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Trump’s One Trillion Dollar Infrastructure Boondoggle. Handing Over Public Assets to Private Corporations

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Donald Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan is not an infrastructure plan and it won’t put $1 trillion of fiscal stimulus into the economy.

Mike Whitney, Global Research / CounterPunch / Greanville Post

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15 March 2017 | Donald Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan is not an infrastructure plan and it won’t put $1 trillion of fiscal stimulus into the economy.

It’s basically a scheme for handing over public assets to private corporations that will extract maximum profits via user fees and tolls. Because the plan is essentially a boondoggle, it will not lift the economy out of the doldrums, increase activity or boost growth.  Quite the contrary. When the details of how the program is going to be implemented are announced,  public confidence in the Trump administration is going to wither and stock prices are going to plunge.   This scenario cannot be avoided because the penny-pinching conservatives in the House and Senate have already said that they won’t support any plan that is not “revenue neutral” which means that any real $1 trillion spending package is a dead letter.  Thus, it’s only a matter of time before the Trump’s plan is exposed as a fraud and the sh** hits the fan.

Here are more of the details from an article at Slate.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). 

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Al Franken’s grilling of Gorsuch exposes the heartless cruelty behind conservative legal philosophy

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(Credit: AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Jeff Malet, maletphoto.com)

Comic turned senator rips apart Gorsuch's infamous "frozen trucker" opinion. If only other Democrats would follow.

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Paul Rosenberg, Salon

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 | In a few short minutes of questioning Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch on Tuesday, Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., exposed the utter absurdity of an elaborate legal fiction that conservatives have spent decades constructing. That fiction is meant to place them unreachably beyond any possible question, no matter how ludicrous, cruel or unjust their rulings might be. If the Democrats had any semblance of a coherent messaging apparatus, the Gorsuch nomination would be finished. But, of course, they don’t.

It happened so quickly, and Franken’s manner — as usual — was so understated, that it was easy to miss the significance of what happened. But the nation cannot afford to let that happen. The point Franken was making was far too critical to let it pass by unnoticed. In fact, it should be a rallying point to gather around, one that could reset the course of American jurisprudence along more sound and sober lines.

Paul Rosenberg is a California-based writer/activist, senior editor for Random Lengths News, and a columnist for Al Jazeera English.

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Live at Truthdig: What Is the Future of Net Neutrality Under Trump?

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An open internet is being threatened by the Trump administration: According to an article by the media-advocacy organization Free Press, the new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, “vigorously opposed rules [the FCC] adopted to protect the rights of internet users” when Pai worked at the FCC under Obama.

Emma Niles, Truthdig

 

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http://www.popularresistance.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Net-neutrality-meme-e1398433124309.jpg Mar 21, 2017 | Since President Trump took office, Americans have been bombarded with daily news of threats to progressive issues—health carewomen’s rights and the environment, to name a few.

But one at-risk issue hasn’t been making headlines in the same way: net neutrality—the principle that internet service providers and governments regulating the internet should treat all data on the internet equally, without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.

Emma Niles, Assistant Editor, Truthdig

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The Republican Waterloo

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  • Conservatives once warned that Obamacare would produce the Democratic Waterloo. Their inability to accept the principle of universal coverage has, instead, led to their own defeat.
  • Related: Nothing Short of a Single-Payer Health Plan Will Do

David Frum, the Atlantic

https://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media/img/mt/2017/03/Paul_Ryan_and_Trump/thumb_wide_medium.jpg?1490384351Who Will Republican Voters Blame for the Failure of the GOP Health-Care Bill?

Mar 24, 2017 | Seven years and three days ago, the House of Representatives grumblingly voted to approve the Senate’s version of the Affordable Care Act. Democrats in the House were displeased by many of the changes introduced by Senate Democrats. But in the interval after Senate passage, the Republicans had gained a 41st seat in the Senate. Any further tinkering with the law could trigger a Republican filibuster. Rather than lose the whole thing, the House swallowed hard and accepted a bill that liberals regarded as a giveaway to insurance companies and other interest groups. The finished law proceeded to President Obama for signature on March 23, 2010.

A few minutes after the House vote, I wrote a short blog post for the website I edited in those days. The site had been founded early in 2009 to argue for a more modern and more moderate form of Republicanism. The timing could not have been worse. At precisely the moment we were urging the GOP to march in one direction, the great mass of conservatives and Republicans had turned on the double in the other, toward an ever more wild and even paranoid extremism. Those were the days of Glenn Beck’s 5 o’clock Fox News conspiracy rants, of Sarah Palin’s “death panels,” of Orly Taitz and her fellow Birthers, of Tea Party rallies at which men openly brandished assault rifles.

David Frum is a senior editor at the Atlantic <https://www.theatlantic.com>. In 2001–02, he was a speechwriter for President George W. Bush.

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Related: 

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Nothing Short of a Single-Payer Health Plan Will Do, elnwebmaster, the Labor Fight Back Blog

The Democrats have refused to lift a finger for a health plan that would actually benefit the people who vote for their party. It’s time for working people to tell the Democrats—and the Republicans and their demagogic President Donald John Trump—that if they refuse to provide us with a health care plan that actually benefits us, we will elect people who will, independent candidates whom we choose and who are responsible to us, not to the insurance bosses, pharmaceutical executives, and Wall Street speculators. The time is now.

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Series | The Obama Legacy, Part 5: Women No Longer Pay More For Health Care Just For Being Women

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  • Birth control and preventative care aren’t considered luxuries.
  • This piece is Part 5 of a series on Obama’s legacy that Evergreene Digest  will be publishing over the next weeks.

Laura Bassett, the Huffington Post

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Change%20You%20Can%20Believe%20In%20Redacted.jpg Jan 11, 2017 | Before President Barack Obama took office, being a woman came with a surcharge.

Most women had to pay out of pocket for birth control, even though preventing pregnancy saves money for everyone ― including insurance companies, men and the federal government. And women were charged more than men for the same health insurance plans because they tend to have babies, visit the doctor more often and live longer.

The Obama administration was the first to treat women’s preventative health care, including birth control, as a necessity instead of a luxury. The Affordable Care Act banned insurance companies from the practice of “gender rating” and required all insurance plans to cover the full range of contraception methods and well-woman visits, without a co-pay.

Laura Bassett is a Senior Politics Reporter at the Huffington Post covering women's rights domestically and around the globe, and she is a grantee with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

Full story … 

Previously in this series:

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Our Two Party System is Dead

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Photo by Daniel Lobo | CC BY 2.0

  • The duopoly is dead; and the sooner this fact registers, the better off everyone who stands to gain from (small-d) democracy will be.
  • Related: The Management of Unleashed Insanity

Andrew Levine, CounterPunch

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March 17, 2017 | The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) famously proclaimed the death of God.  Following this far more momentous precedent, it would now be fair to proclaim the death of the debilitating, semi-established duopoly party system that disables progressive politics in the United States.

The analogies are many.

Andrew Levine is the author most recently of The American Ideology(Routledge) and Political Key Words (Blackwell) as well as of many other books and articles in political philosophy. His most recent book is In Bad Faith: What’s Wrong With the Opium of the People. He was a Professor (philosophy) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Research Professor (philosophy) at the University of Maryland-College Park.  He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

Full story … 

Related: 

The Management of Unleashed Insanity, Todd Gitlin, Moyers & Company

http://dy00k1db5oznd.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/GettyImages-72150234-1184x720.jpg President Richard Nixon during a campaign rally at Madison Square Garden in New York, Oct. 31, 1968. (Photo by David Fenton/Getty Images)

  • Trump perfects the role of Propagandist-in-Chief.
  • Trump’s gamble is that the ardor of the true believers can be weaponized into an assault on the doubters, knocking them back on their heels, shaking their faith in their own judgments…
  • The present situation, a regime that systematically assaults truth, is unprecedented.
  • Related: Most People Today Want to be Propagandized

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New President, Same (Criminal) Foreign Policy?

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RT speaks exclusively with American journalist held captive by Al-Nusra

Related: The Fast Track to Armageddon

Caleb T. Maupin, Greanville Post 

March 13, 2017 | Obama or Trump? New Yorkers guess which president intervened where.

New president, same foreign policy?

Caleb Maupin is a radical journalist and political analyst who resides in New York City. Originally from Ohio, he studied political science at Baldwin-Wallace College.

Full story (video) … 

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The Fast Track to Armageddon, Louis René Beres, US News 

Could President Trump propel a nuclear war in the Middle East?

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