Kellyanne Conway mocks Reince Priebus to reporters during Washington party

Just a big, happy family looking to stab each others’ eyeballs out at the first opportunity.

Want a bit of pointless fun? Horrible Trump “counselor” Kellyanne Conway, known ’round television-land for her furious defense of Trump and her demands that all these people leaking bad things about the White House to reporters stop right now or face Bad Person Jail Time or whatever was caught blasting her White House co-workers in an off-the-record conversation with reporters at a Washington party.

‘She had a good/cruel riff mocking @Reince45 in WH staff meetings. “No leaks guuuys” she said, mimicking him in a dopey voice,’ Conway was heard saying, according to the alleged insider.’He should just be honest: “I’m upset because there’s someone working on a story who pronounces it RAYNSE instead of REINCE”.’ […]

‘So @KellyannePolls held court for awhile. Along with knocking @Reince45, she also made jokes about the ineffectiveness of his RNC world,’ a tweet read.

‘At one point @KellyannePolls said “Honestly, what the f*** does Marc Short do all day?”‘

While it’s important to be skeptical of anonymous Twitter accounts purporting to leak insider information about what so-and-so is doing at a Washington party (in this case, at the British Embassy), the tweeter included pictures of Conway engaged in the conversation and Politico was able to confirm her remarks. Possibly because, you know, she was speaking to multiple reporters at the time.

In response, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer emerged from his hiding place to tell Politico that no, no, she was totally making fun of the press, not poor put-upon Reince Priebus, because reasons.

Thank god that’s settled. If you can’t trust Sean Spicer and Kellyanne Conway to tell you the truth about potentially embarrassing situations like this, after all, who can you trust? Those are two names synonymous with prodigious truth-telling. No fibbers here. No sir. Wouldn’t dream of it.

French President Macron Wins Big in Parliamentary Vote

Something’s really happening EN FRANCE!

French President Macron Wins Big in Parliamentary Vote

Last Updated: June 12, 2017 12:25 PM

French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron pick up ballots before voting in the first round of the two-stage legislative elections in Le Touquet, northern France, June 11, 2017.

French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron pick up ballots before voting in the first round of the two-stage legislative elections in Le Touquet, northern France, June 11, 2017.

The fledgling party of France’s new centrist president Emmanuel Macron is set for a landslide victory in parliamentary elections, as results from Sunday’s first round of voting showed it taking 28 percent of the vote.

That result for La République en Marche and its ally MoDem, which had 4 percent of the vote, puts the pair within reach of an overwhelming majority in the National Assembly with more than 400 seats in the 577-seat lower house if their success carries through a final round of voting next week.

Voter turnout, however, hit a record low, as an estimated 52 percent of the population stayed away. That’s being blamed on voter fatigue, after a long and divisive presidential campaign that saw Macron elected last month.

Macron’s spokesman Christophe Castaner called the low turnout “a failure of this election”.

“We have to take note, we have to restore trust,” Castaner, who is also minister for parliamentary relations, told France 2 television.

Still, the result is seen as a strong endorsement of President Macron. Many of those who voted for him in the presidential election, particularly left-wing voters, said they were doing so only to keep Marine Le Pen out. At the time, many of them, and those who abstained, promised to vote against the new president in the parliamentary elections. However, it is clear that a large percentage of them changed their minds.

Making his mark

In the 28 days since his inauguration, Macron has made his mark on the international stage: playing President Donald Trump at his own handshake game and winning; criticizing Russia’s Vladimir Putin while standing beside him; and jumping in with new proposals after the U.S. announced a U-turn on climate change.

Macron's La Republique en Marche party members react after the announcement of the first partial official results and polling agencies projections are announced, in Paris, June 11, 2017.

Macron’s La Republique en Marche party members react after the announcement of the first partial official results and polling agencies projections are announced, in Paris, June 11, 2017.

That has had an effect at home. After five years of Socialist Party rule, in which former president Francois Hollande failed to meet his objectives of reducing unemployment and giving a boost to the flagging economy, the French were depressed and downbeat.

Seeing the new president widely acclaimed and admired on the international stage has made voters at home sit up and take note — and decide to give him a chance.

The president needs a strong majority in order to push through his promised reforms of France’s strict labor laws, and its ailing social security system.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said the result is a clear signal that the French support Macron’s plans. “France is back,” he said, noting that the president, in his first month in office, “has embodied trust, willingness and audacity.”

He continued: “Next Sunday, the National Assembly will embody the new face of our republic: a strong republic, a unified republic, a republic that listens to everyone, the French Republic.”

Unknowns headed to government seats

LREM, formed just a year ago to get Macron elected, fielded an unprecedented number of unknown candidates. Most had never held elected office and just five percent were outgoing parliamentarians. The few non-politicians who were known to the public included a woman who used to be a bullfighter, a former anti-corruption judge and a video game magnate.

“It is neither healthy nor desirable for a president who gathered only 24 percent of the vote in the first round of the presidentials and who was elected in the second round only by the rejection of the extreme right should benefit from a monopoly of national representation,” said Socialist Party leader Jean-Christophe Cambadelis as results flowed in.

A woman leaves a polling station in the first round of parliamentary elections in Pau, southwestern France, June 11, 2017.

A woman leaves a polling station in the first round of parliamentary elections in Pau, southwestern France, June 11, 2017.

Cambadelis later confirmed he had been eliminated from the competition for his Paris seat, one that was previously a safe one for the Socialists.

It had been expected that the conservative Les Republicains (The Republicans) would be mobilized to form the largest bloc in the National Assembly. But Macron’s impressive performance in his first month, coupled with astute moves, including naming an LR deputy as prime minister, took the wind from their sails. The party is still expected to form the second largest bloc, with a predicted 95-125 seats.

The big losers in this first round were the Socialists, with less than 10 percent of the vote. That would give the PS and its allies just 10-25 seats in the new Assembly.

The far-right National Front party failed to capitalize on Marine Le Pen’s record score of 33.9 percent of the presidential second round vote. It scored just 14 percent Sunday.

A second round of voting takes place next Sunday. Prime Minister Philippe urged French voters to improve on Sunday’s turnout, stressing the importance of going out to vote.

NATURE CONSERVANCY!

Federal conservation funding is on the chopping block. The Administration’s budget proposal slashes funding for the air we breathe, water we drink, and our nation’s natural places. Tell Congress to protect federal conservation funding.

Will you join us and stand up for federal conservation funding?
NATURE.ORG

Trump’s first 100 days according to the group that matters most: ‘Many people’

Politics

BLOGGER’S NOTE: IT IS CLEAR FROM WHAT FOLLOWS THAT 1. THE PRESIDENT HAS ACCOMPLISHED CERTAIN THINGS HE PROMISED AND DOES HAVE SUPPORT FROM MANY, BUT FAR FROM ALL OF HIS SUPPORTERS, (I.E. FROM MANY OF THE MINORITY 45% FROM THE NOV. ELECTION, FOR EXAMPLE)  2. MANY OF TRUMP’S CLAIMS OF ACCOMPLISHMENT AND FACT ARE SHEER NONSENSE, BUT NOT ALL. 3. THERE IS NOTHING REMOTELY CLOSE TO THE VOLUME OF DELUSIONAL UTTERANCES COMING FROM A CHIEF EXECUTIVE IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. IF THEY WERE SPOEKN BY A FOREIGN LEADER, MUCH WOULD BE RIDICULED– AS INDEED IT IS. 4. There is just enough There for him to keep “hanging in there.”  ~ f.l. shiels
April 24 at 2:51 PM

President Trump won his election thanks in large part to the strong support of white voters without college degrees, a group that stood with Trump’s candidacy nearly from the outset and never wavered. But no group has been more supportive of Trump, on nearly every issue and comment, than “many people.”

Who is “many people”? Well, it is a group that is a lot of people, presented by Trump as evidence that he is reflecting the will of the people without going through such cumbersome details as identifying who they are or pointing to polling that backs up his claims. For example, Trump said during a debate in September 2015 that many people — most people, even — apologized to him when they discovered that his campaign-launch speech’s claims about crime perpetrated by immigrants in the country illegally was correct. Granted, studies suggest that his claims were incorrect, but who cares what a “study” says when, in contrast, many people went so far as to apologize to Trump for thinking him incorrect?

With Trump’s 100th day in office arriving this week, we figured we’d evaluate his presidency so far through the lens of what this nebulous-but-critical constituency is saying. Here, according to Trump, is what most people or many people or, at least, a lot of people are saying about his presidency and his politics.


Many people agree that there might be millions of votes cast illegally last year. (Interview with David Muir, Jan. 25.)

People loved his speech at the CIA. (Muir.)

ADVERTISING

People loved and liked his inaugural address. (Muir.)

Many people thought that his inaugural address was optimistic. (Interview with CBN, Jan. 26.)

Many people have come out and said that Trump is correct about his claim that millions of people voted illegally last November. (Interview with Bill O’Reilly, Feb. 5.)

A lot of people say that Trump was only kidding about the wall but they are wrong. (Speech at MCCA, Feb. 8.)

A lot of people are liking Neil M. Gorsuch very much on the other side of the political aisle but they may not vote for him because of politics. (Roundtable discussion, Feb. 9.)

A lot of people consider Supreme Court picks to be one of the more important presidential duties. (Roundtable.)

A lot of people are very happy right now because of the deportations his administration has effected. (Remarks at a news conference with the prime minister of Canada, Feb. 13.)

A lot of people are happy he’s following through on campaign commitments. (News conference, Feb. 16.)

A lot of people don’t know that the Air Force One proposal involves building two airplanes. (Rally in Florida, Feb. 18.)

A lot of people think that the increase he wants to make to military spending is a lot of money. (“Fox and Friends” interview, Feb. 27.)

A lot of people understand that he said that the U.S. needed to deport criminals in the country illegally. (“Fox and Friends.”)

Many people have said that federal regulations have been catastrophic. (Comments at the White House, Feb. 27.)

Betsy DeVos has had such support from so many people. Many people were calling her and saying she will do a fantastic job. (Comments.)

A lot of people were surprised he won Michigan in last year’s election. (Roundtable discussion in Michigan, March 15.)

A lot of people thanked him for eliminating “anti-coal legislation.” (Rally in Kentucky, March 20.)

Many people and companies are into what NASA stands for. (Comments at a bill-signing, March 21.)

A lot of people don’t know that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican. (Speech at a National Republican Campaign Committee dinner, March 21.)

A lot of people don’t realize how good the Republican health-care bill was because they were only looking at the first phase of it. (Remarks from the Oval Office, March 24.)

A lot of people don’t know that Jeff Sessions was a U.S. attorney. (Roundtable discussion, March 28.)

A lot of people don’t know that Mar-a-Lago was built to be the Southern White House. (Roundtable discussion, March 31.)

A lot of people are saying that the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman was a P.R. person for Hillary Clinton. (Interview with the Times, April 4. “Mostly you,” Haberman replied.)

So many people are apologizing to him for having been right about Susan Rice. (Interview with Fox Business, April 11.)

A large number of people want to hear the story of how he told the president of China that he was launching missile strikes against Syria. (Fox Business.)

Many people come to see him and say they are unable to borrow from banks. (Roundtable discussion, April 11.)

Most people don’t know that he has to approve payments to insurers to cover Obamacare subsidies. (Interview with the Wall Street Journal, April 12.)

A lot of people don’t know that Italy is one of America’s largest trading partners. (Remarks welcoming the prime minister of Italy, April 20.)

A lot of people are liking the Republican health-care bill a lot because it gets better and better and better. (Prime minister remarks.)

Many people — human rights people — are talking about how Trump negotiated the release of charity worker Aya Hijazi. (Interview with the Associated Press, April 24.)

People have given Trump credit for having great chemistry with all of the world leaders, including Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi. (AP interview.)

A lot of people have said that his joint address to Congress was the single best speech ever made in that chamber. (AP interview.)

A lot of people don’t watch CNN any more. (AP interview.)

Here’s why Comey may have stayed silent on the Russia probe before we voted — and it should terrify Trump

On Oct. 28, 2016, four months after declining to bring a case against former Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton for her use of an unsecured e-mail server during her time as secretary of state, FBI director James Comey wrote a stunning letter to members of Congress, informing the legislative branch that the bureau was reviewing new documents pertinent to that investigation.

On Nov. 7, 2016—one day before the 2016 presidential election—the FBI director announced the bureau found nothing new in those documents. The following day Donald Trump, Clinton’s rival throughout the campaign, was elected president.

ADVERTISING

The circumstances surrounding Trump’s election cannot be singularly attributed to Comey’s re-upped revelation of an FBI probe into Clinton’s emails. But one thing is certain: when voters went to the polls on Election Day, they did so under the false narrative that only one of the candidates had been the subject of a criminal investigation. In fact, in July 2016, around the same time that Comey originally declined to bring charges against Clinton, the FBI began investigating the Trump campaign’s connection to Russian operatives actively trying to influence the U.S. election.

The stark difference between FBI director Comey’s radio silence on the bureau’s continuing investigation into then-candidate Trump, and the director’s willingness to discuss the investigation into former Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s private email server raises serious questions—chief among them, why? What was behind the unwillingness to disclose an ongoing investigation into Trump’s ties to the Russian government?

According to a WhoWhatWhy exposé, published Thursday on AlterNet, the FBI declined to inform the U.S. public about ties between Trump and the Russian government for fear of exposing informants and “[jeopardizing] a long-running, ultra-sensitive operation targeting mobsters tied to Russian President Vladimir Putin — and to Trump.”

A two month-long investigation by the publication revealed that FBI agents likely feared exposing an ongoing operation against “an organized crime network headquartered in the former Soviet Union.” This Russian mob “is one of the Bureau’s top priorities,” spans several decades, and is intricately linked with associates of Trump and businesses the president owns.

As the report notes, federal officials were intent on protecting an FBI source—a convicted criminal with deep links to the organized crime network—upon whom the bureau came to rely for information. Some federal officials “were so involved in protecting this source” they later became a part of his personal defense counsel; upon his conviction government attorneys urged for “extreme leniency” toward this man.

The article further reveals that among the many details Comey was unable to discuss during his Mar. 20 testimony to Congress was the fact that “for more than three decades the FBI has had Trump Tower in its sights,” monitoring its occupants’ deep ties to organized crime networks. According to the report, one former Trump Organization adviser, Felix Sater, fits the bill for the FBI’s source into the Russia-based crime ring.

Sater, a Russian-born real estate developer, is a convicted felon; in 1998, he was charged in a massive $40 million stock fraud scheme involving members of the Genovese and Bonanno families. According to the Miami Herald, shortly thereafter, Sater “began spying for the CIA” and a “was able to track down a dozen Stinger missiles equipped with powerful tracking devices on the black market.” In return for buying the missiles, Sater avoided jail time. According to WhoWhatWhy, separate legal filings on Sater’s behalf indicate “he ‘reported daily’ to the FBI for many years.”

Sater later altered his public name to Satter and became a senior adviser for Bayrock Group LLC, a real-estate development company based in New York. Through his work with Bayrock, Sater worked on Trump SoHo, and was a senior advisor to Donald Trump and The Trump Organization beginning in 2006.

In 2009, Sater was formally sentenced in the racketeering case, and was asked to pay a $25,000 fine with no prison time. The Herald notes that Sater also avoided paying the victims of his scheme, which given the scope of his conviction, is “mandatory under federal law.”

Much of Sater’s background was sealed, preventing fellow investors and clients from learning about his criminal past. Civil lawsuits brought against Bayrock charge the company with “concealing Sater’s 1998 $40 million federal racketeering conviction, and subsequent 2009 sentencing.” As investors sought to reveal Sater’s criminal background, federal agents argued that exposing it would undermine national security. As the Herald reports, at one hearing, the judge presiding the case said it had made it to the top levels “of a national law enforcement security agency. I should say agencies—plural.” The judge also dubbed Sater “John Doe” to “protect the life of the person.”

Fred Oberlander, an attorney who represented a former Bayrock employee suing the company in civil court, was provided access to highly sensitive documents involving Sater’s work as a government informant. According to WhoWhatWhy, on Feb. 10, 2012, the US Court of Appeals instructed Oberlander he could not “inform the legislative branch of the United States government what he knew about” Sater.

Oberlander’s attorney Richard Lerner, in a statement to WhoWhatWhy, said his client being forbidden from speaking with Congress “may well be the first and only hyper-injunction in American history.”

“If there are others who have been scared silent by judges who wish to nullify Congressional and public oversight, we may never know,” Lerner added. “That is frightening.”

FROM GERMANY FOR DONALD

TREMENDOUS!

Even More Countries Mock Trump with Wickedly Funny Parody Videos [Updated]

FEATURED IN VANITY FAIR: MORE TO COME

UPdate (February 6, 2:34 P.M.): The trend has officially left Europe: Just one day after Luxembourg joined in on the fun] on Sunday with a video from Eldo TV, a YouTuber named Marouane Lamharzi Alaoui has submitted his own video on behalf of Morocco.

The original post, with the new videos embedded, continues below.


By now, we all know that under Donald Trump’s administration, the United States’s guiding principle is going to be “America first”—as the president stressed in his dystopian inauguration speech. The world got the message loud and clear—and now, European countries are beginning to counter with rallying cries of their own.

The trend began with a viral parody video from the Netherlands, courtesy of the news satire show Zondag met Lubach. The clip, a faux introduction to the Netherlands that mocks Trump by imitating the president’s signature verbiage—”We’ve got the best words. All the other languages failed”—has racked up more than 16 million views on YouTube since last week.

Now, several other countries have hopped on the bandwagon, all sarcastically clamoring to come in “second” to America’s interests by making their cases in terms Trump can understand.

 

Over in Germany, the satirical late-night talk show Neo Magazin Royale offered, “This is the Oktoberfest. It’s the best beer fest God ever created. There is pee everywhere. You would love it. Just saying. Great pee. German beer pee. Or as we call it in Germany, Bud Light.”

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM HOLLAND!

durch-viral-trump-video

 

IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THIS– YOU MUST!

http://mashable.com/2017/01/24/netherlands-trump-viral-video/?utm_cid=mash-com-fb-main-link#mjjhFGrNVmqL

An Open Letter to Donald J. Trump Before, During, and After the Swearing- In, from Future Progress USA (FP-USA)

statue-of-liberty-weeping                                                                    00trump-new-yorker-classic-cover

 

A LETTER TO DONALD TRUMP—WHAT  I LIKE– AND DO NOT LIKE– ABOUT YOU

Dear Mr. Trump,

  1. You have awakened the Progressive community to the fact that many white working folks—especially—have been (politically) neglected; many turned out for you, when needed groups supporting your more qualified opponent (or at least enough) did not for her—and You Know Who You Are 😉
  1. You “Seem” to have won the biggest electoral upset in American history; all the more impressive as you have an unusual sort of charisma and not the best qualifications for the office, perhaps 45th? among U.S. presidents
  1. At first, although a supporter of “the Other Party”, I was intrigued by your unfiltered remarks, and some good comments about the 2 trillion dollar Mideast Wars, killing more than 7000 young Americans in the process, and in the process majorly ruffled the Bush family’s feathers,
  1. I certainly to not need to repeat the long list of insults and tomfoolery that has marked your rise and that those who rejected you (the 3 million more than you got votes who went to Sec. Clinton) and those who seem to see you as their great white hope: these are the people whom you now must not let down, as I hope you realize
  1. And as I traveled to New Hampshire to try to be one man helping millions of others block your path to a place you should not be, and talked to people on a post-(your) election trip across 16 states, most of them red, I began to understand that your people truly do believe in you, your JOBS, your swagger, your promises that do not add up, but to your short-term credit, they do not seem to care,
  1. I hope that you will be able to deliver one tenth of what you promise to the 45 million people who voted for you in your “landslide”… because if you don’t, you will hurt them, and your top appointments most certainly will hurt their interests, also striking back at what they think of as the (not really so) Liberal Establishment: Clintons, Obamas, Bidens—those people
  1. You know that with the help of Putin and Comey—but also your own very strange sort of charm and bravado, you have done what all of the polls thought was nearly impossible… And you deserve a certain amount of grudging credit—maybe you really will make “the trains run on time”
  1. So the country is watching, Mr. Trump—and Mr. Pence—as what for many on both sides of this election thought was impossible; you will be sworn in and, and, and—then your troubles will begin, but they will not be as great as ours. Today, January 20, half the country will be in mourning in a way never witnessed before.

9.     The other half may be dancing in the streets. I would like to believe we might all be dancing one year from now. Like to believe? Yes, but do not believe. What kind of country will you and your whistling in the dark Party create for us in 2017? I am not optimistic. Nobody but your fiercest 10 million enemies wants to see a train-wreck. But with you behind the throttle, I am not sure about the alternatives.

10. The country does not need to be ‘Made Great Again’. It is truly great–for now.

2016 Presidential Campaign Lessons Neglect (Even Benign) No Longer an Option: A. Lerman: A Now-Relevant Re-blog

2016 Presidential Campaign Lessons Neglect (Even Benign) No Longer an Option: A. Lerman

TRUMP AND ANGRY VOTERS.jpg    SANDERS ANGRY

We offer here an essay by Professor Arthur Lerman that is really worth getting into. Why are/WERE so many people so Angry in this election?. More than usual. “Angry Populism.” This has been/WAS “used” in very different ways especially well by Bernard Sanders and The Donald Trump.

Some explanations have been offered in previous pieces in this blog, like the review of Thomas Frank’s LISTEN, LIBERAL!. Is it true that a kind of anarchism or at least obstructionism is growing among us? And see what you think of Lerman’s solutions or solutions “out there” that he identifies.

Note: this will be re-blogged with further comments and perhaps Dr. Lerman’s and Your “comments on those comments!”

Also note: Prof. Lerman stresses that this is a Draft, that may be influenced by comments and his own further thinking

2016 Presidential Campaign Lessons Neglect (Even Benign) No Longer an Option ©

In the past, there were cases in which groups or individuals could be ignored and/or exploited by ruling classes, because the ignored/exploited had learned to accept their difficult position as part of the natural or religious order, or because they saw no hope of change–including the prediction that any attempt at change will make their situations even worse–e.g., severe/immediate repression from the ruling classes, for example.
Of course, throughout history, there were many cases in which groups or individuals did not accept their difficult positions as inevitable, so history is full of rebellions and revolutions—upsetting and overthrowing numerous ruling elite regimes.

In our modern world, with the spread of the power of groups and individual to threaten and ultimately disrupt the peace and security of socially privileged classes and, more importantly, with the spread of the consciousness of this power, this ability to blithely ignore and exploit is even less of an option.
This increased disruption capability, and awareness of such capability, has come with such new conditions as:

  1. the spread of rights of peaceful political action–voting and communicating about voting to others.
  2. the spread of technology for communicating to wide audiences.
  3. the increase in social complexity, making it easy for individuals or groups to “throw a monkey wrench into the works”, e.g., putting an orange traffic cone in front of an entrance to the George Washington Bridge.
  4. the increasing availability of the tools of violence to allow individuals and groups to wreak havoc.

(Interesting side note: In the mid-1960s, in graduate school, I remember a renowned sociology professor saying that social control has become so intense that the individual was already incapable of independent action that could disrupt society in any way. Seems the above conditions, especially b, c and d would reverse this judgment.)

So in our day, it is ever more perilous for political elites to allow groups (or even individuals) to fall into difficult social circumstances. And, therefore, we come, during the current presidential campaign, to the phenomenon of Donald Trump.

Of course, he is not unique. Angry populist movements abound in recent history. What is interesting is, that the workings of democracy should have precluded the rise of angry populism.

One could conceive of the workings of democracy as parallel to the workings of a market economic system—if there is a demand, producers will automatically act to supply it. So, if there is a political demand, political producers—i.e., creators and implementers of policy—should automatically act to meet the demand.

In such a case, the political producers would be continuously surveying the demands of all voting groups (if not the demands of isolated, unrepresentative individuals) to make sure they are supplying what is necessary to keep these groups supporting them..

Moreover, similar to a market system, it’s not just one political producer in play. Like in a competitive economy, anyone can present him/herself as a political producer, proposing ways to meet demands. In the U.S. that has pretty much meant that two organizations of political producers—the Republicans and the Democrats—have been the ones to respond to demands, keeping groups needs met and ensuring social stability.

In the recent U.S. past, for example, political producers responded to the Great Depression of the 1930s with Social Security and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, to the 1950-1960’s demand for racial equality with the civil rights bills of the 1960s, and to the 1960’s health problems of seniors with Medicaid and Medicare.

But, as with economic markets, the theory does not always work out in practice.

Markets are plagued by lack of accurate knowledge, so producers may produce what is not demanded, or neglect to produce what is in demand.

(Of special note—one of the most difficult areas of the market economy is those who have demands, but do not have the resources [money, goods, services] to make their demands effective.)

Political markets are also plagued by lack of accurate knowledge. Some of this is simply lack of information about groups and their needs—perhaps because of poor information gathering, or, perhaps because of not knowing where to look or what to look at, or, preconceptions about what exists. And there is also the difficulty that, one may know what exists, but one’s ideology suggests an improper response.

So, we have the rise of angry populism, personified by the candidacy of Donald Trump, presumably because our political producers—the Republicans and Democrats—lacked the requisite information about how to meet the demands of Trump supporters, or have offering the wrong “product” for meeting the demands.

(There is also a “Blame the Victim” angle here. Perhaps political producers have been offering the proper product, but those making the demand do not realize their demand is being met–i.e., economic progress during Obama’s administration?)

So let us explore the groups and the demands involved.

Trump’s support is coming from white voters with a high school education or less. Their clear economic demands are for secure, well-paying jobs. The analysis is that many of their jobs have been transferred overseas, leaving them unemployed, or employed at lower wage, less secure—often retail—jobs.

The obvious response of political producers would be to find other ways to provide secure, well-paying employment. Ways to do this would be to:

1. Create alternative venues to work in—or promote private sector efforts to do so.

2. One example is rebuilding the country’s infrastructure—everything from transportation (roads, bridges, mass transit facilities) to public buildings (hospitals, schools).

3. And there are the new tech industries that are coming out of the Silicon Valleys of our land.

4. And there is the possibility of reclaiming industries that have moved abroad through new technologies, including robots, which can compete economically with foreign sweat shops.

5. Afford opportunities to upgrade skills to fit oneself into such new industries.

6. And the government could always be an employer of last resort. The idea that there is nothing worth paying the unemployed to do is false. And given that the country as a whole (through our companies that offshore their production) is still making immense, profits, indicates that the means do exist to employ individuals elsewhere where they are needed—for example, putting more teachers in the classroom or healthcare workers in our hospitals and clinics.

Yet, our two main political producers—at least the more typical, “Establishment” Republicans and Democrats—have not placed these employment products on the political market—resulting in the angry populism that is supporting the “anti-establishment” Donald Trump.

The question is why? Is it not an axiom of the market place—economic or political—that the self-interest of the producer will move him/her to provide the product to meet the demand?

Above, we have noted some explanations—lack of information, misperception, interpretation. To these we may add lack of ability to produce.

For the Republicans, some of this is interpretation. The Republican ideology is that government—including the political producers running the government—is not supposed to be responding to economically based demands. The ideology is that when government gets involved, things get worse—the government creates and runs incompetent and corrupt programs, and the individual becomes dependent on government, becoming a burden instead of an asset to society. . It is for the individual to respond to the market on his own, creating the economic opportunity to respond to such things as international economic competition.

(One thinks of articles by Thomas Friedman in the NY Times, urging individuals to retool themselves through advancing their education to meet the modern economy. Of course, Republican ideology does not promote government support for such, or government guidance on what retooling for what end. And then, what if in a few years, new products and competition from abroad necessitate another course of retooling. And how many times can an individual go through such a process. What of the psychological burden?)

The Democrats (full disclosure—I’m a loyal Democrat) do believe that the government can effectively meet these demands—but they have only limited ability respond—since they don’t control the Congress. Yet, since they control the executive, they still get lots of blame, since it’s the executive that’s the “face” of the “not-responsive” government.

Also, there is the analysis of Thomas Frank, brought home in his most recent book—Listen Liberal, that the Democrats have written off the white, high school educated working class—seeing them as having turned against the Democrats for their devotion to non-White minorities—who are as threatening to them as are overseas sweatshop workers—and having become a party of the meritocratic upper-middle classes—leaving the needs of the white working class to no one to respond to.

Oh! Yes, the Republicans have responded—but not with an economic product. They have responded to the psychology of the white working class that sees itself as having lost its status as having defined American. The white working class was psychologically supported, not only though solid economic jobs, but also with identification with the greatness of America. I’m great because America is great.

But now, America is more and more depicted as a mélange of whites and non-whites, in which white workers are just one more of America’s mélange of social groups. Loss of economic status (a secure, well-paying job) has been accompanied by loss of prestigious identification. And Obama, a black president, becomes the notorious symbol of this loss—explaining some of the vehement opposition to him—and anything he does, even when trying to compromise with the Republicans.

The Republicans have responded to this by their campaign of the loss of America’s power and prestige in the world and the loss of American morality at home—even before Trump—corralling the white vote for itself.

But, till Trump, the Republicans have not been able to improve things for the white working class—it only continued to play on the theme of resentment for loss of status.

Thus, they were open for someone who plays much more clearly and openly on these resentment themes.

So we have the angry populism that the Republicans were promoting—more clearly and angrily presented by Trump—he’s got the product and the white working class are buying.

Do the Democrats have an alternative? Hillary and Bernie both offer more concrete economic products, but is the white working class even looking at them?

Certainly some are—though many have long been in the Republican fold, seeing the Democrats as the friends of the minorities and sweatshop foreigners, as well as of elite upper-middle class types. So they are not listening.

 

A great challenge would be for Hillary (maybe riding on Bill’s charisma) would have been to get them to listen again.

And Bernie—in his clear dedication to the workers—if he can get them to listen.

This is important, to go back to our beginning. Both producers in our political market place have neglected—failed to respond to– a major part of our society. And, given the easier ability for social groups to disrupt and threaten—not just the social elites, but everyone else—it is important to provide a product that will meet their own needs, while being compatible with the needs of all others in society.

Alternatively, they can be led by a demagogue—either to continuing ineffectual venting of anger (which the Republicans have been leading them on to do for years), or, more dangerously, to much more disruptive social action.

    • <a_href=%27http%3a%2f%2ffshiels.wordpress.com%27+rel%3d%27external+nofollow%27+class%3d%27url%27%3efshiels%3c%2fa%3e&iframe=true&theme_preview=true< span=””>on April 19, 2016 at 10:20 pm said:

      Will do ASAP Art. I hope Wed. Going to DC Thu. Thru Sat. Best Rick

      ps happy to do this but do you still have password and username for your own access?___

THE MAP AT THE TOP OF ‘PROGRESSIVE FUTURE’ IS TEMPORARILY UNDER CONSTRUCTION

 

STUFF HAPPENS.

CONGRATULATIONS TO SOME GOOD PEOPLE I KNOW.

“THIS TOO WILL PASS” TO MANY, MANY, MANY, PEOPLE I KNOW; WE’RE JUST NOT SURE HOW.

.

%d bloggers like this: