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Member since: Fri Jan 26, 2018, 02:50 PM
Number of posts: 19,729

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Americans havent been bamboozled by bonuses: The GOP tax law is a flop

Source: Salon

Republicans have failed to sell their tax cuts

Sophia Tesfaye 03.02.2018 3:59 AM

Republicans’ corporate tax cuts aren’t getting more popular as planned — and that’s a big problem for the party.

It’s been a little over two months since President Donald Trump signed the bill into law, but it’s becoming clearer each day that the GOP’s signature legislative accomplishment during their first turn at dominating the federal government in a dozen years has turned into a complete dud.

For a minute there — as Republicans rushed to publicize every temporary bonus announced by a company and attributed to the GOP tax bill, even though several had been announced months earlier — it looked like the law was a winning issue for Trump’s party.


Luckily for Democrats, the Republican tax law is unraveling before it really picked up steam.

The Koch brothers’ political network has already spent millions of dollars on TV ads and grassroots events to help improve the plan’s popularity. Americans for Prosperity, a political group associated with the billionaire brothers, launched an ad campaign earlier this month attacking Democratic senators who voted against the law. Yet attitudes about the law haven’t shifted to favor Republicans much.


Every Democrat up for re-election — blue, purple, or red state — can run against the ultimate cost of the law — Republicans’ threats to cuts to Medicaid, Social Security and the rest of the social safety net. As Ron Brownstein notes, this was a winning strategy for Bill Clinton, who “won his epic budget showdown with a Republican-controlled Congress in 1995 and 1996 by linking the GOP’s tax cuts with its simultaneous proposals to cut Medicare and Medicaid.”

Read more: https://www.salon.com/2018/03/02/americans-arent-being-bamboozled-by-bonuses-the-gop-tax-law-is-a-flop/
Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Fri Mar 2, 2018, 07:55 AM (16 replies)

No Choice


Although 59 percent of US adults say that abortion should be legal in all or most cases, it remains one of the most divisive issues in America: Not a week passes without headlines chronicling attempts at every level of government to deny or defend women’s reproductive rights.

Over the past five years, hundreds of incremental changes in state laws have slowly chipped away at women’s reproductive rights. And with the election of Donald Trump and the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the US Supreme Court, we are closer than ever to the reversal of Roe v. Wade.

Yet in the months since Trump was elected and Republicans took control of all three branches of government, women (and men) have stepped up to be heard, from the very day after the inauguration, when millions marched in protest, to the current #MeToo moment, in which thousands are breaking their silence and speaking out about sexual harassment and abuse.

So, too, have women vehemently demonstrated against the latest attempts by conservatives to cut funding for Planned Parenthood and legislate further restrictions. Which is why we’re posting a new video series, NO CHOICE, to remind us just what the United States was like before abortion was legal, when abortions were dangerous, traumatic and often deadly, and how Roe v. Wade made a difference. Here, women share their personal stories. They’re speaking up to combat the stigma that still surrounds their choice, to remind people of the way things used to be and to bring awareness to the barriers that still exist, especially for poor women and women of color.

Listen to these brave women — and one male doctor — tell their stories, and think about what America would be like for men and women if Roe v. Wade were no longer the law of the land: if there were NO CHOICE.

"By the Numbers: Abortion in the US"
astounding statistics]
Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Thu Mar 1, 2018, 05:20 AM (1 replies)

Your Favorite Hidden Figures From Black History

We Asked for Your Favorite Hidden Figures From Black History. Your Responses Were Powerful.

“We’ve got to do better.”

Ashley Dejean Feb. 28, 2018 2:39 PM


For Black History Month, we asked you about the figures you’ve been inspired by and to help us highlight important black Americans who have been left out our history books. One of our readers noted that “the list goes on forever” and named the civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer as someone under-appreciated in mainstream history.

Hamer became a leading civil rights activist in the deep south after getting involved with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and attempting to register to vote in 1962. She was blocked after failing a literacy test. These series of events also led to her being fired from her job and driven from her home—she lived on a plantation worked as a sharecropper. But Hamer didn’t give up, despite the hardships and threats to her life she retook the literacy test the following year and passed.

“First she liberated herself by registering to vote, and then she helped to liberate others by spreading that message and recruiting others to register to vote,” explains Carole Boston Weatherford, a New York Times bestselling author who writes about heroes and forgotten struggles for children.


Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Thu Mar 1, 2018, 05:06 AM (10 replies)

President Trump bucks the Republican Party on gun control: full transcript

Source: Vox

Trump appeared to enthusiastically endorse several gun control measures in a roundtable with Congress members.
By Rachel Wolfe Feb 28, 2018, 6:10pm EST

President Donald Trump sat down with lawmakers at the White House Wednesday afternoon to discuss gun policy in the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida — and Trump appeared to enthusiastically endorse several gun control measures, including a bipartisan gun control bill that failed to pass the Senate during Barack Obama’s presidency.

It was a surprising scene, but it’s not yet clear if Trump’s words will translate into policy. Below is a full rush transcript of the meeting at the White House:


Read more: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/2/28/17064540/donald-trump-gun-control-full-transcript-roundtable
Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Thu Mar 1, 2018, 03:50 AM (7 replies)

The Persistence of Tyranny

The Persistence of Tyranny

By Ken White


Seventy-five years ago this June, the United States Supreme Court corrected its own grave moral and legal error and ruled that the government could not compel Jehovah's Witnesses to salute the flag and take the Pledge of Allegiance at school. Justice Jackson's stirring words were a watershed moment in American recognition of individual liberty in the face of government demands for uniformity:

If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us.


This week, very nearly seventy-five years after the Supreme Court got it right, Colorado teacher Karen Smith was charged with assault for forcibly lifting a schoolchild by his jacket when he did not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. Smith disregarded not only three-quarters of a century of constitutional law but the school's own policy which correctly tells the students they may sit. This sort of thing — a student punished for exercising a right clearly established since FDR was President — happens remarkably often.


Tyranny is not an abstraction. Tyranny is not faceless government. Tyranny is not some anonymous end boss to be defeated once and then confidently forgotten. Tyranny is us. Tyranny is our inclination to punish and oppress the other. Tyranny is our willingness to abuse our neighbor for not being on "our team." Tyranny is mouthing platitudes about liberty while cheering its suppression. Tyranny is our capacity to rationalize exceptions to rights for our enemies. Tyranny is our willingness to dismiss violation of rights as unimportant or minimal. Tyranny sold you your morning coffee, greeted you warmly as you walked into the office, made lunch plans with you, and will wave goodbye to you at the end of the day. Tyranny can be you.


Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Fri Feb 23, 2018, 08:55 PM (5 replies)

A new detail in the Florida shooting exposes a big hole in the good guy with a gun theory.

Sheriff: armed officer at Florida school “never went in” even as he heard gunfire

A new detail in the Florida shooting exposes a big hole in the “good guy with a gun” theory.
By German Lopez



This is more than just another horrific detail about the mass shooting that killed 17 people; it also directly contradicts the notion that simply putting a bunch of armed personnel in schools will stop shooters — the “good guy with a gun” theory.


The latest revelations about the officer’s failure to act in the Florida shooting are a devastating example of this theory not working as planned. But the evidence suggests this shouldn’t be too surprising. Even when people are armed, they often fail to properly respond to a mass shooting.

Stopping a mass shooting is hard, even with firearm training

Multiple simulations have demonstrated that most people, if placed in an active shooter situation while armed, will not be able to stop the situation, and may in fact do little more than get themselves killed in the process.


The Daily Show also put this theory to the test in another — more comedic — simulation segment. Jordan Klepper, who was a correspondent with the show at the time, trained on the basics of using a firearm and got a concealed carry permit that was valid in 30 states. Then he participated in mass shooting simulations to see how he would hold up in such a scenario.

He failed — miserably. In his final test, which simulated a school shooting, he shot an unarmed civilian, and he was shot multiple times by the active shooters and even law enforcement, who mistook him for the bad guy. He never took down the active shooters.

Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Fri Feb 23, 2018, 08:40 PM (4 replies)

How Trump Could End Up Diminishing His Own Power

When Mueller calls, Trump is going to have a choice: Accept the interview or risk curbing his own authority—and that of other presidents in the future.

By ASHA RANGAPPA February 20, 2018


In the coming weeks, President Donald Trump is going to find himself making a decision he’s bound to hate: Does he want to comply with Robert Mueller, or risk diminishing his own power?

Here’s why this choice is inevitable. In the wake of his eight-count indictment against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities for election interference, special ounsel Robert Mueller’s interest in interviewing Trump will take on a renewed importance. So far, all signs have pointed to Trump’s refusing the interview request, which would almost certainly force Mueller to issue a grand jury subpoena to compel the president to talk. If this comes to pass, and the president refuses to comply with such a subpoena, the country will be in uncharted constitutional territory, and the courts will need to intervene. But history shows that when courts intervene because a president is trying to shield his own conduct, the deck is stacked against him. If Trump isn’t careful, he will end up shrinking his own authority—and diminishing the presidency for years to come.

When it comes to the separation of powers, the Constitution makes it look pretty simple: Congress makes the laws, the president enforces them and the judiciary adjudicates them. In reality, though, the lines between the branches are a little blurrier than they seem on paper. Writing in 1952, Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson noted that presidential power sometimes lies in a “zone of twilight,” where the precise boundaries of Article II, which defines the president’s role, are unclear. In general, it’s in the interest of presidents to leave some of their authority in the gray area. This is because having a court decide where presidential power begins and ends leaves it set in stone, and applies to anyone who occupies the office in the future. In practice, presidents have typically tended to think of themselves not just as stewards for their party, but also of the presidency itself—preserving the full scope of its constitutional power for their successors is part of their job.


Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Thu Feb 22, 2018, 03:14 AM (2 replies)

The 2018 Election Started Tuesday With One Jaw-Dropping Stat

Source: Mother Jones

The 2018 election officially began on Tuesday with the first day of early voting ahead of Texas’ March 6th primaries. Evidently, a lot of people got the message. In Harris County, which includes Houston and is the state’s largest population center, Republican turnout was 25-percent higher than the first day of early-voting in the 2014 primaries. That makes some sense—there’s an expensive state house of representatives race in the county and an open Republican-leaning congressional district. But what’s more surprising is the turnout jump on the Democratic side—a full 300 percent.

Read more: https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/02/the-2018-election-started-tuesday-with-one-jaw-dropping-stat/
Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Thu Feb 22, 2018, 12:18 AM (15 replies)

David Brooks needs to shut up

The NY Times columnist believes gun violence will be solved by “respect” for toxic gun culture


David Brooks is back on his bullshit. Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, the New York Times columnist has become an outspoken proponent of ideologically vacant centrism as the one and only solution to toxic partisanship and intractable tribalism. The fact that “the center” of Brooks’ dreams has no political appeal, no coherent philosophy, and no agenda beyond tongue-clucking rebukes of partisanship is of no concern to him; it can and will fix everything simply by scolding everyone in Washington to be polite to one another.

Brooks’ ridiculous faith in this feeble worldview animates his column this morning on gun regulation. Under the impossible-to-parody headline “Respect First, Then Gun Control,” Brooks argues that the way to prevent more gun massacres like the one that left 17 people dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, is for proponents of stricter gun laws to show unlimited deference to gun-rights extremists and cede them control of the legislative agenda:

If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it is that guns have become a cultural flash point in a nation that is unequal and divided. The people who defend gun rights believe that snobbish elites look down on their morals and want to destroy their culture. If we end up telling such people that they and their guns are despicable, they will just despise us back and dig in their heels.

So if you want to stop school shootings it’s not enough just to vent and march. It’s necessary to let people from Red America lead the way, and to show respect to gun owners at all points. There has to be trust and respect first. Then we can strike a compromise on guns as guns, and not some sacred cross in the culture war.

It feels almost gratuitous to critique this passage given how self-evidently devastating it is to Brooks’ ridiculous centrist fetish. Here we see Brooks attempt to confront the gravely serious and deadly problem of gun violence, and his paramount concerns are: 1) the reputations of elites such as himself, 2) the civility of public discourse, and 3) “compromise.” What would that compromise look like? Brooks has no idea and makes no attempt to work it out. That’s because he doesn’t actually care -- compromise for the sake of compromise is the goal, the details don’t matter.

[More lambasting at the link]
Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Tue Feb 20, 2018, 11:08 PM (5 replies)

Pro-Trump media launch attacks on student survivors of Florida school shooting

The attacks, which have received a boost from Donald Trump Jr., are now being condemned by one of the students

[by] Melissa Ryan


After any mass shooting, disinformation spreads online like wildfire. It happens immediately, created and disseminated on purpose, often in real time as the event is unfolding. This week, even as the Parkland high school shooter was still at large, posters on 4chan and 8chan immediately went to work spreading false information about the shooter being a linked to a white supremacist militia, the most widely reported of the multiple hoaxes about the massacre found online. And in the aftermath of the tragedy, lies and hoaxes about the survivors who have been speaking out against school massacres have gained traction in certain corners.


And now, Parkland survivors are targets for fake news campaigns, conspiracy theories, harassment and doxxing. Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has already suggested that the entire shooting is a false flag, which implies that all of the survivors are actors in an elaborate hoax. As survivors speak up, there are already attempts to attack and discredit them individually.

Survivor David Hogg has been the target of conspiracy theories since he began speaking out. The day after the shooting, one far-right account noted in a since-deleted tweet that Hogg was suspicious for speaking so eloquently.

Both the #Qanon conspiracy theory crowd and Gateway Pundit’s Lucian Wintrich are claiming that Hogg is a plant because he is the child of an FBI agent.


[Photos and more right-wing insanity revealed in the article.]

Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Tue Feb 20, 2018, 07:17 PM (1 replies)
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