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Race, Presidential Politics, and the Winner-Take-All Rule (3 of 4)

The following excerpt from “The Illegitimate President: Minority Vote Dilution and the Electoral College,” by Matthew M. Hoffman is presented under the fair use Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act. The article was published in The Yale Law Journal, Vol. 105, No. 4 (Jan., 1996), pp. 935-1021. I have removed the extensive footnotes to facilitate presentation in the blog format.

The Wallace Campaign of 1968 and the Rise of the Republican South

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Race, Presidential Politics, and the Winner-Take-All Rule (4 of 4)

The following excerpt from “The Illegitimate President: Minority Vote Dilution and the Electoral College,” by Matthew M. Hoffman is presented under the fair use Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act. The article was published in The Yale Law Journal, Vol. 105, No. 4 (Jan., 1996), pp. 935-1021. I have removed the extensive footnotes to facilitate presentation in the blog format.

Racial Politics and Present-Day [1996] Campaigns

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A Particularly Poignant, and Revealing, Juxtaposition of Politico Articles Published a Day Apart

Terry Havener, 62, a retired union carpenter, pictured with Johnstown in the background. He was hoping for Bernie. He voted for Jill Stein. | Scott Goldsmith for Politico Magazine

— Photo caption in THE FRIDAY COVER: What Trump Voters Want Now The blue-collar workers who put Donald Trump in the White House are ready for him to deliver. How much time will they give him?, Politico, article by Michael Kruse, yesterday

Juxtapose that article with a Politico article by Ben White, from a day earlier, titled “Bankers celebrate dawn of Trump era: A populist candidate who railed against shady financial interests on the trail is putting together an administration that looks like an investment banker’s dream.

Yesterday’s article is mostly about lifelong Democrats in Johnstown, Penn., who voted at least once for Obama (who won the town and its county both times) but who voted for Trump, who there decisively.  So Mr. Havener is the exception in that he didn’t vote for Trump.  But neither did he vote for Clinton.

These are not Trump’s “base” voters, and they make clear that Trump will not hold them for long by trying to lie his way through his administration.  The Mad Hatter routine will not work with them.  This will be the most virulently pro-corporate, pro-already-extremely-wealthy administration since Warren Harding’s, and they will know it.

Elizabeth Warren on Thursday gave a fairly detailed speech on the Senate floor listing Trump’s many statements and explicit promises to working-class voters, juxtaposed with the express positions of the people in charge of respective relevant parts of Trump’s transition team: an aggressive proponent of privatizing Social Security in charge of selecting top people at HHS, as just one of many specific examples Warren listed.

I would love to see ads run on Rust Belt media markets showing that part of Warren’s speech.  And then warning that Trump will simply say that he’s doing exactly the opposite of what he’s actually doing.  This is the way to fight this.  It is the only way to fight this.  These are not terribly expensive media markets.

These ads also should run through social media, on Facebook as ads and in news feeds, and in Twitter feeds.  They should become a regular feature of American life.  They would be funded in the same way that the Sanders campaign was.  And they should say that.

Meanwhile, there is the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend.  People should get this information to their relatives through Facebook ahead of the holiday, if possible, and at the Thanksgiving dinner if Trump is discussed.

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ADDENDUM: Reader EMichael, who is originally from Pennsylvania, and I just had an exchange of several comments in the Comments thread that readers of this post will be interested in, I think.

Added 11/19 at 10:40 a.m.

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Scab Labour: Where do we go from here?

Bridget Phillipson is the U.K. Labour MP for Houghton and Sunderland South. “You’re not fit to be prime minister and you’ve got to resign,” she told Jeremy Corbyn at an extraordinary meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party after the Brexit vote last June. Today, “The Staggers, The New Statesman’s rolling politics blog” published an essay by Phillipson titled, Where do we go from here?
It is a very long read but eventually comes to the Lakoff-inspired conclusion that the Labour Party needs “to frame the debate again as one between collective action and its absence.”

And having formulated that clear sense of how the Britain of 2020 would be run differently between 2020 and 2025 by Labour, we need to work out how to persuade the electorate of that – to work out exactly how we should communicate our promises.

Before arriving at that stirring platitude, however, Phillipson let these dubious cats out of the bag:

I take the view that the right decisions for Britain’s future are not invariably the ones that are immediately and universally popular. If they were, all politicians would be redundant. Sometimes things that are true are deeply unpopular, and sometimes things that are popular would be catastrophic as policy choices. That to me is why we are a representative democracy rather than one governed by referendum after referendum. I also believe that as politicians we have a moral responsibility to tell the truth. …

If we pretend things that are true aren’t so, and pretend that seductively popular options which would actually damage us are without downsides, we deserve to get in trouble. The fastest way to lose trust is to be found out in deceit, and once we lose that trust, we will then find it very hard to gain the support we need to change what can and should be changed. It’s easy for those who don’t believe in government: they have nothing to lose from a diminution of faith in politics and politicians. As Labour politicians we have everything to lose: we have a double responsibility.

So to the point: the ‘lump of labour,’ the notion that there are a finite number of jobs to go round, is a long-known fallacy. Those who pretend otherwise or deny that finding should be treated with the same bemused contempt as Douglas Carswell when he claimed the tides were driven mainly by the sun. … There is something horribly un-socialist about blaming people for the consequences of political decisions of a right wing government. That is the politics of populism not socialism, the politics of easy answers rather than right answers.

If it is the “double responsibility” of Labour politicians to “tell the the truth,” it is a prerequisite responsibility for them to know what “the truth” is and not simply parrot something they happen to have heard from Jonathan Portes or Nigel Stanley. The claim about a lump-of-labour fallacy was conceived and propagated as the core reactionary “frame” for refuting the legitimacy of collective action by workers.

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Hey, President-Elect Trump: Congratulations on your quick success on Wednesday! [Addendum added.]

Congratulations on your quick success on Wednesday, Mr. Trump!*

Now how ’bout gettin’ to work on that Carrier plant in Indianapolis that is in the process of shutting down, its production being moved to a new plant in Mexico.  And other manufacturing plants that, like Carrier, actually ARE slated to move outside the country.

And then, after Carrier announces its change in plan, could you make a few phone calls to a few companies that outsource their manufacturing and assembly?

And then maybe … Walmart.  Get Walmart’s CEO on the phone.  Can you get Walmart to stop doing virtually all its purchasing from wholesale companies whose products are from China, Vietnam and other countries that aren’t, y’know, the USA?

And when you have an extra moment, maybe you can get your daughter Ivanka on the phone and try hard to persuade her to get her company to stop having its products made in China.

Look. Shouldn’t Bill Ford or at least Ford’s public relations office put out a statement correcting Trump’s, um, misimpression that a plant in Kentucky was ever scheduled to move to Mexico?

I get that that is a dangerous move, given Trump’s nature.  But a courageous move at the outset by Ford’s CEO would put everyone on notice that we’re in for some serious fascist tactics in the next four years, and they need to try to undermine the success of those tactics.

*H/T Paul Waldman

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ADDENDUM: Here’s a detailed article about this in the Washington Post.** Do read the article.  Then ask Trump about whom he plans to pick as his, um, Labor Secretary.  And whether his NLRB member pics will be … pro-union.

No, don’t bother with that last question.  It’s not just that we don’t have to ask, cuz we already know.  It’s also that we know that Trump will say they will be pro-union picks.

One absolute certainty is that Trump will continue to say the opposite of what he is doing is what he is doing, and say the opposite of what happened is what happened. On absolutely everything.

We are about to have Joe McCarthy combined with the Matter Hatter as president of the United States.

Added 11/18 at 12:27 p.m.

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*I switched the link from a Politico article to one by Jim Tankersley in the Washington Post, which provides the full information.

Added 11/18 at 5:44 p.m.

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Lock Him Up!!

Folks … this is crazy.

Even apart from the profound national security danger and, at least seemingly, breach of federal criminal law–hey, James Comey, wanna investigate this?–there is that little issue about, y’know, LOBBYISTS CONTROLLING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

And to think we thought the only conflicts of interest would be finance industry and fossil fuel industry cabinet department and regulatory capture.  We were naive.

Will Fox News report this?  Will this make it into all those circular Facebook feeds?  Will there be a Twitter hashtag on it?

Look.  Supposedly there are all these Democratic billionaires and near-billionaires poised to begin trying to start a rebuilding of the party from the ground up, beginning with state legislative races.  Better extremely late than never on that.  But the best way to begin that–and in any event–far and away more immediately important–is to force this gross, concerted bait-and-switch into the public’s consciousness.  Meaning massive information campaigns on this.

Every Republican senator up for reelection, and every Republican House member, needs to be put on notice that this–this–will be the dominant issue in the 2018 election cycle.  But first and foremost, those in the Midwest and the Rust Belt need to know this.  That’s where the information campaign should begin.  Tomorrow.

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Trump Nomination Approval Hearings

It seems we have a cabinet nomination. Word is the Jefferson Beuregard Sessions will be nominated Attorney General. Sen Sessions is an extreme reactionary. He is also, pretty clearly, an old fashioned racist (to complement the new wave alt-right racists). In 1986, Reagan nominated him as a judge and the nomination was rejected by the Senate, because of Session’s alleged racism. He addressed an African American attorney and “boy” and said he should be careful what he says to “white people” and he said he thought the KKK was OK until he learned that some of them smoked marijuana.

I wonder if the Senate will approve the nomination of Sessions as Attorney General. There are three reasons to think they might. First, he is a Senator and if not approved will come back to haunt and hold. Second, Republicans have become much more extreme than they were in 1986 and so the smaller current GOP majority implies a larger minority of right wing loonies. Finally, the general rule that the President should be allowed to pick his team and the very large number of unacceptable nominees will imply that the bar for approval is very very low.

On the other hand, I think there is one reason that Sessions might end up in trouble. He is a Senator.
He contests the allegations of racism. I think he has chosen to lie (as is his right). As a sworn in witness, he will lose that right. Lies become felonies. I think that even extremely dishonest and arrogant people tend to be cautious when testifying in front of Senate committees. I’m not sure that Sessions will be. He isn’t afraid of the Senate. That’s where he has worked for years and years. He doesn’t fear his colleagues with whom he has worked for years and years.

He will be testifying in the particular rooom where he works day after day (Tuesday through Thursday with lots of recesses).

Also he is used to Senatorial comity (which has been something which constrains Democrats and not Republicans for years).

I think Sessions can be provoked into telling lies under oath. I think witnesses prepared to testify under oath that he is lying can be found (and the minority can call them). I think it is possible to block confirmation of Senator Sessions by the other Senators (for one thing I don’t think he can vote on the resolution to confirm him).

My guess is that he is confirmed. But I am not sure.

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The Retreat of Financial Globalization?

I left this in draft since Nov 3 and am publishing this now….

by Joseph Joyce

The Retreat of Financial Globalization?

 

Eight years after the global crisis of 2008-09, its reverberations are still being felt. These include a slowdown in world trade and a reassessment of the advantages of globalization. Several recent papers deal with a decline in international capital flows, and suggest some reasons for why this may be occurring.

Matthieu Bussière and Julia Schmidt of the Banque de France and Natacha Valla of CEPII (Centre d’Etudes Prospectives et d’Informations Internationales) compare the record of the period since 2012 with the pre-crisis period and highlight four conclusions. First, the retrenchment of global capital flows that began during the crisis has persisted, with gross financial flows falling from about 10-15% of global GDP to approximately 5%. Second, this retrenchment has occurred primarily in the advanced economies. particularly in Europe. Third, net flows have fallen significantly, which is consistent with the fall in “global imbalances.” Fourth, there are striking differences in the adjustment of the various types of capital flows. Foreign direct investment has been very resilient, while capital flows in the category of “other investment”—mainly bank loans—have contracted substantially. Portfolio flows fall in between these two extremes, with portfolio equity recovering much more quickly than portfolio debt.

Similarly, Peter McQuade and Martin Schmitz of the European Central Bank investigate the decline in capital flows between the pre-crisis period of 2005-06 and the post-crisis period of 2013-14. They report that total inflows in the post-crisis period reached about 50% of their pre-crisis levels in the advanced economies and about 80% in emerging market economies. The decline is particularly notable in the EU countries, where inflows fell to only about 25% of their previous level. The steepest declines occurred in the capital flows gathered in the “other investment” category.

McQuade and Schmitz also investigate the characteristics of the countries that experienced larger contractions in capital flows in the post-crisis period. They report that inflows fell more in those countries with higher initial levels of private sector credit, public debt and net foreign liabilities. On the other hand, countries with lower GDP per capita experienced smaller declines, consistent with the observation that inflows have been curtailed more in the advanced economies. In the case of outflows, countries with higher GDP growth during the crisis and greater capital account openness were more likely to increase their holdings of foreign assets.

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It’s Clear By Now That the Second-Most Powerful Person in the Federal Government Will Be Bernie Sanders.

The Big Question Is, Who is the MOST Powerful Person: Paul Ryan or Donald Trump?

“I think my title [of head of outreach] is to be head of outreach and that’s something that I take very seriously,” he said, without explaining any more about the new role.

But Sanders did pound home his remedies for the Democratic Party.

“We need major, major reforms to the Democratic Party,” Sanders said going on to say that Trump was able to tap into discontent among Americans who felt completely ignored by the rest of the American political system.

Trump, Sanders continued, “said I hear that you are hurting and I hear and understand that you’re worried about the future, about your kids, and I alone can do something about it — and people voted for him.”

Sanders went on to tick off the promises Trump made that Democrats would hold him accountable for.

“He said we will not cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Now I think that we should expand Social Security,” Sanders continued. “That is what he said, and pay attention to see what he now does. The question that will be resolved pretty quickly is whether or not everything that he was saying to the working class of this country was hypocrisy, was dishonest or whether he was sincere — and we will find out soon enough.”

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