- Trump's Delay of ICE Deportations
- Elizabeth Warren's large crowds
- Federal Reserve's Contemplated Rate Cut
- Israel Barring Reps. Omar and Tlaib from Entry
- Harris's Busing Challenge to Biden
- 2021 COVID Stimulus Package - Size and Inflation Risks
- Trump's Comments on Baltimore
- The Shrinking Middle Class
- Booing Andrew Luck
The most salient fact from this most recent foreign policy catastrophe: as the United States was initiating military action against an excitable and capricious adversary, the Commander in Chief was unaware of the likely casualty rate, and upon discovering that 150 Iranians could die, he realized that the strike was completely unfounded. There is no excuse for such a reckless disregard of the thin line that separates countries from full-blown war or America's historical role as the world's moral compass. Make no mistake, President Trump was initiating military action against one of the most volatile nations without first educating himself on the most conspicuous risk factor of likely casualties.
Yesterday, when I asked about reparations, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell offered a familiar reply. America should not be held liable for something that happened 150 years ago, since none of us currently alive are responsible. This rebuttal proffers a strange theory of governance that American accounts are somehow bound by the lifetime of its generations. But well into the century the United States was still paying out pensions to the heirs of Civil War soldiers. We honor treaties that date back some 200 years despite no one being alive who signed those treaties.
Many of us would love to be taxed for the things we are solely and individually responsible for. But we are American citizens, and thus bound to a collective enterprise that extends beyond our individual and personal reach. It would seem ridiculous to dispute invocations of the founders, or the Greatest Generation, on the basis of a lack of membership in either group. We recognize our lineage as a generational trust, as inheritance and the real dilemma posed by reparations is just that: a dilemma of inheritance. It's impossible to imagine America without the inheritance of slavery.
At the core of the reparation movement is a divisive and demeaning view of both races. It grants to the white race a wicked superiority, treating them as an oppressive people too powerful for black Americans to overcome. It brands blacks as hapless victims devoid of the ability, which every other culture possesses, to assimilate and progress. Neither label is earned.
The reparations movement conveniently forgets the 150 years of legal, social and economic progress attained by millions of American minorities. It also minimizes the sacrifice that hundreds of thousands of white Americans and a Republican president made laying down their lives to eradicate slavery...
It is their divisive message that marks the black race as forever broken, as a people whose healing comes only through the guilt, pity, profits and benevolence of the white race. This perception is playing out on our nation's college campuses, where young white Americans claim privilege due to their skin color and young black Americans, with no apparent shame, accept this demeaning of their own color as truth.
As they repeat this mantra, they seem unaware that this perception was also shared by the 1960s Southern white supremacists of my youth. They have accepted the theory that skin color alone is capable of making one race superior to the other-that through an irremovable white advantage, with no additional effort, values, personal initiative, honesty or education, white Americans will succeed, while black Americans will fail. At its very core this represents the condescending evil of racism.
It certainly does not represent black America's potential.
It is incredibly difficult to divorce oneself from the moral depravity of Trump's latest political stunt and analyze his actions objectively. But beneath the utter malevolence of breaking into immigrants' homes and deporting them to what, for many, will be their certain death in violent countries, the move shows that Trump's decisions are always purely political: he creates a crisis, and then plays himself the hero when he relents. In Trump's mind, this is not about what is right and wrong: it's about scoring political points and fostering fear.
With children literally dying in US concentration camps, resources should actually be going there to figure out why we are allowing kids to die ahead of deporting people working here on jobs that no American wants to actually take.
I am not sure I understand what the big deal is here. The deportation orders only apply to those that have received Due Process and been ordered - by a court - to leave. Why is this objectionable? The bigger story seems to be that Trump has caved and decided not to enforce the law.
While his methods can, at times, look objectionable, that is Trump's brilliance. Trump does not hate immigrants, he is simply doing what no one else has ever had the guts to do: force a difficult conversation. And how he does this is by grabbing our attention and forcing us to address hard questions about what our immigration policy should look like, rather than continuing to kick the can down the road and hide behind traditional liberal/conservative platitudes. And if there is any doubt, just read The Art of the Deal, where Trump explicated THIRTY-TWO years ago that his strategy is to push one position further than he knows is reasonable in order to arrive at compromise.
Watching Biden desperately stumble for words to explain why he opposed busing in the 1970s is the only lasting impression that matters here. If Biden really is such a racial warrior, why couldn't he articulate that on the debate stage? There are two plausible answers: 1) Biden's progressiveness fifty years ago is downright backwards for the modern era; or 2) grandpa has aged past his prime and lost the mental acuity necessary to be Commander in Chief. Neither option is good. In Biden's flummoxing, Harris created the perfect foil: a young, smart, agressive, and progressive leader ready to take on Trump.
While Harris successfully landed a heavy blow on Biden, she has now exposed her own hypocracy: Harris herself admits that she does not support federally mandated busing; rather, she claims it should merely be a tool for local school districts. This is the exact same position Biden has held for 40 years. But her portrayal Biden's position, entirely hid this fact. How an Harris honestly attack Biden for a position that she herself - and nearly every other American - agrees with? This episode has exposed the extent to which she will shamelessly distort truth to gain political points. Isn't this why the chief reason that the left despises Trump?
Trump does not care about Baltimore. How many times has he taken the 40-mile trip since he has been President? Zero. How many times ahs he visited his Golf Club in Virginia? 63 times. Unbiased Republicans agree: Conservative talk show host Ben Shapiro said that Trump's comments were "bad for the country"; Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said Trump's attacks were "outrageous and inappropriate"; former RNC chairman Michael Steele called Trump's comments "reprehensible."
No, Trump's attacks on Baltimore are purely about ducking accountability for his own misdeeds by way of ginning up racial animosity. It is no coincidence that on the heels of Representative Cummings investigating Trump's ethical lapses, Trump levies racist attacks against Cummings and, separately, a primarily black city. And while Baltimore of course has its share of problems, pinning them on the backs of the man who has done more to bring success to Baltimore residents (Cummings' district claims the second-highest median income among majority black districts and is in the 61st percentile nationwide in median household income) castrates any claim that Trump actually cares about accountability.
And to those that say Trump is doing this for the black community, have you bothered asking African Americans what they actually think? This week's Quinnipiac poll shows that only 6 percent of African Americans approve of Trump. 80% say he is a racist. Trump's playbook is a single page: when a minority levies legitimate criticism, discredit with an old racist trope.
Rather than address the substance of what President Trump said, the left is attacking the President's character. The argument seems to go that, because Trump has criticized Baltimore's leaders - many of whom happen to be black - for fostering a failing city overrun with violent criminals - many of whom also happen to be black - that Trump must be a racist. According to this logic, Trump is incapable of leveling any criticism against any institution where the some of those at fault are not of Trump's race. Remind me how this is progressive thought?
While the unnecessary Trump bashing is obnoxious (although expected), the true losers are those that are forgotten in this debate: the victims of Baltimore's failed leaders - most of whom happen to be black - who Trump is actually trying to help (e.g., lowest black unemployment rate in history). Let's not forget that Bernie Sanders called Baltimore a "Third World country" and a "disgrace" in 2015. Were those comments also racist?
Last year, Baltimore had the highest murder rate and ranked second for violent crime. We should all agree that this represents a horrific failing on the part of Baltimore's leaders. Attacking those that attempt to bring accountability is not just unproductive, it is wrong.
It's not always about race fellas.
The presence of political pressures pushing for economic stimulus does not negate the very real factors necessitating a rate cut: economic turbulence (domestic and global) and trade wars.
Notably, as trade, manufacturing, and business investment data have weakened, job growth has slowed. The timing could not be worse, as those that were largely forgotten by the 11 year economic recovery are only just now starting to gain traction. The ongoing trade war, which shows no sign of slowing, will only further handicap job growth. Meanwhile, central banks around the world are cutting their own rates, in the face of greater global stress.
While the above risks do not necessarily indicate a coming recession, cutting rates now will, in Chairman Powell's words, provide a needed "insurance" policy. As Alan Greenspan - who cut rates in July 1995 when the S&P 500 was at a record high and up 20% for the year - recently said, it pays to proactively fend off potential negative economic effects. Moreover, inflation continues to be too low, running 40-50 basis point below the 2% inflation target. This gap not only indicates ample room for movement, but could threaten the economic expansion if it is allowed to persist.
Even assuming that the Fed is actually acting independently and not in direct response to Trump's demands for economic stimulus as a means of shielding the economy from his own policy choices, no one can deny that it at least appears that the President is getting his way. Indeed, there are two hard truths that we must accept from this recent episode: (1) no president has previously so publicly lobbied for a rate cut; and (2) it is highly unusual for the Fed to cut rates during strong expansions. The January 2001 rate cuts preceded the 2002 crash (with the NASDAQ losing 80% and the S&P losing 50%). The rate-cut in the summer of 2007 preceded the crash that cost the S&P 57%.
While it might provide a minor (and likely brief) economic boost, long-term a rate cut will erode credibility in the Fed and undermine one of the U.S.'s most powerful institutions.
In 1971, 61% of U.S. households earned the "middle-tier" of income - i.e., between two-thirds and 2X the median income. By 2015, only 50% were in the middle-tier.
And the middle class is not just smaller, its fortunes have also dwindled in comparison to the upper class. U.S. median household income (adjusted for inflation) is essentially unmoved since the late 1990s, while average home prices have continued to rise. Between 1974 and 2017, workers' share of the national income fell from 64.5% to 56.8%. Between 1979 and 2016, the top quintile of wage earners enjoyed a 27.4% increase in real wages, compared to 3.41% for the middle quintile. Between 1956 and 2016, union membership dropped from 28% of all workers to 10%. And between 2000 and 2019, the labor force participation rate dropped from 67.3% to 62.9%.
The middle class is getting sucked dry.
In fact, the whole notion of a shrinking middle class is a myth. Here's why.
When you compare household incomes over time, you have to look at identical households. The census defines a household as one or more persons living in the same abode. Fifty years ago, only 15% of all U.S. households had a single occupant. By 2017 that percentage had nearly doubled, to 28% percent. In just the last 10 years, the percentage has increased by three points. So, the typical household today is much smaller.
Israel's banning two U.S. lawmakers into Israel on an official visit is an attack on two vital institutions. The first is that of allowing U.S. representatives to travel freely, which is one most entrenched global institutions for preserving America's continued role as a global watchdog. Indeed, no less than Israel's ambassador in Washington, Ron Dermer, recognized this principle just last month.
Supporters of the ban focus on Representatives Omar and Tlaib's political ideologies and blithely levy personal attacks against them. In doing so, they only reinforce why institutions are necessary: institutions create rules that view all actors blindly. When we allow exceptions, the institution is compromised. Seriously consider this question posted by the WaPo editorial board: "How many dictators are rejoicing today that a U.S. president has given them full permission to bar members of Congress who in the future might want to visit their countries to monitor elections or speak up for human rights?"
The second institution attacked by the ban is that of democracies. What does it say that the only democracy in the Middle East bans its ideological opponents?
Institutions, despite their powerful foundations, are incredibly fragile. While they take generations to build, they can be destroyed overnight.
This is another fracas over nothing. Israel's ban of two supporters of the BDS movement is not just mandated by Israeli law, it also complies with international norms.
Here, there is no question that, under Israeli law, Representatives Omar and Tlaib are not to be allowed entry visas based on their support of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement. And this makes sense. Why would a country willingly encourage its open enemies to come and advocate against it? Representatives Omar and Tlaib's intentions were clear: they forewent a bipartisan delegation trip in favor of one sponsored by anti-Semites. Representative Tlaib went so far as to lie and request entry for humanitarian reasons to visit her 90-year-old grandmother in exchange for setting aside her advocacy efforts, but when Israel agreed, she balked. This is not the behavior of good-faithed actors.
Other countries regularly do the same thing. In 2012, President Obama denied a U.S. entry visa to a right-wing member of the Israeli Knesset. For ten years beginning in 2005, the U.S. blocked entry to the future Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi. The United Kingdom has banned a host of U.S. citizens, including Chris Brown, Busta Rhymes, Martha Stewart, Mike Tyson, Dog the Bounty Hunter, and Snoop Dogg.
Nations have various reasons for banning bad actors. Exceptions should not be made just because the bad actor has been successful in gaining power.
She's the Bernie Sanders of this cycle. Liberal voters want a fresh face.
Warren draws crowds because she's tapping into the zeitgeist. People are sick of the same old and want change. The fundraising financials she just disclosed underscore this fact.
Warren is unfortunately a victim of her own logic. Those who follow her ideas aren't looking for rational ways to pay for these bold ideas.
Crowd sizes tell more about the types of people a candidate is appealing to than the electorate at large - or more precisely, drawing large crowds just means that Warren is attractive to the types that have the (1) time and (2) desire to wait in long lines just to watch a politician deliver talking points.
Remember, in the 2012 election cycle, Romney thought he was going to beat Obama because of the large crowds he was pulling. Hillary Clinton rarely matched Bernie Sanders or Trumps' crowd sizes, but she still garnered much more votes than both.
You come at the King, you best not miss.
This seems like another situation where the media makes a bigger deal of something than it actually is. Just like Twitter, only a small portion of the electorate is paying attention to this kind of stuff.
Deepfakes are changing the way we view the world. Anyone can create a video mimicking a person and trick people into believing its real based on its quality. Technology is advancing rapidly in this area and opening a pandoras box that will affect how we as humans perceive reality. People should be more vigilant of their news sources and the authenticity of the message or video.
Here is an example of a deepfake: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bE1KWpoX9Hk
I'm throwing a quick right jab on this one, you better watch out for that upper cut next.
According to the Congressional Research Service, the average number of days from nomination to final Senate vote since 1975 is 67 days (2.2 months), while the median is 71 days (or 2.3 months).
There were 269 days between Justice Antonin Scalia's death and the 2016 election (well beyond the time typically needed to confirm). There are only 42 days between now and the 2020 election, and President Trump still has not submitted a nomination. There is no plausible way the Republicans can claim to hold a thoughtful, legitimate, or thorough confirmation process before the election.
The Republicans' words provide the best argument:
The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.
I want you to use my words against me: If there's a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say Lindsey Graham said, "Let's let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination." And you could use my words against me, and you'd be absolutely right.
If an opening comes in the last year of President Trump's term, and the primary process has started, we'll wait to the next election.
The Left is primarily upset that Republicans previously engaged in political theater - and yes, lied - in stopping Merrick Garland's nomination. But guess what: Republicans' prior successful antics have nothing to do with whether Republicans now should fill a vacant Supreme Court seat.
Sure, Republicans filibustered Garland and made statements that are now hypocritical. Politicians are sleazy. But don't forget that Democrats similarly argued in 2016 arguing for the Senate voting on a President's Supreme Court nomination in an election year, yet now claim that we should wait. Again, politicians are sleazy, on both sides. Fortunately, that sleaze is unrelated to the procedural requirements for running government and filing vacant Supreme Court seats.
Words have meaning, and Trump means what he says. Trump told the Proud Boys to"stand back and stand by." Does anyone think that the Proud Boys will not take that as an implicit statement of support from the President?
Come on, the Left's focus completely ignores the context of the previous statements. Chris Wallace asked whether Trump would ask "white supremacist and militia groups" to "stand down" to which Trump said "I am prepared to do that... I am willing to do anything. I want to see peace." He then attempted, perhaps inarticulately, to use Chris Wallace's exact phrasing: "Who would you like be to condemn? Proud Boys - stand back and stand by, but I tell you what, somebody has to do something about antifa and the left." Not only did Trump respond that he (a) would condemn those groups, he (b) then did so, and (c) said that the antifa also deserved criticism.
The contrast could not be any sharper. Biden laid out his policies for bringing America forward in the world in the face of incredibly challenging issues. Rather than engage with those issues (or the topics which Chris Wallace attempted to showcase), Trump was his usual nasty self and primarily resorted to name calling. America was left with two choices: a seasoned policy expert on the on hand, and a carnival barker on the other.
Biden made the mistake of preparing for a debate. Trump turned it into a boxing match. By constantly interrupting Biden, Trump prevented Biden from fully articulating his arguments. Sure it was a low blow, and Trump may have had little regard for the truth, but he succeeded in his goal: Trump transformed the debate into a spectacle demonstrating his quickness and prowess, compared to Biden allowing himself to be interrupted and look weak/tired.
It is irrelevant if everything Trump said is wrong. People won't remember what was actually said, but they will remember that Trump had much more energy and Biden had difficulty getting his issues across. There is a saying in law: When you don't have the law, argue the facts. When you don't have the facts, bang on the table and yell. That is what Trump did, and very effectively.
Trump must be impeached and removed from office immediately and barred from ever attempting to hold elected office again. There are two primary reasons for this. First, we are all at risk every day he remains in office. The shorter the time he has power, the more risk we have of him engaging in increasingly brazen and treasonous acts to maintain power. We simply cannot risk another minute of his presidency.
Second, it is the right thing to do. We do not want to set a precedent for ourselves -or the world - that Trump's behavior is fitting of the Presidency. We need to stake out this warning to all want-to-be despots that this behavior will result in public humiliation and historical vilification.
The people are suffering. If the gov't cannot stand up and be there for its people in a time of need, what can we expect of the people in return?
[W]e're just trying to pour too much water in and I wish it were actually true that even a third of the money was going to people who were in poverty. Most of it is not. Most of it is going to the middle of the population and it is going in one shot transfers, not in things that are ultimately going to build and strengthen the economy. And that's why as much as I admire the effort and as much as I admire the progress against poverty, I am worried that the sheer scale is going to crowd out our doing what we need to do to compete with China, to build back better the president's principal aspiration. And I'm very worried that this is going to lead us to difficulty down the road as inflation picks up and the Fed has to respond.
Here is the irony: there is a lot that is good in this program, but I think its advocates try to have it both ways. On the one hand when a concern about inflation is raised, they explain that it is mostly temporary and transient, just a relief program, and really just a special one-year thing. On the other hand, most of the time they are explaining how it is the most fundamental revolution in American policy since the New Deal. And you can't really have it both ways. You can either have long term transformation or you can have temporary action. And what I would have liked to see more, is a program of this scale or larger that was paid for and was focused on investment and contained the necessary relief. This program goes vastly beyond ... what was necessary to provide relief. And it doesn't - with the exception of the childcare/antipoverty thing, which is very important - it doesn't really do much that either represents a revolution in social investment on social policy or a revolutionary investment in the future of our country. And I think that is something we are going to look back on and regret. Not that we didn't do something, but that we weren't more careful and calibrated in the design of what we did.
Ignore the attempts to draw false (or non-false) equivalences, as they ignore the conduct at issue here. Maybe there are other cases against other people for similar cases, but that is a separate debate depending on the facts of those cases. The allegations charge, among other things, that a defendant showed highly sensitive information to someone without clearance regarding US defense weaknesses and plans. The defendant also obstructed attempts by the government to retrieve the information. Removing the name of the defendant, anyone would want this person in jail. We can’t make exceptions for those that we politically admire (or despise).
The allegations are so broad that they would sweep in anyone with classified information. There are no allegations that Trump gave documents to others, just that he (ill advisedly) bragged about having them. We would assume any high ranked military official could also brag about knowing this information, but we are not charging them with these crimes.
Schiff’s censure is a devastating attack on institutional comity masked as a political stunt. It is undisputed that Trump’s campaign (Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairman) gave internal campaign polling data to a Russian intelligence operative while Russian intelligence was helping his campaign. Marco Rubio’s Senate Intel Committee investigated these contacts and found that the Russian government wanted Trump to be president, Russian intelligence viewed Trump’s campaign as easily manipulated, and that Trum’s advisers were eager for help from Russia. While this may not have amounted to a “coordinated conspiracy” with the Russian government, Schiff was right to flag this, and to argue over the semantics of how he characterized Manafort’s behavior is a charade.
Even if the censure was appropriate, the circus of people like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert made a completely mockery of the process. Plus, the censure lacks legitimacy without a bipartisan consensus.
As someone that despises Trump and sees him as a threat to democracy, Schiff’s censure makes sense – but not entirely for the reasons the Republicans claim. Schiff misrepresented (lied?) about confidential evidence he claimed proved that Trump colluded with Russia. Once it was revealed that there was no such collusion, Trump solidified his base and forever has the shield of calling any attack on his behavior as a “witch hunt.” The false claim also undermined faith in the intelligence communities. This is just like how the NY/Brag case undermined the records/Smith case.
Legal: Over 1,100 people have been charged for Jan. 6. 560 defendants have been sentenced, and over 330 have been sent to prison. This is not a novel theory. While it is unique to have a leading politician facing so many federal charges, it is also unique to have a politician involved in so many alleged crimes!
Political: independent voters hate what happened on Jan. 6. Sure, this guarantees Trump gets the Republican primary. But it also makes a Republic win that much more unlikely in the general. Biden won partly because of Trump fatigue; this reminds the public how disgusted they were during Trump’s tenure and why Biden, despite his many pitfalls, is at least not Trump.
Legal: novel legal theory; good luck proving Trump’s mindset required – i.e., that he intended to lie and didn’t actually believe what he is saying (even though all evidence suggests he always believes everything he says, no matter how ludicrous)
Political: cements Trump’s hold on the primary. Nobody has lost a primary after holding a lead like’s Trump’s current lead, and this prevents any other candidate from getting enough attention to tackle that insurmountable distance.
Sep-15 → Sep-22
2403 total mentions:
Sep-15 → Sep-22
1604 total mentions:
Oct-07 → Oct-14
1002 total mentions:
Joe Smith: "Hello, world."