— Kurt Andersen (@KBAndersen) December 13, 2016
12.10 The Washington Post “The CIA has concluded something widely suspected but never flatly stated by the intelligence community: that Russia moved deliberately to help elect Donald Trump as president of the United States — not just to undermine the U.S. political process more generally. The Post’s report cites officials who say they have identified individuals connected to the Russian government who gave WikiLeaks emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee and top Hillary Clinton aide John Podesta. One official described the conclusion that this was intended to help Trump as “the consensus view.” A statement from Trump’s transition team, as expected, took a defiant tone about The Post’s report: “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again.’”
12.9 The crowd at President-elect Donald Trump’s victory rally on Friday night started up a familiar chant: “Lock her up.” The slogan was a staple of his raucous election campaign, targeting his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. When the audience revived the chant in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Friday night — more than one month after Trump won the election — the president-elect said, “That plays great before the election — now we don’t care, right?”
12.9 Penn State study: “Trump performed better than Mitt Romney in many places, but he fared best compared to the Republican nominee four years ago in the counties with the highest drug, alcohol and suicide mortality rates.”
12.8 For the first time in more than two decades, life expectancy for Americans declined last year — a troubling development linked to a panoply of worsening health problems in the United States. Rising fatalities from heart disease and stroke, diabetes, drug overdoses, accidents and other conditions caused the lower life expectancy revealed in a report released Thursday by the National Center for Health Statistics. In all, death rates rose for eight of the top 10 leading causes of death.
12.8 Charles Blow in the Times: “The question hanging in the air, the issue that we must vigilantly monitor, is whether the emerging shoots of egalitarianism in this country will be stomped out by the jackboot of revitalized authoritarianism. I feel like America is being flashed by a giant neuralyzer, à la “Men In Black.” We are in danger of forgetting what has happened and losing sight, in the fog of confusion and concealment, of the profundity of the menace taking shape right before us. That is our challenge: To see clearly what this deceiver wants to obscure; to be resolute about that to which he wants us to be resigned; to understand that Time’s man of the year is, by words and deeds, more of a madman of the year.”
12.8 Garrison Keillor: ““He will never be my president because he doesn’t read books, can’t write more than a sentence or two at a time, has no strong loyalties beyond himself, is more insular than any New Yorker I ever knew, and because I don’t see anything admirable or honorable about him. This sets him apart from other politicians. The disaffected white blue-collar workers elected a Fifth Avenue tycoon to rescue them from the elitists — fine, I get that — but they could’ve chosen a better tycoon. One who served in the military or attends church or reads history, loves opera, sails a boat — something — anything — raises llamas, plays the oboe, runs a 5K race now and then, has close friends from childhood. I look at him and there’s nothing there.”
12.8 Dave Leonhardt in the Times: Chance of making more money than your parents if you were …
Born in 1940 92%
Born in 1950 79%
Born in 1960 62%
Born in 1970 61%
Born in 1980 50%
12.8 Chuck Jones, union leader at Carrier plant in Indianapolis: “A couple of weeks ago, Trump got involved. He sat down with Carrier leaders. Afterward, he announced that 1,100 jobs would be saved. When I first heard the news, I was optimistic. But I began to get nervous when we couldn’t get any details on the deal. I urged caution, but our members got their hopes up. They thought their jobs had been saved.When I met with Carrier officials last Thursday, I realized that that wouldn’t be the case. Though Trump said he’d saved 1,100 jobs, he hadn’t. Carrier told us that 550 people would get laid off.Trump didn’t tell people that, though. When he spoke at our plant, he acted like no one was going to lose their job. People went crazy for him. They thought, because of Trump, I’m going to be able to provide for my family. All the while, I’m sitting there, thinking that’s not what the damn numbers say. Trump let people believe that they were going to have a livelihood in that facility. He let people breathe easy. When I told our members the next day, they were devastated. I was angry, too. So I told a Washington Post reporter the truth — that Trump’s 1,100 number was wrong. When Trump read my comments, he got angry. Last night, he tweeted: “Chuck Jones, who is President of United Steelworkers 1999, has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee country!”
12.8 John Glenn dies at 95
12.8 Rachel Maddow: “A large percentage of Trump voters were severely misinformed. They live in a virtually fact-free or made-up-fact environment. The stock market under President Obama soared. The Dow Jones Industrial average went from 7,949.09 to 19,614.91, again, up 11,665.72. In other words, it more than doubled. 39% of Trump voters think the stock market went down under Obama. Unemployment dropped from 7.8% to 4.6% during the Obama administration. Clinton, Johnson, Stein and other voters are well aware of that fact. But not Donald Trump voters; 67% of them believe unemployment rose under President Obama.
40% of Trump voters believe that Donald Trump won the popular vote.
60% of Trump voters believe that millions voted illegally for Clinton.
73% of Trump voters believe that George Soros paid Trump protesters.
29% of Trump voters believe California vote should not be included in the popular vote.
Rachel’s statement near the end of the segment was prescient.
“I think it shows that even after the election, what Trump voters believe about the world is distinctively different from what the rest of the country believe,” Rachel said. “And from what is true. And this is an alternate reality that they are in, — it is weird enough and specific enough that you can’t say it just springs from broader a misunderstandings or from a broader ignorance on issues that afflicts the country. And this is a specific alternate reality that was created by the Trump movement for a political purpose. And it worked for that political purpose. And now as the Trump administration takes shape, they have to know that they are in power thanks to their voter base that has these false beliefs about the country. False beliefs about the country, false beliefs about the economy, false beliefs about the outgoing president, false beliefs about what California is. In terms of what happens next in our country, it seems important to know this incoming president basically created this fantasy life for his supporters.”
12.8 Nicholas Kristoff in the Times: “The blunt truth is that America’s most egregious failures have often involved identity, from slavery to anti-Catholic riots, from the Chinese Exclusion Act to the internment of Japanese-Americans, from unequal pay to acquiescence in domestic violence and sex trafficking. Ditto for the threats by President-Elect Donald Trump to deport 11 million immigrants or to register Muslims.Yet Lilla and Sanders are right that identity sometimes has distracted from the distress in working-class white America. Life expectancy for blacks, Latinos and other groups has been increasing; for middle-aged whites, it has been dropping. Likewise, the race gap in education used to be greater than the “class gap”; now the class gap is greater.It’s also true that broad efforts to create opportunity would help not only working-class whites, but also working-class blacks, Latinos and others.I once asked Bryan Stevenson, the civil rights lawyer, how to think of the class gap versus the race gap, and he joked that for the many people caught in the criminal justice system who are both poor and black, “it’s like having two kinds of cancer at the same time.”So do we really need to choose between identity and justice? Can’t we treat both cancers?”
12.7 Trump is named Time‘s Man of the Year
12.7 “This man is a phenomenal writer, despite his obvious disability. And this man is a phenomenal writer, and he has no disabilities.”
12.7 Steve Pearlstine in the Washington Post: “If the Trump administration makes good on its promise to pull back on environmental regulation, states can step up their own regulation of power plant emissions and oil and gas drilling. To combat climate change, they could impose a refundable carbon tax or, as California has done, create a cap and trade system for carbon emissions. If Republicans repeal the Dodd-Frank financial regulations, many of those same regulations could be written into state law, either by legislatures or by state banking, securities and insurance regulators and consumer protection agencies. Taking a page from Louis Brandeis and the Progressive era, states could also provide incentives for the creation of state-chartered mutual banks, insurance and investment companies, financial institutions that are owned by their customers. The few mutuals that still exist offer competitive products and superior service at lower cost, all of it with less risk that the Wall Street megafirms have turned finance into a head-I-win, tails-you-lose casino.”
12.6 Corey Lewandowski on Sean Hannity: “It’s going to be a great Christmas—which you can say again, Merry Christmas because Donald Trump is now the President—you can say it again. It’s OK to say, it’s not a pejorative word anymore.”
12.6 The Wall Street Journal: “At its height in the 1970s, government funding for basic research represented more than 2% of the US Gross national product. BY 2014, it had dropped to just 0.78% of GDP.”\12.6 Steven Pearlstine in The Wall Street Journal: “For years, of course, it is the Republicans who have preached the wisdom of returning more power and responsibility to the states, under the assumption that states would do less, not more, than Washington. Now Democrats could demonstrate that their cherished 10th Amendment can be a sword that cuts both ways.
12.5 Dave Brubek dies at 91.
12.5 Elizabeth Banks interviewing Madonna in Elle:
Speaking of: How did you feel about the outcome of the election?
It felt like someone died. It felt like a combination of the heartbreak and betrayal you feel when someone you love more than anything leaves you, and also a death. I feel that way every morning; I wake up and say, “Oh, wait, Donald Trump is still the president,” and it wasn’t a bad dream that I had. It feels like women betrayed us. The percentage of women who voted for Trump was insanely high.
Why do you think that is?
Women hate women. That’s what I think it is. Women’s nature is not to support other women. It’s really sad. Men protect each other, and women protect their men and children. Women turn inward and men are more external. A lot of it has do with jealousy and some sort of tribal inability to accept that one of their kind could lead a nation. Other people just didn’t bother to vote because they didn’t like either candidate, or they didn’t think Trump had a chance in the world. They took their hands off the wheel and then the car crashed.
Were you surprised?
Of course. I was devastated, surprised, in shock. I haven’t really had a good night’s sleep since he has been elected. We’re fucked.”
12.5 In Albany
12.4 Washington Post: “President-elect Donald Trump fired another warning shot Sunday at U.S. companies considering moving their operations out of the country, threatening “retributions or consequences” such as a hefty border tax if they do. The pronouncements came in a string of early morning tweets. Trump said he intends to incentivize businesses to stay in America by lowering corporate taxes and slashing regulations, two key components of his economic agenda. But he also warned that companies with offshore factories would face a 35 percent tariff on goods sold back to the United States.”
12.4 Vladimir Putin on Trump: “To the extent that he was able to achieve success in business, this shows that he’s a smart person,” Putin said in snippets of an interview with broadcaster NTV set to be aired in full Sunday evening. “And if he’s a smart person, that means that he will totally and quite quickly understand the different level of his responsibility [as a statesman]. We presume that he will act based on this position.”
12.1 Corey Lewandowski “You guys took everything that Donald Trump said so literally. The American people didn’t. They understood it. They understood that sometimes — when you have a conversation with people, whether it’s around the dinner table or at a bar — you’re going to say things, and sometimes you don’t have all the facts to back it up.”