You’re screwed. Here’s how.

That trillion dollars added to the national debt by the GOP tax plan—guess where that money went. Hint: not to people who work for a living. You'll be shocked, SHOCKED!, that the already filthy rich are going to rake in this money and keep it for themselves.
 
This is a tax policy that redistributes wealth from the working class to the top 1%. Tax policy always redistributes wealth. The only question is which direction the redistribution occurs. FDR had this "socialist" idea that tax policy should redistribute wealth to working people. That tax policy survived 6 administrations (Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Carter.) The reversal of that tax policy started with Ronald Reagan and has continued with every succeeding administration. The result since 1980 has been a massive redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the top 1%.
 
But those top 1% pigs decided to become hogs. Hence the 41% tax break they just got, courtesy of the millionaires in Congress and the supposedly billionaire president. So what are those hogs doing with that windfall? Surprise!: they are paying themselves and throwing crumbs to their workers—and even those few crumbs come with strings attached.
 
If you got a crumb from this tax break, just one question: were your taxes cut 41%? If not, then under this tax plan, you, your children, and your grandchildren lose. Under this tax plan, your progeny will pay the debt that the U.S. is incurring right now to redistribute wealth to the top 1%.
 
Now, I expect the filthy rich to screw the working class. What I cannot abide is working-class people cheering on a tax plan to screw their own children and grandchildren. If you are in the working class and have children, you should have been screaming bloody hell against this tax plan. If you didn't, well, that is something you'll have to explain to your children and grandchildren when they get the bill for this fiasco.

While we were distracted by sex scandals, ...

While we were distracted by sexual-harassment accusations against various people, the Trump administration was quietly engaging in thought control through language control (like in George Orwell’s 1984). According to Snopes and the Washington Post, the administration has implemented a policy forbidding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from using seven banned words:

  • Vulnerable
  • Entitlement
  • Diversity
  • Transgender
  • Fetus
  • Evidence-based
  • Science-based

(Apologies for the long blogging hiatus.)


“Enemy of the people” ...

... is not just a play by Henrik Ibsen. In a recent tweet, the president referred to the New York Times and just about all major broadcast media as “the enemy of the American People!” (Exclamation point by Mr. Trump.) Let that sink in. He is branding every news outlet that questions his grip on facts as not just his enemy, but America’s enemy. And not just any enemy, but the enemy of America. (Whatever happened to terrorism as Enemy # 1?)

A free press is an essential ingredient for any self-ruled society. Trump has declared the free press as “the enemy.” The only conclusion is that Mr. Didn’t-Win-the-Popular-Vote has a problem with self-government. He labels as “the enemy” an institution vital to self-government.


Trump’s lawyers argue for dictatorial power

I finally had time this evening to read the Ninth Circuit’s decision rendered yesterday in Washington v. Trump. The decision denied the Trump regime’s request for a stay of the district court’s order barring enforcement of the Muslim travel ban (Executive Order 13769). What grabbed my attention (and prompted the headline above) is this passage, beginning on page 13, describing the regime’s argument that its actions are beyond judicial review:

The Government contends that the district court lacked authority to enjoin enforcement of the Executive Order because the President has “unreviewable authority to suspend the admission of any class of aliens.” The Government does not merely argue that courts owe substantial deference to the immigration and national security policy determinations of the political branches—an uncontroversial principle that is well-grounded in our jurisprudence.... Instead, the Government has taken the position that the President’s decisions about immigration policy, particularly when motivated by national security concerns, are unreviewable, even if those actions potentially contravene constitutional rights and protections. The Government indeed asserts that it violates separation of powers for the judiciary to entertain a constitutional challenge to executive actions such as this one.

There is no precedent to support this claimed unreviewability, which runs contrary to the fundamental structure of our constitutional democracy.

Let that sink in for a moment. The Trump regime’s lawyers argued that Trump has “unreviewable” power to do anything he wants in the area of immigration policy, and that the courts are powerless to decide whether his actions comply with the U.S. Constitution. As the Ninth Circuit said, “There is no precedent” to support this claim, “which runs contrary to the fundamental structure of our constitutional democracy.”

Short version: This isn’t just about immigrants from predominately Muslim countries. It’s about a president pushing to become a dictator, above the law, immune from judicial review.


The regime (not administration) in action today

What occupies the White House cannot be called an “administration.” They have made it clear that they are a regime. The signs are so numerous that it’s hard to catalog them all. Here are just a few items:

Just three items. I could go on and on. But you get the idea. They want obedience. And they want tribute.


KKK can trade in white robes for brown shirts.

Reuters reports that a U.S. government program to battle all violent extremists will be renamed and repurposed to battle only Islamic extremists. Right-wing extremists will no longer be targeted. Let’s get the implications of this straight:

  1. The administration doesn’t care about combating right-wing extremists. They can do whatever they do; that’s okay.
  2. The administration’s policy is to identify terrorism with Islam.

In one stroke, they are encouraging right-wing terrorists while branding a religious minority as a bunch of terrorists. So the KKK can trade those white robes in for some brown shirts.


Pros out, nut-job in at the NSC, and — whoa!, wait a minute.

Stuff happens so fast that it’s hard to keep up with. For instance, while doing some quick Internet research for a link about the headline topic, I learned that Trump fired the acting attorney general for having a conscience. Seems that she—a lawyer, mind you—decided that the travel ban on Muslims is legally and morally indefensible.

What I started to write about, and will now return to, is the transformation of the National Security Council into Trump’s private echo chamber. Gone are the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence. In: Steve “Racist” Bannon, enabler of the right-wing lunatic fringe. 


Fascism is already here.

 Trita Parsi

As I've been saying. Except that it's not just that we’re headed toward fascism. We’re already there. The rapidity of these moves is another borrow from 1930s Germany. It’s called “blitzkrieg.” What happens to our constitutional checks and balances when the president decides to blow off the judiciary and Congress just stands around going “duh”?


No Muslim immigrants, except ...

According to Bloomberg, Trump’s executive order against immigration from majority Muslim countries does not apply to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, or the UAE. The supposed purpose of this ban is to prevent terrorists from immigrating into the U.S.

According to history, most of the 9/11 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia. A couple were from the UAE. The ringleader was from Egypt. Not a single one was from a country subject to Trump’s executive order.