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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Trump Channels Jeff Davis at Gettysburg

I had trouble finding Trump's Gettysburg address. One article that claimed to be about it was actually the transcript of one of his Florida speeches. The second was his prepared remarks, which he referenced but didn't read straight. I was trying to avoid actually listening to him so I wouldn't throw a shoe at my TV. He tried to sound like Gingrich. He wants another contract on America. I look at his contract and some of it might be acceptable, but most is not.

● FIRST, propose a Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress;
The best way to impose term limits is by having public, well resourced and transparent elections.
● SECOND, a hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce federal workforce through attrition (exempting military, public safety, and public health);
This slanders Federal workers. It also is a hollow thing since the agencies wind up hiring more privateering contractors instead of permanent employees, which generates increased corruption and conflict of interest. But it sounds good to his base.
● THIRD, a requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated;
This caters to the corrupt and lazy business establishment which blame regulation for their inability to squeeze more money out of unemployed and underpaid workers.
● FOURTH, a 5 year-ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service;
This has already been tried. It doesn't work. The best way to avoid this is, counterintuitively, to reward public service and reduce the value of corporate lobbyists by increasing the power of ordinary citizens to lobby their government, to use ordinary courts to deal with disputes and to input on regulatory decisions and record grievances.
● FIFTH, a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government;
He'd have to fire his staff.
● SIXTH, a complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections.

Disrupting our Economy

● FIRST, I will announce my intention to renegotiate NAFTA or withdraw from the deal under Article 2205
For all the complaints about NAFTA withdrawing from it would disrupt our economies and probably plummet our society into a depression.
● SECOND, I will announce our withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership
So much for that.
● THIRD, I will direct my Secretary of the Treasury to label China a currency manipulator
This is presumptuous, ignores the most basic rules of due process, and would provoke the Chinese to retaliate. A trade war with China would hurt us.
● FOURTH, I will direct the Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative to identify all foreign trading abuses that unfairly impact American workers and direct them to use every tool under American and international law to end those abuses immediately
This is something all our Presidents already do.
● FIFTH, I will lift the restrictions on the production of $50 trillion dollars’ worth of job producing American energy reserves, including shale, oil, natural gas and clean coal.
Great idea, more communities to be poisoned, disrupted and then shut down when the Grifters leave town. We already are producing at a maximum.
● SIXTH, lift the Obama-Clinton roadblocks and allow vital energy infrastructure projects, like the Keystone Pipeline, to move forward
Keystone would have served an export market for Canada. Done nothing for US jobs.
● SEVENTH, cancel billions in payments to U.N. climate change programs and use the money to fix America’s water and environmental infrastructure
This sounds like a lot of money, but the country needs to invest nearly a billion dollars. Not the millions we contribute are nowhere near "billions".

This list is mostly symbolic, based on lies about the causality of our economic issues, and much of it would hurt the people who are screaming for it.

The Really Scary Stuff

The rest of his list is a mix of lies, unfunded promises and some really scary stuff. So I'll skip to the really scary stuff and hope I don't have to finish explaining why the rest of his garbage is demagoguery.

● FIRST, cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order issued by President Obama
He calls them "unconstitutional" but that his his opinion.
● SECOND, begin the process of selecting a replacement for Justice Scalia from one of the 20 judges on my list, who will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States
Which means to him and fellow Cons, putting someone who will deny the right to privacy implied by "secure in ones papers and personal effects, and key to Roe Versus Wade
● THIRD, cancel all federal funding to Sanctuary Cities
That would take a statute. But essentially he's promising retaliation to cities where Democrats are a majority.
● FOURTH, begin removing the more than 2 million criminal illegal immigrants from the country and cancel visas to foreign countries that won’t take them back
Rolling the cattle cars.
● FIFTH, suspend immigration from terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur. All vetting of people coming into our country will be considered extreme vetting.
War on Muslims. Applying the "bad skittles" fascist argument. Again with the cattle cars and concentration camps!

10 Legislative faux promises and Privateering

His ten legislative proposals are all things that benefit his corporate sponsors or things the GOP will not pass, because the GOP created most of them in the first place.

1. Middle Class Tax Relief And Simplification Act.

He claims this is a plan that would benefit the middle class: "An economic plan designed to grow the economy 4% per year and create at least 25 million new jobs through massive tax reduction and simplification, in combination with trade reform, regulatory relief, and lifting the restrictions on American energy." He claims that "the largest tax reductions are for the middle class. A middle-class family with 2 children will get a 35% tax cut." Which sounds good but such tax cuts are always tied either to revenue cuts to programs that pay out to the middle class. So essentially this sounds good but it is like lead acetate -- really a poison.

When he says "The current number of brackets will be reduced from 7 to 3, and tax forms will likewise be greatly simplified. The business rate will be lowered from 35 to 15 percent, and the trillions of dollars of American corporate money overseas can now be brought back at a 10 percent rate." he is talking about the bulk of his "middle class tax cuts" going to the top 1%, even more to the top .1% and to the billionaire classes, who really don't need it and will only hoard money and loan it at interest and use that to knock more people out of the middle class. It is a plan for destroying the middle class not helping them.

2. End The Offshoring Act Establishes tariffs to discourage companies from laying off their workers in order to relocate in other countries and ship their products back to the U.S. tax-free.

Since the GOP refuses to pass anything like this now, I doubt they'll do it for Trump. Although once he destroys the middle class they'll be willing to work for less than Chinese workers.

3. American Energy & Infrastructure Act.

He claims he'd "Leverages public-private partnerships, and private investments through tax incentives, to spur $1 trillion in infrastructure investment over 10 years." His claim that "it is revenue neutral" might be true in the short term, but shifting incentives to the private sector, privateering, shifts the revenues from energy and infrastructure to the pirates. And most our infrastructure and energy repair and upgrade needs that require public sustainment need to be directed in the public interest, or instead of lifting "all boats" they will simply aggravate our already oppressive economic inequality and boost it to new levels of misery.

4. School Choice And Education Opportunity Act.

"School Choice" "Redirects education dollars" in a fashion that gives some parents privileged access to public money, while denying the same right to others. Seeking to establish a "right to send their kid to the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school of their choice" winds up starving public schools and denying resources based on income. His promise to "end common core" claims to offer to "bring education supervision [back] to local communities" but it won't do so as the centralization it legitimately criticized is generated by State power not Federal power. Trump claims he'll "expands vocational and technical education, and make 2 and 4-year college more affordable" but he's planning to cut funding for these efforts -- so he's lying.

5. Repeal and Replace Obamacare Act.

Likewise Trump means it when he promises to "Fully repeals Obamacare" but when he promises to "replace it with Health Savings Accounts" and "the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines" is a give-away to upper middle class and wealthy citizens but is at the expense of blue collar workers as is letting "states manage Medicaid funds" which they do presently under regulations that prevent them from stealing them. Trump's plan would continue the trend to deny healthcare to the working poor and tradesmen. Ironically, most of whom are eating up this proposal as if it will help them. Trump would also protect snake oil salesmen like himself: "Reforms will also include cutting the red tape at the FDA" Trump seems to think that cutting the red tape on the "over 4,000 drugs awaiting approval" will speed "the approval of life-saving medications." But either the FDA vets those drugs or people will find the unvetted medications life destroying.

Health Savings accounts and the like do nothing for folks making low wages or with unsteady jobs. Most people can't afford them, and most small employers won't be able to afford them even for themselves. His "reforms" are simply a return to the status quo ante and a means for denying access to health care.

6. Affordable Childcare and Eldercare Act.

His proposal to "Allow Americans to deduct childcare and elder care from their taxes" is a give away to the upper middle class and the wealthy. It will do nothing for blue collar workers and most tradesmen. It sounds nice to "incentivize employers to provide on-side childcare services, and creates tax-free Dependent Care Savings Accounts for both young and elderly dependents, with matching contributions for low-income families" but these programs don't deliver to low-income families and are actually more costly than simple single payer approaches.

7. End Illegal Immigration Act

Trump claims he can "Fully-fund the construction of a wall on our southern border with the full understanding that the country Mexico will be reimbursing the United States for the full cost of such wall" -- Which can only be enforced if Trump invades Mexico; "establishes a 2-year mandatory minimum federal prison sentence for illegally re-entering the U.S. after a previous deportation" -- which also would divide mixed families and create the usual problems of injustice, along with his "5-year mandatory minimum for illegally re-entering for those with felony convictions, multiple misdemeanor convictions or two or more prior deportations" -- I suppose the private prison system would like this. We already have "penalties for overstaying" and deny "open jobs" to undocumented or poorly documented aliens. These laws, without enforcing penalties on those who hire undocumented workers or put in the infrastructure to document workers better -- are worse than useless. They are designed to establish a pool of cheap labor either by driving more people underground or through prison camps.

And Trump pretty much threatened to wage war on Mexico in his Gettysburg Address.

8. Restoring Community Safety Act.

He wants to do yet another round of "Reduc[ing] surging crime, drugs and violence by creating a Task Force On Violent Crime and increasing funding for programs that train and assist local police; increases resources for federal law enforcement agencies and federal prosecutors to dismantle criminal gangs and put violent offenders behind bars." So much for decriminalization, treatment and rehabilitation. The more people we put behind bars the more it costs us, short term and long term. This sounds good to Sheriffs, however, as they need the funds.

9. Restoring National Security Act.

Rebuilds our military by eliminating the defense sequester and expanding military investment; provides Veterans with the ability to receive public VA treatment or attend the private doctor of their choice; protects our vital infrastructure from cyber-attack; establishes new screening procedures for immigration to ensure those who are admitted to our country support our people and our values.

We presently spend more money than any two or three of our largest rivals combined.

10. Clean up Corruption in Washington Act.

Repeats Newt Gingrich's fake reforms to "Enact new ethics reforms to Drain the Swamp and reduce the corrupting influence of special interests on our politics." These do little good without the power to enforce them, transparency and public financing of the electoral process.

Malice towards everyone -- Channeling Jeff Davis

I didn't want to do a point by point critique. But I couldn't help myself and someone needs to do it. And this is just the stuff his handlers wanted him to say. Daily Mail notes:

Trump "aired more grievances against the journalism profession and the parade of women who have accused him of unwanted kissing and groping years – and in some cases decades – ago" and said "after the election, he plans to sue them." Quoting Trump:

'Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign. Total fabrication. The events never happened. Never,' Trump declared. 'All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.'

Trump is also promising to persecute the Democrats for allegedly starting fist fights. So we'll be arrested and beaten up for letting Trump thugs arrest us and beat us up at his rallies. What makes this a bit dicey is that if Trump wins he'll also have the FBI, IRS, Secret Service, and his minions in local police, going after US!

His comments warning he won't accept the electoral outcome unless he wins, and promising insurrection, rebellion and retaliation, are more reminiscent of Jefferson Davis in 1860 than Abraham Lincoln in 1862 or 1863 when he gave the Gettysburg address. The Southerners invaded the North every year from 1862 to 1864. The last time they did so they tried to attack Washington and nearly shot Abraham Lincoln at the battle of Fort Stevens. Despite that Lincoln called for "malice towards none." Trump reeks of malice.

Prepared Remarks

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