Edward Luce as New Democrat? A comment by Political Observer

The regular reader of Mr. Luce’s essays is taken aback at his sounding just like a New Democrat, or what the Financial Times might laughingly call ‘The Left’!
The reader need only go to the source of Clinton Care, Romney Care and Obama Care:

Headline:  Health Care Reform

Sub-headline : Health care reform should be a patient-centered, market-based alternative that empowers individuals to control the dollars and decisions regarding their health care.

Offered here is a report and a collection of essays about this Republican ‘reform’ and a pitch for contributions.

Trump will let the insufferably arrogant Paul Ryan take the fall on the Healthcare Reform fiasco: ‘I trusted Paul Ryan to get the job done and he failed, your fired!’ Trump the unforgiving Ring Master: ‘The Apprentice’ is the template for this low grade Melodrama. But faced with the second judicial quashing of his re-written Muslim Ban, the pace of Trump’s incompetence will quicken into an avalanche that even Brannon’s public relations savvy won’t be able to quell.

Political Observer


Added 03/16/17, a copy of an e mail from the New York Times:


The timing of the attack sure seemed telling.
On Monday evening, as people were taking in the devastating analysis of Paul Ryan’s health care plan, the right-wing publication Breitbart was leading its website with an attack on Ryan. The attack, which had nothing to do with health care, tried to create more distance between Ryan and President Trump.
The headline read: “Audio Emerges of When Paul Ryan Abandoned Donald Trump.” The story was about a tape of Ryan talking with other Republicans during last year’s presidential campaign.
In a smart piece in The Washington Post, Paul Waldman tries to explain what’s going on here and why Ryan — like his health care bill — has turned into such a punching bag on the right.
“You’ll notice that even though the GOP bill has the full support of the Trump White House, the conservatives are calling it ‘Ryancare’ as a way of tarring him with what they think will eventually be seen as a failure,” Waldman writes.
During the debate over Obamacare, liberal groups criticized specific parts of the bill but continued to support its passage strongly. Conservatives, by comparison, are engaged in vicious infighting that damages their ability to get things done.
Waldman argues that this infighting stems from the birth of today’s right, during the Obama years, when it defined itself as an ideologically pure opposition, uninterested in compromise. “They don’t view themselves as people with specific practical goals who are willing to negotiate and perhaps compromise to reach those goals — that’s for the corrupt insiders,” he writes. “Instead, they’re heroic revolutionaries, rousing the rabble and terrifying the establishment.”
The idea is related to my argument yesterday — that the Republicans’ strategy of mischaracterizing Obamacare worked well when they were out of power but also helped create the mess that the party is now in.
Waldman thinks the same dynamic will probably play out on taxes, abortion and other issues, because right-wing activists are better at winning elections and blocking policy than making policy: “They need an enemy to rebel against, and for now, Paul Ryan is it,” he writes.
The full Opinion report from The Times follows, including Jennifer Harvey on raising white children in the Trump era and Ross Douthat on Christians in the hands of Trump.
You may also want to contribute to a live Times chat today at 12:30 EST on Trump’s conflicts of interest. It will feature four leading ethics experts, including one each from Barack Obama’s and George W. Bush’s administrations.
David Leonhardt
Op-Ed Columnist
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The Financial Times, President Trump and Glass-Steagall: a comment by Almost Marx

What is wrong with this ‘Newspaper’ and ‘reporter’ Ben McLannahan ? A purely rhetorical question.There already exists a bill cosponsored by Elizabeth Warren and John McCain as reported by The Hill in 2015, a Glass-Steagall for the 21st Century :


The co-sponsors Warren and McCain demonstrates a kind of consensus that might make it a worthy goal of bipartisanship, in the public interest? Recall that Sen. McCain was one of the ‘Keating Five’: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keating_Five

So McCain has some baggage! Recall the ‘Good McCain’ of ‘The Straight Talk Express’ or the ‘Bad McCain’ of ‘Bomb,bomb, Iran’? What the reader gets in Mr. McLannahan’s reportage is the hand-wringing of the plutocrats and or their apologists/sycophants. What makes it ‘News’ is that the dread ‘Populist’ Trump may just be right about this one thing? While the FT pretends that there wasn’t at least two senators who saw the disaster that was/is Grammy-Leach-Blily ‘reform’, that was the harbinger of catastrophe that devolved into the dismal economic present. Except for the gamblers of our almost completely financialized economy, that produces profits for a class of very wealthy speculators, and misery for the rest of us! Not speak of the ‘reports’ of how well the economy is doing- yes for a select class dubbed the 1% by the unwashed Occupy Wall Street movement: seemingly crushed by plutocrat Bloomberg’s goons, yet its plangent idea of the chasm that exists between the 1% and the 99%, has become a descriptor of the fact of a corrupt Plutocracy’s malfeasance, if not unapologetic criminality.

Almost Marx


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Janan Ganesh on being “Dianafied”, a comment by Political Reporter

As a reader who has just come from Mr. Ganesh’s ‘Buyer’s remorse in the sexual revolution: The guardians of the New Prurience tend to be young and avowedly progressive’ which was a milestone in the construction of ‘The Ganesh Enemies List’, written in a coded language that even the most avid fans of the Ganesh ‘New-New Journalism’ found daunting.

But in this essay ostensibly about ‘Claudio Ranieri has been “Dianafied” since his recent dismissal by Leicester City’  the reader is treated to a full scale analysis of ‘The Princess Diana Phenomenon’ as an expression of repressed emotion, that renders any expression of public emotion kitsch, or as Mr. Ganesh would have it ‘schmaltz’. The usual bile and gall of Ganesh’s cynicism ensues.

Mr. Ganesh is too young to recall, and or know about, the ill fated romance between Princess Margaret and Group Captain Peter Townsend. Told in this review of ‘The Crown’ in all its heart rending detail in Vanity Fair, which specializes in exhuming the Melodramas of the past and present.
This romance became such that even a seven year old child,myself, recalls vividly the fact of the American public sentiment that Margaret should have been allowed to marry  Townsend. We are democrats to the core. Yet even in Britain their romance was front page news, and feelings that Mr. Ganesh finds to be ‘schmaltz’, ran high in favor of the Princess and the man she loved.
As usual Mr. Ganesh stumbles over his historical ignorance allied to his unslakable, not to say pernicious, cynicism. Claudio Ranieri fades into the distance, of a very long shot, to use cinematic parlance.

Political Reporter



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Janan Ganesh on ‘the guardians of the New Prurience’, American Writer comments

The reader might just ask: what was Mr. Ganesh’s latest feuilleton about? The staff at The Financial Times photo archive, could only find a 1967 Getty photo, that looked like a relic from the ‘Swinging Sixties’: recall Antonioni’s Blowup? A very young David Hemmings, camera in hand, cavorts with two giggly bikini clad models? That would have been part of a photo essay, that might have appeared in Look magazine. Life would have carefully staged a shoot of a ‘Happening‘ produced by Allen Kaprow. And the model wouldn’t have looked so much like Raquel Welsh in One Million Years B.C., circa 1966!
The New Prurience‘ is that like ‘50 is the new 40′? it kind of reeks of Helen Gurley Brown’s Cosmo Magazine, circa 1965, after her Best Seller ‘Sex and the Single Girl’, which was a Madison Ave. reply to Betty Friedan’s 1963 Feminist tract The Feminine Mystique?
Though Mr. Ganesh festoons his essay with references from Philip Larkin: Read his ‘Required Writing: Miscellaneous Pieces 1955-1982’ to find out that Larkin thought Charlie Parker a psychotic, who was destroying ‘Jazz’! ‘The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.’ by Adelle Waldman, and reactionary lush Michel Houellebecq as pioneer: the Françoise Sagan, not the Sartre, of 21st Century French literary decadence?
Mr. Ganesh manufactures his own political opportunities, for naming and shaming the amorphous enemies of respectable bourgeois existence, those nihilists like Russel Brand. Except that he now preaches sobriety as a way of life, not to speak of respect for others.

American Writer



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My reply to Karin Lindqvist

‘… I think it’s fairly certain that he and other members of the family were genetically predisposed to a fairly severe form of Asperger’s syndrome,…’

Dr. Lindqvist thank you for your comment. Congratulations are in order: you intuit/diagnose, across time and space, the disorder of Asperger’s syndrome, not just for Mr. Wittgenstein, but for the other members of his family! Truly astounding exercise in what?

Your comment reminds me of the now very dead vogue of the Psycobiography, once practiced – I still have my copy of Robert Soucy’s ‘Fascist Intellectual: Drieu La Rochelle’, a model of this kind of ‘biography’ based on the purest speculation, using the psychoanalytic method confected by Sigmund Freud. The only provisos are that the ‘analysand‘ is no longer in the presence of the ‘psychoanalyst’, so the very ‘reciprocity‘ that is the cornerstone of the ‘psychoanalytic method’ is rendered null. Your attempt to diagnose Ludwig and family long distance has the staying power of the Psycobiography, with nothing like empirical evidence, or the liberal use of the Freudian incantations, to back up your wan attempt at publicly shaming me, for my breach of decorum: my attack of the ‘Aspies’. Call this appellation by its name, kitsch!

Please read the books I’ve mentioned in my comment. Ludwig was ‘boorish’ in his behavior towards others whom he thought of as ‘less than he’, which amounted to almost everyone i.e. sociopath. And had the Augustinian self-hatred of the ‘text book’ closeted gay male: internalized homophobia is the toxic product of ‘the closet’.




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On the political myopia of Edward Luce, episode DLXXIII, a comment by Political Reporter

The reader has to admit that Mr. Luce,as always, has an ‘elite’ view of the American Political landscape: he accepts the political feints of President Trump as part of a long term strategy, instead of what they might be, sewing the seeds of political chaos. And observing which of his feints takes root in the minds and thoughts of both the Commentariat and his voter base. Or even just for the satisfaction of being the catalyst that continually keeps his opposition in a state of politically exploitable confusion.

While Mr. Luce is otherwise engaged, here are some news stories that describe the actual American political landscape: the next two news items for the  John F. Harris and Jim VandeHei’s  Washington political Gossip, Sheet Politico:

Headline: Ryan disappoints his friends with Obamacare replacement bill

Sub-headline: Close allies in conservative policies circles found little to love with the GOP’s health care proposal

By 03/08/17 05:20 AM EST

‘House Speaker Paul Ryan has long been the darling of conservative policy wonks. But on one of the biggest days of his political career, when House Republicans released their much-anticipated Obamacare replacement, many of Ryan’s closest friends in the conservative intelligentsia expressed disappointment — if not outright dismay — with the legislation bearing the speaker’s imprimatur.

Indeed, virtually every prominent conservative health care expert — precisely the sort of ideological allies who have backed Ryan in the past — panned this legislation.’


Or this:

Headline: Heritage Foundation’s cozy relationship with Trump put to test

Sub-headline: The Trump-blessed plan to repeal and replace Obamacare has already strained the think tank’s relations with the administration.

By and

03/08/17 05:51 PM EST

‘Heritage Action, the 501(c)(4) associated with the foundation, quickly bashed the bill on Tuesday, calling it “bad politics and, more importantly, bad policy.” Former Sen. Jim DeMint, Heritage Foundation president, is slated to go to the White House later Wednesday to discuss the bill with Trump, according to a Heritage source, part of Trump’s broader push to win over conservative groups.

Interviews with more than a dozen Heritage staffers, many of whom worked on Trump’s presidential transition team, give an inside look at how the group is trying find middle ground between agitator and deal maker.

Before the draft Obamacare repeal bill even came out, DeMint said Republicans never would have found themselves in this situation had they scrapped Obamacare right away.’



On the vexing question of the Sessions recusal, and its unpredictable political consequences, see this essay at The Intercept:

Headline: Sessions’s Recusal Gives Senators Powerful Leverage to Demand Russia Special Prosecutor

By Jon Schwarz

‘Now that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from any involvement in investigations by the Justice Department involving potential Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, the authority to make decisions on the issue — including whether the appointment of a special prosecutor is necessary — falls to the deputy attorney general.

This turn of events gives the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee the power to demand a special prosecutor, if they choose to wield it.

There is currently no permanent deputy attorney general, just Acting Attorney General Dana Boente, a former U.S. Attorney who stepped in after Sally Yates, an Obama appointee, was fired. However, Donald Trump’s nominee, U.S. Attorney for Maryland Rod Rosenstein, will undergo confirmation hearings with the Senate Judiciary Committee this month.

And those Judiciary Committee members can now ask Rosenstein to commit to naming a special prosecutor before voting whether to send his nomination to the full Senate.’

The object lessons of the Nixon, Reagan and Clinton Special Prosecutors hasn’t registered with Mr. Luce, much less on the Bannon/Pence political experts who are ‘managing’ Trump. Even if Mr. Luce’s dithering conjectures come to pass, there are other Crises, taking shape in the political present, waiting in the wings.

Political Reporter





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Anne-Marie Slaughter advocates politeness!

Are these the rules that Ms. Slaughter uses to treat her underlings? Like her secretary or the lowly word processor? What Ms. Slaughter prescribes is for meetings at a certain corporate level. Because her series of steps takes valuable time and energy, when the dissemination of the Party Line is what most of these meetings are about. The Boss will lay claim to any good ideas that others produce in these meetings: no one, who has lasted in a corporate setting, for any length of time, knows that this about the power of the Boss! Ms. Slaughter’s strategy is still based the authoritarian power of the Boss! Her strategy, in sum, is really about politeness and the recognition that everyone might have some valuable input, regardless of gender identification! The ‘as if’ here is that the corporate setting is about  some notion of freedom of expression. My second grade teacher, Miss Cheever, at Lindbergh Elementary, taught us and helped us to practice politeness, in the classroom and on the playground. I’m sure I’m not the only reader who can look to teacher,mother, father and the school setting, as our training ground for recognizing the value of the expressions of others. If only we will will recall these lessons as primary!




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