did someone muck with the backend here

Re: Our New Nominee For Attorney General: Jefferson Beauregard Sessions

1

Didn't he recently say that grabbing a woman by the pussy might not be assault?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 9:39 AM
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(Presumably, because if you're a star, consent is implied, and then ratified by silence.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 9:40 AM
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Oh, yeah, let me dig that up. Here it is.

That one seems less damaging to me because it's in the campaign context. I mean, he's a disgusting pig, but someone who wants to could blow it off as what had to be said to minimize the Trump tape. I was thinking of things in his non-campaign political life.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 9:44 AM
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For the past year he's been opposing bipartisan sentencing reform which was innocuous enough to be cosponsored by Grassley, Cornyn, Lee, and Graham.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 9:49 AM
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(Link on his personal opposition keeping it from the floor - the previous link was just about the bill itself.)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 9:50 AM
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Oh wait, that was McConnell bottling it up, but here's Sessions on criminal justice including that package.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 9:52 AM
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He once infamously joked that he didn't think the KKK were so bad until he found out they smoked weed.

Incidentally, with him as AG, America's burgeoning legal marijuana industry has some choppy waters ahead of it...


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 10:47 AM
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Good. Maybe some Democratic voters will notice.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 11:08 AM
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For what it's worth, I'm willing to grant that 7.1 could have been a (stupid) joke -- anyone remotely inclined to be forgiving toward him will just shrug that off.

Any number of sites have compiled lists of examples of Sessions' racist shittiness. The question is what, if anything, might peel off important Republican Senators in his confirmation hearing. Who's on the relevant Senate confirmation committee? ...

oh. I see Politico is already on that angle. If Jeff Flake and Susan Collins can't be swayed, that's about it. I guess. (Fuck Joe Manchin, I doubt anybody expects an ounce of integrity from him.)

What's this about:

The new top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, declined to take a hard line against Sessions despite their divergent views.

Let's see. Are Democrats and "moderate" Republicans storing up their so-called political capital to fight a weightier confirmation battle in upcoming days/weeks? Like Secretary of State or Defense?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 11:16 AM
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Oh, Parsi! The optimism!


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 11:39 AM
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The alternative is to suppose that some Democrats and moderate Republicans intend to roll over on every one of Trump's nominees. I find that a stretch. But of course I could be proven wrong.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 11:47 AM
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https://storify.com/rachelshadoan/what-it-s-like-to-live-under-a-religious-dictators

8) is probably the most important of them. My copy of Putin's Russia is sitting right here next to my desk -- I read it years ago. I gave it as a Christmas gift years ago to my father-in-law, in fact. My daughter's school circulated a letter from the superintendent assuring students that they are safe "no matter who the President is." Holy shit, are these kids going to get a different view of "America" than we did in school.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 12:07 PM
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Abused prosecutorial power to harass activists registering blacks to vote. I'm sure that has no relevance to today's world.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 12:08 PM
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Might be an allegory: give Galaxy Note 7 a chance.

#MailRoom Represent!!


Posted by: Econolicious, first they came for the analogies | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 12:09 PM
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Holy shit, are these kids going to get a different view of "America" than we did in school.

Given how things are, this is probably a good thing.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 12:17 PM
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12: On the topic of what's coming to be called the resistance:

What does one make of Robert Reich on the way forward?

Two initial thoughts:

The DNC is normally, as far as I understand, a fundraising outfit, strategically directing use of funds here and there in various states and races. It's not -- or hasn't been -- a pep rally type of thing. Some people, like Reich, are calling for that to change. Yet it strikes me that the typical function is indispensable. Maybe it can do both things; I don't know if that's too much to ask. It's unclear to me whether two organizations (one the fundraising etc. apparatus, the other the pep rally) is viable.

Secondly: how do people feel about, say, Keith Ellison vs. Howard Dean for new head of the DNC? I have thoughts! But if anyone's around, I'd like to hear yours.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 12:20 PM
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And apologies to LB - this is a change of topic.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 12:22 PM
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In fact, it might not be a bad idea to have a new post/thread about it. In my opinion [cue The Good Wife].


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 12:23 PM
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Keith Ellison vs. Howard Dean for new head of the DNC?

I think Dean's 50 state strategy had a lot to do with the high number of electoral votes Obama scored in 2008. On the other hand, I love the idea of a prominent black Muslim voice in opposition to Trump. I am also swayed that the DNC chair job needs to be a full time gig; putting a sitting Congressperson in the spot means they can't give the managerial aspects of the job their undivided attention. So, I'd only really want Ellison to have the job if he stepped down from his Congressional seat, yet it would be unfortunate to lose him in Congress.

Maybe the way to go is to keep Ellison in Congress and give him a mostly ceremonial role as Chair to be the mouthpiece of the Democratic Party, while installing Dean as Deputy Chair to take charge of day-to-day management and rehabilitation of the DNC's organizational machinery.



Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 12:36 PM
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Um, David Ortiz?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 12:41 PM
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15: I'm a lot less optimistic, sadly. I'm having a hard time imagining the good consequences outnumbering the bad ones. But whatever.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 12:42 PM
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It took me way longer than it should have to get the bracketed comment in 18.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 12:44 PM
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19.2 is an interesting idea. It's very true that losing Ellison in the House is not the greatest idea.

Pretty much agreed with 19.1, except for I love the idea of a prominent black Muslim voice in opposition to Trump. This may well blow up the blog or something, but I'm not sure a black Muslim is wisest at this time.

I know, I know. This is a heretical thing to say. God, I know. I'm not at all on board with the notion that what the Democratic Party must do is appease and pander to the racists/xenophobes in our electorate. That said, I don't know --. I ... just think it could, in fact will, blow up in our faces. Talk me down from this. Explain how it would be a fine, indeed commendable, approach to winning back the country.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 12:58 PM
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20: Is David Ortiz in the running?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 1:00 PM
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I second 19.2.

I loooove the idea of putting a black muslim face on the teevee as much as possible and although I haven't seen Ellison a whole lot, from what little I have, it seems like he handles himself well.

I know Dean is not universally loved among Dem activists (and maybe commenters here) and the lobbying stuff lately doesn't help, but I think Dean is a scrappy-as-fuck pragmatist who was genuinely outraged by Bush and came away from his campaign really hungry to fix what was broke in the party. I was disappointed that the Obama crowd froze him out (and always curious what the back story was).

The more I hear about the strategies and tactics of the right, the more I agree with this kind of thing. I would really like to see more mean bastards operating on our side.


Posted by: Swope FM | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 1:01 PM
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I'll take a stab at 23.3: Familiarity normalises. Ellison is muslim, an elected US Representative, and a normal-seeming guy. Scared dumbass white people who voted for Trump need to be reminded that it's possible to be those three things at the same time, as often as possible.

I don't *really* know the what the image of American muslims held in the minds of Trump voters look like, but I'll bet it looks more foreign than American. Keith Ellison comes off as pretty American.


Posted by: Swope FM | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 1:08 PM
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I don't think that anybody who isn't white and Christian codes as "American" to most Trump voters.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 1:11 PM
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I'm not at all on board with the notion that what the Democratic Party must do is appease and pander to the racists/xenophobes in our electorate. That said, I don't know --. I ... just think it could, in fact will, blow up in our faces.

I understand. Its a question of offense vs. defense. Picking Ellison is playing offense on social issues and pluralistic coexistence, not picking Ellison is a defensive measure aimed at not freaking out the white working class. Personally, though, I think the best defense is a good offense.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 1:16 PM
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20: Is David Ortiz in the running?

If only. "This is our fucking country!"


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 1:19 PM
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27: I hear you, but A) I don't think the half-ish of the electorate that voted for Trump are all white Christian nativists (assholes, yeah maybe) and B) although I think Islamophobia does ultimately boil down to racism, I also think it's a different and more popular flavour of racism than anti-anybody-who's-not-white racism. I definitely get the impression that lots of voters in Trump country don't even understand that there are a lot of muslims in America who are FROM America, living normal American lives,


Posted by: Swope FM | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 1:28 PM
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28: That's pretty much my quandary.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 1:32 PM
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I'm not at all on board with the notion that what the Democratic Party must do is appease and pander to the racists/xenophobes in our electorate.

I would have called it "actually advancing the economic interests of a large swathe of the country" but let me know when you get tired of losing elections.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 1:33 PM
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Muslims are going to be taking a lot of shit for the next four years. They shouldn't also take shit from a Democratic Party who is afraid to be their friend.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 1:35 PM
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Second 23 & 26. I think 25 is fantasy. Republicans are immune to evidence. To the extent they would be aware of Ellison, it would be as whatever Fox painted him as. I mean, what fraction of them believe Obama is muslim?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 1:36 PM
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35

gswift, did you become a troll when I wasn't paying attention?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 1:37 PM
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36

s/b second 23 &27, 26 is fantasy.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 1:41 PM
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37

Ellison isn't going to leave Congress to head DNC, he'll do both. Boogeywoman Debbie W-S was head of DNC while in Congress.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 1:43 PM
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35: Who is actually proposing the Dem way forward is to pander to racists? Is that how you see Sanders style economic populism?


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 1:46 PM
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34/36: Yeah, I wasn't really talking about Republicans so much, more just low-information, not entirely party-committed voters. And maybe you're right, the Fox reality field is pretty hard to penetrate, but I can't help but think about how increased visibility helped gay people. If your only image of muslims is angry foreigners wearing suicide vests, then seeing one in a suit, speaking reasonably with an American accent has the potential to mitigate fear in those who aren't completely attached to it.


Posted by: Swope FM | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 1:52 PM
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Picking Ellison is playing offense on social issues
As was nominating Clinton. Evidently about half of Democrat voters don't actually care about social issues enough to bother voting. Social issues shouldn't be abandoned, but putting them front and center would be doing more of the same thing that just lost you the country. The face of the party should relentlessly punt whatever it is those stay-at-home voters do in fact care about. I don't know what that is, but I'm guessing gswift has been right all along: jobs.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 1:52 PM
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41

What's this about:

Feinstein's always been useless on appointees.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 1:54 PM
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42

Great. Let's go get 3,000,000 more jobs and a basket of higher wages.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 1:55 PM
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43

the potential to mitigate fear in those who aren't completely attached to it
Fair point, but that strikes me as a long-term project (which I think has been proceeding ok anyway, witness gay marriage, black president, &c) when what you need is dramatic short-term results.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 1:56 PM
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38: We may be misunderstanding each other. My I'm not at all on board with the notion that what the Democratic Party must do is appease and pander to the racists/xenophobes in our electorate was meant to say that my own doubts about Ellison as DNC chair sounded like I felt we must pander to ... etc.

So it sounds like I myself am saying that we should not go for Ellison because we must pander, etc.

Just to be clear.

And any number of people are proposing just that: the principal opponent to Nancy Pelosi for House Minority Leader is a guy (Tim Ryan, D-OH) is basically peddling a white-guy-down-with-the white folks approach for the party, saying that Pelosi and the Dem leadership in general has just been too, uh, shall we say, diversity oriented.

I don't know why Sanders comes into it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 1:57 PM
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42: Try saying that loudly, every day from now on, and maybe you'll win enough elections to try doing it. I mean, if nuanced and realistic analysis was a winner, we wouldn't be having this conversation.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 1:59 PM
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40: The face of the party should relentlessly punt whatever it is those stay-at-home voters do in fact care about. I don't know what that is, but I'm guessing gswift has been right all along: jobs.

Brilliant! Jobs! Who knew?????


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 2:00 PM
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what you need is dramatic short-term results

Do you think putting Keith Ellison on teevee works counter to this goal? And since he is known to be angling for the job, do you think there would be a cost to keeping him from it?


Posted by: Swope FM | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 2:01 PM
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46: Apparently not the leaders of the Democratic party, who have absolutely been complicit in putting corporate interests ahead of workers for decades. I'll outsource some of this conversation to Kirk Noden.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 2:06 PM
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47: I don't know. If Ellison is an ass-kicking populist, by all means. My argument is that reasoning based on social issues should be suspended until you've figured out what will motivate your stay-at-home voters.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 2:08 PM
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Nunna my business, but gswift and parsimon, you DO seem to be talking past each other; I don't see where that argument came from.

Although the idea of "toning down the diversity" angle as a Dem strategy feels pretty creepy to me personally, I'm willing to consider the argument that it could be effective in the short term (consider it; I'm not convinced yet), and if it were, short term majorities can be turned into longer-term ones. But making Democrats more white-friendly as an electoral strategy after Trump's win feels a little like making the Dems more business/finance friendly after the Reagan era -- I mean, it worked, but look at the problems it caused down the road.


Posted by: Swope FM | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 2:11 PM
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48: I'm afraid I don't have time to read that link right now, but I will, later.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 2:12 PM
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52

My guess is that the Democrats would win the next election without changing anything. As long as they aren't led by a candidate that every Republican has been desperate to vote against for 20 years, and almost everyone else is suspicious of because the media constantly says she is corrupt and untrustworthy. And as long as the campaign is about any issues at all, rather than "Our opponent is a jerk". Populist issues, Lean In, whatever. Just... some issue of some sort.

But this may be a coping mechanism on my part.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 2:25 PM
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48 is good.
50: I'm not sure populism implies white-pandering. My guess is that most of those stay-at-homes don't much care about social issues either way, but will turn out to vote for a strong message that resonates (as they did for Obama), and behind that simple message can be a detailed platform including all the social issues you want. Maybe that won't be true in swing states, though.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 2:27 PM
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54

I think we don't yet know nearly enough about what happened in this election and why to be able to decide on the best strategy going forward.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 3:18 PM
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I'm not sure populism implies white-pandering. My guess is that most of those stay-at-homes don't much care about social issues either way

Agreed. That's why I don't think putting Keith Ellison front and center is not too bad in the short term and possibly good in the long term. But anything Dems do will have to be *in addition to* much better economic policies, which I assume is an uncontroversial view here.

I am really afraid, though, that a Trumpian stimulus splurge will preserve the illusion of Republican superiority on economics and kick the can down the road long enough to buy the right more wrecking time before it all blows up and a Democratic president has to pick up the pieces again.


Posted by: Swope FM | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 3:36 PM
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I don't think that's a huge problem. If Trump gets a stimulus that is large enough to increase employment, it means either raised taxes or increased the budget deficit (almost certainly the latter). Attack him on that. This isn't comps. Intellectual consistency and rigor can go fuck themselves.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 4:04 PM
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48: that is a pretty good article. I think it describes the tensions in the industrial Midwest very compellingly. I'm just not sure what conclusions/recommendations he wants us to take away.

Corporate democrats are made the foil of the far right. This neglects that the narrative ascribed to corporate dems is largely shared by corporate republicans. He isn't able to communicate what a far left narrative (his preferred one?) would be. The fact that he later writes negatively about Keynesian government investments and social welfare programs leaves me unclear as to what that narrative would look like.

The Carter administration and shortsighted union leaders neglected Youngstown in the late 70s. That was wrong! I think it would be much less likely to happen today. But regardless, other than electing more Democrats and better Democrats wherever we can, what is to be done?


Posted by: Scott | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 4:09 PM
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The problem is that the Trump infrastructure "stimlulus" is based on giving sweetheart terms to private companies in order for them to build what are effectively dozens of infrastructure monopolies that will bleed the citizens dry over decades. TPM has some good stuff on this recently.


Posted by: Scott | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 4:14 PM
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59

Really?


Posted by: Opinionated New Orleans | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 4:14 PM
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I second 54. I have 48.link open in a new tab, but I have to say, if elections were contests to find the least corporate-obliging and most worker friendly party, I'd like our chances, every time.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 4:24 PM
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I'm going to guess that most voters don't have any idea who's running the party NCs and also don't really give a fuck. Choose whomever looks like they'll do the best job.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 4:48 PM
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Yeah, DNC chair is not a position with a lot of public prominence, nor should it be. I've heard arguments both for and against Ellison on various grounds; not sure what to think at this point.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 5:32 PM
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58 is true. Its all going to be Public-Private Partnerships, which invariably mean that the public is going to be ripped off. I see that the stimulus affect will make people think Trump helped the economy, but the cartoonish level of corruption surrounding these things is going to be easy to run against.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 5:38 PM
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The alternative is to suppose that … moderate Republicans intend to roll over on every one of Trump's nominees. I find that a stretch.

What planet are you on?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 5:51 PM
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I knew the Trump picks for Cabinet positions would be bad, but I was expecting incompetent, kleptocratic evil in every position, not politically experienced far-right ideologues. I am saddest about AG (and DoJ in general), I think, given the attention hate crimes should get but won't. I was kind of expecting Trump to nominate his personal attorney or something. (I mean, yes, Giuliani and Christie and Gingrich, oh my, but there were only three of them and lots of posts. Also, they're bad, but I have trouble thinking of Christie and Sessions as being comparably evil.) My next biggest worry is actually FEMA. The difference between response to Katrina and Sandy was immense, and I think we can expect more and more extreme weather emergencies. It is all awful, though, everywhere I turn. Interior, HHS, oh god we are so fucked.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 6:16 PM
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66

Bring back Harrriet Miers!


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 6:19 PM
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65: I wonder if Pence didn't get to pick them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 6:35 PM
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The picks will be bad, and everyone is going to roll over for them. Unless there's some sort of John Tower personal situation -- there's no sign that Sessions if unpopular enough with his colleagues, or the Trump kids, for someone to try it.

My own thought is that opposition to specific policy measures is going to be a lot more effective than generalized opposition to everything. I guess we'll see.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 6:42 PM
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52. Really? 2018 is mostly Dems up for re-election (in the Senate) and unless everything goes down the tubes it's a huge lock for the GOP to further expand their majority.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 7:03 PM
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67: Yeah, I assume so, but I'm kind of surprised Trump went along with it. I would have guessed he'd heavily favor "his" people. I mean, even something like (shudder) Joe Arpaio (not DC, famous) heaving up ICE makes more twisted sense to my previous expectation of how he'd govern. I'm recalibrating my level of terror.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 7:06 PM
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-v +d "heading up."


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 7:06 PM
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Would pay good money to see Joe Arpaio heave up ice. Great for parties.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 7:23 PM
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Um, I'll have this bourbon neat please.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 7:26 PM
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There's still plenty of time to find a suitable position for everyone on Trump's list.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 7:28 PM
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I've been wondering about a strategy of fighting to have implementation delays built into every Republican destroy the welfare state bill. Delays long enough to campaign on repeal without the damage having already started.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 7:37 PM
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McConnell has apparently decided not to kill the filibuster, so the Senate Democrats do have some leverage on a lot of issues. Not executive branch appointments, however.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 7:49 PM
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I'll believe that when I see it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 7:51 PM
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My strong suspicion is that it lasts just long enough to see if they can peel away a few Democrats to "save the filibuster" (by not requiring the Rs to repeal it in order to get what them want) and give the Rs some bipartisan cover for something heinous.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 7:53 PM
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Do senators get to vote on their own confirmation? I think the answer is yes, based on finding a couple articles about Clinton abstaining from voting on herself.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 7:54 PM
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It's interesting the way that just being *openly* corrupt gets you a pass from the media. If you aren't hiding things, then no one paper can get the scoop and no reporter gets to fantasize about Robert Redford playing them in a movie, so the papers mostly ignore it.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 7:57 PM
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It's interesting the way that just being *openly* corrupt gets you a pass from the media. If you aren't hiding things, then no one paper can get the scoop and no reporter gets to fantasize about Robert Redford playing them in a movie, so the papers mostly ignore it.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 7:57 PM
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Doubly interesting.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 8:02 PM
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69, 76: I've been idly fantasizing - in re maximum leverage in this presumed two-year window - about a long-shot scenario: What would it take to get 3-4 Republican senators to vote for Democratic control of the chamber? It's got to be a wildly unlikely parlay - keep Manchin onboard, convince Collins to go the Jeffords route, win Louisiana and/or find two others who could be swayed - but it's tempting to believe it's possible, and valuable enough to be worth some (political) price.

(A bit silly to re-delurk just to float something this unrealistic, but here I am.)


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 8:28 PM
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83: I've been thinking about that scenario. Murkowski is probably the most likely to go Jeffords, as she's the most moderate Senator, and she did consistently oppose Trump throughout the campaign. Still not very likely, I don't think, but not out of the realm of possibility. It would take one more, maybe Collins, to swing control even if the Dems win Louisiana.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 9:08 PM
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I did wonder whether Murkowski would also be an unlikely-but-as-likely-as-they-get candidate to shift from R to I or D - glad you mentioned her.

As far as chaos and upheaval goes, my rather delusional pick would be to see if chairing a Special Committee on Bad Things Trump's Done could get Lindsay Graham to return to performing #NeverTrump, as "Sen. Graham (I-SC)".


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 9:51 PM
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+e, -a

(Even having looked up the spelling, and I got Graham's first name wrong.)


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 9:52 PM
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Murkowski is maybe a little more likely than other Republicans to caucus with the Dems, since there's a long tradition of bipartisan caucuses at the state level in Alaska, and we actually just elected a new one to run the state House. Still probably not very likely, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 9:54 PM
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That's an intriguing tidbit. And it'd be pleasant to see someone switch all on their own, for principle - but I do assume the real, and big, obstacle is that pragmatism would make any senator want to move in concert with others to ensure there's a majority for them to move into.


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 10:20 PM
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Right, that's the big barrier, especially for someone like Murkowski who is already chairing a committee.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 10:37 PM
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Written in the immediate aftermath, but most of its conclusions remain true: http://www.versobooks.com/blogs/2948-not-a-revolution-yet


Posted by: chris s | Link to this comment | 11-19-16 10:56 PM
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Issa's probably going to win based on being up with most ballots counted, but it's been a lot closer than I expected. One of the few Republicans hurt by being so in the tank for Trump.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 12:09 AM
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Ellison is good, & I think is a kickass populist. Eg big early TPP opponent. Dean, I supported back in the day but...lets not be less progressive than Schumer.

Sessions is terrible. Esp. on immigration and actively trying to destroy civil rights. Kris Kobach is reportedly worse--immigration David Addington---so watch out for that guy. Tom Cotton, who has been rumored for sec def, is a lunatic and everyone hates him personally.

The democratic committee chairmanship switches are bad news for at least two committees. Good for apropos but I know very little about how much good Leahy can do there--presumably he wanted it for a reason though.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 1:30 AM
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for people who think shit is fucked up and bullshit


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 1:43 AM
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93 is good. Got a laugh out of me and I'm feeling grim grim grim.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 1:52 AM
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In other news, it looks like rumors of SEK's demise were the result of him not quite understanding what the doctors were saying. His family is understandably not giving out details at the other place, but also saying that they have not discussed hospice. Either way, I think it's safe to say that donating for his medical bills, if you can, will be a help.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 3:04 AM
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What would it take to get 3-4 Republican senators to vote for Democratic control of the chamber?

I don't think you could get Democratic control outright, but something like a "Unity coalition" which I think is being done in Alaska?

It would probably take either Lindsay Graham or John McCain in the Majority Leader role, because those two will stick together. And you would need Collins and Murkowski.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 4:51 AM
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What would it take to get 3-4 Republican senators to vote for Democratic control of the chamber?

The direct personal intervention of God.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 8:16 AM
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97 Optimist!


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 8:19 AM
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97: not God, so much, but perhaps one of his old frenemies


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 8:40 AM
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Yeah, 96.3 is what it would take. Which is to say: not happening.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 8:57 AM
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On the other hand, God totally owes us on account of the election. It was people voting in his name for Trump what did it.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 9:01 AM
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1 Samuel 8


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 9:28 AM
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102. Good spot. Alternatively, "A republic, if you can keep it."


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 9:38 AM
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Well-played, Mobes.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 10:00 AM
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A flat 10% tax? Perfect! It'll make Israel America great again!


Posted by: OPINIONATED DONALD TRUMP | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 10:10 AM
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92: Ellison is good, & I think is a kickass populist.

Unfortunately, the mainstream media have just unearthed an appearance by Ellison on Bill Maher's show in which he said that he wished that the Dems would come out against the 2nd amendment. Or I should say: have re-unearthed said clip. Apparently it was all over the news at the time.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 11:45 AM
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Do stay-at-home Democrats in swing states give a shit about gun rights? Inquiring minds want to know!


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 12:00 PM
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I'm going to say yes.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 12:01 PM
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Guns are great.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 12:02 PM
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Sounds like no Ellison! Why don't y'all/yinz draft Obama for this? Given actual demonstrated ability to like, win elections and run campaigns and stuff.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 12:05 PM
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Regarding the link in 48, 57 pretty much captures my thoughts as well. I gather the headline "Why do white working-class people vote against their interests? They don't" is intended to be contrarian click-bait or something.

I hadn't been aware of the move in the '70s to reorganize shuttered factories as worker-owned cooperatives. For those who didn't read the article:

A coalition organized to reopen the mills as cooperatives owned by the workers, community members, and private investors. After a feasibility study showed that reopening the mills was economically viable, the coalition appealed to the federal government for loans to purchase and modernize the plant. Despite an initial commitment, the Carter administration backed off.

As 57.3 says, Carter fucked up. Good grief. It'd certainly be terrific to make a move to do something like that now, but I've no idea whether it would still seem economically viable.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 12:11 PM
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With regard to steel certainly not, anytime soon. There's severe oversupply coming out of China right now, and likely to stay that way.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 12:20 PM
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Maybe Carter fucked up. But realistically, do you think the American steel industry - either privately owned or co-op - was ever going to be viable through the 1980s and 90s in the face of increased global competition, the fall of US auto manufacturing, and the Clean Air Act? Maybe pockets at the high end, following the Swedish model, sure. But that's still a much smaller footprint than what the American steel industry was in the 1970s.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 12:24 PM
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I'm not sure Carter did fuck up. Those co-ops would have gone under, defaulted on the loans and it would have been a huge thing. The lesson would have been that "liberalism never works" , rather than "don't invest in American steel in the late 70s". And the jobs would still be gone.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 12:33 PM
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Invade their countries, kill their leaders, stop them from producing steel!


Posted by: Ann "Carter" Coulter | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 12:41 PM
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Yeah, that's what I figured. Similarly, coal isn't coming back any time soon. Which leaves us with: what is the writer of the Nation article -- and for that matter, the above-mentioned Tim Ryan (from Youngstown!) who's challenging Pelosi for minority leader -- envisioning as an economic plan that will help these people? Never mind the shift in rhetoric they may support (which, yes, does involve moving away from what people have decided to call the overwhelming identity politics of the Democratic Party, which, yes, does alienate quite a few of the relevant voters). What are the actual proposals?

I'm not sure where to look to find them. It struck me while reading the Nation piece that many of the things that might could help aren't federal policies in the first place, but state/local.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 12:41 PM
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116 to 112, 113.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 12:41 PM
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Continuing 116: state/local, like regional partnerships. That's something governors of contiguous states work out. My own state has a number of them; I understand that the northeast also has, including some cross-border ones with Canada.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 12:46 PM
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OT: For sound reasons, I find myself repeatedly correcting my son's pronunciation of "bordello".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 12:48 PM
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Can we stop pretending getting undercut by foreign competition is something that just happens like the weather instead of something both parties have enabled at the behest of corporate interests? We don't actually have to just let China endlessly dump cheap steel in our markets.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 12:53 PM
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envisioning as an economic plan that will help these people?

Maybe helping the get the fuck out of dodge? My ancestors left their dying PA steel towns a couple generations ago. If they hadn't, I wouldn't be the coastal elitist I am today.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 1:04 PM
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Foreign competition isn't just for corporate interests. Or at least you'll never convince anybody who drove Ford Granada that competition from Japan didn't produce real gains for consumers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 1:09 PM
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Sure, if you want to go full protectionist, you could shut down free trade. But that has problems of its own. Exactly how much more do you expect everyone to pay for their consumer goods to protect rustbelt jobs? And do you expect everyone to drive shitty American cars like they did in the 1970s, before foreign competition showed up and forced the Big Three to improve their game?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 1:12 PM
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122: My first car was a '79 Monarch, the Mercury version. White with the red nagahyde interior. That car was pimp as hell.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 1:12 PM
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Owned by Moby.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 1:12 PM
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The market is the market, and steel is pretty fungible . Even if we had fought tooth and nail against China's accession to the WTO, they'd be selling their steel to someone else.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 1:12 PM
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The Red Naga is now extinct in the wild.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 1:16 PM
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It really can't be emphasised enough that the 50s/60s US domination of international trade and industry were not The Way Things Always Should Be, they were a temporary aberration caused by almost everyone else in the world having been forcibly de-industrialised by the Wehrmacht, the Soviet Army, Bomber Command and the Eighth and Twenty-First Air Forces.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 1:19 PM
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I'm sincerely interested in gswift's ideas are on what should be or have been done to protect US heavy industry.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 1:21 PM
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+what


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 1:22 PM
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128: Sure, but we also don't have to pretend that the "competition" from China and like countries is in any way legit. They're operating with massive govt support and 0 environmental and labor regs.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 1:23 PM
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Manufacturing is gone. It's not coming back. And it's not about free trade, it's about productivity enhancements. You can see this because manufacturing jobs are disappearing all over the world, not just in advanced economies.

Wishing won't make it so. You'll have to find another way to bring decent paying jobs to uneducated people.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 1:29 PM
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129: Heading to work, but real quick, yeah, there should have been some protectionism. Nike and such don't move their plants overseas because they want to sell their product cheaper, it's so they can get a higher margin on that 120 dollar pair of Jordans.

We need to seriously push back on this idea that profit and shareholders get preferential treatment at all costs. Also on the Wal Martization of America. So what if some things end up costing a bit more? I'll pay the extra ten bucks for my toaster if it means that factory stays here.

Like 132 says, some of this was going to happen. Robots happened. But a lot of the gutting of these jobs was aided and abetted by both parties with no plan to mitigate the effects. The Democrats should acknowledge the role they played and start thinking about what they can do to actually put people back to work.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 1:40 PM
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The Democrats should acknowledge the role they played and start thinking about what they can do to actually put people back to work.

Comity.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 1:52 PM
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113, 123: AIUI the US has a lively and competitive steelmaking industry, but it's in mini mills, which don't employ a multitude like Bethlehem Steel did. 128 too.

Also, the median wage in US steel plants was not above a poverty wage until the early 1950s. There was barely a full working career's time before the collapse. That we remember the period in between as natural and normal kind of reminds me of Black Lamb, Grey Falcon - if every group thinks of the best they've ever had it as the least they should expect, there's no peace to be had.


Posted by: Clew | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 1:59 PM
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Although I have several optimistic alternatives, ranging from tariffs against ecological and labor horrors through cap-auction-UBI on all fossil fuels.


Posted by: Clew | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 2:02 PM
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I got to use the word Wehrmacht on FB today. It was pretty exciting.

The thing I've never gotten a clear explanation for why the 50s and 60s were supposed to so great -- if the US has all of the world's manufacturing, then what are they trading it for? People talk about that era like it would obviously have to be great, but what makes trading cars for wheat so great? I find it counterintuitive, but I seem to be the only one.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 2:07 PM
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Absolutely both parties have been sanguine about the effects on the "losers" of international trade. And robots are really just another side of the same coin. America is manufacturing more stuff than ever before, that manufacturing just employs many fewer people.

The Nation article's line about liberals treating deindustrialization (meaning trade, robots, etc.) "like its the weather" actually gets at something true I think. It *is* like the weather in the same way climate change is like the weather: a big unavoidable, disruptive change. Mitigating the damage of both changes will require big investments of money and rethinking some major systems. The problem is denialism has put us way behind in preparing for both.


Posted by: Scott | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 2:07 PM
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Apropos.

So if profits, trade and automation are not the driving forces, what is? The major pressure to shift jobs abroad comes from the big hedge funds and private equity investors that have one goal only -- to siphon as much wealth as possible out of companies like United Technologies. High profits, low profits or no profits, they pressure company after company to squeeze their costs as much as possible so there is more money available for the company to buy back its own shares.

Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 2:23 PM
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Continuing:

Unless the [Democratic] party is captured by the Sanders forces, there will be little concerted action to outlaw stock buybacks. The establishment Democrats will do next to nothing about the never ending rip-off of the American people by Wall Street elites.

Okay. That actually looks like a plan.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 2:26 PM
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The Democrats are partially responsible (Clinton was obviously an ardent free trader), but let me point out again that Democrats controlled the entire government for only 4 years out of the last 24, and both times they tried to pass universal health care and were immediately punished for it. We don't know what the Democrats would have done to ameliorate the effects of free trade, because they've never gotten the opportunity.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 2:43 PM
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Alternative plan: robot suffrage.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 2:43 PM
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I think the only way to combat the winner-take-all nature of worldwide capitalism is massive redistribution. I think UBI is a great idea, but some have pointed out that work is a matter of pride for a lot of people. So maybe big increases in the minimum wage coupled with generous guaranteed basic services (health care, food, housing) is the way to go.

Oh, wait, I just described the policies that Democrats have been in favor of since the New Deal. Huh, maybe Democrats don't have to rethink that much after all. Maybe white rural backlash has more to do with the appearance of impropriety than actual impropriety and more to do with social issues than economic ones? Maybe white voters have always preferred voting for politicians that are captured by corporate America (Republicans) to such an extent that Democrats were forced to adopt more business-friendly policies in order to attract their votes (Clinton).


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 2:58 PM
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Also, the median wage in US steel plants was not above a poverty wage until the early 1950s. There was barely a full working career's time before the collapse. That we remember the period in between as natural and normal kind of reminds me of Black Lamb, Grey Falcon - if every group thinks of the best they've ever had it as the least they should expect, there's no peace to be had.

This is a really important point (incidentally there's an almost-interesting discussion about what makes manufacturing jobs, "good jobs" on CT right now, prompted by Quiggin's remark, "The idea of manufacturing jobs as "good" jobs is historically specific particularly to the US, and reflects the fact that the dominance of manufacturing coincided with the New Deal and the unionisation of the labour force. It's unions, not manufacturing that we need to bring back.")

128: Sure, but we also don't have to pretend that the "competition" from China and like countries is in any way legit. They're operating with massive govt support and 0 environmental and labor regs.

What makes competition "legit" or not? I thought one point of DeLong's Concrete Economics was that there's a long history of government supporting industries, and that is, and should be, part of the game. I support putting pressure on China to improve enforcement of environmental and labor regulations, but do think there's some reason for humility before saying, "our industries were built with past government support, but it's unfair for a somebody receiving current government support to compete with them."


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 3:03 PM
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Quiggen's last post at CT is a total pipe dream with this government but also a start at a coherent plan. It amounts to essentially:

1 - Moar unions! (Manufacturing jobs were "good" jobs b/c they were union, not b/c they were manufacturing)
2a - the US uses its economic weight not only to negotiate free trade deals have strong labor and environmental protections but:
2b - also allow that businesses doing a large amount of business in the US can be held accountable here (i.e. No ISDS tribunal) for their labor and environmental abuses and those of their supply chains.
3 - tiny financial transaction tax

I'd like to see global tax enforcement too, but we can't do that on our own. Sounds like a decent start.

*** pwned a bit on preview


Posted by: Scott | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 3:12 PM
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"The idea of manufacturing jobs as "good" jobs is historically specific particularly to the US, and reflects the fact that the dominance of manufacturing coincided with the New Deal and the unionisation of the labour force. It's unions, not manufacturing that we need to bring back."

This is exactly right, and it often gets overlooked in these discussions.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 3:13 PM
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That whole Quiggin post is indeed quite good, and sets out what might be the basis for a new Democratic platform on trade. Not that there's any way to do any of it in the short term since the Dems are out of power, but regrouping and coming up with new approaches is what parties out of power should do.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 3:17 PM
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However China is supporting their industries, it's apparently the greatest economic policy in the history of the world, having generated 6% economic growth for years and years. It doesn't strike me as unfair competition the way that lax labor and environmental regulation does.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 3:24 PM
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137.2 - The Thirties and Forties had been terrifyingly, grimly, unrelentingly awful. After some boom-bust problems in the Fifties many peoples' lives got slowly but predictably better, which is about as much as the world can do to make us happy, AFAICT. (And is a lot, and rare.)

90% top tax rate and unions and all that stored -up demand and technological peace dividend.


Posted by: Clew | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 3:29 PM
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Sure, the 50s and 60s were better than the 30s, but I'm specifically curious about the argument that they were better than the 30s because the US had a monopoly on manufacturing, not the argument you're making.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 3:36 PM
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147: Erik Loomis at LGM has written a lot along these lines too. And his book "Out of Sight" is great on how unprecedented capital mobility has undermined any sense of economic security anywhere in the world.

In the short term, I think our most tangible, and important, accomplishment will be stopping the GOP from ending Medicare(!!!). If that's not a political winner with working folks, I don't know what can help us.


Posted by: Scott | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 3:54 PM
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128: Man, this. Having grown up in the US and since lived in a couple of countries that were flattened by WWII, the impact of having to rebuild from that kind of destruction is everywhere you look even a generation later. It's not subtle. But if you're an American who hasn't traveled much or even has traveled purely in tourist/vacation mode, there's no way to have an appreciation of this.

Even if the heart of the problem is economic more than cultural, it's madding how much culture is a barrier to addressing it. I'm reading this discussion of post-war manufacturing jobs in this thread and thinking about the attitudes all my Trump-voting family has expressed on the subject for years: not that free trade creates a problem that unions can protect people from, but rather that the solution to job offshoring is that all those uppity poor people ought to be willing to work for the same wages that Chinese peasants do so that American corporations wouldn't be *forced* to move production to China. The collapse of American manufacturing jobs is the inevitable and just outcome of the wicked choice to unionise, welp, we told you this would happen, etc.


Posted by: Swope FM | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 4:08 PM
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Never mind 95. Damn.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 4:12 PM
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153: Wait, what? Really?


Posted by: Swope FM | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 4:16 PM
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That we remember the period in between as natural and normal kind of reminds me of Black Lamb, Grey Falcon - if every group thinks of the best they've ever had it as the least they should expect, there's no peace to be had.

Deep cut. Nice.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 4:18 PM
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The Thirties and Forties had been terrifyingly, grimly, unrelentingly awful.

Still, nice suits.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 4:18 PM
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153: can you say more? That makes it sound like the worst has happened, but I don't see anything public about it.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 4:19 PM
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154: Given how people have been posting on SEK's Facebook page without knowing the full details, it's probably best to wait for the family to say something official. And the post I just saw (in the last 30 minutes) has apparently been pulled, so maybe that's wrong too.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 4:21 PM
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The era of everyone's connected but not necessarily informed is a mess.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 4:23 PM
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Cole posted latest but it's unclear who knows what.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 5:00 PM
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Yeah. This is Scott and family's to tell. That's what I am watching for.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 5:22 PM
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161: I'll be delighted to be proven wrong again.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 6:56 PM
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Awful news to wake up to. Just awful.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 7:11 PM
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I think we're going to be waking up like that a lot, Barry.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 7:30 PM
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This time it's personal.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 7:51 PM
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Barry leaves the US and everything goes to hell. He then refuses to return to such a miserable country, dooming us to a negative feedback loop. What's next for us, locusts?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 7:55 PM
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Really I thought it was David Bowie who was holding it all together.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 8:01 PM
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In retrospect, Banks really was an SC agent.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 8:05 PM
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I will share what little knowledge of the Chinese steel industry I have.
A)Of course, it is a virtual certainty that it is subsidized by the government, but it is difficult to tell to what degree because the finances behind it are opaque. These companies tend to be owned by the government anyway.
B) But, the workers are not as bad off as you would think, nor do they quite fit the stereotype of working in sweatshops for pennies. The steel industry is one of the last vestiges of old-school communism, so if you get a job in a steel company work unit, you are set for a pension, housing, and medical care for you and your family and you have a job for life. Outside of the system you get none of that.
C) Environmental regulations are not ignored, but their enforcement is a political issue. I suppose you could say the same of the US. Generally, the central government wants the regs enforced, and the local government doesn't, but I know it's not that simple. I just know that there are fights about it, and that it's a political thing.

It's strange, steel working jobs are politically important in China, not for the job in itself, but because of the benefits traditionally associated with it. What is it about steel?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-20-16 10:51 PM
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People talk about that era like it would obviously have to be great, but what makes trading cars for wheat so great? I find it counterintuitive, but I seem to be the only one.

The simplistic economics answer is that there is (or was) more value add in auto manufacturing than in agriculture, so it's more profitable to be selling the one rather than the other (especially if you have a quasi-monopoly, though I guess if you really had a monopoly in wheat you could price gouge pretty hard).


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 7:13 AM
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What makes competition "legit" or not? I thought one point of DeLong's Concrete Economics was that there's a long history of government supporting industries, and that is, and should be, part of the game.

Because it's not much of a competition if the other side is playing by a different set of rules.

Like the link in 139 points out, a hell of a lot of this is not companies just surviving in the marketplace, it's deliberate wealth extraction. I don't know why we all just seem to think it's fate and that we have to let a bunch of Gordon Gecko types strip mine the economy.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 7:36 AM
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The steel industry is one of the last vestiges of old-school communism, so if you get a job in a steel company work unit, you are set for a pension, housing, and medical care for you and your family and you have a job for life. Outside of the system you get none of that.

Fascinatingly, this was the case even in 1960s China. I'm reading Dikotter, "The Cultural Revolution", and he describes an aristocratic system with some privileged workers and technicians "who received a range of benefits dating back to the early days of liberation. Some factories provided their workers with major amenities including large dining halls, clinics, libraries, lounger, schools for children and generous pensions... at the bottom of the scale there was a vast dark underworld of impoverished workers on temporary contracts, hired and fired at will without any fringe benefits."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 7:39 AM
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The low skilled workers who are highest paid, and tend to pass on good jobs to their children, are those capable of doing the most damage. A steel worker who can flip a switch and destroy a $100 million plant will have a much better salary than an agricultural employee with a similar education and skill level. A textbook case is the difference between a crane operator, who can easily shut down an entire construction site, and a truck driver, who can't. It's not surprising to see the same pattern in China.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 8:19 AM
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Not just damage, but costly interruption. If the farm labourers go on strike for a day, not a huge problem. But if your industry involves large amounts of molten metal, an unplanned shutdown is a bit of a drama. (Not to mention the capital cost of a steel mill.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 8:25 AM
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Just called my senators to oppose Sessions.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 8:58 AM
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And anyway my point was that it's not true that the Chinese steel mills are the last relics of a time when every job came with lots of wonderful perks. Those times never existed.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 8:58 AM
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169: Steel has been fetishized by I think every industrial country at some point. It was the early indicator of industrialization, it was the site of major industrial disputes, it was vital in wartime (and so presumably saw more concessions to workers). Mao was nuts about steel. Every newly-independent country in mid-century tried to build a steel mill.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 9:22 AM
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That Tooze podcast I linked a few weeks back was great on steel. Nazis and steel.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 9:25 AM
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177: well, it legitimately is crucial to an industrial economy. Basically, 20th century economies needed three things in huge quantities in order to function: steel, oil and rubber. Oil production is an accident of geography, and so is rubber to a large extent, and most industrial countries didn't produce one or even either in their own territory, but iron ore and coal are fairly widespread.

And also it has tremendous economies of scale. There's no such thing as a workable back-yard steel mill. They have to be big and expensive to work, and that makes them politically sensitive.


Posted by: ajayt | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 9:28 AM
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178: indeed. I don't know if I thanked you at the time for digging that up but: thank you for digging that up.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 9:29 AM
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Didn't mini-mills take over partly because there was so much old steel lying around that it became more efficient to mostly recycle it and only make a little new? At some point can the sheer volume of Chinese steel production be predicted to make the same logic apply globally?

(Not that that will solve anything macro.)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 9:31 AM
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it was the site of major industrial disputes

The Homestead Strike Memorial Target being just over the river from me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 9:33 AM
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178+ All true, and I was thinking exactly of that podcast. Also, I think steel has a visceral propaganda potential that's hard to rationalize.
GIANT CRUCIBLES OF LITERAL FUCKING LAVA


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 9:36 AM
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181: sorry, I should have said steel producer, not steel mill. Not all mills make their own steel.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 9:36 AM
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183: also it's good manly work. You don't get the same emotional resonance from a load of women sitting at sewing machines.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 9:38 AM
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The Triangle Shirtwaist people tried to bring in the fire element.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 9:40 AM
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True, but think of the poster art. Stylised picture of babushka in headscarf sitting at a table with a Singer. "COMRADES! WE ARE PUTTING THE HEMS ON A NEW WORLD!" I think not.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 9:43 AM
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They have to be big and expensive to work
And demand for their product fluctuates greatly. Massive demand for steel has come in waves: Industrial Revolution, world wars, postwar reconstruction and urbanization, urbanization in China. As each wave recedes, it leaves ruined steel towns behind. Is there any steel country in the world without at least one of those? Even China already has a rustbelt in the northeast, from Mao-era development.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 9:44 AM
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187: I don't see why it wouldn't work if they put the factory in Stalingrad and violated capitalist trademarks. Asking workers to don the Volga Chanel should be effective.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 9:47 AM
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Actually I wonder how much of war production was in textiles. There must have been a fair amount. Those million-man armies needed a constant supply of uniforms, and socks and overcoats and blankets. (The French army in 1944-45 was largely wearing US uniforms, and there was constant tension between de Lattre and Patch over whether the US was sending the First French Army enough clothes.) All those six-wheeler GM and Dodge trucks needed canvas covers. Warships and artillery regiments needed cloth propellant bags in their cartridges. And, of course, the armies would need bandages and parachutes and flags.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 9:52 AM
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A true fascist economy is built around bundles of sticks.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 9:52 AM
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As Ibsen noted, "One should never wear one's best trousers when one goes out to fight for freedom and truth".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 9:54 AM
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I guess that's why clothing was so rationed. Now that I have a pair of winter-weight wool trousers, I can appreciate how much more fiber must go into them than the regular clothing I wear.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 9:55 AM
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Yes. And it led to the famous Ruptured Duck insignia . From Wikipedia:

Clothing was already in short supply due to cloth rationing, and the immediate clothing needs of millions of returning veterans threatened to crash an already overtaxed system. Federal law however prevented civilians, even veterans, from wearing military uniforms under most circumstances. The Honorable Service Lapel Button was created to allow returning veterans to legally continue to wear their military uniforms while at the same time identifying that they were no longer active duty personnel.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 10:00 AM
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191 is excellent.
Textiles were huge. Remembering Tooze again, part of the inflation crisis was textiles, part of the labor crisis was cotton, in Egypt and India. I'm reading his first book, on German statistics in the early 20C. One of the early problems was weighting consumer price indices: turned out the second-biggest expense was clothing.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 10:01 AM
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194: Remember Gatsby, with nothing to wear but his army uniform?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 10:03 AM
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196: And there's a bit in the last GMF story where the demobilising narrator (aged about 22, in 1948 or so) looks at himself in the mirror and realises that he has never worn proper adult civilian clothing before this point; it's been school uniform, or shorts, or army uniform all his life.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 10:08 AM
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Remember Gatsby, with nothing to wear but his army uniform?

But then he gets all those shirts.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 10:09 AM
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And they were beautiful.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 10:11 AM
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Textiles were also a huge part of the WWI boom in Japan (and the subsequent explosion).


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 10:12 AM
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implosion


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 10:12 AM
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Industrial Revolution, world wars, postwar reconstruction and urbanization, urbanization in China. As each wave recedes, it leaves ruined steel towns behind. Is there any steel country in the world without at least one of those? Even China already has a rustbelt in the northeast, from Mao-era development.

Chinese ruined steel towns are going to be the envy of the world. I mean, they have ghost cities even during boom times, and a national policy of overproduction.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 10:15 AM
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And demand for their product fluctuates greatly. Massive demand for steel has come in waves: Industrial Revolution, world wars, postwar reconstruction and urbanization, urbanization in China. As each wave recedes, it leaves ruined steel towns behind.

Indeed, the Homestead Works became the world's largest steel producer during WW2, when then demolished the adjacent ward(s) to expand production (there's a rump 6th Ave along the RR tracks, but Avenues 1-5 went in the war). So what do you do with all that capacity when nobody's sinking battleships* anymore?

In the late '60s, reconstruction was winding down, other materials were rising, and the steelmakers were working their asses off to find new things to make out of steel. It's astonishing how much less steel an American uses now vs. 50 years ago.

*somehow I've been reading about the Pacific War since I was in 4th grade, but only just learned that none of the 24 Essex-class carriers was ever sunk; by contrast, 5 of their 8 predecessors were sunk during the war (and 1 of the 3 survivors was tucked away in the Atlantic)


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 10:34 AM
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Is it too soon to make an exploding textile/kamikaze joke?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 10:35 AM
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The explosion in the price of wool during World War I is a subplot of Independent People. The sheep farmers of Iceland, impoverished and almost starving for generations, suddenly become rich.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 10:36 AM
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It's astonishing how much less steel an American uses now vs. 50 years ago.

You can't wipe your ass with it. Well, you can but I wouldn't recommend it.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 10:37 AM
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the Homestead Works became the world's largest steel producer during WW2

Before which, of course, it was Barrow Haematite Steel - very largely steel rails and steel for shipbuilding.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 10:40 AM
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206: you're clearly not committed to Making America Grate Again.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 10:41 AM
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208 was great. Whoever you are.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 10:42 AM
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Which, to be clear, wasn't me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 10:43 AM
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203/6: Franzen gives this thought to the angry old man in The Corrections:

A cultural war was being waged, and the forces of plastic were winning. Alfred had seen jam and jelly jars with plastic lids. Cars with plastic roofs.
Thinkpiece in there for someone.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 10:45 AM
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208 is great. This thread is reminding me how awesome this place is. We mustn't let this year break us.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 10:46 AM
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205

Huh. My grandmother's uncle became fabulously wealthy during WW1 in the wool industry. I didn't realize it was actually A Thing.

I took a lyft the other day for the first time. I got a middle-aged white woman from Indiana as the driver. 2 mins into the ride, she was already going on about how great Trump was, and how he'd already made America better. Her husband works in the steel mills near Gary, and she was laid off some years ago but is hoping to be rehired now that Trump was elected. She was also impressed at all the taxpayer money he'd save by not taking his president's salary.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 10:49 AM
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170: I mean the idea that trading cars for wheat is better than trading cars for trucks, say. If all of our trading partners are poor, then it lowers the value of what they have to trade. A simplistic economic model would say that trade isn't zero-sum, so if our trading partners became more productive then we would be better off.

Let's say we could press a button, and dynamite all the factories outside the US. Would we be materially better off, or worse off?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 10:50 AM
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208 was me.

211: but plastic is really just solidified oil. It's all still the Big Three materials. Oil refineries and petrochemical works are also great big chunks of industrial infrastructure with similarly skilled (and formerly unionised) workforces.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 10:51 AM
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213. Jesus. And he's going to spend 50 times as much or more by going back TO NYC on weekends.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 10:51 AM
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Having visited both D.C. and NYC, I can't really blame him for that. D.C. isn't bad or anything, but NYC has lots more.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 10:53 AM
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214: you would be worse off, definitely, in the aggregate, as in "the USA would be worse off". But it would almost certainly be a good thing for US manufacturing workers.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 10:55 AM
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213. Jesus. And he's going to spend 50 times as much or more by going back TO NYC on weekends.

I'll link to this again, just because it's impressively banal graft.

The presidential salary is $400K/year. Trump charged the US Secret Service $6M during the campaign to pay for airfare for having secret service agents accompany him on flights on his private jet. Once he's president he can continue charging but there will no longer be any public disclosure.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 10:59 AM
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171. Protectionism isn't enough-- tearing a company apart and loading the pieces with debt is profitable. Dodd-Frank makes this process more difficult. Here's a clear article with some interesting comments describing the process.

Here's a profile of the still-thriving financial innovators who started this on a large scale in the 80s. DJT is not going to change this, and the underlying dynamics are apparently too complicated to be a viable campaign issue.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 11:00 AM
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if our trading partners became more productive then we would be better off
You are better off, but the benefits are very unevenly distributed.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 11:00 AM
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She was also impressed at all the taxpayer money he'd save by not taking his president's salary.

Aaargh. I was going to post the Secret Service thing too but NickS beat me to it. It's such a piddly sum compared to what Trump has already cost the taxpayer, let alone what he will both personally and in his capacity as deficit spender in chief.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 11:25 AM
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194: We found that insignia among my grandfather's things when he died a few years ago!


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 11:47 AM
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She was also impressed at all the taxpayer money he'd save by not taking his president's salary.

I'm tired of this all-Orwell-all-the-time political diet, I tell you. I want some real food.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 12:02 PM
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Let's say we could press a button, and dynamite all the factories outside the US. Would we be materially better off, or worse off?

One suspects that litigation would ensue. Better off!


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 12:10 PM
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205, 213.1: The 1910s were also when a lot of the Navajo trading posts were established. I've long thought there's an opportunity for an economic history of the Navajo trade correlating it with shifts in the global market for wool.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 12:33 PM
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"She was also impressed at all the taxpayer money he'd save by not taking his president's salary."

This reminds me of the finding that people can only have 200 friends & acquaintances. In a society of 200, the leader not taking a salary would in fact make a difference.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 12:59 PM
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217: Amend the Constitution to add "willing to relocate" to the list of requirements for President.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 1:09 PM
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So what is so wrong about a very high marginal tax rate for wealthy capitalists? They can hire people and deduct the wages from income. 90% marginal tax rate equals extra labor hired for ten cents on the dollar.


Posted by: It Is All Incentives | Link to this comment | 11-21-16 7:42 PM
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The top marginal income tax rate in Britain was around 90% for most of les trente glorieuses. What was it in the US? A damn sight higher than it is now, I bet.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11-22-16 2:06 AM
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230: I think it was also around 90%.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-22-16 2:11 AM
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There is a lugubrious George Harrison song about this.

Meanwhile, in unrelated news of utter futility, Jeremy Corbyn has apparently hired Professor Jeff Jarvis as his communications advisor. I spent £25.00 to join the Labour party to vote against him. That is all I have done for democracy this year. It didn't work very well.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 11-22-16 2:34 AM
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Should I have heard of Jeff Jarvis? If he can teach Corbyn to spell "communication", he'll have earned his crust.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11-22-16 3:22 AM
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Hm, I was about to jump in here and declare Javis an idiot based on my memory from the last time I paid any attention to him as a simpleton internet utopian, and declare myself an idiot for ever trying to defend Corbyn based on this news. But I went to refresh my memory on Jarvis before I started throwing around accusations of idiocy, and at least recently he sounds pretty sane, so who knows, maybe he can do Corbyn some good.

Probably still safe to declare myself an idiot, and stop defending Corbyn, though.


Posted by: Swope FM | Link to this comment | 11-22-16 4:20 AM
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So apparently Trumps meeting with media moguls was a whine-fest about not getting kid-glove coverage. What a thin skinned motherfucker. He's in for a surprise when Congress doesn't kiss his ass. Even with GOP control of both houses he'll run into some opposition. It'll be interesting to see how he handles it.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11-22-16 4:47 AM
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I assume 232 is despairing in response to Corbyn's adoption of strings of buzzwords in a recent series of tweets, e.g.:

"We now face the task of creating a New Britain from the fourth industrial revolution"

"Labour is setting out the path to a better alternative that's about good intervention"

which sound remarkably like @ProfJeffJarviss (not to be confused with the real one).


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 11-22-16 4:53 AM
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I have shared the story in 219 with 4 Trump supporters over the last two weeks. Two of them flatly didn't believe the story, and told me in various terms that it was outrageous, totally implausible ("why would he do that? He's a billionaire, he doesn't need the money, this sounds more like something crooked Hillary would do, haha"), lectured me about liberal media bias, and said if something like that had really happened then it would be reported in conservative media not just liberal media, and Trump would be forced to repay the funds/resign/maybe be in jail. One admitted it looked bad but said that it seemed fair for Trump to get a little bit back like this since Trump had paid for his whole campaign himself. The last supporter LOVED the story and said it proved Trump was smarter than everyone else, always finding these loopholes. Just like Trump paying no taxes for 20 years. He thought it was perfectly legitimate for Trump to exploit those "loopholes" as a private citizen during the campaign, and believes that now that Trump is president he'll instead be working hard to close all loopholes like this so that rich people will stop fleecing the country.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-22-16 4:53 AM
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It's almost like Ume knows the way I think and the parody accounts I follow. Sorry not to have made it clearer


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 11-22-16 5:26 AM
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I think I actually met the victim of the parody account once. Self-satisfied fuckwit.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 11-22-16 5:28 AM
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So Corbyn didn't hire Jarvis? I am now in a possession of a high state of confusion.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-22-16 5:29 AM
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237 cont.: To be fair, really only one of the two denials was the hard denial described in 237. The other was more an expression of doubt about the details of the story, given how the media has tried to portray everything Trump does in the most negative possible light. This person's broader reaction was more reisgnation: hopefully the story is being slanted against Trinp. If the story is true, that'a too bad. More of the same. Just like Clinton. Etc.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-22-16 5:42 AM
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240: No.

My own Labour-related despair is more at the news that Tony fucking Blair is planning a comeback. As if the centre-left wasn't in dire enough straits already.

Oh, and Trump's masterly trolling of the British establishment and media by suggesting that Nigel Farage be appointed Ambassador to the US. When are we going to stop playing his game of kitten-following-the-laser-pointer and actually focus on the stuff he doesn't want us to look at?


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 11-22-16 5:46 AM
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I think maybe the best-case scenario is that Trump is mainly after personal enrichment. Everything else he could want is much worse.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-22-16 6:26 AM
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Do we have a sub-thread on the crazy-ass shit in North Carolina yet? Because it's entirely possible the state legislature will decide to award the governorship to the guy who didn't get as many votes.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 11-22-16 6:39 AM
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243: I agree, and I still think that's the most likely outcome. Personal enrichment is all he's been after this whole time. By all accounts he was stunned he actually won. (As was everyone on his team.) He had been planning to launch Trump TV and cash in on his new following. He had put a lot more planning into that than he had put into the possibility that he might actually become president.

(Of course, that's all the optimist in me talking. The pessimist thinks he's an aspiring dictator.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-22-16 6:44 AM
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The second order pessimist in me is worried that even if all Trump really wants deep down is personal enrichment, many of his followers clearly want a Furher and Trump may be very willing to give them one. The third order pessimist in me is worried that the ideologues in the Republican Party are going to wreck everything irreparably regardless of what Trump may or may not want. Actually, even the optimist in me is pretty worried about that last one.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-22-16 6:52 AM
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Yes to the worries in 246. I'm certainly not presenting a "good-case" scenario.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-22-16 6:54 AM
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237 is interesting and probably not surprising* but it's interesting to hear about how people react.

* I ask myself, how would I react to somebody telling me a story about the Clinton foundation misusing funds? My thoughts would probably be, in order, (1) I've read several stories about this Clinton foundation in liberal media which dealt with various criticisms, why didn't this come up in those stories? (2) Everything that I've heard about the foundations suggests that, in the big picture, it did good work and was run honestly. (3) The story might not be true, but even if it is, does that change my big picture beliefs? -- a fairly similar set of responses.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11-22-16 7:03 AM
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Has anyone linked this Guardian article on Sessions? It's very chilling.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 11-22-16 7:55 AM
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That's worse than I knew before. Ugh.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-22-16 7:59 AM
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My own Labour-related despair is more at the news that Tony fucking Blair is planning a comeback. As if the centre-left wasn't in dire enough straits already.

If he could mount a successful comeback, this would be outstandingly good news for the centre-left. He wins elections! He has won more elections on his own than the last eight other Labour leaders put together! Unfortunately he's almost certainly too tarnished to be able to win another, but if he could...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-22-16 8:54 AM
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he's almost certainly too tarnished to be able to win another

Well, yes, that is the problem. For voters on the left he's the face of the Iraq war and public-private partnerships, and for those on the right, of multiculturalism and elitism. Especially after Chilcott, his image is now toxic enough to put off people from both sides.

(On a personal level, he's one of the two people who have quite literally made my skin crawl just by being in their presence. I was overjoyed when Labour won in 1997, but when I saw Blair give a speech live in 1998, there was something about him that just ... ugh, gave me the creeps. I have no idea why. The only other person who's ever made me feel that way was the director of a Christian publisher for which I worked, who years later was convicted of sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy and defrauding his employer.)


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 11-22-16 9:24 AM
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You need to meet more people who give you the creeps if you want us to know whether it indicates you are in the presence of somebody committing fraud or pederasty.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-22-16 9:26 AM
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You learn nothing with -1 degrees of freedom.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-22-16 9:26 AM
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These were purely observational case studies. I'm not claiming significance.


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 11-22-16 9:46 AM
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252: on the other hand, politicians have a remarkable ability to regenerate. Being the genius behind the Gallipoli landings and the gold standard fiasco should have doomed Churchill's political career forever.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-22-16 9:53 AM
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Well, it took the rise of literal Nazis never mind I'll come back in again.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 11-22-16 9:55 AM
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It's a common fallacy that degrees of freedom don't matter for case studies. Good case-study work won't have degrees of freedom like a survey, but it should have df = 1.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-22-16 9:58 AM
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237 is awe-inspiring. So if you put them all together, does the last guy convert the skeptics? He's got the most positive spin on it, but he also would apparently celebrate Trump stealing his car ("I guess he's entitled to it, he won the election!").


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 11-22-16 10:04 AM
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259: I think they probably converge on the view that the story's false but that Trump ought to have done it, it's just he's too nice.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-22-16 10:13 AM
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What is really uncanny is that I think the publisher who creeped Ume out is someone I actually exposed in a former life. And he didn't gross me out nearly as much as the creep who shopped him to me, even though he was undoubtedly a sociopath.

Tony Blair on the other hand I found less horrible in person than on television. Perhaps this is because I have only seen him after his fall, when all the great magician gestures no longer really worked, like seeing a BMW bike which had had a lawnmower engine transplant.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 11-22-16 11:00 AM
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politicians have a remarkable ability to regenerate

Like salamander limbs and starfish arms and other cold, squirmy things.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-22-16 11:08 AM
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248*--What's the strongest, non-bullshit story of that nature one might see re: the Clinton foundation? Just for comparison? Google brings me this from Reuters:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-foundation-idUSKBN12Z2SL


Posted by: dj lurker | Link to this comment | 11-22-16 11:38 AM
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On the "decline of American manufacturing" point, DeLong posted this yesterday:
http://www.bradford-delong.com/2016/11/trumpism-as-a-wild-goose-chase.html

Take a good long look at that chart and tell me again about how manufacturing jobs are going to come back just as soon as you repeal NAFTA, or how it's all Nike's fault for moving a couple of plants to Vietnam.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-24-16 2:58 AM
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