“The Committee to Defraud America”

In a move that the conservative Wall Street Journal said would “hurt the economy and his voters,” Donald Trump announced on Thursday that the United States would be imposing steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. [The tariff on steel would be 25%, while the tariff on aluminum would be 10%.] As for why Trump made this move, no one seems quite sure.

Some think that it was probably just Trump’s way of diverting attention away from the fact that the White House is once again in turmoil, with the President’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, having just been stripped of his security clearance, his most trusted staff member, Hope Hicks, telling federal investigators that her job entailed telling “white lies” for him, and then almost immediately announcing that she’d be leaving the White House, and the news that he’d been forced by the NRA to walk back his promise to pursue universal background checks for those seeking to purchase guns.

Others, seem to think that Trump might have made the announcement in hopes of helping Rick Saccone win the March 13 special election for the House seat in Pennsylvania’s steel country vacated by Representative Tim Murphy. [As you may recall, Murphy, a pro-life, “family values” Republican, was forced from office when it became known that he’d pressured a woman he was having an affair with to have an abortion.] The Republicans have, after all, have been losing all of their recent special elections by incredible margins, even in areas of the country where Trump beat Clinton hands down. And Trump, if he wants to avoid impeachment and prosecution for his various crimes, absolutely needs to make sure that the Republicans hold onto Congress. [Trump, who has been campaigning hard for Saccone, who people refer to as “Trump 2.0,” will be headed back to Pennsylvania this week to hold more rallies for him.]

Regardless of why Trump announced these tariffs, though, everyone seems to be in agreement that they’re poorly conceived, as they will surely cost American jobs, drive up the cost of manufactured goods, and trigger trade wars with other nations… Here, with more on that, are just a few quotes.

The Wall Street Journal: “Donald Trump made the biggest policy blunder of his Presidency Thursday by announcing that next week he’ll impose tariffs of 25% on imported steel and 10% on aluminum. This tax increase will punish American workers, invite retaliation that will harm U.S. exports, divide his political coalition at home, anger allies abroad, and undermine his tax and regulatory reforms. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.7% on the news, as investors absorbed the self-inflicted folly…”

Heights’s Greg Valliere: “This will increase fears of retaliation, and concerns may grow about a possible collapse of negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which is on thin ice already… Ironically, U.S. businesses are largely opposed to tough new trade policies.”

Bush Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez: “There will be retaliation, there will be a response and I think it is extremely unfortunate… This is most likely going to be a self-inflicted wound that will go on for a while.”

Commonwealth Financial Network’s Brad McMillan: “The net effect of the tariffs, then, will be economic damage, higher inflation, and greater geopolitical uncertainty… On the corporate side, it will be lower profits for the vast majority of companies. On the consumer side, it will be higher prices for many goods and, likely, lost jobs in export industries.”

Trump, however, has made it clear that he believes trade wars are both “good” and “easy to win.” [For what it’s worth, he provided no facts to backup this claim that this will be good for our economy, which, as I noted earlier, didn’t respond well to his initial announcement.]

It’s worth pointing out that, while it’s true that the Dow Jones fell precipitously on Trump’s surprise tariff announcement, not everyone lost money. In fact, Donald Trump’s good friend, Carl Icahn, ended up doing quite well for himself, which, by the way, has a lot of people asking questions… The following comes from The Guardian.

Carl Icahn, a former special adviser to Donald Trump, sold $31.3m of shares in a company heavily dependent on steel imports last week, shortly before Trump’s announcement of new tariffs sent its shares plummeting.

Icahn, a billionaire investor who was a major Trump supporter, started selling shares in the crane and lifting equipment supplier Manitowoc Company on 12 February, days before the commerce department first mooted on foreign steel imports…

On Thursday Trump said he would press ahead with the commerce department’s plans to levy 25% tariffs on imports of steel and 10% on aluminium.

According to a regulatory filing Icahn was able to sell his shares for $32 to $34. On Friday morning Manitowoc’s shares had fallen 5.48% to $26.37. The fall was in line with drops seen by other companies dependent on cheap steel imports, including Boeing and Caterpillar…

So, knowing what we know about Trump and his friends, what are the chances that Icahn just happened to sell one million shares of Manitowoc just prior to Trump’s announcement, saving him over six million dollars? I know, relatively speaking, it’s probably not as big of a deal as Jared Kushner’s family real estate company getting $184M in loans from Apollo Global Management after a White House meeting, but it should still be pursued. Insider trading, after all, is still a crime, even in an age of treason.

As for Jared’s meeting with Apollo CEO Joshua Harris, it’s worth noting that, during the campaign, Trump threatened to “crack down on hedge fund guys,” by eliminating the carried interest loopholes that allowed them to avid taxes on billions of dollars. After this meeting, though, Trump changed course, pushing a tax plan that was very friendly to hedge fund managers like Harris. But that’s not the worst of it. The Apollo Group is backed by Qatar, and there’s evidence that Kushner may have threatened an international criss in order to get their financial backing. The following comes by way of Slate.

…A Qatari fund acquires major assets from Russia. Kushner’s business seeks money directly from Qatar. The nation, though, does not deliver to Kushner. The U.S. changes its political posture against Qatar at Kushner’s urging, with the alarming possibility that the seemingly manufactured conflict could have escalated into war. (Fortunately, it did not.) Several months later, the Qatar-backed Apollo Group delivers $184 million to Kushner…

Oh, and to make things even weirder, those “major assets” that Qatar bought from Russia were from Rosneft, the Russian oil company mentioned in the Steele dossier.

I’m sure, once the trials begin, we’ll be hearing a long more about this, but, for now, you can draw your own conclusions.

And, by the way, it is why Kushner lost his top secret security clearance a few days ago. The administration could no longer deny that Kushner’s desperate need for money had put him in a position where he was vulnerable to leverage from foreign interests and people like Harris. The following quote comes from the Washington Post.

Officials in at least four countries have privately discussed ways they can manipulate Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, by taking advantage of his complex business arrangements, financial difficulties and lack of foreign policy experience, according to current and former U.S. officials familiar with intelligence reports on the matter…

So, yeah, I guess you could say there’s a lot of self-dealing and fraud going on. I know it’s a shock, and there was really no way to have predicted it… but, apparently, when you elect a president known for self-dealing and fraud, that’s exactly what you get.

[The title of today’s post was lifted from the most recent episode of Pod Save America, which you should really listen to.]

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  1. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    The idea that trade with the US has to be “balanced” is a stupid one. So what if we buy more from China that China buys from us?

    If I have a business fixing cars, for example, I don’t expect that my suppliers will come around and get their cars fixed at my garage, spending all the money I paid to them. What would be the point? No, I buy parts and sell them at a markup to my customers because that’s my business. I make money by selling parts I don’t make and the service of installing them in your car.

    Trump lives in the 1980s when companies wanted to deflect blame for jobs and salary cuts from themselves to an overseas bugaboo.

  2. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    And the idea that these jobs are coming back and that labor will return to the 1960s is an even more spectacularly stupid idea.

  3. Posted March 3, 2018 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    You’ll be eating your words with the coal jobs come back, Iron Lung. 1960s here we come!

  4. Kat
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Is this the same Apollo that owns Guitar Center?

  5. Kat
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    CNN obtained a tape of Trump at a closed-door fundraiser. He said this about China’s president: “He’s now president for life. President for life. And he’s great. And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll give that a shot some day.”

  6. Meta
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Washington Post: ‘Pure madness’: Dark days inside the White House as Trump shocks and rages

    Inside the White House, aides over the past week have described an air of anxiety and volatility — with an uncontrollable commander in chief at its center.

    These are the darkest days in at least half a year, they say, and they worry just how much farther President Trump and his administration may plunge into unrest and malaise before they start to recover. As one official put it: “We haven’t bottomed out.”

    Trump is now a president in transition, at times angry and increasingly isolated. He fumes in private that just about every time he looks up at a television screen, the cable news headlines are trumpeting yet another scandal. He voices frustration that son-in-law Jared Kushner has few on-air defenders. He revives old grudges. And he confides to friends that he is uncertain about whom to trust.

    Trump’s closest West Wing confidante, Hope Hicks — the communications director who often acted as a de facto Oval Office therapist — announced her resignation last week, leaving behind a team the president views more as paid staff than surrogate family. So concerned are those around Trump that some of the president’s oldest friends have been urging one another to be in touch — the sort of familiar contacts that often lift his spirits.

    In an unorthodox presidency in which emotion, impulse and ego often drive events, Trump’s ominous moods manifested themselves last week in his zigzagging positions on gun control; his shock trade war that jolted markets and was opposed by Republican leaders and many in his own administration; and his roiling feud of playground insults with Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

    Read more:

  7. Jean Henry
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    It’s not surprise at all that the Wall Street Journal opposes tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum. The are conservative and strong advocates of free global trade.
    It IS surprising to hear you, Mark, come down on tariffs because you supported Sanders, who as a populist like Trump, is opposed to free trade and supported tariffs against countries that manipulate foreign currency like China.
    On trade, Trump and Sander were remarkably similar on the campaign trail. Sanders, like Trump, promised to bring back jobs to the US, using policies that would, yes, create a net loss of jobs.

    Why do I bring this up? I know, I know the election is long over. But the left needs to get smart about globalism. It’s here, and it could work a whole lot better, but protectionism is regressive and disruptive in the wrong ways, and is not the way to make global trade work better for all.

    BTW Bob Casey, Dem senator from PA, has come out in support of the move, politicians being politicians. http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/376299-dem-senator-facing-reelection-applauds-trump-for-new-tariffs

  8. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    “It IS surprising to hear you, Mark, come down on tariffs because you supported Sanders, who as a populist like Trump, is opposed to free trade and supported tariffs against countries that manipulate foreign currency like China.”

    Yes. Trump and Sanders were very similar. Sanders was simply better at stringing thoughts together.

    Next, watch the “conservative” commenters here chime in to talk about how great protectionism is.

  9. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    I never saw Mark as a Sanderite, though.

  10. Jean Henry
    Posted March 3, 2018 at 11:32 pm | Permalink


  11. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 12:36 am | Permalink


  12. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 12:46 am | Permalink

    I love it when people like Mark start going on about “democratic socialism” given their disdain for how actual democratic socialist countries pay for services.

    It’s like they idealize places like Sweden without knowing anything at all about how all the services are paid for.

    Sanders was case in point. His statements about Denmark were so ridiculously off, the Prime Minister of Denmark had to call him out on them.

    It seemed like we had clowns in stereo that year with all the liberal love to Sanders and the stupid Pope.

  13. Sad
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Nattybooboo will really be thankful to discover what Sunday morning has in store.

    A couple of olds rehashing the last primary.

  14. Jcp2
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    White flight leads to loss of Hope.

  15. Jean Henry
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Sad— this is a conversation about globalism and protectionism that does more than talk about how bad America is. It’s also a discussion about the economic realities of Democratic Socialism. Its also about partisanship and bias is perspective. (protectionism is good if Bernie proposes it but bad if Trump does) It’s not about the election.
    Please feel free to weigh in with what you actually think about these issues. Do you have a position about anything? Do you lack courage to state your positions? Or do you just enjoy sniping at those who do?

  16. nattybooboo
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Snipe, snipe, snipe, snip, snipe, snipe, snipe

  17. Sad
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    I’m a sniveling coward lacking in courage and backbone, I misread the comment from IL before mine. I will crawl back into my hole. Please all who I have offended, forgive me.

  18. Jean Henry
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Sad— Did you miss the part where I asked you to say what you actually think about these issues? Just because your tone is passive and snide doesn’t make it less an aggression. I would truly like to hear what you think about something other than MM.com or the value of protest.

  19. nattybooboo
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Jean-X, the voice of a Jeaneration

  20. Jean Henry
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    “Oddly enough, the only person likely to be an ideal victim of complete manipulation is the President of the United States. Because of the immensity of his job, he must surround himself with advisers … who “exercise their power chiefly by filtering the information that reaches the President and by interpreting the outside world for him.” The President, one is tempted to argue, allegedly the most powerful man of the most powerful country, is the only person in this country whose range of choices can be predetermined. This, of course, can happen only if the executive branch has cut itself off from contact with the legislative powers of Congress; it is the logical outcome in our system of government when the Senate is being deprived of, or is reluctant to exercise, its powers to participate and advise in the conduct of foreign affairs. One of the Senate’s functions, as we now know, is to shield the decision-making process against the transient moods and trends of society at large — in this case, the antics of our consumer society and the public-relations managers who cater to it.)”
    “Much of the modern arsenal of political theory — the game theories and systems analyses, the scenarios written for imagined “audiences,” and the careful enumeration of, usually, three “options” — A, B, C — whereby A and C represent the opposite extremes and B the “logical” middle-of-the-road “solution” of the problem — has its source in this deep-seated aversion. The fallacy of such thinking begins with forcing the choices into mutually exclusive dilemmas; reality never presents us with anything so neat as premises for logical conclusions. The kind of thinking that presents both A and C as undesirable, therefore settles on B, hardly serves any other purpose than to divert the mind and blunt the judgment for the multitude of real possibilities”
    Both Hannah Arendt, 1971 essay, Lying in Public (from Crises of the Republic) Just before the release of the Pentagon Papers

  21. Jean Henry
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Natty boo boo, there is no singular voice of my generation, whose only real identity, formed through the crisies of the 60’s and 70’s and Reaganism/Thatcherism, is the rejection of labels. Millennial seem to have completely missed the lessons of the 20th century. This allows them to imagine possibilities we could not or, more apt, could no longer. It also allows them to repeat a lot of the mistakes of the earlier century. I am seeing both. I highly recommend Hanna Arendt as antidote.

  22. Posted March 4, 2018 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    It is no secret that I supported Bernie in the primaries. I never had any illusion about him becoming the president, however. I knew Clinton would win the primary, and that I would support her in the general election, which I did. In fact, I worked a lot harder for Clinton than I ever did for Sanders, working phone banks, knocking on doors, etc. But, yes, I did like the Sanders campaign, as I thought it pushed the moderate Clinton more to the left. As I said at the time, “I just like the fact that someone came forward to run against Clinton. I can appreciate the fact that people in the party don’t want to run against her, as they know she’ll need her resources for what will likely be an incredibly bloody general election. And I get that folks feel as though she deserves a shot, having somewhat gracefully stepped aside when it became clear that Obama would have an edge in 2008. But, with that said, I don’t like to see people run unopposed. And I love that Bernie will nipping at her heels, and forcing her to talk about issues that matter.”

  23. Sad
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Sanders was a lot like these Parkland kids. He thought we could actually change things. Is that so ridiculous?


  24. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    “A couple of old talking about the primary”

    Well, I think that my statement on the American left’s willful ignorance of Scandinavia is still relevant.

  25. nattybooboo
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    If we are gonna relive 2016 again, here’s Paul Krugman writing in March 2016:

    The truth is that if Sanders were to make it to the White House, he would find it very hard to do anything much about globalization — not because it’s technically or economically impossible, but because the moment he looked into actually tearing up existing trade agreements the diplomatic, foreign-policy costs would be overwhelmingly obvious. In this, as in many other things, Sanders currently benefits from the luxury of irresponsibility: he’s never been anywhere close to the levers of power, so he could take principled-sounding but arguably feckless stances in a way that Clinton couldn’t and can’t.

    But it’s also true that much of the elite defense of globalization is basically dishonest: false claims of inevitability, scare tactics (protectionism causes depressions!), vastly exaggerated claims for the benefits of trade liberalization and the costs of protection, hand-waving away the large distributional effects that are what standard models actually predict. I hope, by the way, that I haven’t done any of that; I think I’ve always been clear that the gains from globalization aren’t all that (here’s a back-of-the-envelope on the gains from hyperglobalization — only part of which can be attributed to policy — that is less than 5 percent of world GDP over a generation); and I think I’ve never assumed away the income distribution effects.

    Furthermore, as Mark Kleiman sagely observes, the conventional case for trade liberalization relies on the assertion that the government could redistribute income to ensure that everyone wins — but we now have an ideology utterly opposed to such redistribution in full control of one party, and with blocking power against anything but a minor move in that direction by the other.

    So the elite case for ever-freer trade is largely a scam, which voters probably sense even if they don’t know exactly what form it’s taking.

    Ripping up the trade agreements we already have would, again, be a mess, and I would say that Sanders is engaged in a bit of a scam himself in even hinting that he could do such a thing. Trump might actually do it, but only as part of a reign of destruction on many fronts.

    But it is fair to say that the case for more trade agreements — including TPP, which hasn’t happened yet — is very, very weak. And if a progressive makes it to the White House, she should devote no political capital whatsoever to such things.


  26. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    “In this, as in many other things, Sanders currently benefits from the luxury of irresponsibility: he’s never been anywhere close to the levers of power, so he could take principled-sounding but arguably feckless stances in a way that Clinton couldn’t and can’t.”

    On the one hand it is pointless to keep rehashing 2016. In the other, the risk of the populist zombies rising again in 2020 is extremely high.

  27. Sad
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Who even is the American left? I dare you to name even one progressive leader. It’s a vacuum. Even with Trump in office who is the voice of opposition? It really makes me …Sad.

    Good citation Natty.

  28. Sad
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    There are these kids, I guess.

  29. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    As for “leaders” yes, there are very few. In part, I blame people like Sanders who sort of turn it all into a cartoon.

  30. Sad
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Are the Parkland kids cartoons? They think they can do something that everyone on the left have deemed “impossible”?

  31. Sad
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    And again, why is our imagination for what is possible so limited?

  32. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Sanders biggest failing was not what he was asking for, but how he planned (or didn’t plan) to pay for it.

    It’s one thing to dream in politics, quite another to make those dreams into policy. The drama leading up to the passing of the ACA should have been a real lesson for American liberals. After than battle, people like Sanders should have known that having done the footwork ahead of time would have paid off in the long run.

    Again, back to Scandinavia, American liberals love the idea of having services like that, but don’t seem interested in how they pay for it.

  33. Sad
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Scandinavia only has a population of what, 30 million? Mostly white? We have the resources, isn’t it a question of distribution. I thought most liberals liked the idea of more progressive taxation? I could be wrong, I don’t even know anymore what a liberal or a progressive is. Or if they exist.

  34. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Scandinavia pays for services in part from progressive income taxation, but in large part through consumption taxes. Whenever the idea of a national sales tax is proposed, liberals balk, claiming that it is too regressive.

    But relying on rich people to pay for services is just a non-starter in my opinion. If you aim to have them pay for everything, then yes, they will control the conversation. Paying for services out of consumption taxes at least partially removes that issue from the equation and democratizes the creation of policy around services (since everyone is invested) , but it isn’t an ideal solution in the States and all of that are just personal opinions of mine.

    Note that in no country are services “free.” All services come with costs, either in monetary terms (taxation, contributions, fees for services) or in terms of quality (insufficiently funded Universities, regular social unrest of education fees). What Sanders offered was services to be paid for exclusively by a rich people, which is not only politically unrealistic, but also unsustainable in the long run. Paying for “free college” out of volatile Wall Street trades was just silliness.

    People like me thought he was just peddling fantasies to his fan club to satisfy his growing ego but oh well. We shall wait until the next populist personality arises in 2020.

  35. Sad
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Cheers! Well see what 2020 brings. I’m not too optimistic. Indeed, I’m Sad.

    PS- Some of those Scandinavian countries have a tax on net worth, can you imagine?

  36. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    The thing is, do you want a system that can provide services in a sustainable democratic and egalitarian fashion or do you just want political revenge?

    I think that American liberals have lost their way on the former because they are obsessed with the latter. The politics of outrage are doing us no favors.

    It’s not that I have it out for liberals or the Democratic Party (given that I am a liberal and have voted straight Democrat in every election since 1987) it’s that I think it can be better.

  37. Sad
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    What do you mean by political revenge?

  38. Wobblie
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    The recent increase in defense spending would more than pay for Sanders program. Ending the bipartisan wars would bring us prosperity. The liberals love their wars and want even more. We’ve spent over 2 trillion dollars. Don’t you feel safe.

  39. Sad
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Wobblie, didn’t you read 1984? Eternal war is a central part of the plot.

  40. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    “The recent increase in defense spending would more than pay for Sanders program.”

    But that isn’t what Mr. Sanders offered.

  41. Sad
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Maybe we should go over to the other side with EOS

    20“All these I have kept,” said the young man. “What do I still lack?” 21Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.” 22When the young man heard this, he went away in sorrow, because he had great wealth.

    It’s hard to believe with stuff like this the Republicans can be Christians. But like in 1984 or any dystopian story the key is that nothing is what it seems, indeed it’s the opposite. Oh well, we live in interesting times. Undoubtedly.

  42. Lynne
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Our defense budget is a nightmare. We could reduce it by 90% and still have enough of a military to defend ourselves. But too many Americans LOVE the power of it and yes, that is true of most Democratic and Republican voters. There are people in both parties though willing to talk cuts. Just not enough of them.

  43. Lynne
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Consumption taxes could work here if we more financially egalitarian. So I would be cool with Scandinavian style taxation but only if we also had a 90% marginal rate for income above some point (say a million bucks per year but that is just a number I am throwing out there).

  44. Iron Lung 2
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    As the ACA showed, there is no easy solution. I think that having watched that should tell everyone, liberal or not, that nothing about policy in a large country like the United States is easy.

    Sanders had opportunities. Instead of talking about “free college,” he should have been speaking about specific topics like loan forgiveness, expansion of the Pell Grant program or legislation that might reign in administrative costs at public Universities and Colleges… but he didn’t. He should have also presented detailed and realistic plans to pay for those things without sacrificing the quality of our Universities… but he didn’t.

    I am afraid that 2020 will be more of the same… simplistic solutions to complex problems to feed the politics of outrage.

    And then there’s people like Mr. Wobblie who imply that if you criticize candidates like Mr. Sanders, then you are “pro-war” or “in bed with the corporate Democrats.” Two people at that time even accused me of being paid by the Clinton campaign, which was preposterous, but they were serious because they believed that King Sanders was too perfect to criticize.

    Getting called out for a candidate to have his or her policy house in order is what voters should be doing, in my opinion.

  45. Sad
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Again, what do you mean the politics of outrage?

  46. Senator Chris Murphy
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Chris Murphy: “If the reason that this administration put U.S. troops at risk in Qatar was to protect the Kushner’s financial interests, then that’s all the evidence you need to make some big changes.”


  47. wobblie
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Sanders was a flawed candidate. But given the other choices he was like manna from heaven. He had the courage to speak of a future we would want to inhabit. IL “incrementalism and realism” are simple code words for selling out to corporate interest. Social Security was pie in the sky dreaming when proposed by Roosevelt. He appointed Francis Perkins Secretary of Labor (by the way we just celebrated the anniversary of her being appointed Secretary of Labor, the first woman to hold a cabinet position). She was the mother of the New Deal and midwifed into existence most of our social safety net. The very institutions which guaranteed some level of egalitarianism in our culture. The very programs that the buggy whip Democrats have been bargaining away in the search for “bipartisan consensus”.

    Sanders unabashedly was proclaiming the progressive agenda of the New Deal. His administration would have been flooded with new thinking young people bent on creating a sustainable, more equal society. The Democrats offered us a Republican Light.

  48. Jean Henry
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Sad— https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/14/isnt-it-outrageous/

  49. Jean Henry
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Sanders had unworkable plans. As someone who wanted many of the same changes he aspired to, I was profoundly disappointed that Sanders, who has held the same positions for 30 years, had not bothered in all that time to come up with policies that made ANY sense at all— in terms of political realities, yeah, but more so, in terms of numbers or even where policy is made. (Public universities and most incarceration are under State not federal control, for example) Hillary actually had plans to address these issues that made sense. But rather than running the issues and policy oriented primary Sanders promised (see marks post linked above), he diverted into the negative, sowing populist fear and paranoia about everything from Hillary to the media to the electoral system itself. He also spoke of WHITE working class interests as not only neglected but separate from others in the working class. This was coded racism plain and simple. The only thing that separates the WWC from the working class as a whole is the strategic value they have in elections. Sanders was corrupt. He allowed the forces of racism and sexism and political Paranoia to run free without correction in order to gain power. It was a sick campaign masked in white liberal flower bs. He convinced white millennials that they are the oppressed. And the righteous.

    That, Sad, is what the ‘politics of outrage’ is all about. Cynical populist appeals to fear and anger. Notably, people of color don’t fall for it.

  50. Jcp2
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 7:17 pm | Permalink


  51. Sad
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Wait a minute why can’t IL speak for themselves?

    I tag team Nattybooboo to respond for me.

    Thanks jCP2, they only hope I had left was that the youth might save us. But that interview seems to suggest that the youth are worse. Oh vey!

    I’m afraid and angry. Are POC really copacetic? I’d hope not beacause what’s going on in this country is freaky.

    What do you think Natty?

  52. nattybooboo
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Sad – I stopped engaging Jean a while back. Best to just let Jean ramble. It ain’t just jean tho. IL is presh. That interview linked above is presh. Tbh i dunno why i am even here.

  53. Sad
    Posted March 4, 2018 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Farewell kind soul. Depart quickly and I will follow your lead.

    Maybe somewhere over the rainbow.

    I wonder where HW went?

  54. Jean Henry
    Posted March 5, 2018 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Denmark’s ‘egalitarian’ society: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-43214596

  55. nattybooboo
    Posted March 5, 2018 at 3:21 pm | Permalink


  56. Jean Henry
    Posted March 5, 2018 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    SAD– When you say most Americans are for progressive income tax, well, technically, what we have is progressive, meaning simply you pay more if you make more… or at least it’s supposed to work that way. Where Sanders was fraudulent was in pretending that he could pay for every proposed social benefit simply by taxing the 1%, of which no one apparently thinks they belong, even 1%ers. In reality the models he pointed to have a relatively flat tax from the median income up. They also have extremely low corporate taxation, because revenue (aka wealth) must be generated to pay for social benefits. AND they have massive value added taxes. I personally would happily take the Danish system for our own, but most Americans do not want to pay an effective tax rate of over 50% if they make 70 grand (I don’t). Sanders did not present the American people with that option so we aren’t even having the necessary conversation anywhere on the left about how to pay for the programs we want. The left has become about fighting bad guys. Not solutions. And that’s along the whole spectrum from far left to white liberals. It’s tremendously disheartening. Like Mark, I though Sanders entering the race would elevate the conversation to one of policy options. That’s what Sanders promised. He had no game other than peddling outrage. And everyone in America seems to like outrage more than problem solving which is precisely how we become so dysfunctional politically that we ended up with a political circumstance that is truly and undeniably outrageous.

    PS I’m speaking for myself, not IL. Nattybooboo, I think I retreated from conversation first, but we definitely hit an impasse. In reality you simply become outraged as defensive posture. Outrage, even masked in sarcasm, is not engagement. You ahve no real interest in engaging with perspectives other than your own. You are sure of yourself and your own righteousness; That’s your limitation. Same could easily be said of me. Good luck out there.

  57. nattybooboo
    Posted March 5, 2018 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    JeeJee that confirmation bias you got there is 100% certified thicc. Go home and comfort yourself with some Alinsky or something.

  58. Jean Henry
    Posted March 5, 2018 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    natty– All humans exhibit confirmation bias. Some recognize it and examine it; others are just sure they’re right.


  59. Jean Henry
    Posted March 5, 2018 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Handy: http://www.allgeneralizationsarefalse.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Media-Bias-Chart_Version-3.1_Watermark-min.jpg

  60. nattybooboo
    Posted March 5, 2018 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    profound, Jean

  61. Sad
    Posted March 5, 2018 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Wait – I can’t find MM.com on the chart?

  62. Sad
    Posted March 5, 2018 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Could someone photoshop one of his headers on there in the proper place? Thanks.

  63. Most Woke
    Posted March 5, 2018 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    If you’re friends with DAY they leave you alone. They attack Cultivate as a “gentrifier” but they ignore Ziggy’s because management books their bands. It’s a gang like any other gang. Once you realize that, it’s easy to understand.

  64. Sad
    Posted March 5, 2018 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Someone could write a musical about Ypsi called East Side Story with Day and the Gentrifiers fighting it out after one of the gentrifeirs falls for someone from Day.

  65. Mostest Woke
    Posted March 5, 2018 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    The DAY people love trashing Cultivate online, but they regularly meet there. Mega hypocrites.

  66. nattybooboo
    Posted March 5, 2018 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    I’d watch that musical

  67. Sad
    Posted March 5, 2018 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Maybe it’ll be a hit like Hamilton?

    I promise to donate all proceeds to the construction of soviet style cinder block affordable housing.

  68. Jean Henry
    Posted March 5, 2018 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    “If you’re friends with DAY they leave you alone. They attack Cultivate as a “gentrifier” but they ignore Ziggy’s because management books their bands. It’s a gang like any other gang. Once you realize that, it’s easy to understand.” — completely depressing.

  69. Sad
    Posted March 5, 2018 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    If you want to be depressed that’s fine. But you can’t be Sad.

  70. nattybooboo
    Posted March 5, 2018 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    jean don’t like ur elated to hear that dirt

  71. nattybooboo
    Posted March 5, 2018 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    jean don’t like ur elated to hear that dirt

  72. Sad
    Posted March 5, 2018 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    When you’re a DAY,
    You’re the swingin’est thing:
    Little boy, you’re a man;
    Little man, you’re a king!

    The Days are in gear,
    Our cylinders are clickin’!
    The Gentrifiers steer clear
    ‘Cause ev’ry Rich kids a lousy chicken!
    Here come the DAYs
    Like a bat out of hell.
    Someone gets in our way,
    Someone don’t feel so well!
    Here come the DAYs:
    Little world, step aside!
    Better go underground,
    Better run, better hide!
    We’re drawin’ the line,
    So keep your noses hidden!
    We’re hangin’ a sign,
    Says “Visitors forbidden”
    And we ain’t kiddin’!
    Here come the DAYs
    Yeah! And we’re gonna beat
    Ev’ry last buggin’ gang
    On the whole buggin’ street!
    On the whole!

  73. stupid hick
    Posted March 6, 2018 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    OK, unless it’s artful posturing, now we know Sad is older than 40. Is there anyone younger who has ever commented here? D’Real is the only one I can think of. Another question, where is Hyborian Warlord? Did the Clintons or Soros have him killed?

  74. Jean Henry
    Posted March 6, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    I know a few under 40 who weigh in occasionally here and more who read but don’t comment. Why does that matter, Stupid Hick? Isn’t it appropriate for young ppl to have their own blogs etc.?
    HW got fed up I guess. Although I’m sure he’d prefer we developed a complex and implausible conspiracy theory about his exit that elevates his significance. I don’t miss him.

  75. Sad
    Posted March 6, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    I think HW is trying to expose the truth about this place….

  76. Judd Legum by proxy
    Posted March 14, 2018 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    It’s now been 9 days since @PressSec promised to “verify” the last time Trump spoke with Carl Icahn, who dumped $30 million in steel-related stock days before Trump announced steel tarrifs.

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