WTF Community

Day 893

1/ A federal judge ordered Customs and Border Patrol to let health experts into detention facilities holding migrant children in order to assess the children's needs and ensure the facilities are "safe and sanitary." The order includes all CBP facilities in the El Paso and Rio Grande Valley sectors. U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee made the ruling despite requests from Attorney General William Barr and others that the court "set a schedule for briefing these issues that provides defendants with a full and fair opportunity to respond to the allegations that plaintiffs have lodged against them." Last week, lawyers asked Judge Gee to hold the Trump administration in contempt and to order immediate improvements at the facilities. (CNN / The Hill)

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

The Maltese-born academic has not surfaced publicly since that October 2017 interview, days after Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about details of their interactions. Among them, Papadopoulos told investigators, was an April 2016 meeting in which Mifsud alerted him that the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.”


Partisan issues divide over words like “entitlements,” “socialism” and “immigration,” because these words suggest some group getting something for free, while the other pays for it. Krugman asks that we rearrange the facts a bit more…

Let’s look at who really benefits in America, why is the deficit now at 2 trillion…reason - giveaways to the the Right/Republicans.

Here’s what politicians say they are doing - R’s like to say “Small government, restrict spending” - See expansion of military spending…Dems want a fairer playing field, and bring up those who have gotten a very small portion of opportunity, education and fair treatment. Dems are up against the Freedom Coalition/Tea Party who hold the line on giveaways.

So it goes round and round.

NOTE: This belongs under Op-Ed…but I had already reached my 3 articles…:grin:

The Moochers of Middle America
The Democrats aren’t radical, but Republicans are.
By Paul Krugman
Opinion Columnist

July 1, 2019

Last week’s debates clearly weakened Joe Biden and increased the odds that a more definitively progressive candidate — probably Kamala Harris or Elizabeth Warren — will win the nomination. And you can hear the wailing from much of the Beltway, the claims that Democrats are moving too far left.

So it’s worth parsing those claims. In what sense are the Dems moving too far left? What I’m seeing are three fairly distinct claims. First, that the party is endangering its electoral prospects. Second, that the party is being fiscally or economically irresponsible. Third, that Democrats are unfairly proposing to redistribute income from those who create wealth to those who don’t.

So you should know that the first claim is probably wrong, the second is definitely wrong, and the third ignores the extent to which we already do a lot of redistribution in this country — with Republican voters some of the biggest beneficiaries.

On the politics: Politicians and pundits alike tend to have a lot more contact with the wealthy than with ordinary voters, and often seem to imagine that the priorities of the 1 percent — keeping top tax rates low, cutting “entitlements” — actually resonate with the general public. But polling overwhelmingly shows the opposite: Voters want to raise taxes on the rich and expand government social programs.

In moving to the left on taxes and spending, then, Democrats are actually moving toward voters’ preferences, not away from them. Yes, Republicans will try to demonize their proposals, but they would do that in any case. Remember, they called Barack Obama, with his incrementalist policies and willingness to consider Medicare cuts, a socialist, too.

In fact, the best argument against “Medicare for All” skeptics like me, who worry how voters will react to proposals to eliminate private insurance, is that Republicans will scream about a government takeover of health care — and Fox News viewers will believe them — whatever you do.

On fiscal and economic responsibility: Nobody who endorsed the 2017 tax cut has any right to criticize Democratic proposals to spend more on things like child care. That tax cut, after all, appears likely to add around $2 trillion to federal debt — with around a third of that going to foreigners. Meanwhile, the promised surge in business investment is nowhere to be seen.

At the same time, there’s a very good case for arguing that Democratic proposals would have economic as well as humanitarian benefits.

Support for child care, for example, would free more women to enter the paid work force — where they would pay taxes that would offset some of the cost. And the children benefiting from that support would eventually become healthier, more productive adults.

In other words, while progressive Democrats are mainly arguing for greater social justice, they can also make a much better case than conservatives ever could that their proposals would help the economy and at least partly pay for themselves.

Last but not least, if your view is that the progressive agenda is morally wrong, that people shouldn’t receive more in government benefits than they pay in taxes, you should be aware how many Americans are already “takers,” “moochers,” whatever. In fact, we’re talking about a vast swath of the heartland that includes just about every state that voted for Donald Trump.

I’ve been reading a recent Rockefeller Institute report on states’ federal “balance of payments” — the difference for each state between what the federal government spends in that state and what it gets back in revenue.

The pattern is familiar: Richer states subsidize poorer states. And the reasons are clear: Rich states pay much more per person in federal taxes, while actually getting a bit less in federal spending, because Medicaid and other “means-tested” programs go disproportionately to those with low incomes. But the magnitudes are startling.

Take the case of Kentucky. In 2017, the state received $40 billion more from the federal government than it paid in taxes. That’s about one-fifth of the state’s G.D.P.; if Kentucky were a country, we’d say that it was receiving foreign aid on an almost inconceivable scale.

This aid, in turn, supports a lot of jobs. It’s fair to say that far more Kentuckians work in hospitals kept afloat by Medicare and Medicaid, in retail establishments kept going by Social Security and food stamps, than in all traditional occupations like mining and even agriculture combined.

So if you really believe that Americans with higher incomes shouldn’t pay for benefits provided to those with lower incomes, you should be calling on “donor” states like New Jersey and New York to cut off places like Kentucky and let their economies collapse. And if that’s what you mean, you should let Mitch McConnell’s constituents know about it.

The point is that while you can criticize particular Democratic proposals, you can only portray progressives as radical or irresponsible, especially as compared with the modern G.O.P., by ignoring or suppressing a lot of facts. I guess facts really do have a liberal bias.


You all read this one yet? Good-Golly-Miss-Molly, what have we come to? The President’s unelected, unconfirmed, inexperienced children, who have never worked in government before, are presiding over bi-lateral nuclear agreements like they belong there?! :woman_shrugging:t2:

Trump wasn’t alone. After a few snapshots, Ivanka Trump, along with her husband, Jared Kushner, followed the president into what’s known as the Freedom House—a building on the South Korean side of the zone. That’s when the cameras stopped. The media was reportedlyblocked from entering and covering the historic event.

It wasn’t until later that reporters learned Ivanka and Kushner did more than accompany the president into the Freedom House. They were reportedly present at a closed-door meeting between the two leaders, who ended up speaking about one of the most sensitive topics on the planet—North Korea’s nuclear-weapons program.




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