You are currently browsing the daily archive for August 17, 2019.

The video is presented in this article.  Yes, these are reenactments and yes, it’s a year old, but still painful for anyone human to watch.

“In recent years the number of unaccompanied immigrant children migrating to the United States has nearly tripled and they have no representation or legal counsel, leaving them vulnerable and alone,” said Freedman.

According to a 2016 Univision data report, more than nine out of ten children who appear alone in immigration court are deported, whereas nearly half of those who are represented by a lawyer are allowed to remain. Unfortunately, under US law, children arrested for illegally entering the country don’t have the right to demand a court-appointed lawyer or interpreter.


Yes, there are signs of a pending global recession and it has Trump folk freaked out about the potential timing.  The biggest indication is that we’ve had ten years of expansion since the crash in which Obama came to office with the economy hemorrhaging an average of 700,000 jobs per month.  A Republican was in charge when the crash happened, but the causes were bipartisan deregulation dating back to the Reagan years and expanding into the Clinton – deregulation which allowed big scale hucksters to sell off investments representing toxic loans as positive assets, with the ratings companies falling meekly in line with their funders.  And with none of the bankers and investment company reps being charged with crimes, it will probably happen again.

Yes, that crash probably got Obama elected by a large margin, though I think he would have beaten McCain anyway.

Obama didn’t get the stimulus policies he needed once the Republicans took over Congress, and in fact they killed all stimulus possibilities in spending by requiring offsets for any increase of spending anywhere.  So Obama had to resort to monetarist policies being the first President in post-war history to pull us out of a recession without the benefit of Keynesian policy.  Yes, every other serious recession was mitigated by deficit spending, no matter which party was in power – until Obama.  And yes, it was deliberate sabotage on the part of nihilist elements in the GOP.

But Republicans forget about deficits once they have a President in power.  I’m forgetting the name of the Republican strategist who articulated it in detail in the 1970s and 80s, calling it “the permanent war economy” even before Reagan, but the model is true to form.  Republicans don’t even discuss the deficit.  It’s all about keeping the unemployment rate low until after 2020.

Only, they’re learning that there are limits to Keynsenism when you also cut taxes, and limits to the stimulus effect  when it’s capital rather than labor intensive military spending.  Seymour Mellman wrote about it back when Reagan was fueling the economy with a deficit, as of 1984, higher than all the prior deficits back to George Washington combined.  Republicans didn’t care.  They wanted re-election numbers.  The problem with supply side economics is that Say’s Theorem is crap.  A dollar in the hands of a consumer is much more productive than in a supplier, because the supplier is forced to work for the dollar.  Demand side economics is more stimulative (the downside being that it is also more inflation-prone, but we really haven’t had to worry about inflation much since the crash).


So once Trump came to office, the Republicans opened the floodgates of spending with Democrats pulling a Reagan era cave-in so that we have military spending out of control.

But this is not what’s going to cause the next recession.  We are much more linked into a global economy than before, so there is little a President can do to prevent it, and actually very little a President can do to cause it.  No, the reckless trade war with China isn’t helping, and in fact Trump has apparently panicked a bit and dialed back for a while – in a tacit admission that American consumers are paying for the trade war.  But it’s not causing a global slow-down.  Even if you can reasonably blame China’s bad reports on the trade war (you can’t) it certainly doesn’t account for Germany’s.  The global economy is probably going to slow down soon, and while I would love to blame Trump it really has nothing to do with him.

But, the economy is the only thing he’s got going.  He’s managing to keep his coalition together and his supporters don’t even mind when he personally abuses them in front of a crowd for being fat.  They won’t put up with that if they’re unemployed.  Right now I give Trump about a 50-50 chance of getting re-elected if the economy holds to its present course.  If there is a significant recession before next November, he’s toast.  The Republicans will turn on him like sharks in a feeding frenzy.  They support him because they’re afraid of the crazy base, but privately they hate his guts as expressed during the primaries of 2016 before they all grovelled.

I don’t want Trump to win re-election.  But a recession will cause a lot of pain, and as always it’s the people on the bottom who suffer the most.  I hope enough Americans in the few states which actually matter have come to their senses as the polls indicate.  But I don’t want those votes if masses of people have to suffer before voting the way I want them to.  Not that I have any control over the economy one way or another, but Bill Maher’s elitist irony is really out of line.  We’ll survive Trump, even if he wins a second term.  And eventually there will be a backlash that even a long term Supreme Court majority won’t be able to contain.  Hopefully it won’t be too late to save the world’s glaciers and all, but it will happen.

Leave the nihilism to the right wing.  The left is about offering solutions and comfort in response to pain, and not rejoicing in its impact.

“He’s got the self-worth in terms of his self-esteem of a small pigeon. It’s a very small pigeon. Okay,” Scaramucci continued about Trump. “And so you think this guy’s gonna look at those poll numbers and say — he’s not gonna be able to handle that humiliation.

What did Trump do to get on this guy’s bad side?

The talking points urged from the House Republican Caucus.

And they’re not even denying it.  They acknowledge a typo.


August 2019