Krystal and Saagar respond to the recent comments made by former President Barack Obama during a campaign stop for Democrats where he justifies voting for Dems even when they do nothing
to just09:15just let me enter a footnote but just in09:18a site09:20it was very interesting to watch who09:22pulled it off09:24when he establishes his first campaign09:26team09:28it’s proof axelrod and gibbs09:31they’re all white09:33then09:34he assembles the team of writers09:37he has eight writers09:39and lyd makes the point09:42they’re all white males09:46it’s very striking wouldn’t it strike09:48you09:50yes it has09:52of eight writers09:54eight09:56including09:57around three who just did comedy09:59sketches because he was going on like10:02you know the10:03washington press club comedy night you10:06know10:07he couldn’t find one black writer10:09through comedy yeah i think that was a10:11really interesting point that you made10:12that apparently none of the black10:14comedians kind of passed muster to join10:16to join the team and yes it’s something10:18that i you know people have commented on10:20and that you know as i listen to10:22the kind of10:24crooked media10:25podcast10:27family10:28where a whole lot of people are have10:30very lucrative careers now as the host10:32of positive america etc because they10:34were his speech writers10:37and thinking about10:38how none of those opportunities befall10:41any any black people or any women in10:42part because that’s not who barack obama10:45to keep around him and put words in his10:46mouth it’s really striking in his inner10:49circle there were two blacks10:51valerie jarrett10:53who for all intents and purposes might10:55as well have been white well why do you10:57say that professor finkelstein well10:58first of all11:00valerie jarrett just physically let’s11:02start with the physically okay but11:04that’s but never how race operates in11:06america okay okay let’s start there and11:09then say finish there11:12when her child was11:14born11:15the hospital administrator put the child11:18down as white11:19i went to law school with her child in11:21fact actually11:22one of the most notable moments of i was11:24very quiet one all year she was a year11:26or two ahead of me and one of the most11:29notable moments of my 1l experience was11:31a11:32professor feldman who’s in the news for11:33other reasons not so charmingly right11:36now uh called on her and called her mrs11:38gray which is about the biggest11:39impression i ever made on anybody in11:41that class11:45so11:46and she grew up11:48and actually her her mother when her11:50mother11:51gave birth to her the administrator put11:54down white so just at that level at that11:57level but you’re right it’s that’s you11:59can call it a trivial level because we12:01have the one drop rule12:03in the united states okay correct she12:05she had nothing to do with black people12:10why do you say that well because she was12:11the mascot for richard daley12:14when richard daley when she when the12:16richard daley administration came along12:18in chicago he appointed her on every12:21board12:22she was the head of the chicago housing12:24authority she was the head of the12:25chicago transit authority she was the12:28the head of the the chair of the stock12:30exchange they just used her for12:33everything when she was the head of then12:35she became part of this habitat company12:38a private public um co-op cooperative12:42she was12:43she was a one-person gentrification12:46machine so i think12:48all the black neighborhoods chicago but12:51that’s different12:52when i challenged the idea that you said12:54quote you know she has nothing to do12:56with black people but that’s those are12:58this is this is the thing you know i i13:00all i do is sit around critiquing13:01identity politics13:03but there’s a13:04but it’s a very13:05when she is the only representative of13:09black people in his inner circle13:12she is the only one except for reggie13:15love right i understand that but you13:17can’t that is not the same thing the13:19problem with valerie jarrett is that she13:22doesn’t have good politics that connect13:24with what the bulk of black voters want13:26and need not because she’s light-skinned13:29right that’s not the issue and not13:31because of what her personal connection13:33is no and it’s also not because you said13:35she has nothing to do with black people13:36i know nothing about her personal life13:38who she hangs out with how she grew up13:40or how much she has anything to do with13:42black people so what i’m i’m not13:43disagreeing with the substance of your13:45critique of valerie jarrett but i’m just13:47cautioning you to be careful especially13:49since you aren’t black frankly something13:52that that’s who he chose13:55it’s right something13:57if the leading intellect black13:59intellectual in the united states is i14:01think clearly hands down is cornell west14:04and it’s very striking that obama14:07couldn’t find any place for cornell west14:10in his administration that tells me14:12something14:14it tells me something but he finds a14:16place from valerie jarrett and the only14:18other person is reggie love and reggie14:22love it was just14:23he was the gopher14:25oh obama wants an exotic meal can you14:27get it for him obama needs a new pair of14:29shoes can you get it for him that’s how14:31reggie loved it i actually i i liked14:34reggie loves memoir because he didn’t14:36give14:37he used a memoir to talk about himself14:40which i i kind of like even though of14:42course there’s the praise for obama but14:44it tells you something i don’t know why14:46you wouldn’t want to see that14:48that the people i don’t need14:52i don’t think that you are hearing what14:53my criticism is14:56does it bother you that does it bother14:58you14:59that valerie jarrett sings the praises15:02of al sharpton15:04yes that is a substantive critique of15:06valerie jarrett valerie jarrett being15:09light skinned her daughter being15:11perceived as white as a kid it derails15:13the rest of your argument that’s the15:15point i’m trying to make15:16it’s not helpful no i’m i’m telling you15:19i’m telling you as someone who is15:22sympathetic to your argument and who is15:23perhaps the15:25person outside of15:27the reeds who has written most critique15:30of identity politics on the left that15:32there are aspects of what is written15:34here that even alienate me and force me15:38into a defensive posture that is15:40unnecessary15:42and you cannot you cannot you can choose15:44not to care professor finkelstein that’s15:46completely you’re right but we we could15:48be talking about15:49we could be talking about the15:51substantive things that we agree with15:53but we keep getting derailed because of15:56these kind of assigns that do wait i’m15:58sorry if i could just finish the15:59sentence16:00that do open you up to i think16:02legitimate criticism that this isn’t16:04about the substance but it’s about a16:06personal animus for barack obama and i16:10personally don’t have a personal animus16:12barack obama beyond the extent to which16:14he has failed to stand up for the16:15promises that he made to the american16:17people who are suffering16:18at a historic level right now and16:21particularly because he’s a black person16:22who traded on16:24his blackness in order to convince16:27people without a lot of substance as16:28you’ve written so persuasively16:30to invest in him and to trust him with16:34the future and the fate of the most16:36historically marginal you know one of16:37the most historically marginalized16:38groups in this country that is my beef16:40with barack obama but when you say16:42things like i don’t find him interesting16:44that’s fine you don’t have to i16:46personally find him to be very16:48interesting and deeply compelling and i16:50i mean like the whole phenomenon i find16:52to be fascinating16:53but the i it begs the question you know16:56why is it relevant whether you find them16:58interesting and i find them just16:59uninteresting i said i don’t think it’s17:01relevant but it comes up you end up you17:04said it i didn’t say it you said it and17:06those kinds of asides and those frogs17:08and detours i would put to you i would17:10put to you17:12set you up to be written off and set all17:14of your critique to be written off17:16as a personal vendetta as opposed to a17:19substantive analysis which i think is17:21very much here and that’s all that i it17:24is that i’m flagging17:25because17:26um17:28i don’t like17:29identity politics17:32why not17:33why17:34yeah i mean i don’t either but i want to17:36hear i’m interested in hearing17:38your17:38analysis because17:41i know enough young people17:44not from the elite schools17:47but17:48young people who are17:50struggling17:52very hard17:54now17:55i had a wonderful life17:58not in terms of professional success18:01but enable18:03in terms of being able to do with my18:05life18:06what i wanted to do18:08you set a goal as a child a youth18:11and then you18:13are able to realize it18:16i had a friend richard herskowitz18:19he loved film18:21he became a film uh impresario festivals18:24organizing festivals18:26larry spivak he was in the school band18:29the orchestra leader18:32he became the leader of the greenwich18:33orchestra18:35then there’s the whole slew who became18:37doctors18:38that was their goal and there were quite18:40a few just money in wall street18:43this generation18:47they18:49it’s the very rare person outside the 2018:52the 20 will make it18:54the 8018:55who i know18:58they’re not going to see anything in18:59their lives it’s very hard for me to19:01tell them that19:02i um19:04often they’re asking me what do you19:05think i should do where do you think i19:07should go19:08i don’t even know what to counsel19:09anymore19:11because i don’t see any prospects at all19:15so19:17to me19:18this identity politics19:21it’s a complete and total19:24diversion19:27from anything meaningful19:29and substantive19:32for the young people i know who are poor19:36who live four to a room19:39in new york19:40or four to an apartment in new york19:43who struggle each month19:46to make the rent19:48who keep down19:50three dead end jobs19:53with no job security no vacation no sick19:57benefits nothing nothing20:00and then20:01juxtaposed to that20:04is this idiotic20:06identity politics20:09which20:10so far as20:12the young people i know20:14has absolutely no meaning20:17no20:18substance20:20whatsoever20:22so i just want to make sure i understand20:24what you’re really20:25one last thought sure20:27it was very striking to me20:31the20:32juxtaposition of the obama campaign20:37with the bernie campaign20:39the obama campaign was just20:42elect obama it was just all focused on20:46electing this person president20:49the bernie campaign20:51was entirely focused on his platform20:55everybody the moment he thought bernie20:58you thought first medicare for all21:01student debt21:03abolish tuition21:05jobs21:06and infrastructure21:08it was an identity politics campaign21:12juxtaposed against21:15a class politics21:17it was a very in my opinion21:21a very striking juxtaposition21:25most people like bernie not because they21:27had any particular21:29affection for him21:31but because they trusted him they knew21:33this guy’s been in politics for 40 years21:35he’s been saying the same thing since21:37the 1970s21:39so they figured okay the guy is the real21:41thing he’s the real deal uh that’s the21:45kind of politics21:46that’s always interested me21:50i care i care about the fate of humanity21:53i do21:54i don’t much care about abram x candies21:57um21:59hair22:01it doesn’t much interest me22:04is uh22:06these are fashion shows22:08this is not scholarship22:10it’s not politics22:13it’s22:14tamika mallory doing cadillac22:17commercials22:19it’s22:20patrice coolers22:23buying her four homes and then taking22:25the money and run22:28it’s also22:30beyond the scam22:33it’s really destructive22:37i was out every night22:39during the george floyd demonstrations i22:41was the only one over there was nobody22:44over22:44[Music]22:45there was literally over 30 at the22:47demonstrations because it was jaren22:48covert22:50so i was the only one22:53not for my age cohort22:55for four decades22:58after 3522:59three decades23:01and what was most striking to me23:03a veteran as it were of demonstrations23:08i had never seen23:10such anger among the whites the young23:12white people23:15it was not this kind of no bless oblige23:18solidarity with black people no23:21it was solidarity23:23however23:25it was we’re all in this together23:29and it was very striking23:31let’s say the23:32uh barclays center23:35which is the big center in downtown23:37brooklyn23:38here were the cops lined up23:41and here were23:42the demonstrators23:45and23:46there would be the white women23:49and there was such a fierce23:52anger23:54they were screaming it was not the most23:56sophisticated23:58of the of slogans they were shouting24:00nypd sucked my dick nyc24:04so angry24:07and24:08you you could see24:10it was the rage against the machine24:14that the police were the symbols24:16of this whole24:18system24:21that left them with no future24:24a futureless future24:26and there was real potential there24:29it was real24:31black and white24:33solidarity24:35as i had never before seen it24:38and it was very24:40inspiring24:42to see it because it wasn’t fake it24:43wasn’t the martha’s vineyard24:47it wasn’t performing24:48it was real24:50because a lot of these kids you know how24:52do you find a place in new york there24:54are three people they need a roommate24:57so a person comes along they randomly24:59choose them there is like a co-op25:01screening you know what i mean25:03so you have25:05every different type living together25:08a black person a white person a gay25:10person the trans person through living25:12together25:13there was a real sense of25:15community there you know recognition25:17that blacks are getting shafted more25:19than25:19everybody else but we’re all getting25:22shafted by this system25:24and the identity politics wrecks all25:27that it destroys it25:30by25:31by25:32balkanizing25:34the25:36solidarity25:37creating this competitiveness25:40who is the most oppressed25:43among the group25:45who should get bumped to the head of the25:47queue25:48it’s such a destructive25:51politics25:52i was a maoist25:54in my youth i made many errors25:57i’m perfectly willing to26:00acknowledge them26:02but there are things about that period26:04that i look back and they make sense26:07mao’s famous slogan was unite the many26:09to defeat the few26:12unite the many to defeat the few26:15the slogan of identity politics is26:18disunite the many to enable the few26:21to create enough divisions26:23fragmentations26:25and so forth26:27uh it’s a very destructive26:30and at the end of course the whole26:32identity politics in the george floyd26:34demonstrations what do they what26:36happened instead of putting forth a26:39slogan which could have united people26:41the obvious slogan was26:43justice meaning justice against the cops26:45and jobs because all these people don’t26:47have work26:49instead of justice and jobs26:51it came to26:52pummeling26:54statues of26:55whomever they were pulling down26:58and if you were if you attended those27:00demonstrations i don’t know if you did27:03by the third week the first week it was27:0650 50 50 black 50 not black27:11by the third week it was about 80 10 8027:15white27:16the black people sort of27:18it wasn’t going anywhere and they27:20started to disappear27:22and then the whole craziness with the27:24statues started27:26and then the whole thing just fizzled27:27out27:29i had there right well i think that the27:30i mean there’s a lot to be said about27:32those protests and we’ve said some of it27:33on the show i would dispute that it27:35fizzled out i think that there were a27:36lot of things that happened there was27:38the media turned on the protests and27:41started characterizing them27:43as kind of unhinged and violent and that27:46the ongoing protests were direct27:49um27:50there was going to be a direct trade-off27:51between the george floyd27:54movement policing movement27:56and27:58joe biden’s electoral chances and that28:00deflated some energy out of it and there28:02was an unwillingness of figureheads as28:04you’ve pointed to to actually stick that28:06landing and create any real use it for28:09any real leverage in an electoral28:10context in the middle of a journal28:12election and there was a lot of there28:13was a lot going on there28:15but um i want to bring this back uh28:18to28:19the subject to hand and ask you then28:23in a broader critique of identity28:24politics why is it that you felt the28:27need to write a chapter on barack obama28:30especially if to your point the younger28:32generations let’s say the under 40 crowd28:35is pretty woke and hip to28:38the28:39failures of obama28:42and doesn’t need need the pitch who who28:44is this who is this for hey youtube28:47don’t forget this is a podcast to get28:49full episodes including ones that are28:51behind a pay wall go to patreon.com bad28:55faith podcast to get more episodes28:57please do subscribe to this channel hit28:59the notification bell and like this29:01video29:03
Why do Republicans enable right-wing extremism?
Why has the Republican Party become a systematic enabler of terrorism?
Don’t pretend to be shocked. Just look at G.O.P. responses to the massacre in El Paso. They have ranged from the ludicrous (blame video games!) to the almost honest (who would have expected Ted Cruz, of all people, to speak out against white supremacy?). But as far as I can tell, not one prominent Republican has even hinted at the obvious link between Donald Trump’s repeated incitements to violence and the upsurge in hate crimes.
So the party remains in lock step behind a man who has arguably done more to promote racial violence than any American since Nathan Bedford Forrest, who helped found the Ku Klux Klan, a terrorist organization if there ever was one — and who was recently honored by the Republican governor of Tennessee.
Anyway, the party’s complicity started long before Trump came on the scene. More than a decade ago, the Department of Homeland Security issued a report warning about a surge of right-wing extremism. The report was prescient, to say the least. But when congressional Republicans learned about it, they went on a rampage, demanding the resignation of Janet Napolitano, who headed the agency, and insisted that even using the term “right-wing extremism” was unacceptable.
This backlash was effective: Homeland Security drastically scaled back its efforts to monitor and head off what was already becoming a major threat. In effect, Republicans bullied law enforcement into creating a safe space for potential terrorists, as long as their violent impulses were motivated by the right kind of hatred.
No, not exactly. No doubt some members of Congress, and a significant number of Trump administration officials, very much including the tweeter in chief, really are white supremacists. And a much larger fraction — almost surely bigger than anyone wants to admit — are racists. (Recently released tapes of conversations between Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon reveal that the modern G.O.P.’s patron saint was, in fact, a crude racist who called Africans “monkeys.”)
But racism isn’t what drives the Republican establishment, and my guess is that a majority of the party’s elected officials find it a little bit repugnant — just not repugnant enough to induce them to repudiate its political exploitation. And their exploitation of racism has led them inexorably to where they are today: de facto enablers of a wave of white supremacist terrorism.
The central story of U.S. politics since the 1970s is the takeover of the Republican Party by economic radicals, determined to slash taxes for the wealthy while undermining the social safety net.
With the arguable exception of George H.W. Bush, every Republican president since 1980 has pushed through tax cuts that disproportionately benefited the 1 percent while trying to defund and/or privatize key social programs like
- Social Security,
- Medicaid and the
- Affordable Care Act.
So how do Republicans win elections? By appealing to racial animus. This is such an obvious fact of American political life that you have to be willfully blind not to see it.
For a long time, the G.O.P. establishment was able to keep this game under control. It would campaign using implicit appeals to racial hostility (welfare queens! Willie Horton!) but turn postelection to privatization and tax cuts.
But for some reason this bait-and-switch started getting less effective in the 2000s. Maybe it was the reality of America’s growing racial diversity; maybe it was the fact that American society as a whole was becoming less racist, leaving the hard-core racists feeling isolated and frustrated. And the election of our first black president really kicked hatred into overdrive.
The result is that there are more and more angry white people out there willing to commit mayhem — and able to do so because those same Republicans have blocked any effective control over sales of assault weapons.
A different, better G.O.P. might have been willing to acknowledge the growing threat and supported a crackdown on violent right-wing extremism, comparable to the F.B.I.’s successful campaign against the modern K.K.K. in the 1960s. A lot of innocent victims would be alive today if Republicans had done so.
But they didn’t, because admitting that right-wing extremism was a threat, or even a phrase law enforcement should be allowed to use, might have threatened the party’s exploitation of racial hostility to achieve its economic goals.
In effect, then, the Republican Party decided that a few massacres were an acceptable price to pay in return for tax cuts. I wish that were hyperbole, but the continuing refusal of G.O.P. figures to criticize Trump even after El Paso shows that it’s the literal truth.
So as I said at the beginning, the G.O.P. has become a systematic enabler of terrorism. Why? Follow the money.
If the caravan proceeds by foot, during the period of its journey 16,800 Americans will die from drugs.
In the period of the caravan’s journey, perhaps 690,000 Americans will become homeless, including 267,000 children.
In the period of the caravan’s journey, 8,850 Americans will die from guns, including suicides and murders.
In the period of the caravan’s journey, perhaps 9,000 Americans will die from lack of health insurance (people die at higher rates when they’re uninsured, although there’s disagreement about how much higher).
Maybe the real “National Emergy” is drugs, homelessness, gun deaths and lack of health insurance?
.. the issue isn’t really even immigration. Rather, it’s fearmongering. Scholars have found that reminding people of dangers makes them temporarily more conservative, so this kind of manipulation can be an effective campaign tactic.
Remember the 2014 midterm elections? This is a replay. In the run-up to voting, Republicans ratcheted up fears of a “border crisis” with terrorists sneaking in from Mexico to attack us, plus alarm about Ebola and the risk that the outbreak in West Africa could reach America.
.. Trump also tweeted then that if a New York physician who returned from West Africa developed Ebola (as he later did), “then Obama should apologize to the American people & resign.”
In the 2014 elections, Republican candidates ran hundreds of ads denouncing the Obama administration’s handling of Ebola. News organizations chronicled this “debate,” but in retrospect they were manipulated into becoming a channel to spread fear — and win Republican votes.
.. Yet Ebola, like the Central American caravan, is a reminder of the distinction between grandstanding and governing.
.. Obama’s technocratic Ebola program — working with France and Britain, plus private aid groups — may have worried voters, but it was effective.
.. the Ebola virus was contained and eventually burned out. Good governance often turns out to be bad politics, and vice versa.
.. Perhaps the approach with the best record is aid programs to curb gang violence in countries like Honduras, to reduce the factors that lead people to attempt the dangerous journey to the United States. Yet it’s not tangible and doesn’t impress voters. So Trump instead is talking about an expensive wall and about cutting aid to Central America, even though this would magnify the crisis there and probably lead more people to flee north.
.. I fear that we in the media have become Trump’s puppets, letting him manipulate us to project issues like the caravan onto the agenda.
.. Trump is right that, although there’s no evidence of it, “there could very well be” Middle Easterners hiding in the caravan. It’s equally true that the Easter Bunny “could very well be” in the caravan. Speaking of Easter, Jesus Christ “could very well be” in the caravan.
.. So let’s stop freaking out about what “could very well be” and focus on facts. Here are two:
- First, the Caravan won’t make a bit of difference to America.
- Second, we have other problems to focus on, from drugs to homelessness to health care, that genuinely constitute a “National Emergy.”
conservative author and activist Dinesh D’Souza wrote a book, “Obama’s America,” full of gross speculations about the sex life of the president’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, who was a pioneering anthropologist. “Ann’s sexual adventuring may seem a little surprising in view of the fact that she was a large woman who kept getting larger,” wrote D’Souza. He described her as a “playgirl” who used “her American background and economic and social power to purchase the romantic attention of third-world men.”
D’Souza’s insinuations had little to do with his ostensible thesis, which was that Obama sought to undermine America. It was simply a timeworn insult — calling someone’s mom fat and promiscuous — that tells us nothing about Obama’s family, but a lot about D’Souza’s character.
.. D’Souza is a felon who, in 2014, pleaded guilty to routing illegal campaign donations through a woman he was having an affair with, and the woman’s husband.
.. At the time, D’Souza was married and serving as president of the evangelical King’s College. His ex-wife would later accuse him of physical abuse.
.. D’Souza pardon, like those of the former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio and the former Dick Cheney aide Scooter Libby, is a message to Trump confederates facing legal trouble.
.. D’Souza was convicted of one of the same crimes, a campaign finance violation, that Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen is now being investigated for.
- .. the study estimating that around 4,600 people died in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria
- outrage over migrant children ripped from their parents’ arms at the border;
- and an incipient trade war with our allies.
.. D’Souza, who made his name in the 1990s fighting campus political correctness, once had a reputation as a middlebrow conservative provocateur, but he’s really more gutter-dwelling troll.
.. In the Trump era, he’s become even worse. He mocked survivors of the Parkland, Fla., high school shooting who cried after the Florida Legislature voted down an assault weapons ban, tweeting, “Worst news since their parents told them to get summer jobs.”
.. even if Trump was acting out of instinct rather than calculation, he has an intuitive ability to speak to his supporters’ dark impulses,
and an insatiable need to smash boundaries that constrained his predecessors.
.. Fascism, Ilyin wrote approvingly, is “a redemptive excess of patriotic arbitrariness.” Trump has almost certainly never read this line, but he understands it.
The theory is fascinating as an artifact of our current political derangement, but more than that, it’s profoundly revealing about the lengths to which some Trump supporters will go to convince themselves that his presidency is going well.
.. In the QAnon reality, Trump only pretended to collude with Russia in order to create a pretext for the hiring of Robert Mueller, the special counsel, who is actually working with Trump to take down an inconceivably evil and powerful network of coup-plotters and child sex traffickers that includes Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and George Soros.
.. “QAnon points out that this is the beginning of the end for the Clintons,” said Jerome Corsi — a prominent proponent of the lie that Obama was born in Kenya
.. the world would be forced to contend with “films of innocent children pleading for their lives while people are butchering them.” Once that happens, presumably, Trump will be revealed as a master of 12-dimensional chess who successfully distracted smirking elites with his buffoonery while he was quietly saving the world.
.. The creativity poured into QAnon is striking; it’s like something between a sprawling work of crowdsourced postmodern fiction and an immersive role-playing game.
.. But for many people, QAnon is very real. Barr has tried to make contact with Q on Twitter. InfoWars, the website run by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones — who has a close relationship with Trump confidant Roger Stone — has consistently promoted it.
.. Cheryl Sullenger, senior vice president of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, posted an article on the group’s website about an “intel drop” from Q revealing a White House plan to end Planned Parenthood. Sean Hannity retweeted a post with the #QAnon hashtag.
.. Some elements of the QAnon conspiracy theory — secret elites, kidnapped children — are classic, even archetypical. “In all Western culture, you can argue that all conspiracy theories, no matter how diverse, come from the idea of the Jews abducting children,”
.. Stories about globalists stealing children for sex aren’t that far removed from stories about Jews stealing children to use their blood making matzo.
.. One twist, however, makes QAnon unusual. Conspiracy theories are usually about evil cabals manipulating world events. QAnon, by contrast, is a conspiracy theory in which the good guys — in this case, Trump and his allies — are in charge.
.. It’s a dream of power rather than a bitter alibi for victimhood. It seems designed to cope with the cognitive dissonance caused by the gap between Trump as his faithful followers like to imagine him, and Trump as he is... legislation many on the right deplored, was shortsighted. In releasing funds to the military, it said, the bill would set off a climactic series of events: “Swamp drain begins, military seizes TRILLIONS in cabal assets, returning them to the people.”.. An inspector general report would then reveal the establishment’s unspeakable crimes, after which “the strings will be cut from the propaganda machine and people will stop falling for the garbage MSM,.. You don’t create a wild fantasy about your leader being a covert genius unless you understand that to most people, he looks like something quite different. You don’t need an occult story about how your side is secretly winning if it’s actually winning... Their desperate conviction that they will be proven right about Trump betrays a secret fear that they will be proven wrong.
Researchers find uncertainty about economic policy is slightly higher now than during Obama’s entire tenure
During Barack Obama’s presidency, uncertainty about U.S. economic policy was much higher than it had been during the previous 25 years, according to calculations by a trio of academic economists.
You would think uncertainty would be low now, with economic expansion advanced and secure, the global economy on a stable footing, and a president in the White House focused on helping business by cutting regulation.
But it isn’t. The researchers find economic policy uncertainty is slightly higher under President Donald Trump than it was during an Obama era marked by deep recession, auto bailouts, unconventional Federal Reserve interventions into the financial system and routine brinkmanship between Democrats and Republicans on fiscal policy.
.. “Obama was president in a time when you needed extreme policy action,” said Mr. Bloom. “Trump has incredibly benign economic conditions. He should have very low levels of policy uncertainty.”
It is hard to say exactly why uncertainty is high now. Mr. Bloom said it is likely partly because of big policy changes happening in Washington—such as an aggressive new stance on trade—and partly because of the decision-making process, which he described as chaotic.
.. “It has been a gut punch to tech investors,” Daniel Ives, chief strategy officer at GBH Insights, an investment research firm, said of the Amazon and Facebook developments. “These stocks and their multiples were not factoring in increased regulation.”
.. Complicating matters, it is hard to see a comprehensive policy framework behind Mr. Trump’s interventions into the economy, making it hard to predict what might come next.
.. Some analysts have described the nation’s evolving trade approach as mercantilism, a government effort to prop up exports and restrain imports in pursuit of trade and financial surpluses. But Qualcomm, AT&T and Amazon aren’t about that. Nor is it quite industrial policy, which is government selection of certain industries over others, as Japan practiced in the 1980s and 1990s.
.. “He’s picking winners and losers,” said Matthew Slaughter, dean of Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, who also served as an economist at the Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush. “But it is not obvious what the unifying strategy would be and it is not obvious what the definition of winners and losers are in these cases.”
.. “The regulatory machinery is not likely to be put into motion because the president has a grudge against Amazon,” he said.
His advice to Wall Street: “Don’t fear the Tweeter.”