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    • Trump/Clinton Debate Open Thread
      I used to get paid to watch these things. I don’t any more. So…I’m going to go read a nice novel in a coffee shop. Please feel free to talk about the debate in comments. I will, actually, be curious to hear what people have to say, just not willing to sit through so much […]
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PSAs

1.) Frank Bruni is starting to worry that Donald Trump is unstoppable, UNSTOPPABLE! Oh, what can he do to prevent Creamsicle from becoming president? I mean other than stop acting like a mean girl and forcing himself to report on Hillary accurately? It must be so frustrating for Frank and MoDo to have to come to terms with the damage that 23 years of relentless repetition of petty sniping, and not so petty innuendos of dishonesty, obfuscation, conspiracies, did I say lying (?), have wrecked on Hillary’s reputation. They probably don’t even realize they’re doing it. After all, all of their friends hate Hillary. There *must* be a reason, right?

But if Frank is really worried that a nationalistic, policy-less, torture and violence loving narcissist might make it to the White House, Frank could change his ways. If this year’s zeitgeist is that voters want to back an anti-establishment Winner!, maybe Frank and his friends could ease up on saying she has an honesty problem all the time. Maybe they could review their own performance back in 2008 and say, “Jeez, we were rough on her for no reason, wouldja look at that! She won every big Democratic state in the primaries except for Georgia and Illinois! How is it she didn’t get nominated?? Did we have anything to do with that?” Maybe they could turn that Junior High spirit on Trump, his harem and the disrespectful way he treats women, including {{gag}} Megyn Kelly. Maybe they can get their Heathers to yumiliate him. You know how it’s done.

Or maybe Frank and his editors could stop insisting that Hillary refrains from criticizing Obama’s policies in any way, shape or form, and start acting like she’s got a great chance at, you know, winning.

Because it looks like it’s going to be either Trump or Hillary. Just think about that, Frank. Do you want President Hillary or President The Donald picking the next supreme court justice and decorating the Oval Office? Think Trump Tower, Frank, and acres of pink toned marble. I know, the horror, the horror.

2.) This is not an anti-Bernie zone. Some of my favorite people are feeling the Bern this year, including our own Katiebird. And I have at least one kid who is a Berniephile for very good reasons- student loans. Plus, Bernie isn’t using scorched earth, party ripping, exiling inducing tactics like Obama did in 2008. If there are people on Bernie’s team that are acting like fraternity assholes, I haven’t seen any evidence that Bernie endorses it. It’s not like his speechwriters are groping the breasts on Hillary Clinton paper cutouts, nor is the candidate “brushing dirt off his shoulders” after debates where he is trounced. So, you know, let’s let the power of their proposals get criticized and lay off each others supporters. I’m a Clintonista but I could easily see myself voting for Bernie without regret.

3.) There’s a very good youtube video I followed from Twitter on current economics and what’s to come. This is by Bruce Greenwald.

I’m not an economist so some of the data analysis and vocabulary was over my head. To me, a Minsky Moment is what happens just before the place is raided. But what did stand out were these two points at about minute mark 20:00 ish: 1.) the savings rate has been dropping in recent years and 2.) Americans in the bottom 80% economically need to spend 110% of their income to stay where they are in the socio-economic strata.

Watching this video gave me the same feeling I had back in the mid 2000’s when people were buying houses for crazy prices and then didn’t have money to furnish them. They felt they had to get in on the property ladder because the house prices kept going up and up without end and it was making the prospect of owning a house look more and more remote. Then the housing bubble crashed, in part because so many people were over extended.

We’re facing the same thing now. Too many people are over extended. Income is unstable. You could lose your job at any time through no fault of your own. You need to save for that. But you can’t save too much because the price of everything seems to be stuck on high. Major appliances are designed to last for 5-7 years. (I got this directly from the mouth of a major appliance manufacturer sales rep) Food is outrageously expensive. Have you bought beef lately? I feel like I’m becoming an involuntary vegetarian. The price of gas has come down but come summer, it will go up again. Then there is the price of health insurance, deductibles, etc. If you’re young, you’re saddled with massive student debt that can never be discharged. And you need to sock away some of your income for that 401K that other people gamble with because there are no pensions anymore.

One of two things has to happen: 1.) Wages have to go up or 2.) Prices are going to come down. Deflation looks like the scarier option on the scale of the global economy. But we can’t have our corporate overlords continue to capture portions of shrinking incomes and say, “Well, you know, they’re responsible for their own health, savings, education, etc. To be good citizens, they have to pay for this stuff themselves out of their own pockets. We just want our cut.”

There is a limit and we are already over it. Income instability leads to societal instability.

We’ve become crops to be harvested. A crop’s purpose is to provide money for others to take. If a crop starts saving money, that is not good for the harvesters. Future President Hillary needs to start talking about this problem very seriously because we can’t go on like this for much longer. The world’s economy is at stake.

10 Responses

  1. Excellent post. Indeed we can’t go on like this, which seems to be the plan if there is one. The student loan serfdom / no jobs dynamic alone is enough to break us…. but there’s so much more piled on.

    • Here’s an “off” video from Ezra Klein at Vox. Take a look and tell me if you see the flaw in his approach for the past 8 years:

      Yes, The Donald is dangerous. Yes, he’d be a horrible president. But how do you explain Barack Obama if the presidency gives you so much power to do whatever the hell you like?

      • Indeed. Trump is the natural progression of our society’s collapse, brought to hyper speed since Regan. Trump’s style , honed for decades by page six sound bites, is perfect for this moment. Trump is taking out the middle man. He’s a billionaire. But he’s not merely buying sock puppets or influence , he’s stepping in the role himself. He shows what a farce it all is. They therefore have no answer to Trump besides meltdowns. To the Dowds and the Ezra Kleins etcm he’s saying , ” you’re fired ” Indeed, they may have to be…gasp …fair to Hillary R. Clinton ! Oh the humanity ! Only the specter of POTUS The Donald Trump could force the village to be decent to Hillary lol

        • I was thinking more along the lines of Ezra et al freaking out because Creamsicle will have so much power to implement his wicked plans. They seem genuinely terrified by that.
          But when Obama failed to enact the policies they elected him for, you know the big Change! TM, they gave him so many passes because he was powerless. This started before his inauguration in 2009. I wrote a post on Dec 20, 2008 about how Glenn greenwald was already making it sound like Obama was going to do nothing monumental or Changeful. Assuming that the Democrats get the Senate back, trump would be started his term with less support in congress than Obama did and yet he’s the bigger boogie man.
          I don’t like trump and I think his presidency would only give his supporters an excuse to act on thei worst instincts. I’m just failing to see how that differs from Obama who was Jamie Dimon’s personal assistant in the White House. Being captured by the bankers, wasn’t that bad enuf?
          I don’t know, there’s a lot of inconsistency and lack of self-reflection on the left that I find disturbing. It’s disturbing because the left is not learning from its mistakes. Part of trump’s rise is a response to the fecklessness of obama’s presidency. The left let him slide too many times.

          • ” The so powerful / but his hands are tied ” thing came out as needed for Obama . Whether someone like Ezra wanted to push him forward or give him pass . It was there from the start as your early post illustrates

            Part of trump’s rise is a response to the fecklessness of Obama’s presidency. The left let him slide too many times.

            Exactly

            A Trump presidency builds on this tear down of the rule of law and governmental norms, which have been under constant attack since 2000 at least A Trump presidency would strap a jet engine on that and fling us into the unknown…. dictatorship? Who the hell knows The thing is Trump tears down the curtain from the Dorian Grey painting and we see the true state of affairs

            Yikes !!!

            We are Trump

            Hilary is the last person standing who has a clue how a democratic government runs …one of the reasons she’s hated so much.

            Indeed the left doesn’t learn from its mistakes because those on the left left do not believe they makes mistakes. Seriously have you ever heard one say ” Gee, I was wrong ?” I’m surrounded by these folks, they are never wrong. They identify with Obama…and afford him every pass they would give themselves. …which is endless . It really does not matter what he does or doesn’t do to them

  2. Great post. I share your concern about the economy. It is hard to see how even we can solve the economy problem. This is a worldwide slowdown/potential collapse. We are a global economy now; the world is feeling this, not just us. Recession in the first 2 decades of the 00s, and then deep global recession was forecast in the early 90s.

    As for universities, my husband and I are still paying off student loans from many years ago, and that was when tuition was lower, so I am with you on student loans. I am also happy that Hillary is planning to lower interest rates to rock bottom, as we are both paying over 7% on ours.

    I teach in a large research university. Tuition shot up when the governors of our state starting drastically cutting funding to the state university system during each recession. Schools first slashed their budgets, and cheaper, exploited temporary lecturers are now teaching over half the classes. Then, they began admitting international and out-of-state students disproportionately, because those students pay so much more tuition. Then, they began courting the private sector for donations, and now we have schools that teach what those corporations would like students to learn in order to hire them, and here, we went from being a largely liberal arts school to an engineering and hard sciences school, with most liberal arts programs cut and some eliminated.

    Before then, tuition was reasonable and living expenses were more problematic, so most students worked half time. Now, student loans have to cover living expenses. Tuition has gone up $10K/yr in 20 yrs. If college were “free,” students would still need to live, and around here, that costs close to $14K per 9 mos. for a dorm room, or $12K/year for a room in a house off-campus, no food, no utilities or anything else.
    Students who don’t live at home will still need to take out massive student loans in order to pay to live. Here, the governor needs to reinstate prior funding levels and never be allowed to drop them again.

    Sanders’ plan requires the governors to be on board with funding. That won’t happen here, and I doubt it will happen in many, many states. It’s sort of a moot point anyway apparently, since, according to the Cook Report, and to Nate Silver’s 538 data models at least, there is very little possibility after Nevada that Sanders will have nearly enough delegates, especially after the Super Tuesday states vote in just over one week.

  3. I very much agree with your comments on those smug and snarky media people who say they are liberals, and who seem to have spent most of the last ten years savaging Hillary Clinton, who happened to have voted with Sanders about 93% of the time. The truth is that for them it is about personalities, very much like an adolescent sport. They didn’t bother to think about the consequences, though.

    Either Hillary will be President, or some Republican will, likely Trump or Rubio. With either Republican, the Supreme Court is lost for forty more years. The planet will probably burn up before then, as the Court continues to enable corporations to do anything they want. Hillary was always clearly the only person capable of stopping this nightmare. But they were having too much fun trying to make up stories, and talk about “character,” of which she has far more than they do. They have caused so much damage that she now has spend every day trying to assure people that she is not corrupt; this after she spent eight years as Senator from NY, where there is more investigating of people than anywhere, and did so with nary a whisper of anything untoward. I can only hope that Bruni or some of his cohorts finally figure some of this out. Dowd I have no hope for, she is beyond obsessed.

    • This may well be only a rumor, but I thought I read somewhere that Dowd is mad at the Clintons because Bill never made a pass at her. 😈

      I live in the Arkanshire, where Bill comes from and where Hillary lived for many years. This woman has been bombarded with right-wing bull$#!+ stories for 38 years, counting the Arkanshire years, and has not only survived but prevailed. 😀

      Despite my disagreeing with her on many things, especially foreign policy–and even there, I recognize that no anti-imperialist will be allowed to become Prez (St. Bernard is no dove, either)–I find I admire this woman. I will be happy to vote for her on March 1 and November 8.:mrgreen:

  4. I’m not anti Bernie. I happen to like him. He doesn’t give me the same cunning dishonest vibe Obama did. But there’s something about many of his supporters that must be addressed … The “bros” and hip young girls who l believe are in part voting for him because they see Hillary as this unhip, nerd and want to see Bernie as the Bob Dylan of politicians. And, this has been echoed by others, but many are also playing into years of republican attacks. The booing she gets at some of the debates and town halls from his supporters are childish and I believe they see her as this mean spirited shrew and it’s just ridiculous and puts me off him & makes me want to defend her

  5. Good post RD. Yes, the press will never take responsibility I’m sure but they are in a large part responsible for the place we currently are in.

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