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The growing value of a corporate passport

The growing value of a corporate passport

As Trump’s haphazard Muslim ban began to impact travelers, the most fortunate victims played their trump card. Corporations went to work around the clock to get relief for their employees. And it was corporations, not the ACLU or the US government, that worked to deliver the most comprehensive relief to date from our new white nationalist regime.

A new post at Forbes explores the rising value of a ‘corporate passport’ as the protections once afforded by an American passport or green card come under attack.

Advantages that came with a US passport have been weakening in relative terms for decades. The US is no longer alone as a global magnet for talent and investment. Countries in East Asia and Europe are offering a combination of freedom, business opportunity and stability that makes them attractive havens. But beyond just global competition, a new brand of citizenship is beginning to compete with a US passport or green card as the world’s greatest source of personal power and protection. In the age of Trump, US citizenship or residency no longer delivers the protections of due process that holders once took for granted. A new identity is emerging as the most coveted source of humane, rational protections. Our most crucial trump card is an employee ID badge, your corporate passport.

The rising power and influence of corporations is not a happy development. However, in a climate dominated by an increasingly unstable US regime, it is a comfort to know that there is an alternative power center available. A corporate ID offers at least some protections against abuse by police and immigration officers in the ‘land of the free.’


  1. First off – My cynical nature is not buying Gorsuch’s mild criticism of potus’ comments about “so-called judges”. Smoke and mirrors.

    Second – Potus says he’s not going to appeal 9th judicial ruling “for time being”…there are references that he may “fine tune” the EO…OR, more smoke and mirrors – wait until Gorsuch is confirmed and he has his 5th SCOTUS vote….

    Last – Flynn is evidently on tape somewhere per 9 deep throats to the WaPo…What will be important is what happens as a result of him getting caught lying about it. Would this be considered treason?

    1. I was watching the CNN broadcast last night with all these “experts’ analyzing the results of the judgement and future plans of the regime in response to it. I don’t think one of them suggested that the fascists would just wait until they get their man on the bench, but that seemed the obvious thing to me.

    1. Aaron, I’m getting an error message when try to open your CNN link…alerting me that our connection is not private. I am not receiving that message for any other links I have received in my email. I googled the article (good stuff) via another means and had no problems. Thought I better report this to you.

    1. “Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), senior Member of the House Judiciary Committee, introduced a Resolution of Inquiry directing the Department of Justice to provide the House of Representatives with any and all information relevant to an inquiry into President Trump and his associates’ conflicts of interest, ethical violations—including the Emoluments Clause—and Russia ties. If the House Judiciary Committee does not schedule the resolution for a Markup within 14 legislative days, it becomes a privileged resolution and can be brought to the floor in front of the full House for a vote.”

      That’s one way to force the issue and get votes on the record.

      1. Thx Mary. There need to be more calls to Congress about this than Betsy DeVos. I’m encouraging my group to keep their eyes on the prize, and this issue is a big prize. The rest is noise. Important noise, yes, but noise nonetheless.

    2. T has not come out with a directive on that yet, but when he does, there will be a challenge. California has already stated that they will challenge such a degree. The state government is considering making the entire state a sanctuary state.

      In Washington, even cities on the red side of the state that depend heavily on Hispanic farm workers have declared themselves to be sanctuary cities. Representative Newhouse from that area (R of course) stated he was opposed to the Immigration Ban and is against the drastic measures being discussed. His district is the 4th and the most R in the state.

      The Democratic Attorneys General are informally coordinating their efforts, so the effectiveness of the litigation will be maximized and inefficiencies minimized. One of the reasons WA took the lead with the Immigration Ban Litigation was that it is in the 9th Circuit Court, which would be the most favorable.

      1. The loss of federal funds could be very difficult for cities outside CA if their tax base couldn’t make up the difference. The E.O. issued by potus was vague. TX law is very specific. TX files the most cases that go to the SC of any state, so they’ve had lots of practice at the district and SC level.

      2. TMerritt – You can be forgiven for missing potus’ EO on Sanctuary Cities…after all, there have been so many orders…..But, he did in late January. It’s fraught with problems (Homeland Security issued O’s EO on Immigration and will not confirm if they even “saw” potus’ order.) Red states are jumping on the bandwagon to threaten mayors and sheriffs and TX just yesterday passed enabling legislation out of the senate which is headed for the house.

      3. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but ICE has launched immigration sweeps in CA, AZ, TX…ICE officials say this is “business as usual”, yet, so many states at one time? Those with criminal records are obvious targets but is there more to it? Some feel the timing indicates retribution for the protests to the immigration EO.

        Meanwhile, “other” immigrants, the ones who have offshored money that they don’t want to bring back, are renouncing US citizenship in increased numbers.

      4. Regarding the ICE sweeps, most likely ICE officially has net directed an increase in the number of sweeps or aggressiveness of enforcement. However, ICE is a law enforcement agency that has long done things its own way and has resisted all attempts to implement reform. Even though officially they may just be doing things as before, when you get down to the individual agents and the offices, the perception that controls have been relaxed may result in actions that the individual agents and offices would have not done before the perception set in. To change the mindset in any organization can take years of patient consistent effort. For ICE being a Federal law enforcement agency, that consistency has not been present with the national priorities changing with every administration. So now with the T administration, the local agencies believe they can revert to their preferred method of doing things, So in summary, I suspect that these reports have a basis in fact. Social media may have resulted in greater public awareness than years ago.

        As an example of the difficulty of changing a mindset of a law enforcement organization, I can cite the Seattle Police Department. We are now several years into a reform effort which is driven by a Federal Consent Decree arrived at following a suit by the ACLU. The SPD has resisted reform by any means they could use. It was only after we elected a new mayor in 2013 and he recruited our present police chief that substantive progress has been made. Yet even now almost four years later and with considerable efforts at training and reform, many officers in the SPD continue to resist change. If the emphasis was relaxed, these officers would quickly revert to the old methodology of overuse of force, discrimination and the whole litany of problems that infect many urban police departments. Incidentally, the federal judge overseeing the reform effort is Justice Robart, the same one who has gained national attention with the stay on the Immigration Ban.

        Again, I doubt that there has been an official policy change at ICE at this time. But nevertheless the individual offices feel that the controls have been relaxed, so they are far more aggressive in enforcement. ICE is an agency that has pretty much done as it wished for many years and has been without strong effective management for a long time. That is largely due to the national political climate and the polarization of the immigration issue. The federal bureaucracy can and does resist change. In the case of ICE that means the continuation of the bad status quo.

      5. I am retracting my post regarding ICE not having implemented a policy change. From the NY Times this morning it is obvious that Washington DC has ordered ICE to implement sweeps and begin deporting everyone that they can. The link is below:

        I guess that I was naive. But this just goes to prove that ICE is indeed a rogue law enforcement agency. The spokes people will never admit to that, but it is obviously an “alternate fact.”

      6. This fits the pattern of retribution that has potus and Bannon’s fingerprints all over it. All of a sudden ICE is performing all these immigration sweeps and it has no bearing on what is going on with T’s immigration order? Please.

        Don’t forget that the Border Patrol union backed potus – boldly, and campaigned to remove the O appointee who was trying to clean things up. Then think about this kind of group now being emboldened and authorized by presidential fiat and what is happening.

        Then you have TX filing legislation to remove federal funding grants to any city authority that refuses to detain undocumented people, with no warrant or charges.

        What’s next?

  2. Off topic but I felt this is important enough to share. This is why David Frum keeps hitting on all of us to ask our MOC to establish an independent, bi-partisan commission to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. This smells to high heaven.

  3. There has been considerable commentary here regarding the lack of diversity and women in the tech sector. While I cannot address this on a macro basis, particularly for the hi-tech sector I can certainly speak to my experience as professional engineer for many years. I have been working in the engineering industry for almost 50 years. Many of the factors that are true for my experience are true for the hi-tech sector as well.

    I first began working in the engineering industry in 1967 with a part time job as a student at a now closed company that worked primarily in the defense sector. There were only one or two women and no minorities in the engineering office. The women were all clerical staff, as was I.

    That was also true at my next job as a drafter in a consulting engineering firm. However, there was one drafter in the engineering office.

    In my graduating class of electrical engineers at the University of Washington in 1974 there were no women or minorities.

    Throughout my professional career in consulting engineering, I have worked with several women civil engineers, 1-2 mechanical engineers, 1 chemical engineer, but no women electrical engineers. Regarding minorities, a similar pattern has been present. I have worked with one African-American structural engineer, no Hispanic engineers, several of Japanese extraction, several Indian engineers and several Filipino engineers. My group of 4 electrical engineers consists of 2 Filipino immigrants, 1 American, who is the supervisor and myself; who is semi-retired. Our overall firm is one of the largest consulting architectural-engineering firms in the US.

    Granted my experience has been exclusively in consulting engineering and with small – medium sized groups, though with some large firms. This is a relatively mature industry and is certainly not what people normally consider hi-tech.

    However, the factors that lead to this lack of diversity and lack of women are not deliberate. It is just the way life is. There are few women who pursue technical careers. Though there are typically many minorities in engineering schools, they are more often than not foreign students generally from Asia, who frequently return home. Asian-American students tend to pursue higher degrees and go into the higher-tech sectors.

    In general US Universities do not graduate nearly enough engineers and particularly ones for whom English is the native language or who can communicate effectively in English. Believe me communication is very important in engineering.

    As Chris states, employers aggressively recruit minorities particularly those who can communicate well. They also aggressively recruit women. But there are just very few engineers who meet those criteria available. In general, there are not nearly enough engineers available, so that is the reason for the demand for foreign engineers.

    Anyway, that is my perspective. I do not believe that the lack of diversity and of women, is due to an effort to discriminate. It is a result of numerous societal factors.

    1. One point to consider about women in technical and engineering careers is the fact that young girls, even those with strong math and science skills, are not encouraged to pursue degrees in engineering. More are now preparing for IT but part of the deficit in qualified women is that these fields have been fairly closed to them at a point in their lives where it was most important….middle/high school where aptitude in these areas was not directed to these career paths. That needs to change. For that matter, look how few men are in nursing, yet every male nurse on the floor of a hospital is really appreciated for brawn as much as nursing skill. Men are entering the profession more now because of pay, demand, and opportunity and I think that’s great. I just want more girls to at least feel they “can” be engineers and scientists and computers specialists because they want to and have the intellectual ability to manage the jobs.

      1. You are absolutely correct. The profession would be much improved, if there were more women engineers. Large employers can help by improved outreach. Many of them do. As an example, I recently did an outreach event representing Seattle Audubon at a local elementary school. Puget Sound Energy, one of our local electric utilities, had a display that attracted considerable interest both from the girls and the boys. The Univ of Wash had displays from several departments in STEM subjects with a good a good selection of women. All these help.

  4. File this under the heading: Well, You Jerks.

    “As for his promises about cracking down on illegal immigrants, many assumed Mr. Trump’s pledges were mostly just talk.

    But two weeks into his administration, Mr. Trump has signed executive orders that have upended the country’s immigration laws.

    Now farmers here are deeply alarmed about what the new policies could mean for their workers, most of whom are unauthorized, and the businesses that depend on them.”


    “If you only have legal labor, certain parts of this industry and this region will not exist,” said Harold McClarty, a fourth-generation farmer in Kingsburg whose operation grows, packs and ships peaches, plums and grapes throughout the country.

    “If we sent all these people back, it would be a total disaster.”

    One of my sisters says she will never again say “I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy” because now she DOES wish the impact of their votes on them.

    Yup. You voted it, you own it. Whine to someone else, you jerk.

    Or, join the resistance.

    1. No one could tell them. Caught up in the lies and macho campaign, they voted with pride and enthusiasm.

      Not just farmers are going to be hit by immigration limits….think of the housing industry, road industry, chicken industry…all the labor-intensive, low skill people that have been keeping these businesses profitable all these years….

      Then there are those who hated Obamacare. Hated it. Wait til they try living without any healthcare. Or with the “repaired” healthcare. Or without regulations to protect the environment, or, coverage for pregnancy….Feel sorry for them? Not really. Fruit/vegetable/livestock/fowl/housing costs are going up. Guess who that will hurt most? The same people who always get hurt.

    2. To be clear, these farmers are much more concerned about how the exodus of low pay undocumented workers is going to affect “their” lives than how the immigration law will affect the lives of the workers. Just to set the record straight. Everyone has looked the other way because it was in their own selfish best interests to do so. Instead of working for a plan like Canada offers where people can come in to the US, work for a specified period then leave, we drive people into the shadows. GWB never impressed me as very smart but his Pathway to Citizenship should have been the start to solving our immigration problems. This issue goes a long way back. As can be seen by Rep. Cotton (a staunch Freedom Caucus TP member, BTW), cutting even legal immigration in half is only a start.

      1. Tonight, I participated in a live video web seminar hosted by Indivisible staff. Over 547 people from all over the US joined in the interactive discussion. Pretty powerful. The focus tonight (the second such seminar – next one is next Wed, 2/15) was how to effectively meet with one’s MOC (members of Congress). Tips, answers to submitted questions, etc as to what works best.

        One of the best ideas shared by a “huddle” group is to submit their questions in advance to the MOC so that when they actually meet, the MOC has had time to prepare (or not) and volunteers have a reasonable expectation their questions/concerns will be addressed. There were too many ideas for me to follow with that many people submitting continuosly. The organizers recorded the program and it will be available to those who signed up to participate. If I can, I will try to link it for those here who might be interested. True grassroots democracy in action…powerful stuff.

  5. I would love to thank the Trumpanzees for their foresight in helping the average working family. Because of their vote the GOP congress has helped rid consumer protection rules that prevent the prepaid debit card industry from collecting tens of millions of dollars in overdraft fees.

    Now working families are free to be charge outlandish fees from the banks.


    1. The GOP has had the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau in its sights for repeal forever. In addition to the bank fees ruling, the GOP has eliminated the provision that would require full disclosure of fees and relationship by financial advisors to their clients….Wonder how that slipped in….

      As for the debit fees…I don’t use debit cards and I hope more people will transfer their business to community banks that typically have more customer friendly policies. With 3 Goldman Sachs honchos in potus’ cabinet, is it any wonder what direction banking policy is going to take?

    2. I hear you, Turtles.

      For reasons that are not clear to me, prepaid debit cards are a viable option for some citizens. Russell Simmons pitches his as a budget enforcement tool. Some crapiola.

      I wish his customers would look into debit cards offered by credit unions. But if they don’t, they shouldn’t be victimized. Republicans are indifferent to most Americans and this is demonstration of that hatred.

      1. I highly doubt that many of our wealthy members of Congress have to worry much about overdrafts……When one’s income is more limited, there’s not much room for error. Gross insensitivity can be acquired by gross lack of awareness….

  6. Chris, I agree that immigration to meet America’s need for high tech workers and scientists is a good thing and the US should nurture an environment where the brightest minds in the world can let creativity flow.

    However … considering that you spend so much of this blog space devoted to slamming white, southern, rural or religious men for their treatment of women and minorities; why have you never tackled the issue that many of these immigrants have their own sets of biases against other cultures, races, religions and women?

    While I was still working, I experienced harassment from foreign doctors much more often than from their American counterparts. Even though these men were highly educated their attitudes toward women were still in the dark ages.

    Hopefully, foreign doctors, nowadays, have undergone some kind of cultural sensitivity training, but it was a real eye opener to find out what the foreign docs actually thought of American women and the liberties they felt they were entitled to take.

    You say that you work with diverse people. Why does the tech industry have such a dismal record of hiring African Americans and Hispanics?

    Many Asians see themselves as more intelligent racially than blacks, Hispanics and yes, whites.

    A Chinese immigrant college student told me bluntly that if I wanted intelligent grandchildren, my daughter needed to marry a Chinese guy. He was trying get my daughter to date him. Needless to say, his technique did not work.

    This guy was not a dummy scholastically. The university had recruited him with a full scholarship and some paid living expenses. He was extremely liberal and would never make a politically incorrect statement in public, but in private, he was always making reference to how smart Chinese people were. When he taught black kids at a inner city school, the students gave him a hard time. He chalked it up to them being inferior mentally.

    So, Chris, why the mental disconnect? If you find racism and sexism so abhorrent, why not tackle these subjects in regards to immigration?

      1. I was asserting that the people being discriminated against most often were blacks and Hispanics.

        Chris, how can you justify tech companies who hire black and Hispanic people at percentages in the low single digits? When 3% black and 3% Hispanic equals diversity in hiring, I don’t see how you can make any points about diverse tech hiring practices.

        My own experiences were just icing on the cake.

      2. MassDem, it does when you are the one who has experienced it.

        I don’t know if you ever have had anyone sexually harass you at work. I have.

        Aren’t liberal women supposed to support all women? Wasn’t it a Woman’s March that you participated in? Sounds like it was only a march for liberal, pro-abortion women.

      3. There is a huge difference in being pro-choice and pro-abortion. I am pro-choice and feel that abortion should be rare and safe and legal. The great majority of people who are pro-choice respect life but want to have the choice for themselves.

        I don’t want to get into this discussion more deeply but wanted to affirm your statement, Tex.

      4. Getting back to the sexual harassment issue…

        Is it really that incomprehensible to believe that I could have been sexually harassed at work by foreign doctors?

        Men do harass women. At the time, many of the current HR practices concerning harassment were not in place. I’ve always been well proportioned so I was targeted more than most of the other women. The vast majority of the harassment was verbal although I warned one of the operating room techs to stop touching me (he was an American) and when he did I kicked him and told him I would aim higher the next time. Most of the touchy stuff stopped after that. The guys had a good laugh and treated me with a little more respect physically, at least. 🙂

      5. I want to clarify that most of the doctors treated me with respect. There were a few that were a problem. It was obvious the men doing the harassing did not think they were doing anything wrong.

      6. Objv, it isn’t that I don’t believe you, or that I don’t appreciate that you were upset over being sexually harassed. I’ve been there too, more than once in fact, and it sucks.

        My problem with what you said is that you take your own experiences with “foreign doctors” and the like and then try to extrapolate those experiences to make arguments about what non-white, foreign doctors or Chinese graduate students are like in general. That’s offensive.

        Unfortunately, you ran into a bunch of jerks. We ALL have. Just because that gross middle-aged gym teacher hit on me at 17 doesn’t mean I spent the rest of my life thinking male gym teachers are moral deviants.

        As far as the Women’s March was concerned, anyone could march, and most people I know did it for their own reasons. But what does that have to do with anything you or I said?
        Are you feeling unsupported? Does it make you feel better, to know you’re not the only one?

      7. MassDem,

        It’s the other way around. There’s a multitude of evidence that some men from nations which treat women like property will still have the same attitude when entering another country.

        I was not extrapolating my experience to make my point. I way saying that my experience was one common to other women.

        And again, I’m not saying ALL foreign men are sexist, but trying to expect that men who have been raised to consider women second class to all of a sudden become westernized when they cross a border is naïve.

      8. I think OV’s argument is that if we are so hard on rural White men for their misogyny and racism, why do immigrants seemingly get a pass for the same behavior?

        My argument is that it’s a waste of time and energy to spew bitterness over the character flaws of other cultures. Sometimes it helps to look in the mirror, because none of us is perfect.

      9. Tutt, The problem is that being a southern, rural, white male is not part of my culture.

        Having an immigrant background and multiple family members with science or engineering degrees, makes me have more in common with the average white Californian than the average white guy living in southeast Texas.

        I felt more at home living in California than I ever did in Texas.

      10. Perhaps, you’re on to something, Tutt. I don’t have much of a connection to the average southern male, so I’ve never felt the urge to bash that segment of the population. Chris came from that background and wants to right some wrongs.

        Tutt and Chris, what do you think?

    1. When all is said and done, no culture is perfect. Racism and misogyny exist in all cultures, but the only people we can change is ourselves and maybe people within our inner circle.

      Trashing other cultures, be it immigrants or “angry White men,” is just a waste of time and serves no purpose.

      1. Tutt, that’s the truth. Well put.

        Being of German heritage, I certainly can’t claim any cultural moral high ground.

        It was always an embarrassment to me when I was young. Now, my heritage is what it is and I’ve accepted it – although I confess I was delighted when my 23andMe results showed that I was only around 15% genetically German.

    2. If you were sexually harassed by someone, the proper response is to charge him with harassment and have your day in court. Not to advocate that anyone of his ethnicity should be barred from entering this country.

      Ironically, President grab them by the pussy probably doesn’t care that you are sexually harassed and will likely weaken the very laws that should have protected you, while also changing the immigration laws to prevent the best and brightest from around the world from studying and working here. #MAGA!

    3. Objv, I always enjoy your comments even though I totally disagree with virtually all of them. Thanks for participating.

      That said, I have come to the conclusion that you aren’t actually a conservative. You are actually a very disappointed liberal. I say that because your objection to Obamacare/ACA is that it doesn’t work well enough; that there is not enough diversity in tech companies; and that nobody takes your claims of sexual harassment in the workplace seriously enough.

      Welcome to the blue side. 🙂

      1. Archetrix,
        Sob, sniff, sniff. I’ve been caught. I’ll also admit to eating organic produce and having a fondness for farmer’s markets, Trader Joes and Starbucks. Go ahead hate me. 🙂

        The site is for “political orphans” after all, and I’m claiming refugee status so I can’t get kicked out.

  7. So Chris, do you take requests?

    How about your thoughts on this proposal? I have some questions about details but it is some thing I could support. It’s appeal adds to my belief that the divide between real conservatism and liberalism is small if it’s real at all.

    The incorporation of dividends paid directly to the citizens is a bonus. A system to pay every citizen an tax free amount regardless of income. Sounds like a system that could be utilized for another plan we talk about here. wink, wink, nudge.

      1. If by “bottom” you mean the country’s most morally reprobate asshole, then yes. The data backs you up. The economic bottom supported Clinton. That’s true even among lowest income whites, as long as they weren’t Southern.

    1. Unarmed, what I’m not clear about is:

      The producers of carbon would be taxed based on their emissions, and we would get dividends based on those emissions.

      The goal is to get corporations to reduce carbon emissions, but then our dividends would be reduced as a result.

      So, we would have clean air but no dividends, but are we ready to accept that tradeoff?

      It would seem that under this proposed program, the more carbon emitted, the better it would be for us, so that we could continue getting our dividends, unless I’m not understanding correctly.

      1. Tuttabella – Yes there is some details I am concerned about also, but it hadn’t occurred to me that we, as dividend recipients might be picketing power plants demanding they burn more carbon products. 8>)

        Seriously, as carbon production fell the dividend would fall also, but if it reached zero, we would be on non-carbon based energy, and that ain’t bad.

        We will be carbon free anyway at some point, IMHO. All the cheap, easy to get, burnable stuff is gone already.

        In the meantime, their would be a system set up where all citizens would get a check, kinks and bugs would get worked out and it would be ready to go for UBI.

        We could do studies about all kinds of effects of “free” money, macro and micro.

        I would need assurances that some regulations stay. In particular, that scrubbers installed to remove sulfur and to mitigate acid rain be maintained. Maybe any regs about placement of fracking pads and pumping waste into the ground and causing earthquakes, etc. You know, details.

      2. “In the meantime, their would be a system set up where all citizens would get a check, kinks and bugs would get worked out and it would be ready to go for UBI.”
        In other words, we’d be so accustomed to the idea of receiving dividends that we would find something (or someone) else to tax to fill the void left by the disappearance of carbon emissions?

      3. Yes, got a problem with that? I’m all for trying UBI. I assume you are not?

        After all, in the end of scarcity, it will more obviously about sharing resources. We share resources now whether you call it the free market or income redistribution. If you loosen the goggles and tilt your head just right. Our problem right now is we just won’t admit it to ourselves. imho

      4. I admit that I don’t know enough about carbon taxes. I worry that we are already on the presipace of no return regarding carbon emissions and that anything that reduces that is desirable….I just am suspicious of any plan that impacts the environment that the GOP supports. Need more information.

        The WH has taken down the climate section on their website, are talking about defunding any more studies via the EPA, and all sorts of other conversation about plans to withdraw funding for alternative energy, etc.

        Help me feel better about this proposal.

    2. I’d be interested in an article that looks at all these organizations that are popping up to fight the Republican and potus agenda. There are some serious numbers there and they are getting organized. We’ve looked at business resistence, but what about public resistence? Far beyond marches and protests, there is a lot going on at the grassroots level, and I am really encouraged about this. New political activists…men, women, singles, married, you name it. How can this surge in active citizen participation be a force for change, just as business leaders are?

      I listened to an interview of David Frum on NPR yesterday and he was asked why he didn’t think the women’s march was that important. (He had stated as much.) His reasoning was that he believes focused singular efforts are more effective. His recommendations were two actions: Call for an independent bi-partisan commission to investigate Russian influence in the election, and ask the IRS to release Trump’s tax returns.

      He’s correct that these two items would be most dangerous to Trump, but what about the larger GOP agenda that is upending our democratic institutions and laws? It is my opinion that the mobilization of the masses of Americans is a vital component of resistance and change. It empowers people, gives them a healthy, productive channel to express concern, it leads them to collective action, it is giving people hope and it is getting people registered to vote. Guess which party? Now, Frum is a Repub so he’s not going to promote that, but without public support, these other things just won’t happen – the old chicken and the egg scenario. There will not be the will nor the feeling of political vulnerability by either party unless there is a real perception of danger from highly visible numbers and continued resistence. Think about this: can you recall another presidency that had this kind of ongoing resistance at this stage of his first term? Lower polling numbers? This is not to deny the existence of support for potus’ agenda – there are bigots and xenophobes as well as die-hard conservatives who think immigrants are America’s biggest problem, but it is to acknowledge and validate the importance and impact of those who are protesting – daily, individually, and collectively.

      (Tonight, “Indivisible” is hosting an online video conference call at 8pm EST, 7pm CST. Here’s a description:

      1. Sorry – here’s the info on the Indivisible call tonight for all who may wish to watch/participate. For those who may not be aware of this group, Indivisible, it is the outgrowth of an effort by former Obama staffers to create a template for resistence that is effective, based upon their experience in D.C. It has chapter all over the U.S. now and its membership is growing. Here’s a link to their website: This is their second video conference call.

        “Indivisible Guide

        TONIGHT at 8pm EST: Join Organizing for Action and the Indivisible Team to start planning for the February recess. We’ll talk best practices and some issues we must focus on. It’s going to be yuge! Join the stream a few minutes early tonight and listen in. Have your questions ready:

      2. Another point about mobilization of the masses….it isn’t happening with “phone trees” and letters, it is digital. If you want to really get a sense of what is happening, consider how many people not only get their news through digital sources but that this platform is serving as a launching pad for action. I wish I had the technological skills (and time) to engage more effectively…but, I’ll keep working at it (-;

      3. Read this from Slate and it is a powerful guide to bridging differences via smart activism. The author explores ways that we should focus our efforts with these goals:

        “What would a bold vision for a better America look like? Which policies can ensure that average Americans will find meaningful work and enjoy a growing standard of living in the age of automation? And how can we find a political language that puts the focus back on our commonalities?

        Americans are now ruled by a president who is depressingly effective at exploiting our differences. A key part of the good fight is to show how, if only we make the right choices, a better future is possible for us all.”

    3. “It’s appeal adds to my belief that the divide between real conservatism and liberalism is small if it’s real at all.”


      I agree with you there. It seems like we have great divisions, but when actually getting into details on what should and should not be done (even on an issue as contentious as immigration), I’ve found common ground on many points with my more liberal friends.

      1. objv – Ain’t it the truth. Although I do try to distinguish between conservatisms. As I said before, real conservatism is liberalism slowed down. in other words, a real conservative would agree with a liberal on the objective of a policy. There are other, hmm, strains of political bent that call themselves conservative, because if they couldn’t use that term they would have to call themselves crankypant no-nothings.

      1. Uh, you don’t think we’re seeing “new” policy as a result of T’s election and Repubs taking control of Congress? Or, are you meaning “new, different” policy than is being enacted right now?

        BTW, here’s an excellent read and resource from Arianna Huffington. Very positive and great index of organizations and activities for grassroots participation. Speaks to my suggestion about public resistance and its value in the effort to fight the T administration and hard right agenda of the GOP. The focus is on outcomes without getting sucked in to the T-maelstrom.

  8. Chris, so if corporations are the new government and their employees are the protected class, where does that leave the rest of us — the consumer class?

    Will our buying power – our power to buy, our power to boycott, our power to chose among competitors – be enough to protect us as average citizens, to protect our own freedoms?

    It’s also important to keep in mind that there’s a fine line between our buying power and the selling power of the corporations. We as consumers could easily become beholden to the corporations and lose our autonomy.

  9. About Immigration

    The GOP has always wanted illegal immigration – they don’t vote and work cheap
    This is why the border patrol is normally reduced when the GOP is in charge

    The DEM’s want legal immigration – they vote (DEM) and they don’t push wages down
    The border patrol is normally increased when the DEM’s are in charge

    With this background I am not at all surprised that the GOP is attacking legal immigration

      1. I listened to an interesting discussion tonight about how the GOP. Feeling was that they are all batting for the stands……insulting women (Eliz. Warren) Blacks (Corretta Scott King), Muslim people, you name it – they are not bothered by trying to please people They Don’t Need. They have 4 years of control of all branches of government and by god, they’re gonna flaunt it.

        As for how business will react to the party pressing the immigration issue? That may be a bridge too far. This is their “true” base, the ones that matter, the ones with deep pockets, Chamber folks. Right now, they’ve got the upper hand because the “carrot” is tax return and repatriation, and killing Dodd-Frank and the ACA…it appears to be a stand off except for tech companies who are immediately, directly impacted with the immigration order. Depending upon the 9th District Court’s decision, and assured WH appeal if they lose, the tech industry might be able to back off due to judicial relief. They won’t be able to do that with the Cotton bill to halve legal immigration, though.

      2. Could be wrong, admittedly, but if I were in the tech community’s shoes, I’d have already taken the long look ahead and girded myself for battle. With virulently anti-immigrant forces in the WH, Justice Dpt and in the Congress, there’s no reason to believe they’re going to back off. They’ll keep trying until they succeed or are defeated at the ballot box.

        That aside, Cotton’s bill isn’t even an attack, it’s damn near a nuclear strike. He’s not even pretending to go after just the “illegals” anymore, he’s just out and in the open going after legal immigrants now. The curtains have been pulled back and these guys are going for it, lock, stock and barrel. If this monstrosity comes up for a vote, we have to do absolutely everything we can to sink it. This is about as anti-American as you can get.

      3. That was the point of the comments I listened to. They were discussing McConnell’s “seemingly” dumb move to censure Warren. What they decided is that this was not stated out of loyalty to Sessions or anger, but from the fact that he sees her as the long-term Dem threat and was going to take every opportunity to embarrass her through the power of his position.

        IOW, he, like Cotton, don’t give a flip what anyone on the left thinks. They do not need their approval nor assistance. The filibuster is something they can use if they need it and they firmly believe they will keep control of government long enough to install their agenda. That arrogant mindset begins at the top (potus/Bannon et al) and is going to be modeled throughout. We are seeing it at the state level with governors and legislatures (remember Red State/Blue State article – the Atlantic – super assessment)…They don’t care. It’s that simple.

  10. This blog topic brings to my mind the growing importance of a CHL license in certain states, which has become a stand-in for an ID card for voting and for entry into government buildings because of the extensive background check required to get a CHL.

    I wonder if presenting a CHL would provide added protection for employees of foreign descent. I need to find out if you need to be a US citizen to get a CHL.

      1. In Florida this is called a concealed weapons permit. Just up the road from where I live is a gun store with any firearm I could legally buy and courses needed to get this permit. I really live on the boundary between Red and Blue. With blue a few miles west of my home and red just down the highway east.

    1. Almost 30 years ago in my Freshman PolSci course, one of the potential future worries we discussed was growing corporate power vs. declining nation state power. At the time it didn’t seem all that relevant. The Cold War was a constraint on the power of corporations and it made nation-states highly relevant.

      The implosion of the Soviet Union changed those dynamics, opening up the entire planet to market economics and reducing our investment in nation states. Now we’ve reached the point where a nation-state is little more than an irritating, irrational constraint on corporate planning. Even the US is now governed by drooling morons, outclassed, outsmarted, and increasingly overpowered by corporations.

      This creates some concerns, to put it mildly.

      1. Here’s an interesting view from Alternet, that makes sense to me.

        “Trump apparently believes his orders are inviolate, to be obediently enforced by police and courts alike. That is how much of America was run before the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, especially in southern states.”

        It appears America is moving backward, not forward. Your take?

      2. Nation-states are hard to shed because of the problem of violence and security. Most Americans could live pretty well with a national government weaker than Apple, Amazon and Google. At some point, however, some guy with a tank could wreck that order, running around breaking and stealing stuff. How does Microsoft guarantee the physical security of its employees without the assistance of an effective nation-state?

        We are kind of living through the answer right now. The world’s largest, most powerful corporations are almost entirely at odds with the US government. Those companies have better people, possess far superior technical capabilities, and are far more popular than the US government. But the US govt has a lot of tanks and guns and warplanes and IBM has none. Interesting standoff taking shape.

      3. Big business could lead from behind. They could press the Republican majority to do the two things that David Frum recommends: (1) demand that the IRS release DJT’s tax returns, and, (2) establish an independent commission to investigate Russia’s involvement in US elections, led by respected, bi-partisan people.

        Or, is big business also complicit in waiting until potus signs tax reform hoping that this action occurs before he embroils us in either a new war or destroys what democratic institutions still function.

      4. Some corporation makes tanks, planes , arms and other articles of war. If things got bad enough would large private companies create private armies? That idea is scary but if national governments got weak enough what could restrain that?

      5. You know, a few months ago I’d have laughed that notion off as a joke. Now I’m not sure. My counter would be that running a modern military is super expensive. Even a private mercenary force on retainer would be costly and would still be under-equipped to go toe-to-toe with any Developed Nation’s armed forces.

      6. Big oil companies already have their own armies. Rex Tillerson ran one at Exxon.

        Commodities companies still operate a version of war capitalism ( They always have. For a while the British East India Company was the most powerful military force on the planet. It was a quasi-country, ruling India for more than a century. It was only destroyed by a revolt in India. The company had to be bailed out by the British Crown, which led to its demise.

        Nation-states are far more brittle then we imagine.

      7. I once joked that Electronic Arts and Disney were the evil corporate empires of the world. But every time I hear anything on Exxon, I’m reminded that there is an ACTUAL evil corporate empire out there.

  11. About a decade back my employer a hybrid of private corporation and government got one of my fellow employees out of hot water. She had worked in the campaign for a mayor of a small town and the opposition tried to use campaign law to falsely jail her. The head of security of my company a shadowy but powerful local official got it all smoothed out. Nice to know it can also happen on the larger national and international stage.

  12. Didn’t feel like I could put this in the post, but our company sent out a special set of contacts last week for employees to use if they run into US customs problems. Goes straight to a swat team of on-call attys and execs. Found that pretty remarkable. We’ve never needed special protections from the US govt before.

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