The "liberal" media seems to be wondering if Rep. Jeb Hensarling, reportedly under consideration as Mr. Trump's Treasury Secretary, is "Wall Street's Best Hope or Worst Nightmare." What unconscionable rubbish! Wall Street is playing us, just like Mr. Trump is playing us with reports of his slipshod transition, just like Republicans played us by pretending to implode over the Trump nomination. And the "liberal" media is surely playing us, too, by pretending there's any doubt over what kind of President Mr. Trump will be. One could say "I guess they gotta sell papers," but if you're going to sell papers this way, you run the risk of having nothing to take to the Pearly Gates.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen warns against Mr. Trump's infrastructure plan, citing the economy "operating relatively close to full employment at this point." So she's against it for entirely the wrong reasons -- the official U3 unemployment rate of 4.9% may be close to our government's definition of "full employment," but the U6 unemployment rate, which captures the underemployed, is still around 9.5%, suggesting that yes, our government could be doing more to create jobs. Doing it Mr. Trump's way, of course -- by handing out over $150 billion in corporate welfare to spark investment only in the kind of infrastructure projects that could be privatized -- would be a mistake; an actual Public Works Administration-style program would do better, though it wouldn't make any big political donors richer.
The Trump transition team is apparently eyeing a "master of outsourcing to China" as his Commerce Secretary. Remember when Mr. Trump said he didn't like "free" trade deals outsourcing jobs? Apparently he's fine with outsourcing under other circumstances. And his votaries won't think he's putting the screws to them, because they already know that when Mr. Trump said he'd "drain the swamp," he meant drain the swamp of Democrats. If Democrats do obstruct him, though -- which is totally not a sure thing, because these are Democrats we're talking about! -- then Mr. Trump will whine about them, and no one in the "liberal" media will ask if winners spend all their time whining about other people.
You know Paul Ryan's drive to privatize Medicare is rubbish, but you may not know that Mr. Ryan's charge that the Affordable Care Act has made Medicare finances worse is also rubbish. Medicare isn't really spending less money than before, of course, but the rate of growth of Medicare spending has slowed considerably since 2010, and only the Part A (hospital) trust fund is at any risk of going broke, and not for another dozen years. Of course, predictions of Medicare (and Social Security, for that matter) "going broke any day now" have been a staple of our politics for decades now; basically, it's fearmongering. Best Republicans can hope for is for Mr. Trump to completely screw it up and then blame Democrats for it. I'm sure that's come up in Legion of Doom meetings.
Peter Bloom at TruthOut wonders if Americans can "stop looking to leaders to save them" and instead "find the means to save themselves and the nation from these economic and political elites." He doesn't give us an answer, but it's certainly the right way to ask the question! Regarding Clintonortrump as a "savior" is certainly what Our Glorious Elites would prefer that we do -- because then we won't regard ourselves as saviors. Once we start doing that in great numbers, they'll fall, all of them. It's that simple.
Finally, because it can't all be bad news all the time, DNB, Norway's largest bank, has sold off its assets in the corporations funding the Dakota Access pipeline. If you told the world's banks to divest from the pipeline, congratulate yourselves -- and then roll up your sleeves again, because DNB is still handing out credit to the corporations funding the pipeline, and plenty of other big banks are still funding the project. (You can find contact info for those banks here.)