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Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Dean Baker: Donald Trump is a malevolent version of Mr. Magoo. For all his offensive comments and mean-spirited policies, it's obvious that most of the time he has no clue about what is going on. Trump's Magoo-like behavior carries over to his claims about the economy. By almost every measure, we are merely seeing the continuation of trends from the Obama years. In spite of Trump's get-tough rhetoric on trade, the trade deficit actually rose by $50 billion in 2017 to $571 billion. It now stands at just under 3.0% of GDP. Nonetheless, the economy is looking pretty good, at least by the standards of the last forty-five years. With the exception of the year 2000, the unemployment rate has not been this low since the early 1970s. Donald Trump will undoubtedly continue to boast about his great economy. He is right about the economy looking comparatively good, but the credit belongs to Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen and President Obama, not to Mr. Magoo in the White House. read more


Friday, February 02, 2018

The Insane Clown President's idiotic and offensive conduct has been so bad that one wonders how he has managed to hold a base of between 33-39%. Here's why: 1. Trump's virulent white nationalism resonates with a significant part of the white populace. 2. A significant part of the white electorate is every bit as ignorant, stupid, unreflective, selfish, vile, and anti-intellectual as the president. 3. Trump symbolizes many Americans' disgust with and disrespect for the professional-class and its meritocratic ideology. 4. Fox News, right-wing talk radio, Breitbart and other media outlets have become an inbred right-wing universe that guides millions of white Americans through life with false political information. 5. Trump benefits from the underlying, ever-sharpening partisan schism between the Republican and Democratic parties over the last three decades. 6. The Democrat Party is steeped in cronyism, just like the Republicans. read more


Nunes is the man behind a secret Republican memo that suggests the F.B.I. and the Justice Department abused their authority to obtain a warrant to spy on a former campaign adviser to President Trump, (lying to obtain a FISA warrant). Nunes is using his position as Chairman of the Intelligence committee to obstruct its investigation by among other things to refuse to issue subpoenas to people of interest in the FBI and Justice Department, based on the argument that they are currently under investigation (by him). The Nunes Memo was created by the White House and later altered. Defense of Trump is based on a broad campaign to discredit the FBI and Department of Justice. read more


Thursday, February 01, 2018

US foreign policy in the Middle East is not just adrift, it is in a state of crisis. As Turkish tanks and warplanes pound the Kurds a US ally, powerbrokers in the White House and the Pentagon are unable to settle on a path forward. Attempts to placate their NATO ally, Turkey, while trying to assuage the fears of their mostly Kurdish proxy-army (Syrian Democratic Forces) has underscored the dismal absence of a coherent policy that will address the rapidly-changing battle space and also deal with the prospect that Turkey might seek strategic objectives that are directly at odds with Washington. The present disaster that is unfolding in Syria's northwest corner could have been avoided had the Trump administration abstained from announcing that it planned a permanent military presence in east Syria, which implied its tacit support for an independent Kurdish state. This was the trigger for the current crisis, the provocation that set the dominoes in motion. read more


Monday, January 29, 2018

The FBI's No. 2 official, who has for months been under fire from President Donald Trump and his allies on Capitol Hill, is resigning. FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who served as the acting director of the bureau last year after Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey, is stepping down, NBC's Pete Williams first reported.


Comments

Nunes is FoS and the memo was probably drafted at the White House. In both parties, in every election, candidates seek dirt on each other. There is no law against collusion. Campaign contributions from foreigners are illegal, except Corporations with foreign stock ownership do it all the time. Money laundering is illegal and we're already seeing the hammer come done on that. How far that goes into the Trump organization is anybodies guess so far, but Mueller knows more than any of us. There are laws against hacking and Guccifer is in jail for stealing 2016 campaign documents. However, its impossible to indict or imprison State sanctioned hacking by any State There are laws against obstruction of justice and it looks pretty bad for Trump.

But, Mueller cannot indict the President. All he can do is write a report for Congress to read. It will take a Democratic 2018 sweep in the House and Senate to impeach Trump. That can only happen if Democrats get over their loss, quit whining about Trump and put together a program which lifts the standard of living of Americans. Only two candidates have seriously addressed this issue, Sanders and Trump. Trump's real weakness is he is lying his @$$ off while he addresses that issue. Someone has to have the courage to cross those big donors or the abysmal hole Democrats have dug themselves into will remain. Republicans won the last Presidential election because the popular vote doesn't matter and Republicans control 2/3rds of all gerrymandered precincts. Computer modeling and the electoral college has given people like Karl Rove the keys to the kingdom. That's the real problem, a hundred times larger than the Russians. Even Comey had a larger favorable influence on Trump votes than the Russians. Their interference must not be tolerated or exaggerated.

#21 JJ,

Not if you count the DOE nuclear weapons program, CIA, NSA and Homeland Security.

Populations size and productivity determines how much money, which are just IOUs should be in circulation. Every time a Bank makes a loan, it creates money from nothing. There is no reason for any Government agency to borrow from the private sector. The Constitution gives that power to the Treasury ans JP Morgan and his co-conspirators took it away. The Fed and Banks know this but speak in a deliberate obscure manner.

But the deficit "problem" is greatly exaggerated. What happened to the dollar when the Fed provided $17 trillion in liquidity to failing banks? Government deficits equal windfalls for those receiving those expenditures. The continuing problem is that giveaway has only been used to fuel a stock market rally, a rally unconnected with increased sales or market share for most of those companies whose stocks have spiked.

A willingness to pull out all the stops to win a war or bailout the rich explains conservative deficit spending. The bailout was payback for earlier campaign contributions. Our Government and dollar did not collapse. The determination not to do the same for poor people and depressed areas has no logical basis. It is just class warfare inside our form of Government, consistent with all human history. What is true is that a giveaway to the poor would cost the rich and super-rich some money, not enough to effect their lifestyle, but it would reduce their savings rate. So it would be a massive boost to the economy, unlike the trillion dollar giveaway, which only helped its targeted class. The war on wages continues under every administration. Americans have responded by taking two jobs and going into debt.

A debt jubilee would fix the economic quagmire we're in.

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