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Member since: Thu May 7, 2009, 11:59 PM
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‘Not about bathrooms’: Critics decry North Carolina law’s lesser-known elements

Source: Washington Post

DURHAM, N.C. — In this state where the modern bathroom wars began, some church and civil rights leaders have begun to spread the word that there’s plenty else to worry about in the controversial new law known formally as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act.

The law not only reverses a Charlotte ordinance that had extended some rights to gay and transgender people. It also prevents city and county governments from setting a minimum-wage standard for private employers and limits how people can sue for discrimination in state court. And it contains a provision allowing for remaining parts of the law to stand if others are struck down in court.

Those provisions, opponents say, are pernicious attempts to roll back rights, and they have been tucked into a bill that has a very different public face.

“This is really a devious bill that harms workers under the guise of regulating bathrooms,” said Harold Lloyd, a professor at Wake Forest University School of Law.

Read more: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/%e2%80%98not-about-bathrooms%e2%80%99-critics-decry-north-carolina-law%e2%80%99s-lesser-known-elements/ar-BBt3iGr?li=BBnbfcL&ocid=iehp

Fast Company - "Inside Bernie Sanders's Social Media Machine" - Ready To Beat Trump!

This is why Bernie has what it takes to beat Donald Trump. He has managed to beat Hillary in fundraising, and is effectively using these resources in a sophisticated and comprehensive social media campaign to spread his message.


Ask most any political pundit a year ago who the 2016 Democratic nominee for president would be and virtually all of them would have told you that Hillary Clinton had the lock. But then something unexpected started happening: Bernie Sanders, the relatively unknown Independent senator from Vermont who was 60 to 70 points behind Clinton started attracting massive crowds to his burgeoning campaign.

By some key measures, Sanders was even drawing larger crowds than Obama did in 2008. The sizes of the crowds—tens of thousands of people at a time—had everyone asking, including the Washington Post, "How does he do it?"

While theories varied—"It’s his charisma!" "It’s his populist appeal!"—depending who you asked, many professional campaign watchers on both sides of the aisle, including the Washington Post, who posited the question, gave much of the credit to Sanders’s social media team.

"Sanders’ social media campaign gets a solid A-," says Nikki Usher Layser, assistant professor at the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University, whose latest book is Making News at The New York Times. "#FeeltheBern has got to be one of the most creative hashtags I’ve ever seen for a campaign. That’s got to be one of the best turns-of-phrases for strategic communication—in just one hashtag, you can rally the troops, celebrate an accomplishment—it’s everything."

WaPo Factcheck - Recidivism Watch: Trump’s false claim that he opposed the Iraq war

This is a false claim that is even brought up on DU occasionally. Trump continues to insist that he was a vocal opponent of the Iraq War "from the beginning." However, the facts show that he only began to criticize the war when things started to go South. Now, if Trump admitted that he was mistaken, and the decision to invade Iraq turned out to be a mistake, then that would still be a positive statement from a Republican. Instead, Trump continues to double down and insist that he has always been a vocal opponent of the war.


For the umpteenth time, Donald Trump falsely claimed he was against the 2003 Iraq war “from the beginning.” He contrasted his stance with Hillary Clinton, who he said showed “bad judgment” for voting to authorize an attack by then-President George W. Bush. (Clinton has since said the vote was a mistake.)

And for the umpeteenth time, a TV host failed to challenge Trump’s false claim — even though just last week, Fox News’s Bret Baier got Trump to admit that he has expressed support for the invasion at the time.

To sum up, there is absolutely no evidence that Trump opposed the war in Iraq. In fact, he certainly indicated he was in favor of it. Just weeks after the invasion, he praised it as a “tremendous success,” according to our timeline of Trump statements on Iraq.

The next time he makes this claim, the TV interviewer simply needs to say: “With respect, sir, that’s been proven to be false.”


“I criticized his decision to go into Iraq,” added Trump. “Now on that, I just want to clear that up,” asked host Bret Baier. “You’ve come out with articles, but there’s audio of you before there were…”

“No, there isn’t, no, there isn’t,” Trump replied.

“There’s a BuzzFeed piece,” Baier interjects, citing an article on BuzzFeed chronicling statements Trump made in support of Iraq regime change in the late ’90s and 2000, and telling Howard Stern he tepidly supported invading the country in 2002.
“Yes,” Trump said. “I’m talking to Howard Stern, weeks before, the first time anybody had ever asked. And don’t forget, I was a civilian. The first time anyone ever asked me about the war, about should we go in, because it was a question, are we going in? And I said very weakly, well, blah, blah, blah, yes, I guess.”

Baier then cited Trump on the first day of the war in 2003 saying it looked like “a tremendous success from a military standpoint,” and predicting the war would continue to be great for Wall Street.

Nothing to learn from Trump's taxes? Experts beg to differ

Will the media actually challenge Trump's insistence that his tax returns are irrelevant or will it breathlessly follow his latest insults?


Donald Trump told The Associated Press this week "there's nothing to learn" from all those income tax returns he won't release until an ongoing audit wraps up.


Tax experts say the feet-high stack of returns that he's posed with for photos could provide significant insights about the presumptive GOP nominee — new details on his income and wealth, how much he gives to charity, the health of his businesses and, overall, how Trump plays the tax game.

* * *


Trump, with trademark modesty, told the AP that "nobody knows more about taxes than I do — maybe in the history of the world." And he's been clear that he tries to pay "as little as possible." Tax experts say he might even have owed no income taxes in one or more recent years by using real estate depreciation provisions and carrying forward business operating losses from previous years. Such losses can be carried forward up to 20 years on personal taxes. Author David Cay Johnston, in his book "Temples of Chance," found that Trump reported negative income early on in his business career. According to documents unearthed by Johnston, Trump in 1977 made $118,530 and paid $42,386 in taxes; in 1978 he reported negative income of $406,379 and paid nothing, and in 1979 reported negative income of $3.4 million and again paid no taxes. In response to a question about whether Trump had paid no taxes in recent years and how long the negative tax liability of the late '70s continued, Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks emailed: "You must be kidding, that is more than 35 years ago when we had an entirely different tax system."

Vox - Hillary Clinton wants to let people "buy in" to Medicare

Both Bill Clinton (1998) and Bernie Sanders (2009) supported Medicare Buy-In. Indeed, in 2009, Bernie Sanders and Democrats were two votes short, so it is doable:



So, this is not so much a new idea, but an embrace of an idea that has had broad acceptance in the Democratic party, including both Bill Clinton and Bernie Sanders:


Campaigning in Virginia this week, Hillary Clinton revived an idea that was once a staple of liberal thinking about how to improve the Affordable Care Act — letting older Americans "buy in" to Medicare rather than to a private insurance company.

* * *

In the context of an existing Affordable Care Act, both the public option and the Medicare buy-in operate in essentially the same way.

People who don't get health insurance through their job and earn too much to qualify for Medicaid could buy insurance from the government rather than from a private company. In the public option scenario, the government insurer would have a new name and would be open to people of all ages. In the Medicare buy-in scenario the government insurer would be called "Medicare" and access to it would be limited by age. Clinton spoke specifically of "people 55 or 50 and up," which is broader than the 55 and up that was considered by the Senate back in 2009.

Either way, however, the appeal would be the same.

Atlantic - Donald Trump's Economic Plans Would Destroy the U.S. Economy

Pretty nice summary of the illogic of Trump's proposals. Too bad the media rarely covers policy, choosing instead to focus on insults and liners.


Trump has promised to make America great again. But a closer look his policy proposals, such as they are, suggests that within his first few years as president, he would more likely American recessionary again.

The problem begins with his outspoken approach to Mexican immigration. His “plan” to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants would shrink the economy by about 2 percent, according to American Action Forum (AAF), a conservative and pro-business think tank. The sudden subtraction of 7 million workers would cause an immediate shock to thousands of businesses, triggering a GDP collapse ranging from $400 billion to $600 billion in production, AAF’s analysis found, with the worst of the slump occurring in industries like construction and hospitality. "The things Donald Trump has said are utterly unworkable," Douglas Holtz-Eakin, an economic adviser to Senator John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign and the forum's president, told Reuters.

* * *
Here is Trumponomics, in a sentence: Create an unnecessary economic downturn by deporting 7 million workers while cutting taxes for the rich and requiring the United States to borrow trillions of dollars from creditors, whom Trump has now threatened to cheat out of their money if he feels like it. It would be the greatest, dumbest recession in American history.

Trump’s abandonment of economic common sense is, like so much of his appeal, not an outlier position in the GOP so much as an extrapolation of his party’s recent departures from fiscal sanity. Republicans elites have responded to widening income inequality by proposing a series of escalating tax cuts for the rich. Paul Ryan, nominally the adult-elect of the party, rose to fame with tax-cut promises and draconian proposals to shrink the safety net. When interest rates were historically low and infrastructure spending was attractive, Republicans called for deficit reductions. When the recovery was still fragile, they played chicken with the debt ceiling by threatening a default until the president caved to their budget demands.

HuffPo - Hillary Clinton Is A Progressive Democrat, Despite What You May Have Heard

I guess to frame the question with respect to Republicans, most folks would call both Boehner and Cruz conservative. Yet, if you hold Ted Cruz as the standard of what is a conservative, then Boehner is a moderate, which he isn't. Nonetheless, Boehner was driven out as speaker because he was not sufficiently conservative for the party's base.


Does it mean voting like Sanders has, and embracing his agenda? Or does it simply mean consistently pushing for policies that would significantly advance progressive causes, like a fairer economy and a cleaner environment?

By the first definition, Clinton clearly doesn’t qualify as a progressive.

By the second, she clearly does.

The ideological gulf between Sanders and Clinton is real, and it's easy to spot. Sanders thinks everybody should get health insurance from the government and be able to attend public universities for free. He thinks taxes must go up to pay for these programs, mostly on the rich but also on the middle class. Clinton has rejected those ideas as impractical, as policy or politics -- or simply ill-conceived.

NPR - Is Donald Trump Playing The 'Man Card'? (Exploiting Gender Resentment)

Interesting article on why Trump's message resonates so well with men. If you include his racial appeals, white men. Basically, men are extra motivated by lack of civility and insults. Thus, in order to compete, Trump needs to supercharge his base by appealing to gender resentment and the idea that men have been disenfranchised and disrespected by women. In addition, if the campaign rhetoric is extra negative, then this will help drive his turnout.


If Clinton is playing the woman card by focusing on pay equity or child care, said Kelly Dittmar with the Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics, "then, surely, Donald Trump has been playing the man card, by talking about the ways in which his opponents are, in fact, not masculine enough for the office."

"There's been multiple ways that Donald Trump's sort of played his own man card," Dittmar said. "Just by talking about the size of his manhood, in the most direct and overt ways, but he's also taken on the tactic of talking about other candidates as weak or little, like 'Little Marco,' and even making fun of Jeb Bush for needing his mommy, infantilizing Jeb Bush."

* * *
Brooks found women weren't really affected one way or the other by negative campaigns. But men were. "Independent men were especially likely to vote after seeing uncivil negative messages — the kinds of attacks that throw in extra insults." In other words, insults seem to mobilize men.

"Incivility produced a real gender difference between men and women; men seemed to like it."

Trump: Men Today "Are Petrified To Speak To Women Anymore," "Women Get It Better Than We Do, Folks"

The amazing thing is that Trump's message resonates so strongly with such a large segment of the Republican base. They could have picked Jeb, Kasich. Rubio, Christie, etc. If they wanted to go crazy right, they could have gone with Cruz. But, the Republican base decided to go with Trump.


"They've already taken $90 million worth of ads," he said. "And their ads are all woman-oriented. You know she is playing the women's card... She's going: Did you know that Donald Trump raised his voice when speaking to a woman? Oh, I'm sorry."

"I mean. All of the men, we're petrified to speak to women anymore. We may raise our voice," he said. "You know what? The women get it better than we do folks. They get it better than we do. If she didn't play that card, she has nothing."

"Now she's going to buy $90 million worth of ads about Donald Trump -- And that's only the first go. They've go $2 billion. They could have $2 billion to spend. They're going to spend $90 million on bad ads about me, having to do with women. There is nobody who respects women more than I do," he said.

"They're taking $90 million dollars worth of phony ads --and some of [the things quoted by the ads] were said for entertainment purposes, one of them was said, like, on The Apprentice... We're living in the real world. This political correctness is killing our country."

Trump: No need to worry about debt default

Source: USA Today

People worried about the U.S. government defaulting on its debt “are crazy,” according to Donald Trump in an interview with CNN’s New Day Monday morning.

"People said I want to go and buy debt and default on debt, and I mean, these people are crazy," said the presumptive GOP nominee. "This is the United States government. First of all, you never have to default because you print the money, I hate to tell you, OK?”

* * *
On Monday, Trump expanded on his earlier comments, saying: “If we can buy back government debt at a discount, in other words, if interest rates go up and we can buy bonds back at a discount, if we are liquid enough as a country, we should do that. In other words, we can buy back debt at a discount."

And Trump thinks his plan will work because: “I'm the king of debt. I understand debt better than probably anybody. I know how to deal with debt very well.”

Read more: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump-no-need-to-worry-about-debt-default/ar-BBsOxNs?ocid=iehp
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