The “A Banana Republic, If You Can Keep It” News, 11/29/2016

Note: Quotation/citation does not imply endorsement.


“Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!” President-elect of the United States, Donald J. Trump (Twitter)

“Trump's [Health and Human Services] pick will take health insurance from millions of poor people. The flag tweet is not today's big story.” Ezra Klein (Twitter, Vox)

“No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.” U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 9, Clause 8)

“I think US senators will find they need to regularly express views about the president.” Matthew Yglesias, on Twitter, responding to Senator John McCain (R-AZ) who said today “I will not speak about Donald Trump and I do not want to be asked again!” (Twitter)

“It was like driving into hell.” Firefighter Rain Moore, discussing the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge wildfires that, to date, have killed 3 people and forced thousands of evacuations. (New York Times)


1: The iconic American restaurant former-chain Howard Johnson's has one remaining location in the U.S. It's in upstate New York. (PBS NewsHour)

5: It's been five months since Donald Trump has held a press conference. (John Dickerson, Twitter)

9.77: The average American child-care worker earned $9.77 per hour in 2015. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

20: “President elect Donald Trump has business interests in at least 20 different countries. These businesses could present conflicts of interest for the president and pose potential security threats.” (The New York Times; Significant Digits, FiveThirtyEight)

24: Twenty-four percent of Americans have earned money by participating in the digital platform (uber, etc.) economy. (Pew Research Center)

26: Twenty-six percent of Americans report that they have not read a book, even a partial one, in the past year; not in print or electronically, nor by listening to an audio book.

2.3 million: Hillary Clinton is currently leading the popular vote race for the 2016 presidential election by more than 2.3 million votes and is on track to surpass 2.5 million. (New York Times)




Tom Price, the appointed future secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a voting record. It includes voting against health insurance for children.

So, incidentally…can we please start thinking of a prize to give the first political cartoonist to depict Santa and his brother, Emoluments, standing near Trump and giving him things out of a sack? Just wondering.

Recommended Reading: By picking Tom Price to lead HHS, Trump shows he's absolutely serious about dismantling Obamacare, by Sarah Kliff; Donald Trump and the Emoluments Clause explained, by Jeff Stein

Recommended Viewing: The Crown, currently on Netflix. It's masterful.

Regulations are just like wives and closet-organization. President-elect Donald J. Trump has promised that “on regulation, I will formulate a rule which says that for every new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated. So important.” So, much like ditching two old wives when snagging a new one or bringing home one new shirt and automatically eliminating two old ones in an effort to tame the wild American capitalist closet, regulations are expendable by number. Hopefully utility will come into the mix but sometimes it's just easier to throw out the baby with the bathrobe. Or something.

Characteristics of a banana republic: It typically has stratified social classes, including a large, impoverished working class and a ruling plutocracy of business, political, and military elites. (Richard Alan White)

Characteristics of a dictatorship: “Dictatorships usually resort to force or fraud to gain despotic political power, which they maintain through the use of intimidation, terror, and the suppression of basic civil liberties. They may also employ techniques of mass propaganda in order to sustain their public support.” (


It's That Time of Year…

Christmas is Coming



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