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TomCADem

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Member since: Fri May 8, 2009, 12:59 AM
Number of posts: 8,005

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Ryan, House Republicans to unveil U.S. tax reform plan

Source: MSN/Reuters

U.S. House of Representatives Republicans want to lower the top individual income tax rate to 33 percent and slash the corporate tax rate, according to a blueprint released on Friday as an agenda for this year's re-election campaign.

The tax reform plan, to be officially unveiled on Friday morning at the U.S. Capitol, is the sixth and final plank of a conservative policy agenda being rolled out by House Speaker Paul Ryan in an effort to unify Republicans after a divisive primary campaign.

Ryan, the country's highest-ranking elected Republican, has described the agenda as a way to offer voters a coherent policy message across key legislative areas for 2017. He has already released segments on poverty, national security, regulation, constitutional authority and healthcare.

Aides describe these issue areas as common ground between Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Ryan, who withheld his endorsement of the billionaire businessman until recently.

Read more: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/ryan-house-republicans-to-unveil-us-tax-reform-plan/ar-AAhz54v



Vote Republican in November so that Donald Trump and Paul Ryan can bring the right wing utopia that is Kansas to the rest of the country.

MJ - Today Brings Yet More Obamacare Non-Failure

While the corporate media continues to run stories noting that healthcare costs have continued to grow notwithstanding the ACA, what they frequently ignore is that the rate of growth has not only slowed, but has grown at a slower rate than forecast.

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/06/today-brings-yet-more-obamacare-non-failure

I've written frequently about the fact that the rapid growth in US health care costs has slowed down in recent years. Here's the latest version of the slowdown, courtesy of the Urban Institute:



The raw data for this chart comes the national health expenditures forecast issued annually by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. As you can see, their latest forecast for the year 2019 is about $500 billion less than it was in 2010. The cumulative forecast for 2014-19 is now $2.6 trillion less than it was in 2010.

It's hard to say how much, if any, of this decrease is due to Obamacare. My own guess is that the cost-saving parts of Obamacare haven't had time to really kick in yet, which means the recent slowdown in health care costs is most likely just an extension of the slowdown that's been percolating behind our backs for more than three decades.

But that doesn't mean there's nothing to say about Obamacare here. CMS did forecasts both before and after Obamacare passed, and they predicted that Obamacare would increase spending. Lots of conservatives predicted the same thing. But it didn't happen. Here's the chart for private health care spending:

Trump's plans would cause 'lengthy recession,' cost millions of jobs: analysis

It is funny given the lack of specificity of Trump's proposals that Moody had to test Trump’s plans under three scenarios: one in which Trump is taken at face value and his plans are enacted exactly as he has described, a second where his policies are adopted but at a more modest level, and a third where a skeptical Congress scale back Trump’s plans due to “political realities.”

http://thehill.com/policy/finance/284095-study-economy-would-be-significantly-weaker-under-trump

Donald Trump’s economic proposals would isolate the United States, hurt its economic growth, increase the federal deficit and cost millions of American jobs, according to new analysis.

The grim findings from Moody’s Analytics state that the nation’s wealthiest would benefit the most from the presumptive GOP nominee's proposals, while middle- and lower-class Americans would be hurt the most.

“The economy will be significantly weaker if Mr. Trump’s economic proposals are adopted. Under the scenario in which all his stated policies become law in the manner proposed, the economy suffers a lengthy recession and is smaller at the end of his four-year term than when he took office,” the report said.

“By the end of his presidency, there are close to 3.5 million fewer jobs and the unemployment rate rises to as high as 7%, compared with below 5% today. During Mr. Trump’s presidency, the average American household’s after-inflation income will stagnate, and stock prices and real house values will decline.”

Donald Trump Reaches Out to Evangelicals, Promising Antiabortion Judicial Nominees

Trump is courting the evangelical vote noting that his list of possible Supreme Court judges are pro-life.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/donald-trump-reaches-out-to-evangelicals-promising-antiabortion-judicial-nominees-1465588284

Seeking to build new bridges to religious conservatives, Donald Trump Friday pledged to nominate antiabortion justices to the Supreme Court and to protect Christians’ religious freedom in a carefully scripted speech to leading evangelical activists.

“We will restore faith to its proper mantle in society,” Mr. Trump told the annual conference of the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Washington, D.C. “We will respect and defend Christian Americans.”

Although the bombastic New Yorker, a thrice-married billionaire who used to support abortion rights, isn't a natural fit for many social conservatives, Mr. Trump drew leverage from the fact that many in the audience cared more than anything about who will pick the next justices on the Supreme Court.

* * *

He pointed to what was perhaps his most important step of his campaign toward easing concerns on the religious right: The list he released last month of the judges with strong conservative credentials whom he would consider for the vacancy on the Supreme Court. “By the way, these judges are all pro-life,” he said. Mrs. Clinton, by contrast “will appoint radical judges,” he said.

Disney/Marvel - Captain America In the Era of Donald Trump - A Hydra (Nazi) Agent All Along

When Captain America was originally conceived, he punched Hitler. In Civil War, he was a voice for civil disobedience in opposing the oppression of mutants. However, as the Republican party under Donald Trump rises to prominence with a message of intolerance and hate, Disney and Marvel re-imagine Captain America to represent America today, as an agent of the Nazi terrorist group Hydra. It is a pretty honest and bold move for Disney and Marvel to embrace the America of today where millions of Americans so willing embrace Donald Trump, a man unapologetically makes racist, sexist and religious based attacks on his adversaries. But then again, since Donald Trump's rise has been compared with rise of nationalists and facists, it would be fitting for Marvel/Disney's character to continue to be an ardent opponent of facism.

So, America, we now have a hero who is the proper face of Donald Trump's vision of America.

http://www.newstalk.com/When-Marvel-turned-Captain-America-into-a-Nazi-fans-donated-to-the-Holocaust-Memorial-Museum



Hell hath no fury like a fanboy scorned, as the recent revelations in the new Marvel comic of Captain America have shown. Fans of the movie franchise will know that the WWII super soldier Steve Rogers, frozen solid after sacrificing himself, awakens in the modern world to find his old nemesis HYDRA, an evil Nazi group with ties to the occult and power grabbing, still active and everywhere. But now a twist in Captain America: Steve Rogers No. 1 has revealed one of the biggest twists in comics history – Captain America has been a HYDRA sleeper agent all along.

Plot twists like this are the bread and butter of the comic book industry, but fans have not been taking Captain America’s secret very well. Mostly down to the fact that HYDRA has undeniable ties to fascism and Nazi Germany. Even Chris Evans, the US actor who plays the Captain in Marvel Studios' billion dollar cinematic universe franchise, weighed in on the twist on Twitter:

* * *

In all the online sound and fury over the plot turn, a surprising response emerged among disappointed fans to challenge the comic: donate the price of the issue to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Rockscanfly, the name of the Tumblr user who came up with the idea, saw it shared far and wide across the Internet, finding favour among fans of the comic book character created by two Jewish cartoonists in the middle of WWII – whose very first cover saw him knocking auld Adolf’s blocks off with a single punch.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Primaries and Caucuses

John Oliver brings his usual wit to the discussion of primaries can caucuses with sufficient irreverence to amuse and annoy Hillary and Bernie supporters alike.

Bernie/Trump/Hillary On Trade Policy - When You Say You Are Against Free Trade Agreements

When I hear folks railing against free trade agreements and that we should repeal them, what specifically are we proposing to have happen?

1. An embargo against trade?
2. Higher tariffs on imported goods?
3. A subsidy on some or all of American goods?

It is one thing to say you want to cancel trade agreements, but what do folks think will happen if those agreements are cancelled? Also, if we are thinking higher tariffs are the way to go, why would there be a different result then what happened following the imposition of the Smoot–Hawley Tariff, which was imposed by Republicans and, in fact, it was due to Herbert Hoover's support of such protectionist measures that he won the Presidency.

Kind of curious, since we have vox on the left and CNBC on the right critiquing the respective trade views of Bernie and Trump.

http://www.vox.com/2016/3/1/11139718/bernie-sanders-trade-global-poverty

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/03/10/trump-trade-plans-could-cause-global-recession-experts.html

Are these critiques fair or do you think the analysis misrepresents the views of the respective candidates?

Salon: Bernie must drop notion that everyone who disagrees with him is corrupt or a dupe

Right is left and left is right again.

The Wall Street Journal, Fox News and even Donald Trump have been quick to jump to the defense of Bernie, offer him a forum to air his grievances against the Democratic Party, or argue that Bernie, not Hillary, would be the stronger candidate in the general election. Conversely, some traditionally liberal publications have called on Bernie to discontinue arguments that the nomination process is rigged or corrupt, which could lead voters in the end to simply abandon the party or the process. For example, here is one Bernie supporter on Vox explaining why in response to Bernie's rhetoric, he will be leaving the Democratic party forever:

http://www.vox.com/2016/5/26/11778158/shaun-king-democratic-party

The result of Bernie's revolution could very well be that it backfire as it causes folks like Shaun King to become disenchanted with the political process and decline to vote, or to simply cast Nader-like protest votes, which allow the radical right to consolidate power. Indeed, rather than focusing on the issues, Bernie's increasing willingness to make personal attacks against Hillary, and adopt right wing arguments on the ground "Donald Trump and other Republicans will seize on it,” suggests that in the end, Bernie's revolution is remarkable in how conventional it has ultimately become.

Of course, the downside of arguments that the political process is corrupt or that votes do not count is that the logical inference of such arguments is that one should not vote. Indeed, it creates this strange dynamic that losses are not legitimate and the only legitimate voters are Bernie votes.

http://www.salon.com/2016/05/23/bernie_insults_voters_he_must_drop_notion_that_everyone_who_disagrees_with_him_is_corrupt_or_a_dupe/

Unfortunately, Sanders is also injecting one of the most wrong-headed and frankly embarrassing aspects of lefty thought into our discourse: The tendency to dismiss people who disagree with you as dupes who have been misled by a shadowy cabal of evil masterminds who brainwash the masses in order to perpetuate economic injustice.

This is the premise of Sanders’ “political revolution” argument: That the only reason voters hadn’t backed a socialist in the past is they never really had a chance to. But once they heard the good news about democratic socialism, they will throw off their shackles, embrace the truth, and usher in our socialist paradise.

That sort of rhetoric is harmless enough when it’s a pitch to win over voters. But now Sanders is losing the nomination. Rather than accepting the possibility that the voters heard his pitch and disagreed with him, however, Sanders has started to dismiss his loss as inauthentic, the product of shadowy forces misleading the easily duped voters rather an an authentic rejection, by the voters, of his ideas.

“I don’t want to see the American people voting for the lesser of two evils,” Sanders told George Stephanopoulos of ABC News on Sunday. “I want the American people to be voting for a vision of economic justice, of social justice, of environmental justice, of racial justice.”

Politico - "Why Bernie’s Bros Might Go for Trump"- Anti-Establishment, Not Ideology

Politico makes the same point you raise. Many of Bernie's backers are not really supporting him based on his proposals or his ideology, but because they are anti-establishment. If Bernie falls out of the race, then they have no where to go but to Trump. Bernie's support is based on his personality and his combativeness, rather than his actual proposals as noted in this article.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/05/why-bernies-bros-might-go-for-trump-213915

For all their divergent beliefs, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have each tapped into raw anger and resentment that is in some ways more emotive than ideological. The dangers for Hillary Clinton are clear. By most reasonable standards, she is as unimpeachably liberal as Humphrey was in 1968, yet she is equally distrusted by the anti-establishment left. She will need to guard against defections to an anti-establishment conservative who has proved every bit as deft as Wallace

And, like Carter in 1980, Clinton will enter the fall campaign with sky-high disapproval ratings, in no small part because her primary opponent spent a year casting her as an enemy of the common man. True, Trump is also wildly unpopular. But people tend to forget that Reagan was hardly more trusted when he unseated Carter than Trump is today—and that year, voters chose the candidate who represented a break with the status quo.

Citing survey data from earlier this year, political scientists Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels recently observed that “supporters of Mr. Sanders were more pessimistic than Mrs. Clinton’s supporters … and more likely to say that economic inequality had increased. However, they were less likely than Mrs. Clinton’s supporters to favor concrete policies that Mr. Sanders has offered as remedies for these ills, including a higher minimum wage, increasing government spending on health care and an expansion of government services financed by higher taxes.” Achen and Bartels attribute Sanders’ appeal to identity politics, particularly given his disproportionate traction with “disaffected white men.” In this respect, the Sanders electorate is not dissimilar from a large portion of McCarthy’s and Kennedy’s supporters.

* * *
The historical lesson for Hillary Clinton is clear: Watch the left flank, because it could very well swing to the right.

Inside the Men's Rights Movement—and the Army of Misogynists and Trolls It Spawned (Trump)

New York Magazine recently published a quiz asking, "Who Said It, Donald Trump or a Men’s Rights Activist?"

http://nymag.com/thecut/2016/05/who-said-it-donald-trump-or-an-mra.html

This quiz brings up the gender resentment that Donald Trump is catering to. When Trump attacks successful women whether they be Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Megyn Kelly or Susana Martinez, he is definitely not picking them based on their ideology. Rather, it is the fact that his supporters feel resentful of the success of high profile women. This is why Trump can brazenly act like a misogynist. Indeed, Trump's candidacy legitimizes the concerns of many men that women have it easy.

Even Trump's pandering to gain Bernie supporters is aimed at portraying the Democratic party as hostile to men by describing a man, Bernie Sanders, being oppressed by two women.

https://www.donaldjtrump.com/press-releases/donald-j.-trump-statement-on-debating-bernie-sanders

Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. Likewise, the networks want to make a killing on these events and are not proving to be too generous to charitable causes, in this case, women’s health issues. Therefore, as much as I want to debate Bernie Sanders - and it would be an easy payday - I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.


In the eyes of Trump and his supporters, the system is rigged against men. Mother Jones published an article discussing the men's right movement:

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/01/warren-farrell-mens-rights-movement-feminism-misogyny-trolls

In 1993, Farrell published his full-throated manifesto, The Myth of Male Power: Why Men Are the Disposable Sex. The book tackled a number of pressing issues affecting men. It also took some bizarre turns: At one point Farrell pondered whether the American male was the new "nigger." ("When slaves gave up their seats for whites, we called it subservience; when men give up their seats for women, we call it politeness.") He took a sledgehammer to bedrock feminist ideals, claiming that women have themselves to blame for unequal pay, that domestic violence is a two-way street, and that government programs to benefit women only exacerbate inequality.

Farrell also argued that female sexual power was eclipsing any societal advantages that men might have. "The powerful woman doesn't feel the effect of her secretary's miniskirt power, cleavage power and flirtation power," he wrote. "Men do." And thanks to feminism, he argued, when women felt ill-treated they could now more easily pursue sexual-harassment or date rape charges—a notion that carries strong currency among today's men's rights activists. "No one has taught men to sue women for sexual trauma for saying 'yes,' then 'no,' then 'yes,'" Farrell opined. "Men were left with less than one option. They were still expected to initiate, but now, if they did it badly, they could go to jail."

The Myth of Male Power struck a chord among a new generation of would-be activists for whom "male disposability" became a rallying cry. "It's their bible," says Michael Kimmel, a sociologist who studies gender issues at New York's Stony Brook University. "It's really the foundational text."

* * *
Elam, who had been working as a drug and alcohol counselor, became convinced that his field was rife with anti-male bias. "We began to identify and treat masculinity as the disease and the cure for it was misandry—the hatred of men and boys," he would later write. "Men's groups devolved into sessions of shame, clinically applied and charged for by the hour." Elam began raising unsettling questions, such as why women checking into the clinic were routinely asked whether they'd been battered while men were asked whether they'd hit their wives. His colleagues' reaction was "incredibly hostile," he told me, which only stoked his rage. Eventually, he waded into the manosphere. While he was put off by the bigotry and conspiracy mongering, he believed the internet could help rally scattered men's rights activists into a formidable movement. In 2009, Elam, who was now working as a truck driver, launched A Voice for Men from a laptop in the cab of his 18-wheeler. "I aimed to attract the kind of people who could make a movement," he said, "women, people of color, gay men—anybody regardless of demographic, as long as they were aware of and concerned by issues of men."
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