What to say?

Another day, another surprising political result. I don’t really quite know what to say; this certainly seems to reflect a disatisfaction with some supposed political elite, but I don’t really understand why people think that voting for those who belong to a different type of elite group will somehow resolve this. It also seems that some kind of straight-talking appeals to some people, and I can see some merit in that. However, there’s a difference between simply shooting one’s mouth off, and being honest about what you think while still being informed and aware of the implications of what you’re saying.

Clearly (to me, at least) a healthy democracy is one in which no single ideology gets a strangehold on how our countries should be run. However, I have often naively thought that we mostly live in societies with a reasonably common set of ideals and goals and that the main differences are more in how we maintain those ideals and achieve those goals, than in the ideals and goals themselves. I would like to think that this is still broadly the case, but I’m finding it harder and harder to believe that it actually is. My real concern is the undertones (and maybe not even undertones) of racism, sexism, xenophobia, and misogyny. I had really thought that these were things (any kind of discrimination, really) that our societies had decided were unacceptable, and yet there seem to be many who are willing to either ignore this or – even worse – actually find it appealling. I really hope that I’m mis-reading this, but I fear that I am not.

However, given that I dislike catastrophic thinking, maybe I’ll try to end on a positive note. It seems to me that things are unlikely to be a disastrous as it appears that they could be. Not only are there various checks and balances, but what is said on the campaign trail is unlikely to precisely match what will actually be done when in office. I’m going to at least hope that this is the case, for the moment at least. Good luck everyone, we might need it.

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321 Responses to What to say?

  1. Toby Joyce says:

    President-Elect Trump disagrees with his fellow Republicans in Congress, and his fellow Republicans in the Senate on many issues, but it is clear that the GOP has won of clean sweep of three of the divisions of the American Government, and that within six month there will be a conservative majority in the last one, the Supreme Court.

    One thing a majority of all agree is that the fossil fuel industry, including the coal industry, must be cosseted and sustained, with possibly a majority holding that climate change is a “hoax”. The Keystone XL pipeline is liable to be revived, and President Obama’s patient work nationally and internationally seems about to prove tragically short-lived.

    To me, that seems to be unmitigated disaster looming ahead, and it will maybe take a decade, possibly a generation, to repair the damage President Trump and his fellow-Republicans will do. If, indeed, it will be possible to repair it at all.

    I regret that I am totally unable to look on the bright side right now! 🙂 Venting!

  2. President Obama’s patient work nationally and internationally seems about to prove tragically short-lived.

    Indeed, I think this is likely and would be extremely unfortunate.

  3. Magma says:

    Sometimes the diagnosis does come back ‘malignant’. With a Republican House, Senate, and soon to be Supreme Court nominee(s) and majority, and given how weak America’s vaunted checks and balances have proven to be when put to the test, I fear the worst from a Trump administration in almost every field within its power.

    We’ll see how much steel and conviction world leaders have in them when it comes to carrying out vital reductions of GHG emissions regardless of the fact the U.S. has likely gone off the rails for the next four years. One thing will be to hold multinational corporations accountable for their actions should some of them try to take advantage of a powerful government backsliding on climate change.

  4. “…various checks and balances…”

    The U.S. House and Senate are controlled by people scarier than Trump. Trump generally just says the first thing that pops into his head – and it might change tomorrow. Republicans in the House and Senate are *true believers* and with a Supreme Court opening that will decide the balance of the court expect no help there.

    I fell asleep in front of the TV in 1968 waiting on the California primary returns. I was 8 years old. I woke up about 5am to learn Robert Kennedy had been assassinated. I went outside and aimlessly rode my bike around the neighborhood crying my eyes out. There’s not the same sense of loss this morning, but the despair is just as deep.

    An assassination only takes one unhinged perpetrator; 50% of Americans voted for Trump. In many ways that’s much more depressing.

  5. All these prognostications are possible, but the facts ate that a sizeable chunk of the U.S. polity has in my book become unhinged from reality. It cannot get its way without the cooperation of that reality and other citizens on the planet, no matter who it elects to governance and what its military can do. Accordingly, I await the verdict of the financial markets in these ensuing weeks, especially their opinion of the dollar, U.S. treasuries, and of the proper price of oil and natural gas. There are such things as price floors below which it makes no sense to develop additional fossil fuels. It may be that the U.S. is entering an era where it together with Russia are considered pariah states by the rest, led by China. If so, there may be an implicit penalty imposed upon any trade with the USA, and that will hurt, no matter what Republicans say or do.

  6. “What to say” The majority have spoken?

    No longer can tiny unrepresentative elites use the power of the biased media to force their non-science like Global warming on the rest of us.

    And the effects are obvious: COP22 is dead, the Paris agreement is dead and very soon NOAA will have a knock on the door forcing it to obey the subpoena to release correspondence emplaning why they “upjusted” the temperature data. And then the entire global warming scam will be dead.

    And just to rub salt into your wounds – it snowed last night – “Soon children won’t know what snow is?” LOL

  7. Mike Coday says:

    I think the undertones were not undertones, they were themes. Themes of racism, sexism, xenophobia and misogyny. That is what Trump had to offer. The dems responded with someone who was not as bad as Trump. That might as well have been the campaign slogan: “not as bad as Trump.” But the political power of talking about how we really can’t have a president trump really just repeats the mantra: president trump, president trump, president trump. The primary driver in this election cycle was the power and attraction of outsider politics. Outsider politics was what drove the Trump and Bernie campaigns. The super delegates and DNC insiders responded with the ultimate insider candidate, a candidate with a lot of baggage. The voters just wouldn’t listen to reason and elect the lesser of the two evils. The electorate was pounding on the gates of power and demanding change. We are getting change. It’s an ugly end to an ugly election cycle.

    If you look around the world and see Brexit in the UK and Duterte in the Phillipines it does kind of make sense that US voters would follow suit and embrace a candidate like Trump and reject a candidate like Clinton.

    To end on a positive note, the voters probably saved us the spectacle of another Clinton impeachment. Also, it seems likely that the paralysis in DC will end now and one of the major political parties will be able to implement its agenda. I hope this means that the TPP and neoliberalism is dead, but these awful ideas seem to have zombie energy for insiders. The corporate dem embrace of free trade and the neoliberal globalized economy is pretty unpopular with a large chunk of the electorate.

    Here we go again, it’s morning in America. This time we are doing it with Trump instead of Reagan or a Bush.

  8. Scottish Sceptic’s name is Michael Haseler. Here is an article about the hate-filled face of UKIP in Scotland. It is about Michael Haseler. I normally would not post his comment, but it seems apt at the moment. However, let’s leave it at this.

  9. Trump is a good Republican-lite in most areas. His islamophobia and anti Mexican comments do need to be toned down, but he’s smart enough to understand there’s no need to bark like a mad dog or a robot with damaged CPUs. On the other hand I like his emphasis on helping the disenfranchised working class, including science post docs and unemployed steel workers.

    On the foreign policy he’s going to do very well. Obama and Clinton/Kerry were a disaster, so there’s a need for fresh faces. I also liked his comments about building infrastructure. We really need to build lots of nuclear power plants and pipelines to connect the USA to Canada. The net effect will be improved energy security and reduced emissions which will allow the USA to meet the cop21 commitment. It will also swap Canadian oil for Venezuelan heavy oil, which helps the Venezuelan dictatorship earns more profits.

  10. Dikran Marsupial says:

    How ironic, Donald Trump is the very embodiment of the “tiny unrepresentative elite”, well versed in the use of media power (but sadly no experience of political power).

    Like Brexit, the majority is a small majority, which ought to be respected, but at the same time the wishes of the minority are not without any importance.

  11. Like Brexit, the majority is a small majority, which ought to be respected, but at the same time the wishes of the minority are not without any importance.

    It does look as though Clinton is winning the popular vote, though.

  12. verytallguy says:

    It surprises me that people are saying there is something new in the rise of Trump. On the contrary, demagogues are as old as democracy, and utterly predictable.

    From teh Wiki:

    A demagogue /ˈdɛməɡɒɡ/ (from Greek δημαγωγός, a popular leader, a leader of a mob, from δῆμος, people, populace, the commons + ἀγωγός leading, leader)[1] or rabble-rouser is a leader in a democracy who gains popularity by exploiting prejudice and ignorance among the common people, whipping up the passions of the crowd and shutting down reasoned deliberation…

    …4 The methods of demagogues
    4.1 Scapegoating
    4.2 Fearmongering
    4.3 Lying
    4.4 Emotional oratory and personal magnetism
    4.5 Accusing opponents of weakness and disloyalty
    4.6 Violence and physical intimidation
    4.7 Personal insults and ridicule
    4.8 Folksy posturing
    4.9 Gross oversimplification
    4.10 Attacking the news media…

    …Ancient demagogues… [list starts in ancient Greece]

    Sound familiar?

    Trump is dangerous. Those who hope he will now transform to some kind of unifying leader are hopelessly naive.

  13. verytallguy says:

    It seems to me that things are unlikely to be a disastrous as it appears that they could be.

    The warnings of history are the precise opposite, things can very rapidly get very much worse than you ever dreamed they could. Everyone has spent the election pandering to Trump, not confronting his frankly, fascist ideology. Those in charge of the checks and balances will surely only pander more now he’s in power, not less.

    To me, this feels like the death throes of the inevitable end to American hegemony. They’ve chosen to lash out rather than transition gracefully. I see no reason for optimism. I predict much worse will follow.

  14. BBD says:

    Trump has bullshitted himself into a corner before even getting started. He will not – cannot – deliver on the majority of his promises and the blowback will sandblast his administration. So ends the brief reign of right-wing populism in the US. As AT says, it’s bad, but not as bad as it might at first seem. Patience and steady nerves will see it through.

  15. Joshua says:

    Trump supporters actually don’t comprise a majority of the citizenry, and perhaps, pending further returns, not even a majority of the voters in this election.

    The longer term trajectory, given demographic trends, may be less bleak than the short term horizon with Trump and a Republican congrsss. At this point, that feels like small consolation but offers some solace. The question is whether the Democratic opposition can successfully maneuver to capitalize on the demographic trends. They need to win back the support of the working class. It will be a tall order, but not impossible.

    Trump has made a lot of promises that seem unlikely to be realized. How will he bring back good jobs, exactly, when those jobs no longer exist? . Will there really be a wall paid for by Mexico? . Will economic growth take off. Will the working class abandon him if he doesn’t live up to his billing?

  16. BBD says:

    We crossed there, vtg. That wasn’t a response to your previous, just an alternative perspective…

  17. To me, this feels like the death throes of the inevitable end to American hegemony. They’ve chosen to lash out rather than transition gracefully. I see no reason for optimism. I predict much worse will follow.

    I’m worried that you may indeed be correct. I, of course, hope you aren’t. There’s always an opportunity to try and do something to avoid an even worse outcome. I just hope that we do so.

  18. Dikran Marsupial says:

    ATTP, they do have a rather odd system over there, I’d forgotten that distinction!

    Perhaps Scottish Sceptic would like to rephrase his “The majority have spoken”? ;o)

  19. > Clinton is winning the popular vote, though

    Irrelevant, but as it happens wrong, too. Sorry.

  20. Contemplating a Trump Presidency, he has several hurdles to overcome. First, he has a tug of war for leadership or, as he and his cronies might put it, transformation of the Republican Party. Not all will go along with that. Second, and something oft’ underestimated, he needs to get the D.C. civil service to cooperate with him. I’ll be interested to see if, as in the case of George W, they appoint “party loyalty checkers” (as the Communist Party used to have in the Soviet Union) to be sure each department remains consistent with the views at the top. That does not make for great working conditions and if the Trumpistas are too tough, I’d expect a flight of talent and institutional knowledge. It’s not possible to run an empire all on your own. I also expect a decree that, say, scientists (or anyone else) cannot speak to media without clearing the appearance or statement. Third, he needs to get international leadership to trust him and to define what exactly “putting America first” entails. Fourth, he’d better deliver on some of his “first 100 days” promises to the extent to which his followers are capable of memory.

    My biggest concern is what will be done to try to muzzle critics. I sure as heck am not going to join in support of his United States, as he has articulated it. That’s not my country, not my values. II’l make the wheels run backwards where I can, although I surely have but minimal influence.

  21. WMC,
    Yes, I realise it’s irrelevant (I was responding to a comment about the majority versus the minority, not suggesting it should have any bearing on the outcome) but according to the New York Times at the moment, Clinton is winning the popular vote. Am I missing something?

  22. Dikran Marsupial says:

    according to Google, Clinton currently has 59,137,478 votes and Trump 59,010,038, so the popular vote is currently with Clinton, but not by much.

  23. Dikran,
    That’s what I found. It looks as though the states that haven’t yet reported might end up giving Trump the popular vote, but it looks pretty close.

  24. WC – Clinton is winning the popular vote, for now:

    2016 US election results
    Updated Nov 9, 2016 7:07 AM CST
    Clinton 59,137,438
    Trump 59,010,038

    NY Times
    Google

  25. Dikran Marsupial says:

    It ought to be relevant ;o) It is definitely relevant to Scottish Sceptic’s point!

  26. Dikran Marsupial says:

    I suspect it will end up close enough that “the majority have spoken” is technically true, but (like Brexit) hides the more fundamental truth, which is that the result says the electorate are divided and there is not a strong mandate for either option.

  27. lorcanbonda says:

    The main reasons for Trump:
    1) He’s a blank slate. The blank slate allows people to superimpose their own beliefs onto his generalities. If you ask someone why they would vote for Trump, they say something like , “He will make America great again.” If you ask them what that means — they all have a different interpretation.
    2) Hillary never gave any reason to vote for her. For weeks, we’ve been hearing anti-Trump advertisements with no positive counterpoint. She pandered to divisive special interest groups while trying to be about unity.
    3) Hillary represented the political establishment that we all hate, whereas Trump represented “change”.

  28. RickA says:

    Unbelievable.

    I voted for Gary Johnson, thinking Minnesota was going to crush Trump – and Clinton and Trump are almost tied in Minnesota.

    From the very beginning I thought Trump had no shot.

    No shot in the primary and no shot in the general.

    I was wrong.

    The polls were wrong.

    Nate Silver was wrong (but still gave Trump the biggest shot at 1 in 3)

    My totally personal opinion on these results.

    Obamacare was a disaster and it really impacted the election results. People had to lock in their 2017 health care plans and the sticker shock was epic. I know families who are paying 22000 in annual premiums (next year) with a family plan out of pocket of $13,100. Wow. That had to be part of this election result.

    The national debt and spending less is obviously more important than most talking heads thought. People want the government to spend what it takes in and not keep adding to the national debt.

    It seems that people are not in favour of being the world police and really want to pull back on foreign spending.

    People don’t like being called racist when they are for legal immigration – not illegal immigration.

    Maybe people don’t like being called homophobic for wanting girls to use the girls room and boys to use the boys room?

    This was historic – and the elected officials (the old congress) and the media should give some serious thought to what happened.

    P.S. Polling is obviously not working. My guess is that caller id and cell phones (no land line) is producing a group of people who answer pollsters who are just not representative.

  29. Dikran Marsupial says:

    “People don’t like being called racist when they are for legal immigration – not illegal immigration.”

    wanting a ban on muslims entering the US (no matter how temporary) is not about being for legal immigration and against illegal immigration.

  30. JCH says:

    She lost. The outcome of the popular vote is not relevant. He has a mandate; they will pass whatever they want to pass.

  31. RickA says:

    Dikran:

    I was referring to the people coming in through Mexico.

    To the extent America lets refugees in – they would be legal and not illegal.

    But I would expect both sets (those coming in through Mexico and legal refugees invited to America) to drop under Trump

  32. RickA “The national debt and spending less is obviously more important than most talking heads thought. People want the government to spend what it takes in and not keep adding to the national debt.”

    Trump’s tax and spending plans — if you can even make any sense of them — balloon the deficit, by trillions, not reduce it. Exactly the opposite of the point you were trying to make.

    Obamacare is a disaster? Most people have health insurance through their employers – not through Obamacare. Have you already forgotten the double-digit percent increases we were seeing in the early 2000’s – prior to Obamacare? How much would those same people be paying on the open market? Would they have healthcare at all? Repeal Obamacare and 20 million lose insurance – *that* would be a disaster.

  33. > the popular vote

    Sorry. I should have screenshot what I saw, ah well. It is currently 48% each, but I agree Clinton is marginally ahead now; either I misread it or it has changed. But, meh, it is irrelevant anyway just like it is here.

  34. Joshua says:

    FWIW, NY Times projects Clinton to win popular vote by a tiny margin.

    http://www.nytimes.com/elections/forecast/president

    I think it does matter that the electorate is so closely divided. That means that despite the imbalance in governmental power – (since in a few months the Republicans will control the legislative , executive, and judicial branches) – the close balance in the electorate may dampen the inclination of Trump and the Congress to pursue extreme goals. Or at least I hope so, even if I’m not confident. Earlier in the election I was less concerned about Trump than I was of the other Republican candidates, who are ideologues. I have found over time, though, that from watching Trump’s candidacy I have become more worried about his likelihood to attempt extreme initiatives.

  35. verytallguy says:

    I voted for Gary Johnson, thinking Minnesota was going to crush Trump

    At this point, I’m thinking you’ve got what you deserve…

    Which is, just to remind you:

  36. Planetexit? Planexit? Earthxit? Fuckit? …?

  37. What happened?

    I have lived in the “deep south” of the US almost all my life. Although I am very unhappy with the result, I am not surprised, as many are. Why?

    Trump, who is very proud of his German heritage, simply learned from Adolf how to get elected – fan the flames of resentment in people experiencing economic hardship, the flames of bigotry in people with underlying prejudices, and the flames of “purity” in self-righteous Christian fundamentalists (go after legal protections for gays and all that). And when there are enough of those types of people, then one can get elected. That’s right folks. Donald did to the US in 2016 what Adolf did to Germany in 1932. (On the bigotry part: For 1932 Germany, the “others” were Jewish people. For 2016 America, the “others” are largely “Mexicans and Muslims”.)

    (Note: I’m saying only that he used Adolf’s tactics to get elected. No, he of course won’t actually go beyond that. But I think it’s scary that he was able to get elected using those tactics, and may get away with some extra tactics from 1930s Germany that would yield some repression of the press after he gets into office – see some of the links below on this last point, which are about Trump whipping up people into hated-filled frenzies against the press, a standard fascist technique against the only real thing that protects democracy in the end.)

    Before one disagrees with me, please read all of the following to learn some facts, which include the fact that Trump admitted that he had a copy on his nightstand next to his bed of a book that contained Hitler’s speeches and an analysis of them – these similarities and paralleling patterns, including whipping people into hated-filled frenzies against institutions like the press that serve as a protection from wannabe dictators, did not all happen by accident (and no doubt those “Breitbart” white nationalists like Trump’s campaign CEO Bannon understand these tactics quite well):

    Expert on Nazism explains the shocking similarities between Trump and Hitler’s propaganda tactics
    http://www.rawstory.com/2016/10/expert-on-nazism-explains-the-shocking-similarities-between-trump-and-hitlers-propaganda-tactics/

    Is Donald Trump Getting His Cues from Hitler? How the GOP Leader Is Following the Fuhrer’s Recipe
    http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/donald-trump-getting-his-cues-hitler-how-gop-leader-following-fuhrers-recipe

    Unhinged Trump supporters attack the press at Florida rally: ‘We’re mad at you!’
    http://www.rawstory.com/2016/10/trump-supporters-attack-the-press-at-florida-rally-were-mad-at-you/

    WATCH: Trump fans shout Nazi-era ‘lying press’ insult at media during rally
    http://www.rawstory.com/2016/10/watch-trump-fans-shout-nazi-era-lying-press-insult-at-media-during-rally/

    Robert Reich explains why the white working class abandoned the Democratic Party
    http://www.rawstory.com/2016/11/robert-reich-explains-why-the-white-working-class-abandoned-the-democratic-party/

  38. RickA says:

    oneillsinwisconsin:

    I guess we will see if the people who scored Trumps tax cut were right or wrong.

    As for employer plans – mine went up 22% – worse than the early 2000’s.

    Obamacare is a failure on every front – employer, co-op and public market.

    Now the republicans have to fix this mess (which not one voted for).

    I wish them well.

  39. JCH says:

    RickA – the source I looked at indicates the average increase for employer-provided plans for 2017 is 5%.

    Maybe your employer decided to give you a 17% pay cut!

  40. JCH says:

    “The national debt and spending less is obviously more important than most talking heads thought. People want the government to spend what it takes in and not keep adding to the national debt.”

    How much money will he have to take in to pay for great infrastructure construction? Lol.

  41. John Hartz says:

    Paul Krugman pretty well summed it up for me in this post:

    We still don’t know who will win the electoral college, although as I write this it looks — incredibly, horribly — as if the odds now favor Donald J. Trump. What we do know is that people like me, and probably like most readers of The New York Times, truly didn’t understand the country we live in. We thought that our fellow citizens would not, in the end, vote for a candidate so manifestly unqualified for high office, so temperamentally unsound, so scary yet ludicrous.

    We thought that the nation, while far from having transcended racial prejudice and misogyny, had become vastly more open and tolerant over time.

    We thought that the great majority of Americans valued democratic norms and the rule of law.

    It turns out that we were wrong. There turn out to be a huge number of people — white people, living mainly in rural areas — who don’t share at all our idea of what America is about. For them, it is about blood and soil, about traditional patriarchy and racial hierarchy. And there were many other people who might not share those anti-democratic values, but who nonetheless were willing to vote for anyone bearing the Republican label.

    I don’t know how we go forward from here. Is America a failed state and society? It looks truly possible. I guess we have to pick ourselves up and try to find a way forward, but this has been a night of terrible revelations, and I don’t think it’s self-indulgent to feel quite a lot of despair.

    Our Unkown Country by Paul Krugman, New York Times, Nov 8, 2016

  42. Dikran Marsupial says:

    RickA wrote “I was referring to the people coming in through Mexico.”

    Trump said: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

    That clearly is not just being “for legal immigration – not illegal immigration.” That and especially the last sentence seems pretty clearly making discriminatory generalisations. I would have thought the great majority of Mexican migrant workers are good people, just as most Americans would be in similar economic circumstances. Suggesting only some are good people seems pretty offensive to me.

    I don’t really have a problem with America wanting to have control over their borders, thinking that Mexico will pay for it is laughable, but the basic idea is O.K. (Hadrian tried something similar in the U.K. ;o). Making sweeping uncharitable “us and them” generalisations like this is decidedly not O.K.

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  45. Steven Mosher says:

    “And the effects are obvious: COP22 is dead, the Paris agreement is dead and very soon NOAA will have a knock on the door forcing it to obey the subpoena to release correspondence emplaning why they “upjusted” the temperature data. And then the entire global warming scam will be dead.”

    Science Advances…. Nov 18.. karl was right

  46. Probably worse, those climate scientists and other scientists who see the handwriting on the wall might depart the federal agencies they once contributed to, and leave for elsewhere, possibly even to other countries. And the monitoring apparatus for alerting on abrupt climate change may be shut down, at least in the United States. Many countries do rely on U.S. military heavy lift for doing things like Antarctic surveys.

  47. RickA says:

    JCH:

    Well as part owner of my own law firm, I know there was no pay cut from my employer (grin).

    5% sounds great!

    In Minnesota the increase for group plans was much higher than that.

    To keep the same deductible as 2016.

    Very very ugly and the entire health care insurance system does need to be fixed.

    I hope the Republicans can do it.

  48. BBD says:

    I hope the Republicans can do it.

    So do I, or they will be justly vilified for their failure now that they are in charge of the Executive, the Senate, and the House (and doubtless soon, the SC).

    Should they fail, then the consequences will be severe. And there are so many other things that the Republicans must fix too, or pay the political price for failure. It’s tough at the top.

  49. RickA — here are the small group insurance plans in MN changes for 2017:

    BCBSM Inc 14.80%
    Blue Plus 12.10%
    Federated Mutual Ins Co 17.80%
    Gunderson HP MN 8.11%
    Healthpartners Inc 6.00%
    Healthpartners Ins Co 7.20%
    Medica Ins Co 0.56%
    PreferredOne Community Health Plan -1.00%
    PreferredOne Ins Co 6.00%
    Sanford Health Plan 7.00%

    The average change is +8%

    Only 5% of Minnesotans get insurance through small group plans. The state says, “These rate increases largely reflect the general rise in costs for medical services and prescription drugs. And of course there are subsidies for those with lower incomes.

  50. Ethan Allen says:

    Lowest POTUS vote total in 16 years!

    Neither R’s or D’s voted in record numbers.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2000
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2004
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2008
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2012
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2016

    Bush cracked 50M while Gore almost cracked 51M in 2000
    Bush cracked 62M while Kerry cracked 59M i2004
    McCain almost cracked 60M while Osama almost cracked 70M in 2008
    Romney almost cracked 61M while Osama almost cracked 66M in 2012
    Trump cracked 59M while Clinton also cracked 59M in 2016

    Would need to do a state-by-state analysis incorporating population growth/changes

    There were no hidden Pumpkinhead voters.

    BTW the EC sukz big time, has been that way since the original 3/5 rule.

  51. Ethan,
    I presume you mean Obama 😉

    I’m a little surprised. I expected the turnout to be quite high in this election; I’m assuming that the number of eligible voters hasn’t changed dramatically in the last 20 years.

  52. Ethan Allen says:

    ATTP,

    Yes Obama (it’s my own personal inside joke, so to speak).

    I’d expect to see some academics shortly with much better analytics, but I’m almost certain that population has increased in 16 years and that the number of registered voters has also increased significantly (or conversely the population of eligible voters).

    I also don’t have solid numbers for the L/G parties from this election (so 2016 will exceed 2004 by say 1-2M votes).

    I can only conclude that the “Obama Coalition” stayed home much more so than the R’s and that the R’s will also have seen a slightly lower voter turnout (percentage-wise).

  53. Phil says:

    Ethan,
    What strikes me about those numbers is the high counts for Obama [sic], everyone else (since 2004) hovers about the 59-62M mark. I don’t really like to say this, but it makes me wonder about the levels of voting amongst African Americans (i.e. whether it is currently only brought out in large numbers by an Afro-American candidate)

  54. Phil says:

    Ah, we cross posted – I guess that’s what you mean by the “Obama Coalition” ? (Question from the other side of the pond 🙂 )

  55. Ethan Allen says:

    Phil,

    AFAIK, the “Obama Coalition” was (past tense now I would guess) are the groups of people who turned out in 2008/2012 for Obama that Clinton “bootstrapped” so to speak for this election (e. g. email addresses, prior donors, etceteras).

    Further demographic analytics are indeed needed, but my time is short at the moment, but bogus MSM reports of record turnouts are currently incorrect for the raw aggregate numbers (which themselves need to be normalized to registered/eligible voters throughout the 2000-2016 era).

    That is all.

  56. anoilman says:

    George Orwell wrote in 1944 that “the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless … almost any English person would accept ‘bully’ as a synonym for ‘Fascist'”.

    http://orwell.ru/library/articles/As_I_Please/english/efasc

  57. Andrew J Dodds says:

    Regarding the Hitler comparison..

    When Hitler got elected(ish) is was as leader of a large political organisation with firm aims and strong discipline. Not good aims, has to be said. But the organisation was there, and the aims certainly carried through.

    With Trump, whilst he is similar in some ways, there is little sense of organisation or plan. So the threat, barring some sudden decision to nuke France or some such, is lower. Chances seem to be of a ‘standard’ Republican presidency with some vanity projects. As long as you don’t make any mistakes like being poor or ill or female or non white it might be ok.

  58. Andrew J Dodds says:

    Vtg –

    Mussolini was, in fact, a great biofuels pioneer.

    He made the trains run on Thyme.

  59. verytallguy says:

    Ah! Dictator jokes, now we’re talking.

    Why did Stalin drink herbal tea?
    Because proper tea is theft.

    I’ll get my coat.

  60. Jim Eager says:

    Hold on, there might be a silver lining…, of sorts.
    When Pres. Trump starts unilaterally reneging on international trade agreements and imposing import tariffs, thereby setting off a trade war that precipitates a global depression, fossil carbon emissions will plummet to modern record lows, buying us some time.
    Hey, I did say “of sorts.”

  61. This is truly “reaching”, and a bit macabre, but there’s always “nuclear winter” as a geoengineering scheme … [leaving the room]

  62. What to say?

    I don’t really like the stereotypes such as the ‘liberal elite’ (the ones running Congress, right?) who supposedly were the problem and have now been vanquished. I don’t even like the stereotype of an ill-educated great unwashed being responsible for Trump.

    There is of course deep polarization in the US, and its contagious, and deeply worrying given the emboldenment of far right groups in the US and elsewhere.

    If you exclude the small percentage (of population) of crazies attending Trump rallies or screaming on social media, there is a lot of grey amongst the black & white stereotypes.

    The BBC reporters did quite a bit of work talking to different voters, in 1:1 intimate style. A typical GOP voter might say something like …

    … we need to shake things up; his [DT’s] tone is difficult to swallow but we’ll forgive him; we are desperate

    Are these desperate people or latter day Brown Shirts?

    I hope and believe it is the former. But they have been duped.

    Let’s suppose they are a bit sceptical of Trump and the GOP in Congress [those aged, very rich, white males, compromised by lobbyists/ corporate donors, on perpetual ticket to Congress through their gerrymandered seats]. They may know that these are not exactly the go-to guys you need if you’re starting a revolution (and that, BTW, is true of many GOP and Democrats … have you seen the average age and wealth of these politicians).

    So what are the “workers” wanting and expecting?

    I heard one tonight being interviewed on BBC Radio 4, and said something along the following lines:

    “we need jobs, and we want Trump to invest in infrastructure and training”.

    Isn’t that the Keynesian prescription HC was proposing?

    Oh, but of course he is a “business man”, so will be able to deliver, unlike a lawyer!

    FFS people, you think his GOP colleagues will approve pouring money into infrastructure projects so that (in Trump’s words) “every American can achieve whatever they want”.
    Talk about setting yourself up for a nasty fall, and deep disappoint, voters.

    Who exactly supports the public sector R&D that so often incubates industrial innovation, and thereby new jobs (in a changing world)? Hmmmm, those bloody educated liberals again in Universities and other institutions (both public and private).

    Let’s stick it to those guys! We’ll show ‘em. #ShootOneselfInFootAmerica comes to mind.

    I do blame many Democrats like Susan Sarandon who actively undermined HC. Many still seemed to think Bernie was running (they were the ones who had Bernie badges on at the count last night!). They were so busy wanting to stay true to their purist checklist of principles (of which, anti-corporatism seems to have become a key one), they forgot the realpolitik of electing someone (HC) who is infinitely better than the alternative (DT): so gave away a few % points to no hopers.

    Those are not what I would call a ‘liberal elite’, more ‘bone headed liberal lemmings’.

    A key question now is, whether in the mayhem that could follow, what institutions survive the random culling I now expect from this Trump/GOP administration/Congress. EPA/ Obamacare/ Paris / Climate Science / Vaccination programmes / Women’s health / … ? The champions of the anti-enlightenment are now about to give full voice to their prejudices, and the damage they can do would be incalculable Trump is probably much less ideological than the dark forces at work in his party; but has he a care, will be give them free rein?

    Meanwhile, the workers in the rust-belt and elsewhere – who were duped before with the promise of ‘trickle down’ economics – are setup for another massive disappointment.

  63. Harry Twinotter says:

    From Scottish Sceptic:

    “No longer can tiny unrepresentative elites use the power of the biased media to force their non-science like Global warming on the rest of us.”

    This political setback provides an opportunity to really sort out people who follow science from those who follow a pre-conceived political ideology. Not that there was any doubt, but the emboldening of the climate change deniers will cause some of them to drop their pseudo-scientific mask. The fence sitters are sure to notice the change.

  64. There’s also the device of overpromising, then scapegoating and letting the public who you’ve disappointed take it out on the scapegoats when the promiser blames them for being in the way of achieving what was promised.

  65. I also wonder when and if the people who elected Trump have any kind of a sense or line in the sand that a behavior he might exhibit in office is going too far. Of course, Trump might keep what he does as secret as possible, compartmentalizing, so as not to allow people to see what he was doing, justifying what he does as “necessary to get results.”

    I surely hope there are brave, ethical people in government who will, as Admiral Hayden suggested, refuse to obey an illegal order.

    We can imagine tells if the Trumpistas are heading this way. Two examples: Recreating something like the Alien and Sedition Acts, and demanding everyone in the public take something like a Loyalty Oath to differentiate the “legal citizens” from the “illegal citizens”.

    The question is, would those who voted for Trump care that these were passed?

  66. bill shockley says:

    President Donald Trump wins: Noam Chomsky called this political moment 6 years ago

    ‘If somebody comes along who is charismatic and honest this country is in real trouble’

    Chomsky added that he had “never seen anything like this in my lifetime [and] I am old enough to remember the 1930s.
    “The mood of the country is frightening. The level of anger, frustration and hatred of institutions is not organized in a constructive way. It is going off into self-destructive fantasies.”

    How did he know? He listened to the radio.


    In the past 15 months, Noam Chomsky has weighed in on the U.S. presidential race often.
    “There are differences in the parties,” he said in February, when asked if he’d even consider a Republican over Hillary Clinton. “Small differences [coupled with] great power can have enormous consequences.”
    Chomsky initially favored Sanders over Clinton, but insisted Democrats must win at all costs. Because, according to Chomsky, if Trump wins, “the human species is in very deep trouble.”
    But as for Trump’s supporters, Chomsky’s not counting them out just yet.
    “I’m basically judging by what I see and read about them, listening to talk radio and so on,” Chomsky admitted of the protests on the right. “But my strong impression is that these [right-wing protesters] are people with very real grievances.”
    “They give the impression of being hard-working serious people who think they’ve been doing everything right. They’ve been doing what they’re ‘supposed’ to do [as] god-fearing hard-working, gun-carrying, you know patriotic, Americans,” Chomsky continued.
    “What are they doing wrong and how come their lives are so crummy?” Chomsky asked.
    It’s a question that has plagued the election.
    “They’re not getting answers,” Chomsky insisted. “The answers they are getting are not only crazy, but extremely dangerous, so the right response is to ask ourselves, why are we failing to organize these people?”
    There’s nothing partisan about losing money to Wall Street or lacking health insurance; issues at the forefront of protests from both sides for nearly a decade.
    “We have not succeeded in unifying people,” Chomsky noted. “It’s our fault.”

  67. Michael 2 says:

    “this certainly seems to reflect a disatisfaction with some supposed political elite”

    Looking for a boogeyman, a single factor applicable to all or even most people, is doomed to fail. Oh, I have no doubt people will pronounce this reason or that when in fact dozens or hundreds of reasons exist.

    “but I don’t really understand why people think that voting for those who belong to a different type of elite group will somehow resolve this.”

    There’s a folk saying that to keep doing what you’ve always done, expecting a different result this time, is a definition of insanity. Trump is the wild card; there’s no telling what will happen but it will be different and that, surprisingly perhaps, appeals to the “hope and change” crowd that elected Barack Obama hoping for some change. Change isn’t automatically good of course but if you are dissatisfied with what you’ve got, what harm is there in change? Plenty, actually, but I don’t expect the simple minded to give it much thought.

  68. John Randall says:

    “My real concern is the undertones (and maybe not even undertones) of racism, sexism, xenophobia, and misogyny.” That’s also my concern. Trump ran a hate campaign, right from the beginning. I heard one his supporters say today that the medial misrepresented him. The media gave him a free open mic. People didn’t need talking heads to say that he was running a hate campaign, they could hear it directly from him.
    Apropos this site, he may gut climate research in the U.S. He said, “It’s time for this global warming bullshit to stop.” in one of his tweets.
    I voted for Hillary Clinton. She didn’t get enough electoral votes. Apologies to the world.

  69. Vinny Burgoo says:

    ‘The champions of the anti-enlightenment are now about to give full voice to their prejudices’

    Their what?

    Sorry, couldn’t quite hear that. Give it your full voice, please.

  70. lorcanbonda says:

    “Paul Krugman pretty well summed it up for me in this post:

    We still don’t know who will win the electoral college, although as I write this it looks — incredibly, horribly — as if the odds now favor Donald J. Trump. What we do know is that people like me, and probably like most readers of The New York Times, truly didn’t understand the country we live in. We thought that our fellow citizens would not, in the end, vote for a candidate so manifestly unqualified for high office, so temperamentally unsound, so scary yet ludicrous.”

    This and the rest of your post is why Krugman is one of the most intelligent idiots out there. The issue in our economy is that the Middle Class is being left behind. This has occurred through Republican and Democrat administrations, but the loudest swing votes came from the rust belt states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan — former heavy union states. The only change has been which rich people get their money.

    The voters are right — the middle class is being left behind and Krugman has been one of the leaders of the Democrat economic machine. The voters want this to change. I question that Trump is the person to lead this change, but Hillary had no intention of leading it.

  71. MartinM says:

    There’s also the device of overpromising, then scapegoating and letting the public who you’ve disappointed take it out on the scapegoats when the promiser blames them for being in the way of achieving what was promised.

    Yeah. Comments above about the inevitable blowback when Trump fails to deliver are ridiculously optimistic. Yes, there’ll be a blowback. No, his supporters are not suddenly going to realise that he’s a con artist. Republicans have spent the past god knows how many years fighting an all-out war on the working and middle classes, to the benefit of the rich. They’ve fought against unions. They’ve fought against healthcare. They’ve fought against social security. They’ve fought against food stamps. They’ve fought against taxes on the rich. The list goes on. And on. And on.

    And yet, working and middle-class whites continue to elect them, and just handed them unchecked power. We’re talking about a segment of the electorate which not only has consistently failed to put the blame for their economic grievances where it belongs, but which consistently votes for the very people who are responsible for those grievances. And we’re supposed to believe that this time they’ll actually figure it out? Nah. That blowback will come, but it won’t be Trump, or the Republicans, who suffer it. It’ll be Mexicans, or Muslims, or African-Americans, or whatever other group the unhinged demagogue in charge manages to point the ravening mob at this time.

  72. Michael 2 says:

    Dikran Marsupial says “wanting a ban on muslims entering the US (no matter how temporary) is not about being for legal immigration and against illegal immigration.”

    As Rick A was expressing his own views, finding someone whose views differ is not particularly difficult or revealing. In my opinion very few people voted FOR either candidate; many seem to have struggled to decide which is to be more feared and then vote for the slightly less fearful candidate.

  73. izen says:

    It is extremely difficult to discern any coherent policy that Trump is strongly motivated to pursue. Although his administration needs to be asked at every opportunity how many miles of Mexican wall has been built and how much Mexico has paid for it.

    His big claim, and the one that many seem to favour as his USP was that he was going to ‘Drain the Swamp’ referring to the insider trading of favours to donors among the political elite. A process he is familiar with on one side of the system. It does not seem unduly cynical to expect that he will simply replace one set of special interests with another.

    The largest dollar donor to Trump, and the source of his double campaign management team is a hedge fund billionaire (MUCH richer than Trump) who also contributes strongly to the Heartland foundation, the Cato Institute, Doctors for preparedness (AIDS and climate deniers) and the Oregon Institute of fake climate petition fame. Robert Mercer and the Kochs have been trying to remake the GOP conservatism into their own libertarian and anti-government ideology. It appears they have succeeded, or at least scored a significant advance.

    Meanwhile the VP, who early in the Campaign Trump suggested would have a large role, is a fundamentalist Christian with all the culture war baggage that entails, who states with pride that he believes that God created man around 6000 years ago.

    The well establish liberal bias of reality will block a good deal of the Trump-Tea party agenda. Despite the beliefs of Scottish Sceptic, eviscerating NOAA and other US science will not stop AGW, or its continued understanding in the rest of the world.

    But social structures are less inherently unalterable than the radiative transfer equations. Given the incommensurate dogmas that the two almost equal groups hold, social disharmony will increase. US society will become a worse place to live for all but the gilded 1%. Wealth distribution will continue to drift back to 1900 patterns just as it is doing in Europe. (prompting Brexit in the UK)

    This redistribution in the West weakens their economies. Accelerating the process by which China regains its centuries old position of dominant cultural and economic power on the Earth. Better hope they continue to revere learning and knowledge above the self-interest of a powerful economic elite.

  74. lorcanbonda says:

    “Republicans have spent the past god knows how many years fighting an all-out war on the working and middle classes, to the benefit of the rich.”

    The naivete of statements never cease to amaze me — so have the Democrats. It’s just a different basket of rich people.

    The policies which created the banking crisis were established by Bill Clinton as a favor the bankers. They gladly hand out special favors to every group — while blaming that middle class for all of those problems.

    Even the climate change politics are perceived to be a tax on the middle class to benefit Al Gore and his friends. And they are a tax on the middle class to benefit Al Gore and his friends.

    Trump won because he ran as someone outside of the political spectrum. Mainstream Republicans failing to support him was proof. Every time the elites shook their heads at his behavior, he gained votes. Personally, I think he’s contemptible — but Hillary never gave anybody a reason to vote for her.

  75. izen says:

    @-Ethan Allen
    “I can only conclude that the “Obama Coalition” stayed home much more so than the R’s and that the R’s will also have seen a slightly lower voter turnout (percentage-wise).”

    One reason for a lower voting percentage may be that since 2012 (and the removal of the VRA) around half the polling stations in some states have been closed. If there are many fewer places to vote that are harder to get to it does not seem surprising that many fewer get to them to vote.
    It is unlikely the closures were neutral in their local demographics.

  76. -1=e^iπ says:

    @ Richard – That paper suggests more warming since the LGM than Annan and Hargreaves and uses data that has worse spatial coverage.

  77. LouMaytrees says:

    lorcanbonda – ‘the policies which created the banking crisis by Bill Clinton …”. Not exactly true. Reagan had the S&L crisis which was directly attributed to his deregulations. So Con deregulation was already happening and which led into the full Con Congress which Clinton had to deal with and the repeal of the Glass-Steagle Act in 1999 which was written by 3 Cons – Gramm, Leach, and Bliley. So claiming ‘Clinton created it’ and laying it solely at his feet b/c of favors to bankers is not honest in the least. The Cons had v much to do with it, even going back to Reagan.

  78. John Hartz says:

    Q. Why the low voter turnout?

    A. The two major parties nominated two very unpalatable candidates. It’s a simple as that.

  79. Unfortunately, I agree with this greatly, and have written nearly the same here and elsewhere today. It is so bad, my son, who was raised a Jew, who is on post-doc in Montreal, is seriously thinking of getting his university there to take him on full time if he can. (They like him.) I don’t blame him at all. His mom (my ex), unfortunately, lives in upstate New York in a county that voted for the Trumpistas.

  80. Despite the concerns about climate here, rightly so, I think those are the least of our problems. If the Trumpistas and the Republicans in Congress shut down climate science in the U.S.,I hope U.S. climate scientists might get postings elsewhere, independent funding, or move to a more reasonable country. It will be sad to see, assuming they make it happen, so much excellent observational capability furloughed, never mind heavy lift for things like Antarctic bases and Operation Ice Bridge. Presumably they’ll go a “burn baby burn” course on fossil fuels. I can only hope that an RCP 9+ path triggers a climate response which returns the Midwest USA to its natural state … And that is desertified grasslands, well beyond dust bowl. I know that is cruel, but we have tried every other damn thing, and people just refuse to listen.

  81. John Hartz says:

    Trump’s blueprint for the first hundred days he’s in office is contained in the following article. This blueprint was unveiled by Trump in Gettysburg, PA on Oct 23rd.

    Here Is What Donald Trump Wants To Do In His First 100 Days by Amita Kelly & Barbara Spurnt, NPR, Nov 9, 206

  82. JCH says:

    * SEVENTH, cancel billions in payments to U.N. climate change programs and use the money to fix America’s water and environmental infrastructure

    Billions?

  83. MartinM names it. But what’s done is done. We’ve all made mistakes. I can blame, mostly, Comey’s thumb on the scale (he chose to persecute Clinton, who was largely innocent, instead of Trump, who was largely guilty), and voter suppression. There were other factors, like the arrogance and tyranny of purity on the left married to the hatred carefully nurtured by a quarter century of Republican opposition work. But Bill was not innocent either: that meeting with the Attorney General means he either (1) really thought he was above the law and thought he could help, (2) didn’t really want Hillary to win, or (3) had a brain fart, or a combination of all three. He made it impossible to rein in Comey, who like all Republicans put party in front on country.

    Personally, I’d like the Republican coconspirators to all rot in hell, not very Christian of me (Gingrich in particular, but dad says he can be feckless, here’s hoping). But being done, I have to hope we survive, though climate is the joker in the pack and it’s probably too late after four decades of denial.

    Trump himself is unpredictable with his short attention span, lack of conscience, arrested development, and narcissism, but his henchpeople are not so innocent.

    We have until the midterms (2018), when his punters will likely see he’s in it for himself and can’t do a thing for them. Too bad, because Hillary had plans and could have helped.

    Anyone wishing to be better informed as to the harm that can/cannot and will/will not be done should read this, which is up to the usual New Yorker standard of top-class reporting. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/09/26/president-trumps-first-term

    It has begun. Hold on tight! (Anyone wanting to know more would do well to continue with other New Yorker articles. Borowitz suggests your queen should take us under her wing!)

  84. Those climate scientists: Repugs want them in jail. Hopefully they will not succeed.

  85. Nature is an elite. She doesn’t respond to pleas, or requests to bargain. Sad to say, I look forward to the day when She responds in full to these miscreants.

  86. bill shockley says:

    Anyone wishing to be better informed as to the harm that can/cannot and will/will not be done should read this, which is up to the usual New Yorker standard of top-class reporting.

    They do a great job on what they cover. Problem is what they don’t cover. I read NYer devotedly for years and didn’t know what really was going on in the world until I got curious and read a Chomsky article, one of which is worth much more than a whole stack of NYers.

    chomsky.info

  87. T-rev says:

    and that great sage Carl Sagan

  88. lorcanbonda says:

    Bill Shockley writes — “lorcanbonda – ‘the policies which created the banking crisis by Bill Clinton …”. Not exactly true. Reagan had the S&L crisis which was directly attributed to his deregulations. So Con deregulation was already happening and which led into the full Con Congress which Clinton had to deal with and the repeal of the Glass-Steagle Act in 1999 which was written by 3 Cons – Gramm, Leach, and Bliley. So claiming ‘Clinton created it’ and laying it solely at his feet b/c of favors to bankers is not honest in the least. The Cons had v much to do with it, even going back to Reagan.”

    Reagan created the S&L crisis which was long before the more recent financial crisis and a much lower impact. He also passed the legislation early in his term and had to take care of the crisis while in office (although, Bush the elder was stuck with much of the payout damage.) Gramm was an opportunist — he had been a Democrat until the Republicans took control of the Senate. He negotiated chairman of the Banking Committee as his terms for changing parties. However, the impact of Gramm-Leach-Bliley (FSMA) was relatively small. Clinton had already allowed Citigroup to circumvent the law prior to its passage.

    Gramm-Leach-Bliley’s party is immaterial — the question was “political insider vs, political outsider.” Guess which one Hillary is.

    Of greater concern for the banking crisis was the CFMA act of 2000. In the lame duck session of Congress during the Bush-Gore hanging chad incident, Gramm carried the law through Congress where the Congressmen rubber stamped the act without review (they had bigger things to worry about.) Clinton signed the act three days after the Supreme Court declared Bush the winner — while nobody was watching. The CFMA deregulated mortgage derivative products, allowed banks to invest in commodity futures, and included fun little laws such as the “Enron Loophole.” This regulation was more significant to the economic recession.

    All of that detail is true, but it had little bearing on the election. The issue is that banks were bailed out, while individuals were crushed. When you talk to people who voted for Trump — they feel like they have played by the rules, worked hard all of their life and see a government take that money and give it to others while they tread water in a supposedly growing economy. Yes. both parties pander to their own rich constituency. That’s why Trump is considered an outsider.

  89. numerobis says:

    hypergeometric: your son is an postdoc looking for a position and you think the election has much any bearing on where he ends up? This is not how the academic job market usually works.

  90. AnotherJames says:

    Some of you are following a “it might not be that bad” line. This is basically saying that because Trump lied about virtually everything during the campaign, he might have been lying about what he intends to implement. That is just whistling in the dark. He will try to put into practice most of his ideas. The result will be a trade war and a collapsing economy.

  91. @numerobis So, since you are so knowledgeable, what is the Formula for “how the academic job market usually works”, eh? Post at http://667-per-cm.net/about if you don’t want to do it here. I hardly think there is a single formula.

  92. lorcanbonda – The CFMA Act of 2000 did *not* cause the economic collapse of 2007-8. Before the CFMA the Commodity Futures Trading Commission had already implemented rules that it would *not* regulate swaps and derivatives. That battle had already been fought (and lost) by Brooks Born in spring 1999. The CFMA just made it harder for another Brooks Born to come along and regulate these financial products. Of course with the GOP winning the 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections there wasn’t going to be another Brooks Born in the administration anyways.

    But this is all largely irrelevant. No one forced banks to package and sell derivatives. No one forced them to use shoddy risk analysis. No one forced mortgage lenders to give “no doc, low doc and snow doc” loans.

    Tanta Dungey at Calculated Risk chronicled the mess as it was happening. For instance, from June 2007, Subprime and CDOs: Illiquifying the Liquified

    I am not a historian of financial markets, so perhaps it is true that the Whigs always win in this regard. But I would be inclined to think that perhaps it is true that in some cases “opaque, illiquid markets” become large enough to implode spectacularly before they ever get around to becoming “transparent.” In fact, I wonder if in certain cases “opacity” is a feature, not a bug.

    I do know enough of the history of the mortgage market to be willing to claim that it was, once upon a time, an opaque and illiquid market that did indeed become both very large and highly transparent for quite a while there. You can get an amazing amount of information about one of those nice low-yield boring vanilla GSE MBS, you know, not to mention a price right off the old Bloomberg terminal. Now, you might want to say that in the last few years somehow that famous liquidity and transparency of the residential mortgage market has largely evaporated on us, right at the time that tons of unregulated private money started pouring into it and yields of 12-18% became just not good enough. You might observe that right about the time, historically speaking, when we’d managed to accumulate giant performance databases about mortgage loans, we started offering “low doc, no doc and snow doc” deals with drive-by “appraisals” and automated underwriting and tiny due diligence sampling and every other mechanism we could think of to assure that there was, in fact, no data to be “transparent” about.

    So now that we’ve “innovated” our way into a situation in which nobody has the first bloody idea what’s going on with a huge portion of recently-originated mortgage loans, we’ve noticed that we’ve innovated our way into a situation in which nobody has the first bloody idea what’s going on with the securities they’re in or the CDOs that buy the tranches of the securities or the hedge funds that buy the tranches of the CDOs of the securities of the mortgages that were written on a hope and a prayer and a FICO. And this is a “teething” problem? Holy Mastication, Batman, you think this thing will improve if it grows some fangs?

    As has been chronicled over and over again, the entire mortgage channel was in on this scam. Could effective regulation have prevented it? Yes. But it had nothing to do with the CFMA – unless you believe the Bush Administration would have chosen to implement regulations of the financial industry on its own. And if you believe that you have a pretty heavy evidentiary load to bear.

  93. izen says:

    It is extremely difficult to discern any coherent policy that Trump is strongly motivated to pursue. Although his administration needs to be asked at every opportunity how many miles of Mexican wall has been built and how much Mexico has paid for it.

    His big claim, and the one that many seem to favour as his USP was that he was going to ‘Drain the Swamp’ referring to the insider trading of favours to donors among the political elite. A process he is familiar with on one side of the system. It does not seem unduly cynical to expect that he will simply replace one set of special interests with another.

    The largest dollar donor to Trump, and the source of his double campaign management team is a hedge fund billionaire (MUCH richer than Trump) who also contributes strongly to the Heartland foundation, the Cato Institute, Doctors for preparedness (AIDS and climate deniers) and the Oregon Institute of fake climate petition fame. Robert Mercer and the Kochs have been trying to remake the GOP conservatism into their own libertarian and anti-government ideology. It appears they have succeeded, or at least scored a significant advance.

    Meanwhile the VP, who early in the Campaign Trump suggested would have a large role, is a fundamentalist Christian with all the culture war baggage that entails, who states with pride that he believes that God created man around 6000 years ago.

    The well establish liberal bias of reality will block a good deal of the Trump-Tea party agenda. Despite the beliefs of the sceptic scotch, eviscerating NOAA and other US science will not stop AGW, or its continued understanding in the rest of the world.

    But social structures are less inherently unalterable than the radiative transfer equations. Given the incommensurate dogmas that the two almost equal groups hold, social disharmony will increase. US society will become a worse place to live for all but the gilded 1%. Wealth distribution will continue to drift back to 1900 patterns just as it is doing in Europe. (prompting Brexit in the UK)

    This redistribution in the West weakens their economies. Accelerating the process by which China regains its centuries old position of dominant cultural and economic power on the Earth. Better hope they continue to revere learning and knowledge above the self-interest of a powerful economic elite.

    (posted yesterday, but languishing in mod?)

  94. bill shockley says:

    Bill Shockley writes — “lorcanbonda – ‘the policies which created…

    It wasn’t me, I swear…

    I must just have that guilty look!

  95. LouMaytrees says:

    haha, you sure know how to obfuscate lorca. Reagan started much of the banking deregulation no matter how you claim he later ‘dealt with S&L’, he’d already done it. And no, Gramm became a Con in 1983, a full 16 years before the Gramm Leach, Blilley Act of 1999 and 11 years before the Cons took over all of Congress during Clinton’s administration. He did not become a Con in 1994 at the time of the laughable “Contract With America’, he became a Con in 1983. Also Gramm, as that Con, was responsible for slipping, when no one was looking, the 262 page CFMA Act into the bloated 11,000 page 2000 Conference Report simply b/c it had had major trouble passing in Congress on its own. So your claim that this was all Clintons fault is still less than dubious at best b/c it mostly rests on the shoulders of Republicon Phil Gramm, as it was he who did the deed, and the Con Congress of 2000.

  96. Richard E.,
    I don’t know what to make of the paper you mention.

  97. Michael2 what RickA actually wrote was “People don’t like being called racist when they are for legal immigration – not illegal immigration.”

    I posted the two quotes from Trump to show why voting for Trump is not simply voting for “legal immigration, not illegal immigration”, as his quotes obviously go well beyond that. Banning immigration on religious grounds is bound to be indirect racism as the vast majority of followers of that religion are not white (I would be surprised if Trump could get that one through the judiciary anyway for that very reason). If (say) Sauda Arabia imposed a similar block on immigration by Christians, you can bet that would come in for criticism by the same people who supported Trump. Implying that most Mexican migrant workers are drug dealers and rapists (and that only some of them are assumed to be good people), and using explicit “us and them” rhetoric is the sort of thing that was used to demonize Jewish people for centuries throughout Europe, and look where that led. Now I am not saying that it is O.K. to call someone racist because they are for legal immigration and not illegal immigration (it obviously isn’t, and it is likely to be counterproductive anyway), but if someone uncritically voted for Trump without pointing out the problems with the things he said during the campaign, then they are giving circumstantial evidence to support the claim, and perhaps ought to reflect on why they didn’t criticize.

    Personally if my country had a constitution that established the right to freedom of religion, then I would view that as the right of all human beings, whether they are a citizen of my country or not.

  98. Andrew Dodds says:

    izen –

    Yes, it amazes me (and others looking on from abroad) how there are huge queues to vote in the US. I’ve never had to queue to vote in the UK, and we generally have a higher turnout. Just another form of statistical vote rigging..

  99. bill shockley says:

    John Pilger: A world war has begun

    Something we’re not likely to see in the New Yorker

  100. lorcanbonda says:

    LouMayTrees — you distort what I wrote (or failed to understand it.) Gramm was neither party — he was an opportunist. My point is that the vote was not “Republican vs. Democrat”, it was outsider vs. insider. Clinton was the insider and Bill Clinton is responsible for the laws that he signed. His close ties to the banks was part of the problem — Hillary had those same close ties.

    I didn’t claim that the banking failure was “all Clinton’s fault.” I claimed that he signed the legislation three days after the Supreme court declared Bush the victor. No matter how you consider it, that was slimy … and, it was slimy on the part of Gramm — this isn’t a “Republican vs. Democrat” question. I think that Phil and Wendy Lee Gramm should be in jail.

    When I mentioned that Reagan “dealt with the S&L crisis” — my point was that he did not change the legislation in the last moments of his term to force the issue on his successor. Bill Clinton did exactly that. He had to deal with the crisis during his administration. Reagan’s S&L policies were failures, but Clinton’s banking laws were corrupt.

    OneillsinWisconsin writes — “The CFMA Act of 2000 did *not* cause the economic collapse of 2007-8.” — I didn’t say that the CFMA caused the economic collapse. The CFMA and FSMA created the conditions which allowed the crisis to happen (the same as Reagan and S&L) — the allowed greedy bankers to enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else.

    But the key to this election is that the political insiders took care of the banks while allowing everyone else to sink or swim on their own. This is where the vote hinged — it’s the same outcry that led to the rise of Bernie Sanders on the Democrat primaries. It’s the same dissatisfaction with government that led to the rise of Donald Trump.

    I didn’t vote for Trump — but I can understand that anger. Hillary proudly pandered to every group except for the middle class. Worse yet, the perception is that she did not earn the Democratic nomination fairly (also true.) These are the voters she lost which tilted the election to Trump.

  101. lorcanbonda says:

    Bill Shockley wrote — “It wasn’t me, I swear…
    I must just have that guilty look!”

    oops, sorry — it was Lou Maytrees

  102. numerobis says:

    @hypergeometric: how the academic labour market usually works is the postdoc applies everywhere they hear there’s a posting in any developed world country and if they’re lucky they have the choice of accepting or rejecting one position in a town they never knew existed before heading to the interview. Some very lucky individuals get two offers, or an offer at a university they’ve heard of before.

  103. JCH says:

    I was an S&L auditor during the S&L crisis… I call total BS. From the point Reagan signed deregulation, twice… to the point that tall construction cranes obliterated the skies over Dallas… to the point that waves of S&Ls were failing… was about two years. I was in college when he signed the two bills. I was in my second year as an accountant when the firm where I worked was hired by the federal government to audit failed S&Ls.

    The S&L industry was failing before deregulation largely because of the Fed’s inflation fighting interest rates. The deregulation was an attempt to invigorate the industry. Some states resisted the federal deregulation by imposing their own new regulations. Those states did fairly well. Texas, on the other hand, hates regulation and we had a major number S&Ls go under. The halted construction sites haunted the Dallas landscape, growing weeds and trash and dilapidated fences, for years and years and years.

    I could go into the Glass Seagull, but I’m sick of dealing with historic revisionists.

  104. BBD says:

    Give me a True Historic, any day.

  105. bill shockley says:

    oops, sorry — it was Lou Maytrees

    No problem. Interesting little bit of history…

  106. lorcanbonda – No, the CFMA did NOT create any new conditions. These financial products were unregulated before the CFMA was passed and remained unregulated. And, as I wrote upthread, it is irrelevant – no one held a gun to the head of anyone in the mortgage channel to develop these shoddy products or provide loans where there was no ability to pay.

    Put the blame where it belongs; on the investment banks and those in the mortgage channel that delivered all the worthless loans they could find.

  107. Hmmm. I don’t doubt that’s your experience, but, since it cannot be comprehensive, from what I’ve seen, you are describing a different stratum of quality and field.

  108. (Sorry, did not mark: The response above was to numerobis.)

  109. JCH says:

    And, Greenspan was hands off, and he was a highly political chairman in that he wanted the Republicans to be credited with creating a robust economy. He kept rates too low for too long and he practiced sit-and-watch regulation because he actually believed in the Rand nonsense.

  110. Andrew Dodds says:

    Well, looks like a global warming ‘skeptic’ is now to be in charge of the EPA. At least they can’t complain about being oppressed now. (apart from by reality, well known to have a liberal bias)

  111. I followed Chomsky for years (age 87; he was one of my professors). He preaches to the choir. Personally, I find him boring, but that doesn’t undermine his arguments.

    I pointed to The New Yorker and that article in particular for specifics on what Trump and his team are planning. In my catchup reading I’ve been scratching my head about the religious right who turned out in droves to vote for Trump, since he’s demonstrably unchristian. I am startled at how few people know anything about religion, particularly christianity, as there is a very good argument against these extremists in the gospels (and elsewhere in the bible), and nobody in the liberal media uses it. They’re short and repetitive and simple. Wery few people use approaches like Katherine Hayhoe’s.

    It supports the argument from the right about elitism and contempt. Demeaning, sneering at, and ignoring vast blighted communities who feel anything would be better than more insiders has had the result we all now see. Sadly, Hillary had specific plans to help them, and is a practicing christian as well, but she lacked the common touch, and her team failed to emphasize them. It required some vulgarity, perhaps. We are too prissy!

    Trump did one thing well; he refused to defend himself. Hillary should have done the same, though the media were like a dog with a bone, so perhaps that’s unrealistic.

  112. Garrison Keillor has a totally refreshing take on the Trump election.

    While there are specific things I worry about regarding the Trumpistas, what I am more concerned about, as I have written (and here), is that a big chunk of the American electorate have detached themselves from any sense of reality. If they and their surrogates continue to govern, that cannot end well.

  113. lorcanbonda says:

    Everyone is still missing the big picture. The shift is from blue collar voters who used to be solidly Democrat in rustbelt states. They have worked hard, played by the rules, and fallen further behind in every administration. The perception is that they are supposed to pony up for every pet cause of every politician. I live in a swing state, and I’ve been pounded with advertisements for weeks — I can’t remember a single ad that gave a reason to vote for Clinton. They were only ads to vote against Trump.

    — If you believe that “All lives matter”, you are called a racist because only “Black lives matter.”
    — Bankers foreclosed on half the properties in their neighborhood, but they wrote nice checks to the Clinton campaign. Don’t worry — unemployed and minorities will get help from the government, and you should be happy to pay for it.
    — People who are barely scraping by are told to accept higher energy prices to encourage them to by $60,000 Tesla’s that they can’t afford. In other words, they have been told in very stark terms that the price of climate change is their future, and they should be happy to pay it.
    — Yes, Trump does not represent Christianity, but neither does Clinton. Democrat’s eyes bulge at his language, but they can’t imagine why high school locker rooms shouldn’t be open to someone who decides they are a different gender today.
    — You should gladly pay higher prices for health insurance because big-Pharma needs those record high profits more than you need to save for retirement.

    This list could go on forever. The middle class is falling behind — and both parties ignore them. Trump is considered to be different. The antipathy from the Republican party proves it.

  114. The middle class is falling behind — and both parties ignore them.

    I largely agree (even if I don’t agree with your assessment of why and who is to blame). However, I don’t think Trump is going to be their saviour (just as Brexit probably won’t be either). To be fair, I don’t think Clinton would have been either, but I suspect that the potential for utter catastrophe would have been smaller with Clinton than it is going to be with Trump.

  115. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky says:

    Why would any politician or voter choose to represent Christianity when science and physics rules our planet in ways that are not good for your future? Therein lies your problem. You lie.

    To yourself, and your nation, and indeed the planet and its inhabitants. God won’t save you.

  116. bill shockley says:

    he was one of my professors
    I bow to you! LOL

    I may be particularly sympathetic to him genetically, being a Jew and my Dad’s family being from the same part of the world as both sides of his family. His demeanor and posture recall my father uncannily. His calm, quiet way of speaking.

    I only discovered him maybe 5 years ago, and it was quite a revelation. I can see how he could become boring, having, like anyone, just a few basic messages. But I do check back now and then for his incredibly informed take and deep insight on specific matters.

    I was following Richard Wolff intensely for a while recently, and then came to a point where I realized that his youtubes are each and every one largely the same except for a little bit of fresh analysis on a specific current topic in each lecture. Same jokes, same themes. It’s the price you pay for greatness I guess. May be moving on to John Pilger now. All these guys are pretty much interchangeable… just been different places, done different things. Great minds, etc…

    OK, so I’m preaching to the choir also, and church has been let out.

    As for post-election analysis, I think, as it’s been expressed many times up-thread, it came down to a rejection of the establishment. My opinion is Sanders would have walloped Trump and that is a major regret. To me, that’s the most interesting question looking back. Probably it came down to Clinton being a familiar name/face and Sanders being a relative unknown on the national stage. Some say if he’d started campaigning just a little bit earlier… He was the overwhelming choice of voters under 30. That’s an encouraging sign. Black family on my street were voting for Clinton. All their black friends. Clinton was the democrat and was the candidate for the blacks. Nothing Sanders or I could say was going to change that. They were going with what they knew. These are intelligent people but uneducated.

    Religion is not such a mystery to me. People make a big thing out of it. The truly religious don’t talk about it they do it. I like to say I believe in God, not religion. As the street fighter/novelist/poet Charles Bukowski used to say, all that matters in the end is being kind. And… beliefs don’t mean shit when your back’s against the wall — you can’t eat a prayer. People don’t like being in debt, having to work all the time while the rich get richer.

    I haven’t read the NYer in a long time. They do have some great stories and writers. Jane Mayer who wrote the book Dark Money. Seymour Hersch, who broke the Abu Grahib prison story. The neurologist who died recently, Oliver Sacks, who was an occasional contributor. Bill McKibben was the Talk of the Town editor, long time ago!! I just felt really surprised that there was so much left out after discovering Chomsky. It was like the sun rising. US covert and overt imperialism, murder and theft, terror and genocide, “deterring democracy”. How was I supposed to know? Not from the NYer.

  117. bill shockley says:

    Susan, I wrote a reply and it was swallowed, should be floating up either sooner or later.

    Regards.

  118. bill shockley says:

    Oh, there it is. LOL.

  119. However, I don’t think Trump is going to be their saviour …

    I’d go farther: I think they’ll be worse off as a result of Trump and the Republican Congress than they would have been under Clinton. Their knee-jerk response was unwise and immature, as it was in Brexit. A group which is suffering materially has the most to lose in what is essentially an ideological choice, with isolationism and destruction of social and climate programs.

    But, we’ll see soon enough.

  120. JCH says:

    Well, he might discover the wonder of negative interest rates.

  121. lorcanbonda says:

    “I largely agree (even if I don’t agree with your assessment of why and who is to blame). However, I don’t think Trump is going to be their saviour (just as Brexit probably won’t be either). To be fair, I don’t think Clinton would have been either, but I suspect that the potential for utter catastrophe would have been smaller with Clinton than it is going to be with Trump.”

    — My assessment was meant to be an interpretation of perspective, not an assessment of fact. I am saying that the average middle class white voter is falling behind and they blame both parties (with good reason). Like it or not, Trump was the outsider who spoke to them while Hillary overtly ignored them.

    It doesn’t matter if their opinions are factually accurate, because that is what drove their vote.

  122. It doesn’t matter if their opinions are factually accurate, because that is what drove their vote.

    Okay, yes, that is quite possible.

  123. lorcanbonda says:

    wisconsin writes — “And, as I wrote upthread, it is irrelevant – no one held a gun to the head of anyone in the mortgage channel to develop these shoddy products or provide loans where there was no ability to pay.”

    This so misses the point that I question that you understand what I’m writing. Of course nobody put a gun to the head of the mortgage channel and forced them to sell poor quality loans. It was the massive and quick profit which caused that.

    The issue is that the bankers-in-charge were protected by the government while the individual went bankrupt. But, don’t worry, their bonuses were saved and Hillary received some great speaking fees. Did she really find it necessary to call the average middle-class voter “deplorables”?

    I’m not rewriting history here — this is the perception. Even Elizabeth Warren, the anti-banker, supported Hillary despite her close ties to banks.

  124. JCH says:

    What bankers were protected? Blankfein? Name the law that he, or any other banker, specifically violated… the specifics.

    That is why there have been no criminal prosecutions.

  125. BBD says:

    Did she really find it necessary to call the average middle-class voter “deplorables”?

    And:

    I’m not rewriting history here

    Ha. Ha. Ha.

  126. Michael 2 says:

    hypergeometric wrote “what I am more concerned about … is that a big chunk of the American electorate have detached themselves from any sense of reality.”

    While undoubtedly at least partly true it would help if you revealed which chunk you refer to. The evidence suggests it is the Democratic Left that got itself into a bubble or echo chamber of its own making that obviously did not reflect reality. Newsweek Magazine had already distributed an issue with “Madam President” on the cover.

  127. Simple, he/they breached their fiduciary duty to their shareholders and their clients. They did that by either being ignorant of the ramifications of the derivatives they were investing in, or by pursuing them nonetheless. Judging them to be guilty of these or not is a personal or group opinion that does not need an indictment or conviction to be believed. That is something we have a good deal of recent evidence, even if the case there is a trifle compared to the breach.

  128. @Michael 2 : Five quick things come to mind.

    First, and most relevant to this blog, they are acting wholly and willfully ignorant of the consequences of continuing and even expanding burning of fossil fuels to pursue their financial improvement.

    Second, they buy Trump’s and the Republicans’ claims that he can turn things around rapidly, they implicitly believe there will be no collateral consequences, and they believe this will improve their well-being in a very short time.

    Third, they are ignorant of history, not only the painful history of the first half of the 20th century, or of the ascent of Caesar in Roman history, but, perhaps most relevant, the reason why Athens lost its democracy as chronicled in Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War.

    Fourth, they do not buy the economic interdependence of nations, and feel, by supporting Trump’s claims, they can just dictate their advances to the international community, without consequences.

    Fifth, they feel they can have the benefits of a free or freer market system without having free movement of labor or currency as well as low government regulation.

  129. JCH says:

    You have wildly fallen short of describing a crime. Prosecutors would commit a crime if they prosecuted that.

  130. @michael 2 : I think the first example above can be amplified by citing a part of a statement from the Ecological Society of American on the outcome of the election. (I am an ESA member.)

    “Although the US election promises great changes, the laws of nature will remain unchanged. These include the dependence of human welfare on clean water, clean air, well managed fish populations, abundant bees to pollinate our crops, and healthy ecosystems that provide the many other services that allow people to live happy and productive lives. The Ecological Society of America will remain a source of discovery, knowledge and analysis to understand and manage biodiversity and ecosystems. As the largest society of professional ecologists in the world, ESA manifests the importance of innovative scientific research, and stands ready to share our knowledge a new US president and Congress. This has been the case since its founding in 1915, and will be ever more important in a world which demands more and more from nature.”

    It’s simply arrogance or stupidity (or both) to assume environmental protections can be rolled back without serious consequences. But then, as I’ve noted elsewhere here, I’m sure people will eventually pay the price. Unfortunately, a bunch of others, far more innocent will pay it, too. I have sympathy and tears for them, but laughter for the idiots that are doing this.

  131. There were at least three lawsuits brought on these points. None of the suits succeeded, because they could not prove specific knowledge. The plaintiffs were, however, awarded legal fees, and the cases may still be in ther courts, under appeal.

    That said, the commission investigating that mess drew several accusatory conclusions: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_Crisis_Inquiry_Commission

  132. Ethan Allen says:

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2016/11/09/what-to-say/#comment-87499

    “Q. Why the low voter turnout?

    A. The two major parties nominated two very unpalatable candidates. It’s a simple as that.”

    Or maybe, just maybe, truth be told, that the frontier land of cowboyz and gunz (non-college educated white males) could not accept the most highly qualified candidate ever for POTUS simply because that candidate was a woman.

    Reagan. Bush. And now … Pumpkinhead!

  133. lorcanbonda says:

    JCH writes — “What bankers were protected? Blankfein? Name the law that he, or any other banker, specifically violated… the specifics.”

    Is this a joke??? Where did I ever mention anything about specific laws that were broken? How is that possibly relevant to the choices voters made during the election?

    Timothy Geithner held a weekend meeting and wrote multibillion dollar checks to bail out the bankers who caused the financial crisis while many in the middle class were losing their homes.

    When the business you run goes bankrupt — does the government guarantee your bonus check? This disconnect from reality is mind-numbing. The voters are asking for a fair system. The perception is that the system is stacked in favor of wealthy donors (and it is.) If you think the voters are persuaded by some legal argument, then you are far more ignorant than you think.

  134. BBD says:

    lorcanbonda

    This list could go on forever. The middle class is falling behind — and both parties ignore them. Trump is considered to be different. The antipathy from the Republican party proves it.

    Yes, but where are you going with this?

  135. John Hartz says:

    A nice analysis of why the polls were off.

    Changing technology and fickle humans are pushing art into the science of aggregating surveys

    Numbers Cruncher: Why Trump’s Win Blindsided the Big Polls by Sharon Hall, Scientific American, Nov 10, 2016

  136. JCH says:

    Geithner and Bernanke did exactly what should have been done and what had to be done.

  137. angech says:

    hypergeometric says:November 10, 2016 at 4:37 pm
    ” a big chunk of the American electorate have detached themselves from any sense of reality.”
    There are only two parties. One or the other gets in.So there will always be a big chunk of America detached from the reality of the other side, whichever side is in.
    Not that it matters, it cannot affect climate science because climate science is apolitical and based on science only.

  138. I’m an atheist with a mystical bent (horrors?), but spent time learning a lot about religion and am tired of people who assume they know stuff and ignore what’s staring them in the face. The history of humankind is also a story of religion, so it doesn’t matter that people think it’s irrelevant. In the US, where it does matter, people are claiming Christianity is what it isn’t. That’s why I mentioned the gospels and Hayhoe. I’m annoyed because I’m scared and it was stupid not to treat people and ideas with respect.

    Re Chomsky, it was in one of those huge multi-tiered lecture rooms with hundreds of other students, and I was not at the time a good student. So it’s just dumb luck. He was doing linguistics then, early days.

    If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.

    Somebody took at close look at Trump’s body language at his meeting with Obama today, and he’s slyly looking at the camera during his handshake with Obama. There is one thing and one thing only he knows and cares about: the cameras. He’s a master at advertising. I continue to respect the New Yorker, so here’s another link: http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/an-american-tragedy-donald-trump

    The commentators, in their attempt to normalize this tragedy, will also find ways to discount the bumbling and destructive behavior of the F.B.I., the malign interference of Russian intelligence, the free pass—the hours of uninterrupted, unmediated coverage of his rallies—provided to Trump by cable television, particularly in the early months of his campaign. We will be asked to count on the stability of American institutions, the tendency of even the most radical politicians to rein themselves in when admitted to office. Liberals will be admonished as smug, disconnected from suffering, as if so many Democratic voters were unacquainted with poverty, struggle, and misfortune. There is no reason to believe this palaver. There is no reason to believe that Trump and his band of associates—Chris Christie, Rudolph Giuliani, Mike Pence, and, yes, Paul Ryan—are in any mood to govern as Republicans within the traditional boundaries of decency. Trump was not elected on a platform of decency, fairness, moderation, compromise, and the rule of law; he was elected, in the main, on a platform of resentment. Fascism is not our future—it cannot be; we cannot allow it to be so—but this is surely the way fascism can begin.

  139. angech writes: “There are only two parties. One or the other gets in.So there will always be a big chunk of America detached from the reality of the other side ….”

    No, angech, there is only one reality. You make the typical argument of false equivalence where all viewpoints are valid. I.e., Sadaam Hussein was not behind 9/11 — even though most conservatives *still* think he was. Opinions on shape of the earth may differ, but flat-earthers are wrong.

  140. John Mashey says:

    I’m not a single-cause thinker, but:
    1) In some states, this was the first Presidential election after voting rights act went away, and this may have mattered in a few states, but voter-suppression … suppresses votes. See the map, but there wer also issues in NC, and FL always has some.

    2) Electoral College. Most states are foregone conclusions for President, given party dominance. CA is not going to vote R, nor KS D. That doesn’t encourage people to come out.in CA,

    3) Not that it matters much, but At least 4 million California ballots left to be counted, likely adding to Clinton’s popular vote lead.

  141. bill shockley says:

    I can see there’s very little overlap between us. The very first paragraph in your linked Remnick article goes right to what separates Chomsky, et al from The New Yorker:

    On January 20, 2017, we will bid farewell to the first African-American President—a man of integrity, dignity, and generous spirit

    Contrast with Pilger’s take:

    Obama the other day sent drones to slaughter 150 people in Somalia. He kills people usually on Tuesdays, according to the New York Times, when he is handed a list of candidates for death by drone.
    http://johnpilger.com/articles/a-world-war-has-begun-break-the-silence-

    a sentiment he could have lifted directly from a Chomsky article for its exact likeness of sentiment on the subject of the morality of drone murder and what it does to grow hatred and resentment in the victimized regions, to say nothing of its legality.

    My God is karma and it says “what goes around comes around” and damned if it ain’t comin’ right now.

    You’re scared and I’m scared too.

  142. John Mashey, the elections of 2000, 2004, 2010, and 2014 were stolen, as well as 2016. Any suggestions how we can do something about it? I only omit 2008 and 2012 because the majority was so large that cheating couldn’t overcome it, but local and state elections were affected, as well as Congress. Voter suppression and voter intimidation were the biggest problems, though hacking was also a player in the earlier years. In addition, many votes in conservative states ended at 6 pm, putting working stiffs at a disadvantage.

    I continue to think it is a mistake to ignore Judicial Watch, while we’re at it. They are movers in the Clinton email attacks and general intimation of corruption and in trying to jail climate scientists. This is not trivial.

  143. BBD says:

    And to top it all off, Leonard Cohen just died.

    What a week.

  144. Steven Mosher says:

    cubs won..

  145. Marco says:

    Bill, I would take whatever Pilger says with a few grains of salt. There’s a good reason there was a verb, “to pilger”, already 25 years ago. Take the piece you now linked to twice, where Pilger mentions a military excercize supposedly planned “in high secrecy”. Apparently, announcing(!) the excercize (held biannually since 2005) on the Australian DoD homepage, including the general plan, constitutes “high secrecy” in Pilger’s world. Heck, you can find a full description on the US Navy’s website, too: http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/Pages/ts2015.aspx

    He also makes much of this excercize being “the biggest single air-sea military exercise” and links it to China as a “threat”, but you are unlikely to see Pilger ever mention that China participated in the 2016 RIMPAC excercize (led by the US). Or that Russia earlier in 2015 held an excercize with twice as many personnel.

    Pilger’s story about the Spratly Islands also lacks historical context – one might even call it a case of historical revisionism. The Spratly Islands have been contested since the late 19th century(!), and the dispute heated up with the drawing of the “nine-dash line”. That line actually would be comparable to Chinese warships 600 miles(!!!!!!) off the coast of California. And that is well within the International waters and well outside the exclusive economic zone. The Philippines sought arbitration when it was clear China was building airstrips on the islands and using it for its own economic development, violating the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines (and Malaysia, too).

    Pilger further claims “Obama the other day sent drones to slaughter 150 people in Somalia”. Evidence of this is lacking. The closest we get is this: http://www.worldbulletin.net/news/156388/drones-strike-shabaab-strongholds-in-somalia

    Pilger then apparently blames Clinton/the US for the constitutional crisis in Honduras, which is outright historical revisionism, too.

  146. bill shockley says:

    Marco,

    Thanks for the heads up. I don’t imagine myself to be well informed and able to debate on the basis of the details of any single issue. What I do is keep my ears open to journalists and writers like Chomsky and Pilger with strong track records and a feeling of truth. I point out what they are saying and people can take it for what it’s worth.

    That people made up a derogatory name for Pilger means he struck a nerve and they had a deficit of substance with which to counter. Ridicule does not equal refutation.

  147. lorcanbonda says:

    IBD writes — “Yes, but where are you going with this?” I’m explaining why Rustbelt states voted for a Republican for the first time in decades.

    Everybody seems to have their own bizarre explanations. Most of those explanations seem to center on blame rather than empathy (ex. “I guess our nation is more racist and misogynist than I thought.) Except (for the most part) people voted for Trump in spite of these things, not because of them.

    Susan Anderson is an atheist who things that the election (and every historical event) is because of religion. There is not a lot of empathy in that statement. In other words, she blames the election on her pet cause rather than try to understand what is really important to the voters. She also fears jailing of climate sciences, missing the entire judicial action by Democrat administrations where they tried to bring charges against Exxon. That was an actual abuse of power that she seems to be okay with, but she fears the opposite.

  148. bill shockley says:

    PS, Marco,

    Some of these guys, Chomsky for example, answer their emails. You might try your objections on Pilger. I’d be interested how that goes if he answers back. I mean, if you think it’s worth your time.

  149. The basis for bringing action against Exxon is entirely reasonable. It seeks to determine via judicial action whether or not Exxon defrauded shareholders and their customers by knowingly misrepresenting the harm a product they sell does and, accordingly, withholding the threat to their valuation if this was discovered and their reserves were found to be unusable and unburnable. The legal theory in the US for climate disruption, its causation by burning fossil fuels, and harm done to individuals as a result has advanced much farther than you might think.

  150. Joshua says:

    This pretty much sums up the analytical thinking of many “skeptics” – with teh Donald J. Trump as their fearless leader:

  151. Joshua says:

    I have to hope those are fake tweets. Please, someone tell me that they’re fake.

  152. Joshua says:

    Given that the “New York” article with the screenpic of the tweets, I’m thinking that it isn’t likely a fake.

    Irony is an inexhaustible resource….if only we could convert it to energy.

  153. Joshua says:

    Sorry, should have said “Given that the “New York” magazine article with the screenpic of the tweets *was written in 2012*, I’m thinking that it isn’t likely a fake.”

  154. Irony is an inexhaustible resource….if only we could convert it to energy.

    Maybe if we told them that it’s a renewable resource, they would stop doing it? 😉

  155. The CBS news article had a link to the original tweet. I’ve learned to leave my irony-o-meter at home these days… ;o)

  156. John Hartz says:

    Gaughan’s analysis strikes a chord with me.

    Five things that explain Donald Trump’s stunning presidential election victory by Anthony J. Gaughan, The Conversation US, Nov 9, 2016

  157. @lorcanbonda: You distorted what I wrote and attacked the distortion you created. What I suggested is that Christians should reread the gospels and respond to religious concerns. The activities of Rep. Lamar Smith and Sen. Cruz and attacks on climate scientists are a matter of record.

    My suggestion was that if people knew more about religion they would, like Katherine Hayhoe, respond in the context of the gospels that discrimination, exclusion and treating wealth as a sign of god’s favor are not consistent with the teachings of Jesus.

    I also suggested that people who attack religion should lay off, since religion is a normal part of human history and human life. I said this as an atheist because I hope my fellow nonobservers will climb down off their high horses and treat religion with respect.

    We need to work together to solve problems.

  158. John Hartz says:

    US Sen Harry Reid (D-Nev) just issued the following statement. I wholeheartedly concur. with his admonition — see final two paragraphs.

    Reid Statement on the Election of Donald Trump

    November 11, 2016 | Press Releases

    Washington, D.C. – Nevada Senator Harry Reid released the following statement about the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States:

    “I have personally been on the ballot in Nevada for 26 elections and I have never seen anything like the reaction to the election completed last Tuesday. The election of Donald Trump has emboldened the forces of hate and bigotry in America.

    “White nationalists, Vladimir Putin and ISIS are celebrating Donald Trump’s victory, while innocent, law-abiding Americans are wracked with fear – especially African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Muslim Americans, LGBT Americans and Asian Americans. Watching white nationalists celebrate while innocent Americans cry tears of fear does not feel like America.

    “I have heard more stories in the past 48 hours of Americans living in fear of their own government and their fellow Americans than I can remember hearing in five decades in politics. Hispanic Americans who fear their families will be torn apart, African Americans being heckled on the street, Muslim Americans afraid to wear a headscarf, gay and lesbian couples having slurs hurled at them and feeling afraid to walk down the street holding hands. American children waking up in the middle of the night crying, terrified that Trump will take their parents away. Young girls unable to understand why a man who brags about sexually assaulting women has been elected president.

    “I have a large family. I have one daughter and twelve granddaughters. The texts, emails and phone calls I have received from them have been filled with fear – fear for themselves, fear for their Hispanic and African American friends, for their Muslim and Jewish friends, for their LBGT friends, for their Asian friends. I’ve felt their tears and I’ve felt their fear.

    “We as a nation must find a way to move forward without consigning those who Trump has threatened to the shadows. Their fear is entirely rational, because Donald Trump has talked openly about doing terrible things to them. Every news piece that breathlessly obsesses over inauguration preparations compounds their fear by normalizing a man who has threatened to tear families apart, who has bragged about sexually assaulting women and who has directed crowds of thousands to intimidate reporters and assault African Americans. Their fear is legitimate and we must refuse to let it fall through the cracks between the fluff pieces.

    “If this is going to be a time of healing, we must first put the responsibility for healing where it belongs: at the feet of Donald Trump, a sexual predator who lost the popular vote and fueled his campaign with bigotry and hate. Winning the electoral college does not absolve Trump of the grave sins he committed against millions of Americans. Donald Trump may not possess the capacity to assuage those fears, but he owes it to this nation to try.

    “If Trump wants to roll back the tide of hate he unleashed, he has a tremendous amount of work to do and he must begin immediately.”

  159. BBD says:

    lorcanboda

    Susan Anderson is an atheist who things that the election (and every historical event) is because of religion.

    No she doesn’t. Read what she wrote again. More historical rewrites from the man who said that HRC called the average middle class voter “deplorable”.

    There is not a lot of empathy in that statement. In other words, she blames the election on her pet cause rather than try to understand what is really important to the voters.

    False claim and an unfounded dig at SA into the bargain.

    She also fears jailing of climate sciences, missing the entire judicial action by Democrat administrations where they tried to bring charges against Exxon. That was an actual abuse of power that she seems to be okay with, but she fears the opposite.

    Jailing climate scientists for telling the truth vs going after Exxon for concealing it are rather different things. But hey, if you want to play the false equivalence card and stand up here as an apologist for Exxon, feel free.

  160. BBD says:

    Sorry, Susan, we crossed. It’s a curse of mine, happens constantly.

  161. BBD, thanks, I am grateful for your support. My earlier remarks were posted in frustration after I listened to a Trump supporter saying liberals don’t get it about people of faith, and nobody on one of my favorite shows responded. I wish we all were familiar with the gospels; they’re short, beautiful at times, and a good source for rules to live by. Having spent almost a decade in community with liberal evangelicals, I was shocked later on to find that whole communities who call themselves Christians dismiss Jesus’s teachings in favor of Paul, who supports silencing/submission of women and slaves, and violence. Their blind preference for unborn fetuses/babies over living people is shocking to me. It’s something about purity, and is a handicap on all sides.

    One thing I will say, though, is that we all spend too much time at our keyboards! This kind of misinterpretation is common and as far as I’ve been able to discern, cannot be overcome by response in kind.

  162. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky says:

    I don’t buy your idea that religion is so part of my life and my government that I know longer have the right to criticize it, criticize the people that are forcing it into my life and my government, and criticize the churches that abuse it to push their agenda into my life and my government and then profit from their abuse of the truth and not pay any taxes for those abuses. In short, No /Susan.

    Religion is utterly acceptable, and I will not accept it as long as it is failing my government.

    And I don’t care if a bunch of American religious nuts are ;’concerned’ about my beliefs.

  163. I think I got into the filter. It was just to thank you, BBD. Perhaps it is best to let others follow their conversation in other directions.

  164. KT, you too, in the other direction, have failed to take in my content and accused me of something I didn’t say. That’s exactly the problem. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t. Hating people who are other solves nothing, and it’s a two-way street.

  165. JCH says:

    I’m very connected to Exxon Mobil as a shareholder. I have no problem with them “going after” Exxon Mobil. I don’t think the effort will be successful, and I don’t think Exxon Mobil is much bothered by it. Alabama, a red state, tried to take billions and billions of dollars away from Exxon… a very big threat. Exxon is quite capable of defending itself.

  166. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky says:

    Where did I say I hated religious nuts? I still have the right to confront and criticize religious nuttery in America as a SERIOUS problem with America (as will soon be revealed in public) and I will simply confront and criticize them, and it, until that American right is literally taken from me.

    There is no hate involved. Just contempt and derision. After all, I’m a scientists trained to recognize BS when I see it. And I a critical thinker so I know how to confront BS when I see it.

  167. KT: pax. I was talking in a general way about hate at the end of my comment, but I can see that it appeared to be addressed to you. You don’t hate them, but you label them and they don’t like it. You don’t care, I get it; you have a right to that. I support science, first, last, and always. There should be a wall between science and religion; many scientists are religious but it doesn’t affect their objectivity.

    They proudly embrace “deplorable” just like I proudly claim “nasty woman”. The point I was trying to make is that like Katherine Hayhoe, we can use their faith to suggest they’ve missing something important.

  168. I did not say the effort would win, only that, I implied, it should be pursued.

    But Exxon will collapse, eventually, within a half century, possibly much sooner, because of market forces that are only tangentially forced by concerns pertaining to climate disruption.

  169. BBD says:

    JCH

    I don’t think the effort will be successful, and I don’t think Exxon Mobil is much bothered by it.

    That’s my impression too.

  170. anoilman says:

    A more fitting Leonard Cohen song: Everybody Knows

  171. anoilman says:

    One thing’s for sure… Alec Baldwin is going to be very very busy.

  172. anoilman says:

    Steven Mosher:

    This isn’t a plan;
    https://assets.donaldjtrump.com/_landings/contract/O-TRU-102316-Contractv02.pdf

    The contradictions alone make it pretty difficult to look at. Will he enact a life time ban on lobbying by White House officials for foreign governments before, or after he approves the Keystone XL for a foreign government? I suppose the president isn’t an official, but I think its great that he wants to lobby on behalf of a foreign nation. He’s been doing it for quite a while now.

    Most of the talk up in Canada is on just how glaringly difficult it will for Trump to attempt any of his plan, even with a friendly Congress. Personally, I suspect he’ll be a brutally ineffective president. We all know this up here because we elected obnoxious Troll ourselves, and the strong arm politics just didn’t work. Deleting and maiming our environmental regulations to try and ramrod through pipelines simply brought out protesters in droves, and stalled everything.

    Oh, and before he reduces taxes, might I recommend he cut expenses firstr? It just seems prudent unless you want to run up deficits. (Our Troll cut taxes before cutting expenses, and ran up a huge debt with nothing to show for it. It was a pretty key failing and blatantly obvious in retrospect.)

  173. lorcanbonda says:

    Susan Anderson wrote — “I’m an atheist with a mystical bent (horrors?), but spent time learning a lot about religion and am tired of people who assume they know stuff and ignore what’s staring them in the face. The history of humankind is also a story of religion, so it doesn’t matter that people think it’s irrelevant. In the US, where it does matter, people are claiming Christianity is what it isn’t.”

    There is little value in atheists telling Christians what they believe. They are usually wrong because Christianity isn’t one belief system. Mike Pence and Tim Kaine are both fairly religious Roman Catholics. They both have found reasons to support their parties positions within their religion — they are both right.

    BBD writes — “No she doesn’t. Read what she wrote again. More historical rewrites from the man who said that HRC called the average middle class voter “deplorable”.”

    HRC failed to address the main concerns the middle class has with the economy. Then she claimed many of Trump supporters are “deplorables.” — If you don’t think that was the same as Romney’s “47% of the people are takers” gaffe, then you are wrong. There are billboards all over my area that say, “I’m a deplorable and I’m voting for Trump.”

    If you want to understand why Hillary lost the election, then you need to understand how she failed to address the needs of the formerly staunch Democrat voters in the rust belt. The “liberal elite” can’t understand why the “ignorant” did not just listen to them as they spew their “wisdom” — the reason that people don’t listen to them is because it is another form of ignorance. There can be multiple, legitimate perspectives.

    Tsiolkovsky writes — “There is no hate involved. Just contempt and derision.” {facepalm}

    “Jailing climate scientists for telling the truth vs going after Exxon for concealing it are rather different things. But hey, if you want to play the false equivalence card and stand up here as an apologist for Exxon, feel free.” — You’re right, their not equivalent. The reason is because the Democrats did not just make some silly statement. They followed through with legal action, which (as it turns out) was illegal. It would be just as illegal for the Republicans to do it. But, I see you are stuck on “the truth,” as though there is only one truth.

    And that is why Hillary lost.

  174. I personally don’t care WHY Clinton lost. What I see is a country unable to manage itself in a mostly natural world which is demanding it do so for its own interests. That it apparently can’t means the governmental system it was founded on is failing or has failed. That people have a notion that there is more than one “truth” or, in other words, confounding allegorical subjective truth with facts and evidence, aka objective Truth, is indeed worthy of derision, and then sadness.

    What’s left is to try to secure as much support for geophysics, oceanography, glaciology and climate science from private sources and quite possibly from other countries, even if in the end the great US institutions in these areas will be left a shambles of their former selves.

    And, also, people should remember that geeks and nerds really do rule the world, and especially with the Trumpistas extreme valuation on loyalty, they cannot possibly work to support such a government and guy. I think a review of government contracts is in order.

  175. izen says:

    @-lorcanbonda
    “…And that is why Hillary lost.”

    I agree.
    HRC lost because she was a bad representative of the humanist, liberal end of a political system that has been removing wealth from the middle class since before the last Clinton presidency in the 70s when standards of living, and the security of that standard with functioning social infrastructure reached a temporary peak.

    Since then wealth in the US and many other first world societies has been shifted from the many to the few at an increasing rate. Up until the first world war the vast majority of the populations of the US and other nations lived the sort of insecure, hand to mouth financially precarious existence you describe above. The disruption of WW1, the 30s financial crash and WW2 has briefly spread the wealth across a wider population. Social programs on health education and infrastructure also did a lot to give the majority a sense of security and ownership of the society they were part of.

    However the old economic system in which most of a nations wealth is concentrated in a small percentage is slowly returning in many western nations not just the US. The 1950s was probably the golden age for all the material benefits of a nations wealth reaching the largest number. The 1980s the start of a more rapid shift back to the old pattern of wealth ownership.

    One of the reasons for the global unelectability of left wing, progressive or liberal political parties at present is their obvious failure to prevent this loss of wealth by the many as it trickles back to the few.

    Unfortunately it is unlikely that Trump, or his backers, can reverse this historical trend. I suspect that Mercer and other Trump backers actually see the fulfilment of the pledge to ‘make America great again’ would be to return to the times of The Great Gatsby and the gilded age.

    This is mainly a local cultural phenomena. China and many developing nations have their own historical patterns of wealth creation and distribution that shape their internal politics.

  176. BBD says:

    Let me guess, lorcanbonda: you are a Christian and a Trump voter. Yes?

  177. verytallguy says:

    Unfortunately it is unlikely that Trump, or his backers, can reverse this historical trend.

    Frankly, it’s inconceivable that he even wants to.

  178. anoilman says:

    lorcanbonda: Just a thought, but trump has zero ideas or plans to make America Great again, or whatever that means. If Trump launches a wave of xenophobic protectionism, the middle and classes in the US will be worse off than ever before. Best of luck on that.

    I also can’t understand why anyone would celebrate a sexual predator like Trump. It doesn’t seem very Christian to me but then… I’m not Christian, so I don’t understand Christian values like you do. Personally, I recommend that you hide your daughters if he comes a knocken.

  179. BBD says:

    Frankly, it’s inconceivable that he even wants to.

    Of the many incomprehensible things about why people voted for Trump, this comes near the top. Here’s a man who is by any definition (including his bombastic own) one of the elite. How anyone could be so stupid as to buy his man-of-the-people shtick is mystifying.

  180. John Hartz says:

    Thanks to journalists like Jonathan Chait, we cannot say that we were did not know what was coming….

    Trumpistan Week One: The Unthinkable Slowly Becomes Normal by Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, New York Magaizne, Nov 11, 2016

  181. @Lorcanbonda: the thing you missed was that I embraced and attempted to practice Christianity in a very serious way (story too long to tell) for a decade, and have a deep affection for that community and the way they operate, and a deep knowledge of their central texts. It was the appearance of the judgmental uncompassionate ones that drove me away in the end. The evangelicals reported in the press are not Christians as I know them. I appear to have incurred the anger of people who dismiss religion while trying to explain that I appreciate religion. The most moral people I know are atheists. They have no excuses, and they don’t claim to hold a get out of jail free card. They just stick to doing the best they can with what they’ve got.

  182. BBD says:

    I do wonder if Trump can actually survive in the job. He’s in for the mother of all culture shocks. His lifelong autocracy and the privacy in which to exercise it are gone. He doesn’t own the Executive Branch, let alone the rest of the government and military apparatus, and if he interacts with people as though he were still running his own business there will be problems.

  183. BBD – and Mullah Pence would be an improvement? God forbid Trump doesn’t last 4 years.

  184. BBD says:

    It’s a beaut, isn’t it? On the one hand, Trump, on the other, a big step forward for American theocracy,

  185. LouMaytrees says:

    izen, it was Reagan, a right wing Con, who oversaw the largest transfer of wealth from the middle class to the upper class when he became President in 1981, not the Clintons in the 1970’s or the 1990’s, your choice. How you manage to blame this on the ‘left’ is rather odd. You even use the ‘trickle’ term which Reagan himself used, ie: Trickle Down Economics, promising all this money going to the wealthy would then ‘trickle down’ to the middle and lower classes. Trump, a right wing Con, is now poised to oversee an even larger transfer of wealth, iirc, with the Cons and Ryan’s Tax plan again giving most of the tax cuts to the rich. Then again, i’m sure its all the ‘lefts’ fault for not being able to stop it somehow. Obama!

  186. Steven Mosher says:

    oilman

    This isnt an argument

    ‘The contradictions alone make it pretty difficult to look at. Will he enact a life time ban on lobbying by White House officials for foreign governments before, or after he approves the Keystone XL for a foreign government? I suppose the president isn’t an official, but I think its great that he wants to lobby on behalf of a foreign nation. He’s been doing it for quite a while now.”

    Err well you clearly don’t understand what a Lobbiest is. If you did, you would make those silly remarks.

    “Most of the talk up in Canada is on just how glaringly difficult it will for Trump to attempt any of his plan, even with a friendly Congress. Personally, I suspect he’ll be a brutally ineffective president. We all know this up here because we elected obnoxious Troll ourselves, and the strong arm politics just didn’t work. Deleting and maiming our environmental regulations to try and ramrod through pipelines simply brought out protesters in droves, and stalled everything.”

    Most of the talk in canada is either unintelligible or unintelligent, except those folks who dont want american leftists to immigrate.

    “Oh, and before he reduces taxes, might I recommend he cut expenses firstr? It just seems prudent unless you want to run up deficits. (Our Troll cut taxes before cutting expenses, and ran up a huge debt with nothing to show for it. It was a pretty key failing and blatantly obvious in retrospect.)”

    you missed the parts about freezing federal hiring.

    do they teach reading in canada?

    of English?

  187. Agreed. And it was Reagan’s administration who is singly responsible for the ballooning of the federal deficit, with his unbridled expansion of the budget for the Department of Defense and its allied agencies. Oh, what do you say? That part of the budget ought not count towards federal spending? REALLY? What’s your fiscally conservative justification for that?

  188. LouMaytrees says:

    lorcan, little Lou disagrees again. Hillary lost for two reasons. 1) the 25 year right wing smear campaign against both Clintons. As for Hillary, everything they smeared her with turned out to be totally unprovable and/or completely false, in other words just rw smear, which is the right wings m.o.. The FBI Director two weeks before the election states we are looking back into some emails and then three days before the election meekly admits ‘oops, sorry, nothing there again.’ Much of America considers her, w no evidence at all, a liar and a criminal. Trump lied almost 3 x’s as many times as HRC on the campaign trail, except rw voters think he tells it like it is. Go figure. Propaganda and smear damage work miracles. And 2) the gutting of the Voting Rights Act in 2013 by a Con Supreme Court which emboldened rust belt and southern states rw Con legislatures to write strict voting id laws specifically in order to suppress voter turn out. Propaganda works wonders, and along w voter suppression its a winning ticket.

  189. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky says:

    lorcanbonda, once you degenerate and descend into woo woo religious nonsense and the belief in god, one woo woo is the same as another woo woo. It’s woo woo all the way down to the bottom.

    I don’t have anything to say to them or to that or to you. It’s nonsense. All I can do is point them (you) to my essay on cosmic evolution. Evolution, climate science and global warming in general are not arguable. The details scientists squabble over are relatively minor technical issues.

    And now, the origin of life itself on terrestrial planets is not arguable. God is not required unless you just want to assign it a mathematical value of infinity. And then there are a lot of them,. You need to get up to speed on the science of these things.

  190. Mal Adapted says:

    lorcanbonda:

    There is little value in atheists telling Christians what they believe.

    Well, I was taught in Sunday school that to call yourself a Christian you have to affirm the existence of a deity who fathered himself on a human woman by parthenogenesis, then let himself be tortured and killed to punish himself for letting people break his rules, but came back to life and promised immortality to anyone who believed his story.

    That was all a little too much for me to swallow, so I’m an atheist. I can’t speak for anyone else though.

  191. LouMaytrees says:

    Very true that. Reagan almost tripled the Debt, no other President has come even close to that. Bush2 almost doubled it, Obama has added 65%, yet still not close to Bush2 or Reagan.

  192. izen says:

    @-LouMaytrees
    “izen, it was Reagan, a right wing Con, who oversaw the largest transfer of wealth from the middle class ”

    I know, I used ‘trickle up’ as an ironic counterpoint to that discredited (to all but its adherents) dogma.

    @-“Then again, i’m sure its all the ‘lefts’ fault for not being able to stop it somehow. Obama!”

    I don’t think either side is at fault for the cuts in living standards for the middle class. They are both part of a political system that perpetuates it. The conservative right may speed the cuts, but the progressive left has at best slowed the cuts and provided band-aids. Obama certainly had the rhetoric that he wanted to turn the ship, but the reality is that even the captain has little to do other than organise the on-board entertainments.

    These are largely First World problems in the mature western capitalist societies. For most of the human population hindsight looks much more like it did for the western middle class in the 1950s.
    https://www.gapminder.org/videos/dont-panic-end-poverty/

  193. izen says:

    @-verytallguy
    “Frankly, it’s inconceivable that he even wants to.”

    There’s nothing wrong with using litotes…
    (grin)

  194. Steven Mosher says:
  195. Szilard says:

    SM: Was just about to post that 🙂

  196. verytallguy says:

    Great video Steve. Angry white guy gives us simple answers to the world’s problems. Perfect.

  197. Steven Mosher says:

    “SM: Was just about to post that🙂

    My friends on FB are about 70/30 Liberal/Conservative.. so I kinda get to feast on the best and worst of both sides. This piece was blowing up amongst my super fringe type friends

    I’m generally a fan of things said well, regardless of whether I agree or not .. I’ve never heard him before. He is a remarkable presence.

    Micheal Moore had some trenchant things to say as well on the day after, I’ll try to find it

    The most interesting thing to watch is people reaction to the unexpected. nobody just sits and wonders or takes time to reflect.. it tells you more about them than the thing they are reacting to.

    On second thought maybe there are a lot of people reflecting… they just havent spoken yet.

  198. izen says:

    @-BBD
    ” How anyone could be so stupid as to buy his man-of-the-people shtick is mystifying.”

    I don’t think it is stupidity or mystifying.
    Watching the speaking style and body language of the two candidates it is obvious who was more sincere in their Man/Woman of the people shtick. His transgresive tweets and statements enhanced that impression of genuineness. We judge the credibility of people by how honest they sound and look, and that intuitive feel can override logical analysis of who might actually be able (or intend) to achieve their declared or implicit aims.

    And he promised ‘Change’.

  199. BBD says:

    No, won’t wash, izen. I’m not going to pretend that HRC fails to project empathy but neither am I going to pretend that it is not *obvious* to any but a fool that Trump is a bloviating chancer.

  200. verytallguy says:

    BBD, a challenge for you.

    Have a think, and come back with at least one cogent reason someone would vote for Trump that does not involve them being “stupid” or a “fool”.

    For a gold star, come back with three.

  201. BBD says:

    Sorry vtg, stumped.

  202. Szilard says:

    SM: Watching that, I was thinking of a pre-election post by Peter Woit which I found quite fascinating for several reasons.

    http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=8864

    “[To those planning to vote Trump because …] You’re angry at well-off coastal elites who you feel look down on you and your culture, and you want to spit in their face by voting for Trump. If so, you are quite right to feel the way you do. From a lifetime spent among such elites I can tell you that, yes, they do look down on you. Most people here in New York City probably do think you’re an ignorant racist. Your problem though is that Donald Trump is one of us. He’s a well-off New Yorker through and through, looks down on you every bit as much as others. If elected he will govern in the interest of his tribe, not yours. If you think otherwise, you’ve been conned. All you will accomplish by a vote for Trump is to convince people in New York, Washington D.C. and California that you really are even more ignorant than they thought, a racist fool taken in by an obvious con.”

    I doubt that many of whatever number of these “ignorant racists” who actually read Woit would find in that last sentence much inducement to change their minds, as against eg enhancing their desire to shove it up Woit’s ass.

  203. OPatrick says:

    I find the video Steven Mosher posted almost as depressing as the Trump victory itself. The idea that people aren’t willing to engage in discussion in this context is as ludicrous as it is in the climate debate. We have an arena for debate in which reasoned discussion is a losing strategy, and Brexit and Trump are a symptom of that. It’s an arena where people can say things like ‘you’ve labelled everyone who disagrees with you as a sexist and racist’ (or deplorable) and it somehow becomes perceived as true because it gets repeated often enough. The arena is the primary problem, not the participants. I can see no hope of escaping from it, though.

  204. verytallguy says:

    Sorry vtg, stumped.

    Really? Completely? Go on, have a go.

    Here’s a link to help

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empathy

    If you still can’t even start, you might wish to contemplate where the stupidity and foolishness really lies here.

  205. BBD says:

    No, vtg. No sale.

    Stupidity is right at the root of all this. I do not presently feel one fucking shred of empathy for the idiots who foisted this monster on the world. Not one shred.

  206. Willard says:

    > Micheal Moore had some trenchant things to say as well on the day after […]

    And months earlier. I rather like what he calls the Jesse Ventura effect:

    Finally, do not discount the electorate’s ability to be mischievous or underestimate how any millions fancy themselves as closet anarchists once they draw the curtain and are all alone in the voting booth. It’s one of the few places left in society where there are no security cameras, no listening devices, no spouses, no kids, no boss, no cops, there’s not even a friggin’ time limit. You can take as long as you need in there and no one can make you do anything. You can push the button and vote a straight party line, or you can write in Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. There are no rules. And because of that, and the anger that so many have toward a broken political system, millions are going to vote for [Donald] not because they agree with him, not because they like his bigotry or ego, but just because they can.

    There are more plausible reasons than “leftists made me do it.”

    The 21st century will need to solve right-wing populism, an open problem, or there may not be a 22nd.

  207. I think it is possible to understand why people do some of the things that they do (empathy) without agreeing that what they did was a rational means of getting what they wanted (i.e. that it wasn’t “stupid” or irrational to some degree). I find it hard to find a good reason why someone would vote for Trump, or Brexit for that matter, but I do understand why some people did (dissatisfaction, entertainment, to be different, to fit in with a group, to preserve things as they are, to change things, and lets face it there will also be those who voted for Trump because they are racist and want to have a wall for that reason instead of legitimate border control). Depends what you think is “good”. We get the politicians we deserve (on average, although the way the average is computed is not necessarily optimal).

  208. verytallguy says:

    BBD, if you refuse to understand the phenomenon, you’re unable to combat it.

    Your approach to Trump supporters reminds me of John Major’s to crime:

    “Condemn more, understand less”

    I wonder if you agree with that?

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/major-on-crime-condemn-more-understand-less-1474470.html

  209. VTG you can understand crime more and condemn less, but still think crime is a bad thing.

    “‘to learn that we have said or done a stupid thing is nothing, we must learn a more ample and important lesson: that we are [ALL] but blockheads… “ Montaigne [addition mine]. We should embrace our inner blockhead, and be understanding of the inner blockhead of those around us (especially when it occasionally becomes their outer blockhead), whilst still being able to recognise that being a blockhead is not a good thing.

  210. verytallguy says:

    Indeed Dikran, I think Trump is a Bad King, and voting for Trump was a Bad Thing. Indeed, I think Trump is not yet, but has the potential to become a catastrophic thing really very soon.

    But I can see that good, well meaning ad intelligent people could still have sound reasons to vote for Trump without them being blockheads.

  211. BBD says:

    But I can see that good, well meaning ad intelligent people could still have sound reasons to vote for Trump without them being blockheads.

    I dispute this. You would have to be a blockhead not to perceive that Trump is a monster. You would have to be a blockhead to vote for him and against your own best interests.

  212. BBD says:

    Oops, missed this off:

    BBD, if you refuse to understand the phenomenon, you’re unable to combat it.

    I do understand it. It was stupidity, which is why it is very hard if not impossible to combat it. That does not mean we cannot call it by its right name though.

  213. verytallguy says:

    I dispute this. You would have to be a blockhead not to perceive that Trump is a monster. You would have to be a blockhead to vote for him and against your own best interests.

    I dispute that you can’t work out the logos of Trump’s appeal.

    But I’ll have a go at supplying one of the aspects of his pathos.

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/do-not-go-gentle-good-night

  214. BBD says:

    I dispute that you can’t work out the logos of Trump’s appeal.

    Voting for Trump was stupid. Really, I’m astonished that this was ever in dispute.

    If you are quoting Thomas to suggest that this rage – this moronic inferno – is kindling at the end of America, then yes, that may be true.

  215. “But I can see that good, well meaning ad intelligent people could still have sound reasons to vote for Trump without them being blockheads”

    “Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

    I don’t see how that is not a “blockhead” reason to vote for Trump. Perhaps a better way to communicate this would just be to directly state a non-blockheaded reason to vote for Trump (i.e. one where voting for Trump is likely to result in the desired, and ostensibly rational, aim being realized) in plain English without allusion.

  216. OPatrick says:

    Being a fool is not necessarily the same as being stupid – or a blockhead. There are many reasons why someone can be fooled. You can be well-meaning and intelligent, but still be fooled.

  217. This is one of discussions that I always struggle with. I can see why it is hard to understand why anyone would have voted for Trump, while still recognising that doing so doesn’t make someone stupid.

  218. “while still recognising that doing so doesn’t make someone stupid.”

    I am with Montaigne, we are all stupid, or at least have a facility for being stupid (or indeed being fooled). Perhaps it is better to talk of the action being stupid, rather than the person.

  219. verytallguy says:

    Dikran/BBD,

    indeed, that’s the pathos. As I said in the post.

  220. verytallguy says:

    Logical reasons for an intelligent voter to support Trump:

    1. Politics is broken. There is no prospect of it being mended. A Trump earthquake might smash it all up and give a chance for something better to be built on the rubble. I will not get this chance again.

    You don’t have to agree with this to see that it makes perfectly rational sense.

    There are more. Your turn.

  221. I disagree that 1. makes sense, I don’t think smashing a broken system is likely to result in it being fixed (especially if there is no plan to fix it, c.f. brexit), it is more likely to result in it staying smashed. I won’t invoke Godwin’s law to provide the precedent.

  222. Michael 2 says:

    verytallguy writes “1. Politics is broken. There is no prospect of it being mended.”

    What an absurdly interesting comment! Politics does not have a normal state for it to be broken, nor a state that represents mended.

  223. verytallguy says:

    Dikran,

    Yes, I agree with your conclusion.

    But the argument for the other conclusion is perfectly rational and does not dictate that someone who takes it is “stupid” or a “fool”. Just that they judge the risks differently.

  224. VTG I don’t think the other conclusion is perfectly rational. There is plenty of precedent for smashing broken things resulting in them staying smashed for a long time, examples where smashing something has resulted in it being fixed in a timely manner seem somewhat thin on the ground, but that may just be my ignorance. To judge risks you need knowledge, otherwise you are guessing, not judging. If you can give examples where political systems have been smashed in order to fix them (rather than just fixing them directly) then I’d be interested to hear of them.

    Personally I don’t think it is necessarily the politics that is broken, another possibility is that it is the electorate that are dysfunctional ;o)

  225. BBD says:

    Dysfunctional here being a synonym for stupid.

    I’m sorry vtg but stupid is as stupid does (as dear old grandma used to say) and voting for Trump was stupid.

    I’m not going to tiptoe round this. I’m too angry with the stupid people for unleashing a Trump administration on the world.

  226. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky says:

    Sure it does, Micheal, that ‘normal state’ is both measurable and quantifiable -280 ppm CO2.

    Therefore it follows – politics is broken. That’s the gold standard.

  227. The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool. — Richard Feynman

    There are lots of ways to do that, ranging from wishful thinking, to selectively ignoring evidence, to thinking something can be made true by pronouncing it often and loud enough.

    I think we evidence-based people fooled ourselves, too, into thinking the rhetorical and criticizing skills of our fellow citizens were stronger than they actually are. On the other hand, I don’t think there’s anything to be gained from being too hard on ourselves. The trap our fellow citizens ran into is well documented in earlier representative democracies, notably Thucydides’ Athens.

    It might work out. President-elect Trump might realize he has an awful lot to learn about governance. He’s trying to do a lot of communicating, including 60 Minutes tomorrow. That can only be good. He deserves a listen. He might change his mind on things, now that he is in office. Hopefully he’ll have the strength to demand things from his entourage and the Republican Congress and Senate. I don’t know where that will leave his supporters, but to the first order, that’s not my/our problem. (He’s already been saying things kind about HRC and President Obama repeatedly, and I’d think that might give some of those supporters pause.) If this happens, we will have been lucky, and maybe the Office of the President has some magic to it we underestimate. But if it does work out that way it is because President-elect Trump turned out to be a good guy underneath after all. We just could not tell before. But the people who voted for him diced with the possibility he was a dictators coming to power. They did not and could not know either, because he gave no indication one way or another. And, even if he works out, good for him and us, but we really need to judge our fellow citizens more harshly, not less.

  228. Michael 2 says:

    hypergeometric wrote “the people who voted for him diced with the possibility he was a dictators coming to power.”

    Versus choosing one we knew pretty well was extremely ambitious, well-connected and with an insatiable lust for power. Might as well roll the dice.

  229. I firmly disagree, because in the case of Clinton, we had seen her govern in many capacities over decades. Some of those capacities were occupied by equally capable yet far more evil people, and no one got upset about their antics at the time, or, even, years afterwards.

    I just wrote something about this in a different place, for a slightly different context, since the HRC emails got such play, and I think it’s worth repeating here:
    Personally, I think that latitude with what and how to deal with certain pieces of classified information comes with the office of Secretary of State. Such latitude is also afforded to the Congress and the Senate, even if the I.C. has been, over the decades, trying to reign it in. Facts are, the Constitution insists that in order for Congress to properly review whether monies are being properly spent, they have enormous authority to see anything, review anything. In fact, correspondence between citizens and Congress or the Senate is exempt from surveillance, and if it is, if it can be shown it was part of the basis for an accusation for crime, the charge is judicially very weak.

    It’s possible that there is a category of not classified information that a Secretary of State might not want the I.C. or anyone to have access. RFK and JFK kept certain facts about the disposition of Soviet missiles in Cuba away from the Pentagon during the latter’s Missile Crisis, in order to help manage them. I think that was very wise.

    And, sorry “dictators” –> “dictator”.

  230. verytallguy says:

    I’m too angry…

    to do anything other than refuse to think. Exactly, in fact what you’re accusing Trumpistas of.

  231. verytallguy says:

    Dikran,

    I withdraw the word “perfectly” 😉

    At danger of repeating myself, I don’t agree with the conclusions, in fact I strongly disagree with them, but I don’t think you need to be *stupid* in order to.

    Anyway, your turn. Can you suggest another rational reason to vote for Trump?

  232. Michael 2 says:

    Mal Adapted wrote: “I was taught in Sunday school… fathered himself on a human woman by parthenogenesis”

    Parthenogenesis can only produce females. I read an interesting sciffy story about it:
    [https]://books.google.com/books/about/Virgin_Planet.html?id=hga3KJ4Lx5EC

  233. BBD says:

    Anyway, your turn. Can you suggest another rational reason to vote for Trump?

    No. But I suspect you’ve another attempt waiting in the wings 🙂

  234. BBD says:

    , but I don’t think you need to be *stupid* in order to.

    Some CEOs might have made rational decisions to support Trump. Those in the coal mining industry, for example, so okay, there’s a non-stupid reason (in a rather limited, self-serving and short-term context).

  235. No, that’s stupid, too, for it means said CEOs don’t know their industry. What’s killing coal is not the Clean Power Plan, which actually puts minimal requirements on generators, but, rather, natural gas adoption. Gas is killing nuclear, too. To the degree Trump is supportive of all fossil fuel energy sources, his party and Trumpistas cannot bring coal back without penalizing and restricting natural gas.

  236. BBD says:

    vtg

    Sorry, I missed this:

    to do anything other than refuse to think. Exactly, in fact what you’re accusing Trumpistas of.

    How am I refusing to think? I think is it self-evident that voting for Trump was stupid. Sometimes people are stupid and saying so is not pejorative or simplistic.

  237. verytallguy says:

    I think is it self-evident that voting for Trump was stupid. Sometimes people are stupid and saying so is not pejorative or simplistic.

    I think you’re choosing *not* to think BBD.

  238. BBD says:

    Think about what?

  239. verytallguy says:

    Think about what?

    The real reasons Trump was elected. As opposed to the convenient “they’re stoopid”

    Which, it seems to me at least, is just another way of adding ” I’d rather not think about it”

  240. BBD says:

    Yes, of course I see the systemic issues that enable the successes of right-wing populism.

    Trump was elected because right-wing populism. This requires an impressionable electorate. If you prefer this phrasing.

  241. Willard says:

    > Politics does not have a normal state for it.

    Yet a con artist won.

    Fancy that.

  242. Willard,

    “Finally, do not discount the electorate’s ability to be mischievous or underestimate how any millions fancy themselves as closet anarchists once they draw the curtain and are all alone in the voting booth. It’s one of the few places left in society where there are no security cameras, no listening devices, no spouses, no kids, no boss, no cops, there’s not even a friggin’ time limit. You can take as long as you need in there and no one can make you do anything. You can push the button and vote a straight party line, or you can write in Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. There are no rules. And because of that, and the anger that so many have toward a broken political system, millions are going to vote for [Donald] not because they agree with him, not because they like his bigotry or ego, but just because they can.”

    This too

    “4. Everyone must stop saying they are “stunned” and “shocked.” What you mean to say is that you were in a bubble and weren’t paying attention to your fellow Americans and their despair. YEARS of being neglected by both parties, the anger and the need for revenge against the system only grew. Along came a TV star they liked whose plan was to destroy both parties and tell them all “You’re fired!” Trump’s victory is no surprise. He was never a joke. Treating him as one only strengthened him. He is both a creature and a creation of the media and the media will never own that.”

    The decision on the part of some people to vote for Trump was quite rational.

    I for one will be relieved when people stop hyperventilating about the threat he poses and we can get back to our normal programming

  243. angech says:

    VTG
    A good reason might be oversell.
    The media was so vociferous in their support of Clinton and vituperation of Trump that one could have got the impression they were being sold snake oil.
    When someone is trying so hard to sell you the San Francisco Bridge it might not be that hard to to figure out you might be being conned or believe that you are being conned.
    In which case a vote in the other direction would not be surprising or stupid.
    Obviously a consensus did not develop in this case.
    Perhaps if they concentrated on the policies, improving Obamacare to all,more jobs in the public service, more safeguards and restrictions on business to ensure safety for all, invading Syria and getting rid of their dictator, free trade and taking in 100,000 refugees a year as part of the American value ethos they would have been re elected.
    Digging up private dirt, splashing it all over the news in the last 3 months, when virtually no one * had previously complained in 30 years and using that as the only reason to vote Democrat, rather than on Democrat values was too clever.

  244. angech says:

    I have posted elsewhere that one way to fix a malfunctioning system is to let it break, elect Trump, and then see the good people and good intentions emerge from and fix the wreckage.

  245. This is becoming extremely humorous. Apparently, the news media are reporting that Trump’s entourage are beginning to declare his promises to his followers as “mere campaign talk” (like “locker room talk” I suppose?), and are walking back promises ranging from actions on Obamacare (e.g., preexisting conditions) to immigration (no deportations) to wall-building, to asking an attorney general to request a Special Prosecutor for HRC.

    Serves his damn supporters right.

  246. Mal Adapted says:

    Michael 2:

    Parthenogenesis can only produce females.

    The word is derived from Greek roots meaning “virgin creation”. M2’s strict biological interpretation just makes the New Testament’s claims that much more preposterous.

  247. verytallguy says:

    Angech,

    I wasn’t trying to answer the question as to why teh Donald won, but why voting for him and stupidity aren’t synonymous.

    As to *why* he won, I doubt that had much to do with the Democrats. Maybe a little.

    For me, there are two, maybe three fundamentals, which drive lots of secondaries.

    Firstly, the world’s resources are running out. Untrammelled growth is at an end.

    Secondly, America is slowly but inexorably losing its position as sole superpower.

    Thirdly, perhaps, neoliberalism and the Internet economy are driving inequality.

    A perfect storm for the rise of a textbook demagogue, and the racist, misogynistic, narcissism that he unleashed into our lives.

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2016/11/09/what-to-say/#comment-87423

    Oh, and it really would be so much easier to understand you if you used paragraphs. (Yes, I know, it would have been nice if Donald’s only fascist tendency was grammatical )

  248. verytallguy says:

    Steven,

    I for one will be relieved when people stop hyperventilating about the threat he poses

    I hope you’re right. The lessons of history from the Old World are quite the opposite however; they would suggest the level of concern is far too low. Particularly amongst republicans IMHO.

  249. lorcanbonda says:

    This thread has confirmed one thing — Liberal elites preach tolerance, but they are the most intolerant of any opinions other than their own.

    It’s easy and simple-minded to think that the people who voted for Trump are ignorant, but you would be wrong. They voted for him despite his faults, not because of them. There is a lot of intolerance in the world, but Democracy is supposed to be about bringing together a diverse viewpoint — not just one.

    Hillary’s slogan was “stronger, together”, as long as the basket of deplorables would accept all of the blame. The basket disagreed.

  250. Based upon what now is being advertised as “just campaign talk”, there was no evidence that the threat President-elect Trump posed was illusory. And to the degree people voted for him for things the Trumpistas are now saying they are not going to deliver on, why would we not conclude they are ignorant?

  251. Mal Adapted says:

    Angech:

    one way to fix a malfunctioning system is to let it break, elect Trump, and then see the good people and good intentions emerge from and fix the wreckage.

    A similar principle underlies homeopathic medicine, and your proposal should be met with similar skepticism.

  252. And now they are walking back “fiscal austerity” because “infrastructure spending needed”, and saying “Tariffs unnecessary if trade deals are adequately enforced”.

  253. Willard says:

    > This thread has confirmed one thing […]

    Not a good idea, lorcan.

    Thank you for your concerns.

  254. John Hartz says:

    hypergeometric: You have made many assertions without documenting the sources. Your credibility would improve if you were to do so.

  255. OPatrick says:

    I for one will be relieved when people stop hyperventilating about the threat he poses

    I can’t speak for others, but the outcomes of Trump (and Brexit) are secondary concerns for me. What gets me hyperventilating is the abject nature of the debate that led to these things. The world has become an unmoderated comment thread and I can’t see any way of us ever turning that round again.

    Can any Americans here put some perspective on angech’s assertion that the media were “so vociferous in their support of Clinton and vituperation of Trump”? That’s certainly not the impression I had from a distance. (This, from the Washington Post suggests there was a marginal leaning in favour of Clinton, but then the truth does have a well known liberal bias.)

  256. John Hartz says:

    Hot off the press and unwelcome news for the human race…

    Donald Trump is seeking quick ways of withdrawing from a global agreement to limit climate change, a source on his transition team said, defying widening international backing for the plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

    Since the U.S. President-elect was chosen, governments ranging from China to small island states have reaffirmed support for the 2015 Paris Agreement at 200-nation climate talks running until Nov. 18 in Marrakesh, Morocco.

    Trump, who has called global warming a hoax and has promised to quit the Paris Agreement, was considering ways to bypass a theoretical four-year procedure for leaving the accord, according to the source, who works on Trump’s transition team for international energy and climate policy.

    “It was reckless for the Paris agreement to enter into force before the election” on Tuesday, the source told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity. The Paris Agreement won enough backing for entry into force on Nov. 4.

    Trump looking at fast ways to quit global climate deal: source by Valerie Volcovici & Alister Doyle, Reuters, Nov 12, 2016

  257. Yeah, of course he is. Why is that a surprise? And he got a warning from China about it, too:https://www.ft.com/content/35803636-a82a-11e6-8898-79a99e2a4de6

  258. John Hartz says:

    hypergeometric: It is not a surprise to me. It may, however, be a surprise to others following this thead.

  259. Steven Mosher says:

    “If elected he will govern in the interest of his tribe, not yours. If you think otherwise, you’ve been conned. All you will accomplish by a vote for Trump is to convince people in New York, Washington D.C. and California that you really are even more ignorant than they thought, a racist fool taken in by an obvious con.”

    That pretty much misunderstands Trump. He will govern in the interest of himself. He will, in the end, endeavor to make himself look good. His Agenda has nothing to do with what he personally believes ( yes sociopathic tendencies) but rather he believed what he had to believe to get elected. I mean seriously wasnt this the considered judgement of folks… He didnt get elected to impose what he believes. He believed what he had to believe to get elected.

    What will he actually do?

    who the heck knows. Whatever he does I suspect it will be high in symbolism and low in effect.
    in short, all marketing.. lots of gold and glitter.

  260. Steven Mosher says:

    AHH..

    Micheal Moore again

    ‘“Here’s what’s going to happen, this is why we’re not going to have to suffer through four years of Donald J. Trump, because he has no ideology except the ideology of Donald J. Trump,” Moore said Friday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “And when you have a narcissist like that, who’s so narcissistic where it’s all about him, he will, maybe unintentionally, break laws. He will break laws because he’s only thinking about what’s best for him.”

  261. Willard says:

    RussellB for the win:

  262. Ron Graf says:

    The post says:

    My real concern is the undertones (and maybe not even undertones) of racism, sexism, xenophobia, and misogyny. I had really thought that these were things (any kind of discrimination, really) that our societies had decided were unacceptable, and yet there seem to be many who are willing to either ignore this or – even worse – actually find it appealling. I really hope that I’m mis-reading this, but I fear that I am not.

    I think the consensus is that people don’t like to be vilified or assumed too stupid to recognize corruption and dishonesty just because they are not college graduates. Notwithstanding VTG’s vote for Johnson I am astonished that so few recognized HRC’s candidacy’s odiousness. In fact, there may be something about too many years in academia (or Washington DC, or Hollywood) that handicaps one’s mind from common sense truths. Talking about stuff is different from getting it done. If you trust someone that you know is dishonest then shame on you.

    Yet I do not know if anyone could be a worse leader than our President Obama if one uses the metrics of economic performance, debt, world stability, and national unity. The best example that comes to mind of his inflaming division is not just voicing sides on news topics but to call for unity or harmony in the State of the Union speech just before and after insulting the opposition just multiplies the damage. If the USA is more divided at present than any time since the Civil War the head of state for the last eight years might have some culpability for that.

    I applaud your last paragraph in that it shows a better choice than to encourage a coup. But I might point out that it does not require a college degree to know the campaign slogans and what will occur are two very different things.

  263. JCH says:

    Romney got more votes than Hillary and, obviously, more votes than Trump:

    1st place: Obama – 69.5 million votes – winner (hope and change)
    2nd place: Obama – 65.9 million votes – winner (hope and change)
    3rd place: Romney – 60.9 million votes – loser (mocked hope and change)
    4th place: Hillary – 60.4 million votes – loser (offered almost no hope and change)
    5th place: Trump – 60.0 million votes – winner (offered hope, change and an eleven inch…)
    6th place: McCain – 59.9 million vote – loser (can’t remember)

    What people vote for is hope and change.

  264. Willard says:

    > In fact, there may be something about too many years in academia (or Washington DC, or Hollywood) that handicaps one’s mind from common sense truths.

    In fact, what you’re presenting is not a fact, RonG.

    That’s just another version of the “elitist!” card.

    That version carries its load of odiousness, if you ask me.

    ***

    > I do not know if anyone could be a worse leader than our President Obama if one uses the metrics of economic performance, debt, world stability, and national unity.

    Show me.

  265. Szilard says:

    JCH: FWIW, apparently there are several mn votes still to be counted (CA post ballots etc), with HRC leading by maybe as much as 2% when the dust settles. Eg:

    Interesting to see what reactions & changes to the commentary will be if she does end up with a 2% pop vote lead …

  266. bill shockley says:

    Micheal Moore again

    ‘“Here’s what’s going to happen, this is why we’re not going to have to suffer through four years of Donald J. Trump, because he has no ideology except the ideology of Donald J. Trump,” Moore said Friday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “And when you have a narcissist like that, who’s so narcissistic where it’s all about him, he will, maybe unintentionally, break laws. He will break laws because he’s only thinking about what’s best for him.”

    Refound respect and love for Michael Moore.

    Nader also thinks impeachment is in the cards:

    What’s your prediction for the future of the country if Trump wins the White House?

    The fastest impeachment and conviction in congressional history, because he’s totally lacking in self-control. He’s up at night going after a beauty queen on Twitter. What’s he going to do if a dictatorial regime provokes him? He cannot control his impulses. In his public persona, he is a seriously unstable person who is vigorously ignorant. He’s proud of it. He’s ignorant of the facts, ignorant of what it takes to be in that office. . . . [He] lives in an unreality of fabrications, wild exaggerations, false statements and prevarications. They’re the four horsemen of Donald Trump.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/10/10/ralph-nader-predicts-fastest-impeachment-in-history-for-trump/

    However, we still voted in the Republicans and Chomsky says that’s the real problem.

  267. angech says:

    Obama being elected broke many more glass ceilings than electing Hilary would have done.
    I was very impressed that an Afro American won once, let alone twice.
    The same voters who have now elected Trump.
    There was no whitelash, Obama got the white black and all other votes in great numbers because he was erudite, good looking spoke well and promised hope.
    If Americans were truly absolutely racist he would never have gotten in.
    Well done America.
    Trump promised change from a system that Obama could not fix. Trillions in debt, overspending on armies protecting America and the world, policies that kept providing minorities with services and benefits that the average American could not get or afford and political correctness +++.
    As Willard would understand I am in favour of universal basic health cover being available to all Americans. Extras like cosmetic surgery, preventative medicine and feel good medicine should be paid for.
    I would like the good 1/3 rd of Obamacare only.

  268. verytallguy says:

    Ron,

    Notwithstanding VTG’s vote for Johnson

    (!)

    Geography, politics, facts say otherwise Ron.

    But hey, it’s a post truth world, right?

  269. dikranmarsupial says:

    VTG “Anyway, your turn. Can you suggest another rational reason to vote for Trump?”

    No, but then I didn’t say I could, merely that I could understand why people did vote for Trump (for largely irrational reasons or reprehensible reasons, e.g. actually being racist in which case you might like some of the policies, even if they were not intended to be racist).

    I think taking risks without evidence to support there being a reasonable chance of winning is “stupid” (in the sense of irrational/unthinking), but then we all behave in irrational ways in many situations. If you can’t come up with a reasonable number of examples of smashing a political system that actually did fix it in a timely manner, compared to examples where it stayed smashed and examples where working to fix a broken system were successful, it isn’t a rational gamble, it is an unthinking panic behaviour. Now if you can come up with some historic examples that suggest it would be a risk worth taking, then lets hear about them.

  270. verytallguy says:

    Now if you can come up with some historic examples that suggest it would be a risk worth taking, then lets hear about them.

    French revolution. Or is it still too early to say? 😉

  271. dikranmarsupial says:

    Not a good example of a timely repair of a broken system, it set out some excellent principles, but it was a long time until a more reasonable, stable form of government was actually put in place (post-Napoleon). I’m no historian, but I think to suggest the French revolution was a rapid fix is overstating things rather. Likewise the English civil war.

  272. dikranmarsupial says:

    I’ve no idea why my posts are ending up in moderation again. As before I’ll take that as an indication I am doing something wrong and drop the subject.

  273. I’ve no idea; I can’t see what word is being caught. Maybe I should relax my moderation filters slightly 🙂

  274. Willard says:

    > [Donald] promised change from a system that Obama could not fix. Trillions in debt,

    See for yourself:

    One of the reasons the markets have yet to crash, BTW.

  275. JCH says:

    Yes, 4% growth is only possible with a massive addition of Keynesian economics. So he sounds like he agrees with the economists and Democrats who argued the Obama stimulus was way too small. They’ve never stopped building freeways(Obamaways) in Houston and Dallas. To survive here you have to know to get around the construction bottlenecks.

    Maybe they’ll finish the bridge to nowhere.

  276. Joshua says:

    For those inclined to engage with Ron Graf in serious discussion, I suggest going over to Lucia’s and perusing the recent threads about the election, Clinton’s health, etc., and look at some of his contributions to discussions about Vince Foster’s death and other gems such as this one:

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2016/does-hillary-clinton-have-serious-health-problems-a-real-question-not-an-accusation/#comment-151770

  277. verytallguy says:

    Not a good example of a timely repair of a broken system,

    German reunification.

  278. JCH says:

    Looks to me like a slight majority of the USA GDP voted for Clinton… 51%.

    But more importantly, Clinton won big in the states that tend to produce the milk, and lost big in the welfare queen states that tend to sukc on the federal t’t.

  279. LouMaytrees says:

    OPatrick, if angech is correct and the media was so slanted towards Clinton its hard to understand how she ended up losing. But an interesting(?) stat – of the top 25 Cable TV shows for the week ending Nov 6, Fox’News’ had 16 them, w Bill O’Lielly, Sean Insanity, & Brett Baier leading the charge. Megyn Kelly in the mix too. Zombies & Football (2) were top three w FakeNews having 16 of the next top 22. Thats for all Cable TV shows for the week. So his viewpoint would seem not to include US Cable TV as republicon sponsored Fox’News’ and a decidedly anti HRC stance ruled it.

  280. dikranmarsupial

    many Trump supporters, even the nevertrumpers, in the end decided that the
    risk of Trump was small compared to the certainty of a clinton destruction of everything they
    hold dear.

    I’ll paraphrase one of the more vehement never trumpers and his rational

    1. Immigration.
    A) it was clear that clinton would continue the and liberalize the immigration
    policies of Obama. That results in a certain death by demographics for the republican
    party, especially when you look at the counties where they are settling refugees for
    example. It is Irrational to support the death of your party
    B) there is a slim chance that Trump can stop or slow this death.

    2. Supreme court
    A) A new appointment by clinton will in all likelihood hobble the second ammendment
    B) WIth Trump there is a slim chance that this will happen

    3. Healthcare

    A) They have predicted the current issues with ACA, they fear one payer and clinton
    is likely to bring it on.
    B) WIth Trump they have an outside shot at repeal and reform

    and the list goes on.

    Basically.. they assess Clinton as a sure thing. In there minds she would surely destroy the last
    of what they hold dear. There is no upside
    With Trump there is a huge risk of downside but a slight chance of upside

    Pre cautionary principle.

    pretty effin simple.

  281. “Nader also thinks impeachment is in the cards:”

    The Tactical mistake Trump made was choosing Pence, which makes him impeachment bait
    for some in the GOP.

    That Said,, it will be hard for a moderate Senate to Swap Trump for Pence.

    Trump one would think is savy enough to delegate away and actions that would get him impeached.

    He will probably delegate more than even Reagan did. He will take the credit and underlings
    get Fired or the firing squad ( Lavelle)

  282. “What people vote for is hope and change.”

    if you listened to conservative talk radio you would have heard early on after Trump won the
    primaries that the vast right wing conspiracy started to push him openly to a hope and change
    agenda.. it took a while for him to drop the other BS.. but basically the same message as Obama.. different details in the weeds but PEOPLE NEVER READ THE FINE PRINT

    jeez

  283. LouMaytrees says:

    Mr Mosher, your Trump voters Pre Cautionary Principle is based on right wing fear mongering talking points, half truths turned upside down.

    Take #3 – ‘they fear one payer’. Why? B/c its socialism? B/c of possible down times in getting a hip replacement? One payer countries have bad health care? Those are all baseless rw talking points.
    It can’t be that they’d have to only pay 1/3rd of what they pay now for health care right?
    So what is that fear based on? It seems only based on a rw talking point ideology of half truths.

    And i have never heard HRC talk about going to a one payer system. Where does this idea come from? Again it seems like only baseless rw half truth talking points. The Insurance industry backed HRC with a bunch of money and now all of a sudden she’d change her capitalism stripes and go one payer? What is more likely is she’d help the ins industries somehow.

    All 3 of the Pre Cautionary Principle points seem based on half truths at best, outright lies at worst.

  284. JCH says:

    As Willard would understand I am in favour of universal basic health cover being available to all Americans. Extras like cosmetic surgery, preventative medicine and feel good medicine should be paid for.

    I would like the good 1/3 rd of Obamacare only.

    So far they say they’re keeping the allowance for preexisting conditions. So if somebody has stage 3 liver cancer and they buy a policy, that insurer has to pay out, potentially to the policy max. Very very expensive. In the past the only way to keep premiums low was for a steady stream of disease victims who caught their disease before they went looking for insurance. “Die while waiting in an ER or go home and die. Lovely.”

    They’re keeping the provision that allows parents to keep their dependents on their policy until age 26.

    They also have hinted they intend to have universal coverage.

    So that sounds like about 4/3rds of Obamacare.

    Of course, the most important thing is replacement bill will be a half a page and everybody in congress will read it out loud.

    And the promises keep coming.

  285. VTG “German reunification.” yes, that is one example, but still very much in the minority.

    Can you give an example in a functioning democracy (I don’t think the GDR counts) where people have voted to smash the system where it has worked out? The problem is that the electorate may want to take a gamble by smashing the system in the hopes that somebody will fix it, but they can’t actually be bothered to do anything about it for themselves, even though they live in a functioning democracy and can vote freely for the politicians they want (or even run for political office themselves). We get the politicians we deserve, we (the electorate) provide the Darwinian evolutionary pressure on their behaviour, and we haven’t rewarded the right sorts of behaviour (much the same is true of the media). Just having a democracy isn’t enough, the electorate has to play their part for the system to work. Voting in the hopes of smashing the system is an admission of failure on their part.

  286. verytallguy says:

    Dikran,

    we seem to be going down a rabbit hole. Every time you ask for an example, I provide one, then it turns out you want something further*.

    Could I suggest a more productive way to frame the discussion?

    Rather than ask “How can VTG prove the Trump voters aren’t just stupid or fools”

    perhaps ask:

    “what is different about my situation compared to that of the intelligent voters who backed Trump that caused them to reach different conclusions to mine”

    [*To your latest demand, Good Friday agreement, seeing as you ask]

  287. VTG The French revolution example was one that obviously didn’t answer my original challenge as it didn’t produce a timely fix of a broken system, but decades of instability and persecition and ultimately a dictatorship. I agreed that the German reunification did, but at the same time you need to accept that there have been very many occasions where smashing the system has left it broken for a very long time, and hence voting to smash the system in the hopes of fixing it is not a rational thing to do.

    Note I am not arguing that the voters are stupid or that they are fools (at least any more than the rest of us), just that voting for Trump is an irrational (“stupid” if you want to think of it that way) thing to do if the reason is that the system is so broken we need to smash it. None of us are purely rational in everything they do, someone disagreeing with my view on the risks involved doesn’t make them wrong, but it certainly doesn’t mean it is rational either. We can discuss whether it is rational by looking at previous examples where political systems have been smashed and what happened as a result. As far as I can see, in most cases it utterly failed to produce a timely improvement in the political system and in many cases resulted in dictatorship. The ball is in your court.

    Did the Good Friday agreement smash anything? I’d say it was voting to constructively fix things.

  288. BTW the reason for my second question was because in a functioning democracy (which the USA clearly is) there is a better way than smashing the system, which is for the electorate to vote for the changes to the system that they want. That also makes a vote to smash “irrational” in my view.

  289. bill shockley says:

    On the subject of impeachment, Steven Mosher wrote:

    The Tactical mistake Trump made was choosing Pence, which makes him impeachment bait
    for some in the GOP.

    That Said,, it will be hard for a moderate Senate to Swap Trump for Pence.

    Trump one would think is savy enough to delegate away and actions that would get him impeached.

    I wouldn’t want to make a prediction either way, but I think absent some great diversionary (false flag) emergency, if the Republicans decide they would rather have Pence, they could easily accomplish the swap. For one, there is nothing (other than their oath of office) that says they have to vote rationally or in good conscience in an impeachment hearing, and two, at least one law professor argues that there is already adequate evidence for impeachment and conviction from his Trump University days:

    According to a law professor, there is already enough evidence to impeach him.

    Christopher Lewis Peterson, University of Utah Law professor, wrote in September why Trump should be impeached if he was elected as US president. He said the former “The Apprentice” reality TV star has engaged in crimes that are under the Article II of the United States Constitution, which meant he could be impeached for “high crimes and misdemeanours.”

    Peterson cited the three lawsuits that Trump currently facing – fraud, false advertising and racketeering – from the series of wealth seminars the Trump University collected US$40 million (AU$54 million) from consumers from. And should Trump be elected as US president – which he had been on Tuesday – he could get impeached.

    “Congress would be well within its legal rights under the Constitution to insist upon a President who is not a fraudster or a racketeer as defined in its own laws,” the law professor wrote.

    Once Trump has taken office in January, he will be immune from lawsuits arising during his time as president, but this immunity does not extend to acts that took place prior

    http://www.ibtimes.com.au/evidence-says-us-president-elect-donald-trump-could-be-impeached-law-professor-1533615

  290. BBD says:

    Rather than ask “How can VTG prove the Trump voters aren’t just stupid or fools”

    You can’t and I’m astonished that you are still trying.

  291. verytallguy says:

    You can’t and I’m astonished that you are still trying.

    It takes quite some self belief to be convinced that fully 100% of the 60 million Americans who voted Trump are more stupid that you are.

    Yet that’s what you firmly believe. Quite the genius.

    [OK, this is a bit harsh, but really, listen to yourself]

  292. BBD says:

    Enough making excuses for the indefensible behaviour of voting for Trump. There is no excuse.

    It doesn’t matter if it was done in an infantile rage against ‘the system’ or done in wilful ignorance of the economic facts and the almost certain outcome; it was folly. It doesn’t matter whether you call them dupes or idiots or just benighted; what they did was stupid and their folly has opened the door to something truly foul and there is no excuse or forgiveness for that. They are fools because they were so easily fooled and they acted foolishly against their own self-interest and that of practially everybody else too. Trump voters will rightly be remembered and reviled for their folly and I reserve the right to call it by its true name.

  293. BBD says:

    It takes quite some self belief to be convinced that fully 100% of the 60 million Americans who voted Trump are more stupid that you are.

    This isn’t about me.

  294. FWIW I think Seven Mosher’s suggestion of voting for Trump to avoid voting for Clinton is a more rational reason than wanting to smash a broken system, which seems to boil down to “are you a republican” or “are you a democrat”. Personally I’d much rather vote for Merkel, rather than Trump or Clinton but (i) she is busy running Germany (for the moment) and (ii) I wasn’t eligible to vote in the US presidential election anyway.

  295. Ron Graf says:

    Steve Mosher: “many Trump supporters, even the nevertrumpers, in the end decided that the
    risk of Trump was small compared to the certainty of a clinton destruction of everything they
    hold dear.”

    This is spot on and obvious. There is a struggle within the Republican party as there is in the Democrat. There is only one candidate that was investigated by the Obama administration for multiple felonies and may need a Presidential pardon to escape prosecution.

    “I’ll paraphrase one of the more vehement never trumpers and his rational

    1. Immigration.
    A) it was clear that clinton would continue the and liberalize the immigration
    policies of Obama. That results in a certain death by demographics for the republican
    party, especially when you look at the counties where they are settling refugees for
    example. It is Irrational to support the death of your party
    B) there is a slim chance that Trump can stop or slow this death.

    Taking further steps not to enforce border protection and immigration laws is hardly a policy if one takes seriously the Presidential oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the USA. Weakening the country’s rule of law and national security for personal political gain is something that more people would be against if we had an honest media. The Republican Party will get the allegiance of law abiding citizens and legal resident aliens when bring back the healthy markets and produce good jobs and dignity of career advancement. The votes that the GOP loses by cutting off some of the redistribution of that wealth to selected interests to bribe their votes with will be a price the GOP has to live with. I think I heard the tern “plantation politics” to describe the liberal policy giving money to the chronically government dependent in order to perpetuate their dependency as a way of life for themselves, their family members and in many cases their whole community. The leads to extreme Dem loyalty where in poor neighborhoods thousands vote Democrat without a single Republican vote. This time around even a few of these people voted for Trump knowing being “kept” by society is not morally a long-term solution.

    “2. Supreme court
    A) A new appointment by clinton will in all likelihood hobble the second ammendment
    B) WIth Trump there is a slim chance that this will happen

    3. Healthcare
    A) They have predicted the current issues with ACA, they fear one payer and clinton
    is likely to bring it on.
    B) WIth Trump they have an outside shot at repeal and reform

    and the list goes on.

    Basically.. they assess Clinton as a sure thing. In there minds she would surely destroy the last
    of what they hold dear. There is no upside
    With Trump there is a huge risk of downside but a slight chance of upside

    Pre cautionary principle. pretty effin simple.”

    Steve, you are largely correct that the never Trumpers had to make a choice of accepting a non-politically polished narcissist to avoid having the country destroyed. Ryan and others should not have staked themselves believing that conservatives would follow them. Trump was about my last pick before Hillary or Bernie but I think he might actually be a great president if he appoints good people and follows disciplined decision making, two things he has already demonstrated. Winning has a way of calming your outrage, and I see him realizing he has a lot of people counting on him.

  296. angech says:

    Willard says: November 13, 2016 at 1:54 pm “angech > [Donald] promised change from a system that Obama could not fix. Trillions in debt,” ” See for yourself:”
    Not a good example, Willard.
    There is a theory that if you tax a little less the economy will improve and more people in work and bigger profits end up giving greater tax income and significantly greater reduction in social security costs.
    There was no mention of these possibilities in your example.
    None whatsoever.
    Nor of the fact that a bigger taxing bigger spending Government would actually increase the deficit more over time.
    Obama had 8 years to do this, decrease the deficit and reduce spending.
    Remember, 8 years.
    Hilary promised more of the same debt increase by more spending to get elected.
    One way does not work, the other might, Either way if they do not a rather large market correction is needed.
    And less spending.

  297. angech says:

    VTG,
    Whitlam won the 1972 Election on a theme of It’s Time [for a change] in Australia.
    Stopped conscription, shook up Australia for the better for ever.
    Introduced Medicare, like Obamacare, universally.
    A left wing Trump with much better manners and a slightly bigger ego, he only lasted 4 years.

  298. verytallguy says:

    Stiglitz for the win:

    Donald Trump’s astonishing victory in the US presidential election has made one thing abundantly clear: too many Americans – particularly white male Americans – feel left behind. It is not just a feeling, it can be seen in the data no less clearly than in their anger. And, as I have argued repeatedly, an economic system that doesn’t deliver for large parts of the population is a failed economic system.

    (my bold)

    Of course there’s a kicker, which I think is BBD & Dikran’s point:

    My very cloudy crystal ball shows a rewriting of the rules, but not to correct the grave mistakes of the Reagan revolution, a milestone on the sordid journey that left so many behind. Rather, the new rules will make the situation worse, excluding even more people from the American dream.

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/nov/15/joseph-stiglitz-what-the-us-economy-needs-from-donald-trump

  299. “If Trump is serious about tackling inequality, he must rewrite the rules yet again, in a way that serves all of society, not just people like him.”

    ISTR that he plans tax cuts for the very rich and the very poor, I think the former has been tried before and hasn’t done anything for the middle income or the poor via “trickle-down”, the latter of course is reasonable (if you are very poor, arguably you shouldn’t be paying tax anyway). However I suspect the tax cut involved will be rather small, and if Obamacare is scrapped I suspect the very poor will be worse off under Trump as well as the middle income group. I’m no economist though, so this is just my opinion, I still haven’t ruled out the possibility that Trump was just saying what he needed to say to get elected and once in power will behave rather more reasonably.

  300. vtg,
    That is a good article. I’ve been reading Daniel Kahneman’s book (Thinking Fast & Slow) – which Dikran often mentions. I wonder if this isn’t related to an argument that he makes (that I will try to expain from memory; I may get it wrong). Our starting point can influence how we perceive the value of certain options. Many of us may agree that there are serious issues in our societies that would be worth addressing. However, many of us are doing fine under the status quo and so although we may not regard Clinton as being someone who would resolve these issues, we see the risk of Trump as too great to take (i.e., he may overthrow the status quo, but the risk of it leading to something even worse is not worth taking). Others, however, might regard there as a risk to Trump but give extra value to the possibility (even small) that he might overthrow the status quo and actually produce an improvement for them. So, there’s a possibility that even though we might all perceive Trump in a similar way, we give different value to the probability of the outcomes of a Trump administration.

    I may not have put that very well; will try to reread the section I’m thinking of and see if I can put it more clearly.

  301. Indeed, I think there is a broad spectrum between the relative weights of our “thinking fast” mechansim and our “thinking slow” mechanism when it comes to short term decisions that have long term effects (such as do I want a biscuit or two with my coffee, or do I want to loose a bit of weight ;o). Being angry about things is likely to engage the “thinking fast” mechanisms where the cognitive biases we have evolved with served us well in stressful situations millenia ago, but are less helpful now, whereas those who are under less pressure are likely to give more thought to long term consquences as they are in less of a fix at the moment. I’m not sure that hyperbolic media rants do much to get people to engage their “thinking slow” halves. It is like when we are offered a tax cut, our “experiential self” is delighted at the idea of immediate increase in disposable income, but our “remembering self” is required to think back to the problems caused by under-funding of education and the NHS etc. and we may reconsider whether the tax cut is actually a good idea.

    Caveat: it is a while since I read the book and I probably didn’t understand it that well anyway, but it is a jolly good book.

  302. Willard says:

    > Not a good example […]

    Look, Doc.

    You claim that the Donald promised to fix a system with trillions in debt.

    I showed you that Donald’s promises in tax reductions, military spending and infrastructures investments won’t reduce the debt.

    Quite the contrary.

    This is the closest as a refutation as you’ll ever find in these matters.

    And yet you’re still here, Doc, armwaving about trickled-down economics and deflecting with “but Obama.”

    This kind of comment makes it hard to defend you anymore.

  303. Dikran,
    I was thinking more of when he was discussing the chances that we’re willing to take. I’ll have to try and find the section and read it again. I might be confused 🙂

  304. Joshua says:

    Anders –

    ==> So, there’s a possibility that even though we might all perceive Trump in a similar way, we give different value to the probability of the outcomes of a Trump administration. ==>

    I would suggest something, maybe, somewhat different. We are all predisposed to filter the information that we get about Trump so as to reinforce our starting orientation and our sense of identity and the “other.”

    You suggest…

    starting point ===> affects how we view the ramifications of the information we get

    I might suggest…

    starting point ===> influences how we perceive the information

    So that does go back to your statement of “Our starting point can influence how we perceive the value of certain options.” but adds in the identity component. I’m not sure that we all perceive Trump in a similar way. Look at the divide on whether or not he bragged about committing sexual assault.

    Of course, it probably isn’t an either/or.

  305. Joshua,
    Yes, I agree, it can also influence how we interpret what is said and done.

  306. There is a lot in there, the explanations are not necessarily mutually incompatible, and it may be me that is confused. The thing I really liked was the cleverness of a lot of the experiments they used.

  307. verytallguy says:

    AT

    So, there’s a possibility that even though we might all perceive Trump in a similar way, we give different value to the probability of the outcomes of a Trump administration.

    Exactly.

    Or to put it another way:

  308. anoilman says:

    Steve Mosher:
    “Err well you clearly don’t understand what a Lobbiest is. If you did, you would make those silly remarks.”
    Or you could look it up.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lobbying
    “Lobbying is the act of attempting to influence the actions, policies, or decisions of officials in a government, most often legislators or members of regulatory agencies.” Yup.. that’s our Trump.

    “Most of the talk in Canada is either unintelligible or unintelligent,…” Nice. Funnily enough after my post Obama stated pretty much the same same things about how hard it will be for Trump to get things to happen. Specifically, he’ll need to surround himself with a lot of people who will marshal even more people, and oversee, track… and push every single little step of what he wants done. IMO, Trump doesn’t seem like the details\committee\discussion kind of guy. That was the problem up here.

    “you missed the parts about freezing federal hiring.”
    Mosher, the Harper Government froze hiring, froze wages, fired a ton, and converted federal scientists (NRC) into consulting engineers. It still wasn’t enough. So I repeat my economically sound advice of cutting expenses before cutting taxes. That’s plain English right?

    I’m not being mean… its really really good advice. Its important advice because businesses with expenses that are higher than their income eventually go bankrupt.

  309. LouMaytrees says:

    2) “hobble the 2nd amendment”

    pure right wing propaganda.

    hobble? also, meaningless.

  310. lorcanbonda says:

    Ron Graf writes — “1. Immigration.
    A) it was clear that clinton would continue the and liberalize the immigration
    policies of Obama.”

    This is a myth. Bill Clinton and George W. Bush had liberal immigration policies. Immigration exploded during those administrations. Obama tightened down on immigration. He had a net outflow of 1 million immigrants — all of whom went to Mexico. (In fact, we actually had a net outflow of 1.3 million immigrants to Mexico.)

    Most of this happened because of an improving Mexican economy due to NAFTA and because of tighter immigration controls at the Mexican border.

  311. lorcanbonda says:

    izen writes — “However the old economic system in which most of a nations wealth is concentrated in a small percentage is slowly returning in many western nations not just the US. The 1950s was probably the golden age for all the material benefits of a nations wealth reaching the largest number. The 1980s the start of a more rapid shift back to the old pattern of wealth ownership.”

    I agree with your post 100% (and with the Stiglitz quote — he’s my favorite economist) with one exception. The post-WWII industrial expansion caused this golden age. That industrial expansion came from the most unlikely of sources — massive changes in how the federal government was funded and how they spent the money.

    After WWII, we had massive deficits. The military laid off 4 million people and the government reduced spending by a factor of three. Worse, they increased incremental taxes on the wealthiest few and businesses up to 90%.

    This eliminated most of the incentives for “quick” wealth and in implemented a “demand-side” economic model. With more money in the middle-class, people spent more. That demand drove the economic expansion for everyone.

    Since the 1970s, payroll taxes have risen from 10% of the nation’s revenue to 35% while business taxes dropped from 40% to 8%. This shift has encouraged financial manipulation to achieve quick profits and dampened the demand from the middle class. Unfortunately, nobody is advocating a return to demand-side economics.

  312. Szilard says:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2016/11/16/the_god_that_failed_132363.html

    “Two points demand attention. The first, which “demographics-is-destiny” types typically gloss over, is that Trump received more votes from white evangelicals than Clinton received from African-Americans and Hispanics combined. This single group very nearly cancels the Democrats’ advantage among non-whites completely. This isn’t a one-off; it was true in 2012, 2008 and 2004.
    Second, you may wonder why this group voted in historic numbers for a man like Trump. Perhaps, as some have suggested, they are hypocrites. Perhaps they are merely partisans. But I will make a further suggestion: They are scared.”

  313. Willard says:

    Thanks, Szilard. The best piece I’ve read so far.

  314. lorcanbonda says:

    BBD writes — “Let me guess, lorcanbonda: you are a Christian and a Trump voter. Yes?”

    No, I am a Christian and I voted for Hillary. I wasn’t excited to vote for her, but I was disgusted by Trump.

    I know many people who voted for Trump and their reasons were not racist nor misogynist nor hateful nor. In the end, they had rational reasons.

  315. JCH says:

    Worse, they increased incremental taxes on the wealthiest few and businesses up to 90%.

    When you enter the museum at the School Book Depository in Dallas one of the first things you see is a sign that says many Republicans opposed JFK’s tax cut (top marginal 90% you cite down to 65%) because they feared the cut would be inflationary.

  316. verytallguy says:

    Rather than “What to say”, perhaps “What to read”?

    http://bust.com/books/18614-dystopian-novels-trump.html

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