I love your posts, you make me laugh out loud!!!!!
The Economy and Democracy: What a Poll Found
As a retiree living on a fluctuating retirement fund and Social Security, I understand voters’ concerns about the economy. Personally, I am grateful for my Social Security and Medicare, lifelines for millions of elderly and disabled Americans for which we are indebted to the Democrats.
It’s worth noting that the Democrats have been better stewards of the economy than the Republicans for decades. Trickle-down and supply-side economics and tax breaks for the wealthiest have worsened the income inequality that we suffer from today.
Finally, our votes this year will have a huge effect on our democracy itself. I cannot understand anyone’s willingness to support a party running hundreds of election deniers and incumbents who have expressed contempt for our personal freedoms and our very right to cast a vote that will be counted.
The economy goes up and down; our threatened democracy may not be so resilient.
Polls seem to indicate that U.S. voters believe the Republican message that President Biden and the Democrats have caused inflation. Do these voters think that the Democrats caused the inflation in Europe, or in Asia, or in Africa or South America? This round of inflation is a consequence of a global pandemic and many trends that have affected supply chains and economic activity.
I wish the message that the current inflation is a global phenomenon could be shown to U.S. voters and that they would stop falling for the misinformation from Republican strategists.
I was intrigued, and alarmed, by your Oct. 18 front-page print headline “Most Voters Say U.S. Democracy Is Under Threat,” which was followed by an even more alarming “But Few Feel Urgency.”
Trust me, if authoritarian-supporting candidates win next month and democracy is indeed on the chopping block, it may be too late for voters to feel any “urgency.” Urgency needs to come first, before our freedoms are taken away.
The 2022 midterm elections will once again prove that many people vote with their pocketbooks, not with any ideals about democracy.
How much is freedom worth? To save a few dollars at the grocery store and the gas pump, citizens will give away American ideals and embrace fascism in a minute, especially when Republicans play the fear card (anti-immigrant, too much crime, “deep state” conspiracy theories, racism) to a fare-thee-well. Farewell it is.
If Republicans have a majority in the House after the November election, they plan to investigate security failures on Jan. 6 at the Capitol and have falsely targeted Speaker Nancy Pelosi as responsible. Such an inquiry would prove lame given the video showing her efforts on that day to call in the National Guard to quell the riot, with one of her accusers present.
But at the same time, some Republicans have claimed that there was no insurrection at the Capitol. If so, how can Nancy Pelosi be held responsible for not calling in troops to quell something they claim did not happen?
. . . decreasing petroleum production and the reduced availability of basic chemical core products derived from it, including ammonia & fertilizer. Declines in basic grain crop yields are increasingly evident. . .
he [Biden] continues to reduce our strategic reserves of petroleum, to achieve only laughably ephemeral, short-term reductions in the rate of increase of fuel prices , and continues to supply weapons and ammunition to Ukraine, but without any action so far to to replenish them.
We have already diverted scarce resources from policing the smuggling of drugs, particularly fentanyl (now a leading cause of deaths among young adults and others) to attend the now hundreds of thousands of immigrants accumulating at border processing centers.
While Iranians are rioting to restore some personal freedom and liberty from their authoritarian government, our breathtakingly stupid President is slavishly pushing for an agreement with that government that will both aid in its development of nuclear weapons and reverse the gains of previous years in achieving some peace in the Middle East and Gulf regions.
It increasingly appears that people here, Black, White & Latino are waking up to the failures of the increasingly authoritarian far left wing elements that now dominate the Democrat Party, and that a hopefully lasting rejection of it all will soon follow.
you're confusing facts and logic with opinion.
What does reduced strategic reserves of petroleum have to do with the supplying of weapons and ammunition to Ukraine?
InfraBlue wrote:you're confusing facts and logic with opinion.
That is incorrect. I have never done any such thing.
InfraBlue wrote:What does reduced strategic reserves of petroleum have to do with the supplying of weapons and ammunition to Ukraine?
I think they were both offered as examples of depleting US reserves without replenishing them.
Wrong. Your reply demonstrates that you continually do such things.
Sometimes confronting evident truth is irritating. Tolerance with disagreement is something that appears to be disappearing from our public and private lives, a sad and possibly dangerous trend. It appears to be disappearing from this thread as well.
We have indeed ended a two-decade period of sustained low inflation and, with only brief interruptions, economic growth. We're now in a deepening recession, accompanied by 8+ % annual inflation, which started 9 months after Biden took office, and so far, shows no signs of abating. The stock market is down 25%, affecting everyone's savings, while the inflation is reducing the real value of what remains, and imposing a flat tax on everyone's income. These are things that affect the poor and middle class far more than others, and the public is indeed feeling and reacting to it.
Our southern border is grossly unsecure, illegal entry is at record heights and still increasing. Mexican cartels are enriching themselves, smuggling fentanyl and other harmful & illegal drugs which are causing over 100,000 overdose deaths annually - and all of this with so far almost no acknowledgment or efforts to correct it by the Administration. Violent crime rates and mass robberies are up sharply across the country (particularly in major Democrat-led cities (which people and businesses are leaving in growing numbers.)
Poll data consistently shows a fast-growing majority of responders indicating their belief that our country is heading in the wrong direction. We'll know the Mid -term election results soon enough, however there is near universal recognition that Republicans will regain control of the House of Representatives and a fast-growing expectation that they will take the Senate as well, and will do so by a substantial majority, along with significant gains in State governments.
Our international situation is no better. The opposition, and indeed contempt, recently shown by the Saudis for our President is a visible indicator of our loss of leadership and influence everywhere. This, the growing aggression of China, and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine make the erosion of readiness and unravelling morale of our armed forces (which can no longer even come close to its recruiting goals) and our now sadly depleted reserves of petroleum, weapons and ammunition (so far without any evident effort to replenish them) appear truly dangerous.
Meanwhile, the left wing Democrats, who control the current administration, appear bewildered and numbed by the evident failure of their favored policies, while their appointed puppet in the White House reacts with increasing denial, evasion and adolescent belligerence to criticism by the press in any form
I remain fascinated by the strange projection, by this Administration and its supporters, of their own, observably undemocratic totalitarian authoritarianism, on their political opponents, Republican and otherwise. The Administration blithely labels its opponents as undemocratic or Fascist, while pursuing ever expanding control by government and its media allies of public speech, private behavior, family life, and other Constitutional freedoms, and our now faltering economy. Sadly history provides many examples of this as well.
This morning [10/20/22], in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Democratic president Joe Biden contrasted his record in office against that of his Republican predecessor, and the visions of the Democrats and Republicans going forward.
Biden began with his usual line: that he set out to rebuild the middle class by building “an economy from the bottom up and the middle out.” He noted that since he took office, the nation has added 10 million jobs and has seen unemployment drop to 3.5%, a 50-year low. In 11 states, unemployment is at all-time lows, and 17 states have unemployment rates under 3%.
He also highlighted that the country has added almost 700,000 manufacturing jobs and that companies are continuing to invest in new industries, at the same time that we are rebuilding our roads, airports, bridges, and ports.
But his main point today was to demonstrate how the Democrats’ program does not, in fact, blow up the nation’s finances the way Republicans have insisted for forty years. Biden focused on the deficit, which is the gap between what the government takes in through taxes and other revenue sources and what it pays out. Republicans insist that social welfare spending racks up government debt; Biden emphasized today that the Democrats’ investment in the nation has not increased the federal deficit. Indeed, the opposite is true: today the administration announced that the deficit this year fell by $1.4 trillion. This was the largest-ever decline in the federal deficit. Last year’s drop was $350 billion.
The deficit climbed every year of the Trump presidency, including in the years before the pandemic. Trump and the Republicans added $400 billion to the deficit, primarily because of their $2 trillion tax cut for the wealthy and for corporations.
Biden was not simply talking about today’s numbers; he was making a case that government investment in ordinary Americans is better for the nation’s finances than handing more money to the wealthy, which Republicans claim will goose the economy to produce higher tax revenues and thus balance the budget. Biden was pointing out that unlike the Republicans’ supply-side economics, the Democrats’ version of the economy actually works.
The numbers prove his point. According to Politifact, Republican presidents since Ronald Reagan have exploded deficits, while Democrats have brought deficits down. Reagan sent the deficit from $70 billion to $175 billion. George H.W. Bush took it to $300 billion. Bill Clinton—with help from Bush’s willingness to raise taxes—got the deficit to zero. George W. Bush took it back up to $1.2 trillion with unfunded wars. Barack Obama cut that back to $600 billion. And Trump’s tax cuts sent it skyrocketing again, even before pandemic spending sent it higher still.
Biden’s reduction of the deficit is due in part to the end of some of those pandemic programs, in part to the booming economy which is producing high tax revenues, and in part to higher taxes on the wealthy. He highlighted it today because, as he pointed out, the Republicans are promising further tax cuts that will send the deficit soaring upward again. The pattern is for them to cut taxes for the wealthy and then, when the deficit increases, complain that there is no money for social welfare programs and that Democrats advocating them are in favor of wasteful spending.
Biden emphasized that Republicans have told us what they will do if put back into power. They will pass massive tax cuts for the wealthy, after which they plan to repeal the administration’s actions—like the ability of Medicare to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies, made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act—that are bringing down the deficit. After their plan explodes the deficit again, they have said they would cut Medicare and Social Security.
“The election is not a referendum,” Biden said, “it’s a choice.”
But it’s a choice people might not see because of the headline-grabbing drama coming from the MAGA Republicans.
This morning, Judge Carl Nichols, a Trump appointee, sentenced Trump ally Stephen Bannon to four months in prison and a fine of $6,500 for contempt of Congress after Bannon ignored a subpoena from the the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol. Nichols’s sentence was at the upper end of the sentencing guidelines for his offense. Nichols permitted Bannon to stay out of prison while he appeals his sentence.
And yet, Bannon’s sentencing was not the day’s big news. The January 6th committee today subpoenaed former president Trump to produce documents and to testify before it under oath. “[W]e have assembled overwhelming evidence, including from dozens of your former appointees and staff, that you personally orchestrated and oversaw a multi-part effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election and to obstruct the peaceful transition of power.”
The committee wants testimony, under oath, “regarding your dealings with multiple individuals who have now themselves invoked their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination regarding their communications with you.” The professional staff of the January 6th committee, “including multiple former federal prosecutors,” as well as congressional members, will conduct the deposition. “If, like other witnesses identified above,” the committee wrote, “you intend to invoke your Fifth Amendment rights…, please so inform the Select Committee promptly.”
The committee also ordered Trump to produce documents, including—among other things—any records sent through the encrypted channel Signal, including not only messages he placed or received, but also those placed “at your direction.” It also asked specifically for all documents that referred “in any way” to the Oath Keepers or the Proud Boys, or any other similar gang. It also called out specifically communications with a number of those already associated with the attempt to overturn the election—Roger Stone, Stephen Bannon, Michael Flynn, Jeffrey Clark, and so on—as well as Trump’s former deputy chief of staff Anthony Ornato, who was also a Secret Service agent, and “any employee of the Secret Service with whom you interacted on January 6, 2021.”
The committee noted that their subpoena of a former president was “a significant and historic action” that they did not take lightly. But they pointed out that former presidents John Quincy Adams, John Tyler, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman, and Gerald Ford had all testified before Congress after they left office, with Roosevelt saying: “an ex-President is merely a citizen of the United States, like any other citizen, and it is his plain duty to try to help this committee or respond to its invitation.”
The committee wants the documents by November 4. It plans to start Trump’s testimony on or about November 14.
But Trump’s no good, very bad day was not over. Devlin Barrett of the Washington Post broke the story that, according to sources “familiar with the matter,” the federal documents Trump took when he left the White House, recovered during the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, contained highly sensitive material about Iran and China, including information about Iran’s missile program. The exposure of the Iran and China information would reveal U.S. intelligence methods, inviting retaliation and weakening our national security.
After the story broke, Trump took to his social media network to suggest that the National Archives and Records Administration and the FBI “plant into documents, or subtract from documents,” suggesting that there is still much to learn about what those documents are, and where they might have gone.
Today, after the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that he must testify before the Fulton County grand jury investigating the attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election in Georgia, South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham appealed directly to the Supreme Court. Graham argues that his phone calls about the election were protected by the Constitution’s speech and debate clause, under which legislative speech is protected, because as the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, he needed to review “election-related issues.”
The lower courts disagreed, saying that the Constitution does not protect “communications and coordination with the Trump campaign regarding its post-election efforts in Georgia, public statements regarding the 2020 election, and efforts to ‘cajole’ or ‘exhort’ Georgia election officials.”
Finally, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin today called his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu for the first time since May 13. The Pentagon says it wants to keep the lines of communication open.
Sometimes confronting evident truth is irritating.
Tolerance with disagreement is something that appears to be disappearing from our public and private lives, a sad and possibly dangerous trend.
We have indeed ended a two-decade period of sustained low inflation and, with only brief interruptions, economic growth.
Poll data consistently shows a fast-growing majority of responders indicating their belief that our country is heading in the wrong direction.
The opposition, and indeed contempt, recently shown by the Saudis for our President is a visible indicator of our loss of leadership and influence everywhere.
I remain fascinated by the strange projection, by this Administration and its supporters, of their own, observably undemocratic totalitarian authoritarianism, on their political opponents, Republican and otherwise.
The Administration blithely labels its opponents as undemocratic or Fascist, while pursuing ever expanding control by government and its media allies of public speech, private behavior, family life, and other Constitutional freedoms, and our now faltering economy.
Sadly history provides many examples of this as well.
“Irving Kristol, for his part, wrote in the Wall Street Journal, like a right-wing Joseph Stalin, that the political advantage tax cuts would provide Republicans was so historically imperative that they should be blasted through whatever the effect on the budget. “The neoconservative is willing to leave those problems to be coped with by liberal interregnums. He wants to shape the future and will leave it to his opponents to tidy up afterwards”: now was no time to go wobbly.”
Re: georgeob1 (Post 7272145)
Come on, George..."Meanwhile, the leftwing Democrats, while[ their appointed puppet] in the White House reacts with increasing denial, evasion and adolescent belligerence to criticism by the press in any form" - don't you think that just screams Trump?