This isn’t the first time a charismatic nationalist has used a simple, good-vs.-evil narrative to push a radical economic measure. In 1958, China’s Mao Zedong called upon millions of citizens to wipe out the country’s rats, sparrows, mosquitoes and flies to fight disease and prevent crop losses. And like Mao’s campaign, which engendered a plague of locusts by wiping out the sparrows that ate them, Modi’s strike against corruption has led to some unexpected and painful consequences.
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Without new measures to combat corruption, we doubt that this currency reform will have lasting benefits. Corruption will continue albeit with slightly different arrangements.
Just as Trump’s unorthodox style allowed him to win the Republican nomination while spending far less than his more traditional opponents, Kushner’s lack of political experience became an advantage. Unschooled in traditional campaigning, he was able to look at the business of politics the way so many Silicon Valley entrepreneurs have sized up other bloated industries.
“Jared understood the online world in a way the traditional media folks didn’t. He managed to assemble a presidential campaign on a shoestring using new technology and won. That’s a big deal,” says Schmidt, the Google billionaire. “Remember all those articles about how they had no money, no people, organizational structure? Well, they won, and Jared ran it.”
“There’s some aspects of the Democrat Party that didn’t speak to me, and there are some aspects of the Republican Party that didn’t speak to me. People in the political world try to put you into different buckets based on what exists. I think Trump’s creating his own bucket–a blend of what works and eliminating what doesn’t work.”
NATO is too expensive. That is the electoral verdict. The unfinished business of ending the Cold War once and for all perhaps now will be finished. Architecting a normal relationship with Russia might be at hand.
Trump's ascent might be a challenge to the solar entrepreneurs who now have to make sure dirty energy gets priced out completely.
Monday, November 21, 2016
In the days since Hillary Clinton’s stunning electoral defeat to Donald Trump, the vacuum she left atop the Democratic Party hasn’t gone unfilled.
a detailed 8-page note on Tuesday, addressed to Trump himself, that ripped into him for appointing Wall Street officials and lobbyists to his transition team despite his promises to cleave such insiders’ influence.
“If you truly stand by your commitment to making government work for all Americans — not just those with armies of lobbyists on payroll — you must remove the lobbyists and financial bigwigs from your transition team and reinstate a group of advisors who will fight for the interests of all Americans,” Warren wrote. “Maintaining a transition team of Washington insiders sends a clear signal to all who are watching you — that you are already breaking your campaign promises to ‘drain the swamp’ and that you are selling out the American public.”
Warren’s team posted the missive on her Facebook page, and it was viewed over 10 million times in the ensuing two days.
Sunday, November 20, 2016
George W Bush, as a candidate, famously asked, "Why do we need an army?" Such first principles thinking is a good thing. Donald Trump, as a candidate, similarly asked, "Why can't we use nuclear weapons?" That is first principles thinking.
Donald Trump, the candidate, asked for a fundamental rethink on both Russia and NATO. A presidential campaign is a marketplace for ideas. The voters are the customers. 75% of Americans who don't have college degrees are saying they can't afford NATO. It is dollars and cents. In a government of the people, by the people, for the people, it is the people who make the final decision on how the tax money is to be spent.
Trump has been smart enough to see Russia and NATO are two sides of the same coin. NATO was created with the express intention of preventing Soviet troops from marching into Western Europe.
So when the threat is supposed to be gone, if the Soviet Union is no more, if the West won the Cold War, why is NATO still there? Somebody should have asked this question in 1991. Trump is asking now. Good for him. He had an idea and he took it to the people.
NATO was never designed to counter terrorism, and was never redesigned for it either. It is an old fashioned battle machine designed to fight wars with tanks and ground troops.
Trump’s point is if Russia can politically be turned into a Germany, a friend and an ally, then do we still need NATO?
That is a question he asked and lost the entire Republican security establishment in just asking.
There are many moving parts to the equation. The biggest moving part is Russia itself. But like Obama disagreed with Bush on Iraq Trump has disagreed with Obama, Bush II, Clinton, and Bush I on Russia. That is quite entrepreneurial.
He won the idea battle. The execution battle is ahead.
Saturday, November 19, 2016
Or rather accepting the plain fact that not only is Donald Trump the president for the next four years his party seems to now be leading a one party state. The Democrats, for some reason, have been reduced to the municipal levels. It is a big city party. That is interesting because Trump is the ultimate big city person. He grew up in Queens which is the most diverse borough of the most diverse city on the planet. Trump and Giuliani are both liberal on social issues by upbringing. Although their current positions might be politically aligned to the voter base they sit on.
America's bipolar disorder is that one camp reduces the other to cartoons. Hillary is a cartoon. Trump is a cartoon.
The Trump version is that he is Hitler.
The truth might be more banal. America is more or less the same country it was a few weeks ago. It might be a country adjusting to the fact that it can not afford to be the sole superpower.
Trump totally intends to question NATO. To him it is about money. And that is a fundamental challenge to the post World War II, post Cold War order.
This election has been about readjusting.
There is an election result. And there is a mandate to read. Trump could end up mediocre to scandalous. In which case the pendulum will swing again in two years and he could lose control of both houses of Congress.
But with much of the federal money going to entitlement programs, defense and interest payments on the 20 trillion dollar debt, that leaves little room for anything else. It is underemployment in DC, not gridlock. There is not much wiggle room.
Trump could even prove transformative. He could spring forth a one time 15% tax on the wealth of the rich to pay off a big chunk of the national debt of 20 trillion dollars. He could do a fundamental rethink on NATO and turn Russia into a Germany, a total ally with which to massively downsize the nuclear arsenal and vastly reduce each other's defense budgets. He could impose term limits on Congress, max 10 years in the House and 12 in the Senate.
And suddenly gridlock season is over.
He might increase the democracy momentum in China and Arabia.
Liberals think conservatives are dumb people. That is why they are so unenlightened on the social issues. Conservatives think liberals are bookish, impractical clowns who could not make the trains run on time even if they wanted to. That is a bipolar disorder. It might have roots in the scant wiggle room mentioned above.
Like a teenager with poor self-esteem, the American people had chosen the flashy and abusive boyfriend over the steady, boring one. We’ve had enough decency for one decade, the electorate decided. Give us chaos.
You should be worried, too. George W Bush, a man of comparative calm and measured intellect, started two foreign wars and cratered the world economy. Trump is far more reckless.
मोदी ने ये बहुत बड़ा कदम लिया है। सब execution पर depend करता है। एक decisiveness तो दिखा है। अपने सरकार को सीधे दाव पर लगा दिया। बिल गेट्स जब Microsoft चला रहे थे तो कहते थे bet the company move । यानि कि सारी कम्पनी ही दाव पर लगा दिया। अर्थतंत्र को हानी नहीं पहुंचा तो भ्रष्टाचार की रीढ़ की हड्डी टूट गई। जिस तरह टी एन शेसन ने देश में चुनाव की सरसफाइ कर दिया। देश का कायापलट हो सकता है।
On the campaign trail Donald Trump fearlessly locked horns with China and Arabia, the two parts of the world that stand in the way of a total spread of democracy, and in so doing Donald Trump has aligned himself with America's founding mission. Curious though that liberals claim he will end democracy in America itself!
Lies are sin. Slander is sin. The media and the political space could try better about not sinning. And elevate the political culture.
But free speech is sacrosanct.
Friday, November 18, 2016
Is it just a push to replace old cash with new so as to make invalid what is called "black money?"
This is a huge gamble. If the GDP growth rate is cut by one or two points because of this, Modi will pay the political price.
Demonetization in India: Who Will Pay the Price?
“Its impact could be even bigger than GST (the Goods and Services Tax which is still running the gauntlet of politicians).” Adds a report by Crisil, a global S&P company: “Tuesday’s move could change the face of the Indian economy, improve the government’s fiscal position and tax compliance. The size of the cash economy will shrink, as will black money generation avenues, because of the better cash-flow trail.” ..... “This [demonetization] is a step which will make a positive difference, if the transition challenges get handled well by the administration,” says Jitendra V. Singh, Wharton emeritus professor of management. ...... The International Monetary Fund (IMF) echoes those sentiments. “We support the measures to fight corruption and illicit financial flows in India,” said a spokesperson. “Of course, given the large role of cash in everyday transactions in India’s economy, the currency transition will have to be managed prudently to minimize possible disruption.” ..... as of March 2016 currency in circulation amounted to Rs16,415 billion. Of this, Rs500 notes accounted for 47.8% in value and Rs1,000 notes another 38.6%. Together, they were more than 86% of the value of the notes in circulation. That’s a whopping amount to be frozen in one fell swoop. ...... the “resulting disruption in the real economy stemming from this move is very significant and potentially fatal” for some vulnerable sections of society..... for sectors like real estate, a notorious hotbed for black money transactions, there will likely be disinflationary pressures short term, with prices being pushed downward ..... Real estate shares have plunged, in some cases by more than 30%. ....... Kar is the author of a report titled “The Drivers and Dynamics of Illicit Financial Flows from India: 1948-2008.” The report estimates India lost a total of $213 billion due to illicit flows in that period. “The total value of illicit assets held abroad represents about 72% of the size of India’s underground economy which has been estimated at 50% of India’s GDP (or about $640 billion at end 2008),” says the report.The Trouble With India’s Demonetization Gamble
Economists have argued that this move has left the biggest chunk of black money untouched – the stacks that lie in undisclosed accounts in Swiss Banks. ...... Economists have argued that this move has left the biggest chunk of black money untouched – the stacks that lie in undisclosed accounts in Swiss Banks. ...... Refugees who lack the requisite documents to create accounts are also now seeing months of savings potentially vanish, as they still lack mechanisms to access the banking sector. Socially ostracized communities who are again disproportionately cut off from the banking systems – like transgender communities and sex workers – are other immediate victims. This is in addition to the fact that reports indicate that the government may have over-estimated the existing levels of connectivity to banking. ...... While it is too soon to declare whether the long-term gains are indeed forthcoming, the “short term” sacrifices have been more than just significant. They have been immensely painful.10 Reasons Why BJP's Demonetization Move Is An Unmitigated — And Politically Motivated — Disaster
India’s Strange Cash Problem
Fact vs Fiction: Busting rumours and myths about demonetization
This is the best media treatment of Priyanka Chopra I have come across.
The Paley Center: Quantico
Makes me want to binge watch the show. I am thinking it might be online somewhere.
The nugget for me was the real FBI Director saying the real Quantico is not as diverse as the show Quantico and he would like to change that.
Thursday, November 17, 2016
The FBI was unfair. Before that Trump. His saying sex crimes in the army was normal and the blame went to women who joined the army, that was meant an attack on Hillary, like him saying Jeb Bush was "low energy and a disgrace to his family," or calling Marco "Little Marco." Hillary's literal "collapse" can be traced to that precise attack. An attack like that can weaken your immune system if it captures your thought process. Her counter was feeble. Basket of deplorables?
The FBI attack was a naked sexist political attack. It totally changed the race.
But the real political story is that Hillary did not hit back hard and it cost her.
There are people who did not vote but who are now out protesting. Hillary did not turn the Trump and FBI political attacks into counter attacks but, three days after the election, came out saying the FBI was unfair to her. Still not saying what the FBI did was outright illegal.
Sexism aside, the presidential race is also designed to see how you respond to unforeseen situations by actors who absolutely don't care about fair. ISIS would not think twice about detonating a dirty bomb. You could not argue they would be unfair to do so. How would you deal with it?
Long story short, Trump is in for four years. That asks for strategy. Some Dems are saying partial, selective cooperation. Because this guy does not seem to get along with the Republican establishment either.
And then there are protesters. Inauguration day should be colorful. Talk about orange and Ukraine.
There are checks and balances. There's the street. There are global players like Germany and China. There's Canada, if the West Coast wants to secede. There are the Senate Democrats who can filibuster.
And there's the 2018 opportunity to take Congress.
And there's always 2020.
Trump has already talked down immigration and the wall. His deportation numbers now are more Obama like. And he has started to say "fence." The pivot many expected after the Republican primary elections is happening now.
Also, he does have some fresh ideas. If he could somehow end the Cold War with Russia once and for all, that would give him a big bang start.
If he could institute term limits for Congress, that would "drain the swamp," if he were to stick to his words on lobbyists.
And he has this idea of a one time 15% tax on the wealth of the rich to pay off a big chunk of the debt. If he were to do that for "the forgotten men and women," that would be a good thing.
This guy is in a position to do creative destruction to the Republican Party. The brand name remains, but it is like a whole new building inside.
Or he could give in to the base instincts of the Alt Right, the racism, sexism, anti semitism, deliver tax cuts for the rich to "the forgotten men and women" and start a trade war with China and we would all be in a Great Depression, greatly depressed. Then no matter who wins in 2020, when America finally wakes up it would wake up a Britain in 1952, a small island nation on which the sun never used to set.
Trump’s positions on trade and climate as stated on the campaign trail cedes the global stage to China on both. America's greatness perhaps never was small minded racism, sexism and anti semitism.
The solar energy industry has to innovate so hard and so fast (the solar energy Moore's Law?) with prices coming down by half every two years that dirty energy is simply priced out globally.
That is the best way forward.
The planet can not be hostage to whether or not a White House occupant will try to walk away from the Paris Agreement.
The political people though should agitate to end all the subsidies to dirty energy. There is too much corporate welfare going on.
अमरीका मन्गल ग्रह गया तो भारत भी गया, लेकिन दश गुना कम खर्च में। बॉलीवुड वाले को देखो सिर्फ फिल्म में हिंदी बोलते हैं नहीं तो मिडिया में पुरा इंग्लिश मीडियम। After all, India is the largest English speaking country in the world.
तो फिर बॉलीवुड वाले विश्व मार्केट के लिए अन्ग्रेजी फिल्म क्यों नहीं बनाते?
If this has been a bad move Modi will lose both the UP election early next year and the big election in 2019.
Demonetisation politics unfolds as a vast morality play. Its imagination unleashes the state on you, in the name of protecting your own virtue.
It would be churlish not to recognise that it comes from the prime minister’s depth of conviction and sincerity. But that is exactly its danger. What it threatens to institutionalise is a new kind of politics. This is politics as a vast morality play whose three central elements are personification, puritanism and punitive imagination. A new state is emerging and it is not what you think it is.
It is manifested in this odd distinction between black and white money, forgetting the elementary fact that whether money is black or white depends on where it is at in the cycle of circulation. Hence they have perpetuated the illusion that we can extract the black, without hurting the chain of circulation of the white. It is not an accident that this measure will largely be a wealth tax on those not sophisticated enough to launder; those who have laundered will go unpunished.
be very wary of the institutional imagination that underlies it. It will again unleash the state on you, in the name of protecting your own virtue. What starts as a morality play will end in more statism.
Some of these guys who are now about to get into plum positions in the White House hold unapologetic racist views.
They, frankly, would like to go back to some era when America was the only country with skyscrapers. If you try too hard you might end up in an era with no smartphones. Such precision carries the Chinese threat.
They are a perfect match to the Chinese who were the leading country in the world in 1200. There are Chinese who do fantasize about going back to that era. They have a name for it, One Belt One Road.
For much of human history, except for the past 500 years, China and India were the leading economies on the planet.
But economies are not supposed to be ego massages! ("Mine is bigger than yours!") They are about families and livelihoods.
Unlike war economies are supposed to be win win propositions. The only valid ideology is the ideology of human equality.
Anti immigration has been the biggest unfair trade practice in the world. Goods and services can move around, money can move around, technology can move around, why not people?
Nobody really wants to deport Mexicans. The American economy will quite literally grind to an absolute halt if all Mexicans leave. They know that. The anti Mexican rhetoric is a tactic to keep the Mexicans working at below minimum wage. It is about cheap labor. At one point in American history there was similar anti Chinese rhetoric. They needed cheap labor to build railroads.
Racism is a tool of power. That is why it is strongest in places like the US Senate, Wall Street, and the liberal mecca Hollywood.
This is a globalized world. America is not an island. Minus Mexico it is not even a continent.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
What seemed at first to be a masterstroke by Prime Minister Narendra Modi now looks like a grave miscalculation.
Now that 86 percent of India’s currency is no longer valid, the central bank has struggled to print replacement denominations -- and the new notes are the wrong size for existing ATMs. Modi’s asked people to be patient for 50 days, but the process could take as long as four months.
India’s simply too big and complex for shock and awe. Large parts of the rural economy use cash for 80 percent of transactions and have been hard-hit. In seafood-mad West Bengal, for example, the fishing industry is in a state of near-collapse; in the wheat-growing states of the northwest, farmers halfway through the sowing season have run out of cash to buy seeds.
Even setting aside the painful adjustment, the long-term effects of this monetary shock on India’s informal economy could well be severe; a large proportion of marginal firms may not survive the loss of a fortnight of income. The informal financial sector -- unregistered moneylenders who provide loans to businesses worth 40 percent of total bank lending -- will be decimated.
Trump might feel he now has a mandate, but his positions have not been endorsed by the world. In fact on each issue the world will oppose him every step of the way and the world will win. For one, truth is on their side. Two, America is not the power it was when Trump was a college kid. America after the Trump victory is like Britain after World War II. The empire is gone.
And the racist Alt Right ideology is anathema to the powers that oppose him on the big issues. Precisely when Europe and America need to make the extra effort to get along with the world there are voices that have taken to white supremacist thinking with renewed vigor. It is a grand losing proposition.
Europe will lock horns with Trump on climate. France has already threatened a carbon tax on all American imports should Trump walk away from the Paris Climate Agreement.
China has become the leading voice on the climate issue. Whichever country is the leading voice on climate change is the leader of the world. For there is no bigger issue the planet faces.
Should the trade war Trump has threatened with China materialize America, and perhaps the world, will experience a Great Depression when the central banks of the world are in no position to help out. 2008 and 2009 will feel like a picnic.
Brexit is easy to vote for but hard (read: impossible) to implement. The Brits are finding that out the hard way. The genie of globalization is out of the bottle. It can not be put back. Trump campaigned wanting to make America great again. But in actuality he might only hasten America's slide from its number one position in the world.
The Republicans have policy clarity only on issues that are all gut punches to the poor whites across America. "The poorly educated," as Donald Trump fondly calls them, might have been royally duped. They might lose not only Obamacare but also Medicare. Yes, costs have been rising under Obamacare, but they were rising even faster before Obamacare. And not even losing Medicare is as scary a proposition as a Great Depression.
Ends up racism is a really, really stupid ideology. Today it is self destructive to the whites. Racism is sin. Sexism is sin. God does not take kindly to either.
Trump’s fifth bankruptcy might be a country, not a company.
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Clinton need not have wholly ceded white working-class voters to Trump, who won them by a larger margin than Ronald Reagan in his 1984 landslide. Meanwhile, she failed to get young people and minorities—the too-aptly-named “Obama coalition”—excited about her candidacy. Both of those weaknesses, critics say, could be traced back to a message that emphasized social diversity over economic fairness.
her team’s focus on micro-messaging came at the expense of thematic unity. As another former Sanders adviser, Scott Goodstein, put it, “No amount of digital savvy will take you across the finish line if you don’t have a message that resonates.... The Clinton campaign too often chose gimmicks over real heartfelt messages.”
Clinton’s leisurely pace fed the perception that she thought she was marching to an inevitable coronation. Inevitability didn’t work out too well for Clinton in 2008, and it didn’t work this year, either.
because race comes up, a lot. Sometimes, in the form of a kind of racial psuedo-science that advocates use to explain the dynamics of heterosexual relations. The age-old racist argument – that black men are “taking our women” – is made regularly. Racist slurs are chucked around casually. There seems to be a significant overlap with organised white supremacy.
Now they’re celebrating openly. They’re gleeful about some of the harshest policies Trump promised: mass deportations, defunding Planned Parenthood, the wall. They feel like they have scored a victory against feminism and multiculturalism. They’re glad that white men are, once again, in control. They were filled with fury at the thought they had been toppled from their rightful place at the top of the social hierarchy; this is vindication.
When we fret about young people leaving western countries and going to fight with Isis, it’s common to focus on the role of the internet in their political radicalisation. It’s time we discussed the radicalisation of angry, young white men in a similar way.
a cohesive ideology of white supremacy and misogyny.
Monday, November 14, 2016
Within months of reëlecting Nixon by the largest margin in history, Americans began to gather around the consensus that their President was a crook who had to go.
Bipartisan congressional action on behalf of the public good sounds as quaint as antenna TV. The press is reviled, financially desperate, and undergoing a crisis of faith about the very efficacy of gathering facts. And public opinion? Strictly speaking, it no longer exists. “All right we are two nations,” John Dos Passos wrote, in his “U.S.A.” trilogy.
he crushed two party establishments and ended two dynasties.
The Party’s leaders are all past the official retirement age, other than Obama, who has governed as the charismatic and enlightened head of an atrophying body.
The immediate obstacle in Trump’s way will be New York’s Charles Schumer and his minority caucus of forty-eight senators. During Obama’s Presidency, Republican senators exploited ancient rules in order to put up massive resistance. Filibusters and holds became routine ways of taking budgets hostage and blocking appointments. Democratic senators can slow, though not stop, pieces of the Republican agenda if they find the nerve to behave like their nihilistic opponents, further damaging the institution for short-term gain. It would be ugly, but the alternative seems like a sucker’s game.
Nearly seventy per cent of working-age Americans lack a bachelor’s degree. Many of them saw an establishment of politicians, professors, and corporations that has failed to offer, or even to seem very interested in, a vision of the modern world that provides them with a meaningful place of respect and worth.
Repealing Obamacare, which has provided coverage to twenty-two million people, including Jim’s family members; cutting safety-net programs; downgrading hard-won advances in civil liberties and civil rights—these things will make the lives of those left out only meaner and harder.
Trump, with his behavior toward women and others, would be an H.R. nightmare; in most offices, he wouldn’t last a month as an employee.
Eliminating Obamacare isn’t going to stop the unnerving rise in families’ health-care costs; it will worsen it. There are only two ways to assure people that if they get cancer or diabetes (or pregnant) they can afford the care they need: a single-payer system or a heavily regulated private one, with the kind of mandates, exchanges, and subsidies that Obama signed into law.
If the G.O.P. sticks to its “repeal and replace” pledge, it will probably end Obama’s exchanges and subsidies, and embrace large Medicaid grants to the states—laying the groundwork, ironically, for single-payer government coverage.
We watched him, in the second debate, prowling behind his opponent, back and forth with lowered head, belligerent and looming, while she moved within her legitimate space, returning to her lecturn after each response: tightly smiling, trying to be reasonable, trying to be impervious. It was an indecent mimicry of what has happened at some point to almost every woman. She becomes aware of something brutal hovering, on the periphery of her vision: if she is alone in the street, what should she do? I willed Mrs. Clinton to turn and give a name to what we could all see. I willed Mrs. Clinton to raise an arm like a goddess, and point to the place her rival came from, and send him back there, into his own space, like a whimpering dog.
They don’t think, she said, that Hillary can catch him now. I took off my watch to adjust it, unsure how many centuries to set it back.
“What I don’t comprehend is, who voted for him?”
Mr. Trump has promised a world where white men and rich men run the world their way, greed fuelled by undaunted ignorance. He must make good on his promises, for his supporters will soon be hungry.
Over time, though, the candidate’s rawness appealed to her, because she believed that he could shake up Washington. “After they’ve been in office, they become too slick,” she said. “I liked that unscripted aspect.”
This election has given me a renewed appreciation for chaos, confusion, and the limitlessly internal world of the individual.
Trump’s descriptions and treatment of women didn’t seem to bother them. “I’m a strong enough woman,” Watson said. I often heard similar comments from female Trump supporters—in their eyes, it was a show of strength to ignore the candidate’s crudeness and transgressions, because only the weak would react with outrage.
It was hard to imagine a President entering office with less accountability. For supporters, this was central to his appeal—he owed nothing to the establishment. But he also owed nothing to the people who had voted for him. Supporters cherry-picked specific statements or qualities that appealed to them, but they didn’t attempt an assessment of the whole, because, given Trump’s lack of discipline, this was impossible.
Unlike any nation in Europe, the United States holds whiteness as the unifying force.
There are “people of color” everywhere, threatening to erase this long-understood definition of America.
The confidence that you will not be watched in a department store, that you are the preferred customer in high-end restaurants—these social inflections, belonging to whiteness, are greedily relished.
So scary are the consequences of a collapse of white privilege that many Americans have flocked to a political platform that supports and translates violence against the defenseless as strength. These people are not so much angry as terrified, with the kind of terror that makes knees tremble.
“the alligators are multiplying.”
Many of Trump’s transition-team members are the corporate insiders he vowed to disempower.
The few remarks Trump made on these issues during the campaign reflected the fondest hopes of the oil, gas, and coal producers. He vowed to withdraw from the international climate treaty negotiated last year in Paris, remove regulations that curb carbon emissions, legalize oil drilling and mining on federal lands and in seas, approve the Keystone XL pipeline, and weaken the Environmental Protection Agency.
For policy and personnel advice regarding the Department of Energy, Trump is relying on Michael McKenna, the president of the lobbying firm MWR Strategies. McKenna’s clients include Koch Companies Public Sector, a division of Koch Industries.
Myron Ebell, an outspoken climate-change skeptic, heads Trump’s transition team for the E.P.A. Ebell runs the energy-and-environmental program at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, an anti-regulatory Washington think tank that hides its sources of financial support but has been funded by fossil-fuel companies, including Exxon-Mobil and Koch Industries.
“Many on the transition team are registered lobbyists who are deeply invested in the system Trump says he wants to change,” Potter said. “It looks like the lobbyists and special interests are already taking over.”
When General Dwight D. Eisenhower was preparing to take office, Harry Truman predicted, “Poor Ike—it won’t be a bit like the Army. He’ll find it very frustrating.”
with both houses of Congress in Republican control, the greatest obstacle to the President’s use of power would be not the separation of powers but, more likely, the isolated actions of individuals in government.
Schwarzenegger, who had never held public office, proved incapable of reorganizing government, defeating labor unions, capping state spending, or weakening teacher tenure. His relationship with the G.O.P. soured. In 2011, he left office with his public approval rating at near-historic lows.
McConnell’s blockade prevented the creation of the first liberal majority since the Nixon Administration.
Democrats have never mounted a successful filibuster against a Republican Supreme Court nominee, and McConnell would probably abolish the practice if they even tried.
All of us used to be kids. All of us were, at some point, silenced by someone bigger and louder saying, “Wrong, wrong,” but meaning “It’s not what you’re doing that’s wrong—it’s who you are that’s wrong.”
Nasty talk didn’t start with Trump, but it was the province of people we all viewed as idiots—schoolyard mobs, certain drunks in bars, guys hollering out of moving cars.
If you ever doubted the power of poetry, ask yourself why, in any revolution, poets are often the first to be hauled out and shot
Littler than my cohort, I learned that a verbal bashing had a lingering power that a bloody nose could never compete with. When a boy named Bubba said, “Your mama’s a whore,” I shot back, “So what? Your nose is flat.”
The vicious language of this election has infected the whole country with enough anxiety and vitriol to launch a war.
The hardest thing about democracy is the boring and irritating process of listening to people you don’t agree with, which is tolerable only when each side strives not to hurt the other’s feelings.
Unlike most elections, Trump’s election is something different: it ends an era of American idealism, a high-mindedness of rhetoric, if not always of action, which has characterized most twentieth- and twenty-first-century American Presidencies
the white men who voted in very high numbers for Trump or to the majority of white women who did, too
Many Americans, having lost faith in a government that has failed to address widening inequality, and in the policymakers and academics and journalists who have barely noticed it, see Trump as their deliverer. They cast their votes with purpose. A lot of Trump voters I met during this election season compared Trump to Lincoln: an emancipator. What Trump can and cannot deliver, by way of policy, remains to be seen; my own doubts are grave.
“The real trouble with us was never our system or form of Government, or the principles underlying it; but the peculiar composition of our people, the relations existing between them and the compromising spirit which controlled the ruling power of the country.” For Douglass, the aftermath of the fight to end slavery was a lesson about the persistence of inequality: it had already begun to take a new form, in proposals to deny constitutional protections to Chinese immigrants. Hatred of the Chinese, especially by those who wanted to exploit their labor, was, Douglass argued, new wine in old bottles, slavery by another name.
When my parents lived in the Soviet Union, having a Jewish-looking “physiognomy,” as it was called, proved a daily liability. Standing in line for eggs or milk or ham, one could feel the gaze of the shopkeeper running down one’s nose, along with the implied suggestion “Why don’t you move to Israel already?”
Social media in the era of Trump is essentially Leningrad, 1979. Trump supporters on Twitter have often pointed out my Jewishness.
The surprise of 2016—post-Brexit, post-Trump—is just how ably the Russians weaponize those lyrics, tweak them to “Whites will rise from their knees!” and megaphone them into so many ready ears in Eastern and Western Europe and, eventually, onto our own shores.
We hated minorities, even though the neighborhoods many of us lived in were devoid of them. I didn’t attend public school, because my parents had seen one black kid on the playground of the excellent school I was zoned for, and so sent me to a wretched parochial school instead.
The jump from Twitter racism to a black church set aflame on a warm Southern night is steady and predictable. Putin’s team has discovered that racism, misogyny, and anti-Semitism bind people closer than any other experiences. These carefully calibrated messages travel from Cyrillic and English keyboards to Breitbart ears and Trump’s mouth, sometimes in the space of hours.
In the end, financial institutions got trillions of dollars’ worth of help to stay afloat, far more than the government spent on economic stimulus, unemployment benefits, or mortgage relief.
The size and influence of the half-dozen or so largest financial institutions grew substantially, and almost no one who led them was visibly punished.
Astonishingly, the main political beneficiary of all this energy was Donald Trump, a plutocrat with a long history of taking on too much debt, stiffing his business partners, and not paying taxes.
Trump is almost certain to enact policies that will exacerbate those difficulties. He will undo as much as he can of efforts like the 2010 Dodd-Frank law, which returned some regulation to the financial system. He will cut taxes in ways that will increase inequality, and restrict trade in ways that will decrease prosperity. He will not reappoint Janet Yellen, the most unemployment-obsessed Federal Reserve chair in American history—after having subjected her to a barely veiled anti-Semitic attack, in a campaign ad that called her a tool of “global special interests.” It is yet another tragic consequence of the financial crisis that it has brought to power the politician most likely to create the next one.
His opening move—labelling Mexican immigrants rapists—immediately lost the left, and his demotion of John McCain, a former P.O.W., from hero to loser looked as if it would cost him the establishment right. But, after tussling with Megyn Kelly at the first G.O.P. debate, and suggesting that she had blood coming out of her “wherever,” he accomplished the unthinkable: he lost Fox News. How did this mango Mussolini expect to win the White House? Who was left to vote for him? Apparently, half the country.
It was the Klan’s job to rescue white women from the black devils who were trying to rape them and create a mongrel race. The reality, of course, is that mixed-race Americans were largely the result of the cream being poured into the coffee, as it were, and not the other way around.
Questioning Obama’s birthright, threatening to ban Muslims, painting entire immigrant groups as felons to be feared—these are not policy positions. They are incendiary words and images meant to ignite a movement.
My girlfriends and I hugged one another, our eyes smeared and swollen. We hadn’t thought that Hillary Clinton’s campaign was specifically focussed on women, but we experienced her loss as a woman-specific disaster. The men in our lives seemed to feel the stab of it somewhat less.
fifty-three per cent of white women voted for a white-supremacist sexual predator
A sign floated above the crowd, flashing red, white, and blue in the reflection of police lights: “Why Don’t Sexual Assault Victims Come Forward? Because Sometimes We Make Their Attackers the Leader of the Free World.”
During the Obama Administration, in no small part because of the respect that the First Couple instilled for women and people of color, I had begun to feel, thrillingly, like a person. My freedom no longer seemed a miraculous historical accident; it was my birthright.
told me that she felt abandoned by the men in her family, who had voted for Trump
“I’m afraid that a man will hurt me in public, and everyone around will think it’s O.K.,” she said.
Beyond Trump’s extraordinary talent as a salesman, his singular dubious achievement has been to remain fully in character at all times. He has deliberately chosen to exist only as a persona, never as a person.
My two little sisters called me weeping this morning.
my godchildren, who all year had been having nightmares that their parents would be deported
A few spoke about how frightened and betrayed they felt. Two of them wept. No easy task to take in the fact that half the voters—neighbors, friends, family—were willing to elect, to the nation’s highest office, a toxic misogynist, a racial demagogue who wants to make America great by destroying the civil-rights gains of the past fifty years.
Colonial power, patriarchal power, capitalist power must always and everywhere be battled, because they never, ever quit. We have to keep fighting, because otherwise there will be no future—all will be consumed.
Manly dignity is a big deal for working-class men, and they’re not feeling that they have it. Trump promises a world free of political correctness and a return to an earlier era, when men were men and women knew their place. It’s comfort food for high-school-educated guys who could have been my father-in-law if they’d been born 30 years earlier. Today they feel like losers — or did until they met Trump.
Nigel Farage, the British right-wing enemy of the European Union, became one of the first foreign politicians to meet with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump over the weekend, upending the diplomatic order to the embarrassment of the U.K’s ruling Conservative Party.
if Trump slapped China with heavy tariffs it would “paralyze” bilateral trade.
“When the time comes, large orders for Boeing planes would switch to Europe, U.S. auto sales in China would face setbacks, Apple phones would essentially be crowded out, and U.S. soybeans and corn would be eradicated from China,” the paper said in a commentary.
China has signaled it will promote plans for regional trade integration, vowing to seek support for a Beijing-backed Asia-Pacific free trade area at a summit in Peru later this month, after Trump’s win dashed hopes for the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
The FBI might be the real KKK in America. The KKK, for the most part for most people, is a little toothless organization. The FBI I have seen decide a mayoral election in New York City and it just played the deciding hand in the presidential election. It intervened at the most strategic moment in the most naked way possible. It was as brazen as Putin's cyber interventions.
It is not just the Chinese state, the American state also is knee deep in citizen surveillance. It is not just the KGB that is an active ingredient in Russia's domestic politics. The FBI is the same thing in America. The citizens have to worry. And many would except most Americans are not only happy about the racist ways of the American state, they cling to racism like it were their only religion.
Every terrorist attack in America the FBI has "foiled" since 9/11 has been a terrorist "attack" that was hatched by the FBI itself, from beginning to end. A few attacks that did happen the FBI had absolutely no clue about. Granted a terrorist attack is a needle in a haystack size problem but the racial profiling of minority communities is not a harmless proposition. It is that precise racism that fuels extremist thinking in the first place.
When Comey attacked Donald Trump was quick to note, and the military is not going to accept a woman for Commander In Chief either.
Indira Gandhi led the Indian army to war and victories like no Indian prime minister before and after. It is a woman taking salutes in Britain and Germany. This pussy won't do attitude must be a peculiarly American phenomenon.
But then a democracy can not get ahead of its people and might as well not. Most women in America prefer to be a racist than be a woman who has gender equality. That is exhibited in their electoral behavior. It is on record.
मोदी ने तो ब्लैक मनी पर सर्जिकल स्ट्राइक कर दिया। यही फोर्मुला अमरीका 100 डॉलर के नोट पर लागु कर दे तो सारे दुनिया से ब्लैक मनी का जनाजा उठ जाए। देखो, Most Popular Politician In The World ने छक्का मारा।
The massive Ukraine like protests are a first in US presidential politics. The protestors are not even saying votes got stolen or anything like that. They are saying, this is not my president, I refuse to get on his time machine and go back in time.
But this guy is in for four years. The only good option is to abolish the electoral college, which I don't see happening, because you will need the cooperation of states that currently benefit from the current system.
Hillary did not go on a counter attack when the Comey attack came. But she is protesting now. That might be said of many Democrats who sat out the election. Many are getting riled up now.
The Democrats have been beat so badly there is nowhere to go but up. The Democratic Party is currently a big city municipal party.
The Wall was always a scam. It is not going to be built. It is a 25 billion dollar promise that reminds people of a certain university.
White women would rather be racist than have gender equality and liberals are deliriously happy in opposition. Those are two takeaways from this election. A country that was founded racist continues to be so.
But if Trump makes the move on trade he said he would, this country is looking at a recession in less than two years. Trade wars are the textbook pathway to a Great Depression. Only right now the Federal Reserve has literally zero room for maneuver. This is not the China of 30 years ago. Now the Chinese economy is larger than the American economy. American consumers depend on cheap Chinese stuff.
Just the dollar figure on the Trump Deportation Program is huuuge. It would be a logistical nightmare. And it is a bigger political nightmare than logistical.
But nothing will announce to the world that America is no longer the leader of the world, it is China now, like Trump walking away from the climate deal. The planet hardly has 10 years if it is not to hit the point of no return. The dangers of climate change are existential. New York City can expect many more dates with Sandy.
"The poorly educated" have done more than rob themselves of health insurance, and give the top 1%, the true establishment, massive tax cuts at their own expense. China is also losing large numbers of low paying factory jobs. It is like when handlooms got replaced by textile factories.
These are precarious times for the American democracy. And, no, the pollsters were not wrong. Hillary did get millions more votes than Trump.
The industrial Midwest feels the pain of change. But America should be looking at the fourth industrial revolution knocking on the door. Going back in time is not an option.
Sunday, November 13, 2016
Barack Obama ran for president fundamentally disagreeing with Bush on the Iraq war. Trump has similarly disagreed with Obama on the US Russia relations. He now is an election victor. If this means finally an end to the Russia US Cold War, that would be a good thing.
I can't think of a faster way for America to relinquish its leadership position in the world than by walking away from the dire science of climate change.
The narrative that gets pushed is, if only the politicians in DC had better manners they would get along and then get things done. It is kind of like saying people are lazy when the truth is there really are no jobs to go around.
A big chunk of the budget in DC goes into sustaining NATO. Another big chunk goes into interest payments for the 20 trillion dollar debt. And another massive big chunk goes into paying for the entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.
All that leaves little to no wiggle room for anyone to do anything. America finds itself boxed in.
Trump touched upon two of the three big elephants in the room. He touched upon NATO. He hinted at a fundamental rethink on NATO. Making the political moves to turn Russia into a Germany in terms of geofriendliness would go a long way. He has also floated the idea of a one time 15% tax on the wealth of the super rich to pay off the national debt. His wanting a rethink on NATO is gutsy. His one time tax idea is gutsy and smart. Done right the two together could create a 200 to 300 billion dollar wiggle room in the federal budget. And then the wheels would start spinning again. There would be no more gridlock.
The military industrial complex in America is its own planet hurtling through empty space with a momentum all its own. India should be wary of a country that wants to do joint naval exercises but will not pour a trillion dollars into India's infrastructure and another trillion into solar power generation in Rajasthan. In 2008 America and Europe wiped out tens of trillions of dollars in wealth after having spent decades lecturing the Global South that it is not creditworthy. That was A to Z racism, beginning to end.
Russia also, by the way, has a planet, its military industrial complex. The planets often act like hammers looking for nails. Sometimes they find each other instead of nails.
While there are a billion in want of basic food and water.
Saturday, November 12, 2016
the ability of the Bush administration to use its power to compel the press to adopt its alternate reality led to the greatest foreign-policy blunder since Vietnam, and the deaths of thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, as well as the rise of ISIS. The consequences are, arguably, immeasurable, and the stats I have mentioned simply cannot do them justice
There has to be a merciless postmortem of the sorry state the Democrats are in right now. It has become a municipal party of big city mayors. The Republicans have the White House, the Senate, the House and most state governments.
Barack Obama did not fight back birtherism hard enough. And it had real consequences like him not fulfilling his constitutional obligation to fill a Supreme Court slot. That is a signal to his supporters. I can't deliver on that one even though the constitution says I can.
Hillary Clinton’s disappearances and disengagements in August and October poured water on a winning convention and three won debates.
Bernie Sanders has made basic gutsy moves but his ideology feels like a throwback to another era. Health care for all through dramatic reductions in health expenses by better nutrition and exercise and saving a trillion dollars per year by taking obesity in America to 1980 levels is a more holistic approach. Education costs are supposed to go down like computer prices have gone down. The best way to empower women and minority groups is by opening access to credit for them so more of them can get into entrepreneurship.
Elizabeth Warren is a superior presence to Sanders and was the original choice of the crowd that swarmed to Sanders. Besides Sanders lost before Hillary did. He had a shot. Now make way.
And I really do like the idea of a woman president.
One thing I have noted about Warren is she has out loud worried that the tech giants Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple have become monopolies that might get in the way of the next wave of innovation. She is coming to the present from the future.
She has to take that approach to all policy issues including her signature issue of banking. She has to talk about the Age Of Abundance and she has to talk about Universal Basic Income. She has to talk about steam physics.
And she has to have the guts to put another woman on the ticket. My top choice would be Kamala Harris. She is Indian African American. India is the new Britain. That counts for something. Also you maybe don't want California to secede.
Warren has to talk the Blockchain when she talks banking. Warren has to talk the fourth industrial revolution. Warren has to talk nanotechnology, biotechnology, clean energy, robotics and artificial intelligence.
She has to talk about both America and the planet. Because America is on a planet.
She has to talk about banks like someone who knows the Internet is coming might talk about the paper newspapers of 1990, for that is precisely what the Blockchain is.
And if Warren is to run, as she should, she has about one year to decide. Just like Barack Obama in 2006 Warren has to crisscross the country through 2018 all year from the beginning of the year and take the House and the Senate. Then, early in 2019, in Boston harbor, she has to announce she is running, or the West Coast might secede.
She has to marry 2008 grassroots organizing to the 2020 technologies. 10 times more has become possible.
Gender is specific to the flesh body. It is not a feature of the soul. All human beings have been created equal and special by the Creator. Mother Mary desires gender equality on earth, even as she wears a non gendered perfect spirit body in heaven.
Warren Harris 2020 is unstoppable.
Looks like Trump might finally end the Cold War. George HW Bush didn't do it. Bill Clinton didn't do it. George W Bush didn't do it. Barack Obama didn't do it. Finally Trump might do it.
Making peace with the Crimea annexation in exchange for a foolproof guarantee on no further adventures in eastern Ukraine, lifting of all sanctions on Russia, an initiation of new summit talks, Gorbachev Reagan style, for dramatic reductions in nuclear weapons, and a full engagement with Russia, people to people, in terms of trade, collaboration on fighting extremist violence, I believe these are some of the things Trump hinted at on the campaign trail.
In the early 2000s Russia actually sought to join NATO. Much water has flown down the East River since.
This might be one early score for Trump. It would give him a good start.
I saw he wants term limits for members of Congress. A 10 year term limit would be a good thing. Or five terms for House members and two terms for Senators. The founders were not thinking in terms of career politicians. Term limits would be one good way to make Washington stink less. Drain the swamp.
A one time 15% tax on the wealth of all rich people to pay down the debt would be a boon to the economy. The interest payments live little wiggle room for bold moves. This is another of his ideas I like.
One bold thing Trump said on the campaign trail is that NATO is expensive. It is indeed tribal thinking. An attack on all is an attack on all is not rule of law thinking. The world has to move towards rule of law in international affairs. 600 billion dollars is indeed a lot of money.
Friday, November 11, 2016
The day before the election Bill Clinton bemoaned "a great president who has been term limited."
Barack Obama said on the same stage, "The sun will shine tomorrow no matter what happens."
That is not a fighting spirit.
The Comey strike was quite a blow. Here were white men saying, it is not about collecting votes, it is about acceptance, and we simply will not accept you.
The FBI is a white male bastion, obviously.
Prominent liberal newspapers wrote Hillary Clinton saw this coming. She was expecting an October surprise.
The liberal media had its own October surprise. It talked about a Latino surge in early voting to create a white surge on Election Day.
White women across the board voted against the idea of a woman president.
The chosen liberated people harassed Moses in the desert. Why did you bring us here? We were better off in Egypt.
Hillary Clinton herself did not give a single gender speech. It was as if she was trying to become the first female president without anyone noticing she was female.
She won the convention and the aftermath and completely lost August by disengaging and disappearing. She won three debates and earned double digit leads and again disengaged and squandered it. Comey would not have attacked if he had not seen an opening.
Hillary Clinton has that Jeb Bush quality like she does not really want to be there.
Not picking Elizabeth Warren for running mate was such a waste. This would have been a 55% victory for Clinton.
But those are mechanics. The people have spoken. Americans just got themselves an Aexit. The post World War II and the post Cold War world order is now over. America has now exited the world stage by popular opinion. NATO and the dollar will go under a fundamental rethink.
Are Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris a ticket?
“This wasn’t a pretty election. In fact, it was ugly, and we should not sugarcoat the reason why,” Warren said toward the beginning of her address. “Donald Trump ran a campaign that started with racial attacks and then rode the escalator down. He encouraged a toxic stew of hatred and fear. He attacked millions of Americans. And he regularly made statements that undermined core values of our democracy."
Democrats, meanwhile, are desperately in search of a leader for their own party, now that President Barack Obama is on his way out and Clinton appears poised to disappear. And on Wednesday night, droves of young Democrats took to the streets in major cities to protest Trump’s election.
Warren promised to be a leading force in resisting Republican efforts to decrease regulation of financial institutions, gut Obamacare or “force through massive tax breaks” on the wealthy.
“We will stand up to bigotry. No compromises on this one, ever. In all its forms, we will fight back against attacks on Latinos, African-Americans, women, Muslims, immigrants, disabled Americans — on anyone. Whether Donald Trump sits in a glass tower or sits in the White House, we will not give an inch on this,” she said. "Not now, not ever."
Brexit and Aexit are concrete steps in that direction. These developments were prophecied 2,000 years ago. The Lord God, the one true Living God, all seeing, all knowing, eternally just, all powerful, steers the plates of geopolitics as deftly as he defeated the armies that you read about in the Old Testament. God is the God of all peoples. God is the God of the entire cosmos.
America has become a modern day Roman Empire. It will go to the outer edges of the solar system but not to Africa. Those are not the ways of the just.
A world government of one person one vote from the local, to the state, to the national, to the global levels, that is what is in the offing. Brexit and Aexit are Britain and America stepping back to make way for that.
The American establishment is under siege because it will not reason its way to that world government but it will move if its hand is forced by a popular mandate, like now.
Thursday, November 10, 2016
but i had breakfast with my dad at a denny’s this summer that concerned me. he is a deeply principled man. a very good person with strong values. he is rust belt middle class. he went to the seminary for years to be a priest but ultimately felt it wasn’t for him. he cares deeply about people, is the kindest person i know, and doesn’t have a racist bone in his body. he coached me and my 3 siblings in basketball and soccer and more. he’s that dad. at that breakfast he told me was voting for trump and he was certain trump would win. this was weeks before the conventions.
it was about bringing down the establishment.
he said there were millions like him who were so angry at the path we were on that they would put anyone in the office to blow it all up.
trump only won because he struck a chord with the mainstream. he got people like my dad to vote for him — good people who believed they did the right thing by voting for him.
my wife was crying tonight over this election. it felt like the biggest failure of america we’ve ever experienced.
One of the biggest upsets in American political history was built on a coalition of white voters unlike that of any other previous Republican candidate, according to election results and interviews with voters and demographic experts.
Mr. Trump’s coalition comprised not just staunchly conservative Republicans in the South and West. They were joined by millions of voters in the onetime heartlands of 20th-century liberal populism — the Upper and Lower Midwest — where white Americans without a college degree voted decisively to reject the more diverse, educated and cosmopolitan Democratic Party of the 21st century, making Republicans the country’s dominant political party at every level of government.
Magnified by the constitutional design of the Electoral College, and aided by Republican-led efforts to dampen black and Latino voting in states like North Carolina, Mr. Trump’s America proved the larger on Election Day. It smashed through the Democrats’ supposed electoral “blue wall” — the 18 states carried by Democrats in every election since 1992, such as Michigan and Pennsylvania, plus the diverse and well-educated parts of the country that Mr. Obama attracted in his two races, like New Mexico, Nevada, Virginia and Colorado.
Starting Wednesday, you could walk from the Vermont border through Appalachian coal country to the outskirts of St. Louis without crossing a county Mr. Trump did not win decisively. You could head south through rural and suburban Georgia all the way to South Florida, or northwest through the Upper Midwest, or make a beeline for the West Coast, skirting only the rising Democratic communities of Colorado and the booming multicultural sprawl of Las Vegas before finally reaching Mrs. Clinton’s part of the country.
“I feel our country is on the verge of becoming a third world country,” he said. “Our children are not going to have a future. We are not going to have a future.”