Trump’s Blatant Lying A Power Display; Media Continues To Display Cluelessness

Any of this sound familiar?

http://www.openculture.com/2017/01/hannah-arendt-explains-how-propaganda-uses-lies-to-erode-all-truth-morality.html

“In an ever-changing, incomprehensible world the masses had reached the point where they would, at the same time, believe everything and nothing, think that everything was possible and nothing was true… The totalitarian mass leaders based their propaganda on the correct psychological assumption that, under such conditions, one could make people believe the most fantastic statements one day, and trust that if the next day they were given irrefutable proof of their falsehood, they would take refuge in cynicism; instead of deserting the leaders who had lied to them, they would protest that they had known all along that the statement was a lie and would admire the leaders for their superior tactical cleverness.”

Why the constant, often blatant lying? For one thing, it functioned as a means of fully dominating subordinates, who would have to cast aside all their integrity to repeat outrageous falsehoods and would then be bound to the leader by shame and complicity.

“The great analysts of truth and language in politics”—writes McGill University political philosophy professor Jacob T. Levy—including “George Orwell, Hannah Arendt, Vaclav Havel—can help us recognize this kind of lie for what it is…. Saying something obviously untrue, and making your subordinates repeat it with a straight face in their own voice, is a particularly startling display of power over them. It’s something that was endemic to totalitarianism.”

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Six Democratic Candidates To Participate In Storm Lake Forum On Workers Rights

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/nov/21/democratic-presidential-forum-workers-rights-iowa

The forum takes place  two months before the critical Iowa caucus, on Saturday, December 7 at 2 pm and will feature candidates Joe Biden, Steve Bullock, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar and Bernie Sanders. All the Presidential candidates who agreed to sign the union’s three-point pledge and participated in an on-camera interview were invited to attend the forum.

The event will be held at Veteran’s Auditorium, Cedar Rapids, and will be hosted by James Hoffa, general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The candidates will appear onstage individually, answering questions from union members and the moderators. The event will be live-streamed at theguardian.com. Moderators are Art Cullen, Pulitzer prize-winning editor of the Storm Lake Times who is an opinion contributor to the Guardian, and Leslie Marshall of the Leslie Marshall Show.

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Sunday Funday: Happy Thanksgiving Edition

One thing to be thankful for this week – A new Randy Rainbow video (4 minutes):

I do no know about you folks, but I could use a break to try to touch base with normal for a few days. Learning what the Republican Party has been doing to our government over the past three years has been in a way shocking. Most of us suspected it, but it is still a gut punch when you actually hear people testifying under oath about what is going on – snd st the highest levels.

As if that were not enough, I stumble across a story that is a month and a half old that confirms that the wealthiest now pay a smaller percentage of their income in taxes than do we working folks. Another kick in the teeth. 

Try to set these things off to the side and enjoy this holiday to the fullest. There is much work to be done to take this country back from the oligarchs and return it to the democracy it was meant to be.

Last week was the Fourth of July in a congressional hearing room. It’s a start.

  1. What Republican member of the House Intelligence Committee was called out for his link to people involved in pressuring Ukraine to investigate the Bidens?
  1. Speaking of the Bidens, the name of what company was used as a code word to discuss Ukraine launching an investigation of the Bidens?
  1. According to American intelligence who is behind the effort to make it look like Ukraine was interfering in our 2016 election?
  1. Let’s go to the corruption now. What international leader had charges or corruption brought against him by his own government this week?
  1. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), cigarette smoking in the US has fallen to what level in 2018?
  1. What member of Britain’s royal family has suspended public duties due to backlash over his association with Jeffrey Epstein?
  1. Kim Jung Un of North Korea called what Democratic politician a “rabid dog” that “must be beaten to death with a stick”?
  1. Impeachment witness Fiona Hill is an expert on what country?
  1. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade started in 1924. When were balloons first entered into the parade?
  1. Another shooting at a Walmart last week. What state did it happen in this time?
  1. What cabinet member has let it be known he is seriously returning to Kansas to run for the senate?
  1. Friday morning’s ‘Fox and Friends’ had what well known person call in and then go on a 50 minute rambling rant?
  1. What franchise announced it would no longer contribute to anti-LGBTQ groups and then 3 days later reversed that statement?
  1. In what looks like it is an unholy alliance, The Chosen One had an undisclosed meeting with what social media giant CEO this week?
  1. Well we have an official new candidate in the Democratic primary. Can you name the new candidate?
  1. If it were a real trial this would be jury tampering. The Chosen one had meetings with what group of people who may be deciding his future last week?
  1. The newest of pickups was introduced by what cutting edge auto company Thursday night?
  1. Which state rolled out a new anti-drug campaign with the slogan “Meth: I’m on it”?
  1. The State Department reversed 4 decades of US policy by saying that what international action did not violate international law?
  1. “Black Friday” as the shopping day after Christmas came into use in what city in the 1940s to describe the mass of people clogging the downtown streets and blocking traffic?

The question is not whether Trump has committed impeachable crimes. He has. 

The question is whether Republicans in Congress will affirm that an American president is not above the law. – Hillary Clinton

Answers:

  1. Devin Nunes
  1. Burisma
  1. Russia
  1. Netanyahu of Israel
  1. 13.7%
  1. Prince Andrew
  1. Joe Biden – I guess Kim likes The Chosen One more
  1. Russia
  1. 1927
  1. Oklahoma
  1. Sec of Sate Mike Pompeo
  1. The Chosen One
  1. Chick-fil-a
  1. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg
  1. Michael Bloomberg
  1. Republican senators
  1. Tesla
  1. South Dakota. And yes, that is the real slogan
  1. Israeli settlements in the West Bank. No one else agrees with the US
  1. Philadelphia
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Revisiting the New Deal And Taxes

Image (1) FDR-1936.jpg for post 15191

Many parallels have been drawn between the coming election year and the 1932 election year. In 1932 the country and the world were in dire financial straits with people starving across the globe. While that is not true today we are only a few years removed from a near catastrophic collapse of the world financial system. Our current economy has been built on the sugar highs of huge tax cuts for the wealthy and artificially low interest rates.

On the surface things seem much better than 1932, but that is only on the surface. Also in 1932 we were enduring a financial collapse. Today we also have an environmental crisis of monumental proportions as the climate changes creating areas of super dryness and areas of continuous flooding. As evidenced in Venice Italy last week, seas are rising and they will be encroaching on highly populated areas.

In 1932 Franklin Roosevelt peopled a New Deal for America. In a similar fashion this year we have many Democratic politicians calling for a “Green New Deal” which will help undergird the economy with good paying and very necessary public works projects that will get money to workers who will spend the money while helping to stem the coming environmental crisis.

In 1932 the problem was how to pay for it all. We will have the same problem today. Republican fiscal policies over the past 40 years have been geared to one thing: bankrupting our government so any social programs would have to have their funding cut. So now we stand some $22 Trillion in debt with another couple of trillion added annually.

So let’s look back to see how the New Dealers of the 1930s handled the financial aspects.  

“New Deal efforts to address the economic catastrophe of the Great Depression required much more revenue than was coming in at the beginning of the 1930s; and later in the decade the Roosevelt Administration would face the need to raise more revenues for mobilization as the world girded for war.  To meet these exigencies, New Deal leaders created several new taxes along the way, such as a liquor tax, coal tax, and Social Security tax [1].  Furthermore, President Roosevelt and his advisors were committed to the idea of progressive income and wealth taxation; as one tax historian puts it, “When it came to taxes, Roosevelt simply believed that rich people should pay more than poor people. And in emergencies, they should pay a lot more” [2].

The 1920s had been a period of continuous tax-cutting by Republican administrations, but after the stock market crash of 1929 federal revenue plummeted so dramatically that the government could not fulfill its basic functions.  Even President Hoover had to relent, and the Revenue Act of 1932 was enacted.  This law “spread its burden widely across the population with steep new rates for income taxpayers, as well as numerous new levies on consumption” [3].  Tax increases continued under FDR, but with greater emphasis on progressive taxes on income and wealth, rather than regressive consumption (sales) taxes [4].  The only major exception was the Social Security tax on wages, starting in 1937.

The Revenue Act of 1934 raised income taxes on the wealthy and reduced them for lower income groups; it also raised estate taxes on the wealthy and closed corporate tax loopholes [5].  The Revenue Act of 1935, sometimes called the “Wealth Tax Act,” raised taxes on the wealthy again: “The top rate jumped from 59 percent on incomes over $1 million to 75 percent on incomes over $500,000”; it “placed graduated net income taxes on corporations and a tax on incorporated dividends”; and it once again raised estate taxes [6].  The Revenue Act of 1936 taxed undistributed corporate profits and the Revenue Act of 1937 aimed to clamp down on corporate tax avoidance [7].  The Revenue Act of 1940 – by which time national defense spending was ramping up – raised taxes on corporations by 1%; increased taxes on incomes between $6,000 and $100,000; and lowered personal exemptions by 20%, thereby broadening the tax base [8].

<<snip>>

Federal taxes were the most progressive in U.S. history after the New Deal (for example, top marginal income tax rates were 91% from 1954 through 1963) and remained so through the postwar golden age of U.S. economic dominance [13].  Rates have been whittled down in the modern era, especially under presidents Kennedy, Reagan, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump.  Not surprisingly, the national debt has soared alongside these persistently low tax rates [14].”

Simply stated if we understand that the looming environmental crisis is real {it is} and we need to become fiscally stable once again, reining in the disparities of the rich and the poor, we can find ways to pay for it. Remember that improvements made will create new jobs and new revenue streams. 

Elizabeth Warren has already shown that financial plans for her Medicare for All plan can be created. So then can a way to pay for the Green New Deal be created.

Also remember that in 1933 FDR faced an attempted coup from some of the richest families in America. Sort of feels like we have gone through a 40 year coup that needs to end.

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Robert Reich: The Real Deal With Medicare for All

As usual from Robert Reich a simple and straight forward explanation of an issue that opponents of Medicare for All will do all they can to scare you with massive price tags and frightening lies about health care crises.

5 minutes:

Leaders in America have been trying to get health care for all since Theodore Roosevelt. 120 years is about long enough to wait.

Remember, no Republican will make health care any more accessible than it already is and will make it even harder to get if they are returned to power. A special note to the older folks among us: Republicans desperately want to do away with our current Medicare system and go to a privatized insurance system. BE AWARE.

Only Democrats will pass and implement health care plans that will cover all Americans. Republicans may claim they will, but only Democrats will actually deliver on health care promises.

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So Much Of This Still Applies

Harry Truman Stump Speech of 1948.

He gave the Republicans a much deserved hell:

As you read along, just be aware that this speech is still quite relevant. A change of a word here and there and Voila! A great democratic campaign speech:

“Today the forces of liberalism face a crisis. The people of the United States must make a choice between two ways of living — a decision which will affect us the rest of our lives and our children and our grandchildren after us. 

On the other side, there is the Wall Street way of life and politics. Trust the leader! Let big business take care of prices and profits! Measure all things by money! That is the philosophy of the masters of the Republican Party. 

Well, I have been studying the Republican Party for over 12 years at close hand in the Capital of the United States. And by this time, I have discovered where the Republicans stand on most of the major issues. 

Since they won’t tell you themselves, I am going to tell you. 

They approve of the American farmer — but they are willing to help him go broke. 

They stand four-square for the American home — but not for housing. 

They are strong for labor — but they are stronger for restricting labor’s rights. 

They favor a minimum wage — the smaller the minimum the better. 

They indorse educational opportunity for all — but they won’t spend money for teachers or for schools. 

They think modern medical care and hospitals are fine — for people who can afford them. 

They approve of Social Security benefits — so much so that they took them away from almost a million people. 

They believe in international trade — so much so that they crippled our reciprocal trade program, and killed our International Wheat Agreement. 

They favor the admission of displaced persons — but only within shameful racial and religious limitations. 

They consider electric power a great blessing — but only when the private power companies get their rake-off. 

They say TVA is wonderful — but we ought never to try it again. 

They condemn “cruelly high prices” — but fight to the death every effort to bring them down. 

They think the American standard of living is a fine thing — so long as it doesn’t spread to all the people. 

And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. 

Now, my friends, that is the Wall Street Republican way of life. But there is another way — there is another way — the Democratic way, the way of the Democratic Party.”

Eight years of W Bush left the country and the world on the precipice of financial collapse. Obama bailed us out, but a tainted election left Republicans in charge with the worst president ever wreaking havoc on policies and institutions. Now we stand at not just a financial precipice, but an environmental and climatological precipice as well. 

Republicans have done what they could to bankrupt the country by giving huge tax breaks to the wealthy.

We are also on the precipice of a health care crisis. While we have crisis beating at the door, we also have maintenance that needs to be done and new infrastructures that need to be built. Only the Democratic Party will do this. We have seen the scandals that come when Republicans are in office and they set about profiting from their offices.

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Loebsack’s Broadband Legislation Passes House Committee

Okay, maybe this isn’t a hot issue and it is complicated, but it is also really important and we commend Dave for his hard work and persistence in getting it passed.

Loebsack’s Legislation to Improve Broadband Availability Maps Passes House Committee

Bipartisan Broadband DATA Act now heads to the full House for consideration

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement after the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed his bipartisan legislation, H.R. 4229, the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability (DATA) Act. Loebsack’s legislation will help improve the accuracy of FCC broadband data maps by changing the way broadband data is collected. The legislation was cosponsored by Reps. Bob Latta (OH-05), Billy Long (MO-07) and Donald McEachin (VA-04) and now heads to the full House for its consideration.

CLICK HERE for video of Loebsack discussing his Broadband DATA Act.

“I am very pleased that the House Energy and Commerce Committee has passed the Broadband DATA Act by unanimous vote. This bill is important to actually fixing the problem and getting highspeed broadband to where it is needed, especially in rural areas. Without the best data available, we cannot properly invest in building out broadband access. I look forward to getting this legislation passed in the House and on its way to the Senate,” said Loebsack.

Specifically, the Broadband DATA Act:

  • Requires the FCC to collect granular service availability data from wired, fixed wireless, and satellite broadband providers
  • Requires strong parameters for service availability data collected from mobile broadband providers to ensure accuracy.
  • Asks the FCC to consider whether to collect verified coverage data from state, local, and tribal governments, as well as from other entities.
  • Creates a process for consumers, state, local, and Tribal governments, and other groups to challenge FCC maps with their own data, and requires the FCC to determine how to structure the process without making it overly burdensome on challengers.

A significant digital divide remains between urban and rural America. Congressman Loebsack is a leader in working to close this divide by promoting broadband deployment throughout rural America. Loebsack serves on the Communications and Technology subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over telecommunications issues. He also serves as a co-chair of the Rural Broadband Caucus.

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Loebsack Cites Urgent Push To Pass Broadband Data Act

“Affordability is not just a rural or urban issue. It is a national issue.”  – Rep. Dave Loebsack

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Iowa’s Medical Cannabis Program “Worst in Nation”

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Trump Gets Crazy Policy Ideas From Sean Hannity, Fox News

Media Matters has this:

The House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, which enters a new phase with public hearings before the Intelligence Committee, is primarily a story about his corrupt abuses of power in seeking to coerce a foreign government to investigate his political opponents. But it also illustrates perhaps the greatest impact yet of the nexus between Fox News, the president, and federal policy.

Trump’s deep enmity for Ukraine reportedly dates back to fall 2017 and apparently baffled some White House aides who were confused about its source. But the likely explanation is quite simple: The president learned to hate Ukraine by watching Fox.

In summer 2017, the White House was threatened by reporting that during the 2016 presidential campaign, top Trump advisers, including the president’s son Donald Trump Jr. and son-in-law Jared Kushner, had colluded with Russians intent on supporting his election.

In an effort to push back on this reporting, Hannity used his Fox program to promote the bogus narrative that the “real collusion” during the 2016 election had been between Hillary Clinton and Ukraine. He obsessed over purported “Ukrainian election collusion” in a dozen monologues over the course of the summer of 2017, coverage that on at least one instance caught the eye of Trump, who regularly watches Hannity’s program and reportedly talks to him on the phone about it frequently.

Hannity’s coverage seems to have predisposed Trump to hate Ukraine, setting the stage for the abuses of power that followed.

The Daily Beast’s Matthew Gertz:

For more than a year, I’ve studied this Trump-Fox feedback loop, the president’s habit of live-tweeting his favorite shows on the right-wing cable news network. I’ve tracked several hundred of the president’s often hyper-aggressive tweets back to particular segments on Fox News and its sister network, Fox Business, that caught the president’s eye.   https://www.thedailybeast.com/how-fox-news-pushes-trump-to-make-every-bad-decision

Everyone has a theory about Trump’s hyper-aggressive early morning tweetstorms. Some think they are a deliberate ploy the president uses to distract the press from his administration’s potential weaknesses, or to frame the public debate to his liking. Others warn his rapid shifts from one topic to another indicate mental instability.

But my many hours following the president’s tweets for Media Matters for America, the progressive media watchdog organization, have convinced me the truth is often much simpler: The president is just live-tweeting Fox, particularly the network’s Trump-loving morning show, Fox & Friends.

It’s no secret, of course, that the president likes to tweet about what he sees on TV. Thanks to diligent reporting from the White House beat, we know Trump often watches several hours of cable news each day via the “Super TiVo” he had installed at the White House. And journalists at CNN, the Washington Post, New York magazine, among others, have compiled lists of Trump tweets they believe were inspired by Fox.

But here’s what is shocking: After comparing the president’s tweets with Fox’s coverage every day since October, I can tell you that the Fox-Trump feedback loop is happening far more often than you think. There is no strategy to Trump’s Twitter feed; he is not trying to distract the media. He is being distracted. He darts with quark-like speed from topic to topic in his tweets because that’s how cable news works.

Here’s what’s also shocking: A man with unparalleled access to the world’s most powerful information-gathering machine, with an intelligence budget estimated at $73 billion last year, prefers to rely on conservative cable news hosts to understand current events.  –  https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/01/05/trump-media-feedback-loop-216248

 

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