The Trump/Russia collusion charge is fizzling

32314073056_4387da7f0f_zThe Democratic base, fanned by left wing pundits, is all fired up about the prospect that Donald Trump and his campaign conspired with the Russians to steal the election.

But despite lots of searching, no evidence of that collusion has turned up.

Now Democratic officials are trying to tamp down expectations from the rank and file, many of whom are convinced that exposing the Russian connection will bring Trump down.

Even former intelligence officials from the Obama administration are admitting that there is nothing there.  Democrats on the congressional committees investigating the possibility are also saying they have found nothing.

But they fear their base.

When Barack Obama took office, conspiracy theories abounded, conservative pundits kept everything at a fever pitch, and Tea Party activists vowed to hold Republican officeholders’ feet to the fire if they co-operated with the new president.

We are now experiencing the mirror image of those times, with liberals doing what conservatives once did.

Glenn Greenwald tells the tale after the jump.

UPDATE:  Not that the issue is dead.  FBI director James Comey has just told a congressional committee that the FBI is investigating the matter.

[Read more…]

The anti-Trump “resistance”

Members_of_the_Maquis_in_La_Tresorerie

French Resistance fighters, 1944

Democrats have gone into full resistance mode, with Democratic Senators boycotting confirmation hearings to prevent a vote on President Trump’s candidates.  (Republicans suspended the rules and approved Treasury Secretary candidate Steven Mnuchin and HHS Secretary candidate Tom Price anyway.  See this.)

Meanwhile, a self-described “alternative left” has emerged that is pressuring Democratic elected officials not to co-operate with the Republicans.  Notice how the use of the term “the resistance” is taken from what the underground movements that opposed Hitler was called.  See a manifesto after the jump. [Read more…]

The Cubs didn’t really win the World Series

The_Cubs_celebrate_after_winning_the_2016_World_Series._(30709972906)The Chicago Cubs didn’t really win the World Series over the Cleveland Indians.  Actually, both teams scored 27 points.  So the series was really a tie.

That’s the same kind of reasoning that insists Donald Trump didn’t really win the election because Hillary Clinton won the popular vote.  So says Mollie Hemingway in a column about how liberals can learn from conservatives in accepting disappointing outcomes. [Read more…]

The other races

Democrats need to take 30 seats to win control of the House of Representatives.  But they only need to turn four to take the Senate.The former is unlikely to happen.  The latter will be close.

Read about the closely contested seats after the jump. [Read more…]

Both parties have abandoned free trade

Whoever gets elected president will oppose free trade.  In fact, both parties are rivaling each other in condemning trade agreements such as NAFTA (which forms a common market with Canada and Mexico) and the not-yet-ratified TPP (which eases trade with Australia and Asian countries other than China).

Such a turnabout is astonishing, since Republicans have long championed free markets and Democrats have come around to agree with them.  Credit, or blame, for this new stance goes to the popularity of Donald Trump, who has roused the masses against American industries moving factories and jobs overseas and American products being driven out by cheaper imports.

I can see the appeal of a self-contained national economy, but getting there would seem to involve some dangerous tradeoffs.  If we erect trade barriers such as high tariffs and our trading partners retaliate, won’t that be economically disastrous?  American companies will suddenly lose a major part of their markets.  Prices for consumers will skyrocket.  After awhile, maybe new companies would take up the slack, but, in the short term at least, wouldn’t this cause recession and even more unemployment?

This is not my field, so I am open to instruction. [Read more…]

As Republicans veer left, Democrats veer right

At the Republican convention, Donald Trump and company invoked what have traditionally been Democratic themes:  quoting dubious statistics about how women earn less than men do; opposing free trade; wanting to regulate capitalism; claiming workers are oppressed; cheering gay rights; promising no more war, etc.

The Democratic convention has done the reverse, invoking what are usually Republican themes:  support for the military; character; “USA” cheers; aggressive foreign policy; “faith, family, & values” rhetoric (to use a Tim Kaine phrase).

Read what William Saletan says about this at Slate, excerpted and linked after the jump.

Are the parties just trying to reach out to the disaffected members of the other side?  Is this just the old tactic of playing to your base in the primaries, then going to the center in the general election?  Or does it represent a shift for both parties, heralding some ideological changes on both sides? [Read more…]