Egberto Willies

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Thom Hartmann agreed with my Political Malpractice DailyKos article on his show (VIDEO)

Tue, 2017-09-12 03:17

Having a Progressive stalwart like Thom Hartmann agree with and quote my controversial article on his national show is icing on the cake after hearing from some who continue to believe in the insanity that is our political system. Hartman was referring to my DailyKos article titled "Political malpractice kills, and the perpetrators should be dealt with accordingly."

The status quo, the expectation that using the same rules that are failing would somehow stop the current political degradation, is in fact insanity. I wrote the following in my rebuttal titled "Politicians who lie and knowingly effect laws that kill should be prosecuted" to those who disagreed

It is clear that in a real democracy citizens can vote out their politicians. But Americans no longer get civics in school and on many issues are uninformed. There are institutions like the Heritage Foundation and others designed to lie to and misinform Americans. Many times they are unaware of what they are voting for because these organizations and politicians successfully misled them.

Our democracy can only survive if we think outside of the rails that so far are failing us. Just like the Bill of Rights protects us from the tyranny of the majority, we can have laws that protect us from the 'tyranny' of politicians who lie and knowingly pass legislation that harms or kills us.

It is perplexing how many well intentioned Americans, Liberals, and Conservatives alike are so attached to their belief in an exceptional and preordained America, that they cannot see that we require fundamental changes to the American contract.

I do not purport to know how to write a new robust set of legislation to codify acceptable behaviors that make politicians accountable. I do know that we must do it with thoughtful deliberation. And Hartmann agrees.

Thom Harmann Show

"The biggest takeaway from this weekend, for me anyway, was what Egberto Willies wrote in his headline over at DailyKos," Thom Hartmann said. "And he says the perpetrator should be dealt with accordingly. He says we talk a lot about holding politicians accountable. And I am talking specifically right now about people who are dead in Houston and Florida, in Texas and Florida as a result of climate change fueled storms that the governors of those states refuse to even acknowledge, is happening."

Hartmann then quoted portions of the article that pointed out that politicians were well aware of the flooding dangers. Most importantly, there were solutions.

Thom Hartman then went on to quote the part of my article that I consider to be a justification for holding politicians accountable like any other professional.

"He goes on to point out," Hartmann said. "This is Egberto Willies over at DailyKos, A drunk driver who gets into a fatal collision doesn't set out to kill anyone. If a gun owner drops his loaded weapon in a crowded restaurant and it accidentally goes off and kills someone, even if he has no intention of killing someone, he is going to be charged with involuntary manslaughter. The engineer who builds a structurally defective bridge that falls and kills innocent victims never intended such an outcome. A doctor who makes a mistake that causes someone to die didn't do it on purpose. Yet, every single one of those people can be prosecuted for negligence or even manslaughter. Why not our politicians, especially when they do so knowingly. If you can demonstrate, they actually knew that their lack of action would lead to people dying, Shouldn't we hold them accountable?"

Yes, we should. And until we do, politicians will continue to disregard what is best for the masses and continue to work for their moneyed interests irrespective of the detrimental consequences it may have on us all. Thom Hartmann gets it.

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Lesson for Republicans who constantly complain about regulations (VIDEO)

Tue, 2017-09-12 01:38

One of Republicans' cause célèbre is the removal of regulations especially those that tell people what they can and cannot do with their properties. This story hopefully teaches them a lesson.

ABC News Matt Gutman had the perfect examples to show Republicans and those who always fight against sensible regulations. Trump canceled hundreds of Obama-era regulations.

The White House’s Office of Management and Budget detailed Thursday how it would jettison hundreds of existing or planned regulations as part of its larger push to ease federal restrictions on the private sector, upending federal policies on labor, the environment and public health. ...

The rules the administration targeted govern everything — from the basics of everyday living, such as a product safety standard for mattresses’ flammability when it comes to cigarettes, to what sort of precautions construction firms should be required to take so their workers are not run over by other vehicles on site. ...

Consumer and worker advocates countered that Trump officials were scrapping critical government safeguards, and the implications of these actions could ripple across the country for years.

Worse yet is Trump's revoking of President Obama's new regulations that made federally funded infrastructure less vulnerable.

Ten days before Hurricane Harvey descended upon Texas on Friday, wreaking havoc and causing widespread flooding, President Donald Trump signed an executive order revoking a set of regulations that would have made federally funded infrastructure less vulnerable to flooding.

The Obama-era rules, which had not yet gone into effect, would have required the federal government to take into account the risk of flooding and sea-level rise as a result of climate change when constructing new infrastructure and rebuilding after disasters.

The following ABC News report shows in graphic terms the importance of proper regulations. It saves lives and money in the long run.

Lesson for Republicans who constantly complain about regulations (VIDEO) pic.twitter.com/Efp1kx2dfZ

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) September 12, 2017

"Officials are saying it could be weeks and with this heat, there will be a lot of misery here," Matt Gutman said. "But perhaps there was a silver lining amidst all this destruction. Now, this is one of the multiple homes essentially detonated by Irma. The contents in the kitchen blown out. The roof heaved over on the other side. But I want you to see something that really struck us, David. Take a look at every house along this Bay, basically unscathed. And that's because they were built with the latest regulations able to survive a hurricane five force wind. And that may have saved hundreds of thousands of homes here in Florida. David.

"Yeah, stark contrast," said David Muir. "So important those regulations that changed after Andrew."

One hopes those pushing for the demise of regulations will learn a lesson from these hurricanes. After all, it helps them just as much as it helps Progressives.

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Reaction to Houston’s Mayor temporary property tax hike will tell much

Mon, 2017-09-11 18:42

Texas and specifically Houston is still in the midst of a catastrophic flood. It will take a lot of money to recover even after assistance from the government. Mayor Sylvester Turner is proposing a temporary tax hike to defer some of the costs. Will Houstonians do the responsible thing or succumb to the expected TEA Party false rhetoric.

The Houston Chronicle reported the following.

Mayor Sylvester Turner will ask City Council to approve an 8.9 percent hike in the city's property tax rate this fall to help Houston recover from Hurricane Harvey. Turner's proposal, which will begin with a series a public hearings later this month and reach a formal vote in mid-October, would increase the property tax rate from 58.64 cents per $100 of appraised value to 63.87 cents. ...

Debris removal could cost more than $200 million and will require the city to foot 10 percent of the bill without being reimbursed by the federal government. Houston also lost 334 city vehicles and saw the municipal courts building, City Hall and its adjacent annex, and two sewage treatment plants knocked offline by flooding.

I've watched the Mayor go from neighborhood to neighborhood talking directly to people. The Mayor along with his team has done an exceptional job managing this catastrophe by all accounts.

Kingwood home to one of the most active TEA Parties in the country. Their meetings at times are surreal. I expect they will irresponsibly try to convince their followers to come out against the tax hike, damn personal and social responsibility.

Kingwood tends to get quick city services comparatively. I watched Mayor Turner in Kingwood make a stop in here to listen to residents. Unfortunately, some of the Kingwood residents were less than fair in their treatment of the mayor as they complained about debris removal soon after the storm. Interestingly this is a job that FEMA is doing, and they got to Kingwood rather early comparatively.

I would urge some of my complaining members to visit some of the devastation in poor parts of our community like off Homestead and other places that go little or no news coverage and little coverage from much of their government. They have something to complain about right now.

PS: I did my Politics Done Right show, under less than optimal conditions, there on Saturday. Many of us are heading to the Homestead area today to help Coffee Party USA colleague, Bobby Rodrigo, serve food via his We Do Better organization.

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Warning: Ignore Trump’s character flaws, Fear his policy catastrophe

Mon, 2017-09-11 16:24

We continue to concentrate on Donald Trump's ever present character flaws. It makes a fascinating cover. As we engage on his failings, his catastrophic policies march on. We better look underneath the hood because recovery from the Trump policy catastrophe will not be easy.

Cable news and broadcast daily headlines rarely dig deep enough to evaluate the Trump's policy disaster so you must. Robert Reich captured that reality in a recent blog post where he points out the following.

Trump is neglecting or worsening five genuinely big problems facing America:

1Climate change, as exemplified by ever larger and more destructive hurricanes and coastal flooding.

Trump’s response? Taking the United States out of the Paris Accord, reversing every major initiative at the Environmental Protection Agency, and filling his administration with climate-change deniers.

2. The undermining of our democracy through voter suppression, gerrymandering, and interference in our elections by foreign governments.

What’s Trump’s response to this? Alleging, with zero evidence, that three to five million fraudulent votes were cast in the 2016 election. Then setting up a trumped-up commission to find such evidence, in order to justify more voter suppression by states seeking to minimize minority votes.

Meanwhile, Trump is doing everything possible to prevent Americans from knowing more about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, let alone stop Russia from interfering again.

3. The proliferation of nuclear warheads and missiles around the world, most recently the danger posed by North Korea.

What is Trump doing about this? Trying to get America out of its nuclear deal with Iran, thereby giving Iran and excuse to revive its nuclear program. And rather than engage North Korea or pressure China to do something about Kim Jung-Un – whose nuclear program accelerated after Trump said during his campaign that he might support allowing Japan and South Korea to develop nuclear weapons – Trump and his administration are doing nothing but issuing provocative statements.

4. Widening inequality and a growing population of poor in America.

Trump’s response? Proposing a tax plan that will make the rich even richer. And a budget that cuts low-income housing, job training, food assistance, legal services, help to distressed rural communities, nutrition for new mothers and their infants, funds to keep poor families warm, even “meals on wheels.”

5. Racism, hatefulness, and divisiveness.

What is Trump doing about this? Fueling even more of it – equating white supremacists with those who oppose racism, militarizing the police, and legitimizing discrimination against Muslims, Latinos, and African-Americans.

While two major natural disaster in less than a month have the nation's attention, it is imperative that as we recover our bearings. During that period Trump has inflicted much damage, from rescinding DACA, to banning transgender people in the military, to weakening sexual violence standards on campus, to supporting businesses to discriminate against gays. How much damage to the American fabric will we allow?

Engage with your Indivisible local groups. Encourage your family, friends, and neighbors to at least stay abreast of our current politics. We need to establish those relationships now so that we are ready to drive these people to the polls in 2018 and vote in their interest.

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Trump Effect: Biracial 8-year-old boy lynched by teenagers in New Hampshire

Mon, 2017-09-11 11:52

The Trump Effect continues. A nation can rot from its head, and there are many indications that we are seeing that more now than ever in recent times. Why would a 14 yr old kid lynch an 8-year-old bi-racial boy?

Police are investigating the incident of an 8-year-old boy lynched apparently by boys who taunted him with racial epithets.  The boy's mother wrote the following in a Facebook post.

“So my son is being flown to Dartmouth after a 14 year old kid decided to hang him from a tree. I don’t care if this was a so called accident or not. My son almost died because of some little sh** teenage kids.” [sic]

 

Valley News reported the following.

Claremont — The family of an 8-year-old Claremont boy says it is trying to determine what led him to suffer from rope burns around his neck in the backyard of a home near Barnes Park late last month. The boy’s grandmother, Lorrie Slattery, said her grandson and a group of teenagers were playing in a yard in their neighborhood around 5 p.m. on Aug. 28 when the teens started calling the boy racial epithets and throwing sticks and rocks at his legs.

The situation escalated when some or all of the teens stepped up on a picnic table and grabbed a nearby rope that had been part of a tire swing, Slattery said. “The (teenagers) said, ‘Look at this,’ supposedly putting the rope around their necks,” Slattery said. “One boy said to (her grandson), ‘Let’s do this,’ and then pushed him off the picnic table and hung him.” It’s not clear based on Slattery’s account if the rope was forced over the boy’s neck or if he allowed it there voluntarily.

As of this post, the police is refusing to comment on the incident other than confirming there was an incident. Law enforcement is citing confidentiality that protects juvenile proceedings.

As he has done repeatedly, Claremont Police Chief Mark Chase on Thursday declined to comment on the case, citing confidentiality laws that protect juveniles. Chase has confirmed that there was an incident involving juveniles on Aug. 28 that remains under investigation.

In an interview on Thursday, he acknowledged that he has received several inquiries from people both in and out of Claremont, and though he is constrained on what he can say, he said he has reassured each person that the police department is committed to getting to the bottom of all complaints it receives. For good reasons, Chase said, criminal investigations involving juveniles are kept confidential. “Mistakes they make as a young child should not have to follow them for the rest of their life,” Chase said.

The chief seems more concerned about the well-being of the teenagers that did the lynching than of the young man lynched. Angela Helm of The Root says it best.

*Notice how he called these predators “young children,” infantilizing the white teens. Conversely, teens like Trayvon Martin are made out to be hulking, menacing adults. Chief Chase seems to be centering the perpetrators' feelings and futures, all but forgetting about the trauma of a little boy who had his so-called friends hang him from a tree to the point where he had to be medevaced to a hospital.

This incident could scar the young boy for life. One hopes they give the requisite punishment to the criminals that did this lynching.

(h/t The Root, NH1.com, Valley News)

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Politicians who lie and knowingly effect laws that kill should be prosecuted

Mon, 2017-09-11 01:51

I wrote an article titled "Political malpractice kills, and the perpetrators should be dealt with accordingly" at DailyKos.com, a very progressive site. The pushback by some was immediate as they equated the article with the establishment of a banana republic.

It is shortsighted to believe that politicians should have complete immunity for policies they effect irrespective of consequences. It allows those monied interests who control politicians complete control of society, consequences damned. I wrote the following in the piece.

A drunk driver who gets into a fatal collision does not set out to kill anyone. If gun owner drops his loaded weapon in a crowded restaurant and it accidentally goes off and kills a person, they had no intention of taking anyone’s life. The engineer who builds a structurally defective bridge that falls and kills many innocent victims never intended such an awful outcome. A doctor who makes a mistake that causes a patient’s death didn't do it on purpose. Yet every single one of these events is prosecutable as some sort of negligence, and potentially manslaughter or even murder.

One could argue that political malpractice kills many more people. However, there is a difference: The politicians effecting political malpractice do so knowingly. If there are solutions that would have reasonably saved lives but said solutions were not implemented because of corruption or because of dubious rationales, they deserve prosecution—just like any citizen who unwittingly harmed someone. ...

When that contract is broken, the perpetrators must be punished. The intent is not to criminalize politics: It is to ensure that politics aren't criminal.

A commenter wrote the following.

I get the frustration. These politicians are morally wrong — hideously so. That does NOT, however, mean they are criminals. Political dissent cannot be criminalized this way, or our democracy is dead. In a country where prosecution of these politicians is legal, every politician is probably criminal on some vote or another; for example, they could easily prosecute every Democrat who votes against an abortion ban (they could even recycle the thousands-of-deaths line).

Your suggestion is, without hyperbole, the single most dangerous suggestion I have ever read from a front-page diarist on Daily Kos. Just no. ...

I’m so appalled by this suggestion that I’m going to self-reply to be clear about what is happening here: a Daily Kos front pager is calling for the arrest and imprisonment of our political opponents, en masse.

This is unacceptable. If it were up to me it would be an instant firing offense.

This commenter is appalled that I used my free speech right to suggest a solution to solve the revolving door of self-serving corrupt and morally reprehensible politicians. Really? There were a few others that seem unwilling to entertain anything but the status quo.

It is clear that in a real democracy citizens can vote out their politicians. But Americans no longer get civics in school and on many issues are uninformed. There are institutions like the Heritage Foundation and others designed to lie to and misinform Americans. Many times they are unaware of what they are voting for because these organizations and politicians successfully misled them.

Our democracy can only survive if we think outside of the rails that so far are failing us. Just like the Bill of Rights protect us from the tyranny of the majority, we can have laws that protect us from the 'tyranny' of politicians who lie and knowingly pass legislation that harms or kills us.

It is perplexing how many well intentioned Americans, Liberals, and Conservatives alike are so attached to their belief in an exceptional and preordained America, that they cannot see that we require fundamental changes to the American contract.

I do not propose a disorderly transition where all politicians who pass laws some don't like, are prosecutable. The idea is to get a consensus on new rules codified in our Constitution on how our politics operate. Break these rules and sanctions are applied based on the offense.

Politicians should not get away with telling barefaced lies on policy issues. We should require the risk-assessment of policies. If the outcome falls outside some societal norm, it must not become law. As it stands, the Supreme Court gives politicians much latitude since the Constitution does not give specific rights of this nature.

Here is another thought somewhat unrelated whose solution we are unable to solve because we seem unable to think outside of the box. Why? They indoctrinated us about our exceptionalism that needs no change. Our infrastructure is in dire straits. But we can't afford it. Why can't we pay for it in an economy based on fiat money? If there is work to be done and the material and human bodies necessary to do that work are available, and if we are unable to do the job because we cannot afford to, then there is a defect in our human made economic system. We must force the economy to conform to the needs of humanity and not the other way around.

If we are to make things better for the poor and the middle-class, we need to think outside of the box. We must institute rules that force politicians to conform to some new standard. We would likely get policies that revamp our economy to one that favors all instead of a select powerful and wealthy few.

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Hillary Clinton, Please stop it. Your book is wrong & not helpful

Sun, 2017-09-10 12:05

I was a Bernie Sanders supporter, but after he lost, as a real Democrat, I supported Hillary Clinton one hundred percent. She would have made a much better president than what we are stuck with today. The excerpted snippets from Clinton's new book, "What Happened" create unnecessary dissension especially since she blames for her loss where it doesn't belong.

Hillary Clinton is not your ideal Democrat, but she does represent a dying faction that is decidedly Republican Lite in policies. As people stop voting based on labels increase, both Democrats and Republicans will need to present policies and not excuses to help the masses.

After Hillary Clinton won the primary, there were a lot of Bernie Sanders supporters who promised they would never vote for her precisely because they thought she did not get it or wasn't progressive enough. I agreed with all of them, but pragmatically I preached it was the only option we had lest we harm the country as we are doing right now.

But it is now time for Progressives to regroup. The last thing we need as we gear up for the 2018 primaries is a false narrative rehashing why Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election. It is selfish and a face saving antic that cannot work because most understand the real reason why Hillary lost. The country shifted left. It shifted away from Wall Street, Conservatism, and labels.

One might ask then why did Republicans win so much. The answer is, in fact, many, gerrymandering, voter suppression, straight ticket voting, sexism (by both men and women), and a few other minor reasons. Had a real well-liked progressive run against Trump, it would have been a landslide. The polls show that support for the Progressive policies wins overwhelmingly.

I recently read Colin Kalmbacher's article titled "Hillary Blames Obama’s Climate Change Rules For Her Campaign’s ‘Biggest Gaffe’" that should make every Progressive blood boil. He wrote.

As bits and pieces from her losing campaign memoir continue to trickle out like the weak stream from a paid kompromat artist in some tawdry-if-fanciful Russian spy drama, the former secretary of state seems intent on blaming everyone under the sun–including her never-to-be predecessor, Barack Obama.

The latest drip-drip release from What Happened? contains an altogether gem-like case of deflection. Part of a review by Mark Landler in the New York Times, reads:

She made a connection between Mr. Obama and what she called her biggest gaffe of the campaign: telling voters in Ohio, “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” Mrs. Clinton insisted that the line was taken out of context, but said Mr. Obama had fed the narrative of Democratic hostility toward coal miners by announcing a plan that set state-by-state targets for carbon emissions reductions, and a framework for meeting them, at the White House, next to the head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Clinton also blamed Bernie Sanders for "lasting damage" in the 2016 election. Really? Hillary Clinton did a lot for the Democratic Party. She was a stalwart in supporting women's rights, minority voting rights, and much more. That was necessary to move us forward. However, she has lost touch with the poor and middle-class along the way. It happens.

We should thank Hillary Clinton for the valuable service to the poor, minorities, women, and many others in the past. But please, Hillary must stop trying to justify losing anymore. Times have changed, and we need leadership willing to forget old notions of our failing economic and social model and move on to one that works for all Americans.

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Trump Is Everything the Founding Fathers Feared in a President

Sun, 2017-09-10 00:51

by Jeremi Suri

Jeremi Suri is a professor in the Department of History and the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, where he holds the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs. He has written or edited eight books on American politics and foreign policy, including The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America's Highest Office, which will be published September 12.

The U.S. presidency is the most powerful office in the world, but it is set up to fail. And the power is the problem. Beginning as a small and uncertain position within a large and sprawling democracy, the presidency has grown over two centuries into a towering central command for global decisions about war, economy, and justice. The president can bomb more places, spend more money, and influence more people than any other figure in history. His reach is almost boundless.

Reach does not promote desired results. Each major president has changed the world, but none has changed it as he liked. Often just the opposite. Rising power elicits demands on that power, at home and abroad, that exceed capabilities. Rising power also inspires resistance, from jealous friends as much as determined adversaries. Dominance motivates mounting commitments, exaggerated promises, and widening distractions – “mission creep,” in its many infectious forms.

Despite their dominance, modern presidents have rarely achieved what they wanted because they have consistently overcommitted, over-promised, and overreached. They have run in too many directions at once. They have tried to achieve success too fast. They have departed from their priorities. And they have become too preoccupied with managing crises, rather than leading the country in desired directions.

Extraordinary power has pushed even the most ambitious presidents to become largely reactive – racing to put out the latest fire, rather than focusing on the most important goals. The crises caused by small and distant actors have frequently defined the presidents. The time and resources spent on crises have diminished the attention to matters with much greater significance for the nation as a whole. Presidents frequently lose control of their agendas because they are too busy deploying their power flagrantly, rather than targeting it selectively.

Unmatched capabilities and ambitions encourage undisciplined decision-making, followed by stubborn efforts to make good on poor choices. These are the “sunk costs” that hang over the heads of powerful leaders determined to make sure nothing sinks, except their own presidencies. As much as they try, presidents cannot redeem the past nor control the present. Their most effective use of power is investing in future changes defined around a limited set of national economic, social, and military priorities. Priorities matter most for successful leaders, but presidents forget them in the ever-denser fog of White House decision-making.

Thomas Jefferson anticipated these circumstances two centuries ago. Although he valued virtue and strength in leaders, Jefferson recognized that these qualities were potential sources of despotism as much as democracy. The virtuous and the strong often try to do too much, and they adopt tyrannical practices in pursuit of worthy, now corrupted, purposes. Machiavelli’s prince, who promotes the public good through ruthless policies, was a warning against centralized power run amok.

Like other founders steeped in the history of empires, Jefferson wanted to insure that the United States remained a republic with restrained, modest, and cautious leaders. He envisioned a president who embodied wisdom above all – a philosopher president more than a warrior president or a businessman president. For Jefferson, the essential qualities of leadership came from the intellect of the man who occupied the office.

The checks and balances in the U.S. Constitution divided power to prevent presidential tyranny, but they did not guarantee the necessary intellect, prudence, or personal restraint of the people in charge. Fragmented authority could be just as flagrant and misguided as centralized authority, and it could franchise its despotism in multiplying offices and agencies with similar effects to the dictatorial prince. A powerful democracy ultimately relied upon the wisdom and self-denial of its leaders, not constitutional barriers, according to Jefferson. Democratic leaders had to remain introspective and ascetic as their country grew more dynamic and prosperous.

Writing on the eve of the country’s first burst of expansion, Jefferson warned that the nation’s leaders may one day “shake a rod over the heads of all, which may make the stoutest of them tremble.” Restrained use of power and disciplined focus on the national interest were the only antidotes to excess, despotism, and decline. “I hope our wisdom will grow with our power,” Jefferson wrote, “and teach us that the less we use our power the greater it will be.”

Jefferson’s heirs did not heed his words. By the mid-twentieth century the rapid growth of American power made frequent misuse unavoidable, and effective leadership nearly unattainable. The United States strayed from its values more than any elected president could correct, despite repeated public hopes for a savior. Leaders pursued goals – for wealth, influence, and security – that undermined the democracy they aimed to preserve.

The widening gap between power and values produced President Donald Trump, elected to promote raw power above all. He is the final fall of the founders’ presidency – the absolute antithesis of what they expected for the office. President Trump was not inevitable, but the rise and fall of America’s highest office had a historical logic that explains the current moment, and how we might move forward.

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Is God punishing Texas & Florida for the governments they elected or … ?

Sat, 2017-09-09 01:44

Many in the Right Wing fringe blamed Hurricane Sandy and other disasters on gays and Liberals. Could it be time to analyze why Texas and Florida are the two states that God sent Hurricanes to decimate this season?

God may have sent Hurricane Harvey & Irma to punish Texas & Florida or maybe to restore faith in government for those who have yet to see the light. Texas passed some of the evilest legislations against some of God's people. The state's anti-sanctuary law, SB4, threatens to split and destroy families. Florida and Lousiana are next in line to pass a similar bill. Well, Hurricane Harvey hit both Texas and Lousiana very hard, and Hurricane Irma is about to do the same or worse to Florida.

One must not forget that Houston voted against HERO, an ordinance that would have protected among others our trans residents. Many in the clergy, like Pharisees, lied to mislead a majority to vote it down. My friend Cody Pogue, a History & Government professor in the Houston area and previous candidate for the Texas Congress, said it best then.

"There are over 2,000 verses in the Bible that command us to help the less fortunate," Cody Pogue said. "There are only six verses, most of them in the Old Testament that say something about homosexuality. If we want to talk about sin, let's talk about America's sin of not helping others, our sin of putting our love of money ahead of our love for humanity, and our sin of not loving our neighbor as ourselves."

Both Texans and Floridians elected governments that denied their most needy citizens access to health care that would have been free to the states for the first three years and ten percent after that. They showed a lack of humanity, love, and compassion for their neighbors by spitefully refusing the Medicaid Expansion to the Affordable Care Act.

Based on Pogues reading of the Bible., these two states are in direct conflict with the good book. Just like God caused the flood when his people went too far he may be making an example out of Texas and Florida, again with the weather.

Of course, I do not believe any of the nonsense I just wrote about God punishing Texas and Florida! This narrative is a converse of the Right to show the absurd ones we must endure from infantile, flawed or simply silly thinking.

Now here is the reality we must face. Hurricane Harvey has left many Texans vulnerable, unemployed, sicker, and without health insurance. Had the Texas government accepted the Medicaid Expansion to the Affordable Care Act, the misery that hundreds of thousands will go through would have been mitigated. Instead, the Republicans running the Texas government are effectively continuing the murder of its citizens by neglect based on political malpractice inflicted by a flawed and inhumane ideology. The same applies to Florida.

Here is another reality. With many cities in South Texas decimated by Hurricane Harvey, the need for thousands of builders is ever present for the rebuilding process. Houston Chronicle's Stan Marek said it best in his op-ed titled "Texas shuns immigrants the moment they're needed most."

As the flood waters left behind by Hurricane Harvey begin to recede around our great city, the questions of how to rebuild and who will do the work are top of mind. Following the passage of a ban on "sanctuary cities" in Texas, we were already faced with a quickly depleting workforce. Many construction workers, both documented and undocumented, have begun fleeing our state because they're concerned local police will start rounding up immigrants.

With a massive rebuilding effort set to get underway, the need is greater than ever for an alternative to deportations and a wall meant to keep out many of the very people who will be responsible for restoration of the Gulf Coast. When Tropical Storm Allison devastated Houston in 2001, causing $9 billion in damage, thousands of workers - many of whom were unauthorized - flocked to our city to help with the rebuilding. Many were exploited by unethical employers who refused to pay them. Very few were covered by accident insurance and could only receive emergency room treatment if they were injured.

But they were here and they got the job done. Today, the situation is different. Texas is no longer seen as a welcoming place for immigrants without papers. The "sanctuary cities" ban that was set to take effect this month sent a clear message: If you're undocumented, you are not welcome.

As a humanist, I don't tend to believe there is any correlation between the supernatural and human activities are outcomes. But suppose I am wrong? The destruction of a substantial portion of Houston and Texas could not have occurred at a better time. As we all know, more important than xenophobia, racism, sexism, and all of the other isms is the mighty dollar. Irrespective of why these hurricanes occurred or are occurring, it is clear that the debate will change. It will be all about keeping our immigrants here. It will all be as well, big government coming through for these two big Red States; and if the government does not come through, watch them turn blue before their time.

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Here is the fact: Corporate Tax Cuts Boost don’t boost jobs just CEO Pay

Fri, 2017-09-08 20:34

When President Donald Trump launches his tax cut campaign today in Missouri, he will no doubt repeat the Republican mantra that slashing the corporate tax rate will lead to more and better jobs. He has proposed cutting the statutory federal corporate tax rate from 35 to 15 percent, while House Speaker Paul Ryan has called for a 20 percent rate.

To investigate this jobs claim, the Institute for Policy Studies has analyzed the employment records of the 92 publicly held U.S. corporations that exploited loopholes to pay less than a 20 percent effective U.S. tax rate from 2008 through 2015, despite making a profit every year.

Key findings:  Tax breaks did not spur job creation

  • America’s 92 most consistently profitable tax-dodging firms registered median job growth of negative 1 percent between 2008 and 2016. The job growth rate over those same years among U.S. private sector firms as a whole: 6 percent.
  • More than half of the 92 tax-avoiders, 48 firms in all, eliminated jobs between 2008 and 2016, downsizing by a combined total of 483,000 positions.
Tax-dodging corporations paid their CEOs more than other big firms
  • Average CEO pay among the 92 firms rose 18 percent, to $13.4 million in real terms, between 2008 and 2016, compared to a 13 percent increase among S&P 500 CEOs. U.S. private sector worker pay increased by only 4 percent during this period.
  • CEOs at the 48 job-slashing companies within our 92-firm sample pocketed even larger paychecks. In 2016 they made $14.9 million on average, 14 percent more than the $13.1 million for typical S&P 500 CEOs.
Job-cutting firms spent tax savings on buybacks, which inflated CEO pay
  • Many of the firms in our sample funneled tax savings into stock buybacks, a financial maneuver that inflates the value of executive stock-based pay. On average, the top 10 job-cutters in our sample each spent $45 billion over the last nine years repurchasing their own stock, six times as much as the S&P 500 corporate average.
ExxonMobil hiked CEO Tillerson’s pay while dodging taxes, slashing jobs

  • The oil giant paid an effective tax rate of only 13.6 percent during the 2008-2015 period, at the same time cutting more than a third of its global workforce (the company does not reveal U.S. jobs data). After pumping nearly $146 billion into stock buybacks, Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, now the U.S. secretary of state, took home $27.4 million in total compensation in 2016, 22 percent more than he collected in 2008.
AT&T is the top job-cutter among the tax-dodging firms

  • The telecommunications giant managed to get away with an effective tax rate of just 8.1 percent over the 2008-2015 period, while cutting more jobs than any other firm in our sample. After accounting for acquisitions and spinoffs, the firm had nearly 80,000 fewer employees in 2016 than in 2008. Instead of job-preserving investments, the firm shoveled profits into stock buybacks ($34 billion over the past nine years) and CEO pay. AT&T chief Randall Stephenson pulled in $28.4 million in 2016, more than double his 2008 payout.
GE cut jobs while funneling offshore tax-dodging proceeds into CEO pay and buybacks

  • Through extensive use of overseas tax havens, General Electric achieved a negative effective tax rate during the 2008-2015 period, meaning the firm got more back from Uncle Sam than it paid into federal coffers. The company spent $42 billion repurchasing its own stock, which helped boost CEO Jeffrey Immelt’s pay to nearly $18 million in 2016. Meanwhile, the company’s employee count dropped by about 14,700 over the past nine years.

“CEOs have used the proceeds from tax savings to enrich themselves at the expense of job-creating investments,” notes report author Sarah Anderson. “The debate over corporate taxes should focus on ensuring that the corporations these CEOs run pay their full and fair share.”

This 24th edition of the annual IPS Executive Excess series also includes the most comprehensive available catalog of CEO pay reforms, including proposed legislation to eliminate the CEO bonus loophole.

Full report and graphics.

About the lead author: Sarah Anderson directs the Global Economy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies and co-edits the IPS web site Inequality.org. She has been the lead author on all 24 of the Institute’s annual Executive Excess reports. Her executive compensation analysis has been featured recently in the New York TimesFortune, and the Los Angeles Times.

More Information:

Sarah Anderson, sarah@ips-dc.org(202) 787 5227
Domenica Ghanem, press@ips-dc.org(202) 787-5205
Jessica Pierre, jessicah@ips-dc.org

The Institute for Policy Studies (IPS-DC.org) is a multi-issue research center that has conducted path-breaking research on executive compensation for more than 20 years. IPS also provides a constant stream of inequality analysis and solutions through our Inequality.org web site and weekly newsletter.

The post Here is the fact: Corporate Tax Cuts Boost don’t boost jobs just CEO Pay appeared first on EgbertoWillies.com.

Republicans from Texas and Florida voted against Storm Relief Bill, Really (VIDEO)

Fri, 2017-09-08 16:39

It is hard to believe that some Republicans can be as callous as they are. Some Republican Congresspersons from Hurricane impacted states voted no to a relief spending bill.

90 House of Representative members, all Republicans, voted against the storm funding for the typical TEA Party reasons, ideology over humanity.

"A bill to give more money to FEMA which was running out of money today is now on its way to the President's desk," said MSNBC's Ali Velshi. "The House passed it this morning. Believe it or not, though there was drama. As we reported the bill provides more than 15 billion dollars in disaster relief; not just to those affected by Harvey in Texas but also for future disasters including the one that is descending on America in the next 24 hours, hurricane Irma. It also raises the debt ceiling through December 8th which is why it got complicated. The bill passed 316 to 90. Here's a look at the 90, the 90 members of the House of Representatives who voted against a bill that increased FEMA funding, and increases the debt limit so that we can pay for things that we've already bought. They were all Republicans, every one of the 90 and the ones highlighted in red, are from the state of Texas. Four House members voted against giving billions in aid to their state. There were also two Florida Republicans who voted no."

Republicans from Texas and Florida voted against Storm Relief Bill, Really (VIDEO) pic.twitter.com/Y5OGwQa1DC

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) September 8, 2017

John Young, a Texas reported got it right a few days ago.

Cruz and Cornyn have mastered the art of "Grammstanding" attributed to former Texas Sen. Phil Gramm -- a constant and loud opponent of federal spending, but faster than a speeding bullet claiming credit for spending to come Texas' way. He was a force of nature and hypocrisy. Post-Sandy, Cruz and Co., including tea party stalwart, then-South Carolina Congressman Mick Mulvaney -- now Trump's budget director -- said that the spending should be offset by budget cuts.

It's always amazing to see people like Mulvaney advocate monstrous increases in military spending without a wisp of the "budget austerity" the "conservatives" preach about everything else, particularly spending that helps low-income Americans. Heaven forbid, for instance, that the government should help the working poor with preventive health care

Well, a lot of Texans are in desperate need. And many have nothing now and will get nothing, no matter what emanates from Washington. ... Trump and the tea party purists like Cruz said we didn't need all that government. A few days and 50 inches of rain later in Texas, they now say we do.

These guys should learn that humanity must trump ideology every time. They should stop looking for cover to vote their ideological purity.

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What is Donald Trump’s IQ?

Fri, 2017-09-08 11:39

Trump loves to brag about his I.Q., something no one can corroborate. But guess what. One can infer based on his overall performance in school and real life.

Does someone with a high IQ really need to send out a tweet like the following?

Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest -and you all know it! Please don't feel so stupid or insecure,it's not your fault

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 9, 2013

Does anyone believe the IQ that he claims? .embed-vidweb { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%;height: 0; overflow: hidden;max-width: 100%; }.embed-vidweb iframe, .embed-vidweb object, .embed-vidweb embed { position: absolute; top: 0;left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }

Some think he is a genius, others still can't believe he is President. But, how smart is he really? Is his I.Q. really very high?

According to Snopes.com,

A chart purportedly ranking the intelligence quotients of former presidents of the United States made the rounds on social media in December 2016, along with the claim that the President-elect would rank among the smartest, boasting an IQ of 156: ...

This article is chock-full of logical missteps and factual inaccuracies. Donald Trump’s official school transcripts are not available, so it is impossible to know his actual scholastic aptitude scores. While the article’s author used Wharton’s general admission requirements to estimate Trump’s IQ, the math still doesn’t quite add up.

According to PrepScholar.com, Wharton’s SAT requirements are currently set at 1500. This roughly translatesto an IQ score between 145 and 149, not 156. Regardless, Wharton’s admission requirements are irrelevant, since Trump did not enter Wharton as a freshman. He transferred there his junior year, and Wharton does not list SAT scores among its requirements for transfer students.

Gwenda Blair claimed in her 2001 biography about Donald Trump and his family that the President-elect was admitted to Wharton thanks to a friendly admissions officer:

According to Snopes, the claim that Trump has an IQ of 156 is false.

Now, I have never been a fan of IQ tests even as mine turned out pretty high. I see them as a biased. If you are not aware of a particular culture, the numbers could be off by quite a bit. So when you take those online IQ tests, just do not take them too seriously. Likewise, no one should feel inferior or superior based on these types of tests.

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Elizabeth Warren: Why I’m Co-Sponsoring Bernie’s #MedicareforAll Bill

Fri, 2017-09-08 00:43

by Elizabeth Warren

When the Republicans tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act and gut Medicaid, I heard from parents all across Massachusetts who were terrified about what it would mean for their children.

One message kept hitting home: If the government hadn’t been there to help, these hard-working moms and dads would have been forced to pick between the health of their child and financial ruin. Their families would have been destroyed.

There is something fundamentally wrong when one of the richest and most powerful countries on the planet can’t make sure that a person can afford to see a doctor when they’re sick. This isn’t any way to live.

Health care is a basic human right – and it’s time to fight for it. Please join me in signing on as a citizen co-sponsor of Medicare for All.

My own family plunged deep into debt when my daddy had a heart attack. My parents paid on those bills for years. Years later, as a bankruptcy law professor, I studied why working families were going broke. Through interviews and court documents, my research partners and I showed that most people who file for bankruptcy looked a lot like my family.

The overwhelming majority had once been solidly middle class – and about half had filed for bankruptcy in the aftermath of a serious medical problem. And here was the kicker: about three-quarters of them had health insurance – but it just wasn’t enough. Medical bankruptcy was crushing millions of American families.

The Affordable Care Act changed everything – and President Obama deserves tremendous credit. Consider what health care reforms have accomplished:

  • Insurance companies are barred from denying people with preexisting conditions
  • The caps on insurance coverage are gone so help doesn’t run out after a few chemo treatments or a long hospital stay
  • Young people can stay on their parents' insurance until age 26
  • Small business get tax breaks for providing health care
  • Insurance companies can no longer discriminate against women

We owe a huge debt to President Obama. Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care coverage is better – more people can get the treatment they need and families are less vulnerable to the financial fallout from a serious illness or accident. Senate Democrats will keep doing everything we can to stop Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell and the Republicans from rolling back these gains. They are too important for all of us.

But there’s so much more we could do right now to bring down the costs of quality health care for every American. We could start by ending health insurance company price gouging – ending high deductibles, surprise bills, and endless fights with insurance companies over coverage for critical medical procedures or out-of-pocket costs. We could also cut the cost of prescription drugs by importing drugs from Canada, where the same prescription can sometimes cost far less than in the US. Bipartisan improvements are possible – in fact, just a few weeks ago, President Trump signed my bill with Republican Chuck Grassley to make hearing aids more affordable by allowing certain hearing aids to be sold over the counter.

Medicare for All is one way that we can give every single person in the country access to high quality health care. Everyone is covered. Nobody goes broke paying a medical bill. Families don’t have to bear the costs of heartbreaking medical disasters on their own.

The American people have made it clear that they believe health care is a basic human right – but it will be a tough fight. The giant insurance and drug companies will send out their army of lobbyists to fight our Medicare for All bill every step of the way. Sign up now to join our fight and become a citizen co-sponsor of Medicare for All and fight back.

This post was originally published at ElizabethWarren.com

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Barack Obama: Twitter’s Undefeated King

Thu, 2017-09-07 20:50

Trump will not like this as he believes that he is the owner of that title.

King of Twitter .embed-vidweb { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%;height: 0; overflow: hidden;max-width: 100%; }.embed-vidweb iframe, .embed-vidweb object, .embed-vidweb embed { position: absolute; top: 0;left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }

Although Barack Obama stepped down from politics, he still has a strong following on Twitter.

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Is Trump about to make the flip to out-Democrat Democrats?

Thu, 2017-09-07 15:15

Do not be too quick to discount the possibility that Donald Trump could come out and make a one hundred and eighty-degree ideological turn. He would not do it for reelection first but survival.

One of Trump's biggest supporters is the Evangelical Christian sect. He does not risk losing them because they have already told their followers that flaws and all, Donald Trump was sent by God. To cut him loose would diminish the Evangelical Leadership trustworthiness to those indoctrinated by their words.

Both the racist and non-racist portion of Trump's base notwithstanding the Evangelical Christians is not particularly ideological. And one must remember, in Republican parlance, they are takers. To be clear, the Red States are net takers while the Blue States are net makers. Trump's people want stuff from the government. They just do not want the 'others' to get it too.

Donald Trump promised his base jobs. It is clear from history and from fact based information that supply-side economics is a failure. The only solution to the malaise of the poor and middle-class is to go big. It is not inconceivable that Trump starts supporting big spending policies as he sees the economy slow down.

Trump's base is more dependent on Obamacare, Medicaid Expansion and all. He may find out that as Tom Price continues the Obamacare sabotage that his base starts rebelling.

Well, yesterday Donald Trump made a move. He rebuked his own party and came out in support of the will of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, a three-month debt ceiling extension as opposed to an 18-month extension that would have protected the Republican Party pre-2018 election.

A few weeks ago I warned Progressives that Trump might outflank them on a Medicare for All single-payer health care plan. I was called naive. I finished the article with the paragraph below.

In other words, just like Donald Trump triangulated Americans in mixing Progressive populist ideas as he campaigned, even though he had no intentions of fulfilling them, he may do the same with health care. Democrats must stop playing defense and present a plan Americans want. Provide a narrative that starts the process of immediately improving Obamacare's flaws in the short term. Then create a credible transition plan with the proper narrative of removing an unnecessary middleperson that skims portions of our premiums to enrich a few without adding any value to Americans. And one must repeat, that system is single-payer Medicare for all

Look, Donald Trump has no core. He is sufficiently erratic that I could see him make a play for the Left. Democrats may bite and in doing so protect him on two fronts. Can you guess what they are?

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Political malpractice kills and should be dealt with accordingly

Thu, 2017-09-07 10:25

We give a lot of lip service about holding politicians accountable. But how often do we hold them to account? Rarely. If we treated political malpractice for the violent crime that it is, we would likely get much better public servants.

It may seem extreme to talk about prosecuting political malpractice, but ultimately unless we do so, innocent people will continue to die. What is political malpractice? It is above my pay grade to define it. clearly. That said, it is codifiable.

The Hurricane Harvey flood in Houston is a classic example. Several years ago I interviewed Jim Blackburn, Donna Hackemack Bryant, & Christina Walsh, three environmental activists and politically aware Houstonians who understood that absent action from the county, it was just a matter of time before the catastrophic flood causing loss of life and property would occur.

To assume that Houston's flooding was not a known to those who should know is false. The ProPublica/Texas Tribune article "Boomtown, Flood Town" is probative.

“More people die here than anywhere else from floods,” said Sam Brody, a Texas A&M University at Galveston researcher who specializes in natural hazards mitigation. “More property per capita is lost here. And the problem’s getting worse.”

Why? Scientists, other experts and federal officials say Houston’s explosive growth is largely to blame. As millions have flocked to the metropolitan area in recent decades, local officials have largely snubbed stricter building regulations, allowing developers to pave over crucial acres of prairie land that once absorbed huge amounts of rainwater. That has led to an excess of floodwater during storms that chokes the city’s vast bayou network, drainage systems and two huge federally owned reservoirs, endangering many nearby homes — including Virginia Hammond’s.

On top of that, scientists say climate change is causing torrential rainfall to happen more often, meaning storms that used to be considered “once-in-a-lifetime” events are happening with greater frequency.

But it gets worse. It turns out that politicians were not only given a study, but a solution to channel water through conduits directly to the Houston ship channel.

In a report dated May 1996, engineers for the Harris County Flood Control District concluded the area's reservoir system was severely insufficient and imperiled thousands of properties. The report's authors proposed a $400 million fix: constructing a massive underground conduit that would carry water out of the reservoirs and into the Houston Ship Channel more quickly.

Had the report's recommendations been heeded, the catastrophic flooding that struck Houston a week ago might have been greatly diminished, sparing thousands of homes from flood waters. Instead, the report got filed away and was all but forgotten. Government leaders ignored its advice.

What is most disconcerting about ignoring the report is that construction on I-10 (the Katy Freeway in the Houston Metropolitan Area) could have been leveraged to build the conduits beneath the new freeway. The solution was ever present. However, political malpractice killed every Texan directly or indirectly.

A drunk driver who gets into a fatal collision does not set out to kill anyone. A gun owner who drops his loaded gun in a crowded restaurant that kills a person had no intention of taking the life of anyone. The engineer who builds a structurally defective bridge that falls and kills many never intended said outcome. A doctor who makes a mistake that causes the death of a patient didn't do so on purpose. Every single one of these events is prosecutable as some sort of negligence and potentially manslaughter or even homicide.

One could wager that political malpractice kills much more people. There is a difference, however. The politicians effecting political malpractice do so knowingly. If there are solutions that would have reasonably saved lives but said solutions were not implemented because of corruption or because of dubious rationales, they deserve prosecution just like any citizen who unwittingly harmed someone.

Every politician in the Houston Metropolitan Area who placed Houstonians at risk by allowing the construction of homes in neighborhoods that were sure to flood and who knew there were viable options to prevent the disaster should be prosecuted. Every Texas politician and for that matter everyone who voted against the Medicaid Expansion to the Affordable Care Act should be prosecuted for causing the deaths of thousands of Texans and Americans. One could go on and on deaths caused by the decisions of politicians not based on what is right and doable but on negligence or outright corruption, read the corrosive nature of money in politics and the negative influence on politicians.

Political malpractice likely kills more people than all the murders in the country. After all, even some of the socioeconomic realities that create a crime culture is a form of political malpractice. We created societies because we understood that pooling our efforts, our diverse skills, make life better for all. It is a contract we signed implicitly. When that contract is broken, the perpetrators must be punished. The intent is not to criminalize politics. It is to ensure that politics isn't criminal.

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Trump’s punishment for a party that has allowed itself to be rented by him (VIDEO)

Thu, 2017-09-07 01:37

George Will did not mince words as he slammed Trump for lacking 'intellectual ballast' and concurrently slammed the Republicans for allowing Trump to use them. He said it so poetically.

Will appeared on The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell where they discussed the three-month debt ceiling extension Trump agreed to with the Democrats. That agreement enraged many Republicans. They wanted an 18-month extension to ensure it would not be litigated in the 2018 election. George Will was not impressed with the author of "The Art of the Deal," Donald Trump nor did he have pity for Republicans tortured by Trump.

George Will did not mince words as he admonished both Trump and the GOP

Trump's punishment for a party that has allowed itself to be rented by him (VIDEO) pic.twitter.com/WqDrAq2nHh

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) September 7, 2017

"Lawrence Winston Churchill used to tell a story about a negotiation within the British government around the time of World War One," George Will said. "The Treasury wanted to fund four battleships. The Admiralty wanted six battleships. So Churchill said we compromised on eight battleships. "That's the sort of deal that we got done today. This is not surprising Mr. Trump has no intellectual ballast in the form of traditional Republican beliefs. He is, to apply a phrase, all sail and no anchor. This upsets the Conservatives in the House. They say, 'Gee, we're going to use the debt ceiling as a leverage point to cut spending.' Mr. Trump has no interest in cutting spending. He ran on a promise not to touch the entitlement programs that are the great drivers of federal spending. So this is really not surprising. And it is an away condign punishment for a party that has allowed itself to be rented by him."

Republicans so far have stuck with Donald Trump because they believed he would be their useful signature hand. In other words, they believed he would play the part of the president while they legislate assured of a signature irrespective of the content of any bill. Containing the president has been ineffective. Their only solution might be to throw in the towel, impeach him. Then they would have the real Republican Conservative of their dreams, Mike Pence.

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Defiant Chicago Mayor: ‘Chicago … will be a Trump Free Zone’ (VIDEO)

Wed, 2017-09-06 23:49

Chicago Mayor came out swinging against Donald Trump. He made it clear to DACA recipients, also known as Dreamers, that they do not have anything to fear. He said it in a reassuring manner that most will likely heed.

Earlier in the week Donald Trump cowardly sent out an elated Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, to make it known that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive order also known as DACA, would be revoked in six months. DACA protected residents who were brought to this country while they were children, from deportation. Most of these residents know no other country and in many instances cannot even speak the language of their birthplace. For all practical purposes, they are American.

Rahm Emmanuel made it clear that his city, Chicago, is a welcoming place for Dreamers and that they should proceed with their normal lives.

A Trump Free Zone

"I want to emphasize one thing that the alderman noted, the Chairman, that I think is very important," Rahm Emmanuel said. "And that is that President Trump has talked about ending the Dreamers program. To all the Dreamers that are here in this room and in the city of Chicago, you are welcomed in the city of Chicago. This is your home and you have nothing to worry about. Chicago, our schools, our neighborhoods, our city as it relates to what President Trump said, will be a Trump free zone. You have nothing to worry about. And I want you to know this and I want your families to know it. And rest assured I want you to come to school. But more than just come to school, pursue your dreams."

That is the defiance every mayor should show against a president that is not working for the well-being of the country. When a president puts his personal vendettas, conspiracies, and ill-actions over whats right for the country, ignoring his ever changing directive, should be the order of the day.

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Trump sabotaging Obamacare but there may be a silver lining in the making (VIDEO)

Wed, 2017-09-06 16:22

Donald Trump was unable to kill Obamacare as Senator John McCain and two other Republicans join Democrats to stymie the effort. Here is how Trump and his ilk are attempting to kill it by a thousand cuts. But there is a silver lining.

If Donald Trump's sabotage is made irrelevant before too much damage is done, then healthcare while still on thin ice will remain accessible.

The Trump administration is cutting advertising by ninety percent in 2018. With all the confusion this cut will undoubtedly cause many eligible Americans to forego coverage because they are unaware they qualify.

Additionally, the budget of the people who assist Americans in understanding and moving through Obamacare whoops, known as navigators,  has been cut substantially. This almost ensures that many will miss the window to signup for the Affordable Care Act.

Former Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius reiterated the damage Trump is currently doing to Obamacare. She added that Trump had reduced the number of days that people had to sign up for the ACA. Worse, she said that if the subsidies remain uncertain, insurance rates could double, a direct result of The President's sabotage.

A silver lining for Obamacare?

Trump sabotaging Obamacare but there may be a silver lining in the making (VIDEO) pic.twitter.com/4cU4bPDeCm

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) September 6, 2017

However, Sebelius pointed out that behind the scenes there are bipartisan negotiations taking place to stabilize the Obamacare's individual markets.

Senator Lamar Alexander (R) and Senator Patty Murray (D) are working to,

craft a short-term bill that could stabilize the individual healthcare markets, one of the most volatile aspects of the Affordable Care Act.

That includes making sure the government pays out key payments that help offset insurers' costs of covering certain Americans. President Donald Trump has threatened to end these payments, but Alexander asked that the president continue the payments through the end of September.

Governor John Hickenlooper (D-CO) and Governor John Kasich (R-OH) are working on a bipartisan plan to address healthcare as well.

The framework, outlined in a seven-page letter dated Wednesday and sent to congressional leadership, is also signed by six other governors. It includes recommendations that the controversial individual mandate stay in place for at least the immediate future and that Congress create tax exemptions for insurance carriers who offer plans in underserved counties.

“As Congress considers reforms to strengthen our nation’s health insurance system, we ask you to take immediate steps to make coverage more stable and affordable,” the letter says. “The current state of our individual market is unsustainable, and we can all agree this is a problem that needs to be fixed. Governors have already made restoring stability and affordability in this market a priority, and we look forward to partnering with you in this effort.”

According to Sebelius, the administration has not been a part of the negotiations. Given this president, it is clear if they came up with a solution, he will be ready to and to declare a win.

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David Gergen on Trump: If you’re not white you’re not especially welcome (VIDEO)

Wed, 2017-09-06 11:13

David Gergen is a very measured Republican who is always careful with his words. No one can accuse Gergen of playing the race card. The totality of his statement is important especially coming from a Conservative socially constructed white man.

Digressing for a moment, discussing racial issues can have one fall into the plutocracy's trap. If one knows that race is but a social construct, then speaking about Gergen as a white man may seem hypocritical. That is why I wrote socially constructed white man. Where I don't use the "social construct" term, I'me implying it.

David Gergen had some difficulty getting his words right to describe the Trump administration's xenophobia and vile racism.

David Gergen seemed pained telling the truth about Trump

David Gergen on Trump: If you're not white you're not especially welcome #Dreamers #DACA pic.twitter.com/iYsSN6XthR

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) September 6, 2017

Earlier in the day, President Obama lashed out at Donald Trump for his inhumane act against people who for no fault of their own, were brought to the United States. They know no other country or home. Revoking DACA is simply an act of evil.

David Gergen broke down the psyche of Trump and his ilk. He said what Trump did was one of the cruelest acts of any president in a long time.

"President Obama and President Trump not only disagree on policies," Gergen said. "They disagree on values. It goes to very basic things, whether you have respect for minorities. Do you have a belief in diversity or do you think this country should welcome and continue all that the Statue of Liberty is, a symbol of what we believe in?"

But he was not done. He gave a most poignant assessment speaking to Don Lemon who is black.

"If I were a minority, in your shoes," Gergen said. "And you can speak to this. I would feel, increasingly, that there is a sign in the White House or outside the White House saying, 'If you're not white you're not especially welcome.' And that is so sad. That's just not who we are. The vast majority of American people do not believe that."

A statement like that out of David Gergen was not said in jest.

 

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