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Published: Mon, 11 Dec 2017 00:33:10 +0000

Last Build Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2017 00:33:10 +0000

Copyright: Copyright 2005 - Steal what you want
 



VoteVets Goes All In To Help These Progressive Democratic Veterans Take On Draft Dodging Donnie

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 00:04:36 +0000

Received this e-mail yesterday from VoteVets:

Terrified about the direction this guy is taking the country?

(image)

There's a cure for that. And it's this group of VoteVets endorsed progressive veterans (among others) running to take back the House.

(image)

Want a chamber who can hold Trump accountable? So do we. But we can't do it alone.

Chip in $3 to support VoteVets work electing a new generation of progressive veterans to Congress -- ones that will hold this president accountable.

Think about some of your favorite members of Congress. Tammy Duckworth, Ted Lieu, Seth Moulton and more. In each instance, we were there for them, and continue to be. Your donation will help elect some more allies you can be just as proud of.

All our best,

- The team at VoteVets

Click here to donate to these Progressive Democratic Veterans’ campaigns.




That last chance for a peaceful Revolution is here. Please Join the fray.

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 16:30:33 +0000

Please Read, Share, get mad, get furious and donate Here: www.gofundme.com/…    We are Americans, this should piss off every single one of you. More than enough that every dime you can spare should go into it. I can win this on both fronts but not without your help. Without your help, I will be at the mercy of the state and it has no mercy. This is the last chance for a peaceful revolution for us and still "Those that make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable" (JFK). I can not and will not stoop to the level of the state by committing violence on my fellow man. So that means If I stand alone I will die (I will not eat in jail nor will I turn from the bullet they will want to use to silence me) but if it wakes the rest of you up and saves all our children from tyranny, so be it! We are Americans dammit and that's what that Ideal Is. Please read any writing from the revolutionary war. There were thousands of papers and articles and reports that document what the American idea is. What you're supposed to be proud of and what we can be proud of again if we fight united we will win. That is all our lives and your lives it is the lives of your children and your children's children. That is what they will be coming for after they Finnish taking my life all of yours. Just like Hitler, just like Napoleon, just like Stalin, just like Mao Zedong. Just like King George tried to do to our founders in 1776 and what did they do? They put their property, all their assets, and their very lives on the line to change the tyrannical nature of their governance by refusing to submit. We can all fight this and right now your not risking anything to stand with me. A few fake paper money our government issues us to steal your labor and enslave your minds. The paper that literately has no intrinsic value just look whats going on in Venezuela right now. fiat currencies is a banking scam. To enslave the American people and there are dozens of cases where the fiat currency has and is designed to fail. Remember the housing crises? Imagine that, only with the money becoming valueless. It is Coming soon to a bank near you, just ask any economist. Every dictator and totalitarianism system that has ever been in place starts by depriving the week of their liberty and property. That's what they did to my family. Literately it was because they perceived us to be weak and powerless. I will repeat that "They stole our liberty and property because they perceived we are weak and powerless". They perceive all the American people as weak and powerless so they will come for you once they have finished with the truly week. Look at what happened in Texas after the hurricanes they stole people homes by the thousands. They are doing it in California also. What do those states have in common? Only one thing. The right to sussed ins in their constitution. I have been to both places and that is the only thing they have in common. All this is the hallmark of state violence in the extreme. Please when you can, without putting undue hardship on yourselves, Help me win back just a small amount of our rights. If we cant stand up for property rights and life. We will not be able to stand up for anything. This is the first right in our constitution it is so important so critical to liberty,  The right to life, liberty, and property, is in the deceleration of independence and every other paper and article written during and before the revolutionary war. These rights are so important they didn't put them in an amendment. It is in all the actual official documents of the newly founded and declared republic of the UNITED STATES of AMERICA before they were amended, it was not an afterthought it was the thought that spurred our ancestors to leave their farms, businesses, and families and march to Concord and on to victory. Without Our Lives and our property, We forfeit the very essence of freedom and liberty as well as its substance and it's form. Those that do not learn from history are destined to repeat it. Every singl[...]



Is This Commentary Pithy Enough? Part 5

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 17:46:20 +0000

“Nothing changes — if nothing changes.”

   — Ernie Larson




“As soon as the girl said she wasn't comfortable, he took her home.” Roy Moore supporters' delusions

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 04:31:47 +0000

As painful as it might be, it is fascinating to watch a Frank Luntz focus group to understand the Trumpian base in Alabama. They are an interesting example of confirmation bias among other things, as though divergent media had no intersecting areas of truth. x YouTube Video xThis Luntz/Vice focus group on Roy Moore has it all pic.twitter.com/y9iRx2oeQ2— Liam Donovan (@LPDonovan) December 9, 2017 xRoy Moore spokeswoman confirms that she thinks the accusations against Moore are result of a conspiracy involving the Washington Post, George Soros, the DNC, Mitch McConnell, mainstream Republicans, homosexuals, transgender people & criminals, among others pic.twitter.com/NhmhvsOZT3— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 7, 2017 In a Pensacola, Florida rally Friday evening, Republican state Senator Doug Broxson suggested to supporters of Donald Trump that the president’s controversial decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem may usher in the biblical end times. “Now, I don’t know about you, but when I heard about Jerusalem — where the King of Kings [applause] where our soon coming King is coming back to Jerusalem, it is because President Trump declared Jerusalem to be capital of Israel,” Broxson predicted. The crowd cheered. This week, theological scholar Dr. Diana Butler Bass wrote a Twitter thread explaining the link between recognition of Jerusalem, evangelical Christians, and the apocalypse. That is important because rebuilding the Temple is the event that will spark the events of the Book of Revelation and the End Times.” According to Bass, the counsel of evangelical adviser that Trump surrounds himself with take such “End Times” prophecies literally anti-Trump supporters in Pensacola xA digital billboard on the side of a truck, across the street from Trump’s rally tonight in Pensacola, FL pic.twitter.com/6BaDOAf90o— Henry J. Gomez (@HenryJGomez) December 8, 2017 George Thomas Wilson, a retired magazine-marketing and P.R. professional now living in New York City, has never forgotten his first criminal-law class, at the University of Alabama School of Law, in 1974. It was taught by Clint McGee, who graduated from the law school himself, in 1940. Early in the class, McGee called on one of Wilson’s classmates, a United States Military Academy graduate named Roy Moore. “And, for the entire hour, McGee kept him standing and talking, standing and talking,” Wilson told me recently. “Finally, at the end of the hour, McGee said to him, ‘Mr. Moore, I have been teaching in this school for thirty years, and in all of that time you’re the most mixed-up person I’ve ever taught. I’m going to call you Fruit Salad.” [...] Guy Martin taught Moore in a seminar titled Discrimination in Employment. He, too, served in Vietnam. Veterans told him that Moore demanded that he be saluted on the ground in Vietnam, Martin said, which everyone knew was a foolish thing to do. “When you go to Vietnam as an officer, you don’t ask anybody to salute you, because the Viet Cong would shoot officers,” he explained. “You’ve heard this a million times in training.” If Moore indeed violated this rule, Martin went on, “There’s nothing more telling about a person’s capability and character and base intelligence. It’s crazy.” In September, shortly before the Republican primary runoff, Martin, a self-described moderate, wrote an editorial in a local paper warning voters about his former student. In it, he describes Moore as a pupil so immune to logic and reason that he forced his exasperated teacher to “abandon the Socratic method of class participation in favor of the lecture mode.” (Martin remembers giving him “a C or a D. He did enough to pass.”) www.newyorker.com/... [...]



MI-Gov: Gretchen Whitmer (D) Mounts Pressure On Congress To Pass The DREAM Act

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 20:03:37 +0000

Received this e-mail today from former Michigan State Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer’s (D. MI) gubernatorial campaign:

Our economy was built on generations of people coming to America and working hard for the chance of a better life for themselves and their families.

Over 800,000 DREAMers were brought here as infants and have since grown up to start small businesses, educate our children, protect our cities, and hold other critical roles that have bolstered the American economy.

Seven years ago today, Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives came together to stand up for these young people when they passed the DREAM Act.

But now their future is in jeopardy with President Trump’s decision to end DACA.

If Congress doesn’t act now to pass a new DREAM Act, 800,000 young people, including 6,400 Michiganders, could face deportation as soon as March. Join me to demand Congress pass a clean DREAM Act before time runs out!

President Trump’s decision to tell hundreds of thousands of DREAMers they’re no longer welcome in America was one of the cruelest actions we’ve seen from his administration so far.

But it’s not too late. Congress still has the chance to pass a clean DREAM Act before the end of the month. We need to put pressure on them now.

Add your name to stand with our DREAMers and call on Congress to do the right thing by passing a new DREAM Act!

Best,

Gretchen

Click here to add your name.




Daily Kos leading the resistance vanguard on net neutrality

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 18:52:06 +0000

Supporters of the open internet showed up at 700 protests, in all 50 states Thursday. The protests were mostly staged at Verizon stores nationwide, where FCC Chairman Ajit Pai used to work as an attorney. At every event were eloquent, articulate citizens who know what's at stake here.

At a strip mall in Shoreline, Wash., just north of Seattle, about 18 protesters turned up on a cold, sunny morning outside a Verizon store between a Costco and a teriyaki restaurant.

Shasta Willson, a web developer who lives in Shoreline, said she ran a small literature publishing business and was concerned that the loss of net neutrality could turn the internet into something more like cable television, where access to certain online services are sold as part of content packages.

“I feel like this is the most important issue going on,” she said. “There’s some crazy stuff going on, but if we lose net neutrality you might not hear about any of it.”

In the shadow of the New York Stock Exchange in Manhattan, 15 to 20 protesters chanted, “Save the net” and “Free speech, equal access.” Although demonstrators said they knew the rule change would almost certainly happen next week, they were hopeful that their actions could generate enough last-minute attention to bring about a reversal.

“I’m afraid it’s a rear-guard action,” one of the protesters, Maxine Rockoff, 79, said. “But I hope if we protest across the country, the folks in Congress will recognize it was a bad decision.”

Folks in Congress are certainly getting the message, and they're getting it from you. As of Friday morning, the coalition to save net neutrality is working with has submitted more than 250,000 unique signatures to members of Congress. Leading the pack in signatures is, you guessed it, Daily Kos with 107,725. Because the Daily Kos community rocks when it comes to this issue.

Thank you. Pat yourself and your neighbor in the comments on the back. And if you have not yet signed, please do. If you have, share the link below with everyone you know on the internet. Democracy will thank you.

Time is running out before Trump's FCC and Big Cable destroy net neutrality—but we can still stop them. Tell Congress to oppose Trump FCC's plan to destroy net neutrality and the open internet.




DC Vote Launches National Ad Campaign around DC Statehood

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 16:53:21 +0000

Today DC Vote launched a new National Ad Campaign highlighting why Statehood for Washington, DC is the only way to achieve equality for our residents.  The ad introduces viewers to neighbors David and Bernardo.  Even though the only live across the street from one another, they have drastically different representation in Congress.  




Mojo Friday - Gallimaufry, Omnium-Gatherum or Hodgepodge, If You Prefer - Edition

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 15:31:21 +0000

There are a ton of things one could write about today, settling on one misses another. I’ll mention a few, but feel free to discuss anything out there today or this past week.

   

Apocalyptic Scenarios 

I’ve seen at least three versions of the great apocalypse for the coming year.

1 Donald Trump goes ballistic. The causes vary from scenario to scenario, but needless to say they all end with Donald pressing the button.

2 The fix is in. The Republicans aren’t worried about next years election. The reasons vary from Koch money to Donald Trump calling off the election under some pretense. 

3 The Congressional GOP and Trump remove Robert Mueller. Again the scenarios and reasons vary, but the outcome remains the same, Mueller’s investigation is stopped and any findings put aside.

  

Did I mention that these are scenarios I’ve seen put forward on this site? We’re supposed to be the reality based community and this is what’s being discussed in some of the post. Have I read everything? Of course not, but enough to know there’s been too much discussion here that several years ago we would have laughed off as CT(conspiracy theories). Keep it together guys. It’s one thing to talk behind closed doors about what ifs, but you’re in public here.

   

Sexual Misconduct 

Wow! Here’s a mouth full. Talk about a broad subject. And a hot one. The problem as I see it is no one agrees exactly what it means. Even on Morning Joe today they were expressing concern of where this might go and the possible backlash against women and the increase of it’s use as a political tool. WaPo’s exposure set a template of how these allegations should be handled. Unfortunately that template is mostly going to be ignored in the rush to be first with the latest BREAKING headline of the latest man being accused.

When it comes to accusations in the future I hope we follow a standard suggested by a GOP President most here hold in low regard, Ronald Reagan when he talked about dealing with the Russians;

Trust but verify.

  

ROBERT MUELLER

  

Using the latest favorite terminology, there’s a lot to unpack here, so I’m not even going to try. Comment and discuss what you want. Let’s just keep it factual and reality based.

   

OPEN TOPIC

Your choice. Your not bound by the topics listed above.




Mark Meadows? Endorses Moore? After Money paid to his Sex Harassing Ex Chief of Staff ...

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 08:10:18 +0000

   What happened to the Ethics finding on his Chief of Staff whom Meadows asked to resign over multiple and I MEAN multiple sexual harassment allegations?    The Ethics people got involved when monies were paid to this  Chief of Staff sexual predator after he left Meadows office. This happened two and three  years ago.. still.no apologies…..?????  MOORE ENDORSED BY MEADOWS …….12/6/2017 Well that certainly came as no surprise to me. www.politico.com/… www.rollcall.com/… Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore received a boost in his Senate campaign as House Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Mark Meadows announced his endorsement. Meadows also confirmed that he will meet with Moore on Thursday. www.huffingtonpost.com/… Here is the entire PDF Ethics testimony from witnesses. oce.house.gov/... WASHINGTON — A Republican congressman leading the fight to defund Planned Parenthood paid his chief of staff for nearly six months after at least three female staffers complained that the top aide was sexually harassing subordinates, according to four sources close to the situation.   The women told North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows about chief of staff Kenny West’s behavior in March, sources said. At first, Meadows barred West from his D.C. office, but reassigned him to the district office and continued paying him. Meadows eventually sent West off with a sizable severance. www.citizen-times.com/... SHEVILLE – U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-Jackson, should apologize to women who were sexually harassed by Meadows' former chief of staff, Kenny West, and explain why he kept West on the payroll for months while West did little or nothing to earn his paycheck, Meadows' Democratic challenger said Tuesday. Rick Bryson is absolutely correct.   He enabled that situation.  Seems there is more dirt under the rug up on Capitol Hill.   Rick Bryson, a Bryson City alderman, also said Meadows should reimburse the federal government for the more than $150,000 he says West was paid after he was barred from Meadows' offices in Washington and Hendersonville. No more coverup. No more evasion," Bryson said. "The people of Western North Carolina demand an explanation as to why he played fast and loose with our taxpayer money." Bryson said Meadows had been told by people who knew West before Meadows hired him that West's conduct around women was problematic. No more coverup. No more evasion," Bryson said. "The people of Western North Carolina demand an explanation as to why he played fast and loose with our taxpayer money." Bryson said Meadows had been told by people who knew West before Meadows hired him that West's conduct around women was problematic. Bryson said he has heard rumors about why Meadows "would continue to pay West over and over and over" but not anything he can substantiate. "The unanswered question, that I probably shouldn't ask, is what did West have on him?" he said. Well that is the question now isn’t it?  Why pay someone to leave their workplace because from testimony I read, all he really did was pray and look   down blouses while rubbing on women staffers? I think someone really needs to look into just how clean Mark Meadows is.  The more conservative they say they are….the more I am suspect. This is the ethics review….and I found no conclusion.   It smelled of a cover up for this West fellow or hush money.    Meadows hired his opponent in his district as his chief of staff in DC, after West lost in the primaries to Meadows.   The testimony revealed the staff thought it strange and especially the paying him AFTER he was supposed to be terminated.  West was accused of looking down staffer’s dresses, blouses, touching, and some claim Meadows was made aware and said he would take care of it yet he just told him not t[...]



PA-07: Liberal Lion Daylin Leach (D) Hits Pat Meehan's (R) Vote For Trump's Tax Scam

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 01:55:25 +0000

Received this e-mail today from Pennsylvania’s Liberal Lion, State Senator Daylin Leach’s (D. PA) congressional campaign:

(image)
Daylin Leach (D. PA-07)

With whole new laws scribbled onto the margins, and entire paragraphs hastily crossed out and rewritten on the Senate floor, The GOP Tax Scam is officially going to conference and is on its way to becoming law.

But that doesn’t mean we just sit back and watch as the GOP throws students, seniors and working families under the bus in order to cut taxes for their wealthy donors.

Stand with us to condemn this appalling tax plan, and hold Rep. Meehan accountable for his role in getting it passed >>>

Karen, one of Daylin’s grassroots supporters, put it perfectly when she said “The fact that money to give these huge tax breaks to the rich and corporations will have to come from somewhere is one on the frightening things about this tax plan. Will it affect Medicare and Medicaid? Is Social Security safe? Will lower- and middle-class Americans be paying higher taxes in years to come?”

These are exactly the questions that all of us deserve answers to. And Rep. Meehan, as one of the architects of this bill, cannot be allowed to hide from the consequences of his actions.

The most important thing we can do now is stand together and make our voices heard. Join us in condemning this bill >>>

Soon we will have the chance to elect a representative who would never in his life vote for a tax bill like this one.

Daylin is committed to putting fairness back into our system -- that means no tax cuts for the mega-rich, expanding Medicare to cover everyone who needs it, and restoring accountability to our campaign finance system.

Until then, make your voice heard -- tell Rep. Meehan that you condemn this tax plan and his role in passing it >>>

Thanks,

Team Daylin

Click here to add your name.




Green Zone ... Roy Moore longs for "Old times there are not forgotten"

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:52:22 +0000

Rolling coal is a form of conspicuous air pollution, for entertainment or for protest.[3] Some drivers intentionally trigger coal rolling in the presence of hybrid vehicles (when it is nicknamed "Prius repellent") to taunt their drivers, who are perceived as being environmentally motivated in their vehicle choice. Coal rolling may also be directed at foreign cars, bicyclists, protesters, and pedestrians.[5][6][7][8] Practitioners cite "American freedom" and "a stand against rampant environmentalism" as reasons for coal rolling.[9][10] like clean beautiful coal Antebellum America is the traditionalist nation image desired by Roy Moore and its associated Trumpery, when PoC stayed in their lane, or else their owners made them stay there. GOP revisionist history is often sold in their rhetoric as heritage, as though dirt floors could now be a reactionary’s fashion statement. Much like pretending that their diesel trucks “roll coal” onto unsuspecting hybrid vehicles. Carbon footprints are not about jackboots. 21st Century America cannot ever return to that Republican fantasy of conservatism and neoconservatism, whether it’s Trump’s longing for the 1950s of his mom’s meatloaf recipe, or Roy Moore’s desire to bring back the family united under slavery. The mid-19th Century might have had a low risk of terrorist attack, except for those darned Abolitionists, Fenians, vigilantes… and the violence of slavery itself. But even claiming the 1850s as a Green Zone of low risk of terrorist attacks is absurd when one considers that terrorism is a political economy common to all cultures. And because the lack of a peaceful scenario for the end of slavery doesn’t mean one abandons the cause or romanticizes its social relationships and divisions. One moves forward to knowledge, not backward into ignorance. But later you get a post-Vietnam thing, which was a little more cynical. I think even today we’re in a post-Iraq moment, where the idea is basically, “War is hell and politicians justify it with all this rhetoric which has no meaning, so how can you believe anything anyone says?” My view on this is Du Bois’s, actually. Sometimes the “neo-abolitionist” historians get a little too gung-ho for war, the glorifying of the war. I agree with Du Bois, who says that war is murder, chaos, anarchy. But sometimes good comes out of it. I don’t think it’s a good thing that all these people got killed in the Civil War. I’m not glorifying it and waving the flag for it. But what I’m saying is that I’ve never seen a peaceful scenario for the abolition of slavery in this country. [...] Now, there was a free black community, they were very militant, and you could say they were abolitionists, but I’m talking about the organized abolitionist movement. That was very small. Nonetheless, they managed to actually accomplish quite a bit. They pioneered the use of the media of that time — the steam press, the telegraph, the petitions, the traveling speakers — to change public discourse. If you want to learn something from the abolitionists, that’s what you learn. The first thing to do is intervene in public discourse. www.jacobinmag.com/... (Eric) Foner’s first book, Free Soil, Free Labor, and Free Men (1970), which remains the standard work on the rise of the Republican Party, showed how antebellum Republicans were not merely critics of slavery, but exponents of a powerful political-economic ideology of their own. His most celebrated book, Reconstruction (1988), provided a synthesis that decisively rejected the racist folklore that had informed popular and scholarly treatments of the post–Civil War period for much of the twentieth century. In these and other works, a central theme in Foner’s scholars[...]



Hillary Clinton Mounts Pressure On The GOP-Controlled Congress To Fully Restore CHIP Funding

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 22:48:38 +0000

Received this e-mail today from Hillary Clinton:

Friend --

These days, bipartisanship sounds like a dream of the past, but when we first passed the Children's Health Insurance Plan in 1997, we did so with support on both sides of the aisle -- and gave millions of children, pregnant women, and families the security of knowing they had access to critical care.

We came together because we understood that the true measure of a community is how we treat our children. Whether we invest in them and give them an opportunity to live up to their God-given potential.

But then, more than 60 days ago, the Republican-controlled Congress let CHIP, which has been reauthorized on a bipartisan basis every year for the last 19 years, expire -- leaving nine million children and families worried about their access to health care. Meanwhile, Senate Republicans rushed to pass so-called tax reform -- a giveaway for those who least need it.

That's unacceptable. And it gets worse. During the campaign, I warned that the Republicans would come after social security, Medicare, and Medicaid -- and now they are. Imagine buying a Rolex and paying for it with money you saved to take care of your kids. That's what Congress is doing with your tax dollars.
 

Today, I'm asking you to call your Representative and Senators at (202) 224-3121 and ask them to renew the Children's Health Insurance immediately.

I'm thinking of people like Ryan Moore, who was seven when I first met him, wearing a full body brace and smiling from ear to ear. He inspired me and kept me going through the hardest moments of the fight for health reform. And like Sara Soltani, whose cochlear implant was covered under the Children's Health Insurance Program -- a fact she didn't realize until her mother told her as she was preparing to graduate from high school and head off to college, her life full of promise and possibility.

There are countless children who got the chance to grow up, to dream big, to have the lives and the futures they deserved. Surely, we've come too far to turn back now.
 

Call your Representative and Senators and let them know that you're counting on them to extend the Children's Health Insurance Program: (202) 224-3121

There's a lot to be frustrated by right now, to say the least. Here's something that we should be able to fix together.

Yours,

Hillary

P.S. The current enrollment period for coverage under the Affordable Care Act ends December 15th -- if you or someone you love needs coverage, tell them to go to healthcare.gov and sign up now.

Dial the number above and click here to sign up for the Affordable Care Act.




Cartoon: Congress as usual

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 21:31:31 +0000

“It’s business tiiiiiime...”-Flight of the Concords




Paul Ryan, be a decent human being for once. Dump Rep. Blake Farenthold

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 21:16:34 +0000

Thursday morning, House Speaker Paul Ryan had the gall to stand in front of cameras and say this:

x

Here’s what he said in full on sexual harassment in the halls of Congress:

This morning the committee on House Administration is presently holding a wide ranging hearing on a reporting and settlement process for sexual harassment. The goal is to take a look at the entire system. We want to identify what reforms are needed to change the way things work.

In addition to just better policies to protect women, we also need a real culture change. We need to recognize in is a pervasive problem that women face not just here in Congress but through every industry. And this really is a watershed moment and it needs to lead to lasting and positive change.

He actually said that while he is absolutely refusing to clean up his own damned House. He has not and he will not call on Rep. Blake Farenthold, whose victim was run out of town, whose personal and professional life was ruined because she spoke up.

You’ve got the poster child for abuse of women right there in your conference, Speaker Ryan (not even mentioning the Groper-in-Chief you’ve sold whatever shred of soul you might possess to). Don’t give us meaningless words about “a real culture change” until you fucking do it.




CA-Sen: Dianne Feinstein (D) Mounts Pressure On CA's 14 GOP Congressmen To Reject Trump's Tax Scam

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 20:46:44 +0000

Received this e-mail today from U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D. CA) re-election campaign:

(image)
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D. CA)

In case you missed it, I wrote in the Los Angeles Times earlier this week about how the Republican tax bill will harm middle-class families and favor big corporations.

We simply must stop this bill from ever becoming law.

Under the Republican tax plans, families will not be able to claim state and local tax deductions in California, but corporations will. The Senate version would make the corporate tax cut permanent while raising taxes on middle-class Americans. The plan also attacks the Affordable Care Act, raising rates by 10 percent every year for middle-class families.

There’s still time to stop this bill. Will you stand with me in urging Republicans, including the 14 Republican California House members, to vote against this harmful tax bill? >>

The House and the Senate are reconciling their differences and will release a bill for both chambers to vote on. We need to mobilize to prevent the final legislation from passing the House or the Senate.

That is why I’m urging Republicans, including the 14 House members serving Californians, to reject the bill because the consequences will be devastating for middle-class families.

Join me in urging Republicans to reject the GOP tax bill and put the middle-class first >>

Republicans are saying that their tax cut will pay for itself. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, this claim is false. It would increase the deficit and would force Congress to cut back on social programs.

Republicans have hid their intentions to cut Social Security and Medicare in this tax bill. We must stand against this bill while we still have time to stop it.

Thank you for standing with me,

Dianne

Click here to add your name.




Republicans gearing up to crack down on food stamps for families with kids

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 18:21:51 +0000

More than 15 million American families experienced food insecurity in 2016, with more than 6 million of them having very low food security at some point in the year. But never mind that, because Republicans are gearing up another assault on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program:

[Rep. Jim Jordan] said the basic idea would be new restrictions on able-bodied adults ― even if they have children ― along the lines of a bill he introduced earlier this year. Robert Rector, a welfare expert with the conservative Heritage Foundation, said Jordan’s bill would cut SNAP spending by 20 percent over 10 years, which would amount to more than $100 billion.

There’s significant savings if you do it right,” Jordan said.

Roughly 42 million low-income Americans, of whom 44 percent are children, receive monthly SNAP benefits that can be used to buy food in grocery stores ― making it one of the U.S. government’s biggest and most expensive economic safety net programs.

Take a second to let it sink in that 44 percent of 42 million is nearly 19 million children whose food security Republicans are potentially taking aim at. And it’s not like there aren’t already employment requirements on receiving SNAP if you’re an able-bodied adult—there are. Jordan and his buddies in the extremist House Freedom Caucus just want more and more work requirements, even when the jobs aren’t there. And even if it’ll hurt kids.

This kind of stuff is exactly what Donald Trump is talking about when he previews “welfare reform” as his next big push.




Anti-Obamacare measures in the Republican tax plan will make America's opioid crisis worse

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 15:01:15 +0000

For a while it fell on Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner to "solve" the opioid crisis. Then the task was very quietly delegated to, of all people, administration liar Kellyanne Conway. There's still no commitment to spending any serious amount of money to combat what the White House has called a national emergency, mind you, but there have been meetings held and reports filed and everyone agrees that reducing opioid abuse is urgent in principle, if not practice.

Meanwhile, the Republican tax plan is about to make the problem much, much worse. The Senate's version of the bill repeals the requirement that most Americans either have insurance or pay a tax penalty for not having it. The intent of the repeal is to deprive the insurance marketplace of the sort of younger, healthier individuals that don't think they need health insurance, until one unfortunate day in which they do; by removing these individuals from the insurance pool, insurers are left to insure a population that skews older, and sicker, which raises premiums and hopefully, Obamacare opponents presume, renders those markets untenable for insurers and the insured alike.

The hitch to all of that is that the people who do not think they need health insurance or who do not want to pay for it can also be people with serious, or potentially fatal, addiction problems.

Amid a spiraling opioid epidemic and record-high alcohol-related deaths, the legislation could put Obamacare on track toward a “death spiral,” says Keith Humphreys, a Stanford psychiatry and former Obama drug policy adviser. He adds that the health-related provisions would hurt most in places that voted for Republican politicians: Those counties that swung for Trump in the election had higher rates of “deaths of despair,” or deaths from alcohol, drugs, and suicide. [...]

Many of those who would lose insurance—either because they choose not to buy it or because they’re priced out due to rising premiums—are likely to be young or low-income, two groups with particularly high substance abuse rates, notes Keith Humphreys. Just a few weeks of addiction treatment can be prohibitively expensive for many Americans. “Not having insurance will make them vulnerable,” added Humphreys. “One thing that is consistent when you talk to addicted people is how they never thought this would happen to them.”

The GOP Tax Scam is a "working definition of a tax boondoggle" for banks, big oil, developers—and it still needs to pass both houses of Congress before it becomes law.  Call your members of the House AGAIN TODAY at (202) 224-3121, and tell them you are absolutely furious and they must vote NO.




Is This Commentary Pithy Enough? Part 3

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 17:23:07 +0000

I will be brief.
~William Shakespeare, Hamlet




The Terrible Tax Bill: Prototype Newspaper Guest Editorial

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 17:11:23 +0000

What follows is my suggestion for a guest editorial to be submitted to California newspapers in Republican congressional districts.    With a little modification it can be used in other states as well. References are both hyperlinked and footnoted; the latter for use in print media. Tax Bill in Congress Will Harm Medicare, ACA, Education, and Housing Values. Only You Can Stop It. This headline is no exaggeration as you will see by reading on. Medicare is an entitlement. We all pay into it during our entire working lives. When you turn 65, having paid into it for all this time, you are now entitled to receive it, and no longer have to worry about health insurance. That will change: under the proposed tax plan: Medicare may no longer pay for chemotherapy. The reason for this is something called the sequester. Because the proposed tax bill will balloon the federal deficit, certain funds must be cut. That includes Medicare payments for chemotherapy.[i] To understand the impact, consider a modern miracle drug known as Tasigna. Tasigna is a cure for a form of leukemia[ii] that hits older Americans.[iii] It is a capsule you take twice a day for the rest of your life[iv]. Under the proposed tax plan if you need this drug you may end up having to pay for it. Cost: $12,000 every two weeks[v], over $300,000 annually. But that is not all - let’s consider a fabulous high earner – will that amount cover it? No, because the medical expense deduction is going away!  Our high earner will have to earn over $461,000 in order to have $300,000 left after paying 35% federal taxes. The proposed tax plan will also hurt the ACA, also known as Obamacare and California Covered. Under the proposed tax plan the penalty for not carrying health insurance will cease to exist. This runs the very real risk of causing disruption and possibly collapse in the Obamacare insurance marketplaces.[vi] The purpose of the penalty is to induce healthy people to sign up, or to help fund the plan with tax penalty if they do not. If only sick people sign up for ACA, premiums will go up even further. Education is also in the crosshairs. Hard working teachers in underfunded districts can currently deduct all of $250[vii] for the cost of school supplies - supplies they pay for out of pocket in order to run their classes. Not any longer under the new plan.[viii] If someone feels called to become a doctor, lawyer, engineer or other professional, he or she will need a graduate school education. The best and brightest undergraduates may get their graduate school tuition waived if they are fortunate. Under the proposed tax plan this would be imputed as income - at current tuition rates this amounts to around $50,000 per year. The new plan proposes to reach the long arm of the federal government into the pockets of penniless grad students and make them pay tax for receiving their education.[ix] The proposed tax plan also eliminates the tax deductibility of fire and earthquake losses (but not for damage from hurricanes and floods).[x],[xi] Any loss not covered by insurance will be tough luck – in California. Let’s consider a young married couple looking to buy their first home for, say, $500,000. Mortgage interest and real estate taxes will total around $20,000 annually. Add to that California income taxes and they are well above the current standard deduction of $12,600. Under the proposed new tax plan California income taxes will no longer be deductible and the standard deduction will be $24,000. There will no longer be a tax benefit to buying a starter home, in addition to l[...]



Al Franken does the right thing

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 16:51:18 +0000

x"There is some irony in the fact that I am leaving" while Trump sits in oval office, and Roy Moore has support of GOP - Sen. Al Franken resigning from office pic.twitter.com/1YHkMc7veU— TheBeat w/Ari Melber (@TheBeatWithAri) December 7, 2017 There are no reasons why the Democrats should ever give Roger Stone a win, but the real loser is the guy Al defeated in a close election, Norm Coleman, because his oppo-research undoubtedly sucked. As I'm resigning, a man sits in the Oval Office accused of sexual assault and a man who preys on young women is running for Senate. xJUST IN: Sen. Al Franken’s press office says he will make an announcement on Thursday, as several Democratic senators are calling on him to resign amid accusations of sexual harassment.Follow live updates: https://t.co/1NyaGJMAdK pic.twitter.com/hFY5fg730L— CNN (@CNN) December 6, 2017 JUST IN: Sen. Al Franken is resigning, sources say. NOW: He will speak from the Senate floor. Franken faces accusations of inappropriate touching, and the Senate Ethics Committee has been looking into the allegations. "While I am resigning my seat I am not giving up my voice...as a citizen and an activist." xfuck leeann and her naked ambition stay on al - there is a difference between u and them as annie lennnox said "take this overcoat of shame - it never did belong to me"fight 4 whats right— ROSIE (@Rosie) December 7, 2017 xAnd don't come at me with charges I'm politicizing this. As the only party that actually gives a damn about sexual assault, the Democrats must win this fight for the principle to have any life at all. Republicans DO NOT CARE. https://t.co/H57C7E7OKO— Elliott Lusztig (@ezlusztig) December 7, 2017 xAnyone who has called for Al Franken to resign but has NOT likewise called for Donald Trump to resign is a total f*cking hypocrite. I expect that from Republicans, but it's especially outrageous when the guilty party is a Democrat.#TrumpResign #TrumpSexualPredator— Jon Cooper (@joncoopertweets) December 7, 2017 xAbsolutely. A smaller % of women are sex predators, but that’s mostly because fewer of them occupy positions of power over subordinates. Get real: neither gender is wholly innocent of hitting on the other in unacceptable circumstances. https://t.co/F5xuPTvGJI— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) December 7, 2017 xSen Al Franken just resigned d/t sexual misconduct allegations (which he denies).Next, it's time for TRUMP to resign d/t sexual predator allegations (which he denies.)And MOORE to step away from his campaign d/t pedophilia allegations (which he denies.)#ThursdayThoughts pic.twitter.com/nvBXwwdSgf— Holly O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) December 7, 2017 [...]



We won't let Democracy die, we will fight for net neutrality

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 16:01:08 +0000

Sarah Kendzior is an expert on authoritarian regimes. She’s an anthropologist who got her doctorate studying authoritarianism in Central Asian regimes. She wrote her dissertation, as she describes, “on how exiled groups use the internet for political opposition. [...] I studied how the internet can bring forbidden and controversial content that's censored by the government to the fore, but also how it can instigate infighting.” That’s the background to keep in mind when you read this warning from her: The FCC's proposed rollback of net neutrality arrives with two other measures that mark the beginning of a more abjectly fascist phase for the United States—a systemic transformation that will likely endure after Trump leaves office. Along with the loss of a free internet, we face the packing of the courts with conservative extremists who legal scholars worry will decimate constitutional rights. Many of these judicial appointments are for a lifetime, curbing civil liberties for generations to come. Americans also face a serious threat to the integrity of elections, with gerrymandering, restrictive voter ID laws, a bogus "voter fraud" commission, insecure voting machines, and foreign interference that is not only unchallenged but is sometimes encouraged by Republicans all adding up to the likelihood that the 2018 midterm elections will not be free or fair. Voter suppression will likely be rampant, with non-white and immigrant Americans the primary targets of disenfranchisement. And here we lie at the interconnected horror of the Trump administration's autocratic manoeuvres. Consider this scenario for 2018: The repeal of net neutrality will stem the flow of information, making voter suppression harder to document. The packing of the courts will make the voter suppression that is documented harder to challenge. And the long-standing solution to purveyors of unpopular policies—vote them out—will be, by definition, impossible, since the election is rigged and the rigging uncontestable. This carefully constructed web of repression is how democracy dies. So what do we do about it? “Talk about it—while we still can. Call our representatives, organize in our community, and have a plan for what we'll do should these repressive initiatives pass.” Time is running out before Trump's FCC and Big Cable destroy net neutrality—but we can still stop them. Tell Congress to oppose Trump FCC's plan to destroy net neutrality and the open internet. [...]



House Democrats demand GAO investigate fake net neutrality comments

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 19:17:43 +0000

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai refuses to investigate or cooperate with outside investigations of hundreds of thousands—maybe millions—of instances of fake anti-neutrality comments to the agency. There's rock-solid evidence that real people's names and addresses were stolen by hackers to make comments against an open internet, without their knowledge or permission. Pai, rather than acknowledging this, is using it as an excuse to toss out almost all comments on the issue, so that he can ignore the millions of pro-net neutrality comments. House Democrats want an investigation, so they're asking the Government Accountability Office to do it.

“We understand that the FCC’s rulemaking process requires it to address all comments it receives, regardless of who submits them,” the letter reads. “However, we do not believe any outside parties should be permitted to generate any comments to any federal government entity using information it knows to be false, such as the identities of those submitting the comments.”

The group was led by Reps. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.). […]

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) said this week that his office identified about 1 million comments that may have been submitted under stolen identities. Schneiderman, who supports the net neutrality rules, joined a growing list of Democrats who called on the FCC to cancel its Dec. 14 vote to repeal rules.

Pai isn't just refusing to cooperate with Schneiderman's investigation, he's moving forward with the Dec. 14 vote. So the opposition (that's us!) is fighting back, with over 600 protests happening tomorrow, Dec. 7, at Verizon stores all across the nation. If Pai's corporate overlords feel the pain, so will he.

Time is running out before Trump's FCC and Big Cable destroy net neutrality—but we can still stop them. Tell congress to oppose Trump FCC's plan to destroy net neutrality and the open internet




Donald Trump and Jared Kushner's businesses make out like bandits in Republican 'tax plan'

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 02:46:19 +0000

Just to put a capper on how cynical the Republican "tax plan" is, it takes a special kind of fealty, and/or blind loyalty, and/or crookedness to come up with a tax plan that just happens to give Donald Trump's own personal companies everything that they could ask for.

“Real estate does great,” said Daniel N. Shaviro, a professor of taxation at New York University Law School, who as a congressional staff member helped write the 1986 tax overhaul. “It’s hard to imagine what they might have asked for that they don’t have.”

Real estate investment trusts, known as REITs, have extra cause for celebration. They are companies that make money by owning, financing and operating real estate. Both the Trump Organization and Kushner Companies, the family real estate firm partly owned by Mr. Kushner, have important deals with such trusts.

That the Senate would just happen to come up with tax breaks aimed squarely at boosting the profits of the White House Garbage Fire is yet another peculiarity of the hastily assembled bill. And we will note again that Trump has not divested from his businesses and has a clause in place to allow him to reap the profits of those businesses the moment he leaves office, if he even bothers to hold out that long.

And while we know that Donald Trump (and the as-of-yet-not-indicted Jared Kushner) will have his taxes slashed substantially by these new proposals, we do not know the full amount because Trump, alone in modern history, has refused to reveal it.




Al Franken should switch parties before he resigns

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 17:44:55 +0000

xProcedure if Franken resigns: Dem Gov. Mark Dayton appoints a replacement. Special election in Nov. 2018 for final 2 years of term. Regular election in 2020 for full 6-year term #MNSen— Daily Kos Elections (@DKElections) December 6, 2017 xOnly if Sen. Keith Ellison and Sen. Roy Moore have to share a condo. https://t.co/5AGwLLNngr— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) December 6, 2017 xFourteen Senators have now called for Franken to resign--GillibrandHironoMcCaskillHassanMurrayHarrisBaldwinCaseyDonnellyBrownStabenowCollinsHeitkampMarkey— Steve Kopack (@SteveKopack) December 6, 2017 xDNC: Franken should resignRNC: we’re all in on Roy Moore— Sam Stein (@samstein) December 6, 2017 xThere are still six days for Al Franken to mount a write-in campaign in Alabama— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) December 6, 2017 Franken should say that he will resign if Roy Moore is banned by the Ethics Committee (if he wins) and not one second before. And if Jones wins, he will accept the vote of the Ethics Committee.  (h/t GayIthacan) Ethics Committee Johnny Isakson, Georgia Chairman     Christopher A. Coons, Delaware Vice Chairman Pat Roberts, Kansas     Brian Schatz, Hawaii James E. Risch, Idaho     Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire “We're still at the bomb-throwing point of this revolution, a reactive stage at which nuance can go into hiding. But while anger can start a revolution, in its most raw and feral form it can't negotiate the more delicate dance steps needed for true social change. Private conversations, which can't be legislated or enforced, are essential. Norms evolve, and it's long past time for any culture to view harassment as acceptable. But there's a great deal at stake in how we assess these new boundaries—for women and men together. We can and should police criminal acts and discourage inappropriate, destructive behavior.” time.com/... [...]



Squaring the Circle: The GOP Tax Heist

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 00:46:28 +0000

Squaring a circle is an impossible-to-solve geometry problem that aims to construct a square with the same area as a given circle, by using only a finite number of steps, with compass and straightedge.  Mathematicians can produce solutions that closely approximate the construction of such a square.  But the properties of Pi prevent an actual solution.  

The GOP Senators and Representatives in conference on the House and Senate tax bills will probably never find a way to get close to reconciling their two very different approaches to robbing the poor to pay the rich, robbing individuals to pay corporations.  One problem is that the House Bill isn’t a circle and the Senate bill isn’t a square.  The political outlines of these bills are infinitely more complex and troublesome to reconcile.  

But analogy only goes so far.  




Keep the Heat on California Congresspersons. They could be wavering on the Tax Bill

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 04:06:23 +0000

Looks like there may be a few cracks showing in the California delegation of Congress on the Tax Bill.  The AMT and the SALT deductions being taken out is starting to cause some real concern for those in high tax California.  Tech Firms and property owners are freaking out right now.   Double down on your calls to California congress people.  This fight is not yet over.

www.washingtonpost.com/…

Neither the House nor Senate bills contain provisions allowing for the deductibility of state income taxes, which would typically mean the provision would be off limits in a conference. But House Republicans believe they can “airdrop” the provision, in congressional lingo, to firm up support from Republican House members in California and other high-tax, largely Democratic states.
 

Again these guys don’t have good math skills.  Putting both those back in will balloon the deficit passed the 1.5 trillion the Senate has to keep it under to pass under their reconciliation process.  So just “air dropping” sounds so easy.  Ha.  Have fun with that.  RESIST!!!




Steve Bannon goes off the rails, because attacking Mormonism helps Roy Moore... how?

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 02:41:22 +0000

So Steve Bannon used an obtuse tactic, attacking Mitt Romney’s military service or rather his religious exemption, in order to support Roy Moore. It's a 2012 dog whistle, but perhaps that’s the best he can do, considering the other strangeness of Roy Moore has hemmed in his message positives for anyone other than specific groups and individuals. If Bannon has a lot of input into the Moore campaign, the anti-Semite message attacking George Soros seems Bannonesque, although why Roy thinks Soros represents a sexual agenda seems a bit off base, unless it’s about miscegenation. Then again Breitbart wrote a negative review of Bannon’s performance, so disinformation is set on “stun”. xSo just for those keeping track, yesterday Moore launched an explicitly anti-Semitic attack at a rally and today Bannon, on his behalf, attacks Mormonism https://t.co/FkuNFFisku— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) December 6, 2017 xWATCH: Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore was interrupted during a campaign event by a protester who called former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon a "theocratic bigot." pic.twitter.com/SHujjlTGnJ— NBC News (@NBCNews) December 6, 2017 "While Judge Moore was fighting in Vietnam, you were hiding out inside a missionary.  So don't you lecture us about honesty and integrity." xUmm....Trump is a 5x draft dodger, that didn't seem to bother Steve Bannon. https://t.co/jRjtkusRfU— Amy Siskind (@Amy_Siskind) December 6, 2017 "You avoided service & hid behind your religion--Do not talk to me about honor & integrity! Judge Roy Moore has more honor & Integrity in his pinky finger than your entire family has in its whole DNA!" xThe Roy Moore/Steve Bannon rally tonight is now open to public after 'liberals' gobbled up all the tickets online https://t.co/jwutrzylBo #alpolitics #alsen pic.twitter.com/LEExTa5Ang— AL.com (@aldotcom) December 5, 2017 and then there’s the ultimate in false consciousness... xSteve Bannon Glosses Over Racist Past In Speech To Black Republicans https://t.co/fcbiRq6y3a— 1finekitty (@1finekitty) December 6, 2017 xBannon says that if Obama had been as effective against ISIS as Trump, "they'd have given him his second Nobel Prize.Heckler: "He was too busy playing golf!"Side note: Donald Trump also plays golf.— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) December 6, 2017 [...]



Is This Commentary Pithy Enough?

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 22:10:58 +0000

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” said Leonardo da Vinci.  He was on to something. 

Well-crafted sentences, paragraphs and books all have their place.  But sometimes, three words, along with a first-grader’s color scheme, will suffice.

This, hopefully, is one of those occasions.




America's Most Hated President is Pushing a Despised Congress to Pass a Wildly Unpopular Tax Bill

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 01:49:28 +0000

We all need to let this sink in. The Republican-controlled Congress is frantically trying to get a tax bill to Donald Trump's desk before he is impeached. The bill itself is a redistribution of wealth from the poor and middle classes to the rich and corporations. It will balloon the national debt and cause millions to lose their health insurance. But all of this is being pursued under extraordinarily peculiar circumstances. What we are witnessing is a spectacle headlined by the least popular president in modern times. His approval ratings would need to improve substantially to reach the gutter. Gallup has him at a death-defying thirty-five percent. That's just two points off of his all-time low of thirty-three percent earlier this week. He's been mired in the low thirties for months. He has never risen above the forty-six percent he achieved at his inauguration. The Congress is faring even worse. They are currently suffering an approval rating of only thirteen percent. That's down by more than half from the already awful rating they had at the beginning of this session. Considering the fact that they have passed no significant legislation at all since then, it isn't hard to understand the decline. All they have done is tried (and failed) three times to kill the popular ObamaCare program and find ways to defend Trump's ignorance and divisiveness. So Congress is going all in on a tax "reform" bill that promises to boost the economy, create millions of jobs, and cut taxes for everybody, without raising the debt. All of that has proven to be outright lies. The wealthy will be the only beneficiaries of this bill, while most middle class Americans will see tax increases. And the deficit will rise by more than a trillion dollars. Not surprisingly, this bill has garnered little support among the public. A paltry twenty-nine percent of voters support the GOP Tax Scam. More than half (56%) oppose it. So what we have here is the most hated President in modern times pushing a despised Congress to pass a bitterly unpopular tax bill. It's a thoroughly Republican project that got zero votes from Democrats. Nevertheless, the GOP is pulling out all the stops to force this garbage down the country's throat whether they like it or not (they don't). And throughout the process we are being told lies by representatives who have lost any pretense of decency. They are even going so far as to support a child molester for the senate in Alabama to insure they have the votes they need for this abhorrent legislation. Let's hope the American people remember this betrayal by their so-called representatives and vote them out of office next November. Then we can get on with the business of impeaching the traitor in the White House. How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock: Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance. Available now at Amazon. And please visit News Corpse on the web and follow on Facebook. [...]



It turns out the Republican tax plan is a big wet kiss to corporate offshorers

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 02:01:39 +0000

In case you have not yet heard—for example, if you have been on an extended hiking trip in the wilds of an American landscape that you thought was a national monument, until yesterday when some loudmouthed New York real estate faux-tycoon popped up to declare it wasn’t—it turns out that Republicans may be substantially bamboozling the public as to the contents of their tax bill.

For example, their supposed "anti-offshoring" move, which from the label on the tin you might expect to be a closure of the enormous tax loopholes encouraging United States companies to park their money overseas to dodge paying taxes on it, could end up encouraging even more corporate offshoring of infrastructure, workers, and profits.

The Republican tax plan can be divided into three buckets: individual, corporate, and international. That last bucket creates new incentives for companies to move factories overseas and shelter money in tax havens. [...]

The territorial model that the GOP is pushing would create an additional incentive to invest in countries like Ireland where the corporate rate is significantly lower than the United States. Republicans believe the differences won’t be big enough to drive investment abroad. Steve Rosenthal, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center, disagrees, saying that’s still “plenty of juice” to encourage companies to shift production to countries with lower tax rates. Kimberly Clausing, an expert in international taxation at Reed College, writes that the shift to a territorial system “makes explicit, and permanent, the preference for foreign income over domestic income.” She estimates that profit shifting already costs the US government more than $100 billion per year.

Oh my goodness, could such a thing be accidental? An oversight? Donald Trump super-pinky-promised his supporters that the tax bill would be good for American workers and bad for offshoring companies, so it would be strange if Republicans just happened to choose language that could be nullified by any corporation willing to play a bit of rote gamesmanship with their numbers.




'We need to act': Democrat calls on Congress to confront sexual harassment

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 19:09:02 +0000

Campaign Action

Congress can’t be trusted to police itself on sexual harassment, Rep. Jackie Speier suggested on Tuesday. The California Democrat called on members of Congress already outed as harassers to step down—as Rep. John Conyers did Tuesday morning—but called for a broader change to how Congress addresses the issue:

“As we are contemplating a new system, I think we need to look at creating a third-party function that will be outside of Congress,” Speier said at the Women Rule Summit on a panel about sexual harassment. [...]

“We need to act,” Speier said. “We cannot allow this to fester while two years go by until the next election takes place.” She pointed to corporations, saying the board of a company whose CEO was the subject of serious harassment allegations wouldn’t wait until the next shareholder meeting to act.

But while Republicans might be happy to pile on any Democrats guilty of sexual harassment, don’t look for them to be willing to police their own—unless they face overwhelming pressure to change.




My mom is my hero… but please don’t call her a feminist!

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 18:33:45 +0000

For those of you that don’t know, my name is Andrew Sneathern and I’m running for Congress in Virginia. I grew up in a small, rural farming community in the bootheel of southeast Missouri. As the title says, my mother is my hero. Now, before you get too upset over why she doesn’t want to be called a feminist, please let me tell you about why she’s my hero. I think it will help you understand who I am. This most recent Thanksgiving holiday, my wife Larissa and I took our boys back to the town where I grew up. My mother and step-father still live there, where they grow soybeans, corn, wheat, and milo. Whenever we go back home, my sisters and I like to go through old pictures. On this visit, we ran across a book of photos of my mom from the 1960’s, back when she was in high school. They were of her suiting up to go scuba diving and it got me thinking about just what a badass my mom is. She’s only five foot one inch tall (I put that one inch so if she sees this I don’t get in trouble). And yet, in the mid 1960’s, she was not only scuba diving, but was doing so in one of the most dangerous situations I can imagine. She was a part of a crew that surveyed the Big Spring water source. Big Spring is the largest spring in the United States, producing up to 2,000 cubic feet of extremely cold (58 degrees) water per second! In order to access that cave, there is only one way—dive directly the mouth of the river. That’s exactly what my mom did.  Fast forward to more recent days. My mother, along with my step-dad John Ponder, farm around 2,500 acres. They do this with one full-time farm hand. Three people farm all of that land, which has been in my family for many generations. In fact, my mother is on the combine right this minute. They are finishing the last day of harvest today, which is a BIG deal for our family. That means that she can finally get on with putting up Christmas decorations and start getting ready for everybody to visit.  Here she is, with one of the steps she welded.  But back to the “not feminist.” I recently heard a story relayed by my step-dad about my mom which will further explain her strength and provide understanding. The two of them had travelled several hours to look at and potentially purchase a used combine. Combines are the equipment used to harvest corn, soybeans, and the like. These machines are not only massive, but extremely expensive. Even a used one can run well into hundreds of thousands of dollars. While sitting with the salesman, my mother asked how close the ladder came to the ground. These machines are so large that there is a pneumatic ladder that comes down to allow access. My mother needed to know because being, ahem, 5’1” tall, she has a hard time reaching some of the first steps. If that were the case, she would have to weld on an extra step, which of course she could do, but wanted to know. In any event, the salesman responded (and I’m only relaying the story) “Why do you need to know little lady? It’s not like you’ll be driving it.” My mother’s response was to simply return to the truck. I guess that subtle hint was lost on the poor fellow, because he asked my step-dad if he’d like to[...]



For speaking up, Rep. Blake Farenthold's victim was run out of politics

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 19:21:24 +0000

There are three reasons Rep. Blake Farenthold needs to resign from Congress. The first is the details of the sexual harassment allegations against him: there is no question he engaged in crude behavior towards a member of his own staff, and for that alone he should not be representing Texas voters. The second is that Farenthold settled the allegations against him using $84,000 of taxpayer money from a House fund set up in such a way as to allow House members who engage in unethical activity to settle the claims against them secretly, out of the public eye. It’s a neat trick available to House members that only now has come under fire for its obvious role in covering up, perpetuating, and directly enabling such behaviors.

But the third is that even though Farenthold agreed to settle the claims against him by his own staffer, Blake Farenthold and the rest of Washington’s political apparatus then ran Farenthold’s victim out of town on a rail.

Her family has had to support her financially. And Greene, now 30, has left D.C., with no illusions that she will ever work in politics again.

“It’s definitely turned my life upside down,” Greene said in her first interview since she made the accusations against Farenthold. “It’s been a tough road. Emotionally, it was tough. Professionally, it’s been hard to figure out next steps. And it’s definitely had an impact on my career.”

She later added: “I was told right away that I would be, quote-unquote, ‘blackballed’ if I came forward. … That’s exactly what happened.”

And that was that. She has been unable to land a politics-related job since.

If the woman Blake Farenthold serially harassed with talk of "nipples" and "threesomes" and "wet dreams"—while drunk, apparently, because it seems our public representatives cannot so much as put on their socks in the morning without pounding down drinks beforehand—if that young staffer still cannot get a job in politics because of the complaint she filed against him, then Blake Farenthold should be barred from political office for at least as long.

And there are really no freaking caveats to be applied to that. The current system not only protects serial perverts like Farenthold, it successfully punishes the women who come forward to complain about the harassment. That cannot be tolerated, not even a little damn bit.




These 6 charts show what happened the last time we tried tax cuts for the rich

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 18:33:49 +0000

It’s an article of faith in Republican Religion that tax cuts for the rich bring prosperity for everyone. Supply-side economics, aka trickle down or voodoo, is nothing new. During the Robber Baron Era, the same con job was sold to the public disguised as a bit of folk wisdom, known as “Horse and Sparrow.” Give a horse plenty of oats and the sparrows will survive off its droppings. The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act passed in 2001 (aka the Bush tax cuts for the rich) were supposed to restore vigor to the economy which had fallen into recession. The Bush tax cuts were heavily weighted to benefit the rich and the Republicans swore that the lower income tax rates would bring in more revenue by stimulating the economy. It’s the same tale that they tell today. The revenue collected in 2001 was 18.8% of GDP, the highest amount for the entire 8 years of the Bush Administration. By 2009, the revenue collected was 14.6% of GDP, the lowest amount since 1950. (Tax Policy Center) From August 2003 to July 2007, the private sector added jobs at a moderately sluggish rate of 151,000 per month. Compare that with the last 48 months of the Obama administration when the private sector added 204,000 jobs per month. All of the job gains under Bush were lost during his last year in office. In January 2001, when Bush took office, there were 111,871,000 people working in private sector payroll jobs. In January 2009, when he left office, there were 111,474,000, a loss of 397,000 jobs. At the same time, the government added 1,744,000 jobs which may have masked the poor performance in the private sector. The Republicans love big government when they’re in charge of it. After gaining 313,000 jobs during the Clinton administration, the Manufacturing sector lost 4,543,000 during the Bush administration. Almost 3 million of the Manufacturing jobs that disappeared were in the Durable sub-sector. Drilling down into the industries that make up the Durable sub-sector of Manufacturing, Vehicles and Part lost 559,000 jobs. The Bush years are noted for the financialization of the economy. The entire sector added 172,000 jobs. Widespread fracking was introduced during the Bush years and 42,000 jobs were added in Oil and Gas Extraction with 134,000 added in Support Activities. The Republicans got away with it 16 years ago and they know that they can get away with it again, if you let them. [...]



Justice. Justice Should be the Progressive Message in 2018

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 13:42:08 +0000

With the 2017 local elections behind us here in New York, focus here in Staten Island has turned to the 2018 midterms, and specifically on NY-11.  As the only congressional seat in New York City currently held by a Republican (Rep. Dan Donovan), it promises to be the most exciting race in the city next year.

This seat has drawn a diverse field of first time Democratic candidates, myself included.  And while my competitors are focusing their campaigns on themes of Courage, Unity, Running Together, etc., etc., I think that progressives will win with a purer message: Justice.

The primary focus for the near term is halting the Republicans’ villainous tax bill, which tears at the fabric of America while paying off their corporate and multimillionaire donors.  See my digital ad on this topic:

I’ve laid out my progressive governing agenda in a 30page PDF at www.TheNarrowsAgenda.com; I’m focused on three particular areas of Justice: economic, healthcare, and political.

  • Economic Justice includes a $15 minimum wage, higher overtime ceiling, lower income taxes on the bottom and a higher rate on the top, stronger union organizing protections, stronger antitrust enforcement, and more.
  • Healthcare Justice means a universal healthcare system that puts a “single platform” insurance card into the hands of every American resident.
  • Political Justice includes term limits (myself included!), a realtime campaign finance matching system, zero tolerance for harassment settlements in Congress, and more.

Please share my new ad and if you have $10 or $20 to support my grassroots campaign, do so.




Mark your calendar for Thursday. It's going to be important no matter what happens.

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 00:25:15 +0000

When it comes to this Thursday, as Rachel Maddow would say, "Stick a pin in it." There are going to be not just one, but two separate events that could make a ton of news, and that's not counting the off the wall shit that Der Gropinfuror may instigate all by his little, tiny thumbs self. The first will take place at the White House. Trump is trying to bring back the Trump Summit II, bringing Pelosi, Schumer, Ryan and McConnell to try to find a way to limp over the legislative finish line for the year. That is, if Trump can keep his fat little thumbs off Twitter until they at least get through the door. But clearly they didn't learn anything from their last screw up. Trump drove Pelosi and Schumer the first time by tweeting that he didn't see the possibility of "a deal." Now, McConnell has flatly stated that "the government will not shut down over DACA protection for the DREAMer's." His reasoning was that it would be political suicide to make a stand on something that they could deal with any time in the next 3 months. Riiiiiight. If that's the case, why wasn't it dealt with in September when they passed the last CR? Please pardon Pelosi, Schumer and myself for somehow or other doubting that a guy who couldn't bring a Supreme Court nominee up for a vote in a year and a half would bring DREAM Act legislation to the floor in 3 months. But there's more potential fireworks in store. Thursday Li'l Donnie Redux i scheduled to testify in congress in a closed session hearing. There is absolutely no  sane reason for this to be a closed hearing, since Donnie Jr has no security clearance, there can't be classified information discussed. But because there will be no classified testimony, the chances are much higher of leaks. You can bet that he will be grilled on the Trump Tower meeting with Natalia Veselnitskiya, as well as his interactions with Jared Kushner, as well as Michael Flynn. as well as sticky questions about his connections to Wikileaks. And Mini Mew Donnie is at much greater risk, since he will be under oath, and one can only hope that Robert Mueller will get a transcript of the testimony. There are two small problems here. The first is that Trump Jr is appearing voluntarily. As such, if the heat gets too high, he can simply declare that he is finished testifying and leave, regardless of how much longer the testimony is scheduled to last. Jared Kushner recently did this, appearing for less than an hour before copping a walk. The other option to look for is to see if Trump Jr simply declines to appear before the committee, as us his right since he was coming in voluntarily.I actually find this a 50-50 proposition, since if it leaked that Trump Jr had invoked his fifth amendment rights to questioning, it would demolish his image. Maybe a jury cannot infer guilt by a defendant invoking his right, but the rest of us can, and sure as hell will. Both committees in congress are fucking this whole thing up. You can't "compel" testimony on subjects that are uncomfortable to the witness if they are testifying "voluntarily." Look at recent history. Not only did Jared Kushner just walk ou[...]



An Economic Crash is Just What They Want

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 01:11:33 +0000

People talk as though another economic crash will be the unanticipated result of the atrocious tax bill the Senate recently passed. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it’s the other way around. Remember Disaster Capitalism? For the hyper-wealthy, another huge economic crisis is not something to be avoided. It’s something to be actively sought. That is precisely the driving force behind this tax bill.

When the economy crashes, folks like the Koch brothers, the Mercers, and Mr. Mnuchin himself are insulated by their wealth and holdings. Even better, because they are responsible for engineering the crash in the first place, they can make sure to sequester their money in safe places beforehand. Then, when less fortunate folks (meaning just about everyone else) lose their homes or have to sell off assets at fire-sale prices, the Kochs and their ilk are ready to snap it all up.

Economic crashes not only help the super-rich get richer, they allow these same people to consolidate their power and control. Think of Mr. Potter in It’s a Wonderful Life. He knew the imminent failure of the Bailey’s Trust and Savings would allow him to grab all the remaining banking business in town. In the same way, the Kochs and their ilk take advantage of crises to buy up competing businesses, property, and other assets on the cheap.

Everything the Republicans are telling us about this bill is a lie. This tax “reform” bill, with its plethora of relaxed financial regulations and its giveaway to corporations and the super-rich, is specifically designed to 1) increase economic inequality, and 2) create another economic meltdown.

I don’t even think it’s about the money. These people have all the money they will ever need. Rather, it’s about power. The more you own, the more you control, the more people who are indebted to you or who depend on you for a job, the more Congressmen you can buy, the more power you have. The last recession was a windfall for these people, which is why they are so anxious for another one. Their ultimate goal is in sight: Complete economic and political control of the country.




Kitchen Table Kibitzing 12/04/2017 — #ObstructionOfJustice Music Monday

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 01:31:30 +0000

Kitchen Table Kibitzing is a community series for those who wish to share part of the evening around a virtual kitchen table with readers of Daily Kos who aren’t throwing pies at one another.  Drop by and tell us about your weather, your garden, or what you cooked for supper. Newcomers may notice that many who post diaries and comments in this series already know one another to some degree, but we welcome guests at our kitchen table, and hope to make some new friends as well.​​​ ************************ THIS IS AN OPEN THREAD Nothing is Off the Table But play nice. ************************ #ObstructionOfJustice Music Monday Unless you were on a vacation to the farthest reaches of the Outback of Australia, you know that (once again) our feckless would-be leader in the White House did something and then said he didn’t do it. Only this time, it might’ve been a step too far, because it looks like he confessed to all the world that he did indeed engage in Obstruction of Justice in the firing of the FBI Director, James Comey.  Here’s the now infamous tweet  xI had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2017 Meanwhile, the man he fired because he wouldn’t leave Flynn or the Russian Connection alone, is sending out messages like this:  x“Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.” - Thomas Jefferson, Jan. 28, 1786 pic.twitter.com/LEvy1hHRPI— James Comey (@Comey) November 25, 2017 Time to do what Americans do best when faced with the under-handed and malicious machinations of would-be Kings: STAND UNITED and fight back.  You Can’t Save the World Alone — it takes a whole team of Superheroes to fight evil in the cinematic world, and it’s gonna take armies of Americans to push our current Congress to act to remove this ridiculously unfit man from the highest Office in the land.  x x YouTube Video This has been the strangest Presidency in American history. The man came into Office under a cloud of suspicion about Russian influence on the election that put in the White House. He staffed his Cabinet with men and women who have publicly said the very Agency they are now sworn to lead should be eliminated. Nothing suits better the very nature of what we face than Heroes, Stranger Things style …  x x YouTube Video and because it’s just the way it is for those of us here on the Right Side of History lately, this must be our Song of the Year (and every year we must endure Trump and these noxious Republicans) …  x x YouTube Video What I did this Weekend Found a buyer for my lot. Found I have some liens from creditors on the lot. Good: got nearly my asking price $120,000. Bad: Need to spend next week negotiating with creditors to take a fraction of what[...]



So what would be the Political Consequences of Passing the GOP Tax Bill?

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 00:57:32 +0000

It’s an interesting question, more so when you recognize that there are two distinctly different points of view and each is the opposite of the other.

The general consensus among commenters at Daily Kos seems to be that congressional republicans are committing political suicide by passing the Massive Tax Cuts Wealthcare Bill. The rationale is, prima facie, reasonable: in 2018 Democrats will be able to run on republican tax hikes for poor and middle incomes, the loss of tax credits, the loss of ACA healthcare, severe cuts to Medicare and Medicaid etc. This, they argue, will bring down the republicans in 2018.

Seems reasonable? Well yes, it does. But it doesn’t take into account why the republicans are supporting this monstrous Bill because political suicide in not in their DNA. To understand them, we need to take a look at their reasons.




Six endangered Republicans could be doomed by the GOP's tax assault on the middle class

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 21:53:46 +0000

Campaign Action New polling from PPP shows that six vulnerable Republican members of the House such as Rep. Barbara Comstock of Virginia might seal their own fate if the unpopular GOP tax bill actually makes it to Donald Trump's desk. Comstock is already losing a matchup against a generic Democratic opponent by seven percentage points, and PPP writes: ...her vote for the tax bill further hinders her likelihood to win re-election: 54 percent say they are less likely to vote for her because she supported this legislation. In Comstock's 10th Congressional District, for instance, a solid majority of voters oppose the House GOP tax plan by a 58-40 percent margin. A sense of urgency also heavily favors those in opposition to the bill, with 47 percent of voters saying they "strongly oppose" it while only 21 percent "strongly support" it. That's probably because Comstock's voters have been paying a lot of attention to the bill and the more attention they pay to it, the less they like what they see.  Among the 60 percent of voters who have heard, seen, or read “a lot” about the plan, opposition to the tax proposal rises to 66 percent compared to just 34 percent who are supportive. The more voters are paying attention to the tax plan, the more they hate it. The extra good news about that is that Democrats will have a lot of time to make sure constituents know what a terrible, cruel, and ill-advised bill Republicans rushed through Congress at lightning speed. The Comstock survey and five others like it—conducted for NotOnePenny.org—don't bode well for these Republican incumbents: Rep. Rod Blum (IA-01): Oppose, 50 percent; support, 44 percent (61 percent think the wealthiest benefit most, 33 percent think middle class does) Rep. Mike Coffman (CO-06): Oppose, 57 percent; support, 41 percent (67 percent think the wealthiest benefit most, 29 percent think middle class does) Rep. Bruce Poliquin (ME-02): Oppose, 53 percent; support, 44 percent (59 percent think wealthiest benefit most, 34 percent think middle class does) Rep. John Katko (NY-24): Oppose, 55 percent; support, 40 percent (61 percent think wealthiest benefit most, 31 percent think middle class does) Rep. Steve Knight (CA-25): Oppose, 52 percent; support, 41 percent (58 percent think wealthiest benefit most, 32 percent think middle class does) [...]



House Republicans plan vote to carve up state gun laws, because they really are the worst of America

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 18:31:16 +0000

The garbage fire in the White House may have his hands full stumping for a Republican child molester this week, but never doubt the rest of his party's willingness to stump for the nation's mass murderers.

Republicans lined up a vote this week in the House on making it easier for gun owners to legally carry concealed weapons across state lines, the first gun-related legislation since mass shootings in Nevada and Texas killed more than 80 people.

The bill is a top priority of the National Rifle Association, which calls it an important step to expand the right of gun owners to travel freely between states without worrying about conflicting state laws or civil suits.

(You’re going to have to forgive me in advance for this one, but I am Done, and a little past Done besides, and pretending at the slightest bit of politeness towards the Worst Humans In America is not, this particular week, going to be in the cards. Not when Republicanism had to choose between a child molester and a not-child-molester and couldn’t manage the one and only obvious response.)

So there ya go. On top of deficit-exploding tax cuts for the rich on the backs of the middle class, on top of the Garbage Fire in the Oval Office admitting outright to lawyer-endorsed-and-supported obstruction of justice, on top of the whole well he may be a child molester, but he’ll vote for our tax cuts actual, real-life Worst Humans In America talking point: The only substantive legislative response to a year that's seen two of the nation's worst-ever lone gunman mass murders and the attempted execution of a Republican House leader is going to be a bill allowing concealed weapons holders who want to perhaps-maybe murder Americans in other states to carry their guns into those other states without having to worry about irritating laws those states may have passed attempting to stop them.

This is significant in areas such as, oh say, Chicago, Illinois, a violence-prone city with increasingly stringent gun laws that is just a quick jump from Mike Pence's Gun-O-Rama Indiana. Are the gun laws in one state preventing you from your fantasies of killing someone, perhaps because they've deemed you unworthy of deciding such things on your own? Shop around, you little would-be hero-slash-assassin you. Other states aren't so picky.




Women aren't just marching—they're running, in record numbers

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 15:42:27 +0000

Politics and politicians have given women a lot of reasons to get mad over the past 13 months. The good news is, a lot of women are looking to get even—by getting power. Women are running for office in record numbers:

The largest increase by far is in the number of female House candidates — 354 — which includes 291 Democrats and 63 Republicans, according to data from the Rutgers center. The number of women challenging incumbents is almost four times the number at the same period in 2015.

In the Senate, there are almost double the number of female candidates — 25 Democrats and 13 Republicans so far — than there were at this point in 2015, and about 10 times the number in the 2012 and 2014 elections.

Stephanie Schriock, the president of Emily’s List, the largest national organization devoted to electing female candidates, said that in the 10 months before the election in 2016, about 1,000 women contacted her organization about running for office or getting involved in other ways. Since the election, she said, the number has exploded to more than 22,000.

Already we’ve seen progress in Virginia’s elections this year, but there’s so much more ground to be taken. 

Contribute now to take back the House! Please give $1 to the Democratic nominee funds in Daily Kos' targeted districts.




Republicans are desperate for a win as they send their tax plan to conference

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 14:59:58 +0000

Both the House and the Senate have passed Republican tax plans. Now they have to go to conference to work out the final, one-and-only Republican tax plan to try to send to Donald Trump’s desk for a flashy, obnoxious signing ceremony. The House will come back into session on Monday (Monday!) to vote to go to conference, and the Senate is expected to appoint conferees next week.

The House and Senate negotiators will be trying to meld bills that agree on the big stuff—huge corporate tax cuts, huge tax cuts for rich people, bad news for millions of working families—but have some differences on how to get there. For instance, will the estate tax be killed altogether or will the threshold be doubled so that it no longer applies to paupers with a mere $5.49 million? There’s a long list of differences to be worked out between the two bills, and the ever-present possibility that Trump will announce a whole new thing he wants included. But there’s one overriding reason Republicans are going to do whatever it takes to get this done: They’re f’ing desperate.

“Had we had a list of success, I would say it would be a difficult process,” said Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), who leads the Republican Study Committee, a group of often balky conservatives. “But because there is a sense of urgency both in the House and the Senate and within the administration, I think people are going to say: “You know what? We’re going to have to fix things, but we’ve got to get this done.”

Each and every Republican might want slightly different things in a tax bill. But they all want to cut taxes for rich people, and none of them wants to be the reason Republicans went a year in power without any major legislative accomplishments. 

That’s why we need to start calling now. Call your senators and representatives at (202) 224-3121. Tell them to vote "no" on the Republican tax bill.




Trump grasping at Strzok, trying to discredit Mueller

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 05:31:38 +0000

xIronic that Trump is complaining that the FBI is biased. He's only president because the New York office of the FBI was biased last year--against Hillary. That's what led to ridiculous Comey announcement on her emails.— Jonathan Alter (@jonathanalter) December 3, 2017 xReport: “ANTI-TRUMP FBI AGENT LED CLINTON EMAIL PROBE”  Now it all starts to make sense!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2017 FBI agent Peter Strzok is not the first official in Biglygate to be sent down to the HR department, and probably won’t be the last. He was removed from the investigation in August. But he’s now another reality TV element meant for real-time distraction. It appears that this is more old news dredged up to try to distract from Lord Dampnut’s current difficulties and is more symptomatic of the nutters in Trump’s newsfeeds. More interesting is seeing this as Agent Orange’s attempt to spin messages away from his apparent admission of obstruction of justice in a tweet on Saturday. And as a result RWNJs are doxxing up a storm claiming that Strzok is really a pseudonym for Andrew McCabe. Drudge and InfoWars will be pimping this Deep State side of the story soon for love gifts of tinfoil hats. xTainted (no, very dishonest?) FBI “agent’s role in Clinton probe under review.” Led Clinton Email probe. @foxandfriends  Clinton money going to wife of another FBI agent in charge.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2017 xAlso @DevinNunes we, the people see your obstructionism. Good luck going after Strzok and/or McCabe, the men and women of the FBI Counterintelligence hunt spies like you for a living. You really think they don’t know what you are up to. Puhhlease you’re predictably fumbling pic.twitter.com/RvKT4toZhq— Alt_SeanSpicer'sMic🎙🤦🏻‍♀️🎙 (@Alt_Spicerlies) December 3, 2017 Peter Strzok is an FBI agent and former lead investigator in high profile FBI investigations. A lead investigator in the Hillary Clinton email scandal, Strzok also became part of Robert Mueller's 2017 Special Counsel investigation of possible collusion with Russia during the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. In August of 2017, Strzok was removed from Mueller's team and demoted to a human resources position at the agency after reports of anti-Trump and pro-Hillary Clinton text messages transmitted between Strzok and an FBI lawyer were verified by the Justice Dept.[1]  It has been alleged that Strzok was having an affair with the lawyer, Lisa Page, who was also involved in the investigation of possible collusion over Russian involvement in the U.S. election.[2][3] Strzok has worked at the FBI since at least the late 1990s. Prior to join[...]



Don’t Blame Trump – Republicans Are Destroying America

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 16:01:25 +0000

There is a misconception among many Americans that the country is being rapidly dismantled from within and doled out to a few special interests because Donald Trump is in the White House. It is also erroneous to believe America is being radically transformed into something unrecognizable because a reality show host is setting domestic policy and a legislative agenda, and signing executive orders only his base believes are inspired by god. While it is true Trump is complicit in the impending and systematic  demise of America as it existed for 80 or so years, he is nothing more than a very convenient distraction, and a clueless rubber-stamp for the conservative movement’s evil machinations. It is noteworthy that no small number of political writers and pundits predicted the Republicans would do precisely what they are currently doing when they owned the government; only to be mocked as fear and conspiracy mongers. It turns out those pundits and opinion writers were spot on and not because they were prophets, but because they saw what the Koch brothers and their ilk demanded from Republicans sworn to do their bidding. Everything happening in Washington, from tax reform to privatization to theocratization to deconstructing the federal government is a decades-long dream of America’s conservative oligarchs and it doesn’t matter which Republican is in the White House; a Republican majority in Congress guaranteed the current dismantling of the nation. In fact, dirty Donald Trump is so insignificant to the deconstruction of America that it will not be surprising when Republicans throw Trump to the impeachment police the instant they realize his usefulness as a distraction is unnecessary or too costly. It is beyond refute that everything Republicans are doing since Trump’s poorly attended inauguration have been in the works long before Trump came on the scene. It is why Mike ‘preacher’ Pence works closely with and depends on the Heritage Foundation to provide a framework for “his” domestic policy reforms. Heritage has been instrumental in providing Pence and Trump with a harsh budget and current tax reform for the rich, as well as nominating blatantly partisan federal judges. Add to those horrors the Heritage Foundation was instrumental in selecting Trump’s cabinet and agency heads who are determined to dismantle those agencies and departments before handing control of the government over to special interests. Trump is a bungling imbecile on his best day, but he is also too lazy and too stupid to have done the necessary research into which cabinet nominees were best suited to do the theocratic, corporate, fossil fuel and financial sector’s bidding; and why should he? The Heritage Foundation and a couple of special interest groups already had a wish list prepared to serve the needs of the corporate, theocratic, fossil fuel[...]



ICYMI - Mann and Ornstein on how Republicans Broke Congress

Sun, 03 Dec 2017 16:02:33 +0000

Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein have an editorial at the NY Times: How The Republicans Broke Congress. Here’s how they start: In the past three days, Republican leaders in the Senate scrambled to corral votes for a tax bill that the Joint Committee on Taxation said would add $1 trillion to the deficit — without holding any meaningful committee hearings. Worse, Republican leaders have been blunt about their motivation: to deliver on their promises to wealthy donors, and down the road, to use the leverage of huge deficits to cut and privatize Medicare and Social Security. Congress no longer works the way it’s supposed to. But we’ve said that before. emphasis added It would perhaps be more accurate to say Congress now works exactly the way it is supposed to — for the .1% Mann and Ornstein start by noting that they have given up on the both sides are to blame rationalization: it’s all the GOP, and it started before Trump arrived on the scene. They cite three things the GOP is doing. To summarize, with some comments of my own: Republicans have been working to demonize government and Congress starting in the 1990’s, fueling massive distrust of government. (Even earlier by my reckoning — Reagan’s government IS the problem meme. Also, thanks, New Gingrich! — You gave us language: a key mechanism of control.) The Obama effect — Republicans used every tool at their disposal to block everything Obama proposed. (They stole a Supreme court seat among other things. And now that they have the power, they’re busy erasing everything he did get past them.) The effects on the news media of the creation of the vast right-wing echo chamber of talk radio, FOX, etc. to pump out alternative facts  — and now social media, which has been successfully weaponized. (Let’s not forget the mainstream media’s dedication to “one hand-other hand” news coverage, bothsiderism, and their willingness to be a conduit for legitimizing right wing fringe memes.) I posted the following as a comment on their editorial — we’ll see if the Times runs it. Let's cut through all the verbiage and get right down to where we are now. We have an authoritarian, anti-democratic government under the Republicans that is rapidly heading for full blown fascism. Here are the warning signs, taken from a poster at the Holocaust museum. 1) Powerful and continuing nationalism. 2) Disdain for human rights. 3) Identification of enemies as a unifying cause. 4) Supremacy of the military. 5) Rampant sexism. 6) Controlled mass media. 7) Obsession with national security. 8) Religion and government intertwined. 9) Corporate power protected. 10) Labor power suppressed. 11) Disdain for intellectuals and the arts. 12) Obsession with crime and punishment. 13) Rampant cronyism and corruption. 14) Fraudulent e[...]



Phone numbers for all Republican House Members - call today re Tax Bill

Sat, 02 Dec 2017 23:28:00 +0000

The Senate and House have passed different versions of the tax bill so either the House will have to pass the Senate bill as is or it will go to conference committee to be merged and voted on by the House and then the Senate.  Either way, the first hurdle will be a vote in the House. We have to keep fighting! Call the Republican House members and tell them: “Don’t blow up the debt. Vote no on the Tax Bill.” The Tax Bill will add $1Trillion to the debt.  The CBC says $1.5trillion.  By the Republican’s magical trickle-down thinking it will increase the economy’s growth by eight-tenths of a percent (0.8%). (Like we believe we’ll see any of that!)  This will offset maybe a third of this debt — nowhere near the whole debt increase, leaving $trillion by the CBC estimate. Republicans freak out over increasing the debt and yet all but Sen Bob Corker in the senate voted to blowup the debt.  Hopefully our calls will remind the House Republicans of there fanaticism about not increasing the debt. Here are the members of the Libertarian-leaning Freedom Caucus who you would suppose would vote no but didn’t.  They will respond to the debt argument but not the Medicare cuts.  We might have the most luck with them. Amash, Justin    (202) 225-3831 Barton, Joe    (202) 225-2002 Biggs, Andy    (202) 225-2635 Blum, Rod    (202) 225-2911 Brat, Dave    (202) 225-2815 Bridenstine, Jim    (202) 225-2211 Brooks, Mo    (202) 225-4801 Buck, Ken    (202) 225-4676 Davidson, Warren    (202) 225-6205 DeSantis, Ron    (202) 225-2706 DesJarlais, Scott    (202) 225-6831 Duncan, Jeff    (202) 225-5301 Franks, Trent    (202) 225-4576 Garrett, Thomas    (202) 225-4711 Gohmert, Louie    (202) 225-3035 Gosar, Paul A.    (202) 225-2315 Griffith, Morgan    (202) 225-3861 Harris, Andy    (202) 225-5311 Hice, Jody    (202) 225-4101 Jordan, Jim    (202) 225-2676 Labrador, Raul R.    (202) 225-6611 Meadows, Mark    (202) 225-6401 Mooney, Alex    (202) 225-2711 Palmer, Gary    (202) 225-4921 Pearce, Steve    (202) 225-2365 Perry, Scott    (202) 225-5836 Posey, Bill    (202) 225-3671 Sanford, Mark    (202) 225-3176 Schweikert, David    (202) 225-2190 Weber, Randy    (202) 225-2831 Yoho, Ted    (202) 225-5744 These members voted NO on the House tax bill.  Call them and thank them for their no vote and remind them the Senate bill still blows up the debt. Leonard Lance (202) 225-5361 Tom McClintock    (202) 225-2511     Dana Rohrabacher   (202) 225-2415      Darrell Issa       (202) 225-3906  Walter B. Jones        (202) 225-3415 Frank A. LoBiondo     (202) 225-6572            Rodney Frelinghuysen   (202) 225-5034      Lee Zeldin     (202) 225-3826    Peter T. King       [...]



The GOP #TaxScamBill will kill tens of thousands

Sat, 02 Dec 2017 21:00:39 +0000

The GOP #TaxScamBill gives the super-rich and corporations a massive windfall and kill tens of thousands. Written by 6000 lobbyists, yet read by no one Raises taxes on the poor and middle class Adds $1 trillion to the deficit Strips healthcare from 13 million Raises healthcare premiums Will cut Social Security Will cut Medicaid Will cut Medicare xStealing funds from Medicare and Medicaid is unconscionable. Must vulnerable Americans lose healthcare just so that the super-rich can insure their private jets and lamborghinis?#TaxScamBill— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) December 2, 2017 So if we trust these “quasi-experiments,” we’re looking at somewhere between 24,000 and nearly 44,000 extra deaths per year if 20 million people lose health insurance with an Obamacare repeal. The best studies on health insurance and mortality suggest 24,000 extra deaths per year if 20 million people lose their health insurance xWhile Americans were asleep, the Senate GOP passed the #TaxScamBill, which gives corporations a massive tax cut and guts our health care. This is a gift to big donors, not democracy. pic.twitter.com/5cVAluXAZv— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) December 2, 2017 [...]



Dear Dotard, why would Flynn lie about lawful actions if there was nothing to hide ...Trumpian Logic

Sat, 02 Dec 2017 19:14:39 +0000

Perhaps it’s because Agent Orange would like everyone to accept his standard of “truthful exaggeration” which is that there is no objective truth for a sociopath. Dotards aren’t the only people who double-down on falsehoods, sometimes they have billable hours. xDo you really believe that we will believe this bogus story?  He lied to investigators.  This isn’t about lies he told to you!— Ed Krassenstein (@EdKrassen) December 2, 2017 What did he know and when did he know it? (But does he ever know, considering all that aspartame) xTrump said he is 'very happy' after Flynn's admission he lied to the FBI, adding there has 'been absolutely no collusion' https://t.co/AYiJzjUsGy— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) December 2, 2017 xThe time sequence as Trump now reports it CONFESSES that he KNEW Flynn had committed a major federal felony BEFORE firing Comey for refusing to let that criminal (Flynn) escape justice. That’s a confession of deliberate, corrupt obstruction of justice by @POTUS. QED! https://t.co/tSnnDho81q— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) December 2, 2017 Trump's tweet also asserts that his reason for firing Flynn (who technically resigned) was because he lied to Vice-President Pence and the FBI. In fact, the only reason Trump ever gave for the firing was Flynn's lies to Pence. If Trump is now confessing that he knew at the time that Flynn had lied to the FBI, that's a brand new revelation. It seems unlikely that he would have that information because special counsel Robert Mueller wouldn't share that sort of data with other subjects of an ongoing investigation. Also, if Trump knew then that Flynn lied to the FBI, how could he ask FBI Director James Comey to drop the case? Trump is either lying or he interfered in some manner with Mueller's probe. Either way it's obstruction of justice. www.dailykos.com/... Ethics and morality are in short supply in the Trump WH that reveals no difference in its transition or the 2016 campaign. Even the most diehard Trumpists will soon consider 25th Amendment solutions. xNo wall,Hillary free,Raising your taxes, Backing a child molester Gutted your health careSpent 80 days golfing.Advisors under house arrest.Refuses to sanction Russia You voted with the KKK and NeoNazis, Trump is taking. He conned you. Not your fault. But you got conned.— Christopher Titus (@TitusNation) November 26, 2017 And Tea-Party Dome continues, with the GOP looting the Treasury, rewarding the ruling class and taxing the MAGA rubes, as well as the rest of us.  xThe tea party was never about anything, except angry Boomers wanting more transfer payments and being mad at a black president. https://t.co/52jjAlKL4Wâ€[...]



#EnemyOfThePeople Republicans just voted for the biggest #TaxHike in history. #Resist AGAIN

Sat, 02 Dec 2017 13:16:26 +0000

YES we have to do it again Contact your Indivisible groups on Facebook and Twitter this weekend.  Make plans to visit the local offices of EVERY Republican member of Congress this coming week. Bring as many people as possible with you.  Because even though the Republican Senate passed their piece of shit bill, which is NOT a Tax Cut but a TAX HIKE, the biggest one in history?  This is NOT the end of the story. Reconciliation awaits The way it works is House writes a bill, Senate writes a different bill then they must go to reconciliation committee, to emerge with a version which must be approved again by both Houses.  So no matter what you have planned for the holidays in December AND unless you live in Alabama (and your mission is to get Doug Jones elected on Dec 12th and we put the GOP down to a ONE SEAT advantage in the Senate); time to rearraign your schedule.  If you worked with a local Indivisible Group this past spring to save the ACA? Get back on Facebook this weekend and make plans to invade your local GOP offices next week!  If you didn’t work with them before, get on Facebook or Twitter and connect with a group working in your community!  Never give up, never surrender Because THE WAR IS NOT YET LOST on this craptastic bill.  We can still defeat these Enemy of the People assholes and prevent them from sending any Tax Hike piece of shit bill to the Resolute Desk for the signature of #TinyhandsMagoo. But it will require the same level of commitment and involvement as we saw in January.    So remember the Women’s March and this song and get your #Resistance on folks. x x YouTube Video Because this one is the fight of our lives, and our kids are depending upon us to protect them.  I just can’t believe that the people we have to protect them from are the US Congress. Do your part.  Stand up for your family, your community and the nation.  Let’s do this and give each other the very best holiday gift ever — let’s defeat these bastards and then go home and give thanks for a nation where THE POWER OF THE PEOPLE always wins.  When the people are willing to fight. Are you ready?  How to reach your local activist Indivisible groups www.Facebook.com/IndivisibleGuide Twitter.com/IndivisibleTeam [...]