The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Inauguration Open Thread

It’s the big day. A lot of bad stuff starts, let us hope that some good comes with it. I will say that so far most of the bad stuff Trump has promised to do is what most of the Republican candidates would have done. Bear that in mind.  (That doesn’t make it any better, just some perspective.)


What Can You Do In Troubled Times?


Transcript of Trump’s Inaugural Speech


  1. Tom

    Well a bunch of Generals got told to GTFO at 12:01 including the MG in charge of defense of D.C.. A lot of people in the CIA are in for a bitchslapping.

    At 12:01 Trump will start signing a couple of documents.

  2. UTy

    Let me correct that for you: most of the bad stuff that Trump has promised to do, the Democrats have already done- from tax cuts for the rich to deporting millions of undocumented workers to fracking and opening up wildlife refuges for oil drilling.

    Trump is the lesser evil. Deal with it.

  3. Ian Welsh

    We will see. What partisans rarely understand is that different presidents mean different groups of people benefit and/or get it in the neck.

  4. Dilip G

    Can’t wait for the 6 AM tweetstorms excoriating Xi Jinping! I think the Donald will have met his match.

  5. Look on the bright side – each Day is one day less of being under Tromplinski. We are about to find out whether we can be a republic but not a democracy.

  6. Ché Pasa

    I’d say this marks the final nail in the coffin of a Republic that has been on life support for many years.

    Opportunities arose to correct course again and again. They were opportunities not taken or deliberately and cynically countered. No, said our rulers, we are going in another direction and there is no alternative. The Rabble largely went along, browbeaten or otherwise convinced there really was nothing they could do about it.

    And the fact is, the kind of change we truly need generally isn’t possible through the standard mechanisms of electoral politics and ”pressure” on elected officials. Not from below at any rate.

    There is at least a smidgen of recognition that the system under which we’ve been operating isn’t sustainable, but there isn’t yet a replacement for it. The decadence, corruption and fossilization will simply have to run its course.

    But it won’t be pretty.

  7. christopher rehm

    war will arrive, in some for or another very quickly… it will probably start with north korea and expand with china… brace yourselves, its gonna be a bumpy ride…

  8. What? We might have events like dropping hundreds of bombs in Libya, a nation with which we are not at war, and then announcing that 80 people were killed and the “some of them were making plans to commit terror in Europe?”

    Some of them. Killed for thought crimes, and not even thought crimes against us. Along with any women and children who happened to be in the vicinity. No judge, no jury, no evidence presented. Just, “boom, you’re dead.” And your family. And your friends. And anyone who came near you.

    So, what, this evil incoming president might do things like that? Oh wait. The wonderful, “Thank god we were graced with his presence” outgoing president did that. Not once, but hundreds of times.

    How bad can it get?

  9. Tom

    Ivanka gave the Obamas a parting gift.

  10. christopher rehm

    @ bill. ok let me paint a senario for you. tomorrow,at 5 am washington time, N korea fires an icbm off, and it lands 200 miles off the coast of seatle washington. additionally the detonate a 50 kg nuke an hour later, and the nuke detionates over the pacific ocean demonstrating they now have the capacity to deploy nukes against american soil ( this would be a crisis for ALL new presidents, its not a trump thing… in fact little of this senario is really… ) the new president has to decide how to respond. his advisors advocate eliminating N korean nuclear sites asap, and dealing with N korea once and for all ( which might not actually be a bad idea.) 40 minutes later, 15 -20 tactical nuclear warheads explode, delivered via cruise missle. major nuclear sites are taken out, as well as the massive artillery battery overlooking Seoul south korea, and several large military camps. the dear leader decides its better to go out with a bang than a bust, and orders an immediate full scale invasion of the south, which is supported by 6 small uranium type bombs, dellivered by sucide pilots to their destinations. a second round of nukes is launched by america at the incoming wave of forces, many of whom are already in south korea. its now about 10 am washington time. debate rages in the white house about nuking pong yang, because if nuked it means there is no one left to negotiate surrender with. the dear leader is killed in the second round of nuke attacks, leaving a power vaccum in pong yang. one group of generals immediately contacts china looking for a cease fire, another attempts to take control of north korea. a civil war starts by 12 washington time. it is finally decided ( not just by trump, but by the military establishment ) that nuking pong yang is the only way to go.. at 2 pm washingtin time pong yang is vaporised. at this point china intercedes. not wanting american forces on its border. 250,000 chinese troops march into north korea to stablize the situation and to provide humanitarian relief. at the same time bejing informs washington that any further violence north of the dmz will be interpreted as an attack on china. at 7 pm washington time a P3 observation flight flys over the spratly islands, and they are shot down immediately. now a state of war exists between china and america. total casualties on day one, 8000 american troops, 50000 south koreans, and an estimated 2 million north koreans. in the early evening the war room is alive and hoping that the white house. would you like me to describe day two?

  11. @christopher rehm
    How many North Korean missiles have we bombed? How many North Korean anything have we bombed? How does bombing wedding parties in Afghanistan and Pakistan protect us from North Korean nuclear warheads that don’t exist, placed on missiles that cannot reach our borders?

  12. christopher rehm

    ok you dont think they have any nukes. i didnt say they had a miniaturized warhead, only some kind of uranium bomb the so called gun type device. it did quite a number on hiroshima. 😉 that could be delivered in a cargo plane, with a suicide pilot, maybe even some kind of remote drone technology ( it doesnt have to land just take off , fly and blow up..

    short answer.. yes… it could easily get worse….

  13. christopher rehm

    besides i wasnt talking about the middle east. i was simply laying out a korean senario. i wouldnt expect any middle east issues for a couple of days after that, maybe even a few weeks, thats when it all becomes terribly exciting….

  14. Ché Pasa

    How bad can it get?

    Orders of magnitude worse.

    To assume/assert the Obama years — or the GW Bush years — were as bad as things can get is to be almost preternaturally unaware.

  15. BlizzardOfOz

    You guys say Trump isn’t popular, but just look – he has his own fan fiction.

  16. StewartM

    Joking with a coworker now that maybe it’s time to rename the country “TRUMPLAND, INC: a subsidiary of Goldman-Sachs, Lockneed-Martin, and Exxon-Mobil”.

    But heck, that’d be just an admission of reality.

  17. Tom

    Wow, that Inaugural Speech was one giant bitchslap to Obama. Obamas and Bidens did not look happy and Clintons were just downright looking murderous.

  18. christopher rehm

    oh it could never be fan fiction… im no fan.. dunno, if i destroy the main character does that make it anti fan fiction.. i got some great suspense filled action packed ideas how that could happen… the nukes stop after day one by the way in that one… after that its all conventional… at least.. for a while….

  19. S Brennan

    Che has accidentally revealed a truth, a dirty little secret every [D] & [R] denies;

    If Trump is “the final nail in the coffin” as he says, then murder of the Republic lies in others hands, the coffin, shy one nail, built by Trump’s predecessors, particularly, Obama/Hillary/Holder/Giethner; Cheney/Bush2/Rumsfeld/Greenspan; Clinton/Rubin/Albright; Reagan/Bush

    The wailing, the gnashing of teeth are a day late and a dollar short…and those who have been partisan in their criticism are as much to blame as anyone listed above.

  20. different clue

    I think it would be neat if President Trump finishes his Inaugural Address with the sentence:
    “America has stood up!”

    I think it would be even neater if President Trump could say “America has stood up!” in Chinese.

  21. Arthur

    My two cents, folks: This will be the beginning of the break up of the United States. Much like the Roman Empire broke up. I can see where the Supreme Court reaffirms state’s rights in a big way. Some state (and it really could be any one of the 50) starts passing really insane laws. Oh, like women go to prison for taking birth control. Nothing is done about it because if there is a legal challenge the SC says “State’s Rights!” Well, this goes on and on with other things, and then other states start doing things and the feds don’t care. Eventually, states just start breaking off and nobody in the federal government cares enough to do anything about it. Remember there was a time when one could get on a road in Spain, travel all the way to Rome and always know one was in the Roman Empire. The gods were the same (allowing for a bit of local uniqueness), the industries were the same (again, allowing for a bit of local variation), and, this is most important, the entertainments were the same. I imagine at the height of Rome one couldn’t imagine it ever being anything else but Rome. However, slow but sure it broke apart.

    Now this took a bit of time, of course. But I don’t think beyond the realm of possibility for it to happen here.

  22. Whichever person one the presidency, a recession was coming. so go find out what Trump plans to do about it. His record has a hotel gambling president is not very hopeful.

    ( the next section of a novella about Port-au-Prince at the time of the earthquake.)

  23. Peter

    It’s good to read some people can see beyond the dark foreboding and sick fantasies projected by so many people about Trump and who are still in denial about their new position as losers. Few people will be listening, in the future, to these Clintonites perched on their soapboxes but I’m sure they will continue to rave about things they think are real but are mostly imagined.

    Trump’s final dismissal, in his speech, of Obama and the Red Queen as feckless political parasites should have triggered a breakdown in the Clintonite Borg mind with burning wires and twitching bodies but the hive mind survives even as assimilation ceases.

  24. Shh

    Stray thoughts:

    History will remember only some of the names, if only to retell the story no one ever listens to anyway. Read Cicero and Machiavelli (et. al) for all the good it’ll do you.

    The last gasps of a dying paradigm.

    It doesn’t matter if America got zoonoses of the soul from fucking sheep or fucking a sheep fucker does it?

    You were born needy and the only valuable thing you could possible make in this life is honor. Will you?

    I’m loving the sound of freedom in San Francisco today. Police, helicopters.

  25. Hugh

    Well from here on out this is where the rubber meets the road. Trump’s standup routine will no longer be enough. Now he has to start delivering. Thing is he was elected as a populist but has put together just possibly the most anti-populist, anti-ordinary American Administration in the last 90 years. Its filled with billionaire kooks and kleptocrats. The only thing they have in common is turning whatever part of government they have been entrusted with into a cash cow for their class. I am sure a lot of verbiage and the occasional piece of red meat is going to be thrown to the rubes. But people want government that works for them, not the rich. They want better lives, not table scraps.

    I am sure too that the Republicans will point fingers at the Democrats for their failures, and failure is baked into this Administration and Congress because unrestricted looting is not a constructive program. But the Democrats have shown themselves to be utterly worthless. More importantly, with the elimination of the filibuster, use of reconciliation, and Republicans controlling all the levers of power, for the first time in our history we have what amounts to a parliamentary system. They have the power and with it, the responsibility for the whole kit and kaboodle. It is all on them.

    This is the situation that Obama and the Democrats could have had back in 2008, but they punted leaving Mitch McConnell with the filibuster. This time it is different. And in case, you think the Democrats are horrified by all this, or that they are going to, or will be forced to reform, and listen to their base and the country generally. Well, despite the protestations, no, not really. If you are interested in change, or ready to respond to the 2016 electoral disaster, you don’t make Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, two shining examples of the old failed order, your highest Democrats in the country. No, the Democrats strategy is simply to let Trump and the Republicans fail, hopefully spectacularly, and come in two to four years to pick up the pieces. No change, no reform, just TINA, again, and they’re not the other guy.

    As for the Republicans and Trump, what they will need to take the focus off their failures, idiocy and criminality is a good external enemy. What they could really use is another 9/11, or failing that a good war. Maybe Trump thinks a serious trade war with China will be enough. I’m thinking Congressional Republicans won’t, and will be pushing for a good shooting war someplace.

    If none of this sounds like what most ordinary Americans want, it’s not. That’s the point. We are just a lot further down the rabbit hole, descending fast.

  26. MojaveWolf

    Someone elsewhere asked what I’d say to Trump if I had a minute or so to speak to him today. NOT a prediction of what he will do, just what I’d say if he was listening. Here’s what I’d say:

    “It doesn’t matter what you’ve done before in your life. The next four years (maybe the next 8, maybe) are how people will remember you. This is how your own grandchildren will remember you. If you screw up the country and the world, you will vindicate all the people who have been talking trash about you. If you screw up the ecosystem, you could screw it up beyond fixing. To pick just one relatively short term aspect of this, when the ocean levels rise, we will have hundreds of millions of refugees from the coastal areas flooding (no pun intended!) the inland ones. Everywhere will get more crowded. The entire country of Bangladesh will have to pick up and move. These people are all going to wind up going somewhere. It’s going to cause massive p;roblems for everyone. If things get too bad, you might want to research something called “The Venus Effect”. That’s a worst-case scenario, but so far climate change has been faster and more problematic than the models predicted, so you need to take worst case into account.

    For the economy, remember the people who put you in power. They are the people who are working longer hours for less money and less security every year. Do right by them and they will love you for finally making things better. Screw them over like everyone else who has made false promises and, again, you will be vindicating all the people who have been trashing you and making fun of you.

    Keep your promises to keep us out of stupid wars. You were right about Iraq being a colossal mistake. Be the first President in a long time to NOT do anything horribly stupid and world-destablizing on the foreign policy front. After everyone has been calling you stupid and crazy, be remembered by history as the smartest and sanest.

    Don’t be the guy the establishment has been laughing at. Don’t be remembered as a bad joke, or worse, as one of the “respectable” men who killed the world. Do right by the people who voted for you and the people who didn’t, because they are all your responsibility now. Do right by the world and by your own children and grandchildren. Be remembered as the guy who proved all the assholes wrong. You can do this. Go be a great leader.”

  27. Webstir

    Ian said: “What partisans rarely understand is that different presidents mean different groups of people benefit and/or get it in the neck.”

    What partisans rarely understand is why they are partisan.

    The two-party system is the original identity politics mortar, from which the ruling class builds it’s sea-wall of propaganda to break the seasonal populist swells.

  28. Willy

    We shall overcomb, some day…
    Comeon, everybody, for America…

  29. Hugh

    Just as general background to events, I was looking at a few data series recently and this is what I found:

    In the Fed’s G 17 report on industrial production and capacity utilization for December 2016:
    Growth in American industrial capacity has been largely nonexistent since 2001. Utilization of that capacity has been in a slow decline since the 1970s. Back then it was in the mid to high 80s. In December, it was 75.5%. The report tries to sell this as a positive: 4.5 points above its long run average from 1972-2015, but this is only because this average includes all the big falls in utilization from the seven recessions which occurred during this period.

    The BLS report on real (i.e. inflation adjusted) earnings came out. It showed that average weekly earnings for all employees over the year increased at an anemic 0.2%, but when you look at the bottom 80% (or 82.4% to be more precise) of production and nonsupervisory employees, their real weekly earnings decreased by 0.1%. This is what is so nuts about Yellen’s push to rate interest rates at the Fed. It isn’t about tight labor markets or increasing wages. It is all a cover for increasing bank profitability in the face of a lackluster labor market.

    And as I have reported before in the private sector, job growth in 2015 was worse than in 2014, and 2016 will be worse than 2015. On top of this, many of the jobs created have been crappy.

    I look at these series and others. They all indicate stagnation and even decline. Yet all we got from the political Establishment, especially the Democrats and media, was how well the economy was doing. Anyway, I look at all this and think how completely unsurprising that Trump did so well and got inaugurated today.

  30. Peter

    I’ve been watching Marcy Wheeler’s mildly poisoned Kool Aid outlet and seen some encouraging pushback to the foaming mouthed rhetoric posted there. She now claims to have ‘special’ access to evidence proving the Russian connection to hacking but of course she can’t produce it.

    The real letdown is the supposed investigative journalism site the Intercept where Greenwald/Omidyar have failed to produce much of either. The little cabal of djin like creatures writing there are making easy targets of themselves for the commenters but they must be eating good hash because they seem oblivious to reality. One of them is using a strange form of numerology to prove that Trump represents the power and influence of Shaytan.

  31. Ian Welsh

    Given that the Intercept’s Greenwald has been absolutely scathing about the lack of evidence, I’m not sure what level of leader-saluting Peter requires.

  32. Peter

    Greenwald’s smack-down of the Russia hacking story was excellent but he only posts once or twice a week while the staff run wild all week long. He was not so good at his Trump/Clinton posts and I called him out for his parroting anti-Trump memes that a little investigation showed to be mostly propaganda.

    I would welcome real critical investigative analysis of Trump’s plans and moves but I doubt we will ever see that coming from these clowns who have another petty agenda and very little skill.

    I wish that Glenn was managing these people but he seems to be in a separate OP-ED position.

  33. Duder

    The most telling event for me about the coming “resistance” was the scene of Richard Spencer getting sucker punched by a hooded anarchist. In the run up, Spencer was getting into an argument with a couple protesters who were baiting him by accusing him of being a “Nazi”. The anarchist then quickly runs up and lands a fist on his face. As the anarchist runs away the same protesters who were baiting Spencer turn to chastise the use of violence by the anarchist! This “resistance” and phony liberal outrage is doomed from day one. Honestly, I think there was a clearer and more hopeful opposition from the left and liberals to Bush Jr. first term. At least in those days they did not see the CIA as political allies.

  34. different clue


    I owe you an answer to the question about what I may have done and may know about survivaling. When I am at a better computer I will try saying what I think I may know.

    @Mojave Wolf,

    If one only had a minute of Trump’s undivided attention, one might tell him that a warming global will raise the sea level enough to put all his seaside resorts and hotels “underwater” . . . har dee har har. If that didn’t get his attention, then he really is as dumm as he looks.

    I truly and in all sincerity wish/hope/desire that someone very skilled and “insider-wired-up” in the money-managing arts will start a fund for all the Climate Skeptics to invest in. HeeShee could call it The Climate Skeptic Fund. Its whole reason for being would be to invest in all the Contrarian Investing Opportunity Plays which a rising general public acceptance of the reality of man made global warming lays out at the feet of the Contrarian Investor. The fund would invest in those things which will only be destroyed if global warming is a real thing . . . and which will make huge new rivers of money if global warming turns out to have been a hoax all along. The fund would be totally legal and managed in a clear and transparently legal way. The basic premise of the fund would either be correct or incorrect. I would like to see every Climate Skeptic on the face of the earth invest every last penny they have into the Climate Skeptic Fund.

  35. different clue

    Wouldn’t it be great if Prexy Trump shows a sense of political humor . . . by offering pardons to all the Cheney/bush Administration War Criminals and Criminals Against Humanity along with detailed descriptions of the Crimes they are being pardoned for?

    And wouldn’t it be even greater if Trump then offered pardons to every Obama official, starting with Obama on down . . . who conspired to engineer functional immunity and impunity for all the Cheney/bush perpetrators? ” Look forward, not back” don’t cha know.

  36. Peter


    Trump is well aware of sea-level rise and is building a sea-wall to protect his amazing links resort property in Ireland. Becoming a believer in Al Gore’s Big Green agenda won’t do much if anything about GW so why adopt a new technocrat religion.

    The hoax is that people believe that the folks from Big Green care that much about GW when their main goal is money from divestment and government mandate to fuel their huge industrial polluting plans for a so called green future.

  37. Webstir

    Oh man, Peter, you’ve got me holding my sides with that one. You elevate sarcasm to the highest form of art.

  38. Peter


    I’m not sure which statement tickled you so, please explain.

  39. JR

    christopher rehm – is there an ignore function here where we can simply “press the button” to have your asinine and ridiculous rants removed from our screens? Your fantasy wet-dream is yours alone, keep it to yourself.

  40. tsisageya

    That’s fine.

  41. tsisageya

    I see that you are still full of shit. Too bad. No one needs you.

    Don’t worry, I’m gone.

  42. gnokgnoh


    “amazing links resort property…”
    Good grief, you’re even beginning to tweet like him.

  43. Peter


    Have you seen pictures of this eerily beautiful Oceanside property? I’m not a golfer but I might fake it just to walk through this scenery. I may make short comments but I never tweet.

  44. someofparts

    According to Mark Blyth neo-liberalism/globalism will be replaced with neo-nationalism.

    To me the speech is a depressing display of messaging mastery.

    I’m not looking forward to all the new freedoms I’m about to have. Freedom from healthcare, financial security, personal safety, longevity …

  45. christopher rehm

    whats the matter JR Ewing????
    did i hit a nerve????

    the ignore button is where you do not respond…. try it sometime, you might like it….

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