Author Topic: The US Presidency 2019  (Read 6022 times)

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Offline Remius

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #50 on: January 03, 2019, 21:22:21 »
An audit was essentially done.  The Trump foundation was forced to dissolve and pay back some money.  Happened just before Christmas.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/18/nyregion/ny-ag-underwood-trump-foundation.html


The Clinton foundation is also under the microscope and being investigated by the FBI.  was reported last year around this time but I do not know where it stands at this point.

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #51 on: January 03, 2019, 21:32:05 »
From a historical - not a legal - perspective.  President Nixon released his tax returns in December 1973, while under audit.

QUOTE

At the time, the 37th president was embroiled in the Watergate scandal, and questions were being raised about whether something also was amiss with his tax filings.

Reports had surfaced that Nixon had been paying a small amount of federal tax for several years, Joseph J. Thorndike, a historian at Tax Analysts told us in August. To quell lingering concerns, Nixon released tax returns to the public as well as to the Joint Committee on Taxation. Nixon was under an IRS audit at the time, Thorndike told us.

In an April 2016 blog post, Thorndike wrote that the IRS audit found Nixon owed almost $500,000 in unpaid taxes and interest.

"Nixon released his returns even though he was under audit. Ultimately, the audit didn’t go well for him-- it was unpleasant, embarrassing, and ultimately very expensive," Thorndike wrote. "But it was also necessary, given the persistent questions about Nixon’s returns."

Thorndike says Nixon’s disclosure started a tradition where presidents and candidates seeking the highest office release their returns to the public. His successor, President Gerald Ford, didn’t make his returns public, although he did release a summary of his returns. Every president since Jimmy Carter has made their tax forms public.
https://www.politifact.com/virginia/statements/2016/oct/05/tim-kaine/tim-kaine-correctly-notes-richard-nixon-released-t/

END QUOTE









« Last Edit: January 04, 2019, 06:42:01 by mariomike »

Offline Remius

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #52 on: January 04, 2019, 15:08:33 »
The Democrats are not holding back lol.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/house-democrats-move-to-eliminate-electoral-college-limit-presidential-pardon-power-and-more-in-first-days-back

Not sure what the likelihood of those things are of getting any further than the floor of the congress...
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #53 on: January 04, 2019, 15:40:06 »
I suspect the likelihood is not very high.

However, you have to love the fact that in the US, the legislative branch knows it is independent from the executive and, regardless of party's position, the elected legislators take their role and personal independence  seriously and do try to move things the way either they promised to do to get elected or that they are asked by their constituency.

I would like to see our own Canadian duly elected officials act on their own actual role as "check and balance" of the executive power (the Queen and her government - which, BTW does NOT include the "backbenchers" of the same affiliation as the PM) and accordingly, exercise their freedom to speak or introduce legislation in Parliament regardless of the views/thoughts/inclination of HM's Government, instead of simply kowtowing to the PMO's wishes all the time.

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #54 on: January 04, 2019, 16:13:58 »
I suspect the likelihood is not very high.

However, you have to love the fact that in the US, the legislative branch knows it is independent from the executive and, regardless of party's position, the elected legislators take their role and personal independence  seriously and do try to move things the way either they promised to do to get elected or that they are asked by their constituency.

I would like to see our own Canadian duly elected officials act on their own actual role as "check and balance" of the executive power (the Queen and her government - which, BTW does NOT include the "backbenchers" of the same affiliation as the PM) and accordingly, exercise their freedom to speak or introduce legislation in Parliament regardless of the views/thoughts/inclination of HM's Government, instead of simply kowtowing to the PMO's wishes all the time.

The US legislature's independence from the executive does not equal being independent of their respective parties. Theoretically if the house and senate majorities are of the same party as the executive it works effectively the same as here when you have a majority government. The PMO's and cabinet's control here is a bit more apparent than the pull that a president and his cabinet have over their own party's legislators and is effected more through the house and senate leaders behind closed doors. It takes a very strong legislator who's prepared to lose the next election in order to buck his party's line even down there. Just see what's happening in the GOP right now.

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Offline mariomike

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #55 on: January 04, 2019, 17:07:52 »
Quote
House Dems move to eliminate Electoral College
https://www.foxnews.com/politics/house-democrats-move-to-eliminate-electoral-college-limit-presidential-pardon-power-and-more-in-first-days-back

I don't see any advantage for Republicans having presidential elections decided by the Popular Vote.

Republicans won the presidential popular vote in 1988 and 2004.

Democrats won the presidential popular vote in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2008, 2012, 2016.




« Last Edit: January 04, 2019, 18:07:20 by mariomike »

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #56 on: January 04, 2019, 18:42:14 »
>At the same time Edward speaks to the types of jobs that are out there to keep unemployment low are "less stable" than jobs we traditionally equate with the working class, providing less benefits and stability

Based on my own family history, I suppose that "jobs we traditionally equate with the working class" have traditionally been unstable and provided little to no benefits.  What we observed for about 60 years in the past century was an exception.  I doubt Trump actually has a solution to re-setting those conditions.  But, as noted above, he at least promised to try; and, if he despises or merely has no regard for the working class, he at least manages to hide it better than many prominent Democrats.

I also suppose that the "changing world order" is not driven by the negative forces often cited (racism, nativism, etc).  Those are effects and parasites, not causes.  The problem might simply be that the establishments nearly everywhere have failed to do more than protect themselves and their privileges.  For example: Terry Glavin in Macleans, on Bolsonaro in Brazil.  Although Trump is privileged and the establishment has worked well for him, he found a path to power by at least seeming to be not another condescending smug member of the we-know-whats-best-and-we-deserve-to-rule (-and-to-live-well-while-doing-it) clique.  If the newly-"independent" legislative branch (always seems to coincide with a president of the other party) spends two years muck-raking and improving nothing except reassuring the 25% that they are righteous, I expect Trump to be re-elected and Democrats to lose the House.
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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #57 on: January 04, 2019, 22:44:01 »
Sigh

Quote
Trump defends Soviet Union's 1979 invasion of Afghanistan

By Zachary Cohen, CNN

Washington (CNN)During his freewheeling, 90-minute cabinet meeting Wednesday, President Donald Trump briefly argued that the Soviet Union "was right" to invade Afghanistan in 1979 because "terrorists were going into Russia," a head-scratching aside that was widely criticized as historically inaccurate.

"Russia used to be the Soviet Union. Afghanistan made it Russia because they went bankrupt fighting in Afghanistan. Russia. So you take a look at other countries. Pakistan is there. They should be fighting," Trump said.

"But Russia should be fighting. The reason Russia was in, in Afghanistan was because terrorists were going into Russia. They were right to be there. The problem is it was a tough fight. And literally they went bankrupt. They went into being called Russia again as opposed to the Soviet Union," he added.

The Wall Street Journal editorial board reacted strongly to Trump's comments in an op-ed Friday: "Right to be there? We cannot recall a more absurd misstatement of history by an American President. The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan with three divisions in December 1979 to prop up a fellow communist government."

The Soviet Union, which was comprised of Russia and several now independent Eastern European and Asian nations, did in fact invade Afghanistan amid Cold War tensions with the US.

But Trump's assertion that Russia was "right to be there" conflicts with the fact that the US strongly opposed the invasion and supported the guerilla insurgency that ultimately forced the Soviets to leave in 1988.

His claim that the incursion was a response to "terrorists going into Russia" also diverges with what the US believed, that it was part of the Soviet effort to spread communism.

The Kremlin's bloody nine-year campaign to support the Marxist government in Kabul cost the lives of more than 14,000 troops and hit the Soviet economy before its 100,000-strong army was forced into a humiliating withdrawal.

While the Soviet economy did ultimately collapse, it did not go bankrupt, contrary to Trump's claim. Additionally, that collapse was not solely caused by the invasion into Afghanistan but rather a myriad of factors, including systemic issues within the Soviet Union's communist economy.

. . .

See rest of article here:

https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/03/politics/trump-cabinet-meeting-afghanistan-soviet-union/index.html

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #58 on: January 04, 2019, 22:46:02 »
>At the same time Edward speaks to the types of jobs that are out there to keep unemployment low are "less stable" than jobs we traditionally equate with the working class, providing less benefits and stability

Based on my own family history, I suppose that "jobs we traditionally equate with the working class" have traditionally been unstable and provided little to no benefits.  What we observed for about 60 years in the past century was an exception.  I doubt Trump actually has a solution to re-setting those conditions.  But, as noted above, he at least promised to try; and, if he despises or merely has no regard for the working class, he at least manages to hide it better than many prominent Democrats.

I also suppose that the "changing world order" is not driven by the negative forces often cited (racism, nativism, etc).  Those are effects and parasites, not causes.  The problem might simply be that the establishments nearly everywhere have failed to do more than protect themselves and their privileges.  For example: Terry Glavin in Macleans, on Bolsonaro in Brazil.  Although Trump is privileged and the establishment has worked well for him, he found a path to power by at least seeming to be not another condescending smug member of the we-know-whats-best-and-we-deserve-to-rule (-and-to-live-well-while-doing-it) clique.  If the newly-"independent" legislative branch (always seems to coincide with a president of the other party) spends two years muck-raking and improving nothing except reassuring the 25% that they are righteous, I expect Trump to be re-elected and Democrats to lose the House.

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #59 on: January 05, 2019, 11:27:52 »
A treatise on the transformation of work in America over the past half century is online at Quartz: https://qz.com/1510405/gms-layoffs-can-be-traced-to-its-quest-to-turn-people-into-machines/
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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #60 on: January 05, 2019, 11:43:56 »
See rest of article here:

https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/03/politics/trump-cabinet-meeting-afghanistan-soviet-union/index.html
All in line with the latest proposed narrative ...
Quote
... (In November 2018), Russian lawmakers took another big step ... by approving a draft resolution that seeks to justify the Soviet Union’s war in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989. The formal vote on the measure — proposed jointly by lawmakers from the United Russia and Communist parties — will be held before the 30th anniversary of the withdrawal of Soviet troops on Feb. 15. Hailing the decision, Communist lawmaker Nikolai Kharitonov called it a victory for “historical truth.”

The real historical truth — without quotation marks — was made public with the partial declassification of Soviet archives after 1991. The decision to invade Afghanistan was taken by the Politburo in December 1979; the measure was euphemistically titled “On the situation in ‘A.’ ” The first contingent of the USSR’s 40th Army crossed the Amu Darya River into Afghanistan on Dec. 25. Two days later, the Afghan dictator Hafizullah Amin – whose request for assistance served as the pretext for the invasion — was murdered by Soviet special forces in Tajbeg Palace.

(...)

“I am proud of that exile in Gorky, it was an award for me,” (Andrei) Sakharov said at the session of the Congress of People’s Deputies — the Soviet Union’s first semi-freely elected parliament — in June 1989. “The war in Afghanistan was a criminal gamble.” In December of that year, the Congress of People’s Deputies passed a resolution of “moral and political condemnation” of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. It was signed by Mikhail Gorbachev, in his capacity as chairman of the Supreme Soviet, on December 24.

It is that statement that Russia’s legislature, the Duma, is now preparing to declare null and void. The draft resolution holds that the 1989 condemnation went against “historical justice,” and that Soviet military action in Afghanistan was conducted “in full accordance with the norms of international law.” ...
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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #61 on: January 05, 2019, 12:12:38 »
Add to that the following article (incidentally Glavin has a touch with turning a phrase):

Quote
The terrifying depths of Donald Trump’s ignorance, in a single quote
The president’s recent claim that the Soviets were ‘right’ to invade Afghanistan is worse than idiotic—it’s downright frightening
by Terry Glavin Jan 3, 2019

It’s been two years since a reality-television mogul, billionaire real estate grifter and sleazy beauty-pageant impresario who somehow ended up on the Republican ticket in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, failed to win the popular vote but fluked his way into the White House anyhow by means of an antique back-door anomaly peculiar to the American political system known as the Electoral College.

We’re now at the half-way mark of Donald Trump’s term in the White House, and the relentless hum of his casual imbecilities, obscenities, banalities and outright fabrications has become so routine to the world’s daily dread that it is now just background noise in the ever-louder bedlam of America’s dystopian, freak-show political culture.

And yet, now and again, just when you think the president has scraped his fingers raw in the muck at the bottom of stupidity’s deep barrel, the man somehow manages to out-beclown himself. Such was the case this week, in a ramble of fatuous illiteracy that should drive home the point, to all of us, that the Office of the President of the United States of America is currently occupied by a genuinely dangerous maniac.

At a press briefing at the end of a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Trump sat at a long table with a huge faux Game of Thrones television-series poster, featuring an image of himself taking up the whole thing, splayed out on the table in front of him.

In the course of contradicting himself—or maybe not, it’s hard to say—on the matter of if and when he intends to withdraw U.S. troops from the 79-member anti-ISIS coalition (“Syria was lost long ago … we’re talking about sand and death”), Trump muttered something about Iranian forces in Syria being at liberty to do as they please. “They can do what they want there, frankly,” he said. Unsurprisingly, upon hearing the news of what certainly sounded like an abrupt and dramatic shift in U.S. policy, Israeli officials were reported to be in shock.

But then the subject turned to Afghanistan, and Trump’s fervent wish to withdraw American troops from the 39-nation military coalition there—down from 59 nations, at its height—which is currently battling a resurgent Taliban that has been emboldened by American dithering generally, and specifically by Trump’s oft-repeated intent to get shut of Afghanistan and walk away from the place altogether.

Trump mocked India—a highly-valued friend of Afghanistan and contributor of $3 billion in infrastructure and community-development funding—with a weird reference to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi “constantly telling me he built a library in Afghanistan.” Officials in Modi’s office say nobody knows what the hell Trump was talking about. Then Trump complained that Pakistan—a duplicitous enemy of Afghan sovereignty and a notoriously persistent haven-provider and incubator of Taliban terrorism—isn’t making a sufficient military commitment to Afghanistan. Which made absolutely no sense.

But then Trump went right off the deep end with a disquisition on the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and his remarks betrayed a perilous, gawping ignorance of the very reason why Afghanistan became such a lawless hellhole in the first place—which is how it came to pass that al-Qaeda found sanctuary there with the deranged Pakistani subsidiary that came to be called the Taliban, which is how al-Qaeda managed to plan and organize the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001—which is the very reason the American troops that Trump keeps saying he wants to bring home are still there at all.

“Russia used to be the Soviet Union. Afghanistan made it Russia, because they went bankrupt fighting in Afghanistan,” Trump began. “The reason Russia was in Afghanistan was because terrorists were going into Russia. They were right to be there. The problem is, it was a tough fight. And literally they went bankrupt; they went into being called Russia again, as opposed to the Soviet Union. You know, a lot of these places you’re reading about now are no longer part of Russia, because of Afghanistan.”

. . .

See rest of article here: https://www.macleans.ca/news/world/the-terrifying-depths-of-donald-trumps-ignorance-in-a-single-quote/

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Offline Remius

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #62 on: January 10, 2019, 09:43:07 »
Given all this wall talk, I hadn't considered that Texans might not actually want a wall, at least not on their properties...

https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/texas-landowners-prepare-for-wall-fight-trump-to-visit-border-1.4972686

https://www.star-telegram.com/news/state/texas/article152402734.html

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/texas/article/Texas-border-communities-cringe-as-Trump-sounds-13518898.php



Given the sanctity of individual property rights in the US and Texas in particular I can see this as yet another obstacle to the POTUS' plan.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2019, 09:47:44 by Remius »
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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #63 on: January 10, 2019, 12:45:59 »
On the other hand, a number of ranchers, a few weeks ago, invited the feds onto their land that runs next to the border property. They're tired of watching groups wander through their property and sniffing around the homestead.
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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #64 on: January 10, 2019, 12:56:57 »
On the other hand, a number of ranchers, a few weeks ago, invited the feds onto their land that runs next to the border property. They're tired of watching groups wander through their property and sniffing around the homestead.

 On a radio station this morning, that is usually against anything Mr. Trump, they were discussing how it does seem the farther you live away from 'the wall", the more outraged you are about "the wall".
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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #65 on: January 10, 2019, 14:53:37 »
For reference to the discussion, regarding proximity to Mexico,

QUOTE

Pew Research Center

March 8, 2017

In Republicans’ views of a border wall, proximity to Mexico matters

Republicans overwhelmingly favor the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border. But Republicans who live closer to the border are less likely to support the wall than are those who live farther away.
http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/03/08/in-republicans-views-of-a-border-wall-proximity-to-mexico-matters/

END QUOTE
« Last Edit: January 10, 2019, 15:27:30 by mariomike »

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #66 on: January 10, 2019, 18:10:16 »
From involved farmers
https://www.agweb.com/article/arizona-ranchers-share-experience-with-border-security/

Arizona Ranchers Share Experience with Border Security

     

Note: The original version of this story ran online and in Drovers magazine during March 2018. The story has been updated to reflect recent debate on funding for a border wall.

 

The U.S. border with Mexico spans 1,954 miles, and ranchers are on the front lines for most of it.

For the past few decades, border enforcement and security has increased to halt illegal immigration and drug smuggling. In 1989, construction on the first major border fence began in San Diego, stretching 46 miles east.

President George W. Bush signed the Secure Fence Act of 2006 on Oct. 26, 2006, adding nearly 700 miles of fencing structures and more enforcement officials.

More recently President Donald Trump campaigned on a platform of border security, much of it hinging on building a wall. From the start of his presidency, funding for a border wall has been under scrutiny. The debate finally reached its boiling point on Dec. 21, 2018, when Trump opted out of signing a bill that would fund the government because it lacked $5.7 billion to pay for a border wall.

During the standoff between Trump and Congress that has seen the government enter its second longest shutdown, the debate has only intensified.

During his first primetime address from the Oval Office on Jan. 15, President Trump shared stories of how illegal immigration and drug smuggling have impacted the lives of American citizens.

“To those who refuse to compromise in the name of border security, I would ask: Imagine if it was your child, your husband, or your wife whose


More at link.

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #67 on: January 10, 2019, 19:54:28 »
On a separate tack (not to divert the conversation, sorry- there just tends to be much happening concurrently with this presidency), Cohen has agreed to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform committee in February. Hold on to your butts... This will get ugly from both ends of the political spectrum.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/cohen-congress-testimony-date-1.4973622
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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #68 on: January 11, 2019, 14:41:48 »
On a separate tack (not to divert the conversation, sorry- there just tends to be much happening concurrently with this presidency), Cohen has agreed to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform committee in February. Hold on to your butts... This will get ugly from both ends of the political spectrum.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/cohen-congress-testimony-date-1.4973622

The committee has it's own YouTube channel. It seems to be filled with reports from MSNBC.
https://www.youtube.com/user/OversightDems/videos
One video is titled "We Must Act on Trump Russia Ties"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-fzCbrxukU
I really trust these people to get to the truth, really I do. By the way, that video is directly linked from the official committee site.
https://oversight.house.gov/
Yes, the republicans have a committee page as well with a scattering of news reports. But the majority is committee hearings videos.
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« Last Edit: January 11, 2019, 14:54:20 by kkwd »
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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #69 on: January 12, 2019, 17:09:55 »
Conrad Black is always worth the read - not because he is always right, but because he is a good writer and raises things worth considering.

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/conrad-black-americas-resurgence-is-reshaping-the-world

I've bulletized his points:
Quote
  • the economy of the United States is astoundingly strong: full employment, an expanding work force, negligible inflation and about three per cent economic growth.  And it is a broad economic recovery, not based on service industries as in the United Kingdom (where London handles most of Europe’s financial industry, while most of British industry has fled), and not based largely on the fluctuating resources markets as has often been Canada’s experience.
  • In the eight years of president Obama, the United States lost 219,000 manufacturing jobs; in the two years of Trump, the country has added 477,000 manufacturing jobs.
  • It is clear that China is feeling the heat of American tariffs. The United States will not be the world’s premier chump anymore....The most enthusiastic support the United States is receiving in its trade stance with China is from China’s neighbours, from India to Japan. Of course China is the world’s second-greatest power and must be treated with respect, but that does not mean the shameless grovelling of Trump’s predecessors, paying court to Beijing like lackeys kowtowing to the emperors of the Middle Kingdom.
  • Foreigners then supplied 10 per cent of America’s oil, a figure that rose to 60 per cent under president Obama, and no one has done anything about it, until the past two years, when oil production has been sharply increased and reliance on oil imports has been sharply cut, on its inexorable way to zero.

Any criticism of the Trump Administration has to address the points raised by Mr Black.  What is also worth considering is how much is directly due to the administration's policies, and how much is due to trends over the last decade.
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #70 on: January 13, 2019, 11:00:08 »
Conrad Black is always worth the read

Agree. 

In this instance, he's guilty of the same sin as some level, in only looking at one aspect of governance;  for some, it's Trump's behaviour, for Black it's only economics (except for a 1-2 paragraph sidebar on EU bureaucracy. 

I would like to hear his views on the aspect that he dismisses in his second paragraph: "A casual sampler of the Canadian, and even the American, media, might think that the United States was so far along in its decline that the entire process of government and normal public discourse had broken down in that country."
There’s nothing more maddening than debating someone who doesn’t know history, doesn’t read books, and frames their myopia as virtue. The level of unapologetic conjecture I’ve encountered lately isn’t just frustrating, it’s retrogressive, unprecedented, and absolutely terrifying.
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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #71 on: January 13, 2019, 12:12:25 »
In this instance, he's guilty of the same sin as some level, in only looking at one aspect of governance;  for some, it's Trump's behaviour, for Black it's only economics (except for a 1-2 paragraph sidebar on EU bureaucracy.

Although this should be the case, we know it's not and Black might be looking at really counts.  "It's the economy, stupid!" worked for Bill Clinton for a reason, despite the fact that his behaviour was also poor.
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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #72 on: January 13, 2019, 15:52:07 »
Although this should be the case, we know it's not and Black might be looking at really counts.  "It's the economy, stupid!" worked for Bill Clinton for a reason, despite the fact that his behaviour was also poor.
Really counts to who?  Sadly, I suspect that the electorate may be more influenced by late night talk-show hosts and Fox and Friends than by any sort of rational argument.
    :dunno:
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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #73 on: January 13, 2019, 16:54:42 »
Really counts to who?

Counts to the voters who are willing to hold their noses at personal conduct if a strong economy is evident.  Add them to "the base" and there is a strong potential for second term in 2020, if history is a guide, and if the Ocasio-Cortez/Rashida Tlaib wing of the Democratic Party pushes them further to the identity politics left....
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Re: The US Presidency 2019
« Reply #74 on: January 13, 2019, 17:54:27 »
Interesting piece, albeit three months old, that points out that the US economy may noy be as rosy as some people think.
 
Quote
Robert Reich: The truth about the Trump economy

The trade wars are about to take a toll on ordinary workers.

Robert Reich
October 20, 2018 6:00PM (UTC)

I keep hearing that although Trump is a scoundrel or worse, at least he’s presiding over a great economy.

As White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow recently put it, “The single biggest story this year is an economic boom that is durable and lasting.”

Really? Look closely at the living standards of most Americans, and you get a very different picture.

Yes, the stock market has boomed since Trump became president. But it’s looking increasingly wobbly as Trump’s trade wars take a toll.

Over 80 percent of the stock market is owned by the richest 10 percent of Americans anyway, so most Americans never got much out of Trump’s market boom to begin with.

The trade wars are about to take a toll on ordinary workers. Trump’s steel tariffs have cost Ford $1 billion so far, for example, forcing the automaker to plan mass layoffs.

What about economic growth? Data from the Commerce Department shows the economy at full speed, 4.2 percent growth for the second quarter.

But very little of that growth is trickling down to average Americans. Adjusted for inflation, hourly wages aren’t much higher now than they were forty years ago.

Trump slashed taxes on the wealthy and promised everyone else a $4,000 wage boost. But the boost never happened. That’s a big reason why Republicans aren’t campaigning on their tax cut, which is just about their only legislative accomplishment.

Trump and congressional Republicans refuse to raise the minimum wage, stuck at $7.25 an hour. Trump’s Labor Department is also repealing a rule that increased the number of workers entitled to time-and-a-half for overtime.

Yes, unemployment is down to 3.7 percent. But jobs are less secure than ever. Contract workers – who aren’t eligible for family or medical leave, unemployment insurance, the minimum wage, or worker’s compensation – are now doing one out of every five jobs in America.

Trump’s Labor Department has invited more companies to reclassify employees as contract workers. Its new rule undoes the California Supreme Court’s recent decision requiring that most workers be presumed employees unless proven otherwise. (Given California’s size, that decision had nationwide effect.)

Meanwhile, housing costs are skyrocketing, with Americans now paying a third or more of their paychecks in rent or mortgages.

Trump’s response? Drastic cuts in low-income housing. His Secretary of Housing and Urban Development also wants to triple the rent paid by poor households in subsidized housing.

Healthcare costs continues to rise faster than inflation. Trump’s response? Undermine the Affordable Care Act. Over the past two years, some 4 million people have lost healthcare coverage, according to a survey by the Commonwealth Fund.

Pharmaceutical costs are also out of control. Trump’s response? Allow the biggest pharmacist, CVS, to merge with the one of the biggest health insurers, Aetna — creating a behemoth with the power to raise prices even further.

The cost of college continues to soar. Trump’s response? Make it easier for for-profit colleges to defraud students. His Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, is eliminating regulations that had required for-profit colleges to prove they provide gainful employment to the students they enroll.

Commuting to and from work is becoming harder, as roads and bridges become more congested, and subways and trains older and less reliable. Trump’s response? Nothing. Although he promised to spend $1.5 trillion to repair America’s crumbling infrastructure, his $1.5 trillion tax cut for big corporations and the wealthy used up the money.

Climate change is undermining the standard of living of ordinary Americans, as more are hit with floods, mudslides, tornados, draughts, and wildfires. Even those who have so far avoided direct hits will be paying more for insurance – or having a harder time getting it. People living on flood plains, or in trailers, or without home insurance, are paying the highest price.

Trump’s response? Allow more carbon into the atmosphere and make climate change even worse.

Too often, discussions about “the economy” focus on overall statistics about growth, the stock market, and unemployment.

But most Americans don’t live in that economy. They live in a personal economy that has more to do with wages, job security, commutes to and from work, and the costs of housing, healthcare, drugs, education, and home insurance.

These are the things that hit closest home. They comprise the typical American’s standard of living.

Instead of an “economic boom,” most Americans are experiencing declines in all these dimensions of their lives.

Trump isn’t solely responsible. Some of these trends predated his presidency. But he hasn’t done anything to reverse them.

If anything, he’s made them far worse.

Robert Reich

Robert B. Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written 15 books, including the best sellers "Aftershock", "The Work of Nations," and"Beyond Outrage," and, his most recent, "The Common Good." He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, "Inequality For All." He's also co-creator of the Netflix original documentary "Saving Capitalism."

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Carolyn Warner