Authoritarianism: Jan 27–Feb 2

“People shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.”
Alan Moore, V for Vendetta

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Sunday

Oh, headlinitus >.<

Americans support investigating Trump, but many are skeptical that inquiries will be fair, new poll finds

Americans support investigating Trump, but many are skeptical that inquiries will be fair, new poll finds

A new Washington Post-ABC News survey finds that half of respondents express “just some” confidence or none at all that the forthcoming special counsel’s report will be evenhanded.

Source: www.washingtonpost.com/politics/americans-support-investigating-trump-but-many-are-skeptical-that-inquiries-will-be-fair-new-poll-finds/2019/01/26/12c30a9a-2129-11e9-8b59-0a28f2191131_story.html


Does this have to be either/or? I say we do BOTH.

Most proposals to tax the rich have focused on raising rates on income and capital gains, as well as increasing estate taxes. That’s what Ocasio-Cortez raised on CBS’ “60 Minutes” earlier this month, when she proposed setting rates as high as 70% on earnings above $10 million to help fund a climate change plan she describes as a “Green New Deal.”

Warren, on the other hand, wants to tap into different pool of money — the assets of the wealthy. A plan developed by her nascent presidential campaign would impose a 2% tax on Americans whose net worth exceeds $50 million, with an additional 1% levy on billionaires, according to documents provided by Warren’s presidential campaign.

How Warren’s plan to tax the rich is different from Ocasio-Cortez’s

How Warren’s plan to tax the rich is different from Ocasio-Cortez’s

Both Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and freshman New York Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez want to tax the rich — but the two progressive Democratic icons are proposing going about it in very different ways.

Source: www.cnn.com/2019/01/27/politics/ocasio-cortez-warren-rich-tax/index.html


Meanwhile, Putin’s getting his ROI.

Deripaska and Allies Could Benefit From Sanctions Deal, Document Shows

Deripaska and Allies Could Benefit From Sanctions Deal, Document Shows

The Trump administration’s agreement to lift sanctions on the empire of the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska would allow him to pay off substantial debt.

Source: www.nytimes.com/2019/01/21/us/politics/oleg-deripaska-russian-sanctions.html


Ethics watchdog calls out Trump for threatening Starbucks to ‘keep putting money in his pocket’

Ethics watchdog calls out Trump for threatening Starbucks to ‘keep putting money in his pocket’

An ethics watchdog flagged a tweet from President Donald Trump that appeared to threaten Starbucks over a possible political challenge from its former CEO. Trump responded in his customary form to media coverage of Howard Schultz considering a presidential campaign as an independent. “Howard Schultz doesn’t have the ‘guts’ to run for President!” Trump tweeted Monday morning. “Watched him on @60Minutes last night and I agree with him that he is not the ‘smartest person.’ …

Source: www.rawstory.com/2019/01/ethics-watchdog-calls-trump-threatening-starbucks-keep-putting-money-pocket/


Monday

Not that logic is this chump’s strong suit.  It wouldn’t even slow him down. I’m legit unsure if he’d be smart enough to avoid another shutdown.

Trump Is Destroying His Own Case for a National Emergency

Trump Is Destroying His Own Case for a National Emergency

U.S. President Donald Trump pauses as he announces a deal to end the partial government shutdown as while speaking in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 25, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque – RC12AAA15710

By waiting for Congress to act, the president is undermining the legal basis for any declaration.

Source: www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/01/trump-has-no-case-national-emergency/581356/


The rent is too damned high because money-laundering oligarchs bought all the real-estate to clean their oil money

The rent is too damned high because money-laundering oligarchs bought all the real-estate to clean their oil money

The rent is too damned high because money-laundering oligarchs bought all the real-estate to clean their oil money

Source: boingboing.net/2019/01/27/cz-edwards.html


Opinion | Paths to Power: How Every Member Got to Congress

Opinion | Paths to Power: How Every Member Got to Congress

Most members of the House, even the new ones, made it to Washington by way of institutions and professions that are out of reach for most Americans.

Source: www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/01/26/opinion/sunday/paths-to-congress.html


By the way, we paid dearly for Трамп’s posturing and temper tantrum.

The report, which was released Monday, estimated a hit of $3 billion, or 0.1 percent, to economic activity during the fourth quarter of 2018. The impact was projected to be greater during the first quarter of 2019: $8 billion, or 0.2 percent of GDP.

Although most of the damage to the economy will be reversed as federal workers return to their jobs, the CBO estimated $3 billion in economic activity is permanently lost after a quarter of the government was closed for nearly 35 days.

The shutdown cost the economy $11 billion – including a permanent $3 billion loss, government says

The shutdown cost the economy $11 billion – including a permanent $3 billion loss, government says

Overall, the CBO projected economic growth will slow this year to 2.3 percent, compared with the 3.1 percent rate last year, as the benefits of the new tax law begin to fade.

Source: www.cnbc.com/amp/2019/01/28/government-shutdown-cost-the-economy-11-billion-cbo.html


Waste of time & resources all most probably to keep from spending any time on anything actually useful to investigate. But in any case there is a reason this buffoon is on the committee:

While Graham, who also promised to use his spot on the committee to speed through Trump’s judicial nominees, is apparently eager to do Trump’s bidding on the panel, Democrats are calling for Graham to call Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to testify.

No matter how much Graham badmouths Трамп (most recently in declaring that Трамп’s presidency would be absolutely OVER if he caved on the shutdown) seems he stays busy on his knees before Трамп.

Lindsey Graham renews probe into Hillary’s emails; Democrats burst out laughing

Lindsey Graham renews probe into Hillary’s emails; Democrats burst out laughing

New Judiciary Committee chair is eager for yet another go at Hillary and the FBI; Dems suggest Michael Cohen

Source: www.salon.com/2019/01/23/lindsey-graham-renews-probe-into-hillarys-emails-democrats-burst-out-laughing/


Oh, for fucks sake. This likely won’t pass because I can’t see House approving this (which the article fails to point out).

Top GOP senators propose repealing estate tax, which is expected to be paid by fewer than 2,000 Americans a year

Top GOP senators propose repealing estate tax, which is expected to be paid by fewer than 2,000 Americans a year

The proposal, backed by three of the top Republicans in the Senate, comes as leading Democrats call for dramatically increasing taxes on the wealthy.

Source: www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2019/01/28/top-gop-senators-propose-repealing-estate-tax-which-is-expected-be-paid-by-fewer-than-americans-year/


Setting aside for the moment that the LAST thing this country needs is yet another fatwit, egotistical billionaire who thinks he’s G-ds answer to the U.S.’s problems (or hell, just as a convenient way to line his own pockets further, the current mobbed up mobster in the W.H. isn’t having any of it.

Ethics watchdog calls out Trump for threatening Starbucks to ‘keep putting money in his pocket’

Ethics watchdog calls out Trump for threatening Starbucks to ‘keep putting money in his pocket’

An ethics watchdog flagged a tweet from President Donald Trump that appeared to threaten Starbucks over a possible political challenge from its former CEO. Trump responded in his customary form to media coverage of Howard Schultz considering a presidential campaign as an independent. “Howard Schultz doesn’t have the ‘guts’ to run for President!” Trump tweeted Monday morning. “Watched him on @60Minutes last night and I agree with him that he is not the ‘smartest person.’ …

Source: www.rawstory.com/2019/01/ethics-watchdog-calls-trump-threatening-starbucks-keep-putting-money-pocket/


They’re trying to kill us all, part 37653

The AP identified up to $11.6 billion in potential future savings for companies that extract, burn and transport fossil fuels. Industry windfalls of billions of dollars more could come from a freeze in vehicle efficiency standards that will yield an estimated 79 billion-gallon (300 million-liter) increase in fuel consumption.

On the opposite side of the government’s ledger, buried in thousands of pages of analyses, are the “social costs” of rolling back the regulations. Among them:

— Up to 1,400 additional premature deaths annually due to the pending repeal of a rule to cut coal plant pollution.

— An increase in greenhouse gas emissions by about 1 billion tons (907 million metric tons) from vehicles produced over the next decade — a figure equivalent to annual emissions of almost 200 million vehicles.

— Increased risk of water contamination from a drilling technique known as “fracking.”

— Fewer safety checks to prevent offshore oil spills.

For the Trump administration and its supporters, the rule changes examined by AP mark a much-needed pivot away from heavy regulations that threatened to hold back the Republican president’s goal of increasing U.S. energy production. But the AP’s findings also underscore the administration’s willingness to put company profits ahead of safety considerations and pollution effects.

Trump rollbacks for fossil fuel industries carry steep cost

Trump rollbacks for fossil fuel industries carry steep cost

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — As the Trump administration rolls back environmental and safety rules for the energy sector, government projections show billions of dollars in savings reaped by companies will come at a steep cost: more premature deaths and illnesses from air pollution, a jump in climate-warming emissions and more severe derailments of trains carrying explosive fuels. The Associated Press analyzed 11 major rules targeted for repeal or relaxation under Trump, using the administration’s own estimates to tally how its actions would boost businesses and harm society.

Source: apnews.com/e38e8c16b610439db2273b8b35b4bc58


Wednesday

“Quietly…”  But they sure trumpeted the issue with fanfare first…so that is what will stand out in peoples’ minds…

Texas quietly informs counties that some of the 95,000 voters flagged for citizenship review don’t belong on the list

Texas quietly informs counties that some of the 95,000 voters flagged for citizenship review don’t belong on the list

County officials said the number mistakenly flagged is “significant.”

Source: www.texastribune.org/2019/01/29/texas-voter-citizenship-list-problems-state-tells-counties/?utm_campaign=trib-social-buttons


It’s hard to see how Trump could be more out of touch with voters — or how Democrats, for now, could be better positioned. Going up against Trump has done wonders for the Democrats and for Pelosi personally, but there are several concerns Democrats would do well to address. First, Democrats need to pivot from opposing the wall to supporting smart, serious border security measures. Since no one in Congress these days seems to care much about spending, they shouldn’t be afraid of spending some real money. Second, they have leverage now to do something useful about the real, current problem: migrants. They should push for more immigration judges to reduce the backlog, and more aid and assistance to the countries from which migrants are fleeing.

Finally, protection for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is a winning issue for Democrats. They might try to throw it into this negotiation, but they shouldn’t let Republicans paint them as holding up border protection for “dreamers.” They will score points by passing and sending over to the Senate a realistic and humane bill to legalize dreamers and to protect those on temporary protected status. Let Republicans be the ogres — again.

Opinion | Pelosi should send the GOP roses

Opinion | Pelosi should send the GOP roses

No question which party had the best leader.

Source: www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/01/30/pelosi-should-send-gop-roses/


“Why don’t people ever tell billionaires who want to run for President that they need to ‘work their way up’ or that ‘maybe they should start with city council first’?” the 29-year-old congresswoman tweeted.

The freshman lawmaker was referencing criticism she received during her House campaign last year that she should have aspired to a more local position before running for federal office.

Ocasio-Cortez on Schultz: Why are billionaires who want to run for president never told to ‘work their way up’?

Ocasio-Cortez on Schultz: Why are billionaires who want to run for president never told to ‘work their way up’?

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday ripped former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz over his possible independent presidential bid, suggesting his lack of political experience pointed to a double standard.

Source: thehill.com/homenews/house/427631-ocasio-cortez-on-schultz-why-are-billionaires-who-want-to-run-for-president


Billionaires need to be taxed out of existence.

A science journal funded by Peter Thiel is running articles dismissing climate change and evolution

A science journal funded by Peter Thiel is running articles dismissing climate change and evolution

Yet Inference also has contributions from well-known intellectuals and scientists.

Source: www.motherjones.com/environment/2019/01/a-science-journal-funded-by-peter-thiel-is-running-articles-dismissing-climate-change-and-evolution/


Thursday

The White House quietly rolled back workplace safety rules during the shutdown

The White House quietly rolled back workplace safety rules during the shutdown

Public health groups are suing the Trump administration for blocking a rule requiring employers to report details of workplace injuries.

Source: www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/1/29/18197346/trump-labor-electronic-injury-reporting-rule


Pelosi and Trump harden positions on border wall

Pelosi and Trump harden positions on border wall

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday hardened their positions about a border wall, casting doubt on the prospects of Capitol Hill negotiations intended to reach a compromise and avoid a second government shutdown. “There’s not going to be any wall money in the legislation,” Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters. Her remarks came after Democrats had signaled at least some flexibility in the talks on border security funding that began only Wednesday.

Source: apnews.com/d2767ce335644e4c9d27386231b1edf3


Meanwhile:


Friday

WH Cancels Trump’s Daily Intelligence Briefing Amid His Anger At Intel Chiefs

WH Cancels Trump’s Daily Intelligence Briefing Amid His Anger At Intel Chiefs

The White House abruptly cancelled President Donald Trump’s daily intelligence briefing with his chiefs Wednesday, a day after CIA Director…

Source: talkingpointsmemo.com/news/white-house-cancels-trump-daily-intelligence-briefing-anger-at-chiefs


5 House freshmen get seats on panel probing Trump’s WH

WASHINGTON (AP) — IIt’s known as “the theater committee” for its high profile, high-drama role investigating President Donald Trump’s White House. And now, five of the fieriest Democratic freshmen in the House are players on that stage. By LAURIE KELLMAN and MARY CLARE JALONICK Associated Press

Source: apnews.com/a035c41ff3bf4980b8e68bbfe2586ce8


So just what does faze these stupid GOP batshit politicians?

“Recently he seems to put his political position, things he wants to achieve as political objectives, far above any informed assessment that the intelligence community is providing to him,” said Carrie Cordero, a former counsel to the assistant attorney general for national security, on CNN on Wednesday.
Trump’s shot at the clandestine community even has some Republicans, who are often loath to criticize the President, worried.
“I prefer the President would stay off Twitter, particularly with regard to these important national security issues where you’ve got people who are experts and have the background and are professionals,” said Sen John Thune, a South Dakota Republican.
“I think in those cases when it comes to their judgment, take into consideration what they’re saying. … I think we need to trust their judgment.”

Even some Republicans balk as Trump targets US spy chiefs

Even some Republicans balk as Trump targets US spy chiefs

Even after two years, President Donald Trump’s assaults on US spy chiefs are shocking coming from a commander in chief.

Source: www.cnn.com/2019/01/31/politics/donald-trump-russia-intelligence-cia/index.html


Saturday

 

Twitter Users Erupt After Mitch McConnell Calls Election Day Holiday A Dem ‘Power Grab’

Twitter Users Erupt After Mitch McConnell Calls Election Day Holiday A Dem ‘Power Grab’

“Only Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans could manipulate something as benign and well intentioned as making Election Day a holiday into a vast left-…

Source: www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mitch-mcconnell-power-grab-democrats-reaction_us_5c52aabee4b0ca92c6dd453b


Oh for fuck’s sake.


Trump: I’m ‘Entitled’ to Positive Coverage From The New York Times

Donald Trump has told The New York Times that he thinks he’s “entitled” to positive coverage from the newspaper because he’s from Queens.

Source: www.thedailybeast.com/trump-im-entitled-to-positive-coverage-from-the-new-york-times


Russia Is Attacking the U.S. System From Within

Russia Is Attacking the U.S. System From Within

A new filing by Special Counsel Robert Mueller shows how Russia uses the federal courts to go after its adversaries.

Source: www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/02/new-mueller-filing-shows-how-russia-misuses-us-courts/581884/


‘Was it worth it?’ CNN host corners Louisiana Republican after GOP takes huge approval hit after shutdown

‘Was it worth it?’ CNN host corners Louisiana Republican after GOP takes huge approval hit after shutdown

Louisiana Republican Senator John Kennedy found himself in the hot seat on Thursday as CNN’s Brooke Baldwin forced him to say whether President Donald Trump’s shutdown was “worth it”, after the president came away with nothing and the Republican party suffered a massive hit to its approval rating. Baldwin, noting the Republicans’ predicament, had one question for Kennedy: “was it worth it?” Kennedy, for his part, took a folksy tone, and tried to skirt the …

Source: www.rawstory.com/2019/01/worth-cnn-host-corners-louisiana-republican-gop-takes-huge-approval-hit-shutdown/


Revealed: FBI investigated civil rights group as ‘terrorism’ threat and viewed KKK as victims

Revealed: FBI investigated civil rights group as ‘terrorism’ threat and viewed KKK as victims

Bureau spied on California activists, citing potential ‘conspiracy’ against the ‘rights’ of neo-Nazis

Source: www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/feb/01/sacramento-rally-fbi-kkk-domestic-terrorism-california


Worth thinking about.

A Surprisingly Simple Solution to Fake News

A Surprisingly Simple Solution to Fake News

Fake news is an old problem that has been given a fresh breath of air. Here are five things you should do to stop it affecting you.

Source: www.inc.com/david-amerland/a-surprisingly-simple-solution-to-fake-news.html


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