Franklin County Democrats

The official site of the Democratic Party of Franklin County, Missouri

Browsing Posts published by Darin Gilley

Andy Borowitz examines how the recent dysfunction of the Trump administration is playing with his friends in Putin Starting to Wonder if His Puppets Are Smart Enough to Pull This Off…

Russian President Vladimir Putin is “starting to get concerned” that the puppets he installed in the executive branch of the U.S. government “might not be up to the task at hand,” sources confirmed on Tuesday.stupid trump

According to the sources, the flameout of the national-security adviser Michael Flynn was only the most recent event that has caused Putin to wonder if the figureheads he propelled into office are “just too dim-witted” to serve the goals of the Russian Federation.

“When you choose a puppet, you’re looking for a sweet spot,” one source close to Putin said. “You want to choose someone who’s dumb enough to be manipulated, but not so dumb that he can’t find the light switches.”

“Increasingly, it looks like we missed that sweet spot,” the source said.

The Democrats in the U.S. Senate are pulling an all-nighter to shed light on the activities of Scott Pruitt, the nominee for Director of the EPA. He is known by many for his adversarial stance with the agency he has been picked to lead. That is literally the scratch on the surface. The latest Rachel Maddow show details several events from his involvement in the botched execution of a man in Oklahoma to 3000 documents he’s keptScott PRUITT secret for the last two years. There’s more so if the environment is important to you please get an eyeful and hold on for the vote today!

The Alliance for American Manufacturing addresses one of my pet peeves in It’s Not Automation, It’s The Trade Deficit.

A common refrain in economic commentary on the nature of work, and the changes in manufacturing employment, is basically:

“Trade didn’t take those jobs. It was robots. The robots did it!”foreign goods

Okay, maybe it’s not the terminators who are doing it. Rather, it’s industrial automation: We make more stuff with less people, because manufacturing is now performed by automated processes. This idea is breezily inserted into all kinds of articles, including ones with other interesting things to say. (And, in defense of those who spread this idea, there are studies that back this up.)

But this isn’t the entirety of thinking on the subject. David Autor – one of the academics behind the “China shock” hypothesis – has pumped the brakes on this idea. And others – from those at the Democratic-aligned Brookings Institute to President Trump’s hawkish chief of the National Trade Council, Peter Navarro – have pointed to the real-world example of Germany, which has put a lot of robots on the assembly line in recent years but hasn’t seen its substantial manufacturing workforce shrink.

So what gives? How does this refrain persist? Well, a new report by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) takes a look at the “shaky foundations” it stands on:

The New Yorker takes a look at the activities surrooundiung Mike Flynn, President Trump’s top intelligence officer, in The Questionable Account of What Michael Flynn Told The White House…

The White House would like this to be a story about Flynn lying to them.

But now Flynn is gone, and there are some bigger unresolved questions. Did Trump instruct Flynn to discuss a potential easing of sanctions with Russia? Did Flynn update Trump on his calls with the Russian Ambassador? Did Trump know that Flynn lied to Pence about those contacts? What did the White House counsel do with the information that he received from Yates about Flynn being vulnerable to blackmail?spy in shadow

“It wasn’t one report,” the senior White House official told me about the series of news articles that made Trump finally focus on Flynn yesterday. “It was a drip, drip, drip.”

Both Congress and the F.B.I. are looking into Flynn’s links to Russia. There are several former Obama officials who saw transcripts of his calls with the Russian Ambassador. The dripping has only just begun.

Drips indeed. This is not the first time a Republican candidate has worked agaisnt a current administration before actually assuming power. One of the most famous was not known at the time but revealed by presidential audio tapes that became public. In this example Republican Richard Nixon began negotiations with Vietnam took place behind the back of President Lyndon Johnson and undercut Johnson’s efforts to end the war and save the lives of American fighting men and women. Smithsonian.com has the details in Nixon Prolonged Vietnam War For Political Gain

In 1968, the Paris Peace talks, intended to put an end to the 13-year-long Vietnam War, failed because an aide working for then-Presidential candidate Richard Nixon convinced the South Vietnamese to walk away from the dealings, says a new report by the BBC’s David Taylor. By the late 1960s Americans had been involved in the Vietnam War for nearly a decade, and the ongoing conflict was an incredibly contentious issue, says PBS:

In 1967, with American troop strength in Vietnam reaching 500,000, protest against U.S. participation in the Vietnam War had grown stronger as growing numbers of Americans questioned whether the U.S. war effort could succeed or was morally justifiable. They took their protests to the streets in peace marches, demonstrations, and acts of civil disobedience. Despite the country’s polarization, the balance of American public opinion was beginning to sway toward “de-escalation” of the war.

Nixon feared a breakthrough at the Paris Peace talks designed to find a negotiated settlement to the Vietnam war, and he knew this would derail his campaign.

… In late October 1968 there were major concessions from Hanoi which promised to allow meaningful talks to get underway in Paris – concessions that would justify Johnson calling for a complete bombing halt of North Vietnam. This was exactly what Nixon feared.

The self-interests of Republicans struck again in a case that hits close to home considering one of the folks held hostage in Iran was from Washington, MO. Rocky Sickmann was a Marine taken hostage along with 51 others for 444 days. The New York Times provides some insight with New Reports Say 1980 Reagan Campaign Tried To Delay Hostage Release…

He says in his article that the accounts of the meetings in Madrid are part of an accumulation of information he has developed in research for a book. He says it has led him to conclude, despite earlier doubts, that some kind of discussions took place between the Reagan campaign and Iran.

“The story is tangled and murky, and it may never be fully unraveled,” Mr. Sick writes.

The fate of the hostages was a pivotal issue in the 1980 election. They were taken prisoner when followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of Iran’s revolutionary Government, seized the United States Embassy in Teheran in November 1979. A military operation to rescue them failed in the Iranian desert in April 1980. The Carter Administration hoped that it might obtain their release either through negotiations or a second rescue mission before Election Day, and Reagan campaign officials were concerned that the return of the hostages could swing the election to Mr. Carter.

While President Trump plays footsie with the Russians this is not the first time a Republican has undermined American law and status to advance their own self interest. Of course, Making America Great Again was an inspirational slogan. Who know it really implied a return to shady foreign relations activity.

This week’s Democratic Radio

:D an Rodgers
Princeton history professor emeritus Dan Rodgers says the Republican political agenda is a simple-minded fairy tale and that it is the job of Democrats to obstruct their agenda.on-air

Allan Lichtman
Political scientist Allan Lichtman says he won’t call it “fascism,” but early signs from Trump are sounding alarms as to what to expect.

Gabriel Debenedetti
Bill Press interviews Politico’s Gabriel Debenedetti about the future of the Democratic Party.

Jim Hightower
There’s a word for Trump’s latest flimflamming of workers

Former Democratic Secretary of State Jason Kander wants you to know what he’s doing next…

Let America Vote Logo

I’ve decided to take on one of the biggest problems in this country: voter suppression.

This means a lot to me. As Secretary of State in Missouri, making sure eligible voters had access to the polls was a huge part of my job. This week, I started Let America Vote to continue that work across the country.are-you-ready-to-vote

Voting is the fundamental right of every American. GOP tactics like photo voter ID laws, slashing voting hours, or questionable purges of voter rolls have nothing to do with protecting elections — they’re meant to keep certain people from voting because those people rarely vote Republican.

I joined the Army to protect this nation. I did it because I truly believe that our country, our democracy, is a beacon of hope where everyone is equal and everyone’s voice is valued. Voting is one of the fundamental rights that I put my life on the line for, that my fellow soldiers fought and died for. I have a stake in this democracy — and I intend to do everything I can to make sure every eligible American can exercise their right to cast a ballot.

This week on the TRavis Smiley Show featured the most knowledgeable person in the country on trade policy. Lori Wallach heade up Public Citizen Trade Watch and joined Tavis to discuss NAFTA, TPP, what Trump could and would do and a few other topics in this half hour segment. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Lori M. Wallach has been director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch since 1995. Wallach is an expert on the operations and outcomes of tradeLori Wallach policies such as NAFTA, WTO, Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority and more. She is steeped in the domestic and international politics of current trade negotiations and disputes, including TPP and TAFTA/TTIP. Wallach works closely with Congress and civil society, scholars, and activists in the U.S and developing countries to foster the growing debate about implications of different models of globalization on jobs, off-shoring, wages, the environment, public health and food safety, equality and social justice, and democratically accountable governance. She’s author of The Rise and Fall of Fast Track Trade Authority.

It’s all the rage, have you read Indivisible? Check it out…

INDIVISIBLE

A PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR RESISTING THE TRUMP AGENDA

Former congressional staffers reveal best practices for making Congress listen.

Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz, the man responsible for oversight of the brewing scandals of the Trump administration got an earful when he held a town hall in his disrict.

Hundreds of people shouted down Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) at a town hall he held in his home district on Thursday night, with many yelling “Do your job!” at the chair of the House Oversight Committee.stop yelling at me

Chaffetz has come under fire for taking few actions against either Donald Trump’s international business empire and the potential conflicts-of-interest it creates, or pushing Trump to release his tax returns.

As the chair of the committee tasked with investigating “waste, fraud, and abuse” in the federal government, Chaffetz is perhaps the government official with the most power to check Trump’s unprecedented potential to leverage the White House for private gain.

But so far, Chaffetz has issued no subpoenas, called for no hearings, and scheduled no meetings to investigate Trump’s either potential abuse of the office.

One aspect of the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare that seems to be ignored is the impact it has had on helping Americans to start their own business while taking care of their families and providing jobs for others in thier community. A few years before the enactment of Obamacare a friend of mine and I were enjoying some beverages at the Pacific Coffee House and discussing small business and government policy. My buddy really wanted to start his own business but could not afford to give up his employer provided health insurance.

This week’s Missourian has a similar story in Alderman: Affordable Care Act Repeal Real Threat to His Business...

Repealing the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, could spell doom to many small businesses, according to a Pacific attorney who operates a one-man law firm.Doctor patient

Alderman Nick Chlebowski started his law firm, Chlebowski Law LLC, in June 2013, partially because of the ability to obtain affordable insurance for his family through the Affordable Care Act.

Repealing the act could remove affordable insurance coverage to individuals who operate small businesses, hampering one of the best economic growth opportunities for communities like Pacific, he said.

Obamacare went into effect shortly before Chlebowski, a Pacific resident, made the decision to open a law office in his hometown.

“Knowing that I would be able to get insurance for me and my family under what was, at that time, a new law, was what prompted me,” he said. “I had been on Cobra for my previous employment, and I saw that I could try to get a job with somebody else or I can strike out on my own.”

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