Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Trump Lackey on FOX: He is “The most-honest president in American history” LOL LOL LOL

Marc Thiessen, discredited by many, strikes again bigly


Right-winger from the “band of seconds” firmly fluffs Trump on FOX (where else). 

Case in point this one cited here: a

Washington Post columnist on Fox: “Donald Trump is the most honest president in American history”

Note: I note that Marc Thiessen, the columnist mentioned in the story, is one of the most-discredited people ever and based on his quote above a pretty poor liar and a damn piss-poor judge of Trump’s character.
More from link above (The Atlantic).

It's hard to believe that former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen's media beating could get any worse. Thiessen, who has been on a book tour promoting Bush-era torture policies and accusing President Obama's administration of coddling terrorists, has been the object of take-downs for weeks. 
2.  Liberal blogger Matthew Yglesias challenging Thiessen, wrote perhaps the best pundit pummeling in months.
3.  Then the New Yorker's Jane Mayer managed to top them all. Mayer, an accomplished investigative reporter who has covered national security for years, reads Thiessen's book. She dismantles it from top to bottom, accusing Thiessen at distorting “to the point of falsification.” 
Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Dateline Trump's White House: Sarah Huckabee-Sanders in Latest Deep Ethical Dung Heap

The latest White House scandal unfolding 

Trump's team motto — the list of Ethical abusers is long
(Now add: Press Secy Sarah Huckabee-Sanders)


White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders likely violated ethics regulations when she posted a photo on her official White House Twitter account of Kanye West wearing a MAGA hat (White House official photo above).

West’s hat touts President Trump’s campaign slogan: “Make America Great Again.” Sanders posed with West for the photo after his ranting wild appearance in the Oval Office (October 11) with Trump.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint Friday with the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), accusing Sanders of violating the Hatch Act which forbids Federal employees from using their influence, position, work resources, or social media accounts to affect the “results of an election.” 
Since the OSC determined earlier this year that once Trump declared he was running for re-election, any “display of Trump’s MAGA campaign slogan by a Federal employee is a violation of the Hatch Act.” 
(Note: The Hatch Act does not pertain to the President or Vice President since they are not considered Federal employees).

CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said in a statement:This administration does not seem to care about what the law says when it comes to ethics issues like using official positions for politics. How many investigations ... are needed until this administration takes action to stop the misuse of government resources for political activity?”
History of Trump administration officials and their abuses of the Hatch Act reported to and from the OLC: 
UN Ambassador Nikki Haley was reprimanded for re-tweeting Trump’s tweet supporting Ralph Norman, at the time a candidate for Congress. 
Melania Trump’s spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham for her gushing #MAGA tweet. 
White House director of social media Dan Scavino when he called for the primary defeat of GOP Rep. Justin Amash. 
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway — twice — once for touting Roy Moore of AL for his senate campaign, and prior when she was warned about ethics violations after she urged listeners on national TV to buy Ivanka Trump’s products.

My 2 cents: Solid case against Ms. Sanders, so, now what happens now, um Mr. President? Sweep and rug seems to come to mind.

Stay tuned, and thanks for stopping by.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Medicare-for-All: A Solution for Many Healthcare-Related Issues and Dumps the Politics

Problem solution the GOP keeps ignoring for raw political gain


I have said for a very long time, and all sorts of “fact checking” has proven me and millions of others, indeed the whole country (if we'd be honest) about it and that is this: Donald J. Trump is a serial, compulsive, pathological liar” or as we could say using his own words: I am the best in history — believe me — the best ever.

Lying is in his DNA and thus habitual to his very core –whatever that is remains to be discovered. His latest string of lies documented here from an excellent fact checker, Glenn Kessler at the Washington Post, with this introduction. And, another reminder, from NPR here:

President Trump wrote an opinion article for USA Today on October 10 regarding proposals to expand Medicare to all Americans — known as “Medicare-For-All” — in which almost every sentence contained a misleading statement or a falsehood.

Many of these are claims we have already debunked. Presumably the president is aware of our fact checks — he even links to one — but chose to ignore the facts in service of a campaign-style op-ed. “Medicare-For-All” is a complex subject, and serious questions could be raised about the cost and how a transition from today’s health-care system would be financed.

Trump correctly notes that studies have estimated the program – under the version promoted by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) – would add $36 trillion in costs to the federal government over ten years. But this is not a serious effort to debate the issue.

So as a reader service, we offer a guide through Trump’s rhetoric.

Whole story at the link above.

My 2 Cents: Not belittle or minimize this proposal “Medicare-for-All” but I have called for any kind of “one-payer” system (and Medicare is a good working model) for years –but I have never had the public platform to push it with any authority.

Any kind of good reasonable “one-payer” system would solve a world of problems the least of which would be to take the damn politics and trickery out of the issue and allow people to get the best possible care from the greatest doctors in the world.

So, stay tuned – and BTW: The voters must weigh in – don’t follow the old stale hype we have heard for years about bad it would be – instead rationalize how good it would be to have good decent health care for everyone without the political BS we have today.

More related articles here, too: 

(The AP)

(USA Today)

(PolitiFact)

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Nastiest, Meanest, Fiercest, Most Vile, Obtuse, or Downright Horrible: DEMS or GOPers

Treated badly - the innocent one - our guy. /s/ The Entire GOP

GOP in unison on the same sheet of music 
(Title: Out of Tune Я Us)

Excellent article (with my cherry-picked parts I like below) from the Daily Beast written by Michael Tomasky.

Modern conservatism, which has proven to us repeatedly that it can’t manage the economy effectively, prosecute a war successfully, or win the White House honestly any more, is very adept at one thing: Whining.

Conservatives are really good at it. They’re the Bobby Knight of political parties. They throw a lot of chairs. They know how to work the refs, i.e. the media, and get them to buy into a narrative they create not quite out of whole cloth, but out of very little.

Republicans and conservatives are going to spend this week trying to drive home the narrative that the left’s opposition to Brett Kavanaugh was unhinged, un-American, and out of touch with the decent people of the heartland. They’ve already started, as you’ve probably noticed. “Progressive psychosis.” “Insane, disgusting.” And so on and so on.

Okay, here are two points I will concede.

One, average people don’t like protesters. They never have, even when they agree with them. By mid-1968, a firm majority of Americans opposed the Vietnam War. But most of those Americans still didn’t like the protesters who marched against it. Dirty hippies. Get a job. Think public opinion backed Martin Luther King marching across that bridge? Think again. 

This obviously doesn’t mean people shouldn’t protest. It just means we should be aware of this reality.

Republicans and conservatives are going to spend this week trying to drive home the narrative that the left’s opposition to Brett Kavanaugh was unhinged, un-American, and out of touch with the decent people of the heartland. They’ve already started, as you’ve probably noticed. “Progressive psychosis, insane, disgusting.” And so on and so on.

Two, undoubtedly some protesters or commentators or Tweeters went too far. Impolite and plain nasty things have been said about Susan Collins since last Friday. And of course about Kavanaugh himself. People are angry, and angry people sometimes say inappropriate things.

But let’s be crystal clear about this: Liberals are not the ones who are out of touch. Conservatives are. Virtually every poll I saw showed healthy pluralities and sometimes outright majorities opposing Kavanaugh’s confirmation. 

An NPR-PBS-Marist poll had it 52-40 against.

News reports didn’t often provide this context I’m about to give you, but this was astonishing. Historically, most people don’t pay close attention to Supreme Court nominations, and they just assume that if the president chooses someone, there must be a good reason. Strong pluralities continued to back Clarence Thomas in 1991 even after Anita Hill testified.

It’s extremely unusual, and possibly unprecedented, for most Americans to oppose a Supreme Court nominee. But it’s the case here. It is also a fact that more Americans believed Christine Blasey-Ford than believed Kavanaugh. That same NPR-PBS poll had it at 45 percent believing Ford, and 32 percent Kavanaugh. Republicans, not Democrats, are in the minority.

FACT: Senators who voted for Kavanaugh represent around 145 million Americans, while senators who voted against him represent 181 million. That’s 56 to 44 percent, with the will of the majority brazenly thwarted by the most unrepresentative legislative body in the democratic world.

Plus, Kavanaugh was nominated by a president who lost the popular vote and of whom only a small minority of Americans approve.

DEMS: Angry? You bet. DEMS crazy and out of touch? Absolutely not. DEMS oppose Kavanaugh are the majority. DEMS are the decent people of the heartland.

My 2 cents: So, who is the worst? Let’s ask the smartest duck in the world, shall we?

Daffy the GeniusDuck

The whole article is here – check it out... a good read for sure.

Thanks for stopping by.



Sunday, October 7, 2018

Trump-GOP Big Win With Kavanaugh: Six Cases Argued and 37 Pending this 2018-2019 Term

Which State Will be First to Introduce Roe v. Wade Challenge
(Biggest case conservatives long to overturn)

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY): The double-dealing hypocrite “leading” this GOP Majority Senate – his latest BS from TPM



Background on McConnell:

McConnell would not commit to holding open any Supreme Court vacancy under Trump created in a presidential election year, the way he blocked Obama’s nominee Judge Merrick Garland even without a committee hearing for nearly a whole year – ostensibly because the seat had opened after the presidential primaries had started – or so he said.

Look back in time to this speech by McConnell at a rally in KY (August 6, 2016) – something we must beat this jerk up with at every opportunity:


My 2 cents: One thing I will say about McConnell and not with pride or affection, either. He is clever, shrewd, conniving con-man just like Trump with only one purpose despite his floor speeches otherwise: Keep things on his side at all costs all the while blaming others for his failures without ever blaming his side. 

– And yes, sometimes the DEMS play this silly-ass game, too – ergo: Both sides are hypocrites while professing to “serve the American people.”

Thanks for stopping by.

* FOOTNOTE IN HISTORY THIS DATE (October 7, 2018):

1.  U.S. in the longest war ever: Now 17 years in Afghanistan.
2.  U.S. KIA to date: 2,327 - U.S. wounded in the thousands.
3.  Unknown Taliban and Afghan civilian deaths due to poor data.
4.  U.S. cost now: $1 billion a week and over $1 trillion to date & counting.
5.  Trump despite his words has increased U.S. troop strength by some 40% (4,000 more troops added by him). Total now there: 14,000.
6.  Factoid: Obama dropped 1,377 bombs in 2016 – Trump dropped 4,361 in his first 7 months in office all the while claiming “victory.”
7.  B/L: There is no end in sight – the Taliban will not give up.

Another Tidbit: This story is still developing – if the business angle sticks with Trump, then that’s very bad news. Cite: This story from the Washington Post.

Erik Prince as you may recall is best known for founding Blackwater USA, then called Xe, and later renamed to Academi. He served as the CEO until 2009 and later as chairman, until he sold Blackwater Worldwide in 2010 to a group of investors.

Prince now heads the private equity firm Frontier Resource Group and he is chairman of the Hong Kong-listed Frontier Services Group Ltd.  He also is the younger brother of Edu. Secy. Betsy DeVos.


Thursday, October 4, 2018

Trump's Overall Policies: Mosty on Very Shaky Ground With Quicksand Foundation

Mr. President: Check nearest mirror for source of your woes

Re: From the TLC (Liar-in-Chief) – guess who that refers to – one guess – one answer here:

Introduction:  The Trump overall policies are weak and apt to crumble anytime now, e.g., those awful trade tariffs, Trump cancelling treaties left and right that he believes will make us “great again” (even alone on the world stage and up shit creek losing allies quickly), and recently projections of gas prices creeping up again and now approaching $4.00/gal. My assessment at this point, Trump’s policy sits on quicksand.

This short reminder from the Guardian (UK) that makes the same point: But while the Trump administration has strengthened the US economy’s long-term growth potential in some ways, the other side of the ledger is rather grim.

For starters, a wide range of studies – from the work of the late economist David Landes to more recent research by MIT’s Daron Acemoglu and the University of Chicago’s James A Robinson – find that institutions and political culture are the single most important determinants of long-term growth. Recovery from the damage Trump is inflicting on institutions and political culture in the US may take years; if so, the economic costs could be considerable.  

Related from here (Forbes.com): The unmistakable substance of the Administration’s economic policy—echoing of course, Trump’s slogan of “Make America Great Again” — is one of both significant protectionism and castigating those outside of the United States as the primary source of any woes evident in the domestic economy.  

It’s fundamentally counterproductive for Trump to ignore that there is in fact plenty of blame to be had at home if he truly wants to achieve his stated objectives.  

And, finger-pointing at foreigners, no matter how well it might sell at rallies or on television, distracts attention from where it needs to be focused.

President Trump’s biggest political win, so far, is the tax-cut legislation he signed into law late last year. But Trump is now taking action that is essentially a tax hike on American consumers, and will offset a portion of the tax cuts he has been crowing about for nine months. And in typical renegade fashion, Trump is dismissing political orthodoxy by daring to hit voters with new taxes just weeks before a crucial election.

Trump is now poised to declare a 10% tariff on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, in addition to a 25% tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports he imposed during the summer. So by Election Day in November, Trump will have placed new tariffs on $250 billion worth of stuff Americans buy every day.

A tariff is a tax collected when imported goods enter the country. It raises the cost of the good by the amount of the tariff.

So a 10% tariff on a $100 product would raise its cost to $110. Producers typically try to pass the added cost onto consumers, and as the cost of certain imported goods rises, the cost of similar products not subject to tariffs can also rise, since there’s less competitive pressure pushing prices down.

The new tariffs will raise the cost of thousands of everyday items, including electronics, appliances, bicycles, tires, toys, clothing and footwear. Based on last year’s level of imports, the new China tariffs amount to a tax hike of $32.5 billion per year. The Trump tax cuts, by contrast, lowered tax payments by about $130 billion per year. So by this simple math, the China tariffs would offset about one-fourth of the Trump tax cuts, if they stayed in place permanently.

Trump says that won’t happen. Tariffs, in his strategy, are a way of gaining leverage in negotiations meant to cement trade deals more favorable to the United States. Trump has said he wants a lower U.S. trade deficit with China, and better opportunities for American firms operating in China. Once there’s a deal with China, he’ll rescind the tariffs.

Except no deal is falling into place, creating what increasingly looks like an open-ended trade war destabilizing to both sides. Larry Kudlow, Trump’s top economic adviser, said: “We are ready to negotiate and talk with China any time that they are ready for serious and substantive negotiations.” 

Chinese officials say basically the same thing. Yet talks have obviously gotten nowhere, and there’s no sign of a breakthrough any time soon.

Trump seems to think his trade fight is hurting China more than it’s hurting the United States, which will ultimately give him a victory. He’s partly right. The Shanghai stock index is down 21% this year, for instance, and it just hit the lowest level since 2014.

The S&P 500, by contrast, is up nearly 7% and close to new record highs. But that doesn’t mean Trump will win. China shows no signs of capitulating, and it’s not even clear they know how to appease Trump, were they willing to do that.

From analyst, Tom Block at Fundstrat, who wrote in a recent note to his clients: “The President’s experience with negotiations is centered on real estate where if you don’t get the property, you move on to another property deal. The trade war with China is more complex, and an exit strategy may not be as simple as looking for another location for a casino or golf course.”

My 2 cents: All this underscores my contention that the overall Trump policy agenda platform is on quicksand – all the evidence points to that nearly every day.

Additionally, the way Trump’s father “trained him” as the NY TIMES exposé clearly shows indicates that Trump will not nor is apt to change his ways. Time will tell on that assessment – but all indicators point that way.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Trump: Bye, Bye NAFTA Hello USMCA — I Make the Best Deals Ever the Best Ever Believe Me

Official White House public announcement
(Aren't I the Great Deal Maker?)

USMCA (U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement) New Logo

FIRST UPDATE (October 2, 2018): See in the dairy section below.

Another potential insane, distorted, false, and crappy deal from Trump.

Some early analysis is here from the Acton Institute.

So, who benefits from this new “USMCA” trade agreement replacing NAFTA? The primary beneficiaries of the agreement are labor unions, dairy farmers, drug manufactures, and companies that provide automation for manufacturers (e.g., robot makers).

The agreement will require at least 30 percent of cars (rising to 40 percent by 2023) to be made by workers earning $16 an hour. This will force more cars to be produced in the U.S. and Canada since the typical manufacturing wage in Mexico is only about $5 per hour.

The agreement also requires Mexico to make it easier for workers to form unions, which will make them less competitive against more productive unionized workers in the U.S. and Canada.

U.S. drug companies will also be able to sell pharmaceuticals in Canada for 10 years (rather than 8) before facing generic competition.

Because the agreement makes human labor in the three countries somewhat more costly, companies that create robots and other automation will likely be the long-term beneficiaries.

Who are the biggest losers from this agreement? (Mixed on this part):

FIRST UPDATE HERE re: U. S. dairy farmers will also gain greater access to the Canadian market. Because of new restrictions on how much dairy Canada can export, there is the potential for U.S. dairy to gain a greater market share in foreign countries – source CTV News here in part:

CLARIFICATION FROM THE CANADIAN SIDE OF THIS DEAL: It feels like a death by a thousand cuts,” Cambridge, Ontario dairy farmer Mike Bechtel told CTV.

Canada’s free trade pact with the EU gave foreign producers access to about 2.25% of their dairy market. Then the TPP opened up another 3.25% for the 10 countries to import their products. 

This USMCA will increase American access to 3.59% of the overall dairy market – thus another blow to the future of the Canadian industry.

According to the dairy industry, the net effect of the increased American allotment will allow tens of thousands of ton of U.S. dairy products on Canadian store shelves, at the expense of shelf space currently given to Canadian-made items.

The Trudeau government said it will compensate affected operations. Many dairy producers say they are not particularly interested and remain skeptical they will ever see that money saying it’s a joke and some say they’d rather not have a compensation package and keep the market fairer. 

They heard similar promises after the TPP and European deals were signed, but never saw any compensation and also discouraging young people from entering the dairy business in Canada.

My Note on This: So, Trump hurts Canadian milk producers while helping ours and blames them for allowing us to harm their industry... Well, I guess that's Trumpian SOP showing he is the best deal-maker in history, right? Okee, dokee, then. 

========================================================
As with almost all protectionist trade agreements, consumers are the ones who will be hurt the most. As the Washington Post notes, economists and auto experts think USMCA is going to cause car prices in the U.S. to “rise and the selection to go down, especially on small cars that used to be produced in Mexico but may not be able to be brought across the border duty-free anymore.”

Because the restrictions on Canadian steel and aluminum also remain in place, businesses that use those materials in manufacturing will pay inflated prices and their products will be less competitive on the global market.

How long does the agreement last?  Unlike NAFTA, which had an indefinite time-frame, the USMCA will expire in 16 years. The agreement can be overturn sooner, of course, by a U.S. administration more open to free trade.

=========================================================
More analysis here from the Washington Post (via MSN) – ref: Unions react.

There were early signs that some labor groups found the deal unacceptable and would fight for changes, even if that might ultimately scuttle any agreement. The reaction from organized labor is certain to weigh heavily with Democrats.

Leo Gerard, president of United Steelworkers International said:There are provisions in the draft agreement between the United States and Mexico that represent improvements over NAFTA, but there are also provisions that must be removed. Further, we have not evaluated what changes resulted from the just-concluded agreement to include Canada.”

The new pact, preserving the three-country format of the original NAFTA favored by business groups and congressional Republicans, is expected to be signed by Trump and his Canadian and Mexican counterparts in 60 days, with Congress likely to act on it next year. 

But even as he hailed the new deal, Trump acknowledged the tough road ahead on Capitol Hill, saying in part: In theory there should be no trouble, but anything you submit to Congress is trouble no matter what. They’ll say Trump likes it, and therefore we won’t approve it,” presuming to mean: [Democrats might oppose the deal for narrowly political reasons] saying: “Frankly they’ll have 2020 in mind.”

My 2 cents: No matter the issue, positive or negative, failure or not, Trump will always praise himself while blasting DEMS no matter the topic and yet he claims they are “playing politics” implying that he is not, right – yeah, right. 

More analysis of this “deal” will be forthcoming and reported on – bet on it. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Trump Presidential Transition Team Cost: He Hates the Law and Just Wants His Money Back

I don't care what the law says - I just want my money back

A new article by journalist Michael Lewis (from the Guardian page) claims that Donald Trump in 2016 went on a furious tirade when he learned that his campaign was required by law to fund a presidential transition team.

Writing in the Guardian (seen here via Raw Story) Lewis explains that former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie explained to Trump in April 2016 that he would need to either pay to hire a transition team himself or would have to use campaign funds to pay for it.

Trump then blew his stack at that news. To wit:

Trump grudgingly agreed to let Christie set up a separate fund aimed solely at raising money for the transition. By August 2016, the transition team had hired hundreds of people — and Trump found out by reading a newspaper article that the transition fund had raised millions of dollars to pay them.

Upon reading this, reports Lewis, Trump summoned both Christie and former campaign chairman Steve Bannon into his office and blew up at both of them.

Trump said: “You’re stealing my money! You’re stealing my f**king money! What the f**k is this?”

(Note: The team tried to explain to Trump that campaigns are required by law (refer to this part: Public Law 88-277 at the link) to fund transition teams to ensure a smooth transfer of power after the election – he continued his potty mouth adding): “F**k the law. I don’t give a f**k about the law. I want my f**king money.”


My 2 cents: Boy were we duped with this man – as I’ve said a thousand times: Shame on us for falling for his con.

It ain’t over yet – stay tuned.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Trump: And, the Lies Just Keep on Comin' — Apparently, No End Anywhere in Sight

His #1 go-to show: Faux Gnus

THE TRUMP LIES JUST KEEP ON COMING:  “Poverty is plummeting” — stated at a recent rally in Las Vegas.

POVERTY FACTS: He's overstating it.

The poverty rate dropped only modestly under Trump's watch, to 12.3 percent in 2017 from 12.7 percent in 2016. At the same time, nearly 40 million Americans remained poor by the Census Bureau's count, statistically unchanged from 2016.

Wealthier Americans, meanwhile, pulled farther ahead last year. Even steady growth over the previous eight years hasn't been enough to counter long-running trends to greater economic inequality.

Income growth was strongest for the richest 5 percent of households, rising 3 percent to $237,034. 

For the poorest one-fifth of the population, incomes rose just 0.5 percent.

The wealthiest 5 percent received 3.9 times the income earned by the median U.S. household. That's the highest on record, dating back to 1967. 

It's true that in the last three years, the poverty rate has dropped steadily by 2.5 percentage points, from a recent peak of 14.8 percent in 2014.

The biggest chunk of that drop occurred from 2014 to 2016, during the Obama administration.

The Census Bureau also considers the impact of various government assistance programs on reducing the ranks of the poor. They found that the food stamp program (SNAP) did lift 3.4 million people out of poverty. Rental subsidies did the same for 2.9 million.

However, and always but, right: Trump and House Republican leaders have proposed cuts in those programs.

More details at the AP report linked above and here. Check it out for more details.

My 2 cents: As I’ve noted before Trump is the #1 liar in American history – how in the world can we continue to tolerate new low standard. 

Not an unreasonable question – is it? I suspect it will continue as long as he stays in office. 

Stay tuned and see. 

Thanks for stopping by.