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Democrats: Explain why Republican tax reform bill is a tax cut scam, or we lose

Sun, 2017-12-24 23:00

Democrats lead by 18 points in the generic ballot according to the most recent CNN poll. 56% of respondents said they are most likely to vote for the Democratic candidate while 36% said they would vote for the Republican. Pundits have been giddy reciting these polls.

Polls are a snapshot in time. Unfortunately for Democrats, the election is still 10+ months away. Ten months is an eternity in politics. And based on the pushback giving the bill by Democrats and left-leaning pundits, those 18 points could evaporate.

Recently, Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX),  appeared on Morning Joe after Congress struck a deal on the tax cut scam.

It was evident that Congressman Brady intended to spin. Willie Geist asked him the wrong questions as he pushed the carried interest issue without enough context. It’s not about giving tax breaks to wealthy people; it is about theft from the masses.

Geist should have told the listeners how much carried interest adds up to and ask the congressman why increasing the deficit by that amount, which the masses will pay for in interest on the debt, cuts in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and infrastructure, is not class warfare. Geist should have asked the Congressman, why take money away from poor and middle-class Americans to give to huge windfalls to people who already got rich off the labor of Americans. Framed in this manner makes carried interest a threat to the poor and middle-class Americans rather than some esoteric benefit for the rich they do not understand.

Every left-leaning pundit on TV points to study after study to validate their point that the Republican tax cut scam will not juice the economy, nor will it be a net positive for the average American.

But Republicans have several studies, too. Those of us in the know realize that the studies on the right are biased to ensure a particular outcome. The method to mislead is right out of the Powell Manifesto.

But everyday, busy, working Americans just hear “competing studies.” And many go on to default acceptance of the one that fits their ideology.

Democrats and left-leaning pundits need to spend the time to break down the issues. Why is it that tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations are not the best way to create economic growth? Answer in a manner that makes sense, and that anyone can understand. Here are some straightforward talking points.

Why tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations fail to increase wages and employment

  • Companies hire more people when they need help to provide products and services.
  • Wealthy people already have money, so new money will not result in buying things they would not have bought before. Therefore, they will just bank the extra money.
  • Corporations that receive tax cuts will not build more factories or hire more workers if people are not buying. They will simply give the money to their shareholders and executives.
  • If companies are not hiring, there is no need to increase wages because there is always someone not working who will take the job for the same pay.

Why tax cuts and credits for the middle-class and poor work

  • When the poor and middle-class get extra money, they either spend it or pay off debt.
  • When the poor and middle-class spend money they would not have spent because they did not have it, they create additional demand in the economy. They buy clothes, cars, home appliances, etc. They go out to eat and go to the movies, and much more. They create demand for a lot more products and services.
  • Businesses and corporations must meet that expanding demand. Companies buy or manufacture more of the products and services that people are buying. They hire more workers to fulfill the demand.

The Republican spin went on for nine minutes on Morning Joe. It was "Mission Accomplished" by the Republican spin machine. This is not uncommon. Except for Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle and a few other hosts on cable TV, coverage of issues that inform Americans allowing them to make good choices is in short supply. While the latest tax cut bill will further steal from Americans, leaving the GOP narrative unchecked could turn this boondoggle into a qualified political success in the long run.

 

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How is this GOP candidate different than Islamic extremists? He’s not.

Sun, 2017-12-24 22:50

Republicans love to rave about Sharia Law. Maybe they should try to self-police because one of their own sound more extremist that the radicalized Islamists. It is always true.

It is always true that when pointing ones figure several are pointing back. The Republican Party is now the party of extremists. This Republican politician proves the point.

OutSmart reported the following.

Texas has two openly LGBTQ candidates for governor in 2018, Democrats Lupe Valdez and Jeffrey Payne. The Lone Star State also has a Republican gubernatorial candidate, Larry SECEDE Kilgore, who apparently believes Valdez, Payne and other “sodomites” should be put to death.

When he previously ran for governor in 2014, Kilgore told me that while he supports the death penalty as punishment for homosexuality, he planned to put the issue aside so he could focus on advocating for secession. In 2018, however, it seems Kilgore is making his version of “biblical law” a more central part of his campaign. On Friday morning, he took to social media with this bit of holiday cheer:

“I’d gladly execute a convicted adulterer, sodomite or bestialiter. Biblical law is a blessing,” Kilgore wrote, alongside a link to a story about “bestiality brothels” in Germany.

Is any doubt that the Republican Party is now on the fringe?

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Trump proved that he conned his supporters at Mar-a-lago

Sun, 2017-12-24 09:30

Most Americans understood from the beginning that Donald Trump is a con man. That is why the majority of Americans voted against him. But he has a core set of supporters that are not yet convinced. If this new utterance from Trump to his wealthy friends doesn't do it, nothing will.

Trump is spending time at his Mar-a-Lago resort with many of his wealthy friends. One can only imagine the fanfare he received given the windfall they had from the Republican tax cut scam.

Remember what Donald Trump told his supporters?

President Trump on Wednesday repeated his claim that the GOP's efforts to overhaul the nation's tax code will not benefit him personally, saying that his finances would actually take a hit under the proposal.

"It’s going to cost me a fortune, this thing. Believe me," he said at a tax-reform speech in Missouri. "This is not good for me. Me, it’s not so — I have some very wealthy friends. Not so happy with me, but that’s okay."

"You know, I keep hearing [Sen. Charles] Schumer [saying] 'this is for the wealthy.' Well, if it is, my friends don't know about it," Trump said, referring to the Democratic leader from New York.

Trump later called tax reform a "higher calling."

Well, he had a different story at his, resort for the rich, Mar-a-lago Saturday night. It turns out his wealthy friends need no be concerned. After according to CBS News he made comments to his friends that should make them very happy.

President Trump kicked off his holiday weekend at Mar-a-Lago Friday night at a dinner where he told friends, "You all just got a lot richer," referencing the sweeping tax overhaul he signed into law hours earlier. Mr. Trump directed those comments to friends dining nearby at the exclusive club — including to two friends at a table near the president's who described the remark to CBS News — as he began his final days of his first year in office in what has become known as the "Winter White House."

Trump supporters, are you watching? Are you listening? Are you ready to join the team that "really" cares about people like you?

(h/t Raw Story)

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ATTENTION Democrats: Watch Joy-Ann Reid destroy GOP tax cut scam shill (VIDEO)

Sat, 2017-12-23 23:22

Once again straight talking Joy-Ann Reid gets the message right. Democrats will do well to listen to her and develop a narrative that speaks to both the middle-class and the poor.

Joy-Ann Reid gets the Democratic narrative right

ATTENTION Democrats: Watch Joy-Ann Reid destroy GOP tax cut scam shill (VIDEO) - https://t.co/UKmRn53mya pic.twitter.com/G6YtkQdZYH

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) December 24, 2017

Joy-Ann Reid's messaging and narrative gives the Democrats a running start to connect with not only their base but many voters yearning for someone who is fighting for them.

Joy-Ann Reid reminded the guests on the MSNBC show of the words Chris Matthews spoke at a panel years ago.

"Politics is about where you put the wedge in," Reid repeated Matthews' words. "And when you put the wedge in between the middle-class and the poor so that the middle-class identify with the rich, Republicans win. You put that wedge in between the rich and the middle-class so that the middle-class identify with the people below them, Democrats win. That tax bill that is going to give an average of eighteen bucks a week to people making under $75,000 a year versus the $15 million Donald Trump will get; the fact is the messaging on that tax bill, the reason it is so unpopular, the reason that two-thirds of people hate it and only like a quarter of people kind of like it, is because it is a giveaway to the very rich; permanent tax cut for corporations, and almost nothing for the average person. That's why people hate it. Even Democrats, as bad as they are sometimes in politics, can figure out the messaging on that."

I am not sure if Joy-An Reid's last sentence above is correct. As Chris Matthews subsequently pointed out, the Establishment Democrats seem to lack the wherewithal to take off the gloves. Reid destroyed all of the Republican shill's arguments point by point with fact-based passionate words unapologetically. That is the way it must be done.

Democrats, are you listening? Are you watching?

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FEAR THIS: Right-Wing groups to spend million to lie about tax cut scam

Sat, 2017-12-23 16:21

The Republicans are much better at promoting their bad policies than Democrats are at pushing their better policies. First, Republicans are willing to lie while ignoring real-time and past evidence and truth. This article should worry Democrats who think a sure blue wave is secure especially with the passage of the Republican tax cut scam.

Republicans control most of the state legislatures and the entire Federal Government because they are good at what they do, successfully deceive for the gain of their party. It is time for Democrats and Progressives to change their tactics. Otherwise, the insanity will prevail. One must remember that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Well, Republicans do not want a different result, and as such, they are going through their playbook. They will keep doing the same thing until some external force stops that working thing from working.

One should be fearful after reading Jessica Corbett's article "Right-wing Groups Plan to Spend Millions to Convince Americans GOP Tax Scam Is Actually Good for them" which lays out the same old GOP playbook.

While recent polling indicates that the majority of Americans oppose the GOP tax plan signed by President Donald Trump early Friday, Politico reports right-wing groups are planning a multimillion-dollar campaign to promote the deeply unpopular new law.

Despite a CNN poll revealing that only a third of Americans favor the Republicans’ tax plan while 55 percent oppose it—a 10-point jump from just last month—Trump seems to be ignoring the widespread opposition.

Damn the polls; Republicans rammed through the tax cut scam. And they are heading straight ahead with lying about it to convince Americans that it is right for them.

Conservative donors, however, are planning to invest heavily in efforts to shift public perception of the plan, which gives massive tax breaks to corporations and wealthy individuals at the expense of American families, and was deemed the #GOPTaxScam by critics as it made its way through Congress.

“The Koch network will launch a multimillion-dollar push next year to sell the bill, with paid advertising and town halls,” according to Politico. “A major GOP super PAC is planning to spend $10 million to protect House members. And another group, the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, plans to spend the majority of its $1 million annual budget selling the tax plan next year, according to one of the group’s founders, Stephen Moore.”

Read the entire article. The GOP modus operandi is in full vogue. The progressive counter attack must be fierce and smart.

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REVERSE SOULJAH – An Open Letter to Progressive Power Structures in 2018

Sat, 2017-12-23 12:11

For those who don’t remember the Sister Souljah of the 90s, or never learned about it as they came of age, a short summary:

Bill Clinton referenced activist and rapper Sister Souljah at the Rainbow Coalition Dinner and criticized her for a quote printed in the Washington Post that positioned her as having said, devoid of any context: “If we’re going to kill black people, why not take a week and kill white people?” Clinton compared Sister Souljah to David Duke, and was praised at large by the press years later for having “political courage”.

The pervasiveness of this moment was so strong- so distinct in the American mindset- that to this day people still praise Clinton’s bravery for having said. I know this because I was among them doing just that as recently as early this year when I referenced the incident as an example of the need for power to point to its own worst actors.

I was wrong.

See, the thing is the time period in which I grew up and the place in which I grew up positioned me in such a way that I would hear out the Clintons but never listened to Sister Souljah’s response to the President at the time. They accepted Clinton's contextual frame outright.

Never accept a politician's message without question.

It's unfair.

This week I listened to her response from back when it happened in ’92 on CSPAN. And it turns out that we didn’t really give her proper due. Her take is that the Washington Post misquoted her, and she delivered a fairly long rebuke unpacking that. And if Clinton had done his research on her (and if I had done mine), then we likely would have come away with different interpretations of what she was actually saying.

The LA Riots were the classic cry of the unheard like most other riots in history have been. Her language was explanatory, not a command or call to arms. In the heat of that news cycle, it makes sense that the press would chop that quotation and turn it into a call to arms… but it wasn’t.

Bill Clinton would become President that year, and be reelected four years later. He failed to break 50% both times. That first cycle, he hit 40%. Had Ross Perot not split the conservative white vote, he would have lost by a landslide.

And yet the mythos of that moment survives so powerfully that those who grew up through it- even me, *EVEN THIS YEAR* as I stumble through the dark in the world of activism nearly blind to dynamics in spite of trying to do my best amidst the thick of them- have come to accept it as fact.

It’s this kind of thinking that lays the groundwork for the sort of decisions that have been made in Washington this week and what will follow later. Many of us who can be counted in the top left corner of your precinct plan box as bankable votes that will never fold in spite of sharp ideological differences. You can count on us when the chips are down because we know what’s at stake. Even if it pisses us off to no end, you can count on us. Black Women, poor people, trans and gay communities, immigrants all keep bailing everyone out. We know that. We see that. It's math.

But our resistance siblings and the general activist community don’t get the same love in return. We’re told to compromise values. We’re told it’s not politically sound to keep a promise to DREAMers. And we’re told that Sister Souljah is David Duke. And it’s potent enough that we grow up with it and worship powerful people who don’t really need our praise, but accept it anyway because we are so dependable in their precinct plans.

And even then, it is the activists who get called “divisive”.

To truly start healing, I encourage those in the power structure who have not yet done so to do what I’m doing here: acknowledge missteps, reflect, do better, open the door to difficult conversations, follow the wisdom of people who have been cut out of the process for decades, and build a real coalition. Because 2018 is coming, and 2020, and the hundred years after that, too, and it counts for a helluva lot. And we have to be better than this.

Fast.

Make that your New Year’s Resolution.

Love and Resistance,

DJC

Daniel Cohen is the President of Indivisible Houston and all around activist in Houston Texas.

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The Truth About Power and Capitalism: A Socialist Response to the Tax Bill

Fri, 2017-12-22 23:32

By Richard D. Wolff

In response to the passage of the GOP tax bill, many voices are now offering variations on the theme of "speak truth to power." It's true enough that tax overhaul, coming after 30 years of widening inequality, widens it further. It is likewise yet another exercise in trickle-down economics, the policy promise that direct economic help to corporations and the rich will eventually lift up the rest of us. The GOP and Trump conveniently disregard the countless economists who have shown that trickle-down is a false promise.

However, the limitation of "speaking truth to power" is and always was that it risks leaving us with the truth and them with the power. In today's world, the GOP, Trump and the corporate leaders who sustain them have the power to treat truths as so much "fake news" or simply to ignore them as they push their agendas. For the truth to become socially effective, it needs an alliance with an oppositional power able and willing to contest the ruling power.

In the US, until the 1970s, when truth meant advocating for a form of capitalism with a human face -- regulated markets, safety nets, progressive taxation, generous public services -- it could be allied chiefly to the Democratic Party and contest against the GOP. Likewise, for those who defined truth as advocating for a laissez-faire form of capitalism -- deregulation, privatization, a reduced public sector -- they could and did ally chiefly with the GOP and contest against the Democrats. But those connections between truth and power have changed since the 1970s, when moderate laissez-faire economics (neoliberalism) captured the Democratic Party and an extreme laissez-faire ideology captured the Republican Party.

Another way to describe what has happened since the 1970s is that the central economic contest stopped being between Keynesian and neoclassical economics -- between more and less government intervention in the economy. The central political contest used to be between left and right supporters of alternative forms of capitalism.

Now, in a capitalism where Democrats like Clinton boast of having ended the welfare safety net "as we know it," more or less minimal government support of the mass of the people has become accepted policy for both major parties. As Nancy Pelosi said in response to a student's question about socialism during the 2016 presidential election, "we are all capitalists." She was referring to both major political parties. Her words marked an unconscious recognition that capitalism itself -- not its alternative forms -- is now the power being contested. Nor could she imagine that the student's question was itself the speaking of a new truth to the power of capitalism as such.

The Democrats as a party currently do little more than speak their truth to GOP power. They do not act as or collaborate with or try to build a real social opposition. As far as the party goes, there are no demonstrations, no mass mobilizations: The Democrats vote and lose and make weak speeches to ever-smaller audiences. Democrats seem to fear losing major donations and donors were they to mount real opposition. The primary loyalty of major donors is to the capitalist system that undergirds their social position. This or that form of capitalism is of much less importance. The GOP gets this, too. Both parties now pander to the same donors; they have become, more than before, two wings of a party unified in its devotion to capitalism.

The GOP and Trump grasped this in putting forth the tax bill. Its tax cuts promise even more to capitalist corporations and those they enrich (major shareholders and top executives) than the traditional Republican and Democratic leaders would have dared to advocate even a couple of years ago. In response, the Democratic Party limited its opposition to speaking some truth to power. It avoided mass mobilizations whose demands might begin to include anti-capitalism, even in its most modest Sanders form.

What neither party grasps is that, as their theoretical and practical differences over forms of capitalism shrank, the system itself became again the issue. An entire generation grew up amid the oscillation between GOP and Democratic administrations and Congresses since the 1970s. That generation watched and learned as both major parties supported and sustained capitalism, speaking and acting as though no other system existed or was worth considering. That same generation has acutely experienced capitalism's flaws and failures: poor job opportunities, school debt, grotesque inequality, and so on. It has done so without the Cold War context of a lopsided celebration of capitalism and over-the-top demonization of its critics. Especially since the crash of 2008, that generation has shown a greater consciousness of the potential power of alternative systems, and has come to question, challenge and shift its loyalties away from capitalism.

The politically self-absorbed disregard of the major parties, combined with the ascendance of remarkably repulsive leaders like Trump, Ryan, McConnell, Pelosi and Schumer (not to mention many, many others at lower levels) only further alienates the young. The truths of younger generations, now spoken ever louder to power, are also wakening to the need for an alliance with a socially effective power to contest against both the GOP and the Dems.

We live in a time rich with ironies. After 1989 and the implosion of the USSR, a kind of capitalist triumphalism hailed the "end" of the capitalism versus socialism theme that so dominated the 20th century. Capitalism, we were told, had "won." A generation later, capitalism finds itself in deepening difficulties: economic, political and ideological. Socialisms of various kinds have re-emerged as alternatives to an increasingly contested capitalism.

In this new era, what does "socialism" mean? There remain, of course, the remnants of what socialism meant in the 20th century. Those faithful to that socialism still view it as a state-focused economic system. In it, state ownership of means of production (rather than capitalism's private ownership) partners with state-planned distribution of resources and products (rather than capitalism's markets). Socialists of this variety continue to see their version as the only viable alternative to capitalism and its eventual successor.

However, other kinds of socialism are increasingly challenging those remnants among the critics of capitalism. Many of these reflect socialist self-criticisms constructed around key history-based questions: "Why did the USSR implode?" "Why have the People's Republic of China and other 'socialist' economies opened increasingly to private capitalist enterprises?" "How did the statism of socialist economies contribute to undemocratic political and cultural systems?"

Meanwhile, new and different socialisms have emerged. There are libertarian or anarchically inflected socialisms that stress local, decentralized, non- or anti-statist variations with or without market institutions linking enterprises and individuals to one another. Democratic socialisms -- some old and some new -- have also emerged, stressing the necessary co-existence of democratic political institutions with socialist economies interpreted in either libertarian or else strictly-limited statist variants.

Then there is a socialism whose approach is to refocus priorities on the micro-level -- the enterprise -- rather than the macro-level -- the state. In this version, the emphasis is on the radical reorganization of the enterprise, away from the hierarchical capitalist to the democratic cooperative. In the latter, workers become their own collective employer as the division between employee and employer dissolves. Workers' democratic decisions then govern what gets produced with which technology, where and when; their democratic decisions also govern the use made of the profits they collectively produced. Such a socialism leaves open the question of whether such democratized enterprises will co-exist with markets or state planning. The general presumption is that the democratized enterprises will erect and adjust their distributional system to reinforce the cooperative structure of their enterprises, much as capitalist enterprises structured markets to reinforce theirs.

In the ongoing process of transition from capitalism to the next system, capitalism's critics are extending and deepening the truths they speak. They are increasingly directing those truths to the power of capitalism as expressed in the policies and politics of both Republicans and Democrats. They are looking and working for an alliance with real, organized oppositional political power, even as they are building it themselves. They want a powerful partner for their truth.

This is one place we can find hope, even in the wake of the devastating tax bill's passage. Here, there is real hope for real change.

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CNN’s John King blasts Trump’s lie: You have one signature achievement (VIDEO)

Fri, 2017-12-22 16:19

CNN continues making Trump pay for his lies. Recently they have been exposing them like no other network. John King was not kind to the president as he told America the unfortunate truth about the Donald.

John King  debunks Trump's longstanding lie

Donald Trump continues to claim that he has more accomplishments at this time in office than any other president. John King sets the record straight.

Raw Story's Elizabeth Preza wrote the following.

Despite substantial evidence to the contrary, Donald Trump on Friday claimed he “broke Harry Truman’s” record of legislative approvals in his first year in office, prompting CNN’s John King to bluntly correct the president’s lie.

During a bill signing in the Oval Office later in the day. Trump signed into law a sweeping tax bill that represents the sole major legislative success of his presidency thus far. He told reporters he’s had 88 “legislative approvals” and “more legislative victories than any other president,” and once again maligned the media for refusing to report on whatever a “legislative approval” is.

John King's statement is blunt and worth quoting.

"You hear the president's frustration," John King said. "And if you are a Trump supporter out there you blame us in the media for some of this. Maybe you blame something else. If you are a Trump critic you think he is just full of hyperbole and he hasn't done much.  Sorry, Mr. President, your record does not match up to Harry Truman."

King was referring to the President's tweet that said he broke Harry Truman's record.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/944222157218942978

With all my Administration has done on Legislative Approvals (broke Harry Truman’s Record), Regulation Cutting, Judicial Appointments, Building Military, VA, TAX CUTS & REFORM, Record Economy/Stock Market and so much more, I am sure great credit will be given by mainstream news?

"A lot of those were big legislative victories," King continued. "You have one signature achievement, the tax cut plan. Unless you consider the Russian Sanctions bill. That was the other major piece of legislation. But the president does not like that bill."

John King did point out that Trump did get a Supreme Court justice seated. We should not that was a stolen justice that should have been appointed by President Obama. His other achievements, gutting regulations and appointing many, ill-prepared right-wing justice are detrimental to all Americans.

"He goes to Mar-A-Lago as the least popular first-term president," King said. "In the history of polling."

(h/t Raw Story)

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Seth Meyers skewers the President and GOP over tax cut scam

Fri, 2017-12-22 14:19

Seth Meyers did not pull any punches as his hard-hitting satire not only ridiculed the President but the evil that is emanating from Republican policies.

Seth Meyers skewers President and GOP antics and policy

Newsweek wrote up a cute piece on the roasting.

Seth Meyers has an excellent Christmas present for Democrats: A way to trick Donald Trump into resigning.

During his last 2017 "A Closer Look" segment on Late Night With Seth Meyers, the host told his audience that Trump has embarked on a “delusional self-congratulation” binge, taking credit for things his administration has not, in fact, accomplished—naturally "more than any other administration in history.”

In reality, he adds, “You passed one bill!” Furthermore, he went on, "People are so enthusiastic about you that Alabama elected a Democratic senator. And he’s so enthusiastic about you that he’s going to be a guest on this show tonight.”

Meyers' continues to bring our dysfunctional politics in a palatable manner. It allows Americans to understand the politics yet not completely tune it out. It seems our comedians and satirists are doing a better job than journalists these days. Who can forget how effective The Daily Show with Jon Stewart was.

(h/t Newsweek)

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Seth Meyers perfect suggestion to trick Trump into resigning (VIDEO)

Fri, 2017-12-22 12:40

It is Christmas time, a time when wishes come through, a time of goodwill. Seth Meyer brought a needed smile in these times when so many are on the verge of being hurt by a cruel tax cut scam.

Would Donald Trump fall for Seth Meyers' suggestion?

Seth Meyers perfect suggestion to trick Trump into resigning (VIDEO) - https://t.co/WvOjZu53T3 pic.twitter.com/HSSDAvtNRW

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) December 22, 2017

Giving that we have a president who lies a lot, lives in his own world, and appears delusional most of the times, Donald Trump just may take this suggestion by Seth Meyers and resign.

Meyers segment, "A Closer Look" was funny but piercing and hard-hitting. He first ridiculed the president for telling the press they needed prayer more than he did. Seth showed a picture of preachers putting their hands on Trump and praying for him.

"This happened earlier this year," Meyers said. "And it really didn't seem to take for you."

Meyers then pointed out that the Republicans passed their tax bill, the tax cut scam that benefits mostly the wealthy and corporations while hurting millions of Americans. Meyers ridiculed the president for claiming he is the first to call the bill a tax cut bill as if this were never done before. He showed clips that displayed Trump's propensity to lie, taking credit for phrases and words not really his own.

Seth further ridiculed the president for his claim that more has been accomplished under his administration at this time in the presidency than under any other.

"You passed one bill," Seth Meyers said. "And people are so enthusiastic about you that Alabama elected a Democratic Senator."

Seth then had some fun with Republican false sycophancy over Trump's work toward passage of the Republican tax cut scam.

Meyers closed the segment with a few suggestions that would make Trump voluntarily resign.

  • Show him the Great Wall of China and tell him it is the fence at the Mexican border.
  • Hand him a slip of paper that says one million pesos, and he will say we got Mexico to pay for it.
  • Bake him a cake that says, "Congrats on a Great 8 Years."

"He will pack up his sh$t," Meyers said. "And get out of our lives forever."

Is this great for comic relief or what? Share and make someone's day.

Watch the full segment here.

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Trump praise slammed: Sycophancy like third world banana republic (VIDEO)

Thu, 2017-12-21 12:42

Republican Congresspersons and Senators went to the White House to celebrate the passage of their tax cut scam. They praised the president incessantly as if he were solely responsible for the bill. It did make America appear to be a third world banana republic.

Sycophancy does make America seem like a third world banana republic

Trump praise slammed: Sycophancy like third world banana republic (VIDEO) - https://t.co/2DgtwHzgPo pic.twitter.com/PaQOlli4JC

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) December 21, 2017

Is America on the path to becoming a banana republic? Based on how Trump operates and how his party treats him, the answer may be yes.

Bill Kristol appeared on MSNBC with host Ali Velshi and had an intriguing answer to Velshi's question about Republican politicians' praise for President Trump.

"Republicans who voted for the bill obviously like the bill," said Bill Kristol. "They could have praised themselves and their own leaders, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. The sycophancy to President Trump, I guess they feel they have to do that because they want to work with him in the future and that is what he wants and expects. He wants it from his vice-president. He wants it from his cabinet. He wants it from congressional leadership. But it is kind of "third world" honestly, banana republic. You kind of show up at the White House and just fraught over the president."

Later in the interview, Kristol said that Republicans should be running on their own accomplishments. After all, he points out that Trump is very unpopular. He said more than likely the Republican politicians are "appeasing" the president because they will need to work with him. Additionally, they may want the president to appoint some of their friends to office.

Kristol also points out that many of the politicians are scared about primaries. They have reason to fear because the president's base is influential in the primaries and many of them could get knocked out there.

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President makes light of Steve Scalise near death by shooting experience (VIDEO)

Wed, 2017-12-20 22:02

President Trump showed his lack of a moral compass as he joked about Steve Scalise's near-death experience from being shot multiple times.

Donald Trump's insensitive and irresponsible comment to Steve Scalise

When a president discounts the severity of gun violence and its effect directly and indirectly on Americans, it is evident he just does not care. The president started his speech at the White House function celebrating the pilfer of the American people with the passage of the Republican tax cut scam. When he got to Steve Scalise, the Republican Congressman that was shot at a baseball practice session a few months ago. Scalise spent several months in the hospital near death.

"Steve Scalise is braver than all of us," our infantile and irresponsible president said. "He's braver. Where is he? Oh boy, I don't know. He had a; he had a rougher year than most of us, but, it's a hell of a way to lose weight, Steve. You said you lost some. Not a good way. We love you Steve; great job, great job."

Some may remember that even with his injuries and near death experience, Scalise still resisted gun control. Some may also say that gives the president the right to his off-color joke. The reality is that no president should joke about an incident of this type.

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What Awaits Us If Pence Replaces Trump?

Wed, 2017-12-20 15:36

by Michael A. Genovese

Michael A. Genovese is the author of 50 books. He is President of the Global Policy Institute at Loyola Marymount University.

“I’m a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order.” – Mike Pence, Speech to Republican National Convention, 2017

When (and if) Donald J. Trump leaves office – via impeachment, criminal indictment and conviction, resignation, or the 25th amendment – Mike Pence, his Vice President will become President. Mike Pence does not have a secret agenda – he is all out there: “My Christian faith is at the very heart of who I am,” he said during one of the vice presidential debates. And he means that. Welcome to Christian Theocracy.

When Margaret Atwood’s book A Handmaid’s Tale was converted into a much- watched television series, liberal commentators pointed out that this dystopian nightmare was a fable of life in Donald Trump’s America. They were wrong. Trump’s version of A Handmaid’s Tale would have been filmed at the Playboy Mansion, and would have been full of men grabbing women by the “p****.” No, A Handmaid’s Tale was a horror story of life in Mike Pence’s America.

Trump and Pence are “almost comically mismatched” and while Pence casts his eyes adoringly at Trump in public, the President has taken to humiliating his vice president, openly mocking his religiosity and asking people who have met with Pence “Did Mike make you Pray?”

Pence, whose childhood nickname was “Bubbles,” was raised as a Roman Catholic. During college he became a conservative evangelical Christian. To Pence, secularism is the enemy. In Congress he supported criminalizing abortion, supported “personhood” legislation that would give constitutional protection to fetuses at the point of conception (it is sometimes said that for Republicans, life begins at conception and ends at birth), voted to criminally punish doctors who performed late-term abortions, tried to defund Planned Parenthood, said that global climate change is a “myth,” worked against equal rights for homosexuals, declared that legalizing gay marriage signaled “societal collapse,” opposed efforts to widen hate crime laws to apply to attacks on LBGTQ+ persons, tried to block federal funding for HIV treatments unless they included a requirement to advise against gay relationships, opposed gays serving in the military, and declared that education should teach evolution only as a “theory” and that such teaching must include the theory of “intelligent design.”

As the governor of Indiana Pence signed the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The law allowed private businesses to refuse service to those whose lifestyle they objected to on religious grounds (LGBTQ+). Advocates of the law said it protected religious freedom. Shortly after it became law, business leaders pressured the state to eliminate the law. Pence also signed a bill that required fetal tissue from abortions to be buried or cremated. He also signed an executive order barring the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Indiana.

As vice president Pence has been hosting a Bible-study group for members of the Trump cabinet. The study group is led by pastor Ralph Drollinger, who in 2004 wrote that “Women with children at home, who either serve in public office, or are employed on the outside, pursue a path that contradicts God’s revealed design for them. It is a sin.” Drollinger also characterizes Catholicism as “a false religion” and believes that a wife must “submit” to the husband.

Pence is an ardent adherent of “the Billy Graham rule,” a rule adopted by some evangelical pastors and business executives. In an effort to avoid temptation, followers of the rule who want to both appear to be, and to be above reproach, avoid “. . . every appearance of evil.” After several prominent evangelical pastors gave in to the temptations of the flesh and had sexual relations with women (leading to scandals and fall) some men decided that it was unwise to be alone with women. Pence embraces this rule, admitting that “he never eats alone with a woman other than his wife.” He even refuses to attend events where alcohol is served unless he is with his wife.

Apart from this being an admission of personal weakness (Oscar Wilde once said that he could “resist everything except temptation”), observance of this rule is a clear exclusion of women from full participation in political life. This led The Onion to lead its story on Pence’s Billy Graham rule with the headline: “Mike Pence asks waiter to remove Mrs. Butterworth From Table Until Wife Arrives”.

Following the Billy Graham rule means that women are treated as sexual temptresses, as objects of danger and sin. It also excludes women from important meetings at work simply because they are women. Women are not only made into second-class citizens, not only prevented from equal opportunity in the workforce, but they are possessors of the evil powers of sex that mere men cannot resist. Imagine if you will, that the tables were turned, and a female CEO followed this same rule only preventing men from full participation. Working late? Send the men home. Business lunch? No men allowed.

Some liberal commentators worry that a President Pence might be a more competent version of President Trump, that he would actually be able to work with a Republican Congress and get major legislation passed. While more politically experienced than Trump, it should be remembered that in his twelve years in Congress, Mike Pence did not author a single bill that was enacted into law. Hope springs eternal.

But the real danger of a Pence presidency is how seriously he takes the radical “religious” right’s wish list, and how he might try to impose a narrow set of religious rules on a wary population. Pence believes he is in possession of God’s Truth, and why let a pesky Constitution, or an annoying Bill of Rights stand in the way of God’s will? Heaven help us.

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Yes, America, There is a Class War, and You Just Lost It

Wed, 2017-12-20 12:45

by Juan Cole

The Republican Party did not just overhaul the tax code and they did not cut “your” taxes. They engineered a coup against the middle and working classes and they threw enormous amounts of public money to private billionaires and multi-millionaires.

Americans do not understand this sort of con game because mostly they don’t understand social class. They often don’t even believe in the latter. But really, not all households in the US are equal. Some have more income than others. Some have more power than others. And as with the Trumps, that wealth and power can be passed on to the next generation.

We’re not all middle class. That would make a mockery of the word “middle,” which implies that there are lower and upper classes. Some of us are working class, some are middle class, some are upper middle class, and some are rich. Policies that help the rich by cutting their taxes do not help the working and middle classes. They actively harm the latter by making less money available for government services and by devaluing the dollar.

The Republican Party mainly represents the rich. It also reaches out to rural people and claims to help them, but it is all lies. It mainly represents the rich.

Alabama routinely votes Republican. Alabama is one of the poorest states in the country. The Republicans aren’t actually doing anything for Alabama, except maybe making them feel good about themselves by buttering them up, or indulging them in their weird idea that fundamentalist Christianity should dictate social policy to 320 million Americans, who do not share those values.

The rich in the United States use American highways, and American wifi, and depend on the FBI to keep them from getting kidnapped. But they don’t want to pay for those things. They want you to pay for them even though they use them much more. I get angry when I see those trucks on the highway with the sign that they payed $9277 in tolls and fees last year to be on the highway. Trucks are the ones that tear up the highways and force us to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to rebuild. Their fees and tolls don’t come close to paying for the damage they do. So the costs are offloaded.

Onto us?

Onto us.

There are about 126 million households in the United States. One percent of them would be 1.26 million households. That is about the size of the city of Los Angeles. There are one hundred groups of 1.26 million households in the US, i.e. 100 Los Angeleses worth of households. Those one hundred groups are not equal in wealth. The bottom 100th of American households doesn’t have a pot to pee in.

The Republican Party slavishly serves the top 1.26 million households. That’s who they report to. That’s who sent them to Congress, through their campaign donations. They don’t care about you and they did not just now do you any favors.

The wealthiest one percent owns about 38 percent of the privately held wealth in the United States. In the 1950s, the top 1% only owned about 25 percent of the privately held wealth. A Republican was in the White House, Dwight Eisenhower. He was not a left wing guy. But he worried about corporations combining with government officials to become way more powerful. The last time wealth inequality was this high was just before the Great Depression. Think about that.

Americans’ wealth amounts to about $88 trillion. If you divided up all the privately held wealth equally, every household in the US would be worth $698,000. That is, they’d all have their own home plus substantial investments.

But needless to say, the wealth isn’t divided up equally. The top ten percent of households, 12.6 million households own 76% of the privately held wealth. That is, 10 of our notional 100 Los Angeleses own three-fourths of the wealth.

So just to be clear, of our 100 Los Angeleses worth of households, 90 of them own only 24 percent of the wealth.

So how did the top one percent go from having 25% of the privately held wealth to having 38%?

In some large part, it was tax policy. In the Eisenhower administration the top marginal tax rate was 91%, and the highest bracket of earners paid 90% in income tax. Progressive income tax was intended to keep the society from getting too out of kilter and to prevent wealth from becoming concentrated in a few hands.

There is no evidence, zero, that these tax policies hurt economic growth or hampered job creation.

Eisenhower’s tax policy was repealed over time, especially by Ronald Reagan. Reagan pulled the familiar scam of promising that tax cuts would pay for themselves by encouraging entrepreneurs to invest and to hire.

Instead, the government deficit ballooned (that’s what happens if you cut taxes but leave spending programs in place) .

And not only were all boats not lifted by Reagan’s rising tide, most of them were sunk. The average wage of an average worker is not higher now than it was in 1970.

The economy has grown enormously since 1970. So if workers did not get a share in the newly created wealth, who has it?

The 1%?

The 1%.

Think about tax policy as a snowblower aimed at a single point. Snow builds up at the point where the snowblower is facing. If you keep aiming at that point as you clean the snow, you’ll get an enormous hill of snow. There will be no snow to speak of on the driveway. There will just be an artificial mountain.

© 2017 Juan Cole

Juan Cole teaches Middle Eastern and South Asian history at the University of Michigan. His new book, The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation Is Changing the Middle East (Simon and Schuster), will officially be published July 1st. He is also the author of Engaging the Muslim Worldand Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East (both Palgrave Macmillan). He has appeared widely on television, radio and on op-ed pages as a commentator on Middle East affairs, and has a regular column at Salon.com. He has written, edited, or translated 14 books and has authored 60 journal articles. His weblog on the contemporary Middle East is Informed Comment.

This article originally appeared here.

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Christian school teacher caught in bed with student arrested (VIDEO)

Tue, 2017-12-19 15:55

This teacher sleeping with a student at her Christian school highlights an inconvenient reality. Many parents spend their hard earned dollars, sometimes at great hardship to enroll in private Christian "places of learning" with the expectation of isolation from morals they don't like. The reality is that they hurt the public system for a moral fallacy.

Christian Schools do not isolate children from the realities of society while it siphons necessary funds from public schools in many cases. Teacher-student sex abuse if not an epidemic is coming to light from all corners.

The Roseburg News-Review reports the following.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Springfield Christian school teacher last week for allegedly having sexual contact with a student.

The woman, Andrea Nicole Baber, 29, was arrested by deputies on Friday at her home, which has a Cottage Grove postal code but is located near Curtin in Douglas County.

According to deputies, Baber allegedly began a “sexual relationship” with a 15-year-old male student in 2016, which continued “on a regular basis.” Deputies said Baber also provided the minor with marijuana and alcohol, according to court documents.

The allegations were first reported to law enforcement last week after the boy’s father received an anonymous email asking whether he knew his teenage son was having sexual contact with Baber, according to court documents. Attached to the email were several photos of Baber and the boy in bed together.

According to court documents, Baber and the teenager were caught in bed by Baber’s husband on Dec. 5.

On Dec. 15, deputies arrested Baber on suspicion of third-degree rape, third-degree sodomy, contributing to the sexual delinquency of a minor, first-degree online sexual corruption of a minor and unlawful delivery of marijuana to a person under 18 years of age.

These types of stories serve the purpose of breaking the facade in a non-hypothetical manner for those who buy into what many of these schools are selling, underpaid, many times unqualified teachers teaching our most precious resource, our children to enrich a few as they claim the Lord. Religious learning belongs in the church and secular education in public schools. That is how we maximize necessary and optional instructing of everyone.

(h/t Rawstory)

 

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Morning Joe FAIL: Allows GOP Congressman to spin Republican tax cut scam (VIDEO)

Tue, 2017-12-19 12:17

Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX) appeared on Morning Joe. Some may view the panel hammering him on carried interest showed good journalism. They failed. They did not ask the right questions in the proper context, and Brady ended the interview unscathed. They should have asked them like this.

Kevin Brady spun out of ill-prepared questions on GOP tax cut scam

A message to Morning Joe, most Americans don't care about carried interest until they first understand that it is stealing from them in several ways. The media allows the Republicans to drive the narrative.

It was evident that Congressman Brady intended to spin. They are asking him the wrong questions. It’s not about giving tax breaks to wealthy people; it is about theft from the masses.

Morning Joe should have told the listeners how much carried interest adds up to and ask the congressman why increasing the deficit by that amount, which the masses will pay for in interest on the debt and cuts in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and infrastructure is not class warfare.

This type of spinning went on for nine minutes. It was "Mission Accomplished" by the Republican spin machine. While this bill, this tax cut scam will further steal from Americans, the GOP narrative unchecked could turn this boondoggle into a qualified political success in the long run.

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A powerful take on the fight against sexism and misogyny (VIDEO)

Mon, 2017-12-18 13:49

Listening to Rudy Francisco recite his poem had multiple effects. I knew others would get it and decided to share with several asks. I did not want to dive into the subject and get it wrong. An astute feminist and activist caught wind of it and had much to say.

His take on sexism and misogyny in poetry piercing

I attached the following lede my Facebook post.

The message is profound but requires you to think through two levels of indirection, IMHO. Guys, do you get. it? Women, can you demand they force it into their psyche?

I love what is occurring now as women stand-up against sexism, misogyny, sexual harassment, and rape. But will too many acquiesce to the past? The status quo? Trump, Moore, Weinstein, Simmons, how to evaluate the complicities in the decades of their behavior? After all, don't they have support from a lot of women? Why did they succeed as comparable good men didn't? The psyche of the oppressed? Do I dear say the complicity of the oppressed at times? Why?

OK, I'm done. Some things I want to say will get me in trouble so I must wait till I've thought it out and eliminate all degrees of freedom in the argument.

A feminist friend Elaine Kimzey sealed the deal with this comment.

OK. I can say it since I'm a card-carrying feminist, a veteran of the 70's-8o's women's movement. This man has the courage to make himself vulnerable and speak of his journey toward equality. There are many other men, of varying shades of skin color, who have similar stories. His words are brutal for a woman to hear, but they describe a reality.

Women have had a journey, too. There was a time when I accepted the supposed fact that men were only really interested in one thing so that I would need to be very careful not to attract too much of that kind of attention. But on the other hand, a woman wasn't really a woman if she wasn't attractive to men, and was pretty much worthless. (Catch 22).

So I played along - for a while, as best I could, walking that tightrope. But I wanted to be in places other than the bedroom. So I went along with the jokes, made excuses for some men's behavior, still "saving myself" for the husband I would one day have. I hoped I would find him because everyone knew that being "an old maid" was a fate worse than death.

When the "girls" got together, we talked about men, and not in a good way. How awful they were, how they were really stupid about some things, how to "manage" them, etc. Yes, I was an enabler in that massive societal dysfunction. It was a complicated time for both men and women. However, down deep inside, many of us, men and women, felt something was amiss. So we dug out those feelings and aired them. LOTS of anger! (Consciousness raising we called it).

Turns out we had a lot of male allies, and they began to examine their attitudes and feelings and values as well. So we worked together to change some laws and some customs. Lots of changes in attitudes, but the job was not finished at that time. Attitudes continued to be a problem. Truth: some men are still really sexist (the word we used back in that day). And some women are still really sexist. (Generally derogatory about men.).

We're all still learning. And the time has come for another round of improvements. We'll all be better for it eventually - IF we're all willing to be vulnerable to the truth in ourselves and each other. It takes courage, but it's worth it in the long run. It also takes respect. And the ability to forgive and move forward.

It is unnecessary to say more. What are your thoughts?

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Examine Russia but Americans must examine their pathology for electing Trump

Mon, 2017-12-18 12:25

Today I read a striking editorial in the Los Angeles Times. While it will seem like a condemnation of Trump as it acknowledged the fact that he is a con man, the culprits are the American people. The editorial weaves the authors country of origin and America's role in corrupting their elections and the disastrous consequences as a proffer.

Americans must look internally to understand why Russia and other externalities could allow them to elect a racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, sexist con man. Ariel Dorfman, the author of "Homeland Security Ate My Speech" and the forthcoming novel "Darwin's Ghosts," wrote a piercing Los Angeles Times op-ed titled "America still hasn't reckoned with the election of a reckless con man as president" that all should read.

Ariel Dorfman believes that Russia did corrupt the 2016 election. However, Russia is not responsible for Trump as many currently believe. He writes the following.

The psychic, intellectual and emotional energy expended on this issue would be better employed, I believe, by addressing a more fundamental concern: What was it, what is it, in our American soul that allowed the Russians to be successful?

Those were not Russians voting in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, handing the election to the Republican candidate by a bit more than 80,000 votes. They were American men and women. As were the 62,984,825 others who decided that such a troublesome, inflammatory figure expressed their desires and dreams. Trump could be impeached or resign, or his policies could simply implode under the weight of their malice, divisiveness and mendacity, and the country would still be defined and pressed by the same conditions and dread that enabled his rise. America would still need to engage in a process of national self-scrutiny to fathom how such a nightmare could have been avoided, how it can be prevented from happening again.

Dorfman points out that the natives of his country, Chile, succumbed to the same type of tactics. This time it was the United States of America who instigated the overthrow of the democratically elected social and economic justice president, Salvador Allender and installed the brutal dictator, General Augusto Pinochet. He said for a long time Chile blamed America's intervention for Pinochet. Not until they self-reflected did their democracy thrive again.

It took many years for the self-criticism to bear fruit, but without it the followers of Allende could never have built a coalition with the Christian Democrats, many of whose members were fierce opponents of the revolution’s radical measures. They had at first thoughtlessly welcomed the coup. Our coalition beat Pinochet in a 1988 plebiscite and then voted into office a center-left president two years later. Since then, Chile has organized five more presidential elections. Yet another will take place Sunday, and whatever its outcome, Chileans can be certain that our democracy is robust enough not to be fooled by foreign intelligence agencies.

Dorfman prescription diagnosis and his prescription are one we would do well to heed.

Now, every desperate American must gaze in the mirror and interrogate the puzzled face and puzzling fate that stares back: What did I do or not do that made the cataclysm possible? Did I ignore past transgressions that corrode today’s society: the discrimination, the sexism, the violence, the authoritarianism, the intolerance, the imperial ambitions, the slavery and greed and persecutions that have darkened America’s story? Did I overestimate the strength of our democracy and underestimate the decency of my neighbors? Was I too fearful, too complacent, too impatient, too angry? Whom did I not talk to, whom did I not persuade? What privilege and comforts, what overwork and debts, kept me from giving my all? What injustice or humiliation or bigoted remark did I witness and let pass? How can I help to recover our country, make it once more recognizable, make it luminous and forgiving?

We must vigorously protest the president’s craven actions, but above all we need to acknowledge that what ultimately matters is not what a foreign power did to America, but what America did to itself. The crucial question of what is wrong with our country, what could have driven us to this edge of catastrophe, cannot be resolved by a special counsel or a Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives or spectacular revelations about Russia’s interference.

I had a similar sentiment for some time and wrote about it. A few weeks ago I wrote the following "Put the Russia story on the periphery & tackle our real problems now."

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Robert Reich: The Triumph of the Oligarchs

Mon, 2017-12-18 00:27

“The American people have waited 31 long years to see our broken tax code overhauled,” the leaders of the Koch’s political network insisted in a letter to members of Congress recently, urging swift approval of the Republican tax plan.

They added that the time had come to put “more money in the pockets of American families.”

Please. The Koch network doesn’t care a fig about the pockets of American families. It cares about the pockets of the Koch network.

It has poured money into almost every state in an effort to convince Americans that the tax cut will be good for them. Yet most Americans don’t believe it.

Polls show only about a third of Americans favor the tax plan. The vast majority feel it’s heavily skewed to the rich and big businesses – which it is.

In counties that Trump won but Obama carried in 2012, only 17 percent say they expect to pay less in taxes, according to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Another 25 percent say they expected their family would actually pay higher taxes.

Most Americans know what’s going on. The tax plan is payback for major Republican donors. Gary Cohn, Trump’s lead economic advisor, conceded in an interview, “the most excited group out there are big CEOs, about our tax plan.”

Republican Rep. Chris Collins admitted “my donors are basically saying, ‘Get it done or don’t ever call me again.’”

As Sen. Lindsey Graham warned, if Republicans failed to pass the tax plan, “the financial contributions will stop.”

By passing it, Republican donors will save billions – paying a lower top tax rate, doubling the amount their heirs can receive tax-free, and treating themselves as “pass-through” businesses able to deduct 20 percent of their income (effectively allowing Trump to cut his tax rate in half, if and when he pays taxes).

They’ll make billions more as their stock portfolios soar because corporate taxes are slashed.

The biggest winners by far will be American oligarchs such as the Koch brothers; Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley investor; Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino magnate; Woody Johnson, owner of the New York Jets football team and heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune; and Carl Icahn, the activist investor.

The oligarchs are the richest of the richest 1 percent. They’ve poured hundreds of millions into the GOP and Trump. Half of all contributions to the first phase of the 2016 election came from just 158 families, along with the companies they own or control.

The giant tax cut was their core demand. They also want to slash regulations, repeal the Affordable Care Act, and cut everything else government does except for defense – including Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security.

In return, they’ve agreed to finance Trump and the GOP, and mount expensive public relations campaigns that magnify their lies.

Trump has fulfilled his end of the bargain. He’s blinded much of his white working-class base to what’s happening by means of his racist, xenophobic rants and policies.

The American oligarchs couldn’t care less about what this costs America.

Within their gated estates and private jets, they’re well insulated from the hatefulness and divisiveness,

They don’t worry about whether Social Security or Medicare will be there for them in their retirement because they’ve put away huge fortunes.

Climate change doesn’t concern them because their estates are fully insured against hurricanes, floods, and wildfires.

They don’t care about public schools because their families don’t attend them. They don’t care about public transportation because they don’t use it. They don’t care about the poor because they don’t see them.

They don’t worry about the rising budget deficit because they borrow directly from global capital markets.

Truth to tell, they don’t even care that much about America, because their personal and financial interests are global.

They are living in their own separate society, and they want Congress and the President to represent them, not the rest of us.

The Republican Party is their vehicle. Fox News is their voice. Trump is their champion. The new tax plan is their triumph.

But if polls showing most Americans against the tax cut are any guide, that triumph may be short-lived. Americans are catching on.

The recent electoral results in Virginia and Alabama offer further proof.

A tidal wave of public loathing is growing across the land – toward Trump, the GOP, and the oligarchs they serve; and to the deception, the wealth, and the power that underlies them.

That wave could crash in the midterm elections of 2018. If so, the current triumph of the oligarchs will be their undoing.

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This is the problem with Democrats and we better fix it quickly

Sun, 2017-12-17 12:34

After reading a piece from Shaun King, I wrote the blog post titled "Do Democrats talk the talk while Republicans walk the walk." It was meant to grab one's attention with some inconvenient facts the Democratic Party Establishment needs to examine. SNL Michael Che coincidentally did a skit that amusingly illustrated the issue.

I posted the SNL skit on Facebook. I got the following comment from a reader.

False claim. If black voters had stood up for candidates working for the voters best interest, and it is the Democrats. Che is trying his best to take swipes at Democrats while not acknowledging how bad the Republicans are. This should not be about a grudge match being fostered by divisive forces and is not surprising. What surprises me is that when the Democrats finally get some wind at their backs in Republican-held areas, Che decides to spur in their face. Shame on him for doing so. Voting is a responsibility. Use it or lose it.

I found the response concerning and responded with, the following comment.

You are exhibit A my friend. Blacks make up 26% of the registered voters in Alabama. They've instituted voter ID which hampers many to vote. With all of that, blacks made up 30% of the voters in the Jones race. 98% of black women and I believe 93% of black men voted for Jones, the Democrat. 72% of whites voted for Moore, the pedophile. Your statement " If black voters had stood up for candidates working for the voters best interest" seems misplaced not only in this election but in all elections since Nixon. Don't you think? Blacks vote disproportionately for Democrats for the reason you state. I think if more whites would shame whites voting against their own interests instead of white Democrats shaming the few blacks who don't we could make progress. Let's always be fact-based in our criticisms.

The commenter then clarified his message with the following comment.

My comments are in response to Che and his attacks on the Democrats. There was no shortage of blacks in Alabama interviewed saying nothing will change. But it did because others turned out more than the had for Obama. The shame belongs on the pessimism expressed by Che and others on this conversation. I have plenty of criticism for those who vote against self interest, as well as those who sit home and blame everyone else for not voting. My criticism is fact-based and goes across the color spectrum. But neither Che nor anyone else is above being called out on BS.

I accept the clarification, but I think that he missed the gist of my comment. He may not have noticed his initial comment was quick to put a more significant burden on a sect when their sin is orders of magnitude less in voting against our interests. It is easy to discount but not so if you are a person of color. The sins of a few in the majority population but supported by that majority has harmed people of color in ways that seem trivial to many, and it is long-lasting. One cannot now ask them to be the carriers of said burden. My response had less to do with politics and more with the nature of how many think which implicitly creates the problem we see that permeates both parties. However because the Democratic Party has its glorious moral Democratic Party Platform, they do not try as hard to mitigate it's social, justice, and racial failures. This act must be intentional for there to be change.

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