tom moody

Archive for the ‘general’ Category

the real stuff, please

Naked Capitalism's Lambert Strether goes into depth on the Trump "Russian dossier" issue, which I'm not that interested in. Lambert's conclusions are worth quoting at length, though:

It would be nice, wouldn’t it, if our famously free press was actually covering the Trump transition, instead of acting like their newsrooms are mountain redoubts for an irrendentist Clinton campaign. It would be nice, for example, to know:

1) The content and impact of Trump’s Executive Orders.

2) Ditto, regulations.

3) Personnel decisions below the Cabinet level. Who are the Flexians?

4) Obama policies that will remain in place, because both party establishments support them. Charters, for example.

5) Republican inroads in Silicon Valley.

6) The future of the IRS, since Republicans have an axe to grind with it.

7) Mismatch between State expectations for infrastructure and Trump’s implementation

And that’s before we get to ObamaCare, financial regulation, gutting or owning the CIA (which Trump needs to do, and fast), trade policy, NATO, China, and a myriad of other stories, all rich with human interest, powerful narratives, and plenty of potential for scandal. Any one of them worthy of A1 coverage, just like the Inaugural crowd size dogpile that’s been going on for days.

Instead, the press seems to be reproducing the last gasps of the Clinton campaign, which were all about the evils of Trump, the man. That tactic failed the Clinton campaign, again because volatility voters weren’t concerned with the niceties. And the same tactic is failing the press now. Failing unless, of course, you’re the sort of sleaze merchant who downsizes the newsroom because, hey, it’s all about the clicks.

- tom moody

January 23rd, 2017 at 3:02 pm

Posted in general

a new nickname

Walking across lower Manhattan, I passed a man with a loud, mellifluous speaking voice and a microphone, addressing people on the street: "I told you not to vote for Donald Duck, and you didn't listen to me, and now he's taking away your health care."
So far it's just the hated individual mandate but "Donald Duck" -- that's a good one.

- tom moody

January 22nd, 2017 at 11:53 am

Posted in general

three takes on the inaugural address

From the RSS reader, three reactions to the Trump inauguration speech, two worthless and one fairly insightful:

Village Voice journalist-turned-Clinton-zombie Joe Conason thinks Trump is still fighting the campaign and is shocked, shocked by Trump's appeal to "anger." Lefty bloggers used to call this "pearl-clutching" or "fainting couch" behavior, where a comfortable Washington insider can't understand how someone could hate his guts.

Juan Cole calls the speech "a chain of falsehoods, saber-rattling and scary Neofascist uber-nationalism" and oh-so-cleverly translates it from the "original German" of the 1930s to the America of 2017. This all seems a tad ... overwrought ... if you actually saw the speech.

Corey Robin compares Trump's inaugural address with Reagan's 1980 equivalent. Now we're getting somewhere!

[T]here’s an interesting contrast to be drawn in how Reagan and Trump summon the people. Both men make much of the people as against the government. But where Reagan is very clear that government needs to get out of the way so that the people’s native talents and genius and initiative can flourish [speech excerpt] Trump construes the people differently. They are either the objects and beneficiaries of government action -- specifically, Trump’s actions -- or they are partners with the government [speech excerpt]

That sounds more like FDR or JFK than Hitler but the angry, fascist talk is more fun and soothes our woes at the loss of the noble, misunderstood Clintons. *sob*

- tom moody

January 21st, 2017 at 11:21 am

Posted in general

not dark

It continues to amaze that so-called progressives are comfortable aligning themselves with the worst so-called Deep State elements fighting the incoming administration. Consider Trump's recent interview where he spoke about Europe, Russia, and the "obsolete" NATO. Depending on who you read, this was the kid pointing out the emperor's nakedness (Antiwar.com) or a kid, period (LobeLog). How aggressive will Trump be about altering US security priorities (if at all)? Quite a few well paid defense contractors seem nervous about #J20 -- it's not just the angry art galleries and websites who are "going dark" today.

Apropos of #J20 and #J20ArtStrike, this Archdruid essay (hat tip m.po) roots some of the Trump angst in pure class snobbery. A president who wears a ball-cap must be "illegitimate." Regarding indiscriminate use of the I-word, see Benjamin Studebaker.

- tom moody

January 20th, 2017 at 9:33 am

Posted in general

another obama legacy

Matt Stoller, a blogger for the now-disappeared sites MyDD and Open Left, became a Congressional staffer (for Alan Grayson) and joined the DC establishment. :( He can still write a fiery screed, such as this one for the Amazon Washington Post, titled "Democrats can’t win until they recognize how bad Obama’s financial policies were."

While the Hillary Left moans about Russia and Trump's supposed "illegitimacy," Stoller gets at the heart of why the Dems lost.

- tom moody

January 15th, 2017 at 7:33 am

Posted in general

current ebook list

Q. Tom, what's in your Kindle?
A. Uh, Jeff Bezos is an *ssh*le monopolist who owns the Washington Post (fake news dispenser) and seems bent on hooking consumers into addictive rent-extraction schemes, so I use the Kobo reader for ebooks now.

Q. (Sigh) OK, Mr. Man of Principle, what's in your Kobo ebook reader?
A. Joseph Conrad, Nostromo, Chance, Under Western Eyes, Lord Jim, The Secret Agent, Victory (all good, all available DRM-free from Feedbooks.com)

Mark Olden's Poe Must Die and Kevin Baker's Paradise Alley both take place in the slummy, scary New York of the mid-1800s. Pigs running wild in the streets, Hot Corn Girls, Croton hydrants...

Ross McDonald's books pre-Lew Archer: The Dark Tunnel, Trouble Follows Me, Blue City, The Three Roads

George V. Higgins, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, The Digger's Game, Cogan's Trade

James M. Cain, Double Indemnity (the movie version turns claims analyst Edward G. Robinson into a sympathetic character and friend to the main heel, making it less bleak than Cain's cold-blooded book), The Postman Always Rings Twice

Philip Pilkington, The Reformation in Economics (just purchased -- DRM-free epub -- looking forward to this book by an erstwhile Naked Capitalism contributor)

- tom moody

January 12th, 2017 at 4:38 pm

Posted in general

left disarray

Corporatist Clinton bitter-enders vs populists -- The Elephant in the Room Is a Donkey (Reflections on Kamala Harris) (Gaius Publius, Down with Tyranny)

Sam Seder once wisely said that during the Bush era, almost every Democrat and Democratic supporter looked like a solid progressive. It's only when Obama becomes president that you can see the difference between the Ezra Kleins of the world and the Elizabeth Warrens (my paraphrase).

But the recent Democratic primary widened those rifts — between the austerity-loving corporate enablers and the actual populists — and they may not close this time under the next Republican president. After all, in the face of real defeat — yes, I know, "she won the popular vote," but still, defeat pretty much up and down the line — the battle still rages in the Democratic Party. And it should.

Identity politics wrangling -- Nascent Anti-Trump Coalition Already Fracturing? (Nat Parry, Essential Opinion)

One early sign of the anti-Trump coalition’s fracturing came when a group of women decided after Hillary Clinton’s defeat that they would organize a “Million Women March” to commiserate the first major-party female presidential nominee’s electoral loss to Donald Trump, a misogynist.

The day after the election, a Hawaii woman named Teresa Shook created a Facebook event and invited a few dozen of her friends to march on Washington on Jan. 21, the day after Trump’s inauguration. The idea was picked up by a Hillary Clinton Facebook fan page called Pantsuit Nation, with more than three million members, and suddenly there were multiple event pages with thousands of women signing up.

The original name of the march, however, was hastily dropped after the organizers were accused of “cultural appropriation.” Apparently the organizers hadn’t considered that the name “Million Woman March” was already used in 1997 by a demonstration organized for black women.

We need to pull together to fight orange hitler! But wait, who is "we"?

- tom moody

January 7th, 2017 at 11:39 am

Posted in general

krugman hysteria

A friend emailed a poorly-written Paul Krugman (NYT) column about Trump/Russia. The Clinton camp first floated this "Russian hacking" meme to distract from the unfavorable DNC leaks and now it's expanded to cover the entire election.
My reply:

I can't tell if you're being serious in your last message, but please don't send me any more emails with the words "Putin" or "Russia."
The DC elite's attempt to revive the Cold War in the aftermath of the election seems foolish.
Watching the entrenched Washington cliques fight it out with the incoming billionaire posse is fun but not with geopolitics (and nukes) involved.
Krugman should know this but his unabashed Clinton support has thrown him "off his nut."
I hope all is well, otherwise.
Best, Tom

- tom moody

January 7th, 2017 at 9:11 am

Posted in general

fascist or bag-holder

If you read the Huffington Post (not advised), the president-elect is either a fascist... or a Nazi.
If you read certain other publications, he will be the designated bag-holder when the economy blows up.

James Howard Kunstler (subtle as ever):

The American people have been punked by their own government and their central bank, the Federal Reserve, for years and the jig is now up. In 2017 both will lose their authority and legitimacy, a very grave matter for the survival of this republic.

Insiders surely have seen this coming for a long time. The people running this so-called Deep State of overblown and overgrown institutions probably acted at first with the good intentions of keeping the national lifestyle afloat. But in the end (now approaching) they stooped to too much duplicity and deceit in the desperate attempt to not just preserve the system, but to protect their own reputations and personal perquisites. And now there ought to be some question with the election of 2016 that they have engineered all of this system fragility to blow up on Mr. Trump’s watch, so they can blame him for it. It was going to blow up anyway. But had Hillary Clinton won the election, at least the right gang would have had to take the blame — the people in charge for the past twenty years. Instead, Donald Trump has been elected Designated Bag-Holder.

Nomi Prins:

In November, Donald Trump’s victory further elevated stock markets, especially sectors most likely to be deregulated by the incoming billionaire club administration, like banks.

Yet, the idea that any President can control the economy with a tweet and a set of disparaging or aggrandizing comments is foolish. Once the hype of a reality TV show president subsides into prevailing political and economic uncertainty, stock and bond markets will end the year crumbling in the dust of broken promises.

But Keith Olbermann said he was Hitler...

- tom moody

January 4th, 2017 at 10:46 pm

Posted in general

us governmental limits on dictators

Benjamin Studebaker had a post up three days after the US election titled How the Left Can Survive Under Trump. This is a helpful list of reminders of how the US governmental system works that you can give to Hillary bitter-enders sending you screechy emails about fascism.
An antiwar libertarian or paleoconservative might also find this rundown informative.
Possibly Studebaker's take is too optimistic but it's preferable to left wing versions of "death panels are coming!"

- tom moody

December 29th, 2016 at 8:23 am

Posted in general