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Author Topic: Corruption in Government  (Read 10191 times)

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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #750 on: October 20, 2018, 01:51:59 pm »
 

Oct. 19, 2018 01:03PM EST

Leaked Trump 🦀 Administration Memo: Keep Public in Dark About How Endangered Species Decisions Are Made 🤬

In a Trump administration memorandum leaked to the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is directing its staff to withhold, or delay releasing, certain public records about how the Endangered Species Act is carried out. That includes records where the advice of career wildlife scientists may be overridden by political appointees in the Trump administration.

"This is a clear attempt to stifle science and boost Trump's anti-wildlife agenda," said Meg Townsend, the Center for Biological Diversity's open government attorney. "The public has every right to know how our government makes decisions about the fate of our most endangered species. This memo keeps the public in the dark and creates the perfect environment for political meddling."

The memo recommends that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service limit the information released to the public for decisions regarding species protected under the Endangered Species Act. It provides a list of types of records for agency staff to withhold, including drafts of policies and rules, briefing documents and decision meeting notes and summaries.

The agency has already implemented aspects of this guidance in actions like the Keystone XL pipeline construction lawsuit, and in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's decision last year to prematurely remove endangered species protection from Yellowstone grizzly bears, as the memo confirms.


"Directing the agency to hide science violates every notion of the scientific process, which is supposed to be open and reviewable," said Townsend. "If the Service covers up dissenting views, it can get away with all kinds of bad decisions that could do enormous damage to some of America's most imperiled plants and animals." 😱

As this memo recommends that agency staff take a less transparent approach, Trump's anti-wildlife agenda is being pushed at all levels of government. Removing the public's ability to know what its government is doingówhich is contrary to the spirit of the Freedom of Information Actómeans that it will be more difficult to legally challenge agency actions that harm imperiled wildlife.

"This Trump memo would send all future Fish and Wildlife Service decisions into a black hole and result in more animals going extinct,😨" Townsend said. "If the Trump administration would simply let the Fish and Wildlife Service follow the law and support decisions with science, it wouldn't need the memo or have anything to hide."

https://www.ecowatch.com/trump-endangered-species-decisions-2613623876.html

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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #751 on: October 20, 2018, 02:23:34 pm »
October 20, 2018

GET ONE FRIEND TO SIGN THE PETITION FOR NTIíS ONE YEAR

October 20 marks the one-year anniversary of the Need to Impeach petition, now a national movement of over 6 million people.



     

In honor of the NTIís first birthday, share this petition page with one friend as we gear up to flip the House and start the process of impeaching the President.




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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #752 on: October 23, 2018, 06:31:36 pm »

How Dismantling an Obscure Tax Created an American Aristocracy 💵 🎩 🍌 🏴‍ ☠️  🚩

October 22, 2018

Republicansí decades-long efforts to gut the estate tax is creating a permanent ultra-rich class, and undermining the governmentís ability to pay for popular programs like Social Security and Medicare


Story Transcript

TAYA GRAHAM: The 2017 Republican tax bill was a watershed moment for this country, a nation already struggling with massive and near historic income inequality was forced to confront a new law that only made things worse. The bill not only offered the biggest break to the countryís wealthiest, but it codified those gains for years to come. The damage can and will be far reaching. The debt incurred from the bill will soon make interest payments higher than what the U.S. government spends on health care, and many say the ballooning deficits may be used as a pretext for cutting popular programs like Medicare and Social Security.

To understand the far reaching implications of this policy, The Real News will be doing a series with tax experts and advocates for change, searching for a real assessment of the consequences and the most effective solutions. Today Iím joined by Matt Gardner, a senior fellow at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a nonpartisan think tank where he has worked since 1998. Matt, thank you so much for joining us.

MATT GARDNER: Thanks for having me.

TAYA GRAHAM: So, Matt, just to give people a sort of primer on the Republican tax bill, what from your perspective are some of the worst changes with regard to benefiting the wealthiest Americans?

MATT GARDNER: Well, first and foremost, itís a big tax cut and one that offers very little to low and middle income families. And it is, in fact, targeted to the best off, as you mentioned. Probably the number one reason for that is the substantial cuts in the corporate income tax that were enacted as part of this bill, cutting the 35 percent corporate tax rate almost in half. Another big giveaway to that top end is the estate tax, where rather than reforming the taxes, really people have been arguing for a while, what this bill did instead was to double the exemptions. So, weíre now at a point where one out of every 1000 estates is going to be subject to estate tax going forward.

The third element is that we cut the top marginal income tax rates and introduced a new tax break for passthrough income, what the Trump administration referred to as small business income but really isnít. This is business income thatís reported on personal income tax forms. It is one of these single forms of income that is most highly concentrated in the hands of the top one percent. So, cutting taxes on these businesses is a big giveaway to the best off. So, between those four things, you have a tax cut that is one of the largest in last quarter century and also one of the most unfair.

TAYA GRAHAM: Thatís just incredible statistics. I was wondering, what are some of the long term fiscal consequences of the new tax law in terms of creating deficits and the ability of the government to fund programs like Social Security or Medicare?

MATT GARDNER: It depends a lot on what, if anything, Congress does in the next decade. But certainly, the best way of describing it is that we are in a pretty deep hole to begin with, before the tax cuts were passed, and we have now dug that hole a lot deeper. As youíve seen, the headlines in the last couple of weeks were looking at a trillion dollar budget deficit for this year. That in itself is not new, we havenít balanced our general budget since I think 1999, during the last year of the Clinton administration. But we have been getting steadily more and more irresponsible.

What that means going down the road is that later congresses are going to have to make the hard decisions that this Congress and this president have chosen not to, which taxes are going to hike to help eliminate the budget deficit? Or, more critically, which spending areas are they going to eliminate or cut back? Right now, congressional leadership and the Trump administration have taken the approach that they donít need to make these hard choices because tax cuts will spur economic growth, and the deficits that weíre seeing right now will somehow disappear down the road. But thereís no evidence that thatís working. Thereís no historical evidence that it ever has.

And so, thereís going to be a reckoning. It could be as soon as 2025 when many of these tax cuts are scheduled to go away and probably wonít. But if it doesnít happen then, at some point in the next two decades weíre going to reach a crisis level when we simply canít afford to pay for even the most vital services that our government currently tries to provide. And at that point, itís going to be either permanent spending cuts of a sort that no American would support, or tax cuts, probably on low and middle income Americans. Again, something that most of us would not support. This is the inevitable choice we face from kicking the can down the road, as Congress has in the past year.

TAYA GRAHAM: Well, why do you think the Republican Party is essentially controlling the government right now? Itís supposed to be the party of fiscal conservatism. Why are they kicking these hard decisions down the road? Can you speculate on that?

MATT GARDNER: I can think of a couple of reasons. One is that itís the easy thing to do, and certainly the Republican leadership, but also humanity more generally, tends to look for the easy solution. These are hard problems to deal with and they require political will. Second is that there has been a pervasive supply-side ideology taking hold over the last 30 years, where some very prominent elected officials have gotten elected and have tried to govern on this principle that tax cuts will pay for themselves. And if you say something over and over again to yourself, you can really convince yourself. I think there may be quite a few members of Congress who really do believe, despite the utter lack of evidence, that if they just keep cutting taxes, will generate enough economic growth that weíll all be all right in the end.

Thatís sort of the cheerful view. The more cynical view, I think, would be that Republican leaders in Congress know that their recent history is Republican leaders cut taxes and Democratic leaders, when they take power, clean up the mess and make the more unpopular decisions that are required to make things balanced. And frankly, thatís the real concern going forward. If, as is likely, Democrats take over Congress in a month or so, the House anyway, theyíre going to be faced with a difficult question: do they let things sit where they are with spiraling deficits for the next 10 years, or do they try to clean it up? If they try to clean it up, theyíre the ones who are hiking taxes, who are cutting spending.

So, it could be a very cynical and clear-eyed political strategy designed to enforce this view that Republicans are the party of cutting taxes and Democrats are the party of hiking spending. Itís a profoundly unfair outcome if it works out that way, but itís one that is allowed in our budgetary system because itís entirely legal for Congress to enact a budget that is not balanced, that is profoundly out of balance. An in fact, weíve done it consecutively for almost two decades right now. So, there are a lot of reasons why they could be doing it. Some of them are sincere some of them profoundly cynical. I think itís probably a mix of the two.

TAYA GRAHAM: Well, some people have suggested that the tax bill was actually a precursor to defund programs like Medicare and Social Security, that it was quite purposeful. What do you think?

MATT GARDNER: Thatís another view that I think could certainly be true. One thing we know is that Americans like the notion of tax cuts taken on their own. Another thing we know every bit as well from polling data is that when it becomes clear that tax cuts have consequences, that tax cuts must be accompanied by spending cuts, the popularity of these tax cuts withers, it goes away. So, the trick, I think, that congressional leaders have tried to do is they canít get people to swallow this combination of tax cuts and spending cuts that are the recipe for the smaller government Republican leaders want to see. So, they pretend thereís a free lunch, that they can cut the taxes and they donít have to worry about the other side of the equation.

And then, I think the thinking is, five years, ten years down the road when the tax system faces a crisis of sustainability, they can point to spending and say thatís the problem, itís not the tax system itís the spending side, weíre spending too much. And then, the hope is I suppose, Congress will be forced to make these spending cut decisions that Americans donít want, that through a crisis of sustainability will have to enact profound reductions in the size of government that no American would support on their face.

TAYA GRAHAM: Now, this bill that weíre discussing I think also cut the estate tax, is that correct?

MATT GARDNER: Thatís right.

TAYA GRAHAM: I just want to ask; how has the estate tax been altered over the past decade and what does that mean for our budget going forward?

MATT GARDNER: I think there are three important ways in which the estate tax has changed. One is that the exemption has gone sharply up. Thereís always been a baseline amount of wealth that can be passed on from one generation to the next without incurring even a dime of tax. That was around a million and a half at the end of the Clinton administration and itís been sharply ratcheting upwards ever since then. Before the Trump tax cuts were passed, it was the case that you could have and estate as a single person of five million dollars. If youíre a married couple, almost eleven million dollars, and not pay a dime of tax. The Trump tax plan doubled these numbers. So, now a married couple can have an estate worth twenty-two million dollars and not owe any estate tax at all, simply pass that on tax free to their heirs.

So, thatís a really big impact. It gets us to a place, taken on its own, where roughly one in one thousand estates, zero point one percent of all estates, are not going to generate any tax going forward. Second thing is that the rates have gone down. And a third thing, I think this is probably the most significant, is that there has been a gradual erosion of the IRSís ability, from a spending, from an administrative perspective, to enforce the laws. And thatís why you get headlines such as the one we saw in the New York Times a couple weeks ago, where the Times, which had the money to do this, did a big investigative report where they looked in detail at how President Trumpís family has shifted income in between generations and found what sure looks like tax avoidance, if not illegal tax evasion, where theyíve undervalued assets before shifting them from one generation to the next.

When you handicap the IRSís ability to enforce the laws, as Congress has done for a couple of decades now, that opens the door to the sort of tax avoidance that really, I think outweighs the impact of cutting the rates and doubling the exemptions, as Congress has. If the rules canít be enforced, itís almost not worth having rules at all. And I think that has been the long term strategy of Congress with the estate tax. As a result, the budgetary impact is pretty profound. The estate tax really is an insignificant contributor to our federal budget right now precisely because itís been undercut in these three ways. And thatís a shame, because right now, given the deficit situation we face in the short run and going forward, we do have a sort of budgetary zero sum game. Every billion dollars weíre not collecting from progressive sources like the estate tax or the capital gains tax or the personal income tax more generally is a billion dollars that has to be made up somewhere else.

TAYA GRAHAM: So, this kind of leads me to my next question, is if an equitable estate tax could actually have a positive impact on the federal budget, would it make a difference to make the state tax more equitable?

MATT GARDNER: It absolutely would make a difference, both in fiscal terms and the sort of psychological terms, the public support terms that I mentioned. Right now, the estate tax operates in a larger framework though. Itís best understood as a backstop to the federal income tax. And part of the reason why continuing to have an estate tax is so vital is that as long as it exists, it is at least a backstop against rampant tax avoidance on the personal income tax. The reason I say this is that even if a high income earner can escape all taxes on their capital gains income or their investment income over the course of their lives, at least you have this backstop that requires one level of tax at the end of peopleís lives as they try to hand over these huge piles of cash to the next generation.

So, I think the estate tax plays a vital role as a backstop in making sure that a personal income tax works in the first place. If it goes away, I think that will open the door to even more widespread tax avoidance on the personal income tax side. And thatís a real concern, because the personal income tax is roughly half of all the revenue we get right now as a nation.

TAYA GRAHAM: So, how have these cuts affected local estate taxes, if at all?

MATT GARDNER: Thatís a great question. Before the Bush tax cuts of 2001, we had a federal estate tax system in place. Federal means thereís a national component and a state component as well. And there was sort of an understanding that every state would be able to levy an estate tax, and the states were there first before the federal government started doing this, and that the federal government would do sort of a revenue sharing agreement with the state. In 2001, when Congress passed substantial estate cuts, they pretty much ripped up the agreement between the federal government and the state government and took away this implicit aid to state governments. What that meant was that state governments suddenly faced a choice. If they wanted to have an estate tax, it was all coming out of their own state residentsí pockets. And that made the idea of having a state estate tax much less popular.

And within five years, something like two thirds of all the states repealed their estate taxes. So, now I think weíre left with roughly one third of the states that have any estate tax revenue at all. Thatís the direct effect. The indirect effect, of course, is that the weakening of the federal tax on its own diminishes the ability of Congress to provide aid from the federal level to the state level for all ongoing services. So, without a question, these two mechanisms, indirect and direct, have made it harder for state and local governments to make ends meet, to pay for the things we all depend on from our local governments, especially education healthcare and transportation.

TAYA GRAHAM: Now, we have seen that a large share of the gains from economic growth have not just gone to the one percent, but an even smaller handful of people. So, how much has wealth for the richest of the rich in our country?

All indicators are that inequality is getting worse, that the share of wealth, including capital gains, dividends, other forms of unearned income thatís going to the top one percent, is going up. All indicators like corporate profits are near all-time highs. But at the other end of the spectrum, median income, the inflation adjusted average income for working families, really has not changed at all. Itís roughly where it was three decades ago. So, as prosperous as our nation seems to be from an aggregate perspective over the last decade or so since the recession ended, there is very little indication that this growth is benefiting low and middle income working families, and every indication that the lionís share of the benefits are going to owners of stock, owners of companies and those with potentially taxable estates.

TAYA GRAHAM: So, given the apparent inequity here, what can be done to fix the tax system and make it fair? What kind of major changes would you recommend.

MATT GARDNER: Itís a really interesting time to ask that question because legislation just got introduced, I think today, earlier this week, in Congress by Senator Kamala Harris of California, which would enact a big tax cut in the form of the earned income tax credit, expanding the ITC, which is a targeted tax credit for low and middle income working families, in a way that is designed as an alternative to the big tax cuts that Congress enacted just a year ago. And itís not by accident, I think, that the ten year cost of these tax cuts proposed by Senator Harris would be substantially less than what Congress enacted last year and would still deliver much higher benefits, substantially higher benefits to everyone in the bottom 60 percent of the income district distribution, low and middle income Americans.

That alone, abandoning the Trump tax cuts and shifting more towards the approach that Senator Harris has proposed, is a very straightforward way of moving forward. Itís not that simple. There are certain elements of the Trump tax cuts, I think, where it would be hard to put them back in the bottle so to, speak. Having cut the corporate income tax rate from thirty-five percent down to near twenty percent, itís going to be very difficult for Congress to simply increase it again. But undoing many of the most damaging tax cuts, like the marginal income tax rate cuts, certainly undoing the estate tax cuts and this gigantic new deduction for passthrough businesses that Congress has pushed through at the last minute last year, I think is a very sensible first step toward a more sustainable and fair tax system.

TAYA GRAHAM: I think youíre absolutely right. And I think as long as income taxes are punitive to the lower and middle classes and theyíre not enforced for the wealthiest, I think itís going to be difficult to have that dialogue. But Matt, I just want to thank you so much for joining us. Iím your host, Taya Graham, and I want to thank you for joining me at The Real News Network.

https://therealnews.com/stories/how-dismantling-an-obscure-tax-created-an-american-aristocracy

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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #753 on: October 23, 2018, 08:38:33 pm »

Quote
Rep Maxine Waters' tweet to McConnell re: tax cuts and earned benefits

Maxine Waters ✔ @RepMaxineWaters

McConnell, if you think you're going to get away with taking from seniors after you have given to the rich, you have another thing coming 😠. We will not allow you to touch #SocialSecurity, #Medicare, or #Medicaid to make up for your wild tax cuts for corporations & the rich.

8:53 AM - Oct 23, 2018



Read more:

 
https://www.democraticunderground.com/100211310405


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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #754 on: October 23, 2018, 09:06:43 pm »
Thom Hartmann

Tue Oct 23, 2018, 07:30 PM

Why Did Georgia 😈 Stop a Bus Of African Americans Trying to Vote? (w/Guest LaTosha Brown)

Georgia tried to stop a group of African Americans from early voting by pulling over their bus and forcing Seniors to exit. This wasn't in the early days of the civil rights movement but in 2018. LaTosha Brown with Black Votes Matter was on the bus when it happened and is building up her organizing effort to fight voter intimidation and make sure Georgia knows that Black Votes Matter.


Read more:

https://www.democraticunderground.com/1017516770
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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #755 on: October 26, 2018, 03:00:21 pm »

Broad-Daylight Fascism and the Bombs of October

BY William Rivers Pitt  , Truthout 👍👍👍

PUBLISHED October 26, 2018

Quote
ďYou know what I am? I am a nationalist, okay?Ē ĖDonald Trump, Houston rally, October 22, 2018

SNIPPET:

Even in the smallest corners of New Hampshire, far from the doings of the great and powerful, the word is out and the fear is real.

Read all of this excellent article:

https://truthout.org/articles/broad-daylight-fascism-and-the-bombs-of-october/

Truthout October 26, 2018 READING LIST 👀👍👍👍:

POLITICS & ELECTIONS
Georgiaís Kemp Purged 340,134 Voters, Falsely Asserting They Had Moved
https://truthout.org/articles/georgias-kemp-purged-340134-voters-falsely-asserting-they-had-moved/

POLITICS & ELECTIONS
Why Voting for Immigration Reform Is Critical for Korean Americans
https://truthout.org/articles/why-voting-for-immigration-reform-is-critical-for-korean-americans/

LGBTQ RIGHTS
Trumpís Transphobic Attack Is Cruel Beyond All Definition
https://truthout.org/articles/trumps-transphobic-attack-is-cruel-beyond-all-definition/

ECONOMY & LABOR
Billionaires Made More Money in 2017 Than Any Other Year in History
https://truthout.org/articles/billionaires-made-more-money-in-2017-than-any-other-year-in-history/

ENVIRONMENT & HEALTH
Air Pollution Causes Up to 33 Million ER Visits for Asthma Annually
https://truthout.org/articles/air-pollution-causes-up-to-33-million-emergency-room-visits-for-asthma-annually/



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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #756 on: October 26, 2018, 04:51:19 pm »
Ralph Nader Radio Hour


The Falling of the American Empire
64,957 views



Published on Aug 18, 2018

Ralph spends the whole hour with Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author, Chris Hedges, discussing his book ďAmerica: The Farewell Tour.Ē
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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #757 on: October 28, 2018, 05:42:18 pm »

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #758 on: November 01, 2018, 06:23:32 pm »
After White Supremacist Terror, Trump Doubles Down from Birthright to the Border

October 30, 2018

In the aftermath of a spate of white supremacist violence from Florida to Kentucky to Pittsburgh, President Trump is ramping up nativism and xenophobia. The U.S. is deploying up to 14,000 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, purportedly in response to a caravan of Central American asylum seekers. Trump also says he might revoke birthright citizenship for the babies of non-citizens. We are joined by historian Gerald Horne of the University of Houston

Story Transcript

AARON MATE: Itís The Real News. Iím Aaron Mate.

From pipe bombs in the mail, to the killing of two black shoppers in Kentucky, to the synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh, the U.S. is grappling with yet a new round of white supremacist terror. But in the aftermath of this incident, and just days before the midterms, President Trump is ramping up the nativism and xenophobia that has stoked white supremacists. First, on Monday, federal officials announced plans to send 5,200 active duty troops to the U.S.-Mexico border in response to a caravan of Central American asylum seekers fleeing violence in dire conditions at home.

SPEAKER: Our message to the organizers and participants of this caravan is simple: As the President and Secretary Nielsen have made clear, we will not allow a large group to enter the United States in an unsafe and unlawful manner. For those that seek to cross the border illegally. We will apprehend them and fully enforce the laws of the United States. For those that seek to make an asylum claim safely and lawfully in a port of entry, the governor of Mexico has already offered you protection and employment authorization. If you are fleeing alleged persecution at home, you have arrived at a safe place to make your claim.

AARON MATE: According to Newsweek, the size of the U.S. force on the border could top 14,000. This comes amid reports that Trump is mulling executive actions to shut down border entry entirely, and even suspend habeas corpus, which grants detainees the right to appear before a judge.

Then on Tuesday, Trump announced yet another potential executive action. Speaking to AXIOS, Trump said he might revoke birthright citizenship for babies of noncitizens and undocumented immigrants.

DONALD TRUMP: Now theyíre saying I can do it just with an executive order. Now, how ridiculous- weíre the only country in the world where a person comes in, has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States for 85 years with all of those benefits. Itís ridiculous. Itís ridiculous. And it has to end.

REPORTER: Have you talked about that with counsel?

DONALD TRUMP: Yeah, I have.

REPORTER: So where in the process is-

DONALD TRUMP: Itís in the process. Itíll happen. With an executive order. Thatís what youíre talking about, right?

Yeah, thatís exactly what I was talking about.

Thatís very interesting. I didnít think anybody knew that but me. I thought I was the only one.

AARON MATE: Joining me to discuss Trumpís latest anti-immigrant actions is Gerald Horne, historian and professor of history and African-American studies at the University of Houston. Welcome, Dr. Horne. Let me ask you first about this latest announcement from Trump today about birthright citizenship. Do you think that he even has the constitutional authority to end birthright citizenship for noncitizens? And if he doesnít, then as a historian, what do you make of what heís doing here?

GERALD HORNE: Apparently he does not have the authority to end birthright citizenship via an executive order. That is the impression I got from the words not only of Speaker Paul Ryan, but also from a survey of a number of leading constitutional scholars.

Having said that, we all know that the Republicans have packed the courts, the federal courts, in recent months and years. And many of these federal judges owe a debt of gratitude to the Republicans and Mr. Trump personally for him placing them on the court. And so itís possible that there could be a wildcard federal judge, and certainly a wildcard Supreme Court, that could pass on that. I doubt it. But weíre in a different age right now. Itís obvious that many of our liberal friends have miscalculated when they overestimated the democratic potential nature of the United States of America, and the Bill of Rights, particularly. And Iím afraid to say that many of us are going to pay the price for that miscalculation.

AARON MATE: As a historian, when you hear Trump speak like this, what historical parallels come up for you? Iíll just say for myself that my thought today was I was recalling how the Nazis, back when they were formulating their own so-called racial purification laws, that they looked to the United States for inspiration.

GERALD HORNE: Thatís true. Thereís been a good deal of scholarship with regard to that, particularly how the Nazis looked the United States for so-called antimiscegenation laws. That is to say, laws in the United States that basically made it verboten for those defined as white to marry those defined as black. Obviously in Germany that was transferred to the German non-Jewish population and the Jewish population.

That is one striking parallel, but of course there are striking parallels from U.S. history itself. We should not forget the fact that when the Ku Klux Klan arose post-1865 in the wake of the U.S. Civil War, in many ways they were the armed wing of the Democratic Party. That is to say, the Democratic Party then being the party of Jim Crow, the party of Dixie. And that kind of terrorism that was inflicted, not least on black people post-1865, we hear echoes at least of that kind of policy in 2018 as enunciated by the present occupant of the White House.

AARON MATE: OK. So you mentioned 1865. So just 13 years later, in 1878, you have the signing of the Posse Comitatus Act, which bars military forces from playing a role in domestic law enforcement. Now there is talk of that being suspended, along with the suspension of habeas corpus, as I mentioned earlier, giving people the right to appear before a judge in this crackdown on the border, with Trump sending thousands of troops there, possibly over 14,000, which is about as many as are in Afghanistan right now.

And yesterday at the White House, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked about this, and whether these drastic steps, these suspensions of constitutional protections, is on the table.

REPORTER: Now those are options on the table?

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS: Look, Iím not going to get into specific policies that weíre considering. Thereís a number of actions that weíre looking at taking. When weíre ready to make an announcement on that front, weíll let you know.

AARON MATE: Thatís Sarah Huckabee Sanders. So Dr. Horne, if Trump is sending thousands of troops to the border, is he violating Posse Comitatus? And would there be a historical parallel for such an infringement, as heís apparently doing that?

GERALD HORNE: Well, once again Iíd have to give a similar response as I gave to the previous question; that is to say, that there is an argument that he is in violation of the law, but there is a counter argument that if he goes before the so-called right judge, that will not matter. It reminds me of what Trumpís lawyer Roy Cohn, the late Roy Cohn, the anticommunist fixer and colleague of Senator Joe McCarthy, once said. When he went into court he didnít want to know what the law is, he wanted to know who the judge is. And I think that thatís the kind of philosophy that you see taking place with regard to Mr. Trumpís actions.

Secondly, this removal or threat to remove habeas corpus is particularly dangerous. That is a long-standing writ that goes back to England hundreds of years ago which allows a prisoner improperly detained to go before a judge and be released. That suggests that there will be a mass roundup of some sort where people will not be able to go to a federal judge to be released.

And then thirdly, I think you have to look at the fact or the possibility that what Mr. Trump is saying is a desperate electoral gambit. That is to say, the midterm elections are taking place on Tuesday. There are polls that suggest that the Republicans will lose the House. More to the point, the Houston papers in particular are talking about a Beto bump; that is to say, senatorial candidate Beto OíRourke, whoís running against incumbent Ted Cruz. Heís behind in the polls. But the so-called Beto bump might wipe out Republican Congressman Will Hurd, a former CIA analyst who is now in the Congress. Heís running against a very strong Democratic candidate who is expected to benefit from the Beto bump. And itís possible that Mr. Trump is trying to prevent other Beto bumps by ginning up the right-wing base, particularly in southern Texas.

AARON MATE: So in terms of these threats to all these basic rights, now, there is a growing fear that this is not just being done to target undocumented people, but this is also part of a process that wants to gin up fear in order to justify cracking down on dissent on progressives at home, working people, to crush strikes. And Iím wondering, in this context, to what extent is the historical crackdown on working people, the crushing of unions- a huge theme especially in the 20th century- how has that contributed to what weíre seeing today, and actually to the appeal and the power of white supremacy across the country?

GERALD HORNE: Well, I couldnít have asked a better question myself. One of the things Iíve been stressing in recent days, months, and indeed, years, is that you cannot underestimate the potency of the Red Scare, which not least routed progressive labor. I oftentimes cite the case of Harry Bridges, the leader of West Coast Longshore, who led the San Francisco General Strike of 1934. Happened to be born in Melbourne, Australia. And therefore it led to repeated efforts not only to deport him, but to weaken his progressive leadership. The Union, the International Longshore and Warehousemanís Union, had to spent a pretty penny out of its treasury in order to keep their leader from being deported. I could also cite the case of Ferdinand Smith, a black Jamaican who was number two in the National Maritime Union, who actually was deported in the early 1950s, which led to the demolishing, virtually, of the National Maritime Union, which he led, turning ships into floating slums.

That also led to a devastation of political education which has been particularly harmful to the working class. Particularly, I would say, those working-class voters who were seduced and [traduced] into voting for Mr. Trump in places like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, et cetera. And it created an overall atmosphere of backwardness whereby the class question was downgraded, which inevitably lead like a seesaw to the rising of ultra right-wing white nationalism, which you just saw manifested in Pittsburgh, not least.

AARON MATE: I want to go to a clip of some of the xenophobia and chauvinism that has stoked by the media. Because itís not just Trump, itís also his allies on Fox News, especially. So I want to go to Lou Dobbs 🐉 speaking recently on his show on the Fox Business Network.


LOU DOBBS: The fear is, to be clear, the fear is that some of them are radical Islamist terrorists that have intermingled with this group of Central Americans. A further fear is that many of the, you know, so many of these, these migrants from Central America, frankly, are radical left-wingers. Their leaders are left-wing party members, for crying out loud, out of Honduras. This is- and no one other than the President at this point, we- you know, I keep expecting to hear Chuck Schumer Nancy Pelosi express their concern for America. But with a caravan that seems to be doubling every few days in size, they have said nothing.

AARON MATE: So thatís Lou Dobbs speaking on the Fox Business Channel about the migrant caravan comprised of hundreds of people fleeing violence and persecution in Central America. Dr. Horne, As we wrap, where do you rate this moment right now in history, in terms of the level of white supremacy and chauvinism weíre seeing being mainstreamed across the country? And if you have any comments on what Lou Dobbs said there, and especially about the role that thatís stoking fear of immigrants has played in a historical context.

GERALD HORNE: Well, obviously Lou Dobbs is introducing a canard when heís speaking about so-called Middle Easterners who are part of this caravan of hope, which is making its way through Mexico as we speak. I find it also striking that the speaker in waiting, Kevin McCarthy, has demonized Jewish billionaires such as George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, Tom Steyer, whoís leading the struggle to impeach Mr. Trump; and deleted his tweet demonizing them, but the stain still remains. Note as well that the New York Times just reported this morning that a leading executive of Campbellís Soup Company was recently ousted because he singled out George Soros as financing this caravan thatís heading North. That is to say, like Kevin McCarthy, helping to whip up the kind of anti-Semitism that you saw recently manifested in Pittsburgh.

I would say this is a particularly dangerous moment, because unlike previous dangerous moments we donít have the necessary kind of international solidarity that the black liberation movement, for example, enjoyed for decades, but does not necessarily enjoy today. That means that the ultra right-wing white nationalists have wind in their sails as a result, and our climb as a result will be uphill, Iím afraid.


AARON MATE: Weíll leave it there. Gerald Horne, historian, professor of history and African-American studies at the University of Houston, thanks very much.

GERALD HORNE: Thank you.

AARON MATE: And thank you for joining us on The Real News.

https://therealnews.com/stories/after-white-supremacist-terror-trump-doubles-down-from-birthright-to-the-border
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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #759 on: November 01, 2018, 06:34:14 pm »

Trump's Love Affair With Violence in the Age of Fascist Nihilism

BY Henry A. Giroux, Truthout

PUBLISHED October 31, 2018

The ghosts of a fascist past have erupted into a new American nightmare as violence becomes the new normal under Trump. This administration has created a social order and political movement that views violence as a tool for social and racial cleansing and is pouring fuel on a fire that produces endless assaults on those considered vulnerable, disposable and worthy of extermination.



https://truthout.org/articles/trumps-love-affair-with-violence-in-the-age-of-fascist-nihilism/

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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #760 on: November 02, 2018, 12:17:03 pm »
The Thom Hartmann Program (Full Show) - 11/02/18
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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #761 on: November 02, 2018, 12:45:58 pm »
If you have ANY doubts about the Republican PLAN to DESTROY MEDICARE and Social Security, as well as afforable employee health programs, this will make their mentes reae crystal clear.

Republican Senate candidate literally took his sick employee's health insurance away

Joan McCarter  Daily Kos Staff

Friday November 02, 2018 ∑ 11:33 AM EDT
 
Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) has one hell of a closing ad in the last days of this election cycle, hitting the issue that everyone is talking about, for real. No, not the caravan. Their health care. His opponent, Republican businessman Mike Braun has been touting his experience as an employer, saying he understands all about protecting people's health care because of his experience as a boss. One of his former employees, Jim Songer of Hungtingburg, Indiana, tells the real story.

"At Mike Braun's company, I sold RV parts and towing parts. A few months ago, I got really sick, ended up in the hospital.

Quote
"So while I was in the hospital, Mike Braun fired me. And backdated my termination. So my insurance had been cancelled. I was devastated, stuck with a $30,000 bill and left with nothing.

"There is no such thing as health care when something happens to you and it gets taken away. And that's what Mike Braun's company   did."

In a Tuesday night debate, Braun said that "Just like I've taken care  of my employees, I'll take care of Hoosiers," which sounds a lot more like a threat than a promise once you've heard Songer's story. The ad has been running for a few weeks now, and "neither Braunís campaign nor his company has contradicted Songer's  version of events."


https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/11/2/1809359/-Republican-Senate-candidate-literally-took-his-sick-employee-s-health-insurance-away

Agelbert ADDED NOTE: Vote Republican and you can kiss ALL your health care AND Social Security benefits (that YOU WORK AND PAY FOR) away.

AND, while the Republican FASCISTS gleefullly and methodically destroy the benefits you have ALREADY EARNED on behalf of Wall Street crooks, they will go full Orwell by swearing on a stack of bibles that they are "protecting" Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid AND pre-existing condition health benefits in employee health insurance programs. They are following Hitler's Orwellian Mindfuck to the letter.



mentes reae: mentes reae is a plural form of mens rea

mens rea
Definition:   criminal intent; the thoughts and intentions behind a wrongful act (including knowledge that the act is illegal).
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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #762 on: November 02, 2018, 01:28:22 pm »
Trump's Medicare administrator thinks Medicare is 'scary'

Joan McCarter  Daily Kos Staff

Thursday November 01, 2018 ∑ 2:50 PM EDT

SNIPPET:

Perhaps because that tweet got so much blast-back from an enraged Twitter populace, she came back with this lame rejoinder: ďDid I get your attention? Good. Medicare for All isnít a joke. Itís a multi-trillion dollar drain on the American economy that will bankrupt future generations.

Itís government controlled health care that will strip choice away from millions. Itís a bad idea. And it IS scary.Ē

What is actually for-real frightening is the trillion dollars in tax cuts Trump and the Republicans gave to the rich and to corporations, their excuse for ballooning the deficit so they can go after Medicare. And Social Security. And Medicaid.

read more:

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/11/1/1809121/-Trump-s-Medicare-administrator-thinks-Medicare-is-scary
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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #763 on: November 02, 2018, 01:58:54 pm »
November 2, 2018


First Troops Arrive At US-Mexico Border For "Operation Faithful Patriot"




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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« Reply #764 on: November 02, 2018, 02:20:23 pm »
The killer at the heart of Trump's racist ad was set freeóby Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio

Mark Sumner  Daily Kos Staff

Friday November 02, 2018 ∑ 8:46 AM EDT

SNIPPET:

Donald Trump announced at the outset that he wanted this election to be about racism and, despite a few pesky bombs and a mass murder, that has certainly been the core focus of his rallies and statements going into the midterms. With days to go, Trump is still trying to maximize xenophobic fear and convince America that brutalized families hundreds of miles from the border represents a threat that requires thousands of armed troops and a waiting network of concentration camps. The capper for Trumpís season of fear has been an ad so racist that itís made even Republican dirty tricksters turn away in shame. This isnít a dog whistle. Or a trumpet. Or a fog horn. Itís just racism.

But as it turns out, itís not just racism. Itís also a complete lie . As reported by the Washington Post, the ad opens with the horrific words of violent murderer Luis Bracamontes who bragged of his killings at trial and threatened to kill more.

Read more:

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/11/2/1809302/-The-killer-at-the-heart-of-Trump-s-racist-ad-was-set-free-by-Arizona-sheriff-Joe-Arpaio

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