In which elites believe they can do better: Daily Bullshit, June 30, 2016

Brexit

I suppose I should take this Foreign Affairs article by Kathleen McNamara largely as vindication for the view I and others been expressing for several days now about Brexit and class.[1] It seems it’s all the fashion now to notice, as if lots of folks hadn’t been howling about social inequality and globalization for years, “a consequential divide between cosmopolitans who view the future with hope and those who have been left behind and have seen their economic situations and ways of life deteriorate.” But that’s really a problem: It took this referendum and, for all the alleged misrepresentations on which its advocates campaigned, for elites to see that, gee whiz, maybe they need to do something different, that just maybe “the social exclusion that arises in a world of stark economic inequality” is a problem that needs to be addressed.[2] And it’s really a huge problem. Because for all this belated concern for the working class, that is, now that this class has delivered a hard slap across elites’ faces, elites continue to insist that so-called “free trade” is a good thing. In short, one must always ask of such a claim, “free” for whom, and “good” for whom? (In more detail, I’ve previously addressed so-called “free trade” in a blog post.) The very existence of powerful elites means the existence of entirely too comfortable people in control who simply don’t regard real people’s problems as being something they need to be even the slightest bit concerned about.[3] That is, until something like the Brexit vote happens.

And it’s the kind of thing that keeps happening. For all the hand-wringing about Donald Trump, there’s a real story in how Democratic Party elites in the U.S. insult progressives[4] and suppress their candidate.[5]

Brexit may indeed be a horrible instrument.[6] And so might Donald Trump. But there are a lot of suffering people out there. If horrible instruments are the only way to get some attention, then complaining, as McNamara does, that “[r]eferenda are terrible mechanisms of democracy”[7] marks her as a large part of the problem.

Kathleen R. McNamara, “Brexit’s False Democracy: What the Vote Really Revealed,” Foreign Affairs, June 28, 2016, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-kingdom/2016-06-28/brexits-false-democracy

George Monbiot, “Roots in the Rubble,” June 29, 2016, http://www.monbiot.com/2016/06/29/roots-in-the-rubble/


Unemployment

Jacques Berlinerblau, “This Guy Got Tenure. You Probably Won’t,” Chronicle of Higher Education, June 29, 2016, http://chronicle.com/article/You-Probably-Wont-Get-Tenure/236957


Donald Trump

It should go without saying that linking to an article here does not constitute endorsement. Sometimes, as is the case with Scott McConnell’s article in the American Conservative, they’re just interesting.

Scott McConnell, “Why Trump Wins,” American Conservative, June 27, 2016, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/why-trump-wins/


  1. [1]David Benfell, “The ‘Brexit’ vote may signify the end of the illusion of ‘progress,’” Not Housebroken, June 26, 2016, https://disunitedstates.org/?p=9023; Luke Kawa, “Get Ready to See This Globalization ‘Elephant Chart’ Over and Over Again,” Bloomberg, June 27, 2016, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-27/get-ready-to-see-this-globalization-elephant-chart-over-and-over-again; Jim Tankersley, “Britain just killed globalization as we know it,” Washington Post, June 25, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/06/25/great-britain-just-killed-globalization-as-we-know-it/
  2. [2]Kathleen R. McNamara, “Brexit’s False Democracy: What the Vote Really Revealed,” Foreign Affairs, June 28, 2016, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-kingdom/2016-06-28/brexits-false-democracy
  3. [3]George Monbiot, “Roots in the Rubble,” June 29, 2016, http://www.monbiot.com/2016/06/29/roots-in-the-rubble/
  4. [4]Blue Texan [pseud.], “Ed Rendell Tells Democratic Base to “Get Over It” on Rachel Maddow,” Firedoglake, September 23, 2010, http://firedoglake.com/2010/09/23/early-morning-swim-ed-rendell-tells-democratic-base-to-get-over-it-on-rachel-maddow/; Blue Texan [pseud.], “Stop Whining, Liberals!” Firedoglake, September 27, 2010, http://firedoglake.com/2010/09/27/late-night-stop-whining-liberals/; Michael Falcone, “Opposite Day On The Campaign Trail?” ABC News, September 21, 2010, http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2010/09/election-2010-opposite-day-on-the-campaign-trail/; Glenn Greenwald, “Obama’s view of liberal criticisms,” Salon, September 17, 2010, http://www.salon.com/2010/09/17/obama_139/; David Neiwert, “President Obama lashes out at his liberal critics: Choice is to ‘get things done’ or feel ‘sanctimonious’,” Crooks and Liars, December 7, 2010, http://crooksandliars.com/david-neiwert/president-obama-lashes-out-his-liber; Heather Digby Parton, “‘It’s always the hippies’ fault’: Why the left treats its idealists all wrong,” Salon, February 5, 2015, http://www.salon.com/2015/02/05/its_always_the_hippies_fault_why_the_left_treats_its_idealists_all_wrong/; Greg Sargent, “Liberal blogger directly confronts David Axelrod, accuses White House of ‘hippie punching’,” Washington Post, September 23, 2010, http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/09/liberal_blogger_directly_confr.html; Stephen Stromberg, “Joe Biden scolds progressives — and he’s right,” Washington Post, September 16, 2010, http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2010/09/joe_biden_scolds_progressives.html; Sam Youngman, “White House unloads anger over criticism from ‘professional left’,” Hill, August 10, 2010, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/113431-white-house-unloads-on-professional-left
  5. [5]Ryan Cooper, “Hillary Clinton and the awful risk of winning ugly,” Week, December 21, 2015, http://theweek.com/articles/595141/hillary-clinton-awful-risk-winning-ugly; Christian Drake, “New Information Shows DNC Violated Its Own Rules When It Shut Down Sanders Campaign Data Access,” Addicting Info, December 19, 2015, http://www.addictinginfo.org/2015/12/19/new-information-shows-dnc-violated-its-own-rules-when-it-shut-down-sanders-campaign-data-access/; Nick Gass, “Clinton press secretary: Superdelegates can help Clinton clinch nomination by early June,” Politico, April 14, 2016, http://www.politico.com/blogs/2016-gop-primary-live-updates-and-results/2016/04/hillary-clinton-needs-superdelegates-221943; Lauren McCauley, “Thumb on the Scale? DNC Backs Off Bernie But Questions of Neutrality Linger,” Common Dreams, December 19, 2015, http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/12/19/thumb-scale-dnc-backs-bernie-questions-neutrality-linger; William Rivers Pitt, “Naked Politics: Sanders, Clinton and How to Win When You’re Losing,” Truthout, May 18, 2016, http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/36090-naked-politics-sanders-clinton-and-how-to-win-when-you-re-losing; Michael Sainato, “The Countless Failings of the DNC,” Observer, March 27, 2016, http://observer.com/2016/03/the-countless-failings-of-the-dnc/; Daniel Strauss, “Bernie’s backers rage against Democratic machine,” Politico, April 13, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/04/bernie-sanders-supporters-democrats-221842; Caitlin Yilek, “Ex-Obama adviser: DNC ‘putting finger on scale’ for Hillary,” Hill, December 18, 2015, http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/263792-ex-obama-adviser-on-sanders-scandal-dnc-putting-finger-on
  6. [6]George Monbiot, “Roots in the Rubble,” June 29, 2016, http://www.monbiot.com/2016/06/29/roots-in-the-rubble/
  7. [7]Kathleen R. McNamara, “Brexit’s False Democracy: What the Vote Really Revealed,” Foreign Affairs, June 28, 2016, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-kingdom/2016-06-28/brexits-false-democracy

An idiot mayor and independence for London: Daily Bullshit, June 29, 2016 (updated again)

Updated for an article casting further doubt on Hillary Clinton’s explanation regarding her use of a private email server while serving as Secretary of State and two more articles on Brexit.


Perhaps I should explain that I am seriously offended when I see the kind of idiocy I’m seeing with regard to London and Brexit today. Not just because I feel my intelligence is being insulted but because these fucking assholes have jobs and I can’t find one to save my life.


Brexit

London’s mayor, apparently hasn’t gotten a couple of memos. He denies he’s seeking independence for London,[1] despite it being fairly clear that the only way London can independently “[r]emain[] in the single market,” which he says “needs to be priority one, two and three of our negotiation with the EU,”[2] or even enter into negotiations with the European Union is to be independent, just as it would be for Scotland,[3] unless, as I suggested yesterday, London joins a scheme with Scotland, Gibraltar, and possibly Northern Ireland to preserve the United Kingdom, while the rest of England leaves.[4] And no, I still don’t think that scheme is plausible.[5]

Khan claims that “when London succeeds, the rest of the country succeeds too,”[6] but a very major reason Brexit passed was that a substantial portion of the U.K. electorate has not shared in that success.[7] This mayor is yet another fucking idiot and, as a story in the Independent’s Indy100 site pointed out parenthetically, “FYI, London Independence, it’s exactly this kind of ~metropolitan elite~ posturing that makes the rest of the country hate you.”[8] No shit.

Rebecca Byrne, “London Must Take Back Control, Says Mayor,” Wall Street Journal, June 28, 2016, https://city.wsj.com/stories/365398c1-87d7-4c91-8421-829cb78ac161.redirect

added 23:07:23
Henry Farrell, “The Irish Question: The Consequences of Brexit,” Foreign Affairs, June 28, 2016, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/ireland/2016-06-28/irish-question

Bethan McKernan, “Here’s what Sadiq Khan has to say about London independence,” Independent, June 28, 2016, http://indy100.independent.co.uk/article/heres-what-sadiq-khan-has-to-say-about-london-independence–Wyx3gxVn1BZ

added 23:44:51
Jamie McGeever, “JP Morgan says Scottish independence, new currency now its ‘base case,'” Reuters, June 29, 2016, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-scotland-jpmorgan-idUSKCN0ZF15Z


added 15:21:13

Hillary Clinton

Chris Cillizza, “Hillary Clinton’s email story continues to get harder and harder to believe,” Washington Post, June 28, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/06/28/hillary-clintons-email-story-continues-to-get-harder-and-harder-to-believe/

  1. [1]Rebecca Byrne, “London Must Take Back Control, Says Mayor,” Wall Street Journal, June 28, 2016, https://city.wsj.com/stories/365398c1-87d7-4c91-8421-829cb78ac161.redirect; Bethan McKernan, “Here’s what Sadiq Khan has to say about London independence,” Independent, June 28, 2016, http://indy100.independent.co.uk/article/heres-what-sadiq-khan-has-to-say-about-london-independence–Wyx3gxVn1BZ
  2. [2]Sadiq Khan, quoted in Rebecca Byrne, “London Must Take Back Control, Says Mayor,” Wall Street Journal, June 28, 2016, https://city.wsj.com/stories/365398c1-87d7-4c91-8421-829cb78ac161.redirect
  3. [3]Gabriela Baczynska, “European Commission says after Brexit vote: Scotland part of UK,” Reuters, June 25, 2016, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-scotland-commission-idUSKCN0ZB0LQ
  4. [4]MercoPress, “Gibraltar talking with Scotland about how to remain in the European Union,” June 28, 2016, http://en.mercopress.com/2016/06/28/gibraltar-talking-with-scotland-about-how-to-remain-in-the-european-union
  5. [5]David Benfell, “The elephant chart in the room,” Daily Bullshit, June 28, 2016, https://parts-unknown.org/reading/2016/06/28/the-elephant-chart-in-the-room-daily-bullshit-june-28-2016/
  6. [6]Sadiq Khan, quoted in Rebecca Byrne, “London Must Take Back Control, Says Mayor,” Wall Street Journal, June 28, 2016, https://city.wsj.com/stories/365398c1-87d7-4c91-8421-829cb78ac161.redirect
  7. [7]Luke Kawa, “Get Ready to See This Globalization ‘Elephant Chart’ Over and Over Again,” Bloomberg, June 27, 2016, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-27/get-ready-to-see-this-globalization-elephant-chart-over-and-over-again; Jim Tankersley, “Britain just killed globalization as we know it,” Washington Post, June 25, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/06/25/great-britain-just-killed-globalization-as-we-know-it/
  8. [8]Bethan McKernan, “Here’s what Sadiq Khan has to say about London independence,” Independent, June 28, 2016, http://indy100.independent.co.uk/article/heres-what-sadiq-khan-has-to-say-about-london-independence–Wyx3gxVn1BZ

The elephant chart in the room: Daily Bullshit, June 28, 2016

Brexit

Fig. 1. The ‘elephant’ chart shows the distribution of income increases across global incomes. What they call the “global upper middle class” includes the working class in the developed world. Image via Bloomberg, fair use.

The English seem to have successfully slapped the financial elites hard in the face with their ‘Brexit’ vote. It’s a richly deserved slap, but I’m not holding my breath for anyone to do anything about it.

On another note, I gotta give the Gibraltar folks or maybe the Scots or maybe both credit for creativity. The idea apparently would be to divide the United Kingdom, allowing England to leave instead of Scotland, Gibraltar, and possibly Northern Ireland. With England out, the U.K. retains its membership in the European Union. There’s precedent for this, they say: Greenland.[1] Really?

On the one hand, if my assessment is unduly harsh, I suppose it’s possible to envision Scotland, Northern Ireland, Gibraltar, and maybe—let’s pause to consider border checkpoints on roads leading outward from the M25—London preserving the status quo while Wales and the rest of England split off. It might actually be a cleaner division than anything I have imagined for the U.S.[2]

I guess from my perspective, it’s entirely reasonable to imagine Denmark as Denmark without Greenland. It’s been recognized by all concerned for decades that Denmark’s sovereignty over Greenland is anachronistic. Greenland is remote, with a small population; I don’t imagine it figures often in how Danes or non-Danes imagine Denmark.

I’m not so sure that it would be possible to hive off most or all of England and Wales and still claim that this is the same United Kingdom that the European Union had struck its bargains with. Were Northern Ireland instead to choose to reunify with Ireland,[3] I think the claim grows weaker still.

Luke Kawa, “Get Ready to See This Globalization ‘Elephant Chart’ Over and Over Again,” Bloomberg, June 27, 2016, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-27/get-ready-to-see-this-globalization-elephant-chart-over-and-over-again

Michael Birnbaum and Griff Witte, “E.U. leaders toughen line over British ‘divorce,’” Washington Post, June 28, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/eu-leaders-converge-on-brussels-for-brexit-crisis-talks/2016/06/28/ca75f2e6-3c9e-11e6-9e16-4cf01a41decb_story.html

MercoPress, “Gibraltar talking with Scotland about how to remain in the European Union,” June 28, 2016, http://en.mercopress.com/2016/06/28/gibraltar-talking-with-scotland-about-how-to-remain-in-the-european-union

Updated at 16:07:08
Christopher Whittall and Corrie Driebusch, “Global Markets Steady After Brexit-Related Rout,” Wall Street Journal, June 28, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/global-markets-steadier-after-brexit-related-rout-1467099488


Hillary Clinton

Models that forecast a victory for Donald Trump rely heavily on the economy.[4] Which suggests that the “Brexit” vote might be a tipping point for the November outcome.

Alexander Bolton, “Economic turmoil threatens Clinton,” Hill, June 28, 2016, http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/285109-economic-turmoil-threatens-clinton


Idiots Economists

Mark Thoma, “Why the Public Has Stopped Paying Attention to Economists,” Fiscal Times, June 28, 2016, http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2016/06/28/Why-Public-Has-Stopped-Paying-Attention-Economists

  1. [1]MercoPress, “Gibraltar talking with Scotland about how to remain in the European Union,” June 28, 2016, http://en.mercopress.com/2016/06/28/gibraltar-talking-with-scotland-about-how-to-remain-in-the-european-union
  2. [2]David Benfell, “Humans Without Borders: A Paradox,” October 15, 2013, https://parts-unknown.org/drupal7/journal/2013/10/15/humans-without-borders-paradox
  3. [3]Simone McCarthy, “Morning after Brexit, Scotland and N. Ireland reconsider ties to Britain,” Christian Science Monitor, June 24, 2016, http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Global-News/2016/0624/Morning-after-Brexit-Scotland-and-N.-Ireland-reconsider-ties-to-Britain
  4. [4]Vicki Needham, “Economic models predict GOP White House, even with Trump,” Hill, April 4, 2016, http://thehill.com/policy/finance/275084-models-predict-gop-white-house-even-with-trump

The ‘entrepreneurial’ university: Daily Bullshit, June 27, 2016

Humanities

I imagine more than a few scholars will cheer what Eric Johnson has written.

Eric Johnson, “Business Can Pay to Train Its Own Work Force,” Chronicle of Higher Education, June 22, 2016, http://chronicle.com/article/Business-Can-Pay-to-Train-Its/231015/


Brexit

Roberto Savio observes the same class issues[1] that I highlighted in my blog post,[2] but goes on to blame—in significant part—the German government.[3]

Meanwhile, those who are relatively optimistic about the Brexit vote’s outcome on the world economy are making certain assumptions about how investors will react. There’s a big huge problem with this and that is, in contrast to the “rational markets” hypothesis, traders are not particularly rational. With the Dow down over 870 points in the last two days of trading,[4] we’re in the realm of psychology, much more even than economic ideology, and estimates under such conditions have been horribly wrong in the past.

Roberto Savio, “Brexit and EUexit,” Inter Press Service, June 25, 2016, http://www.ipsnews.net/2016/06/brexit-and-ueexit/

Maria Armental, “S&P Strips U.K. of Triple-A Credit Rating,” Wall Street Journal, June 27, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/s-p-strips-u-k-of-triple-a-credit-rating-1467050234

Gregor Stuart Hunter and Mike Bird, “British Pound Falls Further as ‘Brexit’ Shock Lingers,” Wall Street Journal, June 27, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/british-pound-falls-further-as-brexit-shock-lingers-1467004972

Aaron Kuriloff and Riva Gold, “Pound, Stocks Battered Again by Brexit,” Wall Street Journal, June 27, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/european-markets-remain-pressured-by-brexit-1467013530


Donald Trump

There’s still time for this to come together, but I’m starting to think I just might be wrong about the Republican Party singing Kumbaya at their upcoming convention. This after it initially seemed to be taking a lot less time than I expected.[5] Frankly, Donald Trump’s comments on the judge overseeing the Trump University case are having a larger impact than I would ever have expected. And no, I do not understand why these comments and not all the other inflammatory comments he’s made in the past are proving so toxic to his candidacy.

I’m just guessing, but it might be that functionalist conservatives who have been in denial about his candidacy for a long time are now finally having to come to grips with it. If that’s the case, then it remains to be seen how this really impacts Trump’s base of support, especially as the months remaining until the November election drag on. To the extent that it is more than that, I may be forced to revise my view that any Republican, Trump included, can beat Hillary Clinton.

There’s a huge caveat here. One of the points Roberto Savio makes relating to the failure of surveys to forecast the Brexit outcome is also applicable to Trump. He points out that an assumption behind any survey is that respondents will be truthful with investigators and that this assumption may fail when gut feelings conflict with thought positions.[6] The way I’ve heard this before is a bit different and called social acceptability bias: Respondents may tailor their responses to appeal to poll-takers, especially with in-person polls when a respondent wishes to be attractive to the opposite sex and tries to anticipate what opinions the worker will approve of and respond accordingly, or when a respondent in a in-person or phone interview holds a stigmatized view: Relatively few racists, for example, will admit to being racists—and many are in denial about their racism.[7] With Donald Trump’s paleoconservative and authoritarian populist appeal, this is a real problem, especially when race—as with the Trump University judge—is at issue.

Could social acceptability bias affect results by double-digit percentages? Absolutely. Is it having such an effect this time? It’s hard to know but it should not even for a moment be surprising if it does.

Juan Williams, “GOP sounds the sirens over Trump,” Hill, June 27, 2016, http://thehill.com/opinion/juan-williams/284939-juan-williams-gop-sounds-the-sirens-over-trump


  1. [1]Paul J. Davies, “The Real Reason ‘Brexit’ Has World on Edge,” Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-real-reason-brexit-has-world-on-edge-1466659805; John Harris, “‘If you’ve got money, you vote in … if you haven’t got money, you vote out,’” Guardian, June 24, 2016, http://www.theguardian.com/politics/commentisfree/2016/jun/24/divided-britain-brexit-money-class-inequality-westminster; Jim Tankersley, “Britain just killed globalization as we know it,” Washington Post, June 25, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/06/25/great-britain-just-killed-globalization-as-we-know-it/; Griff Witte, “9 out of 10 experts agree: Britain doesn’t trust the experts on Brexit,” Washington Post, June 21, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/9-out-of-10-experts-agree-britain-doesnt-trust-the-experts-on-brexit/2016/06/21/2ccc134a-34a6-11e6-ab9d-1da2b0f24f93_story.html
  2. [2]David Benfell, “The ‘Brexit’ vote may signify the end of the illusion of ‘progress,’” Not Housebroken, https://disunitedstates.org/?p=9023
  3. [3]Roberto Savio, “Brexit and EUexit,” Inter Press Service, June 25, 2016, http://www.ipsnews.net/2016/06/brexit-and-ueexit/
  4. [4]Wall Street Journal to Major Indexes Closing list, June 24, 2016, http://online.wsj.com/mdc/public/page/2_3022-usclosingstk.html; Wall Street Journal to Major Indexes Closing list, June 27, 2016, http://online.wsj.com/mdc/public/page/2_3022-usclosingstk.html
  5. [5]David Benfell, “Humans probably made it to North America prior to the Bering land bridge,” Daily Bullshit, https://parts-unknown.org/reading/2016/05/13/humans-probably-made-it-to-north-america-prior-to-the-bering-land-bridgedaily-bullshit-may-13-2016/
  6. [6]Roberto Savio, “Brexit and EUexit,” Inter Press Service, June 25, 2016, http://www.ipsnews.net/2016/06/brexit-and-ueexit/
  7. [7]I’m remembering social acceptability bias from a lecture given by Valerie Sue in a research methods class I took at California State University, East Bay, probably in Fall, 2003. Sue and I differ on methods: She labeled herself “quantitative girl” while I now (but did not then) prefer qualitative methods. I hope she might smile to learn that I still remember at least some of what she taught all those years ago.

Scotland’s bark bigger than its bite? At least until independence: Daily Bullshit, June 26, 2016

Brexit

I comment on the Brexit vote outcome in a blog post.

I don’t know the details of Scotland’s bargain with the United Kingdom, but First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is probably wrong about Scotland’s government being able to negotiate with the European Union on its own[1] and her suggestion that the government ought to be able to veto United Kingdom enabling legislation for ‘Brexit’[2] strikes me as overreach. I think before any of this can happen, Scotland must secure its independence, which does appear feasible.[3]

Gabriela Baczynska, “European Commission says after Brexit vote: Scotland part of UK,” Reuters, June 25, 2016, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-scotland-commission-idUSKCN0ZB0LQ

Jim Tankersley, “Britain just killed globalization as we know it,” Washington Post, June 25, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/06/25/great-britain-just-killed-globalization-as-we-know-it/

British Broadcasting Corporation, “Nicola Sturgeon says MSPs at Holyrood could veto Brexit,” June 26, 2016, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-36633244


  1. [1]Gabriela Baczynska, “European Commission says after Brexit vote: Scotland part of UK,” Reuters, June 25, 2016, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-scotland-commission-idUSKCN0ZB0LQ; Lawrence Wakefield, “Nicola Sturgeon takes steps to keep Scotland in EU,” Politico, June 25, 2016, http://www.politico.eu/article/brexit-eu-referendum-sturgeon-sets-out-path-for-second-independence-referendum/
  2. [2]British Broadcasting Corporation, “Nicola Sturgeon says MSPs at Holyrood could veto Brexit,” June 26, 2016, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-36633244
  3. [3]Toby Helm and Daniel Boffey, “UK faces Brexit crisis after Europe’s leaders demand: ‘Get out now,’” Guardian, June 25, 2016, http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/25/uk-faces-brexit-crisis; Simone McCarthy, “Morning after Brexit, Scotland and N. Ireland reconsider ties to Britain,” Christian Science Monitor, June 24, 2016, http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Global-News/2016/0624/Morning-after-Brexit-Scotland-and-N.-Ireland-reconsider-ties-to-Britain

The divisions over ‘Brexit’: Daily Bullshit, June 25, 2016 (updated)

Brexit

As near as I can determine, Scotland will have to declare independence from the United Kingdom in order to remain in the European Union.[1] It was unclear how Scottish independence would affect its relationship with the E.U. even in the first referendum,[2] although with the United Kingdom leaving, one might think the rest of the E.U. might be much more receptive to some sort of accommodation.

John Harris, “‘If you’ve got money, you vote in … if you haven’t got money, you vote out,'” Guardian, June 24, 2016, http://www.theguardian.com/politics/commentisfree/2016/jun/24/divided-britain-brexit-money-class-inequality-westminster

Added at 21:12:54
Toby Helm and Daniel Boffey, “UK faces Brexit crisis after Europe’s leaders demand: ‘Get out now,’” Guardian, June 25, 2016, http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/25/uk-faces-brexit-crisis

Jonathan Stearns, “Europe’s Frustration With Cameron Mounts at Ministerial Meeting,” Bloomberg, June 24, 2016, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-24/europe-s-frustration-with-cameron-mounts-at-ministerial-meeting

Lawrence Wakefield, “Nicola Sturgeon takes steps to keep Scotland in EU,” Politico, June 25, 2016, http://www.politico.eu/article/brexit-eu-referendum-sturgeon-sets-out-path-for-second-independence-referendum/


Added at 22:38:40

California independence

This is a secession movement I hadn’t heard of before. California would consist of several states, joined in a looser confederation than exists under the present federal system governed in Washington, D.C.[3]

Seung Lee, “Calexit? Brexit Buoys California Independence Movement,” Newsweek, June 25, 2016, http://www.newsweek.com/calexit-brexit-buoys-california-independence-movement-474576


  1. [1]Lawrence Wakefield, “Nicola Sturgeon takes steps to keep Scotland in EU,” Politico, June 25, 2016, http://www.politico.eu/article/brexit-eu-referendum-sturgeon-sets-out-path-for-second-independence-referendum/
  2. [2]Severin Carrell, “Independent Scotland ‘would have to start afresh as EU member state,'” Guardian, May 6, 2016, http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2012/nov/21/independent-scotland-eu-member-state
  3. [3]Seung Lee, “Calexit? Brexit Buoys California Independence Movement,” Newsweek, June 25, 2016, http://www.newsweek.com/calexit-brexit-buoys-california-independence-movement-474576

‘Brexit’ wins: Daily Bullshit, June 24, 2016 (5th update)

It appears the ‘Brexit’ news rush has now subsided. This is probably the final update for today and there are no new ‘Brexit’ stories included.


Brexit

If you ever want to understand how the neoliberal world order is enforced, consider the following paragraph:

Many analysts predicted Britain would soon fall into recession as businesses withhold investment and wary households rein in spending until a new fiscal order is established. S&P warned that it could downgrade Britain’s credit rating “by more than one notch” in the wake of the vote.[1]

Paul J. Davies, “The Real Reason ‘Brexit’ Has World on Edge,” Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-real-reason-brexit-has-world-on-edge-1466659805

Ylan Q. Mui, Brian Murphy, and Emily Rauhala, “Pound takes a beating, markets in tailspin after British vote to exit E.U.,” Washington Post, June 23, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pound-plummets-on-brexit-fears-asia-opens-up/2016/06/23/820cd642-397d-11e6-af02-1df55f0c77ff_story.html

Anne Applebaum, “Britain’s decision to leave the E.U. is a warning to America, Washington Post, June 24, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/after-brexit-what-will-and-wont-happen/2016/06/24/c9f7a2f6-39f1-11e6-8f7c-d4c723a2becb_story.html

John T. Bennett, “Brexit Decision Deals Another Blow to Obama,” Congressional Quarterly Roll Call, June 24, 2016, http://www.rollcall.com/news/brexit-decision-deals-another-blow-obama

Mike Bird, Georgi Kantchev, and Riva Gold, “Pound Plunges on U.K. Vote to Leave EU,” Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/pound-plunges-on-u-k-vote-to-leave-eu-1466753711

British Broadcasting Corporation, “Brexit: David Cameron to quit after UK votes to leave EU,” June 24, 2016, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36615028

Chris Cottrell, “Merkel calls Brexit ‘a watershed for Europe,'” Deutsche Welle, June 24, 2016, http://www.dw.com/en/merkel-calls-brexit-a-watershed-for-europe/a-19351720

Josie Cox and Giles Turner, “Traders React to Brexit Vote,” Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2016, https://city.wsj.com/stories/53cb4b01-3826-4bc6-9451-332d9a4efda6.redirect

Economist, “How to minimise the damage of Britain’s senseless, self-inflicted blow,” June 24, 2016, http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21701265-how-minimise-damage-britains-senseless-self-inflicted-blow-tragic-split

Riva Gold and Mike Bird, “Dow Industrials Tumble After ‘Brexit’ Vote,” Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/pound-plunges-on-u-k-vote-to-leave-eu-1466753711

Ivana Kottasova, “The pound is crashing on U.K. vote for Brexit,” Cable News Network, June 24, 2016, http://money.cnn.com/2016/06/24/investing/pound-crash-eu-referendum/index.html

Timothy B. Lee, “Brexit: Britain just voted to leave the EU,” Vox, June 24, 2016, http://www.vox.com/2016/6/24/12012930/brexit-britain-votes-leave

James McAuley, “Scottish leader vows to seek second independence referendum,” Washington Post, June 24, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/after-brexit-the-uk-could-disintegrate/2016/06/24/5e7d2b03-81b4-4149-a138-8bd11953281c_story.html

Simone McCarthy, “Morning after Brexit, Scotland and N. Ireland reconsider ties to Britain,” Christian Science Monitor, June 24, 2016, http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Global-News/2016/0624/Morning-after-Brexit-Scotland-and-N.-Ireland-reconsider-ties-to-Britain

Jethro Mullen, Ivana Kottasova, and Patrick Gillespie, “Dow plunges over 600 points as U.K. ‘earthquake’ crushes global markets,” Cable News Network, June 24, 2016, http://money.cnn.com/2016/06/23/investing/eu-referendum-markets/index.html

Jim Puzzanghera and Don Lee, “Stock market plunges but ‘Brexit’ unlikely to spark a U.S. recession,” Los Angeles Times, June 24, 2016, http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-brexit-economic-impact-20160624-snap-story.html

Joseph J. Schatz and Ben White, “British voters just unleashed an economic and political tsunami,” Politico, June 24, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/british-voters-just-unleashed-an-economic-and-political-tsunami-224755

Ian Talley, “‘Brexit’ Expected to Rattle U.S. Economy, Shake Its Influence,” Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/brexit-expected-to-rattle-u-s-economy-shake-its-influence-1466741275

Jonathan Turley, “BREXIT: Cameron Announces Resignation As Brits Reject Obama’s Dire Warnings,” June 24, 2016, https://jonathanturley.org/2016/06/24/brexit-cameron-announces-resignation-as-brits-reject-obamas-dire-warnings/

Volker Wagener, “‘Berlin’s austerity policies have lost a big supporter,'” Deutsche Welle, June 24, 2016, http://www.dw.com/en/berlins-austerity-policies-have-lost-a-big-supporter/a-19352037

Wall Street Journal, “Investors Look for Potential Bargains Following Brexit Vote,” June 24, 2016, https://city.wsj.com/stories/1f4f8c07-2338-489c-affc-fd9da1f4d176.redirect

Griff Witte, Karla Adam, and Dan Balz, “Britain shocks world, breaks with European Union; British leader steps down,” Washington Post, June 24, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/britain-shocks-the-world-by-voting-to-leave-the-european-union/2016/06/24/3d100f4e-3998-11e6-af02-1df55f0c77ff_story.html


Ride-sharing

Caroline O’Donovan and Jeremy Singer-Vine, “Uber Data And Leaked Docs Provide A Look At How Much Uber Drivers Make,” Buzzfeed, June 22, 2016, https://www.buzzfeed.com/carolineodonovan/internal-uber-driver-pay-numbers


Hillary Clinton

Michael Biesecker, “Clinton failed to hand over key email to State Department,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, July 24, 2016, http://www.startribune.com/clinton-failed-to-hand-over-key-email-to-state-department/384235951/

Jonathan Turley, “New Evidence Indicates Multiple Hacking Attempts and the Disabling Of Security Protections For Clinton Server,” June 24, 2016, https://jonathanturley.org/2016/06/24/new-evidence-indicates-multiple-hacking-attempts-and-the-disabling-of-security-protections-for-clinton-server/


For-profit schools

Jennifer C. Kerr and Collin Binkley, “Panel votes against accreditor of for-profit colleges,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, June 24, 2016, http://www.startribune.com/panel-votes-against-accreditor-of-for-profit-colleges/384237391/


Donald Trump

Kyle Cheney, “Politico delegate survey: Dump Trump lacks the votes,” Politico, June 24, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/politico-delegate-survey-dump-trump-unwelcome-in-cleveland-224796


Star Trek: Axanar

Jonathan Lane, “Fan Film Friday – Want to send a loud message to CBS?” Axanar Productions, June 24, 2016, http://www.axanarproductions.com/fan-film-friday-want-to-send-a-loud-message-to-cbs/

  1. [1]Ylan Q. Mui, Brian Murphy, and Emily Rauhala, “Pound takes a beating, markets in tailspin after British vote to exit E.U.,” Washington Post, June 23, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pound-plummets-on-brexit-fears-asia-opens-up/2016/06/23/820cd642-397d-11e6-af02-1df55f0c77ff_story.html

A sit-in in the House: Daily Bullshit, June 23, 2016

Orlando shooting

Robert Ariail, Christian Science Monitor, June 23, 2016, fair use.

Congress might not be able to agree to limit a right[1] that probably doesn’t exist[2] but it appears they’re certainly ready to roll back rights which are far less ambiguous.[3]

Matt Bors, June 23, 2016, GoComics, fair use.

Cristina Marcos, “House erupts as GOP tries to halt Dems’ sit-in,” Hill, June 22, 2016, http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/284559-house-in-uproar-as-gop-tries-to-halt-dems-sit-in

Alexander Bolton, “McConnell quashes Senate effort on guns,” Hill, June 23, 2016, http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/284711-mcconnell-quashes-senate-effort-on-guns

Julian Hattem, “Post Orlando, hawks make a power play,” Hill, June 23, 2016, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/284557-post-orlando-hawks-make-a-power-play

Rema Rahman, “House Sit-In On Guns Continues As Sun Rises,” Congressional Quarterly Roll Call, June 23, 2016, http://www.rollcall.com/news/sit-in-by-house-democrats-effectively-ends

Deirdre Walsh, Manu Raju, Eric Bradner, and Steven Sloan, “Democrats end House sit-in protest over gun control,” Cable News Network, June 23, 2016, http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/22/politics/john-lewis-sit-in-gun-violence/index.html


Unauthorized migration

Lydia Wheeler and Jordan Fabian, “Deadlocked Supreme Court blocks Obama on immigration,” Hill, June 23, 2016, http://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/president-obama-immigration-actions-programs-blocked-supreme-court-deadlocked-scalia-dapa-daca-crushing-blow


Brexit

The voters have voted and counting is under way. Results should be available late tonight (Pacific time), but very early (probably too early) tallies and a late survey suggest that U.K. Independence Party leader Nigel Farage (who favors “Leave”) may have been correct in suggesting it “looks like Remain will edge it.”[4] Even if “Brexit” does indeed fail, a question remains as to whether that will be sufficient to save Prime Minister David Cameron’s job.[5]

British Broadcasting Corporation, “Counting under way in UK’s historic referendum on EU membership,” June 23, 2016, http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36612368

Matthias Matthijs, “Britain’s Point of No Return,” Foreign Affairs, June 21, 2016, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-kingdom/2016-06-21/britain-s-point-no-return


  1. [1]Alexander Bolton, “McConnell quashes Senate effort on guns,” Hill, June 23, 2016, http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/284711-mcconnell-quashes-senate-effort-on-guns; Deirdre Walsh, Manu Raju, Eric Bradner, and Steven Sloan, “GOP fails to stop Democrats’ gun protest sit-in on House floor,” Cable News Network, June 23, 2016, http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/22/politics/john-lewis-sit-in-gun-violence/index.html
  2. [2]David Benfell, “Parsing the second amendment,” June 14, 2016, https://parts-unknown.org/drupal7/journal/2016/06/14/parsing-second-amendment
  3. [3]Julian Hattem, “Post Orlando, hawks make a power play,” Hill, June 23, 2016, http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/284557-post-orlando-hawks-make-a-power-play
  4. [4]British Broadcasting Corporation, “Counting under way in UK’s historic referendum on EU membership,” June 23, 2016, http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36612368
  5. [5]Ashley Cowburn, “David Cameron ‘toast within days’ if Britain votes to leave European Union, says Tory MP,” Independent, May 29, 2016, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/david-cameron-toast-within-days-if-britain-votes-to-leave-european-union-says-tory-mp-a7054696.html; Andrew Sparrow, “Tory MPs escalate party turmoil with open call for Cameron to quit,” Guardian, May 29, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/may/29/andrew-brigden-conservatives-david-cameron-fractured-eu-debate-election

Is #NeverTrump the little locomotive that could? Daily Bullshit, June 22, 2016

Donald Trump

It doesn’t appear to me that anything of substance has changed for those seeking to unseat Donald Trump as the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee. The odds against success for this effort remain long.[1]

Niall Stanage, “Delegate uprising threatens Trump,” Hill, June 22, 2016, http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/284370-delegate-uprising-threatens-trump


Brexit

The vote is tomorrow. British time is eight hours ahead of Pacific Time.

Jonathan Hopkin, “Brexit Backlash: The Populist Rage Fueling the Referendum,” Foreign Affairs, June 21, 2016, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-kingdom/2016-06-21/brexit-backlash


Orlando shooting

Apparently the proposed bill is fairly weak; it “would institute no fly, no buy with the ability for someone who’s denied a gun purchase to get a due process hearing before a federal judge within 30 days.”[2] But as far as I know, the Department of Homeland Security is still declining to identify individuals on the no-fly list. With this legislation, all one might have to do is attempt to buy a gun to determine whether they’re on that list.

Alex Gangitano, “House Democrats Stage Chamber Floor Sit-In For Gun Vote,” Congressional Quarterly Roll Call, June 22, 2016, http://www.rollcall.com/news/breaking-house-democrats-stage-chamber-floor-sit


  1. [1]Niall Stanage, “Delegate uprising threatens Trump,” Hill, June 22, 2016, http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/284370-delegate-uprising-threatens-trump
  2. [2]Alex Gangitano, “House Democrats Stage Chamber Floor Sit-In For Gun Vote,” Congressional Quarterly Roll Call, June 22, 2016, http://www.rollcall.com/news/breaking-house-democrats-stage-chamber-floor-sit

Capital and the capitol: Daily Bullshit, June 21, 2016

So today I noticed that the Wall Street Journal‘s Washington, D.C., newsletter is entitled “Capital Journal.” Yes, with an “a” rather than an “o.” According to the dictionary, this is actually a correct usage for a city as a seat of governance rather than a building where legislative activities occur. But the “o” version also refers to the federal government and is considered synonymous with Washington, and the “a” version also means financial ownership. This distinction doesn’t help.


Homeless college students

Even graduate students are among the homeless in California State Universities. It’s difficult to describe the horror these students must be going through but one student “said her studies were often on the ‘back burner’ because ‘you can’t really concentrate on school and put in any effort when you’re trying to look for where to stay and how you’re going to make ends meet.’”[1]

Rosanna Xia, “1 in 10 Cal State students is homeless, study finds,” Los Angeles Times, June 20, 2016, http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-cal-state-homelessness-20160620-snap-story.html


Brexit

I was expecting to find substantiation of my belief that the “Leave” argument was largely an authoritarian populist phenomenon in Geoffrey Wheatcroft’s article. He certainly recognizes elements of what I call authoritarian populism, but his focus is on an image of Britain as a great imperial power, indeed “the greatest seaborne empire ever known, engaged from the start, in pillage, piracy and slavery dressed up in patriotic colours,” which Brexiteers and their predecessors imagine they can restore.[2]

That said, a widespread distrust of so-called “experts”—urban intellectual authority[3]—seems like it could come straight out of Thomas Frank’s What’s the Matter with Kansas?[4] And the “experts” Griff Witte points to as having less-than-stellar records, including on the Iraq War and the financial crisis, that seem to validate this suspicion[5] could be neoconservative and neoliberal. But Witte writes that

If Britain does vote to go, it will be the culmination of a shift underway for more than a decade as the country has lost faith in those who are supposed to have the answers. The Iraq War, the global financial crisis and scandals large and small involving the high and mighty of British society have all contributed.[6]

That implicates an elite—functionalist conservative—failure in general. Somewhere, Christopher Hayes[7] might well be muttering to himself that he told us so.

Michael Geary and Kevin Lees, however, argue that the British relationship with a uniting Europe has been fraught (and by implication, ill-advised) from the beginning.[8]

Michael J. Geary and Kevin A. Lees, “Brexit and the Long, Slow EU-UK Divorce,” National Interest, June 21, 2016, http://nationalinterest.org/feature/brexit-the-long-slow-eu-uk-divorce-16664

Geoffrey Wheatcroft, “Europhobia: a very British problem,” Guardian, June 21, 2016, http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/21/brexit-euroscepticism-history

Griff Witte, “9 out of 10 experts agree: Britain doesn’t trust the experts on Brexit,” Washington Post, June 21, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/9-out-of-10-experts-agree-britain-doesnt-trust-the-experts-on-brexit/2016/06/21/2ccc134a-34a6-11e6-ab9d-1da2b0f24f93_story.html


Unemployment

Jason Furman, “The Truth About American Unemployment,” Foreign Affairs, July/August, 2016, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2016-06-13/truth-about-american-unemployment


Donald Trump

Michael Gerson, “A delegate revolt has become Republicans’ only option,” Washington Post, June 20, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-delegate-revolt-has-become-republicans-only-option/2016/06/20/2a5999ec-3713-11e6-8f7c-d4c723a2becb_story.html


  1. [1]Rosanna Xia, “1 in 10 Cal State students is homeless, study finds,” Los Angeles Times, June 20, 2016, http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-cal-state-homelessness-20160620-snap-story.html
  2. [2]Geoffrey Wheatcroft, “Europhobia: a very British problem,” Guardian, June 21, 2016, http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/21/brexit-euroscepticism-history
  3. [3]Griff Witte, “9 out of 10 experts agree: Britain doesn’t trust the experts on Brexit,” Washington Post, June 21, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/9-out-of-10-experts-agree-britain-doesnt-trust-the-experts-on-brexit/2016/06/21/2ccc134a-34a6-11e6-ab9d-1da2b0f24f93_story.html
  4. [4]Thomas Frank, What’s the Matter with Kansas? (New York: Henry Holt, 2005).
  5. [5]Griff Witte, “9 out of 10 experts agree: Britain doesn’t trust the experts on Brexit,” Washington Post, June 21, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/9-out-of-10-experts-agree-britain-doesnt-trust-the-experts-on-brexit/2016/06/21/2ccc134a-34a6-11e6-ab9d-1da2b0f24f93_story.html
  6. [6]Griff Witte, “9 out of 10 experts agree: Britain doesn’t trust the experts on Brexit,” Washington Post, June 21, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/9-out-of-10-experts-agree-britain-doesnt-trust-the-experts-on-brexit/2016/06/21/2ccc134a-34a6-11e6-ab9d-1da2b0f24f93_story.html
  7. [7]Christopher Hayes, Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy (New York: Crown, 2012).
  8. [8]Michael J. Geary and Kevin A. Lees, “Brexit and the Long, Slow EU-UK Divorce,” National Interest, June 21, 2016, http://nationalinterest.org/feature/brexit-the-long-slow-eu-uk-divorce-16664