11/10/16…Day Two of the End of the World (I) …

A friend, whom I respect, has approvingly posted a “letter my my daughter” by Aaron Sorkin on FB. I have commented as follows:

This is BS. I would consider Sorkin’s blahblahblah a badge of honor. When Sorkin writes something that reflects how the people on the bottom of the pile try to get through the day, he can be listened to. I am sure Trump attracted extremists, but the spectrum tilts left as well as right, and personally I find the disrupters on college campuses as threatening as any on the other end. May I suggest two bookend videos. The first is the young technocrat-executive at Carrier (sub of United Technologies) telling 1400 workers in Indianapolis that their jobs are going to Mexico. The second is the young black woman at Yale haranguing the then “master” (sic) of Silliman College. Watch these and tell me which speaks worse for us as a society and a culture. 

Had Sorkin’s epistle been available two days ago, its sanctimonious, ever-so-superior tone might well have prompted me to mark my ballot differently.

11/9/16…The Day After…Random Musings….

Are there, I wonder, enough eggs in the world to meet the facial demands of pollsters, pundits and other experts?

And then there’s this. Rumor has it that not a single big U.S. bank will lend Trump money. Yet I’ve seen it reliably reported that his business complex includes a borrowing vehicle, with collateral in the form of a pool of his various real-estate and other partnership interests, to which the big banks have happily made loans. And while we’re on the subject of earlier Trump debt, some of which he defaulted on and most of which he renegotiated, the way the media has presented it, you’d think he somehow borrowed money that nobody loaned him – which leaves open the possibility that had some kind of Aladdin lamp of finance. And yet my own experience – forty years working in and writing about corporate finance – suggests that for every reckless borrower there’s a foolish lender. Strange indeed the workings of the money gods.

The whole Trump-IRS tangle is also a puzzlement.  Take this swap of partnership equity for stock interests in bankrupt or defaulting ventures that his accountants raised a giant red flag about, which he ignored. How come the IRS never flagged it? Surely this couldn’t have been the first time someone slithered through this sliver of a tax-code open door. Possibly someone known to the Clintons (this was 1995, remember) or with a due bill out on them?

As I write this, I’m listening to Brian Lehrer’s show on WNYC, and am about to puke. The whining, the wonkish lamentations, the inverted inside-out racism and sexism, the bullshit about the “legacy” of Obama. What legacy? Obamacare? Take a look at my wife’s health insurance premiums.  I gave up on Obama (for whom I voted with a full heart in 2008, and wept with optimism at his Grant Park speech) six weeks after his election with the Summers-Geithner appointments (see my novel FIXERS) and for good and all following his wishy-washy inaugural address (which confirmed the unspeakable Mitch McConnell’s  perception that was a mirror-fixated guy who could be had.) I think a good case can be made that Obama has turned out to be the same kind of Potemkin TV character as Trump is accused of being.

I urge those who are keening and rending garments over the election to read Joseph Lelyveld’s brilliant His Final Battle: The last months of FDR simply for information how ill-prepared to be president was Truman, and how scorned he was by the “smart” set.

I had a feeling that for students of American assholism FaceBook today would be paradise enow. And so it has proved. The pious, the pompous, the blatherskite, varieties of Heep and Pecksniff that even Dickens couldn’t conjure, all parading their sanctimonious wares, vying with one another to display how brave, correct and yet sensitive are their political sensibilities. You people don’t seem to realize: you’re the ones who got this guy elected.

People seem confused and upset by the number of women – white women mostly, I gather – who voted for DJT. I wonder how many of those are working at Wal-Mart, or doing otherwise menial, low-paid work, because the man in the family’s job went to Mexico or into an algorithm?

11/9/16…The Day After…here’s what I wrote one of my children…

As for the election, let the hysteria die down, let the leaks start about who’ll be doing what in the new administration, and only then start to make up your mind about what this might really mean. While I really do have serious doubts about Trump’s personality and qualifications, there’s a part of me that so hates the plutocracy that has taken over this country and the world – in a word, “Davos man” – that I can’t help just a wee smile at their hysterical chagrin. 

11/9/16…The Day After…Looking back…

it strikes me that there were straws in the wind the size of telephones that couldn’t penetrate the carapace of blissful self-congratulation in which the media clothes itself. One was the immense number of people who turned up at Trump events. There were reports of ten-twenty-thirty thousand. Clinton never came close to this. The passions she mobilized, such as they were, weren’t about her. 

Another beneficial sidebar: between Brexit and Trump, do I hear the knockout count tolling for Davos Man? God, I hope so!

11/9/16….The Day After…No shit, Sherlock division…

‘CAN THE MEDIA RECOVER FROM THIS ELECTION?’ Discuss! James Poniewozik: “The job of journalism, always, is to describe reality as we honestly find it, regardless of appearances. I hope that’s a permanent change. I fear that the profession will decide Mr. Trump was a one-off, an asteroid, a special circumstance requiring Special Trump Rules.” Jim Rutenberg: “The press needs to explore the frustration of those many Americans who think free trade’s gone too far; that immigration threatens the national fabric; and that insiders from Washington, Wall Street and the media have rigged the system against them.” http://nyti.ms/2eBPaeV

11/9/16…The Day After…

Here’s my friend Yves Smith, whose website Naked Capitalism. com is absolutely indispensable, on the election:

I seriously considered shorting the market first thing yesterday morning, and have the e-mail record to prove it. And this wasn’t confirmation bias since I decided not to vote for any Presidential candidate.

It was based on the fact that every single bit of anecdotal information I had from real people ran against what experts and the polls were saying. For instance, the overwhelming majority of Hispanics I ran into, once I gave them latitude to express their views by saying I hated both candidates, made clear they were voting for Trump, including a van driver in Dallas. The upper income, 30s to middle aged guys in my gym, all of whom save one had been Sanders voters, were voting for Trump (I added another one to that tally tonight). A 70 year old college educated friend in Dallas, never married, who’d lived ten years in New York running a major department at Christies and joked that she was the only one of her girlfriends not to carry a gun in her purse, said apologetically that she thought both candidates were terrible but Trump might be a tiny bit less terrible. The 40-ish partner from Apollo who sat next to me on the plane to Dallas (a rare sighting, private equity partners rarely slum by flying commercial) was reading the New York Post and checking Drudge on his iPhone and thus clearly not going to vote for Clinton.

So even though my sample was small (and I have more examples), it said the closeted Trump voter was a real phenomenon and likely bigger than anyone was allowing for.

Election Day…Breaking FB silence, I posted this….

If HRC carries the day and it comes time for a gracious acceptance speech, after the usual brief anodyne “healing bit,” I hope she pronounces a “declaration of war” on McConnell, Ryan and the rest of the Capitol Hill swine that have held this country hostage to their pay-to-play politics.

And sometime in the future it would be nice to see the organization of a multi-agency (SEC, IRS etc) task force to investigate Trump top to bottom.

I prescribe this because should DJT win, I have no doubt he’ll do the same.

Election Day…from James Kunstler’s blog, my thoughts exactly….

“The tragedy of Trump is that he represented a roster of legitimate grievances but argued them so poorly and then betrayed them with behavior so oafish and crude that he often looked not sane enough to hold high office. His partisans brushed that aside, saying it was good enough that he personified a giant “fuck you” to the political establishment. No, that wasn’t good enough because in the process he de-legitimized the issues.”

Here’s the blog itself…

The Fat Lady Has a Sore Throat

11/7/16…Now here’s something I didn’t know…

from Patrick Barrett and Deepa Kumar writing in Jacobin:

With the implementation of NAFTA in 1994, for example, the Clinton-Gore administration helped to destroy the livelihoods of millions of Mexican peasants, who having been rendered landless by the dumping of cheap US corn, were forced to migrate to Mexico’s northern border to toil in the maquiladoras (sweatshops), or over the border into the US, scraping by in low-wage, precarious jobs.