Stuff to Read

While we’re waiting to find out whom the Mueller grand jury has indicted, here’s some other stuff to read.

The liberal-left divide reshaping American politics” at the Guardian by Pete Davis is a long read, but worth it. It’s the best analysis I’ve seen yet about the tussle between establishment Democrats and progressives.

Robert Mueller Sends a Message: He’s Deadly Serious,” by Bob Cassidy at the New Yorker. I hope so.

The governor of Puerto Rico is demanding that the Whitefish contract be canceled.

Whitefish Energy Holdings was awarded the no-bid contract by the beleaguered Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority on September 26, and the deal has drawn loud criticism since its specifics have trickled out. The company only had two employees the day Hurricane Maria hit. It had never worked on a project close to the scale of the Puerto Rico power restoration. And the firm is based in Whitefish, Montana, the hometown of President Trump’s Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. He has denied having anything to do with procuring of the contract.

The Puerto Rican power authority’s decision to forego “mutual aid” agreements with utilities from other areas — as is traditional after large-scale disasters — and assign the job to a for-profit company instead baffled many experts.

The specific terms of the contract also raised eyebrows, from the exorbitant hourly rates charged by Whitefish to its barring of a government audit. And Whitefish didn’t do itself any favors by engaging in a Twitter feud with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz.

FEMA has denied approving the contract.

Update: The Whitefish contract has been canceled. I’m hearing from maybe reliable sources that Rudy Giuliani was mixed up in that mess somehow.

Michelle Ye Hee Lee and Elise Viebeck at WaPo: How Congress plays by different rules on sexual harassment and misconduct. Of course.

18 thoughts on “Stuff to Read

  1. For security reasons I had to get rid of the old “live comment” plugin, but I’ve installed another plugin that should give you a brief window of time to edit a comment once it is published. I hope this helps.

  2. I’m praying that Kushner gets indicted..This way Trump will be forced to use his pardoning power to save Ivanka’s little baby. Like kryptonite to superman, Trump’s ability to dispense pardons as the need arises will be greatly diminished when he’s got to use them on the inner sanctum.

  3. But, Jared showed up unexpectedly in Saudi Arabia.  Do you think he is avoiding being indicted?!

  4. Kushner will squeal l like a stuck pig. If they get Kushner they've got Trump and Jr. in one fell swoop. All the rest of the sycophants and collusionists can be taken care of later on in a mopping up operation.

    Go for the jugular, Mueller!

  5. Me?

    I'm hoping Don Jr. is frog-marched into a waiting vehicle in the 1st or 2nd wave.

    Think of how happy "big game" beasts around the world will be knowing that that 'chip off the old' block (head) will be locked up and unavailable to hire hundreds of native peoples to do the actual tracking and hunting, leave Jr. the "kill-shot," and then protect his rich, entitled white ass in case the un-killed beast decides to charge in the cowards direction.

  6. "the tussle between establishment Democrats and progressives."

    The term "progressive" appear only twice in the article, and even that's too much. I don't use the word myself. Many so-called "progressives" are establishment Democrats. Mr. Progressive himself, Bill DeBlasio, is a great example. 65% of the contributions to his current reelection campaign are from real estate, and I think you know what real estate means in NYC — the hottest real estate market in the world? He and his administration are corrupt as hell, but butter wouldn't melt in their mouths.

    The term "legal corruption" comes from Zephyr Teachout, who is  definitely in the Bernie camp. She wrote a book on it.

    It's my experience that many of those who will insist "there's no such thing as neoliberalism" — call themselves "progressives". There are thousands of articles and serious academic studies, around the world, about neoliberalism, there is even a wikipedia article on it that's easy enough to understand, but no — for these people it doesn't even exist.


    • priscianus jr — “progressive” is a perfectly fine word with an honorable tradition in U.S. politics. The problem is that people don’t know what it means; they use it interchangeably with “liberal.” Indeed, most progressives are also liberals, in the American sense, and most liberals have some progressive sensibilities also. There’s not a sharp difference, but there is a difference. Please see:

      Liberal, Neoliberal and Progressive: What Words Mean

      See also The “Neos”: Neoliberalism, Neoconservatism

      In my experience, the people who deny the existence of neoliberalism are mostly neoliberals themselves, not progressives. But, as I said, people don’t always label themselves correctly. I’ve seen neoliberals try to claim the mantle of progressivism, when they clearly don’t deserve it.

  7. When do we get a choice of different fonts and colored type? It will be just like the good old days in AOL's town square. wink

    I was always partial to Verdana.

  8. The “divide” is happening with both sides as people are coming to realize they’re being had by a corrupt establishment which only uses whatever side is most useful at the time for their own ends.  Both sides are anti-establishment, but still want to retain their tribal political identity, or in some cases, what works for them in a rational sense.

    I try to remind people that a very common ploy of the power machinator is to create/coerce two mythical tribes, which then waste time and energy fighting each other as mortal enemies, well beyond any normal give and take of differing (but still reasonably healthy) opinions.  Seen it with my own eyes.

  9. Rudy is a lascivious ghoul. I wouldn't be surprised at all if he had his hands in the Whitefish contract. It never hurts to pick up a handsome finders fee after circling natural disasters like a vulture to feast on the devastation. 

  10. If you think that the link above about the liberal left divide reshaping American politics is a long read..Try reading Manafort's indictment.

  11. I never heard "neoliberal" used as a noun til recently. But  anyway it's useful to clarify the various ways these words are used. Not so useful to carp about whether they're correct or not.

  12. Maha — The problem as I see it is not only neoliberals trying to claim the mantle of progressivism; it's progressives buying into the neoliberal system because so much of progressivism today is financed through neoliberal setups like community development corporations. It's heavily top-down by nature. You could argue that it's not their fault, what alternative do they have, but nevertheless, there it is. For an example , take a look at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the country's leading community development support organization. The chairman of the board is Robert Rubin. Yes, that Robert Rubin. This is not a bug, it's a feature, it's how the system works today. Once you realize that, you can understand why many progressives deny the existence of neolibealism. It's like a fish that doesn't know what water is.

    • “it’s progressives buying into the neoliberal system” I still think you are seeing things that aren’t there. I am not seeing examples of actual progressives who deny the existence of neoliberalism. Most people who self-describe as progressives will preach against neoliberalism all day long; it’s public enemy #1 with them. The Evils of Neoliberalism are a big part of the progressive manifesto these days. The only people I ever see who deny the existence of neoliberalism are neoliberals.

Comments are closed.