Daily Clips: January 31, 2017

Parties of the left…wake up! Here’s a wonderful quote from the piece:

“To start, center-left parties must:

  1. Put working-class economics front and center.
  2. See the country’s challenges through the lives of working people and be skeptical of conventional wisdom emanating from the elites in metropolitan center.
  3.  Acknowledge frontally that immigration needs to be better controlled and people are right to want a framework that includes real borders, new migrants contributing through taxes and learning the country’s language, and a framework where citizens receive greater benefits than non-citizens.
  4. Take on the elite, big money special interests that play too big a role and are the prime drivers of economic and social inequality.
  5. Offer much bigger economic vision and policies.”

Paul Ryan urges Republicans to back travel ban despite anger over rollout: I cannot tell you how much I despise this man. He is a coward. He is a snake.

The psychology of why 94 deaths from terrorism are scarier than 301,797 deaths from guns

Three reasons trickle-down tax cuts don’t work: Excellent article by Jared Bernstein and Ben Spielberg.

Tweet of the day:

 

Daily Clips: January 30, 2017

Flirting with theocracy: As a young man who interned for a summer at the Secular Coalition for America, religion’s place in politics has always been a key topic for me. While I’ve had issues with American policy before this moment, Trump’s travel orders are a perfect example of why, as a democracy, we cannot let religion play a prominent role in the decision-making process. The opening paragraph of David Leonhardt is poignant:

Let’s not mince words. President Trump’s recent actions are an attempt to move the United States away from being the religiously free country that the founders created — and toward becoming an aggressively Christian country hostile to other religions.

Trump orders two-for-one repeal of all new regulations: A key pillar of trickle-down economics, Trump’s executive order shows that he is not a man of the people, but a man of the rich.

The ACLU says it got $24 million in donations this weekend, six times its yearly average: Incredible news in dark times.

900,000 Brits Sign Petition to Block Trump’s State Visit Due To ‘Misogyny and Vulgarity’

Tweet of the day:

Daily Clips: January 27, 2017

Tweet of the day:

US tells the world to kiss the ring…or else:

“For those that don’t have our back, we’re taking names, we will make points to respond to that accordingly,” added Republican President Donald Trump’s U.N. envoy.

Strong dollar drags US growth to slowest pace since 2011: For 2016, the US economy grew 1.6%—a clear regression from the 2.6% growth in 2015.

David Brooks loves the free market: After calling for a return to capitalism and biblical morality on Tuesday, Brooks devotes his latest column to gushing over Reagan’s embrace of free markets.

Daily Clips: January 26, 2017

Mexico president cancels trip to USA after Trump’s comments about the wall:

Our international image is improving already!

Awaiting Trump’s Supreme Court pick:

The rumored frontrunners for the Supreme Court—Neil Gorsuch, Thomas Hardiman, and William Pryor—are all individuals highly recommended by the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society because each would be a conservative justice in the mold of Antonin Scalia.

Paul Ryan: U.S. will ‘front money’ for border wall, devise plan to Make Mexico Pay Later:

Something tells me that Mexico is never going to pay for this wall.

US wage disparity worsens:

Top wage earners last year made over 5 times what their lowest-income counterparts took home, the widest gap in data going back to 1979, according to the Labor Department.

Tweet of the day:

Is This What Trumponomics Looks Like?

Those eyes, man. They follow you everywhere.

Those eyes, man. They follow you everywhere.

It’s becoming clear in the first week of his presidency that Donald Trump has been telling us exactly who he is for a year and a half now. He did intend to build that wall, unlike what many of his supporters claimed during the 2016 presidential campaign. He really does believe that wealth has direct correlation to intelligence, that the amount of money you have is a perfect indication of your IQ, which is why he has claimed that his cabinet — without question the wealthiest in American history — has “by far, the highest IQ of any cabinet ever.” And he believes that if you cut taxes and regulations, and if you suppress the income of workers, the economy will grow.

 Axios published highlights from a teleprompter-free speech that Trump delivered to a closed-press fundraiser last week, including this snippet where he says exactly that to a room full of wealthy Republican donors:

We’re going to cut your taxes. We’re going to get rid of the regulations that are strangling the economy. [Applause.] … I know the biggest businessmen and the small ones that love me and voted for me, and I love them. … Almost every single person that I ask was more excited about the regulations being cut than the taxes, which is surprising. [Applause.] So, we’re going to do that.

This is not a new philosophy; it’s one that conservatives have been espousing since the days of Ronald Reagan. Regular readers will know that it’s called trickle-down economics, and it’s based on the idea that if you suppress wages for the working class, cut taxes for the wealthy, and slash regulations for business, those wealthy Americans will supposedly then create jobs, that their wealth will trickle down to the poorest Americans. The problem with this economic philosophy, of course, is that it doesn’t work. Democratic presidents create more jobs, for the simple reason that when workers have more money through increased wages, they have more money to spend in their communities. The super-rich tend to sit on their money, keeping it locked up outside the economy, and everyone suffers.

But there’s something especially troubling about Donald Trump’s brand of trickle down economics. In the past, conservatives have generally promoted their trickle-down agenda on behalf of the wealthiest Americans. But Trump’s cabinet is made up of some of the wealthiest Americans — many of whom don’t have any government experience at all — and they’re being placed in charge of the cabinet posts that directly affect them.

I wonder if we’re witnessing the birth of a new stage of trickle down economics. Because when the lawmakers themselves profit from the laws that they pass and strike down and ignore, you’ve passed a simple proxy agreement between politician and power broker. You’ve gone directly into looting territory.

President Trump’s strategy so far seems to be to produce so many moving parts that it’s impossible for anyone to keep track. Are you outraged about the gag orders on the EPA and the USDA? Are you upset about his calls to revive torture? Mad about the wall? Angry that he’s whining about voter fraud and his inauguration attendance? Horrified that he threatened martial law in Chicago? I bet you are. But are you equally mad about all those things? That’s impossible. So your attentions are scattered. And while resisters try to figure out which horror they should focus their energies on, in the background Trump is freezing regulations and raising costs for middle-class home owners by roughly ten bucks a week.

If trickle down economics is entering a full-on looting phase, that can only be bad news for the economy. Because looting doesn’t end organically. You only stop looting at the point when your arms are too full to carry anything else or when the forces of law and order are re-established. The best thing we can do at this early date is to identify what’s going on, and make a lot of noise, and try to keep track of everything that’s happening, so that one day we’ll be able to rebuild what we’re losing.

Daily Clips: January 25, 2017

Quite the quote from Samuel Adams:

If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin

 

US journalists arrested, charged following anti-Trump protests:

Six US journalists are facing up to 10 years’ jail and a $25,000 fine after being arrested while covering protests during Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Economist Intelligence Unit claims “US is no longer a full democracy”:

A flawed democracy is a country with free elections but weighed down by weak governance, an underdeveloped political culture and low levels of political participation, according to the EIU. Other flawed democracies in 2016 included Japan, France, Singapore, South Korea and India, the report said.

Trump’s Labor nominee gets rich on taxpayer’s dime:

…by not paying his workers a living wage or providing affordable health care, Puzder is costing taxpayers about $247 million a year in public assistance funding according to an estimate from the National Employment Law Project.

Daily Clips: January 24, 2017

David Brooks believes Saturday’s marches missed the point: A truly nauseating article from Mr. Sanctimonious. He spends most of his column slamming the identity-based political movements of progressives. Meanwhile, he doesn’t say a god damn thing about conservatives electing a racist, white, nationalist into the highest office. And then he ends his piece with this doozy:

If the anti-Trump forces are to have a chance, they have to offer a better nationalism, with diversity cohering around a central mission, building a nation that balances the dynamism of capitalism with biblical morality.

Hard pass.

The women who helped Donald Trump win: 

Trump’s success is specifically among white women without college degrees, 61 percent of whom voted for him. Clinton actually did 7 points better than Trump with white college-educated women.

Debt is projected to rise by $8.6 trillion over 10 years

How bad biology is killing the economy:

Bad biology exerts an irresistible attraction. Those who think that competition is what life is all about, and who believe that it is desirable for the strong to survive at the expense of the weak, eagerly adopt Darwinism as a beautiful illustration of their ideology. They depict evolution – or at least their cardboard version of it – as almost heavenly. John D Rockefeller concluded that the growth of a large business “is merely the working out of a law of nature and a law of God”, and Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs – the biggest money-making machine in the world – recently depicted himself as merely “doing God’s work”.

Daily Clips: January 20, 2017

DT’s inaugural address transcript:

Get ready for unbridled nationalism and divisiveness. His words should prepare progressives for what is to come.

Trump to develop missile defense system against Iran, North Korea:

The fear-mongering begins.

Uber to Pay $20 Million to Settle FTC Charges on Earnings Claims for Drivers

Sanders: This is a ‘tough day for millions of Americans’

Tweet of the day: