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New Deal Democrat

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Gender: Male
Hometown: West Virginia
Home country: USA
Member since: Wed May 14, 2014, 10:30 AM
Number of posts: 10,326

Journal Archives

D.C. Church 'Outraged' That Trump Used It As Photo-Op

A historic Washington, D.C., church damaged during protests against police brutality over the weekend pledged solidarity with protesters on Monday ― hours before President Donald Trump used its building for a photo-op.

Bishop Mariann Budde, leader of The Episcopal Diocese of Washington, told HuffPost that she was “outraged” about Trump’s appearance. “I am going to do everything in my power to disassociate our church from what the president did tonight,” she said.

Trump used the Bible and St. John’s Church as a backdrop for a message that is “antithetical to the teachings of Jesus and everything that our church stands for,” Budde said in a separate statement.

“In no way do we support the President’s incendiary response to a wounded, grieving nation,” she said.

Whatever it is that Trump thought he was doing, it was not something this church wanted him to do.
Posted by New Deal Democrat | Tue Jun 2, 2020, 11:04 PM (36 replies)

New Zealand Now Has Just 1 Active COVID-19 Case

May 29, 2020

New Zealand is now down to only one active COVID-19 case, reaching a new level of success in its fight against the coronavirus. The last time a new case was reported in the country was more than a week ago; no one is currently hospitalized with the disease caused by the coronavirus.

The news came on the same day that the country further eased its restrictions on the public. It will now permit gatherings of up to 100 people — clearing the way for weddings, parties, funerals and other large events. Restaurants can also host up to 100 people, as long as safety protocols are followed.

The prime minister is credited with taking decisive and early action to minimize the coronavirus's impact on her country.

"In mid-March, as cases were exploding in Italy and Spain, Ardern ordered anyone entering New Zealand into quarantine," NPR's Jason Beaubien reports. "At that point, the country had confirmed just six cases. A few days later, on March 19, Ardern shut down travel to the country, essentially banning all foreigners from entering the island nation of 4.8 million."

The prime minister also explained the "unprecedented" threat posed by the coronavirus and the country's plan to tackle it, laying out a four-stage lockdown system that closed schools, businesses and travel.

That system worked well, allowing New Zealand to permit businesses and schools to reopen earlier this month.

Worldwide, the four countries with the highest numbers of confirmed cases are the U.S. — with more than 1.7 million cases — followed by Brazil, Russia and the United Kingdom.
Posted by New Deal Democrat | Mon Jun 1, 2020, 11:49 AM (1 replies)

Pence, in Craziest Lie Yet, Denies Trump Ever Downplayed the Coronavirus

President Trump has changed his posture on the coronavirus repeatedly. First he spent weeks dismissing the virus, then he briefly shifted into the persona of a “wartime president” who would defeat the virus, then reverted to his original stance after advisers persuaded him social-distancing measures would cripple the economy and his reelection. Now he is back, for the time being, to taking the virus seriously.

But since Trump never admits error, he has had to cover his reversals in a series of lies. In his press conference yesterday, Trump asserted that, when he had insisted the virus had been contained and would be almost harmless, he had merely been trying to give the country “hope.” Today, when CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked about those statements, Vice-President Mike Pence said, “I don’t believe the president has ever belittled the threat of the coronavirus.”

The term “Orwellian” has been cheapened over the years, but this lie absolutely fits the tradition of “we have always been at war with Eastasia.” Starting in January, Trump was insisting that he had the coronavirus fully contained. “We have it very well under control. We have very little problem in this country at this moment — five. And those people are all recuperating successfully” (January 30). He repeatedly insisted the number of people infected would go down. “I think the numbers are going to get progressively better as we go along” (February 19). “We had 12, at one point. And now they’ve gotten very much better. Many of them are fully recovered” (February 23).

Trump likewise repeatedly portrayed the virus as mild. “Now, and this is just my hunch, and — but based on a lot of conversations with a lot of people that do this. Because a lot of people will have this, and it’s very mild. They’ll get better very rapidly. They don’t even see a doctor. They don’t even call a doctor. You never hear about those people.” (March 4) Trump has likened the coronavirus to the flu, questioning why the former required people to social distance while the latter did not:
Posted by New Deal Democrat | Wed Apr 1, 2020, 06:21 PM (19 replies)

Bluff, bombast and blame is all that Donald Trump can offer in this crisis

The one welcome casualty of the coronavirus pandemic ought to be the culture wars. If it achieves nothing else, the health crisis has revealed the emptiness of leaders who manufacture nationalist fears to maintain their power. Boris Johnson now looks as out of place as a clown in a morgue. Donald Trump looks as out of luck as a cornered conman.

Nothing is inevitable, however. To see how a pandemic can be used to ensure that supplies of politically useful rage keep flowing, look at how US Republicans are constructing a cover story. They have plenty to cover up. The gaps in safety nets that the virus is revealing everywhere gape in the United States. That the world’s richest country somehow never got round to providing universal healthcare is bad enough, but the incompetence of Trump’s White House and the wider US right has been close to criminal.

“We have it under control. It’s going to be just fine,” Trump bragged on 22 January. He has never managed to rise from that low point. All Americans have had is bluff and bombast intended to make the virus seem a minor nuisance, and then, as reality dawned on the president’s narrow mind, to ensure blame went to anyone but himself. He was not alone. Fox News, which acts as a front for his administration and as the respectable face of crackpot politics, has been engaged in an equally clanking gearshift. At the beginning of March, liberal criticisms of Trump’s inability to see a national emergency when it was staring him in the face were “just another attempt to impeach the president”, according to one presenter. At worst, the virus “could be the flu”, added a second. Not even so bad a flu, opined a third. The U-turn in mid-March was so fast you could smell the burning rubber on the road. Overnight, coronavirus became a “health crisis” and an “incredibly dangerous and contagious virus”.

How do you recover from an error of such magnitude? The honourable course, of admitting a mistake and expressing a determination to do better in future, was unavailable – and not only because fighting in a culture war means never having to say you’re sorry. Honesty might be fatal to Trump’s hopes of re-election.

Instead, an escape attempt began with the right-wing deploying the language policing it so often deplores on the politically correct left. Trump is now insisting that coronavirus should not be called coronavirus but “Chinese virus”.
Posted by New Deal Democrat | Sat Mar 21, 2020, 10:13 PM (15 replies)

US intelligence warned Trump in January and February as he dismissed coronavirus threat

President Donald Trump ignored reports from US intelligence agencies starting in January that warned of the scale and intensity of the coronavirus outbreak in China, The Washington Post reported Friday.

Citing US officials familiar with the agencies' reports and warnings, the Post reported that intelligence agencies depicted the nature and global spread of the virus and China's apparent downplaying of its severity, as well as the potential need for government measures to contain it - while Trump opted to dismiss or simply not address their seriousness.

"Donald Trump may not have been expecting this, but a lot of other people in the government were -- they just couldn't get him to do anything about it," the official noted to the Post. "The system was blinking red."


Even when cases reached the US, Trump opposed characterizing the virus as a serious threat, the paper reported. Two senior administration officials told the paper that while returning from India, Trump complained that senior Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official Nancy Messonnier was frightening investors with her assessment in late February that changes to normal life could be "severe" in light of serious spread.
Posted by New Deal Democrat | Sat Mar 21, 2020, 12:29 PM (48 replies)

Fact check: Trump's wild letter to Pelosi is filled with false and misleading claims

Washington (CNN)It was on White House letterhead. It read like a string of President Donald Trump's tweets.

And it was just as dishonest.

On Tuesday afternoon, Trump released a six-page letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in which -- employing his distinctive vocabulary and punctuation -- he blasted Democrats' push to impeach him, defended his dealings with Ukraine and touted his accomplishments in office.

Like much of his previous rhetoric about Ukraine and impeachment, much of the letter was false or misleading.
Trump repeated multiple false claims that have been debunked on numerous occasions. He also delivered some new claims that were false, misleading or lacking in context.

We're not finished going through all of Trump's claims in his letter, but here are some early fact checks.

Hit the link for more. And while I'm at it, here's an analysis by PolitiFact:

Trump repeats many falsehoods in letter to Pelosi about impeachment
Posted by New Deal Democrat | Wed Dec 18, 2019, 01:34 AM (24 replies)

Robert Reich: Under Real Capitalism, Billionaires Shouldn't Exist

Billionaires are wailing that Elizabeth Warren's and Bernie Sanders's wealth tax proposals are attacks on free market capitalism.

Warren "vilifies successful people," says Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase.

Rubbish. There are basically only five ways to accumulate a billion dollars, and none of them has to do with being successful in free market capitalism.

Jamie Dimon is worth $1.6 billion. That's not because he succeeded in the free market. In 2008 the government bailed out JPMorgan and other giant Wall Street banks because it considered them "too big to fail."

That bailout is a hidden insurance policy, still in effect, with an estimated value to the big banks of $83 billion a year. If JPMorgan weren't so big and was therefore allowed to fail, Dimon would be worth far less than $1.6 billion.

Sorry I can't share more, on account of the DI copyright rule.
Posted by New Deal Democrat | Tue Nov 12, 2019, 06:29 PM (35 replies)

Trump's lies on Syria were jaw-dropping

President Donald Trump stood in front of the microphone in the White House Diplomatic Reception Room and strafed the world with a barrage of lies and nonsensical, self-serving claims. We've seen it before, but the spectacle Trump served on Wednesday when he bragged and boasted about his great achievement in Syria was even more grotesque than usual, because he sought to paint what has been a calamity for America's Kurdish friends - and for US standing in the world - as a great personal triumph.

The "Alice in Wonderland" factor may have been lost on Trump's most devout followers, probably the intended audience for this spectacle of deceit, but the fact is that much of what Trump said wasn't just incorrect, it was the exact opposite of the truth - contradicted even by the administration's own experts in remarks made recently and months earlier.

In announcing that Turkey has agreed to a "permanent" ceasefire and taking credit for the possible end to the carnage he helped spark, Trump claimed, "We have done (Turkey and the Kurds) a great service," by removing US forces. Trump repeatedly lied about the American mission, which he said has lasted 10 years and was supposed to last 30 days. All of that is false, except for the great service to Turkey, which managed to gain everything it wanted from the US without making any concessions.


In a moment of phony modesty, Trump said "It's too early for me to be congratulated," and proceeded to praise himself. It's not too early to note, as the Kurds and many others have, that Trump just authored a shameful, disastrous chapter in US foreign policy. No amount of lies and bluster can hide that fact.
Posted by New Deal Democrat | Thu Oct 24, 2019, 11:51 AM (5 replies)

How Donald Trump created one hell of a mess with Iran

The shooting down of a US military drone by Iran on Thursday emphasizes that the conflict between the United States and Iran is deepening.

It's a crisis that President Donald Trump predictably provoked by pulling out of the Iranian nuclear deal just over a year ago -- with no real Plan B beyond imposing ever-tougher sanctions on the Iranian regime.


As a result of the rising tensions in the Middle East since May, the Trump administration has dispatched an aircraft carrier group to the region and deployed a total of 2,500 more troops to the Middle East.

The US doesn't have much leverage over the Europeans when it comes to Iran, since they continue to support the Iran deal. And Trump himself is also quite unpopular in these countries, so if the conflict with Iran deepens, don't expect much help from them.
Posted by New Deal Democrat | Fri Jun 21, 2019, 06:09 AM (13 replies)

New York Times: Tax documents show Trump businesses lost more than $1 billion in a decade

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump's businesses reported losses of $1.17 billion from 1985 to 1994, The New York Times reported Tuesday, citing information from tax documents from those years.

It appears Trump lost more money than nearly any other individual US taxpayer year after year, the Times reports, according to the 10 years of tax information the newspaper acquired.

Trump ran for president branding himself as a self-made billionaire, touting his financial success, but he has been steadfast in his refusal to release his tax returns to the public, despite mounting pressure from Congress. On Monday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin formally denied a request from the House Ways and Means Committee for Trump's last six years of tax returns, a period not covered by the documents reported by The Times on Tuesday.

In 1990 and 1991, Trump's core business losses were more than $250 million each year -- more than double those of the closest taxpayers in those years, the Times reports.
Posted by New Deal Democrat | Wed May 8, 2019, 09:17 AM (26 replies)
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