Category Archives: Racism

Brinksmanship in Congress with only one day to a government shutdown

So the GOP’s alleged boy genius and Ayn Rand fanboy, Paul Ryan, “the zombie-eyed granny starver from the state of Wisconsin,” went ahead with his kabuki theater plan to pass his fifth temporary spending bill (CR) that everyone knows was DOA in the Senate. He no doubt wants credit for his farce. House passes stopgap spending measure with defense money:

House Republicans passed a spending package on Tuesday night that pairs a full year of defense funding with a temporary patch for the rest of the government, even as Senate leaders pursue a different plan to avoid a shutdown when funding runs dry on Thursday.

The continuing resolution (CR), which passed the House 245-182, would fund the Defense Department for the rest of fiscal 2018 and keep the rest of the government’s lights on until March 23. It also includes two years of funding for community health centers and extends several expiring health care programs.

But the defense-CR package is unlikely to fly in the Senate, meaning senators will need to rewrite the stopgap measure and “ping-pong” it back to the House.

Spending bills are supposed to originate in the House, but since that clown show is held hostage by the House GOP Freedom Caucus who are not serious about governing responsibly, the serious work of keeping the government functioning is being done in the Senate. Senate leaders see two-year budget deal within their grasp:

Top Senate leaders were working Tuesday to finalize a sweeping long-term budget deal that would include a defense spending boost President Trump has long demanded alongside an increase in domestic programs championed by Democrats.

As negotiations for the long-term deal continued, the House passed a short-term measure that would fund the government past a midnight Thursday deadline and avert a second partial shutdown in less than a month.

The House bill, which passed 245 to 182, would fund most agencies through March 23 but is a nonstarter in the Senate because of Democratic opposition.

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No deal on DACA or immigration is possible

Last week, President Trump proposed a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million young immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children, but holds them hostage to his ransom demand that Democrats support $25 billion for border security, including his proposed border wall, and strict new limits on legal immigration. Trump’s immigration plan draws harsh reviews from left and right, and some conservatives label him ‘Amnesty Don’:

The 1.8-million figure would go well beyond the nearly 700,000 immigrants currently covered by the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, expanding the protections primarily to cover people who were eligible for DACA but did not apply.

The White House designed that element of the plan in hopes that it would provide a strong enticement for Democrats, who offered little sign of support on Thursday.

But the plan quickly generated opposition from some Republican conservatives.

“Amnesty comes in many forms, but it seems they all eventually grow in size and scope. Any proposal that expands the amnesty-eligible population risks opening Pandora’s box,” said Michael A. Needham, the head of Heritage Action for America, an influential conservative group. “That should be a nonstarter.”

And even before details of the plan emerged, blowback was building among parts of Trump’s base.

“Immigration Shock: Amnesty Don Suggests Citizenship for Illegal Aliens,” read a headline on Breitbart News, the conservative, nationalist website once run by Trump’s former strategist, Stephen K. Bannon.

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Trumpism, moral relativism, and GOP tribalism (Updated)

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post had an interesting piece about the moral decay of the GOP the other day, Republicans redefine morality as whatever Trump does:

New evidence suggests that the damage [Trump] is doing to the culture is bigger than the man. A Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday found that two-thirds of Americans say Trump is not a good role model for children. Every component of society feels that way — men and women, old and young, black and white, highly educated or not — except for one: Republicans. By 72 to 22 percent, they say Trump is a good role model.

In marked contrast to the rest of the country, Republicans also say that Trump shares their values (82 percent) and that — get this — he “provides the United States with moral leadership” (80 percent).

And what moral leadership this role model has been providing!

* * *

[L]et’s see what might have led 72 percent of Republicans to conclude Trump is a good role model:

His lawyer arranged to make payment to a porn star, Stormy Daniels, a month before the election for her silence about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump, according to the Wall Street Journal.

He used a vulgar word to describe African countries during a racist rant to lawmakers at the White House.

He was mounting a campaign to discredit the “corrupt” FBI, the Justice Department and the special prosecutor, just as he previously sought to disqualify courts and judges.

He backed a credibly accused child molester for the Senate from Alabama.

And so on.

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My View: Blaming the DACA Debacle on Schumer Is Absurd

Almost always, if you compare my view on an issue to the Blue Meanie’s, mine will be the more progressive.

Almost.

But not this time. AZBM recently shared his view, easily the majority view of progressives, that Chuck Schumer was a worse negotiator even than Trump.

I really, really wish Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi were not the face of the Democratic Party. So Schumer taking heat here from the base doesn’t bother me personally. But objectively, it’s wrong.

Yes, the DACA situation is horrific and it was frustrating to see Schumer and the Senate Democrats not save the Dreamers. But blame would be appropriate only if a better result was achievable, and I don’t see how that’s so. Continue reading

‘In Mitch We Trust’ for a DACA vote to end the ‘shit-show’ shutdown? That was your whole plan, Chuck? (Updated)

This reminds me of the library ghost scene in Ghostbusters where Dr. Raymond “Ray” Stantz confronts a full torso apparition of a librarian in the library.

Ray tells his colleagues, “OK, I have plan. I know exactly what to do. Now stay close. Do exactly as I say, get ready — get her!” (The ghost transforms into an evil demon and turns on them).

Later, Dr. Peter Venkman laughs, “Hee hee hee! ‘Get her!’ That was your whole plan, huh, ‘get her.’ Very scientific.”

Dr. Venkman’s response — “‘Get her!’ That was your whole plan, huh, ‘get her.'” — is similar to my response to the deal struck today by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer with the Septuagenarian Ninja Turtle, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to end the “shit-show” shutdown: “In Mitch We Trust” to bring up a vote on DACA after February 8? That was your whole plan, Chuck, “In Mitch We Trust.” You’re kidding me, right?

The Washington Post reports, Senate breaks budget impasse, paving way for government to reopen:

Senate Democrats bowed to pressure to reopen the government Monday, joining Republicans in backing an immigration and spending compromise that was quickly denounced by liberals and immigration activists.

Roughly 60 hours after the federal government first shut down, a bipartisan group of negotiators in the Senate prevailed with leadership, trading Democratic support for reopening the government for a commitment by Republicans to hold a vote resolving the status of young undocumented immigrants by mid-February.

The Senate voted 81-18 to end a filibuster of a spending bill that would fund the government through Feb. 8 and reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program for six years. The upper chamber was expected to pass the measure Monday afternoon, then send it to the House for quick approval.

The government can reopen once President Trump signs the funding into law.

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Trump takes credit for the Obama economic recovery, but will not take the blame for the next market correction and recession when it comes

Over the weekend, Clad in pink and vowing to vote, activists around the globe flooded streets for another women’s march.

The serial sexual predator and misogynist Twitter-troll-in-chief couldn’t resist trolling the women marchers.

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Donald Trump, once again, is taking credit for the economic recovery that his predecessor, President Barack Obama, handed off to him.  Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers explains at the Washington Post, Trump doesn’t deserve credit for all the economic good news:

President Trump will be attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, this week. Inevitably, attention will focus on whether the president projects a commitment to internationalist values or reiterates his truculent nationalism in the name of making America “great again.” Attention will also focus on the durability of the current economic and market upswing that has buoyed the spirits of businesses and investors around the world.

While Trump will probably try to take credit for all the economic good news, it is unlikely that he deserves it. He is president of the United States, not the world. And the economic surprises in the rest of the world have been more favorable than those in America. The scale of upward revisions of growth forecasts for 2017 and 2018 has been higher in Europe, Japan, China and emerging markets broadly than for the United States. Many other stock markets have outperformed those here. If Trump’s pro-business policies were driving the global economy, one would expect an increase in net capital flows into the United States, and so a stronger dollar. In fact, the dollar has weakened significantly in the past year, despite more Federal Reserve tightening than was anticipated at the beginning of 2017.

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