Towards an issues-based 2020 election (39)

===2020 Big Picture===
We need an overwhelming turnout…
If the 2020 presidential election is within a 1% margin, the less popular candidate has a 45% chance of becoming President, according to a just-released University of Texas Electoral College Study

The Day One Agenda: Laws already on the books give a president great discretionary power for constructive change – without abusing executive authority.
The Next Administration: Using Presidential Power for Good

Cancel Student Debt – Almost All of It
An obscure, decades-old provision called compromise and settlement” authority
could allow the Department of Education to opt out of collecting trillions in debt.

Unleash the Existing Anti-Monopoly Arsenal
Corporate power can be neutralized
if federal agencies simply used the prodigious authority they’ve been granted.

Overhaul the Business of Wall Street
Remaking the financial system does not require any new laws.

Create a Public Option for Simple Banking
Under current authority, the post office can expand its financial services options.
A major postal workers union even has it in their bargaining contract.

Create a More Progressive Tax Policy
Congress writes the laws, but the IRS interprets them,
and they can do so in ways that make the system more fair.

Force Drug Companies to Lower Prices
Presidents have two powerful sticks
that could weaken the pharmaceutical industry’s power to rake in astronomical profits.

Help 800,000 Workers Join a Union
One policy could facilitate a voice for the fastest-growing,
and one of the lowest-paid, occupations in the U.S.

Aggressively Address the Climate Crisis
Existing laws give the executive branch the power to transform the energy sector.

The Little Agency That Could (Block All Good Regulations)
The Day One agenda is dependent on the functions of OIRA,
an obscure federal agency that acts as a bottleneck for agency rules and regulations.

Wait a Minute, Could John Roberts Block All of This?
How the Supreme Court might frustrate the effort to use statutory authority to advance a
progressive agenda, and why the next president should follow through anyway


Veteran labor reporter @greenhousenyt grades labor platforms of presidential candidates:
Sanders A
Warren A
Buttigieg B+
Biden B
Booker B
Castro B
Harris B
O’Rourke B
Klobuchar B-
Yang C+
Trump F+
Details here:

Here’s the thing: whether you are part of a union or not, a key ingredient for economic
prosperity is a good balance of power between workers and their bosses. The attack
on and subsequent decline of unions has been an economic disaster for all but the 1%.

2020’s Most In-Depth, People-Powered Forum Just Happened in Iowa
Here’s how Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg, and Castro did when they were challenged to answer tough questions about Medicare for All, racial profiling, and housing justice.

No moderator.
No TV anchors.
No gotcha questions.
Just tenants, refugees, workers, farmers, racial-justice activists
& LGBTQ+ students asking candidates tough, necessary questions.
@PplsAction and @iowacci put on a groundbreaking People’s Presidential Forum.

See referenced comment…
*Correction.* The headline should read: Wall Street racketeers fear that @ewarren cannot be bought.
They fear @BernieSanders for the same reason.
This is useful information, as voters should always be wary of grifter candidates who are deemed acceptable by the speculator class.

Note: I suspect some “centrists” will follow the money, too.


Uber CEO Admits Tech Execs Are Overpaid – But He’s Not Ready to Fix It

So much to unpack here: Uber CEO: widening pay gap is a problem but it’s government’s
job to fix it (and yet Uber fights every effort by government to do so) also his $45M (pay)
package includes $2M for “work-related expenses” but drivers get $0 for work-related


The gap between the haves and have-nots in the United States grew last year to its highest
level in more than 50 years of tracking income inequality, according to Census Bureau

Fossil fuel industry continues to dwarf environmental interests in election-related spending

===2020 Issues===
How climate change is melting, drying and flooding Earth – in pictures

Edge of the Ice

We’ve picked four of the most striking #ClimateChange data visualizations
making the rounds on social media: (video)

Climate effort must be boosted five-fold to limit global warming to 1.5°C

2015 World Bank: 5 Ways to Reduce the Drivers of Climate Change

Talking up a rapid renewables transition will get us there faster

The Inescapable Climate Revolution with Bill McKibben & Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson

Thunberg on the “fairytale of eternal economic growth”

Most of world’s biggest firms ‘unlikely’ to meet Paris climate targets
Only a fifth of the companies will remain on track, accordint to analysis of their disclosures

Americans increasingly view climate change as a crisis and want more to be done to tackle it, and the race for Senate in Colorado is no different.

In the wonderful but messy world of social change, investors reveal their different approaches and philosophies around risk and judgement, in this latest article in partnership with Pioneers Post

Bank of England Governor: Climate change will affect (every) ‘single financial asset’

See charts…
Absolute decoupling of growth from resource use is possible.
From 2007-2016, the U.S. reduced its total carbon emissions (including imports!!) by 13%. During that time, its GDP GREW by 13%.
This isn’t enough to stop global warming. But it is real!

See infographic…
79% of American adults say humans are causing climate change, and 60% support raising taxes on companies that burn fossil fuels like coal, natural gas and oil, even if that may lead to increased electricity and transportation prices.”

A 0.1% tax on Wall Street trades would raise $777 billion over a decade
and cost most people little or nothing.
Wall Street crashed our economy and got away with it.
Wouldn’t this be a great way for the industry to begin repaying its debt to society?

The United States is an extremely lightly taxed rich country

See chart…
Not the news of the day, but friendly reminder that thanks to wasteful, regressive
2017 tax cut, we’re collecting not just less revenue than average, but a lot less
than comparable periods of low unemployment.
(Note: mimics earlier work of @ChuckCBPP

Thrilled to officially launch
The 1st global map of where multinational companies shift their profits – and of the cost of this shifting for each country. Based on our work with @TTorslov and @LudvigWier , The Missing Profits of Nations


See chart…
Here’s the breakdown of the 2019 2nd quarter real GDP growth rate of 2%. It’s the ongoing cage match between the tight job market vs the trade war.

Thinking seriously about what ‘fiscal responsibility’ should mean
Full employment and reduced inequality are the most important targets of fiscal policy


Poverty continues to fall in most states, though progress appears to be slowing

…State and federal lawmakers should be enacting policies to keep the overall economy growing, and to lift wages and incomes specifically for workers and families at the bottom. Particularly for states in the South and Midwest, where progress reducing poverty appears stalled, raising the minimum wage is one simple tool that would help raise incomes for those most in need, and that lawmakers in those states have largely yet to employ. (see map)


CBPP: Senate Would Shortchange Human Services Programs Despite Room for Increases in Appropriations Deal

CBPP: Census: Income-Rent Gap Grew in 2018

Child poverty rate: (See list)
Good thing we recently passed *checks notes* tax breaks for billionaires.

A new book by @greenhousenyt examines the past, present, and future of work in America. Hear the author #talkgoodjobs with @AspenWorkforce

Lots of context…
Why Eugene Scalia is the wrong person for the job (labor secretary)

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich…
…As a corporate lawyer, Scalia has defended:
– Wall St. Banks
– Vegas Casinos
– Walmart
I’m old enough to remember when labor secretaries were supposed to protect working people.

Eugene Scalia also:
– Helped strike down a law that required Walmart to spend 8% of its payroll
providing health care for its low wage workers
– Led the legal work attacking workers’ retirement security
– Defended HSBC against sexual harassment charges
I can keep going.

Do you want smaller government with less handouts, or do you want a low minimum
wage? Because you cannot have both. If Colonel Sanders isn’t going to pay the lady
behind the counter enough to live on, then Uncle Sam has to. And I, for one, am getting
a little tired of helping highly-profitable companies pay their workers.  – Bill Maher

Sen Sherrod Brown (video)

As a corporate lawyer and lobbyist, Eugene Scalia made millions working for Chevron,
Goldman Sachs, Facebook and other huge corporations, helping them undermine
health and safety regulations. So naturally he’s Trump’s pick to lead the Labor Dept. Obscene.

Fischer, Sasse and all their Republican colleagues just approved Scalia’s nomination…

This is the story of our nation’s #studentdebt crisis:
– $1.6 trillion in student debt
– 44 million+ Americans w/student loans
– $33,000 avg. loan balance
– 9 million people in default
– $900 million owed by women
– African American borrowers owe 45% more than white borrowers


Debt collection is now its own $11 billion industry – thanks to lawmakers helping
their Wall Street, health insurance & pharma donors fleece millions of Americans

@RepPressley explains the childhood trauma she experienced due to debt collectors.
Millions of other children and parents are in similar situations right now.
*This* is why the @CFPB needs to issue a Debt Collection Rule
that doesn’t allow for the abuse of consumers. (video)

2,000,000 people…
Number of uninsured Americans rises for the first time since Obamacare
It’s the first time the rate has increased since the Great Recession

See text graphic…
One of the ironies of history is that through the Marshall Plan, American taxpayers helped pay for a part of the UK’s single-payer health care system, the NHS, which eliminated most private insurance.
Here’s a Republican Congressman complaining about it in 1949.

Medicaid’s Dark Secret
For many participants, the program that provides health care to millions of low-income Americans isn’t free. It’s a loan. And the government expects to be repaid.

If You Are Black and in a Mental Health Crisis, 911 Can Be a Death Sentence
There’s a pattern of black families calling the police for a relative in a mental health crisis — and the police then kill that person.

In California, a ‘Surprise’ Billing Law Is Protecting Patients and Angering Doctors
The state’s closely watched law is similar to an approach Congress is considering nationally.

See images…
This is a $326,816.97 surprise medical bill we received after my dad’s back surgery.
The surgeon assured us multiple times that our insurance was going to cover it –
no surprises. My dad’s a public school worker & a union member. We have good”
insurance. We need #MedicareForAll

Employer Health Insurance is Increasingly Unaffordable, Study Finds

The Fetishization of Employer-Provided Health Care

Note: The author suggests (“centrist” (my word)) Dems support a two-tiered health system (instead of Medicare for All) because of status / class warfare. I suspect it’s about Big Insurance, Big Pharma etc campaign money. These groups like the system the way it is.


Study: “Americans experience more than twice the risk of long waits for breast or colon cancer care or of dying while they wait for an organ transplant…Canadians’ chances of receiving better healthcare (are) 36% greater than their American counterparts”


Opponents of Medicare for All should be required to explain
why they are defending this status quo …

Note: Biden and Buttigieg have both lied about M4A. Push them for an explanation.

This is great. In UK, Labor party is proposing public funding for pharmaceutical research, new drugs are sold as cheap generics, no patent monopolies! Our progressive presidential candidates should pick up the ball.

…Medical equipment/devices are the same cesspool as drugs. But, I would actually focus more on increasing public funding for research and putting everything in public domain than changing patent law. Easier to make it irrelevant. This is in Rigged, chapter 5.


Third Way teamed up with Biden’s polling firm to accidentally prove Medicare For All’s popularity. (video)

In other words: some Democrats are perfectly comfortable undermining the single most
transformative legislative goal using arguments pioneered by Paul Ryan and an
assortment of Tea Party (folks) against Obama back in 2010

There is truly no better example of cognitive dissonance – in the history of mankind –
than centrist Democrats who defend #SinglePayer Medicare for seniors as sacred
and inviolable, but also believe it’s a socialist nightmare for anyone under 65 to have
the exact same insurance

#MedicareForAll isn’t a framework. It’s a 100-page bill. There have been 2 white papers released on how to finance it & a 200-page study from UMass showing our financing options more than cover the expense, while costing middle class families 14% less than the current system.

Here’s details on @BernieSanders #MedicareForAll. Way more than a framework:
– S.1129 Medicare for All Act of 2019 bill:
– Financing M4A white paper:
– UMass Economic Analysis of M4A:

Under every single one of our options to finance #MedicareForAll the average American family will save thousands of dollars on healthcare because they won’t have to write big checks to private health insurance companies that put profits before people.


Thread on the M4A transition

If you scroll down the left side of this website, you’ll see that this important book on environmental justice and urban health is now available for a free download.

If you, as a White person, would like to be treated the way Black people are in this society, stand.” (video)

Does this anti-discrimination law protect LGBTQ workers? 3 cases ask Supreme Court to decide

Editorial: World needs to reprioritize nuclear arms control
As weapons proliferate, the U.S. and Russia back away from reducing them.

I fear that progress made in reducing the danger of nuclear weapons has not only come
to a halt but, worse, it is in reverse. Let us not forget that the only real way to eliminate
the threat of nuclear weapons is a world free of nuclear weapons.

Dwight D. Eisenhower was not a radical socialist – he was a Republican. And in 1961, he tried to warn us about the “military industrial complex.” (video)

===2020 Watch List===
Twitter refuses to verify candidates running for US federal office,
open election meddling floodgates.

Twitter is bottling up primary challengers by refusing to verify them, which is a killer
on the campaign trail. @CoriBush ran a credible challenge in 2018 and starred in a
da-n movie about it and still @jack won’t verify her.
If you’re a primary challenger hurt by this, DM me

@CoriBush posted her letter from twitter…


About verified accounts

Facebook claims a network of Ukrainian-run pages pushing pro-Trump propaganda isn’t violating its community standards. According to a report from Judd Legum, the Ukrainian-run network posing as U.S. meme pages has begun pushing Russian pro-Trump propaganda

===2020 Watch List-Bias===
What Media Like Best About Elizabeth Warren: She’s Not Bernie Sanders

Wall Street is not only fearmongering about Bernie and Warren,
but also the Labour Party’s economic policies. (video)

MSNBC pundit says if you support Bernie Sanders
over Elizabeth Warren it’s “showing your sexism.” (video)

If it wasn’t already crystal clear, I hope it’s apparent now that no campaign is asked to be responsible for the bigoted ramblings of their putative supporters except the Sanders campaign. Bernie was asked to condemn a random twitter troll. This is an MSNBC pundit.

All I’m asking for is equitable treatment. That’s it. Let’s play fair.

Because so many in the MSM cut him out of the conversation
Here’s an interesting development:
@BernieSanders is now tied with Joe Biden in the key state of Nevada

See table…
CNN poll asking which candidate they trust to handle big issues …
Bernie beats them all


Our campaign has 1 million donors – and not a single one of them are billionaires.
Most common age: 29
Most common employers: Walmart, Starbucks, Amazon
Most common occupation: Teacher
This is a campaign built by the working class. #NotMeUs

===2020 Presidential Candidates===
Elizabeth Warren… Feb 9th
Warren’s Plan to Check Lobbyists’ Influence? Make Lawmakers Smarter
With too many lawmakers lacking in expertise, lobbyists have filled the void. Warren wants to reverse the trend

Medicare for All: Where the Democratic candidates stand

Sen Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is a co-sponsor of Sanders’ Medicare for All Act. She has been vague about her strategy for Medicare for All. Warrens’ campaign website calls for a “down payment” on Medicare for All, and at a CNN town hall in March she said she would “get everybody at the table” to “figure out how to do Medicare for All,” which could include a “temporary role” for private insurance companies.

Note: The article fails to point out how those who support the status quo (like not reining in Big Insurance for example) are going to cover everyone. I added the piece here because of questions I’ve had about Warren’s M4A position. The above statement provides context for asking her questions.
Bernie Sanders… Feb 19th
Bernie Sanders: We still need an Economic Bill of Rights

Yes, @SenSanders Federalize Credit Scores! A metric so determinant of individual life chances should not be left to the for-profit proprietary sector. Government should be responsible & accountable through a fair and transparent process

Every billionaire is a policy failure – @DanRiffle


1997 Bernie: “It is time to establish a tax on wealth”
2017 Bernie: “Establish a Wealth Tax on the Top 0.1 percent”
2020 Bernie: “We must establish an annual tax on the extreme wealth of the top 0.1%”

Billionaires have been gorging on tax breaks & subsidies, increasing the wealth
of the top 1% by $21 trillion while the bottom 50% has seen its net worth decline
by $900 billion.  Bernie’s wealth tax would begin reversing this trend.
Details here:

Mr. Bezos, instead of spending your money on a rocket ship to Mars, or wherever
it is you want to go, we’re gonna use a fraction of your Amazon winnings to:
– End the affordable housing crisis.
– Enact universal childcare.
– Help finance #MedicareForAll
Regulators: Mount up!


To fight inequality, @DeanBaker13’s priorities are:
…address the market structures that generate inequality, such as patent and copyright
monopolies, a bloated financial industry and a corrupt corporate governance structure.”

See text graphics…
.@BernieSanders’ plan to eliminate medical debt costs $81 billion — or roughly .02% of what the government committed to bailing out Wall Street bankers ($29 trillion).

We are not going to let a handful of agri-business corporations destroy family farmers and pollute our environment. (video)

See referenced report…
The @BernieSanders speech at the Comanche Nation #powwow was especially significant for this commitment to provide federal funding to help Native nations resolve Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women cases.


If you want:
– #MedicareForAll
– The #GreenNewDeal
– A #homesguarantee
– Rent Control
– To cancel ALL student debt & medical debt
– To Ban for-profit charter schools
– A leader who opposed all of Trump’s DoD budgets
– A 100% funded grassroots campaign
Vote for Bernie. #NotMeUs

tfw a right-wing outlet accuses your campaign of being in the pocket of Big Teacher
Pete Buttigieg… April 14th
Context: Health Insurance Costs Surpass $20,000 Per Year, Hitting a Record
Ever-rising premiums have pushed some to drop coverage

Buttigieg’s health plan doesn’t rein in the bad actors i.e. maintains the status quo
Therefore, it’s not sustainable.

June: Which 2020 Democrats are taking money from the healthcare industry?

Anyone attacking Medicare for All needs to explain why we should maintain a system
in which the average premium workers pay for family coverage has increased 71%
in 10 years.  I refuse to accept a health care system that makes health care CEOs
rich and bankrupts working families.

Repeat for context: Mayor Pete is Silicon Valley’s Hottest New Startup
His persona fits neatly with Silicon Valley’s own political identity:
outwardly progressive, but without much evident anger at the new America oligarchy.

Of course, if you consider the material interests of @PeteButtigieg backers in Silicon
Valley… a kamikaze assault on Warren might make sense (as opposed to) very
serious antitrust and privacy scrutiny in 2021.
Joe Biden… April 25th
Click text graphics…
Biden’s bankruptcy story


From the pool report of Thursday night’s Biden fundraiser in LA:
“Biden again joked that they shouldn’t expect a tax cut from him.
‘It ain’t comin’, it ain’t gonna come,’ Biden said, locking eyes with one donor. ‘But! No punishment, either.

Biden needs to be asked what he means by ‘But! No punishment, either.’
It could mean no wealth tax. Or even no claw-back of the (GOP tax cut). …

Joe Biden’s econ advisers are weighing a new proposal to tax Wall Street, though no final decision has been reached. Comes as Warren, Sanders push enormous wealth tax” that has moved Dem tax discourse left, arguably starting w/ @AOC’s 70% top rate

Sanders ran on a Financial Transaction Tax in 2016 to pay for his free college plan.
Clinton backed a much more narrow tax on flash” transactions that would have raised
far less money.

Compare / Contrast…
(Biden) … voted for the the Wall Street bailout, the Reagan tax giveaway to the rich,
& freezing Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid & veterans benefits – not just once,
but 4 times to “halt the upward spiral of deficits.” &

Repeat from last week for context…
Economist’s thread on paying for M4A
“You *get* a lot more protection/coverage, and it costs less.”


Buttigieg’s Big (M4A) Lie…

See chart…
Medicare for All will lower overall health care costs. Meanwhile:
Family premiums are up 54% – $20,000 a year
Deductibles up 162% – $1,655 a year
But I’m sure the American people getting robbed blind by the insurance industry
are just thrilled these costs aren’t called “taxes.”

Click text graphic…
The Wall St org @ThirdWayTweet paid Biden’s polling firm for a poll.
The poll tried to vilify Medicare for All, but found:
– 53% view Medicare for All favorably, higher than the ACA
– 70% of Dems want Medicare for All to replace private insurance


…A polling firm linked to Biden is working overtime to mislead Americans
about #MedicareForAll by echoing bogus GOP talking points.
Fact: #MedicareForAll improves benefits for seniors by covering:
– dental
– vision
– hearing
– home care
> Biden-Linked Firm Tests Messages to Undercut ‘Medicare for All’

Compare / Contrast with the (above) reported deceit…
“Americans experience more than twice the risk of long waits for breast or colon
cancer care or of dying while they wait for an organ transplant …
Canadians’ chances of receiving better healthcare (are) 36% greater
than their American counterparts”


Anyone attacking Medicare for All needs to explain why we should maintain a system
in which the average premium workers pay for family coverage has increased 71%
in 10 years.  I refuse to accept a health care system that makes health care CEOs
rich and bankrupts working families.

As we hear so many horror stories of medical debt, we must never forget the roots of this crisis: @JoeBiden split with Obama to become one of only 3 Dems to help the GOP empower Wall St to use medical debt to destroy people lives. Never forget. …

Note: Few discuss Reagan’s promise to leave former USSR countries alone (i.e. not pull them into NATO / away from the former Soviet bloc) and our repeated violations of that promise – including the Feb US-supported, Neo-Nazi facilitated 2014 Ukrainian coup

Putin responded by reclaiming eastern Ukraine (where Russia’s space program started) and a southern port.

It took years for the MSM to admit our alignment with Ukrainian Neo-Nazis for the coup and I still find stories glorifying a revolution instead of acknowledging the coup.

That’s the context for Hunter Biden becoming a Burisma board member (April 2014) – two months after the coup.

Joe Biden was given Ukrainian oversight responsibilities – with a focus on corruption – and pushed for the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor.

There was a conflict of interest. Biden appears to have made grandiose statements about his Ukrainian dealings. But I haven’t seen a smoking gun tying the firing to Hunter Biden’s Burisma business dealings. Have you?

2015: Joe Biden, His Son and the Case Against a Ukrainian Oligarch

I Wrote About the Bidens and Ukraine Years Ago.
Then the Right-Wing Spin Machine Turned the Story Upside Down.


Fwiw… this is the first story I saw on the story (April)…
Ukraine: Why ‘OU’ Lost by a Landslide

And here’s a recent piece alleging that Biden’s involvement in the coup is the real problem

See text graphic…
The Ukrainian prosecutor who Joe Biden got fired? It was because he *wasn’t* investigating the oligarch Biden’s son used to work for hard enough. Authorities across the Western world wanted the same thing.

The story behind Biden’s son, Ukraine and Trump’s claims

Fact-checking Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, and Ukraine

We found no evidence to support the idea that Joe Biden advocated with his son’s interests in mind, as the message suggests. It’s not even clear that the company was actively under investigation or that a change in prosecutors benefited it.

In 2015, Ukraine’s newly appointed prosecutor general Viktor Shokin inherited some of the investigations into Zlochevsky and his company. (Zlochevsky and the company have denied the allegations.) Shokin was ousted as prosecutor in 2016. Shokin is the prosecutor the viral post is talking about (more on that later).

Biden’s Ukraine Problem Has Nothing to Do With His Son
The former vice president showed poor foreign policy judgment
in his bungling, boastful dealings with Kiev.

While on the topic of corruption…
A Pentagon letter sent in May and obtained by NPR undercuts President Trump’s
assertion that he blocked Ukraine aid over concerns about corruption.

Note: As for the following analysis – … The empowered “centrist” Dems’ have been fighting progressives for a very long time.

Trump’s really Big Lie…
Michael Bennet… May 2nd
Four months after an $8 trillion housing bubble collapsed on Bush’s watch…
Context: No bankruptcy help for homeowners
Measure to modify delinquent loans in bankruptcy court fails in Senate. Obama administration loses big stick to prod loan servicers to aid troubled borrowers.

Bennet helped block this bill along with 11 other Dems and lots of Republicans

By failing to pass this bill Wall Street was placed in charge of unwinding Wall Street’s mess…
And since mortgage papers were (illegally?) lost during the banks mortgage financialization
process, some resorted to fraud. Remember robo signing?…
Bill Black on Financial Fraud Investigations

Bill Weld… April 16th…
Trump challenger Bill Weld: “Talk about pressuring a foreign country to interfere with and control a U.S. election. It couldn’t be clearer. And that’s not just undermining democratic institutions. That is treason. It’s treason, pure and simple.”
Donald Trump
No one should be fooled by the Trump administration’s new #overtime rule, which covers *millions* fewer workers than the Obama administration rule and represents yet another gift to corporate interests:

“At its heart, the Trump administration’s rule is based on the notion that someone making
$35,568 a year is a well-paid executive who doesn’t need or deserve overtime protections.”

This conversation between AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer Elissa McBride and the
president of @EconomicPolicy (EPI), Thea Lee, highlighted the fact that working families
continue to struggle despite seemingly positive economic news.

See chart…
Racial and ethnic income gaps persist amid uneven growth in household incomes

See Trump’s comment…
By whatever measure you look at, income and earnings have leveled off over the past year
to two years after starting to bounce back in 2015.

Nebraska’s Rural Response Hotline Provides Hope and Help to Ag Families in Crisis

National Farmers Union
Proposed Rule Would Make Millions Vulnerable to Food Insecurity

Farm bankruptcies continue to rise in Nebraska

Farmer subsidies from the Trump admin aimed at mitigating the effects of the U.S.-China
trade war have reached $28 billion, about double the amount of money shelled out in the
government bailout of Detroit automakers in 2009, Bloomberg reports.

2017: Remember Republicans Ranting That Obama Would Ruin U.S. Auto Industry?
Sales Now Highest Since 9/11

Editorial: City slicker Trump is no friend to Wisconsin farmers

Business investment declined at 1% annual rate in second quarter of this year. Still not expecting a recession, but slowdown in economic growth.

But wait, wasn’t (the GOP’s) corporate tax cut supposed to give us an investment boom?

The U.S. may employ a trade weapon designed to maximize pain against the EU by rotating the target list of European products that will be subject to U.S. tariffs. The so-called carousel approach is aimed at increasing uncertainty and pressure.

[S]omeone better tell (Trump) that this approach
maximizes uncertainty for U.S. companies also

Bloomberg reporting that the White House is considering limiting US capital flows into China, which is a huge state intervention into the economy.

See chart…
And I’d say the retaliation would be intense, but Trump’s trade war has already wiped
out most new Chinese investment in the US, so maybe it’s not something to worry
about! Via the Rhodium Group

Companies Are Using a Depression-Era Law To Escape Trump’s Tariffs – And It’s Costing Them
Tariffs are hurting U.S. companies’ bottom lines. Free Trade Zones, a 1930s rule which they can use to shield themselves from those costs, require expensive legal help. One Michigan manufacturer called it a no-win situation.”

One of the administration’s stated goals with the tariffs has been to reinvigorate U.S. manufacturing. But in FEDCO’s case – and many others – tariffs alone wouldn’t have moved the needle.

FEDCO does buy much of what it needs domestically. But when the company’s engineers designed a new pump with intricate channels to drive pressurized salt water into a filtering membrane, the products delivered by American foundries were expensive, arrived late and sprung leaks when put to use.

After months of disappointment, the company turned to China.

It was more driven by quality, why we went to China, rather than cost,” said company founder and president Eli Oklejas. We lost fundamental manufacturing skills, especially in the foundries, and castings. Those are things based on training and experience over decades. Those people retired, there’s no one coming up through those industries, and it’s gone.”


Baker: Donald Trump’s Plan for Winning the China Trade War: Lying

White-Collar Prosecutions Half Level of 8 Years Ago

See referenced Trump comment…
… if you believe what you are saying, then you can sue Representative Schiff for libel and defamation. Why aren’t you doing this? …

Is this an admission of guilt? …
Trump just now, asked about his call with Zelensky: “It’s very important to talk about corruption. If you don’t talk about corruption, why would you give money to a country that you think is corrupt?…It’s very important that on occasion you speak to somebody about corruption.”

Note: We give money to corrupt leaders all the time… like his “favorite dictator”, Sisi (Egypt).  And if Trump was really concerned about alleged corruption involving a former VP / now presidential candidate and his son, one would ask an objective 3rd party to look into it.

See referenced McCarthy (R-CA22) comment
One thing you don’t want to do as a public spokesperson is respond
with incredulity to a piece of evidence that turns out to be true

Reminder: Trump said in June that he would accept help with his 2020
reelection campaign from another country, which would be against the law.
There’s nothing wrong with listening,” he told ABC News.

Trump ordered hold on military aid days before calling Ukrainian president, officials say


Now blames Europe…

“We haven’t seen anything like this in my lifetime,” said William A. Galston,
a senior fellow in governance at the Brookings Institution. …

“What we’re discovering is that the Constitution is not a mechanism that runs by itself,”
Galston said. “We are a government of men and not law. The law has no force without
people who are willing to enforce it. The ball is now squarely in the court
of the Republican Party.”


Trump throws Pence under the bus…

2014 Trump tweet…

Three articles of impeachment against Donald Trump:
1. He abused his position & violated the public trust
by pressuring Ukrainian president to do his political bidding.
2. He repeatedly violated the emoluments clause.
3. He covered up his wrongdoing.

From @WIExaminer commentary today: ‘It’s time for Congress to use its power
to rein in a president who admires foreign dictators, and who acts like one himself.’

Apparently Trump doesn’t have a defense (see referenced comment)…
…More than 200 House Democrats support impeachment,
but the ones he singles out as Savages” are two Jews and four women of color.


-A corporate lawyer runs DOL
-A pharma exec runs HHS
-A coal lobbyist runs EPA
-An oil lobbyist runs DOI
-A Raytheon lobbyist runs DOD
-A steel lobbyist is the US trade rep
-A banking exec runs USDT
Trump drained the swamp alright…
…right into the White House.

Trump’s Big Lie…

Note: See special Biden section above for Ukraine. Trump selectively edited Biden’s comment.

I’m very much reminded by what @ilyamarritz said in latest Trump Inc:
We still use the same words as before – like administration,” with  experts making
policies based on goals. But that’s not the way it works anymore.
> The Family Business

Trump’s other Ukraine problem: New concern about his business

Trump’s Ukraine Plotting Has Been Happening in Plain Sight. So Why Didn’t We See It?

The Untold Story of the Trump-Ukraine ‘Scandal’: The Routine Corruption of US Foreign Policy

Trump backs Egypt’s Sisi (who’s facing) some protests back home

See text graphic…
NYT publisher says the Trump administration was prepared to sit back and allow one
of its journalists to be arrested in Egypt. So the paper turned to the reporter’s native
Ireland for help, and it was those diplomats who got him out — not the US.

Over 2,000 Arrested in Egypt in Growing Protests Against Sisi,
Trump’s Favorite Dictator”

Egypt’s Sisi Regime again Engages in Mass Arrests of Protesters
as West looks the other Way

According to the pool report, Trump has arrived at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, VA.
This is Trump’s 234th day at a Trump golf club and 307th day at a Trump property as president.

Trump’s Turnberry resort is the only hotel named by Glasgow Prestwick Airport in promotional material distributed at private meetings with U.S. military aircrews in an attempt to win their custom, The Scotsman reports.

In the #Trump era, with all its scandals, all its lies, the constant breaking of rules and trashing of norms, it can be hard to see the big picture.
This episode of the #TrumpInc podcast helps to do just that. A project by @WNYCStudios & @propublica.

The Wall St org @ThirdWayTweet paid Biden’s polling firm for a poll. The poll tried to vilify Medicare for All, but found:
– 53% view Medicare for All favorably, higher than the ACA
– 70% of Dems want Medicare for All to replace private insurance Poll:

…A polling firm linked to Biden is working overtime to mislead Americans about #MedicareForAll by echoing bogus GOP talking points.
Fact: #MedicareForAll improves benefits for seniors by covering:
– dental        – vision        – hearing       – home care

One of the ironies of history is that through the Marshall Plan, American taxpayers helped pay for a part of the UK’s single-payer health care system, the NHS, which eliminated most private insurance. Here’s a Republican Congressman complaining about it in 1949.

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