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#481

The NYT Editorial Board strikes again with a full condemnation of “Mr. Trump’s administration continues to make decisions that are bad for most Americans”
Every single Obama-ruling (with the exception of ACA-Obamacare) T has tried and in effect eliminated demonstrating again a ruthless disregard for some common welfare of this nation.

Enough…

Opinion piece in full…

Opinion

Making America Worse

As impeachment commands the spotlight, the Trump administration continues to gut the rule book to hurt millions.

By The Editorial Board

The editorial board represents the opinions of the board, its editor and the publisher. It is separate from the newsroom and the Op-Ed section.

On the campaign trail in 2015, Donald Trump said it was “disgusting” that a big corporation could escape taxation by using bookkeeping tricks to shift profits out of the United States.

Now the Trump administration is thinking about making it easier to play those tricks. Bloomberg reported this week that the Treasury Department, in a development sure to gladden the hearts of the corporate class, was considering a rollback of rules written by the Obama administration to prevent the very kinds of shenanigans Mr. Trump once condemned.

While Congress focuses on the question of whether to impeach Mr. Trump, the potential change in tax policy is a reminder that the wheels of the government grind on — and that Mr. Trump’s administration continues to make decisions that are bad for most Americans.

In recent months, the Agriculture Department has decided to reduce inspections at the slaughterhouses that process the nation’s pork; the Environmental Protection Agency has decided to let farmers and factories dump toxic chemicals into thousands of acres of previously protected wetlands; and the Labor Department has ruled that states can perform drug tests on applicants for unemployment benefits, allowing Texas, Mississippi and Wisconsin to begin efforts to curtail aid for people who need help.

These changes in regulatory policy are part of a clear pattern. The Trump administration has worked assiduously to reduce federal protections for consumers, workers and the environment, making the United States a dirtier and more dangerous place in which to live.

The Trump administration also continues to flout its obligation to comply with existing law.

A federal judge said this week that the Education Department, under the leadership of Betsy DeVos, had committed 16,000 violations of a court order by improperly seeking to collect student loan payments, including docking paychecks and confiscating tax refunds.

Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim of the United States District Court in San Francisco described the department’s behavior as “deeply disturbing,” adding, “I’m not sending anyone to jail yet, but it’s good to know I have that ability.”

The Obama administration erased the debts of thousands of former students of Corinthian Colleges, a for-profit company that went out of business in 2015, under a policy that forgives the loans of students who are the victims of a fraud. Under Ms. DeVos, however, the department began to grant only partial debt relief to Corinthian students, prompting a lawsuit. Judge Kim ordered the government to suspend its collection efforts while the case winds through the courts. She said she was “astounded” by the failure to comply.

Meanwhile, the department has finalized a new rule making it much harder for future student loan recipients to get relief from the government even if they are victims of fraud.

The Trump administration’s regulatory policy can generally be summarized as marching to the orders of the businesses it regulates. Indeed, the administration has pushed so hard to reduce regulation that even companies have sometimes expressed reservations: Four major automobile manufacturers have refused to embrace Mr. Trump’s campaign to prevent California from reducing air pollution, instead striking a deal with California to meet stricter emissions standards.

Mr. Trump also has an obsession with erasing rules written under President Barack Obama.

The potential rewrite of the tax rules governing corporate profits is an example of both tendencies. Corporations dislike the Obama-era rules, which cracked down on the practice of sending profits to a foreign branch, lending the money back to the home office and then writing off the interest expense. Under the rules, the government can prevent companies from treating those transfers as loans, and thus from claiming the resulting tax benefits.

Corporations argue that the current rule is broad, burdensome, and no longer necessary because the 2017 tax law limited the incentive for profit-shifting by reducing the tax rate on corporate income. But that overstates the effect of the law, which still leaves room for companies to hide profits in other jurisdictions. There is simply no good reason to weaken the Obama-era rule.

The administration’s penchant for this kind of petty vandalism does not add one whit to the case for Mr. Trump’s impeachment. It is instead a reminder that if Mr. Trump does stand for re-election in 2020, Americans can improve their lives by voting for someone else.


#482

Another powerful NYT Opinion piece on the Environment and Climate Change.

Today, we act surprised as the climate emergency descends upon us in all its ferocity.

The scientists knew long ago, and told us, that the sea would invade the coasts. They knew a hotter atmosphere would send heavier rains to inundate our cities and farms. They knew the landscape of California, which always becomes desiccated in the late summer and early fall, would dry out more in a hotter climate.

But even the scientists did not quite foresee the way that bone-dry vegetation would turn into a firebomb waiting for a spark. California is the state that has done the most to battle the climate crisis, but that has not saved it from recent fires so ferocious they burned people alive.


(David Bythewood) #483

What Happened When 2.2 Million People Were Automatically Registered To Vote

Games blamed for moral decline and addiction throughout history


#484

Shame. Shame. Shame on Trump and on the Republicans for bringing him to power and keeping him there. The President is sworn to protect us, but now, virtually overnight, we are in far more danger of terrorist attacks and it’s just going to get worse.


(David Bythewood) #485

(David Bythewood) #486

A very solid article about how the baby boomer grip on our media has polarized us.


(David Bythewood) #487

#488

It seems the Impeachment Inquiry is at a crossroads. It’s time for the Democrats to decide: will they “Go Focused” or “Go Big”? Like this editorial, I say “Go Big”!

It’s almost certain that the House will impeach Trump and then send the matter to the Senate for a trial. But I feel there’s no way, at this point, that the Senate Republicans will vote to remove Trump – and if they’re not going to do that, then I feel it’s important to keep piling on charges – this op-ed is a blueprint for that.

I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts that Trump leaned on China to investigate the Bidens just like he did with Ukraine (his China trade negotiator is not denying it) – and turning over other rocks is inevitably going to uncover more impeachable acts.

How does everyone else feel? Should we “Go Focused” or “Go Big”?


#489

Great point…Pelosi/Schiff are really staying focused on landing the Ukraine plane down on T. The R’s as has been mentioned before are showing some courage.

Getting to 20 R Senate votes is not beyond the realm of possibilities.(have’t scanned WTFJHT well enough in the last few days) so this article may have shown up elsewhere…

You need 67 votes in the Senate to convict and remove a president, and there are only 47 Democrats or independents, meaning that you need 20 Republicans to break ranks and vote for removal. That is, allegedly, an impossible number to reach.


I doubt I’m alone in thinking the Democrats in the Senate are woefully incapable of producing a coherent strategy to hold the president accountable for his apparent crimes.


#490

Fuckin big. Impeachment trial should/could have started way earlier anyway so there’s an almost literal laundry list of crimes that have to be relentlessly covered for public consumption, where not even my fox news-watching racist family can miss at least one thing that makes them pause (even if they won’t admit it out loud).

There will always be that percentage of ppl who will refuse to believe any of it, and no the senate will absolutely not remove him, but that doesn’t mean the information isn’t worth the time to air out and dissect. The generations who have to clean up our mess need to know everything so they can form a battle plan.

The Mueller investigation was already too restricted, ain’t nobody got time for that shit anymore.

(Never did, really, but here we fuckin are. :woman_shrugging:t2:)


(M A Croft) #491

Haven’t seen this posted before - but it is well worth a read. A fulsome list of 82 instances that could be considered as a basis for impeachment.
Trump frankly has no conception of the what the role of POTUS entails and displays that ignorance daily.

The crimes for which impeachment is the prescribed punishment are notoriously undefined. And that’s for a reason: Presidential powers are vast, and it’s impossible to design laws to cover every possible abuse of the office’s authority. House Democrats have calculated that an impeachment focused narrowly on the Ukraine scandal will make the strongest legal case against President Trump. But that’s not Trump’s only impeachable offense. A full accounting would include a wide array of dangerous and authoritarian acts — 82, to be precise. His violations fall into seven broad categories of potentially impeachable misconduct that should be weighed, if not by the House, then at least by history.


#492

As the White House struggles to build an anti-impeachment strategy, President Donald Trump turned this week to Lindsey Graham, his staunchest ally in the Senate, to try to stiffen Republican spines in that chamber. It’s not going the way the president must have hoped.

On Thursday, Graham announced that he’d put forward a resolution condemning the House impeachment inquiry. By mid-afternoon, when he actually announced it, the resolution had been watered down to a plea for a different and more transparent process. That was apparently a sop to GOP senators unwilling to go quite that far. And yet by Friday morning, only 44 of 53 Republicans in the Senate had signed on to the resolution. A gesture meant to be a show of solidarity by senators has instead become a sign of the weakness of the president’s position.


(David Bythewood) #493

From last week.


#494

Omg this! :point_down:

Especially,

Most people know Federalist 65, if they know it at all, for its famous characterization of the impeachable offense: “those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.”

But it is in the sentences that immediately follow these words that Alexander Hamilton peered through the ages and commented on the current Republican failure to abandon Donald Trump:

The prosecution of [impeachments], for this reason, will seldom fail to agitate the passions of the whole community, and to divide it into parties more or less friendly or inimical to the accused. In many cases it will connect itself with the pre-existing factions, and will enlist all their animosities, partialities, influences, and interests on one side or on the other; and in such cases there will always be the greatest danger that the decision will be regulated more by the comparative strength of the parties than by the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt.

Nailed it.

:joy:


#495

Favorite line:

President Trump’s substantive defense against the ongoing impeachment inquiry has crumbled entirely—not just eroded or weakened, but been flattened like a sandcastle hit with a large wave.


#496

@dragonfly9 Hah! Yes, I didn’t even think of that – it’s a Blue Wave that hit it! :ocean:


(David Bythewood) #497

While I am often wary of Rick Wilson (I have not forgotten where his allegiances rest), his analysis here of Bill Barr is spot on.

An older article about how not only do Putin & Russia see the fall of America as the only path to the rise of Russia, but how Trump both enables this & quite literally doesn’t even know what Western-style liberalism (aka “Democracy”) IS.


(David Bythewood) #498

Call it a hunch, but I don’t think Turkey is going to take down ISIS.

Meet The Man Who Funds ISIS: Bilal Erdogan, The Son Of Turkey’s President

In addition to son Bilal’s illegal and lucrative oil trading for ISIS, Sümeyye Erdogan, the daughter of the Turkish President apparently runs a secret hospital camp inside Turkey just over the Syrian border.


(Matt Kiser) pinned #499

(David Bythewood) #500

“OK boomer”

Gen Z speaks out.

We have left them with numerous issues to resolve.

“If it’s a jab at anyone it’s the outdated political figures who try to run our lives.”

“You can keep talking…but we’re going to change the future”

‘OK Boomer’ Marks the End of Friendly Generational Relations

Now it’s war: Gen Z has finally snapped over climate change and financial inequality.