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The Art of No Deal 
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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Well, Mooch is gone. I knew he wasn't going to last long but--damn! He actually managed to last one day shorter than Sally Yates who openly defied Trump and refused to follow his directives! How bad is that?? As a Trump appointee, your tenure isn't measure in years, it's measured in months and, in some cases, days. What a weird, weird regime we have.

I'm not expecting Democrats to take the house next year but I am expecting they will make significant gains. The gerrymandering is just too loaded to overcome. I just can't see it. But the thing is, Trump is actually losing support in the South where he is supposed to be strongest. So I think the dems will gain a lot of seats the GOP doesn't want to lose but they will still hang onto the majority. The dems need to concentrate on 2020 when everything will change.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
After this Thursday, I'll be away for most of the next four weeks, most of it without internet, Chris, so I won't be in.



Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:13 pm
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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
DB Roy wrote:
As a Trump appointee, your tenure isn't measure in years, it's measured in months and, in some cases, days. What a weird, weird regime we have.


I almost said, we're not in Kansas anymore. But then, Kansas has been Weird Central for the last six or eight years.

DB Roy wrote:
I'm not expecting Democrats to take the house next year but I am expecting they will make significant gains. The gerrymandering is just too loaded to overcome.

I fear you are right. I wonder how effective grass roots efforts to take state houses, state by state, will be to shift the gerrymandering after the next census. It just seems like Dems aren't that kind of party anymore, and that is a big part of the problem.

So, gains in the suburbs, but meanwhile the economy keeps perking along and the Republicans find one wedge issue after another to play their old games. Immigration cutbacks, the Wall, voter registration restrictions, trans people in the military, affirmative action challenges, claims that every new job was brought by Trump, restrictions on states legalizing pot. There is no shortage of stuff for Fox News to play "persecuted" about.

I want to see Democrats stand for something mainstream that counts. Fortunately Obamacare has begun to look like the place to take that stand. But if you can be Republican and unwilling to repeal, how effective is that?
DB Roy wrote:
But the thing is, Trump is actually losing support in the South where he is supposed to be strongest.
I don't know. Jeff Flake lost a lot of support for criticizing Trump, and that was in Arizona, which is getting close to being a swing state. The hard core folks are really hard core.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Is there a book about this issue? Any Kindle version? Thanks. I am fascinated of this issue.


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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Well, where do we begin for this week? I guess we can start with North Korea. The world's two most unstable and narcissistic leaders are now in a pissing contest. Trump has promised to hit NK with what seems to be the threat of nuclear war. Once again, his staff as well as the Pentagon were caught completely off-guard by the threat. World leaders quickly denounced it and responsible members of Congress from both sides also denounced it. Kim Jong Un then threatened to hit Guam. Trump then reassured Guam's leadership that the threat would boost their tourism. Boy, it is really taxing trying to figure out where this guy comes up with the stuff he blurts out. I can only imagine the incredulous looks the people of Guam gave one another when that bit of news made the rounds.

A lot of Americans like Trump getting tough with Kim but they don't like this nuclear war rhetoric. After all, if you talk it and they call your bluff, you have to back it up. This could easily get SO out of hand quickly. And Trump isn't exactly the kind of guy who can sit their poker-faced and calm. I hear some people say we should have gone to war with them 20 years ago and we wouldn't be in this mess now. The problem there is that it's hindsight talking. We didn't want to go to war then anymore than we do now. It's pointless speculation.

With that simmering on the back-burner, Trump wants to lean on China for not doing more about his spat with Kim. What he expects China to do is beyond me. YOU picked the fight, not China. So now he's going to look into their trade practices. Careful, Trump--you and your daughter have enough business deals there already. This follows Trump declaring China is not currency manipulator which follows his declaration that China is a currency manipulator. Not sure fucking with China is wise after pulling out of the TPP.

THEN there is the rally in Charlottesville, VA where a statue of Robert E. Lee was to be removed. The alt-right, through the Daily Stormer website, organized this rally to protest the statue's removal. The Klan was there, the neo-Nazis were there, Confederate groups were there. Anti-racist groups as Antifa showed up en masse to protest the protesters. At a certain point, a right wing nut job ran his car into a crowd of antiracist protesters killing a woman and injuring others--some severely.

Trump shows up and, instead of condemning the white supremacists, blames "many sides." This has seemingly proven to be Trump's Achilles' Heel. He has been reprimanded publicly for not denouncing the racists. Two days later, he finally does but it's too little too late. How genuine is it when he had to be forced to finally say it. By waiting, he now has prove he means it by firing Bannon.

The antiracists forces really turned the heat up by outing white supremacists who stood in formation at the rally. Some have lost their jobs, others fear they will lose theirs, others are insisting they are not angry racists at all--just guys pissed off about the replacement of white European culture in America, that's all.

But now other states stepping up their schedules to remove Confederate statues. Kentucky, for example. So whatever gains the supremacists think they gained by the murder are in fast retreat.

Even Trump supporters are upset over the failure to repeal, the tough-guy routine with Kim and the incompetence shown the wake of the Charlottesville murder. Slowly the noose continues to tighten.



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Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:38 pm
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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
DB Roy wrote:
Well, where do we begin for this week? I guess we can start with North Korea. The world's two most unstable and narcissistic leaders are now in a pissing contest. Trump has promised to hit NK with what seems to be the threat of nuclear war. Once again, his staff as well as the Pentagon were caught completely off-guard by the threat. World leaders quickly denounced it and responsible members of Congress from both sides also denounced it. Kim Jong Un then threatened to hit Guam.
It seems to me that Trump will appear to the right to have won that round, especially now that NK has backed away from their most specific threat.
DB Roy wrote:
A lot of Americans like Trump getting tough with Kim but they don't like this nuclear war rhetoric. After all, if you talk it and they call your bluff, you have to back it up.
OK, I see you share my concerns. So, the Chinese have done what the adults in the West Wing hoped they would do. Is that a win for Trump? I'm not sure. If they get the ability to make him back down on trade (which many of his advisers will be telling him to do anyway) then all he gets is the ability to pretend he got them to back down by blustering. But then, that seems to be all he's really after anyway.

DB Roy wrote:
I hear some people say we should have gone to war with them 20 years ago and we wouldn't be in this mess now. The problem there is that it's hindsight talking. We didn't want to go to war then anymore than we do now. It's pointless speculation.
Well, but their point is that things only get worse if left alone. The dynamics of the situation impel the NK overlords to make themselves as invulnerable as Israel by being so radioactive no one else will touch them. The main alternative turns out to be soft power, which it always has been. [That's why Jeane Kirkpatrick and Henry Kissinger were intent on arguing that totalitarianism is forever, and no one ever comes back from it.] The U.S. smuggles in (I wonder if the cost includes the occasional rosy-cheeked farm boy coming back in a coma and dying) USB sticks and other sources of information about what life is like in SK and the rest of the world. It is a tenable hypothesis that Kim Jong Un has turned out to be such a paranoid provocateur precisely because he lived in the West for many years and sees how tempting that world must be to the ordinary minions of NK if they ever find out what they are missing.

DB Roy wrote:
What he expects China to do is beyond me. YOU picked the fight, not China.
China did what he wanted them to. Their boycott of NK exports is almost certainly what got KJU to back down. In my view, however, China was reacting entirely to KJU and even the mildest of public rebuke by the U.S. would have been just as effective as long as it was accompanied by clear back-channel communication as to our actual interests, in which red-line acts of war have warlike responses spelled out if China doesn't restrain their nuclear chihuahua. China certainly knows it doesn't want war on the peninsula or nuclear fallout drifting over the border. The idea that there are no levers on a regime willing to use nuclear weapons is just absurd.

DB Roy wrote:
Trump shows up and, instead of condemning the white supremacists, blames "many sides." This has seemingly proven to be Trump's Achilles' Heel. He has been reprimanded publicly for not denouncing the racists. Two days later, he finally does but it's too little too late. How genuine is it when he had to be forced to finally say it. By waiting, he now has prove he means it by firing Bannon.
Just the opposite. He now can appear to "let Trump be Trump" while playing wedge issues the same way he has for 15 years. His envy of Roger Ailes may kill us all yet - I mean, what could make you a bigger star than getting everybody to talk about you non-stop for five years by relentlessly posing as "fair and balanced" to cue the fragility of whiteness-ego?

As far as I am concerned the left is playing into his game. I understand that toleration of hate groups makes vulnerable people afraid. But wearing our little safety pins and calling out Trump so we can be seen to be on the right side is not nearly as important as just reminding people what the Nazi symbols mean and what white supremacy is about. What could have been a clear expression of our disgust has been turned into meaningless blather about "false equivalencies" while Trump gets to play wedge issues again. The antifa are not our friends, and striking a dramatic pose on the moral high ground does not win elections.

It would be good to remember who stopped Joe McCarthy. It was the military. We can trust ordinary people to recognize it when extremists go too far.

DB Roy wrote:
But now other states stepping up their schedules to remove Confederate statues. Kentucky, for example. So whatever gains the supremacists think they gained by the murder are in fast retreat.
Leaders within Red States still know that it is not in their interest to get frozen out by the major corporate leaders. Behave themselves and they can hope for a Foxconn deal. Act up and they can spend ten years in the doghouse, like Kansas.



Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:46 am
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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
teachwithoutlimits wrote:
Is there a book about this issue? Any Kindle version? Thanks. I am fascinated of this issue.

Trump Nation by Timothy O'Brien and Peter Ganim seems to be the most successful "true Trump" story-telling. But Amazon's results for "Trump Nation" turn up several other worthy exposés. I haven't read any of them, but I like the look of "Trump Revealed".

And on the other side, "Hillbilly Elegy" and "Strangers in Their Own Land" tell, in sad clarity, the story of the ruralish culture of nostagia which gives Fox News and the Tea Party much of their momentum.



Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:59 am
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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Harry Marks wrote:
It seems to me that Trump will appear to the right to have won that round, especially now that NK has backed away from their most specific threat.


It doesn't seem to me that anything Trump says or does is seen by the right as anything but a victory. But what was obvious to me was that NK never intended to hit Guam. It was an idle threat meant to provoke a reaction. Why? Because their leader isn't much different from Trump, maybe.


Harry Marks wrote:
OK, I see you share my concerns. So, the Chinese have done what the adults in the West Wing hoped they would do. Is that a win for Trump? I'm not sure. If they get the ability to make him back down on trade (which many of his advisers will be telling him to do anyway) then all he gets is the ability to pretend he got them to back down by blustering. But then, that seems to be all he's really after anyway.


Of course that's all he's after. He doesn't have the vision of a bigger picture. Maybe Kim knows that. Bottom line is: I would not assume Kim is at all done. He seems to be testing some waters here.

Harry Marks wrote:
Well, but their point is that things only get worse if left alone.


But they get far worse far faster when we meddle with them. I'm thinking about a totalitarian govt we overthrew a little while back and still haven't recovered from our great victory.

Harry Marks wrote:
The dynamics of the situation impel the NK overlords to make themselves as invulnerable as Israel by being so radioactive no one else will touch them. The main alternative turns out to be soft power, which it always has been. [That's why Jeane Kirkpatrick and Henry Kissinger were intent on arguing that totalitarianism is forever, and no one ever comes back from it.] The U.S. smuggles in (I wonder if the cost includes the occasional rosy-cheeked farm boy coming back in a coma and dying) USB sticks and other sources of information about what life is like in SK and the rest of the world. It is a tenable hypothesis that Kim Jong Un has turned out to be such a paranoid provocateur precisely because he lived in the West for many years and sees how tempting that world must be to the ordinary minions of NK if they ever find out what they are missing.


The bottom line is any country that wants nukes will get nukes and we can't stop them. We cannot go to war with every country that tries it and sanctions don't hurt countries like NK because the masses there are already so destitute they have little effect. They're willing to tough it out if it means they can get their hands on nukes.

Harry Marks wrote:
China did what he wanted them to. Their boycott of NK exports is almost certainly what got KJU to back down. In my view, however, China was reacting entirely to KJU and even the mildest of public rebuke by the U.S. would have been just as effective as long as it was accompanied by clear back-channel communication as to our actual interests, in which red-line acts of war have warlike responses spelled out if China doesn't restrain their nuclear chihuahua. China certainly knows it doesn't want war on the peninsula or nuclear fallout drifting over the border. The idea that there are no levers on a regime willing to use nuclear weapons is just absurd.


The Chinese despise Kim and always have. Nobody likes the unstable neighbor next door stockpiling weapons in his basement. They let the US do the dirty work.

Harry Marks wrote:
Just the opposite. He now can appear to "let Trump be Trump" while playing wedge issues the same way he has for 15 years. His envy of Roger Ailes may kill us all yet - I mean, what could make you a bigger star than getting everybody to talk about you non-stop for five years by relentlessly posing as "fair and balanced" to cue the fragility of whiteness-ego?


I am absolutely not buying this. Trump has damaged himself beyond repair. All you have to do is look at the image of John Kelly listening to Trump as he "went rogue" yesterday. They've been letting Trump be Trump for too long, that's the problem. Now they realize he has to be contained and I see nothing short of resignation to accomplish that. I think Trump has sealed his fate. He's not a master strategist. He's someone trying to protect the core of his support and that core is not going to be contained anymore. They see their chance and they intend to seize it. Trump has damaged himself trying to cover for them. So now the supporters of Trump who claim they are not Nazis or racists have to answer the question: Whose side then are you on? If they say they stand by Trump then they look like the Nazis and racists they insist they are not. And the Nazis aren't content with just vocal support. Now they are outright saying it: WE WANT WAR!!! Trump is forcing supporters to reject him because they are not willing to put on the uniform and fight in the streets.

Quote:
As far as I am concerned the left is playing into his game.


I think the left has proven that Trump has no game. He is imploding. He can't keep going like this and yet it's too late to turn back. He's running out of time.

Quote:
I understand that toleration of hate groups makes vulnerable people afraid. But wearing our little safety pins and calling out Trump so we can be seen to be on the right side is not nearly as important as just reminding people what the Nazi symbols mean and what white supremacy is about. What could have been a clear expression of our disgust has been turned into meaningless blather about "false equivalencies" while Trump gets to play wedge issues again. The antifa are not our friends, and striking a dramatic pose on the moral high ground does not win elections.


Antifa is not the face of Trump's opposition. It is now simply the American people. Trump has descended too far into the right's camp and they can't follow him there no matter how much they may like him. They just can't go there. Even many of the Nazis can't go there. Many are backing out now because they are getting doxxed by the left. Now THAT is a brilliant strategy. Either go back and hide or lose your jobs and your livelihoods. Many are now realizing they jumped the gun and are backing out. They can't lose their jobs. The left is winning this thing.

Harry Marks wrote:
It would be good to remember who stopped Joe McCarthy. It was the military. We can trust ordinary people to recognize it when extremists go too far.


Now THAT is a false equivalency.

Harry Marks wrote:
Leaders within Red States still know that it is not in their interest to get frozen out by the major corporate leaders. Behave themselves and they can hope for a Foxconn deal. Act up and they can spend ten years in the doghouse, like Kansas.


In the end it was good ol' capitalism that is putting the muzzle back on the rabid dog. Don't take away my job!



Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:40 pm
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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
DB Roy wrote:
It doesn't seem to me that anything Trump says or does is seen by the right as anything but a victory.
Umm, maybe, to some extent. But there are victories and victories. Failure to repeal Obamacare was not the kind they like to talk about.
DB Roy wrote:
But what was obvious to me was that NK never intended to hit Guam. It was an idle threat meant to provoke a reaction. Why?
The two main hypotheses would be internal consumption - it gives them some claim to a propaganda victory, or reminds people that the scary foreigners cannot be trusted - or bargaining power. If the latter was intended, it has clearly failed. Maybe some advisor will be shot.
DB Roy wrote:
Harry Marks wrote:
all he gets is the ability to pretend he got them to back down by blustering. But then, that seems to be all he's really after anyway.

Of course that's all he's after. He doesn't have the vision of a bigger picture.
OK, I think that is a good point. The ramblings of sane people probably bore him, so even the things McMaster tells him may not be creating policy. I suspect that in 45's mind what passes for a vision is: somebody does an insulting or inconvenient thing, he tells them off, they stop, so he has won.
DB Roy wrote:
Maybe Kim knows that. Bottom line is: I would not assume Kim is at all done. He seems to be testing some waters here.
The waters may be internal. Seeing who reacts sycophantically enough. We can pretty well bet he will still be getting engineers to make better missiles. So far he has not got a way to parlay those into an improvement for himself or anyone else.
DB Roy wrote:
But they get far worse far faster when we meddle with them. I'm thinking about a totalitarian govt we overthrew a little while back and still haven't recovered from our great victory.
Yeah, going after a Cat's Cradle of complexity with a blunt instrument is the authoritarian's weakness.

Harry Marks wrote:
The dynamics of the situation impel the NK overlords to make themselves as invulnerable as Israel by being so radioactive no one else will touch them. The main alternative turns out to be soft power, which it always has been. [That's why Jeane Kirkpatrick and Henry Kissinger were intent on arguing that totalitarianism is forever, and no one ever comes back from it.] The U.S. smuggles in (I wonder if the cost includes the occasional rosy-cheeked farm boy coming back in a coma and dying) USB sticks and other sources of information about what life is like in SK and the rest of the world. It is a tenable hypothesis that Kim Jong Un has turned out to be such a paranoid provocateur precisely because he lived in the West for many years and sees how tempting that world must be to the ordinary minions of NK if they ever find out what they are missing.

DB Roy wrote:
The bottom line is any country that wants nukes will get nukes and we can't stop them.
I am not so sure. I think the situation would be much worse if we had not worked at it assiduously and put together institutions capable of monitoring.
DB Roy wrote:
We cannot go to war with every country that tries it and sanctions don't hurt countries like NK because the masses there are already so destitute they have little effect. They're willing to tough it out if it means they can get their hands on nukes.
True, but most observers think the sanctions really did matter in Iran. Ahmadinajad was crazy, so there's that, but I can't help thinking the cracks will eventually show up in the NK absolute dictatorship.

DB Roy wrote:
The Chinese despise Kim and always have. Nobody likes the unstable neighbor next door stockpiling weapons in his basement. They let the US do the dirty work.
Makes sense, but probably they would rather trade than not. I think they actually gave up something they valued, this time. I just wonder what they think they got in exchange.

DB Roy wrote:
Harry Marks wrote:
Just the opposite. He now can appear to "let Trump be Trump" while playing wedge issues the same way he has for 15 years. His envy of Roger Ailes may kill us all yet - I mean, what could make you a bigger star than getting everybody to talk about you non-stop for five years by relentlessly posing as "fair and balanced" to cue the fragility of whiteness-ego?
I am absolutely not buying this. Trump has damaged himself beyond repair. All you have to do is look at the image of John Kelly listening to Trump as he "went rogue" yesterday. They've been letting Trump be Trump for too long, that's the problem.
Maybe. I think I would shoot myself before I would try to serve as his chief of staff. But my reading is that they are all in on the Faustian bargain, letting him do the politics and they run a government. Look at all the points Sessions gets to score for his agenda by putting up with a little bitch-slapping. I agree that Trump has damaged himself, but what passes for political capital in his approach is not the same as what a centrist, bent on governing, would want.

DB Roy wrote:
Now they realize he has to be contained and I see nothing short of resignation to accomplish that. I think Trump has sealed his fate. He's not a master strategist.
I agree with the first statement and the third. I think he is going down, but only because he can't bring himself to stay on script. The idiotic moves will just keep piling up until the Republicans realize there is no way to salvage things and the polls start staring them in the face with a loss of the House. That's still a ways off.

It's true he's no master strategist, nor Bannon either. But they got this far because of a large middle ground that really does think #BLM are cop-killing terrorists, and racism is over (except for a few weirdos). I have seen their posts on facebook, and it is not that hard to shove a wedge issue into their face and make them dance to a Sean Hannity reel. And if there is one thing politicians always know how to do, it's keep doing whatever was successful for them in the past.
DB Roy wrote:
He's someone trying to protect the core of his support and that core is not going to be contained anymore. They see their chance and they intend to seize it.
You almost make me hope Roy Moore wins in Alabama. There is an old dynamic in which aggression provokes reaction and the reaction alienates popular support. I just have no confidence that it will end up bringing people to their sense and putting reason back in charge. Instead we have a lot of reaction by people who already hate Trump, and a heightened sense of persecution and paranoia by the Tea Party base. In the last few weeks we have seen a totally paranoid memo that got an NSC staffer fired (brought in by Flynn, of course) as well as a conspiracy-theory email that got forwarded by 45's lawyer. What the country needs is less confrontation and more calm.
DB Roy wrote:
Trump has damaged himself trying to cover for them. So now the supporters of Trump who claim they are not Nazis or racists have to answer the question: Whose side then are you on?
Do they? With many people, yes, including a few that were waiting to make up their mind. But I think they can just do the standard Tu Quoque pivot and play the victim some more.
DB Roy wrote:
I think the left has proven that Trump has no game. He is imploding. He can't keep going like this and yet it's too late to turn back. He's running out of time.
It's a long and winding road from here to there. Assuming the moral high ground wins the next election is a blunder the Democrats are getting very practiced at.

DB Roy wrote:
Antifa is not the face of Trump's opposition. It is now simply the American people.
The point is to see that Heather Heyer is that face, and antifa is not. With Faux News still in operation, this is far from automatic.
DB Roy wrote:
Either go back and hide or lose your jobs and your livelihoods. Many are now realizing they jumped the gun and are backing out. They can't lose their jobs. The left is winning this thing.
In the end it was good ol' capitalism that is putting the muzzle back on the rabid dog. Don't take away my job!

But that is exactly the point. Even white fragility wants to maintain the appearance of innocence. And that means the local nutjob is persona non grata.
DB Roy wrote:
Harry Marks wrote:
It would be good to remember who stopped Joe McCarthy. It was the military. We can trust ordinary people to recognize it when extremists go too far.

Now THAT is a false equivalency.
Could well be. I can find many problems with the analogy myself. But I think the point stands - extremism is unpopular, and the ordinary institutions of society eventually get to the point where they know it is unacceptable. I just don't think we are there yet with 45. I agree we turned a corner, and are probably headed in that direction, but it will not be easy to get there. We have the Dark Side working against us.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Harry Marks wrote:
Umm, maybe, to some extent. But there are victories and victories. Failure to repeal Obamacare was not the kind they like to talk about.


Yes, some are angry about that but most of his supporters are blaming Congress for this and not Trump. They have a point. After all, the republicans railed for 7 years that if only they could get a republican in the White House, Obamacare was as good as gone and then they fail spectacularly. But Trump is far from blameless. What about all that caterwauling he did in 2016 about how he had a plan and it was "beautiful" and everybody would be covered and it would be cheap? Well, gee, where was this plan during the repeal effort because it really would have helped. But then the masses didn't demand to see this plan. Some of us because we know he is a lying sack of shit and the others because they are too stupid and timid to demand proof of the man they desperately want to see get elected even though they knew perfectly well he had no such plan. They won't let that stand in the way of sticking it to those goddamn libtards.

Harry Marks wrote:
The two main hypotheses would be internal consumption - it gives them some claim to a propaganda victory, or reminds people that the scary foreigners cannot be trusted - or bargaining power. If the latter was intended, it has clearly failed. Maybe some advisor will be shot.


I think it's because two unstable leaders are playing chicken and sooner or later it is going to go too far.

Harry Marks wrote:
OK, I think that is a good point. The ramblings of sane people probably bore him, so even the things McMaster tells him may not be creating policy. I suspect that in 45's mind what passes for a vision is: somebody does an insulting or inconvenient thing, he tells them off, they stop, so he has won.


That appears to be his presidency. "I'm president and when I insult you, you STAY insulted!" Trouble is, nobody's scared of that anymore because he has betrayed how incompetent he is. Even guys like Corker and Flake are letting him have it without fear of any real consequence. They have more to gain by doing it than by standing solidly behind him.

Harry Marks wrote:
The dynamics of the situation impel the NK overlords to make themselves as invulnerable as Israel by being so radioactive no one else will touch them. The main alternative turns out to be soft power, which it always has been. [That's why Jeane Kirkpatrick and Henry Kissinger were intent on arguing that totalitarianism is forever, and no one ever comes back from it.] The U.S. smuggles in (I wonder if the cost includes the occasional rosy-cheeked farm boy coming back in a coma and dying) USB sticks and other sources of information about what life is like in SK and the rest of the world. It is a tenable hypothesis that Kim Jong Un has turned out to be such a paranoid provocateur precisely because he lived in the West for many years and sees how tempting that world must be to the ordinary minions of NK if they ever find out what they are missing.


Yes, I think he wants them ignorant and fanatically devoted to him. He is their only light.

Harry Marks wrote:
True, but most observers think the sanctions really did matter in Iran. Ahmadinajad was crazy, so there's that, but I can't help thinking the cracks will eventually show up in the NK absolute dictatorship.


But if his people are as slavish to him as Trump's supporters are to Trump, that may take a while.

Harry Marks wrote:
Makes sense, but probably they would rather trade than not. I think they actually gave up something they valued, this time. I just wonder what they think they got in exchange.


I'm wondering what we think we got.

Harry Marks wrote:
Maybe. I think I would shoot myself before I would try to serve as his chief of staff. But my reading is that they are all in on the Faustian bargain, letting him do the politics and they run a government. Look at all the points Sessions gets to score for his agenda by putting up with a little bitch-slapping. I agree that Trump has damaged himself, but what passes for political capital in his approach is not the same as what a centrist, bent on governing, would want.


The trouble is they can't use Trump as a smokescreen to accomplish anything. The puppet keeps jumping up and dancing around without anyone pulling his strings and they can't shut him up. He keeps stealing the show and hogging the spotlight. You can't hide behind something won't hold still. So I agree that you have to be crazy to want to work for this regime.

Harry Marks wrote:
I agree with the first statement and the third. I think he is going down, but only because he can't bring himself to stay on script. The idiotic moves will just keep piling up until the Republicans realize there is no way to salvage things and the polls start staring them in the face with a loss of the House. That's still a ways off.


If he would just stay on script, none of this would be happening but he can't--he just can't.

Quote:
It's true he's no master strategist, nor Bannon either.


Bannon's not going to be a factor anymore except his followers might now want to sink Trump's boat.

Quote:
But they got this far because of a large middle ground that really does think #BLM are cop-killing terrorists, and racism is over (except for a few weirdos). I have seen their posts on facebook, and it is not that hard to shove a wedge issue into their face and make them dance to a Sean Hannity reel. And if there is one thing politicians always know how to do, it's keep doing whatever was successful for them in the past.


Remember, Trump prides himself on doing everything his own way especially when it flies in the face of the conventional political wisdom. He has taken a big chance getting rid of Bannon even though I expected since the election that he would have to someday. But this was a bit abrupt. Guaranteed that the Breitbarters are not happy about his one iota.

Quote:
Do they? With many people, yes, including a few that were waiting to make up their mind. But I think they can just do the standard Tu Quoque pivot and play the victim some more.


I think the public is getting sick of the role-playing and now want to know--if you're not a racist, why are you still supporting Trump? The excuses as he promised to bring us jobs or he promised to replace Obamacare are no longer acceptable. It's fast coming to: Either you are a nazi or you're not and if you're not then you have no business supporting him.

Harry Marks wrote:
It's a long and winding road from here to there.


Not for Trump it isn't. His presidency crams years into a week. It is running out of fuel and ready to crash. His four years are almost up.

Quote:
Assuming the moral high ground wins the next election is a blunder the Democrats are getting very practiced at.


The democrats don't have to do anything but keep their mouths shut like they did 2006 and suddenly found themselves in charge of Congress.

Harry Marks wrote:
The point is to see that Heather Heyer is that face, and antifa is not. With Faux News still in operation, this is far from automatic.


That won't even matter. Trump didn't win the election because he was hugely popular. He won because the Bernie crybabies stayed home. Trump's turn-out was the same as Romney's and McCain's. It's just that Hillary's was abysmally low. She simply isn't liked.

Harry Marks wrote:
But I think the point stands - extremism is unpopular, and the ordinary institutions of society eventually get to the point where they know it is unacceptable. I just don't think we are there yet with 45. I agree we turned a corner, and are probably headed in that direction, but it will not be easy to get there. We have the Dark Side working against us.


The Dark Side isn't the extremism. That will never go anywhere because thpse people are obviously too stupid and too easily led. Dark Side is our own side. Our own side hung us out to dry in this last election and I have no doubt that they will do it again. I have no faith in our side to do the right thing. We have shown ourselves incapable of it. We will open the door to disaster and invite it right in knowing full well what it means and not giving a shit because they didn't get their way. They see this as a victory and as leverage proving we are morally bankrupt. THAT is the Dark Side. What I hope is that those that didn't vote but didn't care about what happened to Bernie will vote this time.



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 Re: The "Art" of Steve Bannon
The day before Bannon left the administration, Matt Taibbi posted an article titled "Fire Steve Bannon." Matt has an unusual take on that situation and I hope he's right, excerpts below.
Quote:
Fire Steve Bannon
The Trump administration's stubbly race warrior reminds us why he's so dangerous

The list of nitwits in the Trump administration is long. .... Lots of dunces, but chief strategist Steve Bannon, sadly, isn't one of them. The intellectual leader of the alt-right movement is no genius – nobody with his political views could be – but neither is he an idiot.

...Trump once again has proved this week that by himself, he is too incompetent to marshal the political energy that swept him into office. The man is incapable of self-control or long-term strategic thought, and on some level, thank God for that.

But Bannon is the one person in that White House who we know for sure both embraces a white supremacist ideology and has a vision for how to implement it. The mere threat of that, that Trump's political energy might somehow be married to a sober strategy, is terrifying and unacceptable. Bannon saved Trump's political career once. He can't be allowed to do it again; he has to go, and finally let Trump drown on his own.

Matt Taibbi
8/17/17
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/f ... on-w498354


Now that he's out, Bannon states he is going to war for Trump. Using inside information, I assume he will be fighting against the elements of globalism and military intervention in the White House and enemies elsewhere. But if the President moves towards those ideas, won't Bannon have to fight against Trump also? This could be entertaining...



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
At this point I would think that Kelly, McMaster, Mattis, and Tillerson would finally have a clear field to urge their more rational and mainstream views on Trump. If he would agree to be a compliant puppet, we might be better off. Problem is, he hates the impression of anyone pulling his strings and wants to show that he's his own man, or rather wild man.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
I understand Kelly's rationale but it won't work. Trump is unglued--a narcissist lunatic who loves the spotlight and must receive daily doses of praise and adulation. How does he expect to work with this guy. We're talking about a guy who must get a folder of articles praising him both morning and night. A guy who actually called his cabinet together and then went around the room one-by-one as each cabinet member kissed his ass. There's something wrong with someone who requires this endless adulation and something even more wrong with those willing to give it. Kelly is going to find Trump getting irritable and petulant if he doesn't get his daily praise. And it won't belong before Trump's tweets consist of nasty remarks about Kelly. All butt-hurt because Kelly gets in the way of the praise process.

Bannon claims he is going to work with the president but I doubt that very much. Kelly--maybe with Tillerson's clandestine help--are going to try to get Trump going in a more globalist direction, a more multicultural direction.

Trump had better be careful. If the racists think he has betrayed them, they may just kill him.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
DB Roy wrote:
Yes, some are angry about that but most of his supporters are blaming Congress for this and not Trump. They have a point. After all, the republicans railed for 7 years that if only they could get a republican in the White House, Obamacare was as good as gone and then they fail spectacularly.
Somehow it never seemed to occur to the Republican leadership that they might have to pony up with an actual plan. Or that the states which did not refuse federal Medicare money might actually care about seeing everyone insured. Head in the sand politics only looks good when there are adults in charge that you can whine at.

DB Roy wrote:
But Trump is far from blameless. What about all that caterwauling he did in 2016 about how he had a plan and it was "beautiful" and everybody would be covered and it would be cheap? Well, gee, where was this plan during the repeal effort because it really would have helped. But then the masses didn't demand to see this plan. Some of us because we know he is a lying sack of shit and the others because they are too stupid and timid to demand proof of the man they desperately want to see get elected even though they knew perfectly well he had no such plan. They won't let that stand in the way of sticking it to those goddamn libtards.
Many of them had their own heads in the sand. Their "solution" to pre-existing conditions was "hope you don't get one," or "that's a lot of years in the future, I need the money right now." But a lot of people really have been squeezed by rising housing costs (though not, mainly, in Red State areas) and flat wages, so they really can't afford the full cost of medical insurance. I know a couple, a veterinarian married to a swimming coach, who say they can't. Not poor enough for subsidy, but living in too high-cost an area for their salaries.
DB Roy wrote:
I think it's because two unstable leaders are playing chicken and sooner or later it is going to go too far.
That's clearly true, but doesn't really answer the question. The North Korean regime has pathological paranoia built in. They don't seem capable of finding any strategy except nuclear arms, but the rest of the world can't trust them with those. If China gets too tough with them, I imagine they will play Putin off against the Chinese. The structure of the world system lets that kind of pathology flourish. If the problem was just one leader, we could end it with a drone strike. The problem is an entire regime.

DB Roy wrote:
Harry Marks wrote:
I suspect that in 45's mind what passes for a vision is: somebody does an insulting or inconvenient thing, he tells them off, they stop, so he has won.
That appears to be his presidency. "I'm president and when I insult you, you STAY insulted!" Trouble is, nobody's scared of that anymore because he has betrayed how incompetent he is.
Government by narcissism. I wonder if the whole Republican strategy of wedge issues (which works very much the same way) will collapse on the same basis. I mean, they have showed they have no game on policy.
DB Roy wrote:
The trouble is they can't use Trump as a smokescreen to accomplish anything. The puppet keeps jumping up and dancing around without anyone pulling his strings and they can't shut him up. He keeps stealing the show and hogging the spotlight. You can't hide behind something won't hold still.
Okay, I am definitely stealing that image. It's precisely correct, and made me laugh.

DB Roy wrote:
Quote:
Do they? With many people, yes, including a few that were waiting to make up their mind. But I think they can just do the standard Tu Quoque pivot and play the victim some more.

I think the public is getting sick of the role-playing and now want to know--if you're not a racist, why are you still supporting Trump? The excuses as he promised to bring us jobs or he promised to replace Obamacare are no longer acceptable. It's fast coming to: Either you are a nazi or you're not and if you're not then you have no business supporting him.
I can see that dynamic operating in the cities and on the coast. I really don't think that's what's happening in Fox News country.

Inspired by 538, I did some thinking about the result of the cultural bifurcation between educated mainstream and tribal counterculture. On the soft power side, the evangelical, country-boy culture will continue to feel they are treated as inferior, but "country is cool" has a certain staying power. Most of them do want their kids to get a university education, and that will continue to make a difference, over a long run.

On the electoral side, there is a real problem. The Senate is indifferent to cities. Think the electoral college is tilted? Take a look at the Senate. California is outvoted by Arkansas and Alaska. Well, what about the lower house? Isn't the gerrymandering just a fluke, a trick of billionaire money pouring in to take the legislatures by stealth? No, it's not. When you realize that a reliable 10% difference in votes can turn into a 100% takeover of the house contingent from a state, you can see that the Red States are in a strong position to gerrymander their way to a Republican majority in the House for decades to come. Essentially, the Trump-Clinton election is a preview of what we can expect as long as we buy into the Culture Wars narrative and just try to win on moral force.
DB Roy wrote:
Harry Marks wrote:
It's a long and winding road from here to there.
Not for Trump it isn't. His presidency crams years into a week. It is running out of fuel and ready to crash. His four years are almost up.

Stuff that is coming out about his finances and campaign behavior looks sure to sink him. I suspect they are already maneuvering over what Pence gets as a reward for pardoning 45 in exchange for him stepping down. It may be that White Nationalism will go back underground at that point, but even if so, White fragility and White privilege will not. Government by an embattled minority, determined to resist climate policy and anything else that smacks of elitism, may very well be the order of the day for 20 years.
DB Roy wrote:
Harry Marks wrote:
Assuming the moral high ground wins the next election is a blunder the Democrats are getting very practiced at.
The democrats don't have to do anything but keep their mouths shut like they did 2006 and suddenly found themselves in charge of Congress.
I don't think its going to play out like that. If Dems can successfully articulate policy, they can catch a break from the political resentment that has a hold on the House and Senate. If they just crusade for victims, White people who see themselves as victims will resist them.

DB Roy wrote:
That won't even matter. Trump didn't win the election because he was hugely popular. He won because the Bernie crybabies stayed home. Trump's turn-out was the same as Romney's and McCain's. It's just that Hillary's was abysmally low. She simply isn't liked.
That's all true, although the Bernie people staying home, or voting for Jill Stein or whatever, is only part of the story. Working class folks who hadn't thought through the Obamacare issue, Blacks who would vote for Obama even though they disagree on marriage equality and abortion, workers who resent the Clintons for their private arrogance, lots of categories either stayed home or switched sides. Hillary's hawkish interventionism turned off a lot of vets who at least appreciated that Obama was against sending them on crusades for someone else's freedom.

Some people think Hillary was too far to the right, but I suspect the problem is that she was too far to the left, in the sense that what she actually stood for, namely women's rights and multiculturalism, is seen as someone else's issue by the swing voters in the center. Anyway it's true she is short on charisma and too controlling.

DB Roy wrote:
Harry Marks wrote:
But I think the point stands - extremism is unpopular, and the ordinary institutions of society eventually get to the point where they know it is unacceptable. I just don't think we are there yet with 45. I agree we turned a corner, and are probably headed in that direction, but it will not be easy to get there. We have the Dark Side working against us.
The Dark Side isn't the extremism. That will never go anywhere because those people are obviously too stupid and too easily led. Dark Side is our own side. Our own side hung us out to dry in this last election and I have no doubt that they will do it again. I have no faith in our side to do the right thing. We have shown ourselves incapable of it. We will open the door to disaster and invite it right in knowing full well what it means and not giving a shit because they didn't get their way. They see this as a victory and as leverage proving we are morally bankrupt. THAT is the Dark Side. What I hope is that those that didn't vote but didn't care about what happened to Bernie will vote this time.
Maybe I should have said more about what I mean. The Dark Side is fear. All of us have it inside us, so yes, it is our side. The more the fear, the more people polarize and tribalize. Nearly everyone is "morally bankrupt" if the fear gets too intense. I think we who care about enlightened policy really need to take it on board that a main part of our job is to put together sound policy structures which hold up.

Roe v Wade was good policy. It reflects what people actually think about the issue. The Earned Income Tax Credit (a subsidy to take low-wage work) was good policy. It reflected real pressures in the economy as well as what people actually think about the issue. Single payer is good policy, though it does not yet reflect what people actually think about the issue. Chances are good that a Medicare option for all will be the winning issue for Dems in 2018.

But the economy is a disaster area. I was in the government in '93 and '94 when everyone moaned about not having a policy for Russia after the USSR, but no one was willing to do anything about it. The Administration guy I worked for actually said it to me that way, "No one wants their fingerprints on it." As a result, we got economic collapse and an authoritarian, kleptocratic Putin majority for a long time to come. If nobody sits down and develops policy for the new shape of the U.S. economy, we run the risk of a similar spiral downward in the political economy of the U.S.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Well, the generals seem to have succeeded in ousting the forces of chaos from the administration, and who would ever have thought we would be so thankful for the generals? Kinda gives a whole new perspective on anarchism and Leviathan.

And Trump is induced to subdue the centrifugal force of the Tea Party, sorry, the Freedom Caucus, by the hand of God. Harvey was obviously sent to shut Ted Cruz up, and let's hope it works.



Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:22 am
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