PRAWN

Philadelphia Regional Anti-War Network
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PRAWN
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Economics Blog for UFPJ-DVN

Veteran's resources. This page summarizes available governmental, organizational and other resources and makes them easily accessible to those searching for assistance.

PRAWN Flyer (PDF) Updated 20Feb2010


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

Flyer



I kinda like this as an anthem for the left these days.

Brief history of PRAWN


PRAWN's mission is to:
  • Network groups, organizations, and individuals to stop the repression caused by "never ending wars" at home and abroad, by the US corporate military state
  • Support organizations having common ground
  • Educate and activate the general public


Local Resource Organizations

National Organizations



Marlene Santoyo's Political Allies Newsletter

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Commentary Archives
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Webspace provided by 1&1 Internet
Webmaster: Rich Gardner

Upcoming Events

VIGIL FOR JUSTICE
"BLACK LIVES MATTER!"

will CONTINUE to be held at
Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration
Tuesday evenings, 6:00 to (at least) 6:45 PM
6900 Stenton Ave. (Stenton at Gorgas Lane), Phila 19150
YOU ARE WELCOME TO BRING YOUR IDEAS TO THE DIALOGUE!


Bubbies & Zaydes (Grandparents) for Peace in the Middle East - Peace Vigil

Held at the corner of 19th & JFK Boulevard

1st & 3rd Fridays of each month - all are invited to attend

link

 


Drone Free Horsham


Protests are held last Saturday of each month, 12:00noon to 2:00pm

North corner of Horsham Air Base
Intersection of Easton Road & W. County Line Road

Facebook event page

YouTube - Living Under Drones

Protests held on Apr13, Jun13, Jul13, Apr14, May14, Jun14, Apr15, Jul15, May16, Jun16, May17

Senate Intelligence Committtee Torture Report

(Local copy, the redacted summary)


Midsection archive


facing road
Anti-Drone Protest May '17
May Day at Clark Park

May Day celebration at Clark Park

Marching near Liberty Bell
March for Science

rally-170302-00330 (115K)
Rally on 41st day of Trump Presidency.
15 days into Trump's presidency

Protest held on 15th day of Trump presidency


Women's March in Philadelphia

Women's March in Philadelphia during first week of Trump Administration.


Marching in Central Philadelphia

March held a few days before President Trump's inauguration


protest-160708-00222 (202K)
A Black Lives Matter protest.

protest-160528-00158 (244K)
Anti-Drone Protest outside Horsham Air Base.
Social-Forum-150628-00117 (144K)
Social Forum - Phildelphia 2015
Protest-150425-00025 (236K)

Anti-Drone Protest at Horsham Air Base.


climate march

Climate March NYC / Comments from reporter Naomi Klein. / The significance of the march


Rally for Michael Brown

rally for gaza

Rally for Gaza


assembled

Gay Pride Parade - Vets For Peace and FUMCOG contingents


interview

May Day 2014


Corbett

Pennsylvania's Governor Tom Corbett arranges to meet with students of one of the schools that he's been defunding, but cancels when students, parents and teachers make it clear that they were goingto protest his visit. We all assembled anyway.


drone protest

Anti-drones protest


group photo

Syria strike protest


Horsham Air Base

Protest at Horsham Air Base about proposed Drone Command Center


Anonymous protests

Last (?) Protest on behalf of Pfc. Bradley Manning


gay pride parade

The 2013 Philly Gay Pride Parade


Brad Manning demo

Demonstration on behalf of Bradley Manning, whose court-martial begins next Monday.


 

May Day USA 2013
May Day 2013
Horsham Air Base drone protest
Protesting drones at Horsham Air Base
Sandy Hook Vigil
Vigil for Sandy Hook Elementary School
Visual essay on event and on the gun control issue



near Liberty Bell

National Gathering Facebook page
Live-blog of National Gathering

in front of school board
Rally at the School Board to defeat the Knudsen Plan

sign
May Day Rally
Also, same problems that apply to privatized schools apply to prisons as well.

Decarcerate PA
DecarceratePA
march & rally story


bellringer with vigilers in background
The "Final Friday" vigil concludes


Dilworth Plaza

Occupation of Dilworth Plaza, Philadelphia

libya
Protesting War in Libya

Declare Peace
Declare Peace & protest of interception of Boat to Gaza

Mt Airy Day
Mt Airy Day 2011

crowd

Philadelphia's Take Back The Night annual march and testimony

two groups
UNAC opposed to the wars abroad

Lafayette Park
Noting the beginning of the 8th year of the Iraq War. Also, protest of how Pfc. Bradley Manning is being treated.

At Love Park
Two protests in support of the citizens, workers and unions of Wisconsin.
MSB Plaza     Love Park

rally for Egypt
In support of the Egyptian people against their dictator Hosni Mubarak. Update on situation. Videos of another protest shortly afterwards.

Vets protest

Veteran-Led Civil Resistance to U.S. Wars
Announcement    \ Flyers    Photos   Huffington Post

children

Archive of actions & photos

Info, articles, etc.


*Sigh* People who just don't get it. Lengthy piece showing the President's not part of the white nationalist problem that took place in Charlottesville, he is the problem! 

Is our President equipped to deal with North Korea? Ehh, doesn't look like it.

But with no ambassador in place in South Korea to establish a channel of communication and no assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific affairs in the State Department or an assistant secretary for Asian and Pacific security affairs at the Defense Department, there’s no one left to rein in Trump’s messaging.

White House official Omarosa Manigault-Newman went to a panel discussion and faced a rather obvious question, how to respond to President Trump's suggestion that suspects in police custody should by physically abused, but she obviously didn't do any prep work to be able to formulate a response, got all huffy and offended and walked off.


In "Kids these days," the blogger comments:

I have incredible respect for those students. If I was 19 and standing there, I would have punched someone. The discipline and the courage to bear witness and hold onto their values without allowing themselves to respond to clear and constant provocations is incredible.
The kids are alright.

Person dies from being run over by car at Charlottesville rally. Amazing coincidence:
"In the middle of some Nazi's livestream about how the left is not tolerant a driver ploughs through Charlottesville counter-demo." President's response? "We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides" White nationalists cheered and gratified by Trump's "many sides" response. 


The outgoing Speaker of the House John Boehner sought to do the incoming Speaker Paul Ryan a favor by pushing through a vote to extend the debt limit by two years, until mid-2017. How had Ryan used that time? Poorly.


Horrifying! A nighttime torchlight parade in Charlottesville, VA. A collection of "white nationalists, white supremacists and alt-right groups" had gathered to protest the removal of statue of the Confederate General Robert E. Lee. 
Tweet by reporter Glenn Thrush - “No tweets by Trump on Charlottesville or mosque attack in Minnesota. When Islamic militant attacked guard at the Louvre he Tweeted instantly”


The lefty magazine The Nation has published a piece that claims to prove that the Russians didn't hack the DNC servers. New York Magazine finds the piece considerably less than impressive.


Sebastian Gorka quotes a Holocaust survivor: "When a group of people repeatedly says they want to kill you, sooner or later you should take them seriously." Couple of problems with that. First, that's an absolutely terrible way to view foreign policy, with the presumption that the other side will not be content with anything less than your absolute destruction.
Second, the Nazis didn't start out by saying they wanted to kill all of the Jewish people. They started out by saying that Jews were less than human. They used what's called "eliminationalist" language. The idea was that the Jews were so completely and irredeemably harmful to others and a burden on the rest of society, that it was cheaper and quicker and less troublesome to simply kill them all.


President Trump apparently considers Senate Majority Leader McConnell to be sort of a glorified matre d. In a tweet, he tells McConnell "you" can do it. Not "we." Trump seems to regard himself as the chairman of the board and McConnell as the employee who needs to prepare legislation so that the boss can sign it.


Charlottesville VA is expecting a big alt-right demonstration this Saturday.


Sebastian Gorka starts off by saying: "[t]here has never been a serious attack or a serious plot that was unconnected from ISIS or al Qaeda.”
People pointed out such attacks as the one by Timothy McVeigh in Oklahoma City.
"Go to Sinjar. Go to the Middle East, and tell me what the real problem is today. Go to Manchester."
Yes indeed, all of these particular, specific attacks were all inspired by ISIS and/or al Qaeda, But that hardly answers the point that there are a great many attacks that have nothing to do with Middle Eastern radicals


So Secretary of HUD Ben Carson made a really awesome-sounding statement about the people occupying housing developments in Cairo, IL: “I think by the grace of God it’s possible to save this place,” he said at another. His overall message, per NPR, was “to offer assurances that HUD will help everyone who wants to stay in Cairo to be able to do so.”
Great! But fixing up the developments costs "about $7.5 million of immediate work to render the apartments habitable, and another $37.5 million of work over the next two decades to remain that way." So is Carson going to come through with the money? Unfortunately, Cairo's not an isolated example. Just how far does Carson's compassion go?


The ACA/Obamacare is a large, complex program with many moving parts. Bringing it down through sabotage isn't all that difficult and the Trump Administration is now apparently doing just that. Problem is of course, that after seven-plus years, the GOP still doesn't have any idea of how to replace it with something better.


So the NY Times leaked the science portion of the upcoming EPA report on climate change. That way, the American people get to take a look at the science before EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and President Trump get to edit out all of the things that might alarm people. Pruitt's response? “The American people deserve an open, honest, transparent discussion about this supposed threat to this country.” But that's exactly what scientists were trying to ensure. They wanted to make sure their side got a full hearing.


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delivers some very mild criticism of the President, but that's an escalation from before and signifies growing distance between the legislative and executive branches. 
Heh! Sean Hannity is, erm, less than impressed with McConnell's moderate criticism. 
Heh! President Trump reacts to Majority Leader McConnell's mild criticism of him. Hmm, the President does have a point! 

Senator Mitch McConnell said I had "excessive expectations," but I don't think so. After 7 years of hearing Repeal & Replace, why not done?


The blogger discussed the North Korean threat to launch missiles and further looked at Kim Jong-Un's odd mixed metaphors and strange language last night. The real problem is that now he's got someone who's apparently equally unhinged on the American side. Background piece on how NK got nukes in the first place. 
So what was the strategy behind the President's "fire and fury" statement? Turns out there wasn't any. He was just winging it, improvising on the spot.


A major section of a 2018 report is leaked before EPA head Pruitt or President Trump can make anti-science changes to it. 


Good! Constituents are not forgetting that their Republican Representatives and Senators made a wildly irresponsible vote concerning health care. We should keep up the pressure and demand an apology right up until their reelection!


At this point, Trump's vacation days after seven months exceed those of Obama for eight years. 
So having racked up 53 days of vacation in a little over half a year, is President Trump at least doing a good job? No, and the newbie excuse no longer applies. He's had more than enough time to get up to speed and he just isn't leaning or retaining information.


Republicans recommend hearings on “ground rules for the internet” in September, that is, on Net Neutrality but have only invited the CEOs of multi-billion dollar telecommunications firms to testify. That are many hundreds of millions of people going unrepresented in this scheme.


Very revealing that the Trump Administration has permitted an agency that was designed to counter foreign propaganda to sink into irrelevance, even after Congress allocated $80 million to keep it going.


In response to a slideshow starting with a picture of Donald Trump Jr. leaning casually on an animal that he just shot, I realize the Trump adult children are more behind the times than anything else. After Theodore Roosevelt's presidency, he took off to a major hunting trip in Africa. He collected lots of zoologically worthwhile samples and gathered a significant amount of data about the animals he killed. The problem nowadays with the Tump children is that there's no knowledge to be gained and there's no challenge in it. With modern technology and high-powered rifles, the Trump guys may as well sit around at home playing video games.


President Trump's insistence that we emphasize coal now sems particularly ill-timed. Coal is dying and is being replaced, for good reason.


Oliver North tries to make it sound as though all Congressional interventions in foreign policy have been bad, but I still think the Boland Amendment was a good idea and still believe that cutting off assistance to South Vietnam in 1975 was also a good idea.


Russia puts out a message on possible sanction. As a blogger says "seems as if Putin is planning to go all medieval on someone’s dupa."


Lots of big talk. I don't see it happening. But just for the record, right wingers are promising violence if Trump is impeached. Liberals tend to skew a good deal younger than conservatives, so I doubt conservatives would win an actual, physical war.


So the next big item on the legislative agenda appears to giving big tax cuts to the rich - oops! - sorry, "tax reform." It pomises to be about a successful as repealing the ACA.


Very important to understand the roots of the insult that Stephen Miller used yesterday. "Cosmopolitan" has a real history to it. And yes, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany were both in agrement that comopolitan people were terrible. Today's white nationalist movement uses the term frequently. So what is a cosmopolitan? "...the dictionary defines it as 'familiar with and at ease in many different countries and cultures.'” Sounds an awful lot like yer basic, every day liberal to me! 
Dinesh D'Souza has a new book out arguing that “The Democratic left has an ideology virtually identical with fascism and routinely borrows tactics of intimidation and political terror from the Nazi Brownshirts.” And D'Souza had an interesting justification for his book: "Met with Steve Bannon at the White House today to discuss how President @realDonaldTrump can flip the accusation of fascism back on the Left." Back in 2008, Jonah Goldberg revealed a very similar motivation for writing "Liberal Fascism."
But not only did Goldberhg make a poor case in 2008, Stephen Miller serves in a Republican administraton and he does not appear to be any sort of outlier or odd person out. 


President tends to tell "jokes" that have a real threatening edge to them.


Lengthy look at Jared Kushner's proposed Israel-Palestine peace plan.


Extremely good news! A Republican committee chairman is following regular order in a bipartisan manner to fix the ACA/Obamacare.


Will John Kelly, the new White House Chief of Staff, be a savior? There are reasons to be concerned.


Chealsea Clinton reacts to Trump's statement that the White House is a "dump." The thing to remember about both the White  House and Camp David (The President went there once and found it boring and dull) is that they are working residences. They're not luxury digs where the occupant is expected to just relax and chill out.


The President's lawyers stated in mid-July that the President had nothing to do with the statement on Donald Trump Junior's meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya. D'oh! The Senior Donald Trump now admits he helped draft the statement. Not entirely clear the lawyer knew, so it's no clear anyone will get busted.  

Oh, and it seems the Trump Administration also worked hand in glove with Fox News to promote the Seth Rich story


GDP growth rate last quarter was 2.6%. Certainly good news, but contrary to the President's belief, hardly "Stop the presses," spectacular news. Third quarter of last year was better, as were two quarters in 2015.


I have a hard time using the term "iron fisted" or "iron glove" for actions like this, where a Palestinian family is ejected from their home because, apparently, Israeli settlers wanted the home, as the term implies a struggle of equals. This seems to me more like "iron booted." A greatly superior force stomps upon a Palestinian family. Good to see that there's some controversy among Israelis as to whether the seizure is legal.


We know Alex Jones as this really crazy guy who makes wacko statements. But he's also a highly successful businessman who's apparently raking in the bucks hand over fist.


Ivanka Trump says she wants to lower expectations about what she’s able to accomplish as the liberal wing of the Trump Administration. Problem is, she put out a tweet - “I am proud to support my LGBTQ friends and the LGBTQ Americans ...” And now, she doesn’t want to say anything about her father’s decision to put military trans-gender people back into the closet.
So, expectations are already pretty low. No well-informed liberal expects much of anything from her at this point. Yeah, “Ivanka Trump is aware she needs a real win ... to win back credibility,” but she doesn’t need to win back credibility, she needs a win in order to get some credibility in the first place.


July


Hmm. Interesting comparison. NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch feels that for a gun-owner to be asked to properly store a firearm is just like asking a woman to wear less revealing clothing. Because for someone to steal an inanimate object is just like someone raping a woman.


And the new Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci is outta there! Newswoman admits she's shocked by Scarmucci's sudden departure. From a tweet:

Scaramucci's *official start date* as WH Communications Director was August 15th. It's July 31st. That's gotta be some kind of record.


Unfortunately, it's not at all difficult to break into a voting machine and change te resuts. Systems with paper are the best as they can be easiy audited and verified.


Ana Kasparian of the Young Turks debates Ann Coulter. One of the things that the two of them disagree on is how productive President Trump's first six months have been. Coulter says that it's only been a few months and is thus too early to tell. Problem with this is that by his six-month mark, Obama had gotten the Stimulus passed and then moved onto laying the groundwork for the ACA/Obamacare.
As to the younger George Bush, the tax cut of $1.25 trillion was done, No Child Left Behind was signed in May and he took various initiatives on prescription drugs and Social Security. So neither of the two 21st Century presidencies were as free of accomplishments at their six-month mark as Trump's has been.


Truly revolting and disgusting story about Senator Grassley (R-IA) and unsubstantiated accusations.


How much did residents of Maine appreciate the vote that Senator Susan Collins took to retain the ACA/Obamacare? She has spent two decades as a senator and in that time has taken 6,300 votes. For the first time ever, as she returned home in the airport terminal, she received spontaneous applause from all of the passengers in the terminal


Well, that's depressing! Chris Wallace of Fox News asks Kellyanne Conway if President Trump is going to continue to tilt at the windmill of repealing the ACA/Obamacare.
"The president will not accept those who said it's time to move on," the White House aide insisted. "We've met with the Obamacare victims at the White House several times now. They are real people."
To which I'd say that I'm sure there are people who would be doing better without the ACA, but I think they were doing poorly beforehand and will do much worse when several tens of thousands of people lose coverage because of any of the proposed Republican plans passing.


North Korean "Missile test disconcerting. But talk of a pre-emptive military strike on North Korea is far more so."  The last four US Presidents have tried their hand at containing North Korea's nuclear program. The progress of the North Korean missile program slows down under the Democrat's bribery and flattery and speeds up under the Republican's sword-rattling and bluster.


Right-wing media was very heavily complicit in the failure of the Republican Party to remove the health care plans of tens of millions of American citizens.


The backstory on Senator McCain's change of heart on Trumpcare.


The Trump Labor Department decides against boosting the salaries of workers.


So,how did our President regard the defeat of the health care replacement that had been pressed for many years? Not very well, it seems. Here he recommends violence against people who have not yet been tried in a court of law by policemen on the scene acting as lawless vigilantes. The police leadership immediately put out statement making clear their disagreement.


Huh! So Reince Priebus has now been fired from the White House Chief of Staff position.
Heh! I recall the first time I heard about him. He was being considered for head of the RNC and the comedian Jon Stewart reported on his investigation of Priebus "Nothing funny about him except his name. Too dull to provide any good comedy."


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said “Our friends on the other side decided early on they didn’t want to engage with us in a serious way, a serious way to help those suffering under Obamacare.” First off, "suffering" is a huge exaggeration for technical problems that could have been quickly and easily fixed. And also, the piece here goes through just how "serious" the GOP fixes actually were.
Update: A Republican Trump supporter argued that Senate Minority Leader Schumer wasn't serious about helping out on ACA/Obamacre repeal: 

It starts with conversation, and [Trump] was shut down immediately by Senator Schumer and the others, in saying that they weren't going to support anything called a repeal of Obamacare. They worked to put more money into the individual marketplace, but that was it. At which point [Trump] had no choice, but to turn to the Republicans, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan.


Woo hoo!!!! Senator McCain voted with Senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins against the final Trumpcare bill! McCain may have put us all through some unnecessary drama, but he somewhat redeemed himself in the end. Democrats deserve a big cheer as they were absolutely rock-solid! Not a single one ever wavered!


Y'know, this is not how laws are made in a mature country! What the moderate Republicans are hoping to do is to pass any ol' thing and then pass it along to the Majority Leader so that he can take it to the House-Senate Conference and then the moderates are just going to hope that the House wouldn't simply accept the "Skinny Repeal" bill (that is, the re-written "Repeal and Delay" bill that was rejected a few months ago). This is an incredibly irresponsible way to make laws!


Good! The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs has made it clear that the policy on transgender servicepeople won't change until the President uses the appropriate chain of command. Sending out a tweet won't work.


Seen some anti-war buddies commenting on the issue of transgender people in the military and wondering why anyone would fight to become part of the military-industrial complex. I very much get that and understand that. But joining the military means you're part of an organization that puts mission above whatever social customs are prevalent at the time. See the movie "Hidden Figures." The women featured there made social progress because NASA didn't have time or patience to permit social customs and mores to compromise the mission. Social mores had to take second place.
Also, a veteran has some NSFW words to say about the transgender ban. 
And, of course, once again “The more socially liberal factions of Trump’s inner circle" (Specifically Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner) prove to be completely useless whenever it comes to serious issues.


Senator John McCain makes a really, really good case for voting against Trumpcare and then ... votes for it!


The President, suddenly and without any warning, decided transgender troops could no longer serve in the military, where they've been serving openly for about a year.
"After consultation with my generals..." sounds an awful lot to me like "All these people come up to me and say..."
Watched a little of the news this morning and they agree there are roughly 8,000 transgender people serving right now without incident and without costing much more than "regular" solders, sailors and airmen do. Whether transgender people should serve is a litigated, settled issue. There are side issues involved, but they're in the process of being worked out. Nobody in the field has indicated that these problems are insurmountable.


So the head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, wants to recruit a "red team" to deny global warming and a "blue team" to try and prove the basic frickin' science of the matter. He's decided to ask the Heartland Institute for help in getting his "red team." A few years ago, the Heartland Institute ran an ad that accurately pointed out that Osama bin Laden believed in man-made climate change and then suggested that if you believed in the basic science of the matter, you were in agreement with a terrorist.


Good! Republican Senators kept "Trumpcare 3.0" undeservedly alivevia a "motion to proceed," but the specific Senate plan, the BCRA, was slapped down decisively by a 43 to 57 vote.


So the state of Israel now considers BDS activists to be physical, imminent threats to their national security. As our President would say "Sad!"


Hmm, so the latest Senate Trumpcare plan is to essentially kick out one of the legs of the three-legged stool that supports the ACA/Obamacare. In other words "Repeal Without Replace."
*Sigh* and all of the "brave" and "principled" moderates collapsed and voted to permit Senate Majority Leader McConnell to make the bill whatever he wants in the House-Senate Conference.

And the maverick himself, Sen. John McCain? He left his taxpayer-funded sickbed to cast what ultimately was the deciding vote to make sure the kind of health care he’s receiving is denied to millions of others. So much for his legacy.

Have to agree with the blogger's comments on US program to aid Syrian rebels, now cancelled by President Trump. The program wasn't worth much anyway.
As to a question the blogger doesn't address - did the President cancel the program as a favor to his good buddy Vladimir Putin? My suspicion is that he did, but on balance, I think it was a good decision.

Also, Iran and Iraq make serious, far-ranging agreement. US doesn't seem to have much to say about it.


Senate Majority Leader McConnell still trying to get the Trumpcare bill through the Senate wthout making any substantial changes to it.
Heh! "The last three weeks of feverish negotiations have been less about moving the ball, and more about moving the dirt around the ball to give it the appearance of moving."


The President thoroughly disgraces America at the Boy Scout Jamboree. Saw several comparisons here and elsewhere to Hitler Youth rallies.
Update: BSA distances itself from the President.


President Trump urges military members to press their Senators and Congresspeople.
The problem with the Command in Chief confusing legal military instructions with inappropriate political suggestions is, let's say you're an Italian soldier in the late 1930s. Your Duce (Leader) has permitted you to wear uniforms at political demonstrations. You attend a demonstration of people who want peace. You, along with several buddies from the same unit, start roughing up the protesters. Are you acting spontaneously? Are you just acting out of your convictions? Or are you following orders? That's precisely the point of Americans not wearing any sort of military uniform at political events. Military people may get in touch with political representatives, but they shouldn't do so as military members.


House Budget Committee Chair Diane Black (R-TN) and Neil Cavuto, a Fox News host, have a discussion in which Black declares that she has found a "sweet spot" for budget targets. How does she know that this is the right amount? Not from any reference to human needs. Her "proof" is entirely mathematical. How does she know her math is correct? Because it's consistent with Reaganomics, supply-side economics, the Laffer Curve, whatever you want to call it. Is this an accurate theory? No. It's complete nonsense. Wealthy campaign donors like it because it justifies tax breaks that leave lots of money to the wealthy, but there's zero real-world evidence that it actually helps anybody else. So, for this completely invalid  theory, Black is willing to sacrifice the welfare of hundreds of millions of people.


So, six months in on the Trump Presidency and how many promises has he broken?
Actually, one of the broken promises I think we can all be pleased about is the commitment to undo the Iran nuclear deal. It's a deal where Iran has kept its side of the bargain.


So how's the war in Afghanistan doing? Ehh, not so good. Corruption's a major problem. Simply throwing in more troops isn't going to solve anything.


And how's "Mooch" doing? Senator Franken thought he was hearing about the opinion of some obscure expert. 

Within one minute @Scaramucci outs scandal plagued Republican @realDonaldTrump as his anonymous source.


So the new White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Yep, she took over Sean Spicer's old position), makes a really wonderful pledge to never lie to the American people a-a-a-and...breaks that pledge within two minutes by obviously lying and trying to drag the Clintons in to make a false equivalence with.


"...heavy clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police in and around Jerusalem over new security measures at the sensitive site" cause echoes in an Israeli settlement on the West Bank, where a Palestinian teenager conducted a home invasion, stabbing several family members who were just finishing up a dinner.


Speaker of the House Paul Ryan just wants everyone to get along and to be civil to each other.  Sounds great, but this is also when he wants to ram this totally one-sided health care bill down our throats. Sorry, but it's hard to be civil when this bill will take away the health care plans of at least 20 million Americans. There have been no hearings, no speeches and no opportunity of offer amendments.


People have suggested that just as we liberals gained a new affection for James Comey after he was fired by President Trump, we now like Sean Spicer because he quit Trump's service.
Nope. Not true for either one of them. Comey threw a giant monkey wrench into the final weeks of the 2016 election that resulted in Trump becoming the President and Spicer served Trump loyally, repeating obvious lies. We haven't changed our opinion of either person.


Yeah, our intelligence agencies knew about these possibly treasonous conversations in real time. Here we are spending $50 to $75 billion for those agencies and they didn't leak this information until we're already six months into this new administration. Would have done a lot more good for us to have known about the Don Trump Jr. meeting with Vesselnitskaya back around when it happened as opposed to now. President Obama maintained a really tight control of that sort of information though, so he would not have had plausible deniability to have said "Aw gee! A 'rogue' agency spilled some information! I didn't authorize that."


You can carry a firearm in your luggage, but there's proper means and procedure to carrying it. Can't just toss it in your luggage loaded. People losing frearms all the time because they don't follow procedure. All these "open carry" laws appear to be making people casual and careless.


A review of the politics of the ACA/Obamacare. Democrats and Republicans took opposite bets. Ds put their money on success, Rs put theirs on failure. Rs were wrong pretty much every single time, in all of their predictions.
Now Rs want us to trust them to get a replacement plan right.


Sean Spicer is let go as Press Secretary. What do we know of his successor, Anthony Scaramucci? Well, he once compared the fiduciary rule to the Dred Scott decision.


Oopsie! Jared Kushner "forgot" to include 77 items worth at least $2.5 million on his disclosure form!

Update: Ooh! Here's a good idea! If an asset (over $1 million) isn't important enough to remember for a disclosure form, it should be okay for the government to to seize it! 


Natalia Veselnitskaya worked with the FSB (successor to the KGB) for a number of years. She is the first person that was identified as having met with Donald Trump Jr. in Trump Tower in 2016.


Yep, the President inquired about pardoning himself over his Russia scandal. And yes, the elder George Bush pardoned co-conspirators in the Iran-Contra case, but Gerald Ford was really the one who started that ball rolling, on letting presidents get away with crimes, by pardoning Richard Nixon. As young as I was when that happened, I was pretty shocked by that and still regard it as unforgivable.

Update: Nixon's Justice Department concluded that a president cannot be the judge in hiw own case, meaning no, Trump can't pardon himself.


A blogger runs though the highlight (or lowlights) of the President's interview with the NY Times. Wow! Just ... wow! And I don't mean that in a good way. Trump declares that his rather dull, pedestrian, utterly forgettable speech in Poland was some world-historical masterpiece of rhetoric. I was a history major in college and was not at all impressed by his history. I do admit that I wasn't aware of Napoleon III re-designing Paris. I was just familiar with his military goof-ups and how he embarrassed Napoleon I in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870.


Democratic leaders want to ban boycotts of Israel. This is a bad idea and is contrary to the best of American history. 


I agree with this. I blame the failure of Trumpcare far more on Speaker Ryan than on President Trump. From the piece:
"Many Republicans suspect there might be a connection between the president’s gross incompetence, and his party’s legislative woes. And they’re right about that — but only because a more competent president would have put less faith in Paul Ryan’s policy judgment."

One of the problems is that President Trump has no idea how much health care even costs for average citizens. He was asked about that and confused health care policy with a life insurance policy.

A supporter of Trump's maintans there's nothing wrong with the President not knowing the deatils of policy. Well, sure, if he's making a speech at a rally, he doesn't need to know details. But if he's trying to speak to and convince informed skeptics, he really needs to know what he's talking about.


NRATV’s Grant Stinchfield tells us that in South African "white families are being tortured and killed almost every day in racist violence. It is a warning for the United States that you will never hear from the mainstream media in this country." Well, there's a reason you won't hear about this in the mainstrea media. The problem doesn't really exist in the way that Stinchfield describes it. Yes,  murders in South Africa are up, but no, there's no racial pattern to them. South Africa simply has a high rate of murders.


Sean Hannity says a lot that I agree with. Of course, people were talking about a health care system at least as far back as the late 1940s. If it was easy to create a capitalist, free-market based system, it would have been done by the 1950s at the latest. Doesn't mean it can't be done, I just don't think Hannity's suggestion of a single negotiating session is going to do it. Yeah, basically, the Republican Party spent seven years twiddling their thumbs and lying about having a plan.


Back in 2014, we looked at the last billion votes that had been cast and out of that billion, 31 were found to be cases of in-person voter fraud. But somehow, Kobach says that his commission has identified around 3 million cases of in-person voter fraud by spinning a highly unlikely tale of very questionable methods.


The attempted Republican "reform" of the ACA/Obamacare was covered by the blogger back in March and there really isn't much to add this time. This latest attempt failed for many the same reasons. Problem now is that the GOP has so "salted the earth" and insulted and alienated Democrats, it's difficult to see how the President, the Senate or the House is going to get any work done with Democrats.


Rush Limbaugh is very upset that just a few Senators had the ability to put the kibosh on the Trumpcare bill. Welcome to closely divided government! Democrats had the same trouble with Joe Lieberman and other centrists back during the younger George Bush Administration. Closely-divided legislatures gives the dissidents and hold-outs a lot of influence that they don't usually have.


Right now, Republicans appear to only have 48 senators supporting Trumpcare. The President says that's a "pretty impressive vote." Actually, it really isn't.  He again complains of no Democrats voting for his plan. It's not at all clear why they would want to, considering they were completely shut out of the planning or of any chance to participate. This is also a good point. Trump never once demonstrated a grasp of the details of the bill. Also, vote is a reminder that Harry Reid was a genuinely skilled Majority Leader, who operated with no cushion. He couldn't afford to lose a single vote and didn't.  


He truly hates the fact, but Presidetnt Trump is forced to grudgingly admit that the nuclear deal with Iran is working.


So how's the Megyn Kelly show doing? After MSNBC spent millions for the former Fox News anchorwoman, um, yeah. She's less popular than reruns of a not-all-that-popular show.
Brilliant move, MSNBC!


Spokesperson Sean Spicer is asked a reasonable question about "Made in America Week" and declares the question "out of bounds." Why they ever decided on such a theme amazes me because Donald and Ivanka Trump are about the worst possible representatives for such an idea as they make pretty much all of their products out of the country.


Marc Kasowitz, a lawyer for President Trump, shows that he does not have a professional demeanor and does not have a thick skin when it comes to being criticized.
It would be difficult for him to effectively represent his client in any event, but as the piece points out, representing this particular client would be a Herculean task for any lawyer, even a far better one.


A lot of our coal and nuclear plants are aging and are uneconomical to repair. We'd be far better off tearng them down and replacing them with wind or solar power. Obviously, this is not what Energy Secretary Rick Perry wants to hear.


Senate Majority Leader McConnell decides to go for "Repeal and Delay," basically toss everybody off their health plan and somehow, someday, come up with a replacemet. President Trump makes same proposal with the prediction that "Dems will join in" to help design a new plan. Which of course, they won't. Dems will sit back and point out, correctly, that the ACA was working just fine before the GOP stepped in and messed everything up.


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