11/25/16…Home from the Holiday….

1.Why media matters – when it wants to. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/11/21/a-running-list-of-how-donald-trumps-new-position-is-helping-his-business-interests/

2. This is exactly why I could never vote for Trump. The quickest way to undermine our system is to turn the White House into a hive of dubious self-dealing. I feared a bit of the same about Clinton. but they’re penny-ante compared to Trump. http://www.wsj.com/articles/no-more-business-as-usual-mr-trump-1480025826

 

11/24/16…Happy Thanksgiving…

1.What am I especially thankful for?

My family most of all: my children, their children, my stepchildren and step-granddaughter, my nieces and nephews and their children and, as much or more than any, my darling wife. My two brothers and my sister are no longer with us, and I’m trying to make up a bit of their end. With family like ours, it’s easy. To watch the cousins interact is a perpetual joy.

Certain old friends, of tried and true acquaintance, who’ve kept the faith and vice-versa even as circumstances have changed and I’ve spoken out against what I see as the wealth-driven vulgarity and dishonesty of our time

Certain newer friends. In the examined life, there must always be room for quality, no matter how late in life it’s encountered.

Our two new rescue cats, Charlotte and Shasta, who’ve made demands on our patience and kindness that have added a definite glow to life

Le Veau d’Or, its amazing proprietor Cathy Treboux, her son Robert Summerlin and her dedicated staff. The main if not the entire incentive to cross the East River.

(MORE TO COME)

2. Despite all there is to be thankful for, let’s not forget that there are millions out there who have nothing to be thankful for, and that the world remains with us late and soon, as Wordsworth reminds us. Gorging ourselves on turkey with all the fixins’ will hardly stop the frantic getting and spending that has laid waste to so much of our substance.

3. Why has no one made the point that SEC prosecutions etc could be/should be the civilian equivalent of military courts-martial? After embarrassing  discoveries of dereliction of duty, heedless sacrifice etc. it’s the generals who are cashiered, not the enlisted men. The chain of command runs downward, from the Joint Chiefs to the company commanders. http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/11/news-flash-mary-jo-white-claims-sec-produces-bold-and-unrelenting-results.html

4. When I saw the photo of Trump with his nominee for Education Secretary, voucher proponent Betsy de Vos, my mind immediately went back to photos of Michael Bloomberg with Cathy Black, his unfortunate education pick. The perfect hair and makeup and teeth-whitening, the tailoring, the pocketbook. Who can disagree with Hegel’s assertion that when history comes round again, it does so as farce?

5. Here’s my anti-Trump plan (for persons whose objections are truly thoughtful and not simply the consequence of one or another form of pique.) A) Put together a list of bullet points on which Trump seems vulnerable: transactions, grafts and grifts, amour-propre, bad companions. Specific stuff. Then, whenever Trump introduces something really vile or dubious, roll out ONE of these points with a mighty fanfare provided by the pissed-off media (give them something useful to do rather than just sitting around wringing their hands in “how did this happen?” mode). Create confusion, static, mingle truth with falsehood. But ONE issue at a time. Diffuseness is the enemy.

 

11/23/16…A good way to start this morning….

is with my friend Melik Kaylan’s brilliant analysis of the foreign policy challenges facing Trump and all who sail in him (that’s us, I fear): http://www.forbes.com/sites/melikkaylan/2016/11/22/trumps-chaotic-foreign-policy-indicators-and-the-challenges-ahead/#22521c53709a

Almost as tangled, contradiction-riddled and possibly insoluble as our president-elect’s conflicts of interest.

2. And – as always: Kunstler: http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/boo-hoo/

3. You do wonder whether someone working at a general aviation fixed base, the term for airport facilities used by private jets, is using knowledge of flight plans and passenger manifests to set these robberies up. Thriller writers – to your keyboards! http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/22/world/europe/paris-highway-robbers-target-qatari-sisters-in-5-3-million-heist.html?emc=edit_ee_20161123&nl=todaysheadlines-europe&nlid=2476992&_r=0

4.Want to be sure no one missed (Jennifer Senior in NYT 11/21/16):

“Three days after the presidential election, an astute law professor tweeted a picture of three paragraphs, very slightly condensed, from Richard Rorty’s “Achieving Our Country,” published in 1998. It was retweeted thousands of times, generating a run on the book — its ranking soared on Amazon and by day’s end it was no longer available. (Harvard University Press is reprinting the book for the first time since 2010, a spokeswoman for the publisher said.)

It’s worth rereading those tweeted paragraphs:

[M]embers of labor unions, and unorganized unskilled workers, will sooner or later realize that their government is not even trying to prevent wages from sinking or to prevent jobs from being exported. Around the same time, they will realize that suburban white-collar workers — themselves desperately afraid of being downsized — are not going to let themselves be taxed to provide social benefits for anyone else.

At that point, something will crack. The nonsuburban electorate will decide that the system has failed and start looking around for a strongman to vote for — someone willing to assure them that, once he is elected, the smug bureaucrats, tricky lawyers, overpaid bond salesmen, and postmodernist professors will no longer be calling the shots. …

One thing that is very likely to happen is that the gains made in the past 40 years by black and brown Americans, and by homosexuals, will be wiped out. Jocular contempt for women will come back into fashion. … All the resentment which badly educated Americans feel about having their manners dictated to them by college graduates will find an outlet.

Mr. Rorty, an American pragmatist philosopher, died in 2007. Were he still alive, he’d likely be deluged with phone calls from strangers, begging him to pick their stocks.”

5. This is an interesting review. I generally don’t agree with Ms. Shlaes, especially when she goes all doctrinaire (she’s an avid, unrelenting person of the far, Darwinian right), but she can write (no pun intended), and I think the last sentence of this review perfectly captures my sense of Obama: http://www.wsj.com/articles/herbert-hoover-was-wrong-1479508055

6. In my opinion, Paul Krugman with every column shrinks in relevance and utility. Here’s another good Bill Black takedown (wordier than need be – but no one beats Black when it comes to eviscerating received wisdom): http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/11/bill-black-krugmans-failure-to-speak-truth-to-power-about-austerity.html

And while they’re about it, the powers at the NYT, assuming they grasp the desperate necessity of cleaning up their Op-Ed page, can start by getting rid of Frank Bruni. I cannot recall a single column of his that struck me as the least bit useful.  His cliche-speckled work epitomizes what is meant by “lightweight.”

7. In case anyone’s in any doubt that we have become a nation of “boo hoo” (apologies to Kunstler) crybabies, just check out the following, one of the earliest responses to Bill Black’s piece cited above. I would say this comment was written by a retard (sic): It’s a shame that this piece is marred by the use of disablist slurs. About a quarter or a third of my facebook friends are active in the disability rights movement or the neurodiversity movement or both. If I do go ahead and share it, I know that a lot of people will be offended by the prominent use of words like “insane” and “idiocy,” and will probably be provoked to feelings of antipathy towards the post and its author. I hope that Bill Black will consider discontinuing the use of such words in such a fashion in his writing.

8. Literally have now heard everything: http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/1DUBii/:SU1QTiwT:2mNE+_2e/www.inc.com/melanie-curtin/neuroscience-says-listening-to-this-one-song-reduces-anxiety-by-up-to-65-percent.html

9. Tom Frank is one of the best, clearest-eyed commentators (Center-Left Division) going. Too bad no one with real power appears to listen to him: http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/11/trump-presidency-fears-explained?mbid=nl_TH_5835019cca6f7ee00ec290e0&CNDID=42793573&spMailingID=9924645&spUserID=MTQzOTExNDk1OTIxS0&spJobID=1041800219&spReportId=MTA0MTgwMDIxOQS2

10. The latest from the combination sandbox and jungle gym that the Ivy League appears to have become. There’s an irony here that I pointed up in a comment on FB. Those who are really thankful for HRC would be Trump supporters, as she was very likely the only  candidate he could have beaten. This appears to have been lost on the student editors, as I doubt it was their intended meaning. http://www.browndailyherald.com/2016/11/21/editorial-thankful-2-2/

11. What would we do without these people? That’s something else to be thankful for: the comedy created by man’s greed and folly. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-22/redstone-sues-ex-girlfriend-over-new-york-city-apartment

12. It’s starting to seem as if The New Yorker, Remnick leading, as lost its mind in the wake of the election. http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/two-theories-about-donald-trumps-meeting-with-the-new-york-times?mbid=nl_112316%20Cassidy%20Post%20Newsletter%20(1)&CNDID=42793573&spMailingID=9930489&spUserID=MTM5NDI5NzAwMDY4S0&spJobID=1041849545&spReportId=MTA0MTg0OTU0NQS2

 

11/22/16…Not much cause for rejoicing…but

it is our friend Stephen Silverman’s birthday. Huzzah!

  1. And now this…http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/11/donald-trump-my-100-day-action-plan.html

2. It seems to me that the more/longer Trump is allowed to keep his business interests, the better for the nation it might be. Trump has always been highly leveraged. It’s fair to assume that a good percentage of these however-so-many partnership interests etc. remain so. Creditors can always make trouble, especially with someone like Trump, who certainly seems to feel himself above the fine print. This can work for good and bad, for the interest of the country or against it (say a particular creditor wants something from the White House, and puts the squeeze on to get it), but if you couple the situation to a whistle-blowing culture located in states that harbor powerful interests (Silicon Valley and Wall Street) that are likely to want something from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., at least there’s some hope.

3. An interesting quandary: http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/11/can-jared-kushner-be-loyal-to-his-father-in-law-and-his-faith?mbid=nl_TH_5833804a7d9aa14f739fa624&CNDID=42793573&spMailingID=9915433&spUserID=MTQzOTExNDk1OTIxS0&spJobID=1041695950&spReportId=MTA0MTY5NTk1MAS2

4. Unfortunately, Bill Black never uses five words when he can use ten. Nevertheless, he remains as about an astute an observer/commentator as there is when it comes to the idiotic policies of the Austerity Crowd: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/11/bill-black-hillarys-threat-to-wage-continuous-war-on-the-working-class-via-austerity-proved-fatal.html LET’S MAKE THIS A MUST READ

5. Posting this pretty much solely because it pisses all over Ezra Klein, who I consider one of the all-time minor-league media twerps, and living, breathing, partisan-blahblah-spouting justification of my notion that pundits should be licensed like drivers, and have that license suspended if they get stuff egregiously wrong. http://thebaffler.com/blog/rip-my-shillaries-johnson

11/21/16…Onward….

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):

Good morning.

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.[3] 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.[2] 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”.[3]

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.[2][6]

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

 

11/19/16…Sad sad news on Facebook…

It would seem that Peter Lusk has died. We were fast friends and colleagues at Lehman during the palmy days. He was a really big guy, had been captain of Yale swimming, and we had so many laughs. We reconnected a short while back at Le Veau d’Or. He had a lovely girl friend, Heidi, and they had a terrific big St. Bernard who went everywhere with them who I can only imagine was at Peter’s bedside when he moved on. For some reason I feel his death with a special kind of pain. I guess that happens when an important figure in from the days when you thought you could own the world dies – and takes a piece of you with him. Go gently, big guy.Big hug.

2. I recommend you read the Public Editor’s column in today’s NY Times. Readers – I’m certainly one – complain that the paper has grown morally stale and intellectually flabby. I think the rot set in when “Punch” Sulzberger accepted the Presidency of the Metropolitan Museum, thus committing himself to sucking up to plutocrats his paper might someday wish to cover adversely. One reader cited today calls for fresh voices. Boy, do I ever agree! I think they should get rid of Friedman, Krugman, Blow, Kristof and Bruni for starters, keep Douthat who’s a relatively new voice, cut David Brooks back to once a fortnight, give Arthur Brooks a weekly voice and so on. Find  a prominent spot for Jim Stewart that will habituate his fans and potential fans to looking for him in the same place.

3. A MUST: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/18/opinion/the-right-way-to-resist-trump.html?_r=0

4. Don’t recall reading this when first published. Can’t say I haven’t always suspected as much. But the eyeball-rolling is that 90% of H’03 graduated with honors! (thanks to Naked Capitalism: https://www.propublica.org/article/the-story-behind-jared-kushners-curious-acceptance-into-harvard?)

Further on this post, Kushner’s father’s pre-acceptance pledge to Harvard was to be in 10 equal annual installments. If Jared (and brother) hadn’t gotten in, what’s the bet their jailbird father would have welshed on whatever remained? Trump is said to have done so at a prominent Manhattan day school.

5. In Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi has written a real ass-kisser on Obama. It’s worth reading Naked Capitalism’s note on the piece:

President Obama’s Last Stand Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone. Lordie. No mention at all of the fact that Obama’s banker-friendly approach to the crisis (for starters, his doing squat for homeowners, indeed, to allow Turbo Timmie to use them to “foam the runway”) increased inequality by delivering pretty much all of the growth in income to the top 10%? And contra Taibbi, everyone has airbrushed out of their memory that the country was fearful and prostrated when Obama took office and was hungry for bold leadership. See The Empire Continues to Strike Back: Team Obama Propaganda Campaign Reaches Fever Pitch for more detail. And as J-LS added: “What’s happened to Taibbi? If I want to read David Remnick…..I’ll read David Remnick.”

6. Those who whine that HRC got 1.7 more votes overall than DJT might weigh the fact that this margin was more than achieved in NY and CA. In the other 48 states, DJT – like it or not – beat HRC by a little more 1.3 million.

7. Makes sense. Keynes went astray. The analysts to whom politicians are usually in thrall are sadly seldom defunct.

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/trump-win-economists-responsible-by-dani-rodrik-2016-11?utm_source=Project+Syndicate+Newsletter&utm_campaign=1cc802d5de-rodrik_straight_talk_on_trade_20_11_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_73bad5b7d8-1cc802d5de-93490385

11/20/16…And so it goes…

  1. From Naked Capitalism: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/11/why-economic-recovery-requires-rethinking-capitalism.html. Bottom Line: You can grow your way of debt and recession, you can’t shrink your way out.
  2. When I say I couldn’t vote for Trump because he lacks a feel for the kind of job it is. Dignity is the essence of the presidency. Presidents don’t send out these vulgar short-fuse tweets. Presidents don’t tweet, period!
  3. This needs no gloss from me: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/president-obamas-last-stand-w451241

11/18/16….Day by day by day….

A-1: Today’s must Must MUST read. Please notice that Jim does something none of the others in the chinstroking brigade ever do. He has specific proposals:

1. Good point to start off. I think Obama’s legacy is about C- , grading on the curve. In one way he’s been consistent. His upward arc has been a series of stepping-stones of broken promises. But try telling that to any Obamanut. And I voted for him twice, although the second time with little enthusiasm (couldn’t vote for Romney; over the years I’ve developed strong doubts about Private Equity – but not the people I deal with, naturlich.)

(From Jerri-Lynn Scofield at Naked Capitalism): I thought that one silver lining to the election of Trump would be to drive a stake through the heart of the legacy journalism vampire. For it should be clear to any sentient person, there’s a straight line between Obamamometer’s policy failures and the rise of Trump. I was wrong. The fawning tributes continue. Don’t read this with a full stomach.” https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/12/leaving-a-clean-desk/505856/

2. Along with Jed Perl (another friend), my pal Karen Wilkin is the best art critic going, the best since Bob Hughes: she has a great piece on our crowded museums in the upcoming New Criterion. (no link yet – will add if one is possible).  

3. Speaking of art, I think Richter, along with Christopher Wool, is the biggest rip-off in art today. But tell that to the idiots with the money (and their “art advisers,” one of whom is quoted in this Bloomberg piece: “It’s a classic mid-’80s squeegee painting, with color, action and activity,” said Abigail Asher, an art adviser in New York. “You feel like you are in a vortex of motion.” I know this young woman and like her – but this is bullshit, claptrap to catch the groundlings. I think this squeegee painting is garish, disorganized and really quite ugly; you feel like you’re in a vortex of phony-baloney. When I look at Richter’s art, and consider what it fetches at auction, I can’t help thinking of something a gone-bust oil promoter once told me: “Love is wonderful, but if it costs more’n $100, it’s expensive!”

4. A shrill screed from a writer for whom I have lost all respect. I’m not so sure that Trump is the least-qualified person ever to be president. He’s built a brand, shown undoubted prowess as a winning negotiator, run things. Those have to count for something.      http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/17/13626514/trump-systemic-corruption

5. As others see us. Agree or not, always useful. (thanks, Naked Capitalism):

http://www.malaysiaoutlook.com/why-hillary-clinton-deserved-to-lose/

 

6. Wall Street on Parade. Another great site.

http://wallstreetonparade.com/2016/11/wall-street-democrats-proved-yesterday-that-they-still-dont-get-it/

7. Amen: http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2016/11/death-hatchet-job

8. From Charles Blow in NYT: “Also, let me be clear: Businessman Donald Trump was a bigot. Candidate Donald Trump was a bigot. Republican nominee Donald Trump was a bigot. And I can only assume that President Donald Trump will be a bigot.” To which one is tempted to jest, “Probably as a consequence of reading Charles Blow.” I myself think the NYT’s resident Op-Ed writer does his cause more harm than good. Always so pompous and superior!

9. Amen squared: http://www.wsj.com/articles/what-to-tell-your-children-about-trump-1479427835

Actually, looking at the behavior of people post-election, it’s not the children we need to teach to grow up, it’s the so-called grownups!

10. I do a certain amount of thinking while showering. Here’s today’s wetted inspiration. I wonder how many of those who fit the Trump constituencies but voted for HRC may have done so because of Bill? He was always their kind of guy. Fit that mould better than DJT. Authentic. And the occupant of the adjacent pillow in the master bedroom in the White House must have some influence.  He’d stand up for them. Theirs would have been a kind of proxy vote.

11. A final thought. Ties into #9 above. Just took a spin through FB. It seems to me that there are so many so-called adults who need to be hotwalked around the block post the election, that there may not be a sufficient number of city blocks in all the cities in all the world to accommodate the need. And no – for the umpteenth time, I did not vote for him. But I am going to try to get on with it, and fight the good fight, and live with what has to be lived with, and if certain assholes wish to cancel our friendship because of that, so be it. What all of us need in our lives are fewer assholes!

 

 

 

11/17/16….Boy, do I ever agree with this!….

Posted by the perspicacious Doug Henwood on FB:

[This whole piece isn’t bad, but Lake’s comments are a highlight – Doug Henwood]

Celinda Lake, the renowned Democratic pollster, is very angry that her party failed to lay out an economic vision to contrast with Trump’s. During an afternoon symposium at Gallup’s headquarters in downtown Washington yesterday, where dozens of experts on public opinion gathered to discuss the lessons of the election, Lake noted that Clinton’s standing on questions about the economy kept slipping during the final weeks.

“Why would the Democrats stubbornly not have an economic message?” she said. “Sixty-seven white papers don’t make an economic message. Thirty-seven bills you’re going to introduce in the first 100 days do not make an economic message. What we as Democrats really have to deal with is the fact that we didn’t have an economic message. … Someone at a meeting I was just at said, ‘Well, this was the biggest con ever.’ Maybe. But one of the things we know in our business is that facts don’t matter. If the facts don’t fit the frame, people reject the facts – not the frame. … When we sound like we have a tin ear, we end up with Donald Trump as president.” (She also argued that racism and sexism worked against Clinton.)

Lake, who has worked for a long list of blue-chip Democratic clients, fretted that Trump will do a better job than Barack Obama at creating the sense of forward progress on the economy. She said one of her “everlasting disappointments” with the lame-duck president is that, “He didn’t do the Roosevelt thing. He didn’t engage in an ongoing dialogue about where we are and where we’re going. … In your deafening silence, you sound like you don’t get it. … Ironically, I think Trump might do more of that.”

“If Democrats don’t have something to offer on the economy, we’re not going to win elections,” she added. “That’s probably the single biggest thing we have to focus on. … You want to know who is going to win in 2020? Look at your crystal ball, and tell me who is ahead on the economy!”

There is irony that Trump won because of concerns about the economy and a yearning for change, the same mentality that in 1992 allowed Bill Clinton beat an incumbent who voters considered more qualified and experienced. Lake recalled a focus group that she conducted for Bill when he was president. She asked a voter in Los Angeles about a line he was using in his stump speech about how many millions of jobs had been created since he took office. “I know. I have three of them,” the woman replied. When Lake recounted that story to the president, he began stressing that more needed to be done to create good-paying jobs. “The candidates live in a pretty rarefied world. They don’t encounter real people that much,” she told the group of pollsters. “We provide a lot of that function.”