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Topics - Solon

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1
We will be getting these stories for 3 more years. I wonder if Melania is still pleased with the transaction..er...marriage.

The point of the New Yorker article is to examine the methods undertaken to conceal Trump's infidelities. The sewer rat-in-chief had a system. Republicans claimed that such cover ups involving money were campaign finance crimes when committed by John Edwards back in 2008. Now the shoe is on the other foot...if you catch my drift. LOL

Mueller...Mueller...anybody?

Quote
In June, 2006, Donald Trump taped an episode of his reality-television show, “The Apprentice,” at the Playboy Mansion, in Los Angeles. Hugh Hefner, Playboy’s publisher, threw a pool party for the show’s contestants with dozens of current and former Playmates, including Karen McDougal, a slim brunette who had been named Playmate of the Year, eight years earlier. In 2001, the magazine’s readers voted her runner-up for “Playmate of the ’90s,” behind Pamela Anderson. At the time of the party, Trump had been married to the Slovenian model Melania Knauss for less than two years; their son, Barron, was a few months old. Trump seemed uninhibited by his new family obligations. McDougal later wrote that Trump “immediately took a liking to me, kept talking to me - telling me how beautiful I was, etc. It was so obvious that a Playmate Promotions exec said, ‘Wow, he was all over you - I think you could be his next wife.’ ”

Trump and McDougal began an affair, which McDougal later memorialized in an eight-page, handwritten document provided to The New Yorker by John Crawford, a friend of McDougal’s. When I showed McDougal the document, she expressed surprise that I had obtained it but confirmed that the handwriting was her own.


Donald Trump, a Playboy Model, and a System for Concealing Infidelity
https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/donald-trump-a-playboy-model-and-a-system-for-concealing-infidelity-national-enquirer-karen-mcdougal

Quote
...The Wall Street Journal reported shortly before the 2016 election that the publisher of the National Enquirer, American Media, had paid $150,000 for McDougal's story but never ran it. This has led to allegations that it deliberately bought the story and killed it to protect Trump, who is personal friends with AMI chief executive David Pecker.

...the biggest commonality between the McDougal and Daniels accounts is the alleged coverup. In the case of Daniels, Trump's longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen this week confirmed he had “facilitated” a $130,000 payment to Daniels using his personal money. He conspicuously did not deny, however, that Trump was personally party to the transaction.

In the case of McDougal, the alleged payoff is more indirect but also involves a third party tied to Trump. This isn't the first time it has been suggested that Pecker deliberately paid McDougal to keep quiet, but Farrow has emails describing the transaction. He also has on-the-record quotes from former AMI employees talking about how the company would purchase stories in order to kill them and buy the silence of the person behind them — a practice known as “catch and kill” — or to use as leverage against celebrities.

The latest alleged Trump affair coverup is a damningly familiar tale
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/02/16/the-latest-alleged-trump-affair-cover-up-is-a-pretty-damningly-familiar-tale/?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories_fix-affair-9a%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.ec0b3620d356

2
Politics / Trump made 2,140 false or misleading claims in his first year
« on: February 16, 2018, 06:50:08 PM »
Trump, the fattest sewer rat, is also the biggest liar to occupy the White House in the grand sweep of US history. Congratulations fellow Americans, every time he lies, we set a new record for stupidity by electing him. The Chinese and the Russians are loving it.

Quote
One year after taking the oath of office, President Trump has made 2,140 false or misleading claims, according to The Fact Checker’s database that analyzes, categorizes and tracks every suspect statement uttered by the president. That’s an average of nearly 5.9 claims a day.

We started this project as part of our coverage of the president’s first 100 days, largely because we could not possibly keep up with the pace and volume of the president’s misstatements. Readers demanded we keep it going for another year. The database has proved so useful — and even sparked the interest of academicians — that we now plan to keep it going for the rest of Trump’s presidency.

Our interactive graphic, created with the help of Leslie Shapiro and Kaeti Hinck of The Post graphics department, displays a running list of every false or misleading statement made by Trump. We also catalogued the president’s many flip-flops, since those earn Upside-Down Pinocchios if a politician shifts position on an issue without acknowledging he or she did so.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2018/01/20/president-trump-made-2140-false-or-misleading-claims-in-his-first-year/?utm_term=.870b48170ce9

3
Politics / MAGA
« on: February 14, 2018, 11:14:34 AM »
Vox did a deep dive into Trump's recent hiring practices  and guess what: 3 Trump properties posted 144 openings for seasonal jobs. Only one went to a US worker. Bringing back American jobs is not easy, that's why Trump is digging deeply into the minutiae of corporate employment policies. LOL MAGA
https://www.vox.com/2018/2/13/16466542/trump-h-2b-guest-workers

Trump is very hostile to "chained migration," but is that what brought Melania's parents to the US? Doh! No wonder! Who wouldn't want to rid themselves of those pesky in-laws.
The White House refuses to say what the basis for Melania's parents living in the US are. Wonder why? MAGA
What’s the immigration status of Melania Trump’s parents?
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2018/02/13/whats-the-immigration-status-of-melania-trumps-parents/?utm_term=.fa457b5c1898

Trump proposed an infrastructure bill that would spend $200 billion dollars while selling off vast parts of existing and future infrastructure to private pals. His budget proposal, however, calls for cuts of $240 billion in...wait for it...wait for it...INFRASTRUCTURE. MAGA

Trump would cut more in federal infrastructure spending than he proposes to add
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2018/02/12/trump-would-cut-more-in-federal-infrastructure-spending-than-he-proposes-to-add-democrats-say/?utm_term=.2a1d1bd02db6

Trump wants to tell poor people what to eat by providing healthy box lunches instead of SNAP funds. Don't all Republicans think the government should tell you what to eat? MAGA
Trump’s budget hits poor Americans the hardest
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/02/12/trumps-budget-hits-poor-americans-the-hardest/?utm_term=.53839b247199



4
Politics / Second Judge Blocks Trump on DACA
« on: February 14, 2018, 07:42:41 AM »
The judiciary has been a thorn in the side of Trump's effort to destroy the  Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) plan set in motion by President Obama as well as his flawed effort to dictate immigration policy by decree. This time a New York judge ruled that the program should continue.

The Supreme Court will hold hearings on the administration's appeal of the first stay issued by a San Francisco judge this Friday.

Congress could make the court process moot if it can pass legislation that solves the DACA problem in the larger context of a broad agreement on immigration policy. The Senate is in the middle of a rare bipartisan effort to do that. 

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US District Judge Nicholas Garaufis in New York on Tuesday ruled that his reasons for revoking the programme were too arbitrary and could not stand.

He ordered the Trump administration to process Daca renewal applications under the same terms that applied before the president's September order.

The New York decision is similar to one issued on 9 January by US District Judge William Alsup, who said the justice department's argument that the scheme was illegal was based on a "flawed legal premise".

The San Francisco judge ordered the government to process renewal applications from people who had previously been covered, but not for those who had never before received protection under the scheme.

Daca: Second judge blocks Trump move to end Dreamers scheme
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43053805


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What is Daca?
The scheme was created in 2012 by then President Barack Obama to shield children of undocumented immigrants from deportation.

It also provided work and study permits for those it covered.

In order to qualify for Daca, applicants under the age of 30 were required to submit personal information to the Department of Homeland Security, including addresses and phone numbers.

They had to pass an FBI background check, have a clean criminal background, and either be in school, recently graduated or have been honourably discharged from the military.

In exchange, the US government agreed to "defer" any action on their immigration status for a period of two years.

The majority of dreamers are from Mexico and other Latin American countries.

The justice department has said no current Daca recipients will be affected by the decision to scrap the scheme before 5 March 2018, but no new applications will be accepted.

5
Politics / White House Lied About Security Clearance
« on: February 13, 2018, 04:13:12 PM »
The FBI Director told the Senate Intelligence Committee today that the White House received its first report on Rob Porter, the disgraced wife abuser, in March. The White House claimed it was in July. A more serious White House lie was that Porter's status was still being investigated. The FBI Director said it was completed and delivered to the White House in January.

The security lapses in this White House make a mockery of the wailing and gnashing of teeth over Clinton's email server. Are Republicans really OK with all of the breaches by this administration?

Porter is not the only White House staffer to face difficulty with acquiring a security clearance. Jared Kushner was warned about his potential exploitation by the Chinese and he failed several times to reveal all of his contacts with the Russians. He remains the most high profile member of the administration unable to gain clearance.

White House Let Rob Porter Keep Job Even After Receiving Final F.B.I. Report
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/13/us/politics/rob-porter-fbi-background-check.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news


6
The fast drop in the Dow average has reached the 10% level which is a traditional correction for overpriced stocks. It often takes several months to reach such a decline. The rapidity with which it has occurred this time has increased its destabilizing effect. The end of easy money appears to be one of the factors that has investors spooked. Yet, all of this should have been built into expectations. With the economy near full employment, wages have been rising for the last two years. Just because there was a greater than expected increase for January should not trigger such panic.

It is logical to assume there are several factors at play. One is that the gravy days for the stock market are ending. The Fed has pumped an incredible amount of money into the economy to save it from the effects of the Great Republican Recession and that is finally coming to an end. The finance guys will not be able to rake in the cash from trading with Fed money. With wages rising the real economy is beginning to assert itself against the artificial world of Dow and that is disconcerting for the finance gang who think they rule the world.

Another reason that no one seems willing to admit is the huge tax cut for the rich. That is the last thing you need to do in a full employment economy. That is what you do in a recession. Monetary and economic policy needs to be countercyclical. The Republicans have failed at both ends of the cycle. Fortunately Democrats controlled both Houses of Congress when we needed the stimulus in 2008. Subsequent additions would have promoted a faster recovery, but Republicans were able to block that after the midterm elections. Now, however, is the worst possible time to pass a massive tax cut because we are far down the road on the longest recovery in history with full employment and the Fed already raising interest rates. Procyclical policy has accelerated the "anxiety" of built-in market analytics such that a selloff was triggered. 

The greatest casualty from a policy perspective is the phony Trump infrastructure promise. Obama attempted to get an infrastructure bill passed, but a Republican Congress would not hear of it. The Deficit Hawks were adamant that the national debt was a catastrophe, despite turning around and voting for the huge tax cut that massively increased the deficit once Trump was elected. Even though borrowing rates were so low that infrastructure projects would have been essentially paid for with interest free money given the rates on long term federal borrowing costs, the Republican Congress refused. Now, it appears that Trump is too late, assuming he was ever serious, because Federal borrowing is spiking and rates are rising.

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“Ten percent is no small potatoes,” said Chris Rupkey, an economist with MUFG Union Bank. “It’s a big number. That loss of wealth is going to take a toll on overall spending in the economy both for businesses and individuals.”

Regardless of whether the market continues on its downward trajectory – a much more dangerous “bear market” looms if stocks fall 20 percent – many analysts said the last two weeks of dramatic drops, rapid rises and followed by more heart-pounding dives have already made a distant memory of the blissful and steady multi-year rise in stocks.

One factor that may have contributed to Thursday’s sell-off were remarks by the Bank of England, which said it might have to raise interest rates “earlier” and by a “somewhat greater extent” than it had thought.

That reinforced to markets that the easy-money policies put in place by central banks during the global recession a decade ago are coming to an end. Instead, policymakers will be raising interest rates to keep inflation in check.

Thursday’s losses wiped out all of the gains for the year for the Dow and S&P. The Dow dropped 1,032 points, or about 4.2 percent, to close at 23,860 — the second time it has lost more than 1,000 points over the past week. The Dow is now 10.4 percent below its all-time high on Jan. 26.
 

Dow plunges more than 1,000 points on specter of higher interest rates

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/us-stocks-fight-to-pick-up-any-ground/2018/02/08/08cbda2a-0ce0-11e8-8b0d-891602206fb7_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_markets-1230p%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.1e4c1279bc52

7
Politics / WH Aide Rob Porter Resigns After Abuse Charges
« on: February 08, 2018, 01:17:29 AM »
The White House employed and protected an aide who had been unable to get a security clearance because of abuse charges from two ex-wives. This is not surprising given the disreputable record of the man at the top. More appalling is that his boss--the so-called adult in the room, John Kelly--knew about this and defended him to the bitter end.

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As the White House staff secretary, Rob Porter is not a public figure, but he is responsible for paper flow to the president, a job of crucial importance in the Trump administration. He frequently travels with President Trump on Air Force One, and he helped write Mr. Trump’s first State of the Union address last month.

...despite initial support from John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, and other West Wing staff aides, Mr. Porter announced his resignation on Wednesday, a day after his two former wives accused him in interviews of physical abuse when they were married to him.

His troubles were not a complete secret at the White House: Two people close to the White House said that the allegations against him made by his former wives, Colbie Holderness and Jennifer Willoughby, had contributed to a delay in granting him a permanent security clearance.

Rob Porter, White House Aide, Resigns After Accusations of Abuse
https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/pelosi-launches-hours-long-filibuster-style-speech-in-bid-to-force-immigration-votes-in-the-house/2018/02/07/b98a25f4-0c33-11e8-8b0d-891602206fb7_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_demretreat-245pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.26392d340df7

8
Politics / Good News on a Budget Deal?
« on: February 07, 2018, 07:55:28 AM »
Senate leaders seemed to be on the cusp of doing something amazing. A bipartisan budget deal for TWO YEARS actually seems possible. It's broad immediate benefits would avoid a government shutdown on Thursday at midnight and the constant reliance on continuing resolutions to fund the government. 

Trump is being ignored by the Senators who have not been distracted by his bluster about preferring a shutdown if he doesn't get his wall. If the Senate deal fails, Trump has already embraced the blame. 

In the House, the Freedom (LOL) Caucus expressed concern about spending increases after blowing a hole in federal income in the Republican tax cut for the rich. Their hypocrisy knows no limits.

A possible provision to raise the debt limit could be included since that is approaching much faster than originally estimated thanks to lost revenue from the Republican tax cut for the rich. Have I mentioned that before?

Despite the efforts of the usual nihilists to sabotage bipartisanship, there is real cause for optimism.

Quote
the top Senate leaders of both parties told reporters earlier in the day that a breakthrough was at hand on a longer-term budget deal. Spending has vexed the Republican-controlled Congress for months, forcing lawmakers to rely on multiple short-term patches.

“We’re on the way to getting an agreement and on the way to getting an agreement very soon,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) echoed him, “I am very hopeful that we can come to an agreement, an agreement very soon.”

... defense spending would get an $80 billion boost above the existing $549 billion in spending for 2018. Nondefense spending would rise by $63 billion from its current $516 billion. The 2019 budget would include similar increases.

...“Democrats have made our position in these negotiations very clear,” Schumer said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “We support an increase in funding for our military and our middle class. The two are not mutually exclusive. We don’t want to do just one and leave the other behind.”

Among the other issues that could be addressed in the deal is an increase in the federal debt limit, which could be reached as soon as early March, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The aides said that an increase was being discussed in the negotiations but that no final decisions have been made.

“It’s a question of what the traffic will bear,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the No. 3 Senate GOP leader, describing the likelihood of a debt-ceiling increase.

A disaster aid package aimed at the victims of recent hurricanes and wildfires is also part of the talks, potentially adding $80 billion or more to the deal’s overall price tag. That provision could help win support from lawmakers representing affected areas in California, Florida and Texas but further repel conservatives concerned about mounting federal spending.

Senate leaders see two-year budget deal within their grasp
https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/spending-plan-remains-unsettled-as-clock-ticks-toward-shutdown-deadline/2018/02/06/1639ab26-0b53-11e8-8b0d-891602206fb7_story.html?utm_term=.f59580b006e0

9
Politics / The cowardice among Republicans is staggering
« on: February 07, 2018, 12:48:08 AM »
Michael Gerson was a top speechwriter for George W. Bush. He is a lifelong Republican. Like many former high level Republican officials, he was not a Trump supporter. Nevertheless, he was a huge fan of Paul Ryan and other members of Congress with whom he worked. No longer.

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According to House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, the declassified Devin Nunes memo — alleging FBI misconduct in the Russia investigation — is “not an indictment of the FBI, of the Department of Justice.” According to President Trump, the memo shows how leaders at the FBI “politicized the sacred investigative process in favor of Democrats” and “totally vindicates ‘Trump’ in probe.”

Both men are deluded or deceptive.

Releasing the memo — while suppressing a dissenting assessment from other members of the House Intelligence Committee — was clearly intended to demonstrate that the FBI is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party. The effort ended in a pathetic fizzle.

...With the blessing of Republican leaders, the lickspittle wing of the GOP is now firmly in charge. The existence of reckless partisans such as Nunes is hardly surprising. The nearly uniform cowardice among elected Republicans is staggering. One is left wishing that Obamacare covered spine transplants. The Republican-led Congress is now an adjunct of the White House. The White House is now an adjunct of Trump’s chaotic will.

...And what to make of Ryan (R-Wis.)? I have been a consistent defender of his good intentions. But after the 17th time saying “He knows better,” it dawns that he may not. By his recent actions, the speaker has provided political cover for a weakening of the constitutional order. He has been used as a tool while loudly insisting he is not a tool. The way Ryan is headed, history offers two possible verdicts: Either he enabled an autocrat, or he was intimidated by a fool.

...Trump has made a practice of forcing people around him to lower their standards and abandon their ideals before turning against them when their usefulness ends. His servants are sucked dry of integrity and dignity, then thrown away like the rind of a squeezed orange. Who does Trump’s bidding and has his or her reputation enhanced? A generation of Republicans will end up writing memoirs of apology and regret.

The political damage to the GOP as the party of corruption and coverup should be obvious as well. This is a rare case when the rats, rather than deserting a sinking ship, seemed determined to ride it all the way down.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-cowardice-among-republicans-is-staggering/2018/02/05/41852454-0aa9-11e8-8890-372e2047c935_story.html?utm_term=.8c5a557d447c

10
Politics / How the GOP Went Crazy
« on: February 06, 2018, 02:06:53 PM »
Only the American right has had a consistent, large, and organized faction based on paranoid conspiracies for six decades. Kurt Anderson provides a history of the Republican party that explains the process by which it succumbed to the lunatic fringe.

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So the right has lost its collective mind. But it has been heading this way for a long time. Back in 1954, after the Senate (including half of his fellow Republicans) censured Joe McCarthy, the pathogens of his conspiracy madness remained, and a generation ago began seriously propagating and infecting the mainstream, weakening its immunities to a demagogue like Donald Trump. Looking back at that Republican history, it’s clear that the party’s reality-based Establishment was in charge from the 1960s through the ’80s, exploiting but marginalizing its useful idiots. It wasn’t until the age of right-wing talk radio and Fox News and Breitbart that the Establishment lost control, as crackpot habits of mind achieved dominance. Indeed, more and more of the reckless, hysterical conspiracist language of Trump’s frenzied defenders in the mainstream resembles that of the lunatic, fringe right from a half-century ago.


https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/02/right-wing-conspiracy-theories-from-the-1960s-to-today.html

11
It's another first for Trump. No other president has been called "smarmy."

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In an interview published in the fashion magazine Porter, Brinkley said Trump was “out chasing skirts” when he called her at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Trump at the time was still with his first wife, Ivana, and Brinkley was dating musician Billy Joel.

...“I’ve always found him smarmy.”

...Trump has been accused of sexual misconduct by over 20 women. He has repeatedly denied the allegations, and the White House says the accusers are lying.

Former adult film actress Stephanie Clifford, whose stage name is Stormy Daniels, reportedly had an affair with Trump back in 2006, when he was married to his third wife, Melania Trump. Clifford confirmed the affair in a 2011 interview with InTouch magazine. Trump representatives issued a statement in January denying the affair.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/christie-brinkley-donald-trump-aspen_us_5a79c54ce4b018ad895062c1?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

12
Politics / Former CIA Director: Nunes ‘abused’ his power
« on: February 05, 2018, 02:21:35 AM »
Nunes has outed one of his own colleagues on the Trump team, Carter Page, as a Russian agent ostensibly to make the truth a lie and a lie the truth. Page was one of many Trumpsters who talked with Russians during and after the election. Jared Kushner even discussed setting up a secret back channel to Trump in the Russian Embassy or some Russian facility. Don Jr. invited people associated with the Russian government into Trump tower who were expected to reveal stolen information on Hillary Clinton. The evident quid pro quo was the ending of US sanctions on Russia. We know that was discussed between a member of the Trump team, Michael Flynn, and the Russian Ambassador after the election. Those misdeeds are enough to raise concern about treasonous behavior, but there is so much more we can now add to those examples. Remember, even Trump's top adviser, Steve Bannon himself, called the Trump Tower meeting treasonous.

The whole purpose of the Nunes Memo is to distract the American people from these facts with a Fox disinformation campaign and Facebook bots leading the way. Apparently, they had convinced Trump that the Memo would blow up the Mueller investigation. He is so stupid, he wouldn't know even if he read it. Proof of that is his claim that it "vindicates Trump." The event is a complete farce. 

The fundamental fact is that Trump colluded with the Russians in full view of the American people on national TV. He told the Russians to commit a crime and steal Clinton's emails. He constantly ballyhooed the latest Wikileaks emails, though it's clear now he never read the first one. These are not crimes, per se, even though they involve the corruption of our election through collaboration with a foreign enemy.

There are a number of Republicans who have crossed the line of decency and respect for the rule of law. That is why you see Ryan suddenly backing away from Nunes by saying its findings do not impugn Mueller or Rosenstein. and Trey Gowdy debunking any connection between the Nunes Memo and the Mueller investigation. Condemning the release of the Nunes memo, Sen. John McCain said it serves no one's interests but Vladimir Putin’s.

Quote
John Brennan accused Rep. Devin Nunes (R.-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, of selectively releasing information to accuse law enforcement officials of improperly obtaining a warrant to monitor the communications of a former Trump campaign adviser.

“It’s just appalling and clearly underscores how partisan Mr. Nunes has been,” Brennan said in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“He has abused the chairmanship of [the Intelligence Committee],” Brennan said.

...“I do think it was up to the FBI to see whether they could verify any of it,” Brennan said, but he emphasized that the dossier played “no role whatsoever” in an assessment by all U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia had interfered in the 2016 election. He added that intelligence agencies were also developing their own information on Russia’s interference “on multiple fronts” and that the FBI had its own sources of information.

Nunes ‘abused’ his power on intelligence committee, former CIA director says
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/nunesabused-his-power-on-intelligence-committee-former-cia-director-says/2018/02/04/59ff42c0-09c4-11e8-baf5-e629fc1cd21e_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_brennan-1123am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.e16dfe118c33

13
Paul Ryan was panned for tweeting the glorious news that a teacher was getting a $1.50 weekly increase thanks to the tax cut. Rep. Keith Ellison, Democrat-Minnesota, linked to Ryan's tweet and wrote "Wells Fargo, fresh off of defrauding millions of Americans, gets $3.4 billion." Of course the teacher is like most working professionals these days, they take whatever crumbs the ruling class deigns to sweep off their plates. No doubt in her state of battered voter syndrome she will vote Republican, if she even bothers. There is a better America to be had if she and everyone like her could envision a just and equitable society that starts with economic justice. But, no, the billionaires have bought the think tanks and the idea market and the politicians while mesmerizing the workers to accept a pittance of their true worth.

In even more of a mockery of the public conscience, the Republican deficit hawks have evaporated in the glory of their one legislative success that will result in the US borrowing $1 trillion dollars this year.

Trump and his party have not drained the swamp, they have flooded the sewers, morally, intellectually, and financially.

The U.S. government is set to borrow nearly $1 trillion this year, an 84 percent jump from last year
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/02/03/the-u-s-government-is-set-to-borrow-nearly-1-trillion-this-year/?stream=top-stories&utm_campaign=&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_term=.64f54736b08f

14
Politics / Democrats Circulate Rebuttal to Nunes Memo
« on: February 03, 2018, 09:20:16 PM »
The Democrats have circulated a 6 page rebuttal of the Nunes Memo among caucus members that has naturally leaked to the press.

Quote
A top House Democrat is challenging the core conclusion of the memo released by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes on Friday, calling the allegation that the Justice Department and FBI withheld key details as they sought a secret surveillance warrant on former Trump adviser Carter Page “deliberately misleading and deeply wrong on the law.”

NBC News has exclusively obtained a six-page rebuttal to the Nunes memo from Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, which was to be circulated to all House Democrats on Saturday.

Given his senior position, Nadler is one of the small number of lawmakers who has viewed the highly sensitive documents that are the basis of Nunes’ memo.

...The rebuttal focuses on four key points having to do with the legal underpinnings of the GOP-produced document:

That Nunes’ memo fails to demonstrate that the government lacked enough evidence beyond a dossier from former British spy Christopher Steele to obtain a FISA warrant on Page.

That Steele’s expertise on Russia and organized crime would have outweighed any concerns a FISA court would have had about the funding of Steele’s work by partisan actors — funding sources that Steele may not have even known about.

That Nunes’ memo “provides no credible basis whatsoever” for removing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller.

That Nunes’ memo shows that Republicans “are now part and parcel to an organized effort to obstruct” Mueller’s probe.

Democratic rebuttal calls Nunes memo ‘deliberately misleading’
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/democratic-rebuttal-calls-nunes-memo-deliberately-misleading-n844426

Full Text of Nadler Memo
http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/TODAY/z_Creative/inline-headers/FINAL%20DRAFT%20--%20Dear%20Colleague%20on%20Nunes%20Memo.pdf

15
Politics / Dow Drops 666 points on Friday
« on: February 03, 2018, 08:42:07 AM »
Good news leads to bad news. The spike in employment in the US and the world wide spread of economic growth spooked Wall Street into a major decline over the fear of inflation on the horizon. It may seem like a strange response, but the rapid rise of the DOW is bound to find a reason for a correction at some point.

Quote
nterest rates that are set every day in the global bond markets are already leaping higher, in anticipation of central bank rate increases later this year. On Friday, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note — a widely used gauge for overall interest rates — rose to more than 2.8 percent, the highest level since early 2014.

Rising rates have myriad consequences, including making it more expensive for companies and individuals to borrow money, like for buying a home or a car. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is around 4.2 percent, up from less than 4 percent at the end of 2017.

Uncertainty about how the economy will react to rising borrowing costs has raised the blood pressure of investors. In one sign of a shift underway, a measure of expected market turbulence, the CBOE Volatility Index, jumped by more than 25 percent on Friday. The so-called VIX has spent months at historically low levels, reflecting a placid market mood that seems to have evaporated over the last week.

The stock markets this week have reflected the jitters.

Stocks Fall to End a Bad Week, and a Boom Begins to Look Shaky
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/02/business/stock-market-interest-rates.html?action=click&contentCollection=Opinion&module=RelatedCoverage&region=EndOfArticle&pgtype=article

Another factor is that growth expectations are threatened by inflationary factors. Nobel economist Paul Krugman commented in his column on Friday:

Quote
Again, you don’t want to make too much of one month’s number. But the wage gain strengthens the case that we really are near full employment; interest rates rose because the odds of Fed rate hikes to limit inflation have risen. And that hit stocks.

Meanwhile, productivity numbers have been pretty dismal...

So what the data are suggesting, although not with a lot of confidence, is that America is about to settle into a low-growth rut, maybe 1.5% a year. And yes, that’s only half what Trump is promising.

The Bad News in the Good News

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/02/opinion/the-bad-news-in-the-good-news.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region

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