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R.J. Matson | Trump Tweets Diverge From Intelligence Agencies Consensus

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These are the obscure Trump staffers who are systematically dismantling the federal government.

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/ Illustration by Diana Ofosu

  • Back in October a leaked Office of Management and Budget document revealed that eight staffers are quietly poised to take an axe to domestic policy. After examining these eight members, we found they're deeply conservative and uniquely suited to dismantle or outsource major parts of the federal government.
  • Related: Republicans’ lack of alarm over the shutdown reveals a disturbing truth.
  • Related: Stop Betsy DeVos' attack on student sexual assault survivors.

Josh Israel, Danielle McLean, Think Progress
Yvette Cabrera, Joshua Eaton, and Kira Lerner contributed reporting to this story.


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Dec 18, 2017 | In August 2016, a day after then-presidential candidate Donald Trump announced some of his economic plans, he called in to Fox Business Network to discuss those plans with host Maria Bartiromo. In their conversation, Trump insisted his assault on government programs would not have any negative ramifications. “We’re going to be doing smart budget cuts, budget cuts that will make it just as good or better than it is right now but for a lot less money,” he vowed.

Congress has not yet enacted his massive budget cuts, but that has not stopped the administration from dispatching a team of domestic policy aides to push for cuts, unilateral executive actions, and conservative actions across the federal government.

Josh Israel has been senior investigative reporter for ThinkProgress since 2012.

Danielle McLean is an investigative reporter at ThinkProgress.

Full story …

Related:

Republicans’ lack of alarm over the shutdown reveals a disturbing truth. Ross Barkan, the Guardian


https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/dd5ccde64c5d307d91d29252c6b9487e7c8866a6/0_199_4230_2538/master/4230.jpg?width=620&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s=5b5ce75c0c4ad0bed1639990de732c3b / ‘Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate majority leader, has been content to do Trump’s bidding, twice blocking Democratic bills to reopen the government.’ Photograph: Susan Walsh/AP
 

The rightwing, anti-government forces which first took root in the Republican party more than 40 years ago are now in full bloom and Trump is their willing avatar.

Related:

Stop Betsy DeVos' attack on student sexual assault survivors. Credo Action / Ultraviolet

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  • Tell Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos:   "Do not eviscerate protections for student survivors of sexual harassment and assault."
  • Related: These are the obscure Trump staffers who are systematically dismantling the federal government.

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Kamala Harris Destroyed Black Lives

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Harris has spent her career locking up Black and brown people. She should not be allowed to shake hands, kiss babies or walk into black churches without being taken to task.

Margaret Kimberley, Black Agenda Report

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http://stmedia.stimg.co/ows_145653429657613.jpg?w=52516 Jan 2019 | California Senator Kamala Harris shows all the signs of announcing her candidacy for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. She is giving speeches in the right states, interviewing with the right talking heads, and recently published the obligatory memoir. She has been on the Democratic funder’s casting couch for nearly two years. Only the official announcement is missing.



“Kamala Harris is no friend of black people.”



But Harris is highly problematic for black voters, perhaps more so than any other candidate. She served as the district attorney of San Francisco and later as attorney general of California. In both roles she did everything in her power to support the mass incarceration system and all of its foundations. That is what prosecutors do after all, but most of them don’t try to run for president and ask for black people’s votes.

Margaret Kimberley: Black Agenda Report editor and senior columnist

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The Russia Interference Narrative is McCarthyism Reborn in the 21st Century

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  • At least within the limits of its influence over public opinion, Russiagate has been very effective at propagating militaristic and authoritarian views.
  • Related: Special Project | Russiagate: The American Boogeyman

Rainer Shea, Ghion Journal

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January 27, 2019 | It’s been so effective because it’s exploited a crisis-the crisis of the Trump presidency-and turned much of liberal America’s attention towards fearing a manufactured foreign threat. As Glenn Greenwald recently wrote about this manipulation: “A new generation of Democrats, politically engaged for the first time as a result of fears over Trump, [are] being inculcated with values of militarism and imperialism, trained to view once-discredited, war-loving neocons such as Bill Kristol, Max Boot, and David Frum, and former CIA and FBI leaders as noble experts and trusted voices of conscience.”

I’ve found that these beliefs make up the pro-imperialist worldview which Russiagate enforces.

https://i0.wp.com/ghionjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Rainer-Shea-1.jpeg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1 / Rainer Shea uses the written word to deconstruct establishment propaganda and to promote meaningful political action. His articles can also be found at Revolution Dispatch.

Full story …

Related:

Special Project | Russiagate: The American Boogeyman, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Story 1: Why I’m Sick and Tired of Hearing About Russiagate * Story 2: How Pro-War Democrats Use Russiagate To Bloat the Military—And Why That’s Dangerous * Story 3: What Russiagate Skeptics Get Wrong * Related: Five Things That Would Reduce Out of Control Russophobia * Related: How Russia Became “Our Adversary” Again
 

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Neoliberalism: Free Market Fundamentalism or Corporate Power?

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/ Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair

  • The lack of historical consciousness lies at the heart of American exceptionalism. It hobbles our capacity to think and act. This denial of history is the masters’ mythology, not ours. Corporate power is not eternal but historical. It too shall pass — but only if we make it so.
  • Related: Chris Hedges: Fascism, Neoliberalism and Third Parties in the US, Chris Hedges, Dandelion Salad / Rise Up Times
  • Related: From the Archives | It was the Democrats' embrace of neoliberalism that won it for Trump.

Richard Moser, Counterpunch

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January 11, 2019 | I’ve been hearing about neoliberalism for a long time now and never could make much sense of it. It turns out the story we tell about neoliberalism is as contradictory as neoliberalism itself. Two currents within the critique of neoliberalism offer different analyses of the current economy and suggest different strategies for dealing with the gross exploitation, wealth inequality, climate destruction and dictatorial governance of the modern corporate order.

These opposing currents are not just different schools of thought represented by divergent thinkers. Rather they appear as contradictions within the critiques of neoliberalism leveled by some of the most influential writers on the subject. These different interpretations are often the result of focus. Look at neoliberal doctrine and intellectuals and the free market comes to the fore. Look at the history and practice of the largest corporations and the most powerful political actors and corporate power takes center stage.

Richard Moser writes at befreedom.co where this article first appeared.

Full story …

Related:

Chris Hedges: Fascism, Neoliberalism and Third Parties in the US, Chris Hedges, Dandelion Salad / Rise Up Times

Related: Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems

Related:

From the Archives | It was the Democrats' embrace of neoliberalism that won it for Trump. Naomi Klein, the Guardian
 


https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/01bcd0b96ebb18ec1941818855eff832074f390f/...‘Elite neoliberalism unleashed the Davos class. People such as Hillary and Bill Clinton are the toast of the Davos party. In truth, they threw the party.’ Photograph: Ruben Sprich/Reuters

People have lost their sense of security, status and even identity. This result is the scream of an America desperate for radical change.
Related: Neoliberalism: Free Market Fundamentalism or Corporate Power?

 

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Wed 9 Nov 2016 | They will blame James Comey and the FBI. They will blame voter suppression and racism. They will blame Bernie or bust and misogyny. They will blame third parties and independent candidates. They will blame the corporate media for giving him the platform, social media for being a bullhorn, and WikiLeaks for airing the laundry.
___________
Here is what we need to understand: a hell of a lot of people are in pain.
___________
But this leaves out the force most responsible for creating the nightmare in which we now find ourselves wide awake: neoliberalism. That worldview – fully embodied by Hillary Clinton and her machine – is no match for Trump-style extremism. The decision to run one against the other is what sealed our fate. If we learn nothing else, can we please learn from that mistake?

http://www.naomiklein.org/files/images/Naomi-Klein-credit-Kourosh-Keshir... Naomi Klein <https://www.theguardian.com/profile/naomiklein> is an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and author of the New York Times and international bestsellers, No is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need (2017), This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs The Climate (2014), The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (2007) and No Logo (2000).

Full story … https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/09/rise-of-the-davos-...

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Republicans’ lack of alarm over the shutdown reveals a disturbing truth.

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 / ‘Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate majority leader, has been content to do Trump’s bidding, twice blocking Democratic bills to reopen the government.’ Photograph: Susan Walsh/AP

The rightwing, anti-government forces which first took root in the Republican party more than 40 years ago are now in full bloom and Trump is their willing avatar.

Ross Barkan, the Guardian

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Fri 18 Jan 2019 | The government shutdown, now in its fourth miserable week, shows few signs of ending. Donald Trump, obsessed with curtailing immigration at all costs, wants money for a border wall House Democrats won’t give to him. Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate majority leader, has been content to do Trump’s bidding, twice blocking Democratic bills to reopen the government.

This is now the longest shutdown ever and it’s striking how little Trump and the Republican Senate majority care. McConnell has turned into a political phantom. Trump gloats about ordering fast food for football players because the cooks in the White House have been furloughed.

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/uploads/2017/05/05/Ross-Barkan.jpg?width=140&height=140&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s=f5e238c63d26baf3786df6a0cad9e4c3 / Ross Barkan is a journalist and writer from Brooklyn, New York. He frequently contributes to the Village Voice and his work has appeared in the New York Times, New York Magazine, New York Daily News and Esquire. 

Full story …

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Pelosi Accused of Shutting Down Progressives and Their Agenda

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  • Part 1: 'So Frustrating': Pelosi Accused of Shutting Bold Progressives Out of Powerful Committees
  • The House Speaker's list of assignments does not include anyoftheprogressivelawmakers advocacy groups recommended for key committee slots.
  • Part 2: Pelosi would sabotage progressive agenda with pay-go rules.
  • Pay-go … is really bad politics in a world where the other party has no respect for any rules whatsoever.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: 'So Frustrating': Pelosi Accused of Shutting Bold Progressives Out of Powerful Committees

 

https://www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/cd_large/public/headlines/pelosi_progressives.jpg?itok=hvmqtJPh / Flanked by other House Democrats, House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) speaks as Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) listens during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol January 4, 2019 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The House Speaker's list of assignments does not include any of the progressive lawmakers advocacy groups recommended for key committee slots.

Jake Johnson, Common Dreams

Thursday, January 10, 2019 | "At first glance, progressives got mostly rolled."

That was how journalist David Dayen reacted on Wednesday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) announcement of appointees to three of the most powerful congressional committees, which progressives have targeted as essential for advancing ambitious policy priorities like Medicare for All and a Green New Deal.



"No one here I think would be described as a progressive firebrand." 
—Mike DeBonis, Washington Post




Critics immediately pointed out that the bold progressives advocacy groups have been pressuring Pelosi to pick for seats on the Ways and Means and Appropriations committees—such as Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ro Khanna (Calif.), and Pramila Jayapal (Wash.)—were entirely absent from the House Speaker's list of assignments.
Jake Johnson <>, staff writer, Common Dreams

Full story …



Part 2: Pelosi would sabotage progressive agenda with pay-go rules

The issue here is whether they need special rules that needlessly narrow the scope of what can be considered. This is what pay-go does, and it is really bad politics in a world where the other party has no respect for any rules whatsoever.

Dean Baker, the Hill

12/11/18 | As Republicans in Wisconsin and Michigan are using lame-duck sessions to overturn the outcome of last month’s elections, throwing aside long-standing procedures and basic democratic principles, House Democrats seem determined to throw up roadblocks to limit what they can do with their new majority.

Specifically, likely Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is proposing the House adopt pay-as-you-go (paygo) rules that require all new spending be offset with either budget cuts or tax increases.

Dean Baker, opinion contributor, the Hill, is an American macroeconomist and co-founder, with Mark Weisbrot, of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

Full story …

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The case for a national general strike protesting Trump's heartless shutdown

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During a demonstration called by the yellow vests (gilets jaunes) movement in La Rochelle

  • The social cohesion for a general strike supporting federal workers is part of America’s past. How about now?
  • Related: The Return of the Strike

Bob Hennelly, Salon
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January 13, 2019 | It is hard to understate the utter disdain and contempt being shown by President Donald Trump toward the 800,000 federal workers whose lives he has upended with the government shutdown.

That 400,000 of them have to continue to work without pay, because they are deemed essential, reduces them to a form of serfdom which  really amounts to a massive abuse of human rights. 

Bob Hennellyhas written and reported for the Village Voice, Pacifica Radio, WNYC, CBS MoneyWatch and other outlets. He is now a reporter for the Chief-Leader, covering public unions and the civil service in New York City.

Full story …

Related:

The Return of the Strike, Steven Greenhouse, the American Prospect / Portside


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This year, thousands of teachers, hotel workers, Google employees, and others walked off the job and won major gains. Which raises two questions: Why now? And will this continue?
 

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