Skip navigation

Category Archives: Smoke & Mirrors


ngaudiano@insider.com (Nicole Gaudiano,Dave Levinthal) – Yesterday 1:58 PM

Gingrich’s latest 2012 presidential campaign filing shows a debt of $4.63 million.

No presidential campaign from any election cycle owes creditors more money, per federal records.

Gingrich has been calling for a balanced federal budget, writing “open-ended spending encourages waste.”

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is a self-styled fiscal conservative who calls for a balanced federal budget. He’s also actively helping Republicans win back the US House in 2022. He’s fundraising for former President Donald Trump’s political network.

But Gingrich’s 2012 presidential campaign committee, almost a decade past its expiration date, is still swimming in a sea of red.

The “Newt 2012” campaign committee remains technically active and more than $4.63 million in debt, according to financial filing submitted October 14 to the Federal Election Commission. No presidential campaign from any election cycle owes creditors more money.

The campaign had $242.56 in the bank as of September 30, the filing indicates.

A financial filing from Newt 2012, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s 2012 presidential committee, which remains deep in debt to dozens of creditors. Federal Election Commission

A financial filing from Newt 2012, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s 2012 presidential committee, which remains deep in debt to dozens of creditors. Federal Election Commission

© Federal Election Commission

Among those creditors are a host of political consultants, as well as Comcast, Twitter, FedEx and an organization run by the late Herman Cain, who also ran in the 2012 Republican presidential primary and died from COVID-19 in 2020.

Newt 2012’s outstanding debt to Herman Cain Solutions, which has dissolved, is $16,525 for strategic consulting and travel.

Newt 2012 even owes Gingrich himself $649,117 for travel expenses.

Although Gingrich has made little effort to raise money to pay down his 2012 presidential campaign’s debts, he’s a frequent fundraising pitchman for other Republican committees. They include the Republican National Committee, National Republican Congressional Committee, congressional candidate Sarah Palin in Alaska, and Trump’s post-presidential political fundraising network.

“As a Trump Gold Cardholder, you will play a crucial role in President Trump’s efforts to save our Nation. You will be someone President Trump will turn to when he needs help most. I know he trusts you,” Gingrich wrote July 11 on behalf of Save America JFC, a joint fundraising committee led by Trump. “Please contribute $45 or more by 11:59 PM TONIGHT to activate your membership and we’ll send you your PERSONALIZED Trump Gold Card.”

Gingrich could not be reached for comment on his campaign committee’s debt, which has remained effectively the same for almost a decade.

In 2012, a Gingrich spokesperson told Politico: “Our preference is obviously not to have gone into debt. If we could eliminate the debt overnight, we would. But realistically, this will take years.”

Gingrich, the leader of the 1994 “Republican Revolution” who then delivered a House majority for the GOP for the first time in 40 years, has been advising House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California as Republicans craft a 2022 midterm re-election strategy.

Earlier this year, Gingrich detailed in a blog post what he considered to be the country’s “real threats.” Among them: “The current system of open-ended spending encourages waste.”

Gingrich called for balancing the federal budget, saying it’s a “requirement for our long-term health as a country.”

“It will lower inflation, lower interest rates, lower the burden on our children and grandchildren, and rebuild our capacity to renew the world’s reserve currency with leverage over China, Russia, and others,” he wrote.

This article was originally published on January 29, 2022, and updated to include new campaign finance data and fundraising developments.

Please Donate

Research

$1.00



McConnell, when asked, fails to denounce racist ‘replacement theory’

ALLISON PECORIN

Tue, May 17, 2022, 7:28 p.m.·6 min read

As Democrats have ratcheted up condemnation of “replacement theory” in the wake of Saturday’s mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, some Republicans on Capitol Hill have shied away from rejecting the racist idea that some members of their own party have espoused.

At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was asked repeatedly about his views of “replacement theory,” a conspiracy theory that holds that Democrats are trying to replace white Americans with undocumented immigrants and people of color in order to win elections.

He repeatedly avoided denouncing it outright.

PHOTO: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks during a news conference after a closed-door lunch with Senate Republicans at the U.S. Capitol, on May 17, 2022, in Washington, D.C. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks during a news conference after a closed-door lunch with Senate Republicans at the U.S. Capitol, on May 17, 2022, in Washington, D.C. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

MORE: How ‘replacement theory’ became prominent in mainstream US politics

McConnell was asked whether he, as the party leader, had a responsibility to speak out against the theory, which authorities say was adopted by the 18-year-old white man accused of killing 10 Black people at a local food market.

He responded by denouncing the actions of the suspect, calling him a “deranged young man,” but making no mention of “replacement theory.”

Pressed again by reporters on whether the Republican Party is obligated to denounce the theory, McConnell condemned racism generally.

“Look — racism of any sort is abhorrent in America and ought to be stood up to by everybody, both Republicans, Democrats, all Americans,” McConnell said.

MORE: Biden labels Buffalo shooting ‘domestic terrorism’ after visiting scene

He then was asked whether he believed that Democrats are seeking amnesty for undocumented immigrants for the purpose of influencing and changing the electorate. He responded by criticizing the Biden administration’s policy at the southern border.

McConnell’s comments Tuesday came as the Senate GOP conference hosted Ohio Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance, who has used language similar to the theory on multiple occasions​​.


Timothy P. Carney

05/17/2022

The A paranoid conspiracy theory has taken over parts of the Left. It has found its clearest expression in an extremely vile op-ed at the Washington Post by author and filmmaker Brian Broome. The heart of his argument is this little pile of slander and hate: that the Buffalo shooter’s mindset is the same as the mindset of the conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court.

“The same sort of thinking about race and birthrates now dominates the conservative Supreme Court,” Broome writes. “The leaked draft opinion isn’t about protecting babies. It is about protecting Whiteness. Specifically, White babies.”

These two sentences are an insane fever dream with no grounding in reality. Either Broome is a liar who hopes his readers don’t notice, or he is truly mad, living in a paranoid delusion in which powerful people are engaged in dark conspiracies disguised as normal politics.

To believe what Broome espouses, you first need to believe that Justices Clarence Thomas (formerly a black baby) and Amy Coney Barrett (mother of adopted black babies) don’t care about black babies.

But that’s not even the most absurd part of Broome’s argument.

If you reduced the number of abortions, the ultimate aim of all pro-lifers, you would increase the number of black babies and the black share of the U.S. population. Black babies are three times as likely as white babies to be aborted. Hispanic babies are twice as likely as white babies to be aborted.

Anyone trying to end or curb abortions is working to make the population less white, not more. That is just statistics. And this is why white supremacist Richard Spencer is pro-abortion.

“The people who are having abortions are generally very often black or Hispanic,” Spencer explains. Like Spencer, racist eugenicists have always favored abortion. Even the abortion lobby today agrees that Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, peddled birth control and abortion because she wanted fewer nonwhite babies.

Nevertheless, Broome repeatedly asserts, using the fallacy or argument by assertion, that any concern about birthrates is part of “the great replacement theory.”

This is, frankly, idiotic. Birthrates are falling in every country, and the United States has been in a baby bust for 16 years. The result is small towns shuttering and schools closing. Eventually, it will mean an economy with not enough people to make things and perform services needed to keep the world running.

There are a million reasons to care about falling birthrates that have nothing to do with “replacement” conspiracy theories. That’s why the New York Times ran a front-page story in May 2021 warning of a “demographic time bomb.”

“All over the world,” the New York Times news story warned, “countries are confronting population stagnation and a fertility bust.”

Broome points out that the Buffalo shooter worried about white birthrates. That’s true — the Buffalo shooter was a racist who believed in baseless conspiracy theories. Conservatives like myself who worry broadly about birthrates are not fixated on white birthrates. We are happy to see more black babies, more white babies, more Hispanic babies, more Asian babies, more Native American babies, and so on.

I’m not on the same side as the murderer. Maybe Broome is. The shooter, probably like Broome, believes in human population control for environmental purposes. “There is no Green future with never ending population growth,” the atheist shooter wrote in his manifesto.

Broome’s slanderous dishonesty comes in a piece about “want[ing] the hate to stop.” But Broome’s entire op-ed is nothing but hate.

Because the data and facts cut against his tendentious thesis, Broome rests his entire argument on what he somehow knows to be the secret motivations of a shadowy cabal running America. The real reason Clarence Thomas opposes abortion, he surmises, is that he wants more white babies, etc. Never mind all the data!

Those secret intentions, Broome tells us, are evil, and they will result in something like genocide. Never mind that abortion has dramatically limited the nonwhite population.

Broome’s argument, grounded as it is in paranoid conspiracy theories and bigotry against entire classes of people, sounds a lot more like the Buffalo shooter’s thinking than anything else you’re going to find in print these days.

oip-paypal


April 13, 2022
(Wednesday)
Heather Cox Richardson
Apr 14“Democrats need to make more noise,” Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) told Greg Sargent of the Washington Post. “We have to scream from the rooftops, because this is a battle for the free world now.”Sargent interviewed Schatz after the senator called out Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) on the floor of the Senate on April 7 for the profound disconnect between the Republican senator’s speeches and his actions. Hawley has placed a hold on President Joe Biden’s uncontroversial nominee for an assistant secretary of defense, saying that Biden’s support for Ukraine was “wavering” and that he wasn’t doing enough.Of course, the Biden administration has been central to world efforts to support Ukraine in its attempt to hold off Russia’s invasion. Just today, Biden announced an additional $800 million in weapons, ammunition, and other security assistance to Ukraine. In contrast, Hawley voted to acquit former president Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress when he withheld $391 million of congressionally approved aid to Ukraine in order to pressure Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky to cook up a story about Hunter Biden.Hawley’s bad-faith argument goes beyond misleading statements about aid to Ukraine. Hawley has vowed that he will use his senatorial prerogative to hold up “every single civilian nominee” for the Defense Department unless Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin resigns. He has vowed the same for the State Department, demanding the resignation of Secretary of State Antony Blinken.Hawley says his demands are because of the withdrawal from Afghanistan; he also said that Biden should resign. This is a highly unusual interference of the legislative branch of government with the executive branch. It also means that key positions in the departments responsible for managing our national security are not being filled, since Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer must use up valuable floor time to get nominations around Hawley’s holds.In February, for example, Hawley blocked the confirmation of the uncontroversial head of the Pentagon’s international security team, Celeste Wallander, a Russia expert and staunch advocate for fighting Russian aggression, even while Russian troops were massing on the Ukraine border. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) noted in frustration: “He’s complaining about the problems we have in Russia and Ukraine and he’s making it worse because he’s not willing to allow those nominees who can help with that problem to go forward.” (The Senate eventually voted 83–13 to confirm Wallander.)Hawley is not the only Republican to be complaining about the administration even as he gums up the works.Texas governor Greg Abbott has ordered Texas state troops to inspect all commercial trucks coming from Mexico after the federal government has already inspected them. Normally, Mexican authorities inspect a commercial driver’s paperwork and then officers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection thoroughly inspect the vehicle on the U.S. side of the international bridge, using dogs, X-ray machines, and personal inspections. At large crossings, officials from the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Transportation will make sure that products and trucks meet U.S. standards. Sometimes after that, the state will spot-check a few trucks for roadworthiness. Never before has Texas inspected the contents of each commercial vehicle.Abbott instituted the new rule after the Biden administration announced it would end the pandemic emergency health order known as Title 42. This is a public health authority used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to protect against the spread of disease. It was put in place by the Trump administration in March 2020. Title 42 allows the U.S. government to turn migrants from war-torn countries away at the border rather than permitting them to seek asylum as international law requires.Abbott said the new rule would enable troopers to search for drugs and smuggled immigrants, which he claims the administration is not doing. But journalists Mitchell Ferman, Uriel J. García, and Ivan Pierre Aguirre of the Texas Tribune report that officers from the Texas Department of Public Safety do not appear to be examining the trucks and have not announced any captured drugs or undocumented immigrants.Wait times at border crossings have jumped from minutes to many hours, with Mexican truckers so frustrated they blocked the roads from the southern side, as well. Truckers report being stuck in their trucks for as much as 30 hours without food or water. About $440 billion worth of goods cross our southern border annually, and Abbot’s stunt has shut down as much as 60% of that trade. The shutdown will hammer those businesses that depend on Mexican products. It will also create higher prices and shortages across the entire country, especially as perishable foods rot in transit.On Twitter, Democratic candidate for Texas governor Beto O’Rourke showed a long line of trucks behind him in Laredo and said: “What you see behind me is inflation.” White House press secretary Jen Psaki issued a statement today saying: “Governor Abbott’s unnecessary and redundant inspections of trucks transiting ports of entry between Texas and Mexico are causing significant disruptions to the food and automobile supply chains, delaying manufacturing, impacting jobs, and raising prices for families in Texas and across the country. Local businesses and trade associations are calling on Governor Abbott to reverse this decision…. Abbott’s actions are impacting people’s jobs, and the livelihoods of hardworking American families.”Tonight, Abbott backed down on his rule, and normal traffic seems to be resuming over one of the key bridges between Mexico and the U.S., but his stunt indicates that Republicans plan to use inflation and immigration as key issues to turn out their base for the 2022 midterm elections. Today, pro-Trump Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who replaced Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) as the House Republican Conference Chair, the third-highest Republican in the House, tweeted: “We must SECURE our southern border.”Abbott has also ordered the Texas National Guard to the U.S. border with Mexico to conduct “migration drills” in preparation for an influx of migrants. But Abbott’s use of the 10,000 National Guard personnel last fall for a border operation to prevent an influx of migrants seemed to be a political stunt: it led to complaints from National Guard personnel of lack of planning, lack of pay, lack of housing, and lack of reason to be there.Abbott has deployed troops in the past while he was under fire for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the February 2021 winter storm that left millions of Texans without heat or electricity for days and killed 246. This deflection seemed to be at work last February, too, when Abbott issued a letter saying that the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services should investigate any instances of care for transgender children as child abuse. That letter appeared just as it came to light that Abbott was behind the extraordinarily high electricity prices in the 2021 storm. Although Abbott’s office had said he was not involved in the decision to charge maximum electricity prices, in February, Bill Magness, the former CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas that runs the state’s electrical grid, said Abbott had personally ordered him to keep prices at their maximum: $9,000 per megawatt hour.And so Abbott grabbed headlines with a bill attacking transgender children.Today, Abbott sent a bus of migrants seeking asylum to Washington, D.C., where they were set down right outside the offices of the Fox News Channel, which filmed them disembarking. These migrants have been processed by federal authorities and are awaiting decisions from federal judges about whether they will be allowed to remain in the U.S. “I think it’s pretty clear this is a publicity stunt,” Psaki said.And finally, tonight, under the category of bad-faith arguments, it is clear that the current Supreme Court has run amok. Republicans attack “activist judges” who want to protect civil rights in the states by using the Fourteenth Amendment’s rule that the states cannot deprive a citizen of the equal protection of the laws. But Republican justices are making up their own law outside the normal boundaries of the court.On April 6, five Supreme Court justices agreed to reinstate a Trump-era rule that limits the ability of states to block projects that pollute their rivers and streams. The court did so under the so-called “shadow docket,” a form of decision previously used to address emergencies, in which the court makes a decision without arguments or written explanations. Last week, Chief Justice John Roberts indicated just how far off the rails the current Supreme Court has slid when he joined the dissent against the majority’s decision out of concern for the use of this shadow docket as a way to hand down unbriefed and unexplained decisions.
Hawley is not the only Republican these days operating in bad faith.—
Notes: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/04/13/statement-by-press-secretary-jen-psaki-on-the-impact-of-texas-border-delays/https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/03/17/republicans-ukraine-aid-vote/https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/04/08/brian-schatz-josh-hawley-ukraine-loudness-gap/https://www.kwtx.com/2022/04/12/abbott-orders-texas-national-guard-conducts-mass-migration-drills-us-mexico-border/https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/14/politics/josh-hawley-state-defense-nominees/index.htmlhttps://www.politifact.com/article/2022/apr/12/fact-checking-sen-brian-schatz-vs-sen-josh-hawley-/https://www.ft.com/content/d34d45a7-9adb-4e30-94da-88a3fa53f8b5https://www.politico.com/news/2022/02/16/senate-advances-long-stalled-pentagon-nominees-wallander-and-honey-00009479https://www.npr.org/2022/04/13/1092652164/after-voting-in-virginia-mark-meadows-is-removed-as-north-carolina-registered-vohttps://www.texastribune.org/2022/04/13/texas-mexico-border-inspections-delays/https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2022/04/13/texas-truck-abbott-mexico/https://www.texastribune.org/2022/02/01/texas-national-guard-border-operation-lone-star-abbott/https://www.businessinsider.com/gov-greg-abbott-at-fault-for-overcharging-electric-companies-ex-ercot-chief-says-2022-2https://www.liberationnews.org/texas-governor-orders-state-to-report-families-of-trans-children-for-child-abuse/https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/21272649-abbott-letter-to-mastershttps://www.liberationnews.org/texas-governor-orders-state-to-report-families-of-trans-children-for-child-abuse/https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/13/politics/texas-migrants-arrive-in-dc/index.htmlhttps://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/13/opinion/john-roberts-supreme-court.htmlhttps://www.nbcnews.com/politics/immigration/migrants-arrive-dc-buses-sent-gop-texas-gov-greg-abbott-rcna24229
btn_donateCC_LG

Please Donate


OpinionUS domestic policy

Biden’s signature bill isn’t that expensive. It’s a drop in the bucket

Ben Davis

Even after passing reconciliation as is, the US welfare state would still be a small investment by world standards

Thu 7 Oct 2021 06.19 EDT

As Democrats continue negotiations in the hopes of saving Biden legislative agenda, one thing has consumed the media and conservative Democrats in Congress: the price tag. Nearly every news item on Biden’s signature Build Back Better reconciliation bill has led with the $3.5tn cost, as if the price were in the title of the bill itself.

The West Virginia senator Joe Manchin issued a scathing critique of the supposedly profligate Biden agenda, calling the reconciliation bill “fiscal insanity” that ignores the “brutal fiscal reality our nation faces”. The Arizona senator Kyrsten Sinema claims that she cannot support a bill with a price tag this high. The tone of these conservative senators and the media coverage would lead anyone to think that $3.5tn of additional spending over a decade was an enormous amount of money that would drastically increase the size of government, endanger government coffers, and even “re-engineer the social and economic fabric of this nation”.

This elides the fact that Congress routinely passes bills with fiscal implications this large or larger with virtually no media coverage, debate or public comment. The federal government spends $7.5tn a decade on the military, with little to no serious attempts to reverse this spending or even to curtail its growth. The Trump administration passed $2tn in tax cuts with little comment on the cost.

The selective focus on cost reveals our societal priorities. Spending that reifies the power of business is considered common sense, while attempts to address inequalities in society are bitterly opposed. A dollar that goes toward a missile destined for a wedding in Afghanistan or the offshore tax haven of a billionaire is less objectionable to those in charge than a dollar that goes to feeding a hungry child.

The primary problem with the hyperfocus on cost is that this bill just does not cost all that much. The $350bn a year in increased spending represents just 1.5% of the US GDP. In his statement, Manchin contrasted the $3.5tn price tag over a decade with the $5.4tn the federal government has spent over the last 18 months. This really gives the game away: $520bn over 18 months is just a drop in the bucket compared with the current level of $5.4tn. This all comes in a country that spends comparatively little on social programs in the first place.

Even after passing reconciliation as is, the American welfare state would still be a small investment by the standards of world economies. This is not a radical spending package: it’s the agenda of a moderate president, supported by the moderate leaders of the party, and even by groups like the arch-centrist thinktank Third Way.

Additionally, the package would be paid for while maintaining the United States’ comparatively low tax burden. Indeed, it says a lot that obstructionist conservative Democrats are concerned far more with the official price tag than what is actually in the bill and what will get cut.

In defense budgets, which are passed without the blink of an eye, massive amounts of money end up in boondoggles and lining the pockets of contractors: $1.7tn on a fighterjet that will barely fly, at least $35bn on ships that literally disintegrate when they touch salt water, and more and more. Each of these wasteful programs could pay for huge chunks of the sort of popular and useful social spending that is currently so controversial.

The debate around the Biden legislative agenda shows how clearly our society’s priorities are out of tune with people’s actual needs

So easy is it to raise money for the military, that Congress even uses the defense budget as a backdoor to necessary economic spending: like when it fights to keep open bases the military wants closed, build tanks the army doesn’t want, in order to protect US jobs. This turns defense spending into a constant stimulus package, employing people in makework jobs because it is politically easier than just making sure people have enough money. The same politicians who demand scrimping when providing for needy families are more than happy to spend extravagantly on war.

The debate around the Biden legislative agenda shows how clearly our society’s priorities are out of tune with people’s actual needs. It’s not about spending too much money, deficits, waste or fostering a “culture of dependency”. Rather, this demonstrates once again how much our power structure is aimed at protecting the status quo and the interests of the rich and powerful at the expense of everyone else.

The provisions in the reconciliation bill are not only a moral necessity and good policy: they are extremely popular. Yet, the elected officials who support unlimited military spending are responding to lobbyists and donors, and opposing social spending on their behalf.

Pointing out hypocrisy on the part of fiscal conservatives is not a winning strategy, but this hypocrisy points to a fundamental contradiction in the way American society is organized. It’s far harder for government to provide help to the weak than it is to protect the powerful, and the choices of our elected officials rarely reflect the preferences of the citizens they represent. This situation is untenable. Now more than ever, we need a transformative movement that will fundamentally reorient our society’s priorities. That starts with passing the reconciliation bill.

  • Ben Davis works in political data in Washington, DC
btn_donateCC_LG

Please Donate


The GOP is balking against the proposed spending by the DEMS (who are divided themselves). yet they have gone along with an idiot while using his blustering as a cover for their own budgetary acts. These are the actions of self serving politicians, not leaders. The primary job (supposedly) of elected officials is to administer the government in the best interests of the voters and taxpayers not their party and it’s overall agenda. No matter who you affiliate with politically, it should be noted that weight placed on some is also placed on all in someway or another. The party line is not necessarily what the party leaders do for us or to us. We as taxpayers are left to read between the lines and we need to read carefully. The current fight over budgets and funding is purely political and should not even be happening as the Congress has known for years that our infrastructure and manufacturing has been relegated to unimportant because it costs money. Of course it costs money and that money is why we pay taxes (except for the top 1%). Now the GOP is standing in the way of funding for needed infrastructure. Which they could have and should have done when they were in the majority. The uproar or false information about the burden on future generations neglects the fact that the plan is to cover about 5 to 10 years not one year. The current chip shortage possibly could have been a non issue if the US chip makers were not allowed to put the manufacturing in a foreign country that is our biggest rival in manufacturing and world presence. Thank you Congress for doing the Washington 2 step while whistling Dixie!

btn_donateCC_LG

Please Donate


Robert Reich

Sun 13 Jun 2021 01.00 EDT

House Republicans are blaming Democrats for the rise in Chipotle burrito prices.

You heard me right. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) issued a statement on Wednesday claiming that Chipotle’s recent decision to raise prices on their burritos and other menu products by about 4% was caused by Democrats.

“Democrats’ socialist stimulus bill caused a labor shortage and now burrito lovers everywhere are footing the bill,” said an NRCC spokesman, Mike Berg.

It seems Republicans have finally found an issue to run on in the 2022 midterm elections. Apparently Dr Seuss and Mr Potato Head weren’t gaining enough traction.

The GOP’s tortured logic is that the unemployment benefits in the American Rescue Plan have caused workers to stay home rather than seek employment, resulting in labor shortages that have forced employers like Chipotle to increase wages, which has required them to raise their prices.

Hence, Chipotle’s more expensive burrito.

This isn’t just loony economics. It’s dangerously loony economics because it might be believed, leading to all sorts of stupid public policies.

Start with the notion that $300 per week in federal unemployment benefits is keeping Americans from working.

Since fewer than 30% of jobless workers qualify for state unemployment benefits, the claim is that legions of workers have chosen to become couch potatoes and collect $15,000 a year rather than get a job.

Republicans have found an issue to run on. Apparently Dr Seuss and Mr Potato Head weren’t gaining enough traction

I challenge one Republican lawmaker to live on $15,000 a year.

In fact, evidence suggests that workers who are holding back from re-entering the job market don’t have childcare or are still concerned about their health during the pandemic.

Besides, if employers want additional workers, they can do what they necessarily do for anything they want more of but can’t obtain at its current price – pay more.

It’s  called capitalism. Republicans should bone up on it.

When Chipotle wanted to attract more workers, it raised its average wage to $15 an hour. That comes to around $30,000 a year per worker – still too little to live on but double the federal unemployment benefit.

Oh, and there’s no reason to suppose this wage hike forced Chipotle to raise the prices of its burrito. The company had other options.

Chipotle’s executives are among the best paid in America. Its chief executive, Brian Niccol, raked in $38m last year – which happens to be 2,898 times more than the typical Chipotle employee. All Chipotle’s top executives got whopping pay increases.

So, it would have been possible for Chipotle to avoid raising its burrito prices by – dare I say? – paying its executives less. But Chipotle decided otherwise.

I’m not going to second-guess Chipotle’s business decision – nor should the NRCC.

By the way, I keep hearing Republican lawmakers say the GOP is the “party of the working class”. If that’s so, it ought to celebrate when hourly workers get a raise instead of howling about it.

Everyone ought to celebrate when those at the bottom get higher wages.

The typical American worker hasn’t had a real raise in four decades. Income inequality is out of control. Wealth inequality is into the stratosphere (where Jeff Bezos is heading, apparently).

If wages at the bottom rise because employers need to pay more to get the workers they need, that’s not a problem. It’s a victory.

Instead of complaining about a so-called “labor shortage”, Republicans ought to be complaining about the shortage of jobs paying a living wage.

Don’t hold your breath, or your burrito.

btn_donateCC_LG

Please Donate


It is reasonable to see that the former administration was twisting in the wind when it came to governing and foreign relations. the twist started with the “border wall”, denying immigrants who are crossing at the proper crossings the ability to apply for asylum and making them stay in Mexico which puts more pressure on Mexico’s resources and with that additional pressure more people in desperation are crossing illegally often to the detriment of the crossers as the Coyotes who facilitate the illegal crossings have no feelings about their chargers since they demand payment upfront. The rhetoric from the Whitehouse was and had been fractured, misleading or just outright lies. The followers of those Neer do wells were enthralled by his attacks on people, laws and the government in general while their own lots were being affected for the worse by these same attacks. We had a similar situation in Europe where our allies were baffled by his actions and words. His lack of knowledge in general was dangerous ,his ego driven actions were in effect crippling for us a nation. The actions with Israel and the Arab emirates leaving the Palestinians and the Iranians out of the discussion has been seen as a first step to a possible middle east struggle which could spread beyond the middle East and leave the door open for Russian and Chinese interference and influence. The responsibly is at once the fault of TOTUS but ultimately the voters. We have become our own nemeses with our enthusiastic support of possibly the worst national leader in our history. At home we have a pandemic allowed by TOTUS because of his ego not his quote: “I didn’t want to start a panic” as a reason while he did nothing when notified of the potential pandemic earlier last year. (it should be noted that He and the first Lady quietly received the vaccine when it became available yet did not use that to promote the vaccine). We as voters allowed that to happen because we were “entertained” by his on line bullying and irreverent rants and actions. TOTUS’ presidency(?) allowed the rise of the extreme elements of our country along with the baser elements of the political parties. The fault if it can be called that is on the shoulders of the voters by being taken in by a consummate con man and abetted by the long serving Congress whose sole objective is their own interests. A similar event occurred in Europe about 75 years ago with the rise of Adolph Hitler during a low period for Germany (who lost the First war and was devastated by it). We (the USA) had no such low period but we thought we did and were persuaded by the base elements of our society that we were worse off. This persuasion allowed the rise of DJT who saw an opportunity to steal more from us while lining his own pockets and mismanaging the government. Behind the curtain of Trump our neer do well Congress was busily altering the courts, voting rights and immigration. The upshot of this was nothing good for us but we (the voters) were told that it was by the administration, Congress, biased media. WE “the Voters” need to inform our selves and be willing to “un elect” legislators who are not acting in our interests. The power of the people is greater than the power of politics only if we become informed voters. Look back at January 6,2021 and consider that it could happen anywhere

btn_donateCC_LG

Please Donate


Natalie Colarossi  46 mins ago, Newsweek

So it appears that we (voters and Citizens) are being “Madoffed” by the trump Organization


tOver $3.65 Million in PPP Loans Given to Businesses With Ties to Trump Organization, Kushner Properties

An analysis of data released by the Small Business Administration (SBA) shows that properties owned by the Trump Organization and Kushner Companies were given over $3.65 million worth in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans – raising questions about the fairness and distribution of loans intended to aid small businesses during the pandemic.Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: Donald Trump boards an elevator at Trump Tower in New York City on January 16, 2017. According to data released by the SBA, properties owned by Trump's family and the family of Jared Kushner were major beneficiaries from COVID relief loans.© DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Donald Trump boards an elevator at Trump Tower in New York City on January 16, 2017. According to data released by the SBA, properties owned by Trump’s family and the family of Jared Kushner were major beneficiaries from COVID relief loans.PauseCurrent Time 0:28/Duration 1:00Loaded: 50.95%Unmute0Fullscreen500 Delta staff have tested positive for COVID-19 and 10 have diedClick to expand

Following months of litigation, including lawsuits from 11 news organizations, the SBA released a dataset on Tuesday of every small business that received a PPP or Economic Injury Disaster (EIDL) loan.https://products.gobankingrates.com/r/d9360ea31bf06ea8b9d0ef49288e28fb

An initial review of the data by NBC News found that a number of businesses with ties to President Donald Trump‘s family and the family of Jared Kushner – Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser – were major beneficiaries of the program.

PPP loans were originally meant to support small businesses and allow them access to funds that could help with payroll, rent, utilities and mortgage interest payments. Over $700 billion worth of the forgivable loans were approved by Congress and the Trump administration under the CARES Act, and rolled out in the Spring.

But the SBA data shows that businesses tied to the president received millions of dollars in aid, and many reported that the money did not go to retaining any jobs.

According to NBC News, over 25 PPP loans were given to Trump and Kushner real estate properties, paying rent to those owners. Among those, only fifteen properties self-reported that they only retained one or zero jobs with the money.

One of those loans included a $2,164,543 loan to the Triomphe Restaurant Corp., at the Trump International Hotel & Tower in New York City. The company reported the loan did not go to keeping any jobs, and later it closed altogether.

A Kushner property in New Jersey called LB City Inc, received a loan for $505,552.50 that it used to keep 155 jobs, while four tenants at a Kushner-owned New York City property received more than $204,000 combined, and retained only six jobs.

Furthermore, two tenants at Trump Tower received more than $100,000 and kept only three jobs.

These figures add to a slew of criticisms from government watchdogs and small business owners who feel the loans were not distributed in a fair and equitable way.

“Many months and broken promises later, the court-ordered release of this crucial data while the Trump administration is one foot out the door is a shameful dereliction of duty and flagrant mismanagement of a program that millions of workers and small businesses needed to get through this pandemic,” said Kyle Herrig, president of the government watchdog group, Accountable.US, according to NBC News.

In response, Christopher W Smith, General Counsel for Kushner Companies said that the notion that Kushner Properties improperly benefitted from the loans is “completely untrue and amounts to nothing more than politically motivated nonsense.”

“Exactly two Kushner Companies’ hotel operations affiliates received PPP loans. Every provision of the PPP program has been comprehensively abided with respect to each of the two loans – and every penny of the funds received from the program was utilized to fund employee payroll and benefits costs to maintain jobs imperiled by the COVID pandemic and associated lockdown measures,” Smith said in a statement given to Newsweek.

The SBA data also suggests that over half of the intended PPP funds went to just 5 percent of recipients, with larger businesses benefitting more than their small business counterparts.

Watchdogs have also warned that several billion dollars may have gone to fraudsters and ineligible businesses, while small businesses owned by people without strong banking relationships faced limited access to funds.

Accountability groups have since set up publicly searchable databases like SearchPPP.com so people can see how the loans were used themselves.

But the SBA defended its handling of the pandemic assistance on Tuesday.

“SBA’s historically successful COVID relief loan programs have helped millions of small businesses and tens of millions of American workers when they needed it most,” an SBA spokesman said in a statement.

Newsweek attempted to reach out to the Trump administration and Trump Organization for additional comment, but did not hear back in time for publication.

btn_donateCC_LG

Please Donate


The “sudden” onset of Covid (which is a hoax) on TOTUS is again another part of the con game perpetrated on the voters. This administration is on par with a game of “Liars Poker” with the stakes being the health of the voters and the country. There are too many voters who are caught up in the entertainment of this administration while the miscreants in Congress continue to make deals that benefit themselves and their large money donors. The current National leader(?) is self absorbed and ignorant of the duties of the job but continues to bash real information that allows a leader to really lead instead of following flawed or misguided actions. This not a Drill! This the real world where people die based on the actions of their leaders. One can easily espouse ideas and promises but the follow through is more important than the words. This statement by Noted Conservative columnist George Will sums up this administration and it’s titular head: “Presidential Mortification”. The real story here is 3 years of “faking it until you make it” while the country’s voters are at risk economically and in their health. We cannot afford another 4 years of the same at 1600 Fraud avenue or in the Miscreant Congress.

btn_donateCC_LG

Please Donate

%d bloggers like this: