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SunSeeker

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Home country: USA
Current location: Southern California
Member since: Sun Mar 20, 2011, 11:05 AM
Number of posts: 22,040

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Man Motivated by Pizzagate Conspiracy Theory Arrested in D.C. Gunfire

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A man fired a rifle on Sunday inside a Washington pizza restaurant that has been subjected to harassment based on false stories tying it to child abuse, the police said. No one was hurt, and the man was arrested.

The man, Edgar M. Welch, 28, of Salisbury, N.C., told the police that he had come to the restaurant, Comet Ping Pong, in northwest Washington, to “self-investigate” what is being called Pizzagate, an online conspiracy theory asserting, with no evidence, that the restaurant is somehow tied to a child abuse ring. He entered the restaurant shortly before 3 p.m. with a rifle and fired it at least once inside, the police said.
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The misinformation campaign about Comet began when the email account of John D. Podesta, an aide to Hillary Clinton, was hacked and his emails were published by WikiLeaks during the presidential campaign. Days before the election, users on the online message board 4chan noticed that one of Mr. Podesta’s leaked emails contained communications with James Alefantis, Comet’s owner, discussing a fund-raiser for Mrs. Clinton.
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Sabrina Ousmaal, owner of a French restaurant called Terasol, which is across the street from Comet, said that other businesses in the area had also been targeted by threats and that the response from the authorities so far had been insufficient.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/12/05/us/pizzagate-comet-ping-pong-edgar-maddison-welch.html

Trump's Carrier deal doesn't look so good if you read past the headlines

Kudos to Donald Trump on the PR win of his deal to keep somewhat less than half the jobs Carrier had planned to move to Mexico in the United States. The headlines are great for him, few people will ever know much more than the initial headlines, and … hey, around 1,000 jobs saved is around 1,000 jobs saved. Or maybe the number is only 800. It still sounds really good, and for the workers who will keep their jobs, it is really good. If, however, you are interested in more than PR wins and losses, there are some big questions about the deal.

First, let’s be clear that around 1,300 jobs are still being moved to Mexico. Second, the workers who are not losing their jobs and their union are still waiting to hear if they’re going to be pushed to accept pay cuts. Third, the jobs that are being kept in the U.S. are in part a result of major tax incentives—basically, Indiana is paying Carrier to employ people in Indiana rather than in Mexico, and Mike Pence is the governor of Indiana, so he could have done that part all along.
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So Carrier keeps fewer than half the jobs in the United States and gets massive tax incentives, the good will of the president-elect, and possibly a little help down the line with regulations the company finds inconvenient. There are also reports that Carrier’s parent company, a major federal contractor, was concerned about losing its federal contracts. Note, by the way, that when President Obama signed an executive order just saying that violations of existing labor laws would be taken into account when awarding federal contracts, business groups and Republicans were outraged.
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If these nice headlines for Trump were bought at the cost of more companies either getting big money from the government or cutting American jobs, how long will this continue to look like a win?

http://m.dailykos.com/stories/1605675

Trump's big infrastructure plan? It's a trap.

As the White House official responsible for overseeing implementation of President Obama’s massive infrastructure initiative, the 2009 Recovery Act, I’ve got a simple message for Democrats who are embracing President-elect Donald Trump’s infrastructure plan: Don’t do it. It’s a trap. Backing Trump’s plan is a mistake in policy and political judgment they will regret, as did their Democratic predecessors who voted for Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts in 1981 and George W. Bush’s cuts in 2001.

First, Trump’s plan is not really an infrastructure plan. It’s a tax-cut plan for utility-industry and construction-sector investors, and a massive corporate welfare plan for contractors. The Trump plan doesn’t directly fund new roads, bridges, water systems or airports, as did Hillary Clinton’s 2016 infrastructure proposal. Instead, Trump’s plan provides tax breaks to private-sector investors who back profitable construction projects. These projects (such as electrical grid modernization or energy pipeline expansion) might already be planned or even underway. There’s no requirement that the tax breaks be used for incremental or otherwise expanded construction efforts; they could all go just to fatten the pockets of investors in previously planned projects.

Moreover, as others have noted, desperately needed infrastructure projects that are not attractive to private investors — municipal water-system overhauls, repairs of existing roads, replacement of bridges that do not charge tolls — get no help from Trump’s plan. And contractors? Well, they get a “10 percent pretax profit margin,” according to the plan. Combined with Trump’s sweeping business tax break, this would represent a stunning $85 billion after-tax profit for contractors — underwritten by the taxpayers.

Second, as a result of the above, Trump’s plan isn’t really a jobs plan, either. Because the plan subsidizes investors, not projects; because it funds tax breaks, not bridges; because there’s no requirement that the projects be otherwise unfunded, there is simply no guarantee that the plan will produce any net new hiring. Investors may simply shift capital from unsubsidized projects to subsidized ones and pocket the tax breaks on projects they would have funded anyway. Contractors have no obligation to hire new workers, or expand workers’ hours, to collect their $85 billion. To their credit, the plan’s authors don’t call it a jobs plan; ironically, it is Democrats looking to align with Trump who have given it that name. They should not fool themselves.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trumps-big-infrastructure-plan-its-a-trap/2016/11/18/5b1d109c-adae-11e6-8b45-f8e493f06fcd_story.html?utm_campaign=pubexchange&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=huffingtonpost.com&utm_term=.4e904003857f

The Democrats Are Screwing Up the Resistance to Donald Trump

The Democrats Are Screwing Up the Resistance to Donald Trump -

How Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren misread the election.

By Jamelle Bouie

...

At first glance, this seems well and good: a firm commitment to winning victories where they are available, tied to an absolute line against policies targeting immigrants, Muslims, or any other group. But there’s a problem here, and it’s found in the cast given to Trump’s campaign and Trump’s voters. Both Warren and Sanders describe Trump’s effort as a populist campaign with an almost incidental use of racial prejudice. In this version, most Trump voters simply wanted a stronger, fairer economy. The attacks on immigrants, Muslims, and black Americans were regrettable, but not a part of the appeal.

Warren and Sanders are wrong, and in a way that signals a significant misreading of the landscape on the part of the most influential Democrats. The simple truth is that Trump’s use of explicit racism—his deliberate attempt to incite Americans against different groups of nonwhites—was integral to his campaign.
It was part and parcel of his “populism” and told a larger story: that either at home or abroad, foreigners and their “globalist” allies were cheating the American worker, defined as a white working-class man with a factory job. To claw back the dominion he once enjoyed—to “make America great again”—Trump promised protectionism and “law and order.” He promised to deport immigrants, register Muslims, and build new infrastructure. This wasn’t “populism”; it was white populism. Writes historian Nell Irvin Painter for the New York Times: “This time the white men in charge will not simply happen to be white; they will be governing as white, as taking America back, back to before multiculturalism.”

It seems reasonable for Warren and Sanders to make a distinction between Trump as blue-collar populist and Trump as racist demagogue. But that distinction doesn’t exist. Supporting a Trump-branded infrastructure initiative as a discrete piece of policy where two sides can find common ground only bolsters a white-nationalist politics, even if you oppose the rest of Trump’s agenda. It legitimizes and gives fuel to white tribalism as a political strategy. It shows that there are tangible gains for embracing Trump-style demagoguery. Likewise, it seems reasonable to want to recast support for Trump as an expression of populism. But Trump’s is a racial populism—backed almost entirely by white Americans, across class lines—that revolves around demands to reinforce existing racial and status hierarchies. That’s what it means to “make America great again.” It has nothing to offer to working-class blacks who need safety from unfair police violence just as much as they need higher wages, or working-class Latinos who need to protect their families from draconian immigration laws as much as they need a chance to unionize.

To gesture at individual voters and say they aren’t racists—the usual rejoinder to this argument—is to miss the point. White voters backed Trump as a bloc. They ignored his bigotry and elevated his call for a new nationalism, centered on white Americans. Whatever their actual intentions—whether they were partisan Republicans, hardcore Trumpists, or simply disgusted with Hillary Clinton—they voted for white nationalism, full stop.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2016/11/the_democrats_are_already_screwing_up_the_trump_resistance.html

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