A good place to find it if you shun Facebook. I’m kind of conflicted about it. There is something noble in his “act as though you have faith and faith will be given to you” belief in America. But I gotta be honest, shared values and aspirations rhetoric at this point to me seems like a joke, introduced axiomatically even though it really no longer is. That being said, this may be the right way to play it under the circumstances (“Trump and Sessions are racists engaging in legal ethnic cleansing!” is incontrovertibly true but probably wouldn’t be helpful), but ultimately I don’t think his speaking out is going to have much impact as the ideas and rhetoric here are so familiar.

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I guess it was inevitable that certain elements would get around to calling Charlottesville a false flag operation. Sometimes these things actually do happen–virtually everyone credible thinks that the Moscow apartment block bombings that Putin rode to power were a false flag operation. But the Moscow bombings were such sloppy work that it sort of shows just how difficult it is to pull off something like that off, as there are no end of loose threads to pull on there. And it’s hard to accept this at face value from people who don’t think the state can run the water. Ultimately this stuff is about Trump voters being unable to accept America as not the pure, special place they think it is in their minds, and in some cases the evil that they helped to create. That’s it.

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The cruelest irony of Trump is that there is essentially nothing that he can do to help the people he said he was going to help, even if he were inclined to actually do so. Even if he renegotiated NAFTA to somehow get America a vastly better deal (though it’s far from clear to me that America, as opposed to specific segments of America, actually gets a bad deal from it) and got back all the old good jobs, why wouldn’t those wind up in Seattle and LA and Atlanta (and others) too, just like all the other prosperity of the past few decades? It’s an irony that the areas that have benefited from the recent economy tend to be “blue” but that’s essentially what the market has decided, and questioning that is verboten. It’d be skilled manufacturing in Denver and dangerous, low-paid stuff in Scranton, if they got anything at all. There’s a whole other world for capital to move to as well, after all.

It’s not like we can’t do this or don’t know how: the House Democratic majority spread opportunity around for about five decades, certainly not always perfectly but they got it right overall. Maybe it was too successful in fact: the rural white people took it for granted that this would happen and stopped voting for Democrats. Without central planning, the best you get are grifts like Carrier that take taxpayer money and then turn it around to use for automation after the initial splash. And while Millennials are leaving such areas only partly because of lack of opportunity–this is a pretty good look from a few years back that makes a solid case that it’s also about different values and desires than older folks–it would help somewhat. At this point I’m not really sure they’d trust the messenger anymore, or that Democrats want to carry that message again, but it would be worth trying more than taking the thousandth pass at rich old white suburbanites.

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People trusted in someone who didn’t have the goods. Sorry.

The excerpts of Hillary Clinton’s book that are leaking out mainly just make it seem unbearably dull. Blaming Bernie Sanders for Clinton’s decline in popularity is exactly what Jon Chait and others have done essentially from the outset. You know the drill. Bernie overpromised and made Clinton’s agenda seem duller and less exciting. Bernie used unfair ad hominem attacks. And so on. These are beyond stale arguments at this point. That it took Clinton ten months of soul-searching to end in exactly this place is tremendously, insanely boring, and offers zero useful insight into why Bernie had the success he did, or how best to move progressivism forward. It doesn’t speak well of Clinton herself that she’s reopening old wounds in this way–if it’s closure she’s after then this is not a great way of going about it. Her argument is essentially the same one she lobbed at him during the campaign, which is the nightmare from which we cannot awake I guess. Why this is being presented to us as “with the benefit of hindsight” when it could have been written in May of last year is beyond me.

In a way, Clinton is showing just how little she has learned. Her insensitivity to the emotion of her party and the country led to tone-deaf primary and general election campaigns. She never seemed to understand how taking money from bankers for giving some speeches would matter more than a (quite good) white paper on financial reform. She never seemed to understand how pointedly putting distance between activists and leftists on healthcare and the minimum wage among others would instill an enduring and potent mistrust in them of her that trickled down to some key lower-information voters (like, say, Millennials). Never understood that suburban Republicans’ hatred of her would prevent any meaningful inroads among them, even if they (probably not all that many but certainly a few) also despised Trump. Admittedly, I’d rather have someone with zero emotional intelligence to someone with negative intellectual intelligence, which is why I voted for her. But anyway, given that the Democratic Party’s new favorite pastime is to endlessly refight the motherfucking 2016 primaries, why on Earth would she think that this is the time to go there? She still doesn’t get how emotion and politics interact, is all I’m saying. Unless having the attention be on her at the expense of opposing Trump is what she wants, in which case, she is every bit as toxic as her worst detractors have claimed she was all along.

Also, too, while it’s easy to blame Anthony Weiner for so many things (he is a scumbag, after all!), it’s hard for me to see Huma Abedin as anything other than an enabler to his sickness at this point, rather than as an innocent bystander. Does she actually think she can make him better?

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I recall liking the movie Matewan a lot:

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People tend to fear losing what they have above almost all else. So in this vein it’s amazing that so many Republicans decided to ignore climate change as a threat because liberals believe in it. Obviously even minute changes in the climate can destroy the livelihoods of farmers anytime, but also too you’d think people in the Gulf Coast states would be afraid of losing their homes and possessions to increasing amounts of climate change-caused disasters. Some of course do. But most don’t, and while it’s not as though a hurricane is never going to hit a liberal area (Sandy hit New York and New Jersey a few years back, recall), the Gulf in particular is where they commonly happen. You’d think that they’d see Houston and be receptive to a straightforward case of protecting what they’ve got. And yet, liberal fascist science.

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Millennials aren’t going to come around and love Boomers the way the latter eventually did about the WWII Generation. I don’t know if they as a group assume this will happen, though pretty much all the ones I know do. Kind of think that the voluminous, clueless criticism combined with the crippling college debt, environmental degradation, and endless war they gave us are going to lead to a lot of bitterness for a very long time.

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Something I may not have mentioned is that I’m a coin collector and general enthusiast. So in that vein I was doing some research today on Confederate coins and found a really good article on the subject. TL/DR, the Confederate government was as incompetent and slow-moving in making their own coins as they were at just about everything else and essentially just produced a couple of prototypes during their entire existence. They mainly just produced coins that were identical to the ones the US was making, which certainly wouldn’t have caused any problems with their not having exclusive control of their money supply. But relatedly, I sure didn’t know about this:

Yep, that’s Bobby Lee and Stonewall Jackson. Did America fight any other wars where the other side’s heroes wound up on our currency? Somehow I don’t think Ho Chi Minh or Erwin Rommel will be gracing a dollar bill any time soon.

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