Philadelphia Regional Anti-War Network
Economics Blog for UFPJ-DVN
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Information sheet on Austerity
Ray Torres is the director of the short film
Beyond Credit Unions
The film is
available for groups to show. Contact Ray at 215 753 9022
Study guide available from Christian-Jewish Allies:
“Why Palestine Matters, The Struggle To End Colonialism”
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"After vowing to never cave in shutdown fight, Trump caves"
Complete cave. No wall. Saw Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader Schumer at their press conference. Thought Pelosi was smart not to do a victory lap. The President's ego probably suffered a really hard blow. But hey, he was playing a very weak hand and it was just getting steadily worse.
Any appearance that Speaker Pelosi doesn't know what she's doing is all appearance.
See, here's the problem. Immediately after World War II and for a
substantial period afterwards, the US reigned supreme and was
unchallengeable. That's no longer the case. Russia is warning the US not to try and overthrow the government of Venezuela. Besides which, it's just as wrong for
the US to change the government of Venezuela by force as it was for
Russia to change ours by stealth and guile. It's now no longer the
case that the US can simply do as it pleases. Other countries "have
a dog in that fight" and will no longer watch helplessly as the US does what it wishes.
Federal workers stage a silent vigil Senate office building.
Pelosi Cancelling State Of The Union Is 'A Great Blotch' On The
A short while ago, a group of three people, Senate Majority Leader Mitchell, VP Pence and Jared Kushner, tried to come up with a solution to the shutdown. Democrats rejected their ideas out of hand. Now, the Trump Administration is trying to do in foreign policy what it did in domestic policy, to have a conference where only friendly participants are invited. It's working about as well as the previous proposed all-Republican working group did.
Lara Trump (Second son Eric's wife) says: "the president is
trying every single day to come up with a good solution here"
Were voters impressed with Lara Trump's speech? Hah! Not in the slightest.
Democratic Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, puts herself on the
correct side of the issue by visiting the place where furloughed
federal workers are being fed. No one on the Republican side showed anywhere near as much common sense. Wher was Mitch? Trying to pull a bait-and-switch.
The "Both Sides" framing of the shutdown is very helpful to the hostage-taking President. No one else is helped by it. This is one of those things that appears to be neutral, but only the side that's plainly in the wrong is helped by it.
An accounting of all of the unarned protesters from Gaza killed by Israel sniper fire since March.
The blogger watches all the video on the confrontation involving Native American activist and elder Nathan Phillips and a crowd of high school students from Covington, Kentucky. He concludes that the detailed picture drawn from all of the videos is a bit different from the picture drawn by the initial viral video, but not by all that much. Mostly, the whole incident shows a complete failure of chaperoning.
The behavior of the students before the confrontation shows them to be just a vicious set of thugs.
Sometimes, when I see someone in the media, I wonder a bit as to their ethnicity. I never worry too much about it. The "cosplay socialist" here gets all deep and serious about Senator Kamala Harris, who has just declared she's running for President. Is she an African-American? Ehh, close enough. I think when people meet her they assume she's black, so I just don't see much of a point in getting all specific about exactly what her ancestry is.
Sorry, I know that Representative Tulsi Gabbard gets lots of love from fellow progressives, but the blogger is right. Gabbard is a Joe Lieberman-style Fox News Democrat with a bad case of "Both-sides-ism."
Pence Honor MLK Day With Two-Minute Visit To Memorial"
Situation for furloughed federal workers on 30th day of shutdown. Not good. Not good at all.
Fox News person Tomi Lahren makes a really stupid comment
about how "useless" marches and rallies are. Twitter user responds "I
would really like to know how you, a woman, think you got the right to
work and vote."
The older fossils of the GOP were absolutely thrilled to get the
chance, they thought, to wag their fingers at AOC (Representative
Alexandria Ocasio Cortez) and to show her for the naive little,
out-of-her-depth woman she was.
The NY Times very seriously messed up during the 2016 election. Now, after the midterms and before the 2020 campaign gets started in earnest, would be an excellent time for a thorough house-cleaning! The Ombudsman who was fired, Liz Spayd, is owed a BIG apology and full restitution as she was 100% correct! The fellow who got her fired needs to be fired himself.
Awwww! My faith in humanity is restored! "Anonymous Donor Gifts $500,000 To Loan Company To Help Unpaid Federal Workers During Government Shutdown"
For some odd reason, NY Times thinks Democrats are losing message war on shutdown. Erm, Democrats are way ahead in the polls! The shutdown is a major loser with the public!
Oh, okay. So the Senate Majority Leader hasn't been just siting around twiddling his thumbs this whole time. Stiil, not sure if talks between "VP Pence, Senate Maj. Leader McConnell and Jared Kushner"" are likely to have been all that prodctive as Democrats were left out.
I was taking a nap when the President's Major Announcement came on. Sounds as though I didn't miss much. Sounds like it was a lose-lose proposition. It was way too weak to satisfy Democrats, but strong enough to aggravate supporters.
President's proposal is completely DOA.
Obviously VP Pence sees himself as a leader of the Republican Party. He has no use for being a leader of the United States. The Second Lady is now teaching at a school that bans LGBTQ students. His interview with an obviously-worshipful interviewer who looks at him with dreamy eyes allows him to sidestep any awkward, that is, real questions.
Two years ago, in the President's Inaugural Address, he talked a lot about urban poverty. Has he made any progress on that? Does he appear to have any sort of plan for tackling that? Gun violence was also a big topic of his. How's that been going? Etc.
Gotta love it! Rush Limbaugh is convinced that all the President needs to do is to "hang in there!" Meanwhile "White non-college Americans move away from Trump during shutdown" Those are Trump's base voters. He loses them, he's got nothing.
Unfortunately, Ann Coulter's not
any brighter than the President
President's SOTU speech is threatened by the Speaker of the
takes revenge by revealing upcoming Congressional trip to Brussels,
Belgium and then to Afghanistan. The purposes were to assure NATO
allies that the US was still reliable and to get briefings on the
situation in the country where we're drawing down our presence there. .
One of the excuses used to deny Speaker Pelosi and other
Congresspeople a military flight overseas was that the shutdown
required sacrifice by everyone. D'oh! The First Lady used a military flight to travel to Mar-a-Lago, a plainly frivolous use of military assets.
The same White House economist who claimed federal workers were doing just fine as they were getting a "free vacation" (without any idea as to when the "vacation" would end) suddenly realizes what economist Paul Krugman says, "This was a pretty obvious thing to miss."
Previous White House estimates of the impact did not fully take into account the effect on people who work for private companies that contract with the government to provide services, Hassett said.
Well into the shutdown, President begins to realize he's losing the political battle.
Pelosi uninvites Trump from the State of the Union until the shutdown
17% of the public is willing to compromise on the Wall, 51% say no wall, no way, The remainder are the Bush Dead-Enders, who became the Tea Party and who voted for the President. For Democrats to budge on the issue would be to reward piracy, terrorism and blackmail.
Whuuh?!?!?! Great news for labor! Really great news! And Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch voted for it!!! "truckers (!) classified as contractors can sue exploitative employers in federal court (!!!!!)"
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) criticizes the
News campaign reporting team.and Josh Kraushaar, the politics editor
at the National Journal, says she's a "media scold" just
like the President.
blocks second bill aimed at reopening the government"
Oh, and estimates for damage caused by government shutdown rise.
Is Unimpressed With Senator Lindsey Graham's Debut As Judiciary Chair"
Ah yes. The President as Master
Negotiator! He invites moderate
"Blue Dog" Democrats to the White House.
But Democrat after Democrat turned them down, uninterested in giving Trump a chance to berate them, try to embarrass them or try to get them to split with House Democratic leadership...
Yep. Senate Majority Leader McConnell is really, really,
concerned about the racism shown by Representative Steven King. Yep,
he sure is. The denunciation of King is an interesting phenomenon
(Article shows picture of Senator McConnell receiving award in front of
a Confederate battle flag). .
'today we face another type of disaster,' chef opens kitchen to feed
DC-area federal workers"
A Democratic Senator from Montana points out how little thought and preparation went into planning for the President's shutdown of the government.
shutdown is pushing the Transportation Security Administration to the
...miles of some kind of barrier — barbed wire, chain-link and steel-slat fencing, corrugated panels, and, yes, even lengths of what can only be described as concrete wall — have gone up along the U.S.-Mexico border, starting at least as far back as the administration of President William Taft, early in the last century.
pretends 'many' Dems secretly agree with him about wall, shutdown"
Representative Steven King of Iowa has been a white supremacist since forever, so why is the Republican Party getting all excitable an punishing him about that now?!?!?! Last night, Rachel Maddow suggested that, hey, maybe the new Republican House Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, wants to draw a distinction between himself and the departed Speaker Paul Ryan. Ya never know.
Uh. Mah. Gawd. A
sports team gets fast food for a White House
Had an online conversation with a conservative who proclaimed (words to the effect of): "Our Glorious Leader has done mighty deeds for the American people!" I pointed out that we're no longer selling soybeans to China. Just for the fun of it, I later looked up the figures. In November 2017, the US sold China 4.7 million tons (The Reuters pieces actually cites "tonnes," so that might refer to metric tons), which comes out to around $12 billion. For China to make up the difference by purchasing from Brazil is a technical change that the Chinese consumer doesn't even notice, but the US is piling up soybeans to the point where "U.S. soybean inventory is poised to reach an estimated 955 million bushels in 2019"
Had the President done absolutely nothing else, witness tamperirig, which he's accused of here, would be an impeachable offense all by itself.
This is deeply concerning. We already knew that the President was seeing Vladimir Putin without aides or translators, but he had a meeting, took the translator's notes and forbade her to say anything about the conversation he than had with the Russian president! Behaving like a Russian asset much?
Good! NY Times reporters notices the same thing a blogger did. Jeanine Pirro asked the President if he was a Russian agent. President delivered many, many words in response. None of those words constituted a straight denial.
Even after the government shutdown ends and it reopens, a lot of workers have been badly hurt and won't quickly recover.
Fox News person turned NBC host Megyn Kelly clearly had some really good lawyers working for her. Even though her gig at NBC was a total flop, she still got a big pay day from them.
More unarned protesters on the Gaza-Israel border being met with lethal force.
Would recommend people give
serious second thoughts about supporting Representative Tulsi
Gabbard. She's nowhere near as progressive as people have made her out
Turns out the FBI opened
up a counter-intelligence investigation of the President right
after he fired the FBI Director at the time, James Comey.
Hmm. So the President's "plan to end the shutdown" appears to be what it always was, to await the unconditional surrender of the Democrats. Sure hope he's got a back-up plan 'cause his first plan doesn't appear to be working.
Very happy to see this young woman safely in Canada. Her family says they love her and I believe by their own standards, they do. But she claims she was locked in her room for six months for cutting her hair. So yeah, I take her fears of being returned to her family and then being killed by them very seriously. I wish her luck with her future life and studies!
A structural engineer who's an expert on walls and why walls fail describes why obtaining land and bulldozing property to get a Wall built is hugely premature! Also, drones are getting cheap. It won't be long before coyotes ae using them to ferry people over any wall!
Trump is reportedly under consideration to lead The World Bank"
Gets Savage Twitter Fact-Check Over 'Wheels Older Than Walls' Claim"
Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) responds to former Senator Joe Lieberman
(with words to the effect of): "Who
is this irrelevant old
fossil?!?!?" Bonus: She quotes The Watchmen!
US efforts to portray Iran as a threat land
like a wet phone book
on a desk.
Secretary of State Pompeo claims Iran is "occupying"
countries in the Mideast. As Iran is in Syria at the invitation of
Bashar Assad and had troops in Iraq to fight ISIS, it's far from clear
what Pompeo means.
How important is it that Paul Manafort shared polling data
with a Russian operative? Very, very
advertising guy explains.
President says he recognized that his
TV speech would be a dud before he gave it. He simply can't take
responsiblity for anything.
This is very good. Fox News people recognizing the reality that declaring an emergency to build The Wall would be the first step to dictatorship. A host mentions, quite rightly, that Democrats would use the legal precedent to fight global warming.
Excellent thread (a Twitter thread has been collected into a single piece) that shows that political campaign reporting is still following the old ESPN College Football Gameday as a template. This template is very badly outdated and inappropriate. We need to dump it immediately!
President admits motivation for shutdown, thereby owning it lock, stock and barrel
Per source familiar: Schumer:
using people as leverage. why won’t you open the government and
stop hurting people?"
Democrats move to eliminate Electoral College, limit presidential
The AP gets
really stupid with both-sides-erism.
Good piece on who
gets taken seriously and who doesn't.
Looks at Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Green
New Deal versus Speaker Paul Ryan when he was about as young.
So it appears that voter fraud (When an individual voter votes multiple times) is still a really terrible thing, but when it's election fraud (When a whole town or district is defrauded), that's apparently okay.
President makes nine-minute TV speech on all major channels about the Wall. Fortunately, he doesn't play the "National Emergency" card. The public was not impresed.
Looks like the White House secured major network TV time for an address that repeats all of the president's arguments on immigration, only, this time, through a TelePrompTer.
Short rebuttal to all of this: if it’s as bad as he said, fact he’s done nothing even though Repubs controlled Congress is an impeachable offense
Woo hoo! Very good news! Supreme Court has let stand a lower court ruling that Exxon must turn over evidence that they knew all about global warming while doing nothing to mitigate it.
As far as BDS (Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions) for
Economic boycotts have been part and parcel of American political striving for liberty from the beginning. I have three words for you: Boston Tea Party. What do you think the American colonists were doing when they tossed 342 chests of British tea into the harbor? They were boycotting, divesting and sanctioning the injustice of King George III.
President doesn't appear to mind being surrounded by "acting" Cabinet members. Of course, fully authorized Cabinet members need to be Senate-confirmed, so that might involve hearings and questions.
are starting to notice that Senate Majority Leader
McConnell is AWOL on the Wall. Even Fox News notices.
Press Secretary Sarah Sanders claimed that 4k people who were on the terrorist watch list were stopped at the Southern border. What was the acual number? Six. How reliable is the watch list to begn with? Ehh, not very. What does the term "Special Inerest Aliens" mean? Not as much as Trump Administration people are suggesting.
Update: Kellyanne Conway considers it an
understandable error that Sanders confused six with 4,000.
Major Networks To Air Trump's Address On The Border Wall"
And no, the
President has never shown the ability to move the needle of public
opinion with any of his speeches.
19 days ago, the President announced a plan to withdraw US troops from Syria in very short order. Generally, liberals support such an idea. Problem is, the President is a very impetuous sort who leaps into decisions without much forethought. His administration has now decided that his Syria plan isn't going to take place after all.
Mulvaney Cites 'Taking A Concrete Wall Off The Table' When Asked What
Trump Is Willing To Offer Democrats"
"Less than a week into her term as a congresswoman, freshman
Palestinian-American Rashida Tlaib" is
sparking all sorts of
controversies! As far as the charge of anti-Semitism goes, it's a
good question to whether that's the
reason that conservatives oppose her or just one of many.
Interesting comment from Senator Rubio: "And if boycotting
#Israel is constitutionally protected, then boycotting companies that
boycott #Israel is also constitutionally protected"
Well yes, if individuals and groups are voluntarily boycotting companies
that boycott Israel, then sure. If they're being compelled to boycott by law,
then no, there's nothing Constitutional about that.
The Deep State/Washington Establishment has
now swung into action
to assure allies that the President's comments on Syrian withdrawal
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) recommends an upper tax rate of 70%. That's about double what top earners are paying now, but it's really not an extreme idea at all.
"But they'll vote for a big defense budget" is a very frequent complaint that I see about Democrats. Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) throws around the wild, hysterical charge that "We've just begun to rebuild [the military] after the devastation of the Obama years." I have no idea what she's referring to by "devastation," but she's apparently confident that at least some of the audience of ABC News will take the accusation very, very seriously.
Press Secretary Sarah Sanders says (words to the effect of): "Thousands of terrorists are attempting to come into the US through Mexico!!!" Problem here is the extremely vague, fuzzy definition of "terrorists" and of "attempting to come into the US." Sanders fails to show that the Southern border is a significant entry point for terrorists.
Department of Homeland Security tries to present
the situation at the border as extremely
menacing, but trips up over the fact that the picture presented to
Democratic Congressional leaders in a briefing isn't consistent with
on their own website. Their website says that almost 48k pounds of
cocaine were seized at the border, but their presentation said that
282k pounds were seized. Numerous other false, fearmongering claims
Flu': Hundreds Of Unpaid TSA Officials Call Out Sick At Major
Vice-President Pence came out with an offer and the President
promptly undercut him by saying Pence's offer was unacceptable. So
a waste of time to talk to anyone but "Ranty Granpa."
People wondered why outgoing Speaker Paul Ryan didn't make any attempt
to intervene in the negotiations. Because of what hapened to
Pence. ryan knew that he'd get undercut.
President doesn't want to admit he's using the shutdown as leverage, but he makes it absolutely crystal clear he's using the shutdown as leverage. He's not acting like the legitimately-elected head of a Constitutional Democratic Republic, but more like the head of a pirate ship or an organized-crime family.
This last Republican Congress was so cartoonishly, outlandishly evil, Democratic opponents didn't even try to describe to voters how horrible the plans they made actually were. Fortunately, they were also cartoonishly, outlandishly incompetent, so we can thank our lucky stars for that!
Woo hoo! Democrats charge right into the new year by tackling the Voting Rights Act! More likely to get acted on in 2021 than today, but well worth doing!
FB friend asks a good question. Which is more enjoyable? The pictures of a triumphant Speaker Pelosi (She's officially the Speaker now) or that of a sad Representative Trey (Benghazi) Gowdy leaving Congress for the last time? Both such cool pix!
Acting AG Whitaker is
clearly a very good courtier. He told the President what the
President clearly wantd to hear.
"Sir, Mr President, I will start by highlighting the fact you stayed in DC over the holidays, giving up Christmas w/your family, New Year's w/your family... you have demonstrated your dedication to delivering"
Ah, the wit and wisdom of our President! As the blogger says, like "Tolkien on a golden commode.” Trump comments on Syria:
"Look, we don't want Syria... we're talking about sand and death. That's what we're talking about. We're not talking about vast wealth. We're talking about sand and death."
The departing Whitr House Chief of Staff John Kelly makes a point of all the terrible things he prevented or stopped the President from doing. This has now become a very familiar arguments from people who depart the Trump Administration. As the blogger asks, does one give a Parent of the Year award to someone who prevents their kid from burning down the house?
of State] Pompeo
Pledges continuing US Cooperation with Israel in Syria v. Iran"
The effects of short-staffing, that is, the Trump Shutdown, are being felt in national parks.
So Senator-Elect Romney criticizes the President just prior to taking office. Twitter users hope that he isn't just Senator Flake 2.0, a fellow who talked real big while not voting in a manner that was consistent with his criticisms. Here's hoping that Romney will truly become a member of the Resistance!
Senator Rand Paul is really perturbed that Senator Mitt Romney is criticizing what he feels is Our Glorious Leader. He compares Romney to outgoing Senator Jeff Flake. So do liberals, but from the opposite perspective. We criticized Flake for being really tough with the rhetoric of resistance, but really weak on voting to actually resist. Paul criticizes Flake for resisting in the first place.
Cool stuff! The Ultima Thule flyby was successful! New Horizons got to within 2200 miles of the body. It'll take about two years to download all the data as the data transmits at 2k (Remember when data would come in at the agonizingly slow rate of 56k?) but yeah, it's about a billion miles from Pluto to Ultima Thule. The Pluto flyby was in 2015.
(The President had
this tweet in ALL-CAPS) "2019 will be a
fantastic year for those not suffering from Trump Derangement
Happy New Year! In a mellow and pleasant mood myself, but I completely agree that this blogger has a number of good things to say.
A-to-the-fucking-men. [White House Chief of Staff John] Kelly is an unrepentant liar who sold his shriveled husk of a soul for a seat adjacent to a traitorous sociopath, revealing himself to be the small, petty, mendacious worm he was all along in the process.
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