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

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Bowling Green Massacre

Greitens rtw

The Trump Truth-0-Meter has leg coverings all over the country smoking like a tobacco executive. Can anyone figure fact from fiction? How do we know?

The Progressive offers this book review of Deciding What’s True, The Rise of Political Fact-Checking in American Journalism.

The value of credible fact-checking outlets, even if they are not infallible, is greatly magnified by the advent of fake news. When a sizable share of the population believes things that are demonstrably untrue, that presents an existential crisis in American democracy. fake news

It is time for an intervention, conducted by citizens armed with truthful information and schooled in how to make discerning judgments about the news they consume, before they pass it on.

The widespread disregard for what is verifiable shocks even the purveyors of fake news. The number-one fake news story of 2016, attracting more than two million Facebook shares, was a report on a fake news site (using the name ABC News) that President Obama had banned the Pledge of Allegiance in schools nationwide. In a post-election interview with The Washington Post, the site’s proprietor, Paul Horner, lamented the gullibility of those who have helped make him rich.

“Honestly, people are definitely dumber,” Horner said. “They just keep passing stuff around. Nobody fact-checks anything anymore. I mean, that’s how Trump got elected. He just said whatever he wanted, and people believed everything, and when the things he said turned out not to be true, people didn’t care because they’d already accepted it. It’s real scary.”

The powers that be want to remain the powers that be. A favorite tactic is to concoct a semi-plausible theory to distract folks from the real problem. If the real problem isn’t addressed there will be no real solution. In the focus of this post the real solution is to increase the power of workers, the problem is stagnant wages. The distraction is the ongoing “robot scare” being spread by lots of folks that have never even seen the inside of a factory.

With some clever charts the Economic Policy Institute demonstrates that robots and automation are not the primary threats to jobs and wages but are much more useful as a distraction from the real solution in Robots, or automation, are not the problem: Too little worker power is…

The fear of job-stealing robots has been recently stoked in the media and pundits frequently refer to automation as a key driver of long-term middle-class wage stagnation. But are robots actually transforming the labor market at an unprecedented pace? Nope—in fact, the opposite is true. First, it’s important to note that technology and automation have consistently transformed the way work gets done. So, technology itself is not a problem. Robots and automation allow us to increase efficiency by making more things for less money. When goods and services are cheaper, consumers can afford to buy more robot-made stuff, or have money left over to spend on other things. When consumers spend their leftover cash on additional goods and services, it creates jobs. These new jobs help compensate for the jobs lost to automation.EPI CHART, ROBOTS NOT PROBLEM

But are robots now eroding jobs and replacing human labor at a faster pace that the economy can’t absorb? Again, no. Perhaps surprisingly to some, the data on investments and productivity do not reveal worrisome footprints of accelerated robot activity: in fact, in recent years the growth of labor productivity, capital investment and, particularly, investment in information equipment and software has strongly decelerated in the 2000s. There is no basis for believing that robots or automation are having an unusual transformative effect on the labor market.

The first chart below shows that productivity and capital investment did indeed accelerate during the late 1990s tech boom. But productivity and capital investments were much slower in the recovery from 2002–2007, and decelerated further in the period since the Great Recession.

Automotive News has the scoop on How The Chevy Cruze Diesel Gets 52 Miles Per Gallon…

Unlike the cramped, stripped-down ’90s-era cars that got 50 mpg or close to it, the Cruze diesel sedan is smooth, quiet, comfortable and fully equipped with safety features and electronic gear.Cruze Diesel

“Certainly having a number that started with 5 was enticing, but we didn’t sacrifice the rest of the car to get that,” Weddle says. He added there was no pressure from upper management to hit 50 mpg.

“It was really about producing a great car with fuel economy that we thought would excite our expected diesel customer base,” he said.

AutoPacific analyst Dave Sullivan calls the 52-mpg highway fuel economy rating for the Cruze diesel impressive. He notes engineers struggle for every 10th of a mile fuel economy gain and that the new Cruze diesel not only beats the old model by 6 mpg, but it bests the highway rating of the 2015 Cruze Eco, a gasoline-powered model built for high fuel economy, by a full 10 mpg.

“Other cars need two powertrains to hit anything in the 50 mpg range — I’m talking about hybrids,” says Sullivan. “Now you can get hybridlike fuel economy without the stigma of being seen in an oddly styled hybrid.”

Missouri State Representatives Lauren Arthur and Jon Carpenter team up for this initial podcast they titled “Podgressive.” These two are from the KC area but address issues on the state and federal level in addition to a quick exchange about the proposed building of a new airport in KC.podcast

Particularly interesting is a discussion of their colleagues behavior. This may come as a shock but many elected officials are not particularly well informed or concerned with issues that are not their primary interest. A few such examples are in this podcast, enjoy!

Michael Schuman of Bloomberg News looks at our relationship with another nation that has a great wall in How To Win a Trade War With China…

The bottom line is that the U.S. has to see its economy the way China envisions its own. China is unlike any other country participating in the U.S.-led global economy: It intends to benefit from the openness and security offered by that system without being obligated to abide by its norms. Developing certainGreat Wall industries is perceived as core to China’s national security, not something to be left to the whims of shareholders and stock markets. If the U.S. is to win this new economic war, its leaders have to start thinking more about what is and what isn’t good for long-term national interests in dealing with China. Trump may have realized the need for this shift in the relationship. But he’s fighting the war with the wrong strategies.

This week’s Democratic Radio:

Todd Gitlin
Columbia University professor Todd Gitlin, a long-time chronicler of progressive politics, urges the left to nail down a simple program that appeals to the general public.on-air

Gene Stone
Gene Stone’s new book, “The Trump Survival Guide, has a checklist for progressives to translate despair into activism. He advises, choose winnable battles.

Amy Klobuchar
Bill Press interviews Senator Amy Klobuchar about what’s going on between the Trump Administration and Russia.

Jim Hightower
What’s 2017’s biggest banking fraud?

It is recommended that you consume between 9 and 13 cups of water everyday. The question is, and Popular Science answers What’s In Your Glass Of Water?

With nearly limitless beverage options, you might not realize how much variety exists in the seemingly bland realm of tap water. This colorlessglass of water refreshment can vary widely from city to city, house to house, or even sink to sink. Scroll over the image below to see some surprising items that might show up in your H2O.

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens has declined to release the donors to his inauguration despite his many campaign promises of transparency. He is true to his word that he won’t do things like they have always been done. Other Governors have not tried to hide their donors identities from the folks that elected them.

A Missouri lawmaker would like to solve this problem by requiring future Governors to release the financial contributions and donors to inauguration activities. The Missouri Times has more in Amid Greitens Inauguration Funding Mystery, Missouri Democrats Hope To Force Disclosure…

How much money corporations and lobbyists donated to fund Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ inauguration may never be known.

But House Democrats hope to avoid that situation in the future by reviving a 15-year-old bill originally sponsored by one of Greitens’ top advisers.

State Rep. Mark Ellebracht, a Liberty Democrat, on Wednesday filed legislation that would require future governors to publicly disclose donations for gubernatorial inauguration activities. The legislation is based on a bill sponsored in 2002 by then-state Sen. Sarah Steelman, whom Greitens appointed to serve as commissioner of the Missouri Office of Administration.

“Corporations didn’t give the governor money just to be nice. They expect something in return,” Ellebracht said. “Missourians are entitled to know exactly who paid for the governor’s party and how much money they kicked in. Until then, it’s hard to take this governor’s anti-corruption talk very seriously.”

Neither Greitens nor Steelman responded to a request for comment.

To raise money for his inauguration, Greitens formed a nonprofit to seek out donors. Nonprofits aren’t required to disclose their donors and aren’t subject to recently enacted campaign donation limits. Greitens has repeatedly refused to say how much was raised, how much was spent, how much each donor chipped in or whether he’ll ever make any of that information public.

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