You are browsing the archive for 2020 December 23.

Avatar of admin

by admin

Mike Pence accidentally admits the real reason Republicans hate Democrats so much

December 23, 2020 in Blogs

By Common Dreams

The grassroots organization People for Bernie on Tuesday advised the Democratic Party to take a page from an unlikely source—right-wing Vice President Mike Pence—after Pence told a rally crowd in Florida that progressives and Democrats “want to make rich people poorer, and poor people more comfortable.”

“Good message,” tweeted the group, alerting the Democratic National Committee to adopt the vice president’s simple, straightforward description of how the party can prioritize working people over corporations and the rich.

Suggesting that a progressive approach to the economy will harm the country—despite the fact that other wealthy nations already invest heavily in making low- and middle-income “more comfortable” by taxing corporations and very high earners—Pence touted the Republicans’ aim to “cut taxes” and “roll back regulations.”

The vice president didn’t mention how the Trump administration’s 2017 tax cuts overwhelmingly benefited wealthy households and powerful corporations, with corporate income tax rates slashed from 35% to 21%, corporate tax revenues plummeting, and a surge in stock buybacks while workers saw “no discernible wage increase” according to a report released last year by the Economic Policy Institute and the Center for Popular Democracy.

Similarly, the Republican Party’s recent attempts to roll back regulations include measures that have actively harmed working families, including the administration’s termination of overtime protections for workers—resulting in an estimated $1.2 billion in lost earnings—and of requirements that federal contractors meet labor and wage standards.

While the GOP during the coronavirus pandemic has allowed enhanced unemployment benefits to expire and cited concerns over the federal deficit while blocking legislation to offer Americans a second round of $1,200 stimulus checks—despite the fact that the deficit has grown by trillions of dollars under President Donald Trump—progressives including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have consistently called for robust economic relief for workers.

Along with Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Sanders introduced legislation to provide Americans with monthly payments of $2,000 in May, saying the $1,200 direct payment included in the CARES Act last March was “not nearly enough.”

In August, Sanders also introduced a bill to tax the “obscene wealth gains” of U.S. billionaires during the pandemic, which would raise at least $420 billion—a sum that would allow the popular Medicare program to pay all out-of-pocket healthcare expenses for everyone in …read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

Trump leaves office historically disgraced in the eyes of the public — while Biden gets high marks

December 23, 2020 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

Although Joe Biden’s inauguration is less than a month away, President Donald Trump is still refusing to acknowledge his win and pushing debunked claims that widespread fraud tainted the election.

But while Trump seems to have convinced much of his party that the election was illegitimate, recent polls from Fox News and Gallup show his dismal standing with the population as a whole. Analyzing the data, CNN’s Harry Enten stressed that Trump is leaving office with historically low marks.

One of the most striking numbers: 42 percent of Fox News’ respondents said he will be remembered as “one of the country’s worst presidents.” And 44% said they “strongly disapprove” of his job performance.

“Pollsters have been asking Americans about how history will take stock of different presidents at the end of their presidencies since Gerald Ford,” Enten wrote. “No president has garnered as many strongly negative feelings as Trump. The only president who came even close to getting as many low ratings, in a five-category question, was George W. Bush in a Gallup poll at the end of his presidency; 36% said he would go down as a ‘poor’ president.”

Only 22% of people said Trump would be remembered as “one of the country’s greatest presidents” — the way he explicitly sells himself. Another 8 percent said he was “below average” as a president.

Fox News did find that 47% of Americans approve of Trump’s job as president, while 52% don’t — matching the result of the 2020 election popular vote almost exactly. Gallup’s poll, meanwhile, found that only 39% of Americans approve of Trump’s performance as president, falling from 43% in November.

“The president’s job approval rating is the lowest it has been since June when it fell sharply amid protests nationwide about racial injustice following George Floyd’s death while in police custody,” Gallup said. It continued:

Trump joins Jimmy Carter as defeated incumbents whose approval ratings fell after failing to win reelection. By contrast, Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush saw their ratings rise after voters denied them a second presidential term

Trump’s approval rating has fallen seven and eight points, respectively, among Republicans and independents since Gallup’s final preelection readings in October. Currently, 87% of Republicans, 34% of independents and 6% of Democrats approve of his job performance.It’s quite possible Trump’s refusal to accept the results of the …read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

Here's why Trump advisers increasingly fear his actions as he copes with being a 'loser': report

December 23, 2020 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

In the United States, lame duck presidents have a long history of working with members of the incoming administration and trying to make sure the transition is as smooth as possible — even if they were disappointed by the election results. President Donald Trump, on the other hand, is still fuming over being voted out of office and refuses to acknowledge Joe Biden as president-elect. New York Times reporters Maggie Haberman and Michael S. Schmidt, in an article published this week, analyze Trump’s behavior during this lame-duck period — describing the outgoing president as angry, totally self-absorbed and worried about his political future.

Trump, according to Haberman and Schmidt, “remains the most powerful person in the world, yet he is focused on the one area in which he is powerless to get what he wants: a way to avoid leaving office as a loser. He spends his days flailing for any hope, if not of actually reversing the outcome of the election, then at least of building a coherent case that he was robbed of a second term.”

Trump, they add, “is almost entirely disengaged from leading the nation even as Americans are being felled by the coronavirus at record rates” — and he has mostly “sequestered himself in the White House, playing host to a cast of conspiracy theorists and hardcore supporters who traffic in ideas like challenging the election’s outcome in Congress and even invoking martial law.”

“It is not clear that Mr. Trump’s latest behavior is anything other than a temper tantrum, attention-seeking or a form of therapy for the man who controls a nuclear arsenal — though one alternative, if charitable, view is that it is strategic groundwork for a grievance-filled run in 2024,” the Times journalists report. “If nothing else, it will make for an especially anxious next 27 days in Washington.”

Haberman and Schmidt’s article, they note, is “based on interviews with more than a dozen current and former administration officials, Republicans and allies of the president.”

“Current advisers have described a daily struggle to keep Mr. Trump from giving in to his impulse to listen to those who are telling him what he wants to hear,” Haberman and Schmidt …read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

Trump breaks with the GOP and vetoes $740 billion defense bill

December 23, 2020 in Blogs

By The New Civil Rights Movement

President Donald J. Trump vetoed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Wednesday in a move that defied Congress. The bill had previously been passed by Congress every year since 1967.

The $740 billion defense spending bill had been passed by the House and Senate with veto-proof majorities, which could set up a potential fight to override the outgoing president’s veto power.

“The Act fails even to make any meaningful changes to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, despite bipartisan calls for repealing that provision,” Trump said in a message to the House Wednesday.

He continued, “My Administration recognizes the importance of the Act to our national security. Unfortunately, the Act fails to include critical national security measures, includes provisions that fail to respect our veterans and our military’s history, and contradicts efforts by my Administration to put America first in our national security and foreign policy actions.”

He then said it was a “gift to China and Russia.”

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

Trump's 11th-hour betrayal: Republicans get what they deserve

December 23, 2020 in Blogs

By Amanda Marcotte

Let’s get one thing straight: Donald Trump does not care about the American people. Whatever Trump may say, he is not threatening to blow up the coronavirus stimulus bill Senate Republicans finally agreed to pass because the bill isn’t generous enough. Trump could not care less if all Americans starve to death, and he certainly isn’t breaking a sweat trying to get the COVID-19 vaccine out to the public. He was not defending working Americans when he released a video calling the GOP-endorsed coronavirus bill a “disgrace” and pushing for a Democrat-friendly plan to send out $2,000 checks instead of the $600 ones Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed to.

No, what’s likely going on is that Trump, the self-identified master negotiator, is turning to the only negotiation tactic he’s ever really known: Extortion.

Trump likely thinks he’s blackmailing McConnell into stealing the election for him. While we have no direct proof this is an extortion scheme, the circumstantial evidence is abundant and compelling. Here’s what we know:

Trump really does believe that Republicans know some super secret method for nullifying the election he just lost, and that they’re just not revealing it to him for some reason. In reality, Republicans probably would help him steal the election if they could, but they can’t. But Trump refuses to accept this so he is constantly wheedling GOP officials to do more and whining publicly that they’re holding out on him. He’s even considering canceling a Mar-A-Lago trip and staying in D.C. for Christmas, probably because he’s talked himself into believing he can strike a “deal” to nullify the election.

Trump is particularly incensed at McConnell right now for not doing more to make Trump’s failed coup successful. On Monday, Trump’s office sent out emails to congressional Republicans in which Trump took credit (falsely) for McConnell’s successful re-election, and implied that McConnell should show his gratitude by doing more to steal the presidential election for Trump. Trump believes that Congress will have an opportunity to overturn the election on January 6, by refusing to certify the Electoral College vote. We know he believes this, even though it’s false because he’s been scheming with House Republicans …read more

Source: ALTERNET