Thursday, December 29, 2016

Response to A Parting Shot from the World of Common Sense

Although I think he's misreading what John Kerry was saying about the impossibility of Israel being both democratic and Jewish at the same time. Friedman seems to think they can be both, while I agree with Kerry — that they can’t — although the implication of that would be that we just forget about trying to help all those people solve their problems over there at all. Since both sides made their bed, maybe they should be left to figure out how to sleep in it, without our further help.

And wouldn’t it be interesting to find out after he gets into office that Trump is only pretending to be Israel’s new best friend? So maybe once he gets control, by threats and  lots of tough talk, he forces them to cut the shit and do the right thing? Time will tell, but that does seem to be beyond the range of his capabilities.

But maybe included in an eventual solution could be the Palestinians being granted the right to build their own settlements within Israel, with eventually the whole country being one big land of Israeli and Arab settlements!

Which is to say, maybe the single-state solution is best after all — not a Jewish state and not an Arab state, where everyone is in control! That, of course, would be the democracy without the Jewish state part, but to make that work, there would have to be no right-of-return for anyone, including Jews and displaced Arabs alike — although the refugees would have to be compensated.

The problems, of course, include that this is not what Jews who moved there bargained for, and even fairly-compensated Arab refugees would still be without a country, not necessarily recognized as citizens of wherever they are living right now, so it might be a tough sell to get this new state accepted by all parties involved.

But if the deal does stick, they’d have to change the name. How about “Israelistine"?

Not likely. It would only work if most everybody wanted it to work, and they don’t.

So if I were a Jew who was living in Israel today, looking ahead to whatever state or states are in my future, I’d just move the hell out to somewhere else.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Response to White Blues

(See: Just Above Sunset: White Blues)

"Some conservative publications have taken to arguing this week that the President-elect did much better on Election Day than his nearly 3 million-vote deficit suggests – if only certain liberal cities and states were completely discounted from the popular vote total."

That’s according to Matt Shuham, of Talking Points Memo, under the headline, "Conservatives' Special Revisionist Math: Trump Won Popular Vote If You Nix CA!”. And with not dissimilar math, one could argue that “Clinton Won Presidency If Only You Discount All Those Votes For Trump!”

As for the conservative claim that California accounts for all the votes that gave Hillary her popular vote victory?
By far, the most popular target for wholesale disenfranchisement in these thought-experiments is California. Clinton won the state’s popular vote by more than 4.2 million, according to a tally by the Cook Political Report, which is an even larger margin than her nationwide popular vote lead, which was nearly 2.9 million.
Okay, but I could argue that maybe those votes actually weren’t from California after all — maybe they were, for example, in Texas, a state where, at last count, 3,877,868 votes were cast for Clinton, also well over her 2.9-million national margin.

Why Texas? Good question! Maybe we could make that New York, a state Hillary won with 4,547,218 votes, of which about 2,900,000 were the surplus we’ve been looking for.

But what we’re forgetting here is, when you're talking about the popular vote, you're talking about a national vote, so it doesn’t matter what state (or combination of states) the votes come from, since, with the popular vote, states would be irrelevant!

With a national popular vote, the distinguishing element is that it actually hurts or helps no group in particular.

Back in the 1990s, when I first started looking into this idea of us abolishing the indirect vote, I was told that Democrats would never go for it because of a belief that the electoral system helped inflate the power of urban minorities, who otherwise would just get lost in the crowd. These days, the argument has swung back to helping protect small states who tend to vote Republican, and so switching to the popular vote would wipe out this protection, and thus, would be seen as “hurting” the Republicans.

Think of it this way:

Suppose we had neither an electoral or popular vote system; suppose we had a plutocracy, in which, instead of casting votes at the polls, we bought political offices with money, deposited directly into the treasury. As you can imagine, in a country where the candidate who put up the most money wins, the billionaires always get their way, and any attempt to change to a democracy would be met with complaints that such a change would unfairly punish billionaires.

And Americans, being a fair-minded people, wouldn't want to see anyone be disadvantaged, so they'd hesitate before improving the way they pick their presidents, at least until they had more time to think about what to do — sort of like today.

Absurd thinking? Hey, you said it, not me!

So to beat a dead horse:

The electoral college system is always, arguably, biased in favor of some group or another, which means that, at the same time, it is biased against some other group. We somehow need to stop allowing our election system to be biased for and against people. The way to fix that is to go to a system that has no built-in bias, and that’s one that gives one person one vote.

But then, there's Bill O’Reilly, jumping in with his own theory of what’s behind the movement to abolish the electoral college:
“Summing up,” he said, “[the] left wants power taken away from the white establishment. They want a profound change in the way America is run.”
Fair enough — and he is to be applauded for his candor! — but doesn’t that imply that the right wants to keep the electoral college because they don’t want power taken away from the so-called "white establishment”?

(Here’s a hint: The answer is, yes, it does imply that!)

And by the way, O’Reilly went on to also observe this:
“Very few commentators will tell you that the heart of liberalism in America today is based on race,” O’Reilly said. “It permeates almost every issue. That white men have set up a system of oppression. … So-called white privilege bad. Diversity good.”
I’d argue that “commentators” who think that way are probably “conservative commentators”, since many of those tend to see the difference between the parties as having almost everything to do with race. In fact, in my experience as a white transplanted Yankee living in Georgia who often finds himself chatting with Republicans, they are usually puzzled to discover that I myself am not a Republican, since when they think of a Democrat, they picture someone who is not all that white.

But no, the treatment of minorities by Republicans is only one of the many reasons I call myself a Democrat, others being a belief that Keynesianism makes the most sense on what to do about the economy, since the best way to get people to spend money is to let them get their hands on some; and that we, as a nation, should do what we can, no matter how much it costs, to improve the opportunities of those not born into rich families — and that includes universal healthcare; and a belief that illegal immigration does very little, if any, harm to this country; and a belief in freedom of religion, the take-away of which being that Christians should be allowed to fully celebrate their faith in ways that don’t trample on the rights of the rest of us; and that our best foreign policy would not be to try to intimidate the rest of the world, since that’s something the Nazis tried to do, and look what that got them!

We could go on and on, but let's not.

All this nonsense reminds me of something I heard back in the late 1960s while sitting in the back seat of a Triumph TR-somethng that was being driven the seven miles from Newark, Ohio, to Granville, Ohio, when the driver blurted out, seemingly apropos of nothing, “Imagine what a different world this would be had Barbra Streisand been born without a nose!” In this particular instance, for example, had Barbra Streisand been born schnozless — and given the famous “butterfly effect” — who’s to say that Hillary might not have won Pennsylvania?

And hey, for all we know, maybe in that world that knew no Streisand schnozzola, maybe her noselessness could have caused some butterfly to take a left instead of a right-turn, which, through a series of unforeseen events, somehow got rid of the electoral college?

Sure! Why not! It’s been a strange year anyway.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Response to The New Old World Order

(See: Just Above Sunset: The New Old World Order)

Now I’m starting to get very uneasy.

And what’s weird about all this is, although he’s been pretty clear all along about his intentions if he ever became president, Trump still will become an accidental president in the sense that he and his people were surprised on election night, and that he may not have really expected to win!

Josh Marshall is right about the national press being in the dark, having to rely on posts in Facebook for leads. I wouldn’t even know how to do that sort of journalism.

But Trump has already changed the way political reporters report. Back in the days of all the major candidates being somewhat “normal", objective reporters wouldn’t allow themselves the luxury of calling out presidential candidates on their false claims, leaving that job instead to the fact checkers like “Politifact” and “Snopes”, but this year, because every Trump sentence carried at least one outright lie and often two or three, reporters have had to take the unprecedented step of including phrases like, "Falsely claiming that..." in their copy. Of course, a lot of good that did everybody.

But the public, or at least enough of it, has been now conditioned not to care what the so-called “lying media" says about Trump, since members of the press are obviously in some sort of private blood-feud with the guy, which means anything they say about what he’s doing is just going to be “one side of the story”. After all, the media obviously got everything wrong during the elections, didn't it? He’s pretty much neutered them, effectively cutting the public’s trust in what they hear of the real world. After all, who’s really to judge what “fake news” really is and what is not?

And history shows that, once the people allow the threads to be snipped between them and the truth, then their whole world is in danger, whether they realize it or not.

In conclusion, I’d like to weigh in on that debate as to who I think is to blame for Hillary’s loss:

Other than the dirty tricksters who spent the last decade or so demonizing a well-respected public servant to the point that even people who refused to vote for her opponent still couldn’t trust her enough to vote for her, the real fault lies with all those ignorant crybabies who know so little, and care even less, about our world that they decided to punish their country (for supposedly “forgetting about them”) by voting to put a Putin-wannabe tyrant into the Oval Office.


Monday, December 19, 2016

Response to Dealing With the Done Deal

(See: Just Above Sunset: Dealing With the Done Deal)

About that electoral college:

If Donald Trump really wanted to make America great, he’d work to get rid of it. But he won’t, maybe because he really doesn’t. It’s not likely to happen soon anyway, simply because too many people — specifically, Republicans — don’t want to get rid of it.

Why Republicans? Because especially lately, they are the party most likely to win the electoral college without winning the popular vote, since about the only way a party can do that is to win more of the low-population states than the other major party, and those states tend to be more conservative than high-population states, maybe because they have fewer big cities, which tend to be more liberal and Democratic.

The major argument often given against doing away with the electoral college has to do with protecting small states, an argument that was refuted quite nicely by The Washington Post back in 2012, in an article that addresses myths about the electoral college, the first of which was, "The framers created the electoral college to protect small states":
The delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention had a variety of reasons for settling on the electoral college format, but protecting smaller states was not among them. Some delegates feared direct democracy, but that was only one factor in the debate. 
Remember what the country looked like in 1787: The important division was between states that relied on slavery and those that didn’t, not between large and small states. A direct election for president did not sit well with most delegates from the slave states, which had large populations but far fewer eligible voters. They gravitated toward the electoral college as a compromise because it was based on population. The convention had agreed to count each slave as three-fifths of a person for the purpose of calculating each state’s allotment of seats in Congress. For Virginia, which had the largest population among the original 13 states, that meant more clout in choosing the president.
In other words, that "a-slave-is-three-fifths-of-a-person" bit of trickery that slave states settled on to artificially inflate their populations for the purpose of deciding how many representatives they’d send to the House threatened to come back and bite them in the ass when it came to voting for president, since they themselves would not allow much of their so-called “population” to actually vote. To remedy that, they favored giving the states, with their make-believe “populations”, the power to choose the president over allowing actual people to do it.
The electoral college distorts the political process by providing a huge incentive [for candidates] to visit competitive states, especially large ones with hefty numbers of electoral votes. That’s why Obama and Romney have spent so much time this year in states like Ohio and Florida. In the 2008 general election, Obama and John McCain personally campaigned in only five of the 29 smallest states. 
The framers protected the interests of smaller states by creating the Senate, which gives each state two votes regardless of population. There is no need for additional protection.
Another way of putting that, especially in a day and age when we no longer have to pander to the duplicitous chicanery of slave states, is that the choice is between having the American people choose the president and vice-president, or having that decision be made by the states. And if we decide that the people, not the states, should decide, then it will no longer be relevant what this does to any particular state.

Many present convoluted arguments that, as much as we call ourselves a “democracy”, technically we’re merely a “republic", maybe partly because the citizens don’t actually elect their president. In fact, I would argue we’re really a “democratic republic”, but all silly technicalities aside, there ought to be at least one part of our nation’s management that we, the people, choose directly (given that senators and representatives are chosen only by people who live in those states) and that is the executive branch. If only we could do that directly, then few could deny that we’re a democracy.

Another beneficial result of a popular vote would be increasing turnout, which has averaged about 63% of eligible voters since 1828 when we started paying attention to the popular vote, although it’s down in the low to mid 50s in recent elections. As it is, many people say their vote doesn’t really count, and that happens to be true, especially for anyone not living in a battleground state.

With direct elections, every vote would count, no matter what state the voter lived in, which means candidates who campaign only in big population centers, which might be overlooked and excused by Idaho voters under the present electoral system, would find themselves punished by Idaho voters under the popular vote system.

"Hey, wait a minute!", you say, “Aren’t you a Democrat? No wonder you want the popular vote! Democrats win when the people vote directly!"

True enough, but believe it or not, I’ve always believed in the popular vote, even before I realized that the electoral college is probably biased toward Republicans.  Not only is the electoral college an archaic vestige of an age when ordinary Americans weren’t considered as smart as the elite few who would be chosen to be electors, it’s clumsy and unnecessary and, it turns out, it also gives unwarranted power to the low-population state voter over the one from the populous state.

But just becoming a true democracy should be good for the country as a whole — although we’re not likely to get there in the present day America, in which those few with power, understandably, pretty much don’t believe in democracy and majority rule anyway.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Response to The Limits of Cool

(See: Just Above Sunset: The Limits of Cool)

I can think of nothing that gets me more annoyed than someone telling me that Barrack Obama is just too nice.

For example, there was, a week ago, in the New York Times, from Mark Moyar, director of the Center for Military and Diplomatic History at the Foreign Policy Initiative, an op-ed entitled "The World Fears Trump’s America — That’s a Good Thing”. Here he is, speaking to the idea that Trump’s phone conversation with Taiwan’s leader scaring the whole world is the way things ought to be: 
During the last eight years, President Obama showed what happens when the world’s greatest power tries strenuously to avoid giving fright. He began his presidency with lofty vows to conciliate adversaries, defer to the opinions of other countries and reduce America’s military commitments. 
Consequently, he received rapturous applause in European capitals and a Nobel Peace Prize. In the real world of geopolitics, however, the results have been catastrophic. … 
Mr. Obama’s passivity in the face of provocations and his failure to enforce the “red line” in Syria led Russia, China and other adversaries to seek new gains at America’s expense. … 
The Obama presidency is but the latest chapter in a post-1945 saga that has been dominated by international fear of the United States, or lack thereof. In 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea because Harry S. Truman’s exclusion of South Korea from America’s “defense perimeter” removed fears of intervention. 
By contrast, Dwight D. Eisenhower employed rhetorical threats and high military spending to fill the Communist powers with fear of nuclear Armageddon, an approach that kept the Communists from launching further invasions. 
Lyndon B. Johnson tried to avert a major war in Vietnam by showing restraint, in expectation of North Vietnamese reciprocation. Hanoi responded by pouring troops into South Vietnam. Richard M. Nixon revived fears of the United States with his “madman theory,” whereby he took seemingly reckless actions to convince America’s enemies that he just might be crazy enough to do it. 
Those fears, and the caution they instilled in the Communist powers, dissipated when the Watergate Congress kicked the legs out from under South Vietnam. The world continued to live without fear of a strong America under Jimmy Carter, whose timidity caused nations to fall to Communism and the United States Embassy in Iran to fall to anti-American extremists.
And before we return from the world of make-believe, let’s have one more quote: 
In 1980, as in 2016, Americans elected someone who made clear his intent to put fear back in the nation’s enemies. Nowadays, even liberal Democrats applaud Reagan for bringing the Soviet Union to its knees. Back in 1980, however, Reagan’s tough, nationalist stances on foreign policy aroused the same condemnation of “fearmongering” currently emanating from the world’s enlightened critics of Mr. Trump.
In fact, the Soviet Union collapsed under its own weight, without any assistance from Ronald Reagan, who not only did not bring it down, he didn't see it coming, barely noticed once it arrived, and finally, along with all the other Republicans, immediately tried to take credit for it.

If anything, Reagan’s ratcheting up our military spending, causing the Russians to do the same, was less likely to hurt them as to help their arms sales, which was then (and continues today to be) one of the only sectors of their economy that other countries are interested in engaging with.

I’m not saying there isn't some liberal Democrat somewhere who “applauds” Reagan for “bringing the Soviet Union to its knees”, I’m just saying that, as a liberal Democrat who doesn’t, I’ve never met a fellow liberal Democrat who did. 

I see from Mark Moyar’s Wikipedia entry that he’s an expert on the Vietnam War, a conflict that ended just about the time he was being born in the 1970s. Had he been old enough to be aware of what was going on at that time, he'd know that the loss of that war had nothing to do with Watergate and everything to do with Americans tiring of fighting someone else's civil war. Richard Nixon's so-called "madman theory" certainly earned him no respect on the world stage, although it probably helped his own country decide he was just nutty enough to earn a one-way ticket back to San Clemente.

Then again, in 1980, when Ronald Reagan was elected, Mark Moyar was nine years old. Something that annoys me almost as much as someone preaching to me that our president is too darn nice is hearing it from someone who's a virtual toddler.

And as obvious as this may sound, I would much rather live in a country run by Barrack Obama than by Trump's pals, Putin or Assad (the guys who, right now, are murdering all those innocents in Aleppo), or that jerk Duterte in the Philippines, or Donald Trump himself, or any of his fellow warlords who think the way they all do.

But it's not just from the right that we hear suggestions that Obama hasn't been crazy or scary enough, we also heard something like it from Michele Goldberg, in Slate, who didn't hear what she wanted in his final news conference:
Most of the time, Barack Obama’s near-supernatural calm and dispassion are among his best qualities. Occasionally, as at Friday’s pallid press conference, they are his worst ones. 
Obama spoke to journalists at what should be a moment of acute political emergency. It’s increasingly clear that Donald Trump won the election with the deliberate aid of Vladimir Putin, and the president-elect seems intent on rewarding his benefactor with a friendly state department. Russia also appears to have intervened on behalf of Republicans in congressional races. 
If the situation were reversed – if the CIA concluded that Hillary Clinton won the election (but lost the popular vote) with an assist from a hostile foreign power – pitchfork-waving Republicans would be demanding that she resign for the good of the nation. Stunned Democrats, by contrast, have been leaderless, marching toward the post-inauguration abyss without a fight. Obama might have rallied them by laying out the alarming political implications of the CIA’s findings. Instead, he minimized them. 
It was not a reassuring performance. His refusal to acknowledge the intense alarm felt by his supporters only exacerbates it.
First, it should be noted there’s no reason to believe that Hillary lost the election because of the hacks. Outside of the primaries and the convention, can you remember any significant leak that might have hurt her campaign in the general election? I can’t.

In fact, you’d think the hacking should have hurt Trump more than Hillary, since it was his group, if anyone's, who seemed to be working with unfriendly foreign invaders, trying to disrupt our elections.

Second, had the situation been reversed, the Republicans would grab pitchforks. That's one of the things I like about us: We're not jerks. If we were just like them, I would probably not be on our side, and nor would many others. What would be the point of both sides being jerks?

I’m not sure what she expected President Obama to do more than he did during the campaign, but had he done anything more, he would himself have been intruding in the process, and to say anything more than he did during his final press conference would have been to betray his role as chief executive of our country — which needed his reassurances that we, as a nation, can continue to be as great as we are in the face of what’s about to happen to us in January, as long as we don’t abandon our values.

Obama has a much more important job than Democratic party standard bearer and that's president of the United States, and sending that message to America is a lot more important than anything he might have thought to say to his party in their time of need, if indeed there was anything he could say, other than “Good luck in your future endeavors! I've done what I can, but from now on, you’re on your own."

So yes, when it comes to handling crises as they arise, Omaha can walk on thin ice — and do it better than just about anyone alive — but no, he still can’t walk on water.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Response to Freaky Friday

(See: Just Above Sunset: Freak Friday

Do you wonder, as I do, why Donald Trump’s recent “Thank You Tour” didn’t make a quick stop at the Kremlin?

I know, right? Don’t I sound like Joe McCarthy, from back in the early 1950s, warning us all that the Russians are attempting a coup here in America? But the truth is, there may be reason to believe they’re much closer to doing it now than they ever were back then.

In fact, if you think about it, even if the various actors and writers and directors were communists intending to wreak havoc in Hollywood, what difference would that make? Hardly anybody would pay to see some propaganda movie, so it could hardly have had any effect.

And compared to making a few preachy movies, installing their own Putin apologist, along with his whole platoon of see-no-evil monkeys in high positions in the government, along with a frightened-shitless Congress that will pretty much do what they’re told, then it’s probably bye-bye to the independence of Ukraine and Georgia and Estonia and other previous Soviet states, and since we will probably have dropped out of it by then, NATO will do nothing to prevent it.

Speaking of the McCarthy era, whatever happened to all those right-wingers from back then who imagined commies in every closet? Where’d they go, now that we need them? I’m betting on election day, they were at the polls, voting for Trump, the very guy who’s letting the New Soviets in the back door!

And by the way, while down through the years, we’ve been led to believe that liberals were the true friends of the Soviets, since they were both thought to be left-of-center on the political spectrum, I always thought there was something wrong with that characterization — that, in fact, the Soviet Union, being a brutal dictatorship, was actually part of the extreme right. After all, liberals are famous for wanting everybody to have a vote, while it's conservatives who try to restrict voting to only people like themselves.

In fact, you may remember that, immediately after the collapse of Soviet communism in the 1990s, those Russians looking to restore communist rule were known to all as “conservatives”. 

So how did conservative communists come to considered “leftists"?

It traces back to the late 1800s, when “Social Democrats” — leftists who mostly advocated for democratically-elected governments who would keep capitalism in check — were all the rage in Europe, while Vladimir Lenin, while in exile in Siberia, had different ideas:
Keen to keep up with developments in German Marxism – where there had been an ideological split, with revisionists like Eduard Bernstein advocating a peaceful, electoral path to socialism – Lenin remained devoted to violent revolution...
Lenin later led the Bolsheviks in their takeover of the country, and it was his harsher form of socialist government that set the standard for Soviet rule from then on.

This Russian stuff is really insidious. You can tell Americans right to their faces that the Russians hacked the DNC emails — whether to “undermine voter confidence in the election process” or to “help Trump get elected”, it doesn’t really matter — and polls show that enough of them will just think the whole story is being fabricated by the Clinton campaign, who need to realize that the election is over, they lost, and it’s time to move on.

You could show everyone video of Trump appointing nothing but Russian spies to his cabinet, and those hyper-partisan Republicans would insist it was just another case of the lying media making stuff up. This is as scary as it gets.

What can be done about this? Maybe nothing. Maybe after Trump takes office, he will somehow swear his allegiance to Putin in exchange for opening a golf course in downtown Moscow or something, at which point maybe, just maybe, there might finally be a mood in to Congress to impeach him.

But I do think that, by the time Congress ever gets around to passing something like that, Putin will probably just veto it.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Response to The Dog Catches the Car

(See: Just Above Sunset: The Dog Catches the Car)

For all those years of talk about repealing and replacing Obamacare, and all those votes to shit-can the law, are you telling me the Republicans never came up with any realistic plan to replace it? Other than vowing to keep the good parts of the ACA (e.g., pre-existing conditions) but get rid of the bad (paying for it), there seems to have been precious little thought given to how it would all work.

I can help them with that.

I’m thinking the Democrats might consider joining the Republicans on a plan that I like to call the “Totally Free-Market Job-Killing Obamacare Replacement Healthcare Plan". (After all, who amongst that group can complain about replacing Obamacare with something that has “Free Market” in its name?)

Here’s how it would work:

Obamacare would stay exactly as it is now, including the stuff about preexisting-conditions and about kids staying on their parents' plan until age 26, but with one crucial difference being that no American would ever be forced to buy health insurance (I think they'll really like that part), since all health insurance bills would be sent directly to the federal government, with the government also negotiating prices and amounts of coverage with the insurance companies.

One beauty of this plan is the cost savings of millions that come from cutting out the bureaucracy that would try to sort out whether or not the patient has insurance — since everybody will have it.

How would it be paid for? Higher taxes, especially on those who can afford to pay them!

So why is it called “Free Market”? Because all health insurance would then be free to all, rich and poor alike!

Perfect! What’s not to like? We already know that this plan will work because it’s already proven itself in countries all over the world.

Of course, the success of the “Totally Free-Market Job-Killing Obamacare Replacement Healthcare Plan” (also to be referred to as “Trumpcare") probably relies on nobody ever tipping them off that it’s a plan some people call a “single payer” program.

But until it gets passed by Congress and signed by the president, what say we just keep that to ourselves, okay?

Friday, December 2, 2016

Response to The Transition to a New World

(See: Just Above Sunset: The Transition to a New World)

And speaking of Truthiness...

I guess we should give Kudos to Trump for doing that Carrier deal, but the question remains, how long do we all have to wait before exposing the whole thing as a fraud?

Yes, I realize that it's been three-and-a-half weeks since the election, and I should by now have gotten used to this new concept of "Trumpian Truth” — which apparently is some version of truth that is granted an automatic waver from having to jibe with reality — but in fact (and this presumes “facts” have not received that same waver), it’s going to be interesting around here to watch Trump and his deluded constituency try to deal with reality when this new “Trumpian Truth” comes back around to bite them all in the collective rump.

Some, such as Steven Rattner, in the New York Timesare already at it:
Donald J. Trump spent much of his campaign peddling hope to beleaguered working-class Americans that, on his watch, those old-fashioned, good-paying manufacturing jobs would come back to America. … But the vast preponderance of American job losses has come simply because emerging-market countries have gotten much better at making stuff with workers earning far less. 
In 2015, a typical factory employee in the United States earned $37.71 an hour, including benefits; his Mexican counterpart received $5.90 an hour. And American executives say that the productivity that they get in Mexico is at least as good as what they get in the United States.
The Times imbeds a graph here that illustrates the larger problem by showing the discrepancy of hourly wages around the world, which I will do my best to replicate here:

Where Labor Is Cheap
Average hourly manufacturing compensation, including benefits.

Germany: $42.42 ********************************************
United States: 37.71 *********************************
France: 37.59 *****************************************
Britain: 31.44 **************************************
Japan: 23.60 ***********************************
Brazil: 7.97 *************
Mexico: 5.90 *******
China: 4.12 *******
India: 1.59 ***

Figures for 2015 except China (2013) and India (2012). 
Source: Conference Board
By The New York Times

According to more detail from Rattner, Trump’s Mexican dilemma is even worse than it looks:
Mr. Trump’s recent proclamation that he kept a Ford plant in Kentucky from closing was a mirage — Ford never planned to shutter the plant or eliminate any positions. More significantly, Ford is still going forward with the construction of a $1.6 billion facility in Mexico to assemble small cars, which cannot be done profitably using expensive American labor.
Trump could, as he has promised, slap high tariffs on the cars that come back across the border, but that brings us to another important economic reality that Trump hasn’t really been addressing:
Higher import duties would hurt the very people Mr. Trump is trying to help. Thanks to trade, prices of many goods have fallen. In the decade between 2002 and 2012, the prices of toys dropped by 43 percent and those of furniture and bedding fell by 7 percent. 
All told, one study of 40 countries found that if international trade ended, the wealthiest consumers would lose 28 percent of their purchasing power while those in the bottom tenth, who typically rely on more imported goods, would lose 63 percent. Sure, a small number of manufacturing jobs would return, but at an extraordinary price.
So something Trump, along with those geniuses who voted for him because they thought a businessman like him would have a better handle on the economy, need to realize is that, in this new “globalism” environment these days, you can’t really escape the consequences of living on the globe — you either pay for living by increasing your wages, or you do it by lowering the amount of money you spend on everything, but if you try to do both at the same time, you’re going to end up like a dog chasing his tail.

And as for Scottie Nell Hughes’ Trumpian theory of facts?
And so one thing that has been interesting this entire campaign season to watch, is that people that say facts are facts – they’re not really facts. Everybody has a way – it’s kind of like looking at ratings, or looking at a glass of half-full water. Everybody has a way of interpreting them to be the truth, or not truth. There’s no such thing, unfortunately, anymore as facts. 
And so Mr. Trump’s tweets, amongst a certain crowd – a large part of the population – are truth.
That’s probably because Donald Trump ran a Reality-TV-like campaign that appealed to voters who didn’t care if anything he said was true or not, which tricked you all into thinking there really is no such thing as truth.

But starting in January, there will be a change of the rules, in which Trump’s success will not depend on hoodwinking a gaggle of half-interested red states, but will hang on his ability to make deals with — assuming you people really believe in Him — the Big Man Himself, someone who, I am led to understand, doesn’t take kindly to folks fudging around with The Truth.