The Alt-Right attempts a putsch of the GOP

Here’s The Hill, discussing Trump’s campaign chairman:

Steve Bannon, the chairman of the right-wing news outlet Breitbart who became CEO of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, gave explicit orders to his staff to destroy Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

On editorial conference calls, the Breitbart chairman would often say “Paul Ryan is the enemy,” according to a source who worked with Bannon at the news organization.

You might think that is due to Ryan’s lukewarm support of Trump.  Not so:

In December 2015, weeks after Ryan became Speaker, Bannon wrote in an internal Breitbart email obtained by The Hill that the “long game” for his news site was for Ryan to be “gone” by the spring.

So why did Bannon hate Ryan in 2015?

A former Breitbart staffer said Bannon used to rage against Ryan all the time.

Bannon views Ryan as a leader of an elite globalist cabal determined to sell out America by opening its borders on immigration and trade.

“Bannon has Alex Jones-level paranoia about Paul Ryan,” the source said, referring to the right-wing radio host and conspiracy theorist who runs the pro-Trump website Infowars.

“He goes on these amazing rants,” the source added of Bannon. “He thinks Paul Ryan is part of a conspiracy with George Soros and Paul Singer, in which elitists want to bring one world government.”

People sometimes say that while Trump is totally insane and knows nothing about public policy, he’ll pick good advisers.  Yet his advisers are just as crazy:

On Monday, Breitbart published a story with the headline: “Falwell: Lewd Trump tape part of GOP coup against Donald, no ‘coincidence’ it came right before Paul Ryan joint appearance.”

Yes, a tape that may cost the GOP control of the House was somehow Ryan’s master plan.  And why didn’t Ryan release this tape before Trump got the nomination?  Perhaps Ryan secretly wants Hillary to win, so he didn’t want a more electable Republican to get the nomination:

“Trump is running against the evil empire,” the source continued. “The entire machine stands against him, and Paul Ryan is the face of the evil empire. But so is Hillary Clinton and so are her allies throughout the mainstream media.”

Some of Trump’s more intellectual supporters don’t like his position on many issues, but think he’s good on immigration.  They don’t care about “character”, which is why they voted for him over much better GOP primary candidates.  Here’s why a vindictive character matters:

“Breitbart has always been the tip of the spear in the conservative grassroots world,” a source close to Bannon told The Hill on Tuesday.

People who’ve worked with Bannon say it’s foolish to underestimate the lengths Bannon will go to destroy the GOP establishment.

“He’s an instrument of destruction,” said Ben Shapiro, a former Breitbart staffer who fell out with Bannon.

“Bannon has always wanted to burn everything down,” he added, “and any chance he has to wriggle this into a way to destroy Paul Ryan, he’ll absolutely do it.”

With a normal GOP candidate there was zero chance of the GOP losing the House. It’s still unlikely, but much less so than before. Ironically Trump may end up being the best friend the open borders people ever had.  Just imagine Trump repudiated and “Hillary unchained”. Bryan Caplan’s dreams may come true.

A normal politician like Obama is willing to allow Senate candidates a bit of separation.  For instance, West Virginia’s Senator needed to do so because of Obama’s views on coal.  Obama understood this, and kept his eye on the most important goal—Democratic control of the Senate. He cut him some slack. Trump is like a 6-year old, with no self-control.  He’ll thrash out even if it hurts him.  Putin will play him like a fiddle.

Here’s the Economist on the Alt-Right:

The association precedes Mr Trump’s hiring as his campaign manager of Stephen Bannon, former boss of Breitbart News, a reactionary news website that Mr Bannon reportedly described as “the platform for the Alt-Right”, and which has covered the movement favourably. Already Mr Trump had echoed the Alt-Right’s views on Muslims, immigration, trade and, indeed, Vladimir Putin, whom Alt-Righters ludicrously admire for his supposed pursuit of Russia’s national interest. Pressed about these shared prejudices (and tweets), Mr Trump has denied knowing what the Alt-Right is, even that it exists—unable, as usual, to disavow any support, however cretinous, or to apply a moral filter to his alliances or tactics.

It’s time to drop the silly pretense that Trump is a Republican.  I don’t think he’s reliably Alt-Right either, their views just happen to coincide on a number of issues. But since the Alt-Right is playing such a key role in his campaign, it’s worth asking what they believe:

Much of the Alt-Right’s output will seem indecipherably weird to those unfamiliar with the darker penumbras of popular culture. It has its own iconography and vernacular, derived from message boards, video games and pornography. Its signature insult is “cuckservative”, directed at Republicans supposedly emasculated by liberalism and money. Its favourite avatar is Pepe the frog, a cartoon-strip creature co-opted into offensive scenarios; one Pepe image was reposted this week by Donald Trump junior and Roger Stone, a leading Trumpista, the latest example of the candidate’s supporters, and the man himself, circulating the Alt-Right’s memes and hoax statistics. Its contribution to typography is the triple parentheses, placed around names to identify them as Jewish.

Charming.  Until recently, the modern American right had a couple of good qualities.  They favored free markets, and they were less anti-Semitic than the European right.  Now they’ve become anti-trade and anti-Semitic.  I suppose this is no surprise.  We’ve been hearing about how Trump represents a rebellion against the soulless, urban, cosmopolitan elite.  Hmmm, what could those be code words for?

And it’s not like Trump’s precursors were anti-Semitic.  Oh wait . . . 

Here’s some more:

To most Americans, the purposes to which these gimmicks are put will seem as outlandish as the lexicon. One of the Alt-Right’s pastimes is to intimidate adversaries with photoshopped pictures of concentration camps; a popular Alt-Right podcast is called “The Daily Shoah”. To their defenders, such outrages are either justified by their shock value or valiantly transgressive pranks. Jokes about ovens, lampshades and gas chambers: what larks!

The leading media supporter of the Alt-Right is Trump’s campaign chairman. Instead of ignoring a minor provocation from Paul Ryan (who still endorses Trump!) the campaign has launched a crusade to destroy the entire sane wing of the GOP, right in the middle of the Presidential election.

Yet from the quack ideologues to the out-and-proud neo-Nazis, some Alt-Right tenets are clear and constant. It repudiates feminism with misogynistic gusto. It embraces isolationism and protectionism. Above all, it champions white nationalism, or a neo-segregationist “race realism”, giving apocalyptic warning of an impending “white genocide”. Which, of course, is really just old-fashioned white supremacism in skimpy camouflage.

Suddenly I get commenters who tell me that any “real man” with testosterone would want to simply grab any woman he chose.  For a while I wondered where this misogynistic stuff came from–now I know.

PS.  Just to be clear, I’m not saying the GOP will lose the House, just that the odds have risen.  By the same token, some Dems have told themselves that the election is in the bag.  It’s true that Clinton is very likely to win, but a 16% chance is . . . well Nate Silver put it best—it’s the odds of dying in Russian roulette.  Want to play a game?

PPS.  Let’s not hear any whining from Trumpistas if their guy loses.  Remember, Trump says fairness is for pussies. Who cares whether the personal attacks on him are fair.  Who cares if the press is biased? He said the other GOP candidates were too nice, and that he’d steamroller right over Hillary.  He assured us that he was a winner.  He told us that his controversial lifestyle would not matter.  So if he does lose, there are no excuses.  If you start whining, then you are not true Trumpistas. So go get a shot of testosterone, and toughen up.  Trump is a winner, or else he’s a nobody.

These debates about whether X did something worse than Trump are really tiresome.  Whether the outrage over the tape was justified is beside the point. There’s plenty more to be outraged over—advocating stealing Iraq’s oil, stealing Libya’s oil, torture, bigotry, refusal to condemn concentration camps for Japanese-Americans, ignorance of nukes, apologies for Putin, ambiguity over NATO, protectionism, inciting violence, tighter controls on freedom of the press, etc.  I could go on and on.  NOBODY cares what you (commenters) think about sex scandals.  Don’t waste your keystrokes.

PPPS.  People are confused about the markets.  The stock market probably wants Hillary to win narrowly, so that the GOP holds on to Congress.  A Trump win, or a Hillary landslide, would be a nightmare for Wall Street. So poll/market correlations need to be interpreted with caution.

PPPPS.  Don’t waste time reading my Trump posts.  Look at someone who knows how to write, like Ross Douthat:

Above all, they feared the specter of a defeated Donald Trump railing against a corrupt convention bargain all through 2016 and beyond. So instead they will get Donald Trump railing against an establishment dolchstoss, a stab in the back, from the moment the polls close on Nov. 8 until he either wins the 2020 nomination or draws his dying breath.

History in its day to day is not a morality play. But sometimes there is a clear chastisement, a moment when the judgments of providence seem stark. And so it may be for the men who led the Republican Party into its Trumpian inferno.

In bending the knee to Trump last spring, they thought that they were buying party unity and a continued share of power, and paying for it with just a little of their decency, a mite of their patriotism, a soupçon of their honor.

They may find out soon enough that all this bargain bought them was an even harsher reckoning, and that all they will inherit is the wind.

George Will has a slightly more hopeful view:

Today, however, Trump should stay atop the ticket, for four reasons. First, he will give the nation the pleasure of seeing him join the one cohort, of the many cohorts he disdains, that he most despises — “losers.” Second, by continuing to campaign in the spirit of St. Louis, he can remind the nation of the useful axiom that there is no such thing as rock bottom. Third, by persevering through November 8 he can simplify the GOP’s quadrennial exercise of writing its post-campaign autopsy, which this year can be published November 9 in one sentence: “Perhaps it is imprudent to nominate a venomous charlatan.” Fourth, Trump is the GOP’s chemotherapy, a nauseating but, if carried through to completion, perhaps a curative experience.

But in the end, it’s the funny stuff that keeps me sane:

Carson, for his part, gave a similar line on CNN: Waxing poetic about power-trip crotch grabbing is common “banter,” he said. It is distasteful, he argued, but certainly not rare. Anchor Brianna Keilar, looking slightly perplexed, informed (Ben) Carson that few normal people have heard “locker room talk” of this amped-up variety. “I haven’t heard it,” she said, “and I know a lot of people who have not heard it.”

“Well maybe that’s the problem. Maybe that’s the problem,” Carson replied, calm as a Xanax factory. “People have not heard this. Maybe that’s the problem.” Keilar stared in wonderment. Yes, folks, this was happening: Carson was blaming America for failing to frequent scarier locker rooms.

Remember when Carson briefly led in the GOP polls? If only I could move to Utah, where polls show massive support for NeverTrump/NeverHillary.  The latest poll I saw in that “swing state” had Trump and Hillary tied, at 26%.  Speaking of Utah, this is fascinating.


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97 Responses to “The Alt-Right attempts a putsch of the GOP”

  1. Gravatar of Brian Donohue Brian Donohue
    13. October 2016 at 15:44

    It only takes an hour or so on Twitter to think the world has gone stark-raving mad, but as Bryan Caplan points out, this actually tells us only that the world is a BIG place, not so much (as availability bias would have it) necessarily a bad place. I mean, among 7 billion humans, there are bound to be hundreds of millions of idiots.

    Moldbug actually does a good job of sketching out a reactionary worldview without all the Pepe stupidity etc. (Note: aficionados distinguish alt-right from neo-reaction in a lot of ways, but they’re coming from the same direction.) You should read some of his stuff, just for perspective.

    Moldbug is not insane or anti-Semitic or any of that, and he’s a pretty good writer. Scott Alexander saw fit to write an entire Q&A rebutting Moldbug’s claims, which suggests he is at least worthy of rebutting.

    Read his stuff. I don’t find him persuasive, but I do find him fascinating, and he may do a better job than others of explaining the impressive co-ordination across the establishment to make sure Trump doesn’t get in that we have seen this year.

    P.S. I don’t like Trump and won’t vote for him.

  2. Gravatar of BC BC
    13. October 2016 at 16:03

    The crazy Alt-Right supports Trump in public, but the establishment Democrats of the DNC secretly supported Trump in private in April 2015, before Trump had even entered the race officially. Wikileaks revealed this memo describing the DNC’s “private position”:

    http://reason.com/blog/2016/10/10/democrats-were-worried-about-rand-pauls

    They tried to “elevate” Trump, Cruz, and Carson, telling their friends in the media to take these candidates seriously instead of marginalizing them. (Remember the $2 Billion worth of free coverage that the media gave to Trump?) At the same time, the DNC wanted to “undermine” any Republicans that might appeal to minorities, millennials, and women. (These included Bush, Rubio, Walker, Paul, Jindal, and Christie, by the DNC’s reckoning.) Finnally, the DNC wanted to “force” Republicans to take extreme conservative positions. “Force” is the DNC’s word, although I’m not sure how they planned to achieve that.

    So, even though the DNC understands how dangerous a Trump presidency would be, they think that it’s ok to “elevate” the probability he becomes president just to force minorities, millennials, and women to vote for Hillary!! The fact that they knew that Hillary would be a very weak candidate — revealed in other wikileaks — makes this even worse. The weaker the Democratic candidate, the riskier it is to help Trump win the GOP nomination.

    I am surprised that this wikileak has not gotten as much attention as some of the others. It is damning of both Trump — the DNC picked him as the biggest “loser” that they were hoping to face — and the DNC and Clinton campaign.

  3. Gravatar of BC BC
    13. October 2016 at 16:12

    @Brian Donohue: “…the impressive co-ordination across the establishment to make sure Trump doesn’t get in that we have seen this year.”

    As the wikileak in my comment above shows, this is false. The Democratic establishment was helping Trump in the GOP primaries. A late October surprise against Clinton could still make them regret that. Very reckless.

  4. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    13. October 2016 at 16:28

    Brian, I agree that Moldbug is pretty bright–I’ve read a bit of his stuff.

    BC, All these wikileaks would have gotten far more attention if Trump were not running. Of course if Trump were not running, the Russians never would have released all of these wikileaks.

    The establishment GOP candidates were also helping Trump in the primaries, believing he could be disposed of later.

  5. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    13. October 2016 at 16:44

    Guys, I made a new pro-Trump ad. Watch it. Share it.

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

    Moldbug’s a bit nuts on economics, which is Sumner’s specialty.

    Bannon is alt-lite, not alt-right.

    D*****t knows how to write, just not what to write. Remember, he predicted Trump could not possibly, ever, get the GOP nomination.

    “Speaking of Utah, this is fascinating.”

    -I.e., impossible. This is a guy with under 65K twitter followers.

    “It’s time to drop the silly pretense that Trump is a Republican.”

    -He won all the historically Republican counties in the upper South, sometimes, as in Tennessee and Kentucky, by landslide margins. Trump may not be a Republican, but Republicans definitely believed Trump to be one of them.

    “So if he does lose, there are no excuses. If you start whining, then you are not true Trumpistas. So go get a shot of testosterone, and toughen up. Trump is a winner, or else he’s a nobody.”

    -I agree. If he loses, I will curse him to his grave. If there is a winnable election for the GOP, it’s this one.

    “A Trump win, or a Hillary landslide, would be a nightmare for Wall Street.”

    -Screw Wall Street. And no, it won’t be a nightmare for the stock market, in either case.

    “We’ve been hearing about how Trump represents a rebellion against the soulless, urban, cosmopolitan elite. Hmmm, what could those be code words for?”

    -The soulless, urban, cosmopolitan elite, obviously. Probably not all those Trump voters in Brighton Beach. I suspect it refers to those Kasich voters in Manhattan, as well as the hacks in the DC suburbs. They’re disproportionately Jewish, obviously. But so are the Trump voters in Brighton Beach.

    “destroy the entire sane wing of the GOP”

    -Sumner, name one sane person in the GOP. What does he advocate?

    I name Thomas Massie, and his views are well-known. I also name Donald Trump, Rand Paul, Raul Labrador, and Dana Rohrabacher (who supports leaving Afghanistan).

  6. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    13. October 2016 at 16:51

    “The Democratic establishment was helping Trump in the GOP primaries.”

    -It clearly hoped in glee Trump would win. But it did not help him at all, rather, calling him a fascist at every opportunity. I remember coverage of Trump from one year ago. It was not positive.

    “The establishment GOP candidates were also helping Trump in the primaries”

    -Kasich, Bush, Christie, and Rubio all attacked Trump. Ted Cruz was not an establishment candidate.

  7. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    13. October 2016 at 16:54

    “which is why they voted for him over much better GOP primary candidates.”

    -Actually, there were none. The only one who came close was Rand Paul.

  8. Gravatar of Joe B Joe B
    13. October 2016 at 16:59

    Trump is a loonie.

    But the GOP establishment has worked diligently for generations to undermine the employee classes, foster domestic animosities, to provoke wars, and to destroy the environment. They deserve Trump.

    And the Donks have been practicing victimology.

  9. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    13. October 2016 at 17:17

    Scott,

    Good comments, for the most part. But, you’re too extreme on the Clintons, as usual. I think we’d all like someone other than Hillary, but I don’t think you’re logical about the Clintons.

    By the way, even libertarian judge Napolitano has a more grounded view of the sexual assault accusations against Bill Clinton than you do.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGDJhoYFk5A

  10. Gravatar of Matthew Waters Matthew Waters
    13. October 2016 at 17:37

    On the betting markets, is there a good analysis of the liquidity and transaction costs? There is less money per dollar invested betting on $0.85 than betting on $0.55. There is a ton of money per dollar for $0.15.

    I can see how this makes a difference:

    1. Predictwise/betfair have limits per investor which don’t really exist in real markets. It’s like a stock market where there is a maximum investment of $1,000. It’s not hard to see such a stock market would be less efficient with such limits.

    2. The time value of money and counterparty risk matters more to the $0.85 side than the $0.15 side. If Predictwise has a 3% chance of going insolvent, then that’s a higher cost on the $0.85 side (0.03*0.85 vs. 0.03*0.15).

    Some idle talk, even though the betting markets already have a very low chance of Trump winning. But with the polling and likelihood of more Trump accusers, even 16% looks like a gross overestimate.

  11. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    13. October 2016 at 17:46

    Joe,

    Give me examples of Democratic victimology. It’s the Republicans that are always whining, blaming others for their circumstances. They blame liberals, foreigners, corporations, secular society, “globalists”… It’s one crazy, crybaby conspiracy theory after another.

  12. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    13. October 2016 at 17:49

    Scott,

    What exactly is a “nightmare” for Wall Street, and how does Hillary bring that about? I would expect lower stock market gains than if there’s gridlock, reflecting lower expected potential GDP growth going forward, but “nightmare”?

    You’re really shrill about Hillary.

  13. Gravatar of Matthew Waters Matthew Waters
    13. October 2016 at 18:12

    “What exactly is a “nightmare” for Wall Street, and how does Hillary bring that about? I would expect lower stock market gains than if there’s gridlock, reflecting lower expected potential GDP growth going forward, but “nightmare”?”

    I also disagree with saying nightmare, but higher taxes are part of the valuation. Current valuation also has some probability of overseas profits being repatriated at a lower, “tax holiday” rate.

    It makes it all the more incredible that the stock market may be reacting negatively to Trump. I’m not surprised. The stock market isn’t really pricing in nuclear armageddon. But the market is probably pricing in likely trade wars. The possibility of a “hard Brexit” shows how it becomes politically convenient for politicians to fall back on Hawley-Smoot, now matter the consequences for exporters and consumers.

  14. Gravatar of Don Don
    13. October 2016 at 18:14

    I cannot figure out if this is 4D chess and everyone is playing off everyone else like the hype before Wrestlemania or if everyone is truly disgusting. Or both. Depressing. A political party is 1000’s of full time politicians up and down the ballot. Is it possible to have a coup in a decentralized organization? The Cernovich letter threatening ballot warfare is intriguing: https://twitter.com/Cernovich/status/785625135126421505/photo/1

  15. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    13. October 2016 at 18:14

    Matthew,

    Yes, the funny thing is I expect the country to be somewhat worse off after a Clinton presidency. But, reactions to her are so extreme. She’s very much a run-of-the-mill politician, for worse, but not for much worse.

  16. Gravatar of Kgaard Kgaard
    13. October 2016 at 18:44

    If the term “cuckservative” ends up being the only thing the alt-right is known for, the movement will have been a home run smashing world-historic success. That is SUCH an important concept.

  17. Gravatar of Bill Ellis Bill Ellis
    13. October 2016 at 18:52

    Ross Douthat…knows how to write…his style is a pleasure to read…but he always goes in circles..

  18. Gravatar of Bill Ellis Bill Ellis
    13. October 2016 at 18:59

    “….signature insult is “cuckservative”, directed at Republicans supposedly emasculated by liberalism and money. ‘

    but what can be more emasculating than becoming the willing mindless follower of an unstable, lying alfa ?

  19. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    13. October 2016 at 19:04

    Joe, Yes, to some extent they did bring this on themselves, but I’d blame some more than others. People like Roger Ailes are much more to blame than Jeb Bush.

    Scott, You said:

    “By the way, even libertarian judge Napolitano has a more grounded view of the sexual assault accusations against Bill Clinton than you do.”

    Since I agree with every single word in that video, I can only assume that you are the “shrill” one, and have trouble with reading comprehension, especially where nuance is involved.

    He says the accusations against Bill were not proved. I agree.

    Bill, Well I don’t agree with his politics, but he’s a great writer, and a thoughtful intellectual.

    Matthew, The problem with Hillary goes far beyond taxes. She favors a big increase in regulation. She is nothing like her husband (unless she is lying, which is a distinct possibility, based on wikileaks.).

  20. Gravatar of Bill Ellis Bill Ellis
    13. October 2016 at 19:13

    so what will this “nightmare on wall street” look like ?

    what numbers constitutes a nightmare ? Are we just spouting off or are we gonna take out predictions to market … Figuratively …

    My Prediction….most likely the market will cool a bit coming down to more historically normal growth…

    the DJIA will perform better than under Bush…no less than 25% growth for her first term..

  21. Gravatar of Kgaard Kgaard
    13. October 2016 at 19:20

    Bill Ellis — The causality goes the other way. The alt-right isn’t a creation of Trump, but rather Trump is a consequence or manifestation of the alt-right. Without the alt-right intellectual movement Trump never would have happened. The turf had been softened for him. At a deeper level all of this happened because biological truth can only be bent so far out of shape before a rebellion steps in. What the left is trying to create — basically a multicultural matriarchy with white men as tax serfs — is historically not just unprecedented but something close to insane.

  22. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    13. October 2016 at 19:29

    Scott,

    You replied: “Since I agree with every single word in that video, I can only assume that you are the “shrill” one, and have trouble with reading comprehension, especially where nuance is involved.

    He says the accusations against Bill were not proved. I agree”

    No, your comments from earlier this week were qualitatively different. To quote you from the comments on a previous post:

    “Scott, I think most such accusations are true. Other commenters discuss all the boring details that I have no interest in getting into.”

    That comes from the comments on this post:

    https://www.themoneyillusion.com/?p=31996

    I think most such accusations are true? Since you’ve chosen to be insulting again, I just wonder how often you re-examine your own comments and think twice about them. I would think that accusations for which there’s little or no evidence shouldn’t carry enough weight to be worthy of comment.

    Prior to that, in the same comment thread you offered this gem:

    “Scott, Yes, the deplorables in the GOP are very different from those feminists in the Democratic Party who ignored Juanita Broaddrick’s rape charge against Bill Clinton, but tell us that “women never lie about these things” when the charges are made against Republicans.

    Also, has there been any polling done of the political affiliation of criminals in prison. I’m curious, are most Dems or Republicans?”

    We all make mistakes when reading at times, but I didn’t have a reading comprehension problem in this case. You, however, have a problem being decent and professional on economics blog, as a professional economist.

    I seriously doubt you would have ever talked to me this way in-person. You’ve become increasingly uncivil and unhinged as you’ve addressed comments here over the years.

    And this is how you responded to commenter Jill, also in that comment thread”

    “Jill, You are just proving my point about how politics makes one stupid. Why don’t you take a deep breath and not comment so much. You’ve left about a dozen comments this evening–do you think our readers have any interest in your middle-brow, conventional wisdom comments on politics?

    And no, I’m not a Republican. Just stop making a fool of yourself.”

    How is this called for? I didn’t care for her comments either, but to savage her like this? Is it not supposed to matter, because it’s online? Are we supposed to communicate with women like this?

    I would have guessed you a gentleman years ago. Was I wrong, or have you changed?

    Now, should I break down your comments further, or be kind?

  23. Gravatar of Matthew Waters Matthew Waters
    13. October 2016 at 20:15

    “Matthew, The problem with Hillary goes far beyond taxes. She favors a big increase in regulation. She is nothing like her husband (unless she is lying, which is a distinct possibility, based on wikileaks.).”

    I was looking at stock market returns. The clearest link is with a possible tax holiday on overseas earnings, which for the largest corporations could substantially increase future dividends.

    Other taxes and regulation less clear. Even with a D majority in House, I don’t see a large sea change in two years. The D’s will have a bare majority and the new D’s will immediately be under pressure for 2018.

  24. Gravatar of John S John S
    13. October 2016 at 21:09

    Are we supposed to communicate with women like this?

    Is ssumner supposed to adopt a different tone just because she’s a woman?

    Unless she announces otherwise, I’m going to assume that Jill is tough enough take as much as she dishes out. She called this blog a “right-wing bubble” — c’mon, that’s ludicrous. If she’s going to stoop to that, she deserves some push-back.

    ssumner is an equal opportunity counter-troll.

  25. Gravatar of Daniel Daniel
    14. October 2016 at 01:01

    Yo Scotty,

    For the record – I’ve been reading you for many years (at least 6) – and I think you’re great on economics.

    But when you step out of your area of expertise – to put it politely, you’re clueless.

    Also, your utter lack of experience with women is more than obvious. If you had any, you’d know how they have nothing but contempt for white knights. And how, deep inside, all they want is to be taken by a strong man who doesn’t ask for permission.

    But you don’t, so you clutch your pearls like a good church-lady.

  26. Gravatar of A H A H
    14. October 2016 at 03:29

    The excerpts you quotes about Bannon reminded me of a recent article about Aaron Banks, the millionaire who has been bank rolling UKIP in the UK: http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2016/10/arron-banks-man-who-bought-brexit . Specifically the resentment he clearly feels towards the Republican establishment.

    Thought some other readers may find it interesting.

  27. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    14. October 2016 at 05:03

    http://www.bradford-delong.com/2016/10/draft-did-macroeconomic-policy-play-a-different-role-in-the-post-2009-recovery-monetary-policy-options-at-the-zero-low.html

    ————quote———-
    Milton Friedman’s (3) is, at bottom, his belief that there are reasonably-tight limits on the possible values for the velocity of money. There is, Friedman thought, a sense in which money is a very special commodity that burns a hole in people’s pockets. They will spend it, if you print enough of it, and get it into people’s hands by any means—in fact, the means by which you get it into people’s hands does not matter much. The government can buy useful things with it. The central bank can buy bonds with it. You can drop it from helicopters. Because the interest elasticity of money demand never becomes infinite, open market operations never lose their power, even at the zero lower bound. As is written in Friedman (1997), at the zero lower bound:

    “The Bank of Japan can buy government bonds on the open market. Most of the proceeds will end up in commercial banks, adding to their reserves and enabling them to expand…loans and open-market purchases. But whether they do so or not, the money supply will increase…. Higher money supply growth would have the same effect as always. After a year or so, the economy will expand more rapidly; output will grow, and after another delay, inflation will increase moderately…”

    Ben Bernanke’s (4) rejects Friedman’s monetarist fundamentalist belief that the quantity of money by itself is (close to being) a sufficient statistic for the effect of asset prices and quantities on spending. Bernanke sees that at the zero lower bound a conventional open market operation is simply the swap of one zero-yielding government asset for another zero-yielding government asset in an environment in which the liquid spendability of cash has no value at the margin. Yet he rejects the claim that monetary policy is then impotent. Bernanke (2000):

    Contrary to the claims of at least some Japanese central bankers, monetary policy is far from impotent today in Japan…
    Why is it not impotent? Because of:

    what amounts to an arbitrage argument —-the most convincing type of argument in an economic context…. The monetary authorities can issue as much money as they like. Hence, if the price level were truly independent of money issuance, then the monetary authorities could use the money they create to acquire indefinite quantities of goods and assets. This is manifestly impossible in equilibrium. Therefore money issuance must ultimately raise the price level, even if nominal interest rates are bounded at zero. This is an elementary argument, but… quite corrosive of claims of monetary impotence…
    In Bernanke’s arbitrage thought experiment the central bank is not just swapping one zero yielding government asset for another. If it were, the argument would not go through: the government could issue an indefinite amount of cash and acquire an indefinite amount of zero-yielding assets as the mirror to a private-sector balance sheet that has an indefinite amount of cash balanced by being short an indefinite amount of government discount bonds value at par, and the price level would not change. What makes the arbitrage argument work is the word goods. The government prints money, and buys roads, bridges, the bearing of duration risk, biomedical research, human capital for twelve-year olds—whatever. This is helicopter money.

    But the price level is independent of money issuance if one raise the money supply via open market operations and the marginal dollar of cash is held as a savings vehicle…

    Paul Krugman’s (5) follows a different line of argument. Krugman (1998) starts by asking what happens when a flex-price full-employment economy finds itself with a Wicksellian real neutral rate below the inflation rate and so hits the zero lower bound. The answer is one of those things that is obscure before but obvious after the fact: the real interest rate must be at its equilibrium value; the real interest rate is the nominal interest rate minus the inflation rate; the nominal interest rate is zero and cannot drop; so the inflation rate must jump up. How can the inflation rate jump up? The price level must jump instantaneously down now so that inflation can be higher in the future and the economy be on the full employment path….
    ————endquote———–

  28. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    14. October 2016 at 05:43

    John S,

    Yes, I think men with class and dignity should address women differently in some ways than other men. Are women not more socially sensitive on average than men?

    If you want to defend the general concept that men and women should always be treated equally, is it equally bad to physically attack women versus men?

    Even women who might not like to different social standards for men and women certainly wouldn’t protect being treated with some sensitivity, would they?

    More importantly, there’s simply no reason for personal, direct incivility, especially on an economics blog. It’s ridiculous, childish, and self-defeating, since he’s said in the past that sometimes he just can’t take the stupid comments anymore. Does he think his sort of conduct will attract better comments?

  29. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    14. October 2016 at 05:45

    To correct the above statement “Even women who might not like to different social standards for men and women certainly wouldn’t protect being treated with some sensitivity, would they?”, it should read,

    Even women who might not like different social standards for men and women certainly wouldn’t protest being treated with some sensitivity, would they?

  30. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    14. October 2016 at 05:47

    Neither Breitbart nor Trump are manifestations of the alt-right. Trump’s boosters in the starboard media have been fairly conventional figures like Jim Hoft and Don Surber, not the alt-right. The alt-right is a jumble of disparate dissidents who make a point of despising the conventional right. Wick Allison’s circle, the Rockford circle, the von Mises circle, the Unz circle, Jeffrey Polet’s circle, ISI Press, the American Renaissance crew, and Stormfront have disparate interests and are on occasion antagonistic to each other (or make it a point to ignore each other).

  31. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    14. October 2016 at 05:51

    Bill, A Dem takeover of the House might knock $1 trillion off the stock market.

    Scott, Saying most such accusations are true has no bearing on whether this particular charge has been “proved”. Of course it has not been proved. I agree with that tape. I’m saying at least 55% of such accusations are probably true. Don’t you believe that? And there’s no contradiction in my saying that feminists were acting like hypocrites for saying we must believe Anita Hill because “women don’t lie about these things”, and then the same feminists not believing Broaddrick.

    You said:

    “Since you’ve chosen to be insulting again”

    If you don’t want me to be insulting, how about you not be insulting in the first place? I wonder if you would call me “shrill” in real life?

    As far as politics taking 30 IQ points off, at least I admit that applies to me. I wish more of my commenters would admit that politics takes 30 IQ points off their brains as well.

    Daniel, You said:

    “And how, deep inside, all they want is to be taken by a strong man who doesn’t ask for permission.”

    Yeah, I guess I haven’t read as many of those romance novels with Fabio on the cover as you have, so I’ll defer to your greater expertise with women.

    Perhaps you are married. Ask your wife if when walking down a dark alley at night she hopes to be grabbed by a “strong man”.

    AH, Thanks. All along I’ve seen similarities between Brexit and Trump, although in fairness the arguments for Brexit are 100 times stronger.

    I’d have a bit more respect for Trumpistas if they said “Yes, he’s a complete buffoon who is utterly unqualified to be President, but I like him because he’s alt-right.” But instead they let their ideological blinders hide the truth about what kind of person he is.

  32. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    14. October 2016 at 05:53

    She’s very much a run-of-the-mill politician, for worse, but not for much worse.

    No, she isn’t, and you can tell that by comparing her history to any other U.S. Senator or to her competitors in the Presidential sweepstakes. No one has her decades-long history of corruption and abuse of power. The closest you get (other than her husband) is John Edwards, ambulance chaser / sociopath. John Kasich is a conventional politician. John Kerry is a conventional politician. Howard Dean is a hopeless loudmouth, but otherwise a conventional politician. Albert Gore was a conventional politician. Robert Dole was a conventional politician. Hillary is gruesome.

  33. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    14. October 2016 at 05:55

    The House Republican caucus has every reason to remove Ryan from his position. He’s worthless at it. He’s also responsive to the media and his own social nexus, not to his constituency. AM McConnell’s worse. And, yes, Paul Ryan is an advocate of open borders. It’s a ‘matter of principle’ with him. The GOP can and should relegate him to a position where he cannot do any harm.

  34. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    14. October 2016 at 06:00

    The establishment GOP candidates were also helping Trump in the primaries, believing he could be disposed of later.

    What did Messrs. Rubio, Kasich, Bush, and Christie ever do to ‘help’ Trump? (And who paid any attention to anything Lindsey Graham and George Pataki were or were not doing)?

  35. Gravatar of Greg G Greg G
    14. October 2016 at 06:21

    Art,

    What the the more mainstream Republican candidates did to ‘help’ Trump was to focus their attacks on each other rather than him, even when he was the clear favorite.

    It’s not that they wanted him to win the nomination, they all just overestimated their own ability to stop him later. That was very helpful to Trump even if that was not their intention.

  36. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    14. October 2016 at 06:55

    Scott,

    Yes, I would say you’re being shrill in-person, because you’re being shrill. And I said you were being shrill about Hillary, because you are. That wasn’t a comment about your perspectives, in general.

    That’s quite a bit different than telling someone they have a reading comprehension problem, for example, or in other cases, calling people stupid, etc.

    You can tell someone over lunch or dinner that they are being shrill over something or other, but would you say they had a reading comprehension problem or call them stupid?

    This isn’t complicated, and what you’re trying defend is indefensible, unless you’re antisocial.

    And don’t give me that false modesty that you try to convey with your statement that politics takes off 30 IQ points, even for you. That’s almost entirely hollow modesty, unless you actually often openly reconsider some of your comments.

    Let’s break down some of the comments I quoted from you above, shall we?

    “Scott, Yes, the deplorables in the GOP are very different from those feminists in the Democratic Party who ignored Juanita Broaddrick’s rape charge against Bill Clinton, but tell us that “women never lie about these things” when the charges are made against Republicans.”

    Which feminists are you referring to? How representative are they of Democratic voters? What evidence do you have that they “ignored” Broaddrick’s charges, instead of doing a little research and simply determining they weren’t credible?

    Trumpism is not a product of the Republican elite, or conservative elite opinion. It’s a product of Republican Party and leaning voters. I’m not libeling these voters or the Party elite to call them deplorable, given what they’ve supported and continue to support.

    Okay, let’s take another statement.

    “Also, has there been any polling done of the political affiliation of criminals in prison. I’m curious, are most Dems or Republicans?”

    Was this an attempt at comedy? First, of course there’s not a lot of political polling in prison, since, you know, prisoners can’t vote, often even upon release. The polls worthy of the most attention survey registered voters who are likely to vote, which certainly doesn’t describe felons well.

    Second, I don’t imagine there are many prisoners with much in the way of political affiliation of any kind. That’s just a guess, but given their disenfranchisement, what’s the incentive to be engaged much?

    Third, to the degree that prisoners would support Democrats over Republicans, could it be due to Democrats generally putting less emphasis on punishment and more on rehabilitation and redemption, as opposed to pushing a depraved world-view? Is “depraved” too extreme a word to describe Trumpism?

    Your commentary on economics is often excellent, but your biases and incivility often ruin political discussions here. Also, before calling commentary like that from Jill “middle-brow”, you might want to consider that you offer no original or deep perspectives on politics yourself.

  37. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    14. October 2016 at 07:02


    Perhaps you are married.

    Guys like this are not married. And if they are married then surely not to something that can be defined as wife. Most of them can’t even talk to a woman in real life without peeing themselves. So they make it up and are being very aggressive over the internet.


    What did Messrs. Rubio, Kasich, Bush, and Christie ever do to ‘help’ Trump?

    Well they ‘helped’ Trump by being extremely incompetent. First of all they sucked at the debates despite maybe Kasich. Secondly the archives must be full of material that damage Trump a lot but they didn’t dig up a single tape despite the millions of dollars Bush and Rubio could spent. Did they even search for it? How can it be that Hillary stockpiles those tapes while the GOP establishment and their media outlets find nothing?

    Trump won the GOP debates but he would have lost them when it would have been known earlier that he was a molester.

    I don’t think that Breitbart or Fox News wanted Trump as candidate from the very first day, but they also didn’t publish any harmful tapes. It’s hard to imagine that they did not find any damaging material about Trump at all. But for some reason that did not publish it. We know now that this was a huge mistake.

  38. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    14. October 2016 at 07:04

    What the the more mainstream Republican candidates did to ‘help’ Trump was to focus their attacks on each other rather than him, even when he was the clear favorite.

    The only example of this I can think of would be Gov. Christie’s humiliation of Marco Rubio in one of the debates. Over the course of the contests, the establishment lane candidates took 26% of the popular ballots. There were over 400 delegates chosen during the bloc of time when Trump, Cruz, and Kasich were the contesting candidates left in the race. John Kasich won 11 delegates. The failure of the establishment lane candidates did not have much to do with them ‘attacking each other’. They just did not have the votes at any time after June of 2015.

  39. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    14. October 2016 at 07:06


    I would say you’re being shrill in-person, because you’re being shrill.

    Scott must be one the most calm and relaxed human beings ever. Take a deep breath.

  40. Gravatar of bill bill
    14. October 2016 at 07:16

    I think Bernanke neutered QE by paying banks a higher rate of IOR than the market was paying to holders of short term Treasury bills.

  41. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    14. October 2016 at 07:24

    Well they ‘helped’ Trump by being extremely incompetent.

    Excuse me, but do you have a non-tautological definition of ‘incompetent’? All of these men were successful politicians. They all had cadged important offices in populous states with competitive politics. Over the last 60 years, there have been ~67 competitive presidential candidacies, and Messrs. Rubio and Kasich were in charge of two of them; it’s not a prevalent skill set. The personal failures experienced by those four men are banal – (Jeb Bush has a daughter who is something of a ruin, John Kasich went through a divorce proceeding 30-odd years ago, and Marco Rubio was a storefront solo practitioner with a checkered academic record). Between them, they’ve been candidates in over 20 general election campaigns and between them have suffered 1 (quite narrow) defeat. If these guys are ‘extremely incompetent’, than who is ‘competent’?

  42. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    14. October 2016 at 07:49


    Excuse me, but do you have a non-tautological definition of ‘incompetent’?

    I just gave the definition: When your toughest competitor is a molester and a lot of people are knowing this and when there’s tons of evidence out there that proves that he’s a molester and when you got millions of dollars in your campaign to spent on but you are still unable to come up with this material in time then you are of course ‘very incompetent’ as a politician. I’d even say you are a total failure. What else would you be?

  43. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    14. October 2016 at 08:20

    I just gave the definition: When your toughest competitor is a molester and a lot of people are knowing this and when there’s tons of evidence out there that proves that he’s a molester and when you got millions of dollars in your campaign to spent on but you are still unable to come up with this material in time then you are of course ‘very incompetent’ as a politician. I’d even say you are a total failure. What else would you be?

    You gave me nothing of the kind.

    NBC had in its archives an old tape of him saying raunchy things to Billy Bush. The candidates didn’t have that tape. As for him being a ‘molester’, there’s a distinction between observable reality and the issue of your imagination. The oppo research staffs of the candidates likely know that even if you don’t.

    Quit blowing smoke.

  44. Gravatar of Student Student
    14. October 2016 at 08:30

    Art,

    “I’ll tell you the funniest is that I’ll go backstage before a show and everyone’s getting dressed. No men are anywhere, and I’m allowed to go in, because I’m the owner of the pageant and therefore I’m inspecting it…. ‘Is everyone OK’? You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. ‘Is everybody OK?’ And you see these incredible looking women, and so I sort of get away with things like that.”

    Trump admitting he’s a pervert in his own words. He is admitting he loves watching women change, even teenagers, and that he can do that because of his position of power.

    Case closed.

  45. Gravatar of Bill Ellis Bill Ellis
    14. October 2016 at 08:35

    “A Dem takeover of the House might knock $1 trillion off the stock market.”

    Ok..but will that be a “Flash Crash” ? Will it be a long lasting drop ? or something in between ?

    I guess I’m asking if you think the trillion drop will be temporary volatility in a trend that ends up in a “normal range over her first for years or not.

    a lot of shocks can cause a big drop… And they seem like nightmares at the time…especially to poorly disciplined investors…but what matters ..to long term smart investors is a consistent trend.

    let me put it a different way…after the trillion dollar drop…if you had the right assets in the right vehicle…would you convert it to stocks ?

    I’d put anything that was not nailed down (which is not a lot ) in the market and I bet I ‘d be in great shape within a year…

    even with Hillary in Office… Hillary is left wing…but she’s establishment first..last… and always..

  46. Gravatar of Bill Ellis Bill Ellis
    14. October 2016 at 08:38

    Kgaard… I did not mean to imply one way causality…

    i think it’s always a good Idea to look at every situation as something resembling self reinforcing cycles…

  47. Gravatar of Student Student
    14. October 2016 at 08:38

    Note that if someone were to be in possession of a recording of a teenager changing it would be labeled child pornography and the person would be required to register as a sex offender. You don’t have a problem with a creepy old man admitting to viewing such things live in the flesh?

  48. Gravatar of Carl Carl
    14. October 2016 at 08:41

    Scott Freelander:
    I take it you never played football.

    Scott Sumner:
    Unfortunately, I think Douthat is probably right, not Will. I don’t see the Republicans turning more towards the McMullins and Johnsons after the Trump debacle, although, it would be wonderful if they did.

  49. Gravatar of Student Student
    14. October 2016 at 08:57

    One more point on this. Suppose my daughter has some friends over to swim in my pool. Let’s say they are even 18+. Now I am the pool owner. What would you say about me if I said its funny, I walk into the bedroom where they are changing, I get to see all these beautiful women with no clothes on. I get away with it because I own the pool.

    I mean it’s my pool, I just want to make sure they are ok before swimming. I don’t want anyone to get a cramp and drown in my pool after all…

  50. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    14. October 2016 at 09:18

    Scott and Bill Ellis,

    So, $1 trillion drop in stock market cap. is a “nightmare”? I haven’t checked recently, but I believe the market cap. for US stocks is around $25 trillion. So, we’re talking about a drop somewhere in the neighborhood of 4%.

    Tell me, does that seem like shrill characterization?

  51. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    14. October 2016 at 09:20

    Carl,

    You’re wrong, not what you wrote is relevant at all. Since I played football, can I insult your wife or mother? Are you okay with that?

  52. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    14. October 2016 at 09:32

    @Art Deco

    and the issue of your imagination.

    Oh Art. You are being a very funny (or better: a very sad) complete partisan hack living in an absurd fantasy world of complete denial. In Germany you would be called the last Volkssturm of the Führer. You can’t even admit when someone is a molester and when a war is completely lost. That’s just very sad.

  53. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    14. October 2016 at 09:43

    Christian List,

    See my subsequent comments.

  54. Gravatar of Carl Carl
    14. October 2016 at 10:29

    Scott Freelander:
    I have never seen Scott Sumner insult anyone’s wife or mother. I’ve only seen snarking of the intransigent. (They, of course, consider him intransigent.) Most bloggers simply ignore those who disagree with them.

  55. Gravatar of TravisV TravisV
    14. October 2016 at 10:39

    “Yellen Cites Benefits to Running Economy Hot for Some Time”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-14/yellen-sees-plausible-ways-hot-economy-could-heal-growth

  56. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    14. October 2016 at 10:39

    Oh Art. You are being a very funny (or better: a very sad) complete partisan hack living in an absurd fantasy world of complete denial.

    I don’t take dubious 20 year old complaints all that seriously You do.

  57. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    14. October 2016 at 10:41

    Trump admitting he’s a pervert in his own words. He is admitting he loves watching women change, even teenagers, and that he can do that because of his position of power.

    Student, the terms ‘molester’ and ‘pervert’ do not mean what you think they mean.

  58. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    14. October 2016 at 10:51

    Carl,

    Are you saying Scott doesn’t insult people? Can you think of a good reason to insult people on an economics blog, or anywhere, for that matter?

  59. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    14. October 2016 at 10:59

    Note that if someone were to be in possession of a recording of a teenager changing it would be labeled child pornography and the person would be required to register as a sex offender.

    No it would not. Article 263 of the New York Penal Law requires the adolescent in question be under 16 in some circumstances and under 17 in others.

    The complaint regarding the Miss Teen USA pageant dates from 1997 and has no content other than he was in the dressing room.

  60. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    14. October 2016 at 11:08


    I don’t take dubious 20 year old complaints all that seriously You do.

    Yes in this case I do. Especially since we got at least 14 different women now who are accusing Trump of sexual ‘misconduct’ as some people call it. Looking at all the reports I have to say: This is not ‘just’ misconduct anymore, it looks like he’s a dangerous serial sex abuser.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump_sexual_misconduct_allegations

  61. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    14. October 2016 at 11:32

    Christian List,

    Yes, and notice the distinct lack of such a flood in the case of Bill Clinton. There are 3 women in that case, all with some serious reasons for being suspicious of their stories, all supporting Trump, and without Bill Clinton ever being caught talking about sexually assaulting women.

    That doesn’t mean Clinton isn’t guilty, but in terms of publicly available information, there’s no case against him. Trump is condemned with his own words.

  62. Gravatar of anon/portly anon/portly
    14. October 2016 at 11:49

    The strangest thing about the “alt right” thing is that it seems to be mixed up with the “PUA/alpha male” thing. Yet I thought Roissy’s key concept for alpha males was “amused mastery.” Is there anything less evocative of “amused mastery” than Donald Trump whining/whinging about “crooked Hillary” again and again and again?

    I think a lot of stuff I’ve seen about Trump overthinks things, they think he has a plan. Didn’t he lose hundreds of millions of dollars in the casino industry, or do I have that wrong? Anyway, if there’s one thing Trump knows how to do, it’s dig the hole he’s in deeper. As some Geico commercial copywriter might say, “if you’re Donald Trump, it’s what you do.”

  63. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    14. October 2016 at 12:13

    You can learn lots about the AltRight out there. For example, this is handy for remembering the “Four Pillars” of the AltRight:
    https://twitter.com/Tyrion_Lann_Imp/status/782175753119133696
    “JQ” stands for “Jewish Question” which is probably something like “How can we better help our fellow humans who happen to be Jewish?” or something like that.

    On the other hand, there’s a bit of confusion because others (mostly Breitbart readers) say this is the true face of the AltRight:
    http://www.gaytimes.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Milo-Yiannopoulos-ABC-Nightline.jpg
    (he calls Trump “Daddy!”)

    But then again, some others on the AltRight disagree with that, thinking Milo misrepresents them:
    https://twitter.com/Watt_Tyler_/status/780080060569153536

  64. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    14. October 2016 at 12:26

    @BC,

    If I were running the Clinton campaign I would have identified Trump as the weakest candidate as well. I may have even sent an email about it.

    As for Wikileaks, you might want to ask Gary Kasparov about the integrity/accuracy of what they’ve been leaking.

  65. Gravatar of Jim Glass Jim Glass
    14. October 2016 at 12:28

    “your utter lack of experience with women is more than obvious. If you had any, you’d know how they have nothing but contempt for white knights. And how, deep inside, all they want is to be taken by a strong man who doesn’t ask for permission.”

    Which is why Donnie’s carrying them by such huge numbers!

    Oh…wait…

  66. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    14. October 2016 at 12:28

    https://twitter.com/Kasparov63

  67. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    14. October 2016 at 12:37

    http://www.redstate.com/sweetie15/2016/10/14/trump-claims-know-accusers-newest-accuser-appeared-tv-show/

    http://www.redstate.com/sweetie15/2016/10/13/trump-cant-be-trusted-with-our-nuclear-codes/

  68. Gravatar of Massimo Heitor Massimo Heitor
    14. October 2016 at 12:37

    During the primaries, the top GOP figures attacked Cruz harder than Trump. When Trump was winning, almost none of the top GOP figures would endorse Cruz. Paul Krugman and former president Jimmy Carter said Cruz was way more terrifying than Trump. Krugman also said Rubio was more terrifying than Trump. Hillary’s team wrote about secretly elevating Trump as a “pied piper candidate”.

    Top left-wing “hate-group-watch” SPLC singled out Ben Carson on their hate list. And they removed him when he was no longer a viable candidate.

    They got their wishes. You can’t blame the alt-right. The GOP leaders picked Jeb Bush and Rubio who were wildly disconnected with their base. The GOP leaders chose to torpedo Cruz over Trump, they got their wish.

    These allegations of women abuse. An unwanted boob grab from thirty years ago sounds like an obnoxious jerk thing to do, but so what? Even on the scope of women abuse. Hillary worked to destroy and blackmail women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct. That’s far, far worse. In all seriousness, Donald Trump is basically an angel next to Hillary.

    And the anti-semitic calls. I’m part Jewish, in real life, I have a very Jewish name. UK Labour party is anti-semitic. Jeremy Corbyn is anti-semitic. I see a lot of anti-white hostility from the BLM groups and they have zero interest in recognizing Jews as anything else but white people. Trump and the guys drawing the cartoon frogs are not seriously anti-semitic.

  69. Gravatar of Student Student
    14. October 2016 at 12:43

    Art,

    You do realize you are defending an old man bragging about being able to peevishly watch teenage girls change their clothes right? That is pure insanity.

  70. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    14. October 2016 at 13:41

    An unwanted boob grab from thirty years ago

    You’re not keeping up with the news. I’ve heard of incidents now from 2013, 2007, 2005, 2004, late 90s, early 90s and earlier.

    Hillary worked to destroy and blackmail women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct.

    I’m not saying there isn’t any, but what’s your best evidence for that? A video (like we have of Trump yesterday, saying his accusers weren’t pretty enough for him to sexually assault)? Something along those lines?

  71. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    14. October 2016 at 13:47

    @Massimo, maybe you can take Ben Carson’s advice today and simply suspend his Christian morality for now. If Trump wins, you may have to keep suspending it for ? years, but hey, whatever works. I’m guessing that’s how Ben deals with the cognitive dissonance. Maybe you should try it?
    http://www.redstate.com/streiff/2016/10/14/watch.-ben-carson-loses-crap-morning-joe-video/

  72. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    14. October 2016 at 14:02

    No it would not. Article 263 of the New York Penal Law requires the adolescent in question be under 16 in some circumstances and under 17 in others.

    Actually there were girls younger than that who were naked when Mr. Trump burst in on them, while reassuring them “Don’t worry ladies, I’ve seen it all before.”
    Sounds like it went down, just like he bragged about it to Howard Stern:
    https://youtu.be/OTnaVCbLcqI?t=53
    Wow, I’m actually a little shaken by that. An instance where Trump may have told the truth!?!?!?

  73. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    14. October 2016 at 14:26

    Also, let’s not forget the lawsuit against Trump accusing him of raping a 13-year old girl has it’s first hearing in December right after his fraud trial gets underway Nov 28 (the same day Donald “I have the best memory” Trump told his supporters at a rally in Florida to be sure to show up and vote for him! Lol).

    Here’s a list as of a couple of hours ago (I’m seeing roughly 2013 back to the 1980s as the general time frame… pretty evenly distributed):
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2016/10/12/trump_sexual_assault_allegations_the_floodgates_are_open.html

  74. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    14. October 2016 at 14:46

    This is rich:

    Trump prevented his own campaign from vetting him

  75. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    14. October 2016 at 15:20

    Scott, You said:

    “Also, before calling commentary like that from Jill “middle-brow”, you might want to consider that you offer no original or deep perspectives on politics yourself.”

    Yes, I agree. But if I went over to some other blog, and left 12 boring smug comments on politics in a couple hours, citing talking points from middle-brow papers like the NYT, I’d expect to get trashed. Wouldn’t you? Especially if I called the blog host a “Republican” when he was not one, and then expressed my contempt for Republicans. So I don’t do things like that.

    All the stuff about sex scandals is too boring to debate. You assumed I disagreed with the Fox interview, but I completely agree. End of story. I don’t care about that nonsense.

    Art, There was a clear strategy of the leaders to go after each other, figuring they could dispose of Trump later. So Bush runs commercials against Rubio, and ignores Trump. Etc. etc. It was a disaster for the GOP.

    You don’t think they could have found all of the Trump sex scandals back in in January?

    Bill, Ok, my stock market claims had a bit of hyperbole. I think the market would strongly prefer a GOP Congress, but I can’t say how strong the effect would be.

    Massimo, You will actually like my next post, which is written but not posted yet.

  76. Gravatar of Student Student
    14. October 2016 at 16:45

    Don’t believe you think it’s boring summer.

  77. Gravatar of Student Student
    14. October 2016 at 16:46

    *sumner

  78. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    14. October 2016 at 16:57

    Art, There was a clear strategy of the leaders to go after each other, figuring they could dispose of Trump later. So Bush runs commercials against Rubio, and ignores Trump. Etc. etc. It was a disaster for the GOP.

    You were not working for their campaigns.

    Trump displaced Jeb Bush from the top spot in July 2015, not a month after he announced his candidacy. Bush lost 2/3 of his polled support in about 3 months. Mike Huckabee suffered similar losses. Scott Walker’s campaign imploded completely. Rubio’s commercials did not do that to these campaigns and only Bush’s campaign could plausibly be identified with the establishment lane. Take a gander at this Quinnipiac poll from September 2015:

    https://www.qu.edu/images/polling/us/us09242015_ui47mfb.pdf

    Your establishment lane candidates cadge 24% of the respondents with 9% undecided, almost precisely what they polled in the primaries and caucuses themselves. That’s the ceiling for the establishment lane candidates, no matter what they say about each other.

  79. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    14. October 2016 at 17:01

    You don’t think they could have found all of the Trump sex scandals back in in January?

    As we speak, the scandals consist of Trump talking dirty, Trump kissing some woman, and Trump touching the thigh of some woman. That might be decisive in the moment we’re in, which is why the media elected to pass the megaphone around just now. What was it going to do back in March with a different electorate with a different balance of assumptions?

  80. Gravatar of Massimo Heitor Massimo Heitor
    14. October 2016 at 18:51

    @Tom Brown,

    “Also, let’s not forget the lawsuit against Trump accusing him of raping a 13-year old girl”

    This is by far the most serious allegation… There’s some chance it is completely untrue. I haven’t heard of this one until this week.

    “I’m not saying there isn’t any, but what’s your best evidence for that? A video (like we have of Trump yesterday, saying his accusers weren’t pretty enough for him to sexually assault)? Something along those lines?”

    Those comments from Trump aren’t remotely proof of anything.

    I’m not the right person to properly investigating these allegations.

    Top supreme court justice Ginsberg made it clear that she will throw aside any pretense of jurisprudence and lady justice fairness to attack Trump. The Clintons have more powerful and more loyal connections in the legal + political system to control any public information, public opinion, and legal judgements.

    Whatever sexual misconduct Trump did will get magnified by the justice + media. Whatever sexual misconduct the Clintons were involved in will get hidden or obfuscated.

  81. Gravatar of Student Student
    14. October 2016 at 20:01

    Art,

    A catholic that attacks the pope because he posits mercy yet supports a guy watching teens naked. Sorry but it’s time to get real, and take off the gloves. Your a fake and evil.

  82. Gravatar of Student Student
    14. October 2016 at 20:10

    Policy has long been out the window… This is now about the pepe’s and those that oppose them. Sorry but people aren’t going to like it sumner included. These people are crazy. It’s a fact

  83. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    15. October 2016 at 01:24

    As we speak, the scandals consist of Trump talking dirty, Trump kissing some woman, and Trump touching the thigh of some woman.

    Actually, from here they currently consist of:

    1. 2007, Summer Zervos: multiple unwanted kisses on her mouth, boob grab, and Trump trying to force her into his bedroom.

    2. Early 1990s, Kristen Anderson: Trump put his hand up her skirt and touched her vagina.

    3. 2005, Natasha Stoynoff: Trump pushed her against a wall and “forcing his tongue my throat” is her description. Trump’s wife Melania in next room.

    4. Early 1980s, Jessica Leeds: Unwanted kisses, and put his hand up her skirt. Trump ally & Fox host Lou Dobbs doxxed her (tweeted her name and address) after her allegation. He later apologized. The Trump campaign has brilliantly cited a self described child-sex trafficker and serial high-profile sex scandal “witness” to refute her story.
    http://therightscoop.com/breaking-trump-camp-puts-eye-witness-says-plane-grope-accuser-lying/

    5. 2005, Rachel Crooks: Unwanted kiss on the mouth from Trump.

    6. 2003, Mindy McGillivray: Groped by Trump.

    7. Unknown year, CNN’s Erin Burnett’s friend: Unwanted kiss on mouth from Trump. He used tic-tacs directly before, just as he bragged about to Billy Bush on tape.

    8. 2013, Cassandra Searles: Miss USA Pageant contestant. Repeatedly groped by Trump and invited to is hotel room.

    9. 1998, Temple Taggart: Miss Utah Trump kissed her (and other contestants, she thinks) on the mouth.

    10. 1993, Jill Harth: First brought lawsuit against Trump in 1997 for what she describes as “attempted rape.”

    11. 1989, Ivana Trump: says she was raped by Trump, but later said not in a “literal or criminal sense.”

    12. 2001, Miss Teen USA contestant: Trump deliberately walked in on her and other girls while they were naked.

    13. 1997, Same deal (Trump in dressing room at pageant) with some girls as young as 15.

    14. 1994, “Jane Doe” alleges Trump raped her at age 13. Slate cites a Jezebel article from June saying there are reasons to reserve judgement on this story, although since then there’s been reports of new witnesses in the case and attorney Cheney Mason has agreed to represent the plaintiff.

    I think that covers it so far, other than the fairly vanilla 1992 tape of Trump talking to 10 year old girls and saying to the camera he’d be dating them in 10 years.

  84. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    15. October 2016 at 01:46

    Massimo, you write:

    Those comments from Trump aren’t remotely proof of anything.

    You said Hillary “worked to destroy” Bill’s accusers. What do you mean by “worked to destroy?” Do you mean you have a video of her calling Bill’s accusers liars, tools of his political opponents, and too ugly for Bill to have assaulted? Like what Trump did yesterday with his accusers? Or do you mean she published their addresses and telephone numbers like Trump supporter and Fox host Lou Dobbs did to Jessica Leeds? (because he wrongly and stupidly believed this hoax).

    So far one Trump accuser has fled the country because they felt threatened by Trump supporters. Something like that? What’s your evidence?

  85. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    15. October 2016 at 02:07

    … re: going after Bill’s accusers, are you sure you’re not confusing Hillary for Trump? After all he did publicly call Bill’s accuser Paula Jones a “loser” (here’s the video):
    https://youtu.be/O50NvGrOx2k?t=33

  86. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    15. October 2016 at 03:20

    15. 1992, Trump (46) told a couple of 14 year old girls singing Christmas carols that he’d be dating them in a couple of years. Lol. As with most of these stories Trump himself is a corroborating witness:
    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/359777715185913857

    As Bill Maher said “Republicans: your nominee for president has a pick up line for under age girls”

  87. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    15. October 2016 at 03:30

    “What does Donald Trump have to say about all this? ‘Ridiculous! I would never cheat on my daughter!‘” -Bill Maher

  88. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    15. October 2016 at 03:57

    “For the Republican base this [sexual assaults] is not a deal breaker. ‘GOP’ now stands for ‘Grab Our Pussies’” – Bill Maher

  89. Gravatar of Chuck Biscuits Chuck Biscuits
    15. October 2016 at 05:50

    @patrick Sullivan

    The money quote from deLong, since Bernanke’s argument is so beloved by market monetarists:

    “In Bernanke’s arbitrage thought experiment the central bank is not just swapping one zero yielding government asset for another. If it were, the argument would not go through: the government could issue an indefinite amount of cash and acquire an indefinite amount of zero-yielding assets as the mirror to a private-sector balance sheet that has an indefinite amount of cash balanced by being short an indefinite amount of government discount bonds value at par, and the price level would not change. What makes the arbitrage argument work is the word goods. The government prints money, and buys roads, bridges, the bearing of duration risk, biomedical research, human capital for twelve-year olds—whatever. This is helicopter money.”

    Get that? HELICOPTER money, not more QE.

  90. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    15. October 2016 at 09:08

    Art, I never denied that Ted Cruz might have won the nomination if they’d hammered Trump. So what? Cruz is establishment, compared to Trump.

    Tom, I’m sure all 14 of those women were put up to it by Hillary. It’s all a vast conspiracy.

    Chuck, That quote is a complete non sequitor. If money and T-bills are perfect substitutes, you buy other financial assets. You don’t do helicopter drops, or build bridges to nowhere.

  91. Gravatar of Chuck Biscuits Chuck Biscuits
    15. October 2016 at 10:32

    Scott, you’re a perfect illustration of the aphorism that insanity is defined by doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results.

    But, take your objection up with DeLong. Go over to his blog and explain how his interpretation is wrong. Bernanke’s original article seemed clear enough, his thought experiment wasn’t confined to financial assets.

  92. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    15. October 2016 at 11:26

    Chuck, See my new post at Econlog.

  93. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    15. October 2016 at 11:27

    DeLong deletes my comments, even though I am always ultra-polite. No idea why.

  94. Gravatar of Chuck Biscuits Chuck Biscuits
    15. October 2016 at 14:13

    Uh, Bernanke clearly and plainly speaks of the CB buying assets AND goods. Your claim that he means assets only suggests either lack of reading ability, or intellectual honesty. Maybe both.

  95. Gravatar of Chuck Biscuits Chuck Biscuits
    15. October 2016 at 14:15

    Read p. 14 for Christ’s sake:

    http://www.princeton.edu/~pkrugman/bernanke_paralysis.pdf

  96. Gravatar of Chuck Biscuits Chuck Biscuits
    15. October 2016 at 19:06

    Note again the hilarity of the “libertarian” Sumner advocating that CBs buy things like stocks and corporate bonds.

  97. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    16. October 2016 at 11:30

    Chuck, No, I’m not advocating that they buy stocks and corporate bonds. The “hilarity” is that you think you are qualified to comment on monetary theory.

    And central banks can buy goods OR assets.

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