Home Daily News Clips Monday News: “100 Days of Horror”; Trump Admin. Targets EPA, Labor Dept.;...

Monday News: “100 Days of Horror”; Trump Admin. Targets EPA, Labor Dept.; RTD Even More Unhinged Than It Usually Is

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by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Monday, April 17.

  • Robert Reich:

    Protesters who were beat up at a Trump campaign rally last year sued Donald Trump — claiming he urged his supporters to assault them. On Friday, Trump’s lawyers responded by saying “Mr. Trump is immune from suit because he is President of the United States.”

    Hmmm?

    1. The facts are clear. Trump incited violence. “I’d like to punch him in the face,” Trump said of a protester at a rally in Las Vegas, for example. A week later, when protesters interrupted Trump in Louisville, he responded by commanding supporters to “Get them out.” For a record of other Trump incitements during his campaign, see: https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/b9764884-e6ee-11e5-bc08-3e…

    2. The law is clear. The presidency doesn’t make Trump immune from such a lawsuit. He wasn’t president when the incitement occurred. Besides, not even a sitting president is immune from civil lawsuits unrelated to his official duties (see Clinton v. Jones (1997).

    Bottom line: Trump’s “I’m President so I can do what I like” argument doesn’t wash. He’s guilty of inciting violence.

  • More Robert Reich:

    Trump is seeking advice from big corporations about what regulations should be rolled back because they burden corporate profits.

    As someone who ran the Department of Labor — which ranks second to the EPA on Trump’s list of departments that businesses want to defang — let me offer 7 points of common sense:

    1. Corporations will not voluntarily protect workers if they can make more money by not protecting them (consider the latest mine disaster). Ditto for consumers (Wells Fargo, United Airlines, price gouging by Big Pharma). And investors (almost daily outrages perpetrated by Wall Street).
    2. There are only 3 constraints on corporate greed: (1) competitive markets with full information – enabling consumers, workers, and investors to shift to more responsible firms; (2) the threat of lawsuits by individuals or groups harmed by corporate actions; and (3) regulations.
    3. We’re losing (1) competitive markets because of lax antitrust enforcement over the past quarter century (if you don’t like Wells Fargo, there may be no other bank near you; if you don’t like United, there may be no other carrier to take you where you want to go);
    4. And we’re losing (2) the threat of lawsuits because corporations have put mandatory arbitration clauses in their contracts — with arbitrators chosen by the corporations.
    5. Which leaves only (3) regulations. Take away regulations, and corporate greed is unconstrained.
    6. Corporations don’t need more profits anyway. Corporate profits are now a higher percentage of America’s gross nations product than they’ve ever been (and wages a lower percentage than ever).
    7. Even if they had more profits, corporations wouldn’t spend them on new investment or new jobs. They’ll spend them as they’ve been been spending their current profits — on buying back their shares of stock, thereby boosting the price of each remaining share, and on mergers and acquisitions.

    Bottom line: Trump’s deregulatory initiative is ludicrous.

  • And yet MORE Robert Reich:

    Update for Trump Voters #2

    1. He told you NATO was “obsolete,” claiming it doesn’t fight terrorism. You bought it. Now he says NATO is “no longer obsolete.”
    2. He told you he’d “bring down drug prices” by making deals with drug companies. You bought it. Now the White House says that promise is “inoperative.”
    3. He said he’d close “special interest loopholes that have been so good for Wall Street investors but unfair to American workers.” You bought it. Then he picked a Wall Street financier Stephen Schwarzman to run his strategic and policy forum, who compares closing those loopholes to Hitler’s invasion of Poland.
    4. He said that on Day One he’d label China a “currency manipulator.” You bought it. Then he met with China’s president and declared “China is not a currency manipulator.”
    5. He said he’d “renegotiate NAFTA” on Day One. You bought it. He hasn’t.
    6. He said he wouldn’t bomb Syria. You bought it. Then he bombed Syria.
    7. He said he’d build a wall along the border with Mexico. You bought it. Now his secretary of homeland security says “It’s unlikely that we will build a wall.”
    8. He said he’d clean the Washington swamp. You bought it. Then he brought into his administration more billionaires, CEOs, and Wall Street moguls than in any administration in history, to make laws that will enrich their businesses, along with former lobbyists, lawyers and consultants who are crafting new policies for the same industries they recently worked for.
    9. He said he’d repeal Obamacare and replace it with something “wonderful.” You bought it. Then he didn’t.
    10. He said he’d use his business experience to whip the White House into shape. You bought it. Then he created the most chaotic, dysfunctional, back-stabbing White House in modern history, in which no one is in charge.
    11. He said he’d release his tax returns, eventually. You bought it. He hasn’t, and says he never will.
    12. He said he’d divest himself from his financial empire, to avoid any conflicts of interest. You bought it. He remains heavily involved in his businesses, makes money off of foreign dignitaries staying at his Washington hotel, gets China to give the Trump brand trademark and copyright rights, travels to promote his properties at taxpayer expense, manipulates the stock market on a daily basis, and has more conflicts of interest than can even be counted.
    13. He said Clinton was in the pockets of Goldman Sachs, and would do whatever they said. You bought it. Then he put half a dozen Goldman Sachs executives in positions of power in his administration.
    14. He said he’d surround himself with all the best and smartest people. You bought it. Then he put Betsy DeVos, opponent of public education, in charge of education; Jeff Sessions, opponent of the Voting Rights Act, in charge of voting rights; Ben Carson, opponent of the Fair Housing Act, in charge of fair housing; Scott Pruitt, climate change denier, in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency; and Russian quisling Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.
    10. He said he’d faithfully execute the law. You bought it. Then he said his predecessor, Barack Obama, spied on him, without any evidence of Obama ever doing so, in order to divert attention from the FBI’s investigation into collusion between his campaign and Russian operatives to win the election.
    15. He said he knew more about strategy and terrorism than the generals did. You bought it. Then he green lighted a disastrous raid in Yemen- even though his generals said it would be a terrible idea. This raid resulted in the deaths of a Navy SEAL, an 8-year old American girl, and numerous civilians. The actual target of the raid escaped, and no useful intel was gained.
    16. He called Barack Obama “the vacationer-in-Chief” and accused him of playing more rounds of golf than Tiger Woods. He promised to never be the kind of president who took cushy vacations on the taxpayer’s dime, not when there was so much important work to be done. You bought it. He has by now spent more taxpayer money on vacations than Obama did in the first 3 years of his presidency. Not to mention all the money taxpayers are spending protecting his family, including his two sons who travel all over the world on Trump business.
    17. He called CNN, the Washington Post and the New York Times “fake news” and said they were his enemy. You bought it. Now he gets his information from Fox News, Breitbart, Gateway Pundit, and InfoWars.

  • Video: John Oliver on the “Mother of All Bombs”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNvZu09N5TY

  • Video: Melania has to remind Donald Trump to put his hand on his heart for the National Anthem. Imagine if this had happened with Barack and Michele Obama? My god, the right wingers would have gone nuts.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haGhADUMLGY

  • From the Erik Gutshall for Arlington County Board campaign. The Democratic “firehouse” unassembled caucus is in just three weeks…

    WALTER TEJADA ENDORSES GUTSHALL FOR COUNTY BOARD

    Arlington, VA – Today, former Arlington County Board member and Latino community leader Walter Tejada endorsed Erik Gutshall for the Arlington County Board. Tejada served on the County Board from 2003 – 2015 and has a distinguished record serving on a number of local, state and national advocacy boards and councils. He currently serves as the president of the Virginia Latino Leaders Council.

    “Small, locally-owned businesses are the heart and soul of Arlington,” said Tejada. “As a small business owner himself, Erik is best positioned to support other entrepreneurs, including minority- and women-owned businesses. Through his service in our community and on the board of Doorways for Women and Families, I also know Erik to be an outspoken advocate for vulnerable and underserved Arlingtonians. With the nation’s anti-immigrant despot just across the river, I know Erik will be a loud and proud voice for all of Arlington’s families on the County Board.”

    “Diversity strengthens our County, and through friends and business partners I hear firsthand about the pain and fear in Arlington’s immigrant communities,” said Gutshall. “On the County Board, I’ll be an unwaivering voice resisting any efforts by the federal government to harass our law-abiding residents who every day work hard for their families and community.”

    Gutshall continued, “Arlington’s immigrant community contributes to every facet of our economy, and I respect and value a diverse workforce. On the County Board, I will insist that our community development plans preserve and protect the infrastructure vital to many of our diverse businesses on Lee Highway, Four Mile Run Drive, and beyond. I am honored to have Walter’s endorsement, and will work hard to continue his legacy of fighting for all Arlingtonians.”

    Tejada joins a long list of current and former Arlington County Board members endorsing Gutshall, including current chairman Jay Fisette and former members Mary Hynes, Barbara Favola, Paul Ferguson, Chris Zimmerman, John Milliken, Mary Margaret Whipple and Joe Wholey.

  • single payer

    Not a word about health care.

    Single payer aka Medicare for ALL……………