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New Deal Democrat

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: West Virginia
Home country: USA
Member since: Wed May 14, 2014, 09:30 AM
Number of posts: 9,744

Journal Archives

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.

https://www.newsweek.com/capitalism-billionaires-shouldnt-exist-robert-reich-1471002

Sorry I can't share more, on account of the DI copyright rule.
Posted by New Deal Democrat | Tue Nov 12, 2019, 05:29 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.

(snip)

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.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/23/opinions/trumps-lies-on-syria-were-jaw-dropping-ghitis/index.html
Posted by New Deal Democrat | Thu Oct 24, 2019, 10:51 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.

(snip)

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.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/20/opinions/us-iran-mess-trump-endgame-bergen/index.html
Posted by New Deal Democrat | Fri Jun 21, 2019, 05:09 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.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/07/politics/trump-tax-returns-losses/index.html
Posted by New Deal Democrat | Wed May 8, 2019, 08:17 AM (26 replies)

In Muellers Own Words: Read the Special Counsels Summary of the Mueller Report

Robert Mueller's full 448-page legal document might be daunting to read, so here is an 18-page summary he expressly wanted the public to see.

U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s 448-page report into Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election has been the cause of political confusion ever since it was submitted to Attorney General William Barr on 22 March 2019. While many Americans may have read a few news reports about the document, listened to some talking heads, or encountered various tweets claiming everything from the Report’s total exoneration of the president to its grounds for impeachment, we’re skeptical many citizens have read the entire document.

While we encourage everyone to read the full report (you can access the report on the U.S. Justice Department’s website, from various news outlets, or by purchasing a print or audio copies), we think a summarized version is more realistic. Enter the special counsel himself.

Mueller prepared an introduction and an executive summary for both volumes of his report. Mueller’s introduction and executive summary to Volume I, which addressed Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, can be found here. You can read Mueller’s introduction and executive summary to Volume II, which dealt with issues of presidential obstruction of justice, here.

https://www.snopes.com/news/2019/05/02/read-mueller-report-summaries/

Hotlinks to the actual documents provided in the Snopes article that I have linked above.
Posted by New Deal Democrat | Sun May 5, 2019, 03:16 PM (55 replies)

The Secret to Winning in 2020

There is only one quality - beyond, of course, charisma - that Democrats should demand in their nominee. The Democrats need a candidate who can and will run as an economic populist.

(snip)

Trump’s populism is a mirage, but many voters believed it in 2016. He was the rare Republican who criticized free trade and seemed to care more about protecting Medicare than reducing the budget deficit. Trump managed to out-populist Hillary Clinton, and it’s a part of why he won.

Four years earlier, Barack Obama was the populist candidate. He ran for re-election casting himself as the defender of working people and Mitt Romney as an out-of-touch rich guy. The 2012 Obama was “more populist than any major party presidential nominee in decades,” as a column in The Guardian put it. The 2008 Obama, of course, ran against the financial crisis occurring on George W. Bush’s watch.

(snip)

We’re living in a populist era. The question is who figures out how to thrive in it. In 2016, it was Trump. It doesn’t need to be in 2020.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/16/opinion/democrats-2020-election-economic-populism.html

I want a president who will actually be an economic populist, not one who will just run as one.
Posted by New Deal Democrat | Wed Feb 27, 2019, 08:55 AM (20 replies)

Trumps Lawyers, in Confidential Memo, Argue to Head Off a Historic Subpoena

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s lawyers have for months quietly waged a campaign to keep the special counsel from trying to force him to answer questions in the investigation into whether he obstructed justice, asserting that he cannot be compelled to testify and arguing in a confidential letter that he could not possibly have committed obstruction because he has unfettered authority over all federal investigations.

In a brash assertion of presidential power, the 20-page letter — sent to the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and obtained by The New York Times — contends that the president cannot illegally obstruct any aspect of the investigation into Russia’s election meddling because the Constitution empowers him to, “if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon.”

Mr. Trump’s lawyers fear that if he answers questions, either voluntarily or in front of a grand jury, he risks exposing himself to accusations of lying to investigators, a potential crime or impeachable offense.

Mr. Trump’s broad interpretation of executive authority is novel and is likely to be tested if a court battle ensues over whether he could be ordered to answer questions. It is unclear how that fight, should the case reach that point, would play out. A spokesman for Mr. Mueller declined to comment.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/02/us/politics/trump-lawyers-memo-mueller-subpoena.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

All Trump has to do is tell the truth while under oath. His lawyers don't seem to trust him to perform this simple act of honesty.
Posted by New Deal Democrat | Sat Jun 2, 2018, 08:48 PM (56 replies)

Dont Believe the Liberal F.B.I.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the American right set about undermining trust in the mainstream media, which it saw as dangerously infected with liberal assumptions. Later, in debates over evolution and the environment, some on the right attacked the validity of modern science. By the turn of the millennium, it was an article of faith among conservative ideologues that whole realms of human expertise were in fact intricate structures of propaganda that trapped the unwary in a matrix of deceit.

In an invaluable 2017 Vox essay titled “Donald Trump and the Rise of Tribal Epistemology,” David Roberts quoted a 2009 Rush Limbaugh rant: “Science has been corrupted. We know the media has been corrupted for a long time. Academia has been corrupted. None of what they do is real. It’s all lies!” With Trump, this ethos reached the White House. And now, to protect Trump, the right has expanded its war on empiricism to that most conservative of institutions, the F.B.I.

That’s the best way to understand the farce surrounding the infamous classified memo written by aides to Representative Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which Trump reportedly believes will help discredit the Russia investigation. The events involved in the creation of this memo, and the multifront political battle over efforts to make it public, are so absurd and convoluted that they’re difficult to summarize, and in some ways that’s the point.

(snip)

“I think the most disappointing realization for me of the past year was not how bad of a president Trump turned out to be - that was foreseeable - but how unwilling members of Congress would be to stand up and defend our system of government,” (Democratic Representative Adam) Schiff told me. The most dangerous thing about the release of the Nunes memo is not the memo itself, but Republicans’ shamelessness in using national security processes to deceive the people they’re supposed to serve.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/01/opinion/dont-believe-the-liberal-fbi.html
Posted by New Deal Democrat | Fri Feb 2, 2018, 09:08 AM (16 replies)

What the 'Dreamer' fight is really about

The loud fight over what will happen to America’s “Dreamers” isn’t what it seems. For both sides, it’s a fig leaf used to mask their true intentions.

(snip)

Democrats once used to talk about ending outright illegal immigration. They worried that it put downward pressure on wages. They thought it eroded union efforts and sapped political support among Democrats’ blue-collar base, while overtaxing finite social services to the detriment of the American underclass.

In the current age of identity politics, a new generation of progressive Democrats has recalibrated mass illegal immigration as a godsend. Over the last 20 years, it has vastly expanded the Latino vote as well as empowered ethnic tribunes. Immigration has galvanized minority registration in general and encouraged bloc voting. One tangible result is that the American Southwest is slowly turning blue, or at least purple.

Many pre-Trump Republicans favored illegal immigration too, although for different reasons: They worried more about obtaining workers rather than future constituents and voters. The Chamber of Commerce/Wall Street wing of the GOP thus ignored the issue for the last half-century.

(snip)

Illegal immigration flourished because Democrats wanted future constituents, and Republicans sought inexpensive labor. But an irate public has had it with open borders - and both parties are scrambling to hide their past and present agendas for now by focusing on the idealized Dreamers.

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-hanson-dreamer-agenda-20180114-story.html
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Democrats have lost their way. And the Wall Street wing of the GOP will work with them to pass amnesty for the Dreamers. Congress will probably throw Trump a bone by funding his wall, but I don't think there will be any meaningful change in policy or enforcement.
Posted by New Deal Democrat | Mon Jan 15, 2018, 10:25 AM (8 replies)

Trump challenges Tillerson to an IQ test. The White House claims it was a joke.

President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson tried Tuesday to smooth over tensions in their relationship during a White House lunch after the president proposed an “IQ tests” faceoff with his top diplomat, who earlier had privately called Trump a “moron” and disparaged his grasp of foreign policy.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-challenges-tillerson-to-an-iq-test-the-white-house-claims-it-was-a-joke/2017/10/10/c58b505a-add1-11e7-9e58-e6288544af98_story.html?utm_term=.78baee341c72
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Hey, I've seen that excuse before. Like when he asked Russia to hack Hillary's emails. Just joking, hee hee.

Then there was the time he thanked Putin for expelling US diplomats from Russia. What a kidder!

Remember when he said that Obama was literally the founder of ISIS. I keed, I keed!

My personal favorite was when when he told police officers to be "rough" with suspects. What, you couldn't tell he was joking again?
Posted by New Deal Democrat | Wed Oct 11, 2017, 12:26 AM (34 replies)
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