Alarm Bells

It is deeply alarming that the Trump administration official who put children in cages is reportedly resigning because she is not extreme enough for the White House’s liking.

Nancy Pelosi

There is no featured post this week. This summary is all I’m posting.

This week everybody was talking about the cover up

I’m ready to start describing the slow-walking of the Mueller Report as a cover-up. The Mueller Report has been done for more than two weeks, and all the public or Congress has seen is a four-page summary that we now have reason to believe is inaccurate.

During the investigation the Mueller team was famous for not leaking. They published indictments and made motions in court that became part of the public record. Beyond that, our information came second-hand, from the witnesses they interviewed, from lawyers for potential targets of the investigation, and from watching who came or left the courtroom.

This week they began to leak. It started with a New York Times article on Wednesday:

Some of Robert S. Mueller III’s investigators have told associates that Attorney General William P. Barr failed to adequately portray the findings of their inquiry and that they were more troubling for President Trump than Mr. Barr indicated, according to government officials and others familiar with their simmering frustrations.

The Washington Post confirmed via their own sources that the investigators were unhappy with Barr’s conclusion that the President had not obstructed justice.

[M]embers of Mueller’s team have complained to close associates that the evidence they gathered on obstruction was alarming and significant. “It was much more acute than Barr suggested,” said one person, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the subject’s sensitivity.

Barr originally said that his redacted version would be available by mid-April “if not sooner”. That’s in the next week or so. Assuming he follows through, we’ll see then whether the redactions are insubstantial enough to be worth a what-were-you-worried about response, or so extensive as to be one big fuck-you to Congress and the public.

In either case, Congress needs to know what Mueller found out, and not just what Trump’s hand-picked protector deigns to tell them.


In a similar story about Congress’ oversight duty, Democrats are also trying to get Trump’s tax returns.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) Wednesday evening sent IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig a request for six-years worth of Trump’s personal and business tax returns. Neal made the request under a part of section 6103 of the federal tax code that states that the Treasury Secretary “shall furnish” tax returns to the chairmen of Congress’s tax committees upon written request, so long as the documents are viewed in a closed session.

According to Maddowblog’s Steve Benen, section 6103 was put in the tax code in the wake of the Teapot Dome scandal of the 1920s, which centered on President Harding’s Treasury secretary. Up until then, only the President had the power to examine tax returns, but Teapot Dome brought up the possibility that the President might be politically motivated not to investigate his own administration. So the appropriate committee chairs in the House and Senate were also given the power.

Since this is the Trump administration, the fact that the law is clear doesn’t mean it will be followed, at least not without a fight. (Chief of Staff Mulvaney pledges that Democrats will “never” see Trump’s taxes.) Republicans in Congress seem likely, once again, to back Trump in his attempt to subvert Congress’ legal power.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said Thursday that courts have ruled that congressional requests for information need to have legitimate legislative purposes, and Democrats have fallen short on that front.

The administration routinely rejects courts looking into whether its own actions have legitimate purposes, arguing instead that the judicial branch owes deference to the executive branch’s judgments. (This came up, for example, in the Muslim ban case, where Trump’s claims about national security were clearly specious. It will likely come up again in the lawsuits of his border-wall national emergency, which is similarly based on nonsense.)

Section 6103 hasn’t been invoked since Watergate, because Trump is the first post-Watergate presidential candidate to keep his tax returns secret. It’s illuminating to watch both sides spin this dearth of examples. Fox News describes this as “the first such demand for a sitting president’s tax information in 45 years” while Benen notes that “no administration has ever denied a lawmaker access to tax returns under this law”.

A subsequent Fox News article links to the first one to back up its clearly false claim that the Democrats have made an “unprecedented demand“. Again, the only unprecedented thing here (at least in the post-Watergate era) is that the President’s tax returns are not already public. The last time a president’s returns weren’t public (i.e., Nixon), Congress received them under Section 6103.

My guess: Not even this Supreme Court can ignore such a clear statement of law. The main question is how long Trump’s legal challenges can delay the matter.

and Joe Biden’s touching problem

Biden still hasn’t announced his candidacy, but it’s looking more and more like a foregone conclusion that he will. This week he put out an I-get-it video to respond to the accusations of inappropriate touching. It wasn’t exactly an apology, but he acknowledged that standards of propriety have changed and promised “I will be more mindful about respecting personal space in the future.” That started an is-that-good-enough debate that got more intense after he joked about having permission to hug a child.

One problem Democrats are having dealing with situations like this is that abuse-of-women is often framed as a where-to-draw-the-line problem. But like many problems, abuse is a continuum that ranges from the annoying to the criminal.

What Biden has been accused of doing is down in the second-lowest row. (Accusations against Trump and Brett Kavanaugh are much higher up.) Biden denies having bad intentions, and so far no one has claimed otherwise. But it’s still not OK. Doing what Biden did creates opportunities for people who want to do worse.

We’re also struggling over how to forgive inappropriate behavior, and how one should seek forgiveness. I think a lot of people in privileged groups — not just men, but also whites, straights, cis-gender, and so forth — share a partly-but-not-entirely-irrational fear of being exiled to Siberia for violating (through obliviousness rather than malice) some norm we’d never heard of before. (That fear hit close to home recently. I’m a contributing editor for UU World magazine. In the current issue, one of the other contributing editors published an article that a number of transgender and gender-nonbinary people found offensive, and for which the magazine has apologized. It was disturbingly easy for me to imagine winding up in a similar situation myself.)

I found this how-to-respond graphic helpful.


I wasn’t planning to support Biden in the primaries anyway, though I’ll happily vote for him over Trump if he is the nominee, and I’m not inclined to trash him unnecessarily. To me, this flap is not so damaging in itself, but putting a weight on Biden’s negative pan raises the question: What are the positives that we’re counting on to outweigh this?

Biden arrived at the Senate in 1973 as a 30-year-old whiz kid. He came of age politically in an era shaped by Reagan’s annihilation of Carter in 1980 and Mondale in 1984, Dukakis’ landslide loss in 1988, the Gingrich Revolution of 1994, and Bill Clinton’s successful rightward shift in 1996. During that time liberals became timid, and felt that they needed some signature conservative issues and sound bites to prove that they weren’t crazy McGovernites.

All that stuff will return to haunt him in the coming months, making him look inauthentic. He’s not really inauthentic, or at least no more than anybody else. He’s just a politician of his time and place. But this is a different time, and once the campaign gets rolling I think candidates who don’t have to answer for the 1980s and 1990s will have an advantage over him.

and Brexit

Brexit is one of those strange situations where every conceivable outcome is accompanied by a rational and coherent explanation of why it can’t happen. But something will have to happen, at least eventually.

Friday is the latest deadline for that Something, but no one knows what it is yet, so Prime Minister May is seeking an extension to June 30. (What will change by then is unclear.) This would mean that the UK participates in European Parliament elections in May. All 27 of the other EU nations would have to agree to the extension. If not, the disaster of a no-deal Brexit could happen as early as Friday.

The biggest obstacle to implementing any form of Brexit is the Good Friday Agreement that ended the so-called “Troubles” in Northern Ireland. The GFA requires a soft border between Northern Ireland (which is part of the UK) and the Republic of Ireland (which remains in the EU). But control of the border (to keep out immigrants not just from Syria, but also from <gasp> Poland) is what Brexit was all about in the first place. If job-stealing Poles or terrorist Muslims can walk in from Ireland, Brexiteers ask, what was the point? On the other hand, no one wants the Troubles back.

The New Yorker has a clear explanation of all the possible resolutions of Brexit’s Irish-border problem, and why each of them is opposed by some veto-wielding party.

I have a tangential personal connection to the Troubles. In 1985, I attended an IEEE information-theory conference at the Metropole Hotel in the English seaside resort of Brighton. (Claude Shannon spoke, and, though clearly aging, was still dexterous enough to juggle oranges.) The original announcement had sited the conference at the Grand Hotel, but that was before the IRA blew it up. (During a break in the conference, I walked past the rubble.) It was like I had a reservation on the Titanic’s second voyage.


I am told that brexit has become a verb: to announce that you’re leaving and then not go. So you might call your sitter and say: “I thought we’d be home from this party by now, but Bob has been brexiting for nearly an hour.”

and the border

Kirstjen Nielsen resigned as Homeland Security secretary yesterday, just days after Trump withdrew his nominee for head of ICE because he wants someone “tougher”. The NYT news article on her resignation says that Nielsen repeatedly made Trump angry by telling him what the law said. Reportedly, he felt “lectured to”. The partner NYT editorial says:

The president grew impatient with Ms. Nielsen’s insistence that federal law and international obligations limited her actions.

Nielsen’s career should be a lesson for anyone thinking of working in the Trump administration. Her reputation is ruined: For the rest of her life, she will be the woman who put children in cages. And she leaves not with the President’s gratitude and the support of his base, but taking the blame for the failure of his harsh policies to stop migrants from coming to our border.

This is what Trump does: He uses up whatever credibility people can bring to his organization, until the only value they have left is to be sacrificed as scapegoats.


On the subject of mistreatment of migrant children, the government Friday estimated it would take two years to identify all the children it took from their parents. Think about how long two years is for a child.


Trump had been making a lot of noise about closing the border with Mexico, and then suddenly backed down. I assume somebody finally explained to him what “closing the border” actually means. (Maybe that was one of the “lectures” that got Nielsen ousted.) It would disrupt trade and tourism in both directions, interrupt supply chains for factories on both sides of the border, and do nothing to stop either those who are trying to cross the border illegally, or those who are planning to turn themselves in and claim asylum.

Before his retreat, Trump had been expected to announce the border closing when he went to the Calexico Friday. He was there to dedicate what an official plaque calls “the first section of President Trump’s border wall.” It actually isn’t.

A fence had existed at the spot for decades. … [T]he Border Patrol had identified this section as a priority for replacement in 2009, during President Barack Obama’s administration.

In fact, no new sections of border fencing have been built during Trump’s administration.

While at Calexico, Trump repeated a popular bit of white nationalist rhetoric, saying “Our country is full.” SNL’s Michael Che had already answered that last week: “How can America run out of space? We’ve still got two Dakotas.”


The Mexican Wall play/counterplay so far: Congress denied Trump’s budget request for money to build more of the wall, so Trump declared a national emergency that he claims allows him to seize the money from other programs, so Congress passed a bipartisan resolution rescinding the emergency, so Trump vetoed that resolution, so Congress tried to override his veto and failed.

Next move: House Democrats are going to court., joining the states that have already filed suit.

but I read a book

I continue my quest to understand Trump’s base voters, but I’m starting to lose hope. A few weeks ago I told you about Timothy Carney’s Alienated America. The key insight there is that the original Trump supporters, the ones who were with him in the primaries and helped him take the Republican Party away from the Jeb Bushes and Marco Rubios, were people who were doing relatively well in communities that were doing badly. Yes, they were angry, but not so much on their own behalf. They were angry because they saw their towns and their families crumbling around them.

That explained why they might take a flier on an untried candidate who promised to shake things up, but not why they would stick by him while he did nothing to help their communities, choosing instead to enrich himself, increase government corruption, and give big tax breaks to his fellow billionaires. (There’s a reason why he doesn’t want you to see his taxes, people.)

This week I read Robert Wurthnow’s The Left Behind: Decline and Rage in Rural America. Wurthnow is a Princeton sociologist, and believes that when you don’t understand people, you should go out and talk to them.

That makes sense up to the point where you realize that what they’re telling you is bullshit. So, for example, rural Americans claim they were incensed by the deficits that Obama ran up, but they are strangely unmoved by Trump’s large deficits. They claim they have to be anti-abortion and anti-gay because of their religion and how much they value their religious communities. But many of them left the Christian denominations they were born into when those churches got soft on abortion and gays. (It’s like what Bush did in the Iraq War: He always followed the advice of his generals, but he’d fire generals until he got one that gave him the advice he wanted.)

In short, listening to the nonsense they say isn’t helping me understand them.

and you also might be interested in …

If you’re a regular Sift reader, you’ve heard most of these ideas before, but this video from Represent.US puts them together effectively.


Israel has elections tomorrow. Benjamin Netanyahu is going for his fifth term as prime minister, and is promising to unilaterally annex chunks of the occupied territories if he wins. The peace process has been going nowhere for many years now, but such a move pretty announces Israel’s intention to impose its will on the Palestinians.

Israel’s attorney general has announced its intention to indict Netanyahu for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust, but the charges have not been filed yet. The polls are close.


Josh Marshall raises a good point: Trump often talks to American Jews as if they were expatriate Israelis. Speaking to the Republican Jewish Coalition on Saturday, Trump referred to Netanyahu as “your prime minister”. In October, when Trump visited the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh (site of the mass shooting), he met the Israeli ambassador at the front gate — as if the synagogue were a piece of Israel inside the US.

This kind of othering is a classic anti-Semitic tactic, and is consistent with the way that many white ethno-nationalists support Israel: as the true home of all Jews, even the ones who think they’ve made a home here.


I know what you’ve all been thinking: “I wish the government would stop doing all those invasive inspections and leave the pork industry alone.” Well, our populist government has heard you and is responding to the public demand for privatized meat inspection.

The Trump administration plans to shift much of the power and responsibility for food safety inspections in hog plants to the pork industry as early as May, cutting the number of federal inspectors by about 40 percent and replacing them with plant employees. Under the proposed new inspection system, the responsibility for identifying diseased and contaminated pork would be shared with plant employees, whose training would be at the discretion of plant owners. There would be no limits on slaughter-line speeds.

Back when Trump started saying “Make America Great Again”, many of us wondered what time period the “again” referred to. Now we know: the era of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle.


Jill Filipovic wrote in the NYT about age and the female politician:

They are seen as too young and inexperienced right up until they are branded too old and tedious.

I don’t entirely follow her point about Kirsten Gillibrand, who at 52 and in her second Senate term is youngish and newish for a presidential candidate, but not strikingly so. Elizabeth Warren, on the other hand, at 69

finds herself put in the same “old” category as Mr. Sanders and Joe Biden, even though both men are nearly a decade older than she is. Men who are more or less the same age as Ms. Warren — Sherrod Brown (66), John Hickenlooper (67), Jay Inslee (68) — are not lumped in with the white-hairs.

In 2016 I wrote about the stereotypes that portray a man’s deficiencies as virtues: the charming rogue, the wheeler-dealer, and so on. Filipovic points to another one that Pete Buttigieg and Beto O’Rourke are taking advantage of: the fresh face, the new kid on the block. JFK, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama — there’s a well-established pattern of a man coming from nowhere and jumping the line to the top job. Young Paul Ryan hit Congress as a young gun or a whiz kid; I haven’t heard those phrases used to describe AOC.


My can-you-believe-this story last week was Stephen Moore being nominated to the Federal Reserve Board. This week’s is that Trump is getting ready to nominate Herman Cain. The point isn’t to change the economic philosophy of the Fed, it’s to fill the Board with Trump loyalists who will pump the economy full of cheap money to get him re-elected in 2020. (Cain would also join the fairly large contingent of people in the administration who have been accused of harassing women.)

That’s the pattern with several of the recent Trump appointees: Bill Barr in the Justice Department and Charles Rettig and Michael Desmond at IRS. They’ve been appointed to serve Trump, not to serve the country.


The next time somebody tries to tell you that both parties are the same, remember Thursday’s vote in the House to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. It passed 263-158. The No votes were 157 Republicans and 1 Democrat. The bill faces challenges in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Here’s the main point of contention:

Under current federal law, only people convicted of domestic violence offenses against spouses or family members can lose their gun rights. The [new version of the] VAWA would add people convicted of abusing their dating partners, closing the so-called “boyfriend loophole.” It would also prohibit people convicted of misdemeanor stalking offenses from owning or buying firearms, as well as abusers subject to temporary protective orders.

That provision is too much for the NRA, and so for the Republicans the NRA controls. The gun rights of stalkers and abusers should be protected, even if that means more women will die.

A study comparing abused women who survived with those killed by their abuser found that 51 percent of women who were killed had a gun in the house. By contrast, only 16 percent of women who survived lived in homes with guns.

Even if you don’t care about women, there’s still good reason to support adding this provision to the VAWA: When you look at mass shooters and ask “How could we have known what he would do?”, one strong clue is a history of domestic violence. Keeping guns out of the hands of abusers would probably save a lot of men’s lives too.


After some legislative shenanigans on Mitch McConnell’s part, Congress passed a resolution invoking the War Powers Act to end US support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. Trump is expected to veto it.


Trump’s constant lying got renewed attention Wednesday after he uncorked a slew of them in 24 hours, including a ridiculous one (that the noise from wind turbines causes cancer) and a transparent and pointless one (that his father was born in Germany when he was actually born in New York). Anderson Cooper debunked a bunch of Trump lies in one segment. Social media just had fun with it all.

Sportswriter Rick Reilly claims to have played golf with Trump. This is from his article “Whatever Trump is Playing, it isn’t Golf“, which looks like an abstract of his new book Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump.

If Trump will cheat to win $20 from his friends, is it that much further to believe he’d cheat to lower his taxes, win an election, sway an investigation?


Yet another lie: Puerto Rico has not received $91 billion in hurricane relief aid.

and let’s close with something to envy

Helsinki’s new Oodi library.

Upon entering Oodi, an enforced hush does not descend. Nor are there any bookshelves in sight, but on the first floor – a large, fluid space – there is a cinema, a multi-purpose hall and a restaurant. The second floor, called the “attic”, is entirely dedicated to skills development. Here the public can use 3D printers and sewing machines, or borrow musical equipment and rock out in specially modified studios. There is even a kitchen and socialising area, which can be hired for a small fee, where the librarians hope birthday parties will take place, perhaps followed by a spot of karaoke. Staff roam the site ready to help the public use the resources available. …

“We believe,” [Helsinki’s executive director of culture Tommi] Laitio expounds, “that everyone deserves to have free access to not only knowledge, but also our shared culture, spaces that are beautiful, and to dignity.” Central to Oodi’s concept, he explains, is bringing a wide range of people together under one roof. “A lot of emphasis has been put on how we make sure that this building is safe and welcoming to homeless people [or] to CEOs with a couple of hours to spare … We need to make sure that people believe that we can live together, and I don’t think €100m for that feeling is a lot of money.”

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Comments

  • Josh  On April 8, 2019 at 12:26 pm

    Thanks for sharing that New Yorker article about Brexit. One thing it leaves out is that a hard Brexit, in addition to risking a return to conflict in Ireland, also has the potential to yield a renewed movement for Scottish independence (Scotland voted Remain 62-38, the widest margin of any of the four countries).

  • GJacq726  On April 8, 2019 at 12:45 pm

    The Nixon cartoon makes me think of this segment from On The Media I heard this weekend: https://www.wnycstudios.org/story/united-states-amnesia-2

    Also appreciated the discussion about Biden between Shields and Brooks on PBS this weekend, among other things…

    https://www.pbs.org/video/shields-and-brooks-on-trump-border-threats-barr-and-mueller-1554504782/

  • Kaci  On April 8, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    That library is really cool, but I hope they also have books somewhere! I think libraries are really important community centers, and to me they’re also where the books live 🙂

    • weeklysift  On April 8, 2019 at 3:41 pm

      The article says about 100K books, some of which are on the shelves in the picture. I know that’s small compared to a university research library, but I’m not sure how it compares to a typical library in a city of 650K.

      • David  On April 8, 2019 at 5:07 pm

        I always look at photos of “fabulous” or “Beautiful” libraries, in which there is not a single person using or working, as a disservice. It subconsciously promotes the idea that libraries are obsolete.

        Another myth often brought up by library photos and stories is that “Library users are poor, often homeless people.” When taken in total, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that library users have a higher educational and income level than people who do not have a library card.

        One thing (in my experience – no survey results that I know of to back it up) that surprises me is that heavily weeding a library so most of the classics are removed, as well as books on obscure subjects, or popular books with ratty covers (even if you can’t buy a replacement) actually greatly increases circulation. It’s like if the only thing available was Gilligan’s Island, so everybody watched GI and talked about only it, that makes more people watch TV than when there are 300 channels and you probably can’t talk about your show with a girl on a date.

        Thanks for posting about libraries!

      • anonforthis  On April 8, 2019 at 5:42 pm

        As far as I can tell, my county library system has about 90K adult books, 50K children’s, 8K young adult, and 7K graphic novels, with a population of about 300K. But that’s in the whole system, with a half dozen or so branches. And the main branch is being renovated, so all those books are in storage – maybe add about 20% to each of the numbers to account for that. Wikipedia tells me the Helsinki system has 63 branches, so I’m guessing they do fine on access to books 🙂

        Weeding library collections always makes me sad, though with interlibrary loan it’s rare for me to actually be unable to find a specific book I want. It makes me curious how people use libraries though – I always come in with a list of about half a dozen books that I’ve already looked up on the catalog, and then I browse the new book displays and might pick up a book or two from there. If weeding increases circulation, that would seem to suggest that a lot of people choose books by browsing the shelves.

        It does make sense that library users tend to be more educated, and of course that correlates with income to some extent. But I also love the fact that libraries are free and available for everyone, and I support making them more accessible and welcoming to poor and homeless people.

  • wcroth55  On April 8, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    wrt immigration, you might enjoy this ‘comic’ announcement of, all things, a graphic novel about immigration: https://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/open-borders

  • Oliver  On April 8, 2019 at 3:23 pm

    You were at the International Symposium on Information Theory in 1985?!

    This is amazing to me because I’m primarily an information theorist, and I attend ISIT pretty much every year (in fact I should probably be working on the final version of a paper rather than writing this comment), but I’m too young to have been there in the 80s. I’ve been reading the sift for a while but I didn’t expect ISIT to come up! I’d be interested to know how you ended up there.

    • weeklysift  On April 8, 2019 at 3:40 pm

      I was a mathematician working in a signal processing department.

  • Anonymous  On April 8, 2019 at 10:12 pm

    Excellent video from Represent.us

  • jh  On April 9, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    Isn’t it funny that so much of society told the liberals that they had to understand “white conservative anger”? As if their anger was rational and just as opposed to the reality – an irrational and racist tantrum. They were tired of being told that they couldn’t make anti-gay jokes. They were tired of being told that they couldn’t say anti-black slurs or jokes. They were tired of being told that they couldn’t treat women or girls (sadly, I have to include both groups) as sex objects.

    The Republican party told that their “identity politics” as white people was the only form of the race card that was acceptable. They were told that they were the only people allowed to play the victim. Many of these losers come from conservative “welfare” states that are far more federally dependent on taxpayer funds than their liberal blue state counterparts.

    In the US, only white anger, particularly white conservative male anger, is viewed as just and reasonable. Rather than reasonably regarding it as the peeved whining of a dementia addled senile old man who wants his candy, we in the US have to play a charade and “respect” that senile old fart. That’s why they love their white identity politics (they hide it in code words like “real American” or “heartland of America” nonsense) but they hate the identity politics of any other group that wants a seat at the table and the right to be treated with respect and humanity as well.

    As for the moderates and the “reasonable Republicans”, as I’ve long said – birds of a feather flock together. If the KKK and other white supremacist groups consistently vote republican, you better ask yourself why you are part of their group.

    Oh … as for the women who tend to be the overwhelming victims, I advocate for murder. It’s clear that the government and justice system has failed to address the rights of women not to be abused. If the law won’t work, than women should kill. Women, like other minorities, have been trained to play politely in the system like they are some Dicken’s “May I have some more porridge” orphan. White men, on the other hand, can willfully abuse and riot and murder to their hearts content because they feel “hurts”. Minorities, especially women because they are roughly 50% of the population, need to start behaving like white men and start being as violent and lethal as white men are. It’s a two system set of justice. That’s not right. Either white men behave or other groups have the right to behave like white men.

  • John Pharo  On April 10, 2019 at 10:28 am

    With respect to the Wurthnow book, are you saying that he just uncritically accepts what his interviewees tell him, or does he point out the inconsistencies like you do here? Would you recommend the book?

    • weeklysift  On April 12, 2019 at 7:11 am

      I wouldn’t say that he never criticizes what he hears, but I thought that he took what he heard far more seriously than it deserved. As for recommending, that depends on what you hope to get out of it. If you want to learn how rural Trump supporters justify themselves, this book will do that for you. But I don’t feel that it helped me understand what really motivates them.

  • Brent  On April 11, 2019 at 4:37 am

    Concerning the Trumpeters, you might enjoy this research on intergroup vs heterogenous group cooperation. Here is their take: ” When the economic environment is relatively poor, agents prefer the certainty of in-group interactions and eschew cooperation of out-groups. This, we argue, represents the sort ofpolarization of group identities that has been associated with the political and social developmentsdescribed above.”
    https://www.alexanderjstewart.org/polar.pdf

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