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Fast Walker 52

Fast Walker 52's Journal
Fast Walker 52's Journal
April 3, 2017

Krugman explains what an idiot Trump is on trade.


This surely isn’t what working-class Trump supporters thought they were voting for. So why can Trumpist trade policy be summarized — to quote The Times’s Binyamin Appelbaum — as “talk loudly and carry a small stick”? Let me give two reasons.

First, back when Mr. Trump was railing against trade deals, he had no idea what he was talking about. (I know, you’re shocked to hear that.)

For example, listening to the Tweeter-in-chief, you’d think that Nafta was a big giveaway by the United States, which got nothing in return. In fact, Mexico drastically cut its tariffs on goods imported from the U.S., in return for much smaller cuts on the U.S. side.

Or take Mr. Trump’s repeated claims that China gains a competitive advantage by manipulating its currency. That was true six years ago, but it’s not true now. These days China is actually intervening to keep its currency up, not down.

Talking nonsense about trade didn’t hurt Mr. Trump during the campaign. But now he’s finding out that those grossly unfair trade deals he promised to renegotiate aren’t all that unfair, after all, leaving him with no idea what to do next.
April 3, 2017

"Big Little Lies" and domestic violence counseling

In case you watched the HBO miniseries "Big Little Lies", my FaceBook friend who is an expert on domestic violence, was not happy with the counselor they showed in the show. These were her specific issues with the way she treated the wife (Nicole Kidman character):

"1. Do not pathologize her, 2. Do not do couples counseling with couples like them, 3. Refer her to a DV program so they can do some safety planning and a lethality assessment, 4. Never lay guilt on her about the kids, 5. Pay close attention when she starts to blame herself or say that she's "just as violent", 6. Give her the opportunity to see the power and control dynamics at work in her relationship, 7. LISTEN TO HER/DO NOT DIRECT HER, 8. Treat the abuse like the genuine threat it is. Those of us who do this work saw this train leave the station in Episode 1. If this is an example of how therapists talk with (not to) abused women (money or not), they need a primer on the complexities of domestic violence and how the empowerment/trauma-informed approach is the only way to create space for her to determine the best, safest way forward. Leaving an abuser in not an event, it's a process."

April 2, 2017

Interesting that Flynn was pro-NATO anti-Russia until about same time as he joined Trump campaign

This tweet essay goes over the case.


But it fits a pattern where the Trump orbit actually made people more pro-Russia, as opposed to people joining the Trump campaign and making Trump more pro-Russia.

Which is an interesting angle to pursue should Flynn ever be questioned under oath. What made him turn pro-Russia? Was it something Trump pushed himself or someone else?

April 2, 2017

Why do Hillary haters almost invariably deny Russian influence in the election?

It's funny how the same people who complained endlessly about Hillary Clinton and said she was as bad as Trump are almost exactly the same ones who deny there is any merit to the Russia hacking allegations.

Most of the Bernie or bust people and various "lefty" reporters such as Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi seem to do this.

I wonder why that is....

Is it because they are oh, so objective? Or because they are biased against Hillary? Or even worse, are agents of Russia?

April 2, 2017

Third Senate Democrat announces support for Gorsuch

Source: CNN

Sen. Joe Donnelly announced Sunday that he will support the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
"After meeting with Judge Gorsuch, conducting a thorough review of his record, and closely following his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I believe that he is a qualified jurist who will base his decisions on his understanding of the law and is well-respected among his peers," the Indiana Democrat said in a statement.
Donnelly is the third Senate Democrat to support Gorsuch, joining Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

CNN's whip list has 36 Democrats saying or suggesting they will filibuster Gorsuch's nomination. Another two Democrats say they'll oppose Gorsuch in the final confirmation vote, but it's unclear where they will stand on a potential filibuster.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/02/politics/donnelly-gorsuch-democrats/

I'm VERY disappointed in this from my Senator. I know he is up for re-election and Indiana went big for Trump. But still unconscionable, in my book.
April 1, 2017

Was the Trump White House spying on the FBI investigation of them?


This brings me to the second question, which I see as the core disclosure of the Times story (even though the Times does not explicitly mention it). If Nunes saw reports that named Trump or his associates, as he said, the initiative for naming names did not come from the originating intelligence agency. That is not how the process works. The names could only have been unmasked if the customers—who seem in this case to have been Trump’s White House appointees—made that request themselves. If anyone breached the president’s privacy, the perpetrators were working down the hall from him. (Okay, probably in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next door.) It is of course hypocritical, even deceptive, for Nunes to lay that blame at the feet of intelligence officials, but that is not the central concern either.

If events took place as just described, then what exactly were Trump’s appointees doing? I am not talking only about the political chore of ginning up (ostensible) support for the president’s baseless claims about illegal surveillance by President Obama. I mean this: why would a White House lawyer and the top White House intelligence adviser be requesting copies of these surveillance reports in the first place? Why would they go on to ask that the names be unmasked? There is no chance that the FBI would brief them about the substance or progress of its investigation into the Trump campaign’s connections to the Russian government. Were the president’s men using the surveillance assets of the U.S. government to track the FBI investigation from the outside?
April 1, 2017

How to rig an election -- what the Russians did


"This is a three-headed operation," said one former official, setting out the case, based on the intelligence: Firstly, hackers steal damaging emails from senior Democrats. Secondly, the stories based on this hacked information appear on Twitter and Facebook, posted by thousands of automated "bots", then on Russia's English-language outlets, RT and Sputnik, then right-wing US "news" sites such as Infowars and Breitbart, then Fox and the mainstream media. Thirdly, Russia downloads the online voter rolls.

The voter rolls are said to fit into this because of "microtargeting". Using email, Facebook and Twitter, political advertising can be tailored very precisely: individual messaging for individual voters.

"You are stealing the stuff and pushing it back into the US body politic," said the former official, "you know where to target that stuff when you're pushing it back."

This would take co-operation with the Trump campaign, it is claimed.

"If you need to ensure that white women in Pennsylvania don't vote or independents get pissed in Michigan so they stay home: that's voter suppression. You can figure what your target demographics and locations are from the voter rolls. Then you can use that to target your bot."
March 29, 2017

Why FBI Cant Tell All on Trump, Russia


The Federal Bureau of Investigation cannot tell us what we need to know about Donald Trump’s contacts with Russia. Why? Because doing so would jeopardize a long-running, ultra-sensitive operation targeting mobsters tied to Russian President Vladimir Putin — and to Trump.

But the Feds’ stonewalling risks something far more dangerous: Failing to resolve a crisis of trust in America’s president. WhoWhatWhy provides the details of a two-month investigation in this 6,500-word exposé.

The FBI apparently knew, directly or indirectly, based upon available facts, that prior to Election Day, Trump and his campaign had personal and business dealings with certain individuals and entities linked to criminal elements — including reputed Russian gangsters — connected to Putin.

The same facts suggest that the FBI knew or should have known enough prior to the election to justify informing the public about its ongoing investigation of potentially compromising relationships between Trump, Putin, and Russian mobsters — even if it meant losing or exposing a valued informant.

Very interesting.
March 29, 2017

Ross Douthat is spreading a very dangerous idea-- that Obamacare doesn't save lives


His argument is because overall survival of Medicare recipients is going down, the law doesn't save lives, never mind larger societal trends.

What is most disturbing is that he doesn't even try to make any argument that having health insurance prolongs lives.

So of course Republicans will be using this argument in their endless evil quest to repeal the ACA. We need to be on guard for it.
March 29, 2017

Trump pushes Congress to cut domestic programs this year

Source: Politico

The White House is asking Congress to cut $18 billion from discretionary spending bills for the current fiscal year that have been long settled — a move that could threaten a major showdown just a month ahead of the deadline to keep the government funded.

In an extensive document shared with House and Senate appropriations committees on Friday, and obtained by POLITICO, the Trump administration is offering its most detailed instructions to date on how Congress should shape the trillion-dollar spending legislation Congress must enact by April 28 to prevent a government shutdown.

The department-by-department breakdown shows Trump is targeting domestic programs including education, health care and housing, as well as international food aid — cuts that are in line with the administration's "skinny budget" for next year.

The $17.94 billion cut would help pay for Trump’s military supplemental request, which was sent to Congress earlier this month. About $2 billion would also go towards Trump’s proposed wall along the Mexican border.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/03/donald-trump-cuts-to-domestic-programs-congress-236579

So insane and evil. The science cuts are terrible for scientists. Here's a DKos piece on it.


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Hometown: Southern California
Home country: USA
Current location: Indiana
Member since: Thu May 14, 2015, 06:31 AM
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