like Epstein and his pals, I would surely make an exception. As I'm sure would many otherwise in favor of legal justice. Pedophiles do not deserve justice. Only punishment.

https://wikispooks.com/wiki/File:Jeffrey-Epstein-little-black-book.pdf

https://isgp-studies.com/

conraddobler Nov 5, 2016 10:47 PM ,
I must say I like PCR a lot but he seems to be crafting a narrative to fit his desires on this one.

Let's be real here.

There was a massive scandal in England very much like this and it largely went all of nowhere. It hit brick walls after a few players were outed and then fizzled out.

It cuts to the heart of money and power this kind of thing.

The corruption isn't just there for mere corruption sake.

One Ring to rule them all,
One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all
and in the darkness bind them.

The gist of what I'm saying is this.

Oh yeah they can rig it and Oh hell yeah they will rig it.

THEY HAVE TO because the alternative is to let Trump in there and let some normal human beings have the power to unravel this all.

The problem is we are likely to be ASTONISHED at how deep and wide this is.

Literally ASTONISHED to the point of shaking the foundations of what everyone believes in.

So yeah the stakes are huge they will rig it and I pray that I am wrong.

wethecom Nov 5, 2016 10:41 PM ,
they wouldnt be pushing the fake polls if they were not going to steal it
economicmorphine wethecom Nov 5, 2016 10:49 PM ,
The fake polls are evaporating right before our eyes. Hell, even CNN and the alphabets are starting to back off. Not saying this is proof, but it meshes...
johnwburns Nov 5, 2016 10:45 PM ,
Whatever happens with this election I am punching out of this insane process. We are ruled by California, New York, Illinois Pennsylvania and Florida and the ghettos therein. Signing up to be tax cattle and just taking it is masochistic as is aligning oneself with people too lazyor timid to even boycott Amazon or stage a tax revolt.
conraddobler johnwburns Nov 5, 2016 10:52 PM ,
Yep taxation without representation all over again. In theory we have it, but in practical reality we don't. The bible tells the story in revelation. Most everyone will be deceived only a few will move away and they will be mercilessly hunted and persecuted. Lovely shit.

[Nov 06, 2016] The Podesta Emails - Undeniable proof that the lobbyists wanted to put Bernie out

Notable quotes:
"... WikiLeaks series on deals involving Hillary Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta. Mr Podesta is a long-term associate of the Clintons and was President Bill Clinton's Chief of Staff from 1998 until 2001. Mr Podesta also owns the Podesta Group with his brother Tony, a major lobbying firm and is the Chair of the Center for American Progress (CAP), a Washington DC-based think tank. ..."
"... if President Obama signs this terrible legislation that blatantly validates Bernie's entire campaign message about Wall Street running our government, this will give Bernie a huge boost and 10,000 -20,000 outraged citizens (who WILL turn up because they will be so angry at the President for preemption vt) will be marching on the Mall with Bernie as their keynote speaker. " ..."
"... But Hirshberg does not stop here. In order to persuade Podesta about the seriousness of the matter, he claims that " It will be terrible to hand Sanders this advantage at such a fragile time when we really need to save our $$$ for the Trump fight. " ..."
Nov 06, 2016 | failedevolution.blogspot.gr
WikiLeaks series on deals involving Hillary Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta. Mr Podesta is a long-term associate of the Clintons and was President Bill Clinton's Chief of Staff from 1998 until 2001. Mr Podesta also owns the Podesta Group with his brother Tony, a major lobbying firm and is the Chair of the Center for American Progress (CAP), a Washington DC-based think tank.

An email from Gary Hirshberg, chairman and former president and CEO of Stonyfield Farm , to John Podesta on March 13, 2016, confirms why the lobbyists strongly opposed Bernie Sanders.

Hirshberg writes to a familiar person, as he was mentioned at the time as a possible 2008 Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, requesting Obama should not pass the Roberts bill because " if President Obama signs this terrible legislation that blatantly validates Bernie's entire campaign message about Wall Street running our government, this will give Bernie a huge boost and 10,000 -20,000 outraged citizens (who WILL turn up because they will be so angry at the President for preemption vt) will be marching on the Mall with Bernie as their keynote speaker. "

But Hirshberg does not stop here. In order to persuade Podesta about the seriousness of the matter, he claims that " It will be terrible to hand Sanders this advantage at such a fragile time when we really need to save our $$$ for the Trump fight. "

[Nov 06, 2016] Trump vs. the REAL Nuts-the GOP/ Uniparty Establishment

Oct 29, 2016 | www.unz.com
54 Comments Credit: VDare.com.

A couple of remarks in Professor Susan McWillams' recent Modern Age piece celebrating the 25th anniversary of Christopher Lasch's 1991 book The True and Only Heaven , which analyzed the cult of progress in its American manifestation, have stuck in my mind. Here's the first one:

In the most recent American National Election Studies survey, only 19 percent of Americans agreed with the idea that the government, "is run for the benefit of all the people." [ The True and Only Lasch: On The True and Only Heaven, 25 Years Later , Fall 2016]

McWilliams adds a footnote to that: The 19 percent figure is from 2012, she says. Then she tells us that in 1964, 64 percent of Americans agreed with the same statement.

Wow. You have to think that those two numbers, from 64 percent down to 19 percent in two generations, tell us something important and disturbing about our political life.

Second McWilliams quote:

In 2016 if you type the words "Democrats and Republicans" or "Republicans and Democrats" into Google, the algorithms predict your next words will be "are the same".

I just tried this, and she's right.

notadimesworth

These guesses are of course based on the frequency with which complete sentences show up all over the internet.

An awful lot of people out there think we live in a one-party state-that we're ruled by what is coming to be called the "Uniparty."

There is a dawning realization, ever more widespread among ordinary Americans, that our national politics is not Left versus Right or Republican versus Democrat; it's we the people versus the politicians.

Which leads me to a different lady commentator: Peggy Noonan, in her October 20th Wall Street Journal column.

The title of Peggy's piece was: Imagine a Sane Donald Trump . [ Alternate link ]Its gravamen: Donald Trump has shown up the Republican Party Establishment as totally out of touch with their base, which is good; but that he's bat-poop crazy, which is bad. If a sane Donald Trump had done the good thing, the showing-up, we'd be on course to a major beneficial correction in our national politics.

It's a good clever piece. A couple of months ago on Radio Derb I offered up one and a half cheers for Peggy, who gets a lot right in spite of being a longtime Establishment Insider. So it was here. Sample of what she got right last week:

Mr. Trump's great historical role was to reveal to the Republican Party what half of its own base really thinks about the big issues. The party's leaders didn't know! They were shocked, so much that they indulged in sheer denial and made believe it wasn't happening.

The party's leaders accept more or less open borders and like big trade deals. Half the base does not! It is longtime GOP doctrine to cut entitlement spending. Half the base doesn't want to, not right now! Republican leaders have what might be called assertive foreign-policy impulses. When Mr. Trump insulted George W. Bush and nation-building and said he'd opposed the Iraq invasion, the crowds, taking him at his word, cheered. He was, as they say, declaring that he didn't want to invade the world and invite the world. Not only did half the base cheer him, at least half the remaining half joined in when the primaries ended.

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DoomedI'll just pause to note Peggy's use of Steve Sailer' s great encapsulation of Bush-style NeoConnery: "Invade the world, invite the world." Either Peggy's been reading Steve on the sly, or she's read my book We Are Doomed , which borrows that phrase. I credited Steve with it, though, so in either case she knows its provenance, and should likewise have credited Steve.

End of pause. OK, so Peggy got some things right there. She got a lot wrong, though

Start with the notion that Trump is crazy. He's a nut, she says, five times. His brain is "a TV funhouse."

Well, Trump has some colorful quirks of personality, to be sure, as we all do. But he's no nut. A nut can't be as successful in business as Trump has been.

I spent 32 years as an employee or contractor, mostly in private businesses but for two years in a government department. Private businesses are intensely rational, as human affairs go-much more rational than government departments. The price of irrationality in business is immediate and plainly financial. Sanity-wise, Trump is a better bet than most people in high government positions.

Sure, politicians talk a good rational game. They present as sober and thoughtful on the Sunday morning shows.

Look at the stuff they believe, though. Was it rational to respond to the collapse of the U.S.S.R. by moving NATO right up to Russia's borders? Was it rational to expect that post-Saddam Iraq would turn into a constitutional democracy? Was it rational to order insurance companies to sell healthcare policies to people who are already sick? Was the Vietnam War a rational enterprise? Was it rational to respond to the 9/11 attacks by massively increasing Muslim immigration?

Make your own list.

Donald Trump displays good healthy patriotic instincts. I'll take that, with the personality quirks and all, over some earnest, careful, sober-sided guy whose head contains fantasies of putting the world to rights, or flooding our country with unassimilable foreigners.

I'd add the point, made by many commentators, that belongs under the general heading: "You don't have to be crazy to work here, but it helps." If Donald Trump was not so very different from run-of-the-mill politicians-which I suspect is a big part of what Peggy means by calling him a nut-would he have entered into the political adventure he's on?

Thor Heyerdahl sailed across the Pacific on a hand-built wooden raft to prove a point, which is not the kind of thing your average ethnographer would do. Was he crazy? No, he wasn't. It was only that some feature of his personality drove him to use that way to prove the point he hoped to prove.

And then there is Peggy's assertion that the Republican Party's leaders didn't know that half the party's base were at odds with them.

Did they really not? Didn't they get a clue when the GOP lost in 2012, mainly because millions of Republican voters didn't turn out for Mitt Romney? Didn't they, come to think of it, get the glimmering of a clue back in 1996, when Pat Buchanan won the New Hampshire primary?

Pat Buchanan is in fact a living counter-argument to Peggy's thesis-the "sane Donald Trump" that she claims would win the hearts of GOP managers. Pat is Trump without the personality quirks. How has the Republican Party treated him ?

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Our own Brad Griffin , here at VDARE.com on October 24th, offered a couple more "sane Donald Trumps": Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee. How did they fare with the GOP Establishment?

Donald Trump is no nut. If he were a nut, he would not have amassed the fortune he has, nor nurtured the capable and affectionate family he has.

Probably he's less well-informed about the world than the average pol. I doubt he could tell you what the capital of Burkina Faso is.

That's secondary, though. A President has people to look up that stuff for him.

The question that's been asked more than any other about Donald Trump is not, pace Peggy Noonan, "Is he nuts?" but, " Is he conservative? "

I'm sure he is. But my definition of "conservative" is temperamental, not political. My touchstone here is the sketch of the conservative temperament given to us by the English political philosopher Michael Oakeshott :

To be conservative, then, is to prefer the familiar to the unknown, to prefer the tried to the untried, fact to mystery, the actual to the possible, the limited to the unbounded, the near to the distant, the sufficient to the superabundant, the convenient to the perfect, present laughter to utopian bliss.

Rationalism in Politics and other essays (1962)

That fits Trump better than it fits any liberal you can think of-better also than many senior Republicans.

For example, it was one of George W. Bush's senior associates-probably Karl Rove-who scoffed at opponents of Bush's delusional foreign policy as "the reality-based community." It would be hard to think of a more un -Oakeshottian turn of phrase.

Trump has all the right instincts. And he's had the guts and courage-and, just as important, the money -to do a thing that has badly needed doing for twenty years: to smash the power of the real nuts in the GOP Establishment.

I thank him for that, and look forward to his Presidency.

[Nov 04, 2016] Can The Oligarchy Still Steal The Presidential Election

Notable quotes:
"... With the reopening of the FBI investigation of Hillary and related scanda