The November 30, 2016 Thread

Filed in National by on November 30, 2016

The Internet Archive, a digital library non-profit group that stores online copies of webpages, e-books, political advertisements and other media for public record, is fundraising to store a copy of all of its contents in Canada after Donald Trump’s election to the presidency. Good thinking now that we have a fascist authoritarian in the White House.

Thanks, Obama.

“Donald Trump’s education secretary nominee is a huge critic of public schools and has pushed to steer taxpayer dollars to charter schools and voucher programs. His Health and Human Services pick wants to dismantle Obamacare and privatize Medicare,” Politico reports.

“His attorney general nominee would crack down on ‘sanctuary cities’ and increase deportations of undocumented immigrants. And his choice to run the CIA believes shutting down ‘black site’ prisons was a mistake, while his national security adviser contends Islam is a threat to Western civilization.”

“Add them all up, and the president-elect is well on his way to building a conservative dream team that has Republicans cheering and liberals in despair.”

Looks that way in color too.

President-elect Donald Trump says he intends to set aside his business interests to focus on “running the country,” Bloomberg reports.

In a series of tweets on Wednesday, the President-elect wrote: “I will be holding a major news conference in New York City with my children on December 15 to discuss the fact that I will be leaving my great business in total in order to fully focus on running the country in order to make America great again!”

That’s insufficient if his children will be running the businesses and also acting as paid or unpaid, official or unofficial advisers. He must liquidate all his businesses and all his real estate holdings across the planet at once or face unconstitutional conflicts of interest that will require his immediate removal of office upon his inauguration.

“President-elect Donald Trump is turning to a reliable stable of Republican and business world power brokers to fill out his administration, signaling he’s looking to push his agenda using the political apparatus he famously pledged to dismantle,” CNN reports.

“Trump is expected to name his top fundraiser and former Goldman Sachs banker Steven Mnuchin to the Treasury Department, pulling from a Wall Street world he once criticized as having ‘total control’ over his campaign opponents. Wilbur Ross, a billionaire businessman, will be his Commerce secretary. Tuesday’s announcements of Georgia Rep. Tom Price to run the Department of Health and Human Services and Elaine Chao to lead the Department of Transportation added two more Washington movers and shakers to the Trump Cabinet.”

“Trump pledged in his campaign to ‘drain the swamp’ in Washington, but has also repeatedly said that he will look to people who understand the capital to help him govern. His selection of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, a former congressman, as vice president and chairman of his transition and choosing long-time political powerbrokers like GOP fundraiser Betsy DeVos as secretary of Education is part of that pattern.”

“But while Ryan is still expected to fall short in his bid for leader, more than a dozen lawmakers who have told Pelosi they planned on supporting her have told BuzzFeed News they were either wavering or fully intended to support Ryan. The members spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of alienating their once, and probably future, leader. The vote will be held on a secret ballot, allowing members to publicly declare their intent for Pelosi while later voting against her.”

Sean Hannity told Breitbart News Daily that President-elect Donald Trump should shut down the White House press office.

Said Hannity: “People don’t need them any more. They’re done. I suggested the other day that if any of these organizations were involved in collusion with the Clinton campaign, why do they get a seat in the White House press office? Why does Donald Trump need a White House press office? He doesn’t. You know, you can have a pool person that’s standing by if, God forbid, there’s any bad news about the president that the country needs to know, but his own staff could tweet it out, for crying out loud.

New York Times: “Support for autocratic alternatives is rising, too. Drawing on data from the European and World Values Surveys, the researchers found that the share of Americans who say that army rule would be a ‘good’ or ‘very good’ thing had risen to 1 in 6 in 2014, compared with 1 in 16 in 1995.”

“That trend is particularly strong among young people. For instance, in a previously published paper, the researchers calculated that 43 percent of older Americans believed it was illegitimate for the military to take over if the government were incompetent or failing to do its job, but only 19 percent of millennials agreed. The same generational divide showed up in Europe, where 53 percent of older people thought a military takeover would be illegitimate, while only 36 percent of millennials agreed.”

A new YouGov poll finds that 54% of Americans think it is likely that Donald Trump will use the presidency to enrich himself. This is true of most Democrats (76%) and independents (52%) and just under one-third of Republicans (30%).

An Electoral College member from Texas, who’s supposed to support Donald Trump, has resigned from his position, unwilling to cast his vote for the Republican nominee. The remaining Texas electors will be responsible for choosing a replacement.

The Washington Post had an interesting report over the weekend on the growing number of American women who’ve decided to run for public office for the first time in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s defeat.

Greg Sargent at the Washington Post says Obamacare is probably toast. And a lot of poor, white Trump voters will get hurt by it.

The core philosophical difference here is that conservatives want far less in government spending and regulations designed to cover poor and sick people, protect consumers and enforce a minimum standard for coverage. As a result, they are willing to tolerate far lower standards in those areas, though some also want conservative reforms to strive to make very cheap bare-bones catastrophic coverage widely available. Liberals think we should spend and regulate to the degree necessary to move toward universal care and see expanded and improved coverage as part of a broader effort to progress toward a higher societally guaranteed minimum standard of living. Conservatives won the election, and apparently, we are now going to do it their way. Elections have consequences…

I have obtained new numbers from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index that suggest that a lot of poor and working-class whites — who voted for Trump in disproportionate numbers — have benefited from Obamacare, meaning they likely stand to lose out from its repeal (and even its replacement with something that covers far fewer people). Gallup-Healthways numbers from earlier this fall showed that overall, the national uninsured rate has plummeted to a new low of 10 percent, a drop of over six percentage points since the law went into effect — which alone is a major achievement.

But that drop, it turns out, is even more pronounced among poor whites. Gallup-Healthways tells me that among whites without a college degree who have household incomes of under $36,000, the uninsured rate has dropped from 25 percent in 2013 to 15 percent now — a drop of 10 percentage points. It’s often noted that the law has disproportionately expanded coverage among African Americans and Latinos. That is correct, but it has also disproportionately expanded coverage among poor white people.

Dara Lind at Vox says Republicans allowed voter paranoia to flourish. They got a president-elect who embraces it.

Trump’s “illegal voting” lie is based in Infowars fantasy, but the consequences are real.​

Trump’s walking on ground they’ve prepared for him, but he’s severing the last connection of policy to reality — giving him the full power of the United States government without any apparent fealty to facts.

When Republicans have talked about the risk of voter fraud but avoided outright conspiratorial lies about it happening, they retained some link between policy and reality. Their attempts at voting restrictions often didn’t turn up the fraud they warned was possible, but nor did they punish real people for invented crimes.

Donald Trump’s tendency to ignore the carefully manicured distinctions other Republicans have made, between encouraging paranoia and embodying it, leaves no quarter for reality in policymaking. It gives his government free rein to pursue phantoms — and makes it all the more likely real people will be hurt.

About the Author ()

Comments (6)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. anonymous says:

    Jonathan Chait on how David Brooks and the rest of the “reasonable Republicans” enabled Trump by rejecting the centrism of Obama:

  2. liberalgeek says:

    I’m not much of a Reddit guy (just hanging around one non-political subReddit for the past few months) but it looks like they are facing an incredible troll infestation.

  3. Jason330 says:

    As goes Reddit, so goes America.

  4. puck says:

    Reddit is the main vector for the fake news epidemic. I still maintain that “alt-right” is a media phenomenon driven by Reddit users who think they are reading the real news that the mainstream media won’t print.

  5. anonymous says:

    Well, they’re correct about the MSM not printing it. But I find myself ignoring MSM entirely these days. The Trumpkins seem to feed on negative energy, so getting angry is counter-productive. But mockery, disrespect and resistance seem to get under his skin.

    We’re in Susan Sarandon’s dystopia now. Remember, the horrors Trump has and will continue to unleash are supposedly going to pave the way for progressive utopia! Easy for her to say.

    In “Twilight Zone” terms, I’m trying to figure out if we’re in the episode where the hoodlum gets his wish and never loses, or the one with the omnipotent 3-year-old everyone has to kowtow to. Maybe Trump is the mashup.

  6. anonymous says:

    I’ve never been to Reddit. It sounds to me like a site that’s nothing but comments sections.