Politics. The Old Fashioned Way.

America is in a political crisis. The Republicans have caused it. Here's something that can be done about it by you. What worked for them on Conservative Talk Radio will not work on Social Media. This election is going to be fought out on social media. The Democrats can own the Republicans on Social Media if they remember how politics is done. This is ammunition for the political wars on Social Media

Democracy proceeds by persuasion of an informed electorate. All other political systems use force. Persuasive speaking is called Rhetoric and is older than Democracy. This site is to offer both political information and pithy (brief, to the point) rhetoric to reply to "conservative" comments on social media. While it does get updated and expanded, unlike other news outlets that need to continually produce a new product, this changes only with changes in the political issues and the solutions being offered. The point it to keep it short and clear... and to blow away political lies. This is meant as ammunition for the political wars fought on social media and in the comments sections.

To make this list searchable, there is a '#' character before keywords, so you can use Ctl S to search on words like #Jan 6 or #Ukraine.

At this point, the 2024 election is a referendum on freedom and democracy in America. A vote for Donald Trump is a vote to end it.


  • The greatest fear of the Founders of this country was a President that wanted to be king. The Spureme Court has decided the President should have that power and it is intended for Donald Trump. They know that President Biden is too honest to use it. If you think this is a good thing, think about it some more. It is the end of America as a nation of laws. Now the President has the legal power to rule instead of it belonging to the people. This is how he can be expected to rule.
    A Trump win would lead to rule by the oligarchs funding his campaign.
    Trump told the oil executives what his dollar price was.
    Trump's advisors are talking about a Post-Constitution nation.
    Trump has talked about being a dictator.
    Trump surrendered to the Taliban and will surrender Ukraine to Putin.
    Trump lead to the over turn of legal abortion and will sign legislation to make abortion illegal nationwide.
    Almost every Republican in Congress said they were good with banning contraception. Trump would probably sign it..
    80% of Republicans in Congress want cuts to Social Security and Medicare.
    Trump's plan for tariffs will explode inflation.
    Trump is a felon surrounded by felons.
    Trump basically betrays everyone he has been associated with. Even his former VP won't support him

    07/03/2024. On 07/01/2024 on the Truth Social platform, Trump promoted posts calling for “televised military tribunals” for Mitch McConnell and Liz Cheney and a lot of others. “Elizabeth Lynne Cheney is guilty of treason,” the post said. “Retruth if you want televised military tribunals.” Trump promoted another post that called for the jailing of President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Sen. Chuck Schumer, former Vice President Mike Pence, and Sen. McConnell.

    Apparently, the Supreme Court thinks it is fine if the President trys to over throw an election or kill political rivals. Interestingly their decision makes it clear that they also think they can control Trump. I'm not sure what is a worse idea.

    Mark Cuban, a true American, and billionaire, puts it best; at least in Democrat Party, everyone has voice, while in Republican Party, there is only one voice. Think about it. For a Party to be committed to the needs of a singular person over the needs of the Country, is not only unnatural, but scary. That should concern every true American.

    Do I vote for helping an enemy or helping an ally?
    Do I vote for healthcare help or healthcare promises?
    Do I vote for increasing inflation with higher tariffs or increased taxes on the rich?
    Do I vote for conservation, alternative energy reducing fossil fuel demand or burning more fossil fuels?
    Do I support families with children or do I cut back daycare and child tax credits?
    Do I support the rule of law abiding by election and jury outcomes or do I not accept the law voiding them?
    Do I want juries giving interviews or hiding for their lives?

    40 out of 44 of Trump’s previous staff will not endorse him for POTUS.
    Donald Trump-felon
    Campaign Manager-felon
    Campaign chairman-felon
    Deputy campaign manager-felon
    Personal lawyer-felon
    Chief strategist-felon
    National security advisor-felon
    Trade advisor- felon
    Foreign policy advisor-felon
    Company CFO-felon
    Michael Cohen, trump’s fixer-felon
    The list keeps growing.

    You’re judged by the company you keep. A cabal of convicts and some Americans want that running our great country. Pathetic!!

    There's an irony to Trump's desire for revenge. Jesus did not say not to lie or steal or commit adultery. Those were laws before his time. His messages were simply of love and forgiveness. I cannot imagine a more anti-Christian value than revenge, the stated goal of Mr. Trump. I mean, even if not in the scriptural way, that really makes Trump the anti-Christ.

    The evangelicals think Trump will make America a Christian nation, but considering his habits and all the felons he surrounds himself with, they should understand that he means to make it a criminal country.

  • The main purpose of this is to offer some pithy sayings that you can paste in the comments section of media or in social media that are powerful political truths to disrupt the dishonest Republican narrative. There are a lot more in the sections below. I ordered them the best I could, but there are so many of them.

    Dec. 28, 2023. “I’ve been around for a long time and it just seems that the economy does better under the Democrats than the Republicans.” - Donald Trump in an interview with Wolf Blitzer, 2004.
    Psychopaths like Trump thrive in chaos. Nations, businesses, families, not so much.
    Dealing with Donald Trump is not about politics as usual. It is Game of Thrones. Donald Trump's total takeover of the Republican Party as a precursor to what he wants to do to America. He much prefers the Law of the Jungle to the Constitution of the United States.
    Putin and Kim Jong Un qualify as pretty evil dictators, but I don't think either one can compete with Trump for sheer immorality as well as petty criminality. It's not just that he endangers the nation, Trump actually could endanger world civilization.
    Remember that 80% of republicans in congress support raising the retirement age and slashing social security benefits.
    One of Donald Trump’s leading economic advisers now admits he was wrong about the predictions he made for the economy under President Joe Biden.

    “Mea culpa,” Fox Business host Larry Kudlow said on the air. “I was wrong about the slowdown and the recession, so was the entire forecasting fraternity.”
    “The Fed, everyone was wrong,” he said, referring to widespread predictions of a recession in 2022 and 2023 that never came to fruition.
    Kudlow made a similar confession about the strength of the economy last month when the gross domestic product GDP jumped faster than expected.

    The issue facing our nation isn’t how old we are. It’s how old our ideas are.
    04/08/2024 - Conspiracy theorist Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) managed to say something that even her biggest critics were only too happy to agree with. “Our Republican House majority has failed completely,” she said at a town hall event in Georgia. “And I have had enough of it.”
    One problem the anti-vaxxers are going to have is that the mRNA vaccines they hate were so effective that moving forward, pretty much all vaccines will be mRNA type and there is a lot worse out there than Covid.

    There are other reasons why many experts think it helps the U.S. to back Ukraine. One factor is U.S. global power competition with China. Russian and Chinese leaders declared a military and political partnership days before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. They plan to strengthen their joint security work across Asia and Europe. U.S. political and military leaders have noted that supporting Ukraine and pushing back against Russia is one clear way to deter China from strengthening its global political power and military reach. Navy Adm. Samuel J. Paparo said in February 2024 that Russia’s potential loss in Ukraine is “a deterrence in the western Pacific and directly reassures partners.”

    04/10/2024 - There is a lot of fighting over the abortion drug mifepristone. Conservatives want it banned so there is currently a House Oversight Committee focused on whether the Food and Drug Administration overlooked safety concerns with the drug. Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-Texas) made some interesting points.
    Crockett asked FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert M. Califf, who has stated that mifepristone is a safe and effective form of medication abortion, whether the “medical management of a miscarriage” could potentially be a “life-saving usage” before asking him about Viagra.
    “Would you consider erectile dysfunction as a life-saving usage for Viagra?” Crockett asked.
    “Not life-saving,” Dr. Califf answered..
    Crockett then pointed out that Viagra carries a 10 times greater risk of death than does mifepristone.

    04/17/2024. Politico is reporting that advisers close to the former president — particularly his former trade chief Robert Lighthizer — are are actively debating ways to devalue the U.S. dollar relative to other currencies, which could juice U.S. exports but also fuel inflation and threaten the dollar’s position as the world’s dominant currency. This is according to three former Trump administration officials granted anonymity to discuss confidential policy plans.

    Forbes take is: ‘Currency devaluation is a race to the bottom that you can’t win. You might be able to get quick hits on the board in the immediate term, but within months, those are inevitably followed by punishing penalties.” Devaluing the dollar will make America worse, much, much worse. It's a dangerous game that all sane economic gurus say is disastrous.

    Inflation is the modern scourge and President Biden gets a lot of the blame for it. Really, the Covid stimuluses by both Biden and Trump contributed as did Trump's 30% tariff that was passed on to Americans, but research shows that over 50% of inflation was just because of price increases by corporations, because they could under cover of the Covid disruptions. There is not a whole lot Presidents can do about inflation, but Biden is pushing for anti-monopoly legislation and enforcement so that prices are set by competition rather than CEOs.

    On the other hand, Donald Trump’s proposed 10% tariff on all imports and anti-immigrant policies are poised to fuel inflation and make grocery prices higher, not lower. The former president is campaigning on placing new tariffs on trillions of dollars of imports, 100% on cars and 60% on all products from China. Also he plans on mass deportations of undocumented immigrants, which would likely make costs significantly higher for domestic beef, chicken, and dairy products. If Trump does what he says though, figure that the cost of goods would just about double for working class families. Inflation under Biden would look trivial.

    Trump is proposing to replace the income tax with tariffs. Not only would that help the wealthy at the expense of everyone else, but it has been tried before with disastrous results. The (R)Smoot (R)Hawley 1930 Tariff Act was signed by (R) President Hoover in 1930 and raised tariffs astronomically. It had been overwhelmingly supported in Congress by Republicans. Over 1000 economists at the time signed a letter asking Hoover to veto it. Business leaders like Henry Ford and J.P. Morgan warned against it and sure enough it supercharged the Great Depression. Tariffs are paid by the consumer. It raises prices and that is the definition of inflation. They are like sales taxes and like sales taxes, it hurts the middle class far more than the wealthy. Some economists say Trump's proposal would be far worse than the Smoot Hawley Act as it is 6 times what the Smoot Hawley Act did.

    A New York jury found him guilty of all 34 charges in a scheme to illegally influence the 2016 election through a hush money payment to a porn actor who said the two had sex. He listed the payments as a business expense. That was illegal. The Trump defense answering the charges, really had no defense. The written documents were right there. Trump even admitted he did it, but claimed it wasn't illegal, or it was his lawyers who did it, etc.
    They keep talking about maybe this or maybe that or maybe bias, but there was no maybe to testimony or evidence or witnesses. America won a legal case against Trump.
    According to the Founders of the country, Presidents had to be held to a higher law because their greatest fear was a President that wanted to be a king. Back then, there would have been duels to simplify the matter.

    “We could very well have a sitting president under felony indictment and ultimately a criminal trial,” Trump said during a November 5, 2016, campaign rally in Reno, Nevada, reviewed by CNN’s KFile. “It would grind government to a halt.” Trump made the comments nearly eight years ago about Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign. “She has no right to be running, you know that,” Trump said. “No right.”

    Trump added at a November 5, 2016, rally in Denver that as “the prime suspect in a far-reaching criminal investigation,” Clinton’s controversies would make it “virtually impossible for her to govern.”
    I want to see how he governs from jail.

    They're saying that Biden is too old, but he still has good comedic timing as he demonstrated as recently as the Superbowl commercial. The State of the Union Speech showed energy most younger politicians couldn't produce. Heck, he does look a bit frail but has for 20 years and he's still out there bicycling. He's at least that alert and I think even more than that, but what matters is that Biden's policies so far have been great. He doesn't even need new ones. He just needs to be in to keep them moving forward. America is on the right track. Don't change a winning hand. Even while Biden is undoubtedly old, he has been able to adjust his world view to things like the end of globalization. His revitalization of US manufacturing and Infrastructure investments show a man looking forward. More than anything else perhaps. He has the best chance of beating Trump.

    Smart alec response to claims about TDS: TDS, Trump Devotion Syndrome: Symptoms include inability to reason, severe allergy to truth and cult-like attraction to an orange criminal. 1000's of others are seeking treatment in courtrooms and jail houses across the country. Some treatment protocols take more than 20 years to complete.
    02/21/2024. Former FBI informant Alexander Smirnov, Charged with lying about the Bidens’ dealings in Ukraine told investigators after his arrest that Russian intelligence officials were involved in passing information to him about Hunter Biden. That means that the Impeachment Hearings against President Joe Biden are based on information from Russian intelligence.

    The former FBI informant charged with lying about the Bidens’ dealings in Ukraine told investigators after his arrest that Russian intelligence officials were involved in passing information to him about Hunter Biden, noting that the information was false. Prosecutors said that Alexander Smirnov has been “actively peddling new lies that could impact US elections” after meeting with Russian spies late last year and that the fallout from his previous false bribery accusations about the Bidens “continue[s] to be felt to this day.

    Republican Chip Roy: “One thing. I want my Republican colleagues to give me one thing — one — that I can go campaign on and say we did,” “Anybody sitting in the complex, if you want to come down to the floor and come explain to me one meaningful, significant thing the Republican majority has done.

    It does look bad that all the witnesses in the Jan 6 hearings were from one party. Bad for Trump because they were all from his party.

    To support that the election was stolen, you have the same problem as Trump's Jan 6 defense. For all the political theater, there are no witnesses left to support that the vote was stolen. At this point, the people behind True the Vote that led to the "2000 Mules": movie, have said they have no witnesses or evidence of election fraud, Sidney "The Kraken" Powell has said she lied about election fraud, Rudy Giuliani admitted he lied and Ken Chesebro has described the elaborate conspiracy before the election to corrupt the vote. Only one person remains that says the vote was stolen and that is Donald Trump. All court cases, even those brought to Trump nominated judges, were thrown out as baseless. So who is left claiming fraud? Trump and whoko Lindell? Everyone else in Trump's administration says there was no fraud. Anyone that believes the 2020 vote was stolen does so because they want to, because all the facts say otherwise.

    Colorado (R) Senator Buck, member of the conservative Freedom Caucaus, said he is resigning from the Senate because "this lie that the 2020 election was stolen". He said the same thing about Jan 6. Senator Buck said he was disappointed that Republicans have failed to tackle “major issues” like reforming federal social insurance programs. This is a guy from the Freedom Congress that can't stomach Republican lies anymore.
    01/03/2024. Ken Block’s data mining firm, who the Trump campaign hired in 2020 to find voter fraud in the election, penned an op-ed Jan 2. 2024, stating unequivocally that the 2020 presidential election was not stolen and that there was no evidence of voter fraud sufficient to change the outcome of the election. Of course Trump's Attorney General Bill Barr and Trump's Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said the same thing.
    Trump obviously knew that he lost the 2020 election because Trump "restored himself" as trustee of the Trump Organization on Jan. 15 2021, just days before he left office.


    Of all the statements you can post, one statement stands out more than any other because it is such a sad, damning truth. This is especially good to use when a Republican attacks the Democrats or the President with a short, dumb comment. Post this where you can. If you want to have fun, post it in comments sections, on Twitter, on Fox, on Reddit, on WaPo, conservative Facebook groups or get an account on Truth Social if you really what to go for it. Simply post one of these:

    The Republicans haven't offered any policies to benefit ordinary Americans in 40 years. Just tax cuts for the wealthy to drive up the National Debt and more and more and more guns. Oh yeah, and outlawed abortion, removed books from libraries, promoted anti-gay rhetoric, passed voter suppression laws oh and yes, they still want to shut down the government.

    The Republican House majority shows their nature and the problem with it. It's just about power so inevitably they turn on each other. If it was about democracy or making democracy work, they would be able to find compromises, but they can't. Really, what they want is chaos so that they can say that democracy doesn't work and that what is needed is a dictator.

    A primary reason that no one Republican could get any solid support as House Speaker is that Republicans don't really have any policies (except tax cuts for the rich which they don't want to mention). That lack of policies (for 40 years now) means that it's all about personalities and so the inflammatory personalities are where the focus goes. If anyone had an issue or policy to focus on, opinions could solidify.

    Republicans love to repeat their talking points about President Biden's “war on American energy” but as of the week of 10/13/2023 United States domestic oil production hit an all-time high. While it's not great news about carbon emissions, it conflicts with the Republican story.

    The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration reported that American oil production in the first week of October hit 13.2 million barrels per day, passing the previous record set in 2020 by 100,000 barrels. Weekly domestic oil production has doubled from the first week in October 2012 to now.

    If you deal with someone repeating Trump's claim of voter fraud, don't tell them facts, ask them to explain. Patiently wait for an answer.

    Why did Mark meadows, Trump's Chief of Staff at the time of the election, say that there was no evidence of fraud and that the election was the most secure in American history?

    Why did Attorney General Bill Barr, that got Trump off the hook from the Mueller Report and said a President couldn't be investigated or charged by the DOJ, say that the election fraud allegations were “bulls**t.”

    Why did about 60 cases where Trump allies made claims of voter fraud get thrown out of court for lack of evidence, many by Trump appointed judges?

    Why did Rudy Giuliani say in court that he lied about voter fraud in Georgia and lied about what the poll workers did there?

    Why did most of Trump's inner circle tell him he had lost?

    Why did Fox News pay $$$ 3/4 BILLION for lying about voter fraud and admit that it was to keep up their ratings?

    Why on Jan. 6, when Pense would not challenge the election, did Trump say that Pense was too honest?

    The immigration problem was largely created by a Republican dominated Congress at the request of Reagan to kill unions and lower US wages to please corporations. It worked. It has taken 40 years for unions to begin to make a comeback and wages has declined relative to inflation between 1980 and today. The last attempt at immigration reform, the bipartisan Gang of Four in 2013, was torpedoed by (R) Marco Rubio.

    After the 2016 election, the Republicans controlled the Senate, House and Presidency. They didn't once try to pass immigration legislation. It's a great political issue to blame on the Democrats.

    Congress needs to act and the Republicans need to stop blocking them.

    01/25/2024. Democrats are desperate to supply funding for Ukraine to continue its war with Russia and so are very willing to compromise with the Republicans on a border security bill that holds up that funding. Now the problem is that Mr. Trump has said that there can be no border bill passed because it wouldn't leave him any good issues to run on against the Democrats. So not only are the Republicans willing to give Ukraine to Putin and risk a wider European war to prevent giving President Biden a legislative win, but they are both willing to ditch their main policy, border security, for the same reason, while ditching their last hope for any legislation they can tell their constituents that they have actually passed. They have been preserving the chaos at the border as a campaign issue since before 2013 when Republicans killed the "Gang of Eight" bipartisan border reform legislation.

    Bidenonomics, announced in Biden's State of the Union Address, is basically to end the disaster for the working class known as Trickle Down.

    (Use all or part as needed.) That's a truth that hurts, because it's true. Republicans haven't legislated and they try to dominate through the courts because no one likes their policies. They don't always even have a known platform but instead just say "vote for us and we will fix everything those despicable socialist Democrats are doing to destroy this country". They love to claim that "Democrats hate America". Worse still, they break things just so they can claim the Democrats have failed and only they can fix them. They damage America to damage Democrats politically.

    Paste that one line and you will get every kind of deflection, whataboutism, personal attack and evasion imaginable, but you won't get many lies, because it's so true. There is no answer except more guns and tax cuts for the rich. Post it with a list of President Biden's accomplishments that are listed below. Occasionally, they will reply with something valid. The country has also problems like immigration that neither party can solve for whatever reason. The answers to paste for those are below as well.

    Here's one for bonus points because it's a favorite story in the Republican echo chamber. Figure out where you can use it and you will not only annoy them, but confuse them too because "in the bubble" they constantly hear it about Democrats.
    Maga Republicans hate America.

    Clearly, Maga Republicans do hate American Democracy because they can't get what they want through fair elections. That is also why they work so hard to dominate the courts. Voters just don't like what few policies they seem to have. Republicans actually do like America. They want to rule it though and they are horrible at even governing. They also want to end every program that helps ordinary Americans from Obamacare, to SNAP food assistance, to Social Security that keeps old folks from dying on the cold streets. They practice selfishness and cruelty.

    America needs two political parties offering competing visions of how America can move forward in the challenging and uncertain times the nation and the world faces. The Maga Republicans prefer to be an insurgency working to conquer America.

    Let me lay out the Republican scheme for you.

    1) The true republican base, multi millionaires and billionaires, want most of government eliminated. They especially oppose health, safety, and environmental regulations, taxes on the rich, consumer protections, and any other restrictions on their ability to relieve the rest of us of all of our money and the burden of living any kind of comfortable life.

    2) Republicans have been on a 40+ year quest to destroy government in service of the above. They tell people that govt is awful and that, if elected, they will fix it. Then they gut, hamstring, and sabotage everything they can while in office. They run up huge deficits and cause recessions. Then they get voted out.

    3) Democrats come in and fix what they can over the intransigence of republican opposition while republicans blame democrats for everything and repeat step 2.

    3) Their culture war efforts have created a powerful base of people who will not tolerate any cooperation with democrats that isn't a complete democratic surrender. This base is the part of the party that is currently maintaining discipline. The Republicans want their base fighting the culture wars so that they don't notice the economic war eating them alive.

    4) Their goal, and the election lies and current chaos are evidence, is to make government so dysfunctional that the American people will turn to a strongman type of government in fear and frustration. The strongmen will use all of the might of the government to enforce the will of the 1% on the rest of us.

    In that Republicans generally accuse Democrats of everything they are guilty of, they will often claim that President Biden is a great divider. They then mention HRC's comment about deplorables or Biden's comment about the Maga minority.

    It might be time to remind them that after his indictment, Trump's comment was, along with how much it was helping with his fundraising, that "RADICAL LEFT INDICTMENT HOAX WAS INITIATED BY THE MISFITS MUTANTS, MARXISTS AND COMMUNISTS". Well, he is famous for name calling and proud of it, so don't talk about the left being divisive.

    The Republicans want their base fighting the culture wars instead of seeing that they are being taken to the cleaners in the economic wars. Warren Buffett said that there was a class war and his side was winning. Ordinary Americans are hurting economically. Trump said the game was rigged and he knew because he took advantage of it. Somehow his base believed he would help them and voted for him. He won't help them but he was talking about the Corporate Democracy Reagan had built which made a lot of billionaires but made everyone else and the nation the poorer for it. Joe Biden's State of the Union speech was about changing the economy back to the Citizen Democracy we had from Eisenhower until Reagan, America's most prosperous time.

    07/26/2023 - Bidenomics is working like gang busters. The S&P 500 is up 16% since Jan 20, 2021, when Biden was inaugurated, 20% over the past year. NASDEQ is up over 35%. There have been 70 record stock market closes, and 10.5 million new-business starts.

    Unemployment at 3.6%, under 4% for 17 months, the best in 50 years according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2023, the average has been 314,000 new jobs per month. 2 million new jobs were created this year by July 2023. This has led to 4 million new jobs above pre-pandemic levels. (Trump lost 4 million jobs.) 13 million jobs have been created since Biden was elected, more than under any other President in a full four year term. That's more jobs than the last 3 Republican Presidents combined. Much of it is in heavy industry and manufacturing. It's the highest since George W. Bush was President, 800,000 new jobs and (Forbes) has reported $200 Billion in new projects. Morgan Stanly said it is driving a boom in large scale infrastructure projects. They even had to revise their GDP growth estimates upward. There also has been no recession, that everyone predicted. Inflation dropped (12 months in a row) to 3% in June. The rest of the world still has high inflation. Wages in the U.S. are up 4%, more than inflation and Americans are saving more and have more in the bank. Income inequality has even been reduced some.

    Let's see what Joe Biden has accomplished...
    An actual infrastructure bill instead of just proclaiming "infrastructure week" every month.
    CHIPS bill which will improve our microchip production to compete with China and support hi-tech manufacturing in the U.S.
    Inflation Reduction ACT to fight climate change, all while reducing the deficit.
    Lowest unemployment rate in 50 years.
    Under Biden, more jobs have been created than since the 1960s..
    Biden signed a bill to allow the government to negotiate prescription drug costs.
    Expanded veteran's healthcare with PACT bill.
    Gun Bill legislation for the first time in decades.
    Killed the leader of Al Qaeda without any other casualties.
    Create Broadband fund to get internet to rural and other areas
    Re-establishes our standing in the world as an international leader, playing a key role in expanding NATO and rallying the civilized world against Russia's aggression in the Ukraine, Managed to orchestrate the Ukraine War to keep troops out while bleeding Russia.
    And last but not least, we get to wake up every morning without a feeling of dread wondering what kind of "governing" our president did via tweet, or what segment of our population got their rights trampled overnight.
    Now all we have to worry about is the MAGA calls for violence.
    That seems OK for the first two years and far more than the MAGA king accomplished.

    Donald Trump has often touted economic growth during his presidency as evidence that he was a successful president, but a recent revision to GDP dating back to 1999 has suggested his rosy view of the period is a fantasy. The revisions were part of the US's gross domestic product report that was released by the US Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis. The revisions revealed that economic growth under Mr Trump was the worst since President Herbert Hoover, who was in the White House from 1929 to 1933, the period of the Wall Street Crash and the onset of the Depression.

  • Archive - Made July 2024. This got very long and with all the debunked accusations against President Biden and his family, a lot of it became obsolete. As such, everything about I could remove is being removed. If you don't find something on this page, look there. If you don't see it there, look at the page source since there is a lot in the comments that don't show on the page.

    Removed or trimmed topics include:
    Tommy Tuberville's blocking promotions.
    Most about prosecutions of the Biden Family... which was endless.
    Most about Hunter Biden, especially the laptop because it was a nothing burger.
    ... We'll see.

  • Trump promised to cut the deficit. He added $8T to the debt. He promised to build a wall. He only did 458 miles out of 2,000. Most of it was repair or replacement, not new. He promised to make Mexico pay. They didn't. We did. He promised to unveil a new healthcare plan. It didn't exist. He promised a middle-class tax cut. He cut taxes for the rich. The middle class is paying for it. He said he wouldn't play golf as President. He made 250 visits (way more than Obama) to his own golf clubs. It cost taxpayers $150 million. He said he'd increase economic growth by 4%. Nope. Biden did. He promised an infrastructure plan. He had none. President Biden signed a massive one. He promised to hire "the best people." He fired 3/4 of them and then said they were the worst ever, and they said HE was in fact the worst ever. He promised to bring down the price of prescription drugs. He didn't: Biden did. He promised a Hillary lock-up. Nope Promised we'd win the trade war with China. Nope, It cost about 250,000 jobs and hurt Americans, not help them. He promised his corporate tax cuts would help and benefit Workers, and corporations would use that money to invest in American workers. They didn't, they used that money to buy back stocks. *He promised to revive the coal industry. Never happened: more coal jobs were lost during his presidency.
    The statistics for the entirety of Donald Trump’s time in office The economy lost 2.9 million jobs. The unemployment rate increased by 1.6 percentage points to 6.3%. Average weekly earnings for all workers were down 8.7% after inflation. The international trade deficit Trump promised to reduce went up. The U.S. trade deficit in goods and services in 2020 was the highest since 2008 and increased 40.5% from 2016. The number of people lacking health insurance rose by 3 million. The federal debt held by the public went up, from $14.4 trillion to $21.6 trillion. Illegal immigration increased 14.7% Coal production declined 26.5%, and coal-mining jobs dropped by 16.7%. Carbon emissions from energy consumption dropped 11.5%. Handgun production rose 12.5%in Trump’s last year compared with 2016, setting a new record. The murder rate in Trump’s last year in office rose to the highest level since 1997.
    Independent voters complain about the economy, however they probably don't know that the value of the US dollar depends almost entirely on the faith that other countries (especially the EU) put on the US system. Once Putin invades Poland (European leaders are making preparations for this event) during a Trump admin, it is guaranteed that Trump won't honor article 5 as he said it several times, besides that is the command from trump's master a.k.a Putin. In this situation, the European nations will be forced to renounce the US dollar as the world reserve currency and they will have to coalesce their economies around the Euro, since they will have to face militarily Russia alone. Under such scenario the dollar drops 80% of its value. Do the independent voters complain about 3% inflation?? They will see what hyperinflation looks like (70% US inflation). Everyone will lose everything. And the independent voters think that this election is no big deal? What about Hand to hand combat in the streets just for bread. Putin will achieve his long term goal (now widely recognized as real) to cripple his major obstacle (the USA) for the revival of the Russian Empire.

  • This web site was about supporting President Biden because Democrats are clearly so bad at messaging. Apparently it's time to point out just how bad Trump has been and would be for America. There's a lot to work with, since he not only embodies most of what is evil, he embraces it. The thing is that there is more to it. It has a lot to do with tights and Libertarian ideology that wants to take away all individual rights in the name of money. He who has the most wealth wins. It's pretty ugly and if we want a democracy instead of an oligarchy, we need to know about it and fight it. It's why a working class person simply cannot support a family anymore.

    Here are some pages about Trump, the Oligarchs, the Libertarians and how to fight them.
    About Trump and the Evil of MAGA Republicans
    Trump Image Memes

  • Democrats tend to CAMPAIGN as incompetently as Republicans GOVERN.
    Representative James Clyburn said "If we are going to be successful in this campaign, we are going to have to have what I call hand-to-hand combat, boots on the ground. We are going to have to do what is necessary to circumvent, or smash through that MAGA wall that is being built on sound bites,” Clyburn said, referring to the acronym for Trump's Make America Great Again slogan.

    This page started as a collection of pithy sayings for copying and pasting on social media to give snappy answers to (usually dumb) posts by conservatives. It has grown to provide brief descriptions of current politics as well, because it takes understanding to respond the best. Also, the more you understand about current politics, the madder you get at the Republicans for hurting Americans and endangering American democracy.


    In the pursuit of power, the Republicans have created a moral crisis as well as the political one. We very badly need a solution to right the ship of state. More depends on that than you might think. There is a solution that seems to have been overlooked. You just have to look at where we should be and how we got to where we are. It is about power and economics.

    Where we need to be: America needs two political parties with competing visions of how to make America better to be able to face an uncertain future and to fulfill the great moral statement of the Preamble to the American Constitution. The voters need to choose which vision they want, including parts of each. Then both parties need to work together to make it real with the loyal opposition working to prevent mistakes.

    How we got here: ... Republicans sold fear and Angertainment on Radio, then Television, then Talk Radio, then Fox News, then Social Media. Notably, between Talk Radio and Social Media, something was lost. If we find it again, politics can work again for the Democrats but not for the Republicans as they are today. You can reply back to social media. You just have to remember how it used to be done. You call out the lies. You persuade with reason and truth.

    The Ancient Greeks developed democracy. They also developed Rhetoric or persuasive speaking, particularly Political Rhetoric, a very powerful force in a democracy. Notice that there was rhetoric on Talk Radio, soaked in anger, resentment and lies. That emotional appeal doesn't work as well on Social Media. You couldn't very effectively respond to the lies in Talk Radio rhetoric, but you sure can respond to them on Social Media. That needs to be remembered and taken advantage of. This page is about responding to Republican positions, especially the lies on Social Media, with rhetoric and it is very effective because they cannot respond. When they chose winning over everything else, including the wellbeing of America (thanks to "No Compromise, No Cooperation" Newt Gingrich) they also sacrificed honesty which makes them extremely vulnerable to truth. This page is about how to use truth as a political weapon. Even better, it is the political advertiser's dream - targeted messaging. Something that the political parties pay fortunes for. Better than that, it's free. All you have to do is use the rhetoric on this page on social media and you can reach out and touch not only the people of your political persuasion, but more importantly people that disagree with you and need their minds changed.

    The most powerful statement or in this case, political rhetoric, is the Pithy Saying. A pithy phrase or statement is brief, but full of substance and meaning. I've tried to collect those. The layout is to put the topic at the head of an expandable section with the Pithy Statements and some details or appropriate explanation with it for background understanding or possibly to use.

    How to use this: Anywhere you can comment in news articles or social media, use these sayings as responses. If they say Biden is crashing the economy, look for topics with "Biden" in the header, expand it, select an appropriate response and paste it. You have reached a target audience. It is true and the Republicans have put themselves in a position where it is almost impossible for them to refute it, because they decided to use lies. They can't use their emotional tactics on social media like they did on talk radio because emotion doesn't come through well in text.

    You could also look at other topics such as about the economy because the data shows that the Republicans have done a horrible job of running the economy when in power. Just add it to what you paste about what Biden has accomplished. Maybe, just maybe, you can change a mind.

    If a rhetorical phrase is a punch, be prepared for the counter punch. Just like someone trained in logic knows the seven (or ten or fifteen...) common logical fallacies used to fool critical thinking, anyone who wants to use rhetoric needs to recognize the standard ways to deal with rhetorical counter punches. The commonest are whataboutisms, deflection, personal attacks (ad hominem), lies and occasionally something with substance. While I wanted this to just be a collection of short pithy sayings with brief commentary, obviously the detail commentary has gotten much longer in some cases. That's OK, because sometimes you will get competent, even occasionally truthful, arguments back and then you will need understanding to properly reply.

    ... After updating this for a while, I see that this page has grown another function, providing short explanations of political issues. Economics mean that news outlets have to keep churning out content and they have to put a lot of filler in it. This page doesn't need that, so it can provide shorter descriptions of issues. That would make it fall somewhere between a news outlet and Politifact. If there is a current issue you are wondering about, you may be able to get a good introduction to it here. Note that a lot of links I have used as sources are in html comments, sort of hidden in the page source... if you want to look for them.

    I ask one thing of you though. For this to work, I need help and that means others pasting these responses (modified some, I hope). So if you do paste from here, please add something like "Pasted from Lib-Talk.com" or "Pasted from Lib-TalkDOTcom" if links get ... blocked. If enough people use this, it can be a force for American Democracy.
  • The statements on this page are meant to be posted as ammunition in a political struggle that has consequences far beyond our country and this time. Freedom is essential to the future of humanity. It is great if you post these on social media to get out the Democratic Message, but also know your politics. Try to understand the issues and politics. Then you can add your own critical thinking and a bit of artistry to these statements. That is what will give them their real power.

    Here are a couple of thoughts you might keep in mind.
    Always protect Truth. Lies are easy to invalidate. There is nothing wrong with slanting and sarcasm works well, but there are so many reasons to protect the Truth. Let the Republicans lie. This is a tool for calling them out on their lies.
    Ayn Rand, a writer with a talent for character building and long monologs, is one of the saints of the Republican party. Even more so of the Libertarians since she was basically espousing the Libertarian philosophy that "we are all completely independent of everyone else in our society and civilization". While that point is disastrously incorrect, an important point she made should be kept in mind. It is all about Morality. Everything you do is a moral choice, a choice between right and wrong. Whether it is someone working in a factory putting a nut on a bolt, a parent trying to help their child get an education, or a politician trying to find a path that will keep their voters and donors happy, it is about choosing. It is to be human. The importance of Morality cannot be overstated. Almost every institution teaches it.
    You have heard that "Those that the Gods would destroy, first they make mad". Well, one of the commonest forms of madness is arrogance. There are others, described as the Seven Deadly Sins. There are more. It's not like this is a secret or hard to understand. It is extremely easy to see in politics. There are a few ways to avoid the destruction that inevitably comes from "sins". For an individual or even a country to avoid self-destruction, virtues need to be practiced regularly, such as humility to defend against the danger of arrogance.

    In everything I have learned about the potentials of success and failure though, the best way to avoid disaster is to keep Balance in mind. We have all heard of the concept of Ying and Yang, a common expression in many Asia philosophies for the need for Balance in all things. I couldn't find the concept in the West until I talked to some people that knew the story of the Oracle of Delphi, the most revered shrine of the ancient Western World. They knew. They told me about the principle of Balance represented by the 147 Maxims carved into the walls of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. The need for Balance is an ancient and universal wisdom that should always be kept in mind, especially in something as important as politics or economics.

  • If the point of this is about preventing the disaster of having Trump as President again, it is great to fight the social media battle, but it is also critical to organize. Here is a list of some organizations committed to fighting Trump and promoting American Progress. that this site is about

    https://OurRevolution.com
    https://RedWine.Blue
    https://www.Indivisible.org
    https://www.DemocratsAbroad.org
    https://www.VoteCommonGood.com
    https://www.CommonCause.org - Promoting Governance by the People.
    https://www.progressivepolicy.org - Radically Pragmatic.
    Another Thing To Keep In Mind...

    Underneath all this is a class war. It's why the Republicans want their base fighting the class war so that they don't notice the economic war eating their families alive. Culture war issues do not effect pocket books. The working class and what is left of the middle class are hurting financially. Trump said it was because the game is rigged, and he knew it because he took advantage of it. His success was blaming "liberal elites" for it and somehow convinced his base that he would help them. Really, it's old money, the kind that hates unions and protects their interests by financing Republican causes and candidates. In history, there has never really been a middle class, just the rich and the poor. It seems that much of the conservative goal is to return to that. They want their power with no limits from law.

    You should have some understanding of the class wars stoked by the Oligarchs of America and anti-government Libertarians, who support the conservative candidates that make American Capitalism so brutal. It is leading to a situation where not just housing and health care have become unaffordable, but families are becoming unaffordable as well. It is the outcome of the economic war on the middle class. The best description comes from former United States Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich.

    You can subscribe to Dr. Reich's free newsletter at robertreich.substack.com. He has a paid subscription service as well, but if you want his lessons about the reality of American Economics, the class war, wealth, poverty, and how the Oligarchs are destroying America, the easiest way to learn is to check out his www.youtube.com/@RBReich.

    This site does have some commentary about Dr. Reich's thoughts, but it really more focused on supporting President Biden to prevent the disaster of another Trump Presidency. Economics though is the underlying issue, and you should know something about it.

    Are you familiar with the term "Neo-Liberalism"? It's not about what you usually think of the term "Liberal". It refers to how business is treated and was largely started by Reagan. It means Liberalism towards business or perhaps "anything goes Capitalism". It was jobs going overseas. It was Shareholder interests over everything else. It was profits over everything else. It was nations and society serving business instead of business serving society and nations. It's why there is so much wealth inequality and why the world is awash in debt. All the profits of production gains of five decades of growth went to the owners and everyone else lost out. Well, Biden's State of the Union Speech said that was going to change, from Corporate Capitalism we had after Reagan to Democratic Capitalism we had before that, from the time of President Eisenhower. Business would serve the nation again like it did after President Eisenhower, the most prosperous time in America's history.

    There is a reasson that corporations keep setting new profit records each year. The corporate monopolies need to be broken up so that prices are set by competition rather than corporate boards.

    What does this mean today? Trump got elected for a reason. Many many Americans are hurting. The thing is though that the Republicans have very effectively worked to convince their base that the problem is the result of the culture wars and so they ignore the economic wars that are what are really hurting them. Warren Buffet said that there is a class war and his side is winning. The people that President Biden may be able to help the most are the very desperate people that voted for Trump. Trump isn't going to help them and neither are his wealthy backers.

    Wondering if wealth inequality is out of control? Well, Jeff Bezos made over $7.9 million an hour last year. In just 13 minutes, he made the equivalent of what a typical person earns in a lifetime. Wealth tax. Now.

  • 03/09/2024. Reagan believed in American democracy. He called it “the highest social achievement of mankind” and he recognized that democracy is vulnerable. He said our democracy is “under attack from the outside, and it is under attack by those who would destroy it from the inside.” Now, Reagan’s own party is devoted to eradicating what he cherished. Ronald Reagan said that “democracy is worth dying for, because it’s the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man.” Today, we have a deeply dishonorable man leading the fight to kill democracy.

    During a recent Conservative Political Action Conference panel discussion moderated by Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon, right-wing activist Jack Posobiec said this: “Welcome to the end of democracy. We are here to overthrow it completely. We didn’t get all the way there on Jan. 6, but we will endeavor to get rid of it and replace it with this, right here,” Posobiec said as he pointed to the crowd and raised his clenched fist.

    Conservatives make no secret of their intent to destroy democracy. To the contrary, they speak loud and proud of the fact that they reject the notion that America’s destiny should be determined by the will of the majority of its citizens and instead they strive to impose iron-fisted domination by their immoral and evil minority. Reagan Republicans celebrated the fall of fascism and the rise of democracy. Trump Republicans do the exact opposite. They wrap themselves in the flag and wave the Bible, pretending to be patriots and Christians when in fact they’re neither.

    The GOP economic record: Record debt, only 1 million net jobs added since Reagan (vs 50 million and counting by Dems), 12 of the last 13 recessions, major economic collapse in 2008, and threats to end the ACA and cut entitlements while giving billionaires more tax cuts they don't need or want. The GOP is a dumpster fire on steroids. Looking to them for answers is masochistic to the extreme.
  • Sometimes you are going to see a post saying we shouldn't be helping Ukraine. It might be from a MAGA supporter because Putin was Trump's buddy, or it might be a real Russian Troll paid to "work 9 to 5" spreading disinformation (more on that later). So if you see something like spend American money to secure American borders, not Ukraine's or Ukraine is a criminal nation, just paste one of these.

    04/28/2024. There are other reasons why many experts think it helps the U.S. to back Ukraine. One factor is U.S. global power competition with China. Russian and Chinese leaders declared a military and political partnership days before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. They plan to strengthen their joint security work across Asia and Europe. U.S. political and military leaders have noted that supporting Ukraine and pushing back against Russia is one clear way to deter China from strengthening its global political power and military reach. Navy Adm. Samuel J. Paparo said in February 2024 that Russia’s potential loss in Ukraine is “a deterrence in the western Pacific and directly reassures partners.”

    02/14/2024. Utah Sen. Mitt Romney urged his colleagues to continue to support Ukraine in its war against Russia, saying that if they don’t the United States “will cease to be the leader of the free world.” “If we fail to help Ukraine, America will cease to be the arsenal of democracy. It will cease to be the leader of the free world,” he said. During his remarks, Romney said the vote to “provide military weapons for Ukraine is the most important vote we will ever take as United States senators.” “We are not being asked to send American troops into war,” he continued, “only to help the Ukrainians defend themselves.”

    2023-12-13 - Fiona Hill on What Happens If Putin Wins. When Fiona Hill was asked about Congressional support for Ukraine, she made clear that the decision of whether Ukraine wins or loses is now on us — almost entirely.As Congress debates how much more money to authorize for Ukraine’s assistance amid growing Republican opposition, she says that what we are really debating is our own future. Do we want to live in the kind of world that will result if Ukraine loses?

    Hill is clear about her answer. A world in which Putin chalks up a win in Ukraine is one where the U.S.’s standing in the world is diminished, where Iran and North Korea are emboldened, where China dominates the Indo-Pacific, where the Middle East becomes more unstable and where nuclear proliferation takes off, among allies as well as enemies.

    “Ukraine has become a battlefield now for America and America’s own future — whether we see it or not — for our own defensive posture and preparedness, for our reputation and our leadership,” she told me. “For Putin, Ukraine is a proxy war against the United States, to remove the United States from the world stage.”

    “The problem is that many members of Congress don’t want to see President Biden win on any front,” she said. “People are incapable now of separating off ‘giving Biden a win’ from actually allowing Ukraine to win. They are thinking less about U.S. national security, European security, international security and foreign policy, and much more about how they can humiliate Biden.”

    “In that regard,” she continued, “whether they like it or not, members of Congress are doing exactly the same thing as Vladimir Putin. They hate that. They want to refute that. But Vladimir Putin wants Biden to lose, and they want Biden to be seen to lose as well.”

    America and its allies spent Trillions of dollars over a few decades fighting the cold war. Now the Ukrainians are willing to spill their blood to fight that last war and all they ask is that we spend a relatively small amount money on weapons for them to fight with. They are bleeding the Russians white. They are fighting what could be the last battle of the cold war if we help them. ... Otherwise, there are likely to be American boots on the ground before long. ... And many of the Republican don't seem to want to support them... Reagan would whack the Putin Puppets upside the head with a champagne bottle.
    Much of America's arsenal was built up to counter the Russians during the cold war. Now it is being used on the Russians anyway even if it is the Ukrainians who are doing the shooting.

    What is overlooked in all the complaints about the COST of supporting Ukraine, billions and billions of dollars/equipment from the United States and other NATO countries is the treasure trove of information about Russian capabilities: quality of equipment, will to fight on foreign soil, stability of military leadership, quality of tactics. The information gotten from Russian military equipment in real combat, is invaluable. Especially because the Chinese use mostly either direct Russian equipment or a copied Chinese version.

    All this info will save NATO 10 times that cost over the next couple of decades. This is a tremendous investment for the U.S., even if it wasn't the right thing to do ethically, purely from a monetary standpoint, this is a slam dunk investment and now it applies to drone warfare as well. What the US will learn from Ukraine is priceless.
    For only 5% of what the US spends on defense in only one year, the US has enabled Ukraine to literally destroy half the Russian army. This is the best investment in combat in US history.... 500,000+ dead and innumerable maimed for life Russian soldiers vs. ZERO NATO Troopers.

    The Ukrainians were trying to be a peaceful nation. An upstanding member of the family of nations of a civilization facing an uncertain future. Russia has started a barbaric 18th century type genocidal war. We need to help Ukraine both in terms of self-interest and as a moral imperative.

    There is another common post that many people think simply comes from Russian bots. Regardless of where it comes from, it needs to be answered. Many times I have seen the simple statement Ukraine is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. It does seem like classic projection from Russians, accusing their opponent of what they are so guilty of. In any case, the proper response is "Really, a large part of the reason Russia invaded Ukraine is because Ukraine was working to oust the incredibly corrupt officials that were serving Russia". Or just paste in "Thanks for your opinion comrade".

    Most of the U.S. military aid funding (about 90%) intended for Ukraine is being spent inside the United States, according to a Nov. 29, 2023 piece in The Washington Post. Of the $68 billion in funds the U.S. Congress approved for Ukraine to date, about 90% is spent on contracts with U.S. contractors. This funding is utilized to produce new weapons, or the replacement of weapons sent from U.S. stockpiles. Research also indicates that many of Ukraine's primary weapon systems are being manufactured in the United States, across 117 production lines in 31 states and 71 cities.

    One thing the Ukraine war has brought out is that a lot of American thinking about Russia has been wrong. Most of it was shaped by the Communist Revolution and the competitions of the cold war. The mantra of the cold war was about the evils of communism, but what we seem to be seeing is that the evils of Russia existed long before it became communist. Russia has been an extremely predatory country through its history. That is how it got to be the biggest country in the world. Russia is one of the most violent and imperialist powers in history. They have conquered and subjugated more than 80 other nations/cultures in the last 400 years. It has also historically used misinformation as a weapon against other countries. America doesn't have clean hands on the world stage, but Russian history makes America look like Santa Claus. For humanity to survive and thrive, nations need to make a choice to be constructive members of a world civilization. Russia seems to embrace the brutality of its past and they are now a danger to all civilization. The West has resisted them militarily and economically but in this age of the internet, their misinformation must be recognized and resisted.
  • Abortion... Now that's a complex, hot button topic. There is a lot that can be said about it and the details need to be looked at for understanding. It's like the beautiful statues put up by the Daughters of the Confederacy. If they were really just memorials to the past, they would be fine. The problem is that they are being used as propaganda about very current issues. Abortion is the same way. It is an important moral issue, but it is being used as a political weapon. It is just more of the culture wars meant to distract from the economic wars going on that are killing ordianry Americans.

    The pro-life movement is not pro-life and never has been.

    Any solution to the abortion debate must satisfy both reason and moral reason. They can be quite different. Morality is about survival. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience.

    What I don't get is why the religionists even object to abortion. It's certainly not forbidden in the Bible where they claim their moral authority comes from. Jesus never mentioned abortion even once, even though it was common in the Roman world he ministered in. Since he clearly ministered to the prostitutes, he undoubtedly comforted some women that had made that choice. Maybe he didn't think it needed to be mentioned.

    The Old Testament is quite clear about when life begins and it is not at conception. In Ezekiel, it clearly states that life starts with breath. It is repeated (Job 10:19):
    You cannot murder the unborn because they don't exist yet and will not become a living soul until they take their first breath: "I should have been as though I had not been; I should have been carried from the womb to the grave."

    If you want to look at it from terms of science, even the Catholic Church has accepted that life ends when there is no brain activity. Well, in a developing fetus, brain activity starts at about 24 to 26 weeks. So according to that scientific definition, life doesn't start until then.

    Life is special and important, but there is a reason that you have free will to make important decisions. Clearly, the Bible has no injunction against choosing abortion.

    The thing is that morality is how we judge good and bad, based on our moral instincts and moral training. Those are about survival and it is that morality that drives a women's actions when abortion is involved. It isn't about religion as many Christian women have abortions and the Bible is quite clear that it is not a crime (Job & Ezekiel). Clearly it isn't law since abortion continues when it is outlawed. It is about a women's choice about what she and her family needs to survive. Even in the issues with no moral implications, laws are not perfect, so there are judges. Abortion is a moral issue and must be resolved by judgement. Christianity is literally about haveng free will to make that judgement. No one can legislate that.

    Just some statistics...
        White women obtain 60% of all abortions.
        Republican women account for 51% of all abortions.
        Catholic women account for 31.3% of all abortions in the U.S.
        Protestants obtain 37.4% of all abortions in the U.S.
        18% of all abortions are performed on women who identify themselves as "Born-again/Evangelical".
        An estimated 43% of all women will have at least 1 abortion
        by the time they are 45 years old.
        Women with family incomes between $30,000 and $59,999 obtain 38.0%.
        Women with family incomes over $60,000 obtain 13.8%.
    Source- The Center For Bio-Ethical Reform

    "The Pro-life Paradox" is that increasing access to contraception is the most effective approach to reducing unwanted pregnancy rates and the need for abortion. The Guttmacher Institute report specifically concluded that making contraception available to low-income women reduces the number of abortions by nearly 40%. When birth control isn't available unintended pregnancy increases by 2 million and the number of abortions spikes by more than 800,000 each year. Researchers noted that providing contraception saves taxpayers 4 times as much as not providing it.
    The countries considered the most "pro-choice," where contraception is widely available and abortion is legal, and often free of charge, are those that also have the lowest abortion rates in the world. The countries with the highest rates of abortion are those that have adopted the policies of the so-called "anti-abortion" movement and have banned abortion and opposed efforts to make contraception more widely available.

    You have free will to make moral decisions. Why shouldn't others have that freedom? The Bible has no injunctions against abortion. It was common in Jesus' world, and he probably comforted some women that had made that decision... he did minister to the prostitutes. He didn't speak of it. Both Job and Ezekiel clearly state in the Old Testament that life begins at the first breath. Where are you getting your authority from? You have none. You have your opinions.
    A parent loves their child. Could you make a moral decision to abort a child with birth defects because of how it would effect your other children? Could you make a decision that you don't want your child to have a lifetime of pain? Could you look forward to your passing when there was no one left to take care of or love your disabled child? I suspect you are not just blind, but also to morally weak to make hard decisions. Don't criticize others for that strength and compassion.

    Apparently, God had no problem with abortion. Here's some bedtime reading to ponder over when your 10 year old daughter finds herself impregnated by assault and your pastor or priest tells you, sorry, it's God's will.
      (Exodus 21:22-25).
      (Numbers 5:11-31).
      (Deuteronomy 28:18,53).
      (2 Kings 8:12).
      (Jeremiah 44:7-8).
      (Hosea 9:10-16).

    No one was a Founder of America than Benjamin Franklin. In Benjamin Franklin's book "American Instructor" he instructs in how to end an unwanted pregnancy:

    "Now I am upon Female Infirmities, it will not be unreasonable to touch upon a common Complaint among unmarried women, namely The Suppression of the Courses. This don’t only disparage their Complexions, but fills them besides with sundry Disorders. For this Misfortune, you must purge with Highland Flagg (commonly called Belly ach Root) a Week before you expect to be out of Order ; and repeat the same two Days after: the next Morning drink a Quarter of a Pint of Pennyroyal Water, or Decoction, and as much again at Night when you go to Bed. Continue this 9 Days running ; and after resting 3 Days, go on with it for 9 more. Ride out every fair Day, stir nimbly about your Affairs, and breathe as much as possible in the open Air, [...]".

    While “suppression of the courses” can apply to any medical condition that results in the suspension of one’s menstrual cycle, the entry specifically refers to “unmarried women.” Described as a “misfortune” it recommends a number of known abortifacents from that time, like pennyroyal water and bellyache root, also known as angelica.

    The anti-abortion crowd likes to claim that abortion, from conception on, is murder. If only it was so simple, but life and morality never are. Moral issues take the highest moral judgement, something laws simply cannot do. No law is perfect and that is why there are judges and when it comes to morality, none of them are politicians.
  • The immigration problem was largely created by a Republican dominated Congress at the request of Reagan to kill unions and lower US wages to please corporations. It worked. It has taken 40 years for unions to begin to make a comeback and wages has declined relative to inflation between 1980 and today. The last attempt at immigration reform, the bipartisan Gang of Four in 2013, was torpedoed by (R) Marco Rubio. Now in 2023, they also killed of the Republican written border control bill to make sure Trump had something to run on.

    After the 2016 election, the Republicans controlled the Senate, House and Presidency. They didn't once try to pass immigration legislation. It's a great political issue to blame on the Democrats.

    Congress needs to act and the Republicans need to stop blocking them. They especially need to quit listening to Donald Trump that wants a campaign issue that is good for him instead of what is good for America. Trump wants to run on the immigration problem instead of fixing it. The GOP rejected Biden’s supplemental funding package, which included money to hire new border agents, asylum officers and immigration judges, as well as technology to combat the flow of fentanyl. White House officials also note that Republicans rejected the comprehensive immigration reform plan the president introduced shortly after he took office.

    “After voting in 2023 to eliminate over 2,000 Border Patrol agents and erode our capacity to seize fentanyl earlier in 2023, House Republicans left Washington in mid-December even as President Biden and Republicans and Democrats in the Senate remained to forge ahead on a bipartisan agreement,”

    A common claim by Republicans is that Biden doesn't need Congressional authority of the new Bipartisan Immigration Bill to shut down the border. He does. Trump tried to shut down the border and the courts stopped him. The CDC shut down the border due to Covid, which was legal. Once the Covid emergency was over the border was order to be opened by the courts.
    11/01/2018. “The only long-term solution to the crisis, and the only way to ensure the endurance of our nation as a sovereign country, is for Congress to overcome open borders obstruction,” Trump said in remarks at the White House. During that year’s midterms, migrant caravans snaking their way through Mexico figured heavily into the GOP’s campaign messaging.

    Despite his best efforts, Trump ended up allowing a large number of asylum seekers into the country while their cases were processed — exactly what Biden is criticized on the right for doing now. During its final two years, Trump’s administration released 713,000 immigrants into the US, or 52% of all people crossing the border, per a recent Cato Institute analysis. By comparison, the Biden administration released 49% of migrants entering between ports of entry in the first two years, totaling 2.5 million.

    Still, when a Republican authored an immigration and security bill with bipartisan support and support of the Border Workers Union, on orders from Trump, the Republican House would not consider it.

    02/15/2024. Another common claim by Republicans is about a migrant crime wave. An article (and many others) by the New York Times says that is not the case. Republican politicians and their allies to say that migrant criminals are besieging New York. It's just more of the usual Republican fear mongering. Police data indicate that there has been no surge in crime since April 2022, when Texas Gov. Greg Abbott started sending buses of migrants to New York to protest the federal government’s border policy. More than 170,000 migrants have arrived in the city since then, and it is difficult to know what crime statistics would show had they not come. But as the migrant numbers have increased, the overall crime rate has stayed flat. And, in fact, many major categories of crime — including rape, murder and shootings — have decreased, according to an analysis of the Police Department’s month-by-month statistics since April 2022.

    01/26/2024. President Biden urged Congress to pass a bipartisan bill to address the immigration crisis at the nation's southern border, saying he would shut down the border the day the bill became law.

    “What’s been negotiated would — if passed into law — be the toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border we’ve ever had in our country,” Biden said in a statement. “It would give me, as President, a new emergency authority to shut down the border when it becomes overwhelmed. And if given that authority, I would use it the day I sign the bill into law.” The Border Patrol union has asked Congress to pass the bill, saying it would help them enormously.

    Negotiators have long discussed setting triggers for daily border crossings after which the Biden administration could shut down the border between ports of entry.

    House Republicans say any bill is dead on arrival in the lower chamber, because it would take away their favorite talking point against the Democrats, and also take away the only campaign issue that Trump could run on.

    01/25/2024. About 300,000 migrants are being deported or expelled from the U.S. into Mexico every month, according to Fuerza Migrante, a binational migrant advocacy group.

    Border Report has reached out to the Department of Homeland Security asking for the number of people deported to Mexico every month and will update this story if that information is received.

    02/08/2024. Immigration ‘will boost US economy by $7 trillion’ over next decade by expanding the labor force and increasing consumer demand, a report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found. This will add an extra $1 trillion in revenue to the government’s coffers, resulting in an annual budget deficit of 7% by 2034, lower than previously expected. “The U.S. economy has benefited from immigration,” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said this week, though he emphasized that he wasn’t telling Congress what to do about the border.

    Economists have long said that immigration is key to a healthy economy: it can reduce inflation, shore up domestic manufacturing and raise employment rates. As the U.S. population ages, migrants will only become more important. “Without migration and births to foreign-born mothers, the American population as a whole would decline by about 6m in the period between 2014 and 2060”.

    In 2017, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found immigrants without papers still contribute an estimated $11.74 billion a year to state and local taxes. It seems like it is time to fix immigration laws.

    01/25/2024. Democrats are desperate to supply funding for Ukraine to continue its war with Russia and so are very willing to compromise with the Republicans on a border security bill that holds up that funding. Now the problem is that Mr. Trump has said that there can be no border bill passed because it wouldn't leave him any good issues to run on against the Democrats. So not only are the Republicans willing to give Ukraine to Putin and risk a wider European war to prevent giving President Biden a legislative win, but they are both willing to ditch their main policy, border security, for the same reason, while ditching their last hope for any legislation they can tell their constituents that they have actually passed. They have been preserving the chaos at the border as a campaign issue since before 2013 when Republicans killed the "Gang of Eight" bipartisan border reform legislation.

    The Five Biggest Border Lies by Republicans Debunked | Robert Reich

    1. President Biden doesn't want to secure the border.
      Biden keeps asking for money for border security, but Republicans keep blocking him. They want the talking point.

    2. They Blame the drug crisis on immigrants.
      90% of drugs arrive through official ports of entry, not illegal immigrants illegally crossing the border.
      Cato Institute said more than 86% of the people convicted in 2021 of drug trafficking were US citizens.

    3. They claim that undocumented immigrants are terrorists.
      No Americans have been killed in a terrorist attack in the US that involved someone who crossed the border illegally. A lot of people have been killed in gun attacks by Americans though.

    4. They say immigrants are stealing American Jobs.
      They are not taking jobs that Americans want and it is not increasing unemployment. Unemployment is at a record low.

    5. They blame crime on immigrants.
      This has been repeatedly debunked. Illegal immigrants have much lower crime rates than legal immigrants and those are less than of citizens. They don't want to draw attention.
      Actually, crime and especially murders are much lower this year.

    The conservative Cato Institute said that according to data published in October 2023, the Biden Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has removed a higher percentage of arrested border crossers in its first two years than the Trump DHS did over its last two years. Moreover, migrants were more likely to be released after a border arrest under President Trump than under President Biden.

    In April of 2023, President Biden gave the Pentagon emergency authorization to assist Homeland Security officials in efforts to combat international drug trafficking. The Department of Defense is deploying 1,500 active-duty troops to the southern border to provide operational support to U.S. immigration authorities as they grapple with a sharp increase in migrant crossings ahead of the end of Title 42 restrictions.

    The deployment comes at the request of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). President Biden gave the Pentagon emergency authorization to assist Homeland Security officials in efforts to combat international drug trafficking.

    The move to send military units to the southern border is designed to ease some of the pressure on Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials. They will provide support and not be tasked with any law enforcement duties like detaining or processing migrants.

  • A popular accusation by the Republicans is that the Democrats want open borders but The last attempt at immigration reform, the bipartisan Gang of Four in 2013, was torpedoed by (R) Marco Rubio. They say that the southern border is out of control because of the Dems, but The southern border never has been under control and the Republicans haven't been any help. In the past year, there were over 2 million interceptions of people by the Border Patrol. It is not an open border. The Republicans have long blocked any useful immigration reform. Part of the problem is that two of their constituents want different things. Their monied backers want cheap immigrant labor. Their voting base responds to the Republican claim that the immigrants are all drug mules violent criminals that want to take their jobs. The reality is complicated, but clearly the Republicans have done everything they could to block immigration reform and have mostly offered nothing to solve the problems. Trump tried to do something in his usual ham-handed, brutal way, but it is Congress that needs to present policy and the Republicans block any attempt. At the same time, Biden is trying to get the courts to allow continuation of the Trump administration's "Title 42" policy that allowed increased expulsions. Now, the most recent bipartisan deal on immigration from the senate was cancelled in the House because Trump demanded it as it would leave him and the Republicans without a political issue to run on.

    Immigration is a serious problem and likely to get worse, but there are two questions the Republicans will never answer. (1) What do you suggest to do about it? (2) Will you support the development and passage of legislation to deal with it? I sort of doubt it because the Republicans like problems that they can blame the Democrats for.

    (R) Ron Desantis and (R) Rick Scott have both said that the U.S. has an open border and in Mexico and Central America, they are listening to them ... They helped the human traffickers convince people to come. Biden never said the U.S. has open borders. They did.

    The by far largest source of illegal immigration is from people arriving on 'LEGAL' visas then never going back home again. That doesn't make for splashy visuals on the nightly news.

    The Biden administration has secured additional funding for the border, including the hiring of 23,000 agents, as well as increased anti-smuggling operations. An early 2021 immigration plan was put forward by the administration that would have legalized millions of illegal immigrants with an 8-year path to citizenship. The plan, which included limited border security provisions, would also have set up processing centers in Central America and more funded more immigration judges. The bill stalled in Congress amid Republican opposition to amnesty for illegal immigrants. Of course now it is becoming clear that he US economy is hurting because of a shortage of immigrant labor that we depend on. That shortage, caused by the previous administration has been one of the causes of recent inflation. ... The Republicans just did what the Republicans do. Block things.

    The latest initiatives by the Biden administration are interesting. While the last attempt to slow migration from Central America by helping the farmers failed due to local corruption there, V.P. Kamala Harris got corporations to commit $4.3 Billion to investments there. The corporations should be far more successful at protecting their investments than the farmers were.

    The recent change in Asylum Law by the Biden administration to require the asylum process be started before starting their journey to the American border is what should change things the most though. Now the border patrol has the legal means to block the inflow of migrants. This is something Congress should have done, but of course the Republicans would have blocked it. This is a major step needed to address the ongoing problem of controlling the borders of America.
    You can look at the details of the Current Administration's plan here. By extending humanitarian parole to other countries, increasing the numbers, attaching work authorization to parole, and reinstituting normal immigration fees, President Biden can be the first President to gain control of the border in generations.

    Trump's Immigrant Crackdown Left A Critical Shortage Of Workers In U.S. Economy. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has estimated that the economy is short an astonishing 3.5 million workers, and economists estimate half of those workers would typically be migrants. “Immigrants aren’t just workers, they are particularly flexible, mobile workers who help address acute labor shortages wherever they emerge”. Trump typically characterized immigrants as a detriment to the nation and specifically referred to Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and criminals. Our economy depends on them, especially as it ages, but of course the Republicans block them.

    Immigration is one of the biggest challenges America faces and will face in the future. It is partly due to our laws because immigrants have always been welcome. The trouble is that we can't solve all the world's problems and need to deal with immigration on a moral way that benefits America. One of the worst examples of mindless Republican obstructionism is about the Dreamers. The Republicans have done everything they can to block progress in dealing with the Dreamers, immigrants brought as children to the U.S. with no documentation. They have no nation and the Republicans would simply kick them out, presumably to countries where they have no connections and don't even know the language. It's incredibly immoral and also economically stupid. America has invested in the Dreamer's education, and they are in their prime working age. Giving them a path to citizenship is a no brainer. Blocking them is economically stupid.

    President Biden has been working to control immigration and has gotten Mexico to send some immigrants travelling through Mexico back to their country. He has also tried to make it illegal to promote illegal immigration in the U.S., but that seems to be blocked by the courts just now.

    One of the biggest problems may simply be that human smugglers, coyotes, tell desperate people in Central America that once they get to the U.S. they will be welcomed with jobs. The fight against human traffickers like that is going to go on for a long time and it needs to be fought hard.

    Republicans love to claim the illegal immigrants are a bunch of criminals that wantonly commit crimes in the U.S. The truth is that illegal immigrants commit less crimes than any other groups of American citizens. They have more to lose and mostly just want work. While pretty much all studies show this, Texas is the only state that records and keeps the immigration statuses of arrestees, so that's the only data used in a recent Cato Institute Study The results are similar to our other work on illegal immigration and crime in Texas. In 2018, the illegal immigrant criminal conviction rate was 782 per 100,000 illegal immigrants, 535 per 100,000 legal immigrants, and 1,422 per 100,000 native‐born Americans. The illegal immigrant criminal conviction rate was 45 percent below that of native‐born Americans in Texas. The general pattern of native‐born Americans having the highest criminal conviction rates followed by illegal immigrants and then with legal immigrants having the lowest rate holds for all of other specific types of crimes such as violent crimes, property crimes, homicide, and sex crimes.
    11/17/2023. The number of Venezuelans crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally dropped dramatically in October, when the Biden administration started deporting some migrants directly to crisis-stricken Venezuela, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data published Tuesday.

    Border Patrol agents apprehended 29,637 migrants from Venezuela who entered the U.S. without authorization last month, a 46% drop from September, when unlawful crossings by Venezuelans soared to 54,833, a monthly record high.

    The Biden administration announced in early October it had reached a deportation agreement with the Venezuelan government, a U.S.-sanctioned regime that had long refused to accept the return of its citizens. Officials at the time vowed to deport those found to be ineligible for asylum or a temporary legal status the Biden administration offered to 472,000 Venezuelans who arrived before July 31.

    10/04/2023. President Biden has decided to try new strategy for slowing migration from Venezuela where 7.7 million people have fled crushing economic conditions. An election is coming in 2024 and may offer an opportunity for change.

    November 2, 2023, Biden met with 12 political leaders from the Western Hemisphere to propose a plan to stabilize the countries and reduce the incentive for migration. There is a potential for incredible economic development in the countries from Canada to Chile. The countries had been working together over the past 18 months to build their economies from the bottom up. Lifting sanctions on Venezuela, contingent on fair elections in 2024, would open up Venezuelan oil, gas and gold sectors. Lifting the sanctions is also what other South American countries have been wanting so it should change the entire mood, perhaps allowing the cooperation that is needed to invigorate the economy of the continent.

    September 2023. The unprecedented increase in migration in the Western Hemisphere has made almost all current immigration policies unworkable. In trying to deal with it, In a budget request to Congress, the administration has asked for an additional $4 billion for border enforcement, including 4,000 more troops, 1,500 more Border Patrol agents, overtime pay for federal border personnel and new technology to detect drug trafficking.

    Ben LaBolt, the White House communications director, said Biden proposed an immigration overhaul on his first day in office that he noted has been blocked by Republican lawmakers. “He has used every available lever — enforcement, deterrence and diplomacy — to address historic migration across the Western Hemisphere,” LaBolt said,

    Since Title 42 ended in May, the worst-case scenarios of masses of immigrants at the border didn’t happen and the administration has been touting a 42% drop in illegal border since then. The problem still exists though and the Biden administration has been ramping up deportations. ICE Air, a program that charters multiple planes each week from several states, is used to send migrants back to their home countries.

    The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) One mobile app has made it easier to apply for asylum but has also prompted migrants to stay south of the border, because cheating disqualifies you applying for asylum.

    At the same time, a federal judge blocked the Biden administration’s new, stricter asylum policy, which supporters had cited as a key factor in reducing the number of illegal border crossings. The administration is appealing.

    08/10/2023 - As it stands now, the predicted wave of migrants after the end of Title 42 didn't materialize because “It seems that the Biden administration’s plan worked. It put in place a series of measures designed to deal with the impending problem, chiefly a stiff penalty for crossing the border illegally (deportation plus a five-year ban on any re-entry), coupled with expanding ways to apply for legal asylum in the migrant’s home country. It was a welcome case of well-designed policymaking a difference.”

    Still, the system is overwhelmed, as nearly 2.4 million migrants were apprehended at the southern border last year—a record. President Joe Biden should make a concerted effort to do something about it, Fareed argues: “The laws and rules around asylum must be fixed so that immigration authorities can focus on the small number of genuine asylum seekers while compelling the rest to seek other legal means of entry. At the same time, it’s important to note that the United States is facing a drastic shortfall of labor and must expand legal immigration in many areas for just that reason. … Biden has tried to work with Republicans on several issues, and he has even had a few successes. He should propose an immigration bill that is genuinely bipartisan and forces compromises from both sides. It would be one more strong dose of evidence that policy can triumph over populism.”

    07/27/2023 - Check this article out for a comprehensive history of attempts at Immigration Reform by Congress. Suffice to say, the Republicans do not allow it.

    05/14/2023 - Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the Biden administration stance on a surge of migration was working as "over the past two days, the Border Patrol has seen an approximately 50% drop in the number of people encountered at the southern border compared to numbers earlier this week before Title 42 ended at midnight on Thursday. What our rule provides is that an individual must access those lawful pathways that we have made available to them. As of 06/06/2023 that number is down 70% since Title 42 was rescinded? The numbers are lower now than they were under trump in 2019.

    The root causes of why people flee their homes in the first instance, Vice President Harris has led the investment of more than $3 billion in the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, a years long effort that began with Obama but was ended by Trump.

    The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) operate more than 600 surveillance towers near the northern and southern borders. 50 more autonomous surveillance towers developed by the tech defence company Anduril are proposed along the Mexican border. These towers use AI to detect “objects of interest” such as humans or vehicles. The cameras pan 360 degrees and can detect people from 1.7 miles (2.8km) away. When they identify an object, the towers send a notification to border agents. CBP has described the towers as “a partner that never sleeps, never needs to take a coffee break, never even blinks”. The towers are part of a web of systems meant to monitor and deter migration and smuggling across the US-Mexico border that includes drones, licence plate readers, checkpoints, ground sensors, and data and biometrics collection.

    Both Republican and Democratic administrations have invested in such systems since the early 2000s.

    In mid May 2023 the Biden Administration plans to quit using the Pandemic Title 42 to control immigration and revert to Title 8, the nation's immigration law.

    Meanwhile nothing is expected from Congress. The very same people who are complaining about the border now are the very same ones who forced the GOP to scrap the last passable immigration reform bill. (R) Marco Rubio and the Tea Party torpedoed the 2013 bi-partisan "Gang of Eight" attempt to address the problem. While it was partly to prevent a political win by President Obama, it was also because Republicans do not want to solve the border crisis. They want a wedge issue to win votes.

    Immigration is a Republican talking point, but the reality is if you got rid of all illegal immigrants tomorrow our economy would collapse, and we have no viable way to replace them. The same people writing large donation checks to Republicans are the ones actively hiring the illegals in the first place. They want the sound bite, but no Republican would ever actually go after the people who hire the illegals. That would destroy their donor base.

    The Border is one of the issues Republicans campaign against and squawk the loudest about. The Republicans control the House, if they wanted to submit a proposal on immigration reform, they could do it right now. But they haven't. Instead, they continue to talk about all the boogeymen and drugs flowing in from Mexico. For the first two years Trump was in office, the Republicans controlled the Presidency, the House and the Senate. Was immigration reform passed? No. Trump campaigned on it, and the Republicans had the votes to do what they wanted, but nothing. It's a great topic to rile people up about when you want to get elected, but Republicans don't want to solve it. They want to make Democrats look soft on the issue, so they can win elections. At the end of the day, they still want to keep their landscapers and housekeepers.

    Congress needs to act. The President can only do so much and everything he does is immediately challenged in court. The Republicans have no incentive to fix the problem because it keeps labor cheaper and is a great way to attack the President. Still, it is the responsibility of Congress to deal with. Current laws are fairly obsolete meant to deal with the problem as it was 20 years ago of single entrants looking for work. Now many are seeking asylum. The problem is just going to get worse as climate change progresses, causing migration.

    As a couple of notes on immigrations:
    The only policy that has been considered effective was the 1942-1964 Bracero program of guest workers from Mexico.
    Global Immigration is only going to get worse because of climate change.
    A lot of the problem is immigrants from Central America such as Honduras and Guatemala coming to America because climate change is making farming impossible and because of the very dangerous gangs in their countries. The U.S. tried to help by supporting programs to help the farmers so that they would stay put in their countries. The program failed partly because of corruption and because the gangs were so bad. Extortion is basically so bad that the predators are eating everything and everyone. Recently the local governments in Central America have started rather draconian policies to fight the gangs, which by the way, originated in the U.S., so we do have some moral obligation to help, besides our self-interest.

    The immigration problem is likely to continue to grow. Congress needs to act and the Republicans need to stop blocking them. At the same time, the Democrats need to acknowledge the problem and accept that immigration needs to be controlled even if it isn't always pretty how it's done.

  • 0/09/2024. As millions of dollars in fentanyl scanning equipment intended for the southern border sits unused, Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., is blaming Republicans and asking congressional appropriators to approve the money needed to install the machines in this year’s homeland security funding bill. “Many of these scanners are currently sitting in warehouses unused,” Tester wrote in a letter to the House and Senate appropriations committees, “because Senator Mitch McConnell and politicians in Washington blocked bipartisan border security legislation that would have appropriated funds to install them.”

    Customs and Border Protection says the majority of the fentanyl it seizes at the border comes into the U.S. through personal vehicles at legal ports of entry. In an interview, acting CBP Commissioner Troy Miller told NBC News that large scanners used to detect hidden packages in cars crossing the border that could contain fentanyl are sitting idle because the agency lacks the funding from Congress to install them.

    04/16/2024. House panel says China subsidizes fentanyl production to fuel crisis in the United States. China is fueling the fentanyl crisis in the U.S. by directly subsidizing the manufacturing of materials that are used by traffickers to make the drug outside the country, according to a report by a special House committee focused on countering the Chinese government.

    Committee investigators said they accessed a government website that revealed tax rebates for the production of specific fentanyl precursors as well as other synthetic drugs as long as those companies sell them outside of China.

    11/17/2023. Chinese Presiden Xi and President Joe Biden reached agreements covering fentanyl, military communications and artificial intelligence on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. All three were outcomes the United States had sought from China rather than the other way around, said two people briefed on the trip. But Xi appeared to have achieved his own aims: earning U.S. policy concessions in exchange for promises of cooperation, an easing of bilateral tensions. (War is always more expensive than peace.)

    The Republicans love to blame President Biden for the Fentanyl epidemic and claim the borders should be blockaded. Instead, in the spirit of openness to trade and travel as well as high-tech security, President Biden has vastly expanded the use of advanced scanning machines - known as "non-intrusive inspection" technology, or NII - as a centerpiece of his interdiction strategy.

    The 2024 White House budget released in April includes $305 million for NII upgrades at CBP's ports of entry "with a primary focus on fentanyl detection." The increase is part of a Biden plan to install 123 "new large-scale scanners" by 2026. The new machines will ramp up U.S. inspection capacity from around two percent of passenger vehicles and about 17 percent of cargo vehicles to 40 percent of passenger vehicles and 70 percent of cargo vehicles, according to Biden officials.

    The Republican strategy of close borders isn't going to help much anyway because CBP data show the drug is overwhelmingly smuggled through U.S. ports of entry - the official crossings - which account for more than 96 percent of fentanyl seizures along the border since the start of the 2022 fiscal year on Oct. 1. Also, it is mostly transported by U.S. citizens.

    Republican claims that illegal immigrants serve as drug mules is far overstated. The cartels often enlist U.S. citizens to serve as couriers. U.S. citizens constitute 86 percent of fentanyl trafficking convictions in 2021, according to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, an independent agency of the federal judiciary branch.

    In March 2023, the Biden Administration completed negotiations with Mexico to crack down on Fentanyl production in exchange for the U.S. cracking down on guns crossing the southern border.

  • John Philip Sousa once famously said "it is easier to believe than it is to think". It's now part of the Maga handbook. They would rather have their thinking done for them and Trump has promised to. He will make it easy for them by ending politics in America.

    One of the best ways to lie, a highly regarded skill in Republican circles, is by Logical Manipulation by using Logical Fallacies. The technique is well known. Depending on who you read, starting with Aristotle or Buddhism, there are lots of ways of doing it. Done properly, they can be subtle and convincing. A good liar makes Logical Fallacies hard to spot. It is basic political rhetoric. In political discussions, to see the truth, you need to be good at the logic and reason of critical thinking and the skills of rhetoric. Spotting logical fallacies is a required skill. A logical fallacy is an argument that can be disproven through reasoning, but you have to spot them. I'll just mention a few that I commonly see in the Comments sections.

    A logical fallacy is an argument that can be disproven through reasoning. This is different from a subjective argument or one that can be disproven with facts; for a position to be a logical fallacy, it must be logically flawed or deceptive in some way.

    A common example we all know is the ad hominem attack that attempts to invalidate an opponent’s position based on a personal trait or fact about the opponent rather than through logic. It is just meant to distract from logic. It may not even be about you or the person being written about. Assume that any insult, no matter how indirect, is an ad hominem attack, meant to distract you from your logic. When you encounter one of these, ignore it or just thank the person for showing that they have absolutely nothing.

    There is one Logical Fallacy I keep seeing in the Comments, so be especially aware of it. It is called Conflation which I call Half True, Half False. Saying if one thing is true then the other must be when it is not. Here is an example I saw:
    (1) What policies have the Democrats implemented to "benefit ordinary Americans"? The wealthiest upper income percentiles in America continue to make more money while the middle class makes relatively less. That means there is an ongoing, growing wealth disparity. (2) The lead is increasing and voting for wealthy Democrat politicians has produced the opposite of social equity.
    Yes, (1) is true, but (2) is false. Don't miss this or let it confuse you. Separate them and call them out. It's just a fancy way to lie with logic.

    Here is another one that is more subtle, but you have to catch it.
    (1) I'm a Republican. I'm a practicing physician and I help people all day at work. I'm not a fascist, or a nationalist, or a conspiracist. I'm a doctor, and I'm a Christian with traditional American family values. (2) Because your party constantly fails to achieve social equality, it relies upon vilifying normal American citizens.
    It's the same thing, (1) may well be true, but (2) is still false. It's a pretty basic example but can be quite effective if you don't know to look for it.

    It is important to know Logical Fallacies because you need to spot them in political rhetoric and even though you may spot them logically, you need to be fast at spotting and understanding them or the argument will be over before you can respond. Here is a short list of 15 Logical Fallacies from Grammerly but if you are serious, here is the Master List of 100+ Logical Fallacies With Examples. In this day and age, you need to be good at spotting deceptions... fast.

  • Ever since Republicans embraced “alternative facts” as having relevance in the real world, there is no longer a common point of reference for dialog. For them, believing something is true, makes it true.


    It's a problem Machiavelli described in The Prince. No matter how good you want to be, if your opponent wants to lower themselves morally, you pretty much have to match them. The problem is that "our" Prince is the Constitution, a moral document and so it can't really lower itself. That is why the Constitution must be defended brutally will all the force of the law that it represents.

  • Economists say that over 50% of inflation since 2020 was caused by corporations just raising their prices, because they could under cover of Covid. President Biden is trying to fight inflation and high consumer prices with Antitrust legislation. He wants prices to be set by competition, not CEOs. Naturally, the Republicans are fighting this by cutting funding provided by the 2022 bipartisan Merger Fee Modernization Act. Of course, that will be nothing compared to the inflation if Trump is able to enact his planned second term policies of expanded trade war and extreme reduction in immigration.

    03/07/2024 The Antitrust Division has been at the forefront of the Biden administration’s economic agenda as it files suits against companies engaged in monopolistic practices and blocks mergers that would increase prices for consumers, including a recent successful suit against the merger of JetBlue and Spirit Airlines.

    On Tuesday, Biden announced that the Antitrust Division would lead a strike force on unfair and illegal pricing along with the Federal Trade Commission. “If you keep prices high while engaging in illegal practices that are fraudulent or unfair or deceptive or anti-competitive, ... we will enforce the law,” Biden said.

    Unfortunately, the already underfunded agency would have to take on this additional work with a smaller budget if Congress maintains the cuts written into the budget bill for the next fiscal year. Those cuts come by effectively nullifying a bipartisan law enacted in 2022 that increased filing fees that corporations pay prior to merger authorization. The Merger Fee Modernization Act increased these fees for the express purpose of providing more resources for the Antitrust Division and the FTC as they file antitrust lawsuits against the largest corporations in the world ― and their well-paid attorneys.

  • 02/24/2024. CNN offers a step by step guide to how a single, unverified FBI interview blows up into public allegations against the president of the United States and fuels plans for his impeachment.

    The basic gist of the story is this: A shadowy ex-FBI informant, Alexander Smirnov, with ties to Russia has been arrested and charged with giving false information to the FBI, but not before the alleged lies were used by Republicans to publicly accuse President Joe Biden of bribery. Smirnov's claims included that Burisma officials paid a $5 million bribe to Joe Biden and were memorialized in an FBI 1023 form, which records raw reporting from confidential sources, that was circulated by the Republican senator Charles Grassley.

    This is what the Republican led investigation of President Biden is based on, Russian spy craft and blatent Republican corruption of the legal process.
    02/24/2024. The Russia-linked smear campaign against Hunter Biden began earlier than previously thought.
    A former KGB agent gave disinformation about Hunter Biden to an aide for Mike Pompeo in May 2019.
    The agent also presented the same disinformation to Justice Department officials in January 2019.
    The presentation is the earliest known instance of a Russia-linked source pushing such allegations.
    A thumb drive handed by a foreign national to an aide traveling with then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in 2019 suggests efforts by Russia-linked actors to influence the 2020 US presidential election with Hunter Biden disinformation began earlier and were broader in scope than has previously been reported.

    This is what the Republican led investigation of President Biden is based on, Russian spy craft.

    02/21/2024. Former FBI informant Alexander Smirnov, Charged with lying about the Bidens’ dealings in Ukraine told investigators after his arrest that Russian intelligence officials were involved in passing information to him about Hunter Biden. That means that the Impeachment Hearings against President Joe Biden are based on information from Russian intelligence.

    The former FBI informant charged with lying about the Bidens’ dealings in Ukraine told investigators after his arrest that Russian intelligence officials were involved in passing information to him about Hunter Biden, noting that the information was false. Prosecutors said that Alexander Smirnov has been “actively peddling new lies that could impact US elections” after meeting with Russian spies late last year and that the fallout from his previous false bribery accusations about the Bidens “continue[s] to be felt to this day.

    02/15/2024. - Special counsel David Weiss has charged an FBI confidential source Alexander Smirnov, 43, on one count of making a false statement and one count of creating a false and fictitious record related to statements he made to the FBI on a document known as an FBI Form 1023. Smirnov is the same person that Republicans have called "a highly credible FBI source" and have used to claim Joe Biden is corrupt, according to multiple senior congressional sources.

    His allegations of Biden corruption spilled out into public nearly a year ago, when (R) Sen. Chuck Grassley took the extraordinary step of releasing the confidential FBI informant's unverified claim that, years ago, the Biden family "pushed" a Ukrainian oligarch to pay them $10 million. The claim -- which Democrats and the White House immediately denied -- has since been cited by congressional Republicans to justify their impeachment inquiry.

    Smirnov allegedly reported to an FBI agent in March 2017 that he had a phone call with the owner of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, and noted Hunter Biden was at the time a member of Burisma's board. Three years later, Smirnov allegedly made false statements in recounting two meetings in 2015 or 2016 in which executives associated with Burisma told him they had hired Hunter Biden to "protect us, through his dad, from all kinds of problems." Smirnov further said the executives paid $5 million each to Hunter Biden and Joe Biden while the latter was in office as vice president, so that Hunter Biden "will take care of all those issues through his dad," referring to the then-criminal investigation being conducted by the then-Ukrainian prosecutor general into Burisma.

    Those events were fabrications, Weiss alleged in his new indictment. Instead, Smirnov had only contacted the Burisma executives in 2017 after the end of Joe Biden's time as vice president and after the Ukrainian prosecutor general had already been fired, according to the indictment. "The indictment alleges that the [Smirnov] transformed his routine and unextraordinary business contacts with Burisma in 2017 and later into bribery allegations against [President Biden] after expressing bias against [Biden] and his presidential candidacy," Weiss' office said in their statement announcing the charges.

    12/22/23 New York Times - Assessing 6 Claims by the GOP in the Biden Impeachment Inquiry. - While many of the issues in the case are covered below as they happened, this article is a pretty definitive collection of the accusations and the truth about what the Republicans are accusing Joe Biden of. We need two political parties offering competing visions of how to guide America into an uncertain future. It's sad that instead, the Republicans are trying to weaponize the law to win elections because they don't have any policies that benefit ordinary Americans or America.

    12/13/23. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said that he has seen “no evidence” that President Biden was involved in his son Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings. “I’m going to take the same position that I’ve taken since 2019 that all I can say is there’s some indication, maybe some compromise with China particularly, but I have no evidence of it,” Grassley told CNN’s Manu Raju on Wednesday. He continued, saying the facts “haven’t taken me to that point where I can say that the president’s guilty of anything.”

    Later Wednesday, House Republicans formalized the impeachment inquiry into Biden with a House vote. Lawmakers voted 221-212 along party lines to approve the authorization of the inquiry.

    12/17/23 - (UPI) -- Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said the effort by House Republicans to impeach President Joe Biden is "falling apart," as the investigation has so far failed to produce anything of substance that could potentially hurt Biden.

    "If there were a smoking gun, I think we'd be talking about it," Graham said Sunday on NBC News' Meet The Press, adding "I'm not worried about impeaching the president right now."

    12/14/23 - When Fox News host Maria Bartiromo questioned Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Wisc.) on Tuesday regarding what he considered the “most damning” piece of evidence against Biden uncovered by Republicans, Tiffany pointed to long-debunked claims that President Biden had illicitly profited from his son’s relationship with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma.

    Later that day, Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) told reporters that there were “probably not” any high crimes and misdemeanors committed by Biden, but that he would vote to move forward with the inquiry anyway. Bacon’s comment was referenced shortly after by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) during a meeting of the House Rules Committee intended to finalize the resolution that will be brought to a vote.

    “This is not the beginning of something,” McGovern said. “This should be the end of something. You’ve been doing this for over a year, there’s no smoke, and this a colossal waste of time.”

    During the same hearing, Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) questioned fellow committee member Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.) regarding exactly what constitutional crime Biden had committed. Reschenthaler was unable to provide a concrete response, telling Neguse that “we’re having an inquiry so we can do an investigation in the production of witnesses.”

    On Friday, even Fox News acknowledged that Republicans have made little progress proving their accusations of corruption against Biden. “The House Oversight Committee has been at this for years, and they have so far not been able to provide any concrete evidence that Joe Biden personally profited from his son Hunter’s overseas business, but they are going to try again with this impeachment inquiry,” Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy said.

    And they will try their hardest, and use every tool in their arsenal to muddy the waters with unproven allegations of corruption against Biden — even as they support Donald Trump’s bid for the presidency in 2024 despite his multiple criminal indictments.

  • To support that the election was stolen, you have the same problem as Trump's Jan 6 defense. For all the political theater, there are no witnesses left to support that the vote was stolen. Both Juliana and Powell said that they lied. So who is left claiming fraud? Trump and whoko Lindell? Everyone else in Trump's administration says there was no fraud.

    Trump obviously knew that he lost the 2020 election because Trump "restored himself" as trustee of the Trump Organization on Jan. 15 2021, just days before he left office.

    10/24/2023 - Mark meadows, Trump's Chief of Staff now says that there was no election fraud and Trump knew it. According to Meadows' book, the election was "stolen" and "rigged" with help from "allies in the liberal media," who ignored "actual evidence of fraud, right there in plain sight for anyone to access and analyze."

    But, as described to ABC News, Meadows privately told Smith's investigators that -- to this day -- he has yet to see any evidence of fraud that would have kept now-president Joe Biden from the White House, and he told them he agrees with a government assessment at the time that the 2020 presidential election was the most secure election in U.S. history.

    Meadows told investigators he believes the Justice Department was taking allegations of fraud seriously, properly investigating them, and doing all they could to find legitimate cases of fraud -- and he told investigators he relayed all that to Trump a few weeks after the election, the sources said.

    11/11/2023 - Curiously, this articles says that. the election lies started with Seann Hannity on Fox News who originally “seeded” the ‘Big Lie’ narrative later pushed by Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani and others. “And they knew what they were doing,” Stelter replied, referencing the trove of texts, emails and other evidence brought forth in Dominion Voting Systems’ successful lawsuit against Rupert Murdoch’s company. Stelter has recently published “Network of Lies: The Epic Saga of Fox News, Donald Trump, and the Battle for American Democracy.”

    Donald Trump wants to overturn the 2020 election. He claims there was massive fraud and that he actually won. It didn't happen. After three years, the Republicans still can't show any evidence of election fraud.

    Biden’s victory over Trump in 2020 was not particularly close. He won the Electoral College with 306 votes to Trump's 232, and the popular vote by more than 7 million ballots.

    Because the Electoral College ultimately determines the presidency, the race was decided by a few battleground states. Many of those states conducted recounts or thorough reviews of the results, all of which confirmed Biden’s victory.

    Trump was repeatedly advised by members of his own administration that there was no evidence of widespread fraud.

    Nine days after the 2020 election, the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued a statement saying, “The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history." The statement was co-written by the groups representing the top elections officials in every state.

    Less than three weeks later, then-Attorney General William Barr declared that a Justice Department investigation had not uncovered evidence of widespread voter fraud. Barr, who had directed U.S. attorneys and FBI agents across the country to pursue “substantial allegations” of voting irregularities, said, “To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.” Attorney General William Barr told Trump the election fraud allegations were “bulls**t.”

    The Jan. 6 House committee report details additional instances where administration officials and White House staff refuted Trump’s various allegations of voter fraud.

    Facts are great and the facts show overwhelmingly that Mr. Trump lost the 2020 election, but he has repeated that there was fraud so many times that he has convinced a lot of people that there was fraud. It's interesting to think just how few people spread the claim of fraud really. Rudy Giuliani, Sydny Powell, Mike Lindell and of course Trump. Trump is the one that matters. Giuliani has said he lied. Even the Maga crowd considers Powell and Lindell to be whacko. Still, the Maga crowd is fervent. Trump goes on and on, day after day on different forms of media, claiming the election was stolen from him. You will not reach his followers with reasons. If you want to engage them in writing or especially in person, you need patience and some verbal Ju Jitsu. Instead of trying to convince them with facts, ask questions. Really, it is often what Trump does. Ask them to defend the absurd. Wait for an answer.

    Why did Attorney General Bill Barr, that got Trump off the hook from the Mueller Report and said a President couldn't be investigated or charged by the DOJ, say that the election fraud allegations were “bulls**t.”

    Why did about 60 cases where Trump allies made claims of voter fraud get thrown out of court for lack of evidence, many by Trump appointed judges?

    Why did Rudy Giuliani say in court that he lied about voter fraud in Georgia and lied about what the poll workers did there?

    Why did most of Trump's inner circle tell him he had lost?

    Why did Fox News pay $$$ 3/4 BILLION for lying about voter fraud and admit that it was to keep up their ratings?

    Why on Jan. 6, when Pense would not challenge the election, did Trump say that Pense was too honest?

    One of the biggest problems with claiming there was major election fraud was that it was the most watched election in history. Every state and party was watching at every polling place and everywhere ballots were being handled and counted.

    Legitimate challenges to elections are done in public and using established channels. Coups circumvent the law and largely are carried out in secret. Trump's actions to overturn the election were done outside of normal channels, and were intended to be as secret as possible. That should tell you everything you need to know.

    Be aware of one of the commonest arguments people will offer for why there was fraud: "when I went to bed, Trump was winning, but when I got up he had lost". That was because the mail in ballots were for Biden and they were counted last.

  • It seems that Hunter Biden's laptop is back in the news. The story is that Rudy Guilaini aquired a laptop computer that Hunter Biden had left in a repair chop. Early on were accusations about the contents of his laptop, but besides endlessly repeating the term "Hunter's laptop", that was dropped pretty quickly because, aside from evidence that Hunter was a troubled kid, there was nothing to incriminate the real target, his father Joe.

    Fifty-one former senior intelligence officials signed a letter that warned the report’s contents and emails “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation” — a letter that now-President Biden referenced in a debate against Trump. But the former intelligence officials noted that they did not have evidence of Russian involvement, and contents of the hard drive were later authenticated by other news outlets such as WaPo, CBS and NYT. All the intelligence agencies thought at first that the laptop must be a Russian Disinformation hoax, because it seemed so absurd.

    Even Fox News and Rubert Murdoch initially dismissed the laptop as Russian Propaganda. No wonder the intelligence agencies thought the same thing. Fox News had “credibility concerns” about the files alleged to have come from Biden’s laptop, which is how the Post got the scoop.

    The Intelligence Agencies had genuine concerns — after decades of experience — with Russian disinformation campaigns here in the U.S. It’s false to imply they were in any way pressured or didn’t legitimately believe they saw a number of tell-tail signs of it, based on their years of encounters with Russian disinformation and then fighting it. They also clearly stated it their letter that it was they saw “signs” but didn’t have hard evidence. There is nothing wrong with Blinken encouraging them to publicly and clearly state those concerns as that. Concerns, not facts.

    Greg Treverton, a signatory who previously served as chair of the National Intelligence Council, defended the letter in a statement to Fox News Digital. "This is very old news," Treverton said. "What we said was true, we were inferring from our experience, and it did look like a Russian operation. We didn't, and couldn't of course say it was a Russian operation. Enough said."


  • 03/23/2024. During the 3 years of the Biden administration, approximately 14.9 million jobs were created. Of that about 9 million were lost during the pandemic and the rest were new jobs.


    01/05/2024 - The US labor market just had one of its best years of the decade.

    The US labor market just finished a year that many thought would see a recession with one of the highest 12-month job totals seen in the last decade. Including an unexpectedly strong December report, the US labor market added a total of nearly 2.7 million jobs in 2023. Excluding the rebound from pandemic-era firings and re-hiring in 2021 and 2022, 2023 had the most robust job increases since 2015 and the third highest since 2000.

    The unemployment rate ended 2023 at 3.7%, just slightly above the March 2022 level of 3.6%. The average unemployment rate for the year, 3.6%, matches 2022's reading as the lowest since 1969.

    The job market recovery following the pandemic-induced 2020 recession is like no other in history. The portion of prime age workers in the labor market hit an annual average of 83.3% in 2023, the highest average in 21 years. "The ongoing rebound in participation in the labor force, I mean, it's massive," said Bank of America US chief economist Michael Gapen.

    Among all private employees, average hourly earnings growth in 2023 ended at 4.3%, the third-highest total since 2008.

  • 06/10/2024. Violent crime dropped by more than 15% in the United States during the first three months of 2024, according to statistics released Monday by the FBI. The new numbers show violent crime from January to March dropped 15.2% compared to the same period in 2023, while murders fell 26.4% and reported rapes decreased by 25.7%. Aggravated assaults decreased during that period when compared to last year by 12.5%, according to the data, while robberies fell 17.8%.
    v The numbers released Monday were gathered from 13,719 of the just over 19,000 law enforcement agencies from across the country, according to the bureau.

    Meanwhile, property crime went down 15.1% in the first three months of this year. Burglaries dropped 16.7%, while motor vehicle theft decreased by 17.3%. The declines in violent and property crimes were seen in every region of the US.

    In a statement Monday, Attorney General Merrick Garland stressed the new data “makes clear that last year’s historic decline in violent crime is continuing.”

    12/21/23. One of the main political strategies of the Republicans is to scare their base about everything. It is a good motivator. One of their primary scare tactics is to claim that crime is out of control. They repeatedly showing videos of isolated criminal activity and claiming cities led by Democrats have burned to the ground have been wildly successful. A recent Gallup poll found that 63% of Americans “describe the crime problem in the U.S. as either extremely or very serious, up from 54% when last measured in 2021.”

    That same poll though shows that only 17% of Americans “say the crime problem in their local area is extremely or very serious.” That shows how effectively we’re convincing people that Democratic President Joe Biden has turned the country into a criminal hellscape, even though those same people see no actual evidence to that effect. Recent data says that the truth is that crime is down.

    New FBI data comparing crime from January through September of this year with the same period last year shows a number of trends
      Violent crime is down 8%.
      In cities of more than 1 million people, violent crime is down nearly 15%.
      Murder is down 15.6% nationally and down 25% in cities of more than 1 million people.
      Robbery is down nearly 10%, and burglary is down nearly 12%.
      Motor vehicle theft, in one instance of good news, is up 10%.

    Crime data analyst Jeff Asher at AH Datalytics has the murder rate down 12.6% over last year, and recently wrote that this could be “either the largest or one of the largest national declines in murder on record.” He also wrote: “The decline in crime shown in the quarterly data – if realized – would be historically large. To put some of this in perspective, a 4 percent decline in the nation’s violent crime rate relative to 2022’s reported rate would lead to the lowest violent crime rate nationally since 1969.”

    Recently the National Retail Federation released what The New York Times called a “startling estimate that 'organized retail crime’ was responsible for nearly half the $94.5 billion in store merchandise that disappeared in 2021, a figure that helped amplify claims that the United States was experiencing a nationwide wave of shoplifting.” Facts intervened again and the federation had to retract that claim, as apparently retail theft is down, the group was using faulty data and an expert reported that “organized groups were likely responsible for just about 5 percent of the store merchandise that disappeared.”

    One thing is for sure though. The Republicans will keep saying America is facing a crime spree the likes of which we’ve never witnessed.

  • 06/30/2023. Republicans claim Democrats can’t keep us safe – crime data disagrees.

    Third Way, a center-left think tank, has found that states which voted for Trump in the 2020 election had overall higher murder rates than those which supported Joe Biden. This trend, called the “red state murder gap”, has been consistent for 20 years. The pattern remains the same even if the most populous county in each red state is excluded – undercutting an argument common on the right that large cities, which tend to be led by Democrats, are to blame for homicides. This is especially true in the South that has traditionally had a high murder rate.

    Overall though the analysis suggests that it's not as much about state politics as much as local policy, particularly gun laws. Unfortunartely though, gun laws are only as good as those in the next state over.

    There are signs that the pandemic-era wave of murders has crested. Statistics from AH Datalytics indicate murder rates in 90 US cities until the end of May have fallen by about 12% year on year, including in New York City, where Jordan convened a hearing of the judiciary committee into the city’s purported crime problem shortly after Bragg brought his charges against Trump.

  • Trump dismantled the Pandemic Response measures his predecessor put in place. Then as the pandemic spread, he dragged his feet like Herbert Hoover; leaving state governors to bidding wars over PPE's, telling us it will go away, inject bleach, etc. Enter Doctor Fauci, who became the target to distract us from Trump's incompetence. The ensuing supply chain hangover caused the inflation. So glad things are better now.

    06/13/2024. How did a disease get so politicized? The link above gives a very good retrospective on the U.S. response. It was a new disease that had never been seen before. The CDC recommended following the protocols for flu which included masks and 6 foot social distancing. Because of what has been learned about the transmission, the masks were probably more help than the distancing. Both saved thousands of lives.

    Diseases are just part of life. Even some diseases get diseases. This is far from the first human pandemic and far from the last. Diseases evolve and there are a lot of human hosts that travel all over the world. There are a number of known avian flus that the CDC is watching and concerned about. The disease early warning systems started by President Bush and dismantled by Trump must be rebuilt or we will have the same or worse problem. While Covid killed over a million people, it was not as dangerous as a lot of diseases.

  • Fox News has a clear origin story. Roger Ailes was Richard Nixon's Communications Director and they were upset with the facts being reported in the press about Nixon. They came up with a two-pronged approach: 1) vilify the so-called main-stream press and 2) create "alternate" fact media. You can draw a direct line from there to the future Fox "News". It was never supposed to be real news. They had to wait for the Reagan administration and the Republican congress to toss the Fair Reporting Act which allowed Fox News to be born and they also changed the law on foreign ownership of companies

    Murdoch owns a vast plethora of media outlets, from Fox News to the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal, along with even more international written and visual media. He isn’t a hands-off owner either. He actively ensures editors and producers are publishing and airing angles, which he agrees with. Every bit of media that comes from his vast empire is carefully curated to manipulate vast swathes of the population to his whims.

    As such, if a candidate, no matter how low in the pecking order, can garner support from Murdoch and other similar media moguls, they can ensure positive coverage on some of the most consumed media in the country and even get them to defend them against scandals or even hide legislation they support that the general public will not. For example, Fox News killed the Stormy Daniels story to protect Trump’s 2016 election.As this coverage is what the vast majority of people base their vote decisions on, this is a crucial part of winning a modern American election.

    The Republican candidates know their positions, policies and rhetoric aren’t aligned with the democratic voice of their party, let alone the country. But they aren’t targeting them. Instead, they are on the campaign trail to raise more funds and amass media support necessary to reach office. This means pandering to the upper echelons of the 1%, who, in return for pushing their interests, will use vast amounts of funds and nationwide flattering news coverage to manipulate the general public and get these paid-for representatives into power. That is Fox News, where truth goes to die.

    The Dominion $787 Million Judgement against Fox wasn't alone. Last year Hannity and FOX News had to pay the Rich family $10 Million Dollars for saying that Hillary Clinton was behind the murder of their son Seth,

    Then, FOX settled a defamation lawsuit filed by Venezuelan businessman Majed Khalil for $50 Million Dollars for being accused on air of rigging the 2020 presidential election by then-Fox host Lou Dobbs.

    They were then hit for $787.5 Million Dollars for lying about Dominion Voting Machines.

    Next up, they're being sued for $2.7 BILLION DOLLARS for lying about Smartmatic Voting Machines.

    Currently, FOX News, OANN, Newsmax and the "My Pillow Guy" are being sued for over $15 BILLION dollars for lying on the air.

    Currently, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC. CBS, PBS, HLN, C-Span, The BBC and Al Jazeera are NOT getting sued for lying on the air.

  • 11/22/2023. This Medium article excellently discusses two of the power brokers in American politics: the Media, especially Rupert Murdoch, and the Donors, especially the oil companies that the Republicans have to keep happy. Combined, Murdoch and many other media magnates are heavily invested in the oil industry. This is why while a large majority of Americans, even Republicans, are concerned about the climate change, media only lightly covers it.

    The Republicans’ largest political donors are all from the oil industry. For example, from 2021 to 2022, Koch Industries gave them $27,375,317, Occidental Petroleum gave them $8,052,913 and Chevron Corp gave them $7,591,109, along with plenty of others. And that wasn’t even an election year! Overall, 80% of oil industry political funds go to Republicans. For that money to continue to flow, these companies want to see pro-fossil fuel legislation and anti-climate action rhetoric being pushed.

    Murdoch owns a vast plethora of media outlets, from Fox News to the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal, along with even more international written and visual media. He isn’t a hands-off owner either. He actively ensures editors and producers are publishing and airing angles, which he agrees with. Every bit of media that comes from his vast empire is carefully curated to manipulate vast swathes of the population to his whims.

    As such, if a candidate, no matter how low in the pecking order, can garner support from Murdoch and other similar media moguls, they can ensure positive coverage on some of the most consumed media in the country and even get them to defend them against scandals or even hide legislation they support that the general public will not. For example, Fox News killed the Stormy Daniels story to protect Trump’s 2016 election. As it happens, Murdoch was an avid supporter of Trump until his 2020 election loss. As this coverage is what the vast majority of people base their vote decisions on, this is a crucial part of winning a modern American election.

    The Republican candidates know their positions, policies and rhetoric aren’t aligned with the democratic voice of their party, let alone the country. But they aren’t targeting them. Instead, they are on the campaign trail to raise more funds and amass media support necessary to reach office. This means pandering to the upper echelons of the 1%, who, in return for pushing their interests, will use vast amounts of funds and nationwide flattering news coverage to manipulate the general public and get these paid-for representatives into power.

    11/22/2023. Sinclair Media personifies Right Wing fear mongering in media.

    Every year, local television news stations owned by Sinclair Broadcasting conduct short surveys among viewers to help guide the year’s coverage. A key question in each poll, according to David Smith, the company’s executive chairman: “What are you most afraid of?” The answers are evident in Sinclair’s programming. Crime, homelessness, illegal drug use, failing schools and other societal ills have long been core elements of local TV news coverage. But on Sinclair’s growing nationwide roster of stations, the editorial focus reflects Smith’s conservative views and plays on its audience’s fears that America’s cities are falling apart,

    Sinclair’s local network of 185 stations across the country makes it an influential player in shaping the views of millions of Americans, especially at a time when local newspapers are rapidly being gutted - or closed altogether.

    Smith, an enthusiastic supporter of Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump who has built Sinclair into one of the largest television station operators in the country, purchased the Baltimore Sun last month. In a private meeting with the Sun’s journalists, he urged them to emulate coverage at the local Sinclair station, Fox45, which in 2021 produced a documentary titled simply “Baltimore Is Dying.” In 2019, a Sinclair station produced an hour-long documentary titled “Seattle Is Dying,” which described how “the appeal of the city is giving way to rampant crime, homelessness and disgrace.”

    As Sinclair increasingly fills the void left by newspapers, it offers its viewers a perspective that aligns with Trump’s oft-stated opinion that America’s cities, especially those run by Democratic politicians, are dangerous and dysfunctional. A 2019 study by researchers at Stanford and Emory universities showed that a Sinclair acquisition of local stations resulted in “substantial increases in coverage of national politics at the expense of local politics” and “a significant rightward shift in the ideological slant of coverage.”

    03/25/2024 Washington Post.
    A previously undisclosed $50 million investment helped launch Newsmax into a Fox News competitor, a new report shows, and it came from an unexpected place: the Qatari government. In 2019 and 2020, a former Qatari government official and member of the royal family, Sheikh Sultan bin Jassim Al Thani, invested tens of millions into the fledgling far-right media company, according to documents leaked by a Cayman Islands–based financial services provider and reviewed by The Washington Post.

    This was during a moment of acute Middle East tensions during the Trump administration. The investment bolstered a key conservative media outlet at a time when Qatar was facing intense diplomatic pressure from its neighbors and seeking allies in the United States. At the time the investment was made, a coalition of countries led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had established a diplomatic and economic blockade against Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorist groups across the Middle East. Qatar had counted on its relationship with the United States for protection, but President Donald Trump initially sided with its regional rivals, praising their move in 2017 and criticizing Qatar for funding terrorism.

    After the investment, Newsmax reporters were told not to crtiticized Quatar. Further, it became a pro-Trump outlet, more extreme even than Fox News. According to a report released on Jan. 4 by House Democrats, the Qatari government paid over $460,000 during Trump’s presidency to Trump World Tower in New York City for properties it owned, and in 2018 members of Qatar’s ruling family spent more than $280,000 at Washington, D.C.’s Trump International Hotel. In August 2018, a firm that had received significant financial backing from Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund also bailed out a company controlled by the family of Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and close adviser, on a troubled Manhattan real estate investment.

    Trump then changed his tune as well. “They are investing very heavily in our country,” Trump said of Qatar during the 2019 White House meeting. “They’re creating lots of jobs.”

    04/10/2024. "Money talks," or so they say. Unfortunately, in the United States, a pair of billionaires have been sending money to some media outlets to talk about the supposed benefits of oil and gas and deny the existence of human-caused global heating. According to the Guardian, Farris and Dan Wilks have been sending millions of dollars to pro-dirty-energy and evangelical organizations.

    Among the media entities to have received funding from the Wilks brothers is PragerU, an unaccredited university that provides "edutainment" videos for classroom use. The Guardian cited Texas financial records that show the Wilks have handed over at least $8 million to PragerU. "The goal of [the] Wilks and those that share their ideology is to gain control of levers of power and control information," Texas-based campaign finance analyst Chris Tackett told the outlet. "That's why they invest heavily into politicians, agenda-driven nonprofits and media organizations like PragerU and the Daily Wire. It is all connected. and they are far from alone in paying for the spread of disinformation."

  • Russia can't defeat the US or the West militarily or economically. That's why Putin has spent the last 20+ years surreptitiously cultivating the far right in the USA and Europe through "ideological subversion", using the West's freedoms as weapons. The end game is to get people and right wing politicians to destroy the democratic institutions they have enjoyed, and taken for granted all their lives, and believe they are "patriots" in doing so...
    
    This is well documented. It was an online influence campaign where Russian intelligence operatives made friends with the GOPs favorite topics which are then amplified, (un-vetted) by right wing media who use division as a profit making business model.
    
    - Race- using online operatives and bots to post inflammatory comments in news stories and phony BLM websites and Facebook pages.
    
    - Guns -NRA-Maria Butina, a FSB agent involved with Russian money funneling to far-right political candidates,
    
    - God and Abortion -various exchanges between evangelical pastors and Russians posing as fellow 'evangelicals', Pushing the narrative that conservatives and conservative Christian values are "under siege" and that Russia and Putin share the same societal goals as American conservatives (total fabrication)
    
    - Climate change - "a liberal created global power grab"
    
    ..and creating wedge issues out of anything possible as a Liberal vs Conservative fight to divide Americans. Donald Trump is the hand picked and supported candidate of Vladimir Putin. Russia has groomed Trump for years
    

  • Mr Biden has signed into law what marks the largest healthcare and benefit expansion in the history of the Veteran Affairs, giving an estimated 3.5 million sick and dying US veterans and service members access to healthcare and disability benefits.

    The PACT Act means that multiple cancers, respiratory illnesses and other conditions are now presumptively linked to a service members’ exposure to burn pits during their deployment. It passed into law in August 2022 after years of lobbying by veterans and veteran organisations after 9/11.

    Mr Biden also addressed burn pits in his 2022 State of the Union address, when he said he believed that the death of his own son Beau Biden was caused by his exposure to burn pits during his military service. Mr Biden urged Congress to act to pass legislation to automatically recognise the link between the toxic exposure and health conditions.

  • Climate Change Deniers. They'll drive you nuts because they are more fact and evidence resistant than even the anti-vaxers. There's not much you can do with them but shut them down or maybe lay out a short convincing argument if it seems appropriate. You aren't just pasting these for them. Others read what you post, so it's best to have convincing arguments ready.
    Try these:

    11/28/2023. Yeah, that boat has sailed. Climate change is making millions of homes across the country difficult or impossible to insure. Insurers are pulling out of Florida, California and other states due to frequent natural disasters. Research has shown that rising ocean temperatures are causing hurricanes to gain strength more quickly, and to dump more rain than they did in the past. Thanks to mounting hurricane losses, home insurance premiums in Florida have risen an astonishing 300% in the last five years. Florida is hardly alone. Climate change makes wildfires more likely in states like California. Flooding is also exacerbated by climate change — not only in low-lying coastal states like Louisiana, but also in parts of the Midwest. Kentucky and West Virginia are among the several states particularly vulnerable to landslides. It’s a global problem. Three more states have been added to Tornado Alley. From Miami to San Francisco and around the world, rising oceans are causing destruction. In all, the United States saw 23 weather-related disasters in 2023 that each caused more than $1 billion of damage. 35.6 million homes across the country could see their insurance policies become more expensive, or disappear entirely, as insurers flee high-risk states.

    “This is a man-made crisis,” Insurance Information Institute spokesman Friedlander told CNN in June. “That volume of lawsuits will drive more of these regional companies out of business.” It's not going to get better.

    03/15/2024. Another problem from climate change driven weather disasters is inflation caused by increased insurance costs. The more frequent extreme weather caused by climate change is leading to higher risk for insurance companies, which has led them to increase their prices, according to a study from Bankrate. Over the past decade, the U.S. has experienced a record $1.1 trillion in damage from severe weather, the most on record, which has contributed to higher insurance costs, the study claimed.

    03/16/2024. Every day for the last 12 months, the world’s sea surface temperatures have broken records. “It’s not just an entire year of record-breaking ocean temperatures, but it’s the margin it’s breaking them by — it’s not even close to what the previous record was,” said Brian McNoldy, a senior research associate at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science. “That’s what’s raising the eyebrows of a lot of people.”

    Average sea surface temperatures today are roughly 1.25 degrees Fahrenheit higher than they were from 1982-2011, according to the University of Maine’s Climate Reanalyzer. It’s a huge anomaly that could have significant effects on weather and ecosystems.

    Human-caused climate change is likely playing a role, researchers said, but is probably not the only factor. Climate models predict a steady rise in sea surface temperatures, but not this quickly, and ocean surface temperatures also fluctuate and can be affected by natural climate variability, including patterns such as El Niño and La Niña.

    “I pray we’re having a once-in-a-lifetime year of hot sea surface temperatures, but I do fear there may be something else going on that is causing a long-term change in sea surface temperatures we hadn’t predicted,” said John Abraham, a professor at the University of St. Thomas who studies ocean temperatures. “All bets are off now, this is something that is so unusual, it’s challenging our past expectations.”

    04/24/2024. A common claim by climate change deniars is that EVs create more pollution than conventional cars. Due to the mining costs, the initial carbon footprint of an EV is higher than a comparable internal combustion engine vehicle. Those upfront emissions are paid back over time with the superior efficiency of electric motors, leading to a 70% reduction in total emissions over the average life of the vehicle. In the US, according to analysis, it takes about 25,500 miles of driving for an EV to break even.

    Though still in its infancy, EV recycling is already profitable and capable of recovering more than 95% of the key minerals. A new analysis by Stanford University researchers, found that Redwood Materials’ recycling process produces up to 80% fewer emissions than the traditional supply chain using CO2 belching refineries. That’s enough to shorten an average EV’s environmental breakeven time with an internal combustion vehicle to less than 15,000 miles.

    Millions of Americans havee already moved out of disaster prone areas. A new analysis was performed by the First Street Foundation, a data nonprofit focused on the effects of rising global temperatures. The findings were published in December in Nature Communications, as reported by Bloomberg.

    A recent analysis found that 3.2 million Americans have moved away from areas at risk of floods during this 2000 and 2020 time period. However, most didn’t move very far — shifting to a different neighborhood rather than a different city — so data about the migration didn’t show up in broader studies.

    Oil company scientists were studying global warming from fossil fuel use since 1977. They were well funded because the oil companies knew the risk. Their predictions of the rate of warming were quite accurate. The insurance companies are pulling out of Florida, California, and other states because of increased risks related to climate change. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a new Plant Hardiness Zone Map (PHZM) on November 15, 2023. This is the first update to the map since 2012. The new map shows that half of the country has moved to warmer zones. Insurance companies are leaving Florida, California and other states due to increases risk from climarte events. The Mediterranean olive crop is failing. It goes on and on in America and around the world.

    11/10/2023 - Between 2018 and 2022, the cost of weather and climate disasters surpassed $617 billion — a record high for any five-year increment, according to a Treasury report released Sept. 29. The report focuses on the impacts of climate change, from more frequent severe weather events to rising temperatures, on American household finances.

    The cost of such disasters totaled over $176 billion in 2022 alone, and 13% of Americans reported economic hardship due to severe weather events and disasters within the past year.

    Climate Change is effecting individual productivity and household finances, while causing housing damage. Hot, dry conditions are not only causing more fires in rural areas, but is also making urban fires far more common.
    In 2021, the World Meteorological Organization found that extreme weather events, fueled by the changing temperatures of our planet due to human activities, are becoming more frequent.

    As David Straughan detailed for MarketWatch in September, data from the National Centers for Environmental Information shows 43% of billion-dollar natural disasters in the U.S. have occurred in the past 10 years, with an uptick in flooding and severe storm events in particular.

    At least 37 states suffered twice the number of billion dollar disasters this century than during the previous 20-years.

    More than 300% increase in billion dollar disaster events per year since 2000:
    Arizona - 500%
    Wyoming - 450%
    Utah - 400%
    New Mexico - 367%
    Nevada - 335%
    Nebraska - 320%
    Colorado - 300%
    Wisconsin - 300%

    A 2022 Harvard peer reviewed study (in Science.org VOL. 379, NO. 6628) of Exxon Mobile documents obtained since 2015 showed that they were remarkably accurate in their description of global warming due CO2 from to using fossil fuels. They then worked to hide it and undermine research that would show the problem. According to the 2022 study, 63% to 83% of global warming projections from the company's scientists have turned out to be accurate matches of real-life temperature rises in the decades since. Exxon's own scientists had been warning executives about the danger of burning fossil fuels since 1977. The executives knew about it, failed to tell their investors, lied publicly about it, covered it up, and are still working to increase the use of fossil fuels.

    The oil company executives knew fossil fuel use would cause global warming... Their scientists, paid by their private money, gave what turned out to be very accurate predictions about the progress and effect of global warming. Those aren't leftists. They are steely eyed businessmen.

    Follow the investment money. It's all in renewables. Everyone knows fossil fuel future is dead and can't compete economically. Just as natural gas has largely killed off coal, so too renewables are killing off fossil fuels in general. Renewables are cheaper in so many ways and the cost of protecting them like we do oil supplies isn't even usually added in the price. You don't go to war over solar or wind power.
    It seems that climate change deniers often like to post that in the 70's the scientists were saying we were heading for an ice age.
    In the 70's, scientists did say that we were heading for an ice age. It is what ice cores suggested, but as it does, science provided new data and now 99.8 or so of scientific papers support the theory of global warming. I guess since it is very measurable, it's probably more than a theory, but that’s what they call it in science.

    Then there are the ones that say it's sun cycles warming the Earth, but the the last sun cycle ended in 2019 and was a cycle of extremely low activity. The temperature of the Earth still continued to rise during that time.

    There are also the occasional claims that more CO2 is good for plants. Sometimes increased CO2 is good for plants, especially plants in the desert or where water is scarce, but generally not. Current research suggests that we have reached the maximum level of CO2 that plants can use anyway. Also, warming past a point causes photosynthesis to shut down. On the other hand, ocean acidification from CO2 is killing the ocean life. Well, not the jellyfish but most of the rest. Global warming is scary but there is evidence that ocean acidification could be just as dangerous for the land life.

    Climate Change Deniers usually don't care any about evidence or facts but I'll throw a few out here for if you want to use them. The data very easy to find.

    Earth’s temperature has risen by 0.14° Fahrenheit (0.08° Celsius) per decade since 1880, but the rate of warming since 1981 is more than twice that: 0.32° F (0.18° C) per decade.

    2021 was the sixth-warmest year on record based on NOAA’s temperature data.

    Averaged across land and ocean, the 2021 surface temperature was 1.51 °F (0.84 °Celsius) warmer than the twentieth-century average of 57.0 °F (13.9 °C) and 1.87 ˚F (1.04 ˚C) warmer than the pre-industrial period (1880-1900).

    The nine years from 2013 through 2021 rank among the 10 warmest years on record.

    There is another detail you should know about though if global warming concerns you. The oil companies have no intention of allowing cutbacks in the use of oil. That makes sense in a lot of terms. Yes, global warming caused by CO2 from fossil fuel use may really really mess up the Earth and kill of a lot of the life here, but that is not what corporations are about. Corporations are about making money and can take on a life of their own. The strategy the oil companies are using is to make so much investment in oil infrastructure that it will be impractical not to use oil and waste the huge investment. That is why there is so much fighting over pipelines. Along with that they are building out huge plastic manufacturing capability to prevent the change to non-petroleum based plastics, which seem to be their own environmental curse. There are a lot of conspiracy about secret rulers of the world. If there is one though, it’s the oil companies. Don't think for a minute they aren't financing climate denial using the same companies that were paid to spread the word that cigarettes aren't hazardous.

  • Jan. 6 Was A Day Of Insurrection and Attempted Coup. A sophisticated nation wide attempt was made to overturn the American Presidential Election.

    I'd love to hear how the Republicans would spin it if they had managed to hang Vice President Mike Pence.

    In a peaceful protest nobody dies, the legislators don't have to evacuate to safe rooms, and government property is not destroyed or damaged. Unfortunately, all these situations occurred during the Capitol Riot. So, anyone, anyone at all, claiming the opposite is a liar. This fact alone puts that particular liar directly on the side of "enemies of the state".

    More damning than the gallows they brought were the plastic wrist restraints. They planned to capture legislators and publically execute them.
    2024-02-08. “I think it was an insurrection caused by Nancy Pelosi,” Trump declared before qualifying it with: “if it was an insurrection.” Of course, it wasn't Nacy Pelosi that said “We fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,”. It was Mr. Trump at the rally he called before the crowd went on and sacked the Capital Building.

    There has never been any mystery about what happened on January 6, 2021. As McConnell said at Trump’s second impeachment trial, “There’s no question—none—that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day.” The evidence revealed and shown since then supports McConnell's accusation. Any talk of the "deep state" is nonsense. No democrats were witnesses at the Jan 6 Commission hearings. They were all Republican witnesses, 86 Republican witnesses,the great majority of which Trump hired himself.


    12/06/2023. House Speaker Mike Johnson just accidentally obliterated the Republican Party’s favorite conspiracy theory: that the January 6 insurrection was carried out by undercover federal agents and members of antifa. Johnson told a press conference Tuesday that the GOP is editing footage of the insurrection to prevent the Justice Department from potentially identifying rioters.

    “We have to blur some of the faces of persons who participated in the events of that day because we don’t want them to be retaliated against and to be charged by the DOJ,” he said.

    And with just one sentence, Johnson has given away the entire game. Republicans have spent the past nearly three years insisting that the riot was caused by antifa, Black Lives Matter protesters, and even undercover FBI agents. But if that’s true, then why would the GOP want to shield those people from identification?

    In reality, hundreds of people arrested for participating in the January 6 attack said they went to Washington because they felt Trump had personally told them to. And now, Johnson has revealed that Republicans don’t want any more people who tried to overthrow the government to face any repercussions.

    0/26/2024 . A Reagan appointed federal judge who has served on the bench for 37 years slammed prominent politicians for their "preposterous" claims about how the courts have handled Jan. 6 cases and their attempts to "rewrite history" about the U.S. Capitol attack, saying such rhetoric could foreshadow future far-right violence.

    "On January 6, 2021, a mob of people invaded and occupied the United States Capitol, using force to interrupt the peaceful transfer of power mandated by the Constitution and our republican heritage," he said. "The rioters interfered with a necessary step in the constitutional process, disrupted the lawful transfer of power, and thus jeopardized the American constitutional order. ... This was not patriotism; it was the antithesis of patriotism."

    He said he is "shocked" at how prominent political figures have talked about the convicted criminals who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, calling the politician's remarks [that the Jan 6 defendants were anything but criminals] "preposterous" and warning that such rhetoric "could presage further danger to our country."


    These are the questions that need to be answered about the 1/6 Insurrection.
    First; who planted the pipe bombs?.
    Second; who disabled Mike Pence's key card?
    Third; Who removed the panic button in Ayanna Presley's office?
    Four; who shared the locations of non-reinforced capital windows?
    Five; who walked off with the key to the secured bus that held all the riot gear forcing the Capitol Police to fight off an armed mob in their regular uniforms?
    And finally question 6. Why did Republicans Mo Brooks of Alabama, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, ask Trump for pardons after the capital attack?

  • 02/16/2024. Dinesh D’Souza documentary, 2000 Mules was released in May 2022, based on claims by Texas-based True the Vote’s Catherine Engelbrecht and Gregg Phillips who claimed to have evidence of 2,000 ballot “mules” stuffing drop boxes in five key battleground states, as proof that the 2020 election had been stolen.

    AP 02/14/2024. True the Vote filed complaints with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in 2021, including one in which it said it had obtained “a detailed account of coordinated efforts to collect and deposit ballots in drop boxes across metro Atlanta” during the November 2020 election and a January 2021 runoff.

    A Fulton County Superior Court judge in Atlanta signed an order last year requiring True the Vote to provide evidence it had collected, including the names of people who were sources of information, to state elections officials who were frustrated by the group’s refusal to share evidence with investigators. True the Vote just told a Georgia judge that it doesn’t have any names or evidence to support its claims of illegal ballot stuffing during the 2020 election. It was able to use the claim though to collect millions of dollars over the years from supporters.

  • 04/24/2025. Manhattan prosecutor Joshua Steinglass on Thursday presented text messages from an editor at the National Enquirer that suggested participants in Donald Trump's alleged hush money scheme knew their actions were criminal in nature. According to the texts, read aloud by Steinglass, former National Enquirer editor Dylan Howard wrote to an unnamed relative, "[Trump]'s just been named President-elect... at least if he wins I will be pardoned for electoral fraud."

    At the time of the payment, Pecker went to great lengths to keep the deal secret from the rest of the AMI newsroom. “I believed that that payment would raise a lot of questions and issues and be communicated to the rest of the editors, which is something I didn’t want to happen,” he testified Thursday.

    Pecker's discretion and Howard's texts appear to contradict the argument of Trump's lawyers, who have called the falsification of business records to conceal the hush money payments as a "bookkeeping" case and "a very minor thing."

    Since this was written to a family mmember, it is not admitted as evidence.

  • At this point, the people behind True the Vote that led to the 2000 Mules movie have said they have no witnesses or evidence of election fraud, Sidney "The Kraken" Powell has said she lied about election fraud, Rudy Giuliani admitted he lied and Ken Chesebro has described the elaborate conspiracy before the election to corrupt the vote. Only one person remains that says the vote was stolen and that is Donald Trump. Anyone that believes the 2020 vote was stolen does so because they want to, because all the facts say otherwise.

    The problem is that the Trumpers have found a weakness in the election system. Trump has even told his followers that it doesn't matter if they vote. If enough Trump loyalist election officials simply refuse to certify the vote, the election will fail and then will be conducted in the State Houses with each state having one vote. The republicans have a majority there... even if 35 million more American's vote for Biden, Trump could legally become President. They have a well documented plan of what to do then: Project 2025 and they have the people ready to take over all levers of government... and no one is going to get it back after that. The Constitution will be re-written as well to make sure.

    Remember, all Fox needed to win that lawsuit was ONE fact that showed election fraud. One fact against everything else and they would have stood triumphant. One tiny shred of proof that there was election fraud or that dominion was cheating even in the slightest and they would have won. Instead, they lost $787.5 Million. They chose not to go to trial knowing that the lies were true and that the fine could have been over a $ Billion.

    01/03/2024. Ken Block’s data mining firm, who the Trump campaign hired in 2020 to find voter fraud in the election, penned an op-ed Jan 2. 2024, stating unequivocally that the 2020 presidential election was not stolen and that there was no evidence of voter fraud sufficient to change the outcome of the election. Of course Trump's Attorney General Bill Barr and Trump's Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said the same thing.

    03/27/2024. What could be more important to the American public than a full and fair account of 2020 voter fraud? Donald Trump calls it “one of the greatest crimes in the history of our country.” Yet the Republicans on Capitol Hill have not authorized a major public and professional investigation of those alleged crimes. Perhaps, as former U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney claims, most Republican members of Congress know that Trump’s statements about massive voter fraud are false.

    The judicial system has ways to expose election fraud. Immediately after the 2020 election, the Trump campaign went to court more than 60 times to challenge voting procedures and results. They lost in all but one case. Related lawsuits have also been decided against those who claimed that the 2020 election was stolen. Fox was sued for $3/4 Billion and instead of going to court, paid up. Rudy Giuliani has been ordered to pay $148 million to Georgia election workers he falsely accused of misconduct.

    Colorado (R) Senator Buck, member of the conservative Freedom Caucaus, said he is resigning from the Senate because "this lie that the 2020 election was stolen". He said the same thing about Jan 6. Senator Buck said he was disappointed that Republicans have failed to tackle “major issues” like reforming federal social insurance programs. This is a guy from the Freedom Congress that can't stomach Republican lies anymore.
    01/03/2024. Ken Block’s data mining firm, who the Trump campaign hired in 2020 to find voter fraud in the election, penned an op-ed Jan 2. 2024, stating unequivocally that the 2020 presidential election was not stolen and that there was no evidence of voter fraud sufficient to change the outcome of the election. Of course Trump's Attorney General Bill Barr and Trump's Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said the same thing.
    Trump obviously knew that he lost the 2020 election because Trump "restored himself" as trustee of the Trump Organization on Jan. 15 2021, just days before he left office.

    A slightly peculiar thing is that Mr. trump was claiming the election was rigged against him at least 6 months before the election. Then he claimed election was stolen and claims it to this day, even though pretty much everyone that knew, such as Attotney General William Barr and Chief of Staf Mark Meadows, said that it wasn't.

    Well, I ran across a story that makes some sense if you listen to Mr. Trump's recent claim that his supporters don't need to vote, that it is taken care of.

    Read up on Project 2025. The Republicans plan, and they do have an interesting plan, to steal the 2025 Presidency no matter what happens in the 2024 election. They literally want to give red state legislatures the ability to override the results of the election if it doesn't go their way. They would do so by giving those legislators unprecedented ability to simply declare an election fraudulent, with or without evidence, and send whatever electors they want. Once they steal the Presidency they want to consolidate power to that President (the official website for the project deifies Trump so you can safely presume he's who they want to install) and have him essentially rebuild the entire executive branch with cronies by changing the employment status of every executive branch employee so they can be fired without blowback. After that they have a 180 day agenda that strips basically everyone other than wealthy, older, white, male, property owners (think bankers, not homeowners with mortgages) of essentially every federal right that they've fought to attain over the last 150 or so years under the guise of "states rights." They want to completely dissolve the social safety net and all regulations on businesses, as long as they aren't "woke" and funnel all the money and power to their allies. And they want to make it permanent.

    There seems to be a variation on this involving the "No Labels" party trying to force a "contingent election", but it's essentially the same plan. Use the State Houses to steal the election from the voters. It's explained more here and here. I want to hear what the Legal Eagles have to say.

    Now this is going to take some follow up. Project 2025 is certainly real. It's publically published. This plan to replace anyone not loyal in the government has been talked about since Steve Bannon pushed it and Project 2025 lays out how to do it. It would also explain Trump's statements about not worrying about voting.


  • (06/07/2023) The Electronic Registration Information Center, better known as ERIC was created in 2012 by the nonpartisan Pew Charitable Trusts as a way for states to share government data, in an effort to keep their voter rolls up to date. It allows election officials better insight into when their voters move and die and the rare times when they vote twice in different states, which is illegal. The Republicans are doing everything they can to get states to pull out of it. They seem to be promoting voter fraud.

    12/08/2023 - A good update on the ongoing Republican attacks on ERIC. It's all political and part of how the Republicans want to steal the Presidency by corrupting the election and throwing it to the State Houses.

    "The little secret is that maybe more than 10 years ago, if somebody voted in Ohio, in Florida, in Arizona and Texas, you would have never known," Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, a Republican, said in an interview with NPR in February. "With ERIC, we can compare our voter rolls to those states."

    Eight Republican states have now pulled out of ERIC, including many with voting officials who are on the record as praising the partnership as recently as a few months ago.

    J. Christian Adams, a conservative elections attorney, has long been a critic of how ERIC operates. But he told NPR: "It's this crazy zeal to get out of ERIC ... that is going to cause voter fraud to flourish."
    So what happened? Here are five takeaways from NPR's investigation:
    1. A far-right website kicked things off.
    2. Local "election integrity" groups are a political force.
    3. A Trump ally has coordinated an election denial machine.
    4. Republican primaries are a driving force behind the ERIC exodus.
    5. ERIC withdrawals will make for "dirtier voter rolls" and an emboldened far right.

    (06/10/23) This article gives a bit more detail, including: The bottom line? ERIC has been a bipartisan success story in election administration, restoration and accuracy. It was lauded by officials in every state that joined the partnership — 32 at its peak, almost evenly divided between red and blue.

    Then came the lies. The Gateway Pundit began posting articles that falsely described ERIC as “essentially a left wing voter registration drive” bankrolled by billionaire George Soros and aimed at getting Democrats to win elections.

    The site had some help. Cleta Mitchell, a zealous adherent to the lies about a supposedly stolen 2020 election, began targeting ERIC on her voting podcast, “Who’s Counting.” She called it an “insidious organization.” This is the same woman who was on the phone call in January 2021 when then-President Donald Trump asked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” him nearly 12,000 more votes. An election denial infrastructure has since emerged, repeating lies about voting and ERIC while instructing people to pressure state lawmakers and election officials to end their partnerships. In just the space of a year, eight Republican-led states abruptly pulled out of ERIC.

    They all listened to a lie, despite countless election experts, administrators and scholars — from across the country and from both parties — touting ERIC as a bipartisan institution that can catch and eliminate voter fraud, whether by ne’er-do-wells or outdated voter rolls. As well as high-ranking officials in those states (like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis) initially praising ERIC, or even calling it “one of the best fraud-fighting tools that we have.” Why would Republicans, who have been screaming about voter fraud for years, try to dismantle perhaps the best mechanism we have to protect against it?

    According to Charlotte Hill, the interim director of the Democracy Policy Initiative at UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, the flip-flopping lawmakers typically cite two flimsy excuses for bailing on the partnership (with “typically” meaning they all seemed to get the same memo on how to explain their exit).

    The Second reason usually given seems the most important. That is ERIC’s requirement that all members conduct outreach to offer residents the chance to register if eligible. Well, of course! Many studies have shown that those most likely to register in voter outreach efforts are poor people, young adults and people of color. You guessed it: Those people are more likely to vote for Democrats. Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft has described the voter outreach requirement as “harassing people.” You guessed it again: Ashcroft is a Republican.

    So there it is. Forget about voter fraud, which is rare and is usually “stop the steal” Republicans anyway. No, it is more important to supress the vote than to protect it.

  • 04/07/2024. Energy Production in the U.S. set records in 2023, and 2024 looks even better. The U.S. produced more crude oil than in any country in history at 13 million barrels per day. Natural gas, wind and solar had a record-setting year, too.

    03/11/2024. (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil production lead global oil production for a sixth straight year, with a record breaking average production of 12.9 million barrels per day (bpd), the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a release on Monday. In December, U.S. crude oil production hit a new monthly record high of over 13.3 million bpd, the agency said.

    "The United States produced more crude oil than any nation at any time, according to our International Energy Statistics, for the past six years in a row," the EIA added.

    10/13/2023 United States domestic oil production hit an all-time high last week. While it's not great news about carbon emissions, it conflicts with oft-repeated Republican talking points of a Biden “war on American energy.”

    The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration reported that American oil production in the first week of October hit 13.2 million barrels per day, passing the previous record set in 2020 by 100,000 barrels. Weekly domestic oil production has doubled from the first week in October 2012 to now.

    2023 - TECO, Tampa's energy utility cites generation costs for coal at 20 cents/kwh, natural gas at 14 cents/kwh and solar at 5 cents/kwh. It explains why solar is being added everywhere.

    The Republicans love to say how Trump gave us energy independance and how Biden has destroyed the American economy by killing off projects like the (environmental disaster) Keystone Pipeline. It's the usual right wing lies.

    Recent Citibank research says “Total gross crude and other liquid exports hit a record of 11.128 million barrels per day, more than the total output of either Russia or Saudi Arabia,” Citi energy analysts wrote on March 1 2023. “U.S. net crude imports fell to lows not seen since the 1950s.”

    Many Americans think U.S. “energy independence” is a thing of the past, overtaken by President Biden’s focus on green energy. But Citi is highlighting data showing that American dependence on foreign energy has continued to decline under President Biden, even besting levels reached under President Trump, who championed fossil fuels.

    The U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts U.S. oil production of 12.5 million barrels per day in 2023, inching up to 12.6 million barrels next year. That would slightly exceed the 2019 record of 12.3 million barrels per day. Natural gas is often a byproduct of oil drilling and will likely hit new production records this year and next, as well.

    American Energy Independance

    Biden only blocked keystone pipeline project but he signed and allowed more oil drilling than the Trump.

    WASHINGTON— Federal data show the Biden administration approved 6,430 permits for oil and gas drilling on public lands in its first two years, outpacing the Trump administration’s 6,172 drilling-permit approvals in its first two years.
    Biden Administration Oil, Gas Drilling Approvals Outpace Trump - Center for Biological Diversity, Jan 24, 2024
    Biden Beating Trump on Oil Production - Wall Street Journal, Apr 9, 2023
    Oil production in Biden's first year on par with Trump - PolitiFact Mar 9, 2023
    U.S. oil output to rise to record high - Reuters, June 12, 2023
    The U.S. oil industry is gushing, with record production - Fortune,
    U.S. Crude Oil Output Expected to Hit New Record Highs - Condor Capital Wealth Management.

    (06/02/2023) Global investments in clean energy have accelerated way past fossil fuels.

    Investments in clean energy will be record-breaking in 2023, with $1.74 trillion of global investment so far, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The increase continues a trend since 2020 of clean energy investments outpacing those in fossil fuels. For every $1 spent on fossil fuels, $1.70 is now spent on clean energy. Just five years ago, this ratio was 1:1.

  • 04/26/2024 The Biden administration rolled out its plan Thursday to overhaul the United States’ aging patchwork of fossil-fueled electrical grids, finishing work on a suite of regulations designed to rein in rising utility bills and stem worsening blackouts while cutting planet-heating pollution from power plants. It includes a new way to speed up construction of badly needed transmission lines and also set a target to upgrade 100,000 miles of transmission lines over the next five years.

    Paired with the billions of dollars in carrots for manufacturing, building and buying modern energy equipment that came with President Joe Biden’s landmark climate-spending laws, the rules chart a path for the U.S. to avoid nearly 1.4 billion metric tons of carbon pollution through 2047.

    Judging by the 1,500 gigawatts of solar and wind projects waiting for approval to hook up to the grid, there’s no shortage of demand for panels and turbines. What’s holding back the nation’s renewable energy boom is a lack of space in the existing transmission network. Building power lines has proved particularly tricky in the U.S., where developers have struggled to line up approvals from all the state and local governments with permitting and zoning authority throughout the route of a project. To ease the process, the Department of Energy issued a series of final rules Thursday to fast-track environmental reviews on new transmission lines and establish a new federal program designed to speed up the permitting process by a program known as Coordinated Interagency Transmission Authorization and Permits, or CITAP (pronounced PSY-tap). The new rule makes the Energy Department the primary point of contact for navigating the regulatory process and requires developers to head off not-in-my-backyard types by coming up with public outreach plans before getting permits.
    12/01/23   A recent Energy Innovation study found that nearly all of America’s coal plants — a whopping 99% — would cost more money to maintain than to simply replace. In this case, the money-saving replacement was either a wind or solar plant. “All but one of the country’s 210 coal plants are more expensive to operate than either new wind or new solar,” the report states.

    It also encourages steps to make the transition as smooth as possible — ensuring the technology that will be adapted for wind and solar plants is up to date, utilizing available finance programs, and having state legislatures “plan for and fund” the transition.

    12/10/23 Renewables are reaching the point where they are outcompeting fossil fuels on price — setting the stage for their predicted dominance of the energy sector by midcentury.

    When it comes to the surging demand for new electric generation, wind and solar prices are now the cheapest options almost everywhere, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

    Building new wind and solar projects is also cheaper than running existing coal plants, according to a report from Energy Innovation, a nonpartisan climate policy think tank.

  • According to John F. Kennedy in 1960 “If by a ‘liberal’ they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions,” he said, “someone who cares about the welfare of the people – their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights and their civil liberties… if that is what they mean by a ‘liberal,’ then I’m proud to say I’m a liberal.”

  • Shades of the 50's. When Donald Trump isn't calling his democratic opponents "Far-left", he has taken to calling them "Communists". Since communism is about revolution by force, somehting Trump has advocated, that seems to again be his accusing his opposition of what he is guilty of.

    There is one major problem with worrying about communism in Ameica. There are no Communist politicians. Of the 435 Members of the House of Representitives, only 4 that are Socialists.

    As for communism, "Far-left" would indicate a move towards communism (as far-right is to fascism). Communism is an anti-capitalist ideology that aims to nationalize banks, resources and property. Since there is literally no effort being made by the democrats to do any of this (not even by our most "progressive" representatives like AOC and Bernie), it stands to reason that his accusation holds no water. It's just to get his base excited.

    It is worth keeping in mind as well that Democratic Socialism is quite far from Soviet Communism.

  • What have Democrats done for America?
    Social Security, Medicare, civil rights, minimum wage, 5-day work week, interstate highways, defeated the Nazis, balanced the budget (temporarily; thanks alot, W), killed bin Laden, clean air, clean water.
    • Healthcare Reform, Food Safety
    • New Deal, Great Society, Peace Corp, Vista, Job Corp
    • Civil Rights, Women’s Right to Vote, Equal Rights, The Voting Rights Act, Equal Pay Act, Motor Voter
    • Consumer Protection, FDIC, Banking and Wall Street Regulations, SEC, Federal Reserve System, Anti-trust Legislation
    • Funding for Science, Medical and Engineering Research, Space Exploration, NSF, NIH
    • Support for Public Education, Head Start, School Lunch, and Breakfast Programs
    • NLRB, 8 hr. Work Day/40 hr., Overtime, Unemployment
    • Protection for the Environment, Increased Numbers and Support of National Parks and Wilderness Areas, Endangered Species Act, FEMA
    • Veterans’ Benefits, GI Bill
    • UN, NATO, Marshall Plan
    • Vehicles Safety Requirements, Reduced Emissions, and Fuel Economy Standards (CAFE)
    • TVA, Federal Loan Program, PBS, NPR, the Internet, Rural Internet
    • Economic Growth (Democratic Presidents: Roosevelt through Biden)
    Now The Republicans have done some good including passing the EPA and legalizing abortion, but currently those are some of their primary targets to end.

  • Lack of affordable housing is one of the biggest problem facing ordinary Americans today. The largest part of that problem is that Americans are bidding against corporations for home ownership. Hedge funds (in the form of corporations, partnerships, and real estate investment trusts that manage funds pooled from investors) buy up modestly priced houses to make a profit off reselling them or renting them. Over and over, home buyers all over America that find a house they want to buy will see it dropped off the market because of a cash sale. A couple weeks later it will reappear on the market for tens of thousands of dollars more. Often it just reappears as a rental, especially in Black and Hispanic neighborhoods.

    Democrats have introduced a bill in both houses of Congress to ban hedge funds from buying and owning single-family homes in the United States. It would require that these funds sell off all the single-family homes they own over a 10-year period and would eventually bar them from owning any single-family homes at all. This would slow the rapid increase in the cost of housing and start to bring abck affordability to ordianry Americans.

  • 01/10/2023. Kim Griest wrote in Medium the real reason the Middle Class is disappearing, as a summary of Thomas Piketty’s, long, definitive analysis. It's not just that trickle down doesn't work. That just speeds the destruction of the middle class, but it is only part. He pointed out that in all of history there has just been a few very powerful rich that basically control all wealth and the rest are poor. That is the power of capital. The political upheavals and wars of the 20th century disrupted that some, spreading the wealth around and creating the middle class. The middle class is disappearing and homelessness is one of the results. There is a simple equation that shows how this happens and what is needed to reverse it.

    There is an economic law that determines whether the middle class wealth is growing or shrinking. It is just the comparison of two numbers: g, the percentage yearly growth of the economy (very roughly the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increase), and r, the yearly return on investment of capital (for example, think average yearly percentage yield of a stock market portfolio).

    The law says that if r is less than g, then the middle class will grow, and if r is greater than g, the middle class will shrink. This law is discussed extensively and shown to be true in Piketty’s book. What happened during and after the world wars caused r is less than g, so the middle class grew (and the wealth of the rich shrunk). In the 1980’s changes in g and r meant that r is greater than g, so that since then the top 1% own an ever larger share of the wealth, meaning the middle class share of wealth is dropping.

    In America, this started with the Reagan tax cuts on the wealthy. If it doesn't change, if the wealth continues to be concentrated, America will become like many third world countries with the rich living in gated communities, with the police paid to protect them. Everyone else will basically be serfs, living precariously in some kind of dirty slum, or homeless.

  • 01/18/2024. Nearly 270 millionaires and billionaires urged world leaders congregating in Switzerland for The World Economic Forum on Wednesday to tax their wealth, warning that if their elected representatives don't address the drastic rise in economic inequality, the consequences will be "catastrophic."

    "Our request is simple: we ask you to tax us, the very richest in society," the letter signed by 268 millionaires and billionaires from 17 countries and published Wednesday.

    "This will not fundamentally alter our standard of living, nor deprive our children, nor harm our nations' economic growth. But it will turn extreme and unproductive private wealth into an investment for our common democratic future."

    "Inequality has reached a tipping point, and its cost to our economic, societal and ecological stability risk is severe -- and growing every day. In short, we need action now," the letter states, adding that philanthropy and one-off donations will not fix the issue.

    The letter comes as a new poll published Wednesday shows that 74% of wealthy people support higher taxes on their fortunes, while 75% support the introduction of a 2% tax on billionaires, as proposed by the European Union Tax Observatory.

    "Throughout history, pitchforks were the inevitable consequence of extreme discontent, but today, the masses are turning to populism, which is on the rise throughout the world," Abigail Disney said in a statement.

    "We already know the solution to protect our institutions and stabilize our country: it's taxing extreme wealth. What we lack is the political fortitude to do it. Even millionaires and billionaires like me are saying it's time. The elites gathering in Davos must take this crisis seriously."


    03/15/2024. Peter Turchin, a Russian-American complexity scientist whose 2010 model appeared to correctly predict growing civil unrest across the U.S. and Western Europe, thinks Western countries are in much more danger of a major “macro-violence outbreak” than Russia is. Turchin believes that violent outbreaks occur every 50 years, allowing enough time to pass for elites to forget about the consequences of rising greed and instability. The last period occurred in the 1970s, with 2020 kicking off the next period of unrest.

    Now predictions like this that are based on analysis of many many different factors are always to be taken with a large grain of salt. You could almost certainly find another researcher from the same year showing their data and analysis proving just the opposite. With a bit of a more superficial examination though, you might reach the same conclusion. According to the Federal Reserve, the top 10% of U.S. households held 66% of total wealth in the country. Income inequality, meanwhile, grew throughout the pandemic. We know that he current economic model of trickle down tax cuts has made a lot of billionaires, but the middle class has largely vanished. It is harder to afford the three 'H's: Housing, healthcare, and higher education. That's before mentioning the 'F' word: family. A large part of Trump's appeal is economic and is why the Republican party wants their base focusing on culture wars instead of noticing the economic wars eating them alive even though trickle down was supposed to help them.

    It's not just scientists, economists and working folks saying this. Many of the extremely wealthy are saying it too and that they want higher taxes before the pitch forks come out. Many of the very wealthy are preparing for societal conflict or even collapse. For that matter, some segments of society want it to happen for various reasons. I don't think they realize how much we rely on civilization and its complex supply chains for life support.
  • While politcs is a mess instead of the solution it is suppsoed to be, that is parly because it's not the problem. The greatest problem for most Ameicans is the economy. It's about kitchen table economics. Americans are having trouble providing the 3 essential H's - Healthcare, Housing and Higher Education and it is messing with the F words, Family and Food. It's because the working class is competing with corporations and they don't stand a chance in the fight. There has been so much consolidation of industries and businesses that there is no competition and the consumer is forced to take what just a few corporations offer.
    "The real reason that housing has outpaced anything else is because there are three giant corporations: BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street" investing in it. Those three companies already own 88% of the S&P 500, and now they are coming after single-family homes in America. People, especially young people, find that if they find a house they bid on, all too often they get beat out by a cash offer from a corporation. Corporations should not be allowed to invest in Single Family Homes. It's one way unregulated capitalism leads to economic slavery.

  • Republicans hate Social Security and always have. They hate all policies from the New Deal and want to end them. The thing is though they are immensely popular with most citizens and are called a "third rail of politics", meaning touch them and you are dead. That has not stopped the Republicans from repeatedly floating ideas for how to cut or eliminate Social Security and Medicare. Then they have to walk them back, but they clearly want to cut them and that is part of why they insist on calling them "Entitlements" even though working folks have paid into them all their lives. Nope, Republicans want people to work and then die. They want a wealthy ruling class that is above the law, and the rest of us.

    04/08/2024. On the other hand, Democrats like U.S. Reps. Angie Craig (D-Minn.) and Yadira Caraveo (D-Colo). It proposes to repeal federal taxes on Social Security benefits and delay the looming insolvency of the program’s Old Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund by two decades to 2054.

    The proposed legislation would keep the trust fund solvent by expanding Social Security payroll taxes to wages above $250,000. In 2024, taxes are imposed only on income up to $168,600. Meanwhile, federal income taxes on Social Security benefits would also end. Currently, certain Social Security recipients must pay federal income taxes on their benefits, depending on how much outside income they earn.

    Social Security’s Office of the Chief Actuary also claimed that the bill would reduce the federal debt by $8.9 trillion over 75 years.

    03/22/2024. The Republican Study Committee (RSC), which comprises nearly 80 percent of all House Republicans, called for an increase in the retirement age in its budget proposal released March 21, 2024.

    This follows former President Trump's when he appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” and argued that “there is a lot you can do” when it comes to cutting funding to entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare. Later he did say it was about cutting waste, but with Medicare only having a 5% overhead, that might be difficult.

    03/18/2024. Biden responded on social media, writing, “Not on my watch.”

    The House Republicans further proposed a budget that would slash an astonishing $2.7 trillion from combined spending on Social Security and Medicare over the next decade — more than 8% of the total.

    Major cuts to Social Security are back on the table. Medicare and Social Security are "defined retirement programs". The Republicans calls them "entitlements" so they can claim they are a gift that is undeserved and it would be fair to just take them away. They are porogframs that have been paid for by working people for their whole lives..

    A group of Republican lawmakers aims to balance the federal budget and slash government spending by targeting programs like Social Security — and some seniors could see a major reduction in lifetime benefits if the plan makes it into law.

    The proposal was unveiled June 14, 2023 by U.S. House conservatives, Bloomberg reported. One of its main features is to raise the full retirement age (FRA) at which seniors are entitled to the full benefits they are due.

    The 176-member House Republican Study Committee (RSC) approved a fiscal blueprint that would gradually increase the FRA to 69-years-old for seniors who turn 62 in 2033. The current full retirement age is 66 or 67, depending on your birth year. For all Americans born in 1960 or later, the FRA is 67.

    While most Democrats want to boost Social Security through higher payroll taxes or reductions to benefits for wealthy Americans, the GOP has largely focused on paring down or privatizing the program. As previously reported by GOBankingRates, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) recently told Fox News that this month’s debt limit bill was only “the first step” in a broader Republican agenda that includes further cuts. “This isn’t the end,” McCarthy said.

    In 1985, social security was made solvent for 75 years, that's the year 2060. That was the magic number to get the program to have adequate funding to cover all of the boomers. That was the fix that was paid for by boomers for boomers. There were 4 big changes that affected us: an increasing income cap, a higher payroll tax on the worker and the employer, wealth taxing social security income and raising the retirement age. The boomers did their part with the promises made.

    ... According to Robert Reich who was involved in Social Security policy making...

    The Social Security trustees anticipated the boom in boomer retirements. This is why Social Security was amended back in 1983, to gradually increase the age for collecting full retirement benefits from age 65 to 67. That change is helping finance the boomers’ retirement.

    So what did the trustees fail to anticipate? Answer: the degree of income inequality in 21st century America.

    Put simply, a big part of the American working population is earning less than the Social Security trustees (including me) anticipated decades ago — and therefore paying less in Social Security payroll tax.

    Had the pay of American workers kept up with what had been the trend decades ago — and kept up with their own increasing productivity — their Social Security payroll tax payments would have been enough to keep the program flush.

    At the same time, a much larger chunk of the nation’s total income is going to the top than was expected decades ago.

    Here’s the thing: Income subject to the payroll tax is capped. Every dollar of earnings in excess of the cap is not subject to Social Security payroll taxes. This year’s cap is $160,200.

    The Social Security cap is adjusted every year for inflation, but the adjustment is tiny compared to what’s happened to incomes at the top.

    As the rich have become far richer, more and more of the total income earned by Americans has become concentrated at the top. Therefore, more and more total income escapes the Social Security payroll tax.

    The obvious solution to Social Security’s funding shortfall 11 years from now is to lift the cap so that the super-rich pay more in Social Security taxes.

    To make sure it’s the super-rich — and not the upper middle class — who pay, it makes sense to eliminate the cap altogether on earnings in excess of, say, $400,000.


  • “If you can’t admire Joe Biden as a person, then you’ve got a problem,” Senator Graham said in 2016. “He is as good a man as God ever created.”

    “Obviously, I don’t always agree with him, but I do trust him. Implicitly,” Senator McConnell said the same year. Addressing Biden on the Senate floor, he added, “You’ve been a real friend. You’ve been a trusted partner. It’s been an honor to serve with you.”

    Newt Gingrich penned a column comparing Joe Biden with Republican greats Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan, saying he has been very effective.

    GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene compared Biden's agenda to that of former President Lyndon B. Johnson and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. "Joe Biden had the largest public investment in social infrastructure and environmental programs that is actually finishing what FDR started, that LBJ expanded on, and Joe Biden is attempting to complete. Programs to address education, medical care, urban problems, rural poverty, transportation, Medicare, Medicaid, labor unions, and he still is working on it," Greene said in her speech.

  • 02/02/24. One of Donald Trump’s leading economic advisers now admits he was wrong about the predictions he made for the economy under President Joe Biden.

    “Mea culpa,” Fox Business host Larry Kudlow said on the air. “I was wrong about the slowdown and the recession, so was the entire forecasting fraternity.”
    “The Fed, everyone was wrong,” he said, referring to widespread predictions of a recession in 2022 and 2023 that never came to fruition.
    Kudlow made a similar confession about the strength of the economy last month when the gross domestic product GDP jumped faster than expected.
    He did, however, add that a chunk of the growth was from government spending.

    Bidenomics is supposed to be going back to the Citizen Democracy we had from Eisenhower to when Reagan changed America to a Corporate Democracy. It was America's most prosperous time and tax rates on the wealthy were quite high, with incentives for them to invest in the American economy. It's about having an industrial policy so that America can compete better in the world, especially against China. It's about investment, which seems to be working well. It's about supporting unions. It should be about anti-trust and anti-monopoly legislation, ... which seems to be slowly moving forward.

    Bidenomics is 47 million jobs created as of Sept 2023. 336,000 new jobs in Sept 2023.

    Bidenomics is a 4.9% gain in real GDP, adjusted for inflation, in the 2023 second quarter. That’s not unprecedented, but it’s about twice the norm during ordinary times, when the economy is growing. Yeah, but inflation. Luckily the rate has dropped sharply from a high of 9% in 2022 to 3.7% now. It is also much lower than in the rest of the world. Inflation was largely driven by corporate profit taking anyway.

    Bidenomics is investment such as the giant Infrastructure bill that has led to a manufacturing boon across the country.

    Bidenomics is investment in Rural Broadband to help rural areas support businesses and education.
    07/26/2023 - Bidenomics is working like gang busters. The S&P 500 is up 16% since Jan 20, 2021, when Biden was inaugurated, 20% over the past year. NASDEQ is up over 35%. There have been 70 record stock market closes, and 10.5 million new-business starts.

    Unemployment at 3.6%, under 4% for 17 months, the best in 50 years according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2023, the average has been 314,000 new jobs per month. 2 million new jobs were created this year by July 2023. This has led to 4 million new jobs above pre-pandemic levels. (Trump lost 4 million jobs.) 13 million jobs have been created since Biden was elected, more than under any other President in a full four year term. That's more jobs than the last 3 Republican Presidents combined. Much of it is in heavy industry and manufacturing. It's the highest since George W. Bush was President, 800,000 new jobs and (Forbes) has reported $200 Billion in new projects. Morgan Stanly said it is driving a boom in large scale infrastructure projects. They even had to revise their GDP growth estimates upward. There also has been no recession, that everyone predicted. Inflation dropped (12 months in a row) to 3% in June. The rest of the world still has high inflation. Wages in the U.S. are up 4%, more than inflation and Americans are saving more and have more in the bank. Income inequality has even been reduced some.

  • 12/13/23. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, in prepared remarks to be delivered at a U.S.-China Business Council event said that former President Donald Trump's policies toward China “left America more vulnerable and more isolated in a competitive global economy that demands that nations take exactly the opposite approach". She said that the Trump administration “failed to make investments at home in critical areas like infrastructure and advanced technology, while also neglecting relationships with our partners and allies that had been forged and strengthened over decades.”

    Her comments come as the U.S. rebuilds its relationship with the Asian superpower, including a November meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping in San Francisco. The two nations agreed to curb the production of illicit fentanyl, a deadly component of drugs, and agreed to resume military-to-military communications.

    “Over the past three years, the Biden administration has course-corrected," she says. “We’re investing at home through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda," citing new laws on infrastructure, climate and semiconductors, among others.

    Government data showed a giant 4.9% gain in real GDP, adjusted for inflation, from the second quarter to the third in 2023. That’s not unprecedented, but it’s about twice the norm during ordinary times, when the economy is growing. The unemployment rate is a super low 3.8%. Everybody knows what is spoiling the party: inflation. Even so, the inflation rate has dropped sharply from a high of 9% in 2022 to 3.7% now. Then there is GDP of non-farm payroll. Under Trump, -.051% and so far under Biden, 4.3%

    The Biden administration is announcing it will spend $1.3 billion of new federal funding from the bipartisan infrastructure law to help create three new, massive electrical transmission lines in the Southwest and New England, in an effort to improve the nation’s power grid and get more renewable energy into America’s homes and businesses.

    President Biden has signed signed over 350 pieces of bipartisan legislation into law, more than any president since LBJ.

    07/26/2023 - The S&P 500 is up 16% since Jan 20, 2021, when Biden was inaugurated, 20% over the past year. NASDEQ is up over 35%. There have been 70 record stock market closes, and 10.5 million new-business starts.

    Unemployment at 3.6%, under 4% for 17 months, the best in 50 years according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2023, the average has been 314,000 new jobs per month. 2 million new jobs were created this year by July 2023. This has led to 4 million new jobs above pre-pandemic levels. (Trump lost 4 million jobs.) 13 million jobs have been created since Biden was elected, more than under any other President in a full four year term. That's more jobs than the last 3 Republican Presidents combined. Much of it is in heavy industry and manufacturing. It's the highest since George W. Bush was President, 800,000 new jobs and (Forbes) has reported $200 Billion in new projects. Morgan Stanly said it is driving a boom in large scale infrastructure projects. They even had to revise their GDP growth estimates upward. There also has been no recession, that everyone predicted. Inflation dropped (12 months in a row) to 3% in June. The rest of the world still has high inflation. Wages in the U.S. are up 4%, more than inflation and Americans are saving more and have more in the bank. Income inequality has even reduced some.

    Singapore-based Maxeon Solar Technologies recently announced an investment of $1 billion to build a solar panel and cell factory in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

    The Maxeon plant set for the municipality of Mesa del Sol just south of Albuquerque will create 1,800 jobs when it opens in 2025.

    Company officials said the new factory was spurred by incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act, aimed at boosting domestic supplies of renewable energy components to compete with China.

    “Thanks to the support of the Biden administration, the U.S. is now poised to reshore and scale up a domestic solar supply chain,” Bill Mulligan, Maxeon CEO, said

    (07/28/2023) “Today, the U.S. has had the highest economic growth rate, leading the world economies since the pandemic. The highest in the world,” Biden said during a speech Wednesday in Chicago. “And folks, that’s no accident. That’s Bidenomics in action.”.

    On employment, the Labor Department said 161 million Americans were employed in April, marking the highest level ever and surpassing the previous peak of 158.8 million under Trump.

    As for median household income, it hit a record $70,784 in 2021, above the $68,703 peak of 2019.

    Even the record for lowest African American unemployment, which Trump has repeatedly bragged about in his appearances, now belongs to Biden. In August of 2019, it fell to a then-record 5.3%. In April of this year, it dropped from 5.0% to 4.7%. Perhaps more importantly, the gap between white and Black joblessness, a long-standing phenomenon that many analysts at least partially attribute to racism, shrunk to its lowest size ever in May, at just 1.6 percentage points.

    The only downside is inflation. The CPI went from 1.6% in 2020 to 6.8% in 2021, before Biden even entered office, but it has been a stubborn challenge. While the U.S. has done better at limiting inflation than any developed nation, it is still a major problem driven partly by Covid supply chain disruption, but the largest part is just from corporations raising their prices.

    06/27/2023 - Rural energy is getting a long overdue makeover. Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, the government has earmarked $10.7 billion to help make energy cleaner and more affordable for 42 million people across the country, as Canary Media reported.

    Last month, new elements of the Inflation Reduction Act were unveiled, including the largest boost to rural electric cooperatives since the Great Depression.

    Electric co-ops, which provide energy in the most rural — and often most impoverished — parts of the U.S., are private, not-for-profit companies that operate under government regulations. The Inflation Reduction Act provides funding for these co-ops through the New Empowering Rural America (New ERA) program and the Powering Affordable Clean Energy (PACE) program.

    The June 8, 2023 - According to data from the Census Bureau released last week, construction spending by US manufacturers more than doubled over the past year. For April 2023, the annual rate reached nearly $190 billion compared with $90 billion in June 2022, with manufacturing accounting for around 13% of non-government construction.

    Factories are being constructed everywhere from deserts to resort towns as the US tries to bring back manufacturing of goods commonly imported from lower-cost countries. Many battery and electric vehicle factories have popped up in the Rust Belt, while solar panel and renewable energy factories now span much of the South and Southeast.

    According to Kearney's 2022 Reshoring Index, 96% of American companies have shifted production to the US or are evaluating reshoring operations — a spike from 78% in the 2021 index.

    The US has added around 800,000 jobs in manufacturing employment over the last two years, employing around 13 million workers per the May Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report. However, according to the National Association of Manufacturers, the manufacturing skills gap — caused by the labor market's struggle to find workers with highly technical and manual expertise — could lead to 2.1 million unfilled jobs by 2030.

    The sudden rise in factory construction corresponds with passage of the CHIPS and Science Act in July 2022, which provided $280 billion in funding to boost manufacturing of semiconductors, as well as the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022. The IRA has sought to create new jobs in manufacturing, construction, and renewable energy, estimated to create up to 1.5 million jobs by 2030.

    The March 8, 2023 Barron's Financial Magazine reported President Joe Biden’s policies appear to be having their desired effect. It should mean more jobs and cheaper electric vehicles for American in the long run.

    Volkswagen Europe’s biggest car maker, is holding off on plans to build a battery factory in Eastern Europe as it awaits Europe’s response to the incentives Biden is offering to companies making batteries in America.

    March 25, 2023. South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co said on Tuesday it had finalised a $5 billion electric vehicle (EV) battery joint venture in the U.S., boosting electrification efforts in its largest market. Hyundai and partner SK On, a battery unit of SK Innovation Co Ltd, will set up a new battery manufacturing plant in the state of Georgia The move follows new U.S. sourcing requirements for EV battery components and critical minerals in order under the Biden administration's Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

    General Motors Co and Samsung SDI also said on Tuesday they will invest more than $3 billion to build a joint venture electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant in the United States, as the automaker diversifies its component suppliers.

    March 2023 - After months of negotiation between top Biden administration officials and the Mexican government, the U.S. is preparing to announce a deal with Mexico to counter fentanyl coming across the southern border, with Mexico cracking down on labs and smuggling while the U.S. does more to stop the flow of U.S. guns into Mexico, two sources familiar with the strategy told NBC News.

    Mexican military and police, with the help of U.S. law enforcement, will focus on tracking raw materials for fentanyl being shipped to Mexico, finding and shutting down labs that make the deadly synthetic opioid and going after key players in the illicit fentanyl trade, the sources said.

    In return, the Biden administration has agreed to more tightly control and track firearms crossing from the U.S. into Mexico.

    04/14/2023 Washington imposed sanctions on two entities based in China, accusing them supplying precursor chemicals to drug cartels in Mexico for the production of illicit fentanyl intended for the United States, the U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement.

    The Treasury said it also designated five people based in China and Guatemala in the action targeting fentanyl production.

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced on Tuesday that it has approved the construction of a 732-mile high-voltage transmission line across the Western U.S. that will help transport renewable energy.

    The transmission line, called the TransWest Express Project, will run from south-central Wyoming through northwestern Colorado and central Utah before reaching its endpoint in southern Nevada, according to the BLM.

    The project is part of broader Biden administration goals to modernize power infrastructure in the U.S. West and achieve a carbon-free electricity grid by 2035, the agency stated.

    “This large-scale transmission line will put people to work across our public lands and will help deliver clean, renewable energy,” BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning said in a statement.

    The Biden administration is unveiling on Thursday (04/13/2023) nearly $300 million in funding from its signature infrastructure law for nine bridge projects across the country, officials said. The infrastructure law, which the U.S. Congress passed with support from Democrats and Republicans, is one of President Joe Biden's key legislative accomplishments and one his administration is eager to highlight as he gears up for an expected re-election bid.

    Figures from 04/21/2023 show the federal budget deficit fell by $1.4 trillion in fiscal 2022 from the prior year. That was the largest one-year drop in American history.

    Biden is a top ten President. Why?:
    Fully vaccinated over 200 million Americans in his first year.
    Passed Inflation Reduction Act
    Nominated and confirmed historic judicial nominees
    Passed the CHIPS and Science Act
    Passed the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act
    Passed the Postal Service Reform Act
    Passed the Safer Communities Act
    Reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act
    Added 12 million jobs. That’s more than any POTUS over 8 years.
    Passed the American Rescue Plan
    Signed the PACT Act – the largest single bill to address our service members’ exposure to burn pits and other toxins
    Passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
    Passed the Respect For Marriage Act
    Passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, breaking a 30-year streak of federal inaction on gun violence legislation.
    Rejoined the Paris Climate Accords
    Got us out of Bush's unwinnable Afghan War
    Droned al-Zawahiri into oblivion
    Pardoned federal convictions of marijuana users
    Freed Brittany Griner
    Created student loan debt relief for working and middle class Americans
    Revived NATO
    Leads the effort to give Ukraine the means to better resist Putin's invasion
    Persuaded Eli Lilly to drop its insulin price from $200 per dose to $35 per dose
    Promised Taiwan the USA would not let China invade

    You ask what infrastructure President Biden's bills have led to. How about:
    A newly repaired bridge in western Pennsylvania.
    Brand-new permanent homes for unhoused people near Austin, Texas.
    Almost half a billion dollars for expanding high-speed internet access in California.
    A renewed $77 million K-12 summer program in Reno, Nevada.
    A million dollars in affordable housing in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
    That is just a few items. All across America manufacturing and jobs are rapidly expanding.
    Biden signed the largest infrastructure bill ever, funding tens of thousand of jobs building and repairing bridges, roads and transit. Biden signed a bill to bring back manufacturing jobs. Biden signed a bill to limit computer chips to China and to bring back chip manufacturing to the US. Biden signed a bill to limit insulin shots to $35. Biden signed a bill to allow the government to negotiate prescription drug costs. Biden signed a bill to fully fund Veterans healthcare. Biden signed a bill so there would be a limit to annual drug costs for seniors. Under Biden, more jobs have been created than since the 1960s. What did Trump accomplish?

  • 12/20/23 12/20/23 The Biden administration’s antitrust agencies finalized a sweeping overhaul of rules the government uses to determine whether deals violate competition law in a bid to extend a crackdown on illegal mergers and acquisitions. The 11 new guidelines published Monday by the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission are designed to thwart companies seeking to dominate their industries by buying up rivals.

    “The finalized merger guidelines are a game-changer for antitrust enforcement,” said Erik Peinert, research manager and editor at antitrust advocacy group American Economic Liberties Project. “The new guidelines provide a road map to bring first principles of the antitrust laws into the 21st Century.”

    Under President Joe Biden, the US has doubled down on efforts to block more mergers after decades of a light-touch approach by government. Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust Jonathan Kanter and FTC Chair Lina Khan have argued previous administrations were too permissive, leading to a rise in corporate concentration that has limited choices for consumers and contributed to higher prices.

    “For too long, unchecked consolidation has meant big corporations getting bigger, giving them the power to raise prices for Americans and provide consumers with fewer options,” Biden’s National Economic Advisor Lael Brainard said in a statement. The new merger guidelines are “an important step to lower costs for consumers, ensure a level playing field for small businesses, and ensure antitrust enforcement is fit for purpose in today’s economy.”

  • Republicans seem to hate American Democracy and even America. There strategy is to tear down the nation, not to build it or to build America's future.

    While it was really Newt Gingrich that formulated the "No Cooperation, No Compromise " as his Congressional strategy, it was embraced through the Tea Party to the entire Republican establishment.

    Only one thing seems to unite Republicans and that is to be united against anything Democrats want to do regardless if it will help country. This Republican “no compromise non cooperation” strategy was made official in January 2009 when Mitch McConnell convened a strategy session after Obama’s presidential win. According to former GOP Senators George Voinovich (Ohio), Bob Bennett (Utah), and Arlen Specter (Pennsylvania), as well as others, it was at that strategy session that Mitch McConnell gave Republicans the marching orders to oppose everything the Democrats proposed in order to make Obama a one-term president – as Voinovich phrased it: “If he [Obama] was for it, we had to be against it.” McConnell openly stated: "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president." In the years since that time, anyone who has been paying attention can see that Republicans have continued to employ that no-compromise philosophy in virtually every aspect of governmental interaction. The nation cannot function like this and their obstructionist ways will affect the safety of the entire world.

  • Extensive election audits over many years show that illegal voting of any kind in U.S. elections is very rare. If someone is here illegally, the last thing they want to do is draw unnecessary attention. There is no way that voting would be worth the risk. There are many safeguards to detect and prevent illegal voting and it tends to be caught when someone tries.

    The conservative Heritage Foundation study, on court proven voter fraud, went back 40 years, to 1982, so that is about 9 presidential elections, with an average voter turnout of over 100 million voters each time. The 1200 odd fraud cases they identified, are out of well over 1 billion votes, and of course not just for one party, are a grain of sand on the beach, and not enough to change the victor in any presidential election.

    There is rarely any significant voter fraud and manipulation.
    But when there is, it always seems to be Republicans getting caught for it.


    01/10/2023. Trump has repeatedly suggested that Democrats are encouraging migrants to flow into the country illegally in order to register them to vote in the 2024 election. The claim is unsupported, but many people believe it.

    These claims ignore the facts around noncitizen voting in federal elections, which is illegal and remains exceedingly rare even as it is thoroughly scrutinized, according to Sean Morales-Doyle, director of voting rights at the Brennan Center for Justice. Anyone registering to vote in the U.S. must attest under penalty of perjury that they are a U.S. citizen, Morales-Doyle said. Lying is punishable by fines, imprisonment and deportation, he said — such steep penalties that very few people are willing to accept the risk. On top of that, federal law requires states to regularly maintain their voter rolls and remove anyone ineligible, a process that identifies immigrants living in the country illegally. Even with this and other vetting processes in place, only a small number of noncitizen voters have been uncovered — evidence that Trump's theory has no teeth, Morales-Doyle said.

    After the 2016 election, an examination of 23.5 million votes cast including some of the most populous counties in Arizona, California, Florida and Texas, election officials found only about 30 cases of potential noncitizen voting.

    A Georgia 2022 audit of its voter rolls found fewer than 2,000 instances of noncitizens attempting to register to vote for 25 years, none of which succeeded.
  • There absolutely is a two tier justice system or Trump would have been fingerprinted, booked and jailed at least until he was bailed out... and probably not then considering the national security crimes he was indicted for. He appears to have had aides move boxes around to keep even his own lawyers in the dark and lied to federal agents repeatedly. Now we find out that he told an Austrailian secrets about American submarines, secrets that the Austrailian repeated to at least 45 people.

    Who else would get that type of get-out-of-jail-free card when suspected of illegally retaining some of the country’s most delicate documents, and who else would squander it like that? What Trump’s flunkies mean isn’t that there should be a single standard of justice, but that Trump should be above the law and that his political opponents should be made examples of.

    Let's see, Trump has been found guilty of sexual assault, committing fraud with his charities, committing tax fraud, etc.. These are facts and yet he is still walking free when if we had committed any of these things we would be in jail.

    Despite a drumbeat of sowing doubt about the 2020 election, Trump probably would have been fine had he not then instructed a crowd of rabid supporters to attack the Capitol while attempting to pressure the Georgia secretary of state to change the vote. Even then the FBI was incredibly lenient, reportedly waiting a year before even beginning to probe the involvement of the person who set the whole thing in motion.

    Donald Trump might never have been president had Republican FBI director Comey not announced just days before the 2016 election that he’d reopened an (ultimately doomed) investigation of Hillary Clinton. He failed to mention that Trump was also under investigation.

    June 19, 2023 - The Washington Post provided a lengthly report that the FBI resisted opening a probe into Trump's role in Jan. 6 for more than a year. Also in the DOJ's investigation of Jan. 6, key Justice officials squashed an early plan for a task force focused on people in Trump's orbit. The DOJ under Atty. Gen. Merrick Garland and the FBI, trying to avoid looking politicized after what the Trump administration had done and started to investigate only after a federal judge in a related case found that Trump “more likely than not” committed federal crimes.

    Republicans were silent about the Post revelations, but — echoing Trump — they were quick to pounce on the news Tuesday that the president’s son Hunter Biden had agreed to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges and pretrial diversion on a gun violation.
    The story was the same in the case of the retention of highly classified documents, despite nearly two years of entreaties from the feds and a subpoena seeking their return — the alleged crimes for which he has finally been indicted. For months, according to the Post, FBI agents opposed a last-resort plan to raid Mar-a-Lago to recover material the government had good reason to suspect was there. Yet most Republicans, even those critical of Trump for the documents mess, lambaste the FBI and Justice for railroading him somehow. Take it from a from Bill Barr: "Trump's indictment is not the result of unfair government persecution. This is a situation entirely of his own making." To suggest otherwise, Barr wrote this week, is "cynical political propaganda."
    In 2018, the FBI assisted Republicans in effectively taking control of the Supreme Court. At the direction of Trump and then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, wily Republican from Kentucky, Wray’s FBI did an investigation of the allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh that was so limited in time (less than a week) and scope (an eyewitness to an unreported assault was ignored, for one thing) that it was hardly any investigation at all. Yet the bogus probe allowed McConnell to falsely claim that the FBI had exonerated Kavanaugh, assuring his confirmation.
    "Republicans’ constant condemnation of the nation’s law enforcement pillars is not only wrong-headed": Democrats will always say. No the constant condemnation of the FBI an DOJ is not "wrong-headed", it is a perfectly coherent, deliberate and organized strategy which has 2 objectives: first, get away with crimes by justifying in advance any investigation against a Republican as "politically motivated", second, justify in advance the weaponization of the government and the Stalinian style purges that the Republicans will put in place as soon as they will be back in power.


    The Republicans have been claiming that there is a two-tier justice system in America based on that Hunter Biden was allowed a plea deal and is not in jail. Actually, since he paid his back taxes, he pretty much got what most people have for the same crime. As for illegally having a gun while being addicted to drugs, again that is a crime that is pretty much never prosecuted unless the gun is used to commit a crime. It seems that Hunter Biden did get treated like most Americans had been in the past that were in the same legal situation.

    Still, it clearly does seem we have a two tiered justice system in America or Mr. Trump would be in jail the same as Jack Teixeira, a National Guardsman recently indicted for stealing classified intel who is being held in custody as a risk to national security. Few defendants facing charges of classified info disclosures receive bond, let alone release without any conditions or seizure of the defendant's passport.

    With the evidence presented to the Jan. 6 commission, almost exclusively from Republicans, it seems amazing that Merrick Garland inexplicitly managed to drag his feet on the case until forced to acknowledge the problem. In the meantime, his dithering has afforded Trump the luxury of time to build, fundraise, agitate, organize, propagandize, blackmail, brainwash, bribe, threaten, energize, incite, strengthen his hold on his base and possibly grow it. The DOJ was clearly supporting Trump and the delay has lent credence to Trump's claims. That certainly looks like special treatment for Trump.

  • Current 07/31/2023 So what did Devon Archer say?
    Devon Archer, former business partner of Hunter Biden's, testified behind closed doors to the House Oversight Committee. Did he offer the bombshell testimoney indicating Joe Biden took a bribe from Burisma in Ukraine or China? It seems, as was obvious that hunter Biden was hired by Burisma based on his name, which he referred to as "The brand". Testimony seems to show that Joe Biden talked to Hunter every day, but there is no indication that they talked business. Rep. Goldman said Archer testified that what Hunter Biden was "was selling the illusion of access to his father" but that he never heard of President Biden discussing business with his son or his son’s associates.

    Archer's testimony is interesting and certainly shows Hunter's and many other peoples attempt to take advantage of Joe Biden's position. There isn't any proof or even real indication that Joe Biden had more than very passing discussions with Hunter about his business even though the Burisma people sure wanted him to. He knew what they wanted and he wasn't going to talk business with them anymore than I talk to my Maga relatives about politics.

    The key to this all is did, as Rudy Giuliani claimed, Joe Biden take a $5 million bribe to get the Ukrainian prosecutor Shokin fired to help Mykola Zlochevsky, founder of Burisma, by threatening to withhold $1 billion of critical U.S? There are at least two things that suggest the story is false. First off, Zlochevsky has said that he never talked to the Bidens and never offered or paid a bribe to the Bidens. Secondly it would mean that Joe Biden somehow also got the United States Department of State, the European Union and numerous individual European countries, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to also push Ukraine to remove Viktor Shokin for corruption. "If we trying to help rebuild a country, we want them to get rid of corruption. And his prosecutor was corrupt. It made no sense to help out a country where the $$$ was going to bad guys pockets. He was Putin's puppet."

    So Hunter Biden played the Daddy Card. There's nothing else... as usual. Just, in the words of Gingrich, "investigating to create an impression of wrongdoing".

    Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) attended the deposition of Hunter Biden's business association Devon Archer – and came away with no evidence of corruption. Following the interview with Archer, Biggs answered questions as he walked away from reporters. "Can you talk about the bribe at all?" one reporter shouted. "The $5 million bribe?" "He didn't know anything about it," Biggs replied. You may remember Rep. Biggs as he was a major player in the Jan 6th Insurrection as well...

    Current 07/22/2023 If you want proof that the Republicans have no evidence to prove their claims, consider this.

    Sen. Grassley, against all tradition and convention decided to release the unverified FD-1023 Form. In a nutshell, the FBI report form states that an unnamed guy claims that sometime between 2015-2016 another guy said that he had felt pressured to pay the Bidens. The other guy has since denied saying any such thing.

    If I called the FBI and told them I saw space lasers causing wildfires, and they came out and didn't find any wildfires or space lasers, it would be documented on an FD-1023 Form. The forms sole purpose is to document unverified reports. The fact that they count so hard on this as evidence is clear proof that they really don't have any evidence at all.

    It’s a big nothing burger. It's just more unverified claims by Republicans. No surprise there. It shows that they have no evidence or he would never have done that. They never have had evidence, just desperation and lies. For all the theatrics of the various investigations by Comer and Jordon, they have nothing, never have and they have known it all along.

    Current 06/23/2023 Fox News analyst Juan Williams dismissed growing claims by GOP lawmakers that whistleblowers have damning evidence on the Bidens. Williams said the allegations amount to “a bunch of rumors and innuendo and no hard evidence,”

    “Last week, Sen. [Chuck] Grassley [R-Iowa] said he had a tape of somebody,” Williams continued. “This week you’ve got an app message. I don’t know what’s coming next week, but it looks like this is the Republican version of the Steele dossier with a bunch of rumors and innuendo and no hard evidence. No proof. Nothing!” he added with a smile.

    When conservative columnist Marc Thiessen replied that the message did seem to disprove Joe Biden’s claim that he never talked business with his son, Williams retorted “Marc, obviously this was in 2017”. “I repeat myself. And Joe Biden was not an official in any capacity as vice president or president.”
    As for Hunter's laptop, even Fox News and Rubert Murdoch initially dismissed it as Russian Propaganda. No wonder the intelligence agencies thought the same thing.

    It turned out the laptop did belong to Hunter, but when all was said and done it was a nothing burger. It cannot be legally used as evidence but if everything on it is true it is hardly incriminating. It is a sad story of a messed up kid. It was investigated by experts for WaPo, CBS and NYT. The Republicans had copies of the hard drives for years. The two emails they called smoking guns, weren't, or they would have made it the main news on Fox for months. If there was anything incriminating, Rudy Giuliani would have been singing about it from the rooftops.
    Current 06/14/2023 - Yep, it looks like just another Republican fake, political investigation. Benghazi 2.0.

    Reported in The New Republic.
    The Republicans have been pushing the story that a June 2020 Form FD-1023 from the FBI that alleges that President Biden took a $10 million bribe to remove Ukrainian prosecutor Victor Shokin in 2016 to stop a probe into Hunter Biden's role in Burisma Holdings. Several Republicans claim they saw the form and that it claims there are audio recordings of Joe and Hunter Biden accepting the money. Both Paulina Luna and Marjhorie Taylor Greene said that executive was Burisma owner Mykola Zlochevesky. The problem is that when asked by Politico in 2016 whether Biden had ever assisted Burisma while he was vice president, he said simply, "No". Zlochevesky also said that no one from Burisma and have or had any contact with VP Biden or people working for him while his son was on the company board.

    Congressman Daniel Goldman pointed out that the FBI, alongside a U.S. Attorney appointed by then president Donald Trump, had reviewed the bribery accusation when it was made in 2020 and found it to be unsubstantiated.

    This means that the accusation is simply a rehash of the same accusation made and repeatedly debunked by multiple State Department and intelligence experts on Russia and Ukraine 3 years ago. This is a naked fraud by Comer and McCarty to create a scandal where there isn't one.

    Current 06/13/2023
    Several Republicans said this week that they don’t know if there really are tapes of Joe Biden talking about taking a bribe.

    Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) revealed Monday that a tip the FBI received in 2020 said a foreign national had recordings of himself discussing a $5 million payment to Biden when he was vice president. The audio purported to be a compelling new detail about the FBI tip, which Republicans have demanded be made public since learning of it last month.

    At the same time, the uncertainty over whether the recordings actually exist is a reminder that while the tip came from a credible career informant, the informant’s source is someone else, and the underlying information, audio and all, remains unverified hearsay.

    Speaking about the recordings on Newsmax Tuesday, House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) said lawmakers “don’t know if they’re legit or not, but we know that the foreign national claims he has them.”

    First off, the 'tip' was part of what Rudy Giuliani obtained from Ukraine and was provided by pro-Putin political groups when Biden was working for the US and EU to get rid of the pro-Russian Ukrainian prosecutor. Some Republicans on the Oversight Committee have said the source is former Burisma executive Mykola Zlochevksy, a fugitive Ukrainian oligarch. He was arrested by Ukraine at the start of the war and traded for Azov POWs at the personal request of Putin. During an Oversight Committee hearing on Wednesday, Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.) noted that Zlochevsky reportedly said in 2019 that he had had no contact with Joe Biden. "Yet they are smearing him with innuendo and debunked allegations to try to create the impression that then-Vice President Biden did anything wrong." That seems to describe something between a flimsy source of evidence and a Russian PsyOps. You can stop right there.

    Sen. Chuck Grassley actually said on Fox News that "were not concerned if the accusations against Vice President Biden are accurate or not". He said he had read the document and when asked what it said he replied "I'm not going to characterize it, we're going to make it public when they get it delivered to us, but if he would read it he would know that all these excuses he has given us are because he wants to protect sources and that's important to protect sources but that's not an issue with this document. They've got to come forward with this document." ... It should not be secret...

    When asked "Senator, how damning is this document to the sitting US President? He replied "well, I don't know, I read it but there are accusations in it but it's not for me to make a judgement if these accusations are accurate, it's my job to make sure the FBI is doing their job and that is what this is all about as far as I'm concerned". "Public business ought to be public". ... So, even he doesn't think there is anything to it. So even after five years of investigations, they still have nothing. It sure sounds like the Benghazi investigations all over again, which they have admitted, it's just political.

    Another House Member pointed out that Senator Grassley's comment about him not judging the merits of the information is based on his understanding of the job of oversight. It isn't oversight to attempt to influence public opinion by leaking stuff or claiming that "he has information that proves...".

    As it stands now, as of 06/02/2023. James Comer, House Oversight Committee Chair co-chair of the House Oversight Committee (and Sen. Chuck Grassley) are demanding a June 2020 Form FD-1023 from the FBI that alleges that President Biden took a bribe that effected his policy making. The Form FD-1023 is used to document unevaluated tips the FBI receives. Anyone can submit one. Citing anonymous sources, CNN reported Wednesday that the tip came from a batch of material that former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani obtained from Ukraine and was provided by pro-Putin political groups when Biden was working for the US and EU to get rid of the pro-Russian Ukrainian prosecutor. The politician that gave Giuliani the documents was arrested by Ukraine at the start of the war and traded for Azov POWs at the personal request of Putin. That seems to describe something between a flimsy source of evidence and a Russian PsyOps. You can stop right there.

    At the time they were received, they seemed so dubious that Bill Barr said they should be reviewed by a United States attorney in Pittsburgh to make sure they did not taint the ongoing Hunter Biden investigation in Delaware. Don't you think Bill Barr would have run that straight to the GOP had he uncovered a crime?

    When Grassley was asked why he wanted to make a copy of the document public, he said "Well, listen: I’m oversight of the FBI. I got to know what they think about it". Comer’s very narrow subpoena demanded the document but didn’t specify that the chairman wanted the FBI’s evaluation of the tip.

    If history is any guide, there is absolutely no truth to the allegations in the tip, but it will make great political points for the Republicans who will claim that it is Gospel truth. Rejecting the FBI's evaluation of the tip would allow them to spin the story any way the Republicans want to. Even Hannity questioned Comer about why he wanted to release this Form FD-1023.

  • 12/15/23 About Hunter Biden's Taxes. Since the Republicans have no interest in policies to benefit America or ordinary Americans, such as making a budget, their preferred politics is prosecution in the courts where voters don't matter. This is true even if there are no crimes. There Republican persecution of Hunter Biden is Benghazi 2.0. It is, in the words of Gingrich, "investigating to create an impression of wrongdoing".

    In the case of Hunter Biden, this has been a 5 year saga. Early on were accusations about the contents of his laptop, but besides endlessly repeating the term "Hunter's laptop", that was dropped pretty quickly because, aside from evidence that Hunter was a troubled kid, there was nothing to incriminate the real target, his father Joe.

    The current situation is about two things Hunter admits he is guilty of, a gun charge and tax evasion. Hunter paid back taxes, interest, fees and penalties in 2022. Indictments were filed in November 2023, well after he paid the taxes. Somehow, these charges that are generally never prosecuted in his situation (no crime committed with the gun, all taxes paid) have become the focus of extended Congressional investigations. This is not about Congressional business or even Hunter Biden. This is about Republican corruption of the legal system for political gain. But why not, besides lies, it is all the Republicans have to politic with. Their policies sure won't help them.

  • If Republicans actually cared about controlling the debt, they’d repeal the Trump tax cuts or pass taxes on the rich. Instead they want to extend the Trump tax cuts that mostly only benefit the wealthy and will cost $3.5 trillion over 10 years. The position that Kevin McCarthy has taken is extreme. He’s leveraging the threat of default to extort political concessions that he could never have achieved through the normal democratic process.”


    "I cannot imagine anybody ever even thinking of using the debt ceiling as a negotiating wager. That is a sacred element of our country. They can't use the debt ceiling to negotiate." - Donald J. Trump when president.

    Since 1960, Congress has raised the ceiling 78 times — 49 times under Republican presidents and 29 times under Democratic presidents. There have been numerous clean debt ceiling hikes in recent years, including three times during the Trump administration and Republicans controlled Congress. Something else also began happening after 1960: tax cuts, a steady stream of them, all of them substantial.

    The Deficit and resulting National Debt are from unaffordable tax cuts for the wealthy by the Republicans. Trickle down doesn't work, but it cuts the revenue needed to run the country. Taxes are the price of civilization and civilization is where all modern wealth comes from. If Republicans actually cared about controlling the debt, they’d repeal the Trump tax cuts or pass taxes on the rich. When the Republicans are in power in Washington, the National Debt isn't a problem, but they see it a huge problem when the Democrats are in control.

    The Debt Ceiling, while a real problem, is just more of what the Culture Wars are about, including the Guns Rights and Anti-vaxer folks. They are issues keep the keep the base riled up and sending donations. At the same time they hide the economic wars being waged on working folks.

    It's not about spending. It's tax cuts for the wealthy that the Republicans swore would be paid for by trickle down. Trickle down never worked, though it did make a lot of billionaires by transferring wealth created by working folk's to private hands.

    The Republicans say that it's all a spending problem, but Taxes are America's salary. It was like a family bread winner taking a voluntary salary cut on the promise by their employer that it would lead to a bonus, but the bonus never came and the salary cut could not be afforded because their mortgage and their fixed expenses spending remains the same or goes up with inflation.

    For a very realistic and informative discussion of the National Debt, see The national debt isn’t worth holding the U.S. and global economy ‘hostage’. The consequences are just too great.
    “The trajectory for the debt is clearly a problem, and I think everybody agrees, because if you look at the forecast, we have debt increasing with no end in sight,” Louise Sheiner, policy director of the Brookings Institution’s Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy, a center-left monetary and fiscal policy research organization, told Fortune.

    But the U.S. is also accustomed to running up a tab, as the government has run a surplus only five times in the last 50 years. Economic policy experts and former government officials tell Fortune that addressing the country’s fiscal sustainability is important, but there is no universally agreed-upon point where debt begins to harm the economy. Meanwhile, mechanisms that weaponize the debt for political goals, like the ongoing ceiling standoff, might do much more damage than high debt ever could, and even risk creating the sort of intergenerational crisis Republicans say they are desperate to avoid.

    “Regardless of whether you think there is or isn't a problem, and regardless what you think of the merits of McCarthy's plan, the approach being taken is not okay,” Bobby Kogan, senior director of federal budget policy at the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank, told Fortune. “You can't hold hostage the entire U.S. and global economy.”

    Balancing America’s budget is an “equation” with two components, Linda Bilmes, a senior lecturer at Harvard Kennedy School who focuses on budgetary and public finance issues, told Fortune. “There's a revenue side and a spending side...You cannot balance the budget or get anywhere close to it by cutting spending without raising revenues. The equation just does not work.”

    "I cannot imagine anybody ever even thinking of using the debt ceiling as a negotiating wager. That is a sacred element of our country. They can't use the debt ceiling to negotiate." - Donald J. Trump when president.

    Economists say if the Treasury Department defaults on its debt or even fails to pay other obligations to be able to avoid defaulting on the debt, economic chaos and likely a recession would ensue.
    05/23/2023 - Referring to the bill on the debt limit and spending cuts that passed the House with only Republican votes, Gaetz said: “I think my conservative colleagues for the most part support Limit, Save, Grow & they don’t feel like we should negotiate with our hostage,” according to a reporter for Semafor.

    CAP Action, the political arm of the liberal Center for American Progress think tank, said, “Rep. Gaetz said the quiet part out loud ― this was never about fiscal health, and always about holding our economy hostage to enact an extremist economic agenda that experts predict would push the economy into recession.”

    At the same time, House GOP leaders’ remarks later in the day supported the idea Democrats should not expect to get much, or anything, in return for making concessions to Republicans. Asked what Democrats can expect to get, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters, “That we’re going to raise the debt ceiling.”

    That position was reiterated by Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), chair of the House Financial Services Committee and one of McCarthy’s designated negotiators in the talks. Asked what Republicans were putting on the table to incentivize Democrats to make concessions, McHenry said simply, “The debt ceiling increase.”

    Gaetz’s remarks were not the first time a prominent Republican had referred to the debt limit in kidnapping terms. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who helped broker a deal in 2011 to avoid a default, made a similar comparison a year later after reflecting on what the GOP had won. “What we did learn is this — it’s a hostage that’s worth ransoming,” he told NBC News.

    Republicans, who have insisted on spending cuts, appear to be just fine with government spending — as long as it's on programs they support.

    The Deficit and resulting National Debt unaffordable tax cuts for the wealthy by the Republicans. Trickle down doesn't work, but it cuts the revenue needed to run the country. Taxes are the price of civilization and civilization is where all modern wealth comes from. If Republicans actually cared about controlling the debt, they’d repeal the Trump tax cuts or pass taxes on the rich.

    The Debt Ceiling, while a real problem, is just more of what the Culture Wars are about, including the Guns Rights and Anti-vaxer folks. They are issues keep the keep the base riled up and sending donations. At the same time they hide the economic wars being waged on working folks.

    With the Republicans controlling the House, we are having the usual Debt Ceiling fight that leads to threats of a government shutdown as it has in the past or a default on the National Debt. A small part of the Republican party is basically holding the entire party and the United States hostage over this. They are demanding cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Republicans hate things that might benefit ordinary Americans and that is much of why they have intentionally built the National Debt up since Ronald Reagan. That and to give tax cuts to the wealthy as well as to starve social programs that might benefit the Democratic Party politically .., and incidentally, ordinary Americans. When the Republicans are in power in Washington, the National Debt isn't a problem, but they see it a huge problem when the Democrats are in control.

    What gets missed in this is that back in 2011 when that debt ceiling fight was going on the Republicans forced Obama to sign the Budget Control Act or risk a sequester. The Republicans controlled the House in 2012-2013 yet failed to sufficiently cut spending and sequestration was automatically put in effect in 2013. The Republicans controlled the House from 2014 thru 2017 and repeatedly did not enforce the spending caps. The Republicans controlled the House from 2017 thru 2019 when Trump was President and repeatedly did not enforce the spending caps.

    I've yet to see Republicans howl and scream about raising the debt ceiling when their "trickle down" tax cuts were passed and deficits soared under Reagan, Bush 2 and Trump; necessitating raising the debt ceiling. The Republicans certainly never showed any concerns about the debt ceiling then. The Republicans sure didn't have any qualms about raising the debt ceiling 22 times for Reagan, 8 times for Bush 2 and 3 times for trump. The current outrage now is just because a Democrat is in office.

    Since 1960, Congress has raised the ceiling 78 times — 49 times under Republican presidents and 29 times under Democratic presidents. There have been numerous clean debt ceiling hikes in recent years, including three times during the Trump administration and Republicans controlled Congress.

    Based on the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, it appears likely that it be illegal for the United States to default on it's debt. It's a case that President Biden should perhaps push to the Supreme Court sooner than later.

    It's a question of what kind of disaster the Republican House members are willing to risk including global depression, widespread business failure, devaluation of the dollar, loss of the Reserve Currency status of the dollar that the benefits America and Americans. I'm not sure that they care how much they hurt America, but I wonder if they have considered that there would have to be an immediate cut in the U.A. military budget by at least 50%.

    I'm lifting this part pretty directly from Robert Reich because he seems to have said it best.
    If Republicans were serious about controlling the national debt, they’d be willing to consider tax increases — including repeal of the giant Trump tax cut that went mostly to big corporations and the very rich. But the national debt isn’t on their minds.

    For the last half century, Democratic administrations have been more fiscally responsible than Republican ones. Bill Clinton’s administration, which balanced the federal budget after Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush had racked up record deficits. Obama cleaned up after George W. Bush’s runaway spending and tax cuts. The Trump administration added a whopping $7 trillion to the national debt.

    The real reason Republicans are waging this fight is they see it as a backdoor way of attacking the two most popular (and largest) safety nets in the federal government: Social Security and Medicare. They dare not take on these programs directly. But the GOP believes that negotiating over the debt ceiling gives them an opportunity to begin to shrink these programs.

    The act of holding the full faith and credit of the United States hostage is the economic equivalent of aiming a nuclear missile at the American (and world) economies and demanding concessions. It’s not a bargaining tactic. It’s a terrorist tactic.

  • The Republicans want to defund the IRS... The only Profit Center the Government has. Sure, makes perfect sense. (April 2021) The head of the IRS calculated that tax evasion in the U.S. may total $1 trillion a year, a figure that is multiples higher than previous estimates from the federal government.

    The GOP regards paying taxes not as a way of supporting the nation, but as an obligation to be avoided.

    Taxes are the price of civilization, the source of all modern wealth.

    Really, the tax cuts were just an unaffordable transfer of public wealth to a small group of the wealthy via the National Debt.

    2024-02-06. The IRS is poised to take in hundreds of billions of dollars more in overdue and unpaid taxes than previously anticipated, according to new analysis released Tuesday by the Treasury Department and the IRS.

    Tax revenues are expected to rise by as much as $561 billion from 2024 to 2034, thanks to stepped-up enforcement made possible with money from the Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act, which became law in August 2022.

    “This analysis demonstrates that President Biden’s investment in rebuilding the IRS will reduce the deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars by making the wealthy and big corporations pay the taxes they owe," National Economic Adviser Lael Brainard said in a statement.

    “Congressional Republicans’ efforts to cut IRS funding show that they prioritize letting the wealthiest Americans and big corporations evade their taxes over cutting the deficit," Brainard said.

    (06/21/2023) President Biden's budget included $71 Billion to modernize the IRS and hire personel to replace those that are leaving, including sorely needed clearks that provide customer service and agents tasked with doing audits. McCarthy and fellow conservatives passed a bill in January to remove that funding. The Democrat-controlled Senate has ignored it.

    Fast forward to the past few weeks as McCarthy and Biden negotiated for ways to increase the national debt ceiling. Among the cuts Biden agreed to was a $20 billion reduction in IRS funding.

    Now comes an analysis by researchers at Harvard University, the University of Sydney and the U.S. Treasury Department, which found that by cutting the $20 billion from the IRS, the federal government will lose out on $220 billion in revenues it might have received in the coming 14 years.

    The Washington Post first reported the analysis and said how audits of the highest-income earners result in significant new revenues for the government. “For every additional dollar spent auditing people in the top decile of the income distribution, the government can expect to get 12 times that amount back,” the Post reported.

    Cutting the IRS funding by $20 billion means losing revenues the U.S. government badly needs. If McCarthy believes in the rule of law as much as he frequently says, then he should remember that cheating on your taxes, especially by those who are wealthy, is unfair and illegal. It should not be given a free pass simply to make political points.

    Revenue and expenses are two different things.

    Congress used to have to follow Pay-Go to restrict spending. Any proposed spending increases had to state the source of the funds to pay for it. It worked until the Republicans said that the tax cuts would be paid for by trickle down... which never worked. It was like a family bread winner taking a voluntary salary cut on the promise by their employer that it would lead to a bonus, but the bonus never came and the salary cut could not be afforded.

    The only reason the GOP is pushing the lie that 87,000 IRS agents will be hired is for fundraising. They will tell any lie that is useful for that.

    The IRS’s staff size today is the same as in 1970, and there are a lot more tax returns to deal with today. The IRS has had its budget cut nearly 20% since 2010. An understaffed IRS is of greatest benefit to the rich, whose finances are more complicated to evaluate, and who are more adept at finding loopholes.
    The GOP is pushing a policy they call "Fair Tax" to get rid of the IRS and replace it with a 30% national sales tax. If they want that, apparently trickledown economics of unfunded tax cuts for the wealthy didn't transfer enough wealth to the to the already rich. Since the young, the old, the poor and the working class have to spend most of their money to survive, they would pay 30% of everything they earned... compounded through the layers of the economy as money changed hands from person to person. (The cost to tourists would end tourism in America.) It would penalize everyone but the wealthy because they only spend part of their money. The richer you are, the smaller percentage you would be likely to pay. A person like Warren Buffet that is wealthy but isn't extravagant might get their tax rate below 1%.

    Here’s the reality: The IRS is understaffed, overwhelmed and digitally dated. Thirty years ago, the IRS had 117,000 employees. Today, it has 78,000. It faces an expected wave of 50,000 retirements this decade. Its budget has been slashed by nearly 20% since 2010.

    These circumstances have created a massive backlog. For example, according to the Treasury Department, nearly 200 million taxpayers called the IRS for assistance in the first half of 2021. There were 15,000 employees available to assist them. That’s one person for every 13,000 calls.

    Funding from the Inflation Reduction Act aims to address these shortfalls by hiring 87,000 new IRS employees ― over the next 10 years, not all at once. And most of the hires will be to replace all those retirees. Will all the money go toward hiring IRS agents to audit taxpayers? Nope.

    · $45.6 billion will go toward hiring more enforcement agents, shoring up legal support and investing in “investigative technology.”

    · $25.3 billion will cover routine costs, like rent, facilities, printing and postage.

    · $3 billion will go to customer services, such as prefiling assistance and education, and the possibility of creating a free direct e-file program.

    · $5 billion will go toward modernizing the IRS’s business systems and customer service technology. Some agency computers still use programming language that dates back to the 1960s.

    Audits have declined most dramatically for the wealthy. For example: In 2012, the percentage of companies with at least $20 billion in assets subjected to audit was 93%. By 2020, it was just 38%.

    The resulting tax gap — what people owe versus what they pay — is estimated to be more than $600 billion. Much of this is due to drastic cuts in the IRS’s budget, courtesy of Tea Party fanatics a decade ago.

    Since then, the number of IRS auditors has fallen by more than 40% even as the tax code has gotten more complex. The agency’s auditors are no match for the battery of pricey accountants and tax attorneys who help the affluent avoid or evade their tax obligations.

    Sidebar: In the past decade, the tax code has been amended or revised more than 4,000 times. Keep in mind that the agency doesn’t make those changes; Congress does. So while Congress was making tax law more complex, it gelded the agency tasked with tending to its directives.
  • Revenue and expenses are two different things.

    Congress used to have to follow Pay-Go to restrict spending. Any proposed spending increases had to state the source of the funds to pay for it. It worked until the Republicans said that the tax cuts would be paid for by trickle down... which never worked. It was like a family bread winner taking a voluntary salary cut on the promise by their employer that it would lead to a bonus, but the bonus never came and the salary cut could not be afforded.

    IRS Audits of the Rich Deliver Huge Bang for the Buck - June 2023.

    Researchers at the Treasury Department, Harvard University and The University of Sydney looked at IRS data for about 710,000 in-person audits. They found that audits generate a substantial return for the government — and while audit costs rise for those with higher incomes (because wealthy people typically have more complicated tax filings) the returns rise even more. Every additional dollar spent on auditing taxpayers in the top 10% of earners generates more than $12 in revenue for the government.

    Washington Post Columnist Catherine Rampell lays out another way to think about the new data: “On average, the direct revenue collected from audits exceed costs by a factor of 2 to 1,” she writes. “But, that payoff varies by income. For money spent auditing the bottom half of taxpayers, the IRS only roughly broke even. Meanwhile, the agency pulled in $3.18 for each dollar spent auditing the top 1 percent, and $6.29 for the top 0.1 percent.”

    The study also found a lasting benefit from the audits: taxpayers who were audited voluntarily pay more taxes going forward — for at least 14 years after the initial audit. “For every $1 an audited person pays during their audit, they pay $3 more on their taxes in the subsequent years,” Harvard Economist Nathaniel Hendren, one of the paper’s authors, tweeted.

    The Congressional Budget Office models only modest lasting effects from stepped up enforcement, but the new study finds that longer-term deterrence results in about three times the revenue of the initial audit. Taxpayers either get scared straight or correct unintentional errors they previously made, resulting in higher tax payments over time. “Our finding of significant deterrence effects throughout the income distribution differs from existing CBO scores,” Hendren notes. There is a problem. Republicans have managed to cut out $21 Billion of the oney alloted to them by the Inflation Reduction Act. If cut to IRS funding comes out of enforcement and audits, it could mean that lawmakers just gave up hundreds of billions more in revenue.

    How four decades of tax cuts fueled inequality - The Center for Public Integrity - May 2023. This is an excellent telling of the story of American Taxes and how unfair and unproductive they are. Here are a few comments from it.

    “It’s vastly oversold that tax cuts will generate job and economic growth,” said William Gale, co-director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. “When you cut taxes for the upper income, you give them more after-tax income, but you don’t do anything for growth.”
    The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service reached essentially the same conclusion in 2012 that tax cuts don’t spur growth but do increase income inequality. After Senate Republicans heatedly objected to the report, CRS withdrew it.

    For decades leading up to 1980, all incomes from top to bottom rose at nearly the same pace. But that changed dramatically afterward. While median family income was largely stagnant, top incomes soared.

    In 1980, the top 4% of taxpayers earned as much as the bottom 39%. By 2019, the top 4% earned as much as the bottom 57%, according to a Public Integrity analysis of the most recent IRS data.

    As more money flowed upward, the gap in accumulated wealth widened. In 2019, the top 10% of Americans had three times the wealth of everyone else in the country combined.

    The pandemic greatly exacerbated the trend. The stock market has been volatile this year, but a June study by Americans for Tax Fairness and the Institute for Policy Studies concluded that 745 U.S. billionaires had grown $2.1 trillion richer since the start of COVID-19.

    Andrew Carnegie, one of the richest Americans and an income tax foe, had this to say about the estate tax: “Of all forms of taxation, this seems the wisest.” But laws enacted by Republican-controlled Congresses slashed the number of taxpayers paying it from 27,568 in 1982 to 2,584 in 2021.

    Over the past four decades, the federal tax system has been transformed into something akin to a private-equity fund for wealthy taxpayers, giving them remarkable returns from multiple sources. As Congress showered them with benefits, most Americans struggled to keep up with the cost of living.

  • Since 1960, Congress has raised the ceiling 78 times — 49 times under Republican presidents and 29 times under Democratic presidents. There have been numerous clean debt ceiling hikes in recent years, including three times during the Trump administration and Republicans controlled Congress. Something else also began happening after 1960: tax cuts, a steady stream of them, all of them substantial.
    From 1944 through 1963, top taxpayers paid a tax rate above 90% (94% at its peak in 1944). Inconceivable today. In 1964, the top marginal tax rate for individuals began to fall. It was lowered to 77%, then to 70% for the tax years 1965 through 1981. From 1982 to 1986, the top marginal tax rate was lowered to 50%, eventually falling to 31% in 1991. It currently sits at 37%.

    In 1960, the corporate tax rate was 50%. It fell to 35% by 1993. The Trump tax cuts of 2017 dropped it to 21%. But the amount corporations actually pay — the effective tax rate — fell from 16% in 2014 to 9% in 2018, according to the Government Accounting Office, and half of all large corporations paid no federal income taxes at all.

    Every tax cut takes a big bite out of federal revenue and increases the federal debt. The Trump tax cuts, for example, which included the reduction in the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, caused a 25% increase in the federal debt ― “the third-biggest increase, relative to the size of the economy, of any U.S. presidential administration.” Those who laud Donald Trump for his 2017 tax cuts have it backward; his most enduring legacy just might be the historic rise in the national debt due to those tax cuts.

    A study by the Center for American Progress argues that the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and the Trump tax cuts of 2017 have caused a 57% increase in the debt ratio (debt as a percentage of the economy).

    “Without the Bush and Trump tax cuts, debt as a percentage of the economy would be declining permanently,” the report said.

    And in a truly absurd irony, one of the things Republicans want to cut is the money that has already been budgeted for an increase in the IRS’s ability to collect taxes.

    There is a common mistake people make. We do not tax wealth. We tax income. When calculating your income tax, wealth is irrelevant. Tell me which line on your tax form you are required to state your wealth and which line represents the taxes you are required to pay on your wealth. One of the major ways the wealthy protect their wealth is to make sure it never fits in the income box. There are a variety of ways for individuals to do that.

    There are also many ways for corporations to avoid paying taxes. It was Jack Welch of GE that really pioneered this. He believed one of the best ways for a company to be profitable was to avoid paying taxes. At a point, a company is making enough taxable profits that it is cheaper to hire accountants, and previous empoloyees of the IRS and Treasury Department to come up with strategies to avoid paying taxes, than it is to pay the taxes. You end up with situations like this:

    Occidental Petroleum
    Taxes Paid: -$23 million
    Tax Rate: -0.7%
    Profit: $3.379 billion

    Starbucks
    Taxes Paid: -$75 million
    Tax Rate: -1.6%
    Profit: $4.774 billion

    General Motors
    Taxes Paid: -$104 million
    Tax Rate: -2.4%
    Profit: $4.32 billion

    Amazon.com
    Taxes Paid: -$129 million
    Tax Rate: -1.2%
    Profit: $10.835 billion

    Chevron
    Taxes Paid: -$181 million
    Tax Rate: -4%
    Profit: $4.547 billion

    Delta Air Lines
    Taxes Paid: -$187 million
    Tax Rate: -3.7%
    Profit: $5.073 billion

    Duke Energy
    Taxes Paid: -$647 million
    Tax Rate: -21.4%
    Profit: $3.029 billion

  • 2024-02-07. Most millionaires want a wealth tax. Extreme wealth and income inequality will eventually destroy a real democracy. Why? Because that disparity of power and resources allows a relatively small number of people and groups to subvert the popular will, undermine checks and balances, the law, and other democratic institutions, and to manipulate the public through a variety of means into making decisions that are contrary to their interests, and democracy and the Common Good more broadly.

    Chuck Collins was born into the Oscar Mayer meat and cold cuts family fortune and has written several books on how most of the ultra-wealthy are so removed from the rest of the world. The ultra-rich as a class really do live in a different world and feel no connection to “regular people” or obligations to humanity as a whole. Wealth is a type of disconnection drug. You operate in a bubble; You don't see the impact on real people. They have a powerful justification story. They live with a mythology of justification, whatever it is. It is causing a crisis in world democracy. "we cannot solve the global democracy crisis without first confronting extreme wealth and income inequality and other forms of resource hoarding by the moneyed classes".

    He also shared new polling which shows that a large percentage of wealthy people in the G20 countries (those with at least one million dollars in assets excluding their homes) understand that extreme wealth and income inequality is undermining global stability and that it is in their long-term interest to give something back to society in the form of paying a fair tax and providing other redistributive supports.

    There's a growing segment of wealthy people who say, "Oh, this is this is going to be bad for me too." They are starting to think in terms of their long-term self-interest about, for example, how late-stage capitalism is bad for the bottom 90 percent of the public — but that same system can come back and bite them too.

    While there are plenty of people with money who choose not to profit from war and other disasters, it is also true that there is a segment of capitalists who prey on disruption. Private equity firms are moving into the rental housing market. If people won't be able to own a home, these bad actors reason that they will put a squeeze on vulnerable people and make even more money from doing it. Student loans are another example where these predators can profit by exploiting vulnerable people. There are disaster capitalists who are of course trying to make money off the global climate disaster. Basically, their plan is to party until the music stops.

  • Compliments of Economist Robert Reich...

    The Republicans love to complain about “Out of control government spending” by the Democrats. Rubbish. In fact, discretionary spending has fallen more than 40 percent in the past 50 years as a percentage of the nation’s gross domestic product (from 11 percent to 6.3 percent). Lately, rising deficits have been driven by Social Security and Medicare (to be expected, as boomers retire), and by defense spending and George W. Bush’s and Donald Trump’s huge tax cuts that mostly benefited the wealthy and big corporations — and that will have added $8 trillion and $1.7 trillion, respectively, to the debt by the end of the 2023 fiscal year.
  • Conservatives Say They Love America. So Why Are They So Scared Of Its History?

    Woke is what what happens when we shed light on discomfiting realities.

    The same people mocking others for being woke used to mock people who could read.

    Time and time again, we find people convulsing over our nation’s uncomfortable truths, past or present, horrified at the thought of examining them, let alone acknowledging them, and fiercely determined to censor them.

    Today’s targets are familiar: race, diversity, inequality, oppression, inclusion, gender and gender identity, anything that offends the sensibilities of whomever in whatever quarter.

    Now it's the latest bogeyman: the College Board’s Advanced Placement history course on African American studies, but it's not the first AP course that has been objected to. Even AP American History has been objected to.

    The problem is the truth is sacrificed and students end up ill informed. Can you imagine a criminal trial in which the jury only got half the truth and not the whole truth? It is the sacrifice of Free Speech. Those that seem to worship the Second Amendment, seem willing to sacrifice the First Amendment. Autocracies survive by manipulating the truth.

    America and all of humanity, face an undcertain future in a changing world. We must adapt or we will die. We must know the truth of the past to do the patriotic thing, to take America to the future. “Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it,” George Santayana wrote in his “Life of Reason”. Wihtout our past, we will not work for a good future.

    Conservatives Say They Love America. So Why Are They So Scared Of Its History?
  • For too many of us the political equality we once had won was meaningless in the face of economic inequality. A small group had concentrated into their own hands an almost complete control over other people's property, other people's money, other people's labor — other people's lives. For too many of us life was no longer free; liberty no longer real; men could no longer follow the pursuit of happiness.

    FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, speech at Democratic National Convention, Jun. 27, 1936

    President Biden is trying to undo the change made by Reagan of America to a corporate democracy. President Biden is working to change it back to the citizen's democracy that FDR made, that Eisenhower continued and that was the most prosperous time in America.

    How to end homelessness.

    Easy. Return to social democracy. Americans consistently confuse social democracy with socialism. This is all the more astonishing because social democracy was how the US was basically run from 1945 - 1980.

    This is a system that chains capitalism in service to the public, treating it like the corrupt, ravening beast that it is, thus ensuring it serves the people, not the other way around. The US used to understand this!!

    Make no mistake, social democracy is capitalist, and recognizes that capitalism does create wealth and is a superior economic system to most other options. However, it also recognizes that Capitalism will eat your screaming children alive while you watch if it is not controlled carefully. This is the Capitalism, the unchained-baby-eating-with-a-side-order-of-fundamentalist-religion kind, that has been unleashed in the US for the last 30 to 40 years. How’s that going? Not so good? Exactly.

    This then is how you reduce homelessness.

    So now you know. You need never ask this question - or anything like it - ever again. Go forth and tax the rich. Treat them with suspicion. Deny them access to political power (other than that due to a single citizen or a duly elected official).

    A country ruled by money is essentially a slave camp with above average plumbing.
  • ALL of the "liberal media" that that the conservatives refer to are owned by rich and powerful REPUBLICANS (the 4 major TV networks, the major cable news channels with the exception of MSNBC and the biggest selling newspapers). Just because someone reports something you object to does not mean they are wrong, liberal, slanting the news or lying at all.
    Interestingly, as of 06/16/2023, Abortion advocacy is a banned topic on Twitter. Sen. Rachel Hunt (D), running for Lt. Governor in North Carolina had her campaign video. When requesting an explanation, a Twitter employee told Hunt’s campaign Wednesday in an email: “Ah yes, the mention of abortion advocacy is the issue here,”

  • The word "republic", from Latin res publica, the People's Business.

    The US is a Constitutional Republic organized by that Constitution as a Representative Democracy.

    That means it’s a constitutional democracy that uses representative democracy to get most things done, and sometimes engages in direct democracy (That’s what a ballot measure is.)

    Saying it is a Republic and not a Democracy is a call for the tyranny of the minority.

    When the founders talked about anything related to democracy in a negative way, they always clarified that they were talking about Athenian-style Direct Democracy. They weren’t saying everyone shouldn’t get a say, they were saying we can’t ask everyone about everything, we have to set up a structure.

    The Structure they set up was representative democracy. Everyone gets a say on who represents them in Government and those representatives follow a Democratic process to decide on what becomes law.

    They never felt that “what most people want shouldn't happen.” Quite the opposite. What they felt was you can’t build a stable foundation on the shifting tides of public opinion. You need something more stable than that. And that’s what they built. A nation of laws where everyone gets a say by electing the people who write those laws.

    America. The Republic. The Democracy.

    Conservative types seem to love to point out that America is a Republic, not a Democracy. It is about the only way they can rationalize the minority rule they need for power. It is partly true and partly not. It was more true when senators were chosen by state legislatures, prior to the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913. With Senators being elected by voters instead of voter representatives, America became much more of a democracy. The President is still elected by the representatives through the Electoral College, so in that sense, America is still a Republic. Just be aware of the point of the conservatives bringing this up. It is to claim that State's Rights supersede Federal Laws. They like that because in general, modern conservative policies are not popular with the voters and very often conflict with the laws of the Constitution. A variation of this is the claim that the Articles of Confederation, written before the Constitution, take precedence over the Constitution. In any case, an appropriate answer is:
    America is only a Republic in regards to electing the President. It is a democracy determined by the voters and by laws in all other regards. Claiming it is a Republic is more incorrect than correct.

  • Negotiated under President George Washington, passed unanimously by the Senate, and signed into law by the 2nd President of the USA, John Adams, in 1796 - Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli reads: "As the Government of the United States of America is NOT IN ANY SENSE founded on the Christian religion...". This treaty represents U.S. law as all treaties do according to the US Constitution Article VI, Sect. 2.

    Thomas Jefferson said he viewed with “solemn reverence that act of the whole of the American people” which established “a wall of separation between church and state.” George Washington approved a treaty that explicitly stated, “The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.” The very First Amendment in America’s Bill of Rights states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” The principal author of the Constitution, James Madison, in his treatise, “Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments,” described 15 reasons why the U.S. government must avoid backing any religion.

    There is a reason the word “God” does not appear a single time in the Constitution. The founders were breaking with an England and Europe that were still in the thrall of the idea that rulers derived their powers from heaven above, “the divine right of kings.” But in the Constitution it explicitly states their view that the powers of government are derived “from the consent of the governed.”

    Madison said that “religion and government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together” and saw the separation of the two as essential to avoiding “the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe with blood for centuries”—a sentiment that clearly resonates with our own times. Washington celebrated that the U.S. had at last created a form of government “that gives to bigotry no sanction.” Benjamin Franklin wrote at length about the pernicious nature of religious tests in government documents.
  • Republicans always claim that the Democrats want to control everyone. that really seems like a bit of projection considering:
    It's the Republicans who want to control your bedroom.
    It's the Republicans who want to control your private health care decisions.
    It's the Republicans who want to control your religion.
    It's the Republicans who want to control what you read.
    It's the Republicans who want to control what you say.
    It's the Republicans who want to rule rather than lead or govern.

    Really though, that's not what it's about. Those are all a just a path to the power the the right wants. If you look at Democrat desires and policies of control, you see something different. More than anything, they seem to want to protect people's rights and prevent the society from being controlled by the oligarchs. Right wing control is really a proxy for that.
  • One of the favorite claims of the Right is that Biden is compromised by China. A simple, appropriate response would be:
    Didn't Biden prohibit American companies from selling microchips that could be used for military purposes to China? Then took it a step further by preventing the US from doing business with other countries that did this same? Does not sound overly friendly to China to me.
    One of the commonest posts seems to be short comments about the Biden Crime Family or Biden Family Corruption. Evidence is never offered, just the accusation. I think the appropriate answer is:
    There is an incredible irony to any fact free mention of a Biden Crime Family. Where were you from 2017-2020 when the Trump Crime Family was making deals with the Saudis and using political blackmail? That accusation is just extreme case of projection.
    President Biden is a hard target. He's smart and loves America. He accomplished many good things before becoming President and may good things for American as President. He is a skilled politician and diplomat. He is a survivor of many personal tragedies. I doubt he even wants to be President, but he will do it for America.

    As said in the introduction, the main strategy of the Republicans has come to be attacking their opponents because they have nothing good to offer. Attacks on President Biden will be relentless. It's very common to see comments about Biden is senile, or Biden destroyed the economy, or Biden hates America generally. They don't have much body as they are just meant as emotional messages. The best thing to do is respond with Biden accomplishments, cuz that's a twofer, make them look bad and message what President Biden really has accomplished... Try the one below.

    The expected responses will be deflection or whataboutisms, maybe a personal attack. It's just another weak defense, an opening for another jab. Use it.

    The easiest way to respond to the commonest stupid statements like "Biden crashed the economy" or Biden is a "communist" or any of the number of stupid, unsupported statements we all constantly see is to list his accomplishments. Turnarounds are fair and you are putting out a great targeted, political ad for free that will be seen by people of all parties. Done properly, with the right message, some will learn and the attackers will be shut down. Mix and match these as appropriate.
    President Biden (12/22/2022) - For too long, we were told that the best way to grow our economy was for government to cut taxes for the wealthy and cut regulations for big corporations. That trickle-down vision never worked for working people; it made our economy more unequal and our supply chains more vulnerable to disruptions.

    I have a different vision for our economy. A vision based on the simple idea that, when we grow our economy from the bottom up and the middle out, not only do the poor and the middle class have a ladder up, the wealthy do too.

    The economic legislation I have signed into law since becoming president is proving that when we invest in America — especially in our infrastructure, clean energy, and high-growth industries that are central to our economic and national security — we can make this vision a reality, of growing our economy, creating good-paying jobs you can raise a family on and lowering costs.

    Let's see what Joe Biden has accomplished...

    An actual infrastructure bill instead of just proclaiming "infrastructure week" every month.
    CHIPS bill which will improve our microchip production to compete with China and support hi-tech manufacturing in the U.S.
    Inflation Reduction ACT to fight climate change, all while reducing the deficit.
    Lowest unemployment rate in 50 years.
    528,000 new jobs created in the last report.
    Over 10,000,000 new jobs total.
    Expanded veteran's healthcare with PACT bill.
    Gun Bill legislation for the first time in decades.
    Killed the leader of Al Qaeda without any other casualties.
    Gas prices down for 11 weeks now. (09/20/22)
    He prevented a railroad strike.
    Re-establishes our standing in the world as an international leader, playing a key role in expanding NATO and rallying the civilized world against Russia's aggression in the Ukraine, all without engaging us in another war.
    And last but not least, we get to wake up every morning without a feeling of dread wondering what kind of "governing" our president did via tweet, or what segment of our population got their rights trampled overnight.
    700,000 new manufacturing jobs vs 170,000 lost under Trump. 12,9000,000 factory jobs, the most since 2008.
    Now all we have to worry about is the MAGA calls for violence.
    Managed to orchestrate the Ukraine War to keep troops out while bleeding Russia.
    Create Broadband fund to get internet to rural and other areas

    That seems OK for the first two years and far more than the MAGA king accomplished.
    There's another one I love to post. Something you can hammer home is that like any family, business or country, investment is essential. This great when they want to talk about tax and spend dems. Use part or all. Start it with "Republicans grift, Democrats invest."
    What did Trump do for Ordinary Americans? He said an Infrastructure Bill was needed. Joe Biden passed one. Trump said a health care bill was needed and that he had the bestest one... He had nothing, but President Obama passed one.

    Republicans don't understand creating wealth by investment. They just want to skim off existing wealth "one rice grain at a time like the Rajs of India". (To paraphrase Ayn Rand.)

    The thing is that instead of skimming off the wealth of the nation for the wealthy, Democrats invest in America. The Republicans simply can't say that. Here is just one example:
    Conservative Financial Rag Forbes says - Roughly $28 billion in new manufacturing investment has been announced in the weeks following the Inflation Reduction Act. The legislation could become America’s most significant investment in clean manufacturing and build a 21st century economy by leveraging tax dollars to generate roughly $1.7 trillion in new investment within a decade, according to Credit Suisse.
    Mix it up some... Post this instead
    A $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan to restore and renew our ailing roads, highways, bridges, ports, airports and rail services while bringing universal broadband to our rural areas.

    The most significant gun safety legislation in 30 years to help toughen background checks for young gun buyers, incentivize states to create red-flag laws, keep firearms away from domestic abusers and invest in school safety and mental health programs.

    The PACT Act to expand health care benefits to millions of veterans who were exposed to toxic burn pits during their military service.

    The Inflation Reduction Act to lower the costs of prescription drugs, improve healthcare and reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2023 with the largest-ever federal investment in strong climate action.

    Managed to orchestrate the Ukraine War to keep troops out while bleeding Russia.

    Created the Broadband fund to get internet to rural and other areas.
    Or paste this...
    What if I told you two years ago that by the end of Biden's first two years:
    10 million new jobs
    3.6% unemployment
    86% drop in Covid death rate
    biggest ever infrastructure bill passed
    first gun safety bill passed in 30 years.
    Climate, Tax and Drug Price Bill
    Adding 528,000 jobs in July
    U.S. drone strike (with no collateral damage) killed Al-Qaeda's leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri, who was partly responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attack.
    Democrats helped to pass the PACT Act, which helps veterans exposed to toxic burn pits while serving their country.
    Gas prices have been going down for eleven straight weeks thanks (08/07/2022)
    Prevented a railroad strike.

    - American Rescue Plan Act
    - Inflation Reduction Act
    - Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
    - CHIPS and Science Act
    - Safer Communities Act
    - Electoral Count Reform Act
    - CHIPs and Science Act
    - Inflation Reduction Act –
    - Prevented the Railroad strike

    Reduced drug prices, cut the costs of healthcare, clean the environment, maintain America’s competitive edge, and modernize the nation’s roads, bridges, and water and sewage systems.

  • Announced as policy in his State of the Union Speech, Bidenonomics is basically to end the disaster known as Trickle Down.

    Are you familiar with the term "Neo-Liberalism"? It's not about what you usually think of the term "Liberal". It refers to how business is treated and was largely started by Reagan. It means Liberalism towards business or perhaps "anything goes Capitalism". It was jobs going overseas. It was Share holder interests over everything else. It was profits over everything else. It was nations and society serving business instead of business serving society and nations. It's why there is so much wealth inequality and why the world is awash in debt. All the profits of production gains of five decades of growth went to the owners and everyone else lost out. Well, Biden's State of the Union Speech said that was going to change, from Corporate Capitalism we had after Reagan to Democratic Capitalism we had before that from the time of President Eisenhower. Business would serve the nation again like it did after President Eisenhower, the most prosperous time in America's history.

    What does this mean today? Trump got elected for a reason. Many many Americans are hurting. The thing is though that the Republicans have very effectively worked to convince their base that the problem is the result of the culture wars and so they ignore the economic wars that are what are really hurting them. Warren Buffet said that there is a class war and his side is winning. The people that President Biden may be able to help the most are the very desperate people that voted for Trump. Trump isn't going to help them and neither are his wealthy backers.
  • The issue facing our nation isn’t how old we are. It’s how old our ideas are." President Biden.
    The Republicans love to comment that Biden is senile and has dementia. It’s a lie and it’s projection. Biden’s speeches are coherent, reasoned and clear. Compare that to the word salad and grunts of Donald Trump. There are tapes.

    Please pick one.
    (1) Biden has dementia.
    (2) Biden is running a multinational criminal conspiracy.
    You can't have both.

    Recently, Newt Gingrich penned a column comparing Joe Biden with Republican greats Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan, saying he has been very effective.

    Biden seemed to be quite sharp during the 2023 State of the Union Address when he led the Republicans into a an untenable position where they had to deny they had any intention of changing Social Security or Medicare. That was the win of a master political strategist.

  • When President Joe Biden ran for president in 2020, he laid out a plan to rebuild it through policies designed to boost job growth, prop up small businesses, reduce healthcare costs and invest in emerging technologies. Of Those 10 Promises Made, How Many Did He Keep? Most of this information is compliments of Politico. Overall, it looks like 5 successes, 2 maybes and 3 stalled by Congress. In terms of politics and political reality, it looks fairly good. It is about policies that are good for America and Ordinary Americans at least.

    1. Rebuild the Economy: GDP growth was strong in 2021, slowing in 2022. The high inflation that started before he was in office. It is debated if the U.S. is headed for a recession. Large investments were made in infrastructure, emerging technologies and other areas that should pay off in the longer run.

    2. Stoke Job Growth: The unemployment rate is near 50-year lows, the U.S. economy has added tens of millions of jobs and average wages have been on the rise.

    3. Help the Economy Recover from COVID-19: Biden gets high grades in this area because of various programs to contain the virus and help small businesses and workers recover, particularly the 2021 American Rescue plan.

    4. Forgive Student Loan Debt: The plan has been stalled by a series of legal battles, and many experts say it is unlikely to be implemented in its current form.

    5. Create 1 Million Auto Industry Jobs: As of December 2022, only about 290,700 new direct auto industry jobs had been created. However, many more jobs are expected to be created due to investments in other areas connected to the auto industry. Whether that’s enough to get to 1 million jobs by the end of Biden’s first term remains to be seen.

    6. Raise the Corporate Tax Rate to 28%: The proposal is not likely to get approved by the Republican-led U.S. House, however.

    7. Let Medicare Negotiate Lower Drug Prices: Biden has succeeded on that front. Politico rates it a “kept his promise,” largely because the Inflation Reduction Act gave Medicare the power to negotiate lower prescription drug prices for seniors.

    8. Provide 12 Weeks Paid Family and Medical Leave: This promise remains stalled, but still possible by the end of the current term. But again, chances are the U.S. House will vote against it.

    9. Expand Healthcare: Biden gets a high grade in this area. Eight days into his tenure the president signed an executive order to strengthen Medicaid and Obamacare. He followed that by signing the American Rescue Plan, which expanded eligibility to help low- and moderate-income Americans purchase Obamacare coverage.

    10. Expand Child and Elder Care Access: Politico gives this a “stalled” in negotiations with Congress..
  • The claim that Biden did not have the authority to declassify documents as vice president is “complete nonsense,” Kel McClanahan, executive director of National Security Counselors, a public-interest law firm, told USA TODAY in an email.

    McClanahan, who also teaches at the George Washington University Law School, said that under a 2009 executive order signed by Obama, the vice president is included in a list of "original classification authorities," meaning Biden had the power declassify anything he classified.
    https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/executive-order-classified-national-security-information#:~:text=This%20order%20prescribes%20a%20uniform,the%20activities%20of%20their%20Government

    The Washington Post also reported vice presidents have the authority to declassify https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/01/11/biden-trump-classified-documents-an-explainer/ anything they classified. The New York Times similarly reported that the vice president has the power to declassify, while noting the scope of that authority "has never been definitively tested."

    "It is longstanding practice in the executive branch to treat the vice president as having the same amount of authority in that respect as the president unless the president explicitly says otherwise," McClanahan said.
    Bradley Moss, a national security attorney at the law office of Mark S. Zaid, PC, agreed that Biden held declassification authority as vice president.

    "Vice presidents would (also), at least according to the minimal FOIA case law on the subject, be bound by the same declassification procedures that ostensibly apply to a president," Moss said.

    One such procedure includes a vice president having to notify any agency affected by the declassification of certain material beforehand, according to Neama Rahmani, a former federal prosecutor and president of West Coast Trial Lawyers.

    The 2009 executive order is still in effect, David Weinstein, former assistant U.S. attorney, told USA TODAY in an email.

    A variation of the 2009 executive order was implemented through executive order by former President George W. Bush in 2003, Weinstein said.

  • The Right loves to talk about corruption in Biden's dealings with Ukraine. They claim that he got a Ukrainian prosecutor fired to protect his son, Biden. The story is as far from the truth as the maga crowd tends to wander.

    USA TODAY, OCT, 21, 2020
    It's true that Joe Biden leveraged $1 billion in aid to persuade Ukraine to oust its top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, in March 2016. But it wasn't because Shokin was investigating Burisma. It was because Shokin wasn't pursuing corruption among the country's politicians.

    In the wake of the 2014 ouster of pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych, European and U.S. officials stepped up their efforts to deal with corruption in Ukraine. Top of the list to be removed was corrupt Ukraine Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. Viktor Shokin worked for Russian oligarch, Mykola Zlochevsky.

    Shokin's inaction in prosecuting corrupt Ukrainian politicians prompted international calls for his ouster, and ultimately resulted in his removal by Ukraine's parliament.

    Then V.P. Biden, acting alongside our European allies, all agreed that Viktor Shokin was not the right guy for the job, prompting V.P. Biden to influence Ukraine to oust Viktor Shokin.

    And according to the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, an independent agency set up in 2014 that has worked closely with the FBI, along with Yuri Lutsenko, the prosecutor general who succeeded Shokin in Ukraine said “There is no evidence Hunter Biden or V.P. Biden did anything wrong.”

    For his actions to be improper it would mean that Biden somehow also got the United States Department of State, the European Union and numerous individual European countries, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to also push Ukraine to remove Viktor Shokin for corruption. If we are trying to help rebuild a country, we want them to get rid of corruption. And his prosecutor was corrupt. It made no sense to help out a country where the $$$ was going to bad guys pockets. He was Putin's puppet.

    On the other hand, it was President Biden that was warning Ukraine and Europe to expect a Russian invasion of Ukraine, a year before it happened.

  • 06/13/2023 -There was a nice current summary offered by CNN: Here’s what to know about GOP claims of a Biden scandal. Nothing has changed for a while. There was a good summary of the situation though:
    Two of these are misdemeanor charges about Hunter’s failure to file taxes, and a third is a felony tax evasion charge that would allege he over-reported business expenses. The fourth potential charge is about a false statement on a federal form Hunter filled out when buying a gun in 2018 (he claimed he was not a drug user). He he will probably be convicted of these charges. He may or may not be given a jail sentence. If anything he would likely be asked to pay a large fine. It does not seem like there is real criminal activity here and neither did Barr or Special Counsel Durham. Certainly there is nothing to warrant a Congressional investigation... other than politics and typical Republican strategy. It's just Benghazi all over again, except this time, by family association.

    How many times have I read that they need to investigate Hunter Biden's laptop and then the Biden crime family will finally go to jail... with Hillary Clinton and President Obama. There are a lot of variations but they are just accusations of the criminality of Hunter Biden acting as a front for President Biden. It's worth mentioning "what about the Trump children and officials" but the point of this is to give pithy responses to many accusations against Hunter Biden.


    The Hunter Biden Laptop. It was a nothing burger, but it's all the Republicans have. It's Benghazi 2.0. They've had multiple copies of the laptop for years and if there was anything actually incrimination on it, we would have been told about it Giuliani would have been singing about it from the rooftops if there was anything to it.

    All the intelligence agencies thought at first that the laptop must be a Russian Disinformation hoax, because it seemed so absurd. Remember that this was coming out of the Rudy Giuliani camp and Rudy wouldn't let anyone analyze the laptop to verify it. Also keep in mind that neither Fox, Rubert Murdoch, or the Post thought the laptop story was real and Rupert Murdoch owns both Fox News and the Post.

    At the same time, look at the letter from the intelligence agencies. Understand their genuine concerns — after decades of experience — with Russian disinformation campaigns here in the U.S. It’s false to imply they were in any way pressured or didn’t legitimately believe they saw a number of tell-tail signs of it, based on their years of encounters with Russian disinformation and then fighting it. They also clearly stated it their letter that it was they saw “signs” but didn’t have hard evidence. There is nothing wrong with Blinken encouraging them to publicly and clearly state those concerns as that. Concerns, not facts.

    Folks... The laptop belonged to Hunter. Yes, it has been so mishandled that it can't be used as evidence in any court. That said, it has been carefully investigated repeatedly (WaPo, CBS and I think NYT) and it's a nothing burger. There were two emails the Republicans say are bomb shells, but they are nothing or Giuliani would have been singing a drinking song about it from the rooftops.

  • Stock buy backs buybacks are not good for the country. They merely enrich people who own shares of stock (the richest 10 percent of Americans own 92 percent of the stock market) rather than add to the productive capacity of America.

    Researchers at Deloitte point out that buybacks and dividends have soared as a share of GDP, while corporate investments in equipment and infrastructure have stagnated. Many of the social costs of this failure to invest have been shifted to the public-at-large.

    Stock buybacks don’t create more jobs. They don’t increase wages. They don’t grow the economy.

    Before 1982, it was illegal for corporations to purchase their own stock to artificially prop up share prices. Then Ronald Reagan’s SEC adopted a rule protecting corporations from being charged for this kind of stock manipulation.

    Jump ahead to 2017 and the Trump-GOP tax cuts added fuel to the fire. Since then, stock buybacks have more than doubled, reaching a record high $1.2 trillion in 2022 alone.

    That’s $1.2 trillion that did not go into improving quality of life for American workers or building the American economy. It just went straight into the pockets of already-wealthy shareholders and CEOs.

    Once again, Wall Street gains at the expense of working families.

    Which is why the Inflation Reduction Act imposes a 1 percent tax on buybacks. And why Biden wants to raise it to 4 percent. The Stock Buyback Accountability Act of 2023, introduced by Senators Sherrod Brown and Ron Wyden, would do just this.

    As Explained by Robert Reich
    The RAND corporation, not a liberal organization, did an analysis and found that from 1980 to present there has been a 50 trillion transfer of wealth from the working and middle class to the top 1%. The shared prosperity between labor and corporations ended with Reagan when the CEO salaries rose, and outsourcing went on steroids. 15 to 20 million jobs and 60k factories were closed in the US to only open in China where profits skyrocketed benefitting the top 1%, the investor class. In exchange, the American workers got low paying service jobs without benefits and a stab in the back. Now China has us by you know what. We are completely dependent upon them for most our goods. We make nothing. Over 50% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and don't have 1000 bucks in the bank for an emergency. And who is to blame? The billionaires and corporations and the politicians they bought who pushed for the neo-liberal order are. Now they want to increase defense spending. Most of the military industrial complex is owned by them, to counter China's threat. All of this was deliberate, they were more concerned about undermining and destroying US labor and making higher profits than the well being of the American people. One could say this was an act of traitors.

  • Culture War vs Class War. This is about Class War and Desperation.

    This whole political mess may look absurd, but it is serious. There is reason and hard money behind it. Besides, the Class War has been the normal during history, but that's a more complicated story. The problem becomes when the balance is lost.

    The Republicans have convinced their base that the class war is actually a culture war. Those voters think Trump will protect them from "coastal elites" when it is the Republicans that are fleecing them... and they are hurting, which is why they are supporting Trump... Somehow, I doubt that he will actually help them. This is the real grievance and why so many Americans are desperate enough to follow a populist leader, even an autocratic one. They want and need their problems solved. They are desperate.

    Class war is about money and is very realistically important. It's about the investment class (who they call the upper class) exploiting the working class (they call the lower class) for profit and transferring their wealth by various means. It's why while the wealth of the nation and prices have gone up for the last 30 years, all the excess wealth (and then some) has been going to the investment class. None of it has been going to the working class so now the working class can't afford housing, health care, higher education... vacations or even families. It is kitchen table economics.

    Culture wars are things that don't hurt you like if someone is gay or if they have an abortion or they aren't the right religion or they might know CRT or be woke or their might be a gay character in a book or that the Democrats are pedophiles that drink the blood of children or vaccines are poison or global warming is a conspiracy. All the rest of the things the Republicans use to excite the base. It's about anger and fear, not money. They don't want you to think about that. None of those hurt someone but that is what the Republicans want us to fight about so we don't see what hurts us, the economics of the class war. That is not wha this site is about, but I highly recommend that you learn about it and the best way is probably from Economist and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich. His site has great resources for understanding how the economy has gotten to how it is now. to get an idea of what his work is like, may I recommend a short video he mad about The Powell Memo: How and Why Corporations Took Over America.

    Trump is adored by his followers. Dave Chappelle explained why

    “I’m just being honest with you, I live in Ohio amongst the poor whites,” he said, adding, “A lot of you don’t understand why Trump was so popular (and) … very loved.” Chappelle — who acknowledged in his monologue that he’s a Democrat — then delivered a comedic explanation for why Trump is adored by his followers.

    He joked that Trump was an “honest liar” who told the unvarnished truth about a system set up to help the rich and powerful. And he recounted how Trump openly admitted as much during a 2016 campaign debate: “He said, ‘I know the system is rigged because I use it.’ ”

    The comedian then joked about how Trump, accused during that debate by Hillary Clinton of not paying taxes, shot back: “That makes me smart.”

    Chappelle shared that for many working-class Americans struggling to makes end meet, Trump’s “honesty” in revealing that the rich and powerful have been taking full advantage of a system designed for their benefit only enhanced his stature.

    Democrats have occupied the White House for 18 of the last 26 years. Democrats controlled both houses of Congress during the first two years of the Clinton, Obama, and Biden administrations.

    During these years, Democrats scored some important victories for working families: the Affordable Care Act, an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act, for example. I take pride in being part of a Democratic administration during this time.

    Yet the most powerful force in American politics today is anti-establishment fury at a rigged system. There is no longer a left or right. There is no longer a moderate “center.” The underlying choice is either Trump Republican authoritarianism or Democratic progressive populism.

    Democrats cannot defeat authoritarianism without an agenda of radical democratic reform — an anti-establishment movement. Democrats must stand squarely on the side of democracy against oligarchy. They must form a unified coalition of people of all races, genders, and classes to unrig the system.

    Trumpism is not the cause of our divided nation. It is the symptom of a rigged system that was already dividing us. While Trump authoritarianism masquerades as being anti-elitist, it is backed by some of America’s richest corporate and financial leaders — such as money manager Stephen A. Schwarzman, industrialist Charles Koch, venture capitalist Peter Thiel, shipping magnate Richard Uihlein, and almost every major American corporation and trade association.

    The central goal of the corporate and financial backers of Trump authoritarianism has been to split the bottom 90 percent of Americans into warring factions so they don’t look upward and see where all the wealth and power have gone.

    We have yet to discover whether their ploy succeeds in the long run.

    Capitalism is the use of capital as a tool of productivity. All forms of government use capitalism. That is pretty much how every bridge, building, power plant, airport and government building is built by any government from kingdoms to democracies to socialisms to communisms (though there China has used human capital a lot). It is by investment. The trouble is that capital is a great power and tends to get misused to amass more power. It is often used as a bludgeon and even the laws can be purchased. As they say, money never sleeps. It can take on a life of its own.

    Greed is a funny thing. In Western Culture it is known as one of the Seven Deadly Sins. In some other cultures, it has a worse reputation. It's just a natural thing in many ways but what is the point of it? You can't take it with you. Greed by itself, is problematic, but only so dangerous. When it becomes dangerous is when it is actually driven by the ' human instinct for dominance and control. Then it lays waste to everything it touches.

    That's what elections are about these days. This is what we have come to. Not issues. It's about shall America continue as a democracy... or even a democratic republic as some seem to want to insist. Or we can go to something called a democracy like Russia claims to be. They want a Strong Man to break the broken system because they believe he will make a better one that works for them. He won't. It will all be worse. They need to be beat politically, but also we need to make this system work for ordinary Americans or we will end up losing whatever democracy we have. So too will much of the rest of the world as a result. The outcome could be even worse than that though.
  • Capitalism is the use of capital as a tool of productivity. It needs to be regulated so that it serves society or it will inevitably enslave it.

    It's really not about capitalism anyway. It's about ownership. Every nation and society needs to use capitalism, because really, it's just investment. It is how families, nations and businesses thrive.

    The problem is plutocracy (who owns the capital) and greed (what they do with it). Even greed isn't all that bad... unless it is used for power, then it is evil. Instead of capital being used for productivity, it is being used for control... and unfortunately there is no off switch to greed. It always wants more, especially more power.

    Keep in mind, revolutions are destructive and create chaos that is where the psychopaths thrive. Attacking capitalism is attacking the golden goose of investment. We need laws to regulate capitalism, not destroy it. We need anti-trust and anti-monopoly legislation.

  • All our parents... that fought in WWII or supported those that fought, were Antifa.

    Fascism and Antifa are common topics these days. They need to be understood. This is a description meant to be relevant to current events. Your mileage may vary. It's long, but tough luck.

    It has been said that power is the power to kill. In human history, that has often been a basic fact that comes from biology. It is a strategy that works. It is "might makes right". War has been so much of history. Both Buddhism and Stoicism were philosophies developed to cope with the horrors of war. Christian philosophy was a strategy for ending it. Democracy was developed as a way to prevent war for political gain by relying on law rather than force. It was a different moral authority. Of the two primary instincts one can easily find inside oneself and others, competition and cooperation, it represented the mandate and win-win strategy of cooperation. Competition was not only allowed but encouraged to test the function and efficiency of different strategies, but violence has been unacceptable and prevented by the authority of law.

    This should start with the standard definition of Fascism: a way of organizing a society in which a government ruled by a dictator controls the lives of the people and in which people are not allowed to disagree with the government. A more developed description could be of society as a group whose members share the same attitudes, beliefs, desires, view of history, religion, language and so on. It is not a collective; it is more like what Othmar Spann described as a "super-individual." And ordinary individuals are more like cells in a single large biological organism, not competing independent organisms important in themselves. This also means that the society is limited to those that hold that belief and all others are outsiders. We see that version more in current politics with Mr. Trump leading, but what is the us versus them ideology he is espousing? It is basically a claim by some that they are "Real Americans", meaning everyone else isn't. It is the American myth of self-reliance and hyper individualism. It is the mythos of the gun. It includes racism. It includes much of the Christian Evangelical establishment. It includes many from rural areas that feel left behind. Others are welcome too, just as long as they espouse that ideology. They feel they are real Americans supporting America and everyone who is not a real American, like all those Socialist Democrats are trying to tear America apart. Be very sure that there is a huge propaganda machine pushing this idea because it can be turned into money and power.

    It's certainly not about democracy. So what do I think is the appropriate description of Fascism in the current political environment? It is a bit different in ways, but I think quite useful and not without history. It is the use of violence for political objectives in a democracy. It is the use of violence against those that are not Real Americans. (This applies in other nations and societies too.) It does not necessarily require a leader though. Mr. Trump represents a rather typical fascist strongman leader, perhaps others as well. but there is a huge organization behind this oriented around an ideology that can exist without a strongman leader. Really, it includes pretty diverse beliefs now.

    Democracy is fairly novel and a new creation. It represents a surprisingly large change from the governments before it that all relied on violence for authority. Even if they said that God was their authority, they came to power through violence. Power came from the power to kill. That difference cannot be emphasized enough. Democracy is about persuasion with ideas. Democracy is about people holding the power of the state and embodying it in law. Violence for political gain is the opposite of democracy. Fascism is when violence is used as persuasion in a democracy. Democracy is different from that form of government and has no room for violence as part of politics. It is one or the other. Democracy inherently allows dissent because it is considered valuable enough that it is not penalized.

    So why is that meaning considered important? Because of where Antifa came from. While the history of Antifa might go back further, what we see today originates with the events at the end of World War II. Axis soldiers that returned from the war may have lost their leaders and control of their national governments, but they still intended to rule using violence as before the war. Especially in Austria, Antifa acted as an uncoordinated force to prevent the fascists from using violence for political gain. Fascists do use economic, legal, and other methods, but those are considered part of the democratic process. The problem is though that violence is a notoriously effective strategy in a civilization and the purpose of Antifa was to prevent the success of that. Antifa has been called many things and they do tend to be leftist, but they have stuck to the ideal of preventing violence from subverting democracy by trying to neutralize it. Antifa fights for democracy at the most basic level.

    A problem is that Antifa necessarily walks a fine line. Their use of violence can only be morally justified when it is to prevent or neutralize violence. Sometimes though, they have to deal with threats of violence or incitement to violence. Threats work just as well as violence in a civilization. Then they are accused of being the aggressor and violating people's right to free speech. In all cases, an individual like someone reading this, must step back, try to observe what is happening and make a moral judgment more even than a legal judgment of what is right or wrong. The moral struggle is not a war to be won, but the daily battles of all good men and women to preserve their future.

  • We hear about Russian Trolls in American media and social media. If you read much on the internet, you've seen them and some of the time it is obvious. Their interference extends all the way to actively manipulating elections. Sometimes they are actually just Trump supporters, since he seemes so buddy buddy with Putin. In either case, rather than debate them any, probably the best thing to do is paste in Nonsense or Russian bot.

    One thing the Ukraine war has brought out is that a lot of thinking about Russia has been wrong. Most of it was shaped by the Communist Revolution and the competitions of the cold war. The mantra of the cold war was about the evils of communism, but what we seem to be seeing is that the evils of Russia existed long before it became communist.

    Russia has been an extremely predatory country through its history. That is how it got to be the biggest country in the world. It has also historically used misinformation as a weapon against other countries. America doesn't have clean hands on the world stage, but Russian history makes America look like Santa Claus. I recommend against harsh judgements of people and events in history. We live in a tough world, driven by some brutal survival instincts. The world has changed though. Civilization is a new way of life that includes win-win strategies uncommon in nature and is becoming the main way of life for humanity. For humanity to survive and thrive, nations need to make a choice to be constructive members of a world civilization. Russia seems to embrace the brutality of its past and they are now a danger to all civilization. The West has resisted them militarily and economically but in this age of the internet, their misinformation must be recognized and resisted.
    For a very interesting article by Time Magazine, check out: If You Want to Understand Russian Power, Listen to the People Who Leave It. It makes the point that the unlike in other nations where the CIA can recruit spys for a variety of reasons including money, adventure, ego, etc., Russian defectors, many of them senior officials in government and the security agencies have all had the same reason. Those Russian spies have told a consistent story to western leaders over the past century. They warned us again and again that the Kremlin is propped up by an evil state-within-a-state, and that Russia will never be a responsible member of the community of nations until its security services are destroyed. While the Soviet Union died over 40 years ago, former KGB officer Vladimir Putin has recreated the oppressive and brutal security system that jailed and killed domestic opposition, and engaged in relentless political warfare against the west. Even if Putin dies tomorrow, the KGB state endures. These defectors gave up trying to change this from the inside and turned on the Russian government in an attempt to help Russia and the Russian people.

    If you find a really annoying Russian Bot and often they aren't hard to recognize, just paste in:
    Cozy Bear
    At 55 Savushkina Street in St. Petersburg, Russia there is a four-story office building that is the home of the "Internet Research Agency". There are hundreds of Internet propaganda Trolls working there on 12-hour shifts who post comments in public forums like this one on behalf of Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation. The trolls pretend to be ordinary Americans (or whichever nationality they are targeting) just expressing their "opinion" which they would like to share with you. You are just supposed to think they are your neighbors from around the country. They aren't and the messages they carry are not meant to be friendly. Meet your "neighbors" in St. Petersburg. They're here. Right now. Say Hi!--Comrade

  • Who is George Soros that the Republicans use as their boogeyman and so love to hate?

    Holocaust survivor Mr. Soros initially focused his activism on nurturing the democracies that emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union. As we all know, Putin's greatest dream is to re-unite the USSR, much to the concern of the very countries that emerged from that dissolution of the Soviet Union. Fascist entities despise Soros efforts to democratize these former fascist states and have thus spent billions demonizing and mischaracterizing him. It easy to identify the anti-democracy zealots because they repeat the Soros lies.

    Facists need enemies to give as the reason they need power. George Soros is about all they have to work with but it's incredible what they have accused him of. He's not that accomplished. He's actually a small time operator compared to what the Koch brothers accomplished, but the truth doesn't matter to the fascists.

    After Manhattan District Attorney DA Alvin Bragg’s indictment of Trump, he and many Republican officials have sought to distract attention from the facts of the case at hand by branding DA Alvin Bragg as “Soros-funded,” Claiming that Soros played a role in Trump's indictment.

    The facts:
    *George Soros has never met, spoken with, or otherwise communicated with Alvin Bragg.
    *Neither George Soros nor Democracy PAC (a PAC to which Mr. Soros has contributed funds) contributed to Alvin Bragg’s campaign for Manhattan District Attorney.
    *Between 2016 and 2022, George Soros personally and Democracy PAC have together contributed roughly $4 million to Color of Change’s PAC, including $1 million in May 2021. None of those funds were earmarked for Bragg’s campaign.

  • Billionaires want us to forget that a father in the 1980's could spend 40 hours a week selling VCRs and own a home with two cars while going on vacations in a single family home.


    June 2023 - This is informative. New study says high housing costs, low income push Californians into homelessness
    June 2023 - Houston Progress - In 2011, the Houston area had one of the largest homeless populations in the country. With the threat of homelessness only increasing, and dismay over decades of substantial investments without results, our community was propelled into action.

    So, what changed? In 2012, we came together as a unified, regional, homeless response system called The Way Home and chose the nonprofit Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County as our lead agency.

    Then we made three crucial decisions. First, we decided to work together as a collaborative system, aligned around a standardized set of goals, processes and strategies, rather than as individual organizations and government entities each trying to chip away at the problem. Today, more than 100 entities in the Houston area are working together.

    Second, we embraced the data-proven best practices of Housing First, a strategy focused on getting individuals and families out of homelessness and into permanent housing before helping them address any other problems. We do this via voluntary wraparound support services, e.g., mental health or substance abuse counseling, health care, job training and so on. The services help keep the person housed, and the housing is what makes the services effective.

    Third, we housed the most vulnerable people first. When the average person sees someone experiencing homelessness and struggling with mental illness, they assume that individual is dangerous or needs hospitalization. Our experience is that most of these folks stabilize in housing with the appropriate level of services.

    Moreover, we have found that most people fall into homelessness because of rapid and unexpected financial losses — those that needn’t result in catastrophe, if only we had the right policies in place — and that homelessness often exacerbates mental health deterioration and the need to self-medicate. In other words, mental illness is not the driver of homelessness in most cases.

    Houston has not solved homelessness in its entirety. But by investing in proven, effective intervention — housing — we are making homelessness rare, brief and nonrecurring for people. In fact, in our latest performance evaluation period, approximately 90% of people we helped house did not fall back into homelessness for at least two years.

    May 2023 - Portland - had long opted for a mostly hands-off policy to the camps that had come to dominate too much of the city. Now, at the urging of many of the residents, the city is clearing camps, sometimes daily, and planning to encourage unhoused people to relocate to centralized communities.

    “The only policies I’ve seen are compassion on top of compassion,” local businessman Jessie Burke said. “Anyone who works with these populations knows there are people who respond to carrots and people who respond to sticks. Everyone who responds to carrots, good work; you got them. Most of the people that are left respond to enforcement.” Local residents say that Most of the long term homeless have a serious mental health or addiction problem. They will choose living on the streets over shelter or transitional housing as long as they are allowed to do so.

    The change in policy came with the election last fall of the Portland city commissioner, Democrat Rene Gonzalez who ran on a more “law-and-order” approach. His central argument, according to his campaign website: “Taking a hands-off approach to homelessness is not compassionate or progressive; it’s dangerous and inhumane.”

    Gonzalez promised not only to work for increased shelter capacity and access to mental health and addiction services, but also to relocate illegally parked RVs and “clean up” parks and neighborhoods.

    Gonzalez’s election also came as the embattled mayor, Ted Wheeler, and other officials were hard at work on a new approach: both enforcing the ordinances that prevent people from “sleeping on sidewalks” and enabling the construction of a half-dozen “Safe Rest Villages” with space for up to 150 residents apiece.

    Not surprisingly, The twin initiatives – a ban on tent camping on city streets and the village-building – are wildly unpopular among homeless advocates and the unhoused themselves. Only about 10% of Portlanders swept from encampments and offered shelter between April 2022 and February 2023 remain in temporary shelter. And fewer than 1% found permanent housing, according to data on 1,700 unhoused people released in February for Multnomah county, where Portland is located. The rest, presumably, remain outside.

    30 Cities With the Highest Homelessness Problem - May 2023. Very interesting information and facts.

    Homelessness is one of the worst things anyone can go through. For people accustomed to living with a roof over their head since childhood, the perils that a lack of a permanent shelter brings are unimaginable. Living without a home leaves people without access to a toilet, a shower, a bed, or a stable source of water - all of which are basic necessities of life. These things also prevent homeless people from getting a job and improving their situation since applying to job interviews and appearing in them also requires money.

    Homelessness leads to lower economic output and productivity which impacts a country's gross domestic product (GDP). At the same time, ending homelessness not only contributes to higher economic growth but also saves the taxpayer money. Data from the National Alliance to End Homelessness shows that the taxpayer can save as much as $35,578 if the homelessness problems is resolved since these are the direct taxpayer costs that result from homelessness. In fact, the alliance's data shows that just by placing homeless people in supportive shelters can reduce these costs by almost 50%.

    Taking a look at the economic impacts, a White Paper from the Hot Potato Initiative tries to take a look at the impact of homelessness on the Canadian economy. It shares that homelessness might have cost the Canadian economy $4.5 billion in 2007. At the same time, it also outlines that not only are homeless people 70% more likely to visit a doctor, but they also face higher levels of incarceration. At the same time, Canada spent nearly $8 billion to tackle homelessness - or half of what it had spent in giving businesses subsidies. The higher proportion of homeless people requiring medical facilities is also mirrored by research conducted in the U.S.

    A major part of the problem is that ACLU and other libertarian groups gutted the anti-vagrancy laws in 2015. Then Reagan a conservative president signed legislation that defunded outpatient mental health care. It caused a perfect storm. There seems no will to reverse their incredible damage to mental health care and resulting homelessness.

    The homeless per advocates working with them are 65% permanent brain damaged including 14% veterans with war injuries. 75% substance users, most of whom also have brain injury.

    It's one heck of a problem.


  • “It is a fact that other Americans are a direct threat to my way of life,” Leonard said. “It is not a fact that my way of life is a threat to theirs.” The problem isn’t polarization but, rather, the GOP-led assault on the rights of millions of Americans.

    A lot of this current mess started with "No Compromise, No Cooperation" Newt Gingrich's Contract on America. He likes biology and saw Darwinian "Law of the Jungle" as the best way to get the policies victories the Republicans couldn't get through elections, because no one really liked their policies. That is also the reason the Republicans have worked to dominate the courts. It is why the Constitution is an inconvenience for the Republicans because it is the legal foundation of American Democracy and American Law. It represented the compromises and cooperation necessary to democratic government. They don't want Democracy. They want to rule. This is not new. Just look at history.

    Everything really did get dramatically worse when Newt Gingrich brazenly announced that the other side wasn't a group of colleagues to be negotiated with and have dinner and drinks with; they were enemies to be treated as enemies, stopped at every opportunity, and crushed whenever possible. They were to be painted as evil and an existential threat to all that we hold sacred and the lives of ourselves and our children.

    They do that through horrid straw man arguments and dramatic, hyperbolic exaggerations of the other side's positions. Because their audience lives in a nearly perfect information silo, they are vulnerable to this kind of misinformation and demagoguery. They literally don't know any better.

    They take fearful people, make them ever more afraid, and then give them a laundry list of Bad Things That Democrats Do, and make them thoroughly terrified. And they're totally made up.

    Then, they send their candidate out to say, "I, alone, can fix it."

    It was a very long run of political Mutually Assured Destruction before that, but Newt ... went nuclear when nobody else really had.

    He's still doing it today, and his followers have taken pages straight out of his playbook.

  • People like to play the political blame game when it comes to China, but there's no point to that. From Nixon on, political leaders knew they had to engage with China. Everyone had high hopes that they would be a constructive international partner. It really was not anyone's fault, not even the multi-national corporations that were just in it for the profits. It looked good and we had to hope for the best, but it has not worked out that way. China rapidly globalised its economic influence by exploiting the West’s illusion that, once admitted to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), it would engage in trade according to WTO rules and norms. But from the outset it denied foreign businesses free and fair access to its domestic market and used massive state subsidies to capture market dominance for its own products and systems across the world.

    From 2018, the US has led a de facto trade war against this, while remaining uncomfortably tied to the Chinese economy by enduring debt and supply-chain dependencies.

    Subsequent geopolitical and economic tensions have progressively worsened due to China’s human rights abuses, political interference, cyber espionage and IP theft, mistrust and sourcing disruption caused by the pandemic, alignment with Russia, and threats to Taiwan.

    This has led to an accelerating exodus of major Western companies from China to more reliable regional bases in South-East Asia, India and Bangladesh. The low cost of factory labour in China, formerly a major draw for FDI, no longer applies. Factory wages in South China are now around three times higher than in equivalent South Asian industries.

    Republicans are the best thing to ever happen to China. First, Reagan and his "free trade" crowd offshore our jobs to China and with them goes the IP/patents. Fast forward to today, and Republicans are trying to slash funding for domestic green tech, infrastructure upgrades to improve competitiveness and divert the money into more tax cuts for the rich and business. The same ones that fueled China's rise in the first place.