#orangehairedbaboons Feed

Zack Beauchamp: Brexit Vote: Theresa May’s Defeat Reveals the Lies Behind Brexit: "UK Prime Minister Theresa May spent months negotiating a deal with the European Union on the terms of Brexit.... The UK Parliament voted to reject the deal by a resounding 432-202 margin.... May’s tenure in office... was premised on the lie that she could work out a Brexit deal palatable to all sides. Now, in the clarifying light of this vote’s failure, it’s time to be honest.... Either the UK exits the EU without a deal by the March 29 deadline, which virtually every expert agrees would result in economic catastrophe, or else the country pulls back from the brink and decides to remain in the EU. These options aren’t what the Brexiteers promise, but it’s difficult to envision any other ones after the failure of May’s deal...

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Ian Dunt: Historic Defeat: May Faces Her Day of Judgement: "At the moment there is no majority for no-deal or a People's Vote. Many MPs have ruled out both. But soon they are going to have to decide which of the two they find least objectionable. No-deal comes closer and closer.... Options are likely to whittle down until only a People's Vote is left. The question is whether enough MPs have the bravery and responsibility to prevent no-deal. We're about to find out...

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The curious thing is that Rod Dreher has never had any problems despising and demonizing those who embrace what he sees as bad men and bad causes. But somehow the Trumpists—the Trumpists alone—get a get-out-of-jail-free card from him: Rod Dreher: A Yankee Franco and The Long Defeat: "Conservative Christians will embrace politically a bad man... because unlike left-wing leaders, he doesn’t despise them, and seek to demonize them.... If progressives in America push too hard, and economic conditions are just right, the years ahead may bring about an American Franco—that is to say, a right-wing authoritarian leader who demolishes democracy, and rules by decree... [and] will be popular with half the country.... I deeply wish that the mainstream left... would get a freaking grip on itself, and understand exactly what kind of demons it is calling forth...

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Harry Brighouses: Marina Hyde Competition: "Yesterday’s Marina Hyde... contains... 'voluminously overcoated Jacob Rees-Mogg, who still resembles an 11-year-old Jacob Rees-Mogg sitting on Nanny’s shoulders for a nursery game called Disaster Capitalist’s Bluff'... affectedly shambling figure of Boris Johnson–not so much a statesman as an Oxfam donation bag torn open by a fox'... One sentence descriptions, please, of politicians who are unsuited to office, in the style of Marina Hyde...

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Marina Hyde: Welcome to the Westminster apocalypse. Have you thought about theocracy instead?: "Here comes the affectedly shambling figure of Boris Johnson—not so much a statesman as an Oxfam donation bag torn open by a fox–who could conceivably still end up prime minister of no-deal Britain. May needed to go again to the EU 'with a high heart, fortified by the massive rejection of the House of Commons', judged Johnson, speaking as always like a Taiwanese news animation of Winston Churchill. In the meantime, 'we should be actively preparing for no deal with ever more enthusiasm'...

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Daniel Larison: Threat Inflation and "The Jungle Grows Back": "Damir Marusic has written an incisive review of Robert Kagan’s The Jungle Grows Back.... 'Kagan... rues the fact that... no bogeyman big enough to keep Americans focused on maintaining their preeminent position in the world exists.... Kagan therefore makes an attempt to cast first Vladimir Putin’s Russia, and then Xi Jinping’s China, as authoritarian challengers and potential threats to the American way of life...' The end of the Cold War was a calamity for many hawks because it deprived them of a sufficiently powerful and menacing adversary, and the history of U.S. foreign policy over the last three decades has been the desperate search for a suitable replacement...

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The very sharp Jeet Heer traces David Brooks's intellectual panic back to the John Birch Society: Jeet Heer: A Few Thoughts on "Cultural Marxism," Marcuse, John Wayne, the John Birch Society, and Anti-Semitism: "Goobers in the Trump administration are worried about 'Cultural Marxism' in the 'Deep State' opposing Trump.... 'Cultural Marxism' is a big boogeyman on the alt-right: it's the people who are supposedly responsible for creating PC, feminism, etc. The actual historical 'cultural Marxists' (or 'Western Marxists') were the Frankfurt School: Adorno, Benjamin, Marcuse etc... sought to supplant and update Marx's economic system with recognition of cultural forces...

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That conservative parties' policies redistribute wealth and power upward while distracting their mass base by focusing them on internal or external enemies has long been the point of Toryism—since before try Gordon Riots, in fact. And now Tucker Carlson is surprised that there is gambling going on, and is just asking questions? Does he want us to take him seriously?: Eric Levitz: Why Tucker Carlson Plays a Critic of Capitalism On TV: "Melinda Cooper... explains:

Writing at the end of the 1970s, the Chicago school neoliberal Gary Becker remarked that the “family in the Western world has been radically altered—some claim almost destroyed—by events of the last three decades.” … Becker believed that such dramatic changes in the structure of the family had more to do with the expansion of the welfare state in the post-war era than with feminism per se... a consequence rather than an instigator of these dynamics.... Becker’s abiding concern with the destructive effects of public spending on the family represents a key element of his microeconomics... that is consistently overlooked...

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Jeet Heer: Let's Talk about Anti-Semitic Ideology: "The idea that George Soros (symbol for many on right of Jewish conspiracy) is behind Caravan isn't confined to Nazis. Here's Congressman Matt Gaetz. Here is popular Trumpist cartoonist Ben Garrison—again, someone with an audience outside the Nazi right but circulating idea that Soros is working to destroy America. House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy:

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@attackerman and @chick_in_kiev have both written about how all these Soros theories replicate classic anti-Semitic tropes:

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Comment of the Day: Cervantes: British Produce: "I didn't know that British produce comes into season at the end of March, actually. You learn something every day...

Phil Koop: Also, according to this tweet by Sam Coates, 63% of Tory party members say they would be "delighted/pleased/relieved by no deal", whereas 18% of the electorate says the same. Seems like a collision course with destiny, then.

Matt: “It’s not like we won’t be able to eat”. Ferinstance, there are all these useless Tories that happen to be made of meat.

JEC: I actually expected this. In the future, look for rhetoric linking Brexit with the Blitz and U-boat warfare: lots of "Britons have always been willing to endure privation if that's the price of sovereignty!"

howard: what a bleedin' cockup, and what a fantastic misreading of reality.

Graydon: It doesn't. March through May are colloquially "the hungry months" if you ask an allotment gardener or similar; stored winter produce consumed, nothing new available yet. Somebody elsenet had list of where the UK's supermarket carrots come from; in March and April, it's Spain. (then it switches to France)...

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0, 179, 465, 654—what's the next number in this series? Stephen Moore claims it is obvious, and gestures at it with an "and so on". Two numbers give you a line, three (that don't fall on a line) give you a parabola, and four (that don't fall along a line or a parabola) give you a cubic. We have four: What are the next numbers iin the cubic? 542, and -75, and -1401. Add up the first ten terms of this "and so on" series and we get not +6000 billion but rather -39820 billion. Economists know how to do and use math. Stephen Moore just doesn't: Stephen Moore: The Corporate Tax Cut Is Paying for Itself: "Kevin Hassett... caused a brouhaha by claiming... that the corporate tax cut... has 'about paid for itself.'... He is almost entirely right.... Even if we assume a reversion to the pre-Trump 1.9% growth path, the ratchet up in GDP this year translates into 179 billion in unexpected output this year, 465 billion next year, 654 billion in 2020, and so on. This magic of compounding yields more than $6 trillion additional GDP over the decade thanks to the faster growth already achieved...

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As I have said: It is a long time since NEC Chair Larry Kudlow was an economist—now he is just a guy who plays an economist on TV: Fred Imbert: White House Advisor Kudlow Says Apple Technology May Have Been 'Picked Off' by China: "'Apple technology may have been picked off by China and now China is becoming very competitive with Apple',” says Kudlow. 'There are some indications from China that they’re looking at that, but we don’t know that yet. There’s no enforcement; there’s nothing concrete', Kudlow adds... John Gruber: "What he’s saying here is that the Chinese stole Apple technology, copied it, and are now flooding the Chinese market with phones based on that stolen tech. I’m 99.8 percent certain that hasn’t happened—if there were Chinese phones built with stolen Apple technology we’d know it because we’d see it. I was going to say 'You can’t just make shit like this up', but as with most of the Trump Kakistocracy, things that you think are can’t’s are really just shouldn’t’s...

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Where did David Brooks learn to use the term "cultural Marxism"? From Alexander Zubatov and his attempt to rehabilitate it from its anti-Semitic not just connotation but denotation. How does Zubatov do this? By taking Russell Blackford out of context: Zubatov claims that Blackford's bottom line is "in other words, [cultural Marxism] has perfectly respectable uses outside the dark, dank silos of the far right". Blackford's actual bottom line is that the modern

conception of cultural Marxism is too blunt an intellectual instrument to be useful for analysing current trends. At its worst, it mixes wild conspiracy theorizing with self-righteous moralism.... Right-wing culture warriors will go on employing the expression 'cultural Marxism'... attaching it to dubious, sometimes paranoid, theories of cultural history.... Outside of historical scholarship, and discussions of the history and current state of Western Marxism, we need to be careful.... Those of us who do not accept the narrative of a grand, semi-conspiratorial movement aimed at producing moral degeneracy should probably avoid using the term 'cultural Marxism'...

Why does Zubatov misuse Blackford? In the hope that he will pick up readers like Brooks, who will take his representations of what Blackford says to be accurate. Why does Brooks take Zubatov's representations of what Blackford says as accurate? Because Brooks is too lazy to do his homework: Ben Alpers: A Far-Right Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theory Becomes a Mainstream Irritable Gesture: "At the heart of this largely rote piece of Brooksian pablum is a claim that deserves a closer look.  'The younger militants', writes Brooks, 'tend to have been influenced by the cultural Marxism that is now the lingua franca in the elite academy'. This is interesting both for what Brooks appears to be trying to say and, more immediately, how he has decided to say it.... Norwegian far-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik... murdered sixty-nine people... William Lind... associated with both the Free Congress Foundation and Lyndon LaRouche... Lind’s conception of Cultural Marxism was explicitly anti-Semitic.... Over the course of these years, the idea of Cultural Marxism spread across the American far right... [with] a big boost from Andrew Breitbart.... Why would a columnist like David Brooks, who is himself Jewish in background (if, perhaps, no longer in faith) and who has tried to build his brand identity by peddling in respectability and civility, adopt the term?...

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Laboratories of democracy! It seems pretty clear that Brownback was in on the grift, but expected—hoped?—that his tax cuts would pull enough activity and people from Kansas City, MO to Kansas City, KS that that plus a normal rapid recovery would allow him to claim a "Kansas boom". But his henchmen still control the Kansas Republican Party: Heather Boushey: Failed Tax-Cut Experiment in Kansas Should Guide National Leaders: "Sam Brownback’s failed “red state experiment” has truly come to an end.... In 2012 and 2013, Republican Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law the largest tax cuts in Kansas history. The top state income tax rate fell by nearly one-third and passthrough taxes that affected mainly relatively wealthy individuals were eliminated. With the decline in revenues came significant spending cuts...

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Debating Societies, Talking Points, and Choosing Our Governors

Daniel Webster In The Webster Hayne Debate Photograph by Cora Wandel

Debating Societies, Talking Points, and Choosing Our Governors This is a piece that never came together—on Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders's henchman Warren Gunnels, JEB!! henchman Franklin Foer, and other people who have paved our way to our current Trumpist detachment of media and political discourse from, you know actual governance.

But here it is, for what it is worth:


With Bill Clinton, or Bill Bradley, or Al Gore, or Barack Obama, or Lloyd Bentsen, or Hillary Rodham Clinton—you listen to them, or you talk to them, and you know there is a mind back there deeply knowledgeable about and wrestling with substantive issues of societal welfare and technocratic policy.

With other high politicians, not so much. I gather that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie boldly stated that Marco Rubio failed his Turing test—and large numbers of observers agreed. Or take Ted Cruz, who starts out with a quite reasonable discourse on the fundamental aims of monetary policy:

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Yes, the "LEAVE!" faction of the British Conservative and Unionist Party is bats--- insane. Any questions?: Arj Singh: 'Increasing Number' Of Tory MPs Are Considering No-Deal Brexit As A 'Viable' Plan B: "A Leave-backing former cabinet minister said... 'People aren’t going round and saying "No Deal" is going to be a cakewalk. But... people are... asking "how much will this actually impact people’s lives?" We won’t be able to get certain foods like bananas or tomatoes but it’s not like we won’t be able to eat. And we’ll be leaving at a time when British produce is beginning to come into season, so it’s the best possible time to leave with no deal'...

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Maybe now that Trump has embraced lowering corporate profits as a policy goal, Mike Pence will be willing to invoke Amendment 25: Josh Barro: China Is Losing Trump’s Trade War—and So Are We: "This is the insanity of the president’s trade war policy: it’s negative-sum.... Trump’s own economic adviser is going on television and saying his policy is going to reduce corporate profits. I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the strange disconnect between financial markets and economic data.... Well, as Bloomberg put it in a headline this morning, 'Bad Stuff the Stock Market Worried About Is Starting to Happen'.... The economy is weakening, and market participants know it, but the weakened performance has not yet shown up in lagging economic data...

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Benjamin Page and William Gale: CBO estimates imply that TCJA will boost incomes for foreign investors but not for Americans: "CBO estimates that TCJA will increase U.S. GDP by 0.5 percent in 2028.... Most of that additional capital will be financed by foreigners... net payments of profits, dividends, and interest to foreigners also will rise... boost GNP by just 0.1 percent in 2028.... To maintain that larger capital stock a larger share of output must be devoted to offsetting depreciation.... Thus, long-run incomes for Americans as measured by NNP will be more or less unchanged by the TCJA...

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