Interestingly, this isn’t true

It would be one thing if the incoming commander in chief showed any hint of humility, of realizing that his duty to the nation requires showing some respect for the strong majority of Americans who voted against him despite Russian meddling and the F.B.I.’s disinformation dump.

The majority of Americans who voted voted against him but the majority of Americans did not vote against him.

A fairly important distinction there.

Yes Jonathan? And?

We’ve learned too that the dossier included a claim of secret meetings between Trump aides and Russian officials. Now, that claim has not been proved and could of course turn out to be, as Trump insists, “garbage”. But it comes from a document deemed sufficiently credible by US intelligence agencies that they briefed both President Obama and Trump on its contents.

I’ve met Russian officials. And?

Jeebus, the snowflakes really are losing it, aren’t they?

The mistake is to project on to Trump the standards that would normally apply. Take this week’s parallel drama, as several of his nominees came before the senate to have their appointments confirmed. They all offered sweet words of reassurance: the would-be attorney general insisting he was no racist; the prospective secretary of state avowing that he was no patsy to Putin. Official Washington seized on these morsels of comfort, especially when Trump tweeted an apparent admission that his senior team were at odds with him on several core issues: “I want them to be themselves and express their own thoughts, not mine!”

But what if such licensed independence is all for show? Maybe Trump has no plan to use these cabinet members for anything but window dressing. On foreign policy, Rex Tillerson could turn out to be a glorified ambassador, says Robin Niblett, the director of Chatham House. Real decision-making power might reside with Trump, son-in-law Jared Kushner, Breitbart founder Steve Bannon, and firebreathing national security adviser Mike Flynn. That would fit Trump’s style, says Niblett, with “Power concentrated ever closer around the chief executive.”

And Hills would have given her Cabinet operational freedom too, yes?

They’re just going nuts.

But he doesn’t have to matey

The plan Mr. Trump announced on Wednesday does none of these things. As expected, he continues to refuse to release his tax returns, even though many of his cabinet nominees will have to disclose theirs in order to get confirmed by senators skeptical of, among other things, foreign business entanglements.

He refused to do so before the election. People still voted for him.

And that’s it.

Well, yes, suppose this is true really

Last night while you were sleeping, the Senate debated and ultimately passed a budget resolution that provides a pathway for Republicans to strip health care coverage away from 30 million Americans without having a single Democratic vote.
As the Senate debated the resolution that provides a blueprint to repeal the Affordable Care Act,

Given that it was originally passed without a single Republican vote that all seems fair enough, doesn’t it?

Interesting argument here

On Tuesday, Donald J. Trump said he wanted Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act right away and replace it with a new plan “very shortly thereafter.” But before they abandon all the work that has gone into the health care law since 2010, President-elect Trump and Republicans in Congress owe Americans a detailed explanation of how they plan to replace it. They should not repeal the law until they have submitted their replacement proposal for analysis by nonpartisan authorities like the Congressional Budget Office and the Tax Policy Center to determine how it will affect health insurance coverage, state and federal finances and individual tax burdens.

Vague promises are not enough when we are considering enormous changes in this country’s $3 trillion medical economy.

Vague promises aren’t enough, just as they weren’t when we had to pass the law to find out what’s in it?

Isn’t this lovely

That last point dovetails with the perception of insincerity. There is a problem with selection, a sense that politics is a career for insiders, people heavily invested in the status quo, who see their job as protecting it from the demands of the people. In 2012 a team of Italian physicists, economists and political scientists modelled a parliament in which some members had been chosen at random, like juries, and found the resultant system to be both more efficient and better at pursuing broad social welfare – as well as more diverse and thus more representative.

Party discipline perverts constructive action, while monolithic structures alienate voters with their tribalism and internecine wrangling. To choose all MPs at random would be to disconnect voters entirely from the process I prefer a significant element of deliberated choice, achieved through open primaries either within or across parties, in which voters rather than a party machine choose a candidate, based on open debate. The idea is gaining ground with Crowdpac, which, although the brainchild of Steve Hilton (whom I did not expect to namecheck in any utopian vision of anything), has a progressive pioneer in its chief international officer, Paul Hilder, co-founder of 38 Degrees and Open Democracy.

Ok, so add a bit of sortition to the system. More representative that way, results in a better system.

Well, could be, sure. Next line:

Once candidates are in place, progressives need to build an alliance,

I want to change the system because my peeps will dominate the new one. Yes, very democratic that one.

I don’t think this is really true you know

Boris Johnson is an ‘idiot’, says Israeli embassy official caught on camera
‘He is an idiot, but so far he has become the Minister of Foreign Affairs without any kind of responsibilities,’ says Shai Masot in the undercover footage

Boris certainly plays the fool and he can be foolish and possibly he even is a fool.

But he’s most certainly not stupid nor an idiot.

Isn’t this all most amusing

Russian president Vladimir Putin interfered in the US presidential election to aid Donald Trump, according to a declassified assessment by the NSA, CIA and FBI.

“We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary [Hillary] Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump,” the agencies found in a long-awaited report that stands to hang over the head of the incoming Trump administration.

So, who is going to be the first journalist (I can’t, not my subject matter at Forbes) to compare and contrast this with the Clinton Administration’s support of Yeltsin against Zyuganov?

I was there at the time and it was all pretty obvious.

Steyn perhaps? Williamson?

Much of the report seems to be complaining that RT and Sputnik, as state funded operations, reflect the desires of the state.

Blow me down with a wet haddock then. VOA never does anything comparable of course.

They’re really, really, stretching here

More than 50 Electoral College members who voted for Donald Trump were ineligible to serve as presidential electors because they did not live in the congressional districts they represented or held elective office in states legally barring dual officeholders.

Thus Donald Trump should not be President:

“We have a list of 50 illegal electors,” Clayton said. “That puts Donald Trump below the threshold that he needs to be elected president. Let’s debate it in an open session. According to the Constitution, the Congress, if nobody wins on the first round of balloting, picks from the top three candidates. That will be Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Colin Powell.”

Ho hum.

What is amusing though is that the transgressions are the sort of minor thing that happen in any complex organisation. And yet these people doing the complaining are the ones insistent that government can solve all our ills.

You know, government fucks up so let’s have more of it?

John Podesta’s password was “password”

An interesting claim, no?

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has said a 14-year-old could have hacked into the emails of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.

John Podesta’s emails were made public by the whistleblowing website and proved to be a hammer blow to the Democrat’s election campaign as she lost out to Trump.
In an interview, Assange revealed the campaign chairman’s password was ‘password’ and that he had responded to phishing emails.
The Wikileaks founder said he was 1,000 percent confident the Russians did not hack the Clinton campaign, adding Barack Obama was ‘trying to delegitimize the Trump administration’.

Not wholly convinced that gmail will let you have such a password but perhaps in the past….

Still, interesting that this is from one of those technocratic wonks who know all the difficult policies to really make america work, right?

How academia is fallen

Daniel T Rodgers is a professor of History at Princeton. His book Age of Fracture won the Bancroft Prize in 2012.

So, what’s the deep analysis today?

Liberals risk becoming a permanent minority in America

Liberals, in the sense that he’s using (hint, special snowflakes) always have been a distinct minority in the US. Just as the Owenite wing of the British left couldn’t get elected to local councillor let alone above without the sheep of the Labour Party. Who disagree with them about pretty much everything except the desirability of the red rosette.

The desertion of the northern, white working class in the 2016 election, should it persist, would leave liberalism without a viable electoral base. Unless the Trump victory literally splits apart the Republican party, liberalism threatens to become a permanent minority of the educated, the bi-coastal, the urban, the nonwhite, and the poor.

Again the sort of liberalism we are talking about here is an almost exclusive preserve of the over-educated bi-coastal elite. Those non-white poor for example, not known as a great reservoir of tolerance towards gay men really – as innumerable hip hop lyrics point out.

It could even be that the coalition has broken because that concentration on the minor degrees of LGBYQQwhatsitallabout have not in fact addressed the interests of the poor of any race, urban or not?

Even, get your economics right and people might vote for you again?

Well, he had to do something

But there’s not all that much evidence here, is there?

The United States has expelled 35 Russian spies in response to Kremlin-backed interference in the presidential election, further escalating tensions between Moscow and Washington.

Was it actually Russians? And if it was was is state backed (you would not believe what happens in the hacking world over there which is not state backed, although they might be paying off state officials)?

And finally, it was the content of the emails that was the problem, wasn’t it?

But, you know, Hills couldn’t have lost just because she was a shit candidate, could she?

All rather reminiscent of Weimar Germany. We didn’t lose! We were stabbed in the back!

These people are unbelievable

As my colleague Matthew Rozsa notes, closing the charity won’t be so simple, given that the foundation is still under investigation by the New York attorney general’s office and can’t be dissolved until that inquiry wraps up. But let’s take a step back and grapple with the broader argument Trump is making: As the incoming president, he has to close his charity to head off the appearance of conflicts. For anyone else, this would be a prudent measure and a show of commitment to ethical governing principles. For Trump, however, it’s just another lie.

The Clinton Foundation was going to close as Hills won, was it?

Beat a Clinton in an election and it’s the winner with ethics problems?

Even with these steps, Mr. Trump will enter the White House with a maze of financial holdings unlike those of any other president in American history. Many ethics experts still say the only way Mr. Trump can eliminate his most serious conflicts is to liquidate his company, and then put the money into a blind trust — a move Mr. Trump has so far rejected as impractical and unreasonable.

Note what such complaints also do. They are close to insisting that anyone who has succeeded in business cannot run for the office in future. Obviously, I’ve no idea whether Gates, Zuckerberg, Bezos, even consider such a thing. But this insistence that entire industrial empires must be sold off before taking office is indeed tantamount to insisting that no one of such should be allowed to sully the Oval Office with their presence.

And it’s not obvious that any of them would be a bad President, is it?

Good grief, a decent Alex Baldwin joke

Alec Baldwin has made President-elect Donald Trump an offer to play at his inauguration on 20 January. His song of choice? AC/DC’s Highway to Hell.

The actor who did a recurring impression of Trump on Saturday Night Live throughout 2016, made the tongue-in-cheek offer on Twitter, after a string of high profile names refused the gig.

It’s not a great joke, true. But it is a reasonable one.