Morning Report: Jeb Hensarling for Treasury? 11/18/16

Vital Statistics:

Last Change
S&P Futures 2184.0 -0.5
Eurostoxx Index 339.4 -1.2
Oil (WTI) 45.5 0.1
US dollar index 91.3 0.1
10 Year Govt Bond Yield 2.28%
Current Coupon Fannie Mae TBA 103
Current Coupon Ginnie Mae TBA 104
30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage 4

Stocks are flat this morning on no real news. Bonds and MBS are down.

Bonds are ending their worst two week run in 25 years as the 10 year bond yield increased almost 50 basis points. Strategists are suggesting that the 10 year will be in the 2.5% – 2.75% range a year from now if Donald Trump manages to get his infrastructure spending plan and tax cut. The US dollar continues to strengthen as well.

So far, it looks like Jeb Hensarling is in the mix to take over as Secretary of the Treasury for Donald Trump. Note he is a politician, not a Wall Streeter. In fact, the banks believe he is a bit of an obstacle for getting real reform. Hensarling is generally viewed as not a friend of the big banks, and he really isn’t that interested in their input. Hensarling does have a plan to reform Dodd-Frank, which would include scrapping the Volcker Rule (which prohibits proprietary trading), reining in the CFPB, eliminating caps that banks can charge merchants for debit card transactions, and reforming the SIFI (systemically important financial institutions) rules. The big banks will need to raise a lot of capital in order to have more latitude however, as his bill requires a 10% capital cushion. Citi, for example, is at 7.4%, which means the banks would need to raise hundreds of billions in new equity capital.

The glory days of the CFPB are numbered. A court ruling that prevents the director from being fired and the potential for a business-friendly Trump Director has made it possible for a bipartisan consensus that the director be replaced with a 5 person committee, and that it be subject to Congressional appropriations. At least one expert believes that will slow down the agency and probably cut its enforcement actions in half. As of right now, if you are a graduate of a top law school and have an interest in financial regulation, the CFPB is the hot place to be.

Bottom line: we could get some regulatory relief, however it will be at the margin and probably not a wholesale change from what we have now. Will it be enough to get the private label securitization market back? So far I have not seen anything with respect to required equity tranches etc, so it is hard to tell. The only name for HUD I have heard is Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, who is fighting HUD on zoning issues and affordable housing mandates.

After rising for several years, average home sizes are falling, as construction moves away from focusing in the high end to starter homes.

108 Responses

  1. Well, I thought Romney would have made a good Treasury Secretary.

    I started to think who I would appoint were I elected as an R. Lindsey Graham, AG; Romney, Treasury; Bob Gates, NS Advisor; Petraeus, SecState;
    and Joe Manchin SecDef. Why Manchin? He has served on the Armed Services Committee, and strategically I think WVa would get an R Senator in his place.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is crazy:

    “But the Mexican government’s immediate priority appears to be reassuring Mexicans in the United States that it will stand up for them following Trump’s promises of mass deportation programs and the construction of a massive border wall to keep out undocumented migrants.

    The 11-point plan unveiled Wednesday by the Mexican government includes the activation of a 24-hour, 1-800 line to help Mexican nationals in the United States with questions about immigration laws. It also includes a promise by the Mexican government to “strengthen our relationship with civil rights organizations.”

    “In Mexico, we will respond in a strategic way and safeguard our national interest,” Carreño told POLITICO. “Moreover, Mexicans’ rights in the U.S. will always be our top priority.””

    No, illegal immigrants don’t have a “right” to be in the US.


  3. The melt down over Trump’s Ford tweets proves:

    1. The left has learned nothing.
    2. Trump knows exactly what he’s doing by disregarding the media and going over their heads with the tweets.
    3. He’s probably going to be reelected if he doesn’t screw up royally.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is a division, not a whole plant… 5 Pinnocchios!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Added to the curses the Internet has given us, I would include the Internet “fact checkers” right up there with the predatory “fake news” producers.

        Unlike much of the rest of the media, where the objectivity is often more implied than explicitly promised, fact checkers are making an explicit promise of objectivity and truth-finding.

        They are not completely worthless. But they are close.


    • Scott has discussed the effectiveness of wielding racism, sexism and homophobia as a cudgel in the past, and I think he has a point. But what I think I’m observing here is the left deciding that salt usually works, and the fact that salt didn’t work this time isn’t because the stew is obviously already too salty, but because they didn’t use enough salt. And they’ve been dumping in the salt like there’s no tomorrow.

      Interesting that the party of diversity doesn’t want to try anything different. They don’t want to ask: Bernie did well with populism, Trump seemed to do well with populism, maybe we should try some positive populism? Nope.

      Thanks to the Democratic apparatus and their advocates, everything they campaigned on seemed to come with the same signature line. “I want free college for every student, so you are no longer weighed down by crushing student loan debt. And you’re a racist. Vote for me!”

      A lot of campaigns have been hostile, but a lot have agreed on the basic premises: security is important, border control is important, the economy is important, but here is a better alternative than our opponents. A lot of this campaign, and certainly the aftermath, has not been: concerns about immigrants are reasonable, but there are better ways than banning immigration of refugees. Essentially, it has been: concerns about immigrants are racist. If you even think of agreeing with him, you are a racist. Also, your concerns are stupid. And you’re stupid for having them. Vote for our side!

      I can’t decide if Trump knows what he’s doing, or if his immediate instincts just don’t hit bullseye’s more often than they don’t, so he goes with them. But I think even some less-than-enthusiastic Hillary voters, if they witnessed Dinnergate, were beginning to wonder if the Trump side didn’t have a point.

      For the smartest folks in the room, they do not know how to refute or riposte. At least, they cannot do it with Trump. They don’t know when to not respond. It took two brief tweets to get them to go crazy, spill gallons of ink on the foul lies, and yet there’s no smoking gun at the end of it to make people think all the hysterical reaction is justified. That, and I’m guessing a lot of swing voters, independents, late voters, rarely voters—those that made up the Trump coalition—are not expecting Trump to humbly confess he had nothing to do with Ford staying, and that he’s really not cut out to be president. He’s just a president doing a new variation on what presidents have always done.

      Obama recently did a victory lap speech where he took credit for the great economy, the great jobs growth, basically everything good that had happened anywhere in the last 8 years. Which was fine, in my opinion. That’s what president’s do . . . he was just doing it in front of an entirely sympathetic audience. Trump will do it anywhere. That’s the biggest difference I see.

      And, on the whole, I like Obama a lot more than I like Trump. But as someone who didn’t care much for Trump on as strictly personal level, I’ve found nothing he’s done so far as president elect half as objectionable as some of the things he did during the campaign. He’s been practically presidential by comparison. And I’m not moved by the press yelling disaster because he went to dinner without telling them first, or because he took credit for something he didn’t really do, but that is entirely consistent with his philosophy, what he espoused during the campaign, and the goals he would likely want to emphasize.

      Meanwhile, some on the left practically seem to be saying that it would have been better if Ford moved all the jobs to Mexico. I know that’s not literally what they are saying, but they are so bothered by Trump’s assertion that they forget that the important message to the general public is that “jobs are staying in America”. They completely skip it, media and democratic pundits alike.

      Evil genius or idiot savant, I think the Trump presidency is going to be absolutely brutal on the left. He’s going to literally drive them insane. And I mean literally.


    • What the critics also don’t get is regardless of the fact checking rating, Trump let everyone know whose side he is on here, quite publicly.

      If this happens and he takes credit for it, it will be crazy.

      “Apple is exploring moving iPhone production to the US: Report”

      Liked by 1 person

      • @jnc4p: “Trump let everyone know whose side he is on here”

        That’s what a lot of the folks on the left don’t seem to get. They are all “He didn’t do that! Harumph! Harumph! They were going to stay anyway, who cares! Harumph!”

        When what it is is signaling whose side he’s on. What he thinks is good. What he’s going to work towards. What he’s going to advocate for. Like you said, same thing will happen if he cites Apple moving iPhone production to the US—and this is a good idea for everybody, for many reasons—and I expect his critics will miss the point again. “He had nothing to do with iPhone staying in the US! This is absurd! He is a liar and a charlatan!”

        They don’t think the part where they don’t talk at all about how bringing jobs back to the US is a good thing, how creating new jobs in the US is a good thing . . .

        It really is mystifying. You bring this stuff up with Trump-haters, and they insist your presenting them a false choice. “If my choice is to lie and praise a madman, or speak the truth, I choose to speak the truth!”

        And I’m just saying, lead with the good news. A “man, it is great Ford is keeping those jobs in the US. I’d take credit for it if I were Donald Trump, too. Who wouldn’t? It’s good news. This was all in the works before Trump was elected, but still . . . I wish more companies would work harder to preserve American jobs.”


  4. Worth a read:

    “President Obama’s Last Stand

    Even Obama’s critics will soon have plenty of reasons to appreciate him

    “I won Iowa not because the demographics dictated that I would win Iowa,” President Obama said this week.

    By Matt Taibbi ”

    Liked by 1 person

    • I sometimes wonder if Taibbi and I are looking at the same person…


      • I like Obama. I think he will be regarded favorably by history, on the whole. As far as liberals go, he’s much better than the people going insane and acting like idiots (and getting angry at Obama for not being more actively hostile, right now, as president).

        I like the guy. I think he’s actually been a decent president. But I like everybody, generally.

        Not a huge fan of Trump as a human being, but I am very interested to see how he does as president. I find it interesting. I want to know how a non-politician, business-man (sort of) as president will do. I want to find out if Scott Adams is right about his pacing-and-leading and his illusion breaking skills.

        He’s clearly a different sort of animal. You can be scared of that, I guess, or excited. I’m excited. Every time I dive into the reasons he’s supposed to be so terrifying, and everybody around him is so terrifying, I find out that there’s no there there. It’s interesting to me so many people want to be scared of nothing. Often the same people who point out how rare terrorist attacks are compared to almost all other forms of death. They make fun of middle America for being afraid of a phantasm.

        But then Trump is elected and the brownshirts are about to start deporting Americans for disagreeing with Trump, right before he starts the nuclear war and forcibly impregnates women to force them to carry the fetuses to term. Presumably so he can drink their blood and live forever, I’m still not sure about the details.

        I’m kind of glad we’ll be getting some conservative-ish justices on the court, hopefully young ones that will sit for a long time. It’s a nice setting up of the bulwark for a liberal Democratic resurgence that I expect will happen in the post-Trump years.

        I would not have torn my hair out or protested in the streets if HRC had won (indeed, had already reconciled myself to the fact that that was what was going to happen), and would have been interested to see how she governed. She would have been my president. As it turns out, Trump is my president.

        All these #NotMyPresident folks on both sides can eat a fat wiener as far as I’m concerned.

        Obama was my president for the past 8 years. Now Trump is going to be my president. And you know what? In reality, it’s going to be fine.

        In the fantasy construct of hyper partisan Democrats and the MSM, not so much.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Brent:

        I sometimes wonder if Taibbi and I are looking at the same person…



    • jnc (from Taibbi):

      Any of the above would have led to the door closing on African-American politicians at the national level for a long time, a generation maybe.

      Someone needs to ask Taibbi….would such failures have made him any less likely to vote for a black candidate in the future? If not, why does he attribute such thinking/motives to others?

      He betrays the all-too-typical liberal arrogance and condescension…despite the pretense of fighting against the elite, he is actually one of them and thinks he is better and morally superior to most of the rest of the citizenry of the nation.

      Liked by 1 person

      • @scottc1: “Someone needs to ask Taibbi….would such failures have made him any less likely to vote for a black candidate in the future?”

        That’s it exactly. I used to think that sort of thinking made the person doing it an idiot, but now I realize they just have significant blind spots. He’s got a constructed narrative he lives in, and cannot question it, cannot see any flaws, though he is asserting as fact something (a) he has no way of knowing, at all and (b) his only guidepost for can be his own thinking, which certainly wouldn’t have said “Oh, well, I can’t vote for black guys anymore since Obama didn’t win a second term”.

        Whether it’s arrogance that begets the blindspot or the blindspot that begets the arrogance . . . there is definitely a blindspot. He simply can’t see that his vague impressions of how the world works are just that, just a loose narrative to explain and predict things, and not, in fact, a super-accurate-the-only-way-the-world-could-work objective reality.


    • Does he announce his intention to create a single master race of Aryans at some point?


    • If liberals are scared of Bannon, as they seem to be, then they aren’t even liberals. They’re just hyperpartisan Democrats who’d sign up for anything, as long as it meant a Democrat got elected. I mean, seriously:

      “Like [Andrew] Jackson’s populism, we’re going to build an entirely new political movement,” he says. “It’s everything related to jobs. The conservatives are going to go crazy. I’m the guy pushing a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. With negative interest rates throughout the world, it’s the greatest opportunity to rebuild everything. Ship yards, iron works, get them all jacked up. We’re just going to throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks. It will be as exciting as the 1930s, greater than the Reagan revolution — conservatives, plus populists, in an economic nationalist movement.”

      Maybe they’re just worried he’ll pull it off.

      Kudos to Hollywood Reporter for being more like I remember news magazines being, back in the day.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Got to love this quote:

        “Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power.”

        Liked by 1 person

        • He seems to have been right so far. And the response since the election has been that there is some unnameable evil worse than Satan, and Trump represents it.

          They’ve got the power. So far, anyway. That much is clear.


        • All of these lunatics need to be asked: what exactly would it take for them to admit, 4 years from now, that all of their fears and handwringing about a “racist” and “white nationalist” administration were entirely unfounded?

          Liked by 1 person

    • “The media bubble is the ultimate symbol of what’s wrong with this country,” he continues. “It’s just a circle of people talking to themselves who have no f—ing idea what’s going on. If The New York Times didn’t exist, CNN and MSNBC would be a test pattern. The Huffington Post and everything else is predicated on The New York Times. It’s a closed circle of information from which Hillary Clinton got all her information — and her confidence. That was our opening.”

      He has a point. Still not seeing the White Nationalism and support for the KKK.

      Nobody in the Democratic party listened to his speeches, so they had no idea he was delivering such a compelling and powerful economic message. He shows up 3.5 hours late in Michigan at 1 in the morning and has 35,000 people waiting in the cold. When they got [Clinton] off the donor circuit she went to Temple University and they drew 300 or 400 kids.

      I 100% believe nobody of any significance in the Democratic party listened to Trump’s speeches. I knew a couple of young millennial that went to a Trump rally to listen. They were BernieBros, and although ultimately I’m sure they voted for Hillary, even they were exposed to Trump’s speeches in a way the Clinton campaign, and most of the media, could have been but decided not to be.

      It’s why I still believe Bernie could have beat Trump, even though he couldn’t win the primary. Assuming Bernie didn’t allow himself to be baited into calling everybody racist, sexist homophobes if they supported Trump.


  5. OMG. Paul Waldman at Plumline: “When you elect a white nationalist president, you get a white nationalist presidency”

    They’re really doubling-down on this. I mean, Jeebus. They seriously think this, at best, quasi-credible narrative that Trump’s Wealthy Archie Bunker personality can be cast as “Hitler 2.0”, and that’s going to “fool the rubes” who won’t notice the factory shutting down . . . or the factory starting up, as the case might be.

    I see why the Clinton campaign in 1992 had to have the “It’s The Economy, Stupid” sign up everywhere. Because otherwise, they forget.

    They need to check their white liberal privilege.


    • From it:

      Trump’s white nationalism is what gave him the support of 81 percent of white evangelical Christians, despite his libertine lifestyle and disinterest in religion. It’s what drove up turnout in all-white areas around the country. It’s what made him the Republican nominee and what made him the president. It’s who he is, and who he’s always going to be. And the administration will be a reflection of the man.

      Read the whole article. It makes me wish I could go back in time and vote for Trump.

      Seriously, that’s what they’re going for?

      George Takei has an article on WaPo begging TrumpHItler to not inter Muslims in Muslim Internment Camps which is sure to happen because Trump is Hitler and also FDR!

      I sense that I’m going to just be checking out of politics again, sooner rather than later. I’m going to get my fill coming up soon, I think.


    • When none of this happens progressives are going to be discredited for a generation.

      Normally I wouldn’t think it would stick, but they have really gone over the edge and show no signs of dialing it back.

      If anything, the meltdown is going to 11.


      • I hope you’re right about them being discredited. Just read another opinion piece in which the author is shocked that Trump, rather than trying to tone down from the “open racism” of his campaign, instead appointed the most prominent and important white nationalist in the country as his strategist.

        Steven Bannon: the most prominent white nationalist in America. I’ve got people who I know, on the left, that are very, very, very smart people, capable of rigorous thought. And they’re just retweeting or sharing this kind of stuff as if it’s received truth.

        Trump has broken their brains.

        I agree, 100%. The meltdown is going to 11. I thought Reagan and Bush were bad. This is going to be legendary.


      • Might as well post it:

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Vox discovers how the regulatory state works:

    “But the experts are wrong: There is a way President Trump could stop the decline of manufacturing jobs. It’s just a strategy that would have terrifying implications for the long-term health of America’s economic and political institutions.

    The strategy is simple: Trump would call up a CEO who is considering moving jobs to Mexico and threaten to throw the full weight of the federal government against him if he carries through with the plan. That would be a flagrant violation of the rule of law, of course. But given the vast powers of the modern administrative state, few CEOs could afford to take the risk of antagonizing a freshly-elected president.”


    • I love how they’re also lovers now of corporate personhood.

      Liked by 1 person

    • There’s also another way President Trump could accomplish the same thing: work with Democrats to put tariffs on stuff, provide tax breaks for bring jobs back from overseas, do a repatriation amnesty so companies can bring a ton of cash back to America with no hit, critique said company publicly (have politicians ever done that before? I think they have) and so on. Doesn’t have to break the frickin’ law to do president stuff.

      Seriously. Globalists terrified a Republican might actually do some good for the working class and get credit for it. Really kind of gross.

      And if it was President-Elect Hillary, would this be the response? I don’t think so.

      And nothing about how: you know, these companies are also kind of bringing this on themselves. Maybe doing something to keep jobs in America is not all bad.

      Which is the implicit message: Of course he shouldn’t do everything to keep jobs in America! That’s silly. American’s don’t need jobs! They need over-priced healthcare. Look at this nut, trying to keep jobs in America! And he’s a racist. Vote for us!


  7. With the CFPB being funded by the Fed and not Congress, do they also escape the GS pay scales? Could they be paying a lawyer $500k+?

    Just curious..


  8. I’m flying up to Michigan tomorrow; Sue’s memorial service is Sunday. I made a book for her family of Greg’s column and the PL comments about her. Let me know if you want me to add anything from you.


  9. Like

    • Current in-power (or potentially in power) Republican is always more racist. And otherwise the worst ever. They are now pining for Dubya! Saw a variation on “Miss Me Yet” that had all the years of the Obama admin saying “Nope. Nope. Nope.” And then 2017: “Oh, sweet Jesus, yes!”


  10. Speech from the actors of Hamilton to Mike Pence:

    “We, sir, we are the diverse America, who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights.

    “But we truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.”

    “protect us” WTF does that mean? protect Broadway actors? gays? POC? What specifically is Trump suggesting that “doesn’t protect” them?

    “protect our planet” I guess if you don’t sign onto the strictest possible limits and swallow the environmental disaster scenario hook line and sinker, you hate Gaia.

    “protect our children” again, WTF does that mean? If you don’t support universal day care or family leave? You would think that being more worried about terrorism than Islamophobia would help that, right? Or is that just a reference to gun control?

    “protect our parents” any changes to SS or Medicare will probably be borne by people my age and younger.

    “uphold our inalienable rights” again, it is the left that wants to limit speech it deems offensive, to restrict guns, and individual freedoms in the name of the collective, not the right. Republicans have a blind spot with abortion and gay marriage, but the left has a blind spot everywhere else.

    I’m sorry, but that is the most vapid speech this side of “Love trumps hate” Just flabby and unthinking..

    Liked by 1 person

    • I saw the Hamilton shit is morning. I wish I was there. I would have walked out on the asshole making the speech, but not before being very vocal about the fact that I had come to see a show and be entertained, not to listen to a sanctimonious political lecture from a self-righteous actor.

      Fuck him, and fuck them.


    • The reaction to Trump’s tweets on the matter is exactly why he should keep doing them.

      This was nothing more than performance art & virtue signaling. If they had truly want to make a positive impact, they would have invited Pence backstage and talked to him there (and maybe even have listened to what he might have had to say in response).

      This was about “getting him told” in front of a sympathetic audience where any sense of social decorum would limit his ability to respond.

      But I think all of this will backfire in that it reminds all of Trump’s supporters and those conservatives, Republicans, and others who may not be his biggest fans but who like liberals even less why they don’t like them in the first place. It will help him consolidate support.


      • IMO, the modern left is just as off-putting as the Moral Majority was in the 80s..


      • jnc:

        …it reminds all of Trump’s supporters and those conservatives, Republicans, and others who may not be his biggest fans but who like liberals even less why they don’t like them in the first place. It will help him consolidate support.

        It’s working on me, I can tell you that.


        • Me, too. After the campaign, there was no way I was going to vote for Trump. Even if I had been in a swing state, I wasn’t going to vote for Trump.

          In 2020, if it keeps like this, I’m definitely going to vote for Trump. A vote for Johnson in 2016 was a vote for 3rd parties, conceptually. A vote for Trump in 2020 will be a vote against the smug, self-righteous left. And especially all those people who have deluded themselves that they’ve been understanding and sympathetic to people who disagree with them (hah!) and are now “finally giving themselves permission” to hate Trump-voters, the working classes, and middle-America with invective-filled abandon.

          And people on the right and left have been telling them what the problem is. It’s not concern-trolling, it’s not bad advice, it’s not an attempt to trick them, although many clearly think it is. It’s an honest and obvious observation that you don’t yell, demand, scream, and insult your way into people’s hearts and minds. Not directed at them. Trump was as uncivil and uncouth as any presidential candidate I’m aware of, but he didn’t tell the voters they were stupid. He didn’t call urban America a bunch of mentally ill Communists and compare them to supporters of Stalin.

          I think a lot of the political class are more aware of the problem, but they can’t do anything about the cast of Hamilton, or Lena Dunham, or the numerous visible people who declare themselves avatars of liberalism and the Democrats and then denounce rural hicks and flyover country in their name. Kind of like the KKK declaring for Donald Trump and saying they are going to hold a parade. And it should give them pause that they are ultimately doing more damage to the Democrats, right now, than the KKK’s support of Trump is doing to him. But it won’t.


    • Trump is about as Hamiltonian as presidents get. Don’t see what they are complaining about.


  11. Like

  12. What in the world was Michigan State thinking, going for 2 instead of tying the the game?


    • I don’t know.. You’re 3-7. Go for the upset.


      • Brent:

        You’re 3-7. Go for the upset.

        I guess, but OT at home, turn the game into a one possession contest? I take that every time. Oh well. OHio State lucked out. Michigan looking like they will need some luck, too.


  13. Fauxcohontas demands Trump withdraw Sessions nomination

    Trump: Um, yeah… I’ll get right on that…


  14. Could someone pass this on to that moron Shrink?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Given that progressives are literally the only people who associate Trump with Nazism, isn’t it the most logical conclusion to draw that this was perpetrated by a progressive?

    The fact that Brooklyn Heights had barely any votes for Trump only strengthens the obvious conclusion.


    • yep. I have always believed that 99% of these “hate crimes” are hoaxes by the left.

      And if the main source of info is the Southern Poverty Law Center, i take the claim with a truckload of salt…


    • Untraceable “hate crimes” are most likely hoaxes. Some may be legitimate crimes (such as arson) disguised as something else as a distraction. A few may be legitimate, but there’s nuts everywhere.

      I think some are legitimately trolling. That is, they aren’t doing it so much to make a point about Trump or his supporters as get on the news.

      The SPLC list contains a dozen verified cases where it turned out to be a hoax, conclusively, in their list, as if they were actually crimes committed by Trump supporters rather than anti-Trump folks. They are worthless.

      That nobody questions the veracity of such easily fake-able stuff is interesting. I guess they want to believe, but they aren’t convincing anybody, just playing to the confirmation-bias of people who already hate Trump and anybody who voted for him.

      The Brooklyn Heights thing made no sense from the beginning. From the chosen target to the bad graffiti to, as you point out, it’s the progressives that associate Trump and Republicans with Nazis, not Trump supporters. Tea partiers and Republican partisans associate the Democrats with Nazis. I’d be more likely to believe it was Republicans if it was a bunch of swastikas and “Install Hillary” was what was written.


  16. In case anyone thought Obama was making an honest argument at the time:

    “Remnick reminds Obama that he called Trump “uniquely unqualified,” “temperamentally unfit,” and warned Americans that Trump’s election would mean the destruction of all that Obama’s presidency had achieved. Did he still believe that?

    “Now that the election is over, no, I don’t believe it,” Obama says. His argument is worth hearing — though it’s worth noting that Obama does not appear to try and rebut his warnings about Trump’s lack of qualifications or poor temperament:

    “As a practical matter, what I’ve been saying to people, including my own staff, is that the federal government is an aircraft carrier, it’s not a speedboat. And, if you need any evidence of that, think about how hard we worked over the last eight years with a very clear progressive agenda, with a majority in the House and in the Senate, and we accomplished as much domestically as any President since Lyndon Johnson in those first two years. But it was really hard.” Obama said that he had accomplished “seventy or seventy-five per cent” of what he set out to do, and “maybe fifteen per cent of that gets rolled back, twenty per cent, but there’s still a lot of stuff that sticks.””


    • Some people obviously think he was making an argument, and think that’s the right argument, irrespective of what he says now. I didn’t think he was, although I expect almost any politician to say such things about the other party.


  17. Damn, was going to take care of the leaves today, but we got snow overnight…


  18. Loved SNL’s Anderson Cooper 360° skit. Dead on.


  19. Progressives are beyond parody.


    • OMG. Hamilton cast critical of Pence = free speech. Trump critical of Hamilton cast: hate speech. UnAmerican.

      It’s almost Trumpian in the lack of self-awareness.


      • KW:

        It is possible, perhaps even probable, that the problem is not so much a lack of self-awareness, but rather a genuine indifference to free speech as a matter of principle. I think that many people on the left value many traditional American principles not for their own sake, but instead value them only to the extent that they can be used to pursue progressive ends. To the person who thinks free speech is valuable only as a tool towards advancing a progressive agenda, it makes perfect sense to defend free speech when it is advancing a progressive agenda, but to disparage and oppose it when it is not.


        • aside from abortion, gay marriage, and letting drag queens use the women’s john, the Progressive Left simply isn’t all that into the idea of freedom…


        • @scottc1: They are anything but indifferent to free speech if they suspect it is their speech being infringed upon. Indeed, their whole irrational argument is that people who disagree with them getting to say so publicly infringes on their free speech!

          What Reich describes is a definition of safe space free speech, where nothing—especially not other ideas—can be allowed to limit their freedom of speech, and having someone say “what you’re saying is bs” becomes not an expression of a competing idea, but infringement on their right to freedom of speech.

          That the seem to be unaware of how one-sided and absurd this is makes me expect a lack of self-awareness, rather than a disregard of free speech. Indeed, I would argue the left values their freedom a great deal. Just not ours.

          This is not the “I disagree with all you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” liberals of the olden days.


        • KW:

          They are anything but indifferent to free speech if they suspect it is their speech being infringed upon.

          Hence my point. They are indifferent to it as a matter of principle.

          That the seem to be unaware of how one-sided and absurd this is

          How can you tell the difference between being unaware and being aware but simply not caring about it? I think the left is an ends-justifies-the-means ideology. It is not concerned with internal consistency. It is not concerned with process. It is not concerned with logic. It is concerned with results.


        • I don’t disagree. My point is, I think they believe they support the principle of free speech. They just don’t agree about what free speech is. Anything they want to say in any context is “speech”. Most things conservatives want to say is “hate”, which isn’t speech, but something more like a weapon. Responding to criticism from the left (speech) with criticism from the right (hate) is not free speech, but rather a form of assault. And they can’t defend assault!

          It’s different. I don’t think they do not believe in the principle so much as they disagree fundamentally with what the principle actually is. Which is the problem that happens when words don’t mean things any more.

          But our disagreement may be more semantic than practical.


        • KW:

          My point is, I think they believe they support the principle of free speech. They just don’t agree about what free speech is.

          Perhaps, but when I say they are indifferent to free speech in principle, I am referring to free speech as I define it (and as it has been traditionally understood).

          If it helps, think of it this way: They are indifferent to X as a matter of principle, where X means what I (and I suspect you) would call free speech. I don’t know what they would call X, since they use the term “free speech” to mean something entirely different.


        • Fair enough! I just think it’s important to keep in mind what people are thinking when they use words that sounds like one thing but mean something else (to them). In general. Not that they will ever accept that their definition of “free speech” isn’t the universal, absolute correct one, where interpretations that allowed for “hate speech” were morally mistaken.


        • KW:

          I just think it’s important to keep in mind what people are thinking when they use words that sounds like one thing but mean something else (to them).

          I think that you and I are on the same page with regard to what free speech means. If that is so, then you and I ought to be able to talk about liberals’ attitude towards free speech without worrying about how they define it.

          If I say to you vegetarians don’t eat meat, you and I ought to be able to agree that the statement is true, even if vegetarians routinely say that they eat certain kinds of meat all the time, like corn, and peas, and brussel sprouts.


        • @scottc1: “If I say to you vegetarians don’t eat meat, you and I ought to be able to agree that the statement is true, even if vegetarians routinely say that they eat certain kinds of meat all the time, like corn, and peas, and brussel sprouts.”

          I will be the first to admit that is an issue that is important to me, and perhaps not to most people, but I feel it’s as important—if not more important, in some sense—that we have so many people who believe that corn, peas, and brussels sprouts are all actually different kinds of meat. It’s a significant impediment to communication with said people, and in a sense it’s at the heart of the problem. Corn is not the meat of the corncow. That they think it is is the overarching problem.

          When they don’t know—and Reich clearly doesn’t, I don’t believe—that what they are describing isn’t freedom of speech, there’s an even larger problem. It would be comforting, actually, if they actually said: “free speech is bad”. It allows for an argument. We can discuss where their limitations on free speech would impact their side, or people like them.

          When they believe that their speech is “speech” and your speech is not, they’ve got a religious conviction going on that presents a bigger problem.

          But, yes, of course we can discuss liberal attitudes towards the actual principle of freedom of speech as we and the founders understood it (mostly), versus how many contemporary liberals completely misunderstand it. 😉


        • KW:

          When they don’t know—and Reich clearly doesn’t, I don’t believe—that what they are describing isn’t freedom of speech…

          This is probably where we disagree. I think Reich knows exactly that what he is describing isn’t free speech in the traditional sense that has been lionized as an American principle.

          Sure there are lots of ordinary, leftish leaning voters who haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about the issue, and so may really believe that what has been sanctified in American law and tradition is this bizarre notion of free speech that they profess. But I don’t give people like Reich that kind of benefit of the doubt. He is a really smart guy and gets paid to think about these things. He is a shaper of opinion, and that is exactly what he is trying to do.


      • They actually believe that whole punch up/punch down BS.

        It’s why muslims were the real victims in the Charlie Hebdo shootings, as Gary Treadeau wrote at the time.

        That and the realize that Trump having a way to go around the media is the worst possible thing for them.


        • That and the realize that Trump having a way to go around the media is the worst possible thing for them.

          Bingo. And it may start a trend. I think they have something to worry about with Trump, but they have more to worry about going forward. Can you imagine a Ronald Reagan who could go to social media to get out his message as opposed to having to schedule a televised speech when he really needed to talk to the American people?

          Donald Trump’s tweets are often content free and self-contradictory. If you had a rock-ribbed conservative who was also eloquent and packed his tweets with compelling narratives and hard data . . . that’s a nightmare scenario for the liberal media, certainly. What kind of filter could they put on that?


        • I want to see if Twitter has the guts to ban Trump.


        • “I want to see if Twitter has the guts to ban Trump.”

          The stock would collapse


        • “I want to see if Twitter has the guts to ban Trump.”

          Highly unlikely. If it was one unstable liberal running the whole place, it might happen. But they aren’t going to ban the president. As much as they might like to.

          And then will every other channel ban him in succession? Yeah, that wouldn’t work.

          Might get Twitter nationalized, come to think of it. Like Airport Screening, it will have become too important to leave in private hands.


  20. Listening to Adam Corolla talk to an African American self-help kind of guy, and he says: “You go to a school, and when you shout ‘Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump’ at a high school or a middle school right now, that means ‘White Power!’ And that’s what’s happening to kids–that’s what’s happening to our country.”

    Other points made:

    Every brown person is terrified, at least for their children. He fears for his children. Target being placed on brown kids by all the people who voted for this avowed racist.

    KKK, Vladimir Putin, the Neo Nazis, and Kim-Jong Il, are all agreed that this is there guy.

    He mourns for the country he imagined he lived in.

    Racial vitriol worse than ever.

    Bannon, head of alt-right Brietbart, is also the head of the KKK, apparently. How’d that happen?

    Trump was elected by racism so he’s going to be extra-racist in the Whitehouse.

    He’s gonna “hunt brown people”. He said he was going to rid of all the Muslims in this country.

    No real difference to him between Muslims, Mexicans, and African Americans.

    Building a wall along the Mexican border and defunding plan Parenthood are racist, I think that’s what he’s saying.

    Dude imagines he has a green light from both houses of congress to do whatever he wants to do. I’m dubious.

    Wishes he could experience a day of white privilege where he didn’t have to worry about this stuff.


    • The deportation stuff, about how Trump will start deporting millions of people, strikes me as interesting, given 2.5 million people have been deported under Obama, and Trump is likely to use the apparatus in place to claim to have kept his campaign promises regarding the deportation of illegals.


      • KW:

        …given 2.5 million people have been deported under Obama..

        I believe that Obama has gamed the numbers. He’s counting anyone who is turned away at the border as having been “deported”.


        • It’s possible, but gamed or not, actual deportations have been happening, just not Trump style “round ups”, but the mechanisms are there. In part thanks to Dubya but also thanks to Obama. So Trump will, at worst, just be enhancing what’s been going on for the last 8 years under Obama, yet it’s complained about if it’s this new thing, and only Republicans would ever consider deporting anyone. Which is inaccurate.


      • Are we sure about that number? President Obama redesignated Border Turnbacks as deportations.


  21. Peek hysteria?

    In addition, in my opinion, these interviews should not be done live. Inskeep is an excellent live interviewer, but live interviews are difficult, especially when there is limited time. A little contextualizing never hurts.

    Rational people don’t think like this right?

    These aren’t rational people, right?



    • No it’s not peak yet. It may go to 12.


    • I don’t think we’ve hit peak hysteria yet. Not sure that there’s an end, or if the knob just doesn’t keep going round and round.

      And yes, rational people think like that. They are rational people who who believe they are smarter than you, and want to control what information you are allowed to access. So that you aren’t “fooled” by clever ideologues speaking directly to you, unfiltered. So it is their job to contextualize conservatives, so that you aren’t deceived into believing them.

      It’s perfectly rational given their foundational beliefs. That is, conservatism and everything non-progressive is a lie, and everyone except them is an idiot and easily duped.


  22. When do Iget my apology for Obama being elected?


    • So once again, our kids go to school where we live

      And this is a bad thing. This entire point is irrelevant: school systems generally design their bus routes for the minimum consumption of gas—bussing is a huge expense. Or the vendors that supply their bussing do. Additionally, distance bussing requires students to be up much earlier, and spend much longer on the bus, both there and back. The motivation is not to waste a ton of cash on something that is largely irrelevant. Do you want a somewhat more diverse mix in 90% of schools, and a much more diverse mix in 10% of schools, or new textbooks and computers for the kids, no matter where their schools are? You can’t have both.

      If we don’t visit other neighborhoods — neighborhoods where the residents don’t look like us, or talk like us, or live in the same kinds of housing as us — no one makes us.

      Said without irony. The government should make us interact with, what, one of every minority in order to broaden our horizons?

      At first, white nationalism looked fairly harmless. A bunch of guys like the ones you played Dungeons & Dragons with in high school got together and came up with a set of deeply cynical sociological theories.

      Really? Lord.

      Having revitalized American apartheid, what is the next move for the Northern fox? One might reasonably expect that it would proudly show itself as the Southern wolf.

      American apartheid. I don’t like to directly use the word “idiot” to describe someone, so I’ll use it obliquely by saying I don’t like to use it and leaving it at that. 😉

      Also, what’s this “northern fox”, “southern wolf” bigoted hate speech about? I know a leftist dog whistle when I hear one.

      If I were to summarize the piece, I would characterize it thusly: “No! Identity politics is ours! It belongs to us! You can’t have it!”

      I expect you’ve seen that Twitter considers prejudicial speech against caucasians acceptable but the exact same speech, only about African Americans, to be ban-worthy:

      White privilege. There ya go!


    • “Over six recent weeks, panicked Dallas retirees have pulled $220 million out of the fund. What set off the run was a recommendation in July that the retirees no longer be allowed to take out big blocks of money.”

      I’m not a finance guy, but this sounds to me like a very bad idea for a pension fund. Why in the world would it allow retirees to take out big blocks of money? Isn’t that just asking for exactly what is happening?

      And since it was set up that way in the first place, why didn’t they just start a process of putting ever-smaller caps on the pension withdrawals in a non-threatening way?


Be kind, show respect, and all will be right with the world.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: