I was once a republican. I believed that maintaining the national debt at a manageable sustainable level is important. The Republican party said they did as well.
I believed that annual budget deficits were often unavoidable during recessionary cycles but knew that during grow cycles budgets needed to be balanced in order to be able to sustain a manageable national debt level. I thought te Republican party believed the same.
I was wrong on both counts as the Republican party has been most responsible for our national debt explosion every since Ronald Wilson Reagan was our president. It continues under Trump unabated and NO ONE in the Republican party is even talking about the national debt or budget deficits any longer.
It’s like no one cares anymore. Likely that is because they don’t. The Republican Party aversion to raising taxes during growth cycles is stuff of legendary proportions. Even though that is how debt control works. Reducing taxes to “stimulate economic growth” is something we’ve seen time and again just doesn’t work. The national debt stands as a monumental statue to that fact.
The Party of Lincoln (actually it no longer is) has become the Party of the Wealthy , By the Wealthy, and For the Wealthy. Its primary focus is to insure that wealth remains concentrated in the hands of those occupying the top 1 or 2 percent on the economic scale. A sure tract to oligarchy.
… The financial crisis of 2008 and 2009 left the vast majority of working people and the Democrats’ base of African-Americans, Hispanics, single women and millennials shattered for years. They lost much of their wealth and were forced into new jobs that often paid less. Many faced prohibitive student debt. With wages stagnant for a decade, they were frustrated with the daunting costs of health care, prescription drugs, child care and housing. Yet in the main, Mr. Obama, Hillary Clinton — and now Mr. Trump — hailed the economy’s progress, the millions of new jobs. But that was and is clueless. Mr. Trump will be the latest presidential candidate punished by the voters for not getting it.
The Democrats in the 2018 wave election did get it and made their biggest gains, compared with 2016, not in the suburbs — despite winning most of their new seats there — but in the rural areas and among white working class voters, particularly women. This pullback from Mr. Trump among white working class women in particular went further this year. As of 2019, he enjoyed only a single-digit lead with the voters who played such a big role in the 2016 surprise. In 2018, Democrats succeeded by attacking Republicans for attempting to repeal Obamacare and failing to lower skyrocketing prescription drug costs. They proposed trillion-dollar investments in infrastructure and battled to drive dark money out of politics.
Mr. Trump and the Republican Congress continued to seek the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, working both to make it fail in practice and to slash federal health care spending for seniors and the poor. That made health care the top reason for voting for Democrats in 2018, but it also revealed what has become a defining partisan difference: a Republican Party determined to destroy government outside of defense and a Democratic Party determined to use it expansively.
The Democrats today are reacting not only to Mr. Trump but to the Tea Party-dominated Republican Party that preceded and prepared the way for him with gridlocked government. After coming to power in the 2010 wave election, the Republicans tried to keep the government from addressing virtually any problem at all. The Tea Party movement was animated by its hostility to Mr. Obama and his activist government. Empowered in the House, it forced an I.M.F.-like budget austerity on the federal government and blocked any new economic stimulus and investment. As a candidate, Mr. Trump built his base among Tea Party Republicans and Evangelicals in order to carry forward the assault on government nationally and in the states. The Democrats watched in frustration as the government was presumed to be impotent to address wage stagnation, surging inequality, climate change, the slaughter from automatic weapons and the flood of dark money into politics.
But this dam has burst. With Mr. Trump’s ever-escalating assault on government, the proportion of Americans who say that government “should do more to solve problems and meet the needs of people” surged to the highest level in 20 years. Democratic candidates who understand this political moment will push for a government that changes the country’s course, as it did under Democratic presidents after the progressive victories of 2008 and 1964 and especially after the 1932 triumph of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal.
Democratic voters today look at the chief executives of major corporations and they see the face of an era where greed was unchecked, where companies failed to invest in their workers and used their big donations and lobbyists to rig the political system against the middle and working classes. They are determined that government must do something not only about corruption and corporate excess, but also inequality, universal health care, the state of the working family, climate change, globalization, entrenched racial and gender disparities and more…
Democrats have an amazing opportunity to take back America for the middle class and those less fortunate. But, the mega guns of the Republican party and its wealthy donors are gearing up for the monumental fight they KNOW is coming. Independents and Democrats need to unite to destroy the seeds of Trumpism before it destroys America.
“I don’t know why Republicans are afraid of the truth.”
“Every member should support the American people hearing the facts for themselves. That is what this vote is about. It’s about the truth. And what is at stake in all of this is nothing less than our democracy.”
Nancy Pelosi, 10/31/2019
America will enter the next phase of the impeachment process, public hearings. Affording all Americans the opportunity to hear the facts and the truth for themselves. As the Washington Post accurately points out, democracy dies in darkness.
Why the GOP is afraid of letting the American people hear and know the truth is indeed puzzling. Authoritarian and dictatorial regimes around the world have always engaged in propaganda and disinformation in support of the regime leader’s agenda and interests. But we are a democratic republic, not a monarchy or a dictatorship.
We question the motives and patriotism of the secretive GOP
In a rule expected as early as Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency will move to weaken the 2015 regulation by relaxing some of the requirements on power generators and also exempting a significant number of power plants from even those requirements.
The effort was designed to extend the life of old, coal-fired power plants that have been shutting down in the face of competition from cheaper natural gas and renewable energy generators. Environmental groups warned that the move could lead to health problems caused by contaminated drinking water, including birth defects, cancer and stunted brain development in young children.
State news media (Fox News) has begun the smear campaign against Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman. Because this man of honor, a real and true patriot, had the audacity to speak the truth about Trump’s phone conversation with the Ukrainian President (the Biden/Hunter ruse) Fox in usual form has began their assault on truth.
For some Fox News personalities, apparently, there is no greater expression of disloyalty to country than a display of disloyalty to President Trump.
On Tuesday, Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, a Ukraine expert in the White House, is set to testify to House impeachment investigators that he recoiled at Trump’s repeated demand that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky manufacture smears of Trump’s potential campaign opponent Joe Biden.
Vindman will testify that he viewed this as an act of patriotism, because he saw Trump’s corrupt conduct as damaging to U.S. national security. So, naturally, Fox News figures are already questioning Vindman’s loyalty to our country — or, more precisely, to Trump himself.
Evidently, placing country before Trump is the ultimate act of supreme betrayal.
In his opening statement, Vindman says he “did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen.” Vindman is a decorated lieutenant colonel, so when he delivers this message once the inquiry moves into its public phase, it could be very compelling.
What’s more, Vindman will blow a big hole in one of Trump’s most important defenses.
Vindman discusses a key meeting on July 10 with Ukrainian officials, who expressed their desire for a Trump-Zelensky meeting. Vindman then says Gordon Sondland — the ambassador to the European Union — “started to speak about Ukraine delivering specific investigations in order to secure the meeting with the President.”
That further nails down part of the quid pro quo. But there’s more. Sondland’s demand prompted then-national security adviser John Bolton to “cut the meeting short.” Then Vindman testifies that this happened:
Following this meeting, there was a scheduled debriefing during which Amb. Sondland emphasized the importance that Ukraine deliver the investigations into the 2016 election, the Bidens, and Burisma. I stated to Amb. Sondland that his statements were inappropriate, that the request to investigate Biden and his son had nothing to do with national security, and that such investigations were not something the NSC was going to get involved in or push.
Which brings us to Fox News’s smear of Vindman The Fox smear
Fox’s Laura Ingraham unleashed a diatribe against Vindman on Monday night that focused on the fact that Ukrainians privately solicited Vindman’s help in navigating difficulties created by Giuliani running this shadow policy toward Ukraine. Watch:
Andrew Lawrence@ndrew_lawrence. Oh my God, look at the spin they are using right now, actually saying that Vindman is a Ukrainian double agent….this is so freaking bananas
“Here we have a U.S. national security official who is advising Ukraine while working inside the White House, apparently against the president’s interests,” Ingraham railed. Former George W. Bush administration lawyer John Yoo called this potential “espionage.”
Note here Ingraham’s frank admission that Vindman was working against the president’s interests.
You see, Giuliani’s shadow policy toward Ukraine was not in the interests of the United States. It was in Trump’s interests. Giuliani himself declared in May that this scheme would be “very helpful to my client.”
Ingraham is unwittingly admitting the obvious here: In trying to keep our foreign policy aligned with our own national interests, Vindman was operating against those of the president. And this is the real betrayal for which Vindman must be destroyed.
Trump is an embarrassment. He is an unhinged narcissist who thinks of nothing but himself and his businesses. A populist demagogue who’s demagoguery and propaganda rivals that of Adolph Hitler and the Nazi party.
It is eerie how George Orwell’s dystopian novel almost predicted Donald J Trump’s presidency and the present GOP.
“Why are people that I never even heard of testifying about the call,” Trump tweeted. “Just READ THE CALL TRANSCRIPT AND THE IMPEACHMENT HOAX IS OVER! Ukrain said NO PRESSURE.”
Vindman will be the first witness in the impeachment probe who listened in on Trump’s call with President Volodymyr Zelensky. His testimony appears to corroborate both a whistleblower complaint lodged by an anonymous member of the intelligence community who was alarmed by accounts of the conversation, as well as a summary of the call released by the White House.
“Supposedly, according to the Corrupt Media, the Ukraine call ‘concerned’ today’s Never Trumper witness,” Trump tweeted, without providing any evidence that Vindman has an anti-Trump bias. “Was he on the same call that I was? Can’t be possible! Please ask him to read the Transcript of the call. Witch Hunt!”
“Where’s the Whistleblower? Just read the Transcript, everything else is made up garbage by Shifty Schiff and the Never Trumpers!” he tweeted earlier Tuesday morning, referring to House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), one of the leaders of the impeachment inquiry.
“The Do Nothing Democrats are working hard to make everyone forget the Best Economy Ever, the monumental weekend raid, Tax Cuts, the Rebuilding of our Military, etc.,” the president also wrote, touting the special operations assault that resulted in the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. “The Impeachment Hoax is a disgrace. Read the transcript!”
The above is the president of our once great country. We can than The Donald and his supporters for our nations slide into chaos and declining relevance on the international stage.
But by impeaching Donald Trump, it can become a beacon of moral truth again.
Andrei V. Kozyrev, Russian foreign minister from 1991 to 1996
Russians with moral integrity know that for America to return to a position of MORAL authority Trump must go.
Looks like some Russians have a much higher bar to clear than many Americans.
The United States has often played a pivotal role in my political life, beginning 50 years ago when I was a student of international relations at a Moscow university.
At that time, Soviet propaganda was well-practiced at denouncing Richard Nixon for rejecting the Kremlin’s dogma that in politics, the ends justify the means. Mr. Nixon had argued during his 1960 presidential campaign that the American democratic system recognizes a standard of moral truth that allows the individual to say to government, “Thus far may you go, but no farther.” If what Mr. Nixon said was true, many of us in the Soviet Union thought, then America is on the right side of history.
The Kremlin would later exploit the Watergate scandal to sneer at Mr. Nixon’s — and by extension, America’s — allegiance to moral truth as nothing more than hypocrisy. But what looked like an easy propaganda victory turned out to be Pyrrhic. When Republicans joined Mr. Nixon’s Democratic opposition in Congress and forced him to choose between resignation or impeachment, the Soviet dissident newsletters retorted that the standard of moral truth had proved to be real in America after all. And they pointed out that the investigation of the president of the United States was initiated by two young reporters, representatives of a free press. The Kremlin found no counterarguments, except to condemn the press as enemies of the people and dissidents as traitors.
The Iron Curtain was not enough to block the words of moral truth from Washington. Gradually more and more people in Russia heard and heeded them. The words spoken by successive presidents, members of Congress and many ordinary citizens were loud and clear — and when buttressed by genuine efforts to live up to them, they were the most powerful weapons in the Cold War. Unlike nuclear missiles, free speech, and the moral truth it brought, was not an element of the superpower struggle to be found in equal measure among both rivals. It was a unique and essential advantage on the American side.
Of course American presidents made a few unhappy, even hypocritical, decisions, in both domestic and foreign policy. Yet we in Russia saw how severely they were criticized by the media and Congress when they did so.
The words above, and those that follow are spot on and demonstrate how the world once thought of the United States and our institutions of government. No longer. Since the rise of Donald J. Trump we have lost the moral high ground. With this loss we have also lost the respect it brought with it.
It will be a long road back to where we once were. Even if Trump is impeached and removed the work to rebuild the trust and respect DJT has squandered will be daunting for the next President. If Trump is not removed or soundly defeated in 2020 our road back will be much more difficult to acheive. If not impossibe.