In Bernie Sanders' State of Vermont, "that giant sucking sound" is not jobs moving to Mexico — it is jobs being concocted in Montpelier. Of course, Governor Scott shields illegal immigrants working in Vermont, and Vermont provides driver's licenses to them. The capital city also grants non-citizen residents the right to vote. It is no surprise that Vermont is #1 in the country for illegal northern border crossings.
During an interview with Slate’s “What Next” podcast on Thursday, former Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) remarked that if there was a secret vote, “at least 35” Republican senators would vote in favor of impeaching President Trump.
Flake said, “Somebody mentioned yesterday, that, if there were a private vote, that there’d be 30 Republican votes. That’s not true. There’d be at least 35.”
After laughing, Flake continued, “Or maybe more if it were a private vote. But that’s not possible. And so, they have to come out, and many of them are up for re-election in tough seats.”
chance of getting rid of Donald Trump — through impeachment or by voting him
out — continues to dominate the headlines, the historical challenge
is compelling. No president has been a greater threat to the
qualities that make the United States of America worthy (at its best) of our
The rise of
Trump and his movement was so freakish that historians will analyze its nature
for a long time. From his origins as a real estate hustler, this
exhibitionist sought attention as a TV vulgarian. Susceptible
television viewers found his coarse behavior amusing. Then he announced that he
was running for the presidency and it looked for a while like just another
cheap publicity stunt.
his name-calling tactics struck a chord with a certain group of
voters. Our American scene began to darken. Before
long, he was hurling such vicious abuse that it ushered in a politics of
rage. As his egomania developed into full megalomania, the “alt-right”
gravitated toward him.
“movement” had started.
and more, to the horror of everyone with power to see and understand, he showed
a proto-fascist mentality. So alarms began to spread: mental health
professionals warned that he exemplifies “malignant narcissism.”
before in American history has the presidential office passed into the hands of
a seditionist. And the use of this term is
appropriate. With no conception of principles or limits — “I want”
is his political creed —he mocks the rule of law at every turn.
police convention in 2017, he urged the officers in attendance to ignore their
own regulations and brutalize the people they arrest. He pardoned
ex-Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of criminal contempt of
court. He appointed Scott Pruitt to head the EPA so he could wreck
the agency and let polluters have the spree of their lives.
is fascinated by powerful dictators with little regard to human rights or
democracy. He compliments Vladimir Putin and hopes to invite that murderer
to stay in the White House. He likes Rodrigo Duterte of the
Philippines, a tyrant who subverts that nation’s democracy.
Trump certainly has the personality of a fascist. But he is not
quite as dangerous as other authoritarians in history.
first place, he lacks the fanatical vision that drove the great tyrants like
Hitler and Stalin to pursue their sick versions of utopia. He is
nothing but a grubby opportunist. He has no ideas, only
appetites. The themes that pass for ideas in the mind of
Donald Trump begin as prompts that are fed to him by others — Stephen Miller,
Sean Hannity, and (once upon a time) Steve Bannon. To be sure, he would fit
right in among the despots who tyrannize banana-republics. But that
sort of a political outcome in America is hard to envision at the moment.
traditions — though our current crisis shows some very deep flaws in our
constitutional system — are strong enough to place a limit on the damage Trump
can do. If he ordered troops to occupy the Capitol, disperse the
members of Congress, and impose martial law, the chance that commanders or
troops would carry out such orders is nil.
Americans have faced challenges before. Many say he is our very worst
president — bar none. And how tempting it is to
agree. But a short while ago, people said the same thing about
George W. Bush, who of course looks exemplary now when compared to our
of course, is a value judgment that is totally dependent on our standards for
determining “badness.” And any number of our presidents were very
bad indeed — or so it could be argued.
Andrew Jackson, with his belligerence, his simple-mindedness, his racism as
reflected in the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Take all the
pro-slavery presidents before the Civil War who tried to make the enslavement
of American blacks perpetual: John Tyler, Franklin Pierce, James
Buchanan. Take James K. Polk and his squalid war of aggression against
Mexico. Take Andrew Johnson, who did everything he could to ruin the
lives of the newly-freed blacks after Lincoln’s murder.
list could go on indefinitely, depending on our individual standards for
identifying “badness.” Shall we continue? Consider
Ulysses S. Grant and Warren G. Harding, so clueless in regard to the
comparatively easy challenge of preventing corruption among their
associates. Or consider Grover Cleveland and Herbert Hoover, who
blinded themselves to the desperation of millions in economic depressions. And
Richard Nixon, the only president to date who has resigned the office in
brings us to Trump.
incompetent or even malevolent some previous American presidents were, this one
is unique. The Trump presidency is a singular aberration, a defacement of norms
and ideals without precedent. However bad some other presidents were
all of them felt a certain basic obligation to maintain at least a semblance of
dignity and propriety in their actions.
beyond words, he lurches from one brutal whim to another, seeking gratification
in his never-ending quest to humiliate others. He spews insults in every
direction all day. He makes fun of the handicapped. He
discredits journalists in order to boost the credibility of crackpots and
psychopathic bigots. He accuses reporters of creating “fake news” so
he can generate fake news himself: spew a daily torrent of hallucinatory
lies to his gullible followers.
amuses himself — with the help of his money and the shyster lawyers that it
pays for — in getting away with a lifetime’s worth of compulsive frauds that
might very well lead to prosecutions (later) if the evidence has not been
destroyed and if the statute of limitations has not expired.
far, however, he is always too brazen to get what he deserves, too slippery for
anyone to foil.
with half of ounce of decency can see this wretched man for what he
is. They know what’s going on, and yet there’s nothing they can do
to make it stop. And that adds to Trump’s dirty
satisfaction. Any chance to out-maneuver the decent — to infuriate them —
quickens his glee. It makes his victory all the more rotten, incites
him to keep on taunting his victims.
all a big joke to Donald Trump, and he can never, ever, get enough of
question must be asked: when in our lifetimes — when in all the
years that our once-inspiring Republic has existed — have American institutions
been subjected to such treatment? How long can American morale and
cohesion survive this?
Pelosi has said that in preference to seeing Trump impeached, she would like to
see him in jail. Current Justice Department policy — which forbids
the indictment of presidents — makes it possible for Trump to break our
nation’s laws with impunity. Impeachment is useless if the Senate’s
Republicans, united in their ruthlessness and denial, take the coward’s way
prospect of locking him up may have to wait. But the day of
reckoning for this fake — this imposter who will never have a glimmer of clue
as to how to measure up to his office — may come in due time. Then
the presidential fake who accuses his victims of fakery will live with some
things that are real: stone walls, iron bars, a nice prison haircut,
and the consequences of his actions.
The Kitchen-Table Case for Impeaching Trump
The president’s abuses of power are
materially hurting regular people.
After months of waiting, the House
Judiciary Committee has finally voted to open an impeachment inquiry into
President Donald Trump. With that tedious “will-they-or-won’t-they” question
out of the way, the logical next question is: can impeachment succeed? The
answer is a resounding yes. But getting there will require a strategic
reorientation away from a sluggish and legalistic examination of Trump’s
offenses via recalcitrant witnesses and toward a broader consideration of how
his systemic abuses of power have materially hurt regular people.
reticence of so many Democrats, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to support
impeachment is based on two premises. The first is that impeachment is modestly
unpopular, which is true, so far as it goes. The second is the
conventional wisdom that impeaching President Clinton backfired on House
Look a little
closer at the second contention, however, and it quickly falls apart. The case
against Trump is vastly stronger than that against Clinton. While Clinton’s alleged
crimes were largely committed in the interest of avoiding embarrassment,
Trump’s represent clear abuses of power with malignant implications. The second
flank of the argument—that impeaching Clinton “backfired” on Republicans—is
more myth than reality. Republicans may have
lost the House in the next election cycle, but Clinton’s impeachment was a
nontrivial factor in Al Gore’s 2000 loss. Therefore, we join other observers in choosing to view this “example”
as evidence in support of impeaching Trump.
polling argument is particularly short-sighted. Voters take cues from political
leaders about how to react to political events. For months, the overwhelming
cue on impeachment from Democratic leaders like Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and Joe
Biden has been to stand down. This inhibition has created a negative feedback
loop in which impeachment-phobic lawmakers convince voters not to support
impeachment, and then point to lukewarm public support to justify their
passivity. Rinse and repeat.
after the release of the Mueller report, this message has pretty well stuck.
After all, if the special counsel’s findings were so serious, they should have
been acted on immediately, right? Much as a gourmet meal is never as good
reheated, Democrats cannot expect to ignore evidence of impeachable conduct in
the spring and have it be as fresh and tasty when zapped in the autumn. Just
take a gander at this week’s House Judiciary hearing with Corey Lewandowski to
see how unappetizing this fare has become.
Mueller report surely provided enough evidence to justify impeaching Trump on
substantive grounds, hesitant lawmakers have largely drained it of much of its
political force (and impeachment is an inherently political process).
this damage, impeachment backers will have to make opposition to impeachment
untenable with voters, thereby short-circuiting the aforementioned negative
feedback loop. That means focusing on the ways in which Trump’s corruption has
made life harder and more dangerous for millions of Americans. In other words, impeachment
should focus above all on his failure to carry out his constitutional duty under Article II, Section 1 of the
Constitution “to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” By
emphasizing how impeachment is relevant to the “kitchen-table” issues that keep
regular people up at night—like low wages or exorbitant healthcare premiums—the
House Judiciary Committee can inspire a swell of grassroots pressure that will
give reluctant legislators no choice but to back the effort.
The issues tackled in Mueller’s report,
like obstruction of justice, are removed from people’s day-to-day lives. Of
course, there is nothing inherently insufficient with such a basis for impeachment;
were it not for the Democratic leadership’s opposition, impeachment proceedings
would have begun in April. Still, more Americans agonize over how to pay back
their student loans, or whether to incur the costs of seeing a doctor when
uninsured, than discuss “the role of law.” The Mueller report, therefore.
likely strikes most Americans as “political” and is less likely to
inspire new broad-based support for impeachment.
The same goes
for the proposed lines of inquiry in Judiciary’s newly expanded investigations. The committee will
reportedly examine Trump’s alleged abuse of presidential pardons, hush-money
payments, and use of office for personal enrichment. While these scandals are
undoubtedly important, they don’t penetrate the lives of ordinary people.
mean that Democrats should not pursue any of these alleged crimes; the public
deserves to know as much as possible about any president’s corruption, and
Congress is best suited to furnish those answers. But these matters should not
sit alone at the center of the Democrats’ case for impeachment. An impeachment
inquiry is a way to control the national conversation. While bills passed by
House Democrats predictably get little attention from most of the media, an
impeachment hearing is guaranteed to achieve the scarcest political resource in
2019—the attention of voters.
platform, lawmakers have a lot to choose from. In light of recent revelations
that the number of uninsured people has risen for the first time since 2009, lawmakers might want to
start by investigating how Trump has undermined the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
You might say
that Trump’s health care moves are reprehensible, but are they really
impeachable? Ask Thaddeus Stevens, the Pennsylvania representative who was the
catalyst behind Andrew Johnson’s impeachment and the author of an article of impeachment
accusing Johnson of failing to “take care” that the Tenure of Office Act be
faithfully executed. Other articles accused Johnson of offenses including
insulting Congress and unlawfully firing his Secretary of War, but this one got
at his most serious transgression: failing to honor and enforce the laws as
Congress had intended.
Trump has made
no secret of his disdain for Obama’s healthcare law, but whether he likes it or
not, it’s his duty to administer it unless and until Congress passes a new one
or repeals it. Rather than faithfully carrying out that responsibility, Trump
has sought to destroy the law. On his first day in office, he signed an executive order directing agencies to use all of the tools at their
disposal to undermine the statute—and they have faithfully complied. His administration
also shortened the open enrollment period,
cut ACA’s advertising budget, and slashed tax credits for enrollees. Trump
is not coy about his intentions. “I have just about ended Obamacare,” he once said. Congress should
demonstrate its commitment to improving Americans’ health care access by
nailing Trump for his considerable efforts to “end” a lawful program by
executive action that he could not repeal legislatively.
other matters that need a deeper probe. Lawmakers should investigate whether
Trump’s administration has intentionally slowed the allocation of aid to Puerto
Rico. Last week, as Puerto Ricans braced for Hurricane Dorian’s potential
landfall, many did so without a proper roof over their heads, surrounded by many other reminders of
Hurricane Maria’s destruction. This hardly seems like an accident: two years
after Maria, the scandal-riddled Federal Emergency Management
Agency (FEMA) has only approved funding for nine projects out of
10,000 applications. Meanwhile, in an unprecedented move, the executive branch
is holding up a Community Development Block Grant for Disaster Recovery
(CDBG-DR) headed for the U.S. territory. The administration’s refusal to
effectively administer this recovery aid is not some distant problem. Puerto
Ricans (including the diaspora living in Florida and elsewhere on the U.S.
mainland) feel it every day in the way of destroyed roads, damaged schools, the
lack of a proper roof over many of their heads, or having been forced to leave
the island altogether.
impossible to imagine that Trump’s failure “to take care” is unrelated to the
animus he has shown toward Latinx communities since the day he announced his presidential campaign. More
broadly, it is even harder to argue that a president can faithfully execute the
law under our Constitution when he openly views the government’s obligations to
people as dependent on their race or religion—as his “Muslim ban” makes
should also look into Trump’s decision to allow three unconfirmed, unqualified,
Mar-a-Lago members to essentially run the Department of Veterans’
Affairs from the resort. Has Trump’s reliance on his paying customers to run
the VA in any way hurt the millions of veterans who rely on the department’s
services each year? The public has a right to know. The House Committee on
Veterans’ Affairs opened an investigation into these
puppeteers last winter, but the administration’s stonewalling appears to
have hindered meaningful progress.
appointees have harmed regular people in myriad other ways. Take, for example,
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ failure to administer loan forgiveness
programs, even after having been ordered by a court to do so. That has left thousands
of people suffering under the crushing yoke of student loans they were promised
would be discharged. At the same time, her department’s laughable oversight of loan servicers
is delaying forgiveness for hundreds of
thousands more. Given her absolute disregard for her responsibilities as
Education Secretary, why has she not been removed? Quite clearly, Trump feels
no compunction about running afoul of his obligation to “take care” to execute
the law, even if that means flat out ignoring court orders.
House members must not only persuade
voters to embrace impeachment with the righteousness of their case, but also
with the urgency of their actions. That means issuing subpoenas far more
liberally—and suing when necessary to enforce them without delay. Indeed, the
fact that Trump admits “we are fighting all the
subpoenas” reflects acknowledgement that he is undermining Congressional
oversight, which was itself a key
element of the
third article of impeachment against Richard Nixon.
political horse sense suggests that investigating how Trump’s team is hiding
evidence of their alleged lawlessness would help generate attention to the
actions they are covering up. If pursued effectively, such a probe can impose a
steep political cost.
Congress should view its investigatory scope broadly. It should vigorously
examine as many instances of Trump’s corruption as possible. But his crimes
against the American people should sit at the center of their effort.
To treat them
as secondary, as lawmakers have done thus far, misses the larger point. The
intentional harm Trump has inflicted on Americans, whom he is tasked with
protecting, represents by far his most egregious violation of his
Constitutional oath of office. Lawmakers should respond accordingly.
PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES DONALD TRUMP: pathological
liar, swindler, con man, huckster, golfing cheat, charity foundation fraudster,
tax evader, adulterer, porn whore chaser and servant of the Saudis dictators
THE TRUMP FAMILY FOUNDATION SLUSH FUND…. Will they see
Jared’s BFF, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
(MBS), and the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Muhammad bin Zayed (MBZ), refer to
Jared as “the clown prince.” Bone-cutter MBS assured those around him that he
had Jared “in my pocket.”
Following meetings at the White House
and also with the Kushners over their 666 Fifth Avenue property, former Qatari
Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim reported back to the emir that “the
people atop the new administration were heavily motivated by personal financial
It Is Tough To Ignore Some Of The Gross Immoral Behavior By
The President” WASHINGTON
quits as a federal judge 10 days into formal probe of her possible role in
massive family tax scam that could have ended in her impeachment
· Trump's older sister resigned as an appellate
court judge shortly after a probe opened into her involvement in a family
·10 days ago an investigation into whether
Maryanne Trump Barry violated judicial conduct rules launched
·The case was closed after Barry resigned
because retired judges are not subject to the rules
·Barry had not heard a case in two years after
transitioning to inactive shortly after Trump's inauguration
·The Trump siblings were probed after an
investigation found they were involved in a tax scheme related to the transfer
of their father's real estate empire
President Donald Trump’s older sister Maryanne Trump Barry, 82,
retired as a federal judge just days after an investigation opened into her
possible role in family tax fraud scheme.
Barry was a federal appellate judge in the
third district, which includes Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, and the
investigation could have led to her impeachment.
She had not presided over a case in more than
two years, but was still listed as an inactive senior judge in the third
district – usually the step taken before full retirement.
Barry did not give any reasons for her
The probe into the Trumps was first opened
last fall, after a New York Times investigation found the Trump siblings
engaged in tax schemes in the 1990s, including fraud, that increased their
Maryanne Trump Barry resigned as a federal
appellate judge 10 days into an investigation into whether she violated
judicial conduct rules
An investigation into the Trump siblings
opened after the New York Times reported that they transferred their father's
real estate assets improperly in the 1990s
The formal investigation into whether Barry
violated judicial conduct rules started ten days ago, but was closed after
Barry announced her retirement since retired judges are not subject to judicial
These reviews could result in the censure or
reprimand of federal judges, but in some more extreme cases, the judge could be
referred to the House of Representatives for impeachment.
It appears Barry will receive somewhere
between $184,500 and $217,600 annually, the same salary she earned when she
last met certain workload requirements before changing her status to inactive.
The Times investigation into the Trump’s
alleged that Fred Trump transferred his real estate empire profits and
ownership to his four children, including the president, Barry, brother Robert
Trump, and their sister Elizabeth Trump Grau, in ways designed to dodge gift
and estate taxes.
Barry, pictured above with sister Elizabeth
Trump Grau, was a senior inactive judge, which is the step taken usually before
full retirement, and had not heard a case in over two year.
Trump's lawyer Charles Hardner said that the
allegations made as a result of the Times' investigation is '100 per cent
false' and accused the newspaper of defamation
“The New York Times’s allegations of fraud
and tax evasion are 100 per cent false, and highly defamatory,” a lawyer for
Trump, Charles Hardner, said last October.
Barry was elevated to the United States Court
of Appeals for the Third Circuit by President Bill Clinton in 1999, and shortly
after Trump’s inauguration, in February 2017, she notified the court she would
stop hearing cases without citing a reason.
At this point she became a senior inactive
judge and gave up her staff and chambers.
TRUMP COMPARES PETE BUTTIGIEG TO MAD MAG ALFRED E NEUMAN....
Pete compares the Swamp Keeper to a conman, huckster, cheat, pathological liar,
bankrupt tax-evading phony billionaire, golf cheat, adulterer and whore chaser
with Tang-rinsed hair!
I would also go to all of the working class that are in America,
construction workers in particular. Their salaries have not just
stagnated, they have gone down in the last 20 years. These are the least among us. We are the only ones not speaking
out of self-interest. …
Most of the people who are advocating for open borders …
they have a vested in interest in having either the cheap labor or the
Democratic voters. Their neighborhoods aren’t the ones being
overwhelmed. They get the cheap maids, the cheap nannies,
and then they strut around like they’re Martin Luther King.
No, you are talking in your
self-interest, Chamber of Commerce, and Koch brothers, and Nancy Pelosi, and
Chuck Schumer. It’s Donald Trump and our side who are actually
caring about our fellow Americans — the kids who are getting addicted to black
tar heroin. …
The heroin problem in this country is 100 percent a problem of not
having a wall on the border. And 70,000 Americans are dying every year. That’s
more that died in the entire Vietnam War. That is a national emergency.
Trump is steadily moving in the precise opposite direction of what he promised.
Illegal immigration is on track to hit the highest levels in
more than a decade, and Trump has willfully decided to keep amnesty advocates
Jared, Ivanka, Mick Mulvaney, Marc Short, and Mercedes Schlapp in the White
House. For all his talk about immigration, did he ever consider hiring people
who share his MAGA vision?
THE TRUMP FAMILY FOUNDATION SLUSH FUND…. Will they see jail?
latest ad from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) asks Trump
to reject the mass illegal and legal immigration policies supported by Wall
Street, corporate executives, and most specifically, the GOP mega-donor Koch
Efforts by the big business
lobby, Chamber of Commerce, Koch brothers, and George W. Bush Center include
increasing employment-based legal immigration that would likely crush the historic wage gains that Trump has delivered
for America’s blue collar and working class citizens.
Zuckerberg’s Silicon Valley investors are uniting with the Koch network’s
consumer and industrial investors to demand a huge DACA amnesty
A handful of
Republican and Democrat lawmakers are continuing to tout a plan that gives
amnesty to nearly a million illegal aliens in exchange for some amount of
funding for President Trump’s proposed border wall along the U.S.-Mexico
THE DEATH OF THE
THE ASSAULT ON THE AMERICAN WORKER BY
PHONY POPULIST SWAMP KEEPER TRUMP
Companies say they often pay good
wages to their imported H-2B workers, often around $15 per hour. But that price
is below the wages sought by Americans for the seasonal work which leaves them
jobless in the off-season. The lower wages paid to H-2Bs also allows companies
to pay lower wages to their American supervisors. NEIL MUNRO
WHAT WILL TRUMP AND
HIS PARASITIC FAMILY DO FOR MONEY???
JOHN DEAN: Not
so far. This has been right by the letter of the special counsel’s charter.
He’s released the document. What I’m looking for is relief and
understanding that there’s no witting or unwitting likelihood that the
President is an agent of Russia. That’s when I’ll feel comfortable, and no
evidence even hints at that. We don’t have that yet. We’re still in the process
of unfolding the report to look at it. And its, as I say, if [Attornery General
William Barr] honors his word, we’ll know more soon.
“Our entire crony capitalist system, Democrat and
Republican alike, has become a kleptocracy approaching par with
third-world hell-holes. This is the way a great country is raided by
its elite.” ---- Karen McQuillan AMERICAN THINKER
In fact, Trump is steadily moving in the precise opposite
direction of what he promised.
Illegal immigration is on track to hit the highest levels in
more than a decade, and Trump has willfully decided to keep amnesty advocates
Jared, Ivanka, Mick Mulvaney, Marc Short, and Mercedes Schlapp in the White
House. For all his talk about immigration, did he ever consider hiring people
who share his MAGA vision?
TRUMP’S CATCH AND RELEASE… all the “cheap” labor climbing our
borders, jobs and welfare lines!
THE ENTIRE REASON TRUMP
NOMINATED KIRSTJEN NIELSEN WAS BECAUSE OF HER LONG HISTORY OF ADVOCATING OPEN
BORDERS TO KEEP WAGES DEPRESSED!
In newly confirmed federal data from the Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE) agency, Breitbart News has learned the massive scale and
scope of DHS’s ramped up Catch and Release policy.
For months, DHS officials have said privately that the Catch and
Release program has been taken to new heights, while ICE
union officials declared this week that the program was
in “overdrive” under the direction of DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.JOHN BINDER
TRUMP AND THE MURDERING 9-11 MUSLIM SAUDIS…
Why is the Swamp Keeper and his family of parasites up their
alleged comment is maddening and disheartening,
but at least he's being straightforward about his indefensible
and self-serving neglect. I'll leave you with this reminder of the scope of the problem, not that anyone in
power is going to do a damn thing about it."
THE RICH APPLAUD TWITTER’S
TRUMP’S TAX CUTS FOR THE SUPER RICH!
Fox News host Tucker
Carlson said in an interview Thursday that President Donald Trump has succeeded
as a conversation starter but has failed to keep his most important campaign
“His chief promises were
that he would build the wall, de-fund Planned Parenthood, and repeal Obamacare,
and he hasn’t done any of those things,” Carlson told Urs Gehriger of the Swiss weekly Die Weltwoche.
TRUMP POSITIONS HIMSELF FOR IMPEACHMENT
MAY LEAVE THE COUNTRY FOR HIS GOLF COURSE IN
“Truthfully, It Is Tough To Ignore Some Of The Gross Immoral
Behavior By The President” WASHINGTON POST
“Mueller and the anti-Trump camp within the ruling elite know
very well that the billionaire New York real estate and gambling
speculator-turned president is mired in criminal activity, which is certain to
be reflected in the material seized from Cohen. They have Trump by the throat,
and Trump knows it.”
“Our entire crony capitalist system, Democrat and Republican
alike, has become a kleptocracy approaching par with third-world
hell-holes. This is the way a great country is raided by its elite.”
----Karen McQuillan AMERICAN THINKER
Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen testified before the House Oversight
Committee Wednesday that the “whole Trump family” was potentially
comprised by a foreign power ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
"Trump's alleged comment is
maddening and disheartening, but at least he's being straightforward
about his indefensible and self-serving neglect. I'll leave you
with this reminder of the
scope of the problem, not that anyone in power is going to do a damn thing
Give Congress Documents on Possible Trump Dealings with Russians
A group of
banks has turned over documents on Russians who may have done business with
President Donald Trump following a request from Congress, a Thursday report
According to the Wall Street Journal, Bank of
America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Deutsche Bank gave
lawmakers thousands of documents as part of a joint investigation
by the House Financial Services and Intelligence Committees into possible
foreign influence over President Trump and members of his family. The former committee is chaired by none other than impeachment
crusaders Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA). These financial institutions are expected
to transfer more documents to congressional investigators in the coming weeks,
the Journal said.
Lawmakers issued subpoenas for the information in April.
“Separately, Deutsche Bank, Mr.
Trump’s primary bank, has turned over emails, loan agreements and other
documents related to the Trump Organization to the office of New York Attorney
General Letitia James, in response to a civil subpoena sent earlier this year,
according to people familiar with the New York investigation,” the
In April, President Trump, his
three oldest children, and the TrumpOrganization sued Deutsche Bank
and Capital One to prevent them from handing over their financial records
to Congress. The president and his former real estate company also filed a
lawsuit to block a subpoena from the House Oversight Committee seeking
financial documents from Mazars, an accounting firm.
President Trump filed a civil lawsuit to
prevent the House Ways and Means Committee from obtaining his tax returns
from New York state officials.
The lawsuit, which was filed July 23rd in Washington against the
House panel, New York State Attorney General Letitia James, and New
York State Department of Taxation and Finance commissioner Michael
Schmidt, seeks an injunction to block a new state law. The law would allow the
Democrat-controlled House and Ways Means Committee to obtain the president’s
“Once it became clear that Treasury
would not divulge the President’s federal tax returns, New York passed a law
allowing the Committee to get his state returns,” reads the court filing. “That
hyper-specific condition was, not coincidentally, already satisfied for the
intended target of the Act: President Trump.”
The committee sued the Treasury Department and IRS officials in
an attempt to enforce a law that allows its chairman, Rep. Richard Neal
(D-MA), to obtain any taxpayer’s returns.
Millennials lose it when
the guy who owns their favorite companies fundraises for Trump
While the multiple mass shootings and
stabbings in the U.S. in the past few weeks upset many, nothing exercised the
minds of wealthy fit liberals as learning that the investor of their favored,
elitist, expensive gyms, or as the wealthy fit liberals refer to them, fitness
centers, they attend was hosting a fundraiser last night for... President
Donald J. Trump (R). And hosting it, no less, in the exclusive,
elitist playground of the East Cost liberal and wealthy: the Hamptons.
Entrust it to Vox, to ponder the dilemma of the oh, so self-labeled hip who
exercise at, or work out as they refer their imposed sweat inducing contortions
at, Equinox and Soul Cycle, to keep their butts tight and their minds closed.
But it can be
particularly surprising to consumers when brands that have cultivated
progressive and inclusive images are found to be associated with campaigns or
causes that stand for the opposite.
is a billionaire real estate developer (reported net worth: $7.7 billion) and
owner of a private investment firm that has backed many of the latter kind of
brands. He’s also hosting a fundraiser for the Trump 2020 campaign at his
Hamptons mansion on Friday, August 9, where tickets will range from $100,000
for a lunch and photo opp to $250,000 to attend a roundtable discussion,
according to the Washington Post.
Rich people hosting fundraisers for Trump is not itself particularly notable,
but the fact that Ross’s firm has financed companies beloved in part for their
progressive images has caused many patrons to call for a boycott. Among the
brands Ross has invested in are Equinox, which has supported LGBTQ charities in
the past; the spinning behemoth SoulCycle; the organic tampon brand Lola; and
the budget gym Blink Fitness, as well as food chains like Momofuku and its
pastry offshoot Milk Bar, and the fast-casual pizza spot &pizza.
OMG! What to do?
New York Magazine to the rescue with additional information on those boycott targets for the
morally outraged, tight-bodied, and narrow-minded. And it is
When the news
broke that Stephen Ross, a real-estate executive and venture capitalist, was
set to throw an extravagant fundraiser for Donald Trump in the Hamptons on
Friday, reverberations of shock and horror were felt in millennial communities
far and wide, from Brooklyn to downtown L.A. to Austin and Portland,
Oregon. Why? Because Ross is the chairman of the Related
Companies, a parent company of both Equinox and SoulCycle, where many a young
urban professional flocks daily to sweat out their existential dread. ...
it gets even worse. Ross has a hand in so many millennial lifestyle
entities that there are probably a few influencers whose entire feeds must be
cleansed of products tied to Trump cash. If you think you’re
untouched, don’t be so sure[.] ... The giant, tangled rat king of capitalism
means that unless you live like my friend John, who still has a flip phone and
claims to have never ordered anything online, you’re part of a teeming network
of unsavory dealings.
here is a list of all the pertinent things Ross partly owns as you decide how
much of your life must be canceled[.]
Read the list to learn how those with
unfit morals will suffer. Then, exercising your rights, smile
and then go for a nice walk.
US Census report: Inequality grew rapidly in 2018 to record levels
Social inequality in the United States is rapidly reaching unprecedented levels, according to US Census data published Thursday.
A large homeless encampment near downtown St. Louis [Credit: AP Photo/Jeff Roberson]
The past year saw a staggering transfer of wealth from the bottom 90 percent of the population to the top 10 and top 5 percent. This is the intended result of the bipartisan social counterrevolution intensified by Barack Obama and carried to a fever pitch by Donald Trump, who has slashed corporate taxes and regulations with no opposition from Democrats in Congress.
Census Bureau: Inequality “significantly higher” in 2018 vs. 2017
Over the course of just the last year, the poorest 20 percent of the country—some 65 million people—saw its share of aggregate income decline from 3.11 percent to 3.10 percent. The share of the second poorest quintile declined from 8.4 percent to 8.35 percent, while the third and fourth quintiles, representing those in the 40 to 60 percent and 60 to 80 percent range of incomes, declined from 14.29 to 14.21 and 22.63 to 22.53, respectively.
Only a very narrow section of the population benefited from this income redistribution. The wealthiest 5 percent obtained 96 percent of the income lost by the poorer quintiles, while the next wealthiest 5 percent (the richest 90 to 95th percentile) obtained the remaining 4 percent, meaning that even those in the 80 to 90th percentile saw their income share decline or remain stagnant.
This shifting of decimal points masks the real human impact of inequality on the lives of the entire working class. The new Census data will mean increasing deaths from opioids, alcohol and suicide, higher burdens of medical and student debt and unprecedented levels of work and family stress.
The Census Bureau reported that the national Gini coefficient—a measure of income and wealth distribution in which a value of 0.0 equals total equality 1.0 equals total inequality—was “significantly higher” in 2018 than in 2017, rising from 0.482 to 0.486, the highest ever.
According to World Bank figures, this makes the US as unequal as the Democratic Republic of the Congo and less equal than Kenya, Mexico and Malaysia.
Worlds apart: The bottom 90 percentandthe top 10 percent
The wealthiest 10 percent continued to distance itself from the poorest 90 percent of the population. The income of a household at the 90th percentile was 12.60 times greater than the income of a household at the 10th percentile, up slightly from 12.59 in 2017. The income of a household at the 95th percentile was 9.72 times greater than a household at the 20th percentile and 3.94 times greater than a household at the 50th percentile, compared with 9.62 and 3.86 in 2017.
All of American bourgeois politics is geared toward satisfying the material needs of and working out the differences within the various elements of this privileged top 10 percent, whose interests are directly opposed to the great masses of people.
Bourgeois politicians from both parties—who are almost all personally wealthy—are sponsored by corporations and billionaire donors who control the political system. The corporate media sets the tone of political “discourse” and seeks to manipulate popular consciousness to protect the interests of the rich. Practically all discussion of the great social problems that confront the bottom 90 percent of the population are censored and kept out of sight.
The threshold required to reach the 95th percentile grew by $6,000 from 2017 to 2018, rising from $242,812 to $248,782. The percentage of the population making over $200,000 per year also increased substantially, from 8.1 percent in 2017 to 8.5 percent in 2018.
Census data relating to average income by occupation also reflects the increasing separation of the top 10 and bottom 90 percent of the population. Average incomes for chief executives increased from $134,656 in 2017 to $141,457 in 2018, for example, while incomes for lawyers rose from $125,125 to $129,365.
While incomes for many working class occupations rose slightly, the increases were almost always minimal or moderate.
In many cases, incomes at professions that number in the hundreds of thousands of people declined from 2017 to 2018. The average income of a telemarketer declined from $27,551 to $27,160 in the span of just one year. For example, incomes also fell for logging workers (from $36,091 in 2017 to $35,718 in 2018), roofers ($33,744 to $32,246), tire builders ($45,809 to $42,213), shoe and leather workers ($31,217 to $27,584), air traffic controllers ($91,982 to $79,647), ambulance drivers ($30,563 to $30,149), subway workers ($62,201 to $60,153), aircraft pilots and flight engineers ($110,765 to $110,636), and several more major occupations.
Even among those sections of the working class where incomes have risen slightly, the rising cost of living has greatly impacted the bottom 90 percent of the population.
There are now 10.08 million people who pay over 50 percent of their income on rent, an increase of 163,672 people from 2017 alone. The percentage of people paying over 35 percent of their income on rent rose from 37.5 percent in 2017 to 37.8 percent in 2018, impacting hundreds of thousands more.
These recent figures relate only to income and therefore understate the degree of inequality, which is best understood by calculating wealth. Income by occupation, for example, does not count the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars which the affluent top 10 percent makes each year from investments, stock dividends, rent, and other parasitic forms of wealth accumulation.
Within each race, there was a noticeable increase in very affluent people, both in total numbers and as a percentage of the total within-race population. Among whites, the number of people making over $200,000 per year increased by 10.0 percent. Among Hispanics, the percentage increase was double—21.2 percent, while the number of African-Americans making over $200,000 increased by 16.5 percent.
These figures of within-race inequality expose the self-interested character of efforts by affluent sections of racial minorities to promote race as the central division in society. As the number of super rich within each race increase, substantial portions within each race live in acute financial hardship. A staggering 7.3 million African-American adults—49.2 percent of the total adult population—earn less than $40,000 in income. Some 6.3 million Hispanics and 23.7 million whites also earn less than $40,000 per year.
Among all sections of the working class, the Census data shows that incomes are becoming more homogenous across all strata. The ratio of a household income at the 80th percentile versus the 50th percentile decreased from 2.07 times greater to 2.06 times, while the ratio of an 80th percentile household income to the 20th percentile also declined from 5.15 to 5.08 times.
The ratio of the 20th percentile’s household income to the 50th percentile’s household income actually increased slightly, from .40 in 2017 to .41 in 2018, indicating that living conditions of the exact center of the income scale are more closely approaching the conditions faced by the poorest workers.
Inequality and theclass struggle
It is not possible to comprehend the intense political crisis over Trump’s impeachment without taking into account the overwhelming influence of inequality on every element of American society.
Both the fascist Trump and the cabal of intelligence agents that directs the Democratic Party represent the interests of factions of the financial aristocracy whose primary disagreements are on the conduct of US imperialist foreign policy.
The explicitly narrow basis of the Democrats’ impeachment effort—limited to Trump’s thuggish efforts to force the president of Ukraine to dig up dirt on the Biden family’s corruption—makes clear that both factions are in agreement on tax cuts for the wealthy, near-zero interest rates to boost Wall Street, unprecedented spending on the military, and the xenophobic attack on immigrants and democratic rights.
Democratic presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren advance the utopian dream that the financial aristocracy will give-up its privileges and fund social programs when asked.
But history shows the only way to fight social inequality is through the class struggle.
Nearly 50,000 General Motors workers are presently engaged in a struggle against not only the corporation, but the UAW, which is conspiring with management to force through a contract that would intensify the growth of social inequality across industries and across the world. The fact that inequality has reached present levels is the product of the trade unions’ efforts to suppress the class struggle over the course of over 40 years.
The GM strike in the US and similar struggles by autoworkers in India, South Korea, Mexico, Brazil and elsewhere show the potential for ending the period of trade union-enforced social counterrevolution and for launching an international offensive for social equality. New, rank-and-file committees are required to allow workers to unleash their immense social power and redistribute trillions of dollars from the banks and corporations to meet the needs of workers worldwide.
How 2020 Democrats Are Missing the Message on the Economy
The candidates have yet to tackle the growing problem of regional inequality.
But there’s one big idea still missing: how to fix the stark and growing disparities between the parts of the country that are prospering and those that are falling behind. Regional inequality is perhaps the greatest challenge to America’s economic and political future, but 2020 candidates have yet to tackle, let alone acknowledge, the problem. It’s an omission that could have long-term substantive consequences for Democrats.
Since President Donald Trump took office in 2016, numerous analyses have pointed to a widening gulf—political, economic and demographic—between red and blue America. On the one hand are the rising fortunes of educated, urban Democratic districts. On the other is the steep decline of formerly industrial, Republican districts in rural America and the heartland.
The latest to highlight this trend is a new report from Mark Muro and Jacob Whiton of the Brookings Institution, which underscores how deep this schism has become over the past 10 years.
When President Obama took office in 2008, Republican and Democratic districts enjoyed roughly the same median household income: $55,000 and $54,000, respectively. From an economic point of view, Obama’s famed 2004 declaration of national unity—“[t]here’s not a liberal America and a conservative America, there’s the United States of America”—was largely true.
Since then, median household income in Democratic districts soared to $61,000 in 2018, according to Muro and Whiton, while incomes in Republican districts fell to $53,000. The annual economic output of Democratic districts likewise skyrocketed, from $35.7 billion to $48.5 billion on average per district, while the economies of Republican districts shrank. The average Republican district’s GDP is now just two-thirds that of the average Democratic district’s GDP.
Several factors are driving this economic polarization, the first being an emerging duality in America’s economy. Democratic districts are now oriented toward high-growth, well-paid professional and knowledge economy jobs (think San Francisco, Chicago, and New York City), whereas Republican districts tend to rely on lower-growth or declining sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, and mining (think rural West Virginia). “Not only do the two parties adhere to very different views, but they inhabit increasingly different economies and environments,” Muro and Whiton write. Professional and “digital services” jobs, for instance, account for 71 percent of jobs in Democratic districts and only 29 percent in Republican ones.
And while the share of adults with a bachelor’s degree or more was roughly the same in Democratic and Republican districts in 2008, Democratic districts are now significantly more educated: more than 35 percent of adults in blue districts have a four-year degree or more, compared to just one in four in red districts.
A second factor calcifying these trends is a sharp decline in both geographic and economic mobility. Americans once moved to where the jobs were, but this is no longer happening, largely because of high housing prices in high-growth areas and the lack of affordable access to higher education that can help workers’ marketability. The net result, as Benjamin Austin, Edward Glaeser and Lawrence Summers put it in a 2018 paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research, is the evolution of “durable islands of wealth and poverty.”
Certain regions have also compounded their advantages over time, adding to a “winner-take-all” dynamic that further exacerbates geographical economic divides. For instance, of the 6.8 million net new jobs created between 2000 and 2015, 6.5 million were created in the country’s top 10 percent of zip codes, according to the nonprofit Economic Innovation Group. Meanwhile, the nation’s bottom 10 percent of zip codes saw significant job losses.
These kinds of imbalances cry out for a policy agenda aimed at spreading economic opportunity more evenly across the country. But so far, the top contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination have stuck to universalist policy ideas like Medicare for All, while discussions of inequality have centered on race or class, but not on geography.
To be sure, a few candidates, including Vice President Joe Biden, have a “rural agenda” in their platforms. But the ideas encapsulated in them include relatively narrow default tropes like expanding broadband and helping family farmers. The one nod toward the disparate regional impacts of economic change is on trade policy, but there again, the prescriptions are less about creating new jobs than about posturing on China or regurgitating standard talking points bashing trade agreements. None of the candidates have put forth signature policy priorities that would rejuvenate the moribund economies of the industrial Midwest, or help heartland economies generate the kind of prosperity that their coastal neighbors enjoy.
The absence of a credible Democratic agenda on regional prosperity is one reason Trump has had free rein to exploit and magnify the economic discontent in large parts of the country for his political gain. As wrong-headed and destructive as his policies have been, his supporters can rightly say that Trump has at least acknowledged the significance of their economic decline.
Democrats shouldn’t continue to leave the field to Trump to romp at will.
For one thing, tariffs and border walls will not fix regional inequality; if anything, they make things worse. Americans in struggling parts of the country deserve better ideas, which Democrats are positioned to deliver.
As the Monthly’s Daniel Block has argued, the emerging geography of this divided America means Democrats must broaden their appeal and reach heartland voters if they want to win in 2020 and beyond. Democrats don’t have the luxury of writing off “flyover country” to rely solely on their base in major coastal cities.
Muro and Whiton point out that the newfound concentration of wealth in Democratic districts comes with a price: the geographic concentration of political power into increasingly dense districts. According to the two researchers, the land area controlled by Democrats has fallen by nearly half in the last 10 years—from roughly 39 percent in 2008 to just 20 percent in 2018, as the map below shows.
Superimpose a map of the electoral college in 2020 and two things immediately become clear. First, Democratic strongholds such as California, New York, and Illinois are nowhere near sufficient to deliver the 270 votes Democrats need to secure the White House. The University of Virginia’s Larry Sabato, for instance, counts 183 “safe” Democratic electoral votes so far.
Second, many of the swing states Democrats will need to win fall squarely within the “other America” in need of help. These states include the industrial upper Midwest—Wisconsin, Ohio, and Michigan—as well as Pennsylvania and Colorado. Four of these also happen to be states that Hillary Clinton lost in 2016.
Some liberals no doubt worry that nodding to the economic woes of blue-collar heartland America somehow validates the nationalism, MAGA-ism, and outright racism that Trump has unleashed. Nothing is further from the case. Reviving the heartland to help all Americans prosper is ultimately not about blue states versus red states, but about reviving the national project now in jeopardy.
Trump’s Economic Program Has Left Most Americans Worse Off
His tax cuts and tariffs are driving up prices and lowering wages.
President Trump’s tax and tariff policies form the heart of an economic program that he’s promised will help average Americans. The hard data, however, show that he’s actually imposed substantial costs on about 70 percent of Americans.
That’s because of both the growing burdens imposed by both the tariffs and the tax changes that provided no relief to the nearly 43 percent of U.S. households that paid no income tax before, less than nothing to five percent whose taxes went up, and not much to an additional 22 percent of Americans whose small tax benefits are dwarfed by the negative income effects of Trump’s tariffs.
It may get even worse. If the president goes ahead in December with his plan to increase and expand tariffs on imports from China, 80 percent of the country—roughly 102 million households with 258 million people—will be worse off under his economic program.
The tariffs directly raise the prices for thousands of foreign and U.S.-made goods produced with Chinese or European parts. The U.S. companies that sell those goods lose some business; and as we pay more for some products, we have less left to pay for everything else. So, consumers cut back and businesses follow suit, forcing them and their suppliers to cut the hours their employees work or their jobs—setting off another round of cutbacks by households that squeezes more companies and workers. On top of all this, retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports by China and the European Union trigger similar cutbacks by American companies and workers. His trade program dampens our Gross Domestic Product (GDP), loses jobs, and lowers incomes and wages.
For most Americans, those costs exceed any savings they can incur from the president’s tax changes. It’s a reminder of just how dramatically his tax program favors the high-income bracket. To begin, 42.7 percent of “tax-paying units” (households and spouses filing separately), covering 154 million people in 2018, got little or nothing from Trump’s tax cuts, because their incomes were too small to trigger income tax liability before those changes. Trump’s decision to cap people’s deductions for their state and local taxes also turned his tax program into a tax increase for five percent of households, living mainly in high-tax blue states.
Additionally, the 2017 tax changes provide so little for the lower 40 percent of tax-paying households that Trump’s tariffs wind up swamping those meager tax benefits. Across the bottom quintile, or 20 percent of taxpayers, the tax benefits averaged just $60 per-household in 2018, and the benefits for the next 20 percent of taxpayers amounted to $380. Trump’s tariff program costs the average household an estimated $690 in foregone income.
That estimate is based on the Tax Foundation’s calculations that Trump’s current tariffs have shaved $62.5 billion per-year from our GDP, and that foreign tariffs imposed in retaliation cost our GDP another $25.6 billion. GDP may just be a particular way of measuring the value generated by the economy, but almost all of it ultimately translates into people’s incomes.
The rest is arithmetic. Trump tax changes such as the expanded standard deduction did raise the share of households whose incomes are below the threshold for the federal income tax from 42.7 percent to 44.4 percent. That leaves 55.6 percent of households paying some income tax in 2018, so each 20 percent of them represent 11.1 percent of all U.S. households. So, the president’s economic program has cost another 11.1 percent of tax-paying households $630 in 2018. An additional 11.1 percent will pay $310 more in 2018.
There are also the 42.7 percent of households with incomes too low to trigger any income tax liability before Trump’s tax changes and the five percent who saw their taxes go up under those changes. Both of those groups bear the full $690 net costs from his tariffs. Adding it all up, Trump’s economic policies have imposed significant net costs on 69.9 percent of American households, or roughly 89.2 million households with 226 million people. What’s more, the ripple effects of Trump’s tariffs cost Americans in other ways. Using Tax Foundation data, his tariffs—and retaliation by our trading partners—have cost the economy 272,864 jobs and dampened people’s wages by $25.6 billion or $246 per working household. Moreover, tariff payments by U.S. business jumped $35.7 billion from 2016 to 2018. Economists expect that almost all of those payments are passed along in higher prices. Even if U.S. businesses pass along just three-fourths of those payments, Trump’s tariffs have directly cost an average household $282 in higher prices for goods and commodities.
And, if Trump carries out his threat to double down on his tariffs this winter, the annual impact on GDP will nearly double from $88.1 billion to $167.8 billion. As that lost GDP results in lower wages and incomes, Trump’s tariffs will cost the average household an estimated $1,315. At that rate, those costs will overwhelm the $930 in average tax savings claimed by the third income quintile of taxpayers, adding another 11.1 percent of households to the 69.9 percent who already are net losers. When the president asks voters for another four years, he will have to explain how his signature economic policies have left the vast majority of them worse off.