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  Class warfare
Posted by: stpioc - 11-15-2017, 09:05 PM - Forum: The Nasty Party - Replies (1)

Here is Krugman:

Quote:The other day, Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, admitted to The New York Times that he “misspoke” when he declared that his party’s tax plan wouldn’t raise taxes on any middle-class families. But he misspoke when he said “misspoke”: The proper term is “lied.” ... 

We’re still waiting for detailed analysis of the Senate bill, but the House bill doesn’t just raise taxes on many middle-class families: It selectively raises taxes on families with children. In fact, half — half! — of families with children will see a tax hike once the bill is fully phased in. Suppose that a child from a working-class family decides ... to attend college, probably taking out a loan to help pay tuition. Well, guess what: Under the House bill, that interest would no longer be deductible, substantially raising the cost of college

What if you’re working your way through school and your employer contributes toward your education expenses? The House bill would make that contribution taxable income. What if your parent is a university employee, and you get reduced tuition as a result? That tuition break becomes taxable income. So would tuition breaks for graduate students who work as teaching or research assistants. So what we’re looking at here are a variety of measures that will close off opportunities for children who weren’t clever enough to choose wealthy parents

Meanwhile, funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which covers more than eight million children, expired a month and a half ago— and so far, Republicans have made no serious effort to restore it. This is surely the shape of things to come: If tax cuts pass, and the deficit explodes, the G.O.P. will suddenly decide that deficits matter again and will demand cuts in social programs, many of which benefit lower-income children

So this isn’t just ordinary class warfare; it’s class warfare aimed at perpetuating inequality into the next generation. Taken together, the elements of both the House and the Senate bills amount to a more or less systematic attempt to lavish benefits on the children of the ultra-wealthy while making it harder for less fortunate young people to achieve upward social mobility. Or to put it differently, the tax legislation Republicans are trying to ram through Congress with indecent haste, without hearings or time for any kind of serious study, looks an awful lot like an attempt not simply to reinforce plutocracy, but to entrench a hereditary plutocracy.
Republican Class Warfare: The Next Generation, by Paul Krugman

Consider also this:
  • Abolishing the individual mandate, leading to 13M people without healthcare insurance, a 10% increase in premiums and increased cost of emergency rooms. Creating hundreds, perhaps thousands of avoidable deaths, increased medical debts and bankruptcies in the process.
  • Abolishing the estate tax (which starts at $5M+ for individuals and $10M+ for couples, so it's really not for the small businesses and farmers conservatives claim it is) perpetuating inherited wealth.

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  The opioid crisis
Posted by: stpioc - 11-14-2017, 02:45 AM - Forum: Obamacare - No Replies

Spot the difference...

Quote:In 2016, the overdose death toll in the U.S. surpassed American deaths during the entire Vietnam War and lives lost at the peak of the AIDS crisis, with an estimated 59,000 people succumbing to overdose. This is far from the first time that problematic substance use has had a devastating impact on communities across the country, but our response is distinctly different than during previous eras. Heroin, cocaine and other substances have never discriminated, but it’s clear our policy response certainly has.  

Throughout the 1970s, heroin overdoses ravaged Harlem and other cities that were facing deindustrialization, disinvestment and demographic upheaval. The response was harsh policing and the Rockefeller Drug Laws in New York, which established draconian mandatory minimum sentences that were then adopted across the country. Absent from policymakers rubric was consideration of the well-being of people with substance use disorder. In the 1980s and '90s, communities that were decimated by lack of economic opportunity experienced the brunt of what became defined as the crack era. Again, our country deployed law enforcement and prisons to interact with people experiencing deep trauma and medical issues — negating any public health dimension within the response. Instead, the Senate enacted enhanced penalties for people who sell small amounts of drugs and sentencing disparities of 100:1 for crack versus powder cocaine.

Now, with the overdose crisis becoming a mainstream conversation, there has been a shift in the narrative. When prior “drug problems” were seen as affecting primarily communities of color, government intervention focused on increased policing and criminalization. Current policy responses — now that predominantly white, suburban or rural communities are perceived as the hardest hit by overdose — invoke a distinctly public health response, a “kinder, gentler approach” that has politicians proclaiming we “can’t arrest our way out of this problem.”
Opioids became a crisis because they kill so many white Americans | TheHill

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  How to break the climate debate
Posted by: stpioc - 11-10-2017, 09:29 PM - Forum: Science and Climate - No Replies

Terrific, if somewhat depressing article.. from Vox

Conservatives probably can’t be persuaded on climate change. So now what?

One more round of “messaging” won’t do it.
Updated by David Roberts@drvoxdavid@vox.com  Nov 10, 2017, 8:40am EST

When it comes to climate change, US conservatives inhabit a unique position, as part of the only major political party in the democratic world to reject the legitimacy of climate science and any domestic policy or international agreement meant to address it. Instead, the GOP is working actively to increase production and consumption of fossil fuels and to slow the transition to renewable energy. How can conservatives be moved on climate change?

I recently heard a podcast that helped me order my thoughts on this perennial debate. It was Political Research Digest, a weekly 15-minute research round-up hosted by Michigan State University political scientist Matt Grossman for the Niskanen Center. (Grossman is the author of Asymmetric Politics, a crucial text for understanding American political parties. The podcast is nerdy and good.)
In the third episode, Grossman takes a look at some recent literature on climate change opinion and how, if at all, it can be shifted among conservatives.

It begins well, with an excellent lay of the land. But the discussion of how to move forward goes off course, in a very familiar way. It stops short of contemplating the uncomfortable but increasingly likely possibility that persuading conservatives on this subject has become impossible, and what that might mean for those concerned about the looming dangers of climate change.
Let’s start with a look a few basic facts about public opinion on climate.

Public concern about climate change hasn’t risen much, but it has polarized
The first part of the episode is about a new literature review on climate change opinion in Annual Review of Political Science. Patrick Egan and Megan Mullin, of New York and Duke Universities respectively, survey a ton of recent research on the subject and pull out a few conclusions.
Grossman has Mullin on to discuss it and she’s great, emphasizing lots of important stuff that journalists writing in this area often miss. Here are a few conclusions drawn from the review:

  • There has been an increase in general climate change awareness over the past few decades, but very little increase in understanding of how it works (that humans are the primary cause is believed by fewer than half of Americans, still) or intensity of concern (almost no voters rank climate change among their top concerns).
  • Aggregate opinion has remained relatively stable, but underneath, there has been sharp and ongoing partisan polarization, which continues today. (See this post for more on that.)
  • Though “striking in the case of climate change,” this polarization is part of a larger trend in the US. Everything has been swept up in it; climate is not separate or unique.
  • Opinion polls show something of a spike in concern about climate in 2016 to 2017, but almost all the movement has come from Democrats; it’s not yet clear whether it will last.
  • “The conventional wisdom gets the causal arrow backwards,” says Mullin. People don’t develop political and policy opinions based on an assessment of climate science. They assess climate science based on preexisting political and policy opinions. That’s why trying to change minds with science-based arguments is so rarely effective.
As Mullin says, there is no sign on the horizon that this polarization — either generally or on climate change — is going to abate any time soon. She is skeptical that a sweeping change in public opinion will come along and force politicians of both parties to join together and pass national legislation.
So far, so good. (Well, “good.”) The question is, where do we go from here?

At this point, to my great frustration, the discussion inevitably turns to messaging — to what magic combinations of words can change conservative minds. I have been watching variants of these discussions for over a decade, as national security, adaptation, green jobs, and geoengineering have been serially hyped as the key to conservative hearts on climate change. (None, obviously, have worked.)

The pivot to messaging, to mass persuasion, hinges on two important hidden premises. Grossman and Mullin touch on them glancingly ... but then Grossman turns the discussion to a different kind of research — the wrong kind, in this author’s humble opinion. Let’s follow along and then we’ll double back.

Magic words only work in isolation
The next bit of research Grossman highlights is by a team of researchers led by Graham Dixon of Ohio State University, published in June in the journal Science Communication. Dixon’s team found that, in surveys, conservative opinion on climate solutions could not be moved by scientific or religious messages, but it could be nudged in a positive direction by messages that stressed “free market solutions.”

Core values, not science, are what drive conservative opposition, Dixon tells Grossman, and “free markets” are a core value for conservatives. They view climate policy as a threat to free markets, which is the real reason they reject climate science, so messaging should assuage those fears.
This is wrong.

1) First, the idea that free markets are a core value of today’s US conservatives should provoke only laughter. If Donald Trump’s campaign and victory taught us nothing else, it is that the conservative base’s fealty to open markets is paper thin. Trump promised trade barriers, tariffs, and walls, to the gaping consternation of the conservative monied class, and paid no penalty at all. And well before Trump, it was clear that “free markets” are, in political practice, a slogan, not a core value. The slogan is a weapon to be deployed against policies that favor conservative’s enemies, but never against their friends, just as deficits are used to scold Democrats who want to spend money but never Republicans who want to cut taxes.

Trump’s Department of Energy is vigorously working to dump subsidies on coal companies as we speak, to take but one example, and the Republican rank and file does not seem particularly put out by it. Nor do they seem moved by the earnest arguments of libertarians that unregulated pollution amounts to a market-distorting subsidy, a violation of free market principles.

Conservatives, like everyone with any power in US politics, support policies that help people and interests they favor and oppose policies that help people and interests they don’t favor. In truth, no one outside of DC think tanks values free (i.e., unregulated) markets as such, in any consistent way. Insofar as the Republican base has revealed core values, they seem to consist almost entirely in hostility to the Other — liberals and Democrats above all, along with the minorities, immigrants, professors, and celebrities they represent.

2) More importantly, opinions aren’t formed in a vacuum, they’re formed in life, and in life, one is always surrounded by tribes enforcing worldviews in millions of explicit and implicit ways. Knowledge and motivation are social phenomena, not individual phenomena. Even if conservatives could be convinced of “free market” solutions to climate change, show me more than a handful of conservatives willing to prioritize their alleged fealty to free markets over the good opinion of their peers and tribal leaders. Show me a GOP politician willing to put their alleged fealty to free markets over the good opinion of their constituents and their chances of reelection.

For climate campaigners, delivering “free market” messages on climate change in the social context where the conservative base lives — surrounded by an increasingly impenetrable and message-coordinated media bubble — is like blowing spitwads into a hurricane. Words do not have magic powers and clever messages cannot do the work of politics. Social forces, not “messages,” shape political engagement.

3) Most importantly of all, we must note that it’s not true that climate solutions necessarily involve violence to free market principles. A market in which some participants are allowed to degrade the planet for all future generations without cost is not “free” by any sane definition of that term. If you piss all over my leg, I’m not abridging your freedom by asking you to pay for new pants.

So, if it’s not true that climate solutions necessarily violate the allegedly core conservative principle of free markets ... who told them that? Why do the conservative masses think that? How have they all gravitated toward the facially odd position that the ongoing health of fossil fuel companies is the only way to secure American liberty? Well, that brings us back to our hidden premises. As promised, let’s double back.

Elites shape opinion, only elites can change it
Say we accept that the majority of hardcore conservatives have negative opinions on climate change, and they see those opinions as reflective of deep ideological values. What should be done about it? There are two hidden premises that typically inform such discussions.

The first is that the only sensible response is to persuade all those conservatives. That’s why the focus inevitably turns to messaging and “framing,” the endless search for the right tone of voice, the right combination of arguments, the right mix of facts, stories, and imagery, to move the conservative mind. That’s what so many thousands of hours of effort have gone toward over the last decades. But it’s backward, as Mullin says. Assessments of science follow political opinions, they do not precede them. And how are political opinions shaped in the real world?

Well, as I’ve written many times, public opinion is not some great enduring mystery. There’s a decent consensus in the social sciences on what most moves public opinion: elite cues.

And so it is with climate change. Drexel University sociologist Robert Brulle has been all over this for years — see, e.g., this recent paper with McGill’s Jason Carmichael. Science-based educational campaigns have virtually no effect on climate opinion, they found. Weather events and economic swings have some temporary effects. What moves the needle are elite cues.

That’s just a fancy way of saying that people care more about something when they see it around them, when they read it in the newspaper, see it on TV, hear politicians discussing it, see activists in the streets marching about it, watch celebrities pretending to care about it. Those are all elite cues.
That’s the stuff that shapes ordinary people’s opinions, on all sides of the political spectrum. Very few individuals have the time and wherewithal to investigate the world’s woes independently. They absorb the values and worldviews of their tribesConservatives think climate change is a communist plot because that’s what the right’s elites have told them.
Quote:[/url]Donald J. Trump 

✔@realDonaldTrump

The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
4:15 PM - Nov 6, 2012


Quote:[Image: iD1DZBbS_normal.jpg]Ann Coulter 

✔@AnnCoulter

I don't believe Hurricane Harvey is God's punishment for Houston electing a lesbian mayor. But that is more credible than "climate change." https://twitter.com/POLITICOMag/status/902364893940154368 …
12:31 AM - Aug 29, 2017


Quote:NRDC 

✔@NRDC

EPA administrator Scott Pruitt said that CO2 emitted by human activity is not the key cause of climate change. http://on.nrdc.org/2ntHX6n 
2:44 AM - Mar 19, 2017
Pruitt outs himself as a climate denier
Pruitt's comments about carbon pollution and climate change are the equivalent of the surgeon general denying that smoking causes cancer. 
nrdc.org

All the elite cues that surround conservatives in their epistemic bubble reinforce this message: Climate change science is bogus and all proposed climate solutions are plots to grow the size of government and take your money.

The good news is that if conservative elite opinion swung around on climate change, conservative mass opinion would swing easily behind. Nobody really cares about “issues” like this beyond how they inform social identity anyway. Very few people beyond the Heritage Foundation have any independent commitment to flat-earthism on climate.

The bad news is that no one knows how to persuade conservative elites to stop lying to their tribe about climate change. For one thing, fossil fuel companies play an enormous role in funding the party (and climate denying “think tanks”); the material interests of politicians like Scott Pruitt and Ryan Zinke are bound up in the good graces of fossil fuel executives. What counterbalancing force is there, with the power to nullify or even diminish that influence?

For another, conservative media elites profit the more they work their audiences into a frenzy of paranoia, fear, and loathing toward the left. Bashing on everything the left does is good for clicks and viewers. It is literally money in their pockets. What counterbalancing force is there, with the power to bring about bipartisanship on this one issue?

Honestly, persuading conservative elites seems almost as futile as persuading the conservative masses. Almost all their tangible incentives point the other way. It might seem hopeless. But that brings us to the second hidden premise.

If it’s a fight, not a debate, then intensity is what matters
The second premise, deeper and more foundational, is that politics works through agreement — that getting everyone on the same page is a prerequisite of political progress. We must “meet in the middle.” Especially among US center-left elites, this belief is practically preverbal, a truism.
But history, especially recent history, contains much evidence to the contrary. Just about every substantial policy shift in the US in the past 20 years has been a matter of one side overwhelming the other — of conflict, not consensus. Some were “bipartisan” in the sense that a few legislators crossed the aisle, but partisan unity is more and more the rule in US politics. We have “weak parties and strong partisanship,” as political scientist Julia Azari puts it, which makes substantial compromise more and more difficult.

“Pundits who say that ‘nothing can get done without bipartisan support’,” write Steven Teles, Heather Hurlburt, and Mark Schmitt in one of my favorite essays on polarization, “no longer have the evidence on their side.” In fact, that increasingly looks like the only way anything ever gets done.
So what would a less-persuading-more-fighting strategy look like?
Quote:[url=https://twitter.com/josephenderson]Joseph Henderson @josephenderson
Replying to @drvox

There’s also this deliberative, “why can’t we all get along” view of politics lurking under the surface. Instead of, say, agonism: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agonism 
7:01 PM - Nov 8, 2017

Agonism (thanks to Henderson, a climate-focused social scientist, for the tweet tip) is the view that in some contexts and within limits, political conflict is good. Sometimes conflict clarifies, educates, and leads to progress. Sometimes the right strategy is to grab and own an issue, to exclude (not invite) the other party, to tie the issue to core coalition values and use the intensity to increase the political power of the coalition.

That’s what the right did with national security during the Cold War. They claimed the issue, associated themselves with it, commanded public trust on it, and — crucially — worked overtime to exclude the left from it, to make Democrats look weak and feckless. They didn’t beg Democrats to agree with their hawkishness. They dared them to disagree.

They made a fight of it, and they won. That’s why Democrats’ unofficial slogan for much of the ‘90s and early ‘00s was, “Hey, We’re Tough Too!” The left has never been as good at unified aggression and probably never will be, for reasons Grossman’s book explains well.

But it may be time to face the fact that there is no magic message, no persuasive strategy, that can get us out of this mess. There’s no persuading the conservative base without conservative elites and there’s no persuading conservative elites as long as their material interests point the wrong direction.

It may just be that we’re not all going to get along — that the only way to move forward on this is to fight it out. If that’s true, then what matters most on the left is not the breadth of agreement, but the depth. It is intensity that wins political battles. The only way Democrats can achieve progress on this is to intensify the fight.

Tepid “free market” messages, forever hoping to win over an unwinnable right, won’t do that. They do nothing to inspire those who already care and are primed for action. Figuring out endless ways to avoid saying the words “climate change” won’t do that. Gimmicks don’t persuade or inspire; visible passion and conviction do.

For Democrats, raising intensity would mean making it a fight, staking a claim, defining the core values involved, telling vivid stories with heroes and villains and repeating them frequently. It would mean making climate change and clean energy tier-one priorities — organizing around them, talking about them at every opportunity, pushing them into the news and popular culture.

It would mean, rather than begging Republicans for assent or small scraps of policy assistance, doing everything possible to publicize their intransigence and make it core to their identity. Tie it around their necks every time a microphone appears; make them own it.

Reality still matters. What we have in the US is not a “difference of opinion” about climate change, it’s conservatives being mistaken about some very basic facts. They’re mistaken because they’ve been lied to and misled by leaders and influencers within their own tribe. That’s the situation. But it’s not stable. The weather is only getting worse, young people are only getting more engaged, and clean energy is only getting cheaper. Climate change and clean energy will be winning issues in the long term.

Why not claim and own them while it’s still possible? Then the GOP’s motto in the 2020s can be: “Hey, We Like Clean Energy Too!” In reality, Democrats probably don’t have the wherewithal to mount that kind of fight. But that’s the only thing that has a chance of breaking the stalemate. The quest to persuade US conservatives on climate change has been extraordinarily long, vigorous, and well-documented. It has also been largely fruitless. Perhaps it’s time for a little agonism.

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  November 2017
Posted by: Admin - 11-04-2017, 08:31 PM - Forum: Interesting! - Replies (6)

It's not only free speech faultlines at ordinary universities..

Quote:Liberty University, the evangelical Christian college founded by the late political firebrand and Moral Majority leader Jerry Falwell, removed visiting anti-Trump evangelical author Jonathan Martin from its campus and its president announced he would be permanently barred. Martin, a longtime critic of Liberty University’s close association with the Trump administration, was visiting the Lynchburg, Virginia, campus earlier this week as a guest of Johnnyswim, a band that was performing on campus, and had planned to host a prayer meeting with like-minded students the following morning. Instead, Martin told Vox, armed security guards escorted him out of the backstage area following the show.

Since the younger Falwell took over Liberty in 2007, the university has expanded. Its assets have grown from $100 million to $1.7 billion, and on-campus enrollment has spiked from 9,600 to about 14,000 (over 100,000 students take additional courses online). This has made Liberty, and by extension Falwell, an even more powerful voice in American evangelicalism.

The younger Falwell has historically had little tolerance for dissent among faculty. Last year, Mark DeMoss, longtime confidant and chief of staff of Falwell Sr., was forced to resign from Liberty’s board of trustees after criticizing the younger Falwell’s choice to personally endorse Trump for president. In 2015, Falwell rescinded the invitation of Jonathan Merritt, an alumnus of the school currently at the Atlantic, to speak on campus as a result of some articles critical of Liberty, telling him, “You don't seem to remember who your friends are.”
Liberty University booted an anti-Trump Christian author from campus - Vox

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  Nasty President
Posted by: Admin - 11-03-2017, 11:23 PM - Forum: The Nasty Party - No Replies

There are so many stories to illustrate the sheer nastiness of Trump (ridiculing a handicapped journalist, going after gold star families, etc. etc.), but we have to start somewhere. 

How about this one:

Quote:President Donald Trump tweeted Friday that the decision allowing Bowe Bergdahl not to serve prison time is a "complete and total disgrace." He tweeted, "The decision on Sergeant Bergdahl is a complete and total disgrace to our Country and to our Military."  The Army soldier, who the Taliban held for five years after he deserted his Afghanistan outpost, pleaded guilty last month to the charges. Bergdahl was released in May 2014 in a controversial exchange for five Guantanamo Bay detainees. Trump has never been a fan of Bergdahl -- in March 2017, he called Bergdahl a "dirty, rotten traitor."
Trump on Bergdahl decision: 'Complete and total disgrace' - CNNPolitics

A few pointers:
  • Trump has never served in the military.
  • Serving in the military really isn't for everyone, especially in a foreign war situation, there are records from WOI that more than half the soldiers in the trenches could not even load their rifles anymore when under stress.
  • War obviously took a toll on Bergdahl's nerves, stuff like that happens, civilians like us can't possibly imagine what it's like. It's for a reason that so many veteran's come back with all sorts of trauma.
  • Trump even urged for the death penalty for Bergdahl during the campaign.
  • That has been a mitigating circumstance during the trial, according to the judge, but Trump isn't phased by this at all, achieving exactly the opposite what he claims. His game is playing politics at the expense of people. Very nasty indeed.
  • Consider also that Bergdahl has been a captive of the Taliban for five years and has been tortured. We can't even begin to imagine what that means.
  • Consider also that he then comes back to a country where there are many, like Trump, out for his blood. Welcome home, Bowe..
  • Consider also that he was dishonorably discharged, he has to remake his career and life.
This guy has been through more than enough, leave him alone, have a semblance of understanding and empathy (completely lacking in Trump, of course..)

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  Conservative media, a giant fog machine
Posted by: Admin - 10-31-2017, 08:46 PM - Forum: US Politics - Replies (7)

"A safe space for people who want to be told that they don't have to believe anything that's uncomfortable or negative"


Quote:The news that special counsel Robert Mueller has indicted former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort ought to dominate headlines in every corner of the media world. But if the past week or so is any indication, conservative media is likely to spend most of its bandwidth covering a fake conspiracy theory alleging that Hillary Clinton gave Russia 20 percent of our uranium as secretary of state. President Trump called the bogus Clinton uranium deal a “modern-day Watergate.” A few days later, FoxNews.com amplified Trump’s charge in an article with the headline “Hillary Clinton's ties to Russian uranium deal largely ignored by anti-Trump media, and other media disasters.”The conspiracy is false, but that’s not really the point.

The point is to muddy the waters, to divert attention from actual scandals. This is something conservative media is uniquely good at. The question is, why? Why is conservative media so much better than liberal media when it comes to making its preferred narratives stick? To answer this question, I reached out Charlie Sykes, a leading conservative radio host in Wisconsin for nearly three decades. A vocal critic of Trump, Sykes eventually walked away from his show after alienating some of his pro-Trump listeners. I asked Sykes, the author of the 2017 book How the Right Lost Its Mind, how right-leaning media is able to construct alternate realities for its base, and why it succeeds in ways liberal media does not.


The conservative media has done a really great job of convincing conservatives that they're under siege,” he told me. As a result, “the conservative media has become a safe space for people who want to be told that they don't have to believe anything that's uncomfortable or negative.” Our full conversation, lightly edited for clarity, follows.
"A giant fog machine": how right-wing media obscures Mueller and other inconvenient stories - Vox

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  There is hope yet
Posted by: Admin - 10-26-2017, 03:06 AM - Forum: US Politics - No Replies

Quote:Democratic candidates lead by 15 points in a hypothetical matchup for the 2018 midterm elections, according to a new Fox News poll. In the survey, 50 percent of respondents said that if the election for Congress were held today, they would vote for the Democratic candidate. Only 35 percent said they would vote for a Republican. About a year ago, the same question showed voters evenly split, with 45 percent saying they would vote for a Democrat, and 45 percent saying they would vote Republican. Generic ballots are considered an important bellwether for how a party's candidates will fare in an election.
Fox News poll: Dems lead by 15 points on generic ballot | TheHill

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  Interesting October 2017
Posted by: Admin - 10-11-2017, 09:34 PM - Forum: Interesting! - Replies (3)

How's this for hypocrisy..

Quote:In the wake of multiple women coming forward to accuse movie producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson blamed Democrats for enabling his behavior, and called for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to launch an investigation into Hollywood’s “culture of systemic sexual abuse.” During a monologue on the Wednesday night installment of his show that was later promoted on Fox News’ website and Twitter account, Carlson claimed that liberals’ alleged cover-up of Weinstein’s behavior is an even bigger scandal than the underlying misconduct. “The bigger scandal is the reactions to it, or lack of reaction,” Carlson said. “Harvey Weinstein isn’t just a movie producer — he’s a political figure on the left, a major donor to the Democratic party, a personal friend to countless liberal activists and politicians.” 

There’s just one problem — Fox News is currently under federal investigation for its own sexual assault scandal. As CNN reported in April, the investigation began with a probe into “settlements made with women who alleged sexual harassment by former Fox News boss Roger Ailes, and questions about whether Fox had a duty to inform shareholders about the settlement payments,” but expanded to include an investigation into possible financial crimes as well.

Ailes was 
publicly accused of sexual harassment by 10 women, and privately accused of misconduct by at least 20 more. Days before CNN reported on the widening federal probe into Fox News, longtime Fox News host Bill O’Reilly was ousted from his top-rated show on the heels of a New York Times report about multiple sexual harassment lawsuits he had been hit with that resulted in $13 million in settlements. Months later, longtime Fox News host Eric Bolling lost his job with the network after the Huffington Post broke news that he had sent lewd text messages to female colleagues. While Carlson is now attacking liberals for not doing more about sexual misconduct, he praised O’Reilly during the first show after he took over his old Fox News timeslot in late April, and didn’t mention the disgraced ex-host’s sexual harassment scandal.

“What O’Reilly did was not easy,” Carlson said. “He set a high bar, and I’m going to do my best to meet it. Thanks for sticking with us.” On the occasion of Ailes’ death less than a month later, Carlson characterized him as “a huge figure here and in American life.”

Carlson isn’t the only current Fox News anchor who has attempted to score points off the Weinstein scandal, despite the network’s own issues. On Tuesday, Sean Hannity denounced liberals who allegedly turned a blind eye to Weinstein’s misconduct as “beyond despicable, beyond shameful.” But on September 26, Hannity provided O’Reilly with an opportunity to return to Fox News and frame his departure from the network as the result of a campaign waged by “totalitarians.”
Fox News throws stones at Hollywood from glass house – ThinkProgress

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  The new Fed chairman?
Posted by: stpioc - 10-06-2017, 07:34 PM - Forum: "Central banks are always the problem" - Replies (1)

Could there be a worse choice?

No qualifications and being flagrantly wrong

Quote:Back in the younger and more innocent days of January, 2006, then-President George W. Bush decided to appoint a nice-looking and well-off young man named Kevin Warsh to a seat on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors that he had no apparent qualification forAt just 35 years old, Warsh had no background in monetary policy or economics at all. He was, instead, a Wall Street lawyer working primarily on mergers and acquisitions who in 2002 had come to Washington to work in the White House on financial regulation. Or, rather, given that this was the Bush administration in the mid-aughts he came to work on financial de-regulation. And he headed to the Fed with, presumably, the same mandate — to cut through the red tape that was overburdening America’s financial system and unleash the forces of financial innovation.

A couple of years after that, of course, it turned out that these deregulatory impulses had completely destroyed the economy of the United States of America and, indeed, of much of the rest of the world. Congress and the Federal Reserve staunched the bleeding with bailouts, and then Ben Bernanke, later followed by Janet Yellen, nursed the American policy back to health with a program of low interest rates. But Warsh spent the crisis years being flagrantly wrong about the macroeconomic outlook in both public and private remarks. He excoriated the Bernanke Fed for being too aggressive in its efforts to stabilize the economy and too blind to the risks of inflation. He lauded the disastrous tenure of Jean-Claude Trichet at the European Central Bank, and eventually left the Fed to join a chorus of outside conservative critics who lambasted Bernanke and Janet Yellen for pursuing loose money policies that would allegedly debase the dollar and send prices spiraling upward (didn’t happen)..
Meet Kevin Warsh, the man Trump may tap to wreck the American economy - Vox

Quote:A generous interpretation of Warsh’s record would be that he is a shrewd, cynical partisan operator who believed that weak economic performance under Obama would boost the fortunes of the Republican Party and therefore he would advocate for anti-stimulative policies. Putting a well-networked party hack in charge as Fed chair would mark a throwback to what are now broadly considered to be the “bad old days” of how Richard Nixon ran monetary policy, but it wouldn’t be the first time Trump appeared to be using Nixon as a model.

A more troubling interpretation, however, would be that Warsh means exactly what he says. That would help explain why he was so paranoid about inflation even back during the waning days of the Bush administration, when the poor performance of the economy doubtless ended up helping Democrats secure their landslide down ballot wins in November 2008. And it would explain why in January of this year he published a Wall Street Journal op-ed on monetary issues that Tim Duy characterized as “so riddled with errors and misperceptions that it is hard to believe he was actually a governor.”
Meet Kevin Warsh, the man Trump may tap to wreck the American economy - Vox

And here there is a variety of experts weighing in, pretty embarrassingly so..

Uniquely qualified for the Republican era though:
  • Having no prior qualifications
  • Having strong convictions nevertheless
  • Which are unmovable irrespective of the evidence.

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  Trump's Puerto Rico Response
Posted by: Admin - 09-30-2017, 01:09 PM - Forum: Trump - Replies (7)

Can anyone belief this, he's politicizing even the Puerto Rico disaster..

Quote:Donald Trump has lashed out at Puerto Rico politicians over their criticism of US relief efforts on the island following Hurricane Maria. The category four hurricane a week ago killed 16 people on the island and left millions in need of aid. In a series of tweets, Trump said that Puerto Rican officials showed "poor leadership ability" and "want everything to be done for them". It comes after the Mayor of San Juan made a desperate plea for help. "We have no time for patience any more," said Carmen Yulin Cruz in a news conference. "I am asking the president of the United States to make sure somebody is in charge that is up to the task of saving lives." She then appeared in a T-shirt that said "Help us, we're dying" for a CNN television interview. Skip Twitter post by @realDonaldTrump Follow Donald J. Trump ✔@realDonaldTrump The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump. 8:19 AM - Sep 30, 2017 14,068 14,068 Replies 5,347 5,347 Retweets 17,084 17,084 likes Twitter Ads info and privacy
Puerto Rico: Trump lashes out at San Juan mayor - BBC News

Does anyone really think the Mayor of San Juan has time for this nonsense??!

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