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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#9961 User is offline   RedSpawn 

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Posted 2018-April-24, 09:14

View Postbarmar, on 2018-April-24, 09:00, said:

One of Trump's biggest lies has been revealed. When he was listed on the first Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans, he was only worth 5% of what he claimed.

https://www.washingt...m=.bdedf6bb6595

Trump's peers already knew he was a charlatan and wasn't as filthy rich as he claimed. Why didn't Forbes do a better vetting process on the members of the list to ensure this type of error doesn't occur year after year? Surely the participant's net worth wasn't based on inquiry alone?!
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#9962 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2018-April-24, 10:14

From The Intercept:

Quote

Betsy Reed, the editor-in-chief of The Intercept, is moderating a discussion between Noam Chomsky and Daniel Ellsberg on the topic of nuclear policy and war. Chomsky, a laureate professor of linguistics at the University of Arizona, and Ellsberg, the Pentagon Papers whistleblower and author of “The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner,” are appearing onstage together for the first time. The event will be held at the University of Arizona College of Social and Behavioral Sciences on Tuesday, April 24, at 10 p.m. ET.

We will broadcast a free livestream here so viewers around the world can tune in to the conversation. If you miss it, you’ll be able to watch the video below after the broadcast.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#9963 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-April-25, 07:43

View Postawm, on 2018-April-23, 10:56, said:

Keep in mind that after this event happened late last year it's quite possible that North Korea doesn't have the facilities for further nuclear tests. So they may not be giving up anything at all, and of course they can always "change their minds" after they rebuild if they don't get concessions they want.


The Wall Street Journal reports:

Quote

North Korea’s underground nuclear test site has become unusable after a large part of it collapsed, Chinese scientists say. Their evidence comes just one week after a surprise announcement from leader Kim Jong Un that North Korea would stop nuclear tests, with one researcher suggesting to the South China Morning Post that the collapse was the real reason for the unexpected suspension. The experts, led by researchers at the University of Science and Technology of China, have warned that another blast in the same spot and with similar yield to one in September, which is believed to have caused the collapse, could lead to “environmental catastrophe.” “The occurrence of the collapse should deem the underground infrastructure beneath mountain Mantap not be used for any future nuclear tests,” said an abstract for the study.


So much for one more false claim about a presidential accomplishment.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#9964 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2018-April-25, 09:37

View PostRedSpawn, on 2018-April-24, 09:14, said:

Trump's peers already knew he was a charlatan and wasn't as filthy rich as he claimed. Why didn't Forbes do a better vetting process on the members of the list to ensure this type of error doesn't occur year after year? Surely the participant's net worth wasn't based on inquiry alone?!

Have you read the article? It goes into great deal about the history of the reporter's investigations over the years.

There are two basic themes running through it, and they ring bells that we became familiar with during his presidential campaign: First, he'd established a reputation as a real estate mogul, so it was hard for people to believe that he wasn't filthy rich. Second, he exaggerated quantities and valuations of properties excessively, then when he was called on it he would admit to embellishing, and reel it back a bit, making it seem more realistic; but the actual reality was far lower still.

It's actually an obvious tactic in for a real estate guy. It's like setting the asking price 30% higher than the value of the property, then negotiating down to only 10% more -- the buyer feels like he got a deal because he talked you down by 20%.

Don't forget that Trump is not a public company, his books aren't open to the public.

And we still haven't seen his tax returns!

#9965 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2018-April-25, 14:20

View Postbarmar, on 2018-April-25, 09:37, said:

Have you read the article? It goes into great deal about the history of the reporter's investigations over the years.

There are two basic themes running through it, and they ring bells that we became familiar with during his presidential campaign: First, he'd established a reputation as a real estate mogul, so it was hard for people to believe that he wasn't filthy rich. Second, he exaggerated quantities and valuations of properties excessively, then when he was called on it he would admit to embellishing, and reel it back a bit, making it seem more realistic; but the actual reality was far lower still.

It's actually an obvious tactic in for a real estate guy. It's like setting the asking price 30% higher than the value of the property, then negotiating down to only 10% more -- the buyer feels like he got a deal because he talked you down by 20%.

Don't forget that Trump is not a public company, his books aren't open to the public.

And we still haven't seen his tax returns!


Probably he doesn't exaggerate his riches on his tax returns. Or maybe he does, just can't help himself.
Ken
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#9966 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2018-April-26, 08:14

For the Peter principle and long knives files:

Very happy to see that the president's physician has withdrawn from consideration for leading the Veteran's Administration. He is not qualified. Period.

In his FT Swamp Notes column today, Edward Luce says:

Quote

You have to feel a twinge of sympathy for Ronny Jackson, the White House physician, who has turned into a national punchline. One moment he was the longstanding and respected doctor to the president – a role he took up in 2006. The next Donald Trump nominated him to be secretary of veterans affairs. Then the knives came out.

From now on the rear-admiral will be remembered as “candy man” for having allegedly distributed unprescribed sleeping pills to White House staff on Air Force One, then doling out “wake up” pills in the morning. On top of that, Mr Jackson is alleged to have been drinking on overseas trips. I doubt he will survive it. As Senate confirmation probes go, this is likely to be swift and merciless.

But is it fair? The answer is yes and no. Yes, the Senate should refuse to confirm Jackson to lead the Veterans Administration. But no – not because he handed out a few Ambiens on overnight flights. Jackson is caught in a classic vortex of Washington puritanism. He is unsuited to head the VA because he has never managed more than a few dozen people in his career. The VA is the second largest federal agency after the Pentagon. It employs 330,000 people at hundreds of hospitals, clinics and rehabilitation centres around the US – and has been plagued for years by poor management and ideological wrangling. The Koch brothers are funding a “grassroots” group called Veterans for America that wants to privatise much of the VA’s socialised care. Few of the bona fide veterans groups agree that outsourcing is the answer. It takes a seasoned pilot to navigate such treacherous shoals.

That is what is at stake with this nomination and it is on these grounds that Jackson should be rejected. Instead, the poor man is being subjected to a Salem-style witch trial about his medical ethics. Both George W. Bush and Barack Obama awarded Jackson high grades for his performance as White House physician. He did blot his copybook a little in January when he pronounced Trump’s health to be “very very good” - adding that if the 71-year-old president improved his diet a little (cheese burgers, vanilla ice cream, chocolate cake, etc) and took a little exercise, he might live to be 200 years old. But that is what Trump does to people. Bear in mind that Obama praised Jackson’s “diligence and knowledge” and promoted him to rear-admiral.

Swift and merciless indeed. Was it fair? As Harold Macmillan aka Mac-the-knife said to Anthony Eden in "The Crown":

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Come now Anthony, you know as well as I, there is no justice in politics.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#9967 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2018-April-26, 09:53

View Posty66, on 2018-April-26, 08:14, said:

For the Peter principle and long knives files:

Very happy to see that the president's physician has withdrawn from consideration for leading the Veteran's Administration. He is not qualified. Period.

Didn't you love Trump's explanation for why being unqualified shouldn't disqualify him? He said that the VA is so huge that no one has the experience necessary, implying that relevant experience shouldn't be a requirement.

Of course, his cabinet is full of people with no relevant background for their positions (not to mention Trump himself), so this attitude should come as no surprise. But his cabinet and staff has been a revolving door, so it's also clear that this is not a working strategy.

#9968 User is offline   ldrews 

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Posted 2018-April-26, 10:43

View Postbarmar, on 2018-April-26, 09:53, said:

Didn't you love Trump's explanation for why being unqualified shouldn't disqualify him? He said that the VA is so huge that no one has the experience necessary, implying that relevant experience shouldn't be a requirement.

Of course, his cabinet is full of people with no relevant background for their positions (not to mention Trump himself), so this attitude should come as no surprise. But his cabinet and staff has been a revolving door, so it's also clear that this is not a working strategy.


OK, an idiot for President and an unqualified Cabinet.

And yet, after 16 months of Trump's presidency we have:
  • GDP growing at 3+%
  • Lowest unemployment in years
  • Stock market up 40+%
  • Companies and investment money returning to US
  • Wages starting to rise again
  • ISIS essentially defeated
  • North Korea coming to the negotiating table
  • NATO nations increasing their contributions
  • NAFTA being renegotiated
  • China trade problems being addressed
  • Immigration reform being addressed


Isn't it amazing what a little incompetence can accomplish!
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#9969 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-April-27, 08:40

Anyone can throw one hell of a party on borrowed money. Reagan did it. So did W. It seems a Republican thing. The issue comes when it is time to pay up - we'll see then if the trickle satisfies the debtors.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#9970 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2018-April-27, 09:46

View PostWinstonm, on 2018-April-27, 08:40, said:

Anyone can throw one hell of a party on borrowed money. Reagan did it. So did W. It seems a Republican thing. The issue comes when it is time to pay up - we'll see then if the trickle satisfies the debtors.

Yes, deficit spending stimulates the economy, for sure, which is why you need it as a tool to combat recessions. After the tool is used, you need to bring down the deficit to be ready to use the tool again for the next recession -- otherwise the costs of debt service make it impossible to use the tool when most needed.

From Truman through Carter, administrations were fiscally responsible regardless of party. That changed with Reagan, and since then all republican administrations have been fiscally irresponsible, needing the democrats to restore responsibility. I'm not happy about that, as my habit is still to vote in republican primaries and to write to encourage my representatives to act and vote responsibly.

However, facts are facts. In national elections these days, the republican base (insofar as finances are a consideration) consists of folks who are ignorant, are irresponsible, or are willing to put personal advantage ahead of the good of the country. I believe that the republican base is still a distinct minority, but their politicians -- with the help of corrupt oligarchs (Russian, American, and otherwise) -- are fighting hard to suppress our more responsible majority.
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#9971 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2018-April-27, 09:54

View Postldrews, on 2018-April-26, 10:43, said:

OK, an idiot for President and an unqualified Cabinet.

And yet, after 16 months of Trump's presidency we have:
  • GDP growing at 3+%

As pointed out numerous times before, just continuing the trend.

Quote

  • Lowest unemployment in years

  • Continuing the trend

    Quote

  • Stock market up 40+%

  • True, Trump is very business-friendly. Rich people are getting richer. Doesn't help most of America, though.

    Quote

  • Companies and investment money returning to US

  • True, but they're not investing the money back in the businesses, it's not helping the working people. They're using the money to either pay out dividends to investors or buy back their own shares.

    Before you mention the bonuses that companies paid out after the tax cut, those are exceptions, not the rule. And one-time bonuses are not anything like wage increases or increased hiring, which is what we were promised.

    Quote

  • Wages starting to rise again

  • Really, I hadn't heard about that. Are they anywhere close to catching up with inflation?

    Quote

  • NAFTA being renegotiated

  • That's a good thing?

    Quote

  • China trade problems being addressed

  • Not sure I agree with this.

    Quote

  • Immigration reform being addressed

  • Really? Since when? Congress was supposed to do something about DACA, but then a court ruled that Trump's cancellation wasn't legal, so they were off the hook and dropped it.

    Quote



    Isn't it amazing what a little incompetence can accomplish!

    As I've said before, what's amazing is what he hasn't been able to break, and it's mostly because it's hard to overcome the inertia of the government bureaucracy.

    You haven't mentioned all the things he's doing to destroy the environment, like taking us out of the Paris Accord and removing numerous environmental regulations.

    #9972 User is offline   Winstonm 

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    Posted 2018-April-27, 14:26

    View PostPassedOut, on 2018-April-27, 09:46, said:

    Yes, deficit spending stimulates the economy, for sure, which is why you need it as a tool to combat recessions. After the tool is used, you need to bring down the deficit to be ready to use the tool again for the next recession -- otherwise the costs of debt service make it impossible to use the tool when most needed.

    From Truman through Carter, administrations were fiscally responsible regardless of party. That changed with Reagan, and since then all republican administrations have been fiscally irresponsible, needing the democrats to restore responsibility. I'm not happy about that, as my habit is still to vote in republican primaries and to write to encourage my representatives to act and vote responsibly.

    However, facts are facts. In national elections these days, the republican base (insofar as finances are a consideration) consists of folks who are ignorant, are irresponsible, or are willing to put personal advantage ahead of the good of the country. I believe that the republican base is still a distinct minority, but their politicians -- with the help of corrupt oligarchs (Russian, American, and otherwise) -- are fighting hard to suppress our more responsible majority.


    Part of the problem with throwing a $1.5 trillion party and then excluding most of the middle and lower classes is that consumption won't increase, so there is no general benefit to the economy; however, if the same $1.5 trillion were redistributed to the say lowest 25% of American earners, those who consume 100% of their earnings, that same money would end up back where it started, by way of profits from increased spending, but at the same time increased demand would spur increased investment in production, leading to pressure on wages by a dwindling unemployed.

    Of course, we can never know how much difference there would be in GDP if comparing the Republicans' "present to the rich" tax break compared to a redistribution to consumers tax incentive because there seemingly is a never-ending reluctance by all politicians to abandon supply-side religiosity even when failure after failure has shown the ineffectiveness of its results.

    This is from Yahoo News today:

    Quote

    The Republican tax cuts, which Trump signed at the end of 2017, could turn out to be one policy move that has unusually quick and direct effects on the economy. Many economists and Wall Street analysts expect those tax cuts to sharply boost corporate profits, leaving more money to invest in workers and new facilities. The new tax law slashed the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, which ought to push more money into the economy right away.

    If that’s helping the economy, however, it’s not yet showing up in the GDP data or other economic metrics. The rate of growth in business investment actually slowed during the first quarter, when some economists thought it would surge on account of the tax cuts. “The slowdown in GDP growth … was something of a disappointment,” research firm Capital Economics explained to clients, “since the tax cuts should have provided an immediate boost.”

    Consumer spending has weakened, too, with growth slowing from 4.4% in the fourth quarter to 1.1% in the latest quarter. Critics of the Trump tax cuts contend that they favor businesses and the wealthy too heavily, with little relief flowing to working- or middle-class families. We’re also in the midst of a surge in stock buybacks and dividend hikes, which return money to shareholders but don’t necessarily aid the real economy.


    Come on, folks. It's not that hard to see or understand that in order make investment in increased production profitable, somebody else needs to A) have money to spend and B) want to buy something.

    The current tax law once again proves that the cart cannot lead the horse to water or make it buy the new and improved water.
    "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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    #9973 User is offline   PassedOut 

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    Posted 2018-April-27, 16:12

    View PostWinstonm, on 2018-April-27, 14:26, said:

    Part of the problem with throwing a $1.5 trillion party and then excluding most of the middle and lower classes is that consumption won't increase, so there is no general benefit to the economy; however, if the same $1.5 trillion were redistributed to the say lowest 25% of American earners, those who consume 100% of their earnings, that same money would end up back where it started, by way of profits from increased spending, but at the same time increased demand would spur increased investment in production, leading to pressure on wages by a dwindling unemployed.

    Yes, it would be a lot more effective a stimulus if the money were distributed to the folks who'd spend it rather than to increase the already excessive income inequality. However, the ballooning of the debt is irresponsible regardless. Seems clear that the increase in inequality is intentional. It's also dangerous.
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    #9974 User is offline   Al_U_Card 

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    Posted 2018-April-27, 16:30

    If the banks can't have usurious interest rates, they have to settle for increased debt. You do know that the banks run the country....
    The Grand Design, reflected in the face of Chaos...it's a fluke!
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    #9975 User is offline   ldrews 

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    Posted 2018-April-27, 20:21

    View Postbarmar, on 2018-April-27, 09:54, said:

    As pointed out numerous times before, just continuing the trend.



    Posted Image

    Does this look like "just continuing the trend" to you?
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    #9976 User is offline   Winstonm 

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    Posted 2018-April-27, 21:05

    Let's look at the past 8 years of GDP:

    2010: 2.5
    2011 1.6
    2012 2.2
    2013 1.7
    2014 2.6
    2015 2.9
    2016 1.5
    2017 2.3

    This accomplished after surviving the greatest financial collapse since the Great Depression.
    "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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    #9977 User is offline   ldrews 

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    Posted 2018-April-28, 08:28

    View PostWinstonm, on 2018-April-27, 21:05, said:

    Let's look at the past 8 years of GDP:

    2010: 2.5
    2011 1.6
    2012 2.2
    2013 1.7
    2014 2.6
    2015 2.9
    2016 1.5
    2017 2.3

    This accomplished after surviving the greatest financial collapse since the Great Depression.


    So you ignore the fact that the last 3 quarters of Obama's administration showed a definite trend downward which abruptly changed direction after Trump's inauguration. Head in the sand much?
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    #9978 User is offline   hrothgar 

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    Posted 2018-April-28, 08:57

    View Postldrews, on 2018-April-28, 08:28, said:

    So you ignore the fact that the last 3 quarters of Obama's administration showed a definite trend downward which abruptly changed direction after Trump's inauguration.


    Yes. Because this is clearly inconsequential given the long term trend and variance.
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    #9979 User is offline   ldrews 

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    Posted 2018-April-28, 10:20

    View Posthrothgar, on 2018-April-28, 08:57, said:

    Yes. Because this is clearly inconsequential given the long term trend and variance.


    I would think that all of the people getting jobs, getting tax reductions, bonuses, rising wages, etc., would disagree that it is inconsequential.
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    #9980 User is offline   hrothgar 

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    Posted 2018-April-28, 10:57

    View Postldrews, on 2018-April-28, 10:20, said:

    I would think that all of the people getting jobs, getting tax reductions, bonuses, rising wages, etc., would disagree that it is inconsequential.


    Yes, you probably would "think" something like that if you were actually capable of cognition rather than rattling off talking points that you barely understand.
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