Saturday, April 29, 2017

CNN Panel on President Trump's Racist and Crazy speech today. 'I AM SAD FOR AMERICA TONIGHT!'

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CNN’s panel tonight almost erupted over President Trump‘s speech in Harrisburg, which some on the panel found to be horribly divisive. (David Gergen called it “the most divisive speech I’ve ever heard from an American president.”)
Paul Begala, for one, called the president a “moral midget and a deeply insecure person” who is bothered by losing the popular vote, adding that Trump is a “needy little baby.”
But then former Governor Jennifer Granholm said, “I am so, so sad for America tonight listening to this speech… Ronald Reagan would never have given such an utterly divisive speech.”
She was appalled by Trump recycling some of his campaign material––from attacking the media to reciting “The Snake”––and told the rest of the panel, “I want to take a shower.”
But it was Granholm contrasting Trump with Barack Obama that set Rick Santorum off. Granholm said Obama talked about “calling people to a higher place,” and Santorum shot back that Obama “deeply offended” him and a whole lot of other people because “he was morally condescending, calling people bigots and racists” and scolding people’s religious beliefs.
Paris Dennard circled back to Begala and scolded him for using phrases like “moral midget” to attack Trump, saying that people need to show “a little bit more respect in how we talk about him.”
Begala shot back that he respects the office, “not the man,” and he said that even George W. Bush showed an earnest attempt to unify the country. Trump, he argued, is doing the exact opposite and is “making it worse.”

100 Days of President Trump: A second rate salesman surrounded by Con Men and Losers.

Saturday will mark the 100th year — sorry, the 100th day — of Donald Trump’s presidency. And what a white-knuckle ride it has been for the world.
The obsession with a president’s accomplishments in the first 100 days of a presidency is often maddening. But it can also be useful, in that the way a new administration handles all these challenges can set the tone for the next four to eight years and determine whether it will go down in history as a success or failure.
After 100 days, we can say this about Donald Trump and his team: History will not be kind.
At the rate Trump is going, the internet could run out of space, long before he leaves office, cataloging all his administration’s deficiencies as a functional entity, its destruction of governing norms and the hash it has made of both domestic and foreign policy. But two observations from the first 100 days stand out to me.
The first is the extent to which Trump’s struggles can be attributed to his pronounced tendency to staff his administration with mediocre, two-bit hustlers and con men whose careers indicate that they have a lot more luck than smarts or talent.
Two profiles published this week drive home this point. The first is The New Yorker’s look at the Hollywood career of Steve Bannon, Trump’s “senior strategist,” whose nationalist policies, bungled initiatives and, most important to a president who loves to be the center of attention, increased media profile have quickly reduced Bannon’s influence in the West Wing.
The myth surrounding Bannon is one of a conservative who, through sheer pluck and hard work, carved out a place in ultraliberal Hollywood to make well-regarded documentaries with right-wing themes. In this telling, Bannon is sort of a guerrilla filmmaker operating behind enemy lines, making movies and running Breitbart News as he helped build the propaganda machine that Trump rode to the White House.
In The New Yorker’s telling, he was like thousands of low-level self-proclaimed movie industry geniuses with an ego the size of Rhode Island, hustling and scraping for deals and money to get his projects off the ground. Or as one source who worked with him told the article’s author:
What I saw was a smart guy, who was funny and likable and enjoyable, who had a quick laugh, who was ineffectual” . . . Bannon “was one of those guys who always had big stuff about to happen,” he said. “But, after a quarter or two or seven, you become highly skeptical. Ultimately, we parted ways.”
Tellingly, people who knew Bannon in that era describe him as wanting to “destroy the Hollywood establishment.” Having failed to do that, he switched his target to the Washington establishment. He has had about as much success in D.C. as he had in Los Angeles, having become an impediment to functional government, with disastrous consequences for his boss’ administration.
The other profile is a BuzzFeed feature on Sebastian Gorka, who worked for Bannon at Breitbart before being named as a counterterrorism adviser in the Trump administration. As the British-born son of Hungarian émigrés, Gorka returned to Hungary in his early 20s, determined to make some sort of mark as a national security expert and political figure. Instead, he became known as, as BuzzFeed noted, a “self-promoter, who exaggerated claims about his past,” a hustler who inflated his credentials in an ultimately doomed bid for fame.
The fact that a BS artist like Gorka has failed upward into the White House is, as BuzzFeed makes clear, a source of endless hilarity to the Hungarians who know him.
That Trump would surround himself with mediocrities on the back end of less-than-illustrious careers should not surprise anyone familiar with the casts of Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice.” It turns out, though, that having an eye for D-list talent doesn’t really translate into being the leader of the free world. Who knew?
The second observation that stands out about the president’s first 100 days in office is just how thoroughly his self-created image as the consummate deal-maker has been punctured and deflated.
For all the vaunted negotiating skill that Trump bragged about during his campaign, he has shown himself to be a paper tiger. There is a long list of deals and ultimatums from which Trump has backed down from at the first hint of pushback — Obamacare repeal, making Mexico pay for the wall, the nuclear deal with Iran, his rejections of NATO and the North American Free Trade Agreement and quite a few others.
Trump’s dealmaking abilities were supposed to be his big selling point. But what he has principally demonstrated in 100 days as president is a pattern of trying to shake down his opponents for money, then backing off when the other party pushes back. Congressional Democrats have duly noted the president’s tendency to back down when confronted. More ominously, so have other nations.
A blustering, easily cowed president surrounded by venal and untalented washouts. Only 1,360 days until they leave office, after doing what we can only hope will be minimal damage to the country and the world.


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Bill Maher’s “New Rules” commentary Friday advised liberals to stop trying to convince Trump supporters that they’re wrong by using facts. “You’re wasting your breath.”
“Trump supporters aren’t changing their minds because the problem isn’t in the mind. It’s lower. It’s emotional,” Maher said. “He could have Ann Frank’s skeleton in his closet. They’d all vote for him again.”
Asking why, Maher walked through the cultural crisis many of the undervalued white voters face that Trump managed to harness. “I think it’s a gut feeling that the world has changed and they don’t like it,” he said. “Trump is going to change it back to the way it was.”
Speaking occasionally in a thick southern accent, Maher railed against “damn Mexicans” flooding baseball fields like “the parking lot at Home Depot.” He was furious about two boys kissing on the kiss-cam. “And did I mention Bruce Jenner has tits now?”
“I ain’t no racist, but why does American need to have a black Santa Claus?” Maher asked. “I think I speak for most liberals when I say, I don’t care about black Santa. I don’t think it’s going to make the Little Drummer Boy start cutting himself. But to Trump voters, making Santa black is unthinkable. It’d be like making Jesus Middle Eastern.”
Maher revealed that looking at the hit musical Hamilton, many Trump supporters see America’s founding fathers turned into a band of hip-hop revolutionaries funkified with their muskets.
“This is why building that stupid wall is still a key issue for them,” Maher explained. “It represents keeping out not just immigrants but everything that is new and different and scary and unfamiliar.”
Maher said that his new “character” got used to having people bend over backward so that he would feel comfortable. “Trump voters, they’re not exactly racists. They just think that everybody who’s not white is doing it to show off.”
Maher named famous black actors whose names are things like Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong’o. In the 1950s, Maher said that they would be forced to change their names to accommodate whites.
“If you ask a Trump voter what exactly it means to get their country back or make it great again, they can’t tell you specifically, but they know the Hollywood Squares was never supposed to look like this,” Maher said showing a woman twerking on the new remake of the game show.

99 Days of President Trump in 99 Seconds. by Colbert

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In a 99 second clip, “The Late Show” with Stephen Colbert looked back at Donald Trump’s first 99 days in office.
The video takes news clips from each day Trump has spent in office and overlays them with text describing what happened that day in the Trump administration.
Day one shows inauguration, day two reminds viewers of the Trump administration’s claims that he had the “largest audience” ever at his inauguration, day three shows adviser Kellyanne Conway using the term “alternative facts” and so on until day 99.
The clip ends on day 99 with a quote from Trump saying the job is harder than he thought, referencing an interview where Trump said, “This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.”
Trump’s 100th day in office is Saturday. He released a statement reviewing his first 100 days Friday, claiming that he had one of the “most successful” first 100 days of a presidential term in history.

President Trump WHITE HOUSE totally objective survey

Go to the link and take the whole survey!

18. Who is the greatest enemy of America?
  Failing New York Times
  Failing CNN
  Lying MSNBC
  Lying Politico
  Scumbag Washington Post
  Shitheel ABC/CBS/NBC/PBS
  Rosie O’Donnell
19. Do you think a democracy needs a free press that questions the powerful to survive?
  No. How can they be powerful then?
  Yes, but only when Democrats are in power.
  Fuck kind of question is this???

Tthe PRESIDENT SHOW - GREAT!! Watch it. (On Comedy Central)

This is a new show on Comedy Central, it is very good.  Click the link and watch it.

Friday, April 28, 2017

VOTER SUPPRESSION BIGLY expected for the 2018 midterm elections. The GOP can't win fair so they will stop Dems from voting.

f you’ll permit an understatement, these have been frightening and uncertain times. Every day, it seems, we wake up to find a new addition on the list of doomsday scenarios. Facing a dangerously intemperate president, backed by white nationalists, with vast powers at his disposal and a clear willingness to dispense with all conventions of proper conduct, it’s vital that we maintain a sober understanding of what’s at stake, and how much could go wrong.
In trying to rally ourselves to prevent these catastrophic possibilities from becoming reality, many of us have found it useful to visualize the opposite: success. Perhaps Senate Republicans will ultimately break away from their own party and vote for impeachment. Maybe a constitutional amendment will be passed providing for some kind of no-confidence vote that would force an early election. Maybe Steve Bannon will be sidelined in a power struggle inside the White House, convinced, somehow, to retire, perhaps to go raise sheep in the countryside.
Others are training their hopes on the 2018 midterm elections. Given the mobilization of left-leaning Americans since the election and the unpopularity of Trump—likely only to increase—it’s tempting to imagine a Democratic sweep that would reclaim control of the House of Representatives, providing crucial political leverage to push back against Trump and his policies.
However, in our eagerness for such a scenario, we should take care to not let the ease of imagining it distract us from the potential threats to achieving it. Staking the future of our movement and of the country—not to mention the world—on winning elections requires that we think carefully and seriously about how we ended up here in the first place, with a figure like Trump managing to claim victory despite his massive unpopularity and controversies that should have sunk his candidacy at every turn. Specifically, we should keep in mind the recent history of voter suppression and the degree to which the outcome of the 2016 election wasn’t necessarily determined by voters feelings alienated by the Democrats’ message—nor turned off by the mythical two-headed ogre of “identity politics” and “political correctness”—but rather by Republican strategies to tilt the process itself in their party’s favor. The danger those strategies pose to the Democrats’ chances to recover the House in the 2018 midterm elections must not be underestimated.
In 2013, the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder effectively gutted the Voter Rights Act, permitting Republicans to employ a variety of voter-suppression methods that have since proved invaluable to their campaigns. These tactics will not only remain a factor working in their favor in 2018; they are very likely to significantly expand under the leadership of a man obsessed with the specter of “massive voter fraud,” desperate to prove himself both legitimate and loved by the people, and backed by a party in near-total control of all branches of government and eager to bend the rules to suit their political interests. The 2018 midterms elections could easily end up being compromised to the point that no realistic degree of popular opposition to incumbent Republicans would be sufficient to overcome them.
One method we should expect to see employed, and expanded, is the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, more commonly known simply as Crosscheck. This system, designed with the ostensible purpose of combating voter fraud, operates by cross-referencing names on the rolls of a given state against those on the rolls of other states. If the same combination of name and birth-date occurs in two states, those votes are stricken from the rolls. This system has been known to disproportionately impact minority voters by targeting names common to specific demographics, notably Hispanic and black voters, who have traditionally voted Democratic. At present there are alarmingly few restrictions on the application of Crosscheck, and it would not be surprising to see it applied more vigorously in blue-leaning or swing states in 2018.
Other restrictions are also likely to be expanded. Limiting polling locations in Democratic jurisdictions, curtailing their hours, and putting them in inconvenient locations are also likely to play a role in reducing Democratic turnout. Long lines at out-of-the-way polling places can significantly reduce the number of registered voters who turn up in those jurisdictions, and by reducing hours, the government can create the impression among those who do make it out that they’ve arrived too late to have their votes counted.
The efficacy of this means of targeted suppression can be compounded by ensuring that polling locations are not convenient to access via public transportation (vital to the poor and disabled), and rolling back laws that require employers to allow time off for voting. That the latter will be employed in 2018 is almost a certainty, given the GOP’s traditional prioritization of employers, businesses, and corporations over workers’ rights. Even if present laws requiring time off remain in place, it is far more difficult for someone barely scraping by on minimum wage to sacrifice their working hours for an indeterminately long wait in a deliberately lengthened line at a polling location operating well beyond its capacity.
Early voting and mail-in ballots have traditionally been a means of ensuring that voters who might otherwise not have access to polling locations are still able to vote, but we can expect to see further barriers raised here as well. A disturbing trend seen in Ohio in both the 2014 and 2016 elections was to deliberately reduce polling locations for early voting on the days in which black churches were conducting drives to help bring out the vote.
Given the alt-right’s preference for misinformation campaigns as a political strategy, we will also likely see deliberate attempts to undermine the public’s understanding of where, when, and how to vote, and what will and will not be permitted. Consider the attempts in November to convince voters they could submit their ballots online. This, too, has precedent in modern Western democracies, even as official campaign strategy, such as in the “robo-gate” scandal of Canada’s 2011 federal election. Automated voice messages were sent to potential Liberal voters falsely claiming that polling locations had been changed, which in several instances led voters to the wrong location. Simply maintaining access to reliable information on the basic process of voting will likely prove difficult in future elections.
Under the pretense of the voter fraud that has already become a favored talking point of the Republican leadership, we may also soon see legislation passed insisting that voters must verify their identity with multiple forms of government-issued ID. This will compound the disproportionate burden such policies place on specific demographics to procure ID or the documents necessary to obtain it. The poor and homeless often have difficulties because of expense or lack of a fixed address. Immigrants will especially face considerable obstacles in producing valid birth certificates or other necessary documents, as will individuals who have moved frequently and groups likely to use more than one name at different points in their lives, such as immigrants, women, and transgender voters. Again, these groups are more likely to vote Democratic, creating a clear incentive for Republican legislators to suppress their votes.
Even if a voter does produce the required identification, it’s possible that those who are visible minorities may be subject to additional scrutiny by officials, and perhaps even have their identity or documentation treated as illegitimate. This will be particularly true if the gender marker on their ID does not match what the election official perceives them to be, or if their country of origin is considered suspect, or if their name doesn’t seem “appropriate” to their appearance or ethnicity, or if, for whatever reason, election monitors decide they are not the person shown in the photograph.
A final consideration is that whatever laws do remain to protect the rights of voters are effective only if they are actually enforced. Law-enforcement officers with Customs and Border Protection and the Marshals have already demonstrated a willingness to place the orders of the executive branch above those of the judiciary, even in violation of the law. There are no guarantees that any law-enforcement personnel or officials in the position of overseeing the elections will remain nonpartisan. What if they simply refuse to protect Democratic or minority voters from intimidation or harassment? Examples of such lawlessness have already been seen in the 2016 election, as in Loudoun County, Virginia, where a man wearing a Donald Trump shirt and openly carrying a .357 Magnum approached voters in line—including a woman with her 9-year-old son—asked them whom they were planning to vote for, and handed out Republican sample ballots. When complaints were made to the authorities, they said he was well within his rights and was not engaging in voter intimidation.
Considered together, these potential means of compromising the fairness of the 2018 election could easily produce an outcome in which the Republican Party is able to maintain control of the House and Senate despite massive, even unprecedented, dissatisfaction with their record in government. If they are successful, even greater obstacles could be installed for the 2020 elections, ensuring a second term for Trump—and perhaps later even a third or fourth term, should they choose to use their consolidated power to push for a constitutional amendment.

Trump Tax Plan: Custom made to benefit President Trump!! Everyone else is an afterthought.

The only thing about Donald Trump’s tax plan that fits on a postcard is Trump’s tax plan. Calling it a plan is an insult to plans. Saying that it’s one page is a tribute to white space. There’s not just no there there, there’s no there.
This is a plan whose highlight is that it brings individual tax brackets down to three, but doesn’t even say where those brackets start. It’s a plan that supposedly limits deductions to just mortgage interest and charitable deductions … but seems to have no idea what that would mean. The average person looking at the plan would have no idea how much less, or how much more, they would pay in taxes. But the average billionaire or corporation would make out like bandits.
Mr. Trump’s skeletal outline of a tax package, unveiled at the White House in a single-page statement filled with bullet points, was less a plan than a wish list. …
But they offered none of the standard accouterments of such rollouts, such as detailed charts showing the cost of each provision, phase-in periods, the impacts of the proposals on people and testimonials on the program’s potential benefits.
It could have been the world’s first number-free tax plan, were it not for the big number—cutting corporate tax rates to 15 percent. That huge corporate cut, along with eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax, cutting the top tax rate, and eliminating the inheritance tax ensures that while the 99 percent may be in limbo when it comes to the not-a-plan, the 1 percent can start the celebration without seeing any details. And even though the plan contains less text than the average sweetener packet, it also includes one super bonus for business owners.
Especially notable is that the plan would allow "pass-through" entities, which let business owners treat their revenue as individual income, to qualify for the same 15 percent rate.
Trump’s Goldman Sachs sponsored economic team of Steven Mnuchin and Gary Cohn may indicate that the plan includes three brackets with rates of 10, 25, and 35 percent. But that special pass through provision means that those with enough business savvy to funnel their personal income through a corporation can keep their rate at the bottom, no matter their level of income.
"Pass-through" entities tend to benefit wealthy people like Trump, whose business empire includes a series of pass-throughs in which profits flow to him. The 15 percent rate would give the rich a giant incentive to route their income through pass-throughs to avoid the much higher 35 percent top rate on individual income.
In the few glances we’ve seen of Trump’s tax returns, he’s run into the Alternative Minimum Tax—a system expressly put in place to keep the wealthy from dodging taxes through complex dedications and shuffling funds off to tax havens. To no one’s surprise, Trump’s “plan” completely eliminates the AMT.
The plan repeals the Alternative Minimum Tax, which is designed to ensure high earners pay at least some taxes even if they claim a large number of deductions. Trump's 2005 tax return, which journalist David Cay Johnston obtained in March, shows he paid $38 million in taxes on $152 million in income, but $31 million of his tax payment was due to the AMT.
And, in a move that’s certainly of interest to Ivanka, Donnie Jr. and Uday, the plan also immediately and completely drops the estate tax, which Republicans continue to pass off as something that affects “small businesses” and “family farms” though both the base numbers and special provisions have made the tax significant only on a handful of very large estates.
Trump would eliminate the estate tax, which only affects inheritances larger than $5.5 million for individuals and $11 million for families and could save his children tremendous amounts of money. His plan would also remove a 3.8 percent surcharge on investment income created by the Affordable Care Act that only affects higher income taxpayers.
Put it all together, and Trump’s plan would save tens of millions—for Trump. It would gift the wealthy with trillions in tax breaks over a decade. While those not in the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent would get … maybe nothing at all.
While not a perfect comparison, an analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center of Trump's campaign plan found that the average gains for the top 0.1 percent of earners would be 14 percent of their after-tax income, versus just 1.8 percent for the middle fifth of earners and 0.8 percent for the poorest fifth.
Under the best assumptions, someone earning $50,000 a year could expect savings of perhaps $350, which Trump hopes would be enough to make them ignore the fact that someone earning $5,000,000 a year would see over $400,000 in gains. 
In fact, the “benefits” to the middle class tax payer are so vague, Mnuchin wouldn’t guarantee that most people would not end up paying more. But the form, like the plan, would be shorter. Mnuchin and Cohn seem to think that Americans will cheerfully hand over trillions to the wealthy, or even pay more themselves, in exchange for having a shorter form.
If someone set out to build a plan that would ensure even greater income disparity, and lock in a class of entitled oligarchs whose wealth was protected across generations, they couldn’t have done a better job. And considering who designed this plan, that was exactly what they had in mind.

The BILLIONAIRE TAX GIVEAWAY is stealing from the Middle Class and Poor

What do you do if you’re a historically unpopular new president, with a record low approval rating by 14 points, facing investigations into the way Russia helped you get elected, with the media judging your first 100 days in office as the weakest of any modern president?
Why, you announce a tax cut!
And in your self-absorbed way, you announce a tax cut that will hugely benefit yourself. Imagine those millions saved! You feel better already!
I’m deeply skeptical that President Trump will manage to get a tax reform package passed into law, and that’s just as well. Trump’s new tax “plan” (more like an extremely vague plan for a plan) is an irresponsible, shameless, budget-busting gift to zillionaires like himself.
This isn’t about “jobs,” as the White House claims. If it were, it might cut employment taxes, which genuinely do discourage hiring. Rather, it’s about huge payouts to the wealthiest Americans — and deficits be damned! If Republicans embrace this “plan” after all their hand-wringing about deficits and debt, we should build a Grand Monument to Hypocrisy in their honor.
Continue reading the main story
Trump’s tax “plan” is a betrayal of his voters. He talks of helping ordinary Americans even as he enriches tycoons like himself.
For example, it’s great that the tax plan promises help with child care costs, a huge burden for low-income families, especially single moms. But Trump doesn’t explain what form his help will take.
Maybe he will eventually provide details, but in his campaign tax plan (which over all seems similar to the latest), fewer than 10 percent of low-income households with children would get anything at all, according to a study by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center in February. It added that under the campaign plan, families earning between $10,000 and $30,000 a year would receive an average child care benefit of just $10.
In fairness, Trump’s proposal does include some sensible elements. Raising the standard deduction is smart and would simplify everything, reducing cheating and the need for record-keeping because millions of filers would no longer itemize deductions.
But the heart of Trump’s “plan” is to lower taxes for corporations and the affluent. It would eliminate the alternative minimum tax, without which Trump would have paid less than 4 percent in taxes for 2005; with it, he paid 25 percent.
Conservatives emphasize that the official top corporate tax rate in the U.S. is too high, and they have a point. The top rate for American corporations — almost 39 percent, including a 35 percent federal rate and a bit more for the average state rate — is among the highest in the world, according to the Tax Foundation.
Yet that’s deeply misleading, because most companies don’t pay that rate. The Government Accountability Office found that two-thirds of active corporations paid no federal tax. Even large, profitable corporations paid an average federal rate of only 14 percent — and Boeing, Verizon, General Electric and Priceline paid no federal income tax over a five-year period, according to Citizens for Tax Justice.
There’ve been many studies showing that the U.S. effective marginal rate for corporations is in the same ballpark as in other industrialized countries (some say it’s a bit lower, others a bit higher).
So, sure, let’s lower the official corporate tax rate while reducing loopholes, but don’t pretend this will create a ton of new jobs.
Where the tax plan would have a big impact is in empowering some very wealthy people, because of another bit of chicanery in the proposal: Trump apparently would allow some business owners to dodge personal income tax by paying at the much lower corporate rate. In other words, tycoons would try to structure their incomes to pay not at a 39.6 percent top personal rate but at a 15 percent corporate rate.
This isn’t tax policy; it’s a heist.
Then there’s the elimination of the estate tax. The White House talks solemnly about protecting family farms and other businesses, but give us a break! The estate tax now affects only couples worth more than $11 million. About one-fifth of 1 percent of Americans are affected — but the estate tax does limit the rise of inequality and assures a hint of fairness, since much of the wealth in rich estates has never been taxed at all.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says Trump’s tax “plan” would be paid for partly “with growth” — which means that he has no idea how to pay for it. The Tax Policy Center examined Trump’s campaign tax plan and found it would cause the federal debt to rise by at least $7 trillion in the first decade, and more than $20 trillion by 2036 — slowing growth, not raising it. To put the latter number in perspective, that’s additional borrowing of about $160,000 per American household.
Effectively, we’d borrow from China or other countries to finance huge tax breaks for Trump and his minions. And this is populism?