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EVERYTHING IS FINE- Pay No Attention to the Frothing Lunatic

Balloon Juice - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 13:24

For a couple of months I have basically been doing a tv news embargo- I basically will watch a little bit of the local news (especially since the WV Legislature is in session) to catch the weather, although around here the river and valleys make things pretty difficult to predict- basically if they say snow you can expect between a dusting and twelve inches because there really is never an accurate prediction. At any rate, this means I have not really seen Trump speak for a couple months, other than your random clip here or there. I didn’t watch the SOTU so I didn’t see him them.

There are a few reasons for this, one is to keep my blood pressure down- cable news if consumed in quantity can make you manic. The other is because I liked to read, I’m a very fast reader, and the information density in articles is just so much higher. It’s just easier to read for three minutes and get what I would from 20 minutes of tv and not have to listen to fucking Trump. I mean, I love Rachel Maddow, but sweet mother of God you ask her what time it is and she will tell you how to build a clock. It takes 32 minutes of teases to get to the fucking nut graf and then it’s some shit you already new because you saw the breaking news from Buzzfeed on twitter 2 hours ago. It’s like sitting on the edge of the bed being told how good the sex is going to be for so long you just fall asleep before anything happens.

At any rate, the reason I tell you this is I just watched Trump’s press conference in which he declared a national emergency for an existential crisis and then noted that he “didn’t have to do this.” At any rate, what stood out to me was “SWEET FANCY MOSES THIS GUY IS INSANE AND UNHINGED.”

This is not a new revelation- I mean I have known he was nucking futz for quite some time. But going a few months with our hearing half words dribble out his rancid piehole and then watching that spectacle today was just jarring. It’s alarming how we’ve all just been normalized to him being a madman. I mean, he’s fucking certifiable.

If you watched Trump today and it was the first time you had ever seen him, you’d think either “holy shit this episode of VEEP is some inspired writing” or “when did they reboot the Office?” I mean, you woldn’t let someone like that run your boy scout troop. Or a fucking McDonalds.

Jesus tapdancing christ.

Categories: Politics

The Last Days Of The American Empire…Soft Power Edition

Balloon Juice - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 13:16

I’m working on an column about, among other things, the arc of federal support for science since World War II.  As I was trying not to think about our national emergency national emergency this morning, I tripped over the following thought…

The funding deal Pelosi, McConnell et al. worked out included $1.375 billion for new barrier construction along the border (not, technically, a or the wall). That’s a win for the Democrats and a defeat for Trump, as it’s a tiny fraction of the amount that the bigot-in-chief sought, and that would be necessary to truly fortify the frontier.  For what follows I’m going to ignore the faux emergency through which the would-be dictator seeks to seize other money to pay for some useless shit, and just look at that number.

So, what makes for a powerful country?  I’d argue that the ability to project force around the world is in many  ways the least significant part of it.  Certainly, in a globally connected world, with the full range of surveillance technology and so forth, the notion of using technology perfected by, say, 1400 or so, overlapping fortifications, to keep folks out is…

Shit stupid.

US power since the middle of the last century has certainly been headlined by the military; but our capacity to influence life at home and abroad on a daily basis, in the hour-by-hour experience of billions, has turned on everything else, from our cultural impact (jeans! Rock and roll!) to, crucially and perhaps most significantly, the scientific, medical and technological revolutions fostered by the American research community.

That’s what got me going about even the seemingly de minimus amount of barrier funding in the spending bill.

The NIH budget for 2019 is $39.3 billion. In constant dollars, that’s nine percent below the peak funding achieved in 2003.  About 80% of that money goes to research grants — so just shy of $32 billion pays for folks to address all the ills that befall Americans, and citizens of the world.  For FY 2018 the National Science Foundation received $6.334 billion for research related activities.* *There are, of course, other significant pots of research money in the federal budget — DoD, DoE and Commerce all fund a lot.  But the NSF is where curiosity-driven basic research gets its support, and the NIH is, of course, the one that as we all age we notice a lot, so that’s where I’m focusing this exercise in futile rage.

A first, obvious point. The money spent on the barrier would add more than twenty percent to recent NSF research budgets, and would represent a four percent boost to the NIH.

Within those numbers these factoids: the average research project grant at NIH in 2017 provided a skosh over $500,000 to award winners. The NSF funds such a wide range of projects and disciplines that the figures are a little opaque, but still, as of 2016, the average grant offered an annualized $177,100, while the median figure was $140,900 per year.

You can see where this is going.  That barrier money could fund almost 2,800 more principal investigators trying to figure out cancer, Alzheimers, antiobiotic resistance and all the rest.  It could pay for more than 12,000 researchers pursuing basic science — the kinds of questions with pay offs that can’t be anticipated, but that have, over the last century, utterly transformed the way humans live on earth.

FTR: I do know that budgets don’t work as sort of implied above. They’re political documents, so spending on foolish stuff is often the price to be paid to spend some on smart ideas.  If we somehow avoid pouring a billion plus into  holes in the ground along the Rio Grande, that money doesn’t readily flow to a lab.  But the exercise is worth doing anyway, if only to point out how little, in budget terms, it would take to turbo charge research in this country.

The reasons for doing so extend beyond the value of knowledge for its own sake, of course, there’s the economic benefits of scientific research. There is an open argument about the size of the multiplier for each dollar invested in basic research, though less controversy about the benefits of investing in more translational or directly motivated work of the sort that shows up in many/most NIH proposals, for example. But the bottom line is that trying to figure out how nature works is good for the national (and global) bottom line.

Instead, we’re buying bollards.

And that’s how the American century ends.

Not with a catastrophic collapse, but the decision to put our national treasure to work in dumbest possible fashion, leaving aspiration, well being and wealth on the table.

With that — I’m done, and you’re up. Open thread.

*There are, of course, other significant pots of research money in the federal budget — DoD, DoE and Commerce all fund a lot.  But the NSF is where curiosity-driven basic research gets its support, and the NIH is, of course, the one that as we all age we notice a lot, so that’s where I’m focusing this exercise in futile rage.

Image: Vincent van Gogh, The Ramparts of Paris1887

Categories: Politics

U.S.-born Latinas, harassed by border agent for speaking Spanish while grocery shopping, sue

Daily Kos - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 13:15

Campaign Action

Mimi Hernandez and Ana Suda, the two U.S.-born Latinas who were illegally targeted by an out-of-control federal immigration agent after he eavesdropped on them speaking Spanish while shopping for eggs and milk at a Montana convenience store, are suing Customs and Border Protection (CBP). “Like millions of others,” the American Civil Liberties Union said in a statement, “Ana and Mimi refuse to accept an out-of-control CBP as a fact of life. “

The United States has no official language, not that it matters, because people have a right to speak whatever language they fucking please in their daily lives. But Border Patrol officer Paul O'Neal decided not to mind his own business last May when he was in line behind Ana and Mimi and overheard them speaking Spanish: He demanded to know where they were born and to see their identification. 

“He detained them by his patrol car, in full view of neighbors, for an extended period before finally letting them return to their homes and families,” the ACLU continued. “Ana and Mimi walked away from the interaction humiliated and afraid that they might again be stopped, detained, and interrogated at any time. When Ana and Mimi asked why they were being held, he answered unequivocally: Because they were speaking Spanish.”

Suda, a nursing assistant, said the repercussions from the incident continue to this day. She’s been harassed by people since going public, and her 8-year-old daughter is now scared to speak Spanish. “In some ways, it would have just been easier to stay quiet about the incident,” she said. “Maybe life would have gone back to normal, but then I think about my kids. I want them to not only be proud of being bilingual, but I also want them to know that they live in a country where people can’t just be stopped and interrogated based on how they look and sound.”

Categories: Politics

Amazon Will Pay $0 in Federal Taxes on $11.2 Billion Profits

Slashdot - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 13:15
Those wondering how many zeros Amazon, which is valued at nearly $800 billion, has to pay in federal taxes might be surprised to learn that its check to the IRS will read exactly $0.00. From a report: According to a report published by the Institute on Taxation and Economic (ITEP) policy Wednesday, the e-tail/retail/tech/entertainment/everything giant won't have to pay a cent in federal taxes for the second year in a row. This tax-free break comes even though Amazon almost doubled its U.S. profits from $5.6 billion to $11.2 billion between 2017 and 2018. To top it off, Amazon actually reported a $129 million 2018 federal income tax rebate -- making its tax rate -1%.

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Categories: Geek

On Colbert, Pete Buttigieg Calls Mike Pence 'Fanatical'

Crooks and Liars - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 13:08

South Bend, Indiana mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg gave a good interview with Stephen Colbert on Thursday, and he had a thing or two to say about the current so-called president and his vice.

Colbert asked Mayor Pete about his lack of experience, noting that it's a big leap from small city mayor to the White House: "That's not as big a leap as reality show host to president. But it is a big leap, you'll admit." said Colbert.

Buttigieg had no apologies for his resume: "I have more experience in government than the president, I have more executive experience than the vice president, I have more military experience than anyone to arrive at that desk since George H.W. Bush.”

Buttigieg would be the first openly gay president, and Colbert noted his own pleasure at societal progress, that Buttigieg's sexual orientation was "the third thing I learned about you." That brought the discussion to former Indiana governor Mike Pence. As an Indiana mayor, Buttigieg has worked with Pence in the past.

"He's nice," Buttigieg said. "If he were here you would think he's a nice guy to your face, but he's also just fanatical. He seems to think the universe was created a few thousand years ago and that people like me get up in the morning and decide to be gay. And the thing about it is, if that was a choice, it was a choice that was made way above my pay grade. ...What he doesn't realize is that his quarrel is with my creator. My marriage has moved me closer to God, and I wish he respected that."

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Categories: Politics

Imports Are Getting Cheaper

Kevin Drum - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 13:05

I have no real reason to post this, but I thought two or three of you might be interested. Here is the inflation rate of goods (ex fuel) imported into the United States:

This is basically the equivalent of the CPI except only for imported goods. Imports feed into the CPI, so this is one reason why inflation has been declining for the past half year or so.

Categories: Politics

Democrats saved butterfly sanctuary from Trump’s wall, but Trump might come for it anyway

Daily Kos - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 12:38

On Feb. 14 it was reported that a federal judge had dismissed the North American Butterfly Association’s lawsuit against the Trump administration, also also nullifying a temporary restraining order filed earlier this week. However, elected officials have been paying attention, and while the House and Senate negotiated their border security funding package, one Democrat decided to add some important language about the issue to the bill.

According to the Texas Tribune, Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar says he was able to add language to the bill that would prohibit “fencing at five major landmarks in the Rio Grande Valley.” Those landmarks are the 100-acre National Butterfly Center preserve; the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park and birdwatching site; the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge (already technically protected in last year’s budget); the La Lomita historic Catholic chapel, which had been fighting the border wall and losing; and a section of land that has been earmarked to become the SpaceX transportation company’s “commercial spaceport.”

The excitement over this revelation was short-lived, as the Trump administration is now arguing that, with Trump’s national emergency declaration, all bets are off, telling the Wall Street Journal that the restrictions only to apply to the $1.375 billion appropriated in that spending package, and that the other $6.625 billion could be used without those restrictions.” The Trump administration has been as opaque about where it actually plans to build this wall, but places like the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge may offer up fewer legal hurdles than would private property.

H/T to nickrud for the good news!

H/T to me for the bad news. :(

Categories: Politics

NASA's SPHEREx Mission Will Investigate the Origins of the Universe

Slashdot - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 12:35
NASA announced this week that it will create the Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer: SPHEREx for short. It'll look at how our universe has changed, and how common the ingredients of life are in the Milky Way. From a report: The space agency is aiming for a 2023 launch and has already earmarked $242 million for the project, not including launch costs, which is supposed to last for at least two years. Once SPHEREx is already in orbit, it will observe and collect data on over 300 million galaxies, some as far as 10 billion light-years away from Earth, and 100 million stars in our own Milky Way every six months. It will use technologies adapted from Earth satellites and Mars spacecraft to survey the sky in optical and near-infrared light. Since it will use 96 wavelengths in all, it will give NASA a way to create an extremely detailed sky map with a resolution that's much, much higher than previous ones.

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Categories: Geek

Trump's national emergency declaration came over strong opposition from voters

Daily Kos - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 12:28

Donald Trump has been threatening to declare a national emergency for a while now in his pursuit of border wall funding. It’s been long enough, in fact, for pollsters to find out what the public thinks about Trump’s plan, which he made official Friday morning. So we know that, like so many other Trump plans, declaring a national emergency to build a wall is very, very unpopular.

FiveThirtyEight put together the polls:

Table of polling on a national emergency for border wall funding, showing strong opposition.

That right there is a high of 34 percent approval for the idea, and a low of 64 percent disapproval. Approval or support ranges from 31 percent to 34 percent, and disapproval or opposition ranges from 64 percent to 66 percent—so polling has been remarkably consistent, and people really don’t want Trump to do the thing he just did. Not that that has ever stopped him.

Categories: Politics

Trump Admits Declaring A National Emergency On Border Was A Hoax: 'I Didn't Need To Do This'

Crooks and Liars - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 12:23

During a crazy press conference where he announced he'd sign the bipartisan spending deal and then call a national emergency to get funds he wants to build his wall, Trump blew his reasons for declaring a national emergency and admitted he didn't have to do it at all.

NBC's Pete Alexander asked Trump about his hypocrisy when President Obama used executive actions to run the country.

"You said you are supposed to go through Congress and make a deal. Will you concede you were unable to make the deal that you had promised in the past and the deal you are ending up with now from Congress is less than what you could have had before a thirty-five day shutdown?"

Trump gaslit the country during his response saying, "I went through Congress..." He then made believe that what he did receive was so much better than the original deal offered in December, but it was not.

"In fact, the primary fight was over the wall. Everything else, I don't know what to do with it we have so much money. but on the wall, they skimped."

And then he admitted he just called for a national emergency to bypass Congress and acquire the funds he needs because he was impatient.

"I was successful in that sense but I want to do it faster," Trump said. "I can do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn't need to do this, but I'd rather do it much faster."

That is not a NATIONAL EMERGENCY. That is an egomaniac's excuse to get what he wants.

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Categories: Politics

Trump's national emergency debacle illustrates how Fox News is devouring the GOP

Daily Kos - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 12:13

Donald Trump’s irrational decision to declare a state of emergency to deal with unchanged immigration patterns along the United States' southern border is deeply unpopular with the American people. That's one reason why the desperate maneuver is being met with groans from members of the Republican Party.

"It's impulsive," it's not a "good idea," and it’s “wrong,” Republicans are complaining. So who’s to blame for the party's latest Trump-induced debacle? Fox News, of course. Once seen as the Republican Party's best communications friend, Fox News is now slowly devouring the GOP.

The truth is that, for years, lots of Democrats likely looked longingly at the unique political relationship between the GOP and Fox News. While they despised the constant misinformation, Democrats could see the clear political advantages Fox News provided by working as the Republican Party's free national cheerleaders. Today, lots of Democrats probably look at what has become a deeply toxic and dysfunctional relationship between the two and think, “There but for the grace of God go we.”

A working tandem that once produced extraordinary benefits for the Republican Party in terms of relentless and free messaging carried by Fox News has now become an albatross. The cable channel, at least when it comes to Trump's border wall fantasy, essentially holds the GOP hostage. Fox News this year has made it almost impossible for the party to move beyond Trump's absurd vision of $5 billion in federal funding for a 200-mile wall that Mexico was supposed to pay for. It’s very likely that you can't find three Republican U.S. senators who will privately admit to caring about the wall and whether it ever gets built. Yet Fox News continues to treat the topic like the moon landing.

This has resulted in the recent two-month charade over government shutdown talks, with Republicans willing to make a spending deal with Democrats, but Trump unable to get permission from a handful of Fox News hosts to sign off because of the lack of funding for the wall.

Categories: Politics

Donald Trump unable to explain where his fake immigration crime statistics come from

Daily Kos - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 12:07

If you haven’t already heard, Donald Trump declared a national emergency a short while ago in order to use executive powers to fund the construction of his useless border wall—the one that most Americans do not want. The one that even the Republican-controlled Congress didn’t get around to funding during the last two years of its tenure. Saying that Trump’s wall is a farce is doing a disservice to farces. The excuse Trump gave for building the wall, in between contradicting himself, is that there is humanitarian and security “crisis” at our southern border. To support this, Trump has spouted completely made-up “facts” about immigrant and violent crime rates.

All available government and private data contradict the Trump administration’s assertions. There are fewer undocumented immigrants coming across out southern border. The rate of crime among undocumented immigrants is lower than the national average for any group of people. This has been covered extensively in the media.

Categories: Politics

Where is Trump getting border wall money? From funds intended for military family housing upgrades

Daily Kos - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 12:06

With most of Donald Trump’s projects, he’s rarely the one to pay the final bill. Whether it is creating a bogus charity to spend money at his own golf properties or using licensing agreements to put his name on buildings constructed with other people’s money, his cons are legendary. Unfortunately, his latest con is one that will hurt military families the most. When Congress refused to allocate billions of dollars to build an unnecessary wall, something the Constitution specifically states is within its powers, Trump stepped forward to declare a national emergency. The only emergency is that Donald Trump will never deliver on his central 2016 campaign promise, and he knows that will put his 2020 re-election in doubt. 

With this new declaration, he is appropriating money from other areas of the government so that a mere 55 miles of new wall will be constructed ahead of the 2020 election. Where is Trump going to draw $8 billion from? $3.6 billion of it will come from funds that were intended for military construction projects—new and improved housing for military families, many of whom live in squalid conditions, including housing full of mice and mold. Only days ago, lawmakers held a hearing to discuss the conditions of housing for military families, and what the families described was the stuff of nightmares. From the Washington Post:

Crystal Cornwall, a Marine Corps spouse, told lawmakers about termites falling though light fixtures at an air base in Mississippi and mice chewing through infant pacifiers at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Categories: Politics

Trump announces national emergency, saying 'I didn't need to do this'

Daily Kos - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 11:55

Within the course of 50 minutes in the Rose Garden, Donald Trump declared a national emergency Friday and then proceeded to make it both legally and politically indefensible in one fell swoop. #Winning

After his initial announcement, Trump ultimately said that he could have done the wall “over a longer period of time," but he was choosing not to. "I didn't need to do this," he admitted, without realizing he was admitting anything, "But I'd rather do it much faster.”

Rather. Welp, if there was any question about whether Trump would be a messaging trainwreck on this issue, there isn't now. In fact, GOP senators, who have already been registering their deep unease with such a move, are now on the hook for defending executive overreach that the chief executive actually admitted was overreach in his very own announcement. My god, how could Trump possibly be worse at this?

Most Republican senators who are not already willing to go on the record against Trump's declaration will spend the day the running from reporters on Capitol Hill. Except for Sen. Lindsey Graham—his 2020 bid is clearly urgent enough that he will defend anything Trump does.

But that's not all folks—legally, Trump just ensured this thing is dead in the water. Remember when a federal judge blocked the administration from taking away temporary protections from hundreds of thousands of settled immigrants? Yeah, that decision came on the heels of Trump's “shithole countries” slur. Or how about the three do-overs the White House underwent on Trump's Muslim ban? Trump's own words on the campaign trail were repeatedly used to demonstrate his animus toward Muslims. 

Whatever the case, it is an absolute certainty that when the White House counsel’s office prepped him for this announcement, it didn't say, "and make sure to mention that you don't actually need to do this."

That was just Trump adding a rhetorical flare of doom. Nancy Pelosi is quietly expressing her personal gratitude. 

Categories: Politics

Venezuela's Government Appears To be Trying To Hack Activists With Phishing Pages

Slashdot - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 11:55
Hackers allegedly working for the embattled Venezuelan government tried to trick activists into giving away their passwords to popular services such as Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, and others, according to security researchers. From a report: Last week, the Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido called for citizens to volunteer with the goal of helping international humanitarian organizations deliver aid into the country. President Nicolas Maduro is refusing to accept aid and has erected blocks across a border bridge with Colombia with the military's help. The volunteer efforts were organized around the website voluntariosxvenezuela.com. A week later, on February 11 someone registered an almost identical domain, voluntariosvenezuela[.]com. And on Wednesday, users in Venezuela who were trying to visit the original and official VoluntariosxVenezuela website were redirected to the newer one, according to security firm Kaspersky Lab, as well as Venezuelan users on Twitter.

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Categories: Geek

Democrats on Trump's 'national emergency': 'Plainly a power grab by a disappointed president'

Daily Kos - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 11:46

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer pushed back hard against Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration to grab money for his border wall. “The President’s unlawful declaration over a crisis that does not exist does great violence to our Constitution and makes America less safe, stealing from urgently needed defense funds for the security of our military and our nation,” Pelosi and Schumer said in a statement released while Trump’s rambling, ranting remarks were still going on. “This is plainly a power grab by a disappointed President, who has gone outside the bounds of the law to try to get what he failed to achieve in the constitutional legislative process.”

Pelosi and Schumer sounded the alarm about the effect of Trump’s actions on the Constitution: “This issue transcends partisan politics and goes to the core of the Founders’ conception for America, which commands Congress to limit an overreaching executive. The President’s emergency declaration, if unchecked, would fundamentally alter the balance of powers, inconsistent with our Founders’ vision.” Calling on congressional Republicans “to join us to defend the Constitution,” they conclude that “The Congress cannot let the President shred the Constitution.”

Pelosi and Schumer weren’t the only Democrats sharply criticizing Trump’s move.


“President Trump’s ‘national emergency’ is so low priority he didn’t even start his speech with it,” tweeted Rep. Jim Himes. Sen. Jeff Merkley tweeted that “This ‘national emergency’ is a fraud and should be thrown out in court immediately. @realDonaldTrump, take a look at the Constitution someday. You might learn something.”

Categories: Politics

Donald Trump's rambling emergency announcement was an hour of absolute insanity

Daily Kos - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 11:44

Hello, 25th Amendment? As it turns out, there really is a crisis.

Anyone who didn’t believe there is a national emergency is clearly wrong. Because Donald Trump is a national emergency, and he demonstrated it forcefully on the White House steps Friday morning in an emergency announcement buried deep in taco salad of nuttiness.

Trump stumbled out of the White House, apparently breathless and confused, and opened by fumbling around about trade negotiations in China, but had nothing really to report on those other than “who knows” if anything would actually be done. Then he wandered around the world, talking about the UK, Syria, North Korea … anything but getting to the point. And then, without any transition, he began talking about the border, then the economy, then the stock market, then the border again. Then he smiled and chuckled over the joys of his El Paso rally, then he zigged to Israel, then he genuinely fell into his fantasy of women, “three, four women,” being tied up in the back of a van with tape over their mouths. Yes, Trump’s emergency declaration included his women-with-tape-on-their-mouths fantasy, and Trump insisted that “Nancy knows, and Chuck knows” that these women won’t be coming through ports of entry.

Finally, in words that will surely ring through history, Trump declared, “So, I’m going to be signing a national emergency, it’s been signed many times before,” before going on to claim that it was no big deal, and nothing to make a fuss about. To support his overthrow of congressional authority, Trump gathered up a clutch of “angel moms” and forced them to stand up and fumble out pictures of their children. From there, he actually began bragging about how much better China is than the United States because they have a death penalty for people who sell drugs.

That thought of China apparently dragged Trump back into a few minutes of talking about the China trade deal, and then … bam, back to the national emergency again. “Something signed many times, many, many times, by other presidents.” In fishing around for some kind of legitimacy, Trump then talked about how he might piggyback on an existing emergency order around drug cartels.

Then he went back to bragging on the economy, and claimed that if a Democrat had been in office, the economy would have been “down the tubes” instead of “through the roof,” saying that it’s because he’s created such a great economy that “far more people” are trying to enter the country today “than ever before.” Which is … a huge lie.

Categories: Politics

Twitter Really Is the Best Way to Understand Donald Trump

Kevin Drum - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 11:42

President Trump is talking. That is, he’s stringing words together into vaguely sentence-like constructions. Let’s listen in via my carefully curated Twitter feed. I guarantee that this captures the spirit of Trump’s remarks better than any normal media story you’ll read:

Categories: Politics

Amazon Spokesman Blames AOC For New York Exit

Crooks and Liars - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 11:37

It's Alexandria versus Amazon? Alexa, who won that legendary battle? NBC reports:

"If you talk to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, it's 'Never Amazon,'" [Amazon spokesperson Jodi] Seth said. "If you talk to [New York City Councilman Jimmy] Van Bramer, it's unions." (New York is still a heavily unionized town, and Amazon's opposition to unions was frequently cited by those who fought the project.)

The main frustration for opponents of Amazon's project was the $3 billion that the company had been awarded in state and city incentives — a cost that opponents said would have been paid for by New York residents. Many also feared that the move would lead to gentrification and higher housing prices.

Following Amazon's announcement, Ocasio-Cortez, who represents a district adjacent to the project, commended "dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbors" for defeating "Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world."

Ocasio-Cortez also tweeted her amusement that Amazon blamed her personally for the split:

Categories: Politics