“What If Maxine Waters Takes the Gavel and Wall Street Loves It?”

The article informs us that

On Wednesday, signs began emerging that Wall Street might be warming up to Waters who, as the ranking member on the committee in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, is the likely committee chair if the Democrats take over the House in next week’s midterm elections. Fox Business Network’s Charles Gasparino sent out a soothing tweet: “People close to Waters say she will have a constructive relationship w banks.” Raymond James analyst Ed Mills wrote that Waters’s potential chairmanship poses “more headline risk than actual negative impact,” even given Waters’s “national profile” and her reputation as a liberal Democrat.

And, for the first time in a decade, the securities and investment industries are spending more on Democrats than Republicans ahead of the Nov. 6 midterm elections.

Optimists and Realists


Dr. Aardvark seems to think that optimism about the midterms will jinx our chances. To put it another way, she doesn’t want another 2016 disappointment. I understand her point of view, but cannot hide my eyes from the horror show.

If we do have a good night on Tuesday, this detailed and persuasive article will explain how and why: Trump’s hate and lies are failing. Two new studies show why.

Or, we might lose.


hate and fear

Well, “Moderates” Is One Word You Might Use

hand behind back

Or You Might Use a Word that Rhymes With “Shore”

But I’m all for it. Right now, we really need the plutocrats to stop backing the Nazis.

Wall Street Tries to Shape Democratic Victory by Backing Moderates:

  • Campaign contributions aim to blunt push for tough regulation
  • GOP remain industry favorite, but giving to Democrats rises
  • Wall Street is opening its checkbook to soften the blow from a blue wave.

For the first time in a decade, the securities and investment industries are spending more on Democrats than Republicans ahead of the Nov. 6 midterm elections. Bankers are also giving to Democrats.

A big part of that is anti-Trump, but a lot of the money is flowing to moderate Democrats, a sign Wall Street is seeking Washington allies to temper the impact of progressives such as Representative Maxine Waters and Senator Elizabeth Warren, who are poised to hit the industry with subpoenas and tougher oversight. …

In some cases, the money flow is simply about access to power. Lou Correa, a first-term California Democrat, doesn’t sit on the financial services committee and isn’t particularly engaged in banking issues compared with some of his peers. But his vote will be needed if the House takes up any bills affecting financial institutions, so groups such as the American Bankers Association are running political ads for him.

“I didn’t even know they were running ads for me until you called,” Correa said.

“In Some Cases, the Money Flow is Simply about Access to Power.”

Well, no shit, Sherlock.

One of These Articles is Satire


Honoring Pittsburgh synagogue victims, Pence appears with ‘rabbi’ who preaches, ‘Jesus is the Messiah’

Appearing with the vice president on Monday, Jacobs invoked “Jesus the Messiah” and “Savior Yeshua” — another name for Jesus — as he offered a prayer for the dead and wounded in Pittsburgh. “God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, God and Father of my Lord and Savior Yeshua, Jesus the Messiah, and my God and Father, too,” he intoned.

Trump Strips Citizenship from Children of Immigrants, Thus Disqualifying Himself from Presidency

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Donald J. Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order stripping the children of immigrant mothers of their citizenship, thus disqualifying himself from being President of the United States.

The constitutional crisis came to light moments after the signing ceremony, when a fourth grader visiting the Oval Office on a school tour pointed out the far-reaching legal ramifications of the order.

“Hey, wait, wasn’t your mother from Scotland?” the student, Tracy Klugian, asked. “That means you’re not a citizen and you can’t be President.”

Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to Trump and the author of the executive order, quickly grabbed the document from the Oval Office desk, panic spreading across his face as he reread it.

“Oh, my God,” Miller gasped. “What have I done?”

Trump immediately called Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh for help in voiding the executive order, but Kavanaugh was unable to take the call because he was “sleeping off a rough night,” an aide to the Justice said.

A Letter to Trump


Letter to President Trump from Pittsburgh Jewish Leaders

President Trump:

Yesterday, a gunman slaughtered 11 Americans during Shabbat morning services. We mourn with the victims’ families and pray for the wounded. Here in Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood, we express gratitude for the first responders and for the outpouring of support from our neighbors near and far. We are committed to healing as a community while we recommit ourselves to repairing our nation.

For the past three years your words and your policies have emboldened a growing white nationalist movement. You yourself called the murderer evil, but yesterday’s violence is the direct culmination of your influence.  

President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you fully denounce white nationalism.

Our Jewish community is not the only group you have targeted.  You have also deliberately undermined the safety of people of color, Muslims, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities. Yesterday’s massacre is not the first act of terror you incited against a minority group in our country.  

President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you stop targeting and endangering all minorities.

The murderer’s last public statement invoked the compassionate work of the Jewish refugee service HIAS at the end of a week in which you spread lies and sowed fear about migrant families in Central America. He killed Jews in order to undermine the efforts of all those who find shared humanity with immigrants and refugees.

President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you cease your assault on immigrants and refugees.

The Torah teaches that every human being is made b’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God.

This means all of us.

In our neighbors, Americans, and people worldwide who have reached out to give our community strength, there we find the image of God.  While we cannot speak for all Pittsburghers, or even all Jewish Pittsburghers, we know we speak for a diverse and unified group when we say:

President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you commit yourself to compassionate, democratic policies that recognize the dignity of all of us.


Bend the Arc: Pittsburgh Steering Committee

Add your name to the demands from Pittsburgh Jewish leaders to Trump and the Republican Party after the Tree of Life massacre

I signed it. With my real name.


He is Trampling Out the Vintage Where the Grapes of Wrath are Stored

Some suggested reads for today:

E.J. Dione, Trump’s grip on power depends on splitting the nation in two

Jonathan Chait, However the Midterms Go, the Republican Party Is Going to Get More Extreme

James Russell Lowell, Once to Every Man and Nation

Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address

We gaze in horror at the scenes from Pittsburgh. Our hearts are heavy. We hold our breath as we wait for the election.

E.J. Dione writes,

The failure of Republican leaders to denounce a president who is devoting himself to ripping us apart reflects a ground-level truth about Republicanism in 2018: The party of Lincoln and Eisenhower has been consumed — temporarily, one devoutly wishes — by a narrow and exclusionary form of identity politics.

That which Dione devoutly wishes, Jonathan Chait is confident will not transpire:

“This is the play,” Scott Reed, a strategist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, told the Washington Post. “It’s a standard tactic to use fear as a motivating choice at the end of a campaign, and the fact is the fork in the road is pretty stark.” …

The degree to which Trump’s party has molded itself in his image is worth bearing in mind when contemplating what the next two years might bring. If Democrats win the House but not the Senate, they will be working with an even more hardened foe: The Republicans who will have lost, or who are retiring, are those most vulnerable to outside pressure; the surviving core, from the reddest districts, will be the most Trumpian. They will be much less likely to abandon their president in the face of incriminating evidence than were Richard Nixon’s Republicans in 1974, and much more likely to escalate his attacks on the rule of law into a full-scale culture war.

And, of course, as Chait goes on to point out, one can only imagine the horror show that will ensue if, contrary to predictions, the Republicans make a clean sweep of the elections.

What Chait Gets Right, and What He Misses

He’s right to point out that the actual Republican agenda—upward distribution of wealth, drastic cutbacks to New Deal programs, and deprivation of health care—is dreadfully unpopular, and can only win by aligning itself with racists primed to believe its plethora of lies. But, IMHO, his analysis is misleadingly incomplete.

First of all, we the American people have a surprising amount of evil in us, but, taken as a whole, we are not nearly as evil as Trump damned soul believes.

Second, our collective gullibility takes away the breath, but even the highly gullible have limits to their credulity.

Third, the progressives among us are pumped up to a high degree.

In consequence, the election is likely to turn out well.

And, most of all, I place my confidence in the utter amorality of the Republican Party’s paymasters. See, e.g., Mr. Scott Reed, “strategist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce: “This [racist hatemongering] is the play.”

When the lies don’t work, and the racist hatemongering can’t get you over the top, the plutocrats will not double down on their losing tactics. Instead, they will change their strategy.

The one percenters and their spokespuppets will remember what our elders used to tell us in my early days as a Wall Street lawyer: Don’t be a pig. Pigs get eaten for breakfast.

Chait predicts that the trumpiest Trumpian politicians in the reddest red states will survive the midterms. But I think the plutocrats are going to drop them like a hot potato, and instead find politicians to buy who might actually win elections.

It’s a hard time. The American Civil War was a hell of a lot worse. And so, for that matter, was the push to end legally required segregation.