What the average citizen should know about conservatives! 5-24-19

When the average conservative is confronted by the facts, history or reason, they lash out with the usual name-calling: libtard, commie rat, socialist, anti-American, traitor, globalist, and useful tool!

To the average Trumper and the typical MAGA Moron who supports the most incompetent brigand ever to be elected to high office in the Western World since WWII, liberals support the Nanny State, believe in open borders, free education, healthcare, free abortions on demand and housing for all, and de-criminalization of every addictive drug known to mankind.  Liberals have been the big taxers, the big spenders, and worst of all, atheists, who hate all people of faith and religion.

But, in reality, what is the truth? Who are the bigots, the greedy, and the least educated among us? Is it really the liberals? Hardy! Abortion is used across all across the spectrum of every race, religions and ethnic background in the same proportion as the demographics of the country. But what of religion? What makes the conservative more religious, more pious, more fearful of the wrath of G-d?  They are not. In fact, when it comes to divorce, drug abuse, adultery, pornography, sex scandals, and the patronage of escort service and prostitutes, male and female, there is plenty of evidence that conservatives have more of a proclivity than any other philosophical group. In fact, what is most startling is the hypocrisy of all these so-called moralists. In fact, there is no evidence of any higher morality of conservatism throughout history. Here is a list of Republican and conservative sexual miscreants. It is very long! https://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389×1709387

But, what of patriotism? As the sage, Samuel Johnson stated, “The last refuge of a scoundrel is patriotism!” Where is the evidence that Republicans or conservatives are any more patriotic than anyone else? Hers is a link to the Democrats that served and the Republican Chicken Hawks who talk up the military and who never served or were draft dodgers: https://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=364×1440824

But here are some of the more prominent Republicans who talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk! These Republicans never served in the military: Trump, Trent Lott, Jeb Bush, Rudy Giuliani, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Karl Rove, John Bolton, Newt Gingrich, Dick Cheney, Pat Buchanan, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, Lou Dobbs, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Ted Nugent, Ralph Reed, Michael Savage and many, many others.

But what do they support? Do they really vote for military and veteran’s benefits more than liberals or Democrats? There is no evidence of that in the least. In fact, historically there is zero evidence of that. But what about the support of the average working American? The average voting record in support of labor is over 90% of the Democrats in the House and the Senate. As for the Republicans it is under 15%.

Meanwhile the GOP Conservatives and their former Dixiecrat allies have been opposed to every advance in our long history. Many called it the progressive evolution of our society, but the small government acolytes seem to think that word progressive is a euphemism for left-wing socialism. As a long-time student of history, political person, and writer and lecturer on mid-20th Century history, it is not a stretch to see what side both parties fall. The right-wing has opposed: the following

The Bill of Rights

Anti-trust laws- Sherman and Clayton Acts, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid Labor unions and their right to collectively bargain- the Wagner Act. Wages and Hours Laws, Child Labor laws and regulation- Triangle Shirtwaist and other disasters, The Minimum wage, Civil Rights- Integration- anti-lynching laws, The Security Laws of 1933, 4, and 1940, affirmative action, Pure Food and Drug laws,

Almost all environmental regulation on clear water and air, Women’s Rights, the right of choice, Birth control access and information, Equal pay for equal rights. The Establishment Clause- separation of church and state, Gun control, Graduated Income Tax- taxes in general, Inheritance Taxes, Federal housing- urban renewal, Public education, and even aid to Great Britain before WWII.

What have they supported?

Restrictive Immigration: Chinese Exclusion Act 1882, National Origins Immigration Act of 1924, Property rights over individual rights, Censorship, Monopoly, trusts, Inter-locking directorships, Unrestricted gun ownership, Flat-taxes, sale’s taxes,  State’s Rights, Public funding for private schools, Red-lining, Segregation, White Citizen’s Councils, the KKK, Privatization of services, Union-busting, right to work laws, Off shore banking shelters, Deregulation and that the market place cures all ills, The Oil Depletion allowance, and Private schools

In other words, what in hell have the right-wing ever supported that was in the public’s interest?

 

 

 

 

Why Should the Blue Collar Working American Vote Republican? 5-3-19

By voting for the average Republican incumbent or challenger you get the following: more inaction on jobs, infrastructure, education, civil rights and liberties and tax relief for America’s wealthiest. You also get a Congress that is against healthcare for all Americans, but has no alternative plan. You vote for a Congress that will repeal the Federal Inheritance Tax, which affects a tiny percentage of the wealthiest 1% of all Americans ($12 million plus in assets). You also vote for a Congress that is completely against women’s health, including: Choice, Birth Control, and Planned Parenthood. But, what about the minimum wage, the sanctity of Social Security and Medicare? What about their plans for de-regulation? Does that mean more fracking in watershed areas? Does that mean less clean air and more reliance on dirty coal? But what about education? Does that mean more undermining public education, lower salaries for teachers or support for Charter Schools?

So here are some realities:

  1. Healthcare costs- Under the so-called Trumpcare Plan- costs will go up, caps, limitations and exclusions will return, and there will be no engine for financing! Therefore, what benefit will be achieved? The Republicans claim there will be more insurers, why? Higher premiums, less benefits and a return to healthcare before the ACA. By the way WHERE is it?
  2. Taxes- Most Blue collar working Americans are paying low Federal income taxes or none. Their taxes have not gone up under President Obama, and if any costs have gone up they are at the state level. What tax benefit would come with the Trump/GOP Plan- high earners and corporations would get the vast amount of tax savings, adding to the deficit, a cut in services that are specifically directed to working class Americans. The Reagan tax cuts lowered the top bracket from 70% to 28%, benefitted the wealthy, quadrupled the National Debt, added jobs in the Defense Sector and the revenues brought in never matched the deficit.
  3. The Budget- Under the budget proposed by Trump there would be an increase in Defense spending of $54 billion, a $20-25 billion wall across the Mexican border and an unlimited ancillary cost of its maintenance. The offsetting savings will come out of healthcare, science, the arts, etc. But what are the real numbers!

 

  1. Depart of Labor -21%
  2. EPA-31%
  3. Agriculture-21%
  4. Health and Human Service -18%
  5. Education -14%
  6. Housing and Urban Development -13%
  7. Transportation -13%
  8. Interior—12%
  9. Energy -6%
  10. Small Business Administration -5%

How come it is ancient history that in 2008, we were in the midst of another economic meltdown caused by unregulated markets? Is there any connection to the recent Wells Fargo scandal? You can bet on it.  Is the average American suffering? No! Is this the worst recovery since the Great Depression? No! Are there job losses authored by Wall Street, which has nothing to do with NAFTA? Yes! Is our military 2nd rate? Of course not! Is Washington broken? Yes, and who is the cause? One doesn’t have to look much further than the GOP leadership.

So, we keep on hearing from the Trump Talking Heads, that this election is about the dispossessed American, the terrible recovery, the decline of America, how weak or armed forces are, and that Washington is broken. But, who broke Washington? Along with those fables, how come the moderators have zero knowledge of our history? What happened from the beginning of the Progressive Era from Teddy Roosevelt to Woodrow Wilson? What were the working, social, and economic conditions of the era? Were they in need of change? Of course. But, who opposed that change? The same people who oppose progressive reform today!

These news readers, seem to have forgotten our advancement from the days to the Crash and the great progressive gains from FDR through Truman, to the Great Society and up and through President Obama. Did they conveniently forget who created twice as many jobs? Did they forget how well markets did under Democrats and how wages went up for most Americans. Did they forget how the GOP de-regulators and tax cutters gave us most of the recessions, since Truman and the Savings & Loan trillion dollar debacle, the quadrupling of the National Debt under Reagan and Bush 41? Maybe they have no clue.

How come it is ancient history that in 2008, we were in the midst of another economic meltdown caused by unregulated markets? Is there any connection to the recent Wells Fargo scandal? You can bet on it.  So here we are in the midst of a campaign, where the American public has to confront these myths. Is the average American suffering? No! Is this the worst recovery since the Great Depression? No! Are there job losses authored by Wall Street, which has nothing to do with NAFTA? Yes! Is our military 2nd rate? Of course not! Is Washington broken? Yes, and who is the cause? One doesn’t have to look much further than the GOP leadership, which has failed to schedule hearings for Federal Judges and numerous other presidential appointments. Almost a record have not been confirmed. So who is filibustering, not addressing problems of jobs, education and our infrastructure? Is it the Democrats, or the candidates the GOP supports? Splitting one’s ballot will bring more gridlock, obfuscation and regression. Don’t do it!

 

 

 

Eisenhower and Reagan, Two Historical and Polar Opposites on Labor June 1, 2019

Here are two distinct reflections on two Republican Presidents with regards to American Organized Labor. Eisenhower, who today would never ever be nominated by any GOP convention in the last 40 years and Ronald Reagan, who would also have problems in today’s GOP.  Eisenhower was a decent man, who was over his head as president, and for sure, whose health made him unfit for the job, reflected on two separate issues in these following quotes. His two Secretaries of Labor, Martin Drucker (8 months) and James P. Mitchell were pro-labor and worked to protect worker rights.  NO Republican after him had any real interest in the American Labor Movement. As for Reagan his anti-union policies are a part of historical record.

*”Workers have a right to organize into unions and to bargain collectively with their employers. And a strong, free labor movement is an invigorating and necessary part of our industrial society.”

*”Only a fool would try to deprive working men and women of their right to join the union of their choice.”

*”Should any political party attempt to abolish Social Security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things, but their number is negligible and they are stupid.”—Republican President Dwight Eisenhower

As for Ronald Reagan- The following is an excerpt from a piece written by Dick Meister!

Reagan in any case, was a true ideologue of the anti-labor political right. Yes, he had been president of the Screen Actors Guild, but he was notoriously pro-management, leading the way to a strike-ending agreement in 1959 that greatly weakened the union and finally resigning under membership pressure before his term ended.

Reagan’s war on labor began in the summer of 1981, when he fired 13,000 striking air traffic controllers and destroyed their union. As Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson noted, that was “an unambiguous signal that employers need feel little or no obligation to their workers, and employers got that message loud and clear — illegally firing workers who sought to unionize, replacing permanent employees who could collect benefits with temps who could not, shipping factories and jobs abroad.”

Reagan gave dedicated union foes direct control of the federal agencies that were designed originally to protect and further the rights and interests of workers and their unions.

Most important was Reagan’s appointment of three management representatives to the five-member National Labor Relations Board which oversees union representation elections and labor-management bargaining, They included NLRB Chairman Donald Dotson, who believed that “unionized labor relations have been the major contributors to the decline and failure of once-healthy industries” and have caused “destruction of individual freedom.”

Under Dotson, a House subcommittee found, the board abandoned its legal obligation to promote collective bargaining, in what amounted to “a betrayal of American workers.”

The NLRB settled only about half as many complaints of employers’ illegal actions as had the board during the previous administration of Democrat Jimmy Carter, and those that were settled upheld employers in three-fourths of the cases. Even under Republican Richard Nixon, employers won only about one-third of the time.

Most of the complaints were against employers who responded to organizing drives by illegally firing union supporters. The employers were well aware that under Reagan the NLRB was taking an average of three years to rule on complaints, and that in any case it generally did no more than order the discharged unionists reinstated with back pay. That’s much cheaper than operating under a union contract.

The board stalled as long before acting on petitions from workers seeking union representation elections and stalled for another year or two after such votes before certifying winning unions as the workers’ bargaining agents. Under Reagan, too, employers were allowed to permanently replace workers who dared exercise their legal right to strike.

Reagan’s Labor Department was as one-sided as the NLRB. It became an anti-labor department, virtually ignoring, for instance, the union-busting consultants who were hired by many employers to fend off unionization. Very few consultants and very few of those who hired them were asked for the financial disclosure statements the law demands. Yet all unions were required to file the statements that the law required of them (and that could be used to advantage by their opponents). And though the department cut its overall budget by more than 10 percent, it increased the budget for such union-busting activities by almost 40 percent.

Union-busting was only one aspect of Reagan’s anti-labor policy. He attempted to lower the minimum wage for younger workers, ease the child labor and anti-sweatshop laws, tax fringe benefits, and cut back job training programs for the unemployed. He tried to replace thousands of federal employees with temporary workers who would not have civil service or union protections.

The Reagan administration all but dismantled programs that required affirmative action and other steps against discrimination by federal contractors, and seriously undermined worker safety. It closed one-third of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s field offices, trimmed its staff by more than one-fourth and decreased the number of penalties assessed against employers by almost three-fourths.

Rather than enforce the law, the administration sought “voluntary compliance” from employers on safety matters – and generally didn’t get or expect it. The administration had so tilted the job safety laws in favor of employers that union safety experts found them virtually useless.

The same could have been said of all other labor laws in the Reagan era. A statement issued at the time by the presidents of several major unions concluded it would have been more advantageous for those who worked for a living to ignore the laws and return “to the law of the jungle” that prevailed a half-century before.

Their suggestion came a little late. Ronald Reagan had already plunged labor-management relations deep into the jungle.

Dick Meister is a reporter for United Press, The Associated
Press, the San Jose Mercury News and PBS TV
Station KQED in San Francisco, labor editor of the
San Francisco Chronicle, city editor of the Oakland
Tribune, and a commentator on Pacifica Radio in
Berkeley, Los Angeles and Houston, KQED-FM in San
Francisco and other public radio stations. I hold BA
and MA degrees in journalism from Stanford University
and have taught the subject at San Francisco State University

He is the co-author of a history of farm labor, “A Long Time Coming,”

published by Macmillan.

.

Guns and the America’s Culture Wars March 27, 2018

America is undergoing its latest chapter of the “Culture and Economic War,” between the lower middle class whites and the poorer minorities, which began under the un-enlightened Reagan Era of anti-government, low taxes on the rich, de-regulation, and the revival of  the fanciful mid 1840’s idea of “American Exceptionalism” and Reagan’s fantasized concept of the “Shining City on the Hill!” Throughout his eight years in the Oval Office, Reagan created this Hollywood illusion of a “renewed sense of optimism” to a so-called, beleaguered nation disillusioned by war and scandal. He repeatedly described America as the “shining city upon a hill.” In his 1989 farewell address, Reagan said:

“…in my mind, it was a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace, a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity, and if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here.”

Of course, that was his idealized view of what we were really about, what our history was and his distorted view of the future. In fact, his administration was fraught with scandals regarding Iran-Contra and eventually would blow-up with the Savings & Loan disaster that cost the country $1 trillion. He came into office not after a war, but picked up the problems of the Carter Administration which was the victim of the 2nd OPEC Oil Embargo, which Nixon had never really resolved. So after his eight years, what did we have in America? The beginning of the end to the Middle Class in America. On the surface, in the Reagan Years, 16 million jobs were created, more than the eight years of Eisenhower, the almost fourteen years of both Bushes and Ford (in Nixon’s five years, 9.4 million jobs were created) combined. Ironically, there were 10.5 million jobs created in Carter’s four years, and since Truman, the Democratic Administrations have created more than 2.5 times as many jobs as the Republicans.

But, what of Reagan’s legacy? Much of those 16 million jobs were connected to the Defense Industry which included his ill-fated Star Wars Program and his 600 ship US Navy, which lasted about two weeks until more older and obsolete ships were de-commissioned. Unemployment, which was 7.5% on January 20, 1981 would rise back to 7.3%, by the time his successor, George HW Bush (#41) left office on January 20, 1993. In between, the National Debt had quadrupled. By the way, at the end of the Gulf War, his Bush #41’s job approval was at 90%. On November 3, 1992, he received 37.45% of the vote, the second lowest percentage for an incumbent president seeking re-election in our history (William Howard Taft received 23.17%).

In between, because of Reagan’s tax cuts and excessive spending, we experienced a growth in the billionaire class. There had been between 10-12 billionaires for decades. Within four years this number grew to 49. That pace has continued to accelerate. By 1992, it had grown to 100 and now there are almost 600. In between, we have seen the exporting of jobs, the growth of the big box stores, and the real beginning of the next chapter of America’s emerging “Cultural and Economic War.” As the Middle Class shrunk with the growth of the upper and lower middle classes, fringe and impact neighbors expanded. That is the legacy of Reagan, whose administration started the country on its downward path of “starving” the government. What has been the result, declining infrastructure, greater deficits, the Crash of 2008 as a result of deregulation and the Deriviative Bubble, and expensive foreign adventurism. Much of today’s National Debt can be attributed to the ill-fated, Bush #43 policy of “guns and butter.”  Tax cuts during wartime is indicative of the Voodoo Economics under Reagan. Add on to that the non-financed Part D (Drug) Medicare Plan, and the crash of 2008, our worst economic setback since the Great Depression! What was the result of that, by June of 2009, the DJIA at 6600 and unemployment ay 10.5 %. So much for Reagan and the two Bush presidencies.

The dominance of the white, Protestant, male hegemony that reached its peak on VJ Day, September 2, 1945, began to erode. On that day, over 98% of all the Senate and House seats were held by Protestant white males. The same could be said for every Flag Rank officer in the America Armed Forces, every Governor of every state, the CEO of every Fortune 500 Company, the head of every hospital, every university and college (aside women’s schools), every prestigious law firm, and almost every police department. The American, Protestant male, was now the most powerful group of people in the history of the World.

Since that day, what has happened? Well this ultimate and unprecedented American and World power began to erode. First it was Catholics, and then Jews. Next it was women, Blacks, Latinos, Asians and even Gays. In fact, it was addition to some by subtraction from others. As Jim Crow started to abate in the 15 to 20 years after the end of WW II, women also sought their place in the sun. As these various religious and ethnic groups, with America’s women started to gain power, who lost it? The answer is obvious. Well, White Protestant America and its new Eurocentric allies has invested in the most corrupt human who has ever been elected to office in a Western government since the end of WWII. In the words of cartoonist Walt Kelly’s character, Pogo, “We have met the enemy, and it is us!”

 

 

 

 

Defense Spending and the VA 12-25-19

I suggest the public starts doing some reading on the realities of Defense spending and the estimates on the coming VA need in the coming two generations, which some folks estimate to be in the $10 trillion range.

As for Defense spending, our budget is largest than the next 15 countries in the word and is 35% of the world’s spending. My guess is that our allocations are way out of whack. We cannot afford an all- volunteer armed forces without intense considerations regarding PTSD which is afflicting more and more of our forces, reflective of multiple tours. We need to have a draft for the Army and we have to rotate men with one year of service in a combat zone. As for our Carrier fleet, it is very expensive and we have been forced to cut back worldwide assignments to the lowest point in 25 years.

Operating a Nimitz-class carrier runs about $298 million per year, the Government Accountability Office estimated in a 1997 study. One can just imagine what it runs today! The current carrier fleet is made up entirely of Nimitz-class carriers, with the lone ship of the new Ford-class still undergoing sea trials.

Only about 15% of the US Navy’s aircraft carriers have been deployed in 2018. The Navy has not seen rates this low since 1992, just after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the conclusion of the Cold War. In the Middle East, where the US is battling Islamic insurgents, there has not been an aircraft carrier there since March, when the USS Theodore Roosevelt left the region.

Signs of potential trouble appeared a couple of years ago. The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower left the Middle East in December 2016 after launching hundreds of airstrikes on the terrorist group ISIS in Iraq and Syria, Fox News reported. The Ike’s return to port reportedly marked the first time since the end of World War II that the US did not have at least one aircraft carrier deployed, a situation that lasted for about a week.

Maintenance overruns due to backlogs at public shipyards have cost the Navy dearly in terms of readiness, as these facilities fall farther and farther behind. Between 2000 and 2016, America’s carrier force lost 1,300 operational days, the equivalent of seven six-month deployments, USNI News noted, citing a 2017 Government Accountability Office report. Measuring from Fiscal Year 2015, the Navy lost roughly a year’s worth of operational days for its aircraft carriers.

The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower has been in the shop for maintenance well beyond its expected February 2018 delivery date. The ship is expected to be ready for deployment in 2019, meaning it will have been in maintenance three times longer than anticipated, USNI News reported Monday.

I hope you understand the cost of all your jingoistic fantasies. How are you going to operate this huge machine with tax cuts? I think you should understand the “guns and butter” equation. We have certain obligations, all around the world, regarding threats from Russia, China, the Middle East, and the freedom of the seas, we don’t have the Do-Re-Me (money). You want increases in wages, and mass unionization. But, you have zero clue on how that will spill back on all levels of taxation, especially on the local level. On top of that, you want and support economic isolation through draconian tariffs. Besides that, interest rates are tanking and the DJIA has lost almost 40% of its gains since Trump was inaugurated- DJIA high water mark was 25,724, today it is around 22,800. This month’s performance has been the worst for any month since 1931. The S&P 500 closed at its lowest level since October of 2017, the Nasdaq finished at its lowest since November of 2017, while the Dow closed at lowest level since March 23, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/files/cow/imce/papers/2018/Crawford_Costs%20of%20War%20Estimates%20Through%20FY2019.pdf

Speaking of America! December 21-2018

In the words of the great man of letters and philosopher, George Santayana, who sagely said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it!” It seems that each generation must pay the price when they fail to learn the hard lessons of reality.

I am always amazed by the folks who pine for the “good old days!” What were those legendary “good old days?” Was it the prosperity after WWI after 320,000 casualties and 116,000 dead which led to the Roaring 20’s which brought on the Great Depression that lasted from 1929 to the onset of WWII?  Or, maybe it was World War II, where America got off lightly, with only 1 million casualties and over 400,000, killed! Again, this time, the so-called civilized world was left prostrate and America could pick up the pieces, and be on top of the proverbial food chain for the next twenty years, when we got ourselves into another war. But, this time the next the next generation of draftees weren’t so happy fighting in some far off Asian war. At the same time, 20 million Blacks got tired of discrimination in every element of American life, women got fed up having unwanted pregnancies, being beaten by their loutish husbands and Gays were sick of being bashed at every opportunity. Were they any less human than the rest of us?

But, what have we learned since those halcyon days of the social revolution that was the late 1960’s? We learned that there was abuse of countless youngsters done by religious leaders we trusted. Was that abuse new? Hardly! It had been going on for countless years, but everyone victim was afraid to speak out. What did we learn about sexual harassment and abuse? We certainly didn’t learn that this was a new phenomenon. In fact, the proverbial casting couch went back as far as one could remember. But, was that only limited to Hollywood and Broadway? Hardly! In fact, sexual harassment, had been happening in offices and school rooms all over the country for generations. Has anyone ever considered the abuse of Native Americans in the era of the reservations and the Indian Schools, long after the closing of the frontier in 1890! Has anyone bothered to contemplate the abuse of the mentally ill and the elderly in the nursing homes, also known as the Medicaid Mills. Those certainly weren’t the good old days for millions!

But, what about the lives of immigrants who flocked here from the 1880’s until right after WWI. How were they treated? Has this generation read about the squalor of tenement life in the mean streets of the immigrant ghettoes? Has anyone really contemplated how the gangs (Irish, Italian and Jewish) in these ghettoes lived off and abused these folks through violence, extortion, protection, racketeering and terror! Was it any different than the KKK and the Night Riders of the South, who terrorized millions of Blacks for almost 100 years, resulting in over 2000 lynchings and countless other murders from 1865 to 1950.  Has anyone bothered to read about the work of the Muckrakers; Ida Tarbell, Upton Sinclair, Lincoln Steffens, Jacob Riis, or many others who exposed the malfeasance and criminality of the meat packing industry, the snake oil salesmen, the patent medicine frauds, the people who padded the Pure Food and Drug Acts, and demanded clean air and water? By the way, we had pollution (smog) in most cities of the United States up until the late 1960s and the amount of people who suffered from asthma, congestive lung disease as in emphysema and cancer, were in the millions.

By the way, we had a Civil War, because one half of the country rebelled over their right to enslave people. That war cost over 700,000 lives and destroyed the South for more than a generation. In today’s numbers, that would be equivalent to 7 million dead. But, how about crime in America! We have more people in jail in the United States than all the countries in the world, except China, and aside from that huge number of 2 million, there are four times as many on parole. Let’s understand these folks aren’t all minorities. In Florida, we have 1.6 million former felons, who do not have the right to vote. We just passed a referendum, giving them that right. Of that number only 24% are Black. By the way, though 64% voted to allow these folks to vote, the new Republican governor wants no part of the will of the people!

As for drugs and alcohol abuse, they have been around forever and the amount of deaths from those abuses were prevalent and monstrous throughout our history. Let us not forget the demands of the Anti-Saloon League, resulting in Prohibition, which failed miserably.

Without belaboring the point, we have had over 33,000 gun deaths, each and every, year for decades. In comparison, Australia with 1/14th of our population had 236 gun deaths in 2013. In comparison, with our 32,000 we had 135 times the amount of gun-related killings! The differential in Western Europe are pretty close to the same.

I could go on and on, but, who wants a regurgitation of our sordid history?

Job Growth and the Economy 7-25-19

President Obama, the last six months of 2016, job growth, 209,000 per month. Trump job growth first six months of 2018, job growth 196,000 per month. This year, the first six months, 172,000 per month, down 13% from 2018.

WASHINGTON—Gross domestic product, a broad measure of goods and services produced across the economy, rose at a 2.1% annual rate in the second quarter, adjusted for seasonality and inflation, the Commerce Department said Friday.

As I recall Trump derided president Obama’s recovery effort, but, let us look at the past ten quarters of the Trump Economic Miracle! Where is the promised 4-6% growth rate? I ask?

Revised official figures shows that GDP expanded by 2.5% during 2018. The figures also revealed that growth slowed during the second quarter as exports declined and companies invested less in their businesses.

GDP grew at an annual rate of 2.1% between April and June, ahead of expectations but below 3.1% recorded in the first three months of the year. Growth in the second quarter was better than the 1.8% expansion forecast, and was supported by stronger consumer spending and a jump in government spending. However, the pace fell short of the first quarter as both foreign trade and business investment shrank as the US continued its trade war with China.

Revised official figures shows that GDP expanded by 2.5% during 2018. The figures also revealed that growth slowed during the second quarter as exports declined and companies invested less in their businesses.

The Trump growth rate peaked because of the effects of the tax cut when it reached the 2018 peak of 4.2% (second quarter), which has been the highest level achieved during President Trump’s administration. This is, however, less than the 5.1% achieved in the second quarter of 2014, during the Obama presidency.

Speaking of Donald Trump and his troubled and disastrous two years in office, the question is what has been really accomplished. Well, he was able to appoint two Justices to the Supreme Court who will probably sustain his anti-environment, misogynist, anti-Choice, and anti-union policies. The other triumph of his first term was his tax cut, which was economically skewed to the top income brackets, the corporations and away from the Blue States which contribute the largest amount of money into the US Treasury. In 2016, American corporations paid the lowest percentage of revenue to the US Treasury in the 105 year history of the graduated income tax, enabled by the 16th Amendment to the Constitution. Within a year of the Trump tax cut, corporate contributions, already at their lowest level in that 105 year period, dropped another 40%.

What then was the result of the tax cut?  Yes, there were jobs created, but interestingly, there were fewer jobs created in 2017 and 2018 than in 2015 and 2016. In the first six months of 2018, there were 1,175,000 jobs created or 195,000 per month. The average amount of jobs created in the first six months of this year, was 155,000, a drop of 21%. In the last six months of 2016 (July-December) the job creation averaged 209,000 per month!

By the way, during the Obama years, unemployment which hit 10.6% as a result of the Great Recession, authored by his predecessor, declined to 4.7%. Thus during the Obama eight years, there were over 15 million jobs clawed back, a net gain of 11 million and the DJIA, which bottomed in June of 2009 at 6600, reached 20,000.

The promised growth rate, of anywhere from 4 to 6%, and let me repeat, the GNP grew this quarter at 2.1% and the annual deficit went from $585 billion in 2016 to an estimated $984 in 2019. How did those deficits effect the National Debt? It soared $2.4 trillion! The U.S. federal budget deficit for fiscal year 2020 is $1.10 trillion. FY 2020 covers October 1, 2019, through September 30, 2020. The deficit occurs because the U.S. government spending of $4.75 trillion is higher than its revenue of $3.65 trillion.

The deficit is 1% greater than last year. The FY 2019 budget created a $1.09 trillion deficit. Spending of $4.53 trillion was more than the estimated $3.44 trillion in revenue, according to Table S-4 of the FY 2020 budget.

Along with the growing deficits, where was the repatriation of trillions of US Dollars parked overseas? What happened to those “tax-sheltered” monies? Meanwhile, the Treasury Department said that the U.S. government’s deficit for the first four months of this budget year rose to $310.3 billion — a full $134.6 billion dollars more than the deficit during the same period last year. This is in spite of the government reporting a budget surplus amounting to $8.7 billion in January. As, as of May, 2019,  the U.S. merchandise-trade deficit widened to a five-month high amid a surge in imports following President Donald Trump’s decision to increase levies on $200 billion of items from China. The gap increased to $74.5 billion from $70.9 billion in the prior month, according to a Commerce Department report Wednesday. That compared with the median estimate for a shortfall of $71.8 billion. Imports rose 3.7%, the biggest jump in four years, while exports advanced 3%, the most since early 2018.

https://www.bls.gov/web/empsit/ceshighlights.pdf

 

 

 

 

Trump, Hicks and Mueller 2-1-18

As we have been watching the news, some reality maybe seeping into the heads of Trump’s lawyers. One thing is for sure, if Trump goes down, there will be a great deal of blood in the water for all who are involved. The case against Trump regarding collusion and obstruction of justice is building. More are being swept up in the Mueller dragnet. Could the lynch pin of this emerging case regarding the Russians be one Hope Hicks, a person who serves in the White House doing unspecified duties. This isn’t about political chicanery, dirty tricks, ala Dick Tuck, or politics as usual. It is about national security, collusion with the Russians over influencing an election and maybe treason.

But as Robert Mueller’s probe moves forward, Hicks’s involvement as a witness to the Russian meeting could backfire, threatening the administration and casting her own reactions and statements into grave doubt. According to a report yesterday from The New York Times, Mark Corallo, a former part of the Trump legal team, who resigned in July, will testify to Mueller that Hicks may have been part of an obstruction effort, after news broke that Donald Trump Jr. had met with a Russian lawyer during the campaign. Of course, the cover story was that this meeting was about the adoption of Russian orphans, but almost everyone with a wit about them, knows it was about Russian hacking into DNC and Clinton emails.

According to the NY Times, in the Corallo account, Trump and Hicks drafted a statement aboard Air Force One, and Corallo, told them both that this action would eventually backfire on them. He believed that the meeting had really been set up to get “political dirt” about Hillary Clinton and the Russians. According to this account, Hicks said the e-mails “will never get out!”

Corallo, a career Republican, who worked for the Bush 43 administration, told colleagues that he was alarmed by the Hicks’ remark. He believed that she was either incredibly naïve or was suggesting that the e-mails would be withheld from investigators.

Interestingly enough, in reading the Michael Wolff book Fire and Fury, one could understand Steve Bannon losing his temper with with Hicks after the meeting. He told her that she should get a lawyer and adding, “You don’t know how much trouble you are in . . . you are as dumb as a stone!”)

Meanwhile, who is Hope Hicks and why! She’s a spokeswoman who know one has ever heard. What were her qualifications or experience? In this crazy, ever-shifting political world how did a political novice get involved? This former model who is almost never in front of a camera is involved in messaging? In any other election year in history, when did a 27­-year­-old, who had zero experience, who never worked in any political role, wind up as its communication head?

In January 2015, Donald Trump selected Hicks, who was 26 years old at the time, for the role of press secretary for his potential presidential campaign. Donald Trump summoned her to his office and, as she tells it, “Mr. Trump looked at me and said, ‘I’m thinking about running for president, and you’re going to be my press secretary.” Of course, to reiterate, she had never worked in politics, or a campaign at any level. After Trump’s first primary victory, Hicks was asked to choose between staying with the Trump Organization or continue to work working on the campaign full-time. She initially seem to want to leave the campaign, but obviously Trump made her an offer she couldn’t refuse. That reminds me of the “Godfather.”

During the campaign, she ran interference for Trump with the press, and was handling over hundreds of requests daily, and could rule out anyone who Trump put on a persona non grata list. She also became the conduit for his “Tweets!” These were sent to Trump Organization for posting on his account. When in New York City, she was always in his office, almost 24/7. Supposedly, the campaign took a personal toll, as they caused a split between Hicks and her long-time boyfriend

Meanwhile, now Hicks is one of the most powerful people in America. Huh! When Donald Trump is on his luxury airplane, she’s the one sitting next to him. So what is the real connection, and what does his wife feel about this connection?

Now it comes out that Hope Hicks is a subject of interest to Special Counsel Bob Mueller. Of course the question is why? Well a large part of this investigation is over “Obstruction of Justice!” How did Hicks fit in with the Donald Trump Jr. meeting with the Russians, what was the “cover story,” why was it constructed, was it a lie, and what does it mean with regards to “Obstruction of Justice?”  Of course, e-mails were released that prove the meeting had nothing to do with adoption, and Counsel Mueller is looking into who crafted the obvious false statement by Trump about the meeting, his role, and frankly, who crafted the false statement. In fact, who arranged the meeting, which was about campaign dirt from a foreign adversary? What did the president know, and when did he know it? This question was asked of Nixon during Watergate, and should be asked today!

 

America First, Lindbergh, Hitler and Trump January 27, 2017

In the 1930s, with storm clouds growing over Europe, as the rise of Fascism, which was started in Italy with the dictatorship of Benito Mussolini, grew immense and to dangerous proportions in Germany with the rise of Hitlerian Nazism. In America a movement also started to arise. The American First Movement, championed by many, had its most popular spokesperson in the personage of Charles Lindbergh. It was an appeal to isolationism, American populism, racism, and anti-Semitism.  Interestingly, its appeal went across the board to many segments of the population, and in many respects, it would include people who were moderates and later, even prominent liberals. Populism, ala Trump, reflects back to many Pied Piper movements that have eventually led people right into the sea. It’s always easy to create scapegoats as a way to mobilize others into a so-called majority. Lindbergh was not a very educated individual, he probably saw himself as a victim of his German heritage in the American wave against anything German during the First World War. He was, in his own way, part of the revisionism of the 1920s which tried to reverse that earlier anti German trend. As an advocate of flying he was enamored by the air power of Germany and the “order” brought to the German people by Hitler. By the 1930s, the Depression, the New Deal and the problems of recovery, moved the halcyon days of the Roaring 20s and their “beau ideal” Charles Lindberg, well back into the recesses of the collective memories of most Americans. In the political reality of the time, the Republican Party’s conservative wing was hugely backed by the 10s of millions of American’s of German heritage. Thus, he saw his role as a herald of the people through isolationism and Americanism. Is this any different from Trump? He has a Germanic and racist background through his father, who was involved with the KKK.  He loves to fly around the country on his own plane, and he identifies his so-called business success and wealth with the triumphs of Lindbergh. By the way, it was discovered that Lindbergh was an adulterer with a number of German mistresses and had in Germany a whole other family. Is that much different from the adulterous life of Donald Trump and his various extra-marital affairs? http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/04/30/charles-lindbergh-s-secret-german-mistresses-in-truth-and-fiction.html

The GOP has been pitting the lower middle class against the poor for a long, long time. It has made the greatest crime in America being poor, and with that in mind it does nothing to alleviate that continuing blight on the richest country on earth. Is this another policy of Trumpism? As for anti-Semitism, Trump has encouraged all sorts of rightest and hate groups to find a place in the legitimate political dialogue of America. When as he decried their support? Never! His attack on the media, Hollywood, the arts, (PBS, the NEA) and liberalism in general, is a not so veiled threat at Jews and their role in the arts, the media and the world of opinion and criticism. Hitler had a long history on the edge of art, and his regime was instrumental in the degrading, the mocking and the destruction of much of the modern art (he called it Jewish art) that dominated the late 19th Century, and the period up and through the Depression. He was a proponent of “realistic” state-oriented art that appealed to “his” masses. The book burnings of the early days of his regime were aimed at Jewish (alien) culture through their writings and the literature of ideas. He attacked psychiatry and psychology, and believed only in Aryan science and medicine. Is the first week of Trumpism going in the same direction? Is it a harbinger of the things to come? My guess is that like Hitler, he is suffering from an extreme case of narcissism. He thinks of himself as the most beloved, the smartest, and that only he can solve the problems of “his” people. Both “Divide and Conquer” and the “Ends justify the means!” are examples of Nazi/Fascist tactics and rationalization. Is this much different from the early stages of Trumpism?

On Facebook, and other social media, the support for him is incredibly irrational and solid at the same time.  These folks believe that the news is biased against Trump in a conspiratorial way. They accept only his version of the facts, and as with the Hitler regime, he has the full employ of “alternate facts” from his true believers, sycophants, idolaters, propagandists, and, yes, worshippers. Every day, with many, this “Cult of the Personality” grows. Americans must find ways to stop it now. Never forget, that the Nazis also barely controlled their Congress (the Reichstag), and Hitler never achieved in the two elections of 1932, a majority of the vote. But, by intimidation, and the removal of his opposition, the Nazis were able to pass all the laws they needed to give Hitler unlimited power as a dictator (Der Fuhrer –the Leader) to deal with the so-called “crisis at hand.” Today, we hear daily about the “crisis at hand” that faces America. Are we really in a crisis, except a political one, with a deranged “Leader!” Ask yourself. Just remember, it was on January 30th, 1933 when Hitler took power. The 30th is only a few days away. But, also remember, that Hitler’s greatest foe, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was also born on January 30th.

 

 

CURRENT EVENTS QUIZ REGARDING HISTORICAL PARALLELS

Who said this? My measures will not be crippled by any bureaucracy. Here I don’t have to worry about Justice; my mission is only to destroy and to exterminate; nothing more.

  1. Donald Trump
  2. Hermann Goering

Who said this? Shoot first and inquire afterwards, and if you make mistakes, I will protect you.

  1. Donald Trump
  2. Hermann Goering

Who said this? Guns will make us powerful; butter will only make us fat.

  1. Donald Trump
  2. Hermann Goering

Who said this? The people were merely to acknowledge the authority or leader, or, let us say, to declare themselves in agreement with the leader?

  1. Donald Trump
  2. Hermann Goering

Who said this? The only one who really knows about the Congress is I, because I set it on fire!

  1. Donald Trump
  2. Hermann Goering

Who later said this in reference to the Congress? “I had nothing to do with it. I deny this absolutely. I can tell you in all honesty!

  1. Donald Trump
  2. Herman Goering

Who said this? I especially denounce the terrible mass murders, which I cannot understand … I never ordered any killing or tortures where I had the power to prevent such actions!

  1. Donald Trump
  2. Herman Goering

Who said this? I know you want to study me psychologically. That’s reasonable and I appreciate it. At least you don’t lecture to me and pry into my affairs. You have a good technique as a psychiatrist. Let the other fellow talk and stick his neck into the noose. I don’t mean that the way it sounds. But you hardly say anything. Someday I’m going to ask you questions.

  1. Donald Trump
  2. Hermann Goering

Who said this? Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

  1. Donald Trump
  2. Hermann Goering

 

Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

The Nuremberg Interviews (2004)[edit]

  • What do I care about danger? I’ve sent soldiers and airmen to death against the enemy — why should I be afraid?
    • To Leon Goldensohn (15 March 1946)
  • Hitler decided that. I thought it was stupid because I believed that first we had to defeat England.
    • To Leon Goldensohn, about attacking Russia (15 March 1946)
  • No. It was the last hours and he (Hitler) was under pressure. If I could have seen him personally it would have been different.
    • To Leon Goldensohn, after being asked if he felt any resentment toward Hitler (15 March 1946)
  • I know you want to study me psychologically. That’s reasonable and I appreciate it. At least you don’t lecture to me and pry into my affairs. You have a good technique as a psychiatrist. Let the other fellow talk and stick his neck into the noose. I don’t mean that the way it sounds. But you hardly say anything. Someday I’m going to ask you questions.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (21 May 1946)
  • I have always been interested in family history. Chromosomes are funny things, aren’t they? They may skip a generation and you can find children who resemble the grandfather, rather than either parent. Heredity is more important than environment. Blood will tell. For example, a man is either musical by heredity or he is not. You can’t make a man musical by the environment. You can find a person who is very musically inclined and be puzzled because neither parents nor grandparents had any ear for music. But if you trace it back, you will find that the great-grandfather was a musician. But the environment plays a great part in the development of a man. It is significant whether a man is brought up in the city or in the country, near a lake or on the shores of the ocean.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (21 May 1946)
  • In Berlin Jews controlled almost one hundred percent of the theaters and cinemas before the rise to power.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (21 May 1946)
  • Hitler had the willpower of a demon and he needed it. If he didn’t have such a strong willpower he couldn’t have achieved anything. Don’t forget, if Hitler had not lost the war, if he did not have to fight against the combination of big powers like England, America, and Russia — each one he could have conquered individually — these defendants and these generals would now be saying, ‘Heil Hitler,’ and would not be so damn critical.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (24 May 1946)
  • To me there are two Hitlers: one who existed until the end of the French war; the other begins with the Russian campaign. In the beginning he was genial and pleasant. He would have extraordinary willpower and unheard-of influence on people. The important thing to remember is that the first Hitler, the man who I knew until the end of the French war, had much charm and goodwill. He was always frank. The second Hitler, who existed from the beginning of the Russian campaign until his suicide, was always suspicious, easily upset, and tense. He was distrustful to an extreme degree.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (24 May 1946)
  • I am a man who is basically opposed to atrocities or ungentlemanly actions. In 1934, I promulgated a law against vivisection. You can see, therefore, that if I disapprove of the experimentation on animals, how could I possibly be in favor of torturing humans? The prosecution says that I had something to do with the freezing experiments which were performed in the concentration camps under the auspices of the air force. That is pure nonsense! I was much too busy to know about these medical experiments, and if anybody had asked me, I would have disapproved violently. It must have been Himmler who thought up these stupid experiments, although I think he shirked his responsibility by committing suicide. I am not too unhappy about it because I would not particularly enjoy sitting on the same bench with him. The same is true of that drunken Robert Ley, who did us a favor by hanging himself before the trial started. He was not going to be any advantage for us defendants when he took the stand.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (24 May 1946)
  • The atrocities are, for me, the most horrible part of the accusation in this trial. They thought that I took it lightly or laughed about it or some such nonsense, in court. That is definitely a mistake. I am the type of person who is naturally against such things and my own psychological reaction is to laugh or smile in the face of adversity. Perhaps that explains my attitude in court. Besides, I was not to blame for these horrors. It’s not just that I am a hard man because of my long experience in the army and in politics. It’s true that I saw plenty in the First World War and during the air raids and at the front in this war. But I was always a person who felt the suffering of others. To paint me as an unfeeling ogre who laughs in court at the atrocities is stupid.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (24 May 1946)
  • All nonsense. Nobody knows the real Göring. I am a man of many parts, but the autobiography, what does that tell you? Nothing. And those books put out by the party press, they are less than useless.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (27 May 1946)
  • I think that women are wonderful but I’ve never met one yet who didn’t show more feeling than logic.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (27 May 1946)
  • If I didn’t have a sense of humor, how could I stand this trial now?
    • To Leon Goldensohn (27 May 1946)
  • In the first place I’m sure Hitler did not write that damned testament himself. Probably some swine like Bormann wrote it for him. But I don’t see what is so terrible in the testament when you examine it, anyway. There was Berlin, bombed every minute. The noise of artillery from the lousy Russians, the American and British bombers overhead. Maybe Hitler was a trifle unbalanced by all that. If he wrote the testament at such a time, it was hysteria. But essentially, what difference does it make?
    • To Leon Goldensohn (27 May 1946)
  • I have to laugh when the English claim they are such a wonderful nation. Everyone knows that Englishmen are really Germans, that the English kings were German, and that in Russia the emperors were either of German origin or received their education in Germany.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (28 May 1946)
  • The Russians are primitive folk. Besides, Bolshevism is something that stifles individualism and which is against my inner nature. Bolshevism is worse than National Socialism — in fact, it can’t be compared to it. Bolshevism is against private property, and I am all in favor of private property. Bolshevism is barbaric and crude, and I am fully convinced that that atrocities committed by the Nazis, which incidentally I knew nothing about, were not nearly as great or as cruel as those committed by the Communists. I hate the Communists bitterly because I hate the system. The delusion that all men are equal is ridiculous. I feel that I am superior to most Russians, not only because I am a German but because my cultural and family background are superior. How ironic it is that crude Russian peasants who wear the uniforms of generals now sit in judgment on me. No matter how educated a Russian might be, he is still a barbaric Asiatic. Secondly, the Russian generals and the Russian government planned a war against Germany because we represented a threat to them ideologically. In the German state, I was the chief opponent of Communism. I admit freely and proudly that it was I who created the first concentration camps in order to put Communists in them. Did I ever tell you that funny story about how I sent to Spain a ship containing mainly bricks and stones, under which I put a single layer of ammunition which had been ordered by the Red government in Spain? The purpose of that ship was to supply the waning Red government with munitions. That was a good practical joke and I am proud of it because I wanted with all my heart to see Russian Communism in Spain defeated finally.
    • To Leon Goldensohn (28 May 1946)