Yesterday I had a bit of a dispute on FB regarding HRC’s margin of victory (sic). The numbers I’ve seen indicate that HRC won the popular vote by just a bit under 2 million. Yet she carried NY and CA by roughly 4 million. Those are two states whose larger population centers epitomize what many people consider elitist and uncomprehending of the common weal: NYC and Silicon Valley (along with Los Angeles/Hollywood). Thus we have a no-win situation. Coastal elitists can’t accept that their votes didn’t carry the day for HRC. So once again comes the lament that we need to change the Electoral College setup. To do that would require – I believe – a constitutional amendment – and that’s just not going to happen as long a majority of other states wanted DJT and presumably will contain to fight the coastal powers. Do we really want to sort of people who have rendered large swathes of Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bay Area expensive and unlivable to determine who governs? That strikes me as a good question. And don’t tell me that this applies to Trump. His days of developer glory are waning.So we are where we are. And that is where we must start from, whether one fears a fascist takeover starting tomorrow, or whether one is less worried about DJT’s in the White House. Chances are that both views are wrong, but we need time to tell.
2. I am an admirer of Michael Goodwin’s work: http://nypost.com/2016/11/20/dear-liberals-start-practicing-the-empathy-you-preach/
3. And of Michael Kinsley: http://www.mikekinsley.com/articles/#/the-tragedy-of-foreign-policy-elites/
4. Speaking of bicoastal elites: http://pagesix.com/2016/11/20/the-obamas-are-going-bicoastal/
5. Tom Frank is the most rational voice of postmodern liberalism – and therefore its most penetrating critic. Naturally, none of the bigshot Dems who make the calls pay him any attention: http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/11/how-the-democrats-can-fight-back-against-white-nationalist-america?mbid=nl_TH_5832375f364154776b0baccf&CNDID=42793573&spMailingID=9908068&spUserID=MTQzOTExNDk1OTIxS0&spJobID=1041617664&spReportId=MTA0MTYxNzY2NAS2
6. This is what I mean. Prejudice combined with lack of memory always overlooks inconvenient precedents. Persons connected to the White House have frequently sought to exploit the relationship for gain. Starting with Grant, the list might include at least one of FDR’s sons and HRC’s brother. In our developing oligarchy, connections are the soundest coin of the realm. If you got ’em, use ’em! http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/11/donald-trump-business-white-house-conflict-interests?mbid=nl_TH_5832375f364154776b0baccf&CNDID=42793573&spMailingID=9908068&spUserID=MTQzOTExNDk1OTIxS0&spJobID=1041617664&spReportId=MTA0MTYxNzY2NAS2
7. This really is disgusting. If you’re looking for anti-Trump ammunition, here it is: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-21/paulson-s-big-long-a-bet-on-trump-yields-power-and-profit
8. Some nice news: https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/notable-fiction-books-in-2016/2016/11/17/ed0b0580-9ddd-11e6-9980-50913d68eacb_story.html
9. Important: http://ritholtz.com/2016/11/fact-free-america/
10. There are few people I hold in greater contempt than Kissinger – but one of them is Fareed Zakaria, who gives “aspiration” the worst resonance it has perhaps ever had. My feelings about Kinssinger are moral, whereas for Zakaria they are multidimensional: moral, intellectual, social, you name it. Hence (from Alan Murray in Fortune):
The Wall Street Journal has an interesting look at conflicting views among Trump’s economic advisers. Some of them are traditional GOP economists, eager to cut taxes and regulation in order to increase incentives for private growth. But those free-market folk aren’t keen to slap tariffs on Chinese or Mexican imports, as Trump has threatened, nor are they on board for big government infrastructure spending. “It’s the supply-siders versus the zero-sum crowd,” says investment strategist Andy Laperriere. Unclear how that will sort out.
But the smartest take of the weekend came from 93-year-old Henry Kissinger, who met with Trump on Thursday and appeared on Fareed Zakaria’s CNN show yesterday.
“This President-elect is the most unique that I have experienced in one respect,” Kissinger said. “No baggage. He has no obligation to any particular group because he has become president on the basis of his own strategy and a program he put before the American public that his competitors did not present.”
Zakaria responded that Mr. Trump does indeed arrive with baggage – referring to various inflammatory comments during the election. But Kissinger’s point was that Trump has no policy baggage. His views on economic policy, like his views on foreign policy, are very much his own, and haven’t been put through the hardening that comes with actual implementation. Moreover, they don’t fit within the traditional dogma of either party. (The Washington Post‘s Dan Balz this weekend labeled him “America’s first independent president.”) That gives him immense flexibility in the days and months ahead.
Mr. Kissinger’s advice: give Trump plenty of room to find the right path. “One should not insist on nailing him into positions that he had taken in the campaign on which he doesn’t insist,” Kissinger said. “I think we should give him an opportunity to develop the positive objectives that he may have…We’ve gone through too many decades of tearing incumbent administrations apart, and it may happen again, but we shouldn’t begin that way.”
ADDENDUM: Tonight “PBS News Hour” presented one Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic reciting his conversations with “a” Henry Kissinger. I say “a” because it would appear that, based on the way HK’s view of Trump was presented, the interviews were conducted with two different Kissingers.
11. Absolutely fascinating. Not that I understand 10% of it! https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-21/how-renaissance-s-medallion-fund-became-finance-s-blackest-box?cmpid=BBD112116_BIZ
12. Reading all these yowls about Ivanka by her father’s side during high-level meetings stirred a memory, so I went Wiki-ing to check, and Lo and Behold!
In April 1936, Presidential Secretary Louis Howe died. James Roosevelt unofficially assumed Howe’s duties. Soon after the 1936 re-election of FDR, James Roosevelt was given a direct commission as a lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps, which caused public controversy for its obvious political implications. He accompanied his father to the Inter-American Conference at Buenos Aires in December as a military aide. On January 6, 1937, he was officially appointed “administrative assistant to the President”; on July 1, 1937, he was appointed Secretary to the President. He became White House coordinator for eighteen federal agencies in October 1937.
James Roosevelt was considered among his father’s most important counselors. Time magazine suggested he might be considered “Assistant President of the United States”.
In July 1938, there were allegations that James Roosevelt had used his political position to steer lucrative business to his insurance firm. He had to publish his income tax returns and denied these allegations in an NBC broadcast and an interview in Collier’s magazine. This became known as the Jimmy’s Got It affair after Alva Johnston‘s reportage in the Saturday Evening Post. Roosevelt resigned from his White House position in November 1938.
13. Found this posted on FB. Generally agree. And yes, I have seen “Hamilton.” Unfortunately, I have also seen “Oklahoma,” “Kiss Me Kate”, “South Pacific”, “Guys and Dolls” and “My Fair Lady”: https://www.currentaffairs.org/2016/07/you-should-be-terrified-that-people-who-like-hamilton-run-our-country
14. Well, that was quick: http://news.yale.edu/2016/11/21/yale-college-dean-jonathan-holloway-appointed-provost-northwestern-university?utm_source=YNemail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ynalumni-11-21-16
15. Uh-huh. Provided you don’t become a policeman or foreman or EMT worker (see NYT today, page A1): https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-11-21/dallas-is-where-the-jobs-are