Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Monday, December 3rd, 2018.


Stuff to Read

Trump Maladministration

David Leonhardt, “American Capitalism Isn’t Working.”

Things began to change in the 1970s. Facing more global competition and higher energy prices, and with Great Depression memories fading, executives became more aggressive. They decided that their sole mission was maximizing shareholder value. They fought for deregulation, reduced taxes, union-free workplaces, lower wages and much, much higher pay for themselves. They justified it all with promises of a wonderful new economic boom. That boom never arrived.

Even when economic growth has been decent, as it is now, most of the bounty has flowed to the top. Median weekly earnings have grown a miserly 0.1 percent a year since 1979. The typical American family today has a lower net worth than the typical family did 20 years ago. Life expectancy, shockingly, has fallen this decade.

Sam Stein, Lachlan Markay, “How No Labels Went From Preaching Unity to Practicing the Dark Arts.” Those third-way, centrist organizations that try to pull the Democrats to the “center” are just stalking horses for the Right.

Greg Sargent, “After the latest Mueller news, these corrupt Trump moves look much worse.”

What we now know is this. During much of that period, the Trump Organization was secretly pursuing a business deal in Russia that required Kremlin approval — even though the most senior members of Trump’s own campaign, and possibly Trump himself, knew at the time that Russia was waging an attack designed to sabotage our democracy on Trump’s behalf, which they eagerly sought to help Russia carry out.

Garrett Graff, “Mueller’s breadcrumbs suggest he has the goods.”

Josh Marshall, “President [GHW] Bush and the Road to Trumpism.”

Bush was an institutionalist, someone fundamentally more interested in governance than politics. He was also very much a patrician, something which is central to many of the current tributes. But you can see at the heights of his political career how that fundamental institutionalism and focus on governance was repeatedly set aside at critical moments for political advantage, political necessity. In that way, while he was not fundamentally a part of it, Bush very much, perhaps in spite of himself, laid the groundwork for the performative politics of rightwing extremism and the valorization of hostility to all compromise which was ushered in with Newt Gingrich, became the center of gravity of GOP politics in the Obama era and came to full bloom under President Trump.

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