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stephensolomita

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Name: Stephen Solomita
Gender: Do not display
Hometown: New York
Current location: Hamilton Heights, Manhattan
Member since: Tue Jun 6, 2017, 03:24 PM
Number of posts: 91

Journal Archives

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Posted by Name removed | Tue Jul 4, 2017, 09:30 AM (2 replies)

Regulatory Capture, Anyone?

From today's New York Times:


WASHINGTON — In the four months since he took office as the Environmental Protection Agency’s administrator, Scott Pruitt has moved to undo, delay or otherwise block more than 30 environmental rules, a regulatory rollback larger in scope than any other over so short a time in the agency’s 47-year history, according to experts in environmental law.

Mr. Pruitt’s supporters, including President Trump, have hailed his moves as an uprooting of the administrative state and a clearing of onerous regulations that have stymied American business. Environmental advocates have watched in horror as Mr. Pruitt has worked to disable the authority of the agency charged with protecting the nation’s air, water and public health.

But both sides agree: While much of Mr. Trump’s policy agenda is mired in legal and legislative delays, hampered by poor execution and overshadowed by the Russia investigations, the E.P.A. is acting. Mr. Pruitt, a former Oklahoma attorney general who built a career out of suing the agency he now leads, is moving effectively to dismantle the regulations and international agreements that stood as a cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s legacy.
Posted by stephensolomita | Sun Jul 2, 2017, 03:15 PM (2 replies)

Can This Guy Really Be The President

From the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: Criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance.
Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it.
Exaggerating your achievements and talents.
Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate.
Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people.
Requiring constant admiration.
Having a sense of entitlement.
Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations.
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF OTHERS TO GET WHAT YOU WANT.
HAVING AN INABILITY OR UNWILLINGNESS TO RECOGNIZE THE NEEDS AND FEELING OF OTHERS.
Being envious or others and believing others envy you.
Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner.
Posted by stephensolomita | Sun Jun 25, 2017, 03:18 PM (7 replies)

Legalized Bribery, Anyone?

LEGALIZED BRIBERY, ANYONE?

This morning, MSNBC displayed a list of the thirteen Republican Senators who drafted Trumpcare and the contributions they’ve received from the insurance and pharmaceutical industries from 2010 thru 2016, a single election cycle for Senators. The numbers were assembled by MapLight.org.

Orrin Hatch: $471,560; Mitch McConnell: $433,400; Rob Portman: $382,400; Pat Toomey: $354,616; Lamar Alexander: $228,100; John Cornyn: $180,050; Cory Gardner: $151,850; John Barasso: $149,750; Mike Enzi: $$146,600; John Thune: $123,400; Mike Lee: $66,750; Ted Cruz: $58,895; Tom Cotton: $28,941.

Grand Total: $2,776,012.
Posted by stephensolomita | Fri Jun 23, 2017, 04:02 PM (0 replies)

It's Not As Bad As It Looks

I’ve spent the past couple of days listening to evaluations of the Georgia 6th special election from pols, pundits and pals. The overall mood has been doom and gloom. I don’t know, maybe there’s something about progressives that makes them enjoy defeat, but my first instinct is to take them by the shoulders (the pals, anyway) and shake them until they open their eyes. Hey, for God’s sake, look at the forest (or, at least, the grove) instead of that damn tree. You’ve been victimized by unrealistic expectations. Again.

Four special elections have taken place since Trump assumed office, each to replace a Republican Congressman (no Congresswomen, of course) plucked from the House to serve in the Trump administration. All were chosen, in part, because they came from safe districts. Those districts, as it finally turned out, were indeed safe, so there’s no reason to cry about losing, even in Georgia’s supposedly vulnerable 6th district. Nevertheless, we need to take a closer look before we throw up our hands.

Mike Pompeo was plucked from the 4th District in Kansas to serve as CIA Director. In 2016, he defeated his Democratic challenger by 31%. Trump, at the same time, won the district by 27%. In April, Ron Estes, the Republican, defeated James Thompson by 7%.

Ryan Zinke was recruited from Montana’s at-large District to head the Department of the Interior. A special election was held on May 23 to replace him. In that election, Greg Gianforte, the Republican, beat Rob Quist, his challenger, by six points. Trump won Montana by 27. Ryan Zinke won Montana’s single Congressional seat by 16 points.

Mike Mulvaney left South Carolina’s 5th to become Director of Trump’s Office of Management and Budget. In 2016, he defeated his Democratic challenger by 21 percentage points. On June 20 of this year, the Republican nominated to replace him, won by 3.2 percentage points.

In Georgia’s 6th District we find the tree everyone’s staring at. Don the Con only beat Hillary by a single point in the 6th, so why, my friends ask themselves, couldn’t our nominee for the seat best the Republican candidate? After all, neither was an incumbent and Ossoff had more money than he could count. Both true, but we shouldn’t ignore the fact that the odious Tom Price won Georgia’s 6th by 23 points with Trump at the head of the ticket. Georgia’s 6th, by the way, has been Republican since 1978. That’s 39 years and nineteen election cycles, in case anyone’s counting.

Unrealistic expectations lead to painful outcomes. Winning Georgia’s 6th was always a longshot. Ossoff garnered the same percentage of the vote he received in the primary while losing to Handel, shaving 19 points off Price’s margin of victory. When I factor this into the other three results, I’m forced to conclude that the Democrats are nicely set up going into 2018. That’s not to say the Democrats have established a platform of their own. Like Hillary, they seem content to run against Trump and the Republicans. Perhaps they’re afraid to go positive.
Posted by stephensolomita | Fri Jun 23, 2017, 07:45 AM (0 replies)
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