Eminen evicerates the Chumphshit at the BET Awards…
How did the Chumph fail the country?
Let’s count the ways.
President Donald Trump’s first six months have been defined by his often angry and tasteless tweets, his ham-handed efforts to denigrate and undercut the multiple investigations into Russian influence in the 2016 election and the stalemated legislative battle to repeal and replace Obamacare.
But Trump is right in saying he has significantly influenced government and the nation’s image — though much of his impact has been negative. His most significant clear-cut triumph was installing conservative Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. He can take credit for slowing the inflow of illegal immigrants. And his impact has gone well beyond that, a conclusion on which two recent articles from opposite ends of the ideological spectrum agreed.
“While You Obsessed over Trump’s Scandals, He’s Fundamentally Changed the Country,” headlined Sam Stein in the liberal HuffPost. “Reporters only want to talk about Russia, instead of what Team trump is getting done,” was part of the headline over conservative Kimberly Strassel’s column in The Wall Street Journal.
With contrary attitudes, they cited some identical examples, from authorizing the Dakota Access Pipeline to easing environmental restrictions on energy protection.
Strassel hailed the Fish and Wildlife Service for slowing an endangered species listing for the Texas Hornshell, a freshwater mussel she said “threatens significant harm to the Texas economy.” Stein expressed concern over easing Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements for reporting worker injury data and letting coal companies dump debris into local streams.
Here are some other Trump “achievements:”
-Embraced autocrats in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Philippines, Egypt and abandoned longtime U.S leadership in seeking to enhance democracy and human rights.
-Insulted U.S. allies in Europe, especially Germany, and undercut longstanding U.S. treaty commitments.
-Compromised Israel’s intelligence sources.
-Spurred more divisiveness in an already divided Middle East by setting off a squabble between Saudi Arabia, a major U.S. ally, and Qatar, home of the region’s biggest U.S. military base.
-Undermined U.S. global leadership on climate change by withdrawing from the Paris agreement, joining only Syria and Nicaragua as nonparticipants.
-Reversed decades of Republican support for free trade, ceding leadership in Asia to China by withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and elsewhere by encouraging the British exit from the European Community.
-Proposed a budget with massive cuts that would shred the social safety net and cripple longstanding governmental functions.
-Created uncertainty in the nation’s health care system by sending inconsistent administrative signals and supporting legislation that could deprive millions of people health insurance coverage, undermine Medicaid health support for lower income Americans and give wealthy taxpayers a massive tax cut.
-Mismanaged the federal government by failing to fill many top spots and installing an inexperienced, dysfunctional White House staff.
-Expanded the policy of deporting dangerous illegal aliens by including many people with minimal records, stable jobs and American families.
-Created a commission to investigate his unproven allegations of voter fraud because he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton.
-Reversed decades of bipartisan cooperation in extending environmental preservation of national landmarks.
-Hired foxes to watch the chicken coops by filling his administration with archconservatives, many with records opposing the very agencies in which they work, and curbing civil rights and environmental enforcement.
-Committed potentially impeachable offenses of obstructing justice that prompted appointment of a Special Counsel by firing FBI Director James Comey, because of his probe into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia, and urging other intelligence officials to pressure Comey to halt the probe.
-Undermined the courts with denunciations of judges and their decisions affecting his administration’s policies, especially those curbing his hastily issued ban on Muslim travel from certain countries.
-Without evidence, accused former President Barack Obama of illegally wiretapping his phones.
-Repeatedly misrepresented his administration’s policies and trashed officials with whom he has disagreements, calling the ousted Comey “a nut job,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer the “head clown” and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi an “incompetent.”
-Intensified racial and other divisions by reducing governmental civil rights guarantees and reversing protections for sexual and racial minorities.
-Violated his own self-proclaimed ethics laws by allowing officials to deal with issues affecting their former employers. Permitted multiple instances in which he and other family members benefit financially from his presidency.
-Waged a vendetta against news outlets subjecting his administration to scrutiny, calling the mainstream media the “enemy of the American people” and denouncing unfavorable stories as “fake news.” Undercut White House press institutions intended to facilitate dialogue between the presidency and the public.
Trump has failed so far to enact promised measures to increase economic growth, resulting in reduced long-term forecasts. Many economic numbers he touts exaggerate his impact and denigrate the carryover effect of positive Obama policies. Military progress against ISIS has not eased its terrorist threat.
The result: the least support for any new modern president, an exacerbation of domestic divisions, and unprecedented global disdain and embarrassment.
Making America a 3rd World Country…Again.
I don’t have any issue at all with “fixing” what is wrong with the Federal workforce, or Government. Lord knows, there are many, many problems. But to “fix” Government you need to go to the top, the source of many of the problems.
If you want to “fix” Government – then the first thing you have to do is line up every current Congressman against a wall and shoot them. Set some basic intellectual and educational standards for their replacements – wash/rinse/repeat as necessary to achieve a group with the intellect, and priority to improve government over stupid party orthodoxy.
Trump, and the majority Republican Congress seem hell-bent on destroying the Federal Government. Despite the massive failure of the GW Bush Administration in “privatizing” Government, resulting in the employee cost of the same job going from $50 and hour for your average GS 5/6 level Government worker to $150 and hour, for someone in private industry doing the exact same job…With the exact same result. While undoubtedly the Federal workforce could benefit from some surgical trimming and elimination of inefficiency, that just isn’t going to happen with a Congress, who doesn’t understand how it works in the first place, wielding a dull broad-ax. Of course a lot of this is driven by the desire of Trump and racist Republicans to re-segregate the government, and stick it to black people.
The end result is putting up to a million, formerly middle class people from the already massively reduced middle class…Out of work. Doing wonders for the economy, which isn’t capable of reabsorbing them. Can you say unemployment at 10-20%? The ripple effect of that being – pushing the already hefty numbers of folks without jobs, even further away from the dream of ever being employed.
The impact on private business from removing 1 million from the workforce? It ain’t pretty. In a large business, a real CEO would be assessing the rules, corporate structure, inefficiencies, and leadership staff to balance where the best place is to achieve the desired change. Large corporations are notoriously inefficient – as are most types of large organizational structures. Lopping of large segments of employees, without examining the consequences, and whether there are structural issues has more often led to the dread corporate “Death Spiral” than producing change significant enough for the organization to recover.
Looks like Putin is going to get his wish – making the US fail.
And those Federal employees who voted for Republicans and Trump…Need to be fired. or shot by their fellow employees.
The fear in the federal workforce is palpable.
“Obviously, the end of my run is here,” predicted an Agriculture Department employee, sure that the new presidential administration won’t be friendly to his agency.
“The war on federal workers has just begun,” another declared in an online federal worker forum.
The country’s 2.1 million federal employees have survived decades of government reinvention and massive outsourcing to contractors. But with the inauguration of Donald Trump less than two weeks away, this threat feels different.
All over the nation’s capital, panicked job searches are underway among its legions of badge-wearing, Metro-commuting, “I-can’t-talk-to-you-I-work-for-the-government” federal workers.
“Does The Post have any openings?” one very experienced government employee asked me, right after another sent her résumé my way.
The dusting off of résumés had to trigger some air-quality warning. Oh, wait. Is the Environmental Protection Agency already gone?
Federal workers have good reason to be worried.
Because this isn’t the usual churn of administrations or change in ideologies that happens while the rest of the government employees — forest service folks in Oregon, levee engineers in Louisiana, astrophysicists in Maryland — keep working because their jobs are apolitical.
Trump is picking people to head government agencies they want to dismantle.
When he was governor of Texas and running for president in 2012, television dance star Rick Perry famously forgot that the Energy Department was one bureaucracy he’d like to eliminate. Now he’s going to head it.
Billionaire Betsy DeVos has been leading the move to privatize public education in Michigan. Now Trump wants her to head the Education Department.
U.S. ambassadors abroad have been told to leave their posts on Jan. 20 — an unprecedented hard stop to their service. And, most ominously, House Republicans are reviving an 1876 rule that allows a member of Congress to slash any federal salary to $1.
Basically, it means that any Loco Joe in Congress would be empowered to target any government worker anywhere.
“This rule is the choice vehicle for ethically corrupt members of Congress,” the National Federation of Federal Employees told its 110,000 members last week.
Let’s just be clear on what the United States looked like when Congress approved this rule in 1876. There were only 37 states. Alexander Graham Bell made his first phone call. Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull wiped out most of the 7th Cavalry Regiment in the Battle of Little Bighorn.
The world is a teeny bit different now. And pulling out rules from the same year that Wild Bill Hickok was shot at a poker table in Deadwood and Wyatt Earp took a job in Dodge City isn’t really progress.
The Republicans, who control Congress and the White House, will say this is all about saving money.
This is about draining the swamp.
This is about cutting government bloat and thinning the federal workforce.
“We will cut so much, your head will spin,” Trump promised.
Plenty of people will cheer him on despite the fact that federal workers are a bulwark of the country’s middle class. Remember, that middle class everyone was talking about during the campaign?
Federal workforce jobs are relatively stable in a disrupted economy. And although the most highly educated could earn more in the private sector, the average pay is about $86,000 a year, with benefits, a pension and federal holidays.
Demonizing federal workers to score political points is a regular sport in Washington — a tradition that predates George Wallace portraying them as self-important “pointy-headed” intellectuals in 1964.
And here’s the thing.
This workforce that’s supposedly as bloated and unwieldy as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man? It was about the same size in 1950. (You know, around the time so many folks think America was great?)
It also has been slowly shrinking and is now a little smaller than it was under Ronald Reagan.
So let’s stop pretending that this hostility toward federal workers is about cost-cutting.
Trump already has promised a huge building up of the military — at least 500,000 more in the Army alone. So money is not something that the federal government is looking to save.
This new Washington (or New York on the Potomac) has plenty of plans for our taxpayer dollars.
Trump is promising lots of nonmilitary jobs.
There’s The Wall! Imagine the work that’s going to create.
Construction workers, managers to deal with thousands of miles of worksite along the U.S.-Mexico border, paper pushers to get all the materials sorted and the laborers paid. Of course, that money will probably wind up going to private contractors, the guys who command $500 billion in taxpayer money every year, but aren’t counted as part of the federal workforce.
Maybe The Wall isn’t going to cost U.S. taxpayers anything because the workers aren’t really going to get paid. Just ask the guys at Magnolia Plumbing D.C. or AES Electric in Laurel, Md.
There’s also the promised deportation of about 3 million to 4 million undocumented immigrants. Imagine the federal workers required for that effort, given the current backlog of 500,000 deportation cases.
Extreme income inequality…
It’s well known that America’s wealthiest have been getting richer at the expense of the middle class. But the trend looks even starker when you look at the racial aspects. According to a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies, the combined wealth of those on the Forbes 400 list of America’s richest dwarfs that of the nation’s entire black or Latino populations.
The report found that the 100 richest US citizens control about as much wealth as all of the nation’s 42 million African Americans. The total wealth of the nation’s 55 million Latinos stacks up to that of the 186 richest Americans.
This is America on conservatism.
They gave tax cuts to millionaires…
They gave tax cuts to billionaires…
They gave tax cuts to companies shipping American jobs overseas…
And then they “deregulated” Wall Street and the banks to steal.
Home of the Brave, Land of the Free, Land of Opportunity?
A steady fall since Raygun economics.
The American Dream is supposed to mean that through hard work and perseverance, even the poorest people can make it to middle class or above. But it’s actually harder to move up in America than it is in most other advanced nations.
It’s easier to rise above the class you’re born into in countries like Japan, Germany, Australia, and the Scandinavian nations, according to research from University of Ottawa economist and current Russell Sage Foundation Fellow Miles Corak.
Among the major developed countries, only in Italy and the United Kingdom is there less economic mobility, according to Corak.
The research measures “intergenerational earnings elasticity” — a type of economic mobility that measures the correlation between what your parents make and what you make one generation later — in a number of different countries around the world.
Economists aren’t certain exactly why some countries have a greater degree of mobility than others, but they do point to certain similarities.
Greater current inequality: The more unequal a society is currently, the greater the chance that the children will be stuck in the same sphere. This is because wealthy families are able to provide things like tutors and extracurricular activities — and the time to pursue them — that poorer families often cannot.
Also, education matters a lot more now than it did 100 years ago in terms of getting a good job.
“The rich can pump a lot more money into their kids’ future,” said Corak.
This helps explain why counties like China, India and many South American nations also exhibit relatively little economic mobility.
Families: Having a stable home life is also associated with the ability to climb the economic ladder, said Corak. The United States tends to have higher rates of divorce, single-parent homes, and teenage pregnancy than many other industrialized counties.
Social policies: Counties that redistribute wealth — through, say, higher taxes on the richand more spending on the poor — tend to have greater social mobility, said Francisco Ferreira, an economist at the World Bank.
This is especially true when it comes to education spending. Critics have long contended that the U.S. system for funding education — where school funding is largely based on property taxes — perpetuates inequality far more so than a system that taxes the whole country for schools, then redistributes that money to the districts that are most needy.
If why Americans have a harder time making it into the middle class is a bit of a mystery to economists, why Americans cling to the belief that it’s still easy to do is even more baffling.
It could be because, during the late 1800s and early 1900, the United States was a much more mobile country than Britain, said Jason Long, an economist at Wheaton College in Illinois.
“It’s clear that Americans still believe that America has exceptional mobility, and that’s not true,” said Long. He calling it “vexing” that “lots of people could be systematically mistaken about verifiable, factual information.”
But no society has total mobility. Class is always going to be somewhat correlated to one’s upbringing, Corak noted.
Old folks used to claim that the airplanes flying high in the sky were causing weather changes. For years, scientists laughed at this as preposterous…
Until now. Turns out the Old Folks were right… Again.
Airplanes flying through super-cooled clouds around airports can cause condensation that actually results in more snow and rain for nearby areas, according to a new study. The perfect conditions for such a freaky weather event occur about 5% of the time—but 10% to 15% in winter—according to the study’s lead author. Aircraft take off into the wind, so if they are generating extra ice particles upwind of an airport, the result can be snow right on the airport. That could mean planes will require more de-icing.
The team was investigating holes or canals that are sometimes seen drilled in clouds after an airplane has passed through. They found that increased snow and rainfall occurs in areas where the unusual cloud holes appear, usually within 60 miles of the airport. The added rain or snowfall occurred when the clouds were made up of water droplets that were colder than freezing, but which had not yet frozen: When an airplane passes through one of these clouds the movement causes a sudden cooling of the air, sometimes down to the critical point where the droplets freeze. They then can fall to earth as snow or rain.