Skip to content

The Only Person with Sense in the Trump Administration…

2017 July 29
by Ian Welsh

Steve Bannon

…is Steve Bannon. (Yes, he’s a nasty nativist as well.)

In the last few days, Bannon has suggested increasing the top marginal rate to 44 percent and regulating Google and Facebook.

Both of these are good ideas. I’m sure that Bannon’s regulations of Facebook and Google might not be what I’d want, but the bottom line is that these are now the primary media organizations of the world: What people read or see is mostly determined by Google or Facebook–their algorithms and employees.

For example, three months ago, Google put out a new algo to reduce fake news. Result?

In the three months since Google implemented the changes to its search engine, fewer people have accessed left-wing and anti-war news sites. Based on information available on Alexa analytics, other sites that have experienced sharp drops in ranking include WikiLeaks, Alternet, Counterpunch, Global Research, Consortium News and Truthout. Even prominent democratic rights groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and Amnesty International appear to have been hit.

Hey! What a surprise. Major corporation does something which makes people who tend to think badly of major corporations read less!

The bottom line is simple: Two companies control most of what people read and that should be under democratic control. And that’s before we even get to how Google and Facebook have systematically taken control of advertising, diverting more and more of the profit to them and away from actual content creators.

This is similar to the problem of railroads before major highways and trucking: farmers could only get crops to market through railroads, so railroads took almost all the profits. We have forgotten, but farmers hated the railroads with a sickly passion, and for good reason.

Google and Facebook determine who gets read, the political and economic repercussions of which are massive. (And Facebook’s CEO quite clearly wants to be President.)

Bannon is right, whether you like his other politics or not.

As far as the Trump admin goes, Ivanka and Jared are the ones who try to mitigate the nasty social stuff (often failing) and Bannon is the only one who wants ordinary Americans to do well.

You can despise all three, with good reason, but understand the reality.

Oh, and “fake news”? It exists, but the hysteria around it is being ridden heavily by people you want nothing to do with. And no fake news so far has ever equaled the New York Times lies which helped sell the Iraq war.

Fake news hysteria among elites is really just them saying: “Our monopoly on lies is being taken away from us! Only approved lies should be allowed!”


The results of the work I do, like this article, are free, but food isn’t, so if you value my work, please DONATE or SUBSCRIBE.

 

55 Responses
  1. V. Arnold permalink
    July 29, 2017

    May the gods love ya Ian; all I see is a morass of lies, deciet, propaganda and coersion.
    Mostly, I no longer give a shit; why should I?
    Usians are so distracted and deluded; reality totally escapse them.
    Bannon? Is he the dregs we’ve sunk to?
    I think the U.S. has charted the only course open to it; its final destruction at the hands of sociopaths.
    Hopefully the world will not follow…

  2. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    July 29, 2017

    Once again, I agree and share the sentiment.

    Be Evil

  3. Ian Welsh permalink*
    July 29, 2017

    Bannon is indeed the dregs America has sunk to, the best of a bad lot, but still bad.

  4. July 29, 2017

    We can change it. The ends justify the means.

  5. Peter permalink
    July 29, 2017

    This may be Bannon performing the unnatural act mentioned by new CD Mooch. It seems to be mostly about disarming the tax and spend party’s resistance to tax reform for those who make less than $5 million.

    One division of Alphabet/Google would be regulated like other utilities are but there would be no democratic control, whatever that means, of this giant corporation.

  6. John permalink
    July 29, 2017

    Faceborg and Google require a functioning web to have power. That is probably more fragile than most think. Same for the national grid. Scaramouche’s insult to Bannon is really a metaphor for Amrika collectively.

  7. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    July 29, 2017

    Although, you have to admit, any Regulation, from here on out, will be used to Control the Masses and not the Psychopaths. This is why I think it’s dubious Universal Healthcare, as if it would ever be a serious consideration, would succeed. There are far too many Psychopaths in Power now who would transmogrify it to meet their own exclusive Ends at the expense of Humanity & The Planet.

  8. S Brennan permalink
    July 29, 2017

    In the end it may be the courts that save us from corporate overreach and regulatory capture.

    The FAA refuses to regulate seat and row size, although it was put in place to REGULATE, but since the NTSB has been captured by the CIA [long story there], there is nobody to bark at the FAA.

    http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/business-a-lobbying/344453-judge-orders-further-investigation-into-small-airline

  9. July 29, 2017

    “Only approved lies should be allowed!”-Ian

    I think its, “Only approved liars should be allowed!” because the consistency of the lie is utterly irrelevant. They move from one lie to the polar opposite lie with great ease and suffer no loss in reputation.

    No one even thinks to point out that this inconsistency in lies is a sign the speaker/writer (and the institution that endorse them) suffers from cognitive impairment and possibly severe mental illness.

  10. Herman permalink
    July 29, 2017

    This is why I think it is a huge mistake to try to push for removing Trump from office. As bad as Trump is he at least has some figures around him that help mitigate his badness (Bannon, Ivanka and Jared) which you wouldn’t get with President Mike Pence who is a vicious right-winger on both economic and social issues. Trump is probably better for ordinary Americans than your typical Tea Party Republican who wants to take us back to the 19th century, reversing over a century of gains made by ordinary people. If people want to know how bad the supposedly “normal” Republicans are they should read about how they governed in states like Kansas, Louisiana and Michigan

  11. Mallam permalink
    July 29, 2017

    Seduced by the Nazi for tax rates that will never be passed under an administration that nominated Ajit Pai to FCC. “Why don’t POC want to join my coalition against the rich?” he wonders in the same breath.

  12. bob mcmanus permalink
    July 29, 2017

    Mallam said. My first gut reaction was that this is “make trains run on time” stuff not as slipping into fascism but just desperation during crisis or collapse. But then I am so radical that I think most any reformism from the New Deal to the Civil Rights Act to the ACA just…no, not “just…” supports Capitalism and the racist Patriarchy.

    It is so tempting, even compassionate to want to fix problems and prevent catastrophe, and that’s ok. But one thing that separates the left from liberals is the willingness to let it all go, to embrace the catastrophe without hope.

    The years of horror in Germany and Japan decisively wiped out both those countries far right and left, for generations. A lot of oligarchs and industrialist survived the war, designed their systems (with a recuperation break) so strongly that they ensured their grandchildren would inherit a world they dominated.

    Push those issues next month, without mentioning Bannon’s name. I try to never say anything nice to or about a Republican, even should they save my cat from a freezing river.

  13. Ian Welsh permalink*
    July 29, 2017

    Of course they won’t be passed. Clear when I said he was the only person in the admin. Not relevant to the point. But continue pretending that people you hate are always bad in every way.

  14. realitychecker permalink
    July 29, 2017

    Just got reminded by David Dayen that the new Dem shining star, Kamala Harris, declined despite much urging in California when she was Attorney General there, to prosecute clear legal abuses and violations by OneWest bank, the worst foreclosure abuser of all, whose only two CEOs ever were Steve Mnuchin, our current Treasury Secretary, and this guy Ottinger (sic?), now nominated to be the Comptroller of The Ccurrency.

    The moral: Anyone who thinks they’re going to find any genuine heroes in either duopoly party, or that either party is more for regular folks than the other, should just kill themselves now, because you are really too fucking stupid to deserve any more oxygen.

    Better for that oxygen to feed my crabgrass.

  15. Willy permalink
    July 29, 2017

    “No one even thinks to point out that this inconsistency in lies is a sign the speaker/writer (and the institution that endorse them) suffers from cognitive impairment and possibly severe mental illness.”

    Actually it happens all the time. The hard part is when so many have such a hard time accepting that the leaders from their own political team are cognitively impaired and mentally ill. And then they make a lot of noise obfuscating things.

    We see it in sports but not nearly as blindly or so strongly. But maybe that’s because the game losing interception is pretty obvious, while many lies about complicated matters are harder for some fans to handle.

  16. Willy permalink
    July 29, 2017

    Kamala Harris sounds like yet another “winner”, who does whatever it takes to succeed. The red queen, the golden oy, mooch, fuckerberg… getting tired of these people. Whether it’s stealing from the Winkelvoss twins or kissing Wall Street ass to get ahead, these “winners” are better at being lying assholes than honest heroes (though their acting skills can be quite impressive). I find it hard to believe that they’ll suddenly change their basic nature to do right by the masses because of some social responsibility epiphany. Wish more people could see that.

  17. July 29, 2017

    Shoot, I’d tax everything anyone makes via wages or capital gains … but not business income, if they own their own business … over $5M a year at a 50% rate and then 75% for all over $10M. And no, it wouldn’t completely eliminate the deficit, which is the bar of insensibility that the right wing talk show whores often use to discredit tax increases (though, mind you I’ve never heard the propagandists use that barometer to measure the reasonableness of eliminating social programs). What it would do, and what is much more important, is change the incentives in the system. Now CEOs start thinking about the longer-term health of the companies that they have stock options with – they could rape and pillage and pay half their booty (or more) back to the government or they could think about how much more money those stock options would be ultimately worth if they cash them out at a more gradual rate and manage the company for its best long-term interests.

    Z

  18. July 29, 2017

    “Actually it happens all the time. The hard part is when so many have such a hard time accepting that the leaders from their own political team are cognitively impaired and mentally ill. And then they make a lot of noise obfuscating things.”-Willy

    So the greatest barrier to sane leadership are the fragile egos of the electorate.

    Now that is a depressing thought,

  19. Willy permalink
    July 29, 2017

    the fragile egos of the electorate
    And/or most people are sheep because it’s in their nature. I present that stuff here because I have a hard time understanding that behavior. I don’t care what the minister says if it doesn’t makes sense to me, when everybody else is nodding their heads.

    Maybe using reason on these types to persuade a different direction works less well than simply herding them. Of course it’s not that simple – they’d have to be persuaded that Valhalla is just over the cliff edge, by some deep voiced alpha. Bernie had to deal with that DNC conspiracy. Had he been less Brooklyn-nebbish and more bully-Roosevelt, I’d think he would’ve earned more points with the sheeple.

  20. realitychecker permalink
    July 29, 2017

    Moar safe spaces, and safer safe spaces!

  21. Hugh permalink
    July 29, 2017

    An illustration of the truism that the enemy of my enemy is not my friend.

    Bannon also wants to eliminate the estate tax which would further facilitate the perpetuation of the current record levels of wealth inequality and the creation of a hereditary class of the super rich.

    We always need to remember that wealth and income are not the same thing. Increases of income across groups is linear. Increases in wealth are geometric between the low, middle income groups and the high, very high groups. This is because most income among lower income groups is expended with very little savings. At the higher end, little income is expended so savings rates are much higher, and opportunities for high return investments and lower tax rates (capital gains, etc.) abound.

    There should be 100% marginal tax rates on income from any source, say above $1 million, 100% estate taxes on any estates over, say $4 million (for a couple), a wealth tax of 10% a year on all personal/family wealth over $20 million, ban all family foundations, allow renunciation of citizenship only on condition of surrender of all assets over $2 million (per family), and tax at 100% all corporate profits held over two years without re-investment (and no mergers and acquisitions would not count unless specially approved).

    I think Bannon just wants his people to control the net and social media rather than the current crop of corporateer kleptocrats. Democratization does not enter into it.

  22. Synoia permalink
    July 29, 2017

    “The evil that men do lives after them;
    The good is oft interred with their bones.”

    Back to the Bard. Twas ever thus.

  23. S Brennan permalink
    July 30, 2017

    Willy/RC:

    Good to see you are onto Kamala Harris as the deep-state’s Hillary surrogate.

  24. Peter permalink
    July 30, 2017

    @RC

    I don’t know where you got the idea that Kamala Harris was encouraged to prosecute criminal charges against One West Bank. She was encouraged to file a civil suit against them but rejected the idea saying the federal government should take the lead. This may have been because she knew that the feds were telling the mortgage lenders everywhere with the foreclosure backlog to ‘Foam the Runway’ and prepare for the next wave.

    The robo-signing and other legal abuses may have helped to finish the foreclosure process but they had nothing to do with what started it, default. The HAMP program was a real fraud claiming to be for mortgage modification when most of the money went to greasing the wheels for short sales and moving these people out of the homes they had already defaulted on. There were a few dozen real legal abuse cases that went to court and One West had to pay their victims.

  25. S Brennan permalink
    July 30, 2017

    Peter;

    As this blogs disinformation specialist I appreciate you weighing in on the subject and letting us know, with certainty, what useful idiots are supposed to think. Your services to this blog in that one respect is worthy of a public citation. Please accept these words as just compensation.

    Best Regards,
    S Brennan

  26. Laura Rubalcaba permalink
    July 30, 2017

    And The mobile-friendly View, the second sentence of the article drops outs. The second science is a very important one to lose.

  27. Ché Pasa permalink
    July 30, 2017

    This need to promote/defend Trump, his family members, his gangsters in office and those surrounding him puzzles me. They are not your friends, and they are doing nothing on your behalf. What they say — or are said to have said — is almost irrelevant.

    Their policies are incoherent, their practices are chaotic, and what comes from whatever it is they manage to do is by and large harmful to you and the other living things not in their circle of protection.

    This is obvious. This has been obvious for the decades Trump and his gang have been in the public eye.

    Certain members of the favored few will do fine, as always, no matter what transpires, and no matter who sits on the throne. But you and most of the rest of us (there must be an exception here or there) are not among them.

    So why the need to promote/defend these people?

    Favoring certain political actions, whether it is taxing the rich appropriately or holding media titans to account for their gatekeeping and lies, should be independent of what Bannon or anyone else in the regime is said to have said.

    The position should come first and foremost.

    It’s a puzzlement…

  28. realitychecker permalink
    July 30, 2017

    @ Peter

    Sorry, Peter, but this is a topic where you have already confounded my ability to take you seriously. I say ‘confound’ because you obviously can do good analysis on some other topics.

    The feds at the relevant time were offering an obvious bait-and-switch re their supposed intent to stringently enforce the law against the mortgage abusers, but those paying attention at the time understood that only the states had any chance of being serious about it. In that context, Kamala’s refusal to follow the recommendations of her own state officials to prosecute was inexcusable.

    I refer you to the David Dayen website for the details on Kamala’s decision. Not that I expect you to read it with an open mind.

  29. someofparts permalink
    July 30, 2017

    I wonder how much of any increase on income tax we would actually see as long as it remains so easy to offshore money.

  30. nihil obstet permalink
    July 30, 2017

    Much political thought and expression these days consists of outraged indictments of whatever they said. If one of them said it, then it is wrong. Tribalism like that is more likely to impede progress than to promote it. Pointing out that the content of one of their propositions is good is not defending them. Making it all about them is the very mistake that I think posts like this correct.

  31. Theo permalink
    July 30, 2017

    What, Ian? I am still reading you after all these years and you have much of value to say, but recently you have had two misses. One is the comment (generally true and good advice) that we should praise what leaders do well or good if they do well or good and the other is this comment today that Bannon is the only one who makes sense in the administration. Perhaps you are applying the rule laid down in the earlier piece. Re the first comment about Syria, Trump is constantly saying things that are not true and are later contradicted and the news on Syria was swiftly followed in other sources of news that the US was still paying terrorists’ salaries and shipping weapons to them. It is wise to praise precipitously. The CIA hasn’t gotten the message. The facts on the ground haven’t changed even though we see in the media news about a temporary cease fire. Re today’s comment, Bannon’s comment about the measly raise in tax rates for those making more than $5mil is no doubt a bait and switch or now you see it, now you don’t, or distraction from what they will really do with taxes if they get their wishes. Generally, knowing what we know now about Trump, Bannon, and all the rest of his rogue’s gallery it is wise to withhold praise of any sort. They are not praiseworthy men or women. What we are seeing is the corruption front and center. They let it all hang out and are contemptuous of our opinion regarding their activities. In truth, it has always been thus. It’s just that previous administration were able to finesse the corruption and make it seem to disappear, although the more analytical and those who read and investigate know it to have always been there. For the record, I am not a supporter of the Democratic Party’s fixation and paranoia, genuine or not, about Russia and Russia hacking our election. I would much rather see a thorough investigation into Trump’s business dealings to show the country and the world just how rottenly business is done in these United States. I am also not in favor of impeachment. Better an incompetent at the helm than a full-blown fascist such as Pence who is competent where Trump is not.

  32. realitychecker permalink
    July 30, 2017

    All that’s left on the actual menu (as opposed to the fantasy deus ex machina menu so many seem to believe in) is the hope that the corrupt outsiders now in power will somehow serve to partially break down the status quo duopoly system put in place by the corrupt insiders.

    Mental masturbation does not a successful revolution make.

  33. Peter permalink
    July 30, 2017

    @RC

    I could say the same thing about most of your other comments on different subjects here but I don’t want to seem patronizing.

    I don’t have any strong opinions about Harris or Mnuchin, they are part of the ruling class gang and will act their part while taking direction from their betters. It does bother me when people fixate on some rule breaking by mortgage lenders and become judge and jury condemning the whole process as unjust. These so called legal abuses gave the do-gooders some hope of throwing a wrench into the workings of the foreclosure crisis but it was a false hope that has led to more anger and some revisionist history.

    I read that a group of do-gooders is challenging the DOJ to file criminal charges related to robogate against these banksters. They go so far as to claim that Manuchin and his ilk grew rich from their legal abuses, which is nuts. This was bad debt that cost everyone involved a lot of money, Indy-Mac was bankrupted by this bad debt. It seems that most of the outrage today about this history is political and partisan and the foreclosure victims are only wheeled out for photo ops.

    I’m sure D-Day produced a dramatic account of the crisis and the legal abuse but he and the other activists couldn’t get the county clerks in the middle of this to revolt so it fizzled. His latest offerings at the Intercept are not impressive but depressing.

  34. July 30, 2017

    This whole affair sounds like competition between the upper echelons to me.

  35. Ché Pasa permalink
    July 30, 2017

    Pointing out that the content of one of their propositions is good is not defending them.

    Actually, it is. The tortured argument that promotion/defense of particular people’s positions is not a defense of them fails the minute you turn the argument around to promote or defend the position of some other unfavored politician/powerful person. Say, a Clinton or a Democrat.

    But that rarely if ever happens on sites that claim not to be defending/promoting Trump or his gang of gangsters. While promoting and defending them.

    Saying a Clinton or Democrat position is “good” is automatically seen as a defense or —
    more likely — complete hackery.

    Of course the Ur-Defense of Trump and his gang is the one that says “At least he’s taking a sledgehammer to the duopoly.” Regardless of results. But the fact is, he’s not. Not at all. He’s fostering/favoring a faction of the duopoly at the expense of the People first, and of all the other factions in the end. The duopoly itself isn’t under threat, nor is it trembling. If it were, Trump would have been removed long ago or he would have been prevented from assuming the throne in the first place. But that’s not happening. And it’s highly likely that it won’t — at least not by the deliberate act of players in the non-threatened duopoly.

  36. wendy davis permalink
    July 30, 2017

    it’s likely that i’ll blow this, as i’ve lost the links over several of my operating word documents, and may repeat, sorry in advance. but following your intercept and ‘the hill’ links clear back to ‘“Axios previously reported that Bannon was looking to raise the top marginal rate to “something with a four in front of it,”, etc., everything was down to ‘bannon’s friends say, but wish to remain anonymous. guess what that sounds like? “all 17 natSec agency insiders agree…”

    but onwawrd to the (ha ha: huffPo’s ryan grim at the Intercept on bannon on (wot? Pierre has to corral 99+ fearless uncompromising journalists’? my Q is: ‘what don’t they report on?’) ‘facebook and google’, yada, yada, same stuff, really, but with a devious twist, imo:

    “The news outlet cited three unnamed sources who have spoken to Bannon about the internet giants. They said Bannon believes that Facebook and Google have become so essential to internet users that they should be regulated like natural monopolies.

    The debate over how much the government should crack down on internet companies has received renewed attention as the Federal Communications Commission moves to repeal the Obama-era net neutrality rules. The rules subject internet service providers to utility-style regulation and require them to treat all web traffic equally.

    And some believe that web-based companies should be given similar treatment to prevent them from abusing their power over their own networks.”

    that’s more akin to ‘net neutrality’, although true net neutrality means treating them as public utilities, iirc. again, there are those ‘unnamed sources say’, but has zip to do with ‘New Google algorithm restricts access to left-wing, progressive web sites’, nor this report at wsws.org, ‘Google rigs searches to block access to World Socialist Web Site’ (as well as search terms like ‘war’, michael hastings, wikileaks, nuclear war, north korea war, pakistan war, amazon layoffs; the site just nukes amazon, of course, socialism, etc.)

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/07/28/pers-j28.html

    but okey-dokey, back the vaunted Pierre stabled grim:

    “Tech companies like Facebook and Google that have become essential elements of 21st-century life should be regulated as utilities, top White House adviser Steve Bannon has argued, *according to three people who’ve spoken to him about the issue*. Regulating a company as a utility does not mean that the government controls it, but rather that it is much more tightly regulated in what it is able to do and prices it is able to charge. And it doesn’t mean every element of the company would be regulated in that way. For Google — which now calls itself Alphabet and has already conveniently broken itself up into discrete elements — *it may only be the search function that would be regulated like a utility* (guess-work, ryan grim).

    well, i can agree that the FCC is a crap govt. oversight regulator, 3 peeps is hardly ‘democracy at work’, and some other body is necessary. i dunno, but free internet is crucial, even if it means keeping the minimal Title II rules…for now.

    https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/07/how-title-ii-goes-beyond-net-neutrality-to-protect-internet-users-from-isps/

    but i second those who say that no matter what the top marginal tax rate will be, by now, The Bigs have batteries of tax attorneys to make sure they pay ‘nuttin’, or next to nuttin’, be it by irs rule manipulations, off-shore shell companies, faux-thanthopic foundations like big big bill gates, da clintons, et.al.

  37. Willy permalink
    July 30, 2017

    Chaos under the guise of “Serving This Great Country” may be the goal.

    Saw it many times in the corporate world. Keep the good guys diverted and busy with each other while the bad guy advances their own agenda in secret.

    My theory is that if that sort of thing can be countered at the corporate grunt level, then some form of that same remedy might work with higher level chaos government.

  38. S Brennan permalink
    July 30, 2017

    OT, but a pretty interesting development being totally ignored by MediaCorp:

    TABLOID WOW!

    Photo of Imran Awan at party with Seth Rich on the night he was killed…and now Wasserman is in hiding. The “Russia ate my Homework” story is starting to wander on it’s own.

    http://www.puppetstringnews.com/uploads/7/2/8/4/72845613/seth-rich-fb2_orig.jpg

  39. wendy davis permalink
    July 30, 2017

    your comment moderation software seems to be quite…discerning, ian. (smile) mine often, as has my most recent…end up in moderation.

  40. nihil obstet permalink
    July 30, 2017

    @Che Pasa,

    Context matters. Yes, if you defend all their positions, you’re defending them and that’s tribal hackery, in the same way that attacking all their positions or defending all the positions of our tribal members is hackery. One position, on the other hand. . . .

  41. bruce wilder permalink
    July 30, 2017

    A major problem with “pretending that people you hate are always bad in every way” is that just as it blinds you to the real complexity of your chosen enemies, it can blind you to the dubious motives and purposes of your chosen “friends”.

    I see this reciprocal relationship as a major dynamic crippling the left, as people you really should see as doing truly despicable things, because they have done despicable things in broad daylight, are excused. Obama and Hillary Clinton being prime examples. Even if you do not personally hate these individuals, you should be able to see why someone might, without dismissing their reasons as simply racism or sexism (aka pretend proxies for pure evil in our post-modern identity politics).

  42. More Truth permalink
    July 30, 2017

    The wedge here is simple:

    Marxists get to virtue-signal about LGBTTQQIAAP.

    Trump gets the working class.

    Anyone who is still seeing this as Left-V-Right has lost the plot.

  43. bob mcmanus permalink
    July 30, 2017

    it can blind you to the dubious motives and purposes of your chosen “friends”.

    Cynicism and misanthropy makes this stuff easy! I can randomly spew rage and hate and rage and be sure of hitting appropriate targets. It’s bourgeois moralism and rational judgement that gets you in trouble for pretending you have reasons, good reasons, excellent rational, factual, universal, and consensual justifications for judging one better or worse than another.

    “The value of a thought is valued by its distance from the continuity of the familiar. It is objectively devalued as this distance is reduced … For the intellectual, inviolable isolation is now the only way of showing some measure of solidarity. All collaboration, all the human worth of social mixing and participation, merely masks a tacit acceptance of inhumanity.” Adorno (2006: 80, 26)

  44. Willy permalink
    July 30, 2017

    You mean Chris Christie didn’t take over that beach because he was fat?

  45. bruce wilder permalink
    July 30, 2017

    bob, whatever you need, cup o’ sugar, bourgeois moralizing, whatever you need, i’m here for ya’, bro!

    i like the adorno quotation a lot

  46. July 30, 2017

    An interesting post. I must disagree with you about ‘nativism’ being in any way nasty – what’s wrong with Americans not wanting what they have created and fought for over generations being turned into an overpopulated third world sweatshop? Foreign nationals have their own countries thank you very much and perhaps they should clean up their own messes. Without borders just one country like Bangladesh could easily drive the entire world into third-world poverty in just a few generations. I don’t think that would be a good thing.

    But yes, somehow ‘conservatism’ has come to mean support of the super-rich no matter how rapacious or corrupt. A rich banker bribes a regulator to let them get bailouts from the public treasury? Hey that’s just the free market at work! If the public didn’t want bankers to get bailed out they should just have bid higher in the bribery market. Which is, of course, ludicrous.

    Bannon may not be perfect, but as with some other ‘paleoconservatives’ he still has a connection with basic decency, and the old-fashioned notion that a country should be more than just a piece of dirt to be strip-mined for profit until there is nothing left… Conservatism should be more than just knee-jerk support of the super rich. It should include pragmatism, patriotism, caution, respect for what has actually been proven to work…. Concern for the well being of your fellow citizens does not mean that you have become an orthodox stalinist.

  47. V. Arnold permalink
    July 30, 2017

    bruce wilder
    July 30, 2017
    bob, whatever you need, cup o’ sugar, bourgeois moralizing, whatever you need, i’m here for ya’, bro!
    i like the adorno quotation a lot

    +1
    I’ll second that…

  48. Tom permalink
    July 31, 2017

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoHyZTjJXZY

    Given the tensions of the day and the self-delusions people engage in, I felt this might be worth watching on how the media can warp things and how just two guys can wreck everything because others turn the other way.

    Even if you can prove your innocence, you’re still ruined.

  49. V. Arnold permalink
    July 31, 2017

    Ian Welsh
    July 29, 2017
    Bannon is indeed the dregs America has sunk to, the best of a bad lot, but still bad.

    I had to think this out a wee bit; it seems we’ve become the NSP of the Weimar, yes?
    Its an intentionally muddled morass of corrupted information; distributed to the masses (Usians and western-centric thinkers) to keep an off-balance reality in the mainstream.
    Unfortunately it seems to be working.
    Trump is so easily manipulated that impeachment just isn’t going to happen; the deep state has its perfect marionette…
    It all adds up to an intentionally failed society…perfect for the deep state’s plans.

  50. realitychecker permalink
    July 31, 2017

    @ Peter

    “I could say the same thing about most of your other comments on different subjects here but I don’t want to seem patronizing.”

    LOLOL In this environment, praise is so rare that one should hesitate greatly before rejecting any of it as “patronizing.” 🙂

    But as to the real estate crisis, common law fraud was rampant, and I don’t know how you can dismiss it all with such facility. There should have been multitudes of prosecutions, if we were to show any respect for the concept of the rule of law. Instead, the Obama people (Holder and Breuer) adopted a policy rule that corporations never have to fear any punishment greater than paying a fine. Just another cost of doing business.

    I am as capitalistic as anyone, but only for honest capitalism, not for rule-breaking capitalism. Cheaters must not be allowed to prosper, or we are thrust back into the jungle.

    I don’t have a very high opinion of the human race anymore, but I do still think we should be able to do better than the jungle.

  51. Ché Pasa permalink
    July 31, 2017

    A post that features him and praises and defends him is self-evidently a defense and promotion of him.

    If on, the other hand, desired policies were front and center, not the person who is said to have said he wants such policies, the situation would be different. But it’s not that way, is it?

  52. Peter permalink
    July 31, 2017

    @DC

    I won’t contest your claim that there were rules and common laws violated, by the mortgage industry, even if some of it was about archaic paperwork and reporting. One judge viewing one of the complaints said that he could find no material victim of these crimes. The people suffering foreclosure were already fully in default by the time this search for defaulted note holders was foamed and flushed.

    Bush reinstituted a l9th century law to make liar loans legal after a FBI warning of fraudulent sales practices of some individuals in the mortgage industry. I’m just guessing but this may have been because the housing bubble was the only positive appearing sector of the economy at that time.

    We’re lucky that these corporations are still required to pay something for their civil law-breaking and your ‘Broken Windows’ approach to their lesser crimes has some appeal.

    Robogate gave foreclosure activists false hope about the importance of little laws and little people when compared with the flow of capital into the big markets. The recovery or even survival of these big engines was at stake.

    If the foreclosure activist’s goals had been met with Mnuchin sent to prison and all the robogate paper declared void what would have happened? I doubt we would be discussing the recovery of the Cali housing market today or the fact that millions of responsible homeowners are no longer underwater on their mortgages.

  53. Tom W Harris permalink
    July 31, 2017

    More on SteveO from RosieO.

    Alas, it never transpired.

  54. realitychecker permalink
    July 31, 2017

    @ Peter

    You omit mention of the real gargantuan crimes, which were about mortgage-backed securities with unperfected trusts behind them. Check that aspect out sometime, we’re talking about hundreds of trillions of dollars involved.

    As to your last query, the current cycle would look different, but we would at least have the comfort of knowing that our major markets were actually going to be respected as to the basics, with loss appropriately allocated to the bad bettors and bad actors. We don’t have that now. A poor bargain, IMO.

  55. Peter permalink
    July 31, 2017

    @RC

    The TBTF investment houses provided the financing that drove the housing price bubble and when the bottom fell out they were left with this MBS mess along with their other gambling losses. They ceased operating quickly and much of the world’s investment cash flow froze with them. Banks wouldn’t even make other banks overnight loans, there was no trust or confidence yet the crash didn’t become an implosion. This is why I chuckle when some people predict the imminent demise of capitalism which should have collapsed from this devastation but didn’t.

    The MOTU’s are back selling MBS’, hopefully with more perfect trusts, because the mortgage system cannot operate without them and their investors. I read that about $3 trillion of these securities, well seasoned now, from that crisis are being sold by the government. I wonder if we’ll ever know the actual costs of the crisis. Most of the TARP money was paid back and these sales might do well.

Comments are closed.