2:00PM Water Cooler 11/22/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


TPP: “No, Trump Didn’t Kill the TPP — Progressives Did” [Arthur Stamoulis, Medium]. “Donald Trump didn’t kill the TPP. Assuming we see the fight through to the bitter end, it’s the cross-border, cross-sector, progressive ‘movement of movements’ that will have defeated the TPP…. An incredibly diverse array of organizations and individual activists were constantly sharing information and strategically coordinating their efforts to pressure key elected officials, such that we built a majority of opposition to the TPP in Congress — despite all the big-money interests fighting hard on the other side.”

TPP: “TPP Is Dead. What Did We Learn From This Great Progressive Victory?” [Dave Johnson, Our Future]. “TPP came out of an alignment of Wall Street, giant multinational corporations, most Republicans and the Wall Street-dominated Obama administration. The opposition was a worldwide coalition of millions of progressives and thousands of labor, environmental, democracy, consumer, human rights, LGBT, health and every other kind of progressive-aligned organizations, most Democrats and courageous political leaders like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren…. Trump jumping on board after public sentiment had shifted only demonstrated the degree to which the progressive instinct was right all along.”

But it’s clear that in the TPP battle Progressives set the stage by:

? working over an extended period of time,
? forming coalitions of aligned organizations to educate their audiences,
? educating “grasstops” organizers activists and supplying them with educational and collateral materials and well-researched arguments to help them speak to and engage the public,
? reaching out through media and social media channels to drive wider public awareness,
? and organizing opposition to pressure politicians.

You might call this a victory for the Outside Game, with Warren, Sanders (and Trump) playing the Inside Game….

TPP: “What does Trump’s no to TPP mean for Asia?” [BBC]. “China is well placed to step into the US’s global footprint with both its regional trade deal alternative – the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership deal – and its massive and expensive One Belt One Road initiative, which aims to build roads, ports and highways through much of Asia….According to some analysts, China has been playing what some call the ‘New Great Game’ in Asia – a reference to the power rivalry we saw in the 19th century in Central Asia – and will grab any opportunity it can find to increase its influence in the region.”

TPP: “The day the United States withdraws from the TPP, the remaining 11 members need only change one clause to give the TPP a new lease on life. They could simply amend the enactment rules so that U.S. participation is no longer required for implementation of the trade deal” [Nikkei]. Thereby achieving the ostensible strategic objectives of TPP without US participation? It’s not like the Pacific Fleet is sailing home any time soon.


2016 Post Mortem

“The ominous fact is that Trump is undeniably one of the greatest intuitive political geniuses in history. Think about it: A wealthy businessman with no political experience at all takes on more than a dozen experienced politicians and manages to prevail, winning the presidential nomination of a major party. He then runs what an army of experts and analysts consider to be a train wreck of a general-election campaign and nonetheless manages to prevail to become the president-elect of the most powerful nation on Earth. It’s an astonishing accomplishment” [The Week]. And good comment on the Hamilton stupidity, concluding: “More than anyone else on the political scene, Trump has managed to discern the populist potential of the social media age, and to go a long way toward mastering the funhouse rules that appear to apply within it. Until the rest of us catch up and adapt to the laws that govern this topsy-turvy world, we will remain at the mercy of our troll-in-chief.” Don’t feed them!

“Hundreds of thousands of Americans cast a ballot without voting for a presidential candidate” [WaPo]. In Nevada, enough chose “None of the Above” to potentially swing the election.

“The United States does not run a national popular vote contest. If it did, its presidential campaigns would be conducted exceedingly differently. Instead, because the United States is a federal republic, it holds 51 separate elections on the same day, per a compact between the states and Washington, DC. The day is prescribed by the Constitution: the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Other than that requirement, basically everything is left up to the states” [Michael Tracey, Medium]. “This is the system that the country has used for hundreds of years. You may not like it. But don’t say it’s “anti-democratic.” An “anti-democratic” system is a system where the popular will has no bearing whatever on how citizens are ruled. Countries where this could be said to be the case include North Korea and Saudi Arabia. In those countries, “anti-democratic” means the people are not consulted at all in determining how they are governed. In the United States, we have 51 popular vote contests to determine which candidate is awarded electors, and then the person with the majority of electors becomes president. Is that “anti-democratic”? No. Maybe it’s a bit arcane. But it’s not “anti-democratic” because you don’t like it.” The electoral college seems to be one alibi the Clinton camp is converging on.

“Clinton Camp Mastered The Science Of Politics But Forgot The Art, Staffers Say” [HuffPo]. ” But the dispute over why so many late deciders went to Trump over Clinton remains unresolved within the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party writ large.” Lots of detail here; late-breaking voters are the other alibi the Clinton camp is converging on. They then play the Comey card, but don’t mention ObamaCare.

Trump Transition

Trump, the new media genius. Who knew:

What Trump’s video does: (1) Promises immediate concrete material benefits to voters as Trump claims credit for stopping TPP (falsely, as we see from the TPP material above. (“You voted for me, now you get this.”) (2) Picks a tremendous wedge issue on immigration as an opening move: As Yves points out, Trump is targeting H1B visas (and rightly, as any American worker who has ever trained their non-American, half-price replacement knows. Should put the cat among the pigeons in Silicon Valley, too).


“Let’s Rebuild our Infrastructure, Not Provide Tax Breaks to Big Corporations and Wall Street” [Bernie Sanders, Medium]. “During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump correctly talked about rebuilding our country’s infrastructure. But the plan he offered is a scam that gives massive tax breaks to large companies and billionaires on Wall Street who are already doing phenomenally well. Trump would allow corporations that have stashed their profits overseas to pay just a fraction of what the companies owe in federal taxes. And then he would allow the companies to “invest” in infrastructure projects in exchange for even more tax breaks. Trump’s plan is corporate welfare coming and going.”

“Trump could try to sweeten the [infrastructure] pot by backing a partial increase in federal spending and perhaps set up a so-called infrastructure bank — an idea backed by Democrats — that would help fund projects with a mixture of investor and government money” [MarketWatch].

UPDATE Trump Names Two Opponents of Net Neutrality to Oversee FCC Transition Team” [Gizmodo].

Our Famously Free Press

“”The meeting [wtih Trump] was a total disaster. The TV execs and anchors went in there thinking they would be discussing the access they would get to the Trump administration, but instead they got a Trump-style dressing-down,” the source added” [New York Post]. Oh noes!!!!! No access!!!!!!

The story that gets the play:

The story that does not get the play:

Realignment and Legitimacy

I ran this yesterday, but it’s important. If you didn’t click to enlarge the text, please do; it’s Sanders nuking identity politics.

Here is Benjamin Dixon making the same argument in concrete terms:

And here is Erica Garner making the argument in even more concrete terms:

“Hey Democrats, want help to rally the country around Donald Trump? Here’s a great idea: Have a crowd of wealthy, out-of-touch Manhattan liberals (who can afford $849 tickets to ‘Hamilton’) boo Vice President-elect Mike Pence while the cast of the Broadway show lectures him on diversity” [Marc Theissen, WaPo]. I hate to quote a Bush speechwriter, but when he’s right, he’s right. Liberals (not the left, as Theissen would have it) got trolled very badly.

Inside Baseball

“Pelosi Supports Expanding Elected Democratic Leadership” [Roll Call]. “”In the course of my conversations with members, I was especially interested in their desire to have a stronger role in their committees,” Pelosi said. “This is music to my ears, because that is exactly what was essential to our success in 2006.” 2006 was another opportunity squandered by Democrats in general, and very much by Pelosi, who not only took impeaching Bush over warrantless surveillance off the table (he was a fascist, remember?), but immediately buried the Mark “Measure it for Me” Foley House page scandal in the Ethics Committee.

“Perhaps the bigger problem for Democrats moving forward is the fact they don’t even know how to think about the future of the party. It’s been nearly two weeks since the election, and party leaders are still shellshocked. If Republicans had lost, there would be at least some agreement about why. Democrats are looking around and saying they lost for all kinds of reasons” [Boston Globe].

Stats Watch

Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index, November 2016: “Manufacturing activity in the Fifth District came out of contraction and expanded in November” [Econoday]. “The largest contribution to the rise came from new orders, which rose a sharp 19 points, from minus 12 to 7. Capacity utilization also rose though remaining negative, to minus 1 from minus 5.” And: “For the first time in a long time, the regional Fed surveys seem to be saying uniformly that growth is weakly expanding” [Econintersect]. And: “The data overall will maintain expectations of a gradual overall improvement in the manufacturing sector. Overall employment conditions are also gradually tightening, which will put upward pressure on wages” [Economic Calendar].

Existing Home Sales, October 2016: “October existing home sales jumped 2.0 percent to an annualized rate” (above consensus) [Econoday]. And: “This was above consensus expectations. For existing home sales, a key number is inventory – and inventory is still low” [Calculated Risk]. But: “There will be increased uncertainty surrounding the near-term outlook on political and economic grounds. Average 30-year mortgage rates were 3.47% in October, but have now increased to around 4.00%. Buyers may look to rush and buy on fears that rates will increase further, but there will also be important affordability issues, especially with valuations already stretched. Inevitably, there will also be uncertainty over economic policies pursued by the new Administration, which could act to accelerate or deter house purchases” [Economic Calendar]. “Sales figures are liable to be significantly more volatile over the next few months.”

Housing: “In August of 2016, cash sales comprised 31.1% of all home sales, down from 32.6% in August of 2015, marking the 44th consecutive year-over-year monthly decline. Cash sales rose by 0.4 percentage points month-over-month” [247 Wall Street]. “Cash home sales reached a peak in January of 2011 when 46.6% of all home sales in the U.S. were sold for cash. That peak was nearly double the pre-housing crisis average of around 25%. If cash sales continue to fall at the December rate, the 25% rate should be achieved by mid-2019. The five states where cash sales were highest in August were Alabama (44.9%), New York (42%), Florida (40.9%), Indiana (38.6%), and Kansas (38%). Sales include new construction, resales, real-estate owned (REO), and short sales.”

Housing: “The big bet was that nearly a decade after the housing bubble peaked and then imploded, that young buyers would suddenly enter the real estate market in force. Instead, many are living with parents or are part of the renting revolution. Of course the housing cheerleaders continue to champion a bubble in real estate yet somehow scratch their heads at the political ramifications that are hitting our country. Just like in politics, we are living in a massively divided real estate market. The difference in real estate however is the group of people that can afford current home prices grows smaller and smaller. Millennials, the next wave of supposed buyers never materialized” [Dr. Housing Bubble]. “What you had is low inventory, investors, artificially low interest rates, and foreign buying taking up the slack. Even in California, we have 2.3 million young adults living at home with their parents. The latest data shows that instead of taking on mortgage debt, Millennials are racking up large amounts of student debt.”

Retail: “Amazon is looking to hire a number of people to expand its recently-launched U.K. ticket service into other markets in Europe, Asia, and probably into the United States as well” [ETF Daily News]. “AMZN’s entry into international ticker markets should prove much easier than in the U.S., where major venues, artists, and professional sports leagues often have exclusive contracts with Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation. Convincing promoters and leagues to change their practices could be difficult, the industry, which hasn’t changed in several decades is definitely ripe for an overhaul.”

Shipping: “The global container shipping industry needs to reduce its land-based workforce by 31,000 to improve efficiency, according to SeaIntelligence Consulting CEO Lars Jensen” [The Loadstar]. “Mr Jensen argues that all liner shipping companies need to become as efficient as the best performer, and SeaIntel analysis places Hapag-Lloyd marginally ahead of Maersk Line. Indeed, Hapag-Lloyd and niche operator Wan Hai are the only top-20 container lines to report a net profit in the third quarter of a year that could see cumulative industry losses exceed $10bn.”

Shipping: “Container industry chaos likely to continue, observers say” [DC Velocity]. “Fast-growing economies like China and Brazil that boosted demand for shipping services have dramatically slowed, and with e-commerce speeding the order-to-delivery cycle, “the days of converting cargoes from air to ocean are over,” he said. Relatively new container ships are being scrapped, and although Reeve expects container rates to gradually increase, any rise will be very limited due to continuing overcapacity, he said.”

Shipping: “SUPRAMAX bulker owners are anticipating increased activity both from the Indonesian and Australian coal markets this week as winter restocking and the continued rise in Chinese domestic prices resulted in strong enquiries from China” [Lloyd’s List].

Shipping: “‘The business of dry is not conducive [to consolidation] because it is tramping.’ [Jack Hsu, managing director of Hong Kong’s Oak Maritime,] said, explaining that there is not the need to have economies of scale like in the liner sector” [Splash 247].

Shipping: “The [new] terminal, along with work done previously and a second phase yet to be completed, will bring the total handling capacity in [the Port of Montreal] to 600,000 TEUs, and the port’s overall handling capacity to 2.1 million TEUs…. The Port of Montreal is the second-largest container port in Canada” [Progressive Railroading].

Supply Chain: “Tracking seeds and chemicals is becoming increasingly important in the agriculture supply chain” [Wall Street Journal]. “[Monsanto] will buy VitalFields, an Estonian software business that helps European farmers track their pesticide and fertilizer use to comply with European Union environmental laws. Monsanto will use the business to bulk up its Climate Corp. data-science division, which offers technology to track use of seeds and agricultural chemicals, and which recommends planting strategies to maximize harvests. Monsanto is betting that the growing debates over genetically-modified plants and other sourcing issues will only raise the value of transparency–and technology–in farming supply chains.”

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 65 Greed (previous close: 67, Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 63 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Nov 22 at 11:58am.

Dear Old Blighty

Our Famously Free Press


It’s not the hyperpartisan, blinkered, and corrupt New York Times that got the most: Rather, it’s Gannet (of USA Today) and McClatchy (many papers across the country, but not in or of the Acela corridor) who got the most. Looks like readers are communicating they want news. (The Tip Jar is to your right 😉

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“As A Broader Movement, Black Lives Matter Braces For Trump’s Presidency” [Buzzfeed News]. “‘The movement has done an amazing job of creating a foundation for our work together,’ said Jessica Byrd, an activist and Democratic strategist who works with groups inside the movement. ‘Now is the time that container becomes powerful — we need each other to heal and resist.'” More on Byrd. And more. Not to go all foily — really! — but I think involving Democratic Strategists in “resistance” is about as sensible as involving Marshal Petain.

Class Warfare

“If you conflate antimonopoly with antitrust, it’s a story of the late 19th century, with some successes in the early and mid 20th century and then collapse. So you’ve already left half of American history out. The tradition is much more important than that, and has much wider roots. We often don’t remember that the Boston Tea Party had an antimonopoly dimension. So too did Andrew Jackson’s protest against the Bank of the United States. The great concern among 19th century Americans was political power, concentrated political power. And that concern was not with economic performance, but with power, and the ways in which economic concentration can manipulate the political order” [Pro-Market]. Concentration of power in all its forms. This is an interview with historian Richard John, well worth a read.

“I favour worker-directors not so much because I’m a socialist but because I’m a libertarian. I support them for the same reason that I support free markets (in some contexts) and free speech. It’s because I believe in cognitive diversity. Worker-directors would increase boardroom diversity – not least by bringing ground truth to the table – and thus improve decision-making” [Stumbling and Mumbling].

“McDonald’s and Chicago airport workers plan to strike in push for $15 wage” [Los Angeles Times]. “The Fight for $15 campaign announced protests at 20 airports and strikes and acts of mass civil disobedience at McDonald’s restaurants in 340 cities. It said it expects “tens of thousands” of people to participate.”

“Now that the American economy has emerged from the Great Recession, there is new research that looks at its impact on the quality of the country’s relationships. Its findings are not encouraging. Daniel Schneider, a sociologist at the University of California, Berkeley, found that among mothers in heterosexual relationships, those who lived in areas hit harder by drops in employment rates during the Great Recession experienced higher rates of domestic violence and controlling behavior” [The Atlantic]. Because, ya know, economics has nothing to do with anything.

“We were all tying ourselves in knots working out whether the multiplier on infrastructure spending was 0.7 or 1.2 or 2.5, when what we ought to have been asking was: what course of action is most likely to avert a crisis of institutional legitimacy that will leave everyone much worse off” [The Economist, “The hole at the heart of economics”]. Whadday mean, “we”?

“The Hobo Ethical Code of 1889: 15 Rules for Living a Self-Reliant, Honest & Compassionate Life” [Open Culture].

News of the Wired

“Hot rat is so hot right now: Moscow falls for the rodent burger” [Guardian]. Yo Rat!

“Record-breaking pumpkin turned into boat for race” [Guardian].

“‘Digital Colonization’: Apple Rejects Indigenous App” [Telesurv].

“I’ve said many times that all social software trains you to be something. Early Facebook trained you to remember birthdays and share photos, and to some extent this trained you to be a better person, or in any case the sort of person you desired to be” [Hapgood]. “The process that Facebook currently encourages, on the other hand, of looking at these short cards of news stories and forcing you to immediately decide whether to support or not support them trains people to be extremists. It takes a moment of ambivalence or nuance, and by design pushes the reader to go deeper into their support for whatever theory or argument they are staring at. When you consider that people are being trained in this way by Facebook for hours each day, that should scare the living daylights out of you.”

This $1,500 Toaster Oven Is Everything That’s Wrong With Silicon Valley Design” [FastCo Design]. “Automated yet distracting. Boastful yet mediocre. Confident yet wrong.” Wicked expensive. And failure-prone.

“How Much Surveillance Can Democracy Withstand?” [Richard Stallman, GNU.org].

“[Benjamin Bergen], a professor of cognitive science at the University of California-San Diego, said cursing could be linked to higher intelligence” [CBS]. “‘It turns out that on average, the ones who swear the most also have the biggest vocabulary overall,’ Bergen noted.” No sh*t!

* * *

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


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  1. Tracey on the Electoral College not being anti-democratic is absurd. He’s right on the facts but his analysis basically relies on a false binary between what is democratic and what is anti-democratic. The argument is essentially that the EC system involves popular vote contests at the state level so therefore it is not anti-democratic; only oppressive regimes have anti-democratic systems and ours is just “arcane.”
    But this isn’t so. The EC thwarts the popular will by giving preference to certain states over others and, therefore, weights certain voters’ voices over others. This is inherently anti-democratic even if it is *more democratic* than say the Russian system for example.

  2. It is a compromise, one that gives regional issues representation they would not get if the populated areas had more power.
    With popular vote you literally have some people’s votes not mattering. With the EC you have a system trying to equate everyone’s votes to an equal representational level or value across a broad landscape with varying regional issues. That is much more democratic and thoughtful than a simple popular vote. The EC votes are still proportional to state populations as well, several Mid-western (MI, PA, OH) states actually lost EC votes in the 2010 Census and subsequent apportionment.

  3. “With popular vote you literally have some people’s votes not mattering.”
    No, it’s the exact opposite. Popular vote means everyone’s votes are equal; a candidate can win just as much with votes from South Dakota putting them over the top as ones from California. The idea that the EC makes flyover states matter more is disproved by the fact that we still call them flyover states. They mostly don’t matter, and candidates frequently don’t even visit them. Large swathes of the country would be ignored under either system.
    Anyway, from the article:
    ‘In the United States, we have 51 popular vote contests to determine which candidate is awarded electors, and then the person with the majority of electors becomes president. Is that “anti-democratic”?’
    If it were truly democratic the winner would be whoever won the popularity contest, full stop. And he’s describing an idealized electoral system anyway; the one we actually have is a mess. There are even certain circumstances when electors can vote against what the majority of their area voted.

  4. A compromise all right.. a compromise between pure oligarchy and democracy. The notion that the EC is needed to give regional issues representation is also balderdash. It in fact vastly over-represents the same states over and over again, and has made my vote in CA meaningless in every single election in my lifetime.
    “With popular vote you literally have some people’s votes not mattering.” With the EC my vote has never once mattered, and will never matter, not if I live through another 20 elections. I don’t consider this democratic.
    As for the numbers changing, big deal. The House of Lords isn’t democratic just because they add new Lords every once in a while.

  5. I live in Texas, and my vote absolutely does not matter. Same for people in California. Voters in the two most populous states cannot effect the outcome of presidential elections.

  6. One of the silver linings of the Brazil coup was that it highlighted the difference between what is “democratic” and what is “constitutional”. Temer was installed in accordance with the constitution, but his installation was thoroughly undemocratic.
    I think this difference would be clearer to people from the US if Howard Zinn taught every civics class in the country, but alas, Zinn is dead and most high schoolers are taught that constitution =democracy, when if fact (as Zinn taught) the purpose of most of the US Constitution’s clauses was to prevent democracy, not establish it. This should be even more well understood now that we have all become studious scholars of Alexander Hamilton, but again, alas.

  7. I don’t mind the idea of the electoral college, but winner take all EC voting has become a bit of a sad joke in my mind.
    I actually like the idea of needing a majority of EC votes to become President and Vice President. There could come a time when 10 people run for President, and the person with 11% wins under a popular vote. The EC at least controls for that.
    I would change the winner take all to simply proportional EC voting. If state XY has 20 EC votes, and candidate A gets 40% of the vote, he gets 8 EC votes.
    I actually would like the see the candidates engage the entire country. While many might claim that the rural areas would be ignored, I don’t really believe this. Courted rural voters and their interests likely helped Trump.

  8. The problem here is that a system such as that would likely up being almost identical the the national popular vote. There would be very little difference and then new fights over gerrymandering for POTUS. The more you subdivide the state, the more it resembles the national popular vote.

  9. Yes, very close to a national popular vote although in my proposed system, a candidate still needs 270 votes to win. To be clear, I’m recommending proportional electors on the total state vote and not by congressional district results. Otherwise, it would be gerrymandering hell.
    But it could increase the impact of third parties. For example, if CA has 55 EC votes and a Libertarian gets 5% of the CA presidential vote, the Libertarians get 55*5%=3 EC votes.

  10. The solid jade, bloody edged cynicism of the publishers at the Excronomist is monsterous: they and their cronies extracted every penny and all the power they could before penning this insincere crap.

  11. Don’t Be Passive Observers of Last Night’s Terrorization in Standing Rock: Here’s What You Can Do
    ‘DAPL protesters rely on RT, citizen journalists, as MSM goes missing in action’
    #StandingRock Protectors Speak Out After Oil Police ASSAULT #NoDAPL

  12. don’t worry, America’s Nobel Peace Laureate president is on the case.
    oh wait—he’s too busy feteing Ellen DeGeneres, Bill Gates and Michael Jordan.

  13. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/11/21/pelosi_challenger_rep_tim_ryan_democrats_are_not_a_national_party_anymore.html
    Tim Ryan sounds decent enough here. Of course, interviewer doesn’t really ask interesting questions.
    And I was having an election fraud argument with a friend and bumped into this….seems like it’s important….

  14. Sanders and “identity politics”
    A different perspective according to Boston activists who were in the audience: The excerpt quoted above was a specific response to a question from a Latina who aspires to be the second Latina Senator. He said being Latina wasn’t enough for him to support her; she needs to stand with workers; and went on with that theme as you’ve quoted. However, according to the live tweets, he had spoken at length throughout the talk about the need for people to stand with and defend marginalized and vulnerable groups.
    Robin ‏@caulkthewagon · Nov 21
    Over and over again @SenSanders called on the crowd to protect people of color, immigrants, women, queer people, Muslims, etc etc etc
    Robin ‏@caulkthewagon · Nov 21
    Robin Retweeted Batman (1989) [includes screenshot quoting Sanders urging audience to unite against bigotry]
    He didn’t just say this once; he said it over & over. I walked away feeling like it was @SenSanders’ biggest concern
    The Muslim registry or #BLM issues are real and have a disparate impact across the working class.
    IMO we somehow conflate “identity politics” as used by TPTB to divide us, and identity issues which require solidarity. We need to sort this out better.
    @[email protected]

  15. Thank you! This suggests the media are once again trying to undercut his influence by misrepresenting his message. That’s not surprising, but maybe a reminder to us to read with caution.

  16. We need to sort this out better.
    This, a million times over. A large part of the problem seems to be the assumption that somebody has it figured out, when I don’t think that is at all the case.

  17. There are some more Bernie comments about identity politics here:

  18. Wonderful plants! Thank you!

  19. re TPP: the one thing that scares me about Obama “coaching” Trump is he will be able to persuade Trump that there’s something in it for him if he goes along with TPP. And Trump is certainly not concerned about reversing himself on any of his previously stated positions.
    Imo, what Trump is doing is poking all the elite One World Order folks in the eye. He might be rich (or might not be) but he has never been invited to Bilderberg, Davos, etc. This is his opportunity to give them all the middle finger.

  20. wheresOurTeddy

    They deserve it.
    Oh to have been a fly on the wall in the TV News Exec meeting earlier this week…

  21. He’s not going to do that. And honestly Trump’s moves so far indicate he’s not nearly so wishy washy as people think. It looks like he’s following most of his campaign rhetoric.
    And just a little pushback against the claim at the top of the page. Isn’t it true that had Trump lost the
    election the TPP would still be very much alive and kicking in some form? The left, some of whom pushed Clinton (including Sanders, Warren) ,are way too quick to take the lion’s share of the credit IMHO.

  22. Agreed, the idea that progresives killed the TPP and not Trump is a bit simplistic. Trump was the ax head that cut down the TPP, but progresive helped build the driving force behind it. But without the ax head – all of the political will from Progressives would have been in vain.
    Besids, the TPP and other trade deals hav come back from the dead too many times. At best, we pushed back their time table.

  23. Interesting article:https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/21/disaffected-rust-belt-voters-embraced-donald-trump-midwestern-obama
    Much better than the usual fare that the Guardian does, mostly moaning about sexism and racism, despite Clinton’s appalling corruption.
    I’ve been very disappointed in the quality of coverage at the Guardian to be honest. They were pretty anti-Sanders and remain anti-Cobryn. I think that most of the MSM has this fantasy that they can bring back the “Third Way” neoliberals by attacking Social Democrats (and real ones, not the fake ones that embrace Third Way).
    In reality they will bring authoritarianism.

  24. http://www.someguywithawebsite.com/an-autopsy/#more-246
    Great blog-post from somebody who’s been in the game on the peripheray of the Clinton establishment for years.
    Pretty personal stuff.
    “People who liked Clinton but hated Trump voted overwhelmingly for Clinton. People who liked Trump but hated Clinton voted overwhelmingly for Trump. People who hated both of them voted overwhelmingly… for Trump.”
    Invokes class intelligently to explain the modern political divisions.

  25. People who hated both of them voted overwhelmingly… for Trump.
    And that turned out to be the majority.

  26. FWIW:
    I am one of those 538 National Elector’s and yes the Electoral College is in play [edited with poll]

  27. pretzelattack

    remember how scared the clinton supporters were that trump wouldn’t accept the results of the election? they were very, very worried about the effects that would have on our democracy.

  28. Turns out that it was they who don’t understand how our democracy works (as in, not by national popular vote).
    The hare claims to not have known the rules after hubris causes loss to tortoise
    The true irony as they want to change the vote themselves. Democratic…

  29. +1s to Pretzel and Roger Smith above.
    The reality is that if the electoral college did decide to go rogue and invest HRC over DJT, the country would descend into chaos and illegitimacy. I would bet you that a sizable portion of Trump’s voters don’t know about the EC, much less understanding how it works.
    There were riots and protests after the election itself stirred up over a candidate whose own voting base was pretty much “Meh” about her until she didn’t win.
    Many Trump voters on the other hand come across as far more passionately supportive of “their guy” (I know that is a very broad generalization). If the EC changed the outcome, the protests that would follow would make the post-election protests look like college frat parties that got a little out of hand.http://asktheelectors.org/ has gone viral around my FB feed; so many people just sharing it and saying “Oh, what could it hurt?” Well, how about 47% of the voters who voted DJT? How about international relations? How about the judicial crisis it would create if any of the electors in the 29 states with laws (that are likely unconstitutional) on their books forcing the electors to be faithful in their vote?

  30. “I favour worker-directors not so much because I’m a socialist but because I’m a libertarian. I support them for the same reason that I support free markets (in some contexts) and free speech. It’s because I believe in cognitive diversity. Worker-directors would increase boardroom diversity – not least by bringing ground truth to the table – and thus improve decision-making” [Stumbling and Mumbling].
    However, see Germany where this has been the case for quite awhile…and so far as I know, the neolibrals have done a pretty good job stripping that place too. Or am I wrong? Please, someone who actually knows something about the effect of workers on the board has been in Deutschland chime in. My impression is that the reality has been underwhelming. I interviewed a former union activist about co-op stuff and his view was that even at food co-ops, simply reserving a few board seats for workers didn’t give the workers any more practical say, since they could be easily outvoted by the other stakeholder-reps, with their very different interests.

  31. Guessing that adding perspectives doesn’t matter if it doesn’t also involve a distribution of power.

  32. Two guys bump on a sidewalk, one was a plain-clothes cop.
    “Each man believed the other had initiated the contact — a fact of life in a crowded city, the type of encounter that typically ends in little more than mutual annoyance. But now Cambridge police are seeking assault and other charges against Hodge and a woman who tried to intervene, and pursuing a lesser charge against a second woman who recorded the incident with her cellphone.”

  33. There was a T.V. report recently highlighting a growing problem of pedestrians bumping into each other while engrossed into whatever was displayed on their phone screens. Apparently, there’s a new breed of aggressive buttholes who adopt the position, “I will walk rapidly, and, forcefully on the sidewalk, purposely ignoring other pedestrians. By virtue of my being engrossed watching my screen it becomes incumbent upon you to keep out of my way.”
    My complaint isn’t that there anti social creeps out there, that’s just a fact of life. But, I was shocked at how many comments following the story agreed with the serial, screen gawker.

  34. BACK IN MY DAY….!
    I remember being an early adopter of facebook in college in 2005. Back then you needed a .edu email address to sign up, so no family members allowed, so no creepy treehouse phenomenon. The only activity was the “wall function”, where you could write something on a person’s wall. No messenger. No news stories. No video posting. It was about the people on the service. You had to visit someone’s wall to find out what people were saying to them.
    The news feed came around toward the end of college. That’s when FB started to curate. It was an intentional move.
    I’m petrified. Mark Zuckerberg should be too.
    Mark Z is too busy in an echo chamber of his own piles of cash and humming lines of influence to be worried. He knows what he’s doing. There’s a reason the old Onion story about him was so hilarious and sad.

  35. “[Benjamin Bergen], a professor of cognitive science at the University of California-San Diego, said cursing could be linked to higher intelligence” [CBS]. “‘It turns out that on average, the ones who swear the most also have the biggest vocabulary overall,’ Bergen noted.” No sh*t!
    Does this mean that I should pepper my comments with an abundance of objectionably obscene and vulgar language so that my comments will be viewed as more intelligent ?

  36. Yes. It also serves to force away the prisses, the wimps, the moralists, religionists, and other assorted candyass nobodies.

  37. You could grow up and stop viewing certain combinations of sound waves as ‘bad’.

  38. Peter Pan
    November 22, 2016 at 3:16 pm
    F*ck no, %##%^*+&[email protected]@!!! and $)%^@*@#$$$!!! ….and furthermore (*# @#&@^# ((#*$&^&%**^%$#
    frankly my dear, I don’t give a butterfinger….
    hmmmm….I wonder if a surfeit of special characters will get me moderated??? Only one way to find out…

  39. Another interesting article:http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2016/11/daily-chart-13?fsrc=permar|image2
    Note the vertical scale is a rate of change scale last election to this one. So I’d also like to see the rate of change in health of counties metric as well. Hopefully this chart is revisited in future elections.
    I think in general conservatism focuses more on attributes closer to survival, than liberalism which tends to be more outwardly focused, so I would think in general the better your health the more liberal you would be and if your health is bad the more conservative you would be.
    So it is in the best interest of democrats to have a healthy electorate going into an election year. Perhaps they need a more laser-like focus directly on health of the individual than second order things such as how you pay for healthcare.

  40. I love the hobo code link — lots of consciousness about the tragedy of the commons involved — but weirdly, there are no real sources on where it came from, just lots of sites listing the 15 point code from an 1889 conference. It even passed the normally insane wikipedia standards with a citation from this cruddy website.
    The lack of a good origin for the code is as peripatetic and ephemeral as the subject itself!

  41. This has an extremely enlightening election, as Lambert would say.
    For me, it has relieved me of any lingering doubts that the smartest people in the room might actually be smart. I now know they would have a hard time if they were stripped of their money for any length of time.
    Obviously the behavior at Hamilton was going to have a huge blowback. And the asses get to be portrayed as rude as well as arrogant. (I have less problem with the statement from the stage, but the booing was just stupid and pointless.)
    Just as obviously negating the results of the election by electors going rogue is going to have even greater blowback and it will not be pretty or allowed to stand without a major legal challenge said electors are likely to lose – and that is the least violent of the results.
    As for the Clintons and their campaign: you picked the wrong candidate, she was terrible at the job of campaigning, your advisors didn’t know which end was up, and your computer program was given garbage data and therefore was not remotely useful. Some of this was the bubble of being a President, some of it was an intense dislike of the electorate, some of it was just entitlement, but all of it was avoidable. Failing to recognize that the biggest mistakes were 1.) choosing Hillary Rodham Clinton, and 2.) forgetting that there are a hell of a lot more people out there that haven’t seen a raise in the over twenty years that the Clintons have been center stage than those who have done well and think things are fine. Oh, and not bothering to notice that less and less people have been showing up to vote for Democrats over the last eight years.
    Yet obviously we will continue to have protests that come off as tantrums and damage or undercut real protests. Lots of finger pointings at everyone but themselves from the DNC and the Clintonites, And a media that still doesn’t understand that part of the reason they have been and continue to be rolled is that the public has had over 30 years of them doing little or no journalistic reporting and a whole lot of ‘selling’ of the news and thus don’t listen, read or watch anymore, if you have the trust of your audience there is less chance to be sidelined by a guy with a twitter or youtube account.

  42. Pat, you have put it in nutshell. +++

  43. The Iron Law of Institutions at work. In full force.

  44. But can it realy be argued that Democrts chose Clintion? The primay was rather rigged

  45. The Democratic elite chose Clinton, not the voters. Although she probably did have some advantage with registered members of the Democratic Party, that was partly because the party has been shedded members since the rise of the New Democrats. So the remaining primary base was somewhat filtered to her advantage. Since only about a third of the electorate are registered Democrats, picking someone they might slightly prefer (debatable, but possible), but who independents despise and in many cases left the party because they despise her and what she represents, was never going to be a winning strategy. Which they knew, of course, since they were rigging the primary to filter out independents from the beginning, buying up media voices, and working to arrange for a Republican opponent they viewed as so repellent people would be FORCED to vote for her.
    p.s. Loved your comment, Pat.

  46. Pat
    November 22, 2016 at 3:37 pm
    Nicely put Pat. I was reading the statement by Bernie at the top, and it puts me in mind that Da Nile is not just a river in Egypt, because I have read a number of “dem” commentaries that try to make the point that most Trump supporters were well off and therefore the economy had little to do with the election.
    Who said ‘I don’t know one working class person who voted for Trump’?

  47. RIP, squirrel. The story begs the question, why not just get better, gnaw-resistant lids for their garbage carts?

  48. The ominous fact is that Trump is undeniably one of the greatest intuitive political geniuses in history.
    Meh. If Trump had taken down a group of adversaries who were passably competent I might buy this. Instead he correctly saw that the presidential selection process was a total joke, and threw his hat in the rink– he “saw power lying in the street” as my betters would have it. The idea that Trump must be some genius strategerian to have beat Jeb! and HRC just buys into the lame Acela talking point about Our Leaders being so wicked smart, when the overwhelming evidence points to the exact opposite. So why does knocking down a decrepit house of cards make Trump into the second coming of Cicero?

  49. FIle under: Blind, Land of; tab: one eyed King ?

  50. RabidGandhi
    November 22, 2016 at 4:23 pm
    Have to agree with you. (every time I see Jeb! I laugh – I wonder how much the consultant was paid for that ‘hey! let’s put an exclamation mark behind his name! That will stir excitement!!!!! !!! !! ! ?’)
    You get this “exceptional nation” bullsh*t all the time, and the ?17? repub nominees were a pretty pathetic bunch. And on the other side you get Hillary… And than you get most Americans who think it is ‘throwing your vote away’ to vote for a third party, instead voting NO MATTER WHAT for the duly “made man” of our official cosa nostra, i.e., the duopoly parties.

  51. Shipping: “The global container shipping industry needs to reduce its land-based workforce by 31,000 to improve efficiency, according to SeaIntelligence Consulting CEO Lars Jensen”
    As a 25 year veteran of the shipping wars, I can say with high confidence that what he’s talking about is crapification. I’ve seen steamship line after line go from having local (that’s key) live employees who would answer your phone call and help you with your problem to automated voice response systems and (later) difficult to navigate websites. Basically, the lines that are losing money due to overcapacity (i.e. poor management) are being advised to shore up their losses by (further) cutting their frontline workers who actually keep the freight moving. Same as it ever was.
    In my last years in the industry, it got so bad that a large freight-forwarder (f*** it, it was CEVA) had NO US contacts available at any time. All inquiries had to be directed by e-mail to their VERY out of the loop and generally clueless “customer service” reps in India. This for airfreight moving from Europe to the U.S., which by its very nature is quite time-sensitive.

  52. http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/trump-team-signals-he-won-t-pursue-clinton-investigations-n687116
    Wonder how this will play out with the “lock her up” crowd? I have a feeling that bunch will have a lot less patience with Trump if he backs away from election promises than Obama voters did when he said “look forward, not back”.

  53. Yeah, except for they don’t pay a lot of attention to the news, if they can even get any real news.

  54. Honestly do we really want to spend the next year or two with Hillary still on the front page every day?
    If she hadn’t done herself in with the stupid email business she quite likely would be the president-elect. Perhaps Comey had the right idea in letting the voters render the verdict (and they did). Losing the presidency is quite a punishment.

  55. If she’s being perp-walked, then my answer is Yes.

  56. IF anyone still wants to read about this, this is a good one:
    Why Black Voters in Milwaukee Weren’t Enthused by Hillary Clinton
    “It’s useful, in part, because it punctures several myths about how black voters were “supposed to” respond to Clinton’s campaign, according to journalists and politicos in major-media bubbles like New York and Washington.”
    “Many residents of the neighborhood also openly said they admired Trump, and were apparently unaware of his bankruptcies, frequent ripoffs of contractors, and other well-reported facts that might detract from that image. “From a business perspective, I loved him,” said a security guard who didn’t vote, but said Trump would have gotten his vote if he had. One interviewee, who voted for Trump to protest Clinton, said of what he viewed as Trump’s racism, “It’s better than smiling to my face but going behind closed doors and voting against our kids” — a point another resident echoed: “He was real, unlike a lot of liberal Democrats who are just as racist,” she said.”

  57. a different chris

    Whoa, I just had a white-guy-suddenly-see-new-things response to “It’s better than smiling to my face but going behind closed doors”… Hillary’s public vs. private thing to people like me meant the specifics of economic lies and such, but I now suspect minorities especially took the entire thing really, really personally,

  58. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzTeLePbB08
    explains a lot, and a damn good song….

  59. Kim Kaufman
    November 22, 2016 at 5:22 pm
    Good article.
    As well as:
    “For the most part, the residents there who spoke with Tavernise simply saw no affirmative reason to vote for Hillary. Some saw her as corrupt; others noted that they had not seen their economic situation improved during the Obama years.
    “Ain’t none of this been working,” said a barber who had trouble finding health care, is now shelling out $300 a month for a plan he can’t afford, and who didn’t vote.”

  60. Lambert, you’ll like these. and maybe use them in tomorrow’s WC.

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