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Robert Reich: The Growing Irrelevance of President Trump

Mon, 2017-10-02 12:15

Announcement: Donald Trump is no longer the president of the United States

Oh sure, he has the title and he has the bully pulpit – from which he’s bullying everyone from NBA players to people protesting white supremacists to DACA kids.

But he’s not actively governing the United States. That work is happening elsewhere – in Congress, the courts, the Fed, the career civil service, lobbyists, and in the states. Or it’s not happening at all.

It’s not just that Trump lost the epic battle to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Trump never understood the Affordable Care Act to begin with, and played no part in developing Republican alternatives.

The budget Trump submitted to Congress in March was dead on arrival. House Republicans ignored Trump’s request for $54 billion in cuts to departments and agencies and decided instead to cut non-defense spending by just $5 billion, and explode the defense budget.

The 9-page tax plan congressional Republicans and Trump unveiled last week only vaguely resembles Trump’s original tax proposal from April, and all the important decisions have been left to the tax-writing committees of Congress.

Trump’s relations with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan have become so strained they have no interest in looping him into policies before they have to.

Meanwhile, Trump has run out of Obama executive orders he can declare void. Major regulations, such as the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, can’t just be repealed. They have to go through a legal process that could take years.

Trump doesn’t seem to be aware of this. He told a cheering crowd in Alabama recently that he had ended the Clean Power Plan by executive order. “Did you see what I did to that? Boom, gone.”

Nope. The EPA will soon reveal its strategy for reversing the Plan, but whatever it is, environmental groups are almost certain to appeal it in the courts. Big businesses and utilities, fearing that the courts may rule against the administration, are lobbying the EPA to come up with a replacement rather than try to eliminate the Plan altogether.

Although General John Kelly has reduced White House chaos somewhat, the firings and shakeups are unremitting.

Trump’s Cabinet secretaries don’t seem to have a clue. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos still wants to spend taxpayer money on for-profit schools and colleges that cheat their students. Won’t happen. The EPA’s Scott Pruitt is trying to strip the agency of scientists. Another brainless scheme.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin still has no idea how to deal with Congress. He tried to persuade Republican House members to support Trump’s budget deal with the Democrats by asking them to do it “for me.”

Health and Human Service Secretary Tom Price wasn’t fired for his ethical breaches. If ethics were the criteria, most of the Trump administration would be gone. Price broke Trump’s cardinal rule, which was never to get bad headlines for Trump.

Top echelons of departments and agencies are still empty. Trump has said “in many cases, we don’t want to fill those jobs,”which means decisions are being made by career civil servants and industry lobbyists.

By the start of September, more than a third of the leadership positions at the Federal Emergency Management Agency were still vacant. Not a good way to begin hurricane season. Puerto Rico, anyone?

As of mid-September, out of 599 key government positions that require Senate confirmation, Trump had made only 159 nominations, according to The Washington Post. Trump had yet to submit nominations for 320 positions.

Trump’s political clout is waning among Republicans. He couldn’t even get his pick elected to a Senate primary in Alabama, a state bulging with Trump voters.

Business leaders have deserted him over his remarks over Charlottesville. NFL owners have turned on him over his remarks about players. Tom Brady, who once called Trump “a good friend,” now calls him “divisive” and “wrong.”

Don’t get me wrong. Trump is still a dangerous showman and conman – tweeting condemnations of critics and ranting before friendly crowds at his never-ending campaign rallies. He continues to fuel bigotry and meanness. He has reduced America’s standing in the world. His outbursts could start a nuclear war.

But when it comes to the actual work of governing America, Trump is becoming utterly and completely irrelevant.

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President Trump’s remarks to the nation about Las Vegas mass shooting (VIDEO)

Mon, 2017-10-02 11:26

Here is the video and transcript of President Trump's remarks to the nation after the Las Vegas mass shooting.

President Trump's remarks in Las Vegas Shooting

My fellow Americans, we are joined together today in sadness, shock, and grief.

Last night a gunman opened fire on a large crowd at a country music concert in Las Vegas, Nevada. He brutally murdered more than 50 people and wounded hundreds more.

It was an act of pure evil.

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are working closely with local authorities to assist with the investigation and they will provide updates as to the investigation and how it develops.

I want to thank the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police department and all of the first responders for their courageous efforts and for helping to save the lives of so many. The speed with which they acted is miraculous and prevented further loss of life. To have found the shooter so quickly after the first shots were fired, is something for which we will always be thankful and grateful. It shows what true professionalism is all about.

Hundreds of our fellow citizens are now mourning the sudden loss of a loved one, a parent, a child, a brother or sister. We cannot fathom their pain, we cannot imagine their loss. To the families of the victims, we are praying for you and we are here for you. And we ask god to help see you through this very dark period.

Scripture teaches us the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. We seek comfort in those words, for we know that God lives in the hearts of those who grieve. To the wounded who are now recovering in hospitals, we are praying for your full and speedy recovery, and pledge to you our support from this day forward.

In memory of the fallen, I have directed that our great flag be flown at half-staff. I will be visiting Las Vegas on Wednesday to meet with law enforcement, first responders, and the families of the victims.
In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one. And it always has.
We call upon the bonds that unite us, our faith, our family, and our shared values. We call upon the bonds of citizenship, the ties of community, and the comfort of our common humanity. Our unity cannot be shattered by evil, our bonds cannot be broken by violence, and though we feel such great anger, at the senseless murder of our fellow citizens, it is our love that defines us today. And always will. Forever.

In times such as these, I know we are searching for some kind of meaning in the chaos, some kind of light in the darkness. The answers do not come easy. But we can take solace knowing that even the darkest space can be brightened by a single light and even the most terrible despair can be illuminated by a single ray of hope.

Melania and I are praying for every American who has been hurt, wounded or lost the ones they loved so dearly in this terrible, terrible attack. We pray for the entire nation to find unity and peace, and we pray for the day when evil is banished and the innocent are safe from hatred and from fear.

May god bless the souls of the lives that are lost, may God give us the grace of healing and may God provide the grieving families with strength to carry on. Thank you. God bless America. Thank you.

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50+ dead, 200+injured Mass Shooting at Las Vegas Country Music Festival

Mon, 2017-10-02 07:54

The Huffington Post is reporting the following.

At least 50 people were killed and 200 wounded after a gunman opened fire on a country music festival in Las Vegas late Sunday night, police said. It was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Stephen Paddock, 64, shot at thousands of concertgoers from the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said. Authorities later killed Paddock, who Lombardo described as the “sole aggressor,” in the hotel room.

The gunfire interrupted singer Jason Aldean’s performance, the final act of this weekend’s Route 91 Harvest Festival, a three-day country music event attended by tens of thousands of people. Aldean and his crew were unharmed, he said in an Instagram post, calling the incident “beyond horrific.”

The shooting was the third attack on a major music event in recent years. Last year, 22 people were killed at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, U.K. and in 2015, 90 people died in a suicide attack during a performance by the Eagles of Death Metal at the Bataclan theatre in Paris.

Insane.... this JUST happened. #PrayForVegas

— Luke Broadlick (@LukeBroadlick) October 2, 2017


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Fox News Chris Wallace slams lying Trump budget director, tax cuts don’t work (VIDEO)

Sun, 2017-10-01 15:59

Fox News' Chris Wallace had the most riveting interview of Donald Trump's Budget Director Mick Mulvaney. Wallace destroyed his argument for tax cuts. None of the other networks were as good in pressing the budget director.

Chris Wallace in this uncharacteristically aggressive interview of a close Trump official was thorough and provided an interviewing clinic.

Chris Wallace did not allow Mick Mulvaney to spin

Fox News Chris Wallace slams lying Trump budget director, tax cuts don't work (VIDEO)

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) October 1, 2017

"There is no evidence that tax cuts pay for themselves," Chris Wallace said. "Reagan's tax cuts back in 1981 added $208 Billion to the deficit over four years. The Bush tax cuts in 2001 & 2003 added one and a half trillion dollars to the debt over ten years. Mr. Mulvaney, you can argue whether or not tax cuts spur economic growth. I think that is a perfectly legitimate argument. There is no evidence that they pay for themselves."

Mulvaney came back with a bloviating argument that he based on absolutely no facts as did Chris Wallace.

"Just look at the facts," a visibly shaken Mulvaney replied. "And you can go back Chris and make an assumption, and you can run some numbers. You have to make a couple assumptions about growth rates and so forth. But if we had 3% growth, which is what we are trying to get to, where we are at by the way right now. We are trying to maintain that 3% growth. If had been at 3% growth over the last ten years, the budget very nearly would be balanced this year. That is how big a difference it makes when you grow the American economy that additional one percent over ten years. Over the next ten years, if we can grow it at 3% instead of the 1.8% the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office says we are going to grow and has been the average over the previous administration. If we can get to that 3%, it is two to two and a half trillion worth of more government revenues. It's 12 million additional jobs, 12 million jobs paying into Medicare, 12 million jobs paying into social security. Growth is really what is driving all of this. And growth is what our focus is. Which is why we are willing to accept increased short-term deficits in exchange for that long-term payoff."

That was a bunch of crap. In effect, he said if you cook the books, one could show that tax cuts pay for themselves.

Chris Wallace gave Mulvaney the facts. Every Republican tax cut has increased the size of the deficit. The Conservative experiment of cutting taxes failed in Kansas. Intelligent tax increases in California grew the California economy. And lest we forget, Bill Clinton increased taxes and oversaw one of the most robust economic growth and job creation in this nation's history.

Chris Wallace continued his grilling of the budget director.

"That's the point I want to make," Chris Wallace said. "And you seem to be agreeing with me. Growth is the right thing. And there is no question, tax cuts can produce growth. ... In fact, in the 90s Bill Clinton had a tax increase and we had the biggest growth we had in any decade in recent history. There are a lot of other factors I think you would agree other than government fiscal policy. The chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors for Ronald Reagan said the benefit, the payback from a tax cut is 35 cents on the dollar. In other words, he is saying if you cut taxes a dollar, you add 65 cents to the debt."

It was clear Wallace stumped the budget director.

"I am sorry," Mulvaney said. "I am not familiar with that."

Sadly, a party that succeeded in electoral politics by lying, ignoring science, and facts, is a party who would say anything to pass their provably insane laws. We must resist lest they destroy what is left of the real middle-class.


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Saturday Night Live’s Trump explains the reason for the continuous chaos (VIDEO)

Sun, 2017-10-01 02:59

Saturday Night Live is back, and it did not disappoint. Donald Trump has provided this season with what seems like a limitless array of material.

Saturday Night Live's opening skit displayed a keen political understanding by their writers of the calculated lunacy of the Tump's presidency. The opening skit was spot on tonight. But an important snippet from that clip explains why Trump creates the volume of chaos that engulfs him 24/7.

Saturday Night Live's Trump articulates reason for Trump chaos

Saturday Night Live's Trump explains the reason for the continuous chaos

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) October 1, 2017

"People say I remind them of an NFL player because I am combative," said SNL's Trump. "I like to win. And I might have a degenerative brain disease. "

SNL's Sarah Huckabee Sanders told 'the president' she would stand by him no matter what.

"Trust me, " SNL's Trump said. "It may seem like what's coming out of my mouth is B-A-N-A-N-As. But, it was all part of the plan. The more chaos I causethe less, people can focus. We are all getting so tired, so tired. How long ago did I declare war on  North Korea and the Rocketman?"

SNL's Huckabee gave the wrong answer to SNL's Trump question. He continued.

"Wrong," SNL's Trump said. It was last Friday. You see, I am bending time. So let's keep the chaos and shake things up around here."

It is essential that we maintain our focus and stop playing the president's game. Bid farewell to the distractions.

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San Juan Puerto Rico’s Mayor respond’s to Trump’s offensive tweets (VIDEO)

Sat, 2017-09-30 16:31

Donald Trump sent out several offensive tweets about San Juan, Puerto Rico's mayor, Carmen Yulin Cruz. She responded to them on Joy-Ann Reid's AM Joy show. Her response made the president seem petty and out of his league.

San Juan's Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz responds to Trump's tweets

San Juan Puerto Rico's Mayor respond's to Trump's offensive tweets (VIDEO)

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) September 30, 2017

Sometimes a response that does not even mention the perpetrator is more piercing, and that's what San Juan's Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz did.

The president sent the following tweets.

Tweet 1: The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump.y to Trump.

Tweet 2: ...Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They....

Tweet 3: ...want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort. 10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job.

The president just could not suppress his most inner racist.

The mayor pointed out that she was asking for help. She was not saying anything nasty about the president. Moreover, she said that the three-star general Buchanan, in charge of helping the relief effort in Puerto Rico, agreed with her assessment.

"This is what we have," the mayor said. "Is to save lives. ... This is a time when everyone shows their true colors. I have no time for distractions. All I have is time for people to move forward and get help."

The mayor then asked what kind of a Puerto Rican or human she would be if she did not call out when other mayors are not being supported.

Joy-Ann Reid asked her to respond to Trump's racist attack on Puerto Ricans as he implied they are lazy.

"I am not going to be distracted by small comments, by politics, by petty issues," Carmen Yulin Cruz said. "This is one goal. And it is to save lives. That's all that matters. And whoever is here to help, whoever says things that can help, will be praised. Whoever doesn't will not."



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Rev. Barber on GOP factions: The difference is more style than substance (VIDEO)

Sat, 2017-09-30 12:14

Rev. William Barber in no uncertain terms proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that what the GOP of today represents is entirely anathema to what Jesus Christ represents even as they attempt to assert their Christian moral superiority.

Barber makes an assessment that will be hard to swallow for many real rank-and-file Republicans that they must, however, evaluate.

Rev. Barber: GOP anathema to Christianity

Rev. Barber on GOP factions: 'The difference is more style than substance'

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) September 30, 2017

Joy-Ann Reid asked William Barber what he would make of Alabama Republicans electing Roy Moore; a radical Right Ring politician removed twice from his position as Alabama Supreme Court Chief justice.

Barber's gave her the answer that every Republican should listen to and understand. Their stance on many social issues is astounding when looked at in the aggregate.

"One of the things Joy, and I think we have to own," said Rev. Barber. "There is not a lot of difference between Roy Moore and the other candidate or many of the extremists in the GOP.  They have become anti-gay, anti-black and brown immigrants, anti-universal healthcare, anti-living wages, anti-labor rights, anti-voting rights, anti-environmental justice, anti-criminal justice reform, anti-women's rights."

The reverend then pointed out the dichotomy in their stances when contrasted against their supposed moral template.

"The problem with that is, the things that they have been "anti" are counter to the things that Jesus, for instance, was Pro," Barber said. "You know Jesus was pro-lifting the poor, pro-living wages, pro-helping those on the margins, pro-immigrant, pro-equal protection under the law. So when you see people trying to distance themselves from Roy Moore, there's really not a lot of difference when you actually look at the voting records and the policies. One thing I'm sure of, Jesus would not be waving a gun being advised by a white nationalist ideologue like Banner and talking about tax cuts for the wealthy. I'm clear on that in terms of the scripture, and it's hard for people to distance themselves from him when in fact the difference is more style rather than substance."

And that is the important point. While many Republicans continue to be embarrassed by many in the current crop of Republicans getting elected, these folks will vote no different than the current Republican voting orthodoxy. What they are seeing is a reflection of themselves not filtered by a false facade. It 's hard to look at, but it is the reality they must face now and the foreseeable future.

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MSNBC’s Ali Velshi & Stephanie Ruhle grills GOP Rep on president’s tax cut lies (VIDEO)

Fri, 2017-09-29 16:28

Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle put on a clinic on how to handle those who the Conservative Right Wing machine send out to lie on our airwaves about the president's tax cut which pilfers the middle-class.

Republican Representative Morgan Griffith attempted to snow Velshi & Ruhle who summarily destroyed his lying tax cut arguments one after the other. The exchange was riveting. It is the questioning more journalists must do in these times of spinning and fake news.

Velshi & Ruhle grills Rep on tax cut lies

MSNBC Hosts Ali Velshi & Stephanie Ruhle grills GOP Rep president's tax cut lies (VIDEO)

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) September 29, 2017

"The president has said over and over that this plan is not going to help him," Stephanie Ruhle said. "He said, this is gonna help me. Believe me. But by our calculations it 100% helps the president and his family."

"Well all I can tell you is this is going to help all Americans," Republican Representative Morgan Griffith replied.

"Sir that is not what I am asking you," Ruhle interrupted.

"It's gonna help the rich," Ali Velshi added.

"Does this help the rich," Ruhle continued. "And if so, why is our president lying about that?"

"Well I can't speak for the president on what his finances are and whether or not it would help him," the Congressman said. "I know that it helps all Americans and that we're focused on the middle-class.

"This plan doesn't have a tax cut for the middle class," Ruhle pointed out. "This plan has a tax cut, it has a clear tax cut for the absolute richest. And it also gets rid of the estate tax, and for pass-throughs, it lowers the tax."

"And it gets rid of the AMT," Velshi added.

"And 90% of those who hold LLC's and pass-throughs are in the top 1%," Ruhle said. "So I haven't heard any talk of the middle class."

"Well what we're doing is we're making it simpler that helps the middle-class," the Congressman said.

"But sir it doesn't, replied an exasperated Ali Velshi from listening to the false spin. "Sir, with all due respect that just doesn't make sense. Simpler doesn't make anybody get any more prosperous. That's just a misnomer, right? It's nice that it's three tax brackets but doesn't actually help anybody. It doesn't make anybody more prosperous."

"This plan will do that by lowering the rates for everybody," the Congressman said. "And those that it doesn't lower the rates at the high end, but it lowers the rates for everybody in the middle, there are some things obviously the estate tax helps folks who are wealthier. But I also don't like to see family farms being sold, businesses that may hit the cap."

"Do you know a single family farm sir," Velshi asked. "Do you have an example of a single family farm that's suffered because of the estate tax. We're just looking for one. Because Republicans say it all the time. But no one's actually been able to find one.

"I will give you a business that could have suffered," the Congressman said.

"Let's say we buy that entire argument," Ruhle said. "Assuming that's the case. In your opinion, why doesn't the president say that and own that? Instead, he's simply lying. Because if he is worth the 10 billion dollars, he says he is, getting rid of that estate tax would save his family four billion dollars. Why wouldn't he, in your opinion speaking for yourself, not him, why doesn't he say that."

"Well I can't speak for him," the Congressman replied.

"I am not asking you to speak for him," Ruhle shot back. "What is your opinion of the president lying?"

"I told you what the plan does," the Congressman replied.

"Do you not have a view on that," Velshi interjected. "That the president is telling a lie?"

"I haven't paid attention to everything the president has said," the Congressman replied.

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America Held Hostage

Fri, 2017-09-29 10:59

September 28, 2017 by

This post first appeared on

Of all the myths the Republicans have perpetrated, and there are a lot of them, perhaps none is more powerful or insidious than the foundational one that this is an overwhelmingly conservative country and that progressives are outliers in it, along with its pernicious corollary that conservatives are “real” Americans while liberals (and the minorities who support liberal policies) are somehow counterfeits.

It is a brilliant bit of propaganda. The only problem is that it isn’t factually true, at least for those who still believe in facts. While there are more self-described conservatives than liberals, in large part, I think, because of the conservatives’ success at conflating their brand with Americanism itself, the gap has been narrowing. And in any case, party identification is just about evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans. What is more important: Most Americans reject conservative policy positions. Again and again, on issue after issue, the majority of Americans seem to tilt to the left: on immigration, including Trump’s border wall; on Obamacare repeal; on leaving the Paris climate accord; and on gay marriage.

So why then do conservatives control all three branches of government? More to the point, why do they control Congress and the presidency when Democrats got more votes? You might conclude that America is being held hostage by a minority group of conservative zealots. And you would be right.

There is an old saw that politics is about numbers, and in a true democracy that would be the case. But ours is not a true democracy. Even after addressing the fact that nearly 90 million eligible voters do not vote, our system weights some votes more than others, and these weighted votes almost always work to the Republicans’ advantage, giving some 35 percent to 40 percent of the electorate a disproportionate share of power.

Here’s how it works:

1. Rural votes are worth more than urban votes.

For the first few months of his presidency, Donald Trump delighted in showing guests an electoral map of the country in which huge splotches from the South through the Midwest and into the far West were red, indicating Trump’s support. He was right, of course. Those were areas that voted for Trump. Except that those splotches were sparsely populated. The dark blue dots in urban America were the densely populated Democratic areas — areas with more votes.

In most nations, geographical advantages don’t mean much. In our system, however, geography plays an outsized role. It’s not how many votes; it’s where they are cast.

A lot of this, as we all know, is the result of gerrymandering — a point that New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg made in her debut op-ed about the “tyranny of the minority.” If you want some sense of how badly gerrymandering hurts Democrats, consider this: In 2012, 224 congressional districts voted for Romney, 221 for Obama, though Obama easily won the overall popular vote by nearly 4 percent. This Republican reward has been referred to as a “seat bonus” — the degree to which Republicans get more seats than their popular vote would warrant. According to the Brookings Institution, Republicans received just under 50 percent of the congressional vote, but wound up with 55 percent of the seats. They also got bonuses in the 2012, 2014 and 2016 congressional elections — again, 5 percent more House seats in the last election than their overall vote count would have entitled them to.

But the worst gerrymandering isn’t just politics and it isn’t just in the House; it is constitutional and it is in the Senate, where of course, seats are apportioned by state. Since rural and sparsely populated states are far more likely to vote Republican, and since all states, regardless of population, get the same two Senate seats, the GOP gets a much larger bonus in the Senate than in the House. In the South, for instance, with a population of 103 million, Republicans are essentially awarded 22 seats automatically. (The only Democratic senators in the old Confederate states are Tim Kaine and Mark Warner of Virginia and Bill Nelson of Florida.) Meanwhile, four large Democratic states — California, New York, Illinois and Massachusetts, with an aggregate population of 80 million — get eight seats. This is minority rule, plain and simple.

I am not even going to get into the Electoral College, which operates on the absurd principle that it is not how many runs you score, but how many innings you win.

2. White votes are worth more than minority votes.

White voters are deeply advantaged not only because they still constitute a majority of the electorate, but also because (a) they can be gerrymandered into white-controlled districts while diluting minorities; and (b) because white majorities often work to increase their power at minorities’ expense. We see the latter most dramatically in voter suppression laws. A Washington Post study showed that these laws, designed expressly to reduce minority participation, have a tremendous impact:

By instituting strict voter-ID laws, states can alter the electorate and shift outcomes toward those on the right. Where these laws are enacted, the influence of Democrats and liberals wanes and the power of Republicans grows. Unsurprisingly, these strict ID laws are passed almost exclusively by Republican legislatures.”

The Post found that the laws widen the white advantage over blacks in turnout from 2.5 percent to 11.6 percent.

3. Rich and middle-class votes are worth more than poor votes.

Poor people, who are likely to vote Democratic, vote in far fewer numbers than the middle class and wealthy, who are likely to vote Republican. Only 47 percent of those earning under $20,000 a year voted in the 2012 election, while those earning $100,000 or more had an 80 percent turnout. (Meanwhile, only a quarter of the poor voted in the last midterm.) You can blame the voters themselves for apathy (Republicans would), and in a Cal Tech/MIT study of the 2008 election, some of these non-voters blamed their lack of participation on the choice of candidates presented to them. If anyone is entitled to be disenchanted with the political process, they are. But many others blamed practical obstacles that the system either imposes or does nothing to remedy: registration problems, transportation, illness, long lines, voter intimidation.

In short, the poor are often actively discouraged from voting.

Since 38 percent of American workers made less than $20,000 in 2014, this is a substantial chunk of voters lost — again, presumably Democratic voters, which is also to say that while we rightfully complain about economic inequality, we should also be complaining about electoral inequality that rises from economic inequality.

4. Old voters are worth more than young voters.

As with minority voters and poor voters, young voters, who skew Democratic, are less likely to vote than older voters, who skew Republican, thus reducing younger voters’ power. According to a Pew survey, the so-called Greatest Generation had 70 percent turnout in the last election, baby boomers 69 percent, Gen Xers 63 percent and millennials only 49 percent. (And this is not a function of youth; earlier generations had higher voting rates at similar ages.) Again, all sorts of reasons can be adduced, and according to one study, millennials, 55 percent of whom identified themselves as Democrats or Dem-leaning independents, are no less politically involved than their predecessors; they are just less electorally involved, preferring other forms of political engagement. While they cast 25 percent of the votes in the 2016 election, millennials make up just under a third of the voting-age population, which means their votes were worth less than those of the other cohorts.

Of course, you can blame them too for not voting, but Republicans make a point of making it more difficult for them to vote through many of the same mechanisms that affect minorities. To cite one egregious case, North Carolina Republicans petitioned the Supreme Court to reinstate the repeal of a law that allowed 16 and 17 year-olds to pre-register to vote, after the circuit court had ruled the repeal discriminated against those voters.

5. Single-issue voters are worth more than more general interest voters.

Here again, power is less a matter of numbers than of noise. Single-issue voters, by definition, largely care for and vote according to one issue: guns, abortion, immigration, racism — you name it. They are loud, they are organized, they are typically well-financed and they can be easily wooed through political capitulation, all of which means that they have vastly more influence than their numbers would suggest. They are also largely Republican, since Democrats seem to take a more catholic approach to issues.

Take gun rights. Anywhere between 70 percent and 92 percent of Americans favor background checks prior to gun purchases, which is about the highest degree of agreement you will find on any issue in this country. Still, there will never be any serious gun control in this country. Never. Why? Because the GOP panders to gun owners and lobbyists.

When you consider that only 30 percent of Americans own a gun and that 3 percent of Americans own half of all the guns, you see how a tiny fraction wrests the debate from the American majority and basically disenfranchises those Americans on this issue.

6. Republican primary voters are worth more than other voters.

Anyone reading this knows that the only reason Republicans are now considering an Obamacare repeal that will effectively end the health care system as we know it, despite near-unanimous opposition outside the Republican Party, is that the opposition is outside the Republican Party. Yes, Republicans are hell-bent on hurting people they regard as inferior and unworthy —namely, the poor who can’t afford health insurance. But they are even more hell-bent on winning re-election, which means they have to appease the right-wing extremists who now constitute the bulk of their party and the vast majority of their primary voters. These people are dead-enders. They want blood, and they are the most powerful voters in the country.

What numbers are we talking about here? In contested 2014 midterm primaries, 9.5 percent of registered eligible voters cast ballots on the Republican side — less than 10 percent! (To top it off, total participation in the election was only 36 percent.) In real terms, since the tea party and "alt-right" virtually control the Republican primary process, it gives this tiny sliver of the electorate inordinate influence. (Let me be more honest: It gives them control.) Which means this: essentially a right-wing cult determines Republican candidates, who, once nominated, enjoy an advantage in House and Senate races. Now you know why Republican legislators are so terrified of behaving responsibly. Their base demands irresponsibility, and they will be “primaried” if they don’t deliver.

7. Finally, big surprise!, an oligarch’s vote is worth that of tens of millions of ordinary voters.

Several reporters have weighed in that one of the major reasons the GOP persists with its inane health care repeal plan — again, the public be damned — is that big donors have threatened to withhold their money if the Senate doesn’t proceed. The GOP, needless to say, has a near-monopoly on oligarchs. Enough said.

Put all of this together and you get a country that is held hostage to an extremist minority cult without any hope of the majority being ransomed. And it isn’t likely to end because the electoral injustice is self-perpetuating, discouraging Democratic voters from exercising their franchise since they know the odds are heavily stacked against them and because the minority isn't about to give up its power. So you don’t have to wonder why Republicans get away with their lunacy even when the country stands in opposition, or why they hold more seats in Congress than they would be entitled to by votes. They get away with it because the system truly is rigged against minorities, the poor, the young and the progressive — and for the white, the well-off, the old and the reactionary.

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Trump voter, please listen! The president is screwing both you and me.

Fri, 2017-09-29 02:16

Today I got a compounding bad taste in my mouth. You see it is not enough for me to see the impending acceleration of the demise of the middle-class specifically because of Trump driven policies. The problem is that those who do the extensive research to see through the fraud are not enough. We need to get to our Trump supporting brothers and sisters, the Trump voter.

I came up with a standard phrase that I use on my Politics Done Right radio show broadcasted on 90.1 FM KPFT Houston, a Pacifica Network radio station. The scariest thing for the plutocracy is the uniting of the ghettos, the barrios, and Appalachia. While it is a bit stereotypical, the point is clear. It is for this exact reason why Trump magnifies and foster divisions on many fronts.

Trump must divide Americans given that absent the manufactured conflict; citizens would unite against his fraudulent and deceptive policies. After speaking to voters of every stripe, I am confident of one thing; we mostly want the same thing. I will build the chart to show those similarities and difference in a subsequent blog post. But for now, I want to concentrate on the clear and present danger to our "personal economies."

For the sake of this article, I will use the words Right and Left. Of course, we know there are gradations and even flipping between constituencies.

Donald Trump's healthcare policy and tax reform policy will continue the decimation of the middle-class, a far cry from the populist president that he purports to be.

Illness does not know party or ideology. I am sure we want a program where Americans can all get the healthcare they need when they need it. Trumpcare does not offer anything close. Trump is asking us all to believe that he can cut the amount of money going into healthcare and magically get better outcomes, reduce premiums, and give a higher level of care. If we are honest, we know that is hogwash. The president needs the savings from healthcare to give larger tax cuts that will mostly go to the wealthy since they pay a larger percentage of the taxes. The reality is that every Republican plan so far means higher premiums, higher out of pocket costs, or bankruptcy; middle-class Americans will suffer.

Many on the Left including yours truly prefer a single-payer Medicare for all system. I understand those on the Right are not convinced that is the best way. Let's be clear, there is a good reason, in the short term, then to keep the Affordable Care Act with fixes until we come up with an American health care system we can agree on in the long term. For the super ideological reader, note that the Affordable Care Act had its genesis in the Heritage Foundation, a Conservative think-tank. Only when Republicans slapped the name Obamacare onto it, did it become untouchable.

We could work towards a bifurcated system. A single-payer Medicare for all system for those who don't have employer-based health insurance and employer-based insurance. My hunch is that the efficiencies realized in one will lead us closer to the rest of the industrialized world. But at least we could have that real-time test.

Trump claimed that his tax reform plan was mostly to give the middle-class tax relief. Unfortunately, even though his tax reform framework is short on details, it is clear that the only sure beneficiaries are the wealthy including a billion dollar tax break for the president. And here is a kicker. The average working class voter can pay up to 35% of their wages in taxes. However, if you are a doctor, lawyer, or another high-income profession, you get the ability to convert most of your income to business profit, which would cap the tax rate at 25%; so much for being a working-class tax reform.

There are many social policy differences between the Left and the Right. Let us resolve those separate from that which can negatively affect us economically. Let's not allow Trump or anyone else to play us against each other. When we allow that both of us are left holding the bag while they, those running the plutocracy, eat the caviar.

Trump voter, for the sake of us, and for the well-being of the middle-class, we need you.


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Progressive economist destroys conservative argument for corporate tax cut (VIDEO)

Thu, 2017-09-28 15:08

Former Chief Economist for Vice President Joe Biden appeared MSNBC with Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle to discuss the corporate tax cuts in Trump's new 'tax reform' plan. Jared Bernstein did not allow Conservative American Enterprise Institute's, Michael Strain, to get away with lying to the American people. Bernstein methodically destroyed the argument Strain made for a corporate tax cut. EPIC!

Ali Velshi forced the panel to get more specific in discussing the relationship between corporate tax cuts and borrowing.

"The president is sent selling this I think somewhat disingenuously as this great boon for job creation," Ali Velshi said. "Draw me some kind of line, crooked, straight, dotted, dashed, any kind of line between what you can do with the tax code that directly results effectively in the hiring of more people.

A corporate tax cut will not spur job growth

Progressive economist destroys conservative argument for corporate tax cut.

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) September 28, 2017

Michael Strain instead spurted out the standard Republican talking points that have been proven false over the last three-plus decades.

"Well, I think the question is whether or not overtime certainly including time periods outside the 10-year budget window, you know, over the next 10, 15, 20-years," said Michael Strain. "A lower statutory corporate tax rate and a lower statutory tax rate on pass-through businesses increase the incentives for businesses to invest in the United States, to grow or even to form in the first place and whether anyone of that, in turn, increases hiring."

Jared Bernstein listened uncomfortably and eventually had to set the record straight.

"Hold on, I got to cut through this and just get to the nub of it," Jared Berstein interjected forcefully. "Our corporations are more profitable than they've ever been. They're literally sitting on over two trillion dollars of retained earnings. That's cash on hand. If they wanted to invest it, they could. If they wanted to borrow more, they could at very cheap rates. So this idea that you somehow have to bribe our corporations into investing more by cutting their rates further when they're already crushing it just doesn't seem to match the set of economic facts about how well the corporate sector is performing already."

It is essential that at every turn we do not allow the Right Wing lies crafted and perfectly encapsulated in soundbites are given the time to metastasize into manufactured truth. It takes vigilance, acute listening, and discipline along with continuous research to fight back against this type of disinformation. The fact is that there is ample proof that a corporate tax cut does not boost employment.

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Will the media continue its gullibility and its dereliction of duty

Thu, 2017-09-28 10:44

Donald Trump played the media for fools during the Republican Primaries, throughout the general election, and even before he decided to run for anything. We cannot forget that the Birther movement was given legs by a media incapable of policing itself against the fallacies emanating from celebrities.

For what specifically is Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, or other empty vessels newsworthy? The traditional mainstream media are content to cover idiocy, lunacy, and silliness. It is in that light that they are covering Donald Trump's latest distraction. Colin Kaepernick kneeling in protest during the National Anthem while the league employed him is old news.

But Donald Trump needed a red, white, and blue issue with racial connotations to excite his base. Most importantly, he needed a transport conduit for this new issue intent on changing the conversation from a failing Trump administration to a subject that should not be controversial. The traditional mainstream media were ready to oblige. After all, this was the same media willing to give the president over 2 billion dollars of free air time to spill his vile.

What is ironic is that the media acknowledges that Trump is playing them. Instead of doing their job to filter noise from the news, they just acquiesce to the president's smoke and mirrors. Recently, Chuck Todd, the Meet the Press NBC "journalist" made it clear they were being played but still modified his show to reflect the smoke and mirror story.

Chuck Todd early in the Meet the Press program points out that soon after Trump heard that John McCain would not vote for Trumpcare, the Graham-Cassidy bill to 'repeal & replace' Obamacare, he went on the attack on an entirely different subject. He decided to tackle one with racial connotations, Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem.

In other words, the media knew that Trump was playing them. And what did they do? They became willing participants in the complicity. And Todd admits it.

"The White House thinks this is a good political fight," Chuck Todd said. "They were not unhappy when they found out our format was going to be a little changed this morning; that we were going to make this a big segment. They were not unhappy."

There are various degrees of shame here. How can the media who is supposed to watchdog the politicians acknowledge they are being played by the president, accept it, and continue the charade? Todd said they changed their format to make the Kaepernick story a large part of the segment. Is that not journalistic malpractice?

So why is Donald Trump running with this story? He knew a gullible media would take the story and run with it. After all, there is the entertainment factor; the NFL brings a bunch of eyeballs and clicks from people who are not the usual candidates for political news. More importantly, sending the media off on panels, interviews, and the videoing of trolls and indoctrinated Trumpians, suck all the energy out of the newsroom.

Hurricane Harvey decimated large sections of the Houston Metropolitan Area and Southeast Texas. Many Texans feel their government is failing them.

Hurricane Irma decimated large parts of the Florida Keys, many towns in Florida, the American Virgin Islands, and many islands in the Caribbean. Many of these residents feel forgotten.

Hurricane Mary decimated more of the Virgin Islands and laid waste to much of Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is becoming Trump's Katrina. It is yet to be reported as such by most outlets as they are preoccupied with frivolities.

Americans are about to get a shock when they see their health insurance premiums in October. Is the media raising any alerts that could have mitigated it?

The media should be talking about Donald Trump and his administration sabotaging Obamacare. Americans will feel the brunt of that sabotage in October. They should be talking about the disaster, and pain American citizens are going through in Texas, Florida, the American Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico ad nauseam. They should be admonishing a president who is self-serving, incompetent, lacking a moral compass, and unempathetic for his lack of leadership in real problems afflicting the country.

Instead of making the Kaepernick a story he drives them to cover, they should flip the card and use his smoke and mirrors' tactics to illustrate his ineptitude. That is the job the media must do. They continue to fail and that has a material impact on every American.


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We’re hijacked by people who don’t believe in use of government but for themselves (VIDEO)

Thu, 2017-09-28 10:23

MSNBC contributor Anand Giridharadas appeared on the Morning Joe and pointed out the reality about the current crop of Right Wing Republican Conservatives that have hijacked our government.

Once we understand what these Right Wing Conservative Republicans mean about "small government," it is clear how we must counteract their hypocrisy. The Morning Joe panel was discussing HHS Secretary Tom Price racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars on chartered jet travel throughout the country instead of using commercial airlines or ground transportation.

"It's telling too that no one seemed to view this as a problem until it became public over the last couple of days because you have repeated trips taken over and over again at taxpayer expense where it wasn't frankly required," said Morning Joe's Willie Geist. "There's not an instinct to say wait a minute this is wrong."

They've hijacked our government

We're hijacked by people who don't believe in use of government but for themselves (VIDEO)

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) September 28, 2017

"Leaders set a tone," said Anand Giridharadas. "We all know Donald Trump lived until recently in a house with a stuffed lion and gilded every inch. So they live in a world in which people live in gold and don't see the realities which other people live. The amazing thing to build on your point about the jets, there's an unseemly quality to them being in jets. But that's actually not the real issue. The real issue is these people don't believe in the use of government to help people with cancer. They don't believe in the use of government to help people from going into bankruptcy because their kid got a relatively minor illness. But they do believe in the supreme power is a necessity of the United States government flying them places for thousands of dollars, tens of thousands of dollars that you can get, you know, for a hundred bucks on Expedia. So our government has been hijacked by people who don't believe in the use of government except for themselves."

It is imperative that one continue to point out the hypocrisy of this sect. Their words neither matches their actions or the policies they propose.

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Robert Reich destroys Right Wing economist attempt to sell GOP tax cuts (VIDEO)

Thu, 2017-09-28 02:37

Donald Trump talked up his new tax cut proposal recently. Robert Reich, former President Clinton's Labor Secretary, was paired with a Right Wing economist whose points he summarily dismissed. It wasn't a contest at all as he completely outmatched Moore.

Robert Reich schooled Former Trump economic advisor Stephen Moore on economics 101 as Moore tried to sell GOP tax cuts using the debunked trickle-down economics.

Robert Reich schools Right Wing economist

Robert Reich destroys Right Wing economist's attempt to sell GOP tax cuts w/ the same old trickle-down economics(VIDEO)

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) September 28, 2017

"Congressional Budget Office, Robert Reich, "said Stephen Moore. "Which is not a friend of the Republicans by any means as you saw the healthcare debate. They say 65% of the benefit of cutting the business tax rate goes to workers middle-class workers.

"I will believe that when you tell me that actually, workers have had a rise in real terms over the last years of all these tax cuts these big these big trickle-down tax cuts that you've been advocating for all these years Stephen Moore," Robert Reich said. "But let me just say the corporations are now flush with cash. They don't even know what to do with all their money. They've never had this much money as a percentage of the total national product. They're buying back their own stocks because they don't even know what to do with it. The wealthy in this country have never been as wealthy. They have never taken home as large a percentage of the total economy as they're now taking home. You know the top 1/10 of 1% have more wealth than almost the bottom 90% of Americans. Why are we talking about a corporate and business and wealthy tax cut at a time like this? It makes no sense at all."

"Because, Bob, you need businesses for jobs," Stephen Moore said. "It's that simple without an employer you don't have a job. So we want to help those employers expand their businesses."

"You are wrong about one thing that's very very fundamental," Reich said. "It is the middle-income and poor people who actually through their spending create jobs. Businesses are not going to invest in new jobs unless there are people who are purchasing. That's one of the problems we've had over the last 25 years. This recovery has been as sluggish as it was because the middle class and the poor don't have the money."

And that is the knockout punch.

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Hugh Hefner, Builder of the Playboy Empire dies at 91

Wed, 2017-09-27 23:49

Hugh Hefner is no more as Playboy Enterprises announced his passing away of natural causes. He was the man many men hoped they could live vicariously through if for one day.

The New York Times reported the following.

Hugh Hefner, who created Playboy magazine and spun it into a media and entertainment-industry giant — all the while, as its very public avatar, squiring attractive young women (and sometimes marrying them) well into his 80s — died Wednesday at his home, the Playboy Mansion near the Beverly Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles. He was 91.

His death, from natural causes, was announced by Playboy Enterprises Inc.

Hefner the man and Playboy the brand were inseparable. Both advertised themselves as emblems of the sexual revolution, an escape from American priggishness and wider social intolerance. Both were derided over the years — as vulgar, as adolescent, as exploitative, and finally as anachronistic. But Mr. Hefner was a stunning success from his emergence in the early 1950s. His timing was perfect.

He was compared to Jay Gatsby, Citizen Kane and Walt Disney, but Mr. Hefner was his own production. He repeatedly likened his life to a romantic movie; it starred an ageless sophisticate in silk pajamas and smoking jacket, hosting a never-ending party for famous and fascinating people.


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Anti-Trumpcare disabled Activist to Ted Cruz: You Will Not Feast On Our Living Flesh! (VIDEO)

Wed, 2017-09-27 15:59

Indivisible Houston held an Anti-Trumpcare protest against Ted Cruz at his Houston, Texas downtown office.

Several dozen community members showed up with signs, testimonials, and speeches. Maria R. Palacios, a disabled woman in a wheelchair, wrote a poem/essay that excelled in the perspective it provided. She closed her essay with a prescient statement that encapsulates the state of the healthcare debate on the left. I took the liberty to modify a couple of words to relay the parallel. At least regular vultures wait until final demise, but the political kind with promoting policies like Trumpcare will eat us alive unless they see the torch of our advocacy well lit and burning hot with the flame of activism.

It is clear that the Graham-Cassidy instantiation of Trumpcare was a disaster. Trump is vowing to bring it back up for reconciliation next year. Activists cannot go to sleep. Americans must stay alert.

Maria R. Palacios at Indivisible Hoiston's Anti-Trumpcare rally

Maria R. Palacios' essay follows.

You Will Not Feast On Our Living Flesh!
by Maria R. Palacios

We are here today because although, yet again, we won another battle, we are still at war. We are still in danger.

The predators who tried to scratch Medicaid out of the fabric of our American rights are still out there, sharpening their claws and plotting another attack on the lives of disabled people –on the lives of some of our most vulnerable citizens who, without Medicaid, are sentenced to death or to a life of segregation –a life of institutions where real solutions a thrown away as if our disabled lives did not matter. But we do matter. Our lives are not for wealthy politicians to throw away. Our lives, our bodies, our healthcare rights do not belong to them no matter how disposable
they may see as to be through their lens of indifference… through their lens of able-bodied privilege that leads them to believe they have the right to take our rights away.

That’s why we are here today… because we know that unless we continue to raise our voices, they will believe they have silenced us. We are here today because we want them to know they cannot and WILL NOT silence us! our voices and our chants will continue to be heard, and we will go ahead and keep fighting –fighting for the right to exist as we all resist
and speak up. Resist and look up because we the disabled the crippled the handicapped or whatever other labels you want to slap over our differences, WE will keep coming back. We will keep fighting for our lives because for us, this fight means that.

For many disabled people, it means the difference between living and dying! Without Medicaid, many disabled lives are thrown away, or thrown in a hole and buried alive, and our rights are swept under the rug of bigotry and ableism.
But the truth is, no matter how hard they try to extinguish us, how much they may try to eliminate us, or change us
into something we’re not, no matter how hard they may try, they will never succeed. disabled people will always exist because nobody, and I mean NOBODY, is immune to disability.

Disability is part of life whether we like it or not. One day, they, too, will be like us. But despite this truth, WE, the disabled people they are trying to kill, cannot sit around and wait for life’s natural course to lead them into the awareness of our rights. So we continue to fight, and we continue to share our truths.

Our advocacy never rests because we know the minute it does, the vultures in political power who pretend to care about our disabled lives will hover over us and tear the flesh out of our healthcare rights. At least regular vultures wait
until final demise, but the political kind will eat us alive unless they see the torch of our advocacy well lit
and burning hot with the flame of activism.

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I am not sold yet, but early signs of a blue wave are trickling in

Wed, 2017-09-27 11:31

Given the performance of Republicans now that they own all three branches of the government, a blue wave would seem inevitable. That said, Progressives have a knack for pulling defeat out of winning. But if the trend continues, a blue wave could be in the making. Carolyn Fiddler of the Daily Kos wrote the article "Eight is great: Democrats flip SECOND Republican seat in one night for eighth pickup of the cycle" that should make every Progressive salivate.

Democrats 8, Republicans 0. Democrats just won’t stop winning.

Tuesday night’s first red-to-blue flip was in Florida, where Democrat Annette Taddeo picked up a historically Republican seat in the state Senate. The second upset came in New Hampshire, where Democrat Kari Lerner flipped a dark red GOP district in the state House. Lerner defeated a Republican former state representative 50-48 percent, improving on Clinton’s performance here last fall by 25 points. This seat backed Donald Trump by a 59-36 margin in 2016 and voted 60-39 for Mitt Romney in 2012.

So now we have two massive upsets in a single night and one very worried party. These two flips follow Democratic pickups in New Hampshire and Oklahoma just a couple of weeks ago, and two earlier flips in Oklahoma in July. This trend of Democratic flips began in May, when Democrats flipped another state House seat in New Hampshire and a state Assembly seat in New York. This means that Democrats have now won seats from the GOP eight times in just 27 chances—almost 30 percent of all contested special elections in Republican-held seats in the Trump era. What’s more, the playing field has been very hostile to Democrats: Trump won these 27 districts by an average of 19 points.

A few weeks ago I wrote the piece "Democrats’ timidity & lack of a bold agenda dims 2018 blue wave hopes" and wrote the following.

Democrats' released their new slogan, "A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Future" which is completely uninspiring and cookie cutter. It says nothing either Republicans or Democrats alike have implied is their goal.

Democrats' continue to fail to see that the country is looking for bold Progressive leadership and policies. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders proved that. It's not hard to postulate that the intersection of Trump and Sanders' voters who did not vote for Hillary, rank and file Democrats, Independents, and Progressive Republicans represent a winning coalition that supports a bold Progressive agenda.

Americans are starting to wake up. They are not buying into empty rhetoric from either side of the aisle. Middle-class centric solutions may be the order of the day in 2018.

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Respected Republican Strategist says the President is a racist and explains (VIDEO)

Wed, 2017-09-27 01:57

Steve Schmidt, a well-respected Republican strategist, is sounding the alarm. He says categorically that by his actions the President is a racist. More importantly, he is admonishing the Republican Party's complicity.

The Republican Strategist reminded the audience that Donald Trump's winning margin in three states made the difference.

Republican Strategist Steve Schmidt calls out President as racist

Respected Republican Strategist says the President is a racist and explains (VIDEO)

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) September 27, 2017

The Republican Strategist Steve Schmidt reminded the audience that Donald Trump's winning margin in three states made the difference. He was visibly disturbed by what has happened to his party, the Republican party.

"And I want to be clear about something," Steve Schmidt said. "I saw a handsome young man on TV, an NFL player. He got a little bit jammed up when the reporter asked them a question. 'Is he a racist/' He didn't want to say it. So let me say it. I want to help him out. He's a racist, okay? You look at that speech in Alabama to an all-white crowd, right? We need to get real about this in this country. The President of the United States goes down there. He talks about us and those people. He came proverbially as close as you could possibly come to shouting in a rally the n-word. That's what he did down there. I know it. You know it. Harold knows it. We all know it and for the Republican Party and its leaders and for every decent American, we're coming up on the line where enough is enough.

"What he's doing in the country, is tragic. The Republican Strategist said. "The resilience of the country and the eloquence of LeBron James, God bless them. And what LeBron's got right about this is this. It's not his flag. It's my flag it's our flag. That flag stands for the soldier and for the protester. We all live under its magnificence. It's the most powerful symbol of the greatest ideals that have ever been put to paper by the mind of man in all of human history. We're not a perfect people. We're not a perfect country but our ideals or as near to perfect as can be and to watch the assault on them every day from this president. What it will do in time is it will rally the American people, rally a generation. And I don't care; Republicans Democrats independents left-handed vegetarians people will rally, to the flag."

"Are we a racist nation," Stephanie Ruhle interjected. "Why is America allowing the President to reframe this nonsense?

"Thirty-five percent approval on his best day," Schmidt said. "We need to stop pretending that he represents a majority of the American people. He does not. He never has. He lost the popular vote. He won by 78,000 , votes across three states with an inside straight. This is not represent the majority of the American people it doesn't.


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“What was in their heads,” asked San Antonio Spurs Coach about Trump voter (VIDEO)

Tue, 2017-09-26 16:13

San Antonio Spurs coach had a very political press conference where he had a lot to say about the president and his supporters. He sympathetically scolded the Trump voters for their wrong choice, slammed the president, and then admonished those in the grassroots to mobilize.

San Antonio Spurs Coach on Trump and his voters

What was in their heads, asked San Antonio Coach about Trump voter (VIDEO)

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) September 26, 2017

"I wonder what the people think who voted for him," Gregg Popovich said. "Where their line is. How much they can take. Where do the morality and decency kick in? I understand very well. They didn't like their choice. Economically, a lot of people had a problem. He was the right guy at the right time to tap into that mood. And people overlooked one hell of a lot to be able to pull that trigger and vote in that direction. But it was because they wanted change. They felt ignored. They actually thought something would happen that would aid them. But at what price is the question."

"And as we see the actions over and over and over again, one wonders what is in their heads," the San Antonio Spurs Coach continued. "Have they come to the conclusion that they had the wrong vehicle. They might have had good ideas, good reasons why they wanted to go the way they went. But someone else that had a little bit more decency about how they approach other people, other groups, might have served better. That's what I wonder about in the country. You wonder about if you lived where you thought you lived. I think these people have been enabled by an example we've all been given. What do we do to get it done, to go to the grassroots and not let this happen again? Our country us an embarrassment in the world."

Popovich then suggested that Americans mobilize to extricate this cancer afflicting the country.

"So you've got a choice," Popovich said. "We can continue to bounce our heads off the wall with his conduct. Or we can decide that the institutions of our country are more important, that people are more important, that the decent America that we all thought we had and want is more important and get down-to-business at the grassroots level and do what we have to do."

In our pop culture and sports-loving society, this type of message likely sells to quite a few crossover basketball/Trump supporters. Sometimes the messenger matters. Popovich's message in the same press conference to white people was also prescient and likely will reach many.

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Joe Scarborough lashes out at Trump voters ‘Who raised these people’ (VIDEO)

Tue, 2017-09-26 10:31

Joe Scarborough in a rather harsh rant excoriated Trump supporters for booing John McCain. But he went further as he challenged their intellect.

Morning Joe showed contempt for Trump supporters many have not seen before for their divisive and hateful behavior.

Joe Scarborough excoriates Trump supporters

Joe Scarborough lashes out at Trump voters 'Who raised these people' (VIDEO)

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) September 26, 2017

Scarborough started is rant going for the jugular.

"By the way, for people watching at home, if you're in the audience and John McCain's getting attacked and he's fighting for his life," Scarborough said. "Unless you were raised in a barn, keep your mouth shut. Alright? Show a little respect. Show a little dignity. Show a little class."

He admonished their upbringing.

"Who raised these people. Because I guarantee you, I was raised in the same region," Joe Scarborough said. "Who have they become that they would boo a man who is fighting for his very life, and has served this country in uniform, who is a prisoner of war, who was actually told, 'You know what, you can be released from prison because your father's really powerful? He's a powerful man. We will stop beating you; we will stop putting stars on your back. Go home you will be freed.' And John McCain said, for those of you booing John McCain right now and are too ignorant to read a book, John McCain said no. I'm not gonna go home until all my men go home with me."

Scarborough then contrasted Trump to McCain.

"You should keep your mouth shut, and you should go home, and you should talk to your children, and you should tell the story of John McCain to your children, a man who served his country in uniform when he could have done what Donald Trump did. He could have avoided the draft. He could have stayed home like Donald Trump. And he could have chased models. But John McCain wanted to serve his country. And when he got shot down and when he got beaten and when he got abused, he gets thrown in prison, and he refused to leave because John McCain said, 'I will not go until every one of my men goes with me.'

Joe then challenged their character as he admonished them to be better if not for their children.

"Do you have the character to do that?" Scarborough asked. "Someone has failed you in your life, and you need to examine that. If you still go to church, you need to pray for yourself this Sunday morning in church. And then when you get your head screwed on right, and you start putting humanity ahead of politics, against stupidity, against the tribalism that is destroying this country, then go home and tell your children the story of John McCain and what he did when things got tough and how he put others ahead of himself. And if you can teach your children that lesson, maybe they will grow up to have a little more character than you."

Just maybe some Trump voters will see themselves in the mirror and hate what they see once the veil is removed. One can hope.

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