Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Two Monuments

The Colfax Massacre occurred during Reconstruction when Republicans, many of whom were black, won the election. The White League and kukluxklan joined forces to take back the Parish Court House. 300 armed white militia faced black and white defenders of the court house. When James Hadnot was shot by his own men, the attackers started to shoot the black defenders who had surrendered. 48 were killed that day and the white militia turned its anger on the black residents.

Villifying Black Republicans. Colfax Riot, 48 Black Americans massacred after surrendering and another 100 residents killed by the white mob.

Sign erected by the Colfax Chamber of Commerce in 1951 commemorating the Colfax Riot. The exact count of Black Americans shot to death after surrendering is uncertain. It ranges anywhere from 80 to 300. Three White Americans die.

Heroes Fighting for White Supremacy

Honoring White Supremacists. The greatest travesty was the SCOTUS decision by the Waite court.

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Donald Trump’s White House

Newspaper Editorial Cartoonists are having a field day with Donald Trump’s comments condoning the Charlottesville’s supremacists rioting, killing one person, and injuring many more. Living his father’s legacy of racism and supporting ku klux klan. Trump 2015: “ My legacy has its roots in my father’s legacy.”

Trump’s staff is complaining Trump went rogue and David Duke kkk member is applauding. If Trump finds himself alone as more people abandon the White House, I doubt he will care and sink into another unintelligible bombastic rage.

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Woodie Guthrie, Racism, Trump, and Beach Haven

From an old sixties coffee house person, just a little history. In 1950, Woodie Guthrie signed a two year lease to reside in a Fred Trump’s Brooklyn development. Having wandered around the countryside for a number of years, he knew the North did not have any special claim to racial enlightenment. One event of a shooting at a bus terminal in Freeport, Long Island stuck in his mind. “Ferguson Brothers Killing” by Woody Guthrie.

“The town that we ride through is not Rankin, Mississippi,
Nor Bilbo’s Jim Crow town of Washington, D. C.
But it’s greater New York, our most fair-minded city
In all this big land here and streets of the brave.

Who’ll tell these three boys that their Daddy is gone?
(He helped whip the Fascists and Nazis to death)
Who’ll tell these three sons that Jim Crow coffee
Has killed several thousand the same as their dad?”

Fred Trump used federal funding to build what became known as Beach Haven and what Woody would call “Bitch Havens” in time and after discovering the racism of Fred Trump. Fred methodically blocked black Americans from taking resident in his development. Woody responded with a song called “Old Man Trump.”

“I suppose
Old Man Trump knows
Just how much
Racial Hate
he stirred up
In the bloodpot of human hearts
When he drawed
That color line
Here at his
Eighteen hundred family project ….”

Fred Trump was arrested in 1927 for participating in a Ku Klux Klan rally in Queens. The Beach Haven apartment complex was built afterwards and it was was intended to give returning WW II veterans affordable housing. With his words to the public about the Charlottesville riots by white supremacists, Donald could have changed what his father left as a legacy for him. Instead, he purposely chose not to do to placate them. As David Duke said publically. . . . “remember who put you in office.”

Trump 2015: “ My legacy has its roots in my father’s legacy.”

In the age of Trump, we need another Woodie Gunthrie to remind us of our history. Then too, Trump would probably tie him up in court.

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The Democrat’s “Better Deal”

In a recent email exchange with Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism: “This is not going to work with voters. Tom Frank has been all over this topic, saying again and again, the Dems are refusing to give up on their losing strategy of focusing on the 10%, and are trying to cover for their abandonment of middle and working class people with identity politics.”

What Yves is commenting about is a recent post and the “ Better Deal” proposed by Schumer and Pelosi.

Schumer: “When you lose to somebody who has 40 percent popularity, you don’t blame other things — Comey, Russia — you blame yourself,” In speaking on the Dems new plan, he continues; “So what did we do wrong? People did not know what we stood for, just that we were against Trump, and people still believe that.”

Pelosi: In a separate interview, the House Minority Leader says the new focus “is not a course correction; but, it is a presentation correction.”

Yves Smith again; “Pelosi is upfront that all the Dems are doing is trying a new PR strategy.”

Sounds like Schumer recognized the issue; but as Yves and Pelosi said, it “is not a course correction; but, it is a presentation correction.” In other words, we are going to say the same “stuff,” but it will be said in a different way. That is not going to work for urban and rural dwellers alike who are worried about everyday life. .

Progressives and activists both believe the repackaging of a failed message in 2016 is going to miss the targeted middle and lower income constituents needed to win the 2018 elections. Paul Ryan and his caucus speak of specifics such as “proposals to revamp poverty programs, health care and taxes, and a hawkish national security stance” which plays well to rural constituents who are fed news from conservative sources. In contrast, the Democrat party’s establishment economics addressing the 10% again fails to talk about the everyday life of the rest of voters with a progressive message addressing quality of life improvements. Democrats have to rebut Repub ideology with sound proposals reinforcing and improving healthcare, jobs, education, retirement, long term care, etc. which are attacked in Ryan’s message.

In a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, 37 percent of Americans said the Democrats currently stands for something, while 52 percent said it just stands against Trump. With Trump being one of the most unpopular Presidents early in his first term, Democrats miss the opportunity to define what they stand for specifically capitalizing on Trumps 36% rating with a strong countering economic message. Where is the loud rebuttal by Democrats to Trump’s attacks on progressive healthcare, student loan forgiveness, and minorities. Where is Democrat pushback to tax repeal for those making >$200,000 annually and tax cuts largely going to the 1% of the household taxpayers and large corporations?

Republicans talk in headlines; Democrats speak in fine print,” In his Brooklyn town hall meetings, Democrat Congressman Hakeem Jeffries heard the messages about “pocketbook issues, housing challenges, crime, public safety, failures of the public schools,” and little about the “existential threat to our democracy by Trump and the Russians or what is going on at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.” It is here the Democrat message fails with its sole concentration on Trump the person rather than attack on Trump administrative fubars, what the Republican economics means, and Republican policies. There is not enough of a loud outrage in the new Democrat party message. Instead of a new brew of political coffee to sip upon and savor like one would a Starbuck’s French pressed serving of Veranda, we are being served yesterday’s warmed over and weak political brew.

And in the end we will not turn 2018 into a resounding rebuttal of Republican policies and Trump.

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Missouri Travel Advisory

At a conference on Wednesday, National delegates voted to adopt the advisory for Missouri It is the first time the NAACP has issued a travel advisory for a state. The “extreme caution” notification is not exclusive to high crime areas such as may be found in cities. The notification is meant to make minorities more aware of surroundings while traveling in Missouri and to be cautious with encounters with police. What is sad about this is it is telling minorities do not give the white man any reason to take issue with you such as what you wear, being in a heavily white populated areas, a broken tail light, not signaling, rolling stops or going through lights on the yellow, etc. Jim Crow has emerged again and heavy force will be applied to put you into the role expected of you.

The advisory is as follows:

(Jefferson City, MO – Missouri NAACP State Conference Office – edited) Unlike seasonal weather advisories where unnecessary travel on city streets or parking might be directed; the NAACP wants to make Missourians and visitors alike aware of a looming danger which could include the following examples of what has happened to some residents and visitors in the past.

– Tory Sanford was never arrested and yet died in a jail cell. He ran out of gas when he traveled into the state accidentally.
– On campus racist attacks on University of Missouri students after the university system spoke in favor of Romine’s Jim Crow Bill.
– Black high school students in St. Louis have been attacked with hot glue and racially denigrated.
– Two foreign born men were gunned down in Kansas City after their killer thought them to be Muslim.
– African Americans are 75 percent more likely to be stopped and searched than Caucasians according to the Missouri Attorney General.
– Public threats of shooting ‘Blacks’ by an alleged racist and others have terrorized University of Missouri students and members of the public.

Individuals traveling in the state are advised to travel with extreme CAUTION. Race, gender and color based crimes have a long history in Missouri. The home of Lloyd Gaines, Dredd Scott, and the Missouri Compromise gives Missouri the distinction of being one of the last states to lose its slaveholding past.

The Missouri State Conference of the NAACP will follow Governor Greitien’s review of this Jim Crow Bill – SB 43 and will update the NAACP advisory for the State of Missouri if this measure is vetoed. SB 43 legalizes individual discrimination and harassment in Missouri and would prevent individuals from protecting themselves from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in Missouri.

Moreover, overzealous enforcement of routine traffic violations in Missouri against African-Americans has resulted in an increasing trend and has resulted in increased traffic fines, senseless searches of vehicle and persons, and on occasion unnecessary violence.

The advisory is in effect until August 28.

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“We Need You to Cooperate . . .”

Go to 1:30 minutes into this clip and please watch the whole event.

Jail and/or prison is not a fun experience and it was never meant to be. People are taken there for court determined reasons. I have heard my share of stories from reliable sources of what goes on there and how some who are charged with guarding the population take it to the next level. There is much talk about prison reform and I applaud the thought of it. However, the action must come before people even get into jail or prison.

85% of all cases are plea bargained. In some instances a person signs away their right to appeal a conviction because of a plea bargain. The AEDPA also makes it difficult for a federal court to rule on, reverse a state court’s decision, or remand back to state courts for a different ruling.

The man in the later part of this is suing Cheatham County Correction Deputies of deprivation of civil rights, citing the use of excessive force and failure to protect after he was repeatedly Tasered in the jail. I guess this goes along with Trump telling the police not to be so gentle with suspects.

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Wisconsin Buys Foxconn Facility for Kenosha

FoxconnI picked up this version 4 BS lies of Trump and Scott Walker’s Imaginary Foxconn Factory on Tom Bozzo’s facebook page where I stopped to see what he had to say as of late. While it is a great attention grabber, a link caught my eye in Wonkette’s article leading to this America and the Foxconn Dream . This morning Ken Thomas has his very thorough analysis Foxconn Cashes in for $3 Billion-Plus: Analysis up. The first being the wonkier, the 2nd is a Bloomberg discussion, and Ken’s is an analysis on a topic he pursues, government subsidizing business. And this one ??? I am not sure yet.

You look at the picture and you see Ryan smirking in the background, a smug looking Trump smug face, and Mr. Terry Gou in a slight bow looking directly at Trump. I have seen the look before. Typically, this look comes from an Asian associate when they have taken what they want at your expense. Trump has been beating the protectionist drum loudly these days when talking to our neighbors Mexico and Canada. He has threatened China and other countries as well.

Mr. Terry Gou the CEO of Foxconn said he would only come to the US if the chosen location met Foxconn’s demands, which of course Walker with the aid of Paul Ryan did do. The facility is located in Paul Ryan’s backyard. And the threat of having tariffs placed on Foxconn products has dissipated. Foxconn will invest $10 billion in a factory some say will be 20 million square feet and create 3000 jobs of roughly 6600 square feet for each US worker. Sounds more like a warehouse to me even if they stuck 160 foreign made robotic manufacturing cells (Tesla did such) in it. More than likely, this will be an assembly operation with components and assemblies coming from Foxconn and Foxconn suppliers. The value-add will be out of country.

So what does all of this get Wisconsin for shelling out $519 per Wisconsin constituent and the US also?

According to Bloomberg’s Tim Culpan; “Wisconsin is paying as much as $1 million per job, which will carry an average salary of $54,000. The state’s economic development corporation is selling the project to taxpayers with a claim that it will create 10,000 construction jobs for building the facility and another 6,000 indirect positions. It is expecting $3.3 million of investment per employee from the Taiwanese company”.

Foxconn does not have a history of doing what it says and agrees to do. In Pennsylvania, Foxconn pledged $30 million to build a plant and hire 500 workers. It never happened. A pledge of $1 billion to build a plant in Indonesia dissipated also. Foxconn’s division Hon Hai has not spent 10 billion in any single year on infrastructure nor has it spent as much if one combines the last five years. Walker’s boondoggle may be mostly hype and a way to insure he is reelected in 2018.

I wonder why Walker is not in the picture with Ryan and Trump? Maybe out building his used car business for when he is not reelected?

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Repeal ACA Rejected Again – Updated

July 25, 2017: There is a lot of bad dialogue going on in the news these days. In my last three posts, I have tried to point out what can be passed by Repubs with just 51 votes and what requires 60 votes. Much thought being given to defunding Planned Parenthood and the Mandate(s). If Repubs chose to follow Reconciliation and not nuke it and/or the supermajority vote, both of the defunding and the elimination of the Mandate(s) are not going to happen. The Parliamentarian decided on 60 votes for each to pass.

“The discussions came as the Senate rejected 45-55 a straight repeal of Obamacare with a two-year delay in implementation to allow Congress to work out a replacement. Seven Republicans opposed the measure.”

In the 2015 bill, Republicans had attempted to kill the mandate. The parliamentarian had ruled it could not be done in Reconciliation. “In 2015 the Senate revised the ACA repeal reconciliation bill passed by the House after the Parliamentarian ruled that it could not repeal the individual and employer mandates under the Byrd rule, amending the bill to repeal only the penalties imposed by the mandates.” This would require sixty votes to accomplish if not amended. The Senate could eliminate the monetary penalty.

July 26, 2017: Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.; Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.; Susan Collins, R-Maine; Dean Heller, R-Nev.; John McCain, R-Ariz.; Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, joined all Democrats to defeat the amendment, which would have given Congress two years to devise a replacement to the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

July 27, 2017: Not going to raise the flag in honor of McCain voting “no” as he should have done this long ago. McCain’s reasoning for voting against the repeal and/or amend is false.

“McCain said that he’s repeated time and time again that one of the ‘major failures’ of Obamacare was that it was “rammed through Congress by Democrats on a strict-party line basis without a single Republican vote.’

‘We should not make the mistakes of the past that has led to Obamacare’s collapse, including in my home state of Arizona where premiums are skyrocketing and health care providers are fleeing the marketplace,’ McCain said.”

Republicans had every opportunity to participate in designing the ACA and refused to do so. That premiums are increasing have two reasons. The lack of control of the rising cost of the healthcare industrial complex and the blocking of the Risk Corridor Program by Sessions, Upton, and Kingston.

– People have been claiming McCain is a maverick and he bucks party lines. Not really as he goes with the flow 87% of the time. He just took an opportunity to stick it to Trump and some others. The real Maverick who voted “NO” was Susan Collins who votes the party line 60% of the time.

July 28, 2017: Now Trump again has threatened to kill the ACA by blocking the CSR subsidies to those between 100% and 250% FPL attacking the low income citizens.

– In passing the blame around for the Republican failure to repeal and amend the ACA; Congressional Idiot Louis Gohmert crawls out from under his rock. “I pray for Senator McCain, for his health, his full recovery from the cancer but it doesn’t give him the right to make people suffer more under the current ACA,”

– Always the positive aww shuck guy Paul Ryan: “‘We were sent to Washington to fulfill the pledges we made to our constituents. While the House delivered a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, unfortunately the Senate was unable to reach a consensus,’ Ryan said in a statement Friday. ‘I am disappointed and frustrated, but we should not give up. I encourage the Senate to continue working toward a real solution that keeps our promise.'”

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Being Prepared and One Person’s Memories . . .

It has been a long time since I participated in Scouting events. Never been to a Jamboree; although, we did take a bunch into the Pubelos for a hike and rafting on the Arkansas. Hiking up the mountain in a cold rain certainly showed who was prepared to meet the elements of being outdoors with minimum shelter. Those of us who had fleece jackets, rain gear, and equipment stowed in water resistant packs were almost prepared for anything, which could happen weather-wise.

Preparedness has taken a new meaning today. The politics of the country have demanded such from we as adults as well as boys and young men who listened to a speech given by a President under fire. After listening to the President speech some such as “ James Oates, a 44-year-old assistant Scoutmaster on New York’s Long Island” believe Scouting is just about “growing strong, independent, entrepreneurial young men” and giving them experiences so they can make their own decisions.

There are always decisions to be made in life; but, Mr. Trumps complaints at a Scout event is neither the time and place for them. Besides, Trump’s complaints are false.

One always has to be prepared for the prospect of “fake news. Mark Twain had his fill when a competing newspaper reported of his ill health and loss of mental clarity. “ June 2, 1897, beneath the headline, ‘Mark Twain Amused,’ the Journal skewered the Herald’s story and offered Twain’s timeless denial: ‘The report of my death was an exaggeration.’” History has it a cousin J.R Clemmons was ill. There are always those times when the news has been skewed due to be the last person at the receiving end. In Trump’s case, everything is declared fake unless he says it and even then, what he says is mostly wrong or made up.

Trump ridicules former President Obama and the ACA to the crowd before him. There is no decision making to be made when it comes to helping and caring for other people. This is part of the Scout Law to help other people at all times and the Scout Oath. It does not become a political exception or a decision to be made as Mr. Oates would have us believe or as Trump falsely comments about. One has to wonder about who in Trump’s audience will lose the healthcare on his account and false information disseminated. Healthcare for all is a moral obligation for this industrialized and wealthy country.

Scouting is not just a “cocktail party with all the hottest people in New York” attending, it is supposed to incorporate everyone whether hot or not, etc. With that message to his audience, Trump is carving out what he believes the population of this country should be today. If you do not fit, you do not belong here.

“A Scout is trustworthy, loyal and we could use some more of that (loyalty) I could tell you that.” We could also use some Truthfulness, which is also a part of the Scout Law. I am not saying “more” truthfulness; I am saying we need truthfulness from Mr. Trump.

If you get a chance, go and listen to this speech. This is a speech for all times, a lesson in how to purposely not recognize your audience for who they are, ignore them, and give a speech meant for others to suit your political agenda.

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First Vote to Amend and Repeal Rejected

The first vote in the Senate to amend the PPACA was rejected.

“Senators voted 57-43 late Tuesday to reject the plan in the first vote on an amendment to the bill. Those voting “no” included nine defecting Republicans. The vote underscored problems Republicans will have in winning enough votes to recast Obama’s statute.

The rejected proposal included language by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell erasing the Obama law’s tax penalties on people not buying insurance and cutting Medicaid.

Language by Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz would let insurers sell cut-rate policies with skimpy coverage. And there was an additional $100 billion to help states ease costs for people losing Medicaid sought by Midwestern.

By 57-43 — including nine GOP defectors — it blocked a wide-ranging proposal by McConnell to erase and replace much of the statute. It included language by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, letting insurers sell cut-rate policies with skimpy coverage, plus an additional $100 billion to help states ease out-of-pocket costs for people losing Medicaid sought by Midwestern moderates including Rob Portman, R-Ohio.”

Senate blocks proposal to repeal ‘Obamacare’

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