Good guys don't always win

    if ever. And certainly the shut down isn't going to be one of those times.

    Before you start to convince me  the Democrats have done the right thing , don't bother. They have.

    And it's going to cost them votes. Good guys ,to repeat myself , don't etc.

    By next Friday if  the laid off  have  missed another  pay check, and there's no announced  end of it , whatever they think about Trump . they'll  be bitter with Pelosi and  Chuck.

    As to Trump ? Later. 

    When they  voted Democratic on 11/5 they did so hoping for various good things. And at the least  that things should

    go on much as usual.  However they agree (if they agree) that Trump's Wall aspirations are why they're not getting paid, the ones whom they'll want to punish will be

    And  Immigrants, From anywhere but Mexico especially.

    All of which is why Trump is doing this.

     What should Chuck and Nancy do? Give in. Not $5 billion worth. But whatever $Xbillion it takes to announce  a deal by Jan 18.  Which of course  will require them to explain if not publicly  at least  to themselves that , they lost.

    But they'll still have time, plenty of it really, to get back on a path to be successful in 20.

    And for us ? Swallow hard and accept it. Don't take Trump's bait and tie C&N's hands  by preventing them from

    cutting their losses.

    Round 2.




    It could be that you expected good things from democrats wielding one third of the levers of power in the government. When I voted for the democrats I knew Trump was the president and I was almost positive the republicans would win the senate. I didn't expect any good things from the democrats because anything good would be blocked by the senate and the president. All I want and expect from the democratic controlled house is to block bad things. Giving in on the first fight of the new house isn't what I voted for. 

    Like you I'm able to count the house. 

    In this case although I loath the man I'm impressed with Trump's  skill  at turning the first

    fight into a no win situation for the democrats. Pitting them  against the laid off so that

    either way a significant share of their supporters will feel they haven't gotten what

    they voted for.

    I like Checkov's  advice " God sees the truth. But waits."


    At the same time there's just as many pundits who claim Trump has put himself in a no win situation. Each side has a list of reasons why the other side can't win and needs to surrender or compromise. Usually the compromise they suggest seems like capitulation to me. There has long been an argument in the democratic party over whether we should compromise more or fight harder. I've always been on the fight harder side of that fight. I rarely make predictions. I'm not very good a figuring which way public opinion will fall. I don't trust those that make predictions. I'll advocate for fighting and wait to see how it plays out.

    House Democrats passed several bills to reopen government and pay government workers.

    Weak and wrong. If the Democrats give in it will just be the start for Trump on "immigration/liberals/democrats/MS 13" fear mongering and government closing.

    More racist red meat will be coming to keep the imbeciles and bigots of the core GOP base in thrall.  Hostage taking of the government by Trump would rise to manic levels into the 2020 election. It is necessary now to show Trump it will end here.

    Republican senators were this past week looking into offering an extension of DACA to Democrats in exchange for the $5.6 billion for The Wall, but Pence said no way.

    The Democrats offered last year to the tune of $25 billion Wall money over a few years, in exchange for the GOP to pass DACA legislation. Trump and his reichsfuhrer Miller declined as they (1) want to gut existing immigration law, and (2) "amnesty" is fatwa for the evangelical/racist/hate radio/Fox News Republican base.

    No, What 's necessary is to stop Trump  hurting people.

    If he takes that as victory, be my guest. The real victors will be the people that he'll have to stop hurting.

    And us.


    what you say does strike me as the rationale of most GOP in Congress these last two years, whatever goals of the different wings might have been. But consider this: them doing that, humoring the narcissist, that is what caused a lot of people that never vote in midterms to get up off the couch and vote in the opposition party.

    Though there is the consideration that most voters basically told pollsters that they were frightened about what the two (Trump and the GOP Congress) would do together to hurt health care access instead of helping it improve. And probably not all of them were thinking: anything to get rid of Trump. Enough of them may have been. There's the rub, no one really knows. I have noticed that the Dem leadership has been very careful about using the I-word and they must be getting that from somewhere.

    A confession: I still haven't shaken the shock of the results of the mid term election of 1994, what Newt's Contract with America wrought. I'll never forget the shock the next day, I and everyone I knew was so sure all was going well under Pres. Clinton and the previous Congress, proceeding on a good path. And then it was like: kaboom.

    The problem is not just Trump. 

    There's maybe there's a disconnect between our ideals and our willingness to put our money where our mouths are.

    I occasionally bore my three readers with a  glance at our top marginal tax rates. Here it is again.

    1916  15%; 1918 77; 1924 46; 1931 25; 1933 63 (back when a New Yorker cartoon showed one character suggesting

    "let's go down to the Translux and hiss Roosevelt") 1936 79; then the war ,skip that, 1948 82; 1952  91 and   stayed at that level to till  JFK  dropped it   to 70 %( stay with me ,a couple  more numbers)  77 in 1969  and  there until Ronnie cut it to 50% ( and working class income froze) and then  to 28% .Snapped back to 40% till W cut it to 35%.


    "Something" caused the  inflation that caused  my $60K  1970 house  to now sell for  over a million.(Which has been a problem for people who didn't have an asset compounding at 7%. i.e. anyone below middle , middle class.)

    Is it just possible to conclude   that at some point  we stopped being able to afford the combination of  our "income  policy" and our moral impulses?To afford both  Jeff " Amazon's " becoming enormously wealthy and to provide 50,000 homeless New Yorkers with a standard of living   acceptable in Moscow.

    Answer, well something did.

    We can't afford- or at least don't want to-   those nice grandchildren being pampered at a Montana ski resort and a warm bed for every homeless child in the Bronx. And a defense budget sufficient to frighten the current dictator getting ready to wipe out the Kurds.

    Something(s) had to give , and  did: the willingness of the middle class to care about the lives of the poor without driving a car into a  protest because Rush has convinced them that  they're  the ones - those people -who somehow caused   income progressivity  to freeze since tricky Dick.





    Beyond your content, which is never boring, I am impressed that you learned to use the strikethrough function on the editor; old dog, new tricks.smiley 

    discussion that might interest you here, Brad De Long and Edward Luce:

    I've followed Luce since he joined the FT and DeLong since he forecast that Hillary would be a disaster as President because of her mishandling of the Hillary-care that wasn't.

    As to WH staffers' opinion of David Brooks I suppose that on a list of the ten most important  facts about 2009 I'd put that at ,say,  982nd. 

    Obama's Obituary should just say " He got unemployment under 10% in the second year of Greenspan's grievously created sub prime recession  While starting the US's Model A version of National Health. 

    And on the  7th day he rested."

    I give Obama the benefit of the doubt that he largely pushed for what he believed in, not as 13-dimensional chess alliances of convenience. I think he believed deficits had to be shrunk, that austerity was important, that brokers had to be given bonuses or they would shrink like recalcitrant violets and cease to work towards America's greatness...  I'm a bit more sympathetic trying to get Republicans to sign on to his legislation to appeal to a bipartisanship that they simply refused to grant, though seeking that imaginary armistice cost him a year of Obamacare approval for nothing, shortchanged a more expeditious economic stimulus, and largely damaged the Dems in the subsequent midterms. Nevertheless, he did handle the horrid economic meltdown with much more resourcefulness and aplomb than could be predicted for a relative newbie, and he did get a fairly extensive healthcare reform system in place despite the heavy opposition.

    But given a different set of circumstances, he might have been able to govern as something less than an "Eisenhower Republican" and focus on more social/progressive goals (even though even in areas like immigration it's unclear how progressive he could go) - it's not like the total meltdown was upon us when he started his campaign, and he adapted to events in ways that McCain and Bush were incapable of, and let us just shudder to think if Trump had had the controls at that time. But with the heavy attacks on him, he often held back on "seeming biased", which seemed to leave behind many of the people who needed the most help. Maybe next time such positioning won't be required.

    {and remember Obama came in basically knowing only non-proliferation in foreign policy, a rather moldy old-school preoccupation compared with anti-terrorism & Chinese advancement & global warming}


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