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Economics Blog for UFPJ-DVN
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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
Study guide available from Christian-Jewish Allies:
“Why Palestine Matters, The Struggle To End Colonialism”
Also: Press Release
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Info, articles, etc.
"Meet the Alabama sheriff who kept hundreds of thousands in inmate food funds for personal use"
The Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, gets fired. Will we miss him? Nah, he brought nothing worthwhile to the job. The WaPo subtitle is "A political eulogy for the most incompetent Secretary of State in modern history."
The new Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, is very close to the Koch brothers and really, really hates the Iran deal.
Gina Haspel is the President's choice for the new CIA Deputy Director. She oversaw the torture of prisoners and the destruction of evidence of human rights abuses. Obama didn't create the problem, but he certainly didn't "clean out the barn," either. The past comes back to bite the US in the butt.
Physicist Stephen Hawking has passed away.
Congressional District PA-18 was won by Trump in the 2016 election by 20 points. That seat is now held by a Democrat!!!
"CNN Anchor Stunned After Trump's Racist Remarks At Mexico-California Border" CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin gives a great reaction shot here. What interests me about this clip is how narrow the President's vision is. He keeps talking about how terrible California is, but his one and only point of reference, the only factor he considers, is state taxes. As we can see here, California's economy is doing pretty great. No, high taxes do not automatically equal a poorly-run state.
From a tweet by the Minority Leader on the House Intelligence Committee: "BREAKING: GOP just shut down House Intel investigation, leaving questions unanswered, leads unexplored, countless witnesses uncalled, subpoenas unissued."
Hey, it's Women's History Month! So how has the Trump Administration honored women? *Sigh* No, The First Lady, the Second Lady (Vice-President's wife) and the First Daughter (Ivanka Trump) really don't constitute appointing women to high positions.
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has very deservedly taken lots and lots of heat for this truly terrible interview. She says: "I'm more misunderstood than anything." Nope. I don't agree. Fundamentally, the idea that she champions is to put schools in competition with each other. I think that's fundamentally misguided and fails to acknowledge that schools are not capitalist institutions that respond well to price changes and efficiency improvements.
DeVos is asked about white kids and black kids being treated differently. That, say, both groups create a disruption. The white kids would see the principal, the cops would get called on the black kids.
President Trump gives a very, very bad speech. So bad, in fact, that Chris Cillizza is flabbergasted at how bad it is. Also, link to right-wing blog that sums up Soledad O'Brien's reaction to Cillizza comparing reality TV to the actual White House. She's not impressed.
Trump Administration decides that press coverage of nuclear energy has been too negative. “A lot of the challenges that we have have been blown out of proportion in the media.” Or, perhaps, the problems have not been "blown out of proportion" at all and perhaps the industry needs to get its act together and carry out reforms.
Very happy to see that Democrats are keeping up the pressure on Carl Icahn's insider trading. "Icahn sold more than $30 million in steel-related stock, crane manufacturer Montiwoc, several days before Trump’s announcement last week on tariffs, after which Montiwoc’s stock plummeted."
So, Hans von Spakovsky, a noted vote suppressor, "said putting Democrats or mainstream Republicans on Trump’s voter fraud commission would lead to its 'abject failure.'” He denied that, but someone then found the email where he said just that. Oops!
"John Kelly reportedly feared Pruitt’s climate debate would be a huge embarrassment" So the, quote "grown-up in the room" gives the American people the worst of both worlds. We get an EPA Administrator who continues to pursue policies that will increase global warming but we don't get a debate that would demonstrate the moral and scientific bankruptcy of such policies. Gee, thanks! %$#@%$!!!
A story that doesn't
do Newsweek any favors at all. The Clinton Foundation did not
benefit the Clintons personally. Giving money to the Foundation was a
very indirect way to curry favor with them and it's not clear that anyone benefited by
Not only is it a really bad idea to go to war in Syria, period, full stop. But going to war with the president we have and with the public not having any real knowledge of what's going on there and Republicans as represented by Senator Graham being utterly clueless as to how to win. Full withdrawal of all American troops from Syria, NOW!!!
In discussing what it's like to work for President
Trump, this is
a rather alarming statement: "By day's end, dazed White House
officials were discussing whether Mr. Trump would invite Mr. Kim to
come to the United States."
It's becoming clear that White House aides are being blindsided by the boss, who comes up with ideas like visiting Kim Jong Un of North Korea and announcing it without having given anyone the chance to weigh in. "...no one wants to work in an environment in which they have no idea what their colleagues and superiors may do next."
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos puts out a picture of a classroom that I find quite familiar and that she describes as typical. I agree that the picture she presents does indeed look typical to me, because like her, I'm an older person who went to school back during the 60s and 70s. Not surprisingly, schools have advanced a bit since then. Problem is, DeVos wants to "reform" schools, but is clearly out of date on how schools actually function today.
Hmm. Nope. Just can't do it. Can't get myself to feel the slightest sympathy for "Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli here as he's sentenced to seven years.
In a really, really important voting-rights case, the team led by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has proven to be amateurish and completely uninformed as to basic legal procedures. Recall please too, that this person also led a committee for the President to examine allegations of millions of illegal votes. The committee discovered nothing and is now disbanded.
A key member of the House Intelligence Committee, who is allegedly, supposedly, in theory, leading the investigation as to Russian influence on the 2016 election, said that he was completely unaware of who a significant figure in the case was. Sounds to me as though the Committee has been spinning its wheels to little real-world effect.
Whoa! Pretty serious shocker! Kim Jong Un has agreed to meet our President in just a few months! Is that good news for him? Very much so as he can then appear to be equal to the US leader. Good new for Trump? Heck yeah, anything that gets the news off of Mueller and his probe is all good news.
Update: White House starting to backtrack.
Update 2: "Trump
Says Media Coverage Of Planned Talks With Kim Jong Un Is 'FAKE'"
John Bolton calls Tucker Carlson simpleminded, but frankly, I think Bolton's aswers are quite simplistic. Yes, I thnk the aftermath of the Iraq invasion of 2003 was inevitable. because yes, the US had the forces needed to defeat Saddam Hussein's army, but the US didn't commit anywhere near enough troops to win the peace. The younger George Bush simply didn't have any way to counteract the civil war taking place between Sunnis and Shiites. Obama and Clinton were correct in 2008, the "Surge" was far fron the only factor that got Iraq to quiet down temporarily. It was not any error of Obama's that caused ISIS to explode in 2014.
"There is no audience for Boris Epshteyn's pro-Trump propaganda, so Sinclair forces it on people" This is what state-run propaganda TV looks like. Sinclair owns 190 local TV stations across the country.
How relevants is Fox News? This poor woman tries really, really hard to talk about relevant, today, current news, but the Fox News guys are stuck in the past and talking about years-old stuff. It was meaningful and relevant to discuss any possible connection between Bill Ayers, Reverend Wright and any of President Obama's planned policies back in 2008, when Obama was running for office. No one has drawn any connection whatsoever between these two and anything Obama ever did after becoming president. The news on the connection of Obama and Louis Farrakhan is new, but again, the meaning and relevance of the connection is far from clear.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos "parachutes in" to the Parkland school, pretty much entirely to have her photo taken with the school as a backdrop. Didn't talk with anyone, didn't send any people in advance to work out any sort of agenda for discussion, just showed up unannounced. The students were less than impressed.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicates he's perfectly comfortable with not having done much of anything to stop Russian interference in the 2016 election. Doesn't appear the this November's mid-terms are much of a concern to him, either.
So how's the reaction to the tax cut that Republicans passed back in December? Meh. Voters are underwhelmed.
Fellow keeps saying "I'm a lifelong Democrat, but ..."
Can we trust him on his identification with the Democratic Party? Nah.
President claims that “Everybody wants to work in the White House.” Yeah, this is what we call "wishful thinking." NPR said back in January that turnover or "churn" in Trump's White House during his first year was 34%. The next highest was Reagan's at 17%, followed by Clinton's at 11%, after which other recent presidents were in the single digits. I once worked in an office with high turnover. High turnover is a sign of a poorly-run office.
Michelle Obama meets an adorable little fan of hers.
The University of California in Berkeley has a clause in
contracts of all speakers, it's a “no boycott of Israel” clause
plainly violates free speech rules.
President Trump has complained several times that Obama's Attorney General, Eric Holder, protected Obama from all legal jeopardy, so AG Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III should do the same. Holder's response: "The difference between me and Jeff Sessions is that I had a president I did not have to protect.”
So what is the Trump Administration doing to safeguard the upcoming mid-term elections? White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders puts out an extremely short, thin and unimpressive list. But the President wants credit for taking strong action to counter Russian efforts anyway.
See, here's a problem with electoral mandates. President Trump Did. Not. Run. on a cheaper and lousier and less effective health care plan for everyone. He ran on a better plan that would cover more people. The poll here was taken by Trump's own pollster and it shows that nobody has forgotten his campaign promise of a better plan and nobody is willing to settle for the plan he introduced a few months after taking office.
The younger George Bush Administration tried to promote "abstinence only" programs. It found that these programs were moderately useful for getting young people to delay sexual activity, but is completely useless for people who have already had sex. The Department of Health and Human Services recently released guidelines on reproductive health and how these guidelines should apply to Title X program. This is pretty much just a cover for attacking Planned Parenthood.
Yes, "fake news" is a serious problem, but when authoritarians use it as a cover for anti-free speech policies, that's even more of a problem. We've seen with our own president in the way that he uses the term that it just refers to news he doesn't like or finds inconvenient.
Rachel Campos-Duffy of Fox News asks a truly moronic question at the 3:00 minute mark, suggesting that Ivanka Trump, a mother of three and who's run a fashion company, compares to Chelsea Clinton during her father's scandals, when Chelsea was still in high school. And yes, that idiotic comparison prevents us from hearing if Katrina Pierson can substantiate her wild charges of journalists calling for Barron Trump's death (An accusation I find utterly unbelievable).
Update: Campos-Duffy continues to defend Barron Trump. In this case, she mentions talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel's line: “[The Easter Egg Roll] was a fun day for the president. He got to eat chocolate. He even met a nice kid named Barron who he really liked.” Is this an insult of Barron? You have to really, really, seriously stretch the definition of "insulting" to arrive at such a conclusion.
Looks like the NRA has had its day and has pretty much shot its bolt now.
"The left 'attacks people trying to get to the truth,'" says Devin Nunes. Erm, okay, what great "truth" was being uncovered by Nunes and his memo that was released a few weeks ago? One of the big claims Nunes made in his memo concerned the FISA application to look into Carter Page. Nunes said that the FBI hid the fact of the dossier's partisan origins. No, the FBI did no such thing.
China's President Xi makes himself dictator for life. Instead of condemning Xi, President Trump waxes enthusiastic about that.
Kentucky refuses to outlaw child marriage? Nah, I totally identify with the children here. I can't imagine being given away in marriage to some old woman when I'm not fully mature yet. Can't imagine doing that to some young girl, either.
President Obama played golf a little over 300 times in eight years, or about three out of every 30 days. President Trump marks 100th day on golf course and his presidency is only 408 days old!
The two right-wingers here try really hard to convince us that the President isn't a racist. Problem is, they never define racism. They seem to be suggesting that if you're not wearing a hood and burning crosses on the lawns of black people, you're okay. So their statements of how they personally know Trump and of how the economy is doing well are completely beside the point.
NRA Spokesperson Dana Loesch gets comforted by Fox & Friends. Yep. It's just so awful that liberals won't sit down and discuss a bunch of stupid and unworkable ideas in a calm and civilized manner!
House Intelligence Committee Chairman says (words to the effect of): "Yeah, yeah, I leaked a senator's confidential text messages for blatantly political reasons, but hey, the real problem here is that the press reported my doing so."
The White House is a tough, strenuous place to work under any president. It's really bad under this one and it's clear to people there that no one is clamoring for former employees of this particular White House.
"Orrin Hatch: Obamacare Supporters Are The 'Stupidest, Dumbass' People He's Ever Seen” Of course, the Senator doesn't go into any detail. I'd be curious to know, with tens of millions of people benefiting from it, just why the ACA/Obamacare was such a terrible bill. Problem is, the President didn't get elected by promising to end the ACA, but by promising to produce something even better.
have great sympathy for the "unnamed Republican staffer
[who] told the Weekly Standard" that “This is why you don’t
do high-stakes, hot-button negotiation on live TV with someone who
doesn’t know or care about details.”
Regular consumers are starting to notice that the big, dramatic tax bill was passed in December, but they haven't been getting any discernible benefits from it.
Walmart joins Dick's Sporting Goods in restricting firearms sales. Yeah, in political votes, old people are essential. But as far as being consumers go, not so much. That's why we're seeing what someone yesterday called a "liberal corporatocracy."
Members of the Russian punk protest band "Pussy Riot" were detailed for a bit, but they've been returned.
Da-yum! By now resigning, Hope Hicks will have been the sixth Communications Director! And the Trump Administration is only 13 months old! As a blogger said, the Communications Director in the Trump Administration is getting to be like the drummer in Spinal Tap (1984 movie). Further reactions.
"Hope Hicks admits to telling 'white lies' to help Donald Trump” Not that Hicks is the slightest bit qualified to distingish between "white," harmless little lies and consequential, serious ones. Piece is an examination of how utterly and completely useless the House's "investigation" of the Trump Administration is. This was a pretty cool quote:
Hicks’s definition of her position as one that called on her to regularly lie would likely baffle Jen Psaki. If you don’t know Jen Psaki, she was communications director for the last two years of the Obama administration, during which time she made zero headlines by not telling lies of any shade. In fact the only controversy of her time in the White House was … nope, there was no controversy.
Ah! Good news! Jared Kushner has lost his security clearance after all! It was looking for a while as though White House Chief of Staff John Kelly was just a paper tiger who couldn't enforce his policies.
Amid protests that there's "no collusion" (a legally fuzzy and imprecise term) between himself and Russia, the President has not authorized the NSA to protect America's voting system from foreign interference.
News host Howard Kurtz: Trump deserves praise for driving the debate
about guns” Ha, ha, ha! No, at best, Trump played a purely
Generally, blacks armed
during the 12-year Reconstruction period, and "This did serve as some
moderate protection while Reconstruction lasted. But when
no-holds-barred confrontation broke out, blacks almost always lost
horribly against wealthier and hence better-armed whites.” So no,
personal firearms will not save us from tyranny.
Trump Organization claims to have donated the profits made in dealings with foreign governments, but won't realease any substantiating details.
The GOP reveals that it has absolutely
zero interest in investigating the President.
So how's the Trump Administration's response to the opioid problem going? Well, it seems to consist, first, last and only, of executing drug dealers. Kellyanne Conway claims that the President means to only execute high-volume dealers, but no one agrees that he's drawn that distinction.
President confronted by critical governor. President was
very unhappy with being confronted.
quiet campaign to bring back preexisting conditions”
Not that the Trump Administration has the slightest mandate for
reversing anything concerning the ACA/Obamacare. Donald Trump didn't
promise to do any such thing on the campaign trail. In fact, he
promised to improve
He never, at any point, said he was going to go backwards on a program
that Americans endorsed for two elections in a row.
Just yesterday, CNN's Brian Stelter said President Trump
talking about "an example of Trump's
Like her brother Don Jr., Ivanka seriously needs a good PR person to discuss her public statements with prior to making them (Jr. really needs to run all of his social media posts through a good PR person). It's really hard to take her seriously as a "White House Senior Adviser" when she refuses to make a serious statement and instead cries (words to the effect of) "Waaah! You're being mean to my daddy!" CNN points out that this is why nepotism laws exist.
While President Trump appears to be really anxious to start up a trade war with Iran, Europe has decided to pursue a policy that isolates the US in favor of increased trade with Iran.
Democrats finally get their memo that refutes the Nunes memo cleared. The President is very highly critical of the memo, but doesn't provide any substantiating details. Considering also that he was talking on the Jeanine Pirro show on Fox News, he has no excuse. A friendlier audience is hard to imagine.So it's impossible to take any of his criticisms the slightest bit seriously. President is asked if he objects to any single, specfic thing in the Democratic memo. He can't come up with anything.
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