mfidelman's blog


Intersting factoid: 1984 is currently #1 on the Amazon Best Seller list.

More from Dr. K.

More from Dr. Kissinger (Sounds like he's talking about Trump, don't it) 

"Those who warn against the danger in time are considered alarmists; those who counsel adaptation to circumstance are considered balanced and sane, for they have all the good “reasons” on their side: the arguments accepted as valid in the existing framework. “Appeasement,” where it is not a device to gain time, is the result of an inability to come to grips with a policy of unlimited objectives.

But it is the essence of revolutionary power that it possesses the courage of its convictions, that it is willing, indeed eager, to push its principles to their ultimate conclusion. Whatever else a revolutionary power may achieve therefore, it tends to erode, if not the legitimacy of the international order, at least the restraint with which such an order operates. The characteristic of a stable order is its spontaneity; the essence of a revolutionary situation is its self-consciousness."

(From "A World Restored")

leaders do not accept the legitimacy of our current political system.

Henry Kissinger, of all people, provides the best lens for viewing the new administration.  And Krugman summarized it best (in 2003):

"It seems clear to me that one should regard America's right-wing movement--which now in effect controls the administration [...] as a revolutionary power in Kissinger's sense. That is, it is a movement whose leaders do not accept the legitimacy of our current political system."

Paul Krugman, The Great Unravelling

Assholes - You've Doomed us All


Ok, now that the turnout numbers are coming out - it's pretty clear that we have a mess because an awful lot of people DIDN'T VOTE.

At the same time, we had record high turnout in numbers, and record low turnout in percentages. And who was it who turned out? It was the worst among us - who voted not just for Trump, but for Republicans, at all levels. Yes, we had a few Democratic and Progressive victories, but not many. Overall, we just went from bad to bring of the apocalypse.

The deplorables turned out, progressives didn't. Those who turned out, voted for the apocalypse, while too many progressives threw a tantrum and didn't vote at all. The perfect is indeed the enemy of good enough. Assholes - you've doomed us all.

Trump & The Media - Very, Very Scary

Chris Lydon had a particularly good episode of Open Source, today (9/11/16) - focusing on why Trump is surging in the polls.

A summary, and the full audio are at  It's well worth listening to - it will scare the pants off you, and reinforce the importance of electing a Democratic majority in the House & Senate.

Some high points:

- This season is somewhat like the Kennedy-Nixon debate - Reality TV is the new medium, and Trump is a master showman.  He's connecting extremely well with his audience.

- He's taking a very different approach to messaging.  He's not delivering heavily scripted material, he's always live.  The analogy is to TV sports - he attracts attention because he's happening "right now."  And a lot of the ways he's connecting to people are unconscious - body language, expressions.

“Protect the earth, serve the people and explore the universe.”

“Protect the earth, serve the people and explore the universe" still has a rather nice ring to it.

Let's Focus on Winning the War

We just lost a battle, maybe, but we're winning the war.  Let's not muck it up.

When Hillary beat out Bernie for the nomination - by fair means or foul - and when Bernie endorsed Hillary, we lost a battle (maybe).  But we're certainly winning the war.

The critical things to note about Bernie's endorsement:
- everyone on stage was paying homage to Bernie, AND they were talking progressive policies
- Bernie's speech - where he essentially said "We're here, We Won, We're not going anywhere, and oh, by the way, I endorse Hillary for figurehead"
- The way Bernie was looking down on the speeches, from the balcony - occasionally looking rather smug and self-satisfied
- Bernie held on to his database of voters and donors (i.e., us)

And then there's the ongoing shakeup of the DNC!

Did Bernie Betray the Movement, or Is the Movement Betraying Bernie?

It seems like an awful lot of Sanders supporters are disavowing Sen. Sanders - booing at the Convention, shifting their vote to Jill Stein, etc - with many expressing the sentiment that Bernie has betrayed them.

Yet, from the beginning, Sen. Sanders has said that this is a movement, it's about Us, not Him.  He took the campaign as far as he could, losing the nomination to Hillary Clinton (for reasons fair or foul).  In the process, he's advanced our Progressive agenda, and positioned Progressives for significant power in the next Congress - if we elect a Democratic majority.


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