Quick Takes

I don’t exactly agree with the majority of the American people. I think that Robert Mueller should complete his investigation not just end it. I think he should start at the beginning, go to the end, and then stop. I recognize that “running out the clock” is the ideal outcome for a lot of anti-Trumpers. Mueller shouldn’t do that.

At this point, just three months from the mid-term elections, I think it’s likely that the Democrats will take control of the House but fail to capture the Senate as well. Not a sure thing but likely. I also think that House Democrats will find it impossible to resist making impeaching Trump their equivalent to repealing the PPACA.

Although a fact widely ignored tariffs are more likely to change American behavior than Chinese behavior and that would be a step in the right direction.

I think that polls have jumped the shark, at least in the U. S.

25 comments… add one
  • PD Shaw

    The Hamiltonian purpose behind the tariff was to encourage domestic investment in manufactures, necessitated by foreign restrictions on U.S. goods, and the existence of “custom and habit” that advantaged European manufactures, as opposed to any “natural” advantage. He didn’t disagree with Adam Smith on free trade being best in theory, other countries did not agree.

    The Wealth of Nations: “Were all nations to follow the liberal system of free exportation and free importation, the different states into which a great continent was divided would so far resemble the different provinces of a great empire.… But very few countries have entirely adopted this liberal system.…The very bad policy of one country may thus render it in some measure dangerous and imprudent to establish what would otherwise be the best policy in another.”

  • sam

    ” I also think that House Democrats will find it impossible to resist making impeaching Trump their equivalent to repealing the PPACA. ”

    Supposing the Democrats do take the House, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Trump resigned before 2020. First item of business: his tax returns. See, Congress has the power to obtain and release Trump’s tax returns.

  • Gray Shambler

    If trying to impeach Trump would be the primary goal of a Dem. House, what’s in it for me? Why should I vote for a Dem. candidate?
    Maybe Mueller can turn his act into a reality TV show. Followed by round the clock televised impeachment proceedings.
    Ratings might be half of what the nine month O.J. trial coverage managed. That’s what I expect we’ll have two years of. Might as well quit watching the news. Tune in Animal Planet, watch them fight instead.

  • Ben Wolf

    Secondly, every individual who employs his capital in the support of domestic industry, necessarily endeavours so to direct that industry, that its produce may be of the greatest possible value.
    The produce of industry is what it adds to the subject or materials upon which it is employed. In proportion as the value of this produce is great or small, so will likewise be the profits of the employer. But it is only for the sake of profit that any man em-
    ploys a capital in the support of industry; and he will always, there-
    fore, endeavour to employ it in the support of that industry of
    which the produce is likely to be of the greatest value, or to exchange for the greatest quantity either of money or of other goods.
    But the annual revenue of every society is always precisely equal
    to the exchangeable value of the whole annual produce of its in-
    dustry, or rather is precisely the same thing with that exchange-
    able value. As every individual, therefore, endeavours as much as
    he can, both to employ his capital in the support of domestic
    industry, and so to direct that industry that its produce maybe of
    the greatest value; every individual necessarily labours to render
    the annual revenue of the society as great as he can. He generally,
    indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows
    how much he is promoting it. By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain. And he is in this led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Nor is it always the worse for the society that it was no part of it. By pursuing his own interest, he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good. It is an affectation, indeed, not very common among merchants, and very few words need be employed in dissuading them from it.

    The thing about Smith’s ideas on free trade is that they are predicated on a home bias; and the investor, seeking the security of (in Smith’s time) British law, would be pushed into domestic investment over investment abroad, “led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.”

    Our free trade deals, beginning with NAFTA, are designed to ensure to the greatest extent possible the overseas investor’s security; to eliminate their home bias and thereby neutralize the invisible hand.

  • Ben Wolf

    I fucked up the above quote by cutting out part of the bolded sentence, but as I can’t edit it I wash my hands of all responsibility. The lesson is it’s tricky to post an extended quote on a smartphone.

  • sam:

    I’m not so sure about resignation. So far Trump has been pretty darned combative.

    GS:

    The reason I suspect that a Democratic House would be unable to resist impeachment votes is the same reason the Republican House kept voting to repeal the PPACA. It was a statement of position target at the most strident factions in their base.

    And you’re right. There wouldn’t be a thing in it for you because you aren’t the target audience for it.

    Ben:

    I corrected it for you (I think). Since it’s the most famous passage from The Wealth of Nations. And what is this? “Quote from The Wealth of Nations Day” at The Glittering Eye?

  • Ben Wolf

    Dave, you nailed it. And yes, we’re a bookish lot at TGE

  • Roy Lofquist

    “At this point, just three months from the mid-term elections, I think it’s likely that the Democrats will take control of the House”

    I see this everywhere. Is it something in the water? LSD in the reservoirs? It’s the Magical Mystery Tour! Forget history. Forget all received political wisdom. If you just wish hard enough Tinkerbell will live again.

    The “reasoning” seems to be that the incumbent president’s party always loses bigly in his first mid-term election. Bigly in this case means picking up 22 seats to flip the House. Let’s go to the videotape. Since 1980 there have been 5 first mid-terms. For the Republicans, 1982(-26), 1990(-8) and 2002(+8) for a net -26. For the Democrats, 1994(-54) and 2010(-63) for a net of for a net of -117. Republican average -9, Democrat average -59. Funny that.

    For all of the 19 elections since 1980 the Democrats have picked up 22 or more seats just twice, 1982 and 2006. In the last 4 elections the Republicans are +62.

    But there’s a big blue wave acomin’ because the economy is in the shitter, ISIS is beheading people on TV, the Norks are firing missiles over Japan, the Iranians are harassing the Navy, the Russians are invading Ukraine, BLM and Antifa have awakened the compassion of the people, MS-13 are out collecting for UNICEF and, most important of all, Donald Trump is a mugwump.

  • Is it something in the water?

    At least in my case it’s based on closer analysis than that. For example, see this piece at Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball:

    The Democrats now have 203 seats at least leaning to them, the Republicans have 198 at least leaning to them, and there are 34 Toss-ups. Based on our current ratings, the Democrats no longer have to win a majority of the Toss-ups to win the House — 15 of 34 would now do the trick — although Republicans hope that some of our Leans Democratic seats are rated too bearishly for their side. There is always a chance that something could happen to change the current dynamic, but nothing that happened Tuesday night suggested that the pro-Democratic trend we’ve seen throughout the cycle is eroding. The election is less than three months away now.

  • CuriousOnlooker

    My take is if things stay where they are now, Democrats will have a very good night in Nov (emphasis on very). But the difference between a good night and a very bad one is surprisingly narrow. If the polls go towards Republicans by a couple of percentage points; a lot of races will have a different complexion.

    And the President does have the benefit of controlling the agenda. The Supreme Court confirmation hearing, NAFTA/trade (if they reach an agreement), and budget showdown are all on the agenda for the fall.

    It likes a fog of war. 100 years ago, up until July; the Germans had threatened Paris from the famous spring offensive. Yet in a span of 100 days the allies suddenly shattered the German army and won the war. Who will have the momentum this year.

  • steve

    I don’t see Trump resigning even if the Dems win the House. They can ask to see his returns. He will fight it and my bet is that it goes to the Supremes. We know how they will vote. He is perfectly safe.

    Polls havent jumped the shark, they just are not as useful as they could be when it is a turnout based election.

    Steve

  • Gustopher

    I can’t see voting more than 20 times to impeach, so it won’t be like votes to repeal ObamaCare.

    There might not even be a single impeachment proceeding. There will be a lot of investigations though — there’s a lot more range in the Democratic office holders, so they would have to drag the conservative Dems along too, and that’s going to require significant evidence.

  • Gustopher

    Gray Shambler: “If trying to impeach Trump would be the primary goal of a Dem. House, what’s in it for me?”

    The primary goals of a Dem. House would be to halt further unfounded tax cuts, and do basic oversight that’s been lacking. Is the EPA relying upon scientific consensus? Are they buying soundproof booths? Should we relegalize asbestos?

    You know, basic good government things.

  • Gray Shambler

    Asbestos? That’s settled science. Anthropomorphic Global Warming is not. Don’t lump them together. The first has been confirmed by multiple, repeatable studies the second is simply a scheme to extract money from energy consumers, morphed into the liberal mores.

  • Gray Shambler

    Oh, and please reconsider using the term “scientific consensus”as if it implied proof using the scientific method of tests securing repeatable results, instead of what it is, groupthink.

  • Ben Wolf

    Gray,

    Carbon dioxide traps heat.

  • Roy Lofquist

    @Ben Wolf

    “Carbon dioxide traps heat.”

    Sez who? Don’t tell me Al Gore. Please link to or cite experimental confirmation.

  • Ben Wolf

    You can prove co2 traps heat in your basement. Get a clear enclosed plastic tube, a cheap infrared camera, a tank of compressed co2 and a candle.

    Set the camera up at one end of the tube and the candle at the other; when looking through the camera you’ll see the radiative heat from the candle flame.

    Now fill the tube with the carbon dioxide and you will see through the camera that the flame becomes obscured as the molecules of co2 absorb, then re-radiate in random directions to be asborbed and re-radiated again.

  • Ben Wolf

    FYI, the plastic tube is the cheapest option. The best would be fused quartz.

  • steve

    “instead of what it is, groupthink.”

    A right wing talking point, but untrue. In general, scientists don’t believe much in absolute truths, but rather have consensus beliefs until they find something better. Take Newtonian physics. The consensus was that it was true, but then better things came along. It still has practical applications on a daily basis, but ti just isn’t seen as absolute truth anymore. So there is tons of repeatable science behind climate science theory. From the basic physics to the large scale models. It is what scientists will believe, until something better comes along.

    Steve

  • Gray Shambler

    Your tube will contain co2 @ about 100 times the concentration in earth’s atmosphere, so it’s interesting but irrelevant,. Try the same experiment with simple water vapor, the real heat trapping culprit dooming our planet.

  • steve

    I don’t think you have any idea how silly it is to dismiss CO2 as a greenhouse gas. Anyway, the scientific consensus for a long time was that CO2 could not influence climate, since if it rose it would just dissolve in the oceans. The possibility of global warming was so thoroughly dismissed by the scientific consensus that no one even wanted to measure CO2 levels. Then we learned a lot more about CO2, we actually measured it, we developed computers so we could process large amounts of data, and the consensus very slowly started to change. (I think part of the right wing, fake science version of this is that a group of climate scientists decided to promote a hoax and overnight climate change theory was created. In fact climate change, and CO2’s part in it has been debated for well over 100 years.)

    Just to get even the slightest taste of all the science that has gone into the current consensus, this piece from the AIP is pretty good.

    https://history.aip.org/climate/co2.htm

    Steve

  • Ben Wolf

    Gray,

    The tube will contain exactly as much carbon dixoide as you put into it.

    As for water vapor, that’s not what we were discussing. We were discussing whether carbon dioxide traps heat. I assume your answer is an implicit acknowledgment that it does.

  • Gray Shambler

    Duh.

  • Ben Wolf

    Stay classy bro.

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