We’re Looking For A Few Good Reads

We’re Looking For A Few Good Reads

Lots of scary stuff around the web this week, and a few things that are inspiring. So check out…

Trump Thinks Only Black People Are on Welfare, but, Really, White Americans Receive Most Benefits by Ryan Sit in Newsweek. This is an extraordinarily interesting piece that looks at how Trump (like a surprisingly large number of his supporters) thinks that all or most Welfare recipients are black. In point of fact, whites make up the vast majority of those receiving public assistance. The difference between perception (“alternative facts”) and reality says much about why Trump voters may not understand that they’re slicing off their nose to spite their face.

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A very interesting essay by Cornel West can be had over on the Guardian. In

America is spiritually bankrupt. We must fight back together, he argues that we live in “a bleak time of spiritual blackout and imperial meltdown.”

We might be able to deal with our myriad economic, social, and military problems if only, he says, we could find the morality and decency to do so. He points out, though, things like the Women’s Marches, Black Lives Matter, and Reverend William J Barber II’s Poor People’s Campaign as signs of a possible ethical rejuvenation of the nation.

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Oh, and just in case you missed it, the White House staff of our Super Stable Genius of a president couldn’t figure out how to mute a conference call while on line with a bunch of reporters. See White House Couldn’t Figure Out How to Mute a Conference Call for 22 Minutes by Lisa Ryan in The Cut. In a word, the folks who are supposed to be the best and the brightest couldn’t manage something that your average unpaid college intern could pull off without a sweat.

Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, doesn’t it?

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Oh, and while you’re just sitting there being alternatively outraged and terrified, consider this happy piece by Hunter in the Daily Kos, Team Trump seeking to weaken the rules policing bank ‘redlining’ of poor and minority communities.

Seems the plutocrats who have been appointed to oversee banks (themselves all bankers, something about setting the foxes to guard the henhouse springs to mind) want to reduce bank regulation. Specifically, they want to make it legal for banks to refuse to do business with (gasp) low-income types.

Yes, folks, the wealthy are rewriting the rules so they can prevent the poor getting access to working capital. Gee. Who would have thought it?

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And here’s a lovely one (irony meant there). It comes from Wikileaks, so you sort of have to be careful. These are, after all, folks who have an agenda and aren’t necessarily your friends. But, that said…

According to Robert Johnson, writing in Business Insider, Wikileaks has released documents showing that major US clothing manufacturers used the US government (under Obama) to force Haiti to reduce its minimum wage. People like Hanes and Levis do a lot of manufacturing there, and, for them, the closer to slave wages the better.

Again, Wikileaks must be taken with a grain of salt…but still, it’s a scary story to say the least.

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From the Don’t You Love The Irony File…

Tierney Sneed writes in Talking Points Memo that Russian Billionaire Files Fraud Lawsuit Against Manafort, Cites Mueller Docs.

Yes, it seems that one of the Russian Oligarchs, Oleg Deripaska, an oil baron and close associate of Putin, has “sued former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his longtime deputy Rick Gates Wednesday, alleging that the two men “siphoned for themselves millions of dollars” as part of a Ukrainian investment scheme that was paid to their “alter ego companies.”

Apparently it is part of a long running quarrel between the Deripaska and Manafort, who was doing business with the oligarchs back when a Trump presidency wasn’t even a joke. But, the Mueller’s investigation has apparently turned new evidence that Deripaska, at least, thinks proves Manafort’s guilt.

You have to sorta stand in awe and amazement. Here’s Deripaska, an honest-to-God plutocrat and a member of the most kleptocratic government in history…fearing that he’s been cheated by Manafort and Gates…

Bigger crooks even than he?

Worth considering.

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Meanwhile, over at InsideClimate News, we learn from Georgina Gustin that Trump Administration Deserts Science Advisory Boards Across Agencies. It seems that in agency after agency, scientists have been pushed out, and industry shrills have been put in their place.

Why? Because scientists keep saying things like “Facts matter,” and “You can’t just make up stuff if you don’t like the truth” and “You can’t just keep burning stuff until everybody chokes.”

Silly of those scientists. Should know better by now.

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Interesting piece over in the Washington Post by Eugene Scott, The Democrat Trump should fear in 2020 — and it’s not Oprah. Who’s the Trump Terrifier? None other than good ole Uncle Joe Biden. Seems a recent poll has him at number two in a ranking of who Americans would vote for.

Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders still leads him, but that could change as time goes on. Other contenders, like Kirsten Gillibrand…and Oprah… so far don’t seem to be gaining traction. But again, that could change.

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An interesting op-ed over in the NY Times by Bret Stephens. A Modest Immigration Proposal: Ban Jews. Stephens, who is of Jewish heritage, asks what would have happened if Jews had been banned from immigrating to the USA in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, in sort of the same way that Trump and his thugs want to ban immigrants from “shit-hole countries.”

The answer, of course, is that we would have lost some of the greatest of our intellectuals, industrialists, scientists, entrepreneurs, artists, and so on.

Which makes you wonder what we’d lose if we shut down doors to all those Salvadorans, Mexicans, Haitians…