As always, the Reich on the left, Robert Reich, is right, and the Reich on the right, the Republican Reich, is wrong. The Republican economic plan is just standard tinkle down on steroids. Unless you’re rich, you know I call it that, because you’re under the flow. Reich makes an undeniable case to prove that it is wrong.
For years, conservatives have been telling us that a healthy business-friendly economy depends on low taxes, few regulations, and low wages. Are they right?
We’ve had an experiment going on here in the United States that provides an answer.
At the one end of the scale are Kansas and Texas, with among the nation’s lowest taxes, least regulations, and lowest wages.
At the other end is California, featuring among the nation’s highest taxes, especially on the wealthy; lots of regulations, particularly when it comes to the environment; and high wages.
So according to conservative doctrine, Kansas and Texas ought to be booming, and California ought to be in the pits.
After doing my research this morning, I rested and had a later than normal lunch, because when Wendy comes on Wednesdays to give the stinky TomCat a flea bath, we have supper later than usual. After I finish my work, I'll lay down for a couple hours. It's a good day to support veterans.
Jig Zone Puzzle:
Today's took me 3:44 (average 5:07). To do it, click here. How did you do?
If you ate a US citizen, please click through to email your own state legislators. I did.
From Think Progress: Why is the Trump team requesting security clearances for conspiracy theorists? Pence won’t answer.
Barf Bag Alert!!
Although General Flynn was not personally involved in the Pizzagate scam, he, the Fuhrer's national Security Director, was the conspiracy theorist who originated the fake news that Bill and Hillary Clinton run a sex slavery ring.
In 2016, the attack came on November 8 and was far more devastating.
When it comes to populism from Rump Dump Trump, it includes hatred of all the people that Republican Supply-side Jesus (the polar opposite of the real Jesus) wants them to hate, especially Muslims and undocumented immigrants (except his wife). However, when it comes to his economic plan, he embraces the Tinkle Down policies of Paul Lyin’ Ryan.
From the beginning of Donald Trump’s campaign, there has been a nagging inconsistency in his approach to economic issues. On trade and immigration, he has broken with Republican dogma, arguing that the influx from abroad of cheap goods and low-wage workers has undermined the job prospects and living standards of ordinary Americans. [his own products excluded] On tax policy, however, Trump has stuck to the standard G.O.P. script, promising a slew of tax cuts skewed toward businesses and the rich. To be sure, until Monday, Trump hadn’t talked much about his tax plan, but the broad outlines of it were there on his Web site, serving as a reminder of the limits of his populism.
Trump rolled out his original tax plan last September, after his Republican-primary opponents accused him of lacking policy specifics. I thought at the time that adopting trickle-down economics represented a strategic error for a candidate who was promoting himself as a new type of Republican. Instead of saying he’d slash business taxes and bring the top rate of income tax down to twenty-five per cent, Trump could have promised tax cuts and tax credits targeted specifically at middle-class Americans, citing the fact that wealthy Americans were doing fine and didn’t need another handout. For instance, he could have suggested raising the upper-income cut-off on Social Security contributions and using the cash this generated to pay for higher benefits for everybody. Or he could have eschewed tax cuts aimed at the wealthy in favor of expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit, which boosts the take-home pay of low-income working families.
It’s true that without any offsetting cuts in spending, such a tax plan would have raised the hackles of deficit hawks—but the plan he did introduce raised those hackles anyway. A plan aimed at the middle class, however, could have complemented Trump’s populist line on immigration and trade, wrong-footed the Democrats, and allowed him to claim he had a three-pronged approach to raising wages and living standards. In short, it would have made him a much more formidable candidate.
The problem was that moving in that direction would have signalled [sic] that Trump was a genuine populist insurrectionary, rather than a cosseted billionaire who plays one on television… [emphasis added]
Now, if Trump is elected, there will be no money for infrastructure, and he and his Republican Rectumite cronies will have to raise vast sums to pay for his huge increase in welfare for the 0.1%. They will take it from YOU. The poorer you are, the more they will take.
The past few days have been busy with my brother and SIL, and their friends, in town for a few days before boarding a cruise ship for Alaska. We had a chance to spend Friday afternoon with my mother and then go out for a great dinner. Even my 3 furbabes got in on the action eating prime rib leftovers which they very much enjoyed! Although the weather was supposed to be rainy, we lucked out with clear skies at all the right times. I certainly was tired and sore from a lot of walking, but it wasn't as bad as I had feared. I wanted to take them to the Britannia Mine Museum but an auto accident on the highway brought that activity to a screaming halt, and the plan B was Stanley Park. I have several meetings, a haircut and a teaching session with Lucia during the rest of the week.
Alternet — Blame abounds in the wake of the brutal slaying of five police officers in downtown Dallas. But while most people place the responsibility for this tragedy squarely in the hands of the man who shot the police officers (who were by all accounts monitoring and protecting protestors), some on the right believe other people are to blame.
Here's a roundup of some of those (besides the gunman himself) who are being blamed for the Dallas shooting.
2. President Barack Obama
As expected, the annals of Twitter were immediately inundated with charges that “Barack is smiling his smug little smile.” Unfortunately, the notion that President Obama bears any responsibility for the Dallas shooting was hardly limited to the fringes of the internet.
“3 Dallas Cops killed, 7 wounded,” former Illinois GOP congressman-slash-ostentatious-right-wing-radio-host Joe Walsh wrote on Twitter. “This is now war. Watch out Obama. Watch out black loves matter punks. Real America is coming after you.”
Walsh has since deleted the tweet, but he continued posting video of the chaos in Dallas throughout the night.
“10 Cops shot. You did this Obama. You did this liberals. You did this #BLM. Time to defend our Cops. Wake up,” Walsh posted.
He later added that Obama “stoked the flame” and “defends Islam.” Eric Trump, son of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, reportedly retweeted a post by Walsh accusing Black Lives Matter of calling for the death of police officers.
Walsh later clarified he “wasn’t calling for violence, against Obama or anyone.”
William Johnson, the executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations, also blamed Obama, taking issue with the president’s completely accurate statement that “when people are armed with powerful weapons, unfortunately it makes it more deadly and more tragic, and in the days ahead we are going to have to consider those realities as well.”
"The Obama administration is the Neville Chamberlain of this war,” Johnson told Fox News. “I think their continued appeasement at the federal level with the Department of Justice, their appeasement of violent criminals, their refusal to condemn movements like Black Lives Matter, actively calling for the death of police officers, that type of thing, all the while blaming police for the problems in this country has led directly to the climate that has made Dallas possible.”
Other GOP groups took issue with a statement Obama gave Thursday addressing the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile at the hands of police. “To be concerned about these issues is not to be against law enforcement,” Obama said. ”When people say black lives matter, it doesn’t mean blue lives don’t matter.”
“Obama lectures nation on racial disparities hours before assassination of Dallas police officers,” the conservative group GOPUSA said in an email.
“It was bound to happen,” the email reads. “It was a Daily Beasttime bomb. Every time Barack Obama speaks on race, things get worse.”
For his part, Obama spoke out forcefully against the Dallas shootings Friday morning.
"I believe I speak for every single American when I say we are horrified over these events, and we stand united with the people and the police department in Dallas,” Obama said, calling the assault a "vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement.”
"We will learn more, undoubtedly, about their twisted motivations, but let’s be clear: There is no possible justification for these types of attacks," Obama said. "Anyone involved in the senseless murders will be held fully accountable. Justice will be done.”
This is the second of 4 absurb right wing reactions to the killing of 5 Dallas police officers. Click through for the other three. As is usually the case, this is totally insaniTEA!
Daily Beast — Donald Trump is all about branding, and here’s a striking irony: while his political brand is built on Muslim-bashing, Hispanic-bashing, and, not least, China-bashing, his hotel brand appears to be thriving here in Asia.
Last October, well after Trump’s xenophobic and sinophobic presidential campaign got under way, Trump’s man in China, Eric Danziger, told Chinese state-run media that the Trump Hotel Collection is actively seeking expansion opportunities in Asian metropolises, including Chinese cities like Shanghai, Beijing, and Shenzhen. …
A former Chinese public servant who acquired a green card through the EB-5 program told The Daily Beast that he never expected a profitable return on his $500,000 investment. This is common, as many projects funded via EB-5 become inactive or are poorly managed. For Trump, who has had four businesses file for bankruptcy, the program is perfect.
In fact, during the application process, details of the investor’s previous employment were never called into question—how did a low-level official accumulate half a million dollars to burn, with plenty to spare? The former public servant never had to provide an answer.
Congressional overseers and the Department of Homeland Security have pointed out the vetting process for EB-5 is lacking, and could be a portal for dirty money and those who possess it to enter America.
So, let’s be clear: Trump-branded procriminal enterprisejects have ignored concerns raised by government overseers and might be actively creating channels for money laundering.
Is this the kind of POTUS that Americans want . . . one that indulges in criminal enterprise for his own profit? So if elected president, what will come first . . . the country or his profit? I still really like Huffington Post's disclosure on Trump articles:
Dear Huff Post, I think you need to add some more descriptors for Drumpf like 'criminal' and 'narcissist'.
Think Progress— G.T., who escaped from Eritrea due to political and economic turmoil, works as a steward at a Washington, D.C.-area Hilton hotel. He cleans and washes dishes among other tasks, makes $14.85 an hour, and saves up a portion of his paycheck because he aspires to go to college one day. His life is far different from when he left Eritrea to escape a lifetime of forced military conscription.
Now, G.T. earns a steady paycheck and has become a success story of a controversial refugee resettlement process in the United States that some politicians want to restrict on fears that terrorists could come into the country through this manner. …
Last year, U.S. politicians began tearing into the refugee resettlement process, claiming that terrorists could potentially come into the country disguised as refugees because the country lacks a rigorous refugee application process. As testimony to their fears, as many as 31 state governors rejected refugee resettlement in their states after the terrorist attacks in Paris, France. Roughly 800,000 people have been resettled in the country since 9/11, but not one refugee has been arrested on terrorism charges.
In spite of these vicious claims against refugees, G.T.’s successful integration into U.S. society stands out as an example of the reciprocal, beneficial relationship that refugees and local communities can have on one another. Some local politicians see refugee resettlement as a way to revitalize their cities and to harness talent and skills for entry-level jobs that many native-born Americans may not necessarily want to do.
So what is the Republican line . . . shiftless, lazy, uneducated, thieves, and terrorists? All refugees are not alike but the vast majority are honest, hard working people who want nothing more than safety and the opportunity to properly provide for their families. Properly supported, refugees will add to the community making it a more vibrant place to be.
My Universe — OK, equal time for all the dawg lovers out there!
Well it has been a while since I posted and my laptop is acting up thereby taking me longer . . . and resulting in an incomplete post. It has been very busy lately. Teaching progresses and little Simon is a little monkey as usual. Last Friday, he learned "ABCDE" as I was doing flashcards with Lucia. At church he learned AMEN so says the word often. My brother and his wife will be travelling from Toronto to Vancouver to board a cruise to Alaska. They will come out 2 days early to see mother whom they have not seen since 2013. Her condition will be a real shock. I saw my mother last night and spent almost 3 hours brushing her hair. At almost 88 years, she has had quantity of life so now my goal is strictly quality and brushing her hair fills the bill. My furbabes always send a message to Nana — meow, meow, meow! — which makes her smile. As many will know, TomCat's surgery was successful. He posted a brief statement which I will post over to Care2 so everyone will know.
Jig Zone Puzzle
Today’s took me 3:47 (average 5:27). To do it, click here. How did you do?
NY Times — It was April 1990, and Mr. Trump was officially opening his third gambling resort in Atlantic City, the biggest project of his career: the, and $1 billion Trump Taj Mahal.
“It’s truly going to be an incredible place,” he told reporters. “We’re calling it the eighth wonder of the world.” …
Then Mr. Trump bought Hilton’s nearlycompleted casino in the marina district for $320 million, calling it Trump Castle. His company issued $352 million in bonds to finish construction and open the casino, and tacked on an additional $32 million. That casino opened in 1985 and competed directly against his partner’s first casino, Harrah’s Marina.
The following year, Harrah’s scuttled its partnership with Mr. Trump and sold him its stake in Trump Plaza for more than $220 million.
In the end, Mr. Griffin got the company, while Mr. Trump won the still-unfinished Taj Mahal.
Even before the Taj opened, the New Jersey Casino Control Commission was concerned about the casino’s viability given its rapidly escalating costs and considered revoking its operating license. Regulators closely monitored the financial performance of the Trump casinos and the developer’s empire.
Mr. Trump told the commission in 1988 that he could rein in expenses, because conventional lenders were lining up to give him money at low interest rates. He said he abhorred junk bonds, which were then popular, because they carried a bigger risk of default and thus came with higher interest rates.
Within months, he reversed course, issuing $675 million worth of junk bonds, with a 14 percent interest rate, to finish construction and get the Taj open. In recent interviews, Mr. Trump has said that with each financing he routinely took money out of the casinos to invest in Manhattan real estate. Total debt on the Taj exceeded $820 million.
Less than two weeks before the casino opened, Marvin B. Roffman, a casino analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott, an investment firm based in Philadelphia, told The Wall Street Journal that the Taj would need to reap $1.3 million a day just to make its interest payments, a sum no casino had ever achieved.
“The market just isn’t there,” Mr. Roffman told The Journal.
Mr. Trump retaliated, demanding that Janney Montgomery Scott fire Mr. Roffman. It did.
“It was doomed way before the start,” said W. Bucky Howard, who was promoted by Mr. Trump to president of the Taj five days after it opened, in a recent interview. “I told him it was going to fail. The Taj was underfunded.”
Almost immediately, Mr. Trump had trouble making the debt payments on the Taj and his other casinos. It was also clear that the Taj was cannibalizing the Castle and the Plaza, whose combined gambling revenues dropped by $58 million the year it opened.
While I was out at physio, I heard a report, or perhaps it would be better put as a prediction, that a Trump presidency would be a disaster for the US economy and indeed the global economy. Think Progresshas an excellent article on this prediction.
The heart of Trump’s economic proposals come down to tax, trade, and immigration policy. He’s put forward a tax package that experts have found would cost $9.5 trillion and hand nearly all of the benefits to the wealthiest. He’s promised to levy huge tariffs on imports from countries like China and Mexico and he’s railed against trade deals. And he says he’ll deport 11 million undocumented immigrants while building a wall along the Mexican border.
If all of that were to happen just how Trump proposes it, Moody’s analysis finds that the American economy would dip into a recession beginning in 2018 that would last through 2020 — longer than the Great Recession. It estimates there would be 3.5 million fewer jobs and the unemployment rate would rise to a peak of 7.4 percent, as opposed to the current rate of 4.7.
This post is a detailed article by Russ Buettner and Charles V Bagli outlining Trump's "business acumen", something touted by his supporters as being very important to them. If they only knew that Trump, in venture capital fashion, transferred debt to his properties, cheated contractors, investors and employees, and then declared bankruptcy, not once but four times. He made millions while he left others holding the bag. Is this the kind of performance that supporters want? Unfortunately, his supporters won't understand what he has done or will do. They believe and like his "straight talk", but it is all show and no go. It is pure unadulterated bullshit!
CBC — Donald Trump suggested Sunday that the United States should "seriously" consider profiling Muslims inside the country as a terrorism-fighting tool, the latest example of the Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting increasingly backing positions that could single out a group based on their religion.
"Well I think profiling is something that we're going to have to start thinking about as a country," Trump said in an interview broadcast Sunday on CBS's Face the Nation. "It's not the worst thing to do."
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee added that he "hate(s) the concept of profiling, but we have to use common sense" over "political correctness."
And the hate just keeps on! The Republicans allowed this travesty to happen so now they must own it even if it means the destruction of the party. We can hope can't we?
Think Progress — The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that police can still arrest someone for an outstanding warrant even if they had no right to stop the person in the first place. …
“This Court has given officers an array of instruments to probe and examine you,” she writes. “This Court has allowed an officer to stop you for whatever reason he wants — so long as he can point to a pretextual justification after the fact. That justification must provide specific reasons why the officer suspected you were breaking the law, but it may factor in your ethnicity, where you live, what you were wearing, and how you behaved. The officer does not even need to know which law you might have broken so long as he can later point to any possible infraction — even one that is minor, unrelated, or ambiguous.”
IMO, Sotomayor is correct and the Injustices, particularly Teabag Thomas, are wrong. The 4th amendment to the US Constitution reads:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
What part of "unreasonable searches and seizures" doesn't Teabag Thomas understand? I suppose he would argue that it is all in the meaning of the word "unreasonable", which I have to admit is rather subjective. I wonder what would happen if a cranky old whirte man were stopped and searched. Can we please have a fair impartial justice to replace Scalia!
AlterNet has acquired a well-deserved reputation for doing what I call "Five-Most" articles. The obvious example is their weekly selection of five most absurd, most offensive, most delusional, most generally awful things that right-wingnuts have said during the week, which TC follows, and we follow with him, weekly.
They generally want to make me beat my head against the wall.
But this morning they featured a Five-Most article which made me smile, some of them even though bittersweetly, and I though it might be a good article to share.
As AlterNet points out in introduction, "The year 2016 is a hell of a time to graduate. Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee, the past four months have successively been the hottest on record, the chasm between the rich and poor continues to widen, and bloody Andrew Sullivan is openly wondering if this whole Democracy thing has run its course. WTF!
Fortunately, this time of the year brings one reliable reprieve from the dispiriting caprices of our politics: commencement speeches. This year’s crop of speeches were as pointed, witty and incisive as ever, taking on hot-button topics ranging from political apathy to the big orange elephant in the room."
And here's one:
2. Lin-Manuel Miranda at University of Pennsylvania.
Zinger: “In a year when politicians traffic in anti-immigrant rhetoric, there is also a musical reminding us that a broke, orphan immigrant from the West Indies built our financial system.”
Lin-Manuel Miranda, whose hit musical Hamilton has garnered widespread critical acclaim and recently earned a record-breaking 16 Tony nominations, is having a huge moment right now. A child of Puerto Rican immigrants, Miranda is using his new platform as a celebrity to advocate for political causes he believes in: just recently, he performed a blistering rap about Puerto Rico’s debt woes on "Last Week Tonight."
At his University of Pennsylvania commencement speech, Miranda wisely took a different tack. He framed a relatively contemporary issue—the hateful rhetoric around undocumented immigrants—in its historical context, reaching all the way back to the nation’s founding for some perspective. This wasn’t coincidental. Many of the same people who cheer on anti-immigrant rhetoric tend to forget, or at least conveniently overlook, that our nation was founded by immigrants.
Ultimately, Miranda’s message was simple. Not only do immigrants have something to contribute to civic and cultural life in America, they’re the reason we’re here and that we enjoy many of the advantages we do.
Click through for the other four, including one from Elizabeth Warren. I hope they will make you smile too.