Dec 232017
 

Here is the one hundred fifth article in our Republicans on Parade series, featuring individuals who personify what the Republican Party has become. Today’s honoree is Republican CFPB appointee Mick Mulvaney. He is so honored for gutting the CFPB for Banksters.

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Muting the core of the agency’s mission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under the controversial direction of Trump-appointed Mick Mulvaney has sidelined consumer protection and indicated "deregulation" is the forefront of its purpose.

The difference is displayed at the bottom of the most recent press releases from the agency.

The first image below shows the mission statement as it appears at the bottom of two pressreleases dated Dec. 21:

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The second image is from the previous press release dated Nov. 24:

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The new version puts "by regularly identifying and addressing outdated, unnecessary, or unduly burdensome regulations" first and also leaves out the word "fairly."…

Inserted from <Common Dreams>

The worst I can do is give this greedy Republican a parade, but I’m looking forward to following up when Elizabeth Warren responds to how he has turned her signature achievement into a device to make Banksters richer by screwing consumers.

RESIST THE REPUBLICAN REICH!!

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Dec 232017
 

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve.  WWW and I will be celebrating the day with roast ham, cheese baked potatoes, Brussels sprouts hollandaise, and a surprise dessert from Wendy.  If news is as scarce as I anticipate, I may publish only an Open Thread tomorrow, and send no links on Care2.  I wish Happy Holidays to all Republicans, and Merry Christmas to everyone else, even if you don’t celebrate it.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:02 (average 5:09).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (MoveOn Channel): Senator Gillibrand​ Will Not Be Silenced

 

I fully agree. Hold those who devalue women, especially Putin’s Pussy Grabber, accountable! RESIST!!

From The New Yorker: [O]n Tuesday, in a convention center in West Palm Beach, Florida, amid chants of “USA!” and “The wall is going to be built!,” Donald Trump, Jr., kicked off a three-day annual summit for Turning Point USA, a conservative nonprofit. Based outside of Chicago, Turning Point’s aim is to foment a political revolution on America’s college campuses, in part by funnelling [sic] money into student government elections across the country to elect right-leaning candidates. But it is secretive about its funding and its donors, raising the prospect that “dark money” may now be shaping not just state and federal races but ones on campus.

Turning Point touts its close relationship with the President’s family. The group’s Web site promoted Don, Jr.,’s appearance for weeks, featuring a photo of him raising a clenched fist. Its promotional materials include a quote from the younger Trump praising Turning Point: “What you guys have done” is “just amazing.” Lara Trump, the wife of Don, Jr.,’s brother Eric, is also involved with the group. In West Palm Beach on Wednesday, she hosted a luncheon promoting Turning Point’s coming Young Women’s Leadership Summit. The group’s twenty-four-year-old executive director and founder, Charlie Kirk, told me that he counts Don, Jr., as “a personal friend.”

Turning Point casts itself as a grassroots response to what it perceives as liberal intolerance on college campuses. Kirk has called college campuses “islands of totalitarianism”; he and his supporters contend that conservatives are the true victims of discrimination in America, and he has vowed to fight back on behalf of what he has called his “Team Right.” Kirk is a frequent guest on Fox News, and last summer he was invited to give a speech at the Republican National Convention. That was where he met Donald Trump, Jr., and “hit it off” with him, Kirk said. After the convention, Kirk divided his time between Turning Point activities and working for the Trump campaign as a specialist in youth outreach. “I helped coördinate some rather successful events with him,” Kirk told me, referring to Don, Jr., “and I also carried his bags.” When friends threw Kirk a surprise birthday party earlier this year, Don, Jr., attended, as did Sebastian Gorka, the former Trump White House adviser.

As Turning Point’s profile has risen, so has scrutiny of its funding and tactics. Internal documents that I obtained, as well as interviews with former employees, suggest that the group may have skirted campaign-finance laws that bar charitable organizations from participating in political activity. Former employees say that they were directed to work with prominent conservatives, including the wife of the Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, in aid of Republican Presidential candidates in 2016. Perhaps most troubling for an organization that holds up conservatives as the real victims of discrimination in America, Turning Point USA is also alleged to have fostered an atmosphere that is hostile to minorities. Screenshots provided to me by a source show that Crystal Clanton, who served until last summer as the group’s national field director, sent a text message to another Turning Point employee saying, “i hate black people. Like fuck them all . . . I hate blacks. End of story.”

Click through for the rest of this fine article about the Republican War on Student government.  It’s an eye-opener!  RESIST!!

From NY Times: More than 700 people have left the Environmental Protection Agency since President Trump took office, a wave of departures that puts the administration nearly a quarter of the way toward its goal of shrinking the agency to levels last seen during the Reagan administration.

Of the employees who have quit, retired or taken a buyout package since the beginning of the year, more than 200 are scientists. An additional 96 are environmental protection specialists, a broad category that includes scientists as well as others experienced in investigating and analyzing pollution levels. Nine department directors have departed the agency as well as dozens of attorneys and program managers. Most of the employees who have left are not being replaced.

The departures reflect poor morale and a sense of grievance at the agency, which has been criticized by President Trump and top Republicans in Congress as bloated and guilty of regulatory overreach. That unease is likely to deepen following revelations that Republican campaign operatives were using the Freedom of Information Act to request copies of emails from E.P.A. officials suspected of opposing Mr. Trump and his agenda.

Who can blame them? It’s like chickens resigning over the way foxes run the Henhouse Protection Agency! RESIST!!

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The Way Forward on Tax Scam

 Posted by at 12:39 pm  Politics
Dec 202017
 

It’s a done deal.  Less than five minutes ago, the House passed the Republican Tax Scam, and it’s on the way to their Fuhrer’s desk.  For the way forward, we have a good head start, because the Republican Tax Scam is more unpopular than any tax increase has been.  Moving along, we need to hang this albatross on the neck of every Republican lawmaker at every level of government, as well as every Republican donor and corporate criminal, whose greedy threats drove passage of this disaster.

GOPVoting

Foremost on many activists’ minds is how to make politicians rue the day they voted for this scam. The folks who organized the big Tax March last April are about to launchrepealthetrumptax.org [sic] to coordinate 100 days of “accountability” events around the country, beginning in early January. Their aim: Make a “yea” vote on this stinker a mark of shame for candidates trying to get reelected in 2018 and 2020.

We should also be working to hold corporations that supported the tax bill accountable. Lobby groups representing nearly every large firm in the country, from the Chamber of Commerce to the Business Roundtable, fought full-throttle for this monstrosity, spewing one absurd claim after another.

Meanwhile, according to Marketwatch, corporations have been preparing to spend their tax savings not on job-creating investments or wage hikes but on stock buybacks, which will inflate the value of their CEOs’ stock-based pay…

Inserted from <The Nation>

Rachel Maddow gives us some excellent background on this mess.

Rachel explained that only 7% of Americans think the Republican Tax Scam is a middle class tax cut.  That’s a great start, and in the end, 60 percent of Americans get a tax INCREASE!  Are you ready?  Campaign 2018 just started in earnest.

RESIST THE REPUBLICAN REICH!!

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Dec 202017
 

It’s another crazy day in the CatBox.  I had to split my grocery order into two deliveries, one from each of two locations, the Amazon warehouse and New Seasons Market.  The larger of the two from Amazon has already come, and it was so well packed and organized that putting everything away was relatively painless.  The New Seasons order is only three items, but one of them is a key ingredient for tonight’s supper.  That will come between 10:00 and Noon.  Tonight is a shower night, and I’m planning a special supper for WWW: bagels with lox, cream cream cheese, and onions!  Oy Purrrr!!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:22 (average 5:12).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The Atlantic: Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma put it a bit more succinctly. “God made Republicans to cut taxes,” he quipped to reporters.

Trump hasn’t even signed it in OUR blood yet, and Republicans are already trying to blame their albatross on somebody else. RESIST!!

From Washington Post: The White House has taken down a popular online tool created by President Barack Obama’s administration that allowed the public to create online petitions, some of which required an official response.

All of the petitions, including one that called on President Trump to release his tax returns — the most popular, with more than a million signatures — disappeared from Petitions.WhiteHouse.Gov as part of what a statement https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/ said was part of a maintenance effort to improve its performance.

The statement said that the site, as well as all of its existing petitions, would be restored by the end of January.

“All existing petitions and associated signatures have been preserved and will be available when the site is relaunched,” the note said. “Following the site’s relaunch, petitions that have reached the required number of signatures will begin receiving responses.”

I’ll bet a buck that, when the end of January comes, there will be a problem that will cause a "slight" delay in getting it back up. That delay will continue until Drumpfenfarten is no longer Fuhrer. Any takers? RESIST!!

From NY Times: The Democratic wave that rose on Election Day in Virginia last month delivered a final crash on the sand Tuesday when a Democratic challenger defeated a Republican incumbent by a single vote, leaving the Virginia House of Delegates evenly split between the two parties.

The victory by Shelly Simonds, a school board member in Newport News, was a civics lesson in every-vote-counts as she won 11,608 to 11,607 in a recount conducted by local election officials. [emphasis added]

How many times have you heard lazy lefties or third party fools say their vote doesn’t matter, because it will make no difference anyway. Bullshit! RESIST!!

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The Corker Kickback

 Posted by at 1:06 pm  Politics
Dec 182017
 

When I learned on Friday that Senator Bob Corker had flipped on the Republican Tax Scam, I wondered why.  He had said that he would not support a tax bill that added a penny to the debt.  $1 trillion plus is a lot of pennies.  That is in character for him, because he has been a deficit hawk throughout his career.  Trump could not threaten him, because he retires in January.  It just made no sense to me at all… until now.

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Remember those five minutes when Republican Senator Bob Corker tried to position himself as the principled conservative opposition to Donald Trump? That ended this week, when the GOP bribed Corker into voting for his tax scam bill by adding a provision that benefitted him financially. It turns out Corker is nothing more than a financially corrupt conservative who happens to personally dislike Trump. Now it turns out Corker could be in actual legal trouble for his vote.

Corker, who is set to retire from the Senate in about a year, faced immediate blowback when it was revealed that he changed his vote to “yes” after the Republican Party made a change to the bill which sharply boosted Corker’s own personal financial prospects. There has been some debate in legal circles as to whether this qualifies an actual crime under the law, or merely a moral crime. But we may be about to find out – and Corker may be far from the only one facing potential reckoning.

The current Republican-controlled Congress naturally won’t investigate Bob Corker for any laws he may have broken in the name of voting for their corrupt tax bill. However, with Corker set to become a private citizen at the end of 2018, he could theoretically be prosecuted like anyone else who has committed financial fraud. If it can be demonstrated that he changed his vote specifically because he was offered a provision whose primary purpose was to personally enrich him, it could be categorized as a “kickback” or essentially a bribe…  [emphasis added]

Inserted from <The Palmer Report>

I disagree with the author about prosecuting Corker, because even when intent is obvious as it is here, proving it to a legal certainty is a virtually impossible task.

Amy Goodman covered the story, including Corker’s absurd protestations.

Now, if Corker were innocent of switching his vote for a bribe, all he had to do is present a viable reason for doing so.  He did not.  But if you believe that he didn’t do it, you probably also believe the the Pope is not Catholic, and that bears never, ever shit in the woods.

RESIST THE REPUBLICAN REICH!!

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Dec 182017
 

It’s another busy day here at the CatBox.  Our fantasy football league has almost completed the first playoff week.  Patty Monster has squeaked by Wendy.  The Squatch and I are neck and neck.  If Julio Jones scores four fantasy points in tonight’s game, I advance.  If not… Oh the shame!! Embarrassed smile 

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:19 (average 5:48).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NBC News: The latest NBC/WSJ poll not only shows Democrats holding their biggest lead in congressional preference since 2008, it also finds them enjoying a double-digit advantage when it comes to voter intensity ahead of next year’s midterms.

According to the poll, 59 percent of Democratic voters say they have a high level of interest in next year’s elections (registering either a 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale), versus 49 percent of Republican voters saying the same thing. Additionally, 62 percent of voters who said they voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 have a high level of interest in next year’s midterms, compared with 50 percent of Trump voters.

"A double-digit margin here is an important indicator of Democratic intensity," said Republican pollster Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies, who conducted this survey with Democratic pollsters from Hart Research Associates.

We need to channel that intensity into a 50 state strategy, at all levels of government, based on progressive values, without shooting ourselves in the foot along the way. RESIST!!

From Pacific Standard: For the last two weeks, Philip Alston, a professor at the New York University School of Law and a United Nations special rapporteur on poverty and human rights, has been on a fact-finding tour of the United States’ poorest communities. Alston visited neighborhoods in rural Alabama where raw sewage sits in open trenches and pits. He spent time at a free dental clinic in West Virginia, where he met a 32-year-old whose teeth have all but rotted away. He saw a homeless encampment in Los Angeles where the ratio of toilets to residents is lower than the U.N. mandate for Syrian refugee camps. Today, Alston released a sharply critical preliminary reportsummarizing [sic]his findings. American exceptionalism may be alive and well, Alston concludes, but "today’s United States has proved itself to be exceptional in far more problematic ways that are shockingly at odds with its immense wealth and its founding commitment to human rights."

When it comes to poverty rates and other measures of deprivation, the U.S. is a stark outlier among other developed countries. Despite its status as one of the world’s wealthiest countries, the U.S. has the highest infant mortality rates in the developed world, the worst health outcomes, the highest incarceration rate, the highest youth poverty rate, one of the highest rates of inequality, and one of the lowest rates of voter participation. Eighteen percent of American children in 2016 were living in poverty, with rates in some states as high as 30 percent.

Politicians opposed to expanding the social safety net have leaned heavily on a certain false narrative about poor Americans to justify cuts to welfare and other social programs, according to Alston. "Some politicians and political appointees with whom I spoke were completely sold on the narrative of such scammers sitting on comfortable sofas, watching color TVs, while surfing on their smartphones, all paid for by welfare," he writes. "I wonder how many of these politicians have ever visited poor areas, let alone spoken to those who dwell there. There are anecdotes aplenty, but evidence is nowhere to be seen."

Behold the culmination of eight years of the Bush Regime, eight years of Republicans sabotaging and obstructing everything Obama and Democrats tried to make it better, and one year of Trump. RESIST!!

From NY Times: …The task in front of Congress over the coming week boils down to a basic question: Does Washington work for all of us or just for those at the top? Congress has a chance, right now, to take steps that will make life a bit better for millions of working people immediately and in the years to come. We should seize it.

This is the last paragraph of an excellent editorial by both Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Click through for a great read. RESIST!!

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