Egberto Willies

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A Democratic Socialist’s election in Trump country a lesson for Progressives

Wed, 2017-12-06 16:16

For too long the Democratic Party has been trying to clip the wings of Progressives. Here is the fact, Americans want progressive policies. We have allowed the plutocracy to conflate issues, where Americans voted against their interests. 2018 requires the reorientation to reality, and this Democratic Socialist win in Trump country, and others say much.

Bill Clinton's DLC missed the point on economic populism. If a Democratic Socialist can win in a place, Trump won by 5 points., a reevaluation must occur. Moving the Democratic Party to the right was never the real answer. The answer was always to speak directly to the needs of the people instead of the manufactured angst deliberately pushed by the plutocracy via the Powell Manifesto and operatives in both parties to maintain the status quo. Remember, an intersection of many in the plutocracy fund them both.

Isaiah Poole wrote an article about Ross Grooters, the Democratic Socialist who won a seat on the Pleasant Hill City Council. Yes, it's a local race but don't you think if it were a TEA Party person who won a seat in a place where he was unlikely to succeed it would make news?

Indeed, it has been a long, strange trip for Grooters. After growing up as an “Air Force brat” in a conservative California family in the 1980s, this November, Grooters was elected to the Pleasant Hill City Council as a card-carrying member of the Democratic Socialists of America, having run on an openly left-wing platform.

Grooters’ victory this year came in a town that in 2016 voted for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton by a five-point margin, showing that even in a Republican-leaning area, socialists can win elections.

And it is happening elsewhere. What was Grooters' platform?

His city council campaign reflected many of the issues that he says animate him personally: the struggles working-class families like his own face with stagnant wages and rising health care costs, the anti-immigrant fervor dividing his community and a clean water battle that is pitting Iowa families against powerful corporate agricultural interests.

Grooters ran on a pledge to fight for a higher minimum wage in the face of a state ordinance that prohibits counties and municipalities from raising their minimum wage above Iowa’s state-wide minimum of $7.25 an hour. He also promised to battle corporate agribusinesses as they try to weaken regulations designed to stem the seepage of fertilizer and animal waste into streams and groundwater, as well as to sponsor a resolution designating Pleasant Hill a “welcoming community.” During the campaign, he spoke out against the Trump administration’s attempts to compel local law enforcement to help round up and deport undocumented immigrants.

The most important statement Grooters made is one every Progressive must heed.

Grooter’s bottom-line advice for progressive and left candidates running on a bold people-centered platform in traditionally Republican districts? “I would say don’t be afraid to run as what you are and what you believe in. Find a way to connect those issues to what everybody in the community is feeling, and I think you will do just fine.”

Progressives getting ready to run must get out there. They must show Americans that they will be there fighting for the values they want and support.

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This is why the Trump and Republican tax cut scam will fail miserably

Wed, 2017-12-06 12:39

Many have been knocking the different evil tenets within the Republican tax cut scam to illustrate how bad the bill is for the American people. Most importantly one must show with Republican policy will hurt all working-class poor and middle-class American whether they are Republican or Democrats.

Until one presents the Republican tax cut scam not as a partisan bill but as an evil bill with consequences that will make life untenable, fighting it is a losing battle. Robert Reich did just that in his piece titled "The True Path to Prosperity" that is worth the read.

He first points out the misconception about Republicans being better for one's prosperity.

It’s often thought that Democrats care about fairness and not economic growth, while Republicans care about growth even at the cost of some fairness. Rubbish. Growth and fairness aren’t opposites. In reality, Democrats are the party of economic growth and fairness. Republicans are the party of neither.

Reich then explains why the type of policies like the Affordable Care Act and others that enhance education is the way to build prosperity.

Consider the two biggest legislative initiatives over past decade – the Affordable Care Act, achieved without a single Republican vote, and the current Trump-Republican tax overhaul, speeding ahead without a single Democrat. The ACA extends coverage to 21 million mostly lower-income Americans, including millions of children. ...

But the ACA isn’t just about fairness. Healthier Americans are also more productive workers. Children who receive health care are better learners. The Act thereby fuels economic growth and widens prosperity.

He gives the factual and historical rationale for trickle-down economics failure under both Bush and Reagan. In fact, profits and cash on hand are at all time highs for corporations, and the spoils are not going to those who made the gains but to the shareholders and corporate executives.

Every major study (including Congress’s own Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation) finds that its benefits would go mainly to big corporations and the wealthy. Share prices may rise for a time. They’re already at record highs in anticipation of the tax cut. But higher share prices don’t trickle down, either. The richest 1 percent owns almost 38 percent of the stock market. Eighty percent of Americans together own just 8 percent of all shares of stock. This won’t fuel growth. Corporations expand and invest only when customers are eager to buy what they produce. And most of these customers are middle-income and below, who spend just about all they earn. The rich spend only a small fraction. ...

After the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, economic growth stalled and then dissolved in recession. After the 2004 corporate tax holiday for bringing foreign profits home, corporations didn’t invest or expand. The Reagan tax cut of 1981 didn’t cause wages to rise; they flattened.

And he shows historically that policies that direct more money and services to the poor and middle-class is the way to juice an economy.

What’s the real formula for growth? Better access to education, healthcare, and transportation, all of which make workers more productive. These more productive workers command higher wages. With higher wages, they purchase more goods and services. These purchases motivate companies to expand and invest, and create more and better jobs.

American experienced this virtuous cycle for thirty years after World War II. We invested unprecedented sums in education, healthcare, and infrastructure. We financed these investments through higher taxes on the rich and on big corporations. The economy boomed and wages shot upward. The wages of the bottom fifth rose even faster than the wages of the top fifth. This unleashed consumer spending, which generated more growth.

The Clinton administration tried this formula on a much smaller scale in the 1990s, raising taxes on the top and investing in education and infrastructure. The economy boomed, 23 million new jobs were created, and for the first time since the late 1970s the typical American’s wage rose.

It is essential that Americans understand we tried both types of policies in the last several decades. The only one that has worked successfully is ensuring that the poor and middle-class is "protected" against the defect in capitalism that inherently extracts wealth from the masses to for the enrichment of the few. The government, we the people, imposing taxes and redistributing that money to infrastructure, education, and health is the only solution to mitigate the failures of capitalism. Understanding this concept is not rocket science. It is economic history and math.

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This Republican deserve respect for this but scorn for something else

Tue, 2017-12-05 20:08

It is easy to have courage when one no longer has to answer to a sect within one's party that has lost all sense of morality and decency. Republican Jeff Flake's symbolic act required little coverage but may convince a few Republicans to stop for a second to see if their moral compass will reset and not vote a pedophile into office.

Republican Jeff Flake's check to Democratic Alabama Senatorial Candidate Doug Jones

Jeff Flake is showing a welcomed faux courage as he goes against his party for one moral issue but fails miserably on something that will hurt millions. He sent the following tweet.

"Country over Party"

Country over Party pic.twitter.com/JZMTaEYdxQ

— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) December 5, 2017

So Senator Jeff Flake sends Alabama's Democratic Senatorial candidate Doug Jones a campaign contribution. The idea is to show that a Republican will support a Democrat to ensure that a pedophile, Roy Moore, the Republican opponent does not get into office. This act is a commendable gesture. The thing is, Flake is not running for reelection. He is leaving the Senate. One can be very courageous when one need not worry about immediate reelection.

If Jeff Flake wants to show that he believes in the country over party, the American citizens over party, he would not have voted for the Republican tax cut scam. Attempting to keep a pedophile out of the Senate is important. But Roy Moore is only one Senator who individually wields little power to affect the entire country.

The Republican tax cut scam hurts millions and will kill millions every year. If Flake wants to show courage, he should never have voted for the bill. He still has time to determine if his tweet "Country over Party" is true. But don't hold your breath. Flake will likely run for another office down the road. His base will forgive him after this election cycle. The Plutocracy, however, would make an example out of him for voting against the bill by ensuring he has little funds to work with for any subsequent run for office. They have everlasting memories.

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Response from a Facebook friend should concern Progressives for 2018

Tue, 2017-12-05 15:49

I have several thousand followers of all ideological persuasions. I watch the pulse of these FB friends for trends, direction, and sometimes an indication of the narrative I need to put out to get the truth through the clutter of misinformation.

I recently wrote the following Facebook post below. The intent was to softly jar but empower by reminding how Progressives moved this country forward.

Americans have gone soft and gullible. I hope it is temporary and just in need of a jolt. I am an immigrant from Panamá. We always viewed America, even with its original sin, as a people who always fought back and who got what they wanted. Hell, as wrong as it was, they wanted a canal built and extracted Panamá out of Colombia with its gunboat diplomacy to do it.

Americans stopped tolerating crap from within and without on the streets and generally won. Republican politicians and some Establishment Democrats are currently a clear and present danger to the economic wellbeing of every poor, middle-class, working-class American. Yet we just take it?

Please folks, let’s refortify our spines. This is not the time to accept politicians whose policies are dictated by their plutocratic masters to continue taking from us.

Do you feel so impotent that you are simply willing to accept a continual slide? I don’t, and you shouldn’t. And you should not allow others to feel impotent. There are more of us than the pilferers. Check out my latest article https://egbertowillies.com/2017/12/03/wake-people-streets-tax-cut-scam/. And please share. That is the only way independent media gets seen or heard, well assuming we also fight to maintain Net Neutrality.

Most of the responses were decidedly positive. But one response from a long time Progressive follower surprised me. She wrote the following.

So sick of being lumped with and criticized for being "American" especially by recent immigrant. I have lost respect for you. I am disgusted with the current political climate and as an old woman have done and are doing what I can for a change. I don't need to listen to you and support you at KPFT at least for a while. Maybe I'll get over it and maybe I won't. Goodbye. No reply will be read.

There is more to that message than meets the eye. I tried to address it in the response I left for her copied below. But her reaction is a canary in the mine I hope many Progressives see.

Mary W., your response surprised me. Firstly, I am an immigrant and an American. My post's intent was to empower by reminding what American's have been able to accomplish collectively. And can again if we get out of our comfort zone we've stayed in because many thought the job was accomplished.

Your tone and analysis are indicative of something I speak about. Good people being infected by a certain narrative that gets triggered when those considered the other, make a less than placating statement or provide advice that implies some are not necessarily living up to who we should be.

Trump's infectious narrative has been effective to sub-sects in every ideology. To those reading, this response, Progressives who believe that 2018 is a slam dunk, rest assured that many allies will get triggered at times of stress and disappoint with commentaries and possibly their vote. The virus has been planted in the psyche of many whose renascent or nascent prejudices break the surface.

I wrote a piece several weeks ago I urge friends, allies, and foes alike to read titled "White Progressives: Are you our friends? Are you our allies? Really? Then …" that I think is very important. Another one titled "It makes sense for Progressives to go after the Trump voter also" has the following message I hope is heeded. It may not seem to fit this post, but it does in many ways.

In short, we should go after the Trump voter as hard as we go after the non-voters. Believing that in a country where race plays a significant role, that somehow people of color won't have to worry about mitigating white racism, is flawed thinking. You see, racism is contagious. And today's white allies under ideal conditions could succumb to the contagion. Progressives must go after every voter with a passion irrespective of race and not fall into the trap of what the electorate in states like Virginia look like or behave today.

I think I needed to explore Mary's response because, for every reaction like that, many reacted with the same emotion who just did not post their ire. We must read the tea leaves.

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MSNBC Ali Velshi nails Republicans on their tax cut scam like no other (VIDEO)

Tue, 2017-12-05 12:32

It has been very disappointing the poor job most journalists have been doing to debunk the GOP lies about their tax cut scam. Velshi & Ruhle are a couple of journalists that's been hard hitting. Velshi, in this clip, shows how one should do these types of critiques.

Ali Velshi's report is journalism in action

Ali Velshi's brought together the story in three discernable segments that made it objective, understandable, and unbiased.

Velshi starts by calling out all the lies that Republicans have been spewing about the tax cut scam.

Call out Republican lies about the tax cut scam
  • It focuses on the middle-class (LIE)
  • It won't benefit the wealthy (LIE)
  • It's terrible for Trump's family fortune (LIE)
  • The tax cut scam will pay for itself (LIE)
  • It will help pay down the national debt (LIE)
  • .4% boost in GDP will pay for the tax cut scam and more (MISLEADING)
Educate Americans with unbiased studies and analysis

Velshi then educates by pointing out that there has been no period in American history where the required GDP boost was sustainable. As such the Republicans are pegging success on something that has never happened, something our economic system is resistant to systemically. He enumerated studies from left-leaning, non-partisan, and right-leaning organizations who all debunked the fallacies emanating from misinforming Republicans. They all show that the Republican tax cut scam explodes the deficit. He then pointed out that 42 leading American economist polled made it clear that the tax cut scam will not grow the economy in such a manner that it pays for itself.

Provide an informed opinion based on the results given the fact

"Tax cuts, any tax cuts, sure sound great," Ali Velshi said. "But if we are going to bust the bank to enact them, we should be honest about what they are going to cost us."

If our journalists did this kind of reporting, Americans would be informed, and politicians would be unable to pull the wool over the heads of most. Ali Velshi has been doing this type of compelling journalism for some time now. Great job Mr. Velshi.

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Chris Matthews nails Trump on Russia: Justice is on the way (VIDEO)

Tue, 2017-12-05 02:19

Chris Mattews deconstructs Trump's actions on Russia. The walls are closing in on the president and he knows it.

Chris Matthews near perfect deconstruction of Trump's Russia problem

Chris Matthews nails Trump on Russia: Justice is on the way (VIDEO) https://t.co/gpzEOAG3U9 pic.twitter.com/62ls9vloyu

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) December 5, 2017

Chris Matthews just about laid out the case against President Donald Trump as it pertains to Russia. It is just a matter of time.

"Justice is grinding its way to Donald Trump," Chris Matthews said. "If he did not collude with Russia during the campaign, how do we exclude all the evidence that he did? How do we exclude this new information today that he personally got the GOP to change its platform regarding Ukraine? Why would an American politician find time in the midst of a presidential campaign on the very eve of the nominating convention to get involved with the geopolitics of Ukraine, specifically, Russia's interest in Ukraine? Why would Trump's top people, his son-in-law being one of them, be commissioning General Michael Flynn to tell the Russian ambassador what he wanted to be done in regard to US sanctions? What he wanted Russia to do with regard to Israel?"

Chris Matthews then goes into the meat of the Russia story.

"Russia! Russia! Russia!" Matthews continues. "It's been the pattern of the year, an American presidential candidate, new to national politics focused again and again, on the interests of Russia. And now in December of his inaugural year, Donald Trump finds himself at war with the US government agency trying to get to the bottom of his Russian entanglement. General Flynn who went on to all those Trump missions to the Russians. He lies to the FBI about it, refusing to admit the nature of his missions. Trump then tries to get the FBI to stop investigating the general. Then fires the FBI director for not doing what he said he must do. This whole Fandango is about Trump and Russia and Trump trying to cover it up. And the most mystifying part of it all is the possibility that he Donald Trump was trying to do something good here, to end the US-Russian course toward a second Cold War. But if that is really the case, why doesn't he just say so?"

Unfortunately, after making the perfect case against Trump, Matthews tries to make it an altruistic act gone wrong. Trump's past behavior does not lend itself to the expression of some interest in an attempt to prevent a second cold war. It is more likely the Russia scandal had its genesis in either a Russia extortion for something they have dangling over Trump's head or a money deal.

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Texas Progressive Alliance Roundup – December 4th, 2017

Mon, 2017-12-04 14:52

The Texas Progressive Alliance wishes everyone Treason's Greetings as it brings you this week's roundup.

Off the Kuff is doing his best to keep up with filing news.

SocraticGadfly discusses three big bits of political news from around the Metroplex area. First, he offers his initial take on Lupe Valdez's possible entry into the Democratic gubernatorial race. Second, he says good-bye and good riddance to Helen Giddings. Third, he offers a bigger good-bye and good riddance to Smokey Joe Barton.

EgbertoWillies.com wants us all to be on the streets and more engaged in combating the Republican tax cut scam.

Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez had a false start to her gubernatorial campaign last week, and once her bid for the Governor's Mansion is official, it will help carry a lot of downballot Democrats to victory, writes PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

Neil at All People Have Value suggested that personhood be taken away from human beings and extended to guns and bullets instead. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.

======================

And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Therese Odell reacts to the Matt Lauer news and the reaction to the Lauer news by Donald Trump.

The Lunch Tray asks you to comment on USDA school nutrition standards.

The TSTA Blog keeps pushing back against school privatization untruths.

RG Ratcliffe stuck a fork in Smokey Joe Barton.

Bill Barker urges haste in adopting a Climate Action Plan.

Keep Austin Wonky offers his proposal for a 2018 City of Austin infrastructure bond.

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Economist Larry Summers: Republican tax cut scam will kill 10,000 (VIDEO)

Mon, 2017-12-04 12:14

The title is not hyperbole. The effects of the Republican tax cut scam is quantifiable, and many have done their diligent research including Larry Summers. It is imperative that Americans activate now to ensure this bill does not see the light of day.

Economist Larry Summers, Treasury secretary under Bill Clinton and White House economic advisor under Barack Obama penned an op-ed in the Washington Post and appeared on CNBC where he articulated the real damage the GOP tax cut scam will cause the country.

Larry Summers on the Republican tax cut scam

Economist Larry Summers: Republican tax cut scam will kill 10,000 (VIDEO) https://t.co/G6hkIuvDgf…-scam-kill-10000/ pic.twitter.com/2U1gWdZerh

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) December 4, 2017

In his op-ed titled "Lawrence Summers: Yes, the Senate GOP tax plan would cause ‘thousands’ to die" Summers first responds to those who believe his comments about the tax cut scam killing Americans was hyperbole.

In reaching my judgment, I relied primarily on work by Kate Baicker, a former colleague now serving as dean of the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy. Kate served on the Council of Economic Advisers during a Republican administration, so I felt that any political bias would operate against the conclusions I drew.

He explained her tenets and then pointed out the following.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the tax bill could reduce insurance coverage by 13 million people, which to be conservative we can round down to 10 million people. Recognizing all the uncertainties — for example, the fact that the group becoming uninsured as a result of the individual mandate repeal probably is healthier than the group Sommers et al. (2014) studied in Massachusetts — if we treat the 176 to 830 range as implying that it is safe to assume that 1,000 more uninsured means one death, the conclusion would follow that the tax bill would result in 10,000 extra deaths per year.

Summers implies that his prediction is on the conservative side.

So, my current judgment is that if anything, my claim that over an unspecified horizon “thousands would die” takes too serene a view of the health consequences of the tax bill.

That Republican policy kills is nothing new. The problem is many fail to articulate it in the graphic terms one should. To be clear, if your plan kills, it is avoidable, and you know it, you are committing murder.

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GOP Senator infers unlike millionaires, working-class waste money on booze & women

Mon, 2017-12-04 03:11

It is incredible how comfortable some Republicans feel. They do not mind disparaging their voters who he infers unlike millionaires, are undeserving of permanent tax cuts because they waste money on booze and women.

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley with his words made it clear what Republican politicians think about working-class America. According to the Huffington Post.

In an astonishing defense of dropping “death taxes” for individual estates worth more than $5.5 million, GOP Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley implied that people not currently affected by that tax are “spending every darn penny ... on booze or women.”

“I think not having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing — as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies,” Grassley told the Des Moines Register in an interview published Saturday. Grassley, who serves on the Finance Committee, made the remark when asked about the Senate tax reform measure which would double the exemption for estates to $11 million for an individual and $22 million for a couple. Heirs would inherit the estates tax-free.

Grassley has some nerve. He must have forgotten that powerful Texas Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX) paid to have a woman he bearly knew to come to Texas and Washington for sex. He must have also forgotten that taxpayers had to pay $84,000 to settle a sexual harassment case against Texas Congressman Blake Farenthold.

It is imperative that the Trump supporters, the Right Wing voters, the Conservative voters, the Evangelical voters precisely see what Republicans think about them when they are speaking to others.

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Patriotic Millionaires on tax scam: A Stab In the Heart to The American Dream

Sun, 2017-12-03 18:07

The Patriotic Millionaires released a harsh statement condemning the Senate's passage of the Trump and the Republicans tax cut scam. I've interviewed the Chairman of this organization several times. While I do not agree with all of his precepts he is a good man and this organization is an important one not in completely mitigating income inequality but moderating it. The reality is that it's a systemic defect in our economic system that guarantees the permanency of both income and wealth inequality.

Check out those interviews here, here, and here.

For Immediate Release

"A Stab In the Heart to The American Dream"

Washington, DC - Today, members of the Patriotic Millionaires tore into Republican Senators for passing the so-called Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which piles mountains of debt onto the country to pay for tax cuts for millionaires and wealthy corporations.

“This bill is a national embarrassment,” said former Blackrock executive Morris Pearl, Chair of the Patriotic Millionaires. “It is anathema to everything the country was founded on. When the government allows dynastic wealth and multinational corporations to dictate the terms of our economy, everyone else suffers. This bill will be a disaster for millions of hardworking American families, devastating both their bank accounts and their health, all in the name of tax cuts for the wealthy. It is no exaggeration to say this bill is one of the most miserable pieces of legislation to ever pass through the Senate, and its supporters should be ashamed of what they did today. This is nothing less than a stab in the heart to the American Dream.”

“This bill is nothing more than a disgraceful attempt to take from the poor and the middle class of this country to give to the rich. Millions of Americans are going to be hurt by this bill, whether it’s because of higher taxes or unaffordable health insurance. Today’s vote sends a clear signal to the American people that they don’t matter to their Senators, that the only thing that’s important to this bill’s supporters are campaign contributions. The loss of the medical expense deduction and the student loan interest deduction are particularly cruel, targeting both those who are most vulnerable and those who are just looking to build a better life for themselves through education,” said Patriotic Millionaire Karen Stewart, retired professor of finance and accounting.

If this tax bill becomes law, millions of Americans will have been condemned to poverty and sickness by the very Senators who are supposed to represent them. This vote was a grotesque reminder that for many in the Senate, their constituents matter less than the steady flow of campaign contributions from billionaire donors. I just hope that the people who are buying into the “it is all for the working class” story the Republicans are telling will you remember in November of 2018 and 2020 who passed this. This bill will benefit people like me to the tune of 100’s of thousands of dollars in lower taxes all on the back of our children in bigger deficits and the working class in higher taxes,” said Vice Chair of the Patriotic Millionaires Stephen Prince, founder, and CEO of Card Marketing Services, Inc.

"The Senate today voted to add at least another trillions to the national debt in order to provide massive tax cuts for corporations and rich people. This bill should be called the ‘Cut, cut, cut Donald Trump's Taxes Act,’ because it will save Trump and his family billions of dollars while 13 million Americans lose their health insurance," said Patriotic Millionaire Eric Schoenberg.

“This tax bill will cause a massive transfer of wealth in our country; moving trillions from the poor and the middle class to the pockets of billionaires and wealthy corporations. It is economically ludicrous and morally reprehensible. This bill was unpopular for a reason - the American people should not accept tax ‘reform’ that only helps the rich and creates growing inequality,” said Patriotic Millionaire George Zimmer, founder of Men’s Wearhouse and Generation Tux.

To schedule an interview or for further comment, please contact Sam Quigley at sam@patrioticmillionaires.org.

 

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WAKE UP PEOPLE: We should be in the streets against this tax cut scam (VIDEO)

Sun, 2017-12-03 16:06

Americans need to stop being so complacent about the tax cut scam that President Trump and Republicans are attempting to impose on them. We must earn our freedom. We cannot keep it with an apathetic attitude.

When your local Progressive organizations (Indivisible, Our Revolution, etc.) put out actions, you must participate, with your body if possible.  Forget the Republican spin on their tax cut scam. It isn't even about the deficit. It is deeper than that. It is about the theft of our country's treasure.

It is false that expanded economic activity will pay for the tax cut. Not even Republicans believe that lie. How do we know that? When Senator Corker asked to put in an amendment that will reverse the taxes if there wasn't sufficient economic activity to pay for the tax cut, Republicans rejected it. Why refuse said change if one believes the increased economic activity would occur. No competent economist agrees with Republicans. And guess what, they tried this to a lesser extent in the Reagan years, and he exploded the deficit like no previous president.

But Republican politicians show their lack of morality and the evil behind the tax cut scam in other ways. The tax cuts for corporations are permanent. But the tax cuts for the middle-class and poor, for those who are lucky to get them, are temporary.

Even more draconian, states throughout the country have been cutting education budgets. For decades, teachers have been supplementing these cuts by purchasing supplies for their classrooms. They were able to deduct these on their taxes. But now, while Republican-led states continue to cut education spending with impunity, they also want to prevent underpaid teachers from deducting their classroom expenses. Do remember, at the same time, the wealthy can deduct the costs associated with their airplane if not for the plane itself.

Closer to home, Republicans are eliminating the sales tax deduction that affects all Americans. But here is the caveat, if you are rich and arrange your work as a particular kind of corporation or passthrough organization, (a stockbroker, a doctor, a lawyer, an investment banker, etc.), you get to deduct your sales taxes.

One could go on and on. One will lose any savings in taxes with the increased cost of health care and the loss of many deductions and more. Americans must not fall for the tax cut scam.

This tax bill will not generate economic activity. If you give rich people money, they do not spend it to buy things which is what increases economic activity. And they will not invest in America because there isn't the spending power necessary to generate the economic activity to justify spending and creating new jobs. Supply-side economics, trickle-down, voodoo economics are all the same. And they have decimated the American poor and middle-class.

To attain the same living standard, most in homes need everyone in the household working long hours as the titans of finance benefit from our labor. Are you not tired of this voluntary slavery?

The wealthy are doing the working class no favors. It is us who fight the wars to maintain their command of assets around the world. It is us who purchase the products their investments are used to produce. It is us, the working class, who build, design, and create. The capitalists just throw capital around, and for that feel, they deserve particular merit. There is a significant imbalance when we allow wealth to rule -- workers get screwed.

Why is it imperative that we stop this tax cut scam from getting passed?

Once Republicans pass tax cuts, it is complicated politically to repeal. What usually happens instead is a reduction in the social safety net. In other words, when the deficit explodes from this irresponsible and evil bill, Americans will be forced to accept draconian cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, programs that affect the working class, the middle-class. Isn't this post I wrote a few weeks ago terrifying enough?

So again, why aren't most of you on the streets ensuring your politicians do not vote for this travesty as described by a wise Republican? If you are reading this, this is not the time to be apathetic. Now is not the time to feel you don't have the power to change things because you do. Start with the Indivisible Movement in your area. They can be found in every corner of the country.  Many other organizations are responding as well. What they need are your bodies in the field when possible, whatever funds you have available to help them, you contributing to independent media that's telling the truth, you spreading the word, and your help in getting others engaged.

BTW, continue calling, emailing, texting, and faxing your politicians in Washington and in your state. You can find your Washington DC politicians here.

 

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GOP Strategist: We’re living through the first screwball presidency in US history (VIDEO)

Sun, 2017-12-03 12:33

A Republican strategist appeared on a panel on Meet The Press with Chuck Todd and dared to speak out about the Trump presidency with a word, screwball that I don't think I have heard before coming out of a GOP strategist. His words were refreshing in these times.

Mike Murphy's description, screwball was entirely on point

GOP Strategist: We're living through the first screwball presidency in US history (VIDEO) https://t.co/OdjADXGDPk…y-gop-strategist/ pic.twitter.com/JqXOpmlPGB

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) December 3, 2017

Republican strategist Mike Murphy did not mince his words as he described the destructiveness of Donald Trump's presidency and what it means to the GOP.

"We are living through the first screwball presidency in American history." GOP strategist Mike Murphy said." "Where there's no meaning from one side to another. "You don't really know who's in charge. And the internal politics are crazy. The Republicans I talk to you privately, the professional politicians are terrified, because they're seeing the midterm election. They're wondering how to get the agenda back. And they think there is a chaos factor, the point Jeb Bush predicted."

"Underneath it all is the erosion basic norms," said Eddie Glaude, Chair of the Center for African-American Studies at Princeton University. "That in some ways provided the right stability, the basic democratic norms that allow us to do what we do." I think those are being tossed."

"Decency, honesty, integrity, credibility," said presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.

I wish more Democrats who get on the mainstream media would stop their tepidity and exhibit a more aggressive behavior towards the president, the GOP, and their policies. It seems the "outside" Republicans are more aggressive against this president than many Progressives in mainstream media. They are so scared that they will be called out as Liberal that it clips their wings. We are in an existential crisis in this country. Americans want to be sure that the ones, irrespective of ideology, gives the semblance of fighting for them. Sadly, while Republicans are screwing them, they sure give the semblance of strength and support for the masses.

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SNL Michael Che warns Trump about reason GOP rushing through tax cut scam (VIDEO)

Sun, 2017-12-03 02:21

Saturday Night Live (SNL) continues to have fun at the expense of Donald Trump. This week's episode was brutal. But Michael Che had one of the most insightful sub-skits about the Republican tax cut scam.

Michael Che warns Donald Trump about tax cut scam

SNL Michael Che warns Trump about reason GOP rushing through tax cut scam (VIDEO) https://t.co/dZY9jZPMxB pic.twitter.com/Nx2Q4vGB1y

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) December 3, 2017

SNL Michael Che's message for Trump is prescient. Maybe the president should think twice before signing the tax cut scam bill for his temporary survival.

"You know once the Republicans get this tax bill passed," Michael Che said. "They won't need Donald Trump anymore. I mean they already got what they wanted. You know, I mean it's like, it's not like they like you. Don't you think it's a little odd that they passed this bill at 2:00 A.M. without reading it the same night they found out Flynn was snitching on you? They know something. It's like your family showing up to your hospital room saying, 'Look, you need to sign this will tonight.' 'Can I read it first.' 'No time.'"

While this skit may be funny, it rings real. The Republicans are frantically going over their bill in an attempt to get a Trump signature before Christmas. There really should be no rush as they can always make the provisions in the bill retroactive. They know that if the noose closes too tightly around Trump's neck, the tide would have so turned that the support for the bill within the Republican caucus would wane.

The media has been touting the passage of the Republican tax cut scam as a win for the president. It is not a win yet. The bill must go to reconciliation between the House version and the Senate version. A myriad of differences could bring down this travesty of a proposed tax cut for the wealthy. Most importantly if the resistance ups the pressure and let them know Americans will know what is in the bill it just may give them pause.

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Democrat stops CNN Host cold as she appeased Trump admin’s felonies (VIDEO)

Sat, 2017-12-02 12:02

Congressman Denny Heck (D-WA) gave a clinic in how to handle a host who is attempting to minimize the corruption within the Trump administration. He did not give CNN's Erin Burnett any room to leave her spin unanswered. Every Democrat must learn from this; no shouting required.

Democrat stops CNN Host Erin Burnett from misleading audience

"How much farther do you think this goes Congressman," Burnett asked. "You know there are some who say, 'Look, we're almost at the end. If the biggest charge they have on Flynn is lying to the FBI about a call to the Russian ambassador that we already knew he lied about that's not that bad.' They say ..."

The Congressman did not allow Erin Burnett to get away with the diminishment of the severity of Flynn's felony. He interjected assertively.

"Erin, wait a minute," Heck said forcefully. "It's a felony, -- he's a felon -- he is a felony, punishable by up to five years in jail. Please don't say it's not that big a deal. He is now an admitted felon. There are two things about investigations that are timeless and universal. Number one is, it's the cover-up that will get you not the underlying crime. And the second is follow the money. We've yet to go down that trail. But I suspect this is the beginning of that.

"Do you have a concern though, that to the American people, if it is the cover-up and that there is no crime no collusion with the Russians," Burnett said as she continued an attempt at minimization. "That that will be very difficult to sell to an already extremely divided American public."

The Congressman was not biting. His answer was tight, to the point, and factual.

"Prima facie there has been collusion," the Congressman responded. "It's hiding in plain sight whether it's all the way back to that June meeting in Trump Tower with Don junior and the Russian national representative or right up into today and the indication that general Flynn was directed to make contact with the Russian ambassador and engage in what was illegal activity."

Democrats, that is the way you handle the 'Liberal Media,' the media that is all but liberal.

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Senate passes the Republican tax cut scam that will pilfer the middle-class (VIDEO)

Sat, 2017-12-02 02:46

The Senate in a marathon session effected one of the most massive thefts on the middle-class and the poor. The tax cut scam is at least a $1.5 trillion transfer of wealth from the masses to a wealthy few. But we can still stymie it as it goes into the conference between the Senate and the House.

CNN reported the following.

(CNN)The Senate passed its tax reform bill in the early hour of Saturday morning, following a day full of Republican leaders made changes to bring enough members on board and a long night full of heated rhetoric on both sides of the aisle.

The vote was 51-49, mostly along party lines. Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee was the only Republican to vote against the bill, citing concerns about growing the deficit.

Congressional negotiators continued to make changes to the bill -- including handwriting alterations on to the document -- up until just hours before the final vote, with Democrats sharply criticizing Republicans for not giving members enough time to read the sweeping legislation that would overhaul the US tax system.

The House of Representatives approved its own tax reform plan last month, and the two chambers are expected to go to conference to reconcile the two bills.

Republicans continue to lie in Press Conference after passing tax cut scam

One knows a scam is a scam when one of the most respected Republican Strategist calls what these charlatans are doing "a travesty.". Robert Reich did not mince words either as he excoriated the Trump Administration for playing Americans for fools.

While these con-artists are happy that they got their tax cut scam passed, everyday Americans must stay in the fight. They must put the fear of the masses in every single Congressperson and Senator. Call, fax, email, or visit your two Senators and Congressperson continuously effective now. You can find them here.

 

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General Michael Flynn: Lock her up? Projection? Pleads guilty to lying to FBI (VIDEO)

Fri, 2017-12-01 15:14

Michael Flynn has a lot to say during the Presidential campaign. He led many false accusations against Hillary Clinton and many times led the chant, 'Lock her up! Lock her up!" which seems to be nothing but projection.

Michael Flynn pleads guilty to lying to the FBIq

Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. According to CNN,

Washington (CNN)Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to lying to the FBI about conversations with Russia's ambassador and disclosed that he is cooperating with the special counsel's office.

Flynn is the first person inside President Donald Trump's administration to be reached by special counsel Robert Mueller's probe. The developments are a sign that the investigation is intensifying, and details revealed Friday provide the clearest picture yet of coordination between Flynn and other Trump advisers in their contact with Russian officials to influence international policy.

According to an FBI statement, Flynn communicated with then-Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak after being asked by a senior Trump transition official to find out how foreign governments stood on a coming UN Security Council resolution about Israel. The prosecutors did not name any transition officials.

In court Friday morning, Flynn's only comments were to answer yes and no to questions from the judge. He told the judge he has not been coerced to plead guilty or been promised a specific sentence. Flynn faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison, according to federal sentencing guidelines, though the judge Friday morning stressed he could impose a harsher or lighter sentence.

The question is whether Michael Flymm has turned on President Donald Trump. The scourge that is this administration is finally coming to light and falling apart. One hopes it happens before they inflict irreparable damage on the country which the administration began even before the inauguration.

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GOP strategist Steve Schmidt slams Republicans: Tax cut scam a ‘travesty’ (VIDEO)

Fri, 2017-12-01 12:27

Republican Strategist Steve Schmidt lays out the case for how pathetic Republican Senators and Congresspeople are for a tax cut scam that will cripple the next generation. He sounded as if the enactment of the bill is a far gone conclusion. We must not make that assumption till we exhaust all avenues.

Steve Schmidt excoriated his party as he has been doing since they have abandoned all principles he believes the GOP use to represent. Many do believe that the current Republican Party is just the vivid instantiation of their policies when they have total control of the government. And it is not pretty.

Steve Schmidt expanded on two tweets he made recently with Brian Williams.

GOP Steve Schmidt prescient tweets

There isn't one single GOP Senator who could forthrightly and competently answer this question--- What is it that you are voting for ? They have 0 idea. None

— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) December 1, 2017

There isn't one single GOP Senator who could forthrightly and competently answer this question--- What is it that you are voting for? They have 0 idea. None.

Every single Gen X'er should be outraged as we watch a bunch of septuagenarian and octogenarians load another 1.5 trillion in debt on the backs of our pre teen and teen age kids. The beggaring of the country for special interest donations is immoral

— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) December 1, 2017

Every single Gen X'er should be outraged as we watch a bunch of septuagenarian and octogenarians load another 1.5 trillion in debt on the backs of our pre teen and teen age kids. The beggaring of the country for special interest donations is immoral

 

GOP strategist Steve Schmidt slams Republicans: Tax cut scam a ‘travesty’ (VIDEO) https://t.co/UeoqRENeLi pic.twitter.com/agVwppc0zK

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) December 1, 2017

"We're seeing a complete and total collapse, Brian, of any rigor around the policy-making process in this country," Steve Schmidt said. "We're a nation of 330 million people. This legislation affects everybody. The number one economic challenge of our time that's driving so much turbulence in our politics, so much extremism in the parties, is the fact that working-class people haven't seen a real wage increase in a generation. It's creating a crisis of confidence in free market American capitalism for Millennials and so many other Americans. And it can have a profoundly bad effect for future opportunity in this country. This bill does nothing about that problem. It does nothing to drive economic growth. What it does do is it lowers corporate tax rates. No one pays the statutory rate in the first place. And it does it by loading up another trillion and a half dollars on the national credit card that will be paid by my kids and grandkids and your kids and grandkids. And it's just a travesty."

Schmidt gets the correlation between the social angst that can be manipulated. Unfortunately, he is yet to acknowledge that after several decades of failure, it is our economic system that is defective. The solution is waiting as soon as we stop worshiping capitalism as a religion and start using it solely as a tool in a real economic system that serves people and not capital.

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Lindsey Graham: How to make America great again? Tell Donald Trump to go to hell (VIDEO)

Fri, 2017-12-01 00:52

Al-In Chris Hayes put on a classic as he exposed Lindsey Graham for the hypocrite that he is, in an epic fashion that neither Donald Trump nor Graham will be happy with after watching it. In fact, the video clip is embarrassing to both for different reasons.

Hayes exposed Senator Lindsey Graham's false sense of righteous indignation for those who justifiably question Trump's mental sanity. Graham appeared on CNN and attempted to defend the president against his critics. Unfortunately for Graham, videotape is a real thing. And that tape makes Graham seem to be one of the biggest hypocrites on the planet.

"You know what concerns me about the American Press," Lindsey Graham said. "Is this endless attempt to label the guy. [Donald Trump], as some kook not fit to be president."

Chris Hayes exposes Lindsey Graham

Lindsey Graham: How to make America great again? Tell Donald Trump to go to hell (VIDEO) https://t.co/FrPN7NCwLG…ld-trump-go-hell/ pic.twitter.com/hvUvYganMT

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) December 1, 2017

Chris Hayes then went to the tapes. It turns out the tapes were not kind to the president. And it was Lindsey Graham doing all of the damage.

So what are some of the things Graham repeated on the videotape?

"I am not going to try to get into the mind of Donald Trump," Lindsey told Fox News. "Because I don't think there is a whole lot of space there. I think he is a kook. I think he is crazy. I think he is unfit for office."

Chris Hayes then went for the jugular. He played Graham disparaging Trump instance after instance on cable news.

"I don't think he has the temperament or judgment to be commander-in-chief, Lindsey said on CNN. He is not fit to be president of the United States. ... He is an opportunistic race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot. ... He is a jackass and he should not be commander in chief. ... And you know how you make America great again? Tell Donald Trump to go to hell."

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Progressives must have a litmus test to secure the grassroots

Thu, 2017-11-30 14:47

The fight against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act was huge. The grassroots-led the way but the Democratic establishment fell in line, giving the movement some parallel coverage not only in independent media but even in the mainstream media. There is a distinct difference in the response the Establishment has had to the Republican tax cut scam. Yes, they give the standard complaint about the bulk of the benefits going to the top. Yes, they talk about the deficits. But where the hell is the passion? Where the hell is the personalization of the bill that illustrates in graphic terms how it impacts everyday Americans, the Progressive base, the Conservative base, the Trump cult.

The answer is known even if it is not too evident to all. The Establishment duopoly shares many of the same donors who won't complain too harshly if the Republican tax cut scam becomes law. After all, it will mean more dough for them. Their greenback accumulation will continue. Republicans have already admitted that one of the main reasons for their tax cut scam is to appease their donors who intend to turn off the cash flow faucets if they don't get a return on investment, their tax cuts.

Just before writing this post, Republican Senator John McCain came out in favor of the Senate's tax cut scam. Many other Republican Senators on the fence will follow his lead. The stock market is soaring in anticipation of Republicans laying the path, the map, for transferring the wealth and income of the poor and middle-class to the titans of finance, the capitalist pilferers, the plutocrats. It is just the continued instantiation of the Powell Manifesto.

So what are we to do? It is the litmus test time. Only one current prevalent ideology has as its center, the American poor and the American middle-class. Progressives understand that liberal social values and robust middle-class centric economic policies are what create real freedom.

For too long a centered approach to appease a non-existent moderate right was the modus operandi for Democratic Progressives. One must note that even self-described conservative when evaluated on issues are Progressives. America is a Progressive country where many fear admitting so.

Conforming to the Right has given us over 30 years of supply-side economics that has decimated the poor and the middle-class. It has given us policies that negated women's choice and freedom, as well as the voting rights of many. It has given us less than optimal health care. And with Net Neutrality at risk, it has open the door for virtual oppression with the inability to organize efficiently.

In that light, it is imperative that Progressives get to work during the 2018 and 2020 primaries. A litmus test is a must. Every candidate must come out and tell poor and middle-class Americans in no uncertain terms why they deserve their vote, and what they will do to make their lives better, no double talking to placate the plutocrats they may want to get money from in an expedient manner.

Bernie Sanders proved that Progressives would open their pocketbooks en masse with the little they have to offer. Candidates to the best of their ability should fund from the grassroots to ensure it is the grassroots that they are representing. They must support policies that are sympathetic to the decidedly progressive Brand New Congress Platform and the Justice Democrats Platform.

If Progressives want to change America, if Progressives wish to reverse the juggernaut that is effectively destroying the middle-class, it is time to do the work the right way, and to support policies Americans can see will help their everyday lives. Nothing else will convince the voters to give up the status quo. They want folks who will fight for them not only with words but with deeds.

 

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British Parliament Member calls Trump an incompetent unthinking racist (VIDEO)

Thu, 2017-11-30 11:41

Donald Trump's retweet of several anti-Muslim videos from the United Kingdom Right Wing racist group British First is having repercussions throughout the world. The admonishment of Trump was justifiably swift.

According to the Guardian, the British Prime Minister's office responded.

Theresa May’s spokesman said on Wednesday: “Britain First seeks to divide communities by their use of hateful narratives that peddle lies and stoke tensions. They cause anxiety to law-abiding people. British people overwhelmingly reject the prejudiced rhetoric of the far right which is the antithesis of the values this country represents, decency, tolerance and respect.”

British Parliament Member Stephen Doughty did not mince his words as he called out Donald Trump publicly like no other foreign politician has in a while. His excoriating response to president Donald Trump was evident in his thinking about Trump. A large percentage of Americans and citizens around the world empirically share the same sentiment.

Parliament Member Stephen Doughty scorches Donald Trump

"This is the president of the United States sharing with millions this inflammatory and divisive content, deliberately posted to sow hatred and division," Doughty said. "By sharing it, he is either a racist, incompetent, or unthinking or all three."

There is no doubt that Donald Trump's behavior makes his statement true.

 

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