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December 20, 2016


...assuming she does have "powerful" role to play and to the extent that role (or she herself) is focused on reproductive rights,* is she on board with an Alito-clone on SCOTUS rolling back Roe? Does she even care?

The trite answer is "It's no skin off her nose." Ivanka and the people she interacts with on a daily basis live in blue states. If Roe is overturned and we go back to the individual states regulating women's reproductive health care, her situation isn't going to change. Roe in practice is about ensuring the rights of poor women in rural parts of states like Mississippi and Texas and South Dakota.

I'm an old white middle-class guy who has lived in blue states most of my life. I suspect that deep down, my concerns for poor rural women in the Delta parts of Mississippi are intellectual, not emotional. I would certainly not be surprised if a young rich white woman who has spent most of her life in NYC was in the same situation.

If Roe is overturned and we go back to the individual states regulating women's reproductive health care, her situation isn't going to change.

But that's just it, we won't go back to individual state regulation - if it's overturned in the next two years the GOP controlled congress and (possibly, but perhaps not) Trump will pass a federal law banning abortion, "federalism" and "states rights" and the limits of the commerce clause be damned.

Q: Whither Ivanka?
A: To the bank

Rich people always had ways of getting abortions, regardless of the law.

Q: Whither Ivanka?
A: To the bank

True dat. Maybe she can multitask.

But that's just it, we won't go back to individual state regulation - if it's overturned in the next two years the GOP controlled congress... will pass a federal law banning abortion

That's certainly a possibility, although it's another step beyond the SCOTUS reversing Roe. Supporting reversal of Roe while opposing a federal ban on abortions is not necessarily inconsistent -- I've read numerous law professors who take that stance.

Since the election I've been saying that one of the important questions about how things will be where I live is whether or not the Republican House/Senate/Oval Office decide that they are going to "punish" blue states the way they think red states have been punished in the past. The example I often use, from a policy area where I pay more attention, is that it's one thing for the federal EPA to loosen regulations on auto emissions, but it's an entirely different thing to remove the exemption that allows California to impose tougher standards of its own.

As I've gotten older, I've gotten more parochial in the sense of "I can't save Mississippi from itself." From many perspectives, criticizing me for that is a valid thing to do, and I accept that.

It's not inconsistent at all. It's just that I don't believe the GOPers in Congress to the extent they try to claim overruling Roe will merely return the issue to the states.

They are clearly itching to criminalize abortion at the federal level and the idea (not that you think this) would let their notion of federalism stop them is laughable.

I've got no handle on what issues Ivanka really cares about. But I am aware that she is one of the very, very few people who Trump cares enough about that she can argue with him and get him to reverse his position. And stay reversed, rather than changing again when someone else comes to tell him something different.

It arguably makes her far more powerful than anybody in his cabinet or among his White House advisors. At least on the issues that she actually cares about. The question is: Which issues are those?

"Federalism": The philosophical position that the Federal government should not be allowed to make the states, especially my state, do things that the people who live there and agree with me do not want to do. It does not oppose the Federal government making the states do things that *I* am in favor of, regardless of what the people living there want.


An interesting theory on why Trump picks the people he picks.

They passed the "partial-birth abortion" ban during the Bush era, which was quite explicitly a federal imposition on the states, albeit one more or less consistent with Roe. That suggests to me they wouldn't flinch at a national ban if they had the opportunity.

As for Ivanka, she and Jared Kushner also don't seem to have any particular trouble with Donald's associations with anti-Semites, even though they themselves are Jewish. (I get the impression that Kushner's family has issues with this, though.)

Krugman yesterday, How Republics End. Not an optimistic take.

It's similar to something I was reading a couple weeks ago -- I can't remember where -- about how British politics has long operated largely on an unwritten "X just isn't done" principle.

In other words, all sorts of things work mainly because of "gentleman's" agreements of one kind or another rather than written rules per se. Obviously, every government effectively operates this way -- including the United States -- because you really just can't write everything down (and there's always a lot of wiggle room even in what IS written down).

But that only works as long as everyone agrees to act like a 'gentleman'. It's not really a stable equilibrium.

Which is similar in many ways to Dan Ariely's formulation of trust. Trust is an enormously beneficial asset to have, whether in a relationship or a society, and yet trust isn't actually very "rational" in the economic or game theoretic sense.

Fortunately, we have an irrational human ability to grant it and build better worlds on it anyway*. But, again, those are unstable equilibria. As soon as some sociopath comes along and starts violating the trust for short term gains, they blow up the system for everybody, within the span of an iteration or two.

Unfortunately, in many ways you can write the history of (at least) the last 8 years of American politics in those terms. Debt extensions. Nomination confirmations. Etc. One side has decided they can't get what they want by following the unwritten rules, so they're just going to break the trust and do what they want. Long term consequences be damned.

Given recent events especially, it's entirely possible that in that direction does indeed lie the end of the Republic.

* As an aside, this is why rationality-based economics is toxic bull****. Humans aren't wired that way, for one, and for another, it's a good thing they aren't, because the libertarian/Galtian/individualist/greed-is-good/sociopathic whatever philosophies create objectively poorer overall outcomes.

I hadn't thought of it in those terms before. But the equation of (especially extreme) libertarianism with sociopathic actions seems pretty solid.

Not that most staunch libertarians will accept that, of course. But really, if you look at what they say should be done, any push for actions for the common good are in conflict with what they say they believe.

Yeah. I mean, if you ask a libertarian, they'll probably give you a line about [very particular kinds of] 'force' being bad, mmkay.

Which is to say, defectors from a cooperation based social strategy mustn't be punished.

In order for that not to be an obviously crazy idea, you have to assume that the best strategies don't rely on cooperation at all. That there's a magical invisible hand making self interest the best overall social strategy in all cases. I.e., sociopathy is a healthy trait we'd all do well to emulate.

Except, the more we learn, the more we find out that that probably is a rather bad assumption. Sociopathic self interest is actually toxic to the best strategies. Just like we all learned in kindergarten.

In the meantime, this is the darkest night of the past 500 years. All I hope this means is that there will be lighter days ahead. Doesn't look like it, but secret handshakes, people. Otherwise, we'll be rounded up to work on The Wall.

Looks like that dark night happened six years ago, though it's an appropriate mood to have now.

Yeah, I just noticed that, Priest. Glad we didn't stay up all night to see it. Did seem like a glimmer of hope though. Sorry that there really is very little hope.

I have no idea how she may fit in, or really how anything will play out in a Trump Administration

Established courtier.

Will reside at court. Will set an influential and constantly-advancing fashion standard in dress.

Trump has the pattern of being strongly influenced by the last person to whom he spoke on a particular matter. Ivanka is likely to have some control over access to His Trumpness, and thus have considerable policy influence. This will make her powerful herself, and her favor widely sought.

The children of narcissists are trained from a very young age to take care of the narcissist's emotional needs before their own, since this is the only way to avoid emotional storms, and stay "safe". In addition to this, I have heard (in some interview prior to the election, maybe even prior to the nomination) Ivanka make the (to normal people) sad remark that although her parents' divorce was very difficult for her, it was good in a way because it taught her "not to take [her] father for granted".

Adding these two things together, I think we can deduce that no matter how bright she may be (who knows), and no matter what her personal attitudes are to, for example, abortion or environmentalism, she will not go against her father to advance them. Of course, she may try to manipulate him, with star power (e.g. Leo diC) to which we know he is susceptible, but that is as far as it is likely to go. However, I am sure that joel hanes is right and that she will be perceived as very powerful, and that her favor will be widely sought.

So, who thinks that Ivanka might be headed for the USSC? If she is one of the few people that can contradict The Donald, and make it stick, that might be a good outcome.

And it's not like there are isn't a LOT of more horrible choices, also, too.

What do you mean "whiter Ivanka"? How could Ivanka get "whiter"?


Never mind.


She could have married a gentile.

And I hope no one takes that last comment the wrong way.

She could have married a gentile.

Or even just someone who was genteel.

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