Trump’s payroll tax deferral: It’s just burning down the country to collect the insurance money.

There are many ways to describe the GOP policy of running up the debt and then using it to justify draconian cuts in public spending. Bruce Bartlett called the Two-Santa Theory. I prefer a more direct and honest description: Burning down the country to collect the insurance money.

It’s a really simple scheme when you look at it. You run up the debt via tax cuts targeted at your donors. You privatize everything, transferring it to the same donors who got bags of cash in the form of tax giveaways and subsidies. You then loot the nation’s insurance fund, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to undo the damage of the tax cuts.

Trump’s executive order is a new take on this scheme: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/memorandum-deferring-payroll-tax-obligations-light-ongoing-covid-19-disaster/

Here he is just ceasing to collect payroll taxes, which directly fund social security. This is being done without any cuts to spending or new taxes to offset them; simply to decrease the funds social security will have available to meet future obligations. He knows damn well that most tax payers will not be able to pay six months or a year of deferred payroll taxes so he is counting on the next administration to have to pay for this with cuts when the bill comes due.

This is burning the insurance money to keep the country burning.

Obamagate is just Benghazi 2.0

Bill Barr’s DOJ has just released a report showing that the 29 FISA warrants met the appropriate standards, showing that the Russia investigation wasn’t a hoax or a witch hunt. And this can mean only one thing: there will be multiple investigations into those 29 FISA warrants.

Obamagate is just Benghazi 2.0. So expect a never ending stream of new investigations that go nowhere.

“The Department of Justice has completed its review of the 29 FISA applications that were the subject of preliminary findings by the DOJ Inspector General (OIG) in March 2020.  We are pleased that our review of these applications concluded that all contained sufficient basis for probable cause and uncovered only two material errors, neither of which invalidated the authorizations granted by the FISA Court.   These findings, together with the more than 40 corrective actions undertaken by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Division, should instill confidence in the FBI’s use of FISA authorities.  We would like to express our appreciation to the OIG for their focus on the Department’s use of its national security authority.  We remain committed to improving the FISA process to ensure that we use these tools consistent with the law and our obligations to the FISA Court.  The ability to surveil and to investigate using FISA authorities remains critical to confronting current national security threats, including election interference, Chinese espionage and terrorism.”

Source: Statement of Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers on the Public Release of the Department’s Findings with Respect to the 29 FISA Applications that Were the Subject of the March 2020 OIG Preliminary Report | OPA | Department of Justice

The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: President Trump appointed Jared to lead the task force.

This is an amazing and in depth article in Vanity Fair points that out something we should all already know. The Republican party is willing to play politics with American lives. In this case, they were willing to do nothing in the face of a pandemic, allow the virus to kill American citizens and use those deaths to attack Democratic governors.

Most troubling of all, perhaps, was a sentiment the expert said a member of Kushner’s team expressed: that because the virus had hit blue states hardest, a national plan was unnecessary and would not make sense politically. “The political folks believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy,” said the expert.

Source: How Jared Kushner’s Secret Testing Plan “Went Poof Into Thin Air” | Vanity Fair

No of this should be shocking to those who know that six years later, Flint still lacks access to safe drinking water. Or that the GOP still blocks every 9/11 first responder bill, possibly out of habit while using first responders as a prop. Or that they regularly vote against disaster relief when it comes to blue states while demanding disaster relief in their home states.

This is why the nine most terrifying words in the English language are: President Trump appointed Jared to lead the task force. Mobsters don’t hire family members for their competence. They pick family members because they are unlikely to talk to the FBI. They pick family members for blind loyalty.

Why don’t Republicans know what American values, history and culture are?

Looking back at historic events and people involved, putting it in context and attempting to evaluate those people and events with modern understanding is history. That is literally what history is and what historians do.

Statues aren’t history. The story of why those statues are there, what they meant for the people who put them there, why those people were chosen; that’s history. This is why every attempt to revive the symbols of the confederacy is an attempt to rewrite history. Taking down the statues and putting them in museums isn’t erasing history. It is history.

Insisting that you can not criticize some historical figures, reevaluate their contributions, discuss negative things about them in the light of modern understanding isn’t protecting history. It is literal political correctness and it harms our values, history and culture.

More importantly, no one taking away American values, history, and culture because those statues do not represent America. They represent Confederate culture and Confederate values. That Republicans do not understand this is both shocking and not at all surprising.

I honestly do not know what is wrong with the Republicans anymore. I keep hearing “they aren’t being taught what I was!” yeah, no shit. We know more now. Having you kids taught exactly what you were taught assumes we haven’t learned anything. Having your kids taught something new means you did your job.

Actual historians have looked over events and historical figures with new eyes and with new understanding and now we know more. When Johnny Boomer was in school in 1960, it is very likely that all of his text books were written by people who simply never questioned the idea of white christian male rule as an immutable fact of life. When I was in school it was likely that all my text books were written by people who never considered LGBT rights leading to marriage equality.

So it would be irresponsible to teach kids about the founders without discussing slavery. And it would be irresponsible to exclude the existence of the LGBT community. It would be irresponsible to ignore the work that went into documenting structural racism. We no longer teach kids to use typewriters, slide rules and manual spreadsheets using ledger paper anymore either. Times change and it would be disservice to teach kids the 1960 Johnny Boomer curriculum for the sake of Republican feelings.

TrumpGate: Trump pardoned the man who unmasked Valerie Plame because he doesn’t actually care about national security.

Libby, Cheney’s former chief of staff, was convicted in 2007 of lying to investigators and obstruction of justice following the 2003 leak of the covert identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame, though no one was ever charged for the leak. President George W. Bush later commuted Libby’s 30-month prison sentence but didn’t issue a pardon despite intense pressure from Cheney.In a statement, Libby thanked Trump, saying his family has “suffered under the weight of a terrible injustice.” He said Trump “recognized this wrong and would not let it persist. For this honorable act, we shall forever be grateful.”

Source: Trump pardons Scooter Libby, says he was ‘treated unfairly’ 

https://apnews.com/46e832e8e7874372b3a92f2f9b0b9cfd/Trump-pardons-Scooter-Libby,-says-he-was-‘treated-unfairly’

In order to take the ObamaGate nonsenses seriously you have to accept that the president that led chants of lock her up is concerned about rule of law, that the president that insisted that he has the obligation to personally call for investigations on individuals of his choosing is worried about the corruption of the justice system, that the president that asserted that he can use state power to help his reelection if he thinks its in the national interest is now concerned about the corruption of the political process, that the president that asserted he has absolute authority is concerned that Obama overstepped his authority, that that the president that asked Comey for special treatment for Flynn is worried that Comey was not acting ethically in the case of Flynn. 
Alternatively you can recognize that Republicans have the long term memory of sleep deprived stoner goldfish and simply do not remember anything that happened a few days ago. The whole Valerie Plame affair may as well have happened during the Peloponnesian War. Scooter? Who’s he?
If you’ve been keeping track this is now the fifth attempt to investigate the prior administration to find all this awful wrong doing they just know happened. Do you remember the election commission that found all those cases of Democratic voter fraud? How can anyone forget the dramatic footage of the Soros busses filled with MS13 members wearing matching Hillary shirts? The Uranium One case. Wow, Hillary got over a million years of jail time for that once they found all that uranium. Then there was investigation of IRS abuses under Obama. Over seven trillion deep state members sent to GITMO over that. Then the Biden investigation. Looks like Hunter Biden is getting a billion years of jail time for being responsible for all the crime that happened in the Ukraine in 2012 to 2016, all of it completely and fully documented on the physical server hidden by Crowd strike at the bottom of a deep ravine outside just outside of Odessa Ukraine. 
We’ve been through this again and again. None of this ever turns into a case. This was propaganda sent over twitter to the easily fooled and the proudly disingenuous who entertain this nonsense because it fits the Fox News narrative.

Trump always puts Trump first, not America, and this will never change.

Trump saying he should not talk to them if they don’t “treat you right.

Anyone who has been following Trump the past few years might still be shocked by this but I am not. To quote Adam Serwer in the Atlantic:

There are not many Trump scandals. There is one Trump scandal. Singular: the corruption of the American government by the president and his associates, who are using their official power for personal and financial gain rather than for the welfare of the American people, and their attempts to shield that corruption from political consequences, public scrutiny, or legal accountability.

I call this the Single Scandal Theory. This is just the most recent instance of the scandal. This is exactly the same as the attempted shakedown of Ukraine he was impeached for. This is exactly how he plans on running the post COVID-19 stimulus.  It’s all the same, it never changes.

From Trump admits telling Pence not to call governors – CNN Video

https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2020/03/27/trump-pence-governors-call-coronavirus-sot-vpx.cnn

They never thought it would effect their lives. So Foxlandia dismissed as a hoax. Now that it may effect them, they call it a crisis.

“Fox News personalities such as Sean Hannity and Laura In­graham accused the news media of whipping up “mass hysteria” and being “panic pushers.” Fox Business host Trish Regan called the alleged media-Democratic alliance “yet another attempt to impeach the president.”

But that was then.

With Trump’s declaration on Friday that the virus constitutes a national emergency, the tone on Fox News has quickly shifted.”

If you don’t understand why the GOP base was able to flip the script from hoax to crisis it is because you don’t one of the most basic truth about the right. Problems that do not effect them, do not exist. They never thought COVID-19 would effect their lives, so Foxlandia dismissed as a hoax. Now that it may effect them, they call it a crisis.

From: washingtonpost.com

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/media/on-fox-news-suddenly-a-very-different-tune-about-the-coronavirus/2020/03/16/7a7637cc-678f-11ea-9923-57073adce27c_story.html

NPR Story on botched COVID-19 demonstrates the Single Scandal Theory of the Trump Administration

From NPR’s Fresh Air

“Secretary Azar has not always given the president the worst-case scenario of what could happen. My understanding is he did not push to do aggressive additional testing in recent weeks, and that’s partly because more testing might have led to more cases being discovered of coronavirus outbreak, and the president had made clear – the lower the numbers on coronavirus, the better for the president, the better for his potential reelection this fall.

Meanwhile, Seema Verma, since being added to the team, has announced all kinds of actions that could be seen as cracking down on the problem – dispatching a team of investigators to Washington state, where there has been a major outbreak of corona virus, predominantly in local nursing homes. But I’ve talked to officials who say that Seema Verma, in an effort to show that she’s cracking down, may actually be creating more problems by having her investigators demanding paperwork, demanding answers at a moment when these nursing home officials are just trying to provide basic patient care to people who have been infected by coronavirus.”

This isn’t a new Trump scandal. There isn’t a string of unrelated scandals with a new one piled on each news cycle. There is only one which has been going on for three years now. To quote Adam Serwer in the Atlantic:

There are not many Trump scandals. There is one Trump scandal. Singular: the corruption of the American government by the president and his associates, who are using their official power for personal and financial gain rather than for the welfare of the American people, and their attempts to shield that corruption from political consequences, public scrutiny, or legal accountability.

I call this the Single Scandal Theory.

From: npr.org

https://www.npr.org/2020/03/12/814881355/white-house-knew-coronavirus-would-be-a-major-threat-but-response-fell-short

Rubio's Statement on the President’s Impeachment Trial is Incoherent Nonsense

“ultimately, voters themselves can hold the President accountable in an election, including the one just nine months from now.”

If Rubio really wanted to voters to hold the president accountable he would have asked for documents and witnesses so the voters could get the full story and make their choice as informed citizens.

By allowing the president to block all documents and block all first hand testimony, Rubio is actively preventing the voters from making informed decisions. Instead, the voters will hear a he said she said debate without all the relevant facts and be unable to hold the president accountable for his actions.

Let’s apply this simple test: If Rubio’s goal was to get voters to vote without knowing what the president did thereby being unable to hold the president accountable; is there anything Rubio would have to do differently?

From: medium.com

View at Medium.com

I think I know why 70% of Republicans want Bolton to testify.

The gap between GOP voters who want John Bolton to testify (70%) and GOP senators who want witnesses (somewhere between zero and 4/51) can be completely explained once you consider that GOP voters think Trump is innocent because they believe the Fox news version of events and GOP senators know he is guilty because they actually know the actual truth.

This also explains why right wing media has turned on Bolton.

“New poll says 82% of all Americans want John Bolton to testify for Trump’s removal trial, including 70% of Republicans,” Scott Dworkin, co-founder of the Democratic Coalition, tweeted Wednesday morning, using the trending hashtag. “So the GOP Senators have a choice to make. They can side with the American people, or they can be traitors for life and side with Trump.”

From Newsweek  #WeWantWitnesses Trends After Report That Mitch McConnell Doesn’t Have The Votes To Block Witnesses In Trump Impeachment Trial