Senate bill to “repeal and replace” Obamacare finally sees the light: Daily Bullshit, June 22-23, 2017

There is a new research journal entry up, entitled “Are conservatives mentally disordered?


Updates

  1. June 23, 4:21 am:
    • As of now, Republicans do not have the votes to “repeal and replace” Obamacare as four Republican senators announce their possibly transitory opposition.[1]
    • Apparently before they were 10-2 to convict, the Bill Cosby mistrial jury was more evenly split.[2]
  2. June 23, 5:17 pm:
  3. June 23, 8:30 pm:
    • Right now, it looks like Mitch McConnell is losing rather than winning votes for the Senate bill to “repeal and replace” Obamacare[3]
    • Uber hasn’t just been losing executives but ordinary workers as well. It’s trying to stem that flow.[4]

Obamacare

The Senate bill is clearly mean to Medicaid recipients:

The Senate bill would keep the House plan to send a fixed amount of money to states each year based on enrollment or as a lump sum block grant. But it would shrink the program even more over time by pegging the annual growth rate of those funds to standard inflation, rather than the more generous medical inflation, starting in 2025. This would likely force states to cut enrollment, benefits or provider payments.[5]

And it’s mean to anyone who isn’t doing well in the neoliberal regime:

The Affordable Care Act [Obamacare] provides government help to anyone who earns less than 400 percent of the federal poverty line ($47,550 for an individual or $97,200 for a family of four). The people who earn the least get the most help. The Senate bill would make those subsidies much smaller for many people, and only provide the money to those earning less than 350 percent of the poverty line ($41,580 for individuals and $85,050 for a family of four). The Senate bill will tether the size of its tax credits to what it takes to purchase a skimpier health insurance plan than the type of plans Affordable Care Act subsidies were meant to buy. Essentially, these tax credits buy less health insurance.[6]

It’s already difficult to find doctors who will accept Medicaid (“MediCal” in California). There’s no way this is going to make it easier. Which means the poor will have a harder time finding medical care. They’ll also have a harder time with co-pays and premiums, if they choose to buy insurance (they can choose not to).[7] Which means they will be more likely to die. Which I guess is one way of dealing with poverty.

Stephanie Armour, Kristina Peterson, and Louise Radnofsky, “Senate GOP Health Bill Would End ACA Penalties, Cut Taxes on High Incomes,” Wall Street Journal, June 22, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/senate-gop-health-bill-would-end-aca-penalties-cuts-taxes-on-high-incomes-1498143743

Sarah Kliff, “The Better Care Reconciliation Act: the Senate bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, explained,” Vox, June 22, 2017, https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/22/15846728/senate-plan-better-care-reconciliation-act

M. J. Lee, Tami Luhby, Lauren Fox, and Phil Mattingly, “Senate finally unveils secret health care bill,” CNN, June 22, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/22/politics/senate-health-care-bill/index.html

Peter Sullivan, “Fifth GOP senator announces opposition to healthcare bill,” Hill, June 23, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/339206-fifth-gop-senator-announces-opposition-to-obamacare-repeal-bill


Bill Cosby

There was almost nothing to see here. The Associated Press contacted jurors in the Bill Cosby mistrial, found one who disclosed anonymously that there were two holdouts that prevented a conviction on the first and third counts. All but one would have acquitted on the second. The story offers no details on the deliberations and doesn’t even clarify which allegations were which.[8] Then they found another.[9]

I’m sure there must be, but I’m failing to think of any, more vapid stories. To me, these were all but pointless; I archived them for future reference.

Fortunately, not all was lost with the AP. Finally, I found an AP story on the Grio that offered something a little more in-depth and troubling: “The juror questioned the long delay in bringing charges against the TV star, suggesting that ‘no new evidence from ’05 to now has showed up, no stained clothing, no smoking gun, nothing.’” The article immediately explains what this juror had apparently failed to understand, that

prosecutors reopened the investigation in 2015 after the public release of a deposition that Cosby gave in 2005 and 2006 as part of accuser Andrea Constand’s civil suit against him — testimony that hadn’t yet been offered when another district attorney passed on the case in early 2005. Prosecutors used Cosby’s deposition as evidence at the criminal trial.[10]

I guess I would add that circumstances were different in 2005. This culture, while still a rape culture, has made considerable progress even over the last ten years on the topic. If the juror was concerned about the present day politics of sexual assault, s/he should be equally as concerned about the politics at that time.

Associated Press, “Juror: 2 holdouts in Bill Cosby’s trial refused to convict,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, June 22, 2017, http://www.startribune.com/juror-2-holdouts-in-bill-cosby-s-trial-refused-to-convict/430054543/

Associated Press, “The Latest: Bill Cosby spokesman says town halls are planned,” June 22, 2017, http://www.startribune.com/the-latest-juror-says-cosby-trial-panel-almost-evenly-split/430169823/

Joe Mandak and Michael Rubinkam, “Juror says Cosby panel was concerned about ‘politics’ of case,” Grio, June 22, 2017, http://thegrio.com/2017/06/22/cosby-jury-concerned-about-politics/


Uber

Greg Bensinger and Kelsey Gee, “Leaderless Uber Scrambles to Prevent Employee Exodus,” Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-makes-quick-workplace-reforms-to-calm-strained-nerves-1498237561


  1. [1]Stephanie Armour, Kristina Peterson, and Louise Radnofsky, “Senate GOP Health Bill Would End ACA Penalties, Cut Taxes on High Incomes,” Wall Street Journal, June 22, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/senate-gop-health-bill-would-end-aca-penalties-cuts-taxes-on-high-incomes-1498143743
  2. [2]Associated Press, “The Latest: Bill Cosby spokesman says town halls are planned,” June 22, 2017, http://www.startribune.com/the-latest-juror-says-cosby-trial-panel-almost-evenly-split/430169823/
  3. [3]Peter Sullivan, “Fifth GOP senator announces opposition to healthcare bill,” Hill, June 23, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/339206-fifth-gop-senator-announces-opposition-to-obamacare-repeal-bill
  4. [4]Greg Bensinger and Kelsey Gee, “Leaderless Uber Scrambles to Prevent Employee Exodus,” Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-makes-quick-workplace-reforms-to-calm-strained-nerves-1498237561
  5. [5]M. J. Lee, Tami Luhby, Lauren Fox, and Phil Mattingly, “Senate finally unveils secret health care bill,” CNN, June 22, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/22/politics/senate-health-care-bill/index.html
  6. [6]Sarah Kliff, “The Better Care Reconciliation Act: the Senate bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, explained,” Vox, June 22, 2017, https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/22/15846728/senate-plan-better-care-reconciliation-act
  7. [7]Sarah Kliff, “The Better Care Reconciliation Act: the Senate bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, explained,” Vox, June 22, 2017, https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/22/15846728/senate-plan-better-care-reconciliation-act
  8. [8]Associated Press, “Juror: 2 holdouts in Bill Cosby’s trial refused to convict,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, June 22, 2017, http://www.startribune.com/juror-2-holdouts-in-bill-cosby-s-trial-refused-to-convict/430054543/
  9. [9]Associated Press, “The Latest: Bill Cosby spokesman says town halls are planned,” June 22, 2017, http://www.startribune.com/the-latest-juror-says-cosby-trial-panel-almost-evenly-split/430169823/
  10. [10]Joe Mandak and Michael Rubinkam, “Juror says Cosby panel was concerned about ‘politics’ of case,” Grio, June 22, 2017, http://thegrio.com/2017/06/22/cosby-jury-concerned-about-politics/

Theresa May plays victim card; other conservatives unimpressed: Daily Bullshit, June 18-21, 2017

There is a new blog post, entitled “The Bill Cosby mistrial exposes the legal system as a fraud.”


Updates

  1. Originally published, June 18, 4:19 am.
  2. June 18, 9:00 am:
    • With all the drama surrounding Uber’s travails, the story of its drivers, some of whom end up homeless, is usually overlooked.[1]
    • Corporate executives are seeking to exploit the British election result to ‘soften’ the Brexit deal that Theresa May would negotiate.[2]
  3. June 19, 12:51 pm:
    • Uber’s share of the U.S. market has declined from 84 percent to 77 percent.[3]
  4. June 19, 2:23 pm:
    • Writing for the New Yorker, Jeannie Gersen explains why it’s so hard for rape victims to get a fair shake in the legal system.[4] (Bill Cosby)
  5. June 19, 6:09 pm:
  6. June 20, 8:28 am:
    • In what may be an early concession in the wake of Theresa May’s defeat, Britain has accepted the European Union demand that Brexit talks occur in two stages.[5]
    • Researchers have found that Chimpanzees engage in reciprocity and are altruistic.[6]
  7. June 21, 3:53 am:
    • Uber’s CEO, who had just gone on an indefinite leave of absence, has now resigned under pressure from investors.[7]
  8. June 21, 3:23 pm:
    • Once again, Democrats ran with arrogance, albeit in the form of a ‘humble-brag,’ and without an actual message;[8] once again, Democrats lost; and once again, many Democrats associated with leadership are making excuses,[9] which is to say they still haven’t learned a damned thing from their loss in 2016.[10]
  9. June 21, 9:49 pm:
    • Matthew Yglesias argues that the most significant difference between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders supporters was about trust in the system.[11] (Democrats)

Brexit

I haven’t covered the Grenfell Tower fire here, in which 58 may have died, but I did see two of the British Broadcasting Corporation’s videos: One showed Theresa May ducking responsibility for the fire. The other showed the queen consoling the victims and praising firefighters. Now, admittedly, the queen has a bit more experience at this sort of thing than the prime minister. On the other hand, probably a lot of people are thinking that it wasn’t experience that was called for here so much as humanity. Either way, May failed, catastrophically:

One senior backbencher said he was under pressure to join in [a vote of no confidence to oust May]: “I’ve got serious members in my constituency texting me saying: ‘You’ve got to get rid of her quickly because every time she appears she’s making the party more toxic’.”[12]

I’m classifying this under Brexit, at least for now, because May’s standing within her own party, which she was hoping to bolster but instead weakened with the election, in order to improve her negotiating position on Brexit, has clearly suffered another blow. Though Jeremy Corbyn did well in that election, much better than a lot of folks who aligned with neoliberal Labour thought possible, I am no more convinced that an anti-neoliberal wing has won control of that party than I believe their U.S. counterparts have of the Democrats. So as tragic as this fire was, and as interesting as its political repercussions may yet prove to be, it isn’t really the story I’m focused on.

Tim Shipman, “Tories give Theresa May 10 days to ‘shape up’ or face vote of no confidence,” Times, June 18, 2017, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/tories-tell-may-you-have-10-days-zkszx07r7

Sara Stefanini, “UK business leaders call for a softer Brexit,” Politico, June 18, 2017, http://www.politico.eu/article/uk-business-leaders-call-for-a-softer-brexit/

Michael Birnbaum, “Negotiations begin over British split from European Union,” Washington Post, June 19, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/negotiations-begin-over-british-split-from-european-union/2017/06/19/c8f9e436-52aa-11e7-b74e-0d2785d3083d_story.html


Uber

The Guardian includes the plight of Uber drivers in a series on homelessness in the United States. In this article, drivers claim they are making $8-9 per hour, less than minimum wage.[13] My guess is that this estimate is high, but I do not know. When I drove for Uber and Lyft, one of my challenges was that I had to commute long distances to get to where the business is. Those commute miles carry a cost just like revenue miles and ‘dead’ miles and, for that matter, personal use miles. I suspect a proper audit would reveal that these drivers are making even less money than they think they are.

It’s important to emphasize that in their treatment of drivers, Uber and Lyft are substantially indistinguishable. But Alex Hern’s suggestion that Uber may have developed immunity to bad publicity notwithstanding,[14] it does appear that people, especially in San Francisco (where both companies are based), are switching to Lyft. The company “has managed to hang on to its market share gains since the #DeleteUber campaign” and in San Francisco, “it has captured about 40 per cent of the market, according to Second Measure.”[15]

Carla Green and Sam Levin, “Homeless, assaulted, broke: drivers left behind as Uber promises change at the top,” Guardian, June 17, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/17/uber-drivers-homeless-assault-travis-kalanick

Leslie Hook, “Uber loses ground in US as rival Lyft accelerates,” Financial Times, June 18, 2017, https://www.ft.com/content/b4fb76a6-52dd-11e7-bfb8-997009366969

Greg Bensinger, “Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Quits as Investors Revolt Over Scandals,” Wall Street Journal, June 21, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-ceo-travis-kalanick-resigns-1498023559


Bill Cosby

I respond to Jeannie Gersen’s article here.

Jeannie Suk Gersen, “The Legal Meaning of the Cosby Mistrial,” New Yorker, June 18, 2017, http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/legal-meaning-of-the-cosby-trial


Chimpanzees

Gerhard Lenski posited that the kind of altruism found among humans was of a limited form he labeled “partisan self-sacrifice,” that is, preferring relatives and closer friends.[16] Ironically, the research reported here attributes “true altruism,” that is, the sort in which individuals will sacrifice their own interests in favor of unrelated others, to humans but finds it among chimpanzees within groups.[17]

Michael Price, “True altruism seen in chimpanzees, giving clues to evolution of human cooperation,” Science, June 19, 2017, http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/06/true-altruism-seen-chimpanzees-giving-clues-evolution-human-cooperation


Democrats

The subheading on Jeff Guo’s article is, “Democrats could learn something.”[18] Well, yeah, they could, but that’s just it. They won’t.

Because when Matthew Yglesias puts a finger on what he thinks was the difference between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders supporters in the 2016 election,[19] he is also distinguishing between mainstream Democratic Party politicians and Bernie Sanders supporters:

Clinton supporters were fundamentally happy with the United States of America, the American political system, and the trajectory for people like themselves within it. Sanders supporters, by contrast, were not. . . .[20]

In other words, if you think the U.S. political system basically works, Clinton would have been entirely acceptable to you. My experience of this political and economic system is different, which is why she was entirely unacceptable to me (as was Donald Trump). Yglesias suggests in effect that many Sanders supporters see the political system as I do.[21] In actuality, however, I never accepted Sanders’ prescription for the country’s ills. At the end of the day, Sanders sought to reform the system, preserving what he thinks are its essential elements. I believe the system is beyond reform and is, in fact, operating much as James Madison argued it should in Federalist no. 10.[22] This is a fundamentally broken system, its design is fundamentally wrong, and it can’t be fixed. It must be rooted out and replaced.

Matthew Yglesias, “The most profound gap between Clinton and Sanders supporters wasn’t about policy,” Vox, June 20, 2017, https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/20/15830316/clinton-sanders-issues-rigged

Jeff Guo, “Tucker Carlson pretty much nailed the reason for Jon Ossoff’s defeat,” Vox, June 21, 2017, https://www.vox.com/2017/6/21/15845588/tucker-carlson-ossoff-defeat

Mike Lillis, “Pelosi takes heat after Dem loss,” Hill, June 21, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/338826-pelosi-takes-heat-after-dem-loss


  1. [1]Carla Green and Sam Levin, “Homeless, assaulted, broke: drivers left behind as Uber promises change at the top,” Guardian, June 17, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/17/uber-drivers-homeless-assault-travis-kalanick
  2. [2]Sara Stefanini, “UK business leaders call for a softer Brexit,” Politico, June 18, 2017, http://www.politico.eu/article/uk-business-leaders-call-for-a-softer-brexit/
  3. [3]Leslie Hook, “Uber loses ground in US as rival Lyft accelerates,” Financial Times, June 18, 2017, https://www.ft.com/content/b4fb76a6-52dd-11e7-bfb8-997009366969
  4. [4]Jeannie Suk Gersen, “The Legal Meaning of the Cosby Mistrial,” New Yorker, June 18, 2017, http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/legal-meaning-of-the-cosby-trial
  5. [5]Michael Birnbaum, “Negotiations begin over British split from European Union,” Washington Post, June 19, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/negotiations-begin-over-british-split-from-european-union/2017/06/19/c8f9e436-52aa-11e7-b74e-0d2785d3083d_story.html
  6. [6]Michael Price, “True altruism seen in chimpanzees, giving clues to evolution of human cooperation,” Science, June 19, 2017, http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/06/true-altruism-seen-chimpanzees-giving-clues-evolution-human-cooperation
  7. [7]Greg Bensinger, “Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Quits as Investors Revolt Over Scandals,” Wall Street Journal, June 21, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-ceo-travis-kalanick-resigns-1498023559
  8. [8]Jeff Guo, “Tucker Carlson pretty much nailed the reason for Jon Ossoff’s defeat,” Vox, June 21, 2017, https://www.vox.com/2017/6/21/15845588/tucker-carlson-ossoff-defeat
  9. [9]Philip Bump, “Two-thirds of Americans think that the Democratic Party is out of touch with the country,” Washington Post, April 23, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/04/23/two-thirds-of-americans-think-that-the-democratic-party-is-out-of-touch-with-the-country/; Chris Hedges, “Donald Trump’s Greatest Allies Are the Liberal Elites,” Truthdig, March 5, 2017, http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/donald_trumps_greatest_allies_are_the_liberal_elites_20170305; Mark Hensch, “WikiLeaks’ Assange to Clinton: ‘Blame yourself’ for election loss,” Hill, May 3, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/news/331781-wikileaks-assange-to-clinton-blame-yourself; Mark Karlin, “For the Democrats, Moving Further to the Right Is Not the Solution,” Truthout, January 4, 2017, http://www.truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/the-political-third-way-democratic-movement-should-be-buried; Mike Lillis, “Pelosi takes heat after Dem loss,” Hill, June 21, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/338826-pelosi-takes-heat-after-dem-loss
  10. [10]Nathan L. Gonzales, “Pelosi Remains But ‘Winter is Coming’ for Democrats,” Congressional Quarterly Roll Call, November 30, 2016, http://www.rollcall.com/news/pelosi-remains-but-winter-is-coming-for-democrats; Greg Sargent, “Why did Trump win? New research by Democrats offers a worrisome answer,” Washington Post, May 1, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2017/05/01/why-did-trump-win-new-research-by-democrats-offers-a-worrisome-answer/; Alex Roarty, “Senate Democrats’ Challenge in 2018: The White Working Class,” Congressional Quarterly Roll Call, November 16, 2016, http://www.rollcall.com/news/senate-democrats-midterms-2018; Alex Roarty, “Democrats say they now know exactly why Clinton lost,” McClatchy, May 1, 2017, http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/article147475484.html?rh=1; Greg Sargent, “Why did Trump win? New research by Democrats offers a worrisome answer,” Washington Post, May 1, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2017/05/01/why-did-trump-win-new-research-by-democrats-offers-a-worrisome-answer/; Bill Scher, “No, Obama Probably Wouldn’t Have Beaten Trump,” Politico, December 28, 2016, http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/12/no-obama-probably-wouldnt-have-beaten-trump-214557; Alex Shephard, “Democrats are wasting no time in repeating the mistakes they made in the 2016 primary,” New Republic, December 21, 2016, https://newrepublic.com/minutes/139454/democrats-wasting-no-time-repeating-mistakes-made-2016-primary; Andrew Sullivan, “Why Do Democrats Feel Sorry for Hillary Clinton?” New York, April 14, 2017, http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/04/why-do-democrats-feel-sorry-for-hillary-clinton.html; Cornel West, “The Democrats delivered one thing in the past 100 days: disappointment,” Guardian, April 24, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/24/democrats-delivered-one-thing-100-days-disappointment
  11. [11]Matthew Yglesias, “The most profound gap between Clinton and Sanders supporters wasn’t about policy,” Vox, June 20, 2017, https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/20/15830316/clinton-sanders-issues-rigged
  12. [12]Tim Shipman, “Tories give Theresa May 10 days to ‘shape up’ or face vote of no confidence,” Times, June 18, 2017, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/tories-tell-may-you-have-10-days-zkszx07r7
  13. [13]Carla Green and Sam Levin, “Homeless, assaulted, broke: drivers left behind as Uber promises change at the top,” Guardian, June 17, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/17/uber-drivers-homeless-assault-travis-kalanick
  14. [14]Alex Hern, “How low does Uber have to go before we stop using it?” Guardian, June 8, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jun/08/uber-customers-sexual-harassment-tech-companies
  15. [15]Leslie Hook, “Uber loses ground in US as rival Lyft accelerates,” Financial Times, June 18, 2017, https://www.ft.com/content/b4fb76a6-52dd-11e7-bfb8-997009366969
  16. [16]Gerhard Lenski, Power and Privilege: A Theory of Social Stratification (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1966).
  17. [17]Michael Price, “True altruism seen in chimpanzees, giving clues to evolution of human cooperation,” Science, June 19, 2017, http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/06/true-altruism-seen-chimpanzees-giving-clues-evolution-human-cooperation
  18. [18]Jeff Guo, “Tucker Carlson pretty much nailed the reason for Jon Ossoff’s defeat,” Vox, June 21, 2017, https://www.vox.com/2017/6/21/15845588/tucker-carlson-ossoff-defeat
  19. [19]Matthew Yglesias, “The most profound gap between Clinton and Sanders supporters wasn’t about policy,” Vox, June 20, 2017, https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/20/15830316/clinton-sanders-issues-rigged
  20. [20]Matthew Yglesias, “The most profound gap between Clinton and Sanders supporters wasn’t about policy,” Vox, June 20, 2017, https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/20/15830316/clinton-sanders-issues-rigged
  21. [21]Matthew Yglesias, “The most profound gap between Clinton and Sanders supporters wasn’t about policy,” Vox, June 20, 2017, https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/20/15830316/clinton-sanders-issues-rigged
  22. [22]James Madison, “Federalist No. 10,” in The Federalist Papers, ed. Garry Wills (1982; repr., New York: Bantam, 2003), 50-58.

Journalism in a bubble: Daily Bullshit, June 17, 2017

Updates

  1. Originally published, June 17, 9:49 am.
  2. June 17, 12:14 pm:
    • Commentary refined and enhanced under Brexit.

Brexit

In a piece that I think also points to failings in the mainstream press in the U.S., George Monbiot writes on the failure of journalism in the recent British election, which produced a surprisingly—to journalists anyway—good result for Labour, led by Jeremy Corbyn,[1] who is often depicted in editorial cartoons as a crank with a Maoist style cap.

I think Monbiot is right to allege that,

The broadcasters echo what the papers say, the papers pick up what the broadcasters say. A narrow group of favoured pundits appear on the news programmes again and again. Press prizes are awarded to those who reflect the consensus, and denied to those who think differently. People won’t step outside the circle for fear of ridicule and exclusion.[2]

The pressure Monbiot writes on here is known as ‘flak;’ in an extreme manifestation, it first destroyed, then set the stage for Gary Webb’s (probable) murder;[3] and while, in the U.S. the press has sometimes been accused of looking too much over its right shoulder to see what the right wing thinks of its coverage (the latter were never satisfied and now have their own news ecosystem, of which Fox is the most prominent outlet), journalists do indeed look to each other, forming a consensus as to what should be covered and how it should be covered.[4] This process—at least the part I see—is now most visible on Twitter as an ongoing conversation between left-wing alternative news reporters and mainstream reporters.

I differ with Monbiot in the way he assigns blame: He writes that “[i]t is partly because this industry, in which people without a degree could once work their way up from the floor, now tends to select its entrants from a small, highly educated pool.”[5] On its own, this claim is mostly correct. My mother, for example, who worked as a reporter for decades, managed to catch the tail end of the time when no degree was needed. She says the gate to the path she followed slammed shut soon after she passed through. But I would argue that this pool is not in fact ‘highly educated’—this term should probably properly apply only to recipients of some, but definitely not all, terminal degrees (shove your Ed.D., the terminal degree in a ‘discipline’ that seems not to know what inquiry actually is, where the sun doesn’t shine).

There are actually a couple problems with coverage of the British campaign. One was with polling; such work should not now even be reported because it is simply rubbish.[6] This failure cropped up yet again in the British election,[7] although one survey which deployed its failing methodology at the constituency level succeeded.[8] Journalists nonetheless treat such work as divine prophesy and, within their bubble, it is beyond challenge.

The other problem, the one which Monbiot addresses, lies rather with folks who have their Masters degrees and think they’re highly educated. It leads to an arrogance with the same result that Monbiot rightly complains of. Properly educated reporters would be more critical in their reporting and analysis. In the U.S., for example, despite a dearth of hard evidence, it’s widely accepted that Russia meddled in the 2016 election, probably helping Donald Trump and possibly colluding with him to achieve victory over Hillary Clinton. The actual evidence for this claim, if it even exists, is classified;[9] it dribbles out to the press through folks who have an interest in spinning it but has been repeated so often that it is now gospel.

And the heretics who challenge that gospel are excluded from the bubble that Monbiot rightly complains about.

George Monbiot, “Press Gang,” June 16, 2017, http://www.monbiot.com/2017/06/16/press-gang/


Bill Cosby

The rapist[10] gets away with it, again, at least for now.[11] And the court system stands accused yet again for how it treats rape victims.

Steven Zeitchik, “Mistrial declared in Bill Cosby sexual assault trial,” Los Angeles Times, June 17, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-cosby-verdict-20170617-story.html


  1. [1]George Monbiot, “Press Gang,” June 16, 2017, http://www.monbiot.com/2017/06/16/press-gang/
  2. [2]George Monbiot, “Press Gang,” June 16, 2017, http://www.monbiot.com/2017/06/16/press-gang/
  3. [3]Ryan Devereaux, “Managing a Nightmare: How the CIA Watched Over the Destruction of Gary Webb,” Intercept, September 25, 2014, https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/09/25/managing-nightmare-cia-media-destruction-gary-webb/; Greg Grandin, “‘The New York Times’ Wants Gary Webb to Stay Dead,” Nation, October 10, 2014, http://www.thenation.com/blog/181940/new-york-times-wants-gary-webb-stay-dead; Chris Ip, “In a new film, once-shunned reporter’s reputation comes full circle,” Columbia Journalism Review, September 26, 2014, http://www.cjr.org/critical_eye/in_a_new_film_once-shunned_rep.php
  4. [4]Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (New York: Pantheon, 2002).
  5. [5]George Monbiot, “Press Gang,” June 16, 2017, http://www.monbiot.com/2017/06/16/press-gang/
  6. [6]David Benfell, “On a nine percent response rate,” May 28, 2017, https://parts-unknown.org/drupal7/journal/2017/05/28/nine-percent-response-rate
  7. [7]Francis Elliott and Sam Coates, “May on course for landslide,” Times, May 6, 2017, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/may-on-course-for-landslide-f7pqgwwfp?CMP=TNLEmail_118918_1818300
  8. [8]Sam Coates, “Poll firm predicts shock losses for Theresa May’s Tories at general election,” Times, May 31, 2017, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/latest-general-election-poll-predicts-conservatives-will-lose-seats-02zfwl8lc
  9. [9]David Benfell, “Vladimir Putin’s motives,” Not Housebroken, December 15, 2017, https://disunitedstates.org/?p=9162; David Benfell, “Blaming the Russians,” Not Housebroken, December 17, 2017, https://disunitedstates.org/?p=9151
  10. [10]David Benfell, “I will say it forthrightly and without qualification: Bill Cosby is a rapist,” Not Housebroken, November 24, 2017, https://disunitedstates.org/?p=6953
  11. [11]Steven Zeitchik, “Mistrial declared in Bill Cosby sexual assault trial,” Los Angeles Times, June 17, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-cosby-verdict-20170617-story.html

Worry for Whole Foods workers: Daily Bullshit, June 16, 2017

Updates

  1. Originally published June 16, 9:27 am.
  2. June 16, 11:16 pm:
    • Donald Trump appears obsessively self-destructive as he threatens to fire the special counsel investigating his team’s relationship with Russia.[1] (James Comey)

Whole Foods

Amazon, an employer with a terrible reputation for how it treats its workers,[2] is acquiring Whole Foods.[3] It’s hard to imagine that any facsimile of so-called ‘conscious capitalism,’ which at least evinced concern for stakeholders rather than just shareholders,[4] can now survive at Whole Foods.

This so-called ‘conscious capitalism,’ which preserves the inherent inequities of any system of exchange,[5] looks very much like organizational development theory, which is more a set of practices than a particularly coherent theory with explanatory power. Organizational development theory has had some success in empowering workers, thus improving productivity, product quality, and customer service, and thus improving the bottom line, but nonetheless more often than not fails to survive in corporations.[6]

This is something of a quandary: Why does a traditional authoritarian ‘theory X’ approach to management, in which workers are presumed to be lazy and stupid, seem to socially reproduce itself without difficulty but a less authoritarian ‘theory Y’ approach often prove unsustainable even when profitable?[7] It seems explainable only if we presume that authoritarian control is a more compelling inducement for managers even than profit. Which helps to explain the horror of Amazon’s workplaces. And, in turn, one might suspect that in a ‘theory X’ regime, with that accusation that “[t]he average man is by nature indolent—he works as little as possible,”[8] managers are actually projecting their own deficiencies onto workers.

And so, it would seem, Whole Foods workers are headed into a very dark alley. Where they once enjoyed at least some respect, they will now be subject to a vicious working environment in which they are infinitely replaceable. This will be bad for all concerned; probably more than any other major retailer, Whole Foods depended on the appearance of corporate responsibility for its appeal. Even if John Mackey remains CEO,[9] it will now be Jeff Bezos pulling the strings, and that appearance will be difficult, if not impossible, to sustain.

Austen Hufford, Annie Gasparro, and Laura Stevens, “Amazon to Buy Whole Foods for $13.7 Billion,” Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-to-buy-whole-foods-for-13-7-billion-1497618446


James Comey

James Hohmann, “Prospect of Trump firing Mueller keeps becoming more untenable,” Washington Post, June 16, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2017/06/16/daily-202-prospect-of-trump-firing-mueller-keeps-becoming-more-untenable/5942f946e9b69b2fb981dd36/


  1. [1]James Hohmann, “Prospect of Trump firing Mueller keeps becoming more untenable,” Washington Post, June 16, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2017/06/16/daily-202-prospect-of-trump-firing-mueller-keeps-becoming-more-untenable/5942f946e9b69b2fb981dd36/
  2. [2]Daniel D’Addario, “Amazon is worse than Walmart,” Salon, July 30, 2013, http://www.salon.com/2013/07/30/how_amazon_is_worse_than_wal_mart/; Mike Daisey, “Amazon’s brutal work culture will stay: bottom lines matter more than people,” Guardian, August 22, 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/aug/22/amazon-brutal-work-culture; Josh Eidelson, “Amazon Keeps Unions Out By Keeping Workers in Fear, Says Organizer,” Alternet, January 22, 2014, http://www.alternet.org/labor/amazon-keeps-unions-out-keeping-workers-fear-says-organizer; Nichole Gracely, “‘Being homeless is better than working for Amazon’,” Guardian, November 28, 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/nov/28/being-homeless-is-better-than-working-for-amazon; Simon Head, “Worse than Wal-Mart: Amazon’s sick brutality and secret history of ruthlessly intimidating workers,” Salon, February 23, 2014, http://www.salon.com/2014/02/23/worse_than_wal_mart_amazons_sick_brutality_and_secret_history_of_ruthlessly_intimidating_workers/; Dave Jamieson, “The Life and Death of an Amazon Warehouse Temp,” Huffington Post, n.d., http://highline.huffingtonpost.com/articles/en/life-and-death-amazon-temp/; Jodi Kantor and David Streitfeld, “Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace,” New York Times, August 15, 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/technology/inside-amazon-wrestling-big-ideas-in-a-bruising-workplace.html; Natalie Kitroeff, “Amazon drivers say they are pushed to the limit as holiday deliveries reach a frenzy,” Los Angeles Times, December 16, 2016, http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-amazon-drivers-20161218-story.html; Hamilton Nolan, “What Is Life Like For an Amazon Worker?” Gawker, July 29, 2013, http://gawker.com/what-is-life-like-for-an-amazon-worker-949664345; Alex Seitz-Wald, “Amazon is everything wrong with our new economy,” Salon, July 30, 2013, http://www.salon.com/2013/07/30/amazon_is_everything_wrong_with_our_new_economy/; Spencer Soper, “Inside Amazon’s Warehouse,” Morning Call, September 18, 2011, http://articles.mcall.com/2011-09-18/news/mc-allentown-amazon-complaints-20110917_1_warehouse-workers-heat-stress-brutal-heat;
  3. [3]Austen Hufford, Annie Gasparro, and Laura Stevens, “Amazon to Buy Whole Foods for $13.7 Billion,” Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-to-buy-whole-foods-for-13-7-billion-1497618446
  4. [4]Nicole Aschoff, “Whole Foods represents the failures of ‘conscious capitalism,’” Guardian, May 29, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/may/29/whole-foods-failures-conscious-capitalism
  5. [5]Max Weber, “Class, Status, Party,” in Social Theory: The Multicultural and Classic Readings, ed. Charles Lemert, 4th ed. (Boulder, CO: Westview, 2010), 119-129.
  6. [6]Yvon Chouinard and Vincent Stanley, The Responsible Company: What We’ve Learned From Patagonia’s First 40 Years (Ventura, CA: Patagonia, 2012); Chip Conley, Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2007); Gary Heil, Warren Bennis, and Deborah C. Stephens, Douglas McGregor Revisited: Managing the Human Side of the Enterprise (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2000); Art Kleiner, The Age of Heretics: A History of the Radical Thinkers Who Reinvented Corporate Management, 2nd ed. (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2008); Carol Sanford, The Responsible Business: Reimagining Sustainability and Success (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2011); Marvin R. Weisbord, Productive Workplaces: Dignity, Meaning, and Community in the 21st Century, 3rd ed. (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2012)
  7. [7]Yvon Chouinard and Vincent Stanley, The Responsible Company: What We’ve Learned From Patagonia’s First 40 Years (Ventura, CA: Patagonia, 2012); Chip Conley, Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2007); Gary Heil, Warren Bennis, and Deborah C. Stephens, Douglas McGregor Revisited: Managing the Human Side of the Enterprise (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2000); Art Kleiner, The Age of Heretics: A History of the Radical Thinkers Who Reinvented Corporate Management, 2nd ed. (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2008); Carol Sanford, The Responsible Business: Reimagining Sustainability and Success (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2011); Marvin R. Weisbord, Productive Workplaces: Dignity, Meaning, and Community in the 21st Century, 3rd ed. (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2012)
  8. [8]Douglas McGregor, quoted in Gary Heil, Warren Bennis, and Deborah C. Stephens, Douglas McGregor Revisited: Managing the Human Side of the Enterprise (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2000), p. 132.
  9. [9]Austen Hufford, Annie Gasparro, and Laura Stevens, “Amazon to Buy Whole Foods for $13.7 Billion,” Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-to-buy-whole-foods-for-13-7-billion-1497618446

The courts just aren’t buying Donald Trump’s Muslim ban, redux: Daily Bullshit, June 12-14, 2017

Updates

  1. June 13, 12:05 pm:
    • Uber’s CEO is taking a leave of absence “to become the leader that this company needs.”[1]
  2. June 14, 3:07 am:
    • British parents, worried about school lunches and quality education, were unhappy with the Tories too.[2] (Brexit)
    • The Trump administration has requested a delay in the hearing for its allegedly urgent Muslim Ban.[3]
    • Caroline Heldman offers a harsh but plausible and probably fair analysis of Bill Cosby’s defense at trial that suggests the same old tricks to discredit victims are still in common use.[4]
  3. June 14, 10:23 am:
    • Eric Holder’s report on Uber’s “workplace culture” identified a “‘frat-boy’ culture” that is common among Silicon Valley startups.[5]
    • Uber’s problems clearly go beyond that “‘frat-boy’ culture,”[6] however, as 76-year old board member and private-equity billionaire David Bonderman resigned following disparaging remarks he made about women at an “all hands meeting” to discuss changes in that culture.[7]
    • “[Jeff] Sessions alternated between strong denials and hazy recollections, saying he couldn’t recall whether he had a passing encounter with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington or any other undisclosed interactions with Russian officials” but called “any suggestion that he colluded with them to help Donald Trump was ‘an appalling and detestable lie.’”[8] (Jeff Sessions)
    • A Financial Times analysis suggests the election outcome was due to multiple factors which I’m reluctant to characterize here for fear of oversimplification.[9] (Brexit)
  4. June 14, 3:12 pm:
    • “If there was an organizing principle in Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s [sic] testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday [June 13]—which was by turns dismissive, incoherent, evasive, and shameful—it was that certain people are owed deference, and certain others are not. This principle applied to Sessions’s [sic] unwillingness to answer some questions at all, his insistence on some courtesies and his refusal to observe others, and his ideas about whose obligation it is to follow rules. The hearing made it clear that the lodestone for Sessions is his abject deferral to what he sees as President Donald Trump’s ‘rights’ but which might better be described as Trump’s demands, desires, and whims.”[10]
  5. June 14, 6:24 pm:
    • The Senate Judiciary Committee will be investigating a range of issues surrounding the James Comey firing.[11]
    • Special Counsel Robert Mueller will be investigating whether Donald Trump obstructed justice.[12] (James Comey)
    • Now that Republicans have shed some blood in an out-of-control gun culture in the U.S., if you thought Democrats might think Gun Control a timely issue, you would be wrong.[13]
  6. June 14, 10:24 pm:
    • There have been at least 1,399 mass shootings (injuring or killing at least four people, not counting the shooter) in the U.S. since Sandy Hook.[14]
    • A UPS employee killed three coworkers at a UPS facility in San Francisco.[15]

Qatar

“The CEO of Qatar’s national airline said Monday that he would have expected President Donald Trump to be ‘more shrewd’ than to back the blockade of the Qatari government announced last week by four Middle Eastern nations.”[16] I think a lot of folks were expecting Trump to be a lot more shrewd about a lot of stuff. But even by blowhard standards, Trump is a standout for idiocy.

But of course that’s the way it’s been going in U.S. politics. I still feel that every president since Richard Nixon has been progressively worse, as each, beginning with Gerald Ford, who famously rejected a bailout for New York City,[17] has embraced the neoconservative and neoliberal policies advanced by his predecessor and extended them. With Trump, we have merely crossed a line into total incoherence.

Louis Nelson, “Qatar’s national airline CEO: I thought Trump would be more shrewd,” Politico, June 12, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/12/qatar-airline-ceo-trump-239422


Muslim Ban

My guess isn’t going to be any more reliable than anyone else’s. But I just don’t see the Supreme Court taking this up. To do so, it would 1) be taking up a preliminary injunction—not the actual merits of the case—and 2) contemplate “overruling literally every court that’s considered the ban to date.”[18] And the Supreme Court doesn’t have to say why it declines the administration’s petition. “It has the option of simply declining to hear the government’s appeals.”[19]

Josh Gerstein, “Ninth Circuit upholds block on Trump’s travel ban,” Politico, June 12, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/12/ninth-circuit-upholds-block-on-trumps-travel-ban-239433

Quinta Jurecic, “Ninth Circuit Affirms in Part Preliminary Injunction Against Travel Ban in Hawaii v. Trump,” Lawfare, June 12, 2017, https://www.lawfareblog.com/ninth-circuit-affirms-part-preliminary-injunction-against-travel-ban-hawaii-v-trump

Dara Lind, “Trump gets another travel ban defeat — and the clock is ticking,” Vox, June 12, 2017, https://www.vox.com/2017/6/12/15783448/trump-muslim-ban-ninth-circuit

Ted Hesson, “SCOTUS faces tight timeline to hear travel ban appeal this summer,” Politico, June 13, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/13/trump-travel-ban-supreme-court-appeal-239512


Uber

I suppose it’s possible to view all these high-level departures[20] as a sign that Uber is undergoing a badly needed housecleaning at the top. But then there’s the departure of those self-driving car engineers.[21] I’m seeing an awful lot of rats deserting the ship; that, combined with other seemingly intractable factors, leads me to agree the ship is sinking.[22] But on top of all that, it seems like for Travis Kalanick, as he now takes his leave of absence, Uber is some kind of personal development experience[23]—and I don’t know of any notion of capitalism or organizational development theory that really supports that.

Greg Bensinger, “Uber Faces Deeper Turmoil at Top as CEO Travis Kalanick Weighs Leave of Absence,” Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-chief-business-officer-emil-michael-to-resignmonday-1497197701

Greg Bensinger, “Uber Executive Emil Michael Leaves Company,” Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-executive-emil-michael-leaves-company-1497286089

Greg Bensinger, “David Bonderman Resigns From Uber Board in Wake of Disrespectful Comment,” Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-director-david-bonderman-apologizes-for-inappropriate-comment-about-women-1497399061

Greg Bensinger, “Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to Take Leave of Absence,” Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-to-release-findings-of-harassment-probe-on-tuesday-1497360231

Yoree Koh, “Uber’s Party Is Over: New Curbs on Alcohol, Office Flings,” Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/ubers-party-is-over-new-curbs-on-alcohol-office-flings-1497394763


Brexit

It’s the young swiping left that did it — if not, it’s the old. The story told about the election has been all about politicised youth and the outraged elderly taking their revenge. The Tories lost because they ignored struggling students and trampled over pensioners with their dementia tax and means-tested winter fuel allowances. Grandparents and grandchildren united in their dislike of Theresa May to ensure she didn’t get her majority.

No one, meanwhile, has commented on the middle-aged, yet polling shows that they were if anything more disgruntled by the last government and the Tory manifesto than the generations on either side.[24]

John Burn-Murdoch, “What cost Theresa May her majority in UK election?” Financial Times, June 13, 2017, https://www.ft.com/content/ef22d4ba-4f7b-11e7-bfb8-997009366969

Alice Thomson, “No one noticed that parents were angry too,” Times, June 14, 2017, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/no-one-noticed-that-parents-were-angry-too-r9xfb87dq


Bill Cosby

Caroline Heldman, “Bill Cosby’s legal defense was a case study in rape culture,” Vox, June 13, 2017, https://www.vox.com/first-person/2017/6/13/15793220/bill-cosby-trial-rape-culture


Jeff Sessions

Aruna Viswanatha, Paul Sonne, and Del Quentin Wilber, “Jeff Sessions Calls Russian Collusion Allegation an ‘Appalling and Detestable Lie,’” Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/sessions-denies-meeting-russian-officials-at-mayflower-hotel-1497380680

Amy Davidson, “Jeff Sessions and the Trail of Unanswered Questions,” New Yorker, June 14, 2017, http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/jeff-sessions-and-the-trail-of-unanswered-questions


James Comey

Devlin Barrett, Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima, and Sari Horwitz, “Mueller investigating Trump for potential obstruction of justice, report says,” Boston Globe, June 14, 2017, http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2017/06/14/mueller-reportedly-investigating-trump-for-potential-obstruction-justice/N7lgvI2cBDcTaxhPxrIKVI/story.html

Seung Min Kim, “Senate Judiciary Committee to investigate Comey firing, Clinton email probe,” Politico, June 14, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/14/senate-judiciary-comey-clinton-email-239567


Gun Control

“In multiple interviews, several Democratic lawmakers urged that no, today was not the day to revive the dormant gun control debate.” Therefore, the bloodshed will continue. Just so Democrats won’t “stand accused of politicizing a shooting that injured a colleague and friend.”[25] Because it’s never “the day to revive the dormant gun control debate.” The issue is always “politicized.” And no example or accumulation of examples is ever sufficient for gun nuts to accept that maybe—just maybe—enough is enough.

Paul Elias and Jocelyn Gecker, “UPS gunman had filed overtime grievance,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, June 14, 2017, http://www.startribune.com/shooting-at-san-francisco-ups-center-police-say/428449453/

Seung Min Kim, Burgess Everett, and Heather Caygle, “Democrats wary of reviving gun debate too soon,” Politico, June 14, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/14/congress-shooting-gun-control-scalise-239563

German Lopez and Soo Oh, “After Sandy Hook we said never again. And then we let 1,399 mass shootings happen,” Vox, June 14, 2017, https://www.vox.com/a/mass-shootings-sandy-hook


  1. [1]Greg Bensinger, “Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to Take Leave of Absence,” Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-to-release-findings-of-harassment-probe-on-tuesday-1497360231
  2. [2]Alice Thomson, “No one noticed that parents were angry too,” Times, June 14, 2017, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/no-one-noticed-that-parents-were-angry-too-r9xfb87dq
  3. [3]Ted Hesson, “SCOTUS faces tight timeline to hear travel ban appeal this summer,” Politico, June 13, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/13/trump-travel-ban-supreme-court-appeal-239512
  4. [4]Caroline Heldman, “Bill Cosby’s legal defense was a case study in rape culture,” Vox, June 13, 2017, https://www.vox.com/first-person/2017/6/13/15793220/bill-cosby-trial-rape-culture
  5. [5]Yoree Koh, “Uber’s Party Is Over: New Curbs on Alcohol, Office Flings,” Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/ubers-party-is-over-new-curbs-on-alcohol-office-flings-1497394763
  6. [6]Yoree Koh, “Uber’s Party Is Over: New Curbs on Alcohol, Office Flings,” Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/ubers-party-is-over-new-curbs-on-alcohol-office-flings-1497394763
  7. [7]Greg Bensinger, “David Bonderman Resigns From Uber Board in Wake of Disrespectful Comment,” Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-director-david-bonderman-apologizes-for-inappropriate-comment-about-women-1497399061
  8. [8]Aruna Viswanatha, Paul Sonne, and Del Quentin Wilber, “Jeff Sessions Calls Russian Collusion Allegation an ‘Appalling and Detestable Lie,’” Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/sessions-denies-meeting-russian-officials-at-mayflower-hotel-1497380680
  9. [9]John Burn-Murdoch, “What cost Theresa May her majority in UK election?” Financial Times, June 13, 2017, https://www.ft.com/content/ef22d4ba-4f7b-11e7-bfb8-997009366969
  10. [10]Amy Davidson, “Jeff Sessions and the Trail of Unanswered Questions,” New Yorker, June 14, 2017, http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/jeff-sessions-and-the-trail-of-unanswered-questions
  11. [11]Seung Min Kim, “Senate Judiciary Committee to investigate Comey firing, Clinton email probe,” Politico, June 14, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/14/senate-judiciary-comey-clinton-email-239567
  12. [12]Devlin Barrett, Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima, and Sari Horwitz, “Mueller investigating Trump for potential obstruction of justice, report says,” Boston Globe, June 14, 2017, http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2017/06/14/mueller-reportedly-investigating-trump-for-potential-obstruction-justice/N7lgvI2cBDcTaxhPxrIKVI/story.html
  13. [13]Seung Min Kim, Burgess Everett, and Heather Caygle, “Democrats wary of reviving gun debate too soon,” Politico, June 14, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/14/congress-shooting-gun-control-scalise-239563
  14. [14]German Lopez and Soo Oh, “After Sandy Hook we said never again. And then we let 1,399 mass shootings happen,” Vox, June 14, 2017, https://www.vox.com/a/mass-shootings-sandy-hook
  15. [15]Paul Elias and Jocelyn Gecker, “UPS gunman had filed overtime grievance,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, June 14, 2017, http://www.startribune.com/shooting-at-san-francisco-ups-center-police-say/428449453/
  16. [16]Louis Nelson, “Qatar’s national airline CEO: I thought Trump would be more shrewd,” Politico, June 12, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/12/qatar-airline-ceo-trump-239422
  17. [17]Rick Perlstein, The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2014).
  18. [18]Dara Lind, “Trump gets another travel ban defeat — and the clock is ticking,” Vox, June 12, 2017, https://www.vox.com/2017/6/12/15783448/trump-muslim-ban-ninth-circuit
  19. [19]Dara Lind, “Trump gets another travel ban defeat — and the clock is ticking,” Vox, June 12, 2017, https://www.vox.com/2017/6/12/15783448/trump-muslim-ban-ninth-circuit
  20. [20]Greg Bensinger, “Uber Posts $708 Million Loss as Finance Head Leaves,” Wall Street Journal, June 1, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-posts-708-million-loss-as-finance-head-leaves-1496272500; Greg Bensinger, “Uber Faces Deeper Turmoil at Top as CEO Travis Kalanick Weighs Leave of Absence,” Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-chief-business-officer-emil-michael-to-resignmonday-1497197701; Greg Bensinger, “Uber Executive Emil Michael Leaves Company,” Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-executive-emil-michael-leaves-company-1497286089; Greg Bensinger, “Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to Take Leave of Absence,” Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-to-release-findings-of-harassment-probe-on-tuesday-1497360231; Greg Bensinger, “David Bonderman Resigns From Uber Board in Wake of Disrespectful Comment,” Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-director-david-bonderman-apologizes-for-inappropriate-comment-about-women-1497399061; Michael Liedtke, “Uber self-driving car exec steps aside during Google lawsuit,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, April 27, 2017, http://www.startribune.com/uber-self-driving-car-exec-steps-aside-during-google-lawsuit/420676163/; Eric Newcomer, “Uber Loses Another Senior Executive Amid Turmoil,” Bloomberg, April 11, 2017, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-12/uber-loses-another-senior-executive-amid-turmoil; Jack Nicas, “Uber Fires Driverless-Car Executive at the Center of Google Legal Battle,” Wall Street Journal, May 30, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-fires-driverless-car-executive-at-the-center-of-google-legal-battle-1496172294; Sunil Rajaraman, “The on-demand economy is a bubble—and it’s about to burst,” Quartz, April 28, 2017, https://qz.com/967474/the-on-demand-economy-is-a-bubble-and-its-about-to-burst/; Reuters, “Uber’s turmoil continues as president Jeff Jones quits,” Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, March 20, 2017, http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/uber-president-jeff-jones-quits-turmoil-1.4032107
  21. [21]Ryan Felton, “Self-Driving Engineers Are Looking To Flee Uber’s Sinking Ship,” Jalopnik, May 12, 2017, http://jalopnik.com/self-driving-engineers-are-looking-to-flee-ubers-sinkin-1795162066
  22. [22]Laura Bliss, “Is Uber Over?” CityLab, March 9, 2017, https://www.citylab.com/commute/2017/03/is-uber-over/518727/; Ryan Felton, “Uber Is Doomed,” Jalopnik, February 24, 2017, http://jalopnik.com/uber-is-doomed-1792634203; Elizabeth Knight, “The death of Uber: Australian investor predicts company will be broke in 10 years,” Sydney Morning Herald, May 25, 2017, http://www.smh.com.au/business/comment-and-analysis/the-death-of-uber-australian-investor-predicts-company-will-be-broke-in-10-years-20170524-gwc8gt.html; Adrienne LaFrance, “Can Uber Survive Without Self-Driving Cars?” CityLab, March 27, 2017, https://www.citylab.com/tech/2017/03/can-uber-survive-without-self-driving-cars/520911/
  23. [23]Greg Bensinger, “Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to Take Leave of Absence,” Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-to-release-findings-of-harassment-probe-on-tuesday-1497360231
  24. [24]Alice Thomson, “No one noticed that parents were angry too,” Times, June 14, 2017, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/no-one-noticed-that-parents-were-angry-too-r9xfb87dq
  25. [25]Seung Min Kim, Burgess Everett, and Heather Caygle, “Democrats wary of reviving gun debate too soon,” Politico, June 14, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/14/congress-shooting-gun-control-scalise-239563

Theresa May doesn’t have a deal (yet, anyway), after all: Daily Bullshit, June 11, 2017

Brexit

Jason Douglas and Michael Wright, “U.K. Prime Minister’s Office Says DUP Deal Not Yet Done,” Wall Street Journal, June 11, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-k-leader-loses-key-aides-after-poll-setback-1497100701

Michael Savage and Henry McDonald, “Theresa May’s plan to govern with DUP support thrown into confusion,” Guardian, June 11, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jun/10/theresa-may-dup-deal-snag-tory-rebellion


Donald Trump is an ass, London edition: June 5-9, 2017

Clay Bennett, Donald Trump as a biohazard in the Fountain of Knowledge, June 8, 2018, via Arcamax, fair use.

Fig. 1. Clay Bennett, Donald Trump as a biohazard in the Fountain of Knowledge, June 8, 2018, via Arcamax, fair use.

A few days ago, I wrote,

From what I can see the conventional wisdom is that if Donald Trump is removed from office, it will most likely be via impeachment.[1] But, to my understanding, the 25th amendment offers a quicker and—I think at least in the short term—less painful route, at least to the end of getting Trump out of office.[2] And while I’m no fan of having mental health professionals violate the Goldwater Rule and believe that there’s more value to that rule than just not getting sued,[3] in combination with Trump burning Mossad and demonstrating himself to be a threat to “national security,”[4] these remote assessments do provide a rationale.[5][6]

This issue of the (Supposedly) Daily Bullshit offers heaps of additional evidence for that rationale.

Neither this nor impeachment is a step that should be taken lightly. As I’m sure some have observed, there is little functional difference between deposing Trump with the 25th amendment and a coup d’etat. And we should also consider who would replace Trump. While I haven’t analyzed Vice President Mike Pence’s record, I have the impression he is a traditionalist conservative; if so, any prospect of his presidency should scare the hell out of women and everyone who cares for or about women. But Trump is manifestly unfit for office.


Updates

  1. June 5, 9:53 pm:
  2. June 6, 10:17 pm:
    • Uber has fired 20 employees, taken action in 100 instances, and still investigating some of originally 215 complaints.[7] (Ridesharing)
    • And then there’s Donald Trump on Qatar.[8]
    • The City of San Francisco, whose government hates but whose residents love Uber and Lyft, is investigating whether the companies are a “public nuisance.”[9]
    • The British election was supposed to be a referendum on Theresa May’s handling of Brexit and on neoliberalism, but will now be about security.[10]
    • More on the quandary that Donald Trump has introduced for his legal team in defending the Muslim Ban.[11]
  3. June 7, 3:08 pm:
    • James Comey’s prepared remarks for his appearance at a Congressional committee have been made available, confirming expectations, adding a demand for loyalty from Donald Trump, and adding that “[o]n several occasions [Comey] assured the president that the FBI didn’t have an “active counter-intelligence investigation” into him.”[12]
    • For Jennifer Rubin, the question seems not to be whether Donald Trump will be impeached, but rather whether Republicans do it, or lose control of Congress in 2018, and thus allow Democrats to do it.[13] (James Comey)
    • Donald Trump is upset with Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the investigations into the Trump team’s relationships with Russia but it remains unclear whether Trump will actually fire Sessions.[14] (James Comey)
  4. June 7, 5:30 pm:
    • It appears a case can be made that, if accurate, Donald Trump’s requests of James Comey to drop the investigation of Mike Flynn would amount to obstruction of justice.[15]
  5. June 7, 10:56 pm:
    • Added editorial comic at the top of the entry.
  6. June 8, 12:11 pm:
    • James Comey testified that he thought Donald Trump was instructing him to drop the FBI’s investigation into Mike Flynn but not the investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.[16]
    • Jeffrey Toobin adds his voice to those calling James Comey and others’ testimony evidence of obstruction of justice.[17]
  7. June 8, 5:20 pm:
    • Donald Trump’s lawyer attempts to 1) spin James Comey’s testimony, and 2) invoke executive privilege after the fact.[18] Yes, really. And no, I doubt he persuaded anybody.
    • Theresa May’s gamble appears to have backfired as Conservatives have lost their governing majority in Parliament.[19] (Brexit)
  8. June 9, 3:31 am:
    • The Hill has resurrected its horse race coverage for the James Comey testimony.[20]
    • So, honestly, I wasn’t looking for further evidence in support of my comments at the beginning of this newsletter, but here’s Donald Trump in the wake of an attack in Tehran.[21] (Donald Trump and Iran)
    • Alex Hern thinks Uber has developed an immunity to criticism.[22] (Ridesharing)
  9. June 9, 11:53 am:
    • Theresa May lost the election but is forming a government anyhow.[23] (Brexit)
    • Theresa May came under considerable pressure to resign following her defeat.[24] (Brexit)
  10. June 9, 2:02 pm:
    • “Young voters turned out at the polls in unexpectedly large numbers, and to the dismay of Prime Minister Theresa May and her Conservatives, a surprising number of Britons who favor the U.K.’s exit from the European Union didn’t give them their vote.” Apparently, the young may have felt they needed to turn out after the Brexit vote, in which the young didn’t turn out, and after the 2016 election, in which the young (disenchanted with Hillary Clinton) didn’t turn out.[25] (Brexit)
    • At the neoconservative Weekly Standard, Dominic Green is blistering in his assessment of Theresa May’s campaign.[26] (Brexit)
  11. June 9, 4:11 pm:
    • Also at the Weekly Standard, Christopher Caldwell—and this is amazing for a neoconservative—points to neoliberal failings in explaining Theresa May’s defeat.[27]
    • Annabelle Dickson at Politico’s global edition analyzes Theresa May’s defeat.[28]
    • And as to Donald Trump’s lawyer trying to invoke executive privilege after the fact? For starters, we’re not even clear that it’s executive privilege. But in any event, there’s probably no legal case to be made for it.[29] (James Comey)

Donald Trump on London

How can I say that Donald Trump has made an ass of himself with his remarks—tweets mostly—on the so-called “terrorist” attack on London when it is already so obvious that he is an ass? It all seems really rather pointless.

Jennifer Rubin, “With his London tweets, Trump embarrasses himself — and America — once again,” Washington Post, June 4, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2017/06/04/with-his-london-tweets-trump-embarrasses-himself-and-america-once-again/

John Cassidy, “Trump’s London Tweets: How Low Can He Stoop?” New Yorker, June 5, 2017, http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/trumps-london-tweets-how-low-can-he-stoop

Azi Paybarah, “De Blasio: ‘I don’t understand’ why Trump is ‘trying to undermine’ London’s mayor,” Politico, June 5, 2017, http://www.politico.com/states/new-york/city-hall/story/2017/06/05/de-blasio-on-trump-maybe-he-doesnt-have-a-lot-of-experience-handling-security-situations-112519


Muslim Ban

Apparently, among other idiotic tweets, Donald Trump tweeted, “People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!”[30] Actually, he should be more honest and call it what it really is, a Muslim ban.[31] And the mainstream media should stop enabling him by also calling it a “travel ban.”

Amy Davidson, “Trump’s “Travel Ban” Tweets Show His Disdain for His Lawyers,” New Yorker, June 5, 2017, http://www.newyorker.com/news/amy-davidson/trumps-travel-ban-tweets-show-his-disdain-for-the-law

Amber Phillips, “How Trump just completely undermined the legal argument for his travel ban, in 4 tweets,” Washington Post, June 5, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/06/05/how-trump-just-completely-undermined-the-legal-argument-for-his-travel-ban-in-4-tweets/

Matt Zapotosky, “Trump’s latest tweets will probably hurt effort to restore travel ban,” Washington Post, June 5, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trumps-latest-tweets-could-hurt-effort-to-restore-travel-ban/2017/06/05/c8eb5940-49e8-11e7-bc1b-fddbd8359dee_story.html


Obamacare

A few days ago, I wrote, “I wouldn’t call it ‘blue chip’ quality yet, but a bet that Republicans will fail to repeal and replace Obamacare is seeming safer and safer.”[32] There’s certainly nothing here[33] to alter that assessment.

Alexander Bolton, “Senate returns more pessimistic than ever on healthcare,” Hill, June 5, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/336145-senate-returns-more-pessimistic-than-ever-on-healthcare


Style Guides

So this morning [June 5], I found myself laboriously typing out a defense of Geoffrey Pullum’s choice of the term “grammar conservative” on my smartphone. It’s actually quite apt.

Geoffrey Pullum, “Why Won’t They Heed Plain Facts?” Chronicle of Higher Education, June 4, 2017, http://www.chronicle.com/blogs/linguafranca/2017/06/04/why-wont-they-heed-plain-facts/


James Comey

Eric Columbus, “Why Trump Can’t Keep Comey From Talking,” Politico, June 5, 2017, http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/06/05/donald-trump-james-comey-testimony-215229

Dara Lind, “The Trump White House is really hanging Jeff Sessions out to dry,” Vox, June 7, 2017, https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/7/15757354/trump-jeff-sessions

Jennifer Rubin, “The other shoes start falling,” Washington Post, June 7, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2017/06/07/the-other-shoes-start-falling/

Carly Sitrin, “The ‘obstruction of justice’ tweets are already flying,” Vox, June 7, 2017, https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/7/15759086/scholars-trump-comey-obstruction-of-justice

Del Quentin Wilber, “Trump Sought Comey’s Loyalty, Ex-FBI Director to Say,” Wall Street Journal, June 7, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-told-comey-i-need-loyalty-i-expect-loyalty-ex-fbi-director-to-say-in-prepared-remarks-1496858755

Jonathan Easley, “Winners and losers from Comey’s testimony,” Hill, June 8, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/337061-winners-and-losers-from-comeys-testimony

Jeffrey Toobin, “James Comey’s Remarkable Story About Donald Trump,” New Yorker, June 8, 2017, http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/james-comeys-remarkable-story-about-donald-trump

Del Quentin Wilber and Byron Tau, “Comey Says He Felt Trump Directed Him to Drop Flynn Probe,” Wall Street Journal, June 8, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/comey-says-trump-administration-defamed-him-and-the-fbi-1496932512

Sean Illing, “Trump’s lawyer: Comey violated executive privilege. 10 legal experts: No, he didn’t,” Vox, June 9, 2017, https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/9/15764954/comey-testimony-donald-trump-fbi-executive-privilege


Donald Trump and NATO

Donald Trump had failed to reaffirm Article 5 of the NATO treaty which commits members to collective defense. After berating those members for failing to pay their allegedly “fair” share, this omission caused some alarm.[34] Apparently the omission also caught Trump’s national security team off guard,[35] and this is what it’s come to:

“To quote a British observer of us from some years back, bear with us,” [Defense Secretary James] Mattis told the questioner. “Once we have exhausted all possible alternatives, the Americans will do the right thing.”

“So,” he added: “we will still be there, and we will be there with you.”[36]

Susan B. Glasser, “Trump National Security Team Blindsided by NATO Speech,” Politico, June 5, 2017, http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/06/05/trump-nato-speech-national-security-team-215227


Ridesharing

Somehow, all these numbers seem low to me for an organization the size of Uber with the reputation that Uber has acquired, but I guess “[t]he number of employees fired en masse for poor behavior is ‘unprecedented,’ particularly given the seriousness of the claims, said Jason Schloetzer, a professor at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business who specializes in corporate governance.”[37]

Heather Somerville, “San Francisco investigating whether Uber, Lyft are public nuisances,” Reuters, June 5, 2017, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-san-francisco-rideservices-idUSKBN18W2F3

Tracey Lien, “Uber fires 20 workers after harassment investigation,” Los Angeles Times, June 6, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-tn-uber-sexual-harassment-20170606-story.html

Alex Hern, “How low does Uber have to go before we stop using it?” Guardian, June 8, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jun/08/uber-customers-sexual-harassment-tech-companies


Qatar

Ellen Mitchell, “Pentagon can’t square Trump comments on Qatar,” Hill, June 6, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/defense/336555-pentagon-cant-square-trump-comments-on-qatar


Brexit

On Sunday [June 4], I was concerned that the attack on London might sway voters to the right in the coming election, which might otherwise have focused on Theresa May’s handling of Brexit and on competing visions of neoliberalism. From this, I worried that the resulting right-wing policies would exacerbate rather than relieve the causes of such attacks, leading to a vicious cycle where ever more outrages push politicians ever further to the right, leading to ever further right-wing policies, further exacerbating the causes, leading to ever more bloodshed. (This is what I meant, anyway, even if I expressed it entirely too briefly.)[38] But here’s the other way that may have played out: It turns out that Theresa May had “presid[ed] over a decision to cut the number of police officers when she was home secretary, a decision [the Labour Party] said put Britain at risk.”[39]

Analyses are starting to come in on why the vote came out as it did. Overall, Conservatives and the Scottish National Party lost seats while Labour gained. Nonetheless, Theresa May, who appears, to the extent U.S. analogs apply, neoconservative, is forming a government with support from the Democratic Unionist Party,[40] which, to the extent U.S. analogs apply, appears strongly social conservative. At the neoconservative Weekly Standard, Dominic Green explains that this isn’t nearly so significant or really even as defiant as it might seem:

British law obliges May to try to form a minority government. The support of the Conservatives’ old allies, the Unionist MPs of Northern Ireland, will push her over the 326-seat majority. But this will only prolong her death agony. She cannot continue as party leader after this disaster. She campaigned on competence and has been rejected. She cannot “just about manage.” She should resign as soon as possible.[41]

As to the loss itself, in the Wall Street Journal, Paul Hannon emphasizes the youth vote:

“We’ve had Trump, we’ve had Brexit, and both were instances where people thought it was never going to happen and didn’t bother to vote,” [Anthony Wells, director of political and social opinion polling at YouGov] said. “Those surprise results made it more important for people to vote for what they believe in.”

College towns and districts with a higher proportion of younger voters saw rises in the Labour’s share of the vote, in the double digits.

A survey of 14,000 people who voted Thursday, commissioned by Michael Ashcroft, a former deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, found that 67% of those aged 18 to 24 voted for Labour. The Conservative Party was supported by 59% of those aged 65 and over.[42]

Dominc Green at the neoconservative Weekly Standard is blistering in his assessment:

What went wrong? Everything: the grand strategy, the policies, the personalities. In the Brexit referendum and in recent by-elections, traditional Labour voters in the north of England had shown signs of defecting to UKIP and the Tories. May’s team tried to create a permanent Tory bridgehead in this working-class Labour territory. The Conservative vote there rose, but not high enough to win seats. Like Hillary Clinton, Theresa May has lost an election she should have won—though not, as Clinton did, by neglecting key working-class constituencies, but by focusing on them too much.

On policy, May’s campaign made a number of U-turns that undermined her talk of competence, toughness, and stability. A proposal to replace free lunches in state schools with free breakfasts alienated low-income voters. Solid middle-class Conservatives were appalled by the suggestion of a “dementia tax,” which would effectively force them to cover the cost of old age care by selling their most valuable legacy, their homes. Neither fiasco convinced this season’s key electoral segment, the “JAMs” (voters who are “just about managing”) that May knew what she was doing.

The terrorist attacks in Manchester and London focused attention on May’s unimpressive record at the Home Office, too. They also forced her to attempt spontaneity. Which, for her, was a mistake: Witness her ill-judged and alarming promise to “rip up” Britain’s human rights’ laws in order to augment counterterrorism efforts.

The more the voters saw of Theresa May, the less they liked her. It became clear that she wasn’t a second Thatcher, a “bloody difficult woman.” She wasn’t even a second John Major, chosen to unify a party divided over Europe, and able to use a lukewarm common touch to win an election. She was another Edward Heath—cold, incompetent, and not as popular as she thought.[43]

Also at the Weekly Standard, here’s Christopher Caldwell admitting what should, for neoconservatives, be unthinkable:

But with all their unleashing-entrepreneurship talk, it was May’s people, not Corbyn’s, who were dwelling in the past. The center-right Tories are indeed good at producing growth. So was the Labour party when the “moderates” Tony Blair and Gordon Brown ran it. But neither party has shown the slightest inclination to share the wealth. When the economy grows by 1 percent, the rich take 2 percent, it seems. When it grows by 2 percent, they take 3 percent. This is really all that matters. If the fox knows many things and the hedgehog knows one big thing, Corbyn is a hedgehog. The big thing he knows is fighting inequality.[44]

Bonus points if you noticed these are all U.S.-based assessments of the outcome. It might be nice to hear from the British themselves.

Jenny Gross, “Attack Makes Security Focus of U.K. Election,” Wall Street Journal, June 5, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/attack-makes-security-focus-of-u-k-election-1496686004

Christopher Caldwell, “Theresa May’s Gamble Goes Bust,” Weekly Standard, June 8, 2017, http://www.weeklystandard.com/theresa-mays-gamble-goes-bust/article/2008383

Rowena Mason, “Theresa May’s leadership in the balance amid Tory election fury,” Guardian, June 8, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jun/09/theresa-may-leadership-in-balance-amid-tory-election-fury

British Broadcasting Corporation, “May to form ‘government of certainty’ with DUP backing,” June 9, 2017, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2017-40219030

Annabelle Dickson, “8 election blunders that cost Theresa May her majority,” Politico, June 9, 2017, http://www.politico.eu/article/theresa-may-election-mistakes/

Dominic Green, “How Theresa May Lost,” Weekly Standard, June 9, 2017, http://www.weeklystandard.com/how-theresa-may-lost/article/2008408

Paul Hannon, “Young Voters Flock to Labour, Spurning Theresa May’s Conservatives in U.K. Election,” Wall Street Journal, June 9, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/young-voters-flock-to-labour-denying-theresa-mays-conservatives-in-u-k-election-1497006858

Times of Israel, “Shock exit poll shows May losing majority in British elections,” June 9, 2017, http://www.timesofisrael.com/shock-exit-poll-shows-may-losing-majority-in-british-elections/


Donald Trump and Iran

Sarah Wildman, “Iran was hit by a terrorist attack. Trump’s response was that they had it coming,” Vox, June 8, 2017, https://www.vox.com/world/2017/6/8/15759350/iran-terror-trump-presidential-response


  1. [1]McKay Coppins, “How Does This End?” Atlantic, May 18, 2017, https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/05/how-will-the-trump-presidency-end/527055/
  2. [2]Andrew Prokop, “The 25th Amendment, explained: how a president can be declared unfit to serve,” Vox, May 17, 2017, https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/2/9/14488980/25th-amendment-trump-pence
  3. [3]Aaron Blake, “The American Psychiatric Association issues a warning: No psychoanalyzing Donald Trump,” Washington Post, August 7, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/08/07/the-american-psychiatric-association-reminds-its-doctors-no-psychoanalyzing-donald-trump/
  4. [4]Bryan Bender, “Ex-intelligence leaders: ‘Nightmare’ if Trump leaked to Russia,” Politico, May 15, 2017, http://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/15/trump-secrets-russia-isis-238421; Yochi Dreazen, “Donald Trump is a serious threat to American national security,” Vox, May 15, 2017, https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/5/15/15644928/donald-trump-russia-share-intelligence-lavrov-isis-oval-office; Shane Harris and Carol E. Lee, “Israel Provided Intelligence Trump Shared With Russia, Officials Say,” Wall Street Journal, May 16, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/intelligence-trump-shared-with-russia-was-from-israel-officials-say-1494960259; Greg Miller and Greg Jaffe, “Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian foreign minister and ambassador,” Washington Post, May 15, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-revealed-highly-classified-information-to-russian-foreign-minister-and-ambassador/2017/05/15/530c172a-3960-11e7-9e48-c4f199710b69_story.html
  5. [5]Henry Alford, “Is Donald Trump Actually a Narcissist? Therapists Weigh In!” Vanity Fair, November 11, 2015, http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2015/11/donald-trump-narcissism-therapists; Matthew Goldenberg, “A professional opinion: You don’t need a psychiatrist to know there’s something wrong with Donald Trump,” Los Angeles Times, August 23, 2016, http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-goldenberg-trump-mental-health-20160823-snap-story.html; Dan Hannan, “The real reason Donald Trump is unfit to be president,” Washington Examiner, May 16, 2016, http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/the-real-reason-donald-trump-is-unfit-to-be-president/article/2591147; Will Pavia, “The psychiatrists’ verdict: Donald Trump is a man incapable of guilt, with inner rage,” Times, May 20, 2017, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world/psychiatrists-verdict-on-trump-a-man-incapable-of-guilt-with-inner-rage-zsrlt707b; Gail Sheehy, “At Yale, Psychiatrists Cite Their ‘Duty to Warn’ About an Unfit President,” New York, April 23, 2017, http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/04/yale-psychiatrists-cite-duty-to-warn-about-unfit-president.html
  6. [6]David Benfell, “A scholar tries to reprise Sokal’s hoax. And mostly fails,” (Supposedly) Daily Bullshit, May 21, 2017, https://parts-unknown.org/reading/2017/05/21/a-scholar-tries-to-reprise-sokals-hoax-and-mostly-fails-daily-bullshit-may-20-21-2017/
  7. [7]Tracey Lien, “Uber fires 20 workers after harassment investigation,” Los Angeles Times, June 6, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-tn-uber-sexual-harassment-20170606-story.html
  8. [8]Ellen Mitchell, “Pentagon can’t square Trump comments on Qatar,” Hill, June 6, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/defense/336555-pentagon-cant-square-trump-comments-on-qatar
  9. [9]Heather Somerville, “San Francisco investigating whether Uber, Lyft are public nuisances,” Reuters, June 5, 2017, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-san-francisco-rideservices-idUSKBN18W2F3
  10. [10]Jenny Gross, “Attack Makes Security Focus of U.K. Election,” Wall Street Journal, June 5, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/attack-makes-security-focus-of-u-k-election-1496686004
  11. [11]Amy Davidson, “Trump’s “Travel Ban” Tweets Show His Disdain for His Lawyers,” New Yorker, June 5, 2017, http://www.newyorker.com/news/amy-davidson/trumps-travel-ban-tweets-show-his-disdain-for-the-law
  12. [12]Del Quentin Wilber, “Trump Sought Comey’s Loyalty, Ex-FBI Director to Say,” Wall Street Journal, June 7, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-told-comey-i-need-loyalty-i-expect-loyalty-ex-fbi-director-to-say-in-prepared-remarks-1496858755
  13. [13]Jennifer Rubin, “The other shoes start falling,” Washington Post, June 7, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2017/06/07/the-other-shoes-start-falling/
  14. [14]Dara Lind, “The Trump White House is really hanging Jeff Sessions out to dry,” Vox, June 7, 2017, https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/7/15757354/trump-jeff-sessions
  15. [15]Carly Sitrin, “The ‘obstruction of justice’ tweets are already flying,” Vox, June 7, 2017, https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/7/15759086/scholars-trump-comey-obstruction-of-justice
  16. [16]Del Quentin Wilber and Byron Tau, “Comey Says He Felt Trump Directed Him to Drop Flynn Probe,” Wall Street Journal, June 8, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/comey-says-trump-administration-defamed-him-and-the-fbi-1496932512
  17. [17]Jeffrey Toobin, “James Comey’s Remarkable Story About Donald Trump,” New Yorker, June 8, 2017, http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/james-comeys-remarkable-story-about-donald-trump
  18. [18]David Jackson, “Trump lawyer says James Comey made ‘unauthorized disclosures’ of privileged talks,” USA Today, June 8, 2017, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/06/08/donald-trump-james-comey-hearing-marc-kasowitz/102588032/
  19. [19]Times of Israel, “Shock exit poll shows May losing majority in British elections,” June 9, 2017, http://www.timesofisrael.com/shock-exit-poll-shows-may-losing-majority-in-british-elections/
  20. [20]Jonathan Easley, “Winners and losers from Comey’s testimony,” Hill, June 8, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/337061-winners-and-losers-from-comeys-testimony
  21. [21]Sarah Wildman, “Iran was hit by a terrorist attack. Trump’s response was that they had it coming,” Vox, June 8, 2017, https://www.vox.com/world/2017/6/8/15759350/iran-terror-trump-presidential-response
  22. [22]Alex Hern, “How low does Uber have to go before we stop using it?” Guardian, June 8, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jun/08/uber-customers-sexual-harassment-tech-companies
  23. [23]British Broadcasting Corporation, “May to form ‘government of certainty’ with DUP backing,” June 9, 2017, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2017-40219030
  24. [24]Rowena Mason, “Theresa May’s leadership in the balance amid Tory election fury,” Guardian, June 8, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jun/09/theresa-may-leadership-in-balance-amid-tory-election-fury
  25. [25]Paul Hannon, “Young Voters Flock to Labour, Spurning Theresa May’s Conservatives in U.K. Election,” Wall Street Journal, June 9, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/young-voters-flock-to-labour-denying-theresa-mays-conservatives-in-u-k-election-1497006858
  26. [26]Dominic Green, “How Theresa May Lost,” Weekly Standard, June 9, 2017, http://www.weeklystandard.com/how-theresa-may-lost/article/2008408
  27. [27]Christopher Caldwell, “Theresa May’s Gamble Goes Bust,” Weekly Standard, June 8, 2017, http://www.weeklystandard.com/theresa-mays-gamble-goes-bust/article/2008383
  28. [28]Annabelle Dickson, “8 election blunders that cost Theresa May her majority,” Politico, June 9, 2017, http://www.politico.eu/article/theresa-may-election-mistakes/
  29. [29]Sean Illing, “Trump’s lawyer: Comey violated executive privilege. 10 legal experts: No, he didn’t,” Vox, June 9, 2017, https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/9/15764954/comey-testimony-donald-trump-fbi-executive-privilege
  30. [30]Donald Trump, quoted in Matt Zapotosky, “Trump’s latest tweets will probably hurt effort to restore travel ban,” Washington Post, June 5, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trumps-latest-tweets-could-hurt-effort-to-restore-travel-ban/2017/06/05/c8eb5940-49e8-11e7-bc1b-fddbd8359dee_story.html
  31. [31]Amber Phillips briefly covers the history of the ‘Muslim ban’ in “How Trump just completely undermined the legal argument for his travel ban, in 4 tweets,” Washington Post, June 5, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/06/05/how-trump-just-completely-undermined-the-legal-argument-for-his-travel-ban-in-4-tweets/
  32. [32]David Benfell, “‘Just keeps coming,’” (Supposedly) Daily Bullshit, May 27, 2017, https://parts-unknown.org/reading/2017/05/27/just-keeps-coming-daily-bullshit-may-23-2017/
  33. [33]Alexander Bolton, “Senate returns more pessimistic than ever on healthcare,” Hill, June 5, 2017, http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/336145-senate-returns-more-pessimistic-than-ever-on-healthcare
  34. [34]Zeeshan Aleem, “Trump didn’t say the one thing about NATO he was supposed to say,” Vox, May 25, 2017, https://www.vox.com/world/2017/5/25/15691198/trump-nato-article-5-brussels
  35. [35]Susan B. Glasser, “Trump National Security Team Blindsided by NATO Speech,” Politico, June 5, 2017, http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/06/05/trump-nato-speech-national-security-team-215227
  36. [36]Susan B. Glasser, “Trump National Security Team Blindsided by NATO Speech,” Politico, June 5, 2017, http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/06/05/trump-nato-speech-national-security-team-215227
  37. [37]Tracey Lien, “Uber fires 20 workers after harassment investigation,” Los Angeles Times, June 6, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-tn-uber-sexual-harassment-20170606-story.html
  38. [38]David Benfell, “Hillary Clinton campaigns on a ‘personal’ rather than a ‘political’ strategy,” Daily Bullshit, June 4, 2017, https://parts-unknown.org/reading/2017/06/04/hillary-clinton-campaigns-on-a-personal-rather-than-a-political-strategy-daily-bullshit-june-4-2017/
  39. [39]Jenny Gross, “Attack Makes Security Focus of U.K. Election,” Wall Street Journal, June 5, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/attack-makes-security-focus-of-u-k-election-1496686004
  40. [40]British Broadcasting Corporation, “May to form ‘government of certainty’ with DUP backing,” June 9, 2017, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2017-40219030
  41. [41]Dominic Green, “How Theresa May Lost,” Weekly Standard, June 9, 2017, http://www.weeklystandard.com/how-theresa-may-lost/article/2008408
  42. [42]Paul Hannon, “Young Voters Flock to Labour, Spurning Theresa May’s Conservatives in U.K. Election,” Wall Street Journal, June 9, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/young-voters-flock-to-labour-denying-theresa-mays-conservatives-in-u-k-election-1497006858
  43. [43]Dominic Green, “How Theresa May Lost,” Weekly Standard, June 9, 2017, http://www.weeklystandard.com/how-theresa-may-lost/article/2008408
  44. [44]Christopher Caldwell, “Theresa May’s Gamble Goes Bust,” Weekly Standard, June 8, 2017, http://www.weeklystandard.com/theresa-mays-gamble-goes-bust/article/2008383

Hillary Clinton campaigns on a ‘personal’ rather than a ‘political’ strategy: Daily Bullshit, June 4, 2017

Hillary Clinton

“But part of the problem [Hillary Clinton] had was she didn’t have a vision for the Democratic Party, and she needs to now take a break and let others come to the forefront.”[1]

It does indeed get annoying to hear Democrats—not just Clinton by a very long shot—talk about how they need to promote a message when, if they even have one, it is nowhere to be seen.

But [Jamal Simmons, a Democratic strategist] added that if she’s going to discuss the loss, “it would be nice to hear a little more about the things she did wrong, which I believe mattered more than what she has discussed.”[2]

Foremost among these were her allegiance to Wall Street and her inability to acknowledge that she was asking U.S. voters to trust her with classified information when she had, at the very least, grossly mishandled it on her personal server.[3] (It was not yet apparent Donald Trump would prove to be even more dangerous with classified material.) In a year when people were desperate for an alternative to the same old neoliberalism that has done nothing but widen social inequality, she essentially ran on a premise that to oppose her was to be misogynist, and she, with her supporters, continues in large part to blame alleged misogyny for her loss.[4]

Amie Parnes, “Dems want Hillary Clinton to leave spotlight,” Hill, June 4, 2017, https://parts-unknown.org/drupal7/content/hillary-clintons-inequality-rhetoric-weak-no-were-not-all-mess-together?page=8#comment-16800


Brexit

Just in time for an election that really is about much more than Brexit itself, but rather neoliberalism as an underlying cause for the Brexit vote, so-called “terrorists” strike London. It is the third attack Britain has endured this year.[5]

It’s hard for me to imagine that the election hasn’t had something to do with the attack. I believe, though I’m failing to locate the article at present, Michael Lerner has argued that such attacks tend to tilt electorates to the right. If this is indeed the case, as right-wing politicians pursue hard line, so-called “anti-terrorist” policies, they in fact exacerbate the very factors that lead to such attacks in the first place. It’s a vicious cycle that works in favor of more bloodshed.

Tom McTague, “British parties briefly suspend campaigning,” Politico, June 4, 2017, http://www.politico.eu/article/british-parties-suspend-campaigning-election-london-bridge-terror-attack-june/


  1. [1]An unnamed “former senior aide” to Barack Obama, quoted in Amie Parnes, “Dems want Hillary Clinton to leave spotlight,” Hill, June 4, 2017, https://parts-unknown.org/drupal7/content/hillary-clintons-inequality-rhetoric-weak-no-were-not-all-mess-together?page=8#comment-16800
  2. [2]Amie Parnes, “Dems want Hillary Clinton to leave spotlight,” Hill, June 4, 2017, https://parts-unknown.org/drupal7/content/hillary-clintons-inequality-rhetoric-weak-no-were-not-all-mess-together?page=8#comment-16800
  3. [3]David Benfell, “Updated (again and again and again): Damnation by faint praise: Sanders claims to be more electable than Clinton,” Not Housebroken, March 6, 2016, https://disunitedstates.org/?p=8529
  4. [4]Andrew Sullivan, “Why Do Democrats Feel Sorry for Hillary Clinton?” New York, April 14, 2017, http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/04/why-do-democrats-feel-sorry-for-hillary-clinton.html
  5. [5]Tom McTague, “British parties briefly suspend campaigning,” Politico, June 4, 2017, http://www.politico.eu/article/british-parties-suspend-campaigning-election-london-bridge-terror-attack-june/

Uber loses a bunch of money. Oh yeah, and yet another top executive: Daily Bullshit, June 1-3, 2017

Updates

  1. June 1, 1:29 pm:
    • Donald Trump has reportedly decided to withdraw from the Paris Climate Change agreement.[1]
  2. June 2, 2:58 am:
    • As expected, Donald Trump has announced he will withdraw from the Paris Climate Change agreement.[2]
    • The Trump administration is appealing the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision to uphold a lower court’s decision restraining the Muslim Ban.[3]
  3. June 2, 3:11 am:
    • The crack in the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica is now just 8 miles (13 kilometers) from breaking off a huge iceberg entirely.[4]
  4. June 2, 1:46 pm:
    • Some have been surprised by the lack of deference courts have extended to the Trump administration on the Muslim Ban but the courts may be developing a “new jurisprudence” for an “oathless [sic] presidency.”[5]
    • The Trump’s administration’s appeal of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling and an anticipated (yes, you read that right—the decision hasn’t even been issued yet!) 9th Circuit ruling may be moot as the Muslim Ban is set to expire in less than two weeks.[6]
  5. June 3, 1:31 am:
    • Donald Trump probably thought he had a clever line when, in announcing his withdrawal from the Paris Climate Change agreement, he declared he was “elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” but it turns out that, at least on this, he doesn’t represent the Steel City either.[7] Not that he’ll notice.

Uber

Uber’s financial losses actually do seem to be shrinking while revenue continues to rise. But all these executives jumping ship? “So far this year more than a dozen executives and top managers, many reporting to [Travis] Kalanick, have either resigned or been fired.”[8] That has to be a bad sign. Doesn’t it?

Greg Bensinger, “Uber Posts $708 Million Loss as Finance Head Leaves,” Wall Street Journal, June 1, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-posts-708-million-loss-as-finance-head-leaves-1496272500


Climate Change

This is a sad moment, but one consistent with my characterization of Donald Trump as authoritarian populist.[9] It’s also worth remembering that this was a deal that Jim Hansen labeled a fraud[10] and that would have, even if fully implemented (which wasn’t looking likely[11]), fallen far short of what is needed.[12] But very obviously, “[Trump’s] administration does not view climate change as a significant concern,”[13] so, rhetoric about Obama’s negotiating skills[14] aside, it is unlikely we’ll be getting a much needed better deal.

Timothy Cama and Devin Henry, Trump: We are getting out of Paris climate deal,” Hill, June 1, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/335955-trump-pulls-us-out-of-paris-climate-deal

Amy Harder, “Why Trump is pulling out of the Paris climate deal,” Axios, May 31, 2017, https://www.axios.com/scoop-trump-is-pulling-u-s-out-of-paris-climate-deal-2427773025.html

Jonathan Swan, “Scoop: Trump is pulling U.S. out of Paris climate deal,” Axios, May 31, 2017, https://www.axios.com/scoop-trump-is-pulling-u-s-out-of-paris-climate-deal-2427773025.html

Dan Primack, “How private equity is watching Trump’s Paris announcement,” Axios, June 1, 2017, https://www.axios.com/scoop-trump-is-pulling-u-s-out-of-paris-climate-deal-2427773025.html

Shane Savitsky, “Trump’s plan to withdraw from Paris climate deal,” Axios, June 1, 2017, https://www.axios.com/scoop-trump-is-pulling-u-s-out-of-paris-climate-deal-2427773025.html

Shane Savitsky, “What you need to know about climate change,” Axios, June 1, 2017, https://www.axios.com/scoop-trump-is-pulling-u-s-out-of-paris-climate-deal-2427773025.html

Shannon Vavra, “White House talking points on Paris withdrawal,” Axios, June 1, 2017, https://www.axios.com/scoop-trump-is-pulling-u-s-out-of-paris-climate-deal-2427773025.html

Kevin Liptak and Jim Acosta, “Trump on Paris accord: ‘We’re getting out,’” CNN, June 2, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/01/politics/trump-paris-climate-decision/index.html

Errin Haines Whack and Dake Kang, “Pittsburgh to Trump: You don’t speak for us on climate,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, June 2, 2017, http://www.startribune.com/pittsburgh-to-trump-you-don-t-speak-for-us-on-climate/425995473/


Muslim Ban

Brooke Seipel, “Trump appeals travel ban case to Supreme Court,” Hill, June 1, 2017, http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/336039-trump-appeals-travel-ban-case-to-supreme-court

Quinta Jurecic, “A New Jurisprudence for an Oathless Presidency,” Lawfare, June 2, 2017, https://www.lawfareblog.com/new-jurisprudence-oathless-presidency

Marty Lederman, “A simple reason to deny cert. in Trump v. IRAP: because the entry ban expires in 12 days, anyway,” Just Security, June 2, 2017, https://www.justsecurity.org/41627/simple-reason-deny-cert-entry-ban-expires-12-days/


Antarctica

Chris Mooney, “A huge crack across one of Antarctica’s largest ice shelves is nearing its breaking point,” Washington Post, May 31, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/05/31/as-trump-mulls-paris-climate-deal-antarctica-could-soon-break-off-a-delaware-sized-iceberg/

  1. [1]Amy Harder, “Why Trump is pulling out of the Paris climate deal,” Axios, May 31, 2017, https://www.axios.com/scoop-trump-is-pulling-u-s-out-of-paris-climate-deal-2427773025.html; Shane Savitsky, “Trump’s plan to withdraw from Paris climate deal,” Axios, June 1, 2017, https://www.axios.com/scoop-trump-is-pulling-u-s-out-of-paris-climate-deal-2427773025.html; Jonathan Swan, “Scoop: Trump is pulling U.S. out of Paris climate deal,” Axios, May 31, 2017, https://www.axios.com/scoop-trump-is-pulling-u-s-out-of-paris-climate-deal-2427773025.html; Shannon Vavra, “White House talking points on Paris withdrawal,” Axios, June 1, 2017, https://www.axios.com/scoop-trump-is-pulling-u-s-out-of-paris-climate-deal-2427773025.html
  2. [2]Timothy Cama and Devin Henry, Trump: We are getting out of Paris climate deal,” Hill, June 1, 2017, http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/335955-trump-pulls-us-out-of-paris-climate-deal; Kevin Liptak and Jim Acosta, “Trump on Paris accord: ‘We’re getting out,’” CNN, June 2, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/01/politics/trump-paris-climate-decision/index.html
  3. [3]Brooke Seipel, “Trump appeals travel ban case to Supreme Court,” Hill, June 1, 2017, http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/336039-trump-appeals-travel-ban-case-to-supreme-court
  4. [4]Chris Mooney, “A huge crack across one of Antarctica’s largest ice shelves is nearing its breaking point,” Washington Post, May 31, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/05/31/as-trump-mulls-paris-climate-deal-antarctica-could-soon-break-off-a-delaware-sized-iceberg/
  5. [5]Quinta Jurecic, “A New Jurisprudence for an Oathless Presidency,” Lawfare, June 2, 2017, https://www.lawfareblog.com/new-jurisprudence-oathless-presidency
  6. [6]Marty Lederman, “A simple reason to deny cert. in Trump v. IRAP: because the entry ban expires in 12 days, anyway,” Just Security, June 2, 2017, https://www.justsecurity.org/41627/simple-reason-deny-cert-entry-ban-expires-12-days/
  7. [7]Errin Haines Whack and Dake Kang, “Pittsburgh to Trump: You don’t speak for us on climate,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, June 2, 2017, http://www.startribune.com/pittsburgh-to-trump-you-don-t-speak-for-us-on-climate/425995473/
  8. [8]Greg Bensinger, “Uber Posts $708 Million Loss as Finance Head Leaves,” Wall Street Journal, June 1, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-posts-708-million-loss-as-finance-head-leaves-1496272500
  9. [9]David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126).
  10. [10]Kasia Anderson, “Pre-eminent Climate Scientist James Hansen Calls Paris Deal a ‘Fraud’; John Kerry Begs to Differ,” Truthdig, December 13, 2015, http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/preeminent_climate_scientist_calls_paris_deal_a_fraud_-_kerry_20151213
  11. [11]David Roberts, “No country on Earth is taking the 2 degree climate target seriously,” Vox, October 4, 2016, http://www.vox.com/2016/10/4/13118594/2-degrees-no-more-fossil-fuels
  12. [12]Arthur Neslen and Karl Mathiesen, “Paris climate pledges ‘will only delay dangerous warming by two years’,” Guardian, June 3, 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jun/03/paris-climate-pledges-will-only-delay-dangerous-warming-by-two-years; Alissa J. Rubin and Elian Peltier, “Protesters Are in Agreement as Well: Pact Is Too Weak,” New York Times, December 12, 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/13/world/europe/climate-activists-gather-in-paris-to-protest-outcome-of-conference.html
  13. [13]Shane Savitsky, “What you need to know about climate change,” Axios, June 1, 2017, https://www.axios.com/scoop-trump-is-pulling-u-s-out-of-paris-climate-deal-2427773025.html
  14. [14]Shannon Vavra, “White House talking points on Paris withdrawal,” Axios, June 1, 2017, https://www.axios.com/scoop-trump-is-pulling-u-s-out-of-paris-climate-deal-2427773025.html

YouGov says Theresa May might be losing her bet: Daily Bullshit, May 31, 2017

Brexit

The assumption has been that Theresa May would win in a landslide[1] in her bid to marginalize hardliners in her own party and thereby bolster her negotiating position with the European Union on Brexit.[2] It was a gamble, but it looked like a decent gamble at the time she made it.[3]

That’s now all been called into question with a new survey—apparently using a new methodology that had apparently been successfully tested in the Brexit vote—by YouGov, a respected polling firm in the United Kingdom.[4] I do not see any indication, however, that the problem of low response rates[5] has been addressed and, in fact, it seems to me that a “constituency-by-constituency estimate of the election result”[6] would multiply rather than decrease the risk of a failure. Which makes all of this—both the Tory optimism and now the Tory pessimism—bullshit.

Sam Coates, “Poll firm predicts shock losses for Theresa May’s Tories at general election,” Times, May 31, 2017, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/latest-general-election-poll-predicts-conservatives-will-lose-seats-02zfwl8lc


  1. [1]Francis Elliott and Sam Coates, “May on course for landslide,” Times, May 6, 2017, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/may-on-course-for-landslide-f7pqgwwfp; Peter Geoghegan, “UK election reinforces Scotland’s divide,” Deutschewelle, May 3, 2017, http://www.dw.com/en/uk-election-reinforces-scotlands-divide/a-38674936
  2. [2]Jenny Gross and Jason Douglas, “U.K.’s Theresa May Calls Early Election, Seeking Brexit Leverage,” Wall Street Journal, April 18, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-k-prime-minister-theresa-may-calls-general-election-1492510159
  3. [3]Timothy Stafford, “Theresa May’s Risky General Election Plan,” National Interest, April 18, 2017, http://nationalinterest.org/feature/theresa-mays-risky-general-election-plan-20255
  4. [4]Sam Coates, “Poll firm predicts shock losses for Theresa May’s Tories at general election,” Times, May 31, 2017, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/latest-general-election-poll-predicts-conservatives-will-lose-seats-02zfwl8lc
  5. [5]David Benfell, “On a nine percent response rate,” May 28, 2017, https://parts-unknown.org/drupal7/journal/2017/05/28/nine-percent-response-rate
  6. [6]Sam Coates, “Poll firm predicts shock losses for Theresa May’s Tories at general election,” Times, May 31, 2017, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/latest-general-election-poll-predicts-conservatives-will-lose-seats-02zfwl8lc